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WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Will Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Join Presidential Race?



The Boss can exclusively reveal that Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki may take the bold step and join the 2019 Presidential race.
If and when he does, tBhere is no doubt that he would be a formidable force that should not be ignored because only few politicians in Nigeria today have the pedigree, the experience, the clout and the connection of Senator Saraki.
Having risen to the enviable position of the number three citizen, the only place to go for the two-term Senator and former two-term governor is up! Indeed, Saraki is not new to the dynamics of power politics, he is the scion of a political dynasty that is well-known across the nation.
His father, the late Oloye, Dr. Olusola Saraki was a revered politician. He not only rose to become the Senate Leader of Nigeria under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), but was the Chief Strategist and King Maker of Kwara Politics.
Born on December 19, 1962, Saraki went to Ivy League schools in Nigeria and United Kingdom. His parents certainly prepared him well for the tough task ahead. He attended Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he obtained a First School Leaving Certificate,  attended King’s College, Lagos where he got  his West African School Certificate, went to Cheltenham College in the United Kingdom for his High School Certificate. And then studied at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987, where he obtained his M.B.B.S (London).
He has all the criteria that a modern Nigerian president should have, he is tall, urbane, suave, charismatic, cool and collected. But behind this charm, is a man of steel who is never afraid to pursue causes that he feels are right and just.
Saraki is one of those rare breeds who is street smart as well as book smart. This was evident when he steered his political path away from his father, and triumphed without breaking up the family or the people’s faith in his leadership abilities.
That 2011 incident was a defining moment in the Senate President’s political career. Just when he was rounding off his second term as governor, his father openly endorsed his sister, Senator Gbemisola Saraki as the next Governor.
Maybe they had a discussion privately, but the matter came to a head publicly, when he refused to support his sister, forcing his father to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party he helped to form and nurture, into political wilderness.
The Senior Saraki banked on his past record to trounce his son in the political arena but during the gubernatorial election  it was the Junior Saraki that triumphed. The candidate he backed, current Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, eventually coasted to victory.
That singular moment told many stories. That Senator Saraki is a man of principles, that he is a fearless fighter and a grassroots political force whose opponents under estimate at their own peril.
Before politics, he was in the corporate world, working in the family-owned Societe-Generale Bank (SGBN) . Though his enemies will say he ran the bank aground and some even say, he emptied the bank vault to run for Governor, it was to his credit that after its demise, he insisted that the bank was solid and was closed down in error.
Facts showed that he left SGBN in 2000 and in 2001, he became a Special Assistant on Budget to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He also served on the Economic Policy Coordination Committee, and was responsible for the formulation and implementation of several key economic policies for Nigeria.
He became Governor three years after leaving SGBN and his earlier believe that the closure of the bank was improper was proved right when the Central Bank of Nigeria eventually restored its licence.
As Governor, he had a clear vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash Kwara’s economic potential through investment in Agriculture and infrastructure.
Under his leadership, Kwara became the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project, as well as re-energised the Ganmo Power Station, Ilorin in collaboration with PHCN, connecting over 3750 rural communities to the national grid through the development and installation of 725 transformers and 7 substations.
Kwara also completed four electrification projects which meant power became stable 18–22 hours a day. 70% of people living in Kwara had access to electricity, compared to a national average in Nigeria of 30% at the time.
Dr Saraki introduced a scheme that utilized the agricultural expertise of the Zimbabwean farming industry, and worked with Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers’ Union.
This collaboration led to the establishment of the Shonga Farms programme in partnership with Zimbabwean white farmers. The instant success of the arrangement made the farming concept a model that is now being replicated by other states across the nation.
He designed a New Nigerian Farmers Initiative that improved the technical capability of farmers and ensured that farmers had a significant financial stake in new investment in agriculture.
He also created a commercial hub that was developed to build the capacity of the indigenous farming community of Kwara State.
During his tenure, he introduced new health programmes that included a statewide campaign in 2008 to reduce maternal and child mortality.
A statewide distribution of insecticide-treated nets and free malaria drugs were equally extended to pregnant mothers and children under the age of five in Kwara. Another statewide programme of hospital development was also implemented by Saraki which led to the redevelopment of hospitals in
Afon, Patigi and Lafiagi.
He also implemented improved training and re-training for medical staff; refurbishment of hospitals and staff living quarters. This effort was followed up with the employment of qualified medical doctors and other health workers in the state. Performance of Saraki encouraged WHO and UNICEF to sponsor many of the primary health care programmes in Kwara state. His government pursued and signed into law, the Kwara Community Health Insurance, Kwara Safe Maternity Service and Kwara Child Rights Acts.
