IGP plotting to set me up – Saraki

2019 Elections, APC, law enforcement, Nigeria, SEcurity, Uncategorized

Senate President Bukola Saraki says Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), is planning to implicate him.

Speaking while presiding over plenary on Wednesday, Saraki said Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kwara governor, called him him Tuesday night to give him the information.

The senate president said from what he learnt, the IGP ordered that some suspected cultists arrested in Illorin should be taken to Abuja where their statements will be altered to implicate him and the state government.

He said the action is a recipe for anarchy.

“Last night, my state governor, revealed to me an information at his disposal that a group of suspects who have been arrested in our state for cultism, whose investigation has been completed and were about to be under prosecution under the state law on the advise of the ministry of justice, all of a sudden were ordered to be transferred to Abuja this morning,” Saraki said.

“The information reaching him from the commissioner of police that they have been directed by IGP to bring them to Abuja. With the information that he has, they would find how to alter their statement already made in Ilorin and try and implicate the state government and particularly myself. I feel that as we speak now, these suspects are already here in Abuja.

“These acts I don’t know whether to call it desperation or intimidation, all actions to undermine our democracy, a recipe for anarchy because we are doing our work by asking officials to obey the law, due process and subject themselves to constituted authority.

“I think it is important to call your attention to this dangerous development. The impunity happeneing in this country is a danger to our democracy.”

The IGP refused to honour the invitation of the senate on three separate occasions. In anger, the upper legislative chamber branded him an enemy of democracy, saying he is unfit to hold any public office.

https://wp.me/p8kB6r-1QID

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RE: The 8th Senate, Not IGP Idris Is The Real Enemy Of Democracy By Bala Ibrahim

2019 Elections, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Police IGP.pngI am never a fan of Nigerian politician, I have never believed in the processes and operations of the Nigerian National Assembly and I am mortified at the numbers of cases against the present members of this eight Senate of the federal Republic, yet we need to face issues when our national institution of democratic governance are being ridiculed in the public domain. Most Nigerians imbued with ‘messiah worshipping zeal’ are wont to misunderstand the basics of a presidential system of government. The Senate of the Federal Republic represents the lead organ in the National Assembly of Nigeria given power by the constitution to make laws and oversees all operations of the Executive organ led by the President.

The fact that a Nigerian would denigrate the Senate of Federal Republic as “uncultured, uncivilised, undemocratic and immature” and come into the public domain with the insult merely due to an aversion to resolutions of the Senate on the Inspector General of Police, shows a lack of patriotism; a crude and uninformed reasoning always displayed by really inequitable elements that have perpetually resolved issues in public domain through an appeal to cyclical reasoning.

Obvious lack of proper understanding of the democratic principle and harried researches would have informed the contributions of several elements deliberately engineered to perpetuate ignorance on a condescending but largely unread public via a sustain attack on their intelligence with hugely fabricated missives. For the sake of prosperity there should be proper well-researched response to properly educate the obfuscated critics amongst us and inform the public on the proper use of words in public domains.

Buhari-Saraki-and-DogaraFacts remain that Senator Dino Melaye’s travail could have been self-imposed, avoidable and clearly challenge the process of law enforcement operation in Nigeria. That Dino intentionally refused Police invitations in Kogi State would have been construed as an affront to the legal processes and local laws. Yet a clear circumstantial observation of the reason for his refusal to attend to the Kogi State Command’s requests were striking. Dino maintained he cannot and will never have fair hearing in Kogi State, stating the case of his on-going row with the state government as basis.

For the sake of Clarification, I invite Bala Ibrahim to please read:

The invitation by the Senate was for the IGP Idris to attend its session and clear issues dealing with National security based on continuous killings in Benue, Nassarawa, Kaduna and other states in Nigeria, the Melaye issue was adjunct.

For the avoidance of doubts, a look at Sections 88 of the 1999 Constitution says, “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation to direct or cause to be directed investigation into – (a) any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws, and (b) the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for – (i) executing or administering laws enacted by National Assembly, and (ii) disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.”

The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to;

(a) make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and (b) expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.

What amazes me in this narrative remains the assertion of invaluable excuse by Bala in his write-up for the IGP’s refusal to attend the Senate summons. Even the IGP has never in any fora denied this absolute right of the Senate to invite him to its session, but his litany of excuses shows a flagrant disdain for a democratic institution. The Police Act quoted by Mr. Bala could never and will never over rule the Constitution that empowers the Senate to act as supervisor of the public trust in the executive and all its agencies.

The office of the IGP is the central management point for coalescing all operational, intelligence and administrative operations of the Nigeria Police Force, which are gathered by separate departments. The IGP’s main duty was to manage all these resources and employ them in designing an effective operational system. DIGs are administrative heads of different department of policing operations; hence IGP Operations cannot be in possession of as much information as the IGP. Common sense would have dictated that given the fact that a formal invitation was sent to the IGP, there should have been a letter from the IGP office to the Senate leadership on his schedules and possible date for his visit.

Read: http://www.pulse.ng/news/local/igp-idris-is-wrong-for-shunning-senate-summons-id8360996.html

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/267875-analysis-snub-by-igp-idris-what-next-for-nigerian-senate.html

Disparagement for any organ of democracy is the way towards anarchy. We cannot continue to condone our public officials for doing the wrong things. The president should be made to understand basic tenets of a working democracy. When the executive continually ignores National assembly resolutions on major national issues, we have drawn the line towards abrogating the rule of law in Nigeria.

See: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/226181-breaking-senate-rejects-magu-efcc-chairman-2.html

http://dailypost.ng/2017/12/21/magu-no-longer-efcc-acting-chairman-nigerian-senate/

The distinguished senators on individual basis could be an issue, but the national assembly is an institution we must gather round and support. The executive should learn to appreciate and support the operations of the Senate and harken to it. Our democracy needs our concerted protection and not derision.

 

 

Conspiracy Theory: Security Men, Lawmakers Conspired To Steal The Mace-Police

APC, Crime, News, PMB, Politics

The Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, CSP Sulu-Gambari Abdul, on Wednesday blamed the April 18 invasion of the Senate and removal of the mace by hoodlums on an internal conspiracy between the security men and legislators.

mac.jpgThe Divisional Police Officer in the National Assembly, CSP Sulu-Gambari Abdul, on Wednesday blamed the April 18 invasion of the Senate and removal of the mace by hoodlums on the internal conspiracy.

