Reps in rowdy session as speaker withdraws controversial water bill – Newstrends
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Reps in rowdy session as speaker withdraws controversial water bill

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The House of Representatives has withdrawn its controversial National Water Resources Bill, 2020.

The House was thrown into a turmoil on Tuesday, while considering a Matter of Privilege, raised by Rep. Benjamin Mzondu(PDP-Benue) to be heard on the contentious National Water Resources Bill, 2020.

Mzondu’s motion sought the withdrawal of the Bill, owing to the public outcry against it and its breach of House’ Rules.

In presenting his Matter of Privilege, Rep. Mzondu cited Order 6, Rule 1(1), 2 and 3, as he argued forcefully, against the transmission of the Bill to the Senate and its finally becoming law.

He said, “I wish to refer to Order 6, Rule 1(1), 2 and 3 and Order 12, Rule 18 to state that I was deprived of my legislative Privilege of sighting a gazetted copy of the National Water Resources BillHB 921, and such could not participate in the consideration of the report by the Committee of the Whole, which also deprived me of my rights and privilege of representation to my people.

“Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, it is in the effort to eliminate the “Element of Surprise”, that the House in its wisdom, included in its Standing Rule, that every Bill, must be gazetted or clean copies circulated. It is important to note that the word emphasized here, is “gazette”, which means appearing in the Bills Journal of the House.

“The words used are clear and unambiguous, they ought to be given their ordinary meaning, as stated.

“Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, I was misled by the use of order 12, Rule 18 of our Standing Orders. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, it is an issue of law and procedure, and Hon. Speaker, the onus of interpretation, lies with you. Where the Bill was labeled as Bill 2020, it was not considered as such.

“The laws lay, on your shoulder to interpret these rules as stated in Order 7 Rule 1(7). It is important to emphasize that I have painstakingly searched through all the journals of the House, and cannot find where the Bill is gazetted and I stand to be challenged or corrected.

“The next question for your consideration, Hon. Speaker, deals with jurisdiction, whether the House such powers to entertain a bill, such proceedings become a nullity, ab initio no matter how conducted and decided”.

” So having not met this condition, I wish to move, relying on Order8 Rule 8 and the above-stated rules, that “The House do rescind/expunge its decision of 23rd July 2020, which adopted the National Water Resources Bill, 2020 HB921 to have been read the Third time from our records”.

His latter prayers were granted, after a prolonged debate from both sides of the legislative divide, as the Speaker ordered for the withdrawal of Bill.

“Fundamental issues have been raised by Hon. Mzondu. He has backed them up, with a clear language, that such bills, must be re-gazetted”, Gbajabiamila said.

While the Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase, who argued against Mzondu’s position, stressed that the bill followed due process in its passage.

Wase’s argument was buttressed by the sponsor of the bill, Sada Soli(APC-Katsina), and the Chairman of the Rules and Business Committee, Hassan Fulata(APC-Jigawa).

Lawmakers, led by Kingsley Chinda(PDP-Rivers), however, put up a strong defense for Mzondu’s submission, leading to the decision of the speaker to order for the withdrawal of the Bill, for a fresh gazetting.

The bill which was earlier introduced as Executive Bill was killed in the Senate, but passed in the House.
The instrument, however, couldn’t be retransmitted to the Senate for Senate’s concurrence before the 8th Assembly lapsed.

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Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

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Aminu Ado Bayero

Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

The Arewa Social Contract Initiative on Sunday, May 26, asked the dethroned emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero, to vacate the ancient city quietly for peace to reign.

Bayero, who was dethroned alongside four other first-class emirs following the enactment of a new law, has returned to Kano and is occupying the Gidan Nasarawa palace, while Sanusi is in the main palace, a situation that is causing intense tension.

The national chairman of the Arewa Social Contract Initiative, Alh. Sani Mahmoud Darma, on Sunday, May 26, said the solution to the stalemate over the emirate tussle is for Bayero to vacate Kano.

Darma, who addressed a press conference in Kano, said all the Arewa executives from the 19 northern states had met, critically analyzed the situation, and decided that Bayero was the problem and should leave Kano.

He said: “It is very unfortunate that after his dethronement, Aminu Ado Bayero accepted the decision and packed all his belongings from the palace and left Kano state, then some people from the top brought him back and claimed his lost position.

“If he feels his dethronement was unlawfully done and he wants to reclaim it, he would have stayed somewhere and pursued it through the court. But coming back to Kano and attempting to occupy the palace is a sign that he wants to cause violence and chaos in Kano.”

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He reminded the dethroned emir to look back and recall history and accept that his sack was from God and should leave Kano immediately to avoid bloodshed.

Darma said: “This is unacceptable! It happened to Sanusi and he benefited. When Sanusi was dethroned and he (Bayero) was appointed he accepted everything in good faith and left Kano for Bayero to occupy the palace. Why is he back now that he is the victim? It shows he is still interested in the throne.

“He should congratulate Sanusi and vacate Kano immediately for peace to reign. If he is still interested in the position, he should go and stay in another state while he seeks justice from the court.”

He said the Arewa members are 100 percent strongly behind the new emir (Sanusi), because Governor Abba Yusuf, during his gubernatorial campaign, had promised the Kano people that he was going to bring back Sanusi.

The people were happy and they voted for him. What the governor has done is just a fulfillment of his promise and the people are happy about the governor’s decision because it is a long-awaited thing. So, we are (Arewa) also happy about Sanusi’s reinstatement, because he was victimised.

“What has happened is purely the decision of the State House of Assembly, the governor, the kingmakers, and the people of the state, after the old law was repealed. So, it is purely a state affair. We were even surprised when the issue of court order came about,” he said.

Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

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President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

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President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

President Bola Tinubu has made a notable arrival in  Lagos to commence the flagging-off ceremony for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway. Welcomed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other government dignitaries at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, President Tinubu’s presence marks a significant step forward in infrastructure development for the region.

The announcement of President Tinubu’s visit was preceded by statements from Olusegun Dada, Tinubu’s Special Assistant on Social Media, who had earlier indicated that the president would inaugurate several projects in commemoration of his first anniversary in office.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, had confirmed that Tinubu would initiate the construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway on May 26, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure across the nation.

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During a meeting with a delegation of Yoruba leaders of thought at the State House in  Abuja, President Tinubu reiterated his administration’s dedication to fostering tangible impacts on the lives of Nigerians. He expressed optimism about the country’s trajectory towards prosperity, highlighting the progress made during the past 12 months despite inherent challenges.

President Tinubu’s visit to  Lagos and the subsequent commencement of the Lagos-Calabar highway project underscore the administration’s commitment to accelerating socio-economic development and improving connectivity across regions.

President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

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FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

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FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

The federal government has sued the thirty-six governors before the Supreme Court to ensure the autonomy of the nation’s local governments.

In the suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed on May 20, by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) on behalf of the federal government.

The federal government is praying the Apex Court for an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary, and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected leaders for local governments.

It also prayed the Supreme Court for an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the federation account in line with the provisions of the Constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

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It wanted an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

Also, the federal government wants an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents, and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefit of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.

FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

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