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As concerns mount over an alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Presidency to instigate the impeachment of the leadership of the National Assembly, the Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal has warned that any abuse of due process and rule of law will be met with stiff resistance by the opposition.

Speaking at the opening of the 81st National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, Tambuwal said any attempt to abuse due process in the effort to unseat principal officers of the National Assembly will be stoutly resisted.

The Sokoto State governor said that patriotic Nigerians must rally together to retrieve power from the present leadership.

While speaking on the outcome of the NEC meeting, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said

NEC resolved to adopt the new modalities for nomination of candidates for elections, to accommodate the changes brought about by the recent law on the “not too young to run”.

He said that the NEC has also approved the timetable for party primaries, details of which will be made public soon.

Speaking on the nature of the amendments to the modalities for primaries, he said the party tried to fine-tune it to include the age reduction as contained in the new law.

The Senate President Bukola Saraki and top former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), former Kano State governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, governors of Sokoto and Benue States, Tambuwal and Samuel Ortom were at Thursday’s NEC meeting of the PDP.

The NEC meeting, which had the trappings of a victory celebration, saw all the gladiators, especially the new defectors in a happy mood exchanging banter with each other.

Apart from the trio, the meeting hall was filled to its brim by the key figures in the PDP, including governors, lawmakers and some of the presidential aspirants.

One of the highlights of the NEC meeting was the symbolic recognition to be accorded to Saraki as the leader of the opposition party being the highest ranking political office holder under the present dispensation.

With his defection, Saraki effectively becomes the leader of the party, taking over from his deputy, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, who held the position until the latest defection that saw Saraki and other top APC members move over to the PDP.

The arrival of Saraki was heralded by loud ovation as he was led into the venue of the meeting by the PDP National Chairman, Secondus and other bigwigs of the party.

Saraki arrived at about 2.50pm to a tumultuous crowd that besieged the National Secretariat of the PDP in Abuja.

In a short speech, Saraki said that Wednesday’s event was a historic one not only to the PDP but to Nigeria.

He pleaded with members of the party to accept the returning former members and other new entrants with open hands so as to boost the chances of winning the 2019 presidential election.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Many Trapped As Another Building Collapses In Oke-Arin, Lagos Island [VIDEO]

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Occupants of a building in the Oke Arin part of Lagos Island are currently trapped following the collapse of a house at Egerton Square.

The incident,we gathered, happened around 3:45pm on Monday.

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA) were demolishing a house beside the building when it caved in.

Kehinde Adebayo, spokesman of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), told TheCable that a rescue team was on its way to the scene.

“We are currently on our way to the place. As soon as I get more update, I’ll get across to you,” he told TheCable.

The development is coming five days after 20 persons, including school children were killed in the Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island.

The state government had embarked on demolition of defective structures in the local government two days after the Ita–Faaji incident.

On Friday, a three-storey building under construction in Ibadan, Oyo state collapsed but all the 23 workers were rescued.

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BIG STORY

Give Us Power, Prioritize The Electricity Sector; Elumelu Begs President Buhari

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Chairman of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give priority attention to the electricity sector of the economy.

Speaking at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the group, in Abuja, weekend, Elumelu said: “Let him help us with power,” arguing that constant power supply would drastically reduce the cost of doing business in the country and make economy more competitive.

With poor electricity supply across the nation, corporate organisations and individuals have had to spent huge sums of money on diesel and petrol to fuel their generators.
Transcorp spent a whopping N1.292 billion as energy cost in the year under review, according to the company’s Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Elumelu noted that the N701 billion Power Payment Assurance Plan, PAP, initiative of the Federal Government under the management of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, Plc greatly improved liquidity in the sector but noted that the problem of huge unpaid invoices of Power Generating Companies, GENCOs, persisted in the fiscal year.

This challenge, he said, must be addressed by the Federal Government to significantly impact the receivables of the GENCOS, gas suppliers and transporters in the sector.
The Trasncorp boss also urged President Buhari to make it possible for Nigerian investors to benefit from the nation’s assets.

“Let him encourage domestic investors to benefit from the assets of this nation,’’ Elumelu said. The Federal Government had announced plans to sell some of the national assets, although details of that programme have not been made known.

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Acting CJN Muhammad Reveals When He’ll Step Aside, Says Onnoghen Remains Chief Justice of Nigeria

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The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, ACJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has said that suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen, remains the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Muhammad said he would step aside once the Code of Conduct Tribunal or the Appeal Court reverses Onnoghen’s matter.

He, however, claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari does not need the permission of the National Judicial Council, NJC, to appoint an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

This was part of Justice Muhammad’s response to a query given to him by the NJC.

Justice Muhammad pointed out that the NJC ought to be consulted only when a substantive CJN is being appointed or re-appointed.

He said, “In my respectful view, the National Judicial Council has no role to play in the appointment of an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in the first instance, that is to say on first appointment.

“The council comes in where the appointment as the acting CJN is to be renewed or extended. I humbly refer to Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution.

“It was for the larger interest of the judiciary and the constitutionality that I accepted to be sworn in as acting CJN with the conviction that if the order of January 23, 2019 is eventually set aside, the status quo would be restored.

“But before it is set aside, there should be no vacuum in the office of the CJN and the chairman of the NJC.

“On January 25, 2019, I was summoned to the Aso Villa at the instance of the President. Prior to the summons, I was not aware of the fact that the Code of Conduct Tribunal made any order on January 23, 2019.

“Furthermore, beyond what I read in the newspapers and watched on the television just like any other Nigerian, I was not privileged to see any of the processes filed by the parties before the tribunal. Hence, I could not really appreciate the merit or demerit of divergent positions.

“On the 25th day of January, the President swore me in as the acing CJN and not as the substantive CJN. Justice Walter Onnoghen remains the CJN until he is removed from office in accordance with the provision of the constitution. He is only suspended.”

The Acting CJN said that he was a member of the NJC panel that removed Justice Obisike Orji of the Abia State High Court for accepting to be sworn in as chief judge by the Abia State Government without a recommendation of the NJC but added that his own case was different because he was only appointed as an acting CJN.

Muhammad appealed to the NJC to throw aside the petition written against him by a group, Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative.

The group had written a petition to the NJC, demanding that the council to remove Muhammad as a justice of the Supreme Court.

They said Muhammad compromised by allowing himself to be sworn in by the President without recourse to the NJC.

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