Category Archives: POLITICS

Ortom impeachment saga: Benue youths allege plot to kidnap Assembly Clerk

 

Ortom impeachment saga: Benue youths allege plot to kidnap Assembly Clerk  Ortom impeachment saga: Benue youths allege plot to kidnap Assembly Clerk
Gov Samuel Ortom

 

Makurdi—Youths, on the platform of Benue Youths Forum, BYF, have raised the alarm over a purported plot to kidnap the Clerk of Benue State House of Assembly, Dr. Torese Agena, to compel him into arranging a sitting of the suspended eight members of the House to commence impeachment move against Governor Samuel Ortom.
They warned that the action was a recipe for political upheaval in the state and a deliberate plan to ridicule Nigeria’s democracy and unleash mayhem in the state. National President BYF, Terrence Kuanum, told newsmen in Makurdi, yesterday, that despite a subsisting court order, security personnel had continued to lay siege on the Assembly complex, barring lawmakers and staff of the Assembly access to their offices.
While decrying the failure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to call heads of security agencies involved in the lockdown to order, Kuanum claimed the silence indicated complicity of the Federal Government in the plot to destabilise the state.
His words: “We witnessed the desperate plot hatched by the Presidency in conspiracy with some sons of the state on Monday, July 30, when heavily-armed policemen were drafted from Abuja and neighbouring states to force the majority 22 members of the House out of the assembly complex to pave way for the impeached Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange and seven others to sit and commence an impeachment move against Governor Ortom.
“At the moment, efforts have also been intensified by the Police and DSS to kidnap the Clerk of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Torese Agena, at all costs. “This is to force him to conduct an illegal sitting of the House so the plotters can achieve their aim.
“Information available to us indicate that plainclothes detectives have been deployed to the House of Assembly to execute the plan. “Civil servants working at the Assembly complex have been subjected to constant harassment by weird-looking security operatives.”

NASS : ‘DSS boss, Lawal Daura, fired for actions beyond his powers

 

•How sacked Daura plotted NASS takeover with hooded strike force
•NASS leadership meeting called off indefinitely
•Whereabouts of Daura unknown, as operatives withdraw from NASS
•Saraki, Dogara storm NASS amid jubilation by lawmakers, supporters
•UK govt, Atiku, Tambuwal, Dankwambo, Falana, Ohanaeze, Afenifere react
•APC exonerates Oshiomhole; why Osinbajo spared IGP Idris
ABUJA—The face-off between the executive and legislative arms of the Federal Government which prompted an early morning blockade of the National Assembly by the Department of State Services, DSS, yesterday culminated in the sack of its Director-General, Lawal Daura.
The sack is set to reset the shape and structure of Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidency, senior Presidency officials revealed yesterday.Daura was sacked on the orders of Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, who described his action in cordoning off the National Assembly with DSS operatives as unauthorised, unconstitutional and unacceptable to the rule of law. Events leading to Daura’s sack were preceded by the early morning drama that saw scores of legislators on vacation and hundreds of legislative staff locked out of the assembly complex by masked DSS operatives.

The move was linked to continuing intrigues to forcibly remove the major presiding officers of the Senate, Senate President Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. At the height of the lockout, the National Assembly leadership which had the day before scheduled a meeting for yesterday afternoon to consider proposals to reconvene for the purpose of deliberating on essential requests from the presidency cancelled the meeting indefinitely.
The developments in the National Assembly complex were shadowed by intrigues around Abuja, yesterday, with supporters of Saraki and his antagonists in subtle meetings around the federal capital.
How it all started
The drama in Abuja opened early yesterday when supporters of the Senate President from the Senate and the House of Representatives thronged the National Assembly complex as early as 6.30 a.m. Journalists had the previous night been tipped off that the continuing plot to remove Saraki and Ekweremadu would crystallise early yesterday. However, as they arrived as early as 7.00 a.m. the National Assembly complex was sealed off by veiled and heavily armed operatives of the DSS.
Senator Saraki’s supporters, many of who were outside Abuja, were also summoned the previous day to immediately return to Abuja and as early as 7.00 a.m. many of them were at the gate but refused entry by the armed security operatives. The legislators said they were in the complex to frustrate Saraki’s antagonists who they described as the minority.
The anti-Saraki senators were, however, nowhere to be found. For most of the time, they were ensconced in a private building in Aso Drive, a posh area of the federal capital where they were meeting. After about two hours of a stand-off, the senators and members were allowed to enter but were frisked before proceeding through the gate without their vehicles.
The lawmakers were forced to trek the about three hundred meters from the second gate to the foyer of the National Assembly where they congregated.
The Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA, Mr. Sani Omolori, equivalent to the Head of Service, who was subsequently allowed entrance, however, turned down the offer on the ground that he could not enter while his staff were refused entry.
The CNA, who arrived the second gate at about 9.58 a.m. simply told the DSS men: “I can’t enter here when my staff are outside, I am not a politician.” One of the leading anti-Saraki senators, Senator Ali Ndume arrived at about the same time and sauntered past the DSS operatives.

