Nasarawa Assembly Inaugurates Committee To Investigate N1bn School Projects

Speaker of the Nasarawa House of Assembly, Ibrahim Balarable

 

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly, has inaugurated an Ad hoc committee to investigate secondary schools renovation contract awarded in 2018.

This comes two years after the State Ministry of Education spent N1billion to renovate secondary schools across the state.

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ibrahim Balarable set up the committee on Tuesday when the Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Tijjani and the Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fati Sabo appeared before the House.

Balarabe explained that their invitation was to explain their roles in the utilisation of the fund approved and released for the project which according to him has been abandoned.

The Speaker noted that the invitation of the SSG and the Commissioner was not to witch hunt them but to ensure that the right thing is done for the purpose of accountability and good governance.

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“After listening to the SSG, who was a former Commissioner for Education when the contract was awarded in 2018 without completion up till this moment.

“It is in view of this that we are setting up an Ad hoc committee to investigate the projects in the interest of our children and overall development of the state.

“The committee include the Chairman and members of the House Committee on Education, Chairmen of House Committees on Finance, Public Account and Works respectively.

“I urge the committee to do a thorough job as it is sad and unfortunate that our children in some secondary schools are learning under the trees, the Speaker said.

In his reaction, the SSG admitted that the sum was released in November 2018 by the government to the Ministry of Education for the renovation of schools.

“Yes, the renovation work is ongoing as the contract was given in 2018 when I was a commissioner for Education,” he said.

Speaking also, the Commissioner for Education revealed that N84million was given to the ministry when she assumed office in 2019 to pay contractors for the same projects.

Imo Lawmakers Pass Vote Of Confidence on Supreme Court

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Lawmakers in the Imo State House of Assembly have passed a vote of confidence on the Supreme Court Of Nigeria for declaring Senator Hope Uzodinma winner of the 2019 Governorship election in the state.

This followed a motion moved during a special plenary session at the Assembly by Kennedy Ibe of Obowo constituency.

The motion which was adopted also included that a commendation letter be written to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Mohammed Tanko.

The motion also called on security operatives in the state to immediately arrest, investigate and prosecute the Returning Officer in the election Professor Francis Otunta and the Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner Francis Ezeonu who they accused of unconstitutionally declaring Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the Winner of the election.

Ibe said in the eight months that followed the governorship election, people and business in the state were unsettled and beclouded by uncertainty and they had to rely on the Supreme Court for justice.

The house noted that Imo indigenes have bestowed confidence in the objectivity and expertise of the Justices of the Supreme court of Nigeria to adequately evaluate the processes before them and make proper judgment that is in line with the genuine aspirations of Imo people who prayed for their votes to count.

French Assembly Approves IVF For Single Women

 

France’s lower house of parliament approved Tuesday a sweeping bioethics bill to give single women and lesbians access to fertility treatments, a move which critics vowed to fight as the legislation moves to the Senate.

National Assembly lawmakers voted 359 to 114, with 72 abstentions, in favour of the first major social reform of President Emmanuel Macron’s term.

Macron pledged during his 2017 election campaign to support the bill despite deep resistance among rightwing opponents as well as conservative Roman Catholics and other religious groups.

“These measures, while respecting our ethical principles, recognise the family in all its diversity,” France’s health, justice and research ministers said in a joint statement after the vote.

But the text now heads in January to the Senate, where Macron’s centrist party is far outnumbered by the rightwing Republicans.

Tuesday’s vote “does not in any way mean this is done,” said Ludovine de la Rochere, president of the Protest for Everyone association which has spearheaded opposition to the bill.

Some 75,000 people demonstrated against the measure in Paris earlier this month, and de la Rochere said new protests were planned for November 30 and December 1, and again for January 19.

Her group had also mobilised massively in 2012 and 2013 against the legalisation by Macron’s Socialist predecessor Francois Hollande of marriage for homosexual couples.

But that law, which passed nonetheless, did not allow lesbian couples or single women to have children via in vitro fertilisation or other medically assisted means, long a taboo in France.

