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

By Philip Nyam


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)

Continue reading


Court Annuls Omo-Agege’s Suspension |The Republican News

By Tunde Oyesina


Senator Omo-Agege

…orders immediate reinstatement


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday voided the suspension of the Senator representing Delta Central in the Senate, Ovie Omo- Agege, by the Senate. The court, in a judgment delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, held that the reason the Senate adduced for suspending Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days, was unconstitutional.

The court further noted that the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the Senate recommended that Omo-Agege should be suspended to punish him for instituting legal action against the legislative house.

The court held that while the Senate has the powers to sanction its erring members to protect its integrity, no institution or authority has the powers to strip any citizen his right of access to the court.

Justice Dimgba further noted that whereas Sections 67(4) of the Senate Standing Rules 2014 and section 21(2) of the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act, okayed the suspension of any erring lawmakers for 14 legislative days, the Senate went ahead and handed Omo- Agege 90 days suspension. According to him: “The suspension of the plaintiff for 90 days is ultra-vires of powers of the 1st defendant (Senate)”.

He added that “any suspension of a member of the Senate that exceeds 14 days is null and void and unconstitutional”. Justice Dimgba held that his decision to set aside the action of the Senate was based on Prayer Eight in the suit that urged the court to make any order it deems fit in the circumstance of the case.

Consequently, he ordered the Senate to recall the plaintiff immediately and equally pay him any salary or allowance that accrued to him within the period he was illegally suspended. Omo-Agege had, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/314/2018, prayed the court to quash his suspension and declare that he was illegally barred from attending plenary at the Senate.

Aside from the Senate and its President, Dr Bukola Saraki, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, was equally cited as a defendant in the suit dated March 26. (New Telegraph)

Continue reading


Dino Melaye: Senate To Grill IGP On Live TV Today |The Republican News



Adelani Adepegba and Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

Tempers flared at the Senate on Wednesday when lawmakers debated the arrest and detention of Senator Dino Melaye by the police over alleged involvement in gun-running.

The Senate, after a debate that lasted over one hour, resolved to step down all the items on the order paper and adjourn plenary.

Several lawmakers, who spoke alleged that policemen prevented them from seeing Melaye at the National Hospital Abuja, where he is undergoing treatment over the injuries he sustained from his alleged attempt to escape on Tuesday when he was being taken to Kogi State.

They, therefore, resolved that the plenary be adjourned to allow the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to lead them to the hospital, alleging that policemen guarding Melaye were preventing them from seeing the senator.

The senators also resolved that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, be summoned to appear before the lawmakers at the plenary on Thursday (today) over Melaye’s case and the killings by herdsmen and militias across the country.

Saraki said, “Just to re-emphasise the point: tomorrow morning, by 11am, Senator Abu Ibrahim (who is Chairman, Committee on Police Affairs), by the resolution on the motion, the IG should be here to address us in plenary.

“We will take the issue of Senator Dino and we will also use that opportunity to take the recent killings in the last one week, of close to a hundred in the country.

“Clerk, because of the importance of this, please inform your coverage people (Nigerian Television Authority). It should be live tomorrow, to discuss the issue of security in the country.”

While the lawmakers called for a delegation to visit Melaye at the hospital, Saraki informed them that he had earlier in the day sent one led by the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

Briefing the Senate about the visit, Na’Allah said the police and the hospital had not fed Melaye since they arrested him for fear of being implicated.

Na’Allah also said the police and the hospital’s management, however, asked that any volunteer could feed him, provided that such an individual was ready to taste the food before it would be given to Melaye.

The Deputy Majority Leader added that the police had attempted to take Melaye out of the facility but were told that an undertaking must be signed for the lawmaker to be discharged, the reason why he had remained in the hospital.

Na’Allah said, “…Lastly, there was an insistence to remove him from the National Hospital but the management told them that an undertaken must be signed that whatever happens will be on them. That is what is keeping Dino at the National Hospital to date because nobody is willing to sign.”

In his remarks, Saraki said it had shown from the emotions displayed by the senators that the matter “has gone beyond us sending representatives.”

The Senate President said, “Also, because of the importance of this, the issue of the IGP briefing us should be immediate and that should be tomorrow (Thursday).”

Saraki said that he had not been able to reach the IG since 48 hours. He said efforts by him to get the police boss to discuss the security situation in the country had failed.

The debate on Melaye began when Senator Samuel Anyanwu raised a point of order to condemn the police over how Melaye was treated like “a common criminal” by security operatives on Tuesday.

Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, stated that “coercion cannot work,” stressing that it was not the way things should be done. He called for due process, especially as the matter was already in the court and the court had not issued an arrest warrant against Melaye.

Also, Senator Isa Misau asked why the police were bent on forcefully taking Melaye to Kogi State when the force had alleged that the lawmaker committed the crime in Abuja. He warned that Melaye’s relocation to Kogi might spark protests and violence.

Misau pointed out that if the police had the personnel strength to deploy about a hundred men to guard a person in a hospital, the policemen should be redeployed in Zamfara or Benue “where killings are taking place every day.”

