SENATE News Forum

Have Received Buhari’s Letter – Senate President Bukola Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has revealed that he has received a letter from the President about his resumption to duty.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has acknowledged receipt of President Muhammadu Buhari’s resumption letter to the National Assembly. Saraki made this known via his twitter handle on Monday.

He said,“I have received a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari informing the Senate that he has returned to the country.

“I have also acknowledged the letter.’’

The letter will be read in plenary when the National Assembly resumes from its recess on Sept. 19. President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the National Assembly informing it of his medical trip to London, which he commenced on May 7.

He had transmitted power to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to act in his absence. He returned to Nigeria on Aug. 19, amidst celebrations by residents of Abuja and major cities in the country.


The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said that the devolution of powers bill would be revisited, when the National Assembly resumes from its recess.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, Kwara state on Saturday, Saraki stated that the bill did not scale through, because of the pervasive mistrust and disillusionment in the country.

He said: “Although they were defeated at the committee level but they quickly energised, moved around and did some lobbying and the passed through.

“You went through the process in making sure that something you believe in scale through. Even when it looked as if it was going down you were not perturbed. You did not resort to abuses and went about lobbying and with the support of the National Assembly it scaled through. Both Senate and House of Representatives believe that is good for our democracy.

“The fact that the devolution bill lost that day does not mean it will not scale though after the recess.

“As you know that in the Senate we have three senators representing each state of the federation and the Federal Captial Territory (FCT).

“Whatever we do there, we must engage and have a feedback from our constituencies. I believe that if this constitutional amendment had come about eight months ago, the devolution bill would have been passed easily. But I think we must be honest with ourselves that presently, there is a lot of mistrust in the country.

“The air is very polluted. Let us be very frank and that blame must be all round. What happened was that a lot of people misread or misunderstood or were suspicious of what the devolution bill was all about.”

Senate Votes to Change Name of Nigeria Police Force…See the New Chosen Name

The members of the Senator Bukola Saraki-led Nigerian Senate have on Wednesday, voted to support the bill to change the name of the Nigeria Police Force to become Nigerian Police. 

According to a Tweet TORI News culled from the lawmaker’s page (@NGRSenate) in the vote on the name change, 87 senators voted for YES while 2 voted for NO with 1 abstaining. 

The amendment was made during the debate on report for constitution review which had been earlier adopted adopted by the joint session of the committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. 

But the alterations by the National Assembly have to be signed into law by the Nigerian president before they become effective. 

We’ll be bringing you more details later…

PEACE CORPS: WE DID NOT PASS YOUR BILL, Senate replies Chinedu Nneji

The Senate has clarified the ambiguity emanating from the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill passed and adopted by the National Assembly recently. 

Since the Senate adopted the report of the Conference Committee on Tuesday, two different groups had laid claims to the Bill passed. 

While Amb. Dr. Dickson Akoh, the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria had addressed the Press, thanking the National Assembly for “restoring hope to the Nigerian youths”; Dr. Chinedu Nneji, Commandant General of National Unity and Peace Corps had also adrresed the media, thanking the National Assembly for passing his bill. 

Reacting to the controversies surrounding the Bill, the Senate Spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said the Bill passed into law by the National Assembly was to give legal backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria, under Dickson Akoh. 

Senator Abdullahi who addressed the Senate Press Corp of Thursday, said it was necessary to explain the ambiguity, saying the report in some quarters that the National Assembly passed and adopted the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill was misleading. 

According to the Spokesman, the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill did not pass through the House of Representatives and as such, the Senate could not force it on the them.

His words, “Let me say that, in the Senate, we had the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill and we also had the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill. 

“When we were considering the Peace Corps Bill, an observation wa raised that there was another Bill which has similar objectives, that was the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill. 

 “So it was agreed that the Bill should be incorporated into the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill. That was done. When we did that, we then passed our own version”. 

Senator Abdullahi added that, it was during the conference committee to harmonise the two versions of the bill passed, that the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill was removed and the Reps version was adopted. 

“The House of Reps maintained, that there was no bill called the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill. So, there was no basis for harmonisation.  They maintained their stand that the only bill they passed was the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, for which we also considered. 

“So, at that point of harmonisation, the conference committee adopted the position of the House of Reps.  

“Effectively, what this means is that, the only agency which we considered its bill was the bill that said, the Peace Corps of Nigeria and, of course, dissolution within the context of that bill only referred to Peace Corps of Nigeria. 

“What that means effectively is that, the Bill that says National Unity and Peace Corps Bill is still intact, there is no provision in our law where we have even touched it.

We want to advise Nigerians to be guided by what we have done, there should be no ambiguity.

“We know there are people out there who are claiming that the Bill we passed affected them, I don’t think that is the correct picture. 

“The bill we passed and adopted, was the one promoted by the Peace Corps of Nigeria under Mr Dickson Akoh”, the Senate spokesman explained. 

He however, said the Bill made provision for any group of youths that is peaceful and with similar objective, to approach the Nigerian Peace Corps and be incorporated. 
Sequel to the presentation of Bill in the Upper Chamber, on Wednesday 19 of July, 2027, The Senate on Thursday 27 of July 2017 passes the NFIU bill.
The organization, aims at sharing criminal intelligence and financial information bothering on money Laundering, Terrorism financing, proliferation of arms and corruption within its 152 Member states.
It should be recall that NFUI is a network if EGMONT group, the highest inter_ governmental Association of Intelligence Agencies in the world.
It should however be remembered that the organization was suspended as a result of interference from the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu in the affairs of what supposed to be an independent Organization.
The group gave Nigeria till December 2017 to address the situation or attract International Sanctions.
Sen.Dino Melaye in his word said “Separating The NFIU from the EFCC Will ensure transparency flight in corruption.
Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit is saddled with the central responsibilities of requesting, receiving, analysing and dissemination of issues relating to Finance to relevant agencies.
The bill prescribed a fine of 50million to any Financial institution that makes untrue claims falsify or destroy document relevant to investigation.




SEN. Rose Oko moves a motion today 27 of July 2017 on the Bakassi indigenes in Diaspora in the Cameroon. The bill is being co sponsored by Sen Lanre Tejuoso, Sen Gershom Bassey, Sen Umaru Kurfi and Sen Andy Uba.
It is reported that the bakassi Indigenes of Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State have being residents in the geographic area known as Bakassi Peninsula for generations.
Prior to that time, Nigeria and Cameroon have being having issues as regards the ownership of land.
In 1994, Cameroon took the matter to the international court of Justice and in 2002, the court ruled in favour of Cameroon
On the 12th of June 2006, the two countries signed an agreement for the withdrawal of Nigerians Troops and the ceding of the Bakassi peninsula to the Cameroon.
Thus, Cross River and Akwa Ibom indigenes formally Nigerians had become Nigerians living in Diaspora in the Cameroon.
Alarmed that these Nigerians already traumatized by suddenly finding themselves as foreigners in their natural habitat are being subjected to further harassment.
97 Nigerians were feared to be killed in an attack by the Cameroonian gendarmes over failure to pay a discriminatory boat levy of Diaspora. The attack was targeted at Nigerians from Akwa ibom Cross River and Ondo state.
It is however reported by the media that they died in the sea, but the fact remains that they were obviously fleeing from their host Country.
It should however be noted there was a similar case in South Africa.
The Senate, condemn the killings, thereafter, calls on the Federal Government to come up with a clear policy on the protection of indigenes in Diaspora.
Calls on the Cameroonian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to respect the Provisions of the Green Tea Agreement.
Investigate the recent harassment of Bakassi indigenes in the Cameroon that led to the death of some of them and their mass return;
Call on NEMA to immediately send relief to the returnees to reach them directly and then refer to the committee on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to report back within 2 Weeks.


The letter, titled ‘UNWARRANTED AND FUTILE RECALL OF DISTINGUISHED SENATOR DINO MELAYE FROM THE SENATE OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’ laments the ridicule that characterize their illustrious son whom they described as ‘VOICE OF THE VOICELESS’, ‘We further state categorically and unequivocally that our Son, Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye has done nothing wrong to deserve attempts by anybody, Even to terminate his life ‘As a megaphone for the voiceless people, his voice is voice is the echo of God. Anybody that is fighting him us contending with God’. The people further expresses sadness over the change they had earlier on prayed for, which is transmitting negative Tunes.

The association, thanked those who stood by their Senator through Thin and Thick ‘ Ayetoro GBEDE community is using this medium, to thank all Nigerian’s in particular, The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who identified the passionate patriotism in our Son and stand as a pillar of support to him; The Deputy Senate President, Distinguish Senator Like Ekwerenmadu for his leadership and the entire Senate for their objective appraisal in ranking our Son as the best Senator of the year 2016’.The association, further appeals to the powers behind their Senator recall to divert the meagre resources of the people into better use in order to raise the standard of living in the state.



The President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has reiterated the commitment of the 8th Senate, to unearth the corrupt practices relating to the smuggling of rice and other unwholesome food items into the country. This was even, as the Senate President had attributed the rising in epidemics and untimely deaths of Nigerians to the illegal importation of food items through the Nigerian boarders. Saraki made this known on Monday, while declaring open, a one day public hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tarrif, on the theme ‘Smuggling: A threat to Nigeria’s quest to self sufficiency in rice production’.According to Saraki, the local producers are faced with obstacles due to the activities of smugglers, despite governments restrictions on importations.He called for immediate investigation into the corrupt practices in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government, adding that, a fact finding investigation would put a permanent stop to the shady deals. “A sanitization of the local rice production industry will in line with our legislative agenda encourage the government’s effort on the diversification of our economy. The impact of the outcome of this exercise on our local industry is huge as it will most definitely increase local rice production. “Another issue here, is the great health concerns: No doubt, these smuggling have brought about the importation of unwholesome foods into our country, causing ill health and even deaths to our citizens. Nigerians deserve the best in what we consume and we must safeguard the health of our citizenry”, Saraki said. The Senate President charged the participants, especially, the various stakeholders at the public hearing, to be open minded and cooperate with the Senate, to enable it draw up recommendations that would be forwarded to the executive arm of government for prompt intervention. Over 40 agencies and stakeholders in the customs sector were expected to take part in the public hearing. They include the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Nigerian Shippers Council, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Control  (NAFDAC), among others. It could be recalled that, the Senate, during its plenary of Tuesday, 13th June, 2017, debated on a motion sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tarrif, Hope Uzodinma, and unanimously resolved on the need to investigate and unearth those behind smuggling and illegal importation of rice and the operations of the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme  (CISS).

