AKWA IBOM DEFECTION UPDATE

Monday, 06 August 2018 11:38

 

The fate of the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Moses Ekpo, is shrouded in speculations, as defections and counter-defections hit the two major political parties in Nigeria, ahead of the 2019 general election.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria circulated a report yesterday, suggesting that Moses Ekpo has dumped the People’s Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress, but that has not been confirmed or denied.

 

The agency’s report made reference to a twitter post by an APC affiliated platform and a local online site, suggesting that EKPO’s move was part of the speculated defection of the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, from PDP to APC.

 

Our correspondent learnt from a Government House source in Uyo that the Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor travelled to the United States of America to represent Governor Udom Emmanuel at an event, while his Chief Press Secretary cannot be reached on phone.

 

However; another contact close to our correspondent in Uyo indicated that at least six aides of Governor Udom, who are thought to be loyal to Senator Akpabio, have already signalled their resignations.

 

Meanwhile; Senator Akpabio has visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London where he is spending ten days on vacation.

 

However; there are no details of Senator Akpabio’s reason for visiting President Buhari while on vacation, but the development has sparked speculations of an impending defection of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State from PDP to APC.

 

Before travelling to London, Senator Akpabio is also reported to have held a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, as well as visited the APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Lagos.

 

The rumour was reinforced through a statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, signaling that Senator Akpabio would be received into the APC on Wednesday this week.

 

In the meantime; Senator Godswill Akpabio is reported to have lost the services of at least four of his personal aides on account of the rumour about his planned defection from PDP to APC.

 

They include Senator AKPABIO’s Senior Legislative Aide, Utibe Nwoko, as well as Chief Moses Akpan, Kufre Ini-Ima, and Prince Ukandu Ukpe.

 

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Emmauel Udom, Aniekeme Finbarr, disclosed in a post on his Facebook that the men announced their resignation during a meeting of PDP stakeholders of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, which was held in Abak.

 

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President Muhammadu Buhari has assured supporters of the All Progressives Congress in Bauchi State of his commitment to work hard to surpass his campaign promises for a better Nigeria.

 

President Buhari told the APC supporters during a visit not to be disturbed by the recent defections in the party, saying God will continue to fish out the bad eggs within the party, as the 2019 general elections approach.

 

The President spoke at the commencement of the campaign rally for the Bauchi South Senatorial District bye-elections and the formal presentation of APC Candidate, Gumau Lawal Yahaya.

 

The President was accompanied by the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, as well as the Governors of Bauchi, Plateau, Kano and Imo states.

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 The Police in Borno State have paraded twenty-two Boko Haram sub-commanders and fighters who were arrested in different states across the North East Geopolitical Zone.

 

The suspects paraded by the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, include some that allegedly participated in the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in April, 2014.

 

They are also suspects alleged to be responsible for several suicide attacks and bombings, as well as ambush and killings of innocent Nigerians, including security personnel in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and other states in the North East.

 

In the meantime; two suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent killing of two policemen at Rumuosi community, in Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.

 

The Rivers State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the arrest of the suspects in an interview with our correspondent, Victor Ezeama.

 

Omoni, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police, also said the command was doing something to check attacks on policemen on routine duties by criminal gangs.

 

You will recall that seven policemen were recently ambushed and killed by armed robbers in Abuja, while another set of four policemen were murdered by a yet-to-be identified gang in Edo State over the weekend.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after spending three days on an official visit to the Netherlands following an invitation from the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

 

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, confirmed the return of President Buhari in a text and pictures shared on his Facebook account.

 

Adesina also noted that President Buhari held a meeting with members of staff at the Nigerian Embassy in the Netherlands before departing on his return trip to Abuja.

 

The meeting was also attended by family members of the Nigerian embassy officials, and President Buhari used the occasion to thank them for being worthy ambassadors of the country.

 

Before then, President BuharI had participated in the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court.

 

He used his presentation to canvass support for the strengthening of the jurisdiction of the ICC to also cover illicit financial flows and corruption by state actors.

 

The Nigerian Leader also assured the international community that the conduct of the 2019 general elections under his watch would be free, fair and peaceful.

 

He promised to ensure that the post-election violence that greeted the 2011 general elections, where scores of people lost their life, particularly in the northern parts of Nigeria, would not be repeated.

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Less than one month after signing the 2018 Appropriation Act, President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly for consideration.

 

President Buhari wants the National Assembly to reallocate the sum of over one hundred and sixty-four billion naira in the 2018 Budget meant for the 2019 general election.

 

The President therefore requested the Legislature to approve a budget supplement of two hundred and forty-two billion naira to cover the general election next year, which he said was based on projected expenses put forward by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security agencies

{souncloud}https://soundcloud.com/radio-desk/saraki-budget-sup-2{/soundcloud}

In a copy of the letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who was read on the floor of the Red Chambers at plenary, the President further asked the lawmakers to reinstate certain cuts made on funding for critical projects as provided in his original budget draft.

 

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SENATE APPROVES NEW PSC CHIEF (AUDIO)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 07:52

The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of former Inspector-General of Police, Musliu Smith, as Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

 

The upper chamber of the National Assembly confirmed Smith alongside Clara Ogunbiyi and Lawal Bawa as full-time commissioners of the PSC, in addition to four other members.

