Saturday, 4 February 2023

ICPC Nabs Bank Manager Sabotaging Withdrawal Of New Naira Notes

ICPC Nabs Bank Manager Sabotaging Withdrawal Of New Naira Notes

 


The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has arrested the manager of a bank in Osogbo, the Osun capital, over ATMs loaded with naira notes that were blocked from dispensing.

In a statement, Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, said the cash bundles were loaded into the ATMs while still wrapped, and as such, could not be dispensed through the machines.

“The ICPC Compliance Team in Osogbo has busted an FCMB in Osogbo, Osun State, where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed,” the statement reads.

“The Team therefore directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly.

“However, when a follow-up visit was undertaken the following day to ascertain the level of compliance, the Team discovered that one of the ATMs was still loaded with the wrappers un-removed. The Operation Manager of the Bank was arrested and taken in for questioning.”

The commission also disclosed that the branch service head of a Stanbic IBTC Bank in  Abuja, was taken into custody over the refusal to upload cash into the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

“When the ICPC monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30pm to ensure compliance, and demanded explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, it was informed by the branch’s Head of Operations that the bank just got delivery of the cash,” the commission said.

“However, facts available to the ICPC operatives indicated that the branch took delivery of the cash around 11:58am and either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash.

“Investigations are still ongoing, and the Commission will take appropriate actions as soon they are concluded.”


Scarcity Of New Naira Notes Disturbing - Osinbajo

Scarcity Of New Naira Notes Disturbing - Osinbajo

 


Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, the second man in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, has described as “disturbing” the inability of Nigerians to have access to the new naira notes and the ongoing naira scarcity which has caused protest nationwide. 

Osinbajo on Friday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to engage financial technology companies (fintechs) as well as mobile money agents to address the issue of getting new naira notes across the country.

Osibanjo, in a meeting with some fintech stakeholders, expressed worries over the difficulty in getting new naira notes and advised the CBN and commercial banks to address the situation immediately. 

“You need cash to pay for transport. For instance, in Abuja, how do you take ‘drop or along’ or use a Keke NAPEP without cash, or buy foodstuff on the road or in canteens, or even buy recharge cards?” Osinbajo said, according to a release by Laolu Akande, his spokesperson.

“Parents with kids in public schools give money daily to their children for lunch, most commerce is informal, so you need cash for most things.

“It seems to me that banks must engage their mobile money operators. Fintechs with mobile money licenses and many of them have micro-finance bank licenses now and already have a network of mobile money agents or human banks or human ATMs (as they are sometimes called) who are responsible for them and they can supervise themselves. They can do currency swaps and open bank accounts.”

Speaking further on the redesign of the naira notes, Osinbajo lamented the scarcity of the new notes.

“More disturbing is the fact that after depositing your old notes, there are no new notes, so people everywhere in the urban areas and rural areas simply have no money,” he said.

“There are logistical challenges that have to be addressed by the CBN and the banks, especially from the point of view of the average Nigerian and those in the hinterland who hardly use any electronic platforms.”

Osinbajo also said while there has always been a certain failure rate in online banking and money transactions, they have become even more difficult now with the increase in the number of transactions congesting the system.

 “So where in the past you used POS or any of the electronic platforms, you had maybe 20 percent to 30 percent failure rate, now because everyone is trying to get on those platforms, obviously, the failure rate is much more and the problems are much more pronounced,” the Vice President noted. 

“We really need to make progress even as we make efforts to deal with some of these issues confronting us today,” he said. 

Sahara Reporters


 

Four Nasarawa Pupils Rescued After 14-days Captivity

Four Nasarawa Pupils Rescued After 14-days Captivity

 


Four of the six pupils of the Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Alwaza, in the Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, kidnapped two weeks ago, have been rescued through combined efforts of hunters, police and traditional rulers.

Armed men on January 20, 2023, invaded the school premises and whisked away the pupils to an unknown destination.

Two of the pupils were rescued a day after the abduction by the police at a forest in a community in the Obi LGA of the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Yakubu Lawal, said that since the incident occurred, the government had been on its toes to ensure that the pupils were rescued unhurt.

Our correspondent gathered that traditional rulers and hunters in Doma LGA in collaboration with the police rescued the remaining four pupils on Friday.

Confirming the rescue of the pupils in Lafia, the Executive Chairman of Doma Local Government, Ahmed Sarki-Usman, described the act as inhuman considering the fact that the victims were underage.

