Tuesday, 30 July 2013

You Dont Have Power To De-Register Any Political Party; Court Tells INEC

The Federal High Court in Abuja has set aside last year's de-registration of the Fresh  Democratic Party by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Presiding Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who struck out INEC's action of December 6th 2012, berated the Commission for taking such action without giving the party a hearing.

The court also accused the National Assembly of engaging in legislative despotism by amending the 2010 Electoral Act which gave INEC powers to de-register political parties.

Court Dismisses Request By Rivers Speaker To Restrain Police From Arresting Him

Justice Adolphus Enebeli of a high court in Port Harcourt has dismissed a case instituted by the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly Otelemaba Dan Amachree to restrain the police from arresting or inviting him for questioning over his comment on alleged plan to assassinate Governor Amaechi.

In his judgment, Justice Enebeli said there is no legal justification to issue a perpetual injunction to restrain the police from investigating any citizen for an offence.

The court also said the allegation of bias leveled against the Rivers State Police Command is premature and cannot form a ground to restrain the police from carrying out its constitutional duties.

NCJ Recommends The Compulsory Retirement Of Abia's Chief Judge; Over Age Falsification.

The National Judicial Council has recommended the compulsory retirement from office of Justice Shadrack Nwanosike, acting Chief Judge of Abia state.

The decision is sequel to the findings of the Council that Justice Nwanosike falsified his date of birth which invariably affected his retirement age.

The Council, during the meeting also considered and deliberated on report of its Committee on Performance Evaluation of Judicial Officers of Superior Courts of Record in Federation.

The NJC further considered and recommended the appointment of some nine judicial officers.

All Progressive Grand Alliance Resolves Internal Dispute

The crisis rocking the All Progressive Grand Alliance has been declared over by Victor Umeh, after a close door meeting with Governor Peter Obi in Awka.
Correspondent Odo Nyong reports.
Ahead of the November 16th gubernatorial elections to be held in Anambra state, Victor Umeh led  All progressive grand alliance have decided to end the crisis which has since divided the party.

Declaring the crisis over to newsmen at the government house awka,  Umeh said he is happy with the peace settlement despite efforts by some individuals to sabotage the party's progress.

On his part, Governor Peter Obi said the reunion has ended months of disaffection and pledged to rebuild the areas were the party failed and to reconcile the party's stakeholders.                                  

Meanwhile factional chairman of the party,  Maxi Okwu said he is not aware of any reconciliation with Victor Umeh.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Seriake Dickson Lambastes Oil Companies Not Conforming To International Standard In Their Operations.

Bayelsa State Governor, Henry  Seriake Dickson has lambasted oil producing companies for not conforming to international standards and best practices in their operations in the Niger Delta.

Dickson came out with this when he played host to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Ambassador Bert Ronhaar  at the Government House in Yenagoa.

The Governor said the application of double standards by multinational oil companies has contributed significantly to the impoverishment of the people of the region.

Dickson observed that the ecosystem and livelihood of the people in the Niger Delta have been negatively impacted upon as a result of oil exploration and exploitation activities over the years.

In his remarks,the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria,Ambassador Berth Ronhaar pledged his country’s readiness to partner with the Bayelsa state government by bringing in Dutch technocrats who possess the much needed technical expertise to combat the problem of flooding, erosion and other environmental challenges.

Describing Bayelsa as a state that share a lot of similarities with Netherlands, the Ambassador enjoined people of the state not to see water as an enemy, stressing that there is so much to gain from it if properly harnessed.

Senate Ready To Enact Insurance Policy Law For Nigerian Journalists

The Senate President, Senator David Mark has stated National Assembly's readiness to look into the possibility of giving journalists in the country insurance policy to cushion the hazards of the profession.

Senator Mark, who said this on Saturday the opening of a two-day 2013  Senate Press Corps Retreat in Uyo noted “I advocate that there is need for you to have proper insurance and life coverage. As part of our legislative oversight function and in furtherance of good governance, it is also our concern and I believe we will be able to address that issue”.

The Senate President, who reasoned that the nature of job carried out by journalists require insurance coverage due to the risks involved in their job especially in volatile states of the Northern Nigeria, commended journalists for always performing their duties effectively despite risks involved.