Also speaking, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who stated that she was not in support of what happened to Melaye, said, “If Senators Dino Melaye and Ovie-Omo Agege can be taken away by the police, it destroys the sanctity of this chamber.”

Shortly after the plenary was adjourned, Saraki led some senators to the National Hospital where they first met with a former Speaker of the House of Representatives who is now the Chairman of the Governing Board of the hospital, Mrs Patricia Etteh; and the Chief Medical Director, Dr Jeff Momoh.

Etteh and Momoh later led the lawmakers to the National Trauma Centre within the premises where Melaye was being treated. They spent about 20 minutes in the building, which was manned by about 50 armed policemen.

After the visit, Saraki said, “After the sitting of the Senate today, we decided to come here because for 24 hours we have not heard or known the state of Senator Dino. We are happy that we have seen him. He is under intensive care. He is stable for now. He has not eaten for the past 24 hours. We are trying to resolve that. He is on fluids and he has been seen by a cardiologist and all specialists.”

Asked whether Melaye was handcuffed to his bed as reported, Saraki said, “No, he is not in handcuffs.”

But it was gathered that the police had earlier on Wednesday handcuffed Melaye on his hospital bed at the National Hospital, Abuja, apparently to prevent him from escaping.

The handcuffs were however removed shortly before senators led by the Senate President visited him at the trauma centre of the hospital.

The NAH spokesman, Dr Tayo Haastrup, confirmed on Wednesday that Melaye was still receiving treatment, adding that he could not provide information on his health.

“I didn’t see handcuffs on him when the senators visited him this (Wednesday) afternoon. The doctors are still treating him, so I can’t comment on his health,” Haastrup stated.

The police did not respond to inquiries about the alleged handcuffs on Melaye. The force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, did not respond to calls and he had yet to reply an SMS seeking his reaction as of the time of filing this report.  (Punch)

Continue reading


Photo News: Police Stop Senate Delegation From Seeing Dino Melaye In Hospital |RN

By Michael Abimboye


The Police on Wednesday denied the Senate leadership from visiting Senator Dino Melaye in the National Hospital, Abuja.

The senators were stopped by police officers stationed at the hospital.

The delegation was led by Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Na’Allah.

It included Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha and Deputy Chief of Staff to Senate President, Hon. Gbenga Makanjuola.

(New Telegraph)

Continue reading


EFCC Detains Nwaoboshi While Police Hunts For Melaye |The Republican News

By Onwuka Nzeshi, Chukwu David and Emmanuel Onani Abuja

This is not the best of time for some members of the Senate. Two of the senators are now in the eyes of the storm.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has for about eight days detained Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North) over alleged fraud.

Also, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) was yesterday prevented from travelling abroad while armed policemen laid siege to his Abuja residence.

Nwaoboshi was arrested over the purchase of a 12-storey “Guinea House” in Lagos and alleged corruption in the equipment contract he got from the Delta State Government.

The building was owned by Delta State before the sale.

The lawmaker purchased the building for N805 million through his company, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited.

Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North Senatorial District, was detained after interrogation on April 17.

EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwajare, confirmed that the senator is in custody.

The Delta lawmaker has asked supporters to be calm and law-abiding, saying his ordeal was the handiwork of “detractors”.

A statement by his media aide, Hon. Andy Onyemeziem, read thus: “We hereby bring to the notice of the general public that on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Senator (Barr.) Peter Onyeluka Nwaoboshi was detained by the EFCC after series of interrogation over some pending issues part of which is already before the court.

“While, formal charges have been filed against him by the Commission, however, attention is drawn to the ill-treatment meted against his person.

“As a law-abiding citizen, who believes fervently in the rule of law, the senator urges his teeming supporters and well-wishers to remain calm and steadfast to the laws of the land as this is the handwork of detractors, who are bent on tainting the senator’s image and throwing cogs in the wheels of his good works for the Anioma people, the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.”

Meanwhile, it was a day of drama yesterday as armed policemen laid siege to the residence of Senator Melaye, the vocal lawmaker who has been very critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in recent months.

Hordes of policemen barricaded the entrance to the palatial Signature House located on Sangha Street, Maitama and prevented human and vehicular movement in and out of the mansion.

They also blocked the street with their patrol van while a number of the armed policemen took strategic positions beside the perimeter fence of the building.

A few hours after the Police arrived the building, a group of protesters also besieged the lawmaker’s residence in protest and offered to be arrested along with Melaye.

Melaye was earlier yesterday arrested and prevented from travelling abroad by men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The lawmaker, who was on his way to Morocco to attend a Federal Government-sponsored programme was briefly detained at the airport before he was released.

New Telegraph learnt that following his encounter with the immigration officials, Melaye returned to his home in Abuja only for the armed policemen to arrive there seeking to arrest him.

The leader of the Police Squad, an Assistant Commissioner of Police dressed in plain clothes declined to state the reason behind the siege.

The man who also declined to give his name was courteous when our correspondent approached him but he declined to comment on the reason for the siege and how long it would last.

