Senate to determine Peace Corps fate today

Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate

The Senate will on Tuesday take a decision on the statutory backing sought for the Nigeria Peace Corps to become a para-military group.

The Senate is expected to take decision on the bill to give statutory status to NPC, according to the day’s order paper.

The bill had scaled third reading hurdle at both Chambers of the National of the National Assembly, but, on May 2, it suffered setback after the Senate declined adoption of the conference report on the proposed legislation.

At the time, the lawmakers who opposed the NPC, including Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio and James Manager, PDP-Delta, cited opposition from the security agencies and a litigation involving those agencies and the promoters of the peace corps.

Then, the Senate resolved to refer the report to the David Umaru-led committee on Human Rights, Judiciary and Legal Matters for advice on the issues raised against the passage of the bill.

In Tuesday’s order paper, the substantive report on the bill by Nafada Bayero and the report on issues raised against the bill on May 2 have been listed.

Last Thursday, Senate President Bukola Saraki had said the reports had to be ready for “final decision” by this week.

Also, the bill for the establishment of Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency, which seeks to strip the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of the control over the existing financial intelligence unit, is also slated for second reading in today’s order paper.

The bill was just passed for first reading last week. The Senate had said the bill would be given accelerated consideration to help save Nigeria from expulsion from the Egmont Group, which had suspended the country over concerns NFIU lacks legal backing for independence.

The EFCC is opposed to total autonomy for the NFIU.

The report on the bill to further alter the 1999 Constitution will also be considered. The report will be presented by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and decision on it will be through electronic voting, according to the order paper.


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