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The Nigerian Senate @NGRSenate
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Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Senate President, @bukolasaraki, leads the Principal Officers into the chambers; takes the official prayers; and begins the day’s proceedings at 11:04am.
Senator @GarbaBinta moves for the approval of votes and proceedings of Thursday, 6th December 2018. Senator @rose__oko seconds.
Senator @Biodun_Olujimi cites Orders 42 & 52, brings the attention of the Senate to the recent issues with State legislative arms; Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Benue and raises a motion on Ondo State House of Assembly.
“18 members were attacked by thugs at the State House of Assembly and sustained injuries. Most of their cars were damaged and they have been refused entry into the Chambers.”- Senator @Biodun_Olujimi.
“Only 8 were allowed into the Chambers. An injury to one is an injury to all; the Police should not prevent legislators from their duties.”- Senator @Biodun_Olujimi
“We cannot turn a blind eye to what has been going on in the State House of Assembly. Let us investigate and find out who is stopping these legislators from performing their duties.”- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
“The most disappointing thing is the brutality that occurred right before the eyes of the Nigerian Police. The most important thing is to protect the sanctity of democracy right now.”- Senator @SenBoroffice
“I join the rest of my Distinguished colleagues in condemning any act that hinders parliamentarians from their legislative duties in Nigeria or elsewhere.”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
“It is unacceptable that Nigerians will elect legislators and thugs will try to hinder these elected legislators from doing their job. Let us send a delegation to investigate and report back in 48 hours.”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
“Something has to be done with regards to whatever report we come up with from this investigation. We must act with dexterity and let the public know that whatever decision is taken by @nassnigeria is in the best interest of Nigerians.”- Senator @SenGbengaAshafa
“Official security for the legislative should be provided without interference from the Executive or Police. We must take this seriously. The Legislative arm at the State and National level should have their own security.”- Senator Atai Aidoko.
“We should first send a delegation to investigate before making conclusions.”- Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita.
“These are things that we have read in the papers. It is not possible that the minority leader and Senator Boroffice would present a matter of such gravity without investigating the issue first.”- Senator Isah Misau.
Senate resolves that the:
I. Security personnel should allow the Legislators perform their legislative duties.

II. Committee on Police should investigate the infringement and report back to the Senate on their findings.
“Unfortunately, we are back again on this issue of these unfortunate incidents happening at State Assemblies. We have seen it happen in Benue, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and now Ondo.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
”I remember when we were discussing the invasion of the Akwa Ibom Assembly I said that we must strongly condemn all such attacks, and we must be non-partisan with it.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“As we all know, our democracy is defined by the legislative arm of government. The moment the legislature does not exist or does not function, then truly, we are not practicing democracy.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“We must stand very strongly on these kinds of issues. I believe that, by now, our democracy should not be seeing incidents like this, where people still believe that you can use a minority number to destabilise the parliament.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“We should not condone it. As the Deputy Senate President said, we must begin to take actions. The law is there. I believe that it is time that we make an example out of one or two people who have been seen to disregard the law.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“We must protect our democracy. It is so key. We cannot also continue to support where security agencies are being used for this kind of act. The Committee on Police should investigate this and come back to us on this.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
”In the meantime, the security personnel should allow the House to sit and allow members access to the Chambers.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
Senator @ShehuSani cites Order 43 and informs the Senate of the death of former Senator Ahmed Aruwa from Kaduna Central who served in the Senate from 1999- 2007.
“He was a man who impacted the lives of all who met him and those he represented.”
Senate resolves to observe a minute silence.
Senate now moves into the presentation of Bills for first reading.
1. Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration (establishment & implementation) Bill, 2018 (HB. 482) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration (establishment & implementation) Bill, 2018 (HB. 482) is read the First Time.
2. Nigerian Research Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic, Bakassi (est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 711) by Senator Gershom Bassey.

