Father Kukah, Momoh, Tambuwal, Dogara Bag Doctorate Degrees

 

Four distinguished Nigerians have been awarded honorary doctorate degrees at the Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State.

The Vice-Chairman Of Channels Media Group, Mrs Olusola Momoh, who was the only female awardee, was awarded a doctorate degree in business administration.

She said she was very thrilled to receive the award.

“It is one of the most meaningful recognitions I have ever received and one that I will cherish for a very long time to come,” she added, while also describing the other awardees as “men of timber and calibre”.

The other awardees were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara and Governor Aminu Tambuwal who bagged doctorate degrees in law, as well as the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, who was awarded a degree in peace studies

Honourable Dogara was also installed as the new chancellor of the university, taking over from Sen. Bode Olajumoke.

The honour was conferred on them during the combined 8th and 9th convocation ceremony of the university.

While giving his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Tunji Ibiyemi, stated that out of the 400 graduands, 22 got first-class honours, 217 got second class upper division, 130 got second class lower division while the remaining 31 graduated with a third class.

Also delivering his address, the pro-chancellor of the university, Dr. Bode Ayorinde in his address titled: taming the tide of security challenges in Nigeria, said he believes that Nigerian universities are capable of preferring solutions to the nation’s security challenges through research.

He also spoke about the rate of unemployment and poverty, noting that a way to tackle the menace is by embracing massive industrialisation.

Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Defection Of Saraki, Dogara And Others

Defection: Saraki, Dogara, 52 Others To Know Fate On May 17
A file photo of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out the suit filed by the Legal Defence and Assistant Project (LEDAP), challenging the defection of 53 lawmakers.

Delivering the judgement in the case on Friday, Justice Okon Abang said although the plaintiff has a good case and the good intention of promoting good political behavior and rule of law, it has no locus standi to sue.

He further explained that LEDAP was not a political party that sponsored the defected lawmakers, or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which was conferred with the powers to monitor political parties.

He added that the plaintiff was neither a constituent of the defectors nor a registered voter that voted for them.

Beyond, that, Justice Abang said LEDAP had not put any thing before the court to show that the voters urged them to sue on their behalf and thereafter, the case was struck out.

Earlier, the judge had, however, stated that the defection of the 53 members of the National Assembly was unlawful based on the judgement of the Supreme Court, which had laid down reasons that would allow for defection.

Read Also: Defection Of Saraki, Dogara, 51 Others Is Unlawful – Says Judge

According to him, the lawmakers did not meet that requirement.

He further explained that there was no division of the kind recognized by the Supreme Court to allow the defendant – that is, the Senate President and 52 others retain their seat with the exception of the third defendant, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

He said this is so because in his view, at the time they claimed there was division in their parties which resulted in them decamping, those political parties were still functioning as political parties, hence, the division was not of the kind that will enable them decamp.

Defection Of Saraki, Dogara, 51 Others Is Unlawful – Says Judge

National Assembly Releases Details Of Its 2018 Budget

 

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court has said that the defection of 53 members of the National Assembly is unlawful.

He stated this while ruling on a case seeking to remove the lawmakers for defecting from one party to another when there was no division in their parties as claimed.

According to him, their defection is unlawful and in violation of Section 68(1) G, which holds that except there is a division in a political party, any member of the National Assembly who defected from the political party that sponsored such a person, that person must vacate his or her seat in the assembly.


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Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Defection Of Saraki, Dogara And Others


The judge said there was no division of the kind recognised by the Supreme Court to allow the defendant retain their seat.

He explained that this was so because, during the time they claimed there was division in their parties, those parties were still functioning as political parties.

Justice Abang said there was no evidence before the court to show that it is impossible and impracticable for those political parties they decamped from to function as political parties.

He insisted that the said division was not of the kind that would enable them defect to another party.

During the time they defected, according to the judge, those political parties were still functioning and attending to their programmes and activities.

He noted that he agreed with the counsel to the plaintiff that the lawmakers defected at the time their parties needed them most.

Justice Abang said there was no division, neither was there any merger of a kind envisaged in the Constitution to avail them justifications to seek the protection of the court.

He highlighted that the parties they left were not infested with the virus of division and if that was the case, why didn’t one of the factions approach a court for recognition.

The judge stressed that at the time they defected from the APC and ADC, there was no faction that stopped the parties from functioning as political parties.

He, however, said the lawmakers only made reference to a division to enable them to scale through their judicial iniquities.

