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Tag Archives: President Buhari

Buhari is a civilian autocrat, says Adebanjo

Chief Ayo Adebanjo, a leader of Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-political organisation, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is a civilian autocrat disguising under the guise of a democrat.

In an interview with Tribune, the elder statesman said the power Buhari enjoys is preventing him from changing the constitution to suit the current demands of the country.

He also said Buhari has not been active in solving the several problems ravaging the country.

“We have no democracy now, particularly with Buhari in government. He is the greatest civilian autocrat under the guise of being a democrat,” he said.

“I am Ayo Adebanjo. Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. What I am saying is that Buhari is the greatest civilian autocrat. Why? I am judging him by his actions. Will a democrat, in a democratic society, disobey court orders on two, three, four individuals? Will a democrat, under the rule of law, invade judges’ quarters under the pretence that he wants to wipe out corruption? These are my reasons I don’t just label him. I call him a dictator by his actions and let people tell me that those actions are consistent with democratic principles. That’s all.

“Unfortunately, the so-called governors from the South-West, who are in alliance with him, are so sheepish. Their hands are so dirty that they cannot talk to him. It is because their hands are so dirty that is why they don’t have the courage to stand up to him.”

The Afenifere leader alleged that more deaths have been recorded under the leadership of Buhari than the civil war which occurred between 1967 and 1970.

He said Buhari having contributed to the insecurity in the country, he has “turned a blind eye” to the “incompetence” of service chiefs in the country.

“We don’t hate him, but he does not understand the job he has taken upon himself,” he said.

“These are issues in the country which he (Buhari) has not even said a word about on Democracy Day. We don’t know what Nigerians have done to make us deserve a man like Buhari. The number of people that have been killed under him is more than the number killed during the civil war and yet, the man still has the effrontery to be telling us the security is alright.”

He called on the federal government to restructure the country immediately, adding that there is no other solution to the numerous challenges in the country than restructuring.

 

 

Buhari approves N208bn for upgrade of varsities

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N208 billion for the upgrade of federal universities.

The president made this known at the 23rd convocation of the University of Abuja on Saturday.

Represented by Sonny Echono, permanent secretary of the education ministry, Buhari said Nigeria could overcome its challenges by developing its human capital.

He said his administration would continue to address the concerns of the tertiary institutions.

“The present administration will continue to improve on the infrastructural facilities in the universities, promote teacher development and curriculum review,” Buhari said.

“It is in furtherance of this that I recently approved the disbursement of N208bn to public tertiary institutions under the 2019 intervention of the TETFUND.

“The ability of Nigeria with its huge population to overcome its present challenges of development no longer depends on petroleum resources but on the ability of the country to develop its human capital.

“The government will continue to look into the issues raised by the universities.”

The president added that the government would “monitor the universities closely”.

Buhari vows to punish lawyers, bankers, others facilitating corrupt practices

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will ensure effective asset declaration by public office holders and ensure sanctions by professional bodies against lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, and other individuals facilitating corrupt practices.

The president gave this assurance while speaking at the National Democracy Day Anti-Corruption Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.

Buhari said the government would also close existing legislative loopholes, facilitate collaboration with the judiciary, and strengthen the criminal justice system for effective fight against corruption in the country.

While ensuring comprehensive support and protection to whistleblowers, witnesses and victims of corruption, the president said his administration would adopt and formulate the policy of ‘naming and shaming’ all those who engage in corrupt practices.

He, however, maintained that the Federal Government would continue to encourage and honour transparent and honest citizens.

The president said the government would, “educate, mobilise and encourage Nigerians at the grassroots level to take ownership of the fight against corruption;

“Press for a crackdown on safe havens for corrupt assets, abolishing of bank secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens on the continent and beyond.’’

Buhari said that his administration would continue to insist on the unconditional return of looted assets kept abroad and further strengthening of international cooperation through information and mutual legal assistance.

He pledged that government would also continue to strengthen the capacity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other anti-corruption agencies by providing additional material, organisational and logistical support.

“Now, as this administration commences, we are taking stock of progress made so far in the war against corruption, assessing what needs to be done and devising new strategies to address existing challenges,’’ he said.

