Enugu Lawmakers Propose Closure Of New Artisan Market

New Artisan Market, Enugu LawmakersEnugu State House of Assembly has urged the State government to order the closure of the livestock market popularly known as New Artisan Market in Enugu metropolis.

The call became necessary following a report presented to the House at Wednesday’s plenary by the Committee on Works, Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Sunday Uduokoye, had on Monday led some lawmakers on a visit to the market, following the alleged killing of a police officer on Saturday, December 17, in a fracas between the Police Anti-cult Squad and tricycle riders.

Presenting the report, Honourable Udeokoye alleged that the livestock market was being used for hard drugs’ peddling and as criminals’ hideout among other illegal acts.

Prayers For Closure

In their remarks, the House Deputy Speaker, Donatus Uzoagbado, and other lawmakers said it was illegal for a market to be designated in an area that was not captured in the initial capital plan of the state.

Another member of the Assembly, Johnkevin Ukuta, also blamed the high level of criminality in the market on the nonchalant attitude of law enforcement agencies in the state and urged them to brace up to their mandate.

After various contributions and deliberations, the House unanimously supported the call for the closure and relocation of the market.

The lawmakers also proposed that a panel of inquiry be setup to investigate the incident that led to the said killing of the police officer.

In another development, Honourable Udeokoye presented a report on the committee’s findings during a visit to the proposed site for a monorail station at Amechi-Akwuke – Amagu-Agabe.

He said it was found out that there was massive encroachment on the land, as individuals have illegally erected structures and run businesses on the said land.

The committee recommended that the land be reallocated to the Enugu State Housing Development Cooperation.

Enugu Legislatures Seek Refund Of Over 25bn Naira From FG

Eugene Odoh Speaker of the House of Assembly in Enugu StateMembers of the Enugu State House of Assembly have called on the Federal Government to reimburse the State Government 25.9 billion Naira used to rehabilitate federal roads across the state.

The legislatures moved the motion in a plenary session at the Legislative Complex in Enugu on Monday.

A member representing Nsukka East Constituency, Honourable Chinedu Nwamba, moved the motion explaining that the immediate past administration of Governor Sullivan Chime, two years ago, carried out reconstruction and rehabilitation of over 10 federal roads.

He said the decision to reconstruct the road was taken due to the daily loss of lives, decreasing economic activities and untold hardship citizens faced plying the route.

Mr Nwamba said that the reimbursement would go a long way in assisting the present administration to enhance development in several other sectors of development including agriculture, commerce, education and tourism.

Other members of the House also contributed in the appeal, explaining that the state needed the money to remain afloat in developmental activities.

With the house having a unanimous voice in the appeal, it is clear that the situation is critical.

Urgent reimbursement of the money owed the State Government would help keep hope alive in the various communities of the state, the lawmakers believe.

New Speakers Emerge In Enugu, Delta Houses of Assembly

AssemblyHonorable Edward Ubosi has emerged the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly.

His emergence came at the inauguration of the 6th House of Assembly in Enugu State, South-East Nigeria on Monday.

Ubosi promised that he would put the interest of the state above personal interests in ensuring better synergy among members.

He also gave the assurance of a cordial working relationship between the legislature and executive arms of government in Enugu State.

Similarly, in Delta State, the member representing Sapele Constituency, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, has emerged the new Speaker of the House of Assembly with Friday Osanebi of Ndokwa East Constituency emerging as the Deputy Speaker as the 8th Assembly got underway.

Igbuya was the Majority Leader in the 7th assembly and has taken his oath of office along with other members-elect of the legislature during the inauguration of the 8th Assembly at the Delta State House of Assembly complex Okpanam Road, Asaba, the Delta State capital.



Police Defy Court Order, Remain In Enugu Assembly Complex

EnuguThe Nigeria Police is yet to comply with the Federal High Court order, contained in an interim injunction granted in favour of the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly and, the 15 members of the House.

The court had on May 11, ordered the Nigerian Police to vacate Enugu State House of Assembly Complex and the order subsists, pending the determination of the suit brought by State Assembly Speaker, Eugene Odoh, on behalf of 15 members of the house.

The order also allowed the Speaker and the other 15 lawmakers to have access to the legislative complex, particularly the chambers.

The presiding Judge, Justice Dorcas Agishi, said since the matter was for mention, the parties should take a date for hearing, but Mr Okibe informed the court that it was a case of Enforcement of Fundamental Human Rights, adding that they needed a short date for expediency of motion.

Justice Agishi then adjourned the matter to May 26 and ordered that hearing notices be served on all respondents.

Mr Okibe then noted in an interview that since the respondents have failed to bring any representation or respond to the suit, should they fail to report on May 26 as adjourned, the judge would have no choice but enter into judgment which would be delivered in their favour.

However, the police were still stationed with their vehicles at the House of Assembly Complex at Independence Layout.

Efforts to speak with the Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, to provide reasons for their continued stay in spite of the court order was fruitless.

Enugu State Governor Breaks Silence On Impeachment Plot

EnuguEnugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, has broken his silence on the impeachment plot against him by 15 Lawmakers in Enugu State House of Assembly, over allegations of forgery of the 2012 supplementary budget and financial misconduct.

