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Ambode Accepted Defeat to Avert Impeachment –Sources

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  • Ambode Accepted Defeat to Avert Impeachment –Sources

There were indications on Wednesday that the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, conceded victory to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his main opponent for the All Progressives Congress governorship ticket in Lagos, to calm frayed nerves and avert impeachment.

There had been expectation that the governor would fight the declaration of Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the state’s Tuesday governorship primary, which was initially cancelled by the APC National Working Committee panel that had promised to announce a new date for the primary.

The panel made a U-turn on Wednesday to declare Sanwo-Olu the winner, sparking speculations that the governor would reject the move.

A few hours after the panel’s new decision, the governor’s media team sent a press statement that the governor would host a “world press briefing” by 2.pm, causing more speculations.

In the briefing, which eventually turned out to be a broadcast by 4pm, Ambode accepted defeat and congratulated Sanwo-Olu.

One of our correspondents gathered through sources in both Ambode and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s camps that the move was meant to remove the tension, as well as avert the impeachment move being considered by party elders.

One of the sources said before and after the broadcast, Ambode had contacted Tinubu and some party leaders in a bid to assure them of his loyalty to the party, and in order to avert the impeachment option.

“He (Ambode) did not want the matter to get to that level; that is why he accepted the defeat to reduce the tension in the state and stop any panicky action by the party elders. He also wanted them to leave him in peace to complete all his projects,” the source said.

The APC Publicity Secretary in Lagos State, Mr Joe Igbokwe, said he did not know about any peace move by the incumbent governor, as well as any deal.

He said, “I don’t know about that.”

One of Tinubu’s aides also said it was still early to say.

He said, “Ambode just made his speech, every other thing would flow from the governor’s decision to accept defeat and congratulate Sanwo-Olu.”

NWC bows to Lagos APC, declares Sanwo-Olu winner

Earlier on Wednesday, the APC panel changed its position on the validity of the primary conducted in the state on Tuesday.

The fresh stance was contrary to the position of the NWC panel, led by Mr Clement Ebri, on Tuesday that the primary did not hold.

The panel said on Wednesday that the primary held.

It went on to declare Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the primary with 970,851 votes ahead of Ambode, who recorded 72,901 votes.

The Ebri-led panel in a press statement, said, “After resolving some of the hiccups, the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Committee collated the results from the 245 wards in the 20 local government areas.

“At the end of the exercise, these are the votes scored by the aspirants: 1. Gov Akinwunmi Ambode, 72,901 votes. 2. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, 970,851 votes.

“Following these results, I, Clement Ebri, the Chairman of the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Committee hereby declare Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner.”

‘Why APC NWC upheld primary’

Another source said the decision to uphold the result was informed by the presence of relevant government agencies, including representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission at the primary.

A member of the party leadership, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity said, “Most people spoken to said the governorship primary was held in Lagos yesterday (Tuesday).”

Another party source confided in one of our correspondents that the President left the decision to the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who had earlier said there was election in Lagos.

The source added that Ebri did not take directive from the NWC before announcing that no primary took place.

Ambode accepts defeat, congratulates Sanwo-Olu

In his broadcast on Wednesday, Ambode congratulated Sanwo-Olu, saying it was time for the state to move forward.

The governor said although events of the last few days had been characterised by intense political activities which created tension, the interest of the state superseded that of any personal ambition.

He, therefore, urged members of the party and all Lagosians to support the candidate of the party.

He said, “The APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved state must always supersede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC Primaries, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and urge all Lagosians to immediately support our party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections.”

While assuring that he would work to ensure a smooth transition in 2019, the governor said the progress of the state was non-negotiable, as he would remain forever devoted to the development of Lagos.

The governor thanked Tinubu, the leadership of the party and all Lagosians for the support extended to him, and urged the people to continue to support the APC.

Lagos is under siege

However, the Convener of Lagos Solidarity Forum, Comrade Mark Adebayo, said on Wednesday that Lagos was being pushed in the direction of the precipice by enemies of democracy.

In a statement, the group boss said the state APC primary was “another hatchet’s job.”

He said, “Every society that has ceased to exist starts from the point of aggravated injustice that provokes intractable anarchy.

“Unfortunately, Lagos State is being pushed in the direction of that precipice by forces which can best be described as, not only enemies of democracy, but enemies of the people. These same forces have been responsible for the mobile retrogression of Nigeria since 1999 that we have moved into civilian governance. Their weapons have been domination, imposition and brazen overthrow of the people’s mandate.

“The shameful shenanigan orchestrated by the APC governorship primary committee chaired by Clement Ebri, the former Cross River State governor erroneously thought to be a man of impeccable integrity was another hatchet’s job executed in the service of merchants of inhumanity and derogation of all elements of societal value….

“The time has come for Lagosians to rise up through a mass action to liberate ourselves.”

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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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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