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Buhari shelves plan to address NASS on security

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  • Reps step down motion to admit President
  • Lawmakers can’t summon him – Malami

Indication emerged on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari has shelved his plan to address the joint sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday on the security situation in the country.

This came as the conventional legislative practice, ‘Admittance into the Chamber’ motion, slated on the Order Paper, which should have been sponsored by Hon Garba Alhassan Ado to suspend relevant House rules, was not entertained by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The motion provides that “that the House, pursuant to Order 19, Rule 8 (1) and (2) of the Standing Orders, do admit into the Chambers, the ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the service chiefs and other dignitaries for the purpose of receiving an address by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the security situation in the country.”

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Wednesday said that the National Assembly lacked the constitutional power to summon President Buhari over security matters.

The President’s change of mind, it was learnt, might not be unconnected with an alleged plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus to embarrass him.

The resolution for Buhari not to attend the forum was reportedly reached at a meeting held on Tuesday night which lasted into the midnight at the Conference Room 028 New Building of the House of Representatives.

Some of the governors seen at the meeting are Aminu Masari of Katsina State and Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, as well as the former FCT Minister of State, Senator James Udoedehe.

One of the principal officers in the House of Representatives, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the decision was to avoid any form of embarrassment from the members of the opposition party, PDP.

Malami, in a statement, argued that the issue of security is confidential and how the president handles it should not be for public exposure.

“The confidentiality of strategies employed by the President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not open for public exposure in view of security implications in probable undermining of the war against terror”, he said.

He argued that Buhari had recorded tremendous success in containing the hitherto incessant bombings, colossal killings, wanton destruction of lives and property that bedeviled the country before attaining the helm of affairs of the country in 2015.

According to him national security is not about publicity and the nation’s security architecture cannot be exposed for the sake of getting publicity.

While stating that the President enjoys Constitutional privileges attached to the Office of the President including exclusivity and confidentiality investiture in security operational matters, which remains sacrosanct, he added that the National Assembly had no Constitutional Power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the President would be summoned by the National Assembly on operational use of the Armed Forces.

“The right of the President to engage the National Assembly and appear before it is inherently discretionary in the President and not at the behest of the National Assembly,” the statement added.

But immediate past Chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, said there was no justification for the President’s decision to turn down the invitation to brief Nigerians on the state of security.

“It was the House of Representatives of Nigeria that invited the President of Nigeria. It was not a summon; it was an invitation to bring us up to speed on the security matter in Nigeria, now that security is now topical and almost urgent.

“If he thinks to look at it legally, he may say you cannot summon because you can’t discipline. But one thing to look at is the security importance. He’s the commander in chief of all armed forces and the invitation is to tell us if there is any trouble in the security architecture so that we will know exactly what is the issue is.”

He also spoke on the reported role played by the governors to prevail on the President from honouring the House invitation.

He said, “We heard that the governors prevailed on him not to come, and it is very easy to understand why the governors said so because if he honours the invitation, the state assemblies will ask the governors to come, which is the proper thing. But because the relationship is master-servant; most parliaments in Nigeria run master-servant relationship; in that context, how can a servant order his master to come to render account?

“And if you are a governor, you owe the governed the duty to explain.”

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As Ogun LG poll holds Saturday, Gov Abiodun drums support for Yobo

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says, he is my loyal son

The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has described the All Progressives Congress chairmanship candidate in the local government election scheduled for Saturday, July 24, Ladejobi Shuaib Adebayo, popularly known as Yobo, as a son who has been very steadfast in what he believes in and very loyal to the party.
He stated this during a rally where he handed over the flag of the party to the candidate.
The governor did this in the presence of the candidate’s running mate in the election, Ireti Adenugba, other party leaders, traditional and religious leaders as well as numerous party supporters.
Governor Abiodun recalled how strong Yobo led some youths to resist the brigandage of powers before the 2019 election despite the threat to his life.
In a drizzling afternoon at Odogbolu town Motor Park, Abiodun said Yobo never knew he would be the candidate of the party initially, but added that God has His own plan, saying in Yoruba.”Eleyi kii see omo wa; eleyi omo mi ni” (This is not our son; but my son).
He enjoined other contestants for the party’s ticket in the election but not favoured to take it in their strides as only one person could be the winner.
The governor promised all genuine contenders at the primaries would be part of the government either at the local government or at the state level to contribute their quota.
He further said the state government had constructed many kilometres of
roads across the state and delivered over 1,000 housing units, adding that more were still needed to be done.
He agreed no one government could do everything but that his administration would leave an indelible mark for people to talk about many years after leaving.
Abiodun enumerated some of the projects that his goverment had carried out in addition to those he just awarded in the local government to include schools, health facilities and roads, urging the residents to own the projects and protect the facilities.
He specifically mentioned the new Ijebu Ode (Ikoto)-Epe Expressway just completed and how proud he felt when he used the road recently.
YOBO thanked the governor and the party leaders with other members for their support and promised to put in his best to fulfill his campaign promises.
On the entourage of Governor Abiodun were his deputy, Engr Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele who is the chairman of the state’s local government election campaign committee, the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Shuaib Salis, and other members of the state executive council led by Femi Ogunbanwo, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs who is also from the local government.

