The several implications of OCJ Okocha’s advice to Wike

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Read Time:2 Minute, 48 Second

At a stakeholders meeting a few days ago, Mr. OCJ Okocha SAN, was reported to have advised the embattled Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike, to appeal the judgment of the Justice Ambrosa-led Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal that nullified his purported election as governor. Mr. Okocha also advised Wike to ensure he hires the best lawyers in the land to diligently handle the matter at the appeal court.

The APC finds the advice of OCJ Okocha surprising and curious. Not surprising because he advised the governor, after all, he has never relented in standing by Wike right from when he joined the fray to condemn attempts by any other section of Rivers State to agitate to govern the state. OCJ Okocha’s view is that it doesn’t matter if a particular family ruled Rivers State for a century or more.

However, what the APC finds surprising and curious is that as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria [SAN] and one time President of the Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] who has surreptitiously joined politics, OCJ Okocha finds himself not worthy and erudite enough to come to the rescue of his beloved friend in time of need like now.

Many questions come to mind. Is it that OCJ Okocha does not really believe in his own ability, capability and capacity to successfully prosecute his friend’s case? Is this indicative of OCJ Okocha’s non participation in any electoral matter at the various tribunals at a time when Senior Advocates are reaping bountifully and smiling to the bank from election petition matters by politicians? Is it that OCJ [as many call him] prefers strutting Wike’s lowly political world for easy pecuniary rewards instead of the elevated, esteemed and hallowed arena where distinguished Silks call the shots?

Again, the APC is a bit puzzled that OCJ, in one fell swoop, talked down his younger colleague who has also served as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association [NBA]. He is Mr. Okey Wali SAN, who worked so hard with other Silks for Nyesom Wike at the tribunal. Why does OCJ think he is not competent to handle Wike’s matter? Is it that OCJ knows and does not simply want to admit to Wike how bad the latter’s case is? Or is it that OCJ just does not know the true state of the matter in question?

Is it really true that OCJ does not also think highly of the likes of Mr. Emmanuel Ukala SAN, Prof. Epiphany Azinge SAN and a coterie of other eminent Silks Wike paraded at the tribunal?

Again, it appears that Wike took a cue from OCJ in the attacks that he and his people mounted against the Nigerian judiciary since the tribunal judgment. OCJ was widely reported in the media with headlines such as: “OCJ Okocha takes a swipe at judiciary, insists Wike will win re-run.”

The APC does not begrudge OCJ his right to choose who to politically associate with. We are only concerned that rather than act and talk in a way that befits him, OCJ has shown that he is not ready to serve as a worthy example to younger people both in what he does and says in public about others.

Chris Finebone
State Publicity Secretary

Tues, November 3, 2015.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Court okays ex-NSA, Dasuki, for medical treatment abroad

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Read Time:4 Minute, 52 Second

ABUJA — The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, gave the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), the nod to travel abroad for medical treatment.

In a ruling yesterday, trial Justice Ademola Adeniyi hinged his decision to give Dasuki  three weeks medical leave abroad on his “deteriorating health condition.”

 
Justice Adeniyi dismissed fears by the Federal Government that the former NSA, who is facing a five-count charge bordering on alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering,  could go into hiding once allowed outside the shores of Nigeria.

The Federal Government  had,  through the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. Mohammed Diri,  opposed Dasuki’s application to be allowed to go for medical checkup abroad.

The DPP told the court that the government had already commenced a fresh investigation on another money laundering case involving the erstwhile NSA, saying the application was only aimed at frustrating his trial.

Besides, the Federal Government contended that the National Hospital in Abuja is well equipped to handle whatever ailment Dasuki is suffering from.

However, while dismissing Federal Government’s objections, yesterday, Justice Adeniyi held that “every citizen has a right to choose the medical facility  he wants to be treated in, whether in Nigeria or abroad.”

Placing reliance on decided case law in Abacha vs State, 2002, 5-NWLR, the court further held that ill-health constituted a special circumstance that a court should take notice of to exercise its discretion in favour of an accused person.