Saraki founded Kwara Class of Honour, a programme aimed at awarding Post-Graduate scholarship to First Class students of the state to continue their study at any institution of their choice across the federation, over 71 First class were awarded during the first phase of the scholarship programme.
He began the Voluntary Teaching Service in which thousands of Kwara graduates were engaged and given allowances monthly after which ninety percent of them were absorbed into the state Civil Service, Teaching Service and SUBEB.
In addition, his administration started the Every Child Counts programme and other policies which were adopted by the Federal Ministry of Education.
Perhaps one of his greatest achievements as Governor was the establishment and funding of the Kwara State University which has since stood the test of time.
He superintended over improvements at the Ilorin International Airport Cargo Terminal, extensive road construction, and development of new sporting facilities such as Kwara Football Academy. He spent money on state-owned Kwara United Football Club and also went a step further to launch his own club, Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC, which is still in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Dr.  Saraki has no qualms about working with and giving youths opportunity to prove their mettle. He has that uncanny ability to spot and deploy good talents. For example, it was during his tenure that youths in their 30s and early 40s such as Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Zakari Mohammaed and Razak Atunwa flourished and showed their potentials.
As a result of his sterling achievements, it did not take his colleagues long to see that this was a charming gentleman with excellent leadership qualities, he was soon elected as Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum. He was as influential as he was controversial.
The Forum under Bukola Saraki developed a better and more extensive polio immunisation in Nigeria. A key part of this was the introduction in 2011 of the Immunisation Leadership Challenge. The Challenge rewarded states that made significant improvement in polio and routine immunisation coverage by the end of 2012. This challenge was driven in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates The NGF under his chairmanship signed many Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) which included but not limited to the World Bank , DFID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI, UNICEF, UNDP. He increased the profile of the Forum and this did not go down with other political groupings.
It was not only the Governors that saw his abilities, in 2010, the nation applauded his good work when he became the first serving Governor to be bestowed with the National Honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
Earlier he had won the following awards:  Thisday Newspapers, Best Governor of the Year, 2004, Harvard Business School, Africa Club Award, 2005 and Nigeria Bar Association Award of Excellence, 2010.
It was after he completed his two terms that he decided to join the Nigerian Senate. He was first elected to the Senate in April 2011, representing Kwara Central Senatorial district.
In his first term at the Senate, he was appointed Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and a member of the Senate Committee on Capital Markets and Finance.
It was during this assignment that Saraki showed his patriotic, altruistic and audacious streak.
He was the senator that pushed a motion in the upper legislative chamber to end the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria. The fuel subsidy regime had constituted an excessive drain on Nigeria’s national resources.
In what subsequently became known as the fuel subsidy scam, Saraki’s alarm which led to a thorough investigation by a panel headed by Access Bank Chairman, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede showed that he saved the nation billions of dollars that were going into private pockets.
Senator Saraki sponsored the National Oil Spill and Detection and Response Agency Amendment Bill to ensure that oil companies pay appropriate levels of compensation to communities affected by oil spills. He also intervened in the lead poisoning crisis in Zamfara Stateand supported the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which ensures safe and healthy methods of cooking for millions of Nigerians while conserving the environment through reduced deforestation.
On his return in 2015, Dr. Saraki put himself forward for the position of Senate President. Of course he had all the profile for the position but for some inexpliacble reasons, some apparatchiks of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) pitched their tent with another candidate, Senator, Ahmed Lawan.
When famous Russian Chess Champion and Grandmaster, Garry Kasparov said “If you’re already in a fight, you want the first blow to be the last and you had better be the one to throw it. ….Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass you by”. He was referring to the circumstances that faced Saraki at that period.
And that was when Saraki’s prowess as an astute politician, a consensus builder and like his father, a political strategist became public knowledge.
 Against all odds, he beat his party’s candidate hands down-andin the past three years has won over even his most ardent of critics with his superb handling of his role.
Impeccable sources reveal that as he plots his move for the Presidency, he is said to be considering building alliances with all Nigerians of like minds.
He is also considering using the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu as his running mate. Having already exhibited the ability to work seamlessly with politicians from the two main political parties, it is a path he can easily thread.
In political circles, the story is that Dr. Saraki has been the one that has stopped the president from becoming a full blown dictator. That he has been able to stand firm, stare the president in the face, eyeball to eyeball on some key issues like the appointment of the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu. He has held firmly to the doctrine of Separation of Powers unlike the past Senate Leadership.
