Category Archives: Politics Today

Kaduna house speaker reportedly resign

Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, member representing Sabon Gari constituency, has resigned his position as Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

Shagali informed the House of the decision on Tuesday morning in a handwritten letter personally signed by him.

In the letter, he cited personal grounds as reasons for his resignation.

#Newsworthy ..

Shehu Sani name not on bank transaction record – EFCC witnesses

The trial of former Nigerian lawmaker, Shehu Sani, which commenced on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Abuja has been adjourned until Wednesday because witnesses presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Sani’s Name was not on the transaction record of Guaranty Trust Bank.

After cross-examining the witnesses, Justice Ekwo offered Sani’s lawyers to do same.

When they asked each of the witnesses if Sani was the name they saw on the transactions presented before the judge, they declined, saying they didn’t know him.

The names were those of persons not identical or identified in court.

Former Nigerian lawmaker, Shehu Sani

Sani, a vocal critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, is being tried for allegedly extorting $20,000 from Sani Dauda, owner of ASD Motors.

NobleReporters gathered however, showed that the EFCC arrested the former senator before seeking out his accuser to prove his innocence.


Atiku call for SARS reform

Former Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has called for the reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), days after a Remo Stars player identified as Kazeem Tiyamiyu (Kaka) was allegedly killed by some operatives of the security outfit deployed to Sagamu-Abeokuta road.

In his tweet, the former Vice President stated that the reform of the Nigeria Police especially the SARS unit, is long overdue. He added that the police was created to protect the life and property of citizens and not to put them into harms way.

Atiku tweeted;

The reform of the Nigeria Police, especially the SARS unit, is long overdue. [email protected] is meant to protect the life and property of our citizens and not to put them into harm’s way. -AA


Oshiomhole Now Dictate – APC DG Allege

Fresh crisis is brewing in the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, accused the party National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of mismanagement.

In a memo forwarded to the Bisi Akande-led APC national reconciliation committee, titled: “Our leaders should unite to rebuild the party,” Lukman lamented that the ruling party had become a Trojan horse under the former Edo governor.

“The hard truth is that as it stands today, APC is not a functional political party. None of its organs at any level is meeting as provided in the party’s constitution. It is even debatable if our membership register exists. At best, it will be the same old 2015 membership register,” Lukman wrote.

But when media aide to the ruling party boss, Simon Ebegbulen, was contacted for reaction, he declined, saying: “I’ve seen the material but I don’t have comment.”

The DG also accused the party’s boss of assuming the responsibilities of the National Working Committee (NWC), stressing that party members were now confronted with avoidable electoral tragedies because the NWC abdicated its responsibility.

“Perceived weaknesses of the John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC served as the justification of electing Adams Oshiomhole as replacement for him. Sadly, challenges of internal democracy and fair competitive practices during candidates’ selection processes in the party remained a dream.

“Now, clearly, the problems associated with candidates’ selection process has produced what can be regarded as an electoral college. Citizens can vote but our Supreme Court will eventually determine the winner, all as a result of very poor management of candidates’ selection process by our party.

“Unfortunately, our party’s NWC is hardly able to come up with any reassuring response. The crisis in the party is clearly getting worse and worse by the day. It has gotten to a stage whereby the competence of members of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC to provide needed leadership to ensure victory in every election has been eroded.

“We can win election and, on account of some inabilities to competently manage legal challenges associated with nomination of candidates, we are compelled to surrender victory to our opponents. This is he narrative of the Supreme Court judgement of February 13, 2020, in respect of November 16, 2019, Bayelsa election. It was also the case with the May 24, 2019, Supreme Court nullification of the election of all APC candidates in the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.

“In other words, our NWC can be described as a very efficient Trojan horse that opens the backdoor for electoral victory to our political opponents. It is really unfortunate that we are faced with all the avoidable electoral tragedies that befell us, all because our NWC has decided to abdicate its responsibility. This is quite disheartening and certainly beyond any expectation. How can all these be happening under the watch of Comrade Oshiomhole as the national chairman? Comrade Oshiomhole’s leadership credentials cannot be disputed.

“But given what is going on now in APC under his watch, it is very clear that he is not that same Comrade Oshiomhole that was an inspiring union leader who competently handled all organisational leadership challenges to the admiration of Nigerians. Part of the problem now is that he is surrounded by sycophants, mainly from Edo State. Any attempt to help him through objective advice is condemned as betrayal, especially when such advice comes from people who were close to him.

“Many of those who claimed now to be his supporters and loyalists are people who only relate with him based on his position of power and capacity, therefore, to influence access to political positions. His success as a leader who is able to direct the party towards electoral victory is never their consideration, except if they are the candidates.

“One cannot blame these sycophantic crowd around our national chairman. But I will definitely express my disbelief at the way Comrade Oshiomhole has become, all of a sudden, a leader who is intolerant to criticisms. His level of intolerance is so high that any disagreement or criticism expressed against any of his decisions or actions is classified as betrayal and, therefore, requiring disciplinary actions.

“The procedure for disciplinary actions has become so cheapened such that all the relevant provisions in the party’s constitution are violated. As a result, Comrade Oshiomhole is today the leading accuser, prosecutor and judge in almost all cases where disciplinary actions have been administered in the party. The only probable exception may be the case in his ward in Edo State, where he is also being alleged to have been disciplined,” he noted.

The DG, therefore, warned that: “With this kind of background, it is almost impossible to start any process of engagement to resolve our problems in the party without addressing the issue of intolerance that is today the main characteristic of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC.”

“This is not in any way questioning the capacity or competence of the Akande-led APC national reconciliation committee. No doubt, Chief Bisi Akande is one leader who has all that is required to assist the party and all our leaders to resolve current challenges.”

