OrderPaperToday – The last week in the Senate recorded the passage of the NFIU bill, an alleged plot to remove the leadership of the red chamber and saw more attention paid to the Governor of the Kogi State. The plenary week was rounded off with the celebration of the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, pointedly marked by several men and women in the Senate.
NFIU bill gets passed and EFCC, Bank of Industry, 83 others included in unaudited report scandal
The National Assembly eventually passed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) bill seeking to separate the unit from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This followed a report by the conference committee of both chambers since its previous passage by the red chamber in July and the green chamber in November 2017.
In another development, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bank of Industry and 83 others have failed to audit their accounts with the Auditor General of the Federation since inception of the agencies.
The report was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo). The red chamber then resolved to stop the budgetary allocations of the erring parastatals should immediate steps are not taken to redress the shameful situation.
Saraki’s removal plot and adjournment of CCT trial
Senator Obinna Ogba accused Senator Abdullahi Adamu of plans to distort the Senate and unseat its leadership.
Sen. Adamu, in a swift response, denied the allegation while noting that Saraki is like a son to him.
In another matter, the Code of Conduct Tribunal adjourned the trial of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki on false declarations due to a suit pending at the Supreme Court.
Kogi governor under attack in Senate
Several Senators berated the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for allegedly disrupting an empowerment programme conducted by Sen. Ahmed Ogembe in his constituency.
Reacting to this, the Deputy President of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu condemned the act, insinuating that Nigeria is at risk of military intervention if it “jokes” with the “receding” democracy.
Sen. Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) also narrated his ordeal when the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) sent by Bello reportedly trapped him in court.
Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe also described the governor as a “little Hitler.”
In a related development, the Senator representing the Kogi west senatorial district alleged that Governor Yahaya of importing military wares into the country without end use certificates.
International Women’s Day
March 8 was celebrated as the International Women’s Day and several lawmakers of the upper legislative chamber voiced their support for Nigerian women.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu advocated for the participation of women in politics and economics.
Similarly, the President of ECOWAS Female Parliament, Sen. Stella Oduah canvassed support for the same cause.
On air mishaps, inter-state roads
Due to a series of air mishaps and near fatalities, the red chamber summoned the Minister of State for Transportation (Aviation), Hadi Sirika, with a view to prevent deaths and human errors in the aviation sector.
This followed a motion sponsored by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos) on Tuesday, co-sponsored by 14 other senators.
Similarly, the Federal Government was urged to rehabilitate inter-state roads due their deplorable state.
The sponsor of the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi cited the ldah-Odolu-Nsukka-Adani-Otuocha-Onitsha road, which cuts through Kogi, Enugu and Anambra States, stating that this would help facilitate integration and encourage commercial activities.