The National and State House of Assembly Tribunal sitting in Jos on Thursday upheld the victory of Mr Ignetious Longjan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Feb. 23 polls.
Dismissing the petition of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Tribunal Chairman, Justice J.I. Nwoye, in a unanimous judgment, described the petition filed by Mr Peter Kefas of the PDP candidate, as “lacking in merit” as he could not prove his allegations against Longjan, APC and INEC.
Kefas and PDP had challenged Longjan’s victory for the Plateau South Senatorial Seat at the polls on the allegations that the election was marred with electoral irregularities and in non compliance with the electoral law.
He had pleaded with the tribunal to declare winner of the election or order for fresh election.
But the tribunal declared that Kefas and his party, PDP, couldn’t substantiate their claims before it and therefore their petition has failed woefully.
”The onus of proof lies with he who alleges, in this petition, the petitioners have woefully failed to all the allegations raised in their petition
“Consequently, this tribunal has no excuse not to dismiss the petition for lack of merit. The petition is hereby dismissed, “ Nwoye declared.
Nigeria News Agency reports that Kefas had presented 40 witnesses against the respondents’8 witnesses and had also presented 155 documentary evidences to prove his case but to no avail.
Responding shortly after judgment, Mr Sunday Obende, Counsel to Longjan, commended the tribunal for painstakingly perusing all the evidences and arguments presented before it and to have delivered such a “sound” judgment.
”We wish to commend you (tribunal) for your efforts and even patience with us all through. We wish you success in all your endeavors,” Obende stated.
Mr Sunday Oyawole, Counsel to the petitioners, thanked the tribunal for it’s efforts but that “we will critically look at the judgment for our next line of action.”
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Plateau Govt. releases N700m for SDGs counterpart funding
Mr Dan Manjang, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, disclosed this at the Government House,Jos, at the end of the weekly State Executive council, SEC meeting.
Manjang said that in spite of the state’s dwindling resources and expenses in combating Coronavirus (COVID-19), the State Government was still determined to improve the well being of the people of the state by ensuring it benefitted from all SDG programmes .
He said that the state government had also paid N1 billion out of the N1.5 billion needed to re-acquire the Breweries Agro Research Company (BARC) farms it had promised the people, saying the total payment to reacquire the farm including tax was N1.7 billion.
“BARC farms is going to be engaged in such a way that civil and public servants, pensioners and host communities are going to be given land to cultivate pending when an investment is going to be sorted, instead of leaving it fallow or allowing people to cultivate it illegally,”he said.
The commissioner said the home grown security outfit of the state, Operation Rainbow had been able to harmonise the operations of community security groups in the state , to regulate their activities, saying the gesture would help in implementing community policing in the state.
He said that Lalong had always preached against stigmatisation of the disease that it was not a death sentence.
Manjang said that the State would celebrate Democracy Day on June 12, where the governor would inaugurate many projects across the state.
“The itinerary of the programme to celebrate the day would be forwarded to media houses.”
Also briefing newsmen, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, said the the State currently had 108 confirmed cases of COVID- 19 including five health workers, out of the 1,638 samples it tested.
The commissioner said it had discharged 71 patients and had recorded two deaths, but currently had 34 patients receiving treatment at its four isolation centres, while 98 persons were in its quarantine centers.
NAN reports that SEC also approved the bill for a law to amend the provision of the Plateau Department of Debt Management law office 2007, saying the gesture would enable it to access more funds for developmental projects.
Covid-19: Rotary Club donates food items to 200 widows in Plateau
The District 9125 of Rotary Club International has donated food items to 200 widows and widowers in Plateau to cushion the hardships occasioned by the advent of Coronavirus disease.
The beneficiaries of the gesture were drawn from Zaria Road, Tudun Wada, Kwal and Jebbu Bassa communties of Bassa and Jos North Local Government Areas of the state
Presenting the items seperately to the beneficiaries on Wednesday, Mr Mike Okachi, the Coordinator of the District, said the gesture aimed at supporting widows and widowers in the society.
He said that the gesture came from personal donations of members of the seven rotary clubs existing on the Plateau, which constitute the district.
“We the members of the seven rotary clubs on the Plateau decided to contribute in our little ways to support these widows and widowers in this time of COVID-19.
“This pandemic, no doubt, has devastating effects on the people; particularly the poor, and this informed this gesture.
