Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the failure of the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress to properly investigate issues in the Edo State House of Assembly caused the crisis to linger.
Governor Obaseki spoke when the Senate Committee set up to look into Edo Assembly crisis visited the state for its fact finding mission.
The Committee arrived that state aboard a private jet marked N313MS.
Four of the Committee members were present but Chairman of the Committee, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi said other members were allowed to stay behind because of the screening of the Chief Justice of Nigeria nominee.
Governor Obaseki who thanked the Senate for deeming it fit to visit the state with a fact finding team to understand what happened said the crisis would not have degenerated if the leadership of the APC had done same when the matter started.
Obaseki stated that he has performed his constitutional duty by issuing a proclamation letter and that the Clerk of the House undertook the processes as deemed fit.
He explained that there are issues within the legislature and they have gone to the judiciary as the constitution provides for clear separation of powers.
According to him, “When people arbitrarily make up their minds because of some predetermined outcomes and make statements and conduct themselves, this is what it leads to.
“I issued a proclamation. Consultations were held before the proclamation was issued. Various party organs met before decisions were reached. As far as I am concerned, I abide by the Constitution and issued a proclamation. I believe in separation of powers.
“Whatever the outcome, we expected that if a higher authority were concerned about the fate of this state, they would have called to see how to resolve the issue but that wasn’t done. The matter has moved to court and all parties are in court. I have done my own beat. Within the legislature, there are issues and they have gone to the judiciary and the constitution provides for clear separation of powers.
“We have evidence that people are under pressure. Look at this matter in the interest of our country and in defence of our democracy.”
Senator Abdullahi said the Senate was concerned about restoring peace and order as provided for in the Constitutional.
He explained that there was no clash with the House of Representatives Committee as their duties are seen as a function of the National Assembly.
He said, “The civility of Edo people is not in doubt. Edo State has a long history of parliamentary civility. I think everybody who is lover of this state will want to ensure that nothing short of that prevail.
“I want to assure you that we will do what the Constitution allows us to do. The House of Representatives Committee was here and we are here because it is bicameral legislature.
“Ours is to articulate and prepare the facts before colleagues. I know that the 109 will do justice to any matter before them.
“I assure you that we are out for the good of the state and its people.”
2023: North Has Learnt Its Lessons With Buhari — Sheikh Gumi
Islamic scholars, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has described Nigerians as very sentimental people who do not learn lessons.
In an interview with Sunday Sun, the Islamic scholar spoke about the 2023 elections, President Muhammadu Buhari and what is going on in the country.
Speaking on the coming 2023 elections, Gumi said stability is what is important now and not regional politics.
He explained that Nigeria is not about who leads from which region. He said what Nigeria needs is a crop of smart and intelligent Nigerians and it has nothing to do with whether the person is from the north, south, east or west.
According to him, the north has learnt its lessons with President Buhari. He said: “The north has learnt its lessons. Now, north is worse hit with Buhari. Jonathan was building 150 Almajiri schools, nine universities in the north. He was doing things. This Kaduna-Abuja rail, although the late President Umar Yar’Adua started it. So, let’s have somebody who can do it.”
Listing the qualities of the kind of leader Nigeria needs, he said such a person must be alert, intelligent, not take revenge, be forgiving, rehabilitate and not kill or imprison.
He added that the person’s mind should not be about catching people, but correcting them.
Asked if he has noticed any difference in the country since its return to democratic rule in 1999, he said there is development in the world as technology has made things better. He, however, said there is retrogression in government.
“Things are supposed to improve because science and technology have brought development close to the people. Government is retrogressing simply because we don’t have the right people in the right place and at the right time. Nigeria’s situation now is worse,” he added.
We Won’t Declare Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Senate
The Senate on Friday ruled out the possibility of declaring vacant, the seat of its Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, following his conviction by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment over a N7.65bn fraud charges against him since 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, 12 years after the EFCC filed the suit against him.
Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, who served under him as the director of finance and account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.
Reacting to the calls on the leadership of the Senate to declare his seat vacant, the Spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, said it was not possible.
He said such a request would only be considered after the embattled senator had explored all the legal options available to him without success.
Akwashiki argued that the constitution of Nigeria does not mandate the Senate President to unilaterally declare the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted by a lower court, vacant.
He said, “The Senate has no reason to declare his seat vacant. This is not the first time that such a thing would happen.
“There is no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant.
“He still has the opportunity to appeal the case.
“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.
“The Senate President cannot declare the seat of Kalu vacant. It is against the law.
“Tell those who are canvassing such things that there is nothing like that, it is a non-issue,” the Senate spokesperson added.
On whether Kalu will continue to receive salaries while in prison, Akwashiki said the National Assembly bureaucracy determines the payment of senators based on the template from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.
N40m Allegedly Stolen In Bayelsa Govt House
Not less than N40 million was on Friday, December 6, declared missing in the office of Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, the deputy chief of staff to the Bayelsa state Government House.
The Nation reports that about seven policemen and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been arrested and detained as possible suspects linked to the development at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state police command.