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The Presidency on Monday denied reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the purchase of equipment worth $1bn for the military. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, stated this while speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had told journalists of the approval at the end of a meeting that Buhari had with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday. “What I can add, after all that I have said is to inform you that of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $1bn,” the minister had said.

However, criticisms have trailed the reports from different quarters with some holding the view that it was unlawful for the President to approve the procurement without the input of the National Assembly. Enang admitted that Buhari could not approve the said sum for spending, explaining that having received approval from the National Economic Council for the money to be spent, the President held a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others to collate the need of each of the services and the money available for appropriation

According to him, having collated the needs of each service and the amount involved, the President would present same to the Federal Executive Council for detailed consideration, or in exercise of presidential powers, might communicate same to the National Assembly for appropriation. He added that this would not be done until Buhari would have consulted with the leadership of the National Assembly. Enang explained, “As of now, the process of approving the money for use is inchoate and still undergoing executive standard operating procedure before laying same before the National Assembly for appropriation.

“The process now being worked on is to fast-track these procedures so that it may be forwarded to the National Assembly while it is still considering the 2018 Appropriation Bill (budget) for incorporation as Mr. President’s supplementary request under the 2018 budget, or if completed, after the 2018 budget, it may be forwarded as supplementary appropriation bill.“That succinctly stated, Mr. President has not approved the sum for any release of this procurement or application howsoever.

“In any case, before any sum is released from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, there must be Appropriation Act, Vote of Charge and Warrant which is legally predicated on appropriation authorisation Sub-head under the Act.”According to presidential aide, the Executive was conscious of the provisions of Section 80 (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution “which states that no money shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of the money has been authorised by an Act of the National Assembly.”

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Obaseki, Shaibu Sworn-In For Second Term

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, have been sworn in for a second term in office.

The Oath of Office was administered around 12 noon by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Esther Edigin.

In attendance at the inauguration which took place on Thursday at the Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, were governors of the Peoples Democratic Party including Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State.

PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, was also present at the event with some other party officials while Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was represented by a government official.

Obaseki had defected to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress after he was denied the ruling party’s ticket in the primary election due to intra-party wranglings.

He later defeated the APC candidate in the September 19, 2020 governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to be re-elected governor of the state.

Speaking at the inauguration, Obaseki promised to consolidate on his first-term achievements.

He said, “We will also rapidly develop our critical energy, housing, digital and road Infrastructure, which provides a framework to drive inclusive growth as well as build the economy and drive industrialization, trade, and investment, to solidify our state’s status as the choice investment destination in the country.

“We will preserve the environment and public utilities, to make our state more functional and adapt to the challenges of climate change and rural-urban migration. Our major drive will be the clean and green Edo initiative and sustaining our campaign to plant trees and restore the forest.”

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POLITICS

Buhari Approves Registration Of New APC Members

Gbemileke Ajayi

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President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in the State House approved the registration of new members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The president gave the approval when the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party led by the chairman and the Governor of Yobe State, Mr. Mai Mala Buni, submitted the timetable for party registration to him.

Briefing reporters after the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Buni said the approval was “in accordance with section 9 (4) of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (October 2014 as Amended).”

He added: “The Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee consulted all stakeholders and have organized for membership registration. The said Section 9 (4) provides as:

“A register of members shall be compiled and maintained at the ward level and be transmitted to the secretariat of the party at the local government area, which shall transmit a copy to the state headquarters, national secretariat.”

Details later…

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POLITICS

#EndSARS Protest: Mandate International UK Speaks Over Lagos Carnage

Gbemileke Ajayi

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A political group in affiliation to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the UK, Mandate International, UK has said the actions of the peaceful protesters were praiseworthy and very necessary considering the way the now banned Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was brutalizing Nigerians mostly youths before they were proscribed a few days ago.

Mandate International UK under the coordination of the APC stalwart, Hon. Ibrahim Yusuf said the protest was all Nigerians needed at the time but condemned the unnecessary arson and looting that preceded the protest.

Yusuf in a statement signed and made available to the press condemned the way some hoodlums and thugs turned the peaceful protest into an avenue to wreak havoc on the peace of the nation. He condemns the insinuations that thugs were destroying properties owned by the government and individuals thinking that Tinubu owns them all.

In his word, it is condemnable to think that some hoodlums either sponsored or otherwise will take such an action against a great man like Tinubu who has built bridges and made people across the land and has never relented in doing so. Asiwaju has done all within his power to ensure he delivers the best at all times.

“At Mandate International UK, we urge those who are planning to bring the political strongman down to have a rethink, Tinubu will not succumb, he remains the rally point for Lagos and Nigeria politics at large”.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bola Tinubu has been accused of ordering the military to shoot at the protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, but in rebuttal, Tinubu described the insinuation as a complete lie.

According to Tinubu in a press release he signed, he was surprised to be linked to such an incident. His words “let me directly address the sharp point aimed against me. I have been falsely accused of ordering the reported deployment of soldiers against peaceful protesters that took place at Lekki on 20 October 2020. This allegation is a complete and terrible lie. I did not order this or any assault against anybody. I would never want such a vile thing to happen nor did I have any prior knowledge about this sad event. It is my firm belief that no one should be harassed, injured or possibly killed for doing what they have the constitutional right to do in making their contribution to a better, more equitable society”.

Tinubu had described the allegation as slander and untrue. “The slander aimed at me is based on the untruth that I own the toll gate concession. The hate mongers prevaricate that I ordered the Lekki assault because the protests had caused me to lose money due to the interruption of toll gate activity”.

Yusuf encouraged the social media influencers to be wary of their actions as their responses to the Lagos protest have brought wanton damages to Lagos and the nation at large. He described the burning of public institutions including Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) and others as surprising and condemnable.

The statement urged the governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make governance people’s more friendly so as give clarity to the difference between progressives and others. It also commiserates with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state and other affected governors of the federation.

Yusuf condemned in a strong term the killings saying no one should die for asking for good governance, “he urges the government to ensure that the killers of these victims be unraveled without delay and be immediately be brought to book. He opined that our police officer should carry body cameras at all times whenever on duty, this will help them in an investigation and ensure justice”.

Mandate International UK commends Gov. Sanwo-Olu over his handling of the matter since the pandemic era up till now. He has risen to the occasion, he is dogged, has the firmness of purpose and pertinacity. These characters have helped him and we have no doubt that he will succeed in taking the Lagos state to the next level.

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