The Senate President, SEN. Bukola Saraki meets with some group of Lautech student over the strike action that has characterized their institution over time.The Senate president, pleads on behalf of the Senate with the student and promises that the end of the strike is near.The statement is released by the Senate President media department thus;
“The Senate is touched by the ongoing 2-year strike at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). This is why, today, myself, the Leader of the Senate and a few other DistinguishSenators met with students and alumni of the institution”.He further acknowledged how long the strike has being on “I remember, it is November last year that this matter first came up at the Senate. Since then, we have watched and reviewed the situation, which culminated in the passage of the Motion last week where we resolved to call on the Oyo and Osun State governments to sort out the ownership issue, and the Federal Government to work towards the release of necessary funds for the reopening of the school”.
“Let me make myself clear on behalf of the Senate: Now that we have taken up this issue, we are not going to stop until action is taken”.He further revealed that he had met with various relevant stake in order to facilitate the process,“In the past week, I have had the opportunity to speak to the Minister of Education on the LAUTECH closure, and he has reassured me that a meeting is in the works to bring representatives of both governments together to resolve the ownership affair between the two states”. 
“Additionally, we can argue from now until tomorrow about the ownership of the University, however, all parties concerned must know that the LAUTECH students and their parents are the ones that are affected by this. Hence, swift action must be taken”.
Moving forward, we will continue to fight for the students of LAUTECH so that soon, the doors of that university will be open.
“At this point, I want to continue to appeal to LAUTECH students for their patience. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are on your side. Please take this message back to your families: “The Senate is on your side. We will continue to fight for you.” He added.
By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI Reporting from Senate

SENATE SITTING ON THE APPOINTMENT OF RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONERS.The senate on Thursday 20/July/2017 receives the nominee’s list for confirmation. The matter generated a lot of controversy.It is reported that 27 personnel were screened and 12 haven met the criteria in terms of curriculum vitae, police report and five other relevant certificate.
The list of the successful nominees are 1. Dr Mrs Asmau Sani Maikudi _ Katsina State2. Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun, mni_ Ondo state3. Dr Mahmuda Isa_ Kebbi state4. Amb. Dr Rufus Oloruntoyin Akeju_Lagos state5. Prof Riskuwa A.Shehu _ Sokoto state6 Barr. Kasim Gana Geidam_ Yobe state7. Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa Mano state8. Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji_ Oyo state9. Prof Samuel G. Egwu _ Kogi state10. Barr Mike A. Igini _ Delta state11. Prof Mustapha Zubairu _ Niger state12. Ahmad Bello Mahmud _ Zamfara stateThereafter, three were disqualified making the confirmation list of nominees to Nine.SEN Biodun Olujimi, however disclosed to the house that Prof Rufus has a court ruling in his name and should not be confirmed.The Senate leader interjected, wanting to know the content of the ruling and thereafter confirm as a commissioner saying the committee has properly screened the nominees. SEN Olamilekan from Lagos state affirms with the senate leader saying the man in question has being declared as tested and trusted haven gone through rigorous screening and should therefore not be disqualified by a supposed court ruling. SEN Nwaboshi argues that if Prof Rufus has judicial ruling attached to his name, it can not be ignored. Deputy SEN president moves the motion that The committee on INEC be given more time to properly re_screen the nominees and get back to the house on a later date.By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI Reporting from Senate

——————————————————————SENATE PRESIDENT ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN THE PARIS CLUB REFUND SAGASenate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has no role to play in how the government of Kwara State utilize the money from the Paris Club refund and does not in any way interfere with the activities of the state government.
Senior Special Assistant to Senate President, Alhaji Toyin Sanusi in a statement on Thursday advised the people to ignore rumour, insinuation and speculation about whether Dr. Saraki had anything to do with when the State Government informed the people about the Paris Club refund and how it chose to spend it.
“The Senate President is not involved in the running of the government of Kwara State and does not interfere in any way with how the state government spends its money. It is the believe of Dr. Saraki that the government is responsible and accountable to the people of the State who elected it into office and the state is greater than all individuals.
“On occasions when the people, interest groups, labour and professional unions seeks intervention about some issues or he is intimated about certain developments, he, as the political leader in the state, can only make adequate and necessary consultations to get the facts and later offer his advise to the government.
“However, on the complaints reaching the Senate President concerning the proposed plan of the State Government on the Paris Club refund, he has initiated plans to find out the facts about the issues raised and then offer his advice accordingly to the state government. 
“It should be noted that the intervention of the Senate President at any time is to the effect that the promises of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to protect the interests of all the people in Kwara State and ensure there is development across the state are kept at all times”, Sanusi explained.


SENATE MOVES A MOTION TO LIFT THE SUSPENSION ON NATIONAL FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE UNIT (NFUI)It is reported that the EGMONT GROUP is a network of NFUI and also the highest inter_ governmental Association of intelligence agencies in the world, with about 152 member countries or states who sit regularly for the purpose of sharing criminal Intelligence and financial information bothering on money laundering, terrorism financing, proliferation of arms, corruption which main purpose is geared towards the support of local and international investigations persecution and asset recovery.
The senate on Wednesday, moves a motion on the floor of the house and resolves to create a law for an independent Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) with powers to employ, promote and discipline its personnel.

This development, follows the suspension of the NFIU from the Egmont Group.

The upper legislative chamber also resolved to empower NFIU in line with international best practices in its relations with similar organisations in other countries.

It asked the ministries of justice, finance  and interior to ensure that the suspension is reversed, they are also asked to send a budget before the end of the year for facilitating and running the organization.

These resolutions is sequel to the motion moved by Sen Chukwuka Utazi, senator representing Enugu north.
He also said the interference of Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the affairs of the NFIU is another reason Nigeria was suspended.

“By virtue of our membership of the group, NFIU enjoys the benefit of privileged information which the members of the group share among themselves,” Utazi said.

“This intelligence sharing is crucial to the universal and local war against corruption, money laundering, terrorism financial and economic crimes.

“Apart from the suspension of Nigeria this July, the group has given Nigeria up to December 2017 to address the issues raised in the suspension or be expelled which will attract international sanctions.”

Also contributing to the debate, Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, said the senate should immediately start procedures of enacting a a law for the NFIU.

“Separating the NFIU for the EFCC will ensure transparency flight in corruption,” he added.
The senate adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by Bukola Saraki, senate president.
By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI Reporting from Senate

——————————————————————WHISTLE BLOWER BILL REACHES THIRD READING IN THE SENATEOn Wednesday 19/July/2017, the bill to protect whistle blowers, reaches third reading on the floor of the senate. The whistle blower bill is aimed at protecting the life of the blowers and thereafter giving them access to ten percent of the money realized from the whistle blowing “we passed the Whistle Blower Protection Bill, which is another one of our Anti-Corruption Bills”.
This Bill:  
1. Seeks to encourage and facilitate the disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies;
2. Ensures that people who make disclosures and persons who may suffer reprisals in relation to such disclosures are protected under the law; and
3. Ensures that people who make disclosures shall not​ be subject to victimization by their employers or by fellow employees. 
This Bill will also protect the lives of those who risk themselves to expose corrupt practices in Nigeria.
Moving forward, the 8th Senate will continue to remain committed to the Anti-Corruption fight of this administration.

BY OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI reporting from Senate


The Senate on Thursday conducted a public hearing on the alleged concessioning of the 210,000 barrels per day (bpd) Port Harcourt Refinery to oil firms – Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Oando Plc – citing lack of openness and transparency in the exercise.

The public hearing was a follow up to the decision of the Senate on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 where the parliament’s committee on the planned Concession of Port Harcourt Refinery to AGIP/ EZI and OANDO Plc was constituted to carry out holistic investigation to determine how the deal was sealed and the criteria used to select AGIP/ENI and OANDO Plc. The probe was carried out by seven-member Ad- hoc Committee with Senator Abubakar Kyari, APC, Borno North, as Chairman, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogwu, APC, Imo North, Vice Chairman, while Senators Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West; Duro Faseyi, PDP, Ekiti North; Sabo Mohammed, APC, Jigawa South; Abdul’ Azeez, APC, Adamawa Central, and Matthew Urhoghide, PDP, Edo South as members.

The resolution of the Senate to put in place the committee was sequel to a motion by Senator Sabo Mohammed, APC, Jigawa South and entitled, “Non-transparent transactions relating to the planned concession of the Port Harcourt Refinery to Agip and Oando by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, just as the Senate passed a resolution that the concessioning process be stopped. Invited to the public hearing were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF; Minister of State, Petroleum; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; Department of Petroleum Resources; DPR; Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE; Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC; Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC; Trade Union Congress, TUC; PENGASSAN; NUPENG; OANDO Plc; AGIP/ENI, among others. To set the stage for the probe, Senate President Bukola Saraki said it was pertinent to do things in the right manner in order not to send wrong signals to investors and international development partners. Saraki, who was represented by Senator Barnabas Gemade, said, “ Taking cognizance of the prevailing economic situation, it is important we do things in the right manner in order not to send wrong signals to investors and international development partners. As a country, for us to move forward, we should and be seen to be doing right things in line with the change agenda of the present government”.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachukwu, and the Group Chief Executive of Oando PLC, Mr. Wale Tinubu, clashed over the concessioning. The Minister dismissed the statement credited to the Oando boss which implied that his company had won the concessioning of the Port Harcourt Refinery. Though Tinubu denied ever making any remark in the media on the alleged concessioning, the Petroleum Minister accused him of jumping the gun even by his submission that the refinery had been packaged for OANDO’S rehabilitation. At the public hearing, strong indications emerged that the concessioning of the refinery was enmeshed in confusion as Kachikwu denied the alleged concessioning plan, just as he said that a technical committee set up by the government to undertake the review was coming up with a holistic investment figure enough to fix all the nation’s refineries. The Minister vehemently denied making all remarks credited to him on the alleged concessioning as reported by some dailies.

The Minister insisted there was no plan to concession, privatise or sell the Port-Harcourt Refinery, for which an estimated $300 million would be required to repair. He said it was better to engage the company that built the refinery in the first instance for its repair, due to the availability of spare parts and knowledge of the configuration, adding that the country’s refineries were being maintained by Nigerian engineers, and acknowledged that there was the urgent need for constant retraining of the engineers. After accusations and counter-accusations between the Senate and the federal agencies handling the nation’s refineries on the alleged move to concession the Port Harcourt Refinery, both parties settled for revamping, rehabilitation and maintenance of the facility along with others through what they termed, sourced financing from private oil firms. According to the Senate and the Federal Government, revamping the Port Harcourt Refinery was the way to go as against the plan for concessioning.

The Petroleum Minister, in his submission, explained that the story of the alleged concessioning of the refinery must have emanated from concerted efforts being made by his Ministry and the NNPC to revamp all the refineries and not that of Port Harcourt alone. Kachikwu also faulted publications quoting him as speaking about a plan to concession the refinery, even as he denied making any statements that indicated that government would privatize or sell the Port Harcourt Refinery, or other state owned refineries. According to him, what is in the pipeline for all the refineries was an arrangement where private investors would bring in money for their repairs to optimal capacities which will bring about expected incremental volume in production and the investors money recouped. “The planned arrangement is the only viable alternative for the Federal Government as far as repair work on the refineries are concerned since the turn around maintenance carried out over the years has failed”, he said.

Tinubu, while speaking at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos on May 11,2017, had been quoted as disclosing that his company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Federal Government to manage the Port-Harcourt Refinery under a repair, operate and maintain arrangement, adding, “We also got approval from the President to repair, operate and maintain the Port Harcourt Refinery together with our partner, Agip. We plan to increase the refinery’s capacity from 30 per cent to 100 per cent, subsequently to 120 per cent.” But at the public hearing, the Group Chief Executive of Oando said: “There was as concession, no privatisation and no sale of any assets. All that is happening is that responsible corporate bodies, responsible individuals and government were trying to find a solution to the perennial disgrace of exporting our crude and importing petroleum products. Only three countries in the world import petroleum products: Iran, Iraq and Nigeria. “Nigeria exports copious amounts of crude and still imports petroleum products. This a national disgrace that we need to find solutions to as quickly as possible.”

He, however, enjoined all stakeholders to collaborate effectively to finding solutions through private channels in fixing the refineries just as he said Oando had been investing in infrastructure in the country. The hearing was also an opportunity for the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, to open up on the concessioning process against the backdrop, that from the beginning, it was alleged that government refused to carry along the BPE which ought to be in the main stream of the entire concessioning arrangement. In his presentation at the hearing, the Director- General, the National Council on Privatisation, Alex Okoh, who kicked against the planned concessioning of Port-Harcourt Refinery, said that it would amount to illegality.

