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Kwankwaso’ll strengthen Nigeria’s unity – Aniebonam

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Kwankwaso’ll strengthen Nigeria’s unity – Aniebonam

Dr Boniface Aniebonam, Founder, of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) said the party’s presidential flag bearer, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, would strengthen Nigeria’s unity if elected president in 2023.

Aniebonam made this know at a media conference on Friday in Lagos.

Also read: Ex-PDP Governorship candidate picks NNPP’s ticket

According to Aniebonam, Kwankwaso has the qualities that Nigeria needs to make things work for the country.

“NNPP is bringing a leader that is truly patriotic, someone that will look at all the impediments, human barriers that create problems in the country and remove them.

“A leader with honour and integrity, courageous, has all it takes, stays out of corruption, a leader that will strengthen Nigeria’s unity,” he said.

Aniebonam said as the name implied, New Nigerian People Party, every Nigerian was looking forward to a new Nigeria where leadership was provided, where things were reasonably done.

He added that the welfare of a greater number would be taken into account; food on the table and the state of the nation should change from consumption to production.

“This is not a difficult thing to do.

What should he disturbing us is why are these things not happening,” he said.

On the security issues, he said it was a collective responsibility, adding that the government had to be in front because they had the machinery.

“We all know what the problem is all about, we are not united and that is why we have all these infiltrations, we are all suspecting ourselves.

“That is the basic thing I am advocating for, that we need to bring Nigerians together, let everybody know that they are brothers and sisters, leadership will provide that.

“What is important is a better Nigeria, Nigerians want to live a good life and so the issue of opposition does not come in.

And our interest is on how to provide Nigeria with leadership,” he said.

 

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Don’t Give Oluomo Undue Advantage Over NURTW – CHSR Begs Sanwo-Olu, IGP

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… Calls For Uniformity In Lagos Transport Unionism***

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun were on Monday advised to resist the pressure to be dragged into the selfish agenda of individuals who are determined to hijack legitimate structures of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and convert same in pursuit of personal agenda.

Comrade Alex Omotehinse, President Centre for Human and Socio-economic Rights (CHSR) made the call in a press statement issued at the Liberation Centre on Monday, September 18, 2023; also called on Governor Sanwo-Olu in particular, to impress it on Mr Musiliu Akinsanya popularly called MC Oluomo to be contended with his roles as the Chief manager of Parks and Garages; and allow other stakeholders within NURTW breathe and operate.

In his speech, Comrade Omotehinse said “as one of the strategic platforms of civil society stakeholders in Lagos State this is a follow up on our earlier clarion call through media briefing on April 28, 2022, on the potential disruptive motive of vested interests masquerading as authentic trade unionists under the banner of the now dissolved Parks and Garden Management with the sinister agenda of usurping the operations of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State. On account of our civil obligation as patriots,

FOGCILS Gives Assurances of Support to APC, Sanwo-Olu

“We are again compelled to alert the Nigerian general public; particularly critical local and global stakeholders as well as relevant institutions of the inherent danger of imposing Musiliu Akinsanya (a.k.a MC Oluomo) led Parks and Gardens platform on the legitimate structure and leadership of Alhaji Fatai Adesina-led National Union of Road Transport forWorkers (NURTW) in Lagos State.

“It would be recalled that Mr. Musiliu Oluomo who is the arrowhead of Parks and Garages Management had issues with the Tajudeen Baruwa-led leadership of NURTW.

Following the sanctioning and suspension of Mr. Oluomo as stipulated in Article 42, Section 5 Subsection (i-x) of the NURTW Constitution, the Lagos State Government, notwithstanding, accorded recognition to MC. Oluomo, albeit as the leader of Lagos Parks and Garages (not recognised as an affiliate of the NURTW) and by so doing instigated a state-sponsored rebellion against the authentic national leadership of NURTW.

“We are not unaware of ongoing insurrection against the authentic national leadership of the NURTW which is duly recognised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). Worrisome dimension to the NURTW crisis and urgent need fo caution.It should be worrisome that the civilian coup in NURTW clearly appears to enjoy active connivance of the Nigerian State as manifested by the partisanship of the Nigerian Police.

“What is however of immediate concern and source of worry is the subterranean manoeuvres to imposed MC Oluomo as leader of NURTW in Lagos State in spite of having publicly severed relationship with NURTW and assumed a new role as the Chief Manager of Lagos Parks and Garages.

We are deeply worried that the undemocratic and crude imposition of outsiders on legitimately constituted authority through the back doors and dark corridors to hijack the leadership of the NURTW is manifesting in Lagos State.

*IGP Egbetokun

“Our position is clearly in defence of the constitutional rights of citizens in a democratic dispensation. The right to form and belong to an association including Trade Union based on established laws and regulations is eloquently recognised and guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“We hold firm that Freedom of Association is one of the cardinal rights of global concerns. This is why it is enshrined in the United Nations (UN) as well as the Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights of the African Union (AU).

“Thus, Mr. MC Oluomo can only belong to any union as permitted by law and regulation guiding such union. As far as we know and in line with what is already public knowledge, MC Oluomo belongs to Parks and Garages Management while Alhaji Fatai Adesina is the duly and legally recognised leader of Lagos State Council of NURTW under an extant law that is sacrosanct. It is not permitted by law for a person to poach, usurp and hijack the structure, least to imagine, assuming the leadership of any organisation that he or she is not a recognised member having been suspended/expelled in line with the rules and regulations guiding such organisation.

“It should be emphasized that since our last media briefing, the NURTW structure and Alhaji Fatai leadership have not been allowed to operate by the Lagos State government on account of the alleged proscription of the union notwithstanding that the union has remained law abiding in demonstration of commitment to the stability and advancement of the developmental agenda of Lagos.

“We therefore, unequivocally and in unmistakable terms, condemn the ‘meddlesome interloper ‘transgressor in the person of MC Oluomo for orchestrating a ‘hostile takeover’ of NURTW in Lagos State. This development should be a major concern to all Lagosians considering the potential adverse effects of any escalation of hostilities in the Transportation sector and the overriding consequences for the security of lives and properties in the State.

“We are not unaware of the unpleasant occurrence at the nation’s federal capital, where peaceful Abuja residents have witnessed fracas between the factions of NURTW. “Considering that transportation is key to economic transformation, we call on government at the federal and state levels to ensure peaceful activities amongst stakeholders in transport union in line with rules and regulations and without interference and forceful hijack of established structures.

“Centre for Human and Socio-economic Rights (CHSR) is a public good-oriented non-governmental organization (NGO) registered as a corporate body to defend, sustain and promote the fundamental human and socio-economic rights of citizens and residents in any part of Nigeria as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. CHSR collaborates with other organizations committed to an ideal Nigerian society founded on participatory democracy, equity, fairness and the rule of law.

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Court Dismisses Sen. Bulkachuwa’s Suit Against ICPC, DSS, Over Alleged Corruption Comment

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Man docked over alleged Stealing of Bibles

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed a suit filed by Sen. Adamu Bulkachuwa against the ICPC and the Department of State Services (DSS) over the comment he made during the valedictory session of the 9th National Assembly (NASS).

It would be recalled that Bulkachuwa, who represented Bauchi North Senatorial District in the 9th Assembly, had, in a viral video clip on June 12, said his wife, a former Court of Appeal President, Justice Zainab, assisted his colleagues at the National Assembly.

The ex-lawmaker, however, filed the suit against the law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria police, in his bid to stop them from investigating him over the alleged corrupt comment.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the suit lacked merit and ought to be dismissed.

Justice Ekwo said that Bulkachuwa, being a lawmaker, ought to understand the implication of the statement that he made on the floor of the Senate; and described the utterance as “an act of corruption.”

According to him, the legislative immunity that the plaintiff (Bulkachuwa) claims in this case does not avail him.

“It is the duty of every law-abiding citizen to assist and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in their quest to carry out their statutory function.

“It is only where a law enforcement agency breaches the fundamental right of a citizen in the process of carrying out their statutory function, then a cause of action could be said to have arisen,” the judge said.

Bulkachuwa had, on June 27, sued the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the NASS clerk, DSS, ICPC and the Nigeria Police Force as 1st to 5th defendants respectively in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/895/2023.

He  prayed  the court to declare that he “is covered, privileged, and protected by the parliamentary immunity as enshrined in Section 1 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017 and freedom of speech and expression contained in Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution while making his speeches and expression made thereto is privileged.”

He also prayed the court to declare that without exhausting the internal disciplinary mechanism, recommendations, and approval of the 9th House of Senate, no other law enforcement agent of the Federal Government can invite any member of the Senate for questioning/interview.

Bulkachuwa urged the court to declare that the ICPC’s invitation on June 15, requesting him to appear for an interview in respect of the inchoate speech made during the valedictory session was illegal, unconstitutional, and ultra vires the commission’s power.

Also, the National Assembly Clerk, Magaji Tambuwal, in a counter affidavit filed as 2nd defendant in the suit, argued that the ex-lawmaker enjoyed immunity from any form of proceedings in respect of words spoken or written at the plenary session.

The clerk, in his application filed by his lawyer, Charles Yoila, averred that as at the time Bulkachuwa made what he referred to as the inchoate statement, “he still enjoyed all the privileges and immunities of a legislator under the Nigerian Laws.

Man docked over alleged Stealing of Bibles

Tambuwal, however, argued that Bulkachuwa had no cause of action against him (2nd defendant) to warrant the institution of the suit against him.

He said Bulkachuwa was not cut short or gaged by him when he was making his valedictory speech as a sitting senator in the 9th National Assembly “as the 2nd defendant was not presiding over plenary on that day.”

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ekwo said the utterance made by Bulkachuwa on the floor of the Senate on June 10 was not covered by Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The judge said though Section 39(1) stipulates that every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference, he said this “cannot be interpreted to mean that a person can say anything he likes.”

“In a formal setting like that plenary session or committee proceedings of the Senate, It is not expected, a person who is privileged to voice any expression will utter words or express opinion or impart Ideas or give’ Information that cannot be defended under the constitution.

“Upon studying the provision of Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), it Is my opinion, that the words uttered by the plaintiff on the floor of the Senate on Saturday, 10th June, 2023 was a confession of doing an act that is prohibited by law.

“When a person confesses that he influenced a judicial officer to help his friends and colleagues, such a person has gone beyond the limit of freedom of speech that is reasonably covered and protected by the provision of Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

A person who has used the opportunity given to him by the constitution to express himself freely and uses the opportunity to expose his actions or conduct which the law of the land criminalises, has unwittingly invited law enforcement agencies to question him.

“This is what the plaintiff did in this case. I therefore find that the speech of the plaintiff on the floor of the Senate on June 10 was a confession of illegal act and Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cannot be invoked to cover such and I so hold,” he declared.

The judge admitted that though Section 1 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017 provided that “a criminal or civil proceeding shall not be instituted against a member of the legislative house in respect of words spoken or written at the plenary session or at committee proceedings of the legislative house.

“There is no gainsaying that such is not covered by Section 1 of the LH (P&P) Act 2017 and I so hold.”

“The answer Is simple; he influenced his wife to deal with the cases concerning his colleagues favourably,

“He impressed upon her to give partial judgments to his friends who approached him for such favour.

“This is an act of corruption. The conclusion to be reached at this point is that words spoken by the plaintiff on the floor of the Senate on Saturday, 10th June 2023 was a confession of an act on his part that is criminal in nature, substance, and outcome,” he said.

He held that Bulkachuwa’s invitation by the ICPC had been interpreted wrongly by the ex-legislator and particularly, the NASS clerk, “who apparently is blowing hot and cold” in his affidavit evidence and articulation in the written address.

According to Ekwo, it is the law that a party to a case ought not to approbate and reprobate in the same breath.

“I have studied the defence of the 2nd defendant and I find that it is in effect, an attempt to shield the plaintiff (Bulkachuwa) from investigation, and no citizen whether natural or corporate is authorised by law to do so,” he said.

Bulkachuwa, in the viral video clip, had said: “I look at faces in this chamber who  have come to me and sought for my help when my wife was the President of the Court of Appeal.

“And I must thank particularly, my wife, whose freedom and independence I encroached upon while she was in office, and she has been very tolerant and accepted my encroachment, and extended her help to my colleagues.

“I did my best and in most cases, I succeeded,” while the then Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, tried interjecting him.

But his wife, now a retired justice, later debunked the comments saying she never favoured any party during her time as a judge.

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Akpabio’s Aide Dismisses Reports Of Imminent NASS Leadership Change

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The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President of the Senate, Mr Eseme Eyiboh has observed that the National Assembly under the leadership of Sen. Godswill Akpabio is stable and harmonious.

Eyiboh said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, describing reports on the purported imminent change in the leadership of the senate as false.

He said that the Senate cannot be distracted by innuendo and what appeared to be a syndicated media attack from outside the National Assembly.

Eyiboh said that the reports were complete imaginations and laced with malice to achieve what senators were yet to comprehend.

“Senators are presently concluding their holidays in their constituencies and other places they have chosen to spend their time after the rigours of the inauguration and ministerial screening and other constructive engagements.

“All senators are also refreshing themselves ahead of the resumption, therefore, any suggestions that they are presently engaged in other subversive plots against the institution is rather uncharitable.

”It is mostly uncharitable for those senators who initially did not support the emergence of the leadership but who have all unanimously endorsed the Akpabio-led leadership.

” Continuing to link these senators with needless conspiracy with barely disguised innuendo is rather unkind,” he said.

He urged the media not to give in to conspiratorial tales and damage its reputations built over time.

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