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Weekend Whiffs: Why play politics with public show of Buhari, Osinbajo assets?

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will make their assets declaration public after same would have be verified by the Code of Conduct Bureau. There has been outcry over Buhari’s decision to not make his assets declaration public as he promised during his campaign tour.

The Code of Conduct Bureau had claimed that it lacked the constitutional powers to make the assets declaration public. But in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, Garba said: “In fulfilment of one of their campaign promises, his declared assets and those of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will be released to the public upon the completion of their verification by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). “It is hoped that this process will be completed before the expiry of the 100-day deadline within which they said they would do this.”

When Buhari and Osinbajo finally declare their assets publicly, it would be a proof of people power; the demand of Nigerians on a fulfilment of Buhari’s campaign promise. But to have to wait 100 days is preposterous. How long does it take to declare what’s yours, really and why should verification precede going public? Again, at least all governors, federal ministers, lawmakers and state commissioners should be made to declare their assets publicly before and after service, if public looting is to stop!

HOW APC PICKED LAWAN, AKUME, GBAJABIAMILA AS CANDIDATES
The All Progressives Congress on Saturday announced Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator George Akume as sole candidates for the position of President and Deputy Senate President of the 8th Senate respectively. This followed a primary election conducted by the National Working Committee of the APC at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. National Secretary of the Party, Mala Buni, who served as returning officer announced that 33 Senators were accredited to vote after which Lawan got 32 votes and one vote was declared invalid.

A similar procedure was adopted in the election of Akume. Akume got 32 out of the 33 votes. But Senator Bukola Saraki and others boycotted the primaries. The primary election for the two major aspirants to the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hons. Yakubu Dogara, from Bauchi State, and Femi Gbajabiamila, from Lagos State, organised by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, ended in confusion. Gbajabiamila emerged the party’s consensus candidates with 154 votes in a process that saw Dogara and his group of 19 staging a walk out.

You might call it politicking, but APC is already sending out ominous signals. But let us wait and see how the National Assembly will pick its Senate President and Speaker of the House in the hallowed chambers this week.

BUHARI AND INCESSANT BOKO HARAM ATTACKS
The death toll from two blasts in northeast Nigeria rose to 35 on Friday, raising the total number killed in suspected Boko Haram attacks to 82 during President Muhammadu Buhari’s first week in office. Rescue officials in the Adamawa state’s capital Yola said 31 people had been confirmed dead in the explosion that ripped through a market on Thursday, with another 38 wounded. The Yola blast followed a suspected suicide bombing in Maiduguri, capital of neighbouring Borno state, that killed at least four people when a truck carrying firewood rammed into a checkpoint outside a military barracks. The violence on Thursday came as Buhari ended his first foreign trip (to Chad and Niger) since taking office. If Buhari’s consultations and military strategies make quick gains against Boko Haram, at least wrongfully irritated Nigerians who blame his wife, Aisha for wearing a Cartier wristwatch on May 29 (how that concerns them beats us) should keep quiet.

NO N3.2bn SEVERANCE PAY FOR JONATHAN OTHERS TILL 2016
Former President Goodluck Jonathan; his deputy, Namadi Sambo; immediate past ministers and presidential aides as well as non-returning federal lawmakers will wait till next year before collecting their severance allowances. Their severance allowances as contained in the remuneration package put together by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission is valued at about N3.24bn. Sources at the Ministry of Finance in Abuja confided in our correspondent on Thursday that the allowances of the political office holder, who left office last Friday, were not captured in this year’s budget. Are we missing something here or aren’t our rulers overpriced and overprized; or what business have they done for Nigeria to deserve more than even a Dangote can pay himself as Africa’s richest billionaire?

ICPC QUIZZES OKIRO OVER ALLEGED N275M FRAUD
A former Inspector-General of Police and Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro, was on Thursday in Abuja quizzed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission over an alleged N275m fraud. The ex-IGP arrived the ICPC at 9:51am, accompanied by three other officers of the PSC and went straight into the investigation department of the commission. When one of our correspondents contacted Okiro on the telephone, he did not respond to calls. He also did not reply a text message that was sent to his telephone. Will a cool, calm and collected Okiro – serious politician and tactician – who can’t be fazed by EFCC think anything of an ICPC quiz? That reminds me; where is former IGP Tafa Balogun? The last significant Internet entry on Balogun states: In April 2009, the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affair invited Tafa Balogun, Mike Okiro and Mrs Farida Waziri to explain how the N16 billion allegedly recovered from Balogun got missing. Cool Okiro, again!

35 SENATORS-ELECT WRITE APC, BACKING LAWAN, AKUME
As the struggle for the leadership position in the inew Senate continues, a group of senators-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have formally informed the leadership of the party on their stand on the issue. Their main problem with Bukola Saraki is that he is too ambitious. Truth be told, didn’t these new senators campaign on the wings of ambition – some for mass cash, others for power? The group, under the aegis of Unity Forum and armed with a five-point resolution signed by 35 out of 40 Senators-elect, informed the leadership of their support for the Lawan-Akume Senate Presidency ticket. The party has however assured them that the extant Standing Order of the chamber would be adhered to in its final decision. The Senate presidency battle in the APC is between Senator Bukola Saraki and Senators Ahmed Lawal.

N8BN SCAM: SUSPECTS TRICKED CBN TO MAKE WRONG PAYMENTS
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned the last batch of the accused persons in the hearing of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N8bn mutilated currency fraud suit at the Federal High Court in Ibadan. The EFCC told Justice Adeyinka Faaj that the accused persons, conspired with other two suspects, Onabanjo Olumayowa and Tijani Olusoga, who are now at large, between 2011 and 2012 in Ibadan and tricked the CBN to pay N1.6bn to the Zenith Bank Plc, instead of N159,431,700. The five accused persons who were in court on Thursday are Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Adeola, Kayode Philip, Ajuwon Bolade and Samuel Ogbeide.

I TOOK BRIBE, FIFA’S BLAZER CONFESSES
The on-going crisis rocking the world football governing body, FIFA, continues to throw up new insight into the extent of rot in the body. Yesterday, former Fifa vice-president, Jack Warner, said in a TV address that he would reveal all he knows about corruption in the football governing body. That was shortly after another former top Fifa official and key witness, America’s Chuck Blazer, admitted accepting bribes. Warner, who said he feared for his life, also said he could link Fifa officials to general elections in his native Trinidad and Tobago in 2010. He is one of the 14 people charged by the US over alleged corruption at FIFA. With Blazer’s blazer, can’t wait to hear Blatter’s splatter. He resigned too hurriedly not to have plenty to hide.

Sources: THISDAY|PUNCH|VANGUARD|GUARDIAN

Welcome to Monday June 8, 2015 and enjoy our other news and views of today – HAMILTONSTYLE.

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