Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, has claimed that motorcycle hailing companies came into state for visit.
Hamzat, who spoke on an interview with Channels Television, said the state never gave approval for their activities.
He also restated that motorcycles and tricycles were banned to curb crime rate and decrease road accidents.
He said, “The truth of the matter is that Okada is becoming an avenue to perpetrating crimes. And we cannot wait until a major disaster happens. We knew what happened in Kano State some years back when the Emir of Kano was attacked through this means of transportation. Our lives are important.
“Some of them had knives and guns. If you are interested in riding Okada, why do you need a knife or a gun? Not every one of them but those who had the weapons on were arrested. The ban is majorly about security and safety.
“Data from the 27 general hospitals in the state indicated that on the average monthly, we record 28 deaths related to Okada. So, we cannot as a government let this continue. In the last two to three weeks since the ban, the accident rates have reduced from 28 to 7. So, if we saved 21 lives, is that not important? So, this is about saving lives.
“We did not endorse Okada ride-hailing operators in Lagos. Anybody can come on a courtesy visit. They actually came on a courtesy visit and we told them clearly that there is a law regulating Okada operations in Lagos. But that is not an endorsement; it was just a courtesy visit.
“The most populous areas of the state are not even affected. The most populous areas are Alimosho Local Government followed by Mushin, followed by Kosofe, followed by Oshodi/Isolo. So, people can do their businesses. All we are saying is, don’t ply the major roads, the bridges because it is not just safe and it is also a way for criminals to act.
“Okada riding is not a job that most people want their children to do but the economic situation forced them to do it and now we are saying, let’s give them better alternatives; let us get people trained to do welding and other vocations.”
The protesters occupy a section of Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Alausa in Ikeja.
Some residents of Lagos State who are physically challenged have occupied a section of Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Alausa in Ikeja, the state capital in protest.
The protesters who are majorly commercial tricycle riders are protesting over the restriction of motorcycles and tricycles in some local government areas and expressways in the state by the Lagos State government.
Carrying various placards, the protesters lamented that the restriction will force them to return to the street as beggars and destitute.
Some of them who spoke with Channels Television lamented that driving motorcycle and tricycle has been their source of livelihood since they abandoned begging.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo says multinational digital companies operating abroad with significant economic presence in Nigeria will be subjected to taxation under the new Finance Act.
Osinbajo disclosed this on Friday in Abuja during a lecture titled: “Economic Dimension of National Security: The Nigerian Experience”, organised for participants of Course 28 of the National Defence College.
According to him, before the Finance Act, only companies that have physical presence or fixed address in Nigeria are being taxed. “So, most digital and multinational technology companies do not have physical presence in Nigeria, yet make significant income in Nigeria from online activities.
“They pay no tax to Nigeria because they do not have physical presence in Nigeria, now we are no longer relying on physical presence. Under the new Act, once you have a significant economic presence in Nigeria, you are liable to tax whether you are resident here or not,” he said.
He said that non residents, who previously had no fixed address would now be taxed under the new Act. The vice president said that the Finance Act was designed to generate more revenue for government and improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
He noted that adequate provisions were made under the Act to protect the Small and Medium Scale businesses in view of their roles in national development.
Osinbajo said the economic policies of the Federal Government were centred on creating conducive environment for the private sector to strive and support towards creating wealth, jobs and opportunities.
“Private sector is key to job creation and in doing so, government has responsibility to provide the needed infrastructure and enabling environment.
“Before the private sector is able to provide sufficiently for the majority of people, it is the responsibility of government to provide safety net for the extremely vulnerable and those who cannot work. This is the premise upon which our social investment policy was derived,” he said.
Osinbajo said that the security as well as welfare of citizens was the primary purpose of government, adding that the economy was central to human security.
He said that human security was beyond absence of war and conflict but the availability of basic needs of man, food, shelter and clothing.
Reno Omokri, Femi Fani-Kayode and other Nigerians have reacted to an interview in which Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said he’s not aware of the ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill’ which is now known as the “Social Media Bill”.
In the interview in London, DW’s Tim Sebastian pointed out that the bill has some draconian provisions in which journalists can be imprisoned for publishing content.
