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UK Private Visit: Lawyer Sues Buhari

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Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has sued President Muhammadu Buhari for not handing over power to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo when he travelled to London on a private visit two weeks ago.

The case, with suit number FHC/L/CS/763/2019, was filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Also named as defendant in the suit is Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Mr Effiong asked the court to determine whether in view of the extant provisions of Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the president can validly proceed on vacation for any length of time without transmitting a written declaration to the National Assembly to that effect, which will empower the Vice-President to perform the functions of the President in an acting capacity.

He also asked the court to determine whether Mr Buhari’s action in proceeding on vacation to the UK from April 25 to May 5 without transmitting the written declaration envisaged in Section 145 (1) of the constitution to National Assembly is not in conflict with the provisions of Section 145 (1) of the constitution.

Similarly, the court will determine whether the President in refusing to adhere to the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 145 (1) of the constitution had not by that singular action violated his oath of office and the provisions of the constitution which he swore to uphold.

The lawyer asked the court to clarify whether the Constitution or any other law for that matter, permits the President to exercise Presidential authority over the affairs of Nigeria from any country outside the territorial jurisdiction of Nigeria, save when he is out of the country on official diplomatic engagements.

“A declaration that the failure of the 1st defendant (Buhari) to comply with Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) by not transmitting a written declaration to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to that effect before proceeding on vacation to the United Kingdom from the 25th day of April, 2019 to the 5th day of May, 2019 is a gross violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),” the suit read in part.

The lawyer asked the court to rule that that since the Constitution does not have extra-territorial application, the president cannot exercise presidential authority over the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from the United Kingdom, or any other country outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, save when he is outside the country on official diplomatic engagements.

Mr Effiong also asked the court to restrain Mr Buhari from proceeding on vacations whether within or outside the Nigeria without transmitting a written declaration to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in compliance with section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

PREMIUM TIMES understands that no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Mr Buhari Sunday returned to Abuja, after a 10-day ‘private visit’ to the United Kingdom.

A statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said some “reckless online media, irresponsible political opposition, and other bilious groups and individuals, had gone on overdrive since the President left the country on April 25, insinuating that he was going for hospitalization, and would not return after 10 days as stated.”

Mr Adesina also said in their “vain imaginations, they even stated that fictive doctors have advised President Buhari to stay longer for more intensive care”.

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Legendary Football Star, Diego Amando Maradona Dies at 60

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Diego Maradona, one of football’s greatest-ever players, has died. He was 60 years.

The 1986 World Cup winner had surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month. The Argentine Football Association confirmed he had died this afternoon.

“The Argentine Football Association, through its president Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” they said.

Another of football’s greats, Pele, has led the tributes to: “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.” Follow latest updates and reaction here.

Dr Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s personal physician, said the former player had shown signs of improvement after a successful operation three weeks ago.

Dr Luque said Maradona “laughed” and “grabbed my hand” just a day after he had the procedure.

“Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery,” Luque said, addressing reporters at the clinic’s door.

“He has an excellent post-operative period, the laboratory parameters even improved.

“The first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.”

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Gbajabiamila Asked to Cough Out N500m As Compensation for Family of Slain Vendor

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The family of Ifeanyi Okereke, the vendor killed by a security aide of Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, is demanding N500 million from the number four citizen.

Last week, Okereke was shot by Abdullahi Hassan, a Department of State Services (DSS) operative attached to the speaker.

According to PUNCH, the demand was contained in a letter addressed to the speaker by Mike Ozekhome, counsel to the family.

In the letter dated November 23, the Okereke family said the demand is not enough to replace their son.

“Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen,” Ozekhome said.

“That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only.

“This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life. But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them.”

The lawyer said if the speaker fails to accede to their demand in seven days, they would take legal steps.

“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights,” he said.

Gbajabiamila said he has handed over the aide to the DSS for discipline.

He has also visited the family of the deceased to condole with them.

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Lekki Shootings: CNN is Desperate, Presented Doctored Video – Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has accused CNN of desperation over its second report on the Lekki toll plaza shootings that happened on October 20.

The Minister said this on NTA on Wednesday.

CNN had on Tuesday released a second ‘investigative report’ on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government.

But the minister faulted CNN’s reports, saying it lacked credible sources.

When asked about the second CNN’s report, Mohammed said, “It shows that they (CNN) are desperate. The so-called recent development has been seen before. There is nothing new. If there is anything new, it is a contradiction of CNN’s position.

“What we are asking CNN is that where is your evidence? The military has been consistent. CNN contravenes the basic principles of journalism – fairness, and balance.

‘They did the story without contacting the Federal Government for its own side. They relied on second and third parties narratives.

“They (CNN) were caught spreading fake news and they are trying to escape.

“We are accusing them (CNN) of basing their stories on videos sourced on social media. CNN has been inconsistent. It also doctored the video it got.

“We are confident in our position.”

On the letter addressed to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications), CNN Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the minister said, “We have received an acknowledgment and we were told that the letter has been passed to the editorial team.”

CNN, in its second report titled, ‘Analysis of CCTV footage from Lekki toll gate raises new questions about shooting’, stated that it had obtained the video and subsequently analysed its content.

CNN also compared the CCTV footage with some of the videos on social media which the National Broadcasting Commission had sanctioned three local television stations for using and concluded that the authorities had more questions to answer.

The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.

The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with that of the minister who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.

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