Reps pass 94 bills in one legislative year
• Lawmakers clarify non-passage of PIB
• Lower chamber receives report of panel on member assault
From the House of Representatives comes a revelation that it has been able to pass 94 bills within the last legislative year.
The Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, who spoke to reporters at the National Assembly complex in Abuja also cleared the air on the perception that the lower legislative chamber was not keen on passing into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Speaking shortly after the lower legislative chamber passed nine bills at the plenary session presided by speaker Yakubu Dogara, he noted that the House has achieved a rare feat with the passage of the legislations within the period under review.
On the PIB, Mr. Gaza Jonathan, who is the vice chairman of the committee reiterated the House’s desire to ensure the passage of the bill into law within the second legislative year of the chamber.
He spoke in response to a question why the House has accelerated proceedings on the North East Development Commission as against the PIB that had been pending since the last 7th Assembly.
Jonathan, who expressed concern over the plight of the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East geo -political zone warned media practitioners against politicising the issue of the PIB.
Earlier, Dogara, in a speech to mark the first anniversary of the House disclosed that during the legislative session, June 9, 2015 – June 9, 2016, a total of 685 bills was received of which about 98 percent, 675 were members’ bills, while 10 were executive bills.
He stated that out of the bills, 416 are awaiting second reading; 130 bills have been referred to committees while three are awaiting consideration.
Also, the House of Representatives Committee on Interior, under the chairmanship of Jagaba Adams Jagaba, which investigated alleged assault on a member of the House, Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor, has submitted its report.
Although members have not considered the document that was presented on the floor of the House yesterday, the committee chairman said the inquiry was carried out based on fairness.
Worried that authorities of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), whose official allegedly assaulted the lawmaker two months ago, were yet to wade into the matter to ensure justice, Mrakpor has filed a N4.4 billion suit against the service.
A security aide attached to the convoy of the Comptroller-General of the NPS, Mr. Peter Ekpendu, in April this year allegedly assaulted the female lawmaker and slapped her for overtaking the convoy that was on its way out of the National Assembly.
Mrakpor claimed that Ekpendu merely sat in his car and watched the aide pounced on her, calling her unprintable names, without making any attempt to stop him.