NBA Blames FG Over JUSUN Strike - IReporteronline
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NBA Blames FG Over JUSUN Strike

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has blamed the Federal Government for the strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

According to the NBA the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as altered) provides for the autonomy of the judiciary and the executive, particularly at the state level.

The body of lawyers argued that the executive has customarily refused to comply with the provisions of the Constitution, which are targeted at safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

In a statement signed by its president, Olumide Akpata, the NBA stressed that the judiciary is an equal arm of government relative to the executive and the legislature, adding that its independence is fundamental to the effective discharge of its mandate under the constitution.

“A situation where the judiciary literally begs for its resources from the executive, as is currently the case across several states, cannot guarantee its independence and constitutes an affront to the Constitution and the rule of law.

“We are aware of the judgment of the Federal High Court of January 13, 2014, which unequivocally confirmed the autonomy of the judiciary in line with the spirit and letters of the Constitution.

“While that judgment was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding between JUSUN and relevant stakeholders under which parties agreed to conscientiously give effect to the judgment of the Court, that has not been the case for seven years after the landmark judgment.

“This situation does not augur well for our constitutional democracy, as it suggests that members of the executive arm of government, who swore to uphold the principles of the Constitution, can flout it, with impunity,” NBA said.

Arguing further, the NBA noted that Executive Order No. 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, on May 20, 2020, which to a large extent, sought to address the constitutional imbroglio by treating the funds due to the state judiciaries as a first-line charge, and requiring that the funds be paid directly to the heads of the court concerned.

 

“However, information available to the NBA shows that the state governors have challenged the Executive Order, citing constitutional infractions.

“The NBA is of the considered view that the provisions of Section 121(3) of the Constitution on the financial autonomy of the State Judiciaries are clear and do not really need the instrument of an Executive Order to give effect to them,” it said, adding that it requires only simple enforcement by the states as the Federal Government has admirably done at the federal level.

Meanwhile, the First Vice President of the NBA, John Aikpokpo-Martin, has decried the failure of state governments to comply with the provisions of the constitution and the Executive Order, No. 10 signed by President Buhari to enforce the autonomy of state judiciaries.

 

Aikpokpo-Martin, however, pleaded with the JUSUN to consider calling off the strike for its members in the federal judiciary (since the Federal Government has complied with the constitutional provisions on judicial autonomy), and in states that have complied with the law.

In his response, the spokesman of JUSUN, Comrade Jimoh Musa, expressed the union’s dissatisfaction with the NBA’s historical apathy to the autonomy of the judiciary, which he argued, left the union with the unfortunate option of shutting down the courts.

Musa, however, expressed hope that the current administration will approach things differently.

The union at a meeting with the leadership of the Bar informed it (NBA) of its proposed meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

It, therefore, sought the participation and cooperation of the NBA with a view of getting a better and more sustainable outcome.

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JUST IN: 15 Die In Niger Boat Mishap

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At least, 15 people have died in a boat mishap in Tijana, Munya Local Government Area of Niger State while several others are still missing.

The boat mishap occurred at about 6:00 pm on Saturday when the villagers were returning from a local market in Zumba, Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

The Sarkin Kasuwan (Head of the Market) of Zumba, Mallam Adamu Ahmed, who confirmed the incident to Daily Trust, said the local boat was carrying over 60 people, including women and children when it capsized due to a heavy windstorm.

Among the victims were some returnees who had earlier fled their homes with their children due to bandits’ attacks.

Ahmed said 17 people have been rescued alive through the efforts of local divers who swung into action immediately after the incident was reported.

The local divers had defied the heavy downpour to continue their rescue operation as at the time of filing this reports as no help yet from the government.

It could be recalled that a similar boat mishap in the area claimed 13 lives in 2017 when a boat carrying 30 people capsized midway into their journey to the same Zumba market.

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BREAKING: Abducted ABSU Student Regains Freedom

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The only student of Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu, still left in the custody of a criminal gang, which abducted some persons while journeying along the Okigwe-Uturu Road, has been released.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu made this known this evening via his official Twitter handle@GovernorIkpeazu.

Governor Ikpeazu, who thanked God, security agencies and the management of ABSU for the release of the abducted student, expressed joy at the development and vowed that he will surely take justice to those involved in the kidnap and will not share the State with criminal elements.

His full tweet reads:

“It is with exceedingly great joy and a very pleasant sense of relief that I announce that the only kidnapped ABSU student who was still in the custody of the hoodlums that abducted some people a few days ago along the Okigwe-Uturu Road has been freed. I spoke with her and …her mother minutes ago and want to thank God, our security agents and the management of ABSU for a job well done leading to this good news.

“Our administration has since taken measures to strengthen the security around the area where the incident happened and even beyond it ensure the security of lives and property which remains my number one assignment as Governor and it is one duty I will never take lightly. We will surely take justice to those who abducted our student as we will not cohabit this state with criminals”.

DAILY POST gathered that the yet-to-be-confirmed number of students were kidnapped while transiting on a bus on Okigwe-Uturu Road.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the Abia State University, Professor O. M Ogbulu confirmed that two of the students escaped from the hoodlums while one student was still being held by them.

Addressing journalists in a press conference held in Umuahia, on Friday, Vice-Chancellor had assured that the school authority was working assiduously with security agencies to ensure the release of the students and prosecution of the culprits.

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Kogi Miyetti Allah Chairman Damina Regains Freedom

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The Chairman of the Kogi Chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Wakili Damina, who was allegedly kidnapped on Tuesday, has been released.

The state Secretary of the association, Mr Adamu Abubakar told newsmen in Lokoja on Saturday that Damina was released in Abuja late night of May 7.

Adamu said from Damina’s account, he was released by men suspected to be from one of the security agencies and not kidnappers as earlier suspected.

He said that Damina arrived at his Chikara home in the Kogi Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of Saturday to reunite with his family.

Adamu had announced to newsmen in Lokoja on May 4, that Damina was taken away from his house by eight men dressed in military camouflage.

He said that the men forcefully took him away in a white bus.

He also said that all efforts to get across to him proved abortive as his telephone lines were switched off.

However, the secretary, said that the national body of the association had taken the matter up to ascertain why Damina whisked away in such a manner.

He also said that the group had instructed a lawyer to take the matter up.

Adamu then expressed the gratitude of the association to the state government, police, media and members of the public for their support and concern during the period.

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