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Tuesday Twists: Bukola Saraki is new Senate President, Dogara new Speaker

Senator Bukola Saraki of the All Progressives Congress, APC, a medical doctor and a former Governor of Kwara State has been elected Senate President by 57 of 108 senators, unopposed with 51 senators absent, while Yakubu Dogara won as Speaker of the House of Representatives, beating Femi Gbajabiamila by 182 to 174 out of 358 members accredited to vote.

The 51 other senators were at the International Conference Centre, purportedly to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the time Saraki was declared President. Strangely enough, Buhari wasn’t there to meet with them whereas APC leaders like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, spokesman Lai Mohammed and others were there.

The immediate past Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been re-elected. He was nominated by Senator Abie Sekibo from Rivers State.

Security was tightened at the National Assembly on Monday, preparatory to the inauguration of the 8th Assembly. President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in Abuja today from Germany where he attended the G-7 Summit, and addressed the Assembly. PDP had adopted Saraki as Senate President and Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the House of Representatives, in the wee hours.

The party, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh, in Abuja on Tuesday morning at 1:50am, therefore urged its senators and reps to act accordingly by voting for both men. The APC on the other hand nominated Ahmed Lawan for the office of the Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila for Speaker.

PDP paid APC back with its own coin. The then opposition party had refused to vote Mrs. Mulikat Akande as Speaker in the last House of Representatives but joined angry members of the PDP to rally support for Aminu Tambuwal, who eventually became the Speaker. Tambuwal later defected to the APC where he contested and won as the Governor of Sokoto State. Tambuwal backed Dogara.

With 358 members-elect present as voters and the clerks of the National Assembly present as umpires and returning officers, voting for next Speaker of the House commenced with Femi Gbajabiamila and Yakubu Dogara as candidates for the position.

COURTS QUASH EXTRADITION, ARREST WARRANT ON KASHAMU
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Lagos monday quashed the extradition proceedings and arrest warrant procured by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) against senator-elect for Ogun East senatorial district, Mr. Buruji Kashamu. In a ruling on an application argued by Kashamu’s lawyer, Alex Izion (SAN), Justice Abang quashed the extradition proceedings and arrest warrant issued by another judge of the Federal High Court. This is as another judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Justice Ibrahim Buba, yesterday restrained the NDLEA from arresting and arraigning Kashamu in furtherance of the extradition charges. Kashamu, who is a chieftain of the PDP, Monday filed another suit before Justice Buba seeking an order to nullify the provisional warrant of arrest obtained by the NDLEA against him. There is something fishy with the judiciary; God help us all. NDLEA deserves our kudos for putting up a good fight against travesty of justice.

MILITARY MOVES COMMAND BASE TO MAIDUGURI
In compliance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s order, directing the relocation of the Military Command and Control Centre (MCCC) to Maiduguri, the military said Monday that the reconnaissance and advance team for the establishment of MCCC for Operation Zaman Lafiya for the fight against terrorism and insurgency has moved to the Borno State capital. In a statement issued by the acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the military said the team, which is led by a two-star general, has already commenced work in earnest and comprises elements of the Office of the Chief of Army Staff, all the relevant army headquarters departments and other combat support components. The fight against terrorism and insurgency would be monitored, coordinated and controlled from this centre. Let’s hope Buhari’s war instincts pay off; this could be the game changer against Boko Haram.

COLD WAR OVER WHO WILL GUARD THE PRESIDENT
A cold war is currently brewing especially between the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services, DSS ahead of the relocation of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. A source who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that a a retired military officer and close aide of the President had written to the Nigerian Army, the DSS and the Nigeria Police to send a particular number of their men to be saddled with the responsibility of securing the State House. He said the head of one of the security agencies had refused to take action on the directive because the author of the letter had not been given any formal responsibility by the President. All said and done, the question really is: Are they willing to take a bullet for the President or they think it’s a juicy beat for quick cash takes?

Sources: THISDAY|PUNCH|VANGUARD|GUARDIAN

Welcome to Tuesday June 9, 2015 and enjoy our other news and views of today – HAMILTONSTYLE.

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