He added that the pupils were rescued at Bogyo community in Doka village of Doma LGA.

However, in a statement, the state police spokesperson, DSP Ramhan Nansel, said the four pupils were rescued following a joint operation carried out in the area by security operatives in the state.

He said, “In continuation of the search to rescue the remaining four pupils that were earlier abducted on 20/1/2023 at LEA Primary School, Alwaza; on 3/2/2023 at about 7am, detachment of joint security operatives in collaboration with hunters rescued the four pupils at Doka village, Doma LGA.

“The victims, Awazi Emmanuel, Success Ogah, Dominion Alhaji and Success Emmanuel have been taken to the hospital for medical examination and shall be reunited with their parents.”

Nansel expressed gratitude to members of the public for their support so far, urging them to assist the police with relevant information that could help in arresting the perpetrators of the act.

Our correspondent observed that the pupils were brought to the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia in a Hilux vehicle. They were later accompanied by the chairman of Doma LGA, some workers of LGEA Primary School, Alwaza, relatives of the victims and some security operatives.

They took off from Doma LGA at 11am and arrived in Lafia, the state capital, at 11:25am on Friday.

Punch 


Makinde Roll Out Free Buses Over Fuel, Naira crises

Makinde Roll Out Free Buses Over Fuel, Naira crises

 


The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Friday night, announced the deployment of free ‘Omituntun’ transport buses to cushion the effect of the fuel scarcity and naira crises in the country on residents of the state.

Makinde announced this in a state-wide broadcast aired on the state-owned radio service, the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State.

The governor, who frowned upon the violent protests that erupted in the state earlier on Friday, said his government was ready to do whatever was needed to ease the pain of the people.

He, however, urged residents of the state to express their grievances peacefully, adding that his government would not condone the breakdown of law and order.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, noted that Makinde also put security agencies in the state on high alert to avert any breakdown of law and order, according to a report by The Eagle Online.

According to the governor, the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses will be deployed to more routes within the state to convey resident free-of-charge in order to ameliorate the suffering of the people.

The governor also said he was working with the chairmen of local governments in the state to provide immediate palliatives for the vulnerable people in order to alleviate the hardships that the crises had brought upon them.

In the broadcast, Makinde said, “My Dear Good People of Oyo State.

“I am addressing you today because of the prevailing conditions in our state and country that have led to protests and riots, especially in Ibadan.

“First, let me say that I understand the need for these protests. When citizens get pushed to the wall, there is only so much that they can take.

“The continuous fuel scarcity and the scarcity of the naira have led to slow economic activities. I must repeat, I understand, and I feel your pain.

“I have always maintained that peaceful protests are fine. When things are not going how we want them to go, we have a right and even a responsibility to protest.

“Let me also state that while we are protesting, we must remember how easily a peaceful protest can turn violent and lead to the loss of lives and property. The violence that erupted in parts of Ibadan today (Friday) is condemnable and will not be tolerated.

“In response to this, I have suspended all campaign activities forthwith. I have also met with the heads of security agencies in Oyo State to restore calm and maintain the peace in our dear state.

“Violence cannot and will not solve our problems, it only creates new ones. We have another opportunity in a few weeks to move this country in a new direction. Use your PVC, not violence.

“We must not allow elements within us who have other motives to take advantage of peaceful protests to perpetrate evil or push their agendas.

“I urge all law-abiding citizens and residents of the state to go about their lawful activities. All our security agencies are on high alert and so, peaceful residents of the state have no cause to fear.

“As a palliative measure, I have directed that the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses should be deployed to more routes within the state for free.

“We are also working with Local Government Chairmen to see what immediate palliatives we can make available to the most vulnerable amongst us to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of fuel and the naira have brought upon our people.

“Once again, we have another opportunity to put an end to oppressive systems and that is through the ballot. For now, I urge everyone to remain calm as we are doing our best to mitigate the hardships.”


Wike Is Dishonest And Inconsequential – PDP Campaign

Wike Is Dishonest And Inconsequential – PDP Campaign

 A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Daniel Bwala, has said that the Governor of Rivers State and leader of the aggrieved G-5 PDP governors, Nyesom Wike, was deceiving his four colleagues over the presidential candidate they would collectively support.

