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At NBA summit: Our plans for Nigeria, by Atiku, Tinubu, Obi



• Peter Obi (LP), Kashim Shettima (APC) and Atiku Abubakar (PDP)

The presidential candidates of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday articulated what they would do, if elected.

The trio spoke as guest speakers at the Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference, NBA-AGC holding in Lagos, which also had in attendance the presidential candidates of African Democratic Party, Mr Dumebi Kachikwu, Social Democratic Party, Adewole Adebayo and All Progressives Grand Alliance, Peter Umeadi.

Although Tinubu was represented by his running mate, Kashim Shettima, Atiku Abubakar, Obi and the other presidential candidates were physically present.

I’ll devolve more powers to states — Atiku

Speaking at the conference, Atiku said he would hand over Federal Government-owned universities to state governments.

Atiku, who stated this as a panelist at the opening ceremony of the  conference, with the theme ‘’Bold Transitions’’, said  the government doesn’t have infinite resources to continue to shoulder the cost of university education in the country, especially against the backdrop of ongoing strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, which had been on for over six months.

“The only way is to make sure that you make conducive environment available to both foreign and local investors to participate in our country, whether it is infrastructure, education or power.

“I had an argument with a university professor from the Federal University, Lokoja. He said he read in my policy document that I intended to devolve, in other words, to return education to the states. How dare do I do that?

“I said, ‘Mr Professor, do you realise that the first set of our universities belonged to the regional governments?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I said who are the successors of the regional governments? He said the states.

“I said the children you send to America, to England, who own those universities? Mostly the private sector. So, why is it that you think we cannot do it here? We don’t have the money.”

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He also said one of his major goals in vying for the 2023 general election was to unite Nigerians to fight insecurity.

Atiku, who noted that Nigerians had never been this divided in her history, uniting Nigerians remains one of his five-fold plans for the country.

He said: “Since the return of democracy, Nigeria has never been in such a critical situation as we find ourselves now. The problem of poverty, insecurity, unemployment, etc is enormous but what is important is how to tackle them.

“When PDP came into power in 1999, despite winning overwhelmingly across the country, we decided to include members of other party in our leadership. That singular action united the country and resulted in calm. I believe we can have that experience again. It is only when we have a sense of belonging that we can deal with insecurity.”

Atiku also said he would abolish the multiple exchange rate and devolve more powers to the states if elected president.

Tinubu will replicate Lagos, Borno wonders in Nigeria —Shettima

On his part, Shettima, who represented  Bola Tinubu at the conference, said his principal  will replicate the wonders in Lagos and Borno states, if elected president.

The former governor of Borno State disclosed that he built some of the best schools in the state during his tenure, adding that Tinubu’s administration will address issues of the economy and security, among others.

He said:  “Nigerians have the capability to see through the worn-out rhetoric and sophistry of pretentious politicians. Nigerians should follow the man that knows the road. From day one, we will hit the ground running. We’ll promptly address the issue of the economy, ecology, and security.

“We have the antecedents. I built some of the best schools in Nigeria. Go to Borno and see wonders; you will never believe that it is a state in a state of war.

“So, we are going to replicate our achievements in Lagos, in Borno and some of the frontline states so that our nation will be a better place. The fundamental issue is pure leadership.”

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2023 election not about religion, tribe but character, competence — Obi

In his presentation, , Mr Peter Obi said the 2023 election will not be about religion or tribe but character and competence in leadership.

He said:  “Nigeria is in a mess. We got here simply because of the cumulative effect of bad leadership. The coming election is not about tribe or religion but about character and competence. We need a bold transition from a highly insecure state to a highly secure state.”

Obi also stated that his approach to tackle the worsening exchange rate problem in the country will be to encourage manufacturing and export of goods and services.

CJN, Sanwo-Olu, others canvass reform of judicial system

Also at the conference, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, renowned author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and several other speakers had earlier canvassed a reform of the Nigerian judiciary to position the country on the path of transformational change.

