The Late 5: NASS threatens to invoke constitutional powers on executive, Court rules against disclosure of Buhari’s health status and other stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

The National Assembly(NASS) has threatened to invoke its Constitutional Powers on the executive if it fails to implement it’s demands on the security situation in the country. 

As contained in a list of resolutions from an emergency executive joint session of both chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday, the legislators after the over three-hour closed door meeting, want the Buhari administration to address the current security situation in the country and frowned at the constant harassment of legislators and other political actors, especially those who are critical of, or seem to hold a contrary view from the executive arm.

A ‘vote of confidence’ was on the Senate President and the entire leadership of the National Assembly

The lawmakers called on the executive to show sincerity in the fight against corruption, adhere to the rule of law and refrain from the “intimidation of Nigerians” and also passed a ‘vote of no-confidence’ on the Inspector General of Police, who they want removed because of what they considered to be his “outright disregard for constitutional authority of both the executive and the legislature.”

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ruled that information about the amount of taxpayers fund suspected to have been expended on President Muhammadu Buhari’s treatment in London last year, could not be released under the Freedom of Information Act without the President’s consent.

Justice John Tsoho while delivering judgment in the suit filed by a civil society group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative, held that the information sought related to personal information of an elected person like Buhari and which was exempted by Section 14(1)(b) of the FoI Act, 2011.

The judge also ruled that the Central Bank of Nigeria and its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, could not be held liable for not disclosing the information, having transferred the group’s October 19, 2017 request to the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.

The judge held that the plaintiff ought to have followed up on the information with the Office of the Chief of Staff, but refused to take advantage of it, thereby depriving itself of an definite answer from the government.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with the nation’s security chiefs amidst growing concerns over rising security challenges, .

The meeting held in one of the conference halls of his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, had in attendance; the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd.); National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin.

Others were the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

The Anambra governorship election petition tribunal has upheld the election of Gov. Willie Obiano in the Nov. 18, 2107 polls.

In a petition brought before it by Praise Okechukwu, candidate of the Mega Progressives Peoples Party (MPPP)  praying the tribunal to annul Obiano’s victory for non-substantial compliance to the electoral act, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice H. A Olusiyi, in a unanimous judgment ruled that the petitioner had not proven her case substantially to invalidate the election.

Nkem Ekweozoh, counsel to Okechukwu said he would appeal the ruling as he was not satisfied with the decision, adding that some aspects of his petition were not addressed in his application to inspect sensitive materials which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refused to make available to him.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked popular comedian and rapper,  Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana to withdraw his #ThisIsNigeria’ video and apologise to Nigerians within seven days., or face legal action. 

MURIC, in a statement by its director, Ishaq Akintola  said the dancers in the video in no way depict the situation of the the abducted Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity, which the singers claimed they represented, adding that the video is spiteful and intended to denigrate Islam and Muslims.

The group described it as a hate video with the potential of causing religious crisis of unprecedented dimension and called on security agencies and the National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB) to clamp down on the video.

And stories from around the world:

The United Nations has urged Washington to immediately halt its controversial practice of separating asylum-seeking Central American children from their parents at the southern border.

The spokeswoman of the human rights office, Ravina Shamdasani said the policy had “led to people caught entering the country irregularly being subjected to criminal prosecution and having their children – including extremely young children – taken away from them as a result.”

Shamdasani stressed that children’s rights were generally held in high regard in the US, but expressed regret that it was the only country in the world not to have ratified the UN convention on the rights of the child.

Despite this, she insisted, Washington was bound by international human rights laws that its current practices were flouting.

Seven people were on Tuesday hacked to death with machetes and torched dozens of homes on Tuesday in northern Mozambique, a region that has suffered a spate of similar attacks in recent weeks.

“The bandits used machetes to kill the seven persons. We think this group is likely part of the [one] that beheaded 10 [people on] May 27,” Police Spokesman Inacio Dina said.

The assailants, in a dawn raid on Tuesday, burned down 164 houses and destroyed four cars during the assault on the village of Naude in the Macomia district, he said. (AFP)

Iran has begun preparations to boost its uranium enrichment capacity, its nuclear chief said on Tuesday, adding to pressure on European powers trying to save a nuclear accord with Tehran in peril after a U.S. withdrawal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday he had ordered preparations for Iran to have greater enrichment capacity if the deal falls apart. Iran’s nuclear agency said it would inform the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Tuesday the process to increase capacity had begun.

Salehi said this did not violate the nuclear deal but that it marked an increase in the pace of the nuclear programme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted Moscow is not trying to split the European Union.

Putin who spoke to Austria’s ORF television, said he wanted a “united and prosperous” EU, calling it Russia’s most important commercial and economic partner.

In Vienna, he said EU economic sanctions against Russia were hurting both sides.

Speaking after talks with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Mr Putin said Russia had overcome all difficulties caused by the sanctions. (BBC)

Egypt will start importing rice, a crop it has exported for decades, as government decided to reduce local cultivation of water-intensive crops and imposed hefty fines for illegal rice growing.

Cairo is worried that its share of the Nile water will be reduced by the Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is constructing upstream.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said his government would increase rice supplies in order to avoid any shortages in the market. (BBC)

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