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Senate rejects House version of Sports University bill

Senate probes illegal, lopsided recruitment in civil service

The Senate and the House of Representatives have differed on the legislation (bill) for the establishment of the proposed Federal University of Sports, with regard to its location.

The bill sponsored by Obinna Ogba, a PDP senator representing Ebonyi Central and Senate chairman on sports and youths development, was considered and passed for a third reading on December 7, 2021, while the House later came up with a different version of the bill and sought for concurrence of the Senate.

In the bill sponsored by Ogba, the university is expected to be sited in Nkalagu, Ebonyi State as against Afuze in Edo State, as proposed in the House of Representatives version of the Sports University Bill.

Trouble started when the bill was to be considered for concurrence by the Senate during plenary on Tuesday.

Ogba, who earlier in the 8th National Assembly sponsored and saw to the passage of the bill before repeating the same in the 9th Senate, drew the attention of the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan to the bill already passed for third reading in the Senate and pointed out the differences.

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“Mr President, out of the six bills forwarded to us from the House of Representatives for concurrence, the one listed as number four seeking for establishment of Federal University of Sports, Afuze in Edo State, runs contrary to the earlier one passed in the Senate.

“This bill, as sponsored by me, had been given the required legislative consideration by the Senate with second reading in May 2021 and third reading in December, 2021.

“In the version considered and passed by the Senate, NKalagu in Ebonyi State is proposed as the location for the university and not Afuze, as proposed by the House version.

“It is the House that is supposed to concur with what the Senate had earlier passed and not the other way round with this request which should be stepped down”, he said.

Consequently, the Senate president on the strength of Ogba’s submission stepped down the bill from further consideration pending the required harmonisation between the two chambers of the National Assembly.