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Court can’t stop Senate forgery probe – Police

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase on Monday told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that it lacked powers to stop the police from carrying out investigation into the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Order 2015 (as amended).

He further submitted that the police have not taken sides on the issue.

The position of the IG was contained in a counter- affidavit deposed to by Joshua Yohanna of the Legal/Prosecution Department, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID) to a suit filed by Senator Gilbert Nnaji representing Enugu East on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to stop the police from investigating the alleged forgery.

The police boss, who is one of the defendants in the suit, also submitted that investigating the allegation of forgery in the Senate can only strengthen the integrity of the upper legislative house and its leadership.

He further stated that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu or any other Nigerian citizen has no immunity over criminal investigations.

The affidavit reads: “The present Senate has not enacted any standing orders yet. As at the time of inauguration of this present Senate, no standing orders had been made.

Till date, no such standing orders have so far been made. “The practice is that at inauguration, the incoming Senate uses the standing orders of the preceding Senate.

The immediate past Senate did not amend the 2011 standing orders and the 2011 standing orders have not yet been amended.” The police also averred that the plaintiff cannot prove that the so-called 2015 standing orders were passed by the preceding Senate. It also averred that the so-called 2015 standing orders were never made nor passed by the immediate past Senate.

The plaintiff knows that the present Senate President was not in a position to have passed the 2015 Senate Standing Orders before his inauguration. “The plaintiff knows that it is only after inauguration that the current Senate could pass the Senate Standing Orders.

That what he is bandying about is not an authorised Senate Standing Order.” The police, however, prayed the court to throw out the suit as it is merely of a nuisance value. In a similar vein, the Secretary of the Senate Unity Forum, who signed the petition to the police, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi has applied to be joined in the suit filed by Nnaji as an interested party.

His motion dated August 3 was filed by his counsel, Mamman Osuman (SAN) pursuant to orders 9 rule 15 [1]; order 26 rule 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Federal High Court [Civil Procedure] rules 2009. In his ruling, the trial judge,

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, refused to make an order for status quo to be maintained but however adjourned proceedings to August 8.

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Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state capital following violent protest over the arrest of some youths allegedly involved in the killing Deborah Samuel, a 200-level student.

Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Isah Bajini, said the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township.

The statement noted that “Sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the State, the State Governor, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis

“The revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to affording people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood.”

Recall that following the lynching of the 200-level student for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, the State’s police command arrested some persons linked to the incident.

However, a large number of Muslim boys who were angered by the arrest, stormed the streets in the State on Saturday, demanding the release of the suspects.

The development, which triggered tension in several parts of the State, made the Governor to impose the curfew.

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Arsonists burn down LG secretariat, Magistrate Court in Anambra

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Suspected arsonists have burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat in Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area.

Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetuate the act, burning down all files, properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.

Videos and pictures circulating online showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the Local Government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.

The State Police Command has also confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.

DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson of the State Police Command said: “Yes, the incident was confirmed, and our men were there to restore normalcy.

“Right now, the fire has been put off, and calm has been restored to the area,” Ikenga said.

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National Assembly transmits amended Electoral Act to Buhari

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The National Assembly has transmitted the amended Electoral Act 2022 to the Presiden Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The bill was transmitted to the Presidency on Friday.

Sources in the Presidency and the National Assembly confirmed the transmission.

A source in the Presidency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he had not been authorised to announce the development officially, said, “Yes, it has been transmitted. But wait till Monday when it may be announced when the President will sign it.”

Another source in the National Assembly said, “It was transmitted on Friday. I needed to confirm it before saying anything.”

It was further learnt that Buhari would sign the amendment ahead of primaries of political parties beginning next week.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had last week passed an amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates at primaries, congresses, and conventions of political parties.

The lawmakers particularly amended Section 84(8) of the Act to provide automatic or statutory delegates, ahead of the forthcoming party primaries, from where candidates would emerge for the 2023 general elections.
In March, the National Assembly had passed the bill for the Act while the President signed it into law.

While political parties are close to conducting primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general elections, the Act did not allow members elected into public offices and executives of the parties, known as statutory delegates, to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of parties.

The chambers had described the omission as “a fundamental error.”

Without the provision by the law, Buhari; the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of local government areas, councillors, executives of political parties, amongst others, would have been disenfranchised.

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