The House of Representatives last week passed the Petroleum Industry Bill through second reading. KAUTHAR ANUMBA-KHALEEL reviews the bill and controversies that trails the long awaited bill. For the umpteenth time, the House of Representatives last week passed through second reading the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). It is a fact that the PIB had been passed at this stage severally by previous Assemblies of the 4th Republic, but has unfortunately never seen the light of day. The journey of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill to the National Assembly began in the early days of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration with the inauguration of the Oil and Gas Reform Committee (OGRC) in 2000 given the mandate to review and streamline all existing petroleum laws and establishing a regulatory framework for the sector to reflect and serve the interests of consumers, the environment and operators. Subsequently, the Oil and Gas Implementation...
In what appears to be a quest for equal constitutional power between the executive and the legislative arm of government, ADEBIYI ADEDAPO observes that the National Assembly is set to alter certain provisions of the constitution to whittle down executive powers and boost legislative functions. The two chambers of the National Assembly, in January 2016, inaugurated separate special ad-hoc committees on the review of the 1999 constitution (as amended). The committees’ term of reference is to consider items to be reviewed in the fourth alteration bill started by the seventh Assembly. The Sixth Assembly (2007-2011) enacted the first, second and third alterations to the constitution. In view of this, all bills seeking to amend the constitution were between January to December 2016, referred to these committee after its second reading on the floor of the Senate or the House of Representatives. While the deputy senate president, Ike Ekwerenmadu chairs the 46-member committee in...
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja  Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) has joined the call for diaspora voting, adding that over 17million Nigerians living abroad should not be neglected in the electioneering process. The party also added that it decided to establish it foreign liaison office as part of their clamour for diaspora voting. They stated that the Nigerian Diaspora covers practically every part of the world but the largest populations of Nigerians can be found in the UK, USA and South Africa. Director Foreign Liaison for APDA Young Leader's Forum, Mrs. Christina Ude, said "For many years, Nigerians in diaspora have been complaining about obstacles to voting while abroad. That's why Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance has set up the office, APDA Foreign Liaison. APDA is a people's driven and focused political party totally committed to building a new peaceful Nigeria and working for its unity and progress. To...
BY KINGSLEY OPURUM ....the call for the adoption of independent candidacy by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) began to gather momentum again when Senator Ken Nnammani-led Constitutional and Electoral Reform Committee recommended the inclusion of independent candidacy, its implication and workability, ahead of 2019 general elections s the 2019 general elections are fast approaching, a lot of Nigerians have started taking their cue from Senator Ken Nnammani-led Constitutional and Electoral Reform Committee report to clamour for the creation of independent candidacy with a view to improving standard of elections in the country. In adducing their reason, they are of the opinion that such provision will go a long way to address the bureaucratic processes involved in political parties, where an aspirant will register to be a staunch and financial member of a particular political party; go through the party primary elections before becoming the party’s standard bearer. Some political commentators pointed...
The Defence Headquarters says the Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have not committed any illegality in extending the service of career officers. Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, the Director Defence Information gave the clarification in a statement on Thursday. Enenche said that the clarification followed a publication captioned: “How Service Chiefs Illegally Extend Military Careers of Course Mates”. “Thus, it has become necessary to clear this issue that was addressed particularly to the Nigerian Army, Navy and Airforce,’’ he said. He explained that the publication cited the “Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service (HTACOS), 2012, Paragraph 02: 10 (b) as justification for the assertion, which is a tabulation of the conditions relating to the length of service of a commissioned officer of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.’’ “ However, it failed to give insight into other sections of the Paragraph that borders specifically on extension of service for a commissioned officer. “In view of...
U.S . President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he did not have any recordings of his conversations with ousted Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), James Comey. “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey. “But I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump tweeted. Trump had raised the possibility of tapes in May when he fired Comey, who was heading the FBI investigation into alleged Russia’s meddling in the Nov. 8 2016 U.S. presidential election. Comey had, in a leak afterwards, recounted a White House meeting he had with Trump in January when he claimed the president asked him to pledge his loyalty. Trump disputed Comey’s version and claimed the former FBI chief actually pleaded for his job. The president then tweeted that Comey had “better hope there...
Edo State gubernatorial tussle between Governor Godwin Obaseki of the APC and the candidate of the PDP, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, has moved from the tribunal to the Supreme Court, PATRICK OCHOGA writes. Expectedly, the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was optimistic that the five-man-led Appeal Court panel would rekindle its hope by upturning the judgment of tribunal which had thrown away the petition filed by its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu against the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki. The PDP and its leaders had stormed the court with over 150 legal counsels in apparent determination to ensure that no stone was left unturned in its quest to upturn the Obaseki All Progressives Congress (APC)-led victory in the September 28, 2016 governorship election. As the D-day came, security within and around the Court of Appeal premises was tight with stern looking security operatives frisking everyone including media practitioners before allowing them to gain...
BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA Recent happenings within the ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, including suspension of chieftains and the emergence of interest-serving groups within the party as well as the defection of prominent politicians from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) into its fold, are clear indications that the party is on a road to re-structuring. Last week, leader of the party in the state and Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, announced the suspension of the former Chief of Staff, Government House, Hon. Tony Okocha, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Wogu Boms and the member representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chidi Wiyioka, as chairmen of the APC caucus in Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt City and Ikwerre local government areas of the state. Amaechi, who announced the suspension of the trio while addressing stakeholders’ meeting in...
By Adebayo Waheed, The Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has warned that conducting Diaspora voting during the period of recession will cost Nigeria million of dollars and logistic requirements. Speaking at an international conference on "Enfranchising the African Diaspora: Comparing Notes across Sub-Saharan Africa" held at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan on Wednesday, he noted that while the 2015 elections cost approximately N100 billion, contemplating a Diaspora voting in the next 18 months must start with registration of Nigerians in Diaspora which will gulp millions of dollars. Represented by the National Commissioner of INEC, Professor Anthonia Simbinne, he noted that the commission was ready for Diaspora voting, saying, "until issues of constitutional amendment is done to pave way for the incorporation of the Diaspora as well as Diaspora voter registration, and cost are scaled, the Diaspora will have to wait a little longer to actualise...
 Tope Fayehun, Akure The Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Tuesday signed the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law. This came after the state House of Assembly had passed the budget of N170,846,580 billion into law on Monday, following its increment from the initial N169,720,580 earlier presented to the lawmakers by the governor two weeks ago. With the increment, a sum of N95.159 billion was earmark for recurrent expenditure while a sum of N59.187 billion will be spent on a capital expenditure . At the programme held at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the  governor’s office, Alagbaka, Akure, Akeredolu said the huge deficits which exist in various sectors of the state socio-economic life need be tackled frontally. According to the governor, "These fiscal estimates have been scrutinized, meticulously, to capture the aspirations of this administration on real development." Akeredolu informed that his  administration has tried to reduce the embarrassing imbalance between recurrent and capital expenditure in...