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Independence : Expert wants wholistic reform in Petroleum Industry



Mr Chinedu Onyeizu, an Energy expert has called for wholistic reform in the Petroleum Industry to drive development in the country.


Onyeizu made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Tuesday.

Onyeizu a former APC senatorial aspirant noted that as the country marks its 59th independence, it was an opportunity for it to look at the sector and champion reforms that would drive economic growth.

He said that government must adopt the best strategy to achieve liquid energy independence.

Liquid energy are all forms of liquid energy such as Petrol, Diesel , Jet oil and they constitute the bulk of what is subsidised by government

“The Federal Government should focus on a wholistic reform of the Nigerian petroleum industry.

“It should draw up a realistic plan to liquid energy independence after which ideas on making Nigeria a global hub for related businesses could follow.

” With over 38 billion barrels of crude oil in reserves, we really should not be importing refined products.

“We can’t continue to remain a revenue line item for economic plan forecasts by countries that rely on how many tons of fuel we import on yearly basis,”he said.


Edited by Ali Baba- Inuwa


Edith Ikeeboh: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


101st anniv. of beginning of Turkey’s War of Independence marked in Ankara



Turkish students participate in a commemoration event marking the 101st anniversary of the beginning of Turkey’s War of Independence in Ankara, Turkey, May 19, 2020. On May 19, 1919, the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk launched the Turkish war of independence in Turkey’s northern province of Samsun. Ataturk later dedicated the day to the youth of the Turkish nation. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua)

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Independence of NSFs will rid federations of mismanagement — Gusau



President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr Ibrahim Gusau, said federations would be rid of mismanagement when government truly grants independence to National Sports Federations (NSFs).

Gusau said this in a statement signed by Mr Siminialayi Pepple, the Director General of AFN, while commending the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare on his decision to pursue the independence of NSFs.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that recently, the minister said that the federal government was working toward granting independence to NSFs.

Gusau said that the independence of NSFs would check those clamouring to administer sports but whose focus was to mismanage the funds that government put into sports as sponsors would protect their funds.

The AFN President, who is also the President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Region II as well as Vice President of the CAA, said independence of NSFs conformed to best international practices.

He noted that sports in the country would only develop, and private sector attracted to sponsorship as it ought to if its administration was handed over to interested and selfless individuals with government supervision.

“There is a world of difference between interference and supervision. We reiterate our position of AFN autonomy at the Congress of the Federation to enable it realise its mandate and potential.

“The AFN is mindful of the fact that to abandon the full funding of sports in the hands of government will stunt the growth of athletics,” he said.

Gusau however, pointed out that several attempts by the federation to attract sponsorship from individuals and corporate organisations were met with the same response of no sponsorship with government direct management.

The AFN President assured Nigerians that his administration was poised to return athletics to its original leading place in the history of Nigerian sports.

He expressed confidence in the ability of Team Nigeria to return with a minimum of two gold medals whenever the 2020 Olympic Games hold.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Iran to continue supports for Iraq’s independence, sovereignty: president



Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that the Islamic republic will continue supports for the sovereignty and independence of neighboring Iraq, official IRNA News Agency reported.

Iran will stand with Iraqi government and nation and opposes intervention of foreign powers in Iraq’s internal affairs, Rouhani made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday.

He expressed satisfaction with the formation of new cabinet in Iraq, saying that political stability is of importance for the country as it would help revival of Iraq’s significant role in the region.

Rouhani described relations between two countries as brotherly and historic, stressing strengthening of all-out ties particularly in economic sector.

He urged normalizing trade interactions at all common borders by observing health protocols amid COVID-19 pandemic.

For his part, the Iraqi president highlighted the significance of political ties between Iran and Iraq, saying that stability and security of Iraq needs maintaining cooperation with its neighboring states.

Sovereignty of Iraq should be respected by foreign countries, and foreign powers should avoid interference in the affairs of his country, he said.


