Reps To Investigate Alleged Missing Firearms, Ammunition

A file photo of the House of Reps.

 

The House of Representatives has said it will investigate alleged missing firearms and ammunition belonging to the Nigeria police force in excess of 178 thousand since in 2019.

This is sequel to the report of the Auditor-General to the public accounts committee of the house.

The report suggests that the arms and ammunition which the police claim to have purchased, cannot be accounted for.

The matter was raised by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House on Thursday as a motion of urgent public importance, owing to the state of insecurity in the country.

Reps Call For An End To Black Soot Plague In Rivers

A file photo of the House of Reps.

 

The House of Representatives has called for an end to the black soot plague in Rivers state and other parts of the south-south, caused by illegal refining of crude oil in the region.

The House through a motion raised by Unyime Idem Oruk who represents the Anam/Ukanafun federal constituency of Akwa-Ibom.

He showed concern over these activities that have negatively affected the economic growth of the region.

The lawmakers are disappointed that some security agencies are being alleged to be involved in the illegal refining of crude.

The House has asked the heads of the security agencies and relevant committees to investigate the alleged culpability of security agencies and report back within 6 weeks.

They also called for a review of licences granted to operators of modular refineries as well as grant new licences, as a means of curbing the menace of illegal refining of crude.

Reps Approve Buhari’s Request For $5.8bn Loan, $10m Grant

A file photo of some members of the House of Representatives during a plenary.

 

The House of Representatives has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s loan request of 5.8 billion dollars and grant of $10 million.

The loans are to be sourced from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, China Exim bank, Chinese Africa Development Fund, and International Fund for Agricultural Development.

In approving the loan, the House asked that the terms and conditions of the loan from the funding agencies be forwarded to the National Assembly for proper execution and commendation.

READ ALSO: Buhari Nominates New Minister, Seeks Senate Confirmation

The House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, had presented its report through the Chairman, Rep. Ahmed Safana (APC-Katsina).

Safana observed that out of the total borrowing of $5.8 billion covers $2.3 billion for the Grid Modernization and Expansion Programme, $290,000,000 for the malaria project, $700,000,000 for the Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project, $786,382,967 for the Gurara Phase II project among several others.

“That the House do consider Final Report of the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the Proposed 2018–2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan No.3 (Laid:14/12/2021) – Committee of Supply,” Safana said.

“That the House do approve the under listed ongoing negotiation of external borrowing of $5,803,364,553.50 and a Grant component of $10,000,000 under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) plan.”

The loan is part of the Federal Government’s 2018-2020 external borrowing plan.

Keyamo: 774,000 Jobs Scheme Successful, Beneficiaries Paid N40bn

File photo: The Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo

 

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, on Friday described the Special Public Works Scheme initiated by the Federal Government as successful.

Keyamo in a statement issued by his media aide, Tunde Moshood, said about 90 per cent of the 774,000 beneficiaries of the scheme have been paid over N40 billion so far across the nation.

Reacting to the plan by the House of Representatives Committees on Youths, Labour, Finance and Appropriations to investigate the alleged failure of the scheme, the Minister said the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme was what the lower chamber intends to probe.

This is even as Keyamo explained that the P-YES programme was not under his purview.

READ ALSO: FG Will Follow International Standards In Fighting Banditry, Terrorism – Malami

“In the said report, the House of Representatives Committee on Youths, Labour, Finance and Appropriations was said to have been mandated to “carry out a probe into the non-implementation of the scheme”, after a motion moved by Honourable Gudaji Kazaure on the ‘Call to investigate the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme,” the statement read.

“However, the Scheme referred to by Hon. Kazaure is not the Special Public Works Scheme under the supervision of Festus Keyamo, SAN, but a totally different Scheme called the P-Yes under the supervision of a different Ministry/Minister. Hence, the story is a misrepresentation of facts.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Extended Special Public Works programme has been successfully implemented by the National Directorate of Employment under the supervision of the Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment. The Honourable Minister is not directly or remotely in charge of the P-YES programme.

“The report of the alleged investigation into the Special Public Works Programme is therefore not just misleading but loaded with misinformation at the same time.

“The article which ties the Extended Special Public Works Programme with the Presidential Youths Empowerment Scheme, P-Yes is purely a figment of the imagination of its purveyors.

“The Extended Special Public Works Programme under the supervision of the Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN has been implemented successfully with about 90% of the 774,000 ESPW participants engaged by the scheme across the nation successfully paid with over N40 billion so far.”

