TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY FRIDAY
1. Tinubu Signs Bill Raising Judges’ Retirement Age Into Law
President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, signed the bill on uniform retirement age for judicial officers into law, two weeks after his assumption of office.
The President signed the bill into law at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, making it the first bill signed by the President.
The constitutional bill seeks to extend the retirement age of High Court Judges and others from 65 to 70 years, while the retirement age of Justices of the Appeal and Supreme Courts is already pegged at 70.
The proposed alteration was entitled ‘Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fifth Altercation) (No.37) Bill, 2023’.
The bill also seeks to ensure uniformity in the pension rights of judicial officers of “superior courts of record” specified in section 6(5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
The courts listed in section 6(5) are the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Federal High Court, High Court of Abuja, High Courts of States, Sharia Court of Appeal, National Industrial Court, and Customary Courts of Appeal, among others.
2. PDP G5 Reveal Reason For Meeting With Tinubu
The defunct aggrieved Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), popularly known as G5, have revealed the reason behind their visit to President Bola Tinubu.
The G5 were in the Presidential Villa, Abuja to meet with the President.
Disclosing the purpose of their visit to the Presidential Villa, the G5 said it was to reinforce their commitment to fairness, justice and equity in the country.
The G5 group is made up of Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde; former Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ifeanyi Ugwuwanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue). They are noted for working against their party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, during the February 25 presidential election.
Speaking after their closed-door meeting with the President, Makinde, who spoke on behalf of the group, said they came to let Tinubu know that they stood with him for fairness.
3. Anambra PDP Chairman Denies Saying Peter Obi Rigged Election
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, Chief Ndubisi Nwobu, has condemned claims that he accused the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of rigging the February 25 presidential election in Anambra.
Nwobu asserts that his statement was distorted to distract public attention.
In a statement delivered via the deputy director of media and publicity of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Committee, Uloka Chibuike, Nwobu insisted that the petition filed by his party at the tribunal was against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), not the Labour Party or Peter Obi.
The statement denounced the fabrication and referred to it as a “deliberate attempt by a few innuendos to discredit and blackmail Chief Nwobu.”
It was affirmed that Nwobu testified on June 7, 2023, as Atiku Abubakar and the PDP’s 11th witness, emphasizing INEC’s failure to comply with its election guidelines for real-time electronic transmission of polling unit results.
The statement further clarified that Nwobu explicitly told the tribunal that the Labour Party had won the presidential election in Anambra, not that Obi had rigged it.
He indicated that the dispute was with INEC and not with the Labour Party.
4. Akeredolu: Ondo Govt Opens Up On Reports Of Governor’s Sickness
The Ondo State government has denied reports claiming Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is incapacitated.
The state government made the clarification in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju.
The statement added that contrary to reports in some quarters, the Ondo State cabinet is not divided and instructions on governance are still coming from Governor Akeredolu.
The Commissioner urged members of the public to disregard reports claiming Akeredolu is incapacitated, adding that such reports are the handiwork of unscrupulous persons trying to mislead unsuspecting members of the public.
5. Gov Mbah Meets Tinubu For Nnamdi Kanu’s Release
Enugu State’s Governor, Peter Mbah, held a private meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Thursday.
The central topic of their discussion was the possible release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Governor Mbah, speaking to reporters after the meeting, shared that he asked President Tinubu to consider releasing Kanu as part of a broader national healing process, which he stated the President had already initiated. He expressed hope that the President would view the request favorably.
In addition, the governor sought the federal government’s assistance in harnessing Enugu State’s abundant mineral resources for the betterment of its people.
6. Democracy Day: FG Declares June 12 Public Holiday
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Monday, June 12, 2023, a public holiday to mark this year’s Democracy Day.
The announcement was stated in a statement released in Abuja on Thursday.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, conveyed the government’s congratulations to all Nigerians on this occasion.
She recognized that Nigeria’s journey to democracy, like many other nations, has experienced both trials and triumphs.
In her message, Akinlade encouraged Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to reflect on the progress made, celebrate the milestones achieved, and anticipate a better future for the country’s democracy.
7. Tinubu Meets Senators-elect, Rep Members-Elect Behind Closed-Door
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday met with Senators-Elect and House Representative members-elect of the 10th National Assembly behind closed-door.
The meeting was held at the Presidential Villa ahead of the June 13th Inauguration of the 10th NASS.
Vice President Kashim Shettima, outgoing Senate President Ahmed Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila were also at the meeting.
Lawmakers-elect from the ruling and opposition parties were present at the meeting.
Some incoming lawmakers at the meeting include Adams Oshiomhole, Ireti Kingibe, Abdulmumin Jibrin, and Godswill Akpabio, among others.
Tinubu is expected to urge the 10th National Assembly to work with his administration. The President may also urge the incoming lawmakers to back the preferred candidates of the All Progressives Congress for leadership positions.
8. I Expected APC To Have Learnt From PDP – Ningi Comments On Zoning Arrangement
Former Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate and senator-elect for Bauchi Central, Abdul Ahmed Ningi, has expressed disappointment in the All Progressive Congress (APC) over its zoning arrangement.
According to him, even though he does not belong to the ruling APC, he expects that the party should have taken cues from his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over impposing leaders on the National Assembly.
The APC leadership zoned the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President seats to Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Jibrin Barau respectively, while member-elect representing Kaduna, Tajudeen Abbas, was picked as Speaker, and the member-elect from South East, Benjamin Kalu, clinched the Deputy Speaker slot.
However, aspirants like Senators Abdulaziz Yari, (Zamfara West); Osita Izunaso (Imo West), and Orji Kalu ( Abia North) vying for the position of the Senate President have insisted that they would not step down for the party’s consensus candidate.
Ningi, who is the Deputy Director General of Yari’s campaign team, however, said it’s rather unfortunate the APC has not taken cues from the PDP concerning the imposition of leaders and consequences.
He said they should allow for the independence of the legislature to prevail in the incoming 10th National Assembly.
9. Presidential Tribunal: Tinubu, APC Try To Stop INEC Staff From Testifying Against Alleged Rigging
President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) expressed strong opposition on Thursday against former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku’s attempt to use ad-hoc staff from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as witnesses in his challenge against Tinubu’s win in the 2023 presidential election.
Atiku, in an effort to prove alleged irregularities during the election, had subpoenaed three INEC ad-hoc workers to share their firsthand experiences from the presidential election held on February 25.
He wanted them to explain how the election results were transmitted.
However, Tinubu, represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, raised objections against the statements given under oath by the witnesses to be presented at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
Tinubu and the APC were discontented because Atiku had not included these statements in his initial petition.
Olanipekun, SAN, referencing multiple legal provisions, contended that since Atiku, as the petitioner, had subpoenaed the witnesses, he should have included their sworn statements in the petition.
Olanipekun appealed to the court to reject the witnesses and dismiss their statements, citing a violation of the Electoral Act 2022.
10. 10th National Assembly To Be Inaugurated Tuesday
The Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Tambawal in an announcement revealed that the 10th National Assembly of Nigeria is set to be inaugurated on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
Senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect are asked to bring copies of their code of conduct clearance, certificates of return, and valid identity cards to the Senate and House of Representatives conference rooms for registration on Monday, June 12, at 10:00 am.
Owing to ongoing renovations in both chambers, each member-elect is permitted to bring only one guest for the ceremony.
Lawmakers elected into the 10th National Assembly are expected to elect their leaders and principal officers on their inauguration day.