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Zamfara: Oshiomhole Faults Supreme Court, Says Judgement Imposes Total Strangers on State

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has described as injustice, the Supreme Court judgement, which upturned the party’s electoral victory in Zamfara State on grounds of technicality.

He stated this while speaking with journalists at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Monday, in his reaction to the development after the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) meeting.

The five-member panel of the Supreme Court justices, in a unanimous judgement on May 25, declared that the APC in Zamfara had no candidates in the 2019 general elections.

This, it explained was because the party failed to conduct recognised primaries in accordance with party rules.

In the lead judgment by Justice Paul Galinji, the apex court held that all votes cast for the APC during the general elections in Zamfara were “wasted votes”.

He declared that all political parties with the second highest votes in the elections and with the required spread, were elected to various elective positions in the state.

Mr Oshiomhole stressed that the Supreme Court ruling amounted to imposing total strangers on the people of Zamfara.

He added that the right thing the court should have done, is to call for a repeat of the elections if the party fell short of electoral laws.

He, however, maintained that since it is impossible to appeal the Supreme Court ruling, the party will take its case the God.

On the votes cast for the APC at the elections which the court said were wasted votes, Mr Oshiomhole recalled that at the time the votes were cast, a High Court had ruled that the party’s candidates were validly nominated.

“There is something I learnt from Lord Denning, a famous British Supreme Court Justice that the law has to be interpreted taken into account the intention of the lawmakers, and try to deliver justice in its purest form.

“So, there is no justice when on grounds of technicalities, you impose on the people of Zamfara, not just a man or a woman, but a whole party candidates from Governor to Senate and others that they didn’t elect.

“If the court thought we were wrong, justice would have demanded that we repeat, but you cannot use technicalities because we are in a democracy.

“There is nothing democratic when the court imposing strangers to govern a people, but we understand that after the Supreme Court, we can only take our case to the Court of God, to that extent we must obey the Court,” he said.

He further maintained that what the APC got in Zamfara State was a judgement that didn’t translate to justice, considering the way the people of the state voted for the party and its candidates.

He, however, declined comments when asked whether the party would sanction its members that took it to Court in Zamfara.

(NAN)

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UN Deputy Sec Gen Condemns Gruesome Killing of Deborah, Demands Justice

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Amina Muhammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, has called for justice following the killing of Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto over blasphemy.

Muhammed spoke out via her official Twitter page on Tuesday, stating that religions should not be “misinterpreted to preach violence”.

“Justice must be done for the senseless, brutal killing of the young Deborah Yakubu in Nigeria. Religions should not be misinterpreted to preach violence when they promote peace.

“My prayers are with the family and for the repose of her soul,” she tweeted.

Yakubu, a second-year student of the Sheu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was lynched on the school premises on Thursday after classmates accused her of blasphemy.

On Monday, the Sokoto Police Command arraigned two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in the state, for their alleged participation in the crime.

The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges while the defence counsel, Prof. Mansur Ibrahim, applied for their bail on liberal terms, citing constitutional provisions and sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

The trial judge reserved the ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded at a correctional centre.

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AfDB’s Adesina Not Contesting for Presidency – Report

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The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, will not be contesting the Presidency of Nigeria.

A support group had purchased and submitted the N100m Presidential form of the All Progressives Congress for the top banker last week.

Some had also reported that Adesina visited Mamman Daura, the influential nephew of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) last week to seek his support.

But The PUNCH confirmed that Adesina will not be taking part in the Presidential screening of the APC slated for May 23.

Adesina’s office is expected to issue a statement in a few hours distancing himself from Nigeria’s partisan politics.

The AfDB regulations bar its President from partisan politics.

Specifically, Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the agreement establishing AfDB, titled ‘Prohibition of Political Activity; the International Character of the Bank’, states that “The Bank, its President, Vice Presidents, officers and staff shall not interfere in the political affairs of any member (country); nor shall they be influenced in their decisions by the political character of the member (country) concerned.”

Paragraph 3 of the article states that “The President, Vice Presidents, officers and staff of the Bank, in discharge of their offices, owe their duty entirely to the Bank and to no other authority.”

Similarly, the AfDB code of conduct bars its executive from partisan politics. Section 10 of the Code reads: “Although Executive Directors are elected representatives of governments from their constituencies, they shall during their tenure of office as executive directors refrain from participating in active politics in their home countries or elsewhere.”

Should Adesina seek to run for the office of President of Nigeria, he would need to resign his current position permanently, a risk it was learnt the top banker was not willing to take.

There are at least 25 other aspirants running for President on the platform of the APC.

Some of them include APC stalwart, Bola Tinubu; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; oil mogul, Tein Jack-Rich; Senator Ajayi Boroffice; Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State; Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State and many others.

The Punch

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N80bn Fraud: EFCC Arrests Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris

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Nigeria’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, has been arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds, according to a report by PREMIUM TIMES.

According to the report, Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday evening and flown to Abuja, the nation’s capital, for interrogation.

Sources said the EFCC has for sometime now been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which was allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.

The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, investigators said.

The sources further said that after progress was made in the investigation, Idris was summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honour the invitations.

“We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us,” one of our sources said. “We were left with no choice than to keep him under watch and arrest him.”

However, a top EFCC confirmed the development but asked not to be named because he had no permission to discuss the matter with the media.

President Muhammed Buhari appointed Mr Idris accountant-general on June 25, 2015.

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