The embattled Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Peremobowei Ebebi, yesterday, opted for the court in the battle to survive the impeachment plot against him by 17 out of the 24 members of the State House of Assembly, having failed to use influential Nigerians to save his job. According to reliable sources, he has sought an order from the court to declare illegal and unconstitutional the notice of impeachment and order directing the Chief Judge to set up a 7-man probe panel to investigate alleged misconduct.
The Presiding Judge of the State High Court, Justice Naiye Aganaba, however, granted an order for substituted service until the process is done to the defendants and ensure that all the legislators are served.
The Deputy Governor, through his counsel, Barr. Kemasuode Wodu, is seeking a declaration of the court, in the Suit YHC/201/2010, that without the presentation of a Valid Notice of Allegation(s) against him, signed by not less than 1/3(one third) of the members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly pursuant to section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and service to same on him and all the members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the defendants cannot lawfully and validly remove him from office as the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state.
Ebebi is also seeking a declaration that the purported notice of impeachment dated 1st day of June, 2010, purportedly presented to the 1st defendant by the 6th -22nd defendants, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatever.
He is also seeking an order setting aside the purported notice of impeachment; an order setting aside the purported proceedings of the State Assembly, which was held on the 8th of June, including the resolution that the purported allegations of gross misconduct against the claimant contained in the notice of impeachment or any notice of allegations against the claimant be investigated, and requesting the 5th defendant(the Chief Judge) to appoint or constitute a panel of seven persons to investigate the Claimant.
The Deputy Governor also asked the court to “issue an order setting aside any purported appointment and or constitution of a panel of seven persons by the Chief Judge to investigate purported allegations of gross misconduct against the Claimant contained in the aforesaid purposed notice of impeachment or as may be contained in any purported notice of allegations against the Claimant,’’
Speaking with newsmen after the court’s sitting in Yenagoa, yesterday, lead counsel to the Deputy Governor, Barr. Kemasuode Wodu explained that, though the court has not stopped the impeachment process, “the law states that when you are seeking an order of injunction, nothing should be done during that period .We believe that all parties will await the determination of the court”.
In a separate letter to the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kate Abiri, the Counsel to the Deputy Governor described as fundamentally defective the Assembly’s directive on the Chief Judge to set up a seven person panel, saying that same was commenced by way of impeachment, which is alien and unknown to section 188 of the 1999 constitution.
He said the Supreme Court has also confirmed that the entire concept of impeachment is unknown to the said section 188 of the Constitution in the case of “Inakuoju Vs Adeleke(2007) 4 NWLR Part 1025 page 427 at 578.
The Weekend Tide’s investigation revealed that after many Ijaw leaders, including Edwin Clark had failed to persuade the Governor Chief Timipre Sylva to soft pedal on the issue, Ebebi decided to seek refuge in the court, having refused suggestions that he should resign to save his political career.
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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