NASS will not be a rubber stamp under me – Lawan

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Senate President Ahmed Lawan Wednesday, reiterated that the National Assembly will not be a rubber stamp under his administration.

Lawan who led the newly leadership of the Senate to visit Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the visit provided both the Legislature and the Executive an opportunity to also discuss the type of Senate and of course the National Assembly that should be expected in the Ninth National Assembly.

He noted that the new National Assembly, received a bi-partisan mandate from across the parties.

“The PDP, the YPP voted for us and we believe that this is the time and opportunity for us to consolidate the kind of support that we received across the political parties that we received in the National Assembly. We believe that we must remain united in the National Assembly.
He promised a focused Legislature, adding that “ We must remain focused for us to be able to deliver those legislative interventions that would be necessary for good governance in the country.

The Senate President said the relationship with the executive arm of government will be based on cooperation and collaboration.
“It is our desire in the Ninth National Assembly to work seamlessly with the executive arm of government because we believe that Nigerians did not make a mistake for voting for the executive as presently constituted and the legislature as it is today. So, we are in it together with the executive arm of government to work in such a fashion to be able to deliver those democracy dividends that Nigerians need today.

“It is our desire also to ensure that whoever is appointed by the executive arm of government performs his or her functions optimally.

Also speaking against the backdrop of fears that the parliament under his leadership will be … Read More...

NASS Leadership: Senators-elect commence voting, as Lawan, Ndume slug it out

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Voting has commenced in the Senate after the closure of nominations for election into the office of the Senate President in the Ninth Assembly.

The race is between Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) and Ali Ndume (APC, Borno).

While the motion for the nomination of  Lawan was moved by Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Nasarawa) and seconded by Adeola Olamilikan, that of Ndume was moved by Ishaku Abu (PDP, Adamawa) and seconded by Barry Mpigi (PDP, Rivers).

Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, had earlier announced that open secret voting as enshrined in the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) would be used.

This, however, led to an uproar, as APC senators protested that there was a court injunction restraining the Senate from using open secret voting and adopting open voting.

However, Sani-Omolori told the lawmakers that he had not been served with any court order.

He thereafter ordered the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, to do a roll call, after which he announced that 107 out of 109 senators-elect would participate in the election of Presiding Officers.

Each senator-elect was called upon and a ballot paper given to him in the open. Thereafter he proceeded to the cubicle to cast his vote secretly before dropping the ballot paper in the ballot box in the open.

Winner of the exercise will emerge through a simple majority.

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Nigerians set agenda for NASS as new Senate president, Speaker emerge today

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As the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly and election of Presiding Officers hold today, Nigerians have called on the bicameral legislature to immediately revisit the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, and constitution amendment bills. They also listed other critical bills which the federal lawmakers should prioritise to include the Industrial Development…

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The tangled web of NASS rules on media access

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 The pithy declaration of Walter Scott is a usually reliable handle for understanding some of the utterly confusing actions of the government. Poet and essayist Scott declared, “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”in the poem Marmion. New rules released by the National Assembly Monday, May 20 represent a complex and tangled web that hides its intendment in highfalutin requirements.

To underscore its deceptive nature, the two principal officers of the National Assembly on behalf of whom they issued it, have denied knowledge of them. Both Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara say they have no hand in drafting them. They saw them in the public space as with other citizens.

Yusuph Olaniyonu, special adviser on media to the Senate President, stated, “It is perhaps a new policy that will be in force from June 11 when the new National Assembly will be inaugurated. In any case, I will still try to advise the relevant people on an issue which I consider as bordering on press freedom and access to information.”

“Show the light, so the people will find the way”, the West African Pilot (1937-1972) declared of its mission. Shining the light remains the mission of journalism everywhere, more so in a democracy. Darkness detests the light, though, and always seeks to block it from shining on the dark motives and actions of officialdom.

The National Assembly released out of the blues new regulations to correspondents and media houses on coverage of the National Assembly. The rules covered individual and organisational qualification, the number of persons to represent each medium, reach of the print and online media but not broadcast organs, and corporate governance issues such as tax clearance for two … Read More...

Court dismisses suit to sack NASS members over defection

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A Federal High Court, Friday, dismissed the suit which sought to declare seats of the members of the National Assembly who defeated from the parties they were elected to another, for lack of locu standi.

The court held that the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), that instituted the suit lacked locu standi to bring the case before the court.

Justice Okon Abang held that the plaintiff had a good case but lacked the right to institute the case.

The rights group had sued Senate President Bukola Saraki and 52 other lawmakers, who defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2018.

It is praying the court, LEDAP argued that the defectors are no longer members of the National Assembly by virtue of their defections from the political parties that sponsored their election.

LEDAP urged the court to determine whether any lawmaker who defects from the party that sponsored him before the expiration of his term does not automatically lose his seat unless there is a division within the party.

However, the court held, because of lack of locu standi, the case cannot be determined on its merit.

…more details later

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