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Joe Biden assumes office as US President, calls for end to ‘Uncivil War’

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Joseph Robinette Biden Jr has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States alongside his vice, Kamala Harris.

At the inauguration ceremony Wednesday in Washington, D.C., it was a celebration of the return of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. With the absence of outgoing President Donald Trump, the image of the Republican Party at the end of Mr Trump’s turbulent tenure was one of a contemptible lack of graciousness in loss.

In his inaugural address, President Biden who becomes the oldest person to elected American President, called for an end to the “uncivil war,” addressing the toxic politics of the past four years, even as the Senate prepares to try his predecessor in the coming weeks following a second successful impeachment trial by the House of Representatives.

President Biden asked for a “lower[ing] of the temperature” but took a swipe at the Trump administration and the falsehoods that ensued after the elections, which MrTrump still refuses to concede.

“We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured,” the new president said.

The unprecedented global health crisis, and the usually high number of casualties in the U.S., currently over 400,000, was already going to affect the layout of the inauguration. But the bitter contention between the two political parties, especially in the period following the November 4 elections have further heightened the contention in Washington, D.C., and culminated in the attack on the Capitol on January 6 by Trump supporters.

As a consequence, the inauguration was conducted amidst a lockdown in the nation’s capital city. Entire sections of the city were shut to the public and a wide perimeter created around the Capitol Hill to prevent a repeat of the brazen attack of two weeks prior. The inauguration committee made a decision to plant flags throughout the lawn in the National Mall, where attendees would ordinarily have occupied. The city has also been besieged by the presence of about 25,000 National Guardsmen, an overwhelming security move to quell any prospects of violent protest. One thing is certain, there will be no contest of crowd numbers regarding the 2021 Inauguration.

Yet, the tensions did not mask the palpable sense of victory for Democrats who turned out in their numbers, within the constraints of the COVID-19 protocols. Notably, former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost the last election to Mr Trump in 2016, appeared to revel in being instrumental in thwarting the 2nd term ambitions of President Trump.

Amy Klobuchar, a sitting senator and former presidential hopeful who was once tipped to be Mr Biden’s running mate, opened the event and welcomed the ‘bunch of Bidens,’ mirroring the warmer, less contentious atmosphere that is expected to replace the fraught Trump Administration. Ms Klobuchar also celebrated the glass-ceiling breaking achievement of the incoming Vice-President Kamala Harris, who is the first woman to attain these heights in the history of the US.

The orders for the new president are tall. Mr Biden will fall in headlong into a global health crisis that has had devastating effects on the U.S. health sector and the US economy at large.

President Biden has laid out plans to carry out a series of Executive Orders this week, including rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO). He is also expected to expedite the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks.

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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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