Wednesday, 31 May 2023

10th Assembly: APC National Vice Chair Accuses Adamu Of Working Against Party’s Zoning

10th Assembly: APC National Vice Chair Accuses Adamu Of Working Against Party’s Zoning


As the crisis over the leadership of the 10th National Assembly festers, national vice chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Moh’d Lukman, has accused the party’s national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, of working against the party’s zoning arrangement.

According to him, the leadership of the governing party was subtly working against the zoning arrangement recently adopted, with Adamu operating as a factional leader.

The party’s leadership had endorsed former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godwill Akpabio, as Senate President and Tajudeen Abbas as Speaker of House of Representatives for the 10th National Assembly.

The party also endorsed Senator Barau Jubrin (North-West) as deputy Senate president and Ben Kalu (South-East) as deputy Speaker of the House.

But last week, Adamu had curiously warned party members and some lawmakers to stop addressing Abbas as the incoming Speaker of the House until he wins the election, saying consultations with other aspirants and other legislative stakeholders were still in progress.

In a statement he issued on Wednesday, the APC national vice chairman alleged that Adamu was strongly opposed to the zoning formula announced by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) after getting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s nod.

Lukman strongly said Adamu and some other party leaders were working to actualise a replay of the 2015 debacle by making sure that another rebellious leadership emerge in the 10th National Assembly through their consistent ‘hardcore ethnic Northern arguments.’

Leadership Newspaper 

Subsidy Removal: NNPC Releases Fuel Pump Price Across The 36 States

Subsidy Removal: NNPC Releases Fuel Pump Price Across The 36 States


Following President Bola Tinubu’s announcement of fuel subsidy removal on Monday during his inaugural speech, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) on Wednesday morning released a list of adjusted pump prices for its mega stations across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

According to the released price list, the new pump price for fuel, also known as premium motor spirit (PMS), ranges from N488 in Lagos State to N557 per litre in Yobe and Borno states, while it is N537 in Abuja.

It was gathered that the NNPCL management has instructed all the management of its mega stations across the country to immediately implement the new price at all their Mega/Standard/Leased Stations.

The development has been confirmed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital and Yenagua, Bayelsa state capital where the NNPCL mega stations are opened for sale but motorists refused to buy the product at the new price as they lament that the price is beyond what they can afford.

There have been agitations across the country over the announcement of the fuel subsidy removal by President Tinubu with the immediate geometric price hikes of the product following the announcement.

President Tinubu did not remove subsidy – Keyamo

President Tinubu did not remove subsidy – Keyamo

The Chief Spokesman for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign, Festus Keyamo, has said President Bola Tinubu did not remove fuel subsidy.

According to him, a section of the media is “mischievously twisting the narrative to read that Tinubu’s government has removed subsidy,” despite President Tinubu proclaiming that subsidy was gone while giving his inaugural speech on May 29.

Keyamo, who is also a former Minister of State for Labour, rather said that Tinubu’s administration only inherited a regime where there was no provision for subsidy in the 2023 Appropriation Act beginning June 2023 and the Petroleum Industry Act, which is now extant, has no provision for subsidy.

In a series of tweets on his official handle, @fkeyamo, he said, “A section of the Press is mischievously twisting the narrative to read that Tinubu’s government has removed subsidy. That is not correct. Tinubu’s govt has merely inherited a regime where there was no provision for subsidy in the 2023 Appropriation Act as of June 2023 and the Petroleum Industry Act which is now extant has no provision for subsidy.

“President Tinubu merely acknowledged this state of affairs in his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square.

“So, any advocate of subsidy should convince the Nigerian people why President Tinubu should start on a note of illegality by promising to reintroduce something which the law has taken away. They should also convince the Nigerian people why President Tinubu should embark on a present illegality that gulped $10 billion of our scarce or unavailable resources in 2022 alone.”

He added that those claiming to defend the rights or welfare of workers should convince the Nigerian people that the $10 billion injected into the economy annually will not jumpstart the economy enough to create massive jobs and even increase the same minimum wage they complain about.

Friday, 26 May 2023

NAFDAC Destroys Fake Products Worth N4.2bn In Anambra

NAFDAC Destroys Fake Products Worth N4.2bn In Anambra


The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control has destroyed fake, substandard goods and products worth over N4.2 billion in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

Speaking during the destruction at the Aswama Dumpsite at Umuzocha (by Anambra State secretariat complex), on Friday, the Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said the exercise was in line with the agency’s mandate of eradicating fake and other spurious NAFDAC regulated products from circulation in Nigeria.

Adeyeye, who was represented at the event by the Head, Task Force team of the agency, Francis Ononiwu, added that the exercise was a combined South-East and South-South zonal destruction carried out periodically.

