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Impeachment: Shaibu’s lawyer withdraws as panel vow to go on with investigation

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By Francesca Hangeior

The retired Justice S.A. Omonuwa’s seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, to investigate allegations of gross misconduct levelled against the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, on Wednesday ruled that the panel will continue its investigation as there was no court order stopping it.
The ruling came after Shaibu’s counsel, Prof Oladoyin Awoyale (SAN), raised an objection to the continuation of the investigation in view of the order of an Abuja Federal High Court which adjourned the case filed before it by Shaibu till April 8, 2024, for parties in the matter to come and show cause why the court should grant or refuse the prayers for interlocutory injunction against the impeachment processes.

Justice Omonuwa (retd.), while giving his ruling, said the Federal High Court in Abuja only asked parties to come and show cause.

Deputy Clerk, Legal, Edo State House of Assembly, Ohaifa Joe, who is the counsel for the House of Assembly had, while arguing his position, said that by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution, Section 188 (10), no court has the right to prevent the House of Assembly, or the panel so set up, from performing its constitutional responsibilities.

Ohiafi further argued that Awoyale (SAN), must convince the panel that the provision of the constitution had been altered for the panel to sustain his argument.

In his ruling, the chairman of the panel, Justice Omonuwa (retd.), said that the panel would continue and asked the House of Assembly to state its case.

Responding to the ruling, Awoyale told the panel that his client would not be able to continue to participate in the investigation and sought the panel’s permission to be excused.

When asked whether he was waving his right to defend his client, the SAN answered in the negative, stressing that parties must obey the court decision that they should appear before it to show cause.

Probed further if he was “arresting the ruling of the panel”, Awoyale (SAN) answered again in the negative and reiterated the need to obey the court which would be sitting on Monday, April 8, 2024.

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Protesters Seek Enforcement Of Benue’s Anti-Open Grazing Law

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The people of Gwer West LGA of Benue State have staged a protest ON the Makurdi-Naka road to demand en-forcement of the state’s anti-open grazing law following the killing of 28 people in some communities in the Gyaru-wa axis by armed men on Sunday night.

During the protest, Mbapuun Fabian, who is the Secretary of Gyaruwa Forum (GAF), said that villagers in farming communities of Gwer West LGA were gruesomely murdered.

A former Chairman of Gwer West, Francis Ayagah, called on the federal government to ensure the safety of his people as he noted that the renewed insecurity in the area was occasioned by the failure of the Governor Hyacinth Alia administration to enforce the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State.

Ayagah expressed worry that the non-implementation of the grazing law had allowed herders to move freely with their cows and arms which they used to attack villagers.

Another protester, Titus Numzua, who hails from Segev/Yegev Council Ward where all the attacks occurred, said that the influx of herdsmen in the area had complicated the security situation of many communities.

He also called on the federal government to ensure the safety of the people, and particularly called on Governor Alia to provide logistical support to security agencies, the Benue State Livestock Guards and the Community Vol-unteer Guards to ensure peace returned to the area.

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Benue North West, Titus Zam, while sympathising with the victims, con-demned the attacks which led to the death of many people, including women, children and the elderly.

In a statement signed by his Personal Assistant (PA) on Media, Terungwa Nunde, Zam prayed to God to continue to protect his people, and called on Governor Alia to come to their aid.

Similarly, the Member representing Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency, Arc. Asema Achado, condemned the murder of his constituents and called on the state government to enforce the law prohibiting open grazing and also ensure the perpetrators of the dastardly act were brought to book.

It would be recalled that the state government assured in March, this year of implementing the grazing law at the expiration of a two-week ultimatum handed to herders who flocked the state with their animals to vacate.

It was gathered that the delay in the implementation was, however, due to the transfer of the Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General Sunday Igbinomwanhia, who headed the security network saddled with the responsibility to enforce the law.

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I’m Still In Love, Man Begs Divorce Seeking Wife

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A housewife, Lawal Modupe Lawal, has approached an Upper Area Court in Kubwa, Abuja seeking the dissolution of her 17-year-old marriage to her husband, Ismaila on grounds of “lack of love and affection.”

Modupe told the court that she got married to Ismaila, according to Islamic laws on October 24, 2007.

The mother of three, said that her husband sent her out of her matrimonial home on June 17, 2023.

”I do not love him anymore and I want the court to dissolve the marriage, ” she said.

The husband, however, said that he still loves his wife and would not grant her a divorce.

He pleaded with court to call for a mediation with members of his family and his wife’s family.

The Judge, Mohammed Wakili, however advised the respondent to make efforts to win his wife’s love back.

Wakili also urged Modupe to give her husband a chance.

The judge gave the couple two weeks to settle their differences and report back to the court on May 2.

(NAN)

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House of Representatives shifts resumption date to April 30

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The House of Representatives has announced the further rescheduling of the resumption date from the ongoing recess. According to a release signed by Hon Akin Rotimi Jr. the House Spokesperson, the new resumption date is now set for Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at 11:00 a.m.

“This adjustment, as communicated by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Dr. Yahaya Danzaria, Esq., in an internal correspondence to Honourable Members on Wednesday, is aimed at giving Honourable Members more time for constituency outreach to secure adequate input in the constitution review process.

“The extension follows the earlier decision by the House Committee on Constitution Review to extend the deadline for submission of memoranda to April 30, 2024.

“Additionally, the extended timeline will allow for more concerted preparation for the legislative summits on State Police, as well as the one on Tax Reforms, Revenue Enhancement, and Digital Transformation coming up in the next 2 weeks.

“All inconveniences arising from this rescheduling are regretted. In line with the Legislative Agenda of the 10th Assembly, the House remains committed to being accountable and providing timely communications to all stakeholders”.

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