Vanguard Newspaper 14 April 2018
8 — SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 From left: DG NACA, Dr. Sani Aliyu, Chairman; Senate committee on health Senator Olanrewaju Tejuoso, wife of the Senate president Mrs. Toyin Saraki, first Lady Hajia Aisha Buhari; Wife of the Speaker House of Representatives, Mrs. Gimbiya Dogara during the advocacy meeting of Stakeholders for the Future Assured Project of the Wife of the President at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida Abia: Gov Ikpeazu wins, S-Court awards N4m cost against appellant By Ikechukwu Nnochiri The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed a suit that sought the removal of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State from office over his alleged complicity in tax fraud. The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices, threw out the appeal that was filed by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and governorship aspirant in the state, Sir Friday Nwosu. In the lead judgment that was prepared by Justice Amina Augie but read by Justice Sidi Bage, the Supreme Court, held that Nwosu’s appeal was frivolous and grossly lacked in merit. As a punitive measure, the apex court awarded N4million cost against the appellant who it said should pay N1m to each of the four defendants in the appeal marked SC/693/2017. Aside governor Ikpeazu, other Respondents in the appeal were the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Dr. Samson Ogah. The apex court upheld the earlier verdict of the Court of Appeal which also refused to sack governor Ikpeazu from office over his alleged submission of irregular tax papers to INEC prior to the 2015 governorship election in Abia State. It will be recalled that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on June 27, 2016, sacked governor Ikpeazu from office over the alleged tax fraud. Justice Abang further directed INEC to issue fresh Certificate of Return to Ogah who came second in the primary election that produced Ikpeazu as gubernatorial flag-bearer of the PDP for the 2015 poll. However, Nwosu went to court, contending that based on the high court judgment, he should be the one to take over from Ikpeazu as the governor of Abia State. Nwosu told the court that Ogah not only refused to sign result of the PDP primary election, but equally condemned the entire exercise as being fraudulent. He argued that Ogah who came second at the primaries, having failed to sign or accept the outcome of the PDP gubernatorial primary election, ought not to benefit from it. The appellant maintained that he was the only qualified candidate to assume the governorship seat having scored the third highest number of votes at the primaries and also signed the result sheet. His argument was however dismissed on Friday by the Supreme Court panel led by Justice Olabode Rhodes Vivour. A five-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Morenike Ogunwumiju had on August 18, 2016, nullified the high court verdict that sacked Ikpeazu and recognised Mr. Ogah as duly elected governor of Abia State. While setting-aside the high court verdict, the appellate court, knocked Justice Abang who it said “stood the law on its head”, as well as adopted a “hostile proceeding” against Ikpeazu and the PDP. The appellate court noted that allegation of forgery and tax evasion levelled against Ikpeazu were “very contentious”, saying Justice Abang was wrong to have determined the case on the basis of an Originating Process instead of Writ of Summons. It concluded that Ikpeazu was denied fair hearing by the high court. Soldiers coerced me to implicate Shehu Sani in murder case — Suspect By AbdulSalam Muhammad A principal suspect in the al leged murder of one Lawan Maiduna of Kaduna state, Garba Isa, weekend painted a gruesome picture of how the military tortured him to implicate a Senator representing Kaduna Central at upper chamber, Senator Shehu Sani in a murder case. 46-year-old Isa, a resident of Kabalan Doki told Vanguard that “I saw hell in the hands of the military and police over their desperate attempt to implicate senator Sani”. He said “I am a professional painter and also a member of vigilante, I swear to God that Shehu Sani never knew me. Even if he passes here now, I believe he would not know me at all but they insisted I must implicate him but I refused’. Isa said he was tortured to “accept the fact that Senator Sani gave one Bashir Hamdada money to kill Maiduna”. He told Saturday Vanguard that the military took him to Ahmed Aruwa’s Farm located along Kaduna- Abuja road where they threatened to kill him if he did not accept to implicate Senator Sani as the man that hired him to kill Lawan Maiduna. Isa explained that, “I never knew Bashir Hamdada, let alone his illegal activities, but I was tortured and forced to make a statement that could implicate the senator over the alleged murder.” Speaking further on his experience at the military detention centres, Isa said,”I spent two weeks facing series of torture while I was with the military before I was handed over to Kaduna state CID”. He said, “it all began when the military invited