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Police ask court to stop #EndSARS probe panels

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The Nigeria Police Force has headed to the Federal High Court in Abuja asking for an order stopping the judicial panels of enquiry probing allegations of rights abuses and other acts of brutality of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other police tactical units.

It stated the state governments lacked the power to constitute the panels to investigate activities of the police force and its officials in the conduct of their statutory duties.

It therefore urged the court to restrain the attorneys-general of the 36 states of the federation and their various panels of enquiry from going ahead with the probe of alleged police impunity.

About 104 were named as defendants by the NPF and they comprise the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Human Rights Commission which set up the Independent Investigative Panel sitting in Abuja, the Attorneys-General of the states, and chairmen of the states’ panels.

The decision to set up the various panels of enquiry was taken by the National Economic Council with members including the 36 state governors and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in the aftermath of the recent nationwide #EndSARS protests demanding an end to police brutality.

The NPF argued through its lawyer, Mr O. M. Atoyebi (SAN) that the state governments lacked the power to constitute the panels to investigate activities of the police force and its officials in the conduct of their statutory duties.

According to the plaintiff, the state governments’ decision to set up such panels violated the provisions of section 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act.

It argued that by virtue of the provisions of 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution only the Federal Government had exclusive power to “organise, control and administer the Nigeria Police Force”.

It, therefore, urged to, among others, declare that “the establishment of a panel of enquiries by the governors of the various states of the federation of Nigeria, to inquire into the activities of the Nigeria Police Force in relation to the discharge of her statutory duties is a gross violation of the provisions of Section 241 (1)(2) (a) and Item 45, Part 1, First schedule, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 21 of the tribunals of inquiry Act, Cap.T21, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.

The plaintiff also urged the court to declare that “having regard to the circumstances of this case, the attitude of the governors of the various states of the Federation of Nigeria, in this case, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

It sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 3rd to 38th defendants (the state Attorneys-General of the 36 states) “from making or conducting any investigations, sittings, and inquiries and/or from making or conducting any further investigations, sittings and inquiries in respect of matters affecting the Nigeria Police Force, and or further setting up any panel of inquiry in any state whatsoever in the country.”

Politics

Apologise to Nigerians for Tinubu Chatham House embarrassment, PDP tells APC

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The Peoples Democratic Party has taken a swipe at the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over his performance at the Chatham House in London on Monday, where he delivered a lecture but delegated some members of his team to respond to questions from the audience.

The PDP’s Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization, which described the outing as disgraceful, asked the Tinubu’s handers to apologise to the nation and stop embarrassing their principal.

It said Tinubu failed to perform the simplest of tasks required of a person desiring to lead the world’s largest black nation.

Spokesperson for the Atiku-Okowa presidential campaign group, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in Abuja, on Monday.

He said, “Nigerians including supporters of the APC Presidential Candidate were thoroughly embarrassed to watch Asiwaju Tinubu who earlier showboated with a scripted speech went blank on the world stage in tragic display of emptiness and inability to personally address questions that were put to him on economy, security and other challenges facing our nation.

“Our Campaign finds it very appalling that a candidate aspiring to be the President of a nation as complex as Nigeria exhibited an embarrassing inability to coordinate his own thought process to the extent that he could not personally think through issues and address them but had to direct questions put to him including those on his health and policies to others to answer.“

Ologbondiyan further said, “Asiwaju Tinubu has confirmed to Nigerians and the world that he has no business contesting the 2023 presidential election; that he is grossly incompetent, completely unprepared for leadership and intends to transfer the onerous task of leading our nation to proxies and a cabal that did not seek votes from Nigerians.

“Of course, Nigerians cannot afford to have a President who cannot take responsibility to lead but intend to shift burden to others apparently to find scapegoats to blame for his inevitable failures.

“The APC presidential candidate ended up becoming a butt of international joke as he could not provide any lead on the critical issues of economy, security, youth development and foreign policies, despite notes passed to him at the event by his handlers.”

He advised Tinubu’s handlers to stop embarrassing him by always pushing him to make public appearances, even when they were aware of his incompetence.

Ologbondiyan said, “What Nigerians expect is for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign to apologize to the nation and stop embarrassing their principal with poorly scripted appearances.

“Now that the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Tinubu has confirmed his unpreparedness and lack of capacity on the world state, we urge that he should immediately collapse his campaign, stop wasting resources, go home and rest.”

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Alake defends Tinubu delegating people to speak for him during debates, interviews

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Director of Strategic Communication of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Aleke, has defended APC presidential election, Bola Tinubu, for choosing to call on members of his delegates to public debates, press conferences and interview sessions to respond to issues raised by people at such events.

Tinubu at a public held Monday at the lecture Chatham House, London, delegated some members of the party to respond to questions posed to him.

He was in Chatham House to speak to Nigerians in the Diaspora on why he should be elected in 2023.And after his presentation, some members of the audience asked him questions on insecurity, oil theft, education and economy and how he planned to address  the issues if elected Nigeria’s president, he passed on the responsibility of answering the questions to others in his team.

Alake, who was featured on Channels Television Politics Today, Monday night, explained why Tinubu asked his team members to answer questions, saying it that was one of the attributes of a good leader.

He said, “Delegating people in his team to answer questions was one of the innovations of Tinubu.

“Don’t forget that one of his main strengths has been identifying talents and head-hunting of the highest order.

“Asiwaju is a team builder and that is what he has been showcasing. Again, Asiwaju has shown that he is a leader.

“So, those who fault that style of leadership are ignorant of the nuance and dynamics of leadership. Leadership is not a one-man show.”

Alake noted that some of his opponents were trying to copy Tinubu, but said they can’t get it because they don’t have a team like Tinubu.

“Asiwaju spoke directly for 28 minutes without anyone aiding him. When it was question and answer time, he displayed the dexterity of his team, which is one of the hallmarks of successful leadership.”

Alake, who disclosed that in due course, Tinubu would engage some media houses, however, maintained that the party’s candidate would not succumb to any form of blackmail.

He said, “Tinubu will be engaging with some journalists with time. But our candidate will not subject himself to any blackmail by a section of the media, which arrogates to itself self-importance.”

He also said, “The engagement of our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been inviting, reinvigorating, superlative and reassuring.

“Tinubu has disproved all the naysayers. Asiwaju has been applauded and commended by all and sundry. All the reviews we have got so far are positive. He was flawless and faultless in his delivery.”

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We’ll recover semester, session lost to strike – ASUU

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ASUU’s National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Alex-Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, AEFUNAI, Ebonyi chapter, says it will cover grounds lost to the eight-month called off in October.

The union, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to prevail upon the Federal Government to “avoid engaging in any activity that could plunge the nation’s public university system into another needless strike”.

The lecturers’ body disclosed this during a peaceful protest on Wednesday.

Dr Egwu Ogugua, the ASUU-AEFUNAI chairperson, while addressing newsmen, said that the lecturers were duty-bound to complete teaching for the backlog of academic semesters and sessions lost due to the strike.

He alleged that government, instead of working to find a permanent solution to the crises in the universities, had resorted to the implementation of policies that would worsen the situation.

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He recalled that the ASUU strike was suspended based on the intervention of Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the court order.

“Ladies and gentlemen, recall that on October 14, ASUU decided to suspend their eight-month strike following the intervention of Femi Gbajabiamila and the Appeal Court ruling ordering us to go back to work.

“It is important for the world to know that since the said intervention and the court order, the government has not paid lecturers for eight months and decided to casualise intellectuals by prorating our October salaries.

“We, the members of ASUU, AEFUNAI branch, therefore, reject in totality, this alien casualisation of intellectuals, demeaning the centrality of the ivory towers in Nigeria and insulting the sensibilities of the intelligentsia.

“Yes, we were in the trenches for eight months – February 14 to October 14, now that we are back, we are duty-bound to complete teaching for the backlog of academic semesters and sessions lost due to the strike.

“The word ‘lost’ does not entail a permanent loss because most officials of the federal government have consistently believed in the alternative truth that the lost semesters have been lost permanently.

“In AEFUNAI, following the suspension of the strike action, we have almost concluded the remaining first semester of the 2021/2022 academic session.

“We are under enormous pressure to complete the whole session before April and commence the 2022/2023 session.

“We use this opportunity to appeal to well-meaning Nigerians and various stakeholders – religious leaders, traditional rulers, parents, students – to prevail on government not to further desecrate the sanctity of the future of our children,” Mr Ogugua said.

He accused the federal government of not placing the education sector among high-priority areas.

He lamented that government’s decision to place university lecturers on pro-rata would deepen the crisis in the entire public university system.

“It is worthy to note that the recently released November salaries have recorded a high degree of deductions.

“As a people, we shall not keep quiet and we shall continue to scream like the voice in the wilderness for the survival of the public university system in Nigeria.

“If the body of intellects is shabbily treated, then we can sing to the rooftops that government has no regard for education,” he stated.

NAN

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