AGF Wants Suit Challenging Interior Ministry’s Power To Register Marriages Dismissed

Senate President, Attorney General, Alleged ForgeryThe Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss a suit seeking a declaration that the Federal Ministry of Interior does not have the power to solemnise and register marriages.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to rather declare that it is Local Government Areas that have the exclusive right to conduct and register marriages.

The suit was filed before Justice Chuka Obiozor by four local government areas – Egor Local Government Area of Edo State; Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State; Owerri Municipal Local Government Area of Imo State and Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The LGAs, through their lawyer, Mr Michael Roger, are contending that by virtue of Section 1(5) Paragraph 1(i) of the 1999 Constitution, the Federal Ministry of Interior, an agency of the Federal Government, has no business registering marriages as it currently does.

Roger had exhibited before Justice Obiozor an earlier judgment by Justice Oyindamola Olomojobi of the Federal High Court, wherein the court declared that only local government areas have the power to register marriages by virtue of Section 30(1) of the Marriage Act and Section 7(5) of the 1999 Constitution.

However, in the said judgment delivered on June 8, 2002, Justice Olomojobi clarified that other lawful authorities could “celebrate or contract marriages.”

Justice Olomojobi had held, “Lawful bodies or authorities, which can celebrate or contract marriages for intending persons, who are desirous of getting married as husbands and wives, are; 1. Registrars in places designated as an office 2. Recognised ministers of religion in a licenced place of worship 3. Marriages contracted under the licence granted by the Director-General, Ministry of Internal Affairs; Director-General of a state government in charge of marriages; any officer in the afore-stated ministries and of course, the Minister of Internal Affairs.”

Relying on Justice Olomojobi’s judgment, the LGAs are urging Justice Obiozor to declare that the Federal Minster of Interior has no power to register marriages.
Joined as respondents in the suit are the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, and the AGF, Malami.

In response to the suit, the AGF filed a preliminary objection, wherein he urged Justice Obiozor to dismiss the plaintiffs’ suit for being an abuse of court processes.

The AGF argued that the issue raised by the plaintiffs had already been settled by the judgment delivered on June 8, 2002, by Justice Olomojobi.
In a five-paragraph affidavit, a lawyer from the AGF’s chamber, Lawrence Ilop, said Justice Olomojobi “has settled, once and for all, the question of who can contract marriages and did not vest that right solely in the Local Government Councils.”
Ilop added, “The marriage registries, as contemplated in the Marriage Act, are designated places of celebration of marriages and not strictly for keeping registers of marriages as being erroneously averred by the applicants.”
He urged Justice Obiozor to dismiss the suit because, according to him, the plaintiffs were forum shopping and abusing the processes of court.

Justice Obiozor adjourned hearing in the case till June 8.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs have alleged a misinterpretation of the May 15, 2017 judgment of Justice I.O. Harrison of the Lagos State High Court, saying the judge did not declare LGA marriage certificate illegal.

In the said judgment, Justice Harrison declined the prayer to perpetually restrain the Registered Trustees of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria and their agents “from further issuing the Local Government Unified Marriage Certificate.”
Rather, the judge held that “…all marriages conducted by the 1st and 2nddefendants (Ikeja LGA and ALGON) are lawful in which modified certificates are issued and deemed as being good valid in law.”

FG Declares December 26, 27 And January 2 Public Holiday

Abdulrahman Dambazau, Public HolidaysThe Federal Government has declared Monday and Tuesday, December 26 & 27, 2016 and Monday, January 2, 2017 as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year 2017 celebrations respectively.

The declaration was made on Wednesday on behalf of the government by the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd).

General Dambazau enjoined all Christians and Nigerians in general to remain committed and support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in his sustained efforts towards building a peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria.

He also urged the citizens to use the occasion to pray for peace, unity and peaceful co-existence across the country.

The minister wishes all Nigerians at home and abroad, a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

The announcement was contained in a statement issued by the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, Mr Muhammadu Maccido.

Senate Passes Nigerian Peace Corps Bill

Senate Passes Nigerian Peace Corps Bill The Senate has passed the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill thereby giving approval for the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps as an agency under the Ministry of Interior.

The Bill which gives legal backing to the Nigerian Peace Corps was passed after the Chairman Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Bayero Nafada gave a presentation of the highlights of the bill prepared by the committee before lawmakers at plenary.

