Senate Asks FG To Provide Alternative Sources Of Livelihood For Beggars

 

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to come up with a new policy and initiatives that will create alternative sources of livelihood for beggars in Nigeria. 

During plenary on Thursday,  the Senate also asked the Federal Government to integrate almajiris into the educational system in order to mop them from street begging.

This call comes on the heels of a motion sponsored by Senator Sankara Abdullahi, representing Jigawa North-west Senatorial district alongside 28 others.

READ ALSO: Okorocha Calls For One Senator Per State

The lawmakers expressed concern that street begging by the almajiris has seen a great increase in recent times.

According to the motion, street begging was not only a scourge in Nigeria, but begging activities has extended to worship centres, thereby making it look like an Islamic culture.

“Notes with concern the exponential increase in the scourge of street begging and the nuisance it constitutes on the streets of major cities across the country. ”

Senator Sankara said begging used to be an activity of the physically challenged in the past, but has changed to corporate form as a result of sympathy of the society.

According to him, corporate beggars in Nigeria have taken advantage of begging to perpetuate crimes and remain jobless because they were getting cheap assistance.

In his contribution, Senator Rochas Okorocha asked that tax incentives should be given to charity organizations who are willing to take children off the streets and give them meaningful lives.

The former Imo State governor asked the Senate to look for new ways to proffer solutions that will help generate funds to support the needs of Nigerians, to create jobs and put food on the table of the masses.

Okorocha Calls For One Senator Per State

No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha, INEC Insists
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (file)

 

Senator Rochas Okorocha has said that the Senate must begin to make sacrifice and aid in cutting down the cost of governance by having just one Senatorial representative instead of three per state.

Mr Okorocha, the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, argued for the cut in the cost of running the legislature during plenary on Thursday in reaction to the report presented by the Committee on Finance and National Planning on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Planning Strategy Paper (FSP).

Okorocha said, “We must begin to make sacrifice and cut down our cost of governance by having just one (1) Senatorial representative instead of three (3) per state. We should fund the productive sector of our economy.

“Here, we have three senators per state. In that National Assembly (House of Representatives) over there, we have 360 eligible human beings. This country must begin to make sacrifices and cut down the cost of governance.

“I do not know what we are doing differently today in the 9th Senate from what we did in the 8th Senate and what we did in the 7th Senate, 6th Senate and so forth and so on. And if what we are doing today is similar to what we did in the 8th Senate be rest assured the product will be the same.”

He also asked that tax incentives should be given to charity organizations who are willing to take children off the streets and give them meaningful lives.

The former Imo State governor asked the Senate to look for new ways to proffer solutions that will help generate funds to support the needs of Nigerians, to create jobs and put food on the table of the masses.

Federal Government Has Been Generous To All States – Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Buhari-led Government has been generous to all 36 states within the Federation. 

Osinbajo said this in Imo State on Thursday, while addressing a crowd at the commissioning of Mother and Child Hospital located in the State‘s capital, Owerri.

At the commissioning exercise where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo noted that the series of projects executed by Governor Rochas Okorocha, are laudable but it won’t be out of place to point out that the Federal Government has been good to Imo and every other state in the country.

“The Federal Government has been extremely generous not just in Imo State but all other states,” the Vice President said.

Osinbajo thanked the First Lady of the state for being the inspiration for the Mother and Child Project which would be of great benefit to expectant mothers and children.

He also said that the hospital project encapsulates the passion of Governor Okorocha for people of the state especially those who cannot afford many of the services and things that will make them comfortable.

The Vice President commended the project and the many initiatives of Okorocha, noting that if governors are sincere to themselves, they will be able to deliver the dividends of democracy to their people.

“The Federal Government and indeed the APC family are proud of you. By what you have achieved, it is possible for governors to develop their respective states without looking for assistance from the Federal Government.”

On his part, Governor Okorocha thanked Professor Yemi Osinbajo who had earlier visited the state to commission other projects.

Okorocha said there are more projects to be commissioned and hoped that when called upon the Presidency would as always show support.

Some of the recent projects commissioned in Imo State include the Sam Mbakwe Airport, New Police Headquarters and Mother and Child Hospital, all located in the state capital, Owerri.

