The Big 5: Senator Omo-Agege denies leading hoodlums to steal the mace, Femi Falana says no legislative house has the power to suspend its member and other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu yesterday briefed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the invasion of the Senate.

After meeting with Osinbajo, Ekweremadu told reporters: “I am sure you are aware of the Senate invasion today and we have to come to brief the Vice President because the President is not in town, so it was appropriate for him to know what transpired because we are in a democracy; we are all in one government and it is the responsibility of the President or the Vice President to ensure that there is law and order in the country.

He has sympathised with us over what happened and he is going to join forces with us to ensure that we get to the root of the matter to make sure that this will not happen again.

For us, it’s a threat to our democracy, the invasion of the parliament is not acceptable to any person, it’s not acceptable to me, it is not acceptable to the Vice-President, it is not acceptable to my colleagues, I believe it is not also acceptable to the President.”

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has been released from police custody over the invasion of the Red Chambers and the attempt to steal the mace.

A statement by his Office confirmed that the Delta Central senator left the police after Omo-Agege told the police his perspective on the invasion of the Senate and removal of the mace.

A statement signed by his Senior Legislative Assistant, Lucky Ajos entitled: “Senator Omo-Agege went to work today like other senators; He did not remove the mace of the Senate” said: “On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Senate purportedly suspended Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. However, based on legal advice and his understanding of the current position of the law, Senator Omo-Agege today resumed work and sitting with his colleagues.

A few champions of the unconstitutional, invalid and tyrannical suspension tried to stop him but those who opposed it welcomed and protected him throughout the sitting. We are grateful to the many distinguished senators who stood by Senator Omo-Agege.”

We are aware of several media reports suggesting that Senator Omo-Agege personally removed or encouraged anyone to remove the Mace of the Senate. This weighty allegation is not true at all.”

Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana has described as illegal and unconstitutional, the suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege by the Senate. He said no legislative house has the power to remove or suspend any of its members.

Falana said: “No legislative house can suspend or remove a member. It is only a court of law or the constituency that elected them can order the removal or suspension of their representative.

This is because when you remove or suspend a legislator,  his constituency no longer has a representative in that house and that is not legal”, he argued.

The federal government says it will invoke the ‘no work no pay rule’ rule if the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) persist in their strike, which has crippled health care delivery in parts of the country.

If this group of health workers persists on continuing this strike, the government will be forced to invoke the provisions of the relevant labour laws, especially Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act”, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment said in a statement Wednesday by its Director of Press, Samuel Olowookere.

The president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has said that the Super Eagles players stand the chance of pocketing $24 million if they play in the final of the 2018 World Cup.

The World Cup will hold from June 14 to July 15 in Russia.

Pinnick told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the money was part of the agreement reached with the players to share 50-50, whatever would accrues to the country if they get to the final and lift the trophy.

And… stories from around the world.

US President Donald Trump says that if his planned talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are not fruitful he will “walk out“.

At a joint news conference, he and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe said maximum pressure must be maintained on North Korea over nuclear disarmament.

Donald Trump has tweeted to dismiss a sketch of a man who the adult film actress Stormy Daniels said threatened her on the president’s behalf.

Trump claimed the man was “nonexistent” and called the sketch “a total con job”.

The reference is his first on Twitter to the Stormy Daniels affair, following a long and uncharacteristic silence.

Donald Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo for secretary of state encountered significant headwinds on Wednesday, as the Senate foreign relations committee looked short of the votes to deliver him a positive recommendation.

A majority of Democrats on the Senate panel announced their opposition to Pompeo, who has served as Trump’s CIA director and was chosen by the president last month to replace Rex Tillerson at the helm of the state department.

Concerns over Pompeo’s nomination were amplified among some Democrats after it was revealed late on Tuesday that he secretly met with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Pyongyang earlier this month.

The Cuban government has selected the country’s 57-year-old first vice-president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, as the sole candidate to succeed President Raúl Castro in a transition aimed at ensuring the country’s single-party system outlasts the aging revolutionaries who created it.

The certain approval of Díaz-Canel by members of the unfailingly unanimous National Assembly will install someone from outside the Castro family in the country’s highest government office for the first time in nearly six decades.

It took almost 15 years for Gul Rahman’s family to receive a direct acknowledgment that he had been killed in a secret CIA interrogation facility in Afghanistan.

Now the family is pressing the US to disclose what happened to his remains.

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the family seeks “information on what agents of the United States did with the body of Mr. Gul Rahman, an Afghan citizen, following his death in CIA custody in November 2002”.


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