“We have decided to take from our personal savings to put smiles on the faces of these poor brothers and sisters of ours.
“This is what Rotary is all about; supporting the have nots in our communities. We are not the richest in the society, but we are always moved by compassion to support,” he said.
The coordinator admonished the beneficiaries to share the items donated to them with other members of the community who are facing similar challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items donated include rice, beans, and garri (cassava flakes).
Edited By: Peter Dada (NAN)
Plateau anti-land grabbing, kidnapping bill passes second reading
A bill to provide for anti-land grabbing, kidnapping, cultism, anti-violence and other related matters has passed the second reading at the Plateau House of Assembly.
Mr Philip Dasun (APC, Pankshin North), who presented the bill before the House, said that the bill, which had six parts and 57 clauses, was presented to curtail incessant crises in the state.
“The detailed activities the law seeks to achieve include but not limited to protecting landed properties against violence.
“Dealing with attempts to commit offences and criminal conspiracies as well as prohibition of secret cults.
“The bill is also aimed at dealing with all forms of kidnappings”, Dasun, who is the Deputy Majority Leader, said.
The Speaker, Mr Abok Ayuba, who presided over the plenary, said that two other bills that had to do with anti-land grabbing and kidnapping as presented by some members would be harmonized into one.
Ayuba, after inputs from members, directed that the bill be sent to the Committee on Judiciary for a more detail assessment.
Plateau Chief Judge frees 88 inmates
Plateau Chief Judge, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, has freed 88 inmates serving their jail terms at the various correctional centres in the state.
ASC Martha Banda, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Plateau Comamnd of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NSC) made the disclosure in statement on Wednesday in Jos.
According to her, the CJ’s action was part of his second quarter jail delivery exercise aimed at decongesting the correctional facilities in the state.
“The Chief Judge of Plateau, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, during his second quarter jail delivery, released 88 inmates in the state.
“This is part of effort to decongest correctional facilities in the state.
“All the inmates discharged were those on awaiting trial category with minor offenses,” he said.
Banda said the inmates who benefited from this exercise were grateful and assured that they would turn a new leaf.
Bill to establish Plateau Social Investment Programme passes second reading
A Bill for a law to establish Plateau State Social Investment Programme (PLASSIP) has passed second reading at the State House of Assembly.
Mr Yahaya Mavo (APC, Wase,)who presented the bill to the house, said that the objectives of the document was to alleviate poverty and hunger in the state.
Mavo told the house at plenary on Wednesday that the law when passed, would ensure equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable population.
The lawmaker listed the vulnerable population to include youths, children, women, widows, traders, physically challenged and the aged that may be identified by the programme.
According to him, the PLASSIP will improve the socio-economic condition of the populace at the grassroots by promoting prompt delivery of services geared toward poverty reduction in the state.
“If enacted, PLASSIP will formulate policies and utilise strategies for the effective implementation of the programme aimed at poverty reduction.
“It will also stimulate economic growth as it supports those within the lowest poverty bracket.
“It will ensure human capital development through cash benefits, skills acquisition and empowerment to various categories of poor and vulnerable people.
“It will set up an appropriate amount annually to improve the living conditions of Plateau people as it collaborates with banks to achieve its goal,” he added.
Mr Nanbol Daniel, (PDP, Langtang North Central) in his contribution said that the programme apart from other benefits, would generate the data that might be used during crucial times like the pandemic.
“It will go a long way in identifying the poorest of the poor, those who truly need help,” he said.
The lawmaker added that the programme would complement the Federal Government’s social investment programme with the aim of sustaining it.
The committee,according to Ayuba ,should report back to the House on July 17.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bill was sponsored by the Speaker, Mr Abok Ayuba, Mr Yahaya Mavo and Mr Nanbol Daniel.
Appoint Dongban-Mensem substantive Appeal Court President-Plateau House of Assembly begs Buhari
Members of the Plateau House of Assembly have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Acting President, Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, in a substantive capacity.
Buhari on May 29, extended her acting appointment for another three months.
The Plateau lawmakers during plenary on Tuesday, appealed to the President to appoint her in substantive capacity stating that she eminently qualified to be so appointed.
Mr Philip Dasun (APC, Pankshin North) who moved the motion of urgent public importance, said,”Mr Speaker, it is expected that she would be appointed in substantive capacity after three months in acting capacity.
