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Magu: I’m Glad Senate Didn’t Confirm My Appointment |The Republican News

EFCC Boss, Ibrahim Magu

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe

 

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, said on Thursday that he was glad the Senate refused to confirm him as the substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency.

Magu said if the Senate had confirmed him, perhaps he would not have been able to perform as much as he had done.

The acting chairman said this before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja where he was testifying in a libel suit he filed against The Sun Newspaper.

Magu had sued publishers of the Sun Newspaper for a series of publications which he described as libellous and injurious to his character.

The EFCC boss who sued the publishers before Justice Doris Okuwobi claimed N5bn damages and also demanded that The Sun Newspapers should publish an apology and retract the alleged libellous publications.

Magu, under cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Charles Enwelunta, said he was not worried that he had been rejected by the Senate twice.

He said, “I have been rejected by the Senate twice and it does not worry me that I’m not confirmed; I’m not bothered. It’s good that they did not confirm me, I may not be able to work very well as we have been able to get over 700 convictions.”

He claimed before the court that he had only one house in the Karo area of Abuja as against the publication of The Sun Newspaper alleging that two houses were traced to his wife by the Department of State Services.

Magu dismissed as false The Sun Newspaper’s publication of March 25, 2017, titled ‘Magu under fresh probe,’ which claimed that two houses located in a highbrow area in Maitama, Abuja were traced to his wife and that he was under discreet investigation by the DSS.

He said, “Since I came to the EFCC, nobody has investigated me. I am not under any probe, the publication is totally false. Even if I have the money, I wouldn’t buy houses in Maitama.

“My wife is a civil servant. We only have one house sold to us in Karo, Abuja. The publication is completely untrue.

“I want to tell you the damage it has done to me. It was not done to me alone, it has gone down my lineage, the entire family, and it has done so much wrong. It has done so much damage.”

Justice Okuwobi adjourned the matter till February 28, 2019 for further proceedings. (Punch)

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Four Lawmakers, Four National Assembly Aspirants In Bauchi Dump APC |RN

               

Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi

 

Four members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, including the Deputy Speaker, Abdulmumini Fanti, have dumped the All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Redemption Party.

Two senatorial and two House Representative aspirants also dumped the APC.

Member representing Bauchi Constituency, Mr. Abdullahi Shehu, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Bauchi on Sunday evening.

Shehu claimed that he and his colleagues left the APC with over 300,000 of their supporters.

He said, “Three members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly and I have left the APC for good. The party’s injustice and mandate theft in the direct primaries conducted on October 7 are some of our reasons for dumping the party.

“Our people chose us to be candidates while the party leadership denied us the mandate. The next option for us is to opt out of the party.”

He listed other lawmakers who left the party with him to include Fanti, (Alkaleri Constituency); Ibrahim Katagum (Katagum Constituency); and Auwal Hassan, (Shira Constituency).

“Two aspirants who contested Bauchi South and Central senatorial tickets under the APC, Lawan Ibrahim and Bappah Misau, have also joined the PRP.

“Two ex-lawmakers (who are House of Representative aspirants), Abdulmumini Ningi and Dayyabu Chiroma have also defected to the PRP.

“We defected along with 300,000 supporters to the PRP to salvage the state from the APC,” he added.

The state Chairman of PRP, Alhaji Shehu Ningi, confirmed to journalists that the former APC members had joined the party after they were “cheated and denied tickets” in their former party.    (Punch)

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Buhari Will Fight To Have A Better Senate In 2019 – Remi Tinubu |The Republican News

                                                   Senator Remi Tinubu

Mudiaga Affe

 

The senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Oluremi Tinubu, has expressed the belief that President Muhammadu Buhari will work hard to ensure that the nation has a better Senate in the 9th Assembly.

She said it was important for the President to do so in order to forestall a repeat of the present situation in which she said the upper chamber of the National Assembly was populated by some people who are frustrating Buhari’s efforts aimed at repositioning the country.

Tinubu spoke in Lagos on Saturday during a media luncheon where she unveiled her plans for the senatorial district for 2019-2023.

While responding to questions from journalists on the strained relationship between the legislative and executive arms of government, she said some members of the 8th Assembly were bent on frustrating Buhari’s programmes.

