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COURT DECLARES FG’S DEDUCTION FROM FEDERATION ACCOUNT TO FUND POLICE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

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…Wike SAYS ITS VICTORY FOR DEMOCRACY

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared as unconstitutional the Federal Government’s deduction of funds directly from the Federation Account to fund the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in line with Section 4(1)(a) and (b) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act 2019.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed made the declaration while delivering judgment suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/511/2020 filed by the Rivers State Government against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Accountant General of the Federation, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Minister of Finance on Wednesday.

Justice Mohammed asserted the provisions of Section 4(1)(a) and (b) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act 2019, that requires the Federal Government to deduct 0.05 per cent of any funds in the Federation Account and 0.005 per cent of the net profit of companies operating in the country to fund the police are unconstitutional.

The judge said the provisions of Section 4(1) (a) and (b) in the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act are inconsistent to the provisions of Section 162(1) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, that explicitly stated that the payment of total revenue collected by the Government of the Federation, including levies and taxes, must be paid into the Federation Account for sharing among the three tiers of government.

Justice Mohammed said the court agreed with Rivers State contention that, by virtue of Section 162 (3) of the Nigerian Constitution, funds standing to the credit of the Federation Account “can only be distributed among the Federal, State and Local governments in each State of federation and not directly to any agency of the Federal government, including the Nigeria Police Force.”

He said by the provision of Section 162(3) of the Constitution, no other entity, outside the three tiers of government is entitle to partake in the sharing of funds standing to the credit of the Federation Account. And based on this, he said Section 4(1) (a) and (b) in the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act are at variance with the provision of Section 162(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Justice Mohammed stated that since the police is an agency of the Federal Government, it is the duty of the Federal Government to establish and maintain the Nigeria Police Force and not the States.

He ordered the Federal Government to refund to the Rivers State Government its share of the funds from the Federation Account that have been illegally deducted since it commenced the deduction of funds based on provisions of Section 4(1) (a) and (b) in the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act.

Justice Mohammed granted reliefs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 as prayed by the plaintiff, and in respect of reliefs 6 and 8 the relate to refund, the judge said they should apply to Rivers States.

The trial judge, meanwhile, declined to grant similar order of refund to the other 35 States on the ground that they were not parties in the suit. According to him, Rivers State as the plaintiff in the suit, did not file it on behalf of other States.

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in his reaction, said the court verdict is a resounding victory for democracy because the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Act which the Federal Government relied on deduct funds from the Federation Account is in contravention of the 1999 Constitution.

“For me, it is a victory for democracy. And I have always told people, it is not whether you must win or not, but it is a matter of when you see issues that you think are in contravention of our Constitution and other laws, there is nothing wrong for you to challenge it, so that the right thing can be done.

“After all, if the money is given back to us, we can still on our own say police, we want to support you with this. But not the Federal Government arbitrarily deducting our money from the Federation Account and putting it to Police Trust Fund. I don’t think that, that is right and I thank God that today the court has made a clear pronouncement on it.”

The governor, acknowledged that though the National Assembly is constitutionally empowered to enact laws, in enacting the Police Trust Fund Act, they went beyond their powers by contravening the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria.

Speaking further on the order of the court that the State government should be refunded the money deducted from its share to fund the police, Governor Wike said the order will put an end to impunity.

“We are happy that the court has said that they should refund us all the money deducted and luckily the principal parties, Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, the Accountant General, Attorney General Office they are all involve in the case.

“…It is not about Rivers State, but it is about the impunity, it is about the violation of the constitution as if anybody can wake up one early morning and just decide to do one or two things, which is wrong. And I am happy that the decision we took, we are not wrong and I thank my legal team.”

Kelvin Ebiri

Special Assistant Media to the Rivers State Governor.
January 26, 2022.

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Former Perm Sec Commissions 4.6km Damare Road, Lauds Fintiri’s Achievements

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A retired federal permanent secretary and elder statesman Alhaji Ahidjo Bamanga has lauded Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri for his outstanding achievements in 3 years which have uplifted the status of the state

He was speaking during the commissioning of 4.6km ATV Damare road in Girei local government area.

Speaking shortly before the commissioning Alhaji Bamanga applauded the Governor for his commitment towards changing the fortunes of the state.

The elder statesman described Governor Fintiri as a committed, result oriented and great achiever who has salvaged the state from the shackles of underdevelopment urging all Adamawa people to support him for continuity.

