The President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has said that there was nothing like jumbo salary for National Assembly members as being speculated in some quarters.
Lawan made the disclosure, when members of the Senators’ Forum paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
While further disregarding the jumbo pay issue, he revealed that his monthly salary as a lawmaker and that of his colleagues was N750,000.
“What I want to emphasise here is that I never believed that there is anything called Jombo pay to the national assembly.
“The National Assembly members both the Senate and the House receive what is their salaries and I receive N750,000 as my salary.
“But I need to function as a senator, my office needs to be properly funded,” he said.
He promised that the national assembly was going to be open to the general public in the conduct of its legislative activities, particularly in the area of funding.
“National Assembly is going to be open to the public, I believe that the national assembly should have everything open, let Nigerians Know, what we are doing.
“I believe that Nigerians need to understand this, we need to continually engage with Nigerians and I will also argue that we continue to explain to Nigerians, they deserve to know how their resources are being utilised.
“ I believe that the national assembly needs proper funding because the legislature is so critical in any national development,’’ he said.
Gov. Dickson offers automatic employment to 335 professionals
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has offered automatic employment to 336 professionals from various disciplines including 102 PhD holders.
A breakdown of the 336 beneficiaries showed that 102 PhD holders drawn from the state and other Ijaw-speaking communities across the country were absorbed as lecturers into the state-owned tertiary institutions.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, said Dickson presented employment letters to the beneficiaries on Saturday.
The governor named other beneficiaries as 60 medical doctors, 54 master’s degree holders and 119 first class graduates.
Dickson said his administration was working hard to lay a solid foundation for a flourishing knowledge-based economy of the future for the state.
He said: “It takes a number of years for this kind of investment to mature. We are building schools and capacities and we want a situation whereby after 20 years or so we want to see top qualified Bayelsa professors in every field.”
“We are going to create a fund to take care of publications for all those who have PhD to enable them produce more PhD holders.
“In the last seven years, we have been building educational infrastructure, awarding scholarships and employing. There is no doubt that we have done our duty but the job of consolidating the gains lies on you. We expect the 102 PhD holders to become professors in the next couple of years.
“If this policy is followed through year after year, in the nearest future Bayelsa will become the centre of excellence.”
In his remarks, Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the Special Employment Committee, Kemela Okara, expressed conviction that the 336 newly employed workers would add value and increase productivity in the state workforce.
Also, the Commissioner for Education, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite saluted the efforts of Governor Dickson in keeping to his promise in turning around the education sector.
Obuebite who is also the Vice Chairman of the Special Employment Committee, said the feat achieved in the education sector under the leadership of Governor Dickson was exemplary and indeed inspiring.
Court to INEC: Issue Uwajumogu certificate of return
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been served an order of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja directing it to immediately issue a certificate of return to as the duly elected senator for Imo West Senatorial district.
The Commission had withheld the certificate of the APC senator on the ground that he was not validly elected because the electoral process was marred by irregularities.
Senator Uwajumogu had approached the court seeking for an order to compel INEC to issue him Certificate of Return having been announced as winner of the Senatorial election by the Returning Officer.
In its judgement delivered on July 4th, 2019, Presiding Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered the commission to issue Uwajumogu his certificate.
In the order, the court ruled “that the Independent National Electoral Commission does not have the power and right under any law in Nigeria to review or otherwise deal with any question related or connected to the declaration and return of the applicant for the Imo North Senatorial District election on the 23rd of February and 9th March 2019 after the returning officer had taken a decision”.
The court among others also ruled “that an order of mandatory injunction is hereby made compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately issue the applicant Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu a sealed Certificate of Return for the Imo North Senatorial District”.
Reacting to the judgement, Senator Uwajumogu expressed satisfaction that justice had been served but regretted that he had to miss being inaugurated alongside his colleagues owing to the legal impediments.
“I am highly elated with the declarative order compelling INEC to issue me Certificate of Return. I give glory to God. However, i would expect INEC to swiftly comply with the order without wasting time to save me more precious time being wasted in serving the good people of Imo North in the Red Chambers.
Already, INEC,s decision to hold on to my Certificate of Return after the Returning Officer had announced me as winner had caused me incalculable damage but that can be remedied to a large extent if i am issued my Certificate
Atiku, PDP to start calling witnesses at tribunal Thursday
The Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will on Thursday begin calling their witnesses at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to prove their petition against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 23 poll.
The Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal of five judges announced this on Wednesday, marking the end of the pre-hearing session in respect of the petition.
Addressing lawyers representing the parties in the case on Wednesday, Justice Garba said, “You will recall on Monday that you indicated that trial should begin on Thursday.
“In line with that, the pre-hearing session for this petition will have to end today (Wednesday) to enable us to commence trial in respect of this petition from Thursday, July 4, 2019.
“It is on that basis that I will now present the report of the report of the pre-hearing session.”
Garba has subsequently presented the report and closed the pre-hearing court session.