Kaduna Deputy Speaker Resigns

Map of Kaduna State

 

The Deputy Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, John Kwaturu, has resigned.

His resignation comes barely four days after he defected from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The lawmaker, who represents Kachia constituency, told Channels Television in an interview, on Tuesday, that he left the APC as a result of impunity, bad leadership, and division that existed in the party.

He also noted that he made the decision to resign as deputy speaker after consultation with his political associates and supporters.

Kwaturu, however, thanked the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly for the opportunity and support they gave him throughout the three years he served as Deputy Speaker.

Ondo Assembly Reverses Impeachment Of Deputy Speaker

Ondo Assembly Passes N14bn OSOPADEC Budget

 

The Ondo State House of Assembly has reversed the impeachment of the Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji.

Hon. Ogundeji was impeached on Tuesday during plenary and replaced with Bimbo Fajolu.

The reversal of the impeachment was moved in a motion by the Majority Leader, Hon. Gbenga Araoyinbo and seconded by Hon. Fatai Olotu from Akoko North East Constituency.

According to the legislators, the reversal was as a result of the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians including leadership of APC in the state, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Ogun state governor, Ibikunle Amosun amongst others.

Hon. Ogundeji was impeached by his colleagues for being at loggerheads with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyeloogun.

He was among the 18 lawmakers who defected to the ruling party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shortly after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu became governor in February 2017.

Fajolu’s nomination, on the other hand, was moved by Hon. Isreal Olajide, and was seconded by erstwhile Speaker, Hon. Jumoke Akindele.

He was immediately sworn in by the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyeloogun.

Fajolu represents Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo constituency in the Ondo State House of Assembly.

Ondo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Speaker

The Ondo State House of Assembly has impeached its Deputy Speaker Iroju Ogundeji.

Shortly after the impeachment which took place during plenary on Tuesday, a new Deputy Speaker, Hon. Bimbo Fajolu was appointed.

Ogundeji was impeached by his colleagues for being at loggerheads with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyeloogun.

He was among the 18 lawmakers who defected to the ruling party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shortly after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu became governor in February 2017.

Fajolu’s nomination, on the other hand, was moved by Hon. Isreal Olajide, and was seconded by erstwhile Speaker, Hon. Jumoke Akindele.

He was immediately sworn in by the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyeloogun.

Fajolu represents Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo constituency in the Ondo State House of Assembly.

Deputy Speaker Urges Nigerians In Diaspora To Support Economic Diversification

Yusuf Lasun, Reps, Budget Padding, 2016 Budget,The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Lasun Yusuf, has called on the Nigerians in Canada to help the Federal Government in the diversification of the economy.

The Deputy Speaker in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Wole Oladimeji, said no country of the world can employ 10 percent of its workforce as jobs do not reside in government but in the individual and corporate world.

Mr Lasun, while responding to the appeals made by the Nigerians in Canada who visited him in his office, said the country has operated a mono-economy for years and that led to the country’s underdevelopment.

According to him, the exploitation of oil has done more harm than good and since there is are conscious efforts to develop the agricultural sector, there is the need to partner with the developed world.

“Nigeria depended heavily on oil. We are trying to retrace our steps to agriculture. It is difficult to do mechanised farming in the forest region except in the northern part of the country. The process of mechanised farming is lacking in Nigeria because of mono-economy.

“Agriculture is what we have to go back to and depart from the old method.”
Lasun, however, said foreign direct investment is vital, as is information and communication technology.

“Education is the bedrock of everything. What we need in the area of education is the skill acquisition. We lack skill. If you don’t have the skill nothing can be done. It is relevant to all the sectors,” he said.

Earlier, Mr‎ Ramesh Sangha, a member of Parliament in Canada,‎ who led the delegation, explained that they were in the country for possible collaboration.

He told the Deputy Speaker that they wanted stronger ties with the Canadian government‎ so that areas of assistance could be identified.

Ondo Speaker, Deputy, Two Others Defect To APC

Ondo Speaker, Three Others Leave PDP For APCFour members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, including the newly elected Speaker have decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The lawmakers are: the new Speaker, Bamidele Oleyeloogun; Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji; former Deputy Speaker, Ayodeji Arowele and Segun Ajimotokin.

Speaking to reporters at the Governor’s office in Akure, the state’s capital, Honourable Oleyeloogun informed that the remaining PDP members of the Assembly will soon join the ruling party.

He assured the people of Ondo State that the lawmakers are ready to work with the executive arm of government to move the state forward.

“We are here to signify our intention to join the ruling party, the APC. The remaining ceremony will be carried out on the floor of the House of Assembly, but let me give you the assurance that our remaining colleagues are also on their way coming to this ruling party.

