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Senate Presidency: 72 Non-Serving Senators drum support for Akpabio



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AS the race for the 10th Senate presidency gets ‘tougher’,  72 non-serving senators have endorsed former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to head the 10th Senate.

A former senator representing Kano Central, Basheer Garba Lado, in a press conference in Abuja on Monday,  on behalf of the group expressed support for the zoning of the position of the president of the 10th senate, to the south-south geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Addressing the press, Lado said:

We are a group of non-serving Senators of the Second to the Fourth Republics.

We have invited you today to announce our position with regards recent developments which will no doubt affect our progress as a nation.

Before we begin however, we wish to sincerely commend our President/Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for providing exceptional leadership over a very challenging period of our national journey.

We also wish to congratulate and extend our best wishes to the incoming President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his excellent electoral campaign and well deserved victory.

We believe that our President Elect H.E. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an inspirational leader with a clear vision.

His Excellency has consistently demonstrated a high sense of responsibility, maturity, doggedness and empathy. These attributes are imperatives for effective leadership and good governance.

We also acknowledge the articulate, focused and able Vice President-elect, H.E. Senator Kashim Shettima Mustapha whose contributions, political weight and wise support contributed in no small measure to the success we are celebrating today.

We must also recognise the tireless efforts of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, H.E. Senator Abdullahi Adamu, CON, as well as commitment of members of the NWC who demonstrated wisdom and fair play that successfully guided our party to this critical stage in our political development.

The high level of integrity exhibited by our Party’s national chairman in the successful general elections cannot be overstated.

We, in the spirit of equity, fairness, political expedience and following extensive consultations with stakeholders, hereby express our total support for the zoning of the position of the President of the 10th Senate, to the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria.

We also affirm our unfettered support for the position of the President of the 10th Senate who also doubles as the Chairman of the National Assembly to be conferred on His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON.

The position of Senate President represents the third position in hierarchy of our current democratic dispensation.

This position carries considerable weight in discharging vital constitutional responsibilities and for charting the right course for our national development.

It is also important that the holder of such a position enjoys the confidence and support of the party leadership and that of his peers as Senator Godswill Akpabio undoubtedly does.

With this same spirit of fairness, we also affirm our solid support that the position of Deputy President of the 10th Senate be conceded to Distinguished Senator Barau I. Jubril, CON, representing Kano North Senatorial Zone, Kano State.

It is our conviction that a diverse and united legislative leadership is critical to good governance.

At a trying period in our nation’s political history, the National Assembly requires experienced and level headed leaders at the helm of its affairs.

Gentlemen of the press, as you are all aware, the stakes are high and that a successful transition to a new political dispensation is key in ensuring national unity, cohesion and overall progress as one nation.

In view of the above, we wish to respectfully appeal to all other aspirants to these key positions to kindly support our position by withdrawing their respective bids.

We believe that their withdrawal and cooperation will reduce the acrimony that commonly characterises the jostle for power in the National Assembly amongst the geo-political zones

This will go a long way in ensuring a peaceful and smooth take-off of the incoming administration.

Thank you for your audience.

I wish you all a good day.

Amidst all the support received from some persons in the All Progressives Congress, Akpabio has not formally declared his intention to run for the presidency seat.

See full list of the senators below:

Basheer Garba Lado
Ben Ayade
George Akume
Rilwan Akanbi
Barnabas Gemade 
Grace Bent
Binta Masi Garba
Ayogu Eze
Andy Uba
Ibrahim Ida
Olorunnimbe Mamora 
Anthony Adeniyi 
Ganiyu Solomon 
Gbenga Obadara 
Gbenga Kaka 
Musiliu Obanikoro 
Arise Ayo 
Felix Kolawole Bajomo 
Hassain Mudashiru 
Domingo Obende 
Wilson Ake 
Ita Enang 
Heineken Lokpobiri 
Clever Ikisikpo
Ita Giwa
Ibrahim Musa 
Alex Kadiri 
Ocheja Emma Dangana
Jibriu Wowo
Isa Maina
Mohammed Ohiare 
Abubakar Sodangi
Joseph Akaagerger 
Jack Tilley Gyado 
Abubakar Tutare 
Bello Tukur 
Ahmed Barata 
Abba Aji 
Mohammed A. Mohammed 
Umar Idris 
Adamu Talba 
Sidi Ali 
Timothy Adudu 
Ishaq Adebayo Salman 
Akin Odunsi 
Seye Ogunlewe 
Fatima Raji Rasaki 
Lanre Tejuoso 
Nkechi Nwaogu 
Margery Chuba Okadigbo
Mohammed Saleh 
Sani Kanba 
Abubakar Abdullahi Naamo 
Danladi Sankara
Mohammed Ibrahim 
Sola Adeyeye
Anthony Agbo 
Ikechukwu Obior
Chris Adighije 
Emma Anosike 
Jalo Zarami
Alkali Jajere
Oladipo Odujinrin
Mohammed Alkali
Sunday Ogbuoji
Abu Ibrahim
Bello Maitama
Saddiq Yar’adua
Jide Omoworare
Anthony Manzo
Aminu Inuwa
Magnus Abeh

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Senate panel quizzes Bakari as NFIU Boss




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The Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes has on Monday quizzed Hafsat Bakari as the Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU).

President Bola Tinubu last week appointed Bakari as the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, pending her confirmation by the Senate.