Justice Adeniyi said the Federal Government failed to persuade it with the argument that Dasuki is currently a subject of a fresh criminal investigation.

He said: “Presently, this court is seized of only the amended charge against the defendant which involves allegations of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, to which the prosecution deposed an affidavit that it has concluded all investigations.”

On his international passport

On Dasuki’s application for the release of his international passport and Federal Government’s opposition on the ground that it was the only document he surrendered to secure bail on self recognition, the court dismissed the argument by the Federal Government as “misconceived and not tenable in law.”

The court stressed that the fact that the accused was on September 1 granted bail on self recognition, meant that there was no condition attached to his release.

Maintaining that every accused person, in line with section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended,  ought to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, the trial judge said his decision to grant Dasuki’s request was also fortified by a decided case law in Ibori vs FRN, which he said was on all fours with the instant case before him.

“Accordingly, the application of the defendant succeeds and I hereby make the following orders:

“An order is hereby made by this court releasing the applicant’s international passport to enable him to travel abroad for three weeks for medical treatment owing to his deteriorating health condition.

“The Deputy Registrar of the Federal High Court is hereby directed to release the international passport to the defendant.

“It is also ordered that the defendant, upon his return to the country, should surrender his international passport to the Deputy Chief Registrar Litigation, within 72 hours upon his return.”

Court varies bail condition

More so, Justice Adeniyi, yesterday, relied on section 1 75 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, and varied the bail it earlier granted the former NSA to include that he should provide a surety.

The court directed that the surety must sign a written undertaking to guarantee that the accused person will return to Nigeria after his medical treatment to face his trial, “failing which the surety will take the place of the defendant pending when he makes himself available for trial.

“Alternatively, any of the lawyers  to the defendant can enter an undertaking to produce him on the trial date.”

The matter was subsequently adjourned till November 26 and 27 for trial, even as Justice Adeniyi ordered the Federal Government to ensure that its witnesses are in court that day.

Ex-gov Haruna signs undertaking

Meantime, shortly after the ruling, yesterday, the former governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Boni Haruna, signed undertaking to take the place of the ex-NSA should he fail to return to the country after three weeks to continue his trial.

Specifically, Dasuki was in the charge before the court, alleged to have kept in his possession, funds that were proceeds of an unlawful act, an offence the Federal Government  said was contrary to section 15 (2)(d) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

The Federal Government  alleged that he was on July 17, 2015, at his house situated at 13, John Khadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja, found to be in possession of various range of firearms without requisite licence, an offence punishable under section 27 (1)(a) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.

He was further accused of retaining $40,000, N5 millon and another $20,000 in the same house and same date, contrary to section 15 (2)(d) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

The Federal Government told the trial court that the ex-NSA had on July 16, 2015, at his residence at Sultan Abubakar Road and Sabon Birni Road, Sokoto State, retained another $150,000 and N37.6m, being part of proceedings of unlawful act, contrary to Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

Meanwhile, the court will on the next adjourned date rule on whether or not eight witnesses that are lined up against him should be allowed to wear masks.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Fayose apologises to teachers for underpayment

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Read Time:59 Second

ADO-EKITI—Governor Ayodele Fayose yesterday apologised to primary school teachers in the state over the mix-up in the payment of their last month’s salary.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Idowu Adelusi, the governor said; “Even though the mix-up was from the State Accountant General’s office but as the state governor, he takes responsibility.

“I want to apologise for the inconsistency and problems encountered in crediting the accounts of some primary school teachers, it was after my broadcast few days back that I got a lot of text messages from some teachers that were affected.

“I sincerely want to apologise, I have gotten to the root of the matter, I have found out that there were mix-ups here and there, the accounts were credited and later withdrawn for carelessness in the accountant general’s office, for whatever it is I take responsibility, I apologise and want to assure you all the lapses will be corrected.

