Lawmakers propose N100, 000 fine for National Flag Abuse; 2017 Budget delay: FG to run on 25% of recurrent provisions; PDP crisis: Supreme Court fixes May 25 to entertain PDP’s appeal; Lagos LG Polls: Sheriff–Makarfi crisis mar PDP preparations . . .
Lawmakers Propose N100, 000 Fine For National Flag Abuse
A Bill for a law to provide N100, 000 fine for people who distort the country’s national flag passed second reading at the House of Representatives on Thursday. Sponsor of the bill, Rep. Sam Onuigbo (Abia-PDP), in the debate, said the bill sought to amend Flag and Coat of Arms Act 2004 and would make further provisions to preserve the country’s national heritage.
He said there had been surreptitious effort to change the national flag as many public and private offices constructed the Coat-of Arms on it. Onuigbo said that the offices even included official photographs of governors, ministers, and even national assembly members in the designs. According to him, it is important to declare that any addition, subtraction or superimposition outside the version designed by Pa Michael Akinkunmi in 1959 is not the Nigerian flag.
According to the lawmaker, Section 10 of the principal Act is amended by removing the fine of N100 and replacing same with the sum of N100, 000. ‘‘Also any person who flies or exhibits the national flag which is deconstructed, thereby creating an impression of using the national flag, where actually the flag is deconstructed shall be guilty of an offence against the Act . . . “
2017 Budget delay: FG to run on 25% of recurrent provisions
THE Senate on Thursday said the 2017 Appropriation Bill would be laid for deliberation and passage next Tuesday. This came against the position of the Ministry of Finance earlier in the first quarter of the year that the Federal Government would run on 2016 budget until May 5, 2017, being today. However, against the apprehension during the week of a possible fiscal crises and government business shut down in the event that the May 5, 2017 target was missed, the government was allowed by law to run its recurrent expenditure as provided in the 2017 Appropriation Bill up to the tune of 25 per cent before the Bill becomes law.
But according to the Senate, the government can actually rely on the constitutional provision to continue spending till June 30, 2017. However, the government is not allowed to spend on the capital budget portion until the Bill becomes law.
PDP crisis: Supreme Court fixes May 25 to entertain PDP’s appeal
The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed May 25 to hear application for the withdrawal of appeal filed against the National Chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff. Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of PDP, had approached the apex court to challenge the affirmation of Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party.
Justice Dattijo Mohammed fixed the date after counsel to parties regularized their various court processes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the two factions have laid claims to the national leadership of the party. The tussle later took parties to the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division where Mr. Sheriff was affirmed as the authentic national chairman of the party. Dissatisfied with the appellate court’s decision, the Makarfi-led faction approached the apex court seeking the upturning of the decision of the lower court.
However, Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the first respondent (PDP) had challenged the ground upon which the Makarfi-faction appealed against the decision of the lower court. His ground was that by virtue of the judgment of the Appeal Court, Makarfi no longer had any right to enter an appeal in the name of the party without Sheriff’s consent. The Supreme Court fixed May 25 to entertain PDP’s appeal.
Lagos LG Polls: Sheriff–Makarfi crisis mar PDP preparations
With the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) releasing guidelines for the July 22, 2017, local council elections, eyes are on the main (but crisis-ridden) opposition Peoples Democratic PDP to improve on its electoral fortunes in Lagos state. The party made an impact in the 2015 general elections when it won six of the 24 House of Representatives seats and eight of the 40 state Assembly slots. Two years after, the party is expected to widen its in-roads into the grassroots by winning a sizeable number of the 20 councils and 37 local development areas.
Apart from the defection of six of its state lawmakers to the ruling APC it is also entangled in a protracted leadership crisis occasioned by the disagreements between the Senator Alli-Modu Sheriff-led National Executive Committee, NEC and Senator Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee, NCC. Sheriff’s faction of the party is the authentic PDP (for now) courtesy of a Port Harcourt division Appeal Court ruling.
In Lagos, the PDP national crisis is taking a toll on the preparations of the Lagos PDP for the council elections in Lagos state. With the Appeal Court verdict affirming Sheriff as national chairman of the party, Mr. Segun Adewale a.k.a. Aeroland (photo above: left) is laying claim to the leadership of the party in Lagos but the Moshood Salvador (photo above: right) camp is insisting otherwise. The PDP crisi continues . . .