Again, Senate Fails To Approve Bello Mahmud As INEC Commissioner

The Nigerian Senate has again failed to confirm a Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, nominee, Bello Mahmud, from Zamfara State.

The Senate first rejected Mr. Mahmud’s nomination last Thursday for allegedly not being an indigene of the state.

On Tuesday, the lawmakers agreed to revisit the rejection after Kabir Marafa, Zamfara-APC, raised a point of order and sought the leave of the Senate to revisit the controversial rejection.

Presenting the motion on Wednesday, Mr. Marafa asked the Senate to “rescind its earlier decision and approve the confirmation of the nomination of Ahmad Bello Mahmud, to represent Zamfara State as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”

Mr. Marafa said that even though the committee had claimed that its recommendation was based on ‘careful deliberations and consultations,’ at no time was he consulted on the confirmation of the nominee despite being a Senator from the state.

He said that the report of the committee had in itself confirmed that the nominee is from Zamfara state.

“The Senate is aware that item 4.1.2 on page 6 of the Screening Committee’s Report has confirmed that the nominee was born in Gusau, Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State;

“The Senate is aware that the report has confirmed that the nominee had both his primary and secondary education in Gusau and Anka Local Government Areas of Zamfara State respectively;

“The Senate is aware that the nominee was a one-time Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Zamfara State and the Chairman, Zamfara State Anti-Corruption Commission, amongst others;

“The Senate is aware also that the methodology adopted by the Committee as contained in item 3.0 on page 3 of the report made no reference whatsoever to indigeneship as a basis for consideration and for clearing any nominee;

“The Senate is further aware that the assertion by the senator representing Zamfara North Senatorial District that the nominee is from Kebbi State and not from Zamfara State is therefore false.”

He prayed that the Senate rescind its earlier decision of rejection and approve the confirmation of the nomination of Ahmad Bello Mahmud.

The Senate rejected the two prayers.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the Senate can only refer the matter back to the committee to reconsider.

“The issue really at hand is the work of the committee and I believe that any decision we take here, we must allow the committee to be able to defend itself,” he said “I think in going forward, what should be the prayer based on what you said. I’m sure a lot of people have listened to you and have some points raised for us to refer it back to the committee to take care of the points that you raised because any decision we raised here will be indicting the committee and that will not be fair on the committee.”

The Senate agreed to refer the issue back to its committee on INEC and report back in one week.

Maina: Senate Indicts EFCC, Says 222 Properties “Shared”


The Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the controversial reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdul-Rasheed Maina, has indicted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The Senate, at the plenary on Thursday, further asked the ad hoc committee to probe into the whereabouts of the 222 properties seized from alleged pension fund thieves and kept in the custody of the EFCC.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, moved a motion to extend the probe to the seized properties in the EFCC’s custody, as they had been allegedly “shared.” He also asked for more time to carry out the assignment.


Paulker said, “The Senate notes that the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms headed by Maina, in the course of discharging its mandate, recovered about 222 houses, hotels, investment portfolios and properties from pension fund suspects in Abuja and other major cities across the country.

“The Senate equally notes that before Maina left, the pension reform task team recovered assets from alleged pension looters, working with the EFCC, ICPC, DSS, police and paramilitary agencies who executed the recoveries and thereafter, the EFCC took over custody of the recovered assets.

“The Senate further observed that the EFCC, as a member of the Maina-led pension tax force team, had the statutory powers to impound and take custody of assets.

“The Senate is alarmed that the total recovered assets from alleged pension thieves are reported to be allegedly shared by some interest groups.

“The Senate further notes that this revelation emerged during the current investigation by the ad hoc committee on the reinstatement of Maina and the committee equally received a petition on the recovered properties by the task force.”

Chairman of the probe committee therefore urged the lawmakers to expand the scope of the investigation and give the panel more time to carry out the exercise.


Senate Rejects Buhari’s Nominee For REC Over Citizenship

The Senate on Thursday rejected one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, Ahmad Bello Mahmud based on the recommendation by the Senate Committee on INEC in its report which was adopted.

The Senate, however, approved the nomination of Ambassador Rufus Akeju (Lagos) and Dr. Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi) as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The rejected nominee, Mahmud was alleged not to be an indigene of Zamfara State but Sokoto State.

Senate Suspends Debate On 2018 Budget

The Senate on Tuesday announced the deferment of debate on the 2018 budget submitted to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari about 2 weeks ago.

This is contrary to its earlier plan to commence debate on the general principles of the budget.

Senate President and leader of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki, made the announcement at the commencement of Tuesday’s legislative business.