Many women have instead been forced to go abroad for such treatments, and French courts often refuse to recognise the second mother’s maternity rights in the case of same-sex couples.

Under the proposed law, France’s healthcare system would cover the cost of the procedure for all women under 43.

It would also allow children conceived with donated sperm to find out the donor’s identity when they turn 18, a change from the country’s strict donor anonymity protections.

– Domestic violence bracelets –

The assembly also voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to begin using ankle bracelets equipped with GPS trackers to ensure that violent husbands or boyfriends stay away from current or former partners who have reported domestic abuse.

Lawmakers used a fast-track procedure to move the text to the Senate, hoping the system will be in place early next year.

France has vowed to crack down on domestic violence after a series of killings of women by their male partners this year, and to create 1,000 new places in emergency shelters.

The interior ministry said 121 women were killed at the hands of current or former partners last year, a number which advocacy groups say has already been surpassed this year.

The ankle bracelets are already used in other European countries as well as some US states, where they have contributed to significant declines in fatal attacks.

In France, judges in both civil and penal courts will be able to order their use when imposing restraining orders.

Edo Youths Protest Against Move To Shut Down Assembly

 

A coalition of civil society organisations and youths in Edo State are protesting over the National Assembly’s decision to shut down the state House of Assembly.

The group is saying that the National Assembly have not acted in the interest of democracy and should obey the court order restraining everyone from interfering in the assembly crisis.

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The protest march moved through some major streets in Benin City, the state capital including the assembly complex and the government house.

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Nasarawa Assembly Asks Governor Sule To Hold Summit Over Insecurity

 

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has passed a resolution asking the state government to organise a peace and security summit to address the security challenges.

Speaker of the House, Ibrahim Abdullahi, read the resolution after the Deputy Majority Leader, Daniel Ogazi, raised the matter of insecurity during the House proceedings in Lafia on Tuesday.

According to the Speaker, peace is fundamental to societal development, hence the need for the House resolution.

“The issue of peace and security is very important to the development of society. It is on this note that, we are urging Governor Abdullahi Sule as a matter of urgency to organise security submit.

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“The state government should assist security agencies with the necessary logistics. The government should also identify local vigilante and encourage them for effective service delivery as well as to check to mate the rising security challenges in the state,” he said.

While moving a motion on the need for an urgent step to address insecurity across the state, Ogazi, of the All Progressives Congress who represents Kokona East constituency, said that all hands must be on deck to tackle the menace.

The motion was, however, supported by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker representing Kokona West constituency, Danladi Jatau, after which it was unanimously passed.

You Cannot Remove Chief Judge, Kogi Court Tells Governor, Assembly

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File photo

 

The Kogi High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe has ruled that the executive and state legislature jointly or unilaterally cannot remove the Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah without recourse to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The court also declared that the Chief Registrar of the state high court held a statutory position as the accounting officer of the judiciary and was, therefore, not subject to the control and supervision of either the executive or the legislature.

The presiding judge, Justice Alaba Omolaye- Ajileye, made the declaration in his judgment on the suit brought against the Assembly, the governor and three others by Justice Ajanah and the Chief Registrar, Yahya Adamu.

Justice Omolaye-Ajileye who granted all the reliefs and declarations sought by the claimants in the suit said he found merit in the action and all the declarations sought are allowed.

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According to him, by item 21 of the third schedule of the 1999 constitution (as amended) the NJC is the body empowered to exercise disciplinary control over all judicial officers of Nigeria.

The judge noted that it is the NJC established under section 153(I) of the constitution (as amended) that has the power to recommend to the governor, the removal of a judicial officer where a Chief Judge of a state is to be removed, for whatever reason stressing that it is the NJC, and not the state house of assembly that is empowered to make recommendations to the governor of a state under item 21(d) of the third schedule to the constitution.

It will be recalled that the judicial officers had approached the court to challenge the powers of the defendants to remove the chief judge and punish the chief registrar over refusal to be investigated by the state house of assembly.

