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.
”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.
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.
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.
Makinde Rues 11 Hectares Undeveloped Land At Samonda GRA
Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Friday, expressed his displeasure over the undeveloped 11 hectares of land at the highbrow Samonda GRA in Ibadan, as he called on investors to partner the State to develop the land in order to boost the State’s economy.
The view of the governor was expressed by the State commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Barr. Abiodun Abdu-Raheem while on inspection tour to some State’s reserved areas and Samonda Ultra-Modern shopping Complex at Ibadan North Local government in Ibadan.
Abiodun who noted with disdain, how over eleven hectares of land within which the ultra-modern shopping complex was situated, adding that the complex would be turned to an annex for the popular Gbagi market as the wished to turn its condition around to make it have international standard.
“The governor is not happy that these vast hectares of land is being put to waste when investors can be called in to use it for things that will help grow the State’s economy, we have gone around and see that the Samonda Shopping Complex needs some touch of revamping after which we will work towards making the complex an annex to the Gbagi market.
“The Ministry will discuss with other concerned Ministries, especially those in charge of the Gbagi market to come up with a plan for proper usage of the place as the present administration will not allow any resources of the state to go to waste, we are calling on well-meaning Nigerians who are interested in partnering the State on this project to come forward with ideas on how to develop the eleven hectares of land for the benefit of the State.”
Barr. Abdu-Raheem called on the landlord association of the Samonda (Aerodome) GRA to desist from distorting the plan of the estate by building on waterways and areas mapped out for recreational purposes.
Oyo Targets N20 Billion Monthly IGR – Olatunbosun
Oyo State government has set a target of hitting 20 billion naira monthly internally-generated revenue (IGR) before the end of the Governor Seyi Makinde’s first term in office.
The State’s IGR was reported to be between N2billion and N2.5billion during the tenure of the former governor, Abiola Ajimobi.
This was revealed by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun at a One Day Workshop for the State media officers which held at the Film Theater of the Ministry on Wednesday.
Olatunbosun said the four cardinal focus of the administration were education, primary healthcare, agro-business and security and all efforts were concentrated at plugging tax holes so as to increase the State’s revenue, urging the media officers to key into the agenda of governor Makinde to achieve the set target.
“It is the belief of Governor Seyi Makinde that Oyo State can be taken from a civil service-propelled economy to an agro-business-driven economy and before the first term of this administration runs out, we will be looking towards achieving about N20billion IGR target.
“You cannot enlighten people as a media practitioner if you are not enlightened, therefore the current administration believes in training of its officers to achieve maximum yield and productivity, especially for them to key into the agenda and aspirations of the government.
“This government is pro-people and would always deal with communication from the bottom to the top, we believe in the use of town hall meetings where all stakeholders would gather and set target for government as well as give feedback on the activities of the administration.
“All these require government media officers to be up-to-date, diligent and efficient, they are the reasons government has embarked on training the officers in this particular cadre among others,” he noted.
Also at the event were the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa and the Executive Assistant to the governor on Administration, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, who said the State government was working towards improving human capital index of the State workers towards enhancing the economy of the State.
Rehabilitation of the grave of a French veteran soldier
The grave of the French veteran – Private Marange number 14503 – renovated in 2018 had been severely damaged in recent weeks.
Also, very quickly, in order to honour his memory, thanks to the assistance of the Directorate of Heritage, Memory and Archives of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the defence mission of the French Embassy carried out a new rehabilitation of the tomb.
This veteran who died for France on June 26, 1943, is buried in the open-ended Commonwealth Military Cemetery in Eldoret, about 150 km from the Ugandan border.
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