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The Presidency has observed that some opposition politicians are collaborating to fight President Muhammadu Buhari over his administration war against corruption.

This was made known on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garbu Shehu, when he spoke to newsmen during a visit to the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

Shehu said: “The problem is that the competition for power in the country has become fiercer and fiercer because the stakes are very high and I will give you one example.

“The President has unleashed on the country a war against corruption, the type that has never been seen before. Assets are being recovered from powerful people. The President is lucky that he has a judiciary which is transforming itself and on the same page with the President in fighting corruption.

“As I speak with you, you know that two former state governors are in jail. A lot of people thought that this war against corruption is a joke and that the back and forth that has characterised the process over time will continue.

“One of the two cases that we are talking about was determined after eleven years of back and forth between lawyers and Judges, kicking the ball from this court to that court. But now, there is a new era in the country with the conclusion of these cases.”

He maintained that a lot of these harsh attack against the President were coming from people who had become used to lifestyle that they can no longer sustain.

POLITICS

Trouble Looms In APC As Deputy Chairman Accuses Oshiomhole Of Lawlessness, Says Chairman’s Arbitrariness Will Destroy Party

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The Deputy National Chairman (North), of the All Progressives Congress, Lawal Shuaibu, on Wednesday, warned that the party stood the risk of disintegration should the alleged arbitrariness of its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, was left unchecked.

He said with the way the party chairman was running the party, it was obvious that lessons had yet to be learnt from the reversal of its electoral fortunes in Zamfara State.

The Supreme Court voided APC’s victory in all elections held in Zamfara State after the court held that the processes enshrined in the APC’s constitution, were ignored in the conduct of primaries which produced its candidates for the 2019 Governorship, National and State Assembly elections.

Shuaibu issued a fresh warning in a press statement captioned, “APC and its future, let us exercise caution.”

The party chieftain said many did not take his concerns seriously when he asked Oshiomhole to step down and allow the party refocus and rebuild.

He said the APC which was founded on the principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law “is now subject to arbitrary administration, without dictates of the law. The ruling party which ought to be a model for others in the upholding of the rule of law is now the nest of lawlessness.”

Shuaibu had in a letter on May 28th, 2019 warned Oshiomhole about the dangerous direction the party was heading and advised him to honourably resign to allow the party reposition itself for the task ahead. Shuaibu’s advice earned him a disputed suspension from the party’s National Working Committee.

In his latest letter, the deputy national chairman said, “Interestingly, all the issues I raised in my said letter have come to pass. Till date, the party, founded on the principles of constitutionalism and rule of law, is now subject of arbitrary administration, without regard for the dictates of the law.

“The ruling party which ought to be a model for others in the upholding of the rule of law is now the nest of lawlessness. The entire legal framework governing the party administration in Nigeria today, the Nigerian constitution, the party constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC regulations and guidelines are more honoured by the party in breaches than obedience.

“To buttress my above assertion, the following few examples will drive the point home. By (Article 9.1(ii) and 9.4 (i) of the APC Constitution as amended, pages 6 and 8) every member will be registered at his ward when his or her name is entered in the register by the Ward Executives.

“My understanding of this provision is that power in the party is exercised bottom up! What this means is that every member of the party is answerable to his constituency. Being a party member, therefore, is a constitutional issue embedded in the membership register.

“Also, the constitution of the party stipulates a mandatory meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) every three months (Article 25 B (i) of the APC constitution as amended.). This regular meeting is not only targeted at keeping the members abreast of developments but ensuring collective responsibility of decision taken by the combined effect of the above provision and Article 18 of the APC Constitution as amended).

“NEC is the main decision-making organ after the convention and shall meet every three months. The power to set up standing or ad-hoc committees of the party is vested in the same NEC.”

He queried Oshiomhole’s decision to personally constitute both the screening committees for the governorship and senatorial elections, as well as the final appeals committee, all in violation of the extant constitutional provisions of the party vesting the power in NEC.

According to him, to make an already bad situation worse, he violated the rule of natural justice, by appointing himself as chairman of both committees.

“It is this refusal to convene NEC to perform its role that has led the party to the comatose state it is now. My fear is, it is being repeated now for Ondo and Edo,” he added.

On the inauguration of Waziri Bulama as the party’s National Secretary, Shuiabu said, “The APC Constitution in Article 20 (a) made it unambiguously clear, that all party posts prescribed or implied by this constitution shall be filled by democratically conducted elections at the respective convention (in the case of NWC or NEC) or congress (in the case of executive committees at state, local government or ward levels) et al.

“There is nowhere in that same constitution where it was envisaged that an officer of the party could be appointed by the chairman nor the NWC.

“Not even NEC has the power to appoint any national officer of the party in any capacity. Let me ask this simple question, what is difficult in organising a midterm convention to elect the officers in line with the constitution so that even the officers will have confidence that they are elected like all other officers. The constitution of the party in Article 25 (A) (1) page 89 stipulates that there shall be a convention every two years.