Also, NUPENG and PENGASSAN kicked against the move to concession the refinery, describing Oando and Agip as anti-union. The chairman of the committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari, in his remarks, said that by whatever name called, facts emerged at the session that the arrangements being made for the repair of the refineries were not open to all stakeholders in the oil industry and not in line with laid down procedure. He therefore admonished the Minister and other policy makers in the industry to ensure that the planned arrangement for revamping, rehabilitation and maintenance of refineries should followed due process.



This morning, the Senate Committee on Customs organized a one-day Public Hearing to discuss how smuggling poses a threat to Nigeria’s economic self-sufficiency. 

As things stand, smuggling is the greatest threat to the implementation of the economic policies and programs of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. This is because it puts the growth and sustainability of our economy in jeopardy, and obstructs our collective quest to attain true diversification of our economy. 

At the local level, smuggling threatens the ability of our small-scale industries to compete against their foreign counterparts. Many of these businesses that have taken loans in the past, have been forced to shut down — due to the fact that cheaper and illegally-imported goods find their way into our markets. This is unacceptable.

This is why, in order to support the economic policies of this government, the 8th Senate is committed to doing all that it takes to end to smuggling in Nigeria.

Through this public hearing and meeting with relevant stakeholders from the sector, we want to look at ways to work with the Customs Service and all other agencies to eliminate smuggling in all its forms.

Consequently, the report grim today’s Public Hearing will help to provide comprehensive solutions to the issue of smuggling. This public hearing will help us to identify and proffer solutions to some of the funding, legislative and policy gaps that currently exist — which the smugglers are taking advantage of.

All hands must be on deck; no stone must be left unturned; and no branch of government can resolve this issue on its own. We must all work together on this.



The Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Aviation and other relevant authorities to, as a matter of urgency, repair and renovate the damaged facilities of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and other airports in the country requiring such attention to reduce the dangers of harm to which users of the airports are exposed.

The charge followed a motion during Plenary on Wednesday, sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) on the need for urgent renovation of the facilities and infrastructure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

The Senate, while debating on the motion observed that the Airport was upgraded​ to the status of international airport on August 24, 2013, noting that the upgrade of Airport was a fulfillment of the dreams of the people of the south east of Nigeria who are famed enterprenuers and have long clamoured for direct flights to the world where they engage in myriad of commercial activities in order to cut costs associated with logistics and distance.

It noted that as an international airport, Akanu Ibiam being a gateway for an important part of Nigeria, asides the technical requirements for the upgrade to its present status by the extension, asphalting, marking and standardization of the runways accommodate bigger aircraft, there was also the requirements for improved facilities and a face lift of infrastructure.

The lawmakers also expressed of damages caused by wndstorms at the airport, including the arrival and departure lounges and protective sheen of the buildings, with debris and windblown garbage littering inside the buildings there by putting passengers , staff and other users of the airport in danger, especially when it rains as it often does.

Also considering that the South East is the last , among all the geopolitical zones to have an international airport, the senate described the development as disheartening, noting that it would not only expose users of the airport to harm, it would also discourage International airlines and interests from from using the airport.

According to the Senate​President , Bukola Saraki, “the dilapidated state of facilities and the infrastructure of the Airport is a huge disincentive to the use of the airport, and endangers the lives of the people who use it, besides being a bad testament to the standard of infrastructure in Nigeria’s critical aviation sector.”



The Senate, yesterday raised the alarm over what it described as the decay and a looming disaster at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. It said the looming disaster, if not immediately nipped in the bud, will endanger lives of air travellers.

In the same vein, the Senate has mandated its Committee on Aviation to investigate the circumstances surrounding the award of contracts for renovation of airports in the country and shoddy jobs that have resulted in the sorry-state of affairs of the various airports.

The Senate arrived at the decision after Senator Chukwuka Utazi from Enugu State moved a motion tagged: “The need for urgent renovation of the facilities and infrastructure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.”

It called on the Federal Ministry of Aviation and other relevant authorities to, as a matter of urgency, repair the damaged parts and renovate facilities at the airport and other airports in the country which require such attention, to reduce the dangers to which users of the airports are exposed.

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who also hails from Enugu, lamented that whenever it rained, flood takes over major parts of the airport.

He added that the runway of the airport, which was upgraded to the status of an international airport, on August 24, 2013, is bad and has, on different occasions, damaged planes.

Describing the state of the airport, Utazi said debris and wind-blown garbage litter the inside of the buildings, thereby, putting passengers, staff and other users of the airport in danger.

“Considering the South-East is the last, among all the geo-political zones to have an international airport, this development is disheartening and would not only expose users of the airport to harm, but also discourage international airlines and other interests from using the airport.

“The current dilapidated state of the facilities and the infrastructure of the airport is a huge disincentive to the use of the airport and endangers the lives of the people who use it, besides being a bad testament to the standard of infrastructure in Nigeria’s critical aviation sector,” Utazi said.


Press Release


Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has expressed deep sorrow over the death of Madam Omowunmi Akande, wife of former interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the late Omawunmi as a good role model who demonstrated compassion, integrity, and character and lived a fruitful life dedicated to supporting her husband, family and community.

He commiserated with Chief Akande, his family and the Government and people of Osun state over the loss. He stated that Madam Omowunmi would be greatly missed for her industry, leadership qualities and exemplary lifestyle. 

“Nigeria has lost a quintessential mother and very supportive wife. As the First Lady of Osun State, Ma Akande displayed humility, love for all and solid support for her husband. My heart goes out to Chief Akande and the entire family in these trying moments”, Saraki stated.

He prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest and her immediate family, and loved ones, the fortitude to bear the loss.


Yusuph Olaniyonu 

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the Senate President



Senator Omisore has advised PDP members to adopt the Osun winning model for peace, reconciliation in the opposition party.

Senator Iyiola Omisore » has recommended peace and reconciliation for the Peoples Democratic Party after the Supreme Court judgement that validated Senator Ahmed Makarfi » ‘s leadership.

In a press statement by the former deputy governor of Osun State, Omisore said the judgement of the Supreme Court open up deep introspection for the party’s leadership.

Omisore said: ” Today marks a watershed in our fledging democracy. It should ordinarily be a day of celebration for democracy, rule of law and due process and in measured way, we should all celebrate the new beginning in our quest to make Nigeria great again and reclaim the precious time the nation has lost to maladministration and purposeless governance being currently witnessed at the centre. By the grace of the Almighty, this period of locusts will soon end.

“But today should largely be a day of deep introspection for our leaders in the rejuvenated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Without doubt, today’s judgement has taken us out of the wilderness but we can only get to the promised land by taking over in 2019, immediate take over of Anambra in 2017 and osun and Ekiti in 2018 Governorships if we quickly close ranks and seamlessly move together as one indivisible party. “

Continuing, the Osun politician said: “In this regard, I’m recommending the peace, unity and reconciliation model we adopted in Osun State which saw the hitherto two factions fusing together to face a common enemy in the disaster known as APC ruling government in Osun State, a state which has been completely grounded by Rauf Aregbesola.

“For us in Osun, everyone was united in a singular purpose of ending the reign of terror and nuisance, foisted on the state by the Ajele governor. Our unity encouraged the disgruntled, traumatized, raped, grounded, dehumanized and abandoned Osun people to simply queue behind us. The result was the 9-1 trouncing we handed APC in Osun West Senatorial District bye-election last weekend. That is the power of unity. That is purpose of reconciliation.”

In conclusion, the Senator said Nigerians are ready to embrace PDP again and with a proper reconciliation, the party will triumph again at polls in 2018 and 2019.

“Nigerians are ready to embrace PDP again, having tasted the APC sting. But they must see a united PDP. Today, nobody won and everybody won. The future of the unborn generations is what today’s judgement is about. The tomorrow of the nation and its prosperity is what the Supreme Court has just settled. I end with a slight amendment to the popular cliche, “All victor, no vanquished,” he said.




The president of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki congratulates the incoming Senator of Osun south, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke via his social media handle.

“I was filled with emotions today, as I swore in the brother of Late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke as Senator representing Osun South. I’m sure that my late friend, his family, good people of Ede and Osun West Senatorial District are delighted that the legacy of ‘Guv’ can continue. I ma sure my departed colleague will, in his grave, be happy and filled with joy today and always”

Senate President however expresses sadness over the party, the incoming Senator is coming through and thereby urges the Senator to redefect back to his root;

“My only sadness is that Senator Ademola Adeleke is not coming in as an APC  member. This is the result of mishandling of the pre-election matters by our party. I hope Senator Ademola Adeleke will very soon return to his natural fold, the APC, where he rightly belongs.

I hope this development  will serve as an eye opener to our party at all levels that the will of the people must always be respected. We all have a good lesson to learn from this. 

Once again, I congratulate Senator Ademola Adeleke and I hope he will live up to his brother’s expectations and further uplift the legacy established  by their late father, Senator Ayoola Adeleke”.




41 Senators have called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to step in, and save situations rocking Lautech for over a year. 

The motion is sponsored by Sen Abdulfatai Buhari representing Oyo north Senatorial district in collaboration with 40 other Senators from different geo political zones in Nigeria, calling on the Government to look into the plight of the innocent youth in order to save their future.

Lautech is said to have being established in April 1990, mainly to cater for inadequate supply of tertiary education in the state and the nation at large

In 1991, Osun state was carved out of Oyo State and the former as a result was given responsibility to run some part of the University, thereby making Lautech a shared responsibility.

It is reported that Lautech used to be one of the best state owned university in the country.

The University has being crippled owning to the fact that the two parent states have being unable to provide the sum of #4billion to offset accumulated salaries and arrears of members of staff thereby leaving over 300 member of staff to wallow in economic hardship.

The career of over 34,000 student is at stake as the University has being on strike for over a year.

The Senate is drawing the attention of the government to the fact that it has being difficult for the two states to shared collective responsibility of the University and therefore it is necessary for the Government to intervene and review the nature of the ownership of the University

The Senate is however calling on the Government to fund the University thereafter, setting up a committee that will look into the whole situation surrounding the University in order to provide permanent solution by taking over the institution.

By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI Reporting from Senate.



The Senate on Tuesday passed the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill, which seeks to compel hospitals to treat persons with gunshot wounds before obtaining police report.

The bill, which was sent to the Senate by the House of Representatives for concurrence, seeks to establish a law that ensures that victims of gunshot wounds receive necessary treatment from medical workers and assistance from security agencies.

The bill also seeks to ensure that every person, including security agents, assist any person with gunshot wounds and ensure that the person is taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Additionally, the legislation mandates that no person with gunshot wounds shall be refused immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria, whether or not initial monetary deposit is paid.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, in his remarks, noted that not every person shot was a criminal.

He said it was important that a legal framework be put into place to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.

Saraki said, “By the passage of this bill, the Senate has moved to ensure that every hospital in Nigeria, both public and private, must accept to treat victims of gunshot wounds without any clearance from the police.

“What we have done is to ensure that everyone is entitled to medical treatment, irrespective of the cause of the shooting. We should reserve judgment for the criminal justice system, and leave healthcare for the medical professionals.”

