NASS TOLD TO PROBE INEC OVER POOR PERFORMANCE IN 2023 ELECTION The 10th National Assembly has been urged to urgently commence the role played by the Independent Electoral Commission INEC in the 2023 general election, why the outcome failed to meet up with the expectations of Nigerians and international community and how it expended over four hundred billion naira N400bn tax payers money. Citing South Africa which used less than 20 percent of the total money spent by INEC to conduct a successful election only last week, the speakers also compared the June 12,1993 presidential election and February 14, 2023 election, insist that both suffered annulment fate. The Guest lecturer, Prof. Sam Amadi, explained that the National Assembly probing INEC should be part of its oversight functions and obligations to Nigerians, stressing that it should be able to explain to Nigerians why its results were not collated and declared electronically as provided in the INEC electoral Act as amended. “Nigerians and indeed the National Assembly should be courageous enough to probe INEC expenditure during the 2023 general elections. The failure of the INEC server during the Presidential election with all the money given to them. “It is appalling that no one spoke about the huge amount of money given Mahmood Yakubu and all the INEC commissioners to prosecute a failed election, failed because the Supreme Court has to step in to determine the result of elections”. Furthermore, Dr Amadi, insisted that the ongoing electoral reform must reject the inconsistency of allowing the Presidency to appoint an INEC Chairman, stressing that such gives room for election rigging before the votes are cast. “What is imminent here is that they have already positioned party members as INEC commissioners against 2027 where they would work and declare the results in favour of the Presidency that appointed them. “To this end, opposition parties should work together to win the war on electoral reform. It is time for you to decide whether to be the vanguard of change or not and set up a system that can win elections, this is because politics is not a game of possible’, ‘ if we are determined, we will win”. Further admonishing the Labour Party members, during Democracy Day, he said that in preparation for 2027, the Labour Party should reminiscence the Nigerian political terrain to determine how to go about it next election. “I think it is an error for any political party to go into any election without strengthening its process. You must take a review of your past, your mistakes and opportunities and weigh options with training of staff and support for the electoral reform, things will positively work out”, he said. While welcoming members during the occasion, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure, reminded the similarity between the military regime of 1993 that annulled the general elections and 2023 election which was mismanaged by INEC. Abure said that one of the cardinal strong points to prepare the Labour Party again for the 2027 general elections, is to ensure a holistic approach to electoral reform, to ensure that the party followers are well-educated. “We are to ensure that people themselves are not involved in betraying the patties. We have a situation where even INEC commissioners and party officials take bribes. Party agents also do the same”. Labour Party National Assembly members who spoke at the occasion, appealed to members to shun internal crises and to eschew division in the party. Hon. Victor Adam Oghene, leader of the Labour Party Reps caucus, while speaking promised that electoral reform which has passed the second reading at the lower Chamber would ensure that the reform is passed into law and early enough against the 2027 general elections.Also,…


CDS MUSA ACCUSES FINLAND, EUROPEAN UNION OF SHIELDING SIMON EKPA The Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa, has accused the Finnish government and the European Union of shielding Simon Ekpa, a controversial Biafra agitator. The alleged cover has enabled Mr Ekpa to continue to incite, through social media, violence in Nigeria’s South-east state, Mr Musa said. Mr Musa, a major general, spoke on Wednesday during Channels TV’s special broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 25 years of democratic governance. Mr Ekpa, a factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is a dual citizen of Nigeria and Finland. The Biafra agitator, who is based in Finland, has been accused of fuelling insecurity in south-east Nigeria. He has continued to issue sit-at-home orders in the region, during which defaulting residents are usually killed or attacked by gunmen enforcing the illegal order. The Nigerian government had indicated its intention to extradite Mr Ekpa to Nigeria to face prosecution. Still, the plan has not seen the light of the day. ‘Finnish govt is supporting him’ Speaking during the programme on Channels TV, Mr Musa said the Finnish government appears to be supporting the Biafra agitator in his alleged terrorist activities in the South-east. “We have repeatedly complained about the issue of Simon Ekpa. He is in Finland, and the Finnish government is giving him all the support, and he is doing what he is doing,” he