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Appeal Court Reinstates 22 Political Parties, Says INEC’s Action Illegal

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reinstated 22 political parties de-registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Some of the parties reinstated by the court are Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

Their de-registration was reversed on Monday in a judgment prepared and signed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem.

In a unanimous decision, the court declared as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, the judgement of the Federal High Court upholding INEC’s action de-registering the political parties.

A four-man panel of judges led by Justice Sodipe Lokulo held that the de-registration was illegal because the due process was not followed.

The court also held that INEC’s action was not in compliance with Section 225(a)of the 1999 Constitution as amended, as the electoral umpire did not indicate reasons for the de-registration of the political parties.

On February 6, INEC announced that it had deregistered 74 out of the 91 political parties in the country.

It said it took the decision following a review of the performance of political parties after the 2019 general elections to see which parties qualify to exists.

Although a total of 75 parties were listed for deregistration, one of them – Action People’s Party (APP) – had obtained a court order restraining the electoral umpire from deregistering it.

The electoral umpire stated that the 1999 Constitution vested in it the power to register and regulate the activities of political parties.

It added that the Constitution was amended in 2018 and in addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowered the commission to deregister political parties.

Dissatisfied with the development, some of the political parties tested the legality of INEC’s action at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

But in a judgement delivered in June, Justice Taiwo Taiwo reaffirmed the powers of the electoral umpire to deregister political parties in the country.

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Service Chiefs: Pro-Democracy Group Pays Glowing Tribute To Buratai, Others On Exit From Service

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The National Democratic Front (NDF) has penned a touching tribute to outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai (retd) and other military chiefs following their recent retirement from service.

In a statement titled “Service Chiefs: A Salute to Courage in Service to Nigeria”, the pro-democracy group hailed the now-retired chiefs for their patriotism, commitment and zeal.

According to its Secretary-General, Dr Bolaji Abdulkadir, the NDF applauded the quartet’s numerous efforts and sacrifices in the war against insurgency and other forms of criminalities across the country.

The statement said the outgoing chiefs set lofty standards that must be sustained by the new appointees as they settle down for the business at hand.

While congratulating the new security heads, the NDF urged them to display a similar unalloyed commitment to preserving the territorial sovereignty of the country by giving their best and building on their predecessors’ efforts.

The group advised them to desist from playing to the gallery as some disgruntled elements in the country would cause a distraction by questioning their credibility.

The NDF, however, urged the outgoing security chiefs to make themselves available for higher service to Nigeria anytime duty calls, and also be willing to avail their wealth of experience to the incoming officers whenever the need arises.

The statement also called on all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the new service chiefs as they settle down for business.

Read the full statement below:

The National Democratic Front is issuing this press statement in the light of the recent announcement of the resignation of Service Chiefs and the subsequent appointment of new Service Chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari.

We wish to heartily congratulate Major-General LEO Irabor, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Real Admiral AZ Gambo and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao on their appointments into various branches of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The National Democratic Front uses this medium to charge the new Service Chiefs to display an unalloyed commitment to preserving the territorial sovereignty of Nigeria by giving in the best and building on their predecessors’ efforts.

It is our considered opinion that President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have found the new Service Chiefs fit for purpose from the lot and as such it behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to them in the quest to make Nigeria a strong and united country.

The National Democratic Front commends the outgoing Service Chiefs for their numerous efforts and sacrifices in the war against insurgency and other forms of criminalities across the country that indeed saw to the decimation of the Boko Haram insurgents as well as other militant groups across the country.

The outgoing Service Chiefs indeed put the country first. They displayed an unwavering commitment and courage in service to Nigeria during their stint. They indeed set lofty standards that must be sustained and built upon by the incoming Service Chiefs as they settle down for the business at hand.

The National Democratic Front is aware of the plan by some disgruntled elements in the country to systematically cause a distraction in the country by questioning the credibility of the incoming Service Chiefs and demonizing the efforts and sacrifices of the outgoing Service Chiefs.

