Weekly political notes
2019: Court Nullifies National
Assembly’s Amendment Of Electoral Act
An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has nullified the amendment of Section 25 of the Electoral Act, which was passed in February by the National Assembly.
In a judgment on Wednesday, the court presided by Justice Ahmed Mohammed ruled that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the powers to create an election template for the country.
The judge also ruled that any attempt by the National Assembly to amend the Section 25, as done by the legislature, would first require an amendment of the Constitution.
The Accord Party filed the application after both chambers of the National Assembly attempted to implement Section 58 of the constitution, which allows the legislature to override the decision of the president.
While some Nigerians may be surprised by this judgment, not many would be, considering that the National Assembly by its action may have overreached it’s constitutional powers.
There is no way the National Assembly can re-order election sequence without, amending the Constitution first. Doing so amounts to putting the cart before the horse.
The judgment is line with the position of the Weekly Political Notes since the issue became a public discourse some weeks ago.
Even though, the National Assembly has recently set aside reordering of election sequence in the ongoing 2019 Electoral Act amendment for reasons best known to its members, it is expected of them to appeal the judgment, knowing full well that the ruling came from court of first instance.
This will not only help to deepen democracy, it will also enrich jurisprudence in the country.
If not for the way elections are being conducted in Nigeria, order of election sequence shouldn’t be a bone of contention between the executive and legislature.
This is because constitutionally, it is the responsibility of the electoral body to fix, conduct and announce election results.
But who cares especially when Nigeria politicians are always ready to play politics with anything.
Mace Theft: National Assembly Tightens Security
National Assembly has tightened security in its premises following last Wednesday’s invasion of the Senate by unknown persons, who took away its mace.
This was evident from the numerous security checks and questioning by different security officers from the main entrance of the National Assembly to the main building.
The Senate’s plenary was on April 18 invaded by thugs, allegedly led by suspended lawmaker, Ovie Omo-Agege. The step to tighten security was the resolution of the Senate at an executive session on Tuesday.
The closed-door meeting, which lasted for over two and half hours was presided over by the Senate President Bukola Saraki and had most of the lawmakers in attendance. Saraki, after the session, explained reasons for the decision, as he called for the full cooperation of the public.
Hhhmm, tightened security at where, the National Assembly premises, for what? Ok just because of mace and selfish interests and safety of the senators.
What about tightening security in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and others places where armed bandits and militia herdsmen have been killing innocent Nigerians on daily basis?
That is how they prioritise their people’s needs. It is all about them first before any other person.
But for Saraki and his cohorts, they should not be deceived by the so-called tightened security at National Assembly’s premises, knowing full well that they are not in control of the security agents.
Security could only be tightened in the National Assembly, when the powers-that-be wants it to be tightened.
And it could also be loosened when they also want it to be so. It goes beyond Saraki and his colleagues, mouthing that security has been beefed up in the National Assembly, without being sure how long and reliable such could be.
So, it is better for Saraki and his colleagues to be battle ready for it is not yet uhuru, especially as 2019 elections draw near and politics gathers momentum.
2019: I’m Not Desperate To Be President-Atiku
Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar has said he is not desperate to become president in 2019, as some Nigerians have said.
“If I am desperate, I wouldn’t have stepped down for M.K.O Abiola in 1993 presidential race,” he said.
Abubakar stated this on Tuesday, in an interview with BBC Hausa morning programme. He said if Nigerians could follow his political antecedent, they would not see him as a desperate politician.
“In 1993, I contested with M.K.O Abiola. I later withdrew from the race. In 1999, I was elected a governor of Adamawa state, then invited to be Nigeria’s vice president, under Olusegun Obasanjo,” he said.
Atiku, Atiku, we hear you, but you can say that to the marine. Nigerians knows that an average politician is desperate for power and you are not different, simply because you are a politician. Are you not?
You may also deny, but Nigerians know that you are. You cannot say you are not a desperate politician, when you have become a serial defector, all in a bid to realise your presidential ambition.
