A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Thursday dismissed the suit filed by a former governor of the state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, challenging the setting up of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe his administration.
The State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had constituted the Justice George Omereji-led judicial commission of inquiry to probe the sale of assets belonging to the state by the Amaechi administration.
But Amaechi had gone to court to challenge the setting up of the commission.
However, Justice Simeon Amadi, who delivered judgement on suit number PHC/187/15, affirmed that the judicial commission of inquiry was not established to investigate the personal activities of the former governor.
Justice Amadi added that the commission was established to investigate previous actions of government as they affected the people of the state.
According to him, Wike, by the provisions of the law, is empowered to establish the judicial commission of inquiry to investigate previous actions of government.
Justice Amadi specifically said there was no law preventing a state government from finding out how her resources were expended.
On the assertion by Amaechi that the 30 days set aside for the sitting of the judicial commission of inquiry will deny him fair hearing, Justice Amadi maintained that the number of days set aside for the commission did not breach his (Amaechi) right to fair hearing.
According to him, since Amaechi had yet to file a memorandum before the commission and had not appeared before it, the former governor cannot complain of not being given a fair hearing.
The court stated that 30 days set aside for the commission of inquiry is not sacrosanct and could be extended.
He pointed out that the former governor was not on trial, saying, “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 judiciary.”
However, the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Emmanuel Aguma, explained that with the court ruling, the commission of inquiry could begin its sitting and promised that it would be fair to all parties.
Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew
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.
Arsonists burn down LG secretariat, Magistrate Court in Anambra
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.
National Assembly transmits amended Electoral Act to Buhari
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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