Amid a solemn silence, articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were read aloud on the Senate floor on Thursday as the bitterly divided chamber began a historic trial of the US president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Senate Sergeant of Arms Michael Stenger opened just the third impeachment trial of a US president in history with a warning to the 100 senators.
“Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,” Stenger said after the seven members of the House of Representatives who will serve as prosecutors gathered in the well of the Senate chamber.
“All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States, articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump, President of the United States,” the sergeant at arms said.
Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who will serve as lead prosecutor for the trial, then read out the two articles of impeachment passed by the House on December 18.
“I will now read the articles of impeachment,” Schiff said, “impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.”
US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is to be sworn in at 2:00 pm (1900 GMT) to preside over the trial.
Roberts, 64, who was appointed to the nation’s top court by president George W. Bush, will then deliver an oath to the 100 senators who will swear to administer “impartial justice.”
The proceedings will then adjourn and the trial will get underway “in earnest” on Tuesday, according to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
Impeachment rules require a two-thirds Senate majority to convict and remove a president and Trump’s acquittal is widely expected in the Republican-dominated Senate.
The Senate’s time is at hand’
Trump is accused of abuse of power for withholding military aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting for the country’s president in exchange for an investigation into his potential presidential election rival Democrat Joe Biden.
The Government Accountability Office concluded in a report released Thursday that the White House violated federal law by putting a hold on the congressionally-approved funds for Ukraine.
“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” according to the GAO, a congressional watchdog.
The second article of impeachment — for obstruction of Congress — relates to Trump’s refusal to provide witnesses and documents to House impeachment investigators in defiance of congressional subpoenas.
McConnell has been extremely critical of Trump’s impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House and pledged on Thursday that things would be different in the Senate.
“It was a transparently partisan performance from beginning to end,” McConnell said. “But it’s not what this process will be going forward.
“This chamber exists precisely so that we can look past the daily drama,” the Republican senator from Kentucky said. “The House’s hour is over. The Senate’s time is at hand.”
The two articles of impeachment were delivered to the Senate on Wednesday in a solemn procession by the seven House Democrats who will prosecute the case against the 45th US president.
“So sad, so tragic for our country, that the actions taken by the president to undermine our national security, to violate his oath of office and to jeopardize the security of our elections, has taken us to this place,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said as she signed the articles.
“This president will be held accountable,” she said. “No one is above the law.”
Pelosi held back on delivering the articles to the Senate as she pressured McConnell to agree to subpoena the witnesses and documents that the White House blocked from the House probe.
McConnell has refused to commit, saying the issue will only be decided after the trial’s opening arguments and questioning.
A Trump administration official told reporters they expect the trial to last no longer than two weeks, suggesting McConnell could use his 53-47 Republican majority to stifle calls for witnesses and quickly take the charges to a vote.
Trump ridiculed the investigation and trial on Wednesday, as he has for months.
“Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats,” he wrote on Twitter.
Democrats released documents this week that showed Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani worked with Ukrainian-born American Lev Parnas to pressure Kiev to investigate Biden.
They also showed the two, working with Ukrainian officials, trying to force out the US ambassador to the country, Marie Yovanovitch, eventually removed by Trump.
In a televised interview Wednesday, Parnas told MSNBC that “President Trump knew exactly what was going on.”
“He was aware of all of my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president,” Parnas said.
Aside from Schiff the prosecution team will include Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler; House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries; Zoe Lofgren, a veteran of two previous impeachment investigations; and three others.
Source : Channels TV
Ex-Super Eagles Goalie, Baruwa Reveals How 3SC Revived His Dwindling Career
Former Super Eagles and Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan Goalkeeper, Abiodun Baruwa has revealed how the Ibadan based football club played vital role in the resuscitation of his football career.
Baruwa, who opened up on his stint with the Oluyole Warriors while featuring
on BCOS TV sports programme ‘Weekend Sports’ also disclosed that 3SC infused new lease of life into his dying career.
According to the retired footballer, his career was going down when he joined the 3SC from Stationery Stores but his life was turned around in Ibadan.
The ex- Super Eagles goalie presently based in London, added the hospitality of 3SC fans and the encouragement he got from the club’s officials under late Taiwo Ogunjobi made him regained his confidence, and this resulted in his subsequent call-ups to the national teams at different grades.
“What many people didn’t know is that my career was in decline before I got to Shooting Stars, but the late Taiwo Ogunjobi took me in as a son and the fans showed me love. And that inspired me to churn out good performances for the team. Consequently I was called up to play for the Nigerian national teams at different levels”, Baruwa said on the sports programme he featured via Skype.
“Because of the key role 3SC played in my football career, the club remain my darling team”, he added.