“My teachers at the primary school level, this money will be credited to your accounts between now and Wednesday unfailingly. My apologies.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Siasia wants Morocco camp for U-23

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Read Time:1 Minute, 31 Second

U23 coach Samson Siasia believes preparing for the African U23 championship in Morocco will be a right step for his team as they aim to pick a ticket to Rio 2016.

The Dream Team VI will face Egypt, Algeria and Mali in Group B when Senegal 2015 kicks off on November 28.

“Anything apart from going to Morocco for the camping exercise will be a big disappointment towards our preparations,” Siasia said.

“We don’t have a plan B right now. We need to get out of this place and make sure we go over there and focus very well and prepare.

“Even though things are not working well as we want it to be but we have to do the best we can to make sure we qualify for the 2016 Olympics football tournament. We have to qualify. We are bound to qualify.

Siasia also revealed that his team still lacks the goal scoring instinct despite playing quality football but he assured that area would be improved on before departing for Senegal.

“We are trying to play good football but we still need to improve. The last game we played in Port Harcourt everybody excited and very happy about how we played even though our biggest problem is scoring,” he continued.

“That is the area we need to work on.  To bring in new players will be a difficult job again for us to make sure that these guys can blend together like we did the last time.

“Hopefully the ones that will come in will try to catch up on time so that we can play well, not only to play well but to score goals too,” he concluded.

Nigeria U23  did not qualify for the 2012 Olympics staged in London.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Shell failed to clear Nigeria’s oil spills —Amnesty International, CHRD

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Read Time:2 Minute, 44 Second

AHEAD of November 10, marking the 20th anniversary of the death of renowned environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Amnesty International, AL, London-based human rights watchdog  and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, yesterday in a report, accused Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, of failing in its legal obligations to clear up oil spills it caused in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region.

The report titled, Clean it up: Shell’s false claims about oil spills in the Niger Delta, documents ongoing contamination at four oil spill sites that Shell said it had cleaned up years ago.

AL said the report was published to mark the 20th anniversary of the execution of the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned relentlessly against damage caused to the Ogoni area of Rivers State, was executed by the Sani Abacha junta on November 10, 1995.

“By inadequately cleaning up the pollution from its pipelines and wells, Shell is leaving thousands of women, men and children exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights researcher at Amnesty International.

“Oil spills have a devastating impact on the fields, forests and fisheries that the people of the Niger Delta depend on for their food and livelihood. Anyone who visits these spill sites can see and smell for themselves how the pollution has spread across the land,” he said.

The report also highlighted the failure of the Nigerian government to regulate the oil industry.

According to AI, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, the government’s watchdog, was under-resourced and continued to certify areas visibly polluted with crude oil, as clean.

“As people in Nigeria and around the world remember Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight other Ogoni leaders who were executed in 1995, Shell and the government of Nigeria cannot ignore the terrible legacy of the oil industry in the Niger Delta. For many people of the region, oil has brought nothing but misery,” said Stevyn Obodoekwe, CEHRD’s Director of Programmes.

AL said the findings of a 38 page report were based on research conducted in the Boobanabe, Bomu Manifold, Barabeedom swamp and Okuluebu areas of Niger Delta’s Ogoniland region, between July and September this year.

According to AL , spills in those areas dated back several years.

The report stated that AL researchers found waterlogged areas with an oily sheen, “patches of oil-blackened soil at several locations” and, in some cases, pollution “spreading into neighboring land and waterways”.

Consequently, AL said SPDC should change its approach to the way in which it cleans up after oil spills and urged the government to publish detailed information relating to such operations.

When contacted, the spokesman of Shell,  Precious Okolobo, said: “Without having access to the report it is difficult to respond to these issues in a thorough manner. Implementation of the UNEP report is part of a wider programme of remediation, pipeline protection, community engagement and social investment activities being undertaken by the SPDC JV with its government, community and civil society partners in Ogoniland.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Falcons, 4 others draw bye into second round of 2016 AWC qualifiers

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Read Time:1 Minute, 9 Second

Ilorin – The Super Falcons have moved into the second round of the qualifiers for the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations scheduled for October in Cameroon and tagged “Cameroon 2016’’.