The suit with number HC/KK. 11CV/2018 brought by the Chief Judge and the Chief Registrar had as respondents, the Kogi State House of Assembly, Speaker of the House, Bello Abdullahi, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Governor Yahaya Bello and the state’s Attorney-General.

CSOs Protest Over Electricity In Edo Assembly

 

Members of the Civil Society Organisations on Thursday staged a peaceful protest at the Edo State House of Assembly.

The aggrieved CSOs faulted the lawmakers for passing a bill on electricity theft, which according to them is at the instance of the Benin electricity distribution company (BEDC).

While at the gate of the Assembly, the pelted rotten tomatoes and mangoes before moving to the Government House in the state capital.

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A spokesperson for the group, Agho Omobude told Channels Television that the bill itself would not have been a problem if only the lawmakers had passed a bill against estimated billing by BEDC to protect consumers.

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Gombe State House Of Assembly Mace Stolen

 

The Mace of the Gombe State House Assembly has been stolen during a session to remove the Minority Leader.

The Minority Leader, Mohammed Usman Haruna, was reported to have held a press conference on May 5 condemning the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress in the state.

This angered members of the party in the Assembly, which is dominated by the People’s Democratic Party, and they moved to remove him. Five out of eight APC members had signed the motion for his removal.

But on Thursday, during the process for his removal, one of those who had endorsed his removal made a U-turn, saying he had been forced to endorse the motion under duress.

This led to an equal split of those for his removal and those against it. In the ensuing drama, a member of the Assembly reportedly made away with the mace aided by another lawmaker.

After the lawmaker exited the chamber with it, his accomplice held the door close to enable him to get away.

After the incident, the Majority Leader of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Mr Fabulous Amos, said those involved in the theft of the mace had been suspended.

“We have suspended them for four legislative days,” he said adding that the matter was referred to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

The committee was mandated to investigate the incident and report back to the Assembly on Monday, May 28.

Beyond the action being taken by the Assembly, the Gombe State Police Command is aware of the incident and plans to take appropriate action after failing to stop the lawmaker from getting away with the mace.

“The policemen (at the Assembly) made strenuous efforts professionally to stop the man who was going with the mace in his vehicle,” the Commissioner of Police in the state, Shina Olukoku, said.

“In addition to that, the tyres of the vehicles were professionally shot at to prevent the escape of the member who had the mace. Eventually, the vehicle was immobilised, and it stopped on the road. But he still succeeded in going away with the mace.”

According to the police commissioner, the police are “on top of the situation” and that they will recover the mace.

“We are trying to ensure that the mace is recovered as quickly as possible while working with the leadership of the House of Assembly as well as the party leadership in the state.”

Gov Umahi Presents N208bn 2018 Budget Proposal To Ebonyi Assembly

The Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi has presented an estimated sum of N208bn for 2018 Budget to the Ebonyi State House of Assembly.

Governor Umahi told the lawmakers that the budget is titled ‘Budget of divine manifestation’ and has a proposed capital expenditure of N165bn, representing 69.4 percent of the budget proposal.

The sum of N43bn, representing 31 percent of the total budget was proposed as recurrent expenditure.

According to the Governor, the 2018 budget is expected to perform better than that of 2017. He reiterated his administration’s resolve to further and aggressively develop all sectors of the state.

Governor Umahi, who said that the 2017 budget was affected by economic and security challenges, explained that with the country’s exit from recession, the 2018 budget is expected to address the challenges faced.

Adamawa Assembly Gets New Deputy Speaker, Principal Officers

Adamawa Assembly Gets New Deputy Speaker, Principal Officers

The Adamawa State House of Assembly has replaced its deputy speaker after a vote of no confidence was passed on the principal officers of the assembly.

The lawmakers were removed by a two-thirds majority of the members at Monday’s plenary in the chambers of the Assembly in Yola, the state capital.

The deputy speaker, Honourable Sunday Peter, was replaced by the member representing Madagali Constituency, Honourable Emmanuel Tsamdu.

