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DSS Invites Fani-Kayode for Alleging Coup Plot

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The Department of State Services has invited a spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Femi Fani-Kayode, over allegations of a coup plot ahead of the February election.

Fani-Kayode, a former minister under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, and Director of Special Projects and New Media of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, confirmed the invitation in a statement on Monday.

He added that he would honour the invitation.

The news made the rounds last week that Fani-Kayode, in a tweet, alleged that some top army personnel met with some politicians, including the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, in a bid to scuttle the February 25 general election.

He added that the meeting might be part of an agenda to provoke a coup and establish a new and unconstitutional order in the country.

But, in a statement on Saturday, February 12, 2023, the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, advised Nigerians to disregard Fani-Kayode’s tweets, stressing the Armed Forces’ loyalty to the constitution.

Gusau also expressed dismay that even politically exposed persons had denigrated themselves by joining agents of destabilisation.

He said: “It needs to be stated that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional military that is loyal to the Constitution of the Federal Republic and will never be part of any evil plot against our democracy. Besides, the military remains apolitical and neutral in the current political process and will not engage in the alleged shenanigans.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will never be part of any ignoble plot to truncate our hard-earned democracy.”

In his reaction, Atiku, in a statement by his Special Assistant, Public Communications, Mr Phrank Shaibu, asked the DSS and other security agencies to invite Fani-Kayode to explain his insinuations of a coup d’etat by top army generals and himself.

He wrote, “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered responding to Fani-Kayode who has over the years built a reputation of being an inveterate liar so much so that he was even publicly blacklisted by the Nigeria Union of Journalists after his disgraceful outburst at a journalist.

“However, allegations and insinuations of a coup should not be taken lightly given the fact that it is treason, an offence that carries the death penalty.

“While commending the Nigerian military for effectively rubbishing Fani-Kayode’s barefaced lie, we call on security agencies to invite him to shed more light on the allegations.”

Meanwhile, following the statement by the Defence Headquarters through Gusau, the former minister, in a tweet commended the army for clearing the air on the alleged meeting between army officials and Atiku.

He wrote, “Happy that the newspaper report I referred to has proved to be FALSE. As I said, “if true”, it would have been troubling. I commend the Military for their commitment to democracy.

“The fact that they can respond so quickly when we raise concerns is encouraging and proves that they are not only responsive and responsible but that we are also on the same page when it comes to civic duties, the rule of law, civilian rule, an open society and democracy.”

He also denied accusing the military of planning to scuttle the election and provoke a coup plot, insisting he had only raised “questions about some rogue officers who, according to media reports, allegedly met with Atiku.”

He added, “Thankfully, those reports have been debunked and proved to be unfounded. There is no gain saying that I have implicit confidence in the military and its High Command as an institution and I trust in their commitment to democracy which has been confirmed and proved over the last 24 years since the return of civilian rule in 1999. I would encourage them to continue to be watchful and alert and to continue their good work by supporting, protecting, and sustaining our democracy.”

But Atiku’s spokesman, Shuaib, rejected Fani-Kayode’s attempt at a recant, describing it as belated.

The Punch

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Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected As South African President

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The South African Parliament has, during its first sitting of the 7th Parliament on Friday, re-elected Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of the Republic of South Africa. He has been re-elected to serve a second term as the President.

Thia was hours after his African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance (DA) agreed to form a coalition, setting aside their rivalry in a historic governance pact.

In terms of the Constitution, the National Assembly must, at its first sitting after its election, elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.

Mr. Ramaphosa was elected with 283 votes against Mr Julius Malema with 44 votes. The Constitution states that when elected President, a person ceases to be a member of the National Assembly and, within five days, must assume office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution.

The President-elect will be inaugurated during a ceremony in Pretoria which, according to the Constitution, should take place within five days after the President’s election.

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Finidi George Resigns As Super Eagles Coach

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has resigned his appointment,  according to a post by ex-Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye on X.com on Saturday.

He wrote, “News just in. Finidi George #FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his #NGSuperEagles manager position.”

The resignation follows the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) decision to appoint a foreign coach to oversee him, despite his recent appointment in May.

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Appeal Court Insists Amaewhule, 26 Others Not Members of Rivers House of Assembly

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Friday, refused to set aside a judgment ordering the removal of Martins Chike Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

Justice Charles Wali of the Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt, on May 30 declared the seats of the 27 lawmakers who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in October last year vacant.

The judge, who delivered the ruling in a suit filed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Victor Oko Jumbo, and two others, also restrained Amaewhule from parading himself as Speaker of the Assembly.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, the aggrieved lawmakers approached the appellate court to set it aside.

However, at a virtual hearing of the matter on Friday, a three-member panel of the appellate court declared that the reversal of the lower court ruling would amount to pre-judging the appeal currently before it.

The panel, thereafter, fixed June 20 for the hearing of the appeal filed by the lawmakers in their quest to regain their seats in the Assembly.

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