The draw for qualifiers for the 10th edition of the competition hitherto known as the “African Women Championship (AWC)’’ was conducted in Cairo, Egypt last month.

It was held on the sidelines of the most recent Annual Meetings of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), held from Oct. 21 to Oct. 28.

The Nigerian senior women football side, seven-times winners of the competition, drew bye in the first round, alongside Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa and two-times winners Equatorial Guinea.

Eighteen teams will face off in the first round, with first leg matches slated for between March 4 and March 6, and second leg matches between March 18 and March 20.

The Falcons and the four other seeded sides will in the second round join the nine aggregate winners from the first round, with Nigeria facing winners of the Senegal/Guinea pairing.

First leg matches will hold between April 8 and April 10, while second round matches will hold between April 22 and April 24.

The seven teams which emerge from the qualifiers will then join hosts Cameroon for the final tournament scheduled for Nov. 19 to Dec. 3, 2016.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Stanbic IBTC: FRC did not follow due process—CBN

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Read Time:6 Minute, 14 Second

LAGOS — The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has condemned in strong terms recent sanctions approved by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, against the board and management of Stanbic IBTC Holding, SIBTCH, saying the council did not follow due process.

The FRCN had, amongst others, sacked four directors of Stanbic IBTC, including its Chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside, for alleged infractions, while also calling for the withdrawal of its financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2014.

But in a five-page letter, dated, November, 2, 2015, and signed by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, which was obtained by Vanguard, the apex bank also said the FRCN action was capable of eroding investors’ confidence as well as causing financial instability in the system.

After a careful review of the issues, apart from bluntly turning down FRCN’s request to take disciplinary action against StanbicIBTC, the CBN also advised the board of the embattled bank to discountenance the FRCN’s sanctions.

The CBN said: “In the light of the foregoing facts, which clearly show that FRCN did not follow due process, the bank regrets to inform you that it is unable to accede to your request to take disciplinary action against SIBTCH. Indeed, the CBN does not see any reason to advise/compel SIBTCH to obey the sanctions metted to it by the FRCN.”

The letter was addressed to the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, FRCN, and was entitled: Re: Regulatory Decision in the Matter of Financial Statements of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc for Years ended 31st December 2013 and 2014.

The CBN letter with reference number: GVD/GOV/CON/DGF/93/113, also read in part: “We are seriously concerned that such a drastic regulatory decision could be taken on an entity under the regulation and supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) without any form of consultation with the bank, especially as the CBN is responsible for promoting safe, stable and sound financial system. Yet, such a regulatory decision and the manner of the announcement is not only capable of eroding investors’ confidence but also inimical to the financial system stability.”

To underscore the implications of FRCN’s action on Nigeria’s financial system stability, the CBN further noted: “Indeed, the FRC’s action has already precipitated a fall in the value of the shares of Stanbic IBTC by about 18 per cent since the announcement of the Regulatory Decision.”

CBN observations

The CBN in a 13-point observation faulting the FRCN’s actions also observed as follows:

lContrary to the allegation of the FRCN that Stanbic IBTC (SIBTC) did not obtain approval from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) for the payment of affiliate software license, our review revealed that the bank actually obtained the necessary approval from NOTAP to pay affiliate software license from the Standard Bank South Africa (SBSA), for a period of three years covering June 2012 to May 30, 2015. The remittance from June 2015 to date is still awaiting approval from NOTAP.

lWith regards to the allegation of non-disclosure of intangible assets in SIBTC’s 2013 and 2014 financials, we note that the bank adequately recognised the software as an intangible asset in its 2011 financials and sufficiently disclosed the disposal of the software in the 2012 financials. Consequently, the said software could not have been reported as an intangible asset in the succeeding years 2013 and 2014.

