Dino Melaye In Custody – Police

Twenty-hours after armed riot policemen besieged the Shanga, Maitama, Abuja residence of Senator Dino Melaye, the Nigeria Police Force said the lawmaker is now in its custody.

The Deputy Force spokesman, Aremu Adeniran, confirmed that Melaye was taken into custody because he refused to honour police summons extended to him in respect of a case of illegal possession of firearms.

Adeniran in a statement on Thursday said that the police obtained a warrant of arrest and trailed him to his house at Maitama, Abuja and cordoned  off the place.

“He however surrendered himself to the police this morning for investigation on the allegations against him,” the statement said.

The police had alleged that Melaye contracted one Kabiru Seidu and his gang as political thugs, adding that the lawmaker met with the suspect on Airport road, Abuja inside his car in December, 2017 and gave him a bag containing an AK47 rifle, two Pump Action guns and N430,000 to share with his boys.

Reps Flay Buhari On Payment Of $462m For Fighter Jets, Says Its Impeachable Offence

Members of the House of Representatives did not mince words on Tuesday when they said President Muhammadu Buhari committed an “impeachable offence” by authorising the purchase of $462million jets for the military without appropriation by the National Assembly.

Buhari is buying 12 Tucano aircraft from the US with the money.

The planes will be delivered in 2020.

The lawmakers became angry as soon as the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, read a letter from Buhari, informing the House that the expenditure was done in “anticipation of approval” by the National Assembly.

They noted that the letter was a “mere afterthought”, as the expenditure had been done already.

The anger caused a brief rowdiness on the floor, forcing Dogara to intervene in a bid to calm down the lawmakers.

The eventual decision on Tuesday was that the letter should be properly tabled for debate on another date by the House so that it would take a position on the next line of action.

But, before the resolution, it was the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Kingsley Chinda, who raised a point of order to draw the attention of members to the alleged “constitutional breach” by Buhari.

He said both the 1999 Constitution and other laws in the country did not recognise spending by the President in “anticipation of approval” by the legislature.

Chinda stated, “This matter ($462m) came up last week. Today, Mr. President has admitted that the expenditure has already been incurred.

“We are supposed to be a watchdog, but as it is, we cannot bite. This is an impeachable offence and there is no misconduct that is more serious than this.

“I propose that we commence the impeachment of Mr. President, based on this infraction.”

Atiku: I’m Not Desperate To Rule Nigeria

Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has said he is not desperate to become Nigeria’s president, come 2019, as some Nigerians have said.

“If I am desperate, I wouldn’t have stepped down for M.K.O Abiola in 1993 presidential race,” he said.

Mr. Abubakar stated this on Tuesday, in an interview with BBC Hausa morning programme.

He said if Nigerians could follow his political antecedent, they would not see him as a desperate politician.

“In 1993, I contested with M.K.O Abiola. I later withdrew from the race. In 1999, I was elected a governor of Adamawa state, then invited to be Nigeria’s vice president, under Olusegun Obasanjo,” he said.

Mr Abubakar said in 2007 he contested against former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, “to show the world that I have the right to contest and I did that to satisfy my conscience”.

“All the times I have been contesting for the presidency, I have been opportune only once to be presented to Nigerians as a candidate,” he said, adding that the remaining times, he ended up only at the primary election.

“I could have become Nigeria’s president in 2003 when virtually, all the state governors then, rallied support for me to contest which I declined. I am not desperate to be president as some Nigerians view it.

“As a former vice president, I am opportune to know things. If I am opportune to be elected as a president, I will accomplish my mission by reviving the economy, by making Nigeria an investor’s haven.

“The present administration discouraged investors into the country, because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) exchange rate policies is too tedious for investors. CBN has three different exchange rate policies, which is not supposed to be.

“If elected Nigeria’s president, I will expand the nation’s source of wealth to cater for the growing youth population in the country. Nigeria can justify my claims, going by the number of youth that are working in my industries across the country,” he said.

Tinubu Commends APC Over National Convention Committee

A former Governor of Lagos and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has commended his party over the inauguration of a committee to organize its National Convention on Monday.

The former governor expressed optimism that the convention will be hitch-free as he believed that members of the convention committee will carry out their duties without favoritism.

In a statement released by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said, “I congratulate the Chairman and members of the Congresses/Convention Committee of our party, the All Progressives Convention, just inaugurated to take charge of the conduct of the forthcoming congresses and national convention.

“Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru, who is the chairman of the committee, is a man reputed to be of high character and integrity.

“Working with other members of the committee, I’m persuaded that our party would conduct hitch-free congresses at all levels and the national convention.

“I also congratulate our party for embarking on the congresses against all odds. This is the way to go if we are desirous of building and upholding a truly democratic political party. Our ultimate goal should be the greater interest of the party.

“I believe that all members of our party are high in the expectation that the committee would perform its assignment without fear or favor through which our party can be great again.”

