Update: CJN Absent As Trial Commences.

The trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has commenced without him in attendance.

Justice Onnoghen is facing six charges bordering on failure to declare his assets and operating a domiciliary account, among other charges.

The CJN is represented by a team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN). 47 out of the lawyers are Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

The defence counsel says that an accused does not need to be present before motion to quash the charge is heard. He is also challenging the services of the summons on the CJN, on grounds that in a criminal matter, the accused is to be served personally and not anyone else.

Prosecution counsel says that the a day should be picked at the convenience of the court after which service be done to the accused.

The CCT adjourned to 22nd January for hearing of motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

186,798 PVCs Unclaimed In Bayelsa, Says INEC

Cyril Omorogbe, the Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said 186,798 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have not been claimed in the state.

Omorogbe said this at the press briefing in the state on Sunday, noting that the commission would commence PVC distribution at ward level.

He said: “We have received 295,318 PVCs. Of this, we have distributed 108,520 PVCs with a balance of 186,798 PVCs left. But the commission has commenced the distribution of PVCs at the various registration (ward) headquarters in the state to ameliorate the challenges face by coming to INEC offices in the local government areas to collect their PVCs.”

He urged all “registered voters who have not collected their PVCs, those who did transfers and also cases of defaced and lost PVCs to visit the town halls of their various ward headquarters to collect their PVCs”.

South-East Govs Working for Buhari, Says Kanu

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has stated that intelligence reports gathered by the security arm of his organisation shows that all state governors of the South-east zone were working to return President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming presidential election, THISDAY reports.

Kanu stated this in a broadcast on Radio Biafra network in Israel, and monitored by our correspondent in Awka, Anambra State.

He said: “The fact still remains that what happens in Nigeria is selection not election, if not, why would Dave Umahi in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be campaigning for a murderous All Progressives Congress (APC) government that killed his own people.

“Why would Willie Obiano of Anambra State, a supposed Igbo man, be campaigning so viciously against Peter Obi his mentor and godfather? We know the all-powerful Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is owned and run by Fulani cabal under the direct supervision of Aso Rock which they also own.

“Only INEC announced results are considered valid, so all it takes for a candidate to win is to be in the good books of the Fulani cabal running Nigeria and you are guaranteed success. Those hoping that Atiku will sweep Biafraland because of the Obi factor are misguided because almost every governor in the Southeast is working for Jubril (Buhari).”

Police File Charge Against Melaye, to Present Eight Witnesses

The Nigeria Police Force has filed a charge against Kogi West lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, for alleged illegal weapons possession, The Punch reports.

In the charge, which has been filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the police said a pump-action gun was recovered from Melaye’s house in July last year during a search of his property in Kogi State.

In the charge, marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/07/2019, the police said the offence contravened Section 27 of the Firearms Act.

The police also listed eight persons as witnesses.

The witnesses comprise six policemen and two men who were painting Melaye’s house when the policemen came to search the property.

They were identified as DSP Babagana Bukar, DSP Ibrahim Abalaka, ASP Abdullahi Musa, Inspector Atabo Okpanachi, Inspector Apeh Peter, Theophilus Nuhu, Matthew Anthony and ASP Mohammed Onu.

According to the statements made by all the witnesses and attached to the charge sheet, the gun was found not in the main building but the ‘boys’ quarters’ where cars were parked.

One of the painters, Theophilus Nuhu, wrote, “On July 24, 2018, my master, Peter, brought one Matthew Anthony and myself from Kaduna State to Kogi for painting work in which he took us to one Senator Dino Melaye’s house at Ayetoro, Gbede area of Kogi State.

“While we were doing the painting, policemen, comprising MOPOL, SARS and SCID, came in and met us in the compound and they told me they wanted to conduct a search in the compound and they started to search the compound.

“Within and around the boys’ quarters building, where some cars were parked, under the flower, a gun was observed therewith many bullets but I do not know who put the gun there.”

Many Feared Dead as Truck Rams Into Ekiti Market

Many were killed in an evening accident that occurred at a roadside market in Iworoko Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, TVC News reports.

Reports say a truck coming from Ifaki Ekiti heading towards Ado Ekiti lost control and rammed into the market at about 8pm on Saturday.

According to the sources, efforts by sympathisers and traffic officials to rescue the people trapped under the truck were ongoing.

They added that the same truck crushed a mini-commercial bus with passengers.

TVC News correspondent who visited the scene of the incident Sunday morning, reports that those who lost their lives in the accident have been deposited at a nearby morgue, while those who sustained injuries are receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

Iworoko community is predominantly dominated by Students of the Ekiti State University because of its closeness to the university.

