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APC Is Covering Up Cases Of Corruption – Femi Falana

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Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday accused the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government of covering up cases of corruption.

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Disclosing this in a statement personally signed by him, Falana claimed that about 20 legislators in both chambers of the National Assembly altered the budget by “inserting constituency projects worth N100 billion in the 2016 budget. Both the Senate and the House allocated to themselves N60 billion and N40 billion respectively.”

The human rights activist noted that if “it is established that the alterations were effected after the passing of the budget by both houses the issue at hand goes beyond padding. A clear case of conspiracy, fraud, forgery and corruption can be established against the suspects.”

He explained that padding “takes place when legislators resolve to rewrite the budget by introducing new items outside the estimates prepared and presented to them by the president.

“The controversy over the padding of budget was laid to rest with the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 which has imposed a duty on the finance minister to source input from certain institutions including the national assembly during the course of preparing the budget.

“That is when negotiations and horse trading with the executive by the legislators is allowed. But neither the Constitution nor the Fiscal Responsibility Act has empowered the National Assembly members to rewrite the national budget by including constituency projects whose costs are arbitrarily fixed by the legislators.”

Under section 81 of the Constitution, Falana pointed out that only the president “is given the exclusive power to cause the budget to be prepared. Upon the preparation of the budget by the executive, it shall be laid or presented to the National Assembly by the president.”

He argued that in debating the Appropriation Bill, the legislators might reduce the estimates if there “are errors or inflation of the cost of items or if certain items provided for has been purchased before or for any other genuine reasons.

“But the National Assembly cannot increase the budget in any manner whatsoever. So, the unilateral introduction of constituency projects is totally illegal and unconstitutional. By introducing new items, the National Assembly has usurped the powers of the President to prepare the budget.

“In other words, the legislators would have prepared the budget and laid it before themselves and then passed it. That is a negation of the doctrine of separation of powers. The appropriation bill or amended appropriation bill is not like other bills.

Whereas other bills shall emanate from either of the two houses, money bills shall emanate from the President.

“So a money bill is a special bill which cannot be subjected to additions by the national assembly because it has no power to prepare it. Padding is an unconstitutional infraction when the estimates are increased on the floor of the House. The infraction becomes criminal when the Appropriation Bill is altered by a few legislators after it had been passed by both houses of the national assembly.”

He, therefore, said the speaker claimed that the padding of the 2016 was not a criminal offence, noting that Dogara’s confidence “is likely to have been anchored on the statement credited to the presidency that the budget was not padded in any material particular.

“Before then, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had decided to follow the discredited path by treating the serious allegation of monumental corruption as a family affair of the ruling party.”

But unlike the PDP, Falana noted that the APC government failed “to act timeously. In other words, a cover up is no longer possible at this stage as the cat has been let out of the bag. For now, Dogara has no choice, but to defend the criminal allegations.

“Contrary to Dogara’s misleading contention, the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act has not conferred immunity on him with respect to allegations of criminal offences. Since the immunity conferred by the Act is limited to contributions to debates by members of the National Assembly, he cannot ward off the invitation of the Nigeria Police and the EFCC to react to the criminal allegations leveled against.”

The Senior Advocate cited what happened when the 2005 appropriation bill was under consideration in the Senate, noting that some senators including the then Senate President padded the budget of a ministry after collecting N55 million bribe from a minister.

He said the scandal led “to the removal of the senate president who was later charged with his indicted colleagues and the minister. The Supreme Court has recently ordered that the suspects be tried for corruption having thrown out the preliminary objections filed against the charges by them at the trial court.”

Source: BreakingTimes

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When there is life, there is hope” – Simi comforts Nigerians

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When there is life, there is hope” – Simi comforts Nigerians

As expected, many Nigerians especially the youths are dejected and in utter despair with the unraveling of events in the country, however, Simi has advised not to lose hope.

The singer and mother of one who noted that she had to take a break from it all, disclosed that she switched off her phone, handed her daughter over to her mother and went on to record in order to maintain sanity and has advised others to do whatever works for them.

Simi who admitted to being clueless as to how the process of legislation works in this country as many others are, has advised everyone to bring whatever they have to the table; lawyers, tech people, etc., and those who know better to come forward to speak and disseminate information so that everyone can be well informed.

The ‘No Longer Beneficial’ crooner also stated that we need access to our reps and senators; their phone numbers, email addresses, etc., should be made known so that constituent members can reach them and prevail on them to truly represent their interests there.

Simi advised that though it doesn’t look like it right now, there are gains to this awakening and Nigeria will prevail.

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Some Nigerians Think I Am Weak – Buhari

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Some Nigerians Think I Am Weak - Buhari

President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari slammed some Nigerians yesterday for taking his swift response in disbanding the Special Anti-robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police as weakness.

Stating this during his National address on Thursday evening, October 22, 2020, Buhari said sadly, the promptness with which he acted seemed to have been termed as a sign of weakness.

Read his statement below;

“As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

On approving the termination of SARS, I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests”.

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Ojora indigenes stop hoodlums from vandalizing their King’s palace (Video)

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Ojora indigenes stop hoodlums from vandalizing their King’s palace (Video)

The moment the youths of Ijora community of Lagos state prevented hoodlums from invading and destroying the palace of the Ojora of Ijora, Oba Fatai Oyeyinka has gone viral.

Residents of the community were seen blocking the palace and refusing the hoodlums entrance into the royal house which they said has been in existence for years.

Here is the video below;

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