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Court Strikes Out FG’s Appeal Against Retired Justice Ademola, Others |RN

Justice Ademola
                                                  Justice Adeniyi Ademola (retd)

The Court of Appeal on Monday in Abuja struck out an appeal filed by the Federal Government challenging the discharge of Justice Adeniyi Ademola, his wife Olubowale, and Joe Agi (SAN), from answering fraud charges.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that an FCT High Court had, on April 5, dismissed all 18 counts, including gratification charges, preferred against them following ruling on a no-case-submission application.

Delivering judgment, Justice Olabisi Ige held that all the objections raised in the Notice of Appeal filed by the appellant were un-meritorious.

The judge said it was not in the place of law and practice direction of the court to interfere with a decision of the trial court without substantial reasons.

According to him, the grounds upon which the appellant is seeking the setting aside of the ruling of the trial court are not properly laid.

He said the appellant had not been able to discountenance the reasons that warranted the discharge of the three respondents.

Justice Ige held that some of the prosecution witnesses in the matter at the trial court had completely acted in ignorance of the situation they investigated.

On the voiding of Sections 53 and 60 of the Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission Act, which the trial held was in conflict with Section 36 (5) of the Constitution, the judge said the decision subsisted.

NAN reports that sections 53 and 60 hinge on the burden of proof of allegations of gratification.

Justice Ige however said that sections of an Act could only be voided to the extent of their inconsistency with the Constitution.

“From the notice of appeal, no mention was made on this aspect which means that the appellant is satisfied with the striking down of sections 53 and 60 of the ICPC Act.

“Having not appealed against the striking down of sections 53 and 60 of the ICPC Act, the decision of the trial court subsists.

“All the three issues brought for the court to decide are hereby ruled against the appellant and the appeal is struck out for lacking in merit.

“The ruling of justice Jude Okeke of the FCT High Court delivered on April 5 is hereby affirmed’’, the judge held.

The charges were filed by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation following the raid by Department of State Service’s operatives on the judge’s house on October 7, 2016.

The trial court had ruled that the prosecution was unable to make out a prima facie case with respect to any of the 18 counts on concluding its case with 19 witnesses

The court held that it would amount to asking the defendants to prove their innocence contrary to the provision of ‎the Constitution which required the prosecution to prove their guilt.

Ademola, a retired justice of the Federal High Court, Abuja, his wife and Agi had stood the trial on allegations of gratification to influence the decisions of cases before the former.

(NAN)

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Millionaire’s Girlfriend Dies After ‘Rough’ Lovemaking Marathon Session |RN

A multi-millionaire who left his injured and bleeding partner to die after “rough sex” at their home is set to be sentenced by a High Court judge.

Property developer John Broadhurst was, last week, cleared of murdering Natalie Connolly and causing her grievous bodily harm, but admitted her manslaughter on the grounds of gross negligence, Yahoo News has reported.

A trial was told that Broadhurst dialled 999 from his then home in Kenrose Mill, Kinver, near Stourbridge, informing the operator he had found his partner “dead as a doughnut” at the bottom of the stairs.

Miss Connolly, aged 26, was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic on the morning of December 18, 2016.

A post-mortem showed the mother-of-one had suffered more than 40 separate injuries, including serious internal trauma.

A trial at Birmingham Crown Court was told that Broadhurst claimed Miss Connolly was injured as a result of consensual sexual activity after both of them drank alcohol and took drugs.

The 40-year-old businessman – said during his trial to be worth up to £15 million – admitted manslaughter by leaving Miss Connolly unsupervised and failing to contact the emergency services in circumstances where “a risk of death as a result of her condition would have been obvious.”

Prosecutors had alleged that Broadhurst “totally lost it” during a drink and drug-fuelled sex session, before leaving Miss Connolly to die.

Broadhurst, now of Blakeshall Farm, Wolverley, will be sentenced on Monday by Mr. Justice Julian Knowles.  (Punch)

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Inflation Hits 11.28% In November, Says NBS |The Republican News

Inflation notches up to 11.28% in November, says NBS

“The urban inflation rate increased by 11.61 percent (year-on-year) in November 2018 from 11.64 percent recorded in October 2018…”

Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that inflation rate in November has moved up to 11.28 percent, 0.02 percent points higher than the 11.26 percent rate recorded in October 2018.

