Kogi West: Melaye Loses Appeal As Court Orders Fresh Election

 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by Senator Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly.

Senator Melaye in the suit challenged the judgment of the Kogi State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified his election and ordered a fresh election.

However, a three-man panel of the appeal court led by Justice Datti Yahaya dismissed the application in a unanimous judgment on Friday.

READ ALSO: ‘No Tension, No Pains’, Melaye Reacts To Defeat (Full Statement)

The court held that the lawmaker could not prove the allegations that he was not given a fair hearing by the lower Tribunal.

It, therefore, upheld the majority judgment of the Tribunal that the petitioner, Senator Smart Adeyemi, proved the allegations of malpractices, mutilation of result sheet, and over-voting.

As such, it ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the district within 90 days from October 11, 2019.
Senator Melaye contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while Senator Adeyemi was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court had reserved judgments in three separate appeals brought before it on the Kogi West Senatorial District election.

The appeals were filed by the PDP, INEC, and Senator Melaye, with the three of them praying the appellate court to set aside the majority decision of the Tribunal which voided the election of the lawmaker.

In his final argument, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jubrin Okutepa, who represented the PDP, prayed the appellate court to set aside the majority decision of the Tribunal against Melaye on the ground of denial of fair hearing and refusal to evaluate the evidence adduced during the hearing.

Hope For Workers As Buhari Reflects New Minimum Wage In 2020 Budget

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has captured the new N30,000 minimum wage in the 2020 appropriation bill presented before a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.

This comes as a sigh of relief for workers and labour unions in the country, who had threatened to go on an industrial strike over delay in the implementation of the new wage.

President Buhari stated at the budget presentation, that the increase of N620.28 billion in non-debt recurrent expenditure is a reflection of the new minimum wage.

“The non-debt recurrent expenditure includes N3.6 trillion for personnel and pension costs, an increase of N620.28 billion over 2019.

“This increase reflects the new minimum wage as well as our proposals to improve remuneration and welfare of our Police and Armed Forces.”

READ ALSO: #Budget2020: I Have A Cold Because I Am Working Hard, Buhari Tells Lawmakers

In a reaction, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, disclosed that the Federal Government plans to reconstitute a new committee to begin fresh negotiations for the full implementation new national minimum wage.

Senator Ngige, however, warned that the delay in agreement for the full implementation of the new minimum wage may put the Federal and State governments in a difficult position to pay because of the backlog that would arise.

National Assembly Set For 2020 Budget Presentation

An image of the National Assembly premises on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. The lawmakers await the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2020 budget presentation. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

All is set at the National Assembly for President Muhammadu Buhari to present the year 2020 appropriation bill.

The President is set to present the appropriation bill before a joint session of the National Assembly.

Security is beefed up at the National Assembly Complex in anticipation of the President’s arrival with journalists, and workers at the complex screened before entry into the premises.

The budget presentation is set for 2:00 pm and will be done in the chamber of the House of Representatives.

Senators are expected to move into the green chamber for the joint session.

President Buhari and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had earlier held an extraordinary meeting at the State House in Abuja on Monday.

Members of the council at the meeting put touches on the fiscal document to tighten loose ends before the final presentation to the lawmakers.

This will be the first time the new leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly, Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, will host the president in the parliament.

Lawan and Gbajabiamila were, in June, elected Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.

NASS Ready To Pass 2020 Budget, Senate President Lawan Insists

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.

 

The Senate President Ahmad Lawan has assured Nigerians that the 2020 national budget will be passed before Christmas, this year.

Alhaji Ahmad Lawan made this disclosure in an interview with newsmen shortly after a visit to government house, katsina after he conferred with Governor Aminu Bello Masari, his Deputy, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu and other government officials.

The Senate President explained that the national assembly is expecting the budget next month of September from the Executive Arm, which the ninth assembly hoped to deliberate and passed within two months.

He said that the process would return Nigeria to the annual budget of between January to December.

READ ALSO: National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan

Similarly, the Senate President assured that the ninth assembly would passed the Petroleum Industry Bill for the oil and Gas sector to be given the desired reform.

