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Falana charges Buhari’s govt to terminate the ‘rein of impunity’ in N’Assembly

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Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has called on the executive arm of government to terminate the “rein of impunity” in the national assembly.

Falana said this in a statement on Wednesday, while reacting to the controversies that have trailed the senate of late.

He said the upper legislative chamber’s refusal to consider the appointment of 27 resident electoral commissioners (RECs) because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s reluctance to sack Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was an act of impunity.

The Senate had rejected the appointment of Magu as EFCC chairman, citing a Department of State Services (DSS) report as the reason for its decision.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on it under section 3 (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 the senate has refused to confirm the appointment of Mr Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the (EFCC),” he said.

“However, President Buhari has decided to allow Mr Magu to continue to head the EFCC in an acting capacity. The decision of the president cannot be faulted by virtue of section 171 (1) (d) of the constitution which provides that the president is vested with the power to appoint the head of any extra ministerial department to hold office in an acting capacity. Such appointment does not require the confirmation of the senate.

“Completely aggrieved by the decision of the president to exercise his constitutional powers in the circumstance the senate has decided not to confirm the 27 newly appointed resident electoral commissioners until Mr Magu has been removed from office.

“In asking for the removal of Mr Magu the senate said that the anti-graft czar has been terrorising the senate. Should the senate resort to such cheap blackmail because the embattled EFCC helmsman has refused to compromise the prosecution and investigation of about 15 senators alleged to have been involved in serious economic and financial crimes? Why should the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki not be terrorised for the criminal diversion of N3.5 billion from the London/Paris Club loan refund?

“Before now, sharp disagreements between the national assembly and the executive had been submitted to the courts for judicial resolution in line with the rule of law… In view of the settled state of the law on summoning of critics by the national assembly and suspension of legislators the senate is advised to reverse its illegal decisions and quickly return to the path of constitutionalism in the interest of lasting democracy in the country.

“However, if the senate remains intransigent the executive branch of the government should adopt decisive measures to terminate the unending rein of impunity in the national assembly.”

Falana also criticised the senate for summoning Itse Sagay, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), for allegedly making critical remarks about it.

He said the senate had no power to summon Sagay.

“In the atmosphere of impunity which has enveloped the senate the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay has been ordered to appear before the senate for having the temerity to criticise the senators,” he said.

“In the case of El Rufai v House of Representatives (2003) 46 WRN 12 the court of appeal held that the respondent lacked the power to summon the appellant over a defamatory statement made by him as the power of investigation conferred on legislators is not for personal aggrandisement.”

The rights lawyer also said the senate’s suspension of Ali Ndume’s was illegal.

The senate suspended Ndume, a senator from Borno state, for allegedly bringing the chamber to disrepute.

“The purported suspension of Senator Ali Ndume is the height of the serial illegality in the senate. In Hon Dino Melaye & Ors v House of Representatives (unreported) the federal high court declared the indefinite suspension of the plaintiffs illegal and unconstitutional on the ground that a legislator could not be suspended for more than 14 days,” Falana said.

“But in House of Assembly v Hon Danna the Court of Appeal held that a legislative house in Nigeria is not competent to suspend a member even for a single day as it is a violation of the democratic rights of members of his/her constituency.”

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DHQ clarifies identities of arrested Owo church attack suspects

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Irabor Orders Troops to Smoke Out Unrepentant Bandits

The Defence Headquarters Wednesday gave details of the suspects arrested in connection with the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, had on Tuesday during a parley with media executives and editors revealed the names of the terrorists who masterminded the Owo attack.

Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, in a statement yesterday, said the clarification became necessary because of the conflicting feedback on the earlier announcement.

Akpor said Irabor had confirmed the arrest of four suspects through the collaborative efforts of the military and DSS personnel at Eika, in Okehi Local Government Area, Kogi on Aug. 1.

