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Showing posts from January 7, 2024

Nigerians’ll reject one-party state — IBB

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, IBB, has dismissed suggestions that Nigerians will accept a one-party state. Babaginda, who was Head of State between 1985 and 1993, claimed that a one-party state tends to lead to dictatorship. He made this known on Friday during an appearance on Channels TV’s Inside Sources with Laolu Akande. His words: “I have been in a military regime, and the Nigerians I know won’t allow a one-party state. I have been a military man. And I know dictatorship is not good and can’t be good in a civil society. “Nigerians who I know won’t allow a one-party system and will talk you out of it until you get tired.” IBB also reiterated his call for a two-party system, stating that it prevents rancour and will save the country a lot of funds and issues associated with a multi-party system. He said: “Immediately after independence, Nigeria tended to gravitate towards a two-party system. The number of parties formed a coalition to gain

Breaking: Tinubu Suspends National Social Investment Programme Amid Corruption Probe

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended all administered programmes by the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA). This is further to the ongoing investigation of alleged malfeasance in the management of the agency and its programmes. In a statement on Friday, Segun Imohiosen, Director of Information in the office to Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said all four (4) Programmes administered by NSIPA, viz; N- Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme and Home Grown School Feeding Programme (the “Programs”) have been suspended for a period of six (6) weeks in the first instance. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has also raised significant concerns regarding operational lapses and improprieties surrounding payments to the Programs’ beneficiaries.” “He has therefore constituted a ministerial panel to conduct a thorough review of the Agency’s operations with a view to recommending necessary refor

Abia Gov Poll: Supreme Court affirms Otti as winner

The Supreme Court, on Friday, affirmed Mr Alex Otti of the Labour Party, LP, as the valid winner of the governorship election held in Abia State on March 18. The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel of justices, dismissed two separate appeals that sought to nullify Otti’s election victory. In its lead judgement that was read by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, the apex court held that the appeal of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Okey Ahiwe, and his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Ikechi Emenike, brought before it lacked merit. It held that there was no legal basis to tamper with the concurrent findings of the Abia State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, which upheld Otti’s election. According to the apex court, the argument of the appellants that Otti was not a bona fide member of the LP at the time the governorship election was held was immaterial in the face of Section 177(c)

N70bn alleged fraud: We ‘ll revisit Matawalle’s case,EFCC Chairman vows

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, has promised that the anti-graft agency would revisit investigation of the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mattawalle over alleged N70 billion money laundering leveled against him while he was in office as governor of Zamfara State. His assurance came on the heels of protest by a Zamfara State based pressure group,Zamfara Alternative Forum, which protested on Friday to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, demanding that the agency revisits the fraud allegation case against the former governor. Speaking to reporters through the EFCC’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Wilson Uwujaren, in response to the group’s protest and demand,Ola Olukoyede, vowed that his administration would not condone corruption in any way.  “I want to thank the Zamfara Alternative Forum for doing this peacefully, we like this kind of peaceful protest and initiative by young Nigerians. I want to assure you that as

NAF airstrikes eliminate three ISWAP commanders, scores of foot soldiers in Borno

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai has neutralised three commanders of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and several other fighters in Marte and Kukawa in Borno State. The commanders include Abou Maimuna, Abou Zahra, and ‘Commander’ Saleh. Sources disclosed that the operations, which were coordinated by the new Air Component Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Air Commodore UU Idris, were executed on January 10 after a NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft spotted the terrorists moving in canoes. A counter-insurgency expert with vast knowledge of Lake Chad, Zagazola Makama, who confirmed the operation, said the fighters were neutralised in successive strikes by the attack aircraft as they attempted to flee the location. Sources confirmed that the three commanders and some of their lieutenants on the canoe met their Waterloo during the strikes. Further revelations showed that other strikes were carried ou

BREAKING: Abba Yusuf remains duly elected governor of Kano, supreme court rules

The supreme court has certified the election of Abba Yusuf as Kano state governor. A five-member panel of the apex court held that the tribunal and the court of appeal erred by sacking Yusuf, candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), as governor of the state. The court had reserved judgment after hearing the appeals on December 21, 2023. In September, the Kano state governorship election petition tribunal sacked Yusuf as governor of the state. The tribunal deducted 165,663 votes from the 1,019,602 recorded for Yusuf because the ballot papers were not stamped, signed and dated as required by law. The tribunal then declared Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the vote.  On November 17, the court of appeal upheld the tribunal’s verdict and added that Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP when he contested the election.