Alhaji Ahmad Lawan expressed the resolve of the two wings of the national assembly to work harmoniously for the rapid required reformations in the education, agriculture and other sub sectors of the economy.

The Senate President was accompanied by the leadership of the Senate as well as senators representing katsina South,Mallam Bello Mandiya and that of katsina North, Senator Ahmad Babba kaita.

The Senate President told journalists too that he and the delegation had earlier paid Sallah homage to Mr President in Daura.

Upon arrival too, the Senate President along with Governor Masari, Deputy Governor and secretary to the government of katsina state,Dr Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa prayed Jumma’at prayer at Modoji Mosque.

The delegation of Senate President has since left for Abuja.

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has given assurance that the ninth National Assembly would work for Nigerians.

Following the recent constitution of the relevant parliamentary committees, he says the lawmakers are more prepared and ready to work for the good of the people.

Senator Lawan spoke to journalists on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, shortly after he returned from the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

“The ninth National Assembly has been properly constituted, especially with our committees in place,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi.

He added, “We are ready, we are willing, we are capable, we are enhanced to work as an institution; to ensure that we provide those ingredients and inputs that the executive would want for it to implement laudable projects to develop the country.”

READ ALSO: Kogi Youths March, Demand Peaceful Governorship Election

The Senate President was full of gratitude to God for the opportunity to be part of the over 60,000 Nigerians that participated in this year’s Hajj.

He said, “We prayed for our country to achieve optimal security, to have stability, peace, and progress. We prayed for the National Assembly too. It is our prayer that the ninth National Assembly will be one to work for Nigerians and for the benefit of those who voted for us.

“Nigerians in Saudi Arabia came together with other Muslims worldwide to pray for global peace. I’m sure that with the message that we heard as part of this year’s pilgrimage and Eid generally, is a message of sacrifice, brotherhood, and unity.”

“Nigerians should thank God that we are still together, as such we should work to ensure that the unity of this country is not compromised,” he added.

Senator Lawan urged Nigerians to continue to pray for their leaders, noting that leaders were meant to serve the people and no leader would like to deliberately fail to perform.

He also urged the citizens to continually support their leaders with prayers, backed by understanding with an assurance that Nigeria would reach those great heights.

The lawmaker also reiterated his appeal to the executive arm of government on the need to be on the same page with the National Assembly, to reverse what he called the undesirable trend of the current budget cycle in the country.

“We need to work for a budget that will be passed by the National Assembly by December. That requires that we work assiduously with the executive arm of government, to have the budget laid before the National Assembly by the end of September, and for the National Assembly to lock up the whole of October this year for budget defence, so that it can be processed and passed before we go on Christmas break. It is doable, it is achievable and attainable,” he said.

He added, “I’m sure if we are able to achieve that, Nigeria’s economy will witness a boost. Businesses in Nigeria will have something predictable to work with.

“I believe that together with the executive arm of government, we should be able to do this, as this is fundamental to us in the National Assembly, and I’m sure the executive arm is also looking forward to that.”

NASS Delegation Visits Fasoranti Over Olakunrin’s Killing

NASS Delegation Visits Fasoranti Over Olakunrin’s Killing

 

A delegation from the National Assembly has paid a condolence visit to Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti, over his daughter’s death.

Mrs Funke Olakunrin, Fasoranti’s daughter, was shot by armed men on July 12 travelling along the Benin-Ore Expressway in south-western Nigeria.

The leader of the delegation and Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Robert Boroffice, addressed reporters on Sunday during the visit.

He said the National Assembly would synergise with the Executive towards putting an end to insecurity in the country.

READ ALSO: Daughter Of Afenifere National Leader Killed By Suspected Herdsmen In Ondo

Senator Boroffice informed the nonagenarian that the issue was raised on the floor of the Senate, adding that there was no need for panic as a result of the recent comments from various parts of the country.

On his part, leader of the delegation from the House of Representatives, Segun Odebunmi, said Olakunrin’s death was a challenge on the government to rise up to its responsibilities of securing the citizens.

