**challenges National Assembly to defend Constitution
The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been charged to sack President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as its chairman over lack of legitimacy as President of Nigeria.
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank gave the charge in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday
According to him, the President lost legitimacy following discovery that he forged the Chicago State University (CSU) certificate he filed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the 2023 Presidential election.
He said: “If ECOWAS must remain relevant and retain its credibility and respect among member states, especially in dealing with military junta now spreading fast like a pandemic across the sub-Region it must act fast to protect its integrity.”
He equally challenged past and present presidents of member states of ECOWAS to prevail on the sub-Regional body to do the right thing by appointing another chairman in acting capacity pending ratification during the next Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.
Failure to act timeously would put the Regional body in a lame duck position where all decisions reached during the tenure of Tinubu would not be respected and therefore null and void, Frank indicated.
He urged the leadership of the military junta in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger Republic not to have any dealings, discussion or negotiation with the Tinubu-led ECOWAS until the President is removed as its chairman.
He charged the authorities of ECOWAS not to be deceived by the appointment and secondment of broadcast journalist and Channels Television reporter, Mrs Linda Nwabuwa Akhigbe, to serve as Communications Advisor to the ECOWAS Commission President, H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, in Abuja.
“This is a Greek gift, therefore, the Commission should beware,” he said.
He insisted that Tinubu’s administration in one breathe persecutes the media with recent NBC’s last warning letter to ARISE Television and on the other hand, it bribes them with generous appointments and paid advertisements as recently corroborated by Ex-Governor Nyesom Wike who is the minister of FCT.
He called on the National Assembly to defend the nation’s constitution, democracy and rule of law by urgently commencing impeachment proceedings against Tinubu over gross violation of the constitution.
He insisted that the National Assembly cannot afford to stay aloof while the nation is crumbling under illegalities and breach of the constitution committed by Tinubu as contained in the sworn deposition by the CSU authorities.
He said: “The National Assembly, like Nero, cannot afford to fiddle while Rome (Nigeria) burns, otherwise they would become guilty of conspiracy of silence and willing accomplices to the unraveling of democracy in Nigeria.
“A breach of the Constitution by a sitting President is an impeachable offence. We are calling on the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives, to wake up and defend the Constitution.
“This is the time for them to uphold the law and constitution of the land. This is the time they must display patriotism irrespective of party affiliation by urgently commencing impeachment proceedings against the President.
“This is not all about party membership. It’s all about sustaining our democracy and ensuring peace, security and development of the country.
“Nigerians expect them to exercise their constitutional powers to do the right thing if they are truly the elected representatives of the people.
“Otherwise, Tinubu’s stay in office will continue to bring national disgrace and embarrassment to Nigerians both home and abroad and equally chase away foreign investors from doing business in Nigeria because no foreign investor will come to Nigeria to invest while it remains under a President tainted with legitimacy.“
He insisted that the President’s forgery saga is already making life difficult and creating hard times for Nigerians abroad who are seeking for jobs as their certificates are now being subjected to thorough scrutiny to ensure they are not fake.
The Bayelsa-born political activist also called on the Supreme Court to handle the Presidential election petition appeal before it with the fear of God and national interest in order to safeguard the nation’s democracy.
He said: “We believe that the Supreme Court must not be biased and must do everything to protect our democracy. The world is watching to see if they will uphold the principles of true justice in the manner they will handle this case of
perjury or lying under oath by Tinubu.”
According to him, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, recently said the judiciary does not base its decisions on sentiment or public opinion in deciding cases but on the constitution.
“Several vitriolic attacks are regularly heaped on the judiciary; it is, however, crystal clear that public opinions, no matter how serious or weighty it might be, cannot override or supersede the constitution of the country which we apply in deciding each case,” the CJN said after swearing in 23 newly-appointed judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Frank added: “We now have a clear case of breach of the Constitution by a President who submitted a forged certificate to INEC contrary to Section 137 (1)(j) of the Constitution which stipulates that: ‘A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if – he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.’
