The Abia State House of Assembly today commenced Plenary after the adoption of the Votes and Proceedings of Monday, 12th October, 2020.

CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE GOVERNOR

The Speaker read a CORRESPONDENCE from the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu on the Ratification of the Appointment of members of ASUBEB with Elder Josiah Okechukwu Ananaba as Chairman of the Board.

PETITION.

The Chairman of the Abia State House of Assembly Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Barr Emeka Okoroafor, brought a Petition on an alleged unjust disciplinary action meted out to an account officer in ABSUTH who said he was accused of embezzling money without fair hearing.

He also presented a Petition against the Commissioner for Trade and Investment over Threat to Demolish Shops at the Ariaria International Market: an Act likely to cause Breach of Peace and Make Abia Look Like a Lawless State that has no Regard for the Rule of Law and one that Disobeys Court Orders.

Another Petition against the Abia State University, Uturu, by a Non Governmental Organization named End Corruption Initiative on Mis-Appropriation, Mis- Management, Diversion and Criminal Conversion of Public Funds by the Management of the Abia State University, Uturu, and signed by Dr Sampson Ogbonna and Comrade Austin Ugonna.

The Petitioners alleged that the Vice Chancellor and management of the Abia State University, Uturu, had in 2016 diverted TETFUND money allotted to the building of Faculties e.g Faculty of Law, Umuahia Campus, and thereby compelled students to pay for the completion of the building;

Diverted Funds from TETFUND meant for academic staff training and for Post Graduate Studies training within and outside Nigeria amounting to Over N4billion.

Criminally imposed accommodation fee of N40,000 per student without hostel provision.

“We are afraid that the University is fast following the negative steps of the Abia State Polytechnic.

“We therefore call on the House to investigate and save the University from total collapse.

The Speaker committed the petition to the House Committee on Public Accounts, Anti-Corruption and Due Process for further legislative action.

The Petition against the Commissioner for Trade and Investment was committed to the House Committee on Public Petitions while the cry for help by an account officer at ABSUTH was committed to the House Committee on Health for further legislative action.

MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

Hon Barr Emeka Okoroafor brought a Matter of Urgent Public Importance over the attacks and kidnaping happening within Isuikwuato State Constituency.

“Mr Speaker, if not for God’s grace, I would have been a victim of kidnap in my constituency because I ran into them just very recently.

Unfortunately, the former Transition Chairman of Isuikwuato was not that lucky.

“Mr Speaker, so far, nine persons have been kidnapped, and the ransom being demanded for their release ranges between N5m and above.

“Mr Speaker, without fear or favour, I can authoritatively say that the kidnappers I saw were Fulani.

“Mr Speaker, we are no longer safe plying Uzuakoli to Isuikwuato, or from Uturu to Isuikwuato; we have been persuading our people not to take laws into their hands but for how long are we going to continue to endure this ugly situation?

PRAYERS:

(1) Invite the Heads of security agencies in Abia State for a meeting on how to resolve this menace

(2) Direct the agency or ministry responsible for the maintenance of the roads to carry out major palliatives on the roads in Isuikwuato so as to make them more motorable

After contributions from Lawmakers, the Speaker, Rt Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, said the primary duty of the Legislature is to make laws while the implementation of such laws rest on the Executive Arm of Government.

“The Executive should let the heads of security agencies know that we now live in fear in the State and that they should do the needful in the present circumstance,” he said.

RESOLUTION:

(1) That the Executive Arm of Government should Implement the necessary security laws already passed by the Assembly to curtail the growing insecurity in the State with the aim of bringing the menace to a halt.

PERSONAL EXPLANATION:

Hon. Mandela Obasi representing Ohafia North State Constituency appreciated the Honourable Lawmakers for attending the burial ceremony of his father who was laid to rest on Saturday, 7th November, 2020, at Ameke Abiriba.

Honourable Jerry Uzosike, the Lawmaker representing Umuahia South State Constituency in his personal explanation urged the House to celebrate the former Governor of Abia State and Senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Senator Theodore Orji, who turned 70 years today being the 9th Day of November, 2020.

NOTICE OF PRESENTATION OF BILL

H.A.B.33: The Abia State Homeland Security Watch Bill, 2020 (A Bill for a Law to Establish the Abia State Homeland Security Watch and for other Matters Connected therewith) sponsored by the Majority Leader, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu.

With the Motion of the Majority Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, and the support of the Minority Leader, Hon. Abraham Oba, the Bill passed its First Reading.

ORDER OF THE DAY:

(6) Presentation of the Report of the House Committee on Appropriation on H.A.B 18, the Abia State of Nigeria 2020 Local Government Councils Appropriation Bill for a Bye-Law.

Rt Hon. Kennedy Njoku in his Report said that after written and oral submissions by the various Local Government Areas in Abia State, the committee was recommending the training of Treasuers among other relevant staff on Budget preparation before the presentation of the 2021 Budget.

That the House of Assembly do pass into Law the Abia State Of Nigeria Local Government Appropriation Bill for a Bye-Law.

With the Motion of the Leader of the House, the House adopted the Report as a Working Document.

The Speaker committed the Report to the House Committee of the Whole for further consideration on a future legislative date.

ADJOURNMENT:

The House adjourned Plenary to reconvene on the 16th Day of November, 2020.

Courtesy: Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly.

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