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Keyamo to Buhari: You’re wrong! Disobedience of S’Court order, invitation to anarchy

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Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment and spokesman of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC), on Friday, openly faulted President Muhammadu Buhari, for failure to obey the orders of the Supreme Court, directed the halting of the February 10 deadline for the expiration of the legitimacy of certain denominations of the Naira, as legal tender in Nigeria.

Following a legal action by three governors, El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, the apex court had halted the date pegged by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on the authority of the President for the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to cease to be legal tender.

But, the President, in a nationwide broadcast, on Thursday, ordered that only the N200 notes should be recirculated as legal tender while maintaining that the orders should be phased away, and could only be returned to the CBN by those still having them.

But against the backdrop of angst against the President’s speech, in certain quarters, including a statewide broadcast by El-Rufai, insisting that the other currencies remained alive in his state, Keyamo, a cabinet Minister, said the President was wrong.

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A guest on The 2003 Verdict, a special programme on Channels Television, the Minister, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), however, stated that the President, who appointed him, might have taken his the wrong step due to bad advice, adding that the right thing to do was to obey the apex court in totality.

He told his host: “Let me tell you, first of all, my ultimate loyalty lies with my profession. As a member of the Inner Bar, I was first of all a Senior Advocate, before I was headhunted to come and serve in public office. So, my primary loyalty is to my profession. So, at any point in time, because of posterity, I must speak the truth. I must, because the law does not change. It remains forever.

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“I have also vowed, as a member of cabinet and also a Senior Advocate, to uphold and defend the tenets of our constitution at all times. Those are my primary loyalties, to the constitution. So, at any point of time, I’ll express my views. It is only the parliarmentary system that runs collective responsibility. Our presidential system does not run a collective responsibility, where every member of the cabinet is expected to defend every single policy, especially when it did not come to cabinet.

“This decision, was not a cabinet decision. If it were a cabinet decision, I’m bound by cabinet decisions. But it was not a cabinet decision of which I’m part of. So, these two places that I belong to and only two people belong there – those two elite clubs – you know I’m a member of the cabinet and I’m also a member of the Inner Bar – there are only four of us in this country that belongs to these two and I’m bound to defend the tenets of each office.

“My view is that the President acted honestly, without the intention to slight the Supreme Court, but he acted on wrong advice. I did not give the advice. It’s not my responsibility. I don’t know who gave that advice. I want to say this openly, because by tomorrow people would ask me where I stood at this time.

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“So, I think the President did not, because in his speech, he acknowledged that there were certain matters in court. So, he thought he was playing safe by saying, okay, before you decide this matter in court, may I provide some middle-ground – the country is burning, there’s riot everywhere, so let me just provide some succour to the people, whilst acknowledging that the matters were in court. Now, if I were to advise him, would have advised differently. I did not advise him. I don’t know who advised him.

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“I would have advised him to comply strictly with the terms of the orders of the Supreme Court, which is that all the notes should circulate for now. All the notes! All the notes should circulate side by side with the new notes for now. That’s the order of the Supreme Court.

“By the virtue of our constitution, all authorities in Nigeria, must obey orders of the Supreme Court. Anything to the contrary is a descent to anarchy and the day we begin to disobey the orders of the Supreme Court, that is an invitation to other kinds of interventions in our democracy. The judiciary, the Supreme Court is the last bastion to defend of our democracy. So, I’ll not sit here as a member of the Inner Bar and desecrate our Supreme Court.”

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Obi: Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, not now, may take 20-30 years

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Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in the February 25, 2023 election on Monday, raised issues with the controversial Lagos-Calabar coastal highway awarded by the Federal Government to Hitech Construction, at the whopping amount of N13trillion, saying such a gigantic road project was not needed now at a time most of the Federal roads across the country are death-traps.

Obi, former Governor Peter Obi, who broke his silence for the first time over the project, since the news was first broken that the Federal Government had since awarded the contract, while acknowledging its potential benefits, expressed serious concerns about its pricing and raised questions regarding the timing and prioritization in the current Nigerian situation.

The LP boss, who highlighted the pressing issue of numerous uncompleted roads across the country, emphasising their role in economic growth and regional connectivity, maintained that the government should invest such huge resources to deal with the various roads across the country which were in various stages of disrepair, rather than plunging it into one road.

He listed critical roads in various zones, many of which have been under construction for several years due to poor funding and planning to include:

