LAGOS EAST: Court to decide Gbadamosi’s suit against Abiru March 1

A Federal High Court, Lagos, will on March 1, 2021, deliver judgment in respect of the bye-election for the Lagos East Senatorial District held on December 5, 2020, after the conclusion of arguments by counsel to all the parties on January 22, 2021.

A Federal High Court, Lagos, will on March 1, 2021, deliver judgment in respect of the bye-election for the Lagos East Senatorial District held on December 5, 2020, after the conclusion of arguments by counsel to all the parties on January 22, 2021.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the said election, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru and the All Progressive Congress (APC) to court, seeking to disqualify him from contesting the election on the ground of double voter’s registration and violation of section 31 of the Electoral Act, amongst others.

In the suit filed on its behalf by human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, the PDP is seeking an order of the court directing INEC to delete the name of Abiru and the APC from the list of the candidates and political parties to participate in the bye election.

It is also asking for an order nullifying, cancelling and voiding the nomination, submission and acceptance of the name of Abiru as the candidate of the APC for the bye-election and an order disqualifying Abiru as a candidate in the bye election.

In their responses to the case, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Abiru and APC, contended that the case of the plaintiffs lacks merit as the candidate was duly nominated and qualified for the said bye-election.

In particular, Abiru and APC, through their counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN and Abiodun Owonikoko, SAN, raised preliminary objections to the suit, contending that same was statute barred not justiciable in law.

On January 22, 2021 when the case came up for hearing before the Honourable Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, all the lawyers addressed the court, adopted their respective processes and concluded arguments on the case, whereupon the Judge adjourned the case to March 1, 2021, to deliver judgment.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.