NEWS

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Report reaching Abusidiqu indicates that the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, may have ordered the arrest of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.

According to report, the IG has given instruction to the commissioners of Police in the FCT and Sokoto, the speaker’s home state to effect his arrest.

The order for his arrest a source said is in connection with the face-off the speaker and other members of the National Assembly had with the Police on Thursday.

Sources at the Police headquarters revealed that the Police chief gave the order for Tambuwal’s arrest after a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo and the National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki.

“I can confirm to you that the order for his arrest has been given today (Friday). The signal from the IG’s office specifically directed the FCT and Sokoto State commissioners of Police to serve Tambuwal with notice of invitation to the force headquarters and if he resists, he should be arrested immediately, “the source revealed.

“The involvement of Sokoto CP was because the Speaker was sighted in Sokoto on Friday where he picked the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship form for the coming elections. It was assumed that he was out of Abuja as such other police divisions were involved in the matter.”

Sources at the meeting in Villa indicate that both the Vice President and the NSA chastised the Police boss for the failure of his men to prevent Speaker from entering the national assembly premises.

“The NSA was particularly angry and told the IG in clear terms that he doesn’t know his job. He said how did the Speaker and the members break a cordon organised by the FCT Police commissioner. The NSA then made it clear that the Police authorities must rectify the anomalies or they will face the consequences. The IG then said Tambuwal will be arrested for questioning.”

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President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, on Friday said he has forgiven the lawmaker, Hon. Abdul Malik Usman Cheche (PDP Niger) who assaulted him on the floor of the House on Thursday.

In a statement from his office, Senator Mark explained that he was in the House “to ascertain the safety of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and his colleagues having received reports that canisters of tear gas were targeted at the Lawmakers.

“I also went to confer with Mr. Speaker on the need to suspend plenary in both Chambers in order to restore sanity to an environment that had turned restive and becoming uncontrollable.

” My intention was to safeguard the sanctity of the hallowed Chamber and to guarantee the respect of the legislature. I consider the unwarranted and needless attack on my person by Hon. Abdulmalik Usman Cheche as a prize and sacrifice for leadership. It is a sacrifice I am prepared to accept.

” I bear no ill feeling. AbdulMalik is my colleague. I have forgiven him. I believe we can continue to work together in the interest of peace and sustenance of democracy.

“Like I have repeatedly said, I will do anything necessary to keep the sanctity of the parliament as an institution and safeguard the respect of every legislator.

” I therefore urge all political actors to always remember that we must first have a nation before we can achieve our various individual ambitions. We must at all times restrain ourselves from actions that cannot add value to our hard earned democracy.

“We should remain guided by the rules no matter how strongly we perceive our positions to be the most appropriate.

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President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said Friday in London that the Federal Government, the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies are working very hard to ensure that the ability of Boko Haram to capture and hold any Nigerian territory is ended very soon.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting of Nigeria’s Honorary International Investment Council  (HIIC), President Jonathan assured the gathering that the Armed Forces and security agencies were making steady gains in recovering areas recently taken by Boko Haram.

“We are improving on security. For about a week now there have been no reports of Boko Haram seizing more territory. Rather, we are steadily pushing them back. The impression being created by sections of the media that the situation is worsening is not true. I can assure you that it will never get worse,” President Jonathan told the gathering.

The President also seized the opportunity of the occasion to call for greater support from the National Assembly for the Federal Government’s efforts to curb terrorism, insurgency and insecurity in the country.

He told members of the council headed by Baroness Lynda Chalker that he had offered himself as a candidate in Nigeria’s next presidential elections because he was convinced that with four more years in office, he will be able to further consolidate the positive national reforms initiated by his administration and take them to a point of irreversibility for the good of all Nigerians.

“As you already know, I have indicated my willingness to carry on for another four years if I am given the opportunity so that we can carry forward some of the reforms we have been talking about,” the President said.

He cited the expansion of transportation infrastructure, improvement of local content in Nigeria’s oil industry, more inclusive economic growth, job creation and national security which are on the agenda of the meeting as some of the areas in which his administration still hoped to achieve further improvements.

“We cannot move the economy forward without good infrastructure. We have been working very hard in that area. We have improved our road network significantly. In the next three to four years, we should be able to resurface almost all federal roads in the country and begin new ones.

“We are  improving our airport terminals and aviation security. Reforms are also ongoing at our ports to drastically reduce the time required for import clearance formalities.