According to the agency, the products were made up of “spurious, counterfeited, substandard and falsified medicinal products, unwholesome processed food products and several other unsafe regulated products seized from various manufacturers, importers and distributors in the combined team of South-East and South-South zones”.

Some of the products include antibiotics, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, anti-asthmatic, aphrodisiacs, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, herbal remedies and psychoactive drugs.

Others were banned drugs such as analgin, tramadol(above 100mg), gentamycin 280mg and controlled substances, vaccines, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, chemicals and unwholesome food, among others.

Supreme Court Dismisses PDP’s Double Bomination Suit Against Shettima

Supreme Court Dismisses PDP’s Double Bomination Suit Against Shettima

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the suit seeking the disqualification of Kashim Shettima as the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for double nomination.

A five-member panel of the apex court held that the Peoples Democratic Party lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.

The panel said the PDP is not a member of the APC.

Details later…

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Tinubu Bags GCFR, Gets Transition Documents

Tinubu Bags GCFR, Gets Transition Documents

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President Muhammmadu Buhari has conferred the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR), Nigeria’s highest honour, on the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The president also conferred the national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON) on the Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima.

The investiture of national honours and official handover of transition documents ceremony were performed at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, on Thursday morning.

The 2023 presidential inauguration will mark Nigeria’s 7th consecutive democratic transition. 

Police Recover Cörpses Of Three Siblings Found Inside SUV In Lagos

Police Recover Cörpses Of Three Siblings Found Inside SUV In Lagos

 Three siblings have been found dèãd inside a parked car where they were playing in at Imota, Ikorodu Local Government of Lagos State, causing confusion in the area.

The kids identified as as Uche, Marvelous and Lazarus, three, six and eight years respectively all children of one Mr Osondu, were said to be playing inside the landlord’s RAV4 SUV parked in a fenced and gated compound.

It was learnt that one of them inadvertently pressed the central lock button of the vehicle and it ended up locking the trio till they got sūffocated.

A môb descended on the landlord and beat him until he was rescued by policemen.

Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Police Spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin, noted that the Officer in Charge (O/C) Police Family Support Unit (FSU) got a distress call from anonymous callers of a suspected Sudden and Unnatural Deáth (SUD) by suffocåtion of underage children.

Benjamin explained that a patrol team and FSU personnel moved to the scene where they met a crowd that besieged the residence of one Moses in Ikorodu.

He said, “The father of the decéasëd children said he was from Izii community in Ebonyi State and a tenant at the aforementioned address. 

The children were playing with their cousin, one Blessing Hyacinth, a girl of about 11 years, a foster daughter to Mr Osondu, at about 11am inside the landlord’s RAV4 SUV parked in a fenced and gated compound.

“One of them inadvertently pressed the central lock button of the vehicle and it ended up locking the trio till they got sūffocated. 

The three children were taken to the Ikorodu General Hospital where they were confirmed deãd by medics and their cōrpses deposited at the hospital’s mortüary for autoposy in the presence of their father.

“The landlord was brought to the station for protective custody and the RAV4 SUV was taken to the station for safekeeping too,” the statement added.

Banks Can Now Issue NIN Cards To Nigerians – FG

Banks Can Now Issue NIN Cards To Nigerians – FG


The Federal Government says Nigerians can now request their commercial banks to issue them with a debit card which doubles as their National Identity Card at no extra cost.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the approval was obtained at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

He explained that the approval followed a memo from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) allowing banks to print multipurpose debit cards that double as National identity cards.

He said, ”It is going to be a form of the multipurpose card where it will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other hand, either Mastercard, Visa, or any other kind of card.”

According to Pantami, although the NIMC Act 2007 only mandates Nigerians to have a National Identity Number and not necessarily a printout card, demands for cards have swelled nonetheless.

“As in the NIMC Act 2007, section 27, what is mandatory for our citizens and legal residents is the acquiring of the National Identity Number, not the card. However, the card is optional.

“But many citizens, particularly those living in rural communities, always go to NIMC offices complaining that they need the card at hand, even though it’s optional.

“To make it easier, NIMC last year, we introduced a smart ID card you can download from the NIMC app. It is just a smart card. You don’t need to have it physically, but that is becoming difficult for our people living in rural communities.”

To ease the difficulty, Pantami said NIMC had partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria “so that citizens who are interested in having a card at hand can easily go to the relevant banks.”

According to him, the bank is permitted to print the card along with either Mastercard or Visa card.

“It is going to be a form of a multipurpose card that will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other. And based on the agreement, it is without any additional costs to our citizens.

“So when you apply for a card at your bank, you can indicate that ‘I want this card to be multiple purposes where it will serve as my bank card and also my national identity card’.

“Both of them are going to be printed on the same card and it is going to serve the same purposes without any additional costs.”

The Minister disclosed that NIMC and the CBN signed a nondisclosure agreement to protect the privacy and confidentiality of card applicants.

“NIMC and the central bank signed a nondisclosure agreement where your privacy and your confidentiality must be respected in the course of providing the card for you.

“When you apply for the card, the bank will apply online to NIMC through their database.

”When they verify and confirm that your record in the database is in alignment with your record in the NIMC database, it will be permitted and the card is going to be printed for you immediately,” the minister added.

The Minister also said that FEC also approved a memo proposing the deployment of an automated system to integrate NINs with individual SIM cards.

The system, he noted, would consolidate the implementation of the NIN-SIM linkage.

Pantami said the automated system would sanitise the database and ease the process of SIM replacement for Nigerians or legal residents.


DSS Uncovers Plans To Disrupt Inaugurations In States — DSS

DSS Uncovers Plans To Disrupt Inaugurations In States — DSS

 The Department of State Services has disclosed that some elements are planning to disrupt the handover ceremonies in some parts of the country.

According to the service, these elements plan to undermine the efforts of the security agencies as well as cause panic among the citizens.

In a statement released on Thursday by the spokesperson for the service, Peter Afunanya, the DSS urged citizens to adhere to the laid down protocols for the events across the country.

The statement partly read, “It would be recalled that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Transition Council on May 18, 2023, held a World Press Conference during which he announced activities for the Presidential inauguration. The major highlight of the activities is the swearing-in of the President on May 29, 2023, in Abuja. On the same date, new Governors will also be inaugurated in most of the States.

The Service is, however, aware of plans by subversive elements to disrupt the programmes in parts of the country. The aim is to undermine security agencies’ efforts at ensuring peaceful ceremonies as well as creating panic and fear among members of the public.

Based on these, citizens, the media, and Civil Society Organisations are advised to adhere strictly to security and civil protocols during the events. ”

Advising Nigerians to shun fake news that could cause violence in the country, he urged unaccredited persons to stay away from the inauguration venues.

He said, “They are also urged to shun fake news, false alarms, skewed reportage/narratives, and sensationalism that may likely inflame division, tension, and violence prior to and after the exercises. This is more so that such undesirable acts will serve no purpose other than destroying national unity and cohesion.

“Additionally, all unauthorized (and unaccredited) persons are warned to stay away from restricted and certain designated areas at the event venues.

The Service reiterates its earlier call for the populace to remain calm and law-abiding. Meanwhile, it will continue to sustain collaboration with sister agencies to ensure successful inaugurations.”

Minister Of State Portfolio Unconstitutional- Festus Keyamo

Minister Of State Portfolio Unconstitutional- Festus Keyamo


The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has called on the Federal Government to consider appointing different ministers to handle individual portfolios, saying the post of ‘minister of state’ was a Constitutional aberration.

Keyamo’s recommendation was contained in the valedictory speech he gave at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, on Wednesday.

His suggestion was coming at a period elder statesmen and political analysts have called on the Federal Government to cut down on governance in line with Stephen Oronsaye’s white paper recommendation on public sector reforms.

The Oronsaye committee submitted an 800-page report on April 16, 2012, which recommended the abolition and merger of 102 government agencies and parastatals, while some were listed to be self-funding.

The report added that 263 of the statutory agencies should be reduced to 161,38 agencies should be abolished while 52 agencies should be merged.

It further recommended that 14 agencies should revert to departments in ministries.

But Keyamo put up an argument that the “Minister of State” portfolio is practically not working for many of those appointed for the post.

He noted that many appointed in such positions by successive governments have consistently refused to speak out for fear of sounding ungrateful to the Presidents who appointed them.

While stating that he doesn’t want to be seen in the light as an ingrate, the spokesman for the dissolved Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council explained that the schedules of duties leave so many gaping holes that often pitch ministers against ministers of state.

The Schedules of Duties of Ministers and Ministers of State that intend to cure some of these anomalies hardly help the issues. Firstly, the Schedules of Duties are observed more in breach by the Permanent Secretaries and Directors who really cannot be expected to serve two masters. And in any case, many of the roles of both Ministers are so ambiguous that the bureaucrats would always interpret them to satisfy the ones they see as the “Senior Ministers” or “main Ministers” for fear of being persecuted by them.

According to him, the practice first surfaced in the First Republic where it was used as a contraption to give a semblance of “Government of National Unity”, when in actual fact, no “real power” was ceded to the opposition members co-opted into governance.

The ultimate goal of designating such opposition members Ministers of State, he argued, was to keep them in check under the leadership of the ruling Party’s Ministers.

Continuing, he said that over time the custom has come to stay and has been established as a norm, even regarding ministers from the same ruling party.

“In fact, one political absurdity that has emerged from this is that some Ministers of State won more votes from their States for the party in power than the “main Minister. As a result, many Ministers of State are largely redundant, with many going to the office for symbolic purpose and just to while away the time. Files are passed to them to treat only at the discretion of the other Minister and the Permanent Secretary. Yet, the Ministers of State will receive either praise or condemnation for the successes or failures of such Ministries.

“In addition, the provision that “Ministers of State” cannot present Memos in Council, except with the permission of the Minister, is another anomaly. It means the discretion of the Minister of State is subsumed in the discretion of the Minister, yet both of them represent different States in Cabinet. It also follows that it would be difficult to assess the individual performances of the Ministers of State since their discretion is shackled under the discretion of the Ministers. Original ideas developed by a Minister of State are subject to clearance by another colleague in Cabinet before they can sail through for consideration by Council. The drafters of our Constitution obviously did not intend this.

“In my case, whilst the schedule of my colleague had to do more with Labour and Productivity, mine had to do more with Employment. The Directorates in my Ministry that were under my office would then be fully under the Minister of Employment, without any double loyalty to the Minister of Labour and Productivity. We can also have a Minister of Trade and another Minister of Investment. We can have a Minister of Education (Tertiary) and another Minister of Education (Primary and Secondary); we can have a Minister of Mines and another Minister of Steel; we can have a Minister of Works and another Minister of Housing and so on.

“Obviously, the argument that two ministers are cramped into some ministries in order not to unnecessarily proliferate ministries and therefore save Government’s money is no longer tenable. This is because the present Ministers and Ministers of State have their separate offices, cars, security personnel and personal aides. So, what is the point?

“Finally, I want to place it on record again that Mr. Present gave me maximum support as his Minister to function optimally. This treatise is not a personal complaint. This is just a respectful recommendation for record purposes and for the sake of posterity. It is also intended to correct an anomaly that has existed for ages.”

Nigeria Will ‘Fall’ If Kanu Dîes In Detention, Says IPOB

Nigeria Will ‘Fall’ If Kanu Dîes In Detention, Says IPOB


The Indigenous People of Biafra, on Wednesday, threatened that should its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, “fall in the hands of Nigeria, then Nigeria and her leaders will fall in the hands of Biafra.”

In a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, the pro-Biafran group said it was disappointed in the United Nations, European Union, African Union and ECOWAS for keeping silent while its leader continued to be detained for almost two years by the Federal Government.

The group accused the Supreme Court of bias in the handling of Kanu’s case, saying the apex court  was  conspiring with the Federal Government, which “wants our leader to dīe in detention,” given his ill health.

“It is also possible that the DSS has given him (Kanu) a slow-acting poison, which is why his health keeps deteriorating to eventually k!ll him.

“In what we consider a conspiracy to k!ll our leader, the Nigeria Supreme Court, the constitutional court refused to entertain an appeal from Kanu’s lawyers over his deteriorating health. Instead, the apex court gave a wicked long adjournment of four months in the case of an innocent man that appeal court Justices have discharged and acquitted.

“In all these human right and court abuses, there seems to be a conspiratory  silence among international organisations and her affiliate human rights organisations.

“As the health of our leader continues to deteriorate and the Federal Government refuses to obey lawful orders and the world maintains this criminal silence, IPOB will do all within our power to ensure that our leader does not die in detention. Freedom for Kanu is the freedom of the entire black race. Kanu is not a criminal. He is not a terrôrist, nor has he been associated with Nigeria treasury looting, which Nigerian politicians are known for.

“We are telling the international community and African Union in particular not to blame IPOB for whatever becomes the aftermath of Nigeria’s continuous disobedience to both local and international laws in the case of Nnamdi Kanu now.

“We want the world to understand that IPOB is peaceful but understands our right of self-defence. The gentleness of a tiger should not be taken as cowardice. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable. Our prayers are that the Nigerian government will do the needful on time because if our leader falls in the hands of Nigeria, then Nigeria and her leaders will fall in the hands of Biafra,” IPOB said.

When one of our correspondents asked the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, for comments, he declined to speak on the issue.


Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Election Tribunal: Our Lawyers Barred From Talking To Press – APC Team

Election Tribunal: Our Lawyers Barred From Talking To Press – APC Team


A counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), has informed the Presidential Election Petitions Court that no lawyer in their team is allowed to speak to the press over the ongoing proceedings.

Akintola was responding to an advice to all the petitioners by the presiding justice of the court, Justice Haruna Tsammani, to reduce the number of lawyers in their teams so as to give more room to members of the public.

Responding, Akintola said they barred lawyers in their team from granting the regular post-proceeding press conferences to the members of the press, adding that any lawyer who does that would be expelled from the team.

“My lord, if you observe none of our lawyers do that, anything said here remains here,” he said.

He also informed the court that their team made up of 38 Senior Advocates of Nigeria and other lawyers have been streamlined and every lawyer knows the week they would attend the proceedings.

Earlier, lead counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, Chris Uche (SAN), assured the court that the legal team would streamline their legal team in line with the request.

He, however, said the period of election petitions affords lawyers a great opportunity to learn the practice procedure in election petitions.

Police Arraigns Three For Banishing Anambra Widow

Police Arraigns Three For Banishing Anambra Widow

 Some suspects who allegedly banished a widow from the Umunankwo community in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State have been arrested and arraigned before the Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Magistrates’ Court in Awka, the state capital.

The suspects and defendants identified as Lazarus Uzor, Anozie Uzor and Valentine Okwuosa, a brother to the widow, hailed from Umunankwo and were said to have used a masquerade to force a widow, Nneka Uzor, out of the community some few weeks ago.

They were arraigned on a five counts on Monday.Their arrest was facilitated by the state Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, in collaboration with the state police command last week.

When the charges were read and interpreted to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The Chief Magistrate, Genevieve Osakwe, thereafter granted them bail in the sum of N700,000.

The 53-year-old widow, a caterer and a mother of two was banished from her community by her brothers and other relations over an allegation that she was a witch.

The video of her banishment recently went viral on social media and thereby attracted the state commissioner.

Narrating her ordeal in the office of the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare in Awka, on Monday, Uzor explained that she started living in her parents’ house in Umunankwo nine years ago after her husband’s death and she has since been met with all kinds of abuse by her brothers and other family members.

She said, “This particular issue started when someone died in our neighbourhood and like other members of the community, I was invited to the burial which made me sleep over at our family compound, but I was surprised to be called upon around 5.30am the next morning by my uncle and brothers with masquerades.

“I got dressed and was accompanied by everyone in attendance alongside the masquerade and was marched out of the community with my brothers and other relations warning me never to step foot in Umunankwo again.”

Reacting, the commissioner expressed satisfaction with the decision of the court and promised to get justice for the widow and all Anambra widows going through such ill-treatment.

She further warned residents to desist from any form of harmful traditional practices against widows in the state as such would not be tolerated, stating that the government of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo had zero tolerance for such inhumane acts.

Tribunal rejects live broadcast, S’Court decides anti-Tinubu suit Friday

Tribunal rejects live broadcast, S’Court decides anti-Tinubu suit Friday


The Presidential Election Petition Court on Monday refused a request for a live broadcast of its proceedings, stating that the application lacked merit.

The five-member panel of the court headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani, held that Nigeria’s judicial policies and legislative framework had no place for live telecast of court sessions.

The rejection of the applications filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party and its candidate, Peter Obi, was handed down on Monday as the Supreme Court fixed Friday for judgment in a suit seeking the disqualification of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima.

The suit was brought by the PDP through its counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, alleging that Shettima had double nomination as a senatorial candidate and later, presidential running mate.

The party wants the apex court to upturn the verdict of the Court of Appeal which dismissed the appeal on the grounds of locus standi.

In their respective motions, Atiku and Obi had prayed to the court for an order directing its registry and the parties on modalities for admission of media practitioners and their equipment into the courtroom.

They equally argued that the live broadcast of the proceedings would remove any doubts about the transparency of the judiciary and promote fairness.

But the respondents the Independent National Electoral Commission, the president-elect and the APC – opposed the applications, insisting that they related to policy formulation of the court, which is outside the PEPC’s jurisdiction as constituted.

Arguing the motion, Chris Uche, counsel for Atiku and the PDP said, “There is no single legislative or statutory position against it.”

According to him, a live broadcast doesn’t necessarily mean the faces of the justices would be shown.

In his submission, Abubakar Mahmoud, counsel for the electoral commission, averred that a live broadcast “will only defeat the solemn atmosphere of the court.”

The president-elect represented by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, expressed surprise over the application saying, “The court is not a stadium or a crusade ground. It is not a theatre or circus.”

Tribunal Explains Rejection

However, the court in its ruling held the petitioners’ submission on public proceedings “does not mean the court must sit in a stadium or a market square.”

“The application is a novel one in this country. It is not provided for in any of our rules or procedures,’’ the PEPC ruled.

The court also held that the case of Oscar Pistorius, O.J Simpsons and others cited by the petitioners in their application did not apply to the Nigerian judiciary.

The panel further held that for the court to okay the application, judicial policies and regulatory frameworks would be put in place.

In a separate ruling, the court also rejected the application by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate seeking to televise the proceedings of the court.

The court dismissed the application on the same grounds as Atiku and the PDP.

Asked if the former vice-president planned to appeal the ruling, the Media Adviser to Atiku, Paul Ibe said the demand for the live telecast was in the interest of the people, adding that his principal would rather focus on the main issue rather than dissipate energy on an appeal.

“One of the senior lawyers has spoken and he said there’s no need for appeal. It (rejection of live telecast by the tribunal) has happened, and we will move on. Live telecast was not a substantive issue, but we demanded it for the sake of transparency.

