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JUSUN Strike Bites In Rivers …As FG Kicks



The strike action embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) took a more debilitating dimension yesterday as litigants and lawyers in the state were denied access to the Federal High Court Complex.
Our Correspondent, who visted the Federal High Court and Appeal Courts reports that the premises of both courts were under lock and key.
According to our correspondent, lawyers and litigants were shocked as they were denied entrance into both complexes.
One of the litigants, Nwubi Samuel, who said he had a matter scheduled for ruling yesterday, added that the strike will have a negative impact on the society.
According to him, the ruling was set to free an accused person who has been awaiting trial for over four years.
On his part, Mr. Adidu Onyebi, described the strike as a major setback in the country’s justice administration, and called on all the parties in the matter to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
Speaking, one of the lawyers, Barr. Akpokuche Omesurum urged the Federal Government to address the problem, and ensure that the lingering issues are settled.
Meanwhile the Federal Government yesterday faulted allegations by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria that it did not comply with the judgement which barred the executive from holding on to funds meant for the judiciary.
The judiciary workers had on Monday embarked on an indefinite strike to protest the non-compliance of state governments with the court order on financial autonomy for the judiciary.
The court order was granted by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja on January 13, 2014.
The strike had paralyzed activities at the courts across the country as litigants and lawyers were denied access to the premises.
But reacting to the allegation of not complying with the court order, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla, said during an interview with journalists in Abuja, that the Federal Government had always ensured compliance.
He said, “The first impression I should correct is that the Office of the Accountant General was never a party to that litigation.
“But without any prejudice to that and also reminding you that the federal government has been acting consequently with what it should do.
“We’ve always been giving National Judicial Council its money as a first line charge without interference with how they manage the funds.”
Otunla explained that at the last Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting held on December 16, a nominal distribution for money was made to the various state judiciaries.
This move, he noted, was stopped by the states to enable them (states) carry out what he referred to as reconciliation of figures.
He said, “At the last Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting, the OAGF made a nominal distribution for money to be remitted to the various state judiciaries but the states said they should give them more time to reconcile their figures and they rightly declined that we should not effect the deduction.
“So at the Federal Ministry of Finance, we have tried our very best to ensure that the judgement is abided with. So the fault is not really ours.
“I think some states have even gone as far as to challenge the judgement and it’s not really on the part of the OAGF to deduct the money of state when they say don’t.”

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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