- FRC Has no Power to Fix Adeboye, Others’ Tenure
The House of Representatives has ordered a “detailed” public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, particularly the Council’s decision to fix the tenure of the leadership of religious organisations.
The House passed the resolution on Wednesday in Abuja at a session which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
It came after members debated and endorsed a motion moved by the Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Leo Ogor.
Lawmakers also clarified that no agency of the Federal Government was empowered by any law passed by the National Assembly to determine how many years a religious leader should serve in office.
They noted that the FRC Act 2011 did not make provision for the tenure of office of religious bodies or non-profit organisations.
While leading the debate, Ogor said he was amazed where the FRC got its powers.
He added that while the agency might have delegated legislative powers, being a product of the National Assembly, any legislation or code it formulated should have been mandatorily approved by the same National Assembly before it could be applied.
In the extant case of the controversial Good Governance Code formulated by the FRC for non-profit organisations, the lawmaker stated that the National Assembly had no knowledge of it.
The motion stated, “The House is concerned that the Governance Code, formulated by the Council, as it relates to heads of non-profit making organisations, is a clear usurpation of the powers of the National Assembly as stipulated in Section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
“Also concerned that the National Assembly has not, in any way, approved the corporate governance code as it did with the Building Code.
“The House is convinced that codes of corporate governance must be in conformity with international best practices.
“Worried that an overzealous chief executive officer of a regulatory body can misinterpret or misapply the provisions of the code as can be clearly seen in the case of the FRC.”
In performing its duties, Ogor pointed out that the FRC was to restrict itself to accountability, transparency and probity in pursuing corporate governance principles in public and private organisations.
“No law, enacted by the National Assembly, empowers any agency to set the tenure of office for heads of non-profit organisations,” he added.
The Chairman, House Committee on Ethics/Privileges, Mr. Nicholas Ossai, took the same position as Ogor.
He told the House that though the FRC was empowered to function, the issue of fixing how long a religious leader should be in office was off its bounds.
Ossai added, “This is because we are talking about the things of God here.
“The tenure of religious leaders is determined by God, not man.
“Besides, delegated legislation like the FRC code should have been forwarded to the National Assembly for approval.
“The code in question was never forwarded to the National Assembly.”
Two other members, Mr. Istifanus Gyang, and Mr. Sunday Karimi, berated the former leadership of the FRC for its actions in implementing the code.
On his part, a former Deputy Minority Whip, Mr. Garba Mohammed-Dhatti, called for rigorous monitoring of the activities of agencies to prevent them from abusing their delegated powers.
“Overzealous heads of agencies can abuse delegated powers.
“They have to be properly monitored to save us from embarrassment,” he stated.
The controversial FRC code, among others, sets a 20-year tenure for heads of religious groups and civil rights organisations.
Such leaders are required to hand over the affairs of the organisations they head to successors in line with the corporate governance principles.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had resigned as the head of the church in Nigeria on Saturday, reportedly in compliance with the code.
He named Pastor Joseph Obayemi as the overseer of the church in Nigeria and took on the new title of General Overseer, RCCG, Worldwide.
The development was greeted with interpretations, including insinuations that the Federal Government was attempting to meddle in the affairs of religious bodies, using the FRC.
President Muhammadu Buhari reacted on Monday by sacking the Executive Secretary of the FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee.
The President had, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, approved the sacking and the replacement of Obazee.
The statement also constituted a board for the Council with Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman as chairman and Mr. Daniel Asapokhai as Obazee’s replacement.
The former FRC leadership was said to have disregarded an October 17, 2016 directive by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, asking for the suspension of the code.
President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.
The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.
According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.
The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
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