Meeting called off
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun, who arrived the scene at about 11.45 a.m. expressed his regrets over the blockade and said that on account of the development, the planned meeting of the National Assembly leadership to consider the reconvening of the two chambers would be called off.He, nevertheless, affirmed to reporters that whatever plot there was to remove the Senate President or deputy would be an herculean task.
“Don’t forget that it is difficult to impeach a presiding officer of the National Assembly because no matter the method you are going to use, you need the two-third majority. And not two-third of the sitting members, you need the two-third of the totality of members of the legislature before you can impeach anybody,” Lasun told legislative Correspondents.
On the scheduled meeting by the National Assembly leadership, he said: “We were supposed to meet by 12 o’clock this afternoon but the meeting was called by the Senate President.Until I reached here this afternoon, I didn’t know there were other issues,” he said.
However, the vigil of the pro-Saraki legislators, who increased in their numbers over the hours, caused a distraction. It emerged, yesterday, that the pro-impeachment lobby had plotted to use an interpretation of Section 50(2)(c) of the Constitution stipulating the use of a two-third majority of members present in a sitting as a basis.
Ahead of the plot, some lawyers had gone on a circuit of some national television stations to sell the new interpretation of Section 50(2)(c) which based on precedence in the impeachment of past Senate Presidents had always meant two-third of all the members of the Senate.
How Daura deployed hooded DSS Operatives
The sacked DSS boss, who hails from the same town with President Muhammadu Buhari, deployed no fewer than 100 heavily armed DSS operatives to cordon off the National Assembly premises a few hours to the meeting. It was  also gathered that to make the operations fool-proof, Daura handed the 100-strong team over to the command of a senior operative, an Assistant Director, to lead the operation.
It was learned that most of the operatives, who were drawn from their locations at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, did not know why they were hurriedly relocated, where they were being deployed to and for what purpose until they arrived the precincts of the imposing National Assembly complex in the wee hours.
A reliable source revealed Daura had informed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, of the plan to effect massive deployment of DSS operatives to lay siege to the NASS, and actually pleaded with him to support the operation with his men, the police chief declined to contribute additional policemen for the ‘operation’.
Why IGP Idris was spared
“What the IGP told Daura was that he had enough police officers and men currently manning the NASS and did not need to deploy more personnel there,” the top official confirmed to Vanguard, yesterday. “That was the explanation, which the IGP also tendered to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, who summoned both Daura and Idris to the Villa to explain their roles in the siege to the National Assembly,” the source added.
“The Acting President was convinced that the IGP did not mobilize his men to the legislature and that was why he was not sacked along with the DG DSS,” the source explained. Daura was sacked after he was summoned to the Presidential Villa by the Acting president alongside the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.Idris was the first to arrive at about 12.35 p.m. before Daura who came in at about 1.15 p.m

Following his meeting with the Acting president, Idris while speaking with State House reporters, denied police involvement in the siege to the National Assembly complex. The dismissal of Daura as the head of the DSS was conveyed in a press statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media, Laolu Akande. He said Daura was directed to handover to the most senior director in the service.
Once news of the sack of Daura came out from the Presidential Villa, the DSS operatives lifted the blockade around the National Assembly complex.Their vehicles began withdrawing from about 2:51 pm when the gate into the National Assembly was thrown open. Soon after the operatives left, the APC Senators, who all along had been huddled at a residence along Aso Drive, Asokoro from where they planned to move in to remove Saraki came in at 2.55 pm.

Saraki, Dogara’s arrival at NASS
Senator Saraki arrived at about at 3.39 p.m. stirring wide jubilation among many lawmakers who embraced him and shook hands with songs of praises. He went to meet the senators and members of the House of Representatives who had been keeping vigil at the foyer to prevent the pro-presidency legislators from gaining entrance to thank them.
Some members of the House of Representatives also went into wild jubilation upon the arrival of Speaker Yakubu Dogara to the National Assembly.
The Speaker entered the complex at exactly 5:08pm in the waiting hands of his colleagues who were waiting. The developments in the National Assembly were condemned by Saraki and Dogara who in a joint statement described it as another attempt to subvert the nation’s democracy.
In the statement, Saraki and Dogara stated that the heavy presence of armed security men, who unnecessarily militarised the legislative complex and harassed legislators and the workers in the complex, could not be justified in a democracy. The Senate President and Speaker further noted that yesterday was a sad day for democracy noting with regret that legislators and staff were locked out from parliament.
They said: “By 6.30 am, the reports started coming in and by 7am, there were pictures and video online showing armed security men preventing senators and members of the House of Representatives from coming into the complex. ‘’Some of our colleagues then mobilized other members in both chambers from their respective abode so that they could mount pressure on the Security men to allow them to gain entry.
“Obviously, the public outcry from Nigerians and members of the international community against this illegality, this desecration of the sanctity of the legislature and this flagrant abuse of powers forced the government to relax the directives given to the security men as they later allowed the legislators to walk from the main gate into the foyer.
’Still the lawmakers were not allowed to drive in, in their vehicles and were denied access into the main building housing their offices. “It is not clear what the plan of the government is but information reaching us indicated that some senators, who are pro-executive arm, are being camped somewhere here in Abuja and they are being compelled to sign an impeachment notice that would later be brought to the Assembly complex.
’The Senate chamber will now be forced open to enable an illegal change of leadership take place in the Senate. “It should be noted that the Senate formally adjourned on July 24, 2018 and it stands adjourned. To reconvene, there is a process which has to be followed. Also, it should be clear that these senators, who are camped somewhere know the procedure for changing the leadership of the Senate.
’Both the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Presidency officials masterminding this illegality know that they do not have the numbers to lawfully carry out this action. “Therefore, we call on members of the international community to view this development as a coup against democracy.
This is a throw-back to the inglorious days of military rule where dissent is not tolerated and freedom of association and other fundamental human rights are wilfully and carelessly violated. “We urge Nigerians and the international community to condemn this illegal invasion of the National Assembly complex and the attempt to asphyxiate the legislature as undemocratic, uncivilized and irresponsible.
“Let us use this opportunity to thank our colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives who immediately mobilized to resist this coup against democracy. Their action will be recorded as one taken at a time when the soul of this country is being imperilled. ‘’They have acted to avert the breakdown of constitutionalism and collapse of the rule of law. They have stood up to dictatorship and demonstrated that this country belongs to all of us.
‘’Following this unpleasant development, the joint leadership meeting slated for this afternoon has been postponed till further notice because under the prevailing circumstances, we cannot guarantee the safety of the 20 members from both chambers expected at the meeting”, Saraki and Dogara stated.
Oshiomhole not involved —APC
Following widespread assertions of the involvement of the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in the subtle moves to forcefully remove the Senate President, the party in a statement dissociated itself and the chairman from the plot.
Acting publicity secretary of the party, Mr. Yekini Nabena in a statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to mischievous attempts in some partisan quarters to link Tuesday’s(yesterday) developments in the National Assembly to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“While the Party is monitoring the developments in the National Assembly like every other concerned Nigerian and stakeholder, there is absolutely no basis for all the false allegations and attempt to blame the APC National Chairman for the development there. It is strictly a legislative matter.”
UK govt speaks on siege
The British High Commission also, yesterday, reacted to developments at the National Assembly, saying it would only accept a democratic process that recognises the rights of Nigerians to participate in election process. “We are aware of media reports of a situation at the National Assembly this morning.
We are closely monitoring the situation and other political developments in Nigeria. “The United Kingdom supports a process whereby the people of Nigeria can exercise their democratic right to vote and be voted for.
We favour a free, fair, credible and peaceful process and the independence of institutions, which allow for that,” Joe Abuku, a spokesperson for the UK Embassy in Abuja, said in a statement.
Seiyefa takes over at DSS
Following the directive from the acting president that the most senior officer in the DSS should take over from the sacked Daura, Mr. Matthew Seiyefa, a director in the service arrived the Presidential Villa in an official SUV at 4 p.m. clutching a file and was received at the entrance by the ADC to the Acting President.
Shortly after, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, also arrived, and walked briskly into Osinbajo’s office. Magu, however, rushed out at about 4:40 pm.
We must protect our democracy – Dankwambo
Also reacting to the siege on the Senate yesterday, Governor of Gombe State and PDP presidential hopeful, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, said: ‘’The forceful take-over of the National Assembly complex by some renegade officials of some security agencies this morning (yesterday) was an ignominious assault on the rules of decency, a rude violation of the principles of separation of powers and, ultimately, a violent assault on our democracy.
‘’What happened should set alarm bells ringing in the heads of every patriotic Nigerian and every friend of Nigeria that our nation is being taken to the precipice and the agents of destruction are very much at work.
‘’It is just alright that Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has acted decisively by relieving the Director General of the State Security Service (Department of State Services, DSS) of his job with immediate effect. But it must be noted that this is not enough comfort.”

PDP: Reconciliation move breaks down

 

PDP: Reconciliation move breaks down

 

THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, runners up in the party’s governorship primary, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, has declared that he was still in the race, adding that he has not stepped down for the candidate of the party, Senator Ademola Adeleke.Senator Adeleke is having a case in the Osun State high court over his eligibility to contest the September 22 election.
In a statement by the campaign organization of Dr Ogunbiyi reads: “The attention of Dr Akin Ogunbiyi has been drawn to a misinformation going round that Dr Akin Ogunbiyi has signed an agreement and withdrawn for Senator Ademola Adeleke. “We wish to put the records straight. Shortly after the gubernatorial primary election the National Working Committee of our great party met and decided on appropriate compensation to assuage Dr Ogunbiyi and his teeming supporters for the general elections.
“At another NWC meeting of 29th July, 2018 led by the Party National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus with the following in attendance: Dr Ogunbiyi, Senator Adeleke, Osun BoT members led by Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun, Dr Olu Alabi and Erelu- Obada, all the co-aspirants that stepped down for him; the National Chairman presented the terms of settlement to Senator Adeleke.
“He remarked that given the circumstances of the primary election, the offer in the wisdom of the leadership was “fair and equitable” in resolving the on-going crisis. The key decision points were that the Deputy Governor slot will be ceded to Dr Akin Ogunbiyi group and West Senatorial ticket be automatically conceded to Dr Akin Ogunbiyi himself.
“Our Distinguished Senator concurred to the agreement with a promise to get Hon. Adeogun to resign and requested for three names out of which his group will make a choice in replacement.
“A list of three candidates was submitted. 48 hours after, in spite of his commitment, Hon Adeogun didn’t relinquish the position indicating that Senator Ademola Adeleke’s group have not yielded to the terms of the reconciliation as put forward by the National leadership of the Party. “At the instance of the National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus, Dr Ogunbiyi and Senator Adeleke had another meeting on the night of 2nd August, 2018 with a BoT member to conclude on the issue. “The Senator gave a firm promise to be honourable and get Hon Adeogun’s resignation. The Senator in fact requested the intervention of the Party leadership to prevail on Hon Adeogun on this issue.

