***Hon. Aribisogan states reason he relocated his Family, went underground
The embattled Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Olugboyega Aribisogan and two of his allies, Hon Tajudeen Akingbolu and Hon Adegoke Olajide have petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali over alleged security threat to their lives.
Both Akingholu and Olajide along with some lawmakers were immediately suspended indefinitely after the impeachment of Hon Aribisogan
Hon. Aribisogan in a petition to the IGP titled: ‘Save Our Souls/Appeal for Police protection’, dated 7th November, 2022, gave vivid account of his ordeal after he was illegally impeached by some of his Colleagues.
According to the petition that was made available to the Nationa Update on Tuesday, Hon. Aribisogan alleged that three unknown men visited his private office and residence to make enquiries about his whereabouts since he announced his resolve to challenge his removal in Court on 17th November, 2022.
The petition reads: “I hereby appeal to the Inspector General to save me and my family members from being eliminated because of my decision to contest for election as the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
“On Tuesday 15th November 2022, the twenty five members of the House of Assembly participated in a free, fair and transparent election of a new Speaker to fill the vacancy which occurred due to the death of the late Speaker of the House – Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye.
“In accordance with the House Rules, the Clerk of the House called for nominations and I, Right Honourable Olugboyega Aribisogan, was nominated by Hon. Tajudeen Akingbolu and the nomination was seconded by Hon. Adegoke Olajide.
“Another member – Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba was also nominated. Members voted and I emerged as the winner with fifteen votes in my favour. I was immediately sworn into office and began to preside over the plenary of the House.
“After plenary on that day, a parliamentary meeting took place, where I was congratulated by all.
“I must mention that for some days before the election, some powerful forces outside the Government of Ekiti State had been coercing members of the House to support Hon. Adelugba for the Speakership.
“My emergence as the Speaker thus did not go down well with those people and they used their influence to get heavily armed policemen to be drafted to seal off the House of Assembly Complex in the early hours of the following day (Wednesday 16th, November, 2022) of my election as Speaker.
“On enquiry, the State Commissioner of Police told me that he deployed his men to secure the Complex based on an alleged intelligence report that some disgruntled elements had planted a bomb in the premises. The Police Commissioner said that ‘I should inform Honourable members and staff of the Assembly to vacate the premises for a few hours while he carried out a search of the premises.
“The Commissioner of Police never gave me a feedback, but his men remained at the Assembly Complex preventing me as Speaker from accessing my office. Other Honourable members and members of staff were also not allowed into the premises.
“In the evening of Sunday, 20th November, 2022, I received information that the influential people outside the Government of the State, who were displeased with my emergence as the Speaker of the House, made calls to a few Honourable members and threatened to deal with them, if the Honourable members did not follow them to an all-night meeting that day.
“The Honourable members who succumbed to the threats were camped overnight outside Ado Ekiti where they were instructed to take oart in an illegal impeachment of the Speaker of the House the next day.
“Those Honourable members were shepherded to the House of Assembly by a band of political thugs and allowed access to the House Chambers at 6am on Monday, 21st November, 2022 by the policemen who had sealed up the Assembly Complex since the previous week.
“The members claimed that they had a plenary meeting during which I was purportedly impeached as Speaker and suspended from the House along with six other colleagues.
“Since the meeting was not legally convened and my purported impeachment and suspension did not follow due process, I and my two colleagues who nominated me for the Speakership election, approached the Ado Ekiti High Court to nullify the illegal decisions taken by the House of Assembly.
“Immediately I announced my decision to go to Court on 17th November, 2022, three unknown men visited my private office and my residence to make enquiries about my whereabouts. My neighbours also reported seeing strangers parading around my residence in the evening of the following day.
“I immediately relocated my family members away from my house and I have had to go underground for fear of my life. I however cannot remain underground permanently which is why I am appealing to the Inspector General for police protection,” the embattled lawmaker noted.
Senate urges FG to withhold statutory allocation to LGC without elected officials
The Senate has urged the Federal Government to henceforth withhold statutory allocation to the Local Governments Councils(LGC) without democratically elected leaders
In the last three months of August, September and October the Local Governments received N702.647b out of N1.006 shared for the three tiers of government in the period under review.
The legality or otherwise of the Federal Governmemt’s power to enforce the Senate’s recommendation is left for legal experts to analyse
The Senate’s recommendation came after debate on the Urgent Need to halt the erosion of democracy: the dissolution of elected Councils in Benue State sponsored by Sen. Moro, Abba Patrick (Benne South)
The senate condemned the arbitrary dissolution of democratically elected Local Government Councils in Benue and other states in Nigeria
It also resolved to urge the Federal Government to review the Benue State governor’s dissolution of the elected councils and constitution of caretaker committees and reinstate the elected council executive forthwith.
The upper legislative chamber urged the governor of Benue state to adhere to his oath of office to obey the rule of law and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
While leading the debate Senator Moro he was dismayed by the dissolution of Democratically Elected Councils in Benue State,
According to him, replacing the elected chairmen with Caretaker Committees to is an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)
Quoting Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) he said it guarantees a system of local government by Democratically Elected Councils.
He insisted that it is the Constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of Local
Government Councils by law.
He indicated that there are subsisting court rulings directing the Governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies etc not to tamper with the tenure of the elected Councils
He therefore challenged the Governor/Government of Benue State to first appeale the outstanding judgments which has not been done adding that it is against the grain of the rule of law
Senator Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) pointed out thatabout 16 states in Nigeria are currently without democratically elected council officials.
He urged the Senate to direct the Finance Minister to stop funding LGS without elected council officials.
Oshiomhole’s suggestion was supported by Senator Ali Ndume.
The senator representing Oyo North, Abdulfatai Buhari indicated that the Electoral Act should be amended to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections.
The President of the senate Godswill Akpabio also frowned at the establishment of multiple federal agencies but advocated the creation of the National Electoral Commission for Local Government so that governors would no longer have overbearing influence on council polls
Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to give him the authorization to borrow $8,699,168,559 and €100 million to carryout critical projects across the country.
The president’s request was contained in a letter read at the commencement of plenary on Tuesday by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.
Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the request was part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development.
The letter reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.
“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023.
“The projects cut across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.
“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.
“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.
“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”
Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic
***Plead with Tinubu to restore electricity supply to Niger
The Northern Senators Forum on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of Urgency use his position as Chairman of ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community
They also demanded that Nigeria restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
The senators had in July on the heels of the military forceful take over of the democratically elected government in Niger, cautioned President Tinubu against use of Military power towards tackling the military coup, as they called for diplomatic options.
A communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting which was read by the chairman of the forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauch Central) stated, “The forum on very strong terms condemn the spate of Military intervention in the democratic spaces in the West African subregion.
“The Northern Senators Forum in particular condemns the coup in Niger and urged the military junta in Niger to soften the relationship with the rest of ECOWAS military by setting free President Muhammed Bazoum and his immediate family to freely choose a country of his choice for asylum
They further urged the junta in Niger to bring about a transition time table that will last not more than two years.
They ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community.
“It is important that Nigeriens should not suffer because of the coup that took place just like we have seen what is happening in Gaza
“We ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander in chief of the Armed forces and of course the chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammed Bola Tinubu to as a matter of humanitarian gesture restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
Ningi called on Nigerians and Nigerien to remember that they remain brothers, partners and Africans and above all, we remain human beings
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