Edugate: Don’t spare anybody, Peter Obi tells Tinubu

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, asked President Bola Tinubu not to spare anybody found culpable in the alleged scandal involving the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu. Obi, who made the appeal in a statement via his verified X-handle, said the government should go beyond the suspension of the minister and carry out a comprehensive investigation into the matter. He described Edu’s suspension as a welcomed development, calling on the government to give the problem of public sector corruption severe urgency. Obi lamented that a ministry created in good faith to attend to the plight of the suffering masses was being turned into a conduit pipe to steal from the poor, as seen in the current and previous ministers of the ministry. “I like to add my voice with most Nigerians concerned about accountability in government and judicious use of public funds, to welcome the suspension of Edu, and subsequent directives for her i

Naira gains 19% to N874.79/$ in NAFEMfalls to N1260/$ in parallel market

The naira yesterday appreciated N874.79 per dollar in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM). Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM rose to N874.79 per dollar from N1,082.32 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating 19 per cent or N207.53 appreciation for the naira. The intraday high stood at N1,264.96 per dollar while the intraday low was N475 per dollar, resulting in a N789.96 per dollar margin. The volume of dollars traded in NAFEM stood at $110.41 million yesterday Similarly, the naira appreciated to N1,240 per dollar in the parallel market from N1,250 per dollar on Wednesday. Consequently, the gap between the official and parallel market exchange rates widened to N365.21 per dollar yesterday from N167.68 per dollar on Wednesday.

32-yr-old bank staff commits suicide in Lagos

Uneasy calm pervaded one of the first-generation banks in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, following the recovery of the lifeless body of one of the members of staff, on the floor of the bank’s toilet. The deceased, identified as Amarachi Ugochukwu, was said to have committed suicide. A suicide note and an empty can of insecticide she was suspected to have drunk were found on the floor of the toilet. The late Amarachi, a Marketing staff, according to her colleagues, left her table at about noon, on January 8, 2024, to ease herself. Her long absence was noticed, after her phone, which she left on the table, repeatedly rang out without response. Out of curiosity, some of her colleagues were said to have searched for her within the premises. One of them, who went to search for her in the toilet, was said to have found it locked from inside. Apprehension set in when several knocks on the door were greeted with silence from within. When the door was forced open, she was found on

Kanu remains victim of false imprisonment without trial date – IPOB Lawyer

Special Counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr Aloy Ejimakor, has released the latest update following the meeting with his client. Ejimakor said Kanu has been reduced to a victim of false imprisonment by the federal government if he is denied a date for his trial. Kanu’s lawyer made this known in a statement via his X account on Thursday after the visit of the legal team to the IPOB leader in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).  “Sequel to the Legal Team’s meeting with #MNK today, it needs to be stated that, without any date set for his trial, he remains a victim of false imprisonment by the Nigerian State,” Ejimakor wrote. “The new game is that he’s being denied a trial that will accord him the avenue to clear his name,” he added. In the meeting with Kanu on Monday, Ejimakor fumed that the delay in his client’s case was unusual and unacceptable, adding that the apex court should take prompt steps to transmit his

Police Arrest Christmas Eve attack suspects in Plateau State

Says, "No gree forgot anybody’ slogan can trigger crises in Nigeria The Nigeria police force says it has arrested suspects who are believed to be a syndicate behind the Christmas Eve masscare in Plateau State.  Adejobi said three members of a syndicate have been arrested in connection with the Christmas Eve attacks on some communities in Plateau State. The suspects are Ahmed Sulaimon, Balikisu Aliyu, and Aboki Samuel. The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has also issued a warning that the ‘no gree for anybody’ slogan is capable of triggering crises in the country. The force spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja.  The ‘no gree for anybody’ slogan has gained popularity among Nigerian especially on the social media space. ‘No gree for anybody’ simply means ‘do not tolerate any form of nonsense from anybody’ or ‘do not allow yourself to be bullied by anyone.’ Speaking on the trend, Adejobi said intelligence reports show that the catchphras