In his defence when asked if he is against the bill or not, Lai Mohammed asked Tim who the author of the bill is. He added that he is not aware of the bill.
Tim Sebastian who wondered why a Minister of Information will not know if such bill exists, fired back by stating that the bill is causing an outcry internationally. Lai Mohammed however vehemently stated “there’s no such bill before the house, I can say that with relative authority”.
The ban on commercial motorcycle and tricycle operations in Lagos State, has taken effect today, February 1.
The state government insists that the ban is for the greater good of the state.
According to the Director of Transport Operations at the Ministry of Transportation, Gbolahan Toriola, who was a guest on Channels TV’s weekend breakfast programme, Sunrise Saturday, the initiative is expected to help reduce traffic congestion on the highways.
Toriola also stated that as an alternative, the state government is working on bringing in smaller buses to ply inner routes.
Meanwhile, some of the transporters who were affected have continued to lament over the situation.
Some of those who spoke to Channels Television, say tricycle and motorcycle operation was brought into Nigeria as part of a poverty alleviation scheme of the National Poverty Eradication Programme and a ban would defeat the purpose for which they were introduced.
They have, therefore, called on the government to provide speedy alternatives as many of them rely on these means of transportation as their source of livelihood.
Suspected cultists have reportedly shot dead a law graduate of the Benue State University (BSU) identified as Adzua Defence on Tuesday night in Makurdi, the capital of Benue state.
It was learnt that Adzua who was into modelling and a resident of Lagos, was killed by his assailants around Gyado Villa Street after he was shot in the head.
The victim was said to have been rushed to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) where he was confirmed dead.
It was further learnt that the sudden killing of the young graduate sparked a protest in Makurdi before policemen quickly waded in and brought the situation under control.
Confirming the incident, the spokesperosn of Benue State Police Command, DSP Catherine Anene said the Police are ontop of the situation and the planned protest by some students was stopped by policemen.
“I can confirm the report, though we are still waiting for more details from the station. But we (police) had to move around the area on Tuesday to stop the planned protest,” Anene said.
The Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) said it has arrested 36 persons for allegedly crossing the highways indiscriminately.
The Corps Marshal of the Agency, Mrs Gbemisola Akinpelu, a retired Commissioner of Police stated this in a statement signed by Mr Adebayo Kehinde, head of Public Affairs Unit of the agency.
Akinpelu said that, apart from the suspects risking their lives and that of motorists, they also impede the free flow of vehicular movement in the State, while crossing major highways where overhead bridges were erected for usage.
‘’The Agency is geared toward attaining total compliance on road crossing and use of pedestrian bridges in line with the mandate of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the enforcement and prosecution of the offenders.
“The distance from the pedestrian bridges where arrests can be made by LAGESC officers against erring pedestrians wishing to endanger their lives by crossing the highway is pegged at 200 metres.
“The Agency is presently carrying out the total enforcement in some of the identified areas such as Ikeja Along, Ikorodu Road, Ojota, Berger, C.M.S, amongst others,” she said.
Akinpelu said that the agency had established additional Divisional Offices in the State, toward ensuring adequate coverage of all areas.
She stressed on the need for Divisional Commanders, Deputy Divisional Commanders, Unit Commanders, and Senior Officers to adequately monitor the pedestrian bridges.
The retired CP also urged the officers and men to dislodge traders around the bridges and walkways for free human movements
Reality TV star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West said she had successfully completed her first year of law studies while preparing to release a documentary about her advocacy work for criminal justice reform.
“Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project” will debut on the Oxygen cable network on April 5. The two-hour film will show West visiting prisons and working alongside legal experts on four cases of people they believe have been unfairly sentenced.
West, 39, said she works daily on her law studies for a total of 20 hours per week and just completed her first year of a four-year apprenticeship program in California. She is aiming to take the bar exam in 2022.
Her late father, Robert Kardashian, was a prominent Los Angeles lawyer who was part of the legal team that represented football star O.J. Simpson in his 1995 trial and acquittal for double murder.
West is best known for developing beauty and fashion products and chronicling her life with her sisters on TV’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” She became interested in criminal justice reform after helping to win the release two women from prison.