House Of Reps Warn Against Repeat Of Siege On Justice Odili’s Home

A file photo of members of the House of Representatives attending a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

The House of Representatives has cautioned against unwarranted assaults of judicial officers following the siege on the residence of a Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili. 

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, issued the warning during the 2022 budget defence of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on Wednesday in Abuja.

“Of great importance to this committee is the security of judicial officers. We have stated as a committee that we should create an enabling environment, not only a working environment, not just good living conditions, but a secured environment for our judicial officials to operate without hindrance, without any fear of intimidation or harassment,” the lawmaker added.

“We want to condemn the attack on Justice Odili’s residence, a justice of the Supreme Court and we ask that this should not repeat itself. It happened in 2017, this should not be allowed to repeat itself because we are weakening the morale and strength of our judicial officers.”

The committee called for more protection for judicial officers.

Meanwhile, the committee also wants an intervention fund created for the judiciary to upgrade in line with international standards.

“We have intervention fund for sports, we have intervention funds for youths, we have had intervention funds for entertainment, I do not think it will be out of place for the Federal government to have intervention fund for the Judiciary,” he stated, adding that “this is the only way the judiciary can meet up with its competing demands facing the judiciary as we go on.’’

Reps Summon FCT Minister Over Decaying Infrastructure, Insecurity

The FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, speaks during the House of Representatives public hearing on August 18, 2020 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to summon the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, over what it describes as the deteriorating state of the nation’s capital.

This follows a motion moved by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu, during the plenary on Tuesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The lawmaker, who insisted that the minister was not doing the job for which he was hired, stressed the urgent need to arrest the decaying infrastructure and general insecurity in the FCT.

His colleague, Gideon Gwani, seconded the motion.

READ ALSO: NASS Passes Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Approves Electronic Transmission Of Results

Okechukwu expressed concern at the seeming neglect of infrastructure maintenance and development in the nation’s capital.

According to him, Abuja has never been as unsafe as it is now as lecturers, journalists, and individuals are being kidnapped with reckless abandon.

The lawmaker lamented that the rate of decay was fast spreading from the city centre down to the satellite towns.

He was also worried that with the budget released to the FCT, it has no business being in its present state of decay and disrepair.

Okechukwu, therefore, called on the House Committee on FCT to continue effective oversight on the activities of the FCT Ministry, adding that the House should summon the FCT Minister to update the lawmakers on his activities.

In his remarks, Nicholas Ossai, who represents Ndokwa/Ukwani Federal Constituency (Delta State), informed his colleagues that the House Committee on the FCT has already set up four sub-committees to look into the issues of concern in the motion.

But Okechukwu stated that the House has active roles to play in ensuring the office of the FCT Minister performs optimally as required by the minister’s terms of engagement.

Thereafter, lawmakers present at the plenary voted on the motion and it was adopted.

Meanwhile, the House has waded into the matter of the missing journalist with Vanguard Newspaper, Tordue Salem, and has given its relevant committees a two-week ultimatum to liaise with the service chiefs and security agencies to unravel the mystery behind his disappearance and report back to the lawmakers.

Bills To Establish North West/Central Devt. Commissions Scale Second Reading In House Of Reps

A file photo of members of the House of Representatives attends a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

Two bills to establish the North Central and North–West Development Commissions, on Thursday, scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

The commissions will be charged with the responsibilities to receive and manage funds from the allocation of the federation account.

The funds are expected to be used for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the regions as a result of the effects of communal crisis.

READ ALSOReps Ask Buhari To Declare Bandits, Sponsors As Terrorists

This is, in turn, expected to tackle ecological problems and the menace of poverty.

This comes after two related bills to establish development commissions in the southwest and southeast were passed in the green chamber.

Reps Ask Buhari To Declare Bandits, Sponsors As Terrorists

(FILE PHOTO) Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, presides over a plenary at the green chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

Members of the House of Representatives have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits and their sponsors as terrorists.

They made the call during Thursday’s plenary in the green chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, had raised the matter while addressing his colleagues in the lower house.

The call by the lawmakers to proscribe bandits and their sponsors comes a day after their counterparts in the Senate chamber took a similar stand.

“The Senate on Wednesday, 29th September 2021 adopted a motion asking President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits ravaging the northern part of the country terrorists and wage a total war on them,” the lawmaker told his colleagues.

