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NASS vs Buhari: Uncertainty as Buhari faces impeachment threat in last days

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The Senator Ahmad Lawan-led ninth Senate is known for absolute loyalty to the executive arm of government and has been cautious not to flex muscle, even if there was seeming infraction on the constitution.

That jinx seemed to have been broken for real, given the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senators’ audacious move on Wednesday, 27 July, 2022, where they issued six weeks ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to fix insecurity in Nigeria or got booted out of office.

The minority leader of the Senate and lawmaker representing the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Philip Aduda, after a closed-door session, raised a point of order to have a motion of insecurity discussed, but was ruled out of order by the Senate President.

Lawan hinged his decision on a breach of legislative rules by Aduda, as reasons he would not allow the motion to be entertained.

Irked by the Senate President’s resistance, the Minority leader, who was disappointed, insisted that the attacks by terrorists in the Federal Capital Territory, notably that of presidential guards that led to the killing of a lieutenant and a captain in Bwari area of Abuja, as well as abrupt closure of colleges in the Federal Capital Territory as a result of attacks by bandits and terrorists, were issues of “national interest”, which were discussed and agreed behind closed-door.

He mobilized his colleagues and staged a walkout in protest.

He said, “Abuja was no longer safe”, lamenting that all recommendations and resolutions by the legislative arm of government were not implemented, a development the lawmakers claimed were responsible for endless attacks across the country.

Giving clarification on some members of the APC, Senator Aduda said at the time of the briefing, that some of them have identified with the impeachment plot, revealing that the APC Senators have complained of ineptitude of Mr President that have given rise to the attacks in the Federal Capital Territory.

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While addressing journalists, the opposition lawmakers were confident that they have the required number of lawmakers to effect the impeachment.

Also, in less than 24 hours, the upper and lower legislative Chambers met to harmonize their plot. After a joint closed-door meeting, the House of Representatives minority caucus leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu assured Senators that they would concur on the impeachment move against President Buhari.

He told the well attended meeting by the opposition lawmakers that he had similarly raised a point of order on the heightening insecurity in Abuja, stressing that the House may have not protested in the manner, the Senators did, but lawmakers in the opposition and some members of APC in the lower legislative Chamber were satisfied that President Buhari should be impeached.

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Apart from insecurity, Elumelu said the free fall of the local currency which stood at N701 per dollar was a nagging issue among other worrisome issues that the parliamentarians must act within their constitutional means to save the nation.

“In the House, we acknowledged how our colleagues in the Senate had to walk out in protest over the state of the nation, as regards to insecurity.

“Concurrently though, we didn’t go the way Senators did, but I drew the House’s attention to what is happening in Nigeria, particularly the FCT, Abuja,” he said.

The lawmaker lamented how terrorists invaded Kuje prison and released suspects, adding the attack on presidential guards at Bwari that led to the killing of some senior military officers was a national embarrassment.

“As if that was not enough, the Minister of Education gave an order that all Schools in FCT be shut. Yesterday, the FCT Minister directed that all FCT schools should be closed and I gave a warning to my colleagues on the floor of the House that Abuja is no longer safe.

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“If Abuja is safe, why should the Minister, serving under the APC-led government, instruct that all students should vacate.

“Why should the FCT Minister himself direct that all private schools be closed? Of course, this is a signal that Abuja is not safe”, he said.

Speaking with DAILY POST in Abuja over the weekend, Senator Babba Kaita representing Katsina North and who is barely three months in the Peoples Democratic Party, ruled out any mischief in the impeachment plot against Buhari.

According to him, the impeachment threat would assist Mr President to resolve the security challenges, insisting that insecurity was no respecter of political leanings.

According to him, President Buhari would understand the stand of the lawmakers, as even 40% of Katsina, where President Buhari hails from, is under the control of bandits.

The lawmaker, who is representing President Buhari, expressed optimism that the impeachment plot would compel the President to check security apparatus, wondering how heads haven’t rolled after the attack on Kuje Custodial Centre.

He said: “Let me first of all act as a statesman. This has nothing to do with opposition or political party because security is a general issue for everybody and insecurity doesn’t discriminate against APC, NNPP, Labour Party or PDP. We are tired of the happenings in the polity, day in and day out. We are daily losing citizens and loss of lives is not considered serious any longer in Nigeria.

SEE ALSO:  80-year-old man, wife murdered in Abuja apartment

“The primary responsibility of any government is to secure the people. Unfortunately, we are faced with serious security challenges and like I said earlier on, the more the effort to tackle insecurity, the more the happenings, which is an anomaly.

