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IYC: Fresh Crisis Brews As Omare Prepares Contempt Suit Against Oweilaemi

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Fresh crisis seems to be brewing in the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) following Eric Omare’s directive to his lawyers to file a contempt suit against Peretubo Oweilaemi for allegedly flouting the declarations contained in a judgement delivered by the Bayelsa State High Court.

Omare was recently declared the authentic President of the IYC by the State High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

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The court ended a prolonged leadership crisis in the judgement that stopped Peretubo Oweilanmi from parading himself as the president of the radical IYC.

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Oweilaemi, however, in one of his statements said he had appealed the judgement.

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Oweilanmi had in the statement said, “I am pleased to inform the general public especially the numerous Ijaw youths at home and in diaspora that we have successfully appealed against the said judgment in Appeal No: CA/PH/ /2020.

“Those who want to ferment trouble in the Council should be informed that the legal battle has been drawn. I appeal to Ijaw youths to maintain peace at all times, while we take this necessary step to correct the legal blunder. Like I said before, there is no cause for alarm”.

However, IYC Spokesman, Henry Iyalla, in a statement confirming that Omare was prepare a contempt, faulted the claims of Oweilanmi that he had successfully filed an appeal against one of the judgements delivered by Justice E.G. Umukoro.

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He said by his utterances, Oweilaemi implied that one of the two Bayelsa State High court judgements aganist him had been set aside by the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt.

NATION quoted Iyalla as saying, “The statement demonstrated a crass ignorance of law and legal procedures and it is amazing that it came from a lawyer. It calls to question the quality of legal education in Nigeria.

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“In the first place, it is important to note that the court in the two different cases to wit: YHC/37/2017: Eric Omare & Ors v. Pereotubo Oweilaemi & Ors and SGA/04/2017 declared that the election that was done at Okrika where Oweilaemi and 10 others emerged as National Officers of the IYC was null and void. In law, when an action is said to be a nullity and of no effect, it means that it never existed abinitio.

“It therefore means that in all these three years Oweilaemi and co have just being wasting their time moving from one place to the other in the name of IYC. The court in the second judgement delivered on Tuesday March 17, 2020 also declared all their actions null and void.

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“This point is also implied in the first judgement. The implication is that all Clan, Parliament, chapter and zonal structures set up by Oweilaemi and his Exco are null and void.

“Their participation in any activity of the IYC in their status including the ongoing electoral process would vitiate the process and the electoral committee headed by Bekewei Ajuwa, who is a Lawyer must take special note of this fact.

“Mr. Oweilaemi in the said publication claimed that he has appealed one of the judgements with a non-existing appeal number. For the records PHC/../2020 which Oweilaemi quoted is not an appeal number. It is the height of legal ignorance for Oweilaemi to quote the above as appeal number in his statement. And if i may ask, which judgement did Oweilaemi appeal against? Is it the one in Suit No. YHC/37/2017 or SHC/04/2017?

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“Let Ijaw youths and the general public know that Oweilaemi has not even started the process of filing appeal against any of the judgements not to talk of filing an appeal. The appeal procedure involves filing a Notice of Appeal at the court that delivered the judgement.

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“Then parties would be invited to compile records of appeal. After compilation of records, the records would be transmitted to the court of Appeal. It is at this point that an appeal number is given by the court of appeal which may take months. So if I may ask, which one has Oweilaemi done? I state without doubt that Oweilaemi’s appeal only exist in the figment of his own imagination”.

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He, however, said even if Oweilanmi filed an appeal as he claimed, it would not change the fact that he was never a president of IYC, adding that a mere filing of an appeal would neither stay the judgement of the court nor reverse it.

He continued, “Therefore, it amounts to contempt of court for Oweilaemi to be signing documents and parading himself as President of IYC.

“This is the reason the President of IYC, Eric Omare, Esq has directed his Lawyers to file contempt charges against Oweilaemi and some of his Exco members who are still parading themselves as IYC Exco members. The IYC is not a lawless organization neither a banana republic, so Oweilaemi as a Lawyer must respect the rule of law.

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“I wish to also advise Oweilaemi very strongly, first as a kinsman and secondly as a professional colleague that he is risking his professional bar certificate as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria by his consistent disregard for the judiciary.

“In one of Oweilaemi’s statements, he referred to the first judgement as a ‘black market judgement’. Mr. Oweilaemi may soon go and explain to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) what that meant in a case that he was represented by a Lawyer from beginning to conclusion.

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“I advise Ijaw youths to completely disregard Oweilaemi’s imaginary appeal. It doesn’t exist anywhere and even if he appeals, it doesn’t change the legal position that he doesn’t and never existed until the two judgements are set aside. It would take a minimum of four years for any of such appeal to be heard.

“However, I am confident that all the judgements would be upheld on appeal because Oweilaemi has no case. It was a clear and obvious case, that is the reason why in one of the cases, for complete two years, he couldn’t call a single witness.

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“There is no appeal that can be heard and determined before the end of the tenure of the 7th Leadership of he IYC; hence Eric Omare is the Sheriff and Captain of the IYC ship. Swallow your pride, Mr. Oweilaemi and work with President Omare”.

