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Assent to CAMA Act, Result of Harmonious Relationship Between NASS and the Executive- Senate

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President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan.
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The Senate has said that the signing into law of the Companies and Allied Matters (repeal and Re-enactment)Act, 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari was a testimony to the harmonious working relationship between the 9th National Assembly and Executive arm of the government. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Recall that President Buhari on Friday assented to the Companies and Allied Matters (repeal and Re-enactment) Act bill, 2020 into law thereby bringing a 30 years old agitation to create legal framework in line with modern business practice in Nigeria to an end.

The Senate in a press statement issued in Abuja on Saturday 8th August, 2020 by its Spokesman and Public Affairs Committee Chairman, Senator Bashiru Ajibola said the assent of the President was“Cheering news.”

The statement reads in part:
“The Senate today received the cheering news that President Mohammed Buhari (GCFR) has assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Act Bill. By assenting the bill, Mr. President has completed the final stage in the legislative process for the formal enactment of the Act repealing and replacing the 30-year legislation.

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“The assent by Mr. President to this very important piece of legislation has further demonstrated the cordial relationship between the National Assembly and the Presidency, and is also a validation by the President of the efforts of the National Assembly in providing the needed legislative interventions for the resuscitation of the nation’s economy.

“The intendment of the amendment as passed by the Senate and House of Representatives was to strengthen the legal framework for the incorporation of companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, registration of business names together with incorporation of trustees of certain communities, bodies, associations; and incidental matters to address several corporate legal innovations geared towards enhancing ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“It is not in doubt that the provisions of the repealed Act had become very obsolete and therefore could not effectively address challenges being faced by companies and incorporated trustees such as business rescue for insolvent companies and the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.

“It is gratifying to note that the new Act provides for innovating processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Others include the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency.

Also the Senate Spokesman said that the Senate and indeed the 9th National Assembly was not relenting in its avowed efforts to deploy quality legislative inputs to improve the living conditions of Nigerians and cushion the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ajibola stated that the Senate aside from passing the CAMA Act “has demonstrated commitment to legislative interventions to reposition the Nigerian economy, particular to cushion the disruptions occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.

It has recently passed a new Banks and Other Financial Institutions Bill, Railways Bill, Police Bill amongst other legislations waiting concurrence by the House of Representatives and assent by Mr. President.

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He promised Nigerians that “the Senate and indeed the 9th National Assembly will continue in line with its constitutional mandate to make laws for the ‘peace, order and good governance’ of the Federation and accord the executive the necessary legislative cooperation that will promote and sustain the well being and security of the citizenry as well as the prosperity of Nigeria.”

Judiciary

N110bn Palliative to NASS Members: Why Falana Faults the Measure, Calls for Immediate Reversal

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N110bn Palliative to NASS Members: Why SAN Femi Falana Faults the Measure, Calls for Immediate Reversal
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A Prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, yesterday  called attention to the blatant breach of the relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution  while condemning the National Assembly’s decision to allocate N70 billion as palliatives for its members, saying that it is illegal and contemptuous. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The statement that is contained in a press statement issued yesterday, 16th July, 2023 urged the immediate reversal of the controversial measures

Recall that N70 billion was allocated and, disbursed among 306 newly elected members, plus N40 billion set aside for the purchase of bulletproof cars and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for principal officials and members, sparking public outrage. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) emphasized that these decisions blatantly contravene Section 70 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, which outlines the appropriate remuneration and allowances for members of the National Assembly. citing recent court judgments, including Monday Ubani & Anor vs Attorney-General of the Federation & Ors and the case filed by the Socio-economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT against the National Assembly, Falana affirmed that the judiciary had already ruled against such excessive allowances.

The Federal High Court, in both cases, declared that the National Assembly Service Commission has no authority to determine the remuneration and allowances of its members. The court emphasized the need for the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review and adjust salaries and allowances in line with the country’s economic realities. Falana stressed that these judgments remain valid and binding, and the National Assembly’s actions are therefore illegal and contemptuous.

