Kalu can’t be Senate president due to low performance from Southeast – Adamu Garba https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/kalu-can-t-be-senate-president-due-to-low-performance-from-southeast-adamu-garba
Court bars NYSC from disclaiming Enugu governor-elect Mbah’s certificate https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/court-bars-nysc-from-disclaiming-enugu-governor-elect-mbah-s-certificate
I hope more youths will follow Hilda Baci’s footsteps – Buhari https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/i-hope-more-youths-will-follow-hilda-baci-s-footsteps-buhari
PDP denies alleged suspension of Senator Makarfi https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/pdp-denies-alleged-suspension-of-senator-makarfi
US imposes visa ban on Nigerians undermining democratic process https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/us-imposes-visa-ban-on-nigerians-undermining-democratic-process
[OPINION] Election Petitions: Need for litigants, judges to avoid technicalities - Ehichioya Ezomon https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/opinion/opinion-election-petitions-need-for-litigants-judges-to-avoid-technicalities-ehichioya-ezomon
World No 1 Tennis Star, Alcaraz, Knocked Out Of Italian Open https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/sports/world-no-1-tennis-star-alcaraz-knocked-out-of-italian-open
Buhari To Leave Nigerians With 22.22% Inflation Rate, Highest In 17 Years https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/buhari-to-leave-nigerians-with-22-22-inflation-rate-highest-in-17-years
Hilda Baci: 11 Nigerians Who Hold World Records https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/hilda-baci-11-nigerians-who-hold-world-records
May 29: Plot to scuttle inauguration of new administration real ― IGP https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/may-29-plot-to-scuttle-inauguration-of-new-administration-real-igp
Nollywood Actor, Murphy Afolabi Laid To Rest Amidst Tears (Video) https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/nollywood-actor-murphy-afolabi-laid-to-rest-amidst-tears-video
How Seun Kuti Begged, Gave Policeman ₦12,000 After Assault https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/how-seun-kuti-begged-gave-policeman-12-000-after-assault
Hilda to extend Guinness ‘longest time cooking’ record to 100 hours https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/hilda-to-extend-guinness-longest-time-cooking-record-to-100-hours
Kanu: AGF Malami Files Objection To Ozekhome’s Application Seeking Declaration Of Extradition Illegal https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/news/kanu-agf-malami-files-objection-to-ozekhome-s-application-seeking-declaration-of-extradition-illegal
The Supreme Court has dismissed a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the alleged double Nomination of Kassim Shettima, the Vice President-elect.
The Apex court on Friday agreed with the lower courts that the PDP lacks the locus Standi to institute such a case.
Justice Adamu Jauro who read the Judgement, noted that the PDP acted as meddlesome Interloper and a busy body as it is an internal affair of the APC.
A sum of two million naira (N2,000,000) was awarded against the PDP, even as the suit was dismissed for lacking in merit.
The Justices further held that the attitude of the appellant (PDP), amounts to misleading the court, describing the move as “sad”.
Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced. At this point, he was no longer a candidate for the Senate, and as such his position as vice president, did not constitute a multiple nomination breach.
On the case of Uche Nwosu which the PDP relied on, the Supreme Court Justices reminded them that they made the decision as at that time and are fully aware of the details.
Uche Nwosu in his case, got nominated by two political parties for different positions. They held that the the suit of the PDP, was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.
The Justices further held that the action of the PDP was painful as it used the social media to set a trap for the Apex court to blackmail it, describing this situation as unfortunate and uncalled for.
According to the judges, a political party has no right to challenge the action of another party, or the decision of INEC, in respect of another party.
They added that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person and an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.
The justices held that no matter the pains of the PDP on how the APC conducted it’s primary elections and nominated its candidate, the PDP must remain as an onlooker.
They also reminded the PDP of the same issue in 1999 where Atiku Abubakar was nominated for the seat of Governor, but later moved on to become the Vice Presidential Candidate to Olusegun Obasanjo.
In that case, Atiku’s running mate – Boni Haruna took over the Governorship Nomination. INEC wanted to conduct a fresh election then, but the party kicked against it until it got to the Supreme Court.
The court asked the opposition party rhetorically what has changed since 1999.
The PDP had in its suit, claimed that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate, was in breach of the Provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 36 and 84 (1)(2) of the Electoral Act 2022, however, the court in its ruling stressed that the opposition party had no case.
[COMMENTS AND ISSUES] Passionate Appeal for the Urgent Release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu - Chukwuma Charles SoludoWritten by Admin
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Dear Mr President,
Passionate Appeal for the Urgent Release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu
1. I bring you felicitations from Anambra State, the Light of the Nation. Let me first express, on behalf of my people, our profound gratitude to your government for some remarkable strides that will impact on the development of Anambra State and the South East, especially the near completion of the rd Niger Bridge, the ongoing rehabilitation of the Enugu-Onitsha road by the MTN, near completion of the Federal Secretariat complex, Awka, as well as the appointment of our sons and daughters in some key government institutions.
