The Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, has been released from the custody of the Department of State Services.
Sowore was released alongside his cause mate, Olawale Bakare, both of who were arrested for planning #RevolutionNow.
Sowore was released hours after the lawyer of the DSS, Hassan Liman (SAN), told newsmen shortly after a Federal High Court sitting in the ongoing trial of the activist in Abuja on Thursday that the Service had done nothing wrong holding him.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had on November 6 signed the release warrant of the defendants and ordered the DSS to make available all the necessary documents that would help to facilitate in the defence of the duo’s trial.
But on Thursday, Justice Ojukwu had condemned the security outfit’s attitude to court order, directing it to release Sowore and Bakare within 24 hours.
The judge then adjourned till December 6 for trial continuation.
Liman said: “I want to say once again that the DSS has not at any time refused or failed to comply with the court order.
“What we have done today is to go a step further to say that the DSS no longer want Mr. Sowore in their custody.
“That is what we are saying.
“When somebody is granted bail, he is expected to be released to the main person that has served as his surety.
“Nobody, I repeat, has gone to the DSS to take Mr. Sowore and co. on bail.
“The court has made an order to release them forthwith.
“But the DSS has not refused, at anytime, to comply with court order.
“And that is why the DSS filed an application today that they no longer want them in their custody.”
Liman, however, assured that Sowore and Bakare would be released based on the order of the case and as soon as they meet the terms of bail condition.
“When you come tomorrow, you will know if that has been complied with or not,” he told newsmen.
Darkness across Nigeria as national grid collapses again
The national grid on Thursday experienced its first collapse in 2020 resulting in blackout across the country.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) confirmed the development in a statement on its Twitter page which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“There was system disturbance which occurred at about 12.34 p.m affecting some parts of the country.
“As at 1:10 p.m, supply was restored to Abuja and most parts of the affected areas. TCN is still working to completely restore and stabilise the nation’s grid,” it said.
Ikeja Electric (IE) which also confirmed the grid collapse in a statement on its Twitter account, said another collapse of the grid occurred at 2.15 p.m after the previous incident.
“Dear customers, the outage you are experiencing is due to a system collapse of the grid which occurred this afternoon at 12:36 p.m. All parts of IE’s network are affected.
“Another system collapse was recorded at 2.15 p.m today. Restoration efforts are ongoing. Kindly bear with us,” the electricity distribution company said.
NAN reports that the national grid collapsed more than 10 times in 2019.
Uzodinma issues order freezing all Imo bank accounts
The governor-elect of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has issued an order freezing all bank accounts belonging to the state government with effect from January 14, 2020.
According to an ‘Order of Post No Debit’ issued by Director-General, Hope Uzodinma’s Campaign Organisation, Chief Cosmas Iwu, to all financial institutions and the Accountant-General of Imo State, no bank is to honour any transaction from the government of Chief Emeka Ihedioha or his officials.
The document, which was issued on January 14, 2020, titled ‘Order of Post No Debit on all accounts of Imo State Government Effective Immediately 14th January 2020’, reads:
“Following the Supreme Court judgment of 14th January 2020, I am directed by His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma to take this to your authority/instruction to place a Post No Debit (PND) order on all accounts of the Imo State Government maintained in your various institutions.
“You are by this letter, directed to comply and await further instructions from the office of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State.”
Senator Uzodinma was yesterday declared the dully-elected governor of Imo State following a Supreme Court judgment which sacked the administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha.
Reps slams Buhari over transfer of NBET to finance ministry
The House of Representatives has described as illegal and unconstitutional, a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited (NBET) be domiciled under the Ministry of Finance.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Power, Mr. Aliyu Magaji (APC, Jigawa), declared that it should, therefore, be returned to the Ministry of Power.
The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited, which was created through the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, currently operates under the Ministry of Finance due to a recent order of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Reps committee overruled the president at a meeting between the Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), electricity distribution companies (Discos) and other stakeholders at the National Assembly on Monday on the executive’s proposed electricity tariff increment.
The lawmakers explained that the law that put NBET under the power ministry has not been repealed and as such, it is illegal and unconstitutional to say it has been transferred to the supervision of the finance ministry.
Addressing the committee, acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Power, Mr Ahmed Abdul, who represented the minister, Saleh Mamman, said they were informed of the presidential directive that NBET is now under the supervision of the Finance ministry.
Magaji and members of the committee, however, opposed the move which they described as illegal and unconstitutional.
“We are talking of the law; I am sure somebody must have misled somebody somewhere. This law (putting NBET under Ministry of Power) is yet to be repealed or reviewed. So, NBET still remains in the Ministry of Power as far as this parliament is concerned, unless we change the law.”
Meanwhile, the legislators also asked the regulatory agency to give account of the N213 billion Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF) disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to power distribution companies without commensurate result in services rendered to Nigerians.
The minister’s representative could not respond to the question and other raised at the meeting.