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Court Takes Fresh Action In Suit Against Tinubu’s Minister

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Nigeria’s Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Ms. Hannatu Musa Musawa, may lose her appointment following a fresh action taken by the Federal High Court (FHC) sitting in Abuja, on Friday, September 8, 2023.

Musawa is one of the ministers newly screened and approved for appointment by the Senate as requested by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The FHC, however, on Friday, okayed a suit by the Incorporated Trustees of the African Leadership & Transparency Development Initiative seeking Musawa’s sacking over National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) membership as a sitting minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Originating Summons, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1230/2023, is seeking to not only declare the seat of the Minister as vacant but to equally bar her from receiving salaries, emoluments and other perks attached to the office.

The group which initiated the legal action before the court maintained that Musawa, being a serving NYSC member, is not legally qualified to be appointed a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to the plaintiff, the swearing in of the 1st defendant, Musawa, as a Minister, despite being a public officer by virtue of the fact that she is still a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, was in grave breach of Section 66 (1) (f); 147(5) and 1 (1&2) of the 1999 constitution, as amended.

The plaintiff told the court that whereas section 147(5) of the Constitution stipulated that no person should be appointed as a Minister of the Government of the Federation unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.

It added that Section 66 (1) (f) of the Constitution expressly provided that no person should be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives, if such person is employed in the public service of the Federation or of any State and has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from such employment 30 days before the date of election.

The plaintiff told the court that the 1st defendant, who is a public officer by virtue of being a current member of the NYSC, was sworn into office as a Minister on August 21, 2023.

It is praying the court to determine: “Whether upon an intimate reading and comprehensive understanding of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the 1st Defendant is qualified to be sworn in and employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at a time when she is a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp?”

Upon determination of the sole legal question, the organization wants the court to, among other things, declare that, “upon an intimate reading and comprehensive understanding of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the 1st Defendant is not qualified to be employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at a time when she was a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp.

“A declaration of this Honourable Court that, upon an intimate reading and comprehensive understanding of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the 2nd Defendant herein, is without constitutional vires to employ the 1st Defendant, who is a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp, as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“A declaration of this Honourable Court that, the employment of the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as represented by the 2nd Defendant herein, is unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect whatsoever regard being had to the combined provisions of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

It application reads further: “An order of this Honourable Court setting aside the employment of the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as represented by the 2nd Defendant herein, same being a nullity.

“An order of this Honourable Court declaring vacant the seat and office of the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy in as much as it is being occupied by the 1st Defendant herein, Ms. Hannatu Musawa.

“An order of this Honourable Court restraining the 1st Defendant, Ms. Hannatu Musawa, forthwith, from parading herself, acting, holding out herself as the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy or exercising the powers and functions of the office of a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or drawing salaries, emoluments and perks attached to the said office.

“An order of this Honourable Court directing the 1st Defendant to, forthwith, refund all the illegal salaries, emoluments and benefits she has so far received since the date she assumed office as the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy until the date of delivery of judgment.

As well as, “An order of this Honourable Court mandating the 2nd Defendant [the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation] to ensure total compliance, forthwith, by all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria who shall forthwith cease recognizing the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or according to her any privilege due to the occupant of such office.”

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice was also cited as the 2nd defendant in the suit.

However, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.

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News

FG Clarifies Renaming of Murtala Muhammed Expressway

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Minister Of Information
– FG denies renaming Murtala Muhammed Expressway after Wole Soyinka
– New road inaugurated by President Tinubu named Arterial Road N20
– Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged

The Federal Government has dispelled rumors that the Murtala Muhammed Expressway in Abuja was renamed Wole Soyinka Way.

The government clarified that the renaming of the expressway was never considered by the current administration.

Instead, a new road was inaugurated by President Bola Tinubu on June 4, 2024, which was named Arterial Road N20.

This new road connects the Outer Northern Expressway to the Northern Parkway and was named after Prof. Wole Soyinka.

The confusion arose from a proposal by the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, during the inauguration, which was approved by President Tinubu. ”

The government emphasized that the Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged, honoring the legacy of the former Head of State, Gen. Murtala Ramat Muhammed.

Therefore, the Arterial Road N20 is named after Prof Soyinka.

The Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged, the government stressed.

 

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Politics

Rivers State on Edge as Youths Storm LG Headquarters Amid Tenure Crisis

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Rivers State Governor
– Tension rises in Rivers State as youths occupy LG headquarters
– LG chairmen refuse to vacate office despite expiration of tenure
– Police deploy security operatives to maintain peace

Tension mounted in Rivers State on Monday as youths occupied the Degema Local Government Area headquarters, demanding that the council chairmen vacate office.

The youths, who were seen singing war songs, barricaded the entrance and vowed to remain until Wednesday.

The crisis follows the expiration of the tenure of local government chairmen in the state, with the chairmen refusing to step down citing a new law passed by the state House of Assembly.

The law empowers them to extend their tenure by six months, a move opposed by Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

In a similar development, youths stormed the Asari-Toru Local Government Area headquarters, occupying the building and vowing to resist any attempt by the council chairman to remain in office.

The situation was tense but peaceful, with security operatives deployed to maintain order.

Meanwhile, the outgoing chairman of Eleme LGA, Obarilomate Ollor, warned those eager to throw him out of office not to come close to the council, threatening to unleash terror on such invaders. “Some people are ganging up, they want to use force to enter into the local government, If you go there against the law, what you will see you will not believe it.”

The police have urged everyone to maintain peace in the state, with the spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, saying “Our men were on a show of strength this morning. We are still monitoring the situation.”

 

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