He stressed the need for anyone caught in any criminal act to be made to face the wrath of the law.

The leadership of Afenifere led by the General Secretary, Sehinde Arogbofa, received the National Assembly members.

Former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, as well as former deputy governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, were among the lawmakers who visited Fasoranti.

See more photos below:

Shiite Protest: IGP Orders 24hr Police Surveillance In FCT

Acting IGP, Mohammed Adamu before the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs on March 26, 2019.

 

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered 24-hour police surveillance in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs.

This follows the violent protest by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria on Tuesday at the National Assembly in Abuja, which led to the assault and injury to police personnel as well as damage of properties.

RELATED: Nine Police Officers Injured In Clash With Shiite Members At National Assembly

The IGP has asked Commissioners of Police and their supervisory Assistant Inspector General of Police to be alert and ensure maximum security in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AOR) to avert any breach of public safety and security.

In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said that the Force is not against Citizens expressing their grouse against the State, the IGP stressed that such ventilation must be done through legitimate and acceptable processes and not by taking the laws into their own hands.

The statement warned the citizens not to test the collective will of the People and the State by engaging in lawless acts likely to cause the breach of peace.

Meanwhile, the IGP has ordered a speedy and diligent investigation into the incident as well as prompt prosecution of all the persons arrested and now in Police custody in connection with the incident.

The IGP reiterated his displeasure with the unwarranted and unjustifiable attack on, and injury to nine (9) Police Officers by members of the El-Zakzakky Group and commended the restraint, maturity and professionalism displayed by Police personnel in containing the protest.

He also directed the AIG in charge of Police Medical Department to ensure that proper and prompt medical attention is given to the injured officers and wished the victims quick recovery.

Nine Police Officers Injured In Clash With Shiite Members At National Assembly

 

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) loyal to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky have injured at nine police officers during a protest at the National Assembly complex.

The protesters stormed the parliament building on Tuesday, demanding the release of their leader, El-Zakzaky.

They were denied entrance at the second gate, after gaining access through the front gate by the three arms zone.

Vehicles were destroyed and burnt, while nine officers sustained injuries to the head and leg when the protesters attacked them.

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, two officers who were shot on the leg and seven personnel who sustained injuries during the clash, have been rushed to the hospital.

DSP Manzah added that 40 members of the sect have been arrested in connection with the violent protest, and investigation is in progress.

“Members of the sect during the violent protest shot two (2) police personnel on the leg, while clubs and stones were used to inflict injuries on seven (7) other policemen. The injured policemen have been taken to the hospital for prompt medical attention.

“Meanwhile, forty (40) members of the sect have been arrested in connection with the violent protest. Investigation is in progress. Those arrested in the process will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate law of the land.”

RELATED: PHOTOS: Shiite Members Storm National Assembly, Clash With Police

Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has visited the injured offices, but chose not to comment until he is fully briefed about the incident.

El-Zakzaky has been in custody since fighting between his supporters and the army broke out in December 2015.

Zakzaky’s supporters have repeatedly protested in Abuja and several northern cities against the continued detention of their leader.

PHOTOS: Shiite Members Storm National Assembly, Clash With Police

 

Protesting Shiite members have stormed the National Assembly, clashing with police officers in the process.

Things turned violent when the protesters, who are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, tried to gain entry into the complex.

After gaining entry into the first gate of the Assembly, the protesters damaged some vehicles including a police van with a policeman injured in the process.

Details later…

PDP Asks NASS To Investigate N26.7tn, $322m, N500bn Allegedly Looted By Buhari’s Administration

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the National Assembly to investigate the President Muhammadu Buhari administration over what it described as widespread insecurity, economic depression, treasury looting, among other things since assuming office in 2015.

According to a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the Buhari-administration looted N26.7 trillion, $322 million and N500 billion.

It, therefore, urged the National Assembly to protect the interest of millions of suffering Nigerians by invoking its powers under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to recover the funds alleged to have been looted.

Read the full statement below.

