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Court grants Dino bail

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has granted bail to Senator Dino Melaye on health grounds.

Justice Yusuf Halilu in his ruling ordered Dino to produce three sureties including the Clark of the National Assembly who must produce a written undertaking to produce him in court.

The other sureties, the court ruled, must be residents of the FCT who have landed properties in Abuja.

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Obaseki visits Oshiomhole to end their rift

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Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday raised hope of an earnest end to the war of attrition between him and his predecessor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who is now the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).

He said in Benin City that he had met with Oshiomhole and efforts were being made to resolve issues created by those he referred to as third parties in the state.

He reiterated his position that there are no fundamental issues between them.

Obaseki spoke during a mass at the St. Paul Catholic Church, Benin City, to mark the 80th birthday of the first executive governor of the state and Oshiomhole’s predecessor as APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The simmering crisis of confidence between Obaseki and Oshiomhole blew open in the wake of the inauguration of the state House of Assembly during which 14 members-elect who are reportedly loyal to the APC national chairman refused to be inaugurated.

The governor was accused of surreptitiously issuing the proclamation letter for the inauguration of the state legislature, leading to the swearing in of only nine out of the 24-members-elect then.

Efforts to resolve the crisis, including the intervention of the National Assembly, which has asked the governor to issue a fresh proclamation otherwise it would take over the functions of the House of Assembly, have been mired in legal battles.

The faction of the state lawmakers loyal to the governor has secured court orders stopping Obaseki from issuing a fresh proclamation and the National Assembly from carrying out its takeover threat.

However, at the thanksgiving for Odigie-Oyegun’s 80th birthday celebration, Obaseki said the state would soon put the crisis behind it and forge ahead with its developmental strides.

He said: “I thank you very much for the remarkable homily by Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, Catholic Archbishop of Benin Metropolitan See. I listened very attentively and I have taken every word in your remark to heart and very seriously. I want to assure you that we are in pursuit of peace and we will have peace in Edo State.

“We have met – me and my predecessor in office – and fortunately, we do not have any fundamental issues. And because we do not have any fundamental issues, I believe that whatever third parties are trying to propagate, I am sure we can talk over it. I assure you that very soon things will return to normalcy in Edo State.”

He said the state government, in line with the spirit of Nigeria’s national anthem, would not forget the labour of past heroes, which shall never be in vain.

“Today, we are here to celebrate our own Chief Odigie-Oyegun. On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I want to congratulate you on your 80th birthday,” Obaseki said.

According to him, the state government has named the soon-to-be-completed Civil Service Training Centre after the celebrant for his contributions to the development of the state and the country at large.

“For your contributions and what you have done for our dear state, I have decided to name the public service academy, which is under construction, after you. We know your passion for public service; we know and acknowledge the contributions you made to the public service in Nigeria. Therefore, we have decided to name this edifice, which will be completed within the next 60 days, by the grace of God, after you. President Muhammadu Buhari will come and commission the academy, with you standing beside him. It will be known as the John Odigie-Oyegun Institute for Public Administration,” he added.

The institute, according to the governor, is on “three floors and is made up of large training rooms that will host 220 people. Two halls hold 118 people each. There are seven training halls that will host 58 people each. There is a library, a sick bay, a cafeteria and 12 offices. This facility at any point in time can hold and train a minimum of 900 people. It will be the largest facility for training public servants in Nigeria.”

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President Buhari set to swear-in his ministers

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Wednesday, August 21 swear in his ministers, a statement from the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation has said.

This is even as the president shifted the 2-day induction retreat from August 15 and 16 to August 19 and 20.

The Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office (CAO), OSGF, Mr. Babatunde Lawal, said in the statement that the retreat would hold at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“The swearing-in of all ministers-designate by the President shall hold Wednesday 21st August, 2019 11:00am (at) Federal Executive Council Chambers Presidential Villa Abuja,” Lawal quoted the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha, as saying.

The SGF invited all ministers-designate, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), federal permanent secretaries and top government functionaries to the two-day retreat to be presided over by President Buhari.

“The objectives of the retreat include build a strong platform for synergy and teamwork; sensitize appointees on the status of the implementation of policies, programmes and projects of government from 2015-date; acquaint the appointees with the roadmap for delivery of government’s priorities and next level agenda (2019-2023); and deepen the understanding of participants on best practices in conducting government business.

14 of the 43 ministers-designate served as ministers in the President’s first term in office.

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I have no plan to groom a successor for the 2023 presidential election – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says he has no plan whatsoever to groom a successor for the 2023 presidential election.

The president stated this while reacting to one of the requests made by the members of progressives in academics, who visited him at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday.

