The Federal Government declared Wednesday that it would not get involved in the current trial being held by a London court against a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
However, it noted that if “the request is made,” Ekweremadu will not be refused access to the Nigerian Consular’s services in the United Kingdom.
A 21-year-old native of Ebonyi State named David Nwamini has accused the lawmaker, who represents Enugu West in the National Assembly, and his wife, Beatrice, of organ harvesting.
The case was adjourned till October 31 by the court.
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami revealed government’s position on the matter, at the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday.
Malami also spoke on extradition requests, litigations against the government, looted funds, and infrastructure funding deficit facing the Mohammadu Buhari administration.
On the Ekweremadu case, Malami explained that the Nigeria government has the tradition of not interfering in any judicial matter, whether local or international.
His words: “It has never been the tradition of Nigerian government to interfere on anything judicial, local or international. And that stands the position of the government.
“ I have stated in the course of my presentation, that there has been in existence of mutual legal assistance requests and collaboration between Nigeria and other countries across the world.
“So, to this end, I want to state that we will address the request if that is such a request, both on the part of Senator Ekweremadu.
“What I’m trying to state in essence is, we have mutual legal assistance, understanding with the U.K, and whichever of the agencies, either the Senator as an accused or suspect, or indeed the agencies in the UK, make any request for international support we will respond accordingly.
“But as far as interest as to the Federal government is concerned, it is not a matter over which we can develop any interest. Perhaps maybe, if there are interests, there are interests that should be rooted in law. For example, relating to the child in contention, you know, we have Child Rights law, among others.
“ If there is an allegation of breach, we may possibly consider looking at it from that perspective.
”In case of consular services there is need for Senator Ekweremadu to be accorded one, in view of the fact that he is Nigerian, and the request is made, we’ll look at it on its merits. So, what I’m saying, in essence, is not about meddlesome interloper, or perhaps maybe just coming into a scene relating to issues that border on crime. “
Malami also explained that his ministry successfully processed over 350 Mutual Legal Assistance and 50 extradition requests, including that of DCP Abba Kyari from the United States.
“My office filed extradition proceedings against the suspended DCP Abba Kyari in line with an MLA request from the USA”, he said.
He added that the Buhari administration inherited 648 litigations from its predecessor and incurred zero judgment debt against it in the past seven years
His words: “ Before this government came into power, a lot of judgment debts were incurred, including the Paris Club that constitutes a contentious subject in the system.
“But one thing I can clearly say ever since the coming of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, not a single major high-profile judgment was entered against the federal government.
“ All the judgment debts in contention that we are battling to defend were indeed inherited judgment against in the interests of the Federal Government incurred by the previous administration.”
He also said the government, which recovered N3.2 billion looted funds in the past 14 months, was grappling with N329 billion infrastructure funding gap.
“As it stands today, there exists a funding gap of around N329bn, and the Office of the Attorney General through these local, international and associated corporate recoveries on stamp duties, is making drastic efforts to assist the federal government,” he added.
Police Arrests Suspects And Recover Weapons After Rampage In Osun
The Osun State Police Command on Monday disclosed that it has arrested ten persons in connection with the disruption of law and order in Osogbo while trying to take control of motor parks.
Fidel Info reports that Hoodlums, earlier in the day, were on a rampage across Osogbo, Osun state capital shooting sporadically into the air and attacking members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, across major parks in the town.
However, the police, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, SP Yemisi Opalola, said the security outfit arrested ten suspects and recovered various weapons.
The statement reads partly, “This is to inform the general public that the Osun State Police Command is aware and frowns at the crises that erupted within the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state.”
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Faleye Olaleye, swiftly charged the Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers, and Tactical Commanders to ensure the situation is brought under control and arrest culprits.”
“Consequently, the Police operatives tactical operation led to the arrest of Ten (10) Suspects and recovery of One (1) Barretta pistol, Two (2) Pump Action, Two (2) Barrel guns, Nine (9) live and Four (4) expended cartridges, Five (5) cutlasses and charms.”
“The Commissioner of Police wishes to assure the general public that the Police Command is fully on top of the situation as Mobile/Conventional/Tactical/Patrol teams have been deployed to curtail the crises and advice members of the public to go about their lawful businesses/work without fear of insecurity or attacks.”
