The Court of Appeal Abuja division has declined to sack the newly inaugurated senator for Bauchi North senatorial district, Alhaji Adamu Bulkachuwa, following an allegation that he was handpicked by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the senatorial election, after he lost at the primaries.
The lawmaker, who was the husband of Court of Appeal President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, was allegedly nominated by the party to replace the supposed winner of the primary election that held on October 3, 2018, Alhaji Usman Tuggar. Dissatisfied with the action, Tuggar, dragged the party before the Federal High Court, Abuja, alleging that Bulkachwa was illegally nominated to vie for the senatorial seat. In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/08, the plaintiff urged the high court to declare that he was the valid winner of the APC primary election and therefore ought to have his name forwarded to the Indepen-dent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Among other reliefs, he prayed the court to restrain the electoral body from recognising Bulkachuwa as the bona-fide flag bearer of the APC for the Bauchi North senatorial district election that was held on February 23. Meanwhile, the high court, in a judgement it delivered on April 18, dismissed the suit, saying it was statute barred since the plaintiff failed to institute the action within 14 days after APC forwarded Bulkachuwa’s name to INEC.
Not satisfied with the high court judgement, the plaintiff proceeded to the Court of Appeal where he also lost on Tuesday. The appellant had prayed the appellate court to invoke section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act to hear and determine his case on its merit. He maintained that the trial court failed to properly evaluate evidence as well as incontrovertible facts that were brought before it by the parties. He argued that the suit he filed on October 30, which was a day he got information that Bulkachuwa’s name was forwarded to INEC instead of his own, was within the 14-day time limit.
He said the cause of action occurred on October 19, when he became aware that his name was substituted. However, in a unanimous judgement, a three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe- Wilson upheld the high court’s verdict. Delivering the lead judgement on Tuesday, Justice Akomolafe-Wilson, held that the suit, being a pre-election matter, was filed outside the 14-day time limit that was stipulated in section 285(9) of the 4th Alteration to the 1999 Constitution. The appellate court noted that the appellant had in a petition he wrote to the APC leadership on October 9, said he was shocked to hear an announcement that Bulkachuwa was the winner of the senatorial ticket. The appellate court held that the cause of action arose from the day the appellant admitted that he heard and became aware of Bulkachuwa’s nomination.
“Considering when appellant became aware of his exclusion as validly nominated candidate, the suit had become statute barred. “Any suit filed outside the time frame is statute barred,” Justice Akomolafe-Wilson held. The court stressed that though section 87(4) of the Electoral Act provided that the name of an aspirant with highest number of votes at the primary election should be forwarded to INEC, it held that forwarding of the name was an event that occurred after the primary election the appellant complained of. “The period will begin to run after the cause of action arose and not after subsequent event.
“The date of occurrence of the event complained of is certainly October 9. “All the respondents filed counter-affidavits to oppose appellant’s claim that he won the primary election. “The appellant did not place any Certificate of Return before the trial court to prove that he won the primary.
LASPOTECH’s rector, others must step aside, group tells Sanwo-Olu
Disturbed by the possibility of compromise in the ongoing investigation into the crisis rocking the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), a coalition of civil society groups has called on the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo- Olu, to suspend the management of the institution, headed by the Rector, Mr. Samuel Olayinka Shogunro, to give room for independent investigation by the recently constituted Visitation Panel. Speaking on the developments in the institution, the coalition right groups comprising Sahara Education Development Initiative (SEDI), Human Right Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) and Centre for Policy Intervention in Africa (CEPIA), commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for wading into the crisis plaguing the polytechnic. According to Comrade Buna Olaitan Isaac: “We commend Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the courage and for taking this bold step which has become pertinent in view of the unwholesome dimensions of flagrant abuse of due process and unbridled highhandedness which have become the trademarks of the current institution’s management.’’ He, however, lamented that the groups were disturbed that despite attempt by the governor at unravelling the real issues, the management of LASPOTECH was ultimately stonewalling the investigation.
“Towards achieving this, we consider the intervention of Governor Sanwo-Olu in ensuring that the management headed by the Rector, Mr. Shogunro, steps down forthwith as highly critical. “Moreso, given the widespread shenanigans, distrust and impunity which the current management has fostered, it would only be fair and just that the management headed by the current Rector be asked to step aside pending the conclusion of investigation by the Visitation Panel.
Gbadamosi: Border closure’ll undermine Nigeria’s economy
Action Democratic Party (ADP) governorship candidate in Lagos State in the 2019 general elections, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi, has condemned closure of the land borders by the Federal Government, saying such decision will undermine Nigeria’s economy. Speaking to journalists at the Salem Touch Awards held at the Lagos State University, Ojo, in Lagos, Gbadamosi, who was given the ”Creative Exponent Award” for his support for youths in the state, said the closure of land borders would have adverse effects on citizens both in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
He said: “The continued closure of land borders will have negative effect on the citizens, even both here and in neighbouring countries. “It is clear that that the agenda behind it is completely not for economic growth, because it will affect the earning capacity of people, and if that happens, many people will not be able to meet their needs. “Consequently, many sectors will be affected within and in neighbouring countries that have built large doses of subscriptions on us.
The closure will more or less affect the economy instead of improving it.” Gbadamosi also stressed the need for government to open the economy in such a way to attract more trade and industries, noting that refusal of government to encourage and open up the economy would hamper the progress of the country.
Ortom: Suswam, Ayu true democrats
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday portrayed former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and his predecessor, Senator Gabriel Suswam, as true democrats and experienced administrators, who have made numerous contributions for the development of the state. The governor said the harmonious nexus between him and the duo as well as other leaders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gave the party overwhelming victory in the 2019 elections.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Terver Akase, Ortom congratulated the two politicians on their birthdays. He said that the healthy relationship has continued to deepen internal democracy within its fold and promises to sustain it. Ortom applauded Ayu for the role he played as chairman of the State Transition Committee, and urged him to continue to provide similar selfless services to the state and country whenever called upon. He expressed confidence that Suswam would bring his experience as a former member, House of Representatives to bear on his duties as the senator for Benue North-East senatorial district.
Border communities: IPMAN flays Customs’ suspension of petroleum products
Lagos State chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has kicked against the directive of the Comptroller of Customs to suspend supply of petroleum products to fuel stations within 20 kilometres to all the borders. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, and signed by the state’s Chairman, Mr. Akin Akinrinade, and Secretary, Mr. Akeem Balogun, IPMAN described the decision as punitive and uncalled for, because the fuel stations were not serving people outside the borders.
IPMAN therefore called for the immediate reversal of the order so as not to punish the border communities, fuel stations’ owners and the staff working at these stations. It reminded the Customs that the affected fuel stations were established legally and licensed to serve the communities at the border towns and their environs.
The association noted that what the Customs’ circular showed was that Customs only exhibited their inefficiency and negligence in their duties which the law saddled them with. It satated: Fuel stations’ owners are not the problem at the borders.
“Our position at the IPMAN is that we are not and cannot support any act of smuggling of any petroleum products. Our members are entitled to decent living which cannot be taken away from them. “IPMAN, therefore, called upon the comptroller-General to rescind the order immediately and called on their staff to be more efficient in the discharge of their duties to the nation.
Mohammed: No conflict between Bauchi, Gombe govts over oil discovery
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has declared that there is no rift between Bauchi and Gombe states over the ownership of the site of the oil discovery. Mohammed disclosed this while reacting to controversies trailing the ownership of the site of the oil exploration in Bauchi between communities situated in the area bordering Bauchi and Gombe states. He said the area was peaceful and as an illustrious son of the local government, he would ensure that peace prevail.
Our correspondent gathered that an organisation in Alkaleri Local Government Area known as, ‘Alkaleri Development Foundation,’ was insisting that the oil wells that were located in Barambu village in Alkaleri Local Government Area belonged to them and Gombe people should distance themselves from claiming ownership The organisation in a press statement issued by its Chairman, Mr. Muslim Maigari, stated that: “Our attention is drawn to a statement credited to our elder statesman, Senator Danjuma Goje, during a retreat organised for the newly appointed commissioners in Gombe State calling on the Federal Government to intervene in order to determine who owns the kolmani oil wells. “We view this statement with concern because it is needless because the wells are situated in Barambu village of Maimadi Ward in Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State. Although, the Kolmani River is the territorial demarcation of the borderline between Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State and Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi state.” Maigari who expressed confidence that the area has significant oil and gas prospects that may extend to some areas in Gombe State, stated that the host communities of the of the oil wells are indigenous communities to Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State. He claimed that: “It is Alkaleri Local Government Area that provides them with basic amenities like hospital, water, school, security, market, polio and immunisation programmes. In fact, when they voted during elections their votes were collated at INEC office in Alkaleri.
“The area was part of my constituency during the last general elections when I contested for the seat of House of Representatives to represent Alkaleri/Kirfi Federal Constituency. I was in those communities for campaign several times. I still visit in order to sustain my structures.” While clarifying the issue, the governor said to his knowledge there is no conflict between Bauchi and Gombe states over oil discovery in border communities of the two states, stating emphatically that the story was not true.
Emmanuel Ukoji launches new album at Amazing Grace concert
It was a night of bliss and praise as the Amazing Grace concert held at the Good News Baptist Church in Lagos attracted friends and family, particularly members of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), and Evangel Voices, the music department of the church of which the convener, Emmanuel Ukoji, is a member.
Anchored by Rev Sayo Adebayo, the night had Chioma Opia and Emeka Jonathan leading music ministrations that touched the soul of the congregation as Minister Olumide Shobowale, the saxophonist, also led a praise medley.
The highlight was when music producer and singer, Wole Oni, came with his rendition of praise medley using the Yamaha keyboard to make a human voice and the congregation responded with rapturous applause. Along with Annie Jonathan, Wole Oni, who is a Yamaha brand ambassador, led a praise medley with songs like Count Your Blessings and others.
Other guests that came were Deacon Austin Oroegbu, Hon Bunmi Shobande, HR expert, Yemisi Oshunkoya and Dr Nike Windy, General Coordinator of Evangel Voices of TREM HQ.
