Electoral Bill: ‘Direct primaries not revolt against Govs but to protect federal lawmakers’ interference’ – Senate INEC C’tee Chair

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Kabir Gaya (APC-Kano), has said that the direct primaries clause adopted by the Senate in the proposed Electoral Amendment Bill is not a revolt against State governors but an opportunity to protect legislators from the governors. The senator, who appeared alongside the member of the House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Babajimi Benson (APC -Lagos), stated this when he appeared on a television a programme on Tuesday. Recall that the Senate on Tuesday revisited Section 87 (1) of the Electoral Bill…

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Electoral Bill: Senate moves to impose direct primaries on political parties

There are indications that the leadership of the Senate has commenced moves to force only the direct method of conducting primary elections on political parties. Part of the moves, according to sources, are plans by the All Progressives Congress, (APC), lawmakers to bring to the floor of the Senate direct primary as an Amendment Bill to be passed, using their numerical strength. The current system allows political parties to use either direct or indirect methods of conducting primary elections. Both chambers have already passed how parties will conduct their primaries, in the…

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Senate denies proposing creation of 20 new States

…Clarifies its position Aminu Imam The upper chamber of the National Assembly has debunked reports that the lawmakers have proposed the creation of 20 more States, saying that the Senate was “grossly” misrepresented. The denial followed several media reports yesterday that the Senate has instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to conduct a referendum for the creation of the new States, saying it reached the decision to respect “the genuine desire of Nigerians”. However, the Senate’s Spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, representing Osun-Central, in a statement issued yesterday, said the report is a misunderstanding…

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Senate uncover irregularities in FG’s N1.1tr investments in financial institutions

Senate has exposed irregularities in N1.1 trillion worth of Federal Government investments in a United Kingdom (UK) foreign exchange regulated provider, Crown Agents Bank, and some other financial institutions. Crown Agents Bank is a regulated provider of wholesale foreign exchange (forex) and cross-border payment services connected across the frontier and emerging markets. In the report adopted by the Senate, the Accountant-General of the Federation was accused of failing to present the shares certificate to authenticate the genuineness of Federal Government investments in Crown Agents Bank and financial institutions in Nigeria.…

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Senate exposes how INEC, Army, NSA, others collected N76bn from Accountant-General ‘s office illegally

The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly has exposed how the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Nigerian Army, Office of National Security Adviser and others collected N76 billion from the Office of Accountant-General of the  Federation, (OAGF), illegally. The revelation was contained in the 2015 Auditor-General report, which was submitted by the Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, and approved by the Senate. The funds were drawn from 25 percent Husked Rice Levy, 1% Comprehension Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) Pool levy, 15% wheat Grain Levy and 10%…

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Senate Approves Buhari’s $8.3 billion, €490m external loan request

…Passes harmonised PIB…As Reps step down consideration of PIB report The Senate has approved the $8.3 billion (N8,325,536,537) loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Upper Chamber also approved a separate €490 million loan request by the president. The total amount is part of the 2018 – 2020 external borrowing (rolling) plan of the Federal Government. The fund was approved yesterday, after the Senate considered the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts. Chairman of the committee, Clifford Ordia, presented the report. President Muhammadu Buhari had in…

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Audit report: NNPC failed to remit N3.88tr from crude oil sales in 2015 – Senate

…Directs oil firm, NPA, BPE, 56 others to refund N300bn The Senate, yesterday, decried the abuse of public office by heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies, (MDAs), particularly the Federal Government revenue generating agencies. It, therefore, directed 59 of the agencies to return over N300 billion allegedly misappropriated into the Federation Account. The Upper Chamber also ordered that the funds spent without authorisation between 2013–2015 be remitted to the Treasury within 60 days.  The Senate resolutions were sequel to the consideration of the report of the Committee on Public Accounts…

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Senate rejects Lauretta Onochie as INEC commissioner

The Senate has rejected the nomination of presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The rejection yesterday followed the massive outcry that has trailed her nomination, especially from members of the opposition and civil society organisations who claim she is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Recall that Rivers State governor,  Nyesom Wike,  on Monday rejected the nomination of Onochie as the national commissioner of INEC, accusing the APC of plotting to rig the 2023 general elections. President Muhammadu Buhari had…

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Senate raises fine for illegal sales of firearms from N1,000 to N1 million

The Senate yesterday passed the Firearms Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2021, increasing the fine for illegal importation and sale of firearms from N1,000 to N1 million. This follows the consideration of the report of its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters which was presented at the plenary session of the upper legislative chamber. The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Michael Bamidele, while presenting the report said that the fine was pegged at N1,000 in the extant Act which was not punitive enough to deter illegal importation and sale…

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N84bn misappropriated within 4yrs by NSITF – Senate

The Senate yesterday accused the management of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, (NSITF), of diverting about N84 billion within four years. The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly said it arrived at the conclusion following the outcome of its investigation arising from 12 out of 50 queries involving financial impropriety by the Commission. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, who made this disclosure, said the agency is a cesspool of corruption. Urhoghide said that “it is just unfortunate that in the place of four years, they…

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