SENATE SETS UP 8-MAN COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST IGP

SENATENATE SETS UP 8-MAN COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST IGP

The Senate has set up an eight-man ad hoc committee to investigate allegations of corruption brought against the Inspector General of Police(IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, by Sen. Isah Misau (APC-Bauchi).

The senate also mandated its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate Police allegations against Sen. Misau, and present its findings to the House.

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) had alleged that Misau did not follow due process when he retired from the force.

Newsmen report that the Senate’s resolution followed a Point of Order by Sen. Misau, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy.

Misau had told his colleagues that he had been having a running battle with the IGP over the level of corruption in the NPF.

The senator said he deemed it necessary to bring the matter before the Senate because it had been in public domain for “some weeks now”.

He accused the IGP of blackmailing him because he dared to talk about the level of corruption in the force.

“I am a retired Police officer and served for 10 years; my father served the force for 34 years. In fact, he joined the Police before I was born.

“So, when I speak about the Police, I know what I am saying. When I speak about the Police, I speak with authority.

“I am concerned about what is happening in the Police in terms of bribery; there is a need for something urgent to be done to salvage the image of the institution.

“Before raising alarm on the irregularities in the institution, I called three serving officers and they confirmed to me that people pay more than N500,000 to get promoted.

“I also have other evidences that I am ready to release for investigation,’’ he said.

The lawmaker further alleged that the police was generating money from companies where officers were deployed to serve.

He lamented that while most Nigerians were without security protection, the force had deployed a large number of officers to guard companies and a few individuals.

“This is an open secret; it is obvious that even people with questionable character have Police protection and have been blaring sirens all over the place.

“One Police officer is supposed to serve 400 people, but in Nigeria, it is one Police officer to 800 people, while one private marketer has more than 30 policemen.

“A situation like that only depletes the number of Police personnel available to protect the ordinary citizens.

“We have excellent Police officers who are now demoralised because promotion is no longer based on merit and years of service.

“Another thing I found out is that there is illegal diversion of funds. Under the 2016 Budget, there was a line item for purchase of Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), but instead of the APCs, luxury cars were purchased without virement,’’ Misau alleged.

On allegations that he left the NPF without due process, Misau said that he followed due process before retiring.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said that in view of the weighty nature of the allegations brought against the Police, the Senate would not hesitate to investigate the matter.

“We have listened to him and he has raised a number of issues which we can’t sweep under the carpet.

“We have to reform our institutions and deal with allegations of corruption so as to cleanse them.

“The ad hoc committee will deal with the area of allegation of corruption, while the Committee on Ethics and Privileges will deal with the allegation of the Police against Misau,’’ he explained.

Newsmen report that the Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Francis Alimikhena, is the Chairman of the committee whose other members include Sen. Joshua Lidani (PDP-Gombe), Sen. Binta Masi (APC-Adamawa) and Sen. Duro Faseyi (PDP-Ekiti).

Others include Sen. Nelson Effiong (APC-Akwa Ibom), Sen. Obinna Ogba (PDP-Ebonyi), Sen. Abdul-Aziz Nyako (APC-Adamawa) and Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC-Kaduna).

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IGP IS HAVING AFFAIRS WITH POLICEWOMEN HE GAVE SPECIAL PROMOTION

Isah Misau, senator representing Bauchi central, says Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), is having affairs with two policewomen whom he has given special promotion.

Misau said this on the floor of the senate on Wednesday while drawing the attention of the lawmakers to the disagreement he is having with Idris.

The police had declared the senator a deserter after he had earlier accused the IGP of collecting money for the posting of police officers.

The Bauchi senator had also accused IGP of receiving money from oil companies where police officers were sent to provide security.

But in fresh allegations, the senator said Idris married one Esther, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), an act which he says which contravenes the police act.

The senator said Idris married Esther because she was “four months pregnant” for him.

“The IG is openly having two relationships with police women which he gave special promotion. One of them is Amina and one of them is DSP Esther which the IG on 15th of last month got married to that woman DSP. Under police act and regulation you cannot marry as serving woman police unless that woman retire,” Misau said.

“He quickly did a secret wedding in Kaduna because the lady is four months pregnant. I am saying this because of the institution – that institution I am supposed to be a stakeholder in that institution. It is the institution that brought me here which I’m proud of.”