“In the rail sector, we may require private sector funds to quicken the pace of development. Our goal is to link all state capitals by rail. It may not be  an objective that can be achieved by a single administration, but we want to lay a solid foundation that others can build on.

“We are also promoting the increase of local content in our oil industry, because that is the only way in which our people will benefit more from the industry and begin to see themselves as true stakeholders who need to protect and help in the development of our oil and gas resources,” President Jonathan said.

He thanked Baroness Chalker and other members of the council for their valuable advice to the Federal Government over the years.

“To be successful, leaders must take decisions based on adequate information and sound advice. Having had the personal benefit of interacting with you all as Vice President and President since 2007 has helped me a lot,” the President said.

The meeting later went into a closed door session to receive briefings, updates and presentations from relevant ministers and council members.

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Barely two weeks after a military helicopter crash in Adamawa, one of the North Easters states ravaged by insurgency, another military helicopter has crashed in Yola.

The helicopter belonging to the Nigerian Airforce crashed in the Damare neighborhood of the Federal University of Technology in Yola, the state capital.

This brings to three, the number of military helicopter that has crashed in the month of November alone.

Before now, an Alpha jet belonging to the AirForce went missing in the same state after undergoing a routine operation. While the Boko Haram group claimed it brought down the jet, the military denied the claim.

However, nothing of the remain of the jet has been officially found till date.

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The Minority Leader of Nigeria’s House of Representatives and APC Caucus Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed sadness over events that led himself and other members into scaling through the National Assembly gate before gaining entrance into their duty post on Thursday.

The police and other security agencies on Thursday blocked Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and many other APC lawmakers from entering the National Assembly complex while their counterparts in the PDP had easy access to the legislative building. The House was reconvened by the Speaker to deliberate on a letter from President Goodluck Jonathan requesting for approval of the House to extend state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

Gbajabiamila in a statement signed by his research and media assistant, Wasiu Olanrewaju-Smart said, “What happened in the National Assembly yesterday will forever live in infamy. Never thought I would see the day when I would be forced to go over the assembly gates where I work to gain access into the chambers. But then our democracy has to be saved.”

The lawmaker expressed surprise that the Presidency through its agents could undermine a court injunction restraining them from acting against the Speaker, “it was pretty clear the presidency in spite of a court injunction wanted to do something sinister and illegal”.

“They perfected the plot to stop the Speaker and the opposition leader from gaining entry. My members were already in chambers waiting for me to come in so as to provide leadership and direction. Most of them had gone over the fate too. I had to do the needful to save our democracy. We thank God we foiled their evil machinations. We will continue to be vigilant”.

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Today Nigeria received the greatest blow to her democracy in the past decade. When I got to the National Assembly this morning, I saw an unprecedented amount of security at the gate with masked guards holding their guns at the ready. I began to suspect that the security might attempt to prevent the Speaker from entering the Assembly but I was doubtful because I knew the implications of that happening. Later in the morning tear gas was fired inside the National Assembly and large numbers of people began to run out of the building to escape the fumes, including Honourable Members of the House. In the midst of all the commotion a man came out of the building assisted by people visibly weakened by the gas. He began wheezing and was taken to an ambulance parked at the building entrance. It was said to be Hon. Kawu, although I was not able to personally identify him.

Before then the Speaker was barred from passing the Assembly gate and I saw a picture of him on the mobile phone of a journalist, holding onto the shut gate of the National Assembly with armed men behind it. It was rumoured he climbed over the gate though I didn’t see it myself. He was presumably in the Chambers holding a Session/Meeting with the Honourable Members in the Chamber filled with tear gas. I strolled around the building, thinking about Nigeria’s future and the possible repercussions of Jonathan’s high-handedness and in an hour or so I heard the shout, “Mr. Speaker!” I went to the entrance of the Chambers and joined the many people who cheered the Speaker on shouting ‘APC’. Then again, tear gas was fired.

I ran outside immediately without a second thought, thinking of my safety first, but as I breathed in fresh air free from the nauseating fumes, my feeling of triumph in escaping turned to shame. I boldly went back inside and experienced for the first time today what soldiers must feel when they knowingly put themselves in harm’s way, risking their lives. Thankfully nothing happened but there was every chance something could have gone wrong with the numerous armed security personnel. By now the Speaker was gone but the long line of people following him was still in sight, so I ran to catch up with them. I was only able to reach the Hon. Speaker again when he got to the Senate Presidents office. It appeared he wanted to have a meeting with the Senate President over what happened to him earlier on.

