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NASS defends move to strip President of powers to order asset forefeiture

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The National Assembly has defended its move to strip the President of his power to order forfeiture of assets held by persons facing criminal prosecution, and vest it in the judge of the High Court, who is expected to use his discretion to decide on such.

Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, while speaking at the public hearing on the bill, seeking to amend the “Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) Act, 2004” held at the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday, said it would deepen democracy and give all arms of government the chance to perform their duties without undue interference.

“The discretionary powers being sought for the judge of the high court; it is essential in order to ensure that the course of justice is protected in the Nigerian socio-economic space,” Dogara explained.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has on Tuesday dismissed the coalition against the ruling party by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 38 other political parties.

APC National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi in disclosing this, said no gang-up by political parties will make the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration waiver on its promises to rid the country of corruption and improve Nigerian’s quality of lives.

Abdullahi who maintained that the “so, called” Reformed-All Progressives Congress was not a faction of the APC ” as the unity of the party was intact, also called on aggrieved members to take advantage of the window of reconciliation to approach the party while it is still open.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for an amendment to Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution to include 40 percent slots for women in the National Assembly and other levels of governance.

Obasanjo who was presenting a paper entitled, “Nigerian Democracy and the Journey So far: The Role of Women” at the 70th birthday of former Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Josephine Anenih in Abuja on Tuesday, said ‎the nation’s democracy would grow at low pace without the active participation of women.

He noted that the low number of women at the National Assembly is unacceptable and makes mockery of gender balance, adding that the health of the country’s democracy can be judged by the participation of women.

The monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for the second consecutive time ended in a stalemate on Tuesday.

According to reports, the federal and state governments still remained unsatisfied with the figures submitted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for May, leading the committee to reach an agreement to postpone the meeting to Thursday, so as to give the NNPC a chance to make adjustments.

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