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Tanko Takes Oath as CJN, Vows to Deepen Fight Against Corruption

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed, Wednesday said that he would use his tenure to assist the executive arm of government do better in the fight against corruption. 

The CJN made the pledge on Wednesday, while speaking to State House Correspondents shortly after he was sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari as substantial CJN at the State House Abuja.

 

Mohammed said that the judiciary would support the government in fighting corruption because they interpret the law “and we come with better interpretation even if there is any case which is pending.

“I tell you that we have been speeding up any case that has to do with allegation of corruption we speed it up so that if somebody is required to go to jail, he will go to jail and that is the end of it.

Mohammed, who took over from the immediate past and retired CJN, Walter Onnoghen, as the 18th CJN was screened and cleared by the Senate last week.

He has been on acting capacity since January, 2019.

No speech was delivered by the President at the ceremony. 

“And we would see that all these transcend down to the lower epoch of the judiciary so that even the Area Courts, Magistrate Courts will see what we do and they would be bound by what we do.”

“And I’m telling you that the judiciary under my watch by God’s grace would be better and the issues of all these kinds of corruption I will ask you people or any other person who knows about it to please let him write to me or let him have contact with me and tell me.

“But remember, the thing that is difficult is when we ask you to substantiate you will be able to substantiate. Don’t just make a hollow allegation that `we have heard….;  we have done…..’. 

“Be sure that you are quite in possession of your facts you will be able to establish when we ask you to establish your allegation and we will deal with it.” he said 

Mohammed said he will like to see Nigerian judiciary as the best judiciary in the world. 

CJN Tanko

He added “But you see, we are still learning – but I’m proud to say that Nigerian judiciary I’m sure is one of the best in Africa.

“Now if you take a look at judicial officers – all of us are fully trained and all of us are almost, at interval, going on courses so that we remind ourselves of the ethics that is binding on us. 

“Therefore we pray that with the cooperation of the citizens of this country, Nigerian judiciary will be a very big judiciary and we hope it will be successful during our tenure.

“Of course, once it was dented, but you see many people don’t know what is really happening – anytime you allow anyone go-between – now there are people who are posing themselves as go-between, that is between a Judge and perhaps somebody who is standing trial. Don’t ever believe in that kind of thing except is told to him in the court, don’t believe in any subterranean way. Wait let them tell you this is the position of the law. 

“This is what is happening. Some people are going round asking for money here and there. I’m sure any Judge or any Justice who is in his real sense can never ask somebody to go and collect money for him because he knows that he is being paid by government for what he does. 

“Anybody who is not satisfied with the job and he wants money the judiciary or judicial line is not a place for money-making.

“Judicial is a line whereby you make a lot of name and you do what the law asks you to do and this is what we have been doing.” he stated 

Also speaking to State House correspondents, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, said he was happy that an indigene of the state was appointed to serve in such an exalted position.

He said “We feel very excited by this very auspicious appointment of our elder brother who has distinguished himself as a jurist, somebody of very high integrity. 

“The whole state where I represent is excited by his appointment and indeed the country because he is going to bring pedigree, professionalism and excellence to the judiciary,” he said.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that everything was set for the nation to move to the next level with the swearing in of a substantive CJN. 

Stressing that there will be checks and balances, he said the three arms of government will also complement each other. 

At the swearing in ceremony were the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

Also at the ceremony that started around 10.30am, included Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.

Others included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita.

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2023 Election:  99 Panels Sat over Petitions – Dongban-Mensem

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By David Torough, Abuja

The 2023 general elections might have come and gone but its memories would continue to linger long in the minds of Nigerians.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, on Monday revealed that 99 panels were set up to sit on election petitions in 2023.

Dongban-Mensem, made this known on Monday in Abuja at the opening of a- two-today workshop to review the 2023 Election Petition Tribunals/Court and Appeals.

The workshop was organised in partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES), Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC).

Others are the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) , the UK international Development and the European Union.

The workshop, she said, was organised to ensure that the country‘s electoral process excels and also to learn from errors made and ways to proceed in the process better.