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Israel’s Independence Day celebrated in Tel Aviv



A musician performs during a rooftop party with no audience to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day in Tel Aviv, Israel, on April 29, 2020. Israel celebrated its Independence Day on Wednesday. (Tomer Neuberg/JINI via Xinhua)

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Israel celebrates independence with military over flights



Israel on Wednesday held a series of events to mark its 72nd Independence Day, including military over flights honouring the efforts of the country’s medical personnel in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Fighter jets flew over hospitals across the country, while strict lockdown measures were put in place for the occasion to prevent the usual mass outdoor celebrations.
Meanwhile, a formal ceremony had been recorded with minimal attendance and was broadcast by several media stations.
Israel had previously scaled back its coronavirus restrictions but, however, re-instated measures recently used during Passover, preventing people from leaving home except in exceptional circumstances.
However, Israelis were rather urged to watch fireworks from balconies.
According to official statistics, at present, Israel has around 9.2 million inhabitants, compared to 806,000 when the state was founded in 1948.
According to the Jewish calendar, Israeli Independence Day falls on April 29. Founding father David Ben Gurion had announced the country’s declaration of independence in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948.
However, on May 15, 1948, its Arab neighbours, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria all declared war on the newly founded state.
During the conflict, Israel expanded its territory and seized the Western part of Jerusalem. Some 700,000 Palestinians fled/expelled from their homes.
Israel held its annual Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s events.
Cemeteries were closed to visitors, while the main ceremony at Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza took place without an audience, but was broadcast live.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Israel marks 72nd Independence Day under coronavirus lockdown



Israel was celebrating its 72nd Independence Day on Tuesday under tightened restrictions because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The main ceremony began at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem at 8 p.m. local time (1700 GMT), when the nation sharply transitioned from the solemn Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers to the joyful celebrations of independence.

However, the ceremony, which used to be attended by hundreds of dignitaries and broadcast live on Israel’s all main TV channels, was de facto cancelled for the first time in Israeli history.

Instead, it was filmed into a video in a space of five days and digitally broadcast on television and the internet on Tuesday evening.

The digital ceremony included the traditional highlight: a torch lightening service, in which 12 torches are lit by people who have made an outstanding contribution to the Israeli society.

Benny Gantz, now speaker of the parliament, addressed the ceremony at Mount Herzl, calling on all Israelis to be prepared for further difficult times ahead.

“Tough days are upon us and we must prepare for no fewer difficult days,” he said. “We will win this war (against the coronavirus) and with this lesson, we will work to establish a new ethos, a story of mutual responsibility.”

Gantz, leader of the centrist party of Blue and White, recently signed a power-sharing deal to form a unity government with his rival Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Celebrations and street parties were also cancelled under government orders in a bid to curb the coronavirus spread.

The government imposed a two-day curfew that strictly bans people from leaving the city they live. Leaving home was allowed only for buying medicines in nearby pharmacies.


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Israel set for Independence Day closure



Israel’s Prime Minister’s office announced on Tuesday to tighten the measures to fight novel coronavirus ahead of the state’s Independence Day.

A full closure is expected to begin on April 28 in the afternoon, continuing on the Independence Day on April 29, till the morning of April 30.

The closure will include a ban on moving away from home for more than 100 meters.

Meanwhile, most ceremonies of the annual Memorial Day of fallen soldiers, which falls before the Independence Day, will not be held this year.

Thus, only a few symbolic memorial ceremonies will take place, attended by only a few soldiers, which will be broadcast to the Israeli public.

In the meantime, the Israeli Ministry of Health has issued a new procedure, allowing visits to nursing homes.

Thus, one person will be allowed to visit an elderly resident, on prior notice only, meeting him in an isolated area or outside the nursing home building.

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Macron wants greater French independence in fight against Covid-19 




rench President Emmanuel Macron wants more French independence in the fight against the coronavirus, for example in the production of medical masks.

“We have to produce more on our own soil to reduce our dependency,” Macron said after visiting mask maker Kolmi-Hopen in Saint-Barthelemy-d’Anjou near Angers in north-western France on Tuesday.

He said that by the end of the year, France should have achieved its full independence in mask production.

“By the end of April, we will have the capacity to produce 15 million masks a week in France,” Macron said.

France recently ordered 1 billion masks, some from China.

Macron said that he was committed to rebuilding French and European sovereignty.

He also announced that a consortium of four large industrial groups plans to manufacture 10,000 ventilators by mid-May.

This consortium consists of: electrical specialist Schneider Electric; automotive supplier Valeo; and Opel parent PSA.