    With respect to the allegation of lumping several expense items under “Others”, we are of the view that the items were not material enough to appear as line items in the Income Statement and that the non-disclosure of the items did not materially affect the true and fair view of the financial statements.

lWe agree with FRCN that SIBTC erred in the classification of some line items. However, the identified misclassifications did not understate or overstate its assets and liabilities, neither did it increase nor decrease its income or expenditure, such as would have caused a material misrepresentation of the financials.

lSIBTC used its judgment to capture the donation of M275 million under “Others” because it was of the opinion that it was not a charitable donation but a mandatory contribution towards the victims of terrorism in the country. For the avoidance of doubt, this contribution was agreed at a Bankers’ Committee Meeting, with the share for each bank clearly spelt out. Therefore, we agree with SIBTC’ s position, as presented.

lContrary to FRCN’s conclusions, our review of lAS 37 and lAS 32.19 indicate that SIBTC had an obligation to accrue the relevant provisions toward the settlement of the franchise and management fees as agreed between it and SBSA.

lWithout prejudice to the foregoing financial issues, the CBN is concerned about the apparent failure of the FRCN to follow due process as laid down by its own FRCN Act and Regulations, in arriving at the Regulatory Decision. In this regard, the bank wishes to make the following observations:

lln conducting investigation into possible breaches of the FRCN Act and/ or the Regulations, the FRCN is required to give the Entity concerned sixty (60) days from the service of Final Notice to restate its accounts where both the Panel and Entity agree on the need for restatement. In this case, our understanding is that FRCN called a meeting with the board of SIBTCH at 11.00 a.m on the 26th October 2015. But rather than holding the meeting, FRCN went ahead to convene a press conference at 8a.m on the same day to announce its sanctions against SIBTCH. Our review further indicates that both FRCN and SIBTCH did not agree on a need for restatement of the accounts before the sanctions were announced.

lAccording to the FRCN Act, an entity is only punishable under the Act upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction. Yet, in issuing the Final Notice, the FRCN had already meted out some punishments to the affected entity, without any conviction by a court.

lWhile FRCN may, following approval of the minister, review applicable fines, there is no power for compounding offences and imposing penalty in lieu of conviction as was done in this case.

lBoth the FRCN Act and the Regulations provide for the outcome of the investigation to be made known to a registered professional or a public interest entity and a right of appeal to the Technical and Oversight Committee before resorting to prosecution. In this case, however, there is no evidence that time was allowed to elapse for the appeal process before the imposition of sanction.

lThe Regulation provides that if the Entity fails to accept FRC’ s position at the end of a Notice period, the Council shall institute legal action against the entity, rather than mete out sanctions. Yet, in this case, sanctions have been meted out without evidence that legal action has been fully exhausted.

*A combined reading of both the Act and the Regulations shows that there are three types of sanctions that may be imposed for contraventions by Entities.

*These are: lmposition of monetary penalty/fine; Imprisonment for a term of years; Deregistration of a professional or issuance of a Warning Notice.

*There is however, no authority for suspension of registration of a professional as was done in this case.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Alleged false declaration of assets: Saraki begs S-Court to stop CCT proceeding

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Read Time:3 Minute, 5 Second

Barely 48 hours to the commencement of full blown-trial on the 13-count criminal charge that was entered against him by the Federal Government, the Senate President, Dr. Olubukola Saraki, yesterday, approached the Supreme Court, begging it to arrest the proceeding of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

Saraki, is praying the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which had on October 30, okayed the criminal charge against him.

He urged the Supreme Court to halt further proceeding on the allegation against him pending the determination of the appeal he formally lodged before it yesterday.

In the appeal he filed through his team of lawyers led by Mr. J.B. Daudu, SAN, a copy of which was sighted by Vanguard, last night, Saraki, specifically sought for:

“An order staying further proceedings in Charge No: CCT/ABJ/01/2015 between Federal Republic of Nigeria vs Dr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki fixed for hearing on November 5 and 6, 2015 pending the determination of the appeal pending before the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Court of Appeal dated October 30, 2015.”

