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COVID-19 Palliatives: Senator Ndume accuses federal aid committee of fraud, calls for disbandment

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Ali Ndume, an All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker and Senator representing Borno south sentorial district has accused the federal government relief committee on Coronavirus headed by Humanitarian minister, Sadiya Farouq of fraud and also called for its immediate disbandment. 

The senator alleged that the committee lacks the credibility to manage the huge resources at its disposal, as he expressed disappointment that President Buhari did not announce the disbandment of the committee during his last national broadcast “despite the outcry of many Nigerians who expressed dissatisfaction about the minister’s led committee.”

Senator Ndume stated that President Buhari will be ”smearing what remains of his goodwill”  if the committee is allowed to continue disbursing palliatives meant for the poorest of the poor Nigerians amid the Coronavirus pandemic. 

He told journalists; 

“I’m not trying to make allegations against the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development; what I’m saying are facts. 

“If they will continue with the way they are doing now, they had better not distribute the palliative at all because it’s a fraud.

“My concern now is the manner and ways the palliative measures taken by the president are being executed. We have received numerous complaints and it’s very unfortunate. Left to me, I’m calling for the so-called Humanitarian committee headed by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to be disbanded immediately and the president should set up a task force to handle issues of palliatives.”

Pointing out the lopsidedness of the disbursement, Senator Ndume added; 

“The task force under the Chairmanship of each state governor should include a Senator and House of Assembly member from each state, the Army, Police, Civil Defense, religious organization, Red Cross, Civil Society Organisations to ensure the distribution of the palliatives; I don’t mind the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and members of Social Investment Programmes as members.

“Imagine Zamfara state, which happens to be the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs’ home state, has 291, 629 households and 1, 341,153 individuals captured under the National Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable households for March 2020, leaving Sokoto State which is adjudged as the poorest state in Nigeria with a paltry 3,347 households and 18, 435 individuals. Borno has only 7,130 households and 33,728 individuals.

“I have reliable information that even names they have generated is fake, the BVN is not fraud-proof, one person will generate thousands of names and after conniving with banks, they are issued BVN. Investigation will reveal all these.

“They have the names of their cooks, drivers, relatives, relatives of their house helps and those they call the poorest of the poor and give this money to them.

“I call on the press to join in the call to stop this callous act, you can imagine the situation our people are in at the moment, yet some people are rushing to either share or steal this money.”

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A’Court Rulling: Pro-Fubara Assembly Heads For Supreme Court

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The lingering supremacy battle between the Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and lawmakers loyal to his estranged godfather and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has shifted to the Supreme Court.

The Speaker of the lawmakers loyal to Fubara in the state House of Assembly, Victor Oko Jumbo, said the factional assembly had filed an appeal at the apex court to challenge the judgement by the Appeal Court delivered in Abuja on Wednesday.

Recall that the Appeal Court had nullified the order of a Rivers State High Court which restrained Amaewhule and other pro Wike lawmakers from parading themselves as lawmakers.

The Court also said only the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter of the lawmakers.

Reacting, Governor Fubara said his administration remains undeterred by the appeal court ruling and will not waver in its commitment to providing critical infrastructure for the state.

According to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, the governor gave the assurance on Friday after inspecting the extent of reconstruction work done at the Zonal Hospital project at Bori Town, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area in the state.

He said: “I know that a lot of you will be wondering what is going on and all that. Government has its own challenges. If you go to the book of Psalm 23 verse 5, in the Bible, it says that God prepares a table before you; it can be before anybody.

“But there is an underlined word that should be noted there: it said ‘in the presence of your enemies’. So, it means that nothing comes easy.

“I want to assure every one of you and the good people of Rivers State, that we are not deterred. We have made our promises; we will continue to give you good governance, no matter how difficult it is.

“But, like I said before, the worst is over. We are moving on to ensure that we continue to provide what is needed for the development of our State.”

Similarly, in a statement issued by a factional Clerk of the House, Dr G. M. Gillis-West in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Friday, Oko-Jumbo said the Appeal Court acted in error and his faction had filed an appeal at the apex court to correct the error.

“There cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State or indeed any State in Nigeria. This House of Assembly, with me as the Speaker, is the only House of Assembly in Rivers State.

“The Court of Appeal also did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 ORS are still members of the RSHA.

“We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO PHC/1512/CS/2024.

“Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th Day of July, 2024.

“Martin Amaewhule & 24 others, in spite of all their pretences, are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and they remain so until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise,” Oko-Jumbo stated.

 

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Photos As GAC Members Meet Obasa Over Proposed Lagos Electricity Law

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A delegation of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) has visited the Lagos State House of Assembly and held a meeting with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

The meeting which held behind closed doors on Thursday afforded a fruitful discussion concerning the proposed Lagos Electrification Agency Law which recently scaled second reading during plenary.

The GAC delegation at the meeting included Cardinal James Odumbaku, Sen. Anthony Adefuye, Otunba Henry Ajomale, Dr. Yomi Finnih, and Otunba Femi Pedro.

 

From left … Cardinal James Odumbaku, Sen. Anthony Adefuye, Otunba Henry Ajomale, Rt. Hon. Dr. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, Dr. Yomi Finnih, Otunba Femi Pedro

On Tuesday June 25, Dr. Obasa committed the bill to the Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources with a two-week mandate for the latter to report back to the House.

This was after lawmakers at the day’s sitting debated the pros and cons of the bill which targets to repeal the Lagos Electric Power Reform Law, 2018 to provide for the creation and administration of the Lagos Electricity Market.

The bill further seeks to establish a commercial and technical regulatory framework for the electricity market with the purpose of ensuring reliable and universal access to electricity for all residents of the State.

Also, the bill seeks to establish the Lagos State Electrification Fund for the delivery of reliable electricity supply to the underserved areas of the State.

Speaking about the bill, the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Hon. Sobur Oluwa, had said it was “very essential as it gives room for Lagos State to regulate its power supply and transmit electricity at its own pace.”

 

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LP Crisis: Let’s Put Our Differences Aside – Peter Obi To Party Members

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Mr Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the 2023 general election has urged members of the party to put away differences and work together for harmony to thrive in the party.

Obi, who made this call on Friday via his X handle, said they would emerge stronger and more united than ever.

He stressed the need for moving forward with a shared sense of purpose and vision.

He expressed confidence that the party would overcome the current crisis through open communication, empathy, and willingness to listen.

“We will successfully resolve our differences and emerge stronger and more united than ever. Our strength lies in greater unity for our common national good.

“I reiterate my earlier appeal for us to put aside our differences and work together in a spirit of harmony and mutual understanding,” he said.

 

 

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