According to the president, his administration remains committed to the fulfillment of its promises to Nigerians which included security, economic improvement and fight against corruption.

The Guest Speaker at the event and former Director of Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Commission, Prof. Patrice Lumumba, lauded Nigeria’s strategies in fighting corruption, as he described the Nigeria’s EFCC as the best anti-corruption agency across the African continent.

He said: “In 2015, President Buhari said ‘if we don’t kill corruption in this country, corruption will kill Nigeria’ and I can’t agree with him more; and it is not only true about Nigeria but true about Africa.

“Almost every country in Africa has an agency that is charged with the fight against corruption but the EFCC stands out as the best in the continent because they have demonstrated by wide and deep that corruption can be tackled without sacred cows.

“We have seen that they have recovered monies from individuals who in other countries they are seen as sacred cows and are untouchable.’’

Earlier in his remarks, Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, narrated the achievements of the commission in the last four years.

According to him, the commission has achieved a lot in the fight against corruption, saying that the commission has so far secured 1,207 convictions.

“The convictions secured by the commission since the beginning of this administration reflects a positive progression.

“In 2015, we secured 103 convictions; in 2016 we secured 194; in 2017 we secured 189; in 2018 it was 312 convictions and from January 2019 to date, we have 406 convictions.

“Despite these records, corruption remains a challenge in our country. I believe that the fight against corruption requires a deeper stakeholder approach. The private and public sectors are critical players in this regard,” he said.

While thanking President Buhari for support and non-interference to the affairs of the commission, Magu also commended some state governments for establishing institutional mechanisms to fight corruption.

The one-day summit later went into a plenary session, where papers were presented by renowned stakeholders and scholars on how to curb electoral violence and embezzlement of public funds.

Kagame to Buhari: It’s not enough to fight corruption… we have to create wealth

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, has told President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders, that it is not enough to fight corruption — but to also add value to human life.

Speaking at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) summit in Abuja on Tuesday, Kagame congratulated Buhari on his victory at the poll and said Nigeria must share resources equitably, so everyone can join the fight against corruption.

He also called on the president and other attendees to add value, create wealth, while fighting corruption, and not merely to fight corruption.

“There is one of your own [Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala], who wrote a book, titled, fighting corruption is dangerous; so she gave me the book, and as I was looking at the title, I reminded her and said you need to be thinking of writing another book to state that not fighting corruption is even more dangerous.

“This is a fight that can be won; tolerating corruption is a choice, not an inevitability. It is within our power to end it. That is the most important starting point, otherwise, it will be a waste of time to keep talking about it.

“Corruptions does not take decades to eradicate once we decide to break the habit.

“We have to set our sights high, it is not enough to fight corruption just as merely fighting poverty, it is too small an ambition for Africa. We want to create value, we want to create wealth, not merely fighting corruption.”

Kagame said Buhari is AU anti-corruption champion, appreciating the president for his drive against corruption.

“President Buhari, I wish to give you our very warm congratulations on your re-election and best wishes for the entire Nigerian people, on the road ahead,” Kagame said.

“I also want to mention here, that President Buhari is AU (African Union) champion in the fight against corruption, and we thank you.”

Kagame said corruption must be fought from top to bottom, using four key principles: “culture, responsibility, accountability and effectiveness”.

“We must discard the myth that corruption is endemic to particular cultures. corruption is a universal weakness, not an African one, and it is not part of our destiny as a continent.

He said research has shown that “the biggest sources and beneficiaries of corruptions are outside of Africa”.

Buhari accepts Onnoghen’s resignation

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the resignation of Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria.

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday night.

“President Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective from May 28, 2019,” the statement read.

“The president thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.”

In April, Onnoghen had tendered his resignation a day after the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended that he be compulsorily retired for misconduct.

His associates had said that Onnoghen chose the option of resignation as a damage control.

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) had filed false assets declaration charges against the former justice at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Onnoghen was accused of operating foreign accounts which he failed to declare as part of his assets.

He was convicted at the CCT and barred from holding public office for 10 years while the monies in those accounts were confiscated.

