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National Assembly divided over Buhari, IGP Idris

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A member of the House of Representative, Muhammed Kazaure, has said that his colleagues cannot impeach President Muhammadu Buhari as they threatened on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference shortly after a closed-door session of the National Assembly, Mr Kazaure said he and his other colleagues who are in support of the president would resist any attempt to oust him for any reason.

The lawmakers, after a three-hour executive session, announced 11 resolutions they demanded Mr Buhari meet or be made to face by the National Assembly’s “constitutional powers”.

The threat came amidst a tumultuous relationship between the legislature and the executive that peaked Monday with senate president Bukola Saraki summoned by police for alleged links to suspected armed robbers and murderers.

While the legislators attempted to mask their motivation for Tuesday’s rare joint session with calls on Mr Buhari to stop rampant killings across the country and create jobs, they reserved majority of the 11-line resolutions for demands affecting them individually and collectively.

Still, they did not disclose their possible sanctions against the president should he fail to comply.

Mr Kazaure, who represents Jigawa State, interpreted the threat to invoke their constitutional powers to mean impeaching the president.

In a rambling speech to journalists, he warned any of his colleagues eyeing the president’s seat to wait till 2023.

“President will remain the president,” he said. “He will be re-elected when he finish eight years he’ll go, then anybody could come. But for now, nobody will…that treatment is the only thing that will offend me in the chamber. Because after all resolution, they say without adopting that resolution by the executive, we will take any legislative power that we have against them.

“Issue of the people are collecting signatories to serve the notice of impeachment to the president. We know, it’s in the house but nobody can come to show us that they will come and impeach the president in the chamber. Because there is no two side, I’m sure there is no two sides in the House of Representatives.”

The lawmaker said he and other pro-Buhari senators were strong enough to ward off any attempt to impeach the president.

He however said he agreed with the other resolutions of his colleagues but frowned at the clause that Mr Buhari must act or face sanctions.

“Our group we are strong enough to stop anything called impeachment. Today, I agree with the legislature for saying that we have to improve the security of this country and the killing must end. This is very accepted. Issue of people around the president that are not performing better, I accepted for the president to change them or to sack them. Issue of intimidating people, intimidating a whole Senate President to call him he sponsor a robbery. It’s embarrassing to this institution. I will not support it and I’m sure president will never support it.

“Right now, inside the villa, president is with the service chiefs having meetings and he is complaining saying why are you creating problem between me and the legislature. I’m sure the president will take serious action and this will stop.”

He urged Mr Buhari to pacify legislators and other aggrieved members of the ruling APC so that they can again work for his re-election in 2019.

“Those people, we don’t want them to go. We want them to come and assist the president again. So, the president must call the attention of those people who are very important in the state. Because we will lose many votes and we diont have certainty to win the election if it continues like that,” he said.

The first call for Mr Buhari’s impeachment was in April when a senator, Matthew Uroghide, urged his colleagues to invoke section 143 of the constitution to serve as retribution to the president for not seeking National Assembly’s approval before withdrawing $496 million used for the purchase of aircraft from the United States.

Section 143 of the Nigerian constitution provides for the removal of the president from office.

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False age declaration: Documents clear HoS over wrongdoing, border agency boss faces sack

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Contrary to claims that the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, failed to act on the embattled Acting Director, Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), Mrs Victoria Olutayo Odumosu, over alleged age falsification, this newspaper has gathered that the HoS had in a letter to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on May 9, 2018 recommended Mrs Odumosu’s sack.

Documents sighted by this newspaper in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) showed that the memo to the vice president was in line with extant rules of the civil service as he is the Statutory Chairman of the Governing Board of BCDA.

Following the approval of her recommendations by the VP, the HoS wrote to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on June 13, notifying him of the VP’s approval and requesting him to “kindly direct immediate implementation of His Excellency’s approval as appropriate.”
The BCDA is one of the parastatals of government under the supervision of the office of the SGF.

The HoS letter to the SGF was the climax of a rigorous process of investigation to establish the culpability or otherwise of Mrs Odumosu who was alleged to have falsified her age to remain in service.

“Oyo-Ita’s desire for due process in removing public officials from office, and to comply with the Federal Government directive on handing over to the most senior director in an agency appear to be the reasons Mrs Odumosu stayed up till this time,” an official who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak on the matter told our reporter.

Official correspondences obtained from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation show that the HoS, initially found it curious that the allegations against Mrs Odumosu first came from Engr Numoipre Wills, former Executive Secretary of BCDA at the point he was to hand over to her.

In her first official correspondent on the issue to Vice President Osinbajo, dated December 5, 2017, Oyo-Ita states: “The decision of the outgoing Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency(BCDA) to make allegations of fake age declaration against the most senior Director without proof of his allegations is an issue of concern to the Service.

