Gender Equality Bill Passes Second Reading At Senate

Senate, Gender Equality BillA modified version of the Gender Equality Bill has passed through the crucial second reading on the floor of the Senate.

The bill is a proposal which seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in Nigeria.

It suffered a humiliating fate at its first introduction a few months earlier as some male lawmakers strongly opposed the bill.

They noted that enacting a law to accord women equal rights with men was in conflict with the country’s religious and cultural beliefs.

However, the bill was sponsored on Thursday by a member of the chamber from Ekiti State, Senator Biodun Olujimi, at the National Assembly.

Senator Olujimi expressed hope that the bill, when passed, would ensure the elimination of discrimination against women in education, employment, profession and occupation.

She added that it would also prohibit all forms of violence against women irrespective of their religion or ethnicity.

The lawmaker stated that Section 4 of the bill prohibits all forms of discrimination against any person on account of gender, age and disability through spoken words, acts, rules, customs and practices by any person or institution.

She expressed hope that it would receive favorable responses from her colleagues as her Lagos counterpart, Oluremi Tinubu, supported the move.

Contributing to the debate, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, advised the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to examine the bill closely to make sure its provisions do not conflict with existing laws.

However, the Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, disagreed with the Deputy Senate President.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative work.

The committee has been directed to present a report on the bill in four weeks.

Abia Political Crisis Is Threat To Democracy – Ikpeazu

okezie ikpeazu, Abia State, courtAbia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has said that the political upturn in the state is a threat to democracy.

The Governor raised the alarm on Monday at the executive chambers of the Government House in Umuahia, during a visit by a delegation of some Senate members.

He said that the tussle for the state executive leadership would affect the economic development of Abia State if not checked on time.

Governor Ikpeazu stated that no business stakeholder would be encouraged to invest in an atmosphere of political uncertainty.

The leader of the legislative delegation, Senator Biodun Olujimi, stressed the need for the Governor to surround himself with wise counseling.

Departing the Government House, the lawmakers made a courtesy call on the traditional ruler of Abariba Kingdom, Eze Kalu Ogbu.

Eze Ogbu emphasised the need for a total reform of the economic policy to better the lives of Nigeria citizens.

He challenged the government to improve the standard of living, saying that people are dying of hunger caused by abject poverty in the land.

The monarch expressed displeasure that at 56 years, Nigeria was still going through high rate of unemployment and decay in infrastructure among others.

He called for the implementation of the national conference report.

Ekiti Lawmaker In Hospital After His Release From DSS Custody

Ekiti lawmaker in DSS custody The Department of State Services (DSS) has released Mr Afolabi Akanni, a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly who has been in the custody of the DSS since March 4.



The lawmaker is being investigated by the DSS over an alleged forgery during the Peoples Democratic Party’s House of Representatives primaries held in Ekiti North Federal Constituency-Two and an alleged assault on Justice John Adeyeye of the State High Court.

He told reporters that he was released after he collapsed twice in detention.

The lawmaker is currently receiving medical treatment at a private hospital in Abuja the nation’s capital city.

Mr Akanni’s alleged abduction by operatives of the DSS had been condemned by  a federal lawmaker during one of the Senate’s proceedings.

Senator Biodun Olujimi, informed the Senate, that on March 4, armed operatives from the DSS invaded the chamber of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

“The Senate is alarmed that on Friday, March 4, the hallowed chamber of the Ekiti State House of Assembly was invaded by armed men of the Department of State Services.

“Not minding that the various committees of the House were meeting, more than 10 DSS men armed to the teeth invaded the assembly complex shooting sporadically into the air, thereby causing panic among members and staff of the House who had to scamper for safety and were afraid for their lives,” she told the Senate.

After his disappearance, the state government alleged that he was dead, but the DSS on March 17 presented Mr Afolabi before newsmen in Abuja.

After been held for over 20 days, the DSS released him.

 

Court Orders DSS To Release Detained Ekiti Lawmaker

ekiti lawmakerA Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital has ordered the Directorate of State Security (DSS) to immediately release the detained Ekiti lawmaker, Hon Afolabi Akanni.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his ruling on Friday also granted an injunction restraining the DSS from re-arresting Akanni pending the determination of the application.

The Ekiti lawmaker, through his lawyers, Barr. Obafemi Adewale and Bunmi Olugbade, had approached the court through an exparte application seeking the protection of his fundamental human rights in line with section 35(1) of the 1999 constitution.

In an exparte motion filed on March 10 and supported by 21-paragraph affidavits, deposed by a member of the House, Tunji Akinyele, sought an order of the court compelling the DSS to release him pending the determination of the substantive issue.

Justice Taiwo in his ruling agreed with the applicant that the enforcement of fundamental human right is a case of urgency and should be so treated expeditiously.

The judge, however, fixed further hearing on the case till Wednesday, March 16.

He also ordered that the respondent be served with all the court processes before the March 16 hearing.

The Senates’s Committee on National Security and Intelligence have also been mandated to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the alleged invasion of the Ekiti State House of Assembly by the Department of State Services (DSS).

This was after a federal lawmaker, Senator Biodun Olujimi, informed the Senate, that on March 4, armed operatives from the DSS invaded the chamber of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

Senate Investigates Invasion Of Ekiti House Of Assembly By DSS

Senate-NigeriaThe Nigerian Senate is investigating immediate and remote causes of the alleged invasion of the Ekiti State House of Assembly by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The Senates’ Committee on National Security and Intelligence have been mandated to conduct the investigation.

A federal lawmaker, Senator Biodun Olujimi, informed the Senate, that on March 4, armed operatives from the DSS invaded the chamber of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

“The Senate is alarmed that on Friday, March 4, the hallowed chamber of the Ekiti State House of Assembly was invaded by armed men of the department of State Services.

Biodun-Olujimi-senator-in-Nigeria
Senator Biodun Olujimi is worried that the reason of the invasion and abduction of the lawmaker is still known

“Not minding that the various committees of the House were meeting, more than 10 DSS men armed to the teeth invaded the assembly complex shooting sporadically into the air, thereby causing panic among members and staff of the House who had to scamper for safety and were afraid for their lives,” she told the Senate.

The Senator said the action by the DSS was not only unconstitutional and illegal, but also a plot intended to harass and intimidate the people of Ekiti State.

Senator Olujimi said the action of the DSS was also outside the scope of its mandate and urged the National Assembly to step in to defend and uphold the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

She also expressed concerns that at the end of the commotion created by the “barbaric act” four members of the House of Assembly could not be found,

According to her, there were reports over the weekend that Honourable Afolabi Akani was abducted and taken to Abuja.

Senator Olujimi further told the Senate that the whereabouts of the other three members was still unknown.