said. The chief of defence staff called on the Nigerian government to arrest and prosecute Mr Ekpa for his alleged roles in the worsening insecurity in the country’s South-east. “We have said that in clear terms. We need to diplomatically find a means of getting him out of whatever it is that he is doing. He must be arrested, (and) he must be prosecuted,” he said. Mr Musa said the silence of the European Union was suspicious considering the security threats posed by Mr Ekpa in the South-east. “This is democracy. If the European Union is supporting democracy and this is happening and they are not taking action, then they don’t mean well for Nigeria. “Look at it from the other way. Assuming he (Ekpa) is in Nigeria, he is doing that to the Finnish government, do you think the European Union will allow that to happen? They definitely will not. So why are they allowing him to do what he’s doing?” he said. Mr Musa suggested that the arrest of Mr Ekpa has become imperative given that his utterances on social media were leading to further attacks and killings in the region. As a result of Mr Ekpa’s comments on social media, Mr Musa said, “People are being killed and nothing is being done.” The chief of defence staff asked the Nigerian government to take decisive action, including exploring diplomatic options to stop the Biafra agitator. ‘What we’re doing to stop Simon Ekpa’ Mr Musa said the military has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to stop those sending funds from outside Nigeria to sponsor insecurity in the South-east. “Stopping the funds is very critical. I know the CBN and the NFIU are doing a lot in tracking down how the funds flow. And this is part of what we call the oxygen of terrorism,” he said. The chief of defence staff noted that a lack of political will was affecting the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. He called on the state governments to join hands with the federal government to fight terrorism and other forms of criminality in the country. ‘Action must follow legislation’ The Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, did not respond to calls and text messages seeking her comments on Thursday. However, in February 2023, Nigeria’s Ministry…


GANDUJE BASTARDIZED KANO TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION – EMIR SANUSI The 14th and 16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11, has opened up on the crisis bedevilling the Kano traditional stool since his appointment as the 16th Emir of Kano. Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, bastardised the Kano traditional institution against the wish of the Kano people. Sanusi said: “You see, this was something created, manufactured by the previous government. The people of Kano never asked to be divided. In parts of this country, you have had emirates and kingdoms created, and you can understand that. If you go to Kaduna State, at one time, you had everything under Zaria. But you had huge Christian minorities, different ethnic groups, and chiefdoms were created for them. It makes sense, if they felt that they did not want to be under the emirate system or under what they saw as a self-denial system. But Kano is a largely homogeneous society. If you see the Christians in Kano, they are part of us. They don’t say they want to leave us. They’re not asking for a different system. Nobody. If you go to Tudun Wada, we have Christians. You go to Rano, we have Christians. We had an issue in Rogo. You may remember that there was an issue. People went and burnt the church. I went there, took out my own personal money and rebuilt the church. “So, we are one people. Nobody asked for new emirates. What we are dealing with is a situation where somebody divided us. And actually, when you create these things, some people get some privileges. They didn’t ask for it, but they’ve enjoyed it for four years.” Sanusi however assured that drawing from his experience in the public service, he was going to collaborate with other eminent traditional rulers across the country to move the nation forward. He expressed gratitude to God that the traditional institution in Nigeria has a very rich representation of people with experience from diverse backgrounds. “I know that many people outside just look at us as some relics of the past culture. But look at it, Sultan of Sokoto was a General in the Nigerian Army. The Shehu of Borno was a permanent secretary. The Etsu Nupe, an Army General; Emir of Zuru was also an Army General, Emir of Zazzau was an ambassador. I was Governor of Central Bank. Emir of Fika was a DSS. Oba of Lagos, AIG of Police. Oba of Benin, an ambassador. Obi of Onitsha, a banker. The reality is that wherever you look, whether it’s security or academia, we have that wealth of experience and knowledge. That also goes into the quality of advice that we offer. So, we see ourselves as partners to the government. We often say to ourselves, how do we give the best advice based on our experience and how to manage things?” Sanusi added. Asked why he did not challenge his removal by the Ganduje-led administration in court, Sanusi explained that a number of reasons necessitated his decision. “I have told you that I don’t have a fundamental right to be an Emir. I am one of hundreds of princes. God chose me. And if God says I should leave, for me, I take it that God knows better than me why I had to leave. Okay, let’s say I go to court. Let me even say this; I just got a letter that said I had been dethroned for insubordination. I had never been queried for insubordination. The details of the insubordination were not given. I had not been given any chance to defend myself. So, it…


TRAGEDY OF ROADS IN SOUTH EAST As Nigeria celebrates 25 years of unbroken democratic rule, there are a number of challenges that pre-date the current democratic dispensation. Among the many challenges that the people have lived with over the years is a long history of dilapidated infrastructure. To say that roads across the country are in bad shape is an understatement. So bad is the situation that road travels in many parts of the country have become a nightmare. Road transport operators groan under the yoke of heavy costs of maintenance of their vehicles while business owners who have no alternative means of moving their raw materials and products other than by roads, count their losses by the day. In most parts of the country, the bad roads are some sort of new haven for criminal elements of diverse backgrounds. In this special report series, Saturday Sun correspondents across the states toured the country from east to west and from the north to the south, capturing how bad the situation is. The South-east is one of the geopolitical zones covered by our reporters. Imo Federal roads that pass through Imo State have been in bad shape for decades. Some of the most difficult ones to access are the Ideato/ Orlu/Owerri Road; the Owerri/Okigwe; Owerri/ Mbaise/Umuahia; and the Owerri/Onitsha roads. These roads have been in various degrees of dilapidation for several years. Of these roads the Owerri/Onitsha road still remains the most motorable except at the Mgbidi stretch of the road which is currently being fixed by the state government for easy flow of traffic. However, a section of the road at Irete community which has collapsed for a long time has continued to cause traffic jams. The Ideato/Orlu/Owerri Road has been in a terrible shape before the intervention of the current administration in Imo, which got the approval of the immediate past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstruct the Orlu/Owerri section of the federal road from the Banana Junction down to Owerri. But the Orlu /Mgbe/Ideato section of that road, which stretches to Uga Junction in Anambra State has remained a nightmare for the users as the attempted dualization of the road by the former administration of Sen. Rochas Okorocha was never realized. Similarly, the Owerri/Okigwe Road, which was also in a state of dilapidation, has been reconstructed. Meanwhile, the reconstruction work on the Owerri/Umuhia road also being carried out by the state government is being executed in sections. From the Owerri axis beginning from Shoprite roundabout has been dualized down to Emekuku. However, the Mbaise section of the road is still under reconstruction. The Owerri/Port Harcourt Road around Umuapu has remained in a parlous state in the last 16 years when the contract was awarded to Arab Contractors. As a result of the terrible state of the road especially from the Unuagwo/Umuapu axis in Ohaji down to the boundary between Imo and Rivers states. Commuters have had a harrowing experience as many have been robbed of their belongings by hoodlums especially at night. It was learnt that the contract for the reconstruction and dualization of this all important highway which connects the South-east to the South-south states was awarded in 2002 by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to Arab Contractors during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The project is yet uncompleted. Saturday Sun also gathered that kidnappers have made this zone their area of jurisdiction. In May this year, gunmen abducted all 18 passengers travelling to Port Harcourt from Owerri around Umuapu Ohaji in Ohaji/Egbema council area of Imo State, after they had shot the driver of the commuter bus. “During the rainy season, you cannot drive through this place. I wondered why this important road has been like…


PRESSURE MOUNTS ON APC CHAIRMAN, GANDUJE, TO RESIGN Indications have emerged that governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are prevailing and mounting pressure on President Bola Tinubu to sacrifice the party’s national chairman and former governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, and allow for his replacement from any of the states in the North Central zone. Although party sources did not disclose any specific reason for the decision, it was gathered that it may not be unconnected with the party’s intention to have a fair and equitable zoning arrangement ahead of the 2027 politicking. It was further gathered that with the recent realignment of opposition forces in the wake of ongoing talks of a mega party, APC is under pressure to put its house in order for the coming onslaught and Ganduje’s recent fallout with stakeholders in his home state of Kano has put him on the back foot to lead the charge. The governors are said to have found a replacement – a Christian from Nasarawa State, that they intend to sell to the president. A former national vice chairman (North West) of APC, Salihu Lukman, who kicked against giving the chairmanship of the party to Ganduje, has repeatedly said that the zoning formula of the party cedes the office of the national chairman to the North Central geopolitical zone. Lukman, a former Director General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, recently accused President Tinubu of unilaterally nullifying the party’s zoning formula by giving the position of National Chairman to the Northwest instead of the North Central. He had urged governors of the party and Tinubu to follow the party’s zoning arrangement, noting that it could be suicidal for the party if it maintained the status quo. It now appears that Lukman’s lone voice in the party has become deafening, and leaders of the party have become uncomfortable. “The governors of the party have been discussing the issue and have now resolved to meet the president over it,” said one of the state governors revealed. “We’re going to do something about it and i can tell you that Ganduje will soon step down as the national chairman of the party. The governors feel the need to respect the zoning arrangement of the party which gives that position to the north central.” When asked who could be the next national chairman of the party, the governor said, “Well, the governors also favour giving the position to a Christian from the zone,” adding that “we’re looking at a Christian from Nasarawa State.” Also, it was gathered that the governors learnt of the security report concerning Ganduje’s time as governor and the furore that the current Kano State government’s probe of that administration has caused. The governors, it was learnt, resolved that “the last thing the Bola Tinubu administration needs now is a bad party leadership that’s perceived as being corrupt.” A member of the National Committee of the party further said the party is fractured “and it appears the governor’s too are affected, they are not being carried along. You know the influence of the governor, the president can’t do without them. “The other day, the mood at the party Secretariat was downcast, people were not happy because of the indictment of the national chairman, so we just had our meeting and left. “Members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and NEC are not happy. The national chairman before now was also indicted by the anti-graft agency, now this. “So, it appears our party profits in this and that’s what the governors and the president’s handlers are now moving against – a clean, corrupt-free national chairman,” the source said. Efforts to speak with Edwin Olofu, the press secretary to Ganduje failed as he…


MINIMUM WAGE: NASS PROPOSES LEGISLATION TO SANCTION NON-COMPLIANT STATES The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Yemi Adaramodu (APC, Ekiti South), has disclosed that the National Assembly is proposing a legislation that would compel all the 36 states of the federation to adhere strictly to the new minimum wage figure that would be passed into law. Senator Adaramodu stated this during an interview with newsmen in Abuja, on Friday. Recall that there is ongoing negotiation between the federal government and the organised labour over a new minimum wage for workers. While the federal government has proposed N62, 000 as new minimum wage, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) are insisting on N250,000. But the 36 states governors under the umbrella of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have rejected the federal government’s proposed N62,000, saying if implemented, some states would be compelled to borrow before paying salaries. However, Senator Adaramodu said the proposed legislation would be enacted to ensure that states which do not comply with the new figure are sanctioned accordingly. He said, “We are going to do a watertight Bill that we are proposing that the President will sign it to ensure that it is strictly adhered to as a law. “Once it becomes law, we are going to make it watertight, and don’t let us just speculate what is going to be the ingredient that the federal government would be putting into the bill that will be brought by the executive to be submitted to the National Assembly. “When it comes, whatever is there and whatever is not there, we are going to ensure that it’s going to be watertight; that it’s going to be obeyed by all. And from that, again, when we are talking of minimum wage, is it about federal government alone? “Because it seems that it is a fight between the federal government and labour. That’s the way everybody is looking at it. So we keep mentioning the federal government, we keep mentioning the President Tinubu and labour. “But like I said, the National Assembly is going to do this law seriously watertight that either the state or sub-national or organised private sector that does not comply, there is going to be sanction for it. “When the executive bill comes and then we sit down in the chamber, when we are in the plenary, you know there are going to be opinions. And again we are going to invite not only legislators to talk about it, the organised labour too will contribute into making the law. “So when that time comes, then definitely, we will all decide what’s going to be the sanction, whoever is not complying with the law because we believe that at the end of the day, the committee that is meeting over arriving at a very acceptable minimum wage for Nigerian workers. “We believe that government is there, the organised labour itself is there, then the organised private sector is there. So definitely whatever result they come out with, when we make law with that, can anybody now come and talk with a tongue in the cheek? We don’t expect that one.” Asked to state how fast the National Assembly would pass the minimum wage bill if presented by President Tinubu, Senator Adaramodu said, “If it is possible within 30 minutes, we will do that. So it depend.” The Senate spokesman said the Bill would go through the crucibles and receive speedy passage if the federal government and the organised labour reached a consensus on the minimum wage figure. He said, “Definitely, there is going to be an agreement. So once there is an agreement, the bill will come and I don’t think any of the…


EMIR TUSSLE: COURT SLAMS ₦‎10M FINE ON KANO STATE OVER BREACH OF BAYERO’S RIGHT A Federal High Court sitting in Kano, has ordered Kano State Government to pay N10 million as compensation for breaching the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero’s fundamental human right. The presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda gave the order while delivering the judgment in the case instituted by Aminu Bayero seeking for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights. Justice Amobeda described the order given by Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf for the arrest of Aminu Bayero as unlawful and that which has forced the applicant into house arrest for fear of been arrested. The respondents in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation as 1st respondent, Attorney General of Kano State (2nd), Nigeria Police Force (3rd), IGP (4th), Commissioner of Police in Kano (5th), DSS (6th), NSCDC (7th), Nigerian Army (8th), Nigerian Airforce and Nigerian Navy as 9th and 10th respondents respectively. The Judge however, restrained the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th from arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant or further interfering with the Applicant’s fundamental rights. The judgement reads, “That, the act of the Governor of Kano State in directing the Police to arrest the Applicant without any lawful justification is a threatened breach of the fundamental right to Liberty of the Applicant guaranteed under Section 35(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered). “That, the act of the Governor of Kano State in directing the police to arrest the Applicant without any lawful justification, which directive has forced the Applicant into house arrest, preventing him from going freely about his lawful business, constitutes a flagrant violation of his fundamental right to freedom of movement as guaranteed under Section 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered). “That the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Respondents are either by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, or any other person or authority forthwith restrained from arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant or further interfering with the Applicant’s fundamental rights. “That the 2nd Respondent and the Government of Kano State shall pay to the Applicant the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only for the breach and likely breach of the Applicants fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).“The prayer for the cost of filing and prosecuting this suit is refused, the amount having not been specifically pleaded and strictly proved,” Justice Amobeda however ordered.


APPEAL COURT ORDERS RIVERS LAWMAKERS TO MAINTAIN STATUS QUO, ADJOURNS TILL JUNE 20 A Court of Appeal in Port-Harcourt at a virtual hearing on Friday via Zoom gave its Ruling on two Motions filed by Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule and the other defected lawmakers challenging the order of injunction granted by the Rivers State High Court restraining them from acting as lawmakers. The Court in Ruling on the first Motion, granted the Appellants’ prayers for leave to compile and transmit the Records of Appeal, deeming the Appellants’ Brief of Argument as filed, accelerated hearing and a stay of further proceedings at the High Court. The Court of Appeal however refused to grant the prayer for stay of execution and setting aside the interim order of the Lower Court. It held that granting same would be tantamount to determining the appeal at this stage. The Court went on to order that the present status quo should be maintained pending the hearing of the Appeal. The Status quo is that Ruling on the 2nd Motion which was brought to set aside the interlocutory injunction of the Lower Court, the Court of Appeal also refused the prayer, and reiterated that the ‘present’ status quo should be maintained. The Respondents are to file their Briefs within 72 hours of being served.The case was adjourned to 20th of June, 202 for hearing of the Appeal.


