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Implementation Of Judicial Autonomy Must Be In Line With Constitution, Wike



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Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has accused the Federal Government of playing politics with judicial autonomy in total disregard to constitutional provisions.

The governor in a statement by his Media Aide Mr Kelvin Ebiri made the observation at the inauguration and handover of the National Industrial Court Judges Quarters in Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Governor Wike explained that under a federal system of government, it is only the executive arm of government, at all the tiers, that has the powers to present the annual budget to either State or National Assembly and also signed it into law.

According to him, the new narrative that a presidential implementation committee has been set up and will direct governors to sign budgetary allocations for the judiciary is purely unconstitutional.

Governor Wike said a federal government that is promoting autonomy of the judiciary should not have allowed the nation’s courts to be shut for about two months by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

“Is it true that the federal government wants the autonomy of the judiciary? If the federal government wants the autonomy of the judiciary, how can a government say that the courts should be shut down for almost two months now. Which country can survive when it’s courts are shut down for two months?”

Speaking further, the governor said his administration has fully implemented the autonomy of the judiciary and the legislature with releases of their financial entitlements as captured in the budget up till 2021.

Governor Wike explained that the funds released by Rivers State to the judiciary far exceeds the planned deductions by the federal government. He further declared that his administration is not owing parliamentary workers who are also currently on sympathy strike.

He proclaimed that already the no-work no-pay policy has come into force in Rivers State and all judiciary and parliamentary workers cannot sit at work and expect salary anymore.

Speaking on one of his motivations to provide judges with official residences, Governor Wike recalled how when he was Chief of Staff, he received a call at about midnight that a judge was locked out of his rented apartment by a landlord.

“From that day, I had this feeling that judges should not be so exposed to this kind of things that could lead to lose of their life. We have also acquired land to build for judges of the federal high court who are in rented apartment. And I know that the landlord has told me that they have not paid him for several years.

“That comes to tell you the kind of autonomy of the judiciary that the federal government says they believe in. We agree but the rent of their judges is there, they have not brought the money to pay.”

Inaugurating the facility, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad noted that Governor Wike has remained a strong voice in the clamour for judicial independence and financial autonomy.

Represented by Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Muhammad, said Governor Wike’s affection and innate passion for the welfare and wellbeing of the Nigerian judiciary is worthy of emulation.

“The Wike Model should be holistically espoused and replicated by other governors in the country for rapid development and growth of the Nigerian Judiciary.

“I would love to see this mind-blowing gesture, which I refer to as the emblem of humanitarianism, replicated all over the nooks and crannies of the country with a view to lifting the Nigerian Judiciary out of the current squalor which is, largely, inhibiting the seamless and speedy dispensation of justice.

“With this astounding feat, you have, for the umpteenth time, profoundly hoisted the banner of a true statesman.”

The Chief Justice declared that without any ambivalence, that Governor Wike remains a shining example in the comity of contemporary Nigerian political leaders who have the interest and welfare of the Nigerian judiciary at heart, both in words and in action.

“You are not doing this because you are a lawyer, as we have several lawyers occupying influential political offices in the country, but simply because you are a habitual care giver and development-conscious political leader.”

The President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Benedict B. Kanyip said Governor Wike has made history in Nigeria by being the first to build a court and residential apartment for judges of the Industrial Court.

Similarly, the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, stated that Governor Wike by providing conducive accommodation for judges has further expanded the frontiers of the access to justice.

On his part, Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), said Governor Wike was spurred to provide accommodation for the judges of the Industrial Court because of his quest to provide access to justice to people and residents of Rivers State.

The newly inaugurated Industrial Court judges quarters comprises of four duplexes with five bed rooms each, a club house and swimming pool.

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Atiku Calls For Speedy Declaration Of Adamawa Guber Election Result




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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

Former Vice President, Alh Atiku Abubakar has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to release Adamawa State Governorship election results unfailingly today.

Atiku who is the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in this February Presidential election made the call during a press conference in Yola Monday.

He calls on Nigerians and International community to mount pressure on the INEC to announce what he described as the mandate expressed by the people Adamawa people.