He told the lawmakers that the deferment was done so as to enable the Upper Legislative Chamber pass the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), this week.

He also said that the deferment will allow the National Assembly’s bureaucracy distribute copies of the budget proposal to members of the House.

JUST IN: Buhari’s $5.5B Foreign Loan Request Approved By Senate

The Red chamber of the National Assembly has approved President Muhammadu Buhari $5.5 billion external loan request.

The loan which was requested through a letter sent to the Senate on October 10 has $3 billion external loan and $2.5 billion Eurobond or Diaspora bond in the international market.

It is believed that the bonds would be channelled towards funding the 2017 budget while the loan would be used in refinancing maturing domestic debts.

Based on the Senate’s resolution, the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on October 19 invited the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and some other members of the executive to explain the benefits of the loan.

Presenting report of the committee, Shehu Sani, Kaduna-APC, said the projects listed for the loan would stimulate economic development and create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

He added that the $2.5 billion will create more borrowing space for the private sector.


Senate Demands Removal of Speed Bumps on Federal Highways

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday demanded immediate removal of speed bumps indiscriminately erected on federal highways nationwide.

The order was given to Ministry of Power, Works and Housing headed by Babatunde Fashola, a former Lagos State governor.

In a motion moved by Barnabas Gemade, PDP-Benue and Stella Oduah, PDP-Anambra, the Senate noted that speed bumps are erected on almost all federal highways by whoever wanted, thereby causing agony for road users.

Details later…..…

Watch New Video Stunt of Dancing Senator, Ademola Adeleke

A new video of senator representing Osun West district, Ademola Adeleke, has emerged where he was seeing as usual dancing and singing at a church.


News reveals that the video footage which just emerged on social media shows lawmaker leading the congregation in Yoruba and Igbo choruses as he moved from one end of the church to the other. This elicited reactions from the worshippers.


The pastors on the podium were obviously entertained as they were seen whispering to one another. Not even members of the choir could match his pace. It is not clear when the video was released.


Recall that in 2014 governorship election of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, he was with his late brother, Sen Isiaka Adeleke who decamped from PDP to APC. His present at the campaign then was noticed because of flare for dance and was nickname then ‘Skelewu’


Watch the video below:

Proscription, Declaration of IPOB As Terrorist Organisation Unconstitutional – Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has described as “unconstitutional”, the recent proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by South East governors in the region.

Saraki similarly flayed the Nigerian Military over its declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

In a statement he personally signed on Monday, the Senate President said due process was ignored in proscribing IPOB, as well as in the declaration of the separatist group as terrorists.

Saraki said, “I wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by governors of the south-east states and the categorisation of the group as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian military is unconstitutional and did not follow due process.

“Our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect.”

“Our brothers and sisters in the south-east, in particular, should continue to maintain peace and tranquillity and go about their lawful business. This crisis will not benefit anybody but would only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger,” it read.

“At this point, Nigerians outside the south-east who have worked to ensure that the crisis does not spread to other parts of the country deserve our commendation. I, therefore, call for continued efforts to sustain peace, unity and stability in all our communities so as to ensure that all residents, no matter their religion, tribe and creed remain protected and safe under the law.

“We must commend the military for their efforts in restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country.

“However, in the face of provocation, the military should allow themselves to be guided by their training which emphasises respect for human rights, even in war. Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force.

“I want to also make it clear that the national assembly intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the south-east. We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what. It is quite clear that all the facts are not yet known. We assure Nigerians that there will be no cover up. We intend to lay the facts bare.

“We want to remind Nigerians that the reason for embarking on constitution review by the national assembly was to enable us look into issues that are agitating the minds of Nigerians and creating tension among us. We have promised that the exercise would be continuous.

“We intend to keep that promise by further taking decisions that would strengthen and improve on our structures. The eighth national assembly, on resumption, will play its constitutional role by addressing all those issues that are agitating the minds of our people and over which they feel so strong,” the statement read.

Why We Won’t Disclose Our Allowances – Nigerian Senate

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi has insisted that the senate would not disclosed salaries of its members.

Abdullahi said this during a program monitored on popular TV station during the weekend.

Recall that the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has claimed that a Nigerian senator earns N29m per month.

When the presenter asked him how much he earned, Abdullahi angrily said it was rude of the presenter to ask him how much each senator earned.

Abdulahi said, “You don’t expect me to come out on national television to say this is what I earn. It is not done. I cannot ask you as a journalist how much you earn. It is not done.

