***As NEMA assess Damages
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has sympathized with victims of the Central market, Nguru fire disaster which razed over three hundred shops and destroyed goods worth millions of Naira in Yobe state at the weekend.
Special adviser to the minister on media Nneka Ikem Anibeze in Statement on Monday quoted the minister to have described the loss as colossal while she has directed the National Emergency Management Agency to conduct an on- the – spot assessment of the inferno to ascertain the extent of damage.
“I commiserate with the government of Yobe state and the victims of the fire disaster which destroyed the Central Market Nguru. Goods worth millions of Naira have been destroyed as a result of this fire incident while livelihoods have been truncated.
“This is not only an economic loss to the state but also but to the country. We hope that the cause of the fire will be investigated to avert a future occurrence.
“Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which is under the Humanitarian Ministry have already visited the market to assess the extent of damage and hopefully, the government will step in to support the victims”.
While the cause of the fire is yet to be made public, many shops and warehouses reportedly went up in flames when the disaster occurred at the weekend.
NEMA team from the North East Zonal office were on the spot to salvage what was left of the inferno with the Yobe State Emergency Management Agency.
Setback for Tinubu’s emergency appeal over CSU certificate saga, as Senior U.S Judge declines
****Orders CSU to turn in records to Atiku, testify under oath Monday afternoon
The United States Court hearing the case of former vice President of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar verse the Nigerian President Bola Tinubu verses Chicago State University(CSU) has ruled that the University must release all non-confidential information relating to Tinubu, held by the University.
The court explained that, for the avoidance of doubt, Tinubu’s Certificate and academic transcripts are not confidential and therefore must be released
Hence ,Tinubu’s emergency application to block Chicago State University from releasing his academic records to Atiku Abubakar failed to hold back the institution to conceal his certificates and documents
The ruling is coming as a major setback to President Tinubu and a leap forward for former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who has been pressing hard to lay his hands on the records to help him prove that the Nigerian president tenedered forged certificate.
The judge at United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago Judge Nancy Maldonado said the decision of a lower federal magistrate judge on September 19 was appropriate and adopted in full.
“The Court overrules President Tinubu’s objections to Magistrate Judge Gilbert’s recommended ruling, and therefore adopts the ruling in full. Mr Abubakar’s application is therefore granted,” the judge ruled.
‘In light of the pending Supreme Court of Nigeria ‘sdeadline, represented to the court as October 5, 2023, and based on CSU’s representations that it is ready to comply with the discovery requests and produce a witness, the court sets an expedited schedule for completion of discovery.”
Ms Maldonado, a district judge, also said the CSU should turn over the records to Mr Abubakar by 12:00 p.m. Monday and also make its officials available for deposition to authenticate the documents by 5:00 p.m. on the same day.
The judge said any attempt by Mr Tinubu to appeal the judgement in the district would no longer be tolerated as Mr Abubakar must transfer the collected evidence to the Nigerian Supreme Court for use in an ongoing election petition case by October 5.
“CSU is directed to produce all relevant and non-privileged documents in response to Requests for Production Nos. 1 through 4 (as narrowed by Judge Gilbert and adopted here) in Mr. Abubakar’s subpoena, by 12:00 p.m. (noon) CDT, on Monday, October 2, 2023,” she added. “The Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of CSU’s corporate designee must be completed by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. Given the October 5, 2023, filing deadline before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the Court will not extend or modify these deadlines.”
The judge, however, said Tinubu is free to file his appeal directly before the Seventh Circuit, which is the main appellate court overseeing Illinois and nearby states, an attempt that would likely prove daunting given the tight window for compliance by CSU.
The ruling marks a major blow to Mr Tinubu and a huge victory for Mr Abubakar, who has been seeking the records to establish that Mr Tinubu presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission when he submitted his application to run for president in June 2022.
Section 137 (1)(j) of the Nigerian Constitution (amended in 2010) specifically stated that no one would be legitimately elected president of Nigeria if the person “has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
Prior to the ruling late Saturday night, Judge Maldonado had acknowledged the significant public interest dimension of the case, saying it would cause her to expedite justice for all parties.
