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Gov. Ugwuanyi swears in four judges, approves model customary courts for 17 LGAs



Gov. Ugwuanyi swears in four judges, approves model customary courts for 17 LGAs


Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Tuesday, swore in three High Court Judges and a Customary Court of Appeal Judge following their recommendations by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The new High Court Judges who were sworn in at a colourful event held at the EXCO Chambers of the Government House, Enugu, include Justices Chinedu Vincent Ezeugwu, Chukwunweike Anukenyi Ogbuabor and Mathew Chukwujiofo Onyejife Eluke, while Justice Nnenna Celia Madu was also sworn in as a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal.

Hon. Justices Ezeugwu and Eluke until their elevation were private legal practitioners. Hon. Justice Ogbuabor was a senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, while Hon. Justice Madu until her appointment was the Secretary, Magistrate Association of Nigeria, Enugu branch.

Swearing in the new Judges, Gov. Ugwuanyi said that the action was in compliance with section 271 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, which provided that “the appointment of a Judge of the High Court of a State, shall be made by the governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC)”.

The governor added that section 281 sub-section (2) of the said Constitution also provided that the appointment of a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall be made by the governor acting on the recommendation of the NJC.

He disclosed that the appointment of the new judges and their swearing-in came as “a welcome relief to the Enugu State Judiciary and the people of the state who had for long endured the difficulties occasioned by the dearth of judges in the state”.

Gov. Ugwuanyi who stated that approval has been given for the construction of two model customary courts for each of the 17 local government areas, pointed out that his administration has reached many milestones in its continual efforts to reposition the State Judiciary for more efficient service “especially through the provision of suitable infrastructure and essential tools and equipment”.

The governor also disclosed that renovation work has commenced at the State Judiciary Headquarters, among other interventions, expressing optimism that “these measures coupled with the appointment of new judges would help in no small measure to further enhance the efficient administration and speedy dispensation of Justice in Enugu State”.

He, therefore, congratulated the new judges on their deserved appointments and expressed confidence that they will conduct their new responsibilities with due dignity, integrity and commitment, “having been found suitable for elevation to this hallowed pedestal”.

Earlier in her introductory remark, the Chief Judge, while narrating the procedures observed in line with the provisions of Rules 3 and 4 of the NJC guidelines, stated that the commission considered sound knowledge of the Law, seniority at the Bar and Bench, geographical spread, good character, reputation, consistent adherence to professional ethics and satisfactory and consistent display of mature judgment in the office as a Chief Registrar or Chief Magistrate, in the appointment of the new judges.

Hon. Justice Emehelu on behalf of the State Judicial Service Commission, acknowledged and commended the remarkable contributions of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration in providing facilities for the Judiciary, stressing that “this gesture attests to His Excellency’s resolve to reposition the State Judiciary for effective, efficient and speedy dispensation of justice in spite of paucity of funds and the competing needs of other sectors”.

Responding on behalf of others, Hon. Justice Ezeugwu, thanked God for making the event a reality and went further to appreciate Gov. Ugwuanyi, the Chief Judge, the State Customary Court of Appeal President, their mentor, Hon. Justice Centus Nweze of the Supreme Court, among others, for their contributions towards career growth.

He, therefore, promised that they will discharge their duties with the fear of God, fairness and to the best of their ability.


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



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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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



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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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



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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