#EndSWAT: Reps Partner NBA To Address Police Brutality

 

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the lawmakers will partner with the national leadership of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to address police brutality on Nigerian youths and other issues.

Hon. Gbajabiamila stated this on Wednesday when the NBA president, Olumide Akpata paid him a courtesy visit.

During the visit, Mr. Akpata, gave the assurance of his association to ensure a good collaboration with the House with a view to coming up with good legislation to address the matter.

The House had last week passed some far-reaching resolutions to address the issue of police brutality against Nigerians, one of which is to amend the constitution and come up with other legislation to curb the excesses of the police.

Gbajabiamila said the provision of Section 215 (5) almost gives the police absolute immunity against their excesses, hence the need to amend that section.

Gbajabiamila, who said the House could not do it alone, sought for the support of the NBA to achieve its set goal on addressing police brutality.

“I want to use this opportunity to congratulate Nigerians out there, who have been part of this struggle, and I want to appeal at the same time that we should apply the brake, perhaps, a little and see what will be done.

“In the House, before the protest, we made a statement, I made a statement on the floor of the House. We made far-reaching resolutions. We’ve been very proactive on this issue. We’re determined to pursue the resolutions of the House forcefully, for want of a better word.

“Our resolutions included that we discovered section 215 (5) almost gives absolute immunity to the police over what they do. So, for a start, we feel we should begin with amending the constitution and delete that offensive section.

“I believe it was well-intended but now it’s obnoxious. From that, we can raise any other reforms to look at the complaints from the public, from the NBA, the civil societies etc.

“We’re waiting for the IGP to send us the list of policemen that had complaints against them in the last five years. We’re also waiting for the list of the victims so that they can be compensated. We’re beginning the budget process, and we want to make sure that there’s a line item that ensures they’re compensated.

“The resolutions also talked about police reform. We already passed the Police Reform Act, but we need to do more. We need to look at the conditions of service, etc.

“Suffice it to say that this House is determined to bring this to fruition. We gave ourselves 30 days to come up with a piece of legislation. We’re working assiduously to achieve the timeline we set for ourselves,” Gbajabiamila said.

The Speaker announced that the House would raise an Adhoc panel that would interface with the NBA on the issue of police brutality and others.

The NBA President, Akpata, had earlier told the Speaker that the visit was to discuss the issue of police brutality and see how the contentious issues could be addressed.

He expressed delight that the House was already doing a lot on the matter, saying Nigerians were eager to see how the matter would be resolved.

“We at the NBA are resolute to collaborate with you on the issues,” he said.

Akpata raised the issue of some Nigerians being detained at different police stations unnecessarily, calling on the Speaker to intervene.

In his response, Gbajabiamila asked the NBA president to identify all the police stations where people were detained for the House to raise a delegation that would meet with the NBA and get them released.

“I think you should identify the stations where people are being held. I will be more than happy to set up a crack team of members to go with you and pursue vigorously those issues. This should be part of the collaboration. We’ll expect your response on this,” Gbajabiamila said.

Meanwhile, the Speaker also hosted the leadership of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) led by the Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, where he raised the same issues relating to police brutality and what the House is doing about it. The Speaker also sought a partnership with the commission as part to efforts to find lasting solutions to human right abuses.

On his part, Ojukwu informed the Speaker that it was important to come up with an investigative panel that would consider the cases of human rights violations by the police and listen to victims of police brutality.

We Need To Impose ‘Deep Cuts’ In Cost Of Governance, Says Gbajabiamila

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila says Nigeria needs to impose “deep cuts” in the cost of governance in the country.

Gbajabiamila said this on Thursday at the beginning of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) revenue considerations with revenue-generating agencies.

It was organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.

According to him, with the country facing a fiscal crisis coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to reduce the cost of governance to free up revenue for infrastructure development.

READ ALSO: We Cannot Afford To Let Our Economy Slide, PTF Tells Business Owners

“We have a responsibility to act with urgent determination to build the infrastructure of opportunity that is required to lift millions of our fellow citizens out of poverty,” the lawmaker said.

“We recognise that we cannot accomplish these objectives using loans and outside financing alone.

“Therefore, we need to impose deep cuts in the cost of governance and improve internal revenue generation and collection so that we can free up resources that can then be deployed to fund policy initiatives that will enhance the lives of our people.”

 

A file photo of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

While restating that revenue-generating agencies have a role to place in helping the country increase its revenue base, he lamented that there is a “consistent failure to adhere to the revenue remittance agreements to which many of these agencies have committed.”

The Speaker added: “We have credible reports that these desperately needed funds have in many cases, been diverted to finance unnecessary trivialities. At the same time, the Government is left scrambling for alternative sources to fund priority projects.”