Bwala alleged that Wike was supporting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but that he could not make it public because he had given his colleagues the impression that he was supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The four governors are Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The governors had vowed not to support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, unless the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, stepped aside.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, Bwala described Wike as inconsequential, noting that he reneged on his promise to announce the G-5 and Integrity Group’s preferred candidate for fear of outright expulsion by the party. He said open support for another party’s candidate would be a proven anti-party activity against him.

He said, “He is dishonest and inconsequential. You recall that he promised to announce their preferred candidate in January. When a BBC correspondent reminded him of the pledge, he responded that January had not ended. Now that January is over, he said he never revealed to anyone the methodology of disclosure of their preferred candidate. He is now saying he has told his people who to vote for.

“He can’t announce his candidate because he knows the consequences. The party can expel him outright for gross misconduct and anti-party activities. He made them (his colleagues) believe that he was behind Peter Obi. So, he can’t openly come out now to declare support for the APC candidate because the other four governors do not want Tinubu.”



Thursday, 2 February 2023

Pastor Fakes Obituary To Avoid N3m Debt Repayment

Pastor Fakes Obituary To Avoid N3m Debt Repayment

 


A pastor in Ondo State, Paul Oyewole, has been accused of publishing and posting his own obituary on the social media platform, WhatsApp, in a bid to avoid repaying a ₦3 million debt owed to a church member.

The 43-year-old pastor was arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court, Ondo Town, Ondo on charges of fraudulently obtaining ₦3m from one Boyede Emmanuel, with the promise to pay back the money within seven days, a promise he failed to fulfill, reports Vanguard on Wednesday.

Police Prosecutor, Akao Moremi, informed the court that the defendant falsely published his obituary on WhatsApp after he had sent a fake bank alert.

He was also said to have “threatened the complainant on phone, with the intent to intimidate him and also conducted himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace, by stripping himself naked in front of the house of the complainant.”

Oyewole has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was granted N1 million bail with two sureties in like sum.

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Benue Woman, Son Beat In-law To [email protected] Over Meat

A pastor in Ondo State, Paul Oyewole, has been accused of publishing and posting his own obituary on the social media platform, WhatsApp, in a bid to avoid repaying a ₦3 million debt owed to a church member.

The 43-year-old pastor was arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court, Ondo Town, Ondo on charges of fraudulently obtaining ₦3m from one Boyede Emmanuel, with the promise to pay back the money within seven days, a promise he failed to fulfill, reports Vanguard on Wednesday.

Police Prosecutor, Akao Moremi, informed the court that the defendant falsely published his obituary on WhatsApp after he had sent a fake bank alert.

He was also said to have “threatened the complainant on phone, with the intent to intimidate him and also conducted himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace, by stripping himself naked in front of the house of the complainant.”

Oyewole has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was granted N1 million bail with two sureties in like sum.



Hisbah Release Woman Who Married Her Daughter’s Suitor, Says Action Lawful

Hisbah Release Woman Who Married Her Daughter’s Suitor, Says Action Lawful

 The Kano State Hisbah Board has concluded an investigation on Malama Khadija Rano who was alleged to have dissolved her marriage and married her daughter’s suitor.

This was contained in a statement issued to newsmen by the spokesman of the board, Alhaji Lawan Ibrahim, on Tuesday.

The statement reads in part: “Presenting the report, chairman of the committee who doubles as deputy commander in charge of operations of the board, Malam Hussain Ahmed, said the committee found out that the marriage is legal and had fulfilled all the necessary criteria.”

Ahmed said Khadija was divorced by her husband and had observed the three months waiting period (iddah) prescribed by Islam, later married a man whom her biological daughter had rejected.

He dismissed allegations that she was seeing her present husband while married and instigated her husband to divorce her to marry her daughter’s suitor.

The statement further reads: “The marriage is legal according to Islam. That was the reason Hisbah commander in Rano LGA supported and took part in the wedding rites.”

The Commander General of the board, Dr Harun Ibn Sina, has commended the committee for discharging their responsibilities.

Ibn Sina said the committee members were carefully selected due to their vast knowledge on Islamic teachings and societal orientation.

Sheikh Ibn Sina charged the public to desist from spreading fake news and avoid misconceptions on issues regarding Islam.

He urged them to seek knowledge as Islam was a religion that had jurisdictions regarding marriage, family life and all other related issues of human endeavour.


Kwankwaso: FG Punishing Ordinary Nigerians With Naira Redesign Policy

Kwankwaso: FG Punishing Ordinary Nigerians With Naira Redesign Policy

 Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Presidential Candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of punishing ordinary Nigerians with the naira redesign policy.

The apex bank announced the naira redesign policy in October 2022, and new N200, N500 and N1,000, became legal tender on 15 December, 2022.

Although President Muhammadu Buhari had unveiled the new naira on November 23, 2022, it went into circulation in December.

However, it has been difficult to access the new naira notes, forcing the CBN to adjust the January 31 deadline for the old notes to serve as legal tender.

Commenting on the stress Nigerians encountered while trying to access the new naira notes, Buhari said the policy was targeted at corrupt persons and those financing terrorism.

The president said ordinary Nigerians would not be allowed to suffer as a result of the policy.

But speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme on Thursday,  Kwankwaso said the rich could not be affected by the policy because they own the banks.

Kwankwaso said the big time politicians, particularly, the presidential candidates, either had controlling shares in the banks or have friends who can help them mobilise whatever amount of money they needed.

“Government should be in place to sort out issues for its people, not inflate unnecessary hardships.”

“We in the NNPP are not comfortable with the three months and even the 10 days they are talking about. Many people who are in Abuja who are in the comfort of their offices or homes wouldn’t understand what is happening outside there.

“What the government is saying has to do with people who would want to take too much money, like leaders and politicians. They don’t know that many of our colleagues, those who are contesting, especially the presidential candidates, and by extension all those in their parties are owners of the banks.

“And not only that, people close to them have banks everywhere. So, they will lose nothing. PDP has governors, and APC has governors. Governors by now would have collected so much money from the banks in their states.

“If their friends have got banks, I’m sure one or two of them may have banks or own large shares in some of these banks.

“Some people in politics may for some strategic reasons be complaining but those complaining I believe is just a gimmick, I don’t believe that they mean it. We believe they don’t have issues.  You see the people with real issues are the masses, businessmen, petty traders,” he said.


BREAKING: CBN Direct Banks To Issue New Naira Notes Over The Counter

BREAKING: CBN Direct Banks To Issue New Naira Notes Over The Counter

 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks (DMBs) to commence the payment of the redesigned naira notes over the counter, subject to a maximum daily payout limit of N20,000.

The directive is coming on the heels of business grinding to a halt over the scarcity of the redesigned notes, having deposited old notes with the commercial banks.

The CBN reiterated its commitment to Nigerians to ensure the effective distribution of the newly introduced naira banknotes, urging them to exercise patience as the CBN is working assiduously to address the challenge of queues at ATMs.

The statement which was signed by the Director Corporate Communication, Osita Nwanisobi, said the CBN observed with grave concern, the activities of persons who sell the newly redesigned banknotes and those who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.

Nwanisobi said: “We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.

“Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.

“We wish to state unequivocally that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is unlawful to sell the Naira, hurl (spray), or stamp on the currency under any circumstance whatsoever. “

The statement quited Section 21(4) which states that “It shall also be an offence punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade the Naira Notes, coins or any other note issued by the Bank.”

Nwanisobi said the CBN is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to address the unpatriotic practice.

He warned Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the naira or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies.

He also admonish members of the public to embrace and adopt other payment channels for their transactions.


Police Arraign Lagos Man For Marrying Second Wife

Police Arraign Lagos Man For Marrying Second Wife

 


The police on Wednesday arraigned a man, Edmund Uzoma, before a Yaba Magistrates’ Court, Lagos State, for alleged bigamy.

Uzoma was arraigned before Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun on three counts of bigamy and falsification of information on a marriage certificate.

The prosecutor, Idowu Osungbure, told the court that Uzoma, while having a wife, contracted another wedding with one Sophia Yongxian, at a wedding registry.

He noted that the defendant also made a false declaration that he was a bachelor while already married.

Osungbure alleged that Uzoma committed the crime in 2019, adding that the offences were punishable under sections 411 and 115 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State and Section 370 of the Criminal Code Act Cap. C. 38 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The charges read in part, “That you, Edmund Uzoma, of Lekki Road 15, Golden Gate Apartment, Lagos, on or sometime in 2019 in Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, to wit; bigamy, and false statement and declaration.”The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Magistrate Olatunbosun admitted him to bail in the sum of N1m with two responsible sureties in like sum.She said one of the sureties must have landed property in Lagos.