Other bills for concurrence passed by the Senate on Tuesday, which will be forwarded to the President for assent include the Animal Health and Husbandry Technologies (Registration, etc) Bill, 2017; Corporate Manslaughter Bill, 2017; National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency Bill, 2017; National Intelligence Agency Pension Board Bill, 2017; Nigerian Academy of Science Bill, 2017; and the National Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science Bill.



The Independent National Electoral Commission has allegedly said that it is continuing with the timetable for the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye since it was yet to receive the court order restraining it from doing so.

A Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice John Tsoho, had on Thursday refused to totally accept the senator’s ex-parte motion for a temporary injunction to restrain INEC from proceeding with his recall process.

The court however, partially accepted Melaye’s prayer by its ruling that all parties should maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice.

But instead of suspending the process till the motion is heard as ordered by the court, it was learnt on Friday that the electoral commission is going ahead with the recall process on the reason that it has not received any court judgment on the matter.

A top official of the commission, who disclosed this on the condition of anonymity, said that at the close of work on Friday they did not receive any order, ruling or a process from the Federal High Court.

He further stated that had it been they received the court order that they would have engaged their legal unit to explain what the court means by the ‘’status quo’’ as the commission cannot act in vacuum.

INEC timetable released July 3, on the process had stated that commencement of the recall will begin July 10 to August 19.

“In exercise of the powers conferred on the Independent National Electoral Commission (“the Commission”) by Sections 69 and 110 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); Section 116 of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended) and of all the powers enabling it in that behalf, the Commission hereby issues this timetable schedule of activities for the recall of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Kogi State,” the commission had said.

INEC had also given details of the process to be: Notice of Verification (July 10). To be posted at the constituency (INEC LGA Office, Lokoja).

Last day for submission of application by interested observers ( July 31). INEC headquarters.

Last day for submission of names of verification agents for the member sought to be recalled and the petitioners (August10). By a letter addressed and submitted to the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) indicating the polling unit verification agents arranged by LGAs as well as collation agents and where they will serve.

Stakeholders meeting ( August 15). INEC State Office.

Conduct of Verification (August19). To be held in the polling units in the constituency.

It had then said that the commission shall issue the “timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of referendum subject to the outcome of the verification exercise.”




THE Senate has commenced investigation into  the 675km dual-carriageway East-West Road which has gulped N726 billion and is yet to be completed.  

The Senate also urged the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA and Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to intervene in the rehabilitation and directed the Ministry of Niger Delta to ensure the completion of the East/ West Road particularly the section that links the multi-national investment within the 2017 budget year.  

It also mandated its Committee on Niger Delta to investigate the contract and report back within four weeks.  

According to the Senate, the abandonment has disrupted economic activities in the country, noting  that the road project was awarded by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 at the value of N211 billion, but the  project could not commence in 2007 as arranged because it was not included in the 2007 Appropriation Act, adding that during the late former President Umaru Yar’Adua, nothing much was achieved as a result of lack of engineering drawings for the project.  

The senators have, meanwhile, said that former President Goodluck Jonathan after the production of engineering drawings revalidated the contract sum from N211 billion to N726 billion and rewarded same to several contractors in sections 1-V.  

The resolutions of the Senate were sequel it a motion by Senator George Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East) and co- sponsored by 23 other senators. According to him,  the East-West Road links other parts of the country to multi-billion and multi-national investments including Port Harcourt Refinery 1 and 2, Indorama Petrochemicals, Notoire Fertilizer Company, NAFCON, federal ocean terminal 1 and 2, Onne/ Ikpokiri Oil and Gas Free Zone, as well as the Nigeria Naval College among others.  

He said that thousands of heavy duty vehicles ply the section of Aba/Eleme Road Junction to Onne Road on daily basis. He expressed worry that a portion road that is less than seven kilometers stretch which is the bad section could delay a traveller for more than four hours.  

Speaking in the same vein, Senators James Manager, PDP! Delta South and Magnus Abe, APC,  Rivers South East said that was unimaginable how such a major road would be abandoned to cause hardship to the people, wondering that no budgetary allocation  was made in 2017 Appropriation Law on the completion of work on the road.  

Also in his remarks, Senator Kabiru Marafa, APC, Zamfara Central added a prayer that the Senate should investigate the award of the contract, just as Senator Magnus Abe who seconded the additional prayer, stressed the need for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC to be commended for road construction in the area and asked that the Senate do investigate the award of the contract under review.  

On his part, Senator John Enoh, APC, Cross River Central said that the Executive branch should explore alternative funding arrangement to complete the project, just as Senator Clifford Ordia, PDP, Edo Central supported Enoh, saying that the Executive branch should explore alternative funding to complete the project.



A seeming rejuvenated Southern Senator’s Forum has kicked against the breaking of Nigeria as being advocated by a section of the country.

The Southern Senators Forum, Wednesday, re- emerged at the Senate after being in oblivion for some years, saying they stand with Nigeria’s unity even as there are several agitations, especially that by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for actualisation of Biafra.

Recall that the forum’s activity was last noticed 2006 and 2007 during the tenure of Ken Nnamani as President of the Senate. It had Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.

Announcing the revival of the forum after its meeting at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, said that it was inevitable that the group re-emerged and existed. He said that as lawmakers, they must get closer to the grassroots in order to provide them with the basic needs of life.

“We must ensure that we take decisions that will enable us get closer to our people as we provide a shoulder they can lean on.

“We are alive to our responsibilities. It is not just to pass Bills. We will take on topical issues that will alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians like security and creation of employment.

“We will make Nigeria one,” Akpabio said. According to him, there has always been the Northern Senators Forum while the Southern Senators Forum has just re-emerged in the 8 Senate.

“When they take decisions from the North, we will also take decisions from the South and from there, we will have a united voice in order to consolidate on the unity of the country,” he said.

Akpabio announced that Sen. Hope Uzodinma (PDP- Imo) was Chairman of the forum, with Lanre Tejuosho as Vice Chairman.

Other members in the executive committee of the group are Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP-Abia), Publicity Secretary; Sen. Duro Fasheyi is the Auditor.

The only female member of the committee, Sen. Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra), is the Welfare Officer. In his remarks, Chairman of the group, Uzodinma, said that the Southern Senators’ caucus would play vital role in strengthening the unity of Nigeria “going by the recent agitation by various sectional groups across the country’’.



The Senator stressed that any ploy, if there is anything like that, to impeach Osinbajo would fail woefully


The report went viral on Tuesday, July 4, that the Senate is making a move to start an impeachment process with the aim of installing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki as the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It was also reported that the Senate is deliberately working to cause a conflict between Osinbajo and Saraki to actualise the plan.

The Red Chamber had on Tuesday suspended the consideration of all executive requests for confirmation of nominees, over Osinbajo’s statement which seemingly undermined the Senate power of confirmation.

Osinbajo had in April said the name of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr.Ibrahim Magu should not have been sent to the Senate for confirmation in the first place, arguing that it does not require the chamber’s authorization.

Osinbajo’s reaction followed the rejection of Magu as the substantive chairman of the EFCC by the Senate.

The Senate tackled the Acting President over the statement when he (Osinbajo) sent the name of the nominee for the position of Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, to the chamber for confirmation.

The lawmakers said Osinbajo is being inconsistent – questioning his action since he said nominees do not require Senate confirmation.

The Senator consequently resolved that before considerations of nominees resume, Osinbajo must withdraw his statements regarding Magu, and sack him.

Adeyeye, however, said the situation is being misconstrued.

“Sadly, rumours are being peddled that senators are being steered in a ploy to heighten a Saraki-Osinbajo conflict to a point where the acting president can be impeached so that Saraki can take over as acting president. I am not aware of such a ploy within the senate,” he wrote in an article on Wednesday he got, July 5.

“More importantly, I dare say that were such a ploy to exist, it would woefully and precipitously fail. What matters therefore is that Osinbajo must not be misled into siding with those talking as if their own views are the views of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Pundits bellowing as if the ongoing saga is purely a legal matter are wrong! Even if they are right, legal matters are not finalised by the opinions of the loudest lawyers; they are concluded by the ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction! Celebrated lawyers do not constitute a court! In any case, the issues at stake are as much matters of politics as they are of law. The earlier the frontline dramatis personae grasp and internalise this, the better,”  Adeyeye, who is the Majority Whip of the Senate, added.

He noted that as a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and Osinbajo, he (Adeyeye) voted in favour of Magu at the screening exercise.

But according to him, since Magu was rejected by the Senate, he cannot continue to function as EFCC boss.



The Senator stressed that any ploy, if there is anything like that, to impeach Osinbajo would fail woefully


The report went viral on Tuesday, July 4, that the Senate is making a move to start an impeachment process with the aim of installing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki as the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It was also reported that the Senate is deliberately working to cause a conflict between Osinbajo and Saraki to actualise the plan.

The Red Chamber had on Tuesday suspended the consideration of all executive requests for confirmation of nominees, over Osinbajo’s statement which seemingly undermined the Senate power of confirmation.

Osinbajo had in April said the name of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr.Ibrahim Magu should not have been sent to the Senate for confirmation in the first place, arguing that it does not require the chamber’s authorization.

Osinbajo’s reaction followed the rejection of Magu as the substantive chairman of the EFCC by the Senate.

The Senate tackled the Acting President over the statement when he (Osinbajo) sent the name of the nominee for the position of Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, to the chamber for confirmation.

The lawmakers said Osinbajo is being inconsistent – questioning his action since he said nominees do not require Senate confirmation.

The Senator consequently resolved that before considerations of nominees resume, Osinbajo must withdraw his statements regarding Magu, and sack him.

Adeyeye, however, said the situation is being misconstrued.

“Sadly, rumours are being peddled that senators are being steered in a ploy to heighten a Saraki-Osinbajo conflict to a point where the acting president can be impeached so that Saraki can take over as acting president. I am not aware of such a ploy within the senate,” he wrote in an article on Wednesday he got, July 5.

“More importantly, I dare say that were such a ploy to exist, it would woefully and precipitously fail. What matters therefore is that Osinbajo must not be misled into siding with those talking as if their own views are the views of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Pundits bellowing as if the ongoing saga is purely a legal matter are wrong! Even if they are right, legal matters are not finalised by the opinions of the loudest lawyers; they are concluded by the ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction! Celebrated lawyers do not constitute a court! In any case, the issues at stake are as much matters of politics as they are of law. The earlier the frontline dramatis personae grasp and internalise this, the better,”  Adeyeye, who is the Majority Whip of the Senate, added.

He noted that as a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and Osinbajo, he (Adeyeye) voted in favour of Magu at the screening exercise.

But according to him, since Magu was rejected by the Senate, he cannot continue to function as EFCC boss.



Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Wednesday stated that noise-making senators will be walked out of the chamber, especially during plenary. Saraki made the threat to his colleagues after he observed that the noise from senators who were talking during plenary was disturbing the process.

The Senate President, who was angered by the development, urged senators who had personal issues to discuss to proceed to the coffee room if they would not observe the rule of the chamber to keep quiet during plenary.

Saraki’s threat followed a point of order raised by Senator Jubrin Barau on the lack of decorum in the chamber while Senator Baba Kaka Garbai was making his presentation.



The Senate, yesterday, began a probe of over $3 billion spent since in 2005 by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, on the dredging of Calabar, Lagos and Bonny Channels without appreciable work carried out on them.

It also accused the NPA of conniving with Lagos Channel Management, LCM, Limited; Bonny Channel Company, BCC, Limited, and Calabar Channel Management Company, CCMC, Limited to defraud the country.