He said as a critical part of the government, the legislature is backed by law to ensure the country’s resources are used judiciously for the betterment of the masses.

 

Gbajabiamila Unveils Agenda To Tackle Insurgency, Poor Education, COVID-19

Femi Gbajabiamila at a retreat for the leadership and members of the House of Reps in Abuja on July 25, 2020.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has announced a new legislative agenda for the green chamber, in line with the current realities triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gbajabiamila revealed this on Saturday at a retreat for the leadership and members of the House in Abuja.

 

The House came up with its initial Legislative Agenda about a year ago but did not envisage “that the world will soon change drastically, and with consequences beyond our wildest imagination,” the speaker said.

“Before now, the extent of our difficulties was well known to us,” he added. “We have population growth that far outpaces the rate of economic growth. Insecurity has made vast swathes of our country uninhabitable for citizens and unattractive to investment.”

The new agenda, according to him, seeks to tackle the issues of education, insurgency, and others.

“We are at war, fighting insurgents in the North East who want to remake our world in the image of a medieval theocracy,” he said.

The lawmaker decried the fact that schools do not teach the realities of the modern world as it pertains to our reality, noting that “we are producing graduates who cannot compete in the 21st-century knowledge economy.”

Gambari Will Use His Experience To Make Nigeria Better, Says Gbajabiamila

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has congratulated Professor Ibrahim Gambari on his appointment as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gbajabiamila, in a statement by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi, said that the new Chief of Staff will use his experience to make Nigeria better.

READ ALSO: Gambari Is The Right Man For The Job, Says Sanwo-Olu

He said as a foremost diplomat and an outstanding academic, Gambari would bring his experience of decades to bear in his new national assignment.

“I want to congratulate the new Chief of Staff to the President on his appointment. I know with his vast experience and international connections, Gambari will use all of that for the betterment of Nigeria.

“I wish him a successful period in office as he takes the onerous task of being the Chief of Staff to the President,” Gbajabiamila said.

Reps Effect Withdrawal Of Sack Threat To FCT Doctors

 

Following the intervention of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) have withdrawn a circular, mandating members of the FCTA chapter of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to go back to work within 48 hours or consider themselves sacked.

After a meeting between the House Health Services Committee led by its chairman, Rep. Tanko Sununu, officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Friday, it was also resolved that a Committee of five persons be set up comprising a member of NMA, two members of the NARD FCT Chapter and two FCTA staff, which will look into the issues relating to the payment of the doctors and report back.

READ ALSO: Buhari Commiserates With Senator Ben Murray-Bruce On Loss Of Wife

It was also resolved at the meeting that FCT Administration should source funds from alternative sources to pay a flat rate to 36 Doctors that have not been paid between six to seven months pending when the issue is resolved.

The Nigerian Medical Association, led by its President Dr. Francis Faduyile informed the House Committee that the national body had directed all his members on strike to resume duties at their posts while the association continues with the negotiations with the FCTA on behalf of the striking doctors.

He expressed his gratitude to the National Assembly especially the House of Representatives for the proactive measures taken to intervene in the matter and in ensuring the national emergency as regards the cover-19 is well contained within the nation.

Air Peace Boss Receives Standing Ovation At House Of Reps

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace airline, Allen Onyema on Wednesday received a standing ovation from members of the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers had invited Onyema to commend him for offering free services bringing Nigerian citizens caught up in the xenophobic attacks in South Africa back home.

READ ALSO: I Never Expected Commendation Or Award, Onyema Tells Reps

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, shortly after saying the opening prayers, asked that the Order Paper be temporarily suspended to allow the lawmakers to receive Onyema for recognition.

As the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno ushered Onyema into the chamber, the lawmakers gave him a rousing welcome and standing ovation.

Others approached him to embrace and shake hands with him.

Gbajabiamila, while addressing the assembly commended the airline boss over the humanitarian roles he played in the wake of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians in South Africa.

He said the act was a rare show of patriotism that ought to be celebrated.

“We hereby commend Mr Allen Onyeama and recommend him to the federal government for higher honours in Nigeria,” the Speaker said.

Oyemama, in response, thanked the lawmakers for the honour.

He added that his actions were spontaneous and he would do anything to evacuate even a single Nigerian and also seized the opportunity to call for unity across the country.

Speaker Gbajabiamila also went to his official twitter handle @Femigbaja to give details of his meeting with the airline boss.

“I just met with Mr. Allen Onyema the CEO of Aipeace, we owe him gratitude for flying Nigerians stranded in South Africa back home at no cost, his benevolence will not be forgotten. Join me in thanking him,” Gbajabiamila tweeted.