Last week, what started as an acquiescence by President Muhammadu Buhari to the invitation from the House of Representatives to address the legislators eventually ended in a snub.

In a motion passed by the green chamber the previous week, the lawmakers had invited Mr Buhari over the worsening security situation in the country, with the latter agreeing to make an appearance on Thursday.

However, his All Progressives Congress (APC) party members, at their national executive council meeting, where the tenure of Mala Buni-led caretaker committee was extended, had a different plan.

President Muhammadu Buhari [PHOTO CREDIT: Muhammadu Buhari on Facebook]
President Muhammadu Buhari [PHOTO CREDIT: Muhammadu Buhari on Facebook]

Governors of the ruling APC and some lawmakers prevailed upon Mr Buhari to ditch the invitation because of the implication his appearance might have on them and their party, especially because there were talks of possible embarassment being planned by the opposition People’s Democratic Party.

Mr Buhari changed his mind and acceded to the thoughts of his party’s members. Attorney-General Abubakar Malami came to the defence of the president, saying his principal’s appearance to a House summon under the law was discretionary, much to the consternation of some Nigerians.

The House suspended the planned visit and its spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu, said there were no plans to embarrass the president as feared. He said while the House was right to have invited the president, the president’s party’s decision was weightier than the president’s thoughts.

“The president is not more powerful than the party, but if he took a decision and his party took another, he must oblige the party,” Mr Kalu said.

As this played out, a witness told a court in Abuja how ex-fugitive and former chairperson of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was recently extradited from Niger Republic after jumping bail for allegedly stealing pension funds, bought and paid for two houses for $3.4 million. But Mr Maina told the court he has no case to answer.

His case was adjourned to Thursday. However, upon resumption of the case, Mr Maina fainted in the courtroom, sparking suspicion among Nigerians who accused him of feigning the collapse.

Insecurity

Earlier in the week, Mr Buhari maintained that his government has done well in the insurgency-hit North East, a view shared by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum. This is despite some APC governors saying the security situation in the country was regrettable.

At about 11 p.m. on Friday, after President Buhari landed in his Katsina home state for a weeklong private visit, suspected gunmen attacked the students of the Government Boys Science Secondary School in the Kankara Local Government Area of the state and abducted many of them.

The president promised to go after the militants just as there was exchange of fire between the Nigerian forces and the terrorists in their enclaves on Saturday.

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In another news, President Buhari again took a dig at international media outfits, CNN and BBC, for their coverage of the controversial Lekki shooting during the #EndSARS protests in October. He said he was disgusted by their reportage.

But amidst threats by security operatives to use force to quash them in states like Ondo, #EndSARS protesters resumed their agitation against police brutality in some parts of the country like Osun, Ogun and Lagos states.

A report by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, meanwhile, indicted the Nigerian forces for alleged war crimes.

The report said there was a ‘reasonable basis’ to believe that Nigeria’s security forces have committed various ‘war crimes’ while waging war against Boko Haram, which was also indicted.

Election matters

As Nigeria braces up for the 2023 general elections, former President Goodluck Jonathan, was asked if he would be joining the presidential race in 2023.

“It is too early to talk about that” came his response, fueling rumours that he might run, having been seen in meetings with members of the APC.

Former President Goodluck JonathanFormer President Goodluck Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan (PHOTO CREDIT: @GEJonathan)

On its part, the PDP, the party to which Mr Jonathan belongs, said there was yet no decision on which zone would carry its emblem in 2023 general elections .

In the same vein, electoral umpire, INEC’s chairperson, Mahmood Yakubu, was sworn in for a second term of four years and he resumed office on Thursday.

Also, seven of the 11 states where legislative by-elections held last Saturday were won by the ruling APC, while the PDP won in Bayelsa, Enugu and Cross Rivers. The APC won in Imo, Kogi, Plateau, Katsina, Bauchi, Borno and Lagos, where turnout was below 10 per cent, while the election in Zamfara was inconclusive, according to the INEC.

Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi AkeredoluGovernor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu
Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu

The tribunal sitting on the Ondo governorship election over the week dismissed two of the petitions brought against the winner of the election, Rotimi Akeredolu. So also was a petition against Godwin Obaseki who won the September Edo governorship election dismissed.

Corruption cases

Controversy trailed the reported appearance of the suspended acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in Abuja over his asset declaration.

Also, the Abuja Federal High Court granted permission to former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to travel for medical checkup in the United Arab Emirate.

Last week also saw a video of Abia State chief of staff spraying bales of cash on a controversial cleric on social media. Soon after, his principal, Okezie Ikpeazu, suspended him.


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