South-South, South-East Governors Meet In Enugu

Governors of states in the South-South and South-East met on Saturday in Enugu.

The meeting had in attendance, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; his counterpart from Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

Others were the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.

Also at the meeting is the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the President of the Ohanaeze Nd’igbo, John Nwodo.

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Although the outcome of the meeting is still being expected, there are very strong indications that the meeting will continue its discussion on the restructuring of Nigeria, and the need for the practice of true federalism, which is what was discussed at their previous meeting, also in Enugu.

The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, and his counterpart from Bayelsa, were, however, absent from the meeting.

Also absent was the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano.

The host governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in his opening remarks told the governors that there is the need for inter-regional cooperation saying it would help solve developmental issues accord the region.

Ugwuanyi also said that issues like road infrastructure and security will need inter-governmental synergy to solve them rather living for individual states.

Corrupt Judges: Blame FG, Governors, CJN Tells SERAP

CJN, Recession, Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, judiciaryThe Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed, has said that the “the failure on the part of the Executive Arm of Government to act upon recommendations by the National Judicial Council (NJC) cannot be blamed upon the NJC”.

Justice Mohammed made the statement in a letter dated 26 October 2016 and sent to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The letter by a spokesman for the CJN, H. S. Sa’eed was in response to SERAP’s request to Justice Mohammed that he should, as the Chairman of the NJC to “take over from the Department of State Service (DSS) the cases of all the seven judges released by the DSS and refer the cases of those judges to anticorruption agencies for conclusion of investigation and prompt prosecution”.

But the CJN in reaction told SERAP that, “certainly, you will agree with me that where there are clear constitutional provisions relating to the power of any individual, institution or Arm of Government, then it cannot deviate nor exceed such powers as this will be unlawful”.

The letter by the CJN read: “While restating the willingness of the NJC to act upon any petition as well as commitment of the Nigerian judiciary to the fight against corruption, his Lordship opines that any significant involvement in the fight against corruption will be upon a similar commitment of the Prosecutorial Agencies to actively prosecute their cases expeditiously when information about same is received.

“It is necessary to restate that the NJC is a creation of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) being established under Section 153 with its mandate clearly set out in Para 21, Part One of the Third Schedule to the Constitution. This provision clearly stipulates at Para 21(b) and (d) that the Council may only ‘recommend’ to the President and the Governors, the removal from office of Judicial Officers and to exercise disciplinary control over such Judicial Officers, which in effect is the extent of its power to discipline. Hence, the Council cannot, suo moto dismiss any Judicial Officer.

“The NJC can also neither ‘hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption, as you have suggested. It can merely recommend to act upon its findings, as it has always done.

“However, in exercise of its constitutional mandate, the NJC has enacted the Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2014 in order to ensure that petitions are received, investigated and addressed as appropriate. As SERAP’s own Report attests, 64 Judicial Officers have been disciplined within five years even preceding the institution of the new guidelines. Any failure on the part of the Executive Arm of Government to act upon such recommendations cannot therefore be blamed upon the NJC.

“With due consideration to the contents of your letter, I am directed to acknowledge and address the concerns which SERAP have raised, which may reflect the wider opinion held by some Nigerians. While his Lordship doubtless appreciate SERAP’s concern for the incidence of corruption in the judiciary, it is indeed erroneous to conclude that the NJC has ‘felt satisfied with applying only civil sanctions and have not deemed it fit to hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption’, as insinuated in your letter under reference.

“To be sure, every citizen of Nigeria inclusive of Judicial Officers, are entitled to the protection of the law and a key provision of the Constitution is the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in Section 36(5) of the Constitution (as amended). I must also remind us that the Seven Judges like all other persons are entitled to a fair hearing as stipulated in Section 36 of the Constitution. As such, it would be presumptive and indeed preemptive to sanction the said judges without exhausting the proper procedure for their removal.”

