Buhari’s Invitation: Reps Deny Apologising To Presidency

A combination of file photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and lawmakers at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives has denied apologising to President Muhammadu Buhari for inviting him to brief the nation on the security challenges in the country.

Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu, made the position of the House known in a statement on Sunday.

“It has come to the knowledge of the House that few sections of the media reported that the House apologised to the Presidency over the resolution of the House which arose from the motion sponsored by members from Borno State, requesting for the invitation of the President to brief the nation on the state of insecurity in the country.

“The President or the Presidency as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate,” he said.

Kalu’s statement was in reaction to a purported report that the lawmakers had apologised to the President for inviting him.

This comes on the heels of an invitation extended to President Buhari by the House to brief them on the security situation in the country.

The lawmakers had invited him following the killing of over 40 farmers by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

Two days before he was expected to appear before the lawmakers, President Buhari said he would honour the invitation but did not show up.

Thereafter, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called for the impeachment of the President but the House distanced itself from it.

Reacting to the claim that the House apologised to the President, Kalu insisted that nothing of such happened.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologised to anyone for exercising her constitutional mandate and the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the critical institution of democracy – the Legislature.

“We strongly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethos and ideals as well,” he said.

Reps To Take Disciplinary Measures Against Lawmaker Over Call For Buhari’s Impeachment

Members of the House of Representatives

 

The House of Representatives has said it will take disciplinary measures against one of the lawmakers Kingsley Chinda who called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Hon. Kingsley Chinda is the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, House of Reps Caucus, and is representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency in Rivers State.

The House Majority Leader, Ado Doguwa, on Monday said that Hon. Chinda was not representing the position of the PDP caucus of the House as he claims and is acting alone.

He also noted that the President’s decision not to honour the House was due to the utterances of the lawmaker calling for his impeachment, and concerns that the President would be embarrassed if he honoured the invitation.

Hon. Chinda in a press release on December 7, called on Nigerians irrespective of political party, tribe, or religion to compel their representatives to commence the impeachment process against the President.

The lawmaker’s call for impeachment is not unconnected with the rising cases of insecurity being witnessed across the country.

READ ALSO: Reps Disown Lawmaker’s Call For Buhari’s Impeachment

However, House spokesman Hon. Benjamin Kalu described Chinda’s call as the “opinion of a single member of the opposition party in the house.”

He said calls for impeachment were not logical as the President is yet to appear before the House to explain what his administration is doing to address the security issue.

“If this call came post-President’s visit for the failure to dialogue well enough in securing solutions or due to his inability to put our positions to use, it would appear logical.

“Unfortunately, this call is not only illogical, but it also appears as a tool mischievously thrown up to disrupt the agenda of the coming visit with all it sets out to achieve in the spirit of nation-building which remains the mantra of the 9th Assembly and is considered a joint task”, Kalu added.

Challenge NASS To Begin Impeachment Proceedings Against Buhari, PDP Reps Tell Nigerians

A combination of photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

 

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives have again called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The leader of the PDP Caucus in the House, Mr Kingsley Chinda, made the call on behalf of the lawmakers on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He decried the disturbing rate of insecurity in the country, noting the recent abduction of over 300 schoolboys in Kankara, a community in Katsina State, and the killing of over 40 farmers in Borno State.

Chinda asked Nigerians to shun their tribal, religious, and political differences and come together to challenge their representatives at the National Assembly to live up to their responsibilities.

He urged the people to awaken the members of both chambers of the Assembly to the realities of the moment and rescue the nation from what he described as the road to perdition.

According to the PDP Caucus leader, the lawmakers should be challenged to evoke their powers under Section 143 of the Constitution to commence impeachment proceedings against the President for gross incompetence.

He also advised Nigerians to call on members of the Federal Executive Council to resolve that the President was incapable of discharging the functions of the office.

Chinda took a swipe at the President over his failure to appear before the lawmakers after he had promised to brief them on the security situation in the country.

He also faulted the explanations given for the President’s action, as well as the handling of the nation’s security challenges.