Abdul stated this during an investigative hearing into the incident by joint ad hoc committee investigating the incident.

According to him, what happened at the National Assembly was an act of internal conspiracy among some security agencies and some lawmakers.

“There should be cooperation between security agencies and the lawmakers but in this case, the attack came from the roof as the senators are not helping security matters.”

On April 16, there was an earlier hint that a group planned to invade the National Assembly and disrupt activities, which called for a build-up of security with two units of mobile police mobilized to the complex.”

“However, on April 18, at about 11 a.m., my attention was drawn to a group protesting at the gate, and while I moved to address the group, I was informed that some people were running away with the mace.”

“I signaled all the entry points that nobody drives in or out but three men approached me identifying themselves as security operatives and requested to be allowed to go.

“The strain of blood on their clothes made me suspicious and I ordered their arrest.”

“In all, six people were arrested same day and handed over to the Force Headquarters alongside charms recovered from them.”

“In addition, an unmarked Prado jeep and a Toyota Hilux were impounded and they are with the police.”

“It was later that I observed that the protest was a diversionary attention to move me out and that the protesters were the same group with those that attacked”, Abdul said.

He said that there was no communication from the Sergeant-at-Arms to the National Assembly during the invasion by the thugs.

Earlier, the Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Brighton Danwalex, had said that report from the investigation after the incident revealed that Senator Ali Ndume instructed the men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it during the invasion.

According to him, it was wrong for them to take orders from Ndume.

“Security men are having challenges with some legislators because they don’t want to follow checks,’’ he added.

Danwalex said that security men were overpowered due to lack of non-functional security gadgets to enhance operational capacity.

“There is no functional walkie-talkie; we would have alerted all the exit points.”

“The CCTV is not functioning and there is only one operational patrol vehicle and the entrance into the white house requires biometric doors,’’ he said.

Chairman of the committee, Sen. Bala N’allah, requested the Police to furnish it with copies of station diary where entry of the crime was made.

He also directed that the committee should be given copies of the crime routine diary, pictures of those arrested and the transfer register explaining where the invaders were transferred to.

On her part, the Co-Chairman of the committee, Rep. Betty Apiafi, blamed the invasion on negligence on the part of the Sergeant-at-Arms.

She accused them of failing to raise alarm having observed something unusual.

Similarly, Sen. Shehu Sani accused the security operatives in the complex of regularly collecting money to allow unauthorized persons into the premises.

“People troop in here by paying money to security. Supposing they were terrorists and had it been that they came in to kill someone, they would have succeeded.”

“How could five thugs succeed if there was no collusion?”, Sani said.

 Originally published in the Punch Newspaper and Sahara onlineriginally published in the Punch Newspaper and Sahara online

Saraki, Dogara Report Police IG To Buhari Over Disdain For Senate, Melaye

2019 Elections, APC, News, PMB, Politics

Buhari-Saraki-and-Dogara.jpgPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
The meeting was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after Buhari returned from his weekend trip to his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

At the end of the meeting, Saraki and Dogara told State House correspondents that they reported the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the President over his handling of the case involving Senator Dino Melaye and his disdain for the National Assembly.

They also said the meeting which was at the instance of the President discussed the issue of the 2018 Appropriation Bill still before the National Assembly, the recent invasion of the Senate during which the mace was taken away and the fallouts or Buhari’s recent visit to the United States of America during which he met the US President, Donald Trump.

They, however, said the issue of the impeachment process being contemplated in the National Assembly over Buhari’s approval for the payment of $496m for fighter jets before he sought the approval of the Federal lawmakers was not discussed at the meeting.

Buhari, NASS and unlawful use of $469m ECA funds

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, economy, Legal, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, PMB, Politics

On April 9, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, lied to worried and inquisitive Nigerians that the president was yet to authorise the payment of $469m from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to buy 12 Super Tucano military jets from the United States government. It turned out that as far back as February, despite repeated denials, the president had both approved the said sum and authorised disbursement. It was only the Defence minister, Mansur Dan Ali, who somewhat truthfully hinted early February that the procurement had been done in order to meet the deadline set by the American government for the deal to be consummated.

It is unlikely that Sen Enang, who is himself very conversant with legislative appropriations process, did not know that the approval had been given and the payment made. Nor is it likely that he does not know the gravity of the executive branch arbitrarily and unilaterally authorising the disbursement of funds not appropriated. The special assistant knew; he only chose to lie. Here is what he said when the public initially suspected that the president had made the unauthorised disbursement of ECA funds: “…That the said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President. That in accordance with best practices, Mr. President, having received approval of the sum from National Economic Council made up of all the governors, now had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others, to collate the needs of each of the services and the money available for appropriation…As of now, the process of approving the money for use is inchoate and still undergoing executive standard operating procedure before laying same before the National Assembly for appropriation.”

When Sen Enang told this open lie, members of the National Economic Council (NEC), the president himself, and the vice president already knew that the money had been disbursed. They chose to keep quiet, associated with the lie, and perhaps sought for ways to blunt both public and legislative reactions to the unlawful use of ECA funds. The governors who in December authorised the withdrawal of $1bn from ECA on the grounds that previous governments periodically accessed the account for one reason or the other also knew by experience in their states that the executive arm, in this case the president, could not spend a kobo without appropriations. Instead, they incredibly decided at a meeting headed by the vice president that their collective assent was as good as legislative assent because no one complained when previous governments made similar withdrawals.

To put the whole matter at rest, and knowing that the infernal lie told by Sen Enang and connived at by the presidency could not be sustained for too long, the president finally wrote to the National Assembly this April to inform them that he had spent the money from ECA, and asked for their understanding. Other than implying that the urgency of the spending necessitated the illegality, the president offered no other substantial or persuasive reason for breaching the constitution. According to him: “I wish to draw the attention of the House of Representatives to the ongoing security emergencies in the country. These challenges were discussed with the state governors and subsequently, at the meeting of the National Economic Council on 14th December, 2017, where a resolution was passed, with the Council approving that up to US$1 billion may be released and utilised from the Excess Crude Account to address the situation… It would be recalled that, for a number of years, Nigeria had been in discussions with the United States Government for the purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft under a direct Government-to-Government arrangement. Recently, approval was finally granted by the United States Government, but with a deadline within which part payment must be made otherwise, the contract would lapse.”

