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Nigerian lawmakers reject bill requiring president to secure over 50% votes in presidential election

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The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, rejected a bill that sought to make it mandatory for presidential and governorship candidates to secure more than 50 per cent of the total votes cast, to be declared winners.

The bill, sponsored by Awaji-inombek Abiante (PDP, Rivers), aimed to amend the 1999 constitution by removing the simple majority rule for presidential and governorship candidates.

Mr Abiante’s proposal sought to amend sections 134 and 179 of the constitution, which provide the conditions to be elected president and governors, respectively.

In the case of a presidential candidate, they are only deemed elected after securing the “highest number of votes cast at the election; and they have not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” as stated in section 134 of the constitution.

Similarly, a governorship candidate must secure the highest number of votes cast at the election and have not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the state.

Mr Abiante’s proposal sought to change the simple majority rule to a majority. In other words, when there are more than two candidates in the race, the winner must secure more than 50 per cent of the total votes cast.

The bill aimed to prevent the scenario that played out during the last presidential election, where Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged as the winner without securing the majority of the total votes cast. He had a simple majority having polled 8.79 million of the total votes.

Over 90 million voters registered to vote in the 2023 presidential election out of which only 88 million collected the Permanent Voters Cards. Of this figure, only 25.2 million voted in the 25 February election.

Mr Tinubu secured about 37 per cent of the total votes cast in the election, a feat that was enough to meet the constitutional requirements.

No, to bill
However, the lawmakers did not allow Mr Abiante to lead the debate on the bill. When Speaker Abbas Tajudeen put the question for the bill to be considered for a second reading, the “nays” were louder than the “ayes.”

Shocked by the development, the speaker repeated the voice votes again, and the voices of those opposed to the bill were louder.

Consequently, Mr Tajudeen ruled in favour of those who wanted the motion thrown out.

However, even if the House of Reps passed the bill, it would still require a lengthy process to amend the constitution. It would have, among others, required the support of the Senate and approval by Houses of Assembly in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister
…say poor funding, insufficient gas supply responsible for power deficit
By Gloria Ikibah
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had said that the federal government is working towards the establishment of three gigawatts of solar energy sources across the 25 states in Northern and South Western parts of the country.
According to him, this is a novel approach that will go a long way to solve the power problems, even as he called on state governments to invest in power generation in their states.
The minister stated this at a two-day Power Sector Stakeholders Interactive Dialogue/Workshop organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Power with the theme “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-tier Electricity Market: A Legislative Intervention” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adelabu who said that hydro energy would be deployed for the coastal cities, also lamented that the country has witnessed incessant collapse of transmission which is caused by lack of adequate infrastructure.
He admitted that most of the infrastructure in the power dates back to the 1960s, with no single backup for the national grid, and called for alternative sources in the situation where there is a collapse of the grid.
The Minister also disclosed that the major factors responsible for the power deficit currently faced by the country is as a result of inadequate financing and insufficient gas supply.
Adelabu who lamented the current state of power supply across the country, however, assured Nigerians of the determination of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to address the challenges and make Nigeria a suitable place for business.
He said “No sector can function optimally without the power sector. Over the years, poor financing, and inadequate gas supply have been responsible for the energy deficit we have in the country. But a lot of work is going on to address these challenges.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the
Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Victor Nwokolo explained that the purpose of the interactive dialogue/workshop was to provide a dynamic platform for stakeholders to evaluate the progress so far in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) development.
He revealed that discussions will centre around the seamless transition to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market, as outlined in the Electricity Act of 2023.
According to him, “his transition, holds immense potential to enhance competition, efficiency, and reliability within the electricity market, ultimately benefitting consumers and driving economic growth”.
He said: “Through collaborative brainstorming and analysis, we aim to chart a clear roadmap for this transition, ensuring that it is smooth, inclusive, and conducive to sustainable development.
“Furthermore, this workshop will serve as a platform for stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to the persistent challenges plaguing the power sector. From infrastructure development and financing to regulatory frameworks and consumer engagement, we will examine a wide array of issues and propose actionable strategies for improvement.
“In addition to these objectives, we aspire for this workshop to foster enhanced collaboration and partnership among stakeholders. By bringing together legislators, representatives from government agencies, regulatory bodies, industry players, academia, and civil society, we aim to cultivate a culture of cooperation and collective action towards our shared goal of a vibrant and resilient power sector”.
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How Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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Yahaya Bello Withdrew $720,000 From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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