House of Representatives Plenary for Wednesday, 23/5/2018

House of Representatives Plenary for Wednesday, 23/5/2018

Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, May 23, 2018. The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presiding 

After leading the opening prayer, the  Speaker went on to examine and approve plenary votes and proceedings for Tuesday, May 22, 2018

PETITIONS

(a). Hon. Agbonayinma Johnson brought a petition from a constituent against the Nigeria Customs for improper disengagement. (b) He brought another from someone else petitioning the Nigeria Police for abuse of Office. (c) He also presented another petition on the dispute of pipeline between two Urhobo communities.

Petitions referred to the House Committee on Public Petitions.

MOTIONS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE 

Hon. Kolade Victor Moved the Motion on the ravaging of diverse properties in the communities of his constituency by a rainstorm. He urged N.E.M.A to as a matter of urgency provide relief for the victims and asked the House Committee on Disaster Management to ensure compliance. As a disaster-related Motion, it was voted on and Passed.

Hon. Beni Lar Moved the Motion on some villages in Langtan North who are engaged in lingering crisis. Armed bandits entered the communities inflicting mayhem on lives and properties in the communities. She called for the deployment of a Special Task Force to secure the region. She also called on N.E.M.A to send relief to the affected victims and help rebuild the scores of houses in the communities.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

National Health Insurance Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1465) (Hon. Anayo Nnebe) – First Reading.

National Small Scale Business Development Loan Scheme Bill, 2018 (HB. 1466) (Hon. Anayo Nnebe) – First Reading.

Immigration and Prisons Services Board Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018(HB. 1467) (Hon. Anayo Nnebe) – First Reading.

Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2018(HB. 1468) (Hon. Soyinka Abiola Olatunji) – First Reading.

Federal College of Education, Technical Ikare-Akoko (Establishment) Bill, 2018(HB. 1469) (Hon. Olemija Stephen Friday and 3Others) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT

Report of Conference Committee:

Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Conference Committee on the Appropriations 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

A Bill for an Act to Amend the provisions of the Electoral Act, No. 6, 2010 to further Improve the Electoral Process and for Related Matters (HB.1425) (Hon. Aishatu Jibril Dukku, Hon. Ahmed Babba Kaita and Hon. Eucharia Azodo) – Second Reading.

Debate

Hon. Aishatu Dukku Moved for the Second Reading of the Bill, it was Seconded by Hon. Galadima Zakari.

In leading the Debate Hon. Dukku stated that the Bill was an amendment and consolidation often individual Bills aimed at consolidating on the gains of the 2015 General Elections and ensure improved electoral process in the country. Among the Amendments proposed by the Bill include clarifying the status of candidacy of an aspirant that dies before the election process is concluded, what happens in the case a winner of an election is later disqualified on genuine grounds, strengthening internal democracy within political parties, to clarify the status of voting for Nigerians living in the diaspora, to sanitize the conduct within the process of the Electoral Tribunal etc. Hon. Tahir Monguno in supporting the Bill stated that there exists a lot of lacuna in the Electoral Act as it is now, and the Amendments are aimed to bring the Act to the standard of the current times. Hon. Onyejeocha Nkeiruka spoke against some aspects of the Bill, she cited the clause that stipulated that a winner can be disqualified if the electoral process is flawed, who proves the violence was caused by the winner? And gives them too much power to the Courts. Hon. Nnenna Ukeje stated that the Bill is so serious to be passed trivially. She cited some aspects she thought to be too vague, especially the aspect that deals with diaspora voting as even I.N.E.C confess not to have the capacity to handle diaspora voting, especially as the Embassies agree that they do not have the database of Nigerians living abroad. She suggested like Hon. Onyejeocha Nkeiruka that the Bill be stepped down and reworked. Hon. Madaki Aliyu supported the Bill on the aspect of the electoral process it seeks to clean up. Hon. Nicholas Ossai opposed the Bill on the ground that it contradicts the ECOWAS Convention that stipulates that there should not be any amendment to an Electoral Act or process 6 months before General Elections. The Speaker stated that there must be an Electoral Act in place before elections. He stated that there is ample time to correct any abnormalities during the Public Hearing stage. The Bill was put to a vote, Passed for Second Reading and referred to the House Committee of the Whole.

A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal College of Education, Obot Akara, Akwa Ibom State, to Provide Full-Time Courses, Teaching Instruction  and Training in Technology, Applied Science, Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities and Management; and for Related Matters (HB. 1339) (Hon. Emmanuel Akpan) – Second Reading.

