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Osun Govt Denies Appointing Acting CJ

There seems to be disconnection within Governor Ademola Adeleke’s cabinet as a new directive emerged on Saturday discarding the earlier declaration by the government on the removal of the Chief Judge and appointment of an acting Chief Judge of the state.

The state government on Saturday denied news reports that Governor Adeleke had removed the Chief Judge and appointed an acting Chief Judge, claiming that the Governor had only forwarded the resolution of the House of Assembly and recommendation for an acting appointment to the Chief Justice of the Federation for decision and action.

The state government in a statement signed by Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi said Adeleke “is fully aware of the limit of his powers as well as the responsibilities of the various agencies of government and will therefore not act in any way to violate the constitution and rule of law.”

THN reported that the governor in a terse statement signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed on Thursday announced the appointment of Justice Olayinka David Afolabi as the acting Chief Judge of Osun state.

This is coming some minutes after the governor approved the suspension of Justice Adepele Ojo as the Chief Judge of the state.

This is also on the heels of an ex parte application brought by the CJ, Justice J.D. Peters of the National Industrial Court on Thursday issued a restraining order directing the governor to stop all attempts directed at removing the Chief judge.

On Thursday evening, in a statement signed by Rasheed, Governor Adeleke’s spokesperson titled; ‘Governor Adeleke Appoints Justice Olayinka David Afolabi As Acting CJ’ dated 16/11/2023, the governor announced the appointment of acting Chief Judge of Osun state with immediate effect.

The terse statement read, “Governor Ademola Adeleke has appointed Justice Olayinka David Afolabi as the acting Chief Judge of Osun state with immediate effect following the approval of the resolution of the House of Assembly.”

In a document sighted by Nigerian Tribune dated November 17, JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION in a document jointly signed by six persons, Osun State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice; Barrister Isola Tewogbade; Barrister Adedunmade Onibokun; Miss Linda Bibilari and Gbadegesin Olajide summoned the Acting CJ to a panel over the allegation of abuse of office, financial misappropriation, disobedience to court orders and corruption in the state judiciary.

The document statement that the suspended CJ should appear before the Commission on Monday, November 20.

This call, according to some experts, is illegal.

However, days after, Adeleke’s government denied appointing an Acting Chief Judge claiming the governor only forwarded the resolution of the House of Assembly and recommendation for an acting appointment to the Chief Justice of the Federation for decision and action.

The state’s commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment on Saturday said “Governor Adeleke has only duly notified the Chief Justice as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in writing about the resolutions of the House of Assembly following a series of petitions made against the sitting Chief Judge of Osun State.

“In the communication, Mr Governor intimated to the CJN of the recommendation of the House that the Chief Judge should step aside and included his own submission for an acting appointment to fill the vacuum while the NJC reviews and decides on the petition.

“To that end, the Governor in the same letter recommended to the CJN, the appointment of the most senior judicial officer, Hon.Justice Olayinka David Afolabi for thorough consideration and further processing by the same NJC through the CJN

“We urge the public to note that while the House of Assembly recommended the appointment of a replacement to the Governor in its resolution, the Governor however toed the line of law by writing the CJN on the entire development and submitting all materials for NJC as mandated national agency.

“We therefore wish to state categorically that Governor Adeleke has not appointed any judicial official as Acting Chief Judge and nobody has been sworn in as Acting Chief Judge of Osun state.

“Governor Adeleke is a man of due process and rule of law with a deep level of respect for the bar and the bench, the NJC and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Bauchi pays N3.418bn in outstanding gratuities

The Bauchi State Pensions Board has announced that, from May 2019 to date, the state government has paid N3,418,288,11.68 in outstanding gratuities owed to retired civil servants.

The Chairman of the Board, Senator Bala Adamu Kariya, made the disclosure at the ongoing ministerial press briefing in Bauchi, held at the State Secretariat.

Although Senator Kariya did not specify the total gratuity backlog, he noted that it exceeds N20 billion.

He stated that since the inception of the current Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration in 2019, a total of 4,273 people have retired, and 677 have died while in service, out of 4,948 files processed.