Consequently, it mandated its Committee on Marine Transport to summon the NPA,LCM, BCC, and CCMC, investigate their books, records and submit its report in one week

The upper chamber noted that LCM and BCM, through the NPA, have respectively requested N23 billion and N20 billion in NPA’s 2017 budget.

Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion moved by Senator Ovie Omo- Agege (APC, Delta Central) and entitled, “Matter of Urgent Importance for the Senate’s intervention to urgently stop monumental financial recklessness and economic waste by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, under its joint ventures with Lagos Channel Management Limited, Bonny Channel Management Company Limited and Calabar Channel Management Company Limited.”

The motion was co-sponsored by Senators Ahmed Ogembe (PDP, Kogi Central), Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East), Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC, Imo North), Abdullahi Gumel (APC, Jigawa North West) and Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central).

In his remarks, Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other anti-crime agencies for failing to detect what he described as monumental fraud allegedly perpetrated by the NPA.

He also asked the Committee on Maritime Transport to immediately investigate the matter because of its importance.

Earlier in his presentation, Senator Omo- Agege said : ‘’The Senate notes that the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) Limited is a joint venture (JV) enterprise formed in August 2005 between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Depasa Marine International for the management and routine maintenance dredging of Lagos navigation channels; with NPA and TCMC holding 60% and 40% equity shareholding respectively of LCM.

“The Bonny Channel Company (BCC) Limited is a JV company also formed in August 2005 between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and The Channel Management Company (TCMC) for the management and routine maintenance dredging of the Bonny River and Bonny navigation channel, with NPA and TCMC holding 60% and 40% equity shareholding respectively of BCC; and
“The Calabar Channel Management Company (CCMC) Limited is also a JV arrangement between Niger Global Engineering & Technical Company Limited and the NPA for the management and capital dredging of the Calabar channel, with NPA holding 60% equity share participation while Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited holds 40% equity shareholding in CCMC;
“The Senate is worried that although these JVs are supposed public-private partnerships, PPP, conceived to reduce financial burdens on the Federal Government, the NPA has expended over  one billion dollars and two billion dollars respectively on LCM and BCC from 2005 till date, while significant dredging is yet to commence on the Calabar channel, notwithstanding that it is an economic gateway to the North Central and North East geo-political zones of the country;
“It observes that the NPA has failed, refused and/or neglected to ensure the JVs’ compliance with the Marine Environment (Sea Dumping) Regulations, 2012, made pursuant to the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007; the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters 1972 otherwise called the “London Dumping Convention” and the 1996 Protocol to the London Dumping Convention, as there are no dump sites for the management of hazardous dredged wastes removed from the Lagos, Bonny and Calabar navigation channels, thereby leading to sustained severe pollution of our marine ecosystem.

“It is also concerned that in spite of the unjustified huge financial commitment of the NPA to these supposed PPP joint ventures, empirical facts, evidence and data, including current admiralty charts from Lloyds of London clearly confirm that the depth profiles of the channels, particularly the Lagos and Bonny channels, remained significantly the same at 13 meters between 2005 and 2016, notwithstanding the purported claims of daily maintenance dredging of the channels by the JVs.

“The Senate is also disturbed that in continuation of NPA’s manifestly questionable and reckless financial commitments, LCM and BCM, through the NPA, have respectively requested for the sums of N23 billion and N20 billion in the NPA’s 2017 budget;

“It is concerned that the NPA and the JVs (LCM, BCC and CCMC) are on a course of absolute financial impunity and recklessness to wreck the nation’s treasury and needs to be tamed now in interest.”



The Senate have moved the motion on the incessant crises that rocks The University of Maiduguri, thereby urging the federal government and security agencies concerned to avoid 

the stoppage of full academic activities and further closure of the University due to rising spate of suicide bomb attacks.

The sponsor of the motion, Senator Baba Garbai (APC, Borno) expressed concern over the location of the institution which is the epicenter of the protracted Boko-haram battle.

He affirms that: “Over 70 professors, several students and staff have left the university during the height of the ongoing insecurity in the camps to other universities within and outside the country due to fear.

“Between January 16 and June 25, a period spanning six months, the university community was hit with six suicide bomb blasts which resulted in the death of 19 students and staff of the school.

“The current porous state of security in the institution, coupled with the vast expanse of land it sits on and the external conditions of security across the state has exacerbated the situation and made these attacks more effective.”

The Senate therefore asked that; “The federal government urgently intervene and put in place extraordinary measures to ensure the full restoration of the peace and tranquility of the University of Maiduguri including the immediate perimeter fencing of the school and the deployment of critical security systems to ensure full surveillance and detection of security breaches.

“The security agencies to submit to the Senate a comprehensive plan of action to maintain and assure the constant security of the University of Maiduguri in particular and the host community of the school.

“The Minister of Education, through TETFUND to take further measures to revamp the security infrastructure by immediately embarking on the fencing of the institution as well as take other measures to reassure the university community of their security and protection.”

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki said the university is a symbol of Nigeria’s victory over the Boko-Haram sect and thus must not be defeated.

He said: “This motion is important and disturbing. This university has been a symbol of courage of our people, student, and management throughout the whole incidence of the boko- haram insurgence. Any symbol of our victory that this university has shown despite the level of insurgency. As government and people we must ensure that normalcy is restored and studentstheo are the softest target can continue their education.

Reporter Joyce Ogunbiyi



Senator Rose O Oko, moves a motion on the fifth of July 2017 on the persistent dispute between the two communities.

It is stated that the two communities, comprises of over 300 villages and over the years, have lived together in peace and harmony.

It is further revealed that the two communities had issues over land tussle over time on the land at their boundaries.

In 2012, the matter was taken to the court of law which rules that the two communities stay out of the land in contention, until a proper resolution is reached.

However, on the 26 of June 2017, one of the said community, entered the disputed land to farm in breach of the rulings of the court.

Alarmed that what ensued, resulted in a near annihilation of several villages namely lem, Ukelle, oyeche, Mankiliti, Ozegbe, Oyoba, Ehetezi, Elahen, Wanazeta, Ndenyuma, Onyogbe, where over a thousand houses and institutions like hospitals and schools where razed down and several other persons wounded.

It is however further revealed that the Military and Police force had deployed their personnel to maintain law and order in the two communities.

It is however also stated that IDPs are currently currently occupying the peaceful part of Ukelle in Yala LGA,

The Senate resolves to 

1. Direct the National Emergency management Agency(NEMA) to make urgent arrangements to provide foods, medicines, blankets, Mattresses and other essentials to the IDPs both in Benue State and other parts of Yala LGA in Cross River State.

2. Commend the Benue State Government, Oju LGA and Cross River State Government for sending relief materials to the centers in Benue, through inadequate;

3. Request the Nigerian Army to maintain Military presence until the security situation is contained and lasting peace restored; 

4. Urge the Cross River State Government to quickly resolve the conflict on a sustainable basis through appropriate boundary delineation; 

5. Refer the matter to the relevant Committees and report back within two weeks .

The motion was positively approved by the Senators.

By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI Reporting From Senate



A mild drama occurred on the floor of the Senate, on Tuesday, when a point of order was raised, that the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki was the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

The Senate, upon resumption from its 3 weeks break, recieved a communication from Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Acting President of Nigeria, seeking the confirmation of Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, as the Director General of National Lottery Regulatory Commission. 

The lawmakers, however, subjected the letter to deliberations, owing to the fact that the ActingPresident, had earlier reportedly said the Senate had no power to confirm nominees. 

Senator Eyinanya Abaribe (Abia South), had raised a motion that the country had no President or Acting President at the moment, adding that, President Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo were neither in the country, as at the time. 

This was greeted with a counter point, coming through order 53 rule 4 of the Senate standing rules, by Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central).

Marafa who cited relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution, said, “if the President is not around, the Vice President should act, and if the Vice President is not around, ththeSenate President, who is the number 3 citizen should become acting President”.

The Senate President, however, didn’t allow any seconder or more comments, even when Senators were agitating to support the motion. He quickly ruled Senator Marafa “out of order”.




The Nigerian Senate has suspended the confirmation of all nominees from the executive.

The Senate’s decision was sequel to a letter to the upper chamber seeking the confirmation of

Lanre Gbajabiamila , as the director-general,

National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) .

The lawmakers, however, dismissed Osinbajo’s request over the failure of the executive to obey certain decisions of the Senate.

The Senate further urged the Acting President to withdraw his earlier statement that the Senate does not have the powers to confirm nominations by the executive.

Speaking at plenary on Tuesday, July 4, 2017,

Senator Issa Misau described Osinbajo’s letter as a case of double standard.

“I see this letter by the Acting President as a case of double standard,” Missau said.

“How can Osinbajo say that we do not have the power to confirm nominations yet they are sending us name to people to confirm?

“When the executive have interest in someone, they would keep him without confirmation. They are some people in this country that the executive would prefer not to send their names for confirmation. I think it is high time that we the Senate stand our ground and say ‘no’ to some of these things,” he added.

In his contribution, Senator Dino Melaye urged the Saraki to stop reading letters from the executive arm of government seeking Senate confirmation of any nominee.

“The Senate confirmed some Resident Electoral Commissioners, the executive swore in some, and rejected some. Now he is sending us name. That is an insult and we cannot take it.

“Mr President, let it not be heard that it was during your time that the institution of the Senate lost its powers. I want to move a motion to prevent you (Saraki) from reading any letter from the executive seeking the confirmation of any nominee. It should become abominable,” Melaye said.

Saraki urged the executive to obey the resolutions of the institution of the Senate.

By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI  Reporting from Senate



The Senate has cautioned Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, to stop spreading wrong information and half-truth about 2017 budget as the legislators worked to ensure equity across the country on all new and outstanding projects.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate noted that Fashola did not give the public full details about the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has been on a private finance initiative from the beginning because he would prefer an arrangement that allows the Ministry to continue to award contracts and fund the project through Government budgetary allocation at a time when the nation’s revenue is dwindling and at an all time low.


Abdullahi stated that Bureau of Public Procurement, and Federal Executive Council in 2013, approved the reconstruction, rehabilitation and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as a Public Private Partnership project using the Private Finance Initiative, with the Federal Government providing about 30 percent of the funding while the balance was to  be provided by the private sector. The project was on course for completion by end of 2017 when the private finance initiative was being implemented, with over 30 percent completion rate attained as at early 2015.


Abdullahi further noted that in a blatant disregard for existing agreements, constituted authorities and extant laws, Fashola on assumption of office got Government through the Ministry to start voting money for the implementation of the project.


“Even as at last year the 2016 Appropriation Act voted N40 billion for the project on the insistence of the Ministry and only N26 billion was released. If we had known, the rest N14 billion could have been allocated to other critical roads across the country”, he said.


“In the spirit of consensus building and effective stakeholder engagement, the Leadership of the Senate met with key relevant stakeholders, including the Ministries of Works and finance. It was agreed that we should give the Private Finance Initiative a chance to complement Government’s resources in the delivery of critical infrastructure assets across the country.


“Hence, in this year’s budget, we have engaged with the Government and private sector groups who assured that they would resume funding of the project. So, we only provided the fund in the budget that would ensure work does not stop before the funds from the private sector start coming in .What we reduced from Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in the 2017 budget estimate was spread on Oyo-Ogbomoso road in the South-west, Enugu-Onitsha road in the South-east, and two other critical roads in the North-east and North-west; and this was done to achieve equity. The Minister should realise he is Minister for the entire country and not just that of Lagos State.


