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Supreme Court judgement: Plateau lawmakers’ dilemma reignites calls for Electoral Act amendment

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The controversy sparked by the removal of all federal and state lawmakers from Plateau State, as decreed by the Appeal Court, has reignited calls for an amendment to the electoral act. This development arises amid growing public dissatisfaction with perceived political injustices stemming from the Court of Appeal’s decisions regarding cases related to the 2023 general elections.

Recalling the sweeping judgment in November of the previous year, the Court of Appeal in Abuja dismissed all 16 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Plateau State House of Assembly. The grounds for their removal included an alleged breach of a court order and a lack of political structure. Subsequently, the Appeal Court also ousted five PDP members from the House of Representatives, two senators, and Governor Caleb Mutfwang, though the Supreme Court later overturned Mutfwang’s dismissal.

While Mutfwang was relieved by the Supreme Court’s decision, state and federal lawmakers faced less fortunate outcomes, with their cases concluding at the appellate court. The Supreme Court, in its judgment, asserted that the issue of nomination falls within the internal affairs of a political party and is thus beyond judicial jurisdiction.

Reacting to this, a senior lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, criticized the Appeal Court, contending that it deprived the people of Plateau State of their voting rights. He suggested a potential revision of the Electoral Act, directing such matters to the Supreme Court to prevent similar injustices.

Despite these challenges, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) submitted petitions to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Federal Judicial Service Commission, seeking redress for its members ousted by the Court of Appeal. The PDP cited the Supreme Court’s judgment as the basis for its appeal.

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However, legal opinions differ on the viability of seeking a review from the NJC, with some asserting that the NJC lacks the authority to revise judgments. The National Working Committee of the PDP remains determined to pursue justice for its members, emphasizing the need for corrective action against the perceived judicial overreach.

In response to the ongoing situation, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, urged the Supreme Court to reconsider some of its decisions on political cases. Additionally, calls for a constitutional amendment have emerged, proposing an adjustment to allow the Supreme Court to adjudicate cases related to state and federal legislative elections.

While the complexities of the legal process persist, various stakeholders express their opinions, emphasizing the need for fairness, justice, and potential reforms to safeguard the democratic process.

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One shot dead in Nairobi as mass protest hits Kenya

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A 24-year-old protester has been shot dead during demonstrations against the taxation bill currently moving in Kenya.

The deceased was said to have participated in a protest in the capital, Nairobi, on Thursday evening, when thousands of people took to the streets across the country.

The protest was due to a parliamentary debate and vote on the controversial law.

According to a lawyer representing the family, the man was shot in the leg by police and died as a result of massive blood loss.

The man was not given immediate health attention for more than 20 minutes.

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One of the protest leaders called for people to come on Friday to the morgue of the hospital where the deceased lay in a show of solidarity with his parents.

The human rights organisation, Amnesty International reported that at least 200 people had been injured during Thursday’s protests in Nairobi alone.

Given the new tax law, many Kenyans fear that their cost of living will rise to an almost unmanageable level.

Entrepreneurs and business owners also fear significant losses due to declining purchasing power.

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CREDIT: DAILY POST

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Gov Abiodun, Obasanjo, Amosun mourn as Ogun monarch joins ancestors

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Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has praised the late Towulade of Akinale, Oba Femi Ogunleye, as a remarkable leader who significantly elevated his community’s profile. Oba Ogunleye, a distinguished journalist, passed away in the United Kingdom at 79.

In his condolence message to the Ogun State Council of Obas and the Akinale community, Abiodun highlighted Oba Ogunleye’s contributions to the development of Ogun State following his notable journalism career.

“We deeply mourn the loss of Oba Femi Ogunleye, a revered journalist and traditional ruler who passed away in London at 79.

“Oba Ogunleye was a giant in the media industry, dedicated to truth and accountability in journalism. As the Towulade of Akinale, he was a respected monarch who worked tirelessly to uplift his people and promote development in Ogun State.

“His illustrious career and selfless service have left a lasting impact on our society. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Ogun State Council of Obas, his family, friends, and the entire Akinale community.

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“May his soul rest in eternal peace, and may his legacy continue to inspire future generations,” Abiodun stated.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in a condolence message through his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, expressed shock at the monarch’s passing. Currently in South Africa for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second-term inauguration, Obasanjo recalled Oba Ogunleye’s recent high spirits and travel plans, noting his absence will be deeply felt in Owu, Ogun State, and across Nigeria.

Similarly, Senator Ibikunle Amosun lauded the late monarch’s dedication to the development of Akinale, Owu Kingdom, Egbaland, and Ogun State. He remarked that as the first Towulade of Akinale, crowned in 2006, Oba Ogunleye played a pivotal role in many positive community developments and consistently promoted peaceful coexistence and unity among the people.

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Wike, Fubara: No individual can pocket Rivers – Asari Dokubo

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Former Niger Delta militant leader Asari Dokubo has warned that no individual will be allowed to dominate Rivers State.

Dokubo emphasized that only one person can serve as governor at a time.

His comments come amidst the crisis in Rivers State due to the expiration of local government chairmen’s tenure.

He urged the former chairmen to accept the end of their three-year term and not to cause any problems.

Speaking to his followers in Port Harcourt, Dokubo stated: “Local government tenure has expired today, June 17, 2024. They should quietly go home. If they wish to seek re-election in accordance with the constitution, they should do so.

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“But there is no provision for tenure extension in the constitution. Their term has ended. They should not create unnecessary issues for the state. I also advise young people not to let themselves be manipulated.

“Only one person can be governor of Rivers State at a time. We cannot have two governors simultaneously. The people of Rivers State are greater than Muhajid Asari Dokubo.

“Rivers State is larger than any single individual. No one can exploit and dominate the people of Rivers State. It is not possible.

“The people are demonstrating their power. They have independently taken over local government secretariats because this is about the people, and no one can argue that we voted for a three-year tenure for a chairman and that tenure should not exceed by even a second.”

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