Dogara Under Fire For Saying Padding Not Corruption

Yakubu-Dogara-new (1)Prominent groups and individuals have berated the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, for claiming that budget padding is not an offence.

In separate interviews on Friday , they said that the Speaker’s statement showed that he was not sensitive to the suffering of Nigerians.

Dogara, after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, said that he would not resign over the budget padding allegation levelled against him and 12 others by a former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin. The Speaker also said that budget padding was not an offence under the law.

In an interview with journalists after the meeting, which  lasted for 30 minutes, the Speaker said, “I studied Law and I have been in the legislature and all this period I have never heard of the word ‘padding’ being an offence under any law.”

It is criminal—Falana, Afenifere, others         

Condemning the Speaker, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), insisted that the alleged padding of the Federal Government’s budget by some members of the National Assembly constituted a criminal offence.

He explained that the offence of padding the budget was not a “once-and-for-all” like murder.

The senior lawyer said it started as conspiracy while planning it and concluded when it was used to draw money fraudulently after the budget had been passed.

Falana had also said that it was logical for those implicated in the scam to step down because Jibrin had done the same.

He said, “The act violates Fiscal Responsibility Act. Section 13 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act prescribes that relevant agencies, including the National Assembly, make input into the budget. Relevant government agencies are required to do the costing for the projects to be included in the budget.

“It is expected that negotiation and costing of projects should have been concluded while the preparation is going on. Budgeting is a process. Budget is money bill, which must necessarily originate from the executive. Section 81(1) of the Constitution says the President shall cause the budget to be prepared and lay it before the National Assembly. The National Assembly cannot cause the budget to be prepared and lay it before itself.

“What the National Assembly can do after the budget is laid before it is to reduce the amount if it is convinced it is inflated.

“So it is conspiracy when they increase the amount or insert projects into the budget. The criminal act is concluded when they now draw from the funds they have inserted.”

Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke said the appropriate thing for the Speaker to do is to resign first and face investigation.

He said, “As for Dogara, morality beckons on him to resign and face investigation. When there are allegations of such against a public officer, that’s the appropriate thing to do. But that only happens in civilised societies. Nigeria too is a civilised society, but it’s unfortunate we’ve never seen something like that happening.

“Some of us concerned citizens are pleading with Dogara to step down and face investigation. But if he does not want to do that, we will wait and let the course of events take its turn.”

Also the spokesman of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said, “Budget padding is intent to commit an offence no doubt but the speaker should shelve impunity by showing some remorse.

Odumakin stated, “He should appreciate the level of angst in the society. If people have not been paid for several months and cannot afford to eat, you can’t be telling them that ‘padding’ with billions of naira is not an offence.”

On his part, the Executive Director of Conscience Nigeria, Tosin Adeyanju, said that the National Assembly should be made less attractive.

“The National Assembly’s financial dealing is shrouded in secrecy. The House must come out clean on the matter by making the investigation public and participatory so as to restore their dignity among Nigerians,” he said.

Also, the President of Campaign for Democracy, Abdul Usman, said that budget padding without following the due process was illegal.  He called on the Speaker to resign.

Usman stated, “Dogara should resign for this illegal inclusion of projects that doesn’t exist in his constituency in the 2016 budget, as alleged by his colleague.”

He called on security and anti-graft agencies to investigate those involved in the illegal action.

The President of Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Malachy Ugwummadu, said if the Speaker was not disposed to stepping down, then the least expected of him was “to remain extremely circumspect without the air of dismissive arrogance and impunity.”

He stated, “The extraneous technical response sought to be communicated to the public that ‘padding’ is unknown to our criminal jurisprudence is reminiscent of President Jonathan’s failed attempt to draw a non-existing distinction between stealing and corruption which is very provocative and completely unacceptable to the people of Nigeria, who are the direct victims of the financial recklessness of the state actors including the Speaker.”

Spokesperson for the Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Eric Omare, said the Speaker should stop justifying an action tantamount to corruption.

Omare described budget padding as one of the reasons why many government agencies have been underperforming, adding that “any action that is immoral in the course of governance is corruption”.

He said, “In this case, some parts of the country got more than some others. So because Dogara is the Speaker, he put more than N4bn contract in his constituency alone whereas some constituencies did not get any. In my view, that is corruption.