The president continues: “In the expectation that the National Assembly would have no objection to the purchase of this highly specialised aircraft, which is critical to national security, I granted anticipatory approval for the release of US$496,374,470.00. This was paid directly to the treasury of the United States Government. I am therefore writing, seeking approval of this House for the sum of US$496,374,470.00 (equivalent to N151,394,421,335.00) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly is currently finalising. The balance of the requirements for critical operational equipment is still being collated from the different security services and will be presented in the form of a Supplementary Appropriation Bill, in due course.”

There is no question that the president knowingly and subversively took the money from ECA. But nothing justifies it: no emergency, no urgency, no security situation. There was nothing to suggest that since the governors decided on that course of action last December, the president didn’t have enough time to present a supplementary estimate to be thoroughly scrutinised by the legislature. He missed the point by giving the impression that critics who denounced the executive arm for disbursing ECA funds were unmindful of the country’s security situation, or insensitive to the urgency of making the military purchases. Critics in fact sensibly suggested that though the motive of the purchase was sound, it was nevertheless wrong to eye the ECA fund meant for the three tiers of government, let alone make the disbursement outside due process. For neither the president nor the governors, nor yet the local councils, approximated the legislative assemblies of their various tiers. Moreover, even the seller of the jets, the US, would be privately appalled by the illegitimacy of the process through which the $469m was released. Such flagrant abuse could never be countenanced in the US. It also beggars belief that those who kept the money feigned ignorance of the proper process by which the funds are to be shared constitutionally between the three tiers of government

It is disturbing that President Buhari, sitting at the head of a government that prides itself on being ethically different from its predecessors and intolerant of past abridgement of financial regulations, could countenance that constitutional affront. By his letter to the legislature, he seems to think that both the urgency of the purchase and the intensity of the insurgency problem justified the spending from ECA. It is even worse that he indicated in his letter that he expected the legislature not to turn down his request, hence his approval of the unlawful ECA spending. This unilateral action is truly shocking. How could he tell the mind of the legislature? Does he not know what the law say very clearly? The truth is that the Buhari presidency and the federal government under him, including the cabinet and security agencies, think very little of the legislature. They think that if the public were forced to choose between the executive arm headed by the ‘saintly’ President Buhari, and the parliament headed, for instance, by the Machiavellian Bukola Saraki, the public would sack the parliament and embrace the executive. This is the classical beginning of fascism.

It is also strange that with all the lawyers and constitutional experts around the president, he could still subvert the constitution in the manner he has done. This speaks to the lack of cohesion in the government — in such a manner that suggests only a few people carried away by the importance of their offices take decisions for the presidency and present a fait accompli to the rest of the cabinet — or to perhaps the fear of confronting the president and educating him on the dangers of flouting the constitution and diminishing the importance of the parliament, as his government and cabinet have serially done.

A far more disturbing truth is that, given the arguments and logic of some of the governors rationalising the ECA spending, there are indeed very few democrats presiding over the affairs of their states in this Fourth Republic. The Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammadu Badaru, for instance, simplistically argues: “We forget easily. If you recall, we have been battling with approval from America to buy these equipment in 2014. We have been begging America to sell this equipment to us. We tried Dubai, they could not allow us; we tried a factory in Brazil, the federal government tried, we couldn’t get it. America still could not sell to Nigeria. Then luckily, President Trump said it was okay to buy. So we had to quickly buy before they change their minds. Because there is also deadline and this is a state to state transaction, no middleman, and we are all here concerned about security and they are raising questions on way and manner you protect people. This is an emergency situation.” The puerility of Mr Badaru’s logic is numbing. No less bewildering is the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, who sheepishly suggested that critics of the spending as well as the National Assembly should not just look at the law but the interest of Nigerians. Awful!

The National Assembly knows that it can only cry itself hoarse over this needless controversy. To impeach President Buhari, even if the divided legislature can be coaxed into unity, will be nigh impossible, not because an impeachable offence has not been committed but because the presidency seems to be counting on the masses who can neither understand the illogic of the ECA spending nor appreciate the role of the parliament in sustaining democracy. Had the people been educated enough to know that it is the parliament that sustains democracy — not the executive, not the judiciary, as important as they are — they would have found a way to force the resignation of the government. But the government is counting on the people’s ignorance to constitute a deterrence to the legislature, or if push comes to shove, join hands with the Buhari presidency in sacking parliament.

The NASS will have to find a way of saving face on this appalling matter. The cards are stacked against them. Meanwhile they can legislate away the temptations that so easily take the Buhari presidency prey, such as ECA itself. There is no reason for the dedicated. If President Buhari cannot discipline himself and his government to find legitimate and constitutional ways of raising money to execute their agenda, and the governors are either too obtuse or too timid to think straight, and the people will not eschew sentiment in public discourse, it is time for the legislature to anticipate other possible temptations beguiling the presidency and remove them.

http://thenationonlineng.net/buhari-nass-and-unlawful-use-of-469m-eca-funds/

The National Assembly on Strike to Protest Insecurity in Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa and Bornu State

Boko Haram, Crime, News, PMB, Politics

The NASS has resolved to invite President Buhari to adress questions on insecurity in the country. The House of Representatives has also resolved to go on three days recess to protest insecurity in Nigeria- The House also moved that its leaders should pay a fact finding visit to the President to ask pertinent questions on insecurity in Benue and other parts of the country. -the Senate has also resolved to invite the IGP to brief the Senate on national security issues and the arrest and manhandling  of Senator Dino Melaye by the Police.

buuuuThe relatively unchecked reign of terror campaign fomented through the daily killings in Benue, Nassarawa and other States in Nigeria has led to the Vote of no confidence in Nigeria National security apparatus and the security chiefs by the National Assembly. the eight assembly has resolved to call the President to brief on the plans for security in the country and showed the House the programme to effectively deal with the menace.

Daily record of scores of mortality and an ineffective policing structure has eroded past trust in local security apparatus to deal with current insecurity, The NASS directly points at the lack of trust in the policing agencies and made direct accusation of collusion between the Herdsmen and security operatives in achieving attacks in several states.

Shehu Sani, Saraki, The Thugs, And Idiots In The Senate By Churchill Okonkwo

personality, Politics

I will start this initial reaction to the anarchy that nearly descended on the Senate by addressing Senator Shehu Sani: Senator, turning a blind eye to acts of impunity and intimidation of dissenting voices in the Senate Chamber at the same time claiming to be the voice of the reason does not make you an idiot. But equating allegiance to the corrupt leadership of Bukola Saraki with patriotism certainly makes you a thug. And thugs don’t often notice that they’re thugs, usually because they’re also idiots.

