Budget Padding: Abdulmumin Seeks Court Protection from Arrest
In a dramatic twist to the row over the 2016 budget padding allegations causing disharmony in the House of Representatives, the hunter now appears to be the hunted, going by emerging development.
The erstwhile Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Jibrin Abdulmumin, who made the budget-padding allegation, has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order to restrain the Nigerian Police from arresting him.
The respondents in the suit are the Nigeria Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police (FCT), Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Hon. Leo Ogor and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
The lawmaker, in his tweets and statements had given the impression that he was enjoying the cooperation of the police, over the allegations against Dogara and others.
But Abdulmumin, in the suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja with No: FHC/ABJ/CS/595, said there was a police siege on his home and that up till the time of filing the suit on August 9, 2016, the siege was still in force.
The affidavit deposed on his behalf by his legislative aide, Mr. Bashir Bello said this was “in a bid to arrest him unlawfully and achieve their pre-determined aim of tampering with his fundamental human rights.”
Abdulmumin, in the suit, accused the police of plotting to “nab him and also put him out of circulation and so as to lay their hands on the said documents and destroy the evidence therein, and avoid a leakage of their roles in the budget issue.”
The embattled lawmaker, in a separate suit, also sued Dogara, the Clerk of the House and others, to restrain the lower chamber from suspending him.
Others listed in the suit filed at the Federal High Court Abuja on August 9, 2016, include the Lasun, Doguwa, Ogor and the eight chairmen of standing committees.
The House is set to resume from its summer recess on September 13, 2016.
Abdulmumini in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/595, said Dogara and others had perfected plans to ensure his indefinite suspension from the House, after his petition to the EFCC, ICPC and the police.
“That if the reliefs of the Plaintiff are not granted, the Plaintiff would be suspended as a member of the House of Representatives and this would greatly prejudice him and thousands of his constituents who rely on him to afford them their due representation in the Federal legislature,” his affidavit read.
Sources however told THISDAY that Abdulmumin’s fears may not be unconnected with alleged plans by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to revive and re-arraign him over a N15 billion money laundering case in October 2011.
Abdulmumin and his firm, Green Forest Investment Ltd, had been charged alongside a former Governor of Nasarawa State, Aliyu Akwe Doma, for laundering stolen state funds totaling N15 billion. In Dec 2012, the EFCC removed his name from its amended charges. THISDAY, however, could not get EFCC’s confirmation on plans to re-arrange Abdulmumin on the money laundering charges. Efforts to also reach Abdmumin by phone calls and text messages proved abortive, as his phone repeatedly rang out unanswered.
The House has been embroiled in crises following the removal of the Abdulmumin by Dogara.
After his ouster, Abdulmumin, accused Dogara, Lasun, Doguwa and Ogor of allocating N40 billion to themselves out of the N100 billion appropriated for the National Assembly, and making “senseless’ insertions into the 2016 budget”.
He also petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Nigeria Police, demanding the arrest and prosecution of the speaker, three principal officers, and 10 committee chairmen for corruption and abuse of office.
Lagos Govt Signs MoU With eTransact For Setbacks, Open Spaces Management to Boost IGR
In a bid to better manage the open spaces and setbacks in Lagos, the state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a fintech firm, eTransact.
The Memorandum, Investors King reports will regulate the use of the setbacks and Incidental Open Spaces (IOS) to improve the state’s internally generated revenue while enhancing beauty and physical orderliness in Lagos State.
The pact was signed by the State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development at the State Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, to ensure smooth partnership between Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Authority (LASPEMA) and the fintech company.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, who was represented by Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on e-GIS and Planning Matters, Dr. Olajide Babatunde and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Oluwole Sotire signed for the state government while the Managing Director of eTransact, Mr. Niyi Toluwalope and Group Head, Legal of eTransact, Ms. Eme Godwin signed for the company.
In a statement, the eTransact promised to implement an integrated digitalised solution for the data collection and management of revenue collection through the use of technology, adding that businesses occupying setbacks and open spaces will be well monitored to further increase IGR of the state.
According to Babatunde, the official public-private partnership would ensure proper management of the environment.
He noted that there will be better accountability and growth in IGR to further serve the interest of the people of Lagos.