She said she was sure that Buhari would not want a repeat of what he witnessed with members of the present National Assembly.

She, therefore, urged Nigerians to re-elect Buhari for another term in order to complete his task.

Tinubu also called on Nigerians not to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party because the main opposition party was responsible for the hardships currently being experienced in the country.

She said Buhari would have learnt in his three and a half years in office that his inaugural statement that “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” was not exactly the way he thought.

She said, “I believe the President would have learnt a thing or two because when he came in, he said ‘I belong to everybody and belong to nobody.’ But I know by now that he knows those people that belong to him.

“What I am saying is not to take the President’s comment for granted, but now, I am sure he knows that some Nigerians are very dangerous to his decisions, even moving forward. The President should know those who are his own by now.

“It is a lesson to him and I know that he would fight to ensure that we have a better Senate in the 9th Assembly, not what we have now with a set of people who are frustrating his efforts. I do not think he would want to go through that route again.”

Tinubu said a term of four years was not enough for the President, hence the need for Nigerians to give the ruling All Progressives Congress another chance in 2019.

“Nigerians should give the APC another chance in 2019; four years is not enough for a President to complete his task, he is not a magician. We did not get to where we are overnight,” she said.

Speaking on her plan to return to the Senate, Tinubu said the leaders of her senatorial district convinced her to seek re-election.

“I am doing a third term because the leaders of my district asked me to contest. Beyond that, there is so much more to be done.

“I have shown through our quarterly town hall meetings that power belongs to and rests with the people. This third term is thus a chance to consolidate on previous achievements.

“To ensure that the third term is even more productive, we have set out to focus more on empowering our youths and finding ways to make them self-reliant.

“Through our quarterly town hall meetings, 27 in the series, I have been able to bond more effectively with our constituents,” she added.   (Punch)

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Offa Robbery: Court Summons Saraki Over Fresh Criminal Complaint |RN

                                               Senate President Bukola Saraki

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

A Grade I Area Court in Aco Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to serve a summons on the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to compel him to face a criminal complaint initiated against him by a private lawyer in respect of the bloody bank robbery in which many died in Offa, Kwara State, earlier this year.

The criminal complaint was initiated by an Abuja-based lawyer and rights activist, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, whose lawyer told the court on Monday that the IGP had given assurance that the necessary court papers would be served on the Senate President.

The police had said their investigations linked Saraki to the kingpin of the robbery operation.

The Senate President is the sole defendant in the criminal complaint initiated by the private lawyer.

The criminal complaint marked, CR/196/2018, was said to have been initiated by Ojaomo under Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

It sought Saraki to be summoned for allegedly ignoring police invitation to answer to an allegation involving the investigation of the suspects of the Offa robbery.

The complaint stated that Saraki’s alleged refusal to honour the invitation amounted to obstructing a criminal investigation and disobeying a public officer carrying out a lawful responsibility.

This alleged conduct, it said, was an offence punishable under Section 136 and 149 of the Penal Code Law.

The judge handling the case at the Grade 1 Area Court, Aco Estate, Lugbe, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Abdullahi Garuba Ogbede, had, on September 10 this year, ordered the issuance of a summons on Idris following Saraki’s absence from court.

On Monday, the complainant’s lawyer, Mr E. S. Marcus, said he was informed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the Legal Unit of the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, identified as Mahmoud, that the IGP had directed the legal unit to ensure the prompt service of the court papers on Saraki before the next hearing date of October 3, 2018.

He said, “The defendant is not in court. At the last date, the court issued a witness summons on the IGP to come and show cause why the police failed to effect service of the criminal summons, warrant of arrest and other processes on the defendant.

“The witness summons was served on the Nigeria Police Force by the court’s registry.

“However, we received a call from DSP Mahmoud of the Legal Department of the Nigeria Police Force headquarters, that the matter has been assigned by the IGP to a particular unit of the NPF to effect the service of the summons on the defendant and arrest him.”

Marcus explained in court on Monday that his client, who was supposed to bear the responsibility of serving Saraki with the complaint, had to resort to seeking the IGP’s involvement in accordance with Section 122 of the ACJA, when it became difficult for him to serve the Senate President.

According to the lawyer, the Inspector-General of Police is required, under the law, to either produce the defendant in court or attend court to explain why the defendant was absent.