2. As you gradually wind down your eight years of duty tour, I have elected to write you on the above subject matter with a deep sense of duty, responsibility, and patriotism. I am a neo-Zikist, Pan-Nigerian, Pan-Africanist, and who is a stickler for the rule of law and protection of fundamental human rights of all Nigerians and persons. It is my hope and prayer that granting my appeal will be one of your historic acts of statesmanship in the last days of your stewardship as President and which will greatly advance the peace, unity, and progress of Nigeria.
Recall, Mr. President, that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was brought back to Nigeria in June 2021 to continue his trial on the charges brought against him. Like most people, I am convinced that effective and timely dispensation of justice will restore law and order in our dear country. I believe that it is in furtherance of the foregoing objective that the trial of Maxi Nnamdi Kanu was initiated.
However, up to this moment and going on to nearly two years, the trial has stalled and lingered in the courts, with no end in sight. Without meaning to delve into the merits of his case, it is pertinent to point out that Mazi Kanu has gotten TWO rulings in the court ordering his release from detention. It is also my understanding that the Federal Government has secured a stay of execution of ONE of these rulings and is also appealing the same. One of the court rulings for his release remains unchallenged and or subsisting. In July 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council had issued an opinion calling on the Federal Government to release him unconditionally.
In the meantime, the continued detention of Mazi Kanu has created what, for want of a better description, can be seen as systemic insecurity in the South Fast. Some supporters of Mazi Kanu have imposed the obnoxious and harmful "Sit-at-Home" order every Monday in the South East, while all manner of criminal gangs (kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers, etc) now masquerade as "freedom fighters" or those fighting for the release of Mazi Kanu. The human toll in terms of lost lives and socio-economic hardship, as well as challenges to our security personnel are matters for another day. Since my assumption of office as Governor of Anambra, we have been fighting these criminals head-on, in partnership with the security agencies. While we have achieved significant successes in Anambra, some businesses remain closed and movement remains limited on Mondays out of fear and anxiety. It is our belief that a lot still needs to be done and paradoxically, Mazi Kanu might end up as a part of the lasting solution.
Furthermore, it is reported that Mazi Kanu is gravely ill with three life-threatening conditions, namely a serious heart condition, hypertension and low potassium levels. All of these conditions demand specialist medical care and interventions that are reportedly not available at the facility where Mazi Kanu is being detained.
4. The Case for Mazi Kanu's Release
a) The continued detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been declared to be arbitrary and in contravention of international law and conventions as well as a violation of the Constitution of Nigeria.
In a long and strongly worded evaluation of the issues surrounding the arrest, detention and trial of Mazi Kanu, the United Nations Human Rights Council (Working Group on Arbitrary Detention) issued a damning verdict on 20th July, 2022, and called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to release Mazi Kanu immediately. Some excerpts from the verdict include:
"The Working Group finds that Mr. Kanu's continued deprivation of liberty violates his rights under articles 3 and 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 9 of the Covenant, and principles 2,4 and 10 of the Body of Principles and constitutes arbitrary detention under category I, It... and a breach of article 14(c) of the Covenant..;
Working Group finds that the fair trial rights and procedural guarantees of Mr. Kanu under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenant and other relevant human rights standards, were not observed and that such violations are of such gravity as to render Mr. Kanu's detention arbitrary under category ...... Working Group considers that his detention violates articles 2 and 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 2(1) and 26 of the Covenant, and is arbitrary under category V...'
The Working Group notes that Mazi Kanu has been denied medical treatment and medication for his heart condition.... The Group recalls that prolonged solitary confinement in excess of 15 consecutive days is prohibited under rules 43 (1)(b) and 44 of the Mandela Rules... Further notes that denial of medical assistance constitutes a violation of the Nelson Mandela Rules, rules 24, 25, 27 and 30 in particular....
In conclusion, the Working Group observes in the case of Kenya and Nigeria that: "The deprivation of liberty of Nnamdi Kanu, being in contravention of articles 2,3,6,78,9,10,11 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 2,9, 13, 14, 16, 19 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is arbitrary and falls within Categories I, 11, Ill, and V....... The Working Group considers that, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the appropriate remedy would be for the Government of Nigeria to release Mr. Kanu immediately andfor both Governments to accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law".