Recall that the inflation rate dropped to 11.26 percent in October from 11.28 percent in September because food prices had a negative inflation between September and October 2018.

But in a statement, at the weekend in Abuja, NBS said that in November, increases were recorded in all classifications of individual consumption according to Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.

“As regards month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.80 percent in November 2018, up by 0.006 percent points from the rate recorded in October 2018 (0.74) percent. The percentage change in the average composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12 months period that ended in November 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 12.41 percent, showing 0.37 percent point decline from 12.78 percent recorded in October 2018.

“The urban inflation rate increased by 11.61 percent (year-on-year) in November 2018 from 11.64 percent recorded in October 2018, while the rural inflation rate increased by 10.99 percent in November 2018 from 10.93 percent in October 2018. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.83 percent in November 2018, up by 0.07 from 0.76 percent recorded in October 2018, while the rural index also rose by 0.78 percent in November 2018, down by 0.06 percent from the rate recorded in October 2018 (0.72 per cent). The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 12.83 percent in November 2018. This is less than 13.21 percent reported in October 2018, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in November 2018 was 12.05 percent compared to 12.42 percent recorded in October 2018,” NBS said.

The CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.    (The Sun)

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Stop Discriminating Against The Igbo, Nwodo Warns |The Republican News

Nwodo enjoined the Igbo people outside their home states to respect the culture of their host communities and be guided by the laws of the land.

Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo, has cautioned Nigerians against any form of discrimination against the Igbo, saying the country belongs to all ethnic nationalities in the country.

Nwodo said the present composition of the country allows free participation of all ethnic groups in the political and social activities, hence, the need for Igbo to be given adequate opportunity to participate in political activities where ever they live within the country.

Speaking at this year’s Igbo Cultural Day celebration in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Nwodo observed that the Igbo ethnic nationality is the most marginalised ethnic group in the country.

The Ohanaeze leader said the Igbo should be allowed to hold political positions in any part of the state they find themselves.

He said: “As a student in the University of Ibadan, I contested the post of the President of the students union and I defeated a Yoruba man. Despite being an Igbo, I enjoyed the support of the Yoruba who were majority of the students.”

“I expect the same thing to happen in the larger society. I look forward to a country where an Igbo man will contest and win elections in Ondo or Osun State. And a Yoruba man will contest and win election in Imo or Enugu State.”

Nwodo also enjoined the Igbo people outside their home states to respect the culture and traditions of their host communities and be guided by the laws of the land.

He lauded the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, for creating an enabling environment for the Igbo to live and do their businesses, saying the support given to the Igbo is unprecedented.

Also, he stressed the need for business collaboration between the state and the Igbo, adding that the Igbo are ready to partner Akeredolu to drive the economy of the state forward.

In his remarks, Governor Akeredolu solicited the support of the Igbo ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Akeredolu, specifically, called on the Igbo living in the state to support his administration in his desire to transform the state and turn it to economic hub of the nation.

Similarly, former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, called on the Igbo to ensure they support credible candidates with good antecedents in next year’s general elections.

Mimiko, who is contesting for the Ondo Central Senatorial District election, on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party, said the Igbo hold vital position in the country and urged them to ensure they vote wisely during the forthcoming elections.

Describing the Igbo ethnic nationality as an indefatigable force in the country, Governor Akeredolu, who said the Igbo are lovers of good governance and democracy, assured his administration will not discriminate against them.

He said the Igbo living in the state benefit from programmes of his government, adding that many of them are given contracts like their Yoruba counterparts.

The governor said the Igbo have the right to enjoy the rights and privileges being enjoyed by the Yoruba in the state.

Also, he advised the Igbo to remain committed to the course of advancing the economic frontiers of the state, promising that his government will continue to partner them for the progress of the state.   (The Sun)

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Obasanjo Slams FG, Says Nigeria Left Behind For Not Signing Trade Pact |RN

Says Nigeria’ll be left behind for non-signing of trade pact

Obasanjo expressed optimism that the government would sign the AfCFTA in order to help its vibrant private sector benefit from the integration programme.

Amechi Ogbonna, Cairo, Egypt

Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and Chairman, Advisory Board of the First Intra-African Trade Fair holding in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday, lamented Nigeria’s failure to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), despite its leadership role in the continent.

He said it was absurd for Nigeria that had played many leadership roles on the continent from 1963 not to be part of the AfCFTA deal.

