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Emergency Rule: Reps Reconvene ’Morrow …As Senate Debates Deadlocked

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has called for the reconvening of the lower chamber tomorrow,  to consider the request of President Goodluck Jonathan to extend emergency rule in the beleaguered North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
A notification by the office of the Speaker issued on Tuesday by his spokesperson, Imam Imam, said: “On Tuesday, 18th November 2014, I received a communication from the President, Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, requesting for the extension of the existing State of Emergency in Adamawa , Borno and Yobe States by the House of Representatives.
“Pursuant to the powers conferred on me by Section 305 ( 2 ) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which requires me to ‘forthwith convene or arrange a meeting of the House’ and in order to treat the extension before the expiration of the current State of Emergency in accordance with Section 305 (6) (c) of the Constitution, I hereby reconvene the House of Representatives.”
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday created uncertainty over the state of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
The upper chamber failed to approve President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for further extension of emergency rule in the affected states.
Senate President, David Mark, announced after over two hours closed door session that debate on Jonathan’s request will continue on Wednesday.
Mark said: The Senate in a closed session discussed the letter by the President for the extension of state of emergency. We had a very extensive debate on it and we will continue with the debate tomorrow (Wednesday). Is this a true reflection of what happened?” The Senators chorused “yes.”
Jonathan had in a letter entitled: “Re: Extension of the period for the Proclamation of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States,” and dated 17th November, 2014 asked the Senate to endorse further extension of the period of emergency rule in the three states.
The letter reads in part, “May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, which was approved by the National Assembly and extended for a further period of six months by the National Assembly as conveyed by the Clerk of the National Assembly’s letter dated 21st May 2014.
“By virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6)(C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the Proclamation aforementioned will elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval of the National Assembly except the period is extended by the National Assembly.
“It is important to state that despite concerted efforts by this administration to stem the tide of terrorism and insurgency in the affected states, the security challenges that necessitated the Proclamation are yet to abate.
“Consequently, it has become imperative to request the approval of the State for extension of the period for the State of Emergency for a further period of six months.
“In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request Distinguished Senators to consider and approve by resolution the extension of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency by further period of six months from the date of expiration of the current period.”
Before the Senate went into closed session to consider the letter, some Senators attempted to block even the consideration of the letter.
The Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, had moved that the Senate should resolve into Executive Session to consider the presidential request. What followed was a deafening “nay” when Mark put the question.
Apparently taken aback, Mark explained that all he asked was the approval of the chamber to consider the presidential letter on extension of state of emergency.
He noted that saying that the letter should not be discussed should be out of the way since the Senate was bound to debate the letter to take a position whether to approve the request or withhold approval.
Mark noted that it was only during the consideration of the letter that Senators could make their contributions whether to endorse the request or not.
After his explanation which seemed to have calmed frayed nerves, Mark again put the question for the Senate to consider the letter.
The mood in the Senate slightly changed as the lawmakers gave their approval that the letter should be considered.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has called for the reconvening of the lower chamber tomorrow,  to consider the request of President Goodluck Jonathan to extend emergency rule in the beleaguered North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. A notification by the office of the Speaker issued on Tuesday by his spokesperson, Imam Imam, said: "On Tuesday, 18th November 2014, I received a communication from the President, Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, requesting for the extension of the existing State of Emergency in Adamawa , Borno and Yobe States by the House of Representatives. "Pursuant to the powers conferred on me by Section 305 ( 2 ) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which requires me to 'forthwith convene or arrange a meeting of the House' and in order to treat the extension before the expiration of the current State of Emergency in accordance with Section 305 (6) (c) of the Constitution, I hereby reconvene the House of Representatives.” Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday created uncertainty over the state of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. The upper chamber failed to approve President Goodluck Jonathan's request for further extension of emergency rule in the affected states. Senate President, David Mark, announced after over two hours closed door session that debate on Jonathan's request will continue on Wednesday. Mark said: The Senate in a closed session discussed the letter by the President for the extension of state of emergency. We had a very extensive debate on it and we will continue with the debate tomorrow (Wednesday). Is this a true reflection of what happened?” The Senators chorused “yes.” Jonathan had in a letter entitled: “Re: Extension of the period for the Proclamation of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States,” and dated 17th November, 2014 asked the Senate to endorse further extension of the period of emergency rule in the three states. The letter reads in part, “May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, which was approved by the National Assembly and extended for a further period of six months by the National Assembly as conveyed by the Clerk of the National Assembly's letter dated 21st May 2014. “By virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6)(C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the Proclamation aforementioned will elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval of the National Assembly except the period is extended by the National Assembly. “It is important to state that despite concerted efforts by this administration to stem the tide of terrorism and insurgency in the affected states, the security challenges that necessitated the Proclamation are yet to abate. “Consequently, it has become imperative to request the approval of the State for extension of the period for the State of Emergency for a further period of six months. “In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request Distinguished Senators to consider and approve by resolution the extension of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency by further period of six months from the date of expiration of the current period.” Before the Senate went into closed session to consider the letter, some Senators attempted to block even the consideration of the letter. The Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, had moved that the Senate should resolve into Executive Session to consider the presidential request. What followed was a deafening “nay” when Mark put the question. Apparently taken aback, Mark explained that all he asked was the approval of the chamber to consider the presidential letter on extension of state of emergency. He noted that saying that the letter should not be discussed should be out of the way since the Senate was bound to debate the letter to take a position whether to approve the request or withhold approval. Mark noted that it was only during the consideration of the letter that Senators could make their contributions whether to endorse the request or not. After his explanation which seemed to have calmed frayed nerves, Mark again put the question for the Senate to consider the letter. The mood in the Senate slightly changed as the lawmakers gave their approval that the letter should be considered.