Furthermore, the Federal High Court, Umuahia, in a judgment in October 2022 largely concurred with the position of the UN Human Rights Council. While demanding the Federal Government to pay N500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Naira) as damages to Nnamdi Kanu, the Court held that: "the manner of arrest and detention of the Applicant (Nnamdi Kanu) in Kenya, his continued detention in Abuja, his subjugation to physical and mental trauma by the Respondents (Federal Government), the inhuman and degrading treatment meted out to the Applicant, amount to a brazen violation of the Applicant's fundamental right to dignity of his person and threat to life under Section 34(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)"
My understanding is that this judgment of the Federal High Court has not been stayed or appealed and the Federal Government has not paid the damages as demanded by the Honourable Court.
b) It is my understanding that Mazi Kanu is very sick and needs urgent medical treatment by medical personnel of his own choice
c) Nigeria has just gone through very consequential elections and part of the next smart steps must include an agenda for national healing and addressing some of the lingering systemic insecurity, especially in the South Fast. We need to build a cohesive force for the rapid socio-economic transformation of the country. All hands need to be on deck. All states and regions need to collaborate and cooperate. All voices need to be heard, and any positive contribution by anyone needs to be harnessed. The beauty of democracy is that most problems can be resolved through structured discussions. I believe that this is the time to bring all critical stakeholders around the table to talk, heal, and act together. In the South East, I believe that the key stakeholders are ready to sit down with Mazi Kanu to chart a path to sustainable peace and security in the region, and that he might be able to rein-in some of the renegade criminals masquerading as his supporters or "freedom fighters".
Consequently, the release of Mazi Kanu is not just a legal or compassionate thing to do; it is a smart, patriotic act to advance the cause of security, peace and development especially in the South East of Nigeria. Mr. President, you have tried your best in the area of fighting insecurity, but I am sure that you appreciate that a lot more still needs to be done. Kinetic approaches have their power, but when combined with non-kinetic approaches, the results can become more sustainable. While we are doing a lot to productively engage the youths, and embark on mass mobilization for value re-orientation as part of the non-kinetic approaches, a key missing link so far is the wider constructive engagement/dialogue between the Federal Government, South East leaders and other critical stakeholders on a form of "coordinated political solution".
In the light of the foregoing, it is my earnest prayer that Mr. President may kindly consider the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as demanded by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Federal High Court. This will be the right thing to do as a country that should extol the principles of the rule of law and in compliance with the international law and conventions that Nigeria is signatory to.
Alternatively, if there are persisting grounds that make his unconditional release untenable, Mr. President may consider granting him administrative bail on compassionate grounds and as part of the national healing process/creating a conducive atmosphere for a political solution. In this circumstance, I am prepared to take him on bail. My government is prepared to provide him with an alternative secured accommodation at Awka where he will have access to appropriate medical care, among others, and make him available when required. This will help to douse tensions in the South Fast and pave the way for constructive discussions towards progress. We commend your efforts in the North East especially in granting amnesty and rehabilitation for repentant Boko Haram operatives. The South Fast beckons, and I am confident that you can still do something historic within the remaining days of your tenure.
Mr. President, I am available for a meeting (if need be) at your earliest convenience to discuss any or all of the prayers above. God has been merciful to you over your entire life, especially during the past eight years. As you shepherd a transition process to hand-over to your successor, you might as well help to smoothen his easy take-off by resolving some of the lingering issues such as Mazi Kanu's detention. I therefore respectfully call on you, as a statesman, to discharge a historic show of mercy and release Nnamdi Kanu before you hand-over on the 29th May, 2023.
I most sincerely thank you, Mr. President, for your attention to this matter, while I look forward to hearing from you soonest. Please be assured of my highest respect and that of the people of Anambra State.
Ever united to the service of Nigeria.
Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR
1) WE Asiwaju Bola Abmed Tinubu President-Elect, Federal Republic of Nigeria
2) Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN Attorney-General/Minister of Justice
The Supreme Court is expected to deliver judgement today in the appeal seeking the disqualification of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and the vice president-elect, Kashim Shettima, over alleged double nomination.
The apex court’s panel of justices led by Inyang Okoro on Monday fixed the date after listening to lawyers in the matter.
The appeal was brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through their counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), alleging that Shettima had double nomination as senatorial candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District and vice-presidential candidate under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The appeal was earlier dismissed by the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal for lack of locus standi and a cost of N5 million against the PDP. Dissatisfied, the party approached the apex court.
The PDP wants the apex court to hear the matter on its merit and determine the grounds set out for the suit.
In the suit filed on July 28, 2022, the PDP claimed that the double nomination breached the provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 35, and 84(1)(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
PDP submitted that Shettima was still the nominated senatorial candidate on July 14, 2022 having emerged in the May primary of the APC, when he was again nominated the vice presidential candidate.
The party submitted that he withdrew his senatorial nomination on July 15, 2022, and was by then in breach of Section 33 on multiple nominations.
However, on January 13, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja dismissed the suit on the grounds that the PDP lacked the locus standi.
Dissatisfied, the PDP quickly approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja in appeal number CA/ABJ/CV/108/2023 to determine the validity of the Tinubu/Shettima ticket for the 2023 presidential election.
The PDP told the appellate court to disqualify the APC, Tinubu and Shettima from contesting the February 25 presidential election and for an order nullifying their candidacy.