A joint press conference was agreed to be addressed by Dr Ogunbiyi and Senator Adeleke at the meeting for the following day. Only for the Hon Adeogun to go underground and become incommunicado! “As at the time of this release, Hon Adeogun has neither resigned nor sighted anywhere. No agreement has been signed by Dr Akin Ogunbiyi with anyone. Dr Ogunbiyi has stated in clear terms that he is not leaving the Party under any circumstances.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/pdp-reconciliation-move-breaks-down/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/pdp-reconciliation-move-breaks-down/

Latest : FG names Seiyefa, acting DG DSS

Latest :  FG names Seiyefa, acting DG DSS
New Acting DG of DSS Matthew Seiyefa

 

ABUJA- There are indications that the Federal Government may name the most senior Director in the Department of State Service (DSS), Matthew Seiyefa, as the Acting Director General.

This is as the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris has exonerated the police from the early morning invasion of the National Assembly on Tuesday. Seiyefa, from Bayelsa State arrived the Presidential Villa in an official SUV at 4pm, clutching a file and was received at the entrance by the ADC to the Acting President.
Shortly after, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, also arrived, and walked briskly into Osinbajo’s office. Magu, however was seen rushing out at about 4:40pm, but did not talk to State House correspondents who tried to catch up with him for an interview.
The Acting DG Mattew Seiyefa, who is the most senior Director, Department of State Services (DSS), left the presidential Villa about 5pm and was escorted to a Peugeot 508 car by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, office of the Vice president, Laolu Akande. The relieve of Daura of his position generated excitement amongst security personnel and some staff in the presidency.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, has said that the Nigeria Police has no hand in the blockage of the National Assembly (NASS) by security operatives. Idris stated this after a closed door meeting with the acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He said the blockage of the NASS complex was a surprise to him, saying the police would soon issue a statement on the incident.
He said, “Obviously, like I said, I have not got a detailed brief on that. So, when I get the brief, in fact we are going to issue a (press) release.”
The IGP was summoned by the Acting President and the former Director General of DSS, Lawan Daura to explain the circumstances that led to the invasion of the National Assembly. But after the meeting, the DSS DG did not follow the normal exit route rather he was secretly taken out of the Acting President’s office by police officers even without the knowledge of his aides that came with him.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/breaking-fg-may-name-seiyefa-acting-dg-dss/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/breaking-fg-may-name-seiyefa-acting-dg-dss/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/breaking-fg-may-name-seiyefa-acting-dg-dss/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/breaking-fg-may-name-seiyefa-acting-dg-dss/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/breaking-fg-may-name-seiyefa-acting-dg-dss/

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/08/breaking-fg-may-name-seiyefa-acting-dg-dss/

 

Saraki: New interpretation of impeachment draws controversy

 

Saraki: New interpretation of impeachment draws controversy
BUKOLA-SARAKI

 

That section which reads that a presiding officer, shall be removed “from office by a resolution of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of that House.”
It had been understood to mean that the provision expressly requires two-thirds of the 109 members of the Senate. That was the precedent that had been used in the removal of the only two presiding officers of the National Assembly in the history of the Fourth Republic; Senator Evan Enwerem (November, 1999) and Senator Chuba Okadigbo (August, 2000).
However, opponents of Senate President Bukola Saraki faced with the difficulty of overcoming the majority he holds in the chamber had in recent times resorted to further exploitation of Section 50(2)(c) on how to remove him from office.
The anti-Saraki forces sought to push the claim that what was required was not two-thirds of all the members but just a simple two-thirds of those present. It was in that light that efforts were made understandably with presidency officials to convene a session where his supporters would be denied entry and only his traducers allowed in whereby the impeachment move would be made. That understandably was in the mind of those who condoned off the National Assembly complex yesterday.
However, that interpretation of the constitution was yesterday debunked by Delta born lawyer, Jesutaga Onakpasa. In a statement yesterday, he said:“Indeed, that the Constitution uses the phrase “’the members’” with respect to the removal of the Senate President or his deputy or the Speaker or his deputy, as opposed to the phrase: “’all the members’” that is used elsewhere in the Constitution, does not, in law, mean that a sitting of the Senate or House of Representatives that manages to form a quorum can then go ahead to remove the leadership by two-third majority.” “Having formed a quorum, such sitting must further be attended by such numbers of members that the number of those voting in favour of removal adds up to two-thirds of the entire membership of either House.
“So for the removal of the Senate President or his deputy, for instance, you would at the very least require “73 senators sitting and all 73 of them voting to impeach” “In law, both phrases “all the members’” and “’the members’” mean one and the exact same thing.
“Since in ordinary standard English, “’the members’” has the same meaning as “’all the members’” as opposed to “some of the members”, imputing any difference in meaning between the two is entirely superficial and turns more on the professional incompetence and inadequacy in use of English language on the part of the person claiming the existence of such difference in meaning than on any even remote actual difference residing therein.
“If the Constitution had intended that the phrase “the members” should mean anything less than the totality of the membership of either House, it would have specifically said so. “As such, in the strict contemplation of law, the difference between “all the members” and “the members” does not exist at all.

