Friday, May 20, 2022 Edition

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Friday, May 20, 2022 / 19 Shawwal 1443 AH

Vol. 39 No. 085 N200


I will not contest for any position with >>PG 3 Buhari, JonathanBauchi Governor



. . . putting the people first


320 DAYS

Electoral Act: Supreme Court hears Buhari, Malami’s suit >>>PG 5 against Section 84(12) May 26

53,262 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered so far - Military

>>PG 5

L-R: Company Secretary Bank of Industry (BOI), Mrs Olufunlola Salami; Chairman BOI, Mallam Aliyu AbdulRahman Dikko; Managing Director/CEO, BOI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan; Executive Director Micro Enterprises BOI, Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, and Executive Director SME, BOI, Mr Shekarau Omar, during the Bank of Industry 62nd Annual General Meeting held in Abuja yesterday

Dei-dei mayhem: Why we closed market - FCTA Buhari signs National PDP rejects move to elongate Health Authority Bill tenure of LG Chairmen, into law Councillors in FCT PAGE 2


62,680 PVCs unclaimed in Bauchi- REC PAGE 8

>>PG 21

Magu not free from prosecution yet -Police Affairs Minister PAGE 28










Stock Watch Business Metro

18 19-21 24

World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


I’m running as Nigerian Presidential aspirant not northern aspirant - Lawan Page 17





Sports Back Page

29-31 32

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Buhari signs National Health Authority Bill into law


resident Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law, the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022, repealing thereby, the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, Cap N42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja. Speaking at the signing of the new law, Buhari pledged

that a Fund would be set up “to ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums as recommended by the Lancet Nigeria Commission.” The president further elaborated on how the fund would be sourced, saying that: “For the large number of vulnerable individuals who are not able to pay health insurance premiums, a Vulnerable Group Fund will be set up. ”This will include a component

of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund due to the Authority, Health Insurance Levy, Special Intervention Fund, and any investment proceeds, donations and gifts to the Authority.” According to him, the authority will collaborate with state government Health Insurance Schemes to accredit primary and secondary health facilities and enroll Nigerians into the scheme in order to ensure the delivery of quality health care. ”The new Act also enables the

Authority and state governments to develop information management systems and digital records for better data collection, monitoring and quality assurance.” The president, therefore, tasked the Health Reform Committee to work with state governments, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Authority to ensure the implementation of the articles in the new Act. (NAN)

L-R: District Rotaract Representative Rot. Sheriff Olalekan Oladimeji, District Governor Rtn Ayoola Oyedekun, Past District Governor D9212/ Rotary International President Rtn. Jane Maonga, Past District Governor D9212/ Rotary International President Rtn. Joe Otin and Past Rotary International President, Rtn John Majiyagbe, during the joint 13th District Conference “Theme Change making: The Gains, The tasks ahead, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

PDP presidential primaries: Sen Nnaemeka petitions CJ ... Accuses judge of bias

By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


he Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Abuja, has been petition by Senator Samuel Nnaemeka, demanding withdrawal of a suit seeking to stop the forthcoming presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, fixed for May 28, from Justice Donatus Okorowo. The suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/508/2022, was filed by Paul Erokoro SAN, on behalf of a Commissioner of Trade and Investment in Abia State, Cosmos Ndukwe. Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2022, are the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Ayorchia Ayu, Senator Samuel Nnaemeka and the Independent National Electoral Commission. At a resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, Kalu Kalu Agu, counsel for Senator Nnaemeka, informed the trial judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo of his application for him to hands off heariNg of the suit. Kalu also told the court that a petition to that effect hadbeen forwarded to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, seeking withdrawal and transfer of the case file to another judge. The motion was brought pursuant to Order 49 Rule 1 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2019. Specifically, Senator Nnaemeka (3rd Defendant) in the suit wants, “An

order returning the case file in suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2022, to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another Court. In the alternative, the applicant is praying for an order staying further proceedings in the suit pending the decision of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court on the application by the 3rd Defendant lodged with the the Chief Judge for the transfer of the said suit to another Judge. Senator Nnaemeka among other grounds stated “The 3rd Defendant applied to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court by a letter of 19th day of May, 2022 for the transfer of the suit to another Judge. “The said application which is attached to the affidavit in support of the motion stated the grounds in support of the application. “Arising from manifest bias or grave likelihood of bias leading to a breach of fair hearing. “The suit came up before the Court for the first time on 28th April, 2022 for mention. “The matter was called up by the Registrar of the court, but instead of the business of the day the said learned Judge proceeded to hear an exparte application for injunction against the holding of the Presidential Primary Election of the 1st Defendant,

that is, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after having been served with the Originating Processes and being represented by a Counsel in court on the said date. “The said Learned Judge made an interim order against the 1st to 3rd Defendants to show cause why the injunctive order will not be made against them despite the express provisions of Section 84(3) 4 (15) and the record of the court showing that the 1st Defendant had been served with the Originating Processes. “The matter was adjourned to 5th day of May, 2022, for the 1st to 3rd Defendants to show cause. “On the 5th day of May, 2022, the matter came up and was further adjourned to 10th May, 2022 to enable parties filing processes in response to processes served on them that was not ripe for hearing. Further in the petition, the 3rd Defendant claimed that at the proceadings of 5th May, 2022, Counsel to the 3rd Defendant informed the Learned Judge that the he had not been served with any process from the Plaintiff and was not served on that day. “The matter came up again on the 10th May, 2022, the said Learned Judge after hearing Paul Erokoro, SAN, the Plaintiff’s Counsel, made an oral application for abridgement of time within which the Defendants shall file their respective processes in response

to the Originating Processes, made an order abridging time from 30 days to 4 days within which the Defendants shall file their defence to the matter when the 3rd Defendant had not been served. The said Learned Judge thereafter adjourned the matter to the 18th May, 2022 for hearing. “On the 16th May, 2022, when the matter came up for hearing, Abdulhammid Mohammed, SAN, informed the Learned Judge that he had an application for joinder and was ready to move it. M.A. Mahmud, SAN, Counsel to the 1st Defendant, informed the Learned Judge that he was served on 17th May, 2022, and that his time to respond was still running and sought for an adjournment. A.M. Alryu, Counsel to the 2nd Defendant drew the attention of the Learned Judge that the 4th Defendant, Independent National Electoral Commission, had not been served with all the processes and Kalu Kalu Agu, Counsel for the 3 Defendant also informed the Learned Judge that he was served in the court by the Counsel to the party seeking to be joined and needed time to respond to the said application. “Erokoro opposed the application for adjournment and upon the said opposition, the Learned Judge refused to grant the application for adjournment. At the meantime, the matter is adjourned till May 25, for further hearing



Primaries: INEC tasks political parties to abide by guidelines of electoral act


News Editor, Tobias Lengnan Dapam

I will not contest for any position with Buhari, Jonathan - Bauchi Governor From Ahmad Muhammad, Bauchi


auchi State Governor Senator Bala Muhammed Abdulkadir has explained that he will not contest any political position if President

Muhammadu Buhari or former President Goodluck Jonathan are contesting. The Governor is one of the Presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Governor Bala stated this

yesterday in Bauchi when President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the multi-billion naira World Bank Assisted upgrade of Bauchi Urban Water Project. The project which gulped 23bn


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has charged political parties to strictly abide by the guidelines of 2022 Electoral Act for successful conduct of their primary elections. Mr Kassim Gaidam, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Adamawa, made the call at the stakeholders meeting on ongoing voter registration exercise and other activities on Thursday in Yola. He said that the commission would not tolerate acts by political parties that fail to comply with the provision of electoral act in the conduct of their primaries. “We remind political parties that by the provision of section 84 (13) of Electoral Act 2022. “Any political party that fails to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act in the conduct of its primaries shall not have a candidate for the office in respect to which there was noncompliance with the Act in the conduct of its primaries. “This reminder is necessary to avoid unhappy consequences of any breach of the commission’s Timetable or the Electoral Act,” he said. Gaidam appealed to all voters who registered between June and December 2021 to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs). According to him, the commission printed and delivered to the state 39,770 PVCs of genuine new registration and have been distributed to LGAs since April 19. He added that so far, only 3,641 cards had been collected by their owners. In his remarks, Bello Magaji, Chairman Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), expressed the readiness of political parties to abide by rules. He assured that all political parties would do their best to create awareness on the need for registered voters collect their cards. The State Commissioner of Police (CP), Sikiru Akande, commended all political parties in the state for conducting themselves peacefully and urged them to maintain as primaries and electioneering campaigns approach. According to him, all security agencies are united and they would provide security for successful political activities in the state (NAN)

is a joint project implemented by the World Bank and the Bauchi State Government. He said he will not contest the seat they are contesting as a mark of respect because he hold them in high esteem.