He then applied to the court to grant a short adjournment to enable the police to serve the processes on Saraki.

The judge, Ogbede, granted Marcus’ request and adjourned the case till October 3.

The criminal complaint against the Senate President read, “Criminal complaint brought pursuant to Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015. Please, cause a summons for a direct criminal complaint on the defendant on the following terms:

“That you, Dr Bukola Saraki, on or about the 24th day of July, 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did refuse to honour the invitation of the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force to report at the police headquarters in FCT, Abuja to answer to  an allegation involving the investigation of  some criminal suspects involved in a case which the Nigeria Police Force is currently investigating, thereby obstructing a criminal investigation and disobeying a public officer carrying out a lawful  responsibility.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 136 and 149 of the Penal Code Law, whereas, the complainant is praying the court to charge the defendant accordingly.” (Punch)

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Saraki’s Time Is Over, Says Oshiomhole |The Republican News

Adams-oshiomhole-new3

“I think Saraki’s time is over. He fails to understand that the Nigerian national projcect is not at his mercy or the mercy of his own dynasty.”

Excerpts of an address by the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE, at a press conference in Abuja last week

Basically, to respond to some of the issues raised by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the press conference he addressed two days ago. It is important we addressed some of the issues he canvassed so that the public is not misled into turning villains into heroes and twisting the facts that are really no secret to the Nigerian public. But it is important that we help the public to refresh their memories and arrive at their own individual judgement.

First, the Senate President raised the issue of the fact that he has always acted not on the basis of his own personal interest; that he has always acted on the basis of national interest. The truth is it is doubtful if the Senate President has ever acted either in the national interest or in the interest of his own political party before his defection recently.

Without going back to ancient history, suffice to start by looking at how, in the first instance, Senator Bukola Saraki became the President of the Senate. He decided, clearly against the party’s position, to enter into a deal with the opposition PDP and got a faction of the PDP and taking advantage of the provisions in the Constitution to side with him while the majority of the APC senators were having a meeting at the International Conference Centre in order to resolve the issue of leadership of the Senate and other principal officers of the Senate that is expected to be produced by the ruling party with majority senators in the Senate. Because he had put his personal interest over and above the interest of the party when he went into alliance with the PDP and he conceded the position of Deputy Senate President to the opposition in order to obtain the support of the opposition for him, Senator Saraki, to become the Senate President.

So, for the first time in our democratic history in Nigeria, we had a situation, which, whereas the APC has the majority in the Senate, the Senate went on to elect a PDP person as Deputy Senate President. This action alone portrays Senator Saraki for who he is; his personal interest comes before any other interest, including the national interest, including the interest of his political party. Having gone into this unholy alliance with the opposition and mortgaged the right of the ruling party, he proceeded to appoint opposition senators to head strategic committees whose activities can affect, either for good or for bad, the workings of the government and relationship between the government and the legislature. Senator Saraki did that in order to continue to protect himself against the wish of his party as Senate President. Again, that shows that the only thing that was always constant in the mind of Senator Saraki was how to cling on to power even if it means at the expense of his party or even of the country, and I will speak to that.

You do not need to be a political activist or a partisan politician to appreciate that, in an election year, every government around the world will do everything possible to ensure that it is seen to be working for the people of the country. So, like any other, the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians expected that it will do everything possible this year to make up for lost time in terms of budget implementation and addressing critical infrastructures without which sustainable development is impossible.

The Senate under Saraki chose instead to delay the budget up to the end of the first half of the year, to coincide with the period of the rainy season such that those aspects of infrastructure such as roads, for example, cannot really be constructed during the rainy season. These were not errors of the head on the part of Senator Saraki’s leadership. They were clearly designed to frustrate the capacity of President Buhari’s government to address the physical infrastructural deficit without which the ordinary man in the street cannot feel the impact of governance. Again, I want to plead that I am not about to reveal anything. On receipt of the budget by Mr President, after going through it, Mr President cried out that the budget that was handed over to him by the National Assembly under the leadership of the Senate President was a clear distortion of the well-thought-out budget proposal that was submitted to the National Assembly. Whereas Mr President appreciates that the National Assembly could make some alterations in the budget, he did not expect that the budget would be completely rewritten and so grossly distorted as to make far more provisions for recurrent expenditure such that there is very little left for capital projects without which the Nigerian people cannot benefit from governance. And the President said this budget would be difficult to implement. You have all heard the stories of budget padding and no budget padding, but on this occasion, I would rather not delve into those.