On the way forward, Lukman said: “I think the starting point has to be an appeal to the Oshiomhole-led NWC, who facilitated the formation of the Akande Committee, to convene a meeting of the appropriate organ of the party, National Executive Council or National Caucus, where a decision setting aside all the disciplinary actions at all levels of the party, including the NWC, can be taken.

“Somehow, such a meeting can also serve as perhaps an icebreaking platform where some good pronouncements can emerge, which can encourage all aggrieved leaders and party members to express their disagreement and dissatisfaction at the way our party is being managed since 2015. Steps must be taken at such meeting to ensure that criticising or disagreeing with our leaders does not constitute an offence.

“If the Akande Committee is to succeed in this very crucial assignment, it must be positioned to set in motion the process of rebuilding the party.”


Presidential Election: PDP Seek Review Of Supreme Court Judgement

The Peoples Democratic Party has revealed that it has asked the Supreme Court to review its judgment on the 2019 presidential election petition.

Spokesperson for the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja.

The party said, “Consequently, the National Working Committee of the @OfficialPDPNig, after comprehensive consultations, states that our party has no choice left, given the manner with which the @OfficialAPCNg has conducted itself than to ask for a review of the judgment of the Presidential election petition tribunal, where the issue of certificate forgery and or presentation of false information in aid of qualifications was clearly established against the @OfficialAPCNg and her presidential candidate.”

PDP also said its national working committee had decided to seek the review of governorship election cases where it lost out.


Gbam: Presidency Approves HCC

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on Monday announced his approval of the constitution of a National Humanitarian Coordination Committee to oversee all humanitarian actions in Nigeria.

The retired major general said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would inaugurate the committee.

According to the president, the committee would be chaired by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq; and have the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as co-Chairman.

He said, “The committee will, among other things, provide a national vision for humanitarian actions, advise on coordination between the security services and humanitarian actors, and settle disputes that may arise from interactions between security services and the humanitarian community.

“The committee will also propose policies that enhance coordination and seamless delivery of humanitarian aid to affected communities, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian interventions to vulnerable persons, and promote transparency and accountability in all aspects of humanitarian delivery in the country.”


Just In: Malaysian Prime Minister Drop Rank

Mahathir Mohamad on Monday resigned as Malaysia’s prime minister and his Bersatu party has quit the governing Alliance of Hope coalition.

Mahathir’s move comes after a weekend of drama, with parties from both government and coalition meeting all day Sunday and Anwar Ibrahim, the designated successor to Mahathir, alleging “betrayal” by allies.

Anwar and Mahathir met on Monday, shortly before Mahathir, at 94 the world’s oldest Prime Minister, announced he would quit.

Mahathir previously said he wanted to remain as leader until after Malaysia hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November.

Eleven members of Anwar’s People’s Justice Party, which was part of the Mahathir-led coalition, announced also that they are forming a new independent grouping under Azmin Ali, Malaysia’s economic affairs minister.

Ali was among the former Anwar allies seen at meetings on Sunday that spurred speculation that the government was about to fall and that members of the coalition were aiming to oust Anwar and his allies.

It is not clear whether Mahathir or Bersatu can yet form another government.

Muhyiddin Yassin, president of Mahathir’s Bersatu party, said in a statement that he and the party lawmakers “continue to support and trust” Mahathir as prime minister.

Among the parties seen at meeting Sunday with Mahathir allies was the opposition United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which Mahathir led during his first 1981-2003 tenure as prime minister.

Anwar and Mahathir have a long and fractious history, going back to the early 1990’s when Anwar, a former finance minister and deputy prime minister, was seen Mahathir’s as likely successor.

But after a spectacular falling-out, Anwar was jailed on charges of sodomy and corruption.

The two men only reconciled in the run-up to Malaysia’s 2018 parliamentary elections, when Mahathir led the opposition alliance to a shock election win over his former UMNO allies, the first change of government in Malaysian history.

In what could presage the announcement of a new government, Mahathir will meet Malaysia’s King at 5 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Monday.


What I Secretly Did To Become Bayelsa Governor – Douye Diri

On Sunday, Douye Diri, newly sworn in Bayelsa State Governor said it was a miracle that he was the governor of the state.

He stated that he lost hope of being the governor following the victory of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Mr David Lyon, and the judgment of the Court of Appeal. He spoke to journalists in Abuja.

According to him, “I christen myself a miracle governor. I christen myself as a miracle governor. At a point, everybody gave up. We were the only party (PDP) the APC could not approach. We filed in court. The only place we had hope was in the judiciary.

“The case between the APC and the PDP was thrown out. The APC applauded the Supreme Court and on Thursday, February 13, 2020 the hammer came. We were in the wilderness and a torturous journey but here we are a miracle governor. They attempted to use the so-called federal might to impose somebody on Bayelsa. There were those who said there will be no governor in Bayelsa State. To the glory of God, Bayelsa State has a governor. I am indeed a miracle governor.”

Diri said he was not afraid of the allegation that his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor, presented a forged certificate of exemption from the National Youth Service Corps to the Independent National Electoral Commission.


It’s madness for leaders to move in large convoys – Peter Obi slams

Ex-Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, has decried the high cost of governance in the country, saying it is “madness” for political office holders to move in large convoys.

Obi, who was the running mate of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2019 presidential poll, said he had used a convoy of 20 cars as a governor until he discovered that 13 of the cars carried no officials.

He said these at the 8th Veritas University convocation in Abuja on Saturday.

The ex-governor, who was the keynote speaker, said Nigerian youths must help save the country from sliding further through innovations, creativity and entrepreneurship.

