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National Lottery Act Inconsistent With Nigeria’s Constitution- Reps Committee

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The House of Representatives Committee on Finance, has said that the National Lottery Act 2005 was inconsistent with Nigeria’s constitution and not in the interest of Nigerians.
The committee stated this at its 2022 to 2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) interactive session with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The lawmakers expressed their worry over some of the provisions of the Act when the management of the National Lottery Trust Fund appeared before the committee on Wednesday, in Abuja.
The Chairman of the Committee Rep. James Faleke (APC-Lagos state) said that the committee was not satisfied with the powers given to the Fund on utilisation of resources.
“It is not in agreement with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as to who has the authority to approve the budget; it is not the president, the president shall present, and the National Assembly shall approve.
“In the meantime, we are giving this directive; that the Budget Office should write a letter to the Trust Fund pending the investigation we intend to carry out on the National Lottery Trust Fund, all revenue remittance to the fund should stop for now.
“We are not satisfied with the utilisation of the funds accrued to that agency and that money can save a lot out of our deficit.
“We will look at how the law came and we will amend it; it is completely not in agreement with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; there is no national interest at all, it is self-centred.,’’ Faleke said.
Also, Rep. Sada Soli (APC-Katsina) described the Act as self-serving and not in the interest of Nigerians nor the interest of the Trust Fund, saying that it will be amended.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Mr Bello Maigeri, said that the Trust Fund had a mandate to intervene in several areas like sports, health, education and disaster management when there was need.
He said that in 2018, most of the activities carried out by the Fund covered the areas where it had mandate to intervene.
“Section 40 of the Act says proceeds of the Trust Fund shall be applied from time to time to fund projects approved by the President on the recommendation of the Board of Trustees of the Fund, in the interest of the Nigerian community.
“Such a project shall be for the advancement, uplift-ment and promotion of sports development, education, social services, welfare, relief, and disaster management in Nigeria.
“Sub section B allows the Fund to use part of the proceeds for the cost of the administration of the Trust Fund; meaning that we are to lease our operational office in the headquarters and in the zones.

“We are to fund our operational vehicles and to carry out very key duties, such as monitoring and valuation, research and development and implement all these good causes under this cost of administration.
“Sub section C empowers the Fund to apply part of the proceeds for payment of emolument and allowances of staff and members of the Board of Trustees of the Fund,’’ he said. 

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Ex-Senate President’s Body Arrives Nigeria After 33 Months

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The body of Nigeria’s Second Republic Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas, has arrived Nigeria 33 months after his death in the United Kingdom.
The remains of the elder statesman, which arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday morning, were received by his family members; Cross River North Senator, Jarigbe Agom; Hon. Peter Akpanke; kinsmen, and other stakeholders.
The body was thereafter deposited at the morgue of the National Hospital, Abuja, after two years and nine months at a London morgue.
Senator Jarigbe, Hon. Akpanke and the family members of the late former two-time Senate President, were full of praises for Cross River State governor, Prince Bassey Otu, for his spirited efforts in facilitating the transportation of Dr Wayas’ remains to Nigeria.
They also commended the efforts of the Convener of the Who is Who Forum of Cross River North, Papa Dorn Cklaimz Enamhe and his Co-convener, Mr Johnny Agim, SAN, in mobilising Cross Riverians and Nigerians to ensure the successful return of the remains of the former Senate President.
Recall that Senator Wayas, who hailed from Cross River State, was Nigeria’s Senate President between 1979 and 1983.
Late Wayas was born on May 21, 1941. He died on November 30, 2021 in the United Kingdom following a protracted illness. Disagreements among members of his immediate family had delayed his burial rites since then.
Two years and nine months later, his body has been flown home from Heathrow Airport in London aboard a British Airways flight 083 and arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Wednesday at about 4:40am.
Speaking to journalists on arrival of the body of the elder statesman, the Senator representing Cross River North, Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, said “We have come to receive the body of late Senate President, Joseph Wayas, who died two and half years ago, and we just succeeded in bringing the body back to the country through the efforts of the Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Prince Bassey Otu.
“We are going to prepare for the funeral, report back to the Governor, and the Governor is going to take it up from there because the late statesman is the responsibility of the government and he will be accorded a state burial.”
However, he said the issues that caused the delay in bringing the body of the late Senate President back home “have been sorted out finally.”
Meanwhile, the lawmaker also thanked the leadership of the Who is Who in Cross River North led by the Convener, Dr Doncklaimz Enamhe, for their collaborative effort and support as he proceeded to sign the condolence register at Dr Wayas’ Asokoro residence in Abuja.
Also speaking, the member representing Obanliku/Bekwarra/Obudu Federal Constituency, Hon. Peter Akpanke, also said, “We are here to deposit the corpse of our political father, mentor, and former Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas. His body was flown today into Abuja from the United Kingdom, UK, and was received by the Distinguished Senator and all of us. So we came to the mortuary and the corpse has been deposited.”
On the contributions of the late Senate President to his people and national development, Hon. Akpanke noted that, “He was a two term Senate President without impeachment, impacted the lives of most of the people today, and he brought them up. Like FC Obudu, he brought that school, and built a lot of leaders today, and he was our political leader.”
Meanwhile, the Convener, Who is Who Forum of Northern Cross River, Dr Doncklaimz Enamhe, expressed gratitude to God for resolving everything that caused the delay, and appreciated the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu for his intervention that made everything to go well.
“The people of Northern Cross River under the aegis of Who is Who Forum of Northern Cross River realised that our father and our leader who had passed on two years and nine months back was still in a London morgue. So the first thing we did was to allay the fears of Nigerians by going to view the corpse, which we did in London, then now we have brought back our father.
“Everything has been resolved because the family is back, our leader is here, now we will bury him. Every family has issues once in a while, the good thing is that God has a way of resolving issues. When all of us met the corpse of our father we all became sober, weeping and crying, and to God be the glory our Senator, House of Rep Member, and Governor, they are all together with the Federal Government, the Senate President, and everybody is going to give Rt Hon Joseph Wayas, two term Senate President and acting President a befitting burial.”
Other stakeholders and leaders in attendance included; Senator Eteng Jonah Williams, Rt. Hon. Mike Etaba, Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, Jonny Agim, SAN, Hon. Cletus Obun, amongst others.