“And not only that, in some cases, as alleged by Jibrin, they tampered with budgets of some agencies and ministries such as the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of Niger Delta. It is immoral and condemnable; he should not try to justify it and what he did is one of the reasons why a lot of government agencies are not performing because the budget process has been distorted.”

Reacting to the issue, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja, Lagos Branch, Monday Ubani, described Dogara’s statement as very unfortunate and the hallmark of an unremorseful person.

According to him the lawmaker should cover his face in shame and resign honourably over the weighty allegations against him, rather than trying to convince Nigerians of his innocence by being the judge in his own case.

He said, “If it is true that Dogara said that padding is not corruption, then it is a most unfortunate statement from him. It goes to show that he does not have any form of remorse on what he is alleged to have done and all the atrocities committed under his nose as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

““Already from some of his statements he has already acknowledged the fact that the budget was padded, in law that is enough to prosecute him. Legislators are not supposed to be adding figures to our national budget; it is the prerogative of the President and governors at the state level.

“In saner climes somebody like him would have resigned willingly or forced to do so. It is unacceptable to watch somebody who has been alleged to commit such crime to remain as the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria. Putting up a defence that padding is not corruption is insulting our collective sensibility; he is in fact spilling petrol on fire.”

The National Coordinator, Rights Monitoring Group, Mr. Olufemi Aduwo, described the alleged padding of the budget as “forgery”.

He said, “That action is purely forgery and it will be an embarrassment to Buhari’s government if Dogara still remains as the Speaker of the House.

Even the same forgery happened in the Senate. The issue of injecting frivolous figure into the nation’s budget started many years ago. They don’t just inject alone, they do it in connivance with ministries, departments and agencies of the government.”

The PUNCH had reported exclusively on Friday that Buhari would meet with Dogara on the matter.

I won’t reconvene the House now –Dogara

The Speaker, who was accompanied to the meeting with the President by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Suleiman Kawu, said he would not reconvene the House now.

Dogara also told State House correspondents that he would not resign to pave the way for thorough investigation of the allegations.

He said with his experience as a lawyer and a federal lawmaker of many years, he had never heard padding as being an offence under the law.

He also ruled out the possibility of reconvening the House before the September scheduled resumption time over the matter, saying the House of Representatives is not a mock institution.

Dogara also claimed that he was not worried by the allegations levelled against him.

On whether the House will sanction Jibrin on the matter, the Speaker said the Chairman of the House’ Ethics Committee was in the best position to answer the question.

The following encounter took place between the Speaker and reporters:

Reporter: What informed your visit to the Presidential Villa this Friday?

Speaker: You mean I can’t come and see my President? Do I need any reason to come and see my President? It was a private visit.

Reporter: Was the issue of alleged budget padding discussed?

Speaker: What is budget padding?

Reporter: The language emanated from your chamber

Speaker: I don’t know, educate me. I am a lawyer and the Speaker and I have never heard of the word “padding.” What does “padding” mean?

Reporter: Your former chairman of Appropriation Committee is saying you padded the budget. What is your reaction to that?

Speaker: Ask him. He who alleges must prove; that is the law in Nigeria.

Reporter: Are you not going to defend yourself?

Speaker: Am I before a court?

Reporter: There are people saying you should reconvene the House before September resumption time and step aside for thorough investigation to be carried out. What is your reaction to this?

Speaker: We have rules and regulations. This is not a mock institution, we operate by rules and we will follow the rules.

Reporter: Will you resign?

Speaker: Resign for what? For what?

Reporter: On this allegation.

Speaker: What is the allegation?

Reporter: That you and some members of the leadership padded the budget.

Speaker: What is padding? You haven’t told me. Ask Jibrin what is padding? For me, I studied Law and I have been in the legislature and all this period I have never heard of the word “padding” being an offence under any law. If I don’t know, you are the media, research the law and let me know

Reporter: Are you worried?

Speaker: Worried for what? Worried over nothing? Why should I be worried? As far as I am concerned, I am not worried over anything.

Reporter: Will there be sanctions for Jibrin?

Speaker: I am not the Chairman of Ethics Committee of the House so I wouldn’t know and I don’t know what padding means.



I Can Never Return To PDP – Obasanjo

Olusegun-ObasanjoWEWW… says whoever believes I’ve return to PDP will doubt his mother’s gender

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has reiterated his last year exit from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to became an elder statesman, saying he left the party when it was still alive.

Obasanjo said having announced his exit from partisan politics publicly, it is unthinkable and preposterous for anybody to contemplate that he would reverse himself and returned to a comatose PDP

The ex – Chairman, Board of Trustee(BoT) of PDP made this known to reporters in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Saturday in a release, ostensibly to dismiss media report purportedly linking him with a meeting of the Convention Committee of his former party at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Ardua Centre, Abuja last Friday.

Obasanjo said whoever believes such false media report would certainly doubt the gender of his or her mother.

According to who was a two time elected President of Nigeria from 1999 – 2007, he attended farmers’ event at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre organused by the Commodities Association Stakeholders on “Zero Hunger Nigeria” and not for any PDP event.

He noted that those behind the media report linking him with the PDP convention committee’s meeting were probably looking for ways to annoy and embarrass him, but assured that anybody hoping to drag him back to PDP for whatever reason would fail just “like any man serving a dead mice to a cat.”

“If I quit a party when it was alive and seemingly united, how could I go back to a now divided, factionalized party gasping for breath?”

“Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman.

The elder statesman explained that he had ordinarily attempted to ignore the media report, but felt compelled to clarify the situation due to plethora of phone calls he was still receiving from people who were confused about the said report.

“To clear the minds of doubting Thomases and those behind the orchestrated news in circulation and particularly those who had been calling to ascertain what actually happened at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua centre”.

“The meeting commenced but few minutes into the session, his attention was drawn to the presence of some people walking up to where he was seated. At closer glance, he recognized them to be politicians and they exchanged pleasantries, saying they came to greet him and they walked out again from the meeting”.

The release which was signed by Obasanjo’s media aide, Mr Kehinde Akinyemi, stated that “Obasanjo cracked jokes with members of his former party on which platform he was elected as civilian president in 1999 before he later became the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of same party, calling them ‘invaders and gate-crashers’.

“The programme ended and immediately he and his entourage headed back to Lagos. He was barely hours in Lagos when he started receiving calls from both far and near, wanting to find out about his presence at a political party programme in Abuja.

“The photo as well as the media report in circulation, which claimed that he was spotted at a political party event is therefore mischievous, as a responsible journalist ought to have gone further to ascertain his actual destination in among the number of venues at the centre.

“They simply took the photograph of his alighting from his vehicle to read another meaning. It is shocking also to note that the picture was actually taken while on his way out of the Centre after the programme he attended had ended.

“This is height of irresponsible journalism, which the former President is calling for its investigation and sanction on anybody involved in order to serve as deterrent to others who may want to be used either by omission or commission to misinform the public on such sensitive issue.”


…..The Nation

Appeal Court Upholds Bello’s Election

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday upheld the election of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

A five-member panel led by Justice Jumai Hannatu Sankey held that the appellant, James Faleke, failed to substantiate his allegation that Bello was not qualified for the election.

Justice Sankey, who read the lead judgment, resolved all the six issues determined against the appellant.

The panel consequently upheld the judgment of the election tribunal and dismissed Faleke’s appeal.


