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Anxiety as Supreme Court rules on Kogi polls tomorrow

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Supporters of Bello, Wada, Faleke move to Abuja

By John Akubo

There is anxiety in Kogi State ahead of tomorrow’s judgment of the Supreme Court on two separate appeals on the governorship election.
The two appeals were filed by former governor, Idris Wada and James Faleke, the running mate to the late candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Audu in the November 21, 2015 election.
Wada and Faleke appealed the decision of the Appeal Court which upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as governor.
The supporters of the three major parties in the litigations, Wada, Faleke and Governor Bello have moved to Abuja and are expecting the judgment to be in their favour.
Some members of Bello’s cabinet have also moved to Abuja in solidarity with their boss and in the hope that he will carry the day. The movement to Abuja has paralysed some government activities.

But despite the confidence being exuded in the three camps, there is palpable fear as none can be sure of what the outcome will be.

Governor Bello’s Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Abdulmalik Abdulkareem, said they were not shaken by the impending judgment.

“We are not shaken, we know that the rule of law will take its course, God willing, we are set to make a legal record that will become a precedent. The Nigerian legal system is developing and we are happy that our case is adding impetus to the Nigerian judiciary,” he said.

According to him, since there are no new issues raised, the governor’s camp is not in any way jittery over the judgment. “It is not true that the entire government machinery moved to Abuja, it is usual that when the governor is out of town, a few officials are with him, he is working, he has been attending meetings, so it is not true that he is in Abuja because of the judgment.”

Wada is also expecting to carry the day. Speaking through his Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, Jacob Edi, the former governor restated his belief in the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court.

“We expect to win the case, we have always had confidence in the judiciary and we have kept advancing to the last stage, that is why we are at the Supreme Court. The judiciary is the ultimate for the common man.

“The framers of the constitution are aware that at every stage of the case newer interpretations will come up. We believe that the Supreme Court will look deeper into the case, particularly with the minority judgment. Whatever decision taken will deepen democracy as the case is novel, it will be a landmark judgment. We have confidence in the independence of the Supreme Court”.

The apex court may hear and decide both appeals the same day and fix a different date for the underlying reasons for the judgments as has been the pattern since hearing the disputes on the 2015 general elections.

In a unanimous judgment by a five-member panel of justices read by Justice Jummai Sankey on August 4, 2016, the Appeal Court hadupheld the verdict of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, which dismissed Faleke’s petition.

But in Wada’s appeal, Justice Obande Festus Ogbuinya gave a dissenting judgment cancelling the election of Bello on the grounds that he was not validly nominated for the election following Audu’s death and he failed to nominate a running mate before the election. He ordered the withdrawal of the governor’s certificate of return and the conduct of a fresh election in the state.

Meanwhile, the state command of the Nigeria Police has warned politicians and miscreants against violence.
The command said intelligence reports had shown that the two major political parties were planning to either celebrate or cause problems after the delivery of the judgment. The security agents threatened to “deal ruthlessly” with anybody found causing trouble in any part of the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Abdulahi Chafe, who gave the warning while addressing reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, said the command was prepared to protect the lives and property of law- abiding residents of the state.

