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Niger Assembly: Appeal Court Sacks Suleiman Wanchiko, Declares Bako Kasim Winner

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked Suleiman Wanchiko of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of Bida I (North) State Constituency election in Niger and declared Bako Kasim of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the poll.

The three-member panel, while delivering the judgment through Justice Bature Isa-Gafai, held Wanchiko’s appeal was unmeritorious.

The appellate court agreed with Kasim’s counsel, Johnson Usman, SAN, that Wanchiko, having presented a forged testimonial to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), ought to be disqualified from contesting the election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC had declared Wanchiko the winner of the Bida I (North) Constituency poll for the Niger State House of Assembly election conducted on March 18.

The electoral umpire had declared Wanchiko as the winner with 12, 062 votes as against 11, 820 votes scored by Kasim.

Dissatisfied with the INEC’s declaration, Kasim and APC, through their Counsel, Mr Usman, approached the state’s election petition tribunal via petition number: EPT/NG/SHA/11/2023 between Bako Kasim and another Vs. Suleiman Muhammad Wanchiko and another.

Kasim filed the petition on the grounds that Wanchiko was not qualified to contest in the election in that he submitted forged testimonial to INEC and that the election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.

At the end of trial, the tribunal found merit in the petitioners’ arguments and disqualified Wanchiko and ordered a re-run without him.

Not satisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, Wanchiko, through his counsel, Aliyu Lemu, SAN, approached the Court of Appeal, praying the court to set aside the decision of the tribunal.

But Kasim’s lawyer urged the court to dismiss the appeal and return his client as the winner of the election.

The appellate court upheld Usman’s argument that Wanchiko, having been disqualified, the proper order was to return Kasim as the winner of the poll and directed INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return.

(NAN)

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Nnamdi Kanu To Appear In Court On Feb 26th Over Terrorism Charges

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Federal Government of Nigeria is to resume the trial of the self appointed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu on terrorism charges on Monday, February 26.

The decision of the government to resume trial followed the December 15, 2023, judgment of the Supreme Court which gave go ahead for continuation of trial of Kanu in the remaining seven count charges against him.

A notice for resumption of the trial, indicated that it would proceed before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The notice indicated that Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) have been put on notice.

The Director General of the Department of the State Services (DSS) has also been contacted to make the IPOB leader available in court on the date.

Kanu has been in the custody of the DSS since June 19, 2021, when he was arrested in Kenya and brought to Nigeria by the federal government through its security agency.

Although he was initially slammed with 15-count terrorism charges, Justice Binta Nyako in the course of trial did not find merit in 8 of the charges and subsequently dismissed them.

In a ruling in April 2022, the Judge upheld only seven count charges against Kanu and ordered him to open his defense on the alleged offense.

Temporary respite however came the way of the detained IPOB leader when the Court of Appeal in Abuja, in October 2022, quashed the entire terrorism charges against him and ordered his immediate release from DSS custody.

The decision of the Court of Appeal was predicated on the unlawful rendition of Kanu by the Nigerian government from Kenya instead of extradition and held that his trial was unlawful along with the charges against him.

However, on October 28, 2022, the Court of Appeal granted a stay of execution of its order discharging Kanu following an appeal filed by the federal government at the Supreme Court.

On its part, the Supreme Court in a judgment on December 15, 2023, upturned the judgment of the lower court in favour of the government.

The Apex Court in the lead unanimous judgment by Justice Garba Lawal, but read by Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, ordered that the trial of Kanu in the seven count charges be continued.

Justice Lawal held that although the Nigerian government recklessly, irresponsibly and unlawfully rendered Kanu from Kenya, such an unlawful act had not divested any court power to proceed with his trial.

The apex count said that no Nigerian law supported quashing of the charges and releasing Kanu owing to his mere unlawful abduction from Kenya and held that the remedy for such an action is for Kanu to file a civil matter against the government.

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Just In: FG Set To Audit N23tr Ways And Means Debt – Edun

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The Federal Government has resolved to audit the N23 trillion Ways and Means debt hanging on its neck.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Mr Wale Edun announced at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI)

As a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness, the Federal Government, Edun said, will soon present a bill to the National Assembly that will authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

Details Shortly …

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Tragedy: OAU Loses Staff, Olabode Olawuyi To Lion Attack

According to a press release issued by the University’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, the unfortunate incident occurred on Monday, 19th February, 2024. Mr. Olawuyi was attacked by a 9-year-old male lion while he was carrying out his duties of feeding the animals within their enclosure at the Zoological garden.

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The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), located in Ile-Ife, Osun State, is reeling from a devastating loss following the tragic death of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, a Veterinary Technologist who served as the caretaker of the Zoological garden for over a decade.

According to a press release issued by the University’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, the unfortunate incident occurred on Monday, 19th February, 2024. Mr. Olawuyi was attacked by a 9-year-old male lion while he was carrying out his duties of feeding the animals within their enclosure at the Zoological garden.

Despite the valiant efforts of other staff members present at the scene, the attack proved fatal, resulting in severe injuries to Mr. Olawuyi.

Upon receiving the distressing news, the University’s management, led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire, immediately halted ongoing activities to assess the situation firsthand.

Despite all medical efforts, as confirmed by the Acting Director of the University Health and Medical Centre, Dr. Tirimisiyu Olatunji, Mr. Olawuyi succumbed to his injuries.

In response to the incident, the aggressive lion responsible for the attack has been euthanized by the authorities. Mr. Olawuyi had been responsible for the care of the lions since their birth on campus approximately nine years ago, making the tragic circumstances of his death even more poignant.

In a show of support, the University management has dispatched a delegation to extend condolences to the deceased’s widow and children, urging them to find solace in faith during this challenging time.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire has ordered a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, aiming to determine both its immediate and underlying causes.

As the OAU community mourns the loss of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, they collectively pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace.

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