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Labour Party crisis: Apapa insists on planned Bauchi NEC meeting, asks police to arrest Abure



The Lamidi Apapa faction of the Labour Party on Monday said its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting scheduled to hold in Bauchi State on May 3 is “to right the wrongs and illegality of the contempt of court orders perpetrated by Julius Abure whom the FCT High Court restrained from parading himself as National Officers of the Labour Party.”

Newsmen reports that the embattled Julius Abure faction of the party on Sunday described the proposed NEC by Apapa as “illegal, fake and unauthourised.”

A statement by a factional spokesman, Obiorah Ifoh, asked members of the party to ignore the invitations extended to them by Apapa, saying he did not have the powers to summon a NEC meeting, being a suspended Deputy National Chairman.

But, Apapa in a swift response said the NWC of the LP under his watch has invited all the labour party stakeholders to the NEC meeting, including the party’s presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, and the Abia State Governor-elect, Alex Otti.

Apapa stated that elected state and National Assembly members from the party, NWC & NEC members, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and others have all been invited too.

According to a statement signed by the spokesman of the faction, Abayomi Arabambi, and made available to Newsmen, Apapa recalled that the “NWC had given the Inspector-General of Police and Director General, Department of State Security Service, a leave to arrest and prosecute one Obiora Ifoh an impostor impersonating as the Acting National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, LP.”

Apapa stressed that Abure and three others have been restrained by the court from parading themselves as National Officers of the Labour Party LP.

Their restrainment, he said, followed police investigation and forensic audit report “that indicted Abure and others for forgery, perjury and criminal conspiracy with financial malfeasance to the sum of over four hundred million naira (N400,000,000.00).”

He said that Abure deliberately committed contempt against the FCT High Court over the restraining orders reportedly issued on April 5, 17 and 20, 2023, by “illegally conducting a Labour Party NEC meeting in Asaba, Delta State on 18th April, 2023 and issuance of illegal appointment letters to states executives etc.”

While tagging the Asaba NEC meeting as illegal, Apapa disclosed that “warrants of arrest have been procured for the arrest of Julius Abure and others” over their indictment for alleged “forgery, perjury and criminal conspiracy.”

He spoke further that: “The NWC has declared as illegal, null and void and of no consequence, the charade conducted by Julius Abure and his criminal gang on 15th April, 2023 during the gubernatorial primaries conducted in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo states in the 2023 off season elections for November, 2023.

“Abure wittingly and surreptitiously tricked Mr. Peter Obi, Governor-elect Alex Otti of Abia State, Senators, members House of Representatives and states Assembly members elected on the platform of the Labour Party 2023 to commit contempt against the FCT High Court Restraining Order on them.

“The authentic National Executive Council, NEC meeting of the Labour Party has been scheduled for 3rd May, 2023 in Bauchi, Bauchi State by the Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa led National Working Committee, NWC and there is no going back.

“Obiora Ifoh should be disregarded as his press release is useless and of no consequence amounting to the antics of a buffone.

“The Labour Party under the leadership of Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa shall continue to operate within the limit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it affects the FCT High Court Restraining Order on Julius Abure and others from parading themselves as National Officers of the Labour Party and in accordance with the Labour Party constitution 2019 as amended.

“The Labour Party NWC led by Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa has committed itself to reclaiming the stolen mandate of Labour Party, using the Election Manager Situation Room Mobile Application to recover all the missing Forms EC8A littered across the polling units in Nigeria for which Julius Abure couldn’t provide over 42,000 polling units Agents for the 2023 presidential and national elections.

“The matter in FCT High Court bothers on criminality of Forgery, perjury and criminal conspiracy against Abure while the matter in Benin High Court bothers on Abure’s suspension from the ward.

“The resolution from the illegal NEC meeting conducted by Julius Abure on 18th April, 2023 in Asaba Delta State is null and void and all those purported suspended and expelled are voided.”

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Benue Assembly passes bill for Civil protection, Magistrates remuneration



By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

A bill for a law to establish the Benue civil protection guard has been read for the second time on the floor of the Benue state House of Assembly.

In a leading debate on the bill, the house Majority Leader, Mr Saater Tiseer said Benue State and her citizenry have been  prone to attacks by various militia groups.

Hon. Tiseer explained that a speedy passage of the bill would enable the state take the center stage of their own security and protection and moved that the bill be read for the second time.

Seconding the motion for the second reading, the house Minority Leader, Mr Michael Audu further explained that they valued the security of their constituents and appealed to members to support the bill overwhelmingly.

In a unanimous decision, the house agreed that the bill be read for the second time.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Hyacinth Dajoh invited the Clerk, Mr Bernard Nule to read it for the second time and it was referred to the rules and business committee for further legislative scrutiny.