He called on the leadership and members of the National Assembly to reverse the controversial allowances and the purchase of luxury vehicles. In the event that these actions are not promptly rectified, Falana urged the RMAFC to take immediate measures to prevent further usurpation of its constitutional functions. He warned that failure to do so would result in contempt proceedings against the Chairman of the RMAFC and the leaders of both chambers of the National Assembly. “Out of sheer insensitivity coupled with impunity, the members of the National Assembly, regardless of political affiliation, conspired to breach the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 by padding the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2023 to provide the so called palliative of N70 billion for 306 newly elected members.

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While the masses of Nigeria are groaning under the excruciating economic pains unleashed on them by the ruling class, the National Assembly has awarded N228.7 million to each of the newly elected legislators. “As if that is not enough, the members of the National Assembly have earmarked N40 billion to purchase 465 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and bulletproof cars for principal officials and members.

However, the legislators approved the sum of N500 billion for 12 million indigent people in a country where the National Bureau of Statistics has said that “62.9 percent of people (133 million) are multidimensional poor.”

“The callous and insensitive decisions of the members of the National Assembly constitute a flagrant contravention of Section 70 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, which stipulates as follows: ‘A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall receive such salary and other allowances as Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission may determine’,” the statement read in part.

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Making reference to a previous case, Falana said, “In Monday Ubani & Anor. v AttorneyGeneral of the Federation & Ors (Suit No FHC/LA/ CS/690/ 2018), the learned trial Judge, Professor Chuka Obiozor had cause to interpret the above provision of the Constitution when he held that, “The national assembly service commission has no power whatsoever to fix and determine or allocate the remuneration, allowances, salaries, emoluments or monetary values to the members of the national assembly.” His Lordship observed that “Given many years of extreme poverty in the country, and the inability of several state governments to pay salaries of workers and pensions, the refusal or failure of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to review and cut the salaries and allowances of members of the national assembly is a gross violation of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) and the commission’s own Act.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, the learned trial Judge held that, “The allowances of wardrobe, newspapers, kitchen travelling domestic and constituency project allowances of the members of the national assembly are never contemplated or in the intendment of the constitution which created them and specified how they can be remunerated.”

Consequently, the Court ordered the RMAFC to review the salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly to reflect the country’s current economic realities.

“The epochal judgment was adopted by the Federal High Court in the similar case (Suit No FHC/LA/CS/943/2019) filed by the Socioeconomic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT against the National Assembly on the same subject matter and assigned to the same Judge.

“It is pertinent to note that both judgments of the Federal High Court have not been set aside by any higher court. Neither has the execution of the judgments been stayed or varied either by the Federal High Court or the Court of Appeal. Therefore, since the judgments are valid and subsisting, they are binding on all members of the Legislative and Executive Organs of the Federal Government.

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“In view of the foregoing, it is crystal clear that by approving allowances in the form of palliatives for themselves without the approval of the Revenue Allocation Mobilization and Fiscal Commission the members of the National Assembly deliberately acted illegally and contemptuously. As such actions cannot be justified in a democratic society which claims to operate under the rule of law, we are compelled to call on the leaders and members of the National Assembly to reverse the scandalous palliatives and purchase of exotic vehicles.

“However, if the illegal decisions are not reversed, we call on the Revenue Allocation Mobilization and Fiscal Commission to take urgent steps to prevent the National Assembly from further usurping its constitutional functions. Otherwise, we are going to commence contempt proceedings against the Chairman of the RAMFC and the leaders of both Chambers of the National Assembly”., the statement concluded.

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Judiciary

CJN Charges Acting FCT CJ, Others To Be impartial, Fair To All

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad has urged the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf  to be impartial, fair to all, and apply justice and equity in all his undertakings. adsbygoogle || []).push({});
 
Muhammad made the call during the swearing-in of Baba-Yusuf and five Khadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal whose appointments were  earlier approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
 
Baba-Yusuf’s appointment took effect from Aug. 1, 2021 following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
 
The CJN while administering the oath of office said, ”the entire letters and words of the oath you have taken must reside in a prime place of your heart.
 