“We had a convention in 2018 and another one is due in 2020. What is the hurry in appointing an acting national secretary when we have the duly elected Deputy National Secretary who has been acting in that capacity since December 2018 in line with Article 14.4 of the constitution on page 58?”

The party leader further argued that all national working committee officers had offices of their deputies who were empowered to take charge of that office in the absence of the principal, in consonance with Article 14 of the constitution in its entirety.

He wondered why an unconstitutional act was being given the force of law. Shuaibu also noted that by virtue of the illegal means adopted in the appointment of the party’s national secretary any nomination signed by “the acting National Secretary is a nullity and liable to be challenged by the opposition. Are we deaf and blind? Or is the chairman finally out to bury the party?”

Shuaibu also said, “What are the leaders of the party doing in the midst of this anarchy? Are they all equally fed up with the seeming collapsing party in the hands of a politically injured person that seems to be nursing political revenge? The leaders need to take a stand so that the followers know whether the party is now either a jungle or that entity of our collective dream at the inception.

“Majority of the members of the party are already perplexed, disillusioned and some even weighing their options. A stitch in time, I believe, saves nine!

“Article 2 of the APC Constitution, provides that subject to the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and any other laws for the time being in force in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the provisions of this constitution SHALL be SUPREME PROVIDED that where any rule, regulation or any other enactment shall, to the extent of its inconsistency, be null and void and of no effect whatsoever. This document leaves no room for any form of aberration or brigandage.

He appealed to party leaders to urgently intervene to save the party from collapse noting that he had no personal ambition outside of saving the party which he and others laboured to build.

With regards to Ondo and Edo primary elections, the former lawmaker said, “There is already absence of transparency. The regulations issued that will guide the processes are already in violation of Article 20 (v) on page 76 of the APC constitution as amended where only the National Executive Committee is the only organ that SHALL approve such guidelines and regulations which includes the mode of nominating our candidates. I am crying for the APC inside me! Zamfara, here we come again.”

Attempts to get a response from the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, were unsuccessful.

His telephone line did not go through and a response to a text message sent to him on the subject was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.

 

Punch

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BIG STORY

COVID-19: Tackling Banned Under Terms Of Premier League Protocol For Training

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Players in the English Premier League will be prohibited from tackling while pitches will have to be disinfected when clubs return to training, a report indicates.

The report further indicates that these are part of plans to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Citing an official protocol sent to EPL players and managers outlining conditions for returning to training, the report said pitches, corner-kick flags, cones, and goalposts would have to be disinfected after each session.

Players will be tested twice per week for the virus and take a daily temperature check.

They will also be forbidden from congregating together or traveling to or from training with teammates, the report added.

The Premier League did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the report.

English football has been on hold since March along with most leagues across Europe due to the pandemic.

Yet, while clubs across the continent have begun training again and set dates for re-starting their seasons, England’s top-flight is yet to confirm plans for returning to training or matches.

Germany’s Bundesliga is set to become the first of Europe’s top five leagues to start up again when matches resume on Saturday.

The Polish, Austrian and Portuguese leagues have also confirmed start dates.

Clubs in Spain’s top two divisions have returned to individual training.

While no date has been set for matches to restart, La Liga president Javier Tebas has said he hopes action will resume from June 12.

Reuters/NAN.

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BIG STORY

APC Crisis Worsens As Another Court Approves Gaidom As Acting National Chairman

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A federal capital territory high court on Monday granted an interim order allowing Victor Giadom, acting national secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to act as the party’s national chairman.

Samira Bature, a judge, gave the order following a motion ex parte filed by Mustapha Salihu, the party’s national vice chairman, north-east.

Salihu had sought an interim order allowing Giadom to act as national chairman and preside over meetings of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) pending the decision of the party’s NEC.

He also sought an order restraining the APC and its officers or anyone from preventing Giadom from functioning as the acting chairman pending the hearing of the motion on notice.

The judge granted all the prayers sought by the applicant and adjourned the matter to March 20.

Meanwhile, an appeal court in Abuja has ordered the APC not to enforce the ruling of an FCT high court which ordered Oshiomhole’s suspension.

In his ruling on Monday, Abubakar Yahaya, chairman of a three-man panel, held that Oshiomhole remains chairman of the ruling party pending the determination of his application.

Oshiomhole had asked the court to set aside the suspension.

Shortly after the court ordered his suspension, Gaidom said he had taken over control of the ruling party.

The NEC meeting of the party initially scheduled for Tuesday was suspended indefinitely after a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and some governors of the party.

On Sunday, Bisi Akande, chairman of the party’s reconciliation committee, accused members of the APC of relying on the courts rather than the internal mechanism put in place by the party to check disputes.

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