L-R: Company Secretary Bank of Industry (BOI), Mrs Olufunlola Salami; Chairman BOI, Mallam Aliyu AbdulRahman Dikko; Managing Director/CEO, BOI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan; Executive Director Micro Enterprises BOI, Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, and Executive Director SME, BOI, Mr Shekarau Omar, during the Bank of Industry 62nd Annual General Meeting held in Abuja yesterday

N126bn forfeited assets: Medical Doctor threatens to sell university of Ibadan properties

By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


medical doctor, has expressed readiness for the disposal of the N126bn forfeited physical structures (real assets) belonging to the University of Ibadan. The proposed action is following the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal in FHC/IB/CS/64/2000 and CA/I/43/2003 respectively. Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the doctor said he had informed the university authority and other relevant stakeholders about the commencement of the implementation of the consent terms contained in the December 24, 2020 Withdrawal by Consent Process in the appeal marked CA/A/702/2013.

The notice of withdrawal of appeal by consent was filed pursuant to Order 11 Rule 2, 4 and 5 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2016, Sections 1(1)(2)(3) and 130(1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, Section 9 of University of Ibadan Act, etc. Parties in the appeal are the appellant while the respondents include University of Ibadan; College of Medicine UI; National Universities Commission; Federal Ministry of Education; Federal Government of Nigeria, and the Attorney General of the Federation. “The real assets had been forferted irrevocably and possession being taken by him in the concluded appeal No. CA/A/702/2013 accordingly following the commencement

of the impiementation of the unanimously signed, stamped and returned 24/12/2020-dated Withdrawal By Consent Process in the Court of Appeal Abuja Division pursuant to Order 11 Rule 2 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2016, among other Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, for the decriminalization of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (the third, fourth, fifth and sixth Respondents. The appellant warned that any form of unauthorized use and/or occupation of any of the Real Assets is prohibited except authorized in writing by the Appellant in the said unanimously signed, stamped

and returned 24/12/2020-dated Withdrawal By Consent Process in the Appeal No CA/A/702/2013 or the Appellant’s appointed Estate Surveyor and Valuer as alluded to in the correspondence dated 02/11/2021 with the EMS Parcel Tracking Number *SP334239019NG* with which the 29/10/2021-dated signed and sealed Valuation Report was sent to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria/Visitor to the University of Ibadan through the Vice Chancellor University of Ibadan and Provost College of Medicine University of Ibadan, and which the general public is hereby advised to obtain from the offices of the Vice Chancellor University of Ibadan and Provost College of Medicine University of Ibadan.

FCT Minister suspends inauguration of area council chairmen, councillors


ederal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has suspended the planned inauguration of the six area council chairmen and councillors scheduled for Friday. This is contained in a statement on Thursday. This, according to him was due to the communication of a judgment by a court in the Federal Capital Territory directing the suspension of the inauguration. The current chairmen’s tenure will end on Thursday. The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, made the disclosure in a statement personally signed by him, on Thursday in Abuja.

” As you are all aware, in March of 2019, we held the area council elections in the FCT, whereby six council chairmen and their councillors were elected after a very competitive and rigorous process. The minister explained that the recently signed Electoral Act of 2022, stipulates that the tenure of office of the chairmen of the area councils in FCT would now be four years instead of three years. ” The existing Chairmen whose tenures were meant to expire or end today, have another one year to continue, based on the new law. ” So, as a law-abiding government, the FCT Administration has no option than to suspend the planned

inauguration of the six area council chairmen of the FCT who were duly elected some weeks ago as a result of this injunction of the court. ” Also, as an administration that is very conscious of the need to abide by the rule of law, even though we are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, we have no option but to comply.” Bello said while complying with the judgment, the FCTA was also making efforts to vacate the judgment, saying ” if need arises, to appeal the judgment, so that the correct position of the law will be determined by the legal processes. ” In the interim therefore, we are very conscious of the fact that

the stand of the court has raised a lot of concerns within certain sections of the FCT residents. ” I wish to appeal to everyone to be calm, to be law abiding and to await the outcome of the legal processes. FCT is a creation of law.” The minister said that the FCT has always been known to be a place of unity, peace, good governance and populated by law abiding residents. ” Please let us continue the way we are and await the court processes. At the end of the court processes, the clear direction of what needs to be done would be clearly stated and then as an administration, we will do the needful.” (NAN)




PDP rejects move to elongate tenure of LG Chairmen, Councillors in FCT ....Calls judgement to that effect dangerous By Folorunso Alagbede, Abuja


he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the judgement of an Abuja High Court which purportedly elongated the tenure of the Chairmen and Councillors in the six Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, from three years to four. The tenure of the Chairmen and Councillors was to end yesterday. The party specifically described the judgment as unconstitutional, illegal, baseless and devoid of any legal foundation and reasoning for implementation. The party rejected the judgement at a press conference addressed by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon Debo Ologunagba yesterday in Abuja. The main opposition party pointed out that it is persuaded to believe that the judgment is a deliberate attempt to subvert the democratic process without regard to the consequential crisis and restiveness such portend in the FCT. The party described the judgement as a very dangerous design by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in connivance with certain judicial officers to abridge the nation’s democratic system and foist anarchy in our country. The clear intent of the judgment, the party maintained, is to abridge the nation’s electoral process, overthrow the entire outcome of the FCT Area Council election held on Saturday, February

12, 2022 which was overwhelmingly won by candidates of the PDP, halt the swearing in of the newly elected Chairmen and Councilors and impose an undemocratic government in the FCT. According to Ologunagba, “the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has just been made aware of a bizarre judgement by Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, in suit No. FCT/HC/W/910/2022, wherein he attempted to extend by one year, the tenure of the out-going Chairmen and Councilors of FCT Area Councils, which expires tomorrow, Friday, May, 20, 2022 “The clear intent of this judgment is to abridge our electoral process, overthrow the entire outcome of the FCT Area Council election held on Saturday, February 12, 2022 which was overwhelmingly won by candidates of the PDP, halt the swearing in of the newly elected Chairmen and Councilors and impose an undemocratic government in the FCT. “The PDP vehemently and without equivocation rejects the judgement in its entirety. This judgment cannot be executed as it unconstitutional, illegal, baseless and devoid of any legal foundation and reasoning for implementation. “This is because the four years tenure provided for FCT Area Council

Chairmen and Councilors in the newly enacted Electoral Act 2022, upon which the judgement is based, cannot be made retroactive to apply to outgoing Chairmen and Councilors who were elected under the 2010 Electoral Act which provided for a three-year tenure commencing from the date of their swearing in. “Alarmingly, the intent of this judgement by Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed is to make the law retroactive to illegally favour the outgoing Chairmen and Councilors who were sworn in for a three-year tenure under the 2010 Electoral Act, which tenure, by the provision of that Act, ends on May 20, 2022. “It is instructive to state that the Electoral Act 2022 has a commencement date of February 25, 2022. It is trite in law that laws become effective from their commencement date and cannot be retroactive in effect as being attempted by Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed. “It is even more worrisome that the FCT High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed would allow itself to be used to a point where it can give a judgment which the judge knows or ought to know is illegal as no law can be made retroactive. “Nigerians are invited to note that the Court gave judgement in this case with a set of individuals as Claimants and the Minister of the FCT as the

Niger Gov. promises not to interfere with delegates’ choice From Yakubu Minna


Sole Defendant, leaving out necessary parties, including the PDP, whose candidates won the majority of seats in the February 12, 2022 elections; the National Assembly that enacted the law, the Attorney General of the Federation, who has the responsibility of executing the law and of course the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which conducted the elections. “The PDP is persuaded to believe that the judgment is a deliberate attempt to subvert the democratic process without regard to the consequential crisis and restiveness such portend in the FCT. “The seamless transfer of power from one administration to another is the bedrock of democracy which the PDP is noted for having peacefully transferred power to the present APCled government in 2015. “The APC should know that any breakdown of Law and Order in the FCT on account of an attempt to muscle or abridge the right and the Will of the people will be inconsistent with that very fundamental principle of democracy, which is the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another. “Moreover, we hope this is not an attempt to lay a foundation to use the court to actualize a veiled third term agenda being rumoured. The APC should know that such will be firmly resisted by Nigerians. “In any case, the PDP cautions the

outgoing Chairmen and Councilors whose tenure under the 2010 Electoral Act upon which they were sworn in will effectively come to an end by the effusion of time on Friday, May 20, 2022 to steer clear of the respective Area Council offices from that date. “The PDP calls on the people of the FCT to get ready for the swearing in of their new Chairmen and Councilors duly elected on February 12, 2022 as our Party takes firm legal steps to address the orchestrated attempt by the APC and Justice Ibrahim Mohammed to frustrate the Will of the people. “The PDP urges the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to protect the integrity of the judiciary by immediately calling Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed to order, especially for violating the CJN’s persistent admonitions to judges not to open themselves to political manipulations. “The Hon. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed by this judgment has brought the institution of the Judiciary into disrepute. Our party will ensure that this illegal judgment is set aside as well as take firm steps against Justice Ibrahim Mohammed including referring his conduct which is unbecoming of a judicial officer to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for sanction so as to restore the confidence Nigerians have on the very respected institution of the Judiciary”, it said.