” I’m giving the people of Ondo, the assurance that all necessary things to be carried out in this state will be done when needed. I assure you that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is ready to work for the state and the legislative arm of government is ready to support him,” the Speaker said.

Dividends Of Democracy

Honourable Ogundeji, on his part, said the decision of the lawmakers to defect to APC was based on the fact that it is the platform where people of the state can enjoy the dividends of democracy.

“Our intention to decamp to the ruling party is not because of any other thing, but because of the fact that we know that it is only APC that can deliver the good dividends of democracy to our people.

“The interest of all of us here is the interest of the people that voted us into office, we don’t have any interest that we are representing here other than the interest of the people of Ondo State.

“The party that the people of Ondo State want is the APC and we believe that the only party that we can belong to that can make the dividends of democracy get to the people of Ondo State is the APC,” the Deputy Speaker explained.

The Secretary to the State Government, Honourable Ifedayo Abegunde, who received the defectors into the APC, pointed out that the development was in the best interest of the state.

“This is a welcome development and is a signal that APC is increasing in number and we are getting popular, and this I believe and I’m sure will translate to good governance in Ondo State.

“The more we are, the more confident our Governor is going to be, and the more we will be able to move Ondo State forward. I did this on behalf of my Governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu,” he said.

With the defection, the number of APC members in the House has risen to nine, while the remaining 17 members belong to the PDP.

Budget Padding Is A ‘Misrepresentation Of Facts’ – Deputy Speaker

Yusuf Lasun, Reps, Budget Padding, 2016 Budget, House of RepresentativesThe Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Lasun Yusuf, has described as misrepresentation of facts, the widespread allegations of padding of the 2016 budget.

He said that contrary to rumours being peddled around the country, there was no section of the appropriation bill that was padded.

The lawmaker explained that the legislature had in exercise of the power conferred on it by the constitution, reallocated figure in the budget estimates as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He made the disclosure while delivering a lecture at the 17th edition of the media parliament of Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Mr Yusuf spoke on the ‘Challenges of Law-making and the Delivery of Dividend of Democracy in Nigeria’ during the gathering at the Abubakar Olusola Saraki Pen House in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

He explained that it was the exclusive preserve of the legislative arm to rework annual fiscal document tabled before it by the executive, stating that such document remains “an estimate and not real budget”.

The former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin, who had blown the lid that some principal officers of the lower chamber of the National Assembly partook in the budget padding scam, was suspended from office.

His allegation had ignited public outrage against the National Assembly while the House maintained that the budget was not padded as alleged.

Abdulmumin Jibrin, House, Budget padding
Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin

Budget Padding Debacle

The Deputy Speaker, however, told the gathering in Ilorin that the allegations against the leadership of the House by the suspended lawmaker were of no effect and could not be substantiated, insisting that the House acted within its powers.

He stated that the House was empowered to reallocate and reconcile figures in the budget estimates that were believed not to be properly done.

Honourable Yusuf decried that many Nigerians were ignorant of the works of the legislative arm and were fond of passing verdict without verifiable facts on some allegations levelled against the lawmakers.

He explained further that it was the primary responsibility of the law-making body to scrutinise budget estimates submitted by the executive arm, adding that members could use the avenue to address pressing needs of their people.

“While the executive makes proposals on projects, programmes and expenditure for every year, the legislature finally approves figures that are spent.

“In the process, the legislature often interfaces with the executive to have certain projects and programmes form part of (the) budget.

“This is necessary as I have said earlier because the closeness of the legislator to the constituents must have emerged from that environment.

“It is critical that certain pressing areas requiring government attention are suggested and included in the estimates.

“Unfortunately, the poor understanding of the fine details of legislative practice anchored on the express provision of the constitution erroneously informed the so-called budget padding debacle which was a distraction to the polity.

“For instance, the case of 50-year-old Ojutu Bridge in my constituency that has great potentials in turning around the lives of my constituents,” Yusuf said.

Speaker’s Suspension: Ondo Assembly Shut

Speaker's Suspension: Ondo Assembly ShutThe crisis in the Ondo State House of Assembly is deepening as the assembly complex has been shut down by security operatives to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

This followed a tussle between two factions of the lawmakers over the leadership of the House.

The crisis started after the suspension of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the Majority Leader on Friday.

At the resumption of plenary on Monday, the new leadership insisted that the former leadership led by Mrs Jumoke Akindele remained suspended over the 15 million naira found on the House paymaster in the assembly complex.

Mrs Akindele has insisted she has nothing to do with.

She said that the aggrieved members could not have removed her from office as the allegation of fraud levelled against her had not been proven to be true.

She denied the allegation of fraud by her leadership, saying it was all politics as the cash was not found on her or any member of the House but on the paymasters who is the custodian of monies belonging to the Assembly.

During interrogation, the Paymaster was said to have told the lawmakers that he was acting on the directive of the leadership of the House.