(NATION)

(PHOTO: File)

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Ex-CAN President Onaiyekan, Cleric Bag Honorary Degrees

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A former national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Archbishop of Abuja catholic diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, will be honored with honorary doctorate degrees by an Abuja-based Catholic institution, Veritas University, on Saturday, December 3, 2022.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Rev. Fr. Professor Hyacinth Ichoku, made this known in a briefing with selected journalists in Abuja.

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Speaking on Thursday ahead of the convocation ceremony of the university, the don also noted that four countries had indicated interest to send their students to Nigeria to study pontifical degrees in the theology of philosophy.

The development follows approval by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Vertical City Rome, Italy, to Veritas University Abuja to establish Pontifical Faculty.

The countries are Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast and India.

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Professor Ichoku said only two countries including Nigeria and Nairobi run the pontifical degree which necessitated the influx of foreign students to Nigeria.

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“For the first time, the university will be honoring prominent Nigerians such as the former CAN president, cardinal John Onaiyekan and the archbishop of Abuja diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama.

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‘’Veritas University has been granted the faculty to run Pontification degrees in theology and philosophy by the Congregation of Catholic Education in the Vertical City, Rome. That is in addition to National Universities Commission-approved programmes in theology and philosophy. As a Catholic University to be granted the power of the faculty to run these programmes is the height of our development and in Africa; there are just two granted such faculty, which are, the Catholic University of East Africa, Nairobi and Veritas University in Abuja. It is an exceptional privilege for us,’’ Professor Ichoku stated.

Professor Ichoku said the university would be awarding first-class degrees to 28 students who had distinguished themselves in character and learning.

He noted that the minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola would be delivering the convocation lecture.

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NACCIMA, Nigeria’s Road To Prosperity – SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo

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The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has said that the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through The Nigeria Association of Chambers and Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

Adebayo who spoke at the 4th quarterly meeting of NACCIMA in Enugu assured that the SDP, if elected into power, would not be a lawbreaker government but a law abiding.

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He added that one of the difficulties facing the industry is that government does not respect contracts.

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He posited that times have changed because in the past before government presents the country’s budget, captains of industries are always consulted, and the government doesn’t take decisions without considering the effects.

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Adebayo driving his point and acknowledging the importance of NACCIMA said ‘In the past when you see presidential candidate, governorship candidate, senatorial candidate, you in NACCIMA will say he’s my boy, he use to work for me, he’s a good boy.

He added that Nigeria must return to such lifestyle, because the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through NACCIMA.

 

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True Federalism: Expert Wants NULGE Join CSOs, Others For Constitutional Amendment

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Professor Festus Imuetinyan, federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Abuja has called on the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to join hands with other unions and civil society organizations working for the amendment of the nation’s constitution to make the constitution truly federal.

Imuetinyan made the call on Wednesday in Benin City at the Edo State chapter of NULGE 2022 week celebration with the theme,”Sustaining an autonomous local government as a catalyst for national development: The role of NULGE”.

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The university don opined that local governments will only become catalyst for national development when they are put in firm control over local affairs as well as encourage the emergency of local solutions to local problems.

He advocated that the local government matters must be removed from the national constitution and placed within the purview of the states to save them from the challenge of forced uniformity in the face of endemic diversity of local problems.

He added that NULGE, as the major trade union in the local government system in Nigeria, has a duty to ensure that the present unified local government system which is unwieldy is jettisoned.

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“Unfortunately, many local government staff are beneficiaries of the present system and do not see any urgent need for changes.

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“Your members are the ones that are made sole administrators when elected council heads are illegally sacked by state governments. Many enjoy posting to areas that they are not conversant with the custom and tradition of the people whose problems they are called upon to solve.

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“Others are promoted in the face of inadequate utilization of available resources to manage waste and protect public utilities within their jurisdictions.

“It is often alleged that many of your members extort money from members of the public and that they enrich themselves at the expense of the development of the communities”, he said.

He further opined that the present local government system is not patterned to achieve any developmental goal rather than a smooth vehicle for the transfer of centrally collected funds to the pockets of States’ political elites.

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Imuetinyan emphasized that the 1999 Constitution makes it possible for state governments to cripple Local Government Councils financially by routing the amount of money standing to the credit of Local governments in the Federation Account (FA) through a joint State Local Government Account rather than directly to local councils.

He asserted that the arrangement adversely affects the fiscal autonomy and viability of most local governments.

According to him, some state governors make inexplicable deductions or unduly delay the release of funds from the joint accounts to local government chief executives.

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“Local government chairmen are bullied by state governors to surrender much of their statutory allocations under duress. When they fail; they find other ways to replace them with caretaker committees of selected loyalists.

“Expenditure and project discretion had become a thing of the past. Most states expect their Local governments to seek and obtain permission to embark on projects. Local government projects are inspected periodically by officials of state governments.

“More financial load has been placed on Local governments’ share of the Federation Account. For example, funds for primary school teachers’ salaries and pension charges are now charged centrally to the Local governments.

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“The central deductions at source of these charges and several other unfunded mandates in environmental and social spending by the State Governments tend to leave many Local Governments with little funds.

“And unfortunately, many Local governments especially those in the rural areas have limited access to productive tax bases”, he added.

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