Olatunbosun adjourned the case till March 15, 2023.

Osun REC Admits Politicians, INEC Staff Bypassed BVAS

Osun REC Admits Politicians, INEC Staff Bypassed BVAS

 


The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Osun State, Dr Mutiu Agboke, has said Bimodal Voter Accreditation System did not allow over-voting during the last governorship election in the state.

Agboke, who spoke at the palace of Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, during a visit to the royal father on Tuesday, also said the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal which annulled the outcome of the July 16 poll in the state, exposed how over voting can occur.

The REC, in a video clip of the speech he made at the palace of Oluwo, obtained in Osogbo on Wednesday also said some politicians in connivance with INEC staff members may have deliberately bypassed BVAS during the polls.

He said, “It was BVAS that helped INEC to expose those who carried out over-voting on election day. So it was not the BVAS that created the problem, that should be corrected. Based on that ruling, we have identified some inadequacies from the politicians, voters, our staff and our responsibility is to ensure that we cover all these gaps so that the votes of the Osun people can speak for them.

“Politicians in connivance with our staff members deliberately bypassed the BVAS. It was this BVAS that exposed over-voting during the Osun election. So with this judgment of the tribunal, we have known how over-voting can happen. We are going to beam our searchlight on those staff members and I can assure you that all of us should own the process together. This is the way we can correct these anomalies.”

Speaking in a similar vein during a stakeholders’ meeting held with chairmen of political parties in Osun State at the INEC state office in Osogbo on Wednesday, Agboke said once BVAS was not used and a vote was cast, over-voting would occur.

“So I want to tell Osun people that the issue of over-voting was not orchestrated by BVAS. We did not use BVAS to vote or cast our ballot. Our ballot was manual voting; over-voting was caused by fraudulent people that came to vote on election day. They are criminally minded.

“Let us stop all these blame games on INEC, let us open our eyes very well on the election. Watch out for our staff who may want to connive with politicians. We must all own the process together.”

Punch 

Presidential candidate: Wike Confused, Lacks Integrity, Says PCC

Presidential candidate: Wike Confused, Lacks Integrity, Says PCC

 The Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council in Rivers State has taken a swipe at the state governor, Nyesom Wike, over the cancellation of the approval granted for the party’s presidential campaign in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The spokesman for the PDP PCC in the state, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH, also said the governor lacked integrity for not naming his preferred presidential candidate in January as he promised.

Nwibubasa said from all indications, the governor was increasingly frustrated.

On Wednesday, the state government cancelled the approval given to the PDP for the rally of its standard bearer to hold in the state on February 11, 2023.

The cancellation was contained in a letter signed by the state Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, and addressed to the Director General, PDP PCC, Aminu Tambuwal.

The letter said credible information available to the state government showed that the PDP PCC was working in collaboration with a faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state led by Tonye Cole.

It added that information at the government’s disposal show that activities of the APC in the state have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party.

It added, “The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye Patrick Cole APC faction will expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.”

Nwibubasa, while confirming the development, described the state government’s earlier approval as a Greek gift.

Berating Wike, Nwibubasa further said the governor was not a good fighter, because a good fighter knows when to quit.

Nwibubasa stated, “We are not surprised when certain decisions are taken because it all amounts to the fact that the level of frustration is increasing.

“We will only appeal to him that he should return to his party and return to the part of peace. And that is part of honour. No one fights a war and refuses to evaluate the same war, and knows when to call it quits. He is not a good fighter.

“For the presidential candidate of the PDP, we are very certain that Rivers people are happy with him. They are in love with him and they are going to vote for him en masse come February 25, 2023.”

Asked what he thinks about Wike’s inability to name his preferred presidential candidate as he had promised, he said it shows the governor has no integrity.

“His inability to name his preferred candidate as publicly announced in January, again is a pointer to his level of instability and incoherence.”

“It tells of his integrity that he cannot match his words with action. So, for us, it is painful that we have a governor who says one thing and does the other.


Sabotage: Tinubu Campaigners Back El-rufai, Minister Defends Buhari Action

Sabotage: Tinubu Campaigners Back El-rufai, Minister Defends Buhari Action

 


The Federal Government has dismissed claims by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, that some elements in the Presidential Villa are working against the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said the government was not “officially aware” of any entity in the Presidential Villa working against the victory of the APC standard bearer.

