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House impeaches President Trump for second time

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The House on Wednesday impeached President Donald Trump for a second time, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the violent riot by a mob of the US Capitol that left five people dead and terrorised lawmakers as they sought to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The vote to impeach passed the Democratic-controlled House was 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans voting against the president.

The House is expected to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate for them to begin the process of holding a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from ever running for any office again.

 

However, it is unlikely that the trial will begin before the Senate plans to reconvene on January 19th, just one day before Biden is sworn into office.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP leadership, was the highest ranking Republican to vote to impeach Trump.

She was joined by John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, David Valadao of California, and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington.

No House Republican voted to impeach Trump during the inquiry earlier in his term that resulted in a Senate acquittal.

“Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to or managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor, kicking off two hours of debate before the final vote was held.

“But they did not appear out of a vacuum. They were sent here, sent here by the president, with words such as a cry to ‘fight like hell’.

“The president saw the insurrectionists not as the foes of freedom, as they are, but as the means to a terrible goal: the goal of him personally clinging to power.”

Many House Republicans argued during debate that Trump was not afforded due process and that the impeachment process was rushed. Some said that impeaching the president for a second time would only further divide the country while others maintained that Trump’s actions on January 6th did not meet the legal standard for incitement.

“I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the top House Republican, said during debate.

“No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held,” he added. “A vote to impeach will further fan the flames of partisan division.”

Other Republicans cried hypocrisy, criticizing Democrats for their support for the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country last summer.

“For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “Some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame. Well, they lit actual flames.”

It is unclear what will happen in the Senate once the trial begins. Although Trump is likely to have already left office by then, a vote to convict Trump could still bar him from holding federal office again.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his Republican colleagues Wednesday afternoon that he remains undecided on whether he will vote to convict the president.

“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell wrote in a letter to his colleagues.

The impeachment vote follows a House vote late Tuesday night to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

The act, which was largely symbolic, passed the House 223 to 205 along partisan lines with Kinzinger as the sole Republican to vote in favor of the measure.

Pence, who was one of the targets of the violent mob that attacked the Capitol last week, informed Pelosi shortly before the vote that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment, writing in a letter to the speaker that he didn’t believe “such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution.”

As the House debated the article of impeachment, Trump, unable to tweet about the process as he did when the House impeached him in December 2019 after Twitter banned his account last week, released a statement urging that “there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.”

“That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Pelosi named nine Democratic impeachment managers for the trial Tuesday, with Raskin leading the team that will seek to prosecute Trump.

The House on Wednesday impeached President Donald Trump for a second time, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the violent riot by a mob of the US Capitol that left five people dead and terrorised lawmakers as they sought to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The vote to impeach passed the Democratic-controlled House was 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans voting against the president.

The House is expected to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate for them to begin the process of holding a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from ever running for any office again.

However, it is unlikely that the trial will begin before the Senate plans to reconvene on January 19th, just one day before Biden is sworn into office.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP leadership, was the highest ranking Republican to vote to impeach Trump.

She was joined by John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, David Valadao of California, and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington.

No House Republican voted to impeach Trump during the inquiry earlier in his term that resulted in a Senate acquittal.

“Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to or managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor, kicking off two hours of debate before the final vote was held.

“But they did not appear out of a vacuum. They were sent here, sent here by the president, with words such as a cry to ‘fight like hell’.

“The president saw the insurrectionists not as the foes of freedom, as they are, but as the means to a terrible goal: the goal of him personally clinging to power.”

Many House Republicans argued during debate that Trump was not afforded due process and that the impeachment process was rushed. Some said that impeaching the president for a second time would only further divide the country while others maintained that Trump’s actions on January 6th did not meet the legal standard for incitement.

“I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the top House Republican, said during debate.

“No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held,” he added. “A vote to impeach will further fan the flames of partisan division.”

Other Republicans cried hypocrisy, criticizing Democrats for their support for the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country last summer.

“For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “Some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame. Well, they lit actual flames.”

It is unclear what will happen in the Senate once the trial begins. Although Trump is likely to have already left office by then, a vote to convict Trump could still bar him from holding federal office again.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his Republican colleagues Wednesday afternoon that he remains undecided on whether he will vote to convict the president.

“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell wrote in a letter to his colleagues.

The impeachment vote follows a House vote late Tuesday night to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

The act, which was largely symbolic, passed the House 223 to 205 along partisan lines with Kinzinger as the sole Republican to vote in favor of the measure.

Pence, who was one of the targets of the violent mob that attacked the Capitol last week, informed Pelosi shortly before the vote that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment, writing in a letter to the speaker that he didn’t believe “such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution.”

As the House debated the article of impeachment, Trump, unable to tweet about the process as he did when the House impeached him in December 2019 after Twitter banned his account last week, released a statement urging that “there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.”

“That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

Pelosi named nine Democratic impeachment managers for the trial Tuesday, with Raskin leading the team that will seek to prosecute Trump.

-NBC News

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EFCC grills ex-Kwara gov, Ahmed, over N9n fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has quizzed a former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, for allegedly diverting N9bn.
The former governor was grilled by an EFCC team of operatives from the commission’s headquarters at Jabi, Abuja.
Ahmed, on invitation of the anti-graft agency, was said to have arrived at the EFCC headquarters by 10am on Monday.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that he was in their custody, but did not give further information on the development.
Ahmed had governed Kwara between 2011 and 2019.
Before then, he had served as commissioner for finance in the administration of Bukola Saraki, his predecessor.
Details of the allegations of fraud against him are still sketchy but TheCable understands the funds involved run into billions of naira.
This is the second time the former governor will be invited by the EFCC since he vacated office in 2019.
In December 2020, he was at the commission’s office after an invitation.

