Proceedings of the Nigerian Senate of Thursday, 12th March, 2020

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Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:53am.

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Senator Kabir Barkiya moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Wednesday, 11th March 2020. Senator Kola Balogun seconded.‬

PETITION
Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi raised a petition on behalf of a member of his constituent.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the petition to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report within four (4) weeks.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS- First Reading

  1. Animal Health and Husbandry Technologists Registration Board (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (HB. 374) by Senate Leader.

Animal Health and Husbandry Technologists Registration Board (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (HB. 374) was read the First Time.

  1. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 361) by Senator Philip Aduda.

1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 361) was read the First Time.

  1. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 351) by Senator Uche Ekwunife.

1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 351) was read the First Time.

  1. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 398) by Senator Aishatu Dahiru.

1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 398) was read the First Time.

  1. Open Defecation (Prohibition) Bill, 2020 (SB. 337) by Senator Clifford Ordia.

Open Defecation (Prohibition) Bill, 2020 (SB. 337) was read the First Time.

CONSIDERATION OF BILLS- Second Reading

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the amendment of Sections 65(2)(a), 131(d), Section 106(c) and Section 177(d) therein, to provide for Governors, and other related matters, 2020 (SB. 75) by Senator Istifanus Gyang.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the amendment of Sections 65(2)(a), 131(d), Section 106(c) and Section 177(d) therein, to provide for Governors, and other related matters, 2020 (SB. 75) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to specify the period within which the President or Governor of a State presents the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly and for other related matters, 2020 (SB. 259) by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to specify the period within which the President or Governor of a State presents the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly and for other related matters, 2020 (SB. 259) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the establishment of State Police and to ensure effective community policing in Nigeria and for matters connected thereto, 2020 (SB. 248) by Senator Ajibola Basiru.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the establishment of State Police and to ensure effective community policing in Nigeria and for matters connected thereto, 2020 (SB. 248) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to amend Section 138(d) and Section 139 of the Electoral Act 2010 by deleting Section 138(d) and adding a new Subsection (3) to Section 139, to reduce the unlawful exclusion of a political party logo on a ballot paper to a pre-election matter and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 73) by Senator Istifanus Gyang.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to amend Section 138(d) and Section 139 of the Electoral Act 2010 by deleting Section 138(d) and adding a new Subsection (3) to Section 139, to reduce the unlawful exclusion of a political party logo on a ballot paper to a pre-election matter and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 73) was read the Second Time.

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Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to replace the name “Nigeria Police Force” with “Nigerian Police” to reflect their core mandate of providing civil services and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 306) by Senator Bamidele Opeyemi.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to replace the name “Nigeria Police Force” with “Nigerian Police” to reflect their core mandate of providing civil services and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 306) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to amend Section 81 to make provisions for amount standing to the credit of security agencies in the Consolidated Revenue Fund to be on first line charge and for connected matters, 2020 (SB. 336) by Senator Ibrahim Gobir.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to amend Section 81 to make provisions for amount standing to the credit of security agencies in the Consolidated Revenue Fund to be on first line charge and for connected matters, 2020 (SB. 336) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to preclude the establishment of separate tribunals to hear and determine pre-election matters and election petitions respectively, in the Presidential, National and State Houses of Assembly and Governorship elections and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 321) by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to preclude the establishment of separate tribunals to hear and determine pre-election matters and election petitions respectively, in the Presidential, National and State Houses of Assembly and Governorship elections and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 321) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to give recognition to the six geo-political zones and to further introduce a clear demarcation by creating the Federal and State legislative list as a substitute for the existing legislative lists and for other matters, 2020 (SB. 274) by Senator Solomon Adeola.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to give recognition to the six geo-political zones and to further introduce a clear demarcation by creating the Federal and State legislative list as a substitute for the existing legislative lists and for other matters, 2020 (SB. 274) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to qualify criminal liability for certain public officers under Section 308 and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 322) by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to qualify criminal liability for certain public officers under Section 308 and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 322) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for establishment of State Police and other related matters, 2020 (SB. 316) by Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
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A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for establishment of State Police and other related matters, 2020 (SB. 316) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitution Review.

  1. A Bill for an Act to amend the Federal Capital Territory Customary Court Act 2007 to alter their quorum of the Court for the purpose of ensuring timely dispensation of justice, expand the jurisdiction of the Court to include the trial of criminal matters and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 315) by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

“I have a concern to raise seeing the merit of the Bill. If we saddle one person with the responsibility of dispensing justice, will there be justice? This is my only concern.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi.

“Let me align myself with the comment of Senator Aliyu. Usually those appointed to head customary courts sometimes do not have legal training. I do not know whether the sponsor of the Bill made provisions to make sure legally trained individuals are appointed as customary court judges. I think there are several other ways you can use to reduce backlog by appointing more magistrates. I suggest that we may need to take another look at this Bill and make sure all these areas are treated.”- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.