At a discussion about her new documentary, West was asked how she would respond to people who may think she had attached herself to the cause in order to burnish her well-known brand.
“I’m very used to criticism, so nothing really fazes me,” West said at the event organized by the Television Critics Association.
“I really genuinely just stay focused on the cases and the people,” she added. “I’m not doing it for publicity. I really do care.”
Vince DiPersio, an executive producer of “The Justice Project,” said West was taking on a “fair amount of risk” by advocating for the release of prisoners.
“She is a nationally known figure and she has a big brand. God forbid someone gets out and does something terrible, but Kim is willing to take that risk,” he said.
In 2018, West successfully lobbied President Donald Trump to commute the life sentence of a 63-year-old Tennessee woman convicted of a first drug offense. In early 2019, she helped win clemency for another Tennessee woman who had been convicted as a teenager of murdering a man who paid to have sex with her.
Some of the people featured in the documentary were brought to West’s attention by letters sent directly to her. She said she works on some of the cases herself and sends others to attorneys she believes can help.
West said she hopes the documentary will convince viewers that there are people who deserve a second chance even if they were involved in a violent crime.
“You really have no idea what was on the other end and what led them to those decisions,” West said. “I hope people can be more empathetic.”
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the law forbids the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami from proscribing any group in the country.
“The Attorney General of the Federation, Malami SAN, has no power whatsoever to proscribe any organisation in Nigeria,” the activist and human right lawyer said during an interview on Politics Today, a Channels TV programme.
Falana was reacting to the statement of the Minister of Justice who on Tuesday declared the new Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun as illegal.
Falana attributed the statement credited to Malami as diversionary and hypocritical considering the existence of security groups in the northern part of the country, which the minister has not pronounced as illegal .
“In this case, the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation is clearly diversionary and hypocritical. Hypocritical in the sense that the governments of Kano and Zamfara states have set up Hisbah Commission. Just recently, the Hisbah operatives in Zamfara State arrested a police officer caught in the midst of three women.”
Falana cited several other instances of paramilitary groups recognised by the government including the recent neighbourhood watch set up by the Lagos State government, adding that the Federal Government had to approach the court before it could proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
He said the minister should have advised the government appropriately, stressing that while Malami occupies the position of an attorney general, the concerned states also have their independent attorneys- general.
Falana, however, advised the South West state governors to ask their respective State Houses of Assembly to enact laws to back up the initiative.
He said such law should spell out operational models of Amotekun, the funding strategies as well as areas of partnership with the Nigerian police.
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Finance Bill, 2019.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the assent follows its passage by the National Assembly and subsequent forwarding by the legislature to the President for assent.
President Buhari had while presenting the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly presented the Finance Bill and said: “This Finance Bill has five strategic objectives, in terms of achieving incremental, but necessary, changes to our fiscal laws.
“These objectives are; Promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; Reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; Introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; Supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses in line with our Ease of Doing Business Reforms; and Raising Revenues for Government.
“The draft Finance Bill proposes an increase of the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, as such, the 2020 Appropriation Bill is based on this new VAT rate,” he had added.
“With the assent, there will be more revenue to finance key government projects especially in the areas of health, education and critical infrastructure,” Adesina said in the statement.
Original article follows
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Finance Bill, 2019. Buhari personally announced this through his verified Twitter handle, @MBuhari. The Finance Bill, 2019 (the Bill), presented by President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the 2020 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on 8 October 2019, was passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The law seeks to amend the Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Customs and Excise Tariff Act, Company Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, Stamp Duties Act and the Capital Gains Tax.
With the Finance Law, Nigerians who want to open or maintain accounts with the Deposit Money Bank will not have to provide their Tax Identification Number to do so.
The Federal Government has also raised the threshold from which stamp duty will be charged for online transactions from the current N1,000 to N10,000.
I am pleased to announce that this morning I signed into Law the Finance Bill, 2019.
Since the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki from illegal custody on December 24, 2019, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), has put himself under undue pressure.
In the process, he has embarrassed the executive and exposed the judiciary to ridicule.
After announcing that he had directed the State Security Service to release Sowore and Dasuki from custody in compliance with the court orders that had granted them bail, the Justice Minister turned round to say that the release was an act of compassion and mercy on the part of the executive.
