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Pro-Tinubu group urges court to remove Buni as APC caretaker chairman

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Abiodun Nejo

Ekiti State All Progressives Congress members loyal to former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu have urged the court to sack Governor Mai Mala Buni as Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the party.

The members, under the aegis of South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023, a group rooting for Tinubu’s rumoured presidential bid, also urged the court to nullify all actions taken by Buni as APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and as well annul the July 31 ward congresses of the party in Ekiti State.

The SWAGA members made the prayers in a suit number FHC/AD/CS/21/2021 filed at the Federal High Court, Ekiti State Division, where it had also sought an interlocutory injunction stopping the conduct of the local government congress which held in Saturday “or an order declaring the outcome illegal”.

Joined in the suit deposed to by 36 SWAGA members and contestants in the ward congresses on behalf of over 3,650 members of the group in Ekiti was filed by their lawyers, Barrister Ayodeji Odu and five others for the plaintiffs, are APC (1st defendant), Mai Mala Buni(2nd defendant), Ekiti APC Chairman, Paul Omotoso (3rd defendant), Chairman, Ekiti Congress Screening Committee, Samuel Abejide (4th defendant) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (5th defendant).

Among others, the applicants are seeking from the court “a declaration that the 2nd defendant (Buni) cannot hold the position of Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee of the 1st defendant (APC) as such appointment/role is a constitutional violation of Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 8 of the 1st defendant’s constitution.

“A declaration that all actions or steps taken by the 1st defendant (APC) under the control, supervision, direction of the so called caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of APC, headed by the 2nd defendant, including the conduct of ward congresses across Nigeria and Ekiti State on 31st July, 2021 was illegal and unconstitutional on the ground that the 2nd defendant (Buni) under whose such steps or actions were taken was ineligible to superintend over 1st defendant party affairs while still serving in office as a Governor.

“A declaration that all committee/Ward congress committees set up by the 3rd defendant pursuant to the Ward Congress of 31st July 2021 was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and in total violation of the guidelines of the 1st defendant on conduct of the congress”.

The SWAGA members also sought “a declaration that no congress was held in Ekiti-State chapter of the 1st defendant as no result has been declared in respect of the congress as at the date of filing this case”.

They also sought “an order declaring the congress of the 1st defendant purportedly held on the July 31 and organized and conducted by or under the instruction/supervision of 2nd and 3rd defendants in Ekiti State as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void”.

They also prayed the court to declare that the congress of the 1st defendant purportedly held in Ekiti-State on the 31st day of July 2021 was in total breach of democratic norms and practices and violation of the Constitution and guidelines issued by the 1st defendant for the conduct of the 2021 ward congresses.

They also sought “an injunction restraining the 1st and 3rd defendants from conducting any further congresses into local government and state offices of 1st defendant in Ekiti State pending the determination of the substantive matter”.

The plantiffs asked for an injunction restraining the 5th defendant (INEC) from recognizing or dealing with any ward executive or officers purportedly produced from the purported ward congress of 31st July, 2021 in Ekiti State.

SWAGA State Chairman, Senator Tony Adeniyi, who said INEC and APC had been duly served, accused Buni, Omotoso and Abejide of evading service.

Adeniyi said, “Having realised that these defendants are trying to obstruct justice by evading service of papers, we are going to file a motion for substituted service on Monday September 6 before the court to make the service easier and for expeditious trial of the case”.

But the Secretary of Congress Committee in Ekiti, Femi Akindele, said whoever approached the court without exhausting internal mechanism to seek redress would be doing such in flagrant violation of the party’s constitution and guidelines.

Akindele said that the local government congress conducted in Ekiti on Saturday was undertaken without violating the constitution of the party and the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, saying the suit did not vitiate the process already undertaken.

Source: https://punchng.com

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Nigerians To Pay More For Beverages, Sweetened Drinks As FG Enforces Sugar Tax

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The Federal Government has commenced the implementation of the N10 per litre sugar tax on carbonated sugar drinks and beverages.