An advocacy group, Legal Aides Assistant Project (LEDAP), had instituted the case against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, as well as 52 other lawmakers.

On whether the plaintiff has a locus standi, Justice Abang held that the plaintiff was not a political party that sponsored the defected lawmakers, or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conferred with the powers to monitor political parties.

He added that LEDAP was neither a constituent of the defectors nor a registered voter that voted for them.

Justice Abang said the plaintiff has not put anything before the court to show that the voters urged them to sue on their behalf.

He added that the group did not show any injury it would suffer if its prayers were not granted.

The judge noted that the plaintiff has a good case and a good intention of promoting good political behaviour and rule of law.

He also said its action was aimed at ensuring political stability in the country and stopping the selfishness exhibited by politicians.

Justice Abang, however, ruled that the plaintiff had no locus standi to sue the lawmakers.

He said, “How I wish the plaintiff has a locus standi. They have a good case but I cannot go ahead to deliver judgment when the plaintiff will not suffer any injury.

“There is nothing before the court showing where the plaintiff has suffered any loss as a result of the action of the lawmakers.”

The judge added, “This court has the capacity to determine whether the lawmakers should lose their seat but the plaintiff must have a locus standi, except there is a fiat from the Attorney-General of the Federation who has the locus to sue on behalf of the generality of Nigerian, and the plaintiff did not obtain that fiat.”

“The plaintiff not having locus standi has no right to come to court,” he held.

Justice Abang stated that the court cannot take a decision affecting the defected lawmakers without hearing from the persons that nominated them.

In respect of the main case, as it affects the Senate President, the Speaker, and 52 others, the judge struck out the plaintiff’s case.

He, however, held that the plaintiff’s case against former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill, lacked merit because the senator did not defect.

According to him, Senator Akpabio only joined the All Progressives Congress after he was expelled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Defection: Saraki, Dogara, 52 Others To Know Fate On May 17

Defection: Saraki, Dogara, 52 Others To Know Fate On May 17
A photo combination of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed May 17 to deliver judgement in a suit seeking the removal of 54 members of the National Assembly.

The Legal Defence and Assistant Project (LEDAP) filed the suit against the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and 52 other lawmakers for defecting from their various political parties when there was no division in their parties.

However, the lawmakers through their counsel asked the court to dismiss the suit instituted against them.

READ ALSOFG Secures Release Of Zainab Aliyu

They insisted that LEDAP had no locus standi to file the suit against them, adding that the court lacked the jurisdiction to determine their case.

In their preliminary objection against the suit, the lawmakers urged Justice Okon Abang to dismiss the suit in its entirety because it disclosed no cause of action.

They submitted that the case of the plaintiff had no basis in law because it was not a political party, a voter, or a member of the constituencies who elected them.

Apart from being a non-governmental organisation, the lawmakers said the plaintiff did not disclose what it suffered by their defection.

They added that in all the processes filed, the plaintiff never claimed or exhibited any documents to show that it was a political party or representing any political party or a voter and, therefore, failed to disclose what prompted it to embark on the court action.

Counsel to the Senate President, Mr Mahmud Magaji, prayed the court to hold that the plaintiff was a meddlesome interloper, busy body, and a stranger in the affairs that led to the defection of the lawmakers.

On his part, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Jibrin Okutepa, asked the court to discountenance the submission of the lawmakers.

He added that the court has the constitutional powers to invoke Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution to sack the lawmakers on account of being federal lawmakers.

Okutepa alleged that the lawmakers cross-carpeted for selfish reasons other than the alleged division in their party.

He, therefore, urged the court to invoke the law by declaring their seats vacant without fair or favour, stressing that heaven would not fall if the defecting lawmakers were relieved of their offices.

After listening to arguments from both parties, Justice Abang fixed May 17 to deliver judgement in the case.

He also directed the lawyers to make available to the court photocopies of cited authorities through the registrar of the court.

In the originating summon, LEDAP asked the court to order the lawmakers to refund all monies they collected from the Federal Government since their defection.

Dogara Slams Tinubu, Lists 8th National Assembly’s Achievements

Dogara Slams Tinubu, Lists 8th National Assembly's Achievements

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has defended the performance of the Eighth National Assembly since 2015.

In a statement on Tuesday by his media adviser, Turaki Hassan, the lawmaker listed the achievements of the assembly and how its leadership has supported the executive despite their political differences.

