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Suit On Atiku’s Eligibility To Contest For President Fixed For February 21

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Only Ayu Can Decide To Resign As PDP Chair - Atiku

Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, fixed February 21, 2022, for judgment in a suit seeking to challenge former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s eligibility to vie for the office of the President.

Justice Ekwo fixed the date after taking arguments from counsel to the parties in the suit.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a group, an Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA), in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 had sued Atiku, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.

EMA is challenging Atiku’s eligibility to contest for presidency, alleging he is not a Nigerian citizen by birth.

The group asked the court to hold, among others, that considering the provisions of Sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the constitution and the circumstances surrounding the former vice president’s birth, he cannot contest for the top office.

NAN also reports that the Adamawa State Government, through its Attorney-General (AG), had, on July 27, sought an order of the court to be joined in the suit.

The court, in the motion dated April 26 and filed June 24, granted the prayer of the AG of Adamawa to be joined in the case as 5th defendant.

The Adamawa government had told the court that Atiku was eligible to vie for the office of the president.

It said Atiku, against whom the suit was primarily directed, is a citizen of Nigeria from Adamawa who had been elected as a governor of the state in 1999 and served as the vice president of the country between 1999 and 2007.

It stated that the suit threatened the right of not just the ex-vice president to contest the office of the president “but that of the citizens of Nigeria, of Adamawa origin covering 12 out of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.”

When the matter was called on Monday, the counsel to the plaintiff, Akinola Oladimeji, said that the matter was slated for hearing of his originating summons.

“We have amended originating summons in response to 1st to 5th defendants counter-affidavits,” he said.

READ ALSO: How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School – Atiku

Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, who appeared for Atiku (1st defendant), said a notice of preliminary objection was filed.

Jegede, after withdrawing two motions earlier filed, one of which challenged the jurisdiction of court, urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff application.

He argued that a previous case relied upon by the applicant in filing the suit did not relate to the matter at hand.

The senior lawyer also argued that the matter was already stale as it was tied to the 2019 election, in which his client vied for the election, challenged the poll and was unsuccessful.

He said this defined the futility of the plaintiff’s case.

Corroborating Jegede’s submission, counsel to the 2nd defendant (PDP), Adedamola Falokun, said he also filed a notice of preliminary objection.

He described the matter as a pre-election matter, urging the court not to waste its time on it.

“I stand in alignment with the learned SAN that this matter is stale.

“They filed this before the 2019 election that the 1st defendant (Atiku) should not be cleared.

“The 1st defendant had been cleared, he contested and lost in the election. And you are still talking about 2019 when we are in 2021 and in a few days, we will be in 2022,” he said.

The lawyer argued that there was no single line in the plaintiff’s application that specifically stated on good grounds why Atiku could be barred from contesting election.

He urged the court to dismiss the suit with punitive costs against the plaintiff.

Also, lawyers to the 4th (AGF) and 5th (AG of Adamawa) defendants also presented their arguments in the matter.

The plaintiff lawyer, Oladimeji, disagreed with counsel to the defendants.

He said the suit sought to know the citizenship of Atiku.

He clarified that the suit was not a pre-election one.

“For the purposes of clarity, a pre-election matter is filed by an aspirant in an election.

“The plaintiff is not an aspirant, it is only seeking an interpretation into the questions raised,” he said.

Oladimeji argued that even though Atiku was said to have been born in Nigeria, he was not a Nigerian citizen.

He said for the fact that the mistake had been done in time past did not mean that this should continue.

He said the interest of the group was for the court to interpret the constitution within the ambits of the law.

Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until February 21 for judgment.

 

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Tinubu Approves N70,000 Minimum Wage

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BREAKING: Dogara, Babachir Lead Northern Christians Against Tinubu's Muslim-Muslim Ticket

By John Michael Ojo

The Federal Government on Thursday, pegged the new national minimum wage at N70,000.

This was made known by Mr Bayo Onanuga, a Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers with promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

“President Tinubu also promised to find ways to assist the private sector and the sub-nationals to pay the minimum wage.

“President Tinubu announced the decisions at the meeting held with leaders of TUC and NLC on Thursday in Abuja, the second time the parties met in 7 days,” the statement read.

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Olaopa Urges Youths To Shun Japa Syndrome, Prepare For Leadership

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Prof. Tunji Olaopa flanked by Hon Abike Dabiri (left )and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi , former Head of Service of the Federation ( right) at the event on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, has urged youths to prepare for leadership positions early in life instead of travelling overseas to seek opportunities, a development that is popularly known as the Japa syndrome.

The seasoned bureaucrat and former federal permanent secretary said that opportunities abound for youths but that they could only access them when they begin early .

According to Olaopa who spoke on Thursday during the 2023/2024 graduation of KIA Lakeside Academy in Abuja, these opportunities will elude the youths if they opt to go and wander on the streets of foreign countries. He said : ” In the civil service I am very familiar with, people grow old and retire every day. We need youths to fill such vacancies that the old people leave behind . If all the youths go abroad to be doing menial jobs, do we go to Ghana and other neighbouring countries to employ their youths?

Prof. Tunji Olaopa and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, former Head of Service of the Federation at the event.

He said that under his leadership of the Federal Civil Service, there is so  much hope for youths to access federal jobs. He said he had decided to maintain a policy of transparency and equity in making jobs in the civil service available for all eligible Nigerian youths through open advertisement.

He said in the area of political leadership, the older generation could not keep on dominating the sector. He said that the youths would be need to replace the old political leaders as they quit the scene.

According to him, the ability to prepare early for leadership goes hand in hand with a clear vision. He said nobody could prepare for anything if there is no clear vision of where they are going or what they want.

He said people who reach great heights in life always have a clear vision of where they are going early in life and they work towards it. He gave the example of former United States President Bill Clinton who as a youth had a clear vision of being his nation’s leader.

According to Olaopa, past and current leaders in Nigeria have had early in their youths clear visions of what they want in life. He said it was this clear visions early in life that made them trailblazers in different areas of life. In politics he cited Chief Obafemi Awolowo , Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and others. He said that these were trailblazers in their youth. He said in business, young people have become trailblazers.

He said that because of the opportunities the current world offers, youths do not need to become old people before reaching great heights in life. According to him, youths have become trailblazers in technology . He mentioned the examples of Zuckerberg of Facebook, Elon Musk and a younger Bill Gates.

Talking about breaking the glass ceiling, Olaopa said that no gender barrier should stop anyone from reaching the summit of life. He said many women in the past and the present have been trailblazers. He mentioned Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Dora Akunyili,l and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He said unlike in the past , many bank CEOs in Nigeria are currently women.

However, Olaopa said that nobody could be a trailblazer without preparation. He said this preparation comes in the form of education. He quoted Nelson Mandela who once observed that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” He said if in the past people we regard as great today could get education despite the huge barriers they were faced with, youths of today have no excuse. He said Awolowo was faced with a huge educational disadvantage which he overcame by studying at home . He said Azikiwe had to find his way overseas where he suffered to educate himself. According to him, one of the greatest lawyers today in Nigeria is Chief Afe Babalola. He said Babalola overcame his challenges by studying at home and that today he owns one of the best universities in the country.

According to him, youths who lack the opportunity of going to formal university classrooms can avail themselves of the opportunities offered by the open university system that the Federal Government supports .

He said that in fact President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated his interest in the education of the less-privileged through his government’s Student loan scheme. He said that youths who desire to acquire university education but have no sponsors can use that scheme.

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Tinubu Appoints Walson-Jack Head Of Service As Yemi-Esan Retires

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Walson-Jack

As the current Head of Service Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, is due to retire on August 13, 2024, President Bola Tinubu has approved her replacement. She is Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack.

Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several Ministries.

While thanking Yemi-Esan  for her stewardship, President Tinubu tasked the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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