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Refusal of Petition: Middle Belt Journalists Pass Vote Of No Confidence on Deputy Speaker

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The Middle Belt Journalists Forum, MBJF, has passed a vote of no confidence on the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase.

Rising from an emergency meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, the MBJF strongly condemned the way and manner Wase dismissed a petition seeking to draw the attention of the lawmakers to the plight of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Benue State and other states within the Middle Belt.

The petition by a group of concern Nigerians resident in the United States of America from Benue State had sought to highlight the plight of IDPs and the continue illegal and unconstitutional occupation of their ancestral lands by their attackers.

Recall that the situation in Benue is similar to many places in the Middle Belt including Plateau State where the Deputy Speaker hails from.

A statement jointly signed by the MBJF President, Jonathan IPAA, JP and the National Secretary Mrs Oikeke Igado Kure, stressed that the issues at stake are clearly within the purview of violation of fundamental human rights.

“As a beneficiary of democracy which catapulted him into the exalted Office of Deputy Speaker, we expect Rt Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase to tow the line of civility and to have allowed the petition to be heard. By this, the Deputy Speaker would have defended his constituents who are now suffering in the various IDP camps across the zone”.

“ The question to ask is: “Does it matter the residency status of who draws attention to a crime or injustice?” The posture of the Deputy Speaker as Presiding Officer suggests that he calls the shots and determined the petition to be heard irrespective of its merit”.

“ His action to say the least, appears to have encouraged the killer herdsmen, armed bandits and terrorists to sustain their heinous acts against innocent Nigerians in general and the middle belt in particular”.

“As a lawmaker of about 16 years at the National Assembly, what was expected of him was to refer the matter to the relevant committee to investigate and report back to the House and not to shot it down”.

“ This has put to question his sixteen years of legislative experience as a federal lawmaker of his repute’’.

According to the statement, It is contradictory that Nigeria’s government established the Diaspora Commission and Nigerians elsewhere are making remittances back home, yet, their petition concerning their kindred back home will be treated with contempt by a lawmaker simply because he had the privilege to preside over the Green Chamber.

“ The lawmaker from Benue, Rt Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah and the IDPs deserve an apology for the manner in which their petition was treated and so also the Internally Displaced Persons littered all over the land and those whose land have been forcefully taken over by these armed herders”.

The MBJF emphasized that the continuous occupation of the IDPs land has made them more vulnerable and increased the poverty level in Nigeria as they can no longer go to their farm or carryout their economic activities.

“ What we expect from elected representatives and those in government is servant leadership and accountability by fairness, equity and justice’’.

The Middle Belt Journalist forum therefore called on Ahmed Idris Wase to step aside from the office of the Deputy Speaker and face a possible recall from his angry constituents.

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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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