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22 SANs to address Supreme Court on legality of Buhari’s Executive Order 10

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A team of 22 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) has stormed Nigeria’s Supreme Court to address the apex court on the legality or otherwise of the contentious Executive Order 10 issued by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The senior lawyers stormed the court as early as 8 am on the invitation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, as amicus curies (friends of the court) to make submissions that will guide the court in making a well-informed decision on the issue.

President Muhammadu Buhari had early in the year issued Executive Order 10 backing financial autonomy to the arm of the judiciary at the state level as well as the state legislature.

The executive order became contentious following the vehement objections to it by the state governors.

The governors subsequently instituted a suit at the apex to challenge its legality

The amicus curies led by two former presidents of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, chiefs Adegboyega Awomolo and Olisa Agbakoba, are billed to argue on the legality or otherwise of the Executive Order.

Plaintiffs are the 36 Attorneys-General of the 36 states of the federation being led by the Attorney General of Abia state while the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, is the defendant.

Lead counsel to the plaintiffs is a former President of the NBA and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Augustine Alegeh, while the AGF is having Tijani Gazali, SAN. as his lead counsel.

A statement made available to DAILY POST read in part ” A very important constitutional matter between Attorney General, Abia State and 35 others and Attorney General of the Federation on the scope and framework for funding courts mentioned in section 6 of the Constitution and the constitutionality of Executive 10 made by the President will be coming up at 9 am before the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the 4th of October 2021.

“The Plaintiff’s lead Counsel is Augustine Alegeh SAN, the Defence lead Counsel is T.A. Gazali, SAN.

“Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, Musibau Adetunbi, SAN and Chief Sebastine. Hon, SAN, are among the Amicus Curie”.

However, at the time of this report, the legal fireworks are yet to commence as the Supreme Court is struggling to have a full panel of seven justices to take the submissions.

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El-Rufai: Not Even My Corpse Will Be Found Near PDP

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said he can never decamp to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

El-Rufai said this while reacting to claim of Daniel Bwala, spokesperson of PDP presidential campaign, that he would soon dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a tweet, Bwala who until recently was a member of the APC, said he was optimistic that El-Rufai would be in the PDP even before the 2023 elections.

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“My attention was drawn to @elrufai laughing at a comment made about me on my past video. Hmm @elrufai is one of the finest we have from the north, I will never join issues with him, especially because I am optimistic he will be with us before the 2023 elections,” he tweeted.

Reacting, El-Rufai quoted the tweet and wrote: “Thanks @BwalaDaniel but no, thanks. Never ever, not even my corpse will be found in the vicinities of your new-found political party. I still dey laugh!!! – @elrufai.”

Bwala recently announced his resignation from the ruling APC to the PDP over the decision of former presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

Before decamping, Bwala made a lot of TV appearances where he harshly criticised the opposition PDP, his new party.

Just last week, he was appointed alongside a former federal lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, as spokesperson of the Atiku Presidential Campaign for next year’s elections.

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Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7

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A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.

The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.

Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.

The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.

“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.

Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.

“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.

Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.

The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.

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Four months after pardon, Dariye, Nyame released from prison

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Former Governor of Plateau State, Sen. Joshua Daiyere,

Two former state governors, Joshua Dariye of Plateau and Jolly Nyame of Taraba, have been released from the correctional facility in Kuje council area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This is coming about four months after the former governors were granted state pardon.

Dariye and Nyame were among 159 inmates pardoned at a council of state meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in April.

The two former governors, jailed for fraud, were granted pardon on the grounds of age and ill health.

Nyame was convicted in 2018 and given 14 years imprisonment for diverting public funds, but his sentence was later reduced to 12 years in 2020, following a ruling by the supreme court which affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal on the matter.

On his part, Dariye was sentenced to 14 years in prison for N1.126 billion fraud, but his jail term was reduced by four years, following a verdict by the supreme court affirming an earlier judgment by the court of appeal.

Dariye, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for N1.16 billion fraud, was on June 12, 2018 sentenced to 14 years in prison for criminal breach of trust and  two years in addition for misappropriation of public funds, both to run concurrently.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT court before, whom he was standing trial for a 23-count amended charge, found him guilty of 15 of the counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public funds but discharged him on eight.

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Dariye was first arraigned on July 13, 2007 at the High Court after which he proceeded to the Appeal court with an application to quash all the charges but were all dismissed.

The court ordered accelerated hearing of the fraud case against him, thus necessitating the continuation of trial on January 25, 2016, before Justice Banjoko.

In addition to his sentencing, Justice Banjoko also ordered that the N80 million recovered by the EFCC be forfeited to the state government’s coffers.

The state pardon had generated controversy, with some persons insisting it would not send the right message on the fight against corruption.

However, the presidency had defended the decision, saying it was done in the interest of fairness.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had said, “While it is natural that the cases of the ex-governors — two among many — would excite political analysts, coming at a time when elections are in the air, the President would at the same time have come across as insensitive and cruel to most people were he to have ignored very compelling cases recommended for pardon made to him because someone is a former Governor.

“Even Governors have the right to be treated fairly under the law. President Buhari assures the nation that nothing done here was intended to achieve a political end or send a revisionist message on the relentless war against corruption which he has ably and evidently led by personal examples.”

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