Nigerian Senate Plenary of 14th July, 2021: denies tempering Electoral Act
Last Updated on July 24, 2021 by Memorila
The Nigerian Senate Plenary of 14th July, 2021 debunked claims that the National Assembly leadership tempered with the Electoral Act (2021).
The Nigerian Senate Plenary of 14th July, 2021 considered six new bills which were read for the first time. These includes bills to establish two new federal institutions of learning in the southsouth and southwest regions, and two new federal bureaucracies, including the National Food Bank of Nigeria.
The plenary also received the reports of four committees that included a report of the committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 122).
But the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 report was push forward to be considered in the plenary of 15th July, 2021.
Regarding the Electoral Act Bill (2021), the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North, APC), debunked claims that the National Assembly tempered with the report of the committee on INEC. He refuted, “Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are misinformed innocently while some are simply mischievous.”
Senator Degi- Eremienyo Diobarakuma (Bayelsa East, APC) moved for the adoption of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 13th July, 2021 and was seconded by Senator Emmanuel Yisa Orker-Jev (Benue North-West, PDP).
Points of order
Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North, APC) cited Order 43 to inform the Senate on the demise of two members of his constituents after consuming some food items. The Senate observed a minute silence in honour of the deceased.
On the havoc caused by serious floods in some parts of Taraba State on July 10, 2021, Senator Shuaibu Lau (Taraba North, PDP) cited Order 42 and 52 to seek the leave of the Senate to move a motion. Thereupon, the Senate urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the North East Development Commission (NEDC), and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to as a matter of urgency, come to the aid of the victims by sending relief materials to the affected areas.
Furthermore, the Senate also urged “the Federal Ministry of Environment through the Ecological unit to expand the drainages in the affected areas.”
Lastly, Senator Bwacha Emmanuel (Taraba South, PDP) also cited Order 43 to inform the Senate on the continued detention of 14 members of his constituent without the necessary judicial process until Tuesday, 13th July 2021, when they were granted bail by a courageous judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Taraba State.
Bills for first reading
There were about six bills submitted in the Nigerian Senate Plenary of 14th July, 2021, which were all read for the first time. These bills were the Climate Change Bill, 2021 (HB. 357) by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Senate Leader – Kebbi North, APC); the Federal College of Education Bassambiri, Bayelsa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 775) by Senator Degi-Eremienyo Biobarakuma; and the Federal Bureau of Forensic Services Regulation (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 778) by Senator Francis Alimikhena (Edo North, APC).
Others were the Federal Polytechnic Shagamu (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 779) by Senator Olalekan Mustapha (Ogun East, APC); the National Food Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 780) by Senator Orji Kalu (Abia North, APC) and the National Institute for Sports Act Cap N54 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 781) by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central, APC).
Presentation and consideration of reports
In the Nigerian Senate Plenary of 14th July, 2021, four committees submitted their reports. These were:
1) The Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which submitted a report on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 122). Senator Kabiru Gaya (Kano South, APC) moved that the Senate do receive the report was seconded by Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North, PDP).
In his remarks after the submission of the report, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, hinted that there had been accusations and insinuations that the leadership of the National Assembly had tampered with the report of the Committee.
He said, “Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are misinformed innocently while some are simply mischievous.”
He added that 14th July, 2021 was the first time the report was laid in the senate and that that was the decision of the Committee on INEC. And that whatever will be considered about the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, will be on the basis of what was presented in the Senate chambers.
Dr. Lawan continued, “My telephone line and that of the Speaker was published and in one day, I received over 90 SMS saying we have manipulated this. We didn’t. We will do what is right, we have our procedures and lobbying is part of our democracy.”
2) The Committee on Legislative Compliance laid their report on the petition received from Maryam Danna Mohammed against the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) for alleged wrongful termination of her appointment.
Senator Adeyemi Oriolowo (Osun West, APC) moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report and thereafter laid and presented the report.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan remarked that “There are no recommendations here and the Senate has taken note of the implementation.”
3) Report of the Committee on Legislative Compliance on “The Spate of growing insecurity in Nigeria” was moved by Senator Adeyemi Oriolowo and was seconded by Senator Binos Yaroe (Adamawa Central, PDP). The Senate approved the recommendations of the committee (as amended).
4) Report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the annual report of the Auditor-General for the Federation on the accounts of the Federation for the year ended 31st December, 2015 (Part II & I) was moved by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Edo South, PDP). Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia (Jigawa North East, APC) seconded him.
The Senate approved the recommendations of the committee (as amended).
Rising from the Nigerian Senate plenary of 14th July, 2021, Nigerian netizens also had their own deliberations on the Nigerian Senate Facebook page. Memorila hereby makes a presentation of the most astounding views:
As usual, Olalere Iskilu Moyoriola Adewale prayed, “God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria under president Muhammad Buhari GCFR and vice president Prof Yemi Oshibaja SAN. God bless Federal house (sic) of the Senate under SP Dr. Lawan Ahmed CON, Ph.D.”
On his part, Tope Bode Gold wrote, “We want the endorsement and announcement of ECOWAS convection of small arms and light weapon bill.”
But Aminu Muhammad Sulaiman wrote, “We need security in the nation and also age barrier removal for job seekers.”
The Senate Leader moved that other items on the Order Paper be stood down till another legislative day and was seconded by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South, PDP).
Hence, plenary was adjourned to Thursday, 15th July, 2021.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate Plenary of 15th July, 2021 finally passed the Electoral Act (2021) which gave INEC, NCC and the National Assembly the power to determine if, when and where elections results can be transferred electronically.