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Court restrains FG from extraditing Sen. Kashamu

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Court restrains FG from extraditing Sen. Kashamu

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, restrained the Federal Government from extraditing Sen. Buruji Kashamu, to the U.S. to answer allegation of his complicity in the illicit drug trade.

Delivering judgment, Justice Abang, held that neither the Federal Government nor any of its agents could validly initiate extradition proceedings against Kashamu in view of subsisting judgments and orders in favour of the plaintiff, which had remained unchallenged.

Abang, particularly noted that the judgment delivered by the Federal High Court, Lagos on Jan. 6, 2014 (in suit No:49/2010) and another judgment of July 1, 2016 given by the Federal High Court , Abuja (in suit No: 479/2015), which prohibited Kashamu’s extradition on account of the U.S. drug allegation, were still subsisting.

While Kashamu is the plaintiff in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/530/18, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are defendants.

Kashamu had, in the suit, challenged the propriety of a letter by Shehu Bodinga of the Central Control Unit in the AGF’s office, requesting the U.S. embassy in Nigeria to forward a fresh extradition application after the judgment by Justice Gabriel Kolawole (then of the Federal High Court, Abuja) in suit  No: 479/2015, voiding an earlier extradition proceeding.

Justice Abang held that Justice Kolawole’s judgment, in nullifying the earlier extradition proceedings, was based on two judgments of the Federal High Court in suits Nos: 49/2010 and 508/2015, declaring as unlawful all attempts to extradite Kashamu in view of the judgements by two British courts which held that he was not the person involved in the drug crime in the U.S.

The judge noted that while the AGF successfully challenged the court’s decisions in suit 508/2015, which was set aside in the appeal marked: 1030 and 1030a on May 4, 2018, the AGF failed to appeal the other judgment in the suit No: 49/2010.

Abang held that, since the judgment, in suit No: 49/2010 which contained a specific order restraining the AGF from exercising his power of extradition under the Extradition Act, was not challenged, it remained alive along with the restraining order.

Also read:  Senate to probe NDDC’s Interim Committee, over alleged misappropriation of N40bn

The judge also held that since the subsequent judgment by Justice Kolawole was also not appealed, it remained subsisting and binding on all parties.

In the earlier part of the judgment, Abang set aside the letter written by Bodinga, dated July 14, 2016 on the grounds that neither the AGF nor his agent had the power under any law to apply to a foreign country, with which Nigeria has extradition treaty, to bring a request for the extradition of a citizen of this country where that country has not made such an application.

The judge noted the decisions of the Court of Appeal in the two judgments, on which Justice Gabriel Kolawole was based, appeared conflicting.

He said the Court of Appeal’s decision of Sept. 20, 2018, dismissing the appeal marked: 479/2015, which was an appeal against the judgment in suit No: 49/2010 was the most recent decision, which he was bound to abide by.

“The effect of the Court of Appeal dismissing the appeal against the judgment in suit No: 49/2010 is that the said judgment has validated in all its ramifications, inclusive of the restraining order in that judgment.

“It is my humble view that the AGF has no discretion in this matter. With the greatest respect to the AGF, he has no choice in this matter.

“The fact that the restraining order in the judgment in suit 49/2010 dated Jan. 6, 2014 is still valid and subsisting, it is not a matter of sentiment.

“In fact, it is not a political issue. We don’t practice democracy in court, no matter how the politicians look at it. The politicians can look at it the way it favours them.

“But, sitting as a court of law, where there is no appeal against a judgment, that judgment subsists.

“This is an issue of law. Where there is no appeal against a judgment, there is nothing anybody can do in a democratic setting.

“If the restraining order ought not to have been made, the AGF ought to have appealed against it.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation, with the greatest respect to him, cannot pretend that the restraining order is no longer subsisting.

“The 1st defendant (AGF) cannot assume that the order was not made in good faith even when he participated in the proceedings.

“The 1st defendant appealed successfully and got judgment in suit No: 508/2015, that was set aside. Why did the AGF not appeal against the judgment in suit No:49/2010?

“Why did the AG not appeal that judgment even when the Court of Appeal recently dismissed an appeal against the judgment?” he asked.

The judge said the current AGF was not in office when the judgment was delivered on Jan. 6, 2014. “I really sympathise with him.”

“In my respective view, he can not now seek to take steps against that judgment when his predecessor in the office did not see any need to appeal against the judgment or did not even see anything wrong with the judgment.

“Except if the decision of the Court of Appeal on Sept. 20, 2018,  dismissing the appeal against the judgment in suit 49/2010 is validly set aside on an appeal to the Supreme Court, the AGF cannot validly take steps that run contrary to the subsisting judgment of this court.

“That will be an invitation to anarchy,” the judge ruled.

 

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Wike, One Of Best Appointees Of Current Administration – Tinubu

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Wike, One Of Best Appointees Of Current Administration – Tinubu

 Those hoping for the removal of Wike, Federal Capital Territory Minister, may be seeking the mirage, as President Bola Tinubu says, the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike “is one of the best appointments ever made in the history of the current democratic dispensation.

The President stated this on Wednesday in Abuja, during the inauguration of the Inner Southern Expressway (ISEX) and the Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX), known as the first phase of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Expressway

Represented by his Vice, Kashim Shettima, the President described Wike as a force of human nature, adding, “Love him, hate him, but you can’t ignore him, because, at every point in time, he is redefining the meaning and concepts of modern leadership.

The President commended Wike and his team, for their dedication and hard work in delivering many projects, including the expressway in less than one year.

Tinubu reiterated his administration’s commitment to engendering progress and prosperity.

He said that the extension of the ISEX represented more than just a road, but symbolizes connectivity, accessibility and opportunity.

”It also signifies our unwavering determination to bridge the gap between the urban and rural areas in ensuring that development is not confined to city centres but reaches every corner of our great nation.

”We celebrate not just the completion of yet another road project by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), but also the commitment of our administration to endangering progress and prosperity.

“Today’s commission is the fourth completed road that we proudly unveiled in the Federal Capital Territory, all executed in less than one year.

”These roads are tangible proof of our administration’s vision for modern, prosperous and inclusive Federal Capital Territory.”

Tinubu assured that in the coming months and years, his administration would continue to prioritise infrastructure development as a cornerstone of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

”We remain committed to delivering on our promises, empowering our people and building a nation that we can all be proud of,” he said.

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Kaduna Assembly C’ttee On Finances Of ex-Gov. El-Rufai submits Report

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Kaduna Assembly C’ttee On Finances Of ex-Gov. El-Rufai submits Report

The ad hoc committee set up by the Kaduna State House of Assembly to investigate all the finances, loans and contracts awarded under the former Gov. Nasir El-Rufai has submitted its report to the house.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Magaji Danjuma, while reading the report on Wednesday stated that the committee had discovered evidence of several cases of alleged corruption in the running of the state from  May 2015 to May 2023.

He said that the committee had also discovered some alleged improper awards of contracts without due process with some loans collected without the approval of the state assembly.

While reading the report summary, the Speaker, Dahiru Liman, said that the El-Rufai administration had a total income of N1.49 trillion in the years under review, adding that some of these monies were allegedly misappropriated.

He added that the Ministry of Finance,  in collaboration with the Kaduna State Inland Revenue Service (KADIRS) reportedly withdrew the sum of N 721.67 million through the use of an ‘unauthorized debit card by a third party’.

Lima n explained that another N30 billion was siphoned from the state’s internally generated revenue by the ministry of finance with some officials of  KADIRS, following other questionable transactions found by the committee.

The speaker explained that the then administration awarded a contract worth N 510.47 billion and left behind the contractor’s public and consultants’ liabilities.

Therefore, the committee recommended that the Kaduna Internal Revenue Service withdraw the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Account domiciled at Zenith Bank as Security for N20 billion guaranteed in 2023.

” And to request the bank to refund all monies deducted on account of the purported illegal guarantee together with the accrued interest thereof.

”That, all the Commissioners of Finance of the State from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023, be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for thorough investigation”, he said.

The committee also recommended that

all the Accountant Generals of the State that served during the years be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation including KADIRS chairmen.

Others to be referred to the law enforcement agencies include Ms Dolapo Popoola, the immediate past Managing Director of AlL KAPSCO and Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, for Special Adviser

to the governor on Media and Communication.

Other recommendations were for the current Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the current Executive Secretary, State Pension Bureau to step aside for proper investigation.

The committee stated that all loans obtained by the Kaduna State Government between 29th May 2015 to 29th May 2023 obtained without due process were not binding on the state.

 He added that the state government should henceforth stop honouring all obligations arising from them.

Also, some of the contractors who have not worked or were overpaid should refund to the state government a total sum of N36.35 billion being monies paid for contracts.

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Jimoh Ibrahim Withdraws Suit Against APC, Aiyedatiwa, INEC

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Jimoh Ibrahim Withdraws Suit Against APC, Aiyedatiwa, INEC

 Sen. Jimoh Ibrahim has withdrawn the suit filed challenging the emergence of Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the Nov. 16 governorship election in Ondo state.

Co-defendants in the suit seeking nullification of the party’s governorship primary conducted in the state on April 20 are APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It would be recalled that the senator had after the conduct of the party’s governorship primary held on April 20, alleged irregularities and no election in the 18 local government areas of the state.

At a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Ibrahim attributed the withdrawal of the suit to a series of interventions made by President Bola Tinubu on the phone and physical meeting held with him at the Villa.

He said the litigation was not about him but for the sole purpose of ensuring internal party democracy, which was lacking in the APC governorship primary election.

Ibrahim said: ” The suit is now withdrawn due to the intervention of President  Tinubu.

“The President called me, had a meeting with me, and assured me that he will, as the party leader,  improve on internal democracy within our party.

“And I will need to withdraw the case to enable him to chart a way forward.

“Earlier, the governor visited my Asokoro residence for several hours after an unsuccessful visit to my hotel room in Akure.

” I cannot disobey the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because the issue I’m fighting for is not personal.

“It is simply to improve internal democracy to which the President has promised improvement. My respect for the President is absolute!.”

He thanked Tinubu for his words of wisdom and encouragement during their meeting and for emphasising his commitment to internal democracy again.

“The withdrawal of this legendary suit coincides with the first anniversary of the  President’s incredible performance in office, and this is my gift of the “cake” of the first anniversary,” Ibrahim said. 

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