The Senate on Thursday, April 12, 2018 has considered and passed into law two legislation; the Bills that were given the ultimate legislative approval following the presentation of their report before the Chamber for consideration and further legislative actions. The Bills read the third time and passed include:
1) Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief, etc.) ACT CAP 17 LFN 2004, Bill, 2018 (S.B. 638), sponsored by Sen. Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa South-West). The Legislation was accorded the much needed legislative nod following the consideration of its report presented by the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment led by Sen. Mohammed. The Chamber resolved into the Committee of the Whole where clauses 1 – 26, short and long titles as well as explanatory memorandum of understanding of the Bill were approved as recommended or amended. Thereafter, it was read the third time and passed.
2) Chartered Institute of Directors of Nigeria (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2018 (S.B. 424), sponsored by Sen. Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa Central). The passage of the Bill into law was sequel to the presentation of the Bill’s report by the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters led by Sen. Paulker. The Senate resolved into the Committee of the Whole where clauses 1 – 39, short and long titles, explanatory memorandum of understanding of the Bill were approved as recommended or amended. Afterwards, it was read the third time and passed.
Similarly, the Red Chamber has received, considered and adopted the report of its Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of Arrest Episodes of Tuesday 21st November, 2017 between the officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Department of State Security (DSS). The Report was presented before the Chamber by the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on the matter, Sen. Francis Alimikhena (Edo North). The Senate on receipt of the report adopted its recommendations and thus urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter by halting the unnecessary rivalry between the three Federal Government Security Agencies for the interest of the nation.
Also, the Upper Legislative Chamber has received and approved the screening report of its Committee on Niger Delta Affairs on the screening of three nominees for appointment into the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as Non-Executive Members of the Board. On receipt of the report, the Chamber revert to plenary where the nomination of the following nominees were confirmed:
1) Hon. Chuka Amah (Imo State)
2) Mr. Lucky Orimasan (Ondo State)
3) Mr. Nwaogu N. Nwaogu (Abia State).
Meanwhile, Sen. Rafiu Adebayo rose under point of order 42 and 52 to report a recent armed robbery attack on a Bank in Offa, Kwara State in which nine Police men were killed. The Motion scaled through with the following resolutions:
i) A minute silence was observed in honour of the deceased.
ii) Authorities should strengthen security in the area.
iii) Senate charge the Nigerian Army to establish a Brigade in Offa.
iv) Senate Committee on Police Affairs should investigate the matter and report back in four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Senate has suspended for 90days Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) over acts of misconduct relating to the comments he made in interview on the amendment of Electoral Act 2010 recently passed by the National Assembly in which he alleged that the changing of election sequence and passage of the Bill were targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.
It would be recalled that Sen. Dino Melaye reported the matter to the Chamber alleging that the comments by Sen. Omo-Agege has brought the integrity of the Chamber to disrepute. Consequently, the matter was referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate and report back.
Although, Sen. Omo-Agege tendered and unreserved apology to his colleagues during one of the plenary sessions to pacify Senators and halt the investigation, the Committee went on with its assignment. An action that prompted the law-maker to institute a legal action against the Senate before a Court of law.
Accordingly, the Committee presented report on its findings before the Chamber and recommended suspension of the Senator for 181 days. The Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan appealed for leniency on behalf of the law-maker, urging him to withdraw his case while the Senate should pardon him but was not accepted by the Chamber.
However, the Chamber ruled that he should withdraw the case he instituted and dissolve the Pro-Buhari law-makers Forum he established as well as go on suspension for 90 days to serve as a deterrent to other law-makers.