Osun 2018: Aregbesola Calls For Continuity

By Nofisat Marindoti 
As the governorship election draws closer, Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has urged party members to remain united to ensure the party’s victory at the polls.
Aregbesola gave this charge during a visit to Ife Federal constituency in Ile-Ife on Monday.
He implored members to support whoever becomes the party candidate, adding that the party should remain one and indivisible.
Ogbeni Aregbesola who stated that the former administration led by the opposition party, The Peoples Democracy Party, PDP, was characterized by corruption and lack of development, also urged the party members and the entire residents of the State not to fall for their deceit again.
According to him, “This event is not a rally, it is rather a meeting among party members. We shouldn’t wait until someone is picked as the party candidate before we start working, let’s start working now and support whoever becomes the party candidate.
“It is the continuity of our party that matters, let’s start working towards that continuity. The opposition has started their usual ways of misleading and deceiving people, we should take care not to get swayed.”
Aregbesola who listed the achievements of his administration, reiterated that any State or Country must borrow to ensure its development, adding that the United States of America also owes.
“It is not the borrowing and the debt that matters, it is what the money is used for that matters. Look at the achievements of our administration, look at the roads, the schools, the medical centres and our various programmes, how else could we have achieved all these?”
The Governor also posited that he has no back account, asking anybody with contrary evidence to come out with it.

Osun Gets New REC

By Nofisat Marindoti 
Mr Olusegun Agbaje has been posted to the State of Osun by The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
Sources confirm that the new REC  resumed at the INEC headquarters in Osogbo, capital of the State on Monday.
Agbaje was received by the administrative officer of the commission who took him around the key departments in the headquarters.
On resumption, Agbaje held a meeting with some very senior officials of the commission. The subject matter of the meeting was not disclosed to our correspondent.
Agbaje is not new to Osun. He was posted to the state as election REC during the 2014 governorship election in the state which he conducted successfully.

Don’t Relent In Your Support For Aregbesola – Ooni Charges Osun People

By Nofisat Marindoti

The Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has urged residents of the State of Osun to back development by supporting the present administration led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

Oba Ogunwusi said this during a courtesy visit by the Governor as part of events heralding his tour of Federal Constituencies in the state.

The Governor said the purpose of the visit was to check on party members at the various Constituencies.

He sought the Ooni’s prayers and approval in order to make the entire event a successful one.

Meanwhile, the Ooni expressed his happiness at seeing the Governor and appreciated his support for the town.

He also urged members of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to be united, adding that disunity hinders development.

APC Benue Chairman Declaims Political Incident at Caucus Meeting

The Chairman, Mr. Abbah Yaro, of the APC Benue has declaimed the political incident that claimed lives at the party’s Benue South Senatorial caucus meeting, held in Otukpo, headquarters of the senatorial district, on Friday.

At least three members were allegedly killed while several others were injured during the meeting.

He said, “I heard about the killings. The incident did not happen at the venue of the meeting or at the zonal party secretariat. The crisis started from Thursday. I heard that boys were moving from street to street, killing people.

It was gathered that a fight broke out during the meeting between some men believed to be loyal to the current chairman of the party in the state and a member of the House of Representatives from the senatorial district.

The federal lawmaker was said to have declared his ambition to contest the Benue South senatorial ticket on the occasion.

It was further learnt that the fracas resulted in the death of three persons, including a pastor, (names witheld) while several other party faithful sustained injuries.

Yaro said the fight did not emanate from the meeting, adding that the zonal meeting went on smoothly and ended successfully.

He explained that despite the plans by some members of the party from Benue South Senatorial district to disrupt the meeting, everything went well.

He said, “Some people in my senatorial zone do not want me back as the state chairman of the party even when the entire zonal leadership of the party in the state has endorsed me for a second term.

“Some people, who just defected from the PDP to the APC, are fighting me and they are the cause of Friday’s mayhem.

“However, what I gathered is that the fight that led to the death of the three people, started in one of the streets of Otukpo, a day before the zonal meeting was held and l was not there.”

The Director of Publicity of the party in the state, Apeh Peter, alleged that the fight that led to the demise of the people might have been instigated by a federal lawmaker who wanted to contest the Benue South Senatorial district.

He said, “I heard about the killings. The incident did not happen at the venue of the meeting or at the zonal party secretariat. The crisis started from Thursday. I heard that boys were moving from street to street, killing people.

70-Year Old Nigerian Ambassador Shows Intention in C’Rivers Governorship

Nigeria’s Ambassador to Uganda, Mr. Nya Asuquo, has declared his intention to contest the governorship seat in the 2019 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State.

Asuquo said he would contest the election because the current leadership in the state had failed, adding that the state had become less productive because of poor governance.

The 70-year-old envoy, who is the head of the Ikot-Offiong clan in the Odukpani Local Government Area, said he would support any youth that provides a better programme to run the state.