I was compelled to challenge the claim of the Justice Minister as he lacks the power to release any person standing trial on compassionate grounds by virtue of section 175 of the constitution.
After he had rightly abandoned that dangerous legal route, Mr Malami has since asserted that Nigerian Government was right to have detained Sowore and Dasuki in defiance of the court orders which had admitted them to bail. In support of the outlandish contention, the Justice Minister said that the government was not bound to obey the court orders until the final determination of the appeals filed against the court orders.
In an interview aired on NTA last Thursday, the Justice Minister said, “There were appeals (sic) for stay of execution all through.
“So, until those matters reach the Supreme Court and the apex court takes the final decision, relating there, you are still operating within the ambit and context of rule of law… So, in respect of those orders, we are not comfortable with as a government, we go back to the court and have them challenged. Until that matter, that your right of challenge, is determined up to the Supreme Court level, the idea of you being charged with disobedience of court order does not arise.”
With respect, the minister’s statement is factually and legally erroneous in every material particular. If the Justice Minister has had time to review Sowore’s case file, which he had withdrawn from the State Security Service, he would have confirmed that no appeal was filed against the two decisions of the Federal High Court, which admitted him and his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare, to bail. Instead of challenging the orders granting bail to Sowore and Bakare at the Court of Appeal, the State Security Service had actually attempted to constitute itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court by insisting on approving the sureties that had been verified by the trial court.
As defence counsel, we rejected the illegal request to produce the sureties before the Director-General of the State Security Service until Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu gave him a 24-hour ultimatum to release the duo from illegal custody.
It is on record that Dasuki was granted bail at different times by six judges of the Federal High Court and the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
It is pertinent to note that the Nigerian Government did not file an appeal against any of the six court orders. In fact, the first bail application of Dasuki was not opposed by Mohammed Diri Esq., who was the then Director of Public Prosecutions from the chambers of the Attorney-General of the Federation. Hence, Dasuki was admitted to bail in self recognisance on August 30, 2015. Having not opposed the bail application, government could not have filed any appeal against the order of the court.
Apparently frustrated with the contemptuous conduct of the Nigerian Government, Dasuki approached the ECOWAS Court for redress. In a landmark judgment delivered on October 4, 2018, the ECOWAS court indicted Nigeria and awarded N15m damages in favour of Dasuki for his detention in defiance of the orders of Nigerian courts. According to the judges of the court, “It appears that the sole aim of the re-arrest is to circumvent the grant of bail and by keeping the applicant in custody through executive fiat unsupported by any law or order of court.”
On the allegation that Dasuki was facing a serious charge of the criminal diversion of the sum of $2.1bn for purchase of arms, the ECOWAS Court said that, “For the avoidance of doubt, any persons, who have violated the criminal laws of a state especially the ones impeding the development of the state and destruction of its commonwealth are liable to be tried and if found guilty should face the consequences of their action(s). However, in doing so, states must respect all international obligations with regard to due process and respect for fundamental rights of the suspects. Failure to do so will impute responsibility to the state regarding such violations of rights while leaving intact their right to prosecute and punish offences against their criminal laws.”
It is submitted that the Nigerian Government could not have filed an appeal against the judgment because the ECOWAS Court is a judicial tribunal of first and last resort, without any right of appeal.
However, after the judgment of ECOWAS Court, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court had cause to admit Dasuki to another bail but asked each of his two sureties to deposit N100m with the court. The government did not file an appeal against the ruling but Dasuki did as he was completely dissatisfied with the suffocating conditions attached to his bail. The appeal was decided in Dasuki’s favour as the bail conditions were varied in liberal terms by the Court of Appeal. The Nigerian Government never approached the Supreme Court to challenge any aspect of the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
In the same vein, the government did not file any appeal against any of the orders of the high courts, which had admitted Sowore and Dasuki to bail. Consequently, no motion was ever filed for stay of execution of any of the court orders. Since no notice of appeal or motion for stay of execution was ever filed by the government against the orders of bail for Sowore and Dasuki, the Justice Minister ought to tender a public apology for misleading the Nigerian people.
