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We Have no Confidence in INEC – PDP Govs

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  • We Have no Confidence in INEC – PDP Govs

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have said they have no confidence in the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019.

The governors alleged that the commission had conducted itself as a tool of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.

The governors specifically accused the National Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmud Yakubu, and a National Commissioner of INEC, Mrs Amina Zakari, as being involved in the alleged biased roles of the electoral body.

The PDP governors arrived at these positions after their meeting, which was held in Abuja on Sunday night.

The meeting, which ended in the early hours of Monday, was held at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro.

The Chairman of the Forum, who is also the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, signed the communiqué of the meeting on behalf of his colleagues.

The communiqué read in part, “The forum noted that INEC needs to reinvent itself as a truly independent umpire of the electoral process in the country.

“For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari.”

The governors also condemned the alleged politicisation of security agencies in the country by the Federal Government.

They claimed that the Federal Government had been using the security agencies to enhance electoral fraud in states such as Ekiti, Osun and Rivers.

The governor said, “The PDP Governors’ Forum condemns in strong terms the politicisation of security agencies in the country by the Federal Government.

“We observe that security agencies have become organs and tools of the APC-led Federal Government to harass and intimidate the opposition and dissenting voices.

“The Forum decries the use of security agencies to perpetrate electoral fraud as it happened in Ekiti, Osun and Rivers states, and urged them to be non-partisan in the performance of their duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.”

The governors further condemned the alleged flagrant violation of democratic ethos by the operatives of “this government as shown recently in the infamous act by the Police at the residence of elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark, and the harassment on innocent Nigerians across the country on frivolous claims.”

On the alleged release of N16bn to Osun State from the Paris Club refund by the Federal Government, the PDP governors alleged that the money was meant to induce voters ahead of the September 22 governorship election in the state.

“The Forum condemned the surreptitious, selective and suspicious payment of N16bn purportedly from the Paris Club refund. We are of the view that the money is to fund corrupt inducement of voters in the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State on September 22, 2018,” the communiqué added.

The governors also condemned the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended electoral bill into law.

With this, the governors said the President had indicated that he and his party “are afraid of electronic voting or the introduction of technology into the electoral system.”

On the 13 presidential aspirants of the party, who have picked the party’s presidential nomination and expression of interest forms, the governors said that they would soon have a meeting with them.

The meeting, they said, would also be attended by the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, two other national officers and leaders of the party in both chambers of the National Assembly.

Nigerians believe in us, INEC replies PDP govs

But INEC said Nigerians believed in it to deliver free, fair and credible elections in 2019, noting that it was making efforts to improve on the electoral process.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said, “Since the inauguration of the current leadership of INEC in November 2015, the commission has been putting various measures in place to improve and strengthen the electoral process. And in doing so, the commission has also carried all stakeholders along. Not only that, by putting all our cards on the table at all times, INEC has continually demonstrated integrity, transparency and efficiency. The efforts are paying off.

“Only on August 31, the commission brought the Continuous Voter Registration to a close after registering 14.5 million voters in 16 months. The commission has also conducted about 190 different types of elections, including six governorship elections, none of which has been overturned.

“From the feedback we are getting from Nigerians, they are appreciative of our efforts and our pledge is that we will deliver free, fair and credible 2019 general elections.”

We’re not like PDP which abused INEC – APC

Also, the APC has debunked claims by the PDP governors that it has compromised INEC’s independence.

The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Monday.

He said, “We all know how the PDP used INEC when they were in power for 16 years, Nigerians have not forgotten how INEC was used under (Maurice) Iwu, we are not like them. Under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, we recognise INEC’s independence and we respect it. The PDP should stop this pettiness.”

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

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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Ahmed Kuru, Hassan Confirm as AMCON, NDIC MDs

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AMCON

Ahmed Kuru, Hassan Confirm as AMCON, NDIC MDs

The Senate has confirmed both Ahmed Kuru and Bello Hassan as the Managing Directors of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigerian (AMCON) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, respectively.

The two were confirmed after careful consideration of two separate reports of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions.

Also, the Senate confirmed Ebelechukwu Uneze and Aminu Ismail as executive directors of AMCON; and Muhammad Ibrahim as Executive Director of the NIDC.

Senator Uba Sani, the Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, said Kuru was confirmed as the MD of the AMCON in 2015.

He said, “The Corporation saw tremendous and tangible transformation and performance in effectively discharging its mandate during his first tenure through the introduction of new policies and frameworks.

“Strategically under his leadership, AMCON partnered investors and operators for value-enhanced exit of its portfolio companies, as well as the introduction and implementation of the Asset Management Partners scheme to assist with the resolution of small loans which in turn created over 3000 jobs both directly and indirectly.

“He also championed the creation of the Asset Tracing Unit which has led to more extensive discovery of assets and subsequent recovery of indebtedness while simultaneously having proactive negotiations with debt holders to achieve prompt and optimal settlements,” the lawmaker said.

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