That is not all, his adept peoples’ skills has also helped him foster a smooth relationship with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon, Yakubu Dogara.
Futhermore, those who know, say he  is  counting on his youthfulness and ability to connect with the youths and his strategy will be to spread the “I am one of you” message and show his track record of working with young technocrats and turning them into prolific achievers.
As at today, the 8th Senate which he heads has passed 201 bills and it prides itself as the best performing senate ever.
According to Saraki in a Tweet during the week“ we still have 15 months to go, yet, we have reached this milestone. I would like to thank my Distinguished Colleagues for their hardwork and cooperation over the last 33 months”
He had earlier stated “On the issue of opening the lawmaking process we have not been afraid to push the boundaries of convention, that is why the 8 Senate can be credited to initiated the first-ever National Assembly Joint Public Hearing on the Budget; the 8th Senate broke the 12year jinx on the PIB by passing the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) that will reform the NNPC and return accountability in the petroleum industry.
“The 8th Senate scored another first as it become the first Senate to unveil and pursue a self-developed economic reform agenda to aid the ease of doing business in Nigeria and create new frameworks for creating jobs and improving Nigeria’ ranking in the global competitiveness index.
“It can be said that the 8th senate has led the way in open government and transparency, aside opening our books to the public, we have also opened what we do to the world and we are the first to adopt live streaming of plenary and deliberations globally.
“Indeed we have become the most open arm of government in the history of Nigeria till date”
Apart from his unmatchable performance as head of the Legislative Arm of Government, he also has tremendous goodwill among many respected Nigerians, especially young businessmen as well as solid international connections.
A tip of his wide network came to fore at the wedding of his daughter, Oluwatosin late last year. The events were held in Ilorin, Lagos and Abuja. And the calibre of guests that turned out for the ceremonies showed that he was no run-of-the-mill personality. Even Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who many say is one of his greatest detractors was at the Lagos ceremony!
Another good thing going for Dr Saraki is his wife, Oluwatoyin. She is an excellent partner, a strong pillar of support for a man of his stature. She is a first-rate upper crust.
Mrs Saraki is from the popular Ojora Royal Family of Lagos, and is the only daughter of The Otunba Adekunle Ojora and The Erelu Ojuolape. Her dad is a Corporate titan with interests in blue chip companies in Nigeria and across the globe. Her family has interests in companies from oil and gas, real estate, insurance, banking, ICT to Manufacturing.
She is well bred, highly educated, articulate and despite her privileged background, a passionate Maternal and Child Health Advocate.
Mrs Saraki is a better half in every sense of the word. She attended the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, obtaining the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree, she proceeded to King’s College, London for a Master’s degree (LL.M) in International Economic Law. She is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, having been called to the Nigerian Bar, about three decades ago.
In 2004, while still First Lady of Kwara State, She established the Wellbeing Foundation, unlike such pet projects by first ladies, many years she has been more passionate as ever before taking the foundation to very great heights.
It was as a result of her work that she became the inaugural Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). She is also the Save the Children Newborn Health Champion for Nigeria; a Fellow of the West African Academy of Public Health (WAAPH); the Chair of the National Assembly Primary Healthcare (PHC) Revitalisation Support Group; a Global Champion for the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and early this month was appointed special adviser to the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO).
Of course, like everything in life, Saraki would have to navigate through thorny paths to reach the Presidential Villa, he surely has many challenges ahead.
 The most important challenge, according to our source, is the perception that he is corrupt This has been a damaging blow to his profile, little wonder that Saraki has not taken this allegation lying down.
Angered by many false and spurious stories written by bloggers and news sites especially Sahara Reporters, he dragged the news organization to court to clear his name.
 In June 2017, An Ilorin High Court judge, Justice Adeyinka Oyinloye of the Ilorin High Court, slammed a N4 billion judgment against the publisher of popular online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, over libellous stories published on Saraki.
But the corruption allegation keeps mounting, in 2015, he made history as the first Senate President to be issued a arrest of warrant and was eventually docked when he appeared at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Saraki was accused of offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms Saraki had filed with the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was Governor of Kwara state. He was also accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor, acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, and accused of operating foreign accounts while being a public officer.
His counsel has put forward a no case submission and the case was squashed in June 2017 but the Federal Government challenged that judgment and the legal fireworks has now reached the Supreme court and is still raging.
As if that is not bad enough, his name also popped in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers scandals that involved hiding of assets or evading taxes through offshore shell companies.