𝗦𝗼𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗼, 𝗔𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗯𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽 𝗢𝗸𝗲𝗸𝗲 𝗖𝗹𝗮𝘀𝗵 𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗔𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗿𝗮 𝗕𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗟𝗮𝘄

The Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, and Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State were locked in a war of words yesterday over the governor’s threat to impose a fine on the Obimma family for celebrating funeral ceremonies of Ezinne Grace Obimma in a flamboyant manner. Recall that there is an existing law against lavish burial ceremonies in Anambra State, enacted during Willie Obiano’s administration. Soludo had at Nkwelle Ezunaka during the requiem mass for Ezinne Grace Obimma, mother of the spiritual director of Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, Rev Fr Emmanuel Obimma, lambasted the family, particularly Charles Obimma, who was a member of the legislature that passed the state burial law in 2019, for an over-shooting limit of burial expenses prescribed by the law. The governor said the insignificant, low-key burial of his late father, Pa Simeon Soludo, was child’s play com

Kidnapping: IGP orders deployment of additional police personnel along Abuja-Kaduna expressway

Tasks DIG Operations on Strict Supervision Following the growing security along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway and kidnapping attacks on communities on that corridor, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, has implemented measures to enhance safety and security in the region. Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi, made this known on Thursday. He said, “Recognising the paramount importance of securing this critical transportation artery, the IGP has intensified deployments of police officers and security paraphernalia, leveraging advanced technology and strategic resources to bolster the overall security infrastructure along the route. “The IGP, while directing the DIG Operations, DIG Ede Ayuba Ekpeji, on strict supervision of the personnel detailed for operations along the route, reiterated that the proactive step aims to reassure citizens and travellers of their safety, as the increased presence of security forces in the region will act as

OBAZEE REPORT…CBN Wields Big Stick, Sacks Banks’ BoardsCites compliance, corporate governance infractions

| Union, Keystone, Polaris banks affected President Bola Tinubu appears to have started the implementation of the report of the special investigation headed by Jim Obazee on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which indicted the former governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, some banks and other private entities. Yesterday, the CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso ordered the dissolution of boards and managements of three banks – Union Bank, Keystone Bank, and Polaris Bank – that were indicted by the Obazee-led probe panel. All the banks were acquired through questionable transactions, the investigative team had claimed. In a press statement issued last night by the central bank’s spokeswoman, Sidi Ali Hakama, the apex bank attributed the dissolution of the banks’ managements and boards to non-compliance with the provisions of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 2020. It also said that the banks were engaged in infractions ranging from regulatory non-compliance and corporate go

Gov Eno Seeks Tinubu’s Support To Revive Akwa Ibom’s Oil Palm Sector

Akwa Ibom State governor, Umo Eno, has solicited the federal government’s support to revive the state’s moribund oil palm industry. He disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday after meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa. The country currently buys in more than $500 million worth of palm oil every year. Governor Eno outlined plans to resuscitate the sector that has remained dormant for nearly three decades, as part of efforts to diversify the state’s economy. He requested the backing of the Tinubu administration for the initiative. He said, “We also have a request. We’ve talked and requested him to support us with our Ibom Deep Sea Port, and agricultural programme on the oil palm. Akwa Ibom is an oil palm zone.   “And we have started the process of revamping the moribund industry that has laid there for 28 years. It is being revamped right now. We need the support of the federal government to be able to have a full value chain

Why Tinubu acted swiftly on allegations of fraud against Betta Edu — APC

Also yesterday, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC justified why President Bola Tinubu acted swiftly on allegations of fraud against the suspended minister of humanitarian affairs, Betta Edu. The party noted that there were processes information undergoes before it gets to the president. The National Publicity Secretary of the All progressives Congress, Felix Morka, who spoke in an interview with Arise Television yesterday, said: “We are talking about the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you don’t expect that every act that happens in a ministry is something that is mirrored in the presidency or that there is a board where the president is seeing everything happening in every ministry. “When there is a problem, that problem works its way up through the channels of information of vetting and filtering to present information to the president for his assessment and decision. “I don’t think the timeline that you are talking about is less swift because people

Edu’s suspension commendable but not enough — Atiku

Meanwhile, the team of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday warned the President Bola Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress, APC, administration against weaponising the growing poverty among Nigerians, noting that though commendable, the mere suspension of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr, Betta Edu, was not enough. The word of caution was contained in a statement signed by Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, in Abuja. Recall that Edu was suspended by President Tinubu after a leaked memo showed that she ordered the transfer of N585.2 million into the private bank account of a civil servant, who is the accountant in charge of grants for vulnerable Nigerians. In his response to the scandal, Shaibu said it was unfortunate that a programme that was designed to lift over 100 million Nigerians out of extreme poverty had become a cash cow for successive APC governments. He said: “While Tinubu deserves commendation

Chieftaincy title saga: Ifeanyi Ubah responds to suspension of Anambra monarch

The senator representing Anambra South senatorial zone, Senator Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has reacted to the suspension of the traditional ruler of Neni, a community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state.  A suspension letter by Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, accused HRM Igwe Damian Ezeani for not seeking clearance from the state government before bestowing titles on deserving sons of Anambra. The monarch had, during the Yuletide, conferred on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah the title of Odenjinji of Neni. In his reaction, Ubah,in a statement made available to the press from his Head of media and head of strategic communications,Hon. Kamen Chuks of said: “The entire game is all about politics. Soludo is frustrated by my rising popularity. I’m not the only person to receive a chieftaincy title. Former Chief of Army Staff Buratai was honoured within the same period; Vice President Kashim Shettima was also hon

Yuletide: Anambra Police Command Record Success, arrest 30, secure release of kidnapped victim

The Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Aderemi Adeoye, has said that the command has arrested about 30 suspects, who are mostly kidnappers, armed robbers, cultists and hoodlums who have been terrorising the state.  The police boss made this known at a press briefing at the police headquarters in Awka, yesterday, when he paraded some of the suspects and recovered items. He said the arrests were made between December 1st, 2023 to date. He however disclosed that two abducted victims were rescued during different confrontations with criminals, while some police officers from the command and other commands were also injured during the period in question.  He opined that it was discovered that the 30 suspects arrested were 12 kidnap suspects, 9 armed robbery suspects, six cult members and three insurgents, adding that they were arrested at different locations based on tip-off to the command.  He added that 11 stolen vehicles, 12 firearms and 40 live ammunition were recovered f

We're investing $1bn for job creation, empowering 10,000 youths in collaboration with FG,Trade Ministry_CHBN

During the conclusion of day one of a four-day tour by the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment- Hon. Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite CFA, where the team visited the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CHBN), conducting a comprehensive tour of the facility. Mr. Goran Sladic, the Country General Manager, highlighted the company’s substantial investment in supply chain infrastructure and unveiled plans for a youth empowerment program. According to Sladic, “At Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, we showcased our commitment to supply chain infrastructure. We are investing $1 billion for job creation, empowering 10,000 youths, collaborating with the government, we will achieve more.” On Monday, 8th January, the Trade Minister initiated an insightful factory tour in Lagos’s Apapa area, with the earlier focus of her tour placed on major sugar refineries like Dangote, BUA, and Flour Mills of Nigeria, underscoring a deep commitment to fostering growth and sustainability in Nigeria’s

Soludo Suspends Igwe Neni For Conferring Chieftancy Title On Ifeanyi Ubah

The Governor of Anambra State has  ordered the suspension of the traditional ruler of Neni ,HRH Igwe Damian Onwuamaeze Ezeani (Igwe Ugonabo) . In the letter signed by his Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, the reverred traditional ruler's offence was that he conferred a chieftaincy title on the APC Senator representating Anambra South Senatorial District, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Ubah CON. Note that this same reverred Igwe also Conferred Chieftancy Titles on several other illustrious sons of Anambra as part of his 20th Ofalla Festival on the 29th of December, 2023 ,an event in which the Senator was unavoidably absent.  The question then becomes,  since when does Conferring Chieftancy Title On a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic become a crime that is punishable with suspension or could this particular Senator's crime be that of being a member of the ruling APC.  Governor Soludo, who had s