me to identify some persons arrested in connection with alleged murder of the said person.” “Immediately we came to the place where the arrested persons were tortured, soldiers began to torture me and insisted that I must mention Sani’s name to be the one behind the murder”. ‘At the CID office in Kaduna, the CID, I spent a month before I was taken to prison on awaiting trial, but I was quickly granted bail to go and seek medical attention over wounds sustained while in detention that arose from right violation”. He lamented that “I was accused without any physical evidence to support their charges”. FUTA 200 level el student killed by hit and run driver Dayo Johnson, Akure A 200 level student of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA Ondo state, Deborah Olajide has been killed by a hit and run driver on her way from vigil. The deceased who was a first class student of the department of Food Science Technology FST was said to have been knocked down by the driver of a vehicle. Her lifeless body was discovered early in the morning around AKAD area, Akure metropolis along the Expressway by her colleague who live off campus. Report had it that the deceased who left the vigil for her residence was knocked down by the driver who was coming on a top speed and in an attempt to avoid the speed breakers in front of the institution rammed into the deceased. It could not be confirmed if she was the only one that left the vigil before daybreak. Her corpse has been deposited at the Mortuary of the state Specialist hospital in Akure. Consequently, the students blocked the expressway to show their grievances. Church of Nigeria crowns Uzodinma Ambassador of Christ THE church of Nigeria Anglican Communion of Orlu diocese has crowned Sen. Hope Uzodinma the Ambassador of Christ of the diocese for his long standing tenacious commitment to the service of God and the growth of the church. Uzodinma a devout catholic who represents Imo West (Orlu Senatorial district) in the red chambers of the National Assembly was the guest speaker at the 17th mothers union conference of the diocese at St. Andrews Anglican Church during the weekend in Orlu where he spoke on “The Remedy to the continuous marginalization of the South East in project Nigeria”, and concluded that a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023, Restructuring and Technological advancement by the Igbos, were the remedies. The unique Ambassador of Christ award was conferred on him in a colorful ceremony by the Arch Bishop of the diocese which covers the 12 local governments in Imo West. His Lordship, the most Rev. B.C Okoro. The President of the women ministry of the diocese, Mrs D.A Okoro (Nneoma) who was assisted by other women to decorate the Senator with the award said the honour was bestowed on him by the women of the diocese because they have observed his activities for many years, “and arrived at the unassailable conclusion that his senator is sincerely devoted and committed to the service of God and the growth of the church”. “We have followed with keen interest Senator Uzodinma’s uncommon devotion to the Service of God and the growth of the church and we are satisfied that he deserves this award which should encourage him to do more work for Christ not just in Orlu diocese but in Imo State and Nigeria” Mrs Okoro declared. Uzodimma who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Customs, excise and tariffs and Chairman Southern Senators Forum, thanked the Church for the rare honour and assured that he will do his best to live up to their expectations. Earlier in his speech, the Senator said there was abundant evidence that the South East has indeed been continuously marginalized. He recalled that Ndigbo had a competitive edge over other nationalities in the country before the outbreak of the civil war and traced the root of the marginalization to the Coups and Counter Coups of 1966, the civil war and the post civil war policies of the government. According to the Senator, one way to remedy the scourge was for the Igbos to produce Nigeria’s President in 2023 so that they can be reassured of accommodation by the rest of Nigeria and also restore their battered post war psyche and sense of dignity. He argued that to achieve this, Ndigbo should support a Northern Presidential Candidate in 2019 who will not seek re-election, but only after extracting an agreement from him that he will support the South-East for the presidency in 2023.
