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Ndume Resumes, Senate Ignores Lawmaker’s ‘Special Request’

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Ali Ndume
  • Ndume Resumes, Senate Ignores Lawmaker’s ‘Special Request’

Lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District, Senator Ali Ndume, resumed on Wednesday from his six-month suspension by the Senate.

Ndume, at the plenary on Wednesday, raised a point of order to speak on the North-East Development Commission and the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke.

He said, “You know that I have been away for seven and a half months and today, we all know that in my absence, we lost distinguished Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who was sitting right behind me and I used to call him my landlord. I didn’t have the opportunity to pay my tribute. I want to appeal to this Senate to, again, stand for a minute silence and pray for the repose of his soul.

“Secondly, also in my absence, the much desired bill for the establishment of the North-East Development Commission sponsored by myself and distinguished Senator Kabiru Gaya was signed into law by Mr. President.

“Also in my absence, this Senate magnanimously and unanimously sponsored a bill for the adequate funding of that commission. In view of that, I want to thank everybody who contributed in one way or the other. But most importantly, I want the house to observe a minute silence in honour of our brother, Isiaka Adeleke.”

In his remark, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said, “Your point of order is noted,” asking the Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, to proceed with the next item on the Order Paper.

Ndume later addressed journalists, where he narrated all that happened in the Senate while he was on suspension.

He said, “Seven months and a half, I have not been here. In the seven months and the half, right in the chamber here, a colleague of mine sitting right behind me died. In the same chamber, a colleague of mine and a friend – a very good friend and a neighbour for that matter – recently lost his wife; (Senator Barth) Nnaji. Two of my colleagues lost their seats. In the House of Representatives, two to three members died and one lost his seat. All these were within the gap of the seven and a half months that I was absent. It could have been me because I am not better than any of them.

“After registering today and addressing you now, I am heading to the airport to go and perform the lesser Hajj (in Saudi Arabia) and thank God because I am a son of nobody who became somebody without knowing anybody.”

Ndume also stated that his legal battle against the Senate on his suspension was not personal.

He added, “I really don’t want you to feel that I’m taking this on anybody, no. This is a democracy and there are so many things in democracy that will come to pass, to test and strengthen the democracy. I did not go to court for my personal reason. I went to court to get a declaration on whether what was done to me was right or wrong. The court has decided that what was done to me was wrong. And the Senate, I heard, is saying no, that they are going ahead (to the Court of Appeal). That is why all those institutions are there to test the law.”

The Senate had on Monday appealed against a Federal High Court judgment on Friday, which nullified Ndume’s suspension.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly, which stated through its lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), in a statement on Sunday, disclosed that it would also apply for stay of execution at the Court of Appeal.

The Senate had on March 29, 2017, suspended Ndume for six months for not “conducting due diligence” before filing a petition against President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye.

The FHC however voided the suspension in the judgment delivered on the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/551/2017, which Ndume filed to challenge his suspension for 90 legislative days.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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