Read the full text of the speech by the lawmaker at the briefing below:

Forlorn Wait For Presidential Seriousness 0n Worsening Insecurity Across Nigeria

With utmost concern about global anxiety caused by the wanton killing of some 43 Nigerian rice farmers in Borne State two weeks ago, and most recently, the kidnap of hundreds of schoolboys at Kankara in the President‘s home-state, Katsina, the nation, including members of the House of Representatives, waited with bated breath for an address of reassurance from President Muhammadu Buhari as he promised but without courtesy and in the characteristic manner of the present government, no comment is made.

It is very pathetic that the APC led Federal Government, in its avowed romance with lies and vile propaganda, continues to demonstrate gross disregard for genuine discourse and democratic ethos.

With due regard to the nation’s mournful mood and worsening anxieties, the House of Representatives led by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had invited President Buhari over rising insecurity across the Federation, climaxed by the killing of over 43 farmers in Borno State and the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolboys.

This contributes to the worsening profile of Nigeria in the comity of nations where she regrettably occupies the third most terrorised country in the world after Afghanistan and Iraq.

Only one gate separates the National Assembly Complex from the Presidential Villa, but it appears easier for a donkey to pass through the eye of a needle than for President Buhari to pass through the gate and address us on extremely serious security issues daily consuming the lives of our people.

Less than 24 hours to the scheduled address over such weighty matters that involve lives of Nigerian citizens in the hands of all manners of forest bandits, international terrorists, unrestrained highway kidnapping gangs, and a host of other anarchists, it became apparent that the seriousness Nigerians attach to these issues is not shared by Nigeria‘s Presidency.

In the past, the sharing of mutual concerns over citizens‘ security by the Presidency and the National Assembly had yielded some positive impact, including huge budgetary allocations for the Presidency’s purported plans to put an end to insecurity.

Indeed, since 2015 when the APC administration assumed power, the National Assembly has conscientiously done all within its power to appropriate hundreds of billions of naira to facilitate the realisation of APC’s core promises focused on the economy, security, and curbing corruption.

We are witnesses to the master/servant relationship between both arms of government festered by the almost imposition of the leadership of both chambers by the same APC government which recently absurdly constituted a joint committee of both arms of government chaired by the Vice President under the guise of fostering a better relationship between the Legislature and the Executive which in itself is an indictment of a government unable to work harmoniously with a National Assembly whose leadership in both chambers and majority are APC members.

This kangaroo joint committee has obviously been ineffectual, yielding nothing positive to Nigerians to date while this APC government relentlessly continues its undemocratic attempts to gag, disregard, and denigrate the National Assembly which is the watchdog of the nation; the citadel of our democracy and the custodian of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which this government consistently observe more in breach.

Do 206 million Nigerians feel any safer today enough to justify the trillions of naira so far spent by this administration on curbing insecurity? Under the guise of enhancing security, this administration has spent hundreds of billions of naira on surveillance of her own citizens which is astronomically more than the entire sums spent by previous administrations in this regard from 1999 to 2015!

Discerning Nigerians and concerned members of the international community wonder whether spying on conversations and text messages of Nigerian citizens has become more important than enabling our gallant forces to curb the terrorism and banditry ravaging the nation today.

A recent report by Toronto’s Citizen Lab titled “Running in Circles: Uncovering the Clients of Cyberespionage Firm Circles”, revealed that Nigerian Government agencies under this administration have been acquiring technology from Cyberespionage Firm Circles to illegally spy on Nigerian citizens, including media and other organisations.

Circles is affiliated with the Israeli NSO Group involved in the Pegasus Spyware scandal of 2019. Can a government that consistently seeks to crush dissent and criticism of any sort, employs the instruments of state to victimise and punish her protesting citizens, including media organisations, and shamelessly refuses to acknowledge, and even attempts to outrightly deny the unprecedented killing of her innocent youths for freely exercising their fundamental and constitutional human right to freedom of speech and expression and right to peaceful protest, be considered a democratic government or even remotely interested in the well-being of her Citizens’? Let the Almighty and Nigerians be the judge.

