Tag Archives: Senate

Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria (MOBIN) submits Memorandum for Devolution of Powers to the Nigerian Senate

The political arm of the Biafran struggle, Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria (MOBIN) has submitted its Memorandum on the way forward for Nigeria and the peaceful co-existence of all the ethnic nationalities that make up the country.

The document was submitted to the Nigerian Senate on the amendment of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, based on sections 2, 3, 4(2) and 162(2) and in line with the support of the international community.

Titled ‘Memorandum for the Devolution of Powers‘, the Memorandum consist of the Legal, Political and Socio-Economic Basis, Position of the 4 Regions of the South and Middle Belt on Regional Autonomy, Issues and Prayers before the Court, and the International dimension and the British Government
Policy of 1969.

Other areas mentioned by the Memorandum include Evidence of Institutionalised Persecution of the Plaintiffs(Biafrans) in Nigeria, the Problem of Nigeria beyond Politics, the perfect solution to the Nigerian problem, Approval of Regional Government by the Igbo National Leadership, the Confessions of honest leaders from other ethnic nationalities Approval of Regional Government by all Peoples and Leaders of Southern Nigeria.

Other items in the document also include the Benefits of Devolution of Power to the Nigerians and
the International Community, Re-Engineering of the Federal Structure based on
our proposed Amendments to the 1999 Constitution.

It was signed by Barrister Emeka John Chigozie Emekesiri, a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, and also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Customary Government of Biafra.

It concluded by observing “If the report on the bill for devolution of power has been laid before the National Assembly, what then is holding the bill from being debated?

“We are very sure that the bill shall pass by simple majority votes of the members of the National Assembly. Let somebody move the motion in the National Assembly and let the debate begin without further delay. A peaceful coexistence of all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria will bring prosperity and social mobility that is lacking.

“We propose a British Model or American model that will provide an equitable opportunity for various nations within Nigeria where each nation is allowed to grow at its own pace and more especially, where healthy competitions take place between the nations.

“It is important that the Nigerian Governments adopts this model as a means of creating stability and economic progress for the majority of Nigerians. We want to be free to govern ourselves as a people within Nigeria, grow at our own pace and contribute to national wealth, socio-political and economic development without institutionalised persecution by government with its obnoxious policies targeted at us. We request the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution to introduce the bill on Devolution of Power to the Regions as a matter of extreme urgency and save the country from imminent violent disintegration”, it stated.

Senate upgrades Auchi Poly to University, passes Bill on Maritime University, Okerenkoko

The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill establishing Nigerian Maritime University Okerenkoko in Warri South West Council Area of Delta State after receiving report of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TetFund.

It also passed one seeking to establish the City University of Technology, Auchi, Edo State and Federal College of Education, Giwa, Kaduna State.

The three bills were passed into law on Wednesday during a plenary preceded by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan after a clause-by-clause consideration of the report of the committee.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TetFund, Senator Babba Kaita, presented the three reports to members of the upper chamber and they were subsequently considered and passed by the lawmakers.

Member representing Delta South at the upper chamber, Senator James Manager sponsored the bill on the creation of the Nigeria Maritime University, while Senator Francis Alimikhena, sponsored that of the City University of Technology, Auchi.

Senator Uba Sani from Kaduna sponsored the bill for the establishment of the Federal College of Education, Giwa.

Kaita said that the Federal Polytechnic Auchi was currently running degree programmes in affiliation with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra with enrollment of over 50, 000 students on full and part-time.

Academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom, took off over two years ago after leaders of the Niger Delta region pleaded with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to allow its take-off.

Uproar in Senate as FG Lists Kilishi as Research Breakthrough After Spending Billions of Naira for Research

There was mild drama at the Senate on Monday when the Director-General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, Professor Hussain Ibrahim, identified the development of Kilishi technology as its major breakthrough since the agency’s creation, 33 years ago, despite huge budgetary allocations to the agency.

Ibrahim, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Science and Technology to brief the senators on the activities of his agency, caused a stir when he said the Kilishi technology was the only major breakthrough it had successfully developed for commercial use.

