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Abuja court sends PDP governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom to prison *Judgement obtained behind my back – convict



A dark cloud is hovering around Umo Eno, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state, as the prison doors may open to receive him, on the orders of a Magistrate Court, sitting in Abuja.

It would be the second conviction at that level after Bassey Akpan, the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom State, who was in December last year sentenced to 42 years in prison for corruption by the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, the state capital.

Justice Agatha Okeke, who convicted the candidate, Senator currently representing Akwa Ibom North-East (Uyo) on six counts bordering on money laundering, including graft, ordered that he be taken to the Ikot-Ekpene Custodial Centre, where he would serve the jail term.

Akpan, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on June 24, 2019 on charges of corruption over the receipt of exotic vehicles estimated at over N204m, in May 2010, Akpan, as then the Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State, from one Jide Omokore a BMW X5 (bullet-proof car) worth N50m; in December 2012, and another Infinity QX56 (bullet-proof) worth N45m was also received from the same source..

In the current case, Eno was convicted by Emmanuel Iyanna, Senior Magistrate, “cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property,” in absentia after allegedly failing to appear in court, despite being summonsed to do so.

Indications however is coming that the politician is fighting back, by asking a chief magistrate court in Zone 6, Abuja to set aside the warrant of arrest issued against him, which was also issued by Iyanna after pronouncing the conviction via a complainant in the suit marked CR/94/2022 brought by one Edet Godwin Etim.

In a motion on notice filed before the court on Monday, Eno, through his team of lawyers is praying the court to set aside the warrant of arrest, which he claimed to have discovered through the social media, according to an affidavit in support of the motion.

The affidavit, sworn to by Samuel lkpo, one of the lawyers, said that after he found out about the suit and the warrant of arrest, had to call many of his friends to verify the facts as presented in the social media and it was confirmed, that there is such a case pending at court in Wuse Zone 6.”

Stating that Eno, had never been invited by the police on any matter nor had he ever made any statement to the police in connection with this case, he added that he had also never been served with any court process, adding that he was ready to defend any case brought against him before the court.”

In an affidavit of urgency attached to the suit, the lawyer averred that there was much tension in Akwa lbom state as many social media houses had been interpreting the court orders within their knowledge in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace within the state.

He urged that the motion should be given speedy hearing to ensure that justice is done, adding: “The substance of this application is that the defendant/applicant has never been served with any court process commanding him to attend court in this case. In all court cases services of court process are personal talk less of criminal cases.

“The court has inherent jurisdiction to interfere with its orders which are a nullity. This is one of such situations that the court can intervene with its orders and set them aside.”

He specifically, asked for an order setting aside the warrant of arrest issued against the defendant/Applicant by the court on the 23rd day of December 2022 on the grounds that no court process has ever been served on the Defendant/Applicant to appear in court and answer to any charge. I respectfully urge upon the court to grant our prayers in the interest of justice.”

Though the court has fixed Thursday, January 12 to hear the application, a warrant has been served on the Inspector General of Police via the commissioner of police (legal), to effect Eno’s arrest.

TheCable reports of an acknowledgement copy, it sighted, showing that it was stamped “received” on Monday, January 9.


Speak now! Catholic priests want Kaduna gov’s reaction to El-Rufai’s Islamisation comments



Uba Sani, must either officially distance himself or affirm the declaration of his predecessor Nasir El-Rufai that Muslim-Muslim executive branch leadership, have come to stay or stand up to denounce it immediately.

These were the demands from Catholic priests in parts of the North, who as they expressed disgust at the statement, which showed the former governor captured in a video, which went viral last week, practically celebrating the continuation of an arrangement, which he first introduced in 2019, and which has now been sustained with the new governor having a Muslim deputy.

Clerics from Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria chapters of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), in a public letter to Sani, urged him to declare his position on what they described as political supremacism in Kaduna state and Nigeria, as part of their reactions to the video, which has raised a lot of dust.

El-Rufai, who in his speech to Muslim clerics in the state, had recounted how after instituting an all-Muslim executive in the state himself and made it permanent in the state, the arrangement was pushed through at the national level with the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, as President and Vice President, respectively on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Informing that while Nigerians were actually believed that religion was not the issue in pushing through with the ticket, when it was in fact the case, the former Governor, who spoke in Hausa, declared that the arrangement had come to stay and would last for the next 20 years at the initial stage after Tinubu, adding that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), had been defeated by the outcome.

But an apparently thoroughly upset Catholic priests, in an open letter on Thursday, said: “Having soberly considered the contents and implications of such communication by a former state governor who is known to be your close ally, we feel compelled to write you, to know where you stand with regard to the commotions Mallam El-Rufai intends to propagate and perpetuate in our state,” the letter reads.