In his remarks, Toluwalope said that the partnership will improve social development, develop solutions on data collection and proper use of setbacks and open spaces through digital means.
He reiterated the company’s commitment to build an attray and prosperous city for all in partnership with the state government.
He said: “eTranzact is a premier technology solutions company in Nigeria. Today we are partnering with the Lagos State Government and LASPEMA for the enumeration and data management of the occupants of the setbacks and incidental open spaces within the City. We are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide this service.
“The Lagos State Government has taken this laudable initiative to identify the setbacks, enumerate the people on these setbacks, do the necessary data capture, and manage the entire setback infrastructure in the state so that it is structured; following the proper model for setbacks, improves beautification, improves transparency within the environment and ensures that our critical urban infrastructure is well laid out properly to ensure Lagos functions as a major critical landmark with global recognition.”
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Petitions NBC to Sanction Channels TV Over Alleged Breach of Broadcasting Code
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, has reportedly filed a petition with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), calling for the sanction of Channels Television for allegedly breaching the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.
The petition alleges that the TV station allowed its guest, Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate Datti Baba-Ahmed to make several incendiary comments that impugned the integrity of the 25 February 2023 Presidential elections.
According to Tinubu’s petition, Baba-Ahmed claimed that the Labour Party won the election, which is “a fallacy and not correct,” and he alleged that President Buhari should not swear in the President-elect because he did not score 25% of the vote in the FCT, which is a prerequisite for being declared the winner.
Tinubu also accused Baba-Ahmed of making subversive, inciting, and inflammatory comments, which breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.
The petition calls on NBC to apply sanctions against Channels TV, stating that the TV station’s guest was “not only provocative but also inciting the public and the Labour Party followers to delegitimize the outcome of the elections but also propagate resistance against the incoming duly elected administration of Bola Ahmed-Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.”
This development comes amid tensions and uncertainties surrounding the aftermath of the 2023 Nigerian Presidential elections with some political parties and their supporters contesting the results and calling for a rerun. The Nigerian Broadcasting Code aims to regulate the activities of broadcasters and ensure that they promote national unity, peace, and social harmony, among other objectives.
NBC is yet to respond to Tinubu’s petition or issue any statement on the matter. However, this petition highlights the need for broadcasters and media houses to uphold journalistic ethics and professional standards, especially during sensitive periods like elections.
Court of Appeal Upholds Adeleke’s Victory in Osun State Governorship Election
In a landmark judgement, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the rightful governor of Osun State.
The ruling, which comes as a surprise to many, overturned the decision of the Osun State Governorship Tribunal which had earlier nullified Adeleke’s election victory.
Following the governorship polls in the state, an Election Petition Tribunal had sacked Adeleke from office, citing his failure to secure the majority of lawful votes during the July 16 governorship polls. However, in a unanimous agreement by a three-man panel led by Justice Mohammed Shuaibu, the Court of Appeal quashed the tribunal’s judgment and gave its verdict to uphold Adeleke’s victory.
The Appeal Court Panel revoked the tribunal’s order which directed that a Certificate of Return be withdrawn from Adeleke and issued to his predecessor and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola. The panel held that the Osun State Tribunal was wrong to have said that there was overvoting, a claim that only relied on the evidence by Oyetola and the APC, and as such, doesn’t prove their case in any way.
The judge faulted Oyetola and APC, that they only relied on the data from the back end server and failed to look at the voters register which forms the foundation of the whole electoral process and as such, cannot strengthen their allegations of overvoting. The court also resolved in favour of Adeleke on the issue of jurisdiction, stating that section 285(8) of the constitution as amended, the court has every right to entertain the appeal.
The ruling is a significant victory for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Adeleke, who had been locked in a legal battle with the APC over the governorship position since the election. Many Nigerians have applauded the Court of Appeal’s decision as a step towards consolidating the country’s democracy and upholding the rule of law.
The decision has also set a precedent for future electoral disputes in the country, as it highlights the importance of credible evidence in proving electoral malpractice claims. This ruling has shown that allegations of overvoting cannot be sustained without concrete evidence from the voters register, and political parties must be thorough in their investigations and presentation of evidence in such cases.
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