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Edo Assembly Crisis Attracts Senate’s Investigation

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The Senate yesterday commenced investigation into the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.
The Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the crisis led by Sen. Abdullahi Sabi (APC Niger) invited 12 out of 24 lawmakers from the state for questioning.
Before the committee went into a closed-door session, the chairman said members would be guided on the area to go into in the matter.
He said: “This committee is only interested in the matter as provided for in the constitution.
“Our interest is to ensure that law and order prevail in Edo State House of Assembly.
“We won’t go into the areas of judicial jurisdiction, but areas spelt out by the senate.
Sen. ChukwukaUtazi (PDP Enugu) in his remarks also noted that the committee is not going to encroach on the functions of the court in the process of carrying out its duty.
Earlier, Mr Washington Osifo , who led the lawmakers before the committee urged the Senate to save democracy in Edo.
Osifo narrated how Gov. Godwin Obaseki allegedly denied them in partaking in the state assembly inauguration.
The legislator also alleged that they were eventually arrested and detained by the security agents on June 18.
He urged the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, invoke its powers as enshrined in the constitution and save democracy in Edo.
“Though this is APC family affair but we need an arbiter from outside the family to resolve this matter.
“The world is watching us. We are urging the Senate to help us invoke the power and spirit of the constitution to save the situation.
“We want to go back to Edo and do our work as elected lawmakers of our people.
“On June 7, the 8th Edo State House of Assembly came to an end, and in accordance with section 105 (3) of the constitution, the governor is expected to issue a proclamation but he refused to do so and said he would do it at a convenient time.
“Gov. Obaseki ordered that we should be arrested and detained on June 18, 2019 and after our release we have been living in Abuja.
“Abuja is no longer safe for us, we want to go back to our habitat. Our constituents are being denied adequate representation at home.
“We were not part of the inauguration, no message was communicated to us that it was eventually going to take place,” he said.
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan on July 10, set up an ad hoc committee to look into the crisis and make recommendations.
The decision followed a point of order raised by Sen. OpeyemiBamidele (APC Ekiti) calling on the Senate to wade into the crisis and prevent further developments.

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Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would  partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19. 
 Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.

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Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism

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Delta  State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.

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Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders

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The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government. 
 The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.

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