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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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Minimum Wage: Nationwide Protest Begins Tuesday — NLC

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There will be a nationwide protest on Tuesday by Nigerian workers to press for a higher minimum wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress said today.

However, the union’s general secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson clarified that the action is not a strike.

The umbrella labour union, along with the Trade Union Congress, wants minimum wage jacked from N18,000 to N30,000.

“It has come to our attention that some sections of the news media have largely misrepresented our action plan in reaction to the delay in transmitting the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee on a new national minimum wage to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It should be recalled that the National Executive Council of the NLC met on December 17 last year and directed that we hold nationwide mobilisation of workers and our allies if, by December 31, 2018, the bill on the national minimum wage has yet to be sent to the National Assembly to be passed as an Act of Parliament.

“We immediately announced then that on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, there will be a nationwide mass mobilisation and protests simultaneously across all states in Nigeria. This does not translate to a strike.” (NAN)

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BREAKING: Shehu Shagari Dies At 93

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Nigerian’s Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR, is dead.

Shagari reportedly died at the National Hospital Abuja on Friday after a brief illness.

He died at the age of 93.

His demise was announced on twitter by his grandson, Bello Shagari.

Bello wrote, ”I regret announcing the death of my grandfather, H.E Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who died right now after brief illness at the National hospital, Abuja.”

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Politicians Pressurising Us To Sell Unclaimed 914, 529 PVCs —— INEC

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday raised the alarm that some politicians in Oyo State were mounting pressure on the commission to sell unclaimed 914,529 permanent voter cards in its custody to them.

The commission said it was not giving in to such pressure aimed at rigging the forthcoming polls because “INEC is determined to ensure that people’s votes count in the free, fair and credible elections in 2019.”

Speaking on the theme, “Online journalism and Media integrity in Nigeria,” Agboke declared that some politicians, whose identities he did not disclose, approached the commission to buy PVCs to rig the elections.

He stated, “As far as we are concerned, PVCs are not for sale.”

The REC assured residents of the state of smooth elections devoid of crisis in 2019, stressing that no worker of the commission would sell PVCs to any politician ahead of the 2019 elections.

Agboke said, “They are looking for PVCs to buy. They are looking for what is not available because they know that these things are not available. This is the security report at my disposal.

“Tell those who are looking for PVCs to buy that there is none to buy in Oyo State. I can assure you that no INEC employee will sell PVCs to any politician. I can assure you that the process will be free and fair in Oyo State.

“Those who are looking for PVCs to buy, I won’t give you their names. I don’t have their names.

“But that is the security report I got and the report did not specify the party and the individuals that are involved. They want us to give them PVCs but we can’t give it to them. They want to buy PVCs but there is none to sell in Oyo State.”

Agboke urged journalists in the state to cooperate with the commission in spreading accurate information to members of the public.

He said, “All of us are stakeholders. If you are in doubt, call INEC. More so, you are online journalists, let us ensure that we have our facts correct. For me in Oyo State, I have nothing to hide. We conducted the election in Eruwa and the people that won, won.”

He urged journalists to abide by the ethics of the profession at all times.

The South-West Bureau Chief of The Nation and an Associate Editor of the Nigerian Tribune newspapers, Mr Bisi Oladele, and Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre respectively, urged journalists to always abide by the rules and regulations guiding the profession in their day-to-day reportage.

They said online journalism had come to stay in Nigeria and admonished journalists to distinguish themselves from ordinary writers considering the fact that “almost everybody is a journalist with the advent of internet and smart phones.”

They agreed that one of the ways for the journalists “ to differentiate themselves from ordinary writers was for them to cross-check their facts, investigate their stories and be conscious of the existing laws of the land.”

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