Magu Speaks About EFCC Probe Of Saraki, Okorocha, Naira Marley

 

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has been speaking about the latest efforts by the agency to fight corruption in the country.

He says the commission is more determined to unravel more cases of money laundering and financial crimes allegedly committed by some prominent Nigerians.

In this interview with Channels Television’s London correspondent, Juliana Olayinka, Mr Magu confirmed that an investigation is underway involving the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

Asked if an investigation is ongoing regarding the governor, he responded, “definitely”.

“Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there. We are investigating almost everybody,” the EFCC boss added.

He also explained that there is nothing personal in the EFCC’s probe of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

The EFCC boss described the case involving rising star Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, as most unfortunate.

 

 

Osinbajo Receives Imo Merit Award

 

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been conferred the award of Grande Chancellor of Imo State.

Professor Osinbajo was conferred the honour at the Imo Merit Award ceremony which held in the state on Friday, May 17.

At the ceremony, Governor Rochas Okorocha who was the chief host, said the Vice President was being honored for his selfless services to the Nigerian people.

He urged young Nigerians to study and follow the footsteps of the Vice President who he described as a humble man with numerous achievements beneath his belt.

In his appreciation speech, Vice President Osinbajo said the award which came too him as a surprise, was a pleasant one.

Osinbajo said it is a great privilege and an honour to have been conferred with the “Unique recognition”.

“I must confess that I am most pleasantly surprised by this conferment,” Osinbajo said.

READ ALSO: We Have Built The Second Best Police Headquarters In Nigeria – Okorocha

He thanked the governor, the government and people of Imo State for the award and dedicated the honour to all Nigerians who are giving back selflessly to the society.

Osinabjo urged Nigerians to be more patriotic and give back to the nation.

“Having said all these, let me say that our nation, this nation which we all call ours deserve the very best that each and every one of us can give it….

“Wherever we find ourselves, it is important for us to recognise that true greatness, true significance, true contribution to our country does not require us to be Governors, Presidents or Vice Presidents, it only requires us to be concerned about the other person, to be concerned about how other people live, to be concerned about the down trodden  and those who cannot help themselves; and to be concerned about selfless service.”

Osinbajo’s award comes on the heels of the official commissioning of the Imo International Exhibition Centre in Owerri the state capital.

Osinbajo who was chief guest at the commissioning exercise commended the Imo State governor.

He said Okorocha’s legacy projects will be remembered for many years to come.

‘No Imo Governor Will Think Of Building Any Hospital In 50 Years’ – Okorocha

Rochas Okorocha

 

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has boasted of his achievements in the health sector in the state.

Governor Okorocha stated that his administration has built enough hospitals and the next government coming in only has to maintain it.

“Today I am proud to say that no governor would ever think about building any hospital again in the next 50 years because the issue of hospital in this land has been sealed, signed and delivered.

READ ALSO: ‘I Have Not Met Up With The Demands Of Imo State Judges’ – Okorocha

“With the two 1,000 bed hospital on Douglas road, the Somto hospital and the mother and child, the 27 General Hospitals, and the diagnostics centres, there will be no more hospitals to build in Imo State only to maintain”.

He stated this on Wednesday during the inauguration of the newly built Justice Oputa High Court Complex in Owerri, the state capital.

Governor Okorocha while listing his administration used the opportunity to apologise to judges and lawyers in the state for not meeting up with their demands and all they have beckoned on him for.

He said, “I have not met up with the demands of the judges of Imo State, neither I have I met up with all that they have asked me to do for them.

“But I believe that by the time they come into this office, they might forget and forgive that there is something better for the future than what we are asking for today”

The governor also promised lawyers and judges to clear up all outstanding salaries in the state.

“Before I leave next week I will make sure I clear all your outstanding which the CJ has reminded me about”.

‘I Have Not Met Up With The Demands Of Imo State Judges’ – Okorocha

 

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has apologised to judges and lawyers in the state for not meeting up with their demands and all they have beckoned on him for.

Governor Okorocha tendered his apology on Wednesday during the inauguration of the newly built Justice Oputa High Court Complex in Owerri, the state capital.