“Those arrested included Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal”

“The Defence Chief said, preliminary investigation revealed that Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terror attack on the Owo Catholic Church.

“As well as the attack on a Police Station in Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi State on 23 June 2022, during which a policeman was killed and weapons carted away,” he said.

Akpor said Irabor also mentioned the arrest of another terrorist, Idris Ojo, aged 32, who was apprehended at Ayetoro Osi, Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on August 7. 

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Pope not against my appointment as DG of Tinubu’s campaign – Lalong

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Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organization, Simon Lalong, says he will not resign as the party DG campaign organisation.

Mr Lalong said that even Pope is not opposed to his appointment

Mr Lalong, who is also the Governor of Plateau, an ardent Catholic, said the Pope had not told him that accepting to lead the Muslim-Muslim APC presidential ticket was against the tenets of Christianity.

Some groups had staged rallies in Abuja, calling on Mr Lalong to reject the offer to serve as the DG of APC presidential campaign organisation.

However, the governor said he would not reject his new appointment just to satisfy the wishes of certain individuals or groups.

”The Pope is not angry with my decision to be the DG of the Muslim-Muslim presidential campaign.

“I came back home and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) welcomed me at the airport.

”The next day I addressed stakeholders of Plateau and I told them why I’m accepting and then there was jubilation, all of them accepted.

“So, if you see people talking about me rejecting, I have already accepted – is not an issue. Some of them have already keyed into it – I’m a Christian. If you watch my TVC interview I saw, I was born a Catholic, baptized a catholic, confirmed a catholic.

“Today, I went through missionary schools. I was taught by missions that I respect my being a Christian.

“I have been given the highest award by the Pope, I still hold that award – the highest Papal Award, I want people to know, Knight of Saint Gregory the Great, I have it and one day if you want I will wear my uniform and come here. So those who are talking about it I don’t even know where they are.

“I hold a Papal Knight and as a catholic everything we do, we do it and send the advice to the Pope.

“The Pope has not told me that what I’m doing (to accept Director General) is bad – As a catholic, we take that direction.

“But, generally as a governor of a State, I’m not responsible to only my faith. I’m responsible to other people who belong to other faiths, who are not even Muslims or Christians’’

He urged Nigerians to grow up from ethnic or religious sentiments.

Mr Lalong said that he had already accepted the job and there was nothing anybody could do to dissuade him from performing his responsibilities.

Mr Lalong said he was in the Presidential Villa to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the University of Jos as a national cancer centre as well as granting presidential pardon to the former Governor of the state, Joshua Dariye.

According to him, the people of the state will remain grateful to the president for delivering a lot of democratic dividends to the State.

“My visit to the President is to come and show him appreciation because of what he has done for Plateau State in the last few months.

”Just a week or two ago, we just got approval to make the University of Jos a Cancer Centre.

“I saw over N3 billion approved for the institution as a special centre for cancer. So, it’s not a small achievement.

“Recently, the President approved the establishment of an orthopaedic hospital in Jos, Plateau; the only one in North-Central.

“He also approved the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre in Wase. Another one is the Federal Polytechnic Shendam, which is almost starting this year in October to be precise.

“The president has also approved the conversion of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin, to a Federal University of Education and immediately approved the establishment of another Federal college of Education in the State.

“We were just celebrating that one then we also heard of the establishment of a Zonal campus of the Nigerian Law School for North-Central in Jos.

“We cannot have all these achievements and not come and show appreciation to the President,” he said. 

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PHOTOS: Oluwo of Iwo visits Olubadan

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The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Wednesday visited Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade Alliwo II.

Oluwo said his visit was symbolic as he has a maternally relationship with the Alliwo Lineage, the source of Olubadan.

Oba Akanbi is maternally related to the Alliwo Compound where he was said to have lived for many years.

Oba Akanbi described the visit as a friendly father and son meeting.

He prayed for a successful reign for Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade

Here are pictures of the visit:

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