The siege to the National Assembly complex by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS yesterday was inspired by constitutional disputations as to the requirements for the removal of a presiding officer of the Senate.Until recently, there had been no argument as to what the constitution as stipulated in Section 50(2)(c) meant.

The Nonjudicial Actions of Dethroned DSS Boss Daura

 

 

SACKED Director-General of the Department of State Service, DSS, Lawal Daura, assumed duties on July 3, 2015 in controversial circumstances. Yesterday, he was, once again, relieved of his position in a controversial and dramatic manner by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.From his appointment to his sack, Mr. Daura had been in the news for controversial actions .
Hailing from Daura, Katsina State as President Muhammadu Buhari, there were calls against his appointment from many quarters. The reasons included: He was retired from the DSS before President Buhari recalled him; he served on the All Progressives Congress, APC, security and intelligence committee during the 2015 elections; and he is also from Daura as the president and his appointment ignored calls to redress alleged increasing lopsided appointments in favour of Katsina State and North-West geo-political zone against other parts of the country.
Given the controversies that trailed his appointment, Daura assumed duties on a promising and conciliatory note. He assured Nigerians that he would be fair and accountable to them in carrying out his duties.
It is arguable whether or not he kept his word. A peep into some of the major actions he took as DSS boss reveals unsavoury developments that culminated in his sack, yesterday.
Some of the scandals that trailed Daura’s tenure include: the recruitment scandal in the DSS; face-off with Customs Controller-General over allegations of unprofessionalism, and illegality; withdrawal of security guards attached to leaders of the National Assembly; face-off with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over graft allegations; building a multi-billion naira DSS Training School in Katsina; failure to produce former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki in court to give evidence as ordered by court; providing security for Abdulrasheed Maina, invasion of the residence of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; and yesterday’s blockade of the National Assembly among others.
DSS Recruitment Scandal
Scandal rocked the recruitment of 479 officers by the DSS in which Katsina State had 51, more than 10 per cent of the in-takes. The figure allocated to Katsina was just six less than what the South-West received and nine higher than what went to the South-East. A breakdown of the newly commissioned cadet officers on geo-political basis revealed that 165 were from the North-West, South-South (42), North-East (100); North-Central (66); South-West (57); and South-East (44)
Withdrawal of NASS leaders’ security guards
Early June, 2018, a dispute over contingency security allocations led to an abrupt withdrawal of 65 per cent of personal security guards attached to the presiding officers of the National Assembly, by the DSS. The agency implemented about 65 per cent draw down across board in security protection for the top lawmakers, sparking a nationwide uproar.
The controversial exercise affected Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun.
The secret police partially returned some of the withdrawn officers to Saraki and Dogara after a security meeting with Vice President Osinbajo following political pressure from the new PDP bloc of the APC The disagreement reportedly stemmed from the National Assembly’s rejection of a presidential approval issued to the DSS for the inclusion of “some billions of Naira” into the 2018 budget.
Face-off with EFCC
On November 21, 2017, the DSS stopped EFCC officials, who were armed with both search and arrest warrants, from arresting Ita Ekpeyong, the immediate past Director-General of the DSS, and his National Intelligence Agency, NIA, counterpart, Ayodele Oke who was earlier sacked by President Buhari along with the former secretary to the government of the federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal. The EFCC operatives were said to be after the DSS boss over allegations of corruption.

Spat with Customs DG
In late December 2016, The DSS DG had a spat with Customs DG, over allegations and counter allegations of unprofessionalism and illegality. Daura wrote to President Buhari on September 8, accusing the NCS of illegally introducing a $25,000 as new Temporary Import Permit, TIP, levy on each vessel that berths to discharge petroleum products in Nigeria.

How dethroned DSS boss, Daura plotted NASS takeover with hooded 100-man strike force

 

How dethroned DSS boss, Daura plotted NASS takeover with hooded 100-man strike force
Dethroned DSS Boss – Mr. Daura Lawal

 

Details of how the deposed Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, plotted and executed the invasion of the National Assembly on Tuesday, thereby effectively stalling the emergency meeting of the lawmakers, have emerged.

The lawmakers were to consider the about N228 billion budget submitted by Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2019 general elections and other critical spending approvals for the country during the aborted emergency sitting.  The sacked DSS boss, who hails from the same town with President Muhammadu Buhari, deployed no fewer than 100 heavily armed DSS operatives to cordon off the National Assembly premises a few hours to the meeting.
Our correspondent also gathered that to make the operations full-proof, Daura handed the 100-strong team over to the command of a senior operative, an assistant director, to lead the operation.
It was learnt that most of the operatives, who were drawn from their locations at 1am on Tuesday, did not know why they were hurriedly relocated, where they were being deployed to and for what purpose until they arrived the precincts of the imposing National Assembly complex in the wee hours.
A  source revealed that although embattled Daura had informed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, of the plan to effect massive deployment of DSS operatives to lay siege to the NASS, and actually pleaded with him to support the operation with his men, the police chief declined to contribute additional policemen for the the ‘operation’. “What the IGP told Daura was that he had enough police officers and men currently manning the NASS and did not need to deploy more personnel there,” the top official confirmed on Tuesday.
That was the explanation, which the IGP also tendered to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, who summoned both Daura and Idris to the Villa to explain their roles in the siege on the NASS,” the source added.
“The acting President was convinced that the IGP did not mobilize his men to the legislature and that was why he was not sacked along with the DG DSS,” the source explained.

Akpabio’s convoy visited by mammoth crowd in Uyo

 

 Akpabio’s convoy visited by mammoth crowd  in Uyo

Jubilant crowd welcoming Senator Godswill Akpabio (left) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday.
UYO—Vehicular movement on Oron-Ikot Ekpene road was brought to a snarl, Tuesday, as Senator Godswill Akpabio stormed the state to firm up his defection to All Progressives Congress , APC.
The jubilant crowd chanted his name as he returned the pleasantries and cheers by coming out of his car and interacted with them. Akpabio arrived the Ibom International Airport at noon and went straight to his SUV amidst cheers from the crowd, which thronged the airport to welcome him.

The former Senate Minority Leader is billed to make official declaration today during a special reception rally at Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium. Immediate past spokesman of APC in the state, Mr Edet Bassey, expressed optimism that Akpabio’s defection was a good omen for the party, given his political antecedent.
‘’The party is like a church and the church cannot throw out sinners. You welcome him or her and change him or her. We welcome him into the party because he has great political value. “He has gone to see the President and other leaders of the party. So, it will be suicidal for him to do anything that will jeopardize the interest of the party in the state,’’ he said
Meanwhile, a chieftain of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Sylvester Akaiso, said that Akwa Ibom people have been relieved of a burden following the defection of Akpabio from PDP to the APC.
Akaiso, who was a member of Godswill Akpabio Campaign Organisation in 2007 under Utuekong Ibiok as chairman and Godswill 2011 with Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, said the news of Akpabio’s defection was received with joy, adding that there was jubilation everywhere in Oron.
He said many of the APC members in Oro ethnic nationality had declared their intentions to leave the party if Akpabio had actually been admitted into APC, adding that those who are PDP members have said they would not follow him to APC.

Latest : Over 49 senators append signatures against Saraki, Ekweremadu’s impeachment

At least 49 senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have appended their signatures against the failed attempt to impeach the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Professor Ike Ekweremadu.
Recall that since the early hours of today, Tuesday 7th August, 2018, operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, invaded the Nigerian National Assembly and took over the complexes. The DSS operatives also denied many lawmakers, especially those loyal to Saraki and Ewkeremadu access to the chambers while allowing access to those under the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Senator representing Bayelsa East, Ben Murray-Bruce, while leading other lawmakers against the alleged inversion, said APC senators are behind the inversion and that the APC senators planned on impeaching Saraki and Ekweremadu and installing Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Senate President.
According to him, ““The front gate has been blocked by DSS and police. The plan is to allow APC senators entry. Senators who will install Akpabio as the Senate President and impeach Saraki and Ekweremadu.” He said the plot by the APC senators would not succeed as the PDP has the majority at the senate. “It can’t stand. They do not have the numbers.
I have been in touch with Britain, Canada, and requested from the management that the visa of Akpabio and all the other senators involved in this be revoked. “So that their request to go to London, Washington, Paris, Berlin will be revoked.” “What they are doing is illegal. What they are doing is against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This makes no sense.”
“Senator Abiodun Oluijmi is making a nationwide call to anyone who has a big donkey we can buy for Senator Akpabio. Akpabio will soonhave to sell his jet as his undemocratic actions of today will keep him grounded in #Nigeria for a very long time. #SaveOurDemocracy.” Among the senators who appended their signatures against the illegal impeachment of Saraki and Ekweremadu are:

 

 

 

 

Ditatorship: 70 CSOs demand prosecution of sacked DSS boss, Daura

 

Ditatorship: 70 CSOs demand prosecution of sacked DSS boss, Daura
Mr. Lawal Daura

 

ABUJA- A coalition of 70 Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, has commended the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for sacking the Director General of the Department of State Service, DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, even as they demanded his prosecution for abuse of public office.
The CSOs, in a statement it issued in Abuja on Tuesday, berated the DSS and other security agencies for laying siege at the National Assembly and preventing lawmakers from gaining entry into the legislative complex on the strength of a purported “order from above”. “It is our concern that today’s barricade of the National Assembly represents a series of undemocratic actions by the executive arm of government that poses major questions about Nigeria’s practice of democracy.
This falls into a growing list of deliberate attempt to undermine the constitutional order by this government. “We note with appreciation the decisive step taken by the Acting President to sack the DG DSS. While we commend this action, we see an urgent need for the Acting President Yemi Osibanjo to direct all security agencies in Nigeria to pull back and remain permanently out of the premises of the National Assembly”.
The coalition which is under the aegis of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, said it noted with serious concern, growing attack on constitutionalism in Nigeria and brazen acts of impunity by elected officials.
It said: “In the last one month, a magistrate court was sacked, disobedience of court orders was justified by the Attorney General and there are growing cases of high handedness by security officials. “These events point to a despotic democracy and a gradual decline of the Nigeria state to Anarchy.
“The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) condemns as despicable and a serious threat to Nigeria’s Democracy, the actions of the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Police and security forces, in barricading the gates of the National Assembly and preventing the functioning of an independent arm of government.
“These actions are unconstitutional and negate Nigeria’s democratic development putting almost 20 years of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in great crisis and danger.
“Nigeria’s Constitution and laws and the National Assembly Rules define clear procedures for removal of presiding officers. Seeking to forcibly and violently interfere with the leadership of the National Assembly, points to dictatorship.
“Civil Society and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) fought very hard against the military dictatorship that seized Nigeria in December, 1983 in a coup led by General Muhamadu Buhari and enthroned democracy in 1999.

“Situation Room will also be seeking a meeting with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo to demand assurances that security forces will respect the institutions of democracy and claw back from the atmosphere of fear and dictatorship that has now entered our democratic space”, further read the statement signed by the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC, Mr. Clement Nwankwo.
Aside PLAC, other CSOs that endorsed the statement were CLEEN Foundation, ActionAid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Proactive Gender Initiative (PGI), Enough is Enough Nigeria, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), WANGONET, Partners for Electoral Reform , JDPC and Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA).
Others were Development Dynamics, Stakeholders Democracy Network, Human Rights Monitor, Election Monitor, Reclaim Naija, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, CITAD, Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), CISLAC, EdoCSOs, CONGOs Edo State.

Latest : Osinbajo sacks Daura, DSS DG

 

Latest :  Osinbajo sacks Daura, DSS DG
Director-General of Department of State Service, DSS, Mr Lawal Daura

 

ABUJA – The  Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has directed the termination of the appointment of the Director General, State Security Service, Lawal Musa Daura with immediate effect.
A statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in Abuja, Tuesday, stated that Mr. Daura has been directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the State Security Service until further notice

NASS leadership meeting canceled – Deputy Speaker, Lasun

 

NASS leadership meeting canceled – Deputy Speaker, Lasun
FLOOR OF THE NASS
ABUJA-The National Assembly leadership meeting summoned to the discuss the request of the presidency to reconvene has been cancelled.
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yusuf Lasun told Journalists that with the tensed atmosphere, the meeting cannot hold again.
Lasun who had arrived for the meeting expressed surprised that the assembly complex was on lock down with the heavy presence of operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS.
He said he had communicated with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House on why it was necessary to put of the meeting.
Asked about the impeachment speculation against Saraki, Lasun said that impeachment was not an easy task to achieve in a hurry.
He applauded some lawmakers who had been standing inside the assembly, saying they were defenders of democracy.
“That’s how they feel they can defend democracy. This is our normal recess.
With the situation on the ground, this meeting cannot hold. I am not aware of any impeachment and impeachment is not an easy thing. You need two third”, he said.
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Akpabio drops Senate Minority leader post

Akpabio drops Senate Minority leader post
Senator Godswill Akpabio
Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom, has resigned as the Minority Leader of the 8th Senate.

Mr. Jackson Udom, his media aide said his resignation letter was dated August 4. It was addressed to the Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.
“Senator Godswill Akpabio thanked the Senate leadership, the minority leadership, all distinguished Senators, his party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the opportunity to lead the PDP Caucus in the last three years.
“Senator Godswill Akpabio is expected to be received into the All Progressives Congress (APC) at a rally in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.”
Akpabio represents Akwa Ibom North West in the Senate. He was governor of oil-rich Akwa Ibom state between 2007 and 2015.

‘Order from above’ authorised DSS’ invasion of National Assembly

…Clerk to the National Assembly denied access to chamber
…DSS allegedly grant APC lawmakers access into NASS, deny PDP members
…Lawmakers speak, condemn invasion

 

                                                                                     DSS takes over NASS

Following the drama ongoing at the two chambers of the National Assembly where men of the Department of State Security Services, DSS, Monday morning, denied some Senators and House of Assembly members access into their chambers, reports have claimed the DSS men have however granted access to some All Progressives Congress, APC, lawmakers.
Over 22 APC Senators were initially granted access into the chambers while many others, under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were denied access.
The clerk to the National Assembly has equally been denied access to the chambers by the DSS operatives. Nevertheless, one of the DSS operatives, when asked on whose orders they had invaded the NASS said it was “order from Above.”
Both Journalists and National Assembly staff were also barred from entering the complexes. The camera and phone of a journalist covering NASS were seized by the DSS who were very hostile to the newsmen.
This is following the emergency meeting summoned by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki yesterday to discuss Issues which included the string of defections in the political space, rumoured plan to impeach the Senate President and the pending 2019 elections supplementary budget, among others.
Recall however, that the presidency had raised the alarm yesterday over the scheduled emergency Senate meeting today which was to have in attendance, the House of Representatives’ Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara as well as other lawmakers.
The presidency had claimed that the meeting was being aimed at shutting down the entire government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, senators loyal to Saraki have forced their ways into their chambers from the back doors and have refused to be intimidated.
Meanwhile, Senator Ben Murray Bruce and many other lawmakers have condemned the alleged invasion, saying it was a coup on democracy. A PDP House of Representatives member from Rivers State, Boma Goodhead, led some of the Senators to challenge the DSS operatives. She had challenged the DSS operatives to dare shoot at them, saying the previous administration of GoodLuck Jonathan did not launch attacks on the nation’s democracy through the use of force on the national assembly.
Currently, senators loyal to Saraki have regained access into the chamber and have been taking photo shoots in jubilation. Some of the Senators condemned the invasion. Senator Murray-Bruce accused the presidency, Senator Godswill Akpabio (who has, this morning, dropped his Minority Leadership position in the Senate) and other senators of the APC of orchestrating the invasion.
Senator Dino Melaye said, “Democracy under attack. Nigerians must defend democracy. We will not allow antidemocratic forces to prevail. CNA Administrative head of the National Assembly stopped from entering the NASS. Impunity taken too far.”
Sen. Rafiu Ibrahim said, “The assault on our democracy is on-going while the @NGRPresident @MBuhari is on holiday only to “remote control” a coup from abroad. One wonders how the pretense (every time state forces are used illegally to undermine Nigeria’s democracy) has become an open secret of tyranny. I was just barred by fully armed, masked officers of the DSS from entering the National Assembly (@nassnigeria). “We’re acting on the order from above,” I was told by officers laying siege on the Assembly. All entrances BLOCKED. Democracy is on siege! @UN”
Senator Isa Misau, representing Bouchi, Central, on the other hand also spoke on the inversion. According to Bruce,”It has come to our attention that we’re being invaded by state security. Our colleagues can’t go to work after we adjourned for summer holiday. We’ve been informed that the APC senator are trying to effect a leadership change.
“This is anti democracy. We’re going to ask western democracy. We’ll ask the western countries to revoke the visas of Sen Akpabio. We’ll ask them to revoke the class of their wives. Let nobody test me or this institution. “We’ll submit the names of DSS officials and that of Akpabio to the western embassies. I hope this anti democracy forces love Nigeria, so they won’t travel out of the country for a very long time.

