Missouri Legislature to consider impeaching Gov. Eric Greitens for sexual misconduct and misuse of charity resources- Fox

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missoJEFFERSON CITY, Mo-  The Missouri Legislature will convene later this month to consider impeaching Gov. Eric Greitens following allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of charity resources.llegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of charity resources.

House and Senate leaders announced Thursday that they had enough petition signatures of lawmakers to convene a special session at 6:30 p.m. on May 18 _ just 30 minutes after the regular session ends.

It will mark the first time in Missouri history that a Legislature has called itself into a special session.

The move comes as Greitens faces two felony charges _ one related to a 2015 extramarital affair and the other to using a charity donor list for his gubernatorial campaign.

If the House votes to impeach Greitens, the Senate would choose a judicial panel to conduct a trial on whether to remove him from office.

(Reuters) – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens lied to state ethics officials about how a list of major donors to his former charity was obtained for use by his gubernatorial campaign, a state House of Representatives panel concluded in a report on Wednesday.

 missou

FILE PHOTO: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens via REUTERS

The special committee, already investigating unrelated sexual misconduct and invasion-of-privacy allegations against Greitens, based its latest findings on sworn statements given to the panel and the state attorney general by several former campaign and charity associates.

Lawyers for the governor dismissed the matter in a statement as “a minor campaign finance issue” resolved a year ago. They also criticized the House panel for failing to seek testimony from current campaign representatives.

How Greitens, a former U.S. Navy Seal commando, acquired and used the donor list from the military veterans charity he founded in 2007 was investigated by the Missouri Ethics Commission last year.

State Attorney General Josh Hawley has been conducting his own probe of the charity, The Mission Continues, which Greitens left as chief executive four years ago to run for governor.

Hawley’s investigation led St. Louis prosecutors to charge the governor last month with felony computer tampering, alleging he obtained and transmitted the donor list without the charity’s consent for his own political gain.

Greitens, a Republican, has come under mounting pressure from Missouri politicians of both parties to resign since becoming embroiled in a separate scandal stemming from an admitted extramarital affair with a hairdresser.

He was charged in February with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a compromising photo without the consent of a woman with whom he was involved and threatening to blackmail her with it. Hawley, also a Republican, has said the findings of an earlier House committee report on the sex scandal were grounds for impeachment.

RISING STAR

Greitens, once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, has called the allegations in both cases part of a “smear” campaign orchestrated by St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat. He says he is innocent and has vowed to clear his name in court.

Greitens acknowledged to the ethics commission that he used the charity donor list to raise money for his gubernatorial bid and asserted the list itself was an “in-kind” contribution to his campaign, received from a man named Danny Laub on the charity’s behalf.

As part of a consent decree settling the ethics inquiry, Greitens paid a $100 fine and signed an amended campaign finance report stating Laub had donated The Mission Continues’ list to the campaign in March 2015.

But the House committee said Laub was actually a campaign employee who never worked for the charity and was thus never in a position to authorize disclosure of its donor information to Greitens or anyone else.

Laub himself testified Greitens’ campaign manager tricked him into taking part in the deception, the House panel reported.

In reality, a charity employee had furnished Greitens with the list by email at his direction under false pretenses when he stepped down as the charity’s CEO in May 2014, according to the committee.

The report said Krystal Proctor, a one-time Greitens assistant at the charity who went on to work for his campaign, then passed the list along in January and April 2015 to other campaign operatives, again at Greitens’ behest.

“Laub did not contribute the list to the campaign. Instead it was contributed by Greitens himself through his directions to Proctor,” the committee concluded.

The committee noted that the charity’s nondisclosure policies expressly barred providing the donor list to outside parties without its permission.