Thus, it is succinct to state that Nigerians must rebuke such individuals and organizations as they do not mean well for the country. This much they have exhibited over the years in a most ignoble manner. They must desist from playing to the gallery in this critical point of our existence. The task at hand requires all level of seriousness that it deserves.

The National Democratic Front as critical stakeholders in the security sector in the country indeed rates the outgoing Service Chiefs in excellent terms for devotion, patriotism and sacrifices to the nation.

We are using this medium to encourage the outgoing Service Chiefs to make themselves available for higher service to Nigeria anytime duty calls, and also be willing to avail their wealth of experience to the incoming Service Chiefs whenever the need arises. They have indeed written their names in gold and posterity would be kind to them whenever the history of Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency is mentioned.

The National Democratic Front also commends President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment towards putting Nigeria on the right path towards achieving sustainable peace and progress in the country.

We salute the courage of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces thus far. The National Democratic Front indeed pledges its support to the various initiatives deployed to address the country’s security challenges.

It consequently behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the new Service Chiefs as they settle down for business.

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Service Chiefs Jointly ‘Resign’ As Buhari Appoints Replacements

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President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.

Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanks the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he calls their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” wishing them well in their future endeavours.

The new Service Chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.

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2023: Darius, Bwacha Rift Deepens As Group Drags Senator To EFCC

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The rift between Taraba state helmsman, Gov. Darius Dickson Ishaku and Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, deepened with a petition signed by Darius aides to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). KWARARAFA REPORTERS .

A copy of the petition circulating widely in Abuja and Jalingo. The aides are alleging that Bwacha fraudulently diverted the constituency funds. They also accuse the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) of not doing a thorough investigation.

ICPC on their websites had exonerated
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, after receiving a similar petition. Itemising completed projects in the zone, the ICPC had given Bwacha a clean bill of health On the matter of constituency projects. On the site, out of the 39 projects verified by ICPC across the country, Bwacha’s accounted for 14.

But the petitioners in their latest letter said the EFCC needs to do a further check on those projects- a move many believe to be politically motivated.

Many watchers believed the latest push is all part of the crisis rocking Southern Taraba. Sen. Bwacha representing Southern Taraba has been locked in a war of attrition with Gov Ishaku over control of the zone. Ishaku, a second term governor, nurses the ambition to replace Bwacha in the 9th Senate, while Bwacha has declared his intention to run for governor. Bwacha is largely seen as a favorite by the electorate even as Darius hangs on the power of incumbency for his senatorial hopes.

The petition, signed by Special advisers to Darius, Daniel Dan Azumi and Tijani Sale, titled the document ” COMPLAINT ON THE FRAUDULENT DIVERSION AND PERSONALISATION OF CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS…”

The petition reads in part, ” these projects have been manipulated to diversion, conversion, part or partial execution, change location of sitting after approval or stage managed them to decieve the constituents whom he represents”.

The letter continued, “most importantly non – execution of a proposed Jatropa farm that is not traceable till today after money has been collected from FG when he was Senate Chairman on agriculture committee as published in 2014…”

“Lastly we are aware all contractors doing his biddings are his political cronies and relations which are against the process of bidding for contract by tender guidelines. Let all the contractors tender their profiles to see if they are not his cronies and relations.”

“We are praying that Senator Emmanuel Bwacha’s constituency projects right from 2016 is full of fraudulent activities and we appeal to ur esteemed organization to help us make a Better investigation on all his projects..”

But a source in Senator Bwacha’s camp disclosed that the petition is riddled with lies, noting that Bwacha has been consistent in addressing the constituency issues. The source noted, “this is just a continuation of the Governor’s war against a performing Senator. He recently tried to stop the flagging off of a major project here and hasn’t succeeded. His aides are merely pleasing their master. The governor has always maintained Bwacha is his biggest problem.”

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