In his presentation, Senator Nafada noted that the establishment of the organisation would empower, develop and provide employment for the youths, facilitate Peace and Volunteerism as well as Community Services, Neighbourhood Watch and Nation-building.

The Committee on Interior is also recommending that the Nigerian Peace Corps and the National Unity and Peace Corps should be merged as one, since both formations appear the same.

FG Sacks 23 Prison Officers Over Jailbreaks

Nigeria Prisons Service, Prison, JailbreaksTwenty-three officers of the Nigeria Prisons Service have been relieved of their jobs for their alleged role in the jailbreaks that occurred recently at Kuje Medium Security Prison in the Federal Capital Territory and Koton-Karfe Prison in Kogi State.

This decision was approved at an emergency meeting of the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board in Abuja on August 11.

A statement from the Nigeria Prisons Service indicates that 17 junior staff of the Kuje and Konton-Karfe prisons have also been sacked in connection with the jailbreaks.

In addition, the officer in charge of the Nsukka Prison in Enugu State, Mr Lawrence Okonkwo and 10 other staff of the facility have been suspended, to allow for an investigation of the escape of 15 inmates from the prison last week, though six of them were said to have been re-arrested.

The sack comes on the heels of the three jailbreaks that occurred between June and August in Kuje, Koton-Karfe and Nsukka prison facilities, all in Nigeria.

Two inmates escaped from the Kuje prison while 13 others fled the Koton-Karfe prison.

The Nsukka jailbreak was the recent where 15 prisoners escaped, just as six escapees were rearrested.

Enugu Governor Orders Immediate Fortification Of Nsukka Prison

Ifeanyi-UguwanyiEnugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has ordered the immediate fortification of the five cells at the Minimum Prison, Nsukka.

The directive follows the jail break incident in the prison in which 15 inmates in the Awaiting Trial Men Cell escaped as six of them have been recaptured.

Governor Ugwuanyi was on inspection tour of the prison to ascertain what caused the incident.

He was received by the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons in-charge of Enugu State, Mr Lawrence Felix.

Addressing the prison officials, he ordered the immediate release of 1.5 million Naira for the outright fortification of the five cells in the prison to avert such  incident from reoccurring.

The Governor also directed the Police Area Commander, Mr Monday Kuryas, to step up security around the area.

He urged the prisoners to be obedient and law abiding while he asked the people of Enugu State to remain calm, saying that their safety was his priority.

The prison official on his part bemoaned the structural problem of the prison, saying that the cells were mere relics of the colonial masters without proper burglary proofs and iron security doors.

Enugu Prison
Front view of the prison described as ‘mere relics of the colonial masters’

He said that investigations were ongoing, stressing that suspicions were high that the jailbreak might have been successfully carried out by the inmates in collaboration with a former inmate who was conversant with the terrain and have aided the escapees.

The Minimum Prison, Nsukka was built in 1934 with initial capacity of 186 inmates but presently has 254 prisoners with 95% on awaiting trial.

The Enugu State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr Isaiah Amariri, had confirmed that six inmates were re-arrest, but declined to give the exact number of inmates that escaped from the prison.

The Enugu incidence is coming about two weeks after 13 inmates escaped from the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State.

Nsukka Jail Break: Six Escaped Inmates Re-arrested

Nsukka, Prison. Inmates, Enugu StateThe Nigeria Prisons Service says it has re-arrested six inmates who escaped from the Nsukka Prisons in Enugu State.

The Enugu State Controller of Prisons, Mr Isaiah Amariri, who confirmed the arrest, however declined to give the exact number of inmates that escaped from the prison.

Mr Amariri said the prison service is liaising with security agents and community groups to apprehend the remaining escapees.

He further assured Nigerians that after investigations on the jail break, any person in the service found to have been involved or aided the jail break would be arrested and prosecuted.

Some inmates had on Tuesday night, broke their cells and scaled over the perimeter fence of the Nsukka Prison in Enugu State, southeast Nigeria.

The Enugu incidence is coming about two weeks after 13 inmates escaped from the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State.

15 Inmates Escape From Nsukka Prison

Nigerian PrisonsPrison officials at the Nsukka Prison in Enugu State, Nigeria’s South-East region are on the trail of about 15 inmates, who escaped on Tuesday.

Reports say that the inmates broke their cells and scaled over the perimeter fence.

The Controller of the Prison, Mr. Lawrence Okonkwo, who confirmed the jailbreak, however, declined to give the number of inmates that escaped.

