The Independent National Electoral Commission has defended its decision to deregister the 22 political parties which the Court of Appeal in Abuja recently ordered it to relist.
A five-man panel led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dongban-Mensem, had in its unanimous judgment delivered on August 10, 2020 reversed the deregistration of the parties the grounds that the act was carried out in breach of the provision of section 225(a) of the Nigerian Constitution.
It also ruled that INEC’s action of deregistering the political parties while their suit seeking to stop the same act was still pending at the Federal High Court in Abuja constituted an affront on the authority of the court.
Asked to respond to the remarks of the court on Tuesday, INEC, through the Chief Press Secretary to the commission’s chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said there was no court order stopping it from deregistering the parties as of the time it was done in February 2020.
He said it was only the Action Peoples Party obtained a restraining order which was honoured by INEC.
He said, “In February when the commission deregistered 74 political parties, there was only one restraining order against INEC in favour of the Action Peoples Party which had filed a suit to stop the Commission from deregistering it.
“That was why the APP was exempted from the deregistration process.
“To be sure, I am not aware of any other restraining order against the commission as of that time (February 2020).”
Oyekannmi also cited an earlier July 29, 2020 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which had affirmed the power of INEC to deregister political parties that failed to meet the conditions spelt out in section 225(a) of the Nigerian Constitution.
He said with the two judgments of the Court of Appeal with one validating the deregistration of the political parties and the August 10, 2020 by the same court, the commission’s remaining option was to appeal to the Supreme Court and await its final decision.
Ramadan 2021: Sultan Asks Nigerian Muslims To Commence Fasting
Following the sighting of the moon, this year’s Ramadan starts Tuesday, April 13th 2021, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, announced Monday.
Alhaji Abubakar, who is the president of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), said this in an announcement on NTA live broadcast.
He urged all Muslims to use the occasion of the holy month to pray fervently for the country and indulge in acts of charity so as to benefit maximally this month.
The NSCIA on Monday had issued a guideline enjoining the Ummah to practice social distancing during the 1442AH Ramadan.
“All COVID-19 protocols should be observed. I’tikaf should still be put on hold while strict observance of all COVID19 protocols including avoiding lengthy or crowded sessions should be observed,” it stated.
Ramadan is the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar seen as sacred by Muslims during which they refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days — depending on when a new crescent is slighted.
The sighting of this new moon marks the beginning of another month, Shawwal, and the celebration of Islamic festival, Eid-l-fitr.
The Ramadan ritual is observed to attain a spiritual bond with God, as contained in Qur’an 2:183: “Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness.”
Benue Crisis: Expose Those Who Killed Soldiers, Return Army Weapons – Ortom Urges Communities
The Benue State Government has urged community leaders to expose those who carried out an unprovoked attack on Nigerian Army troops, leading to the death of an officer and 10 other soldiers.
In a statement on Friday, Governor Ortom while addressing the recent crisis between communities in Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas, called for restraint on all sides including the military.
Ortom noted in his communique that he has already directed leaders of the affected areas to ensure that the weapons the “bandits” took away from the military personnel deployed to bring peace between the warring communities are returned without delay.
Earlier on, the army had reported that its troops came under attack while on a routine operational task, it was not clear who the attackers were at the time.
The military however asserted that the troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke.
The search and rescue team, unfortunately, found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately.
According to the army, efforts were still ongoing to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to bringing them to justice.
In his reaction, Governor Ortom urged members of the affected communities to expose perpetrators of the unprovoked attacks on the military, stating that such an act is condemnable and also capable of jeopardizing the efforts Government has made to guarantee the return of peace to the area.
The governor disclosed that in an effort to find a solution to the crisis, he set up a Boundary Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu to resolve the land dispute in collaboration with the National Boundary Commission.
The Committee had fixed a date for the demarcation of the area in contention when renewed violence broke out between the Bonta Community of Konshisha Local Government Area and Okpute Community of Oju Local Government Area.
Ortom assured the people that his administration is determined to see the end of the crisis and will support security agencies to fish out those fomenting trouble.
He, however, urged the military to avoid civilian casualties and protect law abiding people while efforts are on to recover their missing weapons.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Husband Prince Philip Dies At 99
Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip has died at age 99, according to a statement by Buckingham Palace.
Prince Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history after getting married to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.
The Palace announced the death of the late monarch via its official Twitter handle on Friday afternoon, April 9, 2021.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” it said in a statement.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The palace added that further announcements would be made “in due course”.
Fears over the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was formally known, had been heightened after he recently spent a month in hospital for treatment.
He left the hospital on March 16 following what was described as a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition and treatment for an unspecified infection.
He was first admitted on February 16 on the advice of his doctor after he complained of feeling unwell.
Philip had returned to Windsor Castle, west of London, where he had been isolating with the queen — Britain’s longest-serving monarch — since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
He was due to turn 100 in June.
The news of his death saw television channels interrupt regular programmes and start special coverage marking his life.
The BBC announced his death and played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen”.
Philip had increasingly struggled with his health in recent years and had retired from public life.
In the run-up to Christmas 2011, Philip was taken to hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains.
The Greek-born former naval officer was then treated for a blocked coronary artery and had a stent fitted