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Members of the Nigerian Senate at a plenary

• Reps move to approve state police, probe Abacha loot recovery, usage
• Upper chamber summons FRSC, NNPC over Lagos tanker explosion

The Senate has called for collaboration of the 36 Houses of Assembly for the smooth and timely amendment of the constitution to create state and community policing system.

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki said this yesterday when the Houses of Assembly Speakers, led by their Chairman and Speaker of Gombe State House of Assembly, Abdulmumin Ismaila Kamba, paid a thank-you visit to leadership of the Senate for passing the bill which granted financial autonomy to state legislatures.

Saraki said state and community policing in the country had become imperative due to rising security challenges.

Meanwhile, Kamba said they were at the National Assembly to thank the leadership of the Senate for passing the state assembly financial autonomy bill, which had been signed into law.

In another development, the House of Representatives is set to commence the process of amending the constitution aimed at empowering the 36 states of the federation to establish a state police.

A bill, obtained by The Guardian, aimed at achieving the goal sponsored by Majority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, which is expected to be introduced on the floor of the House next week for deliberations, seeks to alter the constitution to delete item 45 from the exclusive legislative list, grant the National Assembly and Houses of Assembly the power to make laws with respect to the creation, formation and control of police and other government security services in Nigeria.

Also, the House has resolved to ascertain the total monies recovered from the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, allegedly stolen and stashed in various accounts abroad from 1998 to date.

The decision followed the adoption of an amendment motion proposed by Mr. Abdulmumini Jibrin (Kano: APC) during the plenary session of the House presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

The probe, to be carried out by an ad-hoc committee, is to establish the sources of the recovered monies often referred to as Abacha loot, determine how it was utilised, establish the agreement signed by the Federal Government on the issue and ascertain whether such agreement was in line with due process.

The House also okayed the prayers on the substantive motion sponsored by Mr. Karimi Sunday (Kogi: PDP) calling for the stoppage of the executive arm from expending the last tranche of the Abacha loot amounting to $322 million without the approval of the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the upper legislative chamber has summoned the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to explain the circumstances that led to the explosion of a tanker laden with 33,000 litres of fuel at the Otedola Bridge of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway last Thursday.

It also seeks to amend the extant laws required to forestall future accidents concerning articulated vehicles.

These resolutions followed an adopted motion moved by Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos-East), Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos-Central) and Solomon Adeola (Lagos-West).

In his lead debate, Ashafa asked that the FRSC, the police and all relevant security agencies to collaborate with Lagos State and others to make sure that drivers of articulated vehicles comply with all federal and state traffic safety laws.



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