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Senate okays death for terrorism

The Senate yesterday approved death sentence for terrorists whose acts resulted in the death of Nigerians as it passed the Anti-terrorism Bill 2010. But the anti-money laundering bill failed to scale through as the third reading was shelved till the next legislative day.

President Goodluck Jonathan sent three reminders to the National Assembly, urging members to pass the bill, which was introduced by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
The version passed was a combination of the executive bill and the one sponsored by Senator Anthony Manzo on National Security Enhancement Bill.

In all, the bill recommends a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment or death penalty if there is a loss of life in any terrorist act. It also outlaws actions of individuals or groups that can be likened to terrorism, including kidnapping, oil bunkering and piracy and airplane hijacks.
The bill covers possession or use of explosives as well as research into the development of explosives – including biological and chemical – without lawful authority.

Offenders risk a maximum of 10 years imprisonment if they are found guilty of involvement in training potential terrorists, passing or withholding terrorist information, aiding or harbouring terrorist and funding terrorist activities.

The National Security Adviser (NSA) and Inspector-General of Police were mandated to enforce the provisions of the bill when signed into law by the President. The bill also provided that with the approval of the NSA and the Director-General of State Security Services (SSS) could seize and enforce forfeiture of terrorist properties or cash upon conviction of a terrorist or proscription of a terrorist group.

…Queries additional N8.4bn in INEC’s budget
The Senate has queried the difference of N8.4billion in the budget estimate of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for 2011 and that of the Federal Government currently before the National Assembly. A thorough vetting of the figures presented to the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters by the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega revealed the differences in what was allotted the commission by the Budget Offcie.

The estimate presented by INEC was N51.7 billion, against N45.3 contained in the details presented by President Goodluck Jonathan to the National Assembly. But Jega explained that he had held several meetings with the Budget Office and the Ministry of Finance on the proposal it submitted and was given approval for N51.7 billion. The federal legislature was shocked that Jega said he could not defend the items which made up the N45.3 billion estimates from the Budget Office.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, said the committee could not wish away the difference of about N8.4 billion budget. He also said that the committee could not also unilaterally close the gap between the budgets since the Federal Government’s estimates were based on the availability of funds. Jega was asked to return to the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office to resolve the differences and return to the committee next week Tuesday.

For the April general elections, Jega said that INEC would require 360,000 ad hoc staff as against the 250,000 staff used for the voter registration. Each of the ad hoc staff, he stated, would be paid N10,000 as daily allowance for the three elections as against N5,000 in previous elections, bringing the total cost to N10.8 billion.Jega also told the committee that N1 billion, which was provided in last year’s budget in anticipation of new staff recruitment, was returned to the treasury because the recruitment was put on hold.

INEC, he said, would be paying N324 million to consultants for the recruitment of 4,000 workers this year, noting that the commission current had 12,000 workers.


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Posted by on Feb 17 2011. Filed under Legislature, Senate, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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