The president did not deny the charges that the certificate was forged, especially as it was purportedly signed by administrators who were not even at the school when he graduated in 1979, but only insisted, alongside the school, that he attended and graduated.
He also said releasing the documents with deposition would cause him severe harm because they were private to him and would not be admissible in the ongoing petition against him in Nigeria, an argument that further fueled nationwide concern about what the president might have been hiding about himself from Nigerians.
The CSU said it would state under oath that Tinubu attended, but it won’t be able to certify the authenticity of the certificate he paraded in Nigeria under oath.
Mr Abubakar’s lawyers would now be able to test the school’s claims, alongside Tinubu’s, during tomorrow’s records release and cross-examination
LP celebrates victory of Imo guber Candidate, Achonu, Party chair, Abure at Supreme Court
***says its end of the road for Apapa group
The Labour Party (LP) on Thursday rolled out the drums to celebrate the affirmation of its gubernatorial candidate for Imo State, Athan Achonu and the confirmation of Julius Abure as the party’s national chairman
The Supreme Court had dismissed an appeal brought before it by one Basil Maduka against the Labour Party over the rightful candidate of the party in the Imo state governorship election on the ground of locus standi.
A panel of five justices led by Iyang Okoro also cautioned the Appellant for abusing court process and wasting the time of the courts all through from the lower courts.
Two other respondents in the matter were Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and the Lamidi Apapa led candidate, Joseph Ukaegbu, alias Ikenga, whose request to seek for a consequential order was also rejected by the Supreme Court.
National Publicity Secretary of the party Obiora Ifoh in a statement said with the judgement by the highest court in Nigeria, the Lamidi Apapa’s plot to hijack the affairs of the Labour Party including the powers to nominate candidates has finally come to an end.
Speaking to the media shortly after the judgment, the counsel to the Labour Party, Barrister Okwudili Anozie, said, “Today at the Supreme Court, the antics of Basil Maduka and his accomplice Joseph Ukaegbu, alias Ikenga, was put to an end as they met their Waterloo at the Apex Court.
“Today was a culmination of their deceit and lies to Imolites spanning from their misrepresentation of the true position of the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
“Upon the exposure and collapse of their lies before the Supreme Court today, Basil’s Counsel, with tails in between his legs, immediately withdrew his subterfuge appeal that was aimed at giving credence to Ukaegbu’s sham, non-existent primaries.
“The Supreme Court didn’t entertain Ukaegbu’s counsel’s ignorant attempt to seek for a consequential order, which even a first year student of law knows cannot be sought by a Respondent especially in this case where the appeal was dismissed.
“Indeed, today has been a day of reckoning for evil doers whose sole plan was to stop the aspiration of Imolites in their determination to Take Imo Back through Senator Athan Nneji Achonu.”
Alleged Tinubu records saga: Group alerts on plot to undermine discovery case
The United Nigeria Group (TUNG) has claimed that President Bola Tinubu has allegedly deployed lobbyists to cause unwarranted delays in the judgment relating to the Chicago State University saga over his certificate the case of which is currently going on in the United States.
The group, in a press statement signed by its National Coordinator Dr Bright Emenena, said that the alert followed the intelligence of a meeting between the President and his cronies in Paris, the French capital.
The statement reads: “Bola Tinubu and a well-known Lebanese merchant based in France met in Paris and recruited a powerful Jewish American lawyer and a known political lobbyist in Washington DC as a consultant to lobby the appeal judge to delay the judgment scheduled to be delivered either this Friday or Monday next week or to their favour.
“This meeting and approval was given last night in Paris at 10 pm Paris time.
“The payments are millions of dollars in cash and with crude oil as bonus.”
It will be recalled that President Tinubu left the United Nations General Assembly session in New York last weekend, in the middle of a scandal arising from the Illinois Magistrate court ordering the Chicago State University to cause a full discovery of his academic records at the university.
It will also be recalled that President Tinubu had caused an emergency appeal to the court order, with his lawyers in the United States, filing their appeal on Monday.
The Chicago court hearing the case is billed to receive the filling of Atiku’s lawyers latest on Wednesday and judgement to be expected in a few days after.
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