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Buhari’s 80 Days In London What your lawmakers have been up to since the President left Nigeria

A timeline of what Nigerian lawmakers have been up to in Buhari's absence.

  • Published:
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President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara

So much has happened in the country since President Muhammadu Buhari departed Nigeria 80-days ago for medical vacation in London.

A lot has happened at the National Assembly within this period.

Pulse brings you a timeline of activities that has happened at both the Senate and House of Representatives 80 days since President Buhari left for London.

1.Saraki’s acquittal at CCT

After prolong trials for false asset declaration, Senate President Bukola Saraki was discharged and acquitted at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). Saraki’s victory was sequel to a no-case-submission by his lawyers.

In a ruling on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, CCT chairman, Umar Danladi said the prosecution failed to prove the case of false asset declaration against Saraki.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki play

Senate President, Bukola Saraki

(Guardian)

 

Umar dismissed all 13-count charge against Saraki.

Saraki’s victory at the CCT, however, did not go down well with Prof Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption who described the victory as a shock.

Sagay said the federal government would appeal Saraki’s acquittal, a move the Senate President described as an exercise in futility.

2. Dino Melaye’s recall

While President Buhari was away, Senator Dino Melaye’s constituents kicked-off the process to recall the outspoken lawmaker from the red chamber.

Senator Dino Melaye play

Senator Dino Melaye

(Punch)

 

Melaye accused the Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello for 'sponsoring' his recall.

Signatures were collated and submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja by his constituents.

The recall register for Kogi Senator, Dino Melaye play

The recall register for Kogi Senator, Dino Melaye

(Daily Post)

 

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu while speaking at plenary also described the recall process as a waste of time. A view which was further expressed by the Senate President.

INEC also released a timetable for Melaye's recall.

For Melaye to be recalled, the constituents also have to convince the lawmakers that the Kogi West Senator has failed to represent his constituency.

Voters queue up in Kogi to sign Senator Dino Melaye's recall register play

Voters queue up in Kogi to sign Senator Dino Melaye's recall register

(Daily Post)

 

For this set of lawmakers in the upper legislative chamber, it may be difficult to sell this idea to them.

Melaye got court injunction to stop INEC from continuing the process for his recall.

3. Plot to impeach Osinbajo

Before President Buhari left Nigeria, he met leaders of both chambers of the National Assembly – Saraki and Dogara – to intimate them of his planned trip.

President Buhari (M), hand-shaking the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki before leaving Nigeria play

President Buhari (M), hand-shaking the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki before leaving Nigeria

(saharareporters)

 

Since Buhari’s departure, the National Assembly has feigned ignorance to several calls for Buhari’s impeachment until Acting President left Nigeria for Ethiopia for the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union.

Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe moved at plenary on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, that Saraki should take over as acting president since Osinbajo and Buhari were away from the country.

Senator Eyinnanya Abaribe’s legal counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN) has revealed that his client’s arrest is connected to a N30b fraud which he discovered in the 2018 budget. play

Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe

 

“I simply want to bring to the attention of this chamber and all Nigerians and to ask the question. The acting president is the person who is at the head of government now, but we have a serious problem in Nigeria today. We have nobody in Nigeria who is at the head of the government,” Abaribe said.

He added that; “The law and the procedure and all the laws in Nigeria states that you cannot have a vacuum. Today, the acting president is outside the country and so there is a vacuum.”

Citing Order 54 (4) of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Kabiru Marafa said; “The constitution is very clear, if the president is out of the country, the constitution is clear as to who is the head of government. If the acting president is out of the country, the senate president is the next in the line of succession,” he added.

Senator Kabiru Marafa (right) play

Senator Kabiru Marafa (right)

 

Marafa cautioned lawmakers from ‘playing on the intelligence of Nigerians with such inciting comments’.

Saraki then ruled Abaribe out of order having brought the motion ‘at the wrong time.’

4. 8 RECs confirmed

The Senate confirmed the appointment of eight of the 12 remaining Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday, July 20, 2017.

The Senate Committee on INEC had presented its reports on the nominees at plenary on Wednesday.

The commissioners that were confirmed at plenary on Thursday are: Asmau Sani Maikudi (Katsina), Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun (Ondo), Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi), Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto), Kasim Gana Geidam (Yobe), Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano), Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji (Oyo) and Samuel Egwu (Kogi).

5. NFIU Bill

Following Nigeria’s suspension from the EGMONT Group, the Senate moved to separate the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency scaled second reading on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

6. Hembe’s Sack

Hon. Herman Hembe play

Hon. Herman Hembe

(Benue State Government)

 

Within the last 80 days of Buhari’s absence, the Supreme Court sacked a certain Herman Hembe, the lawmaker representing Vandekiya/Konshisha federal constituency of Benue state.

Hembe was also ordered to return all salaries and allowances received by him within this period.

The court also ordered that Dorathy Mato be sworn in as Hembe’s replacement.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara has however failed to obey this order as against Hembe who many refer to as ‘his boy’.

Confused Speaker Dogara will end up dribbling everyone and himself play

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara

(Paradigm)

 

7. Passage of the Whistleblowers Bill

The Senate on Thursday, July 20, 2017 passed the Whistleblowers bill which seeks to facilitate and encourage the disclosure of improper conduct by persons, public officers and corporate bodies, private and public.

The whistle blowing policy of the FG has been yielding fruits play

The whistle blowing policy of the FG has been yielding fruits

(Getty Images)

 

The bill would ensure that matters disclosed were properly investigated and handled appropriately in accordance with the law.

It would further ensure adequate protection of whistle blowers from reprisals, victimisation, isolation and humiliation, which were some of the consequences of whistle-blowing.

8. Peace Corps Bill

The Senate on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, also passed into law the bill seeking to establish Peace Corps as a para-military organization in Nigeria.

Peace Corps play

Peace Corps

(PCN News)

 

After the Presidential accent, the Peace Corps of Nigeria is expected to create job for Nigeria's unemployed youths.

9. Saraki’s Recall

Just like Melaye, Saraki’s constituents indicated plans to recall him. This was disclosed by a certain Kwara Must Change group which is spear-heading this move.

CCT clears Saraki of false asset charges play

CCT clears Saraki of false asset charges

(Punch)

 

Saraki, however, seems unfazed about this move.

10. Bukar's sex scandal

Within this period, online platform SaharaReporters released an x-rated video of Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim dressing up after allegedly having sex with two young ladies.

Senator Bukar Ibrahim play

Senator Bukar Ibrahim

(northeaststaronline)

 

In a reaction, Senator Ibrahim described the incident as a breach of his privacy by the news platform.

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