Kilishi is a locally spiced roasted meat made of beef, and it is very popular in the northern part of Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Uche Ekwunife, had asked the DG to tell Nigerians what specific raw material the agency had successfully produced in the country in partnership with other research institutes.

Ekwunife said, “Your core mandate is to develop local materials.

“Can you tell us the local raw materials you have developed in the areas of health, brewery, construction, science, and technology, or agriculture?

“Just give us the synopsis of what you have developed or generated for local industries. Tell us about your breakthrough.”

An elated RMRDC Boss, Ibrahim proudly told the panel that despite its lack of laboratory, the 33-year-old agency had succeeded in producing the local meat delicacy for commercial production as part of the agency’s breakthrough.

“In our 30 years of research activities, we are still the largest research Institute. But to be candid with you, we are making progress.

“For now, we have developed technology to optimize Kilishi production. Research activities take time.”

His submission led to prolonged laughter from the audience but drew the anger of the lawmakers.

Senate Backs Decentralisation of Nigeria Police, Community Policing Initiative

The Senate has called for the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police as part of efforts to boost the protection of lives and property.

The Senate urged the 36 state Houses of Assembly to pass laws that would legalise community policing in their respective states.

The Senate, in resolving to adopt the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee on Nigerian Security Challenges, headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, called for the expansion of the states’ security councils and constitution of area command, local government and ward level advisory councils.

These were the high points of the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee report on the urgent need to restructure, review and re-organise the current security architecture, which was considered and approved in the Senate.

The committee, set up on January 29, 2020, in its report, made recommendations, which were also approved by the Senate.

The Senate, therefore, urged the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police to “decentralise the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers” vested in the following 11 zonal commands: Kano/Jigawa/Katsina, Sokoto/Zamfara/Kebbi, Kaduna/Niger/ FCT, Ekiti/Kwara/Kogi, Benue/Plateau/Nasarawa, Bauchi/Yobe/Borno and Adamawa/Taraba/Gombe.

Other commands are: Lagos/Ogun, Oyo/Osun/Ondo, Edo/Delta/Bayelsa, Rivers/Akwa-Ibom/Cross Rivers, Imo/Abia and Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi.

The Senate also urged the federal government to set up zonal security advisory committees at each zonal commands to advise on the security challenges facing each zone.

The proposed composition of the zonal advisory council include governors in the zone (to preside on a rotational basis); zonal Assistant Inspector-General of Police; state commissioners of police in the zone; state directors of the Department of State Security Service; zonal immigration officers; zonal customs officers; representatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Correctional Service in the zone.

Others are chairmen of state traditional rulers’ council in the zone, faith-based leaders in the zone; civil society representatives; representatives of senators, House of Representatives members, business community and labour in the zone as well as and any person or persons deemed to be useful and relevant, taking into account the socio-cultural peculiarities of the zone.

Recommendations were also made for the expansion of the State Security Council and constitution of area command, local government, and ward level advisory councils.

Senate Orders FG to Suspend 5G Network Launch

Modalities have been put in place for the National Assembly to probe the 5G communication network in Nigeria.

The Senate, which ordered the government to put on hold to its launch, mandated the Committees on Communication, Public Health and Science and Technology to carry out an investigation and report back within four weeks.

This was after the deliberation on a motion by Senator Uche Ekwunife, drawing the attention of the senators to the status of the 5G network in the country.

Ekwunife said her motion was borne out of the need to assure Nigerians of their safety by asking the Federal Government to postpone the launch until a proper investigation was carried out.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, said the 5G network deployment remained a controversial issue. He said the experts should be allowed to handle it and deliberate on the merits and demerits of its deployment.

Senator Opeyemi Bamidele also said it would be irresponsible of any government to subscribe to a technology that won’t be safe for its citizens. He noted that no scientific research has been done by any agency of the Federal Government on the 5G network.

He added that European countries were already investigating the implications of the deployment and wondered why Nigeria had yet to do so.