But the APC Presidential Campaign Council differed, saying it was not surprised by the governor’s revelation that some elements in the seat of power were against Tinubu’s candidacy, adding that El-Rufai was merely stating the obvious.

The governor dropped the bombshell when he appeared as a guest on the Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday.

It came a week after Tinubu cited the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the lingering fuel crisis as part of plots to thwart the poll and his expected victory.

El-Rufai claimed the forces working against the Bola Tinubu/Kashim Shettima joint ticket were people whose preferred candidate lost the APC presidential ticket to the former Lagos State governor last year.

He said, “I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries. They are trying to get us to lose the election and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right.

“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.

“You have to understand the President. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as President.

“He did this; the Buhari, Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy to catch those that are stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. The President has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”

But addressing the allegation in a chat with State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, the information minister argued that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was not favouring or disfavouring any presidential candidate ahead of the February 25 election.

“If there’s anybody who is working against any candidate, we don’t know officially,” he stated.

 But addressing journalists in Abuja, the PCC Special Adviser on Media, Communications and Public Affairs, Dele Alake disclosed that El-Rufai did not say anything new.

He said, “There’s nothing spectacular about what El Rufai has said. And it’s even self-explanatory. He did say that some people, but he never said the President. In any organisation including your own individual media houses, you have editorial policies, and there are elements within your organisation that won’t agree with those policies. Yet, they still work there.

“It is therefore not a spectacular thing. It is merely a natural phenomenon. In all organisations and institutions, you cannot have 100 per cent of the operatives see issues the same way.

“For Nasir El Rufai, Governor of Kaduna state, to state the obvious is nothing for us to clear again. We know that mischief makers, especially from the opposition, will latch on to it and twist it out of context. That has always been the way of the opposition that we are contending with in Nigeria today.’’


Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Why CBN Shouldn’t Extend Naira Swap Deadline – Atiku

Why CBN Shouldn’t Extend Naira Swap Deadline – Atiku

 


The Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria not to grant a further extension after February 10 deadline for naira swap.

This, he said, had become imperative to ensure the purpose and objective of initiating the redesigning of the currency are not destroyed.

In a statement released in Abuja on Wednesday from his campaign office, Atiku urged the CBN to immediately review the measures it has put in place for ensuring the seamless circulation of the new naira notes.

“The additional ten days will enable our people in the rural areas and ordinary people across the country to take the naira in their possession into the banks. It will also enable the CBN to further circulate the new currency notes among banks so that people can have easy access.

“Within these ten days, I urge the CBN to initiate measures that will alleviate the problems being encountered by the people in exchanging their old naira notes for new ones and getting more new notes into circulation. The CBN may have to consider printing more currency notes to eliminate the current scarcity among ordinary people, especially rural dwellers who need them for their daily transactions.

“If the CBN thinks its officials and banks must operate at the weekend in order to address the needs of the ordinary people and rural dwellers, it may have to consider this option, after all the amount these people require is not huge. The essential element here is ensuring that the new currency goes around and is well distributed to the points where people can easily access them. Every good policy must be people-centred and must not bring an avoidable difficulty to the people.

“However, the CBN should be wary of the elite whose motive for crying out about more postponement of the deadline for the tenure of the old naira notes is sinister and far from being altruistic. I am totally in support of building a cashless economy and reducing the amount of cash in our economy.

“The cashless policy and reduction of the cash in circulation has many advantages and every patriotic Nigerian should support the CBN on this. It will help to reduce the flow of illicit funds in our economy. It will help to defeat the funding of terrorism and deter the circulation of drug money in our economy. It will help our fight against corruption.

“More importantly, a cashless economy will help to save and grow our democracy. Those who have devised several means of buying votes in the coming elections and using money to corrupt the electoral system as well as destroying the principle of one man, one vote and the goal of a credible, peaceful, free, and fair poll are the ones shouting against the cashless policy and naira redesign.

“The anti-democratic elements who are pretending to be democrats are the ones ganging up against the CBN because of the currency redesigning and the cashless regime it seeks to enthrone. They have been scheming and lobbying day and night to frustrate the policy. Now, their new measure is to lobby for a second postponement of the deadline for the change of currency. I urge the CBN and the government to ignore their antics. The CBN should not succumb to the current pressure.

