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UN attacks Buhari govt over Onnoghen

The United Nations has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision of removing former Chief Justice of Nigerian (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.

The body said the suspension broke the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

“International human rights standards provide that judges may be dismissed only on serious grounds of misconduct or incompetence,” said Diego Garcia-Sayan, the UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, on Monday.

“Any decision to suspend or remove a judge from office should be fair and should be taken by an independent authority such as a judicial council or a court,” he said in a statement.

Garcia-Sayan, who is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate legal and judicial independence, said dismissing judges without following legal procedures or offering a chance to contest the decision was incompatible with the independence of the judiciary.

Buhari suspended Walter Onnoghen on January 25 following an order by a tribunal on public officials’ conduct and replaced him with Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.

But four courts superior to the tribunal had already ordered a stay of proceedings and the tribunal had previously said it lacked jurisdiction over cases involving judicial officers, Garcia-Sayan said.

The UN statement said some of the judges and the defence lawyers involved in Onnoghen’s case had been subject to serious threats, pressures and interference.

Meanwhile, the National Judical Council, NJC, on Monday issued a fresh query to Onnoghen.

The body also set up a preliminary complaints assessment committee to review the responses given to it by Onnoghen, and the Acting CJN, Muhammad.

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Buhari

N30 Minimum Wage: Buhari’s pay-back to masses – BSO

Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), Enugu State Chapter, on Sunday applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the new N30, 000 minimum wage into law.

In a statement on Sunday, the Enugu State Chairman of BSO, Chief Anike Nwoga, said President Buhari’s name would now go down in the annals of history as the most masses and labour friendly President ever in Nigeria.

The group, which championed the re-election of President Buhari, said Mr President has paid back to masses who had supported him serially since his first presidential election in 2003, by signing the N30,000 minimum wage.

“BSO, salutes President Buhari for taking into cognizance the fact that his main voters are low cadre workers, farmers, artisans and house wives who make up to 50% of the 84 million INEC’s registered voters; hence he signed a wholistic nationwide minimum wage bill into law.” He said.

Going farther Chief Nwoga said, “BSO applauds this uncommon reward to Nigerian masses, as it covers local government, state, federal and even private sector employers of more than 25 workers. We appeal to local government, state and private sector employers within this category to diligently honour and implement the N30,000 minimum wage. This is a win-win scenario, for it not only rhymes with the provision of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which states clearly that the primary purpose of government is the welfare and security of the people, but will usher in prosperity.

“It is this Holy Alliance between President Buhari and Nigerian masses which without prejudice to the suit filed before the Presidential Election Tribunal by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, against Buhari, which makes the Facebook suit a mere academic exercise. We have maintained that Mr President has 12 million Vote-Bank in display exhibited in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 presidential elections,” Chief Nwoga quipped.

Nwoga who is also the Chairman Zikist-Buharist-Movement and Vice Chairman of All Progressives (APC) in Enugu East senatorial zone, recalled that the President since his assumption of office had released over N1 trillion bailout funds to governors to offset arrears of workers’ salaries and pensions.

He said in this same direction, the President went further to release the Paris Club Funds withheld over 7 years by his predecessors to states.

“BSO once more appeal to governors to implement the minimum wage without delay; for Mr president has set a record as the most masses and labour friendly President ever in Nigerian history.

“We are particularly happy about the timing of the President in signing the new minimum wage. If the President had signed it before the election, the opposition will spin that it was an election gimmick. The timing has spared us the opposition’s usual Fake News.

“While campaigning for a second tenure, President Buhari assured workers of the new N30, 000 minimum wage and continuation of critical infrastructural development. This is another promise fulfilled,” Nwoga said.

He said apart from the minimum wage which will enhance the living standards of workers, Buhari’s ongoing critical infrastructural development of 5,000 kilometers of federal roads , 5,000 kilometers of Standard Gauge Rail lines, additional 5,000 megawatts of electricity, building of 2nd Niger Bridge among others is projects assured and will usher in prosperity.

Nwoga observed that the huge investments of the Buhari administration in agriculture has been yielding results, with Nigeria gradually heading to attainment of self sufficiency in food production.

When probed on the current insecurity in the country, he assured Nigerians that the insecurity currently plaguing the country would not continue under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Reminded once more of the matter at the Presidential Election Tribunal, Nwoga said Atiku did well by going to court, instead of resorting to self help; but no one can harvest electoral victory from the Facebook.

“Even if the election is held over and over again, Buhari will defeat Atiku. Atiku going to the Tribunal is a mere academic exercise. The Tribunal will uphold Buhari’s election,” the BSO chief said.

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Arewa

New minimum wage: Nigerian governors get warning

Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum on Sunday advised Nigerian governors against giving excuses not to pay the new minimum.

A statement signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Akin Malaolu, said this in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of N30,000 new minimum salary for government workers.

“We are appealing to the 36 state governors, other political leaders and elders to cause a stem in profligacy and other abuses that may be associated with handling of state funds,” it read.

“The most important asset of a nation is its human capital; if well managed, other resources will definitely blossom and the nation will soar on a trajectory of economic greatness.

“Each state government is expected to imbibe that notion as exemplified by President Buhari and bring development through conscious efforts to boost workers’ morale so that they will be more productive,’’ he said.

The scribe noted that high productivity was achievable even in Nigeria where most states largely depended on allocation from the Federal government.

“The era of sole dependence on Federal allocation should be discarded; state governments should start looking inward with developmental innovations in order to be relevant to its people.

“State governors should be more sincere about state mineral resources and stop under-table explorations which only enrich a few and impoverish the rest.

“A situation whereby state minerals are illegally explored and exported raw without adding value should end; companies should be established to add value and create more employment.

“Similarly, tourism can be better explored for the world to see the rich cultural heritage in every part of the nation.

“That will generate more revenue for state governments to pay their workers, provide infrastructures and be alive to other responsibilities.’’

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Arewa

Nigerian Newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Saturday

Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers

1. The Jigawa State Police Command has disclosed that two minors have been killed by landslide at Bakin -Jeji village in Dutse Local Government Area of the state.

The Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, SP Audu Jinjiri said the incident happened on Wednesday at about 1340 hours when two boys, Alkassim Auwalu of 16 years, and Tahir Rilwanu, 12 years old, were trapped in the sand.

2. Zamfara State Government has denied official knowledge of innocent citizens allegedly being killed during air strikes on suspected bandits’ camps by the air component of Operation Sharan Daji.

The denial was made by the Secretary to the Government, Prof. Abdullahi Shinkafi when he received a high powered investigation team from the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) headquarters in Gusau on Friday.

3. Popular Nigerian movie director, Ifeanyi Onyeabor, is dead.

Actor Guild of Nigeria president, Emeka Rollas, confirmed Onyeabor’s death on Saturday, but failed to give details of what led to his death.

4. Founder, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, has lambasted Nigerian leaders over the state of the country

The cleric, spoke at the Covenant University’s 20th inaugural lecture delivered by Jonathan Aremu, a professor of International Economics Relations, was reacting to Aremu’s concern about Nigeria’s negotiations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Environmental Protection Agency (EFA) and African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), lamented Nigerian government’s lack of foresight and its inability to identify opportunities.

5. Lagos based lawyer and president emeritus of Igbo think tank group, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike has said the conviction of Justice

Walter Onnoghen, ex-Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), by the Danladi Umar led Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over non-assets declaration did not come as a surprise as it was already predetermined.

According to him, the conviction was a sham, insisting that it was in breach of the constitution and could not stand.

6. The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has suspended 15 Local government party Chairmen with immediate effect.

Though, no reason was given for the suspension, the decision of the PDP to suspend the 15 LGA party Chairmen is contained in statement by the State Secretary of the party, Sam Okpoko.

7. The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Adamawa State Wing, has expressed confidence that the incoming administration would pay N32,000 minimum wage to workers in the state.

Mr. Rodney Nathan, Chairman of the state chapter, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for signing into law the N30,000 new National Minimum Wage for workers, however, noted that the state workers were looking forward to receiving N32,000 as minimum wage.

8. The Chief Imam of Ebiraland, Alhaji Musa Galadima, is dead.

He died in the early hours of Friday at the age of 98 years, in a private hospital in Abuja.

9. Armed bandits have forcefully sacked residents of Kuriga village in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State making them to flee.

The villagers, mostly women, arrived Birnin-Gwari on Wednesday as internally displaced Parsons, IDPs, due to the insecurity.

10. Gaidam local government business community in Yobe state has pleaded with the state government and security agencies to consider the reopening of Gaidam central market for commercial activities to thrive.

Chairman of United Traders Association of Nigeria, Gaidam branch, Abba Abdulrasheed noted that the market has been closed for 13 weeks now, as the closure is affecting the entire Gaidam community and traders who have lost their means of livelihood.

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