So, when I say that the Senate President has never put Nigeria first, I support this statement by the deliberate delay of the budget and the deliberate manipulation of provisions in the budget in a way that it would compromise the commitment of the government to address critical infrastructure. It is by now not a secret that as, Senate President, he conspired with others to try to create a sense of division within the ruling party, having failed to truncate the convention, where they assembled a couple of people who were neither delegates nor contestants for any of the offices at the convention to purport
to have formed a political party. There is nothing for me to add to the illegality of this action and the false foundation that the Senate President tried to lay. However, upon his illegal defection, which he had to do hurriedly because of the number of senators who he was playing on their fears that they would not be able to return to the Senate or that if they return they would be heading to prison if President Buhari is reflected. So, he had a situation whereby about 36 senators, who were on his list to defect, but consequent upon our election and our assumption of office, we took pre-emptive steps to reassure those senators. Many of you would not have witnessed the fact that the first meeting we had, a day after the convention, Sunday, June 24, 2018, the first person we met was Senator Bukola Saraki, to try to listen to whatever his grievances were and this I did in the company of the Vice President. At least, he was able to confess to that, when I tried to listen to negotiable or verifiable grievances. But, however, his real grievances are not negotiable. Which is about ambition, about values, and conflicting values of him as a person and the values of the APC. However, when he defected, however illegal his action was, he went to Ilorin to tell Ilorin people part of the truth, when he said, among other things, that he was leaving for two major reasons. Number one was that he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari gave out over 200 juicy jobs without allocating some juicy jobs to him. And, he chose to speak for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, that even Dogara also was not given juicy positions. Again, I would have thought that not being a union leader, it is not for him to speak for the Speaker. The Speaker is well capable of speaking for himself. That is aside from the key issue, which was that he lamented that he was not given a share of the so-called 200 juicy positions. I asked, giving Senator Bukola Saraki, Senate President, juicy position, does that coincide with Nigeria’s public interest? Does that coincide with the interest of the people of Kwara State or the interest of the people of Senator Saraki’s senatorial district? At no time did he refer to the interest of his own constituency or the interest of Nigerians. The second reason he gave was that he was being persecuted. Again, even that, the alleged persecution of his person, not persecution of his people. Again, he never pretended that any of these actions have to do with the good people of Nigeria, they have to do with his person, to the extent that the alleged personal persecution of his person, not that of Kwara State people, or the people of his constituency or Nigerians. But, I think the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, was more explicit in corroborating Senator Saraki’s claim when he said he, as a governor, and Senator Saraki as Senate President, was being linked to armed robbery cases as part of their reason for defecting. Again, nothing to do with the Nigerian project, nothing to do with Kwara State people. However, what is the truth, as he linked the Senate President to armed robbery? Was it the Federal Government or arrested armed robbers? It was armed robbers who were arrested that alleged that the weapons with which they carried out their heinous crime, including the killing of about 35 indigenes of Kwara State, somewhere in Offa, that those weapons were procured for them. They made that allegation according to a police report, which is now known everywhere, so it is not a secret to be declassified

In support of my thesis that the Senate President has never acted with the Nigerian national interest in view, my final submission is the way in which he adjourned the Senate about two weeks ago. The Senate calendar is not a secret to the presiding officer of the Senate. The Senate calendar that was known was that the Senate was going to adjourn on a Thursday. By Tuesday morning or Monday night, Senator Saraki used his guest house, wrote out names of senators with provisions meant for signatories, for senators to decamp to the PDP from the APC. Happily, some of the senators present refused to sign. And that was what frustrated his calculation that by the time he was done, he was going to turn APC into a minority party in the Senate. For careful observers, is it a coincidence that as the Senate President was reading defections, his counterpart in the House of Representatives was also simultaneously reading the names of those who defected. So, there was a coordination for defection day. But happily, the pre-emptive steps we have taken to address those with genuine grievances frustrated their number such that from 36, he could not get more than 14 senators to decamp. This was on a Tuesday, the calendar of the Senate stated that they were going to adjourn on a Thursday. So, between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Senate was expected, like I confirmed from the Senate Leader, to look into the supplementary budget for INEC. What INEC requirement is not the equipment you buy from the shelf. You must order them and make allowance for the manufacturers to produce them. You don’t buy them the way you buy a pack of cigarettes from the shelf. So, time is of the essence.

