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Judge Hlophe defends meetings with ConCourt judges about Jacob Zuma’s arm deals case

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Judge Hlophe

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe was on Tuesday at pains to explain why he had initiated discussions with two Constitutional Court justices on former president Jacob Zuma’s case while they were among the team considering it 12 years ago.

Hlophe has been hauled before the Judicial Conduct Tribunal where he is accused of having tried to improperly influence Justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde to help decide in favour of Zuma in the arms deal saga.
Earlier on Tuesday, both Jafta and Nkabinde took the stand and testified about their meetings with Hlophe.

Jafta recounted how Hlophe called him in March 2008 and set up a meeting in which the two discussed wide-ranging issues, including the issue of professional privilege in relation to the seizure of documents by law enforcement agencies from lawyers in the Zuma saga.

Hlophe is represented by renowned British criminal defence advocate Courtenay Griffiths, who asked Jafta to explain his impression of what Hlophe meant when he said “sesithembele kinina” when discussing the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on the Zuma matter.

“My understanding of it was in the context that, here is a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal, which I recollect in his words had gotten the law incorrectly. So in that context I understood him to mean that the Constitutional Court as the highest court will have to put right that which was wrong in the judgment of the SCA,” Jafta said.

Jafta told the tribunal that he had not thought of laying a complaint against Hlophe over the saga, even despite him and Nkabinde being told by then chief justice Pius Langa and then deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke to lodge a complaint in May 2008.

Jafta said among his reasons for not wanting to complain against Hlophe was their friendship and that he felt it was undesirable for a judge to testify.
What complicated the matter here was that the judge president (Hlophe) is my friend and I thought it would not be desirable for me to do that,” Jafta said.

Nkabinde took the stand and told the tribunal she had moved to rebuff Hlophe after he attempted to influence her on the case, adding that he had indicated that he had strong views on the Zuma case as it related to privilege.

“I was of the view that he was attempting to influence my thinking. When he came to me when we met, he had mentioned the issue of privilege.

“I did not make much of it at that time, but I became aware that he had discussed this matter with Justice Jafta and when he started discussing this matter, regard being had to the fact that I had been one of the scribes who was allocated to write about this very issue of professional privilege, I snapped and told him ‘you cannot do this’,” Nkabinde said.

Hlophe faced a grilling from advocate Gilbert Marcus, for the Constitutional Court, on why he thought it was appropriate to hold discussions with the apex court judges on Zuma’s cases.

Hlophe said he had talked with the judges “on the issue of general principle” and not “the facts and how the decision must be made by the court”.

“The issue of privilege, the communication between attorney and client has been an issue for decades,” Hlophe said.

Marcus also quizzed Hlophe on what he had meant when he remarked during his meeting with Jafta that Zuma was being persecuted, like him.

He said he had likened himself to Zuma in response to Jafta asking if his problems had ended in the Western Cape.

“I said I am just like Zuma because his problems will never go away,” Hlophe said.

The legal representatives are expected to make their final arguments before the tribunal on Friday.

In other news – Tributes pour in for 65-year old Amapiano Gogo Gee Six Five #RIPGeeSixFive

It was just 2 weeks ago, when Stacey and J Sbu had an interview with Gee Six Five who was riding on her name fame, after releasing what was dubbed a hit single at the age of 65. Learn more

Source: News365

South Africa News

Corps members have been warned against traveling without obtaining permission

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Corps members

Corps members have been warned against traveling without obtaining permission from the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. The Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General YD Ahmed says such act attracts punishment while addressing Corps members in Oyo and Ogun states orientation camp on Wednesday.

He said unauthorized journey attract sanctions, adding that no employer is allowed to grant permission to Corps members to travel.He informed the Corps members that all services in NYSC are free, warning that they should beware of online advertisers and fraudsters that may offer posting and redeployment to them for a fee.

The DG also implored the Corps members to adhere strictly to the NYSC dress code, adding that improper dressing in NYSC uniform attracts sanctions.

