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Rivers Assembly Crisis: Falana Faults Amaewhule Sitting

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Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has faulted Monday’s sitting of the Martin Amaewhule-led Assembly.On Monday, the Martin Amaewhule-led Assembly held a sitting at the State Assembly official quarters along Aba Road, Port Harcourt. The house leader, Major Jack, displayed copies of last week’s Appeal Court judgment and that of Justice Omotosho, which ruled in their favor in January, recognizing Mr. Amaehule as the speaker. They issued a seven-day ultimatum to Governor Siminalayi Fubara to present the 2024 budget to them.

Mr. Amaewhule read a letter that they plan to send to the governor. In the letter dated 8 July, they barred the government from spending from the state’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. They accused the governor of breaching some sections of the 1999 Constitution and the Rivers State Local Government Amended Law 2023, among others. They said the governor’s dealings with and recognition of the Assembly, made up of the said suspended lawmakers, constituted gross misconduct and abuse of office.

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But Mr. Falana said Amaewhule and his colleagues were no longer lawmakers in Rivers State following their defection last year. The lawyer said they can only return as lawmakers if reelected. “Twenty-five of them, if they claim they are legislators and they pass any bill, anybody can go to court and challenge it, unless they want to have some political solutions and the political solution will mean that those who have left should go back to the electorate for renewal of their mandate. Once you decamp, you automatically lose your seat, you have to go and test your popularity before the electorate,” Falana said. “Are they saying they are still members of PDP or what?”

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Mr. Falana also said the Court of Appeal only ruled on the jurisdiction of the State High Court and not on the status of Martin Amaewhule and others. He said the Appeal Court ruling does not mean they could now carry out their legislative duties as lawmakers. “The Court of Appeal did not say that they remain lawmakers; because they had left their seats, it’s automatic,” Mr. Falana asserted. “The Court of Appeal simply said the State High Court had no jurisdiction in the matter and the case was struck out. The court did not say, ‘You will hereby remain legislators in Rivers State’. No! That Judgement did not say, ‘You are, hereby, restored.’ The Court of Appeal couldn’t have done that because the matter of their membership of the House was not before the Court of Appeal. Unless they can get a Judgment from the Federal High Court, saying you ‘remain Legislators’, they have gone!”

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Monday’s sitting followed last Wednesday’s ruling of the Court of Appeal, which dismissed a State High Court ruling that sacked them as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly. Recall that Mr. Amaewhule and 25 others defected from the PDP to the APC on 11 December 2023, citing division in the PDP as a reason. But the PDP said there was no division. Three cases are in court seeking the court to interpret Section 109, Subsection G, of the Nigerian Constitution, which states that lawmakers lose their seats when they defect. No court has ruled on their status so far. One of the cases is due to be heard on 17 July…READ FULL ARTICLE

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Ndume: Tinubu Has Resolved To Be A One-term President, Nigerians Must Ensure His Defeat In 2027 – Lukman

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A former National Vice Chairman (North-west) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has said the actions of President Bola Tinubu have suggested that he is not interested in serving a second term as Nigeria’s leader….READ FULL ARTICLE

The former APC chieftain added that both President Tinubu and the APC are charting the way to lose the 2027 presidential elections and Nigerians must help them to taste defeat.

Speaking in a statement on Thursday, against the background of the sack of Borno South Senator, Ali Ndume as the Chief Whip of the Senate on Wednesday, Lukman said it is a testament to the fact that the current administration does not want to be criticized.

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He added that the Tinubu government and the ruling APC are pushing Nigeria to the edges of dictatorial governance similar to what Nigerians witnessed during the days of military government under late General Sani Abacha.

Lukman, in a statement titled, “Fanatical Mindset,” lamented that free speech is under threat and personal liberties of the citizens are being encroached upon.

He also called out the Senate for allowing its operational independence to be rubbished after Ndume was removed based on a letter signed by the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, arguing that there was nowhere in the APC

Constitution where the National Chairman, National Secretary, or any official, or even the National Working Committee, is given the powers to summarily remove any principal officer of the National Assembly.

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The former chieftain said it is a shame that the APC and the Senate Caucus got involved in such acts of illegality.

He said:“The way things are, it is almost as if President Asiwaju Tinubu has resolved that he will only be a one term President. Under his watch, the living conditions of Nigerians is continuously getting worse. Instead of making effort to develop clear plans to address the situation, the government is becoming more intolerant to criticism.

“Any democracy that cannot accommodate criticism is no democracy. A democracy that subverts fair hearing is a dictatorship. A democracy that permits a ruling party to demobilise its organs and inadvertently expels its members is worse than a military government.”

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“So long as APC, its leadership and Asiwaju Tinubu’s government have taken the self-destructive path, which is equivalent to a declaration of working end their tenure in 2027, patriotic Nigerians must help them to ensure their defeat in 2027!”…READ FULL ARTICLE

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20 Trucks of Rice: It will not get to those suffering. The Tinubu government isn’t ready to listen to advice – Primate Ayodele

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Primate Elijah Ayodele, leader of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, has criticized the Nigerian federal government for distributing trucks of rice to state governments. He said the initiative would only result in increased corruption and hardship, as governors are indifferent to the needs of the impoverished….READ FULL ARTICLE

In a statement by his media aide, Oluwatosin Osho, Ayodele asserted that the rice would not reach those truly in need, but would instead be distributed among party members.

He also claimed President Tinubu’s administration was unwilling to heed constructive advice.

He said;‘’There is no way this will get to the needy, those who are suffering

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“The Tinubu government isn’t ready to listen to advice. They are not doing what is feasible, Nigerians are hungry and angry, everyone is affected, the president must be careful.

‘’Sending trucks of rice to governors that don’t care about the needs of the people, that don’t share in people’s pains, is tantamount to arbitrary corruption. They will give it to their party members, loyalists and even hoard it.

“Why is this government not listening? The more you bring such, the more the hardship. The truck of rice will only increase hardship and poverty, that’s not the solution.’’

‘’This is simple mathematics, like God revealed to Pharaoh about famine, God has revealed to prophets the situation of Nigeria, we have said this in 2022 about what Nigeria will experience, it is better the government listens before it kills the economy.

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‘’The government should have taken the trucks to markets across the country and sold them at a very subsidized rate to the needy. The impact will be felt more than giving it to state governors,” he added….READ FULL ARTICLE

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He Is Always Talking About My Structure, My Structure, What Are The Structures For? -Dan Nwanyanwu

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According to the report from the Sun, the chairman of the Zenith Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu acknowledged that Nyesom Wike possesses significant influence within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at both the state and national levels….READ FULL ARTICLE

He questioned the purpose of these political structures that Wike frequently refers to as his

own, highlighting the fact that these structures existed before Wike’s rise to power.

He suggested that while there might not be explicit evidence in the form of written or verbal statements, the influence and impact of these

structures are evident to those familiar with the inner workings of politics.

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He said, “He (Wike) has the structure of PDP and Rivers, he has the structure of PDP in Rivers, he has the structure of PDP at the national,

and he’s always talking about my structure, my structure, what are the structures for? Somebody had them before you came, you see if you’re looking for evidence that something is written or that something is said,

you won’t find it, if you’re in that game, and you know how these things work, the evidence is everywhere.”…READ FULL ARTICLE

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