It will operate under the leadership of Air Liquide, a French manufacturer of industrial gases.

The French state also plans to make 4 billion euros (4.4 billion dollars) available to the national health authority for ordering masks, medicines and respirators.

“We have to fight the virus with the nurses at the front,” said Macron.

It is an “invisible enemy,” he said, adding that he believed in a “united France”.

Reforms had been adopted before the crisis, which would allow France to be more competitive, he said, adding: “But we have to regain moral strength and the will to produce more in France.”


Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim

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Minister Shahid sends Independence Day greetings to Foreign Minister of Tunisia



The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid sends a message of felicitations to His Excellency Noureddine Erray, Minister of Foreign of the Republic of Tunisia.

Minister’s message reads as follows:

“It is my pleasure to extend my sincere greetings to Your Excellency, the Government, and the people of Tunisia, on the joyous occasion of your Independence Day.

Let me also express my best wishes for the peace and prosperity of Tunisia, and my earnest hope that the cordial relations between our two countries will continue in the years ahead.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

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UAE leaders congratulate Tunisian President on Independence Day



President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of congratulations to President Kais Saied of Tunisia, on the occasion of his country's Independence Day.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, dispatched two similar messages to the Tunisian leader.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also cabled congratulations to Elyes Fakhfakh, Prime Minister of Tunisia.

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60th Independence: CSOs to engage 60 youths to write essays on Nigeria’s circumstances



African Centre for Media and Information Literacy in partnership with Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa, TechHer and some media organisations, says it will engage young Nigerians to produce 60 essays dwelling on how to make the country great.

Dr Chido Onumah, the coordinator of the centre, said this at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that the aim of the project was to produce a book of 60 essays entitled “60 years of 60 voices –Essays on Nigeria at 60’’.

Onumah, who listed the media partners as Sahara Reporters, Oak TV and Premium Times Books, said the project was part of the group’s activities to mark Nigeria’s 60thindependence.

He said the group involved young Nigerians because they were the critical change agents to help the country understand and sharpen its focus on those issues that held the key to its collective survival as a people.

He said that Nigeria was faced with a lot of challenges ranging from leadership issues, insecurity, out-of-school children, poverty and economy among others.

Onumah added that these issues and more were what would be addressed in the proposed book.

“These essays on Nigeria will examine Nigeria’s social economic and political situation and explore the options open to us, suggest solutions and how to actualize them.

“The essays will take a critical look at the country’s democratic experiment since independence in 1960, where the country is today and some of the major issues that have dogged the country’s march to genuine democracy and nationhood.

“The idea is to generate enough public conversation that can push for and bring about the desired change in the country,” he said.

Onumah said that the essays would also focus on different aspects of the national life, including whether the “fundamental question of nation building that began six decades ago has been fully and or properly answered.’’

He said that the essays would further reveal the lessons learnt or needed to be learnt as a nation 60 years after independence.

He added that the book hoped to document the failures, success and the way out of the cul-de-sac Nigeria found itself.

Onumah said that part of the idea behind the book was to get young Nigerians who ventilate their frustrations and solutions daily on social media to articulate their ideas.

He added it would also enable them to articulate solutions in a compendium that would be used for social and political mobilisation.

He said contributors would be post civil war youths across the nation not more than 50 years old with progressive ideas about building a united society to rekindle hope and bring the country out of its situation.

He said that the new decade would be a defining moment for Nigeria which would be 60 years after independence and 50 years after the civil war.

Onumah said it was important that a new generation of citizens was challenged to reposition the country.

“It is our expectation that the essays in the book would analyse the realities in the socio-economic, political and cultural life of the country since independence.

“It will also answer questions on why Nigeria remains a giant with clay feet despite the availability of abundant human and mineral resources envied by others,” Onumah said.

Ms Safiya Bichi, Head of Research, YIAGA Africa, said that the project raised awareness of Nigeria among youths who seemed disconnected from the history of the nation and challenge them to work towards the future of the nation.

Bichi said that the project would also help the government in planning and raise youths with patriotic spirit that would help lead the nation on the path of growth and development.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan

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Science & Technology

ATCIS advocates a-day free voice, data calls on independence day



The Association of Telephone, Cable TV, and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS) has advocated that subscribers should be entitled to a day free voice and data calls on Independence Day in Nigeria.

