Zamfara Governorship Election: Supreme Court Dismisses APC’s Application

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed the application for judicial review filed by the APC in Zamfara State against Senator Kabiru Marafa and 179 others.

In a lead judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro, the apex court held that the application is a vexatious, frivolous and gross abuse of court process.

The court awarded the cost of N2m to be paid by the applicant to the 1st to 140th respondents.

Justice Okoro further held that the apex court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain an application seeking a review of its own judgment as the finality of the judgment of the supreme court is sealed and cannot be reviewed under any guise.

Justice Centus Nweze, however, disagrees with the other members of the panel as he reads a dissenting judgment upholding the application of the APC.

He insists that it is better to admit an error instead of justifying an error that fails to represent justice. He adds that the Supreme Court can reverse itself.

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Justice Nweze further insists that the judgment of the court favors the PDP who was not a party to the suit in the first place and orders the setting aside the earlier judgment of the court.

an application filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking the review of the May 24, 2019 judgment which nullified the victory of all the party’s candidates at the 2019 Governorship Elections in Zamfara State.

The APC and other applicants represented by Chief Robert Clarke (SAN) at the Tuesday’s proceedings filed a suit against Senator Kabiru Marafa and 179 others

Following the upturn of the 2019 Zamfara election results, the All Progressives Congress (APC) filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking the review of its judgment.

A five-man panel of the Supreme court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed began reviewing the judgment given on May 24, 2019, which nullified the victory of all the party’s candidates at the 2019 general elections held in the state.

The Supreme Court on July 22, 2019, struck out the APC’s application asking the Apex Court to review its judgment on the polls.

In a unanimous ruling by a five-man panel of justices led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the apex court said the application was incompetent and lacked merit.

The panel added that the application should not have been brought before it in the first place.

The Supreme Court nullified the elections of all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections, stating that the party did not conduct primaries and as such, they have no candidates.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Adamu Galunje held that the Appeal Court in Sokoto was right when it agreed with the respondents that a party that has no candidate cannot be said to have won an election, hence the votes cast for the APC in the election were wasted votes.

Consequently, following a unanimous judgment of a five-man panel led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, the apex court declared that the party with the highest number of votes cast at the election outside the appellants is the winner of the election.

Fuel Theft: Senate Asks NNPC To Go Beyond Sacking Officials

Senate Approves Electronic Voting For ElectionsThe Senate has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for responding to the motion moved during a plenary session by the Chairman, Committee on Petroleum Downstream Sector, Senator Kabiru Marafa, on the theft of petroleum products kept in the farm tanks of two oil companies and urged the corporation to take more radical measures to avoid a recurrence.

In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the legislative chamber advised that the NNPC should go beyond the sacking and redeployment of a few officials and rather, initiate a comprehensive restructuring of its operations which presently allow officials and other firms to appropriate national resources for their personal use, thereby contributing to the suffering of the people.

“The Senate is appalled that NNPC is not contemplating on doing something about the involvement of officials of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) which actually played key roles in the missing products case.

“It is instructive that NNPC did not do anything on the case until the matter was raised on the floor of the Senate and the press picked the matter up from the motion. The unauthorised sale of 132 million litres of fuel kept in the storage tanks of MRS and Capital Oil designated as strategic reserves is a grave occurrence. This probably is not the first time it is happening and NNPC must review its operations. It should in fact carry out a shake up in the PPMC”, Abdullahi stated.

Following the Senate’s debate of the motion on the theft of the fuel, the NNPC sacked two senior officials and redeployed a few others. Its spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu said the sack and deployment were in line with the on-going reforms the corporation initiated to cleanse it of corruption.

The NNPC lost 130 million litres through a breach in its throughput transactions with MRS and Capital Oil. However, MRS had returned the product it sold from the stock but Capital Oil is yet to refund the 82 million litres it sold. The Missing fuel sold by Capital Oil is valued at 11 billion Naira.

While Capital Oil insisted that NNPC owed it on past business transactions, the corporation vowed to recover the products, investigate the breach and set up new modalities to guide its engagements of throughput partners.