He said the rest of Africa countries was ready to proceed with the implementation of pact without Nigeria.

On March 21, 2018, 44 of the 55 African Union (AU) member states gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, to sign the AfCFTA with a view to creating a single market in the continent. Once the agreement is ratified by all signatories, the trade bloc to be created would encompass 1.2 billion people and over USD $2 trillion in combined (Gross Domestic Product (GDP.)

Obasanjo who featured at one of the closing sessions of the first Intra Africa Trade Fair and Exhibitions titled “Conversation with former Nigerian president” and moderated by Nigerian journalist, Mark Eddo, regretted that at a time the country was needed to provide leadership by being on the table to sign the AfCFTA, even after debating it at the highest policy making organ of the Federal Government, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the leadership suddenly developed cold feet thereby leaving other nations who were looking up to it for direction in quandary.

“I just sincerely hope and pray that Nigeria will be at the table before the implementation of the scheme begins. But the truth is that whether Nigeria is there or not, Africa has started to move forward and it cannot stop the rest of continent that have already signed the agreement.

He added: “We started it from 1963. From there we had the Lagos Plan of Action, then NEPAD, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and several others. But what has gone wrong today that Nigeria is taking the back stage in Africa’s economic integration initiative?”

Obasanjo, who also reminded his audience that Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa, with one third of its the population living in virtually all parts of the world, expressed optimism that the government would comply and sign the agreement in order to help its vibrant private sector benefit from the integration programme. He expressed satisfaction with the heavy presence of the Nigerian private sector at the Fair and urged the Nigerian authorities not to allow the opportunity to slip off their hands.

According to him, the AfCTA is the economic salvation that Africa needs to redeem the wrong perceptions of it left by colonialism.

“I don’t care what people say about me but I believe this is the time that we need to rise together and prove to world leaders that go with the perception that Africans live in huts and that we are shit holes, that we are human beings and the only way we can do this is by improving the standard of living of Africans.”

He, however, called on the Afreximbank leadership to continue with its effort and commitment to changing Africa, stressing that it was high time the colonial structures left by Europe and America were dismantled.

According to him, it’s only when we do that that we can be seen as human beings and not “shit holes”.

Meanwhile, Obasanjo has called on African leaders to commit more to infrastructure development, stressing that such investment would help the private sector expand its operations.  (The Sun)

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Guber Elections: Okorocha, Amosun’s Threat A Concern To APC |RN

     National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole

Kamorudeen Ogundele, Abuja

 

The All Progressives Congress is worried by the decision of some aggrieved members, including the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibukunle Amosun, and his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, to shun the APC governorship candidates in their states,  The PUNCH has learnt.

Some members, who were aggrieved by the party’s primaries, had vowed to work against the APC candidates in their states.

Besides the two governors, some lawmakers, who could not secure the party’s tickets have also vowed to work against the party’s candidates, except the President.

The APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, had earlier on Wednesday said the party could win the governorship elections in Imo and Ogun without the support of Okorocha and Amosun.

It was, however, learnt that despite the statement of Oshiomhole, the party leaders were concerned that some aggrieved members could spoil the chances of the APC.

This, a source said, informed the decision of the party to convene a consultative forum with governorship candidates, state chairmen and secretaries at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Thursday.

The source stated, “The party is disturbed by the tales from some states and decided to tackle the issues head-on so as not to play into the hands of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

“We know the party is waiting in the wings and looking for those who will be spoilers among us, so we have decided to be ahead of them.”

Another chieftain of the party, who would not want his name revealed because of the sensitive nature of the issue, cited Imo, Ogun and Zamfara states as places with high number of dissenters.

Okorocha, Amosun and the Zamfara State Governor, Abdul-Azeez Yari, are aggrieved that their preferred candidates did not get the tickets of the party.

The source said, “In Imo, Governor Rochas Okorocha has allowed his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to pick the nomination form of another party while he remains in the APC to contest the senatorial seat. We see this as handwriting that the governor will work against the party in the governorship election.

“His position and body language is sending wrong signals to our members, so we need to quickly move in to motivate our members in order to heal many wounds as may be possible. Many of them think the crisis must be handled fast to avoid a gale of defections.

“Also in Ogun, the governor has said he is working towards the re-election of President Buhari but said he would work against the party’s governorship candidate.”

Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, confirmed this fear in his opening remark at the consultative meeting.

