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Judge sacks Yahaya Bello as Kogi governor but it won’t stand

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COVID-19: Bello orders two weeks total lockdown in Kabba/Bunu LGA

A judge on Saturday sacked Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State from office and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to conduct a fresh election in seven local governments within three months.

Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, one of the three judges on the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, nullified the results in seven out of the 21 local government areas in the state

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However, Justice Ovbiagele judgement won’t stand as the two other members of the panel dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] and its governorship candidate in the election, Musa Wada.

Justice Kashim Kaigama, who headed the three-man bench, and Justice Baraka Wali held that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds of their petition.

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Governor Yahaya Bello was, therefore, affirmed the winner of the 16 November 2019 governorship election in the state with a majority judgment of two-to-one.

 

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Reps approve Buhari’s $22.7 billion loan request

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PHOTOS: Reps resume plenary

President, Maj.Gen (Retd.) Muhammadu Buhari’s request of taking $22.7 billion in foreign loans, has been approved by the House of Representatives.

The request was approved by the lawmakers after consideration of a report by the house committee on aids, loans and debt management on Tuesday, June 2.

Recall that some lawmakers especially those of the south-east caucus had kicked against the loan request following the federal government’s failure to include projects in the region among those to be financed from the loan.

MORE READING!  Senator Munir Muse dies at 81

President, Maj.Gen (Retd.) Buhari had said that the loan which some lawmakers previously kicked against, will be used to fund infrastructural development across the country. The Senate approved the loan request in March 2020.

 

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COVID-19: Lagos Assembly reduces state’s 2020 budget to N920.5bn

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The Lagos House of Assembly has passed a resolution to reduce the size of the state’s 2020 budget from N1.68 trillion to N920.5 billion due to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution was made following a voice vote conducted by the Speaker of the House, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, during plenary in Ikeja on Tuesday.

Reports have it that the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, had read a letter by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu requesting the reduction in the size of the budget on the floor by the House.

The Lagos State Government had recently disclosed plans to reorder the N1.168trn 2020 budget following current economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, said the reordering became necessary in view of the slump in oil price in the international market as well as the reduction in Internally Generated Revenue.

Obasa, at the plenary, directed that the House Joint Committees on Budget and Economic Planning and Finance to reduce the budget size of the state for the year 2020 from N1.68 trillion to N920.5 billion.

The speaker said the committees were to report back to the House within one week.

He said, “Based on the governor’s request, the House will work assiduously to review the budget to refocus, reorder and take into consideration the current challenges.

“We need to do this to give us the best chance of stimulating the economy and ensuring that the post-COVID-19 response economy will be strong and enduring.”

The House also paid tributes to a former member of the Senate, who represented Lagos Central Senatorial District, Alhaji Muniru Muse, who died on Tuesday at 81.

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Speaking on the demise of the politician, Mrs. Mojisola Miranda, (Apapa Constituency 1), said that the Senator died in the early hours of Tuesday.

“Senator Muniru Muse was our leader in Lagos Central, Apapa in particular. He was a clerk in the Nigerian Port Authority and he later rose to become the Port Manager.

“He was the executive chairman of Apapa Local Government for two terms, and he later represented Lagos Central at the Senate for one term.

“I want us to observe a minute silence for him and write a letter of condolence to his family,” she said.

The requests were later granted as the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House to write a condolence letter to the family of the deceased.

MORE READING!  Senator Munir Muse dies at 81

The House later adjourned sitting until Monday.

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INEC seeks CSOs’ inputs on new policy to guarantee voters’ safety

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has sought the contributions of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to its new policy on conducting elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a way that would guarantee safety and security of voters.

The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the request at his first virtual consultative meeting with CSOs on Tuesday.

Yakubu described the document recently released by the commission as a living document that required the input of stakeholders for its effective implementation.

“I urge CSOs to consider this policy as a living document, hence the decision to engage with you on how we can strengthen it in a manner that will further engender public confidence.

“On how to encourage greater citizens’ participation in the electoral process and, most importantly, guarantee the safety and security of voters in the process of exercising their democratic right to vote.

” Your comments and contributions to the 10 items listed in the policy document and consequential amendments to the 2019 Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections are critical.

” I wish to reassure you that they will be taken into consideration in reviewing the policy as well as the regulations where necessary.

“In addition, we also welcome your input into the implementation of the policy before, during, and after the election,” he said.

Yakubu said the engagement with civil society organizations remained at the core of the commission’s electoral process, assuring that the commission would continue to deepen such engagement.

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Speaking on INEC’s preparations for Edo governorship election, the chairman disclosed that as usual, CSOs would be accredited to observe the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, as well as the upcoming by-elections

“However, in the spirit of deepening the use of technology in our electoral process and also in line with the new reality of conducting electoral activities under the COVID-19 pandemic, accreditation of observers will be done online.

“A dedicated portal has been created by the commission for this purpose and you will be briefed at this meeting on the new procedure.

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