“We write you today because we are responsible stakeholders in the affairs of our beloved state with our own congregations and followers. Mr governor, we do not intend to conclude that you are in agreement with all the content of the former governor’s utterances, as you have given no explicit reason to suggest so (yet), even though you were present at the occasion! We therefore earnestly expect your direct official reaction to the utterances of your predecessor in office.”

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Buhari spent more than $19billion on revamping four refineries without result – Nasarawa gov



Barely two weeks after his exit, the records of former President Muhammadu Buhari, have come to to the fore with one of them indicating a damning verdict, as he was said to have sunk a whopping $19billion in trying to rehabilitate the nation’s four refineries, without anything to show for it.

Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nassarawa State, who used the former President abysmal failure to make a case for supporting the removal on petroleum products, compared the huge wastage to the amount Dangote refinery, cost to give Nigeria a facility with the single chain production in the world.

None of Nigeria’s four refineries, located in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri is currently operational despite the huge amount sunk to resuscitate them, most of the funds borrowed from foreign lending agencies, the latest being the securing of $1.5million loan for that of Port Harcourt.

Bemoaning the situation, the governor, said: “Look at how much the President Buhari administration spent on fixing the refineries. In the eight years, he spent more money than the $19 billion that Dangote spent in building a refinery. That is one and a half times the size of our three refineries combined.”

A guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programm of Channels Television on Thursday, Sule, pinned the payments of subsidy on Nigeria’s non-functional refineries, adding: “From the government side, I think we didn’t do a good job. When the (former) President (Buhari) came in in 2015, prices of crude oil dropped by less than 30 dollars. At that time, there was zero subsidy.

“Our three refineries in Nigeria today have a total of 450,000 barrels per day, Dangote is 650,000. He spent $19 billion on building it. We spent, not building a new one, but in maintaining these refineries; more than $19 billion in eight years, yet they have not been maintained.”

The Dangote Refinery, Africa’s biggest oil refinery, which took off in 2017, drew Nigerians and global personalities in different fields of life, including four African Presidents at its commissioning on May 22, 2023 by Buhari.

Sule, who also lamented the complexity of maintaining the refineries due to their diverse components, added: “The refinery is actually a component for water, crude, and diesel, about five or six different components that constitute a refinery. The moment the government says we are going to spend $2 billion this year on the refinery. The $2 billion is spent and as far as the President is concerned, they have given $2 billion.

“Now when it goes to the three refineries that we have in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna. Then they say, you now take $700 million, you now take $800 million – by the time they take that, it goes to fix maybe only one component out of the four components that are all bad. The ideal resolve would have been to allocate the major funds to one of the refining states to fix it totally before allocating the remainder to the other states.

“So, zero work is done. These are the true realities of what is happening, and that is why none of the refineries is working. These are truly the problem, we have not really managed this thing well.”

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Japan goes tough on asylum seekers, enacts new law to check abuse



Despite desperate attempts to block it, including a ruckus, which broke out in parliament Japan went ahead on Friday to enact an immigration law that would see the government deporting failed asylum seekers, even with members of civil society, joining in the pushback.

The law gives refugees only three chances to try after which they would face deportation, unlike before when applicants could stay in Japan during the decision process, regardless of the number of attempts they made to secure refugee status, reports, say.

The revised law will “protect those who must be protected while strictly dealing with people who have violated rules. There are many people who misuse the application system to avoid deportation,” Justice Minister Ken Saito, was quoted as saying, adding that this had persisted even when such people were not fleeing danger or persecution.

Last year, Japan accepted just 202 refugees out of some 12,500 applicants, and separately allowed 1,760 people to remain in the country due to “humanitarian considerations,” including more than 2,400 evacuees from Ukraine under a different framework.

Activists staged rallies against the revised law, but a protest from the opposition bloc in parliament was voted down by the ruling coalition, which holds a commanding majority.

“It is intolerable to deport people, even if they have criminal records, to countries that may violate their human rights” and where “their life and freedom would be in danger”, the Tokyo Bar Association said this week.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party says the revisions will bring better access to medical care and accommodation options for people whose asylum applications are pending.

Japan’s immigration detention conditions have been under scrutiny since the 2021 death of Wishma Sandamali, a 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman.

Sandamali was not an asylum seeker but had been held for overstaying her visa after seeking police protection, reportedly to escape an abusive relationship.

Her family are seeking compensation of more than $1 million from the government over her death.

Sandamali reportedly complained repeatedly of stomach pain and other symptoms, and campaigners allege she received inadequate medical care.

Controversy and political pressure over the incident led ruling lawmakers to drop a push to enact similar legal changes to immigration rules two years ago.

Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer for Sandamali’s family, told AFP on Thursday that the revised bill was “equivalent to having a button to execute those who seek refuge by deporting them”.

“Japan’s refugee recognition system is not working,” he said, with officials turning down applications quickly, sometimes without face-to-face interviews.

Amnesty International also said in March that Japan should scrap the proposed revision to immigration laws, calling the country’s detention policies “harsh” and “repressive.”

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