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Atiku’s Appeal: CUPP Rejects Move To Handpick Panel’s Justices

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As candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammad Buhari and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the 2019 president election shift their battle to the Supreme Court, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), has alleged of plans in some quarters to jettison seniority in the selection of panel justices, and vowed to reject the move.
The CUPP, at a press conference, yesterday, in Abuja, claimed that the ruling APC-led Federal Government was mounting undue pressure on the Chief Justice of the Federation, Dr Ibrahim Tanko and the “entire court to accept a handpicked panel and jettison the age-long tradition of the court selecting the most senior justices of the Supreme Court to sit on the panel.”
Spokesman of the opposition coalition, Ikenga Ugochinyere, who addressed the media, said the coalition would not accept such action.
“We have it on good authority that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has been mounting undue pressure on the Chief Justice of the Federation, and indeed, the entire court to accept a handpicked panel and jettison the age-long tradition of the court of selecting the most senior justices of the Supreme Court to sit on the panel,” it claimed. The text of the briefing read thus: “As you are already aware the opposition consensus candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has approached the Supreme Court of Nigeria to appeal the controversial and unpopular judgment of the Court of Appeal which dismissed his petition.
“By the provisions of the 4th Alteration of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has 60 days from the date of the filing of the Notice of Appeal. These processes have kick started and everyone is awaiting the composition of the names of the seven-man panel by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“The disquiet and bad blood caused by the APC in the Supreme Court now is a clear desecration of the highest temple of justice in the land.
“We have it on good authority that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has been mounting undue pressure on the Chief Justice of the Federation, and indeed, the entire court to accept a handpicked panel and jettison the age-long tradition of the court of selecting the most senior justices of the Supreme Court to sit on the panel.
“The opposition and most Nigerians will not accept a handpicked panel neither will the pronouncement of such panel command the requite respect and confidence of the people of Nigeria and we in the opposition.
“The Supreme Court is for the people the last hope of the judiciary. The actions of the Supreme Court must inspire national confidence and deliver not just judgment but justice and that path to justice is not only about the law but about the ordinary man believing that justice has been done. The Supreme Court is supreme and its words must be for the protection of the society and the people and the law.
“A grave error was done at Appeal Court and the nation is waiting to see how a man who violated the Electoral Act and was supposed to have been disqualified managed to survive at the Appeal Court. That court failed in both the issues of law and issues of national interest.
“Today, corruption has been permeated in the highest levels of the Presidency. Today, Nigeria is indebted more than ever before. Today, suffering citizens are being taxed to death. Today, there is a craze to generate revenue even at the risk of stripping citizens of their minimal purchasing power which has almost lost all its value due to mismanagement by this incompetent administration.
“Today, public funds are spent without appropriation and proper accountability. Today, they have increased VAT to 7.5%. Today, they tax citizens to deposit their money in banks. Today, they tax citizens for withdrawal of their money.
“Today, they ask citizens to pay stamp duty and the money is not accounted for. Today, citizens pay increased electricity tariff with no reciprocal electricity supply.
“Today, they have borrowed money both locally and internationally more than any other government in our history yet they cannot pay workers minimum wage. Beyond these obnoxious policies, citizens are daily denied their basic rights to freedom of expression.
“The government has failed in its basic duty which is protection of lives and property. Today, all parts of the country are insecure with bandits and terrorist raping and destroying.
“The economy is bad because the leader has no capacity to govern and has surrendered his functions to unelected people. Citizens are charged to court for terrorism for merely speaking out against this misrule, while his supporters are asking for 3rd term and working assiduously to achieve such unconstitutional ambition.
“This administration failed on electoral reform, it failed on security, it failed on economy, it failed on the fight against corruption, it has failed to make any worthy investment in the health sector, it has failed to record any success in education, foreign investments is lower than it used to be and Nigeria is daily sinking deeper into the poverty gully and our once growing economy is now the centre of poverty in the world.
“The Judiciary is daily being emasculated. Judges are petitioned against if they rule against government interest, this attack on judges was carried out to silence the judiciary and use it as clearing house. Disobedience to lawful orders of court by the government is now the order of the day.”
It, however, said all hope was not lost if the PDP candidate wins at the Supreme Court.
“The way out is in the hands of the Supreme Court justices who will be called upon to rule in the interest of the law, national interest, unification and enthronement of a competent leadership and that journey starts with the composition of the membership of the presidential election appeal panel that will hear Atiku’s appeal at the Supreme Court,” it said.