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“Usually, when the government invests in security, the country becomes more prosperous, stable and people live in peace with one another, but that is not the case with Nigeria.

“The impeachment plot has nothing to do with Mr. President. What we are trying to do is to help Mr President, who I know is an honest person. What we are trying to do is to get him to talk to the security personnel.

“Two weeks ago, there was a security breach at the Kuje Custodial Centre and heads didn’t roll. The Minister is still in charge; the Perm Sec is there; the head of prison is there; nobody is accountable. We cannot continue like this. So this is a real challenge, we want to ginger Mr President to do the right thing.

“People are just politicking. Somebody like me cannot see how elections can be conducted under these circumstances. About 30 to 40% of my State is insecure. From Funtua down to Katsina North in Jibia Local Government Council, up to Zamfara and Kaduna, are not safe. How do you hope to conduct an election under this circumstance? There is nothing political and as Senators, we are supposed to be responsible.

“We must be bipartisan and help the government by securing the country. Security doesn’t know political parties. My brother in the bush has a father, mother and brothers and it can affect anybody, so we don’t politicize security. I know that the government needs to do more at this critical time.”

However, Senator Mohammed Sankara, representing Jigawa North West Senatorial district differed on moves to impeach President Buhari.

He spoke amid reports that he had earlier indicated to join the opposition.

In a statement he issued over the weekend, the lawmaker distanced himself from the reported plans to impeach the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, as well as President Buhari.

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This is not the first time, lawmakers would raise impeachment plot against President Buhari as the eight Senate similarly threatened to remove Buhari from office for spending the sum of $496,374,470 to purchase Tucano Jets without passing through the parliament as provided in law.

SEE ALSO:  Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student

Senator Mathew Uroghide, Chairman of Senate Committee on Public Accounts raised concerns over impunity of Mr President in spending a humongous amount of money without recourse to the National Assembly, but which was blocked by the former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

However, if lawmakers will work on their talk, time may be a serious constraint as Buhari has barely ten months to end his second term of office, even as checks by DAILY POST on the number of opposition Senators revealed that, PDP currently has 37 Senators, APGA 1, Labour 1, NNPP 3, YPP 2, totalling 43.

As required by law, the lawmakers must have two-third majority to impeach President Buhari, and it couldn’t be confirmed, the number of APC Senators that would join the opposition in the impeachment project.

Another factor that may stop the lawmakers from carrying out their threats is the “lack of time” on their own part.

They are currently on a two-month vacation, to resume on September 20, after which they are coming to face the 2023 appropriation bill, which precedes electioneering campaigns for the 2023 general election.

Speaking on the legal implications of impeaching a sitting President, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Barrister James Omagbogu, citing relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution as amended, submitted that the procedure was tedious and cannot be observed before President Buhari’s time runs out.

He wondered why the lawmakers suddenly woke up to their constitutional obligation, lamenting that it was unfortunate for parliamentarians to cry wolf now that terrorists had taken the battle to their doorstep.

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In his view, the impeachment process would involve the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who also doubles as President Buhari’s in-law, hence, it would amount to futility any attempt to remove him from office now.

He said: “The failure of the presidency to tame the tide of insecurity is also that of the parliament. Where were they all these while? There is no time, or is it the Attorney-General of the Federation, who will play a role in the process that will work against his in-law?”

Meanwhile, the presidency, in a statement by the Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, described the impeachment plot as “performative and babyish”, adding that it would amount to an empty threat. (Daily Post)

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Education

Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student

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Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student
• Lead British International School
The management of Lead British International School, Abuja, has shut down the institution over the bullying incident that went viral on social media.

An X user, @mooyeeeeeee, posted two videos where the victim she identified as Maryam Hassan was repeatedly slapped by another female student. Brithe

The video generated thousands of comments by netizens who called on the school authorities to investigate the matter.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the school authorities announced a 3-day closure to enable them probe deeply into the matter.

A top member of staff said the decision to shut down the school temporarily was in the interest of all parties involved.

Earlier reports said tempers flared at the meeting when a parent walked up to the student who bullied her colleague and gave her a slap.

The student, who has been severely criticised,  was seen walking into the premises accompanied by elderly males.

A lady identified as one of the parents walked up to the student, asking her, “She is proud of what she did. You are proud of what you did! You are proud right? Someone’s child; innocent child, you beat her, did you give birth to her? I am asking you, did you give birth to her?”

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The student was trying to walk away so as to avoid confrontation, but the angry parent shoved her, saying, “I’m asking you: did you give birth to her?” The student muttered some incoherent words and the angry parent responded with a slap, before other elderly person around moved in to douse tension.

The Lead British International School had earlier said it has launched investigation into the matter.

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In a statement issued earlier on Monday, it said the counselling unit of the school is helping the victimised student overcome the emotional and psychological impact.

The statement read, “We are committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all our students. Hence, upon learning of the incident, we initiated the process of reaching out to the victim and family with a view to providing support, including access to counselling services to help them cope with the emotional and psychological impact of the incident.

“Additionally, we will be working with the perpetrators and their families, offering counselling and disciplinary measures to address their behaviour which has no place in society.

“We have also immediately initiated an investigation, appointing a dedicated team to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter. The team has been gathering information, including reviewing video footage and interviewing witnesses, to understand the full scope of the incident and identify the immediate and remote causes.”

The federal government has also confirmed shutting down of the Lead British International School, Abuja for three days over the case of a student of the school, Namtira Bwala who was physically bullied and assaulted by her classmate, Maryam Hassan.

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, who visited the school on Tuesday,  announced the shutting down of the school following the outrage that trailed the viral video of how and where the female, Maryam brutally slapped and bullied Namtira.

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Yahaya Bello: NBA disowns protest by lawyers

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Yahaya Bello: NBA disowns protest by 'fake' lawyers
• The protesting 'lawyers'
• Says protesters not lawyers

The Nigerian Bar Associaiton (NBA) on Tuesday, disclaimed a protest by lawyers over what they called the illegal approach of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in handling its allegations against former Governor of Kogi, Yahaya Bello

The no fewer than 500 persons who claimed to be legal practitioners from across the country on Monday, stormed the Supreme Court complex.

The lawyers, under the umbrella of judicial watchdogs, faulted the siege on the ex-Gov’s residence, in a bid to arrest him, in spite of  a valid court order to the contrary, which had not been vacated.

Meanwhile, in a short notice to newsmen on Tuesday, the NBA through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Habeeb Lawal, says the group of protesters are not lawyers.

The notice reads: “The above report refers.

“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is aware that some news outlets have reported this news.

“Please be informed that while the NBA respects the rights of citizens to assemble and protest, we insist that this particular group of persons are not lawyers.

“For completeness, their supposed leader or convener Sylvanus K. Alewu is not a name known to us,” he said. (NAN)

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7 repentant bandits surrender weapons in Plateau

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7 repentant bandits surrender weapons in Plateau
• Surrendered weapons

Special Adviser to the Plateau Governor on Security and Coordinator of Operation Rainbow, Brigadier General Gakji Shipi (rtd), has announced that the non-kinetic approach to addressing security challenges in the state is showing positive results.

General Shipi (rtd) revealed that seven notorious bandits have surrendered and given up their weapons, including AK-47 rifles, to security agencies.

During a briefing with journalists on Monday, General Shipi (rtd) praised the joint efforts of security agencies, vigilantes, and hunters in Wase local government area for their recent actions in combatting banditry and other security threats.

He highlighted that the collaboration among these groups had led to the surrender of the weapons by the bandits. General Shipi (rtd) explained that although the bandits were initially hesitant to surrender out of fear of reprisal, they eventually decided to abandon violence and willingly return their weapons.

He stressed that the increasing incidents of armed banditry had prompted security agencies to broaden their focus beyond known hotspots to other regions.

The special adviser credited this achievement to the united efforts of Wase local government authorities, local vigilante groups, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), the Department of State Services (DSS), and the police.

General Shipi (rtd) stated, ““For quite some time now, we have been taking a look at the security situation bedevilling the state and apart from the kinetic approach, we have decided to adopt the non-kinetic means to solve the problem.

“We have also decided to shift attention to other areas, especially Wase local government area, which had had fair share of armed banditry and the endeavours have started recording success.

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“Some of the criminals and bandits have returned their weapons to us and you know we are still negotiating, but for fear of being prosecuted, some of them have surrendered their weapons to us without coming out, but with the confidence measures we are building more will return their weapons as well as surrender to the authorities”.

SEE ALSO:  Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student

While General Shipi (rtd) did not disclose the exact number of bandits who had surrendered, he confirmed the return of seven AK-47 rifles, suggesting that seven individuals have turned away from banditry.

“We are still in the negotiation phase, and we are hopeful that more bandits will follow suit in renouncing violence and returning their weapons”, he noted.

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