“They also asked that the President declare all known leaders of bandits wanted and arrest them, wherever they were found for speedy prosecution. Such declaration to be done through a Proscription Order can be done pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended).

“I would like to echo the same sentiment and ask honourable colleagues to join the Senate in urging Mr President to declare bandits and their sponsors as terrorists. This will underline the determination of the government to combat the wave of criminality and murders conducted by bandits all over the country.”

 

A Proscription Order

A file photo of two armed men.

 

Benson explained that declaring bandits as terrorists could be done through a proscription order, to serve as a source of inspiration for security personnel to redouble their efforts towards dealing with the threat.

For him, such declaration – when given the force of law – will renew the resolve of the security personnel in dealing with the menace of banditry, saying the mode of operations and rules of engagement would be scaled up accordingly.

According to the lawmaker, such an order will officially bring the activities of bandits and their sponsors within the purview of the Terrorism Prevention Act while persons associated with such groups will be legally prosecuted and sentenced to penalties specified in the Act.

“Declaration of all bandits as terrorists may also encourage other countries to do same and help create a global consensus around dealing with transnational factors that feed the domestic activities of such proscribed organisations and individuals,” he said.

“As previously observed in this House, no [single] action can be a silver bullet to solving our insecurity in Nigeria. But a collection of many effective actions and strategies can bring safety. It is in this spirit that I speak today.

“Insecurity in Nigeria requires an all-of-government approach. Hence, I also urge the President to implement the recommendations of the National Security Summit, which took place in June this year and was officially delivered to Mr President in July. All hands have to be on deck to be able to win this battle against insecurity in all its manifestations.”

Arms Proliferation: Chadian Soldiers Sell Guns For As Low As $20, Endanger Nigeria’s Security – Navy

 

The Nigerian Navy has called for concerted efforts to end the proliferation of small and medium arms in Nigeria.

Speaking during a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence in Abuja, the Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Jemila Malafa, said Chadian soldiers sell guns for as low as $20 (N8,200) and this endangers Nigeria’s security.

Chad shares a border with Nigeria in the North, just as Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic are the country’s neighbours.

“Some of these countries that we have a border with have no armoury. They do not have armoury. So most of their arms that are being donated by — I don’t want to be specific — the developed countries in the name of assisting us to fight our problems — are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed,” she said.

“Since we are going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries [African countries], I think we should insist that they should either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build an armoury for these countries or else we will not see peace.

A photo combination of a man carrying a gun and the Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Jemila Malafa

 

Commodore Malafa thinks a border war should be built between Nigeria and these neighbouring countries or we should have serious surveillance or “else we will not see peace in this country.”

In declaring the event open, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, called on all stakeholders to make good use of the opportunity for the good of the country’s security.

The Chief of Air Force Intelligence, Air Commodore Friday Ogohi, lamented that fertilisers were being sold to “unscrupulous persons who use the chemical substance locally as explosive materials to manufacture IEDs.”

The hearing was organised by the committee to take the input of the public on four bills on national security.

The bills are A Bill to Establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons; A Bill to Make Provision for the Integration of Private Closed Circuit Television (CCTV); A Bill to Repeal the Explosives Act, and A Bill to Designate the Month of November as the National Appreciation for Security Agencies Month.

Reps Minority Faults Buhari’s UNGA Speech, Says Terrorists ‘Emboldened Under His Watch’

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Reps Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

 

The minority caucus in the House of Representatives has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly, claiming Boko Haram terrorists were emboldened under his watch.

In a statement, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, said the caucus had extensively reviewed the President’s address at the 76th session of the UNGA, noting that it is in “complete disagreement with the ugly reality of the failures of his administration, as well as the economic, security and social ruins that have confronted the nation under his watch”.

Elumelu said the caucus was “alarmed by President Buhari’s report to UNGA that terrorists have been so weakened in Nigeria that they are now preying on soft targets, when in reality, insurgents have become so emboldened under his watch”.

According to the statement issued on Saturday, the insurgents are now attacking military formations, kidnapping and killing the nation’s gallant officers while overrunning communities and murdering our citizens without restraint.

As representatives of the people, the Minority caucus expressed regret that  President Buhari’s speech did not reflect on the kidnapping and killing of students in Nigeria.

The opposition lawmakers argue that Buhari did not reflect the closure of schools and crippling of education in some parts of the country, where normal life has been destroyed by terrorists, neither did it show any empathy towards the victims of terrorism attacks.