….The Nation

My Mission In Villa – Jonathan

Jonathan-BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari bids farewell to the former President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan after a close door meeting at the State House in Abuja According to him, Nigeria’s prominent position in the global map is attributable to its size, diversity and human resources. Jonathan spoke to State House correspondents after holding a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. His response followed questions on his role towards ensuring peace and stability in the Niger Delta. He said: “It’s not just about me but about all the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders that are of Ijaw ethnic nationality. We have been in touch to see that peace reigns in the country. “Those who have followed my talks when I was here, my emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasize that Nigeria is great, not just about the oil. So many countries produce more oil than Nigeria, nobody notices them. We are great because of our size, the human resources we have, the diversity we have. If we fragment the country, we will be forgotten by the world. “That has been my focal position and without peace there cannot be development anywhere in the world. We are all working collectively to see that issues are resolved.” My mission in Villa Speaking on his mission to the villa, Jonathan said he was there to brief President Buhari on his emergence as the leader of African Union, AU, elections monitoring team to Zambia. He said: “You asked why I came to see the President today, one key thing is that having been a head of a government, a former President, you become a state property.  That’s the privilege you have but every privilege has its corresponding responsibility, and once you become a state property, most of your international engagements, that have to do with public addresses and some international assignments become national assignments, you brief the President. “Even when I was here, former Presidents used to do that and see me. I have been coming. Most times, I come in the night, that’s why you don’t see me. I came to brief the President about some of my engagements. “As you are aware, I will be leading the AU elections monitoring team to Zambia. I came to brief the President about some of these external engagements. It is the tradition.” I’ll talk at appropriate time on corruption The former President, however, denied comments on the corruption saga in the country, saying he would speak at the appropriate time. “I don’t want to talk about that one because there are too many cases that are in court. It will not be fair to make comments. I will talk at the appropriate time when most of these things are resolved,” he said. Jonathan, who arrived the Presidential Villa at exactly 1:55pm, left at about 2:18 pm. Anenih a great asset to Nigeria Meanwhile, former President Jonathan also, yesterday, described former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of  Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, as a great asset to the country. In a congratulatory message to Chief Anenih who is 83 years old today, Jonathan said it would be placed on record the elder statesman’s wisdom, patriotism and time-honoured commitment to the strengthening of democracy and national growth. Jonathan said:  “I wish to most sincerely congratulate you on your 83rd birthday.   I am glad the Almighty God has blessed you with the grace of long life and good health, in accordance with your manifest dedication to national development. “There is no doubt that you have been a great asset to our dear nation while serving her in various capacities, especially in the critical areas of politics, peace building and security systems. “Nigerians and the people of your home state will continue to be grateful to you because of your wisdom, patriotism and time-honoured commitment to the strengthening of our democracy and national growth. You are a natural leader of the people and you have demonstrated that clearly over the years.”


Dogara Gave $25,000 To Each Rep, Says Jibrin

dogara jibrinA former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Wednesday alleged that the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, handed out $25,000 to lawmakers so that they could pass a vote of confidence on the speaker.

Jibrin claimed that Dogara opened a register at his Asokoro guest house where each member who signed was handed the cash.

Last week, he made a similar allegation against nine members of the House Committee on Appropriation, who disowned him. In the case of the appropriation committee lawmakers, Jibrin alleged that they took a bribe of $20,000 each.

Among those who disowned him were his former Deputy, Mr. Chris Azubuogu, who is still the deputy chairman of the committee.

The members all denied the allegation.

In the latest allegation, the former chairman claimed that the Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, coordinated the disbursement of the cash to lawmakers.

He said Mohammed was assisted by the Chairman, Committee on Interior, Mr. Adams Jagaba, and the Deputy Chief of Staff to the speaker, Mr. Cyril Maduabum.

Jibrin, in a series of tweets on Wednesday, said he was ready for the investigation into his “budget padding” allegations against Dogara by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission and the police.

He denied that he was not being sponsored by external forces to destabilise the House.

Jibrin tweeted, “Fellow Nigerians, in a desperate attempt, corrupt Speaker Dogara and the three others have opened a register for a vote of confidence signature.

“The register is opened at his Asokoro guest house located at Wilberforce Juta Crescent. Hon. members are given $25,000 to sign.

“This disgraceful act is coordinated by Hon. Zakari Mohammed, Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba and DCoS to Mr. Speaker, Hon. CID Maduabum.”

“Investigation by anti-graft agencies is already on and I pledge to support the investigation and prosecution of these corrupt public officers.

“I am also obliged to respond to some allegations that I am sponsored by some external forces to destabilise the House of Representatives.”

“No external forces in this matter; if there are any, they deserve commendation for sponsoring a struggle to wipe out corruption in the House.”

Jibrin added that he expected the four officers to resort to religious “blackmail” against him soon.

Reacting, Dogara’s deputy chief of staff, Maduabum, dismissed Jibrin’s latest allegation, saying that it was beginning to follow a pattern.

