â€¢ Fails to lay, pass budget, Electoral Amendment Bill stepped down
James Emejo in Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday led principal officers and members of the lower chamber on a visit to the embattled senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye, who is currently admitted at the National Hospital in Abuja.
Accompanied by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuff Lasun, Deputy Minority Leader, Binta Bello and other members, the lawmakers were received by former Speaker of the House, Patricia Etteh, Â and the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Jaf Momoh.
Melaye, who is asthmatic, is receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the trauma centre of the hospital.
He reportedly developed complications after he was tear-gassed by police officers conveying him to Lokoja, Kogi State last week.
The speaker, however, prayed God to grant him quick recovery.
Meanwhile, the House again reneged on its promise to lay the budget yesterday, the third consecutive failure in that regard.
Dogara had assured the budget would be passed on April 24, which was later deferred to April 30 and now May 8.
A source told THISDAY that part of the reasons for the delayed passage of the budget was the fact that some agencies of government are still yet to defend their budgets before the relevant committees.
Also, yesterday, a bill for an Act to Amend the Provisions of the Electoral Act, No. 6, 2010 to further Improve the Electoral Process, Restrict the Qualification for Elective Offices to Relevant Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; recognise the use of smart card readers and other technological device in elections; further regulate political party primaries, a time line for submission of list of candidates, criteria for substitution of candidates, limit of campaign expenses and address the omission of names of candidates or logo of political party; and for related matters was scheduled for second reading but was curiously stepped down by the leave of the House.
When the bill was mentioned for debate, the lead sponsor, Hon. Aishatu Jibril Dukku was not present to introduce it.
Other listed sponsors include, Hon. Sunday S. Karimi, Hon. Gyang Pwajok , Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, Hon. Olutoye Temitope Sugar, Hon. Ahmed Babba Kaita and Hon. Eucharia Azodo).
However, in a development which suggested cracks among members, Hon. Karimi, protested his inclusion in the list of sponsors of the bill, referring to it as a â€œfake bill.â€
The Speaker, therefore, demanded that his name be expunged from it- noting that his inclusion may have been a case of the â€œprinterâ€™s devil.â€