The Late 5: Oshiomhole lambasts Okorocha, Amosun over defection of loyalists; Ambode’s Commissioner resigns, dumps APC | Other top stories

These are the stories that drove the conversation today:

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday preside over a ‘Special Federal Executive Council’ (FEC) meeting to deliberate on the 2019 draft budget proposal.

Presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, who disclosed this to State House correspondents after Wednesday’s FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the Special FEC meeting would endorse and approve the 2019 draft budget for onward submission to the National Assembly for its approval.

“On Friday, by 10:30am there is going to be a special section of the Federal Executive Council. The intention is to look at the budget, get the proposals approved by the FEC and then it would be transmitted to the National Assembly. So, that will happen on Friday by 10am,” Adesina said.

The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources in Lagos, Olawale Oluwo, on Wednesday announced his resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a letter dated December 3 and addressed to the state Chairman of the party, he cited the outcome of the party’s state primary held in October, as reason for the decision as he alleged that the exercise was characterised by voter disenfranchisement, undue influence, violence, and intimidation to members among other activities that violate the electoral law.

“In the particular case of the governorship primary, which was conducted using the ‘open ballot’ option in violation of the guidelines of the APC that specified that the ‘open secret ballot’ option, it is clear to me that the vital principles of competence, merit, justice and fairness have been sacrificed by the APC on the altar of political expediency,” he added.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has again taken on Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, as he described the duo as poor students of their own history who had forgotten they lost elections before winning on the platform of the APC.

Oshiomhole who was speaking while playing host to APC women leaders who paid him a solidarity visit at his Abuja office, expressed confidence that with the popularity of the party, it would win the 2019 elections in both states, despite the alleged anti-party activities of their governors, stressing that “if they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did (allow the defection of their aides and loyalists).”

“Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So if they return back, history will repeat itself,” he added.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, on Wednesday disagreed with the plan of the Senate to adopt a Bill to make it mandatory for the upper chamber to screen and confirm the appointment of a prospective IGP, as well as sections of the proposed bill which will empower the Upper Chamber to remove the IGP from office whenever it considered it necessary.

Speaking at a public hearing on “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Police Act CAP P19 Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact the Police Act, 2018” organised by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Idris said the confirmation and removal of the IGP by the Senate is not necessary, as it will politicize the Police Force and should be expunged from the bill, adding that “Having one  DIG instead of the current arrangement of seven will put too much pressure on the IGP.”

“You can’t police a people without their consent. The provisions of the Bill are in consonance with the contents of the Criminal Justice System. The tenure of the IGP of five years should be maintained.“The appointment of the IGP in consultation with the Police Service Commission is appropriate,” he added.

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has said President Buhari’s best way to prove to Nigerians he spoke to in Poland that he is not cloned is to come home as a true Nigerian leader and sign the 2018 amended Electoral Bill into law, accusing the president and his party of plans to frustrate the credibility of the 2019 elections.

In a statement by its spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the group wondered how Buhari, “who had claimed to be a victim of rigged elections and how an improved electoral process benefitted him in 2015 is now the greatest antagonist to free and fair election,” adding that he intentionally withheld assent to the bill to till the ECOWAS deadline as an excuse for not signing the bill.

“We are also sad to say this to you; that there is intelligence that the President has agreed with his kitchen cabinet not to sign the amendment into law,” the statement added.

And stories from around the world:

Russia will develop missiles banned under a Cold War agreement if the US exits the pact, President Vladimir Putin has warned.

His comments follow Nato’s accusation on Tuesday that Russia has already broken the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. (BBC)

US President Donald Trump has criticised his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in the wake of the recent large-scale anti-government protests over high taxes.

Trump posted several messages about the demonstrations on his Twitter account, claiming the protests were a direct result of the Paris climate agreement of which France is a signatory, but the United States is not. (Al Jazeera)

Similarly, President Emmanuel Macron could amend a wealth tax that critics say goes too easy on the rich, his government indicated on Wednesday, a day after suspending further fuel-tax hikes in the face of protests across France over living costs. (Reuters)

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday faced fresh attacks on her Brexit deal after MPs forced her government to publish legal advice on the arrangements for leaving the European Union.

Pro- and anti-Brexit MPs seized on the advice relating to clauses on Northern Ireland, warning once again they would not back the deal when the House of Commons votes on it on December 11. (AFP)

Russia on Wednesday warned authorities in Cyprus not to allow the U.S. military to deploy on their territory, saying such a move would draw a Russian reaction and result in “dangerous and destabilizing consequences” for the Mediterranean island. (Reuters)

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