READ ALSOPresident Buhari Addresses World Leaders At UN General Assembly

‘No Personal Commitment’

A screengrab taken on September 24, 2021, shows President Muhammadu Buhari addressing world leaders at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York, the United States.

 

“Our caucus is worried that in reflecting on violent conflicts, Mr. President’s address conveyed no personal commitments that can guarantee an end to poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice and inequalities, that are prevalent under his watch, even after identifying such as the causes of conflicts,” Elumelu said.

“Also, the minority caucus is shocked by the claims in Mr. President’s speech that his administration “built” isolation centers and emergency hospital wards, ‘all over the country’ ‘in record time’ in the fight against COVID-19; a claim that is in conflict with the infrastructural reality in the country.

“Moreover, our caucus is worried that Mr. President’s speech did not portray any decisive road map towards economic recovery and food security; had no personal commitment to end corruption in his administration; had no personal commitment to end borrowing or show a clear-cut plan to repay the huge debt being accumulated by his administration.”

On the 2023 general elections in the country, the opposition accused the President of lacking what it described as the definite personal commitments towards credible electoral process.

The Minority caucus therefore asked President Buhari to always cross check the content given to him by his handlers so as to ensure that his position, especially on the world stage, captures the reality as well as aspiration prevalent in the country.

This to them, is because such addresses ought to serve as an unblemished working document for interventions and solutions at various levels of governance.

Reps To Probe Leakage Of Classified Security Documents

A file photo of the House of Representatives complex in Abuja.

 

Members of the House of Representatives on Thursday ordered an investigation into the leakage of classified security documents to the public.

The lawmakers gave the mandate to the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence in their resolution following a motion raised by a member of the House, Samuel Adejare.

Adejare had moved the motion on the ‘Need to Address Leakage of Classified Security Documents to the Public’.

After the lawmakers deliberated on the matter, they directed the committee to carry out a detailed investigation and report back within two weeks for further legislative action.

While addressing his colleagues during plenary in the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, Adejare raised concern over the recurring incidents of leakage of classified security documents to the public.

This, he stated, was done through various social media platforms, online print media, and other sources, saying they jeopardise the fight against insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and other crimes in the country.

The lawmaker noted that the Federal Government has made concerted efforts through the provision of human, material, and financial resources in the fight against insecurity.

But he lamented that the leakage of classified security documents and other acts of sabotage was causing failure of intelligence gathering, misunderstanding, and lack of cohesion among operatives involved in different operations against insurgency and other acts of terrorism.

According to Adejare, the unfortunate situation is enabling other acts of criminality such as jailbreaks, mass abductions, invasion of farms, and animal rustling.

He warned that if such acts of sabotage were left unchecked, they pose great risks to the lives of security personnel and danger to the country.

Reps Mourn Colleague From Ondo, Adedayo Omolafe

A file photo of late Adedayo Omolafe.

 

Members of the House of Representatives have expressed sadness over the death of their colleague, Adedayo Omolafe.

Until his death, Omolafe was the lawmaker representing Akure South/Akure North Federal Constituency of Ondo State.

“The news of Rep. Adedayo Omolafe is a devastating one to all members of the House,” the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, said in a statement on Monday.

“Our late colleague was not only committed to his duties, but he was also diligent. We all will miss Rep. Adedayo Omolafe sorely.”

During the period that he represented his people, according to Kalu, the late lawmaker was committed and dedicated to his duties.

News of the death of Omolafe, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), broke after he was said to have slumped in the early hours of Monday.

 

PDP Mourns

The spokesman for the PDP in Ondo, Kennedy Peretei, had confirmed the lawmaker’s death to Channels Television. He described it as a colossal loss to the party in the state.

“Everyone will die one day or another, but some departures are too much to bear,” Peretei said in a statement later. “The sudden and tragic demise of Hon. Omolafe Adedayo, popularly known as Expensive, is difficult to accept, especially when he was not sick.

“Expensive had been a constant political star since he was elected as Executive Chairman of Akure South Local Government Area in 2004 under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was the state coordinator of the SURE-P programme under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“His dream to represent Akure South/ Akure North Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives did not come to fruition since 2007. Now that he became elected in 2019, on the platform of PDP, the cold hand of death has extinguished this bright star at the middle of his tenure.”

According to Peretei, the state chapter of the main opposition party is pained by the incident and Omolafe’s footprints on the sands of time are indelible.

He condoled with the wife, children, and the extended family of the late lawmaker and prayed for the repose of the deceased.