Members of the House who were aggrieved by this insisted it was unlawful and corrupt for the leadership of the House to withdraw such cash without the knowledge of the members.

To this end, the aggrieved members suspended the Speaker, Jumoke akindele and two other principal officers; the Deputy Speaker, Fatai Olotu as well as the Majority Leader, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu.

Suspended Ondo Speaker Insists She Is Still In Charge

Suspended Ondo Speaker Insists She Is Still In ChargeThe suspended Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Honourable Jumoke Akindele has reacted to her purported impeachment by some members of the Assembly on allegations of corruption.

She said that the aggrieved members could not have removed her from office as the allegation of fraud levelled against her had not been proven to be true.

She denied the allegation of fraud by her leadership, saying it was all politics as the cash was not found on her or any member of the House but on the paymasters who is the custodian of monies belonging to the Assembly.

Mrs Akindele called on her colleagues to quickly retrace their steps.

Meanwhile, the newly elected Majority Leader of the House, Olamide George representing Akure North Constituency insists that the new leadership has come to stay.

He assured the members and people of the state that the new leadership of the House would work with transparency.

He lamented that the staff of the House of Assembly had not received their salaries and announced that the new leadership had agreed to use the seized money for their welfare.

He assured the members of the House that the new Speaker would operate an open door policy.

Also speaking, a member representing Odigbo Constituency 1, Iroju Ogundeji said that the new leadership of the House has set up a panel that will investigate how the money was looted from the coffers of the House.

The crisis in the Ondo State House of Assembly started when a sum of 15 million Naira was discovered with the Paymaster of the House by some members at the premises of the House chamber.

During interrogation, the Paymaster was said to have told them that he was acting on the directive of the leadership of the House.

Members of the House who were aggrieved by this insisted it was unlawful and corrupt for the leadership of the House to withdraw such cash without the knowledge of the members.

To this end, the aggrieved members suspended the speaker, Jumoke akindele and two other principal officers; the Deputy Speaker, Fatai Olotu as well as the Majority Leader, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu.

An acting Speaker, Malachi Coker representing Ilaje Constituency 2 was elected, while Ayodeji Arowele, Owo Constituency 1, and Olamide George, Akure North Constituency were elected as Deputy Speaker and Majority Leader respectively.

The new governor belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be inaugurated in less than one month.

Enugu Lawmakers Propose Closure Of New Artisan Market

New Artisan Market, Enugu LawmakersEnugu State House of Assembly has urged the State government to order the closure of the livestock market popularly known as New Artisan Market in Enugu metropolis.

The call became necessary following a report presented to the House at Wednesday’s plenary by the Committee on Works, Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Sunday Uduokoye, had on Monday led some lawmakers on a visit to the market, following the alleged killing of a police officer on Saturday, December 17, in a fracas between the Police Anti-cult Squad and tricycle riders.

Presenting the report, Honourable Udeokoye alleged that the livestock market was being used for hard drugs’ peddling and as criminals’ hideout among other illegal acts.

Prayers For Closure

In their remarks, the House Deputy Speaker, Donatus Uzoagbado, and other lawmakers said it was illegal for a market to be designated in an area that was not captured in the initial capital plan of the state.

Another member of the Assembly, Johnkevin Ukuta, also blamed the high level of criminality in the market on the nonchalant attitude of law enforcement agencies in the state and urged them to brace up to their mandate.

After various contributions and deliberations, the House unanimously supported the call for the closure and relocation of the market.

The lawmakers also proposed that a panel of inquiry be setup to investigate the incident that led to the said killing of the police officer.

In another development, Honourable Udeokoye presented a report on the committee’s findings during a visit to the proposed site for a monorail station at Amechi-Akwuke – Amagu-Agabe.

He said it was found out that there was massive encroachment on the land, as individuals have illegally erected structures and run businesses on the said land.

The committee recommended that the land be reallocated to the Enugu State Housing Development Cooperation.

House Of Reps To Amend 1999 Constitution

House Of Reps To Amend 1999 Constitution The House Of Representatives Special Ad-hoc Committee, says it has introduced new initiatives in the review process of the 1999 constitution.

This according to them, would be presented as individual bills to ensure flexibility.

The Deputy Speaker who also doubles as the Chairman of the Review Committee, Lasun Yusuf, gave the hint at the end of the three-day retreat on the review of the constitution held in Abeokuta the Ogun state capital.

He said this is a departure from old practice when the amended sections were being presented together as a document for the President’s signature.

Some of the topical issues deliberated upon at the retreat included: administrative and financial autonomy for local government, devolution of power, separation of the duties of the attorney general from the office of the Minister of Justice, among others.

