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TENURE ELONGATION! President Buhari’s action has saved APC from serious legal turmoil, says Tinubu

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring the elongation of the tenure of John Odigie-Oyegun and members of his National Working Committee, NWC, as illegal.

Tinubu in a statement issued on Tuesday said that President Buhari’s action has saved APC from serious legal turmoil.

The national leader said the straight manner in which the president made the pronouncement affirmed the APC “remains faithful to the principles of internal democracy and the rule of law.”

Recall that the APC had in its NEC meeting on February 28 extended the tenure of members of NWC led by Odigie-Oyegun by one year.

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The decision, however, did not go down well with Tinubu, who had been in conflict with the national chairman of the party.

President Buhari who addressed the National Executive Committee of the APC earlier today told a packed hall at the APC national secretariat to cancel the tenure extension of Odigie-Oyegun and members of his NWC.

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The President noted that, “it is against the party constitution and the Nigerian constitution.” He then presented the matter “for discussion” at the meeting.

Buhari also hinted that he is having a change of heart because he doesn’t want the party’s activities to be faulted by any court of law.

Nigeria Update

Ogun set to resume normal business, eases lockdown

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Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, on Thursday, announced the plan to ease the eight-week lockdown against COVID-19 pandemic to allow normal businesses to operate from Monday to Friday.

Abiodun told journalists in Abeokuta that the ease of the lockdown will take effect from June 1.

According to him, the ease would be allowed between 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays while the lockdown would still be in force on Saturdays and Sundays.

“This second phase has two major elements of further relaxation of the restrictions and expansion in the number of days, in contrast to the current three days of Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“This new phase opens up all the five working days in the week.

“In addition, there will be no time restriction from Monday to Friday, with the exception of the curfew period from 8.00 p.m. or as may be directed by the President.

“Let no one make a mistake; from all available data and simulations, we are yet to reach our peak.

“Consequently, the further easing of the lockdown is not a license to believe that all is over,’’ the governor said.

He also said that it was important to note that the current ease of the lockdown should not be taken to mean that the COVID-19 pandemic was over.

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The governor reminded residents that the ban on religious activities was still in force.

He added that the government would, by next week, finalized the guidelines for lifting the ban on religious activities.

“Gyms, event centers, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, nightclubs, swimming pools, barber-shops, spas, beauty salons, and all public parks, including those in private residential estates will not be allowed, even during this new phase of relaxation,’’ he said.

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Buhari’s Executive Orders are aimed at complementing existing legislations – Malami

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, says the recently signed Presidential Executive Orders are aimed at complementing the existing legislations and ensure inter-agency coordination in the process of implementation.

Dr. Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Public Relations, quoted the minister as saying this on Thursday in Abuja in a radio program.

Malami said the Orders are to ensure constitutional compliance, enhancing operation, enforcement, and application of legal provisions as well as providing necessary supervision required for enforcement.

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He pointed out that the Executive Orders are naturally intended to force constitutional compliance which in the case of Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria establishes the autonomy of the state legislatures and judiciary.

“The Executive Order is, therefore, a necessary tool for the purpose of bringing to effect such autonomy by way of assigning certain responsibilities, both institutional and otherwise necessary for the purpose of enforcing the autonomy.

“By way of example, therefore, if the Federal Government wants to withhold the resources of a State Government that refuses to comply with the constitutional provision relating to the autonomy of State Legislatures and Judiciary then the Federal Government may require the services of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

“Similarly, if the government wants the state legislature to be part of the process relating to appropriation, for example, the agreement must be reached on the need for the state legislature to be alive to its responsibility.

He noted that for coordinated institutional support, necessary and desirable for bringing to affect the operation, enforcement, and application of a constitutional provision Executive Order becomes necessary.

“The Executive Order No.10 is meant to bring about the constitutionality associated with the autonomy of the state legislature and judiciary.

“It also intends to achieve a supervisory role by assigning responsibilities and ensuring proper supervision desired for the purpose of enforcement and application of autonomy constitutionally granted States legislature and judiciary by the Constitution.

 

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NGF to engage AGF on financial autonomy for states’ judiciary, legislature

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has said that its Legal Committee would engage the Attorney- General of the Federation to reflect on the implications of the recently passed Executive Order 10, 2020 on governance at the sub-national level.

The forum disclosed this in a communiqué signed by its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, issued to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, after its 9th COVID-19 teleconference meeting held on Wednesday.

The NGF Legal Committee, according to the communiqué, comprises the governors of Sokoto State Plateau and Ondo State.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday signed into law an executive order, granting financial autonomy to the legislative and judicial arms across the 36 states of the country.

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The order also mandated the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from source, the amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.

It stated that the governors also at the meeting deliberated on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The governors also resolved to interface with the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, to incorporate the contributions of state governments in the Economic Sustainability Plan as a national response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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This, according to the communiqué, will be done through the NEC Ad-Hoc Sub-Committee on COVID-19 comprising the governors of Kaduna State as chairman, with governors of Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa State, Edo and Jigawa as members.

It noted that the NGF chairman briefed the governors on coordination activities with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, multilateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector through the Coalition Against COVID-19 that were targeted at improving the COVID-19 response of the state governments.

It added that the governors also received a brief from Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Nigeria on the one billion dollars COVID-19 crisis facility and update from Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director of Aliko Dangote Foundation on activities of the coalition.

“ The Nigeria Governors’ Forum thereafter resolved to interface with the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, on the billion COVID-19 crisis facility approved for the country at the request of the Federal Government by the AfDB, to embark on the delivery of projects that will meet the needs of Nigerians in health emergency assistance, agriculture, and food security, among others.”

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