L-R: The resource Person for the staff training, Mr. Babalola Dalopo, Director of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Mr. Akanya B.A (retired), Director of Press and Public Relations MNDA,Ms. Patricia Deworitshe, representing the Overseeing Director, (Mr. Alfred Abah) ,Director EED of the Ministry , Engr. Philip Ndiomu, and the Deputy Director in the ministry, Mr. Mohammed Hussani, during the opening of two days training Programme for the staff of the Ministry , held in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo


overnor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has reiterated his decision not to interfere in the forthcoming All Progressives Congress APC primary elections. Bello stated this when the Vice President and APC Presidential aspirant, Professor Yemi Osinbajo met with the party’s delegates in Minna. He assured that he will maintain his position so as to allow delegates vote for the aspirant of their choice. He said the party in the state has been in peace based on his stand not to impose any candidate and to allow party members have a free say and choice. The Governor recalled that his decision has helped the party in conducting a hitch-free and successful party Congresses from the wards to State levels. Prof. Osinbajo who interacted with the delegates assured them of his readiness to serve the country and to improve on all spheres of the economy of the nation.

FG calls for proposals on Czech-Nigeria technology transfer


he Federal Government through the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure(NASENI) has called for solution-based research proposals that address socio-economic problems of the country. Dr Muhammed Dahiru, Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Technology Transfer/ Information Exchange between Nigeria and the Czech Republic, disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday. The event was tagged: Launch of Call for Research and Development Proposals for Delta-2 Programme.” He said the launch was simultaneously hosted by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR) with at least eight other participating countries. Dahiru said it was the first part of the project procedure scheduled on “TA CR Delta 2 Programme for bilateral cooperation in applied research and technology transfer for agriculture, mining and general manufacturing. “Research and development (R&D) proposals are now invited from Nigerian academic community, research and development institutions as well as private companies and independent researchers

on three priority areas,’’ he said. The PIC chairman mentioned these areas to include: agriculture and food technology, mining and industrial development and general manufacturing for SMEs development. He recalled that the inauguration of the PIC on Technology Transfer/ Information Exchange between Nigeria and the Czech Republic took place in December 2020. According to him, this was in response to the need for the implementation of the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria, represented by NASENI and the Czech Republic, represented by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR). He said the MoU would subsist until its expiration in 2024, listing the priority areas to include: biotechnology and pharmaceutical research, agriculture and food technology, mining and industrial development. Others, according to him are: energy technology, sustainable transportation technology, environmental protection and sustainability, information and communication technology, nanoscience,nano technology and advanced material, genomic medicine among

others. Dahiru stated that in the PIC’s Terms of Reference, the committee was expected to collaborate with relevant stakeholders and partners to ignite a process of fostering growth and expansion of infrastructure, manufacturing and innovation in the country. Prof. Mohammed Haruna, CoChairman of the PIC, said the call for public proposals for the Delta-2 programme was one of the projects to be implemented under the agreement. He said the Delta-2 Progranmme was the cooperation model of the TA CR running for the period from 2020 to 2025, through which TA CR sponsors applied research and innovation of manufacturing companies and innovative institutions. Haruna said the technologies would be sourced from Czech Republic’s manufacturing companies, tertiary, research and development institutions. He further disclosed that the Czech government had allocated approximately the sum of 10.5 million U.S dollars as research fund through the TA CR. Accordingly, he said NASENI on behalf of the Federal Government had supplemented this sum to the tune of N2 billion or 5.7 million U.S. dollars.

Haruna expressed optimism that technology acquisition and domestication through the collaboration would help Nigeria bridge the technology gap existing among the Western nations. He also said it would facilitate transition to a manufacturing economy, adding that deployment of technology was crucial to mitigating socio-economic and security challenges. Zdenek Krejci, Czech Ambassador to Nigeria, said Nigeria was a significant partner to all African countries. Represented by Beata Matusikova, Head, Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of Czech Republic, he noted that Czech Republic and Nigeria were developing stronger ties through technology transfer. Highlight of the event was the presentation on how to participate in the Delta-2 Programme, by John Mbiimbe, Head, ICT at the PIC Secretariat and goodwill messages. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by scientists, professionals, businessmen, academics, bankers among others(NAN)




53,262 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered so far - Military

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Nigerian Military said a total of 53,262 Boko Haram terrorists have so far surrendered as at 16 May 2022. Major General, Bernard Onyeuko, Director, Defence Media Operations, stated this on Thursday in Abuja, while giving update on the military operations in the country. He added that, 1,627 Boko Haram Terrorists and their families surrendered to own troops at different locations during operation from 28 April - 19 May 2022. He said they comprised of 331 male, 441 women and 855 children. Speaking further, he said troops killed 42 terrorists and rescued 63

civilians. “The troops also recovered 2 LMGS, 21 AK47 rifles, 11 AK 56 rifles, 22 MGs, 419 rounds of 7.62mm and 54mm ammunitions, 1 gun turret, 31 AK 47 magazines, 3 motorcycles, 6 bicycles, 1 pumping machine, 2 bandolier belts containing 377 rounds of 7.62mm and 54mm ammunitions, 1 Isuzu vehicle.” Onyeuko, said “On 28 April 2022 troops of Operation HADIN KAI conducted clearance operation at terrorists enclaves at Jaje, Mango Ali, Dissa, Balangaje, during the operation, one Mallam Shehu the Amir and spiritual head of Gaita general area and some of his foot soldiers were neutralized.

“Also, On May 14 2022 at Yuwe in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, troops of operation HADIN KAI in a coordinated attack on terrorists enclave neutralized Abubakar Sarki a BHT Commander in Sambisa forest neutralizing scores of the terrorists while assorted weapons and different calibers of ammunitions were recovered. “Troops also conducted operations at Dajima village, Molaa, Mamanti, Goneri, Koyamanti, Ajiri, Awoshei, Lawanti, Kyamla, Dogori, Kontori, Umanari, Banhyr, Alum Damm Kaiya-Kura, Gubia Magr axis, Sabon Gari general area, Mandarka, Zumbulum, Amuda Gave, Majuane village, Malis Gidde, Kezamari, Ngudda, Koshebe,

Malami Fatori, Damboua town, Buluti village, Njine and Kamzone village, Banuwa Caniwa village, Kaidien village, Barimari-jigalta, Jajimaji town in Karasuwa Local Government Area all in Bornu State. “On 13 May 2022, based on intelligent report, troops arrested Mallam Modu Goni a terrorist and logistics supplier at Bunin Yadi Market. “In furtherance to its operational activities, on 17 May 2022, Mallam Modu Pantami was apprehended at the outskirt of Benishied village in Kaga Local Government Area while attempting to transport large quantity of logistics items he purchased for onward supply to terrorist at Gomari village in Fere

Local Government Area of Borno State. items recovered from him include; 2 mobile phones, cartons of assorted drugs and injections of different types, 5 gallons of PMS, 20 turban scarfs, 50kg bags of sugar, 3 bags of 50kg flour, 5 cartons of Maltina drinks, 290 sets of female hijabs, 20 females rubber shoes, 325 litres of red oil, 15 sets of Kaftan cloth, 5 black trousers, 5 cartons of macaroni, 6 Cartons of spaghetti, 3 cartons of sweet, 4 mudu of date (Dabino), 5 sacks of soft drinks, 4 dagger, 3 cartons of maggi, 1 big basket of kolanut, 10 box of matches, 5 sacks of detergent, 10 rubber mats and the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) Naira only. “

Surveyor General moves to create solution providing map By Ochiaka Ugwu


n order to provide the Federal Government a readily tool for effective decisions and solutions for challenges of various operations, planning, designs and implementation of especially physical infrastructures and other developmental projects, the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGoF) has planned to produce a large-scale base map of the entire country. In a press release Thursday by the Head of Press and Public Relations, OSGoF, Mr. Abu, I. Michael, it noted the Surveyor General of the Federation (SGoF), Surv. Abudulganiyu Adeyemi Adebomehin and some members of his management held a meeting with representatives of WOOLPERT, an international company and its Nigerian partners, LordsField Company at the Survey House, Abuja to start discussions for success of the project. According to the statement, “The project is for the mapping of the nooks and crannies of the country, upgrading of facilities and trainings of professionals of the Nigerian Government. “Although, the project is capitalintensive, Surv. Adebomehin said it would remain an issue on the national burner until Nigeria is well mapped, because no country in the world can resolve its challenges and develop without being mapped. The large-scale map according to him will show every area, number of houses and other infrastructures, power and transmission lines for government to behold even at a glance for decisions and approvals of operations and projects. “The SGoF thanked the companies for showing commitment towards helping the country achieve this and pledged the cooperation of his Office to all agreements as necessitated by the Nigerian Government. “In various statements, the Managing Director of LordsField, Oluropo Olajugba and WOOLPERT’s representatives, the Program Director l, Cecilia Hattingh and the Sales Director, Jannie Engelke all expressed the importance of digital applications in every operation. Olajugba disclosed that WOOLPERT Company was over 108 years old and have been working in America and currently partnering the Ordinance Survey, the national mapping agency in Britain. “In the power-point presentation made by the Head of the Department

of Photogrammetry and RemoteSensing of OSGoF, Surv. Afeez Azeez, the benefits of the country having what he called “A Total Solution” base map include among others effective health and disease control management; proper management of education; basis for robust socioeconomic advancement and e-commerce; mining and mineral exploration efficiency, wealth and job creation. “Others are for good land administration and taxation; effective boundary delineation and demarcation; effective crime control system; reliable agricultural system and food security; management of infrastructure such as roads, buildings and other constructions” the statement concluded.

