The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki has asked Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop his on-going trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.Saraki is standing trial before the tribunal over alleged false assets declaration.The suit which is an enforcement of fundamental human rights was marked FHC/ABJ/CS/117/2016 and filed by one Timipa Jenkins Okponipere, on behalf of the Senate President.The lawyer is seeking the court’s declaration that “the plan to resume the trial of Senator Abubakar Saraki at the CCT is a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).He is also praying for an order compelling the CCT and AGF to suspend indefinitely, any plan to resume the trial at the CCT.Among the grounds relied on by the applicant, include that the trial at CCT was commenced at the wrong time; four years after Saraki allegedly committed the offences.According to him, “Having regard to the aims and objectives of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and its functions in sections 2 and 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal (CCBT) Act, Senator Saraki ought to have been prosecuted by the respondents long before he returned to public life again in 2015 as an elected Senator.”Indeed, the CCBT Act never contemplated that an incumbent public office holder was already corrupt before he attained public office, otherwise, people like Senator Saraki, who had a case to answer regarding his activities between 2003 and 2011 would not have been permitted to return to public life.”However, four years later in 2015 Senator Saraki not only returned to public life as a Senator, he went on to become the President of the Senate, Chairman of the National Assembly and Nigeria’s number three citizen”It is nobody’s fault that the 1st and 2nd respondents were not vigilant enough to stop or prevent Senator Sarki from attaining public office. If truly the respondents were proactive institutions of government, they ought to have prosecuted Senator Sarki immediately after he left office as Governor of Kwara State in 2011, but they never did.”The failure, refusal and/or negligence of the respondents to prosecute Senator Saraki for the offences he allegedly committed between 2003 and 2011 before he returned again to public life as a Senator, vitiated all his past alleged misdeeds such that, as of June 8, 2015 when he was inaugurated as a Senator, he was assumed to be a public office holder without blemish in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the respondents, otherwise they would have long since initiated proceedings against him.”The subsequent attempt to put Senator Saraki on trial over offences allegedly committed between 2003 and 2011 are not only tainted with political mischief and desperation, they constitute a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing”.Responding to the suit, the AGF, in a notice of preliminary objection, faulted the suit and urged the court to dismiss it for lacking in merit.The AGF noted that the subject matter of the suit did not fall within the provisions of chapter four of the Constitution, containing the guaranteed fundamental human rights. The case has been adjourned to November 16, 2016.
Buhari Govt Sold Nigeria’s Future, Says Governor Mutfwang
“This government inherited an economy where we simply printed money up to the tune of ₦30 trillion and shared. This government inherited an economy where the crude oil we’re yet to take out of the ground has been sold in advance.
“So when you’re talking about the fall of the naira, it’s not rocket time. We sold our future under the last administration. No wonder you’re hearing of riots today, people intercepting food on the way. We are lucky on the Plateau that perhaps we have more food than many other states.
“And I pray that the time will not come on the Plateau that we will see this kind of riot for food, but it means we must roll over our sleeves and get to work. And that is why, for us as a government, when we announced one of the positions that talked about Food Security, people were laughing but it is a serious issue.” -Governor Caleb Mutfwang, Plateau At Swearing-In Of Special Advisers, Heads Of Govt Agencies
After Meeting NGF Chairman, Akpabio Apologies To state Governors Over N30bn Claim
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has finally apologised to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State over his comment on the N30bn allowance allegedly given to them to cushion the effect of inflation in food prices.
This was coming after the Senate President held a meeting with the NGF Chairman and some of his counterparts in Abuja yesterday.
Akpabio had, at a plenary sitting last Tuesday, said an “unverified report” indicated that state governors received N30bn each from the Federation Account to cushion the effect of inflation and the high cost of food prices.
The statement has generated controversies in the public space, with some commentators asking governors to come clean about the money they did not collect.
However, on Monday, Akpabio in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, retracted the statement, saying the SP held the governors in high esteem.
The statement reads below:
“During the session, the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30bn to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.
“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.
“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that state governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.”
Eyiboh added that Akpabio has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.
He, therefore, urged the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.
He added, “The President of the Senate recognises and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”
Police arrest wanted Abuja kidnapper, Dahiru after Wike’s N20m Bounty
Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have arrested a wanted notorious kidnapper, Saidu Abdulkadir, popularly known as Dahiru Adamu.
This comes barely three days after the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike placed a N20m bounty on the suspect and one other wanted kidnapper, Abu Ibrahim.
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