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Prof Yakubu challenges NASS to pass electoral act ammendment bill for better elections

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**says deployment of technology is sacrosanct 

The chairmanship nominee for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mammud Yakubu has challenged the National Assembly to expeditiously consider and pass the electoral act ammendment bill to ensure seamless 2023 election.
He gave the indication on Thursday at his confirmation hearing organized by the Senate Committee on INEC.
According to him, the amended electoral act framework was germane to the conduct of 2023 general elections.
“We would like to see a situation where the electoral ammendment is expeditiously considered and passed and I am confident that this is going to be done.”
He said elections cannot be conducted in an atmosphere of uncertainty, adding that work on the electoral framework has to be finalized before 2023 elections would be conducted.

“I want to appeal to the Senate to please expedite work on the Electoral Act so that we can conduct elections in an atmosphere of certainty,” he said.
He said when the commission met with members of the Senate and House committees on the electoral matter in Lagos, the had extensive interaction where they submitted 78 areas of electoral ammendments adding that he also forwarded additional 13 areas of ammendment to the two committees.
“The earlier that is done the better for us. There is no way we can conduct election successfully without uncertainty unless the electoral legal framework id finalised for us to deploy our regulations and guidelines for the election.
“We have to develop the regulations and guidelines for the election for us to produce manuals for the training of adhoc staff, So it is critical.”
When asked what INEC would do differently he said
“I think it is more of what we have done, because my believe is that we cannot be experimenting constantly, we have to be consolidating.
“The more persons operate on the bases of a rule then everything must be done in the open and transparently.
“So we have to continue to be opened and transparent in the way we continue to manage this public trust. I hope that in the next few years we consolidate to the extent that Nigerians can vote and go home confident that their votes will count and only the votes will determine who eventually wins the election this is my hope, my commitment.”
“Secondly what I want to do differently is we will continue to deepen the use of technology in elections. It has helped us enormously. The registration of voters is biometrics.
“We are now uploading results on line by dedicated portal and we will continue to explore other ways by which the electoral process can continue to benefit from the deployment of technology.
“I know that there are misgivings in some quarters about the efficacy of some aspects of technology that is being distrusted but the commission is determined to continue to deepen the use of technology in election.
“Thirdly, what will I like to see done differently? it is not everything that INEC does that is in the realm of what the commission does.
“There are some aspects that belong to other stakeholders
For instance election process is based on electoral legal based framework.

He said the commission will continue to assure Nigerians that their votes will count just as they demonstrated in recent elections that it is possible.

“We are going to deepen the use of technology in subsequent elections and to continue to appeal to National Assembly to please expeditiously conclude work on the electoral act so that there would be certainty in what we do.
“What we intend to do this time around is to ensure that things that we require for the election shouldnt wait for the election year.
“There are some critical aspects of our work that have to be done and concluded next year and we just have to find the resources to do so.
“We need to replace broken ballot boxes, cubicles all have to be done before 2021. There are that materials that we require that we dont need them closer to the election.
“The key to the success is the ammendment of the electoral legal framework. I am confident that the senate and the House will work expeditiously.”
He said the commission is working hard to ensure that scheduled elections are not postponed again

He said one of the challenges the Commission had faced was the postponement of the 2019 elections by a week.
He stated this on Thursday at his confirmation hearing organized by the Senate Committee on INEC.
He said one of the challenges the Commission had faced was the postponement of the 2019 elections by a week.
Yakubu said it was tough for him because he had to address the nation at 2am and the world press conference later in the afternoon same day to explain why the elections were postponed.

He said INEC had listed 1508 activities to be conducted before 2023 elections.
Chairman of the senate committee on INEC Senator Kabiru Gaya said the nominee answered the best he could to the questions adding that they will sit again and analyse those answers he gave to them and report to the chamber.

On the allegation of N2b bribe he said, “From all these investigations, it is a lie. Nothing came into the National Assembly as bribe.
“Why should we then raise an issue for something that doesn’t exist? I know that the Senate that taken legal action against the reporter that reported it.

On the electoral act and the demand for it to be ammended before First quarter he said

“We are even going ahead of that time. On the 9th of December, we are doing public hearing and it will be joint with the House and the Senate so that we can FasTrack this electoral act.

“A lot of Nigerians need this electoral act because there were some problems in the last elections and once the electoral act is amended, it will give us a more transparent election.”

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Legislature

House of reps denies tendering apology to presidency for carrying out its constitutional mandate

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House of reps denies tendering apology to presidency for carrying out its constitutional mandate

From Doris Ferdinand

The House of Representatives has debunked news making the round that it apologised to the Presidency for exercising its constitutional mandate.
This was contained in a statement that was issued by the Spokesperson of the House of Representatives
Representative  Benjamin Kalu.
He said the news in a few sections of the media that the House apologized to the Presidency over the resolution of the House was not true.
He said the issue arose from the motion sponsored by members from Borno State, requesting for the invitation of the President to brief the nation on the state of insecurity in the country adding that the President never asked for any apology.

