Press Release: Senate’ll Investigate Alleged Sexual Abuse, Violence at IDP Camps

Press Release

July 5, 2018

Senate’ll Investigate Alleged Sexual Abuse, Violence at IDP Camps

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that the Senate will continue to do all within its power to ensure that alleged sexual abuse and violence against Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) at camps in the North East and across the country are not covered up.

 

Saraki according to a statement by his Special Assistant on New Media, Olu Onemola, said this while receiving the Amnesty International (AI) 2017/18 Report on ‘The State of the World’s Human Rights’ and the organization’s report on women who survived Boko Haram but were later maltreated, from its Country Director, Mrs. Osai Ojigho, in Abuja.

 

He stated that the country being an important part of the comity of nations, it must continue to lead by example by doing the right things.

 

“By getting it right, we must be able to accept where these issues exist and work with partners like yourselves to be able to establish the facts,” Saraki said. “We have already set up a panel on your IDP report. By doing this, we can establish where sanctions need to be meted out.”

 

He added: “You have our assurance that nothing will be covered up. Not just for the purpose of discipling people, but for the purpose of preventing reoccurrence. By doing this, we can help to ensure that people will change in their approach.

 

“Our people are already going through a lot of hardship in the IDP camps, they do not need this. We must stand and be there for them. In this regard, I am very keen to see the committee work very closely with you to resolve this — so that the administration of justice is achieved and people will get a fair hearing.”

 

Earlier, the Country Director of AI, Mrs. Ojigho, said that the visit was meant to commend the Senate for setting up a panel to investigate the allegations contained in the report.

 

“We think it is a good sign of progress and a willingness to find out the truth regarding the incidents that have been happening and we hope that it will bring recourse to the women victims and their families in their quest to seek justice.

 

“We also want to commend the work of the National Assembly in passing and reforming our laws, particularly the Anti-Torture Law that was signed by the President in December. We believe that this would go a long way in addressing the issue of torture, particularly by our security forces in Nigeria,” the Country Director said.

 

Signed:

 

Olu Onemola 

Special Assistant on New Media to the President of the Senate

 

Press Release: Plateau Killings: “Working Towards Peace is Everybody’s Responsibility” says Saraki

Press Release

June 27, 2018

Plateau Killings: “Working Towards Peace is Everybody’s Responsibility” says Saraki

 

The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated that working towards peace in Plateau State and Nigeria as a whole, must remain the primary responsibility of all Nigerians.

 

Saraki, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said this, during a condolence visit to Plateau State, over this weekend’s killings. The Senate President was joined by the Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah and Senator Ubali Shittu.

 

Saraki, who had earlier in the day, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside Speaker Yakubu Dogara, was received by the Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, at the Plateau State Government House.

 

“Let me convey my deepest sympathy for the unfortunate and sad incident that occurred in Plateau State this weekend that claimed many innocent lives. This is not only a loss to Plateau State, but to the entire nation.

 

“Although the National Assembly is currently not in session, when we resume next week, this is one of the prime issues that will be up for discussion. However, we thought it necessary to come here personally to meet with the people of Plateau State to commiserate with the families — because words cannot really describe this kind of pain.

 

“Our prayer to Almighty God is to grant the affected families the fortitude to bear these losses. At this time as well, I also pray to God to give His Excellency, the Governor, the courage to be able to manage this challenge and bring solace to a lot of people,” Saraki said.

 

The President of the Senate also stated that this was a very difficult time for Plateau State, however, the entire nation stands with Plateau during this difficult time.

 

“This is a very difficult time for Plateau State. However, I want to reassure you that the entire country is with you and the entire National Assembly stands with you.

 

“We were late in coming here because both myself and the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives sought an appointment with Mr. President on the killings that occurred here — to see how we would come together to see what could be done to forestall and prevent future occurrences like this and provide relief and support for all those that have been affected. This is our paramount responsibility. Whatever that needs to be done, must be done,” he said.

 

The President of the Senate also called on the nation’s security agencies to ensure that those responsible for the killings are quickly apprehended to help bring an end to the killings in Plateau State.

 

“We must also ensure that all those who are responsible for these killings must account for it. It is part of providing succour and ensuring the peace. You cannot bring back the lives, but finding and prosecuting the perpetrators will go a long way in helping to calm people and ease the pain that they are going through.

 

“Therefore, yet again, we call on our security agents to ensure that they find the perpetrators that have done this and make them account for their detestable actions.

