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Three lawmakers attacked on Nasarawa highway

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Three lawmakers in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly were said to have escaped death on Wednesday when gunmen opened fire on their vehicles.

The lawmakers — Samuel Tsebe, David Maiyaki and Peter Akwe — were reportedly attacked on the Akwanga-Lafia road in the state.

Nasarawa police spokesperson, Ramhan Nansel, who confirmed the incident, said Tsebe reported the attack to the Commissioner of Police, Adesina Soyemi.

Nansel said the lawmaker explained that he was attacked around 10am on Wednesday.

The police spokesman added that the commissioner of police had deployed officers of the anti-kidnapping unit to comb the area, and one suspect had been arrested.

Tsebe told journalists shortly after the attack that the three lawmakers “narrowly escaped assassination” during the attack.

Akwe was said to have been at the front in his car, followed by Maiyaki, while Tsebe was behind — also in his own car — when the incident occurred.

“When we are approaching Wowyen village along Akwanga-Lafia road, that is between the police mobile training college at Ende hills, and the village towards the bridge, I heard gunshots at the driver’s side of my car. I was the one driving. The bullets broke the glasses of my car,” he said.

“The (gun) shots were targeted at the driver and I was the one driving. This gave me suspicion that someone was monitoring my movement and knew that I was the one driving.

“It is more of assassination attempt. I have informed the police of the assassination attempt.”

Tsebe expressed gratitude to God for safety, and appealed to security agencies to fish out the criminals.

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2023: Court rejects motion seeking Tinubu, Atiku’s disqualification

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Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu

A Federal High Court, in Abuja, has refused to grant a motion, seeking an order compelling Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting Bola Tinubu as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

Similarly, the court declined to grant the prayer, asking INEC from recognising Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential candidate for the next year’s poll.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling Tuesday, instead ordered the plaintiffs; Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International (RAI) and Northern Nigerian Youth Democrats (NNYD) to put all the defendants on notice.

 Justice Ekwo, who refused to grant prayers one, two and three in the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/942/2022 which was dated and filed June 22 by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Kingdom Okere, however granted prayers four, five and six.

The judge further ordered the lawyer to effect service of the court papers on the defendants within seven days of the order and adjourned until July 14 for further mention.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that RAI and NNYD, through their lawyer, had filed the motion seeking for six orders.

Listed as defendants in the application include the APC, PDP, Tinubu, Atiku, Nyesom Wike, Bukola Saraki, Anyim Pius Anyim, Bala Mohammed, Udom Emmanuel, Terella Diana, Dele Momodu, Ayo Fayose, Charles Ugwu and Chikwendu Kalu as 1st to 14th defendants respectively.

Others are Sam Ohuabunwa, Chukwuemeka Nwajuba, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Ahmad Yerima, Rochas Okorocha, Tein Jack-Rich, Ben Ayade, David Umahi, Dr Ahmad Lawal, Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Yahaya Bello, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu, INEC and EFCC as 15th to 30th respectively.

Among the orders the court declined include “an order restraining, prohibiting and barring the 29th defendant (INEC) from accepting the nomination of the 3rd and 4th defendants (Tinubu and Atiku) as the presidential candidates of the 1st and 2nd defendants (APC and PDP) for the 2023 presidential election pending the hearing of the motion on notice or as may otherwise be directed by the Hon. Court.

“An order directing all parties in this suit to maintain status quo which existed before the suit pending as may otherwise be directed by this Hon. Court.

“An directing speedy hearing/fast-tracking of this suit and abridging the time within which the plaintiffs and defendants may file their respective defence/responses in this suit to five days from the date of granting this application.”

But the court granted an order of substituted service on Tinubu, Atiku, Wike, Saraki, Nwajuba, Bakare, Yarima, Okorocha, Jack-Rich, among others.

It also granted an order of substituted service on all the defendants through a publication of only the originating summons in a national daily.

Okere, who gave seven grounds why the orders should be granted, said the “suit is a public interest suit that seeks to promote constitutional democracy, rule of law, the Federal Character Principle and principles of equity, justice and fairness in holding the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” among others.

In the originating summons, the lawyer wants the court to determine “whether having regard to the clear, unambiguous and express provisions, spirit and tenor of ARTICLES 11 (A) (I), 12 (1) AND 13 (1) of the Constitution of the APC, 2014 (as amended), the special national convention of the 1st defendant held on the June 6 and June 7 was properly constituted as regards the composition of delegates who should attend and vote at the said convention.

“Whether having regard to the clear, unambiguous and express provisions, spirit and tenor of Section 33 (1) AND (5) (C) of the Constitution of the PDP, 2017, (as amended), the special national convention of the 2nd defendant held on the May 28 and May 29 was properly constituted as regards the composition of delegates who should attend and vote at the said convention,” among others. NAN/EAGLE

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Gay Asylum Seeker to Be Deported to Nigeria From UK

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Adeniyi Raji, a gay man from Nigeria facing deportation from the United Kingdom for the second time, is expected to be on board a controversial British Home Office charter flight that would convey deportees to Nigeria and Ghana on Wednesday.

