Tag Archives: gbajabiamila

Infectious diseases bill: Dino Melaye’s suit to no avail


The hearing of a suit filed by a former Senator representing Kogi West at the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, over the Infectious Diseases Bill has suffered a setback.

This was after a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday rejected Melaye’s request to restrain the House of Representatives from continuing the consideration of the bill.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, in her ruling, refused to grant the order because the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila who is the third defendant in the suit, had yet to be served with the court documents.

She adjourned the suit till June 1 for further hearing.

Dino, who instituted the suit on May 5, 2020, asked the court to declare that some sections of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020, currently being debated on the floor of the House of Representatives are draconian, oppressive and authoritarian.

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The former lawmaker also wants the court to rule that the Bill is in breach of his fundamental rights as provided for in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The respondents to the bill are the Clerk of the National Assembly; the Clerk of the House of Representatives; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Wednesday, lawyer to the House of Representatives, Kayode Ajulo informed the court that he is yet to be served with the processes as he insists that the service is key and fundamental to fair hearing.

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Also, clerks of both the National Assembly and the House of Representatives and the AGF were absent from court and not represented by their lawyers.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Okoro Nkemakolam, said the respondents had failed to file any processes to show cause why such restraining order should not be issued by the court.

He urged the court to order parties to maintain the status quo to protect the subject matter and prevent a situation of foisting a “fait accompli” on the court.

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The judge declined to grant the plaintiff’s request on the grounds that the May 13, 2020 summons for the defendants to appear in court on Tuesday to show cause why they should not be restrained concerning the bill, was predicated on the service of all the respondents with the required court documents.

She then ordered that the Speaker of the House of Reps be served through his lawyer, Ajulo and adjourned till June 1 for further hearing.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Gbajabiamila plead with Abuja health workers to extend strike ultimatum. [Nigeria]


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Union and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (JOHESU), FCT Chapter, to extend the strike ultimatum they gave to the FCT Administration.

The JOHESU had on May 7, given the government up to May 28 to address the irregularities in salary payment since January, non-payment of arrears of promotion from 2016, 2017 and 2018, delay in the release of conversion and proper placement of some of the workers, in order to avert workers’ strike.

But Gbajabiamila, at a meeting with the officials of the union at the National Assembly, Abuja, yesterday, pleaded with the health workers to tarry a while on the issue and assured them that the House would deliberate on the matter at plenary on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, (today) and come up with a strong resolution.

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Infectious diseases bill: Gbajabiamila faces impeachment threat. [Nigeria]

He also hinted that the House would meet with the officials from the FCTA, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Budget Office and IPPIS officials to ensure that all issues were resolved with immediate effect.

Responding, the Chairman of JOHESU, FCT Chapter, Ms. Deborah Yusufu, commended the Speaker for his intervention, which showed that he recognised the sacrifices health workers are making in the fight against COVID-19.

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Yusufu said she would take the Speaker’s position back to her union.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu; Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu; Chairman House Committee on Healthcare Services, Hon. Tanko Sununu and the JOHESU officials.


#Newsworthy…

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Infectious diseases bill: Gbajabiamila faces impeachment threat. [Nigeria]



As controversy continues to trail the Infectious Disease Control Bill before the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s seat seems to be hanging in the balance as forces not comfortable with his recent style of leadership are said to be moving against him.

NobleReporters gathered that the recent face-off between the leadership of the House led by Gbajabiamila, the state governors and former Speaker of the House and now governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal may cause Gbajabiamila his seat if not properly handled.

According to the source, the governors who are allegedly not happy with the way the House of Representatives responded to their advice that the Infectious Disease Control Bill be “stepped down” until proper consultations are made, are mobilising against the Speaker who is the lead sponsor of the Bill.

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The source further disclosed that the governors at a recent meeting in Abuja had “secretly” agreed to push for the Speaker’s impeachment through their various representatives at the green chamber.

He said some of the governors openly accused the Speaker of being “arrogant” in his approach to “national issues” a development they said should be checked to maintain the cordial relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.

Speaking further, the source stated the governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal’s loyalists who felt slighted that the governor was accused of misleading and misguiding other members of the Governors Forum are also “spoiling for war”.

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He said some members of the House already have grudges against the Speaker over allegation of overbearing especially in handling the donation to the fight against the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

It was also alleged that the Speaker has been making frantic efforts to get his political godfather to rally the governors to shelve their plans and create an avenue for dialogue.

