The newspaper review for Tuesday, March 13, leads with President Muhammadu Buhari calling on Nigerians to refrain from escalating the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Benue and other states, among other stories.
Vanguard reports that Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, in Abuja, on Monday, justified its decision to suspend further proceedings on the assets falsification charge the federal government preferred against the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, saying it was taken in the interest of justice and the right to fair hearing.
The CCT, in a statement signed by its head, press and public relations, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, said its decision to adjourn the case sine-die (indefinitely), was anchored on section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
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The Justice Danladi Umar-led two-man panel tribunal said the clarification was necessitated by some reports in the media insinuating that it was the CCT chairman that “outrightly adjourned the case indefinitely without stating the reasons.”
The statement added: “We felt that such reports were not balanced, one-sided, and written in bad faith. However, the tribunal wished to state that the decision was taken in the interest of justice and the right to fair hearing, section 36 of the Constitution and the right to appeal from the decision of a lower court."
The Punch reports that the Senate has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission against being misguided on the extent of the powers of the National Assembly in the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010.
The Senate president, Saraki, while declaring open a public hearing on the bill seeking to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission on Monday, made reference to the controversy generated by the recent amendment to Section 25 of the Electoral Act, which seeks to re-order the sequence of polls during the general elections.
INEC had expressed its intention to challenge the amendment in court but later made a U-turn.
Speaking at the hearing conducted by the Senate’s Joint Committee on INEC; and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Saraki stated that the National Assembly had powers to legislate over the electoral body and other agencies of government.
The Nation reports that Benue state was in no holiday mood yesterday for the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari’s visit was to condole with the people over killings by herdsmen and reassure them that the administration shared in their grief.
The president met with leaders of thought, traditional rulers, stakeholders and government officials at the Peoples House, the Government House, before returning to Abuja.
Family members of some of those killed in the New Year’s Day attacks in which 73 people died staged a peaceful protest in front of the meeting venue. The protesters, numbering about 50, carried placards, lamenting the killings and seeking an end to such savagery. Besides, they sought compensation for the families of the deceased.
The Guardian reports that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has accused the INEC of using “deliberate effort” to disfranchise Igbo in the 2019 general elections.
President-general of the organisation, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who stated this yesterday when the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu state, Emeka Ononamadu, paid him a courtesy visit, alleged that virtually all states in the southeast zone have recorded shortage of registration materials in the ongoing Continuous Voters’ Registration exercise.
Nwodo stated that he had visited many registration centres and had come to the conclusion that the South-East might be disenfranchised in the coming elections.
“I am of the conclusion that INEC has deliberately denied registration materials in order to ensure that we are under-registered. I say this not because I am the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo but I say this as a lawyer who respects evidence,” he said.
This Day reports that in his first visit to Benue state since he assumed office almost three years ago, President Buhari on Monday called on Nigerians to refrain from escalating the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Benue and other states in the country, even as he appealed to Nigerians to continue to be accommodating and live together in peace.
The president also said that he was unaware that the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, whom he mandated to relocate to Benue after the new year day killings of 73 people in Guma and Logo local government areas of the state by suspected herdsmen, had only spent one day in Makurdi, the state capital.
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The president also hinted at a presidential run in 2019, saying he might return to Benue to campaign ahead of the elections next year.
Buhari was on the third leg of his visit to condole with residents in states worst hit by the incessant clashes between farmers and herders of cattle.
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