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Reps Hit Back At Senate, Ignore Bills For Concurrence

Senate

Reps hit back at Senate, ignore bills for concurrence

THE House of Representatives on Tuesday stepped down second reading of two bills transmitted to it from the Senate for concurrence in protest against the alleged abandonment of bills from the House by the upper chamber.

The affected bills were titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of Chartered Institute of Directors of Nigeria; and for Related Matters’ and ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal University of Agriculture and Technology, Aboh; and for Related Matters.’

A mild drama had played out when the House got to Items 2 and 3 in the Bills section of the day’s Order Paper.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, asked that the first bill be stepped down as the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, who was to lead the debate on the legislation, was not on seat.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, before ruling on the prayer, asked to meet with some leaders of the chamber, who approached him where he was seated.

After some minutes, Gbajabiamila asked Fulata to guide the House on what action to be taken on the bill.

Fulata said, “We have 69 of our bills awaiting concurrence by the Senate. They have concurred with 17 of our bills. We have concurred with 14 of their bills. So, what is outstanding? The information still not complete is how many Senate bills with us that are awaiting concurrence. Once we get the statistics, we will have a complete picture.”

In his ruling, Gbajabiamila said, “Okay, I agree. We will step that matter down until we get the full picture of the numbers. Thank you. The matter is stepped down.”

The House had on June 9, 2021, the third time within four months, accused the Senate of not concurring with bills transmitted to it, threatening to reciprocate by not passing bills from the other chamber.

The House was to consider among others, ‘A Bill for an Act to amend the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, No. 2, 2019 to extend the Tenure of the Resolution Cost Fund.

Ado-Doguwa had urged the lawmakers to pass the Senate bill.

However, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said, “Leader of the House; please, I think you should talk to the Leader of the Senate that many bills are outstanding from the House in the Senate that require the same mutual concurrence. And we will begin to study it. That is your responsibility.”

On March 16, 2021, Ado-Doguwa had partly said, “I want to put it straight that we will always concur with bills coming from the Senate and we expect the same from the Senate to concur with our bills that go to the Senate.”

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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News

400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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