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EFCC insists on probing Saraki

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it will not go back on its current probe of the tenure of Senate President Bukola Saraki when he was governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. The anti-graft agency said it has a sacred mandate to rid the country of corruption, no matter whose ox is gored.

Bukola Saraki

It said Saraki has no need to fret as long as he has no skeletons in his cupboard.

The EFCC, which stated this in a statement in Abuja by its Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Tony Orilade, said it will conduct a legitimate forensic inquiry into Saraki’s tenure as a governor.
The anti-graft body, in a letter, dated April 26, wrote the Kwara State government about some information on Saraki’s earnings as the state governor.

But Saraki alleged that the EFCC’s inquest was a plot to intimidate and frame him up.

The anti-graft agency assured him that it is only investigating the Senate President in line with its mandate.

The statement said: “The EFCC has taken note of the reactions of Senate President Bukola Saraki to the commission’s inquiries regarding his earnings as Kwara State governor as well as on the quality of his financial stewardship in the Senate.

“While it is his prerogative to ventilate his views on the matter as he deems fit, the commission takes great exception at the desperate attempt to cast a slur on its investigative activities by portraying Saraki as a victim of persecution.

“Furthermore, the agency finds the attempt by the Senate President to tie our inquest to his International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) appointment and his approaching life out of power as misleading, knowing too well that the background to our current inquiries reaches several years back.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the EFCC is obligated by law to enthrone probity and accountability in the governance space and has supremely pursued this duty without ill-will or malice against anyone.

“It is in the interest of the public, and for Saraki’s personal good, that he is not only above board, but be seen at all times to be so.”

The EFCC said its probe of Saraki was always guided by the overriding public interest.

The commission advised the Kwara State senator not to fret if he has nothing to hide.

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Politics

Buhari confirms the appointment of Mohammad Adamu as Police IG

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Mohammad Adamu as the Inspector General of Police.

According to Buhari’s aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, Adamu’s appointment was confirmed at the Police Council Meeting which held at the State House.

The meeting was presided over by Buhari.

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Lawan, Ndume, Goje intensify Senate leadership battle

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The battle for the Ninth President of the Senate has heightened with senators-elect involved in signatures drive for the three contenders – Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Danjuma Goje and the former Senate Leader Ali Ndume.

All the three camps have been overwhelmed by tally counting ahead of the election of principal officers in the next dispensation.

But the three contenders have kept their tallies under wraps while intensifying strategic sessions and lobbying of their colleagues across party divides.

Although Lawan group has adopted a one-on-one strategy in its final phase of the campaign, the PDP has initiated plot to give block vote. It was learnt that a former Abia deputy governor, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has been coordinating the opposition group.
Investigation revealed that the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly will hold on June 11 after the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, would have completed their tenure.

Saraki and Dogara will leave office on June 9, 2019, to end turbulent four-year tenure.

All the three contenders are locked in permutations with a collection of signatures of Senators-elect.

While APC senators-elect are trying to remain intact, some of the PDP senators-elect are opposed to block vote.

The opposition senators-elect met in the home of their coordinator, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, a few days ago to strategize ahead of the election of the principal officers of the Senate.

After the session, some of the senators-elect later had an audience with one of the principal officers of the Senate to brief him on the situation at hand.

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PDP hits back at Tinubu

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of hauling insults at it to curry political relevance.

The main opposition party also faulted Tinubu’s recent visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Saudi Arabia where the party alleged that the APC leader hauled invectives and diatribes against the PDP

In a statement Tuesday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said through his actions Tinubu has further demonstrated that he has nothing to offer towards the development of the nation.

“It is atrocious that at the time other leaders are in the Holy Land offering prayers and supplications for our nation, Asiwaju Tinubu is in Mecca for photo-ops, playing dirty politics and hauling insults at other Nigerians just to curry relevance before President Buhari,” the statement said.
The party further noted nothing but sheer hypocrisy would push Asiwaju Tinubu to engage in “unholy praises of a failed administration” in desperation.

The statement said: “This is the same Asiwaju Tinubu, who, in January 2018, at the 15th Annual Daily Trust Dialogue, berated the Buhari administration for its nepotism, incompetence, corrupt oil subsidy regime; blaming it for the high-level poverty in our country and counseled Nigerians to be guided by their conscience in electing leaders in the 2019 general elections.

“Asiwaju, in criticizing the Buhari administration, held rightly that too much political and economic power resides in the hands of too few.

“This result in a society described by too much of unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, too little food, yet too much poverty.

“He then added correctly that under President Buhari, “rather than becoming a joyous nation, Nigeria has become a cruel playground where the fears and concerns of the average person get exploited but their interests never get promoted.”

“The PDP, therefore, lambasted Asiwaju Tinubu for making allusion to its determination with Nigerians to retrieve Atiku Abubakar’s stolen Presidential mandate at the court, adding that no amount of blackmail can detract from this resolve.”

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INEC withdraws Certificates from lawmakers

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has so far withdrawn 25 Certificates of Return issued to some candidates that won during the 2019 general election, following court orders. Twenty of the 25 certificates of return were withdrawn from All Progressives Congress (APC) members to other APC members; while two from People Democratic Party (PDP) members were withdrawn and issued to other PDP members.


The Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Mr. Festus Okoye, said that the other three were withdrawn from APC and PDP; and given to other political parties. Okoye made the disclosure at a ‘Forum on Media Coverage of 2019 General Election’ held in Enugu yesterday and in a statement. The APC has lost one House of Representatives seat each to the PDP and Accord Party respectively, based on the order of the court. Also, the party lost a state constituency seat to the PDP. Okoye, in a statement yesterday, however, disclosed that there are still many cases still pending in various state and Federal High Courts arising from pre-election matters.
“The commission, pursuant to orders of court, is still updating the list of candidates that contested the 2019 elections or deemed to have contested the elections. “As at the 16th May 2019, INEC withdrew the certificates of return issued to 25 candidates of the different political parties in Nigeria and issued fresh ones to other candidates,” Okoye said. Based on the order of court, Okoye disclosed that the commission withdrew certificates of return from the APC candidates in Ekiti North federal constituency and Ehime-Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo federal constituency of Imo State and issued them to PDP and Accord Party respectively.

“In Darazo state constituency of Bauchi State, the commission withdrew the certificate of a candidate of the APC and issued to the candidate of the PDP,” he further explained. Okoye stated that the commission withdrew a certificate of return from APC senatorial candidate in Bauchi South senatorial district and issued to another APC candidate. “In Delta State, the commission withdrew the certificate of return issued to the candidate of the PDP in Delta North Senatorial District and issued to another candidate of the PDP.
“Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday (May 17, 2019); the commission has withdrawn 25 certificates-of-return from the first owners to their new owners following court orders to do that,” he said. Speaking at the Enugu event, President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, said that the media and its practitioners enjoyed a vast and robust consultations and meetings with INEC before, during and after the elections. Isiguzo said that INEC performed creditably given the resources and length of cooperation from other stakeholders involved in the electoral processes. “However, we are here to evaluate the entire process and see where we can strengthen our engagement and better the electoral system,” he said. In his address, the Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Emeka Ononamadu, noted that evaluation of processes of the elections would help better the electoral processes as well as strengthen institutions and stakeholders involved in the entire processes.

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