Mark charged the Senate Press Corps to be factual in their reportage, to educate and enlighten the masses on the activities at the hallowed chambers, saying “I want to use this medium to talk to the media on reporting facts. I urge you to report facts as you see them, educate the people. There is no way you can educate people on falsehood. Education must be based on verifiable facts and figures.

PIB: Oil Workers Protest Exclusion From Senate Public Hearing.

Oil workers in the country have condemned the ways and manners the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) conducted and ended its public hearing without allowing critical and strategic stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to present their positions.

The workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), noted that the action by the Senate Committee to exclude some stakeholders including PENGASSAN and NUPENG was deliberate and not in the interest of the nation.

They therefore demanded that their request to make their presentation through a properly conducted public hearing be granted in the interest of industrial peace and harmony and also to rekindle their confidence, and indeed that of other Nigerians, in the PIB legislative process.

It would be recalled that in a letter sent out by the Senate Committee of PIB to stakeholders, the two days public hearing was earlier scheduled for July 15 and 16, 2013, but later postponed the event to July 18 and 19, 2013. The postponed was only communicated to the stakeholders through media reports in some dailies.

In a protest letter jointly signed by the General Secretaries of PENGASSAN and NUPENG, Comrade Bayo Olowoshile and Comrade Isaac Aberare respoectively, which was submitted to the Secretariat of the Committee located at the basement of the Senate Building and received by a staff at the secretariat, Mr. Lucas Jonah, the two workers’ unions said that the letter sent to them indicated that they will presenting their positions on the second day of the public hearing.

They alleged that the committee ended the public hearing to protect personal interest of some people but not deny many individuals and groups, including the unions, who have the national interest at heart the opportunity to make their presentation.

Press Release:Rivers State Law Makers To The Nation: 'Hold Cpmbu Joseph Mbu Responsible If Any Thing Happens To Our Leader Chidi Lloyd'

The Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. (Barr) Chidi Lloyd had earlier in the week reported to the Force Headquarters, Abuja and had what the Force Headquarters described as 'meaningful interactions' for four days.

"Since his arrival Port Harcourt...., the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu has assaulted and tortured him like a criminal. They have been moving him from one station to another since he reported to CP Mbu's office on arrival from Abuja". As his Lawyer Barr. Bello Olisa Nwofor stated 'the continued blindfolding and detention of Hon. chidi Lloyd by the Police is emphatically dangerous to his health and life".

"We have also heard from the lawyer who accompanied Lloyd from force headquarters to Port Harcourt, Barr. Emenike Ebete, that over 500 anti -riot Policemen escorted Chidi Lloyd from the Airport to CP's office and transported in a ' Black Maria' as authorities would move criminals."

As a House we are indeed saddened to note that The Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly was blindfolded, tear gassed and handcuffed. As victims of this scripted and staged crisis from Abuja with a Junior Minister playing a major role and the Police Commissioner Rivers State as Key actor.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Rivers Assembly Crisis: Chidi Lloyd Blind Folded And Tortured

Counsel to the Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Barrister Bello Olisa Nwafor has raised alarm over the continued detention of his client (Chidi Lloyd) that was allegedly blindfolded shortly after his arrival to Port Harcourt from the Force Headquarters of the Nigerian Police, Abuja today.

He expressed fears that the continued blindfolding and detention of Chidi Lloyd by the police was emphatically dangerous to his health and life while in custody.

“Because of my client’s information constantly to me that he was detained at the force headquarters above the one-day that was allowed.  Chidi Lloyd was flown into Port Harcourt today, and instead of bringing him to court, after he was detained.  The Police would have brought him to court to defend himself, because keeping him back is dangerous as we found, he was blindfolded.  And, we don’t know what is happening to him, there is fear for his life, genuine fear.

Barrister Nwafor also called on the Rivers State Police Command to be transparent in their actions of taking his client (Chidi Lloyd) to court to enable him express his fundamental rights.

“If the Police have nothing to hide, they would have brought Chidi Lloyd to court this morning.  He is still not brought to court till about 5pm, and you know that, even an armed robber is brought to court with a black maria, why won’t he (Chidi) be brought to court.  If he is brought to court, then, we pray that he should be alive”,  Nwafor said.

He reminded the police and the defendant counsel that the Chief Justice of the Federation has made rules that paves way for concurrent jurisdiction over fundamental rights application, urging the court to grant his client the right to appear in court to defend himself when granted bail.

