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SERAP criticises Buhari’s claims of independent judiciary

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Buhari 1 1

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has responded to President Muhammadu Buhari over his statement that his administration does not interfere with the work of the judiciary.

This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in the wake of Buhari’s interview with Channels TV on Wednesday.

Oluwadare noted that the Buhari administration had continually interfered with the judicial process by its persistent failure to obey several court judgments SERAP obtained.

In the statement, SERAP urged Buhari to show his commitment to judicial independence by immediately directing the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to enforce the following judgments:

“SERAP v. FGN, Suit No: FHC/CS/964/2016, where Justice Shagari ordered his government to tell Nigerians details of recovered stolen assets to date;

“SERAP v. Minister of Power, Suit No: FHC/L/CS/105/2019, where Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered his government to publish details of payments of billions of naira to corrupt electricity contractors who disappeared with public funds without executing any projects since 1999;

“SERAP v. AGF, Suit No: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011, where Justice Mohammed Idris ordered his government to prosecute principal officials and lawmakers suspected of padding and stealing N481 billion from the 2016 budget, and publish a report on alleged 2016 budget padding.

Read also: SERAP charges Buhari to probe alleged mismanagement of security votes by govs since 1999

“SERAP v. FGN, Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1497/2017, where Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo ordered his government to challenge the legality of states’ life pension laws, and recover pensions collected by ex-governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly;

“SERAP v FGN, Suit No: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011, where Justice Idris ordered his government to publish details of spending of all recovered stolen funds since 1999 by his government, and those of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan;

“SERAP v. Federal Government, Suit No: ECW/CCJ/APP/10/2020, where the ECOWAS Court of Justice ordered his government to pay a journalist, Agba Jalingo, N30 million, as compensation for ill-treating and torturing him while in detention in Cross River state,” the statement read.

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Politics

SDP suspends nat’l chairman, secretary over abuses on party’s constitution

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Dr. Olu Agunloye

The National Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has suspended its National Chairman, Olu Ogunloye, for alleged abuses on the party’s constitution.

This was contained in a communique signed by the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Adul Isaq, on Saturday, in Abuja, which noted that the National Secretary of the party, Shehu Gabam, was also suspended for the same reason.

The communique specifies that Isaq will serve as the party’s interim National Chairman, while Simon Adesina will act as the National Secretary, pending the outcome of its convention which holds from April 27 – 29, 2022.

The communique reads: “The NEC observed the wanton disregard to the provisions of the SDP constitution especially Article 12.5 (iv) 12.2.2 (viii) and Article 9.4 to suspend some officers from the party.

READ ALSO: Insecurity, bad economy destroying Nigeria – SDP

“The NEC considered the various abuses of the constitution by the following under-listed officers and there agreed by majority to suspend Shehu Gabam and Dr Olu Ogunloye.

“The NEC noted the urgency to put in place all that is required for a befitting party convention and therefore resolves; that the national convention of the Social Democratic Party is fixed for April 27 to 29 with arrival being Wednesday April 27, 2022.”

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Politics

2023: Race to ‘dethrone’ Tinubu, APC heats up, as Ayu, Saraki, five PDP govs storm Lagos

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The race for elective positions ahead of the 2023 elections has commenced in earnest as the two major parties – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – are strategizing on how to emerge victorious.

On the part of the PDP, a major coup was claimed in Lagos State with the defection of a crucial factional APC group, Lagos4Lagos led by Dr. Olajide Adediran, popularly called “Jandor.”

The Lagos4Lagos group has been in the forefront of groups in the state which has been fighting to unseat the APC stronghold on the state, which is believed to be firmly controlled by a former governor, Ahmed Tinubu.

The reception of Jandor into the PDP held on Friday at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos State and was graced by a handful of PDP governors and other crucial stakeholders including the new National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Olabode George.

The Governors who were present to receive Jandor and his supporters into the PDP fold were Seyi Makinde (Oyo State); Dr Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Nyesome Wike (Rivers).

READ ALSO: PDP should forget about winning 2023 election – Presidency

In his address, Ayu urged Nigerians not to give in to the ‘slavery’ witnessed in Lagos State after years of governance by the APC while mocking the ‘change’ mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Are you enjoying the change? How much is a bag of rice? They deceived Nigerians. We declare no more slavery in Lagos. By this time next year, we will celebrate a PDP Governor in Lagos State,” he said.

Governor Makinde expressed his pleasure at welcoming the APC Lagos4Lagos movement into the fold, as they aimed “to reclaim Lagos for the people of Lagos State.”

“Today, we held a Lagos PDP unity rally. We also officially welcomed the Lagos4Lagos movement led by Dr Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (Jandor) from APC to our great party, the PDP. Working together, we will reclaim Lagos for the people of Lagos State,” he noted.

Ikpeazu, on his part, pointed out the crucial role to be played by Jandor as the “bridge between the young and the old in Lagos politics and he should be given full support by all so that there can be unity.”

He said, “On behalf of my brother governors, we officially join the Lagos PDP family, to welcome new strategic members of our party.

“You are very important and strategic. PDP is the only democratic party in Nigeria,” he said.

Ikpeazu urged members of the PDP family in the state to give Adediran maximum support and cooperation for the defector to contribute his quota to the growth of the party.

“Jandor is the bridge between the young and the old in Lagos politics and he should be given full support by all so that there can be unity.”

In his speech, Jandor pledged to work towards ensuring that the PDP “take over Lagos” during the 2023 elections.

“We have declared for the PDP, we are going to win for the party. We are here (PDP) to add value, we are here to be part of the big family and together we will take over Lagos,” Jandor said.

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I have retired from partisan politics, Obasanjo reminds visiting PDP leaders

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Olusegun Obasanjo.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday reminded some leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that he had retired from partisan Politics, and would never return.

Ripples Nigeria reported that some former governors and members of the PDP National Working Commitee (NWC) had a closed-door meeting with the former President at his residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The delegation which was led by the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, included the PDP Vice Presidential candidate in 2019 and former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Sule Lamido of Jigawa State; Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Donald Duke (Cross River), among others.

Addressing the PDP delegation after the meeting, Obasanjo said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring me back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Desmond Tutu played vital role in Nigeria’s debt cancellation – Obasanjo

“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life. Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party.

“I will continue to be a statesman.”

Obasanjo told Ayu that he was concerned about the problems of PDP and Nigeria, and prayed that God give him the wisdom to carry it.

Recall that Obasanjo publicly tore his PDP membership card in February 2015 after a feud with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

By Oluwatobi Odeyinka

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