Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance Code

Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance CodeThe House of Representatives has ordered its Joint Committee on Delegated Legislation and Public Accounts to carry out a public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria.

The F.R.C. had introduced the Corporate Governance Code which led to the stepping aside of General Overseer of the Redeemed Christians Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The new regulation pegged the leadership tenure for religious leaders at 20 years.

The House took the decisions after considering a motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Representative Leo Ogor, who described the Council’s action as unconstitutional.

Jim Obazee
Former FRC Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee

Representative Ogor accused the Council of usurping the powers of the National Assembly, wondering where the Council derived its powers as encapsulated in the Code of Corporate Governance for the bodies, without the approval of the Legislature.

The House at its plenary asked the Council to suspend the code while the panel investigating its activities is expected to submit a report within four weeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, sacked the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN), Mr. Jim Obazee, and ordered the reconstitution of its board.

The President consequently appointed Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the new Executive Secretary and Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.

 

Adedotun Sulaiman
New FRC Chairman, Mr Adedotun Sulaiman

President has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC
Act to nominate members of board of their councils.

Budget Padding: House Of Representatives’ Chief Whip Responds To Allegation

Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa on budget paddingThe Chief Whip of the House of Representatives in Nigeria, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, has responded to the allegation of budget padding levelled against him and some other principal officers of the lower chamber.

In an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, Mr Doguwa described the allegation as frivolous and baseless.

A former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, had alleged that four principal officers of the House of Representatives – Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his Deputy, Suleiman Lasun, the Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor -padded the 2016 budget.

“Legitimate Responsibility”

It is now a week since Honourable Jibrin spoke exclusively to Channels Television on the allegation that the Speaker of the House of Representatives has dismissed, saying padding was not an offence.

On Sunday, however, Honourable Doguwa insisted that no matter what the lawmakers did on the budget, none of it could be regarded as a crime.


“When you expect a legislator to work on a bill, certainly he has the constitution and supreme right to deal with that bill at any level, whether in first reading second reading or general reading.

“At whatever level the legislator engages a budget, he is doing nothing but his legitimate responsibility,” he explained.

“Enemy To The Institution”

The lawmaker said padding was strange in context of the 2016 budget and that all the allegations made by honourable Jibrin were frivolous

“That is a strange word to me.

“It is a crime for you guys to be calling legislators ‘padders’. It is a speculation. Baseless speculation,” he said.

The Chief Whip further described Honourable Jibrin as a cancer in the legislative system of Nigeria’s National Assembly, insisting that that was why he was removed as the chairman of the Appropriation Committee.

“He is an enemy to the institution, an enemy to the system of democracy in Nigeria and our own great party, the APC [All Progressives Congress],” he told Channels Television.

Mr Doguwa , however, assured Nigerians that there would be a perfect budget in 2017.

Abdulmumin Jubrin Meets With APC Over Budget Padding Scandal

Budget Padding, Abdulmumin JibrinThe ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is finally wading into the budget padding scandal rocking the House of Representatives.

The embattled former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jubrin, has appeared at the APC headquarters in Abuja for a meeting with the party leadership in respect of the crisis in the House.

The APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Timi Frank, had asked the Oyegun-led party leadership to resign for failing to intervene in the House budget padding saga.

Honorable Abdulmumin Jubrin is accusing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the House leadership of padding the 2016 budget.

The APC had stated that it made several attempts to reach Mr Jibrin through calls and text messages, but he maintained that it would have been very difficult for him to attend because of “an attempt by the quartet of Speaker Dogara and others, who were determined to kidnap me until few days when my lawyers requested and got maximum protection for me from the DSS and Police”.

Mr Jubrin, after agreeing to honour the invitation, however, noted that the invitation “did not in anyway indicate it is a disciplinary committee”.

Mr Jubrin said, via his Twitter account, “APC will do the rightful thing by throwing its weight to support our resolve to wipe out corruption in the House and direct Speaker Dogara, Dep Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, to reconvene the House immediately and step down and face their imminent prosecution and save the party and our dear country from further embarrassment”.

APC Invites Abdulmumin Jibrin Over Allegations Of Padded Budget

Abdulmumin Jibrin,The All Progressives Congress (APC) has invited the former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin over allegations of the padded budget.

Mr Jibrin, who said he will honour the invitation despite his “tight schedules”, however noted that the invitation “did not in anyway indicate it is a disciplinary committee”.

The Party had stated that it has made several attempt to reach Mr Jibrin through calls and text messages, but he maintained that “it would have been very difficult for me to attend because of an attempt by the quartet of Speaker Dogara and others, who were determined to kidnap me until few days when my lawyers requested and got maximum protection for me from the DSS and police”.

Mr Jubrin expressed optimism that the “APC will do will do the rightful thing by throwing its weight to support our resolve to wipe out corruption in the House and direct Speaker Dogara, Dep Lasun, Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, to reconvene the House immediately and Step down and face their imminent prosecution and save the party and our dear country from further embarrassment”, he said via his twitter account.

Intervene In Immunity Clause Face-off, Balarabe Musa Urges Buhari

Balarabe Musa, Immunity ClauseA former Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Balarabe Musa, wants President Muhammadu Buhari to step in and resolve the ongoing executive-legislative face-off over the immunity clause.

He made the call in an interview with Channels Television, stating that this is to avoid anarchy in the land.