CCT: Non-Declaration of Asset a Mistake, Says CJN Onnoghen

Following the allegations of false asset declaration preferred against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has described his non-declaration of the domiciliary accounts as a mistake, The Nation reports.

In a statement wrote to the CCB investigators on Friday (January 11), Justice Onnoghen also explained that the undeclared foreign currencies found in his Standard Chartered Bank were sourced from his estacodes and medical allowances, including funds from his days in private practice between 1979 and 1989.

He further explained that the withdrawals from his Pound Sterling and Euro accounts were for the school fees and upkeep allowances of his children abroad.

“My Asset Declaration Form No SC N 00014 and SCN 00005 were declared on the same day 14/12/2016 because I forgot to make a declaration of my assets after the expiration of my 2005 declaration in 2009,” the CJN stated.

“Following my appointment as Acting CJN in November 2016, the need to declare my asset anew made me to realise the mistake.

This is the second time a justice of the Supreme Court would be charged with false asset declaration under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The last was Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, who was however discharged and acquitted by the CCT.

South-South Governors Summon Emergency Meeting Over CJN

The South South Governor’s Forum has scheduled an emergency meeting of the Forum for Sunday to discuss the moves to remove the Walter Onnoghen as chief justice of Nigeria, The Cable reports.

In a statement signed by Fidelis Soriwei, the special adviser, media relations to the governor of Bayelsa State, the forum stated that the security òf the Niger Delta, during and after the election, the issue of derivation, and recent development involving the chief justice of the federation would feature for deliberation at the meeting.

Expressing his opinion at the development in the Supreme Court, Dickson said that while he was yet to know the full details surrounding the developments at the Supreme Court concerning the CJN, it is a grave and dangerous escalation, coming a few weeks to the general elections.

He said that the South South Governor’s would address a press conference after the meeting to convey the position of the zone to the Nigerian public.

Dickson said that all efforts must be on deck to prevent the subversion and desecration òf the ethos of democracy in Nigeria as nation moves nearer to the election.

Loyalty of Bauchi People to Buhari, Unequalled, Says Amaechi

The Director General, Buhari/Osinbanjo Campaign Organisation, Mr Rotimi Amechi, on Saturday said the people of Bauchi were very dear to the All Progressives Congress (APC) because of their unflinching loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, News Agency reports.

Amaechi, who is also the Minister of Works and Transport, said this in Bauchi at a political rally organized to receive 18 prominent PDP members in the state who had defected to APC.

He said: “We want to assure you that we will not fail you (if elected); Bauchi is our traditional state; we came to rest,not to campaign.

” I was here in 2015 and saw a mammoth crowd that cannot be counted.”

Amechi called on the people of the state to sustain the relationship and disregard any attempt to make them change their minds on whom to support during the forthcoming elections.

Also in his speech, Sen. Ali Ndume, who is in charge of campaign activities in the North East, had earlier extolled the excellent virtues of President Buhari.

According to him, Buhari has done his best in fulfilling campaign promises, as such deserves to be given additional years to complete the good work started.

“Nigerians are today left with two options of either electing those who have the country at heart, or those who will destroy the country,” he warned.

2019: ‘Imo Victory For Buhari Has Been Signed, Sealed, and Delivered’, Says Rochas Okorocha

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said Buhari’s victory in his state has been signed, sealed, and delivered.

He stated this while speaking at the Women and Youth Rally on Saturday in Owerri, for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He noted that he supported President Buhari in 2015 when no one believed it, and reassured the president of his love and support in the next general elections.

Okorocha said: “This time around, we are not here to tell you to campaign for Buhari. What my wife has done today is to show you that Buhari is on ground in Imo State,

“And by extention, the South East will lift Buhari more than any other son in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because we know what Buhari’s victory will mean for Ndigbo.

“It is for this reason that we therefore urge all of you, the campaigners of Buhari, not to waste your time in Imo State. Imo victory for Buhari has been signed, sealed and delivered.”

He commended the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari for the Women and Youth Campaign Initiative. He described her as “a great woman, a pacesetter”.

Okorocha said the second Niger Bridge has become a reality courtesy of President Muhammadu Buhari, and many other projects in the state.

“You Won’t Be Put In The Other Room”, Atiku Assures Women

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has assured women that they won’t be relegated to the background if he is elected in next month’s general elections, Channels Television reports.

He gave the assurance on Friday, during the National Women’s Conference in Abuja organised by the party with the theme ‘Call To Action’.

He said: “Great Nigerian Women, this is your opportunity. You are not going to be put in the other room, I promise you. You have seen my wives here, they are not in the other room. They are in front, as far as I’m concerned.” Also present at the meeting was the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, and the Senate President, who is also the Director-General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr Bukola Saraki.
Others present were top female officials of the party, wives of party leaders and candidates, as well as other party members.