While stating that Idris was not capable of leading the police, the senator said the capture of Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, a kidnapper better known as Evans, was not an achievement of the IGP.

“Sometimes I laugh when I see the IG celebrating that he has arrested Evans, Evans was operating in Lagos openly until when he kidnapped somebody who jumped into somebody’s house and went to report,” Misau said.

“This is an achievement of IG? This can not be achievement of the IG. Even an ordinary person can do that.”

He also said the special promotions given by the Idris to “his own boys” had demoralised the police officers who aspired to rise in the police cadre before retiring.

“There are serving police officers who now demoralised because of the activities of the office of the IGP. Mr President, even when it comes to appointment, the IG decided to have his own boys who are just assistant commissioner of police, he will give them special promotion – he will give them deputy commissioner of police he won’t spend three months or six months he will just give them acting commissioners of police,” he said.

“The reason they created special promotion, I know it, I was once an ADC just as to get favours from governors or presidents so if they are there they can pave way for them.”

Bukola Saraki, president of the senate, said an ad hoc committee would be set up to probe the allegations.

As at time of filing this report, Jimoh Moshood, spokesman of the police, is yet to respond to the allegations made by Misau.

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WHAT SENATE PRESIDENT SAID IN HIS WELCOME REMARKS

The Nigerian Senate resumed today after about two months of recess.

After about two hours of executive session with lawmakers, Senate President Bukola Saraki read his welcome address to lawmakers.

Here are five important things the Senate President said in his welcome address.

1. Nigeria’s unity is non negotiable

In line with the executive’s position, Saraki announced that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable.

The Senate President further called on aggrieved groups and parties to go about their demands in line with the provisions of the constitution.

“A house divided against itself will not stand. More than ever before, we need to stand for the unity and indivisibility of our country. We must condemn in the strongest possible terms all forms of violence as a form of engagement.

“The Constitution and laws have laid down tools and procedures for us to push through our interest as all democratic nations do. Our nation is blessed with exceptionally talented and beautiful people, we are collectively strong and indomitable and it is time for all of us to stand up for our nation,” the Senate President said.

2. 2017 Budget review

The Senate President noted that the upper chamber would begin a review of the 2017 budget in October.

Consequently, Saraki informed the Red chamber that ministers would be invited to address the level of implementation of the budget.

“By the first week of October, we expect to begin the review of the implementation of the 2017 budget,” he said.

“To set the stage for this, we expect to invite the Ministers of Finance and Budget Planning to come and brief the Senate on implementation so far. Nigerians want to see a more significant improvement in the level of implementation of the budget this financial year,” he added.

3. Made in Nigeria products

Saraki urged standing committees to work harder during process of oversight and give priority to Made-In-Nigeria products in the 2017 budget.

4. On flood and sports

The Senate President commiserated with Nigerians affected by flood during the break.

Saraki also congratulated the female basketball team on winning the championship as well as the Super Eagles in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.

5. On Anti-corruption

The Senate President urged lawmakers to continue exposing acts of corruption in government agencies ‘as they had done in the past two years.’

He urged Senators not to be deterred by the attack on Senator Isa Misau who had accused the Inspector General of Police,Ibrahim Idris of corruption.

“In the fight against corruption, aside the bills we have passed, it is important that we also sharpen up our oversight tools to ensure that government remains accountable always. However, I urge us all to more than ever, operate above board ourselves.

“In the last two years, we have successfully exposed numerous cases of corruption in our agencies and officers of government and as a result saved government enormous amount of public resources. This is what Nigerian people expect of us and we must continue to deliver on this.

“We must not make the mistake of resting on our oars. I say this to encourage you to keep up with the good works of exposing corruption as you have been doing so far.

“Yes, like Senator Isah Hamma Misau who had the courage to expose deep rooted institutional corruption, you will be attacked, blackmailed and insulted but, unlike any former Senate before this, we will not bow or be intimidated.”

Saraki expressed optimism that the Senate would conclude work on the National Transport Commission Bill, and the National Road Funds Bill, the Petroleum Industry Fiscal and Host Community Bill which are pending.

Saraki also welcomed President Muhammdu Buhari back from his medical vacation in London.

He urged lawmakers to continue to make laws that would ensure the peace and unity of Nigeria.