“If anybody is interested in how much we are getting paid, you know where to get the information. The documents are available. If Nigerians won’t believe that, is it what I will say that they will believe?”

The Senate spokesman said the figures released by Sagay were false, adding that the Senate’s budget was not even as high as what Sagay released.

He said Sagay was only trying to cause unnecessary tension between the National Assembly and the Presidency.

He added, “This issue has become a recurring decimal. In the last two years people have been discussing this matter and I always ask myself, what do people really want to believe? I think if this subject matter has been discussed for two years and we are still looking at issues wrongly, then I think there is something wrong with us.

“The institutions that are responsible for providing this information are there. A law was promulgated on Top Salary Scale also known as TOPSA and it is based on this scale that everyone who holds one political office or the other gets paid.

“I want to also submit that I presume Prof. Sagay would have been paid based on the provision of this scale. For us in the National Assembly, the question needs to be asked ‘what is the cost of having democracy and what is the cost of not having democracy?’

Source: Ddaily Post

Saraki’s Lifetime Career In Financial Crimes And His Jokes On Corruption By Erasmus Ikhide

Nigerian history on corruption wouldn’t be written without Senator Bukola Saraki’s name occupying a dominant space. Senator Saraki has been known for his legislative banditry, political corruption, virtual criminality and brazen scandals in sordid form, all his life. 

You may give it to him, on the flip side; after all, those who wanted nothing to be said about them have no business in politics. Whichever standpoint you viewed it, a scandal is a scandal. It’s the loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety. Does that excuse Senator Saraki’s moral bankruptcy as a pervert who exploits the weakness of institutions unto the bargains at every stage of his career.

In an attempt to do damage control, one of his media aides, a few days ago compounded Senator Saraki’s already battered image in the eye of the public. “I read a write up titled “BEFORE SARAKI FORGETS” insinuating that Saraki as Vice Chairman to Senator Ahmed Makarfi on the Senate’s Finance Committee in 7th Senate connived with Mrs. Diezani and absolved her of all the alleged missing $20 billion. “At first, I was going to ignore this false and malicious publication mainly because it is coming from a TABLOID that lacks credibility and known for ALWAYS attacking Saraki since he emerged Senate President to justify its paymasters”.

This is the point: ‘the Sarakis admitted that Saraki was a member of the committee led by Ahmed Makarfi and participated actively in the committee work but did not sign the report as being alleged by critics’.

One would have expected the Sarakis to come up with the original copy of the Senate’s finance committee reports that shows empty column against Saraki’s name as he refused to sign, being the vice chairman of the committee. We’re also expecting Senator Saraki’s minority report, indicting Diezani and his fellow committee members, if it was true that Senator Saraki was against the Senate’s finance committee report that absolved Diezani? Now, how does Saraki wish to exonerate himself from the committee’s report that cover up the highest graft in Nigeria history he partly superintended? Where is the evidence that/or the denial that he was not part of the sleaze? This is the self-denial of the real situation.

The other day Saraki told Bewildered World by deceiving himself that he has returned all the money paid into his account by Kwara State government as ex-governor of the state without showing evidence of transactions. But before then, the Kwara State Government had denied paying Saraki salary after he left office in May 2011. The  Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, in a reaction to claims that  Saraki was drawing a salary from the state after he left office, stated that the ex-governor’s last salary was N291,474.00 for May 2011.

“From June 2011, former Governor Saraki started receiving his pension which was N578,188.00 as other past governors in the country. Gold stated that after the review of pension of former political office-holders by the State Pension Board, Saraki’s pension increased to N1,239,493.94 monthly from October 2014 to date. He said it was “therefore false and misleading” to state that Saraki was receiving a salary after the expiration of his two-term tenure as a governor of the state’.

The denial from Kwara State Government came when the statement of Saraki’s account details with Access Bank inflows from 2007 up till August 2015 revealed that Saraki collected salary as the governor of Kwara State for about four years after completing his second term in office was making the round. A prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, in one of the cases against Saraki on economic fraud visited on the country, in his testimony, read out details of each transaction on Saraki’s statement of account as pointed out to him by the lead prosecuting counsel.

In-between some transactions described as salary, there were also some whose narration read as a pension. Wetkas said, “Exhibit 15 is the statement of Saraki’s salary account with Intercontinental Bank. N254,412.25 was the salary for July 2007.