But Onnoghen had challenged the verdict of the tribunal at the appeal court. The appellate court, which is yet to deliver its final judgement, had said the CCT breached Onnoghen’s right to fair hearing when it asked Buhari to suspend him.

Before the commencement of his CCT trial, the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI), a civil society group, launched a legal move to remove Onnoghen.

Less than 24 hours after the report, the CCB announced that it had received a petition written against the then CJN. But for the crisis, Onnoghen, who is 68, was due for retirement in 2020.

He was sworn into office on March 7, 2017.

JUST IN: Buhari dissolves eighth NASS, issues proclamation for ninth Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday pronounced the dissolution of the eighth session of the National Assembly and announced the proclamation of the ninth session of the federal parliament billed to commence on Tuesday, June 11th.

The Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani Omolori, confirmed this while addressing journalists in his office on Thursday.

He said, “I want to confirm that I have received proclamation from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The first is on the dissolution of the eight National Assembly, while the other one is on the convening of the first session of the ninth National Assembly.

“The proclamation of the dissolution of the eight National Assembly takes effect from 12 midnight of 8th June.

“By implication, from 8th of June by 12 midnight, the eight National Assembly stands dissolved.

“Similarly, the Ninth National Assembly will be inaugurated and first sitting will be held on Tuesday 11th of June by 10:00 a.m. in the National Assembly complex

Speakership: Gbaja is Buhari’s project — not Tinubu’s, says el-Rufai

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, is President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice for the speakership of the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly.

El-Rufai made this known while receiving elected members of the house of reps at government house, Kaduna, on Friday.

The governor said it is a misconception to say Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is the one paving the way for Gbajabiamila.

The majority leader, who represents Surulere federal constituency of Lagos, is an ally of Tinubu.

“It’s a misconception that Gbajabiamila is Asiwaju’s project. It was President Buhari himself that has always observed Femi in the house,” he said.

“Even before he became president, he read newspapers and watched television and he followed Gbajabiamila, his dedication and contributions on the floor and he said this time around I want Femi.

“I’m sure Asiwaju is happy but this is not his project, he is not the one that zeroed in on him. The president told me himself and when I asked him that I heard this story about Gbajabiamila and he told me his reasons.

“At governor’s forum, people raised voices but I told them that as governors, we sometimes impose, I am not a hypocrite. So I say to them, don’t let us condemn the president for picking people he feels comfortable working with.

“I don’t care who the president wants to work with but in my state, I am very interested. So, I told the president he has to be involved in this project and I said if he allows, me I’ll talk to people and get involved and I demand to get you involved too.”

El-Rufai said having made up his mind to support the president, he discovered his first barrier was Idris Wase, a Plateau rep, who was also interested in being speaker.

“The first obstacle I have to face was that Wase is the biggest threat, so I reached out to him and took him to the president,” he said.

“The president told him he has already decided on Femi and he gave his reasons. Wase replied though he was sure he has a big chance of winning but as his elder and president, the president’s request is done.

“I reached out to my fellow governors and I’m talking to Bago as well and by the grace of God, by 11th there won’t be any contest. We will do our best.

“I have also told my elected colleagues in Kaduna state that this is Buhari’s state, and we will do 100 per cent what he wants.

“We supported Femi in 2015, only one person did not vote for Femi and my members suffered for their party loyalty in 2015 by not getting anything tangible in the house despite some of them being very ranking.

He, however, urged Gbajabiamila and Wase not to be drawn into ethno-religeous controversy, saying, “Please do not allow people to draw you into religion or ethnic controversy”.

Reps ask Buhari to rescind executive order retrieving all gun licences

The House of Representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind an executive order mopping up guns with private individuals.

The lower legislative chamber made the call on Thursday after adopting a motion seeking to revoke the “executive order to remove, revoke and banish all firearms certificates and licences throughout the federation”.

It said mopping up the guns would expose citizens to dangers and deny them self defense.

Nnenna Ukeje from Abia state, who sponsored the motion, said Buhari recently signed the executive order that is to take effect on June 1, 2019.

According to Ukeje, while there is need for gun control, withdrawing legal guns would mean “only illegal guns will be in circulation and only criminals will own guns.”