The Senate President however reacted to the allegations stating that he has not violated any law in the course of registering his company, Tenia Limited, adding that he has no property to hide.
Speaking though his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said the company was incorporated in 2001, before he ventured into politics.
The Senate President noted that the company had remained dormant, held no assets and he was not a signatory to the company’s account.
Another major challenge is his state of origin, he is from Kwara State which is in Nigeria’s North Central. Though it can be said to be a part of the North, many see him as Yoruba because the capital of his state, Ilorin is predominantly Yoruba speaking.Besides,  he also has a Yoruba name. Therefore, it is doubtful if the core North will accept him.
This seeming weakness can actually be a strength if we consider the political permutations that led to the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. A Saraki as Presidential Candidate has the ability to sweep his region, the North Central. He can take the South West based on his name, the South South will lean towards him easily and if he takes Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu as Running m
Mate like it is being alleged, he would coast in the South East. With his ability to build alliances, he may even make inroads in some North East States.
His choice of platform may pose a another problem as his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) like it did when he vied for the Senate Presidency, may have a different preferred candidate. Saraki as the savvy politician that his, is likely to choose another platform to achieve his aim and from all indications, it may be the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP may present a veritable platform for him because it already has a firm nationwide structure and the toughest person gunning for the same ticket is former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who many pundits say is not only too old and weak but has a lot of baggage.
No doubt a candidate Saraki will bring youthful energy to the Presidential race and most importantly, it may just be the tonic Nigeria needs as a nation to get out of its labyrinth of under development.
For Saraki, his network and his name will take him far; whether it can take him the distance is far from clear. For now, however, he is the one of the top politicians to watch ahead 2019.
1. National Railway Corporation Act 1955 N129 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment Bill 2015
2. Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act CAP B2 LFN 2011 (Repeal and Re-enactment) 2015
3. National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (est,etc) Bill 2015
4. Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (est., etc) Bill 2015
5. Electronic Transaction Bill 2015
6. Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Act (Amendment) Bill 2015
7. Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (Est,etc) Bill, 2015
8. Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill 2015
9. National Poverty Eradication Commission (Est,etc)Bill 2015
10. North East Development Commission (NEDC) (Est,etc) Bill 2015
11. Erosion Control and Prevention Commission (Est, etc) Bill, 2015
12. Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous provision) Amendment Bill 2015
13. Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effuru (Est, etc) Bill 2015
14. Food Security Bill 2015
15. Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015
16. Environmental Managers Registration Council of Nigeria (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015
17. Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015
18. Nigeria Football Federation (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015
19. National Sports Commission (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015
20. Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2015
21. Witness Protection Programme Bill 2015
22. Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2015
23. Defence Space Agency (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015
24. High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja (Amendment) Bill 2015
25. Air Force Institute of Technology (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015
26. Credit Bureau Reporting Bill 2015
27. 2015 Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2015
28. 2016 Appropriation Bill
29. Federal Roads Authority (Establishment, etc) Bill 2016
30. National Assembly Budget and Research Office (Establishment, etc) Bill 2016
31. Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill 2016
32. Federal Capital Territory Statutory Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
33. Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun Bill 2016
34. National Lottery Act 2005 (Amendment) Bill 2016
35. Electoral Act №6 2010 (Amendment) Bill 2016
36. Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
37. Petroleum Industry Governance Bill 2016
38. National Inland Waterways Act Cap N47 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2016
39. Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
40. JAMB Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
41. Nigerian Customs Service Bill 2016 and Nigerian Customs Service Act (Repeal and Re-enacment) Bill 2016
42. Warehouse Receipts Bill 2016
43. Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Bill 2016
44. Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Bill 2016
45. Federal University of Wukari (Establishment, etc) Bill 2016
46. Maritime University of Nigeria, Okerenkoko (Establishment, etc) Bill 2016
47. 2016 FCT Appropriation Bill
48. Appropriation Bill, 2017
49. Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015 (SB 173)
50. National Unity and Peace Corps (Establishment, etc) Bill 2015 (SB 183)
51. National Open University of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill 2017
52. Federal University of Maritime Studies, Oron Bill, 2017
53. National Institute for Legislative Studies Act (Amendment) Bill 2017
54. National Research and Innovation (Est, etc.) Bill, 2017
55. Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016 and Universal Basic Education Act 2003 (Amendment) Bill 2016
56. Nigeria Financial Intelligence Agency (Est, Etc.) Bill, 2017