Debate

Hon. Akpan Moved for the Second Reading of the Bill and it was Seconded by Hon. Jarigbe Agom.

In leading the Debate Hon. Akpan stated that the establishment of the College would be for the achieving of excellence in knowledge standards, even for qualified teachers. The Bill was put to a vote and Passed for Second Reading and referred to the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services.

MOTIONS

Call to Address the Plight of the People of Iloro, Ojo of Ojo Federal Constituency:

Hon. Tajudeen Adekunle Obasa:

The House:

Notes that on Tuesday 8 May 2018 a heavy rainfall destroyed several buildings at Ilaro in Ojo  Community of Ojo Federal Constituency, which resulted in the death of a Pupil named Mubarak Owolabi, and injury to several other pupils as well as rendered hundreds of resident homeless;

Also notes that in 2015 a similar disaster happened to the same Community where a boat capsized and killed twelve students and many buildings destroyed and up till date no form of assistance has been rendered to the victims of the disaster;

Concerned that despite the havoc wreaked on the Community neither the Lagos State Government nor the Federal Government has come to the aid of the affected Community in any form even though an appeal was made to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to that effect vide a letter dated 17 November 2016.

Also concerned that the people of Iloro Communities, Ishahai, Imude,Ojota, Etegbin, lgbolobi, Okolodun, Erekun, Okunkobo, Agaja, Petepete, Traffic 1 and 2, Olomometta Igbo-oja, Egira Communities and the entire Okoagbado Communities that were submerged as a result of the devastating rainfall are all predominately rural farmers, thus the disaster has caused them untold hardship as they have lost their homes and source of livelihood;

Resolves to:

(i)Observe one-minute silence for the souls of the departed;

(ii)urge the Federal Government to come to the aid of the parents of the pupil who was killed, and those injured in the disaster;

(iii)also urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately send relief materials to the people of lloro, lmude. Ojota, Etegbin, Ishahai, Igbolobi, Okolodun, Erekun, Okunkobo, Agaja, Petepete, Taffi 1 and 2, Olomometta town who have become homeless;

(iv)Mandate the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure compliance.

Debate

As a disaster related Motion, it was voted on and Passed.

Need to Investigate the Alleged Violation of Provisions of the Public Procurement Act and Financial Mismanagement by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM):

Hon. Zakariya’u Galadima:

The House:

Recalls that following the enactment of the Pension Reform Act, 2014 the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) is required to enforce and administer the provisions of the Act, co-ordinate and enforce all other laws on pension and retirement benefits in Nigeria;

Also recalls that based on the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, the Commission is empowered to charge and collect fees, levies and penalties in the cause of administering its regulatory and compliance role and in some cases to impose sanctions and fine on erring employers, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs);

Notes that like other Government agencies, PENCOM is required to utilize its funds prudently and efficiently and to make all payment into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) or designated accounts maintained in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), except otherwise expressly approved;

Further recalls that PENCOM is authorized by the provisions of the PRA 2014 to invest its funds in order to generate income;

Worried that the PENCOM investment power in the recent past has been subjected to gross abuse without compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 by its Management;

Disturbed that PENCOM, under the guise of investing its funds, deposited about one billion naira into Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Abuja, at a ridiculously low interest rate and further directed Aso Saving to lend the money to MGSL Mortgage Bank Limited, Abuja where a senior member of the Management has the interest;

Worried that recently the Commission in awarding contracts and sundry services did not recourse to due process as evident in the following transactions:-

(i) unilaterally engaging a consultant Mr. Olufemi Adeagbo, the Managing Director, Comnavig who is being paid the sum of N2,300,000.00 monthly for the past two years;

(ii) employment of IT consultant, one Mrs Olayemi Keri, who is being paid the sum of N3,000,000.00 monthly plus other allowances, a car and a driver attached which privileges are not being enjoyed by the General Managers in the Commission;

(iii) hosted World Pension Summit in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively where it was alleged that over two Billion naira was spent.

 Also worried that if these alleged reckless spendings, misappropriation of funds and lack of adherence to due process are not addressed, the Commission may proceed with similar abuses in future that will certainly put the interest of Pensioners and the Industry as whole in jeopardy;

Resolves to:

Mandate Committees on Public Procurement and Pensions to investigate the allegations and report back to the House within six (6) further legislative action.

Debate

Hon. Zakariya’u Galadima Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Solomon Mahren. 