The association made the call on Tuesday in Abuja when it paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), to seek areas of partnership and jointly work towards ensuring that consumers got quality of service.

According to the National President of ATCIS, Mr Sina Bilesanmi, the association advances a course that promotes the rights, interests and welfare of telecom subscribers in Nigeria.

He said that was the reason for the visit aimed at presenting issues affecting subscribers in the country.

Bilesanmi described NCC as the chief advocate of consumer rights and interests.

He also called for improved telecom service and reduction of the tariff on data and voice calls.

He further called for affordable reliable internet service, a stop to automatic fixed charge, and advocated for five per cent interest rate for borrowed data money as against 15 per cent, and a bridge in access gaps.

According to him, the nation’s economy has been benefiting tremendously and with an enviable record in relation to many other African countries.

“The National Bureau of statistics revealed in its latest report released just two weeks ago that the Telecom sector contributed a total of N11.9 trillion to the national economy in 2019 alone compared with 2018 record of N9.7 trillion,” he said.

The President, however, applauded the commission for the implementation of Emergency Communication centres, the Do Not Disturb toll-free 2442 short code, consumer complaints line and Mobile Number Portability.

He averred that ATCIS was a major voice against operators’ move to indiscriminately raise tariffs.

He added that it had sponsored 206 publications, rejected direct Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) charge by Telecom and CEO of banks from subscribers account among other feats.

Responding, Ms Hafsat Lawal, Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, called for collective protection of telecom infrastructure to aid quality of service.

According to Lawal, vandalism of telecom infrastructure is contributory to poor quality of service.

According to her, reduction of data charges undergoes stringent processes in line with international best practice, adding that operators do not charge for drop calls but for the successful calls that have been made.

Speaking on automatic roll over, Lawal, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, averred that NCC gave directive to operators to stop automatic roll over.

Reacting to the association’s demand on borrowing at five per cent as against the 15 per cent for credit charge she said borrowing of money (credit) was like collecting loan from a bank.

She also said that it was subject to the agreement of the parties involved.

Lawal promised that the request for making free calls on Independence Day and other issues would be tabled before the management.


Edited By: Donald Ugwu

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General news

FG announces partial closure of Independence Bridge



The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on Sunday announced partial closure of the Independence Bridge in Lagos for routine maintenance till May 2 to replace damaged expansion joints.

A statement by Mr Adedamola Kuti, Federal Controller of Works, Lagos appealed to road users to use alternative routes.

“As part of the National Bridge Maintenance Programme of the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has embarked on the maintenance of Independence Bridge, the bridge linking Bonny Camp and Onikan in Lagos.

“The maintenance has reached the stage of replacement of worn out expansion joints and laying of Asphaltic concrete wearing course between 1st March and 2nd May, 2020.

“To accomplish this phase of work, there will be partial closure of the bridge. This may lead to delay in travel time.

“Motorists are advised to plan their movement and make use of alternative route such as Falomo Bridge. All inconveniences are highly regretted,” Kuti said.

Edited By: Mustapha Sumaila/Ismail Abdulaziz


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Problem of Nigerian Judiciary is capacity, not independence – Sen. Basiru



Sen. Ajibola Basiru (APC-Osun Central) says the problem of Nigerian Judiciary is lack of capacity rather than independence.

He said that weak is affecting the ability of the Judiciary to fairly and efficiently dispense justice.

Basiru made this known to newsmen on the sidelines of a public lecture organised by the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kwara Chapter, held in Ilorin on Thursday.

According to him, some of the challenges identified in the new age include new thinking, new ideas about Nigerian affairs, poor infrastructure of the courts, Court congestion (dockets filled with criminal and civil cases), poor investigation by security agencies and poor prison condition.

“Other challenges are lengthy pre-trial detention leading to delay in trial. There is also the recurring issue of allegations of corruption in the judiciary.

“The problem of corruption is a society problem and in the case of the judiciary, the NJC has been forthright in dealing with erring judicial officers.

“The anti-corruption stance of the present administration are gaining momentum and will no doubt go along way in addressing the issues of corruption in the judiciary, ” said the lawmaker.

