The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad has reportedly ordered the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to commence disciplinary action against the Upper Area Court Judge who issued Direct Criminal Summons on a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo. The judge, whose name is being withheld, had recently issued the criminal charges against Soludo, who is also the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, over alleged serial abuse of office and breach of Code of Conduct for public officers while in office between 29 May 2004 and 29 May 2009. According to the summons, Soludo was to appear before the court and answer to charges bordering on perjury, corruption and false assets declaration which is completely outside the jurisdiction of the Upper Area Court. Trial on criminal charges on false declaration of assets is exclusively vested in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) but the Upper Area Court Judge assumed jurisdiction contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. Thisday cited an unnamed source as saying that “from all indications, the CJN seems determined to put an end to impunity and misconduct in the Judiciary”. The CJN had met with the Chief Judges of Anambra, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Rivers and the FCT and directed some of them to admonish the judges in their jurisdictions on the danger of granting ex parte injunctions. The Acting Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, who is the Chairman of the FCT Judicial Service Committee, is expected to submit his findings to the CJN within 21 days.
Gunmen have attacked a border community between Taraba and Benue states, killing one person and abducting many. The gunmen who stormed a border community in Benue forced residents to flee to Koffai Ahmadu in Takum Local Government Area for safety on Saturday. In a phone conversation with Channels Television on Saturday, the Chairman of Takum council, Shiban Tikari said that security has been beefed up in the neighbouring communities to avert escalation. He described the incident as an act of cowardice, stressing that efforts are in top gear to cater for the displaced and return them to their ancestral homes. “One person was killed in the attack and I recovered the corpse and many others were also said to have been kidnapped,” Tikari said. “Where the bandits invaded, residents there all ran to Koffai Ahmadu for safety, but they were people from Benue State. People were also alleging that houses were burnt, but I can also confirm to you that no house was set ablaze as I went to the scene. Actually, what really happened is that people are referring to Koffai Ahmadu as the centre for the hostilities, but precisely where it took place is at the border between Taraba and Benue states. We have put security in place to restore normalcy in the border communities especially the operation whirl stroke [whose members] are now camping close to the affected community to avert any further breakdown of law and order.” The council boss added that no arrest had been made by security agencies so far.
The People’s Gazette is reporting that terrorists have overrun a Nigerian military base in Zamfara. This marks a major setback in the campaign to curb violent crimes across the state. According to the Gazette’s sources, the terrorists struck a forward operating base in Mutumji, Dansadau, about 80 kilometres south of the capital Gusau, at about 1030 hours on Saturday. The Gazette’s sources confirmed 12 fatalities, comprising nine Nigerian Air Force officers, two police officers and one soldier. The attackers seized weapons from the dead service members and set other equipment in the facility ablaze. All slain personnel were evacuated to Yerima Bakura Specialist Hospital in Gusau and the three wounded have been receiving treatments at a brigade medical facility. The number of security forces manning the base was not immediately clear, nor was the level of fire that the soldiers returned to prevent the base from being sacked. The base has served as a crucial point operation for logistics and reconnaissance efforts to rout out bandits operating between the eastern flank of Zamfara and western Katsina. Last month, the criminals shot down a Nigerian Air Force jet, forcing the pilot to eject before the fighter went up in flames as it hit the forest.
Tunisia’s President Kais Saied on Saturday indicated he was preparing to change the country’s constitution, but said he would only do so using existing constitutional means, seven weeks after he seized powers in moves his foes called a coup. The comments represented his clearest statement yet about what he intends to do next, having sworn there was “no going back” to the situation in the North African country before his intervention on 25 July. Speaking live on television in a central Tunis boulevard, Saied said he respected the 2014 democratic constitution but that it was not eternal and could be amended. “Amendments must be made within the framework of the constitution,” he told the Sky News Arabia channel and Tunisian state television. One of Saied’s advisers told Reuters on Thursday the president was planning to suspend the constitution and offer an amended version via a referendum, prompting opposition from political parties and the powerful UGTT labour union. Anxiety has been growing, both internally and among Western democracies that have supported Tunisia’s public finances, over Saied’s intentions since his July 25 announcement that he was sacking the prime minister and suspending parliament. The former constitutional law professor justified those moves by citing emergency measures in the constitution that his critics and many legal scholars said did not support his intervention. Though he indefinitely extended the measures after a month, he has yet to appoint a new government or make any clear declaration of his long-term intentions, as Tunisia struggles to confront a rolling economic crisis. Saied also said on Saturday he was close to naming a new government. Ambassadors from the Group of Seven advanced economies this week urged him to quickly do so and return to “a constitutional order, in which an elected parliament plays a significant role.” Saied’s intervention drew widespread support after years of political paralysis, but it has thrust Tunisia into crisis a decade after it threw off autocracy and embraced democracy in the revolution that triggered the Arab Spring. Political leaders have complained about the constitution since it was agreed in 2014, calling for it to be changed to either a more directly presidential, or a more directly parliamentary, system. Article 144 of the constitution says an amendment to the document can only be put to a referendum if it has already been approved by two-thirds of the parliament, an institution Saied last month called “a danger to the state”.