Mixed reactions trail BBC report on TB Joshua

Mixed reactions have trailed a report detailing how the late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua, reportedly raped, tortured, and subjected some church members to solitary confinement. The investigative report by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) Africa Eye, spanning over two years, detailed the accounts of victims. They claimed they were raped and also underwent forced abortions in a secretive Lagos compound for almost 20 years. The BBC reports that a Briton, Rae, “was 21 years old when she abandoned her degree at Brighton University in 2002 and was recruited into the church. She spent the next 12 years as one of Joshua’s so-called ‘disciples’ inside his maze-like concrete compound in Lagos.” The over-150-minute-long video, split into three parts and published on YouTube, is titled “Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua”. It also took into account the stories of former disciples and churc

BREAKING: Tinubu suspends Betta Edu over N585m scandal

President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, suspended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Betta Edu, following widespread anger over an alleged N585 million scandal. The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists. “In line with his avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu suspends the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect,” the statement read. He had also vowed to “decisively punish” those involved in any breaches and infractions unravelled during the investigations. The minister had claimed that the N585m payment was meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states, describing the allegations against her as baseless. The Media Assistant to the Mi

Blinken Tours Middle East As Gaza War Rages Into Fourth Month

Israel pounded Gaza on Sunday as its war with Hamas raged into a fourth month, while top US diplomat Antony Blinken decried the “tragedy” of civilian deaths and warned the conflict threatened the wider region. Blinken, speaking in Qatar on the latest leg of his fourth Middle East tour since the start of the war, also said Palestinians displaced by the fighting must be allowed to "return home". US Secretary of State Blinken, speaking in Qatar on the latest leg of his fourth Middle East tour since the start of the war, also said Palestinians displaced by the fighting must be allowed to “return home”. The Qatar-based Al Jazeera network said two journalists working for it were killed when their car was struck in Rafah, in southern Gaza. They were named as Mustafa Thuria, a video stringer who also worked for AFP and other media organisations, and Hamza Wael Dahdouh, the son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief who had earlier lost his wife and two other children in an Isr

2027 POLITICS BEGINS…Opposition Hints At Merger To Form Mega Party

'Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso focused on building formidable structure  Wike's G-5 reactivated, seeks support for Tinubu presidency | Loyalists pay allegiance to Rivers ex-governor The 2027 presidential election is three years away but political realignments have begun, mainly within the opposition camp. This came to the fore yesterday as the group of five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors reaffirmed support for President Bola Tinubu ahead of 2027. The five governors, who worked against their party’s candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 general election, stated this yesterday at a New Year luncheon organised by minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, at his private residence at Rumueprikom in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Members of the G-5 governors – former governors Wike (Rivers), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and Seyi Makinde (incumbent governor of Oyo) – had supported President

CBN Settles $2bn Forex Forwards With Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has, in the past three months, redeemed outstanding forward liabilities amounting to almost $2 billion. The apex bank also said it recently disbursed approximately $61.64 million to foreign airlines through various banks, with a focus on decreasing its remaining liability to the airlines. The latest move is in fulfilment of its commitment to eliminate the backlog of pending matured foreign exchange in Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), acting director of the corporate communications department at the CBN, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, claimed in a statement in Abuja. Mrs Ali disclosed that, in the past three months, the CBN had also redeemed outstanding forward liabilities amounting to almost $2 billion. “This underscores the bank’s commitment to the resolution of pending obligations and a functional foreign exchange market,” she said. According to her, these payments signify the CBN’s ongoing efforts to settle all remaining valid forward transacti

Stock market investors gain N2.7trn in one week

…As Analysts foresee profit taking this week The Nigerian stock market recorded an impressive start in the first trading week of 2024, with investors gaining N2.7 trillion from their investment in the Nigerian Exchange Limited, NGX. Accordingly, the benchmark index, NGX All Share Index, ASI surged, and broke through the 79,000 psychological mark to record a substantial 6.5%Week on Week, W/W gain to close on Friday at 79,664.66 points from  74,773.77 points the previous week. Similarly, the market capitalisation which represents the total value of investment in the Exchange surged N2.7 trillion to close at  N  43.593 trillion  from N40.917 trn the previous week. Activity summary for the week under review showed that bargain hunting in blue-chip telecommunication stocks –MTNN, which gained  8.0% and Airtel  Africa gaining  6.0% propelled the market’s performance. Activity levels mirrored the market’s broad gauge, as the total traded volume increased significantly by 139.2% W/