3. Dr Muhammed Dahiru, Chairman, Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer (PICTT) and Information Exchange between Nigeria-Czech Republic ( 4th , L); Co-Chairman of PICTT and Executive Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Haruna(M); representative of the Czech Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Beata Matusikova(4th, R) and other participants during the PICTT’s inauguration of the call for public proposals on Delta-2 Programme on NigeriaCzech Bilateral Co-funding R&D Project, in Abuja on Wednesday (18/5/22).

Electoral Act: Supreme Court hears Buhari, Malami suit against Section 84(12) May 26 By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


he Supreme Court, will May 26, 2022, hears President Muahammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) suit against the National Assembly on the Electoral Act 2022. The new date was fixed after joining the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the State Attorney General as second and third defendants in the suit. Justice Mohammed Musa Datijjo adjourned the matter till next week Thursday following the concession by Buhari’s counsel, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) that, the Speaker, Rivers state House of Assembly and the Rivers State Attorney General be joined as parties in the suit. The two parties joined in the matter had, in their application said that the subject matter in the originating summons relates to the validity and constitutionnality of the provisions of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act enacted by the National Assembly and applicable through-out the country, including Rivers state. They said, they are interested in the suit as the outcome will affect the, “Legal rights of the Rivers State House of Assembly and impinge upon its legislative powers to make laws in addition to, but not inconsistent with Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act enacted by the National Assembly

and applicable in Rivers State and will affect the scope of it’s authority to make laws as conferred on it by Section 7 and Item E. 12 of the concurrent legislative list of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended”. The AG of Rivers, who is the Chief Law Officer of the state, said he should be joined in the suit as the state is constitutionally bound to be governed democratically in accordance with letters and spirit of the constitution.a

In the suit filed on April 29, 2022, marked: SC/CV/504/2022 by the President and the Chief Law Officer of the country, where-in they are contending that the said Section of the Electoral Act 2022 is in conflict with constitutional provisions, has the National Assembly as the sole defendant. The plaintiffs noted that the Constitution has made provisions for qualifications and disqualifications for the offices of the President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy-Govemor, Senate and House of Representatives and House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners and Special Advisers. Buhari and Malami added that the same Constitution has equally, “The qualifying factors for election into the office of President, Vice President. Governor, Deputy Gavemor, Senate, House of Representatives, Houses of Assembly and Ministers.” They also prayed the apex court

to declare that, by the joint and or combined reading of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196, of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), the provisions of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void. “A declaration that having regard to the clear provision of Section 1(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, read together with Section 4 of the same Constitution, the legislative powers vested in the defendant do not permit or empower it to make any other law prescribing additional qualifying /disqualifying grounds for election to the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential election outside the express constitutional qualification and disqualification provisions as already provided in each or all of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and without amendment to any of those sections is for reason of inconsistency, unconstitutional and therefore null and void. “A declaration that Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022

disqualifying a political appointee from being a voting delegate or be voted for at a convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election is discriminatory, inconsistent with and in violent breach of the provision of each or all of Sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), as well as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and some is null and void by reason of its inconsistency. “A declaration that by the introduction of the provisions of Section 84(12) into the Electoral Act, 2022, but in disregard of Section 84(3) of the some Act, the Defendant has acted ultra vires the legislative powers vested in it under the provision of section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and/or in violation or breach of the provisions of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196, thereby rendering Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 unconstitutional, null and void”. They also pray for an order nullifying the provisions of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 by application of the blue pencil rule, for being unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and having been made in excess of the legislative powers of the defendant as enshrined in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).



NEWS 2023: Udom assures to give women priority From Yakubu Minna



kwa Ibom State Governor and a People’s Democratic Party Presidential aspirant, Emmanuel Udom has reiterated that his administration will give the required priority to women representation in his government if elected president in 2023 elections. Udom reassured women while addressing the Niger state PDP delegates in Minna. He stated that he would implement above the needed percentage quota required for the representation of women in government. The presidential aspirant revealed that he is the solution to the challenges facing the country, saying that he will take the bandits off the forests. He added that the country needs a president who can unite and secure the country. He stated that with the development made in Akwa Ibom state, Nigerians can be assured that he will replicate the development on a bigger scale when he becomes the President of Nigeria. Udom urged the delegates to rise beyond bias and sentiment and vote for the candidate that can take the party on the right path.

We must adopt technology to end insecurity-Saraki


en. Bukola Saraki, Presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, said he would adopt technology to end banditary and other insecurity sources when voted to power. Saraki made the statement on Thursday while interacting with delegates of Taraba PDP in Jalingo. He said he was in the state to seek the support of Taraba delegates to be Nigeria’s next President.

“The country has gone through so much and we need to do things differently. “We can not have the same type of leaders tomorrow as we have today. 2023 is about the future of this country and our children. “This country has been so divided and we can’t afford to use sentiments to vote. “We must do it right for the sake of those who died for no fault of theirs. “We have been through so

much in this country and we must apply for competence to rescue Nigeria. “I am the only aspirant who has come out with policy direction to solve Nigeria’s problem because its bad leadership is responsible for insecurity. “We need a President that understands the economy and has vision for investment as my agriculture revolution in Kwara remains the largest livestock producer in Nigeria till today,” he

said. Saraki promised to boost investment in mining and agriculture, to create empowerment for Nigerians. In his response, Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba, said saraki was competent and courageous. ” We need someone that will fix insecurity and bring investment. “Saraki has good credentials to lead Nigeria and I urge the delegates and Nigerians to vote for competence,” he said. (NAN)

Accord Party Presidential aspirant, Prof, Christopher Imumolen, former Lagos State house of Assembly member, Hon Kako Are and the Member of Professor Chris Imumolen (PCI) campaigns Council, Dr, Emmanuel Ose-Ediale, during the media briefing and the unveiling of Prof. Imumolen Educational Support Project, through Scholarship Provision to all Nigerian Students, held in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Perm Sec. harps on revival of lost cultural values, traditions


r Yusuf Musa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Plateau, has urged families to inculcate cultural values and traditions in the formative years of their children and wards. According to him, this will enable them prepare for positive and productive life. Musa said this at the maiden cultural festival organised by

youths of the 500-unit Housing Estate on Thursday in Lafia. According to the permanent secretary, inculcating cultural values and traditions has become necessary given the spate of youths involvement in crimes and other negative vices in the society. He attributed the involvement of youths in social vices to the erosion of some cultures, traditional values and norms, which were hitherto the

guiding principles of the society. Musa advised families to strive to retain those values that unite and shape the child towards positivity and productive lives. He said that the administration of Gov. Abdullahi Sule attached great importance to the revival and promotion of the rich cultural heritage, values and tourism potential in the state. According to him, the

policy direction of the state as encapsulated in the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS) document is geared towards speedy but organised development of the state, and its people especially the youths. Musa expressed concern over the failure of stakeholders to nurture and protect the sacred values that positively shape the society.

He urged the organisers to make the initiative a yearly event, and solicited tribal and cultural associations to embrace and support the festival. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that highlight of the event included exhibition of cultural foods, attires, cultural dances and drama series as well as goodwill messages from well-wishers. (NAN)

2023: Minority Reps want Buhari to sign Amendment to Electoral Act to avert crisis By Christiana Ekpa


he Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to immediately sign the one item amendment to the Electoral Act 2022 transmitted to him by the National Assembly for assent since last week so as to avert an

imminent political crisis in the country. The Minority Caucus equally urged President Buhari to note that any further delay in signing the amendment to the Electoral Act to give political parties a sense of direction in the conduct of primaries for the election of candidates for the 2023 general elections has the capacity to derail

our entire democratic process and destabilize our dear nation. The Caucus in a statement by its leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu Minority Leader of the House, noted with grave concern that Mr. President’s delay in signing the single amendment to Section 84 (8) to the Electoral Act 2022 has thrown the nation into serious confusion and constitutes a huge

threat to our democracy and the smooth conduct of the 2023 general elections. “As representatives of the people, the Minority Caucus urges Mr. President to avert an imminent political crisis which has the capacity of exacerbating the security situation in the country by immediately signing the Amendment to the Electoral

Act 2022 and leave a legacy of a credible electoral process to the nation. “Our caucus calls on all Nigerians, the Civil Society, the International Community and all lovers of democracy to prevail on President Buhari to immediately sign the amendment to the Electoral Act 2022 and save our nation from an avoidable crisis.



