Food Poisoning: Cross River Govt. Vows To Prosecute Culprits

CSOs, Ben Ayade, Man Of The YearThe Cross River State Government has assured the people of Ogoja that justice will be served on the person or people who are linked to the food poisoning incident that claimed two lives and affected 44 other persons across communities in the Local Government Area (LGA).

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Joe Abang, said this during an interview with Channels Television.

He was speaking at his community, Oboso Mbube where the unfortunate incident was said to have occurred.

According to the Commissioner, Governor Ben Ayade had given a directive that the law must also go after local criminals perpetuating violence in rural areas.

The survivors of the incident, who said they were thankful for their lives, mourned the demise of the vendor and her husband.

The couple were said to have died on the spot after eating the poisoned food.

Following the incident, Police arrested a man suspected to have masterminded the food poisoning.

The suspect, identified as Paul Agbor, was believed to have intentionally poisoned the food as a way of getting back at people in the community.

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, had described the incident as a disaster.

Dr. Asibong said the symptoms displayed by the victims include vomiting, foaming in the mouth, body weakness and spitting of blood.

Supreme Court Affirms Bello As Niger State Governor

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,The Supreme Court on Friday in Abuja upheld the election of Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello.

The court declared that the case by a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mustapha Babangida, lacked merit.

In the judgement delivered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, the appellant did not participate in the election, even though he is an APC card-carrying member.

Mr Babangida had asked the apex court to nullify the election of Governor Bello and called for a fresh election.

He earlier dragged the APC to the Federal High Court in Minna, claiming among other reliefs that the party was biased and that the governor’s emergence as the APC flag bearer was null and void.

Ruling on the case with Suit No. FHC/Minna/255/2015 and dated February 3, 2016, Justice Onnoghen said after considering the issues, citing the case of Audu and Nyako and Section 87 sub-section 9 of the Electoral Act, 2010, the appellant did not participate, neither did he fail in the elections.

The CJN prepared the lead judgement and mandated the presiding judge, Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, to read the judgement, saying the appellant had no right to take the matter to court.

Counsel to the appellant, Mohammed Mohammed, called for an amendment of Section 87 of the Electoral Act which denied his client the right to sue, while counsel to the respondent, Yunus Usman, hailed the ruling of the apex court.

Briefing journalists on the judgement, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Nasara Danmallam, said the legal battle is over.

The commissioner further called on Mr Babangida to join Governor Bello in moving Niger State forward.

Kwara’s Governor Ahmed Bemoans State Of Nigeria’s Prisons

Enugu Prison
Enugu Prison

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has decried the conditions of prisons in Nigeria where hundreds of inmates are crammed into a prison meant for a quarter of that number.

He also expressed concerns that suspects spend years in prison while awaiting trial for offences that attract less severe penalties simply because they could not afford bail.

The governor, who bemoaned the deplorable plight of prisoners in Nigeria while inaugurating the Kwara State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy at Government House in Ilorin, demanded urgent reforms of prisons and associated judicial processes.

A statement by a spokesman for the governor, Abdulwahab Oba, said Governor Ahmed wanted adequate attention to be given to the fate of children born and raised in prisons and the bleak and potentially uncertain future such “unfortunate” circumstance of birth would create for the children and the society.

The governor stated that his administration had decided to inaugurate the eight-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy in line with the administration’s commitment to the rule of law.

“It is noteworthy that the exercise of Prerogative of Mercy in deserving situations can redress wrongs inflicted on those erroneously condemned or jailed due to legal technicalities,” Dr. Ahmed observed.

Governor Ahmed further assured the Council of a Judicious Exercise of the state pardon and called on its members to work tirelessly to achieve the set objectives and ensure that deserving inmates are adequately reintegrated into the society.

Earlier, the Council’s Chairman and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Kamaldeen Ajibade, said members were competent and confirmed people of good and reasonable character in the state.

He said members of the council welcome innovative ideas within their schedule, assuring the governor that the purpose for which the council was established would be met.

Mr Ajibade thanked the governor for reconstituting the council and providing the wherewithal for them to operate, promising that the council will be dedicated and diligent in the discharge their duties.

Court Rejects Fayose’s Request To Stop EFCC Probe

Ayodele FayoseA High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital has declined an ex parte order sought by the state government to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from investigating the finances of the state.

The presiding judge, Justice Cornelius Akintayo ordered the applicant to put the defendants in the case on notice to prepare for defence.

He consequently adjourned the suit till August 23 when parties are expected to appear and argue the motion on notice.

The motion was filed by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, to stop the anti-graft agency from investigating the accounts of the state government.

Arguments Ensue As Lagos State Appeals Judgment On Lekki/Ikoyi Brigde Toll

Lekki-Ikoyi Toll GateThe implications of the judgment which declared the collection of toll illegal on the Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge was the focus of argument on Monday at the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Lagos State government and a Lagos based lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, argued back and forth during a hearing of the government’s application for a stay of execution of the judgment.

On March 28, a day after the judgment was delivered, the government had filed a notice of appeal and an application for a stay of execution of the judgment.

In the application for stay, the government asked the court to stop the execution of the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.

Mr Adegboruwa, who instituted the suit which led to the court judgment, told presiding Justice Saliu Seidu, that the Lagos State government had continually violated the judgment of his court by continuing to collect toll on the bridge.

“Right from the day judgment was delivered, tolling has continued on the bridge. They had shown that they were not going to obey the court’s judgment. As soon as the Attorney-General stepped out of the court, he had said they were not going to obey the judgment,” Adegboruwa said.

However, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, who represented his office and the government, denied violating any court order.

Mr Ipaye maintained that the court in its judgment never made any declarative or consequential order barring toll collection on the bridge.

“The respondent (Adegboruwa) has also filed a cross-appeal, and the cross-appeal is to the effect that there was no declarative court order. I wonder why he is suggesting that we are the only one saying so.

“An alternative prayer in the government’s application was an order of injunction ordering parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of its appeal against the judgment. The status quo is what is currently going-on on the bridge,” Ipaye insisted.

Mr Adegboruwa disagreed with Ipaye’s claims, saying that the status quo was the situation before the suit was instituted. The lawyer, who accused government of contempt, said tolling only began “when your Lordship assumed jurisdiction to hear the matter”.

In opposing the application, Adegboruwa maintained that granting the stay of execution was not a relief a court would grant automatically.

“They have to show that there were exceptional circumstances. They have not shown that there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances, if they exist, have been overruled by their illegal conduct,” he said.

Ipaye, who described the relief for an injunction as an alternative relief, said that it was in the interest of justice for the application to be granted.

“Since he has receipts for everything he pays on the bridge, his loss can always be remedied if the appeal fails. But if our appeal succeeds, there is no way we can capture our losses,” he said.

After hearing the arguments of the parties in the suit, Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned ruling on the application till April 25.

 

 

Fayemi Inaugurates 7 Man Committee To Create Local Government Councils

The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has inaugurated a 7 man committee to look into the agitation by the communities on the creation of additional local government councils and the expediency of creating new council areas.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony at Lady Jibowu Hall in Ado Ekiti, the Governor stated that it was in the bid to follow due diligence and extensive consultations that the committee was put together.

Governor Fayemi noted that the agitation for the creation of additional local governments in the state topped the list of requests presented by communities during his annual town hall meetings with the communities across the state.

He added that the move to create additional local government councils is as a result of his participatory style of governance, which he said would be maintained; listening to the yearnings of the people, which was the only way the state could develop.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda, then highlighted the administration’s authority to create more councils by reading out the constitutional provisions enabling the state to embark on the creation of the new local government council in the state.

 

Osun Inaugurates More Rent Tribunals

The Osun state government has inaugurated seven extra rent tribunals in all the federal constituencies in a bid to ensure communal peace and progress in the state.

The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Afolabi while speaking to Channels Television explained that the Osun government wants to bring Justice closer to the people and ensure communal peace and progress.

Hence, seven new tribunals were added to the two which were already in existence before the present administration came on board.

Mr Afolabi said each tribunal has a Chairman who is a lawyer of at least five years standing with three other members.

According to him, the extension in the number of the tribunal from two to nine would facilitate quick dispensation of justice on rent matters, especially between landlord and tenants.

Explaining the criteria for the selection of membership of the tribunals, Afolabi stressed that the appointment has no any political consideration, but they were appointed based on their experience and ability to dispense justice.

