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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says its elected senators and members of the House of Representatives are constitutionally eligible and can seek election into any presiding office of both chambers of the National Assembly

The PDP notes that the position of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as the Deputy Senate President and the Deputy Speaker are not the exclusive preserves of any political party, but a constitutional right of every elected lawmaker in both chambers.

Parts of the statement reads:

It is therefore laughable and amounts to empty grandstanding and self-delusion for President Muhammadu Buhari and the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to posture as if the presiding offices and Committee Chairmanship in the National Assembly are exclusive rights of the APC.

President Buhari and Oshiomhole should wake up to the fact that the National Assembly belongs to no political party but to all Nigerians, who exercise their control through their elected representatives''.

For emphasis, Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear in providing that “There shall be:- (a) a President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves; and (b) a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves”.

Section 92 (1) makes the same provision for the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of State House of Assembly.

The PDP, therefore, does not only have a constitutional say in the process of the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, but will, as a matter of constitutional right, field candidates into presiding offices of both chambers, if need be.

The PDP wishes to remind President Buhari and Oshiomhole that the APC had in the past benefited from the provisions of section 50, with the defection of then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal from the PDP to the APC, in October 2014, without relinquishing the speakership of the House to the PDP; a development that was applauded by President Buhari, as then opposition leader as well as the APC, through its then National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.

In fact, the former Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, echoed the Constitutional provision that “the constitution requires only that the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be elected by members of that House from among themselves".

Moreover, in June 2015, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange and Hon. Peter Azi, both of APC, were elected Speakers of Benue and Plateau State Houses of Assembly respectively, though their party, the APC, was minority in both Houses.

The PDP notes that the party offices in the legislature are the Majority and Minority Leaders and Deputy Leaders as well as Majority and Minority Whips and Deputy Whips, and our party will take decisions on this in due course.

The PDP therefore cautions President Buhari, Oshiomhole and the APC to respect the independence of the legislature, end their imposition plot and sowing of seeds of discord among the lawmakers, as such is directly against our overall national interest.
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The Zonal Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr. Bassey Nkanga has described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as a critical stakeholder in the petroleum industry.

He gave the commendation on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Port Harcourt while receiving the Port Harcourt's Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, who paid him a Courtesy Visit.

According to him, the EFCC's works and functions in Nigeria have marked it out as a formidable agency and forming a synergy with it, in the pursuit of its mandate, was a worthy engagement.

"You are one of our critical stakeholders and we know the functions of your Commission. We know the major problems facing Nigeria. Working together with you will be forming a synergy, making our contributions towards fighting the vices confronting us as a nation", he said.

Nkanga explained the roles his Department has been playing to support the works of the EFCC. Such roles include laboratory analysis of petroleum products suspected to be products of illegal oil bunkering, giving evidences in court to strengthen the prosecution of cases of oil theft and offering professional assistance that may be needed in tackling oil- related cases."

Our laboratory is undergoing upgrade and new facilities are being installed. The quality of our laboratory tests, material and human capacities are being enchanced to serve the larger public better", he stressed.

In his response, Bawa appreciated the entire work force of the Department of Petroleum Resources in the Port Harcourt's Zone and urged the Department to be ready to work better with the EFCC.

He specifically called for a quicker response to requests for sample analysis of petroleum products sent to its laboratory. He also called for enhanced collaboration with the EFCC in tackling cases peculiar to the oil and gas industry.

"We are always happy working with agencies within and outside the country. I'm happy you said that you knew our functions. The peculiarity of the Port Harcourt's Zone is in respect of the oil and gas- related issues. We will need your cooperation more in this regard", he said.

Issues discussed at the meeting revolved around enhancing the quality of sample and laboratory tests, quicker feedback on sample tests, giving court evidences on results of tests carried on products and resolution of issues emanating from laboratory analysis of products.
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Ibrahim Magu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has again, called on Nigerians to join hands with the Commission to stamp out corruption in the country.Magu noted that the fight against corruption was a collective responsibility and one that must be won.

Speaking during the launch of Nigeria’s Corruption Assessment Performance Survey, organised by Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, in Lagos on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, Magu said the monster of corruption which had denied the average Nigerian access to quality life must be defeated.

Delivering his message through the Commission’s Head of Public Affairs Directorate, PAD, Lagos, Oyewole Ayo, the EFCC boss stated that, "The mantra of this administration that we should kill corruption before it kills us must be in our consciousness. Our collective voice and action can make a big difference in the fight against corruption.

“The Nigeria project is for and about all of us and the generations unborn. So, we must join hands to make it work.”

Magu praised SERAP for its resolve and commitment to the promotion of accountability and transparency in governance.

In his advice to SERAP, a non-governmental body, he said “You must continue to lift the bar in the fight against corruption for the benefit of all.

This survey will avail Nigerians a reference point and highlight the performance of our country in her quest to give corruption a bitter defeat.”

Magu, who observed that the poor are the worst victims of corruption, appealed to all Nigerians to lend their voices to the anti-graft war so as to eradicate the corruption-induced poverty in the country.
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Aminu Kamba Sanusi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, arraigned Aminu Kamba Sanusi, for alleged N5, 000, 000 ( Five Million Naira) fraud. He was arraigned before Hon. Justice H.B Babangida of the High Court of FCT, Jabi, Abuja.

It was alleged that sometimes in 2010, the defendant borrowed the sum of N5m from one Obi Maduka within FCT, and promised to pay back after three months, but he failed to pay back the said sum neither the interest that accrued thereon.

Prosecution counsel, Rita Ogah, asked that the charges be read to the defendant in order for her to take his plea.

Count One of the charge reads: “That you SANUSI SHEHU KAMBA while being the Managing Director and Chief Executive Of AMINU GANDI PETROLEUM LTD sometimes in June, 2010 in Abuja within the Jurisdiction Of the High Court Of Federal Capital Territory, with intent to cheat, intentionally deceived on OBI MADUKA VICTOR to lend you the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) with an interest of N6,000,000.00 (Six Million Naira) under false belief that you would repay him the sum in three months time, which you did not, and you thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 320 of the Penal Code Law”.

The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charge was read to him.

The prosecution applied for a trial date while the defense counsel A. Musa, asked the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms, on the ground that the defendant was very ill, and can only stand trial, if he was alive.

The Court thereafter, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N2, 000, 000 ( Two Million Naira) and a reasonable surety in like sum. The surety, the judge ruled, must be a civil servant, and must reside in Abuja, with a verifiable address.

The matter was adjourned to April 9, 2019, for hearing.