Patience Jonathan: Court strikes out EFCC’s forfeiture application of $8.4m, N9.1bn By Innocent Anaba A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, struck out a forfeiture application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for the sum of $8. 435,789.84 million and N9.185, 327, 362 billion, allegedly linked to the former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan and six others. The monies were said to be lodged in Skye Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Stabic-IBTC and First Bank Plc. Respondents in the suit are Mrs. Jonathan, Globus Integrated Service Limited, Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited, Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited, and Magel Resort Limited and Esther Oba. Trial judge, Justice Majisola Olatoregun, struck out the application, for being an abuse of court processes. The court had earlier granted an exparte application by the EFCC, temporary forfeiting the said amount, after it ordered the Commission to file an affidavit showing that the said sums were not subject of litigation before another court. Striking out this suit, yesterday, Justice Olatoregun stated that the anti-granft agency had not shown enough evidence to indicate that matter before her court was not subject of litigation before any other court. The judge also berated EFCC for being in the habit of carrying out media trial against suspects rather than do justice to accused persons and the society. She also criticised EFCC’s act of forum shopping, running from one court to another, in order to denigrate and malign suspects without putting their facts together. The judge held that it was an abuse of court process to file similar cases such as the one before her in different divisions of the Federal High Court as the EFCC did before Justice Nyako, herself and Justice Tsoho of Saraki urges reforms of Int’l Criminal Court PRESIDENT of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has called on the new President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji, to among others, embark on urgent reforms in the court in order to reassure some African leaders who accused the ICC of discrimination. Saraki who gave the charge when Justice Eboe- Osuji visited him at the From left: Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro(celebrant), his wife, Engr. (Mrs) Ebierin Otuaro; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; Prof. Sam Oyovbaire and his wife during the Public Lecture/Book Presentation marking the 50th birthday ceremony of the Deputy Governor held in Warri yesterday. Photo: Henry Unini. Abuja and Lagos Divisions of the same Federal High Court. The court held that fighting corruption does not equate to not respecting rights of citizens. She consequently, struck out the EFCC’s application for being abuse of court processes. Before the court’s ruling, Mrs. Jonathan, through her lawyers, Mr. Ifedayo National Assembly, also urged the international jurist to use his tenure at the Court to restore confidence in the ICC. The President of the Senate, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, said: “You have come at a very challenging time because as you know there are brother African countries that have different views Adedipe and Mr. Mike Ozekhomeh, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, had urged the court to dismiss the EFCC’s application against their clients, for being abuse of court processes. At one of the days of the hearing of the matter, the two senior lawyers told the court that the EFCC had filed similar application before a Federal High Court, about the ICC at this particular time and Nigeria will continue to play the role to stand firm to be able to be a kind of arbiter between different countries. “I think having you as the President is well thought out. It is very important to have someone like you heading the place. I think there’s need to look at reforms in order to give everybody a sense of belonging and fulfil the goals and objectives of the Abuja, which was yet to be determined, before the application on the same subject matter was filed before another the court. However, the EFCC through its lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo had told the court that his employer, EFCC,had filed a notice on discontinuation on the case before Justice Binta Nyanko. Blame our past leaders for Nigeria’s problems, Ekweremadu By Henry Umoru DEPUTY Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said yesterday that Nigeria’s leaders over the years should be blamed and held responsible for the nation’s many problems associated with the nation’s diversity. Ekweremadu has however faulted the notion that Nigeria’s diversity was the cause of her internal divisiveness and wrangling, just as he blamed the military incursion into politics for the seeds of discord and distortion of Nigeria’s federal structure, which he said had now left Nigeria a Federal Republic in name, but a Unitary Republic in practice. Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the first Isawa Elaigwu Foundation Annual Distinguished Lecture with the theme: “Federalism, Diversity, and Nation-Building: Tackling the Challenges of integration in Nigeria,” the deputy Senate President lamented that decades after Nigeria’s independence and the civil war, “the crisis of identity, ethno-religious squabbles, debilitating nepotism, pampering and promotion of mediocrity, sectional segregation, and other factors that were responsible for the war have persisted.” Ekweremadu argued that, “the results of all the military adventures were structural imbalance, resource capture through the destruction of the principle of fiscal federalism, centralisation of the police system, and inequity in the distribution of opportunities.” The deputy Senate President