I will start this initial reaction to the anarchy that nearly descended on the Senate by addressing Senator Shehu Sani: Senator, turning a blind eye to acts of impunity and intimidation of dissenting voices in the Senate Chamber at the same time claiming to be the voice of the reason does not make you an idiot. But equating allegiance to the corrupt leadership of Bukola Saraki with patriotism certainly makes you a thug. And thugs don’t often notice that they’re thugs, usually because they’re also idiots.

When the gangsters led by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege removed the mace, Shehu Sani, our saint, ready to lay down his life for the Master thug, Saraki, insisted that “the Senate must not adjoin.”  He then “removed [his] waist belt …to serve as a mace for [them] to continue” sitting. The question is, where was Shehu Sani’s “waist belt” when Senators Ovie Omo-Agege were shut down merely for expressing himself? This freedom of expression is what Senator, Shehu Sani has touted as his banner as an activist. What has Bukola Saraki done to our saint-Senator Shehu Sani?

No doubt, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege definitely erred in leading the thugs that made away with the mace at the Nigerian Senate.  He and his gangsters should face the consequences of whatever law they may have violated. Having condemned the actions of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, it is also worthy to note that the impunity at the Nigerian National Assembly has been going on unchallenged and is no longer healthy for a functioning democracy. The thugs will keep doing whatever pleases them and suppress freedom of expression and association without any form of checks, even by breaking of the law as Senator Ovie Omo-Agege just did.

But, by orchestrating the disappearance of the mace at the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was simply telling Saraki that “I was raised in Warri and I guess that is one of the special breeding grounds for gangsters.”

The Nigerian Senate is composed of a violent set of senators devoted to Saraki and have attracted thugs and fake firebrands like Shehu Sani and Dino Melaye who enjoy drama and confusion. They intimidate members at will and are lucky that unlike the President’s before him, President Buhari has chosen not to use the full scale of the state security apparatus on his opponents at the Senate.

When I saw the statement issued by the Nigerian Senate that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is attempting to overthrow the Senate, I remembered my good friend Tupac Shakur, who once said: “Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here cause even Thugs cry, but do the Lord care?”  Are Saraki and his co-thugs in the Senate shaken? Is there a Nigerian Senator willing to match his thuggery with thuggery? Should Nigerians care?

In all these, what I found unacceptable is that the saint as a political thug, Senator Shehu Sani, has, as usual, capitalized on the disarray of the moment to present himself as “our Savior”.  I have said this before and I will repeat it here: Senator Shehu Sani is undermining his credibility or what is left of it by joining the thugs in the Nigerian Senate led by Bukola Saraki. He is sending a terrible message to activists itching to join Nigerian politics that it’s okay and that they should not be ashamed to team up with thugs and keep quiet in the midst of injustice.

Shehu Sani is acting like a kid among some pretty thugs who see themselves as heroes by shielding the impunity at the Senate. The Nigerian Senate has been taken over by brutal thugs and gangsters whose lust for power and the loot that flows through the National Assembly will make them do anything including committing murder. Unfortunately, Senator Shehu Sani is part of that Senate leadership run by thugs that is notorious for shutting down freedom of expression.

Finally, that the Nigerian Senate is a gangsters den is no longer in doubt. Bukola Saraki will go down in the history of the Nigerian National Assembly as a man who rather than breeding intelligent senators transformed the Senate into a house of thugs and idiots. The Nigerian Senate is now a vacation center for political thugs ready to silence any opposition within. You will be made a fodder for the wolves if you dare open your mouth wide without the express approval of the Lord of the Senate, Bukola Saraki.

The Nigerian Senate thrives in confusion. They enjoy the looting with impunity when we ‘kill’ ourselves on social media over their incompetence or otherwise. But, the Nigerian people will never be intimidated by agbada wearing thugs in the Nigerian Senate starting from the chief, Bukola Saraki through the saint that sinned, Shehu Sani and the Warri boy that stole the mace Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. We will not be confused by their acts of confusion meant to distract us from the impunity in the Senate.

We need to remind them that we are not idiots during the 2019 elections. If only we can leave the politics of religion and ethnicity that they have used to divide and hoodwink us for years. If only we can unite around candidates that will usher in a new era in Nigerian politics. If only we can convert our own thuggery in social media to political capital and reject APC and PDP in 2019. If only we can…

Together, we can.

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

                            Churchill Okonkwo

Thugs That Raided the Senate stealing the Mace Finally Arrested

News, Politics

Confirmed reports have it that; the suspected thugs who  reportedly invaded the Nigerian Senate earlier today and stole its mace have been identified. The five suspects have been arrested by the FCT police command after they brazenly broke into the chambers of the National assembly and forcefully escaped with the Mace, the symbol of authority of the nation’s legislature.

The criminals ALLEGEDLY led into the Red Chambers by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are all from Delta State, and their names are:

Peter Orede – Warri South LGA

Blessing Edjeke from Abraka In Ethiope East LGA

Tuoyo Mabiaku – Warri North Local Government Area

Lucky Okomu from Oghara in Ethiope West LGA

Prince Enayemo – Ughelli South LGA

 

source: nai

Breaking: Nigerian Police recovers mace after hoodlums abandon it under flyover – Omotayo Yusuf

News, Nigeria, Politics

The Nigerian police said it has recovered the mace stolen by hoodlums – It credited the effort of its men for the recovery of the stolen mace – It however commended the people of Abuja for reporting to the police after it was seen under a flyover The Nigerian police have recovered the Senate mace after it was stolen by hoodlums at the Red Chamber.

NAIJ.com had reported that the hoodlums stormed the National Assembly on Wednesday, April 18 and forcefully took the mace away.  It was rumoured that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege representing Delta central had led the thugs to the Senate as a protest against his suspension. The police commended the people of Abuja for their confidence in them in reporting when they spotted the mace under a flyover. Read the police statement below “Sequel to the invasion of the Senate Chambers of the National Assembly, Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 18th April, 2018 by some suspected thugs who disrupted the Senate Plenary Session and carted away the Mace of the Red Chambers, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, immediately instituted a high-powered Police Investigation and Intelligence Team coordinated by the IGP Monitoring Unit of the Force and further directed a total lock-down of the Federal Capital Territory with intense surveillance patrol and thorough Stop and Search Operations at various Police check-points with a view to arresting perpetrators and possible recovery of the stolen Mace.