Angry Pensioners Beat Up Lawmakers Probing Osun Bailout Fund Usage

pensioners-in-osun-beat-up-lawmakersHell was let loose at the premises of Osun State House of Assembly on Wednesday as some angry pensioners in the state stormed the Assembly in protest and pounced on lawmakers, beating them black and blue.

The aggrieved pensioners staged a fresh protest over the non-payment of their pension and gratuities by the state government before marching to the Assembly Complex at Abeere to vent their anger on what they termed ‘move by the legislators to prevent the Senate from probing the spending of the bailout funds received by Governor Aregbesola’.

Our correspondent in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, Bosede Sodiq, reports that some legislators had attempted to pacify the seemingly angry protesters before they became violent and attacked the members of the parliament.

Before the pensioners arrived the Assembly ground, the lawmakers were said to be probing the state’s 34.5 billion Naira bailout fund received by the administration of Governor Aregbesola. The pensioners protest stalled their sitting.

The pensioners had stormed the House of Assembly as early as 9:00 a.m. and prevented those summoned by the House from gaining access into the premises.

The protesters described the probe as “kangaroo arrangement” designed to prevent the Senate from carrying out a genuine probe on the bailout fund released to Osun by the Federal Government.

The House had summoned those concerned with the finances of the state, including the Accountant-General, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Finance, Office of Budget Planning and Director-General of Debt Management Office to appear before it with documents relating to the bailout fund.

Others summoned by the House were Osun State Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Joint Negotiation Council and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee and officials of Wema Bank, Zenith Bank and First Bank.

Our People Are Dying

But the probe was stalled as the pensioners sighted the legislators in the premises of the House of Assembly, beating and raining curses on them.

The pensioners harassed the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Akintunde Adegboye, who attempted to address them.

The Deputy Speaker, Hon Akintunde Adegboye, was lynched seriously before policemen and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps rescued him from the pensioners.

osun-pensioners-protest
The pensioners are demanding for full payment of their pensions

“It Is Our Right”

The leader of the pensioners, Comrade Yemi Lawal, insisted that the purported probe by Osun State House of Assembly was immaterial at a time that the Senate wanted to probe Aregbesola on the bailout fund.

He said: “This will be the seventh time we will be visiting the House of Assembly for the same purpose, that is non payment of our gratuities and 10 months pension arrears. About two weeks ago, we went out again but since then there has been no response from the government. It is as if we are being ignored.

“Constitutionally, it is our right. We are not begging for money, we are asking for our right.  Our people are dying everyday. Many of our students are at home. Aregbesola is keeping our gratuities and pensions.

“He ought to have said something but he is not saying anything. So we have decided to tell the whole world that Aregbesola is pathologically wicked.

“He is not the people’s friend. He presented himself as a messiah but he is not. So whatever happens, we want our money. President Buhari was very magnanimous last year when he released 35 billion Naira to pay outstanding gratuities and pension but Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said he will not use the money to pay workers salary and he diverted 16.7 billion Naira out of that money. If he had used the money judiciously, this problem would not have arisen at all”.

‎He further asked the state government to “get the money from wherever he kept it”.

“We are senior people and we helped to build Osun State to the enviable state that it is today that attracts him from Lagos to come and become governor of Osun State.

“The lawmakers truly are our representatives but they are rubber stamped. They are not representing us well. When the governor diverted the money, we came to this house to cry to them for help but what did they do, nothing!

“ICPC indicted the governor. They did not raise any eyebrow. Now that the Senate wants to investigate they are now saying the Senate has no right to probe the government. They are bundles of illiterate if not they ought to know that the Nigerian Constitution allows for the Senate to set up committee to probe anybody be it state, local or anyone,” he retorted.

‎He noted that the pensioners were aware of the plan of the state legislators to stage-manage their own probe and use it to thwart the real result of the probe.

The Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Honourble Kameel Oyedele, said the government has done a lot to make life meaningful for the workers and the pensioners.

“We actually invited all these people to appear before the House today in connection with the bailout fund. Now these pensioner have started demonstrating. What is the point of demonstrating? I know majority of those invited have been sent away. Why didn’t they just make their case or grouse very simple?” he asked.

“We have the power of force through the ‎ constitutional provision particularly on the money appropriated to the state. We are all privy to the inflow of income to the state since 2013. We in turn lodged the complaint to these people. What we need to do is dialogue and jaw -jaw to bring peace.

“There is nothing anyone can do about this because revenue, as I stated before, I have salaries that have not been paid and I have allowances not paid yet,” he told Channels Television.

“We are only praying that miracle should happen, with a release of whatever money is accrued to the state. We all should be ready to sacrifice and make Osun great again,” Honourable Oyedele stated.

The State Assembly had warned the Senate against probing how the bailout fund received by Aregbesola was spent, saying that the upper chamber would be crossing its constitutional boundary should it embark on the investigation.