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SARAKI RESHUFFLES COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN

Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday named two senators from Anambra State as new chairmen of committees.
Andy Uba and Stella Oduah – lawmakers from the South-eastern state – were announced as replacement of two senators sacked by the court.

Uba was announced as chairman of the committee on interior, a position which George Sekibo, a Rivers senator, held until he was ejected from the red chamber
Oduah is the new chairman of cooperation and integration committee as Abubakar Sani, a senator who represented Taraba North, has lost his seat.

Both senators indicated interest to contest the gubernatorial election in Anambra but failed to secure the tickets of their parties.
Uba was an aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Oduah lost out in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary.

The Cable reported that Saraki also announced the names of new vice-chairmen.
At the end of plenary, Sabi Abdullahi, spokesman of the senate, briefed journalists on the changes made.
“There was an announcement by the senate president on the adjustment of some our committees so we have the following chairmen based on that announcement,” Abdullahi said.

“Trade and investment is now senator Sabo Mohammed, interior is now senator Uba, public account is now senator Matthew Urhoghide, culture and tourism is now senator Raji Rasaki, local content is senator Adeola Olamilekan, cooperation and integration is senator Stella Oduah, capital market development is Bukar Mustapha.

“We have vice-chairmen of some of the committees, trade and investment is now Mohammed Mustapha, we have communication senator Ademola Adeleke, judiciary is now senator Omoworare Babajide and local content is now senator Godswill Akpabio.”

Commenting on the suspension of Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, the senate spokesman said the suspended lawmaker is expected to resume 14oNovembern , since his suspension is for 190 legislative days.
He said if there is a public holiday on October 2, Ndume would resume sitting on November 15.

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NIGERIAN SENATOR LANDS IN HOT SOUP AFTER ALLEGEDLY DIVERTING N1.2bn NEXIM LOAN

A Nigerian senator has gotten himself into more trouble than he can handle after as allegedly diverts huge sum of money.

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, a Senator is in trouble with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for obtaining a N1.2billion loan from the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to buy electrical equipment but he allegedly ended up diverting the facility to personal use.

Three years after securing the loan for his firm, he has only paid back about N150million.

According to The Nation, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) has been summoned by the EFCC for interrogation through the Clerk to the National Assembly.

Besides the loan, Nwaoboshi is under investigation for collecting N1.580bilion contract to supply some construction equipment and trucks to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency in 2010.

The senator allegedly supplied mostly refurbished trucks as new vehicles. This has been confrmed by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), The Nation learnt.

The senator is among the 18 of the nation’s 109 senators who are either under investigation or trial for over N367.5billion alleged fraud by the EFCC.

Nwaoboshi may face trial for alleged abuse of office in securing the loan, alleged diversion of the facility and contract fraud.

Nwaoboshi is said to have secured the N1.2billion loan, under the Local Industrial Growth Scheme when he was sitting on the Board of Directors of NEXIM Bank.

Although Nwaoboshi excused himself on the day the NEXIM board approved the facility for his company, the anti-graft agency said “the deal signifies of internal abuse”.

An EFCC document said: “The loan, which was approved for the senator when he was a member of the bank’s board of directors, was meant for the purchase of equipment and electrical materials but the senator allegedly diverted part of the funds to acquire properties in Lagos.

“Criminal diversion is a serious offence and NEXIM may have to report him to the Central Bank of Nigeria. As a director of the bank, the circumstance of the award of the loan is one that raises fundamental conflict of interest and corporate governance issues.”

The senator is said to have been defaulting in repayment.

“He has not honoured the invitation of this commission but since he has no immunity, our detectives are on his trail,” an EFCC source said.

The Senator is also under probe for allegedly using one of his companies, ‘Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd’, to secure a contract from the Direct Labour Agency, Delta State to supply construction equipment at N1,580,000,000.00.

But, instead of supplying the equipment according to the specifications, the company allegedly supplied used equipment, contrary to the Bill of Quantity which specified new ones.

Also Bilderberg Enterprises Limited (previously known as Bilderberg Enterprises Nigeria Ltd) was alleged to have secured contracts from Nine local government areas in Delta State worth over N2billion when the said company was yet to be registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act.

The senator is also under the searchlight of the EFCC for allegedly using a firm, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, to buy a 12-storey building in Apapa, Lagos belonging to Delta State Government at N805, 000,000.00.