It would be recalled that the governors operating under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF had recently urged the National Assembly to step down the proposed Infectious Disease Control Bill, 2020 introduced by the House of Representatives until an appropriate consultative process is held.

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Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is also the Governor of Ekiti state had in Communiqué at the end of the Forum’s eight teleconference meeting added that the consultation must include a public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns on the proposed Bill.

However, responding to the advice by the Governor’s Forum, the House of Representatives said it does not legislate for the states and therefore should not be “cowed” from doing its Constitutional responsibility.

The spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu in a statement regretted that Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who is a former Speaker of the House stood a better position to rightly inform the Governors Forum but failed to do so.

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Hon. Kalu went ahead to call for the disqualification of Tambuwal who is also the Governor of Sokoto state from a proposed consultative meeting with the Nigeria Governors Forum accusing him of being biased towards the Infectious Disease Control Bill insisting that Tambuwal misled and misguided the Forum into asking the House to step down the Bill.

“We assume that his position was informed by his well-known personal and partisan opposition to the emergence of the current leadership of House led by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila considering his obvious stance in 2015 and 2019,” he stated.

He said that the House of Representatives would proceed with the legislative work on the controversial Infectious Disease Control Bill because according to him, the House of Representatives and National Assembly in general are not under the control of any state governor.

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Also the House of Representatives has insisted on the consideration of the contentious Control of Infectious Diseases Bill explaining that it has not been stopped by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

In a statement yesterday, he House regretted that a section of the media had erroneously reported that the Federal High Court in its ruling on suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020 last week had stopped the further consideration of the bill.

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The House spokesman explained that though the applicant, through a motion ex parts, had sought an order of the court suspending the consideration of the bill, the court declined to grant the reliefs sought by the applicant so as to allow the respondent to appear before it and enter a defence.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Lanre Lasisi asked for time to comment on the matter but never did at the time of going to press. Also the spokesperson of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulrazaq Barkindo could not be reached.


#Newsworthy…

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We didn’t maltreat African residents – China denies.


For the second time in less than one week, the Republic of China has again restated its commitment to warm relationship with African countries.

Zhao Lijian’s, its Foreign Ministry spokesperson made the remarks in a statement issued last night in Abuja, against the background of alleged discriminatory practises against Africans resident in the city of Guangdong.


The Speaker of the House of Representatives Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila had last week summoned the Chinese Ambassador in Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, to express displeasure over similar maltreatment of Nigerians resident in another Chinese city, Guangzhou.

But the spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria claimed that those raising concern over maltreatment in Guangdong were foreigners bent on observing in the breach China anti-epidemic measures.


While insisting that there was no discriminatory practises, Lijian’s further argued that the deadly scourge could only be combated by mutual cooperation of China and nationals of other countries resident in China.

The statement read in part: ”During our fight against the coronavirus, the Chinese government has been attaching great importance to the life and health of foreign nationals in China. All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination.


“Since the outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attach high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals.

Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which we were able to save the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions.


“The Guangdong authorities attach great importance to some African countries’ concerns and are working promptly to improve their working method.

The measures include: to provide health management services without differentiation, to designate hotels for the accommodation of foreigners required to undergo medical observation and adopt price adjustment for those in financial difficulties; to set up effective communication mechanism with foreign consulates-general in Guangzhou; and to reject all racist and discriminatory remarks.


“The Chinese people always see in the African people partners and brothers through thick and thin. China-Africa friendship is unbreakable as it is deeply rooted in this land. African friends can count on getting fair, just, cordial and friendly reception in China.

The foreign ministry will stay in close communication with the Guangdong authorities and continue responding to the African side’s reasonable concerns and legitimate appeals.


“The virus knows no borders. The pandemic, a challenge to all mankind, can only be defeated through concerted international efforts. With mutual understanding, mutual support and cooperation, we are ready to continue working with African friends to achieve the final victory.”

The statement further recalled assistance given to States in the continent in the past during the outbreak of Ebola Virus and the recent pandemic, Coronavirus.


“China and Africa are good friends, partners and brothers. Our friendship is forged on the basis of joint efforts to seek national independence, liberation, economic development and better livelihood in the past decades. Such time-tested friendship is a treasure for both Chinese and African people. Humanity shines through the darkness of the epidemic.