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Paul Tait

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“Why President Buhari Needs To Be Impeached Now” – Senator Owie

APC, News, PMB, Politics

The former Chief Whip of the upper legislative chamber and one of the leaders of Action Democratic Party, ADP, Senator Rowland Owie, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive arm of government of carrying out the attack on Senate where the mace was stolen.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Sun, Owie condemned the invasion of the senate by thugs, alleging that the disgraceful act had the support of security agents. The former lawmaker also accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of not promoting democracy with its acts. He called on the National Assembly to start the process of President Buhari’s impeachment immediately for spending over 469 million dollars on helicopter without approval from the National Assembly.

In his words;

“It is a desecration of the order; all those that were involved certainly committed treason. When I was looking at the newspaper, I saw the vehicle that was used.

“I asked one of my sons the name of the vehicle and he said it was ‘Infiniti’, that the car cost almost 80million. That type of vehicle is not owned by a street hawker, it is not owned by a teacher, it must be owned by a top government official. “For thugs to go through the well fortified gates of the National Assembly and then enter into the chamber of the senate where there is electronic check, it means that there was total collaboration with the security agents. From all indications what happened was supported by the executive of this country.

“For them to be able to leave the National Assembly with the mace it is a shame on this nation, it is a shame on the security agencies. It means that all the security agents were aware and they were told to stand down. “Police at the assembly are not less than 100 officers, so I don’t see how thugs could have breached the security if it wasn’t planned. All those involved should be brought to justice.

“If Nigerians don’t wake up it will be a disaster. This APC government headed by Muhammadu Buhari is not people-oriented. It is unfortunate that there are very good people inside it but they are quiet. “And when you are quiet in the face of injustice it means that the individual doesn’t have the fear of God in him. My colleagues in the National Assembly have not lived up to expectation in checking the excesses of the executive.

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“The legislature is the most important tool in democracy; the legislature should endeavor to check the executive. There have been a lot of irresponsible actions taken by the executive which the senate has failed to address.” Asked what he specifically would you have loved to see the National Assembly do to the executive, Senator Owie added, “How can the National Assembly which has the authority of confirmation of appointees reject the statutory appointment of an official and then the executive goes behind to retain such person?

“How can the executive neglect the rejection of the legislature? If the Senate was not sparing the rod, the moment the executive went ahead to confirm the appointment they would have removed the allocation meant for the particular office or position, so that if the chairman works and is paid, whoever that paid him would have committed an impeachable offence.

“The executive in this government has looked down on the National Assembly time and time again. How can the president spend over 469 million dollars on helicopter without approval from the National Assembly? The Senate should immediately send Buhari a message and begin impeachment procedure against him.”

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source: nai

Senators, Reps Collecting Signatures To Impeach Buhari – The Cable

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics
by Dyepkazah Shibayan

buuuuSenators and members of the house of representatives have started collecting signatures for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari, sources told TheCable on Thursday.

The lawmakers, who are not happy with the decision of the president to approve $469 million for the procurement of 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the US without their backing, had given the impression that the matter was being resolved.

The issue of impeachment first arose at the house of reps on Wednesday. While deliberating on a letter Buhari wrote to the national assembly, saying he had anticipated that the lawmakers would approve the withdrawal, Kingsley Chinda from Rivers state, asked his colleagues to commence impeachment proceedings against Buhari.

The president had said he took the action because the US gave Nigeria a deadline for payment. He also sought to include the procurement of the aircraft in the 2018 budget.

But citing sections 80 and 81 of 1999 constitution, Chinda said the Nigerian law does not recognise anticipatory approval.

“There is nowhere in our law that talked about anticipatory approval. We cannot sit down and allow this to take place. It is an impeachable offence. There is no infraction that is worse than this. Let us not continue to sleep. I propose that we commence the impeachment of Mr President,” he had said.

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However, on Thursday, some members of the lower legislative chamber said they had decided that rather than initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, the committee on rules and business should look for a way to resolve the matter .

But a legislative source told TheCable that the lawmakers were only being diplomatic.

“As I speak to you, signatures for the impeachment of Mr President are being collected in both chambers of the national assembly,” the source said.