“He, therefore, sternly warned that anyone found culpable in these unwarranted violence/attacks will face the full wrath of the law.”
Nigeria Has Enough Food To Feed All Residents – FG
The nation has enough food to feed every resident, according to Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Fidel Info reports that this was disclosed by Abubakar during his presentation at the fifth meeting of the “PMB Administration Scorecard 2015-2023 Series,” which took place on Monday at Radio House in Abuja.
The Minister attributed the country’s soaring food prices to both inflation and the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, which led many nations, including Nigeria, to halt vital economic activity for months.
According to him, the ministry is building 10 large-scale integrated rice mills with a daily capacity of 320 metric tonnes in Jigawa, Kano, Adamawa, Niger, Kaduna, Gombe, Ekiti, Ogun, Bayelsa, and the Federal Capital Territory, in addition to assisting in the production and distribution of breeder, foundation, and certified rice seeds for farmers, all of which are intended to increase the nation’s food supply.
He added that the number of fertilizer factories has expanded from eight to 200 as a result of the presidential fertilizer initiative, which was started in 2016 and increased production from 300,000 metric tonnes to seven million metric tonnes.
He said, “We have enough food to take care of Nigerians. We are producing food across the country and we will continue to do so to feed Nigerians in line with our mandate and expedite the transformation of the rural communities of Nigeria.
“As it is today, many parts of the world, including our own country are yet to fully recover from the negative effects of the pandemic, which has triggered inflation and high food costs across the world.”
“The fact that some categories of food are imported by Nigeria is not an indication that we have food shortages. The high cost of food that we experience in the country is a result of rising inflation, which is not peculiar to Nigeria but due to the Covid-19 pandemic that forced many sectors of economic production to be shut down for many months.”
He also noted that the ministry was also constructing two 2000 metric tonnes specialized warehouses for the storage of food commodities at federal government-retained silo complexes in Irrua, Edo State and Ilesha, Osun State.
He said, “In a bid to ensure that the country had enough food to eat, the ministry has procured 79,277.30 metric tonnes of food commodities between 2020 and 2021 to replenish the national strategic reserve that was depleted by Covid-19 release and relief to the Poultry Association of Nigeria in 2021.”
Despite his assurance that the federal government has started taking action to eliminate such confrontations, Abubakar stated that he was unsure whether pastoralists purposely let loose their animals.
He said, “One of the measures to checkmate herders’/farmers’ conflicts is the introduction of the National Livestock Development Programme and the proposal to have ranching and grazing reserves across the country.”
Adeleke Clashes With Osun Assembly On Renaming State
On Monday, the Osun State House of Assembly disapproved of Senator Ademola Adeleke’s move to change the name of the state from “State of Osun” to “Osun State,” who had just been sworn in as governor.
Fidel Info reports that the Assembly stated that no one can use force to change the state’s anthem, crest, or flag because they are enactments of laws that were approved on December 18, 2012.
Adeleke changed the state’s name from “State of Osun” to “Osun State” and its nickname from “The State of the Virtues” to “The State of the Living Spring” during his inauguration on Sunday, November 27, 2022.
Additionally, as of July 7, 2022, Adeleke revoked all appointments made by the outgoing governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.
Additionally, he mandated the freezing of all government bank accounts and stated that all decisions made by the Oyetola-led administration as of July 17 will be reviewed.
The House issued a press release on Monday, November 28, 2022, to refute the governor’s decision. It was written by Moshood Kunle Akande, the chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity. It read, “The State of Osun House of Assembly having reviewed the inaugural speech of the Governor and the activities of the inauguration hereby resolves as follows;
“The usage of the State Anthem, Crest, and Flag is an enactment of the law and as such, its usage is a matter of law and not choice.
“The enactment ‘State of Osun Anthem, Crest and Flag Law, 2012’ assented to on December 18, 2012, contained in Schedule 1, II, III, IV and V, which carefully details every component of this law is not in ambiguity.
“Schedule I is the State Anthem, Schedule II has to do with the State Crest, and Schedule III is the symbolic significance of the elements in the Flag.
“Lastly, while we are aware of a court judgment in effect recognizing ‘Osun State, the Assembly, pending the determination and exhaustion of all legal means would not be drawn into this matter.”
The lawmakers further said that the state will continue to be described as the “State of Osun” and “Ipinle Omulabi” (State of the Virtuous).
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