Ogun Signs MoU With Chinese Company To Build Monorail

The Ogun State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on light rail mass transit with the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) that will link major cities in the state as well as boost its economy.

While signing the MoU in his Oke-Mosan Office in Abeokuta, the state Governor; Mr Ibikunle Amosun said this became necessary in order to reposition the state for economic development and prosperity.

The Governor stated that it was imperative to boost transportation in the state since the state population is projected to rise significantly over the next couple of years.

While signing the MOU in his office, the state governor, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, noted that there could be no development without infrastructure.

“We have been doing our best on roads but it is high time we paid attention to rail as well. We are starting the mass transit within Abeokuta metropolis. This will be extended to all our major towns including the Ado-Odo/Ota axis up to the areas bordering Lagos,” he said.

Amosun noted that it was imperative to boost transportation in the state in anticipation of significant rise in population over the next couple of years.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Company, Mr. Cao Bao Gang, lauded the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration for its vision, pointing out that “the project on completion will enhance the transportation system and contribute to the economic development of the Gateway State.’’

He assured the governor that quality would be the firm’s watchword in the implementation of the contract.

“The project will provide jobs for residents and help the unskilled ones to gain adequate knowledge through training and involvement in the whole process.”

The signing of the MOU was witnessed by government officials including the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu.

Court Processes Stall Cynthia Osokogu’s Case

The arraignment of four suspected killers of Cynthia Osokogu, who was allegedly killed by friends she met on popular social networking site, Facebook was on Wednesday stalled because of objections raised by counsel to the defendants.

The six count charge of murder, stealing, possession of stolen property and conspiracy brought against the defendants at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja could not proceed as lawyers to the defendants told the court that they had not been properly served with the processes of the matter.

The suspects are Okwumo Nwabufo, Ezike Olisaeloka, Orji Osita and Ezike Nonso.

The prosecution team led by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos state, Mr Ade Ipaye admitted to the mix up in serving the processes to one of the defence counsel but promised to immediately sort out the issue.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General urged the court to grant a speedy trial as he reacted to the submission of the counsel to the second defendant, Mr Olukayode Dada who appealed that the trial should be postponed and his client granted bail to enable him continue his education at the Anambra state university.

The lawyer also argued that the case has received so much publicity and the position already taken by the press will not guarantee fair hearing for his client as press reports and public opinion would prejudice his trial.

In her response, presiding Judge; Justice Olabisi Akinlade said that murder is a serious offence and that the court is empowered to ensure ‘fair hearing in public within a reasonable time’.

She subsequently adjourned to Friday the 8 February for trial.

Fashola Signs MOU On Competitiveness Project With LBS

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lagos Business School (LBS) on the Competitiveness Project, reiterating that the willingness of the State to be open shows clearly that all darkroom economists saying all manner of things about the State’s economy are wrong.

The Lagos Competitiveness Project is a collaboration of efforts between the Lagos State Government and the LBS to carry out competitiveness studies across 10 crucial sectors in which the state can have comparative advantage.

The Governor, who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja added that the partnership with the LBS on the competitiveness project shows clearly that any issue that is a matter of debate can actually be put under a microscope and analysed just as it is obtainable in many parts of the world.

He explained that the Competitiveness Project dimensions how readily the present government is to subject its processes to an independent team of academics, professionals and business people and to share knowledge and experience with them while also benefitting from the human capital that clearly exists.

Governor Fashola stated that the relationship that great cities like London and New York have with their business schools and Universities are a matter of common knowledge, stressing that the Memorandum is one that should have come a lot earlier than it has.

“But it is consistent with some of the things that I have advocated that the Town and Gown must shake hands. We must implement policies that are consistent with the experience of people out there and the people must also acquire knowledge and skills that are useful for government to discharge its responsibilities,” Fashola said.

Governor Fashola said the end of the negotiation and signing of Memorandum of Understanding signals the beginning of a journey of cooperation and it is a journey that he looks forward to because it is a journey of common sense, mutual benefit and necessity.

While expressing delight at the milestone, the Governor said there is a lot of work to be done going forward and that Lagos Business School will find in Lagos State Government a very willing, necessary and cooperative partner.

The Dean of the Lagos Business School, Enase Okonedo said the objective is to see how the LBS can make Lagos an attractive place not only for businesses but also for business persons who will come to Africa and take advantage of the potential which has been out there for a couple of years.