There were attempts by some lawmakers to alter Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution in order to extend immunity to the Senate President and his deputy and this led to a rowdy session at the first plenary after resumption from the Eid-el-Fitr break.

“I think the way forward for Nigeria is first for the President who is the most responsible representative in the country to go into this matter and solve this crisis.

“He has the moral authority and the legal mandate to go into this matter and solve it amicably.”

He warned about the likelihood of the legislature not cooperating with such effort by the President but urged him to try. “The public will judge,” he admonished.

The motion was sponsored by the Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor but was vehemently opposed by the Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who said that the timing of the bill is wrong, insisting that Nigerians will not support it.

He also noted that no legislation in the world provides immunity for its presiding officers.

Mr Balarabe Musa agreed with this and condemned the plan to extend the immunity provision to the Senate President and his deputy as ill-timed.

Mr Musa, however, described as also unhealthy for the country, the allegation of illegality levelled against the two principal officers of the National Assembly.

Reps Summon Prison CG, Interior Minister Over Alleged Assault

2016 budget-HouseThe House of Representatives has summoned the Comptroller General of Prisons, Peter Ekpendu, to appear before a joint committee over an alleged assault of a female member, Rep. Joan Mrakpor.

Moving a motion of privilege on the matter, the Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Leo Ogor, said the alleged assault is not only embarrassing to the National Assembly but also a breach of the House rules.

The House unanimously approved the motion and the CG is to appear and explain why security operatives and aides attached to his convoy allegedly battered and assaulted a female federal lawmaker under his watch.

Also expected to appear on the same matter is the Minister of Interior and Unit Heads of all security agencies in the National Assembly.

Abike Dabiri, Diamond Bank To Settle Out Of Court

Diamond BankA former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Diamond Bank have opted for an out of court settlement in the suit she instituted against the bank.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, had on August 6, 2015, filed a 500 million Naira suit ‎against the bank for publishing her name among the list of chronic debtors who have refused to liquidate their debts.

In the alleged malicious publication by Punch, the former lawmaker is said to be owing the bank about N122m.

Diamond Bank had published her picture as a Director of Thriller Endeavors, which she claims she has never heard of.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa insists that the publication is false and it has subjected her to public ridicule and embarrassment.

In a suit filed before a Lagos High Court, sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island, she also listed the Punch Newspapers Limited as the second defendant.

When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday before Justice Abdulfattah‎ Lawal, the counsel to Diamond Bank, Chuka Agbu SAN, told the court of the moves to settle the matter out of court.

He then urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable the parties conclude discussions on the process.

Outside the court, Counsel representing Punch Newspapers, Mr Clement Onwuenwunor, said that the paper is not part of the settlement talks as it has indemnity from the bank for its publication.

Counsel representing Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, Ademola Fadipe is however optimistic that the settlement talks will be agreeable to all parties.

Justice Lawal has adjourned the matter till March 10, for a report of the settlement.

 

Reps Mandate Committee To Investigate N1 Trillion EFCC Fund

efccThe House of Representatives has mandated its committee on financial crimes to investigate the alleged non-remittance of over one trillion naira generated from seized assets by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This followed a motion by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, who said there is an urgent need to look into the matter.

The members also took a contrary position to that of the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Mr. Abdullahi Yola, who had directed the Commission to investigate the allegation, as according to them, the Commission cannot investigate itself.

In August, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition received documents tended as evidence by the anti-graft agency, over allegations of fraudulent diversion of over N1 trillion by, Ibrahim Lamorde, the Chairman of EFCC.

PDP Governors Meet Lawmakers Ahead Of Ministerial Screening

Olusegun-MimikoAhead of the ministerial screening, governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its federal lawmakers had a marathon meeting.

The meeting stretched into the early hours of Tuesday morning, the set day for the screening to begin.

However, the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and representative of the lawmakers, Leo Ogor, told journalists that the meeting had nothing to do with the screening, but was a strategic meeting in view of current political development.

Mr Mimiko also said that meeting considered issues relating to the governorship elections coming up in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki had on Tuesday, Ocotber 6, unveiled a 21-man list expected to make up the President’s cabinet if they scale through their screening on Tuesday, October 13.

The second batch of President Muhammadu Buhari’s list of ministerial nominees was presented to the Nigerian Senate on Monday, October 12.

The Senate announced this via its Twitter handle on Monday afternoon.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, who was accompanied by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang and his counterpart for the House Of Representatives, Honorable Suleiman Kawu, handed over the letter to the Senate President at exactly 4:24 pm.

The letter was sealed and would only be opened by the Senate President at the plenary on Tuesday.

SERAP Opposes Immunity Clause For Lawmakers

Immunity clauseThe Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has warned the National Assembly not to contemplate its proposed immunity clause for its leadership.

In a statement, the civil society organisation said that contemplating an immunity clause for the Senate President and others at this time, is simply being lawless.

SERAP was reacting to the recent reported disclosure by the House of Representatives Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, that the lawmakers were contemplating a constitutional amendment to include a clause that would shield its leadership from criminal prosecution.

Among those to enjoy the proposed immunity are the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, the Speaker House of Representatives, his deputy and the Chief justice of Nigeria.

SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, asked the National Assembly to immediately halt the process.

He said that it would be a huge setback in the ongoing campaign for accountability and transparency in governance.

The civil society group is accusing proponents of the immunity clause of abusing power and embarking on political corruption, adding that they were doing so in breach of public trust.