Lawmarkers in the Rivers State House of Assembly last week rejected a bill seeking to establish Internal Revenue Monitoring Agency based on the fact that an earlier law had covered the subject matter.
The bill, which was to be pronounced dead was however saved from immediate death and allowed to be put into the House pigeon hole.
Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Chidi Lloyd, who had earlier supported the bill to cure the leakages in the system, however, relied on House Order 34, Rule 12 to make another contribution to the issue at stake.
He urged the Speaker to read the mood of the lawmakers and defer debate on the bill indefinitely until such a time when the Assembly’s Business and Rules Committee would deem it necessary to reschedule the bill on the order paper.
Speaker, Rt Hon. Otelemaba Amachree through a unanimous voice vote allowed the bill to roll smoothly to sleep as there was no opposition to that effect because even the sponsor of the bill was absent from proceeding.
Earlier, the lawmaker representing Eleme and Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Josiah John Olu, said most of the sections contained in the bill were the same with the law recently passed by the Assembly and therefore urged the House to throw away the proposal.
To commence proceedings on Tuesday, Hon. John Olu, prayed God to grant the House members grace to carry out their functions to benefit Rivers people and equally asked God to touch the heart of the speaker to enable him make the lawmakers happy because the body was weak.
In another development, the repackaged Customary Court Law Amendment Bill was reintroduced to the House and given its first reading
The bill, which was earlier rejected by the House for structural defects, was sponsored by the lawmaker representing Etche Constituency II, Hon. Golden Chioma.
Presenting the bill, Tuesday, Hon. Chioma said the bill had been repackaged in line with the wish of the House and contains 18 parts with sections allowing the Customary Court to handle chieftaincy disputes, sharing of family property when a man dies without a will under the customary marriage.
Within the period under review, the Speaker read a letter from the Office of the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari requesting for a breakfast meeting with the honourable lawmakers.
He, therefore, directed the House Committee Chairman on Information and Training, Hon. Onari Brown to liaise with the Commissioner to arrive at a more convenient date and report back to him.
However, Tuesday’s sitting suffered a major set back as power failure hampered proceedings of the House for about one hour. The power outage came in the middle of the debate on the Revenue Monitoring Agency Bill.
The incident forced the Speaker to stand down the House for 30 minutes but only offered apologies on resumption to members.
Meanwhile, the much-expected first meeting between the Speaker of the Seventh Assembly and the House Press Corps scheduled for Thursday afternoon could not hold as the Speaker was said to be attending an emergency meeting.
Addressing press corps members who had waited for several hours, the Information and Training Committee Chairman, Hon. Onari Brown apologised on behalf of the Speaker and promised to facilitate the interface soon.
Govs To Hold Virtual Meeting On Judicial, Legislative Autonomy
The Governors of the 36 states of the federation will hold a virtual meeting today to further discuss the issue of financial autonomy to judicial and legislative arms in states.
This is contained in a statement by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo on Monday in Abuja.
Bello-Barkindo said efforts were already being made in all states to either constitute State Accounts Allocation Committees (SAAC) or inaugurate them.
This, according to him, is preparatory to the granting of full autonomy to the two arms of government at the subnational level.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) had since embarked on a nationwide strike on the issue.
He said the governors had been working day and night to establish modalities for the autonomy in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
He said that the governors would also be updated on the activities of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who headed the governors’ interface with the committee.
Bello-Barkindo said that the meeting would also review the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC), which would take place a day after.
“Other items on the agenda include the regular update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for results (SFTAS) to provide states’ status on their DLI’s and upcoming deadlines.
The meeting would also receive presentation from the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, regarding unlocking liquidity through sale/optimisation of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets,” he said.
He added that the Policy Development Facility (PDF) bridge programme would also discuss diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states in post Covid-19 era.
2023: PDP Flexes Muscle Over C’ River
Leading members of the main opposition PDP converged in Calabar, Cross River at the weekend to strategise on how to retain its grip on power in the state.
This is contained in a statement e-mailed to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the PDP has been in power in Cross River since the return of democracy in the country 22 years ago but the defection of the current governor appears to mark a turning point.
Political pundits argue that the defection of the state Governor Ben Ayade from the PDP to the ruling APC may affect the fortunes of the PDP in the years ahead.
The governor’s departure is now seen as a major test for the PDP in what is now seen as a game of wits between the PDP and the APC.
Addressing the party’s chieftains, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, declared that Cross River would “remain the stronghold of the PDP, in spite of Gov. Ayade’s defection.
“PDP will work to retain the confidence the people of Cross River State reposed in our party and retain its dominance in the state.
“Our party has governed since the return of party politics in 1999.
“Cross River will remain the stronghold of our party well after 2023,’’ said Secondus, flanked by other chieftains of the party, including Sen. Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
Secondus told PDP members in the state to remain resolute to make the party retain power in the upcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former governor of the state, Sen. Liyel Imoke, gave assurance that no other party would take the state from the PDP, “being the dominant party in the state.
“PDP is the only party known to our people. I assure the leadership of our party that we will deliver victory in 2023,’’ he stated.
Imoke governed the state from 2007 to 2015 when he handed over to Ayade now of the APC.
Other PDP chieftains, who were present at the event included former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and the Chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Efiok Cobham.
Also present were Hon. Daniel Asuquo, Hon. Etta Mbora and Hon. Essien Ayi, all serving members of the House of Representatives among other party’s chieftains.
…Vows To Take Over Anambra
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, says the party remains focused to take over the state in the upcoming governorship poll.
Nwobu said this in an interview with newsmen in Awka yesterday, adding that he would not be distracted by those trying to destabilise the party in the state.
He lauded the National Executive Committee of the party for organising successful ward congresses in the state.
He described the success of the exercise as a sure step to the party’s free, fair and credible primary election.
“We want to conduct our primary election, where party people will freely vote and produce a candidate that will be acceptable to Anambra people at the November 6 poll.
“This is not time for distractions. We are focused on taking over government from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
“The party has shortchanged millions of Anambra people in terms of governance.
Nwobu said he remained the valid chairman of PDP in Anambra, having emerged from a valid process that was upheld by a Federal High Court in its May 24, 2018 judgment.
He said the judgment had not been reversed by any higher court and was “unfazed by any court judgment”, which purportedly removed him.
“My leadership is still subsisting, no superior court has set that judgment aside and a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot do that.
“Our team of legal experts is taking care of that. The decision to appeal will be advised,” the PDP chairman said.
The Tide source reports that Chief Chukwudi Umeaba at the weekend announced that he had taken over the party in the state as the Acting Chairman of the Caretaker Committee.
Umeaba, who announced the suspension of the ward congresses, said his action was predicated on the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court.
According to him, the judgment delivered on June 9, nullified the process that produced Nwobu’s leadership.
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