By the appointment Bakari is to replace Modibbo Tukur who was relieved of his job by President Tinubu in June 2023.
Bakari is a lawyer and financial intelligence expert with years of experience in anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing said she has “enough experience to discharge he duties”
Before her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the NFIU, she served as Deputy Director at the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and was at different times the Head of the General Services Unit; Head of the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and Head of the Board Secretariat of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In a chat with newsmen after the screening, the Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Emmanuel Menga Udende expresses that Ms. Bakare will bring her wealth of experience and expertise to bare in the discharge of her mandate in this critical role, especially in view of the President Bola Tinubu’s war against illicit financial flows and other sharp practices currently prevalent in segments of the nation’s foreign exchange markets”
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) a creation of the National Assembly is the Nigerian federal agency responsible for collecting and analyzing disclosures from reporting organizations, in order to produce financial intelligence to other agencies combating money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes.
The NFIU was established in 2004 as an autonomous unit within the central coordinating body for the country’s Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing, and Counter-Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) framework of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN).
It also operates as part of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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Imo North senator advocates for regional Governmment, police




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**Wants each regional Government to oversee its development commission

The senator representing Imo North Senatorial District Ndubueze Patrick Chiwuba has advocated for Regional Government and Regional Police Force as against the cloud for State Police.

Speaking on the heels of the passage of the bill for the establishment of the South East Development Commission senator Chiwuba described the politics of Regional Development commissions that has become a cash cow for some Nigerians as a welcome development as it will soon lead him to sponsor a bill for Regional Government

According him when each region is given its own Developmwnt Commission, it is another form of restructuring

“I’ll be happy, I’m supporting that 100%. After that I can bring up my bill.

“You know when people talk of restructuring, people see it in a different way. You understand? God can bless Nigeria from different angles. 

“Let us have regional governments to superintend over all these commissions so that nobody will now go and appropriate it to himself. 

“So what am I looking for? The restructuring has gotten it. So it is a very wonderful work. For me, when I saw the other regional commissions, I started preparing my bill for regional government.

“So what I’m trying to say is, it is a good omen. Every region should have it. And you are deriving money from the federal. Now, if you derive from the federal, those places where people can augment their own commission, they will go and augment and move ahead. “Others may copy them. And as such, what do we do there will be regional competition so that States do not need to go cap in hand to the Federal Government to share allocation

“So, my next bill, after we have gotten the commissions, will be a bill for us to adopt regional government. And the regional government will superintend over the commissions.
“If any, somebody can be held responsible by the people of the area. But when the chairman of the board is appointed from the federal level, he is not accountable to the area, the region, because he is not appointed by the people. The people don’t have authority to remove them or to replace them.
“So they behave like emperors because it’s only the federal that can call them to order. You understand? And if the federal wants to call them to order, their relations will go to plead on their behalf

“But when the regional government superintend over such and they are elected, you know what it means? So once you are doing bad either they recall you, or they remove you, or they make sure that your tenure is not renewed. 
Also speaking on the issue of the state police he said he is not an apostle of  state police but Regional.
He said the regional police will not be accountable to any particular governor. No person will use the regional police to fight his enemy, political enemy. 

But state police, people can use it to fight their enemy, but regional, nobody can, because the governors of the region will come together to provide funding
When it comes to regional police, it will derive its power from the region there, no single person can use them.

For now, the appointments, both the board and others are coming from the federal. And when they are appointed, they will recognize every state. That’s one. Two, the chairman and the executive members will be rotated from time to time.
On whether President Tinubu will assent to the South East Development Commission bill he said, “&I ’m not seeing any hindrance. Rather, it’s going to improve our politics in a better sense. What we need is development. What we need is freedom to operate. And that’s what the South is asking for – freedom to operate. 
“Once we have freedom to operate, the sky is the beginning, it’s not our limit. And every other part of the nation will benefit.
“If you go down the history, you know when we had regional governments? The South East was rated as the fastest growing economy in the world. Go and Google. During the regional government headed by Michael Okpara, the South East was rated as the fastest growing economy in the whole world. Now, since after the civil war, the South East had been abandoned. That’s why you see people crying of marginalization.

“First of all, we thank God for a day like this, that we can be happy, joyful, and glorify Him for the passage of this bill. And we thank the National Assembly for passing the bill as well.

“We are thanking Mr. President in advance for assenting to this Bill, because I know he will assent to the Bill. So it’s a good thing, it’s a good omen, not just for the South East, but for the nation Nigeria.

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Beam searchlights on FG over $3.4b COVID 19 loan, subsidy savings, CSOs Charges NASS




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The National Assembly has been charged to probe the $3.4billion loan collected by the Federal Government from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in April 2020 without proof of expenditure on anything, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has charged

They also faulted unending requests for loans by the Federal Government and expeditious approvals given by the National Assembly with little or nothing to point at, as what the loans were used for.

They added that, savings made by the government from fuel subsidy removal from May last year till date, have not been accounted for by the government as Nigerians are watching and suffering .

The Nine CSOs led by the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, at a media briefing, alleged that the incessant loan collections by the FG, made the debt profile of the country to hit N87.9tr mark which is equivalent to $114.3b

“The escalating debt burden has profound implications for the well – being of Nigerian citizens , and failure to act quickly could result in an additional 23million Nigerians living in poverty and 80milliion working – age citizens without a full time job by 2030.

“These concerning trends underscore the need for the National Assembly to urgently do the needful by among others, investigate the movement and spending of loans received by the Federal Government in the past and present administrations , including but not limited to the $3.4billion loan obtained from IMF as reported in the 2020 annual audited report published by the Auditor – General of the Federation .

“Stopping borrowing for recurrent expenditure ( personnel and overheads ) and dilatory capital expenditure that adds no value to economic growth, wealth creation and development.
‘Demanding accountability for petrol subsidy savings and sincerity of purpose in fulfilling the government ‘s ‘ promises of renewed hope ‘ to the millions of Nigerians who no longer have belts to tighten”.

Other CSOs represented at the media briefing by their Executive Directors, were Centre for Democracy and Development,
International Budget Partnership, Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative,
Oxfam, Social Action, Christian Aid, Action Aid

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