Govs-Elect Protest As Outgoing Governors Shun Transition Panels

Govs-Elect Protest As Outgoing Governors Shun Transition Panels


There are strong indications that the transition process is not going smoothly in many states as the outgoing governors are allegedly not cooperating with their successors.

Following the development, the panels set up by the incoming governors are asking questions on the financial conditions of the states, thus generating tension.

In Zamfara State, Governor Bello Matawalle was accused of not cooperating with the incoming administration of Dauda Dare ahead of the inauguration on May 29.

The Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Faruku Ahmed, in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday, stressed that since Matawalle lost his re-election bid, he had abandoned the state and had been avoiding the governor-elect.

Ahmed further alleged that Matawalle left the state two months ago and was not cooperating with the incoming administration in terms of the transition programme.

Ahmed said, “The incoming administration of Dauda Lawan Dare has been trying to get some relevant information from the outgoing administration, but Governor Bello Mattawalle is not willing to cooperate with the committees appointed by the incoming governor to find out the true picture of things.

“Based on this, the incoming governor appointed sub-committees to go round the ministries, departments and other agencies in order to get relevant information because Governor Matawalle is not willing to prepare handing over notes.”

He condemned those condemning the committee appointed by the governor-elect to investigate ministries, departments and other government agencies in the state.

He said Dare had every right to appoint committees to furnish him with relevant information on the activities of the outgoing administration ‘’so that he would know where to start and how to recover some government properties and funds allegedly diverted by the outgoing administration of Governor Bello Matawalle in the last four years.’’

The incoming governor recently constituted a committee under the leadership of a former Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, to ensure the smooth handing and taking over of government on May 29.

“Since Governor Matawalle is not ready to cooperate with the incoming administration, the appointed committees will find out the true situation of things for the incoming administration.

“So, we will not wait until the handing over date. We will continue to invite top civil servants and public office holders to come and make clarifications,’’ the PDP spokesman declared.

APC Faults Gov-Elect 

But the Publicity Secretary of the Zamfara State All Progressive Congress, Yusuf Idris, faulted the allegation that Mattawalle had abandoned the state, describing the claim as untrue.

Speaking to The PUNCH on the phone, Idris explained that the governor had only travelled outside the state for important functions.

He said it was not possible for Ahmed to know whether the governor was in the state or not.

He noted, “Governor Matawalle has been coming to the state but goes back to attend some important functions for the progress of the state. Whoever told you that he has been away since the time he lost the election is only saying so to tarnish his (Matawalle’s) image.

“I want people to understand that whether the governor is in the state or not, the government’s activities are going on smoothly without any hindrance.”

The state Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, also criticised Dare for appointing committees to get information on the activities of ministries departments and agencies.

Dosara in a statement said this was illegal as Matawalle was still the governor until May 29.

He, therefore, asked the MDAs and other agencies to desist from releasing any information to the incoming administration without the consent of the transition committee appointed by the outgoing administration.

The statement read in part, “This is to inform the general public that it has come to the attention of Zamfara State government that some members of the incoming government transition committee are currently going around ministries and departments of the government collecting information and conducting investigations into the activities of the MDAs.’’

In Benue, there seems to be no love lost between the governor-elect, Rev Father Hyacinth Alia and the outgoing administration following the controversy trailing the two transition committees set up by Governor Samuel Ortom and Alia.

The APC Publicity Secretary in the state, Daniel Ihomun, who spoke on behalf of Mike Iordye, the Chairman of the transition committee, said he was not enjoying the cooperation of the state government’s committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Tony Ijohor, SAN.

He further lamented that the presidential lodge, the expected temporary lodge for the governor-elect had not been renovated.

He said, “The outgoing administration has been recruiting more people at a time it cannot pay those who are in the service for over 10 months; it cannot pay pensioners, yet it is recruiting more people to add to the burdens of the incoming government.

“This is a government that did not recruit for over seven years; so, the question is, why now?’’

Ortom Plans Handover 

But the state government has declared it will formally hand over power to the incoming administration on May 28.

Addressing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mike Inalegwu, said this was to enable the incoming administration to celebrate and reduce the cumbersome transition processes on May 29.

In Kano State, the outgoing government of Governor Umar Ganduje was also accused of not collaborating with the New Nigeria Peoples Party transition committee under the chairmanship of Dr Bappa Bichi.

The committee recently addressed a press conference where it alleged that Ganduje was undermining the transition programme by not providing the necessary cooperation.

Speaking to our correspondent, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor-elect, Sanusi Tofa, stated, “It was after that press conference we started getting cooperation but not full cooperation or as expected.’’

But a top government official of the state government, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The PUNCH on the telephone on Monday that the Ganduje administration had provided the NNPP transition committee with all what it needed.