He said, “We have to be innovative in politics. We have to get the right people who are prepared to save this country. We are in a bad situation. I am in a bad situation. Anybody who tells you that we are doing well is lying. I live in fear every day.

“The insecurity is totally unacceptable. One of the greatest cures for insecurity is to get people employed. Let us shut down the cost of governance.

“You see big people going round with 15 or 20 vehicles and causing confusion all over the place and disturbing public peace and everybody with his own big title.

“If I was coming here with 20 policemen, to Nigerians, that shows I am ‘Your Excellency’. That is irresponsibility; it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world.

“There is no place in the world that I have seen where one man moves around with 22 vehicles. It is madness. I used it as a governor. You will not believe it. I used it as a governor until I asked to find out one day how many of the cars people were occupying, and about 13 of the cars were empty.

“So the cars were creating a nuisance for the public and making things difficult for the travelling people and in Nigeria, that shows you are powerful. You are in power.

“That’s why I said if we are going on this path, there will be a collapse. This will lead us to nowhere.

Ex-Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi

“Today, Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa, followed by South Africa and Egypt. If you combine these countries, their Gross Domestic Product is not up to Apple, an international technology company. So Apple is actually worth more than these three African giants. That is what knowledge can do.”

The Vice-Chancellor of the school, Prof Hyacinth Ichoku, said the university awarded degrees to 286 graduates including five postgraduate students, out of which 25 made first-class honours.


Nigerians are yet to see promised Restructuring

The Major General Muhammadu Buhari regime has yet to implement a substantial part of its promised restructuring.

Findings by NobleReporters revealed that since the ruling All Progressives Congress bowed to pressure to set up the Nasir El-Rufai APC Committee on True Federalism, just a little has been done to fulfil its campaign promise.

Not only did the committee which submitted its report on January 25, 2018 make recommendations on key items of interest, it articulated executive and legislative, and other action plans on how to achieve set objectives.

The committee recommended that, “The Federal Government should urgently direct the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to, among others, fashion out a new revenue allocation formula in consonance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which envisages a periodic review of the formula.”

This, the report said, should “take account of items devolved from federal to state governments”. Furthermore, since Section 162 (2) of the constitution already provides for principle of derivation of not less than 13 per cent, there is clearly room for its upward review.

However, apart from the directive of the Financial Intelligence Unit restricting states from tampering with council funds, which some observers believe is “a secret” a presidential directive and the amendment to the Petroleum Profit Tax Act, 2007 by the National Assembly, the bigger issue of devolution of powers and a provision allowing for a referendum on key national issues have remained unattended to.

The committee on page 25 of Volume 1 of its “Main Report, Summery of Findings and Recommendations” recommended that, “the party put its political weight behind the overwhelming popular demand for devolution (of powers) to states by the Federal Government.”

Action on this recommendation is still being awaited even as the Senate has inaugurated its committee on Constitution Review.

The Chairman of the Buhari Media Organisation, Niyi Akinsiju, said Buhari remained committed to fulfilling his campaign promises to Nigeria.

He said most of the items contained in the report of the report required a review of the existing provisions in the constitution, which he said was the function of the National Assembly.

Akinsiju said it was after the National Assembly had concluded work that a final copy would be sent to the President for his assent.

He said, “By the latest statement from the National Assembly after the inauguration of the Constitutional Amendment Committee, the chairman (of the committee) said they were going to take the report into consideration. The report was actually submitted to the National Assembly just like the report of the confab they said they would also consider.

“To that extent, the APC has done its groundwork which is appropriate and they had also followed the proper channel because anything that has to do with the constitution or its amendment, the primary custodian is the National Assembly.

“The APC has done consultations and aggregated and distilled the thoughts and opinions of Nigerians across board collated the report and forwarded to the National Assembly which is the proper channel.

“And I think for every other Nigerian, this is another opportunity to also express and advance their thoughts on how this country should be managed in terms of restructuring or otherwise which is constitutional.

“Don’t forget, the President has said this several times that whoever has any opinion on the issue should approach the National Assembly and I think this is the time to do it.”

The APC in Article 7(ii) of its April 2014 Constitution as amended) said its Aims and Objectives was: “To promote true federalism in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

In the foreword to its vision for a New Nigeria (Page 3, second paragraph), the APC Manifesto commits the party to “Implement efficient public financial management strategies and ensure true federalism” as well as “restructure governance in a way that kick starts our political economy so that we begin to walk the path of our better future.”

Also, on page 7 of its manifesto, the part entered what it referred to as an “Honest Contract” with Nigeria to create a federalism with “more equitable distribution of national revenue to the states and local governments because this is where grassroots democracy and economic development must be established.”

In pursuit of the above, the El-Rufai committee articulated 24 items of interest to Nigerians according to numerous submissions from members of the public. They are the creation of states, merger of states, derivation principle, fiscal federalism, devolution of powers and resources between state, federal and local governments, federating units, form of government, independent candidacy, land tenure system, local government autonomy ,power sharing and rotation, resource control, types of legislature, demand for affirmation for vulnerable groups; people with disabilities, women and youths, ministerial appointment, citizenship, state constitution, community participation, minimum wage, governance, judiciary, state realignment and border adjustment, circular status of the federation; and referendum.


Ondo 2020: Feud APC Chieftains Reunite To Support Akeredolu

As the governorship election in Ondo State is approaching, some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress in the state under the aegis of the APC Unity Forum have united against the re-election bid of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The group said it would present a strong and credible candidate for the party’s primary election scheduled to hold in July according to a timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday.

A key member of the group and the Senator representing the Ondo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Ajayi Boroffice, said the APC Unity Forum, which comprises aggrieved members of the party, would present the standard bearer of the party in the forthcoming governorship poll.