He stated this in reaction to a statement from the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, accusing the assembly of budget padding among other allegations.

READ ALSOSaraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

Dogara slammed Tinubu for the making such allegations, saying he has done more to stabilise the present government than the APC leader.

He, however, attributed the delay in budget passage to “persistent refusal or neglect of the Executive” to present it in good time.

He alleged that there was no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle, in the last four years.

The Speaker explained that the 2016 Budget was submitted on December 22, 2015, while that of 2017 was submitted just 17 days to the end of the year – December 14, 2016.

He added that the 2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, and the 2019 budget was presented 12 days to the end of 2018.

The lawmaker said some ministers and heads of agencies allegedly contributed to the delay by refusing to appear before the National Assembly Standing Committees to defend their budget proposals, in line with the provision of the Law.

Listing some of the achievements of the Eighth Assembly, he noted that the legislature effected an amendment to Section 81(1) of the Constitution to compel the President to present the Budget estimates not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year.

Dogara insisted that the legislature cannot be accused of padding a budget it has unquestionable constitutional power to review.

According to him, it is only the ignorant that say the maker of a document has padded the document that only he can constitutionally make.

Some of the other achievements highlighted by the Speaker are approval of the $1 billion fund for arms purchase “without appropriation”, and helping the government improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

 

Read the full statement below:

We have noted the statement issued on April 21, 2019 by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu wherein he stated his reasons for sponsoring or supporting some aspirants to various leadership positions in the forthcoming 9th Assembly. Ordinarily, this would not have elicited any response from His Excellency, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, as  Asiwaju is entitled to sponsor those he believes will have no choice but  answer to his dog whistles anytime he blows same in his capacity as the self-acclaimed National Leader of his party.

If Asiwaju had confined his intervention to stubborn facts, this response would not have been necessary.

He, however, used the opportunity to manufacture falsehoods and paint a non-existing picture of the stewardship of Mr Speaker and the work of the 8th House of Representatives under his watch. It is, therefore, incumbent on us to set the records straight for posterity.

Asiwaju Tinubu accused the leadership of the National Assembly of stymieing “the APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation”.

He said further: “Just look at the way Saraki and Dogara and their ilk hijacked the Budget Process these past four years. National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them”.

He continued, “Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefited the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly”.

He generously used the usual unexplained words like installing a progressive leadership and so on.

We do not expect Asiwaju Tinubu to dwell on brazen mendacity, much less murder facts and decorum in his rabid bid to justify his patently clear fascist agenda of controlling all levers of power in Nigeria.

Asiwaju Tinubu’s nocturnal agenda has no parallel in the history of any democracy and it is more loathsome when he throws caution to the winds and maligns government officials who are doing a yeoman’s job of stabilising the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, even in spite of political differences.

It is on record that the Rt. Hon. Speaker has done more to stabilise this government more than Asiwaju Tinubu and his ilk whose stock in trade is scheming, manipulation and subversion, especially when they feel they cannot be caught.

When the history of Buhari’s administration is written by those who know the truth of what really transpired in the last four years, Asiwaju’s pretentious loyalty to President Buhari will then be exposed. We won’t say more but no matter how long it may last, the truth will one day overtake lies.

Perhaps, Asiwaju is still bitter about the leadership contest for Speakership of the 8th Assembly, even though the actors have moved on culminating in Speaker Dogara magnanimously facilitating the appointment of his opponent in the race and Tinubu’s protege as House Majority leader.

The chief cause of delay in enacting the budget is the persistent refusal or neglect of the Executive to present it in good time.

For the records, in the last four years, there was no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle. For the avoidance of doubt, we will show the dates the Budget estimates were submitted by the Executive in the last four years below.

–              2016 Budget was submitted on December 22, 2015, exactly nine days to the end of the year.

–              2017 Budget submitted on December 14, 2016, just 17 days to the end of the year.

–              2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, the earliest even though it also fell short of the 90 days stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

–              2019 budget was presented on December 19, 2018, exactly 12 days to the end of the year. 

As if the late or delayed submission of budget estimates wasn’t enough, in most cases, Ministers and heads of agencies contributed to the so-called delay by consistently refusing to appear before National Assembly Standing Committees to defend their budget proposals in line with the provision of the Law. 

At some point, the leadership of the National Assembly had to take up the issue with the President who advised his Ministers to honour legislative invitations to defend their budgets. 