CRIME NEWS CSO to support implementation of $700m W/Bank water project in Nigeria S ociety for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) has pledged to support the World Bank in the implementation of the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) programme in Nigeria. NEWSAN National Coordinator, Mr Benson Attah, made the pledge when he led his members on a courtesy visit to the SURWASH Programme Implementation Office in Abuja on Thursday. The News Agency of Nigeria

reports that the 700 million U.S. dollars programme is being implemented in seven states of Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina and Plateau. SURWASH will provide six million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services and improve WASH services to 2,000 schools and health care facilities. Attah noted that NEWSAN works to support the Federal Government in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals

(SDGs) target of scaling up access to potable water and sanitation. He commended FG’s efforts in meeting the SDGs, saying such was reflected in its various intervention programmes. “We are optimistic that this new project which rests on the theme of programme for results will be different from other projects, as we have seen its objective to include effective monitoring and evaluation. “NEWSAN has a huge role to play in achieving stated objectives of the SURWASH project, and

our partnership would go a long way in advocacy and encourage community partnership for sustainability,” he said. SURWASH National Programme Coordinator, Mr Abdulhamid Gwaram, said CSOs play a critical role in project implementation and could serve as watchdogs. According to him, the civil societies will serve as a medium for passing the right information towards reducing misinformation and disinformation. Gwaram added that

SURWASH programme was part of interventions to support the implementation of the National WASH action plan. The national coordinator said that the role of continuous orientation of all partners towards ensuring community ownership and sustainability was paramount. He, however, said that the sixyear programme had made huge impact within its first year, saying this was made possible through the support and commitment of the Federal ministry of Water Resources. NAN

2023:Nigerians must move away from culture, norms promoting corruption -ANEEJ From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


s the 2023 general Elections draws closer, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), has urged Nigerians to move away from the culture and norms that promote corruption and create incentive for those who are not willing to buy votes, induce voters and rig elections. The Executive Director of ANEEJ Rev. David Ugolor asserted this during a twoday workshop for CSOs and journalists. He said in view of this, ANEEJ clusters are currently advocating for the mainstreaming of anti-corruption issues into the country’s upcoming 2023 general election discourse.

R-L: National Chairman, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Nwosu, Deputy National Chairman , Ethics, Standards and Value of ADC, Barr. Abanida Justina, ADC Governorship Aspirant for Lagos State, Mr. Funso Doherty and the National Tresurer of the party , Mr. Kelvin Alagua, during the Submission of Nomination Form by Mr. Funso Doherty to contest the lagos state Gubernatorial election on the platform of ADC, held yesterday in ADC Headquaters Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Mastercard, OPay partner to grow cashless ecosystem


astercard and OPay have announced an interconnected global payment ecosystem partnership to boost digital commerce to people across Middle East and Africa (MEA). In a statement on Thursday in Lagos, Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, Mastercard, MEA, said the aim was to grow a wider financial inclusions. Ajmal said the collaboration

would enable OPay consumers and merchants in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, Pakistan, Algeria and UAE engage in businesses anywhere in the world. Ajmal said that the partnership was the latest milestone in Mastercard’s emerging market strategy. “At Mastercard, our innovation strategy is rooted in partnerships to support inclusion at scale.

“Our partnership with OPay demonstrates our commitment to supporting payments providers across the world and to create an interconnectivity that benefits an array of consumers with unique needs. “In the initial phase of the partnership, OPay customers will benefit from the Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to their OPay wallets, to shop at well-known global brands for leisure, travel, accommodation

and more. “The service is available regardless of whether or not the customer has a bank account. “It also allows small business owners to purchase from suppliers abroad and pay with the secure virtual payment solution, “she said. Yahui Zhou, Chief Executive Officer of OPay, said the firm, a leading fintech in the Middle East and Africa, OPay, was delighted to partner with

Mastercard to promote financial inclusion. Zhou said the collaboration would help in the opening up the global economy to more consumers and businesses across Middle East, and Africa. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that OPay’s active users have grown to 15 million in dozens of markets in which it operates since its operations started in 2018.(NAN)

NOA partners KADCHMA on grassroots sensitization From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


ational Orientation Agency (NOA), is to partner the Kaduna

state Contributory Health Management Authority, KADCHMA, in sensitizing residents of the state on the importance to access

affordable and quality health care services initiated by the state government. The State Director of the agency, Alhaji Galadima Zubairu

Soba asserted this during a one day engagement meeting with the National Orientation Agency and other stakeholders in Kaduna. Soba explained that, the agency

would deploy its community orientation and mobilisation officers to reach people at the grassroots on the imperative of the scheme.




Deputy Governorship Candidate of the PDP, Hon Kola Adewusi; PDP Presidential Aspirant, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Akindele Adekunle (Caretaker State Chairman of PDP), during Dr. Saraki’s meeting and consultative session with PDP delegates in Oyo.

Niger Gov sworn in 7 new commissioners From Yakubu Minna



iger State Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has sworn in seven new Commissioners who were charged to add value in the various ministries. The governor during the swearing in at government House, Minna, said they were selected to serve based on the wealth of experience and competence. He urged them to put in their best in their various ministries to open more opportunities for them in the state. Bello revealed that his decision to make them part of the government was based on recommendations they have received about them. The new commissioners inaugurated include; Abraham Umar, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Lafiya, Habila Daniel Galadima, Hon. Mohammed Usman Tinu, Kabiru Abba’s, Umaru Musa Emmanuel as well as Yusuf Gunu.

62,680 PVCs unclaimed in Bauchi - REC

From Ahmad Muhammad, Bauchi


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Bauchi State office has lamented that a total of 62,680 Permanent Voter Card (PVC) are laying unclaimed in its vault awaiting collection by the owners. Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ibrahim Abdullahi stated this today at a stakeholders engagement on

election matters in the state held at the INEC office in Bauchi. Abdullahi said that so far, only a total of 6000 PVCs have been distributed across State appealing to all those who have registered to go to the nearest INEC office to confirm their status and collect their PVCs. He warned against double registration saying that the Commission as at 13th May 2022 has registered a total of 175,177. The Commissioner lamented

that the unclaimed PVCs piling in the INEC office in the state will amount to waste of efforts, resources and time if they remain unclaimed. Abdullahi warned that all political parties in the state must strictly adhere to the guide lines of internal democracy as any defaulting party will be excluded in the forth coming 2023 general election. He said that , the election guidelines, Electoral Acts and

other regulations have been issued to the parties for the 31 state Constituencies, 12 federal Constituencies, and 3 Senatorial districts including one governorship seat in the state. The Commissioner said that the Commission has evolved some innovations that will make the process smooth including face Verification instead of thumb printing in order not to disenfranchise anyone including persons with disability.

Airtel’s SmartCash to revolutionise financial services – CEO


martCash Payment Service Bank Ltd., (SmartCash PSB) will revolutionise the financial services landscape as it becomes operational in the country, says Airtel Africa. Mr Segun Ogunsanya, the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa made this known in a statement made available to Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) on Thursday in Lagos. Ogunsanya said that the services would initially be available at selected retail touch-

points, while the operations would be expanded gradually across the country over the next few months. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in November 2021 granted Airtel Africa an approval in principle to operate a payment service bank business in Nigeria. The final approval was subject to the group satisfying certain standard conditions within six months, counting

from November 2021. Airtel Africa is a telecommunications and mobile money services company with SmartCash PSB as one of its subsidiaries. Ogunsanya said: “I am very excited to announce the commencement of our operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. “This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in

the country. “It will further digitalise the economy, and most importantly help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services,”he said. Ogunsanya said that this would be done by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services.(NAN)

Shun people who use public funds to seek office, Ohuabunwa tells voters By Osaigbovo Iguobaro


Presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023 general

elections, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, has advised eligible voters in Nigeria not to elect people who use public funds to bribe people and put them into public office.

He warned that if individuals whose sources of wealth are questionable emerge as leaders, it may enthrone ‘corrupt and

unaccountable leaders’ who will not only ride rough shod on the electorates, but further impoverish Nigerians. He disclosed this while fielding

questions from journalists at the sidelines of his visit to the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II on Wednesday in Benin City, Edo State Capital.


