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Group Lauds Chief Of Defence Staff For Commitment

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A group, under the aegis of Northern Youth Association of Nigeria (NYAN), has commended the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa for his commitment and professionalism in the discharge of his duty over the Armed Forces.

The President of the group, Amb. Godiya Bogoro made the commendation on behalf of the group in a statement in Bauchi on Sunday.

According to him, the group unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the army general for bringing his wealth of experiences on the battlefield to bear.

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“After a holistic appraisal of the effort of the Nigerian Military in their efforts to free the country from the activities of the insurgents and bandits terrorising Nigerians.

“We found the Nigerian Military worthy of commendation and therefore applaud them and unanimously pass a Vote of Confidence on the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa for his tact, commitment and professionalism in the discharge of his duty over the Armed Forces.

“His leadership has maintained a good relationship with stakeholders in the Armed Forces, especially in formulating and executing policies and programmes to attain the highest level of National Security and operational competence of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

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“It was also observed that since he assumed his office as CDS, the Nigerian Military has recorded significant achievements in the fight against various security threats facing the country,” Bogoro said.

He added that the enthusiasm, commitment and vigour expressed by the CDS toward protecting lives and government oil installations were evident in the decline of incidences of terrorism and oil theft.

These achievements, he said, were outstanding hence the commendation as he had further positioned the Nigerian military in the most appropriate standing to express its mandate.

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16 Soldiers, One Officer Face Court Martial In Plateau

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At least, 16 soldiers and one officer are currently facing court martial in Plateau state.

The personnel facing trial were accused of various offences ranging from armed robbery and murder to unlawful possession of arms and ammunition and selling same contrary to their operational mandate within the 3rd Amoured Division.

The inaugural sitting of the court martial took place at the 3rd Armoured Division, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, the Nigerian Army in Bassa Local Government Area on Tuesday.

Acting Deputy Director of Legal Services 3 Division Nigerian Army, Major Aminu Mairuwa, who spoke after the inauguration of the General Court Martial noted that the Nigerian military is an institution that believes in discipline and will continue to ensure the full application of its internal disciplinary mechanism.

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He said the accused personnel were brought before the court martial to follow the necessary procedures premised on respect for the rule of law and ensuring that there is compliance with the principle of natural justice and the extant rules and procedures.

“The essence is to make sure that the military personnel always operate within the confines of our rules of engagement, code of conduct and respect to international best practices”, he stated

The President of the General Court Martial, Brigadier General Liafis Bello, who read the order of the Convening Officer and General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Maj.General Abdulsalam Abubakar, maintained that Nigerian Army as an institution thrives on discipline, regimentation and utmost professionalism.

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He said unveiling the court martial in the Nigerian Army is a routine duty aimed at compliance with the dictates of the military justice system pointing out that the 3 Division Headquarters of the Nigerian Army had keyed into the command philosophy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja which is “To Transform the Nigerian Army into a Well-trained, Equipped and Highly Motivated Force Towards Achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a Joint Environment”.

Earlier in his remarks, the Judge Advocate, Major Nasir Abdullahi, stressed that the court was set up to enhance discipline and ensure that erring officers and soldiers are investigated and prosecuted within a reasonable time through the laid down rules, regulations and procedures.

He further stated that the General Court Martial is being convened to try some Nigerian Army personnel who are alleged to have committed various offences within the 3 Division Area of Responsibility.

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One of the aims of Court Martial is to achieve timely and quick dispensation of justice” he stated

Abdullahi charged the accused and their defense Counsels to avoid frivolous adjournments that may lead to unnecessary delay in dispensing justice.

Representative of the Plateau State Chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, Samson Gotom, stressed the need for fair hearing and expressed satisfaction with the composition of the Court.

He said the Nigerian Bar Association would support the Court to ensure a smooth trial and speedy dispensation of justice for the accused soldiers.

The President, Judge Advocate and other members sworn in pledged to administer justice according to the Armed Forces Act CAP 820 and the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria without partiality, favour or affection.

The Court adjourned further sitting to 6th March 2024, for commencement of trial.

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SANs List Expectations As S’Court Justices Rise To 21

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, on Monday, swore in 11 new Justices of the Supreme Court, bringing the number of Justices on the apex court bench to 21.

The development was hailed by Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who expressed the hope that it would translate to the clearing of the huge backlog of cases at the Supreme Court.

The swearing-in of the 11 Justices comes over two months after they were screened and confirmed by the Senate, acting on the recommendation of President Bola Tinubu.

Before now the number of Justices on the Supreme Court bench went down to an all-time low of 10, as opposed to 21 recommended by the Constitution.

The appointment of an additional 11 Justices, giving the Supreme Court its full complement of Justices, followed agitations and calls from several quarters on the declining manpower at the apex court.