He said, “I have not met up with the demands of the judges of Imo State, neither I have I met up with all that they have asked me to do for them.

“But I believe that by the time they come into this office, they might forget and forgive that there is something better for the future than what we are asking for today”.

READ ALSO: Okorocha Respects APC, He Has Not Left The Party – Governor Bagudu

Newly Built Oputa Complex

Listing his achievements in the state the governor said he has given the capital a facelift and urged all residents to embrace his achievements.

“I have given Owerri a new life and now Owerri is functioning.

“Our real estate is growing in a geometrical progression.

“I have turned land into capital as wealth set aside for the production of other wealth

“Only in Imo state is judged the fastest growing city outside Lagos and Abuja”

The governor whose tenure will be expiring on May 29, boasted of his administrative achievement in giving free education.

“You will remember me for the free education, for the past 8 years none of our children in primary, secondary or territory institution has paid school fees.

“We have produced more lawyers and judges which shall take after from you when the time comes.

“Our projects are there to speak for us”.

On the state health sector, he said his administration has built enough hospitals in the state adding that what is left for the incoming government is to maintain.

“Today I am proud to say that no governor would ever think about building any hospital again in the next 50 years because the issue of hospital in this land has been sealed signed and delivered”.

While rounding up his speech the governor promised lawyers and judges to clear up all outstanding salaries in the state.

“Before I leave next week I will make sure I clear all your outstanding which the CJ has reminded me about”, he added.

Imo Senatorial Elections: Okorocha Petitions INEC Over Withholding Certificate Of Return

No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha, INEC Insists
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (file)

 

Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over withholding his certificate of return for the Imo West Senatorial District.

Okorocha urged the chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu to release the certificate of return without delay.

READ ALSO: Defection: Saraki, Dogara, 52 Others To Know Fate On May 17

Okorocha explained that the position of the returning officer who had alleged announcing results under duress, after announcing him the winner of the Imo West Senatorial district at the February 23, 2019 elections.

The petition by Okorocha raises concerns over an alleged conspiracy with political opponents and the commission. It added that INEC has no jurisdiction to question the authenticity of the election.

 

Certificate Of Return: Okorocha’s Suit Suffers Setback As Judge Hands-Off Case

No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha, INEC Insists
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (file)

 

 

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has washed his hands off the suit filed by the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha urging the Court to grant an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a Certificate of Return as the Senator-elect for Imo West Senatorial District.

Justice Taiwo consequently returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati for reassignment to another judge.

The decision of the judge followed allegations of bias made against him by the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party for the February 23 National Assembly elections, Jones Onyeriri and that of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); Senator Osita Izunaso.

Mr. Onyeriri in his petition addressed to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, dated April 8, 2019, asked the judge to disqualify himself from the suit.

The petition which was signed by him, Onyeriri demanded that the judge should withdraw from the matter because of his utterances in which he “clearly prejudged the substantive issues that will be resolved in this matter and clearly showed he has taken sides with the plaintiff (Okorocha).”

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Strikes Out Appeal Over Dissolution Of Kwara APC Exco

In an affidavit deposed on their behalf by a lawyer, Chijioke Nzekwe, both men stated that Justice Taiwo on Friday told counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Wendy Kuku that the commission was responsible for the problems in the election.

Mr. Nzekwe further averred that “The Judge went further to say that he has read through the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and found nothing therein that robs him of the jurisdiction to hear his suit.’

They added “’That this pronouncement shocked all the counsel who was present in court and even members of the public and journalists who were in the gallery because 2nd and 3rd defendant (INEC and Onyeriri) have Notices of Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear this matter,’” he averred.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, Justice Taiwo announced his decision to rescue himself from adjudicating on the matter based on allegations of bias against him.

He further announced that the case file will be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati for re-assignment to another judge.

Okorocha won in the February 23 Imo West senatorial election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

He was however not presented with a Certificate of return by the electoral body as his name was not listed by INEC among the senators-elect who were presented with their certificates of return by the electoral body.

Okorocha’s name was omitted following claims that the result that saw him emerge, winner of Imo West senatorial election, were allegedly declared under duress as claimed by the returning officer of the district, Professor Ibeawuchi Innocent.

