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Dogara’s Defection Didn’t Come As A Surprise – APC |The Republican News

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says that the reported defection of the Speaker House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, did not come to them as a surprise, accusing him of anti-party activities.

Reacting to the reported silent defection, the ruling party quipped that the comment by President Muhammadu Buhari that ‘weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our par, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection.

The statement signed by the Ag National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, read:

“We have received several media requests for a reaction to the purported defection of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Dogara from the APC to one of the opposition political parties, as reported in the media.

“In reacting, a recent comment by President Buhari, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection: “The weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our Party”.

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly where in connivance with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, he exploited all available avenues to sabotage and undermine the APC-led executive.

“Dogara’s anti-party activities which enabled one of the opposition party’s sole victory in Bogoro Local Government Area (Dogara’s council) during the recent Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election won by the APC is another pointer, among several others.

“Indeed, all politics is local. As a Party, we empathise with Dogara on his confusion and despair over his bleak political future given the fact that he is not on ground and a political paperweight in his home Bauchi state. In his emergence as Speaker, Dogara was merely used by his political master to achieve their selfish political ends at the time.

“They have since moved on to pursue their individual political aspirations and left Dogara in the cold. We would advise Dogara against his ill-advised decision to re-contest his House of Representatives seat under the opposition party he is linked with because a crushing and humiliating defeat surely awaits him.

“As a party, we remain united and committed to our progressives ideologies. We urge party faithful to consolidate on our strengths and collectively go into the 2019 general elections as a united and strong political fighting force to sustain the Change Agenda we are implementing for the benefit of Nigerians,” the statement read.   (The Sun)

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House Speaker, Dogara Dumps APC, Picks PDP Forms |The Republican News

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, may have finally defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.

Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday night that the embattled speaker had picked the PDP nomination and expression of interest forms to return to the House in 2019.

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity,  said that the speaker had picked the forms.

“Yes, he had picked our forms, but don’t quote me, he has joined us,” the source said last night.

Dogara had two days ago expressed his desire to return to the National Assembly in 2019 when members of his constituents visited him in Abuja.

However, he refused to state the political party that he would use to facilitate his ambition.

The Speaker had been having running battles with the leadership of the APC in both his state, Bauchi and at the national level.

Just like the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who had defected to the PDP from the APC,  Dogara had also absent from the activities of the ruling party.

Our correspondent gathered that the decision by Dogara was necessitated by the fear that his party no longer had faith in him.

With this decision, it is expected that he would announce his defection to his colleagues in the House when the National Assembly resumes after the political parties’ primaries. (Punch)

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R-APC House Of Representative Members Shift Mass Defection To Next Week |RN

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House of representative, Nigeria

John Ameh, Abuja

A planned defection of the members of the Reformed All Progressives Congress in the House of Representatives earlier scheduled for Thursday (yesterday), was shifted to next week, The PUNCH has learnt.

This came as the All Progressives Congress caucus convened an emergency meeting on Thursday, reportedly to drum support for President Muhammadu Buhari and seek ways to convince the R-APC faction to stick with the caucus.

Findings by The PUNCH indicated that Thursday’s meeting, which was convened by the House Majority Leader, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, lasted from 3.30pm to about 5.28pm.

One R-APC source said, “Discussions are ongoing and members want to concretise on strategies before the mass defection will take place.

“What is known is that the APC has given us signals that there is no accommodation for us in the party.

“We are looking forward to any time before July 26, which is Thursday, next week, to move.”

Lawmakers, noticeably from Oyo, Benue and Kwara states did not show up at the caucus meeting.

The PUNCH made fruitless efforts to get the comments of the members from those states on why they were absent at the meeting, which was held behind closed doors.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, also stayed away from the meeting, though he presided over the plenary of the House on Thursday.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Yussuff Lasun, too was absent, but his case was attributed to today’s primary of the APC for the Osun State governorship poll.

When Gbajabiamila hurried out of the venue of the meeting as it ended, he declined to make any categorical statement on the deliberations that took place indoors.

“I don’t dwell on rumours, I dwell on reality. Let that reality come first.

“There is no fire on the mountain, not at all”, he responded to a reporter’s question.

Gbajabiamila made efforts not to be drawn into speaking on the defection plot.

“Where did you find that out from? Let them (R-APC) go first. Talk is cheap,” he snapped.

Feeling confident, the Lagos lawyer added, “I am not scared at all.”

He would also not speak on speculation that Buhari was on the agenda of discussion as he continued to walk briskly away from the venue.

Recall that in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH last week, a member of the R-APC, Mr Razak Atunwa, said the group had tentacles across the country and would make real its plan within the shortest possible time.  (Punch)

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Senate: House Of Reps To Declare IGP Unfit For Public Office |The Republican News

By Philip Nyam

Ibrahim-Idris

Inspector General of Police, Idris K. Ibrahim

As a show of solidarity, the House of Representatives may this week concur with the position of the Senate by passing a resolution declaring the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, unfit to hold public office.

