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Court fails to stop Amaechi’s probe

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Justice Simeon Amadi of the Rivers State High Court on Thursday dismissed a suit filed by former Rivers State governor,  Rotimi Amaechi, challenging the constitution of the Justice Odedeji -led judicial commission of inquiry.

Amaechi’s successor, Governor Nyesom Wike constituted the commission to probe the sale of state assets by the immediate past administration.

Delivering judgment in suit number PHC/187/15 filed by former Governor Amaechi, Justice Amadi said the commission was not established to investigate the personal activities of the former governor, but set up to investigate previous actions of government as they affect the people of Rivers State.

He ruled that Governor Wike by the provisions of the law is empowered to establish the judicial commission of inquiry to investigate previous actions of government.

He said there is no law preventing a state government from finding out how its resources were expended.

He maintained that the former governor ‘‘cannot disburse and expend funds of the Rivers State government and turn around to claim that such powers belong to the National Assembly’’.

On the claim by the former governor that the 30 -day set aside for the sitting of the commission will deny him fair hearing,  the court held the days set aside have not breached Amaechi’s right to fair hearing.

The court noted that the former governor neither filed a memorandum before the commission not appear before it, hence he cannot complain that he was not given fair hearing.

Justice Amadi said the 30-days set aside is not sacrosanct, hence it could be extended.

The court further held that the suit by the former governor is speculative, ‘‘as he failed to prove the injuries that he suffered because of the setting up of the commission’’.

Justice Amadi held that contrary to Amaechi’s claims, the terms of reference of the judicial commission of inquiry did not accuse the former governor of any crime.

Justice Amadi said: “The judiciary is not only the last hope of the common man, but it is also the last hope of the mighty, movers and shakers of democracy.  Those who by the benevolence of the judiciary got to power should resist the temptation to emasculate the same judiciary”.

Commenting on the judgment,  Rivers State Attorney General,  Emmanuel Aguma, said the commission of inquiry can now sit, pointing out that it will be fair to all parties.

Counsel to Governor Nyesom Wike said the ruling of the court has proved that a claimant cannot jump to court to stop the legitimate business of a judicial commission of inquiry.

In her remarks, counsel to Rotimi Amaechi, Mrs Winifred Enyinnaya said the former governor will appeal the judgment.

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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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Senate

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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