”The need to review the judicial process that preceded the election 2023 was very important. It was a very difficult task, very challenging at the same time.

”A total of 99 panels were set up with three judges sitting in each of them drawn from high courts.

”That was a huge number of judges taken out of our judicial system and dedicated to the electoral process.

”This workshop is important because we are dedicated and committed to ensuring that our electoral process excels.

”We want to learn from our errors, we want to discuss what we found as wrong with our legislation during this election having tried and applied the provisions.

”We are now in the position to say whether or not those provisions can actually move our electoral process forward” she said.

She expressed appreciation to the justices of the court of appeal, judges of the high courts and customary courts; she also thanked development partners for their commitment.

Similarly, the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in his remarks, commended the judiciary for the stabilising role it plays in the electoral process as a nation.

He noted that the Court of Appeal in particular, plays a more pivotal role in shaping and strengthening the electoral jurisprudence, through the exercise of its constitutional mandate in that regard.

”I would like to note that the vision of this workshop which is targeted at promoting judicial excellence, electoral integrity, and democratic governance, accords with the vision of the current administration in the areas of advancing judicial reforms and good governance.

”I am confident that the array of diverse and esteemed judicial icons, legal minds, electoral experts, and other stakeholders will no doubt satisfactorily dissect the issues arising from the theme of this workshop.

” I therefore look forward to the resolutions of this workshop to provide further guidance for me in my commitment to enhancing the quality of administration of justice and adherence to democratic principles in our country.

”Once again, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the President of the Court of Appeal, IFES and PLAC for the vision, leadership, and dedication to promoting judicial excellence and electoral integrity.

”I also commend all our noble lordships who served either as Chairman or members of the various election petition tribunals/courts, for their hard work and commitment to the course of justice and national development” he said.

The chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola noted that political matters always tend to occupy the front burners of the adjudicatory activities.

He added as all existing electoral laws have placed some time frame within which they must be heard and decided.

”So many things have been thrown up in the course of the various adjudications that took place at the different tribunals and courts that we now have to serve on our workshop table for intense rumination and digestion, as it were.

”This workshop is no doubt coming at the most auspicious time. It will, undoubtedly offer us the rare opportunity to review those things that we may have done at our various levels which may not have been done with the best of intention and professionalism.

” Like they always say, it is better late than never. Every given opportunity in life offers us a free ticket to do something novel and more impactful, especially misapplication of discretion.

On his part, executive director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre Clement Nwankwo, said the outcome of the judgments was preserved by the citizens’ matters.

He noted that when the election umpire fails the judiciary should stand to correct.

” Review of the past election is very important, review is meant to make us know how to move next time.

”As judges, I know you are guided by the law, the perception and interpretation make the judiciary more prominent.

”You should be able to look at what was done, the judgments given and the decisions taken to ensure that it will be seen as justice,” he said.

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Mutfwang Declares War against Land Invaders in Plateau

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From Jude Dangwam, Jos

The Governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang has declared that the state would not surrender any of its land to any violent body or group.

Mufwang reiterated his commitment in providing adequate securities to farmers across troubled communities in order to boost food production in the state.

He said this while addressing Berom Nation at the 2024 Nzem Berom Cultural Festival held at the famous Rwang Pam Township Stadium at the weekend in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

Mufwang said the State plays a key role in contributing to national food security and as such machineries have since been put in place to safeguard farmers in this year’s farming season.

“Plateau people are not beggars; if nobody supports us, we don’t ourselves. This resilience kept us together over the years despite the attacks.

“And that is why today; the contribution of the people of Plateau State to the national food basket cannot be underestimated. If not for food that comes from Plateau State, Nigeria will go hungry.

“In the coming days, we will stand shoulder to shoulder to resist those who seek to decimate us, we will stand shoulder to shoulder to protect the land that God has given us for inheritance. Though the giants may be on our way to hinder but God will give us victory, God will be with us as He has always over the years,” he stated

He added, “this year, we are making arrangements to beef up the security around our farmlands, I therefore urged you to go back to the farm, we will not surrender the farmlands to anyone.