In his speech, Justice Ariwoola, who was represented by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, said the bar and bench must return to the days  the ethics of the legal profession was upheld and enforced, saying  there couldn’t be peace in Nigeria without justice.

He said the justice sector was very important to the survival of Nigeria, stressing that all stakeholders must ensure  it was  protected and improved upon, so it could continue to provide hope for the masses.

On his part, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the state’s judicial system had upheld the legacies of past administrations in the improvement of the legal practice in the country.

The governor, who was represented by the state’s Attorney-General,  Moyosore Onigbanjo,  stated: “We have continually transformed our structures, building new courtrooms, renovating existing ones, to create a more conducive environment for our judges and to efficiently administer justice.

“I can boldly say that no state takes the funding of judiciary as serious as Lagos State, and this is a legacy that has been sustained by successive administrations since 1999.’’

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Nigeria in disarray, need heroes  — Chimamanda Adichie

In her keynote address, titled, ‘Bold Transition’, Ms. Adichie noted that Nigeria is currently in disarray and in dire need of heroes to give her purposeful leadership.

She stated that the rising insecurity in the country is a fundamental problem of the failure of the rule of law.

Adichie, who also noted that NBA has a great role to play in the success of the forthcoming general elections in the country, said:

“We are counting on the NBA to act as our collective social conscience in the forthcoming election in 2023.

“Nigeria is in disarray. Things are hard and getting harder by the day. We can’t be safe when there is no rule of law. Nigerians are starved of heroes to look up to.  “Late Dora Akunyili and Gani Gawehimmi were heroes that Nigerians looked up to before now. Unfortunately, that era has gone. I believe that NBA is in a position to give the nation heroes that we can look up to lead the nation.

“As long as we refuse to untangle the knot of injustice, peace cannot thrive. If we don’t talk about it, we fail to hold leaders accountable and we turn what should be transparent systems into ugly, opaque cults.

“My experience made me think there’s something dead in us, in our society; a death of self-awareness and ability for self-criticism.

“There’s need for resurrection. We cannot avoid self-criticism but criticize the government. We cannot hide our institutional failure while demanding transparency from the government.’’

Adichie  advocated  an uncorrupted judicial system and called on the NBA to leverage technology in the judicial process and the administration of justice in the country. “Nigerians are disillusioned because they know of the decline of professionalism in some sections of the legal profession. As the NBA continues to fight the abuse of power, it must also look inward not to be corrupted.” (Vanguard)

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Supreme Court to deliver judgement on Kogi APC guber primary Oct 23



• Usman Ododo and Smart Adeyemi
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, adjourned an appeal filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi against the judgments of the lower courts, on the Kogi APC Governorship primary election, to October 23, 2023, for judgment.

Adeyemi had filed a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to nullify the primary election of the All Progressive Congress, which produced Usman Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the state’s governorship election slated for November 11.The case was dismissed by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal for lacking in merit.

The apex court, while hearing his appeal, on Thursday, told his lawyer, Musibau Adetumbi, SAN, that his client was appealing against concurrent findings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which stated that primary elections were held in Kogi State but that he had failed to challenge these concurrent findings.

However, the appellant’s counsel said he would go ahead to argue the appeal.

The Supreme Court therefore adjourned the appeal to October 23, 2023, for judgment.The representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress and Usman Ododo include Chief Anthony Adeniyi (SAN) Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN) and M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN; respectively.

The Court of Appeal had, on August 18, 2023, held that the appeal argued by Adekunle Otitoju on behalf of Adeyemi was completely bereft of merit.

In a unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of Justices of the Court, Adeyemi was said to have failed to establish all grievous criminal allegations made against the conduct of the primary election by APC and its leaders.

SEE ALSO:  Kogi 2023: Murtala Ajaka to modernize Okene, Lokoja, Isanlu, Ankpa, other Urban areas

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SDP begs President Tinubu to halt attacks, carnage in Kogi



• Kogi SDP Governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Ajaka

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) on Wednesday begged President Bola Tinubu to stop the incessant attacks and carnages occasioned by the governorship electioneering in Kogi State.