It was learnt that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) had no record that the senator “declared all the companies and bank accounts he has interest, despite being operational prior to the time he made the declaration.”

A document from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) confirmed that the senator supplied refurbished trucks to the Delta State Government as new vehicles.

The EFCC’s brief said: “Nwaoboshi, who has failed to respond to the commission’s invitation, is battling to stop the Commission from moving to secure the final forfeiture of his property.

“He has filed two actions before a court in Lagos and a Federal High Court in Asaba, asking that the interim forfeiture order of Justice Abdulaziz Anka be vacated. The Federal High Court Asaba refused the ex-parte application, further hearing is slated for October 3, 4 and 5, 2017.

“A Federal High Court in Lagos in April ordered the temporary forfeiture of a 12-storey building belonging to the senator over an alleged contract scam of N1.5bn.

The said building, which the court ordered Nwaoboshi to forfeit to the Federal Government is at 27, Marine Road, Apapa.

“Justice Anka made the forfeiture order after entertaining an ex parte application brought before him by the EFCC.

“Joined with Nwaoboshi in the application were his two companies – Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, and Bilderberg Enterprises Limited.

“The EFCC told the judge that Nwaoboshi, through his company, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited, got a N1.580bn contract to supply some construction equipment to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency sometime in 2010.

“The senator is also alleged to have forged assets declaration documents before the Code of Conduct Bureau, where he concealed 46 different accounts to which he is a signatory.”

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INEC OFFICIALS STORM NASS TO SERVE MELAYE RECALL NOTICE

Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday arrived the National Assembly Complex to notify the embattled lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, on the petition the commission received from his constituents to recall him.

The officials, who dropped loads of documents at the door to Melaye’s office, waited while the lawmaker was in the Senate chamber.

It was observed that the Melaye’s office was under lock and key, while his aides were not around to receive the notice.

Melaye had on Monday said the 90-day deadline set for INEC by Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has expired.

Melaye also alleged that it was only after several attempts at his life had failed that “they” resorted to this sham process of recall.

“I celebrate the obituary of the ‘Made in Taiwan’ recall exercise, while sympathising with the induced petitioners, who will obviously face charges of forgery and other criminal charges before a court of law very, very soon.”

The lawmaker said this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

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DINO MELAYE IS A CLOWN – LAI MOHAMMED

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday described lawmaker representing Kogi West at the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye as a “clown.”

Mohammed made the remark while sharing some photographs of the outspoken Senator at the Notting hill carnival in London.

The controversial lawmaker was yesterday pictured at the Nigerian corner of the Nottinghill carnival in London where he was said to have performed his hit track, Ajekun Iya.

Reacting to Melaye’s presence at the carnival, the Minister, in a post on his twitter handle wrote: “Just look at this clown; Senator Dino Melaye at the Notting Hill carnival in London, performing his favourite song, “Ajekun Iya

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NIGERIAN SENATOR ALLEGEDLY PURCHASE $4.5m PILATUS PC-12 AIRPLANE

A Nigerian Senator, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, has been accused of purchasing an airplane worth $4.5m.

Sahara Reporters made this known in a tweet on Wednesday, September 6.

“With no known source of wealth, Social Media-hating Sen Bala Na’Allah purchased a $4.5m Pilatus PC-12 airplane with reg. 5N-BNG,” the online website tweeted.

Bala Ibn Na’Allah was elected to the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to represent Zuru, Kebbi State from 2003 – 2011.

In the 2015 elections, he contested for the Kebbi South Senatorial seat and won under the platform of the All Progressive Congress(APC).

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POLICE KILL GUNMAN WHO LED ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON DINO MELAYE

Nemesis has caught up with a notorious criminal, simply known as Luckman who allegedly led his gang to Senator Dino Melaye’s house at Ayetoro-Gbede in ‎an assassination attempt in April.

Luckman, who had been on the wanted list of the Kogi State Police Command after some of his members were arrested has been killed by security men.

It was gathered that the notorious criminal from Obeiba in Ihima, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State was killed on Sunday afternoon during an exchange of fire with the police.

The heavily armed policemen who stormed Obeiba town at about 3pm on Sunday came with three Hilux Vans and headed straight for the house of Luckman.