”Let it be generously applied in the daily management of both human and material resources. 
 
You are expected to conduct your affairs within the ambit of the law and the oath that has just been administered on you.
 
He urged them to rise and operate above every primordial sentiment that might blight their tenures.
 
There is no doubt that you all will definitely be tempted and even intimidated in different ways and guises but you should always remain firm and unshaken because good conscience fears no threat”. 
 
Informavores! gathered that Baba-Yusuf who was born in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi on June 1, 1962 attended the LGEA Primary School Ankpa from 1966 to 1971, from where he proceeded to St Charles College, Ankpa between 1972 to 1976 and did his A levels at School of Basic Studies, Ugbokolo, Benue State from 1977 to 1980.
 
He then proceeded to the University of Lagos in 1980 where he obtained his LLB in 1983 and  moved to the Law School and was called to the Bar 1984.
 
Baba-Yusuf after completing his NYSC in 1985, joined the services of the Judiciary in 1985 as Magistrate Grade II and rose through the ranks to become the Chief Registrar, Kogi State High Court in 1993.
 
He later joined the FCT Judiciary on transfer of service same year and was appointed High Court Judge in 1998 from which position he has just been appointed Acting Chief Judge.
 
Informavores! further gathered that the Khadis are Justices Salisu Garba, Bashir Danmaisule, Muhammad A. Sadis, Lawa Sule and Abdullahi Adam Al-Ilorin.
 
Source: NAN
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Kogi Acting Chief Judge Hails Establishment of Public Defender and Citizens Right Commission

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The Acting Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Henry Olusiyi, has commended Governor Yahaya Bello for the establishment of Office of the Public Defender and Citizens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC), aimed at providing legal service free of charge to indigent citizens. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The chief judge gave the commendation when the Director General of the Commission, Barr. Abdullahi Zakari, led a team of lawyers in an advocacy visit to his office on in Lokoja yesterday.

Olusiyi thanked the governor for establishing the commission saying, ”by this singular action His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello, has proved that he is people’s oriented and friendly governor especially to the downtrodden.

He also eulogised the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Sanni Muhammed SAN, for the initiative and the critical transformation in the sector.

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The chief judge promised by God’s grace to build on the past legacies of his predecessor and also surpass them.

He noted that Zakari’s appointment as the pioneer DG of the commission was putting a round peg in a round hole, noting that he is hardworking, knowledgeable and a committed legal officer.

He, therefore, urged the DG to ensure that he focus and deliver on the core mandate of the commission.

”Anytime you call on us we will make sure that your cases are giving expeditious action and speedy hearing.

”Our doors are widely opened and we will always stand by you to give you the necessary support”, Olusiyi said.

Earlier, the DG of the Commission, Barr. Abdullahi Zakari, said the team were in C.J’s office to introduce the commission to him, intimate him of their programmes, and solicit for his support, cooperation and advise on their activities.

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Zakari noted the State Government had recently posted 12 Lawyers to work in the commission with other supportive staff, aimed at speeding the dispensation of criminal justice act in the state

”Access to justice should be of great concern to every Government; the multipliers effect are delay in justice, prison congestion and increase in crime rate”, he said.

The DG explained that the core mandate of the commission is to provide free legal service to the citizens and residents of Kogi who mIght not be able to afford the service lawyers, and protect the right of every resident of Kogi across the 21 LGAs.

”The commission is also saddled with the responsibility to provide legal representation in court for both civil and criminal matters.

“The commission is independent as it is the creation of the statute and expected operate as such.

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”We solicit for your guidance, prayers and support including the area of integrity, to ensure that the commission lives up to her mandate or objectives.

”What will sustain the commission is the integrity of the staff; your patronage is key to the success of our work”, Zakari said.

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