“Don’t dress anyhow. Dress as good ambassadors of NYSC and always abide by all NYSC rules and regulations,

“Respect the culture and tradition of your host communities when you leave camp. Make good impact on the communities and in your place of primary assignments”, the DG said.

He stated that efforts are still on-going towards the signing of the NYSC Trust Fund bill into law.

General Ahmed urged the Corps Members to participate actively in all the camp activities and also ensure that they establish long lasting friendship among themselves before leaving the Orientation Camp.

The Director General admonished them to avoid idleness but rather engage themselves with meaningful activities that will add value to them in addition to their certificates.

The NYSC Oyo State Coordinator, Mr Odoba Abel Oche, while presenting the Orientation Camp brief to the Director General, stated that the Corps members’ behaviour have been very commendable.

Similarly, the NYSC Ogun State Coordinator, Mrs Olayinka Nasamu, said a total of 2,350 Corps members have been registered. 1,318 for Ogun State and 1,032 for Lagos State.

“Ogun registered 496 male and 822 female while Lagos registered 414 male and 618 female”, Nasamu said.

Source: dailypost

In other news – Young Jonn undergoes hair transplant surgery

Nigerian record producer and singer, John Saviours Udomboso, aka Young Jonn, has undergone a successful hair transplant surgery.

 

Young Jonn

The ‘Xtra Cool’ crooner shared a video and photos from the surgical room in Spain via his X handle on Wednesday. Read more

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Nigeria Breaking News

Gov Bello grants state pardon to 24 inmates, pays N20m judgement debt

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Niger State Governor

Niger State Governor, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello has granted state pardon to 24 inmates and settled fines to the tune of N20 million for 80 others unable to pay their judgement fines. He carried out the exercise under the powers of prerogative of mercy in the state.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Nasara Danmallam made this disclosure in while handing over the affairs of the Ministry of Justice to the permanent secretary in Minna.

According to him, “as a parting gift, Governor Bello has granted pardon to 24 inmates across the state under his powers of prerogative of mercy. Some of them have been on death row whose sentences have been commuted to a few years of prison term”.

Among the beneficiaries, the commissioner explained, were six civil servants convicted of fraud and other related offences and were dismissed from service based on the offences they committed.

Danmallam disclosed, “other beneficiaries of the pardon by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello are six dismissed civil servants who are now reinstated. Those of them who have attained retirement age are now to be retired with full benefits.

“The Governor also spent the sum of N20 million to pay judgement fines for 80 inmates as part of humanitarian gesture to the underprivileged individuals before handing over on Monday ”

The commissioner further stated that so far a total of 115 bills and legal instruments were promulgated into law, while thanking the staff of the ministry for the success recorded under him in the state.

Source:dailypost

In other news – Fear grips residents as insecurity heightens in Owerri zone

The insecurity situation in Imo State is currently on the upswing, as unknown gunmen and kidnappers have taken over most parts of the state. The peaceful Owerri Senatorial district is fastly becoming the latest flashpoint.

Imo State

Orlu and Okigwe zones have experienced severe insecurity which has resulted in at least a thousand murders and the destruction of property worth hundreds of millions of naira since the inception of Senator Hope Uzodinma’s administration three years ago. Learn more

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South Africa News

President Muhammadu Buhari denies meddling in National Assembly’s affairs since 2015

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday attributed the successes recorded by his administration to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature, as well as refused to meddle with the affairs of the Legislature and promoted instead, a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two arms.

Buhari, who disclosed this during the official commissioning of the permanent site of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), expressed optimism that the magnificent complex has the potential to significantly boost the capacity of the legislature in Nigeria and Africa at large.

He said: “As you are all aware, I have traversed all parts of Nigeria in the last few days commissioning several critical national infrastructures that my administration has completed over the last eight years. Our successes as a government are primarily due to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
The legislature is the cornerstone of any democracy and is vital to ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of all Nigerians are considered during the lawmaking process. It also performs critical functions of overseeing the Executive and ensuring that government spending aligns with legislative intent.