Below is the picture I took of the Speaker outside the office of the Senate President.

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Temi Macaulay is an intern at Office of Minority Leader, House of Representatives.

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2 1902

The Supreme Court has reinstated the former Deputy Governor of Taraba state, Sani Abubakar Danladi and in effect, relieved the current acting govenor, Garba Umar, who took his place as the deputy governor of his appointment.

Garba was appointed the Deputy Governor following the impeachment of the former deputy governor of state, Sani Danladi.

Danladi however challenged the impeachment at the state’s high court, but the court in its judgment of March 19, 2013 upheld the impeachment, a decision which the Court of Appeal, Yola equally upheld in its judgment of July 19, 2013.

He filed an appeal asking the court to set aside earlier decisions by the Court of Appeal, Yola and the Taraba State High Court, which affirmed his impeachment. challenging his impeachment by the state’s House of Assembly.

But in a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court held that the impeachment panel set up by the House of Assembly to investigate the allegations against Danladi violated his rights to fair hearing.

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta who delivered the lead judgment held that there seemed to be conspiracy between both the Taraba State High Court and the “kangaroo” impeachment panel to frustrate the appellant.

 He held that set aside the judgments of both the Court of Appeal and the Taraba State High Court, which had dismissed Danaladi’s suit.
The apex court held that the two lower courts ought to have resolved the issue of fair hearing in favour of Danladi.

Details later…

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The Boko Haram insurgents group on Wednesday killed at least 45 villagers in yet another attack in Azaya Kura village of Mafa local local government area of Borno State.

According to local sources the Boko Haram insurgents who drove in trucks stormed the village at about 12pm and started attacking the residents and destroyed many houses even as they carted away foodstuff, wares and livestock.

An official of the Nigeria Vigilante Group, Muhammed Gava, confirmed that “there was an attack and many people were killed. Jabir Usman, a local from the attacked community told reporters in Maiduguri that the terrorists had killed at least 45 persons, mostly able bodied men.

“From what we counted so far, 45 men have been killed and there are others that died in the bushes due to excessive bleeding after sustaining bullet injuries,” said Usman.

Alhaji Shettima Lawan, the caretaker chairman of Mafa Council said he visited Azaya Kura village yesterday to confirm the attack.

He said that “There is no compulsion in religion and I am still searching for motives behind mass killing and destruction by some people under the guise of entrenching certain religion. I wish to appeal to the federal government to take urgent steps and rescue our people from imminent extinction.”

He said the residents of the attacked village has told him that over 50 motorcycles and four cars were burnt by the attackers while four additional vehicles were taken away.

“As you can see, more than half of the village have been destroyed. We are still picking our pieces and looking for our missing people, especially those who could not be seen in Maiduguri,” one of the elders said.

The chairman said decapitated corpses were still being pulled out of the bushes to be prepared for burial.

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3 1884

Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State on Thursday tendered an unreserved apology to the Senate President, Senator David Mark, over the unruly conduct of Hon. Abdullahi Degechi Usman Cheche, adding that the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), government and people of the state were embarrassed by the brazen show of disrespect exhibited by the member.

Aliyu, who made this known in Minna on account of the physical attack on Senator David Mark by Niger Zone A member of the House of Assembly, Hon. Cheche, said his action was despicable, notorious and dishonorable for a lawmaker.

“I am indeed embarrassed when I watched on television and on social media the disgraceful conduct of  Cheche against the senate president. While such conduct is not expected of a lawmaker, it is even shocking the member had the effrontery to attack the senate president who was one time the governor of Niger State.

“I expected him to respect Senator Mark either as senate president or as a former governor of his state who performed excellently well and has earned the respect of people of the state.

“We must understand that leadership comes with maturity and scrupulous disposition to persons or issues. We in Niger State are indeed shocked by his woeful conduct. Let me therefore apologise to the senate president for the embarrassing conduct of Chache.

Aliyu intimated that already the state PDP had commenced disciplinary action against the assembly member, adding that his despicable action must be addressed to serve as deterrent and also to sanitize the party of nitwits like Cheche.

He said it was time politicians understood that occupying elective positions comes with basic acceptable attributes.

He said no matter how bad issues are, they should be subjected to dialogue and not fisticuffs.

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