After the Ebola epidemics broke out in three West African countries in 2014, the Chinese government provided assistance at the earliest time possible and fought side by side with the African countries and people.


“Now faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Africa are again tiding over difficulties hand in hand, and our friendship is again elevated. We will not forget the support from Africa during our most difficult times. While overcoming difficulties at home, we also give love and care to all African citizens in China, especially African students.

As the situation is getting more severe in Africa, the Chinese government and people have urgently delivered batches of supplies to the continent. Our assistance, conveying deep friendship for our African brothers and sisters, demonstrates our fine tradition of mutual assistance and mutual support, and has been highly acclaimed by African countries and the African Union.

While arduously fight the virus at home, China has donated large amounts of test kits, masks, protective suits, goggles, face shields, forehead thermometers, medical-use gloves, shoe covers, ventilators and other supplies to the African Union and African countries. We will continue helping our African brothers to the best of our ability.”


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Reps propose new tax regime.


In a record time, the House of Representatives has passed the Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020, which, among other things, aims at providing temporary relief to companies and individuals from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill especially seeks to maintain the general financial wellbeing of Nigerians pending the eradication of the pandemic and return to economic stability.


It was titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for Relief on Corporate Tax Liability, Suspension of Import Duty on Selected Goods and Deferral of Residential Mortgage Obligations to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for Fixed Term to Protect Jobs and Alleviate the Financial Burden on Citizens in Response to the Economic Downturn Occasioned by the Outbreak of COVID–19 Disease.’

The bill, at the plenary on Tuesday, passed the first, second and third readings in just over one hour.


It was jointly sponsored by the leadership of the House, including the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase.

The Senate, which is required to concur with the legislation before onward transmission to the president for assent, had, however, adjourned for two weeks before the House concluded work on it.


In the bill, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, the lawmakers listed its objectives as including to provide temporary relief to companies and individuals, and to alleviate the adverse financial consequences of a slowdown in economic activities brought on by the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease in Nigeria.

It will also protect the employment of Nigerians who might otherwise become unemployed as a consequence of management decision to retrench personnel in response to the prevailing economic reality.


It will also provide for a moratorium on mortgage obligations for individuals at a time of widespread economic uncertainty.

Also, the legislation would “cater to the general financial wellbeing of Nigerians pending the eradication of this pandemic and a return to economic stability.”


Furthermore, the proposed law will provide a new tax regime for corporate bodies, with rebates to encourage companies in the country to maintain their payroll status for the immediate term.

Gbajabiamila, who led the debate on the bill, said, “This, we hope, will prevent large-scale job losses in an already fragile economy and allow our people to carry on with their lives as best as possible in the event of a large-scale outbreak of the sort we have witnessed in other parts of the world.”


The Speaker explained that the bill primarily sought to grant companies a rebate on Companies Income Tax to the value of 50 per cent of Pay As You Earn deductions, as long as such companies maintained their PAYE rolls as of March 1 to June 2020.

Gbajabiamila also said the suspension of import duties on medical and safety items would take effect from March to June, while the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, would by regulations publish in the gazette to specify such goods.

Gbajabiamila further explained that the proposal would defer obligations on residential mortgages obtained by individual contributors to the National Housing Fund for three months in the first instance.


#Newsworthy…

Buhari in closed doors meeting with Senate President, other


President Muhammadu Buhari is in a closed-doors meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly in the State House.

The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, arrived at the State House for the meeting at about 3 pm.

Although the agenda for the meeting was not known as at the time of filing this report, there were speculations that the topic for discussion might be issues surrounding the recent concerns raised by members of the National Assembly over the worsening security situation across the country.

It would be recalled that the House of Representatives, last week passed a resolution, which called for the sack of the service chiefs, a call that has remained unheeded.

Senators also lamented the current state of the security in the country, declaring that the current national security architecture had failed and called for a restructured system.

Details shortly…


#Newsworthy…

Lawan’61: Gbajabiamila eulogise Senate president


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has eulogised the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, on the occasion of his 61st birthday celebration.

Gbajabiamila, in a congratulatory message, yesterday, said that Lawan, who has been in the National Assembly since 1999 serving first in the House and later in the Senate, is one Nigerian that has actively contributed to the development of the country’s legislature.


The Speaker recalled the valuable contributions of the Senate President while he served as a member of the House and later as a non-presiding officer in the Senate.
He described Lawan as a worthy ally in the onerous task of “building the Nigeria of our dream,” particularly since his emergence as the President of the 9th Senate.