According to The Guardian, other immigrants that are expected to be deported to both west African countries are mothers and grandmothers who have lived in the UK for decades.

When Raji was first confronted with a possible deportation by the authorities in 2017, the 48-year-old Nigerian said he needed protection to avoid being killed in his country because of his sexual orientation.

“I’m in the UK because I need protection. If I’m returned to Nigeria, they will kill me,” Raji said.

He went on to share screenshots of death threats he had received from Nigerians before fleeing the country back then.

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“So after all that we did to you before, you are still a practising homosexual. Wait until we see you down here, that will be the end of you,” one of the threats he received read.

Raji fled Nigeria after his ex-wife caught him in bed with his former partner in their Lagos home. He claimed his ex-wife then raised the alarm, which led to people gathering to beat him severely.

He added that he was subsequently declared wanted by the Nigerian police and was also sacked from work by his former employer as a result of the incident.

However, the Home Office has declared that it was returning people that fall into Raji’s category because it had been deemed safe by the court.

“The UK only ever returns individuals to their country of origin when the Home Office and, where applicable, the courts deem it is safe to do so,” a spokesperson said.

In Nigeria, homosexual acts are punishable with up to 14 years in prison. Gay marriage and displays of same-sex affection are also outlawed. After Pakistan and Bangladesh, Nigeria is the country that produces the largest number of asylum claims based on sexual orientation.

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Ohanaeze, IPOB kick against court dismissal of Kanu’s bail application

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu in court

Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Indigenous People of Biafra have condemned court rejection of a fresh bail application sought by the IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu.

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed the application for bail by the detained IPOB leader on the grounds that it was an abuse of court process, having being previously rejected.

Both Ohanaeze and IPOB attributed the court’s verdict to Buhari’s recent statement.

They in seperate interviews said the development was due to the body language of the President, who they claimed had ruled out bail option for the IPOB leader during his (Buhari) recent visit to Kigali, Rwanda.

The fresh bail application was filed pending the determination of the treasonable felony charge against him by the Federal Government.

Kanu, who is currently facing seven-count, had in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), also challenged the revocation of the bail the court earlier granted to him.

He asked the court to set aside the order it made on March 28, 2019, which not only issued a bench warrant for his arrest, but also gave the Federal Government the nod to try him in absentia.

Dismissing the bail request on Tuesday, the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, said she was not satisfied with the reason the IPOB leader gave for his failure to appear in court for continuation of his trial.

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While delivering her ruling in a motion on notice asking for revocation of the arrest warrant upon his re-arrest, Justice Nyako held that the motion lacked merit because Kanu had not explained his whereabouts for over two years when he jumped bail.

The judge dismissed Kanu’s claims that he was denied fair hearing because the order for his arrest was issued in his absence.

Justice Nyako held that Kanu was adequately represented in court when the Federal Government applied for the warrant of arrest and that his surety, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, was also in court.

The court said Kanu who jumped bail granted him on health ground cannot turn around to make allegations of lack of fair hearing.

Justice Nyako while dismissing the motion upheld the arrest warrant against the self and IPOB leader.

In an interview with The PUNCH after the court ruling, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the group was not surprised, having seen outcome through the President’s body language and utterances.

He said Buhari’s comment on the matter in Kigali was aimed at intimidating the judge to dismiss the bail application.

He said, “Buhari’s recent statement in Kigali, Rwanda was a testament that he has lost focus because he said he won’t interfere in the judicial process on Nnamdi Kanu, but was talking with both sides of his mouth.

“IPOB understands the body language of Buhari and his Federal Government that they will influence Justice Binta Nyako to drop bail applications for Nnamdi Kanu’s freedom.

“But we are ready to wait for them. We want to use this medium to inform humanity, particularly Biafrans to stay calm and that victory must come to us.”

The Secretary, South-East Zone of Ohanaeze, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, also attributed the court’s verdict to Buhari’s statement.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Okeke-Ogene said, “If you assess the President’s comments and utterances before today’s court sitting, you will understand that he was not interested in releasing the young man because he knows that doing so will bring happiness to the people of the South-East, who are longing for his release.

“Although, the court has adjourned the matter, but Buhari’s recent utterances in the build up to the court sitting greatly influenced the decision of the court and the President knows that keeping Kanu means that the insecurity in the South-East will continue because the people see him as their idol and they want him released.”

Also, the Coalition of South- East Youth Leaders has also expressed its displeasure over the court’s ruling.

The group’s President General, Goodluck Ibem, made its position known in a statement made available to The PUNCH.

The statement read in part, “The verdict of Justice Binta Njako is the same statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, June 23, 2022 during a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, at the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kagali, Rwanda.

“When did the statement of the President become the verdict or judgment of the court?  Are we running a democratic government or a unitary system of government were only one man determines the fate of millions of Nigerians even when it is unconstitutional, undemocratic and inhuman?”

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