In a related  development, the bill for a law to provide for a retirement age and improve remuneration for Magistrates also passed second reading on the floor of the house.

Also in a lead debate, the Majority Leader expressed worry that the Magistrates do not have accommodations, protection and official vehicles.

He further stated that the Magistrates should be respected and protected so as to be motivated to do their constitutional responsibilities effectively.

“Imagine a Magistrate who is handling a kidnapping or terrorism case and he is still using a motorcycle as his means of transportation, that one is already open to attacks,” the Majority Leader stressed.

He moved that the bill be read for the second time and it was seconded by Audu.

The House agreed that the bill be read for the second time and the Speaker referred it to the rules and business committee for further scrutiny.

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Ogun Assembly passes Local Government amendment law



By Omobolaji Adekunle, Abeokuta

The Ogun State House of Assembly has passed the Local Government (Amendment) Law, 2024, to allow for the creation of an Audit Department in the Local Government administration with a view to further entrenching transparency, prudency and improved service delivery.

The passage of the bill followed the presentation of the Committee report by the Chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Jemili Akingbade, who also moved the motion for its adoption, seconded by Hon. Dickson Awolaja, and supported by all the members through a voiced vote at a plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oludaisi Elemide at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

The bill was later read and adopted clause-by-clause before the Committee of Whole, after which the motion for the third reading of the bill was moved by the Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff, seconded by Hon. Adeyinka Ademola and supported by the Whole House through a unanimous voice vote.

Thereafter, the Deputy Clerk of the Assembly, Barr. (Mrs.) Funmilayo Adeyemi, took the third reading of the bill before the lawmakers, following which the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oludaisi Elemide,  directed that the clean copy of the bill be transmitted to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for his assent.

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States now enjoy over 50% increase in FAAC under tinubu – APC professionals forum



All Progressives Congress (APC) Professionals Forum has lauded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the significant increase in the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to states under his administration.

Speaking at the inaugural edition of the Asiwaju Scorecard Series in Abuja, on Tuesday, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the forum, Dr. Isa Yuguda, noted that the over 50 percent increase in FAAC was part of the positive fiscal impacts of the subsidy removal.

Presenting an extensive review of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s first year in office. The forum focused on two critical issues: the state of the Nigerian economy and the power sector.

In his address, Dr. Yuguda emphasized that President Tinubu did not create the existing economic challenges but has been effectively managing them to prevent further deterioration.

He therefore highlighted the President’s decisive actions, including the controversial removal of the fuel subsidy. He argued that the removal of the subsidy, long mired in corruption, was necessary and beneficial, pointing out that petrol importation had decreased by 50% since June 2023.

“The President did not create any of the problems people are talking about whether in the economy or in the other sectors. Infact what he met on ground would have created a worse situation if not properly handled but he is championing reforms that are required to pave way for a better society.

“We all recall how on assuming office, President Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy but again for the avoidance of doubt he did not remove subsidy on PMS. It was not in the later part of the 2023 budget but surprisingly the Tinubu administration has had to bear the brunt for subsidy removal.

“Let me quickly add that my opposition to fuel subsidy has been well documented since the Goodluck Jonathan years when as chairman of a subcommittee on the economic meltdown, we recommended its removal after a discovery of the scam being perpetrated in the name of fuel subsidy.

“A recent study also showed that inspite of the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, Nigeria still paid billions of naira for fuel subsidy even though in reality, domestic fuel consumption was very low.

 “Indeed, the President has today been proved right with the manner petrol importation has gone down by 50% since June 2023 and it is almost certain to go down more in a few months when the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery begin to produce PMS locally as well as the impending resumption of production at the Port Harcourt and Warri Refineries,” Yuguda claimed.

He further stated that the N1.2trilllon FAAC shared by states in April was unprecedented and laudable.

“If any Nigerian is still in doubt about how payment of subsidy has over the years strained the country’s resources, they must have seen how the subnationals now receive more than double what they used to get from Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

“At the last FAAC meeting, the total distributable revenue for April 2024 was N1.2trilllon, the highest ever disbursement in history. This time last year in the subsidy era, what was shared was N655.8bn.

“So the subnationals especially are receiving double their previous allocations and therefore have more funds for critical infrastructure and should be doing more to provide succor to the people.”

The address also touched on the Tinubu administration’s unification of exchange rates, a move that eradicated bolstered economic growth. “The economy grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared with 2.54% in the preceding quarter. Capital importation was up by 66% in Q4 of 2023 compared to a 33% decline in the previous quarter,” Dr. Yuguda stated.

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