“One would have thought that government position will be to domesticate international conventions that have proven around the world to be effective in curbing proliferation small arms and light weapons,” she said.

Most of the lawmakers also agreed with Ukeje’s submission as they argued there should be clear provisions for getting a gun licence rather than retrieving all the ones granted.

Alexander Adekola from Ekiti state said the executive order will make Nigerians vulnerable to attack.

“This executive order is to make everybody in Nigeria vulnerable. Are they saying people use them to kidnap or kill? No. It is the kidnappers and armed robbers that are using it without licence,” he said.

Simon Arabo from Kaduna state argued that “you cannot use an executive order to override a lawfully acquired weapon.”

According to him, “if most of the weapons are being used illegally, it is for the security to go and tackle that. Not for people who have theirs legally. I think that executive order if it has been signed, should be overwritten.”

Mojeed Alabi from Osun state, however, supported mopping up the guns on the ground that the police “has no clear criteria for issuing a gun licence” in Nigeria “except you want to give them money.”

“So people take guns without any procedure visible to all of us. If the police do not have a full regulations guiding ownership or acquisition of guns, then I will advise they be withdrawn,” he said.

“The procedure is wrong and because of that, the president is right to say they withdraw it. Let them come up with regulations.”

The lawmakers subsequently voted against the order and urged the president to withdraw it.

Kalu presents Maduro’s letter to Buhari

Former Governor of Abia State and Founder, Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation (OUKF), Dr. Orji Kalu, presented a letter from President Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja on Monday.

Kalu, last week, visited Maduro and some opposition leaders in Venezuela as part of the efforts of the Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation global peace initiative.

Buhari inaugurates projects in Ogun

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Abeokuta inaugurated some projects executed by the outgoing governor of Ogun, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun.

The projects are the Ogun Judicial Complex, along Kobape Road, the 10,000 – seater capacity Amphil-Theatre at Oke-Ilewo, the Campala/Adire mall at Itoku and the Ogun Television Digital Studio along Ajebo Road.

The president also inspected the 250-bed ultra-modern hospital at Oke-Mosan.

At the commissioning of the Judicial Complex, Buhari described the projects as first class and in tune with international standard.

Buhari who emphasised the importance of infrastructure in socio-economic development, commended Amosun for saving and committing resources to infrastructure development.

He said that the projects and the way Amosun had christened them were suggestive of the fact that the governor had prepared ahead of the day he would leave office.

“Judging from the projects that I have seen and the name that the governor has given them (legacy projects), I think he has prepared himself ahead to leave office.

“I congratulate him for having the foresight and saving resources to put the infrastructure in place to ensure his footprints remain permanent,” he said.

Buhari noted that God had elevated Amosun with his victory at the Feb. 23, Senatorial polls in the state during which he won the Ogun Central Senatorial seat.

He expressed hope that Amosun would use the platform to further serve the people of Ogun in particular and Nigerians in general.

In his opening remarks, Amosun commended Buhari for coming to the state for the event in spite of his tight schedules particularly in the Ramadan period.

Amosun who recalled that Buhari laid the foundation of the Judicial Complex in February 2016, explained that the projects were made possible because of the enormous support Ogun enjoyed from the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

“We are grateful to the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for considering our great state for the execution and implementation of many projects and policies.

“President Buhari has done very well not just for us in Ogun but for Nigeria as a whole.

“We want to thank you for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail line which passes through Ogun.

“We appreciate the economic policies of the Federal Government which has affected Ogun positively,’’ he said.

Amosun who declared that he had transformed Ogun to an enviable height, appreciated the people for their support throughout his tenure.

Speaking earlier, the Chief Judge of Ogun, Mosunmola Dipeolu, noted that the present judicial headquarters in Isabo had become archaic, having served the state for over 40 years.

According to her, the new complex provides great facilities and improved environment for adjudication.

Buhari returns to Abuja after 5 days in Saudi Arabia

President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja on Tuesday after performing the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in Saudi Arabia.

According to NAN, the aircraft conveying the president and members of his entourage which took-off from Royal terminal of the King Abdul’aziz International Airport around 2pm landed at the presidential wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at 6.34pm.