Similarly, the majority leader of the House, Honourable Musa Mahmud, was replaced by Honourable Hassan Burguma during the sitting presided by the Speaker, Honourable Kabiru Mijinyawa.

Meanwhile, the deputy majority leader, Honourable Mutawali Mohammed, was replaced by Honourable Abubakar Isa, while the Honourable Lamsumbani Dili replaced the minority leader, Honourable Justina Nkom.

The lawmakers told reporters after the sitting that the development was based on their zeal to move Adamawa State forward.

They, however, denied that the executive arm of government has a hand in the process.

Obaseki Sends List Of Commissioners To State Assembly

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has sent a list of nominees for commissioners to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.

The nominees were drawn form the 18 local government, which after being confirmed by the Assembly will become members of his cabinet.

The Governor in a letter to the Speaker of the House, Justin Okonoboh, urged the lawmakers to facilitate the confirmation of the nominees.

The nominees are, Yekini Idayi (Akoko-Edo), Paul Ohonbamu (Egor), Hon. Christopher Adesotu (Ovia South West), Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen (Esan South East), Barr. Emmanuel Usoh (Esan North East), Mr. Jimoh Ijegbai (Owan East), Mr. Joseph Ugheoke (Estako Central), Mariam Abubakar (Estako West), Mika Amanokhai (Estako East) and Monday Osaigbovo (Ovia, Mr. Osazee Ero (Orhionmwon), David Osifo (Uhunmwode), Barr. E. Agbale (Esan Central), Mr. Osagie Inegbedion (Igueben), Prof. Yinka Omoregbe (Oredo), Reginald Okun, Edorodion O and Mr. A. Osahon.

LAUTECH Crisis: Oyo Assembly Seeks Tinubu’s Assistance

The Minority Leader of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Oyebamiji Lagunju has urged the Assembly to mandate the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi to seek assistance from Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who is the Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), following the lingering crisis.

The lawmaker representing Oriire state constituency, made the call on Tuesday, during the plenary, following the committee report presented to the Assembly over the crisis rocking the citadel of learning in the past few years.

He opined that the only solution to the crisis was for Tinubu to wade in, as the chancellor of the institution, with a view of finding a lasting solution to the issue of indebtedness of the two owner states, Oyo and Osun.

According to him, if Asiwaju Tinubu’s input had been sorted by governors of the two states, the crisis would have been heading towards resolution point, adding that the Osun State Government had not been showing much concern about the lingering crisis in the institution.

A member of the Assembly, Hon. Olawumi Oladeji, had last year called for the constitution of a committee, with a view of proffering solutions to the crisis in terms of short and long term.

Part of what formed the call by Hon. Oladeji for setting up of the committee, was the need by the two owner states to specifically address the non-payment of salaries of LAUTECH staff, which she said, had led to many months of industrial strike.

However, in the report of Committee on Education, Science and Technology on the need to avert another industrial strike action by unions in the institution, presented during the plenary by Hon. Afeez Adeleke, representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju, he recommended to the Assembly for approval that the two governors of the states of Oyo and Osun be urged to release the outstanding subventions due to the institution to pay salary arrears to workers of LAUTECH in order to prevent a looming strike, being proposed by the staff unions of the institution.

Similarly, the report recommended that the two state governments be urged to mandate KPMG firm, assigned to audit the account of the institution to expedite action and submit its report within three weeks assigned to it, while it appealed to the various unions in LAUTECH to suspend all plans towards embarking on another strike action.

The report also called on the two state governments to expedite action towards the release of report of the technical committee set up to look into the report of the visitation panel to LAUTECH early this year.

While deliberating on the committee report, majority of Assembly members who contributed opined that the government of Osun had been showing less concern to plight of the LAUTECH staff by not fulfilling its own commitment to the joint ownership status of the institution.

In his remark, Speaker of the House, Hon. Michael Adeyemo, appealed to other lawmakers of the Assembly to give the two state governments’ benefit of the doubt, hoping that they would respond appropriately to the committee report presented to the Assembly on its findings at the institution and the panacea to the crisis.