Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has explained that a successful outcome of the ongoing constitution review by the 9th Assembly would be an unforgettable tribute to the memory of the late Alhaji Ahmed Gulak who was killed in Owerri, Imo State while on national assignment.
Omo-Agege who made this disclosure when he led a delegation of the National Assembly leadership on a condolence visit to Hajia Jemila Gulak, widow of the slain lawyer and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, described the death as a personal loss going by his deep and close relationship with Gulak spanning several years at both political and professional levels.
Members of the delegation included the Senate Leader, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya; Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Omo-Agege, while disclosing that Gulak was one out of the three consultants that were in Owerri for the Constitutional Review zonal public hearing, assured the family members that the professional services of Gulak’s chambers would still be retained by the committee, assuring that everything would be done to cushion the effects of the loss on the family.
He said: “Before the unfortunate incident involving the demise of our friend and brother, we engaged him as a consultant to the committee and he had, on our mandate, gone to Owerri as one of three consultants to assist members of the committee that were sent to Owerri to conduct the zonal hearing. So, he had been there in his capacity as a consultant during this unfortunate incident that occurred. He was on national assignment on behalf of the National Assembly.
“We would have come to condole with you much earlier, but a lot of us here have very personal relationship with Gulak and for me, it was so many years with him and we find it very difficult to confront the fact that we have actually lost him. It is easy for others to condole and just move on but most of us are in denial and that is why we kept away until this time but it is something we must do. We cannot shy away from the fact that we lost him and we thought that as leaders of the committee, it would be proper that we come in today and condole with you.
“In the course of his services to us as a committee, he was everything we expected. He wasn’t there because of political relationships but in his capacity as a brilliant lawyer, apart from being the former Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly and Political Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I knew him in terms of those capacities but more importantly that he was a member of my own legal profession where he excelled and finally, it was in that capacity that we engaged him into the committee. So, this is a very deep, personal loss to me, to all of us and frankly to the country”.
The Delta Central lawmaker said the best tribute the National Assembly can give the deceased is to ensure that the Constitution Review exercise meets the yearnings and aspirations of most Nigerians.
“He (Gulak) wanted us to have a very thorough, professional constitutional review job and I think that is the least we owe him and we are determined to ensure that his memory will be remembered at the end of the exercise.
“So, on behalf of the President of the Senate, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the whole family. I want the family to know that we are always here; always feel free to stay close and don’t let his demise be the end of that relationship,” Omo-Agege added.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Senator Abubakar Umar Gada, a personal friend to the late Gulak, tasked the delegation on the need to assist the family and immortalise his name by ensuring that nothing is done to frustrate the outcome of the amendment of the Constitution.
His words: “We cannot use any words to express our appreciation and gratitude for this visit. It shows the importance and caliber of the person the nation has lost and the nation mourns his demise but we are submitting ourselves to the will of Allah.
“There is not much to say because the leader of the delegation, His Excellency, the Deputy President of the Senate has already spoken”.
With Gada were Ambassador Umar Damagum, Alhaji Mainasara Sokoto and two children of Gulak, Dr. Mustapha Gulak and Zainab Gulak Esq.
Deborah Samuel: NBA Calls For Swift Prosecution Of Suspects, Postpones Conference In Sokoto
The Nigerian Bar Association has condemned extra-judicial killings in any part of the country, describing them as reprehensible, barbaric and unacceptable.
A statement signed by the President of the bar, Olumide Akpata also called on security agencies to do more to stem these ugly developments, and to ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous acts are made to face the full wrath of the law.
Citing the specific cases of a young man (simply identified as David) in Lagos who was reportedly lynched by commercial motorcyclists around Lekki; and the incident in Sokoto involving the murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto by some of her school mates for alleged blasphemy, the NBA asked government to immediately commence the prosecution of all suspects involved in these brutal and arbitrary killings in order to send a strong signal that such acts will no longer be tolerated in Nigeria.
The NBA said it believes that the prompt and effective prosecution of the alleged killers will instill confidence in the citizens, promote accountability, and signpost the government’s commitment to the rule of law.
With particular reference to the murder of Deborah Yakubu and related developments in Sokoto, the NBA said it is worried by unconfirmed reports that the suspects have been charged with mere breach of public peace and called on the Sokoto State Government to immediately rethink its prosecution strategy and file charges that truly reflect the gravity of the situation.
On the demand for the release of the suspects by some protesting youths coupled with assault on innocent citizens, burning of worship centres and destruction of property, the NBA said this is worrisome and clearly a test of the will of the State to fully enforce its laws and foster rule of law.
