Day: August 8, 2018

Amosun To Announce Successor

Reports reaching us allege that the State Senator lbikunle Amosun CON,FCA,  is set to announce his successor to take over the mantle of the state leadership after he leaves office next year.

The Ogun State Governor, our sources say, will announce his Chief of Staff Chief Tolu Odebiyi as his successor and favorite to clinch the APC’s ticket for the Gubernatorial race.

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Chief Tolu Odebiyi,  who hails from lboro-Yewa, Ogun West, had his senatorial ambition side-stepped in 2015 by the leadership of his party, APC.

His father, Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, was the Minority Leader in the Second Republic Senate on platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria.
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The Wentworth Institute of technology Boston, Massasuchets USA – Building Construction and Engineering graduate is described as a workaholic and a hands-on man, just like his boss.

 

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Police Suspect gang Involvement In Deptford Arson Attack That Killed Schoolboy

Detectives investigating the murder of seven-year-old Joel Urhie in a suspected arson attack on his family home believe he may have been the innocent victim of a gang war.

Officers are looking at the possibility that members of a gang were targeting Joel’s 21-year-old older brother, who is said to be known to police.

Joel was found dead after the blaze at the semi-detached house in Deptford in the early hours yesterday.

His mother, Sophie Urhie, a nurse, and 19-year-old sister escaped by jumping 15 feet to the ground from a first-floor window. They were recovering from their injuries in hospital today.

Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan, who is overseeing the murder inquiry, said that police had not identified any suspects, but it was “difficult to imagine” a seven-year-old was the target for the attack.

Joel Urhie, who died in a suspected arson attack on a house in Deptford, south-east London, in the early hours of this morning (PA)

Joel’s family issued a photo yesterday of Joel wearing a firefighter costume for a birthday party. They said the “sweet and intelligent” child who played football and loved cars had dreamed of becoming a firefighter.

Ms Urhie was a congregation leader at the New Wine Church in Woolwich, which said in a statement: “Young Joel was a wonderful, loving member of our church family and we will deeply miss him.”

A neighbour, Mcklushia Myles, 36, a carpenter, said Ms Urhie’s other son Sam had got into trouble “once or twice” in the past over knife crime.

Another friend told The Sun: “This might be because of something Sam did. He was involved with the wrong people. He used to live there before he went to prison and was there for a bit afterwards when he came out.

Death of seven-year-old in Deptford house fire being treated as murder

“He was apparently involved with gangs and stuff and it might be the case the people who did it were after him.”

Sam was not staying at the house at the time and was driven to hospital later to see his mother and sister.

Neighbour and close family friend Grace Gbenedio, 56, who went with him to hospital, said: “While we were in the car he was just shouting, ‘Why him?’

“Then when we were at the hospital he said, ‘Oh, why not me? It should have been me. Why not me to die?’”

Devastated: John Urhie speaking near the scene of a house fire on Adolphus Street, Deptford (PA)

Joel’s father John Urhie, 54, who did not live at the address, said: “He was a very lovely boy who was just loving life and it’s a terrible loss.

“He played with everyone around here. He was a very nice looking boy. It’s terrible, the pain we can never forget.”

Detectives are appealing for information in connection with the attack and say they are working with fire brigade experts to establish exactly how it started.

Police and forensics officers at the scene of the house fire in Deptford (PA)

Det Supt Corrigan said: “We believe that the fire was started deliberately but at this stage I am unable to go into any further detail due to operational reasons.

We have no idea what the motive for this attack was. We’ve got no suspects at this time.”

Six fire engines and around 35 firefighters tackled the blaze in Adolphus Street after they were called at 3.25am on Tuesday. Nearby properties were evacuated as a precaution and crews brought the fire under control just before 4.50am.

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 0208 345 3715 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Evening Standard

Read Full Text Of Saraki’s Speech. Promises to Leave As Senate President If Impeached By Two Thirds Of members

 

The following is the full text of the statement by the president of Nigeria’s Senate Olubukonla Saraki at a world press conference held at the National Assembly complex, Abuja on Wednesday.

The conference was called as the senate president’s response to the alleged siege laid on the NASS building by armed operatives of the Security service,  DSS,on Monday.

The incident resulted in the dismissal and subsequent arrest of the head of DSS by acting president Yemi Oshibajo.

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1. It is a matter of record that yesterday, lawmakers and staff of the National Assembly were prevented from entering the National Assembly Complex by heavily armed security agents of the Department of State Services (DSS). All entries to the Complex were blocked as early as 6.30 am. The National Assembly, the seat of democracy in Nigeria, was under lockdown. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives were prevented from gaining access.

2. The ensuring standoff was a show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the country. In no circumstances should this have happened. And we as a nation reaped the bitter fruits instantaneously, as evident in media images relayed around the world, images that shame us as a democratic nation. The siege was also an act of cowardice by those seeking to carry out an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate in flagrant disregard of the law. People who seek control at all costs, by whatever means, never minding the injury to democratic norms.

3. We have to say that this is not about us – Abubakar Bukola Saraki or Yakubu Dogara as an individual. It is not about Ike Ekweremadu, nor is it about Yusuf Lasun. We are speaking for my colleagues when I say that this is about the soul of Nigeria, what we represent as a country, (people) and our standing in the comity of nations. This is a country where so much is expected of us, so many rungs of the ladder that we are supposed to have ascended as a nation. Instead we are wallowing in impunity and illegal show of force, all of which retard our progress.

4. This is most disheartening. We don’t get any joy in saying: We said so. We don’t. However, some of you may recall that about two years ago, I stated that there was a government within this government, to a purpose that was not in the interest of what the people voted for. I said it then, and now, almost on a daily basis, we are seeing the manifestations of that government within a government. It beats one’s imagination how the head of a security agency could have authorized the brazen assault on the legislature that we saw yesterday. Only recently we saw in Benue how 8 members of the 30 members of State House of Assembly with the collaboration of security forces, DSS and police tried ot impeach the Governor. Despite the threat to our lives, we shall continue to fight impunity and injustice in this country.

