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Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:53am. Senator Oluremi Tinubu moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 24th April 2018. Senator Rose Oko seconded.
The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki announced Senators: David Umaru, Gbolahan Dada, Shehu Sani, Sam Anyanwu, Bayero Nafada as members of the Senate Joint Committee to investigate the invasion of the Senate and Senator Bala Na’allah as the Chairman of the Committee.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki read a letter from Mr. President on the purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft from the United States Government. “I wish to draw the attention of the Senate to the ongoing security emergencies in the country. These challenges were discussed with the State Governors and subsequently at the meeting of the National Economic Council on 14th December 2017 where the resolution was passed, with the council approving that up to $1billion may be released and utilized from the Excess Crude Account to address the situation.”- President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“Subsequent before this approval, we have prepared a comprehensive schedule of all the requirements for each of the security services for presentation to the National Assembly for consideration. It will be recalled that for a number of years, Nigeria has been in discussions with the United States government for the purchase of Super Tucano aircraft under a direct-government-to-government arrangement.” – President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“Recently, approval was granted by the United States Government but with a deadline, within which part payment must be made otherwise the contract relapses. In the expectation that the National Assembly will have no objection to the purchase of these highly specialized aircraft, which is critical to National Security, I granted anticipatory approval for the release of $496,374,470. This was paid directly to the Treasury of the United States government.”- President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“I am therefore writing seeking approval of the Senate for the sum of $496,374,470 (equivalent to N151, 394, 421,035) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill which the National Assembly is currently finalizing. The balance for the requirement for critical operational equipment is still being collated from the different security services and will be presented in the form of a supplementary appropriation Bill in due cause.” – President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“Honourable Minister for Defense & other appropriate officers will be available to provide further details as may be required. While thanking the Distinguished Senate for the usual cooperation, please accept Mr. President the assurances of my highest regards.”- President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Senator T. A Orji raised 2 petitions on behalf of his constituency members on: 1. Bank refusal to grant access of fixed deposit for hospital treatment and
2. a constituency member that went on leave and upon return was dismissed from work and is currently unemployed.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the petitions to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report back in 2 weeks.
POINT OF ORDER
Senator Matthew Urhoghide cited Order 14 & 15, said the letter from Mr. President was a violation of the Constitution and read No 181 of section A for clarity of purpose. “No Nigerian citizen is allowed to make any disbursements from the Federation account”.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said the letter is simply a communication and it will be referred to relevant committees and only then can debates ensue. “We have to be guided by procedures.”
Senator Sam Anyawu cited Order 43 and spoke on the incident that occurred yesterday, saying that Senator Dino Melaye was treated as a common criminal and also stated that himself and his colleagues were denied access to Senator Dino in the National Hospital.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi stated that Senator Dino Melaye has rights and as such, coercion will not work. “Due process should be followed if anyone seeks to oppose.” “It was only an allegation against Senator Dino Melaye and since the matter is still in court, he should not be forced to go to Kogi.”- Senator Isah Misau
“Senator Dino Melaye is being deprived of his fundamental human rights. This could happen to all of us some day.”- Senator Ibrahim Gobir. Senator Shehu Sani stated his concern about systematic factors in the country and that all should remember there is no permanence in power. “What happened to Senator Dino Melaye is an abuse of power”.
Senator Aliero Adamu condemned the way Senator Dino Melaye was arrested and embarrassed, held by SARS like a common criminal. “If this can happen to a serving Senator, Democracy is being rubbished.” “We did not vote this Government to abuse democracy. I condemn shameful act totally invite all those involved to speak to us and this case openly to the public.”- Senator Ubali Shitu.
“Senator Dino Melaye is a very vocal person, he is being intimidated and targeted. It is clear that Dino Melaye is subject to inhumane treatment, let us all rise and condemn this act.”- Senator Joshua Lidani
Senator Oluremi Tinubu stated that she is not in support of what happened to Senator Dino Melaye. “If Senators Dino Melaye and Ovie Omo Agege can be taken away by the police, it destroys the sanctity of this chamber” “The people look to the Senate for protection. “The average man needs protection just as we do.”- Senator Oluremi Tinubu.”
“I think that the information Senate Leader wanted to pass, is that this morning, we were very concerned and we have sent our Deputy Leader out to go and look for him, but with the motions that I can see, it has gone beyond us sending representatives.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“I can appreciate the motions that have transpired in that area. The issue of the IGP briefing us should be immediate and that should be tomorrow and the DG and Chairman of Police should do that.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“I want to thank all those who contributed, I know that at times like this, it is very difficult, sometimes, to speak the truth because it is clear that this, definitely, is not only seen as a violation.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“It affects all of us, not only us, but this institution and this democracy and these actions are a threat. The excesses must be contained in the interest of all of us.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“We are about to start elections and if these are the kind of excesses of those who are meant to be responsible for providing law and order, this is a great concern in this country. And those who are directly responsible need to take up that reponsiblity.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“Today, I was talking to Senator Akume, he is not here because of what happened in Benue, he will be here tomorrow to take the issue. This is also about law and order and as such, we must all condemn this act. We are not talking about the menace, but there is a procedure and a way to handle these things.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
”So, one thing is to ascertain his state of mind concerning the situation and also to find out and also to find a way out quickly, to find a solution to this problem so we can restore sanity.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Senate resolved to:
I. Invite the IGP to brief the Senate tomorrow in a Committee of the Whole, on this matter that is in a court of competent jurisdiction and on the recent killings in the country; and
II. The Senate should adjourn immediately and move to the hospital to visit Senator Dino Melaye.
Senate Leader moved that all other items on the order paper be stood down to another Legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.
Plenary is adjourned to Thursday, 26th April, 2018.
New Media Department,
Office of the President of the Senate,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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