 

“Let me use this opportunity to appeal to everyone, to the entire people of Plateau State: Nobody wins from this. Nobody. These killings from today sets the clock back many years, therefore, I want to appeal to the entire people of Plateau State, the elderly, the young, the men and the women, to ensure that we work towards peace. Working towards peace is not only the responsibility of the Governor or the traditional rulers in the state. It is incumbent on everyone. Working towards peace is not Simon Lalong’s problem alone.”

 

The Governor of the State, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, commended the President of the Senate and the Senate delegation saying: “As the leader of the North Central, we welcome you to our state. When this thing started, as the leader of our geopolitical region, you looked for me and you called me, despite your busy schedule to ask me “What can I do to help?”

 

“On behalf of the good people of Plateau State, I thank you and the Senate delegation for being here. This is because you are not only here representing yourselves, you are here representing the entire National Assembly.”

 

Signed:

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media & Publicity) to the President of the Senate

Press Release: Saraki Assures Russian Investors’ of Conducive Business Environment 

Press Release 

June 21, 2018
Saraki Assures Russian Investors’ of Conducive Business Environment 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has assured the Russian Government that Nigeria is conducive for investors especially in the oil, gas, agriculture, mining and power sectors of the economy.
Saraki stated this during a meeting with the leadership of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament – Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation –  in Moscow, led by its Chairperson, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko.
 
“Russia could take a more active part in economic and business projects in Nigeria. Your State must necessarily play its role on the African continent,” Saraki said.  “Together we could consider new opportunities for mutually beneficial economic cooperation.”
 
He called for increased access for Nigerians willing to visit and do business in Russia, improved trade relations and military support to aid Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, human trafficking and irregular migration.
He said that there is greater need for parliamentary cooperation and collaboration between the two parliaments in order to entrench better legislative practices, cross fertilize ideas and improve relations between both countries.
He said while Nigeria appreciates the assistance the Russian Government has rendered to Nigeria in the supply of military hardware to fight Boko Haram, more support is needed to fully restore security and normalcy in affected areas.
He said that the National Assembly is eager to work with the Russian Parliament to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations and by extension the African continent.
 
Russia and Nigeria need to strengthen cooperation for the prosperity of our peoples,” Saraki said.
 
On her part, Chairperson of the Federation Council, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, said the Russian Parliament will continue to build on the good relations between Nigeria and Russia while collaborating closely with the National Assembly.
She thanked the President of the Senate and his delegation for the visit Senate and said that Russia values the existing good diplomatic relations between both countries.
END
Sanni Onogu
Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate 

#SarakiInRussia: Assures Russian Investors’ of Conducive Business Environment

#SarakiInRussia: Assures Russian Investors’ of Conducive Business Environment

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has assured the Russian Government that Nigeria is conducive for investors especially in the oil, gas, agriculture, mining and power sectors of the economy.

Saraki stated this during a meeting with the leadership of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament – Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation – in Moscow, led by its Chairperson, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko.

“Russia could take a more active part in economic and business projects in Nigeria. Your State must necessarily play its role on the African continent,” Saraki said. “Together we could consider new opportunities for mutually beneficial economic cooperation.”

He called for increased access for Nigerians willing to visit and do business in Russia, improved trade relations and military support to aid Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, human trafficking and irregular migration.

He said that there is greater need for parliamentary cooperation and collaboration between the two parliaments in order to entrench better legislative practices, cross fertilize ideas and improve relations between both countries.

He said while Nigeria appreciates the assistance the Russian Government has rendered to Nigeria in the supply of military hardware to fight Boko Haram, more support is needed to fully restore security and normalcy in affected areas.

He said that the National Assembly is eager to work with the Russian Parliament to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations and by extension the African continent.

“Russia and Nigeria need to strengthen cooperation for the prosperity of our peoples,” Saraki said.

On her part, Chairperson of the Federation Council, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, said the Russian Parliament will continue to build on the good relations between Nigeria and Russia while collaborating closely with the National Assembly.

She thanked the President of the Senate and his delegation for the visit Senate and said that Russia values the existing good diplomatic relations between both countries.

END

Sanni Onogu
Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate

Press Release: Saraki Leads Senate Delegation on Visit to Russian Parliament

Press Release

June 18, 2018

Saraki Leads Senate Delegation on Visit to Russian Parliament

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, will on Tuesday (tomorrow) lead a Senate delegation on a three day parliamentary visit to Russia, aimed at deepening legislative best practices and further strengthening the relationship between both countries.

