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Nigeria Senate: Tension As 9th Assembly Elects Principal Officers Today

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As the election of Nigeria’s 9th Senate President and his Deputy comes up on (today) Tuesday with Senator Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume locking horns for the position, both former 8th Senate leaders are still gripped with tension.

It’s particularly so, because the Clerk to the National Assembly, who is the administrative head has adopted a secret ballot system of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the Senate.

Initially, there was conflict of ‘modus operandi’ with skepticism from the Ahmed Lawan Campaign Group headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi that if secret ballot was adopted, there might be shocked despite Ahmed Lawan’s adoption by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

While the Presidency’s intervention has made the former Governor of Gombe State, who is also a ranking Senator, Danjuma stepped down for Lawan, his rival, Ali Ndume representing Borno South has insisted that it was late stepping down for anyone.

Between Ahmed Lawan and Ndume, no one has had the pendulum swung in his favour yet despite the acclaimed endorsement of some Senators-elect.

What further makes the situation looks gloomy is the dead silence of the Senators-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Among PDP Senators-elect, most are still indecisive. Their silence is not only grooming, but heightening tensions all over the places.

Prodded to talk on the situation of things ahead of today, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South Senatorial district confirmed that the party would take a unanimous decision on who to vote.

Speaking on reasons for PDP’s silence even in few hours to the election, the ranking lawmaker said, “there is dignity in silence.”

He further ruled out open ballot, stating that secret ballot has always been a tradition, insisting that Tuesday’s election would not be different.

With PDP having 44 Senators-elect, they play a commanding decision as to who emerges as Senate President on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, PDP had scheduled a meeting last0 inviting all Senators-elect, House of Representatives-elect and governors at the instance of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Nwike to hold at Rivers House As Okoro.

Sources close to the venue explained that the party would take a position ahead of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the upper and lower legislative Chambers. It also said, “the party would roll out conditions for supporting any candidate especially the Senate President.”

The source added that the party became uncomfortable over the ruling APC’s decision not to allow Chairmanship of Committees to any of its member irrespective of ranking or not. It added that so many factors would shape PDP’s decision at the meeting today.

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BIG STORY

More Trouble For Sowore As FG Charges Him With Treason, Money Laundering; Accuses Him Of Insulting Buhari

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The Federal Government on Friday filed seven counts of treasonable felony and money laundering against the Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and a presidential candidate in the February 2019 presidential election, is charged along with Olawale Bakare, also known as Mandate.

The charges were signed on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), by Aminu Alilu, a Chief State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The charges were filed a day before the expiration of the detention order of the Federal High Court in Abuja permitting the Department of State Service to keep the activist for 45 days.

The detention order elapses on September 21.

In the charges instituted against the defendants, the prosecution accused Sowore and his co-defendant of committing conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign on September 5, 2019 aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

The prosecution also accused them of committing the actual offence of reasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.

It also accused Sowore of cybercrime offences in violation of section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, by “knowingly” sending “messages by means of press interview granted on Arise Television network which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

It also accused Sowore of money laundering offences in breach of section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 by alleged transferring by means of swift wire.

The sums of money he was said to have been involved in the alleged transfers were the sums of $19,975 on April 2, 2019; $20,475 on May 21, 2019, $16,975 on June 27, 2019, and another $16,975 on July 16, 2019.

The DSS arrested Sowore in Lagos on August 2, 2019, following his call for revolution in a protest he organised to take place in some major cities on August 5.

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COZA Reacts Officially To Allegations Against Biodun Fatoyinbo, Indicts Unnamed Pastors Of Jealousy; Says Busola Dakolo Never Had A Relationship With Their Founder

Peter Okunoren

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Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) has condemned what it called recent ‘unprovoked satanic campaign of calumny orchestrated against its leadership and members by agents of darkness.’

Ademola Adetuberu, Executive Senior Assistant to the Senior Pastor, in a statement on Saturday, said the church would like to break its silence and clear certain misconceptions and misinformation being churned out in order to misguide members of the church, public and relevant authorities.