The spokesperson of the group, Dr Bolariwa Bolajim had earlier enjoined the president to commence the proceed of grooming his successor, who would take over the mantle of leadership from him in 2023

Bolaji said: “We are delighted having you and in another four-year time you would want to go and rest – then who takes over from you?

“We are suggesting that you bring a vibrant youths among people who have shown interest, bring them in so that you start saddling them with responsibilities and you will be watching them over these next four years so that when you want to leave the circle, you would have vibrant youths to hand over to.

“This is one of the ways the gains of this government can be made to be continues – so that there will be continuity in what you are doing.’’

However, President Buhari said he would rather stay away from identifying anybody as his successor so as not to create problem for such a person.

The president said: “To me this is very funny. I think if I identify anybody I’d create more problem for him or for her.

“So, I’d rather keep my mouth shut. Let those who would want to be president try as much as I did. And I believe that those who are interested know that I tried three times.

“And the first time, I thank God and technology, PVC. Before, they just go to the television and they read the results. They say anybody who disagreed should go to court.

“And most of my supporters are looking for next day’s meal. They don’t have money to give to lawyers. So I said God dey. So, the first time God and technology came along , PVC they couldn’t rig the election so I won.

The president, therefore, challenged the youths to continue to work harder, saying that they should not take things for granted.

“I tried to work hard but I think you have a lot more to do you as intellectuals so that you correctly document Nigeria’s political development. It’s very important for the next generation.

“A lot of our young chaps are taking things for granted. Imagine to contest election three times ending up in Supreme Court three times. It needs a lot of conviction you know, and hard work.

“But people take success for granted. They say, ah, he’s the president. They think it’s just closed my eyes and I got it? The president asked rhetorically,;; he added.

The Members of the progressives in Academics, who were drawn from different tertiary institutions across the country, presented three proposals on revitalization of education, power and agriculture to the president possible approval.

NAN

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Set standards for screening ministerial nominees – Lawyers tell Senate

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The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has urged the Senate to set a parameter or criteria for confirmation and rejection of ministerial nominees and others sent to it by the president, to ensure transparency.

The Convener and leader of the coalition, Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Olajengbesi said such criteria would guide the process and ensure fairness and patriotism during screening rather than the “take a bow” method granted to most of the nominees in the just-concluded exercise.

“The Nigerian Senate has just announced the completion of the screening and confirmation of the ministerial nominees and Nigerians are made to wonder if the Senate is aware of its onus as an important body vested with constitutional powers to carry out this crucial assignment.

“The entire screening process was a demonstration of disloyalty to the Nigerian people, promotion of nepotism in state affairs and a show of party loyalty as against the need to sieve off ministerial nominees who lack the requisite aptitude, and are with questionable antecedents.

“The senate should know that the institution is responsible to Nigerians, and as such, should be wary of actions that may cost it its legitimacy.

“While it is understandable that there is a rule of the Senate that allows former legislators or members of the Senate to take a bow and go, I hold strongly that such rule mitigates the essence of the ministerial screenings,” the statement quoted Olajengbesi as saying.

According to the COPA leader, it is the duty of the legislature to constantly monitor the activities of the executive to guarantee visionary leadership.

This, he said, should start from the appointment of credible ministers.

He expressed the fear that the 9th National Assembly could become a rubber stamp assembly if it continue to sacrifice competence and transparency on the altar of “take a bow and go”.

“Does it not sadden the heart that not less than half of the 43 nominees were generously told to take a bow and go?

“Meanwhile, the only time the lawmakers deemed it fit to actually screen a nominee, took the posture of a grievance against the nominee or his sponsor, while glossing over other key issues.

“As it is, the direct implication of this malady goes down to the citizenry whose hopes have again been dashed, losing interest in whatever the outcome of the governmental process is.

“The Senate has therefore, failed the Nigerian people in such a very early moment of this administration.”

He regretted that the youth who are the demographic majority and future of the country were sidelined in the nomination of ministers.

Olajengbesi noted that all efforts made to develop youths technologically and otherwise might be a waste if their ability were not harnessed.

“There is no gain saying that global rise in knowledge, technology and social awareness has boosted the capacity of our youths in the country.

“However, their ability to harness these assets effectively to drive national transformation will depend on the leadership opportunities available to them.

“While I know that being a “youth” in itself is not a qualification for leadership, it is in this context related to credible and competent young Nigerians within the required age.

“Is it not painful to see how young Nigerians excel outside Nigeria when they could have impacted same course into the Nigerian system if given the opportunity?

He therefore, urged the National Assembly to rise up to the challenge of 21st century and focus on the independent research of the British Council which said that “by 2030, youths, not oil, will be Nigeria’s greatest asset”.

NAN

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