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Suspended Edo APC Lawmaker Drags Speaker Agbebaku to Court Over Voodoo Allegation, Demands N30 Billion Damages

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A suspended member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Emmankhu Isibor Addeh has dragged the speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Blessing Agbebaku and seven media houses to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Abuja for libel and the alleged broadcast of the said libel by Mr. Agbebaku.

In the suit, marked No. FCT/HC/CV/2856/2024, Mr. Blessing Agbebaku and the seven media houses are listed as the first to eight defendants respectively.

According to the writ of summons  by Mr. Nnaemeka Okeke and dated June 19, 2024, the lawmakers, a legal practitioner and a devout Christian accused the defendants, jointly and severally, in libel for the broadcast the first defendant made on May 6, 2024 during the plenary of the Edo State House of Assembly, and the re-broadcast and publication by the second to eight defendants on print, electronic, and online media on May 7, 2024 and other various dates.

He said that the defendants broadcast the said false and libelous statement wherein they said that the claimant with two other persons brought a herbalist into the House of Assembly premises to plant some charms in the premises by 1 am in the morning.

He alleged that the libelous statement was published in the said House of Assembly of Edo State and equally published to the whole digital world, including the Federal Capital Territory, by the news media available in Nigeria, whose duty is to report parliamentary proceedings in the Edo State House of Assembly.

The lawmaker further claimed that the first defendant’s broadcast and the re-broadcast and publications by the second to eight defendants have damaged severally the reputation of the claimant in the eyes of his learned colleagues, his co-parishioners, church members, clientele, his constituents, etc.

Mr. Addeh, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who presently represents Esan North -East 1 Constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly is among others demanding from the defendants:

“An Order mandating the 1st Defendant to immediately publish in five print media and five Online media of 1st Defendant’s retraction of the defamatory statement together with an unqualified apology.

“An Order mandating the second to eight defendants to immediately publish a retraction of the said defamatory publications and broadcasts in their respective media.

“Damages of N3, 000,000,000 (Three Billion Naira) against the defendants, jointly and severally.

“N50, 000,000 being the cost of this suit and 10% interest on the damages from the date of judgement until judgement debt is fully paid”.

No date has been fixed for hearing.

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Politics

Breaking! Supreme Court declares LG Caretaker Committees illegal

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The Supreme court has nullified and declare as illegal appointment of Local Government Transition Council Committee.

In an unanimous ruling by Justice Emmanuel Agim, it is unconstitutional to appoint Transition Council Chairmen and Councillors.

Recall that Newsmirror has earlier reported about the Supreme Court ruling Which states as follows

1. Allocations are to be paid directly to Local Government Councils immediately ~Supreme Court.

2. The Section of the Constitution for joint allocations automatically got deleted without NASS Amendment .

3. Appointment of Caretaker committees is illegal and unconstitutional, no governor has any powers to appoint any CTC ~Supreme Court.

4. That State governors have constituted themselves as dangerous species to the development of democracy ~Supreme Court.

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S/Court judgment on LG autonomy is victory for accountable governance, says Omo-Agege

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…wants INEC to conduct Council elections*_

Immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has commended the Supreme Court for its judgment giving financial autonomy to the 774 local government areas in the country.

In a press statement he personally signed, Omo-Agege described the judgment as giving the much needed life to good democratic governance at the grassroots of our democracy and a victory for all Nigerians.

However, he said more needed to be done to make the landmark judgment more impactful. To guarantee the the credibility of elections into local councils across Nigeria, Omo-Agege said the Constitution needs to be reviewed to transfer organisation of elections at the third tier to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The full text of his reaction read:
“Standing firmly once again as the final, infallible judicial protector of the rule of law and constitutional order in our nation, the Supreme Court of Nigeria today delivered a bold, incisive and highly consequential judgment upholding the well-founded constitutional suit of the Federal Government ably led by His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR on the critical need to guarantee full financial autonomy to the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in our Federal Republic.

“By this unanimous landmark lead judgment, delivered by the highly cerebral Honourable Justice Emmanuel Agim, JSC, the full erudite panel of seven Noble Lords of the Supreme Court gave the much needed life to good democratic governance at the grassroots of our democracy. It is a good day for our democracy and constant desire for accountable governance at all levels in the polity.

“Objectively considered, it can be easily said that today’s reasoned decision by their Lordships of the Supreme Court is a great win for all Nigerians, without exception. Even those who may have opposed the patriotic spirit and overriding national interest that fuelled the action instituted by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the highly respected Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN should easily come to terms with the truth that this judgment is good for the nation. The nation desperately needs unfettered financial autonomy for our LGAs to enhance their constitutional mandate to deliver good governance, provide qualitative basic amenities, and build robust human capital development across the country.

“By affirming the full financial autonomy of the LGAs; restating that our LGAs can only be governed on the basis of proper democratic elections; declaring the appointment of LGA caretaker committees as a glaring constitutional aberration; declaring that no House of Assembly of a State has the power to make laws interfering with the finances of the LGAs; and consequentially directing the Federal Government to pay monies for the LGAs directly to them from the Federation Account, the Supreme Court commendably touched positively on the very justice of serious substantive issues that have become popular agitations by vigilant citizens over the years. The Court’s progressive interpretation of the law is profound, patriotic and worthy of serious applause.

“It needs to be said that as profoundly far-reaching and helpful as today’s judgment sounds, its benefits may not fully crystalise for the good of the nation until the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) is further altered to guarantee the conduct of credible elections into the LGAs by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The nation must accept the whole truth that the perennial charade happening in many States in the name of LGA elections is unsustainable. We must terminate that collective shame and evolve a new electoral order that will produce credible leaders that will responsibly and judiciously manage the relative huge resources that will soon start flowing to the LGAs.

“As patriotic citizens, we owe ourselves and the nation an eternal duty of vigilance to sustain our hard-earned democracy. This demands constant vigilance and healthy contestations to enrich the soul of our democracy as demonstrated by the Federal Government in submitting this action to the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for civilised interpretation and healthy answers. Now that the answers have come, may the nation be better for it.”

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Tinubu swears in eight permanent secretaries

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By Francesca Hangeior

President Bola Tinubu has sworn in eight Federal Permanent Secretaries.

The eight permanent secretaries took the oath of office just before the commencement of the ongoing Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House, Abuja; it’s the 14th FEC session since the inauguration on August 28, 2023.

The brief swearing-in ceremony, which was conducted in two batches of four each, was anchored by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who read their citations.

They include Dr. Emanso Okop (Akwa-Ibom); Obi Vitalis (Anambra); Mahmood Fatima (Bauchi); and Danjuma Sanusi (Jigawa).

Others are Olusanya Olubunmi (Ondo); Dr. Keshinro Ismaila (Zamfara); Akujobi Ijeoma (South-East); and Isokpunwu Osaruwanmwen (South-South).

Council members also congratulated President Tinubu on his re-election as the Chairman Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States.

The SGF who spoke on behalf of the cabinet members said West African regional leaders had seen a committed leader in Tinubu and decided to re-elect him.

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