“There should be no further postponement of the new naira regime after the expiration of the February 10 deadline. The vote riggers are seeking to push the CBN to extend till after the election when they would have achieved their evil plots. The CBN and the Presidency should be steadfast. The merits of the new naira policy far outweigh the little inconvenience we are experiencing.

This is one policy that will benefit the country in the long term. We should not allow those selfish, parochial people with the narrow vision to derail it,” the statement read.

Punch 

You Have Nothing To Offer Nigerians, Gov. Emmanuel Fires Back At Tinubu

You Have Nothing To Offer Nigerians, Gov. Emmanuel Fires Back At Tinubu

 The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has said the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress Party (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has nothing to offer Nigerians.

Governor Emmanuel made this statement on Tuesday in Uyo during the inauguration of the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen and Members of Boards and Commissions, as well as a Transition Committee, that Tinubu has nothing to bring to the table, hence his decision to abuse and rain insults during his presidential campaigns.

Emmanuel who spoke in response to Tinubu’s reference to him as a ‘boy’, said despite being insulted by the former Lagos State Governor, he would prefer to allow peace to reign by ignoring him and focusing on helping to install good governance to rescue Nigerians from its present woes.

Tinubu during the APC rally in Uyo said, “Akwa Ibom, that boy brought Atiku here, were he dey call himself Governor, tell him enough is enough! He lives in my backyard in Lagos, if no be say we be one I would have driven him home. You see that mansion he is living, I would just use lizards, pigeons and scorpions and put inside.“

The Governor said for the country to remain at peace, one party must ‘play saint’ that is why he would refrain from replying to Tinubu.

Emmanuel who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential campaign said, “I also go to other states, and if you watch our campaigns, my principal (Atiku Abubakar) has never spoken about any Governor, he has never spoken openly about Asiwaju before”.

He noted that it was unfortunate that Tinubu, who was allowed to use the state-owned facilities: the airport, security, stadium, and a good atmosphere to come and sell his manifesto, ended up insulting the integrity of over 7.9 million Akwa Ibom people.

He wondered if it is possible for any Akwa Ibom person to go to Lagos State that Tinubu stays or the actual State he hails from to insult him in like manner and still be allowed to safely return home.

The governor said, “But here our people at the Stadium including some state governors just laughed and applauded him. What makes him think he will govern Nigeria? If I reply to him now, people will call me and say, haba oga you are not like that. But I will reply to him one day. There is nothing like ‘emilokan’ (it is my turn) here, Nigeria is in God’s hands.” 

Governor Emmanuel thanked the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for accepting the onerous task of service and urged them to see themselves as ambassadors and work towards raising the bar of leadership which will encourage productivity and promote good working relationships with subordinates in the service.


Daily Trust 

Tambuwal’s Aide D!es After Stampede At Atiku’s Rally

Tambuwal’s Aide D!es After Stampede At Atiku’s Rally

 Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on female Education, Hajiya Aishat Maina, is [email protected] She d!ed minutes after attending the Presidential rally of the People's Democratic Party.

She d!ed minutes after attending the Presidential rally of the People Democratic Party (PDP) which took place in Sokoto state on Tuesday.

Daily Trust gathered that Maina was caught in a stampede that occurred at the exit gate of Giginya Stadium, the venue of the rally.

“A motorcyclist fell down from his bike at the exit way of the stadium and that caused a serious stampede, with people falling upon one another. She was one of the victims,” a staff member of the Ministry of Information who sought for anonymity told our reporter.

Corroborating this, the Chairman of Forum of Special Advisers, Ibrahim Magaji Gusau, said the deceased was rescued and rushed to the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto for treatment.

“But unfortunately she d!ed few minutes after her admission,” he said

Magaji, who described her as hardworking and energetic, said they were together throughout last night as they were putting finishing touches to some of the items for the event.

“Even during the rally, we were together, not knowing that would be our last meeting,” he said. 

He prayed Allah to forgive her shortcomings and grant her jannatul firdaus.

The deceased was the former chairperson of the National Woman Journalists Association of Nigeria (NAWOJ), Sokoto state chapter.

She was also the former Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Tambuwal on New Media before being moved to Female Education Board.

The former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto state council, Isa Abubakar Shuni, expressed shock over the sudden demise of the journalist whom he said had mentored many female journalists and contributed immensely towards the development of journalism profession in the state.

She is survived by three children and aged parents.


