Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan has revealed that the former president, Muhammadu Buhari, assented to 129 bills passed by the ninth Senate.
This is as the lawmaker representing Adamawa South, Senator Binos Yeroe, has admitted that the ninth Senate was a rubber stamp.
Lawan noted that the ninth Senate presented 1,129 bills out of which 500 were passed
He stated that the senate accomplished some significant accomplishments over the last four years.
He said, “In lawmaking, the ninth Senate introduced and successfully passed critical legislations that could reform and promote the economy, improve transparency in government processes.
“As of June 10, over 1,129 bills were presented on the floor of the Senate, and over 500 were successfully passed.
“The president assented to 129 bills; the highest of any Assembly in Nigeria’s history.
“In the last few days, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had assented to two Bills passed by the 9th National Assembly; the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fifth Alteration) (No.37) Bill, 2023.”
Lawan added, “This extended the retirement age of high court judges, and others, from 65 to 70 years.
“This was the first Bill to be signed by the President since taking the oath of office.
“Only Friday, June 9, he also assented to the Electricity Act 2023, which we had passed in July 2022.
“The new law replaces the Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act of 2005.”
The outgoing Senate President said that in the discharge of their representative functions, the ninth Senate
aggregated and amplified the problems faced by constituents.
“Three hundred and sixty one motions were moved in the 9th Senate and 488 Resolutions were passed.
“Through these various motions and resolutions, we called the government’s attention to specific issues and sought their intervention.”
Lawan said that beyond the impressive numbers, however, the laws cut across the eleven priority areas of their Legislative Agenda.
Lawan further said that to curb the proliferation of illegal arms and weapons, “we passed the Bill for the Establishment of a National Commission for Coordination and Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“We passed other security-related laws, including the Police Act 2020, which introduced radical changes
in the operations of the Nigerian Police force and how they relate to the citizenry.”
Lawan thereafter appreciated his colleagues for voting him to be the President of the 9th Senate.
He said that it had been an honour and a privilege to serve as a member of the revered legislative body and to preside over its activities at a defining moment in the history of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Adamawa South, Senator Yeroe, has admitted that the ninth Senate was a rubber stamp.
The senator told the lawmakers during his valedictory speech at the plenary yesterday that he agreed with those who have labelled the 9th assembly a rubber stamp.
Yeroe noted the appoval of the N22.7trillion Ways and Means further validated the rubber-stamp accusations.
It will be recalled that despite initial resistance from lawmakers and public outcry, the Senate approved a N22.7 trillion Ways and Means advance loan collected by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Yeroe said, “I agree with those who say the ninth Senate is a rubber stamp.
“Furthermore, the suspension of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and subjecting him to investigation is a mild indictment of the National Assembly.
“This is so because if we had done our oversight duties properly, we would not have gotten to this level.”
The Adamawa senator advised the 10th Senate to take its role as the watchdog over the Executive seriously.
Yeroe said, “I hope the 10th Senate will take its job as the Watchdog of the Executive more seriously.
“I also hope that the 10th Senate will operate and adhere to its own rules, take their rules on the procedures of the bills in rules 76, 77 and 78 for instance, that state that bills that are being read should be circulated to all senators.
“But very often, bills passed first and second reading without senators reading through them.
“I hope the 10th Senate will conduct its business more properly.”
There was, however, a mild drama when Senator Rochas Okorocha mocks Ahmad Lawan’s return to the Senate.
Okorocha said, “You (Lawan) are a very smart politician. How you came back [to the Senate] is another chapter in our political history that we need to discuss.
“I was there in the field with you running for president, I never knew how you were able to meander, leaving some of us. Next time you must teach me how to do that.”
Lawan explained that it was his constituency that actually spearheaded the court process that gave him a return ticket.
He said: “It was easy. I was there with you in the field and after our defeat, my constituents thought they needed me again.
“They asked for me to come back and it was a tortious journey because we had to go through the courts. I didn’t even appeal the judgement that did not give me the contest.
“The party and the stakeholders appealed on my behalf up to the Supreme Court; so, there is nothing critical or remarkable. In fact, you have nothing to learn from it.”
Not taking Lawan’s explanation, Okorocha said, “I want to be your student next time. It is more of ‘the more you look, the less you see.”