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Obaseki dares National Assembly

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The crisis triggered by the controversial inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly degenerated yesterday as the Senate threatened a takeover of the state legislature if the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, failed to issue a fresh proclamation to convoke the lawmakers by next week.


The Senate’s decision, which the governor has described as unconstitutional and pointedly said he would ignore, concurred with the earlier verdict of the House of Representatives on the crisis in the state legislature, which is a fallout of the factionalization of the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Senate, which had set up a committee to investigate allegations that the governor did not properly proclaim the House of Assembly, leading to the non-inauguration of some 12 lawmakers-elect till date, while considering the report of the ad hoc panel yesterday, warned the governor to issue the fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the seventh Edo Assembly or the National Assembly would take over the legislative duties of the Assembly.

The House of Representatives had made the same demand on July 17 while debating the report of the ad hoc committee it set up on the crisis.
The Senate said it would not hesitate to take over the legislative functions of the Assembly after the expiration of the ultimatum next Tuesday.

The Senate’s decision was a sequel to the recommendations of its Ad hoc Committee, headed by the Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, which was set up to investigate the crisis.
The committee, in its report, had recommended that Obaseki should issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Seventh Edo Assembly and which must be clearly communicated to the 24 members-elect.

According to the Senate, “In the event that a new proclamation was not issued by the governor for proper inauguration of the Seventh Assembly of the state within a week, the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly, should invoke the provisions of section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”
Prior to the adoption of the committee’s recommendations, divergent opinions were expressed on the report by senators across party lines.

While Senators Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi Central) and Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi North), supported the recommendations, Senators Rochas Okorocha (APC Imo West) and Emmanuel Oker-Jev (PDP Benue North West) kicked against them.
Aliero and Egwu described the purported earlier proclamation and inauguration of the assembly as a sham, illegal and unconstitutional.

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Supreme court dismisses Atiku server suit

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 election, Atiku Abubakar, seeking to Inspect the central server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for lacking in merit.

The apex court held that the request lacked merit because it was brought by Atiku after the parties had joined issues on the existence or otherwise of the server.
According to the unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Chima Nweze, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal was in order in refusing to grant Atiku’s request at the time it was made so as not to prejudice other parties in the matter.

In addition, the apex court held that the appeal lacked merit because the appellants failed to prove how the decision of the tribunal was unfair to them.

Justice Nweze said a party can only complain of the lack of fair hearing when discretion of court was wrongly or arbitrarily used by the court, adding that in this instant case the tribunal used its discretion judicially and judiciously.

“I see no reason to depart from the decision of the lower court, the appeal is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed,” the judge held.

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Supreme Court set to rule on INEC server

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The Supreme Court has suspended proceedings to rule on an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, for permission to be allowed access to a supposed server owned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

President Muhammudu Buhari and Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) had on June 24, 2019, dismissed an application by Atiku and the PDP requesting permission to have access to the central server, which they claimed INEC used for the February 23 poll.
It is the decision of June 24 that Atiku and the PDP now appealed at the Supreme Court.
A panel of the Supreme Court (led by Justice Datijo Mohammed after taking arguments from Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, (for the appellants); Yunus Usman, SAN, (for INEC); Wole Olanipekun, SAN, (for President Muhammadu Buhari) and Charles Edosomwan, SAN, (for the All Progressives Congress), rose briefly to consider the arguments and return for its decision.
The Election Petition Court, at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, had, while dismissing the application by Atiku and the PDP, held that INEC, having denied the existence of the said server and insisted that results of the election were not electronically transmitted into any server as claimed by the petitioners (Atiku and PDP), granting the application would amount to deciding the central issue in the petition at the interlocutory stage.
The court’s Presiding Justice, Justice Mohammed Garba, who read the ruling, added that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the held on February 23, 2019 were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC).”

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Buhari tasks ministers on team work

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja told ministers-designate that they must work as a team, stressing that his administration would rely on them to implement policies and programs to lift Nigerians out of poverty.


The president also described as frightening Nigeria’s “looming” population status, which he put at 200 million today but has been estimated by the United Nations (UN) to rise to 411 million by 2050.

He told the would-be ministers in Abuja at the opening of the two-day retreat for them that “working as a team demands that we know what the next person is doing.”

The retreat is to familiarise the incoming cabinet members with governance process and to let them know expectations of them.

The retreat also began on a day the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, refused to grant an order by indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) seeking to stop the president from swearing in the 43 ministers-designate.

In his speech at the retreat, Buhari said: “As ministers, I am counting on you together with advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to building upon our road map of policies, programs, and projects that will lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity.

“Our administration’s eight years will have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the world’s great nations.”

The president also told participants at the retreat to see their appointments as a great privilege and to ensure that they put in their best because Nigeria needs frontline individuals to address its many challenges.
He warned them to prepare for arduous commitments, which would require long hours of work and acute labor all geared towards optimal performance.

Buhari seized the occasion to give account of activities of his administration in the first term.
He said: “First – we have rolled back the frontiers of terrorism; we are actively addressing other challenges such as kidnappings, farmer-herder violence, improving the safety of our roads, railways, air traffic and fire control capacities.
“Second – we are steadily turning the economy round through investment in agriculture and manufacturing, shoring up our foreign reserves, curbing inflation and improving the country’s infrastructure.

“Third – on corruption, we have recovered hundreds of billions of stolen assets and are actively pursuing control measures to tackle leakages in public resources. We will not let up in fighting corruption.”

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BREAKING: S’Court strikes out Atiku, PDP suit

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The Supreme Court has struck out an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election.

President Muhammad Buhari and Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

The appeal marked SC/738/2019 was filed against a ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), in which it held that the Atiku and the PDP do not have a reply to an application filed on May 14, 2019, by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking among others, the dismissal of their (Atiku and the PDP) challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the last presidential election.

In a ruling on Tuesday, a five-man panel led by Justice Datijo Mohammed struck out the appeal for having become statute-barred.

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