Governor Chime, who denied forging any budget document or tried borrowing any money barely three weeks to his exit, said the latest antics of the House of Assembly is as a result of his refusal to succumb to their monetary appeals after they had approved the loan.

According to the Governor, “Since last year September, the said eleven billion naira they are raising their voices against had been long approved by the Legislators and it is the same figure that is reflecting in the approved budget that you also have in the supplementary budget, which they are now referring to as fake”.

He also says that, though, he is yet to receive any impeachment notice, the moves by the Lawmakers against him will not prevail as the constitution requires a simple two third majority, which the house, as presently constituted, would find impossible to realise.

However, the Governor moved faster than the legislators as he hurriedly gathered eight of the lawmakers, who sat, and then impeached the Speaker, Honourable Eugene Odoh, and elected a new Speaker, Honourable Chinedu Nwamba.

Fmr. Deputy Governor’s Forum Vow To Challenge Onyebuchi’s Impeachment

Sunday OnyebuchiA forum of Former Deputy Governors of Nigeria has declared its decision to support the impeached Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi, to seek legal redress in court to reverse the action.

At an emergency meeting in Abuja, the forum condemned the impeachment, which they described as a reckless show of power, a constitutional breach and an act of impunity.

Chairman of the Forum and former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Mr Abdulmalik Mahmood, called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to speedily investigate the matter to correct every injustice.

The Enugu State House of Assembly on Tuesday, August 26, impeached Mr Onyebuchi after adopting the report of a 7-man impeachment panel set up by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike, to probe allegations of wrong-doings against the Deputy Governor.

Mr. Onyebuchi was accused of operating a commercial poultry at his official residence and of flouting the orders of the State Governor, Sullivan Chime.

The impeachment panel had, on Monday, submitted its report to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Eugene Odo.

Chairman of the panel, Mr. Frankln Uche Oraekeiyi, who led six other members of the panel to the Speaker’s office on Monday morning, said that the report was prepared in three volumes made of their findings, the proceedings; and their recommendations.

The Deputy Governor has, however, insisted that he did not commit any offence that should have warranted his impeachment and that the poultry farm he operated was there before he assumed office in 2007.

Lawyer Seeks Review Of Constitutional Provision Prohibiting Youths From Contesting Elections

1999 ConstitutionA lagos based lawyer, Chukwunonso Daniel Ogbe, has filed a Fundamental  Rights Enforcement suit before the Federal High Court, Lagos to challenge the constitutional provisions which bars Nigerian youths within the age bracket of 18 and 29 years from contesting elections in the country.

The lawyer is specifically challenging the combined provision of Sections 65 (1) (a) and (b), Section 106 (b),  Section 131 (b), Section 177 (b) and 117 (2) of the Constitution, which disqualifies Nigerian youths within the said age bracket from contesting elections into State Houses of Assembly, House of Representatives, the Senate, Governorship and Presidential seats.

The suit was brought pursuant to the provisions of Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009; Sections 12 (1) and 42 (1) (a) (b) of the Constitution and Article 1 (2) of the African Youth Charter, 2006.

The applicant, who claimed to have filed the suit on behalf of Nigerian youths, listed as defendants the Attorney General of the Federation, Bello Adoke (SAN), the National Assembly, comprising House of Representatives and the Senate; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.

In the suit, Ogbe wants a declaration of the court that Sections 65 (1) (a) and (b); 106 (b); 131 (b) and 177 (b) of the Constitution were in conflict with Section 42 (1) of the Constitution, which he argued, had higher flavour and strength than the former.

He is also seeking an order directing the National Assembly to amend the Constitution, in order to domesticate the provisions of the African Youth Charter.

He also wants the court to declare that Nigerian youths, who have attained the age of 18 years, being the age of maturity, are entitled as of right to stand for election into political offices in Nigeria.

The applicant, who said he had planned to contest election into Enugu South Rural Constituency seat of Enugu State House of Assembly, equally urged the court to restrain INEC from  disqualifying him from vying for the election on the account of age come 2015, and by extension, any other Nigerian youth within the age bracket of 18 and 29 years.

Finally, the applicant wants the court to direct the Federal Government and the National Assembly to offset the cost of filing the suit, which he estimated at N20 million.

According to the grounds upon which the suit was filed, the applicant recalls that the Nigerian Government under the leadership of General Abdulsalami Abubakar gave Nigerians a Constitution on May 29, 1999, but that the said Constitution could never be deemed to be the people’s Constitution, as it never evolved through the normal process.

He lamented that the Constitution provides that Nigerians who have attained age of 18 are adults, yet the same Constitution bars adult who fall within the age bracket of 18 and 29 from vying for elective positions in Nigeria, and that the Constitution also recognized that no one should be made to suffer discrimination based on political opinion.

He added that Nigeria signed and ratified the African Youth Charter, which is an international treaty meant for the empowerment of Nigerian youths, but the government has failed to embark on steps needed to bring into force the provisions of the Charter, including amendment of the Constitution to allow youths to vie for political offices.

The suit is yet to be assigned to a judge and no date has been fixed for hearing.