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Only 9% of miliraty budget spent on weapons – Gbajabiamila

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  • DHQ: Nigeria needs N826bn annually to fund armed forces

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says only nine per cent of the total budget of the military is spent on weapons.
He stated this at a public hearing on the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, organised by the House Committee on Defence on Monday in Abuja.

This came as the Defence Headquarters said Nigeria would need $2bn (about N826bn) annually to fund its armed forces to effectively combat the daunting challenges of insecurity facing the country.
This disclosure also came on Monday just it was revealed that some members of the Armed Forces currently engaged in the fight against insurgency and other criminal act are lobbying to be redeployed from the area where they are posted as a result of poor welfare.

Gbajabiamila said that appropriation records showed that about 91 per cent of the current funding of the Armed Forces was spent on recurrent overhead, salaries and welfare.
“This bill seeks to provide an injection of additional capital funding for the Armed Forces of Nigeria at a crucial time in our nation.

“I am sure many of you will wonder why the Armed Forces of Nigeria need an additional financial injection at this time.
“The fact based on appropriation records is that about 91 per cent of the current funding to the Armed Forces go on recurrent overhead, salaries and welfare, leaving only nine per cent for capital purchases.
“This reality has prompted this 9th House of Representatives to seek a way of providing funds that will be focused on the capital needs and training of our Armed Forces,’’ he said.
Gbajabiamila said that the importance of the bill is evidenced by the dwindling resources available to the Armed Forces to prosecute the various security operations it is involved in.
Gbajabiamila said that Nigeria’s expenditure on military hardware and training in the last five years was between nine per cent and 11 per cent of the budgetary allocation to the military.
He said that it was incapable of empowering the military to face the security challenges in the country especially the insurgency in the North-East.
Gbajabiamila said that to succeed in the fight against insecurity, the military would need more funding for modern weapons and training.
He said, “Nigeria is at war against insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping and all manner of insecurity; hence the need to uplift the resources available to our armed services to enable them procure the best tools to help win this war.
“So, what we seek to do in this bill is not new or unique to us as a nation; the solution to our security challenges requires asymmetric actions across many policy areas. This is what we have tried to do as the representatives of the people.
“The concept of a trust fund already exists for the Nigerian Police; it only makes sense to also bolster our military capability as well through this unique vehicle.”
Chairman, House, House Committee on Defence, Rep. Benson Babajimi (APC-Lagos) said that the bill sought to explore alternative sources of funding for the military.

Meanwhile, Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal M. A. Yakubu, who spoke at the public hearing said even the sources of funding specified in the bill would be inadequate to tackle the problem.
He said the projection for funding in the Bill is estimated at about N100bn per year.
When established, the Support Trust Fund is expected to draw funds from one per cent of the total money accruing to the federation account; 0.5 per cent of the profit made from the investment of the National Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment, one percent of Value Added Tax (VAT) remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) as well as any take-off grant and special intervention fund as may be provided by the Federal Government, states and local governments of the Federation.
It will also draw funds from one percent of the air ticket contract, charter and cargo sales charge to be collected by the airlines and paid to the support fund; Aids, grant and all assistance from international agencies, nongovernmental organizations and the private sectors; and Money derived from investments made by the Support Fund.
But AVM Yakubu said this will still be inadequate, saying “I have been a defence attaché in the United States of America from 2014 to 2017. I have been a Director of Procurement at the headquarters of the Nigerian Airforce for another two years.
“I have been a chief of logistics also at the headquarters Nigerian Airforce for another two years. So I am fully conversant with what it takes to run the affairs of a fighting Airforce.
“I also understand the limitations we have in Nigeria and what it should have been. I want you to understand how large is this problem we are trying to address before I make my point.”

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Insecurity: FCTA demolishes taxi park shielding criminals

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In a bid to eliminate criminal activities in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has demolished a taxi park reportedly turned into a drug addict’s colony and a haven for many other criminal activities.

FCTA said the place, located at NICON Junction in Maitama District, was supposed to be an interchange by the Abuja Master Plan, but temporarily made a taxi park to mitigate the hardship of commuters.

Director, FCTA Security Services Department, Adamu Gwari, said the taxi park had not only turned into an environmental nuisance but also a security threat that could not be allowed.

Gwari, who led other officials on the demolition exercise, also noted that in view of the persistent insecurity across the country, the administration is prepared to deal with all potential dangers to the residents.

His words: “In line with the city programme, this place is a taxi rank. But it has been highly abused and turned into nuisances. That is why we have to remove everything. This place has become a security threat and it breeds criminality. There are series of concerns from the residents regarding the rate of criminality which emanates from this place.”

Chairman,  FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation,  Ikharo Attah said the FCT Minister  Malam Muhammad Bello was worried that the government’s efforts towards alleviating residents’ transportation difficulties were scuttled by miscreants.

Attah explained that the ministerial directive to immediately demolish the taxi park was meant to promptly address brewing insecurity within the highbrow Maitama District, saying the park was abused.

According to him, a place provided by the government to ease residents’ movement, unfortunately, had turned into a hiding place for drug addicts.

He vowed that the contravention won’t be allowed to remain an environmental nuisance that breeds insecurity within the neighbourhood and the territory in general.

Attah said: “This place is supposed to be an interchange according to the plans, but temporarily turned to a taxi park to manage transportation problems, but the place was abused. The place was turned into a home for drug addicts and has become dangerous for the neighbourhood.

“The Minister was clear when he gave a matching order that this nuisance is removed. The taxi park has become a contravention that can’t be allowed.

“All the concerned departments will ensure that the nuisance does not reappear because this place is the heart of Maitama District. The Minister has ordered that we should green the place, to add to the aesthetic of the city.”

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