Latest Senate News Forum
SENATE PLANS FRESH SHOWDOWN WITH PRESIDENCY ON MAGU
The upper chamber of the National Assembly is considering placing an “embargo” on approval of appointments by the President until the legislature and the executive resolved the lingering crisis between them.
It was gathered on Sunday that the Senate would make the move based on the recent comment by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who said he agreed with human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), that Section 171 of the Constitution empowers the President to make some appointments without National Assembly’s approval.
An impeccable source in the leadership of the Senate told our correspondent that a constitutional crisis was brewing in the country.
According to the source, the legislature and the executive have conflicting interpretation of the Constitution on their powers and responsibilities.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said while an intervention by the judiciary would be needed, the executive should go to court and not the legislature.
The Presidency and the Senate had clashed over the retention of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite the rejection of his appointment by the legislature.
The Senate had, on March 28, 2017, suspended the consideration of the 27 nominees by the President as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission for two weeks.
The move was to protest the Presidency’s insistence on Magu as the acting Chairman of EFCC.
Osinbajo had ruled out the possibility of Buhari replacing Magu with another nominee, adding that the President did not find the DSS report, which was the basis for Magu’s rejection, as a strong reason to replace the EFCC boss.
He said despite being rejected twice, the government was still at liberty to renominate Magu.
Speaking to our correspondent on Sunday, the National Assembly source stated, “There is going to be a constitutional crisis in Nigeria because the Senate is now at a crossroads on what to do with the nominations made by the President for which he is seeking the confirmation by the Senate.
“Going by what Osinbajo said on Magu, it means that the nation’s Presidents from 1999, who sent nominations to the Senate for confirmation, had all breached the Constitution. Even Buhari, who has been sending nominations to the Senate, was not properly advised.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki had, at the plenary on Wednesday, read three letters from Buhari, seeking the confirmation of some of his appointments, including three non-career ambassadorial nominees,
The President, in another letter, sought confirmation of the appointment of five members for the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The President also wrote the Senate separately to seek the confirmation of the appointment of the Chairman, National Electricity Regulation Commission.
Also, the lawmakers have yet to screen and confirm the two ministerial nominees sent to the Senate by Buhari.
The source added, “They may not (be considered, including those of the CBN, NERC and others just sent to the Senate, because of the claims made by the Vice-President. He spoke as if he was speaking the mind of the President.
The source added, “They (Presidency) should proceed to court to seek endorsement for their position. It is their business to go to the court, not the Senate’s. The Vice President has already stalled the nomination and confirmation processes by his unguarded statements.
“He somehow agreed with Falana that there is no need for legislative confirmation for the appointments. With the Section 171 claim by the Vice-President, the Senate is now at a crossroads on whether to go on with the confirmation (of appointments) or adopt the new claim by the Presidency.
“The National Assembly follows established laws, which have been used for all dealings with the other arms of government. If they now have a contrary view, they should go to court.”
The All Progressives Congress lawmaker lamented that some recent decisions by the chamber were not enjoying the support of most members.
The lawmaker said, “Between you and I, that is rubbish. The issue of Magu is rubbish; the issue of (the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service) Hameed Ali is rubbish.
“If some of us insist on Magu’s removal and Ali should appear before the Senate in uniform, how does that put food on the table of Nigerians? And we are supposed to focus on what can improve the life of the average Nigerians; we are not doing that. But we are busy with Ali, Magu and other issues. It is so unfortunate.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, could not be reached for comments on the latest development.
While he did not return our correspondent’s calls on Saturday, the lines indicated that they had been switched off on Sunday.
But the Vice-Chairman, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, said the Senate would address all issues relating to the relationship between the lawmakers and the Presidency.
He said, “By Tuesday, Senator Sabi (Abdullahi) will speak on the issue as reflected by the joint decision of the Senate. Nobody can take any individual position (on the matter); the Senate will take the position.”
When asked to speak as the deputy spokesman for the Senate, Murray-Bruce replied, “Sabi will take that position because I have not gotten any official communication from the Senate and I don’t have any opinion (on the matter).”
President Buhari had set up a reconciliatory committee chaired by Osinbajo, which has as members ministers, who were at a time, members of the National Assembly as members.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang; and Samaila Kawu (House of Representatives) are also members.
But while the Presidency said the panel had started to meet with the Senate leadership, Saraki had denied such meetings, saying the committee was not necessary.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, could not be reached for comments on Saturday and Sunday.
APC REJECTS SENATOR THEODORE ORJI
The former governor, who is the senator representing Abia North Central District, has been warned against defecting to the APC.
Speaking with newsmen after an Abia State APC caucus meeting in Umuahia, former Abia state house of Assembly speaker and APC chieftain, Stanley Ohajiriuka stated that Senator Orji’s governance style while serving as Abia State governor was largely due to his leverage on the former president, Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience and any that attempt to join the ruling party would amount to betrayal.
According to him, “It will be heartbreaking to the former President and his wife to see Orji abandon a party that stood in for him when he was unleashing terror on Abians and owing salaries of civil servants.
“While more politicians from this state are expected in no distant time to formally join the APC, we are against people like Senator T. A Orji abandoning his party to also join the moving train.
“We are not ignorant of the role former president Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Mrs Patience Jonathan played in his governance. It will therefore, be costly and demeaning of him to even nurse such intention.
“If he still has conscience, he should remain in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. A party that his likes used to show Abia an example of what a leader should not be.”
Speaking on the plans of Abia APC in the next general election, he said, “Abia State has suffered so much in the hands of those who can’t get a handful of votes without manipulating the results.
“This time around, such things will no longer be seen nor heard among us. We are reinforcing and if you look at the calibre of people that attended today’s caucus meeting. You will agree with me that the PDP will soon be sent packing .”
NULGE CALLS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMYThe Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees in a campaign have called for local government autonomy. The union in a mother of all rally held at the National Assembly ground today requested financial and political autonomy with job security for it members.
The chairman of the union while expressing their desires analysed direct funding of local governments from the federation account, election of local people’s representative, not selection and aggressive manpower development and improved productivity.
Senator Shehu Sanni in his remark while addressing the union said the request is possible but the union should go back to their various states and prevail over their state assembly. The autonomy bill might be passed and granted in National Assembly but when it gets to the state level, they either approve it or kill it. Also, Senator Monsurat J.A. Sunmonu adviced the Union to be tactical in their approach to the request. Showing appreciation to the state lawmakers will make them approve local government autonomy without doubt, she said. Finally, the Chairman house committee on governmental Affairs commended the union leadership in the struggle and gave them assurance that the house of representatives will work on thbeir request with good feedback. The union went back to their various states with hope and appreciation to the lawmakers for receiving them in their multitude.
ADEBOYE Omoboye from House of Reps
SENATE SITS TODAY, OPENS CONDOLENCE REGISTER FOR ADELEKE.
The Senate is expected to resume sitting this Wednesday by 10: am. The Senate had yesterday suspended plenary to honour their colleague Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke.
Sen. Adeleke who represented Osun West senatorial District died on 23 rd April, 2017. The Osun State political Icon has since been buried in accordance with Islamic tradition.
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday opened a condolence register to pay tributes to their departed one whom they described as a great leader and a non self-serving Nigerian.
The Senate had scheduled to resume sitting on Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 after a 2-week Easter break. But was however saddened by the demise of their colleague prompting the suspension of plenary.
On resumption this morning the Senate is expected to consider the first reading of the Police Amendment Bill, 2017 by Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos State)
Other Bills for consideration include, National Tea and Coffee Development Council Establishment Bill, 2017 sponsored by Sen. Yusuf Abubakar from Taraba State, for first reading.
Also to be considered are motions and committee reports. Some of the motions are, “The urgent need to provide Pedestrian Brides on Federal Highways” sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos State), Cancer Treatment Infrastructure Crisis by Senator Duro Faseyi, Ekiti North among others.
Iorter Peter, reporting from the Senate
Senate suspends Ali Ndume
The Senate in plenary today suspends a former Senate leader, Senator Ali Ndume for six months.
The suspension of Senator Ali Ndume followed a recommendation by the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
Ndume had asked the Senate to investigate into the media reports made against Senator Dino Melaye of certificate forgery and the Senate President, Bukula Sarki over the controversial importation of a bullet-proof SUV.
The Senate on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 referred the matter to its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
The report of the Committee which was presented by its Chairman, Sen. Samuel Anyawu on the floor of the Senate during plenary of Wednesday, March 29, 2017 cleared Senators Sarki and Dino Melaye of wrongdoing.
The Committee recommended a suspension of one year for Sen. Ndume. The recommendation was however amended to reduce the suspension to sixmonths.
Some Senators had pleaded with their colleagues to temper justice with mercy as the suspension of Sen. Ndume would leave the people of Borno South without a representation.
But when the question to consider the recommendation was put forward by Sen. Ike Ekweremadu who was presiding, the appeal failed to gain majority votes.
Our reporters at the Senate could not sight Senator Ndume in the Chambers to get his reaction on the matter.
Iorter Peter from the Senate Red-Chambers.
Dino Melaye takes Sahara Reporters to Court; Claims 5bn
Dino Melaya representing Kogi West Senatorial District has this morning dragged an online news platform, Sahara Reporters to an Abuja High Court. The distinguished Senator is also claiming 5-billion Naira as damages from Sahara Reporters.
