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Senate to probe invasion of Justice Odili’s Abuja home

By John Akubo, Abuja
02 November 2021   |   1:28 am
The Senate is to debate invasion of the Abuja home of Supreme Court judge, Justice Mary Odili by security agents when it resumes plenary.

Justice Mary Odili

•Queries envelope budgeting, neglect of Ajaokuta Steel

The Senate is to debate invasion of the Abuja home of Supreme Court judge, Justice Mary Odili by security agents when it resumes plenary.

Some security operatives had, on Friday night, laid siege to the jurist’s residence based on information that “illegal activities” were going on there.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, dropped the hint during an oversight visit to the CJN yesterday in Abuja.

“We cannot pretend to be unaware of the embarrassing invasion of the residence ofJustice Odili on Friday night by security agents. We take the matter serious. When we resume plenary, we will discuss it,” he said.

On funding the judiciary, Bamidele noted that the vote for it in the 2022 budget was N120 billion, a N10 billion higher than the 2021 allocation.

“Even though this increase is not enough to meet the competing needs and challenges of the judiciary, we must commend the present administration for listening to the voice of reason and clamour from various quarters advocating for increased funding for the judiciary,” he added.

Responding, the CJN confirmed that there had not been undue pressure on judicial officers. He submitted that the National Assembly has been supportive of the judiciary.

IN the interim, the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy has descended heavily on the executive for forwarding to the National Assembly envelope budgeting every year for approval.

It also flayed the Federal Government for the abandonment of Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex through alleged non-provision of required budgetary votes on a yearly basis.

The proposed N23.4 billion 2022 budget estimates enveloped for the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, as presented by the Minister of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah on behalf the minister, Olamilekan Adegbite, prompted the anger of the committee members.

Of the total sum, N10 billion is for personnel cost, N1.47 billion for overheads and N11billion for capital projects. Apparently piqued by the presentation, members of the committee took turns to lament the meagre budgetary allocation for the sector, which according to them, should rank second after the oil and gas industry.

The panel chairman, Senator Tanko Al- Makura (APC: Nasarawa South), said: “The yearly ritual called budget is like garbage in, garbage out, which will not take the country to anywhere, as far as diversification is concerned.

“The type of budgeting process being carried out in this country over the years, is stereotypic. It is wrong for budget to be conceptualised in the ministry, enveloped and forwarded to the National Assembly for approval.”

Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC: Kogi West) said President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team “is clearly out of tune with the realities on ground, as regards what Nigerians need.