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PDP Fixes N12m as 2019 Presidential Nomination Form Fee

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  • PDP Fixes N12m as 2019 Presidential Nomination Form Fee

Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed N12 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms for its presidential aspirants.

The party also accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using blackmail to undermine the conduct of 2019 general election, saying they are apparently afraid of losing the polls.

It further restated its claim that the presidency was bent on removing Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, by force.

According to the approved schedule for the sale of forms for the party’s primaries obtained Monday, expression of interest form for the presidency costs N2 million, while nomination form goes for N10 million.

Forms for gubernatorial election is to cost N6 million, while senatorial aspirants will spend N3.5 million.

In the same vein, the party said the forms for the House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly will go for N2.5 million and N600,000 respectively.

According to the INEC’s timetable for party primaries for the presidential, governorship, federal and state elections would begin on August 18 to end on October 7, 2018, while that of the FCT Area Council Elections will commence on September 4 to end on October 27, 2018.

PDP Restates APC, Presidency Plotting to Remove Saraki, Ekweremadu by Force

Also Monday, the PDP accused President Buhari and the APC of using blackmail to undermine the conduct of next year’s general election, saying they are apparently afraid of losing the 2019 elections.

The main opposition party challenged Buhari and his party to urgently respond to various allegations of corruption and underhand deals, including the alleged diversion of a whopping N9 trillion in crude “shady’’ deals.

The party also challenged Buhari to tell Nigerians why he has failed to deal with officials of his administration who have been fingered in corrupt acts.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said from every indication it had become clear that the APC and the president were only playing to the gallery and trying to blackmail the National Assembly over its failure to provide funds to enable INEC to organise the 2019 elections as scheduled.

Speaking on the issue of INEC’s supplementary budget, the PDP’s spokesman said the president was only out to blackmail the National Assembly and to merely subject the 2019 elections to unnecessary controversy.

PDP asked: “How can they predicate funds meant for election on the proposal for constituencies projects? How can the Buhari presidency seat back and declare that the money meant for 2019 general election would be based on an amendment of appropriation bill that is submitted?

“That is why I say that people like Senator Ita Enang, who has spent his life in the National Assembly, has the responsibility to advice the executives on what to do. They are just out to blackmail the National Assembly by saying they should come back from their recess.

“The president has gone on 10 days recess; can anybody force him back? The National Assembly has only gone for their annual recess and it is within their right to choose when to come back.”

On the claims by the APC that the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and PDP Minority Leader in the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has accepted to join its fold, Ologbondiyan said that the senator was yet to resign.

He said that PDP would be giving credence to the rumour mills of APC, adding that the party had not received notification from Akpabio regarding his defection.

“The PDP is not aware of the said defection of any of our member in Akwa Ibom State; because we have not been notified,” he said.

Speaking on the alleged move to forcefully reopen the Senate, especially the recent call by Senator Ita Enang for the senators to reconvene, Ologbondiyan said: “What Enang had done is just a mere wish. He does not have the power to order or call for the reopening of the Senate. He is just expressing his personal wishes.

“As a matter of fact, Senator Enang has been the Chairman Senate Rules and Business Committee, both in the House and in the Senate. Will he listen to anybody from outside the chamber to come and dictate to the presiding officers?

“We must not allow those who have no respect for laws to take charge of our lives because what they are plotting to do have a huge capacity to create anarchy for the nation.

“It is unfortunate that people who have experience in legislative practices and procedures, when they get to the executive arm, instead of telling the executives the limit of their powers they pretend to know it all, and by so doing they mislead the executives. That is exactly what Enang is doing.”

According to Ologbondiyan, “There are set rules; section 12 of the Senate Standing Rules puts the opening of the Senate within purview of responsibility of the President of the Senate and the operational word there is may; That is if the Senate President is convinced to reopen the Senate.”

While criticising the Buhari-led administration’s anti-corruption posturing, the PDP’s spokesman said the government has become complicit in encouraging acts of corruption and not taken adequate steps to deal with officials involved in corruption.

He alleged that the presidency and the APC are offering lawmakers from both chambers inducement of the sum of $1 million each with the aim of unseating Saraki and Ekweremadu.

“The PDP has been informed that one of the heads of the security agencies is the arrow head of the Buhari presidency’s agents charged to coordinate this heinous design, which has the unlimited capacity to throw our nation into anarchy and ultimately destroy our hard-earned democracy,’’ PDP alleged, adding: “If President Buhari and his presidency are not corrupt; if the APC is not a party of corruption, the PDP challenges them to address Nigerians on their complicit in the exposed acts of humongous corruption thriving in the high places under their watch.’’

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.

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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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