 

Our correspondent reports that the Senate’s confirmation followed consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs on the screening of the nominees, which was presented by Senator Abu Ibrahim.

 

In his ruling; the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urged the new PSC Chairman and members of the commission to encourage police personnel and position them for better protection of lives and properties. ‎

 

You will recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on 25th May requested the Senate in writing to confirm former IGP Musliu Smith as a replacement for Sir Mike Okiro, also a former Inspector General of Police, on the completion of his tenure as Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

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 President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the National Assembly to use its Open Week to address issues raised during the signing of the 2018 Appropriation Act. 

 

President Buhari made the request in an address delivered on his behalf by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, at the opening of the National Assembly Open Week in Abuja.

 

The President noted that ‎a stronger and more cordial Executive-Legislative relationship must exist in the interest of the nation.

 

He maintained that the importance of oversight activities of the legislature to ensure efficient, equitable and the judicious use of resources for service delivery by the Executive cannot be overemphasized. ‎

 

(voice of Boss Mustapha)

On his part; the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki who doubles as Chairman of the National Assembly, stressed the need for the three arms of government to strengthen collaboration and adhere to the fundamental principles of separation of powers.

 

 

(voice of Saraki)

Also; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara called on the Executive branch of government to open its activities to Legislative scrutiny.

 

Dogara maintained that the ‎National Assembly has opened its budget to the public within the limits allowed by the appropriation laws.

 

Our correspondent James Igah reports that the National Assembly Open Week is a platform that seeks to create the enabling environment for the legislature and key stakeholders to chart a common course for the development of Nigeria.

 

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PMB JETS OF TO THE NETHERLANDS

Sunday, 15 July 2018 18:03

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed for the Netherlands to participate in activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, ICC, at The Hague.

 

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement says President Buhari is the only world leader invited to deliver a keynote address during the Solemn Hearing to commemorate the anniversary at Courtroom 1 of the ICC’s Headquarters at The Hague.

 

Adesina said in buttressing Nigeria’s commitment as a member of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, the President, as the current anti-corruption champion for the African Union, will use the global platform to reaffirm Nigeria’s support to the fundamental values of the Rome Statute and to the ideals of the ICC.

 

The President is also expected to highlight his administration’s campaign against corruption in Nigeria.

 

After the event at the Courtroom, the President will have a bilateral meeting with the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda and another with the President of the ICC, Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji, who is a Nigerian as well as the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, to discuss bilateral issues such as migration, peace and security, and economic cooperation.

 

 

President Buhari’s delegation to the Netherlands will include Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

 

Others are the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar; the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru; and the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman.

 

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The Abuja Light Rail mass transit has been activated following the completion of the first phase of the project after ten years.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari led other senior government officials to commission the rail facility at the Abuja Metro Control Centre.

 

President Buhari and his entourage were also given the maiden ride from the Abuja Cenral Area to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, which covers a distance of about forty-four thousand kilometres.

 

(voice of Pr. Buhari)

However; some members of the opposition PDP have faulted the claim by President Buhari that the Abuja Light Rail was delivered based on the promises of his APC Administration.

 

Among the critics is Senator Ben Murray-Bruce who took to his twitter handle to describe the claim by the President as factually incorrect, stressing that the Abuja Light Rail should be credited to the previous government under the PDP.

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The Nigerian Senate has summoned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

 

The Justice Minister is expected to appear before the Senate to explain the constitutional basis for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order Number Six.

 

The lawmakers are contending that the issuance of Executive Orders are in violation of the principles of separation of powers and a usurpation of legislative functions of the National Assembly.

 

The position of the Senate was reached based on a motion sponsored by Senator DAVID UMORU from Niger State, who argued that the enforcement of the Executive Order Six would result in human rights violations.

 

 

(that's the voice of Senator Umoru)

 

Our correspondent James Igah reports that the Senate was sharply in the debate on the motion by Senator Umoru.

 

‎Among those who spoke were Senator Yahaya Abdullahi of Kebbi North; Senator Shehu Sani of Kaduna Central, and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of Abia South.

 

 

 

However; the Senate went ahead to adopt the motion with additional recommendation for a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate all cases of human rights violations with the view to prosecuting offenders. ‎

 

You will recall that the motion by Senator Umoru was stood down from the Senate’s Order Paper for Tuesday because of the Senator was absent from plenary.

 

In a related development; the House of Representatives has demanded the suspension of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order number 6.

   

The order seeks to restrain owners of assets under investigation from carrying out any further transaction on such assets.

 

During debate on the issue in plenary yesterday, the lawmakers called for an investigation into the constitutional compliance of all subsidiary legislation and executive orders issued by the executive.

 

The motion sponsored by Nicholas Ossai and supported by twenty seven other lawmakers, says the Executive Order appears to hijack and usurp legislative and judicial powers.‎

  

However Mojeed Alabi who represents Osun West federal constituency argued that the Executive Order was issued in good faith and does not infringe on the legitimate right of a citizen.

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