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Senator Kawu initiates bill to review Police retirement age

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Throws weight behind agitation for state Police

***Insists boarder closure raises crime rate

The Senator representing Kano South Senatorial district Abdulrahman Suleiman Kawu on the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples party (NNPP) has expressed his full support for the much talked about state police

Kawu explained that the various states of the federation currently give massive support to the federal police in their respective domains saying it is therefore important to trust them to effectively run state police.
He said the state level policing is crucial because of their better understanding of the environment, thereby making it possible for them to compliment the federal police formations to combat crime in Nigeria .

Kawu equally expressed the desire for police officers to remain in service for five mores post retirement describing the current retirement age as premature in his Bill seeking to amend the Police Act and allow for more years

The federal lawmaker explained further that the United States of America and many other democracies of the world have embraced state policing and have provided clear-cut jurisdictions for it to avoid unnecessary rivalry with the the federal police .

According to him, for the country to make meaningful and more impactful progress in curbing crimes and other vices, it will be proper to compliment the federal police with the state police with the common goal of ridding the society of crimes and criminalities.

“My honest opinion is that the state police should be approved to compliment the federal formations. This is the way it is done in other climes and if it works in those places, why would people think or assume it won’t work in Nigeria .

“I say this because the state Governors have been giving appreciable support to the state commands of the Nigerian Police in their states and that indicates that they can even do better when the state police is approved for them .

“The two will have clear cut rules of engagement and I don’t think there will be conflict.  We practice federalism and if truly we believe in it, why then should we deny the states the opportunity to have their own police that will tackle the peculiar security challenges of the states.

“I am in support of multiple police structures, it’s done in other countries and we can do it here for the purpose of keeping the country safe and ridding it of vices “.

Earlier senator Kawu’s bill on the amendment of the Nigerian Police Act passed through the second Reading on the floor of the Senate .

Speaking on the bill, the lawmaker explained that amongst other amendments, the review of the retirement age of police officers with at least additional five years is key

According to him,’this country spends alot of money training officers hence they should be allowed to stay a little longer in service so that the country can benefit and enjoy their experience garnered over the years through training and retarining of the officers.

“We need to discourage and put an end to this premature retirements that do not do the country any good. So the bill basically seeks to address that retirement age and I believe it will be better to have more of the experienced officers in service than having them in retirement “.

Also addressing journalists on his motion on reopening of the Nigerian-Niger boarder senator Kawu said the closure has caused untold hardship to Nigerians .

According to him the closure of the boarder has increased the crime rate in the boarder states leading to massive job lost .

According to him the action runs contrary to the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that guarantees the security and welfare of the people saying that it is the primary purpose of Government .

He urged the federal government to reconsider reopening of the boarder between Nigeria and Niger to allow for free movement of trade and business between the two countries ,as commercial activities had drastically gone down in these areas.

He stressed that both Nigeria and Niger had signed an agreement on boarder frequency coordination to allow free movement, therefore closing the boarders runs contrary and violates that agreement .

He maintained that Nigerians should not be allowed to suffer such untold hardship for whatever reasons.

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Legislature

Senate urges FG to withhold statutory allocation to LGC without elected officials

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Moro, Abba Patrick
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The Senate has urged the Federal Government to henceforth withhold statutory allocation to the Local Governments Councils(LGC) without democratically elected leaders
In the last three months of August, September and October the Local Governments received N702.647b out of N1.006 shared for the three tiers of government in the period under review.
The legality or otherwise of the Federal Governmemt’s power to enforce the Senate’s recommendation is left for legal experts to analyse
The Senate’s recommendation came after debate on the Urgent Need to halt the erosion of democracy: the dissolution of elected Councils in Benue State sponsored by Sen. Moro, Abba Patrick (Benne South)
The senate condemned the arbitrary dissolution of democratically elected Local Government Councils in Benue and other states in Nigeria

It also resolved to urge the Federal Government to review the Benue State governor’s dissolution of the elected councils and constitution of caretaker committees and reinstate the elected council executive forthwith.
The upper legislative chamber urged the governor of Benue state to adhere to his oath of office to obey the rule of law and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

While leading the debate Senator Moro he was dismayed by the dissolution of Democratically Elected Councils in Benue State,

According to him, replacing the elected chairmen with Caretaker Committees to is an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)

Quoting Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) he said it guarantees a system of local government by Democratically Elected Councils.

He insisted that it is the Constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of Local
Government Councils by law.

He indicated that there are subsisting court rulings directing the Governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies etc not to tamper with the tenure of the elected Councils

He therefore challenged the Governor/Government of Benue State to first appeale the outstanding judgments which has not been done adding that it is against the grain of the rule of law

Senator Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) pointed out thatabout 16 states in Nigeria are currently without democratically elected council officials.
He urged the Senate to direct the Finance Minister to stop funding LGS without elected council officials.
Oshiomhole’s suggestion was supported by Senator Ali Ndume.
The senator representing Oyo North, Abdulfatai Buhari indicated that the Electoral Act should be amended to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections.

The President of the senate Godswill Akpabio also frowned at the establishment of multiple federal agencies but advocated the creation of the National Electoral Commission for Local Government so that governors would no longer have overbearing influence on council polls

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Legislature

Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt 

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to give him the authorization to borrow $8,699,168,559 and €100 million to carryout critical projects across the country.  

The president’s request was contained in a letter read at the commencement of plenary on Tuesday by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the request was part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

He said the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development. 

The letter reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.

“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023. 

“The projects cut across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms. 

“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.

“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.

“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”

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Legislature

Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic

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***Plead with Tinubu to restore electricity supply to Niger

The Northern Senators Forum on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of Urgency use his position as Chairman of ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community
They also demanded that Nigeria restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
The senators had in July on the heels of the military forceful take over of the democratically elected government in Niger, cautioned President Tinubu against use of Military power towards tackling the military coup, as they called for diplomatic options.
A communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting which was read by the chairman of the forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauch Central) stated, “The forum on very strong terms condemn the spate of Military intervention in the democratic spaces in the West African subregion.
“The Northern Senators Forum in particular condemns the coup in Niger and urged the military junta in Niger to soften the relationship with the rest of ECOWAS military by setting free President Muhammed Bazoum and his immediate family to freely choose a country of his choice for asylum
They further urged the junta in Niger to bring about a transition time table that will last not more than two years.
They ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community.
“It is important that Nigeriens should not suffer because of the coup that took place just like we have seen what is happening in Gaza
“We ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander in chief of the Armed forces and of course the chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammed Bola Tinubu to as a matter of humanitarian gesture restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
Ningi called on Nigerians and Nigerien to remember that they remain brothers, partners and Africans and above all, we remain human beings

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