“We expect the CJN and other Supreme Court Justices to courageously uphold the constitution by ensuring that a confirmed lawbreaker is not retained as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”
Senior Gabonese military officers overthrow President Ali Bongo
Some senior Gabonese military officers announced on Gabonese TV that they have seized power after the electoral commission announced President Ali Bongo had won a third term.
The coupists struck in the early hours of Wednesday, annulling Saturday’s election, which Bongo was declared to have won
Bongo became president of Gabon after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who was President for 42 years until his death in 2009.
Father and son ruled Gabon 56 years from 1967.
One of the sons of the Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba was arrested by the new junta for “treason”.
The ousted president has also been placed under house arrest alongside some of his family members.
“President Ali Bongo is under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors,” they said in a statement read out on state TV.
Tinubu gets President Lourenço invite for African leaders consultations
President Bola Tinubu, has received an invitation to the regular bilateral and multilateral consultations of African leaders aimed at tackling common challenges across the continent by his
Angolan counterpart President João Lourenço.
This was contained in a message by Lourenço through his envoy, Téte António, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, in Abuja.
The Institutional Communication and Press Services of the Embassy of Angola in Nigeria, Benin and Niger, made the message available to newsmen in Abuja
The message is connected with the regular bilateral and multilateral consultations of the leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) , ECOWAS regions, as well as the common challenges on the continent.
“Lourenço is inviting his counterpart Tinubu, to participate in the III Edition of the Pan-African Forum for the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence-Luanda Biennial, taking place from Nov. 22 to 24.
“Adopted in 2015 at the 24th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), the Biennial of Luanda will take place under the theme: “Education, culture of peace and African citizenship, as tools for the sustainable development of the continent.
“It intends to contribute to the implementation of the “Action Plan for a Culture of Peace in Africa, a joint collaboration between the Government of Angola and UNESCO,” Lourenço said.
Anthonia, who arrived in Abuja on Tuesday, delivered the message from Lourenço to Tinubu, as well as courtesy meeting with his Nigerian counterpart, Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
At last, ECOWAS adopts the military option to restore constitutional order in Niger
The Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), has decided to go the way of military option to restore constitutional order in NIger Republic after all entreaties for dialogue failed to yield any positive result
The President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray ordered the regional standby force to move to action after making the declaration while reading the resolution of ECOWAS on the Niger coup at the ECOWAS Extraordinary meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
He also called on the African Union, AU, partner countries and institutions to support the resolution taken by the sub-regional body.
ECOWAS said all efforts made to dialogue with Niger Republic military junta have been defiantly rejected by coup leaders as they condemn continuous detention of President Mohamed Bazoum and his family members.
The resolution partly reads, “Noted that all diplomatic efforts made by ECOWAS, in resolving the crisis have been defiantly repelled by the military leadership of the Republic of Niger; taking note of the expiration of the one week ultimatum given for the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger decide as follows:
A. Reiterates its strong condemnation of the attempted coup d’etat and the continued illegal detention of President Mohammed Bazoam, his family and members of his government
B. Further condemns the condition in which President Bazoum is being detained and hold the CNSP fully and solely responsible for the safety, security and physical integrity of President Bazoum, members of his family and government.
C. Uphold all measures and principles agreed upon by the extra ordinary Summit held on Niger on 30th July 2023.
D. Underscore the determination of the ECOWAS authority to keep all options on the table for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.
E. Enforce all measures in particular border closures and strict travel bans and assets freeze on all persons or groups of individuals whose actions hinder all peaceful efforts aimed at ensuring the smooth and complete restoration of constitutional order.
F. Warn member states who by their action directly or indirectly, hindered the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Niger about the consequences for their action before the community.
G. Call on the African Union to endorse all the decisions taken by the ECOWAS authority on the situation in Niger.
H. Further call on all partner countries and institutions including the United Nations to support ECOWAS, in its effort to ensure a quick restoration of constitutional order, in conformity with its normative instruments.
I. Direct the President of the Commission to monitor the implementation of the sanctions.
J. Direct the Committee of the chief of defense staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately.
K. Order the deployment of the ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
L. Underscore its continued commitment for the restoration of constitutional order through peaceful means.
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