Lasun Faults Aregbesola’s Position On LG Autonomy

Yusuf Lasun, Reps, Budget Padding, 2016 Budget,
Hon Lasun Yusuf

The Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuff on Sunday faulted the position of the Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola on Local Government autonomy.

The two leaders have been in a disagreement over the independence of the govt at the grass root.

While Aregbesola have come up to condemn and reject the idea of making local governments in Nigeria autonomous, Yusuf said the only panacea to development is to ensure the self-sufficiency of the LGs.

He said, “Democracy is incomplete and inchoate if local government administration is tied to the apron string of the state, and remain subservient.

“My position is clear on the local government autonomy, and that is what I have displayed as the Co-chairman of the constitution amendment committee of the National Assembly, where autonomy for local governments was unanimously passed.

“I am of the opinion that there is no local government in Nigeria, the way state governors are running that third tier of government.”

But the state’s Chief Executive, on the contrary, described those calling for local government autonomy as confusionists with divisive tendencies.

Spain Threatens To Seek Suspension Of Catalonia’s Autonomy

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Spain said Wednesday it would take the unprecedented step of seeking to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy if the region’s leader does not abandon his independence bid, on the eve of his deadline to give a final answer.

Separatist leader Carles Puigdemont — whose banned independence referendum on October 1 has sparked Spain’s worst political crisis in decades — has until 10:00 am (0800 GMT) on Thursday to tell the central government in Madrid whether or not he is declaring a split from the rest of the country.

Unless he backs down, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Madrid would trigger article 155 of Spain’s constitution, a never before used measure that could allow it to take direct control over semi-autonomous Catalonia.

It could allow Madrid to suspend Puigdemont’s regional government and eventually trigger new elections in Catalonia, but the move would risk further escalating a crisis that has sparked huge street rallies, rattled stock markets and deeply worried Spain’s EU partners.

“All I ask of Mr Puigdemont is that he acts with good sense,” Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told parliament on Wednesday.

Puigdemont issued a cryptic “suspended” declaration of independence following the referendum, saying he wanted time for talks with the government — a prospect Madrid has rejected.

Rajoy would need Senate approval to trigger article 155, but his conservative Popular Party has a majority there.

Jordi Xucla, a lawmaker from Catalonia’s ruling coalition, told Rajoy in parliament that such a move would be “a serious mistake… its application would be difficult and questionable.”

– Tens of thousands rally –

The latest escalation came after tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona on Tuesday night after a court jailed two influential Catalan separatist leaders, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, pending investigation into sedition charges.

Barcelona police said around 200,000 people massed in the city centre calling for the release of the pair known as the “two Jordis”, who spent a second night behind bars Tuesday.

Shouting “freedom” and “independence”, the crowds lit candles, turning the boulevard into a sea of flickering lights.

“They want us to be afraid so we stop thinking of independence, but the opposite will happen. There are more of us every day,” Elias Houariz, a 22-year-old baker, told AFP at the rally.

Cuixart and Sanchez are the leaders of pro-independence citizens’ groups Omnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) respectively, which count tens of thousands of members each and have emerged as influential players in the crisis.

They are accused of whipping up major demonstrations last month in the run-up to the referendum, when protesters blocked Spanish police for hours inside the Catalan administration’s offices as they were raiding the building.

Manchester City’s Catalan manager Pep Guardiola dedicated his team’s 2-1 win over Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday to the detained pair.

“We have shown in Catalonia that citizenship is bigger than any ideas. We hope they will be released soon,” he said.

Thousands of workers in Barcelona and other cities had also staged a brief walkout earlier Tuesday in protest at the detentions.

Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero has also been charged with sedition — a crime that carries up to 15 years’ jail time — accused of failing to stop the referendum going ahead.


Constitution Review: Senate Throws Out 6-Year Single Tenure, Autonomy For Local Councils

The Senate has thrown out the proposal of a six-year single tenure for the president and state governors.

It was not a surprising decision as the debate last week showed which way the lawmakers would swing.

On resumption of plenary this week, the lawmakers engaged in a clause by clause vote of areas for review in the 1999 constitution, an engagement which lasted for almost five hours.

They however adopted clause 9 of the draft bill which empowers the national assembly to make an entirely new constitution for the country.

They also adopted section 3a of the draft which rejects the president’s assent on the amended constitution before taking effect.

However, the lawmakers rejected autonomy for local governments, a move that comes across as surprising because many lawmakers during the constitutional review debate last week appeared to be favourably disposed to autonomy for local governments as 59 lawmakers voted for local government autonomy, while 38 voted against bearing in mind that 73 votes are needed for any clause to be passed.