Boroffice stated this in Akure, the state capital, on Saturday during his empowerment programme for women in the Ondo Central and Ondo South senatorial districts.

The deputy majority leader of the senate noted that members of the Unity Forum were currently working together to present a consensus aspirant to slug it out with Akeredolu at the party’s primary, coming up in few months.

He said, “We in Unity Group of APC in Ondo State will have one person to vie for the primary of the party.

“It may be Chief Olusola Oke, Jimi Odimayo, Ife Oyedele, Olusegun Abraham or Bukola Adetula. It can even be me or anybody in the group since we have a common goal of presenting a credible candidate for the party in the coming election.”

On the empowerment programme, Boroffice explained that four women from each local government area of the Ondo Central and Ondo South senatorial districts received cash of N50,000 each while two women from each local government area of the districts were also given grinding machines to boost their livelihoods.

Also speaking after the programme, an aspirant and member of the Unity Forum, Chief Bukoka Adetula, said the incumbent governor had exhausted all the ideas he had in the last three years and deserved no second term.

Adetula, a United States-based lawyer, who is a kinsman to Akeredolu, corroborated Boroffice, saying the Unity Forum would produce the candidate of the party in the governorship election.

Meanwhile, a former Chairman of the Ondo State APC, Isaacs Kekemeke, has promised to accept the decision of the Chief Bisi Akande reconciliation committee regarding the crisis in the party in the state, NobleReporters gathered

Kekemeke, who is targeting the party’s ticket for the October 10 governorship poll in the state, passed a vote of confidence in the committee.

He said the reports on social media that the panel would be biased was baseless.

According to him, most of the members of the APC Advisory Council in the state had distanced themselves from the reports.

Kekemeke said, “Such comments do not represent our own feelings or what we think as members of the advisory council. That is the unity group I know in the state.”

“The APC advisory council under the chairmanship of Ali Olanusi will work with the panel to bring genuine reconciliation to the party.

“Everyone who loves the party, young and old, should pursue the path of peace.

“This does not mean that we have supported the second term ambition of Governor (Rotimi) Akeredolu.”

He said the core mandate of the council was to bring every member of the party together as a big family to build a formidable team during the election.


Oshiomhole sends threat to wike

…Pro-Oshiomhole protesters storm APC Secretariat

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has asked the governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike to apologise to him or face a lawsuit over allegation of defamation of character.

Oshiomhole, who made the threat in statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Simeon Ebegbulam, described

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Adams Oshiomhole Not Under House Arrest

as “sacrilegious and mischief”, the allegation by the Rivers State government that he (Oshiomhole) masterminded the protest at the residence of the Supreme Court Judge, Justice Mary Odili in Abuja.

In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the National Chair, Simon Ebegbulem said: “The APC Chair read with utter disgust the statement by the Rivers State governor that he and Minister of State for Petroleum , Chief Timipre Sylva, ‘sponsored thugs’ to attack the residence of the Supreme Court Judge.”

The CPS stated that according to the malicious statement signed by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, the “attacks” were made because Justice Mary Odili was a member of the Supreme Court panel that gave a unanimous verdict against the APC-governor-elect in Bayelsa State, David Lyon.

“This reckless defamation of the character of Oshiomhole is unbecoming of a state government that is supposed to operate under the rule of law including fairness and justice to all.

“The statement is an egregious assault on the reputation that has taken Oshiomhole a life-time to build.

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“For clarity, Oshiomhole was not in any way involved in the action that took place at the residence of Dr. Odili, a gentleman for whom Oshiomhole has tremendous respect as a friend of many years despite political differences.

“As a matter of principle, Oshiomhole condemns any harassment Hon. Justice Mary Odili had suffered for a judgment she gave within her powers as a judicial officer. Oshiomhole as a one-time beneficiary of judicial redress of injustice always holds the judiciary in the highest esteem and the obedience of court orders.

“The unsubstantiated allegation by the Rivers State government is, therefore, an insult on the APC National Chairman. It is an indecent thing for a state government to do in the circumstance.

“We hereby call on the Rivers State government to toe the path of decency and withdraw the defamatory statement with due apologies” it stated.

And in a related development, pro supporters of the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Friday stormed the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja in support of his (Oshiomhole) leadership.

The protesters, under the platform of Unity Group of the party staged the protest against the earlier protest demanding for the removal of the National Chairman.

The Unity Group demanded for the sustenance of Oshiomhole’s continued stay in office.

Two different groups had earlier in the week protested for the resignation of the APC National Chairman on account of bad leadership.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

But on Friday, another group decked in different uniforms trooped to the APC National Secretary in Abuja in buses with placards of various inscriptions, stating their demand for the continued stay in office of the National Chairman of the party.

Addressing journalists, a leader of the group, Hon. Folorunso Olusola Emmanuel said they were at the party Secretariat in solidarity with the National Chairman of the party.


Look closely, the certificate of candidates before voting in Edo, Ondo – INEC tell Voters

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that it will display the personal particulars, including academic qualifications of all the candidates nominated by political parties for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

It disclosed that this will afford the citizens the opportunity to scrutinise the particulars of the candidates and take legal actions against those who present false information to the Commission.

INEC insisted that this will help to check the new trend of courts determining the outcome of elections as observed in recent times.

The Supreme Court sacked Bayelsa Governor-elect on the account that his running mate Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo submitted fake certificates to INEC.

INEC National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who gave the hint during the quarterly meeting between the Commission and Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) said: “The personal particulars of all the candidates nominated by political parties for the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections, including their academic qualifications, will be displayed in our offices in the two States as required by law.

