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Five things to know to start your Monday


Machina denies withdrawing for Lawan

Bashir Machina, the All Progressive Congress (APC) senatorial representative of Yobe North, says he is still in the race for 2023. He has not resigned, neither has he relinquished his ticket to Ahmed Lawan, the Senate president.

The politician dismissed a letter purporting that he had resigned on Sunday, due to  discrepancies with the dates. He said idea of stepping down for Lawan when all he wants to do is to provide effective leadership to his people sounds laughable.

He maintained that the letter was the handiwork of some mischievous element in the APC headquarters and promised to seek legal address over this attempt to mislead his supporters and political associates.

“I want to state unequivocally that the purported letter was forged. I did not at any time withdraw nor resign from my party,” he said.

“I was shocked when I discovered that some people concocted plans to mislead the public, particularly my supporters, into believing that I have withdrawn.”

“The discrepancies between the two dates, especially between the date of writing the purported letter and the date it was received exposed the authors’ inadequacies and lack of sufficient administrative knowledge,” he added.

“Although we suspect that this letter may be another fake news and the handiwork of enemies of peace, the APC’s National secretariat must speak up on it since it is carrying the official stamp of the secretariat.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I have not resigned nor withdrawn my candidature, I am in APC and have no intention to move to any party. I will (Insha Allah) pursue my senatorial ambition on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

“I have already instructed my lawyers to review the fake letter and take necessary legal action against the culprit(s).”

Lagos orders arrest of developers, others of collapsed VI building

The Lagos State government has ordered the arrest of the developers, engineers, and other building professionals involved in the now collapsed seven-storey building in Victoria Island.

The building, which the state government blamed for violating building laws, collapsed on Sunday, killing two people working on the site.

According to information available to the press, the order came from Dr. Idris Salako, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, on Sunday during a quick visit to the site of the collapsed building.

Dr. Salako accused the developers, the engineers, and all others of violating the state planning laws. He also accused them of being involved in sharp practices, seeing that they flaunted the requirements for building such a property.

He promised to use the full arm of the law to deal with all those responsible and use this isolated incident to serve as a warning to others who have made a habit of violating the state laws on building.

A statement issued by the ministry on Sunday read that for construction work to be carried out on a site, there must be a valid planning permit and approval from the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

Salako said the police are on the trail of the developer and all professionals involved in the project, such as architects, builders, and engineers.

“He enjoined Lagosians to join hands with the State Government in maintaining vigilance in the built environment by reporting any untoward developments in their vicinity, through any of the Ministry or State Government communication channels,  particularly the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPP&UD App) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency.” the statement concluded.

Read also: Six trapped in collapsed Lagos building

Utomi describes rift with Obi over campaign funds as “fake news”

Patrick Utomi, political economist and stalwart of the Labour Party (LP), has described as fake news the news of a rift between him and Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics with Seun Okinbaloye on Sunday, he described that rift as the imagination of some naysayers and those fighting tooth and nail to truncate Obi and the LP’s chances of changing the country’s political and economic narrative.

“It shows you how dangerous the territory we are playing in is—this thing called fake news has reached a point now,” he said “For example, I heard that things happened in Agbo, a town that I have not visited in years… you know me very well,”

“One of the last conversation I can have with anybody and dispute around is money. Whenever there is a money issue and people are disputing, I walk away, even if I have billions to lose, “he added, explaining how he values his professional ethics over compromised monetary rewards.

“I helped found a company that will become a multi-billion naira company, and once I saw unethical behavior, I just walked away. Each time I see those things, I walk away. To now come and do that over campaign you know me well enough to know that that is nonsence, no such thing ever happened. We have never even had a conversation around money in any shape or form,” he defended himself, telling Nigerians to disregard such news as fake news.

Dealing with energy crisis, top of Liz Truss list

As the announcement of Boris Johnson’s successor is set for Monday, the UK’s likely choice candidate, Mary Elizabeth Truss, said on Sunday that dealing with the energy crisis tops her to-do list when she eventually gets the appointment to lead the country.

She said this in a write-up in the Sunday Telegraph, and that she promised to also increase energy supplies to homes and offices, seeing how the country was finding it difficult to handle the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to Reuters, “the governing Conservative Party is widely expected to name Truss its new leader, and Britain’s new prime minister, on Monday at a time when the country faces what is forecast to be a long recession, double-digit inflation, and industrial unrest.”

Britain is facing one of the most difficult times in nearly 50 years, with many families struggling to deal with the rising cost of living. According to the Office of National Statistics, inflation in Britain is at a 50-year high of 10.1 percent. A situation that is primarily caused by rising food and energy prices.

Truss said she would be bold in tackling the flagging economy, repeating her pledge to spur growth to fix its long list of ills.

Truss promised that she would take “decisive action to ensure families and businesses can get through this winter and the next.”

Information available to some media houses said that the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, who is a close ally to Johnson, plans to spend more than 100 billion pounds to achieve her objectives once she becomes the next Prime Minister.

FBI finds over 11,000 government records in Trump’s Florida home

The August 8 search at former US President Donald Trump’s Florida estate has produced an update. It was reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recovered more than 11,000 classified documents and photographs as well as 48 empty folders still labeled as “classified” in his Mar-a-Lago home.

According to Reuters, the knowledge of the unsealing of the classified items came after U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in West Palm Beach heard of a heated argument between Trump’s attorney and two counterintelligence prosecutors from the Justice Department over the appointment of a special master to conduct a privilege review over the seized materials.

Judge Cannon, however, seeing reason, rejected Trump’s attorney’s request to appoint a special master and agreed instead to unseal the two records filed by the Justice Department.

William Barr, a former U.S. Attorney General who was appointed by Trump, questioned the usefulness of such an appointment.

Barr didn’t see the usefulness of appointing a special master to review the documents.

Barr has always disassociated himself from Trump’s claims of a rigged election that saw him lose to Joe Biden. He didn’t see why Trump would have sensitive “classified” documents in his house.



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