He said, “I am entering the race because the current leadership has failed. Cross Riverians are seen to be less productive because of visionless leadership that has refused to look for the treasures hidden in their backyards. They have resorted to depending on federal allocation.

“If a youthful candidate comes out today with a good programme, I will support him. We have had young people at the helm in the state.”

The ambassador, who is from the southern senatorial district, said the current zoning structure, which favours the northern senatorial district, should not be applicable in the 2019 election.

He also said with the current game plan, some leaders in the APC were planning to ensure that the governorship and chairmanship slots were given to the central senatorial district, adding that such would breed anarchy.

He added, “At every time there was a contest for governor, there were contenders from every zone and same thing for chairmanship position. In other words, there was no zoning in the state.

“However, zoning was defeated in APC in the last election. It was said that if the governor is coming from the North, the chairman of the party should come from the South. But suddenly the drum player in Rivers State gave the governorship to the North and the chairmanship to central. We have been saddled with that problem till date.”

Source: Punch

Ekiti Chairman Beaten up by Political Thugs

The Ekiti People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Delegates congress faced crisis on Saturday leading to an attack on a former Chairman of Ikere Local Gvernment, Mr. Mr Banji Aluko.

Aluko was beaten up by persons suspected to be political thugs over allegation that he was working against ‘Ikere Agenda’, fashioned by Gov. Ayo Fayose in support of his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola.

Aluko , who led a group of youth to the secretariat of the party to register his protest over alleged subversion of the opposition’s will, was chased away from the congress.

The supporter of former works minister, Mr, Dayo Adeyeye, was beaten with canes and cudgels and his sparkling apparel heavily stained.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye said Aluko accused the Deputy governor and a member of the House of Assembly representing Ikere constituency 1, Mr. Wale Ayeni, as the masterminds of the attack.

“Our group won election at Ogbonjana ward 7 and we were rejoicing only for these thugs to pounce on me and started beating me.

“I have reported the case to the police and proper action will be taken against the sponsors,” he added.

The fragile peace brokered recently in the party broke down as the political gladiators squared up in virtually all the 177 wards, where elected delegates were expected to emerge, preparatory for the May 8 governorship primary.

The major gladiators are Governor Fayose; former Minister of Works, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye and Senator representing Ekiti south, Sen. Abiodun Olujimi.

They engaged in battle of wits in the delegates’ election.

While Fayose is backing his deputy, Olusola to succeed him in the July 14 governorship poll, the duo of Adeyeye and Olujimi were also contesting the same seat.

Adeyeye described the congress as a charade, calling for outright cancellation of the exercise to prevent anarchy.

Adeyeye said the election was “brazenly manipulated” in all the 177 wards , accusing the leaders of PDP Ad hoc committees sent to the 16 local governments of diverting the materials meant for the election.

Former Senate President, David Mark , led other top hierarchy of the party to conduct the congress.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus and members of the National Working Committee, as well as Senator Mark, were in Ado Ekiti last Wednesday to mediate between the opposing camps.

Tension was particularly high in Ikere Ekiti, hometown of the Fayose’s deputy , as factions fought over the control of the Ikere local government delegates in all the eleven wards in the council.

Adeyeye, who spoke through his Media Assistant, Niyi Ojo, said: “There was no election anywhere in the state. Those loyal to Fayose sat somewhere and wrote the list of delegates.

“What really marvelled us was that the committees sent by the national headquarters to conduct the election didn’t go to the wards, they
diverted,” he alleged (NAN)

INEC Denies Compromising 2019 Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied making attempts to compromise the 2019 general elections as alleged by the PDP National Publicity Secretary.

Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party`s (PDP), on Friday alleged that INEC was planning to create 30,000 illegal polling units in some remote areas.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Sunday in Abuja, urged Nigerians to disregard the allegation.

Oyekanmi explained that the commission received 3,789 requests nationwide for the creation of new polling units.

He said that in response to the requests, the commission directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to thoroughly asses and provide it with information on new settlements not served or inadequately served by existing polling units.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
He added that the commissioners were also to provide information on areas with natural barriers that hinder access to existing polling units; as well as areas that were distant from

existing polling units.

“The RECs are also to assess and provide information on areas affected by communal and other conflicts that make voting in existing polling units unsafe for voters,“ he said.

He said that these reports were still being awaited from the various States.

“It is these reports and the information they contain that will be collated and carefully examined by the commission in order to determine what changes may be necessary in the current polling units` profile of the country.

Rotimi Oyekanmi
“Therefore, the insinuation that the commission intends to create 30,000 new polling units to compromise the 2019 General Elections is false, misleading, unfounded and should be disregarded.”

The commission assured the public that its decisions and actions shall always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws and its determination to respond to requests by Nigerians to serve them better.

He said that the creation of more polling units would be done only after full consultation with all stakeholders. (NAN)