In his seven grounds of appeal, Saraki prayed the court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the entire proceedings of the CCT and the charges preferred against him before the tribunal by the Federal Government.

He contended that the appellate court panel led by Justice Moore Adumein, erred in law when it affirmed the competence of the proceedings of the CCT, which sat on the appellant’s case with only two members as against the three provided for in the provisions of Paragraph 15(1) of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.

Saraki’s lawyer, Daudu, also faulted the majority decision of the appeal court where it held that there was lacuna regarding the quorum of the tribunal.

He argued that the application of the Interpretation Act to hold that two out of three members of the tribunal could validly sit “is to circumvent and reduce the number prescribed by the constitution for the due composition of the CCT.”

He also faulted the majority decision of the appeal court where it held that the CCT was a court of limited criminal jurisdiction and that the charges were validly initiated by a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. M.S. Hassan, in the absence of a substantive Attorney-General of the Federation.

Saraki also challenged the decision of the appeal court which held that Saraki had been properly served with the charges, at a time when his legal team only filed motion for conditional appearance before bench warrant was issued against him by the CCT.

Daudu argued that the court of appeal erred in law for refusing to hold that the tribunal violated the order of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which he said ordered the tribunal to appear before the court to show cause why its proceedings against Saraki should not be halted.

According to him, the appeal court erred in law when it held that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 was applicable to the proceeding of the tribunal.

It will be recalled that the appellate court had in two-to-one split decision, dismissed Saraki’s appeal against the ruling of the Justice Umar Danladi-led tribunal.

Whereas the duo of Justices Adumein and Mohammed Mustapha dismissed Saraki’s appeal and ordered him t o submit himself to the CCT for trial on Friday, another member of the panel, Justice Joseph Ekanem, held that the 13-count charge was incompetent, even as he discharged the accused person.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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I wonder why PDP is losing sleep over Amaechi — Princewill

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Read Time:4 Minute, 51 Second

Tonye Princewill, Labour Party governorship candidate for Rivers State at the 2015 general election, in this interview, among others, shares his views on the Election Petitions Tribunal judgment nullifying the election of Nyesom Wike as governor of the state.

By Ayo Onikoyi

What is your reaction to the judgment of the tribunal on the Rivers State governorship election?

Any lover of true democracy and justice, who witnessed what happened will not be surprised with the judgment. I belong to that group. The elections were neither free nor fair nor credible, so they can’t stand honest scrutiny. The APC won the case for all of Rivers State, kudos to them. In 2007, I fought PDP to a standstill and the same people in the APC today were the beneficiaries of my fight. It is not about persons or political parties. It is about the state. I did not say I am celebrating the judgment. I said I am not surprised by it. But in Rivers politics, the analog politicians cannot understand the difference.

But you confused people by not contesting the results that declared Wike as winner, so won’t your support of the judgment raise questions?

Why? In my post-election statement in April, I clearly highlighted my displeasure in the outcome of the elections. I said, it is no longer in doubt that the election in Rivers State was neither free nor fair nor credible. I added that rather than the jubilation of a victory or the recriminations of a defeat, I and my team prefer to keep searching for peace. I lamented on the bloodshed and just wanted it to stop. No matter how much we find justice, if so many people in Rivers State are killed, who will be left to lead? This did not only show my disappointment in the conduct of the election but also my concern over peace in my state. It is not about taking sides with PDP or APC, it is about the truth.

But the Labour Party in the State has disassociated itself from your statement praising the tribunal’s judgment, on the premise that you are on suspension?

To the best of my knowledge we have freedom of speech and right of opinion in Nigeria. My statements have always been my opinion and until recently, my party has always fallen in line with my thinking.

Do you see yourself doing better than you did earlier should you partake in the anticipated re-run as LP candidate?

I am yet to take a position on the role to play in the rerun; but even if I do partake, it’s really not about me. It’s about the decision of the people. They all know the political players in the state. They all know the possible after effect of a PDP or an APC victory.

