The main headlines of the mainstream Nigerian newspapers for Tuesday, August 16, are focused on the alleged announcement by Senate President Bukola Saraki to run for the presidential seat in the 2019 general elections.
Vanguard newspaper reports Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, yesterday, accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of deliberate witch-hunt as the anti-graft agency asked for minutes of the state’s security meetings.
The governor, reacting to EFCC’s demand for minutes of Benue state Security Council meetings between 2015 and 2018, decried the level of harassment and intimidation of officials of his government by the anti-graft agency since he dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the PDP. He stressed that the commission had not relented in persecuting him since his defection.
This Day reports that the Presidency wednesday clarified the status of the former Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura, who was dismissed last week, saying he was being debriefed contrary to reports that he was under detention.
Making this disclosure while appearing on ARISE NEWS television programme, Morning Show, anchored by former presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, explained that given the sensitive nature of Daura’s schedule, it was necessary for him to interact more with his replacement, Matthew Seiyefa, in order to do proper handover of his former office.
The Punch reports that the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that he is considering contesting the 2019 presidential election, adding that he believes he can “make the change.”
Saraki, who stated this in an interview with Bloomberg, expressed concerns about the invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services.
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The Guardian reports that the Senate has expressed concern over alleged discrepancies in the 2019 elections budget figures presented by President Muhammadu Buhari and chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu. The Senate Committee on INEC made the observations during its meeting with the commission at the National Assembly yesterday.
The Nation reports that work has begun on the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 elections.
INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu yesterday defended the commission’s N189.2 billion budget at separate sessions with the Senate’s and House of Representatives’ committees on INEC.
Yakubu, who gave a breakdown of the various components of the budget, told the lawmakers that preparations for the poll ought to have started by August 15 (yesterday).
Documents submitted to the lawmakers by INEC indicated that election operational cost will cost N134.4bn; technology -N27.5bn; administrative cost -N22.6bn; and miscellaneous -N4.6bn.
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