These are the stories that drove the conversation today:
The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has said that the Kano House of Assembly lacks competence to investigate Governor Abdullahi Ganduje who was allegedly caught on camera collecting bribes from contractors.
Speaking with Punch in an interview on Tuesday, Sagay said that an investigation of such a video would require forensic analysis which the Assembly was not competent to carry out, adding that he would personally have preferred to see the contractor come out and say ‘yes I am the one and I gave him so and so amount’.
“This one seems to me to be very vague and cloudy and I have yet to be satisfied that it is not a political conspiracy of some sort by the enemies of the governor. So, we need to see something more concrete,” he said.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to reports that its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole was on Tuesday arrested and questioned for nine hours by the Department of State Services (DSS) for alleged corruption issues arising from the party’s recent primaries.
Spokesman of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu on Wednesday said that the party was not aware of the purported arrest, adding that Oshiomhole was out of the country on a scheduled personal trip.
“We do not have any information on this rumour. More so, the Chairman is not around in the country to confirm or deny this. As soon as we have any relevant information, you’ll be updated,” he told the Nation.
The Senate on Wednesday approved that N121 billion of the N242 billion budgeted for the 2019 election be sourced from the 2018 budget of 30 federal agencies while the other half sourced from service wide votes.
In a motion co-sponsored by 19 Senators and presented on Wednesday, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, while making contributions on the floor of the chamber said “the Senate is aware that because of some obvious and imminent issues of national socioeconomic importance, the virement/supplementary request cannot be implemented as earlier approved.”
“Initially, the source of funding was to come from the service wide votes but now we reduce the weight by half. That has to come from the MDAs. Otherwise, this Senate took a decision, approved this virement.” Goje said.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday was forced to adjourn its plenary midway into the session, after some of the microphones in the chamber malfunctioned.
In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday had a rowdy plenary following allegations by its Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, that the Social Intervention Programme of the Federal Government, introduced by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has been politicised.
Presenting a copy of the application form, Olujimi also alleged that ‘I Stand with Buhari’ was written on it and that beneficiaries of the programme were asked to provide details of their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) .
Four Catholic Reverend Fathers were on Tuesday kidnapped by unknown gunmen around Umutu/Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta.
The priests were heading to Ekpoma in Edo from Warri, Delta in a convoy on Tuesday when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen and whisked away.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Muhammad Mustafa, who confirmed the development assured that the kidnapped priests would be rescued.
And stories from around the world:
Ninety children kidnapped at a school in a troubled English-speaking region of Cameroon have been freed, officials said on Wednesday, revealing that in addition to 79 students whose abduction had already been announced, 11 schoolmates were seized last week. (AFP)
US President Donald Trump has hailed “tremendous success” in the mid-term elections after a night of mixed results for his Republican party, and offered an olive branch to Democrats, proposing both parties work together on joint legislative priorities. (BBC)
“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!” Trump added.
A coalition of European militaries ready to react to crises near the continent’s borders was launched on Wednesday with Finland becoming the 10th country to join, amid calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for a “real European army.” (Reuters)
Yemen’s rebel chief vowed Wednesday he would never surrender to Saudi-backed pro-government forces, as international aid groups appealed for safe passage for civilians caught in the flashpoint port of Hodeida. (AFP)
The United Nations and Western powers have given up hope that Libya will hold elections in the immediate future, focusing on reconciliation first among rival factions locked in a cycle of conflict, diplomats and other sources said. (Reuters)