Under this administration, Nigeria’s economy is on a free fall, entering an unprecedented second recession within five years of the same administration.

Unemployment and inflation have reached the worst level ever in our history; the value of the naira has not just dropped, it has crashed like their management of the economy; security has equally been atrociously managed by this administration as families continue to lose gallant ones on the field of battle while other families daily lose members to bandits, highway robbers and kidnappers, rather than give Nigerians hope.

The Chief of Army Staff on the 4th of December, publicly pronounced that insecurity will continue in the country for another 20 years. It is an open secret that this administration rode into power on a plethora of lies; it’s “technically-defeated” partners are now even more brazen than ever, abducting about 333 innocent schoolboys in President Buhari‘s home-state of Katsina on Friday 11, December 2020 and traumatised for six days in the custody of their captors; ironically the same day the President commenced a private visit to his country home and a day after he did not a show up to address the parliament over the worsening insecurity in the country.

It is also reported that President Buhari who is in Katsina was able to make out time to visit his farm and inspect his cows but did not consider it important enough to visit Kankara to condole with the parents of the pupils and visit the scene of one of the worst abductions in the world which dwarfs even the abduction of the Chibok girls.

The necessity for a national clamour and focus on the restructuring of the nation’s security apparatus and infrastructure, including the declaration of a state of emergency in the security sector which both chambers of the National Assembly have canvassed for severally, cannot be overemphasised but this administration, contrary to its erroneous claims and misplaced accusations, has continued to play petty partisan politics with the issue of security which is the cardinal role of government as enshrined in Section 14 (2) (b) of Nigeria‘s 1999 Constitution, blaming its non-existent detractors and everyone else for its failure after over five years in office.

Unabashed about peddling more lies, the APC administration has commenced another round of dissemination of misinformation, claiming President Buhari stayed away from addressing a Joint Session of the National Assembly because of fears of serious embarrassment by PDP members which is a clear figment of their imagination.

It is unfortunate that at this inauspicious juncture in Nigeria’s history Mr President, his administration, and the APC as a party continue to pretend as if they do not realise they are already an embarrassment to Nigeria and her citizens and hence need not fear further embarrassment from imaginary sources.

It is the hallmark of a true leader to be able to patriotically rally and muster bipartisan support for his administration’s policies and strategies for the general good of all citizens, regardless of party inclination, and not abdicate his statutory responsibility to his nation on the premise of being afraid of being heckled by members of the opposition which several truly democratic leaders across the world have endured without losing stride or focus.

This President has clearly displayed a lack of capacity to do so and instead continues to panda only to party nuances. Members of the PDP Caucus are statesmen, and cannot set out to cause mischief as the President is a father to all.

However, the Caucus will not sacrifice the interest of the country on the altar of political loyalty or servitude.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, learned silk clearly erred in law and displayed this administrations disregard for the sanctity of our nations Constitution when he erroneously but deliberately opined that the National Assembly lacks the power to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to speak on cogent security matters dear to the hearts of over 200 million citizens, contrary to provisions of Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which give the National Assembly the power after the passage of a resolution on the floor of either chamber to invite anyone in Nigeria to provide any information required for the investigation of any issue.

The Attorney General clearly implies the president who was elected under the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold is above the law. The Caucus shall seek judicial interpretation of same.

Malami’s reference to Section 218 (1) of the Constitution that security matters remain the exclusive preserve of the executive arm of government because of the President’s power to determine the operational use of the armed forces dubiously chose to ignore subsection 4 of that same section which clearly states the National Assembly has the powers to make laws for the regulation of the powers exercisable by the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Do those who make the laws to regulate the powers exercisable by Mr President as Commander-in-Chief not have the statutory right to be briefed by the President on security issues regardless of the sensitivity to enable amend the laws where necessary?

Indeed, in a presidential system of government and constitutional democracy, the National Assembly or Legislature is the only arm of government entitled to classified information because of its constitutional role, it is only in Nigeria that Mr President prefers to liaise with his appointees instead of those elected by Nigerians to represent their interests.

Claiming the President has exclusive powers for operational use of the armed forces and that security is the exclusive preserve of the executive the Attorney-General inadvertently indicted the President and his administration.

So, it should therefore be understood by all Nigerians that the blame for the insecurity bedevilling the nation is exclusively that of the promise-and-fail executive and with an administration known for the most bare-faced lies and worst propaganda in the political history of Nigeria — an administration that used lies and propaganda to seize power only to declare lesser expressions as ‘hate speech‘ – Nigeria no doubt is facing two more years of forlorn wait for presidential seriousness on worsening insecurity across the federation except we take legitimate steps to terminate the wait, though the PDP is in the Minority, we are entitled to have our say and that is what we will continue to do and that is what we are here doing.

Let it be known that we are not interested in politicking with security, but we want the safety of all Nigerians to be given priority.

The joint resolution of the National Assembly encompassing all political parties calling for the removal of the secure Chief was as usual ignored by the President.

Hon Ben Kalu, the spokesperson for the House, disingenuously postulated last week after the issuance of our initial statement in this regard that our position was the personal opinion of the caucus leader and pre-emptive, considering the expected visit of Mr Presiden.

He should now learn from the unveiling events to stick to his line of duty and not be the mouthpiece of the executive or individual members of the House but that of the House as an institution.

By the opinion of Hon. Kalu, the spokesperson of the House, this is the right time for this call. The President has failed to keep to his promise to honour the invitation of the House.

We reinstate our call on Nigerians across all tribe, religion, and political party to awaken their representatives and senators to the realities of the moment and rescue Nigeria from this “road to perdition“ by evoking their Constitutional powers under Section 143 of the Constitution and;

Commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari for gross incompetence and breach of Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution.

Call on Members of the Executive Council to resolve under Section 144 of the Constitution that the President is incapable of discharging the functions of the office.

Rep. Kingsley O. Chinda

(Leader PDP Caucus)

17 December 2020

Reps Reject Bill Seeking Age Limit For Aspirants Of Political Offices

Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

The House of Representatives has rejected a bill seeking an age limit for aspirants of certain political offices in the country.

During plenary in Abuja on Wednesday, the lawmaker representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala federal constituency in the House, Bede Eke pleaded with his colleagues to allow the bill scale through second reading.

He reminded them that the bill is an extension of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill and the #EndSARS protests.

The lawmaker was however repeatedly interrupted by his colleagues who were openly opposed to the bill.

More to follow…

Reps Ask NCC To Extend Deadline On Blocking SIM Cards Without NIN

Members of the House of Representatives.

 

 

The House of Representatives has asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the 31st December deadline issued to sim card owners to submit their National Identification Numbers (NIN) to their network providers to prevent blocking.

The motion was moved on Wednesday during plenary by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

According to the lawmaker, two weeks is too short for 200million Nigerians to conclude the process.

The House lauds the intention of the NCC, for security reasons but wants the process to be extended to 10 weeks, considering the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in attaining the NIN.

A file photo of NCC logo and some SIM cards.

The Federal Government on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without National Identification Number (NIN).

It also ordered the network operators to ask all their subscribers to provide valid NIN to update their records and suspend SIM registration.

READ ALSO: Block SIMs Without NIN After Two Weeks, FG Tells Telcos

These formed parts of the resolutions adopted for immediate implementation by all network operators at an urgent meeting of key stakeholders in the communications industry held in Abuja.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, noted in a statement that the meeting was convened on Monday by the Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami.

According to him, the meeting resolved that the submission of NIN by subscribers would take place between December 16 and 30, 2020.

The government stated that after the deadline, all SIMs without NINs should be blocked from the networks while a Ministerial Task Force comprising the minister and all the CEOs, among others, as members would monitor compliance by all networks.

It warned that violations of the directives by any network operator would be met with stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating licences.

Adinde explained that the meeting followed the earlier directive on the suspension of new SIM registration by network operators.

The need to consolidate the achievements of last year’s SIM registration audit and improve the performance and sanity of the sector was exhaustively discussed and all stakeholders agreed that urgent drastic measures had become inevitable to improve the integrity and transparency of the SIM registration process.

Reps Invitation: Buhari Missed An Opportunity To Shine, Says Ex-Intelligence Officer

A former intelligence officer of the Nigerian Navy, Lieutenant Commodore John Danjuma, believes the President has missed a good opportunity after he failed to appear before members of the House of Representatives.

Danjuma, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show on Friday, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari could have used the opportunity to show how committed he was to the safety of Nigerians.

“For God’s sake, this is about national security; you (Buhari) placed your hand on the Quran, and you promised the Nigerian people that you were going to do everything all within your powers as the President to preserve them, and here is a situation where you would have shined,” he said during his appearance on Sunrise Daily.

The retired military officer added, “It is an opportunity for you to shine, to tell the people what you already know that they don’t know that this is the situation.

“It is in your own interest, it is a plus for you but by cutting them off (the lawmakers) … we are not handling this situation well at all because lives are lost, people are hurting, and it is time to console them and make them know they are part of the system.”

Lieutenant Commodore John Danjuma speaks during his appearance on Sunrise Daily on December 11, 2020.

 

Sending Negative Signals?

Speaking from the perspective of a security expert, Danjuma stressed that only ongoing and planned operations needed to be shrouded in secrecy and not things that have already happened.

He stated that he was not disappointed that the President refused to honour the invite of the lawmakers to address them over the security challenges in the country.

“It is in his character to do that,” said the intelligence officer who claimed that a similar occurrence was recorded when President Buhari was invited in 1999 by the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission led by a late justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa.

He said a Minister of Defence was also invited by the Senate In 1999 but he refused to go, stressing that it was in the character of some people not to realise that they needed to show examples that institutions must be respected.

“It is consistent with the nature and behaviour of our people and they need to realise that if you break the law, then you have no moral authority to bring other people below you who break the law too to justice because you are now sending negative signals into the society telling them that you are above the law; it is inconsistent with the democratic norms,” the security expert averred.

He advised the President not to rely solely on the recommendations of his appointees and allies but should consider the opinions of critics when making decisions.

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

Show Empathy, Please The People

According to Danjuma, President Buhari travelled across the country to canvass for support and shake hands with people at the grassroots in the build-up to the elections that brought him into office.

He warned against giving the people the wrong notion that he has gotten what he wanted and has no business with the ordinary Nigerians.

The former intelligence officer also appealed to the President to show the people that he was aware of their plights.

He said, “For me, the real issue is that does Mr President care about how he is perceived by the Nigerian people? Most people now, if you really ask them, feel that he is unconcerned about the feeling of the people.

“Times like this when people are hurting is when you as a leader should show empathy, should even visit the families. There is nothing wrong in the President going to the National Assembly and even regurgitating if that is what it will take.

“Afterall, they say repetition makes for impression; it will further impress that he truly cares about the Nigerian people … and there is still time for Mr President to have a change of heart and listen to the voice of reason and to want to please people,” Danjuma advised.

Reps To Summon Buhari Over Security Situation In The Country

 

The House of Representatives has passed a resolution to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to brief the house on the true state of the security situation in the country.

The decision to summon President Buhari was taken at Tuesday’s plenary when the House considered a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents.

The debate had earlier turned rowdy after the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila appealed that it would be inappropriate to invite the president to disclose the actions being taken towards handling the security situation in the country. The Speaker described it as counter-productive.

READ ALSO:

Senate Calls For Removal Of Service Chiefs Following Insurgent Attack On Farmers

Senate Confirms Professor Mahmood Yakubu As INEC Chairman

Some members of the House were opposed to the speaker’s position and this turned into a rowdy debate.

The House then went into an executive session to resolve the matter.

After the executive session which was held closed doors, the House resumed and Representative Ahmed Jaha who is one of the sponsors moved an amendment to invite the President to brief on the security situation in the country.

