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4 political parties ask court to stop Buhari from signing 2018 Electoral Bill

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4 political parties ask court to stop Buhari from signing 2018 Electoral Bill

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The suit by the four political parties is praying the court to determine whether the president can proceed to assent to the Electoral Bill 2018…

Godwin Tsa, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Okwe Obi, Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked by four registered political parties to stop President Muhammadu Buhari from giving his assent to the amended Electoral Bill 2018.

READ ALSO: Senate passes Electoral Act Amendment Bill

Also listed as defendants in the suit are the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1469/18, the Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance (APDA), Allied Peoples Movement, (APM) and Movement For Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD), under the aegis of Forum of Presidential Candidates, are contending that the president’s assent to the 2018 Electoral Bill will truncate the 2019 general elections.

Chairman of the Forum, Shitu Mohammed Kabir, who is also the presidential candidate of APDA, described the bill as “a stumbling blocks against a free, fair elections.”

Kabir, who addressed newsmen, yesterday, in Abuja, argued that the time was rather too close to the election to enable INEC train its staff on how to handle the electronic devices, cautioning the electoral umpire not to postpone the elections.

He expressed worry that those pushing for assent may unwittingly derail the electoral calendar if INEC should adjust its programmes to accommodate the personnel, budget and other logistics in the guise of abiding with the provisions of the new law.

He picked hole in the provision of sections 84-87 which he claimed could weaken the powers of political party executives on party primaries and choices of candidates.

“My concern is how to avoid unnecessary litigations and protect the sanctity of the electoral process,” he noted.

Regardless of the suit, the Presidency has urged Nigerians to disregard rumours suggesting that President Buhari will not sign the controversial Electoral Bill.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, Buhari was still operating within the time frame allowed by the Constitution to either sign the bill or withhold his assent.

By the provision of the constitution, the president is to either sign or write the National Assembly within 30 days of a piece of legislation being transmitted to him, conveying his reasons to withhold his assent.

Buhari had three times rejected the bill, the last time being August 30, when he returned it to the National Assembly.

The lawmakers amended the areas the president raised objections to and sent it back to him for his assent on November 7.

“The president is still within the time stipulated to take his decision. There is no basis for any speculation, whether he will sign or not sign. He is still within time the law allows,” the presidential aide said.

However, the suit by the four political parties dated December 3, is praying the court to determine whether the president (1st defendant) can proceed to assent to the Electoral Bill 2018 forwarded to him by the National Assembly to be used for the conduct of the 2019 general election when there is no more adequate time for the manifestation of the proposed act.

They also asked the court to determine whether assenting to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018, now will not truncate the 4th respondent (INEC) from ensuring proper conduct at 2019 general election considering the fact that the notice of election was initiated in line with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

They asked the court to determine the following reliefs: A declaration that the assenting of the bill will truncate the 2019 General Election.

An order of this court stopping the first Defendant from assenting to the Electoral Amendment bill 2018.

In the affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by Kabir, the plaintiffs said the Electoral Act 2010 as Amended was done sequence to the 2015 general election adding that the purpose was to among other things provide adequate time for the 4th respondent to issue notice of election, receive nomination of candidates from political parties and ensure the proper conduct of political parties.

According to the plaintiffs, the Act has been used by the 4th respondent to conduct the 2015 general Election into various political offices in Nigeria.

He further said that the Act has been used to issue notice for the 2019 General Election.

He said in the affidavit in support of the originating summon:

*That I also know as a fact. that electoral Act 2010 as amended has been adopted/used by all the registered political parties to conduct their primary election into all the political elective offices in preparation for the 2019 general election coming up in February. 2019.

*That I know as a fact that the process leading to the conduct of the 2019 general elections was initiated and substantially consummated on the basis of 2010 Electoral Act.

READ ALSO: 2019 General Elections: Diaspora PDP garners support for Atiku/Obi

The post 4 political parties ask court to stop Buhari from signing 2018 Electoral Bill appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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