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Court Restrains INEC From Conducting By-election Into Edo Assembly Seats

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The Abuja division of the Federal High Court, on Tuesday, stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting fresh election to replace 14 House of Assembly members-elect yet to be inaugurated to take their seats.

The electoral body was restrained from conducting any election to fill the 14 seats declare vacant pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit against the leadership of the house.

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Justice Ahmed Mohammed issued the restraining order sequel to a motion ex-parte filed by the members-elect.

The state legislators-elect who instituted the legal action include; Victor Edoro, Washington Osifo, Vincent Uwadiae, Kingsley Ugabi, Michael Ohio-Ezomo, Sunday Aghedo and Chris Okaeben.

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Others are Crosby Eribo, Aliyu Oshiomhole, Oshomah Ahmed, Ganiyu Audu, Ugiagbe Dumez, Uyi Ekhosuehi and Eric Okaka.

They had approached the court, seeking an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from conducting by-elections in respect of their seats in the Edo State House of Assembly purportedly declared vacant by the speaker on December 4, 2019, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

The suit dated December 10, 2019 has as respondents Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Honourable Frank Okiye and INEC as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

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Delivering ruling in the ex-parte with suit: number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1582/19 and filed by Damian Dodo SAN, on behalf of the 14 lawmakers, Justice Mohammed ordered that parties in the suit should not take any further steps pending the determination of the motion before the court.

The judge had at the last hearing ordered the 1st and 2nd defendants to appear before the court on December 19 to show cause why the interim injunction being sought by the plaintiffs vide their motion ex-parte should not be granted.

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Justice Mohammed also ordered that the enrolled order to show cause on motion ex-parte for interim injunction, motion on notice for interlocutory injunction and the originating processes should be served on the respondents.

The judge, who ordered that hearing notices be issued on the respondents, had then adjourned the matter till December 19 for Okiye and INEC to appear and show cause.

Although the court did sit at the adjourned date (December 19, 2019) parties in the suit were given January 7, 2020. for further proceeding.

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When the matter was called yesterday counsel to the applicants, Ikhide Ehighelua reminded the court about the motion ex-parte filed on December 10, 2019.

My Lord, my learned friend from INEC is here today,” he said.

Responding, INEC’s lawyer, Femi Adeyemi, though acknowledged that the commission was served with all the processes, including the enrolled order, said it was not served with the motion ex-parte.

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Adeyemi, who told the court that INEC’s position on the matter was to be neutral, said the electoral umpire did not oppose the application filed by the plaintiffs.

My Lord, our position is that we want to retain our neutrality,” he told the judge.

He hinted that he had not filed an affidavit in support of the commission’s position.

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Justice Mohammed, however, said based on provisions of Order 26 Rules 11, 12 and 13 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2019, where a defendant is asked to come and show cause, the defendant is expected to file an affidavit in evidence and not an oral evidence.

What you are telling me here is evidence. I understand you very well. You filed an affidavit that you want to be neutral.

“File an affidavit and explain there even if it is a two paragraphs, but not to stand at the bar and explain,” the judge said.

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The court held that INEC having decided not to oppose the applications filed by the lawmakers, the commission should restrain itself from taking further step since the matter was still pending in court.

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Justice Mohammed in addition ordered INEC to file an affidavit in support of its position and to show cause why the interim injunction should not be granted before the next adjourned date.

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The Judge ordered that the 1st defendant, Mr Okiye, who was not represented in court be issued with the hearing notice, adjourned the matter till January 28.

(SUN)

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JUST IN: OPEC Secretary-General, Barkindo, Is Dead

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The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Muhammad Barkindo, is dead.

Barkindo died late Tuesday.

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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, announced Barkindo’s death in a tweeted posted to his verified Twitter handle, @MKKyari, in the early hours of Wednesday.

“We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11pm yesterday 5th July 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community. Burial arrangements will be announced shortly,” Kyari tweeted.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had, on Tuesday, honoured Barkindo, describing him as a worthy ambassador of the country, at the State House, Abuja.

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Reacting to Barkindo’s death, a former lawmaker in the eighth Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani, tweeted to his Twitter page, “Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, former GMD NNPC and until recently, @OPECSecretariat scribe, was honoured yesterday. He died 11pm yesternight. May Allah grant him Aljanna firdausi. Amin. That is the ephemerality and transience of life.”

Details later…

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‘Go Spiritual,’ Army Chief Tasks Troops To Complement Kinetic Efforts

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, has asked troops to complement the Nigerian Army’s kinetic engagements with spiritual efforts.

He advised them to seek counselling, guidance, and divine supplications in ongoing military operations across the nation.

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The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Yahaya gave the charge during an interdenominational church service to commemorate the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2022, held at Saint Mark Military Church (Protestant), 34 Brigade Obinze Barracks in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

The army chief who was represented by Major General Victor Ezugwu, according to Nwachukwu, noted that the theme of the interdenominational service “Promoting National Unity through Religious Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence” was apt.

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He urged the Christian faithful across the nation to continually promote peace and unity in complementing the efforts of the army to surmount contemporary security challenges bedevilling the nation.

Yahaya also appealed to all to desist from the use of misinformation, deceit, and issues capable of disintegrating the nation, stressing the unity in Nigeria’s unique diversity.

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The interdenominational service was held in all formations and units of the army across the nation.

The church service had in attendance representatives of the President, Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), principal staff officers from Defence and Army Headquarters, corps commanders, general officers commanding, commandants of Nigerian Army training institutions, soldiers, and their families.

 

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Man Docked For Alleged Intimidation, Falsehood Against High Court Judge

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A Minna, Niger State-based land speculator, Ibrahim Tukura, has been remanded in correctional custody till July, 7 on the orders of a Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah over alleged intimidation and injurious falsehood against a High court judge, Justice Bilkisu Yusuf Gambo in the state.

Tukura had allegedly filed a case before the Niger State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, and requested that his case over a parcel of land presided by Justice Gambo of High Court No 6 be transferred from her court.

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The defendant claimed that the disputed parcel of land of which, he is claiming ownership with suit No: NSHC/MN/173/2021 was pending in High court No. 6 presided by Justice Gambo.

He alleged that the plaintiff in the disputed land, Malam Isah Nagoji, had given the said land to the presiding judge handling the case, hence his petition to the acting chief judge, demanding that the case be transferred from her court.

Justice Bilkisu Yusuf Gambo in her reaction filed a Direct Criminal Complaint against the defendant to the Chief Magistrate Court No., Hauwa Kulu Isah, requesting a police investigation into the allegations levelled against her by the defendant.

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Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah, forwarded the complaint to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligent Department (SCIID), for discreet investigation and afterwards, arraigned the defendant in court for prosecution.

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The defendant was consequently, booked on a four-count charge of injurious falsehood, use of abusive or insulting language, criminal intimidation as well as inciting disturbance.

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According to the head of the prosecution unit of the SCIID, Abdullahi Mayaki ASP, the charges contravened sections 393, 399, 397 (b), and 114 of the penal code.

However, when the presiding Chief Magistrate, Hauwa Kulu Isah read the charges to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered to be remanded in Correctional custody.

Magistrate Isah then adjourned the case to July, 7 for further mention

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