As an Investigative Motion, it was put to a vote and Passed.

The House:

Need to Investigate the Processes of Land Allocation in the Federal Capital Territory from 2007 – 2015:

Hon. Bashir Baballe:

The House:

Notes that lands measuring about 10,000sqm within the Federal Capital Territory are vested and administered by the Federal Capital Territory administration;

Aware that all developed lands in the FCT passed through legal processes which involve various departments of the Federal Capital Territory Administration before interest thereon devolved to citizens for their private uses;

Disturbed that a number of allocations of plots of land in the FCT did not follow due process and, consequently altered the Master Plan of the FCT thereby jeopardizing the concept of having a world class City;

Worried that in the allocation process, the original owners of Lands in the FCT, particularly, those that gave up their Ancestral lands were denied any benefits and their Communities remain underdeveloped, thus creating slums within the city, an example of which is the Jabi Village situated in the heart of a highbrow low density layout within the city;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Federal Capital Territory to:

(i) review all Land allocations in the Federal Capital Territory from 2007-2015 to ascertain whether due process was followed in the allocations;

(ii) ensure the payment of the prescribed fees, where it is established that due process was not followed in such allocation, and payments thereof be used to develop slums within the FCT;

(iii) recommend the prosecution of FCT Officers found culpable in the breach of such procedure and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate

Hon. Bashir Baballe Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Mahmoud Mohammed.

Hon. Baballe stated that some of the process of allocation of the land within the stipulated time smacks of a lot of irregularities. 2010 stands out as a notorious year within the period under review where a microscopic number of allocated land was developed and many of the indigenous residents of the F.C.T were unduly denied access to their ancestral lands. As an Investigative Motion, it was put to a vote and Passed. 

Need to Intervene in the Unfair Labour Practices in the Nigerian Football Sector:

Hon. Ayo Omidiran:

The House:

Notes the unfolding cases of Nigerian based footballers experiencing unfair labour practices by many football clubs, especially at the Amateur League level;

Further notes that the unfair labour practices include refusal to pay salaries, match bonuses as agreed, lack of good medical services, denial of players’ copies of their contract, etc.

Aware of the negative effects of such unfair practices on the development of football for Social, peace, human rights and gross domestic product;

Worried that although the Super Eagles and Falcons perform impressively at International matches, our local league, which is our national pride and an alternative source of revenue for the country is at risk of losing its credibility in the light of these challenges;

Resolves to:

Constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to:

(i) ascertain the cause of heavy indebtedness of Clubs and other unfair labour practices meted out on players with a view to effectively resolving them;

(ii) investigate the cases of failure to enforce Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) players’ arbitration decisions, which has made it impossible for many players to get paid as ordered by the Nigerian Football Federation.

Debate

Hon. Ayo Omidiran Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Ibrahim Musa.

In leading the debate, Hon. Omidiran stated that all other means of amicably resolving the issue have failed. The players have therefore come to the House of Representatives for succor. She pointed to this kind of practice as one of the reasons why the Nigerian league is not developing at the rate it should with the necessary endorsements and inputs in place. Hon. Zakari Mohammed contributed that the private sector should be encouraged to participate in sports development. He asked the relevant Agency to ensure the market is well structured. Hon. Nuhu Danburam stated that all Clubs should be made to set up a bond so that players’ salaries can be drawn from such bonds in the case of deferring clubs.

Urgent Call for Concerted Diplomatic Action to Stop the Recurring Killings of Nigerians in South Africa:

Hon. Nkeiruka C. Onyejeocha.

The House:

Recalls the numerous incidences of the gruesome killings of Nigerians in the Republic of South Africa, most of which prompted different reactions from the House, Nigerians, and the world at large;

Regrets that despite the reactions of the House to those previous killings, there has been no resolute move by the Federal Government to engage the Government of South Africa in a bid to stop the killings of Nigerians, which have continued with mindless impunity;

Concerned that Nigerians remain an endangered people in South Africa with no succor in sight from either the Nigerian or South African Government;

informed that on 5 May, 2018, one Mr. Francis Ochuba who hailed from Umudimim Ngodo Isuochi, Umunneochi L.G.A, Abia State was gunned down in central Johannesburg while visiting his tenant along with his female South African Estate agent to demand for rent;

Also informed that on the 13 May, 2018, Mr. Chidi Ibebuike who hailed from Uturu, Isuikwuato L.G.A, Abia State was shot dead and his car snatched at Mpumalanga, South Africa, while one Sunday Ezeji popularly known as “Alhaji” was also shot to death on 17 November, 2017 in front of his shop at Pretoria, South Africa;

