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Dangote, Others Donate N300m at Dogara’s 50th Birthday Ceremony

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  • Dangote, Others Donate N300m at Dogara’s 50th Birthday Ceremony

Drama ensued on Tuesday when the Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, challenged the Governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, to tell Nigerians the exact role he played in the emergence of his successor, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

Gbajabiamila was speaking in Abuja at an event to mark Dogara’s 50th birthday and the unveiling of a book, titled, Dogara: A Real Made Flint.

Dogara had succeeded Tambuwal as the Speaker of the House on June 9, 2015.

He had defeated Gbajabiamila, the anointed All Progressives Congress’ candidate to win the speakership election, with only eight votes to the surprise of all.

It had been speculated that Tambuwal, who was very influential as speaker and later governor, worked against Gbajabiamila.

The Sokoto governor reportedly mobilised support for Dogara as soon as his bid to get Gbajabiamila to make some power-sharing compromises failed.

Findings indicated that before the poll, Tambuwal and Gbajabiamila were close friends.

Against all odds, Gbajabiamila, a Lagos lawyer, had worked for the emergence of Tambuwal as the speaker in 2011.

He was said to have naturally expected Tambuwal to return the favour in 2015, but he was reportedly disappointed when the governor supported Dogara instead.

Tambuwal and Dogara drifted apart in the aftermath of the election.

On Tuesday, when Gbajabiamila was asked to speak, he seized the opportunity to challenge Tambuwal to open up on his role by telling Nigerians the truth.

He stated, “Since the speakership contest, nobody can really say this is the role Tambuwal played. But, with this book, I believe we should be able to know. He has not been able to tell anybody the role he played.

“Maybe, he should be the one to tell us now. Nobody has been able to pin him (Tambuwal) down to state the role he played.”

There was general laughter at the venue as Gbajabiamila threw the challenge.

However, the governor merely joined others in laughing instead of speaking to the issue Gbajabiamila raised.

Meanwhile, over N300m was raised at the event on Tuesday. The amount is to be donated to charity, particularly internally displaced persons.

The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, led the donors with N100m.

Other major donors were by Capt. Idahosa Okunbo, N50m; and Chief Emeka Offor, N20m.

The governors of Bauchi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Edo and Borno states donated N10m each.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, praised the Speaker for his role in dousing executive-legislature tensions.

In his response, Dogara assured the donors that the money realised at the event would be spent to improve the well-being of the IDPs and to fund charity.

Meanwhile, President Buhari on Tuesday congratulated Dogara on his 50th birthday.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said having followed Dogara’s political trajectory; he believed that Nigeria’s future could be secured with great leadership by younger Nigerians.

Such youths, he added, should be fired with the zeal to build one great nation that everyone could call a home.

The President noted that Dogara’s personal attributes of selflessness, maturity and friendliness had eased the relationship between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government.

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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