According to him, the report released by the online news platform, Sahara Reporters that he did not graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria is a deliberate effort to discredit his personality.
Sen. Dino also revealed that ABU has communicated to him indicating that his records with the University are intact. He hinted that the University will make its position known later today.
Senator Dino claims that he had his first and second degrees from ABU and that he is running a third degree with the same University.
Media reports on Tuesday, 21st March, 2017 indicted Senator Dino Melaye of Certificate forgery, an allegation that pushed the Senate to direct its Committee on Rights and Privileges to investigate into the matter and report back in four-weeks
By Iorter Peter Senator 23.03.2017
Ethnic Clash in Ile-Ife: Senate calls for investigation
The Senate has called on the Inspector General of Police to conduct a thorough investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the on-going clash between the indigenes of Ille-Ife and the Hausa community residence in the Sabo Ile-Ife area. The dispute which is reported to have started between two persons has escalated into an ethnic clash killing many persons and scores of houses and businesses destroyed. The Senate in plenary on Tuesday, 21st March, 2017 observes that the dispute came at time when strenuous efforts are being made to build bridges of understanding between and among all ethnics groups in the country as a symbol of one people united under one nation. The Senate describes the situation as unfortunate and calls for concerted efforts to avoid reoccurrence of such dispute in Ille-Ife or anywhere else in the country. The motion for the Senate action was sponsored by Senator Jibrin Barau (Kano North) and Co-Sponsored by Sen. Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central).
Iorter Peter, reporting from the Red Chambers
Ali appears before the senate, dismissed for not wearing uniform.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, Rtd has at last appeared before the Senate. The Customs’ boss was however dismissed for not wearing the Customs’ uniform.
In a motion moved by Senator George Sekibo and seconded by Sen. Banabas Gemade, the Senate directed Ali to re-appear in the Customs’ Uniform on Wednesday, 22 March, 2017 at 10:00am.
The appearance of the Custom’s boss is at the instance of a motion raised on the floor of the senate yesterday by Senator George Sekibo and seconded by the deputy Senate President, Senator Ekweremadu.
Ali, had twice this week failed to answer the senate invitation. The Comptroller General is expected at the Senate to brief the distinguished Senate on the proposed retrospective duty payment on vehicles in Nigeria.
Reporting from the Senate Iorter Peter. 16.03.2017
SENATE KICKS AGAINST CUSTOM BOSS LETTER.
The senate on Tuesday 14th March 2017 at Plenary, the letter send by the Custom Boss, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to the Senate addressing them to extend his Invitation to appear before the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria due to a Routine Management Meeting of the Service he need to attend on wednesday 15th March where is asking for a new date for appearance.
The Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, called on the Senate to grant the Custom boss a new date to appear before the Senate and if possible it should be shifted to Thursday 15th March 2017.
Senator James Manija (Delta South) disagree with Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan to allow the Custom Boss to appear on Thursday, those not respect the Leadership of this great Chamber, said Senator James.
Senator James further added that the appearance of the Custom C.G Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) before the Senate at the appropraite time is important than the Routine Management Meeting of the Service.
He added that the Custom C.G Sould appear on Uniform.
The Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki and the rest of the Members of the Senate kick against the request of the Custom C.G to appear before the Senate on another date was denied by the Senate.
By Babangida Fahad from the Senate, National Assembly Abuja.13.03.2017
NIGERIANS CRITICIZED SENATORS FOR VISITING SOUTH AFRICA OVER XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS.
The Nigerian Senate is currently facing criticism from Nigerians. This is because of senate delegation’s visit to South Africa over killings of Nigerians and the destruction of their properties in South Africa.
Many Nigerians say the visit is waste of tax-payers Money.
The Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweramadu with the Seven Members delegations, visited South Africa over the attacks against Nigerians living in South Africa.
But Nigerians said the rationale behind such move when the executive was in position to handle such diplomatic conflicts.
A public affairs analyst, Jimi Disu said: “Senator Ike Ekweramadu, leading a delegation of lawmakers to South Africa is completely unnecessary.
“This is a job for the executives and not the lawmakers. Our Foriegn Minister should go there and resolve this issue.
“It is also ironical to have Nigerian lawmakers fly to South Africa while we attack and kill ourselves at home. We pretend as if everything is going on well here. Have they gone to southern Kaduna to see what is going on there?
“About seven people in all expenses paid trip to South Africa with taxpayers money to resolve Xenophobic attack while hundreds are being killed in their own Country is ridiculous.” Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene, the President of the Nigeria Union, South Africa, told the News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Pretoria on Wednesday March 1st that the Visit would add value to the campaign against Xenophobia.