During the visit, the President of the Senate is expected to address the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation (Senate of Russia) and hold meetings with its Chairperson of the Federation Council, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, Chairman of the State Duma, Mr. Vyacheslav Volodin and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Mikhail Bogdanov, to exchange views on issues of Nigerian-Russian cooperation.

Senators will also hold side meetings with corresponding committees of the Federation Council of Russia.

Senators on the delegation include Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Duro Faseyi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports and Youth, Senator Obinna Ogba and the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ibrahim A. Danbaba.

Also on the trip is the Chief of Staff to the President of the Senate, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Special Assistant on Partnerships & NGOs/CSOs to the President of the Senate, Mr. Innocent Onah and the Special Assistant on Events to the President of the Senate, Ms. Eniola Shitta.

The delegation is expected back in the country on June 22, 2018.

END

Signed:

Bamikole Omishore

Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs & International Relations to the President of the Senate

Press Release: Eid-el-fitr: Saraki Congratulates Muslims, Calls For Sustained Prayers

Press Release
June 14, 2018

Eid-el-fitr: Saraki Congratulates Muslims, Calls For Sustained Prayers

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Muslim faithful across the country on the successful completion of the month-long Ramadan fast and called for sustained prayers for peace in the country.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, to commemorate the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations, the President of the Senate said in spite of Federal Government’s appreciable efforts in combating the challenge of insecurity, it is imperative for Muslim faithful to utilise this period to pray fervently for peace and unity in the country.

“We have just ended a month long fast thus paving way for the Eid-el-fitr celebrations. These two periods are such times that the Almighty Allah enjoined us to ask for his blessings. We should therefore seize the opportunity to pray for the country and its leaders,” Saraki said.

Saraki called on Nigerians to use the season to promote national integration, saying “Eid-el-fitr is a time of love and goodwill. It gives us a message to love all and hate none.”

He said despite numerous challenges in the country, ‘’hope is not lost”, adding that, “only tolerance, stronger sense of patriotism and love for one another will help the country surmount her present socio-economic challenges.”

END

Yusuph Olaniyonu
Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the President of the Senate

Press Release: 3rd Anniversary: Saraki Thanks Nigerians …Says Economic Bills are Beginning to Make Positive Impact

Press Release 

June 11, 2018

3rd Anniversary: Saraki Thanks Nigerians

…Says Economic Bills are Beginning to Make Positive Impact

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has thanked Nigerians all over the country for their support and encouragement towards the work of the 8th Senate, since it was inaugurated three years ago.

 

In a statement issued from Saudi Arabia where he is on lesser hajj, Saraki acknowledged that the achievements of the Senate would not have been possible without the backing of Nigerians, who have played a more active role in the activities of the legislature since June 9, 2015.

 

“In three short but eventful years, we have definitely come a long way in this 8th Senate. We have worked assiduously and diligently to meet the demands of Nigerians and a changing economy that experienced a recession just a year after we assumed office.

 

“In this time, we have passed 213 Bills, cleared 138 petitions submitted by the public. We are happy to say that this Senate is the most productive since 1999. It has surpassed the 5th Senate which with 129 bills in four years had the highest number of bills, as against the 6th Senate with 72 bills, and 128 passed by the 7th Senate. The number of petitions we have successfully treated to the satisfaction of Nigerians who filed them dwarfed the eight and six treated by the sixth and seventh Senate respectively.

 

“The present Senate has worked to grow our economy by passing Bills like the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, the Credit Bureau Reporting Act and the Warehouse Receipts Bill, Nigerian Railways Authority Bill, National Transportation Commission Bill, which are aimed at providing significant reforms to our business environment and strengthening our lending legislative frameworks to allow SMEs to access capital.

 

“We are particularly glad that the impact of the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act and the Credit Bureau Reporting Act became apparent immediately after they were signed into law as they form the basis for which the World Bank upgraded the rating of Nigeria in its Annual Ease of Doing Business rating. We expect that when the new CAMA which we just passed becomes law, it will yield an even more significant results in helping small and medium scale entrepreneurs to access capital, grow and multiply.

 

“We have also passed Bills like the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, the Witness Protection Bill, the Whistleblower Protection Bill and the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill to support the fight against corruption. It should be noted that the National Assembly quickly rose to the occasion to prevent the expulsion of Nigeria from the Global community on the exchange of financial intelligence by expediting the passage of the NFIU bill.

