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BREAKING: In Secret Memo, AGF Malami Asks Buhari To Suspend Nigerian Constitution, Declare Martial Law – Exclusive

In the eight-page memo of May 4, 2021, Mr Malami argued that insecurity across Nigeria has reached a level that could no longer be checked by existing democratic techniques.
President Muhammadu Buhari is in the process of declaring a state of emergency across the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This is based on a secret memo and official accounts, as the administration scrambles to waggle its way out of acute insecurity and the encumbrances of constitutional provisions.
According to Tnc24 source, Attorney-General Abubakar Malami has already written lengthy legal advice to the Nigerian president, urging him to move swiftly to suspend the fundamental rights of all Nigerians as guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution.

In the eight-page secret memo dated May 4, 2021, Mr Malami told Mr Buhari that insecurity across Nigeria has reached a level that could no longer be checked by existing democratic techniques, saying only a state of emergency promulgated by the president can help return the country to tranquillity.
President Muhammadu Buhari and AGF Abubakar Malami
“The essence of declaration is to allow for suspension of constitutional and legal bureaucratic bottlenecks pertaining to matters of National Security with particular regards to fundamental rights guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and processes and procedures relating to procurements, among others,” the attorney-general said.
Mr Malami said the president should issue instruments of emergency and publish them in the federal gazette. Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila will be informed about the decision ahead of implementation, he added.

“To douse probable legal tension, it is important for the proclamation instrument of the statement of emergency to expressly provide for the suspension of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and its attendant enforcement rules,” Mr Malami wrote. “The suspension of rights pertaining to matters of national security will then give legal backing for the proclamation of the statement of emergency to be operational and effective without litigious or judicial distractions.”
In the early pages of the document, Mr Malami cited widespread acts of insecurity and blamed prominent separatist agitators like Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu for fueling the protracted crisis that has enveloped the country and aggravated the social and economic conditions of Nigerians.

The memo was endorsed to the president by National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and administration officials are divided on how to proceed with the advice.
“Clearly, different factions of our government have different positions on this alarming proposal,” a presidency official told The Gazette. “But everyone agrees that the AGF holds powerful sway over the president and it would be a miracle if the Constitution is not suspended as he recommended.”

Another official also within the presidency, who confirmed hearing about the memo but had not seen it before they were reached by The Gazette, said Mr Buhari might have little resistance considering the potency of Mr Malami’s argument.

“The president is just saying they should act in the best interest of the country,” the official said. “Even as the president, he seemed to have given up on his own ability to get the AGF to back down.”

Constitution suspended.
Multiple constitutional scholars and practitioners who analysed the memo for The Gazette said it was essentially a suspension of the Nigerian Constitution and declaration of martial law since Chapter IV dealt with fundamental human rights absence of which there cannot be a democratic system.

The analysts acknowledged the powers of the president to issue a state of emergency under Section 305 of the Constitution but said the powers are not absolute and do not include outright suspension of Chapter IV. While Section 305 said the president can declare a national emergency to curb criminalities, it did not expressly permit suspension of Chapter IV, which analysts described as the most important section of the Constitution.

The right to life and other crucial rights of modern society will be suspended under Mr Malami’s proposal.
The right to life and other crucial rights of modern society will be suspended under Mr Malami’s proposal.

The attorney-general appeared to lay the groundwork for the controversial plan when he decried on Tuesday that Mr Buhari’s respect for human rights was largely responsible for the administration’s seeming incompetence at tackling widespread carnage and lawlessness.
Under siege

Mr Malami and presidential spokesman Garba Shehu did not return our source The gazette requests for comments about the proposal.

Mr Buhari has been conflicted over widespread chaos that threatens to define his eight-year leadership as a democratically-elected leader. His administration is the fourth since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 following years of military dictatorship.

Whereas he touted his military bona fides as a plus for his fitness for a nation beset by insecurity, the country has seen no changes in security challenges under Mr Buhari. Since 2015, thousands of Nigerians have been killed by armed bandits, killer herdsmen, kidnappers and even security agents. Millions of citizens are already racked by economic hardships which analysts blamed on the administration’s rudderless policies.
In his argument, Mr Malami alerted the president to the dangers of allowing the situation to go on unchecked, saying it would wreak even more devastating chaos compared to the current level of disorder.

But the prevailing state of security in Nigeria can be addressed under the existing constitutional framework, legal analyst Abdul Mahmud told The Gazette on Wednesday evening.

“The AGF’s position is nonsensical,” Mr Mahmud said. “They have their own sinister agenda and are trying to come under suspension of the Constitution to actualise it.”

Mr Mahmud said he was incensed by Mr Malami’s suggestion to the president, saying it was unbefitting of his position as attorney-general.
“If the attorney-general who ought to be the chief protector of our Constitution is suggesting the need to suspend Chapter IV of the Constitution, then it is clearly an attempt to plunge the country into further crisis,” he said.

“There’s no part of the Constitution, including Section 305, that contemplated the suspension of Chapter IV, which essentially is the suspension of the Constitution itself,” the legal expert said.

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Politics

HURIWA describes PIB as fraud, says even bandits control 90% of gold deposits in Zamfara

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has described the Petroleum Industrial Bill, PIB, as a total fraud.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA demanded to know how oil-producing states would get only 3% of their mineral deposits while states like Zamfara enjoy almost 90% of the gold they produce.

Describing the law as an injustice, HURIWA called on oil-producing areas to stand up and speak in one voice to stop the bill from being signed into law.

The organisation also pointed out that most oil wells in the Niger Delta are controlled and dominated by people from parts of the country where there is nothing like oil.

“PIB is a fraud. Total fraud. How would you argue on 3 per cent? What is 3 percent? When Zamfara State enjoys 100 percent of their gold?” HURIWA asked?

“Have we ever benefited from the gold deposit they have in Zamfara State? The bandits who are all over the places in Zamfara are even enjoying almost 90 percent of the mineral deposit they have there.

“So the PIB proposal is not acceptable and I hope those oil-producing areas should stand up and speak as one so that the bill is not signed into law.

“It should become a law in Nigeria because it is an injustice that they want to institutionalise. People have mineral deposits and you are giving them 3 percent? What is 3 percent?

“Who takes the remaining 97 percent? And when you look at the ownership pattern of most of these oil wells, those who control them and dominate in the business are people from areas where you do not have anything that looks like oil. We should correct this injustice once and for all. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, had early on Tuesday, constituted a 6-man conference Committee to deal with differences in the passage of the PIB.

This is following the difference in the bill between the Senate and House of Representatives.

Some members of the Senate had insisted on 3% remittance to the host communities against the recommended 5% as contained in the report which was upheld by the Chamber last Thursday.

But, Governors under the umbrella of the Southern Governors’ Forum, on Monday rejected the PIB passed by the National Assembly.

Also rejecting the 3%, elder statesman and the National leader of the South-South region, Chief Edwin Kiagbo Clark had recently written to the National Assembly, insisting that 10% equity participation be paid into the Host Communities Trust Fund for the development of the Niger Delta region.

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Bill Cosby released from Pennsylvania prison

Bill Cosby released from Pennsylvania prison after sex assault case thrown out
Cosby, 83, was released from SCI Phoenix in Collegeville, Pa., outside Philadelphia, just before 2:30 p.m, state corrections officials told Fox News.

The disgraced actor, once known as “America’s Dad,” had served more than two years of his three-to-10-year sentence after he was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.

The state’s highest court threw out the disgraced actor’s conviction earlier Wednesday after finding that District Attorney Kevin Steele, the prosecutor who brought the case against Cosby, violated a previous prosecutor’s agreement to not charge him, though the deal had apparently never been put in writing.
The split justices wrote in their decision that Cosby had been counting on that agreement when he gave testimony in a civil case filed by Andrea Constand, whose accusations also later formed the basis of the criminal case against Cosby.

The justices also found that testimony from five other women who accused Cosby of assaulting them in the 1980s tainted the trial and that those other accusers should not have been allowed to testify.

The actor best known for “The Cosby Show” maintained his innocence and had previously said he’d serve the full sentence rather than admit any guilt over the encounter with Constand.

Cosby spent his time behind bars at SCI Phoenix, a 3,830-bed, maximum-security state prison that opened in 2018.
In a 2019 interview, Cosby called his cell a “penthouse” and said he was speaking to other inmates as part of a program called Mann Up to help them reform.

“I don’t belong to the Mann Up Association, but it’s a privilege to come in and speak,” he told a reporter at the time. “I never wanted them to lord me up. This is a great privilege.”

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BREAKING: Soludo emerges APGA guber candidate in Anambra

Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has won all the 21 local government areas of Anambra State in the governorship primary election held in Awka on Wednesday by the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the November 6 election.

The election was held by the Chief Victor Oye faction of the party, which also has the support of the only governor of the party, Chief Willie Obiano of Anambra State.

Soludo in the primary election which he contested with four other aspirants, Hon ThankGod Ibe, Hon Okwudili Ezenwankwo and Barr Damian Okolo, scored 740 votes out of the total 792 votes cast in the election.

Soludo’s challengers, Okwudili Ezenwankwo got 41 votes,
ThankGod Ibe 10 votes and Okolo Damian seven votes.

Announcing the result at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre, the Chief returning officer of the party, Mr Olalere, who is the Vice Chairman Southwest of the party said: “By the power conferred on me as the Chief returning officer of the election, I hereby declare Prof Chukwuma Soludo the duly elected candidate of APGA for the November 6 governorship election.”

Speaking immediately after the declaration, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano assured the candidate and member of the party that the party would again win the governorship election in November overwhelmingly as it did in 2017.

I want to commend the national working committee the state working committee for the peaceful conduct. It is exceptional. Just know that the job has just started and we are going to win 21 over 21 local government areas again as we did in 2017,” he said.

Soludo during an acceptance speech thanked the members of the party, while also accepting to be the candidate of the party, promising to unveil his manifesto for the election in August.

five aspirants of the party, Akachukwu Nwankpo, Nonso Okafor, Carter Dike, Chuma Umeoji and Ifeanyi Ozoka, who were disqualified weeks back, boycotted the exercise, giving indication that they may participate in the Jude Okeke faction of the party primary election.

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