Connect with us

Politics

Orji Kalu Set To Resume At Senate Tomorrow After 5 Months In Prison

Published

on

Barring any last-minute changes, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, who was released from a correctional facility in Kuje, Abuja on Friday is set to resume at the Senate tomorrow, Daily Trust reports. It could be recalled that the former Abia State governor was jailed in December 2019 over allegation of misappropriation of Abia’s state funds to the tune of N7.6 billion during his tenure; between 1999 and 2007.

He pleaded not guilty. The lawmaker, who represents Abia North in the Senate under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), heaved a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court, last Friday, quashed the judgement of the lower court that convicted him to a 12-year jail term.

Kalu and co-defendants, Slok Nigeria Ltd and a former Director of Finance of the Abia State Government House, Jones Udeogu, had challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in Lagos to conduct the trial after the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal, returned to conclude the proceedings.

At the Supreme Court, the justices held that the judge had no jurisdiction when he convicted Kalu as the fiat he was given to conclude the trial was inconsistent with the provision of the constitution that a judge of the court of appeal cannot “descend” to also be a judge of the Federal High Court. After his conviction, Kalu, who is the Senate Chief Whip, continued to enjoy all his entitlements, including salaries while in prison even without performing any legislative duty.

The Red Chamber had said that despite his conviction, Kalu remained a serving lawmaker until he has exhausted all legal options available to prove his innocence of the case. “There is no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant,” the former Senate spokesman, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, had said.

In Kalu’s absence, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi Sabi (APC, Niger), the Deputy Chief Whip, held sway. A source close to Kalu said the lawmaker is most likely to resume at the Senate on Tuesday, “since he has been released from prison.”

Kalu had said, immediately after the apex court pronouncement, that he looked “forward to rejoining my colleagues in the Senate as soon as possible” after a five-month incarceration at a correctional centre.

The lawmaker, in a statement he signed, said his stay in prison had taught him invaluable lessons about the country, its people, the justice system and the true meaning of love.

He vowed to fight for the correction of Nigeria’s criminal justice system where over 70% of the prison inmates’ population was made up of people awaiting trial.

Politics

A’Court Rulling: Pro-Fubara Assembly Heads For Supreme Court

Published

on

By

The lingering supremacy battle between the Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and lawmakers loyal to his estranged godfather and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has shifted to the Supreme Court.

The Speaker of the lawmakers loyal to Fubara in the state House of Assembly, Victor Oko Jumbo, said the factional assembly had filed an appeal at the apex court to challenge the judgement by the Appeal Court delivered in Abuja on Wednesday.

Recall that the Appeal Court had nullified the order of a Rivers State High Court which restrained Amaewhule and other pro Wike lawmakers from parading themselves as lawmakers.

The Court also said only the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter of the lawmakers.

Reacting, Governor Fubara said his administration remains undeterred by the appeal court ruling and will not waver in its commitment to providing critical infrastructure for the state.

According to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, the governor gave the assurance on Friday after inspecting the extent of reconstruction work done at the Zonal Hospital project at Bori Town, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area in the state.

He said: “I know that a lot of you will be wondering what is going on and all that. Government has its own challenges. If you go to the book of Psalm 23 verse 5, in the Bible, it says that God prepares a table before you; it can be before anybody.

“But there is an underlined word that should be noted there: it said ‘in the presence of your enemies’. So, it means that nothing comes easy.

“I want to assure every one of you and the good people of Rivers State, that we are not deterred. We have made our promises; we will continue to give you good governance, no matter how difficult it is.

“But, like I said before, the worst is over. We are moving on to ensure that we continue to provide what is needed for the development of our State.”

Similarly, in a statement issued by a factional Clerk of the House, Dr G. M. Gillis-West in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Friday, Oko-Jumbo said the Appeal Court acted in error and his faction had filed an appeal at the apex court to correct the error.

“There cannot be two Houses of Assembly in Rivers State or indeed any State in Nigeria. This House of Assembly, with me as the Speaker, is the only House of Assembly in Rivers State.

“The Court of Appeal also did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 ORS are still members of the RSHA.

“We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal was in error when it held that the Rivers State High Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine SUIT NO PHC/1512/CS/2024.

“Accordingly, we have instructed our lawyers and they have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 4th Day of July, 2024.

“Martin Amaewhule & 24 others, in spite of all their pretences, are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and they remain so until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise,” Oko-Jumbo stated.

 

Continue Reading

Politics

Photos As GAC Members Meet Obasa Over Proposed Lagos Electricity Law

Published

on

By

A delegation of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) has visited the Lagos State House of Assembly and held a meeting with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

The meeting which held behind closed doors on Thursday afforded a fruitful discussion concerning the proposed Lagos Electrification Agency Law which recently scaled second reading during plenary.

The GAC delegation at the meeting included Cardinal James Odumbaku, Sen. Anthony Adefuye, Otunba Henry Ajomale, Dr. Yomi Finnih, and Otunba Femi Pedro.

 

From left … Cardinal James Odumbaku, Sen. Anthony Adefuye, Otunba Henry Ajomale, Rt. Hon. Dr. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, Dr. Yomi Finnih, Otunba Femi Pedro

On Tuesday June 25, Dr. Obasa committed the bill to the Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources with a two-week mandate for the latter to report back to the House.

This was after lawmakers at the day’s sitting debated the pros and cons of the bill which targets to repeal the Lagos Electric Power Reform Law, 2018 to provide for the creation and administration of the Lagos Electricity Market.

The bill further seeks to establish a commercial and technical regulatory framework for the electricity market with the purpose of ensuring reliable and universal access to electricity for all residents of the State.

Also, the bill seeks to establish the Lagos State Electrification Fund for the delivery of reliable electricity supply to the underserved areas of the State.

Speaking about the bill, the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Hon. Sobur Oluwa, had said it was “very essential as it gives room for Lagos State to regulate its power supply and transmit electricity at its own pace.”

 

Continue Reading

Politics

LP Crisis: Let’s Put Our Differences Aside – Peter Obi To Party Members

Published

on

By

Mr Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the 2023 general election has urged members of the party to put away differences and work together for harmony to thrive in the party.

Obi, who made this call on Friday via his X handle, said they would emerge stronger and more united than ever.

He stressed the need for moving forward with a shared sense of purpose and vision.

He expressed confidence that the party would overcome the current crisis through open communication, empathy, and willingness to listen.

“We will successfully resolve our differences and emerge stronger and more united than ever. Our strength lies in greater unity for our common national good.

“I reiterate my earlier appeal for us to put aside our differences and work together in a spirit of harmony and mutual understanding,” he said.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending