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Senate to review impeachment threat against Buhari Tuesday

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*To Assess Recent Security Situation Across Country • Political Considerations May Temper Senators’ Protest Against Insecurity – Lawmaker

The Senate would this week meet to review the six-week ultimatum it gave President Muhammadu Buhari to end insecurity or be impeached. The upper legislative chamber billed to resume on Tuesday from the end of session recess, will

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The Senate would this week meet to review the six-week ultimatum it gave President Muhammadu Buhari to end insecurity or be impeached.

The upper legislative chamber billed to resume on Tuesday from the end of session recess, will sit as a whole to consider the security situation in the country since it gave the ultimatum and come up with further decisions.

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Some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislators in the senate had staged a walkout after Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed a motion by the minority leader, Philip Aduda. The lawmakers left the chamber after Lawan did not allow Aduda to present his motion on insecurity. The opposition senators, numbering over 20, later gave the president a six-week ultimatum to tackle insecurity in the country or risk being impeached.

Speaking after the walkout, the minority leader said he wanted to give President Muhammadu Buhari an ultimatum to address insecurity in the country or face impeachment proceedings.

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Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, representing Kogi West, who is also an APC member, later told journalists that the move for impeachment was a collective decision of the entire Senate. “It is a collective decision. Perhaps, only about four senators have reservation about it.”

The move for the impeachment of the president came on the heels of violent attacks across the country and security threats in the Federal Capital Territory. While some Nigerians hailed the move by the opposition senators, others said they waited for too long to act and only issued the impeachment threat because the criminals have infiltrated Abuja.

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Speaking with The Guardian on Sunday, in a telephone interview on what to expect from the Senate on the impeachment plan as it reconvenes, Adeyemi disclosed that agitations that culminated in the impeachment threat were borne out of patriotism and not out of any partisan sentiments.

“Accordingly, and in the same spirit, senators will review the entire security situation and take a position,” the lawmaker stated.

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He said that the Senate as a body would look at all security developments and situations between the time the ultimatum was given and now, to take a very serious objective stance.

The lawmaker, however, observed that there has been a renewed drive against insecurity in recent times.

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Adeyemi, who said he was not in a position to decide for the Senate on the next line of action, expressed the hope that the new drive against will continue.

However, it was learnt that political considerations might mar the unity with which Senators protested against the deplorable security situation before the Senate went on recess in July.

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A lawmaker disclosed that some members of the Senate leadership in the ruling party are seeking to weaken the inter-party solidarity and unity among lawmakers on the issue of insecurity.

“It is open for all to see. Just some days ago, they were already commending the President for what they called a job well done on security. How do you think a person who has already commended the presidency will support any sanction against him?” he queried.

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Just last week, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, commended the Armed Forces for the sustained fight against terrorists, banditry and kidnapping in the last month.

Lawan, in a speech delivered to declare open a National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria, praised the military for flushing and neutralising insurgents and terrorists in States such as Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara, in particular.

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“Only recently, the president gave a marching order to the armed forces to extinguish bandits, kidnappers and other criminal agents against the state and her citizens, by December 2022. This administration is committed to achieving this set target,” he had said.

Also last week, the Senate leadership blamed the high rate of unemployment and insecurity in the country on the absence of proper training and skills in Nigerian universities.

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It lamented that most of those who graduate from the universities are not properly trained for the jobs and as such end up losing the jobs even if they have them.

Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, speaking at the commencement of the Graduate Skills Training (GST) programme of an Abuja-based technology centre, TerraSkills, called on Nigerians not to blame President Muhammadu Buhari or the National Assembly over the high unemployment rate, stating that many graduates are not groomed properly.

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The Centre is reputed for training over 4,000 Nigerian graduates in different areas of specialisation for employment in the country’s public and private sectors.

Kalu, who was there along with the deputy Whip of the Senate, Saabi Abdullahi, alleged that many lecturers don’t know what they were teaching in the tertiary institutions, which is making the country produce graduates that are unproductive.

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Source (The Guardian)

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Budget Presentation: Reps Reduce 2023 budget deficit from N11.3trn to N10.5trn

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By Gloria Ikibah

Ahead of Friday October 7, which has been set aside for the presentation of the 2023 Budget Proposal of N19.76 trillion by President Muhamadu Buhari, the House of Representatives has reduced the fiscal deficit of N11.3 trillion to N10.5 trillion for the next financial year.

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According to the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Abdullahi Saidu, the reduction is based on the expected
savings from the subsidy regime amounting to N737.31 billion, as the federal government projected that the scheme will last only in the first six months of the year to the tune of N3.36 trillion.

The adjustment followed the approval of the recommendations of the report of the House Committee on Finance report on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) at plenary on Thursday.

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According to the report presented by the
deputy chairman of the Committee on finance, the House approved N9.3 trillion revenue as a result of increase in the benchmark as the ceiling oil subsidy of the year in review.

The federal government projected total revenue of N8.46 trillion captured in the MTEF/FSP 2023-2025 presentation by Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning to the committee earlier.

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The House also approved the recommendations of the daily crude oil production of 1.69mbpd, 1.83mbpd, and 1.83mbpd for 2021, 2022 and 2023
respectively and the oil price of $73 per barrel of crude oil due to continuous increase in the oil price in the global oil market and other peculiar situations such as continuous invasion of Ukraine by Russia as that will result in saving of N155 billion.

The green chamber further approved
the exchange rate of N437.57 as contained in the MTEF FSP document with continuous engagement between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning with the view of bridging the gap between the official market and parallel market.

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It equally approved: “the projected GDP growth rate of 3.75% be approved; the projected Inflation rate of 17.16%; projected New Borrowings of N8.437 trillion (including Foreign and domestic Borrowing), subject to the approval of the provision of details of the borrowing plan by the National Assembly; fiscal deficit of N10.563 trillion (including GOEs).

“Statutory transfers, totaling, N722.11 billion; Debt Service estimate of N6.31 trillion; sinking Fund to the tune of N247.7 billion; Pension, Gratuities & Retirees Benefits of N827.8 billion.

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“Aggregate FGN Expenditure of N19.76 trillion; made up of Total Recurrent (Non-debt) of N8.53 trillion; Personnel Costs (MDAs) of N827.8 billion; Capital expenditure (exclusive of Transfers)
N3.96 trillion; Special Intervention (Recurrent) amounting to N350 billion; and Special intervention (Capital) of N7 billion”.

The House also approved the committee’s recommendation that the cost of petroleum subsidy be capped at N1.7 trillion and accordingly, all relevant agencies of the governments will be required to take necessary action to keep the petroleum subsidy cost to the government within the N1.7 trillion ceiling in 2023.

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By this action, the committee said,
the sum of N737,306, 443,151 will be saved and that would be used to reduce the fiscal deficit of N11.3 trillion of the government as contained in the MTEF/FSP.

Other approvals given by the House are the committee’s recommendations that:
“a significant reduction in both waivers and tax exemptions of Corporate
Organizations to cushion the effect of the budget deficit.

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“All revenue-generating agencies should reconcile their accounts with the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), the report of which should be submitted to the Committee of Finance for consideration and approval.

“There should be a common electronic platform for reconciliations amongst the government MDAs, OAGF and Fiscal Responsibility Commission for effective monitoring and remittances; there should be strict compliance with the Constitution, Fiscal Responsibility Act and other extant laws by all agencies of the Government with regards to revenue remittances.

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“The relevant oversight Committees of the National Assembly are at liberty to remove recycled projects in their budget proposal during the Committees’ budget defence; mainstreaming of annual GOEs’ budgets into the Federal Government budget processes to ensure the same level of scrutiny, procurement and monitoring exercise.

“Ten (10) out of the sixty-three (63) GOEs be placed on the cost of collections with immediate effect,
just like FIRS, CUSTOMS, to serve as a test case for other GOEs which can be added in the future the list of this GOEs includes; NCC, CAC, NPA, NIMASA, NUPRC, NMPDRA, JAMB, NAFDAC; the
proposed 2023 Finance Bill to make amendment of the existing Act and include the above-mentioned
agencies.”

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Fani-Kayode Withdraws Case Against Estranged Wife

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A former Nigerian Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, on Thursday, withdrew an attempted murder suit filed against his estranged wife, Ms Precious Chikwendu.

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Prosecution counsel, John Ijagbemi, told Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja shortly after the matter was called for the defendants to take a plea.

“The matter was slated for re-arraignment of the defendants today. However, we want to plead to your lordship for the withdrawal of the case,” he said.

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Ijagbemi informed the court that the FCT Commissioner of Police was in receipt of a letter from the nominal complainant (Fani-Kayode) about his intention to withdraw the case.

He said the withdrawal of the charge was provided for in Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

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After the lawyer to Ms Chikwendu, Peter Abang, did not oppose the request, Justice Ekwo dismissed the suit.

In the amended 14-count charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/01/2022 dated and filed on April 28, Chikwendu was the 2nd defendant in the matter.

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Other defendants in the trial include Emmanuel Anakan, Prisca Chikwendu and Osakwe Azubuike as 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively, while others are said to be at large.

Speaking to newsmen after the sitting, Abang described the withdrawal of the suit as “a welcomed development.”

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On his part, Ijagbemi said, “the complainant, via the prosecution, has the unfettered power to withdraw a charge before the court.”

He said with the provision of ACJA, 2015, a charge could be withdrawn even until a judgment against any of the defendants or accused persons standing trial before the court.

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The lawyer said the ex-minister, in his withdrawal of the case letter, informed that “the whole family members had a sit-down and amicably resolved the matter without any rancour or recourse to previous occurrences and they are happily standing and living together in love and in harmony.

“And we, being an institution of government saddled with the responsibility of the protection of lives and property, seeking peace and order in the society including individual family. We are glad to apply for the withdrawal of this case against the defendants.

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“You all know that it is the family that is really involved and we are interested in the peace and tranquillity of the family and that is why we have withdrawn it and it is our pleasure.”(NAN)

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SPOTTED: Tinubu Reading 8-Month-Old Newspaper In New Photo Showing He’s Well

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A picture of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has sparked fresh controversy.

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There have been different rumours about the health of Tinubu, who has been away from the country before the kick off of the campaign for the 2023 elections.

On Sunday, the ruling party’s presidential candidate released a proof of life video, where he was seen on a thread mill.

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Despite the footage, critics of the APC insinuated that some things were hidden about the health condition of Tinubu.

However, in an apparent manner to clear doubt on his health condition, Tinubu released some pictures on Thursday morning.

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In one of the pictures, he was seen reading an old copy of The Nation Newspaper, which he has the largest share in.

It is unclear whether the picture was taken in January when the paper was published or in October when the Presidential Candidate has been convincing people about his health condition.

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Below are the front cover of the Paper and the picture that Tinubu put up on social media today:

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