Worried by the seeming unabated impunity with which Nigerians are attacked and killed in cold blood sometimes within the view of South African law enforcement agents;

Believes that a lot more needs to be done by the Federal Government th

deliberations with the South African Government to ensure the protection of Nigerians in South Africa and also that justice is done over previous incidences of Nigerians who were killed in cold blood;

Resolves to:

(i) condemn the killings of Late Francis Ochuba, Chidi Ibebuike and  Sunday Ezekiel on the 17 November 2017 and, 5 and 13 May, 2018 respectively and other 116 Nigerians gruesomely murdered in South Africa in the last two years;

(ii) invite the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to brief the House on the measure taken by the Presidency to guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerian in South Africa;

(iii) urge the Federal Government to undertake diplomatic engagements with the Republic of South Africa on the need to protect the rights and lives of Nigerians in South Africa;

(iv) mandate the Committees on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to ensure implementation.

Debate

Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Goni Bukar.

Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha in leading the debate stated that Nigerians living in South Africa live in constant fear. She reminded the House that even though a High-Powered Committee was set up to commiserate with the Nigerians there and advice them on peaceful coexistence with their hosts. She stated that apparently this advice could not be adhered to as they are constantly harassed indiscriminately, and their hosts are not peace-promoting. Hon. Shehu Shagari in supporting the Motion recalled how he used to go to secondary school with South Africans who were orphaned as a result of Apartheid and how nice Nigerians were to them. He stipulated that something drastic should be done and if it is still not satisfactory, then South African interests in Nigeria should be boycotted. Hon. Rita Orji lamented that Motions and complaints seem not to be working. She stated that Nigerians have become endangered species in South Africa due to the failure of the system that should be protecting citizens living within the land. She blamed the South African Government for not doing enough to ensure the safety of foreigners. Hon. Shehu Aliyu stated that the root courses of the xenophobia that has become a recurring decimal have defied solution. He hoped it would not come to the situation of retaliation. Hon. Nnenna Ukeje stated that the problem should be properly diagnosed before treatment can be applied. She stated that even though the Governments of Nigeria and South Africa are friendly; that fondness does not trickle down to the citizens. She wondered that beyond constant engagement, what can Nigeria do? She also stated that the legal system of South Africa was weak and prosecution was difficult as most victims do not turn up in court due to fear of further attacks. The Motion was put to a vote and Passed.

Need to Curb Mob Killings and Jungle Justice across the Federation:

Hon. Ezekiel A. Adaji:

The House:

Notes that democracy which Nigeria operates is anchored on respect for the rule of law, constitutionalism, order, justice and fairness;

Further notes that Nigerian Laws have adequate provisions that empower law enforcement agencies to enforce and implement all the laws which makes the Nigerian Nation remain orderly and that the fundamental human rights of its citizens as enshrined in the Constitution and other international laws are respected;

Observes that mob killings and jungle justice are the consequences of the failure of criminal justice, the failure of society to apply uniform and equal standards, irrational human instincts and impulses, and the failure of criminal justice institutions and agencies to prevent its occurrence and punish those who engage in heinous practices;

Regrets that people across the Federation of Nigeria, who have suffered one crime or the other have now accepted lynch mob justice as the best model to exact their vengeance, hence the law enforcement agencies are not effective;

Concerned that in recent times so many innocent lives have been lost in Nigeria as a result of an upsurge in the spate of extrajudicial killings, with the report of the Amnesty International putting the figure of victims of mob justice from the period of 1 January, 2018 to 31 march, 2018 at 29 persons;

Further concerned that the incessant application of mob attacks targeting crime suspects may have gained motivation from the criminal practice of extrajudicial killings by virtually all the law enforcement agencies and that the police is principally most guilty of employing such crude tactics as extrajudicial execution of suspects of crime in their custody which has become a widely tolerated practice;

Worried that apart from the illegality of extrajudicial killing of suspects, there is every likelihood of human error, which may lead to the wrongful killing of innocent persons;

Acknowledges that for the health and safety of the society, those who felt above the law are made to face the full height of the law so as to eliminate the chance of Nigeria witnessing impunity and anarchy in the society;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Justice to prosecute perpetrators of mob killings;

(ii) also urge the Inspector General of Police to hold accountable Commissioners of Police where mob killings had taken place and other security breaches that occur in their areas of jurisdiction, more so when some of the mob actions that have resulted in deaths are known to have occurred within the vicinities of Police Stations;

(iii) further, urge various Courts in Nigeria to timeously and effectively handle all criminal cases and to fairly punish for crimes according to Law;

(iv) Mandate the Committees on Police Affairs, Federal Judiciary and Justice to ensure full compliance.