RMRDC woos pharmaceutical, food manufacturers on bee extracts


he Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) on Wednesday urged manufacturers to leverage bee extracts – propolis, royal jelly and bee venom – to enhance food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics productions. RMRDC’s Director-General, Prof. Ibrahim Hussaini Doko, gave this advice at the council’s sensitisation workshop in Lagos. Doko, represented by Dr Anthony Negedu, Director, Agriculture and AgroAllied Department, RMRDC, said urgent efforts were needed to harness the health benefits of bee extracts in Nigeria. He said the applications of bee products in both traditional and modern medicine had proven to be highly efficient in its contribution to excellent health and reduction of chronic diseases. He noted that propolis was known for its numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, anti bacterial, antifungal, anti-cellular, and anti-cancer properties. Doko added that the utilisation of these extracts would improve the lot of the manufacturing sector and also help save finances on importation and the country’s crucial foreign exchange, thereby bettering the Nigerian economy. He said the federal government was committed to the success of the project for the purpose of regulation and certification, including financing where necessary. “Royal jelly is widely used to help combat various chronic health conditions and many pharmacological activities such as antibacterial anti-tumor, anti-allergy, antiinflammatory effect have also been attributed to it. “The RMRDC is the leading agency for bee hive products sensitisation nationwide and the knowledge to be offloaded to the relevant sectorial stakeholders for products development. “In view of the potency of the extracts against fungi, bacterial and virus diseases and honey acceptability in pharmaceuticals products formulations, this conference will be accepted as cure for COVID-19 is on the front burner globally. “The council is sensitising the pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and food subsectors of MAN on the importance and the huge potential of investing and utilising these products. “This import substitution will save the country a lot of finance, create jobs and serve as an avenue for national economy development,” he said. Also, Dr Sunday Onjewu, Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Redeemers’ College of Technology and Management, emphasised that bee keeping had gone beyond honey production to disease curing. “We are looking at the local content that we have to fight these diseases of which bee keeping has a very critical role to play due to the absence of side effects as a natural product. “We have the plantation, the forests, the tree and bee hives; all we need to do is harness the potential available to us,” he said. Responding, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General, MAN, said manufacturers had for long been handicapped by imported materials for production. He urged manufacturers to partner the council to break the barrier, by diving into the potential of bee keeping for enhanced manufacturing production. (NAN)



2023: Senator Mark harps on peaceful primaries among PDP members By Folorunso Alagbede, Abuja


he Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention Organizing Committee, Senator David Mark has urged party faithful across the country to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship in the conduct of the exercises. In a statement issued ahead of the party primaries which begins with the election of candidates for the state Houses of Assembly seats on Saturday (May 21, 2022), Senator Mark urged Party men and women to comply with the rules of the game. Mark, who was the president of the

Senate between 2007 and 2015, said “The Party has clear guidelines and rules for the exercises. Every aspirant should be guided by the processes. The party will not compromise any of the rules”. He counseled delegates to the congresses and conventions to consider the integrity and past accomplishments of aspirants in order to make informed choices of candidates for the elections. “In making your decisions, consider the interest of the people. Politics is a conveyor belt to serve humanity. The greater interest of our people is paramount, Senator Mark advised“. The former President of the Senate, according to a statement by his Media

Adviser, Mr Paul Mumeh yesterday in Abuja, cautioned against politics of acrimony, bitterness or violence saying “see politics like a sporting competition. If you don’t win today, you can win tomorrow“. On his part, he assured of a level playing field for all aspirants, saying who ever emerges from the open and transparent elections must be the choice of the people. Mark however, urged aspirants and their supporters alike to refrain from combative or inflammatory statements to avoid unnecessary provocation, even as he expressed confidence that the party will produce the best candidates for the elections in 2023.

Executive Chairman, FIRS, Nami Muhammad, delivers the keynote address at the Chartered Institute of Taxation 24th Annual Tax Conference in Abuja on behalf of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN. 18th May 2022.

APC C/Rivers: Sen. Bassy Otu never accused of fraud- Group insists By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


he Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption, has insisted that Senator Edet Otu was never accused of any allegation bothering on fraud and been never convicted of any crime. The group, in a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, was reacting to a petition dated 14th of May, 2022, addressed to the state screening committee of the APC, Cross River state. The petition purportedly signed by one Bala Dakum, had alleged that Senator Bassey Otu who is a Governorship aspirant in Cross River State had been convicted of fraud while working with his former employer, Mercantile Bank of Nigeria Plc. According to the petitioner, the alleged offence is in contravention of the provisions of section 182 (e) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Consequent to the above, the Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption (A Coalition of 13 Anti-Corruption CSOs) following the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to combat corruption in Nigeria, , decided to conduct

a clinical, very thorough, independent verification and fact finding exercise to ascertain the veracity and facts of the matter. Eventually, a statement signed by the Director General of the coalition, Dr. Nwambu Gabriel unraveled as follows; ‘’That the name of the individual who purportedly signed the petition is nonexistent, adding that the address used by the petitioner does not exist in reality. In other wors, it was a fabricated address. ‘’That Senator Bassey Edet Otu served his former employer meritoriously before he resigned his appointment to venture into politics. Senator Otu was even bestowed with a meritorious service award by his former employer for his examplary conduct and dedication to duty. ‘’That Distinguished Senator Edet Otu was never accused of any allegation bothering on fraud, was never convicted, and therefore has not contravened section 182 (e) as alleged by the ghost petitioner. That Senator Otu is a graduate of Social Sciences from University of Calabar, who has served as a two-term Member of House of Representatives for Calabar Municipal/ Odukpani between May 2003 and May

2011. He has also served as a Senator representing Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State from June 2011 to June2015. ‘’That Senator Otu has contested election in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 respectively. He has been consistently screened by all the relevant agencies of Government,’’ From the forgoing, the group submitted that it becomes evident that this fiction exists only in the mind of the author of this script which was orchestrated, premeditated, designed to mutilate the impeccable integrity of Senator Bassey Edet Otu who has served this nation meritoriously, performed creditably well, and has made his mark in banking and public service respectively. Concluding, the group maintained that Otu should be commended for his selfless and exemplary leadership style. They therefore, enjoin Nigerians and indeed all persons aspiring for public position of trust to face the realities of politics rather than the ‘Pull Him Down Syndrome’ which is inimical to deepening democracy in Nigeria but sadly has dominated our political space.


NEWS Soludo presents N170bn revised draft budget to Anambra Assembly


ov. Charles Soludo of Anambra on Thursday presented a revised draft budget of N170 billion for 2022 to the state House of Assembly for approval. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Assembly had on Dec.9, 2021, passed the 2022 Appropriation Bill of N141.9 billion, presented by the immediate past governor, Dr Willie Obiano, for approval. Soludo, said the purpose of the 2022 Revised budget was to reflect current realities, challenges, priorities of the new administration and the dire needs of residents in Anambra. He said that the budget was made up of N108 billion capital expenditure, accounting for 64 per cent compared with 57 per cent in the previous budget. According to him, N61.3 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure, translating to 36 per cent against 43 per cent in the previous budget. Soludo said that N19 billion would be spent on personnel cost while N23 billion would be spent on overheads. NAN reports that the breakdown indicated that Ministry of Works had the highest allocation, from N23 billion in the previous budget to N54 billion, followed by healthcare which was reduced from N4.4 billion to N2.9 billion. Ministries of Agriculture and Education were allocated N1.5 billion and N1.1 billion respectively, while Youth Development and Transportation got N2.4 billion and N1.6 billion, respectively. Ministry of Power and Water Resources got N2.3 billion while Ministry of Culture, Entertainment and Tourism got N2.7 billion. Soludo said his administration would continue with the ‘Community Choose Your Project’ initiative of his predecessor, which was increased to N25 million from N20 million per community. “The 2022 Revised budget seeks to achieve four pillars of economic transformation, social agenda, governance, rule of law and value as well as greener and healthier environment. “We inherited challenges of which red treasury and insecurity were the most acute. But I am emboldened by the massive support and solidarity of the people. We are Anambra people, and together, we shall overcome. “Give us the budget urgently, and by the time our people come home for Christmas, we will all be proud that we are serving the people well,” he said. Soludo informed the House that security agencies were working round the clock to secure the release of the kidnapped lawmaker, Dr Okechukwu Okoye, representing Aguata Constituency Il. Receiving the budget, the Speaker of the House, Mr Uche Okafor, said the legislature would partner with the Governor by enacting laws that would ensure his administration succeed in all fronts and improve the living standard of the people. He also assured the governor that the draft budget would receive expeditious consideration. NAN reports that the difference between the former budget (N141.9 billion) and the revised budget (N170 billion) is N27.7 billion.(NAN)


Organisation reels out interventions to discourage irregular migration in Nigeria


he International Organization for Migration IOM said it had carried out a number of interventions to discourage irregular migration and trafficking in persons in Nigeria. Mr. Elijah Elaigwu, the IOM Project Assistant Migration Raising Officer, said this at the ongoing three-day training for journalists on ethical and accurate migration reporting in Lagos Elaigwu said potential migrants in Nigeria lacked access to reliable information on the risk of irregular migration and alternatives to safe migration, hence the need for projects to discourage them from migrating irregularly.

The training was organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Global Migration Media Academy (GMMA). In a presentation tittled Communication for Development (C4D), Elaigwu said C4D was designed to support positive behavioural change for the prevention of human trafficking and exploitation. He noted that C4D was designed to support migrants to make informed decision and to sensitise communities to the danger of irregular migration. The C4D audience, according to Elaigwu, were potential migrants, returnees, families, religious leaders, civil societies and government, among others.