It reads: “We stand with anyone who has been a victim of rape. We stand by our Founding and Senior Pastor, Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo, who has been at the receiving end of organized blackmail and all sorts of attacks because of his innocence and we are sure that our faithful and unfailing God will vindicate him very soon.

“As for Busola Dakolo, justice will soon be served. We would like to, again, for the record reiterate that our Senior Pastor, Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo has never had anything personal to do with her. Busola was not raped by Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo, and she had never been in a relationship with him either.

“We see this ugly development fuelled by envy and sheer jealousy as an unnecessary distraction and a fight from the pit of hell against the ministry that God gave Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo, as well as a declaration of war against the Church of Christ to which COZA is a flourishing branch under God’s grace.

“We are not unaware that certain pastors that felt threatened by the unprecedented growth of COZA and the grace of God upon His Servant are after some of our members, just making every effort to cash in on the attack against God’s servant. There was nothing they had not done behind the scene until this rape scandal.

“They are accusing our Pastor of snatching their members. Some are even asking why he couldn’t remain in Ilorin. Our focus is the Kingdom of God and winning souls for Christ. COZA is home to those who have sold out to Jesus. At COZA, we believe that every sent servant of God has his or her harvest field given to him or her by God and not by poaching souls or believers of another ministry.

“We, therefore, urge those sponsoring these evils to desist however if they do not, the God of vengeance will visit them. They should let Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo continue freely with the divine mandate that our Lord Jesus Christ gave him. It is ungodly and sinful to be used by satan against the anointed”.

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Police Arraign 15 Over Alleged Attempt To Kill Patience Jonathan, Rob Her Of N.3billion

Peter Okunoren

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Authorities of the Bayelsa State Police Command have arraigned 15 persons before the State High Court sitting in Yenagoa over an alleged plot to kill the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and rob her of her valuables worth over N.3billion.

A 17-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit a felony with armed robbery, malicious injury to property, conspiracy to commit felony, stealing and burglary were filed against the suspects.

Those arraigned included Golden Vivian (40 years, Erama Deborah (45yrs),Precious Kingsley (20yrs), Vincent Olabiyi (28yrs),Ebuka Cosmos (25yrs), Williams Alamo (29yrs),Tamunokuro Abaku (32yrs) and Boma Oba (42yrs).

Others include Emmanuel Aginwa(42yrs), Emeka Benson (33yrs), Tamunosiki Achese Frisberesima (30yrs), Wariboko Salome (28yrs), Sahabi Lima (35yrs),Reginald Sunday(20yrs) and John Dashe(39yrs).

The charge sheet was signed by S. A. Ofoegbu Esq. O.C. Legal State Criminal Investigation Department, Yenagoa Bayelsa State.

Defending the accused persons are Stanley Damabide, Padiowei P.P. Tamuno, E. Samuel, Chuks Momoh.

They all pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

In the charge sheet, the count 1 accused the arraigned persons of conspiring to commit murder which is an offence punishable under section 252 of the Criminal code law cap. C14 Laws of Bayelsa State.

According to the charge, ”All the accused and some at large, sometime in the month of June 2019 at Otuoke community in Ogbia local government within the Ogbia Judicial Division of the state high court did conspire to kill Her Excellency, Dame Patience Jonathan, former first lady, there committed an offense.’

”That you and some other persons at large, on the same date and place aforementioned Judicial division of Bayelsa did steal seven gold bangles and pieces of jewelry, five Samsung Air Conditioner, Two sets of upholstery chairs, six Samsung flat-screen television stands at two hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000). These are the property of Dame Patience Jonathan and thereby committed an offense.”

It would be recalled that operatives of the Operation Puff Adder of the State Police Command had in June arrested some persons over alleged involvement in the illegal entry into his home in Otuoke community in Ogbia Local Government area, carting away pieces of jewelry, custom made walking stick and other valuables worth over N.3billion.

It was gathered that one of the arrested suspects, who is a management staff of the Aridolf Resort, Hotel and Spa owned by the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan had mysteriously duplicated the keys to the rooms where the valuables were kept and led the forceful entry and gradual looting of the valuables.

It was also gathered that after some domestic staff to the former President discovered he was informed and he quickly called in men of the Bayelsa Police Command to effect their arrest and recover the looted valuables.

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