He expressed the need to address the infrastructure deficits and palpable conditions of the court.

He said that the court rooms all over the country are poorly equipped while libraries are inadequate or not in existence.

He suggested that government must upgrade the court rooms through the use of technology in achieving speedy and fair resolution of cases.

He said further that the judiciary requires the appointment of additional judges and magistrates to attend to the large number of criminal and civil cases suffering delays due to the heavy work load of judicial officers.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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United Arab Emirates (UAE) leaders congratulate Gambian President on Independence Day



President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a congratulatory message to President Adama Barrow of Gambia, on the occasion of his country's Independence Day celebrations, marked on 18th February.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent similar messages to the Gambian President on the occasion.

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General news

NUJ Chairman calls for independence of Nigeria Press Council



The Chairman, Lagos State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr Qasim Akinreti, on Saturday called for the independence of Nigeria Press Council (NPC).

Akinreti made the call at a symposium tagged “State of Media and Citizens Freedom in Nigeria’’, organised by a consortium of media activists and civil society groups in Ikeja, Lagos.

“We should not allow the government to be dictating to us, instead the media should tell them what is expected of them.

“For the appointment of the Director General of NPC, it should be the responsibility of the media and not the government choosing who becomes the DG.

“The representatives of the media should be on the board of decision makers because ever since, the government has yet to allow NPC to work effectively and this has been to our detriment.

“When there are complaints about the media, there is nobody to defend the issue as against what we have in other countries,’’ he said.

Akinreti said that regulating the conduct of journalists was very important to discipline and work ethics.

“Journalism should not be for all comers, rather the responsibilities should lie with NPC to regulate that for anyone to be a journalist, such person should have the requisite certificate or school of journalism.

“Journalism should not be free for all. These are some of the things NPC should look out for.

“NPC should assist in ensuring that those that are qualified and understand what the ethics is all about are those ones recruited as journalists,’’ he said.

Akinreti advised that journalism should be made lucrative so that those that studied it would not lose interest.

“NPC should take possession of journalism and set a goal, they should also be in charge of discipline of any media house that errs on the ethics of the profession,’’ he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi

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Gov. Ihedioha swears in 9 new Judges, pledges independence of Judiciary in Imo



Gov Emeka Ihedioha of Imo on Friday inaugurated nine new judges in the state with the resolve of his administration to uphold independence of the judiciary and Rule of Law.

According to a press release issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Chibuike Onyeukwu, seven of the judges sworn in will be assigned to the State High Court while two will be assigned to the Customary Court of Appeal.

Ihedioha, while speaking at the ceremony, identified an independent judiciary and adherence to the rule of law as the only means to good governance.

He further noted that the three arms of government must collaborate for good governance to thrive in the state.

“To ensure good governance, the three arms of government must coexist as separate organs of government independently, but collaboratively,” he stated.

The governor also said that his administration had maintained a symbiotic relationship with other arms and tiers of government adding that plans were in top gear to enhance the status of the judicial system in the state after several years of neglect.

“We have reconstituted the Judicial Service Commission and renovation of judges quarters has begun; we have also ensured payment of salaries of judges as and when due and provided official guards for them,” he said.

The governor also disclosed that of the 33 Judges recommended for appointment across the federation by the National Judicial Council (NJC),  nine judges, were approved for Imo.

“The NJC approved nine Judges for Imo State which is the highest, trailed by Rivers State which got approval for 4 Judges.

“This is a testimony of our unwavering resolve to entrenching the tenets of rule of law in our state which can be achieved with an efficient and formidable judiciary,” he said.

The governor also stated that the appointment of Magistrates, Inspectors of Court, Bailiffs and other judicial staff upon his assumption of office

was done to ensure an effective justice delivery system in the state.

He advised the new judges to discharge their duties fairly and ensured they did justice to all manner of people without fear or favour.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice Paschal Nnadi, said the governor had revitalised the judiciary in the state, which had translated to numerous gains to the judicial system, including expedition of cases.

He expressed gratitude to the governor for rejuvenating the judiciary and pledged that the judiciary in the state would continue to serve justice to all.