On his part, counsel to the defendant, Donald Chuka has argued that the court should jettison the immunity of the (lawmaker), Chidi Lloyd for the police to commence investigation on him, which the court has not granted.

Reacting to the continued detention of Hon. Chidi Lloyd and the alleged blindfolding of the lawmaker by the police in Rivers State, the Deputy Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon (Barr) Leyii Kwanee has joined other well-meaning Nigerians to criticize the delay by the police in bringing his colleague to court to enable him express his fundamental rights.

Hon. Kwanee equally expressed fears that the handcuff and torture of his colleague Chidi Lloyd poses a dangerous signal in a democratic dispensation as he is considered innocent until a competent court proves him otherwise.

Mrs Amaechi Visits First Lady Over Mother’s Death

Wife of Rivers State Governor, Dame Judith Amaechi on Friday paid a condolence visit to the King Perekule’s residence of the late Charity Oba, mother of First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan.

Mrs Amaechi who was accompanied by the state Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru and top government functionaries and their spouses earlier received Dame Patience Jonathan at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.

Dame Patience cut short her foreign trip to visit the Rivers State, following the death of her mother in a ghastly motor accident on the East-West road.

The governor’s wife in her condolence message described late Mrs Charity Obah as a woman who has made appreciable contributions to the development of the nation.

“On behalf of women of Rivers State and my family, I mourn your painful demise, your death occurred when your contributions to national development is really needed”.

She prayed God Almighty to grant the Obah’s family the fortitude to bear the death.

15 Nigerian Military Personnel Killed In Active Service; Gets National Burial

Source: Naijajist

Fifteen Nigerian  military personnel killed in active duties have been given National burial.

The deceased were Two  Army Majors and thirteen soldiers killed by Boko Haram Terrorists in the North Eastern states of Borno, Yobe, as well as UNAMID operations in Darfur, Sudan.

State House Press Release Alhaji Odunewu’s Place Alongside The Greats Of Nigerian Journalism Is Assured – President Jonathan

On behalf of himself, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan commiserates with the family of foremost journalist, public affairs analyst, administrator and role model for media professionals, Alhaji Alade Odunewu who passed away yesterday at the age of 85.

President Jonathan joins the Odunewu family and all who knew “Allah De” as he was popularly known in mourning the veteran journalist who attained national fame with his popular and widely read satirical newspaper columns with which he entertained, educated and edified an adoring public.

The President believes that as Alhaji Odunewu is laid to rest in Lagos today, his family, relatives, associates, admirers and the many media professionals for whom he was an inspiring mentor and role model should be comforted by the knowledge that his place alongside the greats of Nigerian journalism is assured.

President Jonathan also believes that Alhaji Odunewu will be eternally remembered and honoured as a nationalist and patriot whose notable contributions to  national development extended well beyond his chosen profession of journalism to the public service of his state and Nigeria where he served with distinction as Commissioner, member of the Federal Electoral Commission and Chairman of the Nigerian Press Council.

Nigeria Bar Association Asks President Jonathan To Intervene In Rivers State Crisis To Protect The Rule Of Law

Courtesy: BBC

The Nigeria Bar Association has expressed concern about the current upheavals in Rivers state, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene to ensure that the principles of rule of law prevail in resolving the crisis in the state.

The Apex body of lawyers pressed home its point on Thursday at a meeting a delegation of its leaders had with the President at the State House, Abuja.

And so the visits to President Jonathan by Groups; socio-cultural, political and professional continue all offering support for the manner he is steering the ship of governance in the last 2 years.

The Body however is yet to take any punitive action on members of their association who featured prominently in the Rivers House of Assembly brawl as it says it is yet to receive any petitions on the incident.

But the NBA is emphatic about its commitment to sanitize law practice and reduce the incidence of unnecessary delays in the justice system.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Expel Amaechi From PDP - Edwin Clark

The South South Elders Forum has called on the Peoples Democratic Party to take stringent measures to expel Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi to serve as a deterrent to other members.

Speaking after a meeting of the group in Abuja, leader of the Forum, Edwin Clark, accused some Nigerians of ganging up to destabilize the Country using the current Rivers Sate crisis as an excuse.

The group also accused governor Amaechi of being used to stoke the embers of discord in the country .

Clark also berated Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and some northern governors of double standards in the current crisis.