However, if the Justice Minister can produce any notice of appeal or motion for stay of execution in respect of the two cases, I will publicly apologise to him for misleading the Nigerian people.
From the foregoing, it is undoubtedly clear that the two orders of the Federal High Court admitting Sowore to bail were treated with contempt while the eight orders of the Federal High Court, Federal Capital Territory High Court, ECOWAS Court and the Court of Appeal, which admitted Dasuki to bail were ignored by the Nigerian Government based on erroneous legal advice.
A couple of weeks ago, I had reminded the Justice Minister of the fact that as a military dictator, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari had complied with court orders by releasing 13 political detainees from the illegal custody of the notorious National Security Organisation (now State Security Service) based on the legal advice of his Attorney-General, the late Chief Chike Offodile (SAN).
Even under the dreaded Sani Abacha junta, the law was not totally silent. Hence, when I was detained in 1996 under the State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree No 2 of 1984 at the Mawadachi Prison in Jigawa State, the Federal High Court granted an order permitting my wife to visit me. And upon the service of the order on the government, the then Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the late Chief Michael Agbamuche (SAN), advised the prison authority to comply with the court order. At about the same time, Mr Agbamuche equally advised the Abacha junta to comply with the order of the Court of Appeal permitting the wife and personal physician of the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) to visit him in the Bauchi Prison. It is on record that the Abacha junta complied with both court orders in line with the advice of the Justice Minister.
Therefore, if the court orders issued in favour of the opponents of military dictators were respected under the defunct military regime, it is unacceptable for a democratically elected government, which operates under the rule of law to ignore the orders of municipal and regional courts for the release of political detainees and criminal suspects from illegal custody.
In as much as the eventual release of Sowore and Dasuki is appreciated, it ought to be pointed out that this is a mere tip of the iceberg. If the Nigerian Government has genuinely decided to embrace the rule of law, it has to comply with all valid and subsisting court orders and respect the human rights of the Nigerian people. As a matter of urgency, the Justice Minister should direct the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Correctional Service, State Security Service, armed forces, anti-graft agencies and other law enforcement agencies to either release or prosecute the thousands of criminal suspects including terror suspects that have been incarcerated for months without trial. The detaining authorities should also be prohibited from parading suspects and subjecting them to physical and mental torture in contravention of the provisions of section 2 of the Anti Torture Act, 2017.
Furthermore, the Council of the National Human Rights Commission, which was dissolved in 2015 should be reconstituted by the President on the recommendation of the Justice Minister. In June last year, President Buhari directed the office of the Attorney -General, the Inspector-General of Police and the National Human Rights Commission to carry out the reforms of the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Police within three months. It is high time the directive was carried out. The Georgewill Judicial commission of Inquiry, which investigated human rights abuses in the armed forces submitted its report in February 2018. The government should issue a white paper on the report forthwith. The Garba Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the military invasion of Zaria in December 2015 recommended the prosecution of the military officers, who massacred 347 Shiites and buried their bodies in a mass grave. The indicted suspects should be charged with culpable homicide at the Kaduna State High Court without any further delay.
Owing to the refusal of the Nigerian Government to act on these reports by prosecuting those, who bear full responsibility for such eggregious human rights infringements, the office of the Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has concluded arrangements to open preliminary investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity concerning the extrajudicial killings of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, and Indigenous People of Biafra. It is hoped that the government will not allow Nigeria to be exposed to international opprobrium for her unwillingness and inability to prosecute the indicted murder suspects.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said the federal government persistently assaulted the rule of law through “executive misbehaviour and high-handedness” in 2019.
Paul Usoro, NBA president, said this in his New Year’s message saying peace and justice cannot reign in the country if the government continues to pay lip service to the rule of law.
“In 2019, rule of law in Nigeria was persistently assaulted and lay prostrate, thanks mostly to executive misbehaviours and high-handedness/ 2019 marked the year that removal of public officers through nebulous and reprehensible ex parte orders of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) gradually became the norm in our national life.
“It started with the removal of Justice Walter Onnoghen through a purported CCT ex parte order in the first quarter of 2019 and, towards the end of the year, this abnormality was repeated with the removal from office of the acting Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Lady Azuka Azinge, through a questionable ex parte order” he said.