Withholding My Certificate Of Return Can Cause Tension In Imo – Okorocha

 

Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that the withholding of his Certificate of Return by the INEC has the potential to stir tension in Imo State. 

In his reaction to the development, Okorocha argued that the move to withhold his certificate of return based on allegation without hearing his own side of the story was unjust.

INEC had earlier released names of those to be given the certificate of return.

READ ALSO: Reps Challenge INEC On Inconclusive Elections, As Senators Reject Move To Debate Issue

In the list of Senators-elect, there were 109 slots, however, Okorocha’s name was omitted following claims by the returning officer for Imo West Senatorial District, Professor Innocent Ibeabuchi, that the results for the district and the declaration that followed were pronounced under duress.

Governor Okorocha, however, said that the action by INEC was an insult to his person and a mockery of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.

Addressing some youths at the government house in Owerri, the Imo state capital, Okorocha alleged that he was aware that INEC had colluded with some of his political enemies to deny him his mandate.

He urged INEC to do the needful and uphold his mandate and present him his Certificate of Return.

INEC To Present Certificates Of Return To NASS Members-Elect Today

National Assembly Must Reconvene Immediately – APC
National Assembly Complex (file)

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will today, Thursday, March 14, present Certificates of Return to the newly elected members of the National Assembly. 

According to a statement by the electoral umpire, the event will take place at Africa Hall of the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja.

For the newly elected Senators, the presentation will take place at 10am while for the newly elected House of Representatives members, the presentation will hold at 2pm today.

INEC had earlier published names of those to be given the certificate of return.

In the list of Senators-elect, there were 109 slots, however, some names were missing from the list.

READ ALSO: INEC’s Comprehensive List Of Newly Elected Reps Members

Most notable of the names that did not make the list is Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state who won the election for Imo West Senatorial district.

According to INEC, the governor’s name was omitted over the allegation that the returning officer declared him the winner ‘under duress’.

INEC’s list was published two weeks after Nigerians elected their representatives at both chambers of the National Assembly, for another four years.

The election was keenly contested by candidates of various political parties, as some lawmakers and sitting state governors were shocked by their co-contestants in the polls.

The Returning Officer for Imo West district election, Professor Ibeawuchi Innocent, had said that he declared Governor Okorocha the winner under duress.

“I declared this thing before under duress; I’m still under duress declaring this one,” Professor Innocent had said at the collation centre in February.

But the governor faulted the allegations and accused the returning officer of acting a script.

He had also called on the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state to call the electoral official to order.

In his reaction, INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu stated that the commission would not reward “bad behaviour”.

The INEC boss had warned that politicians caught in an act of electoral malpractice would not receive the certificate of return.

INEC Releases Names Of Senators-Elect, Okorocha Omitted

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a comprehensive list of Senators-elect, following the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections. 

In a statement from the electoral body on Monday, INEC announced that it would present certificates of return to those whose names are on the list on Thursday, March 14.

However, some names were omitted from the list which had a provision for 109 slots, with various remarks as to the reason for the omission.

Very notable among those who were omitted was Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who won the election for Imo West Senatorial district.

According to INEC, the governor’s name was omitted over the allegation that the returning officer declared him the winner ‘under duress’.

READ ALSOWe Won’t Tolerate Holding Our Officials Hostage, INEC Warns Politicians

The list was published two weeks after Nigerians elected their representatives at both chambers of the National Assembly, for another four years.

The election was keenly contested by candidates of various political parties, as some lawmakers and sitting state governors were shocked by their co-contestants in the polls.

The Returning Officer for Imo West district election, Professor Ibeawuchi Innocent, had said that he declared Governor Okorocha the winner under duress.

“I declared this thing before under duress; I’m still under duress declaring this one,” Professor Innocent had said at the collation centre in February.

But the governor faulted the allegations and accused the returning officer of acting a script.

He had also called on the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state to call the electoral official to order.

In his reaction, INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu stated that the commission would not reward “bad behaviour”.

The INEC boss had warned that politicians caught in any act of electoral malpractice would not receive the certificate of return.

See the full list of senators-elect below: