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Periscoping 2020 (2)

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On Thursday, February 6, 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), de-registered 74 political parties, leaving, only 18 as duly recognised political parties in Nigeria.
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who broke the news to journalists in Abuja at a press conference, said the decision of the commission was in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
According to the commission, those that are qualified to exist as political parties include: Accord Party (AP), Action Alliance (AA), African Action Congress (AAC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM). Others are: Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), National Rescue Mission (NRM), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Prof. Yakubu said INEC de-registered the 74 political parties for failing to satisfy the requirements to operate as contained in the Fourth Alteration to the constitution and also fixed the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo on September 19 and October 10, 2020, respectively.
The Nigerian Senate, on Thursday, February 6, 2020, constituted a 56-member Constitution Review Committee to handle all bills seeking alterations in the provisions of the 1999 constitution.
Dr Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate, said eight principal officers of the senate will serve as steering committee within the larger committee with the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege as chairman.
In the House of Representatives, the lawmakers passed for second reading, a bill seeking to give local government full financial and administrative autonomy.
After seven months in office, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, for the first time, presided over plenary on Thursday, February 6, 2020, after the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan sought to leave the chambers to attend to other matters outside.
For the second time in three weeks, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), took its protest to the embassies of the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and France, condemning among other things, what it termed ‘threat to democracy’ by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.
The protest which took off from the party’s National Presidential Campaign headquarters, Maitama, Abuja, attracted key members of the National Working Committee (NWC), led by the National Secretary of the party, Senator Ibrahim Tsauri.
The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, affirmed the Bayelsa State governor-elect, David Lyon, as the valid candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election in the state.
A five-man panel of the court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili unanimously dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who had instituted his case, seeking to be declared the valid winner of the September 4, 2019, primary election of the APC in Bayelsa.
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, February 13, 2020, sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon and his deputy, Biobarakumo Degi-Eremieoyo.
The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili held that Degi-Eremieoyo presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Ermieoyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of the November 16, 2019, governorship election in Bayelsa State contained false information of fundamental nature.
Friday, February 14, 2020, Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was sworn-in as the 5th Executive Governor of Bayelsa State.
An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Monday, February 17, 2020, restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from de-registering 31 political parties.
The restraining order followed an interlocutory motion that was brought before the court by two plaintiffs led by the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD).
The sacked governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon and the All Progressives Congress (APC), lost their bids to overturn the Supreme Court ruling of February 13, which removed Lyon as the duly elected governor of the state on February 28.
In a ruling, the Supreme Court dismissed the application for review of the judgment which rendered Lyon’s election invalid because of what the five-man panel of Justices attributed to the alleged certificate forgery committed by Lyon’s running mate, Senator Biobarakumo Degi-Eremieoyo.
According to Justice Amina Augie who read the judgment, the applications lacked merit, adding that the decisions of the court are final.
No fewer than four Hilux patrol vehicles loaded with battle-ready mobile and regular policemen, on Thursday, February 27, stormed the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.
The arrival of the security agents forestalled a possible bloody clash of the pro and anti-protesters against the National Chairman of the ruling party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
A High Court sitting in Lokoja declared the removal of Elder Simon Achuba, as Deputy Governor of Kogi State by the State House of Assembly as null and void, adding that the subsequent nomination of Chief Edward Onoja did not follow due process.
Delivering judgment on the matter brought before the court by Elder Achuba on Thursday, February 27, Justice John Olorunfemi of the Lokoja High Court 4 declared the removal of the former Kogi State Deputy Governor from office by the Assembly as a violation of the constitution.
The Director, Legal Services of INEC, Oluwatoyin Babalola, on Monday, March 2, disclosed that the commission had proposed 34 amendments to the Electoral Act.
Speaking at the opening of a week-long retreat on the review of the electoral legal framework jointly organized by the commission, the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Lagos, Babalola said there are certain shortcomings in the electoral legal framework that needed to be addressed through legislation.
On Monday, March 2, the sacked governor of Imo State and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), again asked the Supreme Court for an adjournment to a later date for the hearing of their application for a review of the court’s judgment sacking Ihedioha.
When the case was called, their lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN) said the 1st and 2nd respondents- Hope Uzodinma and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) – just served them some documents before the court began sitting.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said in Lagos, while declaring open a retreat on the Electoral Legal Framework, on Monday March 2, that the commission had begun to review a draft of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill that will include stringent punishments for election violators.
He said that the commission had in late 2019 received the draft of the bill from the senate committee on INEC which had earlier been presented to the executive for assent before the 2019 general elections.
A seven-man panel of Supreme Cout Justices led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Tuesday, March 3, voted six-to-one, with the majority agreeing to dismiss the application by Hon Emeka Ihediohas’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), that the court should review its judgment sacking his client as governor of Imo State.
A justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Chima Nweze, who gave a dissenting judgment, noted that the Supreme Court is permitted by law to overrule itself.
“The reasoning in the judgment will, sooner or later, haunt our electoral jurisprudence” Justice Nweze said, adding that his argument was an appeal to the “brooding spirit of the law”.
Reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the verdict of the Supreme Court on the review of its judgment on the Imo governorship election was a disconcerting endorsement of electoral fraud, which places a huge burden on the court and the Lord Justices.
The PDP, however, noted that in the face of the sad verdict, Justice Chima Nweze’s judgment presented a glimpse of hope for the nation’s judiciary.
On Tuesday, March 3, the Oyo, Ogun, Lagos and Osun States, Houses of Assembly, respectively passed a bill to establish a regional security outfit codenamed ‘Amotekun’.
The Oyo State House of Assembly passed the Oyo State Security Network Agency Bill, 2020 Codenamed Operation Amotekun. In Ogun State, the state House of Assembly also passed the State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Bill.
In Lagos State, the state House of Assembly, at plenary, passed the bill to create Amotekun Corps as a special unit of the Lagos State Neigbhourhood Safety Corps, while in Osun State, the State House of Assembly passed the Osun Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Establishment Bill 2020 after it was read for the third time.
The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, March 3, resolved that the National Assembly should suspend plenary for two weeks to enable the management install facilities to screen and detect coronavirus.
A Federal Capital Territory High Court, on Wednesday, March 4, gave an order restraining Comrade Adams Oshiomhole from parading himself as National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In his ruling, Hon. Justice Senchi Z. Danlami gave an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Comrade Oshiomhole from parading himself as the National Chairman of the APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
After weeks of speculation and suspense, governors of South-South States of Rivers, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River, on Thursday, March 5, agreed to establish a regional security outfit to tackle peculiar challenges in the region. This came on the heels of the passage of the bill for the establishment of South-West security network, Amotekun, by State Houses of Assembly in states of the region.
Addressing journalists in Asaba at the end of the meeting of the Forum of Governors in the South-South, Chairman of the forum and governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, said the governors had agreed to resuscitate the BRACED Commission, a regional economic and integration platform.

 

By: Opaka Dokubo

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Anambra:Bill To Abolish Open Grazing Passes Second Reading

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A bill seeking to regulate animal grazing and establish cattle ranches in designated areas of Anambra has scaled second reading in the House of Assembly.
The Majority Leader of the house, Dr Nnamdi Okafor (APGA-Awka South I), said the bill would promote peace and ensure safety of lives and property in the state.
The bill is entitled, ‘Open Grazing of Cattle and other Livestock Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill 2021’.
He said that when the bill becomes law, it would help to curb the incessant herders/farmers clashes and generate business opportunities in the state.
“The bill will be part of the efforts to address the incessant clashes between livestock owners, herders and farmers in the state, which has often led to loss of lives and properties over the years.
“The bill will also prevent the destruction of farms and farmers’ crops brought about by open rearing and grazing of cattle,” Okafor said.
Also, Dr Timothy Ifedioranma (APC-Njikoka l) said the bill would promote the production of healthy breeds of livestock and boost job and investment opportunities in livestock farming.
Mr Chuka Ezewune (APGA-Idemili South) said the bill would also promote modern techniques of animal husbandry and international best practices in the dairy and beef industry.
“The old form of cattle rearing is very destructive to the nation and it is time we embraced change,” Ezewune said.
Contributing, Dr Pete Ibida (APGA-Njikoka II) said his constituents had long clamoured for the law.
“Open grazing has constituted security and safety hazards. It messes up our roads and my constituents have been displaced from their farms.
“I believe the bill will also help to manage the environmental impact of open grazing and protect the environment from degradation and pollution,” Ibida added.
Mr Obinna Emeneka (APGA-Anambra East) said that open grazing contributed to disease transmission and described animals as carriers of parasites transmitted to humans.
Emeneka said the bill required accelerated passage to promote agriculture, security and stability in the state.
The Speaker, Mr Uche Okafor, described the bill as everybody’s business, adding that it bothered on food security, economic development and security of of lives and property.
The bill was later committed to the Committee on Agriculture, headed by Mr John Nwokoye, for further deliberation and the committee was expected to report back on September 30.

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Obaseki Names Cabinet 10 Months Later

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The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Friday released a list of nominees for post of commissioners in the State Executive Council.
This decision is coming close to a year after Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, were inaugurated for a second term into office on November 12, 2020, following their victory in the September 19 governorship election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor had re-appointed Osarodion Ogie as the Secretary to the State Government after his inauguration with no other appointment since then.
This led to criticism from the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State that accused Obaseki of presiding over the affairs of the state like a sole administrator.
“There are some policies and actions of a state that legally and constitutionally should not be undertaken without the approval of the State Executive Council. As we speak, some of those actions are being taken solely by Godwin Obaseki as a sole administrator. He has not displayed the tendencies of a democratically elected governor,” Chris Azebanmwan, the Edo APC spokesman said.
Nonetheless, the Governor has finally released the list of his nominees. They are: Barr. Osamudiamen Wole-lyamu (Oredo); Mr. Chris Nehikhare (Orhionmwon); Mr. Richard Edebiri (Uhunmwode); Barr. Andrew Emwanta Adaze (Egor); Mr. Tony Aganmwonyi (Ikpoba Okha); Mr. Ethan Uzamere (Ovia South West); Ms. Efosa Uyigue (Ovia North East).
Others are, Barr. Donald Okogbe (Akoko Edo); Barr. Anthony Innih (Etsako East); Mrs. Omo Otse Omorogbe (Etsako West); Hon. Damian Lawani (Etsako Central); Mr. Jimfred Obaidiku (Owan West).
Also in the list are, Barr. J. O. Braimah (Owan East); Hon. Felix Akhabue (Esan West); Fred Emefiele (Igueben); Mrs. Anehita Ojezua-Emeya (Esan Central); Dr. Olu Ayewoh (Esan North East) and Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen (Esan South East).

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Speaker Lauds Wike On Infrastructure

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The Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani has commended the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, for the rapid development of Rivers State.
He made this statement when he played host to members of the Council For the Regulation of Estate Surveyors and Valuers of Nigeria recently.
Rt. Hon. Ibani assured the Council that the State Assembly would continue to do that which was beneficial to their constituents. He noted that as a public servant, his door was open to all.
He said: “As a public servant, my door is open to all, and at all times. We work in the interest of the State and for the interest of our people….”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Council For The Regulation of Estate Surveyors and Valuers of Nigeria, Gersh Henshaw, commended the efforts of the Speaker as the Head of Rivers State Legislature.
He stated that Rt. Hon. Ibani had continued to maintain a cordial relationship with the Executive arm of Government and the result of such collaboration was the developmental strides in Rivers State.
The Chairman stated that the essence of the visit was to seek partnership with the Rivers State House of Assembly on any new legislation concerning Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Rivers State.
He expressed appreciation to the National President of the Council, Sir Emmanuel Wike for his immense contributions to the success and progress of the profession.
The delegation which was on a courtesy visit to the Rt. Hon. Speaker, was led by its National President, Sir Wike.

By: Kevin Nengia

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