http://t.guardian.ng/news/anxiety-as-supreme-court-rules-on-kogi-polls-tomorrow

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chiefs

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chief

The senator representing Ekiti Central Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele has asked President Muhamadu Buhari to respect the resolution of the National Assembly that he should sack the service chiefs without further delay.
The senator while contributing to the motion on the beheading of 67 farmers in Borno, by Bokoharam insurgents: Need for Urgent, Decisive action pleaded with the service chiefs to voluntarily resign based on national interest.
He said they can then wait to be appointed as Presidential Advisory Panel on security.
“For me the number one resolution that I will like to reemphasize on this floor of the senate is for the President to allow the service chiefs to go, they have done their best, they have worked so hard, the best anybody can give is his best.
“You cannot give what you do not have and if the President believes so much in these service chiefs he should remove them as service chiefs and constitute them as Presidential advisory committee on security matters and they will still be there to be advising him and let the younger ones take over as service chiefs to move the country forward.
He said, “It is yet another moment when we run the risk of Nigerians looking at us as a group of elected representatives who sit in the red chamber to shed crocodile tears but we know that is not what we do.
“We are victims of certain circumstances that make it look like that. There is probably nothing any of us could say here today that has not been said, the only thing that is new is that more people have been killed in most barbaric manner. Yet we have to say something as representatives of the people.
“We are unhappy about what happened in Borno, Katsina and Niger States and some Northern parts of the country. Even in the South South, south East and south west where people are being kidnapped, there are some forms of insurgency.
“In Ondo State just last week a paramount ruler was killed. My own contribution is this, let us stand on existing resolution, in addition of course to the prayers that the mover of this motion made clear to us.
“Fighting Bokoharam cannot be something we do by habit, it cannot become part of our national life, it cannot become what we budget for year in year out as a routine.”
He lamented that the war was becoming a routine adding that there is a need to bring it to an end as lives are being lost on a daily bases.
He also made refrence to a constitutional provision in section 14(1)b which defines the primary purpose of Government to be the welfare and security of the people.
“We all agree that this is not being fulfilled and where a Government is deemed to be in breach of section 14(1)b the Government is also automatically seen to have breached section 32 and 34 of our constitution which provides for the right to life, right for personal liberty, and life against torture.
“These are things that goes together once you fail to fulfill the provision of section 14(1)b so what are we talking about let these service chiefs go.
“If the President would not remove them we call on these service chiefs in the interests of the public to resign and look forward to being appointed as members of Presidential committee on security. So this is one contribution that I really want to make.”
He also made reference to the budget of over N800b set aside for all of the armed forces, whereby more than 60% of it is specifically tailored towards prosecuting the war against insurgency.
“I believe before this budget is passed it is either the president come to address this parliament on the way forward on how to address the security matter or we hold a joint session and do a public hearing and allow Nigerians an opportunity to also speak to this issue.
“I dont think it should be a question of us sitting down to pass this budget it should not be business unusual.”

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

 
Apparently piqued by the growing youth restiveness which engulfed parts of the country in the last few weeks,
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged women to engage with children and youths on the need for dialogue that would yield better understanding.

The President spoke on Thursday while hosting the representatives of women at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said Nigeria remained committed to ending violence against women and girls in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

According to him, although the country had not achieved the 35 percent affirmation on the participation of women in governance, the current administration intended to exceed the benchmark.

“I want to assure you that this administration remains resolute to not only meet the 35 percent National Gender Policy, but to exceed it across key decision-making role in government,” he said.

He restated his commitment to end child marriage and boost girl child education in all parts of the country.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, earlier appealed to President Buhari to ensure that the issues responsible for the ongoing strike by university lecturers were resolved amicably, to enable universities reopen and students go back to school

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Labour disowns FG over petrol price hike, as it asks for reversal to N160

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Labour disowns FG over petrol price hike, as it asks for reversal to N160

**decries FG insincerity

The organised Labour has expressed disappointment with the Federal Government over its high level of insincerity with the union.
The general secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Emma Ugboajah indicated that labour movement’s agreement with Government was for local refineries to be be rehabilitated to boost local refining.
He said almost eight weeks after the negotiations, the Federal Government has not shown any commitment to all the items that were agreed upon.
He stressed that out of 161 buses that are powered gas, none of them has been supplied to the movement.
“We never supported deregulation that is anchored on price increment. Our minimum request is that the Federal Government must reverse back to N160,” Ugboajah said. “We agreed that the refineries should be out to work. We have not seen any work in that regard.
Also, we have seen the NNPC maintaining a stranglehold on importation.”
He said the are demanding for a reversal of recent hike in the petrol price adding that they did not endorse deregulation that is anchored on price.

He said the strikers option is still opened for them to explore

The President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, said things are going out of hand if urgent steps are not taken.
His words: “We cannot pretend that things are not going right. It seems government wants to create crisis when none exists. We have been coming here to ensure the hardship on the people is reduced.
He accused the Government of sponsoring miscreants who torment them with insults through text messages on daily bases making almost impossible for them to move freely

“Academic staffers have been on strike. We set up a committee for more than two months and nothing has happened. A month to the end of the year, nothing has been done. If today’s meeting does not solve the problem, we will mobilise outselve and stage a walk out of the meeting. I hope today’s meeting will be productive. ”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the meeting was supposed to have been held in October but for #EndSars protests that rocked the nation last month.
Ngige said the Federal Government is ready to begin rolling out the palliatives as from today, Monday.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha said government is already working on some of the agreed area such as reduction of tariff on the importation of cars from 35% to 10% and other steps that the Federal Government has taken.









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