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

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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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Arewa

What Buhari told lawmakers in Katsina

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday in Daura told Katsina State lawmakers that leadership entails earning the trust of the people who voted you into office and consistently staying the path of honesty and fairness at all times,

Receiving the leadership of the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Tasiu Musa Maigari, Buhari said the essence of contesting elections was to serve the people, and political actors must always remain loyal, dedicated and focused on delivering on their promises.

“Having been chosen by your people to lead, you must ensure that you remain trustworthy. Ensure fairness at all times.

“Leadership at home, community or national level is a heavy responsibility. And it must be discharged with fairness, firmness and justice,’ the President said.

He urged the lawmakers to be selfless, visionary and committed to meeting the needs of the electorate while minding their constitutional responsibilities.

In his remark, the Speaker thanked the President for providing leadership at the national level, and setting a standard on integrity and forthrightness for others to emulate.

Maigari assured the President that the Katsina House of Assembly will continue to support his policies, and ensure a trickling down in the state to favour their various constituencies.

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Law

Court grants request to freeze ex-Zamfara governor, Yari’s accounts

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted a request by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related offences Commission (ICPC) to freeze bank accounts allegedly owned by the immediate past Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a ruling on Friday, in an ex-parte motion by the ICPC, ordered that the accounts in Polaris and Zenith banks with funds in United States dollars and Nigerian naira, be frozen pending when the affected person shows cause why the freezing order should be vacated.

Justice Taiwo ordered ICPC to publish the order within 14 days in a national daily and for the affected parties to show cause why the funds would not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

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Arewa

Kwara probe: Panel uncovers massive fraud

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has said that the government may institute legal action against some immediate-past public office holders over the illegal sales of government property in the state.

He spoke in Ilorin, when the Committee On Sales and Disposal of government Properties submitted its final report to him.

The governor Abdulrazaq said “I thank you for your time and the efforts put into the work.
“I went through the interim report and I am sure this final report would be an improvement on it.
“We would not discard the report because that would be a waste of your time and resources. We will definitely look at it. And we will find judicial solutions for the good of the state and Nigeria.

“In the interim report, that you recently submitted,we saw some abnormalities which we will not allow to stand”.

Governor Abdulrazaq said the committee might be called upon to make clarification as government looks through the report.

Earlier, Senator Suleiman Ajadi, Chairman of the committee, told the governor that several frauds and mismanagement of public funds and properties were discovered, especially in the handling of the Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises funds, Harmony Holdings, and others.

He urged the governor not to let the report end in the bin as it might mean the loss of at least N5bn allegedly mismanaged through the SMEs fund.

Ajadi said “The committee observed unconscionable and immoral use of public funds to buy luxury cars, which flies in the face of the poverty being faced by our people, especially because of the several months of unpaid salaries”.

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