He listed the intervention projects to include carrying out about 132 community theatre shows and reaching 115 communities and 4,232 persons. “We carried out community dialogue and we have done about 174 sessions, reaching out to about 3349 persons. Engaged 81 government and NGOs partners. “We have carried out capacity building of 887 community members and C4D facilitators. “IOM has also trained 50 volunteer migrants, conducted school and market advocacy, conducted migrants, speaking through arts. “In March, we reached out to over 20,000 audience through mobile cinema and have used

television, radio and prints to create awareness,” he said. According to him, the IOM has recently partnered NWFL-Laliga and Edo government in its bid to create awareness through sports and promote social cohesion between returnees and the communities. He explained that the efforts had led to a reduction in the numbers of youths that migrated irregularly. “It is not true that irregular migration no longer happen in Edo as I read in the media recently. “it has only reduced following the efforts of IOM and the Federal Government,” he added.(NAN)

Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, with President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Adesina Isaac Adedayo, mni, FCTI; Vice President CITN, Agbeluyi, S.O. (Barr.), FCTI; Chairman 24th Annual Tax Conference Committee, Ruth Oluwabamike Arokoyo, FCTI, Dr. James Kayode Naiyeju, FCTI, and CITN past Presidents at the Chartered Institute of Taxation 24th Annual Conference in Abuja.

FG restates commitment to improving health of Nigerians


r Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), on Thursday, reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to improving the health of Nigerians. He made the government’s position known at the 6th National Council on AIDS with the theme “Innovative Approaches Towards HIV Epidemic Control and Programme Sustainability at State Level” in Abuja. He said “the Federal Government is committed to improving the health of Nigerians and will continue to confront and address challenges affecting HIV services that constitute a key barrier to accessing HIV treatment.” Represented by Dr Nnamdi Mbaeri, the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, OSGF, Mustapha affirmed Federal Government’s renewed commitment to ending HIV, saying it was reinforced by placing additional 50,000 persons on treatment annually. He added that government would continue to finance the treatment of the additional 50,000 persons, noting that governments

at sub-national levels were variously evolving innovative approaches to sustainable health financing, including health insurance. He explained that government would continue to encourage services to demonstrate ownership and assurance to sustainable HIV response. He recalled that the Federal Government, through the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in collaboration with the organised private sector recently launched a N62-billion private sector-driven Trust Fund. The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the world had recorded great improvements in HIV prevention, treatment and care over the last two decades due to strengthened global and regional response to the scourge. Ehanire, who was represented by Dr Alex Okoh, said such development led to reduction in the number of new infections across the world. He, however, expressed concern over the rate of new infections among young people and babies born to HIV positive women, especially in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The minister said that the goals that no child in Nigeria should be born HIV positive and zero new infections informed the theme for this year’s National Council on AIDS: “Innovative Approaches toward HIV Epidemic Control and Programme Sustainability at State Level”. He commended stakeholders and partners for their collaboration toward controlling the spread of the virus, especially the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Global Fund, Joint UN Programme on (UNAIDS) and the private sector. According to him, the National AIDS Indicator and Impact Study (NAIIS) in 2018 rebased the HIV epidemic in Nigeria, resulting in HIV prevalence reduction from 3.4 per cent to 1.3 per cent. He added that “this translated to an estimated 1.8 million persons living with the virus, with 1.6 million persons presently on life saving antiretroviral treatment.” Ehanire, who emphasised the need to close the gap in HIV treatment, said there was treatment gap of about 200,000

persons yet to know their HIV status. He, however, assured that “it is heart-warming to know that we are closing the gap rapidly. We have doubled treatment sites from 1,091 in 2015 to 2,321 in 2021 to ensure that no one is left behind and re-established the National Treatment and Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) programmes. “The programmes have successfully increased treatment coverage from below 40 per cent to more than 80 per cent.” The health minister identified the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) as another innovative strategy put in place by government to ensure that women and children accessed quality health services. He added that the Fund would also ensure that women and children were protected from impoverishing health expenditures. He said there was now greater facilitation of high populationbased viral load suppression among HIV-positive persons on ART, with a decline in morbidity and mortality of persons living with the virus. (NAN)



Letter to the Editor


A good move by EFCC


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is monitoring electioneering campaign financing, including the legitimacy of funds used to purchase political parties’ nomination forms ahead of the 2023 general elections. Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa said that last week on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, on Friday.

given leadership positions in this country. Certainly. That is why we are here. That is part of our mandate to investigate every movement of any fund to ensure legitimacy or otherwise.” We applaud this action of the EFCC. Politicians, particularly the corrupt ones, use elections to launder funds stolen from the public coffer. Whereas the electoral law sets a limit to how much an individual can contribute to a candidate’s campaign budget it is silent about fees parties charge for nomination forms. Perhaps because it is a purely party matter.

He said the commission would be working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other election-related organisations to track the sources of the money political office seekers spent on the purchase of nomination of forms. “When it comes to the However, what they have done issue of monitoring election funds is to constrain the political space, as well as candidates’ allowing money bags funds, that has to do alone. For instance, with the work of INEC an aspirant to the in this regard,” he office of president in said. “But, of course, the APC was forced we are working hand We applaud this to withdraw from in gloves with INEC the race because action of the and other related he could raise only agencies in that field to EFCC. Politicians, N83 million for the ensure that we follow party’s nomination the money. We want particularly the form. to know the source, corrupt ones, whether it is legitimate The high costs of or illegitimate because forms also negate use elections to the very spirit of that is what concerns us.” ‘Not too young launder funds the to run’ legislation The high costs of stolen from the that allows the expressions of interest nation’s talented public coffer. and nomination forms youth to run for of the two largest the highest elective political parties in the country – political offices in the land. Signed the governing All Progressives by President Muhammadu Buhari Congress (APC), and the opposition in 2019, the federal law reflects Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – Nigeria’s changing demographics have sparked angry reactions from which indicate that 70 percent of Nigerians. The presidential form for the population is made up of people the APC costs N100 million, while the under the age of 35. The law is aimed PDP’s costs N40 million. According at ushering in an era of younger to the EFCC boss, the commission political leaders. But the high costs is more concerned with ensuring of parties’ nomination forms do not that corrupt elements do not come help this cause. to power in the country. The EFCC, he said, was concerned about good There must be a way to remove governance, transparency and this constraint. Let’s start by accountability, adding, “Above all, empowering INEC to put a limit on we are concerned about ensuring the prices of parties’ nomination that corrupt elements are not forms.

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Buhari’s new fillip to terrorism. financing: How far can it go? By Musa Ilallah


resident Muhammadu Buhari recently signed into law three bills aimed at improving the anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing/ proliferation frameworks in the country to further underscore his resolve to fight to finish the two crimes in our society. The bills were the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022; the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022 and the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022. The fight against corruption and securing the nation are two of the three major cardinal campaign policy thrust of the PMB administration. Since then President Buhari has deliberately made conscious strategic policy decisions to deal with the monsters. There is no doubt in the fact that, as the President stated, the bills are in tandem with his administration’s commitment to fight corruption and illicit financing activities, as well as critical to the governance agenda and the development of Nigeria. It is expected that the new laws have provided enough punitive measures and containment strategies against abuses and compromises while the inadequacy of all the repealed Acts had impacted legal actions against offenders. It is therefore very heart warming to hear the President further say: “We will not rest until we rid the nation of the menace of money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes.” President Buhari had several times commended the National Assembly members for their “tenacity, courage and commitment” in ensuring that Nigeria puts in place effective measures to address the menace of money laundering, terrorism, and terrorism financing. To underscore the importance of the legislations, the President did emphasize that the signing of these bills into law not only strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism, AML/CFT framework in the Country, but addresses the deficiencies identified in Nigeria’s second round of Mutual Evaluation as assessed by InterGovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa on compliance with the Financial Action Task Force global standards. Accordingly, the repeal of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and enactment of Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 provides a comprehensive legal and Institutional Framework for the prevention and prohibition of money laundering in Nigeria and confers on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the legal status of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering. The enactment of the Proceeds of Crime (recovery and Management) Act, 2022 makes comprehensive provisions for the seizure, confiscation, forfeiture and management of properties derived from unlawful activity. He explained that the new law mandates the creation of dedicated accounts for the proceeds of crime and other confiscated assets in order to enhance the accountability of the process. Taking into consideration the various gaps created by lack of synergy by government staff in MDAs, the President was forthcoming in acknowledging the

challenge it poses to execution of government programmes and activities, stressing the emphasis placed on collaboration, synergy and unification of strategies and measures to combat the scourge of Money Laundering and terrorism financing and proliferation financing in the Act. It must be noted that the primary objectives of these measures are to ensure effective, unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the implementation of the Acts. Well meaning Nigerians have expressed profound satisfaction with measures taken by government and called for coordinated responses to the challenges posed by the menace, expressing the hope that the robust frameworks diligently enshrined in the Acts can only serve useful purposes when every bit of them is enforced. It is however pertinent to emphasis that the fight against corruption requires an “All of Government, All of Nation approach,” and that every Nigerian has a role to play to rid the country of corrupt practices. It must be further noted that the bills were clear demonstration of government functioning at its best with coordination, collaboration, and execution towards a common goal. The assurance by President Buhari that his administration would continue to do its best to secure the nation, adding that the bills signed into law represent not just legislative instruments but very significant governmental actions projecting courage, determination, and sincerity in tackling the menace of Money laundering, terrorism and other financial crimes, must be taken seriously and without any doubts. It is therefore quite encouraging that the Federal Government had admitted it was already winning the war against bandits and terrorists, noting that Nigerians are only experiencing occasional flashes of attacks on soft targets. According to the government, the number of bandits and terrorist attacks was decreasing, saying more criminals were being apprehended. Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola did say at the launch of the Nigeria Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System, N-Alerts held in Abuja. As part of the response to this challenge, the Ministry of Interior had developed this application, a technological innovation that works with the smart mobile phone or any other device with Android or IOS capability to send alerts to all security agencies in real-time. The N-Alerts application uses audiovisual and geospatial location identification of the caller and scenes of incidents on the Ministry Inter-Agency Situation Room, MISR and Command and Control Centres, dashboards of the four services and police headquarters for joint inter-agency operations. In the words of the Minister, the good news is that government is winning. The government has committed and continues to commit an unprecedented amount of human and material resources to addressing the security challenges in the country. He pointed out that security agencies would have foiled many attacks of communities had they been notified in real-time. EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET ABUJA