Dont Allow Your Ambition To Becloud Your Sense Of Reasoning - ACN Tells Ladoja

 The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo state today lashed out at former Governor, Rashidi Ladoja over his reported 2015 ambition and attack on Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

 The broom party described Ladoja as a prisoner of his inordinate ambition
The party, in a statement issued in Ibadan on Tuesday by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole said Ladoja had allowed his ambition to becloud his sense of reasoning, thus making him stand the truth on its head in a desperate attempt to pull down the house.

Ladoja had yesterday on a radio programme said he is working with a group of people focused politicians’’ to vote out governor Ajimobi in 2015.

But the ACN, while congratulating Ladoja on his journey to self-destruct, said that it would be waiting for the former governor and his so-called group of like-minded politicians on the field, assuring that they would meet their waterloo.

ACN said that only like-minded dreamers like Ladoja would team up with him to launch senseless attacks on the Ajimobi government and choose to close their eyes to the modern Oyo State which Ajimobi has created.

It claimed that while the Ajimobi government had built markets and was still building more for the traders removed from the streets, Ladoja never built a single market for those traders he displaced during his reign on the people of the state.
ACN also emphasized that the former governor had exhibited his lack of depth in his approach to issues that require intellect, particularly on the newly-constructed Mokola flyover bridge, describing his argument over the bridge as not only warped but grossly illogical.

Afenifere chieftain and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye has warned of the dire consequences of the incessant attacks on PDP members by thugs allegedly sponsored by the Dr Kayode Fayemi led Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in the State.

He warned Governor Fayemi to call the political thugs in his party to order before the situation degenerates to the level where PDP members and supporters will begin to defend themselves, result of which will be a state of anarchy.

He described the attack on members of the PDP in Efon-Alaaye since Monday as worrisome, adding that such persistent attacks on law abiding members of the party was capable of throwing the State into chaos if allowed to continue. 

In a release issued today by the Director General of Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM), Hon. Bisi Kolawole, it was alleged that ACN thugs led by the party's Youth Leader in Efon Local Government, Segun Alanaka attacked members of the PDP who were holding ward meeting.

The statement read; "Over 150 people, including aged men and women were already gathered for a meeting in Efon-Alaaye on Monday when the thugs invaded the venue with guns, matchets and other dangerous weapons.

The PDP chieftain alleged that various degrees of injuries was inflicted on Ward 9 Chairman, Odunayo Ojo, Jide Fakorede, Ward 5 Youth leader; Ayodele Gbenga , Yemi Ajanaku, Wole Aladejare, Kayode Bolarinwa (aka Oba Aro), Odunayo Adeniji among others.

It further alleged that the party heard it on good authority that Governor Fayemi had allegedly instructed Caretaker Chairmen in the 16 Local Councils in the State to mobilise thugs in their domain to disrupt any gathering of the PDP and Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (MOB) faction of the ACN. 

Ajimobi Will Be Uprooted In 2015--Ladoja

Former Governor of Oyo state and National Leader of accord party, Senator Rashidi Ladoja today said that a powerful coalition team tagged “third force” will uproot Governor Abiola Ajimobi during 2015 gubernatorial election.

Senator Abiola Ajimobi had over the weekend boasted that the progressives would rule the pacesetter state for the next 50years.

But his cousin and Accord Party leader said the discussions are ongoing a group of people oriented politicians who would, during the ballot vote out the incumbent from office.

Although Ladoja did not say he would contest but stressed that ‘if the party said I should contest I will not refuse’

Ladoja who said he was not in any personal battle with his cousin said the differences were on political issues on how the interest of the masses should be uppermost and form the core of any government policy describing the newly built shops as medicine after death.

On the contentious Mokola Bridge, Ladoja challenged the government to tell the people of the state the true amount spent in the construction of the bridge wondering why more money should be paid for something of less width, length and quality when compared with that constructed in Ogun state.

Confusion In Ibadan As Fish Turned Half Human

Residents of Gege in Ibadan South West Local Government area of Oyo state were shocked today, when a fish bought by a middle aged woman, Mrs Ramota Salawu  suddenly turned into half human .

Hundreds of residents struggled to see the miracle fish where it was placed inside water in a brown bucket at Akindele Compound, Gege , Ibadan, the home of Mrs Ramota Salawu .

The said miracle fish has long white hair . The face having resemblance of a baby, while the trunk bears body of fish.