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Courts reinstate Soludo, Uba as APGA, PDP candidates

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Senator Ugochukwu Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party and Prof Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance have been reinstated as candidates of their parties in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election.

The court has directed Independent National Electoral Commission to list the two politicians as candidates of their respective party.
Justice Obiora Nwabunike, who adjudicated on the case involving Uba, Valentine Ozigbo and the PDP, said the party erred by using what it called ‘super delegates’ without vacating a pending order by an Abuja court.
The judge said, “With the evidence before me and having heard from parties involved in the matter, I rule that Ugochukwu Uba is the duly elected candidate of PDP.
“It’s not for nothing that court judges are called My Lords. When a court makes a pronouncement, it must be obeyed. No matter how foolish or ugly, it must be obeyed.
“So, it was wrong for the PDP to go ahead to conduct the primary election at the Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre that produced Valentine Ozigbo, with what they called super delegates against a live judgment of a court, without overturning the judgement.
Read Also; Anambra 2021: Ozigbo says no cause for alarm over exclusion by INEC
“That action cannot be vitiated or mitigated by the argument adduced by defence counsel that party primaries are internal affairs of political parties.
“I order that Ugochukwu Uba’s name should be enlisted by the INEC without further delay and the defendants should pay a cost of N10 million to the applicant.”
In the other case, Justice C.C. Okaa reinstated Prof Soludo as the APGA candidate and ordered INEC to publish his name immediately.
The court also ordered INEC to remove the already-published name of Chukwuma Umeoji, ordering him to stop parading himself as the candidate of APGA
Justice Okaa reaffirmed Victor Ike Oye as the indisputable National Chairman of APGA and ordered Edozie Njoku and Jude Okeke to stop parading themselves as national chairmen of APGA.

The Jude Okeke-led APGA national executive kicked against the ruling reinstating Soludo as the party’s candidate.
The faction’s National Publicity Secretary, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, told reporters at a briefing in Abuja that an order by a High Court in Jigawa State was still subsisting.
He said, “We have invited you here today to brief you on the happenings in our party and the desperation of some anti-democratic forces to desecrate the judiciary and jettison the rule of law principle which is fundamental in a democracy.
“On Friday, 16th July 2021, the Independent National Electoral Commission published the list of candidates for the Anambra State Governorship election in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines for the election.
“In compliance with the judgment of two competent High Courts, INEC published the name of Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji, a member of the Federal House of Representatives, as the valid and duly nominated candidate of our great party.
“All institutions of state must obey the judgment of courts; that is the position of the law.
“A case was filed by the Victor Oye-camp without notifying the Jude Okeke group. We heard of it on Friday, quickly mobilised our lawyers to apply to join the case but the judge refused because allowing the joinder would mean taking an adjournment for consequential amendment of the processes to reflect the new names joined.
“The judge dismissed the motion even when no lawyer in the case filed anything in opposition.
“Having failed to deliver the judgment on Friday, the judge this morning (yesterday) in a court surrounded by over 150 policemen and soldiers and wherein every person who was not a lawyer was chased out of the court delivered a judgment and predictably granted all the prayers of the applicants and even more.
“The judgment from Awka cannot vacate the judgment from Jigawa. They are courts of coordinate jurisdiction.
“They cannot change the position of INEC with it. Hopefully, this matter will be sorted out soon and peace will return to APGA.”

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Count me out of Jonathan/Malami presidential ticket, says AGF

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Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has denied report linking him to the 2023 presidential ticket with the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Malami’s media aide, Dr Bashir Gwandu, described the rumour as a figment of imagination of the minister’s distractors.
Gwandu added that the AGF never discussed such with anybody and had not shown interest in any political post.
He said that Malami was occupied with his ministerial duties of serving his country the best way he could.
“2023 is still very far to even talk about it. The attorney has never indicated interest to stand for election with anybody,” he said.
He advised members of the public to be wary of what they say or post on social media or anywhere.
“What the minister needs now is to focus more on how to deliver the much-needed services to the country and that is what he has been doing and will continue to do,” he added.
He explained that people should not force words into the mouth of the AGF and to, henceforth, stop peddling such unfounded rumours that have no basis whatsoever.

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