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has called for the reconvening of the lower chamber tomorrow, to consider the request of President Goodluck Jonathan to extend emergency rule in the beleaguered North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
A notification by the office of the Speaker issued on Tuesday by his spokesperson, Imam Imam, said: “On Tuesday, 18th November 2014, I received a communication from the President, Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, requesting for the extension of the existing State of Emergency in Adamawa , Borno and Yobe States by the House of Representatives.
“Pursuant to the powers conferred on me by Section 305 ( 2 ) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which requires me to ‘forthwith convene or arrange a meeting of the House’ and in order to treat the extension before the expiration of the current State of Emergency in accordance with Section 305 (6) (c) of the Constitution, I hereby reconvene the House of Representatives.”
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday created uncertainty over the state of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
The upper chamber failed to approve President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for further extension of emergency rule in the affected states.
Senate President, David Mark, announced after over two hours closed door session that debate on Jonathan’s request will continue on Wednesday.
Mark said: The Senate in a closed session discussed the letter by the President for the extension of state of emergency. We had a very extensive debate on it and we will continue with the debate tomorrow (Wednesday). Is this a true reflection of what happened?” The Senators chorused “yes.”
Jonathan had in a letter entitled: “Re: Extension of the period for the Proclamation of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States,” and dated 17th November, 2014 asked the Senate to endorse further extension of the period of emergency rule in the three states.
The letter reads in part, “May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, which was approved by the National Assembly and extended for a further period of six months by the National Assembly as conveyed by the Clerk of the National Assembly’s letter dated 21st May 2014.
“By virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6)(C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the Proclamation aforementioned will elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval of the National Assembly except the period is extended by the National Assembly.
“It is important to state that despite concerted efforts by this administration to stem the tide of terrorism and insurgency in the affected states, the security challenges that necessitated the Proclamation are yet to abate.
“Consequently, it has become imperative to request the approval of the State for extension of the period for the State of Emergency for a further period of six months.
“In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request Distinguished Senators to consider and approve by resolution the extension of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency by further period of six months from the date of expiration of the current period.”
Before the Senate went into closed session to consider the letter, some Senators attempted to block even the consideration of the letter.
The Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, had moved that the Senate should resolve into Executive Session to consider the presidential request. What followed was a deafening “nay” when Mark put the question.
Apparently taken aback, Mark explained that all he asked was the approval of the chamber to consider the presidential letter on extension of state of emergency.
He noted that saying that the letter should not be discussed should be out of the way since the Senate was bound to debate the letter to take a position whether to approve the request or withhold approval.
Mark noted that it was only during the consideration of the letter that Senators could make their contributions whether to endorse the request or not.
After his explanation which seemed to have calmed frayed nerves, Mark again put the question for the Senate to consider the letter.
The mood in the Senate slightly changed as the lawmakers gave their approval that the letter should be considered.

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Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court

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The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.

Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.

The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.

It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.

They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.

According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.

The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.

However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.

Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.

The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.

Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.

He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.

More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.

Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.

The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.

Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.

The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.

The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.

“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.

“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?

“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.

“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.

“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”

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Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation

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Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.

The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.

“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.

Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.

It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.

It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.

“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.

“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’

“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.

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