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Leah Sharibu Alive, Doing Well, Freed Aid Worker Confirms

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A 26-year-old medical aid worker working with Alliance For International Medical Action, Jennifer Ukambong Samuel, who regained freedom from the Boko Haram captivity, said she didn’t meet with Leah Sharibu but she was told that Leah was doing well.
Jennifer, who arrived Jos, last Saturday amidst crowds after the Department of State Services (DSS) facilitated her release, told our source in Jos that they were not allowed to see other abducted girls but said they met with Alice, a lady who has been in captivity for long told her that Leah was doing fine.
“I don’t know how many of us that were taken but I think we were eight or nine in number. We started moving inside the bush and got to a place where they wanted to make video recording for us to speak to the Federal Government.
“They said we should tell Federal Government that if they want us to be released, they should release their people in government custody. When we got there, I saw Alice; the last day we were going, she was the only person we were allowed to see.
“I didn’t see Leah Sharibu but Alice said Leah and Grace were doing fine, that is what she told me. That if I had known her before she was abducted, I would have agreed that she is doing fine; she is very fat but she wasn’t fat before her abduction.”
Jennifer said they were kept in a tick bush for about three weeks, and said the insurgents gave them food, and urged them to request whatever they want for their comfort.
She noted that they were not harassed sexually but they were preparing them for the action when one of them said their religion permits them to have sex with their slaves.
Jennifer appreciated the Department of State Services, other security agencies, the Federal Government and spirited individuals who cried out for their release.

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Amotekun: Yoruba World Congress Holds Solidarity Walk, ’Morrow

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A solidarity walk organised by the Yoruba World Congress (YWC); an umbrella body of all Yoruba socio-cultural and self-determination groups in support of Operation Amotekun, a security network recently established by governors from the South-West to wage war against the spate of insecurity ravaging the zone will hold tomorrow across the entire region.
The congress has pleaded with the South-West governors not to back down and push the concept through.
A statement by the Director of Contacts and Mobilization of the group, Comrade Victor Taiwo, yesterday, said the walk would take place in all the South-West state capitals in Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Osogbo, Akure and Ado-Ekiti, simultaneously, from 9am.
The YWC is being led by Yoruba Leader, Emeritus Professor of History and Second Republic Senator, Banji Akintoye.
Taiwo said, “All Yoruba people are urged to come out in their millions anywhere they are in Oduduwa Land on Tuesday to show to the world that Amotekun has come to stay.
“We must show to the external forces and their internal collaborators who want to stampede our resolve to protect ourselves, safeguard our land from kidnappers and armed robbers, and put an end to consistent destruction of our farmlands, that enough is enough.
“Well-meaning Yoruba people and leaders of thought would be at designated venues to address the protest.
“We want to assure our governors that Yoruba people are behind them on Amotekun. We urge them not to shiver, and they must never shiver. It is no retreat, no surrender. We will not surrender Amotekun.
“On the meeting points, those in Lagos are to converge at Gani Faweyinmi Freedom Park, Ojota; Oyo: Opposite Agodi Cenotaph, Ibadan; Ogun: Pansheke Junction, Abeokuta; Osun: Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo; Ondo: Alagbaka Roundabout, opposite First Bank, Akure while those in Ekiti are to converge at Fajuyi Roundabout, Ado-Ekiti”, he added.

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RSG Tackles CBN Over N50 Stamp Duty Charges

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The Rivers State Government has vowed to check any form of double taxation in the state, just as it appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review its N50 stamp duty charge on business owners using the POS in the state.
The state Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Peter Medee stated this during a meeting with Licensed Petroleum Products Station Owners Association in Rivers State (LIPPSOAR) led by its Chairman, Sunny Nkpe at his office in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
Medee explained that paying the extra N50 charge was a form of double taxation, which the state government under Governor Nyesom Wike was bent on stopping.
He said, “When the transporter goes to the fuel station to buy the product, and he is charged extra N50, he passes it on to the passengers in any way he can, but definitely he will pass it on, and by so doing exploiting Rivers people.”
Medee, in a five-point communique he jointly signed with LIPPSOAR Chairman, Comrade Sunny Nkpe, and read to newsmen, said the N50 petrol stamp duty fee by the CBN for the use of POS remains a merchant fee which should be paid by business owners and not the customers.
The commissioner charged the association not to allow their facilities to be used for any unpleasant activity that may negatively affect residents of the state and the environment.
The communique reads, “Government understands the challenges and difficulties the members of Licensed Petroleum Products Station Owners Association of Rivers State face on the implementation of the N50 stamp duty.
“That the N50 stamp duty is a merchant fee and should be so regarded. Further engagements will be made with the CBN for appropriate review of the N50 stamp duty charges, considering the fact that LIPPSOAR and operating in Rivers State, are adversely affected because their businesses are highly regulated.
“That LIPPSOAR members are advised not to allow their facilities to be used for any unwholesome practices that will adversely affect the residents and environment of Rivers State.”
In his remarks, LIPPSOAR Chairman, Sunny Nkpe, said the association would adhere to the decisions taken at the meeting, noting that his members have remained partners with the ministry and the state government.
He added, “On our part, LIPPSOAR and other stakeholders, we want to promise the commissioner, his team and the Government of Rivers State of our usual support and cooperation at all times.

 

Dennis Naku & Ruth Alpheus

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