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Closure of Edo Assembly by House of Representatives, unconstitutional- Rights Activist

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A Lawyer and Rights Activist, Dr Kayode Ajulo, has decried the House of Representatives’ decision to shut down the Edo State House of Assembly, saying it is unconstitutional.

Ajulo said the decision was ultra vires in accordance with Section 11 of the Constitution.

He spoke against the backdrop of the House of Representatives’ adoption of the report of its ad hoc committee on the crisis rocking Edo Assembly.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the House of Representatives had on Wednesday resolved and mandated the Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki to issue fresh proclamation for the state assembly within one week.

Also, the parliamentarians also resolved that all actions taken by the current Edo Assembly should be declared null and void, pending the proper investigation of the crisis.

The representatives had directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General, Department of the State Service to shut down Edo Assembly and provide adequate security to protect lives and property.

The lawmakers said that shutting down the assembly had become necessary to allay further fears of intimidation and threat as alleged by members-elect in Edo.

“On the heel of the above resolutions of the House of Representatives, it is imperative to beam the search light on the constitutional powers of the NASS in instances of this nature.

“Section 11 places the toga on NASS to make laws for any state House of Assembly where the latter is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in the state.

“The poser then is: Is the Edo Assembly unable to perform its functions in order to validly invoke the powers conferred on NASS pursuant to Section 11(4) of the Constitution?

“It is, therefore, unequivocal that the directives given by the lawmakers are unconstitutional and ultra vires,” Ajulo said.

According to him, the Constitution states that a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions so long as it can hold a meeting and transact business.

“Flowing from the above, it is succinct to state that the section only envisages situations where the House of Assembly is unable to perform its functions.

” The NASS can only assume the position of the state assembly and make laws for the state only in such circumstance,” he said.

Ajulo said the literal interpretation of the Constitution provided that where the words of the constitution or statue were not ambiguous, they were to be given their literal interpretations.

He cited some cases which included Skye Bank vs Iwu (2017) LPELR-4259 (SC) and Dangana vs. Usman (2013) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1349) 50.

The rights activist said that the apex court in Tanko vs State (2009) LPELR 3136 (SC) on the supremacy of the Constitution held inter alia that:

“It is by it (the constitution) that the validity of any laws, rules or enactment for the governance of any part of the country will always be tested.

“It follows, therefore, that all powers; be they legislative, executive and judicial, must ultimately be traced or predicated on the constitution for the determination of their validity.

“It is pertinent to note that pursuant to Section 96 of the Constitution, the nine members of the Edo Assembly validly constituted the one-third quorum required for the sitting of the house.

“As such, NASS is precluded from making laws for the state as provided by Section 11(5) of the Constitution,” he said.

Ajulo added that such directive even required joint sitting of NASS to be valid and legal whenever it became necessary.

“On the second limb, assuming but without conceding that NASS has the powers to give such directives, the law provides for a joint sitting, not solely the Senate nor the House of Representatives.

“This is provided for in Section 11 and the required quorum shall be one-third of all the members of both Houses pursuant to section 54(2) of the Constitution,” he said.

On the validity of the proclamation made by Gov. Obaseki, pursuant to Section 105(3) of the Constitution and inauguration of the eight assembly, Ajulo said that only a court of law could determine that.

“The directives of the House of Representatives only amount to placing the cart before the horse.

“There is no gain saying that the lawmakers by its directive is assuming the role of the judiciary which is against the cardinal principle of separation of powers.

“The House of Representatives under the supervision of Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, a progressive, seasoned parliamentarian and a lawyer cannot assume the toga of a national assembly without the joint or concurrent nod of the senate.

Politics

Kogi: Aspirant tells APC to conduct fair primary

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Mr Mohammed Audu, a governorship aspirant in Koginon the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the National Working Committee of the party to conduct a fair process of selecting its candidate for the Nov. 16 Kogi governorship election.

Audu, son of former governor of Kogi,  Abubakar Audu, gave the advice while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday.

Nigeria News Agency   reports that the National Working Committee of the party had on July 5, 2019 approved indirect primary to elect the party’s candidate for the election.