The Senators also rejected the inclusion of the Attorney General of the Federation for first line charge and the separation of the office of the attorney general from the minister of justice.

In a vote that was taken twice, the lawmakers voted against the removal of prisons from the exclusive list.

The senators also endorsed life pension for the president and deputy president of the senate as well as the speaker and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.

The recommendation that a bill automatically becomes law if the president fails to assent to it after 30 days of transmission was also approved.

However clause 4 of the bill caused controversy on the floor of the senate.

The committee recommended alteration of section 29 of the constitution that deals with the manner of renunciation of citizenship.

The constitution states that full age means eighteen years and above and the committee proposed a removal of part b of the clause which states that any woman that is married shall be deemed to be of full age.

CBN Autonomy Debate: CIBN Lacks Resources For Banks’ Supervision – Bank Examiner

A former Bank Examiner, Bandele Olusegun on Wednesday faulted plans to cede banks’ supervisory function to the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Mr Olusegun, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the CIBN does not have the resources to conduct examinations and supervision for banks in Nigeria.

“The CIBN cannot do it because of the fact that they wouldn’t have the resources to carry it out,” he said.

The former bank examiner said CIBN’s major source of revenue is from subscription from its members and that it takes an average of three months to conduct a proper bank examination which cost a lot of money the institute cannot afford.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Jones Onyereri gave hint of the plans of the National Assembly to cede bank supervision to the CIBN during the special ACIB induction for the pioneering graduates of the Chartered Bank MBA of the institute.

Mr Onyereri said the move would be the main focus of the lawmakers this year, to ensure that it excises the supervisory role from CBN.

The lawmakers had initiated moves to amend CBN’s Act that would have compromised the apex bank’s autonomy, but the plan was stalled due to stiff opposition from stakeholders.

The amendment, among other things, sought to remove the bank’s governor, deputy governors and executive directors from the bank’s board, provides for a former governor of CBN to chair the board, while also stripping the board the power of consideration and approval of its yearly budget.

CBN Act Amendment: Look Beyond Sanusi, Analyst Urges National Assembly

A financial consultant, Eddie Osarenkhoe has cautioned the National Assembly not to allow their grouse with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi to influence their judgements in seeking the amendment of the act establishing the apex bank.

Speaking on Wednesday as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Osarenkhoe said rather than act on the spur of the moment, the National Assembly should consider and seek to improve the systems and processes in the CBN.

“The same CBN have been there all along and they (the National Assembly) never raised the eyebrow they’ve raised. Maybe it is because there was change in the headship and he (Mr Sanusi) came out with some strong policies which actually shook the economy that is why there was this uproar,” he said.

Two bills – one before the Senate and the other in the House of Representatives – seek to amend the CBN Act Cap C4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to compel the CBN to submit its annual budget to the National Assembly and for matters connected thereto.

While the Senate’s bill was published in the National Assembly Journal Volume 8, number 54 of April 13, 2012, and registered as Senate Bill 75, the House of Reps’ bill seeks to amend Section 6(2) of the CBN Act (2007) to remove the CBN governor as chairman of the board and exclude the deputy governors and directors as members of the board. It was published in the same journal four days after – Volume 8, number 62, dated April 17, 2012, and dubbed HB.12.03.276.

Both bills seek to divest the board of the CBN of its powers to appropriate and approve the annual budgetary estimates of the bank, contrary to Section 6 (3) (a) of the CBN Act 2007 which stipulates that the board shall be responsible for the consideration and approval of the annual budget of the bank.

Local Govt. Autonomy: Analyst berates move

As the state governors of the 36 states of Nigeria deliberated on the issue of devolution of powers during the 13th edition of the governors forum, a public affair analyst, lawyer and chairman; editorial board of the National Daily newspapers said the amendment of the constitution is not supposed to be swung into the direction its heading to and for him, he has never believed in the amendment of the constitution, rather he believes in the review of the constitution.

“This is not the way it should be, the amendment of the constitution, i have never believed in the amendment of the constitution anyway”.

“I believe in the review of the constitution, not in the amendment because when you amend the constitution, there are a few sections that are antithetical to democratic principles maybe in one or two sections, no problem, but when you review a constitution, it’s like giving a brand new constitution to the body politic.”

The public affairs analyst said further that he has always preached for the review of the 1999 constitution because the constitution in totality because it is full of inconsistencies and being the yardstick of the fundamental law of the country, but until changed Nigerians have to respect it because it what binds the country together even though it leaves a sour teat in the mouth.

