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REVEALED: Why Ogah Is Desperate To Become Abia Governor, The Immunity Clause.

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New and curious facts have revealed that the main reason Mr. Uche Ogah is desperate to be the governor of Abia State is to secure immunity against his prosecution for some pending criminal charges.

Latest findings have also exposed the fact that the recent constitutional cum legal crisis in the state owes largely to the litany of criminal charges against Ogah, whose only escape route might be to emerge the governor of Abia State, protected against any form of prosecution following Section 308 of the constitution which guarantees his immunity.

Although there are concerns about alleged conspiracy theories from high places, the most disturbing, according to sources, is the arbitrary use of the judiciary to realise what amounts to an anathema to constitutionalism and the rule of law.

On Thursday, June 16, 2016, the police in Lagos had arraigned Ogah, his company, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, before a Tinubu Magistrate Court on a three-count charge bordering on forgery and conspiracy preferred against the defendants by the police.

The police said Ogah forged a Memorandum of Understanding between Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited and Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited sometime in March 2011. That he (Ogah) and some other persons said to be at large were also accused of forging the signature of one Mrs. Bridget Adeosun. The alleged forgery was reportedly committed in Ikeja, Lagos.

The police said a bank aided Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited to open an account in the name of Mut-Hass Petroleum to perpetrate a fraud without applying its internal control procedures in the opening of the account. The police claimed also that the said bank allowed the said account to be opened sometime in 2011 at its regional office in Palmgrove area of Lagos, in breach of the provisions of the Financial Institutions Act 2004.

Ogah was arraigned before a Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Kikelomo Ayeye, by a police prosecutor, ASP Henry Obiazi, who told the court that the offences contravened sections 363 (3)(u), 408 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The charges read in part, “That you, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Uche Ogah, and others at large sometime in March 2011 at Ikeja, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to wit: forgery.

“That you, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Uche Ogah, and others at large, on the same date, time, place and in the aforementioned magisterial district, did forge the signature of one Mrs. Bridget Adeosun and a document known as MoU between Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited and Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, with an intent that it may be in any way used or acted upon as genuine.

“That you, Deji Somoye, and others still at large, sometime in August 2011, at the bank’s regional office, Palmgrove, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did knowing that Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited design to commit an offence, failed to use all reasonable means to prevent the commission or the completion of the crime.”

Although Ogah and his co-accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail in the sum of N200,000 each with one surety each in like sum, he is billed to return to court on August 4, 2016, for the commencement of trial. It is against this backdrop that Ogah is pushing, albeit through subterranean means, to be governor of Abia State.

Presently, there is a legal lockdown in the state pending the hearing of the appeal filed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. But the Abia State debacle is believed to present yet another sad episode in the democratic evolution of the country, with critical institutions being used as canon folders.

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End Of Royalty! 21 New Kings Installed By Ex-Oyo Governor, Ajimobi, Loses Crowns As Court Quashes Case

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The crisis rocking the Olubadan-in-council was put to rest, on Tuesday, as the Oyo State Government withdrew their crowns as part of the condition for a settle-out-of-court proposal made by the state government.

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, had on August 23, 2019, referred parties in the controversial coronation of 21 kings by the immediate-past Governor Abiola Ajimobi to a lower court.

The State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who inherited the matter, had opted for an out-of-court settlement to restore peace between the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and his estranged chiefs.

The appellate court ordered that the case be returned for trial before another judge of the state High Court.

The parties reached agreement on Tuesday when the state High Court in a suit number M/317/2017 filed by High Chief Rashidi Ladoja pronounced that the parties in the suit have met and agreed that they will let go the right to wear beaded crown and coronet granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit.

The judgement read by Justice A Aderemi reads: “that all the gazettes affecting the chieftaincy laws of Ibadan land particularly gazette Nos.14 vol.42 of 23rd August 2017; 15 Vol 42 of 24 August 2017 and 3 vol 43 of 29th March 2018 and the subsequent elevation of High Chiefs and Baale in Ibadan land as Obas during the pendency of this suit be and are hereby set aside.

“That the right to wear beaded crown and coronet granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit, are hereby revoked.

