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Senate divided again as it passes bill that empowers AMCON to Seize Assets not Captured In Collateral

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Senate divided again as it passes bill that empowers AMCON to Seize Assets not Captured In Collateral 

The upper legislatove chamber of the National Assembly on wednesday passed the bill that empowered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to seize customers’ assets not captured in a collateral despite protests and disagreement from senators.
The Bill, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, No. 2 2019 (Amendment Bill, 2021), passed for third reading even as senators observed some discrepancies in the Bill.
A drama ensued after Lawan ruled in favour of the Clauses, when Senator Akpan Bassey, who noted that AMCON is not the primary lender, raised a point of order invoking Order 73 to challenge the decision of Lawan, which degenerated into altercations.Invoking order 73 means the senator was challenging the decision of the Senate President’s ruling thereby calling for a division.Lawan however intimidated Akpan who could not sustain his challenge as he recoiled and took his seat
Lawan said: “Are you challenging the ruling that the ‘yes’ had it? If that was your opinion, but in my judgment and understanding and the only one that has the gavel, I will view that…. we should be very magnanimous when we do the exercise. This is something majority of our colleagues have voted for, let’s allow this thing to be implemented, if there’s any difficulty then come back, it can be challenged.

Bassey said: “This is subject to a challenge in a court of law because if I’m a debtor, and tendered a commercial…… I have signed everything, you cannot go beyond the context of that clause, you can’t, it will be challenged.” 

Lawan further said: “Thank you very much Bassey, when it’s time to legislate, we all come here with a very clear mind, that we are doing this for our country. We don’t have any interest but national interest, when majority of our colleagues here in their judgement feel this is the right thing to do.

“Let me say that even if it’s the wrong view, it’s still the majority. Unless we have any cause to reverse ourselves. But if majority of the senators thinks this is what should be done to remedy a situation that requires our attention, I think we should allow it. 

“It’s our hope and desire that AMCON is able to recover huge sums of money that people have taken that is now on the shoulders of Nigerians. What’s happening is criminal, people consciously take money….. I will advise we stick with our decision, let the court make their judgment if someone goes to court.”
Considering the report on the Bill by the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, presented by its Chairman, Sen. Uba Sani (Kaduna Central), some lawmakers noted that some of the clauses will empower AMCON to go beyond its mandate.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who made this observation, drew the attention of the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to the clauses, noting that if passed they would empower the corporation to go beyond their  mandate.

Other lawmakers noted that if AMCON goes beyond its mandate, it would degenerate into legal issues, as the corporation would no go beyond what the customer tendered as at the time of taking the loan.

Lawan said that this is not the time to make correction as the Bill has already passed second reading, where the lawmakers would have made their observation and correction.

The clauses in question reads: “Section 34 of the principal Act is amended by substituting for the existing subsections (1)(a) and (1)(b) with new subsections (1)(a) and (1)(b) as follow; 

“(1)(a) subject to paragraphs (c),(I) and (d), become vested with and acquire legal title to the eligibility bank assets and all assets or property tangible or intangible belonging to, traced to and in which the debtor has interest in, whether or not such assets, and corporation shall be vested with power, to the exclusion of all other creditors, to take possession of, manage, foreclose or sell, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of the eligible bank asset and any tangible or intangible asset or property is used as security for the eligible bank asset, in full or partial satisfaction of the debt owed to the corporation by reason of the acquisition of the eligible bank asset notwithstanding that the interest of the debtor in such asset or property is equitable only.

“(1)(b) Any certification of sale or certificate of transfer of title executed by the Corporation in exercise of its powers under subsection (1)(a) above shall constitute a valid registration instrument under all applicable land registration laws applicable in the Federation and in all Land and Corporate Registries in the Federation.”
The observation by the lawmakers didn’t deter the President of the Senate from ruling in favour of the clause, even when the voices against the clause overwhelmed those supporting it.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the plenary, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru, said, “the issue has to do with AMCON going beyond the collateral by extending its ability to recover debt.
“The collateral presented during the loan contract shouldn’t be the only source of payment available from the borrower.
“Tax payer money was used in 2009 to clear some of the debts by the federal government, which was not suppose to be.
He, however, noted that some borrowers, who have of defaulted still move freely and live large without been prosecuted.
According to him, “AMCOM will go the extra mile to recover loans. They will trace you and your other monies hidden elsewhere till you pay your

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Legislature

Harvest of constituency projects in Ankpa II, as Hon Rabiu innaugurates three

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It was a harvest of projects for the constituents of Ankpa II State constuency as the member representing them in Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon Alfa Momoh Rabiu presented three projects for commissioning.
The lawmaker had added value to the educational development of his constituency through the construction of a Library, Laboratory and the renovation of the administrative block of a community secondary school.

The projects which were part of his contituency obligation benefited Government Day Secondary school Enabo with the construction of a Library complex and Laboratory, while community Grammar School, Ojoku benefited through the renovation of its adminstrative block.

The Honorable Commissioner for Solid Minerals and representative of the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi State, Hon Bashir Gegu commissioned the newly constructed library and laboratory at Government Secondary School, Enabo.

Relatedly, the Rector, Kogi State Polytechnic, Dr Salisu Usman Ogbo commissioned the renovated administrative block on behalf of the Chairman Ankpa Local Government, Hon Ibrahim Abagwu at the Community Grammar School, Ojoku.