The Police teams engaged in massive raids of identified criminal spots/flashpoints, stop and search operations, visibility and confidence building patrols, intelligence gathering which forced the suspected miscreants to abandon the Mace at a point under the flyover before the City Gate, where a patriotic passer-by saw it and alerted the Police. While a discreet investigation into the incident is still ongoing to arrest and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Nigeria Police Force appreciates the spirited members of the public, most especially motorists within Abuja Metropolis for their support, cooperation and timely information during the rigorous stop and search operations for the recovery of the Mace. The renewed commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to guarantee protection of Lives and Property, Peace and Stability and sustain democracy in the country remains unequivocal and unwavering.

Meanwhile, the attack on the Senate and the abduction of the mace by certain ‘hoodlums’ was condemned by former vice president, Atiku Abubakar. In tweets posted on his Twitter handle, @atiku, the former VP registered his shock and outrage, and described the incident as a dangerous precedent. NAIJ.com notes that Atiku stated that the perpetrators of the attack should not be allowed to go unpunished.

NAIJ.com

Thug who snatched Senate’s mace, exposed

News

macee(Photo credit: The Cable)

A photo has emerged, showing the face of the young man who snatched the mace from the upper legislative chamber on Wednesday, April 18. Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who represents the Delta Central federal constituency, had led some unidentified persons into the Senate chamber, leading to an uproar,  notes that the The symbol of authority of the red chamber, was snatched, during the operation which lasted over 10 minutes.

The incident had caused the lower legislative chamber, the House of Representatives, to suspend its activities, in solidarity with the Senate.  Many reports have shown  that the abduction of the mace at the Senate chamber on Wednesday, April 18, was described by some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as a humiliation of Nigeria’s democracy. The groups referred to the incident as a challenge to the authority of the National Assembly, in separate interviews with newsmen. The chairman of the Partners for Electoral Reform, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, stated that the act must have been orchestrated by people who were not comfortable with the leadership of the legislative arm of government. He further said the episode shows there is a lack of cohesion in the National Assembly.

Police: 5 Suspects being Questioned in the Senate Mace Snatching Saga

News, Nigeria, Politics

omo agegeThe names of five persons who reportedly entered the Senate to steal the mace which is the symbol of authority of the Red Chamber have emerged. According to Daily Independent, the names emerged on Wednesday, April 18 hours after they were arrested by the FCT Police Command.

READ ALSO: Nothing will deter us from defending our constitutional mandate – Saraki The suspects were allegedly led into the Senate by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as a protest against his suspension. The five suspects who are all from Delta state are: Tuoyo Mabiaku – Warri North Local Government Area Peter Orede – Warri South LGA Blessing Edjeke from Abraka In Ethiope East LGA Lucky Okomu from Oghara in Ethiope West LGA Prince Enayemo – Ughelli South LGA NAIJ.com had reported that protesters stormed the Senate chamber on Wednesday, April 18, and stole the mace. The protesters are supporters of a suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege.

They left the National Assembly with the mace in a black SUV. The mace is the symbol of authority of the parliament. A security personnel at the entrance of the National Assembly, said he was told by the protesters they were officers with the senator.

Nothing will deter us from defending our constitutional mandate – Saraki

News, Nigeria, Politics, Uncategorized

Saraki 1

Senate President, Bukola Saraki condemned the attack on the Senate by hoodlums – The Senate president said those responsible will be dealt with –                                                    He commended his colleagues for standing their ground

Senate president, Bukola Saraki bas reacted to the attack on the Senate by suspected hoodlums describing it as an attack on the country’s democracy. Saraki spoke from Washington where he is attending the Spring Meeting of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, April 18.  He commended the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu and other members of the Red Chamber for their swift reaction. He said those responsible will be brought to justice and vowed that they will continue to defend their constitutional mandate.

His message to the Senators reads:

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has commended the leadership and all members of the Senate for standing up firmly in defence of democracy and the rule of law with their decision to defy those who machinated an attack on the Red Chambers of the National Assembly in which the mace was forcefully taken away. Saraki, speaking from Washington where he is attending the Spring Meeting of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF), also lauded the swift reaction by the leadership and members of the House of Representatives in demonstrating their solidarity with the red chamber and thereby sending a strong signal that enemies of democracy and those who want to undermine the legislature will be resisted by all parliamentarians.

“I have just been informed that some hoodlums invaded the Senate chambers, forcefully taken away the mace and assaulted some of our Sergeant-at-arms on chamber duties. I am delighted that the Senate stood up to them by disregarding their unreasonable and shameful action and went on with the day’s proceedings as slated in the Order Paper. “My commendation goes to my deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, other members of the leadership, my colleagues, the leadership and members of the House of Representatives for standing in defence of democracy, parliamentary sanctity and constitutionalism.

“With the way the Senate has defied those seeking to undermine it, we have sent out a strong signal that we are always ready to defend our constitutional mandate and nothing will deter us from this. “I associate myself with the comments of the Deputy Senate President that we are ready to get to the roots of this assault on democracy and ensure that those who are responsible, no matter how remote, will be brought to justice”, Saraki stated. NAIJ.com had reported that protesters stormed the Senate chamber on Wednesday, April 18, and stole the mace. The protesters are supporters of a suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege.  They left the National Assembly with the mace in a black SUV. The mace is the symbol of authority of the parliament. A security personnel at the entrance of the National Assembly, said he was told by the protesters they were officers with the senator.

Saraki leaves for Washington

Africa, APC, Politics

 

Saraki leaves for Washington

sarakiThe President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki has departed for Washington DC to join other World leaders and economic experts at the spring meeting by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki Saraki is billed to participate in the African Finance Forum organized by the Corporate Council on Africa. According to Bamikole Omishore, Special Assistant to Saraki on Foreign Affairs and International Relations, the Senate’s President will be part of 100 project developers, financiers and African government representatives. They will be looking at how the fintech industry is transforming the financial sector and financing on the African continent.” Saraki was accompanied by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, and his counterpart in the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator David Umaru.

The Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank will bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organisations and academics. They will discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial system.

Breaking News: Senator Ovie Omo-Agege Arrested by the Nigeria Police.