Lalong said, “We have started to hear people say that they will campaign for the president, not the governor. The party structure is one and if they are not going to campaign for the governor, don’t campaign with us.

“Raise another structure in Abuja and remain in Abuja because if you come you are likely to dilute the message of the APC.”

Lalong urged the APC to release the campaign council so as to start working for the party.

“That is why I am also of the opinion that the earlier you release the campaign council, the better. Some of the items we intend to build into our campaign slogan are also for the president,” he added.

According to a communiqué signed by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Issa Lanre-Onilu, the consultative meeting resolved that party leaders must campaign for all candidates of the party (presidential, governorship and legislative positions).

“A situation where leaders engage in selective support by picking and choosing candidates to campaign for and support is anti-party.

“The Enugu State Chairman, Ben Nwoye, distanced the state chapter from the condemnable actions and utterances of a senatorial aspirant in the state, Mr Osita Okechukwu,” the communiqué stated.

The meeting also called on governorship candidates to run an issue-based campaign centred on the unprecedented achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration which is evident in all the states of the federation.

It urged the party’s governorship candidates to run an inclusive campaign by bringing onboard former aspirants.

The communiqué added, “The party’s governorship and other stakeholders were also encouraged to domesticate ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts by the National Working Committee.

“The consultative meeting passed a vote of confidence in the NWC led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. The NWC was urged to continue its effort to protect the best interest of the party and pursue efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation in the party.”

Speaking earlier at the opening, Oshiomhole said the consultative meeting was called to get feelers from states and to chart a way forward for the party’s victory in the 2019 general elections.

He lamented that there were some aggrieved members working with governors in states ruled by the opposition to ensure the APC did not have candidates.

“I am aware that we have some instances where some people have to go to court. And they are in two parts. There are some who are asking the court to declare them as the winner…where people are going to court to claim that there were no primaries such persons are not looking for solutions. Such persons are more or less agents of the opposition because if the court were to uphold their prayers, it means our party would have no candidate in such states. And the implication is that opposition will win such states.”

Oshiomhole said members had the responsibility to work wholeheartedly to deliver our candidates in their respective states.

“To be honest, l think that each and every one of you has one important role to play. Your actions could help the process of reconciliation and it could also deepen division. It would be helpful. No matter what anybody from outside who is helping you to reconcile with those who contested with you, your action would be far more potent in the process.”

Oshiomhole urged the candidates to woo over those who contested the party’s tickets against them.

“For example, in constituting your campaign organisation, if you find that there were those who wanted to be governors like you and who indeed have what it takes to be governors but the system can only produce one candidate, l think it would be best for you to identify such persons and bring them close and integrate them into your campaign organisation or if possible ask them to head the campaign.”

Also speaking, the Niger State Governor, Mohammed Bello, stressed the need to bring back aggrieved members.

“What we should do is to extend hands of fellowship to them and like the national chairman said, make them part of your campaign council. It will help to douse tension and give them a sense of belonging so that by God’s grace when we win in 2019, we must carry them along.

“The reconciliation committee is a good effort but we should set up similar committees at the state level. What we are doing in Niger State which we feel can help in other states is to refund the money they used in buying the forms. It will help douse a lot of tension. It is good that we are one united APC and together on one platform.”   (Punch)

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Mbaka, Obi Altercation Shameful – Catholic Bishops |The Republican News

Friday Olokor, Abuja

 

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has described the recent altercation between the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, and Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministries in Enugu as shameful.

The CBCN, therefore, warned its members against partisan politics, saying doing such amounted to a contravention of the Canon Law of the church.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the Secretary-General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu.

Madu said the incident did not have the support of the CBCN.

According to him, the stand of the Catholic Church on August 7, 2018 that priests should remain apolitical and must not support or subscribe to any political party has not changed.

He said, “Our concern is for a peaceful election process seen to be free, fair, credible and just. We are for a democratic governance that guarantees peace, justice, equity, development and religious freedom for the common good.

“Mindful of the present charged political life of the country, with the ongoing campaign of political parties gathering momentum, we deem it necessary to again remind all priests and faithful to keep the position of the church on the issue of non-partisan politics.”

He explained that while the Enugu Diocese is taking appropriate measures on the incident, “no Catholic priest or faithful should be involved in partisan politics in obedience to the Canon Law of the church.”  (Punch)

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