The seven-member panel investigating allegations of gross misconduct against Governor Umaru Al-Makura has dismissed all the charges.
The panel dismissed the charges after concluding its work and listening to the counsel to the Assembly yesterday morning.
The state Assembly had on Monday declared the inauguration of the panel by the State Chief Judge, Suleiman Dikko, as unconstitutional saying it would stay away from the probe.
But yesterday, the Assembly made a u-turn, and sent a legal team led by Ocha Ulegede to represent it before the panel.
The other members of the Assembly’s legal team were John Mathew, P. A. Daffi, Steven Idikwu, Ache Obande and Abraham Aruta.
The legal team arrived at the venue of the sitting around 8.45 a.m. and took the seats marked for the state assembly.
The legal team said the panel was breaching the Nigerian constitution.
Ulegede then presented a protest letter written by the legislators and argued that some members of the panel were also members of a political party and that their appointments negated the provision of Section 188 in the composition of the panel.
He said that the provision did not give the Chief Judge absolute power to appoint members of the panel.
Ulegede also said the provision stated that panel members must not belong to any political party, be a government appointee or be a person with questionable character.
The legal team said the panel had no right to set guidelines for the conduct of the sitting.
“Section 188 of the constitution spelt out clearly how the panel should be composed. They are three fundamental issues among which is that member of the panel cannot be a card carrying member of a political party. They cannot hold government appointment and that the panel does not have the power to set the rules of proceeding guiding the sitting”.
The legislators’ legal team said two members of the seven-member panel, Abdu Usman and Mohammed Keana, are members of the Peoples Democratic Part, PDP.
The legal team also said Joel Galadima is on the payroll of the state government.
Ulegede told the panel that the house does not recognize the panel and then requested to leave the premises.
After the panel heard the protest of the counsel to the State Assembly, it went on a brief recess.
When it resumed from the recess, the panel, which had listened to Mr. Al-Makura on Monday, dismissed the 16 charges against the governor.
Meanwhile, a panel of enquiry will today begin investigation into allegations levelled against the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi.
The panel will conduct its proceedings in one of the conference rooms in the office of the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice A. I. Umezulike, at the headquarters of the state High Court.
Justice Umezulike constituted the seven-man panel yesterday, following the commencement of impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor by members of the state House of Assembly.
Onyebuchi was accused of running an illegal poultry in his official residence at the Government House, and also refusing to represent Governor Sullivan Chime at official functions, despite directives from the governor instructing him to do so.
The panel of enquiry, which was inaugurated by the CJ in his chambers, is headed by Oraeke Franklin, and has Pastor Uruakanwa Okoh, Elder Nnamdi Onyenwulu, Barrister Maxwell Eze, Mrs Praise Anyim, Aro Perfecta and Anthony Iguh, as members.
The panel’s deliberation is to be based on The Rules made by the House of Assembly, pursuant to section 188 (7) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
In a short address while inaugurating the panel, the CJ said he was “under a constitutional obligation” to set up a committee to investigate the allegations brought against Onyebuchi.
He explained that members of the panel were selected because of their integrity and urged them to live up to expectations as their activities during the period “would be monitored with a detective’s eye.”
Justice Umezulike said, “I need here to remind you that the constitutional or democratic history of Enugu State would never be complete without a chapter of the functions you are about to perform.
“I therefore urge you to perform this function in a manner that would elicit commendation rather than condemnation from legal and constitutional minds.”
Speaking on behalf of the panel, Oraeke assured the CJ that they would discharge the function without fear or favour.
2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence
The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.
Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC
The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.
Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death
The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.
- Sports5 days ago
NPFL: Rivers United’s Captain Wants LMC To Apply Rule
- Politics5 days ago
Onochie Makes Case For True Federalism
- Sports5 days ago
Covid-19 Scare: Team Nigeria Undergoes Daily Tests In Tokyo
- Sports5 days ago
Nigeria’s wrestling Sensation, Adekuoroye Excited Over Role In Olympics
- Sports5 days ago
NBA: Milwaukee Star Anxious To Visit Nigeria – Wants To Learn About His Roots
- Business5 days ago
Nigeria To Boost Trade Volume Through ECOWAS TPOs
- Sports5 days ago
Chukwueze, Onuachu Likely To Join Eagles EPL Legion
- News5 days ago
Army Issues Official Vehicles To Sergeant Majors