2019 Elections, APC, PMB, Politics, Uncategorized

Reports from the Natinal Assembly hass it that Senator ovie Omo-Agege reported leader of the hoodlums that seized the maze in the Senate has finally being arrested by the Nigeria Police in Abuja.

omo agege.jpg

The Senator was suspended last week by the Saraki led Senate. Omo-Agege has been reportedly taken to the Nigerian Police Headquarters for questioning. More details later….

Minute Talk: The Senate Attack by Thugs

APC, PMB, Politics

The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the National symbol of our democracy. The highest point in representative democratic institution in Nigeria. Despite many rancourous sessions, fraud cases and executive propelled challenges to the current Senate: many would agree with me that the Bukola Saraki led Senate has seen a sort of stability and individuality that not any senate has enjoyed in Nigerian history.

The fact that the leadership of the senate belonged to the same party as the Buhari Led Executive, most of analysts had expected a smoother and collaborative approach to governance. Unfortunately, the 8th senate has refused to followed laid-down expectations of the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC). The Party leadership lost out in elections of the senate and House of Assembly leadership. With the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki alligning with the PDP Senator to execute a coup de grace that produced a PDP senator, Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President. Equally, the alliance occasioned several PDP senators chairing several important committee of the senate.

Saraki and his executives have continued to survive on their political dexterity against a group of sharks and lions from the APC planning and orchestrating a change of leadership in the senate. Three years and several scars latter, the Saraki team has shown great tenacity at holding on to the senate leadership seat, but current attack was the worst challenge not to Saraki and his men but to the Nigerian democracy which we all must resist otherwise our hard fought growing democracy might be the victim.

Today’s attack on the Senate by the Ovie Omo-Agege led coalition supporting the PMB refusal to accent NASS amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act is an affront on our democracy which raises several issues that must be addressed immediately, or we are really in greater trouble as the 2019 elections approaches.

Security: In a country where we have nothing less than six different gun totting security agencies supposedly guarding and providing coverage for over 400 NASS VVIPs; That translating to over 400 security aide on premises of the National Assembly -not minding the Police and SSS Units deployed to secure the Institution on permanent basis- as at time of attack; the Mace of the Senate was carted away  by a few hoodlum. This is a great challenge on our security agencies intelligence abilities, response time to incidence and understanding of their assigned duties.  Who really was in-charge of the National Assembly security and protection details? Aside from running after their bosses, carrying bags for their wives, and assaulting the public, are there any real security functions for the security aides to politicians?

Discipline: The political class are getting loose in their acts in recent ties. apparent lack of concise political leadership occasioned by a senile and partial party leadership has created a culture of individual empires within the Nigerian political class. This lack of respect has been ascribed to the loose arrangement that midwives the APC and produced its leadership before the 2015 elections. Senator Omo-Agege (the reported leader of these hoodlum) has reached above his head and there is a need to caution such move immediately. Regardless of his angst, no-one has the right to rob the senate of the Federal Republic. The Nigerian elites have to forget which side this senator stands on and call him to order. He should be as a matter of national emergency, be arrested and stand trial for robbery and nothing lesser. He should be made to understand that the National assembly is not a village meeting in anyone’s village.

2019 Elections: More at risk is our commonwealth as a nation if great security risks like this are occurring at the eve of our national elections. While direct efforts should be concerted on the recorvery of the stollen Mace, a rethink of our security mix and strategic response during an attack should be undertaken as a matter of national emergency. maceThe security of the nation is at risk and we must really call all to task in propagating a fool proof, thug and hoodlum free elections come February 2019.

Editor.

SHOCKING!!!: The Moment when The Senate’s Mace Was Stolen (Pictures)

Africa, APC, local news, Nigeria, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power

SHOCKING!!!: The Moment when The Senate’s Mace Was Stolen (Pictures)

Courtesy of TVC’s Sumner Shagari Sambo
Information reaching SW have it that there was an ongoing Pandemonium in the National Assembly as some hoodlums hijacked session and tried to make away with the Mace of the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria during Plenary. Reports are still sketchy, meanwhile we will give you further updates as issues develop here….

Reports from Premium Times Read:

The Senate plenary was on Wednesday disrupted after suspected thugs invaded the chamber and made away with the mace.

The incident happened few seconds after a suspended senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, entered the chamber.

PREMIUM TIMES reporter observed that about 10 suspected thugs who came to the venue with the senator forced their entrance into the chamber.

Seconds later, the thugs ran out of the chamber with the mace causing pandemonium in the Senate.

They left the National Assembly with the mace in a black SUV.

The mace is the symbol of authority of the parliament.

One of the security personnel at the entrance of the National Assembly said the thugs told him and other officers they were with the senator.

“We tried to stop them but they told us they were with him (Omo-Agege),” he said.

The senators are yet to reconvene as at the time of filing this report.

 

source: nai

Senate Summons Adeosun, Emefiele Over ‘unauthorised $462m’ For Helicopter

APC, Corruption, economy, local news, Military, Nigerian Army, PMB, Politics, Terrorism

Senate Summons Adeosun, Emefiele Over ‘unauthorised $462m’ For Helicopter

adeosun1     emefiele.jpg

The senate has summoned Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, and Godwin Emiefele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), over the alleged withdrawal of $462 million from the federation account without approval of the national assembly.

Also summoned to give reasons for the said withdrawal is Mansur Dan-Ali, minister of defence.

The upper legislative chamber summoned the trio after Sam Anyawu, a senator from Imo state, raised a motion at plenary on Tuesday.

Anyanwu drew the attention of his colleagues to the alleged withdrawal of the money.

He made reference to section 80 (2) and (3) of the 1999 constitution which prohibits such withdrawal without the consent of the lawmakers.

“I have it on good authority that in March 2018, a whopping sum of $462 million was withdrawn from the federation account and paid for helicopters to an American firm called Helicopter Tecno Fights Helicopters,” he said, adding: “And I know there was no such approval from the senate.”

ALSO READ  Oba Of Benin And Other High Chiefs Land In Abuja On An Historic Visit (Photos)

He urged the lawmakers to invite the three governnment officials “to tell us how this money was withdrawn and paid to an American company without the approval of the senate.”

The upper legislative chamber adopted his prayers for the trio to be summoned by the committee on appropriation and asked it (the committee) to report back to them after one week.

source: nai

Two Reps members dump PDP for APGA

2019 Elections, Nigeria, PDP, Politics

House of RepsThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lost two of its members in the House of Representatives to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The two members, Ben Nwankwo and Anayo Nnebe, both from Anambra State made their decisions known in separate letters read on the floor of the House by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

The duo claimed that there was division in the state chapter of the PDP, a party which sponsored their election to the House of Representatives.

