In fulfilment of the Chamber’s requirement of filling the eight positions of Principal Offices of the Senate of the 9th National Assembly, the Chamber, during its Tuesday, July 2, 2019 plenary session announced the appointment of the following Senators to fill the positions. They include:
• Sen. Yahaya Y. Abdullahi (Kebbi North) – Senate Majority Leader.
• Sen. Ajayi R. Boroffice (Ondo North) – Deputy Majority Leader.
• Sen. Enyinnaya H. Abaribe (Abia South) - Minority Leader.
• Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) - Deputy Minority Leader.
• Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia (Abia North) – Chief Whip.
• Sen. Aliyu S. Abdullahi (Niger North) – Deputy Chief Whip.
• Sen. Philip Aduda (Federal Capital Territory) – Minority Whip.
• Sen. Sahabi Ya’u (Zamfara North) – Deputy Minority Whip.
Meanwhile, the Clerk of the Senate has sworn in Member Elect Muhammed Sani Musa to represent Niger East Senatorial District. He replaces former Sen. David Umaru. Sen. Musa was sworn in following the verdict of the Supreme Court of Nigeria that ruled in his favour.
Also, the Red Chamber has deliberated upon and passed a Motion titled “The need to strengthen security at the Nigeria’s Airports”, sponsored by Sen. Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central) and five others.
The Senate noted with great concern the report in the Daily Trust Newspaper of 1st May, 2019 on how Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian Citizen was arrested by Saudi Arabian Drug Enforcement Agency on allegation of drugs trafficking.
Similarly, the Sahara Reporters, an Online Media outfit reported quoting the Chief Press Secretary of the Zamfara State Governor on the 18th June, 2019; the effort of the Governor to meet the officials of the Saudi Arabian Government to discuss ways towards the release of the Zamfara born Alaramma Ibrahim, who has been detained for almost two years over alleged drugs trafficking, whose arrest followed a frame up initiated from Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, going by investigations.
Senator Oloriegbe informed the Chamber that there are several other incidents of arrest of innocent citizens by the Saudi Government and other countries on similar allegations of drug trafficking. He expressed worry that these citizens are just victims of circumstances as many of these distasteful situations would have been curtailed but for security lapses at the Nigerian Airports infiltrated by Drugs Syndicates with easy access to plant illicit drugs on innocent travelers or their belongings without the knowledge.
The Motion, having been exhaustively deliberated upon scaled through with five resolutions, among which were:
i) Mandate the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure the installation and usage of effective of CCTV Cameras and other Security Systems in all Nigerian Airports for the purpose of monitoring the Airport Environment, for the avoidance of planting illicit drugs and other illegal activities.
ii) Urge FAAN to only acknowledge only accredited personnel on duty to be allowed in restricted areas of the Airport.
iii) Urge FAAN and other Agencies operating in the Airport to give a directive on the need for all personnel on duty to be held accountable, questioned, investigated and punished accordingly to serve as deterrence, should there be a case of an arrest of any Nigerian Citizen that pass through Nigerian Airports on allegation drugs trafficking.