Court asks 37 defecting PDP lawmakers to resign
• Voids planned House leadership change
IN a landmark verdict, the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, Monday declared that the 37 members of the House of Representatives who defected from People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC) had no basis to retain their seats having dumped the party which sponsored them. The court also barred the House of Representatives from changing its principal officers as it held that the defecting lawmakers were not competent to vote to remove the leadership of the House or even sponsor a motion to that end. PDP had sued the House of Representatives and listed as 2nd to 10th defendants all its principal officers of the lower chamber of the National Assembly, including the Speaker (Aminu Tambuwal), Deputy Speaker (Emeka Ihedioha), Mulikat Akande-Adeola (The Majority Leader), Leo Ogor (Deputy Majority Leader), Isiaka Bawa (Chief Whip), Ahmed Mutkar (Deputy Chief Whip), Gbajabiamila (Minority Leader), Samson Osagie (Minority Whip) and Sumaila Kawu (Deputy Minority Leader). The defecting lawmakers were listed as 12th to 53rd defendants. Tambuwal had aligned with the APC and its new lawmakers to pray the court to dismiss the action for being unmeritorious and non-justiceable.
Source: The Guardian
Sanusi financing terrorism –FG, SSS
The Federal Government and the State Security Service have accused the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, of financing terrorism.They made the allegation in counter-affidavits they deposed to before a Federal High Court which is hearing a suit instituted by Sanusi. The ex-CBN chief is seeking a perpetual injunction to restrain the SSS and the police from arresting him. Sanusi’s lawyer, Mr. Kola Awodein, who made reference to the allegation on Monday, told the court it was an afterthought which government came up with after seizing Sanusi’s passport. Awodein said, “The seizure of the applicant’s international passport by the third respondent, is a violation of his freedom of movement. “The first to third respondents give conflicting reasons as to the complaint made against the applicant: This conflict goes to show that they acted without due process of the law. “The allegation against the applicant as to funding of terrorism, is an afterthought by the respondents, which is not backed by facts, as there is no reasonable suspicion that the applicant committed any crime. “The law clearly defines how such duties should be performed, and so, I invite your Lordship to hold that the applicant has a cause of action against the respondent.
Source: The Punch
NIS tragedy: Moro, others must refund applicants, Reps PPC Chairman insists
ABUJA—The Chairman of Public Petitions Committee in the House of Representatives, Mr. Uzo Azubuike, yesterday, insisted that the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and authorities of the National Immigration Service, NIS, must refund the N1000 that were paid by applicants that participated in the botched recruitment exercise that claimed over 18 lives across the federation. Speaking at an interactive meeting that was organized by Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, working on rights and governance issues, yesterday, Azubuike, described the recruitment tragedy as a national disgrace. According to him, “It was very unfortunate that the applicants were not only exploited, but ended up losing their lives. How can they ask the applicants to pay N1000 each to participate in the recruitment exercise when funds needed for such exercise was already provided for in the budget. “You cannot ask a poor Nigerian who has no job and is applying for a job he or she may not even get, to pay. It is a disgrace to the nation that people who came for the exam were struggling for the question papers and not answer sheet. “They were treated like mere objects and not human beings. The National Assembly is already on the matter and we will make sure that justice is done for both the living applicants and the dead ones”, he added. Moreover, Azubuike, disclosed that the National Assembly has commenced the process of amending the laws that established the Public Complaints Commission with a view to empowering it to fight for the rights of Nigerians.
Confab delegates adopt 70% majority vote
Foreign aircraft supply arms to insurgents, delegate alleges Delegates at the on-going National Conference have at last settled for 70 per cent majority as voting benchmark in reaching decisions at plenary. The delegates also conceded the selection of chairmen and deputy chairmen of committees to principal officers who constitute the select committee of the confab. They arrived at this decision when the conference resumed plenary on Monday in Abuja, after all parties had reconciled their dissenting views on the voting benchmark. The conference got stalled all through last week, as delegates failed to agree on whether to adopt three-quarters or two-thirds majority as the voting pattern to use in arriving at decisions whenever the whole house failed reach a consensus. Before the delegates adopted the 70 per cent benchmark on Monday, they all observed a minute silence in honour of their departed colleague, Mohammed Misau. Misau, a former Deputy Inspector General of Police, died on Thursday last week at the National Hospital, Abuja, following a brief illness. He has since been buried according to Islamic rites.
Source: Daily Independent
Investors to pump $2.6bn into Nigeria’s sugar industry
• As demand rises to 2m tonnes Nigeria’s sugar industry is recording huge growth following the decision of four key players to pump $2.570 billion into the industry. This development follows on sharp increases in demand to 2 million metric tonnes (MT) as at the end of 2013, from 1.5 million MT recorded by the end of 2012, information from the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) has shown. Dangote Sugar is coming up with $2 billion investment in six states in the country through its recently acquired Savannah Sugar plc in Numan, Adamawa State, North-East Nigeria. Its target is 1.5 million MT and expansion from current 6,500 hectares (ha) to 21,000 ha to produce 100,000 tonnes of sugar annually by 2018. HoneyGold Group, on the other hand, is to invest $300 million on two sites in Adamawa State, with the target of producing 200,000 tonnes of sugar annually; while Crystal Sugar Mills is currently investing $30 million to expand its operations to produce 60,000 tonnes of sugar per annum from its acquired 1,500 TCD sugar plant at Hadejia, Jigawa State.
INEC begins demarcation of constituencies for 2015
Jega’s 17-man panel to review lawmakers’ seats allocation. A major redrawing of constituencies, which may affect representation in the House of Representatives and State Assemblies, has begun. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inaugurated yesterday a committee to redelineate the constituencies nationwide. The 17-man committee, headed by INEC chair Prof. Attahiru Jega, will review the existing constituencies and the allocation of seats. It will also identify imbalances in the existing arrangement and correct them. Apart from the Senate where representation is based on equality of three per state, the House of Representatives and Houses of Assemblies’ seats are allocated based on population. They are likely to be affected at the end of the INEC programme, which must nevertheless be approved by the National Assembly. Mr. Kayode Oladimeji is the secretary of the committee. The review of the constituencies is coming 18 years after the last one carried out in 1996. The country has 388 constituencies and the law provides for a review every 10 years.
The Nation, front pg, cont pg2
Oil marketers threaten strike, 28 depots dry up
Oil marketers on Monday threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over the alleged illegal shutdown of the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company’s depot in Apapa, Lagos by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers. The Chairman, Concerned Marketers, Mr. Abidemi Agunbiade, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said the current fuel scarcity in the country might be aggravated by the continuous shutdown of the NIPCO’s depot, which pumps 30 per cent of the daily national demand.
The Punch, pg26
8. Nigeria must grow faster to reduce poverty level – Okonjo-Iweala
• Says power sector, long-term funds key. Despite the air of pessimism about Nigeria, Coordinating Minister for its economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala insists that there are still many out there who still see and believe in the potentials of the country from both local and international investors.
Daily Independent, pg27
Right group berates LASG for disobeying court order on Lekki-Ikoyi bridge
Lagos—A civil rights group, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, yesterday, condemned the Lagos State Government for allegedly disobeying last week’s order of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, which nullified the collection of tolls at the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, Lagos.
I did not ask for Nkandla upgrade – Zuma
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has said he did not request a controversial upgrade to his private residence and asked why he should pay for it, BBC reports. The government ombudsman has said he should repay some of the $23m (£14m) of public money used on his residence in Nkandla. The main opposition party has laid corruption charges against him.
The Punch, pg54