The defection of Messrs Nwankwo and Nnebe is the first in favour of APGA since the inauguration of the 8th Assembly in 2015.

PDP has been the major casualty of defection of members since 2015 as it has lost at least 15 of its members and gained only 1 from the APC.

APGA now has three members in the House of Representatives, making it the third political party with representation in the National Assembly after APC and PDP.

Reordered election battle: We can’t be disbanded – Pro-Buhari senators

2019 Elections, Politics, Power

sarakiMembers of the Parliamentary Support Group (PSG) for President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday faulted the Senate’s resolution disbanding their association, saying they cannot be intimidated.

PSG was formed as a result of the passage of the amendment made to the 2010 Electoral Act on February 14 this year.  The group was against the reordered election sequence said to be targeted at President Buhari.

The Senate on Thursday suspended the secretary of the PSG, Senator Ovie Oma-Agege (APC, Delta) over his remarks that the public perception was that the reordered election sequence was targeted at Buhari. Aside the suspension, the PSG was also proscribed.

Daily Trust gathered that immediately after Oma-Agege was suspended, members of the group met at the National Assembly where they reviewed the proscription of PSG among others.

It was gathered that at the meeting which lasted for about an hour with key members in attendance, they resolved to ignore the proscription and continue with the association. In a phone interview, one of the leaders of the PSG, said their group could not be disbanded.

The senator, who did not want to be named, said five other groups were in existence in the Senate.

“We have five other groups in the Senate. So, why are they saying they have disbanded ours?  We have Southern senators’ forum, Northern  senators forum, APC caucus,  PDP caucus and even Northeast caucus. They are all interest groups like ours.

“Ask Saraki, how did he emerge as the Senate President ? Was it not through the like minds group? Why are they after the PSG? Freedom of association is guaranteed by the constitution,” he said.

Describing the proscription as unconstitutional, he said they had resolved to go ahead with the group, adding “We are going to meet this week. No going back on this.”

Even though Oma-Agege’s suspension was hinged on a court case he instituted, it was gathered that his main offence was the collation of signatures against the reordered election. Senators told our correspondent that weeks ago, Oma-Agege moved from one office to another collating signatures for the support of President Buhari’s decision.

Buhari had in a letter read on March 13, this year at both chambers of the National Assembly, rejected the amendment made to the Electoral Act, citing constitutional matters.

Weeks ago, the Senate began the move to override the President’s  action. A bill to that effect sponsored by Senator Nazif Suleiman (APC, Bauchi) has scaled first reading. It is expected to be listed for second reading any time from now.

Magu Not Fit as EFCC Acting Chairman – Nigerian Senate

Politics, Power

maguChairman, Senate Committee on Public Petitions, Ethics and privileges, Senator Samuel Anyanwu has stated that Nigeria Senate no longer regard Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He gave this revelation at a press conference while reacting to questions bothering his Committee.

“There are petitions against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by some Nigerians, but my Committee does not see Ibrahim Magu as the Acting Chairman and that is why he was not invited”, Anyanwu said.

The lawmaker further said his committee would use 2018 budget defense to track down Magu.

“The 2018 budget is here, we will it as instrument against PMB for defying Senate resolution on Ibrahim Magu”, Anyanwu submitted.

Senator Ekweremadu: Blame ancestors for Nigeria’s problems

Politics, Power

ekweDeputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said, Friday, that Nigeria’s leaders over the years should be blamed and held responsible for the nation’s many problems associated with the nation’s diversity.

Ekweremadu also faulted the notion that the Nigeria’s diversity was the cause of her internal divisiveness and wrangling, just as he blamed Military incursion into the country’s politics for the seeds of discord and distortion of Nigeria’s federal structure, which he said has now left Nigeria a Federal Republic in name, but a Unitary Republic in practice.

Speaking Firday in Abuja while speaking at the first Isawa Elaigwu Foundation Annual Distinguished Lecture themed “Federalism, Diversity, and Nation-Building: Tackling the Challenges of integration in Nigeria, the deputy Senate President who noted that it was sad that decades after Nigeria’s independence and the civil war, “the crisis of identity, ethno-religious squabbles, debilitating nepotism, pampering and promotion of mediocrity, sectional segregation, and other factors that were responsible for the war have persisted”.

Ekweremadu further said that “The results of all the military adventures are structural imbalance, resource capture through the destruction of the principle of fiscal federalism, centralisation of the police system, and inequity in the distribution of opportunities.”

The deputy Senate President urged Nigeria to learn from the United States of America, which, according to her former Vice President, Joe Biden, took a vast continent and diverse people and mouled them into a united representative of democracy, where people see themselves as Americans first.

He said, “Moving forward, we have to accept the reality of our diversity. Since we cannot run away from that we are diverse, we must take urgent steps to salvage the nation and manage our diversity better for effective nation-building as many other nations have done.

“During his second term bid in 1864 in the last days of the American civil war, Abraham Lincoln dropped his Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin, a fellow Republican. He settled for Andrew Johnson, who was not only from Tennessee, one of the Confederate States that opposed the Union, but also a Democrat as his running mate. Magnanimous in a virtually achieved victory, Lincoln wanted to rebuild trust and unity, ensuring that every American was given a sense of belonging, irrespective of the side he or she belonged to in the bloody war.

“The current and first female President of Singapore, Halimah Yacob, is of Malay origin, a minority race in the country. Chinese constitute over 75% of Singaporean population, while Indians and Malays account for much of the rest.

“Therefore, our diversity is not our problem in the real sense. We are instead the problem of our diversity. We can leave together despite our challenges. We can forge a tightly knit union where no man feels oppressed. It only requires the political will to build a just and an equitable society to give every constituent part a sense of belonging.”

The Senator who insisted that not much could be achieved without an overhaul of the nation’s federalism, said, “An overhaul of our federalism is at the heart of rebuilding Nigeria for equity, justice, and prosperity. If we restructure, the federating units will become the centres of development again, with little emphasis and pressure on the federal government.

“If we restructure the security system, the constituent parts will take charge of their internal security alongside the federal police.

“If we reintroduce fiscal federalism, no people will feel robbed or cheated of their resources; every constituent part will earn its living. The best will be allowed to excel since only the best can increase productivity. As is the case in Canada, less endowed states will benefit from Equity Fund to ensure even development.”