The Senate, last week, declared the IGP incompetent and unfit to hold any office and should be sacked from his position. A few days ago, the Senate reeled out a list of killings in the country since January 2018, to buttress its insistence that the IGP has failed in his responsibilities.

New Telegraph reliably gathered that the second chamber, the House of Representatives, will on resumption tomorrow, sponsor a motion to concur with the Senate position and call on President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve Idris of his duties.

The motion, which is to be moved on Tuesday, will be presented by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker from Rivers State, who is said to be a close ally of Governor Nyesom Wike.

A member of the group of lawmakers behind the historic motion told our correspondent in confidence that the House leadership and all members of the House were worried that the IGP has become untouchable and his antics pose a threat to democracy. “I can assure you, we are very uncomfortable with what is happening between the Senate and the IGP. It has never happened in the life of this parliament that an appointee of government would so treat the Senate with contempt. “We have to support the Senate because if the upper legislative is destroyed, it means the House will also be destroyed.

We will come up with a motion and concur with the resolution of the Senate. “If the IGP can so treat the highest law making body in this country with contempt, it means we have to rise up and tell Nigerian that as their true representatives we must defend democracy and their rights at all times,” the lawmaker revealed.

Although the Senate has insisted that the IGP must appear before it to answer questions relating to the arrest and subsequent arraignment of Senator Dino Melaye and the worsening insecurity in the country, the IGP has maintained that it is blackmail against the Force.  (New Telegraph)

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House Of Representatives Probe Aso Rock Clinic |The Republican News

house-chamber

Nigerian House Of Representatives

…Seek stiffer penalty for quackery

From: Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to investigate the deplorable condition of the State House Clinic and alleged deductions from the salaries and allowances of its medical staff.
The House, which commended the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, for speaking out about the state of the clinic, also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to undertake the investigation.
The Committee is expected to report back to the House within three weeks for further legislative action.
This followed a motion moved at yesterday’s plenary by Hon Henry Archibong.
This was coming as the House at Thursday’s plenary, passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act to increase penalties for persons convicted of quackery and other offences under the Act.
The bill sponsored by Hon. Dozie Nwankwo seeks to amend section17(5)(a)and (b) of the principal Act to increase penalty for quackery and other offences from a sum not exceeding N5000 to one million naira in the event of summary conviction, and a fine not exceeding five million naira or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both in the event of conviction or indictment.
Leading debate on the motion on the state House Clinic, Archibong said it is disheartening that despite huge allocations to the State House Clinic over the years, the clinic lacks the necessary drugs and equipment, needed to save lives.
The lawmaker expressed dismay that the state House Clinic which was established to take care of the needs of the President, his deputy and their families, as well as cater for the staff of the Presidential Villa lacks basic device like syringes.
According to him, since 2015 over N11.01 billion has been appropriated for the State House Clinic, yet there is nothing on the ground in the hospital to show for the huge expenditure.
Archibong said “in the last three years over N11.01 billion has been appropriated. But something as simple as syringes is not available in the clinic. If people that are supposed to administer the medical facilities cannot do so, it calls for concern.
“If this level of misappropriation can happen in the State House Clinic, let us imagine what happens to the other hospitals and the ordinary citizens, who go there for healthcare
“It is an embarrassment to this country. It is unacceptable that this amount has been spent and there is nothing to show for it. It can not happen in the smallest of Africa country, not to talk of America, Asia and Europe.
“It is unacceptable that the minister and the permanent secretary has not resigned in shame. “  (The Sun)

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House Of Reps Support Senate On Rejection Of Restructuring, Okay LG Autonomy

 house-chamber
                        House of Representatives

John Ameh, Abuja

Members of the House of Representatives, on Thursday, voted on new amendments proposed to the 1999 Constitution.

The House took largely the same position as the Senate, which voted on its own amendments on Wednesday.

But some of the striking differences included an amendment to give 35 per cent of ministerial slots to women.

However, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, told reporters that any amendment that failed in either of the chambers had failed automatically.

He said the House went ahead to vote differently on some items to make Nigerians know its position on the proposals.

“We have a bi-camera legislature and on this matter of the constitution, whatever we reject, that passed in the Senate, stands rejected.

“In the same way, any item rejected by Senate and passed by the House has failed automatically. But Nigerians must know where we stand,” he stated.

The amendments were proposed by the House Ad Hoc Committee on Constitution Review chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Yussuff Lasun.

The House voted to amend Section 147 of the constitution to approve that ministers must be appointed “within 30 days after the date the President has taken the oath of office.”

In sub-section (c), the House approved that “at least 35 per cent of persons appointed as ministers shall be women.”

A total of 248 members voted in support of the amendment while 48 opposed it and one abstained.

But a proposal for women to be accepted as indigenes in both their states of origin and those of their husbands failed.

A total of 208 members supported the amendment while 78 opposed it.