“That’s what i have always preached because the constitution is an amalgam ranked inconsistencies and there is no time to tell you which sections of the constitution are bad, the whole thing is entirely bad”.

“I respect it because this the fundamental law of the land and until is changed, this is document that binds all of us together, so we have to respect it, but having said that there’s a lot to be desired, it leaves a very sour taste in the mouth”.

He said he is ‘hand in gloves’ with governors because the national assembly has posited itself to have local government share equal power level with the states, making the local governments federating units just like federal and state governments which has never been heard of.

Chris Akiri appeared who appeared as a guest on Sunrise Daily said the Local government is an appendage of the state government and it is not supposed to be autonomous  and also subject to the sovereignty of the state government and he feels that the move will lead to a conflict in power.

Nigeria needs brand new peoples’ constitution, not constitutional review – PRONACO

The Pro National Conference Organization (PRONACO) on Monday in Lagos cautioned the National Assembly not to supplant the overwhelming yearnings of the Nigerian stakeholders for brand new peoples’ constitution and self-determination through its current review of the 1999 military constitution

Speaking through its Spokesperson, Olawale Okunniyi, PRONACO averred that though the National Assembly, by the provisions of section 8 and 9 of the 1999 constitution, can amend the constitution and also make laws thereof, unfortunately, what Nigerians want at this point in time is a brand new constitution that can be initiated, owned and defended by them.

PRONACO said the point being made by the Nigerian people is that the 1999 constitution was promulgated by its military authors as decree No 24 of 1999 but was dubiously tagged 1999 constitution of Nigeria, stressing that by all standard a military decree is a mere law and not a constitution and that there is a fundamental difference between a law and a constitution

The coalition also advised the National Assembly not to mix up its vested interest to amend the imposed military constitution as the same as giving the country a legitimate peoples’ constitution that can be owned by the Nigerian peoples arguing that the national assembly itself is also a product of Nigeria’s faulty constitutional foundation

Mr Okunniyi however said that the trouble with Nigeria is its military imposed civilian regime, which according to him was constitutionally designed by the military to fail by throwing up national crisis that will force Nigerians to call for military intervention.

PRONACO insisted that Nigeria is far from a peoples’ democracy given the foundation and legal template upon which the subsisting civil rule and its governmental structures were birthed in 1999, stressing that it is only the full ownership of the Nigerian constitution by its peoples that can help democratize and save the current civil rule from collapse

“By its faulty and illegitimate birth, no amount of tinkering or amendments of the existing decree 24 tagged 1999 constitution can turn it to a constitution not to talk of making it a peoples’ constitution. So there is no need for government to continue to waste Nigeria’s scares resources and time on a worthless and unproductive venture in the face of the monumental violence in the country

“The danger here is that there is now an unprecedented corruption and violence in the country and our people are being killed here and there on daily basis with a possible reprisal attacks and imminent civil war in the offing on the account of the existing unpopular constitutional governance structure foisted on the people by the military in 1999” the PRONACO spokesperson said.

Offers to help group seeking autonomy

Mr Okunniyi called on the various indigenous peoples, nationalities, federating units and regions in Nigeria, who so desire self-determination and political autonomy to formally approach PRONACO to help organize them to meet the criteria of the United Nations on self-determination and autonomy as spelt out in the new declaration of the United Nations on the self determination of indigenous peoples.

“Rather than continue the endless agitation for national conference and participate in an unhelpful constitution review exercise, indigenous peoples in Nigeria are hereby advised to urgently adopt the latest approach recommended by the United Nations in liberating themselves from the hostage of those currently benefiting from the existing corrupt and conflictual system in Nigeria” PRONACO said.

It will be recalled that the Senate reiterated at its retreat last week in Asaba, the Delta State capital that it is only through its adopted piece meal or incremental tinkering as provided in the 1999 constitution that the constitutional crisis of the country can be addressed and that those calling for national conference have no legal basis to do so

Mr Okunniyi however faulted that position by saying the same constitution already empowers the national assembly to make law for whatever it deems suitable for the good governance, welfare and security of the country, wondering what constituted the basis of invoking the doctrine of necessity in the Yar’adua/Jonathan saga

“Nigeria is already in an emergency situation given the horrendous bloodletting and bombings in the land, which requires that the national assembly if they are responsive and appreciate the national question, to urgently make law under section 4 or even 9 of the constitution for the convention of a peoples’ national conference or alternatively, invoke their invented ‘doctrine of necessity’ to enable a constituent assembly of the Nigerian peoples negotiate and neutralize an imminent civil strife in the country”