Social Media Bill Is Dead On Arrival – Saraki

SarakiThe so-called social media bill, sponsored by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Ibn Nallah, may not see the light of day.

This is because the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki says the bill is dead on arrival and is going nowhere.

The Senate President was the chief speaker at the Social Media Week in Lagos where the issues of the 2015 general elections and the major influencers were discussed.

Dr Saraki said that the Senate and the major users of the social media in Nigeria are on the same page and will not be paid back badly for their efforts in seeing off the last government.

“As far as I am concerned, we are all on the same side. It is like any bill, it has to go through processes. I am sure that many bills, content of those bills will not even pass second reading.

“I strongly believe that there is a role of the social media platform in our governance. You’ve helped in the election, you’ve helped in improving governance. So I don’t think there is anybody who will want to ensure you don’t play that role.

“There is no perfection in any group. Among politicians there are the good ones and bad ones. I am sure in the social media, you will see those that are responsible and those that are irresponsible.

“What is important for us is to focus on the bigger picture. Don’t let those other issues distract us. That bill is going nowhere, its dead on arrival,” Dr Saraki said.

Lawyer Faults Impeachment Of Kogi Assembly Speaker

Sebastian Hon-SpeakerA Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) Sebastian Hon, has described the impeachment procedure of the Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly as a flagrant breach of the Constitution of Nigeria.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the lawyer revealed that the number of lawmakers that sat to pass the revolution is less than two-third of all the members of the house.

“Even if they claim that more than one-third are firing a notice of allegation, the number that sat to pass the revolution is less than two-third of the legality of all the members of the House of Assembly in accordance with section 188 sub-section 4 of the constitution,” he said.

Mr Hon emphasised that “the number to look at is the totality of the membership of the House of Assembly and not the number sitting at a particular time.”

The Senior Advocate faulted the Nigerian judicial system saying there is a lacuna in the law.

He pointed out that when there is an intervention from the judiciary in such a case, the status quo has to be maintained, which is the status quo ante bellum (the state existing before the war), allowing the former Speaker to continue speaking until the judiciary determines the issue.

Five lawmakers in a 20-member House sat on Tuesday and purportedly impeached the Speaker, Honourable Momoh Jimoh.

The lawmakers also chose Umar Imam as the new Speaker of the House.

Civil Society Groups Reject Social Media Bill

Social Media BillA coalition of Civil Society Organizations have led a protest to the National Assembly asking for the discontinuation of the passage of an anti Social Media Bill.

The Senate last week Wednesday passed to second reading, a bill seeking two years imprisonment with an option of two million naira fine for any Nigerian who posts abusive statements on Social Media.

The protesters say by criminalizing free speech, the bill directly contravenes the universal declaration of Human Rights and the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.

The protesters demanded to meet with the leadership of the Senate to press home their demand.

A delegation from the Senate met with the protesters and promised to present their demands to the Senate.

We Have Not Banned Anyone From Travelling – Buhari

president muhammadu buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has said that officials of past administrations, including ministers, are entitled to their full rights and privileges under the constitution and must not be subjected to any undue harassment and intimidation at the airports or at other points of entry and exit.

“We have not banned anyone from travelling,” he said in a statement released on Saturday by the Head of President Buhari’s Media Team, Garba Shehu.

Responding to some cases of “V.I.P stoppages” at the airports as reported to him, President Buhari directed all agencies under the government to run their affairs in full compliance with extant rules, regulations and the constitution.

“Unless otherwise directed by the courts, no law-abiding citizens should be barred from travelling abroad. We must treat fellow citizens with courtesy and respect.

”Officials at the borders and other points of entry and exit should conduct their affairs in strict compliance with due process.

”No one has my permission to bar anyone from travelling abroad,” President Buhari said.

In his inauguration speech on Friday, the President had dismissed insinuations that he would go after some persons in governance.

He said: ”A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue”.

Constitution Amendment: Return Original Bill, Senate Writes Jonathan

senateThe Nigerian Senate on Thursday, drafted a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, asking for an urgent return of the original copy of the 1999 Constitution Amendment Bill.

This came barely a day after the President wrote to the Senate, refusing to give assent to some sections of the Nigerian Constitution amended by the National Assembly.

The Senate President, David Mark, has mandated the Senate Committee on the 1999 Constitution Amendment to draft the letter and forward same to the President so that he could urgently send the document to the National Assembly.

The development followed a motion moved by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, during the day’s plenary that President Jonathan failed to accompany his letter vetoing the bill with the original copy of the bill sent to him for assent by the National Assembly.

Senator Ekweremadu, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, informed the Senate that the two-day retreat which the committee had convened to discuss the President’s letter could not make much progress due to the absence of the original copy of the bill.

He added that the committee temporarily suspended the retreat until it is in possession of the original copy of the amended bill, and that the work of the committee would be guided by the contents of the bill.

President Jonathan’s letter to the National Assembly detailed the sections which he refused to approve.

In the letter read by the Senate President, President Jonathan rejected the alteration of section nine of the constitution which removes the approval of the President in the process of constitution amendment.

President Jonathan also rejected the amendment which separated the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General from the Commissioner for Justice in the respective states of the Federation.

The members of the National Assembly had not foreseen a situation where President Jonathan would refuse to assent to some sections of the constitution they had amended.

Jonathan Rejects Constitution Amendment

Goodluck Jonathan on Constitution amendment President Goodluck Jonathan has refused to give assent to some sections of the Nigerian Constitution amended by the National Assembly.

Federal and State lawmakers had approved some sections in the constitution for amendment and sent it to the president for assent.

But President Jonathan vetoed some of the sections and returned it to the National Assembly.

The members of the National Assembly had not foreseen a situation where President Jonathan would refuse to assent to some sections of the constitution they had amended.

President Jonathan wrote to the National Assembly detailing the sections which he refused to approve.

In the letter read by the Senate President, President Jonathan rejected the alteration of section nine of the constitution which removes the approval of the President in the process of constitution amendment.

President Jonathan also rejected the amendment which separated the office of the Attorney General of the Federation from the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General from the Commissioner for Justice in the respective states of the Federation.

For nearly three years, the Seventh National Assembly has been working to amend the constitution spending billions of Naira in the process.

But President Jonathan vetoing some of the amendments is a major setback for Federal lawmakers.

The lawmakers plan to hold a two day retreat to discuss the matter and Nigerians are eager to know what their next action would be.

President Jonathan had lost a re-election an election held on March 28 to the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari.