Tag Archives: #Law

President Buhari Says To NBA, Judicial Reforms Urgently Needed, Recalling Experience With Prolonged Courts Trials

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, is a statement issued today says. When Asks: “Why can’t we have time limits for all cases?

In what is deemed a significant contribution to the ongoing public discourse on the need to urgently reform the administration of justice system in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari’s voice has brought a sharp focus to the matter especially regarding the slow pace of trials in the courts.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, the President entered the discourse on Wednesday at the opening session of the virtual 2020 Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) Annual General Conference themed “Step Forward” which coincides with the body’s 60th anniversary.

Speaking on the theme of the conference which he said translates into “taking responsibility”, President Buhari explained that the situation has become necessary given the current and pre-existing challenges confronting the system.

According to the President, “why can’t we have time limits for all cases? Why can’t we put in place the rules that will say that a criminal trial all the way up to the Supreme Court must end in 12 months, and that a civil trial must not exceed 12-15 months? I think that, for me, will be stepping forward.

“Step forward means taking responsibility. It may also mean making progress, boldly taking on the challenges of the future.”

The President listed a few areas where “I believe we need to step forward and resolve some of the nagging problems of our systems of administration of justice.”

Going personal on the issue of delay in trials, the President referred to his experience at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunals in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2019. He said until recently, court trials had been “terribly slow” and capable of frustrating genuine efforts aimed at promoting general progress of the society.

He said “I am not a lawyer but I have been both a casualty and a beneficiary of the judicial process. I was before the courts for two and a half years- 27 months from 2003 in the now famous case of Buhari and Obasanjo. It took me two and a half years to fight for a four-year Presidential mandate.

“In 2007, I was again in court for 20 months, almost two years, also as petitioner and later then appellant in the case of Buhari and INEC. And in 2011, again as petitioner in the case of CPC and INEC. I spent another 8 months in court. At the end, I lost all three cases. I wondered then why it needed to take so long to arrive at a verdict.

“In 2019, my status improved, I was now no longer petitioner, I became first respondent in the case of Atiku and Buhari and the whole process took barely 6 months.”

Still on the areas requiring reform, President Buhari said “the second issue for me is the multiple and sometimes conflicting orders of courts. Recently, my party, the APC, had an internal crisis. In the six-week period before I chaired the meeting of the party to resolve the issues, there were at least 10 different conflicting rulings of the courts across the country.

“Again I am not a lawyer, but surely these sort of multiple and conflicting rulings of courts sometimes ex parte, really make a mockery of the judicial process.”

Continuing, the President said “third issue is the seeming bias towards technicality over the clear common sense justice of cases. If justice is to be seen to be done, then the outcomes of cases must make sense to the average person and not just to the refined minds of learned persons alone. Justice must make sense to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.”

My fourth issue, the President said, “is on the appointment of judges. I believe that we must continuously improve on the selection processes for appointment of the men and women who serve as judges.”

“First we must cast our nets wider in search of judges, especially at the appellate level. Second we must put in place primarily merit-based selection processes including mandatory tests and interviews for all applicants for judgeships.

“While our Constitution urges Federal character for balance, this is not an excuse for mediocrity. If a particular zone is to produce a judge why can’t we find the best talents in that zone. Our country has excellent men and women everywhere,” the President said.

President noted that “Reform is urgent because the fabric of our society is stitched together by our system of justice and law enforcement. We cannot afford to have the stitches come undone.”

While urging stakeholders in the sector to further leverage technology to enhance the speed of court processes, the President said “digitization of court processes, records and services is very much the new frontier of justice delivery and will dramatically enhance access to justice and affect trial timelines.”

Speaking on his administration’s efforts at addressing security concerns, President Buhari said his government acknowledges the apprehensions of the people, and restated the commitment to address them.

He however noted that “the fight against insecurity and to establish law and order, requires the full cooperation of all especially the various structures for law enforcement and administration of justice at all levels,” referring to how both the Federal Government and the States need to work together on prosecuting criminal cases for instance.

“If like some of us, you listen to the radio, you will often hear ordinary people asking questions about why criminals have not been sent to jail. So for example, they would ask why a suspected murderer has not being prosecuted. Of course the question many will ask is, ‘so, what is Buhari doing about that?’.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad restated the commitment of the judiciary to adapt to changes within and around its environment, citing the adoption of virtual court proceedings as an example.

He said the judiciary under his watch will not condone practices that have, over the years, negatively impacted the image of the justice sector, noting that abuse of court processes, among others would no longer be tolerated.

The week-long event will feature discussions and presentations by distinguished personalities and scholars with a focus on the theme “Step Forward”. He concluded.

Breaking: Kogi State Chief Judge Dies At Covid-19 Isolation Centre

Justice Nasir Ajanah, Chief Judge of Kogi State, Nigeria.

Report from Kogi State confirmed that Justice Nasir Ajanah died at the COVID-19 isolation centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja.

A member of the family confirmed the death, today Sunday 28th June, 2020.

Justice Ajanah’s death came less than two weeks after an aide to Yahaya Bello, the state governor, also died in an Abuja hospital.

Ajanah has died a week after the passing of Ibrahim Shaibu Atadoga, the president of the Kogi customary court of appeal in Kogi state.

Ajanah was born in 1956 to the family of M. J Fari Ajanah in Okene local government area.

He studied law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and was called to the Nigerian bar as a barrister and solicitor of the supreme court.

Ajanah later set up his private firm, Nasiru Ajanah & Co in Okene, where he practised law between 1985 and 1989.

He served in various capacities such as chairman, Kabba disturbance tribunal, Kogi, (1994); chairman, election petitions tribunal in Adamawa state (1998); member of governing council of Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (1999 and 2006) and chairman, panel on Murtala Mohammed international airport fire incident (2000).

Ajanah, whose remains will be buried in Abuja on Sunday, served as chairman, election petitions tribunal in Akwa Ibom state (2007) and chairman, election tribunal petitions in Rivers state (2008).

Bauchi STATE: GOVERNOR Bala Signs An Executive BILL To Harmonise Tax System Into Law

The Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Bauchi State, Mukhtar A. Gidado, after the signing ceremony, in a statement make available to Daily Watch Press, said:

“Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed today signed into law, an executive Bill to harmonize, integrate and consolidate all revenues collectible by ministries, departments, agencies and local governments and other connected purposes in the state.

At the singing ceremony held at the Banquet Hall, Government House Bauchi, the Governor pledged full implementation of the law to ensure tax collections are conducted in viable and durable process.

The Governor explained that, the Bill will strengthen internally generated revenue, accountability and transparency in addition to creating one common basket for tax collections thereby blocking sharp practices in the policy.

He said the state government will come up with a process of legal and legislative reform to promote good governance, IGR collections and ease of doing business.

” I am highly delighted to once again assent to an executive bill recently sent to the State House of Assembly for passage to harmonise our tax system.

“Our process of tax and levies are updated which created opportunity for corruption and mismanagement of resources with no economic value attached over the years.”

“We will leverage under this law to deploy technology and other best practice to ensure our revenue is in compliance with modern tools and world Bank standards to reduce over dependence on federation account.”

Governor Bala Mohammed said with the singing of the bill, his administration will improve on revenue generation for execution of meaningful projects beneficial to the citizens of the state.

” The Executive and Legislature in Bauchi state are connected to make sure they provide development to various communities in the state, and I thanks our lawmakers for their synergy with us.”

Earlier, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y Suleiman said the house has deliberated before the passage of the bill.

The speaker applauded the state government for its partnership with the lawmakers aimed at improving the living standards of the citizenry.

” Your Excellency, we are here today to present you the bill you sent to us, the Honorable House has deliberated on the bill and is ready for assent.

” We commend His Excellency for the cooperation and support to the assembly in performing its constitutional duties, we will always support you as far as you are in right track.” He concluded.

Bill to establish Plateau corporate social responsibility commission Scaled 2nd reading

The Bill to establish Plateau Corporate Social Responsibility Commission (CSRC), sponsored by the Honourable Member Representing Dengi Constituency who doubles as the Deputy Speaker Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Saleh Shehu Yipmong, passed Second Reading. The Bill is co-sponsored by; Hon. Yahaya Mavo from Wase and Hon. Peter Gyendeng from Barkin Ladi.

The Deputy speaker reiterates the importance of Corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the floor of the house as a self-regulating business model that helps a company to be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are creating on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.

Rt Hon. Yipmong says the Bill if successfully passed into law will create a commission that will employ citizens thereby reducing the level of unemployment, but corporate bodies such as companies, small and medium scale enterprises, individuals entrepreneurs, religion and tribal organisation among others on their toes in delivering their corporate social responsibility to the people and the society at large.

After carefully x-raying the mineral potentials of the state and enabling environment for businesses of all kind to thrive, the state deserves to benefit from those heavy weight investors who trooped in to make millions from the hands of citizens. Corporate social responsibility can help forge a strong bond between companies and the society thereby promoting peace and unity of purpose.

What Happened To The Revenues Generated By The Federal Government Ministries, Departments And Agencies In Eye of The Law

Barr. S. G Idress, Principal Partner S. G Idress & Co., (Al-Mufeed Law Firm)

What Happened To The Revenues GENERATED By The Federal Government Ministries, Departments & Agencies In The Eye of The Law – Daily Watch Press

A look at the way and manner under our laws Revenue Generated by the Federal Government of Nigeria is being shared among the three (3) Federating Units; Federal, States and Local Government Areas (LGA’s).

Nigeria is a Federation with three federating units made up of the Federal, State and Local Governments. Federation revenue is therefore owned by the three federating units. Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) defines “REVENUE” as any income or returns accruing to or derived by the Government of the Federation from any source including:

any receipt, however described, arising from the operation of any law;
any return, however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the Government of the Federation;
any return by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the government of the federation in any company or statutory body. Section 162 subsection (1) of the 1999 Constitution, states that “The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “The Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the Personal Income Tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or Department of Government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.

Subsection (3) of the same section further states, “Any amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account shall be distributed among the Federal, States and the Local Government Councils in each State on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly”.

That’s why every month, representatives of the Federal and State Governments hold a Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) Meeting. The committee is chaired by the Minister of Finance. At this meeting, revenue generated in the month is distributed among the three tiers of government, other agencies and special saving fund accounts. Revenue is shared in accordance with the vertical formula, as determined by RMAFC and approved by the National Assembly. The formula allocates 52.68%, 26.72% and 20.60% to the Federal, States and Local Governments respectively. The 52.68% to the Federal Government are paid into the Federation Account; while 26.72% and 20.60% accruing to the States and Local Governments are shared among the constituents by applying factors such as equality, population; land mass, IGR and social development. 13% is deducted as a first line charge and is further shared among the oil producing States.

Therefore, it’s worthy of note that monies generated by the NNPC, FIRS, Nigerian Customs and all revenue generating MDAs or sources of the Federal Government, except those exempted by the Constitution or any other legislations must be shared by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

This is to clear the misconception that many have about the funds of the Federal Government. Hope it provide some impetus for understanding.

Judiciary Autonomy: Gov Senator Okowa Signed Bill Into Law

Judiciary Autonomy: Gov. Senator Okowa Signed Bill Into Law – Daily Watch Press

Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State Governor, has signed the Judiciary Autonomy Bill into law as the State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, commended both the governor and legislature for the speedy process culminating in the signing of the bill.

The Bill which was titled, ‘The Delta State Judiciary Fund Management (Financial Autonomy) Law, 2019’, the law provides for the management of funds accruing to the state judiciary from the consolidated revenue fund of the Delta State.

Section 6 of the Law provides that the Delta State Judiciary shall have the power to manage its Capital and Recurrent Expenditure in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

The commencement clause, shows that, the law comes into force from the 23rd day of January, 2020.

Reacting to the development, the State Chief Judge, described the action of the Governor Okowa as a bold and laudable step towards granting the judiciary the much-desired autonomy despite the challenges that attended the legislative process.

While lauding the Delta State House of Assembly for ensuring the speedy passage of the Bill, he said that autonomy would enhance speedy dispensation of justice in the state, improve work conditions and facilitate development of infrastructure.

Justice Umukoro gave assurance that “the judiciary would live up to its constitutional responsibility and ensure prudent management of funds accruing to it,” saying that with the assent to the bill, Governor Okowa had restated his unalloyed commitment to the growth and development of the Judiciary.

He assured of the fostering of the existing level of cordiality and harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislature and the Judiciary in Delta State.