“As you are aware, from the moment of my election in 2015 and subsequently, I supported the idea of an independent National Assembly, one that is able to decide its Leadership and develop its agenda in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

President Muhammadu Buhari

“I refrained from meddling in the affairs of the legislature and instead promoted a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two arms. The numerous positive outcomes for our country Nigeria underscore the importance of a harmonious Executive-Legislature relationship.

“Working with the National Assembly, we have passed an unprecedented number of Bills into law, provided funding for key infrastructure, implemented several governmental reforms, and addressed some of the long-standing challenges that have hampered economic growth and development.

“Our achievements in reforming the oil and gas sector, strengthening the electoral framework, diversifying our economy, improving transparency and accountability, tackling insecurity and entrenching good governance are easily verifiable. As such, this 9th Assembly will be remembered as one of the most productive in terms of outputs and outcomes. Again, I thank the Leadership of the National Assembly for giving me the support required to deliver on my promises to Nigerians.

“Nigeria is immensely endowed in many ways. However, our single greatest asset is the people of this country. Our teeming youth population provides the labour force, we need to industrialise and develop our economy. This underscores the need for a more sustained investment in human capacity development.

“Accordingly, my administration prioritised social investment programmes and a range of other initiatives to reduce poverty, upgrade the standard of living and improve the economy.

“Human capital is the essential lifeblood of a state and its public institutions, including the legislature. The National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly stand to perform their constitutionally assigned mandate better when provided with all the required resources.

“In 2018, I signed the NILDS Amendment Bill into law, thus expanding the mandate of the Institute to provide capacity not only to legislators but also to other political actors. This edifice would enable the Institute to better meet its expanded functions.

“It is my expectation that NILDS will utilise this site to provide targeted capacity building to legislators, political parties and civil society to enable them better respond to changing circumstances,” he noted.

In his remarks, Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan asserted that Buhari’s administration over the past eight years has pursued what has been described as the most ambitious infrastructure programme since independence in 1960.

“We in the Ninth National Assembly have supported the President in ensuring the timely delivery of these critical infrastructures. Notably, in the last three years, the Senate and the House dedicated a substantial part of the national budget towards funding infrastructure development across all six geo-political zones.

“As a result of this collaboration between the legislature and the executive, hundreds of roads, bridges and rail lines across Nigeria have been constructed or rehabilitated. In addition, we have also passed several legislations to provide an overarching framework for sustainable economic growth and development. Significantly also, the investment in infrastructure development extends to all six geo-political zones of the country.

“Indeed, history will remember President Buhari’s tenacity and unwavering commitment to charting a new course for Nigeria. While acknowledging that the time for the 9th Assembly to wind down draws to a close, Senator Lawan assured that the Assembly will “leave behind an enduring legacy for the succeeding Assemblies.

“I challenge the incoming Leadership and Members of the Tenth National Assembly to carry on with the same vigour and dedication as we did and build on our achievements. I call on the Director-General, Management and staff of the Institute to utilise this edifice to advance democracy in Nigeria and beyond.”

On his part, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila urged President Buhari to grant assent to both the Federal Audit Bill and National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABROl Bill which seeks to enhance the oversight function of Committees as critical legislative priorities as well as improve transparency and accountability in government processes.

Also speaking, NILDS Director General, Professor Olanrewaju Sulaiman observed that: “Despite these challenges, the Institute has established itself as Africa’s premier legislative capacity-building institution, as attested by its highly valued services and outputs. In the past decade, NILDS has considerably closed the capacity challenges that have limited the effectiveness of the legislature in Nigeria. Moreover, through its various programmes and interventions, the lawmaking and oversight functions of the legislature have also been significantly strengthened.

He also eulogized the roles played by successive leadership of National Assembly, especially, Senator David Mark who laid the foundation for this project, as well as Professor Ladi Hamalai who worked tirelessly towards actualising this permanent site.

Source: dailypost

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