Eyewitness said immediately Luckman sighted them, himself and his gang members opened fire but was gunned down by the policemen while several arrests were made.

Some of his gang members were said to have gone on the rampage after his body had been taken away, burning vehicles, ‎a police post, the house of Kogi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Deedat Ozigi Salami, and also the Palace of a traditional ruler, Obobanyi of Emani Clan, Chief Samuel Onimisi.

The Kogi State Police Commissioner, Wilson Inalegwu, confirmed to journalists that it was true that the notorious criminal was killed while arrests were also made.

According to him, “Lukman and his gang opened fire on the SARS but was killed during the exchange of fire while some of his gang members were arrested.

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SARAKI REVEALS THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR NIGERIA’S MANY PROBLEMS

The President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, has said Nigeria is passing through a difficult phase of nation building, economic recession, rising insecurity and threat to its corporate existence as a nation due to action

In view of this, Saraki called on Nigerian pilgrims currently performing this year’s hajj to pray for the nation.

In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said “a prayer for your country and her leaders is as important as asking Allah to grant you your personal wishes.”

The Senate President, who is currently in Saudi Arabia for hajj, also asked Nigerians to use the occasion of the significance of Arafat Day holding today, Thursday, to pray for the quick recovery of the nation’s economy and good health for President Muhammdau Buhari.

The statement read: “The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day pilgrims gather at the plain of Mount Arafat, at the outskirt of Mecca, praying and supplicating to the Almighty Allah.

“Arafat Day was also the day Islam was perfected and approved for mankind by the Almighty Allah. The gathering is expected to consist of nearly two million faithful from across the world.

“Today our country is passing through a difficult phase of nation building occasioned by economic recession, rising insecurity and threat to our corporate existence as a nation by actions of some citizens.

“The health of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, is also of national concern to all, and every opportunity must be utilized to pray for his continuous recuperation for him to continue to restore the lost glory of Nigeria.

“It is, therefore, not only advisable but necessary for our pilgrims to seize this rare opportunity the Arafat Day offers to offer prayers for our nation to overcome these challenges and for all development plans and policies initiated by government to start yielding fruits but that we as citizens should rededicate ourselves to the service of our country.

“Our people back home should also join in the prayers on the Arafat Day as Muslims believe that wherever you are on this special day, if you supplicate to the Almighty, he will answer the prayers.”

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SENATOR IKE EKWEREMADU CONGRATULATED THE SUPER EAGLES OF NIGERIA

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their comprehensive 4-0 victory over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, describing it as a befitting Sallah gift to Nigerians.

Ekweremadu, who expressed satisfaction with the performance of the national team in all departments of the game, commended the Eagles for their determination, skills, and team spirit.

He said: “Once again, we saw the Super in our Eagles. We saw determination and the true Nigerian spirit. We saw individual skills, teamwork, and patriotic zeal.

“I congratulate them on this superlative performance as they take another giant step closer to Russia 2018. But they must also bear in mind that this is football; it is never over until it is over. I urge them to remain focused and approach every game with the high level of positive attitude, determination, and commitment that they exhibited today, taking no team for granted”.

The Deputy President of the Senate also commended Nigerians, especially the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, and the good people of Akwa Ibom State for motivating the Super Eagles to one of their best outings in recent times.

He urged Nigerians to keep supporting and praying for the team all the way to the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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EKWEREMADU ASSURES ON COMPLETION OF ONGOING CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS

….as borehole drilling equipment arrives Nigeria

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has assured constituents on the completion of all projects attracted by him.

This came on a day he also announced the arrival of underground water drilling equipment, a move he said was geared towards providing immediate succour to various communities in Enugu West Senatorial District facing the challenge of lack of portable water.

Ekweremadu spoke during an interactive session with all the Town Union Presidents in the Senatorial District at his Enugu residence on Sunday.

The Senator assured the people that, in addition to the efforts by the Government of Enugu State to address the rural infrastructural needs of the communities, provisions had also been made in the 2017 Appropriation Act for new projects and completion of ongoing ones in the Senatorial District and beyond.

He requested communities which infrastructural needs were yet to look forward to the 2018 national budget.

On the problem of portable water in Enugu West Senatorial District, Ekweremadu said: “As I speak with you, the drilling equipment for the Enugu West Water for All Programme, which were imported from Turkey, have arrived Lagos.

