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Nigerians Have Lost Confidence in Judiciary, Says Muiz Banire

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By Eric Elezuo

A former Commissioner for Special Duties,  Transport, and Environment at various periods in Lagos State, Dr. Muiz Banire, has come hard on the nation’s judiciary, saying that the supposed last hope of the common man has turned to lost hope of the common man in Nigeria.

Dr. Banire his remarks while speaking on Sunday during his weekly leadership discourse on the micro-blogging platform, X (formerly Twitter).

The former Chairman of the Governing Board of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), ho himself is a lawyer, noted that judiciary pronouncements nowadays, are not only sounding amazing, but also amusing, stressing that the third arm of government are no longer on the side of the justice, using recent feelers from the election tribunal judgments as case study.

Banire, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), observed that “Election petition cases are not only polluting our jurisprudence but contaminating our judicial officers,” and also frowned at the fact that the same “election petition cases have succeeded in further deepening the loss of confidence the people have in the judiciary.”

The accomplished lawyer noted that if he had his way, judges will no longer be used in determining the course of electoral justice, and a new way fashioned to address electoral conflicts.

Below is full text of Banire’s remarks:

Distinguished readers, you are welcome to our weekly leadership discourse. We are in the season of election petition appeals and a lot is going on. #LeadershipTalkDaily

Daily we read about one judgment or the other that sounds not only amazing but at times amusing. Judiciary, as reputed, is the last hope of the common man but as Chidi Odinkalu recently put it, it is gradually becoming the lost hope of the common man.

Ranging from the inability to exit the court upon entry, to injustice, compromise, incompetence, the situation is becoming hopeless.

I have, in the last two decades, engaged myself in the advocacy for the independence of the judiciary and the improvement of the welfare of the judges, simply because of my desire and love for the enthronement of justice. Events unfolding are however becoming frustrating.

Election petition cases have succeeded in further deepening the loss of confidence the people have in the judiciary. If I have my way, I will insist that judges no more get involved in election disputes. We need to fashion a new way of addressing electoral conflicts.

Election petition cases are not only polluting our jurisprudence but contaminating our judicial officers.

Except we want to continue pretending, the impression in the public and the perception of the society on the judiciary is substantially negative, simply because the few of them will not do the proper thing.

There is an exercise going that I stumbled on, the analysis and evaluation of the Court of Appeal decisions on the judgment of tribunals, and the revelation coming out in cases of likes for likes is mind boggling.

As a legal practitioner, the contradictions are huge and appalling, to the extent that no innocent mind can give a pass mark to the court.

If the courts must continue to dabble into electoral disputes, I believe at the appellate level, particularly the Court of Appeal, there is need for consensus on the applicable principles of law.

The haphazard decisions we are witnessing currently are worrisome. It suggests lack of uniform approach to the administration of justice, coupled with the engendering non-predictability of the law.

I am worried and depressed. With respect, I see some warped and irrational decisions in some cases and I truly cried for justice. It seems, to a large extent, that because the court is the final court, no meticulous and detailed attention is being paid to justice.

As a lawyer with conscience, I feel bereaved by the outcomes we are seeing. I and the society seem helpless. We are at the verge of taking our concerns to God, the ultimate judge.

I believe the time is overripe for all stakeholders in the justice system to rise and fundamentally and radically do something about what is going on.

We really need to intervene before the dawn, which is the potential uprising that could consume us all. This is the daunting reality we are facing if we continue to be indifferent.

All leaders of the society must heed the call of John Stuart Mill to speak up otherwise our decaying society will soon collapse. My simple admonition.

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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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Declare State of Emergency on Power Sector Now, Barth Nnaji Tells FG

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By Morakinyo Ajibade

Chairman, Geometric Power Limited, and former Minister of Power, Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, has said that only a state of emergency on the power and gas sector will restore the comatose energy and electricity crisis in the nation.

The former Minister, who just commissioned a power station in Aba, Abia State, made this call while speaking as a guest lecturer at the inaugural Dele Momodu Leadership Lecture, held at the Nigerian Institute of International and Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.

According to him, a state of emergency needs to be declared in the gas sector as this declaration will save the power sector and allow the government and other stakeholders to address fundamental issues in the gas sector in a robust manner.

“The issues will include how to strike a healthy balance between producing gas for export and gas for domestic consumption. Gas is equally needed in both markets.

“There is not enough natural gas or even liquefied petroleum gas used in the kitchen. Even the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company, a major foreign exchange earner that also has a guaranteed market, has been operating at 60% capacity on account of insufficient gas supply.

“The petroleum companies supplying gas to power-generating companies are in a tighter position. Because they are performing sub-optimally, there are now longer periods of electricity blackouts throughout the country. This is despite the spirited efforts of the NNPCL, the Ministry of Power and the Presidency,” he said.

The event, which attracted the who’s who in the nation’s political and economic climate, was held to mark the 64th birthday of Aare Dele Momodu, a veteran and seasoned journalist, who has dedicated most of his life time in the pursuit of equity and food governance in Nigeria.

Among dignitaries that graced the all important gathering were the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. John Dramani Mahama; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke; former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; traditional rulers, captains of industries, and the general public.

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