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The Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu yesterday dismissed the preliminary objections brought before it by the Chairman of Innoson Motors, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Ltd. 

Innoson arguing through his counsel, Prof. McCarthy Mbadugha had at the last hearing of the matter on June 14, 2018 raised objections to a motion brought before the court by GTBank seeking to amend its notice of appeal before the court.

Delivering ruling yesterday, Justice Ogunwumiju held that, the court would be in serious error if it decides to wait and hear Innoson Motors preliminary objection. 

“There is no doubt that the application for amendment of the notice of appeal will, if successful, give the appeal a chance of being considered and disposed-off on the merit rather than on technicalities. It is implicit in the constitutional rights of fair hearing that parties in a case be accorded every reasonable opportunity of being heard, and that extends to the right to amend their processes and place before the court all the issues they may wish to canvass to enable the court reach a fair and just conclusion”.

Ogunwumiju also ruled that, “The fact that the respondent counsel raised objections to some of the grounds of appeal is not a bar that can deprive the appellant of the right to amend his notice of appeal. 

The respondent has not argued that the notice of appeal that the appellant is seeking to amend is fundamentally defective. He has failed to identify any substantial or legally acceptable reason to support the objection.

There is no limitation of time to amend a notice of appeal, the objection by Innoson is not only frivolous but is vexatious and hereby dismissed”, she ruled.

Concluding her ruling, Justice Ogunwumiju noted that “this court had at an earlier adjourned date observed that it found it strange that Innoson, a judgment creditor will be employing all manner of tactics to delay the hearing of the substantive appeal entered in this court as far back as 2013”.

“I see no reason to refuse the appellant’s (GTBank) request to amend its notice of appeal”.

“Everyone in this judicial drama knows that the substantive appeal must be decided in this court and no matter how much time is wasted, the Supreme Court can only hear the substantive matter after it has been decided in this court”.

“Without any disrespect to whatever legal gymnastics being displayed by the 1st to 4th Respondents’ (Innoson) Counsel, these are the types of practices that give the administration of Justice a bad name considering that this case involves money and has been hanging in this court since 2013”.

“Considering all the reasons and circumstances set out above, I hold that it is in the interest of Justice that the appellants application be granted in terms of the following orders:

• Leave is granted to the Appellant (GTBank) to raise new issues in this appeal,

• Leave is granted to the Appellant (GTBank) to amend its notice of appeal in terms of the particulars and specifics highlighted in its supporting Affidavit

• The amended notice of appeal which has already been filed and served is properly filed and served

• Leave is granted the Appellant (GTBank) to amend its brief of argument to reflect the reliefs granted.

 

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New Minimum Wage: Nationwide Strike Begins September 26 —– NLC

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said its members will commence nationwide strike alongside civil society organisations on September 26 unless the tripartite committee completes its assignment on the new minimum wage.

NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, made the declaration on Wednesday after a National Executive Council meeting.

Wabba lamented that the federal government had failed to show seriousness in implementing the new wage.

“NEC noted that this is against the principle of collective bargaining as provided in ILO conventions 98 and 131on minimum wage setting process, which Nigeria had domesticated”, he said in a statement.

“NEC has resolved that at the expiration of the 14 days industrial action notice issued to the federal government over the new minimum wage issue, and the demand of the organised labour was not met, NEC has given NAC and the leadership of organised labour the power to declare appropriate industrial action or any action it deems necessary.

“NEC in session accordingly approved and applauded the organised labour for taking a proactive step by issuing a statutory 14 days industrial action notice to preserve the sanctity of the collective bargaining process, and the demand for the tripartite committee to reconvene within a set period to finalise its report in line with the principle of collective bargaining.

“NEC resolves that all its affiliates unions and the 36 state councils of Congress and the FCT and joint action front communicate the decision of NEC to their members and all workers.”

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Nnamdi Kanu Is Safe and In London —- Orji Uzor Kalu

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Former Governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, has countered the impressions that the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is in the custody of Nigerian military, but that Kanu is safe and currently in London.