“In May 2011, salary paid on June 3, 2011, was N291,124. The narration reads: KWSG May, 2011 salary. On July 4, 2011, there was another payment with the narration of KWSG July salary, 572,286.32. On August 29, 2011, there was a payment of  N744,002.22. On October 27, 2011, there was a narration of October salary of N1,165,466.12. On December 7, 2011, there was a payment of the same amount of N1,165,466.12. On December 28, 2011 there was payment of the same amount of N1,165,466.12 as December pension”.

By the narration in the accounts, in February 2012, Senator Saraki was paid the same amount. The narration says salary. By this account statement, they stopped payment of salary and/or pension to the defendant on August 31, 2015. The second tenure as governor ended on May 29, 2011. He became a Senator in the same 2011 till date.

We’re not talking about other pervasive systematic scandals which include the humongous amount of money allegedly laundered by Senator Saraki. On October 26, 2009, there were cash deposits by several individuals with different names in 87 transactions into Senator Saraki’s GTB bank account. The 87 transaction took place in one day! This was done to circumvent the money laundering law. The transactions were made in that manner because if it was made once, it would be above the provisions of the law.

The account also had cash lodgements on May 18, 2009. There was cash lodgement by Todimu, who is a banker, of $8,000 at GRA Ilorin branch. That same day, he (Todimu) also lodged another $8,000. On the same day, there was another cash lodgement of $4,000 by Bayo, who is a banker.

The total amount was $180,000. There was a total of $20,000 lodgement by the bankers. On May 19, 2009, there were 18 lodgements of $10,000 each. The last three of $10,000 of May 19, 2009, each were made by Saraki himself. On June 12, 2009, there was a lodgement of $50,000 cash by one Garba Dare. On August 21, 2009, $99,975 was transferred into the account by a bureau de change, Bin Dahuuh. On August 26, 2009, there was $49,969 paid by Carlisle Properties and Investments Limited. On September 7, 2009, there was also $59,964 by the same company, Carlisle Properties Limited. Most of the outflows from the account were basically made to American Express Service Europe Limited. Part of the outflows was made to BDC.

From our investigation, the transfers to the American Express Service Europe Limited’s account were up to $3,400,000. Part of the outflow from the account was also to the pound sterling account. The ASEL received the funds for onward transmission to the beneficiary.  The telex,  dated August 25, 2008, for transfer to the American Express Bank, New York. The amount of this particular telex is $73,223.28. Of the pound sterling account, the witness stated, “The account has six transactions in all – three deposits and three outflows. There were deposits of over £1,516,000. The fraud is endless.

The inglorious escapade of Senator Bukola’s financial criminality that rocked his post-banking career and drowns several families is still very much with us. Mr. Bukola has been severally fingered in the financial scandal that rocked and ultimately grounded the once boisterous Societe Generale Bank, GGB, owned by the Saraki family. Mr. Bukola was reported to have siphoned the bank’s depositors’ money to the sum of N17 billion to pursue his gubernatorial ambition in 2007, in the wake of an unprecedented political battle the family faced in the hand of another former Governor of the state, late Alhaji Mohammed Lawal.

At another occasion, the police repeatedly sought after Mr. Saraki to explain how a debt of N9.7 billion was dramatically written off in a certain account, which was suddenly closed by one Abdul Adamu, who they found out to be an aide of Saraki. This is different to the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police Force trail on his heist with a revelation that the former governor of Kwara State was wanted over a N21 billion-bank loan fraud at the defunct InterContinental Bank of Nigeria.

Enmeshed in the sordid legacy of fraud and more undisclosed grafts, the only way out for Senator Saraki is to keep banging his way through, even to the nation’s presidency, as a man of incredible vaunting ambition. That’s the stuff/character Nigerian political leadership is made of.

Any prosecution of Mrs. Diezani without the inclusion of Saraki and Senate’s finance committee’s members that cleared her of wrong doings will be an anti corruption war by default. Can Saraki be expelled or expels himself from the Senate presidency so that Nigeria can start on a clean slate? That’s less likely.

Saraki’s jokes on corruption is the Nigerian jokes. If the Senate’s finance committee members who allegedly shared from the Diezani’s loot are still the ultimate law givers, it means President Buhari’s anti corruption crusade have been making successes in abeyance. When you hear next time corruption is fighting back, then you have an example in Senator Bukola Saraki and his fellow economic predators.

Erasmus, Public Affairs Analyst write from Lagos

Email: [email protected]

Follow me on twitter @ikhideerasmus1

PHOTO STORY: Nigerian Senate, NAPTIP Pay Condolence Visit To Aregbesola

Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Monday received a delegation of Nigerian Senate and Management Team of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) at Government House, Osogbo who came visiting to condole with him over the death of his mother.

See photos below………