Kwara State Freedom of Information Bill, 2019 Passes First Reading
The Kwara State House of Assembly read the Freedom of Information Bill for the first time on the 21st of May
The Bill is for a law to make public records and information more freely available, provide access to public records and information, protection of personal privacy, protect serving Public Officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain kinds of public information without authorization. The Bill is sponsored by the member representing Ilorin North West Constituency, Hon. Abdul Rafiu Abdul Rahman.
INEC Receives 200 Fresh Applications
At a forum on media coverage of the 2019 general election organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu, it was revealed by INEC that it had withdrawn the “Certificates Of Return” of 25 winners of the last 2019 State Assembly and National Assembly elections.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voters Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, cautioned media organisations against deploying inexperienced journalists to cover 2019 election petitions tribunals across the country due to the complicated nature of post-election litigations, stating that it is important for the gatekeepers in the media and reporters covering the tribunals to have a good knowledge of the processes as the adjudicatory process and procedures in the tribunal are special, different and unique, and slightest default may result in fatal consequences for petitioners and respondents.
The Commission also declared that it had received over 200 applications for the registration of fresh political parties in addition to the existing 91 parties. The INEC National Commissioner noted the need for the National Assembly to alter the 1999 constitution to make registration of political parties more stringent for associations to get registered in order to avoid the challenges faced with the concluded general elections.
Oyo State Assembly Passes Tenancy Bill
The Oyo State House of Assembly at its plenary on Tuesday passed the state Tenancy Bill, 2016, into law, in addition to the State Joint Local Government Account Bill, 2018, which was also passed into law.
The Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Olagunju Ojo, said that the Tenancy Bill seeks to serve as checks and balances for both tenants and landlords, adding that both parties would now know their jurisdictions.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Joshua Oyebamiji, said that the Bill would serve as a control measure on the excesses of both landlords and tenants, adding that both parties would not intimidate each other.
The Bill will also allow for a balanced operation across the state, he noted.
Ekiti Assembly Passes LGAs Appropriation Bill
The Ekiti State House of Assembly unanimously passed N47.5 billion 2019 Appropriation Bill for its 16 Local Government Areas on Tuesday. The parliamentarians gave the Bill an accelerated hearing and passage due to its importance during the plenary sitting presided over by the Speaker, Mr Adeniran Alagbada, at the Assembly’s complex in Ado-Ekiti,
that contributors had earlier called for its speedy passage, saying that the bill would go a long way to ensure development at the grassroots.
The Bill was passed after the Committee of the Whole House had debated it. It also reported that the Assembly unanimously passed other bills during Tuesday’s plenary – Ekiti State College of Agriculture and Technology, Isan-Ekiti, (Reenactment) Bill, 2019; the Ekiti State Property Protection, (Anti-Land Grabbing) 2019 and the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency, (EKDIPA) 2019.
In their contributions, Mr Wale Ayeni (Ikere Constituency 1) and Mr Badejo Anifowose, said that the consideration of the Ekiti State College of Agriculture and Technology, Isan-Ekiti, (Reenactment) Bill,2019 would create job opportunities for the unemployed.
They noted that the Bill would also give room for the diversification of the state’s economy, technological know-how in agriculture and all round development of the state.
The assembly adjourned plenary sitting until Thursday, May 23.
Imo Deputy Speaker Resigns a Day after Lawmakers Suspend Speaker
The ongoing political drama at the Imo State House of Assembly took a new turn as the deputy speaker, Ugonna Ozurigbo, tendered his resignation letter.
The deputy speaker’s resignation came less than 24 hours after 21 out of the 27 state lawmakers served impeachment notice on the speaker, Acho Ihim, and the majority leader, Lugard Osuji, after suspending them.
The lawmakers who elected Chinedu Offor (Onuimo) the acting speaker and Lloyd Chukwuemeka (Owerri North) the new majority leader, said that the suspended principal officers had engaged in unparliamentary conduct by escaping with the mace during plenary.
The resignation letter which was dated May 15 and received by the office of the Clerk of the State House of Assembly on May 16, was signed by Ozurigbo and addressed to the speaker and members of the State House of Assembly.
Ozurigbo stated that he was resigning to enable him to function well as a member-elect of the House of Representatives.
Bauchi Assembly Passes Bill To Stop Recovery of Stolen Funds
The Bauchi State House of Assembly has passed a new Bill to reverse an existing law granting tribunal the mandate to investigate and retrieve stolen funds and properties by politicians, government officials and other individuals.
The new bill, which scaled through first, second and third reading in one day without objection, is coming less than two weeks to the end of the current administration.
Hon. Abdullahi Abdulkadir, Deputy Majority Leader of the House, moved the motion for the bill while it was seconded by Sale Nabayi, the member representing Ganjuwa West and Magaji Inuwa of Jama’are constituency.
The Speaker of the Bauch State House of Assembly, Kawuwa Damina, said that only 13 of 31 members of the House were present at the sitting and that none of them objected to its passage, while stating that he would ensure that the Governor approves the bill into law and that it is strictly implemented.
Meanwhile, the member representing Lere/Bula constituency, Hon. Aminu Tukur, has criticized the speaker for presiding over the passage of the Bill, insinuating that the Bill was passed “with an ulterior motive best known to the Speaker.”
He also identified the 13 members present at the passage of the Bill as cronies of the state governor, Mohammed Abubakar, noting that the sitting was done before the usual sitting time.
If assented by the outgoing governor, the Bill would set aside a 2017 law establishing Public Property and Funds Recovery Tribunal 2017 aimed at assisting the government recover all stolen public assets and funds.