CONSTITUENTS BEAT UP LAWMAKER FOR FAILING TO DELIVER ON CAMPAIGN PROMISES Olusoji Adetunji, the House of Representatives member representing Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin federal constituency in Osun State was allegedly beaten by his constituents during a recent visit to his hometown. In the video that went viral on social media, the lawmaker is seen being attacked by residents who alleged that he neglected their well being, even though they (the people) came out enmass to vote for him during elections. It was also observed in the video that some constituents surrounded him, screaming and calling for the representative to be beaten. A woman could be heard trying to caution the man filming against recording the incident. However, the person behind the camera insisted on filming, insulting the representative and other politicians. @Tenibegiloju202 said: “D pple of Ada in Boripe LGA of Osun ambushed their HOR member and descended on him heavily for failing them. Unfortunately, Tinubu’s ancestral town, Iragbiji is d capital of Boripe, they are angry.” Another user who corroborated the incident, @DefenceTimes1, said: “Seems like the poor have started eating the rich in Osun state as people of Ada in Boripe LGA of Osun ambushed their HOR member and descended on him heavily for failing them.” The incident prompted mixed reactions as other commenters also chipped in: @codshalom77 wrote: “If every Constituency can hold their HoR members and their Senators accountable like this, Nigeria will change within a short time. “Unfortunately, most people in their constituencies will rather roll out the red carpet for the thieves in NASS for the little crumbs they’ll sprinkle on them when he arrives than hold them accountable!” @ManuelPeniel1 wrote: “This is just the begining… Hunger will make all of them have sense.. can Tinubu increase the price of fuel to #2000 per litre, everybody must have sense.”@ogiemegha71751 wrote: “Nigerians please stand up for your rights, let’s keep doing this to them and they will learn in a hard way.”


APPEAL COURT DISMISSES YAHAYA BELLO’S CASE AGAINST EFCC BOSS The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday dismissed a previous ruling made by a Kogi State High Court against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, concerning a contempt case and restraining order filed by the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello. In a lead judgment delivered by Justice Joseph O.K. Oyewole, the appellate court held that “a court of law cannot preclude the EFCC or any Law Enforcement Agency from investigating and prosecuting crime.” “This is a fundamental jurisdictional point that cannot be shoved aside as it borders on the doctrine of separation of powers. The argument of the Respondent that no ground covers this point cannot stand in view of the instant circumstance,” the judge ruled. Naija News reports that the EFCC had approached the Court of Appeal to halt the execution of an order of Justice Isa Jamil of the Kogi State High Court summoning Olukoyede to defend allegations of disobedience of court orders. The anti-graft agency also challenged another order of the court restraining it from harassing, arresting or detaining Bello pending the determination of the substantive suit. The appellate court on Thursday allowed the EFCC’s appeal and overruled Bello’s preliminary objection. The court stated that it should not be drawn into the well of technicalities and granted the Commission the authority to continue its prosecution of Bello. The appellate court also awarded a fine of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) against Yahaya Bello. Recall that Justice Jamil had on April 25, 2024, in an exparte ruling, ordered that Olukoyede should be summoned to appear before him to answer to a contempt charge.According to him, Bello tendered exhibits before his court that Olukoyede and the EFCC “carried out some acts upon which they have been restrained by this Court on February 9, 2024 pending the determination of the substantive motion on Notice before this Court”.