Earlier Governor Fintiri said the 4.6km road is part of the landmark achievements in the deliveries of the urban renewal campaign of his administration.

The Governor said government has developed a two way approach to infrastructural strides which is urban renewal and rural infrastructure and community development and it will not rest on its oars till it achieves that.

He proudly noted that Adamawa is wearing a beautiful look and has fast become an investment hub for investors.

While pledging to continue to flag off and commission projects till the end of his tenure he reiterated his resolve to ensure that no one is left behind and nothing is left untouched.

Commissioner of works and energy development, Adamu Atiku
said the 4.6km ATV Damare road is strategic and important as it has ameliorated the plight of commuters and opened up the area for development.

There were goodwill messages from the District Head of Girei, Dr Ibrahim Ahmed Mustapha, and chairman Girei Local Government Council Judah Amisa and Baba Salam.

High points of the event was a display of three hearty cheers from corp members who are major beneficiaries of the road which leads to the NYSC orientation camp Damare.

The Governor while inspecting the road had a stopover at the NYSC camp and was cheerfully welcomed by the corp members.

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Accountability: Nat’l Lottery Trust Fund Emerges 2nd Best Compliant Agency In Nigeria

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Dr Bello Maigari, the Executive Secretary , National Lottery Trust Fund, has said that the Agency emerged the second best accountability compliant in Federal Government Agency’s Anti Corruption and Transparency Units ( ACTU) in 2021.

Dr Bello Maigari made the agency’s stand clear in a statement issued on Monday and signed by Muhammad Auwal Adam, Media and Puɓlications unit of the Trust Fund.

Dr. Maigari equally stated that the agency was the fourth best compliant among the government MDA in efficiency and transparency in the workplace.

“In less than Three years of the constitution of the Unit, the agency scored 84.45% to emerge the second best compliant in agency category in Nigeria and the fourth best compliant MDA with systems and processes put in place to promote efficiency and transparency in the workplace”. Maigari said.

According to Dr. Maigari, the success is attributed to the efforts put by the agency’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU).

The Executive Secretary stated that the development equally followed the high standards of transparency and accountability collectively exhibited by the management and staff of the agency.

Similarly, Federal Government has lauded the National Lottery Trust Fund for gigantic intervention in National Sports Development and urged other government MDAs to emulate.

According to Dr Bello Maigari, the commendation followed the giant intervention so far made by the agency in promoting nation’s sport.

He said that over N574m worth of sports equipment procured by the National Lottery Trust Fund and distributed to over 2000 selected public primary schools across the country.

He noted that the significance of the intervention would go along way in promoting good causes and sport Development among Nigerian Youths.//

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Ishaka Dedan Reelected As Adamawa NUJ Chair

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The Adamawa state Council of the Nigeria union of Journalists, NUJ Saturday held its election which saw the emergence of Ishaka Donald Dedan as the Chairman for the second term.

This was announced by the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the twenty twenty two election, Comrade Bashir Liman at the N UJ’s Secretariat, Press Centre Yola.

The returned Chairman, Comrade Ishaka Donald Dedan polled one hundred and ten votes to defeat his rival Comrade Kate Aliyuda who polled seventy two votes.

Meanwhile, Comrade Fidelis Jockthan polled one hundred and twenty votes to clinch the position of Secretary defeating his closest rival Jonathan Filibus who polled seventy three votes.

The office of the treasurer was won by Joy Diamond Leka with one hundred and sixteen votes beating her rival Felicia Amos who polled thirty seven.

Other positions of Auditor and Assistant Secretary were unopposed.

The newly elected leaders were administered oath of office by Barrister Sunday Wugira.

In an inaugural speech, the Vice Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalist, North East zone, Comrade Zare Baba charged the new executive to carry every body along and eschew bigotry and favoritism.

In an acceptance and victory speech, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Ishaka Donald Dedan who thanked God for the victory pledged to play an open door policy.

Comrade Dedan who solicited prayers and support of the members urged them to advise them where necessary.

Speaking, the Permanent Secretary ministry of information, Barrister Isuwa Misali who congratulated the new executives to work together towards forging the union forward.

Other speakers at the event who presented their good will messages include NUT state Chairman, Comrade Rodney Nathan, representative of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN Adamawa state Chapter and Radio Television Theatre and Art Workers Union, RATTAWU.

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