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Coronavirus: PDP prays for Gov. El-Rufai quick recovery

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Kaduna: Soldiers mistakenly fire church building- govt

The Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has expressed concern with the recent revelation of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, being positive for Coronavirus, praying for his quick recovery from the virus.

It urged the government to intermittently relax the curfew in the State.

The party in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Abraham Alberah Catoh, urged the state COVID-19 committee led by the deputy governor, Dr Hadiza Balarebe to redouble their efforts in the areas of continuous education and public enlightenment on how to go about being tested as quickly as possible.

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It noted that,

“realizing that hunger is another dangerous disease, the party makes a passionate but strong appeal to the government to effect an intermittent but controlled relaxation of the curfew currently in force to allow people to either stock or re-stock household needs like foodstuffs, sanitaries, drugs etc.

“We believe this will add value to the commitment of the public to respect and obey government directives. It will also allow public-spirited individuals the opportunity to come to the aid of the needy members of our society.

“This should be in addition to the phone lines dedicated by government. The public outcry that the lines are not responding to callers should be looked into without further delay.

“This is time for Public Confidence building and relevant government officials need to respond to complaints and advises swiftly. We are in an important project of Government/Public Partnership Programme which succeeds for our overall interest and safety.”

The party called on all members of the public to support the government, especially now and respect its directives.

The party added, “May God Almighty take the lead as we journey out of the woods. Amen.”

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Buhari’s Executive Orders are aimed at complementing existing legislations – Malami

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, says the recently signed Presidential Executive Orders are aimed at complementing the existing legislations and ensure inter-agency coordination in the process of implementation.

Dr. Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Public Relations, quoted the minister as saying this on Thursday in Abuja in a radio program.

Malami said the Orders are to ensure constitutional compliance, enhancing operation, enforcement, and application of legal provisions as well as providing necessary supervision required for enforcement.

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He pointed out that the Executive Orders are naturally intended to force constitutional compliance which in the case of Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria establishes the autonomy of the state legislatures and judiciary.

“The Executive Order is, therefore, a necessary tool for the purpose of bringing to effect such autonomy by way of assigning certain responsibilities, both institutional and otherwise necessary for the purpose of enforcing the autonomy.

“By way of example, therefore, if the Federal Government wants to withhold the resources of a State Government that refuses to comply with the constitutional provision relating to the autonomy of State Legislatures and Judiciary then the Federal Government may require the services of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

“Similarly, if the government wants the state legislature to be part of the process relating to appropriation, for example, the agreement must be reached on the need for the state legislature to be alive to its responsibility.

He noted that for coordinated institutional support, necessary and desirable for bringing to affect the operation, enforcement, and application of a constitutional provision Executive Order becomes necessary.

“The Executive Order No.10 is meant to bring about the constitutionality associated with the autonomy of the state legislature and judiciary.

“It also intends to achieve a supervisory role by assigning responsibilities and ensuring proper supervision desired for the purpose of enforcement and application of autonomy constitutionally granted States legislature and judiciary by the Constitution.

 

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NGF to engage AGF on financial autonomy for states’ judiciary, legislature

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has said that its Legal Committee would engage the Attorney- General of the Federation to reflect on the implications of the recently passed Executive Order 10, 2020 on governance at the sub-national level.

The forum disclosed this in a communiqué signed by its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, issued to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, after its 9th COVID-19 teleconference meeting held on Wednesday.

The NGF Legal Committee, according to the communiqué, comprises the governors of Sokoto State Plateau and Ondo State.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday signed into law an executive order, granting financial autonomy to the legislative and judicial arms across the 36 states of the country.

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The order also mandated the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from source, the amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.

It stated that the governors also at the meeting deliberated on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The governors also resolved to interface with the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, to incorporate the contributions of state governments in the Economic Sustainability Plan as a national response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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This, according to the communiqué, will be done through the NEC Ad-Hoc Sub-Committee on COVID-19 comprising the governors of Kaduna State as chairman, with governors of Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa State, Edo and Jigawa as members.

It noted that the NGF chairman briefed the governors on coordination activities with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, multilateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector through the Coalition Against COVID-19 that were targeted at improving the COVID-19 response of the state governments.

It added that the governors also received a brief from Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Nigeria on the one billion dollars COVID-19 crisis facility and update from Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director of Aliko Dangote Foundation on activities of the coalition.

“ The Nigeria Governors’ Forum thereafter resolved to interface with the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, on the billion COVID-19 crisis facility approved for the country at the request of the Federal Government by the AfDB, to embark on the delivery of projects that will meet the needs of Nigerians in health emergency assistance, agriculture, and food security, among others.”

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Alleged exam malpractices: FG withdraws charges against Senator Ademola Adeleke

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Adeleke

The Federal Government on Thursday withdrew its examination malpractices lawsuit against the former governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

Adeleke was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja in October 2018 along with Sikiru Adeleke, who is said to be the senator’s relative; Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, the school principal; Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo, the school registrar, and Dare Samuel Olutope, a teacher.

Ademola and Sikiru were accused of fraudulently, through impersonation, registering as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro, Osun State to enable them to sit for the National Examinations Council (NECO) examination of June/July 2017.

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The other three defendants were accused of aiding the commission of the alleged offence.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, prosecution lawyer, Simon Lough said the state has amended the charge to exclude Adeleke, in view of his continued absence in court.

Adeleke has failed to attend court since last year when he was granted permission by the trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, to travel to the United States on medical grounds.

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Lawyers to the defendants, led by Alex Izinyon (SAN), did not object to the prosecution’s decision to amend its charge.

They, however, disagreed with the prosecution on the appropriate order to be made; whether Adeleke should be simply discharged, based on the withdrawal of the charge against him, or whether he should be discharged and acquitted.

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Justice Ekwo has fixed ruing on the issue for Friday (May 29).

The other defendants pleaded not guilty when they were re-arraigned on the amended seven-count charge.

Justice Ekwo agreed with the defence lawyers that the defendants should continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them.

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