Senate Tags Pipeline Attacks Counterproductive

Senate, Pipeline, MilitantThe Senate has described the blowing up of gas installations by the Niger Delta militants as counterproductive to the region, its economy and its people.

Chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream Sector, Senator Kabiru Marafa, stated this on Friday, while speaking with State House correspondents.

He had just held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Senator Marafa pleaded with the militants to embrace dialogue with the Federal Government.

He described President Buhari as a listening leader that is ready to deal with the problems in the Niger Delta region.

Military Updating Tactics Against Boko Haram

airforceThe Nigerian Military says it is updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in  Kaduna State to the Air Force.

At the passing out ceremony of the officials, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adeshola Amosun, told reporters that the Nigerian Air-force is changing and updating its tactics in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North- East by reviewing its operations and re-training its personnel.

The Air Marshal said that the military was making significant progress in the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group.

He assured Nigerians that in no distant time, the Nigerian military would dislodge the insurgents.

On his part, the commandant of the institute, Air Vice Marshal Toni Adokwe, reeled out the achievements recorded so far, but said that the major challenge the school was facing was inadequate funding.

It was another moment of joy and fulfilment for the young men and women who have successfully completed their courses in various engineering fields at the institute as they filed out, one after another to receive their certificates from the guest of honour. Families and relatives were also on hand to witness the colourful ceremony.

While congratulating the graduating students, the chief of Air Staff reminded them not to betray the confidence reposed in them as they join their colleagues in the field. He expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded so far by AFIT especially in the area of aeronautical engineering, stating that with proper funding, the institute will contribute its quota towards ending insurgency in the north-east and to technological development.

The guest of honour at the occasion and Nigeria’s Senate President, David Mark, who was represented by Senator Kabiru Marafa, commended the Nigerian Air-force for the role it had played so far in the maintenance of both internal and external security.

The institute is structured into three schools: School of Air Engineering, School of Ground Engineering and Management Studies and the School of Postgraduate studies, which coordinates the various postgraduate programmes in the other schools.

Since inception, it has graduated about 5,000 persons, including personnels of the Nigerian Army, Airforce and Navy and civilians. This number includes foreign students from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Benin, Zimbabwe, Niger, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

 

 

Senators Fight Over State Of The Nation Address Bill

Tension flared at Wednesday’s Senate plenary session as two federal lawmakers, Senator Kabiru Marafa, of the All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP) representing Zamfara Central and Senator Paulinus Igwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from Ebonyi Central, almost got into a fight over the State of the Nation Address Bill.

The rancour occurred in the hallowed chamber over the State of the Nation Address Bill which President Goodluck Jonathan has refused to sign into law.

Emotions went high as lawmakers considered a letter from President Goodluck Jonathan on the bill, where he had faulted some clauses in the bill and called for amendments.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had passed the State of the Nation address bill which would ensure that the President presents to a joint sitting of the National Assembly, an address on critical issues and appraise government performance in the year.

However in a letter to the Senate, President Jonathan stated that Section 67 of the Constitution has made ample provision for the kind of address contemplated by the bill.

President Jonathan further stated that he is inclined to accede to the bill subject to some amendments.

Supreme Court’s Interpretation

As the deliberations commenced on the President’s letter, however some lawmakers faulted the President’s call for amendments to the bill and advocated moves to override President Jonathan’s veto on the State of the Nation Bill.

Senator Ita Enang, asked the Senate to seek an interpretation from the Supreme Court to know if the President has powers to make amendments to a bill sent to him for assent by the National Assembly.

Shortly after that submission, the Senate President, Senator David Mark called for an adjournment, but it all went downhill from there as the session went rowdy.

The trend of arguments heightened tension in the chamber and in the ensuing confusion the two lawmakers almost exchanged blows, whilst some called for caution.

Meanwhile, Senate spokesperson, Enyinaya Abaribe explained that the near fisticuff between the lawmakers had nothing to do with the debate on the state of the nation address bill.

The Senate did not specifically say if it would go with the recommendation by Senator Enang to seek for interpretation from the Supreme Court but the Senate President appealed to lawmakers to defer resolutions on the bill until they are better informed on the best measure to adopt.