“It is our view that the Federal Government cannot fund the reconstruction and maintenance of all the 34,000 kilometres of roads under its care. We are looking for private funds for some of these roads, particularly those with high potentials of attracting private investors. These include the Enugu-Onitsha road, Kano-Abuja road and Abuja-Lokoja road. It has been our hope that the Lagos -Ibadan road would be a model for private sector funding of infrastructure in the country”, the spokesman stated.


He added that Fashola knew that Federal Government cannot fully fund this road for completion by 2019 as he is promising Nigerians. “It’s deceit of the highest order. Just going by the last two years of funding where an average of about N30b per annum was released then the nation would have to wait for the next six years for completion of the work. But with Private sector Finance Initiative, this project can be completed on time because full funding will be provided and there will be more certainty”, he stated.


Abdullahi noted that since Government did not have enough money and/or unlimited resources to provide all the needed road infrastructure on a sustainable basis, the use of funds from the private sector to complement Government’s resources would ease pressure on the annual budgetary provisions for infrastructure provision, as more money will be spent on less commercially viable roads that would not ordinarily attract private sector investment as well as other social services like education, health and human capital development.


“The Minister’s statement is in bad taste and we believe he has been quoted out of context as an experienced public servant with over 15 years of high level responsibility will not be uttering such statements. He should desist from spreading half-truths. When he said the National Assembly imported projects into the 2017 budget, he did not mention that these include the 26 projects which the Federal Government approved in the 2016 budget, awarded contract for them in January 2016, but totally omitted them in the 2017 budget. One of them is the Abuja-Kaduna road. These ones would have become abandoned projects. We reduced funds across board to make provision for these omitted projects that are of critical importance to the socio-economic development of the country in line with equity and fair play.


“Mr. Fashola obviously wants the Federal Ministry of Works to have many construction projects it can award contracts for and that is why he would always oppose any attempt to allow the private sector financing initiatives through Public Private Partnerships or other levels of Government to fund construction of roads under the control of the Federal Government. That was why he waited until he was arm-twisted on the Lagos Airport road before he allowed the Lagos State Government take up the reconstruction, using private funds. Same thing happened to the proposal for the Apapa Wharf road, which was frustrated for over a year before the stakeholders reined in the Ministry to grudgingly approve that Dangote and Flour Mills should take over the project.


“It should also be explained that nobody introduced budgetary provisions for the sinking of boreholes and construction of clinics under the budget of the Works division of the Ministry. However, the Housing division would ordinarily have provision for such facilities in its estimate, so as to meet the Sustainable Development Goals as provided for by the United Nations. This is aimed at reducing slums and improve the well-being of our citizenry.


“The National Assembly already has an agreement with the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, that if for example, the Private Finance Initiative does not materialize to provide the needed funds for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, just as in other areas where government has issues with the budget, the instruments of Virement and supplementary budget can be used. This is as a result of our belief that it is one Government and we all share the gains of the successes and pains of the failure. However, with all these blackmail game and backbiting going on, they are already laying the foundation for the failure of the agreement with the Executive”, he stated.


Abdullahi added that the National Assembly acted in the national interest to ensure equity and fairness is achieved in the distribution of projects and to ensure that all sections of the country have representation in the national budget as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution.



At the Supreme Court this morning. Hermann Hembe has just been sacked. Certificate of return to be issued to Mrs Dorathy Mato.

The Apex court made 3 declarations. 1. That Mrs. Mato be given certificate of return and sworn in immediately. 2. That Hembe refund all monies he received while serving at the green chambers for 2 years within 90 days. 3. That Hembe should pay a cost of 700k each to Mrs. Mato and the court. That APC should pay Mrs. Mato and the court 300k each.

Amongst other issues, the Apex court relied on the fact that primaries were not conducted at the headquarters of the constituency as stipulated by the Electoral Act.

The Supreme Court has ordered the Senator representing Taraba North Senatorial District, Sani Abubakar Danladi  to vacate the seat immediately and refund all salaries and allowances he received within 90 days.
The court also declared  Shuaibu Lau, as the Senator representing Taraba North.

The order was contained in the judgement of the court on the appeal filed by Shuaibu Lau challenging the decision of the court of appeal That had upturned his victory during the primary that he was wrongfully substituted.

The Apex court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,to issue a fresh certificate to of return to Lau.

The apex court in the unanimous decision of a five member  panel held that the “the appellant has the right to participate just like any other candidate in the primary and of he feels his right was infringed upon, he has the right to approach the court.

And His substitution at the primary election is null and void since the appellant scored the highest number of votes,vthe only option is to declare the appellant as the winner of primary.



The Senate committee on Primary Healthcare and communicable disease held a meeting on the occasion of the visit of the GAVI CEO to the National Assembly.
The Senate chairman committee on primary healthcare Senator Mao Ohuabunwa in his appreciative remark welcome the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) who is on a courtesy visit to Nigeria.

GAVI is famous for the tremendous work the organization has being doing to bridge the gap in vaccine financing amongst many countries including Nigeria. He further acknowledged the impact of the healthcare unit in curbing death rate in Nigeria. It should however be recall that GAVI has being in partnership with Nigeria since 2001.

GAVI is reported to have being funding the introduction of new vaccines, measles and yellow fever campaigns and in the provision of injection safety commodities.

The chairman further revealed that as the nation is in partnership with GAVI. It is heartwarming to inform the masses that the present regime is committed to accountability in all sectors, while the current leadership of FMOH and NPHCDA have also assumed exemplary courage in ensuring that our health care sector becomes a positive point of reference for everyone to see. 

The chairman reminded the the guest that The National Assembly has being very conscious of the need to re_ engineer the health care sector, and took the bold step of setting up a new committee for Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases in the pass two years. The aim of the committee is to drive on the required efficiency and accountability of our many partnerships such as with GAVI which continue to have great impact on our Primary Healthcare delivery, we have the competent staff in our NPHCDA. These, the chairman believe should rekindle GAVI’s confidence in dealing with Nigeria, especially in up_scaling the partnership and the support of the country.

The Senate Committee Chairman further revealed that National Assembly is aware that Nigeria is expected to provide a counterpart funding of about $11milion , which is approximately #3billion for the 2017_2018 planned measles campaign. While there is no appropriation for this campaign in 2017 budget. The National Assembly is fully aware of the enormity of the situation, and will certainly endeavour to appropriate adequate funds in 2018 for the 2017_2018 measles campaign, by requesting for a supplementary budget approval for 2017.

Finally the Chairman request that GAVI should consider reciprocating to the commitment of National Assembly toward improving the primary healthcare sector in general, and immunization in particular, by equally granting the country the permission to prefund activities for the measles campaign, pending when the operational funds from GAVI and the government of Nigeria will be released.

 By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI reporting from Senate



The Nigerian Senate is reportedly working on a bill that will check the high rate of house rents in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria.

The Senate Committee Chairman on Federal Capital Territory, Senator Dino Melaye, has said.

According to Punch, he said the ‘Rent Edit’ bill would protect tenants and landlords and promised that lawmakers would ensure the passage of the bill before the end of the 8th Senate.

Melaye disclosed this in a statement issued by the Director of Information at the housing arm of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Eno Olotu, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

He said, “Not everybody can own a house. The Rent Edit Bill will help guide and curb excessive rents in the Federal Capital Territory and the nation at large.”



The executive bill passed by the Senate will help in tracking down corrupt elements.
The Senate recently passed a bill to enhance the nation’s anti-corruption war by ensuring that suspects do not evade justice locally and enjoy the proceeds of their crimes abroad. This followed the adoption of the report of its Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, and Foreign Affairs.

An executive bill, it is for mutual assistance in criminal matters between Nigeria and other foreign states to facilitate the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds, property and other instrumentalities of crimes. It is intended to provide a legal framework that will strengthen the fight against corruption, terrorism, economic and financial crimes, money laundering and other related offences. The bill is also intended to effect the temporary transfer of persons in custody to assist in investigations or appear as witnesses, facilitate obtaining and preserving of computer data, and providing any other assistance that is not contrary to the law of the requesting state.

In summary, the bill, which provides to repeal the Money Laundering Act of 2011 prohibits money laundering activities, expands the scope of money laundering offences, provides protection for employees of various institutions and provides appropriate penalties for offences.

When concurred to by the House of Representatives, and signed into law by the President (which is expected since it is an executive bill) Nigeria would be able to request that any country where a money laundering suspect is resident can prosecute such person in line with the relevant laws of that country. Nigeria can also supply such country with evidence to further the case against the suspect.

This bill is therefore considered a critical component of the country’s anti-corruption war, which would facilitate the required collaboration to prevent individuals from escaping prosecution and justice by taking refuge in another country. In this age of globalisation and the increasing cross border form of crimes, the passage of this bill is commendable.

While some may choose to criticise the bill as an ‘outsourcing’ of justice, it remains a legal process to ensure justice against criminals, and deterring potential money launderers for whatever purposes. In this case, the law is a necessary means to an end, where the eyes should be kept on the prize.

We commend the passage of the bill. But it is necessary to point out that without the necessary political will, the aims and objectives of the bill would not be achieved. We have always canvassed the need to build strong institutions, and we are again doing that. Anti- corruption agencies that are subject to the whims of the powers that be would not be effective in implementing this law.

For instance: would the authorities have the courage to seek transfer of a crony of the president or be willing to supply necessary evidence that could ensure the conviction of someone in the good books of the president? This consideration is necessary particularly as cases of corruption seem to fizzle out the moment a ‘suspect’ politician renounces his party and decamps to the ruling one.

Again, the anti-graft agencies themselves have to get more serious and thorough with their investigations. Media trials would not be enough to secure convictions in climes where the justice system is based on facts, and not sensationalism or hearsay. These are not enough even in local courts as evidenced by the inability to secure any notable conviction despite the mudslinging of ‘suspects’ of stolen national funds in the recent times.

The message therefore is clear: If the anti-graft agencies do not get their act together, invest time in credible and reliable investigations, partnership countries would not take Nigeria serious.



Kogi east senator,Atai Aidoko Ali has extended an olive branch to the people of his area and perceived opponents to enable him actualise his grand plan to bring to fruition dividends of democracy to the area

Aidoko stated this in his offence in address to his supporters after the supreme court. Judgement that affirmed his election as duly elected to represent the people of kogi east at the senate

Senator Aidoko described the event that led to his ascension to the red chamber as divine,promising to carry along all shades of opinions,groups and to reciprocate by extending his olive branch to constructive criticisms to move the area forward

Senate committee chairman on sustainable development goals(SDGs),said his door are widely open to opinions that will move the area forward and the entire state promising to touch all critical areas interms of employment,create opportunities,provide basic social and infrastructural development for the people of. Kogi east

He said he will not hesitate in his efforts to see to reality requests, suggestions,opinions and ideas that will transform the entire land mass as well as move the area interms of economic,social and political development of his people

Distinguished senator Aidoko thanked all sundry for their prayers,support and encouragement during the litigation,stating that it was a trying moment in his political life that prompted him to dedicate the victory to the people.

He will pursue,recover and overtake all dearth’s of development that had retard the area to the back seat in the area of development as soon as he settles down to the business of law making and constituents welfare .Senator Aidoko said.



The Senate on Thursday vowed that it would not concede its powers to the Executive.

This followed a point of order raised by the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Na’Allah, at plenary.

Quoting Order 43 of Senate Standing Rule, Na’Allah said there were media reports credited to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to the effect that the National Assembly did not possess any power to alter the budget.