 

“With the support of the Nigerian public, we were able to break the PIB jinx, by passing the Governance Component of the Petroleum Industry Bill, and now, we have successfully conducted the Public Hearing on the Administrative, Fiscal and Host Community Components of this Bill — taking it to its farthest stage since 1999,” Saraki stated.

 

“Also of note is our passage of the constitution amendment bills, some of which will change the landscape of governance in Nigeria. Some of the bills like the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ bill, the Financial Autonomy for Local Government Bill, Financial Autonomy for Houses of Assembly among others are aimed at improving governance and ensuring that government serves our people better.

 

The Senate President also highlighted some of the interventions of the Senate since June 9, 2015, stating that the impact of the work of the legislature in Nigeria’s system of governance was starting to be understood.

 

“The legislature as the youngest of the three arms of government still has a lot of catching up to do in ensuring that Nigerians understand its role in our democracy. This is why we have been attentive and responsive to the needs of Nigerians by intervening where it counts.

 

“We will like to reiterate the fact that this Senate has taken deliberate measures aimed at opening up the institution for better understanding by members of the public. These measures include providing details and breakdown of the annual budget of the National Assembly, holding of public hearing as part of the budget preparation process, the proposed Open Nass week aimed at engaging with other arms of government and civil society groups and the frequent discussions with a view to resolving issues involving labour unions, government and other stakeholders.

 

“We exposed high-level corruption in the management of the North East relief efforts, and passed the North East Development Commission Bill, which has now been signed into law.

 

“We have also engaged stakeholders on the drug epidemic that is ravishing a significant demographic of our population and we are set to pass new Bills that will help to address the Mental Health aspect of drug abuse and the law enforcement component that has to do with ensuring that all agencies of the Federal Government are working in-sync to tackle this menace with clearly defined legal structures in place. We equally intervened in the human trafficking and illegal migration crises plaguing the youthful segment of our population.

 

“We have also been working to ensure that healthcare remains the right of every Nigerian and this is why with the passage of the One Percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to establish the Basic Healthcare Fund in the 2018 budget, primary healthcare will be within reach for all 180 million of us.

 

“The One Percent Basic Healthcare Fund is an intervention we made out of our conviction that all Nigerians, no matter their station in life, deserve access to qualittive and affordable health care. This is a move we made for the ordinary Nigerians and we believe it will help to create a more vibrant, healthy and patriotic citizenry.

 

“This Fund will help us eliminate the problem of maternal and infant mortality as well as create a healthy population. We will be able to ensure that all our kids get necessary immunization that keep various diseases away from them and ensure the mothers are well catered for during child birth”, he stated.

 

He said security issues remains work in progress and that the Senators are tired of the frequent observance of one minute silence following the killing of Nigerians in the various conflicts and criminal activities across the country. The Senate President added that the Senate was engaging with security agencies to ensure that all the necessary laws and funds needed to ensure the safety of lives and property in the country are put in place.

 

Saraki pledged that the Senate and the National Assembly will continue to be transparent, accountable and responsive even as the nation and its political office holders prepare for the 2019 elections.

 

“Some might see it as a time to leave governance and focus on politics. We do not believe this. We will continue to push forward and continue to perform. This is what Nigerians who sent us to Abuja to represent their interests expect of us: a committed, transparent, accountable and responsive government. We have shown this through our antecedents, and as we continue to serve in the next one year, we will continue to be just that.”

 

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senate President. 

 

Press Release: Saraki Lauds THISDAY Editors, Nwogwugwu, Adebiyi, Momodu, Others Over New Appointment, Promotion

Press Release

June 8, 2018

Saraki Lauds THISDAY Editors, Nwogwugwu, Adebiyi, Momodu, Others Over New Appointment, Promotion

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has congratulated the Editor of THISDAY Newspaper, Ms. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, on her appointment as the pioneer Managing Director of ARISE News Channel Africa.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, also lauded the elevation of the Sunday Editor, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi to the position of Editor (Daily).

He also applauded the reassignment of the Saturday Editor, Mr. Shaka Momodu as the Sunday Editor and the promotion of the Deputy Editor on the Saturday Desk, Mr. Yemi Adebowale, as the new Editor (Saturday).

