The newspaper review for Wednesday, July 25, leads with the defection of 14 senators from the the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic party (PDP) and the reactions that followed it among other stories.
Vanguard reports that an alleged plot to remove the two presiding officers of the Senate, yesterday, could not stop the defection of 14 senators from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on a day of high drama that was heralded by the police siege to the homes of the two presiding officers.
The defection set a scenario of convulsion that put two different political parties controlling the presidency and the Senate.
The similar defection of 37 members of the APC to the PDP in the House of Representatives was, however, not enough to swing control of the House towards the PDP. APC senate leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan however insisted yesterday that his party still retains the majority in the Senate.
The defections in the two chambers of the National Assembly were heralded by the early morning drama of the siege by the police to the homes of Senate president Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The Guardian reports that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has downplayed its loss of majority seats at the Senate, following yesterday’s defection by 15 lawmakers to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The drama was also replicated at the House of Representatives where 37 legislators abandoned the ruling party.
While the plot to jump ship was already anticipated, an early morning blockade by security operatives at the residences of Senate president Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu seemed to have hastened the action.
It is believed the barricade was part of a plan to checkmate the defection. The police had on Monday invited Saraki for questioning over his alleged involvement in the April 5 Offa robbery incident. But before this could happen, armed policemen took up positions, sealing off his street.
The Punch reports that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state, Prof Kolapo Olusola, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of frustrating his efforts to duly file a petition at the election petitions tribunal.
Olusola is challenging the victory of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr Kayode Fayemi, as declared by the INEC. He alleged that his applications to INEC for the certified true copies of election documents and a motion ex parte made to the tribunal were rebuffed despite having fulfilled necessary steps. Olusola raised the alarm that the delay from INEC and the tribunal were plans to allow time to run against him in instituting the legal action within the 21 days.
He urged the election petitions tribunal to expedite action on his two applications and allow the law to take its course. “We applied for certified true copies of election documents to assist in the preparation and presentation of my petition.
“The application was filed on July 16 to the Ekiti state resident electoral commissioner, Prof Abdulganiyu Raji, and upon approval of the application, we made payment on July 20. Till now, no document has been made available to us by INEC.
“We equally made an application for certified true copies of the document to the INEC chairman, Abuja, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, on July 17, and upon approval, payment was made on July 18.”
The Nation reports that All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman Adams Oshiomhole said that the defection of some Senators and House of Representatives members from the party was better for it.
He spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. According to him, the defectors do not believe in the ideals of the APC. Besides, said the chairman, he would like to build a solid party, which is not just a vehicle for acquiring political office or personal gain.
This Day reports that the audited report of the federal government for the 2016 financial statement from the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (OAuGF), Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, has revealed that the presidency illegally withdrew N14 billion from the Stabilisation Fund for the establishment of an Army barracks.
The report, which is posted on the OAuGF’s website also indicated that one of the flaws among the agencies of government pointed was poor book keeping practices, especially in the oil mineral sector, in the management of revenue generation and expenditure, and described it as a major challenge in the anti-graft war in public finance expenditure.