The crises rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the nomination of candidates at the national, states and local government levels is only natural because “politicians agree to disagree in any political setting and for the development of the polity,” Kalu also hinted.

Kalu, who made the declaration when he visited former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) to drum support for the second tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, however, did not give details.

“Nnamdi Kanu is where I told you he is, he is in London. He is safe”, former Governor Uzor Kalu told journalists after a closed-door meeting with the former President General Babangida at his uphill residence in Minna, Niger state capital on Tuesday.

Uzor Kalu said he was in Minna to woo former President Ibrahim Babangida on the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari “because virtually all the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential aspirants had been coming to him for blessings.”

On the outcome of the meeting which lasted nearly two hours, the former Abia state Governor said, “I have talked to him (Babangida) to allow Buhari finish his second term, we have discussed, he is thinking about it, February 16 is still a long way.

“Our discussion was positive it is blue and white,” Uzor Kalu said, arguing however that all that Nigeria needed now was to build cohesion in the nation, “We need continuity of government and that is important that President be allowed to continue after 2019.”

According to Kalu, “Buhari is the head of government he has played four years he is almost done with the first half as it is done in football. He has played 45 minutes, it remains 45 minutes, we should allow him to finish the game”.

Kalu who appears not considering the pains Nigerians were going through and which has given rise to the clamour for a change in government said, “We appeal to Nigerians to allow him finish his second term, it makes more sense.”

The former Abia state Governor said he had also been soliciting for the support of other prominent Nigerians at home and abroad, adding that, “even foreigners” for the realisation of the second term Presidential ambition President Buhari.

He, however, declared that his campaign for the re-election of President Buhari had nothing to do with South-Eastern Nigeria getting the Presidency in 2023 or for his personal ambition of becoming the next President after 2023.

Kalu, one of the PDP decampees to the ruling APC further explained pointed out that the year, 2023 was still a long way and time would tell if he would vie for President or not then.

Meanwhile, Orji Uzor Kalu has described the crises within the ruling APC over the nomination of candidates as part of politicking.

According to Uzor Kalu, “The crisis is part of political development if there is no crisis there will not be political development. Crisis is what makes political development there must be crisis and there must be solution”.

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Senate 2019: Kogi State Ex-Governors Endorse Victor Adoji

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The candidacy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirant for Kogi East Senatorial district in the 2019 general election, Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji got a major boost recently when immediate past governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada and his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris openly endorsed his nomination to run for the seat.

Adoji, a former banker and journalist, visited the former governors separately in Abuja for endorsement after obtaining the PDP nomination form.

He described them (Wada and Idris) as credible leaders of the party who have laboured to keep hope alive in Kogi state.

The Senate aspirant has so far toured six local government areas in Kogi East to declare his interest to vie for the much-coveted senate seat.

In his speech at his declaration in Ofu Local Government, Adoji said he was there as an aspirant for the people to convert him to a candidate.

He said he is worried when he sees youths without employment as what he sees are not human beings but industries.

“Manifesto was something that was built in the 50s and 60s and it is not a workable material, I will not have one for you. What I will sign with you is a social contract where you will tell me what you will want me to do for you and not what I want to do for you.

“The world is evolving and countries are moving away from oil, most developed countries of the world do not rely on mineral resources because they do not even have one, what they rely on is the strength of their innovation.

“I will sign a contract with you and will want any other person contesting with me if given the mandate to do so, after 24 months as your Senator I do not move you from where we are to where Kogi East should be, recall me,” he said.

He said he was aware that as their Senator, he will not have the budget to build schools, build hospitals, build roads, but would ask them to carry him on their shoulders to where he can drag these basic things down to the people.

Meanwhile, a coalition of political parties in Kogi state recently endorsed Dr. Adoji as their preferred candidate for the 2019 Kogi East senatorial election.

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