Expressing his dissatisfaction at the present plight of the club, the former 3SC goalkeeper encouraged its fans to keep supporting the club to enable it regain its top position.
Abiodun Baruwa, fondly called Omo Alhaja (Alhaja’s son) by Ibadan soccer fans, was part of the Shooting Stars team that slugged it out with Egyptian giants Zamalek at the CAF Champions League final in 1996 and was also a member of the Super Eagles squad to the France ’98 FIFA World Cup.
LG Crisis: Accept Reality Of Constitutional Democracy, Move On With Governance – Oyo APC Tells Makinde
The All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has described the reinstatement of the elected local government council officials as a manifestation of the reality of constitutional democracy which must be accepted by all stakeholders including Governor Seyi Makinde and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
Against the backdrop of an alleged illegal dissolution of all chairmen and councillors elected during the administration of his predecessor, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Muhammad Adamu, have had to intervene in the matter with respect to the verdict of the nation’s Apex Court which negated the action taken by Gov. Makinde.
In a statement issued on Tuesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, Oyo APC decried what it called “unprovoked and needless disruption of smooth running of democracy at the local government level of the state by the new PDP administration on account of bad politicking and pursuit of selfish agenda.
“As normalcy is gradually returning to all the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs with the return of validly elected officials to their respective offices, we urge the state government to desist from further action capable of putting the Pacesetter State in the news for the negative reasons. No amount of bad politicking would change the dictates of the nation’s Constitution as well as the rule of law.
“Except in places like Ibadan North and Ibadan North East where a group of miscreants mobilized by the PDP stopped the elected officials from gaining access to their offices, as they also chased away Policemen deployed to do their duties, feelers from across the state indicated that the reinstatement directives were well carried out.
“Across Ogbomoso, Oke-Ogun, Oyo, Ibarapa and most parts of Ibadan geopolitical zones of the state, those elected those administer the affairs of local government councils and local council development areas have resumed work and we expect them to hit the ground running since much is expected from them by those who elected and handed them a three-year mandate on May 12, 2018.
“We are aware of the agitation for a redress on the eight months of their mandate taken away by the PDP government with its sack order and illegal appointment of caretaker chairmen in their place but we can assure them that this would be addressed in due course by the Judiciary which we believe, as a Progressive Party, remains the last hope of the common man.
“Therefore, we are using this opportunity to appeal for calm as we call for dialogue with Gov. Makinde on how he could work with the reinstated officials for the overall benefits of the good people of the state. We urge security agencies to forestall further attacks against our party faithful across the state by the PDP thugs while efforts are being made to prosecute those behind maiming of innocent people in parts of Ibadan on Monday and Tuesday.” APC stated.
Revenue Service Boss Finally Reacts, Says Oyo’s IGR not stable yet, still work in progress
The Chairman of Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS), Prince John Adeleke, has clarified that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was not stable yet as according to him, the revenue base was still “work in progress.”
Prince Adeleke, who clarified the N2.7 billion collection attributed by the media to his Board in a report on Wednesday said that the state government was not ready to celebrate IGR figures yet since the revenue base was work in progress.
A statement made public on Wednesday by the OYSIRS boss indicated that the state government was not out to celebrate any figures, because the revenue base was still undergoing a series of reviews and reforms.
He said: “Nevertheless we are not out to celebrate any specific figure yet of the IGR attached to any month until we have achieved progressive and consistently satisfactory revenue over a sustained period.”
According to Prince Adeleke, the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, had immediately after his appointment mandated his Board to ensure a huge turnaround of the state’s monthly revenue from an average of N1.7 billion to a minimum of N2 billion monthly, notwithstanding the vagaries and gyrations of revenue components.
He said: “We repeat that the N2 billion threshold, which is the immediate minimum IGR, which we hope for through the Oyo State Internal Revenue Service continued to be attainable. Every month, we will continue to work for increases beyond the threshold until the goal of doubling the IGR of the state to achieve a band of N4 billion is attained by December 2020.
“At this point, the OYSG will not indulge in any random celebration of any particular month’s IGR figure because our best is yet to come. Even when we cross the N4 billion mark in the months to come, this will immediately become another benchmark for higher and stronger IGR performance. We continue to draw appropriate lessons and inferences when our IGR is on the right trajectory in any month.
“On the other hand, we put in measures and constantly revise our strategies in months when we expect to do better.”
The statement further read: “Running along with our strategies of more effective and leak-proof collection, well-enhanced manpower, equipped with the right skills, determination to exploit the richness of our informal sector, embracement of the right IT solution for improvement of specific areas of collection, conscientious and results-driven leadership in the board and the Ministry of Finance, the good governance and visionary the leadership of our leader, Governor Seyi Makinde, Oyo State is poised to positively increased its IGR collection within the shortest possible time under this government. This is what we are working for. This is what we will achieve.”
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