Law News
Issues before Tambuwal’s House as Reps resume tomorow

As the 7th House of  Representatives gradually comes to an end in less than five months from now, issues ranging from Budget 2015, Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, electoral matters and other burning national interests will take the centre stage as the Green Chamber resumes from a three-week Christmas recess, today.

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,

The Hon Aminu Tambuwal-led House had spent the larger part of 2014 politicking but the few months ahead may shape, reshape of nip the vibrancy with which it started in 2011.

In the last three years and half the House introduced 668 bills, passed 101 resolutions while 23 bills were negatived.

As of December 18 when the House of Representatives went on Christmas break, a total of 244 legislative outputs came out during plenary sessions that spanned a period of 36 months.

Vanguard probe into the matter revealed then that the lawmakers treated an average of two bills per month.

But as the House resumes today, Budget 2015 would be on the front burner.

The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had presented the budget of N4.357 trillion to both legislative chambers on December 17 for legislative deliberations.

Petroleum Industry Bill

The much debated and thorny PIB may get a mention as the speaker, in his opening speech in October after its 60 days recess, had vowed that the 7th House would pass the bill that died in the last week of the 6th Assembly, in 2011.


Suffering same fate


Also, spokesman of the Reps, Hon Zakari Mohammed in his last briefing on 18 December declared that the Tambuwal led House would ensure the bill do not suffer same fate like that of the 6th Assembly.

2015 polls

Another burning national issue that requires urgent attention is the forth coming general elections, which is about one month away.

An attempt by the House committee on Electoral matters, led by Hon Jerry Manwe, PDP, Taraba to invite the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega, did not yield result.

The committee issued a notice last Thursday inviting Jega and other stakeholders to state its level of preparedness to conduct a free and fair polls.

But this was never to be as the committee, after two postponements, issued another notice that the meeting has been postponed till further notice.

Oil theft

Oil theft in Nigeria is one area that the House may beam its searchlight on.

Before the legislators went on break last month, the issue of vandalism and the employment of a private firm to secure pipelines was brought to fore by Hon Olarotimi Makinde, APC, Osun.

Towards this direction, a law transferring the responsibility of safeguarding the nation’s network of oil pipelines to the states as against the current trend of contracting such role to private firms by the Federal Government is on the way in the National Assembly.

This is, however, sequel to the second reading of a Bill for an Act to Amend the Oil Pipelines Act Cap 7 Laws of the Federation 2004 to Provide for the Transfer of Protection of Oil Pipelines, Safety and Security Across the Federation to the state Governors and Other Matters.

Internal security

Security at the National Assembly is another area of focus considering what happened on November 20 when the speaker and other lawmakers were given a raw deal by the Alhaji Suleiman Abba-led Nigerian police force.


Tear gas cannisters

On that fateful day, some lawmakers were forced to scale the fence but they could not escape the tear gas canisters that were shot at them. The report on the invasion of NASS may be presented by the Hon Usman Kumo led Police Affairs committee this week.

The lawmakers may consider a situation where the Sergeant-at-arms take over the entire security apparatus of the National Assembly complex.

Diezani probe

The N10billion chartered jet judgement by the court declaring that the green chamber cannot probe the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Alison-Madueke is one matter the House may delve into.

Chairman House committee on Public Accounts, Hon Adeola Olamilekan, APC, Lagos had last December told journalists that the lawmakers were still studying the judgment before taking a final decision on what to do.

One thing is certain as the 7th Assembly accelerates towards its extinction, it will go into archives as one that recorded the least number of scandals.

This to an extent could be attributed to the sterling leadership qualities of Tambuwal who adequately applied the principles of humility to appease the other 359 lawmakers who hardly see anything wrong with his style.

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