How wrong use of the gavel ruins Nigeria’s democracy

…NASS presiding officers accused of rigging voice votes Nigeria’s long journey to a consolidated democracy where there will be credible and transparent elections appears to be under threat. It would appear that elected representatives of the people who have found themselves in leadership positions at the National Assembly are putting the gavel to use negatively, defeating the main essence of the instrument. The rush with which the presiding officers at the Senate and the House of Representatives chant “the ‘ayes’ have it” or “the ‘nays’ have it” appears to suggest…

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Information blackout: NASS suspends Media Censorship Bill

The Nigeria Press Council (NPC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Amendment Bill, have been suspended by the House of representatives, Segun Odebunmi, a member has announced. Odebunmi, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information National Orientation Ethics and Values, told newsmen that the suspension is necessary for proper consultations over the Bill. “We have been on this process for a while and right now, we have suspended it for more consultation to happen on it,” he said. Media practitioners and operators have particularly criticised the bill,…

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NIA gets N4.87bn budget to track, intercept mobile calls, chat messages

The National Assembly has approved a N4.87bn budget for the National Intelligence Agency, (NIA), to track, intercept and monitor calls and messages on mobile devices, including Thuraya and WhatsApp. Picture caption: Amb-Ahmed-Rufai-of-NIA-and-Gen-Samul-Adebayo-of-DMI The amount is part of the N895.8bn supplementary budget submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari last month and approved by both chambers of the National Assembly last week, after increasing it by about N87bn. The Budget, according to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibrin, is meant to procure equipment for the military and to fight further…

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Finally, National Assembly passes Petroleum Industry Bill

…Allocates 3% operating expenditure of oil firms to host communities History was made yesterday, as the National Assembly yesterday passed the Petroleum Industry Bill, also known as PIB, after more than a decade. The passage of the Bill comes exactly 13 years after it was first presented to the National Assembly in 2008. The Bill was passed during the plenary, after careful consideration of each of the clauses by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The House first passed the bill, before the Senate followed suit. The Senate,…

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Lawmakers not responsible for NASS Complex maintenance – Senate spokesman

The Senate has disclosed that the Federal Capital Development Authority, (FCDA), is responsible for the maintenance of the National Assembly Complex. This clarification was made by the spokesman of the senate, Ajibola Basiru following a leaking roof in the complex after a heavy downpour on Tuesday. Several Nigerians have accused the lawmakers of failing to repair the edifice despite receiving an allocation for it following the report of the incident. In a statement issued yesterday, Basiru said the leadership of the National Assembly did not receive any money for the…

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National Assembly building roofs leak under heavy downpour

What could be described as a national embarrassment hit the parliament on Tuesday, as the 23-years-old National Assembly building gave way to a heavy downpour, which disrupted the activities in the upper chamber. The massive downpour caused leakage in the roof of the “White House”, which housed the two chambers of the National Assembly building. The development rendered many lawmakers stranded for some minutes before the rain subsided. The lobby of the Assembly was practically impassable at 11 a.m, as cleaners were immediately mobilised to divert the water and clean…

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“Suspend the 1999 Constitution review”, CNG tells National Assembly

The Coalition of Northern Groups, (CNG), yesterday, called on the National Assembly to suspend the review of the 1999 Constitution, describing it as ill-timed and uncalled for, particularly in the face of the growing agitation for Nigeria’s break-up. This was part of the presentation which CNG made before the leadership of the National Assembly against the backdrop of the disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, in the form of the agitation for a separate State of Biafra. It also urged the National Assembly to invoke the doctrine…

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“Only N’Assembly can address restructuring, true federalism” – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday broke his silence over the contentious issues of restructuring and true federalism/devolution of power saying they are constitutional issues which only the National Assembly can handle. He, however, stressed his belief in devolving more power to the people. President Buhari spoke while receiving in audience members of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council, (NIREC), led by Co-Chairmen, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle, at the State House, Abuja. On…

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“Stop Constitution review, organise Biafra referendum”, CNG urges NASS

The Coalition of Northern Groups, (CNG), yesterday, called on the National Assembly to suspend the review of the 1999 Constitution, describing it as ill-timed and uncalled for, particularly in the face of the growing agitation for Nigeria’s break-up. This was part of the presentation which CNG made before the leadership of the National Assembly against the backdrop of the disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, in the form of the agitation for a separate State of Biafra. The CNG also urged the National Assembly to invoke the…

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Legislators Jumbo pay: Court orders RMAFC to fix salaries of National Assembly members

A Federal High Court, in Lagos, ordered the RMAFC to fix their salaries and allowances, signalling the end of the era of jumbo pay for the legislators. In a landmark judgment yesterday, the Federal High Court ordered the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, (RMAFC), to fix the salaries and allowances of the 469 members of the Upper and Lower Chambers. The judgment by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor followed the consolidated suits brought by Monday Ubani, John Nwokwu, more than 1,500 concerned Nigerians, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT…

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