What Nigerians don’t know is that the Executive, through the various Ministries, continued to propose additional projects to be included in the 2018 budget even as at April and May of 2018 which further delayed the passage of the 2018 budget.

These were communicated officially and if anyone is in doubt, we will exhibit the letters with the dates they were written and received.

In any case, the National Assembly inserted a clause in the Appropriation Bill consistent with S.318 of the Constitution which allowed the Budget to last for 12 months after Mr President’s Assent. This enabled the Executive to spend more of the capital component of the Budget as it still had 12 months protected by law.

As an activist legislature, the National Assembly effected an amendment to S. 81(1) of the Constitution to compel Mr President to present the Budget estimates not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year in order to solve this problem but unfortunately, very unfortunately, Mr President declined  assent to the bill which was passed by both the National Assembly and over 2/3rds of the State Assemblies.

The National Assembly made a further attempt to make the Budget process much better by improving the institutional capacity of the Parliament to process and pass National budgets by passing the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) Establishment Bill into law. It was loosely modelled after the American Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Again, Mr President declined assent to the Bill.

It is important to emphasise that the National Assembly is not a Rubber Stamp Parliament and reserves the right,  working cooperatively with the Executive to interrogate projects unilaterally inserted by the Executive branch without the input of or consultation with Parliament.

The legislature cannot be accused of padding a Budget it has unquestionable constitutional power to review. The Budget is a law and the Executive does not make laws. Therefore, it’s only the ignorant and those who hold dubious academic certificates that say the maker of a document has padded the document that only he can constitutionally make.

In the words of his lordship, Hon Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High court,  in suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2014 delivered on March 9, 2016, “the National Assembly was not created by drafters of the Constitution and imbued with the powers to receive ‘budget estimates’ which the first defendant is constitutionally empowered to prepare and lay before it, as a rubber stamp parliament. The whole essence of the budget estimates being required to be laid before Parliament is to enable it, being the Assembly of the representatives of the people, to debate the said budget proposals and to make its own well-informed legislative inputs into it.”

The parliamentarians are representatives of the Nigerian people and you don’t expect them to rubber stamp budgets that are heavily skewed and lopsided against most sections of the country. It is their responsibility to ensure equitable and even distribution of capital projects across all the nooks and crannies of the country, if the Executive fails to do so. 

In any case, it is false to state that legislative intervention in the Budget Process is to benefit the legislators and not their constituencies. We challenge Asiwaju Tinubu to prove otherwise. He should also show in what way the 8th Assembly acted differently from other Assemblies of the past to warrant the kind of language used.

In any case, all the aspirants to the Senate Presidency and Speakership he is sponsoring are majority leaders in the 8th Assembly and took part in the Budget Process that he made the chief basis of his crude attack. This proves beyond doubt the hypocrisy of Asiwaju’s stated reasons for supporting his candidates.

He should find better reasons other than the lies being peddled about the Budget and obstructing government business. Asiwaju shouldn’t take better informed Nigerians for fools. Otherwise, when he sought to take control of the 8th Senate and 8th House in 2015, was it because of any Budget Saraki and Dogara had delayed or pet projects they had inserted into any Budget before 2015?

Asiwaju must come clean on this matter. He should let Nigerians know why he wants to install both the Senate President, the Speaker and leadership of the 9th Assembly. He may yet win the support of some of them if he comes clean on this matter.

The 8th National Assembly is on record to have supported Mr President’s requests on critical issues of governance. We backed him by Resolution on the issue of fuel subsidy, we backed him on the National Minimum wage, even though we were more sympathetic to workers’ rights.

In security matters, we never cut any proposal from Mr President save our refusal to rubber stamp a clear constitutional overreach of spending $1 billion in arms purchase without appropriation. We have passed more Bills than any Assembly before us, including Bills that are helping the government improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria, and there were times we passed Bills within 2 legislative days. Is Tinubu genuinely ignorant of all these?

We challenge Asiwaju Tinubu to list out the Bills he claimed were not passed by the National Assembly. The oil and gas or petroleum sector is the most important and critical sector of our economy which accounts for over 70 per cent of our earnings, the Executive didn’t forward a single Bill to the National Assembly to reform and reposition the sector in the last four years even when repeatedly urged to do so by Mr Speaker in his first year in office.

The lawmakers waited in vain and had to take the bold initiative of crafting a Bill – Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PGIB) among others, passed it in record time and transmitted same to Mr President for assent. This Bill was vetoed without an alternative Legal framework proposed by the Executive. Did Asiwaju miss this also?