“This will enable citizens to scrutinise them and take legal action against any candidate who provides false information to the Commission. The personal particulars of candidates will be displayed on 6th July 2020 in Edo State and on 4th August 2020 in Ondo State. I wish to appeal to citizens to note the dates and to seize the opportunity to scrutinise the information provided on oath by the candidates in the interest of our democracy and good governance.

“For our part, the Commission has been studying the judgements of courts arising from the conduct of recent elections. We have also been reviewing the reports from accredited observers as well as internal reports from our State Offices. We will continue to keep an eye on the conduct of our officials and apply appropriate sanctions on erring staff, both regular and ad-hoc”.

He warned political parties to avoid acrimonious primaries that will result in endless litigation and observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates.

According to him: “Given recent experience with some Governorship elections, political parties need to do more to avoid the conduct of acrimonious primaries or failure to observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates, resulting in protracted litigations and eventual determination of the outcome of elections by orders of court.

“I wish to draw the attention of political parties to two critical dates in the timetable released by the Commission a few weeks ago. Party primaries for the democratic election and nomination of candidates for the Governorship election in Edo State must be held from 2nd to 27th June 2020. The date for Ondo State is 2nd to 25th July 2020. The Commission will not extend the dates. We will also rigorously monitor the primaries and where necessary, apply sanctions as provided by law”.

Yakubu also hinted that the Commission will introduce critical changes ahead the coming governorship elections to strengthen the process and procedures.


Just in: Delta APC Chairman Sacked Secretary

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) Delta state chapter has deepened following the purported suspension of the party’s secretary, Mr. Chidi Okonji, by the state chairman, Prophet Jones Erue.

Reacting to the development via telephone, the party’s Organising Secretary, Sir Amorighoye Mene, accused the chairman of working to destroy the party in the state, adding that the meeting that saw the “purported suspension was “unlawful”.

Mene told The Nation that Prophet Erue had on Monday, February 17, called on LGA chairmen, ward chairmen, and women leaders, who are not members of the State Executive Council as stated by the party’s constitution, for a SEC meeting at the APC secretariat in Asaba, the first to be held since the March 2019 polls.

According to him, most of the party members boycotted the meeting, giving the directive of the State Working Committee on February 5, that called on the chairman to “step aside”.

The APC SEC in a statement signed by its secretary, Okonji, had condemned the purported suspension of the deputy chairman, Engr. Elvis Ayomanor, the woman leader, Dr. (Mrs) Janet Oyubu and seven others by the chairman on the grounds that legal process and consultations was not followed.

The SEC further set up a five-man committee to investigate alleged irregularities in the use of party funds by the troubled chairman.

Monday’s meeting reportedly witnessed the suspension of the party’s secretary, Chidi Okonji, by the suspended chairman, Erue.

The organising secretary, however, posited that for the umpteenth time, Erue had failed to go by the provisions of the party’s constitution, which allows every officer fair hearing.

“Now he called the meeting a SEC meeting but women leaders, youth leaders and ward chairmen are not members of SEC by the party’s constitution. So the meeting he called was an illegal and unlawful meeting and it had no bearing with the party’s constitution. It had no bearing whatsoever.

“At the meeting, he purported to have suspended the party’s secretary, Chidi Okonji, without relying on the clear provisions of the constitution which gives every party officer, the right of fair hearing. Even though today, he is not in a position to constitute any committee for fair hearing because he has been suspended.

“He cannot purport to suspend anybody, unless the person has been investigated and given the benefit of fair hearing. That action itself is an act of illegality on the part of the former chairman. He also removed the deputy chairman, whom he said he had removed before and replaced him with Moses Ogodo.

“The question some persons have asked is if he removed the substantive secretary for whatever reason, what about the assistant secretary? There is always a substantive position and the assistants. Why bring the deputy Chief of Staff of the Deputy Senate President to come act as secretary? These are acts of illegalities all construed to divide the party in the state with the hope that he will finally destroy the party,” Mene stressed.

Asked if the current crisis boils down to the differences between the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege and the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, he stated: “as an officer of the party, I don’t want to be dragged into the disagreement between Senator Omo-Agege and Ogboru.

“Our duty as officers is to stabilise the party and ensure that whatever we do is in line with the party’s constitution. Yes, there might be issues here and there, but I feel they are matured individuals and at the right time they will settle whatever issues they have. But as the party executive, the chairman or members should not be used to settle political scores.”

Mene also disclosed that “startling revelations” have been made by the five-man working committee and in due course, the reports would be made known to the public.


Bayelsa: David Lyon calls for calm, says don’t blame my opposition

David Lyon, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November governorship election in Bayelsa state, has asked people not to blame Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, his running mate, for his removal.

Although Lyon was declared winner of the election, the supreme court sacked him on the grounds that his running mate presented forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Twenty-four hours later, Douye Diri, his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, was sworn in as governor.

In a statement signed by Alphine Ogoh, his media aide, Lyon appealed to his supporters to remain calm and allow the legal team of the party to explore “all remedies available in law to restore the mandate of the people”.

He described as “unfounded” the allegations that he was encouraging people to engage in violence following the judgment.

He said stakeholders have the liberty to express their opinions on issues but it should be within the ambit of the law.

“Chief David Lyon reassures Nigerians and the peace-loving people of Bayelsa state that as a law-abiding citizen, he will never support, sponsor or direct anyone to engage in acts inimical to the progress and wellbeing of the same people he seeks to govern, ” the statement read.

“Chief David Lyon insists that those who know him and have interacted with him can attest to the indisputable fact that he is a peace-loving person.

”Chief David Lyon has respect for civil liberty and believes in legal and democratic processes of resolving issues.

