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Alleged billionaire kidnapper, Evans, hires new lawyer

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Alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, has hired a new lawyer, following the withdrawal of his original counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

The new lawyer, Noel Brown, announced appearance for Evans and one of his co-defendants, Ogechi Uchechukwu, at their resumed trial before Justice Hakeem Oshodi at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Friday.

Brown prompted Justice Oshodi to confirm from Evans and Uchechukwu that he was their new lawyer, to which they both answered in the affirmative.

However, while the 5th and 6th defendants – Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba – were presented by Messrs A.A. Uzoukwu and Emmanuel Ochai, respectively, the 2nd and 4th defendants – Uche Amadi and Okechukwu Nwachukwu – had no lawyer to represent them.

Asked by the court what they intended to do, Amadi and Nwachukwu both said they were planning to change their lawyers, adding that they hoped to get one before the next adjourned date.

Ogungbeje had in a recent press release announced his withdrawal from the case, citing threat to his life and other members of his team.

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Buhari constitutes committee on autonomy of State Legislature, Judiciary Committee

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a Presidential Implementation Committee on Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary in accordance with the 4th Alteration to the 1999 Constitution.

Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said the committee will drive the actualisation of the autonomy granted to the legislature and judiciary at the State level.

It will be chaired by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, with Sen. Ita Enang, the Presidential Liaison (NASS), acting as Secretary.

The committee has representatives of State Judiciary, such as Justice N. Ajanah, Chief Judge of Kogi State and Justice K. Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa.

Other members are Khadi Abdullahi Maikano Usman, Grand Khadi, Gombe State Sharia Court of Appeal and Justice Abbazih Musa Sadeeq, Ag. President of the FCT Customary Court of Appeal.

State legislatures are to be represented by: Mudashiru Obasa, Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria and Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, as well as Abel Peter Riah, Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly.

The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria is to be represented by Marwan Mustapha Adamu while Comrade Bala Hadi will represent the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria in the committee.

Other members of the committee are , Musa Mustapha Agwai, Body of Chairmen of Houses of Assembly Service Commissions, Senator David Umaru; Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, Aminu Shagari, House of Representatives Committee on Federal Judiciary, The Accountant General of the Federation, and the Secretary of the National Judicial Council.

Director General of the Nigerian Governors Forum or such other representative as the Forum may wish to nominate; Chairman of the Forum of Finance Commissioners in Nigeria; President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, and Chike Adibuah representing Civil Society Organizations are members.

The committee will assess and review the level of compliance by all the 36 States of the Federation with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

It will monitor, ensure and cause the implementation of Financial Autonomy across the Judiciary and Legislature of the 36 States and to consult and relate with the appropriate Federal and State MDAs.

It is also to ensure and where necessary enforce the implementation of constitutional provision; and to come up with appropriate modality or model to be adopted by all the States of the Federation for implementation and/ or compliance with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“The formal inauguration of the committee by Mr President will be done in due course,’’ Adesina said.

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We’ve saved $21bn on food imports -FG

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded Nigerians for curbing excessive taste for foreign products, which has positioned the country for food self-sufficiency and resulted into savings of over 21 billion dollars.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, quoted the president as saying that the humongous savings would be deployed to other critical areas like infrastructure, education, health care and many others.

Adesina said that President Buhari was reacting to recent disclosures by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who spoke at the 2018 Annual Bankers’ Dinner.

Emefiele at the dinner said: “Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from 665.4 million dollars in January 2015 to 160.4 million dollars as at October 2018, a cumulative fall of 75.9% and an implied savings of over 21 billion dollars on food imports alone over that period.

“Most evident were the 97.3% cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6% in fish, 81.3% in milk, 63.7% in sugar, and 60.5% in wheat. We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far.”

President Buhari said with the commitment of Nigerian farmers, and the support given by the government, “in no distant future, food importation will be completely alien to us, and we will even export actively, thus reversing our position as a mono- product economy.”

The CBN governor equally spoke on the number of jobs created in the agriculture sector:

“In the agriculture sector, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) has ensured that Nigeria emerged from being a net importer of rice to becoming a major producer, supplying key markets in neighbouring countries.

“As at October 2018, a total number of 862,069 farmers cultivating about 835,239 hectares, across 16 different commodities, have so far benefited from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which has generated 2,502,675 jobs across the country.”

While describing the development as “heart-warming,” the President said it was just a matter of time before a significantly positive impact would be made in the statistics of the unemployed in the country, particularly from the agriculture sector.

He asserted: “We are on a productive voyage, which would see the ship of state berthing at the harbour of food self-sufficiency, gainful jobs, peace and prosperity for Nigerians.’’

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Akpabio blasts Bishop for scolding wife

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Senator Godswill Akpabio

Senator Godswill Akpabio


Senator Godswill Akpabio yesterday took the Archbishop of the Methodist Church, Ikot Ekpene, His Grace, Most Rev. Sunday Uko, to the cleaners for stopping his wife, Unoma, from making political comments during church service.

Unoma Akpabio spoke at the Methodist Church, Ukana in Essien Udim Local Government Area during a service marking the presentation of the immediate past Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren, as lay president of the church.

She asked the congregation to vote for all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), specifically President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC governorship candidate in the state, Obong (Dr.) Nsima Ekere in 2019.

But the Archbishop of Ikot Ekpene, His Grace, Most Rev. Sunday Uko, who presided over the church service, got up from where he was sitting and approached Senator Akpabio to express his displeasure over his wife’s political comments.

The clergy scolded Akpabio’s wife for using the church service to do political campaign and made attempts to seize the microphone from her.

A visibly angry Akpabio, who got hold of the microphone after his wife apologised to the clergy for her action, scolded the Archbishop for embarrassing his wife.

He said it was wrong for the Archbishop to stop the wife from talking politics in church, saying that the reason why the clergy embarrassed his wife was because he was supporting Governor Udom Emmanuel.

“You can’t embarrass my wife for talking politics in church because of your support for Governor Udom Emmanuel. I brought Udom and made him governor so nobody can claim to love the son more than the father.

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