“We are calling on other authorised bodies to lend their voice to this call,” he said.
Plateau Speaker salutes Rep Wase at 56
The Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, Mr Abok Ayuba, has felicitated with the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Idris Maje Wase, on the occasion of his 56th birthday.
Ayuba, in a birthday message by his Press Secretary, Mr Bulus Atang, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jos, described Wase as a torchbearer and worthy ambassador of Plateau.
The speaker noted that Wase’s style of leadership at the National Assembly had engendered unity and harmony among his colleagues.
“He is a vibrant, compassionate lover of democracy, detribalised and focused leader whose emergence has stabilised the parliament.
“I urge him to remain focused and peoplecentric.
COVID-19: 50 awaiting trial inmates released in Plateau
The Chief Judge of Plateau , Justice Yakubu Dakwak, on Monday discharged 50 awaiting trial inmates who had been in custody at the Jos Correctional Centre over different minor offences.
Dakwak said that the release of the suspects was in line with the decision of the Federal Government to decongest the custodial centres in the country, as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The Chief Judge, however, said that those standing trial over alleged violent offences like murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape did not benefit from the reprieve.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that those discharged committed minor offences such as: theft, breach of trust and inciting public disturbance.
NAN reports that the suspects had been on remand for many months with some spending over a year in jail without going on trial.
The Chief Judge while discharging the suspects, however, said they were discharged of the offences but not acquitted.
“I want to tell all of you that you have been discharged but not acquitted.
“If you go out there and commit another crime, you will come back here and we will reopen this case and still try you for the new one you committed.
“We expect you to be of good behaviour and take this as a chance to turn a new leaf and shun crime,” he said.
Dakwak said that the exercise would continue quarterly in all the correctional centres in the state to help decongest the facilities and also promised to ensure speedy trials for accused persons.
The Controller of Corrections, Plateau Command, Mr Samuel Aguda, said that the Command had 1,441 inmates in the state, with the Jos Custodial Centre alone accounting for 888 inmates out of the number.
Aguda said that there were 652 awaiting trial, 572 convicts and 228 condemned convicts.
He lauded the decongestion initiative stating that it would give room for social and physical distancing in the facilities in view of the rampaging effect of the Coronavirus disease.
The Controller, however, said that the permanent solution to custodial congestion was for stakeholders to look inwards and start the full implementation of the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2018 of Plateau state.
Aguda also appealed to lower court judges to start sentencing minor offenders to community service instead of sending them to custodial sentences.
Plateau NANNM calls off ‘sit-at-home’ protest for members in JUTH Isolation center
The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives(NANNM), Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) chapter, has called off its sit-at-home protest for its members working in its isolation center with effect from May 30.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that JUTH chapter of the union had on May 25 ordered its members to embark on a sit-at-home protest for its members working in its isolation center over what it called negligence of their welfare.
The Chairman of the union , Mrs Mercy Lenka, in an interview with NAN said the call-off followed progress in negotiations with the State Government on the provision of accommodation for the nurses working at the centre.
She said provision of accommodation was critical even if other negotiations would be done later, adding that the protest was necessary as returning home after work was risking the lives of family members of the health workers.
” Seeing this progress report, at least even if not all our demands are met, we are mindful and determined to help the government to tackle the Coronavirus diseaese.
“We decided that we cannot sit at home and say everything should be given for we are human beings and have our profession, humanity and patients at heart,” she said.
“We want to appreciate the Intervention of elders in the health sector especially and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for their input to get a good accommodation for our nurses working in JUTH isolation center.
“We were called this morning to come and inspect the place and we are satisfied with it. We have negotiated and arranged everything on their feeding and transportation and those on duty have returned since afternoon,”she said
According to the NANNM official, it was neccassary for a designated vehicle to convey the nurses working at the centre to reduce contacts and exposure of them to other members of the public.
She expressed delight that the safety of members and their families was now guranteed by the action, saying they were patient on other demands such as hazard allowance and incentives.
She said findings indicated that modalities were being processed for all health workers working in the isolation centres in Plateau for such allowances.
Lenka said arrangements had been made for nurses working at the center to be tested of COVID-19, adding that it was part of the conditions the union gave before the nurses returned to their duty posts.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)
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