He stated, “The disgraced Hon. Abdulmumin has once again accused me of being involved in coordinating the distribution of $25,000 to various members in the House of Representatives Zonal Caucus  in order to support the Hon. Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dogara Yakubu.

“It is true that he loves mentioning my name, but is he so unintelligent not to notice a pattern. Hon. (Nkem) Abonta disagrees with him on national television, he immediately adds his name in a petition to the EFCC; Hon. (Adams) Jagaba grants an interview against him, he adds his name in the charge sheet which he carries about.

“The Appropriation Committee members disowned him, he immediately alleges inducement of $20,000; the whole House rises against him, then immediately everyone is given $25,000 USD each.

“Can he not see that no one needs to be induced when he is on a one-man riot squad to denigrate all members of the House and pull down the institution of the National Assembly?

Maduabum said Dogara was a “democrat” and an “incorruptible Nigerian,” who would not do any of the acts Jibrin accused him of committing.

However, Mohammed, a former Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs in the 7th Assembly, denied Jibrin’s $25,000 allegation.

Mohammed also described the allegation as “cheap blackmail” and another “tales by moonlight.”

He stated, “I want to state that the accusation is not only untrue but it is another tales by moonlight to hoodwink Nigerians to malign my image.

“Fellow countrymen, please disregard this cheap blackmail aimed at playing to the gallery. I challenge Mr. Jibrin to name at least 10 members or less, who benefited from the bribe.

“My advice to Mr. Jibrin is that he should stop the mud-slinging of my person and concentrate on licking his self-inflicted wounds.”

Meanwhile, the secretariat of the appropriation committee remained shut on Wednesday, the fifth day running.

The Department of State Services operatives still guarded the office, denying members of staff access into the place.



Shekau Rejects Al-Barnawi, Says He Was Deceived By ISIS

Abubakar-ShekauAbubakar Shekau, who was replaced by Islamic State as Boko Haram’s leader has spoken out about the news, claiming that he was betrayed and denouncing his purported new leader as an infidel.

He said this in an audio message, his first in over one year, after IS on Tuesday published an interview with Sheikh Abu Musab al-Barnawi in its Al-Naba online weekly magazine in which he was introduced as Boko Haram’s new leader.

In the interview, Barnawi talks about the history of jihad in this region but makes no clear reference to Shekau.

Since March 2015, Barnawi has appeared in several videos distributed by Boko Haram, claiming responsibility for successive attacks, earning him the reputation of group spokesman, experts say.

But in his message, Shekau takes aim at Barnawi, dismissing him as an infidel who condones living in an un-Islamic society without waging jihad.

And in a tacit acknowledgement that his own position as leader may have been usurped, he speaks of being tricked by some of his followers.

“They deceived me,” he said.

“And now I find myself being forced to follow another character who practices disbelief,” he says, in a message which becomes increasingly more animated as he speaks.

Berlin-based jihadist expert Yan St-Pierre of the Modern Security Consulting Group, who confirmed the voice in the audio recording as Shekau’s voice, said his message had laid bare divisions within the group.

St-Pierre said the message suggested Shekau was trying to retain his base of support within Boko Haram without compromising the commitment to IS.

“In the message, Shekau refers to Boko Haram under its previous name, but with some ISIS propaganda elements, as if he wanted to reassure its old combattants and base, without denying his commitment to (its leader Abu Bakr) al-Bagdadi,” he said.

Speculation over the fate — and alleged disappearance — of Shekau has been rife in recent months: he was last seen in a YouTube video in March, looking weak, and saying: “For me, the end has come.”

He became Boko Haram leader after Nigerian security forces killed the group’s founding chief Mohammed Yusuf in 2009, sparking an insurgency that has left 20,000 people dead and forced 2.6 million people to flee their homes.

But the group has become fractured under his leadership, experts told AFP after the Barnawi interview was released.

“Boko Haram has lost its prestige and become difficult to control (under Shekau). Today, Boko Haram is divided into several little groups,” St-Pierre said.

And a Nigerian security analyst said he believed Shekau was still alive, but that IS may be seeking to clean up Boko Haram’s reputation among jihadists, by ousting a leader seen as disorganised and unreliable.

