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Page 17 TSA: Buhari won’t divert public funds – Minister By Muideen Olaniyi The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has dismissed as…

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TSA: Buhari won’t divert public funds – Minister

By Muideen Olaniyi

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has dismissed as a contrived distraction the alleged fraud in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the rumoured diversion of the TSA funds to bankroll elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

Mohammed’s reactions followed the allegations raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State that the TSA was a fraudulent policy from the federal government.

The minister, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday through his Special Adviser, Mr Segun Adeyemi, said if those behind the accusation had allowed themselves some measure of honesty, they would have realized that there has not and there will be no such impunity under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is understandable that the psyche of those who are making the frivolous allegations concerning the TSA has been badly affected by the impunity that permeated the country under the immediate past administration, when unappropriated funds were freely used to finance elections and the public till was seen as an extension of personal piggy banks.

“But the lies that have been wilfully disseminated by scandalmongers over the TSA cannot and will not fly, because it was precisely to put an end to such impunity that Nigerians voted massively for President Buhari, who has an unblemished reputation for integrity, due process, transparency and the rule of law,” he said.

HURIWA, TMG criticize Taraba judgment, seeks INEC probe

By John Chuks Azu

Following the judgment of the Taraba State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, which on November 7 sacked Governor Darius Ishaku, two non-governmental organisations have criticised the verdict.

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday stated that the judgment was akin to undermining the will of the people of Taraba State.

This is even as the Taraba Mandate Group (TMG), in a statement described the judgment as ‘strange verdict’ and commended Nigerians especially senior lawyers for speaking out against it.

“For a long time Nigerians have never been united on a matter the way they did on the funny conclusions of the tribunal which sacked Governor Darius Ishaku. Apart from the bizarre nature of the judgment, Nigerians suddenly saw through the cracks and dissected the political drama playing out,” said Gani Bako, the public relations officer of TMG.

HURIWA’s national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, wondered why the panel relied on the report of INEC, that no primary was conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), nominating Ishaku as its sponsored candidate.

It called for an independent investigation into the role played by INEC which said there was no primary in the state by the PDP.

While also calling for a probe into the clashes that happened in the state after the judgment, which led to loss of lives, HURIWA said government must investigate every aspect of the verdict.

PDP national conference a failure – N’Delta youth leader

From Doyin Adebusuyi, Ado Ekiti

An activist in the Niger Delta and a chieftain of the Peoples

Democratic Party (PDP), Afoke Okporua, has described the party’s recent national conference held in Abuja as “nothing but a failure and a reception to celebrate mediocrity and reward political naivety.”

In a statement made available to Daily Trust, yesterday in Ado Ekiti, the Niger Delta youth leader regretted that the conference, which sought to re-brand the party, ended without achieving the much anticipated goal.

Okporua said: “The conference could be likened to a gathering of minute political characters sourcing for media attention to gain relevance, promote verbal promiscuity and squander the resources of the party. The pertinent issues craving for resolutions were left,” he said.

Such issues, according to him, include alleged trampling on the

party’s constitution by the acting chairman, the Ekweremadu report on why the party performed abysmally at the 2015 polls, the biometric registration which was initiated and handed over to Chief Raymond Dokpesi, zoning, which is the bedrock to achieve political unity in pluralistic Nigeria and the role of the youths in the party.”

Court throws out suit against Yobe gov over certificate

By John Chuks Azu

A suit by an aggrieved governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yobe State against Governor Ibrahim Gaidam over alleged certificate forgery has been dismissed by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Engr. Mustapha Mai Haja had filed the action against Gaidam, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seeking the disqualification of Gaidam.

Delivering judgment yesterday, Justice Adeniyi Ademola held that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

He explained that the choice of a party’s candidate is an internal affair of a political party.

Mai Haja had contended that Gaidam made false declaration in INEC Form CF 001 and a false School Leaving Testimonial by the Borno State Government on 22nd December, 1969 “when Borno State Government of Nigeria and Yunusari Local Education Authority (LEA) were yet to be created or come into existence.”

He contended that this is a breach of the provisions of Section 31 (1) to (6) of the Electoral Act 2010.

Beside alleging that Gaidam forged the school Testimonial, Mai Haja claimed that the governor had exceeded the term limit provided in sections 180 (2) (a), 181 (1), 182 (1), 182 (1) (b), 185 (1), 186 and 191 of the Constitution of Nigeria “having held the office of the governor of Yobe State since 28th of January 2009, from two previous elections into the said office held in 2007 and 2011 respectively.”

Ministers’ choice justifies Buhari’s ‘slow, steady’ pace

By Judd-Leonard Okafor

The Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI) says President Muhammadu Buhari’s newly inaugurated cabinet justifies the six months he took to form his cabinet.

AANI, which is the alumni of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), had months ago questioned the pace at which Buhari was running the government.

But at a dinner in honour of 64 graduates of its Course 37, president of AANI, retired General Lawrence Onoja, said, “Even though Nigerians have legitimate concern for speedy change, President Buhari has also shown governance that is slow and steady is far more rewarding, given the quality of ministers he appointed.”

Onoja urged the new ministers to help Buhari realise his vision for Nigeria, insisting that, “Nigerians are anxiously waiting with great expectations.”

He urged both Buhari and his ministers to patronise NIPSS, an

institute attended by top minds in policy and strategy, stressing that its policy bank will assist in nation building.

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