According to the Chief Superintendent of Customs, Department of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives, Dennis Ituma, the tax would help combat Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).

He spoke at a Policy Breakfast Meeting which held in Abuja this weekend.

The event was organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) to proffer ways to implement tax and other interventions to reduce consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) in Nigeria.

The implementation is coming despite pleas by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and some related stakeholders who asked the government to halt the policy introduced in the Finance Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2021.

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In a statement, the Coalition Representative of the 12-member NASR, Omei Bongos-Ikwue, quoted  the Customs official as saying the services had commenced.

“The N10 per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages has been implemented on June 1, by July 21, all excise duties must have been collected and paid into the federation account. It should interest you that taxation on SSBs was a policy of the Federal Government in 1984 but was stopped in January 2009.

“Previously both SSBs, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when SSBs was removed from taxable beverages,” he said.

Members of the NASR are Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Nigeria Cancer Society, Breast Without Spot, Lafiya Wealth Initiative, TalkHealth9ja, Nigeria Health Watch, Project PINK BLUE, Sustainable Development Initiative, African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD), Bundies Care Initiative, and Nigerian Heart Foundation.

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Ekweremadu: Immigration says Ukpo birthday certificate shows he’s 21 not 15

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Birth certificate of Ekweremadu ‘kidney donor’ shows he’s 21, says immigration

The Nigeria Immigration Service says David Ukpo, the “kidney donor” at the centre of the organ harvesting allegation against Ike Ekweremadu, is 21 years old — not 15.

Spokesman for the NIS, Amos Okpu, disclosed this in a statement released on Sunday.

Okpu said the birth certificate presented by Ukpo during his international passport registration showed that he is 21 years old.

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, were arrested last Thursday and arraigned in court for allegedly bringing a child to the UK for organ harvesting.

They were subsequently remanded in custody till July 7 while investigations are still ongoing.

The senator had written to the UK high commission to support a visa application of a “donor”.

Although the UK police said the donor was 15, Ukpo was listed as 21 years old on his international passport and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) portal.

The immigration spokesman said the birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the national identity number (NIN) slip presented by Ukpo indicated that he is 21.

He explained that Ukpo’s date of birth was listed as October 12, 2000 — meaning he will be 22 years old in October 2022.

“The facts of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that the said Mr David Ukpo Nwamina applied and paid for the enhanced standard passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja, on the 2nd November 2021 for his interview,” the statement reads.

“To support his application, Mr. Nwamina presented all the necessary documents required, including his National Population Commission (NPC) issued Birth Certificate, showing 12 October, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identity Number (NIN) corroborating the date of birth on his birth certificate, issued by NIMC; a letter of introduction issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office situated at Maitama District Abuja, and a Guarantor’s form duly signed by one Mr. Uchechukwu Chukwuma Ogbonno.
“In view of the above, the general public may wish to be informed that the date of birth, or any other information for that matter, on any Nigerian passport is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process that involves both physical and forensic examination of the applicant’s breeder documents. Mr. Nwamina’s case, therefore, was not different.”

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South African police investigate death of 20 in nightclub 

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South African police are investigating the deaths of at least 20 people at a nightclub in the coastal town of East London early Sunday morning.

According to AP, it is unclear what led to the deaths of the young people, who were reportedly attending a party to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

Local newspaper Daily Dispatch reported that bodies were strewn across tables and chairs without any visible signs of injuries.

“At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death,” said health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana.

“We are going to conduct autopsies as soon as possible to establish the probable cause of death. The deceased have been taken to state mortuaries,” Manana added.

The owner of the club, Siyakhangela Ndevu, told local broadcaster eNCA that he had been called to the scene early Sunday morning.

“I am still uncertain about what really happened, but when I was called in the morning I was told the place was too full and that some people were trying to force their way into the tavern,” he said.

“However, we will hear what the police say about the cause of death,” Ndevu added.

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