Your political actions and inactions are synonymous with desperation.
Even your estranged ex-boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has once described you as a desperate politician. It is known that you stepped down for MKO Abiola in 1993, because your political godfather, Major General Shehu Musa Yar Adua (rtd) compelled you to do so, when it was obvious that you had no chance.
But you are free to keep trying your luck; who knows if you will be lucky in 2019. That is if you enjoy the support of the PDP governors to win the party ticket first before contesting the presidential election, possible against incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari.
It’s Buhari, National Assembly’s Duty To Set Up Special Anti-Corruption Courts – CJN Onnoghen
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, said it is the duty of the executive to set up special courts for cases related to corruption.
Onnoghen stated this on Tuesday, after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa. The CJN had proposed the establishment of the courts to fast-track dispensation of justice on corruption cases.
Yesoooo CJN, you are very right. But how do you expect members of the National Assembly to set a trap that will catch them? Have you forgotten that many of them, especially the ex-governors have corruption cases hanging on their neck?
How do you expect people who tried to amend CCB Act and asked for immunity, simply because Senate President Bukola Saraki is facing corruption trial to support the setting up of anti-corruption courts?
Do you want some of them to be jailed? You must be dreaming or joking. This is not possible for members of the current National Assembly.
Even if Buhari proposes a bill in that direction, it will not see the light of the day at the National Assembly. That is the reality.
Majority of Nigerians, especially public office holders just pay lip service to anti-corruption fight. Besides, remember that an average Nigerian is a suspect of corruption.
Buhari Backs Oshiomhole For APC National Chairman
Former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole looks set to become the next national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), with the majority of the governors elected on the platform of the ruling party backing him.
At a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa on Tuesday night, the governors, led by Progressives Governors Forum Chairman Rochas Okorocha, proposed to the President their interest in the former labour leader. Sources at the meeting said the President did not object to the request.
Well, this is not surprising at all, considering that Oshiomhole has been angling for relevance since he left office as governor.
Now that all appear set for Oshiomhole to get a plum job of national chairman of the ruling APC, it is hoped he will not create more problems for the party ahead of 2019 elections.
It is not known how the governors arrived at the choice of Oshiomhole, but it is believed the governors and the Presidency are ready to bear Oshiomhole’s style of leadership.
As for John Odie-Oyegun, it appears the game is over and it is time to bow out. No amount of ranting, intrigues or subterfuge may save your seat longer than the convention day.
It may have dawned on you now that Oshiomhole’s endorsement at the controversial Southsouth meeting of APC stakeholders in Benin City enjoyed the backing of the powers-that-be in the party.
Arrested Melaye Jumps Out Of Police Van
Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) was on Tuesday night confined to a hospital in Abuja, where he was admitted after he was reported to have attempted to escape from police custody.
Melaye was stopped from travelling to Morocco on Monday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, because “he is on the wanted list”. A police contingent thereafter laid a siege to his residence.
On Tuesday, he surrendered himself to the police, whose men took him in their van and were headed for Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, where the senator is due to face criminal charges for allegedly being in possession of firearms illegally.
The police said Melaye attempted to escape by jumping out of the vehicle through the window after some hoodlums in two Toyota Hilux vehicles blocked the vehicle conveying the senator to Kogi State.
It is surprising that the Melaye/Police drama has become endless. It will be good for the Nollywood practitioners to make a video of it titled ‘Once Upon A Senator’ for the posterity. What is wrong with Melaye and what is he afraid of that would make him to jump out of van?
He is behaving like somebody who has something to hide. If not, why jumping out from Police van? Why is Melaye afraid of facing trial in Lokoja, if he is sure his hands are clean? This shows that Melaye is not man enough, despite his claim of being an activist.
Now that INEC is set to commence Melaye’s recall process today, it will not be a surprise to see him jump from hospital bed and rush back to his senatorial zone to frustrate it.
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