The PDP further asked the appellate court to make an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove their names from its list of nominated or sponsored candidates eligible to contest the election.
In their defence, APC, Tinubu and Shettima filed a preliminary objection asking the appellate court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction.
They contended that the PDP lacked the locus standi to bring the action, adding that the matter was within the APC’s internal affairs and thus, non-justiciable.
Delivering the lead judgement of the panel of justices, Justice James Abundaga agreed with the submissions of the APC lawyers led by Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and held that the matter was an internal affair of the party.
Justice Abundaga held that the trial court was right to have held that the PDP failed to establish its locus standi.
“The appellant, having failed to disclose its locus standi, this appeal fails and it is hereby dismissed,” he said.
He proceeded to award the cost of N5 million against the PDP lawyers led by J. Olotu.
Presidential candidate fined N40m over frivolous suit to stop Tinubu
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has imposed N40 million fine on the former presidential candidate of Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Ambrose Owuru, for his suit seeking to stop the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as president.
A three-member panel of justices presided over by Justice Jamil Tukur yesterday ordered Owuru to pay the sum to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Tinubu, whom he joined as respondents in the matter.
Justice Tukur held that Owuru embarked on a gross abuse of the court process by filing a frivolous, vexatious and irritating suit to provoke the respondents.
The Court of Appeal held that the grievances of Owuru against the 2019 presidential election were not only strange but uncalled for because the grievances had been pursued up to Supreme Court and were dismissed for want of merit.
He said the action of Owuru to resuscitate the case that died in 2019 at the Supreme Court was aimed at making the lower courts go on a collision course with the supremacy of the apex court.
The appellate court had on May 19 reserved the matter for judgement after listening to parties in the matter.
Owuru claimed in suit number CA/CV/259/2023 that he won the 2019 presidential election and was impacted by the rescheduling of the polls and that holding the May 29 inauguration would amount to the usurpation of his mandate.
Earlier, counsel to Tinubu, Adelani Ajibade, pleaded with the appellate court to sustain the decision of the Supreme Court on October 11, 2019, and dismiss the appeal with a cost of N20 million.
Counsel to INEC, Hassan Aminu, also asked the appellate court to dismiss the application.
An elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has said lack of trust is breaking up Nigeria, stressing the need for unity and peace in the country.
Clark spoke on the occasion of his 96th birthday celebration on Thursday at his residence in Abuja, where prominent personalities including top politicians gathered.
The leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) said, “It’s lack of trust that is breaking up Nigeria; Nigeria is so divided today. I am a Nigerian; I won’t keep quiet when Nigerians are suffering. If Nigeria does not stand properly, there will be no unity, there will be no peace.”
The former Minister of Information said he had not been celebrating his birthday since the Chibok girls’ abduction in 2014 because it was the worst experience any country could have.
“I stopped celebrating my birthdays since the Chibok school girls were abducted in Borno State. It was very painful. Today, I am not celebrating, I am thanking God. I am not celebrating because I lost two younger brothers in the past,” he said.
Speaking during the occasion, the Bayelsa State governor, Duoye Diri, expressed happiness that Clark was still preaching unity at 96, and could still remember Nigeria’s history.
A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has said bad governance is responsible for the worsening security challenges facing Nigeria.
He stated this on Thursday as the keynote speaker at the Pre-Inaugural Lecture organised in honour of Umaru Bago Mohammed, the governor-elect of Niger State.
He said the prevailing national security challenges in Nigeria were caused by poor management of complex diversity and poor governance complicated by heightened mobilisation of ethno-religious identities, especially during political and electoral contests.
He lamented that the number of deaths and abductions due to worsening security challenges had risen significantly in recent times and tasked governments at all levels on effective collaboration to tame the tide.
Also speaking at the occasion, the former governor of Kano State and presidential candidate in the last election on the platform of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso warned the governor-elect to be wary of bad eggs around him.
Kwankwaso, who was the chairman of the occasion, said incompetence and lack of knowledge of governance were responsible for the failure of some elected governors.governance were responsible for the failure of some elected governors.
Forty-four-year-old Florida Governor Ronald DeSantis yesterday announced his intention to contest in the Republican primary for the seat of the president of the United States (U.S.) next year.
His announcement comes as the party tries to move away from former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis revealed his decision in a Federal Election Commission filing before an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
The Florida governor’s announcement was to be streamed on Twitter Spaces beginning at 6 p.m. EDT. He was following up with prime-time appearances on conservative programmes, including Fox News and Mark Levin’s radio show.
DeSantis, who is considered a major threat to Trump, is expected to face questions about his readiness for the big job, especially taking into consideration his fast rise in the murky field of politics—which has seen him rise from a little-known congressman to two-term governor to a leading figure in the nation’s bitter fights over race, gender, abortion, and other divisive issues.
Political pundits in the US consider his entry the biggest threat and greatest chance for the Republican Party to retake the White House from Democratic President Joe Biden—of which many see him as tilting the country too far left while failing to address inflation, immigration, and crime.
The Republican nominee will face Biden on the general election ballot in November 2024.
DeSantis has a lot in common with Trump, especially when taking into context the role the former president played in making him governor of the state of Florida. He begins his campaign in the top tier of two alongside Trump based on early public polling, fundraising, and campaign infrastructure.
The Florida governor has also adopted some of Trump’s style of politics, as he pushes the same populist policies, rhetoric, mannerisms, and fiery personality.
According to the Associated Press, DeSantis has one thing Trump does not: a credible claim that he may be more electable in a general election than Trump, who faces multiple legal threats and has presided over Republican losses in three consecutive national elections.
Just six months ago, DeSantis won his reelection in Florida by a stunning 19 percentage points, even as Republicans in many other states struggled. He also scored several major policy victories during the Republican-controlled Legislature’s spring session.
Aware of DeSantis’ draw, Trump has been almost singularly focused on undermining DeSantis’ political appeal for months. Trump and his team believe that DeSantis may be Trump’s only legitimate threat for the nomination.
Trump’s kitchen-sink attacks and nicknames won’t be DeSantis’ only hurdle.
DeSantis may be a political heavyweight in Florida and a regular on Fox News, but allies acknowledge that most primary voters in other states don’t know him well.
Who is Ron DeSantis?
Ronald DeSantis, born September 14, 1978, is an American politician and former military officer who has served as the 46th governor of Florida since 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party. He has represented Florida’s 6th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2018.
He attended Yale University and Harvard Law School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2004 and was promoted to lieutenant before serving as a legal advisor to SEAL Team One. When he returned to the U.S. after his military assignment abroad, the U.S. Department of Justice appointed him to serve as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida, a position he held until he was discharged from active military duty in 2010.
His journey into politics started when he was first elected to Congress in 2012. He was later reelected in 2014 and 2016.
He briefly ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016 but withdrew when incumbent senator Marco Rubio sought reelection.
However, DeSantis won the Republican nomination for the 2018 gubernatorial election and narrowly defeated the Democratic nominee, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, in the general election by 0.4 percent.
Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, before he leaves office on May 29.
The governor also urged President Buhari to release Kanu to him personally, adding that he could vouch that the IPOB leader would be presented in court when needed.
Soludo made the appeal in a letter dated April 20, 2023, titled ‘Passionate Appeal For The Urgent Release Of Mazi’ and copied to the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
The Anambra governor stated that if releasing Kanu unconditionally is untenable, he should be granted administrative bail on compassionate grounds.
Commending the Buhari government for granting amnesty to ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, Soludo said it was time to extend the same grace to Kanu.
He wrote, “In the light of the foregoing, it is my earnest prayer that Mr. President may kindly consider the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as demanded by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Federal High Court.
“This will be the right thing to do as a country that should extol the principles of the rule of law and be in compliance with the international law and conventions that Nigeria is a signatory to.
“Alternatively, if there are persisting grounds that make his unconditional release untenable, Mr. President may consider granting him administrative bail on compassionate grounds and as part of the national healing process/creating a conducive atmosphere for a political solution.
“In this circumstance, I am prepared to take him on bail. My government is prepared to provide him with an alternative secured accommodation at Awka where he will have access to appropriate medical care, among others, and make him available when required. This will help to douse tensions in the South East and pave the way for constructive discussions towards progress.
“We commend your efforts in the North East, especially in granting amnesty and rehabilitation for repentant Boko Haram operatives. The South East beckons and I am confident that you can still do something historic within the remaining days of your tenure.
“Mr President, I am available for a meeting (if need be) at your earliest convenience to discuss any or all of the prayers above. God has been merciful to you over your entire life, especially during the past eight years.
“As you shepherd a transition process to hand over to your successor, you might as well help to smoothen his easy take-off by resolving some of the lingering issues such as Mazi Kanu’s detention. I therefore respectfully call on you, as a statesman to discharge a historic show of mercy and release Nnamdi Kanu before you hand over on the 29th May 2023.”
Governor Soludo said Kanu’s incarceration has worsened insecurity in the South East, stressing that his release will calm the security situation in the region.
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stressed that the IPOB leader had got two favourable court judgments ordering his release, but was not obeyed.
He said, “However, up to this moment and going on to nearly two years, the trial has stalled and lingered in the courts with no end in sight.
“Without meaning to delve into the merits of his case, it is pertinent to point out that Mazi Kanu has gotten TWO rulings in the court ordering his release from detention. It is also my understanding that the Federal Government has secured a stay of execution of ONE of these rulings and is also appealing the same.
“One of the court rulings for his release remains unchallenged and/or subsisting. In July 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council had issued an opinion calling on the Federal Government to release him unconditionally.