Boko Haram has been pegged back by an aggressive fightback from the Nigerian military since January 2014, losing territory and its capacity to mount conventional attacks.



APC Wades Into Dogara, Jibrin Feud

Abdulmumin-Jibrin• Rep submits statement at Force Headquarters
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has waded into the crises rocking the House of Representatives over alleged padding of the 2016 budget.Yesterday, members of the national executive committee (NEC) of the party met behind closed doors with the sacked chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumini Jibrin, who fired the first shot.

APC ‘s Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawan Shuaibu, who specifically arranged the parley, disclosed that it was aimed at ending the feud between Jibrin and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara and the three principal officers of the lower legislative chamber.

Shuaibu claimed that he, alongside members of the national executive committee (NEC) of the party had earlier in the day met with Speaker Dogara to achieve the objective.

Meanwhile, Jibrin yesterday submitted a written statement to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on his involvement in the budget imbroglio.The lawmaker was seen at the Force Headquarters on Monday, where he stayed for more than two hours before he left. But yesterday’s visit was different as the former Chairman House Committee on Appropriation sought audience of Police investigators, when he showed up towards evening at the Force Headquarters and gave a statement of

what he knows about the budget-padding debacle.The source told The Guardian that “even though it is an offence bordering on morals, Jibrin intends to put everything on record, follow due process and feel he is doing the right thing by coming to give a statement as the matter is to be investigated.

At the APC parley were national secretary of the party, Mr. Mai Mala Buni, the national vice chairman of the party (North west), Mr. Inuwa Abdulkadir and the national treasurer of the party, Mr. Ibrahim Gwagwarwa.

“We discussed extensively on the crisis in the House of Representatives. We will continue to discuss and engage ourselves, I will continue to honour the invitation of our party and I am sure that whatever we decide you will eventually know,” Jibrin told waiting newsmen.



APC Quizzes Jibrin Over Budget Padding Allegations

Abdulmumin-JibrinThe leadership of the All Progre‎ssives Congress APC is currently meeting with sacked Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Dr Abdulmumuni Jibrin over his claims that Speaker Yakubu Dogara padded the 2016 national budget to the tune of N40 billion. Decked in a white flowing African robe (Kaftan), Jibrin arrived the secretariat around 2:09pm in a black land cruiser numbered, Abuja, BWA 768 AM. He went straight into the office of the Deputy National Chairman, North, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu. The party had Monday written Mr Jibrin to appear before it by 2pm today. Journalists are for now barred from the meeting.


INEC Promises ‘Conclusive’ Governorship Election In Edo

INEC-LOGOThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday assured that the September 10 governorship election in Edo State would be conclusive.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr. Sam Olumekun, gave the assurance at the commission’s voter education implementation meeting in Benin.

“We want to assure the people that we are prepared to conduct a conclusive governorship election on September 10,’’ he said.

Olumekun said inconclusive elections were not about INEC, attributing the problem to violence and thuggery by politicians.

He said the meeting was to critically x-ray the effective ways to sustain voter education ahead of the election.



…….The Nation

FG To Provide 180,000 Housing Units For Civil Servants — Buhari

President-Muhammadu-BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari, said the Federal Government would provide 180,000 cost-effective and affordable housing for various categories of workers in the federal civil service by 2019. Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Power, Works, and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, disclosed this at the ground breaking ceremony of the Federal Civil Servants Housing Estate in Abuja. He said the Federal Integrated Staff Housing, FISH, programme initiated by office of the Head of Service of the federation, apart from addressing welfare concerns of civil servants, would contribute in no small measure to the development of national economies through the generation generation of employment in the building and allied industries and its attendant increase in financial intermediation and economiec activities. Buhari explained that despite the allocation of over N40 billion to housing in the 2016 budget, the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, taking cognisance of the resource constraints in the economy, would implement the housing project under the Public-Private-Partnership policy of his administration. Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifered Ekanem Oyo-Ita, in her remarks,  lamented that a large proportion of civil servants lived in slums and unplanned settlements because of their inability to own a house or rent decent accomodation in a planned layout or in the city. She said it was, therefore, pertinent to implement the FISH programme to enable civil servants own homes as a means to uplift their morale, commitment, stewardship, and quality during and after service.