Connect with us

Archives

Reps: Tambuwal bows out, hands over to Ihedioha

Published

on

... As Group asks court to stop Buhari’s inauguration

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday, bowed out of the 7th Assembly just as members moved that Deputy Speaker should step in to complete his tenure in compliance with the provisions of the House Rules but against provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

Tambuwal’s tenure is statutorily expected to end after May 29 haven been elected governor in his home state, Sokoto, where he is expected to be sworn in on that date. The implication remains that with Ihedioha at the helms in the House, PDP would lead the 7th House to its closure.

In order to avoid a vacuum and also guard against constitutional crisis, the Speaker, at a press briefing at the National Assembly, yesterday, said the House would today resolve the matter by “empowering the Deputy Speaker”, Emeka Ihedioha to preside till a new Speaker is elected for the 8th Assembly.

The House, which is expected to elect a substantive Speaker for the 8th Assembly in June, has been in a constitutional crisis on the issue of a possible leadership limbo on abrupt end to the eventful speakership of its helmsman Tambuwal. But Tambuwal himself announced a solution to the matter.

Though the House Rules provide for a Speaker Pro Tempore (provisional Speaker), their reign can only be established in the case of a removal of a Speaker by way of impeachment, resignation, death or indisposition.

According to Tambuwal, “The constitution never envisaged what has happened when a serving Speaker will be elected governor as I will be sworn in on May 29.

“Instead of election, we will suspend the aspect of the Rule and allow the Deputy Speaker continue as Speaker. The Deputy should continue to function in my absence.”

He said the rumour that there was a plan to shut down the House should be discountenanced, stressing that “I have never personalised the position of Speaker.”

In his remarks at the press briefing, he commended the House Press Corps for helping in stabilising the Green Chamber and keeping faith with the tenets of democracy. He pledged to continue his service to the nation as governor and the Nigerian people.

Meanwhile, a group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative,   has instituted a fresh suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to stop the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, from swearing the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday.

The suit filed on Tuesday is also seeking an order nullifying the certificate of return issued to Buhari by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The plaintiff hinged the suit on the allegation that Buhari did not qualify to contest the presidential election on the grounds that he gave false information about his academic qualification to INEC.

Between January and February 2015 there were about 10 cases instituted by various plaintiffs challenging Buhari’s eligibility to stand for the poll on the grounds of his academic qualification controversy. But after he won, the cases were withdrawn.

In the fresh suit filed by its lawyer, Mr. Philip Ekpo, the group alleged that Buhari did not meet the qualification enshrined in the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act to stand for the March 28, 2015 presidential election.

Buhari, INEC, the CJN are the 1st to the 3rd respondents in the suit respectively.

The plaintiff is seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the CJN “or any person acting in his capacity” from swearing in Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2015 or any other date thereof pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The plaintiff seeks among other orders, “A declaration that the 3rd defendant be stopped from swearing in the 1st defendant as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the issue of perjury involving the 1st defendant has not been resolved.

“An order restraining the 3rd defendant or any person appointed for such purpose from swearing in the 1st defendant as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2015 or any future dates whatsoever for giving false information to the 2nd respondent on oath.

“An order annulling the Certificate of Return given to the 1st defendant by the 2nd defendant.”

The grounds canvassed by the plaintiff read, “The 1st respondent (Buhari) gave false information in the affidavit he presented to the 2nd respondent (INEC) and on the strength of which he contested and purportedly won the presidential election which was conducted by the 2nd respondent on March 28, 2015.

“The 1st respondent deposed to an affidavit dated November 24, 2014 that his West African School Leaving Certificate is in the custody of the Secretary to the Military Board.

“The Nigerian Army on January 20, 2015, said that in the personal file of the 1st respondent with the Nigerian Army, they do not have the original copy of his West African School Leaving Certificate nor does the Nigerian Army have the Certified True Copy of his WASC results neither do they have a photocopy of the said result.

“The 1st respondent has not met the qualifications enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act, Cap E6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010 (as amended) to have contested the position of President of Nigeria at the 2015 general elections.

“That the authority conferred by Section 140 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the 3rd respondent to administer oath of office to any person who will occupy the office of the President of Nigeria cannot be exercised in respect of the 1st respondent who has not fulfilled the requirements of the same constitution and the Electoral Act as it relates to his eligibility to occupy the office of President of Nigeria.”

The case has not been assigned to any judge.

Newswatch, with additional reports from Punch

Archives

WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

Published

on

…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

Continue Reading

Archives

Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

Published

on

The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

Continue Reading

Archives

Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

Published

on

…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

Continue Reading

Advertisement

Editor’s Pick

Politics