When New Telegraph asked him what their mission was he said: “We are here to do our job. I know why we are here but I have to keep that close to my chest.

If you want details, you can go to the Force Headquarters or call the Force PRO,” he said

Addressing journalists at the venue, the Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda, condemned the development.

He said he had visited the house in order to report back to the presiding and principal officers of the Senate.

Aduda said: “Some of us came here with a view to reporting to the presiding officers and principal officers on what we have seen.

“I will report appropriately on what I saw, but I  don’t believe this should happen.” Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), Mr Frank Tietie, who addressed journalists at the scene of the siege, expressed disappointment at the action of the Police, describing it as an attempt by the Federal Government to silence critics and intimidate all dissenting voices in the country.

Tietie, a human rights activist and lawyer, said it was disheartening that while Nigerians were being killed every day in different theatres of conflict, the security agencies have chosen to silence the lone voice that has been speaking against the killings and injustice in the land.

Tietie challenged the Nigeria Police to tender a court order or any other legal instrument which justifies the invasion of Melaye’s residence and holding him to ransom.

On the argument that Melaye was being hounded by the security agencies because of a pending case against him in Lokoja, Kogi State, the human right activist said the lawmaker cannot answer to the charges because the Police had failed to guarantee his safety in Kogi State.

Meanwhile, some protesters have also besieged the same residence of the embattled lawmaker, vowing to go into detention with him if the Police arrest him.

The protesters numbering over 40 were said to have been drawn from the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Abuja.

Melaye has been having a running battle with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and the Federal Government, leading to the Police declaring him wanted on an allegation that he was sponsoring some armed criminals and gun runners in Kogi State.               (New Telegraph)

Continue reading


Senator Omo-Agege Arrested For Stealing The Senate Mace |The Republican News



Senator Ovie Omo-Agege


Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has been arrested by the Nigerian police for mace theft.

Mr Omo Agege was picked immediately after plenary by policemen who ushered the Senator into a waiting pickup van.

The lawmaker was suspended by the Senate for 90 days last week.

He, however, attended the plenary today.

The Senate had accused him of leading the armed men who stormed the chamber and snatched the mace while plenary was on.   (New Telegraph)

Details later…

Continue reading


Election Sequence: NASS Assembles Lawyers, Experts To Tackle Buhari |RN


Ismail Omipidan

Ahead of today’s proceedings at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, the National Assembly has assembled a team of lawyers, made up of at least six senior advocates and other experts knowledgeable in law and law drafting to assist it as it concludes plans to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto of the 2018 Electoral Bill, Daily Sun has learnt.

Following Buhari’s refusal to sign the bill last Tuesday, Accord Party (AP) had rushed to the court last Wednesday, to stop the National Assembly from activating the relevant provisions of the constitution to override Buhari’s veto.

Although the Senate had last Thursday resolved to write the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, to caution his judges with a view to asking them to respect the principle of separation of powers, Daily Sun could not readily ascertain if the letter had been written.

What Daily Sun can, however, confirm that the leadership of both chambers has assembled a team of lawyers and experts to guide it “appropriately and accordingly “.

All the sources contacted yesterday confirmed the development, adding that one of the presiding officers of the National Assembly is expected to receive his experts’ opinion on Monday evening.

Picking holes on the three grounds which President Buhari relied on to refuse assent to the bill, one of the experts said: “I think that the first ground has been adequately dealt with. No need repeating it. Suffice it to say, however, that what this amendment seeks to do is to prevent INEC from being influenced by any incumbent president to determine election sequence by making it statutory. In the US where we borrow from, everyone knows when the presidential election will hold. That is what our legislators want to achieve with the latest amendment.

“Two, there is nothing in the Act that limits candidates’ right to free and fair electoral review. You recall the case of Abia where the nation was apprehensive about whether or not the governorship election was going to be nullified on the basis of tax clearance. But in the constitution, not having a tax clearance certificate is not among the grounds of disqualification. The courts too were giving conflicting judgments, thereby expanding the scope of issues of disqualification. All these issues are not constitutional requirements and as such should not be grounds for disqualification. So what the new law sought to cure is to ensure that grounds for disqualification are strictly in accordance with the constitution.

“On the third issue, what the 2018 Electoral Act prescribes is national minimum best practices. If you look at the Second Schedule of the constitution, part 2, item 11, it gives the National Assembly the power to make law for the procedure regulating elections in LGs. And item 12 goes further to state that whatever laws the state House of Assembly is making must be consistent with the one made by the National Assembly as it relates to LG elections. So you can see that those advising Mr President are not giving him sound advice concerning these issues. What we are doing is to help our lawmakers’ deepen our democracy. We must strive to build a strong institution and not strong man. That is what 2018 Electoral Act is out to achieve. We see INEC’s release of a 35 –year timetable as preemptive” one of the expert said.    

But INEC dismissed the charge, saying that it rolled out a 35-year timetable to entrench the culture of proper planning for elections in the country.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Lawrence, the Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said “nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, the Commission did not roll out a 35-year election schedule. Those who have this impression are missing the important point.  (The Sun)

Continue reading