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  1. NORTH-WEST Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road, – Sokoto – Funtua – Zaria Road, Kano – Hadejia Road, Kano – Katsina Road , Zaria – Funtua – Shema – Tsafe – Gusau – Talata – Mafara – Sokoto Road , Kano – Kwanar – Danja – Hadejia Road
  2. NORTH-EAST Kano – Damaturu – Maiduguri Road – Mubi – Maiduguri Road, Nguru – Gashua – Bayamari Road, Gombe – Biu – Numan Road, Dikwa – Marte – Monguno Road, Potiskum – Fika – Bajoga – Gombe – Biu Road, Mayo Belwa – Jada – Ganye – Tongue Road, Tumu – Pindiga – Kashere – Bashar – Wase – Wamba – Nassarawa Road.
  3. NORTH-CENTRAL Abuja – Lokoja – Okene – Auchi – Benin Road, Ilorin – Jebba Road, Kabba – Omuaran Road, Suleja – Minna Road, Makurdi – Gboko – Yandev – Katsina-Ala Road, Buruku Bridge across Katsina River.
  4. SOUTH-WEST Lagos – Badagry Road, Ibadan – Ife – Ilesha – Osogbo Road, Itoikin – Ijebu Ode – Ibadan Road, Ibadan – Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Bokani Junction Road, Abeokuta – Ibadan Road, Ikorodu – Shagamu Road, Ado – Igede – Aramoko – Itawure Road, Ajasse Ipo – Offa – Erinle – Osun State Border Road.
  5. SOUTH-EAST: 9th Mile – Oturkpo -Makurdi Road, Enugu – Port Harcourt Road, Onitsha – Awka — Enugu Road, Onitsha – Owerri – Umuahia Road, Bende – Arochukwu – Ohafia Road, Okigwe – Afikpo Road, Nsukka – Obollo Afor – Ehamafu – Nkalagu Road, Oba – Nnewi – Okija Road.
  6. SOUTH-SOUTH: Benin – Sapele – Warri Road, East – West Road, (Warri – Kaiama – Ahoada – Port Harcourt – Eket – Oron) Yenegoa Road, Junction – Kolo – Otuoke Road, Sapele – Agbor – Ewu Road, Benin – Akure – Ore – Ife Road, Ikot Ekpene – Aba – Owerri Road, Jattau – Fugar – Agenebode Road, Bodo – Bonny Road with Bridge across Opobo Channel, Port Harcourt – Onne Road, Agbor – Sakpoba – Ogharefe Road, Odukpani Junction – Itu – Ikot Ekpene – Umuahia Road.
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With the Federal Ministry of Works allocating a capital budget of N892 billion for 2024, in addition to funding from multilateral loan projects and other sources, Obi questioned the wisdom of embarking on another massive project that may not be completed for the next 20 or 30 years.

He warned against exacerbating the problem of abandoned, incomplete projects that do not contribute to economic growth, urging the prioritisation of existing uncompleted projects, while emphasising the need to allocate resources towards repairing and completing vital infrastructure.

The former governor, who stressed the importance of focusing on the urgent needs of the people and ensuring that investments serve the collective good of the nation, advocated for prioritising the completion and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure over embarking on colossal new projects with uncertain completion timelines, adding that fiscal discipline and strategic prioritisation in addressing the country’s infrastructure challenges, must be paramount to leaders of the country.

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Fubara, Rivers assembly return to trenches! Lawmakers override gov on LG laws

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The seemingly unabating schism between Siminalayi Fubara, Governor and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, assumed another stage on Monday, with the lawmakers deciding to pass the local government Amendment Bill into law without the assent of the state governor,

The Assembly, in apparent defiance of the state High Court’s order directing the status quo on the issue of elongating the tenure of elected local government officials, which formed part of the amendment, went ahead to screen as well as confirm the chairman and other members of the Assembly Service Commission in the spirit of the new law.

Martins Wachukwu, spokesman of Martin Amaewhule, Speaker of the assembly, conveying the development in a statement, said the lawmakers made the decision at its 159th Legislative sitting held at the Assembly Quarters in Port Harcourt, which has since served as their sitting venue since the demolition of the main House of Assembly quarters by Fubara, last year.

Stating that Fubara declined assent to the Local Government (Amendment) Bill initially passed into law on March 13, 2024, by the House, the statement, said the lawmakers were bent on performing their constitutional duties and therefore decided to override the governor’s decision on the matter by a two-thirds majority.

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The statement read: “Determined to perform its Constitutional duties, the Bill was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Major Jack and debated upon by Members. Thereafter, the House in accordance with the provisions of Section 100(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, which empowers the House to override the Governor, where he withholds his assent; the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule put the question, and with a two-thirds majority vote, the House agreed to override the Governor and passed the Bill into Law.”

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In another development, the House screened and confirmed nominees for the position of Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission, including: Sampson Worlu as Chairman, Abinye Blessing Pepple, Blessing Belema Derefaka, Gbaranen Robinson, and Dorcas Amos as Members.

The statement recalled that on March 22, 2024, the House passed the Rivers State Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill into Law, wherein the House donated back to itself the power to appoint the Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission.

The statement added: “On a sad note, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amaewhule, announced the demise of Mr Lucky Amadi, the husband of the honourable Member for Obio/Akpor Constituency II, Hon. Emilia Lucky Amadi, and stated that Members would pay a condolence visit to their colleague.”

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BREAKING: Five days after sacking Ganduje, Kano judge reverses self

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Justice Usman Mallam Na’Abba, of the Kano State High Court, on Monday, reversed himself five days after making an order barring Abdullahi Ganduje National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), from parading himself or performing any official function in that capacity.

In vacating the order made ex-parte, following a plea by Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani Barguma, who claimed to be the Chairman and Secretary of the APC Ganduje Ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of the state, for the suspension of the former Governor of the state from his present job, Na’Abba said he relied on fresh arguments made on the matter.

The fresh applications were brought by Glory Adah, a litigation secretary at the law firm representing the APC boss in a motion ex-parte, accompanied by a 27-paragraph affidavit in support, and a written address dated April 22nd, countering the grounds of his previous orders.

Na’Abba, who adjourned the case to April 30 for the hearing, said: “An order of interim injunction is hereby granted staying the execution of the order of interim injunction contained in the ruling of this court delivered on 17h April 2024 directing parties to maintain status quo ante as at the 15th day of April 2024 in relation to the suspension of the 4th respondent/applicant from the 1st respondent by the Ganduje Ward Executive Committee pending the hearing and determination of the 4th respondent/applicant motion on notice.”

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