He expressed concern that such statement was attributed to the Acting President, saying that he was knowledgeable enough in law.

”We have operated the Constitution from 1999 to date and I have had the privilege to work with the Acting President while I was practicing in Lagos as a lawyer.

”We did a lot of things together. So, he is somebody that I know so much.

“I will rather believe that what was alleged to have been said could not have been said by him and even if he spoke on the matter, he was misquoted.

”For the avoidance of doubt, this same Constitution we operated from 1999 to date has section 80, and the title of section 80 is `Power and Control over Public Funds’,’’ he said.

He read out the provisions of sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Constitution to support the argument, adding that the Constitution recognised that Nigeria operates a federal structure.

Na’Allah said the Constitution also recognises that Nigeria was multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious and that that was the reason issues of domination were raised in the constitution-making process.

He explained that it was the fear of domination that made framers of the Constitution to provide for representation on the basis of population and land mass and on the basis of equality of states.

”This is what gave birth to a bi-cameral legislature – the Senate and the House of Representatives. The House provides representation based on population and land mass while the Senate is based on equality of states.

”So, I know that the Acting President who is a professor of law is sufficiently trained in law to know that the National Assembly has powers to tinker with the budget.

”I am not making a case for him and I do not want to believe that he said what has been alleged that he said.

”I also want to assuage the fears of my colleagues that what was alleged to have been said does not represent the spirit of the framers of our Constitution,” Na’Allah said.

He said the explanation was necessary to allay the fears of the lawmakers.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said there was no ambiguity in the Constitution on the responsibility of the National Assembly.

He commended the deputy leader of the senate for raising the point, and said he also was sure that the Acting President must have been misquoted on the issue.

“This matter has been cleared and settled by the Constitution. So, I don’t think there are any issues here that are vague.

”I will like to believe too that the Acting President must have been wrongly quoted,” he said.

Saraki said the leadership of the National Assembly has had consultations with the executive arm.

According to him, those consultations did not in any way suggest that we will give up legislative powers as contained in the Constitution.

”I want to reassure our members on this because it is very important. Based on what we have heard, you may be concerned that one way or another, the leadership has given up some of these powers.

”That is not the case. I believe that as responsible statesmen, there are times we consult and do our best to work with the Executive and assist them.

“But, as we bend backwards, I don’t think that it should be misrepresented that powers given to us in the Constitution do not exist.

“That is not the case, and this Senate will continue to defend the Constitution and ensure that anything we do is in line with the laws of the land,” Saraki said.

He announced the adjournment of plenary until July 4.



Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has blamed the withdrawal of government subventions for political parties on abuse, noting that it was still inadvisable to reintroduce it.

Ekweremadu also said that high level consultations were in top gear to obtain the views of critical stakeholders about the ongoing constitution review.

He spoke when the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) visited him at the weekend on the ongoing constitution amendment.

He said: “Giving subvention to political parties was the case in the past. But, we had to amend the constitution to remove that, the reason being that it was thoroughly abused by some people.

“They register a political party and wait for election. Government gives them subvention, then they put it in their pockets and make no efforts to win. To them, political parties are platforms for making cool money from the government”.

Rather than government funding, Ekweremadu urged political parties to agitate for the introduction of proportional representation to widen political representation in the legislature, which would in turn help smaller political parties to thrive.

“When this is done, instead of first-past-the-post system where a party that pulls the highest number of votes, even by a single vote, takes the parliamentary seat, while the other parties go home empty-handed, no matter how well they performed, parties will now be allocated parliamentary seats based on the percentage of the total votes they garnered in an election.

“That way, smaller parties will be accommodated in the parliament. They will know that they will not go empty-handed if they work hard”, he added.

Meanwhile, he said the National Assembly was holding consultations with some critical stakeholders to ensure a smooth sail of the constitution amendment exercise and an outcome that will be tune with the aspirations of Nigerians.

“For instance, we have gone to the judiciary. We have gone to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders asking them to express their views.

“We got a lot of responses. So, we are going ahead, and your visit today will help to shape the final document, which we will present to the Senate”, he continued.

Ekweremadu, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, said that, the current consultations would culminate in a joint retreat in a few weeks to enable members of the Senate and House Committees on Constitution Review to reach consensus on issues slated for amendment.

He said that representatives of the State Houses of Assembly would be part of the retreat to arm them with firsthand knowledge of the thrusts of the proposed amendments ahead of the transmission of the Alteration Bills to them for approval.

He explained that the current exercise drew substantially from the failed Fourth Alteration Bill, and that proposed amendments would be drafted into several Alteration Bills to avoid a situation where the rejection of one amendment could lead to the death of the entire amendments.

Earlier in his address, the National Chairman of IPAC, Hon. Mohammed Nalado, said IPAC was making efforts, with the support of the International Republican Institute (IRI), United States Aid Agency (USAID), Political Party Policy and Leadership Development Centre, among others, to faciliate electoral reforms that would guarantee free, fair, credible and transparent electoral process.

It also requested the National Assembly to consider amending the constitution to reintroduce government funding of political parties, reduction of age limit for elections, and cause persons who cross-carpet to lose their seats.



The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja has upheld the election of Atai Aidoko Ali as the Senator representing Kogi East in the National Assembly.

In a unanimous decision delivered today by Justice Eko, the Apex court faulted and dismissed the appeal filed by Isaac Alfa challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal that had earlier declared Ali winner.

The Justices also faulted the decision of the Federal High Court which sacked Ali from the red chambers; stressing serious anomalies which included lack of jurisdiction. They also warned politicians to stick to the rules of their respective political parties; rather than inundate the Apex court with issues ordinarily deemed as intra-party affairs. Although, no cost was awarded against the Alfa as penalty for misnomer and abuse of court processes, the Justices laid to rest all litigation surrounding the election of Senator Atai Ali Aidoko.



The Senate Health Committee holds an interactive session in collaboration with National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS) World Health Organization(WHO) and MSCH.

The aim of the meeting, is to draw attention to the Nigeria’s deteriorating health sector which is incapable of serving the masses, which inturn makes them seek refuge abroad. 

It is being said that atleast 15% of National budget should be allocated to the health sector, but instead what is allocated to the it is about 3 to 4 percent, hence the epileptic status of the health sector.

It should however be recalled that turkey was in same situation as Nigeria twenty years ago and then they decided to increase fundings into their health sector, which makes it, what it is today.

The objective is to sensitize partners, on the need to seek collaboration,with concern stakeholders in the furtherance of schemes in the health sector.

It is being deliberated, that the Federal and State government, should sit under one umbrella to synchronize the issue of the health system, that is poorly coordinated. It is only when this is arrived at, that there can be universal healthcare for the masses.

Dr Aremu stated that on the 10 and 11 July 2017, a network will be launched in Sheraton aimed at contributing to the attainment, of quality healthcare in Nigeria.

He advocated that the steps involved in moving forward is 

_Everyone should work together in achieving success in the health sector.

_A structure should be put in placed where the network will be sustained over time.

_There should be an interface between the network and the executive.

By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI  reporting from Senate.



The Code Of Conduct Tribunal has ruled that Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has no case to answer in the 18 charges of non-declaration of assets brought against him by the Federal Government.

The tribunal held that the formulation of the 18 charges was predicated on the testimony of the third prosecution witness and Chief Investigation Officer at the CCB, Mr Samuel Madujemu.

He had testified that details of the outcome of the investigation were based on information given to him by the “team”; a term which is regarded as invalid in law, as it has no constitutional or statutory backing.

According to the tribunal, this was a fatal flaw of the prosecution as the evidence rendered all evidence of the prosecution invalid hence the declaration that Mr Saraki was discharged and acquitted.

The CCB had on September 16, 2015 filed a 13-count charge against Saraki for alleged false and anticipatory declaration of assets.

The charges were increased to 15 on April 18, 2016 and another charge was added on April 27, 2016 to make it 16.

The government later increased the charges to 17 on January 11, 2017 and finally to 18 on February 23, 2017.

The Danladi Umar-led two-man panel of the CCT had reserved its ruling after hearing Saraki’s no-case submission and the Federal Government’s objection to it on June 8.

The Senate President, through his no-case submission filed before the CCT on May 26, 2017, contended that none of the exhibits tendered and no evidence given by the four prosecution witnesses linked him to the alleged offences to warrant him to defend the charges.



The Senate committee on Federal Character and Inter_ Governmental affairs, holds a meeting on the alleged recruitment saga that has being raised by applicants’ over the recruitment exercise that many thought would have being conducted secretly.
The meeting is a continuation of an earlier meeting held sometimes in March. The Chairman, Committee on Federal Character and inter_governmental affairs Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura (Zamfara North) presided over the meeting. He asked for a debrief from the Director of Department of petroleum resources who took over from there.

The Director revealed that they are willing to employ 700 applicants, 350 in 2016, 200 in 2017 and 150 in 2018. However, two hundred and thirty two thousand applied for the limited slot.

He further revealed that qualified applicants would write a computer based test in four locations(Abuja, Portharcourt, Lagos and kano). The further promised to conduct the recruitment exercise after fasting. A question is being raised as to how the shortlisting would be conducted and it is revealed that the would follow their criteria strictly in conducting both the shortlisting and the interview thereafter. A motion is being raised as to make the exams centers into six instead of the four earlier stated. The department promised to look into that and make further arrangement on that.

Hopefully, before September, the exam would have being conducted and by January 2018 successful applicants would have started training. The exams would be for one hour and the applicants would get notifications of that by SMS and Email.

The Federal Character. Commission represntatives being present all through the meeting, held a close door meeting with the Senators.

By OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI Reporting from Senate.



Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution provides 10 clear but tortuous steps on how a senator can be recalled from the Senate.

The steps are:

1. More than half of the registered voters in the Senator’s senatorial district write, sign and send a petition to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC alleging their loss of confidence in the senatorial

2. The petition must be signed, and arranged according to polling units, wards, Local Government Areas, and constituency.

3. INEC notifies the Senator sought to be recalled, stating that it has received a petition for his or her recall, if the petition is valid.

4. INEC issues a public notice or announcement stating the date, time and location of the verification of signatures to the petition.

5. INEC verifies the signatures to the petition at the designation. The signatories must be individuals who appear on the voters’ register.

6. INEC conducts a referendum if more than one half (50% + 1) of the signatories are verified.

7 INEC writes to the petitioners stating that the minimum requirements for a referendum were not met, if the number verified is less than one half of the registered voters in that constituency.

The petition will therefore be dismissed.

8. INEC conducts a referendum within 90 days of receipt of the petition if the minimum requirements for a referendum are met. The referendum will be a simple yes or no vote on whether the Senator should be recalled, and will be decided by simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that Senator’s


9. If majority of the voters in the constituency vote ‘yes’ the Chairman of the INEC will send a Certificate of Recall to the Senate President to effect the recall.

10. The Senate President will show affected senator the way out of the Senate.



The senate committee on Land and transport was saddled with the task of making enquiries on the marginalization of the south east in the supposed construction on the intending rail line in Nigeria. The Minister for land and transportation, made it known to the house that they are not in any way marginalizing any part of the country as the supposed project is on a loan of 1.5% from the Chinese government. The Minister further made it know to the committee that the Chinese Government is willing to Build two tertiary institutions, in order to train engineer’s who would further take over the train station as time goes on.

The Minister, made it known that the intending loan is to be returned between the sparse of twenty years.

The Senate Committee Chairman made it known to the Minister that it will be better if two or more universities are being picked and their faculty of engineering upgraded to be able to train engineer’s who would see to the smooth running of the train stations.