“Chief David Lyon also believes that in a democracy, the court is the last hope of the common man. Following the court pronouncement, he has been preoccupied with exploring all legal processes and remedies available in the constitution in the exercise of his fundamental human rights to address the unfortunate incident.

“As a leader, Chief David Lyon implores every Bayelsan, who believes in him and his vision for the state not to blame his running mate for the unfortunate development.”

He noted that a peaceful and stable Bayelsa is what he aspires to govern and improve upon as a legacy for all.

David Lyon, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC)

“Chief David Lyon calls on all political leaders irrespective of their party affiliations to call their teeming supporters to order. He insists that nobody should take laws into their hand,” he said.

“He also expresses his faith and confidence in the judicial process and the Supreme Court, in particular, noting that at the end of the day, justice will be done to the good people of Bayelsa State.”


Bayelsa protest: APC blames PDP

The All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, exonerated itself from the protest at the Abuja residence of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court, blaming the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the sponsor.

APC’s deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, told journalists that the protest was sponsored by the PDP as a smokescreen to portray the Bayelsa State APC governorship candidate, David Lyon, and his supporters in bad light.

“Nobody should be fooled by the usual antics of the PDP. Resort to extra-judicial tactics, such as maligning the judiciary and its officials is their stock in trade. The same hired urchins the PDP chairman, Uche Secondus, has used for his senseless protests at the embassies of the UK, US and the European Union were used for Tuesday’s protests at Justice Odili’s residence.

“The APC national leadership is already pursuing all legal avenues to contest the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Duoye Diri as Bayelsa governor, having failed to meet the mandatory constitutional requirement to become the governor.

“Also, our leaders have already told our supporters to avoid violent confrontations, while legal avenues are sought to review INEC’s unconstitutional decision. Our people have listened and are confident our judicial system will ensure that the people’s will and justice is done,” Nabena said.

But in its response, the PDP said Nigerians know the propensity and capacity of the APC to intimidate the opposition and members of the civil society.

PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told Daily Sun that the agenda of the APC was to silence leaders of the opposition and members of the civil society.

“You know that they are in hallucination mood. Theirs is a confused party that is leading a confused government. We are not surprised that they are hallucinating. Nigerians know who they are. And Nigerians have not forgotten how members of their party burnt a woman leader of our party to death in Kogi State.

“Nigerians are aware how their national chairman , Adams Oshiomhole, made an inciting statement that led to arson, vandalism and destruction of government property as well as the property of our members and leaders of our party in Bayelsa State. Nigerians also know that APC is out to silence the leaders of the opposition in Nigeria as well as members of the civil society, in order to kill our democracy.

“As a matter of fact, Nigerians are surprised that Adams Oshiomhole is still walking the streets a free man after the inciting statements that led to arson in Bayelsa State, consequent upon which our party urged the Inspector-General to take him in for questioning and make him answerable for the crisis and crime against humanity in Edo and Bayelsa states.

“So, Nigerians know those who have the capacity and propensity to embark on intimidation and protest at the residence of a justice of the Supreme Court in the person of Justice Mary Odili. And we want to emphasise once again that Oshiomhole should be held responsible, should any harm befall Justice Mary Odili or any of the justices of the Supreme Court.”

Continue reading Bayelsa protest: APC blames PDP

Breaking: Senate indicts security agencies

Senators, yesterday, accused security agencies of offering weapons to criminals. They also indicted the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) and Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) for conniving with criminals who smuggle arms and ammunition illegally into the country.

They also linked the spate of killings, kidnappings, banditry and other violent crimes in the country to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The senators stated this during a debate on “A Bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Nigeria National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons and for related matters,” sponsored by Smart Adeyemi.

The bill, having passed the second reading, was referred to the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, with a mandate to report back in two weeks for further legislative action.

Adeyemi said the bill sought to establish a commission to coordinate and implement activities that combat the challenge of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria, in line with ECOWAS stance on small arms and light weapons.

The lawmaker listed the objectives of the bill to include “identifying sources and main routes of small arms, ammunition and light weapons; identifying why this illicit trade thrives in Nigeria; liaise with relevant authorities, agencies and organisations, with the aim of tackling the menace.”

“The UN estimated a substantial percentage of illegal arms in circulation in West Africa are in Nigeria. This has fuelled violent conflicts as witnessed in the Niger Delta, kidnapping in the South-East, armed robbery pandemic in the South-West, ethnic and religious violence on the Plateau, and Boko Haram in the North-East, a situation which has plunged the nation into a serious state of insecurity. Uncontrolled arms have also impacted on the country’s democracy and development negatively. Electoral violence by gun-wielding thugs and assassinations of several political leaders since 1999 have jeopardised free and fair elections in many states of the federation,” Adeyemi said.

Senators took turns to stress the necessity of the bill in their debates. Adamu Aliero, lending his voice in support of its passage, accused the Nigerian Customs Service of conniving with dealers to smuggle small arms into the country through the land borders. Aliero said “violence would continue” if the bill was not passed into law.

Emmanuel Bwacha cited the United States as a country operating without strong gun control laws, lamenting “they are paying dearly for it today. It is better to have a control of arms than allow every Dick and Harry to possess arms. In doing this, we must do it with genuine intention,” Bwacha said.

Abdullahi Adamu, lamented that the proliferation of small arms had become a thriving business because those involved were not apprehended and prosecuted by relevant security agencies.

Francis Fadahunsi lamented a situation where weapons kept under the care of the military and police would be stolen from armouries.

Ibrahim Gobir alleged that Immigration and Customs connived with criminals to proliferate illegal firearms and ammunition while Amos Bulus lamented that government lacked the will to prosecute those involved in gunrunning.

Meanwhile, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the National Assembly has devised a strategy that would see to the creation of institutions dedicated to providing enduring solutions to Nigeria’s security travails.

