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Bayelsa: INEC Reacts To Supreme Court Judgement

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INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has said it would act on the judgment of the Supreme Court directing it to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC in Bayelsa State, Chief David Lyon.

INEC, however, said it was yet to be served with a copy of the judgment as at Thursday afternoon.

“I am not sure the Commission has been served with the judgment of the Supreme Court yet. I will keep you posted”, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi said.

Also, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye said the commission would check is record to see which party came second in the election with a view to issuing its candidate a Certificate of Return.

He said INEC would carry out the judgement of the Supreme Court. “We would do that when we get the judgement of the Supreme Court so that we would know clearly what the Supreme Court want us to do and we would carry it out”, he said.

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The Supreme Court had on Thursday, sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili, held that Degi-Eremieoyo presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

It held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Eremieoyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of the November 16, 2019, governorship election in the state, contained false information of fundamental nature.

Justice Ejembi Eko who delivered the lead judgement reinstated November 12, 2019, Judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja that disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo from participating in the governorship poll.

Consequently, it ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return that was issued to them and issue a fresh one to the party that secured the second-highest number of votes and got the required constitutional spread.

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AMCON Takes Over Buba Galadima’s Residence, Company Over N900m Debt

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Buba Galadima

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has ordered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to take over the residence of a former chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Buba Galadima, as well as business and assets of Bedko Nigeria Limited.

Galadima is one of the nine signatories that signed the merger agreement between some political parties, including the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); All Nigeria’s Peoples Party (ANPP) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), to form the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Bedko Nigeria Limited and Alhaji Galadima owe AMCON nearly N900 million.

The loan was obtained during the first phase of Eligible Bank Assets purchase from Unity Bank Plc in 2011.

Since then, AMCON has offered the obligor a measure of olive branches and explored all avenues to resolve the matter amicably, but the obligor and his company, Bedko Nigeria Limited, have remained recalcitrant and unwilling to repay the debt.

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The order, which was granted to AMCON by Justice A.I. Chikere gave the government recovery agency the power to take over some properties belonging to the politician. Among them are No. 15, Addis Ababa Crescent, Wuse Zone 4, FCT, Abuja and No. 4, Bangui Street, Wuse 2, also in the high-brow area of Abuja.

The enforcement on the properties of Bedko Nigeria Limited and Alhaji Galadima is one of the many others that would happen this year, given the additional powers AMCON received from President Buhari late last year.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Dismisses Lyon And APC’s Application, Upholds Diri As Bayelsa Gov

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The Supreme Court has dismissed an application for review of the judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

According to Justice Amina Augie who read the judgment on Wednesday, the application lacked merit and the decisions of the court are final.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.

The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.

“There must be an end to litigation even if we review this judgment, every disaffected litigant will bring similar applications and the finality of Supreme Court judgments will be lost.”

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She added that the applications are frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.

Justice Augie added that the counsels of the APC and Mr Lyon are to each pay Governor Douye Diri, his deputy Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the PDP the same N10 million.

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SERAP Condemns Bill Seeking Immunity For Lawmakers

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the passing of a bill seeking to give leaders of federal and state legislatures immunity from prosecution for corruption.

SERAP in a statement issued by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare on Tuesday, said the move is tantamount to ripping up the nation’s constitution.

The organization, therefore, called on the lower chamber to immediately withdraw the bill, vowing to challenge the decision.

“Providing immunity for presiding officers against crimes of corruption is tantamount to ripping up the constitution. It’s a blatant assault on the rule of law and breach of public trust.

“The leadership of the House of Representatives must immediately withdraw this obnoxious bill. We will vigorously challenge this impunity,” the statement read in part.

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Speaking further, SERAP recalled that “countries like Guatemala has voted unanimously to strip their president of immunity from prosecution for corruption, our own lawmakers are moving in the opposite direction.”

The group warned that if the lawmakers have their way by passing the bill into law, they will succeed in denying Nigerians of their rights to make leaders accountable to the people.

This comes shortly after the lawmakers sought to extend immunity to cover Presiding Officers of Legislative Institutions.

The bill which was sponsored by Representative Odebunmi Olusegun was supported by the majority of the lawmakers who say it is important to safeguard the sanctity of the National Assembly.

In supporting the bill, Majority Leader, Ado-Doguwa said: “It should be passed for the simple reason that it provides protection for leaders of the legislature considering the important work of the legislature.”

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