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Rivers guber: Judgement day for APC as Supreme Court rules Tuesday

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday deliver judgements in about six appeals by factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.

The appeals followed the decision of the Court of Appeal in Port-Harcourt, which upheld the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State which voided the primaries conducted by the faction loyal to Rotimi Amechi and the other loyal to Senator Magnus Abe.

A five-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour scheduled judgment after arguments, on Monday, from lawyer to the faction loyal to Amaechi, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Henry Bello, who represented the faction loyal to Abe.

Fagbemi and Bello argued the appeal filed by the APC, in which the court said it will give judgment on Tuesday, and which will be binding on the other appeals.

Fagbemi urged the court to void the judgement of the High Court on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction when it entertains the suit on which the judgment was given.

He contended that since the trial court had no jurisdiction it’s judgement in the matter amount to a nullity and should be set aside.

Fagbemi urged the court to invoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act and give final judgement to end the multiple cases arising from the rivers state APC primary election.

Bello, in his counter-argument, urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal of the APC on the ground that it has become a mere academic exercise in view of an earlier decision by the court.

He contended that by the decision of the court on February 8, 2019 which upheld the order of the High Court, restraining APC in Rivers State from conducting any primary election, the current appeal by APC had died and should be buried.

Bello told the court that the respondents, led by Ibrahim Umar, who were aggrieved by the violation of the Electoral Act and the Constitution in the manner the APC conducted its pre-election matters in Rivers, had secured a consent judgement in their favour, a judgment, he insisted, still stands.

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Law

CCB threatens to go after political office holders over assets

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in Kano State has reminded all outgoing elected and appointed political office holders to declare their assets at the end of their tenure.

This was contained in a statement signed by the CCB state Director, Umar Saulawa, and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Saturday.

He said there was the need for the affected political office holders to declare their assets in line with provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“We want to remind all the outgoing elected and appointed political office holders in the state to come forward to the Bureau’s office to collect their assets declaration form,” he said.

He warned that failure to comply with the directive amounts to a breach of the law and attracts necessary sanctions against defaulting public officers.

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Law

Buhari extends appointment of acting CJN, Muhammad

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the appointment of Ibrahim Muhammed, acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by three months.

Soji Oye, NJC spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

Oye said the council met and approved Buhari’s request to extend the appointment of Muhammad by three months.

The statement read: “The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to an online newspaper and daily newspaper report stating that the council would meet next week to deliberate on the extension of the Acting Appointment of Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April, 2019 and at the 88th Meeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the president.”

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Crime

Senator Akpabio’s lawyer lied – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged Barrister Patrick Umoh, a lawyer to former Senate Minority leader, Godswill Obot Akpabio, to refrain from telling lies and sponsoring cheap blackmail against the commission.

DAILY POST recalls that Umoh had accused INEC of denying the legal team of Senator Akpabio access to electoral materials of the just-concluded 2019 Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial election to help their case in the tribunal.

But responding to Umoh’s allegations, the Public Affairs Officer of the Commission in Akwa Ibom State, Don Etukudo, disclosed in a statement yesterday that the allegations was a cheap blackmail, stressing that Akwa Ibom INEC under the leadership of Mike Igini was working round the clock to uphold the integrity of the electoral process.

He reminded Barrister Umoh that lawyers were men of honour who at all time should draw a line between bad politics and advancing the cause of Justice.

“We urge the good people of Akwa Ibom State to disregard this cheap blackmail by Barr. Patrick Umoh and his cohorts and be assured that INEC under the leadership of Mike Igini, Esq, will at all times work to uphold the integrity of the electoral process.

“Barr. Patrick Umoh must be told that Lawyers are men of honour and should be honourable enough to draw a line between bad politics and advancing the cause of justice,” Etukudo said.

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