Abba Kyari, the president’s chief of staff; Muhammed Bello, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT); Muhammed Adamu,  acting inspector-general of police, and other government functionaries were at the airport to welcome the president.

While in Makkah, Buhari, who performed the lesser hajj alongside his wife, associates and aides, also held iftar dinner meetings with prominent Nigerians, including Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The president also had iftar dinner meeting with Sa’ad Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, and Hussaini Adamu, emir of Kazaure,  where special prayers were offered for Nigeria to achieve total peace and stability.

The holy month of Ramadan is a blessed time for spiritual reflection and commitment while prayers are encouraged to achieve forgiveness, peace and prosperity of Nations.

Buhari is expected to preside over the valedictory session of the federal executive council (FEC) on Wednesday, barely a week before his inauguration for another four-year tenure.

Falana writes Buhari, seeks release of 40 Nigerians from illegal custody of navy

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of 40 Nigerians who have been in “illegal custody” of the Nigerian navy.

In a letter on Sunday, the senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the individuals had been arrested and imprisoned without being arraigned in court.

The detainees including Dada Labinjo, a navy captain, and Sherifat Ibe Lambert (also known as Mrs Bola Labinjo), a lt. commander, have been in detention since September 2018 for an undisclosed offence.

Falana had earlier called on Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), to take action against the naval authorities over the “violations of the fundamental rights of the detainees”.

He said the naval authorities had obtained a remand warrant from a magistrate’s court in Apapa, Lagos, but after three months of incarceration without any criminal charges filed against the detainees, the court reviewed their case on January 7, 2019, and ordered that they should be released immediately.

In his letter, the lawyer said the “unlawful detention” contravened sections of the 1999 constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement.

“We have received complaints from the family members of 40 Nigerian citizens who are being detained without trial on the orders of the Authorities of  the Nigerian Navy,” the letter read.

“It may interest Your Excellency to know that the detainees have been held incommunicado in dehumanising conditions for periods ranging from six to eight months.

“In fact, some of the detainees are incarcerated in an underground military detention facility in Abuja while others are held inside one of the vessels impounded by the Nigerian Navy in Marina, Lagos.

“The  detainees have been subjected to mental, psychological and physical torture contrary to the provisions of the Anti Torture Act, 2017.

“Furthermore, in utter contempt of court the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have defied valid and subsisting orders of competent courts for the unconditional release of some of the detainees.

“Apart from such contemptuous conduct the Nigerian Navy recently denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the 15 detainees held in a detention facility  in Abuja.

“As soon as we pointed out that  the remand order procured by the Nigerian Navy for the detention of the 15 detainees had been quashed by the Chief Magistrate Court in Apapa, Lagos State the Naval Authorities turned round to file criminal charges against 5 of them before a Court Martial.

“Since all the detainees are entitled to their fundamental rights to dignity and liberty guaranteed by sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, we urge Your Excellency to direct the Chief Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, to either release the detainees from unlawful custody or arraign them in court without any further delay.

“In view of the fact that the illegal detention of the 40 Nigerian citizens for several months  without trial has exposed the Federal Government to unwarranted embarrassment the Chief of Naval Staff ought to be sanctioned by Your Excellency.”

Below is a list of all the detainees:

  • Captain Dada Labinjo,
  • Lt. Commander Sherifat Ibe Lambert
  • Benjamin Gold
  • Peter Pulle,
  • Pius Paul,
  • Onoja Reuben,
  • Adeleke Adewale,
  • Labinjo Kehinde,
  • Ogunmoyero Oluwasehun,
  • Emmanuel Oputa,
  • Innocent Sunday,
  • Iejoro Friday,
  • Hamza Yakubu,
  • Segun Yusuf.
  • Master-Melvin Jack ;
  • Chief Mate-Adebayo Mayoma
  • Chief Mate- Francis Oneyema
  • 2nd Eng-Godwill Umoh
  • Bosin-Miebaka Iyala
  • Elect 2-Edu Fidelis
  • Elect 2-Richard David
  • Camp Boss-Daniel Harrison
  • Asaiki Okeoghene
  • AB 1-Omogoye Bolaji
  • AB 2-Victor Uchendu
  • AB 3-Oloyede Ademola
  • Oiler-Simon Onyisi Mike
  • Eng cadet-Udom Victor Jerome
  • Godwin Etiaka Ojodusi        
  • Sixtus Ganabel                          
  • Owei Ukuto                               
  • Jeremiah Victor                          
  • Collins Joel                
  • Augustine Omonisa                    
  • MV Akemijo Deborah          
  • Mike Simeon
  • Umoren Daniel
  • James Archibong
  • Umon Godswill Emmanuel
  • MT Adeline Jumbo