Peaceful Rivers State

Politics is not war. There must be a winner and a loser. I am comfortable with either, because I am not desperate to be Governor; PDP and APC are. How that will produce a peaceful Rivers State, I am yet to find out. If Rivers People want unity, peace, a Government they can reach and believe that their votes will count, I believe my style of politics will have a better chance.

What can you say about the controversy surrounding the Senate screening and confirmation Hon Rotimi Amaechi for ministerial appointment?

We’ve waited so long for this, and are eager to see the difference it will make. And like I always say, President Buhari is the president, whether his administration is moving the nation fast or slow, we should focus more on helping him, than pulling him down. I know Amaechi; and I know his abilities. He worked seriously for the APC and if he missed the VP slot and the SGF slot, why should PDP lose sleep if he becomes a minister?

I was praying we don’t disgrace ourselves before the world. I am glad we did not totally disgrace ourselves. I am not sure his inclusion did the President any huge favours in perception ratings, but perception is subject to the individual and so we will leave each to their own. PDP gave us Wike.

APC has given us Amaechi. Rivers people are watching. I believe though that with the right motivation, cross party support and a little prayer, he can be a useful tool in Buhari’s cabinet.

Do you regret not defecting to the APC way before the 2015 elections?

Why should I? The ideology of the APC at that time was, “Bring down Jonathan”, and I was on a totally different wavelength. So, regretting is not a possibility. I am also happy I left the PDP.

You can’t mistreat a man with a mandate and expect him to stay silent and clap for you. Not me. I have supporters. I have a caucus and I do not act alone. We listen and we learn. Of course we make mistakes. That’s why pencils have erasers.

What is your take on the ongoing anti-corruption campaign?

The anti-corruption campaign was the foundation of the Buhari campaign, so it is expected that a lot would be happening in that area. So far, so good, but it is yet to enjoy the confidence of all sides. The reason for this is obvious. Not a lot of APC people are in the dock. I suggest we stay tuned, there is still plenty time for that.

No man who is just settling in will fight on too many fronts. Besides it is for the agencies charged with these responsibilities to do their work, unless there is evidence to show, the Presidency is interfering, let us await the results.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Afenifere to pick Fasoranti’s successor today

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Akure—LEADERS of Afenifere, the Pan Yoruba socio political group will today meet in Akure, the Ondo State capital at the country home of its former chairman, Pa Rueben Fasoranti on the choice of a new helmsman.

All things being equal a new chairman will today take over from Pa Fasoranti who resigned three days ago, citing old age.

The group is also expected to chart a new course for the Yoruba nation after looking critically at the alleged disloyalty and other internal wrangling within the group.

Vanguard gathered that those expected at the meeting are core leaders of the group as far reaching decisions on the way forward are expected to be taken.

A leader of the group, who spoke on condition of anonymity, with Vanguard said that the outcome of the meeting will be made public and all insinuations about the resignation of its leader Pa Fasoranti, laid to rest.

Confirming today’s meeting

Contacted, Secretary General of the group, Asiwaju Sehinde Arogbofa, tacitly confirmed today’s meeting.

Arogbofa, however, said the public will be informed appropriately.

He said; “The meeting is strictly for members of the group only. We will make our decisions known to you after the meeting.”

The scribe also assured that the resignation of Pa Fasoranti will not affect the struggle of the Yoruba race.

Pa Fasoranti remained incommunicado yesterday as one of his children said he was not prepared to talk to the press.

She said that the leaders of the group would soon make pubic the next line of action  of the Socio political group.

Former chairman indisposed

Another leader of the group who spoke in confidence said that the former Chairman is  actually indisposed and on medication.

His mobile telephone remained switched off since Sunday after his resignation was made public.

Pa Fasoranti in his resignation letter said that “Considering my age, efforts and selfless dedication to my country, my state (Ondo), my political parties, my past leaders and my members in Afenifere both in Nigeria and in Diaspora, I hereby wish to inform you all that I have decided to step aside as leader of our great organization, Afenifere.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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