While narrating her experience , Mrs Ramota Salawu said " I went to where we usually buy fish at Kola Eleja , Oke Ado, Ibadan to buy fish. After I finished, I boarded Okada to my place to prepare the fish for sale . Before getting the fish out of the ice-pack, we need to use knife to remove them and use water to defreeze . I was shocked to see the frozen fish developed into a living being in the water, the description of which showed half human and half fish. I quickly called my father  and some alfas to see the strange fish ".

The fish seller could not gather herself together as she was overwhelmed by what happened.

The father of the woman, a retired civil servant, Pa Rauf Salawu expressed bewilderment over the miracle fish , adding that never has he seen  such a thing in the past.

Pa Salawu said" it was around 11am , when I started hearing the voice of my daughter while I was resting on my bed. She was shouting and screaming, such that people in the compound were attracted. Then, I decided to check what was the problem. I took along my Quran and on getting there my daughter has gone to call Sheu , a muslim leader in the neighbourhood . I saw the strange fish inside water in the bucket . It was strange , how can a fish bought in the cold room developed into human. That I cannot fully explain."

There was heavy presence of police men from the Mapo police station to control the crowd and maintain peace and order.

At a point , the policemen fired gunshots to scare away the surging crowd who were resisting the presence of policemen at the scene. 

Some youths later started hurling stones and other objects against the policemen who they felt were preventing them from seeing the strange fish.

To prevent break down of law and order, the police men started chasing all those present , including the restive youths .

Mrs Salawu who has been in the fish business for over two decades is now in the custody of the police at Mapo police station.

It was not known if the strange fish was also taken along to the station.

Mrs Ramota Salawu was taken away by the police in company of some relatives at exactly 2.40pm to disperse the large crowd of onlookers who one of the police officers said might lead to chaos.

The police officers from the Mapo police station was lead by Adebayo Anthony.  

Ogun State Police Command Arrests Boko Haram Member

Ogun state police command said it has arrested a middle age man suspected to be a member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect at isheri kara area   of ifo local government  in Ogun State,South West Nigeria.

Giraima Umaru was allegedly   confessed to the police to have participated in the killing of many innocent Nigerians before the declaration of the state of emergency in three states including Borno state by the Federal Government.

Giraima Umaru Suri, 22, a native  of Bulunkutu Kasuwa Maiduguri,was  said to have confessed to be a member of the sect.

In a statement by the police public relations officer of the ogun state police command,Mr Muyiwa Adejobi,the  suspect was said  to have fled  Maiduguri to the south west of the country  due to aggressive manhunt placed on the members of the sect by security operatives in Maiduguri was picked up by police operatives in Ogun State on a tip off.

While asking for quality information from members of the general public,the state  commissioner of police in Ogun State CP Ikemefuna Okoye however  reassures the general public of adequate protection of lives and property and confidentiality of any  information given  to the police.

State House Press Release: President Jonathan Extols Bayero’s Uncommon Leadership Qualities As Emir Celebrates 83rd Birthday

President Goodluck Jonathan has conveyed warm felicitations to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero on the occasion of the monarch’s 83rd birthday anniversary.

In a congratulatory letter to the Emir, President Jonathan extolled his “uncommon leadership qualities” and prayed that God Almighty will grant him many more years of service to the people of Kano and Nigeria.

“As you mark your 83rd birthday anniversary which comes up on Thursday, July 25th 2013, I write, on behalf of my family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to extend warm felicitations to Your Highness.

“Only recently, you marked fifty years of unqualified success on the throne as the Emir of Kano. Your uncommon leadership qualities and evident faith in the peace, unity, progress, and prosperity of our dear nation, have combined to make you one of the most highly respected monarchs in Nigeria today.

“As you continue to use your exalted throne to build bridges of friendship and harmony across our nation, it is my prayer that Almighty Allah grants you many more years of abounding health, prosperity and enduring fulfillment,” the President wrote.

He wished the Emir very happy birthday celebrations.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Former Bank Manager Bags Two Jail Term Over N65m Scam

Justice Dije Abdu Aboki of the High Court of Kano State today July 22, 2013 convicted and sentenced Usman Salifu to two years imprisonment for stealing.
The convict was alleged to have stolen the sum of N65, 000, 000 from one Yusuf Sale Dunari’s fixed deposit account domiciled at Oceanic Bank ( now Ecobank) where he was a Branch Manager.

The convict who had pleaded not guilty upon arraignment, dramatically changed his plea by admitting his guilt to all the 4-count charge.