“It is irregular for Chief Executives of any Government Parastatal to engage in disobedience to policy directives of Government as conveyed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF) under any guise of unsubstantiated allegations.”

The memo further stated that public officers should not be deprived of the privileged to serve their nation based on unsubstantiated allegations, adding that such situations are capable of creating negative precedence in the service.

According to the December 5 memo, the HoS observed that the documents provided on the allegations, which she considered “serious,” called for “further investigations into the issues raised.”

She, however, concluded that the existing senior and the only director in the agency should be authorized to act pending the appointment of a new Executive Secretary or outcome of investigations of allegations of false age declaration.

“Where an officer overstayed his/her age in the service, the penalties are available in the service rules. But an officer should not be punished or deprived of a privilege based on allegations that have not been proved,” she pointed out to the Vice president.

With no response from the office of the Vice President to her earlier memos, the HoS prompted a follow up letter on May 9, 2018, more than four months later. But by this time Mrs Oyo-Ita appeared to have been convinced that Mrs Odumosu actually falsified her age and should be immediately asked to leave the service.

In the second letter to the VP, she re-iterated her earlier concerns for due process but revealed she had been presented with more evidence of Mrs Odumosu’s guilt. She stated in the letter that she received additional correspondence from the Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration which oversights the BCDA, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

On receipt of the correspondences from the institutions mentioned, the HoS said, she wrote to Mrs Odumosu requesting for her response, and also requested for information and other career progress chart from the Industrial Training Fund-former employers of Mrs Odumosu.

She further stated that after a review of the submissions and the records from ITF, there were indications that “a prima facie case of age falsification” had been made against Mrs Odumosu. She therefor recommended thus:

i. Mrs Odumosu be directed to disengage from office.

ii. The SGF designate a Director with requisite seniority from the OSGF to oversee the affairs of the BCDA pending the appointment of a substantive Executive Secretary.

iii. The Overseeing Director could commence investigation/disciplinary procedure against the officer. In the event that the BCDA as presently constituted does not have the required number of Directors to constitute the Investigation Panel same can be empanelled from the OSGF being the supervising office.

iv.The SGF to fast track the appointment of a substantive Executive Secretary.

A response from the office of the VP dated June 12, and signed by Ade Ipaye, the Deputy Chief of Staff, the VP gave his approval to all the recommendations and requested the HoS to “proceed with immediate implementation.”

The HoS consequently wrote the SGF informing him about the VP’s approval and requested that “The SGF may wish to kindly direct immediate implementation of His Excellency’s approval as appropriate.”

-Culled from TheWhistler

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Breaking: DSS arrests Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

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The Department of State Security has arrested Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, lawmaker representing Abia-South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, The Whistler has learnt.

According to reports, the senator was picked up on Friday morning at a Barbing Saloon in the Apo Area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

It is not clear why the senator was arrested, but a source close to the Abia lawmaker said his arrest may not be unconnected to his constant criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker is due to appear before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High court, Abuja, on June 26 to explain the whereabouts of leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB}, Nnamdi Kanu.

Abaribe and two others had stood as a surety as part of the bail conditions for Kanu, whose whereabouts has remained unknown.

Justice Nyako fixed the date after the court ordered the prosecution to serve the sureties with an earlier order of court demanding them to appear in court and explain the whereabouts of Kanu or show cause why they should not forfeit their bail amount.

-TheWhistler

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Oshiomhole unopposed for APC chair as Ebri withdraws

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The coast is virtually clear for former governor Adams Oshiomhole’s bid for the chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress. The last of his rivals, Chief Clement Ebri, also a former Governor of Cross River, announced his withdrawal from the race, leaving Oshiomhole now unopposed.

Ebri’s decision to withdraw from the race was made known on Thursday in his letter titled: “Withdrawal from National Championship race”, in Abuja.

Ebri's letter of withdrawal
Ebri’s letter of withdrawal

Ebri’s decision came ahead of the party’s National Convention slated for Saturday and followed two other chairmanship aspirants’ withdrawal from the race.

He stated in the letter that his decision to withdraw from the race came after due consultations with friends, family and associates in the interest of the party.

He added that the decision was also taken in his belief that “all stakeholders “must tow in the same rancour free direction as the 2019 general election approaches”.

Ebri noted that what happened in the leadership of the APC was directly responsible as to whether it could deliver on its promises to Nigerians to provide them with better lives.

He said that such was the core conviction that drove him into declaring his candidacy for the party’s National chairmanship position in the first place.

He also stated that the fundamental task of the APC was to win elections, adding that it behoved on the party to offer its elected officials a means for organising government.

This, Ebri said, became the primary link between the people and government.

He also urged his supporters to transfer their support for his aspiration to former governor of Edo, Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the APC.

“We should all render him every support and encouragement he needs as he and his team proceed to rebuild our party into a formidable, unified and inclusive organisation where every voice counts,” he said.

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