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Nobody above NASS scrutiny, says Ahmad Lawan

…As Senate adjourns till September 15

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said that nobody is above the scrutiny of the National Assembly.

Sen. Lawan stated this in his closing remarks moments before the Upper Chamber adjourned plenary till September 15, 2020.

Speaking on the gains of a harmonious working relationship between the Legislature and the Executive arm of Government, the Senate President advised appointees of the President against needless confrontation with the Committees of the National Assembly.

According to him, engagements with Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government by the Committees of the National Assembly are carried out to serve public interest and in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

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“As for what has been happening recently, let me take this opportunity to advice that it takes both arms of Government to work together in a cordial and harmonious way.

“We are desirous of working together with the executive arm, and we expect that the Executive arm would be desirous of working with us. We want to work in harmony.

“Nobody should feel that he is above the scrutiny of the National Assembly. The function of the National Assembly is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Therefore, it is important that whoever takes public office also understands that there has to be this type of engagement on behalf of the Nigerian public,” the Senate president said. 

The Senate President also urged the relevant Committees on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream); and Gas to engage the Executive arm of Government, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to be submitted to the National Assembly.

He added that such engagement between both arms of government would reduce the time needed to carry out legislative work on the bill when it is finally sent to the Legislature for consideration and passage.

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“I urge that our oil and gas committees continue to engage with the Executive arm of Government, particularly the NNPC, DPR, and all the Petroleum related agencies and work with them as if the bill has been presented to us, so that we reduce the time that we need to spend considering the bill when it is finally presented to us.

“It is our hope and desire that we are able to break the jinx that has visited the PIB since 2007.

“The PIB has defied passage and assent, this time around we want to work assiduously with the Executive arm of Government to ensure that we pass the PIB and that the President signs it into law, because we have everything to lose if not passed this year.

“If we are able to do it, we will get more revenue into the coffers of the Federal Government, as well as attract and retain investments into the oil and gas sector in Nigeria,” the Senate President said.

Meanwhile, the Senate during Wednesday’s plenary passed three bills.

They are: Police Act (Repeal and are-enactment) Bill, 2020; Banks and other Financial Institutions Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020; and the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2020.

The Police Re-enactment Bill was passed following the consideration of the Conference Committee Report of the National Assembly Committee on Police Affairs.

Similarly, the Banks and other Financial Institutions Bill; and the Nigerian Railway Corporation Bill were both passed after a clause-by-clause consideration of the reports of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; and Committee on Land Transport.


Jegede wins Ondo PDP ticket, battles Akeredolu in Oct poll

Published July 23, 2020

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Eyitayo Jegede

Peter Dada, Akure

A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, has been elected the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the October 10 governorship election in the state.

Jegede defeated other contestants having polled 888 votes, while the deputy governor of the state, Mr Agboola Ajayi, polled 657 votes; and the PDP National Vice Chairman, Dr Eddy Olafeso, came third with 175 votes.

Also, Dr  Bode Ayorinde scored 95 votes, Mr Banji Okunomo polled 90, Senator Boluwaji Kunlere got 33, Sola Ebiseni scored 29 and Godday Erewa polled 13 votes.

The election was keenly contested among the eight aspirants, and no fewer than 2,122, delegates from the 18 local government areas of the state participated in the election.

The accreditation of the delegates commenced around 10am while the delegates started to cast their votes around 2pm  at the main, auditorium of the International Event Centre, Akure, the Ondo State capital

The exercise was conducted in line with COVID-19 protocols as any delegate or stakeholder without tag or face mask on was not allowed into the arena.

There was heavy presence of armed security men from the state police command, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Services and the Federal Road Safety Corps at the venue.

 The officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission were also present to monitor the process.

Earlier, supporters of some of the aspirants sang songs outside the venue to show support for their favourite aspirants.

However, few hours before the commencement of the primary, two members of the party were mobbed outside the venue of the exercise for allegedly being in possession of some thumb-printed ballot papers.

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The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Primary and Governor of Enugu State, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, while speaking with journalists promised to conduct free, free and credible exercise.

Ugwuanyi, who entered into the venue of the primary around 1.40pm expressed satisfaction with the process

He said, “We are building a nation and I promise to conduct a free and fair primary.  I want to assure you that a credible candidate will emerge through this process.

However, after the voting ended at 7.30pm, the process was halted for almost two hours following an argument among the aspirants and the members of the primary election committee over certain list of delegates.

But the matter was resolved and 11 former members of the state House of Assembly were allowed to cast their votes.