“President of the Senate, distinguished Senator (Dr) Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, is a man of honour. I have known him for close to two decades now, and in all the years we have been together, he has exhibited a high level of patriotism.

“Senator Lawan has a passion for good governance, and at every opportunity, he has proven himself to be one of the best legislators around. No wonder he was unequivocally chosen by his colleagues to be the President of the 9th Senate.

“I know together, we will provide good leadership for the 9th National Assembly, which will take Nigeria to enviable heights in the near future.

“On this day of his 61st birthday, I wish him Allah’s continuous protection and blessings. I also wish him many more years in good health,” Gbajabiamila said.


#Newsworthy…

Femi Gbajabiamila react to increment of electricity tariff

…says should be increased after criminalising estimated billing

…rejected the proposed increment


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has rejected the proposed increment of electricity tariff in the country.

His reaction came one week after Channels Television reported that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) approved the immediate review of electricity tariffs across the country.


In a series of tweets on Friday, Gbajabiamila believes the right time to increase electricity rates is when the proposed amendment to the act criminalising estimated billing is signed into law.

He promised to meet with the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, as well as other stakeholders to ensure the proposed increase was made on a practical basis.


The Speaker said, “There is no guarantee that after any electricity tariff hike the DISCOs will not continue with the nefarious practice of bills estimation or provide uninterrupted power supply.

“I believe the National Assembly should ensure that any increase in electricity tariff if at all, should be cost-reflective and not just a whimsical increase with no empirical basis.”


“Also, any such increase should only be made after the proposed amendment to the law criminalising estimated billing is signed into law.

“I intend to meet and discuss this sequence and other conditions with the Attorney General of the Federation and other relevant authorities,” he added.


In a series of documents dated December 31, 2019, NERC had announced the plan to increase electricity tariff effective January 1, 2020.

A review of the new amount to be paid by various categories of electricity consumers shows an increase that ranges from 59.7 per cent to 77.6 per cent.


Consumers classified as residential (R1) were, however, excluded from the review as the N4 per kWh they pay was left unchanged.

The development affected customers captured in the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) spread across the country such as Abuja DISCO, Benin DISCO, Enugu DISCO, and Eko DISCO.


Others are Ibadan DISCO, Ikeja DISCO, Jos DISCO, Kaduna DISCO, Kano DISCO, Port Harcourt DISCO, and Yola DISCO.

The decision, however, sparked an outcry in the country, forcing the electricity regulatory body to shift the implementation of the review until April.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila


NERC Chairman, Professor James Momoh, told reporters on Monday that the commission would engage the public on the planned review in the next three months, before deciding on any implementation.

He also said NERC would begin the regulation of estimated billing by electricity distribution companies who fail to provide meters for their customers.


#Newsworthy…

Gas disaster: Femi Gbajabiamila console Kaduna government


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila on Sunday expressed shock and sadness over the gas explosion incident in Sabon Tasha, Kaduna.

The incident, which occurred at a gas shop, claimed the lives of several people including the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Simon P. Mallam, and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.

While expressing sadness over the incident, Gbajabiamila said: “It is with shock and sadness that I received the news of the gas explosion incident that claimed the lives of some Nigerians that included Prof Simon Mallam, the Chairman/CEO of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission.

Femi Gbajabiamila


“While I sympathize with the State government, the survivors and the families of those that died during the explosion, I also pray for the repose of the souls of those that lost their lives to the explosion.

“I also want to assure them that they are not alone in this trying times of theirs,” Gbajabiamila said.


#Newsworthy…

Speaker, Gbajabiamila speaks on death of former member of the reps, Tony Okey..

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), has announced the death of a former member of the house, Rep. Tony Okey.

Gbajabiamila, who made the announcement on Wednesday at the plenary, said that the late Okey was a member of the Fourth National Assembly.

The speaker said that Okey meritoriously and selflessly served the country in the green chambers from 1999 to 2003.

The house, in line with its tradition, observed one minute silence in honour of the former lawmaker and prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul.

Similarly, the immediate past Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on USA/Nigeria Parliamentary Relations, Rep. Johnson Agbonnayinma, has announced the death of his mum, Mrs Cecilia Agbonayinma.

In a statement issued by the former lawmaker, Mrs Cecilia Agbonayinma died in the early hours of Nov. 22 after a brief illness.

#Newsworthy…