The meeting ended on Thursday at 3.50pm with a closing remark by the chairman.



Former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume on Tuesday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to quash the alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram case against him, because he has no case to answer in the matter.
But the Federal Government told the court that Ndume has to defend himself because it’s witnesses have proved that he had information on the sect he refused to disclose to government.
Ndume who is under suspension at the Senate, has since 2011 been on trial on a four-count charge bordering on allegations of supporting the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group, levelled against him by the Federal Government.

But the lawmaker, in a no-case submission filled before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, through his counsel, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), argued that the Federal Government has been unable to established a prima facie case against him or linked him with the said crime.
He insisted that the charges leveled against him have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt as required by law at the end of the prosecution’s case.
Ndume, who accepted that he had contact with Boko Haram sect, however said that he got the contact when he was appointed into the Presidential Committee on Security Matters to negotiate for peace with the terrorists.

Insisting that the charges against him were unjust, the Senator explained that the former Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, and the then Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), were aware of the said contact he had with the Boko Haram sect.
Tarfa, Ndume’s counsel argued, “Clearly, from the totality of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, there is no ingredients of the charges proved as required by law.
“The analysis of the mobile phones seized from the defendant and subjected to forensic examination by the prosecution did not reveal any offence committed.”
Base on the above argument, counsel to Ndume prayed the court to strike out the charge against the Senator because no prima facie case has been established against him to warrant his going to defend himself.
But the prosecution counsel, Grace Okafor, contended Ndume’s prayer and urged the court to mandate him to open his defence in the charges against him.

Okafor told the court that Ndume has a case to answer since the government witnesses have effectively linked him with the crime.

According to the prosecutor’s lawyer, the charge against Ndume borders on his failure to disclose material information to security agents on Boko Haram and rendering support to the terrorist group.

She further argued that Ndume had in his own statement tendered and admitted in court confirmed that he has enormous information on Boko Haram which he never disclosed to government.

Okafor said, “His admission that he was a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Matters also corroborate the evidence of the prosecution that he had volume of information on the terrorists group which he refused to give to the government.

“The volume of information found on him was revealing and warranted his being charged to court.

“Let the point be made here that witnesses of the government have by one way or the other linked the charge against the defendant, and this court as an impartial court should order the defendant to open defence on the charges against him. It is even in the interest of the defendant and justice that this case be heard on its own merit, instead of upholding the no-case submission.”

After listening to the arguments, Justice Kolawole adjourned ruling on the matter till July 4, 2017.

RipplesNigeria ….without borders, without fears



Founder of National Unity and Peace Corps, Prof. Humphrey Ogoegbunam, has revealed how Dr. Chinedu Nneji forged his signature at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and dubiously declared himself the Commandant General of the Corps. 

This was even as, he admitted that the bill passed by the National Assembly was purely that of Dickson Akoh’s Peace Corps of Nigeria, adding that talks were underway to absorb his men into Akoh’s group. 

Ogoegbunam, who was addressing the Senate committee on Judiciary and Human Rights on Tuesday, said, Nneji only joined the Peace Corps in 2013 and there was no way he could have risen to the rank of Commandant General. 

According to him, Nneji, who was barely 2 months in the formation, was called upon to assist a female officer in running the affairs of the Corps while he (Ogoegbunam) embarked on medical trip to oversea. 

“When I came back, I saw his name as Commandant General, and I asked, how comes? How would you have become the Commandant General just like that

“He went to the CAC, forged my signature and withdrew the constitution that was submitted. He removed my name as Chairman of BoT and wrote his name as Chairman. He also included 13 names as members of BoT”, Ogoegbunam said. 

He said petition has already been submitted to the National Assembly and security agencies. 

Ogoegbunam also alleged that Nneji has been threatening his life, that must not disclose it to the public. 

“Since I returned to Nigeria, over 2 years ago, he has refused to see me. I have not set my eyes on him untill today”, he disclosed to Senate. 

Prof. Ogoegbunam tendered evidences before the Senate and urged it to allow the establishment of Nigerian Peace Corps, which he said, would enable his organization which has been existing for 30 years, to be co-opted into Dickson Akoh’s group. 

When asked by the Senate, if he would integrate the National Unity and Peace Corps into his group, if it is eventually established, Akoh said the Corps was all about the Nigerian youths and he would not object to it.



The Unity Forum Gashua (UFG) yesterday debunked reports in the media that the Senate Leader, Sen. Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) was attacked during a visit to his constituency.

Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Usman Jambo, described the report as “concocted barrage of lies by faceless elements intended to malign the personality of the Senate leader.

According to him, “That his motorcade was blocked last Friday along Nguru-Gashua road was completely false, misleading, preposterous and a figment of imagination by desperate politicians who feel threatened by the towering qualities of Sen. Ahmad Lawan. 

“It did not happen and will never happen by the grace of God. For the avoidance of doubt, Sen. Ahmad Lawan was on that very Friday in Daura, Katsina State where he attended the wedding fatiha of  the daughter of the Director  General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Malam Lawan Daura, and therefore couldn’t have been in Yobe at the same time.

“It’s important to note that Sen. Lawan had last month successfully inspected the ongoing Nguru-Gashua road construction, which is under his constituency,  and everyone knows that he is representing his  people very well for nearly twenty years and commands enormous respect in Yobe and beyond,” he said.

“As members of his senatorial zone, we feel satisfied and proud of his performance in the Senate. We wish to assure him and the entire world of our unalloyed support and cooperation as he continues to represent us,” he added.



The Senate says there is no budget crises going on. 

Senator Aliyu Sabi, the chairman Senate committee on media and public affairs spoke on behalf of the Senate while addressing journalists after Tuesday’s plenary. 
Senator Sabi said the budget was following normal procedures.
According to him, the Senate will authentic the budget through its committee on appropriation by ensuring that the document is free of errors and that the actual document is transmitted to the presidency as passed. 
He said the budget will be sent to the presidency later today or tomorrow. 
The Senate spokes person called on Nigerians to ignore media reports going round that there is an on-going crises resulting to the delay in the transmission of the 2017 budget to the presidency. 
However, our interactions with some Senators who spoke off record indicate that there are deliberate attempts by the National Assembly leadership to accommodate the interest of all the members in the budget before it is finally sent to the presidency.

Iorter Peter – from the Senate.



Senator Dino MELAYE lunched a book tittle Antidotes For Corruption, at Shehu Musa Yardua Center Abuja. During the event, Alhaji Musa Bello said the lesson he learnt from the Author of the book is about his passion for the maintenance of the city, he said writing was a dream to him, but to the Author he made it a reality. Honourable Yakubu Dogara, the President of House of Representatives made comment about the book He said, he is very excited that a very busy man like Sen.Dino can find time to write despite his tight schedule,as well as the knowledge impacted in the book. According to him, the book speaks for the common people, as an ambassador for the masses. He also said the Anti-corruption will give the Author all the support he needs to fight corruption, which does not talk about money alone, but moral support from every one in thesociety. The Antidotes For Corruption is a message for the people with words of power to fight corruption, also we must formulate a new order to erase the old order, so we don’t end up punishing corruption instead of putting an end to it, because if we don’t minister to the people to stop practising corruption, we will end up jailing every one. Doctor Abubakar Bukola Saraki the Senate President, said the book is a direct Article to fight corruption in Nigeria. According to him, for us to fight corruption, it requires enlightened​ experience and Anti-corruption Agency,which will bring Revenue Approach.
He concluded that in his view, the key area to fight corruption should be work on with sincerity, and they should provide basic Education, Food and Shelter as well as Health concern for the people. Senator Dino Melaye showed appreciation and thank all Distinguished Senator and Honourable members in the National Assembly and other invited Guest for their support, He furthersaid Corruption exist in local and poor places, even in the market you come across people who increase prices of goods in the name of Government. According to Sen. Dino, the country is “Greedocracy” which define by the people who are greedy, to the people and greedy for the people, finally what lead to Corruption is Greed and should not continue. 


Adebisi Adenike Blessing, from House of Reps.



The 2017 budget has been finally passed by the Senate. 
The Senate, coming out of a closed-door session, announced the passage of the budget after over four months.
The 2017 appropriation bill was submitted to a joint session of the National Assembly in 2016 by PresidentMuhammadu Buhari.

With the passage of the budget on Thursday, May 11, 2017 (today), the executive would be required to go through it before assenting to it.


Senate to pass 2017 budget on Thursday 11th May,2017

The Senate has again setfor itself another deadline for passage of the 2017 budget. 

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki said this after the report of the joint committee on appropriation and Finance (appreciation bill 20017) was received by the Senate. 

The report of the committee was laid by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Danjuma Goje. 

The Senate President said the senators will be given time to go through the report tomorrow and thereafter consider and pass the appropriation bill on Thursday.
In another development, Senate has received a letter from President Buhari informing its of his medical trip to London.

Reacting to the President’s letter, Senator  Mao Ohuabuwa, (Abia south) raised a point of order faulting the letter saying it fails to properly delegate powers to vice president Osinbanjo in acting capacity as president.

His point of order was however turned down after explanation by the Senate leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan that the constitution is clear on the matter hence the content of such communication does not need such specifics. 

Senate has adjourn sitting to wednesday 10th May, 2017. 

Iorter Peter from the Senate.



The leading opposition party, the People’ s Democratic Party (PDP) has again lost a member to the ruling party the All progressives Congress (APC).

Senator John Enoh, representing Cross River Central senatorial District made the announcement today Tuesday, 9th May, 2017 at Senate plenary.
Senator Enoh said he and his supporters had left the PDP last Saturday and have since registered as members of the ruling party. 
In his remarks the Senate President Dr. Bukola Sarki welcomed the Senator to the party and wished him well.
Senator John Enoh, is the Senate committee Chairman on Finance.

Iorter Peter from the Senate.



HOR Members

The Senate in Tuesday adjourned its Plenary over the death of a Member of House of Representatives, Hon. Sani Bello Mashi (APC), Representing Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency of Katsina State.
Our Correspondent gathered that, Hon. Bello passed unto glory on the February, 2017, after a protracted ailment. “He has been suffering from an unnamed illness for many months before he finally gave up,” Abubakar Adamu, an Aide to Hon. Bello disclosed.

The deceased has since been buried according to Islamic rites in his hometown, Mashi in Katsina state. He died at the age of 48, and he is survived by three wives and many children.

At the resumed session of the Senate on Tuesday, the minority Leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio draw the attention of the senate to the death, through a motion, which was also seconded by the Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan.

The Senate therefore, observed a minute of silence in honour of the departed colleague.

Meanwhile, the senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Tuesday, officially read the letter of extension of vacation written by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 5th of February, 2017.

The Senate President also read a letter signed by the Acting President, Prof. yemi osinbajo, asking for confirmation of justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen (CFR) as the chief Justice of Nigeria, following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

The Acting President also sent the name of Mr. Adeyinka Asekun as a non-career Ambassadorial nominee from Ogun State, for confirmation.

Reporting for NassNewsNg Babangida Fahad


The senate have suspended plenary due to death of an honourable member of house of representatives, Hon. Sani Bello Mashi representing Dutsi\Mashi from Katsina. The motion was move on the floor of the Senate by  Senator Godswill Akpabio and seconded by the senate leader Senator Ahmed Lawal in respect for the departed member of the house of representatives. The senate adjourned to Wednesday 22nd of February, 2017.

Reporting from National Assembly, Abuja Adeboye O. Oluwole

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