Babangida Fahad Reporting from the Senate. 04.03.2017
DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT LEADS SENATE DELEGATION TO SOUTH AFRICA.
Senate President Dr. Bukola Sarki has announced a seven Member delegation of the Senate lead by the Deputy Senate President Like Ekweremadu (PDP Enugu West) to South Africa following the return of Xenophobic attacks in South Africa where Nigerians have been injured, attack and their Properties destroy. Where the Senate described it as extra-Judicial Killings of Nigerians by the South Africans.
Senate President announced the Names of the delegation at the opening of Plenary on Wednesday, March 1st 2017 Among the Members are: Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan , Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Senator Shehu Sani, Senator Magnus Abe, and Senator Stella Oduah.
Babangida Fahad Reporting from the Senate. 01.03.2017
SENATE CONFIRMS JUSTICE WALTER ONNOGHEN AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA
The Senate has confirmed justice Walter Onneghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). His confirmation was announced in a Tweet by the Senate (@NGRSenate) on Wednesday.
Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo had send Onneghen’s name to the Senate in February for confirmation and the National Judicial Council (NJC) extended his tenure as acting CJN for another three months.
Justice Onnoghen hail from Cross River State and was born on December 23 1950.
Babangida Fahad Reporting from the Senate. 01.03.2017
SENATE PARTNER WITH SMEDAN TO PROMOTE MADE-IN-ABA GOODS.
As the made-in-Aba fair in Abuja has settled in its format over the last three editions, so has it grown in structure and impacts. It has not only become the flagship trade facilitation project of an annual zonal intervention Programme in partnership with the National Assembly but it has notably become an important fixture in the Federal Capital’s annual business Promotion Calender. The Director of Small and Medium Enterprise Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) at a joint Media briefing on the 4th made-in-Aba Fair held at the Senate Press Corp Centre Abuja, he said the media event being the first in a series of activities to implement the 4th edition of his fair is a testament to the continued power of the media not only to sensitize and educate the general public on important National events like this, but also crystallized its Agenda-setting role, even as it holds accountable on the behalf of the people, those who undertook on their behalf as equal partners in progress of our fatherland.
The Director mention that the BUY NIJA Campaign, ably Supported by the National Assembly with proposed amendment to the Public procurement Act is another facet of the current trade promotion effort worthy of mention.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who is the Facilitator of the Trade Fair announced that the Made-in-Aba Trade Fair will takeoff on 6th of March 2017 at Art and Culture centre. The Senate President Dr.Bukola Saraki will be the Chairman of the occasion.
Sen. Abaribe, said the National Assembly is in full support of the Programme.
Important trade facilitation drives of the Agency includes the Abidjan International Trade Fair Opening, March 22nd and China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF) in Guangzhou in October.
Dr.Dikko Umar Radda, Director General of SMEDAN call on SMEs and their Umbrella bodies to take optimal advantage of these Opportunities to foster SMEs exports.
By Babangida Fahad, Reporting from Senate. 27.03.2017
SENATE ADJOURN PLENARY DUE TO FAILURE OF BUDGET DEFENCE.
The Senate on Wednesday adjourned its plenary session over the failure of some Ministers and Directors to appear to committees for budget defense of their Ministries.
The Senate however last three weeks adjourned its plenary to focus merely on defense of 2017 budget. Some committees express their anger over failure of ministers and CEOs to appear before the Committees.
Senate leader, Ahmad Law an call for the adjournment of plenary to 28 February 2017 in order to continue budget defence and was seconded by the Minority Leader Senator Godswill Akpabio.
In a press briefing, Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi, warn that, those Ministers, CEOs that fail to defend their Ministries, Department Agencies budget before Friday 24 February 2017, the Senate will have no choice but to take appropriate action.
Senate President Dr. Bukola Sarki, at the plenary on Wednesday officially read the letters passed by the National Assembly and send to the President for assent. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo refused to sign the bills into law due to the wording of the bills.
The bills are National Lottery Bill 2016, Currency Conversion Freezing Order Amendment Bill 2016, Dangerous Drug Amendment Bill 2016, and Agricultural Guaranteed Credit Scheme Bill 2016.
Senator Dino Melaye, Kogi West (APC), protested Acting President Osinbajo’s Presidential veto, arguing that, following the principle of separation of powers, the Presidency has the duty of assenting to bills passed by the National Assembly or approach the Judiciary for redress.
Senate President, Dr. Saraki said the matter would be referred to the legal department of the National Assembly for Advice.
Babangida Fahad Reporting for nassnewsng.com
SENATE ADJOURNS PLENARY OVER DEATH OF REPS MEMBER.
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