Bauchi Assembly passes bill to stop recovery of looted funds few days to handing over date
In what may be seen as a way to shield the Executive arm of government from probe following the threat by the incoming PDP-led administration to probe the outgoing APC-led administration, Bauchi State House of Assembly on Wednesday, hastily passed a bill repealing the State Public Property and Funds Recovery Tribunal of 2017 in the state into law having enacted same law then to get at perceived opponents.
The Assembly also passed other bills to create additional Districts, Village areas and Hamlets in the state as well as bill to prohibit blockade of highways and other major streets within the township of Bauchi into law and transmitted them to the executive for assent.
Reports have it that the motions on two of the bills were moved by the Deputy Majority Leader who is the member representing Bura Constituency of Ningi LGA, Abdullahi Abdulkadir on the floor of House and was duly seconded by Sale Nabayi representing Gajuwa West and Magaji Inuwa representing Jama’are constituency respectively.
The bill for the blockade of highways and other major streets within the township of Bauchi was moved by the Majority Leader, Tijjani Aliyu representing Madangala constituency and was seconded by Yunusa Ahmed representing Warji Constituency while the first, second and third readings for the three bills were all done on Wednesday on the floor of the House with the Speaker, Kawuwa Shehu Damina presiding.
The Speaker, Kawuwa Shehu Damina, who opened the motion for deliberations on the floor of the House said that the three bills passed first, second and third readings without objections from any of the 13 members who sat on Wednesday out of the 31 members.
He then sought the understanding of the people over the new law and assured that the State Assembly would monitor its implementation when assented to by the governor, to ensure its effectiveness and appealed to the Governor to sign the bills into law and to ensure effective sensitisation of the people of the state to key in into the new laws and see reasons for the passages of the bills.
But in a swift reaction to the development, the member representing Lere/Bula constituency, Muhammad Aminu Tukur, said that the bills particularly the one for the repealing of the recovery of looted funds was passed with a motive best known to the Speaker of the House.
He alleged that “it is unfortunate that 13 out 31 of members of the House were called secretly to converse in the House out of the usual time which is 10:00 am but the sitting commencement by 9:00 am today (Wednesday) even before I, being a regular person that falls among the first three that comes to the House arrived”.
Aminu Tukur further alleged that, “The 13 members were the cronies that danced to the tune of the outgoing governor and they had a plan and it was hatched accordingly” and said that the two bills were brought by the Executive arms of government which are to repeal a bill that was promulgated, passed and assented to by the Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar in 2017 for the recovery of public properties from the past administration.
He said that: “The law was put In place to serve as deterrent to whoever wants to misappropriate the funds of the citizens but since, he, the Governor failed to secure his second term in office, he connived with his cronies in the House to assemble in the house by 9 am today Wednesday to pass a bill repealing the existing law,”
“The second bill which has to do with the creation of additional Districts, Villages and Hamlets was smuggled in by the cronies and it passed the first, second and third reading to become law against the consent of 18 Members of the House. The cronies did it in such a way that the bill passed first, second and third reading to enabled them hasten it for the governor to assent it and it’s becomes a law”, he alleged.
He then. described the act of the Speaker and the cronies as ungodly saying that, “the citizens will not forgive them for that and that is tantamount to induced chaos in the State.”
The action of the Assembly is coming less than 14 days to the May 29th handing over date to a new administration with 13 out of 31 Assembly Members passing the bill to stop recovery of looted public funds, properties.