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Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention was not to remove Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

He, however, added that Buhari’s action is a fair response on the part of the presidency to the situation.

Onnoghen was suspended last Friday based on a directive by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) before whom he is standing trial over allegations of fraudulent declaration of assets.

In a letter entitled: ‘Reply to Atiku’s State of the Nation’, published by ThisDay newspaper, Tinubu took a swipe at Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over his comments against the president’s action.

Atiku had delivered a State of the Nation address on Monday, in which he referred to Buhari’s action as unconstitutional.

However, the response penned by Tinubu read: “Strange that Atiku would choose to depict the current situation so inaccurately as to stir emotions unduly. He claimed that CJN Onnoghen has been removed.

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“However, this is not so. He has been temporarily suspended. Atiku and his advisors should know and recognise the vast legal difference between -‘suspension’ and ‘removal’.

“Yet you persist in conflating the two in what you say is a pursuit of justice. While true you may be in pursuit of something. It is not justice. If justice was your goal, you would acknowledge that the CJN has only been temporarily suspended not permanently removed. Thus, your recourse to saying that the President violated the constitutional provision regarding the removal of a CJN is inaccurate in that Buhari never intended to remove the CJN.

“What he has done is to have the CJN temporarily get out of his chair so that the serious matters against him can be heard by someone other than himself. Should the charges show themselves to be wrong or unproven, the CJN will be automatically reinstated as the head of the Nigerian judiciary.”

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Speaking further on the inaccuracy of Atiku’s position on the issue, Tinubu added: “Nothing has been taken from the CJN that cannot be restored if the facts warrant such restoration. Thus, President Buhari conditionally suspended the CJN.

“By doing so, this allows for the case to move forward without the CCT or others fearing the CJN might use his position to unduly interfere with proceedings. If the CJN is exonerated, then he will return to his position. If not exonerated, then a more permanent discipline awaits him.

“This is an imminently fair and balanced approach, especially given the fact that the constitution and other laws really do not provide clear and unambiguous guidance on how to proceed in a case whether the CJN is the defendant under this unique fact pattern.

“Atiku and his cohort(s) seek to turn their personal disappointment into a burning national issue. They seek to manufacture a constitutional crisis where none exists. There is no need to quake at the solitary incident of the interim suspension of a justice pending the legal resolution of serious criminal claims against him.

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“If this matter is shorn of the political trappings it has acquired, there is no fairer way to handle the matte.”

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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News

COVID-19: Nigeria Records 290 New Cases, Total Now 46,867

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 290 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, as confirmed cases are now 46,867.

The agency made this known via its verified Twitter handle @NCDCgov on Monday.

“On the 10th of August 2020, 290 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

“Till date, 46867 cases have been confirmed, 33346 cases have been discharged and 950 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The 290 new cases are reported from 16 states- Lagos (82), Plateau (82), Oyo (19), FCT (18), Edo (16), Kaduna (15), Enugu (9), Ogun (9), Kano (8), Kwara (8), Cross River (5), Ondo (5), Rivers (5), Ekiti (4), Imo (3) and Borno (2),” the NCDC said.

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See the breakdown of cases by state below;

Confirmed Cases by State

States Affected No. of Cases (Lab Confirmed) No. of Cases (on admission) No. Discharged No. of Deaths
Lagos 15,957 2,642 13,122 193
FCT 4,485 3,141 1,298 46
Oyo 2,887 1,433 1,423 31
Edo 2,398 177 2,123 98
Rivers 1,944 215 1,676 53
Kano 1,634 272 1,308 54
Kaduna 1,613 221 1,380 12
Delta 1,596 144 1,409 43
Plateau 1,584 900 663 21
Ogun 1,478 209 1,245 24
Ondo 1,289 498 763 28
Enugu 914 395 500 19
Ebonyi 870 51 793 26
Kwara 865 384 460 21
Katsina 746 265 457 24
Borno 690 78 577 35
Abia 644 122 517 5
Gombe 631 48 560 23
Osun 628 274 341 13
Bauchi 577 35 528 14
Imo 479 308 161 10
Benue 409 291 109 9
Nasarawa 370 139 223 8
Bayelsa 346 14 311 21
Jigawa 322 3 308 11
Akwa Ibom 235 30 197 8
Niger 226 49 165 12
Adamawa 185 83 90 12
Ekiti 182 103 77 2
Sokoto 154 138 16
Anambra 142 5 119 18
Kebbi 90 82 8
Zamfara 77 1 71 5
Taraba 75 16 55 4
Cross River 73 23 42 8
Yobe 67 2 57 8
Kogi 5 3 2

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Insecurity: Details of President Buhari meeting with Osinbajo, northeast governors, security chiefs emerge

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, gave strong assurances that security will be restored to Borno State, the Northeast and the nation at large, following the recent adoption of new strategies, and the acquisition of modern military equipment.

Buhari gave the assurance while speaking at the State House in Abuja during a meeting with the five governors from northeast, attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police and the heads of intelligence agencies.

“Things will improve very soon. We are acquiring modern equipment; some are here, some are being cleared, and others still coming. We need patience with acquisition of equipment. You need to train the trainers for their usage ahead of their deployment to the field.

“I have listened to your presentation,” he told the Governors, who spoke through their Chairman and Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, adding, “I assure you, the Northeast Governors, especially that of Borno, that we go to bed and wake up thinking about you, how to secure our country, that is the responsibility of every government.

“Our party campaigned in 2015 on three major objectives, among which is Security. We said the same thing in 2019 and Nigerians believed us. We are doing our best and we will continue to do even better.”

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The President lamented the impact on the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, making scarce resources even scarcer, coupled with its severe impact on the supply chain of military equipment and spare parts.

“Our government is doing its best on the question of equipment and the military know. We have equipment coming from some countries. The acquisition of military wares and spares is not easy, especially if you are not the manufacturer,” he emphasized.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, the Chief of Staff, the National Security Adviser and all the Service Chiefs who spoke in support of the President, assured that things will get better soon.

They made a strong case for strengthening ties among the military, state governments, traditional institutions and all communities and the residents of the region.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai gave an assessment of the current efforts, stressing that Boko Haram terrorists have been flushed out of all the States in the region, leaving Borno State as the last stop.

According to him, “There are no Boko Haram terrorists in neighbouring states. They have been pushed out, and now cornered in Borno State. We are coordinating with civil and traditional authorities, mobilising and reinforcing and all we need is patience. We will not relent.”

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On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, briefed the meeting on the acquisition of military aircraft, stressing that the imminent arrival of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs, known as drones with more than 10 hours of flying time, would strongly reinforce the battlefront.

Briefs were also received on equipment needs of the Police as well as the changing alliances between criminal gangs and terrorist groups in the region from the Intelligence Community.

In their address at the beginning of the meeting, the Northeast Governors noted that the security situation in the region has now greatly improved, compared to the time the President assumed office.

While commending President Buhari for the establishment of the Northeast Development Commission and the take-off of Mambila Dam Power Project, they however, called for attention to the condition of most of their roads.

They also warned of the consequences of a “War Economy” and the need to address the root causes of the insurgency.

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According to the Governors, “A large population in the region, especially in Borno State, have no access to their homes and farmlands,” while calling for efforts to curtail the “increasing trust deficit between the population and the armed forces.”

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