Bauchi Labour Party Campaign Director Decamps To PDP

Bauchi Labour Party Campaign Director Decamps To PDP

 


The Bauchi State Labour Party campaign director, Alhassan Bawu, has dumped the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi, for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

This is coming barely three weeks before the presidential election slated to hold on February 25.

Speaking with journalists on Tuesday in Bauchi, Bawu said his defection to PDP was to support Atiku after he and other LP leaders in the North-East noticed that they may be wasting their votes for Obi.

He disclosed that the defectors believed Atiku had the capacity to lead Nigeria.

Bawu said the LP lacked structure at the ward, local and state levels, hence their decision to defect to PDP.

He continued, “We believe the LP is not strong enough to win a single seat in the North-East.

“We are officially declaring that all the North-East executives of the Labour Party are defecting to PDP to support Atiku.

“We don’t want to waste our votes, and we want to use this time to mobilise votes to who has the capacity to win the election,” he maintained.


Benue Woman, Son Beat In-law To De@th Over Meat

Benue Woman, Son Beat In-law To [email protected] Over Meat

 A Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court, Benue State, on Tuesday ordered that a 40-year-old housewife, Charity Upev, and her son, Tertsea, be remanded in a custodial centre for alleged culpable homicide.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the police charged Charity and her son with criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.

Magistrate Roseline Iyorshe did not take their plea. The judge adjourned the matter till February 8 for further mention and transferred the case file.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Inspector Jonah Uletu, told the court that on January 24, the Divisional Police Officer of ‘E’ Division Police Station, Makurdi, received information that Charity and her son beat up Fanen, her in-law living with her.

The prosecutor said Charity claimed that her in-law stole meat from her pot of soup.

The police said Fanen became unconscious as a result of the beating and was rushed to a hospital, but d!ed while receiving treatment.

The offence, the prosecutor said, contravened sections 97 and 222 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.


I am ready To Work With Obi, Kwankwaso – Atiku

I am ready To Work With Obi, Kwankwaso – Atiku

 The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has hinted his readiness to work with the candidates of the New Nigerian People Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Labour Party’s Peter Obi after meeting with the duo to support his ambition in the forthcoming election.

Atiku made this known in a 15-minute interview with BBC Hausa service on Tuesday.

Speaking with the interviewer in the Hausa language, Atiku said both Obi and Kwankwaso are not a threat to his chances of winning at the February 25 poll.

“Although, I see no threat in any of them but we are in talks, and the discussion might yield a positive result that will see one of them coming.”

While fielding questions on the lingering PDP crisis, Atiku said each party has its internal crisis and theirs will not be an exemption but they are looking to solve every difference in no distant time.

“Each party has its internal crisis, we are still talking with them. Most are neither in PDP nor in other parties and definitely that will not make us lose the election because we are okay with the election preparations for now.

“Election now is not like in the past when a governor will dictate who to vote for, election today is in the hands of the voters,” he added.

Punch 


Naira Redesign: ISWAP Distribute Old N100,000 Each To Passengers On Borno State Highway

Naira Redesign: ISWAP Distribute Old N100,000 Each To Passengers On Borno State Highway

 


Ahead of the deadline of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless policy, suspected Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, members have reportedly distributed some huge sums of old naira notes to commuters in the Lake Chad Basin.

The incident occurred after Mairari village, along the Maiduguri/Monguno highway on Saturday in the Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State, Daily Trust reports.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 23, 2022, unveiled redesigned N200, N500, and N1000 notes and the CBN immediately fixed January 31 as the date for the expiration of the old notes.

On Sunday, the apex bank extended the deadline for the swap of the old naira notes at commercial banks by 10 days.

The naira redesign is believed to be targeted at stopping vote buying in the 2023 general election scheduled for February 25 and March 11.

Some ISWAP members who were said to have driven two gun trucks and dressed in military camouflage on Saturday distributed huge amounts of the old notes to scores of commuters.

A resident of the area, Bakura Ibrahim, said the insurgents positioned themselves under a tree and stood by the roadside with bags of old naira notes.

“We left Monguno at about 12 noon. As we approached Mairari, there were no existing checkpoints in the area; we were apprehensive.

“They stopped us and asked if we were going to Maiduguri, then they started giving each person 100,000 old naira notes, but we could not believe it. They gave each occupant of the Golf Volkswagen,” Bakura said.

Another source added, “The group simply told us, “If you think you can go to their banks and change it to new naira, go and do so; may Allah make it beneficial to you.”