The Real Estate Developer’s Association of Nigeria (REDAN) on Monday restated its call for President Bola Tinubu to sign into law a controversial bill that was not passed by both chambers of the National Assembly as required by Nigerian law.
The association, which stands to benefit if the bill is signed into law, restated its stance in response to a PREMIUM TIMES report on the false ‘Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act 2023’ submitted to President Tinubu by the Clerk of the National Assembly. REDAN, however, denied the allegation that it lobbied the Clerk to send the bill to the president.
On Sunday, PREMIUM TIMES exposed how the Clerk of the National Assembly, Magaji Tambuwal, misinformed President Tinubu over the false Real Estate Bill.
Mr Tambuwal sent the bill to the president on 9 June saying it was a true copy of the bill passed by both Houses of the National Assembly in compliance with Section 2(1) of the Acts Authentication Act, Cap A2, Laws of The Federation of Nigeria.
Our investigation revealed that Mr Tambuwal transmitted the version passed by the Senate to the president for assent on 9th June and falsely claimed that it had been passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.
This medium also reported how REDAN pushed for President Tinubu to sign the bill into law. However, the president declined although he did not give any reason.
In a statement shared after our story was published, REDAN’s President, Aliyu Wamakko, claimed that our story “contains infamous statements” and threatened that his organisation would sue us.
Mr Wamakko’s statement reads: “Mr Kabir of the Premium Times posited that Mr. West Idahosa SAN in a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation ‘advised the President not to sign the “unlawful Bill under any guise whatsoever (including the plot to back-date the signing as widely rumoured by members of REDAN who are the proponent of the Bill). We therefore call on Mr Kabir to mention those Members.”
As stated in our earlier story, Mr Idahosa filed a petition to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) where he advised the president not to sign the unlawful bill. He also called for the investigation of the Clerk which he said will be in the interest of entrenching the rule of law and legislative sanctity of bills duly passed by the two houses of the National Assembly.
It is therefore surprising that REDAN is asking PREMIUM TIMES to answer questions about a petition written by a lawyer to Nigeria’s attorney general.
In its statement, REDAN also denied lobbying the Clerk to send the false bill to the president.
“Most deserving from Mr Kabir is for him to tell Nigerians, those REDAN Members that “lobbied Mr Tambuwal to send the false bill to the President for assent.” Failure to provide names will prompt the Association to seek redress from the Court for this infamous statement,” the association said.
While multiple sources in the real estate sector told PREMIUM TIMES that REDAN lobbied Mr Tambuwal, we indicated in our report that that claim could not be verified.
However, what is incontestable is that the ‘selfish’ bill sent to the president for assent considerably favoured REDAN.
Here is how the bill favoured REDAN:
First, the bill seeks to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Council of Nigeria.
** The bill states that the Council shall regulate the business of real estate development in Nigeria in consultation with REDAN.
** Similarly, the Council is empowered to register and licence all real estate developers in Nigeria through the institutional guidelines of REDAN.
** The council shall renew the licence of real estate developers annually, upon payment of the prescribed fees and fulfilment of all requirements as recommended by REDAN.
** The Council shall register, maintain, and update the register of all real estate development projects ratified by REDAN to have met set standards of Industry practices.
** The Council shall work through REDAN to monitor, investigate, and sanction registered and licensed real estate _ developers that violate the provisions of the bill. It shall also work through REDAN to investigate and penalise unlicensed real estate developers who violate the laws.
** The prescribed fees and fulfilment of all requirements prescribed under this Act will be through recommendation by REDAN;
** The Council shall have a Governing Council chairman, appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of REDAN. And a Secretary of the Council; who shall be appointed by the Council on the recommendation REDAN.
** The Minister may remove the chairman of the council from office on the recommendation of the Council and or REDAN if the Minister is of the opinion that it is not in the interest of the Council for the chairman to continue in office.
** The Council will also prescribe fees, fines, and charges to be paid – as recommended by REDAN.
** A total of 10 per cent of the annual revenue of REDAN is to be paid to the Council’s fund.
In its statement, REDAN did not deny that the bill as passed by the Senate and sent to the President favours it. The association, however, said it welcomes new “amendments, recommendations or inputs that could make the Bill better, to strengthen and deepen Real Estate Development as in other climes.”
Despite the controversy surrounding the bill and our revelation that it was not passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, REDAN restated its call for President Tinubu to sign the controversial bill into law.
“REDAN leadership hereby reiterate our call to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to assent to the Bill for the interest of Nigeria’s economy as the RECON Bill stands to cure the inherited problems of collapse building, money laundering, and terrorism financing prevalent in the real estate and construction industry, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda,” Mr Wamakko said in the statement.
However, Mr Tinubu cannot sign the bill at this point because it is over 30 days since the bill was transmitted by the Clerk of the National Assembly for assent and the bill was not signed within the period prescribed by Section 58 of the Nigerian constitution.
Separate versions of the bill have now been brought back to the two chambers of the National Assembly as fresh bills.
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