Connect with us

News

HUNGER: Falana Writes Nigeria’s AGF Calls For Provision Of Security Nationwide For Protesters On Tuesday, Wednesday

Published

on

Bu Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has written to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), urging him to direct the police chief to provide security for protesters on February 27 and 28, 2024.

The NLC had announced a nationwide protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, to kick against the economic challenges facing Nigerians.

The decision came after a 14-day ultimatum issued to the Nigerian Government regarding the widespread hardship.

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, (SAN) have urged the NLC to shelve its proposed nationwide protest.

Similarly, the Trade Union Congress has warned that the planned protest being championed by the NLC may lead to anarchy due to the tense nature of the country amid current hardship and prevailing hunger in the land.

However, Falana, in a letter dated February 24, 2024 and addressed to Fagbemi, said the members of the NLC had been advised to conduct the rallies in a peaceful manner.

Falana said the “National Industrial Court has not restrained the members of the NLC from exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression to protest against the excruciating economic pains being experienced by the masses”.

“While we have advised the members of the NLC to conduct the rallies scheduled for February 27-28, 2024 in a peaceful manner, we urge you to use your good offices to direct the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate security to the conveners and participants in the protest in line with the provisions of Section 83(4) of the Police Establishment Act.

“Finally, while awaiting your favourable reply to this letter, please accept, as usual, the assurance of our highest esteem,” he said in the latter.

The letter titled, ‘RE: Memorandum Of Understanding Reached Between The Federal Government Of Nigeria And The Trade Union Congress (TUC) As A Result Of Dispute Arising From Withdrawal Of Subsidy On The Price Of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) On Monday The 2nd Day Of October, 2023,’ reads in part, “It would be recalled that following the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 29, 2023, the Federal Government commenced negotiations with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as the subsidy removal policy had brought untold hardship to Nigerians.

“While the negotiations were in progress, the Federal Ministry of Justice rushed to the National Industrial Court to file Suit No NICN/ABJ/158/2023 between Federal Government of Nigeria & Anor. v Nigeria Labour Congress & Anor in respect of the same issues. On June 5, 2023 the Honourable Justice Yemi Anuwe granted the application of the Federal Government for an ex parte order to restrain the NLC and TUC from embarking on strike against the removal of fuel subsidy.

Although both the NLC and TUC complied with the ex parte order, they promptly filed an application to set aside same for want of jurisdiction. They equally asked for a stay of execution of the order ex parte pending the determination of the motion. The application to set aside the ex parte order filed by the Defendants and the motion for interlocutory injunction filed by the Claimants have not been considered as parties resolved to settle the case out of court.

“Even though the parties signed a 16-point memorandum of understanding, the Federal Government did not implement all the terms of the Agreement. Hence, on August 2, 2023, both NLC and TUC held a peaceful protest throughout the country.

“Instead of implementing the Agreement the Federal Government initiated contempt proceedings against the NLC and TUC at the National Industrial Court. We challenged the competence of the contempt proceedings. However, the Federal Government turned round to withdraw the application for contempt.

“On November 10, 2023, the Federal Government filed another Suit, No NICN/ABJ/322/2023 between Federal Government of Nigeria & Anor. at the National Industrial Court against the NLC and TUC, notwithstanding the pendency of Suit No. Suit No NICN/ABJ/158/2023. On that same day, the President of the National Industrial Court, the Honourable Justice Benedict Kanyip granted an ex parte order to restrain the NLC and TUC from embarking on the planned strike. However, His Lordship directed that the case file be transferred to Justice Olufunke Yemi Anuwe who is handling a similar labour dispute between the same parties.

“Both NLC and TUC challenged the competence of the fresh suit on the ground that it constitutes a gross abuse of court process, inter alia. The application has not been heard and determined by the National Industrial Court.

“Having withdrawn the contempt proceedings filed against the NLC and TUC for embarking on public protest on August 2, 2023, you ought not to have threatened the NLC with contempt of court over its plan to hold rallies from February 27-28, 2024 against the astronomical cost of living in the country. We submit, without any fear of contradiction, that the proposed public protest of the NLC is not contemptuous of the two ex parte orders of the National Industrial Court. In particular, the issue of contempt does not arise as the NLC has challenged the jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court to entertain the substantive case.”

Falana noted that in the case of Inspector- General of Police v All Nigeria Peoples Party (2008) 12 WRN 65, the Court of Appeal upheld the fundamental right of Nigerians to protest on matters of public interest without police permit.

He said, “In the leading judgment of the Court, Olufunmilayo Adekeye JCA (as she then was) held inter alia: ‘The right to demonstrate and the right to protest on matters of public concern are rights which are in the public interest and that which individuals must possess, and which they should exercise without impediment as long as no wrongful act is done…

“‘If as speculated by law enforcement agents that breach of the peace would occur our criminal code has made adequate provisions for sanctions against breakdown of law and order so that the requirement of permit as a conditionality to holding meetings and rallies can no longer be justified in a democratic society.’

“Since freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are part of the democratic rights of every citizen of Nigeria the Court of Appeal further held that, ‘the legislature must guard these rights jealously as they are part of the foundation upon which the government itself rests.’

“Consequently, the National Assembly has ensured that the right of aggrieved citizens to protest peacefully for or against the Government is protected. Thus, section 83(4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020, which ‘where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilize personnel to provide security to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.’”