The defence counsel pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, saying that the convict is a first offender, and has aged parents and many dependants.
But the prosecuting counsel M.M Gambo urged the court to make orders regarding restitution in sentencing the convict.

Justice Aboki accordingly convicted the accused and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with option of N2m fine on the first count, six months with option of N500, 000 fine on counts 2 and 3 and four months imprisonment with option of N500, 000 fine on count 4. All sentences are to run concurrently.

Oyo State Police Command Restricts Okada Movement Around Banks

Oyo state police command has restricted the movement of Okada riders to 500 metres radius of any bank in the state.

The command warned Okada riders to steer clear of banking premises due to the growing robbery attacks on bank clients.

A release by police PRO in the state, Olabisi Ilobanafor said police investigation revealed that robbers now use Okada to trail movement of people in and out of Bank and later violently attack them.

It said violators will be arrested and prosecuted.

You will recall that the driver of Former Ekiti senator Ayo Arise and his cousin were last week killed in Ibadan after withdrawing some monies in bank to buy a tokunbo car.

Pictures: MBGN 2013


Amaechi's Expulsion: ACN Accuses PDP Of Overheating Polity, Instigating Anarchy

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the PDP of being unrelenting in its grim determination to overheat the polity and set the country on fire, if that will satisfy one man's personal ambition to hold on to power.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was left with no choice than to reach that conclusion after a faction of Rivers PDP reportedly loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan expelled the state Governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, at a time all people of goodwill were calling for a resolution
of the lingering crisis.

It warned that the overzealous ruling party's sole interest is power, without caring about the responsibility that goes with it, hence it must be checked through all constitutional means before it plunges the country into unmitigated chaos. 

ACN said while whatever transpired within the PDP is not its business, its (ACN's) concerns stem from the dangerous impact that the Rivers crisis can have on the polity, especially its implication for the country's fledgling democracy, to which most of the rabble-rousers in the ongoing crisis contributed nothing.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

We Will Meet 20,000 Megawatt Target By 2014 - Namadi Sambo

The Federal Government has restated its commitment to ensuring the generation of 20,000MW of power by 2014.

Vice-President Namadi Sambo made the government’s position known during a joint meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and National Council on Privatisation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Sambo commended the management of the NDPHC for successfully completing the building of 10 National Integrated Power Project plants across the country.

He said Prssident Goodluck Jonathan would soon begin the commissioning of the plants and that the challenge of non-availability of gas to power the plants had been resolved.

Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi who explained  on the outcome of the consultative meeting said final approval will come from the joint meeting of the NDPHC board and NCP to approve the final transactions for the interest of the citizenry.

Federal Government Loses Control Of Tourism And Hotel Regulation To States

A full panel of the Supreme Court of Nigeria this morning unanimously declared that it is only a State House of Assembly that can make laws on tourism or the licensing and grading of hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets and other hospitality establishments. Dismissing a case filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and upholding the contention of the Attorney General of Lagos State, the Court held that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, only empowers the National Assembly to regulate tourist traffic, a term which does not extend to hotel registration or licensing. The Court also ruled in favour of Lagos State in another case filed on the same subject which was consolidated with the first one for hearing. In the latter case, the Court declared valid both the Hotel Licensing Law of Lagos State (as amended) and the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law of Lagos State. The offending sections of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation  (NTDC) Act were however declared null and void.

Represented by the Attorney General, Mr. Ade Ipaye, in person, Lagos State Government had argued during the hearing that the only power reserved to the National Assembly on the Exclusive Legislative List in Schedule 2 to the Constitution was the regulation of tourist traffic, which only pertained to immigrations and the issuance of visas, but Mr. Tunde Busari, representing the Attorney General of the Federation, contended that the phrase was enough to cover all tourism subjects and that the NTDC Act had therefore covered the field. On those grounds, Mr. Busari called on the court to invalidate the Hotel Licensing Law and Hotel Consumption Tax Law of Lagos State. This was rejected by Galadima JSC who read the lead judgment and all other justices in both cases.

7 Lawyers Elevated To Senior Advocates

The Legal Practitioners' Privileges Committee has approved the appointment of seventeen lawyers as Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

This year only one academic, Prof Lawrence Atsegbua of the Faculty of Law, University of Benin, made the list.

No date has been fixed for their swearing in at the Supreme Court.