The Peoples Democratic Party charges the National Assembly to, upon resumption, assert itself and accede to demands by Nigerians to investigate the widespread insecurity, economic depression, treasury looting, abuse of office and violations that stamped the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration since May 2015.

The PDP urges the federal legislature to protect the interest of millions of suffering Nigerians by invoking its powers under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to recover the over N14 trillion stolen by government officials and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last four years.

The PDP holds that a legislative action has become imperative, as the Buhari-presidency has failed to give cogent explanation on the alleged looting of over N9 trillion through sleazy oil contracts as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo; a situation that directly points to officials’ culpability.

Nigerians also want the National Assembly to investigate the issues surrounding the reported stealing of N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil using 18 unregistered companies, as well as the alleged looting of over N2.6 trillion in shady oil subsidy regime.

The PDP urges the National Assembly to also investigate the alleged siphoning of $322m repatriated funds as well as the trillions of naira stolen under shady projects such as the ‘tradermoni’ project, among others.

The party notes that only recently, the wife of Mr. President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, raised the alarm that over N500 billion meant for poverty alleviation under the APC-led government did not get to the designated beneficiaries.

The PDP holds that the humongous looting under the Buhari-administration is directly responsible for the economic hardship Nigerians have been subjected to in the last four years.

Our party, therefore, urges the National Assembly to save the nation by recovering and channeling the stolen funds towards the welfare of Nigerians, while the culprits face the law.

National Assembly: There Is Nothing Like Jumbo Pay – Senate President

 

 

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has debunked views that members of the National Assembly receive jumbo pay.

Mr Lawan, while speaking to a group known as ‘Forum of Senators’, made up of past and present senators, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, revealed that he receives N750, 000 as salary.

“I never believe that there is anything called jumbo pay to the National Assembly.

“NASS members, both Senate and House, receive what is their salary; I receive 750,000 as my salary.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Appoints Dr Thomas John As Acting Alternate Chairman of NNPC Governing Board

He explained further that part of their functions includes oversights and assured that the 9th National Assembly will take it seriously with proper funding.

“We are going to be very serious and systematically entrenched with oversight, any minister or CEO of an organisation that is expected to function must function.

“I need to function as a senator, my office needs to be properly funded and therefore, I cannot conduct my oversight without some funding.”

The Senate President also explained the need for more engagements with the public and why it is important for the continuation of ‘OpenNASS’ initiative introduced in 2018.

“I believe that Nigerians need to understand this, we need to continue to engage with the public, they need to understand what our functions and roles are.

“So I believe that we should continue with OpenNASS; in 2018, we had the first version of it where individuals and NGO’s were invited and we had a lot of activities with the public, we will continue with the tradition and try to enhance it,” he added.

National Assembly: PDP To Investigate Roles Of Members In Electing Presiding Officers

ICYMI: PDP Seeks Prayers For National Rebirth At Easter

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up a committee to investigate the roles played by some of its members during the election of presiding officers of the National Assembly.

According to a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the committee which was set up by the National Working Committee (NWC), has been given three weeks from the date of its inauguration to report back with its findings.

“The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up a fact-finding committee on the role played by some of its members at the election of the presiding officers of the National Assembly.

“The committee is given three weeks from the date of its inauguration to report to the NWC.”

READ ALSO: Alleged Certificate Fraud: Appeal Court Gives Buhari, APC Five Days To Respond

The committee has former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara as Chairman while former National Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Wale Oladipo, will serve as Secretary.

Other members of the committee include; Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Senator Stella Omu, Hon Austin Opara, Senator Abdul Ningi, Hon (Mrs) Margaret Icheen, among others.

The statement added that the committee is to; “find out why some of its Honorable members and senators-elect then, failed to abide by the decision of the party during the National Assembly leadership election;

“Find out whether there is any involvement of the ruling Party in the decision taken by the members involved.

It explained that “the committee should identify reasons by members for taking the action so that the party can create a mutual and political atmosphere for reasonable interaction with Senators and Honourable members.

“Find out and recommend ways to checkmate such tendencies in the future and ensure that, moving forward, all members work together to defend the interest of the party at all times and circumstances.”