At the swearing-in, which took place at the Main Courtroom of the Supreme Court in Abuja on Monday, the CJN noted that the 11 new Justices were joining the apex court bench “at a time when the rank had been grossly depleted to an all-time low of 10 Justices for a number of reasons, mainly retirement, and deaths.”

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“The inability of the court to meet up the statutory full compliment of 21 Justices had lingered on for too long,” the CJN remarked.

Speaking with The PUNCH, a former Attorney General of Abia State, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN), said with the Supreme Court now having its full complement of Justices, “we expect them to crack down on the backlog of cases in that court. That is the expectation of everybody, and it is a legitimate expectation.”

Similarly, human rights lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), said, “It is commendable that we have 21 Justices, but I believe it goes just beyond numbers.”

Adegboruwa said the appointment of the 21 Justices must be complemented with the provision of necessary equipment that would aid justice delivery at the apex court.

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He said, “It’s important that there is a paradigm shift that will focus on equipping the Justices with the needed infrastructure and personnel to perform.

“Then limit the number of interlocutory appeals that go to the Supreme Court so that it can properly focus on policy decisions that will give a guideline on serious legal matters.

“Then the quality of the judgment. To avoid matters in which we have conflicting judgments, there’s a need for the Supreme Court to sit down and to exert its previous decisions with the purpose of harmonising seemingly contradictory views that have been expressed by the apex court.”

Meanwhile, the CJN, at the swearing-in of the Justices, charged them to brace up for the work ahead and to be prepared to face criticisms from the public.

He said they must discharge their duty in fairness and uprightness, knowing that they were representatives of God on earth.

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Justice Ariwoola said, “See yourselves as the representatives of God on earth because any judgment given at this level can only be overturned in heaven.

“There is no way you can please human beings, especially litigants. The easiest way to fail in life is by trying to please everyone. The only deity you can fear is the Almighty God. Once your judgment is in consonance with what God expects from you, and is also in accordance with the Constitution, you should consider yourself the happiest and freest person on earth.”

The CJN also cautioned the Justices against allowing their ambition to cloud their sense of judgment.

“Your moral uprightness, integrity, and respect for the constitution and other extant laws in operation must be unwavering and unassailable,” he added.

The new Supreme Court Justices are Justices

Jummai Sankey, Chidiebere Uwa, Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, Haruna Simon Tsammani, Moore Adumein, Obande Ogbuinya, and Stephen Adah.

Others are Habeeb Abiru, Jamilu Tukur, Abubakar Umar, and Mohammed Idris.

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Tinubu Launches expatriate Employment Levy

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President Bola Tinubu has launched the Expatriate Employment Levy to bolster home-grown skill retention and technology domestication and to balance employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates.

Tinubu said at the launch of the Expatriate Employment Levy handbook at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The president also warned that the scheme should not be used as an impediment nor as a stick wielded to deter foreign investors.

I declare my support for the Expatriate Employment Levy scheme, and I will continue to encourage the operators, practitioners of immigration matters and expatriate quotas, but I emphasise: do not use it as a bottleneck; do not use it as an obstacle to frustrate potential investors,” Tinubu said.

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He also said the EEL will close wage gaps between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force while increasing employment opportunities for qualified Nigerians in foreign companies operating in the country.

Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this in a statement he signed Tuesday titled, ‘President Tinubu advocates greater home-grown skill retention and domestication of technologies as pursuit of foreign direct investment intensifies.’

The President said he launched the levy to improve revenue generation, naturalisation and indigenisation.

He also expects the employment of more qualified Nigerians by foreign companies operating in the country.

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“We seek a greater balancing of employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates and the closure of the wage gap between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force by making it more attractive to hire Nigerians.

“There will be clear lines of implementation and effective acceleration of aims and objectives of this programme. officials in charge of immigration matters, expatriate quotas, and relevant stakeholders have to be effectively guided to make Nigeria the focus of the objective of this EEL.

“Therefore, it is my honour to launch the handbook of the Expatriate Employment Levy,” President Tinubu said.

The President also assured Nigerians that there is imminent light at the end of the tunnel as the country gradually turns the corner, adding, “We might be going through a difficult period now, but when you look at the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, the Federal Ministries of Finance; Budget and National Planning, and the people manning the ship of this country, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, they have collaborated, and in the spirit of development and progress, we are glad that good effort is being made to re-engineer the finances of the country and make growth our hallmark.”

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Explaining the details of the EEL, the Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, explained that the project would be operated on a public-private partnership model between the federal government of Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service, which is the implementing agency, and a technical partner, EEL Projects Limited.

Tunji-Ojo said, “It is worthy to mention that the project is aligned with the eight-point agenda of Mr. President, especially on the issue of job security and economic growth. This project will, among other things, lead to technology domestication.

“The essence of this is to be sure that if you are bringing an expatriate to work in Nigeria, it should be a job that no Nigerian has the skill to do. That is the major objective of this particular initiative,” the Minister added.

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