“In the meantime, the continued detention of Mazi Kanu has created what, for want of a better description, can be seen as systemic insecurity in the South East. Some supporters of Mazi Kanu have imposed the obnoxious and harmful “Sit-at-Home” order every Monday in the South East while all manner of criminal gangs (kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers, etc) now masquerade as “freedom fighters” or those fighting for the release of Mazi Kanu.
“The human toll in terms of lost lives and socio-economic hardship as well as challenges to our security personnel are matters for another day. Since my assumption of office as Governor of Anambra, we have been fighting these criminals head-on, in partnership with the security agencies.
“While we have achieved significant successes in Anambra, some businesses remain closed and movement remains limited on Mondays out of fear and anxiety. It is our belief that a lot still needs to be done and paradoxically. Mazi Kanu might end up as a part of the lasting solution.”
Reps grill Malami over alleged $2.4bn crude oil sale - demand records of all repatriated stolen fundsWritten by Admin
I’ve helped Nigeria to recover over $1bn ― Malami
The House of Representatives on Thursday expressed its readiness to share some of the classified information relating to the alleged 48 million barrels of Bonny Light crude worth $2.4 billion illegally sold in China in 2015 with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Chairman, ad-hoc committee investigating the alleged stolen crude oil, Hon. Mark Gbillah gave the assurance in Abuja, during the resumed investigative hearing, disagreed with the submission of the AGF that there was no justifiable ground in the first place for the National Assembly to have embarked on probing the allegations of the 48 million barrels of crude illegally sold in China.
When asked whether a presidential committee was set up to look into the allegations, Malami said there were no justifiable grounds and details to embark on any investigation in the first place.
“By way of summary reaction, if I may refresh your memories, distinguished Honourable members, my response when a similar question was asked in the earlier session was simple; and it is to the effect that there was no reasonable ground for suspicion justifying the invocation of the oversight functions of the National Assembly as far as this matter is concerned.
“My basis for such a conclusion was the fact that the basic consideration that could have laid the foundation for either investigation or formation of a committee by the executive or oversight by the National Assembly was not there.
“One, there was an allegation of stolen crude; the fact in respect to that allegation with particular reference to the specifications of the oil, its origin, the vessels if any, that have taken it out of the country; which country and associated details in respect of the transactions were not there.
“And indeed if any product, have they been impounded or confiscated, or forfeited in China? Which agency it is in China that has indeed impounded or confiscated the product?
“Those details were not there. So, the idea of embarking on an investigation or formation of a committee by the executive or oversight functions by the National Assembly does not even arise because even if you are to go to China, where, are customs, immigration, or anti-corruption agencies that you are approaching for the purpose of information, no such details.
“If you are talking of the products, of which origin? All these details are not there so, if you are blowing a whistle, you should go further by way of giving adequate details, and adequate information on what you are blowing; you can’t blow for nothing. You have to blow on the basis of facts, circumstances, date and time. All those information are not there.
“Arriving from that conclusion, there is no foundation or reasonable ground for the formation of a committee because necessary details that could now provoke the consideration of the committee are not there,” the Minister stressed.
Unsatisfied by the Minister’s response, Gbillah who maintained that there were justifiable grounds for the investigation, disclosed that the ad-hoc committee has documents and communication that relate to the matter under probe.
“Contrary to your assertion, Sir, what you have said is incorrect because before this honourable House embarked upon this investigation, we had documents.
“That’s why we carry out the investigation of allegations. We are not confirming there is an infraction done. That is why the House took its time before commencing this investigation.
“Contrary to what you have said, the House and the Committee is in possession of documents indicating storage of certain products; documents showing approval of lifting of a certain quantity of crude outside the country documents on storage of certain crude in some locations in China.
“There are documents showing e-mail exchanges between some top members of the government which were corroborated with regards to these transactions including the DSS.
“And I’m surprised your Office is not aware of this. The DSS made the exchange of correspondences with these individuals and we are in possession of those documents.
“It’s confidential documents that have been made available to the committee, so contrary to your assertion.
“I say we take exception to your response, we do not embark on a wild goose chase. We are also responsible elected Members of the National Assembly who also base our actions on actionable intel, as they say in the intelligence community and this is the information that we received to form the basis.
“We are also privy to a communication by the President regarding this particular issue which we will not say openly but take it up with you in private because we also understand that certain things are classified and confidential,” he said.
Gbillah assured Malami the committee will avail him of relevant documents at its disposal in the course of the investigation.
In his response, the AGF said he was ready to cooperate with the committee if given the relevant documents regarding the probe.
He boasted that his office has helped the country in the recovery of over $1 billion for the country and would not in any way frustrate any efforts aimed at recovering the country’s revenues stashed anywhere.
To this end, the ad-hoc committee asked Malami to furnish it with documents regarding all the recoveries his office has made for the country within period under investigation.