However, the Senate under Saraki’s directive adjourned without considering the matter that was before it, including the budget for INEC. Now, if Senator Saraki adjourned the Senate ahead of schedule to resume towards the end of party nominations, can that act be said to coincide with the national interest? If you decide to frustrate the INEC by denying it the funding that it requires, can you be said to be a defender of democracy? If INEC doesn’t get their funds and, therefore, are unable to conduct a credible election, would that not lead to further serious consequences for our democratic process and our democratic environment?

He also made an unsubstantiated allegation to the effect that the event of last Tuesday, that it was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment. How can a presiding office arrive at that conclusion that there was a plan to carry out an illegal impeachment? Until an action takes place how can you determine the status? If the act of impeachment is unlawful then you can probably understand where he is coming from. But, the truth is that it is lawful to impeach anyone including the President of the Senate, including the Deputy President of the Senate if the number required to do so is present. So, he cannot preempt that. As they say, you don’t have to be a pathological liar to understand this general saying that once you start with one lie you would need series of lies to support that one lie. I don’t want to use the word lies to characterise the action or the statements of the Senate President. Let us look at the facts. From their own statement, they said they were aware that the Senate President was illegally going to be impeached and, therefore, they mobilised thugs, their journalists, cameramen and video to the Senate building. They had told the world that they had adjourned till September 25. Meanwhile, about 15 PDP senators were in the Senate and for the effect they imported hundreds of thugs that molested one or two of our members that were sighted in the premises. And, in order to expose the lie, I ask you as defenders of democracy, did you find any APC senator in the Senate? So, if APC senators were not in the Senate and it was PDP senators that were in the Senate, what is the basis of the false claim that there was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment?

If he does not resign as Senate President, he will be impeached according to law, not by thuggery or anything that is undemocratic. He cannot sustain a minority rule in the Senate and that is what is hurting him as we speak. They have about 48 senators, we have 53 senators. So, how can 48 senators preside over 53 senators?

Let me conclude by saying that when I say the Senate President will be impeached, he will be impeached according to the law. And, the Constitution is clear on how a presiding officer can be impeached. And, because several impeachments have taken place, both on former Senate Presidents
and former Speakers, we are not about to witness what has never happened before; we have enough precedence to all back on.

I have looked at the Nigerian Constitution. It does not say that an impeachment, once mooted is by itself illegal. Until it is done and you look at how it is done, you cannot arrive at a conclusion whether the process was lawful or unlawful. I think Saraki’s time is over. The way he has manipulated the politics of Kwara State, he fails to understand that the Nigerian national project is far more complicated and it is not at his mercy or the mercy of his own dynasty.  (The Sun)

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To Sack Me, Seats Of All Defectors In Senate Must Also Be Declared Vacant – Akpabio

godswill-akpabio
                         Senator Godswill Akpabio

Senator Godswill Akpabio (APC-Akwa Ibom) says any move to declare his seat vacant in the Senate will prove abortive.

He said though he had yet to hear about it, if his seat must be declared vacant, the seats of those who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party should also be declared vacant.

Akpabio made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

According to him, if the excuse of those calling for his seat to be declared vacant is that there is no rancour in PDP to warrant his defection, they should also know that there is no rancour in APC.

“Any defection from APC to PDP, we will like to declare those seats vacant.

“As you are looking at me, do I look perturbed? I have not heard the report.

“I think that is a rumour because, at the moment, there is no division in the APC. The APC is one family.

“If you hear about R-APC that was not really a political party, that was not a division.

“It has since been consumed in what they call Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).

On the threat by APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to get the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki impeached, Akpabio said he was not aware of that.

“I just came in from Ikot-Ekpene, where I decided with my people to join APC. I’m yet to be briefed on any of those items. I have not heard anything.

“Why don’t you wait for me to formally talk to you? I believe that when the National Assembly resumes, you will hear from me directly. So, exercise patience,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Akpabio, while defecting from PDP to APC, also tendered his resignation as the Senate Minority Leader.

(NAN)

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