OVERVIEW OF: Enugu: Dropped gubernatorial pensions bill privately sponsored
Contrary to reports in a section of the media, Our Source enquiry has revealed that the controversial Enugu Gubernatorial Pensions Bill is privately sponsored.
There were reports that the bill is an Executive Bill from the State government led by Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
But findings showed that it is a private member bill sponsored by the Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu.
This is also as the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi said on Tuesday that though the bill was part of the House’s constitutional mandate, it had to listen to the yearnings of the people.
Our Source had reported that in response to public outcry, the Enugu House of Assembly steeped down the Gubernatorial Pensions Bill.
Leader of the House and sponsor of the bill, Rt. Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu had earlier in a statement he personally signed, said the House would do the needful by the next plenary in response to the yearnings of the people.
He said though the bill was in accordance with the constitutional mandate of the House, it would not do anything that would work against the desire and wish of the people.
“Enugu State House of Assembly remains committed to the discharge of its duties. The House is also sensitive to the feelings of our people and therefore appreciates the feedback and reactions from our Constituents and the public. This is the beauty of democracy and as representatives, we will not disappoint our people.
“Enugu State of Assembly therefore assures our people that the House will follow due process and do the needful during the next plenary,” Ezeugwu stated.
Similarly, speaking during plenary on Tuesday, Ezeugwu, in a motion, said he was stepping down the bill following public outcry and that they must listen to their representatives.
The motion was seconded by Onyinye Ugwu, the Deputy leader of the House.
Meanwhile, addressing a group of concerned residents who were at the Assembly to register their grievances, Ubosi said the bill was constitutional.
He, however, expressed concern that protest was mounted against the bill presented by a member of the House even before the lawmakers could look at it.
The Speaker said, “section 124, sub-section 5 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (as amended) provides that the House of Assembly has the right to make the law for pensions of former Governor and deputy Governor. So, whatever we are doing is not out of place, it is a constitutional matter.
“But like what you said, laws are for human beings. We have heard you, but the problem is that we as members of the House of Assembly have not even made any comment, we have not even gone through this bill, people have started shouting.
“Somebody presented a bill for the first reading, you didn’t even allow us to read the bill, study it. Because it is after first reading, second reading, we now deliberate on it, think of the merits and demerits of the bill.”