- It’s illegal, bad politics – Falana, Anambra govt
The threat by the Federal Government to declare state of emergence in Anambra State over spate of insecurity has drawn the ire of the state government and many opinion leaders including popular human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, hinted on Wednesday about the possibility of a state of emergency in the state Independent National Electoral Commission had expressed worry over the rising violence in the state ahead of the November 6 governorship poll.
Malami, who fielded questions from reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, stated that no option would be ruled out by the government in ensuring that democratic order is kept safe.
He said, “No possibility is ruled out by government in terms of ensuring the sanctity of our democratic order, in terms of ensuring that our elections in Anambra State hold, and you cannot rule out possibilities inclusive of the possibility of a declaration of a state of emergency where it is established, in essence, that there is a failure on the part of the state government to ensure the sanctity of security of lives, properties, and democratic order.”
But the state government has rejected the planned imposition of state of emergency by the FG on its domain.
The state Commissioner for Information, Don Adinuba, said the quantum of killings described as politically motivated was less than what was obtainable in states controlled by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and wondered why that was not applicable in those states.
He said, “Nigerians are outraged by the threat of the honourable attorney-general and minister of justice of the federation, a senior advocate of Nigeria. Since the renewed violence in Anambra state, which we believe is politically motivated, not more than 15 persons have been killed.
“How many persons have died in Borno, Niger, Kaduna, Yobe, Zamfara? Even Imo, which is APC-controlled, and Ebonyi, [also] APC controlled, has anybody threatened emergency rule in any of these states?
“For the past seven years, Anambra State has remained the safest state, most stable in Nigeria. We remained the only state in the country that for the past seven years has not experienced a single bank robbery.
“What is going on here is politically motivated and the declaration by the attorney-general of the federation is a confirmation. I don’t want us to live in denial. What prompted the attorney-general of the federation to make that declaration is pure politics. There is no point being in denial.
“I have asked a very simple question: What is the situation in Borno, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Adamawa and Taraba? Elections were held in all these states, free and fair, declared by INEC.
“What is so special that the Federal Government of Nigeria should be contemplating a state of emergency? It is all about politics. There is nothing that has not been done to ensure that the right candidates do not participate in the election.”
Falana also described the FG’s move as illegal and unconstitutional.
According to him, Muhammadu Buhari’s administration “has just realised that the deployment of troops without the declaration of emergency rule in many states of the Federation is illegal and unconstitutional.”
He recalled that since 2015, President Buhari has imposed emergency rules in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Zamfara, Kaduna and the Katsina States by deploying members of the armed forces to assist the police in the restoration of law and order.
According to the senior lawyer, the President has adopted such extraordinary measures without seeking the approval of the National Assembly.
“In other words, since the emergency rule imposed on the North-East region by President Goodluck Jonathan expired, President Buhari has not renewed or extended it,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
He stated, “The National Assembly has not challenged the illegal emergency rule imposed without any declaration as stipulated by section 305 of the constitution.
“Hence, the threat issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation is an attempt to return to constitutionalism with respect to the imposition of emergency rule in Anambra State and other states in the North-West, North-East and South-East regions where the Federal Government is waging a full-scale war against terrorists and the so-called gunmen.”
Falana insisted that nowhere in the constitution has the President been vested with the power to remove the elected governor of a state and suspend democratic structures.
He explained that the governor of a state can only be removed by impeachment or resignation and not by imposition of emergency rule, adding that the tenure of legislators is four years in line with the provisions of the constitution.
“Even though former President Olusegun Obasanjo removed two Governors via the imposition of emergency rule, the PDP-led Federal Government later jettisoned the illegal practice,” the lawyer maintained.
“Hence ex- Presidents Umaru Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan never used emergency rule to remove elected governors or suspend legislative houses and local government councils. Indeed, the Federal Government has since realised that it is unjust and immoral to remove a governor of a state since the president exclusively controls the armed forces, the police and other security agencies.
Nnamdi Kanu: I lectured Abaribe on how to live in prison – Shehu Sani
Shehu Sani, a former Kaduna Central Senator, has recalled lecturing Senate Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe on how to live in prison.
Sani said he used to lecture Abaribe on how to live in prison in case he gets prosecuted over his Biafra agitation.
He disclosed this while sharing a throwback photo of himself having a discussion with Abaribe on the floor of the Upper Chamber.
In a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday, the former lawmaker disclosed that Abaribe also tried to convert him into believing in the Biafra ideology.
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He wrote: “My good friend Senator Abaribe was trying to convert my citizenship to Biafra while I used to give him lectures on how to live in prison when they come for him, using my years of experience in Kiri Kiri, Port Harcourt and Aba Prisons in the 90s.”
Abaribe had stood as one of the sureties for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in 2017.
But Kanu jumped bail and fled Nigeria after regaining his freedom, following a ruling by Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja Federal High Court.
Following Kanu’s action, it was believed that the Nigerian government would go after Abaribe as he risked imprisonment.
However, Kanu was rearrested in July and is currently facing trial.
Plateau lawmakers fight over mace, impeach speaker
There was a rancorous situation on Thursday at Plateau State House Assembly as the legislators fought over the mace, the symbol of authority, leading to the impeachment of the Speaker, Abok Ayuba Nuhu.
Nuhu was promptly replaced with Sanda Yakubu, who from Pingana constituency of the Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
It was leant that as early as 5.30am on Thursday, members of the assembly had started arriving at the chamber of the house.
The rumours about the impeachment of Abok had started a week ago when press releases and write-ups went viral on social media over his clash with the state governor, Solomon Lalong.
The lawmakers almost exchanged blows when the issue of the impeachment was tabled in the house on Thursday. The Peoples Democratic Party members, who were loyal to the speaker, took the mace to prevent the impeachment.
But the All Progressives Congress members, who were in the majority insisting on the impeachment, dragged the mace and placed it in its position, and went ahead with the process.
It was learnt that before the state lawmakers converged on the house, the road leading to the assembly was blocked by security operatives.
There had been grudges between Governor Simon Lalong and the impeached speaker following the attack in Yelwan Zagam, the community of Jos North, where people were killed.
After the attack, the speaker started criticising the governor openly. He also stopped attending public functions in the state.
Ogun gives land encroachers 1 month grace to process titles
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has announced a one-month moratorium for residents and entrepreneurs who have encroached on the state government-acquired land.
He announced this at the launch of an online portal, Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS), at the Tech Hub in Abeokuta.
The governor gave them up till November 30 to apply for ratification of their documents.
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In his address, the Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadejo, said the portal will also offer those who have encroached on the state government land in different parts of the state an opportunity to get title documents via the Property Registration Programme (PRP) for only a defined period.
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