Debate

Hon. Ezekiel Adaji Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Joseph Ayodeji.

Hon. Adaji in leading the debate stated that the Motion was principally aimed to ensure the Nigerian society does not slip into anarchy through the continuation of this practice. He stated also that it is also possible for the wrong victims to be attacked as heightened emotions does not mostly allow for clear-headed investigations. The Motion was put to a vote and Passed.

Request for Extension of Referral to enable the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the legality and modus operandi of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) conclude its assignment (HR. 21103/2018)

Hon. Aliyu Ahman Pategi 

The House: Recalls that on Thursday, 27 March, 2018, the House constituted an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the legality and modus operandi of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP); Aware of the expansive nature of the assignment which include investigation on the deployment of personnel from various Agencies of Government and the Nigeria Police Force to the SPIP; Further aware of complaints from concerned citizens and petitions against the questionable conduct and character of the Chairman of the Panel; Desirous of the need to do a thorough job on the assignment with a view to getting all the material facts surrounding the matter so as to gather enough data and information for proper analysis and actions taken by the Panel; Cognisant of the sensitive and technical nature of the task, which requires inputs from members of the Panel, and the general public and considering the expected time to complete the assignment; Mindful of the extant provision of Order Seventeen, Rule 3 (1) (g) of the Standing Orders of the House. Resolves to: Grant the Ad-hoc Committee additional six (6) weeks to enable it to complete its work and submit the report for further legislative action.

Debate

Hon. Pategi Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Solomon Mahren

Hon. Pategi in leading the debate stated that extensive steps need to be taken as the Chairperson of the Panel has been very unresponsive and the investigations that were referred to them by the Vice President has gone rogue. The Motion was put to a vote and Passed.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY:

Report of Conference Committee:

Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Conference Committee on the Appropriations Bill, 2018 and approve the recommendations therein”.

Synopsis of the Report: 

At the Conference Committee, the Senate and House Members were able to seamlessly come to agreements on the deferring clauses and adopted them all. The Report was voted on and Adopted.

The House suspended its Rules to allow the Speaker to Preside over the Committee of the Whole

HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE:

Report of Conference Committee:

Hon. Orker-Jev E.Y:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to ensure full Integration of Nigerians with Disability into the Society and Establish a National Commission and Vest it with Responsibilities for their education, Healthcare, Social, Economic and Civil Rights and for Related Matters and approve the recommendations therein”.

Synopsis of the Report:

Hon. Orke Jev stated that The House and the Senate had come together and harmonized the Report and he urged the Members of the House to adopt the Report. It was put to a vote, Passed and Adopted.

Committee on Public Petitions

Petition by Ken Ayapaye

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta.

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Ken Ayapaye against the Nigeria Police Force on malicious victimization and dismissal from service and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 21/11/2017);

(i) urge the Nigeria Police Force to reinstate Ken Ayapaye in to the Nigeria Police forthwith; and

(ii) that all his salaries and entitlements be paid to him.

Item stepped down by leave of the House.

Committee on Public Petitions

Petition by Patrick Ogbonna

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta.

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Patrick Ogbonna against Abuja Municipal Area Council on the issue of unlawful demolition of Sixteen  Self Contained Rooms at Gwagwa Village in FCT Abuja in 2006 and approve the recommendation therein” (Laid: 15/5/2018);

Urge the Abuja Municipal Area Council to relocate Patrick Ogbonna as his sixteen self-contained rooms which were illegally demolished without given any notice and has paid all the necessary fees.

Item stepped down by leave of the House.

Committee on Public Petitions

Petition by Canice Nweke Chidinma:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta.

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Canice Nweke Chidinma against the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on the unlawful termination of his appointment by the Management of the Agency and approve the recommendation therein” (Laid: 15/5/2018).

Urge the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA to reinstate Mr. Canice Nweke Chidinma back to the service of NDLEA as due process was not followed in the termination and he should be promoted to be at par with his colleagues in Office as well as paying the arears of his salaries, benefits and entitlements.

Item stepped down by leave of the House.

Adjournment

The House adjourned Plenary till Thursday, May 24 by 11:00 Am

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