Hon Rabiu who was in high spirits promised to replicate the gesture in all the schools across Ankpa II constituency.
He advised the people to be optimistic about the government of the day, led by Governor Yahaya Bello adding that the dividend of democray will trickle down to every part of the State.

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Legislature

Ban on open Grazing gains more ground as Southern Speakers promise legislative backing

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The recent resolution by the Southern State Governors Forum that banned open grazing in their respective domains is gaining more ground as Speakers of their States’ Assembly’s have thrown their weight behind them

The speakers at the weekend declared their support for the resolutions that banned open grazing, called for national dialogue and restructuring of the Federation amongst other demands.

The Speakers, in their own resolution that was signed by speaker Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, in Asaba, lauded the Southern Governors for the unity of purpose that brought them together to speak with one voice.
They reiterated the fact that the resolutions of the Southern Governors were key to resolving the problems facing the country.
They said: “We, the Speakers of State Legislatures in Southern Nigeria commend the Governors of the Southern States for their patriotism and firm belief in the unity of the country.
“We salute the Governors for their initiative and restate our support for the positions of the Governors. We wish to state unequivocally that the issues canvassed in the communique are neither new nor strange, rather they require swift response from the Federal Government.

“The country is currently undergoing very challenging times and requires bold and audacious measures to stop it from sliding into abyss.
“We maintain that the positions of the Governors as contained in the communique issued on the 11th of May, 2021 in Asaba are sacrosanct and a guarantee for justice, fairness and equity in the country.
“We adopt all the positions in the communique and reiterated the call for the ban on open grazing of cattle in the South.

“We support the call for the restructuring of the country to enthrone true federalism and therefore the convocation of a National Dialogue is inevitable.
“That this will afford stakeholders from all parts of the country to table their prejudices and together work out a sustainable relationship as one indivisible country.
“We pledge to deploy our legislative powers to strengthen the positions canvassed by the Governors.
“We also urge the Governors to send bills to the Legislature where necessary to address some of the issues in the communique.

“Finally, we thank His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State for providing the platform for the meeting of the Governors”.
At the meeting were Sheriff F.O Oborevwori Deputy National Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria and Mr Aniekan Bassey, Vice Chairman South- South, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.
Other were: Francis O.Nwifuru, Vice chairman South East, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria and Prince Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo, Vice Chairman South West, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.

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Legislature

Communal Clashes: Senators Sue for Peace in Benue, Ebonyi

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Worried by the lingering communal Clashes among people of some communities in their States , Senators Abba Moro ( PDP Benue South) and Sam Egwu ( PDP Ebonyi North) , have sued for peace.

The two senators at a joint press conference on Wednesday in Abuja , said the warring communities across the two states should cease fire by allowing the National Boundary Commission to wage in as far as appropriate demarcation of territories are concerned .

The jointly signed press statenent by the Senators reads : ” As the Senators representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District and Benue South Senatorial District, we are here to brief you on recent security concerns that have substantially threatened the peace and development of the people of Ohaukwu and Ado LGAs in our Senatorial Districts.

“On Monday the 12th day of April, 2021, alleged herdsmen invaded Umuogudu Akpu Community, Ngbo, in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt/destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped 5 persons.

” While we were mourning our people and trying to identify the extent of damage, we were surprisingly greeted with a statement by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, without any form of investigation, that the attack was carried out by Agila people, and not Fulani herdsmen.

” This claim, which has the potential of heightening the tension between the two communities has long been refuted and denied by the Chairman of Ado LGA and the Government of Benue State. The people of Ado LGA who have been victims of herdsmen attacks in recent times couldn’t have hired the same people to carry out an attack on their behalf.

“There have been sustained efforts on our part to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years. Motions have been raised on the floor of the Senate, resolutions passed by the Senate and efforts sustained at the State and Federal levels to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities.

“We urge security operatives to move into the affected communities and secure lives and property of the people. We know that both communities have embraced the proposed rebeaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission.

” We therefore urge that the exercise should be carried out with dispatch to finally put to an end all the boundary-related crises in our Senatorial Districts”.

The two federal lawmakers also proffered similar solutions for the Ezza/ Effium crisis .

They said : ” On the Ezza/Effium crisis, which started in Effium community in Ebonyi state and spilled into Ado LGA in Benue State because of the presence of Ezzas/Effiumites in Ado LGA, it is regrettable that the crisis is yet to be contained, leading to the relocation of some Efium and Ezza people to neighboring communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State, thereby creating apprehension in those neighboring communities.

“The alleged abduction of Five Elders from Odum Community of Ulayi District, Ado LGA before Easter Sunday has heightened the tension between the affected communities. However, the timely intervention of the government to contain the situation has prevented any form of retaliation or reprisal attack. It was resolved that the Traditional Council of Ado Local Government should reach out to the elders and traditional leaders of Ohaukwu LGA to broker more peaceful negotiations and resolution of the matter.

“We therefore call on the Governments of Benue and Ebonyi States to put in greater efforts and in collaboration with relevant Federal Government Agencies to take immediate practical steps to ensure immediate of all adopted persons and restoration of lasting peace between the affected communities.

“We urge our people in the affected communities to please apply restraint, avoid all forms of violence, maintain peaceful coexistence and rest assured that we will do everything within our power and influence to ensure the restoration of lasting peace in the affected communities” .

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