“The purpose of this Bill is to improve jurisdiction for quick dispensation of justice. The other aspect of the Bill is to reduce the number of judges of customary court from three to one. This Bill is anchored on quick dispensation of justice. The sponsor has raised some fundamental issues and those issues are very important. I want to suggest that we allow this Bill to pass through second reading and allow lawyers to contribute to it.”- Senator James Manager.

“Dispensing criminal issues is what I am worried about and maybe further legislative work on the Bill will look at these issues raised.”- Senator Philip Aduda.

“We should retain the number rather than reducing the number of presiding judges in FCT customary court. On jurisdiction, there is need for clarity. I will suggest that we allow it to pass and we engage ourselves during public hearing so these issues can be sorted.”- Senator Istifanus Gyang.

“I want to strongly suggest that we ask the sponsor of the Bill to step it down for more legislative input.”- Senator Teslim Folarin.

“The Committee on Judiciary has a concordance of lawyers and only one or two members are not lawyers. I think something as serious as this will definitely be interesting to our Committee on Judiciary but probably more interesting to the practitioners out there.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

A Bill for an Act to amend the Federal Capital Territory Customary Court Act 2007 to alter their quorum of the Court for the purpose of ensuring timely dispensation of justice, expand the jurisdiction of the Court to include the trial of criminal matters and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 315) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report within four (4) weeks.

  1. A Bill for an Act to establish the South East Development Commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to act as a catalyst to develop the commercial potentials of the South East and other connected matters, 2020 (SB. 161) by Senator Stella Oduah.

“This Bill is a developmental Bill and should be supported by my colleagues. This Bill, if passed will make the South East region developed.”- Senator Theodore Orji.

“This Bill is very important. It should be a reassuring Bill to give the South East people an essence of belonging. Whatever is given to South East is given to Nigeria. When we talk about the unity of Nigeria igbos contribute 75%. The feelings of neglect by the South East needs to be corrected.”- Senator Rochas Okorocha.

“I wish to commend the sponsor of this Bill. The essence of this Commission is to come out with something positive in the development of the nation.”- Senator Kabiru Gaya.

“I stand to support this Bill.”- Senator Michael Nnachi.

“I strongly support the establishment of this Commission.”- Senator Ibrahim Gobir.

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“I believe that we should develop everywhere so that we do not have a situation where one area is fully developed and others are not. It is good to look at the peculiarities and fashion out a way to address the challenges. Let all of us support this Bill so that we make Nigeria a better place.”- Senator Barau Jibrin.

A Bill for an Act to establish the South East Development Commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to act as a catalyst to develop the commercial potentials of the South East and other connected matters, 2020 (SB. 161) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters to report within four (4) weeks.

  1. A Bill for an Act to establish the North Central Development Commission to act as a catalyst to develop the agricultural, commercial and industrial potential of the North Central to receive and manage from allocation of the Federation for the agricultural and industrial development of the North Central and for other development challenges and for connected matters, 2020 (SB. 234) by Senator Abba Moro.

“The beauty in the North Central is that if you leave the north, you must pass through the North Central. The North Central is endowed with a lot of mineral resources. The resources of North Central is overstretched because of the terrible roads. This is a straightforward Bill and the key flash points for flooding is in the North Central zone. I urge my colleagues to support this Bill.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi.

“The deputy whip of the Senate has spoken eloquently on the need to have this Commission. This is long overdue. I will like to urge my Distinguished colleagues to support this Bill.”- Senator Philip Aduda.

“This Bill is a developmental Bill and the North Central region largely consist of what is historically referred to as the middle belt region. It is the most viable agricultural region with massive water resources.”- Senator Istifanus Gyang.

“I rise to support this Bill. I think this is one of the most important Bill. North Central is the economic nerve of this nation.”-Senator Yakubu Oseni.

“I rise to support this and just like we have already discussed the other zonal commission. We need this Commission to be able to harness the peculiarity of North Central.”- Senator Oloriegbe Yahaya.

“I am supporting this Bill because it is good for this country.”- Senator Kola Balogun.

A Bill for an Act to establish the North Central Development Commission to act as a catalyst to develop the agricultural, commercial and industrial potential of the North Central to receive and manage from allocation of the Federation for the agricultural and industrial development of the North Central and for other development challenges and for connected matters, 2020 (SB. 234) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters to report within four (4) weeks.

“By way of some comments let me say that what we have all agreed is each geo political zone should have a developmental commission but in my view what Nigeria needs most is proper planning. Lagos State is setting the pace and they are making progress. We need to emphasize our national planning more because this is the only way we can address developmental challenges . I think every geo political zone has something to contribute. What we need is to work to ensure that we exploit and utilize the potential of North Central and with this the Senate will continue to focus on national planning. We should insist that national planning should be resuscitated and that should be long term.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

ADJOURNMENT
Senate Leader moved that all items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary is adjourned to Tuesday, 17th March 2020.

GavelBangs

Signed
New Media Unit
Office of the President of the Senate
Federal Republic of Nigeria

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