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Andoni Chairman Tasks Councillors On Capacity Dev

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A two-day capacity development programme organised for members of Andoni Legislative Assembly ended over the weekend with the council chairman urging the trainees to imbibe knowledge that would enable them discharge their legislative duties effectively.
The chairman of Andoni Local Government Council, Bar Erastus Awortu gave the advice while declaring the programme opened in Port Harcourt last Friday. 
The workshop with the theme ”Strengthening the Legislative Institutional Framework for Effective Service Delivery in Andoni Local Government Area” was aimed at enhancing the individual and collective performance of the councilors as well as motivating them to be resourceful, creative and innovative while discharging their duties as elected representatives of the people.
According to the council chairman, “the training is apt, very crucial and timely, given the sorry state of affairs of our Local Government Area which we inherited and the urgent need to right the many wrongs of Andoni to herald a turnaround and a watershed moment in our dear Local Government Area.
“Your role as councillors of the Legislative Arm is critical because you serve as Vanguards of the people and their common interest. The essence of this training is to enable you understand your role as councillors, to impart legislative knowledge and skills in you, build your legislative capacity and competencies, improve your efficiency and enhance your performance individually and collectively as a Legislative Assembly. 
“The objective of the training is also to motivate you to be creative and innovative as elected representatives of the people from the 11 Wards of Andoni Local Government so that you can make valuable contribution for the good governance of the people”.
The council boss expressed optimism that the training would educate the lawmakers on the rudiment and basics of legislation at the grassroots and and as well enlighten the councillors on the strategies of strengthening the relationship between the Council Executive and the Legislative Assembly with a view to reducing friction between the two arms of government. 
He also expressed hope that  the Training will deepening the legislative knowledge in line with legislative best practices and in consistent with the Local Government Laws of Rivers State and the 1999 Constitution as amended which the grundnorm”.
Awortu said the Councillors would through the workshop gained the requisite legislative knowledge to make good bye-laws and contribute positively to the implementation of the policies and programmes of his government for the general good of the people of Andoni.
He urged the Councillors to galvanize and synchronize their energies towards the pursuit of the good of the people while shunning partisanship and divisive tendencies capable of truncating collective efforts at rebuilding Andoni Local Government and changing its ugly narrative.
Awortu further stressed the need for the lawmakers and the Staff of the Council to equip themselves with the necessary modern day skills of Local Government Administration devoid of lack of commitment to work, nonchalant attitude, lukewarmness and unnecessary bureaucracy and red-tapism.
The Council Boss also charged them to take the advantage of the training to inculcate Discipline, Integrity, Honesty, Diligence and Responsiveness, which are the core values of leadership in them.
On his part, the Facilitator, Mr. Solomon Seiyefa said the training is an orientation workshop targeted at strengthening democratic traditions at the Local Government level and equip the Councillors and Support Staff core values on how to enhance their proficiency on the job.
He said it is expected that at the end of the training the Councillors would know the purpose of their election and discharge their role dutifully and diligently.
“The overview of the training is that we intend to achieve a good working relationship between the Executive, the Councillors and Support Staff of the Council. There is a link between them, their functions are interwoven, none can operate in isolation. 
“The Local Government cannot be effectively administered without a synergy and harmoniously working relationship between Executive, Staff of the Council and the Legislative Arm. 
“Without a good Legislature the Executive cannot function, the Council Chairman needs the Councllors to enact functional bye-laws, to enact acceptable bye-laws, the Councillors also need the Executive to function efficiently. Also, without the Support Staff the Legislative Arm cannot make bye-laws and without the Legislative Arm the Support Staff cannot function effectively. 
“So this training is also aimed at bridging the gap of misunderstanding between the Councillors and the Support Staff of the Andoni Local Government” he said.
The Leader of the Andoni Legislative Assembly Sheila Jacob Nte who spoke to newsmen at the training commended the Council Chairman for the initiative. She said they are now well enlightened on their role as Councillors and adequately equipped with the basic legislative skills of lawmaking at the third tier of Government.
She promised that the knowledge acquired in the training would be put to good use in their day-to-day legislative business.
Also, the Councillor representing Ward 5 Andoni Gogo Ikuru who described the training as the first of its kind said they are better equipped to deliver on their mandate as elected representatives of the people. He thanked the Council Chairman for developing their legislative capacity on the job.
The package of the 2-day Training for the Councillors and Support Staff of Andoni Local Government Council includes:
–        An overview of the Local Government System in Nigeria: Creation, Structure and Function.
–        The Role and functions of the Local Government Legislative Assembly under the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended, and the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018, as amended.
–       The  Conduct of Business in a Legislative Chamber: Ethics, Rules and Procedures.
–        The Role of Support Staff in Legislative Process.
–        The Role of Bureaucracy and Legislative Aides in the Legislature.
–        Budgeting and Budgetary Process in Local Government Council.
–        The Role of the Legislative Assembly in advancing accountability and good governance in Local Government Administration.

By: Enoch Epelle

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Senate Sacks Ndume As Chief Whip  … Resign From Our Party – APC

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The Senate, last Wednesday, announced the removal of Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South) as Chief Whip.
When put to voice vote by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, members of the APC Senate Caucus endorsed Ndume’s removal as Senate Chief Whip during plenary.
Senator Ndume was replaced by Senator Tahir Mungono (Borno North).
This comes amid his recent criticisms of President Bola Tinubu’s government.
In a letter addressed to the Senate Caucus by the national leadership of the ruling party, the APC asked Senator Ndume to resign his membership of the APC and join any opposition party of his choice.
The letter was signed by the party’s national chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, and Secretary, Barrister Ajibola Bashiru.
The Tide’s source had reported how some loyalists of President Tinubu plotted to get Senator Ndume suspended.
Sources at the National Assembly told The Tide’s source that the pro-Tinubu Senators were planning to not just strip Senator Ndume of his position but equally suspend him like Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central).
Senator Ningi, also a ranking senator from the North, was suspended for three months in March this year, for granting an interview to the BBC Hausa service in which he alleged that N3.7 trillion in the national budget for the 2024 fiscal year was not tied to any projects or locations.
Senator Ndume had in an interview with newsmen at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja last week said, “Mr. President is not in the picture of what is happening outside the Villa. He has been fenced off and caged. So many of us won’t go through the backdoor to engage him.
“Now they have stopped him from talking and he doesn’t have public affairs managers, except his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, who writes press statements. Nigerians are getting very angry.
“The government is not doing anything about the food scarcity and it needs to do something urgently. We don’t have food reserve. There is unavailability of food. Food crisis is the worst crisis that any nation can encounter. If we add that to security crisis, it will be severe.”
But his submissions triggered series of reactions from the pro-Tinubu camp as Senator Sunday Karimi (Kogi West) and the ruling APC both knocked the Borno lawmaker, describing his statement as derogatory.
It was learnt that Senator Akpabio is in a fix, considering that Senator Ndume was the Director-General of the Stability Group which worked hard to make him President of the Senate in June 2023.
It was, however, hinted that some Northern senators were waiting for the cat to be let out of the bag during plenary before they would take a position.
A source said, “But of course, you know the Northern Senators will rise against another plan to destabilise their caucus, barely a few months after Ningi was suspended.”
However, some stakeholders from the North under the aegis of Concerned Northern Forum (CNF), in a statement on Tuesday signed by Mallam Abdulkadir Kura, said, “It is on record that Ndume is a critical stakeholder of the ruling APC, and a close ally of President Tinubu. Therefore, if he can take such a bold step in saying the truth about the economic and social reality on the ground, then the Southern Borno Senator need to be celebrated by all and sundry. So we stand by him.
“Ndume has spoken the minds of the average Nigerians who have been under serious economic hardship since the removal of the fuel subsidy and other anti-people policies of the present administration.
“This is not the first time Senator Ndume has criticised or challenged policies of the federal government. He consistently did so during the past administrations of Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari. Such criticisms led to positive changes by the listening governments at that time.”

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Court Reinstates Shuaibu As Edo Dep Gov

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the impeachment of Philip Shuaibu as Edo State Deputy Governor.
Justice James Omotosho, in a judgment on Wednesday, ordered his reinstatement to office on the ground that the Edo State House of Assembly did not follow due process in the purported impeachment.
Justice Omotosho held that the allegation on which the parliament based the impeachment proceedings was untenable in law and did not constitute gross misconduct.
The judge, therefore, ordered the Inspector General of Police to provide him with the security needed to enable him to resume office and perform the functions of the office until the end of his tenure.
Justice Omotosho equally set aside the appointment of another deputy governor in the place of Mr Shaibu.
Mr Shaibu, who was in court, broke down in tears following the judge’s pronouncements.
On April 8, the parliament impeached Mr Shaibu.
Mr Shaibu’s impeachment followed the adoption of the report of a seven-man committee set up by the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to investigate allegations of misconduct against the deputy governor.
During plenary, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Charity Aiguobarueghian, said the report of the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry presented to the parliament had two findings and one recommendation.
Mr Aiguobarueghian said that while the panel report could not establish the case of perjury levelled against the deputy governor, the panel found him guilty of disclosing government secrets.
According to the report, the seven-member judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached for disclosure of government secrets.
The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai, conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Mr Shaibu.
Eighteen out of 19 members at plenary voted for the deputy governor’s impeachment, while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

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Alleged Fraud: Yahaya Bello Seeks Court’s Indefinite Adjournment

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Former Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to adjourn the ongoing case instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indefinitely.
Mr Bello also asked the court to vacate its arrest order on him, pending the determination of an appeal he filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
Mr Bello’s demands were stated in a letter by his counsel, Musa Yakubu. The letter was dated July 12 and addressed to the trial Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, ahead of Mr Bello’s arraignment scheduled for Wednesday, July 17.
The erstwhile Kogi governor is being tried for laundering N80 billion. But, in his appeal against his trial, Mr Bello has expressed fears over his fate if the case proceeds.
In the Appellate case with file number CA/ABJ/CR/535/2024, Mr Bello is seeking to set aside the warrant of arrest he considers illegally issued against him on April 17, 2024. He also wants a return of the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge.
The appeal was filed against the decisions of the trial Federal High Court, Abuja Division, in case number FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024. The former governor is also seeking an order of the appellate court to set aside the service of the EFCC charge on him by substituted means, including the entire proceedings already conducted in the case.
In the letter, Mr Bello requested that further proceedings in the case be adjourned sine die, pending the determination of the appeal currently pending at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
A copy of the letter was also sent to the National Judicial Council in response to a letter to Justice Nwite by the EFCC, dated July 8, 2024 and filed on July 10, 2024.
In the said letter, the EFCC requested a variation of the earlier warrant of arrest issued against Mr Bello, additionally requesting that the various security agencies be specifically directed to carry out the earlier order of arrest.
Responding to the EFCC’s application, Mr Bello’s counsel urged the court to decline the request and await the outcome of the appeal pending at the appellate court over the said warrant of arrest and other related pronouncements of the trial court.
Mr Bello’s counsel made reference to the position of the law as contained in Order 4 Rule 11(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2021 and the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of Vab Petroleum INC V. Momah (Supra), and a litany of other cases.

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