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N’Assembly will prioritize allocation of resources for youth development – Lawan



Senate condemns home invasion of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili …urges IGP to make findings of investigation public The Senate on Tuesday condemned the invasion of the Abuja home of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Peter-Odili, by operatives of security agencies. The upper chamber also commended the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, for making arrests and constituting a panel to investigate the raid on her residence. Accordingly, it urged the Police Inspector-General to make public, all findings of investigation into the matter. These formed part of resolutions reached by the Senate, following a point of order raised by Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West) during plenary. Apiafi, while coming under order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, moved a motion on the “Urgent Need to Investigate the Invasion of Justice Mrs. Odili’s Residence by Security Agents.” The lawmaker in her motion noted that on October 29, 2021, security operatives invaded the home of the Supreme Court Judge. She noted that Justice Mary Odili is a second most senior judicial officer in Nigeria. She recalled that a joint panel recovery unit of the Ministry of Justice, comprising of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerian Police and the Ministry of Justice, purportedly sought for a search warrant from an FCT Magistrate after a so called whistleblower claimed to have observed illegal activities allegedly going on in a house at Imo street, Maitama. She added that, “the Senate is worried that this incident, brings back to mind the similar invasion of homes of some senior Judicial Officers, including Chief Judges of the Supreme Court, and Judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja and other parts of the country in October 2016, which was widely condemned. “Further worried that the home of such a highly revered judicial officer could be raised in such a manner by security agents. “The Senate is disturbed that eleven days after the incident, though the Inspector General of Police claims some arrests have been made and investigations are still ongoing, even though the details of such arrest have not been made public. Contributing, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who chairs the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said no member of the upper chamber “was at ease hearing the news of what happened.” He added that the motion presented by Senator Apiafi, represents the collective desire of members of the National Assembly in ensuring that the government takes appropriate steps to bring to book all those found culpable. He noted that doing so would send a clear signal on the need to respect the sanctity of the Judiciary and to also protect Judicial Officers in Nigeria, whose rights under the law must be protected. Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East), on his part, recalled that the Port Harcourt residence of Justice Mary Odili was invaded a couple of months ago. He said, “Several reasons were given why thugs invaded the house. I don’t want to mention the reasons, so it does not bring in controversy. “Recently, as the motion said, the house in Abuja was also invaded. [And] then after a struggle, the security agents that invaded the place left the residence. “They claimed to have brought a warrant from a magistrate court in Abuja. “They claimed the Minister of Justice was aware of it. There are several claims. “The Minister of Justice has denied and dissociated himself from that, the Chairman of EFCC has also done that. “[And] I’ve read statements by the Inspector General of Police that he has carried some arrests and that they are investigating the matter. “My problem is this, oftentimes, things happen and then police investigates and, in most cases, we don’t get the result of investigation. “I pray that this investigation comes to limelight.” Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions condemned the invasion of the home of the second and most senior judicial officer in Nigeria, Justice Mrs. Mary Odili. It also commend the Inspector General of Police for the arrests already made and investigation panel he has instituted. The chamber urged the Inspector General of Police to make public the outcome of investigations.” Signed: Ezrel TABIOWO FIMC, CMC, FCP, Fsca Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday said that the National Assembly will prioritize the allocation of resources for youth development despite the present economic challenges faced by the country owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawan stated this in his remarks which was virtually delivered to flag-off the training of 1000 youths in GSM phone repair, hardware, software and entrepreneurship development in Yobe State.
According to the Senate President, youth development initiatives serve as one of the ways of empowering and uplifting the wellbeing of the country’s youth population. 
“It is most pleasing to flag off this important training for youths in Yobe State. The training of 1000 youths in GSM phone repairs, hardware, software and entrepreneurship development is a landmark in our commitment to uplifting the wellbeing of a key part of the nation’s population. 
“It is additionally a reminder of the multiple avenues for empowering youths across Nigeria. We cannot overstate the fact that youths are a crucial category in the nation’s population. They are full of energy and are hopeful for the future,” Lawan said.
The Senate President while underscoring the importance of synergy in governance, assured that the National Assembly will ensure the allocation of resources specifically for the purpose of youth development across the country. 
He added that the gesture of parliamentary support in this direction  would be backed by further efforts to engage Nigerian youths on ways of additionally stimulating their creativity and productivity levels, so as to keep them away from getting involved in crime. 
“The future may however not make any meaning to them if their present is not productive. It is why we will strive to surmount the challenges of limited resources to fend for this population group. This also requires creativity on how to engage them. 
“With a greater level of engagement for the youths, they can contribute to the economy, still in need of better productivity. Productivity is a prelude to growth, which will also lead to improved wellbeing. 
“I am happy that earlier remarks have harped on paying attention to the welfare of the youths. Making them a priority takes them away from crime, which is often a result of idleness.
“The need to pay attention to youths has led to this initiative, as supported by the Nigerian Content Development, and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA). 
“The support once more highlights the relevance of synergy in governance. It is the reason the Senate has been consistent in providing legislative impetus for collaborations amongst government agencies, consistent with the mission to deliver on our mandate. We will continue on this path, for the good of Nigerians. 
“Training 1000 youths in Yobe State is not just a milestone, but part of a concerted effort at improving living conditions. We urge beneficiaries to be committed, and to complete the training with resounding success,” Lawan said. 
The Senate President while expressing appreciation to the Federal University, Gashua; Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu; Atiku Abubakar College of Legal Studies, Nguru; and the Federal College of Education, Potiskum; for their support in having training centres opened for the purpose, charged participants to demonstrate dedication to the Programme. 
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, in a speech delivered during the virtual flag-off ceremony, expressed the willingness of his Ministry to partner with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to explore high impact opportunities as well as create jobs for youths in the oil and gas sector. 
While extolling the leadership qualities of the Senate President and Chairman of the Ninth Assembly, Ahmad Lawan, the Minister called on him “to sustain the cordial relationship between the executive and legislature.” 
Sylva advised beneficiaries of the training to take advantage of the Programme to transform lives and ensure national development.