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Court sacks kogi APC Lawmaker

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, ordered the sack of a lawmaker representing Ibaji Constituency of Kogi, Atule Egbunu, on the ground of unlawful nomination by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, declared Daniel Enefola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the lawmaker for the constituency, having polled 4, 564 votes in the Dec. 5, 2020 State House of Assembly by-election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Egbunu was declared winner of the election having scored the highest votes of 8, 515 votes.

Joseph Enemona, one of the aspirants in the APC State House of Assembly primary, had instituted the suit against the party and four others.

Enemona, who was the plaintiff, had challenged the legality of the Sept. 3, 2020 primary election claimed to have been conducted by his party.

He averred that his party unlawfully excluded six other aspirants from the primary election and also did not allow delegates to vote at the poll.

The plaintiff further asserted that while the law stipulated that the primary election be conducted at the party secretariat in Onyedega, the APC officials allegedly conducted the purported primary election in a mall.

He further contended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not given 21 days’ notice before the purported primary election and as required by Section 85 of Electoral Act, 2010.

The plaintiff further hinged his case on the ground that while the APC guidelines stipulated direct primary election, the APC officials manipulated the guidelines and purportedly used indirect system to pick the purported candidate and demanded that the purported nomination of Egbunu be voided and another primary election be conducted.

However, Justice Ekwo, after reviewing submissions by parties in the matter, agreed that the APC did not conduct a primary election known to law.

The judge held that while seven aspirants were to participate in the primary election, the party unlawfully maneuvered the system and made the participation for a single candidate.

He also held that the APC ran foul of the law by conducting the purported primary election outside the party secretariat as required by law.

Ekwo also faulted the purported substitution done between Matthew Oguche and Atule Egbunu on the ground that Oguche was not one of the legitimate aspirant before the election.

The judge, therefore, declared the purported APC primary election as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional and subsequently set it aside.

Justice Ekwo said that since the time for primary and nomination had lapsed, the candidate who came second in the Dec. 5, 2020 bye-election should be inaugurated as the lawmaker for Ibaji Constituency.(NAN)

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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