The Chief Marshall of Parliament, Col. John Buntugu Rtd. has denied involvement and knowledge of the invitation of armed military personnel into the parliamentary chamber on Thursday dawn during the inauguration of the 8th Parliament.
According to him, he was taken unawares about the situation and immediately proceeded to speak to the military commanders that came in with the personnel and urged them to leave because their presence was not the best.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Col. John Buntugu said he only commands a police unit in Parliament and has no soldiers under his command.
More than a dozen armed military persons invaded the parliamentary chamber on the dawn of January 7 when members of the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party were engaged in heated arguments over the processes involved in the election of the new speaker of the 8th Parliament.
Their presence has since attracted condemnation from the MPs and other relevant bodies with some holding the marshal of parliament responsible since he is in charge of the general security of the House.
“We have a police station in the Parliament House, but it is under the Marshal of Parliament. We don’t have soldiers. The soldiers were not under my instruction. I don’t know what actually happened [but] I saw them in the Chamber and I spoke with their commanders when I realized that it was counterproductive, and they left,” he said.
Meanwhile, Col. John Buntugu Rtd. has denied claims that a marshal in the chamber attempted to slip an object into a ballot box.
The alleged attempt to slip an object into the ballot box was one of the incidents that triggered heated confrontations and chaos in Parliament on the dawn of January 7, 2021.
But the Chief Marshall of Parliament, Col. John Buntugu Rtd said such allegations are false.
According to him, the marshal was only removing a taser from his pocket after he realized that the ballot box may be targeted by some Members of Parliament.
“He guarded the ballot box with his life so when he saw some people approaching, he positioned himself and had a taser in his pocket, so he positioned himself and that is why his hand was on the taser, but it wasn’t that he was drawing something to put in the ballot box. I can vouch for him with my life. I am a very honest person, and he is a professional,” he said.