The party’s primary is slated for Aug. 29,2019 in Kogi and Bayelsa.

According to Audu, if the party carries out transparent,  free and fair process of selecting its candidate,  it stands a chance of victory in the  Nov. 16 Kogi governorship election.

The aspirant, who said that the party  had a factional and paralleled executives in Kogi, said that direct primary would address the issue of paralleled executives because it would allow every card-carrying member to participate in the primaries.

“I can assure you that if there is free, tranparent and fair primary, the outcome of the Nov. 16 governorship election will be acceptable,” he said.

ADA/KAY

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Edited by Kayode Olaitan

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Lagos Assembly rejects 3 Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet nominees, confirms 35

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The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Monday, confirmed 35 out of the 38 nominees of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for appointment as Commissioners and Special Advisers in the state.

The House rejected three of the nominees, Ms Adekemi Ajayi-Bembe, Mr Obafemi George and Prince Olanrewaju Sanusi, during the confirmation at its plenary.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the confirmation followed the presentation, debate and adoption of the report of the House’s 16-man ad hoc committee for the screening of the nominees.

NAN also reports that the report was laid and presented by the Chairman of the committee, Mr Rotimi Abiru, the Chief Whip of the House.

The committee had, on Aug. 1, commenced the screening of the first batch of the cabinet list comprising 25 nominees and concluded the exercise on Aug. 3.

The committee also resumed the screening of the second batch of the nominees on Aug. 15 and completed the exercise on Aug. 16.

The confirmed nominees were Mr Tunji Bello, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, Dr Wale Ahmed, Mrs Lola Akande, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, Mr Hakeem Fahm, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Mr Afolabi Ayantayo and Mr Samuel Egube.

Others were Mrs Bolaji Dada, Mr Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, Mrs Solape Hammond, Arch. Kabiru Abdullahi, Mr Olalere Odusote and Mr Aramide Adeyoye.

Dr Frederick Oladeinde, Mr Olatunbosun Alake, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), Prof. Akin Abayomi, Dr Rabiu Olowo, Dr Idris Salako, Mr Bonu Solomon Saanu, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, and Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka were also confirmed.

Others included Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Mrs Shulamite Adebolu, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Mr Adetokunbo Wahab, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, and Ms Ruth Olusanya.

The remaining confirmed nominees were Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Mr Oladele Ajayi, Mr Joe Igbokwe.

Before their confirmation by the House, the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, invited each nominee for brief introduction during plenary.

During the exercise, the nominees promised to serve the state conscientiously in whichever portfolio assigned to them by the governor.

After a voice vote on each nominee by the Speaker, the House confirmed 35 out of the 38 nominees as commissioners and special advisers-designate.

Obasa said: “In pursuant to the Section 192 subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the House now confirms the appointment of the following governor’s nominees.”

The speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Sanni Azeez, to forward the list of the confirmed nominees to Gov. Sanwo-Olu.

He said that the governor could still re-nominate those rejected by the House, if he so desired.

The House adjourned plenary until Aug. 27.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Monach advises APC on choice of candidate for Kogi gov poll

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The Ohinoyi Ebira, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim has advised the All Progressives Congress (APC) to let the interest of the peope guide its choice of candidate for the Nov. 16 governorship election.

He made the charge in Okene on Monday while receiving retired Admiral Usman Jibrin, a governorship aspirant of the party in his palace.

Ibrahim also warned the party to guide against in fighting, saying it would amount to self destruction.

“The APC hierarchy should come together, resolve the differences among members and righteously come out with the most credible candidate to represent the party at the polls.

“APC should avoid in fighting, sit down and resolve the problem. Be righteous in your choice, for righteousness exalt a nation. You should ask for nothing but the best for the state,” he said.

Ohinoyi lauded Jibrin for his love for the state and the citizens, saying that he came from a disciplined professional background where nothing but the best was accepted and celebrated as the norm.

“Many of the ex-military officers holding brief on different assignments are doing their best in the country. This is because in military, best is meant for the best, ” he said.