The NBA president also condemned the invasion of the court by agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the case of Omoyele Sowore, saying “it was a horrifying assault on the rule of law and the sacred sanctum of our courts and judicial processes”.
“It was somewhat reassuring that, in the dying days of 2019 and at the instance of the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) both Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki were finally released from confinement by the DSS, after being detained for prolonged periods against the orders of courts.”
“It is our hope that, in 2020, we would build on this new resolve by government and ensure that court orders are obeyed across board by our state officials and agencies.”
“We must remind our leaders of the pledges that they made when they courted us in 2019 for our votes. We must demand those rights that are guaranteed to us in our Constitution and in the social contract with elected officials.”
Usoro also said in 2020, the NBA will continue to speak for Nigerians. “We will persist in holding governments to account, particularly as it relates to the promotion and protection of the rule of law and the delivery of democracy dividends to our people,” he said
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to abide and comply with the rule of law and constitution of Nigeria.
Buhari said this in his New Year message to Nigerians.
The administration of President Buhari is characterised with different acts of human rights violation with activists and critics arrested and illegally detained at different centres across the country.
This is highlighted in the arrest and detention of Omoyele Sowore and Agba Jalingo as well as a host of others.
Buhari added that his government would promote dialogue and understanding.
He said, “Our actions at all times will be governed by the rule of law.
“At the same time, we shall look always to engage with all well-meaning leaders and citizens of goodwill to promote dialogue, partnership and understanding.
“We need a democratic government that can guarantee peace and security to realise the full potential of our ingenious, entrepreneurial and hard-working people.
“Our policies are designed to promote genuine, balanced growth that delivers jobs and rewards industry.”
Govenor Abdullahi Ganduje has finally bowed to pressure which came after an order which banned men and women from boarding same tricycles popularly known as Keke Napep, in Kano state.
Lawan Fagge, spokesperson of Kano State Hisbah Board which is reportedly responsible for the implementation of the new order scheduled to come to full effect in 2020, said the law was suspended after severall meetings with the leadership of the AdaidataSahu Owners.
Speaking to newsmen over the law which attracted condemnation from social media users, Fagge said;
“The decision was taken after consultation with leadership of commercial tricycle operators who pleaded for extension of the implementation date from January 2020 to a much later date.”
Nigeria Police have been stopped from engaging in the prosecution of criminal cases on behalf of the state at the magistrates’ courts.
Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of Kano State, Barrister Ibrahim Mukhtar, who disclosed this on Sunday, noted that the responsibility would now be handled by lawyers (state counsels)
He added that since the commencement of the new directive, on the 24th day of December 2019, the criminal justice system in the state has recorded a major leap.
“We have started with 14 magistrates courts in No-man’s-land, where we have deployed three lawyers (state counsels) to prosecute cases before each of the 14 courts.
“In the same vein, we have also sent three lawyers to the three Shariah courts at Kofar Kudu to prosecute Shariah criminal cases.”
Mukhtar explained that his office relied on Section 211 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended, as well as the provisions of the newly-promulgated Administration Of Criminal Justice Law of the state to relieve the police from engaging in the prosecution of criminal cases.
He recalled that police officers were well trained and competent in crime prevention, detection and investigation while adding that under the new arrangement, they would have enough time to focus on these core areas of responsibilities.
The Attorney General also noted that the new arrangement would assist in ensuring diligent prosecution in addition to the fact that it would give room for every party to a criminal case to have an adequate representation in court.
“You find that defendants in criminal matters are always at liberty to engage the services of lawyers, even senior advocates while the state has to make do with police prosecutors whose knowledge of the law is limited,” he stated.
“We hope to see that this trend is changed. We want all parties to have what would be seen to proper representation. We feel it is better to have legal practitioners on the two sides of every criminal prosecution in the state,” he said.
He added that “this would assist in ensuring that all parties have justice in the spirit of equality before the law. We plan to gradually take over the entire criminal prosecution in the state from the police.”
Daily Sun investigation indicated that the new arrangement was received with heavy hearts by members of the police in the state who could not see reason while they should be relieved of their role in the criminal justice system
The Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) has urged the Ministry of Power to implement the law on the membership of its junior counterpart, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE).
