The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has advised the House of Representatives to halt its plan to investigate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on why some political parties have not been deregistered.
The council made the call in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Ademola Babatunde, in Abuja last Wednesday.
Babatunde said the advice became necessary as IPAC’s attention had been drawn to the move by the assembly to investigate INEC over its failure to deregister political parties.
He said that such “purported decision” was undemocratic and contrary to the principles of constitutional democracy.
Babatunde said that the move should be immediately stopped, particularly when the matter was before a court of competent jurisdiction.
He noted: “It is an elementary principle of Nigerian legislative process that once matters are before a competent court of record, no authority or persons legislate upon them, unless and until it is determined on merit.
“Any attempt to discuss such matters robs the court of its guaranteed power as encapsulated under Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Supreme Court has reiterated in numerous cases, that where authorities or group of persons undermine the level of speed with which the court of law travels, it amounts to self-help and contravention of advanced democracy and the spirit of law.”
He said that political parties de-registration was never a solution to the enormous challenges facing Nigeria’s electoral processes or other areas that needed drastic attention.
Babatunde said that at this time the amendments to the Electoral Act should be the major point of discourse in order to plan effectively for the years ahead from the lessons derived from the 2019 general elections.
“It will be better to intelligently look at the constraints and lacuna in our Electoral Act and effect a credible process that will create avenue for peaceful, free, fair and credible elections that will reflect the true will of Nigerians.
“This should be done rather than presenting a motion for an action geared towards the de-registration of political parties,” he said.
He said that the number of political parties was not the problem affecting the credibility of the electoral process.
Babatunde said that attention should be on issue of violence and the killings of innocent Nigerians during elections, snatching of ballot papers, ballot boxes, abuse of INEC staff, vote buying, vote selling, among others.
“It is expedient, for the House Committee on Electoral Matters to be more concerned about matters that have direct bearing on the delivery of free, fair and credible electoral processes for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said.
“In respect to the rule of law and separation of powers, the House of Representatives should patiently await the just determination of the suit initiated by political parties, without any further discussion on the issue,” he said.
Ex-Women Affairs Minister, Tallen Felicitates Tinubu’s Wife @ 63
Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, has felicitated First Lady, Sen. Remi Tinubu on the occasion of her 63rd birthday.
Tallen, who congratulated the President’s wife in a statement on Friday in Abuja, eulogised the First Lady, who she described as “a rare gem and rare gift to the nation.”
She prayed for more years of God’s exceeding grace on Mrs Tinubu, describing her as extremely humane, an epitome of humility and an indispensable strong pillar of support to her husband.
Tallen said, “Your Excellency, on this milestone and auspicious occasion of your 63rd birthday, I join millions of your well-wishers across the globe, especially the womenfolk, to celebrate with you, while thanking God for His exceeding grace upon you, while wishing you the best that life can offer in the many decades ahead.
“As a wife, mother, fervent preacher of the gospel, as well as an iconic political leader, who exemplifies the struggle for women in politics, you will remain a veritable source of inspiration and pride for women for generations yet unborn.
“Indeed, we could not have asked God for a better First Lady at this time, considering your rare track record of achievements, as your life has been a gift, not just to Nigerian women after your breaking of many barriers for women and setting a perfect example for young girls over the years.”
The former Deputy Governor of Plateau and one-time Minister of State, Science and Technology, said that the people of Plateau would remain eternally grateful to Mrs Tinubu, particularly for her recent visit to the state and donation of a whooping sum of N500 million to families of crisis victims in the state.
She said that through her Renewed Hope Initiative, as Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Tinubu has demonstrated her empathy, humanity and philanthropic gesture by pursuing the well-being of others with unquantifiable compassion and zeal to help the less privileged, the challenged and those in need.
Tallen, therefore, prayed for long life, good health, increased grace and wisdom for the First Lady and her entire family.
Tani Olorun Not Against Out-Of-Court Settlement, Says Lawyer
The legal team of embattled Isese advocate in Ilorin, Kwara State, Abdulazeez Adegbola, alias Tani Olorun, has said they are open to an out-of-court settlement of the case of criminal defamation brought against him by the police.
Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Ademola Bank, disclosed this in an interview with The Tide source.
Tani Olorun is standing trial on five counts of alleged criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, criminal defamation of character, and intentional insult before a Kwara Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin.
In a separate case, he is also standing trial before the Kwara Upper Area Court sitting in Ilorin, alongside the Oluwo Nla of Tede, Chief Ademola Olawoore.
The offence, according to the prosecution, was contrary to sections 97, 210, 392, and 114 of the Penal Code Law of Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview with our source in Ilorin on Saturday, Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Bank, said, “If an agreement for an out-of-court settlement comes up, why are we not to agree? The court allows it, the law allows it, and wisdom allows it. The law does not frown on it, the court does not frown on it, and wisdom does not frown on it. Parties can agree to an out-of-court settlement at any time. If it comes, so be it, if the situation allows it.”
He was, however, silent on whether the agreement for an out-of-court settlement would come from the defendant, saying, “It is the situation that dictates it. If it comes from the parties, we will not stand against it. The lawyer will not stand against it. No lawyer will oppose any bid for settlement by parties; it is for peace to reign.”
I’m Not Afraid Of Appeal – Gawuna
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the March 18 governorship election in Kano State, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, has said he is unafraid of the appeal challenging his victory at the tribunal.
The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had, last Wednesday, declared the APC candidate winner of the election and sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf.
The three-man panel ordered a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna and the withdrawal of a certificate of return presented to Yusuf.
The court noted that ballot papers of 165,663 votes were not stamped or signed and, therefore, were invalid and deducted the 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s total.
Speaking with BBC Hausa in an interview while commenting on the tribunal judgment, Gawuna said, “I am grateful to Allah for our victory in the Kano State election, which was affirmed by the court today (Wednesday). I thank Him for His will, which chose us to lead. I also thank our lawyers and the general public for their prayers and support.”
He noted that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was initially declared the winner of the election but believed that Allah had already decided the outcome, saying they had the right to challenge the results in court, and they did so.
Gawuna said that anyone who believes that nothing happens without Allah’s will will never worry or take governance as a do-or-die affair, stressing that whatever happens to them, they believe it is the will of Allah.
According to him, “We are not intimidated or afraid, because we know that whatever happens is for the best. Allah never makes mistakes.”
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