“As a valuable member of the society, the Hon. CJN is certainly delighted with SERAP’s dedication to justice, fairness and justness. His Lordship also wishes to emphasize that it is indeed our collective responsibility to tackle any perceived challenges facing the Nigerian judiciary.”

“Indeed, with the support of well-meaning and eminent Nigerians such as members of SERAP, giant strides will be made towards reaching the goal of a transparent, fair and equitable system of justice. The Hon. CJN wishes you the best in your future endeavor as SERAP strives to support and entrench good governance in Nigeria”.

SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, had in a letter written to the NJC on October 11 expressed serious concern that “the NJC has for many years failed to appropriately deal with several cases of corrupt judges by failing to refer those cases to the EFCC and ICPC for prosecution. Many of these suspected corrupt judges are still alive and their cases should be promptly referred to the anti-corruption agencies. The NJC under your leadership should seize the opportunity of the just released 7 judges to comprehensively address corruption in the judiciary”.

SERAP said that it believed that “the NJC is in the best position to tackle corruption within the judiciary, and to ensure the application of appropriate disciplinary and legal measures in the cases of the released seven judges and other judges suspected of engaging in corruption”.

Governors Ask FG To Review Revenue Sharing Formula

Governors-Nigeria Governors Forum-Revenue Sharing FormulaThe Nigeria Governors Forum on Thursday asked the Federal Government to review the revenue sharing formula.

The governors insisted that what comes to them should be increased, stressing that states were the custodians of the natural resources in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the governors’ forum, Mr Abdullaziz Yari, disclosed this to State House correspondents after their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the way out of the economic crunch the states were facing.

Other demands include 18 months moratorium from the Federal Government on the bail out loans and the remitting of what they called ‘hanging funds’ owed them by the Federal Government after Nigeria’s exit from the Paris Club in 2005.

They lamented that a situation where some of them could not pay salaries of workers in their states was so embarrassing.

Beyond the bailout fund, the governors have listed a programme for the Federal Government to restructure the states’ economy in the short, medium and long terms.

According to Governor Yari of Zamfara State, President Buhari was said to have graciously accepted their demands.

He added that the President asked that a committee comprising the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, be set up to look into all the matters.

Governors Task Muslims To Pray For Peace Of Nigeria

Barka De SallahGovernors have asked Muslims and Nigerians in general to imbibe the values of peaceful co-existence and pray for continued peace of the nation.

In various messages to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, the governors argued that promotion of peace between diverse ethnic and religious groups in the country show the essence of unity.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode reminded citizens that Islam preaches peace and tolerance, which should be embraced whole heartedly. He described those who hide under the veil of religion to perpetrate terrorism as being ignorant to the teachings of Islam as nobody can fight for God.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State appealed to the faithful to harness their thoughts and energies towards the development of Edo State and the country by joining hands to help the government realize its dream of a better state for all.

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, reminded the Muslim faithful and Nigerians that “Religion is a binding cord which espouses unity with a forward-looking resilience and every adherent who values his or her faith cannot afford to break from it”.

 State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, in his message told Nigerians to continue with their support for the government as it seeks to implement policies and programmes that will uplift the standard of living of the populace.

According to him, meaningful development could only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace and cooperation.

Also the Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed has urged Muslims to use the Eid-el-Kabir to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and selfless service premised on the virtues of Islam.

The governor expressed gratitude to religious leaders, traditional rulers, community leaders, trade unions and politicians and the entire people of the state for their prayers, love and for ensuring sustainable peace in the state.

While Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State used the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir to encourage the Muslim community to imbibe the culture of the rule of law and selfless service so that Nigeria can emerge a great nation.

He charged the faithful to demonstrate love to their neighbours, promote peaceful coexistence in their various communities and pray fervently for Nigeria.

Sanusi Officially Crowned Emir Of Kano

Lamido-Sanusi2Kano residents, friends and relatives and traditional rulers across Nigeria and beyond converged on Kano Government House on Saturday for the official coronation of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.

Emir Sanusi was selected the 14th Emir of Kano following the death of his predecessor Alhaji Ado Bayero in June 2014.