INVESTIGATION: Senator Foster Ogola in certificate scandal

local news, Politics

A Nigerian lawmaker, Foster Ogola, has taken his spot on the infamous list of prominent Nigerians with certificate scandals attached to their names.

A few weeks ago, a confidential report was made using the Leaks.NG platform hinting that the senator, currently representing Bayelsa West senatorial district, has fake credentials from an unaccredited university in Nigeria.

“Sen. Foster Ogola has a fake PhD. His official profile on the NASS Website says he has a PhD from GMF Christian University. There is no official site for the university and it is not accredited by the NUC. There is also no research paper or thesis to his name online. Although he got the degree in 2012,” the report alerted.

On his official National Assembly profile, the senator is credited with having a PhD in Christian Leadership from the GMF Christian University Lagos, the same course he reportedly has an MSc. in from the Imo State University, Owerri.

Upon enquiry by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), it was revealed that the federal government has not licenced the GMF Christian University, Lagos, where Mr Ogola claims to have earned his PhD from in 2012.

NUC reacts

The Director of Corporate Communications of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Ibrahim Yakasai, was contacted on the validity of the institution.

“We have never heard of that name,” he said.

A copy of the commission’s weekly bulletin provided by Mr Yakasai showed a list of 57 illegal universities operating in the country; GMF Christian University was not among, buttressing the fact that the commission is even not aware of its existence.

The director also said that since 1999, the NUC has approved 74 private universities in the country and ‘’any certificate obtained from the GMF Christian University or any other degree mill will not be recognised by their authority.”

Other discoveries made by Leaks.NG coalition informed that the GMF Christian University still has no website offering information on the institution or its courses and there is no information on the Christian Leadership course the embattled senator purports to have a PhD in.

PREMIUM TIMES reached out to Mr Ogola, who is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information Communication Technology and Cybercrime, to speak on the allegations levelled against him including attending an illegal university and obtaining a fake certificate.

In response, he said: “Kindly clarify for me if Premium Times does exist, to entertain allegations from third parties, whose identities are not mentioned, especially, when they are criminal in nature.”

Rather than answer the questions raised, the lawmaker stated that the allegations could be a product of “mischief makers with a potential to foment distraction from weighty matters of state.”

On the unaccredited GMF Christian University, the senator was asked if there was an exemption from the NUC on the Christian Leadership course which Mr Ogola purportedly has a doctorate degree in.

“When did students or products of universities become accrediting bodies?,” the lawmaker said obviously not addressing the question.

In an attempt to verify GMF Christian University’s existence and understand how it operates in Nigeria, a member of the Leaks.NG coalition, TheCable, paid the academy a visit.

TheCable traced the Gospel Missionary Foundation (GMF) Theological University to 165 Isolo road, Cele bus stop, Egbe-Ikotun, Lagos.

It was revealed that the controversial university lies on the first floor of a two-storey building. Besides the one and only lecture room, which was empty at the time of visit, there are about three other rooms serving as offices.

Hope Obioha, the registrar and wife of the president of the university, Daniel Obioha, who claimed to be a professor, received the reporter who went there under the guise of a prospective student.

She took the reporter to her office where she introduced him to the university and the courses it offers.

According to the materials given, GMF Christian Theological University was established on May 4, 1988 and is registered by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

It says it seeks to fulfil its commitment to ‘‘individual special ministry calling, through graduate education, professional development and spiritual formation in all its activities including teaching, nurturing, worship, service, research, publication and missions.”

Mr Obioha and his wife established the university. When asked if the NUC has accredited the university, the registrar said that they do not operate like a secular university, hence, the university is not registered under NUC.

She presented the “accreditation certificate” of the university by some international bodies. Checks revealed that all the bodies that gave the debatable accreditation do not have an online presence.

However, one of the materials she released contains the graduating list from 2013 to 2016.

It is worthy to note that 2012 is the year Mr Ogola claims to have obtained his PhD in Christian Leadership.

Additionally, the Christian Leadership course was not reflected in the list of courses offered by the illegal university at doctorate level.

On a second visit to the GMF Christian University on March 13, the centre was empty again as the man who introduced himself as a lecturer said it was examination time.

He said while the full-time students attend lectures on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the part-time students go on Saturdays alone.

He was reluctant to release the list of those who graduated in 2012, but the reporter obtained a Skye bank account of the university in order to pay for the admission process for a “diploma in theology.”

At the end of both visits, TheCable was still unable to establish the veracity of the senator’s claim that he attended the school and has a PhD. in the Christian Leadership.

The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) was unable to find any Christian Leadership course offered by any school in Nigeria.

Daniel-Dino-Melaye

On March 30, a member of the House of Representatives, Nse Ekpenyong, was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for the alleged forgery of a polytechnic diploma.This report was put together by Leaks.NG, a coalition of news and civil society organisations, which provides a platform for Nigerians to submit evidence of wrongdoing by public office holders in Nigeria.We have permission to publish.WhatsAppFacebook315TwitterEmailLinkedInPrintTelegramGoogleSkypeMoreDOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APPNow available on TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call WillieAll rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.More in Headline StoriesChampions League: Barcelona, Manchester City Crash OutBuhari makes 23 new appointments including rectors for six polytechnics (FULL LIST)Abacha Loot: Controversy trails requested payment of $16.9 million to AGF Malami’s lawyersBuhari in NASS [Photo Credit: Linda Ikeji’s Blog] ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/09/Buhari-in-NASS.jpg?fit=526%2C315&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/09/Buhari-in-NASS.jpg?fit=604%2C361&ssl=1″ style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif; vertical-align: baseline; height: auto; width: 245px;”>Buhari writes Senate, makes 26 new appointments (FULL LIST)Special anti robbery squad of the Nigerian police force used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: Pulse.ng] ” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/12/SARS1.jpg?fit=465%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2017/12/SARS1.jpg?fit=604%2C453&ssl=1″ style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: none; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-size: 14px; font-family: georgia, ‘times new roman’, times, serif; vertical-align: baseline; height: auto; width: 245px;”>Bribe-seeking SARS officers force Nigerian writer to hide in bank toiletCommonwealth Games: Nigeria wins three gold medalsTop NewsIke Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President ” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2015/12/Ike-Ekweremadu.jpg?fit=526%2C296&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2015/12/Ike-Ekweremadu.jpg” style=”max-width:100%;” />