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Reps Consider Reporting Judge To NJC Over Order To Delete Section Of Electoral Act

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Miffed at a ruling by Justice Evelyn Anyadike of a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, to delete the provisions of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022, the House of Representatives is considering reporting her to the National Judicial Council.

Justice Anyadike’s nullification of the section empowers the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to delete the section from the Act.

The House also resolved to appeal the judgement and have it upturned.

The lawmakers also asked Malami to allow the National Assembly to exercise its right to appeal the case.

Several members of the House, at the plenary on Wednesday, criticised the judiciary and the executive of usurping the powers of the legislature, stating that only the parliament and not a presidential appointee can amend the law.

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he got to know about the case in the media. He said he discovered that the chamber was not served any notice, since it was not a party to the suit.

Gbajabiamila said President Muhammadu Buhari was rightly advised to approach the National Assembly for an amendment to the Act.

READ ALSO: Lawan Defies Court, Continues With Electoral Act Amendment

The speaker stated that he would not sit back and allow the parliament to be ridiculed on his watch.

Gbajabiamila said it was curious that the National Assembly was joined in the suit and the judgment was secured from a court in Umuahia.

The speaker stated that the parliament must appeal against the judgment and ensure that it was set aside. According to him, it is a mistake and the lawmakers must correct it.

Gbajabiamila appealed to the AGF to “tarry” and not take over the responsibility of the National Assembly.

The Senate had also on Tuesday resolved to take a decision on the matter today.

Section 84(10) of the Act reads, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

On Friday, Anyadike had held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever, saying it ought to have been struck out.

A lawyer and chieftain of Action Alliance party, Nduka Edede, had approached the court, in the suit that had the Attorney-General of the Federation as the defendant.

The plaintiff had asked the court to determine whether Section 84(12), when read together with Sections 66(1)(f) 107(1)(f)(137(1)(f) and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution, was not inconsistent.

Malami had said his office would accordingly give effect to the court judgment in line with the dictates of the law and the spirit of the judgment.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Rejects Section

The minister said, “The judgment of the court will be recognised by the government printers in printing the Electoral Act.

“The Act will be gazetted factoring the effect of the judgment into consideration and deleting the constitutionally offensive provision accordingly.

“The provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is not part of our law and will be so treated accordingly.

“This is in line with the dictates of chapter 7, Part 4, Section 287 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) on enforcement of decisions that make it a point of duty and obligation on all authorities and persons to have the judgment of the Federal High Court, among others, to be enforced.”

Meanwhile, the National Assembly had been divided over the ruling by a Federal High Court, Abuja, stopping the President Muhammadu Buhari,Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); and the parliament from tampering with the Electoral Act 2022.

While the Senate had insisted on going ahead to consider the request by the President, who asked the federal parliament to delete Section 84(14) of the new electoral law, the House said it would obey the court.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had stated that the ruling by the FHC negates the principles of Separation of Powers. The chamber had gone ahead to consider the executive bill for second reading and voted against it.

However, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, while addressing journalists on Tuesday, argued that the chamber would obey the Rule of Law principle.

Buhari, while assenting to the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on February 25, had highlighted sections of the new law that would revolutionalise the electoral system in the country but expressed reservations about Section 84 (12).

The President had last week officially conveyed his reservation about Section 84 (12) of the Act 2022 to the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to delete it.

 

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Ex-minister Paul Unongo Is Dead

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Ex-minister Paul Unongo Is Dead

A former Minister of Power and Steel in the Second Republic, Paul Unongo is dead.

Unongo, who hailed from Jato Aka in the Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, died Tuesday morning in Jos, the Plateau State capital at the age of 87.

A strong politician, he aspired to govern Benue State in 1983 but lost to the late Aper Aku.

In 2017, Unongo succeeded Maitama Sule as the chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum.

READ ALSO: Pastor Reveals More Details On How Sammie Okposo Died

A close family source, who confirmed his death to reporters on the phone in Makurdi on Tuesday, simply said that his death would be announced in due course.

“Yes Wantaregh Paul Unongo died today Tuesday but I cannot say more than that because I am not authorised to do so. But our family will issue a formal statement on the development,” he said.

Another source in the state, who did not want to be mentioned, confirmed his death.

“This morning, I called and was told that they were bathing him but about 20 minutes after they told me he passed on,” said one of Tiv prominent sons.

Until his death, Unongo was the chairman of the Governing Council of Nigerian Educational Research Development Council.

Born on September 26, 1935, Paul Unongo, belonged to the Kwaghngise-Anure-Abera ancestry, in Turan, Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.

 

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BREAKING: Court Sentences IGP To Prison

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BREAKING: Court Sentences IGP To Prison

For disobeying a valid court order, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has been sentenced to three months in prison.

The sentence came from the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice M. O. Olajuwon, held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months, or until he obeys an order it made since October 21, 2011.

“If at the end of the three months, the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt”, the court held.

The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

READ ALSO: IGP Orders Troops Deployment On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway To Check Insecurity

Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.

The court had also ordered the payment of N10million to the applicant, being special and general damages for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a senior officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.

 

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14 Working-day Paternity Leave For Federal Civil Servants Begins

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14 Working-day Paternity Leave For Federal Civil Servants Begins

With the Federal Government’s approval of the 14 working-day paternity leave for federal civil servants, the implementation of the policy has taken off.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, said this on Monday in a November 25 circular with ref no: HCSF/SPSO/ODD/NCE/RR/650309/3.

The circular titled, “Computation of Leave Based on Working Days and Approval of Paternity Leave in the Public Service,” said that this is in line with the provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021 Edition, that the computation of all leave shall be based on working days.

“Government has also approved Paternity Leave for serving male officers whose spouse delivers a baby. The period of the leave shall be 14 working days. The leave shall not be more than once in two years, and for a maximum of four children.

“Where the family of a male officer adopts a child under four months old, the officer will similarly enjoy Paternity Leave for a period of 14 working days,” Yemi-Esan said.

READ ALSO: Govt Approves 14-day Paternity Leave

She said that the request for such leave shall be accompanied by the Expected Date of Delivery’s (EDD) report of the officer’s wife or evidence of approval of the adoption of the child by the relevant government bodies.

She also said that the effective date of the circular was November 25, 2022.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September this year approved a 14-day paternity leave for men in the federal civil service, to make men properly bond with their newborn baby or adopted one.
She said the bonding was important to help the newly-born or adopted baby properly bond with the father in the early period.

“So, that is what has been approved for men so that the men and their babies also can bond well together. It’s important because we want the young children and the youth really to bond properly with their fathers, just as they bond well with their mothers.”

 

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