Buhari heading to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj

President Muhammadu Buhari will embark on a five-day trip to Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Shehu said the trip is at the instance of Salman Abdulaziz, the ruler of Saudi Arabia.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the ruler of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to perform the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in the Kingdom,” Shehu said.

“To this effect, the President, accompanied by close personal aides, will embark on the journey on Thursday, 16th May.

“He is expected back in the country on Tuesday, 21st May. Umrah is an optional but recommended pilgrimage to Makkah that can be made at any time of the year.”

Military dissociates self from call to overthrow Buhari

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Tuesday, dissociated the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) from the circulation of a document, calling for the overthrow of the democratically-elected government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by Navy Capt. Muhammed Wabi, Deputy Director of Defence Information, the DHQ accused a group, “Nigeria Continuity and Progress (NCP)’’ as being behind the document.

Wabi alleged that the document called for the setting up of an “interim government’’ in place of the elected government.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) wishes to dissociate itself from the rascality and intentions as espoused in a document being circulated by a faceless group named Nigerian Continuity and Progress (NCP) calling for support of a revolution to oust the current democratically elected government and in its place establish an illegitimate interim government.

“The AFN outrightly condemns the undemocratic and demonic actions of the author of the document.

“Accordingly, members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the content of the documents being circulated by NCP and equally condemned in totality, the call to derail our hard-earned democracy,’’ the statement said.

It said that the armed forces was “very mindful of its constitutional responsibilities’’ and would not be misled into any act that would undermine democracy as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The AFN remains unflinchingly loyal to the Constitution, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The statement said all relevant law enforcement agencies had been advised to unravel those behind the seditious document for appropriate actions.

Hope Democratic Party asks tribunal to halt Buhari’s inauguration

The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Ambrose Owuru, its presidential candidate, have asked the presidential election petition tribunal to halt the  swearing-in ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari will be sworn in on May 29.

The motion filed by the applicants is seeking an order restraining Buhari, the first respondent, from presenting himself on May 29 or any other date for swearing in or taking of oath of allegiance and oath of office as president.

They are also seeking an order restraining Ibrahim Mohammed, acting chief justice of Nigeria, or any other justice in that stead from swearing in or administering the oath of allegiance and oath of office on Buhari.

The applicants predicated the application on the ground that they had filed a petition on March 3 challenging the validity of the election and the return of the first respondent as the winner of the election.

“A restraining order by this court is appropriate to preserve the subject matter of this petition and prevent the first respondent foisting a fiat accompli and state of helplessness on the court and render the petition nugatory,” the motion read.

“The law is settled that once the question of the validity of Election of any person is challenged as to whether he is validly elected or not, the person is not competent to take office or assume the seat of power until the matter is dealt with.”

However, Zainab Bulkachuwa, president of the appeal court, adjourned hearing on the application till May 22 on account of non-proper service on the respondents.

“The application filed by the appellants/applicants and all other interlocutory applications are hereby adjourned until May 22 for hearing,” she held.

“It is hereby ordered that all exchanges of processes and filing of respondents’ briefs are done within the period specified.”

Low-key inauguration on May 29 as FG moves ‘major’ events to June 12

President Muhammadu Buhari will have a low-key inauguration for his second term on May 29.

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, disclosed this to reporters in Abuja on Monday.

Mohammed said most events for May 29 had been moved to June 12, the country’s new Democracy Day.

Last year, Buhari declared June 12 as Democracy Day in honour of MKO Abiola, self-acclaimed winner of the 1993 election.

Mohammed added that world leaders had already been invited to attend the Democracy Day on June 12.

“The decision to have a low-key inauguration for the President was taken at the meeting of federal executive council of Wednesday 8th of May, 2019,” he said.

“Invitations have been sent to all world leaders to attend the ceremonies marking the observance of the democracy day on June 12.

“Since the first observance of democracy day falls on an election year, and as a measure to sustain June 12 as democracy day, the celebration of the inauguration and the advancement of democracy in the country will now take place on June 12.”

He said the country cannot afford two major celebrations within two weeks.

Mohammed said details of the events, slated for the two ceremonies would be unveiled at a world news conference, slated for May 20 in Abuja.

PHOTOS: Emefiele all smiles as Buhari congratulates him over his reappointment

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), visited President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

Beaming with smiles, governor of the apex bank shook hands with the president who congratulated him.

Last week, Buhari appointed Emefiele for another term of five years.

Below are the pictures of both men together:

Photo credit: Sunday Aghaeze

Insecurity: Buhari gives marching order to service chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked service chiefs and heads of security agencies to work towards checking the high level of insecurity in the country.

Speaking during his second meeting with service chiefs in 48 hours, the president said Nigerians ought go to bed with their eyes closed.

Ibok Ekwe Ibas, chief of naval staff, disclosed this while briefing state house correspondents on the outcome of the meeting which started at 11:30am and ended few minutes before 3pm.

“The meeting was just basically to appraise Mr. President of the security situation generally after his short vacation abroad,” he said.

“The security agencies briefed him on what has been happening with particular emphasis on the proliferation of small arms and what the various agencies are doing to curtail the consequences of this proliferation.

“He has also given directives that the agencies should do much more to ensure that Nigerians go to bed and wake up feeling healthy and confident that their security is guaranteed.”

On the high rate of kidnapping, the naval chief said: “You will recall during the last meeting, the IG was directed to ensure insecurity is addressed and consequently various operations were set up; Puff Adder was one of the strategies. With the set up of that operations there have been a remarkable drop in the number of kidnappings. What normally would attract attention is when a key person in government perhaps is kidnapped. On the whole, the number of kidnappings has dropped and generally I think the security situation is improving.”

He added that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the kidnap of Musa Ibas, district head of Daura.

“Serious efforts are being made, key suspects have been arrested and it is hoped that in a short while, those behind the heinous crime will be brought to book,” he said.

Umar was kidnapped at his residence shortly after he returned from the mosque where he took part in the evening prayer.

Buhari inaugurates North East Development Commission

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).

The commission is expected to coordinate the rebuilding of the insurgency-ravaged north-east region.

While inaugurating the commission before the commencement of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Buhari said a take-off grant of N10 billion meant for the commission had already been captured in the 2019 budget.

Last month, the commission presented a budget of N55 billion to the senate, of which N10 billion was approved for humanitarian interventions.

Buhari had sent the list of nominees of the commission to the senate for confirmation last month.

Paul Tarfa, a retired army major-general, was confirmed as chairman, while Mohammed Alkali was confirmed as the managing director and chief executive officer of the commission.

The upper legislative chamber also confirmed nine members of the board of the commission.

The members are Musa Yashi, executive director humanitarian affairs; Mohammed Jawa, executive director, admin and finance; Omar Mohammed, executive director, operations; and David Kente, member representing north-east zone.

The new members

Others are Asmau Mohammed, member representing north-west zone; Benjamin Adanyi, member representing north-central zone; Olawale Oshun, member representing south-west zone; Theodore Ekechi, member representing south-east and Obasuke McDonald, member representing south-south zone.

The senate passed the bill for the establishment of the commission in October 2016 while Buhari assented to the bill a year later.

Buhari returns to Abuja after 10 days abroad

President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja Sunday after spending 10 days on a private visit to the United Kingdom.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presidential aircraft conveying the president from London landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 6.33 p.m.

Those at the airport to welcome the president include his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, some ministers, including the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Others were the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu and other presidential aides.

Buhari had on April 25 proceeded to the UK on a private visit after he inaugurated some projects executed by the Borno Government.

After landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Buhari took a chopper to the Aso Villa.