The Director General, New Media, SDP Campaign Council, Mr Isaiah Ijele, made muricthe plea during a news conference in Lokoja on Wednesday.

Ijele said that innocent citizens are being maimed and killed across the state by sponsored political thugs.

He alleged that members and supporters of the SDP Governorship Candidate, Alhaji Muritala Ajaka, were constantly under attack, allegedly sponsored by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

But the APC Campaign Council’s Spokesman, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, had denied sponsoring any attack against SDP supporters in the state.

Ijele, in his recounts, said: “There were gun shots through the night of Tuesday in Anyigba and Ankpa towns where houses and property of innocent SDP supporters were vandalised and destroyed.”

“Our campaign Coordinator in Anyigba and his family were victims as they were chased away from their house and property destroyed, including his motorcycle in Tuesday night attack.

“As it’s now two persons are missing as a result of the attacks being unleashed on Ajaka’s supporters across the Kogi East.

“We are under siege, given the intimidation, harassment and attacks on us simply because of the humongous support our governorship candidate is enjoying in the state.

“As law abiding citizens, we are appealing to the President and the Inspector General of Police to come to our aid by calling Gov. Yahaya Bello to order.”

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The spokesman added: “Election is not a war nor do or die affairs, but a game of numbers based on candidates’ pedigree and acceptability before the electorate.”

According to him, nobody has the monopoly of violence but that courtesy demands that people of Kogi should be allowed to peacefully choose the person they want to govern them on Nov. 11.

The director general said that Bello’s administration has failed the citizens, who he claimed has decided to vote in Muritala Ajaka to rescue the state from poverty and hunger.

“We want the quick intervention of the President to save the lives of innocent citizens before they are brutalised and destroyed by sponsored political thugs,” he pleaded.

Responding to the allegations, Fanwo, the APC spokesperson, debunked the SDP’s claims, saying: “We are a Government and our priority is to protect all the people of Kogi State, irrespective of political leanings.”

Fanwo said that all allegations without proof are as good as no allegations.

“As a Government, our concern and responsibility is to create an enabling environment for all to pursue their normal businesses.

“The SDP is a nest of funny birds that cry by the pain of their losses rather than the action of anyone.

“We won’t glorify them and we won’t be dragged into their frivolities, gasping lies and lack of direction,” he said.

On its part, the Kogi Police Command’s Public Relation Officer, SP Williams Ovye-Aya, said that he was yet to be briefed on the alleged Tuesday night attacks by the Respective Divisional Police Officers in Anyigba and Ankpa towns.

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He however promised to furnish the public on the development. (NAN)

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Nnamani loses as tribunal affirms election of LP Senator, Kelvin Chukwu



•Former Governor of Enugu state, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani
National Assembly election tribunal sitting in Enugu has struck out the petition filed by the former Governor of Enugu state, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, challenging the election of Senator Kelvin Chukwu of the Labour party.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Chukwu, who replaced his late brother murdered during the campaign ahead of the February 25, 2023, as the winner of the Enugu East Senatorial district election. He scored over 69,000 votes to defeat Chimaroke Nnamani who secured about 49,000 votes.

Not satisfied, Nnamani alleged that the election was marred by over-voting, irregularities, election malpractices and non-compliance with the electoral guidelines and petitioned the tribunal and urged the tribunal to declare him the rightful winner of the election or cancel the election.

Giving its ruling today (Wednesday), the tribunal which consists of 3-man panel led by Justice Nusirat I. Umar unani upheld Chukwu’s victory and awarded a cost of N500,000 against the petitioners in favour of the three respondents, Kelvin Chukwu, Labour Party and INEC.

The three man honourable Justices unanimously dismissed the petition for being vague, lacking in merit, incompetent, generic and academic exercise.

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