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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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Varsity Don to Governors: ‘Declare State Of Emergency As Measure to Restore Peace, Security In South West

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The Director, Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, Professor Tajudeen Akanji has  called on the Governors in the South West region; Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akreredolu (Ondo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) to declare state of emergency as a measure to restore peace and security in the region. 

Akanji made this declaration recently while speaking as guest speaker at the 4th Surveyor Lasisi Lasupo Ali Annual Lecture entitled, “Emerging Security Threats, State Stability and Economic Development of South Western Nigeria”, organized by Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), which was held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
At the event were the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Muhammed Fadeyi, Chairman of the occasion, Mr Adelodun Olaiya, NIS National President, Surveyor Alabo Charles and Chairman, Oyo State branch of NIS, Surveyor Aderemi Femi Kobiowu.
The South West region, in the last few months, had experienced cases of kidnapping and reported cases of killings by some people suspected to be bandits and armed robbers. One of such cases was the kidnap of Dayo Adewole, a son of a former Minister for Health, Professor Isacc Adewole, at Iroko, near Ibadan.
However, Akanji while reacting, said that one of the panacea to the problem of insecurity which is said is alien to the region, is “for the governors to declare a state of emergency as a measure to restore peace and security to the region.”
Akanji who indicated that the drivers of insecurity include globalization which he said has broken down trade barriers between nations, expansion and integration of economies as well as people, also called on the Nigerian Government to reorganize its security and military formations by introduce state policing and as well address the poverty and unemployment in the country.

He blamed the high rate of crime in Nigeria to a number of factors including “the state’s incapacity to forecast and address early warning signals on insecurity. “Most of the challenges we face are results of governance deficit.

“Although insecurity is a global phenomenon, the difference between communities and states with security issues is their proactiveness and ability to prepare, forecast, project, confront and recover from the security challenges.”

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Ogundoyin in his address, said as part of efforts to nip the security challenges in the bud, Oyo State Government will soon unveil a new security architecture.

“We have taken security for granted in Nigeria. I recall that while we were growing up, we could move around freely without any fear.

“Oyo State House of Assembly is ready to partner with the Nigerian Institution of Surveyor in all possible ways including ways to ensure security in Oyo Sate.”

Olaiya lauded the efforts of NIS, Oyo State for considering it appropriate to honour Pa L. L. Ali with the Annual Lecture series saying the gesture shows the recognition of selfless service and respect “Baba” has for the profession.

Olaiya who spoke on behalf of L. L. Ali Family said Pa Ali’s honesty, discipline and virtues, have now constituted lasting heritage which brought about the annual lecture in honour of the celebrant.

Charles said the annual lecture in honour of the septuagenarian L. L. Ali is the best thing to for the man who has paid his due not only to the surveying profession but to humanity.

Kobiowu said the 98-year old Surveyor L. L. Ali is a connosus in the surveying profession because of his uncompromising respect for the ethics of the job in his active days and therefore he is being celebrated with the annual lecture.

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Oyo Will Certainly Break The Poverty Barrier When We All Pay Tax – Makinde

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In order to be able to fulfill his promises on provision of social amenities, enduring infrastructures, regular payment of government obligations and other amenities, the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has pleaded for the support of different stakeholders operating in the State on adequate deductions, prompt Remittance of Taxes and other levies.

 

This was stated during a One Day Sensitization workshop on Computations, Deductions and Remittances for Federal and State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Tertiary Institutions in the state held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariats, Ibadan.

 

Speaking on behalf of Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service, Aremo John Adeleke reiterated that the intention of the present administration was not going to over-burden any business enterprise either small or big but rather to ensure government get its fair and reasonable share of all its eligible tax revenue.

 

Makinde said, “Presently, the fluctuations and other complex gyrations of the international Oil market and the global economy means unstable and often lower revenue from Federal allocation. The need to look inward to generate enough internal revenue to cater for the much societal demand has never been this much.

 

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“We count on Companies and other businesses to ensure they regularly deduct and remit their employees’ PAYE tax to covers of our treasury. This will ensure mutual reciprocation of right and duties on the part of all parties. I regard such complying institutions, business and contractors as friends of my government and corporate citizens of this State of enduring opportunities.”

 

Welcoming the participants in his speech, Aremo Adeleke tasked Professional Bodies, Tax Professionals, Consultants, Taxpayers and Agents to discharge their responsibilities as stipulated by the National Tax Policy of 2017.

 

He also urged all MDAs, Federal and State as well as Tertiary Institutions to ensure they give patronage only to individuals and companies with a record of regular and up to date remittance of their employees’ Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

 

In his remark, the head of the partnering firm, Mr Femi Adeniji explained that the workshop was about sensitizing various agencies about their responsibility that pertained to tax and other dues, adding that participants will be taught the right ways of making deductions so as not to shortchange the government.

 

The workshop had in attendance officials of State and Federal Ministries,Directorates and Agencies (MDAs),private business sectors representatives and other stakeholders.

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A double-digit investment in the agricultural sector is needed to transform agriculture, says IITA’s Sanginga

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A double-digit investment in the agricultural sector backed by a vibrant rural infrastructural network will help states in Nigeria to accelerate the transformation of agriculture, says Dr Nteranya Sanginga, Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

“No matter our good intentions, we will not see a transformation in agriculture if we continue to invest less than 10 percent of our budget on agriculture,” Dr Sanginga said during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, in Ibadan.

In 2003, African heads of state in Maputo made a commitment to invest at least 10 percent of their annual budgets in agriculture. Sixteen years after the declaration, only a few countries have implemented that declaration.

“One of the countries that has fulfilled the commitment is Ethiopia…Ethiopia is today investing more than 10 percent and that country is witnessing a rapid transformation in agriculture,” Dr Sanginga explained.

Making reference to the Oyo State Agricultural Policy framework, the IITA boss said that Oyo state’s investment in agriculture had nosedived from about 7 percent to 2 percent from 1995 to 2017, adding that the new administration needs to reverse the trend.

On rural infrastructure, Dr Sanginga said the government should pay close attention to rehabilitation of rural roads (feeder roads) to help the transportation of agricultural products from the farm to the markets.

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He decried the deterioration of infrastructure in several farm settlements in Oyo state and urged the government to tackle the trend.

Dr Sanginga also called on the government to seek ways to involve the youths in agriculture, stressing that inclusiveness was imperative for sustainability in the agricultural development agenda of the state.

In his response, Governor Makinde commended the IITA DG for the courtesy visit and pledged the commitment of the state to work with IITA to achieve agricultural transformation.

The governor noted that his administration had identified four pillars: education, rural infrastructure, economic development (agriculture), and security to help bring the dividends of democracy to the people of Oyo state.

He noted that for the state to attain economic development, agriculture must be transformed.

“This is because most of our people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Besides, through agricultural transformation, we will be able to provide the needed jobs for our youths…the jobs we promised during the election campaigns,” he added.

On infrastructure, the governor said work on one of the major agricultural roads (Moniya to Iseyin) would commence soon. On completion, the road would ease the movement of farm produce to the market. He also said that discussions were in top gear with the federal government to rehabilitate the Oyo town-Iseyin road.

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On the courtesy visit to the Governor were Drs Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General (Partnerships for Delivery); Alfred Dixon, Director for Development & Delivery; Tahirou Abdoulaye, Impact Economist; Godwin Atser, Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist; Toyin Oke, Manager, Resource Mobilization, Protocol and External Liaison; Oludamilare Odusanya and Adetola Adenmosun, IITA Youth Agripreneurs.

The meeting with the Governor was facilitated by Debo Akande, Executive Adviser to the Governor onAgribusiness.

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