“That the 1st defendant shall take steps to reconcile all parties involved in the chieftaincy matters to foster unity and harmony in the protection of the tradition of Ibadan land as relates to the chieftaincy laws of Ibadan land.”

Meanwhile, the family heads in Ibadan land has described the judgement as victory for Ibadan land, and for the sons and daughters of Ibadan land.

The Mogajis, in a statement by their spokesperson, Wale Oladoja, said the judgement reflected the true wishes of the people of Ibadan land, urging the embattled high chiefs to support Olubadan for rapid development of the ancient town.

 

(Daily Trust)

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‘I’m Not Owing Workers Any Dime’ —- Yahaya Bello Speaks After Election Victory

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Kogi State Governor-Elect, Yahaya Bello, on Tuesday, rubbished claims that he was owing salaries, stressing that such were “lies.”

Bello said his administration met salary backlog owed workers in the state, but insisted that his administration was not owing workers.

The governor-elect, who said this while featuring on Channels Television, also alleged that thugs of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stabbed a resident after he was declared the winner of Saturday’s election.

Bello also alleged that the wife of his deputy was also shot after he emerged winner of the election.

He said: “All these reports of me owing salaries are lies. Past governors of Kogi State were owning salaries starting from Audu to my immediate predecessor. Kogi state is not owning any dime at the state level, what is left is the ten percent from the previous government.

“As for El-Rufai kneeling, he was begging that Kogi people should forgive Bello for ensuring security and ensuring the state was peaceful and not because he could not pay salaries.”

On the claim of people being killed during the election, Bello said: “After I was declared winner, a PDP thug stabbed somebody and ran into the house of their women leader but he was caught and dealt with.

“My deputy governor-elect’s wife was shot at but thank God she didn’t die, the police are looking into it and would bring the culprits to book.”

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on Monday declared Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

INEC’s Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Ibrahim Garuba had declared Bello winner after polling 406,222 votes to defeat his closest rival, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who scored 189,704 votes.

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Falana Seeks Death Penalty For Corrupt Politicians

Peter Okunoren

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Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has asked the National Assembly to make laws that will pronounce the death penalty for corruption perpetrated by politically exposed persons.

Mr. Falana while reacting in a statement to the hate speech bill currently debated by lawmakers described it as an encroachment on the legislative autonomy of the state governments.

A bill to establish a National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech, sponsored by Senator Abdullahi Sabi, was introduced on the floor of the Senate on November 12 and has generated reactions across the country.

The bill proposes that any person, who commits an offense deemed as hate speech, shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), explained that the National Assembly has no power to exercise such power because Hate Speech is not covered in the Exclusive Legislative and Concurrent Legislative Lists.

“Since we are operating a federal system of government the supreme court of Nigeria had declared in a number of cases that the national assembly lacks the constitutional powers to make laws outside its legislative competence, which are by implication residual matters meant for the houses of assembly of the states. Certainly, the hate speech bill is an attempt to encroach on the legislative autonomy of the state governments.

“However, it is pertinent to point out that the Penal Code and Criminal Code applicable in the northern and southern states respectively, have made provisions for hate speech because it is a state offence.

“Hence, the house of assembly of each of the state has enacted laws against incitement, false accusation, sedition and criminal defamation.”

Mr Falana decried the move, urging the sponsors of the bill to uphold the decision of Nigeria’s founding fathers who created a constitution that guarantees freedom of speech.

“The decision of the founding fathers of this present constitution which guarantees freedom of speech which must include freedom to criticize should be praised and any attempt to derogate from it except as provided in the Constitution must be resisted. Those in public office should not be intolerant of criticism. Where a writer exceeds the bounds there should be a resort to the law of libel where the plaintiff must of necessity put his character and reputation in issue.

“Finally, while the leaders of the national assembly may want to advise the legislature in each of the states of the federation to review the applicable penal statutes to review the provisions on hate speech we are compelled to urge the few bloodthirsty legislators in the national assembly to amend the anti-graft laws to provide death penalty for grand corruption perpetrated by politically exposed persons to the detriment of development in the country.”

He added that even though the bill is sponsored by a member of the House of Representatives, it has been adopted by the Buhari-led Federal Government.

He maintained that the constitutional validity of the Bill will be challenged in the Federal High Court if it is passed by the national assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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