The Senate witnessed arowdy session on Wednesday as senators deliberated a motion on the Naira Redesign Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), moved by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani.
Sani, in the prayers to his motion, urged the Senate to provide legislative support for the policy.
He also requested the Senate to mandate his committee to embark on aggressive oversight on the matter.
He urged the Senate to support the CBN redesign policy, including the January 31 deadline for compliance.
Matters, however, became controversial when Senators Ali Ndume, Abiodun Olujimi, Betty Apiafi, Barau Jibrin, Chukwuka Utazi, and Orji Kalu, supported the CBN policy but suggested the extension of the deadline for compliance.
Kalu specifically wanted the Senate to invite the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to throw more light on the policy, praying that he should be persuaded to extend the deadline to April 30, 2023.
But Senator Gabriel Suswam disagreed with Kalu and others, claiming that the CBN governor had always shunned the Senate invitations.
He urged his colleagues to ignore the CBN policy and let the country damn the consequences.
In his submission, Senator Bassey Akpan, stressed the need to support the CBN governor. He said there should be no discussion on the matter.
Suswam and Akpan’s submissions did not go down well with those seeking the extension to the deadline, which led to a rowdy session at plenary.
It took the persistent appeals by the presiding officer, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to bring calm to the floor after 10 minutes of intense arguments among the senators.
Senator Ndume had earlier said there were only five banks in the entire 27 local government areas of Borno State since the insurgency started in the state.
Senator Olujimi also said one and a half months was too short to withdraw all the money in circulation to avoid shutting down the economy.
She said the Senate should invite the CBN governor for further explanation on the issue.
Senator Apiafi said rural banking had been shut down, hence the January deadline should be extended.
She said counterfeiting was not enough reason to change the naira notes.
She added that the implications of the redesign should be criticality examined in view of the fact that bandits had said they would be collecting ransom in foreign currencies if the naira notes were redesigned.
Senator Barau Jibrin said naira redesign could not halt terrorism but could only reduce it.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi said, because of the rural nature of the country, the leadership of the Senate should interface with the CBN governor to explain the implications on the peculiarity of the country, adding that the CBN should visit all the rural communities to get first-hand information.
Senator Orji Kalu suggested the extension of the deadline from January 31 to April 30, adding that the Committee on Banking and Finance should meet with the CBN governor on the matter.
Deputy President of the Senate said it was the prerogative of the CBN to redesign the naira and put deadline for compliance.
The Senate, after the rowdy session, offered to provide legislative support for the policy.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions to go on oversight to ensure that Nigerians were adequately protected from the CBN, banks and other agencies involved in the process.
Kogi Gov’ship Election Petitions Stolen By Gunmen – Police
The Kogi State Police Command has confirmed that gunmen attacked the secretary of the state governorship election tribunal, Mr David Umar Mike on Monday in Lokoja and made away with sensitive petition documents on the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state.
The state police command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP William Aya, disclosed this in Lokoja on Wednesday.
The police authorities said the attackers of the state governorship tribunal secretary carted away all the petition documents filed by five political parties at gunpoint.
According to the police authorities, the documents carted away from Mike include, petitions filed by four (4) Parties: Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) as well as two (2) Record Books/a Bag containing his personal item.
The police added that the incident happened just before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office at about 13:20hrs on Monday, while victims were on their way to the tribunal venue at the state High Court complex, Lokoja.
Police said, “On Monday, 04/12/2023 at about 1820hrs, one Mr David Umar Mike ‘m’ Secretary to Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal along with Labode Apreala (f) Confidential Secretary and Hassimu Adamu Assistant Secretary, came to State Criminal Investigation Department, Kogi State Police Headquarters and reported that on the said date, three of them left their Hotel rooms in Lokoja about 1300hrs, heading to their Office at the High Court Complex driving in his (David’s) Peugeot 406 Car.
“That just before the CBN at about 1320hrs, one SUV vehicle which had earlier overtaken him blocked his car with two other SUVs following behind.
“All of them surrounded and blocked him as he attempted to reverse. That he saw about seven hooded men all heavily armed and dressed in black attire who shot severally into the air and dragged him and his two other colleagues out of their car, ransacked the car and made away with all the petition documents.”
SP Aya added that the state Commissioner of Police, CP Onuoha Benthrand, had ordered for a thorough and diligent investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, the police command has advised the general public to avoid statements that may prejudice ongoing investigation into the matter even as the command appealed to anyone with useful information on the incident to provide same to the command.
SDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had traded words over the attack on Monday with both sides pointing an accusing finger at each other.
While the SDP alleged that the attack was perpetrated by hired political thugs, the APC said it was staged.
Benue LGs Dissolution Lawless – Senate Minority Leader
The Senate Minority Leader and Senator representing Benue South, Abba Moro, has condemned the recent dissolution of local government chairmen in the state by Governor Hyacinth Alia, describing it as “lawlessness”.
In an interview on live television, Wednesday, Senator Moro expressed his disapproval of the Governor’s action, stating that it was a violation of the Nigerian Constitution.
He maintained that the governor did not have the power to unilaterally dissolve elected officials, and such actions could only be taken through due process and legal means.
He said, “Let me say clearly from the beginning, the constitution doesn’t provide for caretaker. Two years plus ago, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Ekiti State that sacked council chairmen that the governors do not have power to sack local government council and constitute caretaker committees.
“And even went further to say that the state houses of assembly do not have power to dissolve councils and that the state governors do not hide under laws made by the state assembly to dissolve elected councils.
“How can you now say you are investigating 23 local governments, 276 council wards and all of them have been found corrupt? If you find somebody, prosecute him.
“The issue now is that the action that the State House of Assembly has taken which they said he followed is wrong. What is wrong is wrong.
“This is the lawlessness that is taking place in Benue State. Is that correct? We must rise up against this thing.”
Third Republic Lawmakers Demand Unpaid Salaries, Allowances
Former lawmakers elected in the Third Republic, on Wednesday, demanded the immediate payment of their unpaid salaries and allowances to make ends meet.
The lawmakers made the plea while leading a delegation of the Third Republic Forum to present an award of selfless service to an alumnus of the Third House of Assembly and current member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Bayelsa State, Frederick Agbedi.
A member of the group, Basil Okafor, said President Bola Tinubu, who was elected Senator on the platform of the Social Democratic Party belonged to the set now battling to have their entitlements paid to them
“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, an octopus in battle, has fought from 1992 till date to make input and he is today the President. We have a lot of problems that we now think that having a President who is one of us, having members of the House of Representatives and multiple Senators, that some of these problems can be addressed. We have problems with our claims and salaries that were not paid at that time. We have problems that we are seeking the face of this government to see how they can help us resolve.
“And we know that having Agbedi here, he can help us coordinate his fellow members to champion this cause and the press should also help us in any way to highlight some of these problems that are facing us because we are the old boys of this current government,” he said.
He noted that the rules governing the activities of the 10th House were put in place by the Third Republic lawmakers, adding that the current lawmakers now only amend the rules to meet current realities.
Also speaking, the National Organising Secretary of the group, Hajiya Amina lauded Agbedi for his contribution to the development of the Nigerian society.
“We are here this afternoon to honour our own, the man called Fred Agbedi. He is a man who represents the interest of his people, who even represents the interest of women and fought for the creation of the Ministry of Women Affairs. He is women-friendly,” she said.
Stressing the difficulty the Third Republic lawmakers are facing owing to unpaid entitlements, she said, “Many of us have died. When we came here, we were 593, but over 250 have gone. Most of the women are dead.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) was 31 years since we were sworn in as members of this parliament. Our grandchildren can now vote and be voted for but we still have problems.
“If Moshood Abiola and Babagana Kingibe have been honoured and recognized, we were the foot soldiers. We were the delegates that voted them into power. What about us? Why can’t we be honoured and our standing salaries paid?
“Some of us are half dead. I am also half dead because my engine is knocked. I am just trying to make life easy for myself. We are calling on the government and the President to help us.”
While thanking his guests for the honour done to him, Agbedi called on the Federal Government to quickly pay up the salaries and allowances owed to the ex-lawmakers saying, “All their entitlements should be given to them. Even the President, Bola Tinubu will benefit from this.”
Business20 hours ago
Five Multinationals Exit Nigeria In 10 Months
Rivers19 hours ago
Group Calls For Investigation Into Rivers Political Crisis
Sports18 hours ago
Nigeria Makes Final Team Of The Year Award
Nation19 hours ago
Labour Union Petitions Three Lawyers Over Compromise Allegation
News18 hours ago
RSG, TAF, GOSH Sign MoU For 20,000 Housing Units, Spare Parts Hubs …As Fubara Assures Investment’ll Drive Economic Growth
Politics19 hours ago
Third Republic Lawmakers Demand Unpaid Salaries, Allowances
Featured18 hours ago
NJC Declines Adeleke’s Request To Replace Osun CJ, Sacks High Court Judge
Business20 hours ago
Bayelsa, NCDMB Task Youths On Skills Acquisition, Opportunities