His amendment was seconded and unanimously adopted.

No date was however announced for the invitation.

 

Zabarmari Massacre

43 farmers were killed on Saturday morning around Marrabati and Hammayya villages, near Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists while on their way to their farms.

The farmers were waylaid on their way to their rice farms which they were harvesting before the surprise attack happened.

Some other farmers were also taken away by the insurgents.

The State Governor Babagana Zulum during the burial of the farmers on Sunday morning lamented that “it is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands,” and also expressed condolence.

The governor later on Monday gave recommendations to the Federal Government on how to win the war against the terrorists. He noted that engaging mercenaries, as well as the immediate recruitment of youths into the military to boost its strength, will go a long way to defeat the insurgents.

President Muhammadu Buhari condoled with the victims and their families.

In a tweet, on Monday, President Buhari said he has given a ‘marching order’ to the Nigerian Military to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis until “we root out the terrorists.”

Gowon: Reps To Invite British High Commissioner To Nigeria, Demand Apology

A photo combination of former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon and members of the House of Representatives during plenary in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to invite the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing over the recent comment made by a British lawmaker against former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon.

The planned invitation is to seek an explanation from the British envoy why no apology has been issued despite calls for same.

On November 23, a member of the British parliament accused Gowon of taking half of the money in the Central Bank of Nigeria with him when he went on exile.

But during plenary on Tuesday, the House mandated its Committee on Foreign Affairs to interface with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British parliament over the comments.

According to the House, the allegation of looting by a member of the British House of Commons against Gowon is capable of causing a crisis in Nigeria and disturbing the peace of the country.

READ ALSO: N2.5bn Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, Court Tells Kawu, Others

The resolution of the house followed a motion from a lawmaker, Yusuf Gagdi, who is from the same constituency as the former head of state.

Gagdi maintained that no evidence was provided to back the claim.

Following Gagdi’s motion, the House resolved that the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila should write to the Speaker of the UK Parliament to express displeasure over the unfounded allegations.

The letter is also to demand that the Member of Parliament, who made the allegation, should offer a public apology to Gowon, as well as the people and government of Nigeria.

This comes a week after the UK Parliament criticised the Federal Government for the handling of protesters who took part in the #EndSARS demonstrations.

They also demanded sanctions on government officials such as a visa ban, freezing of assets, and stopping the funding and training for the Nigeria Police Force.

Reps Call For Investigation Into Alleged Illegal Payments By Foreign Affairs Ministry

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

The House of Representatives on Wednesday called for an investigation into the alleged payment of allowances to officials of the ministry of foreign affairs, despite their recall from various foreign missions.

The resolution of the House followed a motion of urgent public importance raised by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu.

According to the lawmaker, the alleged culprits are the staff of the Human Resources Department of the ministry.

READ ALSO: LG Elections In Nigeria Are Nothing But Organised Crime – Igini

“It has been alleged that these officials one year into their recall to the headquarters are still receiving full entitlements such as accommodation allowance, house allowance, transport allowance, medical and utility bills aided by the staff of the Human Resources Department of the ministry who collect sums of money from these erring officials and internationally frustrate efforts of posted colleagues to replace those posted back to headquarters by refusing to process the needed documentation that will enable them to resume duties at the various foreign missions,” he said.

Reacting to Elemumelu’s motion, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, directed the Committee on Foreign Affairs to investigate the allegations.

He thereafter ordered the committee to report back to the House in the next four weeks.

Meanwhile, the House also called for improved security around the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, following recent attacks.

Gbajabiamila Meets UN Deputy Secretary-General In Abuja

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 met with the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Lanre Lasisi, the duo discussed issues and explored partnership in critical areas.

The issues include electoral reforms, reduction of Gender-Based Violence, creating an enabling environment for more women in politics, improvement of public financial management systems, managing Africa’s debt crisis as well as improving social investment and social protection systems in Nigeria.