57. Institute of Chartered Biochemist and Molecular Biologist Bill, 2016
58. Whistle Blowers Protection Bill 2015
59. Abduction, wrongful restraints and wrongful confinement for ransom bill 2017
60. Prohibition and Protection of persons from lynching, mob action and Extra Judicial Executions Bill, 2017
61. Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2017
62. Hydroelectric Power Producing Area Development Commission (Amendment) Bill 2015
63. Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurs (est., etc.) Bill 2015
64. Chartered Institute of Capital Market Registrars Bill 2017
65. Presidential Inauguration Bill 2016
66. National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment, etc) Bill 2016
67. FCT Statutory Appropriation Bill 2017
68. Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017
69. Federal University of Agriculture Kaaba (Establishment, etc) Bill 2016
70. Federal Colleges of Education Act (Amendment) Bill 2017
71. Niger Delta Development Commission (Amendment) Bill 2017
72. Nigeria Arabic Language Village, Ngala (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2017
73. Nigeria French Language Village, Badagry (est., etc.) Bill, 2017
74. Demutualization Bill, 2017
75. The Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Bill, 2018
76. 2017 FCT Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018
77. Arbitration and Conciliation act cap A18 LFN 2004(Repeal and re-enactment) Bill 2018
78. Emergency Powers (Repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2018
79. Federal University Gashua (establishment, etc.) Bill, 2018 (SB459)
80. National Transport Commission (Est., etc.) Bill, 2018 (SB. 242)
81. Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2018 (SB. 216)
82. River Basin Development Act CAP R9 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 358)
83. National Centre for Disease Control Prevention (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 256)
1. Environmental Health Officers (Registration, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
2. Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun Bill, 2016
3. National Judicial Institute Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
4. Prevention of Crimes Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
5. Water Resources Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
6. Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and Traffic) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
7. Agricultural and Rural Management Training (Amendment) Bill 2016
8. Telecommunications and Postal Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
9. Treaty to Establish African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament (Accession and Jurisdiction) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
10. Utilities Charges Commission Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
11. Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
12. Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
13. Petroleum Training Institute Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
14. Quantity Surveyors (Registration, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
15. Bees (Import Control and Management) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
16. Advertising Practitioners (Registrations, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
17. World Meteorological Organization (Protection) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
18. Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) (Amendment) Bill 2016
19. Builders (Registration, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
20. Town Planners (Registration, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
21. University of Abuja Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
22. Corrupt Practice and other Related Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
23. Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (Amendment) Bill 2016
24. National Agricultural Land Development Authority Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
25. Produce (Enforcement of Export Standards) (Amendment) Bill 2016
26. National Crop Varieties and Livestock Breeds (Registration etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016
27. National Archives Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
28. Value Added Tax Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
29. Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
30. Chartered Institute of Human Capital Development of Nigeria Bill 2016
31. Dangerous Drugs Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
32. Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management of Nigeria Bill 2016
33. Veterinary Surgeons Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
34. Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission Bill 2016
35. Chartered Institute of Public Management Bill 2016
36. Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (Establishment) Bill 2016
37. Oaths Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
38. Institute of Local Government and Public Administration Bill 2016
39. Chartered Institute of Project Management of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2016
40. Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment, etc.) Bill 2016
41. Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
42. Mortgage Institutions Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
43. National Film and Video Censors Board Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
44. Official Secrets Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
45. Federal Capital Territory Districts Courts Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
46. Pensions Rights of Judges Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
47. Anti-Torture Bill, 2016
48. Federal Capital Territory Hospitals Management Board (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2016
49. National Child Protection and Enforcement 2016
50. Police Procurement Fund Bill, 2016
51. Federal Capital Territory Water Board Bill 2016
52. Senior Citizen Centre Bill, 2016
53. Animal Health and Husbandry Technologist (Registration, etc.) Bill 2016
54. Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots, Bill 2016
55. Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2016
56. Railway Loan (International Bank) (Amendment) Bill, 2016
57. Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016
58. Chartered Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers of Nigeria Bill, 2017
59. Avoidance of Double Taxation Between the Federal Republic of Nigerian and the Kingdom of Spain Bill, 2017
60. Avoidance of Double Taxation Between the Federal Republic of Nigerian and the Republic of South Korea Bill, 2017
61. National Postgraduate College of Medicine Laboratory Science Bill, 2017
62. Avoidance of Double Taxation Between the Federal Republic of Nigerian and the Kingdom of Sweden Bill, 2017
63. National intelligence Agency Pension Bill 2017
64. Nigeria Academy of Science (establishment etc.)
65. Chartered Institute of Treasury Management (Est, Etc.) Bill 2017
66. Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology Science (Est, Etc.) Bill 2017
67. Franchise Bill
68. Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy Bill, 2017 (HB1,018)
69. Federal Capital Territory Transport Authority (Establishment) Bill HB. 91
70. Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (Fiscal Incentives Assurances and Guarantees) Bill, 2017 HB. 896
71. Chartered Institute of Customer Relationship Management Bill, 2017 HB. 69
72. Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017
73. Vigilante Group of Nigeria (Est., etc.) Bill, 2017 HB718
74. Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, 2017 HB13
75. Courts and Tribunal Fines and Financial Penalties Bill, 2017 HB 642
76. Radiographers (Registration, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 HB 676
77. Medical Residency Training Bill, 2017 (HB.982)
78. National Road Funds (Est, etc.) Bill, 2018
79. National Climate Change Bill (HB1020)
80. National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill, 2018 (HB. 472)
81. Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport of Nigeria Bill, 2018 (HB. 973)
82. National Security Agencies Protection of Officers Identity Bill, 2018 (HB. 830)
83. Institute of Environmental Practitioners of Nigeria (HB. 1022)
84. National Biotechnology Development Agency (Est., etc.) Bill, (HB. 33)
85. Nigeria Aeronautical Search and Rescue Bill, 2018 (HB. 139)
86. Federal Audit Service Commission Bill (HB. 107)
87. Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (est., etc.) Bill, 2018 (HB 364 & 656)
88. Digital rights and freedom bill, 2018(HB490)
89. Energy Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018(HB72 & 446)
1. Alteration of the Constitution to provide for time passage of laws (assent)
2. Alteration of the Constitution to provide for funding of the State Houses of Assembly directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
3. Alteration of the Constitution to include former heads of the NASS in the council of state.
4. Alteration of the Constitution to reduce the period within which the President or Governor may authorise withdrawal from the CRF in absence of an appropriation act from 6 to 3 months.
5. Alteration of the Constitution to provide for immunity of legislature in respect of words spoken or written at plenary…
6. Alteration of the Constitution to abrogate the State Joint Local Govt Accounts and empower each local govt council to maintain its own special account.
7. Alteration of the Constitution to strengthen local govt administration in Nigeria
8. Alteration of the Constitution to provide the INEC with sufficient time to conduct bye-elections and grounds for de-registration of political parties.
9. Alteration of the Constitution to delete the public complaints commission Act from the constitution.
10. Alteration of the Constitution to delete the National Securities Agencies Act from the constitution.
11. Alteration of the Constitution to delete the National Youth Service Decree from the Constitution.
12. Alteration of the Constitution to delete state independent electoral commission from the constitution.
13. Alteration of the Constitution to specify the period within which the President or Governor shall present the Appropriation Bill before NASS or SHA
14. Alteration of the Constitution to reduce the age for the qualification for the offices of president, house of reps and state house of assembly.
15. Alteration of the Constitution to reflect the establishment of the ISA in the constitution.
16. Alteration of the Constitution to remove law making powers from the Executive Arm of Govt.
17. Alteration of the Constitution to provide for the procedure for passing a constitution alteration bill, where the president withholds assent.
18. Alteration of the Constitution to reflect the establishment and core functions of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
19. Alteration of the Constitution to provide time for the determination of pre-election matters.
20. Alteration of the Constitution to further strengthen the judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice.
21. Alteration of the Constitution to establish the AGF and separate the office from that of the minister for justice (likewise in the states).
22. Alteration of the Constitution to establish the office of the accountant general of the federal govt separate from the office of the accountant general of the federation
23. Alteration of the Constitution to make the office of the auditor general of the federation and states financially independent by placing them on the CRF (states).
24. Alteration of the Constitution to disqualify a person sworn-in as president or governor to complete the term of the elected person from being elected to the same office for more than a single term.
25. Alteration of the Constitution to change the name of the police from the Nigerian Police Force to the Nigerian Police
26. Alteration of the Constitution to provide for independent candidature in elections.
27. Alteration of the Constitution to provide for a change in the names of some local govt councils.
28. Alteration of the Constitution to provide for the appointment of a minister from the FCT to ensure FCT is represented in the FEC.
29. Alteration of the Constitution to require the President and Governor to submit names of nominated ministers or commissioners within thirty days of taking the oath of office for confirmation.


