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House summons Foreign Affairs minister, Perm Sec for allegedly circumventing law



The House of Representatives, has summoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyema and the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Aduda Gabriel for allegedly circumventing the law.

Consequently, it directed the ministry to rescind contents of the letter countering an earlier one written by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to the minister and the Embassies/High Commissions to request compliance with the provisions of Section 11 of the 2022 Appropriations Act.

The above resolution was sequel to the adoption of motion under matters of urgent national importance on the need for the federal government to mandatorily compel the ministry to implement the provisions of the 2022 Appropriation Act (S.11), which empowers Nigeria Embassies/High Commissions across the world to spend the capital components of their budget without recourse to the headquarters of the ministry.

The motion, which generated heated debate from lawmakers during plenary was sponsored by Hon. Maigari Bello Kasımu representing Jalingo/yorro and zing federal constituency of Taraba (APC).

According to a letter sighted by THISDAY, which was purportedly written and signed by Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it urged the foreign missions to stop spending from the funds allocated to them till consultation was sorted from other government agencies.

According to the letter, “Attention of the Ministry has been drawn to a memo circulating on the social media on the above subject RefNASS/HRFAC/9th/070/936 dated on the 9th January 2022 conveying the provision of the 2022 Appropriation Act empowering missions to spend their capital allocation without henceforth, seeking approval from the headquarters.

“The Ministry will need to seek clarification from the presidency and the Senate. Consequently, given the need for a unified position on the subject. All missions are directed to stay action on the memo under reference. While thanking you for your understanding. The headquarters will convey further directives accordingly,” the letter read.

Kasımu while presenting the motion stressed that, “for a very long time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters has been steeped in various practices, actions and inactions that have negatively affected quality of service-delivery in the ministry and, especially, at post, where the nation’s image has been largely impugned by untoward media reports and other negative realities in the public domain that reveal the inability of Ambassadors/High Commissioners, who are representatives of Mr. President, to settle ground rents, pay utility bills, purchase vehicles or rehabilitate dilapidated infrastructure in chancery buildings and quarters occupied by Foreign Service Officers across the globe.

“Nigerian Foreign Missions and Service Officers have been at the receiving end of the negative effects of the actions and inactions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters, which have sometimes resulted in hiring taxis for diplomats on official duties and in forceful ejection of Ambassadors/High Commissions and other Foreign Service Officers from rented apartments with their personal effects and other property thrown into the streets of capital cities of the world even when such Embassies/High Commissions have budgeted capital funds lying unutilised in various bank accounts.

Reacting to the motion, Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yakubu Buba, said, “This is already a law and has been added into the 2022 Appropriation act and it has been assented to but as we speak, it is a law that must be obeyed.

“Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the leadership of the National Assembly and its members of the House for that invention. Our Embassies have become laughing stock all over the world; they are so dilapidated that our Ambassadors cannot invite their fellow Ambassadors to the residences or to the Nigerian Houses.”

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said it was against the procurement act but that the law says the embassy should not go through the public procurement and what does the constitution say about monies appropriated by the national assembly?

“I believe the constitution says no money shall be spent except in a manner as prescribed by the National Assembly and this is the manner the National Assembly has prescribed that these monies should be spent and for good reasons, many of which both the sponsor of the motion and the chairman enumerated.

“İ have seen personal experience of Embassies abroad and it is shameful that the National Assembly is trying to make things better for those we send out to represent us and some people are resisting. Minister Foreign Affairs should see me on Tuesday and I would like to have you as well”


2023: Buhari may meet Osinbajo, Tinubu, Amaechi, others



President Muhammadu Buhari would this week meet with all the preidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The meeting was called with a view to reducing the number of presidential hopefuls and also ensuring that all of them pledge to accept the outcome of the primary as was done during the APC presidential primary in 2014.

“The President will meet with the aspirants a few days to the primary with a view to ensuring that there is unity and harmony. He will also meet with the governors separately. The date is not fixed yet, but it should be this week if INEC doesn’t extend the deadline for the primary as we are all hoping,” said an APC chieftain who wished to remain anonymous.

“The President has a candidate. How to present the idea to the likes of Tinubu will be the challenge,” he added.

Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had said last week that the President indeed had a preferred candidate.

He stated, “In a previous interview when the President was asked whether he had a favourite candidate, he answered yes; but he will not mention him because mischief may happen to that person.

“That shows you that the President himself is interested in the process and he has a preferred candidate; but whether he will impose his candidate is what you cannot determine at the moment.”

When contacted on the telephone, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was not aware of any meeting the President would be having with the aspirants.

“I am not aware of any meeting as of now,” he said.

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Gunmen behead abducted Anambra lawmaker from Governor Soludo’s constituency, hang head in motor park



Gunmen who abducted a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okey Okoye, have beheaded him.

After beheading him, his head was reportedly displayed at a motor park in Nnobi, Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.

The incident, which happened on Saturday, created panic in the community, which had been witnessing a series of violent killings since last year.

Sources added that his body was not there and indications were that the killers removed the body.

“The Anambra lawmaker representing Soludo’s constituency, Okechukwu Okoye who was earlier kidnapped, has been beheaded by gunmen; the late lawmaker’s head was mounted at Chisco Park in Amichi community,” a military source said on Saturday.

Gunmen had last Sunday abducted the lawmaker who was representing Aguata II state constituency in Aguata alongside Cyril Chiegboka, his campaign director.

Governor Charles Soludo had said during the week that efforts were ongoing to rescue the Anambra lawmaker from his abductors.

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MC Oluomo allegedly demands N100million to support re-election of Oshodi Rep member



Chairman of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, is allegedly demanding N100 million to support the re-election of the member representing Oshodi Federal Constituency 1 in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bashiru Dawodu.

Dawodu, a medical doctor, rode on the back of MC Oluomo to win the election in 2019 after series of attempts in the past.

Dawodu presenting his Certificate of Return to MC Oluomo

Both, however, fell apart few months after Dawodu was elected due to irreconcilable differences .

MC Oluomo is said to be angry with Dawodu for not honouring agreements he (Dawodu) had with him prior to his victory in 2019.

MC Oluomo, who is seen as de-facto leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oshodi was said to have vowed to work against Dawodu’s re-election in 2023.

He is believed to be working for the emergence of a former Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government, Afeez Ipesa Balogun to emerge as the APC’s candidate for the House of Representatives election in the constituency.

However, party leaders in the local government including the Chairman of the council, Kehinde Oloyede Almoof had appealed to MC Oluomo to tone down his opposition to Dawodu and support his re-election.

It was gathered that MC Oluomo did not turn down the fence-mending approach because he said he did the same with Oloyede who was his former arch-enemy.

It was further gathered that MC Oluomo demanded N100 million from Dawodu before he gets his support.

The money according to MC Oluomo is to settle his aides and loyalists, who supported Dawodu in 2019 but were abandoned by the Rep member.

According to sources at the various fence-mending meeting, appeals to MC Oluomo to reduce the amount were rebuffed.

Another dimension has, however, been added to the involvement of Oloyede in the matter.

The sources revealed that the council chairman, Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own interest.

Oloyede has been eyeing the Rep seat before his election as the council chairman.

Oloyede’s calculation according to the sources is that should Dawood gets the second term, it would be easy for him (Oloyede) to contest for the seat in 2027.

One of the sources who does not want his name in print because of backlash said : “Oloyede is supporting Dawood because of his own personal interest. He believes supporting Dawood may work for him in 2027.

Continuing, the source noted that Oloyede would rather support Dawodu over any other candidates because others eyeing the seat are first timers, who may want to seek for re-election in 2027.

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