Asiwaju Tinubu should mention the so-called bills the Executive sent to the National Assembly and were delayed to show he is a man of honour or forever keep his peace.

Could someone also challenge Asiwaju to list all the “noxious reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation”? Can he name the bills that are reactionary and not in the national interest? Is this how wayward lust for power blinds the reasoning of people we should ordinarily respect? Is it not most unfair, unpatriotic and wicked for Asiwaju Tinubu to have resorted to factoids in promoting his known fascist agenda which he mistakenly thinks he is keeping secret?

Finally, we advise Asiwaju Tinubu to be circumspect in his use of language. In this case, he spoke as a spokesperson of depravity. Our reaction must, therefore, be seen as a provoked counter-punch.

Anyone can descend into the gutter if he so wishes but no one has a monopoly of gutter language. We won’t run an adult day care centre anymore on matters like this.

Turaki Hassan 

Special Adviser (Media & Public Affairs)

April 23, 2019.

Our Challenges Are Never Insurmountable, Dogara Tells Nigerians At Easter

Our Challenges Are Never Insurmountable, Dogara Tells Nigerians At Easter
A file photo of Mr Yakubu Dogara

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has asked Nigerians not to lose hope despite the challenges facing the country.

He made the appeal in a series of tweets on Friday, in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as Christians celebrate Easter across the world.

In his message to Nigerians, the Speaker noted that mankind has always overcome its limitations over time, no matter how much they seem to be.

READ ALSODon’t Lose Hope Of A Greater Nigeria, Says Buhari In Easter Message

In view of this, he appealed to the people not to be overwhelmed by the present challenges facing the nation, affirming that they are not insurmountable.

The Speaker, therefore, called on Nigerians, especially the Christians to demonstrate the love of God in them.

He asked them to love their neighbours irrespective of the differences and forgive not just the friends, but enemies.

He also urged the people to pray for their leaders and the country.

Read Dogara’s tweets below:

Defection Suit: Court Grants Saraki, Dogara, Akpabio, Others Until April 17 To Respond

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has given the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, former PDP Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio and 50 other lawmakers, until April 17 to file their responses to a suit asking them to vacate their seats.

The suit filed by Legal Defense and Assistance Project (LEDAP) urged the court to declare that the lawmakers are no longer members of the National Assembly, after defecting to other political parties without proof of division before the expiration of their tenure.

At the resumed hearing, Efut Okoi represented the affected senators, while Safiya Mohammed represented the members of the house of representatives.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: National Assembly Releases Details Of Its 2018 Budget

Meanwhile, counsel to LEDAP, Jubrin Okutepa, described the sudden change of counsels by the defendants as a ploy to frustrate the case.

He urged the court to ask the previous defense counsel, Mahmud Magaji, to appear and argue his earlier application.

“These are defendants who were served the process of the court since November 2, 2018 and by the rules of court, they had 14 days within which to file their counter affidavit and defense if any.

“Yesterday they stalled proceedings, today again, they came with different lawyers, different processes, confronting us in court. So, the system of justice must not be allowed to suffer a shipwreck by deliberate antics.”

Okutepa added that the essence of the suit is to seek constitutional interpretation and make necessary corrections where necessary.

“This is a simple but fundamental case that involves tax payers money, we are saying you have defected from one party to the other, then the constitution says vacate and you are still there making laws, collecting salaries. We are saying, look, you can’t do that, we operate a constitutional democracy and we are here to simply interpret the constitution.”

Justice Okon Abang, after listening to all the parties, held that it is in the interest of justice to hear all counsel in the matter and subsequently adjourned further hearing to April 18,2019.

We Are Ambassadors Not Exclusive Elite Club Members – Dogara Tells Senators, Reps Elect

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara has advised Senators and Reps elect that though the challenges of insecurity, unemployment, underemployment, poverty, and others may overwhelm them when they assume office, they must not lose sight of the important job they have been elected to do, which is to make a difference that will break the suffering Nigerians are undergoing.

Speaking at a dinner organised for the members and senators-elect in Abuja, he stressed that the most effective way of making this happen is through a knowledge-based legislative practice that will yield desired results effectively.

The Speaker also asked them to clear their minds of any impression that by getting sworn in as members of the National Assembly they are being inducted into an exclusive club of some kind of elites in the country, as they are “merely ambassadors of our different constituencies, and by extension, the nation Nigeria.”