“The President or the Presidency as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate. “Where then did the media get the report that the House as an institution apologized to anyone? Media professionals are advised to uphold the ethics of their profession.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologized to anyone for exercising her constitutional mandate and the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the critical institution of democracy – the Legislature.
“We strongly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethos and ideals as well.”

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House leader claims no impeachment attempt was contemplated against Buhari

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House leader claims no impeachment attempt was contemplated against Buhari

***insists Chinda will face sanctions

Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon . Alhassan Ado Doguwa has debunked rumoured impeachment attemp in the Green Chamber against President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the House Leader dismissed as untrue, threat by the opposition to consider impeachment option against the President over alleged infractions against the parliament.

Doguwa described utterances to that effect made by Hon. Kingsley Chinda as “unholy, unbecoming, and unhallowed unparliamentary conduct” insisting that such rumour is mischievous.

The Leader in the statement said “I wish to declare that Hon. Chinda’s unacceptable actions smacks of disdain, disrespect and desecration of the time – honoured legislative practice amounting to flagrant abuse of the individual and collective privileges as members of the House of Representatives.

“What makes it more worrisome is that no such matter has been raised or discussed at any plenary or at any point in the life of this 9th Assembly.

“Relying on our official records, I make bold to say that Hon. Chinda used to be the Leader of the PDP Caucus in the Green Chamber but he has since ceased to be the Leader of the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives and therefore cannot claim to speak on behalf of the PDP Caucus whatsoever. His actions are regrettable, despicable and capable of jeopardizing the current working relationship with the Executive arm of government”.

The Majority Leader also stated that while the leadership and members of the House of Representatives had worked assiduously to maintain a harmonious Executive – Legislative relationship for the collective benefits of all Nigerians, it was unfortunate that Hon. Chinda’s singular action truncated President Buhari’s initial acceptance to honour the invitation of the House.

Declaring Chinda’s action as unacceptable, the Leader said the leadership, cannot fold its arms and watch a member undermine their institutional authority by spreading unfounded rumours.
“In the same vein, we as a House, and even in our respective Caucuses , have never contemplated any impeachment process against the President. There is virtually nothing in the horizon that points in that direction. “As leader of the House, I wish to seize the opportunity of this press statement to notify the general public that the House would be compelled to initiate and take legislative, legitimate and proper disciplinary action against Hon. Kingsley Chinda to serve as deterrent to others”.

Doguwa commended and congratulated President Buhari for taking appropriate actions in rescuing the over 300 abducted school boys in Kankara, Katsina State in fulfilment of the promises of his administration to protect lives and properties.

He, in the same vein, commended the government of Katsina State, governor Aminu Masari, the military, security and intelligent forces in tackling banditry, kidnapping and insurgency in the country, while he urged them to redouble their efforts to meet the expectations of Nigerians.

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Legislature

No more extension for 2020 budget implementation says Lawan

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No more extension for 2020 budget implementation says Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly would not accede to another request from the Executive to extend the capital implementation of the 2020 budget.

Lawan stated this in his remark after the upper chamber passed a N13.58 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year. 

According to the Senate President, the National Assembly’s approval granting extension for implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget last week, should therefore be fully utilized by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.

He added that the extension of capital implementation of the 2020 budget till 31st March, 2021; alongside the implementation of the 2021 budget starting in January 2021, would guarantee sufficient injection of funds into Nigeria’s economy. 

“For Nigerians, this budget that has been passed in the National Assembly today, is to ensure that the economy is supported fully through public expenditure, because the economy of our country depends largely on public expenditure. 

“The budget extension period for implementation of the 2020 budget, which we did last year, is to ensure that the funds that are available for 2020 are not lost. 

“So, there will be two budgets running; funds from 1st January, 2021, up to 31st March, 2021; and then the implementation of the 2021 budget itself to start from January. That is absolute fight against the recession we are suffering from. 

“With a projected 3 percent growth in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 2021 budget, we believe that the recession which Nigeria is in will be over before the end of the first quarter.”

Lawan, while urging the Executive arm of government to ensure the implementation of the 2020 budget till March 2021 as extended last week by the Legislature, warned that the National Assembly would reject any further extension request on the implementation of  capital expenditure contained in the 2020 budget. 

“I want to urge the executive arm of government, first to ensure that they implement the 2020 budget that will last up till 31st March, 2021. 

“There will be no extension after 31st March. Everyone must be on their toes in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure they implement the budget 2020. 

“And for 2021, we have to do everything and anything possible to ensure that we implement the budget like we tried to do in 2020.

“I believe that the economy of Nigerians will receive the right kind of boost from the implementation of the two budgets,” the Senate President said. 

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