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Court Orders Buhari, AGF, FCC To Defend Suit On Alleged Lopsided Appointments

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A Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, issued a final order to President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to defend a suit instituted against them on the alleged lopsided appointments in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo issued the order following the refusal of the three defendants to file their defence in the suit slammed on them by an Abuja-based lawyer and human rights activist, Maxwell Okpara.
At yesterday’s proceedings, only the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello was represented by a legal practitioner, Udom Ibeanem while Buhari, AGF and FCC were not in court and not represented by any legal practitioner despite being served with hearing notice.
At the proceedings, counsel to the plaintiff, Chukwuma Ozougwu drew the attention of the court to the persistent refusal of the three defendants to respond to the originating summons issued and served on them since December last year.
He thereafter sought permission from the court to present the plaintiff’s case against them.
However, Justice Ekwo held a contrary position adding that the matter is such that the three defendants must file their defence.
The Judge pointed out the persistent refusal and neglect of the three defendants to react to issues raised against them since last year, adding, however, that he would prefer to give them one more opportunity to come up with their defence.
“If by next adjourned date the three defendants fail to come up with defence, this court would have exhausted its patience and indulgence”.
Justice Ekwo subsequently fixed October 17 for a definite hearing of the suit.
Meanwhile, the FCT minister, who is the 1st defendant in the suit, has filed his counter-affidavit and preliminary objection against the suit praying the court to dismiss it on the grounds of lack of locus standi by the plaintiff.
Buhari, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) are 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectfully in the suit.
The plaintiff, Maxwell Opara (an Abuja-based lawyer) is contending that President Buhari, the FCT Minister and the AGF violated the Federal Character Principle in the recent appointments of Permanent Secretaries, Executive Secretaries, personal aids, directors and other members of staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
Opara argued that the majority of the appointees are from the Northern part of the country, which contradicts the spirit of the Federal Character Principle under the Federal Character Act.
He wants the court to declare that the said appointments made on November 23, 2021 “clearly offends sections 4(1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc.) and provisions of Part 1, sections 1 to 9 and Part III, section 4 and 5 of the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadre of posts made pursuant to section 4(1)(a) of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act and accordingly the said appointments are void.”
Opara wants the court to direct President Buhari, the FCT Minister and other defendants to comply with the provisions of Sections 4(1) (a) (b) and 5 of the Federal Character (Establishment) Act in all appointments in all cadres of posts in the FCTA.
He also prayed the court to declare that Buhari, the FCT minister and the AGF are under obligation to comply with the provisions of Part 1, Sections 1 to 9 and Part III, Sections 4 and 5 if the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadres of posts and appointments into all cadres of posts into the federal character administration.
The plaintiff further prayed the court to declare that the FCC was empowered by law to formulate principles and guidelines for the application of the Federal Character Principle of fairness and equitable distribution of all cadres of posts in the Federal Government of Nigeria and to ensure compliance with the said formulae.
Opara, in a supporting affidavit, argued that appointments, as done by the FCT minister, favoured people who are mostly from the Northern part of the country.

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Wike Hails Rivers United For Winning 2021/2022 NPFL

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has congratulated the Rivers United Football Club for emerging the winner of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Rivers United was officially confirmed the champions of the 2021/2022 NPFL season following Plateau United 1-2 away loss to Akwa United, last Saturday.
The governor commended the players and coaching staff of the state-owned football club, yesterday, following the memorable victory, which ended their 5-year NPFL title wait.
Wike, who attributed the achievement of Rivers United to the talented team’s determination, said it was most heartening that by virtue of the league win, the club would represent the country at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League next season.
He further added that Rivers United’s triumph at the 2021/2022 NPFL has brought a wave of joy and happiness for the people of Rivers State and the country at large.
“I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to the coaching staff and particularly the capable players of Rivers United for the valuable efforts they made to emerge the winners of the 2021/2022 NPFL.
“The Government and good people of Rivers State are very proud of the team’s exploits following their dogged performances and resilient display throughout the 2021/2022 season. It is worthy to note that over the years, Rivers United has brought so much joy and happiness to football fans and supporters all over the country. This victory, no doubt, marks a major milestone in Rivers State football’s history.”

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Registration For CBN, AFF eNaira Hackathon Opens, Today

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Registration for the eNaira hackathon, geared towards ideating innovative solutions for the newly launched digital currency, organised by the Africa Fintech Foundry (an innovative hub established to identify and accelerate innovative startups in Africa), in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is billed to open on June 27, 2022 and run till July 21, 2022.
A statement issued by the organisers said the main event, which is billed to kick-off from August 4, 2022, is part of efforts to drive financial inclusion, facilitate macroeconomic growth and integrate Nigerian economy to the world leading economies through innovation and cutting edge emerging technologies.
It, therefore, urged interested participants to visit the eNaira Hackathon @www.affcbn.com
With the theme “eNaira – Africa’s Gateway to a Digital Economy,” the hybrid hackathon will bring together teams of talented entrepreneurs, developers, designers, solution developers, problem-solvers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and code magicians from Africa to develop innovative solutions that will drive improved adoption of the eNaira.
Speaking on innovation in Nigeria’s payments system ecosystem, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, recently said: “We cannot deny the fact that the newly introduced CBDC (eNaira) would be necessary in the future to ensure Nigeria is competitive as the world becomes increasingly digital.
“We have seen in the past few years how digital currencies have opened international economies to individuals who wield them and how seamless they have made trading, buying, investing and other economic activities.
“We desire to achieve this and more with the eNaira with the underlying goal to boost Nigeria’s economic outlook.
“Innovators at the hackathon will develop solutions in the areas of international remittance, trans-border payment, blockchain, financial inclusion, and trade (AfCTFA).”
The statement issued by the organisers said, the hackathon will address the strategic points to eliminate possible glitches that could hamper smooth transactions being carried out with the eNaira.

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NECO Begins SSCE,Today

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The National Examination Council (NECO) has debunked the alleged postponement of its 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school-based candidates in the country.
The examination body said the 2022 SSCE would commence on Monday, June 27, and end on August 12, 2022.
NECO made this known in a statement made available to newsmen, last Saturday, by its spokesperson, Azeez Sani, in Minna, Niger State.
The statement read: “The 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school-based candidates conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) will commence on Monday, 27th June, 2022.
“State Ministries of Education, Principals, Commandants and all stakeholders are enjoined to disregard any speculation on the alleged postponement of the examination.
“The council has put all necessary measures in place to ensure a seamless conduct of the 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination.
“The 2022 NECO Senior School Certificate Examination will end on Friday, August12, 2022.
“Candidates are to be examined in 76 subjects during the examination.”

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