Saraki described the appointment of Nwogwugwu, after 11 years as Editor of the three titles under the THISDAY stable, as well deserved and expressed confidence that she will make a success of her new assignment in view of her sterling performance as Editor.
“I have no doubt that you (Ms. Nwogwugwu) will once again bring to bare your professional acumen and experience in your new assignment,” Saraki said. “You have never been known to disappoint and I don’t think you will disappoint now. I wish you a successful and fulfilling tenure.”

He also described Adebiyi’s appointment as a square peg in a square hole and urged him to build on the enviable heights the newspaper has attained.

END

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, you the President of the Senate

Press Release: Saraki: Our Response to Claims By Police

Press Release 

June 3, 2018

Saraki: Our Response to Claims By Police

 

The attention of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has been drawn to a story circulating online and apparently derived from a Press Conference addressed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moshood Jimoh, linking him (Saraki) to the Offa robbery.

 

Dr. Saraki will want the entire public to disregard this claim as a baseless allegation and another ploy by the Police to implicate him by all means.

 

“Let it be known that there is no way I could have been associated with armed robbery against my people. When the Offa robbery incident happened, I was the first top public official to pay a visit to the place and right there in the palace of the traditional ruler, I put a call through to this same Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, requesting him to make certain specific security arrangements as demanded by the people.

 

“Members of the public will remember that on May 16, 2018, I alerted the Senate about the information passed on to me by my State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatai Ahmed, over a plot by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to frame me up by getting some suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin to implicate me. It is believed that the timely leakage of the plot in that case aborted the use of the suspected cultists to implicate me. Now, it is the Offa bank robbery suspects that are about to be used.

 

“This plot is concocted to embarrass me and, in the mind of the IGP, it is his own response after his refusal to honour the invitation by the National Assembly, headed me, for him to come and offer explanations on the rampant killings and violence across the country.

 

“Like the earlier one, this frame-up will also fail as I hereby state categorically that I have no link with any band of criminals.

 

“As a person who has utmost respect for the rule of law and all constitutional institutions, when the invitation from the Police is formally extended to me, I will be ready to honour it without any delay.

 

 

“It is however sad that this abuse of the criminal investigation process aimed at intimidating and over-overawing the legislature, thereby obstructing it from doing its work, is a big threat to our democracy “, the Senate President stated.

 

END

 

Signed

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu 

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senate President

Press Release  June 3, 2018 Saraki: Justice Akanbi’s Death, A Personal Loss 

Press Release 

June 3, 2018

Saraki: Justice Akanbi’s Death, A Personal Loss 

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has expressed grief over the death of a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, and said the incident was a personal loss to him.

 

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the late Akanbi as an indefatigable, honest and principled jurist who upheld the fine ethics of the judicial process till he breathed his last.

 

“I am sad that Baba (Akanbi) has left us. He was fearless, courageous and spoke truth to power during his lifetime,” Saraki said. “He was like a father to me. His death is a personal loss. Kwara State will miss him. Nigeria will miss him,” he said.

 

He stated that the late Justice Akanbi would be remembered for his unquenchable zeal to restore the principles of transparency and accountability in the country through his fight against corruption.

 

Saraki noted: “He was an anti-corruption czar who fought the malaise both when he was in and out of office. He never gave up. His untiring zeal to stamp out corruption from all facet of our national life never dimmed. He lived what he preached and you could see there was no pretense about him at all.

 

“He was an incorruptible jurist whose judgements could hardly be faulted while on the bench. During his stint as Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), he fought corruption with uncommon passion and courage.

 

“After leaving office as the ICPC boss, he again joined the board of the Justice and Law Enforcement Reformation Organization – a non-profit organization – to continue his anti-corruption crusade. Besides, he later established the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation, in furtherance of his quest to strengthen the culture of transparency, accountability and good governance in the country,” Saraki stated.

 

He described Akanbi as a true son of Kwara State whose many contributions to the development of his immediate community, state in particular, and the country in general, will remain indelible in the hearts of the people.

 

The Senate President commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased, the government and people of Kwara State, and urged them to emulate the virtues and values of integrity, selfless service and unparalleled patriotism of the late jurist.

 

While praying Almighty Allah to grant the soul of the departed a place among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus, Saraki stated that he will continue to draw inspiration from the fact that late Justice Akanbi did not only live a worthy life, but was a great blessing to his generation.

 

END

Yusuph Olaniyonu 

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President of the Senate