The newspaper review for Wednesday, August 1, leads with the defection of Senate president Bukola Saraki, Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, the two other senators from the state, members of the House of Representatives among other stories.
This Day reports that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) continued to stew in crisis as Senate president Bukola Saraki, Kwara state governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa, Alhaji Ahmed Ibeto, finally left the party and returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Saraki’s defection ended weeks of speculations about his political future even as leaders of the APC, including President Muhammadu Buhari and the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, redoubled efforts to persuade him to stay back in the party he helped to form in 2013.
But the Senate president, who first announced his exit on his Twitter handle, followed by a statement signed by him, said their interventions came a little too late, explaining that fifth columnist had done too much damage before they stepped in.
But in an ironic twist, the APC rose from its National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Tuesday night, issuing a query to the departed Saraki on alleged anti-party activities.
“We told you these people are irredeemable jokers,” a Saraki supporter said. “They are querying someone who is no longer under their control.”
The Guardian reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has described as unconstitutional the move by some members of the Benue state House of Assembly to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom.
Eight lawmakers, led by impeached speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, had on Monday announced a plan to serve the governor a notice within seven days.
Distancing himself from the plot, Buhari said he would “never be part of any unconstitutional act,’’ and any attempt to link him with the inglorious past, when a minority of lawmakers impeached governors, will not stick.
“It will simply be like water off a duck’s back. Those with open minds know this, but those who cavil would rather source everything untoward to the president. It is murky ground in which they are now marooned, as fallout of their resistance to change in the country.”
Punch reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, for alleged fraud and failing to explain how he came to own 22 properties in Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
It was learnt that Ekweremadu honoured the invitation of the EFCC around 9 am on Tuesday, July 31, but was still in custody as of 9 pm.
A top source at the EFCC told our correspondent that the lawmaker had many questions to answer.
“He came in around 9 am and he is still in our custody. He will be released once we have enough information,” the source said.
When contacted around 9 pm, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Ekweremadu honoured the commission’s invitation on Tuesday. He, however, could not say if the senator was still in custody as of the time of filing this report by 9.30pm.
Vanguard also reports that president of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki yesterday announced his decision to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He left with the mainstream of his political family in Kwara state, including Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the two other senators from the state, members of the House of Representatives, all but one of the members of the State House of Assembly.
Resolutions to take this action were taken during a meeting of the political family in Saraki’s GRA, Ilorin residence yesterday.
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Also yesterday, the country’s high commissioner to South Africa, Alhaji Ahmed Ibeto, has resigned his job ahead of his return to PDP, his former party. Alhaji Ibeto, who was deputy governor of Niger State during Dr. Mu’azu Aliyu’s administration, resigned his appointment and dumped PDP for APC, claiming he was denied the governorship slot to succeed his boss.
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