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Tinubu, Abbas Harp On Executive, Legislative Synergy At 2024 Open House Week

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday underscored the importance of collaboration between the Executive and Legislative arms of government in a bid to deliver the dividends of democracy and good governance.
President Tinubu stated this while delivering a keynote address at the opening of a 3-day ‘House Open Week’ with the theme: ‘Improving Inclusion Through Citizens Engagement’ organised by the leadership of the House of Representatives.
Mr. President who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, observed that the choice of the theme was “apt, timely and vital because it underscores the importance of Executive and Legislative collaboration.
“Our gathering here today, I must say, is happening at a critical point of our nation’s journey, journey to greatness.
“The challenges before us demand collective efforts that obliterate political differences in all forms”, he said.
While declaring the event open, Speaker Tajudeen Abbas noted that achievements recorded so far were products of a harmonious working relationship that exists between the 10th House and the Executive arm of government under President Bola Tinubu.
The House had, during the period under review, introduced 1,351 bills, the highest number in any first session since 1999 and passed 89; considered 679 motions out of which 672 (99%) were being considered at various committees, while seven (1%) were negatived. Among these motions, 43 (6.0%) were referred to ad-hoc committees and 629 (93%) to Standing Committees.
According to him, out of the 240 petitions received so far, 40 petitions/cases have been closed while 10 have been laid before the House for resolution. Same has also been demonstrated in cases of industrial disputes between organised labour and the government.
Speaking on the oversight visits and inspections by the House in one year, the Speaker disclosed that Committees visited 107 Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and projects nationwide, despite the delay in the inauguration of most of the standing committees that were inaugurated between November and December 2023.
“The various legislative activities highlighted in our Scorecard were made possible by the harmonious relationship between the 10th House of Representatives and the other arms of government in the first year of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Speaker said.
This should be appreciated against the backdrop of the familiar friction associated with the legislative and executive arms in the earlier part of the democratisation process.
“Without prejudice to the requirement of checks and balances, which is the hallmark of democracy, the 10th House of Representatives, the executive, and judicial arms of government have continued to enjoy mutual institutional support for democratic good governance.”
He maintained that: “Through public hearings, investigative committees, and rigorous debates, we have held the executive accountable, ensuring that public funds are used judiciously and that government policies are aligned with the needs of the people. Our oversight activities have led to significant outcomes, including recovering misappropriated funds and rectifying administrative inefficiencies,” he said.
On his part, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, underscored the need for the legislature to prioritize legislative actions that will help to meet the needs of Nigerians.
He said that the lawmakers have a responsibility to understand the nation’s urgent needs and address them accordingly.
He said: “As the People’s House, we understand the importance of transparency and public engagement. This week is dedicated to engendering a more inclusive and democratic legislative process that truly reflects our constituents’ needs and voices.
“This inclusive approach, ensuring all voices are heard, is a model for effective governance. The hard work and ingenuity of the entire 10th House leadership is truly commendable. It is a privilege to collaborate with them in delivering the transformative potential of the 8-point legislative agenda.
“This 8-point agenda focuses on strengthening good governance by promoting transparency, accountability, and the rule of law; improving national security to ensure the safety of all Nigerians; modernizing and strengthening our legal framework; stimulating economic growth and job creation; investing in education, healthcare, and other essential services; generations enhancing public participation in the legislative process; promoting Nigeria’s interests on the global stage; and protecting our environment for future generations.
“An open legislature is not just about engagement, it is about data-driven decision-making. We, as your representatives, have a responsibility to understand the nation’s most immediate needs and address them accordingly. This requires a meticulous approach, utilizing data and prioritizing models that reflect the pulse of our nation.
“Planning without facts has historically led developing nations like ours down a path of retrogression. Openness and data-driven decision-making will ensure our legislative actions are tailored to the evolving needs of the people we serve.”

 

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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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