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Okorocha vs INEC: What Senator Izunaso told Federal High Court judge



Okorocha vs INEC: What Senator Izunaso told Federal High Court judge


Sen. Osita Izunaso has petitioned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, over the ongoing case between Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

A copy of the document, submitted to the court, was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

Izunaso wants the chief judge to intervene on account of the way Justice Okon Abang is allegedly handling the case over Okorocha’s Certificate of Return.

Izunaso articulated his position in the petition titled: “Re Suit No/FHC/ABJ) CS/296/2019-Rochas Okorocha vs INEC and others, Petition against Hon. Justice O.E Abang.

Izunaso, who is the third defendant in the suit, is seeking the intervention of the chief judge against the way the judge is conducting the case.

He premised his petition on the grounds that the judge allegedly disqualified the counsel of his choice and imposed another unknown one on him.

He also alleged that the judge refused to recognise a motion he obtained from the Court of Appeal for stay of proceedings.

Izunaso said: “Other prejudicial acts to frustrate the proceedings in this case, the detailed facts in respect of the complaint are contained in my affidavit attached to this petition.”

During the last adjourned date, the judge ordered that the counsel who represented Izunaso previously, Mr. Orji Nwafor-Orizu, must present a certificate of mental fitness before he would continue to appear in court.

The judge had also insisted that Nwafor-Orizu must sign an undertaking to be of good conduct throughout the hearing, not only in the Federal High Court but all courts of superior records.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, Izunaso was in court but not represented by counsel as both Nwafor-Orizu and S .M Anichebe, who the court had recognised as his counsel, were absent.

He, therefore, applied for an adjournment to enable him engage another counsel to represent him in court pending when Nwafor-Orizu would comply with the orders of the court.

In an affidavit of facts deposed to by him, Izunaso said that he traveled out of the country but had to urgently return to ensure that he engaged a new counsel to represent him,

He pleaded with the court not to visit the sin of the counsel on the litigant, saying that he did not engage Anichebe who the court recognised.

He further told the court that he was not a lawyer and was therefore not competent to represent himself.

The judge, however, ruled that Anichebe was the counsel on record representing Izunaso and his absence in court without a reason was a sign of disrespect to the court.

The judge also asked Izunaso to argue his case failing which he would deem all processes filed on his behalf as adopted.

Justice Abang also said Izunaso was bound by the action of his counsel and he ordered that the processes filed on behalf of Izunaso were deemed adopted even within adumbration.

Izunaso, in an interview, told newsmen that he would appeal against the decision of the court because he had been shut out and denied fair hearing.

The matter was adjourned until May 21 for continuation.


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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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