Senate introduces controversial vaccine bill, after legislators were accused of pocketing $10m bribe

The controversial bill on vaccine titled, “Control of Infection Diseases Bill 2020,” which first surfaced in the House of Representatives, has been submitted for debate in the Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate’s version is titled, “National Health Emergency Bill; 2020.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi representing Enugu North Senatorial district and also the Chairman of Senate Committee on Health.

Though the bill scaled first reading, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who is also another lawmaker from Enugu State and of the Peoples Democratic Party ironically kicked against the bill after it passed the first reading.

Expressing his reservations on the bill, Ekweremadu demanded for the draft copy of the bill in line with the tradition of legislative debate on bills.

“I haven’t seen the draft of this bill and I think nobody has seen it to study its contents and it’s important we have it before next adjourned date,” Ekweremadu said.

In his remark, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan ordered the sponsor of the bill to make copies available to Senators before the next sitting.

Lawan also ruled that the bill will be tabled for second reading on Tuesday, next week.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited had earlier reported that a group, Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) alleged a $10 million bribe for accelerated passage of the Bill. Up till now, the the House of Representatives has not reacted to the allegations.

Senate to establish agency to compensate Boko Haram members

#NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

By Henry Umoru

THE Senate has begun moves to establish a National Agency that would be saddled with among others, the responsibility of educating, rehabilitating, de- radicalization and integration of ex- Boko Haram insurgents.

The Bill titled, ” National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De- radicalization and Integration of repentant Insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB.340) was read the first time yesterday at Senate plenary.

The Bill is sponsored by former Governor of Yobe State, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, All Progressives Congress, APC, Yobe East.

If the Bill succeeds, it will then put in place a legal framework that would have Amnesty for Boko Haram insurgents that have engaged in massive killings and wanton destruction of property especially in the North East geo- political zone of the country.

According to the Sponsor, the Bill is aimed at providing avenue for rehabilitating, de-radicalizing, educating and reintegrating the defectors, repentant and detained members of the insurgent group Boko Haram to make the useful members of the society.

Senator Gaidam said that the Agency will also provide avenue for reconciliation and promote national security.

The agency is also aimed at providing an-open-door and encouragement for other members of the group who are still engaged in the insurgency to abandon the group especially in the face of the military pressure.

The agency will also give the government an opportunity to derive insider-information about the insurgence group for greater understanding of the group and its inner workings.

According to the Bill, gaining greater understanding of the insurgents will enable government to address the immediate concerns of violence and study the needs of de-radicalization effort to improve the process of de-radicalization.

The Senator said that it will help disintegrate the violent and poisonous ideology that the group spreads as the program will enable some convicted or suspected terrorists to express remorse over their actions, repent and recant their Violent ideology and re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society.

According to the Bill, when passed, the agency would provide recreational sports and fine arts programs, adding, “Also, through maintaining open lines of communication, the agency will be able to gain a greater understanding of both the immediate needs for combating Boko Hararn as well as tool for counter-radicalization in the future.”

On Vocational Rehabilitation, Senator Gaidam said, “Vocational rehabilitation gives the detainees Opportunities to learn carpentry, clay shaping, pottery and the like. In addition, they will make use of art through drawings, guided by professional art therapists in their art rehabilitation.

The bill is coming amidst protest against the reintegration of members of the Boko Haram sect back into the society.

Recall that the Military was recently reported to have trained and rehabilitated over 1,000 insurgents in one of its centres in Gombe State.

The report claimed that the Military had gone ahead to release the “Repentant” insurgents after three years of vocational training.

Also recall that Borno State government recently revealed that the military had released 1,400 repentant Boko Haram suspects.

Senate to revisit power sector privatisation

PRESIDENT of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said Thursday that there was the urgent need to revisit the privatisation of the power sector.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja when members of the Executive Committee of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria ((MAN) paid him a courtesy visit, Lawan said, “I think the privatisation has not worked. It has failed because the essence of privatisation is to create efficiency,” Lawan told his guests who complained of the adverse effects of the sordid state of electricity supply in the country.

“It appears most of the companies, the DISCOs (Distribution Companies), have no sufficient capital and probably the same thing with the GENCOs (Generation Companies).”

