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Atiku reacts to Buhari-led APC govt’s plan to arraign CJN Onnoghen on Monday

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The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has warned President Muhammadu Buhari and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) not to throw Nigeria into an avoidable crisis over their desperation to sack the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen.

CJN Onnoghen will be arraigned on Monday by the federal government.

In a statement issued on Saturday by Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, the PDP candidate said the principle of separation of powers remains sacrosanct in a democracy irrespective of what President Buhari is being told by his advisers or the buttons they are pressing to forcefully remove the CJN.

Atiku said the plot to sack Justice Onnoghen is a preemptive move against the bench in the face of imminent defeat and knowing the role that the judiciary plays in the final outcome of elections.

“We have just been made aware of the plot by President Muhammadu Buhari the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sack Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen using flimsy assets declaration issues as a pretext. We are aware that there are plans to arraign Justice Onnoghen before the Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar led- Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday, January, 14, 2019. The charge against Onnoghen, we understand has already been filed and served on him last Friday at his official residence in Abuja preparatory to his appearance at the Tribunal.

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”But we warn that despite the clandestine meetings in the highest echelon of the APC and also involving some top officials of the federal government which include the Code of Conduct Tribunal, neither Buhari nor the APC can re-write the Nigerian Constitution just because of its impending defeat at the February 16, presidential election. Heavens did not fall when PDP lost to the APC in 2015. And heavens will not fall now that the APC is sure to lose to the PDP, seeing that the APC’s plan to rig in the forthcoming elections will not pull through,” the statement said.

Atiku added that Nigerians were aware that the linchpin of the plot, Mr. Dennis Aghanya, the Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI), the author of the purported petition seeking Onnoghen’s removal,was the National Publicity Secretary of President Buhari’s defunct political party, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

The PDP candidate warned however that if Buhari and the APC succeed in the current plot, it then should be ready for an epic battle, the end of which no one can predict, and the consequences of which can only be imagined.

”We have the strength of character, the courage and the conviction to mount a sustained campaign in defence of justice, and in defence of separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution, which is the ground norm of our democracy ,” Atiku warned.

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Atiku asserted that even if the allegations against Onnoghen are true, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) was wrong to have referred the petition to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

He said the Code of Conduct Bureau, according to Section 3 (e) of the third schedule (part 1) of the 1999 constitution, “shall receive complaints about the non-compliance with or breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law in relation thereto, investigate the complaint and, where appropriate, refer such matter to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).”

Atiku argued that since judicial officers are disciplined by the National Judicial Council (NJC), the CCB was wrong to have referred the matter to the CCT even if the allegations have been found to have any substance.

“The proper procedure would have been for the petition to be referred to the JSC of which Onnoghen is the Chairman, but he would have to excuse himself from the process. If found guilty, he could be asked to vacate his office as CJN, in addition to other punishments,” Atiku argued.

He further stated that Buhari’s desperation was to get Onnoghen out of the way and appoint an acting CJN whom he views as pliant and who will be made to superintend over election petitions in case his well-laid out rigging plan fails.

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Atiku called on Nigerians to resist the current move to silence the judiciary, saying Nigeria’s democracy and not the judiciary is on trial.

“Buhari and his APC led government should not emasculate the judiciary as they tried to do the National Assembly and was resisted by the President of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki. This is a brazen day light assault on the judiciary because he (Buhari wants) a pliable acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to sit on his election petition because he has seen the signal that he will lose the February 16 presidential election,” Atiku said.

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Oyo NUJ mourns as another former union Chairman, Bode Oyewole dies

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council has mourned the passing of another former Chairman of the union, Elder Bode Oyewole.

Oyewole was Chairman of the NUJ between 1978 to 1980.

He was later Chairman of the Oluyole warriors, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan.

Oyewole recently spoke with the incumbent, Ademola Babalola on July 3rd, 2020 following the news of the demise of one of his sucessors in office, Joe Abiola (a.k.a. Atumah).

Abiola, who also died about three weeks ago, took over from Oyewole and was NUJ Chairman for two terms, spanning between 1981 to 1985.

Oyewole had assured Babalola through phone call that he would grace the burial of Abiola and especially tributes being planned in honour of the deceased by NUJ. It comes up this Thursday at 2pm in Iyaganku press centre.

Lamenting the death of the erstwhile union leader, Babalola in a statement signed by the Secretary of NUJ, Comrade Sola Oladapo, on Tuesdaydescribed Oyewole’s passing as “shocking, devastating, unexpected, sad and one that caught the Union unawares”, because of the outstanding career of the erstwhile Chairman.

Oladapo said the news came when the executive was planning a special programme in honour of Abiola, saying, “the news of his demise came at a time when his wise counsel, experience and charismatic attributes as a father figure in NUJ and the society in general are much needed.”

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The NUJ prays God to forgive Oyewole popularly called Uncle B.O, and grant him eternal rest.

It condole the family especially the wife, Mrs. Bose Oyewole, the children and the veteran journalists in the State and pray God to give them the fortitude to bear his irreplaceable loss.

 

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CBN to ban importation of maize

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Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all authorized dealers to discontinue the processing of Form M for the importation of maize with immediate effect.

The CBN gave this directive in a circular signed by its Director of Trade and Exchange Department, Dr Ozoemena Nnaji in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Form M, as reliably gatherer, is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for importation of goods into the country.

The bank directed all authorised dealers to submit the list of form M already registered for the importation of maize.

The apex bank, however enjoined the dealers concerned to do so on or before close of business on Wednesday.

It explained that the step was part of CBN’s efforts to increase local production and stimulate a rapid economic recovery.

The bank noted that the measure was to also safeguard rural livelihood and increase job which had been lost due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nigerian Army redeploys 37 generals, others

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The Nigerian Army on Tuesday disclosed that it has approved new postings and appointments of 37 generals and five colonels to different formations and units across the country.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Musa, in the statement explained that the postings which were approved by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, are a routine exercise intended to reinvigorate the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency.

While wishing all the officers well in their respective appointments, the Chief of Army Staff said that all the postings and appointments take effect from July 20, 2020

According to the statement, Maj. Gen. L. Irabor has been redeployed from Defence Headquarters, Department of Training and Operations to Training and Doctrine Command, Minna, while Maj. Gen. F. Agugo was moved from 6 Division NA Port Harcourt to Headquarters, NA Signal Corps, Apapa, Lagos as Corps Commander Signals.

Also, Maj. Gen. M Mohammed was transferred from Headquarters, NA Signal Corps Apapa, Lagos to Office of the COAS and appointed Special Adviser, NA University, Biu, Borno State, while Maj. Gen. A. Dikko of Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry, was moved to NA Training Centre, Kontagora.

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The redeployments, as contained in the statement also affected Maj. Gen. U. Yakubu who was moved from NA Corps of Artillery Kontagora to Army Headquarters, Abuja.

Chief of Administration, Maj. Gen. B. Sawyer was also moved from AHQ Department of Policy and Plans to NA Armour School Bauchi.

In a related development, this equally led to the transfer of Maj. Gen. I. Uzamere from NA College of Logistics, Lagos, to AHQ Abuja, Department of Logistics as Chief of Logistics (Army).

Others are Col. B. Sarki from Defence Intelligence College to 6 Military Intelligence Brigade as acting Commander; Col. K. Ogunsoya from DHQ to Headquarters, Directorate of Army Public Relations; Chief of Staff, Col. T. Antigha from Headquarters, Multinational Joint Task Force, Ndjamena, to Defence Headquarters as acting Executive Director, Armed Forces Radio.

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