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Timi Frank Tasks PEPT Justices on Integrity, Truth, Fear of God

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Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Friday, urged the Justices of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) to be guided by integrity, truth and fear of God in the discharge of their crucial national assignment.

Frank in a statement in Abuja reminded the five Justices of the court to be mindful of the great expectation of Nigerians who see them as the last hope in redressing discontent that emanated from obvious manipulation and rigging of the February 25, 2023, Presidential election.

He urged them to painstakingly sift the petitions before them, examine arguments for and against made by petitioners and defendants and unbiased reach a decision based on facts and unassailable truth.

He warned them against resort to legal technicalities in taking their final decisions, saying such an action is capable of completely eroding the confidence reposed in the judiciary by the oppressed and marginalized petitioners whose electoral mandates have been brazenly stolen.

Frank said: “As the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal begins its hearing and determination of suits brought before it, it is noteworthy that the enthusiasm and expectation of Nigerians is at an all-time high, which signifies a renewed hope in the judiciary as an unbiased arbiter.

“The five Justices who have been selected for this arduous task are aware of the magnitude of the assignment before them, and therefore, must ensure that they uphold the high sense of integrity expected of them as Justices of the Court of Appeal.

“The overall consideration and subsequent decision of the tribunal must be seen to reflect the basis for judicial decisions, which are the products of two fixed elements: the facts and the rule of law.

“Therefore all the features of a good judgment are expected to be demonstrated by the Justices in an accurate, succinct, factual and vivid manner.

“The Justices must be reminded that the fate of the nation is currently in their hands, and the least responsibility expected by Nigerians is their unalloyed loyalty to the people and their oaths of allegiance to the Nigerian Constitution.

“They must resist any form of pressure from whomsoever whether within or without. The Justices must display utmost uprightness as Nigeria will be in the spotlight of international stakeholders and citizens eager to follow the proceedings.”

Frank, who is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Ambassador to East Africa and Middle East, insisted that expectations of Nigerians who feel disenfranchised should be the main cause of worry for the Justices.

According to him, “the total disregard by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in adhering to its set procedures and denying same is a shame to say the least, notwithstanding the earlier position of its National Chairman affirming to follow the electoral guidelines.

“It is rather appalling that several months after the conduct of the Presidential elections, we’re still confronted with unuploaded results on the IREV Portal. Therefore utmost importance to details rather than technicality must be the bedrock in determining the conduct of the 2023 General elections.

“The Presidential Tribunal must adhere to strict compliance with the timeframe for the tribunal’s sitting as stipulated in the revised Electoral Act, as so much time has already been expended unnecessarily.

“The call for a speedy judgement before the May 29th 2023 handover date is sacrosanct and must be respected. We want to remind the Honourable Justices to do their own part in delivering a just judgement, while we look up to the Supreme Court for its final ruling.

“We do not expect anything less, otherwise the Nigerian people will hold the Justices liable for any eventuality.

“Furthermore, we urge all friends and stakeholders of the Nigeria project to also lend a voice in ensuring that the judiciary upholds the dignity and integrity expected of them.

“We are hopeful that there is a more sense of reasoning, rather than technicality that will aid in the final determination of the various Appeals.

“Let the Justices also remember as stated in the book of Psalms that they can stand boldly on the truth and have confidence that no matter how big the mountains or the giants are, with God they are surmountable!

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings shall you trust: His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” – Psalm 91:4

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Court Rejects Manu’s Application, Orders Alleged Terrorists’ Negotiator to Remain in DSS Custody

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed an application by alleged terrorists’ negotiator, Mohammed Tukur Mamu, seeking to be relocated from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to Kuje prison in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In a ruling on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo agreed with the prosecution that it would be unwise to grant Mamu’s request in view of the incessant jail breaks being experienced in the country in recent time.

Justice Ekwo noted that Mamu neither contradicted nor disputed – as required by law – the prosecution’s averments in relation to frequent cases of jail break in recent time.

The judge held that as the defendant did not challenge the averments, they are deemed to be true facts, adding that facts admitted need no further proof.

Justice Ekwo subsequently ordered Mamu to remain in DSS custody throughout his trial in the criminal charges against him.

The judge restated his earlier order that the terrorist negotiator be allowed access to his personal physician for medical treatment with the supervisions of the DSS.

Mamu was arraigned before the court on March 21 on a 10-count charge bordering on terrorism related offences, filed by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

He was among others, accused of having relationship with terrorists and involvement in the ransom negotiation for those behind last attack on a Kaduna-bound train and abduction of the passengers.

Mamu is being kept in the custody of the DSS while his trial is ongoing.

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Man Dies Watching Television in Drinking Bar – Police Confirm

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The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the sudden death of a yet to be identified man, who reportedly came to watch television at a beer parlour in the state.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this in a statement on Saturday.

Hundeyin said that the owner of the beer parlour, whose name was not mentioned, reported the case to Elere Police Division on Wednesday at about 7.00 p.m.

He said that the report revealed that a customer (now deceased), whose name and address were yet unknown, in his 50s, came to the beer parlour located along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway at about 6.15 p.m.

The statement quoted the bar owner as saying thatthe customer walked into the open bar to sit and watch television.

The statement read in part:

“He was later observed to be sleeping on the chair and there was an attempt to wake him up, but they discovered that he was lifeless.

“The scene was visited by detectives of the division and the body was seen lifeless on the chair without any mark of violence.

“The body has been removed to Mainland General Hospital Mortuary Yaba, Lagos for autopsy. Efforts to trace his family is in progress.”

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Lagos Govt Warns Schools, Teachers Against Extension Classes, Fee-Paying Tutorials for Students

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The Lagos State government has issued a stern warning to teachers and schools against extending official hours for fee-paying extra lessons.

This directive was announced by the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Tolani Alli-Balogun, during the unveiling of a block of classrooms and furniture at Amuwo Odofin Junior High School complex.

Alli-Balogun emphasized that the extra hour after the official closing time – typically used for paid lessons – ought to be for extracurricular activities. The activities, the commissioner said, include clubs such as the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Boys Scouts, Boys/Girls Brigade, STEM Club, Writing and Debate Club, are essential for the well-rounded development of students.

Expressing his disapproval of the practice where the first lesson of the day is often neglected by teachers, Alli-Balogun warned that any teacher found derelict in their duties would face strict consequences.

“Do your job at the right time between 8.00am and 2.00pm and leave the extra hour for reading or extracurricular activities.

“We will no longer condone using that time for fee-paying extra lessons in our schools. Education is free in Lagos State, and nobody should be charging any fee for anything,” he warned.

The commissioner made these remarks during the inauguration of new classroom facilities and furniture at the Amuwo-Odofin Junior High School Complex, a project sponsored by Grimaldi Group and Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd.

He urged students to fully engage in the various social activities and clubs available to ensure their holistic development.

Alli-Balogun’s stern message underscores the government’s commitment to free education and the importance of extracurricular activities in fostering a balanced educational environment.

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