She said the project is a collaboration of efforts between the Lagos State Government and the LBS to carry out studies across 10 crucial sectors in which the state can have comparative advantage, adding that such sectors would be identified and studied in depth in addition to case studies whereby cases will be written to examine and document the successes and challenges of the State Government in the process of building Africa’s model mega city.

Ms Okonedo said the objective of the Lagos Business School was to see how it could primarily contribute to the development of the Lagos State Government because the Lagos Business School is not only located in the State but also shares a common name with her and has observed the excellent work that is being done by the Governor and his team over the last couple of years.

She added that the institution has also been sharing in the Governor’s aspiration to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city just as LBS also has an aspiration to become Africa’s leading business school.

“We are therefore looking at Lagos and looking at ways in which we can work with the State and contribute from our expertise into making this a reality and one of the ways we thought that we could do that was to try, and in various ways, study the competitiveness of Lagos”.

“Now, we have all been witnesses and have read about Africa rising and how attractive it has become to businesses all over the world. When we talk about Africa rising, the question remains as to where the investments are going to be located within Africa, Nigeria and indeed Lagos which has the largest markets. If you look at it on a head to head basis, Lagos will compete with several other cities like Cairo in Egypt and others that are being mooted like Nairobi and Accra”, Dr Okonedo explained.

Earlier while giving an insight into the Memorandum of Understanding, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaiye said Lagos has always shown in several ways that it is intent on pursuing its policy of achieving a model mega city just as it is aware that it has the potential of reaching the goal.

He added that part of the goal listed was for the State to benchmark itself against fellow states not only within the Nigerian Federation alone but also against some of the best around the world.

“This process requires that we consistently review what we are doing, Study the best practices across the world and identify areas in which we have room for improvement with a view to ensuring that in all aspects of our governmental activities, we are among the best in the world”, he said.

He added that the Lagos Business School was a well-known institutions that is also keen to participate in what Lagos State is doing towards the improvement of not just governance but also living standards within the State and has therefore come up with the Lagos City Competitiveness programme,.

The Attorney General explained that the programme will involve the institution giving of its expertise in cooperation with Lagos State to carry out certain activities which will include holding competitiveness studies whereby the ten crucial sectors in which Lagos can have comparative advantage will be identified and studied in depth.

According to him, “There will also be case studies whereby cases will be written to examine and document the successes and challenges of the State Government in the process of building Africa’s model mega city”.

“We will have stakeholders’ engagements and the LBS will partner with the State to drive business and government engagements in order to sustain and build the atmosphere of partnership and fruitful stakeholders’ interaction. We will also have development initiatives involving collaboration with various government stakeholders to study and drive competitiveness through pre-arranged and targeted initiatives”, the Attorney General said.


 

Yobe To Spend N65 Million On Reviewing Laws

The Yobe state government has reached an agreement with the National Institute of Advance and Legal Studies (NIALS) for the review of its existing laws and this will cost the state, the sum of N65million.

Speaking at the signing of the agreement on Thursday, in Damaturu, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Ahmed Goneri said the need for the review of the laws became necessary considering the fact that the laws currently in use in the state were the ones inherited from the old Borno state.

Yobe state was carved out of old Borno state in 1991.

“Some of the laws were enacted in the 60’s and 70’s and have become obsolete, spent, recondite and are not addressing the present days realities, constitutional developments and general present day challenges” stated the Attorney-General.

While recalling the dynamism of laws the Commissioner for Justice noted that the state has resolved to review its laws to meet with the changing realities pointing out that it will cost government the sum of N65million.

The review exercise he explained will involve amendments, repeals, deletions, and the updating of the laws to bring them in tandem to the constitutional developments, case law development and development in sharia legal system

He also stated that laws are usually reviewed every decade, therefore the review of Yobe state was not just appropriate but long overdue hence the need to engage the services of the institute.

The secretary of NIALS, Barrister James Bathana thanked the Yobe state government for the confidence reposed in the institute and promised that the job will be “expeditiously, judiciously and professionally done.”

He said the institute will complete the exercise within nine months as stipulated in the agreement.

Barrister Bathana also claimed that most laws in Nigeria are “Product of colonialists” and he enjoined other states of the federation to emulate Yobe in the quest for updating the laws with the changing realities.