It also said the suspended strike of NUEE was illegal, because precedence was not followed.
The union said it had written the ministry of labour and employment, as well as the minister of power, stating why embarking on the strike was wrong.
SSAEAC President, Chris Okonkwo, told reporters in Lagos that the union also wrote a letter to the permanent secretary of the ministry of power on the issue.
“Our junior counterpart has taken over our members under the guise that they are senior staff and by that taken over 70 per cent of our revenue,” he said.
The Ministry of Labour had clarified the jurisdiction as provided in Third Schedule of the Trade Union Acts CAP. T14.
It explained that the case was similar to that of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) and the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), which was settled in court.
It said non-professional and non-stop administrative staff belong to NUEE, while civil service qualifications for senior staff are a minimum of OND or NCE or bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
The exception, the letter stated, were those who joined the unions as non-professionals and who wish to remain in that position after being promoted to the senior rank.
The SSAEAC president said the union had laid out the points and demanded the implementation of union membership.
“All staff records are expected to be reviewed using their qualification status, and ranks and placed in the correct union membership and appropriate deductions made and remitted,” he said.
Okonkwo noted that SSAEAC was not against the unity of the two unions, but lamented that such efforts had often been frustrated by NUEE members.
He said: “We are committed to team up as a body in the power sector to fight the battle and confront the challenges together, but that must be based on proper commitment and not just a mere information as it happened during the strike by NUEE.
“We will take up the challenges presented to us on how we can work and fight our battles together.”
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Wednesday December 25, placed a ban on men and women boarding same tricycle in Kano State.
The Kano State Governor who was represented by Commander-General of Hisbah Board, Harun Ibn-Sina at the closing ceremony of 77th annual Islamic Vacation Course organised by Zone A of Muslim Society of Nigeria held at Bayero University, Kano, said the ban will be enforced from January 2020.
It was further learnt that former governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau introduced commercial tricycles popularly known as ‘A daidaita sahu’ as a means of transportation for women only after banning commercial motorcyclists from conveying women.
However after Shekerau left government, tricycles have been allowed to carry people of both sexes before the recent ban.
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has fired back at Presidential Spokesperson Garba Shehu over allegation of spreading fake news with his claim of an agenda to give President Buhari a third term in office.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria in a statement released on Wednesday December 25, said the third term agenda for Buhari kicked off in September.
Femi Falana who alleged that the Buhari administration has intensified its campaign for the emasculation of the opposition and constriction of the democratic space, added that he is being attacked by the Presidency for challenging the support groups and APC leaders that are behind the third term campaign.
The statement reads;
“The third term agenda for President Muhammadu Buhari kicked off on September 21, 2019 under the auspices of “Movement For the Approval Of Buhari Third Term.
“The members of the group who launched the campaign in Abuja were not harassed by the Police or the State Security Service. The Presidency did not deem it fit to disown or dissociate itself from the campaign.
“However, following the popular rejection of the campaign, the Presidency issued a statement on October 2, 2019 to “correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.
“Notwithstanding the official denial of the third term agenda, the Buhari regime has since intensified its campaign for the emasculation of the opposition and constriction of the democratic space.
“This has been manifested in the subversion of the rule of law through disobedience of court orders, sponsoring of anti media bills and reckless arrest, detention and prosecution of the perceived enemies of the federal government. Peaceful meetings and rallies against unpopular policies of the government are violently suppressed while crowds are rented to attack groups and citizens who challenge authoritarian rule in the land.
“The Presidency has decided to attack me for challenging the support groups and APC leaders that are behind the third term campaign. Even though the campaigners are well known to the security agencies they have not being attacked by the Presidency.”
The United States government has sent a representative to monitor the trial of #RevolutionNow convener, Omoyele Sowore.
A representative was sent by the United States government, two weeks after the media personality was rearrested by Department of State Services (DSS) operatives inside a federal high court in Abuja, barely 24 hours after being released by the secret police who detained him for 125 days.
Photos taken at the resumed hearing of Sowore’s case at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday December 23, showed the Political Officer of the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Marcus Thornton exchanging pleasantries with #RevolutionNow convener’s lawyer Femi Falana (SAN).