An elated Emma Ukoji launched his debut album made up of 11 tracks at the event. “I thank God for the success of this event which I and my team have laboured hard to make it come to pass. Amazing Grace concert, hopefully will become annual as we showcase the grace of God. I want to thank God and the wonderfully family of TREMITES who supported me all through. All things are indeed possible to him that believe,” he said at the event.
Shipping institute to hold investiture soon
The Certified Institute of Shipping of Nigeria (CISN) has concluded plans to hold its 2019 annual lecture/ investiture on Thursday next week. The occasion will be used to celebrate its President/ Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Vicky Haastrup, who has contributed immensely to the growth of Nigerian maritime industry. The Rector of CISN, Prof. Alex favour Okwuashi, said Haastrup had helped in no small measure in upgrading the institute’s infrastructure in the last two years.
The rector noted that this year’s annual lecture/ investiture would include awards to notable maritime personalities and convocation ceremony. Also, he stressed that Vicky Haastrup Multipurpose Auditorium would be commissioned during the occasion. Okwuashi added that the auditorium would serve as the venue of the annual lecture/investiture, which theme is: ‘Gender balance: critical resource and leverage for accelerated growth in Nigeria’s maritime – transport sector.’
Pay your bills to avoid disconnection, KAEDCO warns customers
The newly-appointed Kebbi State Area Manager of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO), Mallam Abdulwahab Suleiman, has made a passionate appealed to the customers to continue to pay their electricity bill as and when due in order to avoid disconnection even as he advised on the prepaid meters. He said this yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen in his office, adding that the major challenge facing the compwas lack of commitment to payment by the costumers.
“I just assumed office some months back but what I have seen as a challenge is lack of regular payment of electricity bill by the customers in the state,’’ he said. Suleiman, who also commended the state government for ensuring regular supply of electricity, note d that his appeal was for the public to pay their bills as and when due. He also warned members of staff not to shortchange any customer and the company, adding that anybody found wanting would be made face the wrath of the law.
Bauchi ministry, college differ over non-payment of students’ tuition
There is disagreement between the Bauchi State Ministry for Local Government and the governing board of Malikiyya College of Health and Social Sciences, Bauchi, over the non-payment of the tuition fees of 1,000 students sponsored by the ministry from the 20 local government areas of the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Local Government, Abdulrazak Nuhu Zaki, had alleged that the state government didn’t pay the fees because the school was not fully accredited and that the students took their examinations outside the school. These allegations were denied by the board. Zaki said: “As a responsible government, we pledge to use the public resources judiciously. I have my two children in the college and we know that the college is not accredited. So, how can we pay money to the body that is not accredited by the regulatory agencies.”
He reiterated the commitment of the government to support genuine fully registered institution for the development of the state. In his reaction, the proprietor of Malikiyya College, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed, said the institution was fully accredited by all the Federal Government’s regulatory bodies.
He said the bodies had accredited all the 13 courses that included Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria, Associations of Medical and X-ray technicians of Nigeria, Community Health Practitioners Registration Board, Dental Therapies Registration Board of Nigeria and West African Health Examination Board and Medical Science Council of Nigeria.
Missing children: Parents storm Ganduje’s commission of inquiry
Parents stormed the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje commission setup for missing Children/ Persons Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating the abductions of Kano-born children, who were sold in Onitsha, Anambra State, demanding the quick returns of their children.
The parents, who came crying, begged the commission led by a retired judge, Wada Rano and which is sitting on High Court premises along Miller Road in Kano metropolis, to ensure that their children were recovered. The parents urged Kano State Government to recover more missing children, even as they told the panel that the majority of the children went missing between 2015 and 2017. Appearing before the panel, 39-year-old mother of five, Zainab Ibrahim, narrated how her four-year-old son, Ja’afar Bello, got missing at the Brigade quarters since 2017, and his whereabouts still unknown. The case of a three-yearold Kamaludeen Lawan, who was reported missing since 2017, was also brought before the panel. Reporting the incident, his 33-year-old father, Zaharadeen Lawan, a carpenter, revealed that his little boy got lost at a wedding cer-emony while in company of his mother. Another complainant, Lilian Dangana, reported the missing of a 31-year-old Sunday Omole since May 22, 2018, on the premises of Federal Government College, Kano. Dangana, a vice principal of the college, revealed that Omole’s disappearance had left the school’s management in deep worries.
“Sunday Omole is our computer science teacher and an indigene of Benue State. He was transferred to Kano not long ago due to some personal issues he complained to me about. Before he got missing, he had complained that he noticed some people were after him.
“A few days later, he was reported missing from the staff quarters in the college. We reported the case to the police and we have searched almost everywhere in Kano. Our appearance before the panel is to seek government’s intervention for his where about,” she said. Ganduje inaugurated the commission of inquiry to investigate the incessant reports of missing children in the state with a view to finding a lasting solution to the menace. Ganduje’s action followed the recent rescue of 10 Kanoborn children in Onitsha, Anambra State, after being converted to Christianity and given Igbo names.
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