President says 9th NASS most productive
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday explained that he avoided meddling in the affairs of the National Assembly because of his belief in the independence of the Legislature.
He said he rather promoted a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the National Assembly and the Executive.
Buhari attributed his achievements to the harmonious working relationship between the Executive which he heads and the Legislature.
The President described the 9th National Assembly as the most productive both in terms of outputs and outcomes in the last four years.
Buhari spoke after he inaugurated the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Abuja. NILDS is the training arm of the National Assembly.
Buhari said: “As you are all aware, I have traversed all parts of Nigeria in the last few days inaugurating several critical national infrastructures that my administration has completed over the last eight years.
“Our successes as a government are primarily due to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
“The Legislature is the cornerstone of any democracy and is vital to ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of all Nigerians are considered during the lawmaking process.
“It also performs critical functions of overseeing the Executive and ensuring that government spending aligns with legislative intent.
“As you are aware, from the moment of my election in 2015 and subsequently, I supported the idea of an independent National Assembly, one that is able to decide its Leadership and develop its agenda in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I refrained from meddling in the affairs of the legislature and promoted, instead, a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two arms of government.
“The numerous positive outcomes for our country Nigeria underscore the importance of a harmonious Executive-Legislature relationship.
“Working with the National Assembly, we have passed an unprecedented number of Bills into law, provided funding for key infrastructure, implemented several governmental reforms, and addressed some of the long-standing challenges that have hampered economic growth and development.
“Our achievements in reforming the oil and gas sector, strengthening the electoral framework, diversifying our economy, improving transparency and accountability, tackling insecurity and entrenching good governance are easily verifiable.
“As such, this 9th Assembly will be remembered as one of the most productive in terms of outputs and outcomes. I thank the leadership of the National Assembly for giving me the support required to deliver on my promises to Nigerians.”
The President also the nation’s teeming youth population provides the labour force needed to industrialise and develop the economy.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said Buhari had so far signed over 100 bills passed by the National Assembly.
His words: “We in the Ninth National Assembly have supported the President in ensuring the timely delivery of these critical infrastructures.
“Notably, in the last three years, the Senate and the House of Representatives dedicated a substantial part of the national budget towards funding infrastructure development across all six geo-political zones.
“As a result of this collaboration between the Legislature and the Executive, hundreds of roads, bridges and rail lines across Nigeria have been constructed or rehabilitated.
“In addition, we have also passed several legislations to provide an overarching framework for sustainable economic growth and development.
“Significantly also, the investment in infrastructure development extends to all six geo-political zones of the country.
“History will remember President Buhari’s tenacity and unwavering commitment to charting a new course for Nigeria.”
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the ability of the Legislature to function effectively and hold the Executive to account depended on its internal human and financial capacity.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, on Thursday, defended the outgoing administration of President Muhammadu Buhari over the continued approval of multi-billion naira contracts and foreign loans, saying Buhari can award contract and loan till the last minutes.
Fashola while responding to those advising the President to stop awarding further contracts, with few days to the expiration of his government, maintained that “this government must work until the very last day of its tenure”
He said “some people are still saying why are they borrowing few days to their expiration, its because we don’t have enough money and people want infrastructure.
“Some people are saying that why are we still awarding contracts few days to go, but they have forgotten that the tenure of this present administration ends at the midnight of 28th May, 2023 and when it is 12 midnight, Bola Tinubu takes over the government and that is why we are still working.
“They forget that you the people of Nigeria through your representatives have passed a budget for us to implement.
If you don’t want borrowing that means government will increase your taxes because that is another way to pay the deficits and that is how it is done in any party of the world.”
Speaking on how some projects are being funded, Fashola said “we want good roads and we are complaining that Buhari’s administration is borrowing money, who is now going to give us money to execute all these projects.
“I’m also here to tell you that we will be leaving behind sustainable development here whether we are still in the office or not.
“Two days ago, I signed the advance payment guarantee request for the release of the money to the contractor.
“Now that we have done all the processes, contractor have started moving around to talk to those that will supply them materials to use for the construction. So, we are constructing this road afresh.
Education Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu has disclosed that he was inexperienced in the education sector before President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him in 2015.
Adamu, who is the longest serving minister revealed this at a valedictory session with officials and heads of parastatals of the Ministry on Thursday.
He, however, was credited for appointing some professors of education and other good hands, with the help of the officials of the Federal Ministry of Education that helped him record some success.
“I didn’t know anything about the education sector when I was appointed Minister except superficially. But when Buhari decided to make me Minister of Education,” Adamu said.
“I called some people to assist me to work on a policy document on education because I was a novice in the sector. I shared my idea with them and they assisted me greatly, and I remain grateful to them for these years.
The minister appreciated the President who found him worthy and trusted him with such a responsibility, “even when I was apparently not ready and unprepared for such task”.