On its annual conference of the Section on Public Interest and Development Law, SPIDEL scheduled to hold next week in Sokoto, the NBA said, having critically reviewed the current security condition in the state, it has become apparent that it cannot guarantee the safety of participants and accordingly, the Conference has been postponed also as a mark of respect for the memory of the slain Deborah Yakubu.
The NBA urged the State Government to fully collaborate with the Federal Government to initiate measures — and where necessary deploy its coercive instruments — to restore peace and order to the State, safeguard lives and property and dissuade vandalism and impunity.
Accord Party’s comment on award of Osogbo-Okinni-Ilobu road project, unfortunate, illogical – Osun Govt
.…says it took over the project to alleviate citizens’ hardship
The government of Osun has explained that it took over the reconstruction of the Osogbo-Okinni-Ilobu road, which is a Federal road, to alleviate the hardship motorists and other road users face daily why plying the road.
The government said the facility had been in a deplorable condition for so long and it could not afford to allow its citizens continue to suffer on the road, adding that it followed due process in taking over the project.
One of the opposition parties in Osun, the Accord Party had in a statement published accused the State Government of taking over a road project that had already been awarded by the Federal Government.
Reacting to the statement by the Accord Party, Mr Ismail Omipidan who is the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, described the party’s claims as unfortunate, lame and illogical.
He said while the contract for the rehabilitation of the road had been truly awarded by the federal government on two different occasions since 2012, no concrete work had been done on the project, a development he said forced the State government to take over the project.
“The contract for rehabilitating the road was first awarded by the federal government 10 years ago, but since then, no significant work has been done on the project that has caused so much hardship for our people who use the road.
“It was for this reason that the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led administration decided to take over the project to address the needless sufferings and loss of man-hours on the facility,” Omipidan explained.
He further noted that Accord party should be more concerned on how to sell its candidate to the people of Osun rather than engaging in a futile exercise. “The party’s comments on the take-over of the road project by the State government are lame and illogical,” he added.
Omipidan further said: “Accord Party should simply bury its head in shame. Are they saying we should continue to allow the people of Osun to suffer under our administration simply because the road belongs to the federal government?
“If they were discerning enough and if they had listened to Mr. Governor’s speech on the day we flagged off the reconstruction of that road, I am sure they would not bother themselves issuing a statement that lacks substance.
“Mr. Governor said it clearly in his speech that the road contract was awarded about 10 years ago and that as a state government, even though it is a federal government project, we did everything possible to support all the contractors that have had cause to work on that road. But there was no positive result.
“The argument on the timing of the award of the project is preposterous and ill-judged. A government can award a project contract even a week to its expiration, as long as it is in the overall interest of the State and its people.
“We all know that there are processes to take over federal government project that explains why it took us time to start the reconstruction because we have to complete the necessary paperwork.
“During the Governor’s January broadcast, he stated it clearly that though 2022 is going to be an election year but as a responsible governor, he will not allow politics to over shadow governance, so if anything, the Governor should be commended for walking his talk.
“Hon. Lasun Yusuff, the candidate of the Labour Party in the July 16 governorship contest was on air just on Monday, stating how as a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, he facilitated the reconstruction of the road. He explained how some persons who were coming for his event from Lagos had to return without getting to their destinations after spending three hours on that road, so he was happy and even commended the State government for taking over the road project and so, are the immediate beneficiaries of the road.
“The benefiting communities and road users who ply the road will definitely not be happy with the position taken by Accord Party. The party has indeed missed its target as it cannot use this project to attack Governor Oyetola who has only done what the people desire.
“The party should be more concerned on how to sell its candidate rather than engaging in a futile exercise because this indeed is an exercise in futility, the people of Osun know Mr Adegboyega Oyetola very well as a man of his words and somebody who walks his talks. He has promised that he won’t allow politics to overshadow governance. As a matter of fact, we will reel out more road projects in the days ahead.”
Death Toll Rises To Nine In Kano Explosion
At least nine persons have died after an explosion rocked Aba Road in Sabon Gari area of Kano, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs said on Tuesday.
The bodies were recovered from the rubble of a collapsed building beside a primary school.
The police earlier said the explosion was triggered by gas cylinder and not a bomb as being speculated.
“It is not a bomb explosion, it is a gas explosion,” Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, said in a voice recording. “A gas cylinder explosion.
“Because there is a welder, just by the place, and he is the first victim in this situation.”
Dikko added that the police, in collaboration with other security agencies, was also investigating what led to the gas cylinder explosion.
He maintained that the scene was under control.
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