Lawan made the disclosure in his concluding remarks on three critical pieces of legislation presently before the National Assembly which seek to establish the Nigeria Civil Defence Academy; a bill to give legal backing to the Nigeria Police Academy; and another to establish a commission against the proliferation of small arms and weapons.

According to Lawan, the National Assembly remains committed to ensuring that the security situation in the country improves.

“For the last two weeks or so, or even more, the Senate has been discussing and debating on security related motions for days. This is our commitment to our country. We want to see the security situation improve, and that is why we are doing this. We are dealing with this by trying to institutionalise certain situations that will provide enduring arrangements and solutions to the situation we face today.”


Nigeria: PMB pledges more transparency

President Muhammadu Buhari has given assurance that all government financial transactions would be done in the open with the various reform agenda implemented by his administration.

The President gave this assurance on Tuesday in Kaduna at the Passing-Out Parade of Detective Inspector Course Five, of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

He said: “My resolve is to ensure that the reforms are deepened such that there will be no hiding place for corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption. My aim is to ensure that no government financial transaction is done in secret and all are subjected to public scrutiny.

“The objective of this administration is to institute a level of transparency in governance through mainly information technology platforms. Just as advanced democracies and some developing countries, I am determined that within a short period, citizens would be able to follow core government operations online.”

According to him, “Our government has reached advanced stage in Fiscal Transparency. The Appropriation Bill is placed online within hours of its presentation in the National Assembly. The Budget Office of the Federation has been engaging interest groups in the budget cycle. A pilot scheme of 10 MDAs has been test running online display of their budgets and expenditure movements.”

Noting that the Federal Government’s “commitment to online disclosure of Beneficial Owners of Companies generally within the framework of the Corporate Affairs Commission and in the extractive industries through Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is on course,” the President added: “I am aware that the portals are ready but owners of companies are unwilling to comply with all disclosure requirements. May I use this opportunity to urge all well-meaning Nigerians to fully comply.”

President Buhari said that various national reforms and collaborative efforts with international organisations were designed to institutionally strengthen Anti-Corruption agencies in Nigeria.

According to him, “We have been working within the frameworks of National Action Plan for Open Government Partnership (OGP), National Anti-Corruption Strategy which is an adaptation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Global Forum for Asset Recovery (GFAR). Several of the reforms have been effective for several years with great impact on revenue and expenditure management. These include; the Government Integrated, Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Single Treasury Account, and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

“Executive Orders, such as Preservation of Suspicious Assets Connected with Corruption (Executive Order 6), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Act 2018; and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2018 have been operating for a few years and effectively limiting system opportunities for corrupt practices.”

The President noted further that, “This administration, right from the inception, aligned with the Open Governance Partnership and Global Forum for Asset Recovery in addition to existing commitments to African Union and Economic Community of West African States’ Conventions Against Corruption, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). These frameworks focus significantly on systems reforms in order to prevent corruption. Nigeria’s active participation in these global anti-corruption platforms means that the country is subjecting itself to periodic review of its progress in implementing the articles of conventions thus the fight against corruption.”


President Buhari said the administration’s war against corruption was also attracting international endorsements. “Our fight against corruption is being recognized by the international community as real and effective. The face of the country abroad is also changing as the international community is beginning to see Nigeria making substantial progress in the enthronement of transparency, accountability and good governance,” he noted.

“The President of the 7th Session of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) had this to say when announcing Nigeria as Vice-Chairman of Conference of State Parties: ‘It is an election well deserved. Nigeria has demonstrated remarkable determination in the fight against corruption.’ Nigeria retained the position of Vice Chair of the 8th Session. During the 10th Session of the Conference of State Parties, the Implementation Review Group Report also noted the high number of Asset Recovery cases successfully initiated by Nigeria in cooperation with other countries under the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) framework,” the President declared.


President Buhari also praised efforts of the EFCC in making the war against corruption effective: “I have listened attentively to the report in the speech presented by the Chairman of EFCC. The report is an attestation that the right policies have been put in place to fight corruption and the fight is becoming much more effective. I make bold to say that Nigeria is winning the war against corruption. I congratulate the EFCC on its good work and I urge that the current level of success be sustained and accelerated,” he said.

In his remarks, the EFCC acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu said that “EFCC on its part is currently developing its Statement of Strategy for 2020 to 2025, in line with the five pillars of National Anti-Corruption Strategy. This was preceded by an earlier strategic plan which was successfully implemented.”

He stated that the EFCC, with the support of development partners has built one of the best investigative laboratories in West Africa which has aided investigators and prosecutors in achieving accuracy and deployment of incontrovertible evidence in courts.

Magu also identified communication as key to the overall success of the organisation’s activities.

#Newsworthy ..

Trending: Group hails Ajimobi, Bisi Akande’s election

The Leadership of Agbarijo Egbe Odo Yoruba (Grand Council of Yoruba Youths) has applauded what it called “timely recognition of the two political giants from the Southwest Zone through their popular elections, Chief Bisi Akande and Senator Abiola Ajimobi”.

The former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Akande, and the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Ajimobi were recently elected Chairman, APC Reconstituted 12 – Member Reconciliation Committee and APC Deputy National Chairman, Southern part of Nigeria, respectively.

According to the President General of the group, Comrade Awa Bamiji, in a press release forwarded to media on Monday, “both progressive leaders are former governors of the State of Osun and Oyo State respectively and their individual records of achievement remain unbeatable till today in these two states. N.Rs heard

“Their choices could be best described as round pegs in round holes”.

The group, therefore, wished the leaders success in the onerous task of making the ruling party stronger for future elections.