“We will move them from community to community for the water programme to provide immediate succour to our people. And I want to assure you that no community in Enugu West will left out”.

He, however, expressed displeasure over the poor maintenance of projects by some beneficiary communities.

The Deputy President of the Senate called on the Town Union Presidents to set up infrastructure maintenance committees where they did not exist, while alsostrengthening the already existing ones to ensure proper maintenance and protection of facilities in in their communities.

Ekweremadu also urged the Local Government Councils to embark on rural development projects, no matter how small, to compliment the efforts by the Federal and State governments to accelerate development in rural area.

Speaking, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, extolled the Deputy President of the Senate for taking developments to the grassroots.

She described the interactive session with Town Union Presidents as democracy in action, assuring that the Government of Enugu State would not relent in the provision of democracy dividends to the people.

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SPEAKER DOGARA COMMISERATES WITH BENUE FLOOD VICTIMS

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has condoled with the government and people of Benue State, over the flooding that has displaced over a hundred thousand people in the state, destroying property in 12 local government areas.

The Speaker also expressed deep sympathy for all the victims who lost their livelihoods, homes, business, farmlands, and families of those who died in the unfortunate natural disaster.

He disclosed that, the House is in the final stages of providing legal framework to address natural disasters caused by the effects of climate change.

“I sympathise with the government and people of Benue State over the loss caused by the floods that ravaged their homes, farmlands and businesses and displacement of over 100,000 people from their homes.

“This is one flooding too many and emphasises the urgent need for targeted solutions to the problems affecting our environment.

“The House of Representatives has already gone far in this regard, with a Bill for the Establishment of an Agency dealing exclusively with Climate Change issues”, Dogara said.

He further enjoined the National Emergency Management Agency, Ecological Funds Office and other relevant government agencies to urgently come to the aid of Benue State and the victims.

The people of Benue State woke up on 31st August, to a ravaging flood which had remained a recurring decimal since year 2012.

The State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom and Member representing Makurdi/Guma federal constituency in National Assembly, however, sent emmisaries to the federal government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), for a relief for the victims.

Consequently, the NEMA had on Saturday, taken delivery of three trucks of relief materials to the state government, for onward distribution to the affected victims who are already at a designated camp.

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FEVER GRIPS 350 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WORKERS OVER SACK