“We are trusting God that security will begin to move round and make sure that our people go to the farm and return safely. By the grace of God, we will continue to work with the security agencies on ground and make sure they do their jobs better and better.” He noted

He commended the Berom Nation for their doggedness and determination to add value to their society with the launching and fund raising for the building of a training hub to complement government efforts as a people.

The Governor further appealed to citizens of the state who have gotten fertilizer not to resale them but make good use of the fertilizers on their farms, adding that the state is expecting a little more from the federal government and only verified farmers will have access to them.

Mutfwang promised to redeem the pledges made four years ago to the Berom Nation by the last administration of Simon Lalong at the turn of N25mn.

He equally announced his personal support to the “Wurom Legacy Trust Fund” to support the training of 75 young women, and 75 young men at the Hub respectively.

The President of the Plateau State Council of Chiefs and the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba appealed for adequate protection of his people as they returned back to their ancestral land to cultivate which were earlier displaced from.

“Our people have gone back to their lands to continue the age-old traditions of farming. We will appeal that the security works with the government of Plateau state to ensure protection for the people so that we can produce the food that we will need to sustain our lives, not only in Plateau state, but in Nigeria as a whole,” he stated

The Royal father lamented that prices of food have been so disturbing because the demand has kept rising on a daily basis with the supply being shut down by the displacement of locals at various locations in the state.

“The food supply has been shut, not because our people are lazy, but because of the insecurity. And so we will appeal for security so that we can continue to farm and feed our people accordingly.

“We will also appeal to the government to ensure the peaceful coexistence of the people of Plateau State. But like I said, the lands that each ethnic nationality occupies was given by God,” Buba reiterated

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Again, TAJBank Wins ‘Best Islamic Bank Award’

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

TAJBank Limited, Nigeria’s fastest-growing non-interest banking services provider, has won the Islamic Finance News’ (IFN’s) “Best Islamic Bank in Nigeria 2023”, beating other nominees from across the global geopolitical zones in the competition.

The IFN’s Organizing Committee stated that the award was conferred on TAJBank in recognition of its superior value-adding, world-class products and innovative service delivery to non-interest banking customers globally.

In his acceptance speech, the bank’s Founder/CEO, Mr. Hamid Joda, commended the IFN’s Committee for the global recognition, saying “the Board and management of TAJBank are grateful for recognizing our bank as an emerging frontline player in the global Islamic banking landscape and my humble self for the IFN Award for 2023.

“As we keep saying, these awards and several others TAJBank has received in the past three years will further encourage us to do more in surpassing the expectations of our growing customers in terms of quality products and service delivery for invaluable value-addition to them and their businesses”, Joda added.

Also commenting on the IFN 2023 awards, the bank’s Co-Founder/Executive Director, Mr. Sherif Idi, lauded “the IFN for the award and our customers for their growing confidence in TAJBank to deliver superior products and services with, in some cases, personalized touches to confirm to them that our only interest is in them.”

The IFN Organizing Committee commended the TAJBank for hard work, persistence, and innovative strategies that enables the bank to make giant strides despite the whirlwinds in the Nigerian economy.

The selection of winners for the 2023 IFN competition was conducted by the IFN Organizing Committee with support from the Redmoney Group, the foremost global provider of specialized Islamic financial media services across three core divisions of events, publishing, and training.

It would be recalled that TAJBank had won the BusinessDay newspaper’s ‘Islamic Bank of The Year’ awards for 2021, 2022 and 2023 and before then clinched the Leadership newspapers’ ‘Bank Of The Year Award’ in 2020, amongst other laurels since it commenced operations three years ago. 

In recognition of the non-interest lender’s strict compliance with global best practices, particularly in information security standards in all areas of its operations, TAJBank in 2022 received the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification and three International Standards Organization (ISO) certifications by the Certification Partner Global (CPG), namely ISO 27001, ISO 22301, and ISO 20000 on Information Security, Business Continuity, and IT Service Management Systems.

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