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APC Crisis: My Lawyers Will Advise Me On Next Line Of Action – Adams Oshiomhole

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The suspended National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, says he has accepted the court’s verdict which upheld his suspension.

Speaking during an interview on Wednesday, Oshiomhole noted that his next line of action will be determined by his lawyers based on legal advice.

“We thank their lordships, they have given their judgement. In our democracy, the court is an independent arm of government.

“When they hand that judgment, it is not for you to pick whether you will obey or not. I accept their judgement in good fate.

“My lawyers will advise having studied the judgement, what the next line of action will be. So at this point, I will just thank their Lordships for their judgment and look forward to my lawyers on what should be the next line if there should be another next line of action,” he said.

When asked if he would instruct his lawyers to appeal the ruling of the Appellate Court on his suspension, the embattled APC chief neither confirmed nor opposed the question.

Rather, he insisted that his next move would not be discussed on national television.

He said: “What I do next would be based on my legal advice and my lawyers will act on that. I don’t think I need to communicate that through the television. It’s a relationship between a lawyer and his client. And I think we should leave it at that.”

Reacting to the decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to disqualify Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State from participating in APC primary election on June 22, Oshiomhole noted that there is no going back on the decision.

While pleading for peace among members, he advised the APC’s Secretary, Victor Giadom, against parading himself as the acting National Chairman of the party.

Oshiomhole’s comments come 24 hours after the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja affirmed his suspension as a member and National Chairman of the ruling party.

Ruling on the interlocutory appeal filed by Comrade Oshiomhole, the appellate court upheld the decision of the Federal Capital Territory High Court delivered by Justice Danlami Senchi which in March ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole as well as restraining him from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.

In a unanimous judgement in the first appeal delivered by Justice Eunice Onyemanam, the court held that the FCT High Court had territorial jurisdiction to have entertained the suit as it did.

The court also withdrew his rights and privileges as National Chairman of the party including his security details.

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Court To Hear Suit Challenging Lagos Ban Of Motorcycles, Tricycles On Dec 15

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed December 15 to hear a suit seeking the reversal of the ban placed by the Lagos State Government on the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles, popularly known as Okada and Keke Marwa.

A Lagos-based lawyer, Julius Ajibulu, who filed the suit said the ban on okada and keke Marwa, without a replacement or an alternative means of transportation, had subjected Lagosians to untold hardship and taken away the source of livelihood of the operators.

The lawyer claimed that the ban had led to massive unemployment and an escalation in the rate of crime and insecurity in the state due to loss of jobs.

He said the ban further violated his fundamental rights and those of other Lagosians under sections 33, 34, 36, 38, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.

Ajibulu is asking the court to order “the immediate resumption of commercial operations and activities of tricyles (Keke NAPEP/ Marwa) and motorcycles (okada) of 50cc-200cc capacity engine on the above stated highways and expressways through the aforesaid bridges in 15 local government and local development council areas of Lagos State.”

He is also seeking damages in the sum of N1bn as well as a public apology in newspapers.

The suit is the second lawsuit seeking the reversal of the Lagos State Government’s ban on okada and Keke Marwa.

Another lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, had earlier filed a suit before the same court on the same issue.

In his suit before Justice Mohammed Liman, Ogungbeje is seeking a declaration that “the forceful impounding, seizure or confiscation of motorcycles and tricycles” by agents of the Lagos State Government amounted to an infringement on the right of residents to own property under sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution.”

The Lagos State Government had in February proscribed both motorcycles and tricycles in six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state.

In a statement issued on January, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, said that the riders must not ply 10 major highways and 40 bridges and flyovers across the state.

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36 State Governments Take FG To Supreme Court Over Court Funding

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The 36 states of the Federation on Monday took the Federal Government to the Supreme Court, challenging the presidential executive order signed in May by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The states are seeking an order of the Supreme Court to quash President Buhari’s executive order on the funding of courts, which he signed on May 20.

According to the states, Buhari’s executive order no. 00-10 of 2020 transferred the Federal Government’s responsibility of funding both the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state High Courts, Sharia Courts of Appeal, and the Customary Courts of Appeal, to the state governments.

They are contending that the order is a clear violation of sections 6 and 8(3) of the 1999 constitution, which makes it the responsibility of the federal government to fund the listed courts.

The 36 states, while claiming that they had been funding the capital projects in the listed courts since 2009, are also asking the Supreme Court to order the Federal Government to make a refund to them.

The suit was filed for the states by nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria, led by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh.

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was listed as the sole respondent in the suit.

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Appeal Court Declines To Join Factional ANDP In Gov. Diri’s Appeal

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A move by a factional group of the Advanced Nigerian Democratic Party (ANDP) to join in Governor Douye Diri’s appeal against the judgment of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday, suffered a setback as the Court of Appeal in Abuja dismissed their request for being incompetent and lacking in merit.

Governor Diri had, last month, approached the appellate court to set aside the majority judgment of the tribunal which nullified the November 16, 2019, Bayelsa governorship election that brought him to power.

The nullification was predicated on the petition of the candidate of the ANDP in the November 16 governorship poll, Mr Lucky King-George, against his exclusion from the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The majority decision had upheld his argument that he was unlawfully excluded from the poll and subsequently ordered INEC to conduct a fresh poll in the state within 90 days.

However, when the matter came up on Monday, a lawyer, Mr Dominic Anyiador, announced appearance for the factional group led by its Chairman, Mr James Femowei, and drew the court’s attention to their application seeking to be joined as an interested party in the appeal filed by Governor Diri.

The applicants, which include the ANDP’s National Vice-Chairman, South-east, Barnabas Nwanguma; National Publicity Secretary, Fortune Oyadonghan; National Director NGO/Volunteers, Fred Ikhaghu; and Director Admin/Records, Linda Nyam, claimed to be the authentic faction of the ANDP.

They told the appellate court that they were unaware of the petition filed by the party challenging Diri’s election at the tribunal.

The applicants disclosed that the party did not conduct any primary election or fielded candidates for the governorship election, hence, their adoption and endorsement of Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as its preferred candidates in the election.

They also claimed that Charles Ogboli, the national chairman of the party, who filed the petition, was expelled in 2018.

“The 1st respondent (ANDP) as a political party endorsed and adopted his excellency Senator Douye Diri and his deputy Lawrence Erhujakpor as its gubernatorial candidates in the said November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election conducted by the 3rd (INEC) respondent in Bayelsa State,” the application stated.

“The judgment of the lower court nullifying the election of the governor of Bayelsa State came to the interested parties and other members of the 1st respondent as a rude shock reason being that they were/are not aware of any pending suit by the 1st respondent against the governor of Bayelsa State bordering on his election held on the November 16, 2019.

“It was later learnt by the interested parties/other members of the 1st respondent that it was the sacked and expelled national chairman of the 1st respondent barrister Charles Ogboli that instituted the petition at the tribunal against the governor of Bayelsa State purportedly on behalf of the 1st respondent and its members,” their lawyer told the appellate court.

But in a quick objection, the lawyer to the Ogboli-led ANDP, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to take the motion not being an election matter but inter-party affair.

He also said the applicants cannot be joined to the suit at the appeal stage because they were not parties at the tribunal.

Also, Ogunwumiju said the applicants had failed to seek the leave of court before filing their application.

In a short ruling, a three-man panel of Justices led by Stephen Adah dismissed the request for joinder.

Adah said the application is “irrelevant, prejudicial and waste of judicial time”.

The court also ordered the applicants to pay N200,000 to each of the appellants as well as the respondents in the suit.

The court then adjourned till September 23 for hearing of all pending motions in the appeal.

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