The official, who expressed satisfaction with the committee’s performance so far, called for understanding in order to ensure a hitch-free transition of power on 29th May, 20.

The same situation is being experienced in Abia State where the transition committee set up by the Governor-elect, Alex Otti is reportedly having issues with the outgoing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

Otti’s representative in the Abia State Government Handover Committee, Rev. Fr. Christian Anokwuru disclosed that there was a snag in the committee’s work due to the delay in providing the handover documents.

Getting insight into the finances of the state may be a problem as according to Anokwuru, “It is expected that the outgoing administration would avail the governor-elect the handover documents early enough to enable him to study the content before May 29.

“The handover documents covering the government’s activities from 2015 to April 2023, ought to have been ready.

“Unfortunately, the government committee appears to be more preoccupied with preparations for the swearing-in ceremony rather than the documents. If the government insists that the handover documents would only be made available on May 29, it means the governor-elect has to take some time to study them.’’

The situation in Plateau State appears to be slightly different as the transition committee said the transition programme was on course.

But the Chairman of the Publicity Sub-committee, Yiljap Abraham, complained that no funds had been released by the outgoing administration to facilitate the inauguration.

He said, “We are still awaiting the government in that regard(release of funds). We just hope that they will cooperate. We have a date already fixed for the inauguration of the governor-elect and that is May 29. But for now, no funds have been released to the transition committee.”

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Gunmen Kïll Four US Embassy Staff In Anambra

Gunmen Kïll Four US Embassy Staff In Anambra

 Four staff of the United States Embassy in Nigeria have been shot dead in Ogbaru local government area of Anambra State.

Sources told News Point Nigeria, that the convoy of the embassy officials came under fire as it was passing through the area.

A source said the victims were on humanitarian mission to the area while another source said the attacked officials wanted to connect their destination through Ogbaru LGA.

“At least four persons were kîlled in the attaçk while others sustained injuries. Troops have taken over the community,” a security source News Point Nigeria newspaper.

Details of the attaçk were not available as of the time of filing this report, however, Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident without providing details.

“Following the information of the shooting incident within Ogbaru community, the Commissioner of Police CP Echeng Echeng has deployed a police team led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations to arrest the situation.

“Meanwhile, the details of the incident are still sketchy, I will get back to you as soon as I can, please,” the PPRO was quoted as saying.

The US Mission Nigeria also confirmed the incident, saying its personnel were collaborating with Nigerian security operatives to get to the root of the matter.

Nigeria Senator To Challenge Buhari’s $800m Loan In Court

Nigeria Senator To Challenge Buhari’s $800m Loan In Court


The senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Ali Ndume, has vowed to challenge the $800 million loan sought by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The President had sought Senate approval for $800 million loan to finance the National Social Safety Network Programme.

According to the President, the loan from the World Bank is aimed at providing succour to the poorest of the poor upon removal of the petrol subsidy.

But Ndume in an interview on Trust TV’s Daily Politics argued that the loan is “unconstitutional and unfair.”

He said, “I will go to court on that because it is unfair, illegal and unconstitutional. Let me give you example, we are two now in the studio and you say you are going to borrow one million and share among the two of us, how are you going to select the two? Beside that if you are giving to the two and they are the ones to pay that is okay but it is all Nigerians that will pay.

“If you give Nigerians today ₦4,000 randomly, how fair is that? In fact, it is unconstitutional because the constitution of Nigeria does not allow you to discriminate.

“These guys they will just use grammar to confuse this old man (Buhari) and he will just approve. He (Buhari) doesn’t understand this, they just want to steal the money, we cannot continue to allow this kind of things.

“What they are targeting is what they can get out of it not, what Nigerians can get, you can quote me on that, any of them come to challenge me on TV, I will come back to explain myself, they are misleading the President.”

Police Brütalise Okada Rider, Seize Motorcycle In Lagos

Police Brütalise Okada Rider, Seize Motorcycle In Lagos

A yet-to-be-identified motorcyclist has been brütalised by policemen attempting to seize his motorcycle around Ogundele Street, Oja Oba in the Abule Egba area of Lagos State.

The PUNCH gathered that the motorcyclist was going to a destination in the area when the policemen accosted him.

The reason why the policemen accosted the motorcyclist could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report but during the attempt to seize the motorcycle, the motorcyclist resisted.

Angered by the action of the motorcyclist, the three policemen were seen in a 45 seconds video clip recorded by an eyewitness descending on the motorcyclist in a bid to seize the motorcyclist.

In the video clip posted on Wednesday by a Twitter handle, @AGINAS, one of the policemen was seen using a stick to beat the motorcyclist who was bent on recovering his motorcyclist from them.

“Police Brùtality: Unarmed innocent young man seen brutalised by the police and his motorcycle seized from him by a group of (police) in Oja Oba, Ogundele Street close to Abule Egba under the bridge in Lagos,” a message attached to the video read.