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We’re Not ‘Officially Aware’ of Anyone Working Against Tinubu’s Victory – FG




The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it was not “officially aware” of any entity in the Presidential Villa working against the victory of the All Progressives Congress’ flag bearer, Bola Tinubu. It also said that President, Muhammadu Buhari was neither favouring nor disfavouring any presidential candidate ahead of the February 25 election.

“If there’s anybody who is working against any candidate, we don’t know officially,” the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, told State House Correspondents after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the President at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, alleged that some “elements” in Aso Rock are working against Tinubu’s emergence as President.

El-Rufai, who spoke on a Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, explained that the persons in question were aggrieved that Tinubu defeated their candidate in the June 2022 APC presidential primary.

He cited the naira redesign policy as one of several schemes targeted at the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, who also made a similar claim a week earlier.

According to El-Rufai, “I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries.

“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.

“In fact, I discussed with the President and showed him why it had to go. Because how can you have a capital budget of N200b for federal roads and then spend N2 Trillion on petroleum subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the President in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.

“The second example I will give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the President. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as President.

“He did this; the Buhari-Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. The President has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”

But fielding a question on the issue on Wednesday, Mohammed argued that the Buhari-led government has been fair to all candidates regardless of party affiliations.

He said, “On a more serious note, one thing I can assure you is that, no matter who, this administration is focused and determined to ensure a free and fair election. And I think this administration, and for that matter now, the most important person in this regard is Mr. President.

“I think he has shown by words and deed that he is committed to a free, fair and credible election. And fair, free and credible elections mean not favouring or disfavouring anybody.

“Everywhere he goes, he makes that very clear, even as recently as Friday, when he was in Daura. He said the same thing. So if there’s anybody who’s working against any candidate, we don’t know officially.”

Speaking in Ogun State last Wednesday, the APC presidential candidate alleged plans to sabotage the coming election.

Tinubu cited the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the lingering fuel crisis and as part of plots to thwart the polls and his expected victory.

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2023 Elections: INEC Deploys 707,384 Presiding Officers




The Independent National Electoral Commission will deploy 707,384 presiding officers for the general elections scheduled to commence on February 25.

The commission also said that since electoral education was important, there was a need to infuse it into the National Values Curriculum of primary schools in Nigeria.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated these during the public presentation of the Electoral Education Curriculum and Teachers’ Guide for primary schools.

The curriculum which was developed by the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening  – Sustaining Electoral Engagement for Democracy project funded by USAID and FCDO and implemented by National Democratic Institute and IFES, was in partnership with the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, INEC (through the Voter Education Department), National Orientation Agency, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All and academia from across the country.

Okoye said, “We believe that electoral education is important in the goals of our nation. Electoral education is a specialized area and that is why we have this curriculum being infused into the National Values Curriculum in our primary schools.

“For instance, for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the commission will deploy a total of 707, 384 presiding officers and assistant presiding officers.

“These presiding officers will be drawn from the crop of young men and women doing their National Youth Service Corps, while the assistant presiding officers will be drawn from students from federal tertiary institutions.