 

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Urges IGP To Stop Ex-lawmakers From Disrupting Rivers Governance

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, to caution the ousted 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly against actions capable of disrupting the smooth running of the state by Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Disclosing this in a press statement on Wednesday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, reminded the lawmakers loyal to the immediate past governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, that they publicly declared their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Citing the 1999 constitution in the statement, Mr Ologunagba insisted that by their defection, they had given up their legislative seats in the Assembly and, therefore, had lost the right to meet as the state’s lawmakers, let alone issue directives to the governor.
Mr Ologunagba, in the statement, said, “The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the umpteenth time, cautions the former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who lost their seats upon defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) @OfficialAPCNg to desist from actions and utterances that are capable of disrupting peace and governance in the State.
“The Party counsels the former lawmakers to wake up to the reality that they are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly by virtue of the self-executory provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and as such cannot gather or issue any notice to the State Governor in the capacity of members of Rivers State House of Assembly,” he explained.
According to the party’s national spokesperson, the caution followed the former lawmakers’ purported seven-day ultimatum issued from an unknown location to the governor to re-present the 2024 state’s budget already passed and signed into law.
Mr Ologunlagba said the action by the pro-Wike ex-lawmakers’ seeking to assume the powers of the state assembly “is apparently with the intension to cause crisis, undermine and disrupt the Democratic and Constitutional Order in the State in clear violation of Section 1 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
“Having irretrievably lost their seats upon their defection from the PDP, the political Party platform upon which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly, they cannot enjoy the powers, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly,” Mr Ologunagba insisted.

The party, therefore, charged the IG “to note the subversive action of these former lawmakers and take immediate action to protect the Institution of Democracy, peace and security in Rivers State.”

He also called on the people of the state to remain vigilant and law-abiding and continue working together for the continued stability, peace and delivery of democracy dividends in the state on the party’s platform.

 

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PDP Cautions Amaewhule, Others Over Ultimatum To Fubara

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The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again cautioned the Martins Amaewhule-led former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to desist from actions and utterances that are capable of disrupting peace and governance in the state.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary, the party reminded them that they had lost their seats upon defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party counselled the former lawmakers to “wake up to the reality that they are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly by virtue of the self-executory provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and as such cannot gather or issue any notice to the State Governor in the capacity of members of Rivers State House of Assembly.”
The PDP said that it was constrained to sound the warning against the backdrop of a purported seven-day ultimatum issued by the former lawmakers “from an unknown location to Governor Siminialayi Fubara to re-present the 2024 Rivers State budget which has already been passed and signed into law.”
The statement added: “This action by these individuals seeking to assume the powers of the Rivers House of Assembly is apparently with the intension to cause crisis, undermine and disrupt the Democratic and Constitutional Order in the State in clear violation of Section 1 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Having irretrievably lost their seats upon their defection from the PDP, the political Party platform upon which they were elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly, they cannot enjoy the powers, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.”
The PDP charged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to note the subversive action of these former lawmakers and take immediate action to protect the Institution of Democracy, peace and security in Rivers State.
The party enjoined the people of Rivers State to remain vigilant, law-abiding and continue to work together for the continued stability, peace and delivery of democracy dividends in Rivers State on the platform of the PDP.

 

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