At the coronation ceremony, the Emir promised to serve the emirate with the fear of God and in accordance with Islamic Teachings.

The occasion was to officially turban Muhammadu Sanusi II and hand over a staff of office to him.

The Emir was sworn in by the Chief Imam of the Kano Central, Professor Sani Zaharadden, witnessed by the former Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Muhammadu Buhari, Governors of Niger, Zamfara, Yobe, among others.

The occasion was also attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, Oba of Lagos and the Emir of Damagaram in Niger Republic among other Traditional Rulers.

Receiving the staff of office from the governor, the Emir promised to rule in accordance with the tradition.

“I thank everyone for attending this occasion, especially the governor for selecting me. I assure you that i will lead you in accordance with Islamic teachings and with the fear of God irrespective of your tribe or religion.”

The Kano State Governor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, who described the Emir as a man of humility and justice also says that his selection followed a series of consultation with kingmakers and other concerned authorities who authenticated that the Emir was a kind and generous man.

After the Emir was kitted, he was shown to the people of Kano Kingdom.

It is a major activity that follows the coronation and it gives the District Head and other Traditional Rulers the opportunity to pay homage to the Emir.



PHCN Privatization Bid: Governors had more than one avenue to protest

Looking at the privatization of the power sector, the radar was on the Benin PHCN distribution companies as it faced serious criticisms from governors Oshiomhole, Fayemi and Uduaghan all echoed their dissatisfaction as the entire process was not transparent, an allegation the technical committee chairman of the National  Council on Privatization; Peterside Atedo was quick to respond to.

Olubunmi Ajayi; a specialist in infrastructure planning and financing said the governors had other avenues where they can air their grievances and they didn’t take to the other options like speaking to the President Goodluck Jonathan before taking to the newspapers.

Watch interview for more details.

Jonathan meets with PDP governors

It seems to be a week for stock taking for President Goodluck Jonathan as he meets Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governors at the presidential villa today.

The president who met with northern governors on Thursday entered into another closed door meeting with the PDP governors this evening alongside Vice President Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.

The meeting opened at six o’clock and lasted for only fifteen minutes and thereafter no official statement was issued at the end of the meeting as it was however said to be connected with the fortune of the party.

Earlier, the PDP National Chairman; Alhaji Bamanaga Tukur had spoken to journalists in Abuja that PDP is not done yet with providing leadership at the national level and everything is being done to return the party back to its days of glory that is bringing reformation to the leading political party.

Seven governors were in attendance, they include those of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Taraba, Ebonyi, Bauchi, and Kogi states while the governors of Bayelsa, Katsina, Jigawa, Gombe, Adamawa, Plateau and Kano states were represented by their deputies.


Northern governors caution STF over vacation order in Plateau villages

Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and the Governor of Niger State, Doctor Muazu  Aliyu has reacted to the quit notice issued to Fulani residents of Mahanga,Kakuruk,Maseh and Shong 2 in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local Governments of Plateau State, urging the Special Military Task Force (STF) to exercise caution.

The Special Military Task Force had on Saturday asked inhabitants of the affected areas to vacate their domain immediately with their property, citing military action in the troubled villages.

Governor Aliyu warned that the 48 hour ultimatum issued by the STF could lead to breakdown of law and order not only in Plateau State but in other parts of the country.

A statement by Governor Aliyu’s spokesman, Danladi Ndayebo said the forum is worried by complaints from a section of the region to the effect that the vacation order represents a declaration of war by the military against a segment of the nation’s citizens.

The statement added that although the forum is not opposed to any action that will put a stop to the senseless killing of innocent people in the Plateau, it warned that the region cannot afford the likely negative consequences of the order that the Fulani herdsmen should vacate the said villages without providing alternatives.

The forum further advised the STF to work more closely with Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State instead of issuing unilateral orders that could further worsen the already bad security situation in the state.

It said the current security challenge in Plateau State has provided the opportunity for all stakeholders to sit down and solve the Indigene-settler problem once and for all.