NBET’s staff case assigned to new judge, starts afresh

A suit filed by a staff of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Mallam Sambo Abdullahi before the National Industrial Court, Abuja, challenging the suspension of his salary has been assigned to a new judge.

Abdullahi whose salary, emoluments and other entailments were suspended on 22nd December, 2017, joined NBET, its Director-General, Dr Marilyn Amobi, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, and the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively in the suit.

In the suit marked NICN/ABJ/349/2018, the claimant is praying the court to declare the action as unlawful, illegal, null and void. 

At the last adjourned date, July 15, Justice K.D Damulak, who has been transferred to Akure division of the court, had adjourned it till October16. 

But at the resumed mention of the case on Friday, a new judge, Justice O.O Oyewumi, presided over the matter.

 Addressing the court, counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendants, Barrister Yinka Arasi, informed the court of an appeal before the court of appeal in respect of the ruling of the court of May 8, 2019, which urged all the parties in the suit to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case.

He argued that since an appeal had been entered at the Court of Appeal, the trial court lacked the power to proceed with the case, and asked for the stay of proceedings in the case.

But counsel to the claimant, Barrister Adam Olori-Aje, told the court that the case was ripe for hearing.  

In his ruling, the presiding judge refused the defendant counsel’s stay of proceedings’ application, and ruled that the matter will commence de novo (afresh).

The matter was adjourned till October31 and November 1 for the commencement of trial.

Prepare for 2023, APC tells PDP

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to go and prepare for the 2023 general elections.

APC further advised PDP not to waste its time and resources appealing the recent tribunal judgement.

The call was made recently in Kadunawhile celebrating 100 days in office of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai, a chieftain of the APC in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State

Speaking at the occasion, former House of Representatives member, Hon. Ibrahim Bello Rigachikun said the PDP petitions were thrown out of the tribunal both in Kaduna governorship and the presidential elections because they could not prove their allegations of irregularities.

According to him, “In the court of law, if you don’t have any substance, there is no need to fight. So, the PDP doesn’t have a case, they should just go and start preparing for 2023, instead of wasting their time to appeal the tribunal judgement.

“As far as we are concerned, President Muhammadu Buhari and Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai have been victorious at the polls and even in the court of law, and that is why we are celebrating them today,” he said.

Also speaking, House of Representatives aspirant in the 2015 general elections and convener of the event, Hajia Rabi Salisu said, they chose to celebrate because Governor El-Rufai has in 100 days started fulfilling his campaign promises.

According to her, “we are happy, we have a governor who is ready to help the people of Kaduna state. We are here to celebrate success, we are here to celebrate fulfilled promises, we are here to celebrate victory and also the masses of Kaduna state by giving them an elegant governor in Mal. Nasiru El-Rufai who has just fulfilled all his campaign promises just in 100 days.

“Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s policies are developmental, especially at the grassroots level. If you come to the security issue, the educational issue to the civil service and other sectors, he has performed wonderfully well.

Obaseki seeksautonomy status for judiciary, reiterates support

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has hailed the judicial arm of government in the state for upholding the rule of law and order, noting that he is in full support of the independence of the judiciary.

He said this at the opening ceremony of the 2019/2020 legal year in the state at Court One in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Obaseki, who expressed confidence in the judicial arm of government, stressed that without a strong judicial system, there will be no democracy, which informed his administration’s investment in the judiciary.

The governor called for synergy between the executive and judicial arms of government in driving reforms of the Magistrate Court system, adding that the Magistrate Court is the closest court to the common man to get justice.

On the independence of the judiciary, the governor said he believed strongly in the autonomy of the judiciary and sued for a better budgeting system in the judiciary to ensure that scarce resources are adequately utilized for prioritized needs.

Earlier, Edo State Chief Judge, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, said 20,482 cases were disposed-off in the 2018/2019 legal year, while 15,469 cases were transferred to the new legal year.

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