He implored the APC aspirant to be positive, decisive and prayerful and not to see other aspirants as enemies but as brothers.

Earlier, the APC governorship aspirant had told the monarch that he joined the race in response to many distress calls from different parts of the state.

”Distress calls by the people on the challenges bedevilling the state forced me out of retirement to embark on this rescue mission.

“My people have suffered enough, I came from a profession that detest non-payment of salary. It’s only in Kogi that payment of salary is seen as an achievement.

“The Federal Government has been releasing funds to the state in different ways, besides the statutory funds, but unfortunately nothimg on ground to reflect this,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the APC primary election to decide the party’s standard bearer in Nov. 16, guber poll is slated for Aug. 29.

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Bayelsa election: PDP has no preferred aspirant — Makinde

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Aspirant

Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Screening Committee for Bayelsa and governor of Oyo State  Mr Seyi Makinde, says  the party has no preferred aspirant for its primary election in Bayelsa.

Makinde said this while speaking at the screening of PDP aspirants for Bayelsa on Monday at Wadata Plaza, Abuja.

Makinde  noted that the  committee  would be fair to all governorship aspirants from the state to ensure that the party went into proper election strong and united.

“We don’t want a situation whereby our party will go into the election with a divided house.

“We want to go into the election as one big family that we are, with a view to retaining the state,” Makinde said.

He expressed  optimism that PDP would continue to remain a strong and united party, even after the primaries.

A governorship aspirant, Mr Timi Alaibe speaking with newsmen at the venue of the exercise, called on party  delegates in the state to think deeply while making  decision on aspirants to cast their votes for.

“Delegates should be clear in the decision to ensure that they vote for who will understand the need of the people.

“Those who have experience, those who have capacity,” he said.

Another aspirant and  incumbent Deputy Governor of Baylesa,  retiref Rear Admiral John Jonah, expressed satisfaction and confidence in the  committee.

“I have the confidence that they will deliver. I am sure of clinching the ticket,” he said.

Mr Joseph Erico, governorship aspirant from Kogi, alsonexpressed confidence in the committee and the outcome.

Asked if he was sure of successful passing through the exercise, Erico said if it was to go by merit he would be the party’s candidate.

Another aspirant in Kogi, Mr Musa Wada, said that from the screening, there was clear indication that PDP had changed.

Wada said if elected,  he would change the narrative of governance in Kogi.

The only female aspirant from Kogi, Grace Adejo, who commended the process, said that being the only female aspirant gave her more motivation in the process.

“I never see myself as a lady, the most important this is to dislodge the incumbent.

“The woman angle is an added advantage. I have the education, the experience and qualification to bring development to Kogi.

Adejo pledged to create jobs, promote women empowerment and unity within the state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the exercise was being held at two separate venues simultaneously.

Aspirants from Bayelsa were undergoing screening at the party’s National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse zone 5; while aspirants from Kogi were being screened at Legacy House, the party’s presidential campaign office in Maitama.

The Chairman of the Screening Committee for Kogi is the Governor of Taraba, Darius Ishaku.

As at the time of filing this report, other governorship aspirants were still undergoing screening at both venue.

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I’m contesting to redefine governance in Bayelsa, says aspirant

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Mr Preye  Aganaba, a Bayelsa governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) says he is contesting to redefine governance in Bayelsa.

Aganaba said this on Monday at a news conference shortly after submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms at APC National Secretariat in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the ruling party would hold primaries to select its flag bearer on Aug. 29.

Aganaba, who said that any mode of primaries adopted by the national leadership of the party would be accepted by him, observed that direct primary would clear the doubt for everyone.

He expressed confidence that the party would conduct free and fair primary election.

Aganaba said that in respect to the principle of power rotation in the state, should be the turn of Bayelsa Central to produce the next governor of the state.

Asked if a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, is a threat to his gubernatorial ambition, Aganaba said he could not a threat.

“We need somebody that anybody can work with; the reality is that we are on ground, Bayelsa wants a fresh face across party lines, someone without baggage,” he said.

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