urged Nigeria to learn from the United States of America, which, according to her former Vice President, Joe Biden, took a vast continent and diverse people and moulded them into a united representative of democracy, where people see themselves as Americans first. ICC. I think that there will be need to always do that which is right to give all countries a sense of belonging.” He also assured Justice Eboe-Osuji of the National Assembly’s support saying, “What I can assure you, is that here in the National Assembly, we will support you and ensure that you make your mark and be a shinning star among us and other countries. SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 — 9 2019: I’m running to better lives of Deltans — Odokpo By Festus Ahon, ASABA DELTA State Governorship aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Ikechukwu Odikpo has said he joined the race to make life better for all Deltans. Odikpo who stated this when he paid a consultation visit to the leadership of the party in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state, said he had the requisite experience to govern the state. The Governorship aspirant who had also visited Ward 4 (Onicha Olona) Executives, said: “I know the pains of the people; we shall address their needs if elected,” adding that the APC was better “positioned more than ever before to win the Delta governorship election. “The story of APC Delta State is one that I know very well, right from its inception. I know the story of its formation and the battles we fought before the present prominence the party enjoys. For those of you who can remember how it has been in this party, you will understand that it was not easy at all. “I believe that I can lead the charge to take over Delta State in 2019. I have a desire to make lives better for Deltans. I did not make money from government, I have been a private businessman and haven’t stolen from anywhere and any man,’’ he said. Leaders need training to attain global citizenship — Ogudoro By Simeon Ndaji PUBLIC and private sector leaders in Nigeria can have access to high quality professional training in business management, entrepreneurship and attain global citizenship and contribute optimally to the building of a viable nation. A UK-based Educationists and Development Communication Consultant, Dr Peter Ogudoro made this statement in Ikeja,Lagos on Thursday in respect of a special accelerated training programme scheduled to last for seven intensive learning days starting from April 21- 29,2018 at Ikeja. The training will prepare the participants for professional Business Management and Public Relations practice and put them on a global network that will accelerate their careers considerably. Speaking to Saturday Vanguard,Dr Ogudoro said, “This is a special project meant to help the next generation of public and private sector leaders and scholars in Nigeria access high quality professional training in business management, entrepreneurship and secure a world class employability and business credentials in 2018 through a special scholarship scheme for young scholars. This will help beneficiaries flourish and forge ahead of their peers in an increasingly challenging economic climate.” He stated that talented graduates and undergraduates, as well as hardworking higher education aspirants with relevant aptitudes will get 72% scholarship to enable them participate and acquire the 21st century skills that will distinguish them from the crowd for guaranteed employment,entrepreneurship opportunities, and scholarship for post graduate studies both within and outside Nigeria. Suspension: Omo-Agege appeals for calm FOLLOWING his suspension by the Senate on Thursday, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the red chamber has appealed to his constituents to remain calm, saying that there was no insurmountable challenge before him as he has adequate capacity to address the widely reported “suspension” matter. Omo-Agege who spoke through his aide, Prince Efe Duku, said it was a well-known fact the issues acted upon by the Senate are pending before a court of competent jurisdiction and therefore subjudice. He said, “it is the Senate’s view that the issues be withdrawn from court for an amicable resolution to hold. Until a resolution is reached, it is better to respect the court processes by not commenting on them. “We note that as part of the resolution of the issues, the Senate President, ruled that the Parliamentary Support Group in the Senate for President Muhammadu Buhari should be disbanded. This should be a matter for the over 50 members of the PSG to decide, possibly with President Buhari on whose behalf they openly work as Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic,” he added. He reiterated, “we appeal for calm and assure that as a fervent believer in the rule of law, our Senator is in positive spirit. He deeply respects the institution of the Senate and his good friends in the Senate. He will never undermine them. He remains an ardent supporter of Mr. President’s agenda for a better nation for all and will continue to work assiduously for his re-election.”