No fewer than 350 workers of the National Assembly are now gripped by fears following moves by the authorities to disengage them over alleged questionable documentation.
The authorities recently set up a panel to verify the documents provided by the affected persons for employment and determine whether they deserve to continue to be on the payroll of the legislature.
The panel concluded its assignment last Thursday and its report is now being expected.
We gathered that the 350 workers were asked to appear before the panel for the purpose of updating their documentation.
The affected workers were identified following irregularities discovered in their records by the Staff Audit Committee.
The exercise was initiated by the management on account of bloated staff salary and mounting debt profile.
Sources said many of them may be sacked for allowing the issue to drag on for long having first been warned to regularise their documentation over five months ago.
“If this set of people are still having issues with their documents after five months of this exercise, then something is wrong somewhere,” a NASS source familiar with the matter said.
“This verification did not start yesterday, it started more than three months ago. The exercise is in phases, we are currently in the phase of table payment, having concluded the physical appearance and document presentation.
“The first phase of the verification exercise turned up several questions in which the appointment of a sizeable number of staff turned out to be questionable.
“The table payment of salary that began in April is a huge step in this effort because all of us have to collect our cheques physically.”
The source said many of the affected people have been giving different excuses for their inability to personally collect their salary cheques, apparently to avoid detection.
“As we speak, we are getting all kinds of excuses on why many of them could not turn up for their cheques since they can’t be collected through proxy.
“Unfortunately for them, that excuse will not hold water because documentary evidence is showing us that some were not properly recruited, many were not qualified for the designations they are claiming.
“Also, many have been discovered to have been redeployed elsewhere but still our NASS payroll.
“Even some have gone on study leave and are still drawing salary from NASS, while some that have concluded their study leave refused to return to their beat but chose to remain abroad and collect salary from NASS.
“These are the kind of people that are giving instructions to proxies to collect their cheques on their behalf.
“We are aware of all these and I believe appropriate action will be taken in that regard.”
For emphasis, the management through an internal memorandum released a list of 350 workers that must appear before the P.A. Giwa-led Staff Audit Committee with their appointments and other documents.
A two-page internal memo with Ref. No: NASS/AUDIT COMM./2017/33 dated 28th August, 2017 signed by its Secretary, Christopher Ashiekaa, directed the affected staff to appear before the committee for update of their records.
It reads: “The National Assembly staff Audit Committee is in the process of updating staff records.
“In this regard, the under listed staff are requested to kindly report in House of Representatives Room 1, to update their records.
“Please note that this process will be concluded on Thursday, 31st August, 2017”.
The names of the affected staff was pasted on the notice boards across the National Assembly complex.
While it was not clear if all 350 workers turned up for the exercise, the source however hinted that a sizeable number failed to meet the deadline.
“We are still collating figures but I can tell you that a huge number failed to turn up. The exercise has not ended yet, so let us see how it goes,” the source added.
In addition, workers deployed to principal officers’ offices and other legislators were also differently requested to appear before the Audit Committee for reconciliation of their records.
In a separate memo, it was noted that the reconciliation became necessary for documentation purposes, which may not be unconnected with the discovery that many took personal decision to deploy themselves to the offices of lawmaker of their choice without due process.
The Committee said it has become expedient to ensure that these staff are properly captured as bona fide staff of the National Assembly.
While warning all concerned staff to report to the Committee secretariat with all relevant documents for documentation, the panel added that it would not be responsible for any staff whose name is deleted from the nominal roll for failure to update his or her record.
In another development, a renovation of the National Assembly complex is ongoing, preparatory to the September 19 resumption date of the lawmakers from their annual recess.
The multi-million naira renovation which is the first since the exit of Julius Berger Plc in 2016, covers a facelift for the lobby with a brand new ultra modern reception cubicle, painting, removal, replacement and redesign of the ceiling and lighting system as well as the cooling system along the corridors and offices in the White House.
The renovation of the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly had earlier been carried out, with the incumbent being the first occupant.
The project that was undertaken by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) was initiated as a result of the gradual but steady collapse of the infrastructure of the White House.
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HONOURABLE HOLDS EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS VIA CELEBRATING WITH REPRESENTATIVES

The train of the statewide Empowerment / Free Health Care programme of the kind-hearted federal lawmaker, Hon. Dr. Olatoye Temitope Sugar landed in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State at the weekend with funfair and unbeatable humanface welfare packages.

The lawmaker who is representing Lagelu-Akinyele federal constituency in the National Assembly, Abuja in conjunction with his care-giver organisation, Olatoye Sugar Foundation stormed Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State with message of hope and restoration of abundance to the zone and Oyo State in Nigeria.

Hon Sugar who commended large turn out and warm reception showered on him and his entourage and most especially the patience of traditional rulers who waited since morning and assured Oke-Ogun people of his unflinching support to bring development to the area.

While addressing mammoth crowd at Iseyin and Saki towns at the opening of OSF FREE Medical Center where Hon. Sugar declared every Wednesday as a free medical treatment day for all ages especially ultrasound scan for pregnant women, free eye treatment with glasses and drugs.

The philanthropic lawmaker also declared free malaria treatment for children and adults as well as blood, urine and stool test aimed at reducing astronomical medical fees for rural dwellers.

Hon. Sugar while speaking in Iseyin and Saki towns, urged people to take adequate care of their health saying health is wealth and pledged to do his best through his foundation to facilitate affordable health care delivery to the nooks and crannies of Oyo State.

He appealed to the youths in Oke-Ogun area to avail themselves the opportunity created by his foundation to do Free HIV test and general widal test for free at the medical center at Adeyanju house, opposite Baptist Primary School, Iseyin.

The crowd in Saki was amazed when the grassroot lawmaker distributed Cars, Refrigerators, Gas cooker, Ileya Rams, Cows, Rice, Gaari, Bread and Cash support to people, as they could not hold their joy with full appreciation to their benefactor whom they haven’t voted for before now.

Hon Sugar later handed other masses-oriented goods over to community and party leaders to share for the masses.

The training shall move to the Four local government areas of Oyo (*Atiba, Afijio,Oyo East, Oyo West ) and other parts of the state forthwith.






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