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Federal Character: Reps Direct FCT Federal High Court To Halt Recruitment Process 

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By Gloria Ikibah 

The House of Representatives has directed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Abuja to immediately halt the recruitment process in the Court until there is compliance with the Federal Character principle and quota system.

This resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion on the “Urgent Need to Re- examine the list of Proposed States to fill  the 12 vacancies created to the disadvantage of others in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sponsored by Rep. Igariwey Iduma Enwo.

Debating the motion, the House 

noted that the High Court is one of the Judicial bodies in the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary established by Section 255 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

The lawmaker further noted that in the past few days, the media and the civil Society Community have expressed serious concerns and protestations over the proposed list of states to fill the 12 vacant positions in the High Courts of the Federal Capital Territory.

“Observes that information in the public space is to the effect that the proposed list is expected to be sent to the National Judicial Council by the 19th of February, 2024, for vetting by the NJC, and subsequently to the Senate for confirmation.

“Cognizant that under the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (Number of Judges) Act 2003, the principle of Federal character of Nigeria, shall be applied in the appointment of Judges of the Court; implying that the number of judges of the FCT High Court must always reflect the 36 states and the FCT.

“Concerned that whereas every state of the federation has judges from their respective states appointed in the FCT High Court system, 4 states, namely, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo and Bayelsa, do not have a single indigene from their states appointed and sitting in the FCT High Court system.

“Worried that Ebonyi State in particular is doubly discriminated against in that it has none of its judges appointed in the High Courts of the FCT, and yet was not listed as one of the states to apply for the vacant 12 positions sought to be filled.

“Further aware that according to the FCT website, at least 7 Magistrates from the four unrepresented states of Ebonyi, Abia, Imo and Bayelsa are currently qualified, and working in the FCT Court system as Magistrates, in addition to qualified private legal practitioners from these states who are willing and eager to apply to fill these vacant positions.

“Concerned that the non-representation of judges from 4 states in the High Court System of the FCT, when some others have as many as 3 judges representing them, is a gross violation of S14(3) of the 1999 constitution which requires staffing from the 36 states and the FCT.

“Cognizant of the fact that the underlying philosophy of the Federal Character Commission principle is to provide equality of access in public service representations, curb dominance by one or few sections of the country, promote inclusiveness and national unity. Violation of this principle of our constitution may not only be destabilising, but could open the flood gates to litigation”.

The House unanimously adopted the motion and mandated its Committees on FCT Judiciary and Judiciary to investigate the Federal Character approval granted to it and the extent of compliance thereto and report.

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister
…say poor funding, insufficient gas supply responsible for power deficit
By Gloria Ikibah
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had said that the federal government is working towards the establishment of three gigawatts of solar energy sources across the 25 states in Northern and South Western parts of the country.
According to him, this is a novel approach that will go a long way to solve the power problems, even as he called on state governments to invest in power generation in their states.
The minister stated this at a two-day Power Sector Stakeholders Interactive Dialogue/Workshop organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Power with the theme “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-tier Electricity Market: A Legislative Intervention” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adelabu who said that hydro energy would be deployed for the coastal cities, also lamented that the country has witnessed incessant collapse of transmission which is caused by lack of adequate infrastructure.
He admitted that most of the infrastructure in the power dates back to the 1960s, with no single backup for the national grid, and called for alternative sources in the situation where there is a collapse of the grid.
The Minister also disclosed that the major factors responsible for the power deficit currently faced by the country is as a result of inadequate financing and insufficient gas supply.
Adelabu who lamented the current state of power supply across the country, however, assured Nigerians of the determination of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to address the challenges and make Nigeria a suitable place for business.
He said “No sector can function optimally without the power sector. Over the years, poor financing, and inadequate gas supply have been responsible for the energy deficit we have in the country. But a lot of work is going on to address these challenges.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the
Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Victor Nwokolo explained that the purpose of the interactive dialogue/workshop was to provide a dynamic platform for stakeholders to evaluate the progress so far in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) development.
He revealed that discussions will centre around the seamless transition to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market, as outlined in the Electricity Act of 2023.
According to him, “his transition, holds immense potential to enhance competition, efficiency, and reliability within the electricity market, ultimately benefitting consumers and driving economic growth”.
He said: “Through collaborative brainstorming and analysis, we aim to chart a clear roadmap for this transition, ensuring that it is smooth, inclusive, and conducive to sustainable development.
“Furthermore, this workshop will serve as a platform for stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to the persistent challenges plaguing the power sector. From infrastructure development and financing to regulatory frameworks and consumer engagement, we will examine a wide array of issues and propose actionable strategies for improvement.
“In addition to these objectives, we aspire for this workshop to foster enhanced collaboration and partnership among stakeholders. By bringing together legislators, representatives from government agencies, regulatory bodies, industry players, academia, and civil society, we aim to cultivate a culture of cooperation and collective action towards our shared goal of a vibrant and resilient power sector”.
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How Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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Yahaya Bello Withdrew $720,000 From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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