The President who acknowledged the efforts of the government which, out of desperation to create a better situation for the privatised sector, gave out so much money to the companies, said, “I think the time has come for government to take a very drastic but necessary decision. If we have privatised the DISCOs and the GENCOs, I think, the private sector, those who have taken them over, should be able to make them work better than they were before.

“If they cannot, I think we need to revisit this privatisation because we cannot go on like that. We should look at the larger interest of Nigerians not of those companies that have taken over the power sector – the DISCOs and the GENCOs.

“We are going to support the executive arm of government… We will suggest that going forward we have to revisit the privatisation because apparently the companies are not able to provide the power that we thought they could by now.”

Lawan who noted that the issue of power has remained one of the major challenges of the nation’s economy, said, “there is no way we can make any serious progress without adequate and steady power supply”.

On the complaint by MAN on the delay encountered in clearing goods at the nation’s seaports, the Senate President expressed his confidence that the federal government committee on Ease of Doing Business chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would address the issue.

The committee, he said has since its inception done a lot to normalize and restore efficiency at the ports.

He assured the Association of the National Assembly readiness to partner with it for the growth and development of the nation’s economy.

“Feel free to always come to us when there is need for legislative intervention,” he said.

Earlier, MAN President, Engr. Mansur Ahmed who listed insecurity, debilitating power supply and delay in clearing goods as major challenges facing the members of the Association, said that the challenges have resulted into lack of competitiveness by the nation’s manufacturers.

Senate confirms new NDDC board

Sola Charles, Asaba

The Nigerian Senate Confirmed The Newly Board Of The Niger Delta Development Commission By The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan asked the newly confirmed board members to take over the affairs of the agency immediately.

Lawan who stated this after the upper chamber confirmed the appointment of the nominees forwarded to the Senate last week, said the law setting up the NDDC does not recognise any interim arrangement once a board is in place.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, had set up an interim management team that would be in place for six months to oversee a forensic audit of the agency.

But Lawan said the new board, members should take over immediately according to the law setting up the NDDC.

He added that inaugurating the new board members would not affect the works of the forensic auditors.

Lawan asked the senate committee on the NDDC to be alive to its responsibility by carrying out its oversight functions.

First to be confirmed was a former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu as Chairman of the Board followed by the nominee for the position of Managing Director, Bernard Okumagba.

The Senate also confirmed the nominee for the position of Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Maxwell Okoh from Bayelsa State.

Others confirmed by the red chamber include Delta State representative, Jones Erue; Victor Ekhator (Edo State) and Nwogu Nwogu (Abia State).

Others are Theodore Allison, representing Bayelsa State, Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom); Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River State); Olugbenga Elema (Ondo State); and Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo State).

The others are the North-East representative, Ardo Zubairu from Adamawa State and Ambassador Abdullahi Bage from Nasarawa State to represent the North Central geopolitical zone and the North-West representative, Aisha Murtala Muhammed, from Kano State,

Meanwhile, the nominee from Rivers State, Dr. Joy Yimebe Nunieh, who is the current managing director of interim management board of the agency shunned the Senate screening.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on the NDDC, Peter Nwaoboshi, while presenting the report of the screening exercise said all invitations extended to the nominee, were turned down.

The Senate, therefore, rejected her nomination.

JUST IN: Supreme Court sacks Niger East senator, announces his replacement

The Supreme Court on Friday sacked the representative of Niger East Senatorial District, Senator David Umaru.

In his place, the apex court declared Mohammed Sani Musa as the valid person to occupy the seat.

The declaration was based on the determination of who the validly representative of the All Progressives Congress was for the 2019 National Assembly elections.

In reaching the decision, the Supreme Court set aside the April 8, 2019 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which declared Umaru the candidate of the APC.

In a unanimous judgment on Friday, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, upheld arguments by Musa’s legal team, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), to the effect that he won the primary of the APC for the election and was the actual candidate for the election.

The apex court allowed the appeal filed by Musa, marked: SC/405/2019 and affirmed the February 7, 2019 judgment by Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which declared him the validly nominated candidate of the APC for the election.