“The Board processes the files of civil servants due for retirement. We are the custodians of the processed files of all state civil servants who have retired,” the chairman stated.

Senator Adamu, however, said that in order to avoid further accumulation of pension and gratuity liabilities, the state government intends to commence the implementation of the proposed contributory pension scheme on June 30, 2021.

“As a sign of commitment, His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, appointed a 20-member committee, including a staff member of Messrs Premium Pension Ltd for technical guidance under the chairmanship of Mr. Abdon Dalla Gin (Special Adviser on Civil Service Matters).”

“In line with the Terms of Reference to the Committee, a final report with a draft bill has been carefully produced, tapping from the 2004 Act, 2014 revised Act, and previous efforts of successive state administrations like the 2005 and 2017 draft bills, and was presented to His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, as appropriate.”

He recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed had presented the report to the State Executive Council for consideration and approval, following which a draft bill was forwarded to the State House of Assembly for further legislative process in line with the laid down constitutional procedure.

“After gathering the necessary stakeholders’ input, the State House of Assembly then ratified the draft and returned the same to the Executive Governor for assent. Consequently, on August 5, 2022, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, assented to the bill enacted by the State House of Assembly.”

“It was named the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Scheme. The law also provided for the establishment of the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Commission.”

“The state governor approved the constitution of another high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, the Secretary to the State Government, to facilitate the full implementation process of the new scheme in the state.”

Kariya further explained that prior to this development, the state government appointed two firms of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), who have now engaged stakeholders in a massive sensitization, advocacy, and enlightenment of the scheme across the state.

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Two-storey building collapses in Abuja

A two-storey residential building in Phase 2, site 2, Kubwa Abuja has collapsed

The building collapsed on Saturday morning at about 7:00am.

It was learnt that the building was formerly a hotel, Al-Hilal, but was converted to a residential apartment.

It was gathered that several people are currently trapped in the rubble.

As at time of filing this report, emergency responders and security personnel were at the scene.

 

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Police to enforce e-CMR compliance from July 29

The Nigeria Police Force have given all motor users 14 days to register their vehicles with the newly-introduced digitalized Central Motor Registration (e-CMR), which will end on July 29, to begin the enforcement of its compliance in order to checkmate the rate of vehicle-related crimes and other offenses.

In a press release, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, informed that the move is part of the efforts of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to enhance the security of lives and property and significantly boost the nation’s safety.

The release further stated that the exercise is an advanced form of helping security agencies, mostly the Police Force, in their investigations and operational activities to combat vehicle-related crimes, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other social vices.

It also stated that the introduction of the e-CMR digitalized system will help streamline the documentation and verification process for vehicle ownership and related transactions.

“Following the directives of the IGP, services such as change of ownership, change of license number, change of engine, and change of chassis/body would become seamless as the e-CMR system would ensure the validation of vehicle genuineness and ownership, enhancing the ability to track and recover stolen vehicles effectively, and preventing the purchase of stolen vehicles by innocent buyers.

“Prior to the enforcement itself, the IGP has ordered full publicity of the e-CMR and its enforcement to all members of the public, intimating them of the requirements, processes, and the enforcement procedures. Members of the public are urged to obtain the digitalized CMR certificate online at https://cmris.npf.gov.ng.

‘For further inquiries, individuals can contact the CMR Command Centre at FHQ Abuja (08117777666, 09169892000) and FHQ Annex Lagos (08117777555, 09169891000). Technical support is also available at cmftech@npfcmr.ng,” the release partly stated.

Following this new development, the Nigeria Police have enjoined members of the public to participate in the exercise by ensuring that all vehicle users comply with the new directive, maintaining that the initiative, which is in line with modern technology, remains a strategic approach to enhance public safety and national security.

ACP Adejobi further stated that the enforcement of the e-CMR is necessary to ensure a safer and more secure environment for vehicle ownership and to decimate the trend of vehicle theft by greatly reducing the possibility of selling stolen vehicles in the country.

“We therefore urge all vehicle owners and users to embrace and participate in this initiative promptly for optimum safety and security,” he stated.

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