Tuesday, 13 April, 2021

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Take back your independence from Executive now, PDP Reps caucus tells NASS


…corruption in NDDC since inception has nosedived
…giving $1m of Niger-Delta people to an individual is the height of corruption

..774,000 jobs is diversionary
…ask Buhari to  step up governance or expect impeachment notice

The House of Representatives Peoples Democratic Party, PDP caucus on Sunday advised the National Assembly to immediately take back its independence from the executive arm of government before the country becomes rudderless.

The caucus apparently peeved by recent developments in Nigeria asked President Muhammadu Buhari to step up governance or relevant sections in the 1999 constitution as amended of the Federal Republic on impeachment would be invoked.

This was contained in a statement entitled: “Deliberate and calculated blackmail of the National Assembly by the Executive Arm of Government; call for action’ signed by Rep Kingsley Chinda asking the National Assembly to take back its independence from the executive.

The caucus raised issues bordering on the state of insecurity in the country, the rate of unemployment, the disrespect for the parliament by appointees of the executive, and several others.

The statement reads:

“It is too glaring that there is a deliberate and calculated blackmail by the Executive to ridicule the National Assembly and bring the parliament into public odium. The odious events of the past few weeks, chiefly orchestrated by unconscionable officials of the Executive arm of government who continue to show disrespect for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the ethos, notions and governance practices that shape constitutional democracy, underscore the blackmail.

“Recall three of several events of the past few weeks. On Thursday 16th July 2020, a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour walked out on the House Committee on Diaspora unprovoked.

“Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour, who appeared before the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity walked out on the Committee over a disagreement that arose between him and the Committee on two specific questions: (1) What modalities the Ministry of Labour had put in place for the successful execution of the alleged Public Works’ employment scheme of the Ministry; (2) Why was the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) not mandated to oversee the said Public Works’ employment scheme, since it was within the statutory remit of the Directorate. Keyamo chose to walk out on the Committee. No matter how plausible his reasons are, a walkout on the Parliament is unacceptable.

“A few days ago, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Daniel Pondei, walked out on the Committee of the House of Representatives charged with the responsibility of investigating the financial scandal that has rocked the Commission. Again, regardless of his reasons, a walkout on the Parliament is inexcusable.

“The three arms of government are empowered to work in sync, within the bounds of the basic law, and deliver on the responsibilities and mandates assigned to them by the Constitution. No one arm is superior to the other.

“However, the Executive arm has gone about itself like the Leviathan, taking the legislature and judiciary prisoners. This should not be so in a constitutional democracy in which the Constitution is held out as inviolate and inviolable. To hijack other arms of government, supplant them into obsequious rubber stamps arms, is to subvert the Constitution.

“If the totalizing and unconscionable behaviours of members of the Executive arm enhance governance in our country, our position here would have been made tenuous by the fact of the good governance that their misbehaviours enthrone; but it is not the case.

“There is a total collapse of all governance and structural systems in the country due to bad or near absence of governance. We groan under a government where armed robbers have now seized our highways; operatives of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Forces have taken over the streets of our towns and cities, killing and maiming Nigerian youths. Worse still, security is at its lowest ebb. Terrorists, kidnappers and bandits have taken over vast ungoverned swathes of our country. Katsina, the home state of the Commander-in-Chief is on its knees. In fact, everywhere is unsafe in our country. The internal security of the country has been compromised as Boko Haram continues to inflict violence and death on Nigerians, while President Buhari continues to sound like the broken record.

“The behaviours of appointees of the Executive arm are mere smokescreens to create a diversion from high level of corruption of the executive arm.

“Keyamo’s 774,000 public works jobs are ATM s directed at siphoning money from the treasury akin to the school feeding programme of pupils at home. No more. The beneficiaries are to earn N20,000 for three months totalling N60,000.00 and N58billion has been voted for these phantom jobs? How else can we explain a non-sustainable scheme, with no end value”.

Credit: Vanguard

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“He covered my mouth with one of his hands, but I continued moaning in pains until one of our neighbours, who wanted to a bath asked how many people were in the bathroom.

“The neighbour insisted she would not leave there until those in the bathroom came out.”

It’s the devil— Suspect

On his part, the suspect admitted culpability, blaming the devil for his action.

Asked why he had to assault the teenager in the bathroom, he replied: “It was the devil’s handiwork. I went to look for the devil

“When I came out, I begged the woman not to expose me, but she did. I have also begged the police to allow us to settle the matter among both parties, but they refused.

“If I go to jail, who will take care of my children, especially my daughter who is mentally deranged?”

Meanwhile, the second suspect, Peters, reportedly took the 11-year-old girl to a Church, where he allegedly defiled her.

Like Okwuome, he was caught in the act and both suspects were charged before the Ogba Magistrate’s Court.

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