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APGA Petitions NJC over Enugu Judge

Agbaso didn’t obtain S’Court stay order to stop Oye, says legal adviser

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has written a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against an Enugu High Court Judge, Justice A. R. Ozoemenam, who handled a case on the intra-party crisis rocking the party.

In the petition dated July 28, the party sought the intervention of the NJC and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the order of mandamus by Justice Ozoemenam, and if found guilty, should sanction him.
According to a copy,  gathered yesterday from a reliable party source who confirmed that the CJN had written back to the party acknowledging the receipt of the petition, and assured them that action was being taken on the matter.

When contacted to give an update on the issue, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Oye, said the party saw the action of the judge as totally uncalled for and embarrassing to the law.
Oye said: “I was taken aback because I know that mandamus order should come based on an earlier order that has been brazenly flouted. That is when the mandamus order is issued to compel the authorities to ensure that the judgement is implemented. But in this case, there was no previous order or judgement.

So from where did he get the judgment? Therefore, we thought that the order was fraudulently obtained because those involved did everything to make it impossible for us to get the order vacated.”
Oye explained that he was abroad when the news came that an Enugu High Court headed by Justice Ozoemenam issued an order of mandamus against him in favour of Martin Agbaso.

He accused Agabso of colluding with the judge to frustrate the efforts of the party to get the order vacated, adding that what was brought before the High Court was an application for a judicial review that would have led to the issuance of order of mandamus.
“I was scandalised because both of us were not parties to the suit. The suit was instituted by one Mark Alioke against the Inspector General of Police (IG). INEC and Commissioner of Police in Enugu State,” he said.

On why the party has applied to NJC , Oye said: “We are seeking the intervention of the NJC to deal with this corrupt judge and show that he has exhibited incompetence in handling the case
“We believed that what was before the Justice Ozoemenam was a judicial review but the judge went ahead to give an order of mandamus.

“We had to go to the Court of Appeal to be joined as a party in the case and the appeal court in its wisdom had to joined me. The court on August 16, while listening to all arguments from both parties, had its judgment despite move by Agabso and his group to slam a stay of execution to scuttle the Appeal Court judgement.

“I have never seen that kind of thing in my life. Our position is that the man is not qualified to be a judge and should be sacked.”
Meanwhile, the Anambra State legal adviser of APGA, Mr. Sly Ezeokenwa, has dismissed rumours that the Martin Agbaso faction of the party obtained any order of stay of execution stopping Oye as the national chairman of the party.

Ezeokeokenwa insisted that the August 16 Appeal Court verdict which affirmed Oye as the authentic National Chairman of APGA still stands.
The state legal officer who spoke to journalists yesterday, explained that the Supreme Court is on recess and would resume for a new legal year about middle of September and could not have issued any stay of execution to Agbaso and his men.

He added that there was no vacation panel constituted by the Supreme Court, stressing that the court needed to sit to issue such an order.
Osinbajo Tasks ECOWAS Member States on EBID’s Funding Challenges Ndubuisi Francis and Udora Odichimma in Abuja
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, has tasked the member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to do more in addressing the funding challenges of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).

Osinbajo, who spoke at the 15th annual general meeting of the bank’s board of governors in Abuja yesterday, said the ECOWAS nations and the bank can do more especially in mobilising resources for a major West African agricultural fund.
He acknowledged the numerous challenges that the bank has had to face in recent times, arising from lack of adequate resources, adding that these challenges had limited its capacity to function well as a true financial arm of the community.

“Clearly, a well-resourced PDID (Partnerships for Food Industry Development) could play a pivotal role in financing the achievements of the objectives of vision 2020 which envisages a transformation of the ECOWAS states from an ECOWAS of states to ECOWAS of people, in which the people are prosperous, properly governed and has the capacity to access and harness the enormous resources of the community.
“So, clearly it is in our interest as member states to do more to address the funding challenges especially as the bank seeks to innovatively mobilise resources from across the continent and beyond in line with its cooperate objectives.

“We in west Africa and especially the bank can certainly do more especially with mobilising resources for a major West African agricultural fund, with an emphasis at promoting inclusion at jobs, because clearly the fastest way of providing jobs today especially for our population and many of us who are still in the rural areas, is the provision of agriculture, not just subsistence agriculture but smart agriculture that aims to provide real jobs that can make a real impact in the in the lives and livelihoods of our citizens,” he stated.
According to him, the role of the bank today was even more crucial, adding that it was appatent to all why it was so.

“The recent trends in global and economic development have had a significant impact on local and regional economies; the economies of our various countries have faced falling government revenues on account of commodity price slumps, declining economic growth and the challenge of creating jobs on a scale that can cope with our rising population.”

All of these and more have translated into a greater pressure on governments to diversify our resource-dependent economies,” the vice president said.
He told the EBID board of governors that Nigeria would like to see the bank become even more active in supporting investments and infrastructure development adding:” Our government is working hard to attract greater local and foreign investments, and we have put in place the needed reforms required to create an enabling environment for these investments.

“With our robust economic recovery and growth plan and ongoing business environment reforms, we are confident that investing in Nigeria will continue to be a smart business decision and I must say that we do not approach this selfishly. There’s no doubt that a successful Nigerian economy with our population being more than half of the size of the ECOWAS community and by far and now rated the largest economy by GDP in Africa will positively impact the whole of our sub region.

“Nigeria’s economic buoyancy is in a real sense the buoyancy of our sub region. Permit me also to underscore the importance of agriculture in the economic resurgence of West Africa. Today without much effort, agriculture is a significant contributor to the GDP of almost all of our states and so we play to our natural strength as we found agriculture, focusing on improved imports, cutting edge extension services and agro processing,” Osunbajo stated.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has emerged the Chairperson, Board of Governors of the EBID.

Her emergence which occurred at the end of the 15th ordinary meeting of the board of governors of the bank in Abuja yesterday, saw her succeeding Hassoumi Massoudou from the Republic of Niger.
In her acceptance speech, the minister assured that Nigeria would meet all its obligations to the EBID and the sub-regional body.

Earlier at the opening session of the meeting, Adeosun said ECOWAS could promote regional integration and inclusive development in the sub-region proffering some recommendations.
Some of them, the minister said, included putting in place a new development model that promotes inclusive economic growth; radical economic transformation to better the lives of all citizens in the region, and prioritising industrialisation, especially through labour intensive manufacturing to promote job creation for citizens.

Others are conscious emphasis on agriculture to improve food security; boosting the ocean economy in the region and deliberate effort to promote regional integration among member countries.
Adeosun noted that past economic growth in the region was not inclusive and called for a new model that would ensure opportunities are shared and enjoyed by more citizens.
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The minister note d that the ECOWAS’ vision for economic development was facing challenges, adding that the meeting was a veritable opportunity to discuss the various issues and come to a consensus on the way forward.

The minister encouraged her counterparts in the region to endeavour to speak about radical economic transformation of their economies to guarantee better life for all citizens in the region.
The meeting, which was declared open by Osinbajo, was attended by the ministers of finance and members of the board of the bank from Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The EBID is a financial institution established by the 15-member states of the ECOWAS with headquarters in Lome, Togo.

The bank was established to promote private sector and development of the public sector and contribute to the economic development of West Africa through the financing of projects and programmes, particularly those related to transport, energy, telecommunications, industry, poverty alleviation, the environment and natural resources.
It has two funding windows, including the promotion of the private sector and development of the private sector.

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