Akpabio will have to sell his aircraft and thereafter I’ll have to buy him a donkey so that he can use it.”

 ‘Order from above’ authorised DSS’ invasion of National Assembly

Breaking: Oshiomhole, DG DSS, 30 APC Senators meet on how to impeach Saraki, Says Timi Frank

 

….As DSS takes over NASS, Bars Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, Journalists, Staff from gaining entrance to NASS….

Breaking: Oshiomhole, DG DSS, 30 APC Senators meet on how to impeach Saraki, Says Timi Frank
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume
ABUJA- FORMER Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, this morning raised the alarm that the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, the Director General of the Department of State Services (DG – DSS), Lawan Daura and 30 APC Senators are spearheading fresh moves to illegally impeach Senate Prssident, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
According to Frank, the 30 APC Senators are bring led by the Senate leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, APC, Yobe North. Preparatory to the meeting of the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives slated for 12 noon today, men of the DSS are stopping Journalists and staff from gaining entrance to the National Assembly complex.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions and a very strong loyalist of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, PDP, Kwara South has been stopped from entering the National Assembly as DSS take over the complex.
Even a Journalist who had tried to enter had his phone sophisticated by the security operatives, though it was said to have been returned to him after some minutes. Meanwhile, Frank who raised the alarm in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday morning, said that the APC National Chairman, the DSS and the APC Senators group met last night in Abuja to perfect strategies on how to carry out the plot.
He said that he has reliable information that the meeting was at the instance of Oshiomhole who is currently pressurizing President Muhammadu Buhari to accept his proposal of using “crude tactics” to topple Saraki and his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
According to him, reliable information emanating from the meeting, that National Vice Chairman (Southwest) of the APC, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, joined Oshiomhole in pushing for the illegality while some APC Senators and House of Representatives members at the meeting kicked against the plot saying any “forceful removal of Saraki without due process will not fly with Nigerians.”
The lawmakers, according to Frank, were said to have further alerted Oshiomhole and the APC leadership that they only have 30 Senators on ground which will fall short of the 73 Senators required to lawfully impeach Saraki.
According to them, while other APC Senators have since travelled out of the country on vacation, a proposal to appoint Senator Lawan from Yobe State as Saraki’s replacement would be a direct violation of the Federal Character Principle since the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara is from Bauchi in the Northeast zone like Lawan.
Frank noted that following the red flag raised by some of the APC Senators who warn of the consequences of the proposed illegality, the meeting was said to have been rescheduled to reconvene by 11am this morning enable Oshiomhole to call Mr. President in London at 9am this morning to brief him on the progress made so far.
It was further learnt that Oshiomhole is expected to present the candidature of both Senators Lawan and George Akume to the President to make his choice during his proposed telephone conversation with Mr. President by 9am.
He alleged that the Presidency through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has increased the $400,000 it is already offering to lure individual lawmakers to support the plot to illegally impeach Saraki to $500,000.
According to him, the lawmakers are also being wooed with offers to drop all corruption charges against them by the Federal Government. He insisted that Saraki’s life and personal safety is at stake while appealing to Nigerians and leaders of the international community to urgently speak out to protect the President of the Senate, Saraki, and safeguard democracy in Nigeria.
He said that the illegal plot to break into the Senate Chambers to illegally impeach Saraki, if allowed to happen, could lead to chaos and anarchy of unimaginable proportion in the country, capable of burying the nation’s democracy apart from the danger it portents for the lives, security and safety of Nigerians.
He said that the illegal plot to break into the Senate Chambers to illegally impeach Saraki, if allowed to happen, could lead to chaos and anarchy of unimaginable proportion in the country, capable of burying the nation’s democracy apart from the danger it portents for the lives, security and safety of Nigerians.