Mr. Okonkwo said that only the Enugu State Prisons Controller, Mr Isaiah Amariri, can tell the public the number of inmates that escaped, the re-arrested ones and efforts put in place to arrest those still on the run.

This comes as unconfirmed reports say that two escapees have been rearrested.

The Enugu incidence is coming about two weeks after 13 inmates escaped from the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State.

The Ministry of Interior, Mr Willie Bassey, announced later that 6 out of the 13 inmates that escaped were re-arrested and are back in custody.

 

Kogi Prison Break: 6 Of 13 Inmates From Koton Karfe Rearrested

Prison Break, Kogi Prison6 out of the 13 inmates that escaped from the Koton Karfe Prisons were on Sunday re-arrested and are back in custody.

This was announced by the Director Press, Ministry of Interior, Mr Willie Bassey.

Earlier, the Kogi State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello has raised an alert about an alleged threat to the state following a prison break in Koton Karfe.

prison break had occurred at the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State on Saturday, where about 13 inmates are said to have broken their cells and escaped through the fence.

Three of the 13 are convicts.

The inmates at the new prison site broke the wall of the perimeter fence and escaped into the bush.

This is the third time inmates have successfully broken out of this facility raising concerns on the level of security within the premises.

Eid-el Fitri: FG Declares Tuesday, Wednesday Public Holiday

muslims-Eid-El-FitrThe Federal Government has declared July 5 and 6, 2016 as public holiday to mark Eid-el Fitri Celebrations.

The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.), who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, on Thursday in Abuja, urged all Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general to extend the spiritual benefits of Ramadan, which are love, peace and justice to their daily living and contribute to the development of the nation.

A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Bassey Akpanyung said Dambazau also urged Nigerians to use the opportunity of “this spiritual rejuvenation to reflect on the imperative of unity and peaceful co-existence in strengthening the bond of togetherness for a strong, virile nation.”

The Minister, while wishing Nigerians a peaceful celebration, urges total support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s avowed determination to bequeath to the nation an enduring political legacy, it added.

Suspended Immigration Recruits Protest 

immigration, Immigration recruitsAbout 2,000 recruits into the Nigeria Immigration Service, who were disengaged after their training in 2015, protested their sack at the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in Abuja on Tuesday.

The protesters stormed the ministry with various placards demanding their reinstatement into the service.

It will be recalled that the 2,000 applicants were recruited in 2015 following a presidential directive in the aftermath of Immigration recruitment stampede but were later disengaged after three months training.

One of the Immigration recruits,​ ​Solomon Ojigbe, said that they were at the ministry to protest their disengagement and press for immediate reinstatement.

The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Muhammad Babandede, who later addressed the protesters pledged to look into the matter.

Mr. Babandede urged the protesters to be disciplined and conduct themselves peacefully while he meets with their leaders to find an amicable solution to the problem.

Immigration Recruitment Exercise: Moro’s Trial Continues As Paradang Testifies

immigration stampede victimsThe Federal Government has opened its case against the former Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, who is standing trial for allegedly swindling Nigerian applicants who applied for jobs at the Nigeria Immigration Service in 2014.

At the resumed trial in Abuja on Friday, the prosecutor, Aliyu Yusuf, called his first witness, a former Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr David Paradang who denied authorising the recruitment exercise that claimed 16 lives with 165 others injured.

He told the court that the Federal Government, under former President Goodluck Jonathan, waded into the exercise by authorising the issuance of employment letters to families of the 15 persons who lost their lives.

Mr Paradang, however, said that the employment letters were later withdrawn by the Ministry of Interior.

Although the prosecutor walked out of the court as soon as the trial was adjourned to July 1, lawyers to the defendants claimed that their clients were not culpable.

FG Declares Friday, January 2, 2015 As Public Holiday

Public HolidayThe Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Friday, January 2, 2015 as public holiday to mark Eid el Maloud.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, on behalf of the government.

In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Makaji Abdulahi, Moro urged Muslim faithful and all Nigerians to pray for the peace and unity of the country.

Moro further urged all Nigerians to engage in violent free activities in the run off to the 2015 general elections and to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda to move Nigeria to the next level of development.

Moro also wished all Muslim faithful and Nigerians a very peaceful celebration.

The Federal Government had earlier declared January 1, 2015 as public holiday to mark the New Year.