Gbajabiamila said he looked forward to working with the Office of the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the UN Resident Coordinator in taking things forward.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

Press Statement from the Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives

November 18, 2020

Gbajabiamila meets UN Dep Sec. Gen., Mohammed, discusses social, economic debt, others

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday hosted the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, where they discussed issues and explored partnership in critical areas.

The issues include electoral reforms, reduction of Gender-Based Violence, creating an enabling environment for more women in politics, improvement of public financial management systems, managing Africa’s debt crisis as well as improving social investment and social protection systems in Nigeria.

Agreeing on these priorities, the Speaker confirmed that these were aligned with the priorities the  House had identified in the Updated Legislative Agenda it launched in July to respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Speaker said he looked forward to working with the Office of UN Deputy Secretary-General and the UN Resident Coordinator in taking things forward.

The discussion concluded with an agreement to explore partnerships in helping to deliver impact in the stated areas, particularly through specific legislative interventions which reflect the priorities of Nigerians.

Present at the meeting were the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Nigeria, Mr. William Kallon, the Special Assistant to the DSG, Hadiza Elayo, Special Assistant to the Resident Coordinador, Fred Eno and the Special Adviser to the Speaker on International and Interparliamentary Affairs, Mr. Dapo Oyewole.

Signed:

Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Reps Seek Better Funding For Judiciary

Some members of the House of Representatives during plenary on April 28, 2020. Photo: Twitter- @HouseNGR

 

The House of Representatives is asking for better funding of the judiciary arm of government.

The lawmakers on Monday asked that the judiciary be exempted from the envelope system of budgeting.

The committee is also asking for the judiciary to be exempted from revenue generation for the country. They believe that this will take the burden of cost away from Nigerians and guarantee peace and justice.

READ ALSO: Nasarawa Gov Suspends Directors In 13 Local Govts Over Inflation Of Salary Figures

The lawmakers made their position known during the budget defense session of the judiciary, where they frowned at the reduction in the budget of the Supreme court, despite the appointment of eight new justices.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad weeks ago inaugurated eight new Justices of the Supreme Court.

Justice Muhammad warned the newly appointed justices of the apex court to shun extraneous considerations while discharging their duties.

The justices, who were recently elevated from the Court of Appeal bench, comprise seven men and one woman, as well as five appointees from the North and three from the South.

They include Lawal Garba (North West), Helen Ogunwumiju (South West), Abdu Aboki (North West), and Mohammed Saulawa (North West).

Others are Adamu Jauro (North East), Samuel Oseji (Souty South), Tijani Abubakar (North East), and Emmanuel Agim (South-South).

2021 Appropriation Bill Passes Second Reading

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives Chamber in Abuja.

 

The 2021 Appropriation Bill has scaled the second reading in the House of Representatives, following the conclusion of debate on its general principles.

During the debate on Wednesday, several members commended and condemned various proposals in the bill.

While some lawmakers said some provisions were inadequate to meet the demands of their constituents, others commended the government for releasing over 50 per cent of the 2020 capital budget.

In his contribution, a member, Nicholas Ossai, described the bill as “a budget of hardship” and not ‘A Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience’ as the President Muhammadu Buhari administration named it.

“We are servicing debt in the 2020 budget with almost N3.5tn and the 2021 budget with about N4.2tn. Is that a budget of recovery or hardship?” he said.

“A lot of people have described this appropriation bill as a bill of recovery and the future. But to me, after X-raying the document, including the projected revenue and the money that has been budgeted for, I see it as a budget of hardship; a budget of hardship because the projected revenue is N7.8tn while the actual budget estimate is N13.08tn. If you minus that, we are having a deficit of almost 50 per cent.”

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, after the second reading, transmitted the money bill to the House Committee on Appropriations, with the standing committees of the House serving as sub-committees.

The Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government are expected to appear before relevant committees to defend their proposals in the budget.

This comes a week after President Buhari proposed the total sum of N13.08 trillion of which N485 billion is for statutory transfers; N3.3 trillion is for debt service; N5.7 trillion is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, while the sum of N3.6 trillion is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending December 31, 2021.