He stated, “We cannot afford to go to sleep as elected representatives of our people in these very challenging environments that our people have found themselves,” he stated, adding, “Whether we’re talking of insecurity in the country, or the challenge of unemployment, as a matter of fact, underemployment is as grave a challenge as unemployment in this country now. Whether it is the struggling economy or the description that is now ascribed to Nigeria that we are the poverty capital of the world, that was said to us here in this same venue, but in a different phrase.

READ ALSO: National Assembly Releases Details Of Its 2018 Budget

“Let me remind us that very soon, after this orientation program, we are going to get the oath of office into the chambers and by that, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves that we are getting inducted into an exclusive club of some kind of elites in this country, but merely ambassadors of our different constituencies, by extension, the nation Nigeria. No ambassador brings dishonor to his own country, those that have served in embassies know that very well. If you bring dishonour to your own government, the remedy is for you to be recalled back home, but I hope that we’ll not bring dishonour.

“So, it, therefore, means that we cannot afford to fail the people who sent us, the only thing we require to make a difference is knowledge. Our parliament must be a knowledge-based parliament. If we have no knowledge; we cannot do the work, or succeed in the task that is before us.”

Hon Dogara also charged them to not spend any time idling as they take up their representative duties on assumption of office, but to ensure that they begin by focusing on those things that will fulfill the promise of democracy to the citizens, which include liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“That is the first premise upon which all other promises of democracy are anchored, even the promise of the security of lives and properties which is the first responsibility of government by our Constitution. We are all witnesses to the general insecurity facing us, whether it is acts of criminality, kidnapping, the crisis of Boko Haram and the challenges of bandits, it is one promise that as a nation we are still struggling to deliver to our people. If you are not alive, what Liberty can one enjoy? Even if you are alive and free, the next promise of democracy talks of your pursuit of happiness. And an individual who is not engaged in the pursuit of happiness, can you truly say that such an individual is free?

“These are some of the questions that we must answer on behalf of our people who queued under the rain and sunshine to ensure that we are voted into office. It is not enough that we have gone through this training, it is good that we have received this training, and some of us are very keen, from the eagerness I saw expressed by the participants in the session I chaired, I can see that some of us are ready to learn. Learning is something we should never stop doing because the very day we stop learning, that day we start dying,” he stated.

Dogara Congratulates Bala Mohammed, Says It’s Time To Rebuild Bauchi

Dogara Congratulates Bala Mohammed, Says It’s Time To Rebuild Bauchi
A file photo of Mr Yakubu Dogara

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has reacted to the victory of Senator Bala Mohammed in the Bauchi State governorship election.

In a statement personally signed by him, the lawmaker said the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state is the crowning of the struggle for the emancipation and liberation of our people.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday declared Senator Mohammed as the winner of the keenly contested election, more than two weeks after the poll held.

Following the victory of the PDP, Dogara said the people of the state have demonstrated to the world that no man-made chains can bind them to “servitude”.

According to him, the results of the election have sent a clear message that Bauchi will never “bend its back again for an oppressor to ride”.

“Today’s victory is ours. Today’s victory speaks to a better and brighter future for ourselves, our children and generations yet unborn,” the Speaker said.

He added, “We have proven that working together, there is no challenge that we cannot overcome as a people. I understand as we all celebrate this victory because it came at a coast so many of us were willing to pay in order to salvage our state from the precipice.

“But we cannot tarry long on this mountain of celebrations as what today’s victory demands of us is to go to work immediately.”

READ ALSO: PDP’s Bala Mohammed Wins Bauchi Governorship Election

A file photo of Senator Bala Mohammed

 

The lawmaker decried that over 1.3 million children in Bauchi were roaming the streets without access to education while the hospitals do not qualify as consulting clinics.

He also said thousands of youths in the state have no jobs and retirees have no pensions and gratuities, adding that the local government system in the state has collapsed.

Dogara, however, noted that it was time to rebuild Bauchi and urged the people never to allow the state to fall into the hands of those he described as greedy people.

He said, “Bauchi people have decided that Senator Bala Mohammed and Senator Baba Tela will lead us to recovery and progress in the next four years.

“I am happy of the rich pedigree they bring to the table. We will support you with all we can as we look forward to an immediate positive impact in your first 100 days in office.”

The lawmaker congratulated the Governor-elect and the Deputy Governor-elect, as well as the people of Bauchi and their leaders who he said sacrificed so much to make the victory possible.