“The lawmakers are very angry and are ready to nail this act once and for all. Don’t forget that this is not the first time that the president would disregard the legislature in taking key decisions… the matter has been referred to the committees (in both chambers) and they will advise them on the way forward as regards the anticipatory approval. But based on the illegality of Mr President’s action, they have started gathering signatures for his impeachment in both chambers.

“Buhari had since September 2017 to consult with the leadership of the national assembly leadership over this issue but he did not do so.

Last year, a congress delegation met with the leadership of the national assembly based on Trump’s request to sell the aircraft to Nigeria but our president decided to do things his own way.”

The source said while Chinda is among those coordinating the collection of signatures in the lower legislative chamber, some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators are behind it at the senate.

There was a fierce argument between the PDP lawmakers and their All Progressives Congress (APC) colleagues at the senate on Thursday.

Matthew Urhoghide, a PDP senator from Edo state, and Chukwuka Utazi, a PDP lawmaker Enugu state, were among the opposition lawmakers who pushed for the ousting of Buhari, while some of their colleagues on the other side disagreed.

“There are serious consequences for violation of our constitution. I want this senate to resolve that what the president did is procedurally wrong and a violation of our constitution, it must be condemned and of course, the consequences of section 143 of our constitution should be invoked,” Urhoghide had said.

But Abu Ibrahim, an APC senator from Katsina state, disagreed, describing the impeachment plot as a conspiracy from PDP.

Ibrahim defended Buhari, saying the president approved for the withdrawal of the money “based on national interest”.

“This is the first time that money drawn from excess crude account is being brought to the national assembly (for approval). Since they began to operate this account, I have never seen any expenditure that was brought here for approval,” the lawmaker said.

“This is a PDP conspiracy. I will like the PDP to tell us which of their governors have taken the money released from excess crude oil account to the state assembly for approval.

Read:  $496m Aircraft Purchase, SEnate Demands Buhari’s Impeachment…

If this is a PDP conspiracy to tarnish the image of Muhammadu Buhari, they will not be able to do it because we are coming out with figures.”

Section 143 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) deals with the removal of the president and vice-president from office. It is a very long process, taking at least three months to complete.

TheCable filed a report on what the section says.

Yusuf Olaniyonu, spokesman of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Turaki Hassan, spokesman of Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, could not be reached for comments when this report was filed. None of them responded to calls or replied the text messages sent.

 

$496m aircraft purchase: Senators demand Buhari’s impeachment, Reps undecided

APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power

buuuuSome senators at the plenary on Thursday, called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the withdrawal of $496m from the Excess Crude Account to purchase military aircraft without National Assembly’s approval.

Most of the lawmakers, who spoke on the withdrawal and spending pointed out that the President had breached Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution, while a few disagreed.

The 12 Super Tucano aircraft ordered from the United States would be delivered in 2020.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Wednesday read a letter from Buhari in which he admitted that the money had been withdrawn and paid to the US ahead of the legislative approval. This, he said, was done to beat the deadline for the arms deal.

On Tuesday, the letter was slated for consideration and referral to the relevant committee but Senator Mathew Uroghide, who had protested against the expenditure on Wednesday, moved a motion for Buhari’s impeachment for violation of the constitution.

Uroghide, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, specifically urged Saraki to allow the Senate to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution against the President.

He said, “Any amount of money that has to be spent from the Federation Account, must be appropriated by the National Assembly. This one has not been appropriated by the National Assembly and therefore breaches the provisions of the constitution.

“The Senate is not unmindful of the fact that the objective of this expenditure has been well established, but the procedure for this expenditure is wrong. There ought to have been appropriation before this money was spent.”

Uroghide added, “There are serious consequences for the violation of our constitution. As a consequence, the only thing that we can draw from on this is that, we call on you (Saraki) to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution. What it means is that this matter does not need to be investigated; it is clear that this offence has been committed by Mr. President.”

Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi stated that it was time for the legislature to be decisive. He noted that Sections 80 and 81 of the constitution stated the powers of the legislature on spending by the executive and how the executive should manage its finances.

Utazi added, “There is no other name to call this except an impeachable offence and we cannot allow that. We cannot stay here and this Assembly and Nigerians will be taken for granted. It should not be so. I rise and support the motion.”

Also speaking, Senator Shehu Sani has described the expenditure as “a gross abuse of the constitution.”

While Sani stated that he was not in support of the impeachment call, he asked that the payment be refunded and the transaction be started afresh to allow due process.

But Senator Abu Ibrahim described the impeachment call as “a PDP conspiracy.” Ibrahim challenged the opposition lawmakers to name any state governor in the PDP who benefited from the previous withdrawals from the ECA and sought the approval of the state House of Assembly before spending the money.

Senator Samuel Anyanwu, however, countered Ibrahim, stating that the matter was about respect for government’s institutions and not about party politics.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, however, argued that the executive might have considered Section 83(1-2) of the constitution, which allows the President to make extra-budgetary spending in an emergency situation.

N’allah said, “In view of the controversy that this has generated, my advice is that since we have the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, issues of this nature can be referred to that committee. Let them look at it properly and advise the Senate on the way forward.”

Saraki, in his ruling, noted there were two issues: the spate of insecurity and the flawed process through which the government wanted to tackle it.

The Senate President sought the  permission of the lawmakers to refer the probe to the Committee, which was unanimously granted.

But the House of Representatives was undecided on Thursday whether to approve a $496.3m  request by President Buhari to purchase 12 units of Tucano aircraft from the US.

The House referred the request to its Committee on Rules/Business to look into it and guide the members properly on the way forward.

The House, in keeping with its Tuesday resolution to debate the matter before taking a stance, had listed it on Thursday.

But, as the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, called on the Acting Leader of the House, Mr. Mohammed Monguno, to move a motion for the debate, some members kicked against it.

The motion sought to include the $496.3m in the 2018 Appropriation Bill still pending before the National Assembly.

It was the Chairman, Committee on Ethics/Privileges, Mr. Nicholas Ossai, who raised a point of order to observe that by the procedure of the House, the request was belated because Buhari had already spent the money.

Ossai quoted Section 80 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to remind members that no funds could be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, “except in the manner approved by the National Assembly.”

He argued, “This motion is not relevant because this money has been spent. This matter cannot be discussed at all. This matter ought to have been thrown away and I urge the House that this motion should be withdrawn.”

However, there were other members, who attempted to protest loudly, saying that the House should at least debate the letter and either approve or reject it.

For instance, the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, observed that the House would still be in order by debating the motion.

Some members like the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Chukwuka Onyema; Mr. Gabriel Onyenwife; Mr. Agbedi Fredie; and Mr. Sergious Ose-Ogun, backed Ossai.

They said the request was “belated” and trying to bend the House rules to accommodate the $496.3m either by a motion or a fresh money bill, would amount to self-indictment by the legislature.

The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, intervened to rule that in view of the divergent opinions, the debate should be suspended.

Stop Press: Senate call for State of Emergency and Impeachment of President Buhari

2019 Elections, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

The Nigerian Senate has called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in Benue state and other states facing deadly violence in the country

 

buuuuAbout 19 people were on Tuesday, April 24, killed after suspected herdsmen attacked Tse Agudu in Mbawa council ward, Guma LGA area of the state – The call is followed by a deliberation of a motion on continued killings in the state The recent killings of some worshipers including two priests after suspected herdsmen attacked Ayar Mbalom village in Gwer east local government area of Benue state has made the Senate to call on the federal government to declare the state and other parts of the country facing deadly violence, state of emergency. The senators call for impeachment of Buhari, the call is followed by a deliberation of a motion on “Continued killings in Benue state” sponsored by George Akume (Benue north west).

Read more: https://www.naija.ng/1165948-breaking-senate-calls-state-emergency-benue-killings.html?source=notification#1165948