The second week of impeachment hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives kicks off on Tuesday with four current and former administration officials scheduled to testify.
Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), and Jennifer Williams, an aide on Vice President Mike Pence’s staff, are scheduled to testify in the morning session.
Vindman and Williams directly listened in on the July 25 phone call at the centre of the impeachment inquiry.
Top U.S. diplomats said in testimony last week they were alarmed about what they viewed as an attempt by the White House to make military aid to Ukraine conditional on an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden and his son.
Republicans have accused the Bidens of corruption over Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian energy company.
Democrats launched the inquiry after a whistleblower reported details of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
They accuse Trump of abusing his power by withholding the military aid while pressuring Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rival in order to help his own 2020 re-election campaign.
The two other officials due to testify on Tuesday are Tim Morrison, the NSC’s former official in charge of overseeing Russia and Europe policy, and Kurt Volker, former special representative to Ukraine.
They are expected to say the phone call was part of a months-long efforts to get Ukraine to find political dirt on the Bidens.
Trump has called the inquiry a “great fraud” but on Monday said he is considering providing written testimony.
(Edited by Fatima Sule/Emmanuel yashim)
Lagos Speaker mourns Osinowo, says House lost a political stabiliser
The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has commiserated with the family of Sen. Bayo Osinowo who died at age of 64.
Obasa, in a condolences message in Lagos on Monday, said that Lagos Assembly had lost a political stabilizer.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the late Sen. Osinowo was a four-term member of Lagos House of Assembly, representing Kosofe Constituency I, before moving on to National Assembly.
The speaker said that the late politician helped many to resolve their socio-political problems because of the sagacity and wisdom he applied to issues.
Obasa said the death of Osinowo, who representated Lagos East in the Senate, had come as a rude shock many in the Lagos House of Assembly were yet to recover from.
“Not many could believe that the ebullient and ever-smiling Pepperito, like a candle in the wind, had been blown out.
“Even with the evidence that death has done its worst, it is still difficult to come to terms that a political pillar and peacemaker is gone.
“For the 16 years (2003- 2019) he was in the Lagos State House of Assembly representing the good people of Kosofe Constituency 1, many loved him for the stabilising role he played at every point in the period.
“Throughout his stay in the House, many ran to him for solutions to their socio-political problems because of the sagacity and wisdom he applied to issues,” he said.
Obasa said the Lagos Assembly Muslim community would forever be grateful for his fatherly role and financial commitment to the building of the ultra-modern mosque within the assembly complex.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
133 more test positive for COVID-19 in Kenya, including 4 members of State House staff
Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Monday confirmed 133 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally of infections to 3,727.
Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, told journalists that the new cases were detected from 3,365 samples which were tested in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, four people were tested positive for COVID-19 at State House, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said Monday.
“The tests are conducted on all staff including His Excellency the President and members of his family,” said Dena, adding that President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First Family are safe and free from COVID-19.
“To strengthen COVID-19 containment measures, extra access protocols for State House staff residing outside the compound and visitors, have been rolled out,” Dena added.
“During the period, 33 patients were discharged from various hospitals in the country, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,286,” Kagwe told journalists.
He said one person succumbed to the disease, bringing the total number of deaths so far to 104.
So far, 118,701 samples have been tested since the outbreak of the disease in the country.
Edo 2020: APC House of Reps caucus throws weight behind Ize-Iyamu
The Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House of Representatives, has endorsed Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as their candidate, ahead of the June 22 governorship primaries of the party in the state.
In a joint statement by the six APC members: Prof. Julius Ihonvbere (Owan Federal Constituency), Mr Johnson Oghuma (Etsako Federal Constituency), among others, they said that the resolution was taken after an extensive consultation across the state.
According to the statement, the lawmakers also expressed their support on the method the leadership of the party had adopted for the governorship primaries.
The statement reads: “As members of the party, we hereby restate our full support for the method the party has chosen as their preferred method, for the forthcoming primaries in Edo.
The lawmakers commended the party men and women for their resilience and support.
NAN reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced Sept. 19, as the date for the Edo governorship polls.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
Kwara Monarch advocates resurrection of House of Chiefs, constitutional roles for monarchs
The Olomu of Omupo, Oba Yakubu Buari, in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara, has advocated resurrection of House of Chiefs in Nigeria, to provide constitutional role for monarchs.
The Royal father, who made the call on Friday during news briefing as part of the activities of his 10th years on the throne, explained that this will check any excesses or any fraudulent activities among the tiers of government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the House of Chiefs, constituted by traditional rulers in the regions, acted as a check on the parliament in Nigeria’s First Republic.
Buari said there is the need for a third force to act as a check on the two chambers in Nigeria.
According to him, traditional rulers are the custodian of values, culture and interest of their people, they are best placed to champion the cause of their people without bias, since they do not belong to any political party.
“I think for fair representation of our people, we should constitute the House of Chiefs like we used to have in the olden days, which we had as the second legislative chamber.
Buari reiterated that the traditional rulers are closer to the grassroots and know the need and aspirations of their people, adding that whenever there is crisis any where, the government run back to traditional rulers to intervene and bring about peace.
He also said his aspirations and dreams as the reigning monarch in Omupo Kingdom is to establish a happy community with steady and meaningful development.
According to him, Omupo is agrarian community, who are passionate about farming.
However, he expressed regret that the major bane to the farmers there is herdsmen destruction of farmlands.
He appealed to government at all levels to intercede and ensure herdsmen don’t destroy farms, adding that different tribes are already in his community farming and living in peace.
“The legacy I wished to leave is to be remembered as someone who is fair and not bias or exhibiting sentiment on anything. Here, everyone is regarded equal,” he said.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)