Blõòd was seen gushing out of the head of the motorcyclist as the three policemen fled the scene of the incident with the motorcycle.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, had yet to respond to calls and a text message sent to his phone number as of the time this report was filed. 

Osinbajo Should Have Contested For 2023 Presidential Election - Peter Obi

Osinbajo Should Have Contested For 2023 Presidential Election - Peter Obi


The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, on Wednesday, said the All Progressives Congress would have succeeded in moving Nigeria forward if it had chosen Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as its candidate.

Obi said this while exchanging pleasantries with some guests at Dele Momodu’s 63rd birthday in London.

In the 52-second video that went viral on social media platforms, the former Anambra State governor said he had one time confronted the leadership of APC that if they wanted Nigeria to work as a progressive country, they should have just given Osinbajo the party’s presidential ticket.

He said, “I am desperate to see Nigeria working, I can’t hide it. I even confronted them if you want it, why didn’t you bring Osinbajo so that we can have people who want to work for the country?

“Nigeria needs a healthy person and someone like him working 24 hours. Let’s have the place working for everyone,” he added.

Recall that Obi had filed a petition to challenge the victory of APC’s Bola Tinubu as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Obi, who came third in the election, filed his petition to challenge the outcome of the poll at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja around midnight on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

He alleged that the election was characterised by various irregularities including the non-qualification of Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, to contest the election.

He also alleged that Tinubu failed to win the majority of the lawful votes cast in the election, and just as he could not secure one-quarter of the lawful votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Obi also challenged that the election was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provision of the law.

Following the resumption of the sitting today, the court has adjourned to Friday, May 19, 2023, the pre-hearing of Obi’s petition against Tinubu.

The court headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani fixed the date, following the failure of parties in the petition to agree on documents among other reasons.

Tinubu, Shettima Oppose Live Broadcast Of Election Petition Proceedings

Tinubu, Shettima Oppose Live Broadcast Of Election Petition Proceedings


The President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, have urged the Presidential Election Petition Court to dismiss the application by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party for a live broadcast of proceedings.

They argued that the relief sought by the applicants are not such that the court could grant it.

The President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, have urged the Presidential Election Petition Court to dismiss the application by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party for a live broadcast of proceedings.

They argued that the relief sought by the applicants are not such that the court could grant it.

“With much respect to the petitioners, the motion is an abuse of the processes of this honourable court,” the respondents stated.

Besides describing the application as frivolous, they said the court is not a soapbox, stadium or theatre where the public should be entertained.

Through their team of lawyers, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, they wondered why a petitioner would file an application to distract the court and waste its precious time.

They stated, in the counter affidavit, that the application relates to policy formulation of the court, which is outside the PEPC’s jurisdiction as constituted.

“The application also touches on the powers and jurisdiction invested in the President of the Court of Appeal by the Constitution, over which this honourable court as presently constituted cannot entertain.

“The application touches on the administrative functions, which are exclusively reserved for the President of the Court of Appeal.

“The application is aimed at dissipating the precious judicial time of this honourable court.

“The said application does not have any bearing with the petition filed by the petitioners before this honourable court.

“It is in the interest of justice for this honourable court to dismiss the said application filed by the petitioners,” they said.

In an attached written address, the respondents faulted the applicants’ reference to the fact that virtual proceedings were allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They argued that Atiku and his party failed to draw the court’s attention to the fact that practice directions were made by the respective courts for the exercise.

“Another angle to this very curious application is the invitation it extends to the court to make an order that it cannot supervise.

“The position of the law remains, and we do submit that the court, like nature, does not make an order in vain, or an order which is incapable of enforcement,” the respondents stated.

More so, they stated that “At the very best, this application is academic, very otiose, very unnecessary, very time-wasting, most unusual and most unexpected, particularly, from a set of petitioners, who should be praying for the expeditious trial of their petition.

“Petitioners have brought their application under Section 36(3) of the Constitution which provides that the proceedings of a court/tribunal shall be held in public.

“The word ‘public’ as applied under Section 36(3) of the Constitution has been defined in a plethora of judicial authorities to mean a place where members of the public have unhindered access, and the court itself, sitting behind open doors, not in the camera.

“Even in situations where a class action is presented, the particular people constituting the class being represented by the plaintiffs or petitioners are always defined in the originating process.

“Here, in this application, the public at whose behest this application has been presented is not defined, not known, not discernable.

“Beyond all these, it is our submission that the court of law must and should always remain what it is, what it should be and what it is expected to be: a serene, disciplined, hallowed, tranquil, honourable and decorous institution and place.

“It is not a rostrum or a soapbox. It is not also a stadium or theatre. It is not an arena for ‘public’ entertainment.

“With much respect to the petitioners, the motion is an abuse of the processes of this honourable court.”