Continue Reading

News

Despite Claims Of Subsidy Removal, Tinubu Has Spent Trillions Of Naira Since May 2023 To Subsidise Same Fuel – El-Rufai Blasts President

Published

on

Nasir El-Rufai, the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, has stated that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration has been subsidising petrol known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) since its inception in May 2023.

He affirmed that the development has so far cost the present administration trillions of naira since inception, adding that if not because of the subsidy payments, the price of petrol per litre could have been much higher than the diesel.

Diesel is currently sold above N1000 depending on the location, compared to PMS which is about N600 to 750 per litre.

El-Rufai made this known while speaking on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State at the occasion of a Capacity Building Workshop at the International Conference Centre, Musa Usman Secretariat, Maiduguri.

The workshop is meant for Enhancing Skills of Government Officials in Policy Implementation and Productive Human Management Resources for honourable Commissioners, Chief Advisers and Special Advisers, Senior Technical Advisers, to Governor Babagana Zulum, Heads or Chief Executives of Agencies and Departments, Tertiary Institutions and local government Chairmen.

El-Rufai said, “A good leader must be decisive and have the ability to make good decisions, trustworthy, empower others irrespective of political, religious or ethnic considerations, have clear communication skills and resilient in all ramifications.

“Though it is too early to judge the present administration, it is just been there for only nine (9) months, and you know leadership is work in progress, you start something as I said in my speech, you start a policy because you are absolutely sure is the right policy, but in the course of implementation, if you see bottlenecks, you modify, because the key word in leadership in my view is not ideology or anything, is pragmatism.

“You should always be pragmatic. You are not God, only God is perfect, so as a good leader, when you make a policy and you started implementing, and it doesn’t seem to work well, you should have the humility to stand back and said, this is not working.

“For example, if you appoint a person to a position and he is not performing to expectation, you should have the humility to say look, I need a better person to do the job perfectly. Leadership is a continuous thing and in a term of four years, you can’t assess a government of nine months.

“But as I also said earlier during my presentation, the removal of fuel subsidy by the present administration is another good policy by President Tinubu. I have always supported withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

But as you can see, in the course of implementation, the government has now realised that the subsidy has to be back, because right now, we are paying a lot of money amounting to trillions of naira for subsidy even more than before, because the impact has been seen and the packages of support that will reduce the impact have not been effective in reducing the impact, and so, the federal government has to backpedal by subsidising petrol. Many people don’t know this.”

“If they want to know whether there is fuel subsidy or not, they should compare the prices of petrol and diesel per litre. This is because, under normal circumstances, petrol is supposed to be more expensive than diesel. As it is, diesel is above N1000, while petrol stood at about N600 per litre. So we are still subsidising for fuel in Nigeria.” He stated.

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Reps South Wes Caucus Condemn Activities of Acclaimed Yoruba Nation Agitators

Published

on

By Gloria Ikibah
The South West Caucus of the House of Representatives has condemned in strong terms the recent activities carried out by acclaimed Yoruba Nation Agitators, which have caused unrest and pose a threat to the peace and stability of our region.
This was contained in a statement signed  by Leaderof Southwest Caucus/Deputy Chief Whip, Rep. PAdewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga, Chairman, Southwest Caucus, Rep. Abiodun James Faleke and Secretary General, Southwest Caucus, Rep. Taofeek Ajilesoro on Monday in Abuja.
The statement reads: “As representatives of the people, we stand firmly against any form of unlawful behavior and violence that undermines the rule of law and the unity of our country, Nigeria. It is essential that all grievances and demands be addressed through peaceful and lawful means, respecting the rights and well-being of all citizens.
“We urge all parties involved to engage in constructive dialogue, prioritize the welfare of our people, and work towards finding peaceful and lasting solutions to any grievances,” said Rt. Hon.Dr Abiodun James Faleke, Chairman of the South West Caucus of the House of Representatives. “Violence and lawlessness have no place in our society, and we call on all individuals to uphold the principles of peace, unity, and respect for the rule of law.
“The South West Caucus remains committed to upholding the values of democracy, justice, and unity in our region and the country at large. Together, we can overcome challenges and build a better future for all”.
Continue Reading

News

How I Made A Vow 34 Years Ago Never To Watch Tv Again – Pope Francis

Published

on

Pope Francis has disclosed that he made a vow 34 years ago to stop watching television.

The revered clergyman said he placed himself on the self-imposed ban after stumbling across a smutty show.

He explained that the vulgar viewing was so bad for his conscience that he had to place a TV ban on himself.

The Supreme Pontiff said he hasn’t watched the box for almost 34 years.

He said: “I was watching television in the lounge with my fellow priests.

“It was July 15, 1990, and some scenes of an adult nature, to put it delicately, were being shown — something that was not good for the heart.

“Nothing risqué, of course, but when I went back to my room, I said to myself, ‘A priest cannot look at such things.’

And so, the following day, during the mass for the feast of the Madonna del Carmelo, I vowed never to watch television again.”

His Holinesss, 87, said that one of the last things he watched properly on TV was the fall of the Berlin Wall – in 1989.

He, however, stated that there have been a couple of exceptions to his self-imposed sanction.

Speaking via his new book “Life: My Story Through History”, Pope Francis said, “Only very occasionally do I allow myself to watch: for example, when a new president is sworn in, or I watched briefly once when there had been a plane crash.

“I switched it on, too, to follow Sunday mass while I was being treated at the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome.

“But I didn’t watch the coronation of Charles III, the new British king, for example, or many other important world events. Not out of disdain, but because I made a vow.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2024