The Senate yesterday adopted the report of the conference committee on Terrorism Act 2011 (Amendment) Bill 2012 and resolved that the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) be made the fulcrum of all security operations.
The upper chamber specifically conferred on the NSA, coordinating powers on all security agencies in the fight against terrorism.
On December 19, 2012, proceedings of the Senate on the bill were stalled when the chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang, queried the legality of giving such powers to the NSA whose office, according to him, is not a creation of any law.
Presenting the bill for the third time yesterday, the chairman of the committee, Senator Mohammed Magoro (PDP Kebbi South) explained that the committee came up with a new provision that “deals with national coordinating bodies in counter terrorism offences and designates specific institutions and vest specific powers and functions in the office of the National Security Adviser, the Attorney-General of the Federation and relevant law enforcement and security agencies.”
The Senate also adopted the recommendation that the NSA’s office should provide support to all security, intelligence, law enforcement agencies and military services to prevent and combat acts of terrorism.
The NSA’s office, according to the report adopted, is also to ensure effective formulation and implementation of a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy and build capacity for the effective discharge of the functions of all security, intelligence, law enforcement and military services.
The report also confers on the NSA, the powers to “do such other acts or things necessary” for the effective performance of the functions of the relevant security and enforcement agencies.