A Supreme Court judge, Justice Ejembi Eko, has called for the suspension of the immunity of a president or governor who goes against the Electoral Act. Speaking at a workshop for the review of Elections Petition Tribunal in the 2019 General Election held in Abuja, Justice Eko said such suspension would pave the way for prosecution and subsequent punishment if found guilty of breaching electoral laws. Speaking on the theme: ‘Reform of Election Litigation Process: The Constitution, Electoral Act and the Practice Direction’, the apex court justice was of the opinion that the removal of the immunity clause would not only send the right message across to Nigerians but would make public officers have a rethink before violating electoral laws. Justifying why immunity should be waved for public officers, Eko said when the chief executive criminally misappropriates state funds to finance elections corruptly, and that conduct, like treason, also undermines and erodes the constitution. The Judge noted that reforming the electoral process, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in uploading results from the polling units to the final collation, should also simultaneously transmit the results to the political parties and other candidates as well as media houses. He also advocated more power for INEC. According to him, it can include the power to suspend or disqualify the offending political party from further elections in the constituency. The Justice also said more power should be given to the court or election tribunal to penalise the party and its candidate for such misconduct. In the provisions of the constitution, a serving president or governor cannot be prosecuted for any alleged infractions of the country’s law while still in office.
The Presidency has ruled out the possibility of sacking the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his past comments in support of terrorist groups like Taliban and Al-Qaeda. In a statement on Thursday, the Presidency said Pantami’s ordeal in the hands of those calling for his sack was not about his past utterances but about his current job as a minister. Garba Shehu, one of President Buhari’s spokesmen, said that the Presidency aligned itself with the submission of the embattled minister that he was young when he made those statements and that his position had since changed. Shehu said the minister would never repeat such statements since he had condemned them and apologised. Shehu added that the Buhari government was committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) says investment in Nigeria rose to $8.41 billion in the first quarter of 2021 as Balyesa and Delta states emerged as top investment destinations during the period. In its latest report, the council said investment in Q1 2021 is 75 percent more than the value in the same period in 2020 at $4.81 billion and a slight increase of 8.38 percent compared to the investments made in the previous quarter at $7.76 billion. The report said Bayelsa received the largest share of the announcements with $3.6 billion in mining and quarrying. Delta came second with $2.94 billion worth of announcements in seaport construction and power transmission, followed by Akwa Ibom with $1.4 billion announced in mining and quarrying. Lagos came fourth with announcements totalling $0.26 billion in finance, insurance, and manufacturing. The report showed that the leading four destinations accounted for 97 percent of the total investments announced as against 56 percent in the corresponding period last year. By sector, manufacturing received the largest investment accounting for 60 percent ($5.08 billion) followed by construction ($2.90 billion), electricity ($0.26 billion) and agriculture ($0.11 billion). The FG was the largest source of investment in the quarter, accounting for 35 percent ($2.95 billion). Other sources of investments in Nigeria were Morocco ($1.40 billion); United Kingdom ($0.24 billion), and the United States ($0.08 billion). In terms of volume, the NIPC said Nigeria received 15 projects across eight states compared to Q1 2020 with 19 projects across 14 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The death toll from a torrential rainstorm that hit Angola’s capital, Luanda, this week has risen to 24, with more than 2,000 homes flooded, according to officials. The hours-long storm pounded the coastal city on Monday, triggering flash floods that brought down buildings and swept away trees and cars. “The number of deaths has risen from 14 to 24,” Luanda’s provincial government said in a statement late on Wednesday. At least 2,344 homes were flooded and 60 collapsed, it added, according to the AFP news agency. A total of 11,745 people have been affected. Four health centres, four bridges and 14 schools were also submerged. Rubble was scattered along Luanda’s streets on Tuesday as residents took stock of the damage caused the day before, wading through water-drenched patches of land. Several houses had caved-in roofs and broken-down brick walls. At the time, the national agency said the flash floods had displaced some 8,000 people. Heavy downpours are not unusual in Angola during the rainy season. Forty-one people died and more than 300 homes were destroyed by flooding in January last year, affecting more than 2,000 families.