An Abuja High Court has decided to grant accelerated hearing to a suit filed by the African Action Congress (AAC) and its presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, against the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and Mr. John Momoh, Chairman of BON, challenging the party’s exclusion from the presidential election debate organised by the respondents.
Eddie Emessiri, Executive Secretary of NEDG, had earlier claimed that “character and popularity” led to Sowore’s exclusion from the debate. However, he had later claimed that “lack of funds” was the reason for restricting the presidential debate to just five candidates.
Sitting in Court 14 of the FCT High Court, Jabi, on Monday, Honourable Justice D.Z. Senchi listened to a motion ex parte for interim injunction to restrain the defendants from organising or holding the January 19, 2019 presidential election debate without including the AAC among the political parties selected to participate in the debate.
A statement by Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, Director, PR, Media and Communications of the Sowore 2019 Campaign/African Action Congress, noted that after listening to submissions made by Inibehe Effiong, the National Legal Adviser of the AAC, the court ruled that the urgency of the case warranted an accelerated hearing of the suit to allow all parties in the suit to state their cases before a decision could be made.
He, therefore, adjourned the case to January 8, 2019 for hearing and also ordered that all processes in the suit must be filed before the next adjourned date and that no application for extension of time will be entertained by the court.
Representing AAC in court were the party’s National Legal Adviser, Inibehe Effiong; his co-counsel, Mr. Seprebofa Oyeghe; AAC Deputy National Secretary, Dr. Joshua Adeoye; AAC National Organizing Secretary, Philip Oshiokhue, and other members of the party.
HDP vs Buhari: What happened in Presidential Tribunal on Tuesday
Justice Mohammed Garba, Chairman of the five-man panel, reserved the application after it was argued by counsel to the parties.
A National Chairman of Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Tapre Poland had approached the tribunal with the application.
The tribunal also reserved its ruling on another application filed by Poland, praying for the substitution of counsel representing the party.
Mr Anthony Agbolahan, counsel for Poland, had adopted and argued the written addresses of the applicant.
The applicant prayed the tribunal to grant the two applications, adding that HDP was no longer interested in contesting the victory of the president in the Feb. 23 general election.
Tapre, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, assumed the position after the substantive National Chairman, Chief Ambrose Owuru, was suspended by the party.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Owuru, who contested the presidential election on the platform of HDP, is challenging Buhari’s victory in the election.
Mr Chukwunoyerem Njoku, Counsel for both HDP and Owuru, prayed the tribunal to discountenance the two applications, describing the applicant as an “interloper’’.
Njoku also argued that the applicant had no locus to file for the withdrawal of HDP, adding that he had no official power to do so.
Njoku said Poland was neither the National Chairman of the Party nor contested the Feb. 23 presidential election on the platform of HDP.
He further explained that only the National Working Committee (NEC), chaired by Owuru, who remained the National Chairman of HDP could decide whether or not to press on with the case.
Njoku, therefore, prayed the tribunal to disregard the application by dismissing same.
Justice Garba had earlier granted the petitioners leave to effect typographical corrections in their main petition but however declined additional prayers to file additional list of witnesses.
The chairman of the panel held that the 21 days allowed by law for the filing of a petition that should contain all list of witnesses and other documentary evidence had since lapsed.
Meanwhile, the tribunal adjourned until June 27 to entertain an application filed by INEC seeking the setting aside of the alleged “referendum’’ the petitioners were relying on to have won the presidential election.
NYSC doctors, others protest against Borno govt over unpaid allowance
DAILY POST reports that the corps members, who comprise 2018/2019 Batch B, 2018/ 2019 Batch C and 2019/ 2020 Batch A, threatened not to vacate their accommodation to make room for their incoming colleagues if the government failed to meet their demands.
Dr. Azi Cornelius, who led his colleagues during the peaceful protest in front of the Maiduguri government house, said his members had made frantic efforts to get the authority to offset their monthly allowance but all fell on deaf ears.
The frustrated corps medical personnel explained that they were left with no option than demanding the immediate payment of their monthly allowance, which ranges between N100,000 for doctors and N 50,000 for other health workers.
“The former governor, Kashim Shettima announced payment of N100,000 to each of the medical NYSC doctors and N50,000 to other medical corps members in the health sector, unfortunately, the payment has stopped for a while now.
“We have 64 doctors and other medical corps members which brings our total number to 190.
“We are here to intimate the Borno State Governor of our unpaid stipend. We have written different letters, we even threatened to stop work until two months was paid but the summary of all is that most of us will be passing out on Thursday and we have between five to six months unpaid stipends, we want the government to pay us,” Cornelius said.
The medical corps members leader added that his members constitute over 50 per cent of the medical workforce in the state and have been discharging their duties effectively and efficiently. He urged the Borno government not to discourage other corps members with non-payment of allowance.
“The most demanding thing is that most us do calls – but unfortunately we sleep in the hospital without food. It’s regrettable to say that we lost a corps member last year, Dr Ike Stephen, he had worked for 72 hours, he died while crossing the road to buy watermelon to eat,” Cornelius revealed.
However, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Alhaji Mustapha Alau said the Governor has already directed the Ministry of Finance to pay the corps members.
“I’m going to the office now to effect the governor’s directive, but for now I cannot confirm the number of months to be paid,” Alau said.
Zamfara: Surrender now or face unprecedented fire – Military warns bandits
Ogunlade issued the warning at a news conference at the command headquarters of the force in Gusau.
The force commander said that the bandits has always taken advantage of the cover offered by the terrain of the community whenever the operatives are after them.
He, however, warned that “this time around we will go to their enclaves and hideouts where there will be collateral damage and neutralise them.”
Ogunlade lamented how the bandits refused to surrender and denounce their unacceptable ways in May when the state’s governor, Alh. Bello Matawalle, offered amnesty to those who surrendered.
“It is disheartening that when the state governor offered them amnesty, within few hours we recorded 20 separate attacks on communities.
“This showed that the criminals were not ready to surrender; that is why I am now giving them the next 24 hours.
“The only option left for them is to immediately cease fire, drop their arms, and surrender or have themselves to blame,” he said.
“l want to assure the people of the state that banditry will very soon be history in Zamfara after this operation that will come up in the next 24 hours.
“We will ensure that farmers carry out their farming activities and displaced villagers return home under conducive atmosphere.”
The commander expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for establishing the operation and praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his support.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Operation Hadarin Daji, which is now focused on Zamfara alone, was inaugurated on May 10, thus replacing the expanded Operation Sharan Daji.
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