He said, “I was busy making recommendations and suggestions to the President on who to appoint into his cabinet in 2015. All of a sudden, he announced my name to my surprise and that was it. We worked together till 2019.
“In 2019, I approached the President and suggested that he reshuffle his cabinet because, in the eyes of many, it was unusual in our society for a President to work with the same Ministers for four years. Buhari had graciously allowed his Ministers to stay in office for four years. Ordinarily, Ministers stay in office for two years before they are reshuffled.
“But I know him very well and I knew it will be difficult for him to do that. But I decided to make it easy for him by promising to bring people that would do the job better for me and others who served as Ministers in the first tenure.”
“I promised him that I will give him names of competent people from at least, 19 northern states. So, I suggested to him to drop all the Ministers that worked with him in the first tenure including me, but I knew it would be difficult for him. But to confirm that I can do the job, I gave him a name from Bauchi state whom I had expected him to replace me within the cabinet. That was how Maryam Katagun became Minister of the Federal Republic.”
‘Truth will prevail’ - Utomi reacts as LP candidate accuses him of secretly working for TinubuWritten by Admin
Labour Party (LP) chieftain, Prof. Pat Utomi has subtly reacted to an allegation that he was used by President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to step down for Peter Obi as party’s flag-bearer, which in turn, reduced the winning chances of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the February 25 poll.
Utomi was reacting to the statement credited to the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Oyo State, Tawfiq Akinwale.
Akinwale, on Wednesday, May 24, revealed in an interview that Tinubu asked Prof. Utomi to step down for Peter Obi in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
Akinwale while he appeared as a guest on a radio programme on 101.7 YES FM, Ibadan, Oyo State, alleged that Obi received campaign funds from Utomi, whom he described as Tinubu’s “son.”
“In the buildup to the 2023 elections, Obi who had purchased the nomination form of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), suddenly announced his exit from the party.
“Initially, Pat Utomi had secured the LP’s presidential ticket, but when Peter Obi said he resigned from the PDP and joined the LP. Bola Tinubu, a master political strategist, quickly told Utomi, that everyone knows to be his son to step down for Obi.
“The “president-elect” saw in Obi’s presidential bid, a good chance to reduce the winning chances of the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
“What Peter Obi didn’t know is much more than what he knows, he started collecting campaign funds from Utomi, while Tinubu was giving the money to Utomi.
“This went on until Obi’s presidential campaign got to a stage it went beyond target. Obi was used without him knowing,” Akinwale said after announcing his departure from the party.
In a swift reaction, Pat Utomi on his Twitter handle on Thursday morning wrote, “As I watch the desperation with which past acts sown in love for the common good is unearthed and bent into disinformation regarding the present I am thankful that in the end truth is the only thing that prevails when lust for power is consumed by its own negativity. So I ignore.”
PHOTOS: Osinbajo ‘Hands Over’ To ShettimaWritten by Admin
The Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, visited the outgoing Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, at his office on Thursday during which the latter presented his successor with some documents
The visit is coming days before the May 29 inauguration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.
The VP-elect told State House correspondents that the meeting was called at the instance of the Vice President “who is a friend” and “who is a contemporary”.
Shettima added, “I came in just to exchange pleasantries and cross-pollinate ideas on how to move the nation forward.
“He took me round the offices out of courtesy and I want to commend him; I want to thank him for extending that courtesy for me; just cross fertilisation of ideas.
“I believe President Tinubu will hit the ground running from day one; we do not have the luxury of time.
“I will be the vice president; I don’t want to be presumptions; I don’t want to make loud proclamations, but my good feeling and my interactions with him tend to show that we will hit the ground running from day one.’’
Shettima’s visit to Osinbajo also came hours after President Buhari conferred Tinubu and Shettima with Nigeria’s highest national honours of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR) and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), respectively.
VP Osinbajo, First Lady Aisha Buhari, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Adamu, were present at the event.
Buhari used the event to present transition documents to Tinubu, which included a briefing note on key priority areas of his administration and a compendium of projects and programmes implemented by the administration, amongst others.
May 29: Ex-presidential candidate fined N40m for trying to stop Tinubu’s swearing-inWritten by Admin
Ahead of May 29 swearing-in, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has fined a former presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, N40m for filing a frivolous suit seeking to stop the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
The Court ordered Owuru to pay the sum of N10m each to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Tinubu.
Justice Jamil Tukur, who read the lead judgment of the three-man panel of the court, held that Owuru embarked on a gross abuse of court process by filing a frivolous suit to provoke the respondents.
The Court of Appeal held that the grievances of Owuru against the 2019 presidential election were not only strange but uncalled for because the grievances had been pursued up to Supreme Court and were dismissed for want of merit.
Justice Tukur said that the action of Owuru to resuscitate the case that died since 2019 at the Supreme Court, was aimed at making the lower courts go on collision course with supremacy of the Apex Court.