5. Happily, by the actions that Nigerians took yesterday, they demonstrated our strong resolve as a nation not to give ground to oppression. The legislature, more than any other institution in this country, more than any other arm of government, represents the will of the people. We are elected by the people, and an assault on the legislature is an assault on the people of Nigeria. The forcible shutdown of the legislature was an unconscionable assault on a national institution, and thanks to all your efforts, the aggressors have been put to shame.

6. The resistance mounted by staff of the National Assembly, our colleagues in both chambers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who refused to leave the entrance of this Complex until the siege was broken, strengthens our faith in the people of this country. The rain fell, the sun rose, but Nigerians stood their ground in defence of democracy. With the strength of will demonstrated by everyone against unwarranted and unconstitutional militaristic might, the siege could not stand.

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7. By this, we have shown that Nigerians can resist government within government in whatever guise, and this is humbling for us. Those who sought to defend the attack on the National Assembly under our leadership for their selfish ends have further affirmed our belief in this country. They attempted to execute an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate without the backing of the law, but they faltered. We are confident that, together, we shall always defeat acts of unconstitutionality. The rule of law shall always prevail.

8. We want to thank Nigerians, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and National Assembly Staff, for standing up to be counted for democracy during yesterday’s siege. We thank the thousands who monitored the situation on radio, television and social media, voicing their outrage at the siege, thereby sending a clear message to those that hatched the plot that the Nigerian public would not buy this act of gangsterism using instruments of state such as the DSS.

9. We also thank the international community – particularly the European Union that visited the complex – and the international press, for their prompt reactions to the invasion of the National Assembly. CSOs and Socio-cultural groups were emphatic in their statements during the crisis, and we very much appreciate their vigilance.

10. Among the many that come up for special mention, we believe that Honourable Boma Goodhead, a member of the House of Representatives, stands out. She looked a masked security operative in the eye and dared him to shoot. She let it be known that Nigerians would not stand for the barricade at the National Assembly, that we would not be cowed. It was another pointer to what is possible in this country when women take their place in leadership.

11. We applaud all who kicked against the atrocity and who stood firm until sanity prevailed. We are proud of how everyone conducted themselves in what was no doubt a tense standoff. The principled stance and defiant reactions to the ugly incident, proved crucial to the failure of the plot. This is what we have been saying about the power of the people. The role of the people in defending democracy is paramount.

12. We thank the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for his handling of the situation we were all confronted with yesterday. His decisive action went a long way towards restoring confidence and the image of our country. It sent a powerful message – that the DSS cannot be recklessly deployed against institutions of our democracy. The path of leadership is not by party, and we must commend it wherever it is found. Mr. Acting President did the right thing. However, the damage control so far does not address the question of how this invasion was allowed to happen in the first place.

 

13. This is an incident concerning which we have it on good authority that it has been in the planning for months. How is it that such an atrocity was not prevented? How is it that the masterminds were not deterred? Very serious questions remain that can only be answered by a full investigation. We call for an investigation, and we demand that all perpetrators are brought to book. We owe it to ourselves to ensure that such a situation never occurs again. Many agencies have abused their powers and acted outside the ambit of the law on occasion. Where abuses occur, similar actions must be taken immediately and full investigation instituted.

14. We must say that when we fought for Change, we could not have envisaged a scenario such as unfolded yesterday – an atmosphere where people cannot tolerate dissent, or mere differences of opinion as to the future of our dear country. This is not the Change we fought for. We did not fight for instruments of state to be used to oppress Nigerians and their lawmakers. We know that we, certainly, did not fight just so the legislature could be undermined and subjected to this onslaught.

15. There are many lessons to be drawn from the ugly incident we all witnessed yesterday. For one, government must ensure that security agencies remain neutral and act in line with the position of the constitution as well as their enabling laws. Heads of Agencies should be accountable, and those who step out of line must be held responsible for their actions. Enough with impunity. Enough with the reckless and senseless deployment of militaristic force. Enough.

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16. In this dark cloud, we can see the silver lining, and that silver lining is the commitment of Nigerians to defending their hard-won democracy. We are more than encouraged by the strength, the determination and the resolve of ordinary Nigerians to see to it that democracy survives and thrives in this country. We are also strengthened by the determination of the media to report and analyse the truth as they see it.

17. We want to reassure Nigerians that, on our part, we remain committed to working for a country governed by the rule of law. Our desire is to have a society where there will be equity and justice, not oppression. We stand committed to doing our utmost as lawmakers to ensure that the responsibility and functionality of governance are met. Although we are on annual break, we are daily reviewing the situation and are alive to the responsibility to take action as necessary. Unfortunately, yesterday’s shutdown prevented us from meeting with INEC, as scheduled, to address their request. We will continue to do all to ensure a smooth and successful 2019 election. In the spirit of that we also appeal to Mr. President to sign the new 2018 Electoral Act Amendment Bill in line with his recommendations, which has been sent for his assent.

18. We remain confident in the support of my colleagues and their focus on the job at hand, which is to serve the Nigerian people. My confidence is unshaken. We remain committed to the success of the historic 8th National Assembly, and to the continued progress of our country.

19. In closing, let me reiterate that neither myself, Deputy Senate President or Speaker belong to the class of politicians that are desperate to stay in power by all means and at all costs. The day, two thirds of our members feel they do not have confidence in our leadership, we will gracefully bow out. I repeat again and again, this is not about us, but about respecting the constitution and the rule of law.

Thank you.

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES