Top news this week: Sowore’s re-arrest, Aisha’s ordeal, new FIRS and AMCON bosses, others - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Friday, 13 December 2019

Top news this week: Sowore’s re-arrest, Aisha’s ordeal, new FIRS and AMCON bosses, others

Top news this week: Sowore’s re-arrest, Aisha’s ordeal, new FIRS and AMCON bosses, others

This week, social media platforms — especially Twitter and Facebook – witnessed episodic events unfolding with series of controversial reactions.

Interestingly, the Presidency was at the epicenter of these controversies due to the reactions and counter-reactions.

Aisha Buhari’s ordeal, Buhari’s prefix as a ‘major-general’, New FIRS and AMCON bosses, Sowore’s re-arrest and others topped the news trend for this week.

So therefore, it’s possible that you may have missed some of these most interesting news for this week.

To make sure you’re up-to-date, The Nation brings you a brief round-up of the major stories this week in case you missed the mark. ALAO ABIODUN reports.

READ ALSO:    ‘I Don’t Have Pillow Talk With My Husband’ — Aisha Buhari Reveals Why She Keeps ‘Talking’

First Lady accuses President’s aide of disloyalty

This week, Nigeria’s First Lady Aisha Buhari accused the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, of disloyalty to the President.

In a personally signed statement, the wife of the president expressed regret that Shehu’s “failures” had caused a great deal of embarrassment to President Buhari.

The statement was authenticated by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the First Lady), Aliyu Abdulahi, who said: “I have seen it and since it was circulated by my colleague, the Director of Press in the First Lady’s office (Suleiman Haruna), I believe it came from the office.”

According to Mrs. Buhari, the Presidential aide had decided to lend his services and loyalty to other interests outside his call of duty. She noted that these other interests, who had constituted themselves into a force to alienate the family of the President, were behind a series of negative media for the first family.

She condemned what she described as “blatant meddling in the affairs of the Office of the First Lady”, and alleged that Garba was the author of the attempt to obliterate her office.

Aisha went on to accuse Garba of even sponsoring “media campaign of calumny against her children and herself “as part of his latest antics against the Buhari family.

The First Lady had on Sunday accused presidential aides and other government appointees of not doing enough to defend the government of her husband.

She vowed to continue talking until right people found their way in leadership positions.

Buhari’s nomenclature: We’ll henceforth call Buhari ‘major general’ — says popular Nigerian Newspaper

A popular Nigerian Newspaper, the Punch newspaper says it will now prefix President Muhammadu Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s in all its publications in protest against the rising disregard for the rule of law by his administration.

In an editorial entitled ‘Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand’, on Wednesday, the newspaper said it will also refer to the Buhari administration as a regime until it purges itself of ”contempt for the rule of law”.

”As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law,” it said.

The Buhari administration has been criticised for its application of extra-judicial means in matters.

The presidency in its reaction attacked the newspaper, accusing it of playing to the gallery and causing confusion. Femi Adesina’s reaction suggested the presidency was unperturbed by the editorial.

“Rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve,” he wrote.

Hours later, however, another presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, released a more lengthy statement attacking the newspaper.

“Punch Newspaper’s double standards in cuddling some of our past dictators and their open contempt for President Buhari clearly show that the paper has sinister motives for its current curious editorial judgment. Its personal hatred for and animus towards President Buhari should not be allowed to becloud its good judgment,” Mr Shehu wrote.

Buhari replaces Fowler, appoints Nami as FIRS chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday named a tax consultant, Mr Muhammad Nami, as the new chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The appointment came as the tenure of Mr Babatunde Fowler expired.

Buhari, who approved the composition of a new board for the tax agency, asked Fowler to hand over the FIRS’s affairs to the most senior director, pending the confirmation of the new board by the Senate.

“Mr Muhammad, a well-trained tax, accounting and management professional with highly-rated qualifications and professional practice and licences from relevant professional bodies, has almost three decades of practical work experience in auditing, tax management and advisory and management services to clients in the banking, manufacturing, services and public sectors as well as non-profit organisations,” a statement by Buhari’s media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, said on Monday.

The statement added, “He is an expert in rendering advisory support services to investors in respect of new business start-ups and management of existing business.

“He has also continuously rendered outsourced services to clients in trading, service and manufacturing sectors of the nation’s economy.”

The Presidency said Nami graduated from Bayero University, Kano, in 1991 and obtained a Master’s in Business in 2004 from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Buhari had on August 20, 2015, nominated Fowler to chair the FIRS for four-year tenure.

The Senate confirmed his appointment December 9, 2015, a term that ran out officially on December 8.

Fowler on Monday handed over to the Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group at the FIRS, Abiodun Aina, a few hours after his replacement was announced.

Buhari appoints Edward Adamu as AMCON Chairman

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Edward Adamu has been appointed Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

According to The Cable, President Muhammadu Buhari announced Adamu’s appointment in a letter sent to the senate.

The letter dated Monday, December 9, 2019, reads, “In accordance with Section 10(1) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act, 2010, I hereby present Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu for confirmation as Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria by the Distinguished Senate.

“While hoping that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Until his appointment, Adamu served as the Director of Human Resources at the CBN, and subsequently replaced Suleiman Barau as the Deputy Governor of the apex bank.

Sowore’s re-arrest and court invasion sparks controversy

The court invasion by armed SSS officials in a bid to re-arrest Mr Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters sparked off controversies.

The activist and a co-accused, Olawale bakare, had been released last week, 124 days after they were arrested by the SSS for calling a nationwide protest against bad governance.

The Nigerian government charged them with treason, money laundering and insulting President Buhari.

Despite two separate court orders for their release, the SSS refused to release both men.

However, last Thursday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu ordered the SSS to release both men within 24 hours.

The agency complied with the directive on Thursday night before the court invasion on Friday at the same Mrs Ojukwu’s court.

Although the SSS later released a statement claiming its officials did not invade the court, Femi Falana, the counsel to Mr Sowore, said the head of the SSS team to the court apologised to Mrs Ojukwu for the invasion

The court invasion and re-arrest of Mr Sowore has been condemned by many Nigerians as well as civil society groups.

Prominent Nigerians and national bodies rose in condemnation of the action of the secret police

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and others criticised the re-arrest, saying the development can blight Nigeria’s democratic gains.

Sowore’s lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), described the development as a “horrendous, bizarre, and barbaric contempt of court” never witnessed under “even the most brutal of past dictators that had ever ruled Nigeria”.

He added, “Under the military regime, the so-called enemies of the government would not be arrested in the web of the court which is considered a sanctuary.

“The military regimes would always show some respect for the court and would only arrest after the person left the court premises.

“What we have witnessed today is alien to Nigeria.”

Similarly, Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said the Federal Government has ordered an investigation into the invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja, by the operatives of Department State Service (DSS) last Friday.

During his visit to John Tsoho, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court on Wednesday, Malami announced that the investigation of the action of DSS was ongoing.

“Whatever affects the integrity of the court is a worrisome issue for us… I can never be preemptive of an incident over which I was not a live witness to.

“But one thing I am certain of is that the government has put in place mechanism for investigation of the reported incident.

“So, I would not like to be preemptive in terms of a conclusion, one way or the other, without allowing the consummation and conclusion of the investigation process,” Malami said.

The House of Representatives and the Nigerian Senate has also mandated its relevant committees to look into the event surrounding the rearrest of Omoyele Sowore, at the premises of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The matter was raised by the Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP – Delta) under Matters of Urgent Public Importance at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday.

The committees are National Security and Intelligence, Judiciary, and Human Rights.

READ ALSO:    Islamic Group Reacts As CJN Calls For Constitution Amendment To Accommodate Sharia Law

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