I’m Ready for Negotiation, Says Nnamdi Kanu
Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in Abuja on Friday said he was willing to enter into negotiation with the Federal Government to secure his release and end the political crisis that has continued to trail his continued incarceration.
He also denied claims that he was working with some militant groups in the Niger Delta region, including the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta and Niger Delta Avengers.
Speaking through his lawyers, Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Amobi Nzelu, at a press briefing, Kanu said he was not opposed to negotiation to secure his freedom from detention which he described as “politically motivated and orchestrated.”
They however said the IPOB leader would not renounce his ideology for him to be released, because “IPOB is bigger than him.”
Ejiofor said, “Kanu will not renounce his ideology, IPOB is bigger than him. He cannot say yes or no to renouncing it, but he is open to political resolution of the problem. Nobody has approached him for negotiation where he is kept.
“The issue of IPOB is beyond him, he is open to negotiation. We are not against discussion on this issue. A political solution will be easily achieved than legal solution but Kanu must be released unconditionally.”
While reacting to media reports that the IPOB leader and MEND were negotiating with the Federal Government, Ejiofor said Kanu has no connection, contact, ties or any form of relationship with the members of MEND.
He said, “In the past few days, the media has been awash with news on negotiations going on between the Federal Government and the members of MEND, where our client’s name conspicuously featured. It is on that note that we wish to inform the general public that Nnamdi Kanu has no connection, contact, ties or any form of relationship with members of MEND.
“MEND has no implied, direct or express authority of Nnamdi Kanu to represent him or Indigenous People of Biafra in any purported negotiation going on between MEND and the Federal Government. The general public is accordingly advised to ignore, discountenance and disregard the falsehood being peddled by MEND. Nnamdi Kanu does not know them.”
“Nnamdi Kanu welcomes genuine political solution to this case. The Federal Government does not need to sponsor their representatives to travel to far away Bayelsa State or the creeks of Niger Delta region in order to reach Nnamdi Kanu.
“They know where they kept him, which is easily accessible to them. Kanu has people of proven integrity and impeccable character who will negotiate on his behalf based on his demands when communication to this effect is established.
“The unfolding events in the polity has therefore, vindicated our long held view that Nnamdi Kanu is a political prisoner. We wish to reiterate that on Nnamdi Kanu’s total freedom is where we stand.”
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.
NIMC: Presidential Council Faults N1000 NIN Fee, Demands Review
The recently announced N1000 National Identification Number (NIN) verification fee for the application, issuance and renewal of international passports by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has been criticised.
The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC faulted the mandated charge and called for a review.
Investors King had earlier reported that NIMC declared that Nigerians living in the country will pay N1000, while Nigerians residing in other African countries will pay $3 or its equivalent in other currencies and those in other continents across the world will pay $10 or its equivalent in other countries as NIN verification fee for application, issuance and renewal of their international passports.
Reacting to the development, the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business/PEBEC Secretary, Jumoke Oduwole, in a statement, emphasised the need for a review to make citizens enjoy quicker and less expensive government services.
Oduwole, who commended the collaboration between NIMC and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), said such a partnership will enhance passport services.
She noted that stakeholders are not impressed with the extra charge to be paid for the NIN verification before they can process their passports.
According to her, the outline of the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2022 signed into law by the President Muhammadu Buhari on February 8, 2023 states that where an applicant requires the service of a ministry, department or agency, the MDA involved is mandated to conduct the necessary verification or certification from relevant MDAs, in respect of the applicant.
Investors King understands that PUBEC was set up in 2016 by President Buhari with the aim of curbing hectic bottlenecks and bureaucratic limitations accompanied with owning and managing business enterprises in Nigeria.
The chairman of the council is the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. PUBEC has since its existence periodically issued EO1 Compliance Reports containing monthly reports of Ministries, Departments and Agencies submitted to the council.
INEC Considers Postponement of Governorship and State Assembly Elections Amidst Legal Battles
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is currently considering the possibility of postponing the upcoming governorship and state assembly elections, following the legal battles that have arisen from the recent presidential and national assembly polls.
INEC is expected to make a decision on the issue during a meeting of its national commissioners, scheduled for Wednesday night.
Investors King understands that the legal battles revolve around the extraction of data embedded in the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) and the inspection of other election materials.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, have filed similar applications seeking to obtain the certified true copy (CTC) of all the data in the BVAS.
INEC has opposed the applications, arguing that granting them would affect its preparations for the forthcoming elections.
Tanimu Inuwa, counsel to INEC, has asked the court to vary the orders granting permission to Obi and Atiku to inspect all the sensitive materials used in the conduct of the presidential election.
However, the court has refused to grant INEC’s request, stating that the commission failed to specify which of the orders it wished to vary.
The court has clarified that it granted Obi and LP permission to do electronic scanning and/or make photocopies of voter registration and ballot papers used in the conduct of the election, and not permission to access the database of INEC, as misconceived by the electoral body.
Given the legal battles and the possible impact on preparations for the forthcoming elections, INEC is now considering postponing the governorship and state assembly elections.
This decision, if taken, would have significant implications for the electoral process and could further heighten tensions in the country.
The ongoing legal battles highlight the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure a free, fair and credible electoral process. It is essential that INEC and other stakeholders prioritize the integrity of the electoral process over political expediency and work towards resolving these legal disputes in a timely and transparent manner.
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