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Fear grips Benue lawmakers over death of colleagues

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Fear yesterday gripped the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange and his colleagues over the increasing number of deaths recorded among members of the Forum of Former State Legislators.

According to Ikyange, less than three months after the inauguration of the eighth Assembly, no fewer than five former lawmakers have passed on in the state.

The Speaker said the development is of serious concern to the Assembly, adding that if such is not checked, members of the current Assembly may suffer similar fate by the time they complete their tenure and join the forum.

Ikyange, who spoke during a valedictory session in honour of a deceased former lawmaker of the fifth Assembly, Mr. Emmanuel Ajoh, said the death of their former colleagues is denying the current Assembly the opportunity to tap from their wealth of legislative experience, lamenting that if the trend continues, it may spell doom for the development of the legislative arm of government in the state.

He called on Governor Samuel Ortom to consider offering appointments to members of the forum as a way of boosting their wellbeing, thereby prolonging their life expectancy.

He condoled with the family of the deceased lawmaker, saying even though he never had the opportunity of meeting him, available legislative records and the positive testimonies about him, has convinced him that Ajoh was a committed and vibrant lawmaker, who performed his legislative duties with excellence.

In his funeral oration, a former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Ugba Uyeh, identified poverty as the major cause of death among former lawmakers, adding that in the last five months, eight former lawmakers had lost their lives, calling for the empowerment of his colleagues.

In their separate funeral orations, Clerk of the House, Dr Torese Agena, the representatives of Zones A, B and C, Mr. Titus Uba, Mr. Benjamin Mnguityo and Alhaji Audu Sule, all extolled the qualities of their late colleague and prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul.

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Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state capital following violent protest over the arrest of some youths allegedly involved in the killing Deborah Samuel, a 200-level student.

Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Isah Bajini, said the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township.

The statement noted that “Sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the State, the State Governor, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis

“The revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to affording people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood.”

Recall that following the lynching of the 200-level student for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, the State’s police command arrested some persons linked to the incident.

However, a large number of Muslim boys who were angered by the arrest, stormed the streets in the State on Saturday, demanding the release of the suspects.

The development, which triggered tension in several parts of the State, made the Governor to impose the curfew.

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Arsonists burn down LG secretariat, Magistrate Court in Anambra

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Suspected arsonists have burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat in Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area.

Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetuate the act, burning down all files, properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.

Videos and pictures circulating online showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the Local Government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.

The State Police Command has also confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.

DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson of the State Police Command said: “Yes, the incident was confirmed, and our men were there to restore normalcy.

“Right now, the fire has been put off, and calm has been restored to the area,” Ikenga said.

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National Assembly transmits amended Electoral Act to Buhari

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Senate

The National Assembly has transmitted the amended Electoral Act 2022 to the Presiden Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The bill was transmitted to the Presidency on Friday.

Sources in the Presidency and the National Assembly confirmed the transmission.

A source in the Presidency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he had not been authorised to announce the development officially, said, “Yes, it has been transmitted. But wait till Monday when it may be announced when the President will sign it.”

Another source in the National Assembly said, “It was transmitted on Friday. I needed to confirm it before saying anything.”

It was further learnt that Buhari would sign the amendment ahead of primaries of political parties beginning next week.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had last week passed an amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates at primaries, congresses, and conventions of political parties.

The lawmakers particularly amended Section 84(8) of the Act to provide automatic or statutory delegates, ahead of the forthcoming party primaries, from where candidates would emerge for the 2023 general elections.
In March, the National Assembly had passed the bill for the Act while the President signed it into law.

While political parties are close to conducting primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general elections, the Act did not allow members elected into public offices and executives of the parties, known as statutory delegates, to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of parties.

The chambers had described the omission as “a fundamental error.”

Without the provision by the law, Buhari; the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of local government areas, councillors, executives of political parties, amongst others, would have been disenfranchised.

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