“It is therefore important for us to understand the importance of electoral education in the development of our democracy.

“A national civic education curriculum and teachers’ guide with a specific focus on electoral education will prepare our children for the challenges ahead and also prepare them on how to respect other people’s races and also prepare them to assume leadership in future.”

The President of IFES, Anthony Banbury, said its contribution to the project was to strengthen Nigeria’s electoral process through effective teaching and learning of civic education in primary schools.

“To catch them young, the revised curriculum is a hallmark innovation that will introduce children and youth very early to the concept, processes, ethics, and values of democratic systems and governance.

“It will be essential for the young people’s orientation to initiate a shift from the existing norms. In the long term, it will increase civic participation and knowledge of democratic systems and values, as the children of today become the adults and the voters of tomorrow,” Banbury said.

The Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaidu, said the aim was to strengthen the fabric of the nation’s democracy for sustainable growth and development.

According to him, since the return of democracy in 1999, citizens’ participation in elections and the electoral process had remained an issue of concern.

He also said that a known reason for this was the lack of adequate electoral knowledge.

“Hence, promoting democratic electoral culture and developing civic skills are therefore necessary for well-informed and responsible participation in elections and in the electoral process,” Junaidu said.

He said that the above informed the initiative of the NERDC in collaboration with IFES to develop the Electoral Education Curriculum for primary schools in Nigeria.

According to him, the curriculum, generally, is developed to expose young learners to the rudiments of democracy and inculcate in them the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for active citizens’ participation in the democratic process.

“Specifically, the curriculum is designed to achieve five key objectives, which are to: equip learners with basic knowledge of the concept of democracy, the role of elections in democracy and good governance.

He said the choice of primary school learners was hinged on the core principle of using education as an instrument of socialisation for the young to assume adult roles for the good of society.

“Thus, the teaching of electoral education at this level will ensure that when children reach voting age, they would have already understood the fundamentals of active participation in the political and electoral process,” Junaidu said.

While commending the management of NERDC for the initiative, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Dr Claris Ujam, said the curriculum had become a dynamic process for sustainable national development.

He said, “Every time, there are changes or developments happening around the world, the school curricula are affected.

“Therefore, the inclusion of concepts and contents of electoral education under Civic Education is in line with the drive under the Ministry’s Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan.

“This is to enable the acquisition of citizenship values and skills through quality education. The electoral education curricular contents constitute a remarkable step to create positive change in the election landscape and political development.”

The Punch

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Pro, Anti Ekweremadu Protesters Storm UK Trial




The human trafficking case against a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, resumed in a London court on Tuesday.

However, anti- and pro-Ekweremadu protests were staged in front of the court ahead of the proceedings.

AFP reported that before court proceedings, there was a gathering of protesters, some of whom were in support of the lawmaker while others were against him.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested alongside his wife at Heathrow Airport in London on the allegation that they flew a young man from Nigeria to the UK to harvest his organ.

The allegation added that the organ was meant for Ekweremadu’s daughter, Sonia, who is currently hospitalised with a kidney-related illness.

Some Nigerians had in October 2022 protested in Abuja against the continued detention of the lawmaker who has now spent 223 days in the custody of UK authorities.

Protesters, once again, gathered at the court on Tuesday to either support the embattled lawmaker or protest his continued detention in UK custody.

“I mean, this case is unbelievable,” one protester, Citizen Gbola, was quoted by AFP as saying.

“Where else in the world would you have a deputy senate president, who is still a serving senator, he’s still getting his regular wage?”

According to Daily Mail, Sonia couldn’t make it to court on Tuesday but sought permission with a psychological report by her team claiming she was not fit to stand trial.

She had pleaded not guilty to the allegation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself, when she appeared in court on November 7, 2022.

The young man, who levelled the allegation against the Ekweremadus, told Staines Police Station that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

A 50-year-old medical doctor from South London, Obinna Obeta, was also arrested in connection to the allegation.

During proceedings at the Old Bailey court, Ekweremadu who wore a grey tracksuit top only said “Yes, miss” when asked to confirm his name.

Seated beside the lawmaker in the dock and dressed in black was his wife who was granted bail in July 2022 while her husband was said to be a flight risk.

The Punch

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