However, the 208 was not up to the required 240 two-thirds majorities provided in the constitution to pass it.

The House, unlike the Senate, rejected the appointment of a minister from the Federal Capital Territory.

On many other proposals, the House took the same position as the Senate.

For example, the House rejected devolution of powers; approved independent candidacy for elections; autonomy for local government councils; autonomy for state legislature; and immunity for members of the National Assembly.

On devolution of powers, 210 members voted to support it while 71 opposed it, with eight abstaining.

However, the proposal failed to pass the amendment because 210 was below the required 240 votes.

On autonomy for local governments, 281 members voted to approve it, while 12 were against it. One member abstained.

Lawmakers voted 288 to support immunity for members of the legislature “in respect of words spoken or written at plenary sessions or committee proceedings.”

On the votes for an independent candidacy, 275 members approved it while 14 kicked against it. There was one abstention.

A total of 292 members voted in support of the proposal on the restriction of tenure of office of the President and governor.

The proposal is an ‘A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the constitution to disqualify a person who was sworn-in as President or Governor to complete the term of elected President or Governor from being elected to the same office for more than a single term, and for related matters’.

This amendment was proposed to prevent a repeat of the scenario involving former President Goodluck Jonathan and the late President Umar Yar’Aua.

Jonathan had completed Yar’Adua’s remaining term when he died in 2010 and also contested the presidential election in 2011.

There were several incidents of rowdiness on Thursday, putting pressure on the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, to restore order.

One of such instances was when lawmakers attempted to reject the proposal on the reduction of age qualification for presidential and governorship aspirants.

Better known as ‘Not Too Young to Run’ bill, it seeks to reduce the age qualification for presidential aspirants to 35 years and governors, 30 years.

It also recommends 25 years for members of the House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly.

Although the Senate had passed the bill on Wednesday, some members in the lower House moved to reject it on Thursday.

As the plot to reject the bill leaked on the floor, some of the younger members broke out in a song, chanting “not too young to run”, “not too young to run.”

Sensing trouble, the House Majority Leader, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, appealed to members to pass the bill to send a message to younger Nigerians that they had space in the political space.

“Please, let us support this bill. For nothing, let us send a message to our people out there that we are with them,” he stated as the chanting continued.

When the voting took place eventually, 261 lawmakers endorsed it while 23 voted against it.

Earlier before voting commenced, a member from Osun State, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, tried to halt the process by saying that the House was progressing in error.

Alabi stood up to raise a point of order while Lasun, a fellow Osun lawmaker, was given the floor to present the amendments for voting.

But Dogara quickly corrected him that the House had long passed the stage he was quoting.

“You are taking us back. We passed this stage a long time ago. We have held hearings on the constitution and we are now at the point of voting.

“You are completely out of order. Take your seat,” Dogara added.

The House considered a total of 30 proposals, passed 21 and rejected nine items.

Under Section 9 of the constitution, any passed by the National Assembly must still secure the approval of a two-thirds majority (24) of the 36 state Houses of Assembly before it would be included in the constitution.    (Punchng.com)

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IKOYIGATE PROBE: We Are Under Pressure, Say Reps |The Republican News

From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja 

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Sani Jaji, has alleged that some powerful forces have been putting immense pressure on the House to influence the outcome of the investigation by the committee into the $43million loot discovered in a flat in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He said in a statement yesterday, that pressure and unsolicited advice were coming from different quarters all aimed at influencing the report of his committee.
He, however, vowed that the House would get to the root of the matter, adding that Nigerians deserved to know the truth.
He claimed: “There have been attempts on me as the chairman of the committee and members of the committee on what direction the investigation should take and the possible outcome of the report.
“There has been a lot of frustration but this has not in any way affected us because we remain committed to our cause.
“Though there is no monetary inducement these pressures are in form of text messages and physical contacts about what we should do, what we should not do, that we should dwell on this and not on that.
“They say this or that agency has a reputation that should not be put on the line, so we should not go beyond certain extent but we tell them that our determination is to safeguard the name and integrity of our institutions.
“But we tell them it is not fair to castigate an entire agency for the wrongdoing of an agency and that is why we want to protect our institutions by getting to the roots of these infractions and expose the individuals responsible.
“In continuation of the mandate given the committee by the House, we just met with the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, in relation to the $43million discovered in an apartment in Ikoyi and the meeting was very fruitful.
“We have been meeting with relevant stakeholders concerned in this matter before now, having met with Magu, it is our resolve to pursue this matter to a logical conclusion because more revelations are coming out.
“It should be understood that we cannot come out with some of these facts now since the investigation is not concluded yet. It is our mandate to find out the owner of that apartment and the ownership of the money, notwithstanding that the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) has laid claim to both.
“Notwithstanding the sensitivity of the assignment, the EFCC has been able to give us some important information in relation to the money.”
Jaji said the committee would meet with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele and the suspended Director-General of the NIA this week.          (The Sun)

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