“Little wonder, the warring factions in Edo State have been so fascinated by the choice of Chief Bisi Akande.” Awa Bamiji enthused.

He also congratulated the Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who clocked 55 years of age on Sunday, February 9, 2020.

“The good people of Ekiti State won’t forget the legacies you will leave behind decades after leaving office at the expiration of your 2nd term, which elapses by October 2022, because of your on-going landmark achievements.

“Agbarijo Egbe Odo Yoruba, Grand Council of Yoruba Youths, and in deed the entire Southwest Region are proud of you all, and we pray for your long life, prosperity and divine direction, as you continue to steer the ships of your individual tasks”, Awa Bamiji concluded.


West Wing: Trump running crime syndicate – Former prosecutor

Pressure is building on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign after thousands of former Department of Justice officials and members of the Federal Judges’ Association expressed concern about his conduct.

By Monday, more than 2,000 former DOJ employees from both the Republican and Democratic parties had signed a letter demanding that Barr resign, while the Federal Judges’ Association had agreed to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the attorney general’s behavior.

Their concerns center on Barr’s handling of the Roger Stone case. Stone—a long-time adviser to President Donald Trump and a veteran GOP operative—is due to be sentenced later this month for crimes uncovered during the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Last week, prosecutors recommended a jail term of seven to nine years for Stone. But after Trump condemned the proposal, the DOJ said it would issue a more lenient sentencing memo. The four prosecutors that worked on the Stone case subsequently resigned in protest.

Though Barr publicly complained about the president’s tweets on the issue, critics have accused the attorney general of undermining the rule of law to protect the president and his allies.

The open letter signed by former DOJ staff claims that Barr “openly and repeatedly flouted” the principle of equal justice under the rule of law.

The letter also warned it was “unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case.”

John Flannery—a former federal prosecutor—was among those who signed the letter. He told MSNBC Monday that Barr “has no business in that job” and called on DOJ officials to “do the job right.” He described Barr as the president’s “consigliere” and said Trump is the “chief criminal who’s running a crime syndicate out of the West Wing.”

Other former attorneys reacted to the open letter and the Federal Judges’ Association meeting on Twitter. Harry Litman, for example, said the U.S. is now in “full on crisis mode,” describing recent developments as “mind-blowing.”

Former Associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin noted, “Our institutions are sounding alarms,” while former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah said the open letter was a “extraordinary bi-partisan show of unity.”

Former U.S. attorney Barb McQuade—now a law professor at the University of Michigan Law School—said she was among those who signed the open letter, warning, “Even the appearance of partisanship has no place in the fair administration of justice.”

Laurence Tribe—a legal scholar at Harvard Law School who advised President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign—described the Federal Judges’ Association meeting regarding Barr as “rolling thunder.”

“One stuffed goose named Barr is cooked,” he added. “2000 DOJ alumni he can ignore. 1000 federal judges? That’s an altogether different kettle of fish.”


Call for sack of presidential aide (Details)

Following an ensuing acrimony between the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Chief of Staff (Cos) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, over National security, a security expert, Mr Jackson Ojo has called for immediate sack of the duo.

NobleReporters learnt that a circular from the office of the NSA, which became public on Monday, accused the CoS of hijacking the coordination of security leadership of the country, a role legally assigned to his office.

The NSA, in a circular dated December 9, 2019, entitled: ‘Disruption of National Framework by Unwarranted Meddlesomeness,’ accused Kyari of usurping his powers and those of President Buhari.

Monguno warned Kyari to stop issuing orders on security matters and directed the complacent security and Intelligence Chiefs as well as the Ministers to follow the established line of authority in national security coordination by the President through the NSA.

Meanwhile, Ojo has argued that bringing such sensitive issue of National importance to the public glare without caution exposed the two as weaklings and incapable of holding the two important offices they presently occupied.

He made this known in a telephone interview with our Correspondent on Tuesday, adding that issues surrounding National security remains ‘ top National secret’.

The security expert explained that going by the present state of insecurity in Nigeria, the ongoing feud between Monguno and Kyari portends a serious threat to the nation’s security architecture and disgust to Nigeria as an entity.

According to him, every serious nation treats her National security arrangement with utmost secrecy and discreet intelligence strategy.

He said:-

“The office of NSA is a very sensitive office, because he is the person saddled with the responsibility of putting together all security reports of every category, ranging from Army to DSS, NIA and many others.

“He is also the one to appropriately advise the President on pattern of action to take on issues revolving around National security.

“You will agree with me that anybody in that kind of position must not be too loud, he must as a matter of importance be a strategic and calm person.

“On the other hand, the presidency is the biggest institution in Nigeria, and the Chief of Staff remains the administrative head of that institution, appointed to coordinate every activity in all segments of the presidency, so, the two offices are very important to the nation.

“In a situation when the two individuals holding these very germane and sensitive positions are fighting on the pages of Newspaper over National security, there is a serious problem at hand.

“It is on that note that I am calling on President Buhari to sack the two individuals instantly without delay, before they embarrass us more and expose our security architecture to danger and ridicule.

“What the two individuals have done is a reflection of lack of respect for the office of the President, who is the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, and outright disrespect to Nigerians and Nigeria”.

Ojo added that what the NSA ought to have done was to have informed the President of perceived sabotage and breach of National security, in which committee could have been set up to investigate and put every suspect under vigilance.

“If you see a thief in your father’s farm, I think the best thing to do is to inform your father and not to shout, because if you shout, the thief will tactically withdraw and escape. The NSA has made any move to investigate the case of sabotage he raised very difficult to investigate by going public, “ he said.

The expert further averred that investigative segments of Nigerian security apparatus must begin investigation on the two senior Presidential aides to get to the root of the whole scenario.