Saudi Arabia through its Ministry of Justice on Monday December 23 issued a de facto ban on child marriages, setting the minimum age for marriage at 18.
In a circular issued by the country’s Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council Sheikh Dr. Walid Al-Samaani, all courts in the country were directed to refer the marriage application of anyone under 18 to a special court to make sure that “marrying those below 18-years old will not harm them and will achieve their best interest, whether they are male or female”.
The new order which is one of the social reform initiated since Mohammad Bin Salman became crown prince two years ago, came after an amendment to the Kingdom’s Child Protection Law was passed by the Shoura Council in January 2019.
Recall also that King Salman signed a decree permitting women to travel or obtain a passport without the permission of male guardians in October 2019. The decree did away with the need for permission of a guardian to marry, apply for a passport and leave the country. In the same month, women were allowed to join the armed forces.
The amendments also granted women the right to register the birth of a child, a marriage or a divorce, and to be issued official family documents and be eligible as a guardian to children who are minors. In January 2019, Saudi authorities stipulated that women must be paid equally to men.
Kwara State Police Command has banned the use of fireworks and low explosives during the Christmas festivities.
It said that it had deployed 3,000 personnel during the festive period.
Spokesman Ajayi Okasanmi said: “Police Commissioner Kayode Egbetokun wishes to assure the good people of Kwara State that security measure has been put in place to guarantee a hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebrations.
“In a bid to make the celebrations crime-free, the command has deployed 3,000 policemen and women to forestall any breakdown of law and order before, during and after the Yuletide.
“Consequently, the command is by this statement calling on the public to go about their lawful activities without any fear of molestation.
“The command wishes to warn against the use of low explosives without the necessary permit during the Yuletide. Any person found disobeying this order, if arrested, will be prosecuted.
“The command also wishes to use this medium to advise National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members across the state to always shun the temptation to embark on unnecessary and unauthorised journeys, especially during this period. Any corps member who must travel outside the state should always obtain clearance from the NYSC authority before embarking on such journey, but should be mindful of the risks associated with travelling outside the state, including the risk of kidnap.
“The command is collaborating with the NYSC authority in the state to ensure the safety of corps members. The commissioner of police wishes all citizens, residents and visitors in Kwara State a happy Christmas celebration and a prosperous New Year ahead.”
Veteran Nollywood actress Joke Silva has said she is in support on the hate speech bill.
She disclosed this in an interview with The Nation.
She said “My view is that anything legal that will get us away from tribalism and religious intolerance is very much welcome.
I think what needs to be done is a proper education of the general public of what we feel it’s really about. I don’t think it is anything that will curtail our freedom of speech, but I think it is something that will support it.
I’m hoping that it will support our unity as a people and in doing that, we are getting rid of the things that people use to bring division amongst us and those things are ethnic intolerance and religious intolerance.”
Regarding the crashes of some Nollywood marriages, Joke Silva, who marked her 34th wedding anniversary with her husband, veteran actor, Olu Jacobs, on Wednesday, shared tips of what has sustained her marriage.
She said: “Well, I am not particularly sure that others are doing anything wrong or doing anything right. I just think that because we are in the entertainment industry, there is a lot of focus on us, so people think that there a lot of divorces in entertainment more than any other field.
I think I will rephrase the question and say, ‘What are the causes of breakup in marriages?’ I really don’t know but at the end of the day, it is always irreconcilable differences.”
Addressing married couples, she said: “First of all, I really don’t like advising people on their emotional journey because I’m not in their shoes.
I cannot speak for anybody but what I will say that worked for me was that I’m in a relationship with my friend. I got married to a good friend. We have had our ups and downs and we were very committed to learning about the journey right from the beginning.
And we’ve had some really tough times but somehow by God’s special grace, we’ve been able to get rid of these tough times and I think continuous wanting what is best for the other person.”
The Nigeria Customs Service has revealed that it seized foreign rice and some food commodities in its raid of a market in Adamawa State.
The Adamawa/Taraba command in the raid led by Comptroller of Customs in charge of the two states, Kamardin Olumoh, said that contraband goods worth millions of naira smuggled into the country were seized.