“I’m reaching out to Nigerians and international community to put pressure on INEC to release our results in Adamawa State today unfailingly because as the more the delay, the more the tension.

“I personally spoke with the INEC Chairman last night couple of times and pleaded with him to allow the result to be announced as stipulated by law,” Atiku added.

He observed that the actions of INEC has caused serious tension in the state that has been peaceful, saying “we don’t know any violence and yet the attitude of INEC in the state least much to be desired.”

Alh Abubakar said Adamawa is a multi ethnic and multi religious state but the action of INEC was trying to destabilize the stability that has long been existed in the state.

“We thought that the processes are improving by every election but unfortunately with this election, we have not seen improvement that we expect from INEC,” he said.

He maintained that 20 out the 21 local government results were so far collated and it was only Fufore that they tried to alter the results.

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2023 Polls: Taraba Deputy Governor, Manu Commends INEC, Calls For Peace




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Taraba State Deputy Governor, Engr. Haruna Manu on Saturday commended the INEC for swiftly testifying the lapses discovered during the 25th February 2023 Presidential and National Assembly election in the state.

Manu who is also the Senator-elect representing Taraba Central, made the commendation while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after casting his vote for the governorship and state house of assembly election alongside his wife at Isa II Kofar Manu polling unit in Mutum Biyu, Gassol local government area of the state.

He said by rectifying the mistakes made during the first phase of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state, Tarabans will exercise their franchise without hitches.

According to him, from the information reached him, the election generally was going on peacefully, adding that people were allowed to vote for candidates of their choice without any threat.

The Senator-elect assured his constituents of quality representation at the Red Chamber and promised to ensure that the needs they highlighted for him would be achieved during his tenure.

Engr. Haruna Manu also expressed confidence that his party the PDP will win the governorship election and the majority of the state house of assembly seats in the state.

He appealed to the people of the state to remain calm, law-abiding, and embrace one another, as well as urged them to accept the outcome of the election in good faith when INEC finally declared the winners of the governorship and state assembly seats.

Our Correspondent gathered that the elections were conducted smoothly across the sixteen LGAs of the state besides Donga LGA where hoodlums destroyed ballot boxes.

He, however, observed a low turnout of voters in some areas, while in some polling units, the turnout was higher than in the Presidential and National Assembly election that took place last month.

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2023 Polls: You Are A Liar, Taraba CAN Chairman Tells Senator Bwacha 




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Hammed Abubakar, Jalingo 

The Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Taraba State Chapter, has faulted claims by the Governorship Candidate of the APC, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, that the Chairman of the association, Rev Dr. Isaiah Magaji Jirapye apologized to him over the endorsement of Col. Agbu Kefas, PDP Governorship candidate by CAN.

Jirapye said, “it was very unfortunate for the personality of Senator Bwacha to have lied on Channels Television that I, the CAN Chairman visited him secretly and apologized over the endorsement of Col Agbu Kefas by the CAN”.

He said that all that Senator Emmanuel Bwacha said about CAN during his interview with Channels TV should be regarded as baseless, adding that the embattled APC governorship candidate is busy chasing a white goose. 

According to the CAN Chairman, “the meeting between myself and Senator Bwacha after the endorsement of Col. Agbu Kefas was for him to take the endorsement in good fate since it was a  unanimous decision by CAN, but I am surprised to hear the Senator on Channels Television lying that I went to apologize to him over the endorsement. 

Jirapye urged Senator Emmanuel Bwacha to desist from dragging CAN in his desperation to govern the State for his selfish reasons. 

“CAN position on endorsement was a unanimous decision and not that of myself the Chairman alone so I  advise desperate politicians to desist from using my name for their selfish interests”.

CAN warns desperate politicians such as Senator Bwacha whom he said lack manners but called themselves Christians, and at the same time insult their spiritual leaders at will to trade with caution. 

CAN is shocked by the kind of outburst of cancerous anger from the Senator and pray God to deliver him from such a problem, saying People of Bwacha’s character should be watched carefully and never be entrusted with Leadership positions to govern the people. 

The Chairman noted that the endorsement of the PDP governorship candidate Col. Agbu Kefas by CAN was in the best interest of the people of the State. 

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