Justice Ihuoma Grace Chukwunyere who spoke on behalf of the newly inaugurated judges promised that they would uphold the law at all times.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu


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General news

Gov. Ayade swears in acting Chief Judge, pledges independence of judiciary



Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has sworn in Justice Akon Ikpeme as the acting Chief Judge of the state, Nigeria News Agency reports.

This followed the retirement of the former chief judge, Justice Michael Edem.

Ayade said: “I have full respect for Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which provides for the setting up of the National Judicial Council to safeguard the judiciary from the executive.”

He said that the National Judicial Council was the final authority on matters involving the appointment of the Chief Judge of the state.

“I also recognise the role of the governor as well and the right thing to do at this point is what the state has done by swearing in an acting chief Judge,” Ayade said.

The governor maintained that the beauty of the law is that it is derived from morality, ethics and norms of the people.

Ayade, who was impressed at the acting Chief Judge’s curriculum vitae, said that he had no doubt on her intellectual capacity to drive the judiciary of the state to greater heights.

“Let me congratulate you for this great feat because I know as a woman you have higher ethics and higher morals and I believe that as a mother, all of those qualities will come to bear,” the governor stated.

Responding, Ikpeme thanked God for the opportunity to serve and pledged to work with sincerity during her tenure.

While applauding the governor, Ikpeme charged him to continue to uplift the judiciary for the betterment of the state and residents.

Edited & Vetted By: Bayo Sekoni/Ismail Abdulaziz

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S. Sudan group urges respect for nation’s independence amid political changes in Sudan



Southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement said its independence from Sudan in July 2011 was a choice made by the people and should be respected by the political elite.

Spokesman for the Southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Puok Both Baluang made this known to Sputnik on Monday.

The comment was made against the backdrop of recent developments in neighboring Sudan, as Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok took office in August after being appointed by the Sovereign Council, Sudan’s ruling authority.

On Sept. 12, Hamdok visited South Sudan on his first official visit as the head of the government.

“The secession of South Sudan, or rather its independence from great Sudan in July 2011, resulted in the full will of the Southern Sudan people, their absolute choice through a historic referendum,” Baluang said.

He added that the political elites could only respect the will of the people and their right on the self-determination.

“We highly respect and appreciate the voices, especially from our brothers in the northern part of Sudan, which recently started calling for the reunification of the two states, following the recent political transformations in neighboring Sudan,” the spokesman noted.

He stressed that the countries could achieve the desired economic and political power by strengthening trade relations through partnership agreements.

South Sudan separated from Sudan in 2011 after conducting a referendum.

Despite the generally peaceful separation, there are several disputed territories between the two countries, including the Abyei Area, the Kafia Kingi region, and the town of Heglig. (Sputnik/NAN)

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Ikorodu NBA Chairman harps on independence for judiciary



Mr Bayo Akinlade, Chairman of the Ikorodu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has underscored the need for the independence of the Judiciary to promote a fearless justice system.

Akinlade, who is the convener of the Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (FIACIJ), made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Lagos.

He said the judiciary was not independent in all aspects of its composition and administration, and itemised a workable framework to truly achieve its independent.

“The judiciary is not truly independent in all aspects of its composition and administration.

“And to make the judiciary truly independent, we must put in place a monitoring system to track how and when funds are released to the judiciary.

“There must be regular interaction and compliance protocols by the NBA to ensure that the executive comply with judicial independence.

“There must be strengthening of the relationships between the Bar and the Bench so that the bar is truly seen as the mouth piece of the judiciary,’’ he said.

According to Akinlade, the absence of judicial independence will, among other negative effects, occasion delay in the administration of justice, create judicial compromise and corruption as well as lack of intellectual and infrastructural capacity.

He also said that financial autonomy for the judiciary remained the foundation of its independence, without which there would be no real independence.

The branch NBA boss said: “It is the duty of every citizen to champion the cause of true judicial independence, as we are all stakeholders in justice administration’’.

“A call on NBA is a call on every one of us, whether in the bar, on the bench, in the military, in companies, in the executive arm and legislative arm, in the police, or in the press; we have lawyers everywhere; NBA is you and I.

“We all need to act as lawyers and be our own client for once.

“The judiciary is a part of the NBA and we must appreciate this insight to develop strategies to make it better.’’

He expressed optimism that the goals of independence can be achieved with understanding and determination.

(Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Peter Ejiofor)

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