Senate has directed its committee on Judiciary to investigate the circumstances leading up to the invasion of an Abuja High Court which led to the rearrest of Omoyrle Sowore by alleged operatives of the Department of States Services, an event that took place one week today.
The senate directive for this investigation was sequel to a motion moved by senator Bamidele Opeyemi, in which he asked the senate not to pay deff ears to the outcry against the incident by Nigerians.
Senator Bamudele whio rose citing point of Order 43, noted that news has it that invasion of the court room session, was allegedly carried out b y members of the DSS, who were on a mission to effect the arrest of the Convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, over alleged treason.
He said that the event that took place in the court was a regrettable one ; inimical to rule of law and democratic values and urged the Senate to rise up and investigate the incident and do the needful.
According to him, the senate still remains an institution upon which Nigerians who elected them to office, including the judiciary look up to in expressing their freedom and constitutional rights, warning that such expectations in democracy must never be disappointed.
He urged the senate therefore to mandate the committee on judiciary to investigate the allegations and report back to the senate , such as to guide the institution to know what truly transpired.
His words , “Mr President,the leadership and members of the judiciary are particularly concerned about this development, because they believed that the court room is meant to be a sanctuary.
“But for us, as a senate we can not begin to take a position, or analyse the issues based on conclusion without facts that we consider incontrovertible yet.
“Much as we can not jump in to conclusion, but we can not pretend that Nigerians are concerned about this development.
“The reason, I choose to come under order 43 is that so that we don’t debate on this issue that we don’t seem to have an incontrovertible facts yet.
“In view of this, I suggest we mandate our committee on National Security to investigate and report back to this senate”.
The senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his ruling , reminded his colleagues that Order 43 does not require debate. He said he cannot function on allegations, hence the need to find out what truly happened.
The Senate commitee on Judiciary was mandated to investigate the incident and report bac k to the Senate in one week.
Similarly, the Federal Capital Territory’s N232.8 Appropriation Bill for the 2020 fiscal year was yesterday considered by the Senate.
The fast tracked consideration of the budget for the FCT comes barely twenty-four hours after the upper chamber received a formal request to that effect from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Leading the debate, Majority Leader of the Senate Senator Yahaya Abdullahi in a breakdown of budget said out of the sum of N232,875,365,947 budgeted, N53,876,241,095 is for personnel cost, N57,070,343,435 for overhead cost and N121,928,781,417 for capital projects.
He recalled that in the 2019 fiscal year, the FCT Administration received an Appropriation of N243,374,511,007 as its statutory budget.
A breakdown of the 2019 expenditure, according to Abdullahi, showed that the sum of N41,999,045,982.01 was spent on personnel costs, N32,445,971,579 on overheads and N46,292,431,523.09 on capital projects.
The Senate Leader stated that during the year 2019, a total sum of N120,737,449,084.07 accrued to the Federal Capital Territory as revenue, an amount which, according to the lawmaker, represents “about fifty percent level of performance.”
“The thrust of the FCT 2020 budget is to ensure an effective service oriented administration in order to ensure completion of ongoing projects and the provision of effective services to residents of the FCT,” Yahaya Abdullahi said.
Among projects to be implemented by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in the year 2020 are: provision of infrastructural facilities to districts and road construction in Jahi, Wuye and Karmo with the sum of N6.3 billion; reconstruction and finalisation of Lower Usman Dam and Gurara Road pegged at N1.5 billion, and N3.5 billion for proposed counterpart funding for Greater Abuja Water Supply.
Others are: construction of Cultural Centre and Millennium Tower at N1 billion; rehabilitation and expansion of Outer Southern Expressway from Villa Roundabout to Osex/Ring Road 1 Junction at N1 billion; N1.3 billion for completion of Roads B6, B12 and Circle Road, Abuja, Central Area, and N500 million for the provision of access road to Kabusa Garden.
While Senators George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East) and James Manager (Delta South) expressed the opinion that the FCT budget be presented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to the National Assembly the Senate President explained that going that path would run contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution which allows only a sitting President to present the country’s annual budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.
He however charged the Senate Committee on FCT to invite the Minister, Muhammad Bello, so as to review the performance of the FCTA in the 2019 fiscal year.
President of the Senate however expressed worry over the security situation of the FCT as he noted that there the 2020 budget if the FCT did not make provision for security .
His “I want to also ask whether we have so much provision in the National Priority budget of the FCT for Security.
“I’ve not seen anything for security here and I’m worried, because I think the security situation in the FCT, not necessarily inside the Federal Capital itself, but the satellite towns where people are kidnapped including one of our royal fathers.
“I believe that we need to look into that, definitely the security needs some attention from us, even if there is no provision. We should be able to prioritize and see which other subheads we can take money from to provide for security.”
The Federal Capital Territory Statutory Appropriation Bill, 2020, which was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on FCT for further legislative work
By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers
As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.
Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0
Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment
The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.
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