Nigerian Research Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic, Bakassi (est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 711) is read the First Time.
Senate now moves into the consideration of reports.
1. Report of the Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes on the confirmation of the following nominees as Members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by Senator Chukwuka Utazi.
Senator @BI_Gemade seconds that the Senate do consider the Report of the Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes on the confirmation of the above nominees as Members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“I want to say the nominees have very rich, vital skills and experience, one nominee is from the South-West, the acting Chairman of this Commission is from the North making a total of 4 people from the North.”- Senator Victor Umeh.
“The South-East and South-South are not accommodated in this Commission.”- Senator Victor Umeh.
“It is important that we include all regions in governing roles and in the fight against corruption as it involves us all. All geo-political zones should be included in this Commission.”- Senator Victor Umeh.
“The distribution here is wrong. Let us delegate people to look at the distribution of these appointments. I suggest that this matter be stood down while it is looked into.”- Senator Matthew Urhoghide.
“We have 6 members in this Committee. Let all 6 of them focus on one geo-political zone each and come up with a more balanced report.”- Senator Chukwuka Utazi.
“Let us pass this as presented but correct it to ensure equal representation for all geo-political zones.”- Senator Ahmad Lawan.
“Honestly, if you look at the law of the Commission in Section 2, I think we should be looking into how to amend such laws because it just says: ‘4 Eminent Nigerians with cognate experience in Finance, Banking and Accounting.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“But at the same time, we all know that there should be equity in this kind of thing. What we should do is to look into how on our own part, we can amend this kind of law.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
”With all sense of responsibility, those that advise the President should show concern and show that they are conversant with the feelings of Nigerians.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“I am constrained to let us move ahead with this. We will take the vote. Let us show sensitivity on this issue.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
Senate moves into an Executive Session at 12: 29pm.
Senate resumes from its Executive Session at 12: 54pm.
At the Executive session, the Senate deliberated on the issues bordering on workings of the Nigerian Senate and the @nassnigeria in general and also agreed that the confirmation of the EFCC nominees should be suspended for further legislative input.
2. Report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the Conditions of Service for National Assembly Staff by Senator Emmanuel Paulker.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa seconds that the Senate do consider the Report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the Conditions of Service for National Assembly Staff.
Senator Emmanuel Paulker presents the Report.
“The passage of this Bill is something the National Assembly agreed with the PAN to enable the staff to stop picketing. We should motivate those that work for us. I believe it is time to tell Nigerians the truth.”- Senator Ahmad Lawan.
“The truth is that @nassnigeria is a place that requires dedicated people and these people must be paid in order for this to happen. I am happy we are looking into this Bill. Let us ensure that those who work for us are properly paid, motivated and cared for.”- Sen. Ahmad Lawan.
“We have undersigned. We have given our commitment that we always want an environment that is suitable for our staff and we won't go back on our word. “- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“We have shown truly that the Senate is on the side of our staff and as such we want to encourage that they always leave room for dialogue.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
“I want to thank those who have supported this Report and shown Nigeria that truly we have the interest of our staff at heart in this institution.”- Senate President, @bukolasaraki
The Report is approved.
Senate President, @bukolasaraki reads a letter from Mr. President on his Presidential Decision to Decline Assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill, 2018.
“Pursuant to Section 58 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) I hereby convey to the Senate, my decision on 6th December 2018 to decline Presidential Assent...
... to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly.”- -Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general elections, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could ...
-Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
... create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.”- Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.”- Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“This leads me to believe that it is in the best interest of the country and our democracy for the @nassnigeria to specifically state in the Bill, that the Electoral Act will come...
-Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
... into effect and be applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 General Elections.”-Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“It is also important for the following drafting amendments to be made to the Bill:”
-Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
”a. Section 5 of the Bill, amending section 18 of the Principal Act should indicate the subsection to which the substitution of the figure ’30” for the figure “60” is to be effected.”-Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“b. Section 11 of the Bill, amending Section 36 should indicate the subsection in which the provision is to be introduced.” -Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“c. Section 24 of the Bill which amends Section 85(1) should be redrafted in full as the introduction of the “electing” to the sentence may be interpreted to mean that the political parties may give 21 days’ notice of the...
Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
... intention to merge, as opposed to the 90 days provided in Section 84(2) of the Electoral Act which provides the provision for merger of political parties.” -Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“d. The definition of the term “Ward Collection Officer” should be revised to reflect a more descriptive definition than the capitalized and undefined term “Registration Area Collation Officer” -Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
“Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.” -Letter from @NGRPresident @MBuhari to @NGRSenate
Senate Leader moves that all items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconds.

Plenary is adjourned to Wednesday, 12th December, 2018.

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