Dogara Wins In Bauchi, Retains House Of Reps Seat

Dogara Wins In Bauchi, Retains House Of Reps Seat
A file photo of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. Photo: Twitter – @HouseNGR

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has won his re-election into the National Assembly.

The lawmaker was declared the winner of the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency on Sunday in Bauchi State.

Dogara was declared the winner of the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency on Sunday in Bauchi State.

The result was announced by the returning officer in Zwall Collation Centre, Prof Ahmed Abdulhamid, in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state.

Dogara, who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 73,609 votes to defeat his closest rival of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Abdullahi, who scored 50,078.

Bauchi Governor Describes Dogara’s Claims As ‘Ridiculous’

Bauchi Governor Describes Dogara’s Claims As 'Ridiculous'
A file photo of Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar.

 

Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, has faulted the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, for accusing him of fraud.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Strategy, Ali Ali, condemned the allegations in a statement on Sunday.

“This is absolute balderdash, especially coming from a supposedly enlightened leader,” he said.

“The total receipt from FAAC in the preceding three years is nowhere close to that outrageous figure.”

Speaker Dogara had raised an alarm of alleged fraud and theft by Governor Abubakar, to the tune of N400 billion since he assumed office in May 2015.

READ ALSO: Dogara Accuses Bauchi Governor Of Diverting N400bn

Addressing a crowd of supporters on Friday at a campaign rally in Dass Local Government Area of the state, the lawmaker alleged that the money was diverted using ghost workers.

He had presented some documents which purportedly showed how thousands of non-existent people were said to have been employed in 2015 shortly after the governor came into office.

Dogara also challenged the governor to take him to court and promised that he would prove the allegations.

Ali, however, described the allegations levelled against the governor by the lawmaker as ridiculous.

He said Speaker Dogara was merely reacting to his purported defeat ahead of the general elections.

“Making such fantastic claims will not save him from the fury of voters in the coming polls,” the governor’s aide said.

He added, “For a lawyer, this ridiculous allegation underscores the quality of his thoughts and actions as number four citizen. His leadership is defined by primordial segmentation and sentiments.”

Dogara Accuses Bauchi Governor Of Diverting N400bn

Dogara Accuses Bauchi Governor Of Diverting N400bn
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has raised an alarm of alleged fraud and theft by Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, to the tune of N400 billion since he assumed office in May 2015.

He made the allegation in a statement on Saturday by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan.

According to Hassan, Speaker Dogara spoke while addressing his supporters on Friday at a campaign rally in Dass Local Government area.

The lawmaker presented some documents which purportedly showed how thousands of non-existent people were said to have been employed in 2015 shortly after the governor came into office.

READ ALSOBauchi Governor Describes Dogara’s Claims As ‘Ridiculous’

He also challenged Governor Abubakar to take him to court and promised that he would defend the allegations.

Dogara added that as a lawyer, he knows the law and would not level false allegations against anyone if he does not have evidence.

“A perusal of one of the documents indicates that no fewer than 1,200 people were said to have been employed and added into the state’s payroll beginning from July 2015,” a statement by Dogora’s media adviser, Turaki Hassan, alleged.

“However, one of the ghost employees by name, Bappale Adamu, was said to have been born in 1899, which is 120 years ago and started work with the Bauchi State government on July 24, 2015, and will retire from the service in 2023.”

The Speaker also alleged that the workers, though have different names and dates of birth, have the same Bank Verification Number (BVN).

He claimed that the salaries were being paid into one and same bank account under different names, varying from “N39,000 to N86,000 and above”.

Speaker Dogara questioned how the monthly salary of workers in the state rose from N2.6 billion in May 2015 to N7 billion “without recruitment of additional workers”.

He claimed that the governor had fired thousands of political appointees engaged by his predecessor, noting that this should have reduced the state’s wage bill drastically.

The lawmaker accused the governor of diverting billions of local government funds in the last three and a half years.

He alleged that the governor chased away contractors renovating Dass Central Mosque but failed to renovate it, saying he personally paid for the renovation of the mosque.

In his reaction, Governor Abubakar, through his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Ali Ali, denied the allegations.

He described the claims by the Speaker as “ridiculous”, stressing that the figure he gave was outrageous.

The governor said the lawmaker was making the allegations because of what he described as Dogara’s “imminent electoral loss” in the coming polls.