Opinion Waiting for Abuja’s 10,000 toilets By Greg Odogwu


he Federal Capital Territory Administration recently declared that one in every three FCT citizens practices open defecation; that is, more than 30 per cent of Abuja residents answer nature’s call in a primitive, unwholesome fashion. It then announced plans to construct 10,000 public toilets in strategic locations across the FCT in order to cut down the outrageous open defecation index. This strategy may sound ambitious to many but, considering how late in the day the plan is coming, one wonders whether it is an achievable project. Firstly, this regime has less than one year to go, and one wonders how the FCTA will do the magic because in our clime government is not a continuum. Succeeding administrations rarely complete unfinished projects, especially ones that are capital intensive. Secondly, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), signed the Emergency Order on Open Defecation three years ago. Interestingly, of the 79 local government areas that have presently achieved the open defecation-free status, none of the FCT’s Area Councils (i.e. local governments) is counted as ODF. So, why is the FCTA just waking up from slumber? Abuja is a modern city and there are other strategies that would have been deployed by its government. Open defecation-free status does not come just by building toilets. It also requires proper use of the available toilet facilities and also having access to the existing ones. It has everything to do with toilet culture. If the appropriate consciousness is not imbibed, many people would persist

in their indiscipline. And if there is no buy-in on the part of the citizens, the government can only achieve little momentum even if it builds toilets on every corner. To be clear, both private and corporate organisations in the FCT encourage open defecation. Toilets are always under lock and key in public places, like banks, schools, shopping centres, filling stations and plazas. The institutions then select to whom they give the keys to these so-called public facilities. This is not supposed to be so, considering that the places in question are public spaces and their toilets, therefore, should be open for public use. Not only being open for public use but they should have legible signs to direct people to their locations. Even at the Federal Secretarial complex, one may not find an available toilet to use. Hence, the bushes and shrubs around the complex serve as toilets for some civil servants. In some satellite towns of Abuja, tenants allow their landlords to neglect the construction of toilets. Likewise, they do not complain or protest when they are presented with inadequate toilet facilities by cost-cutting landlords. Others prefer to “manage” inappropriate and uncompleted toilet facilities in their compounds. Obviously, it is about toilet culture. When they are faced with the option of waiting for the completion of toilet systems, some tenants do not see these as critical parts of home units. So, the environment suffers as a result of this noncompliance to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene dictates when they resort to defecating in nearby noman’s-land. S e c o n d l y , e nvironm e nt al health enforcement in the FCT is abysmally lax. Indeed, it is an

indictment that Nigeria’s capital city is part of what makes us the open defecation capital of the world as if we are progressing or developing backwards. It was never like this. Right from the colonial era, Nigeria had the government functionaries whose primary duty was to inspect public places and people’s homes with a view to ensuring that the citizens had properly designed and situated facilities for defecation and environmental sanitation. At that time, they were called sanitary inspectors, known as ‘wole wole’ among the Yoruba, ‘nwaoleala’ among the Igbo and ‘dubagari’ among the Hausa, sanitary inspectors were government officials saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the sanitation of houses and neighbourhoods in every part of the country. In those days, they were feared more than the police. They were in charge of routine sanitary inspection of houses, markets, schools and communities; waste disposal and environmental sanitation, pollution control and industrial sanitation; water sampling and sanitation; port health duties (air, land and seaports); control of communicable disease (infectious diseases); building and urban planning; vector and pest control e.g. malaria control; prosecution of public health offenders in the court; meat and food inspection; the disposal of the dead (corpses); occupational health and factory inspection; vaccination/inoculation of both schoolchildren and adults, and health education on personal and public hygiene. In 1988, the name of the profession was changed to Environmental Health Officers in line with the internationally accepted name of practitioners of the profession and

also to accommodate members of the profession, who graduated from the university with a degree in public health, environmental health and epidemiology. Subsequently, in 2002 the Federal Government set up an institution that regulated their practice in modern Nigeria, known as the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria. Therefore, the question is where are these officers today? Meanwhile, while we wait for the FCTA to regale us with detailed plans of how it will go about constructing 10,000 toilets along Abuja highways, let us look at these ten steps to ending open defecation, put together by a panel of sanitation specialists, and released by Katherine Purvis in a 2015 document in the Guardian of London. The first step is to make toilets a status symbol. We have to make toilets ‘sexy’ so that people would want to have them. When you say ‘toilet’ people often think of dark dirty and smelly places. Instead, we need them to think of toilets as rooms of happiness — clean, colourful and not smelly. The second step is changing the vocabulary. Let us make the conversation more accessible by saying what we mean. Words like open defecation, WASH and latrine do not mean anything to the masses, and so will not drive action. Let us replace them with words like toilets and “shitting outside.” The third step is “start with health.” Disease transmission and other risks are associated with open defecation. People need to understand the worth of investing in toilets in terms of the health benefits. For instance, the people in Abuja must be told that because they are shitting in the open, their children are having cholera and their waters

are polluted whenever there is heavy rain in the FCT. The fourth step is to try a community-led approach. The fifth step is “don’t count the loos.” This means that we must not reduce toilets to statistics. In India for instance, such a supply-driven approach has resulted in graveyards of toilets, where they are used as storage. Likewise, the FCT administration must avoid the temptation of using it to validate a policy as opposed to using it to better the lives of ordinary citizens in satellite towns. The focus should be on counting open defecation free communities and not on toilets constructed. The sixth step is “make the case to governments.” The seventh step is to encourage handwashing, establishing and emphasising the nexus between WASH messages of handwashing with soap and of not defecating in the open, keeping toilets fly-proof and washing hands after using the toilet and before preparing food. The eighth step is to support sustainable programmes. The ninth is not to rely on business. While the private sector and markets have a big role to play, we need to be very clear: sanitation is profitable from a public health and dignity perspective, and it requires public investment. This is another way of saying that the FCT government must not wait for the private sector to deliver on their 10,000 toilets project. The tenth step is “teach poo as a resource.” We need to hammer it in that collecting, and using shit, is yet another way to bring down the unemployment figures in Nigeria. Greg Odogwu is a Public Affairs Analyst.

Between Atiku’s traducers and Deborah Samuel murder conundrum By Hajia Hadiza Mohammed


ur justice system and our security system are bastardized. If really she had committed blasphemy why can’t she be arrested and arraigned for trial? This is one of the fallouts of APC’s inept leadership. Under APC there is reign of impunity as people take laws into their hands. It is a sign of failed government – Jungle justice, banditry, unknown gunmen, hooliganism, cultism. The act of lynching of a young girl named Deborah Samuel Yakubu in Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto last week by a group of irate youths and extremists on the allegation of blasphemy against the holy prophet Mohammed is as condemnable as it is reprehensible. That a young innocent girl died a horrible death the way she did, in the hands of her alleged colleagues and school mates in her school, voicing out her opinion on his belief smacks of religious intolerance and extremism; something that is unknown in civilized environment. And as expected, most well-meaning and respected Nigerians, chiefly among them His Excellency Alhaji (Dr.) Atiku Abubakar (GCON), the Wazirin of Adamawa condemned the gruesome act in strong terms. But shortly after, those misguided

fundamentalists started their noise and sensing trouble and in order not to instigate further crisis, the Wazirin cautiously deleted his statement on the social media. This act of discretion to me portrays Atiku as a man who is sensitive to his environment as later events would indicate. Deleting his earlier post does not in any way imply that he supported the killing of the young girl or that he retracted his earlier statement condemning the heinous act. He was the very first to condemn the killing as was characteristic of him to speak up on national issues. You will recall that Atiku is courageous enough to tell truth to power unlike some of our spineless politicians who pay lip-service to national issues. But unfortunately, rather than see what he did as a damage control measure to avert further crisis his traducers want to use it to score cheap political point. And I dare to ask: where is the Vice-President who is a Christian and a pastor? What did he say? Where were the Southern politicians flipping their mouth through their hirelings? Why are they afraid to speak on the issue? Rather than keep quiet or praise one who is courageous enough to speak up they are making

spurious allegations. Without mincing word, Atiku Abubakar is one politician in Nigeria that has always taken principled stand on issues of national relevance without fear or favor. In the 90s against the wish of the North his primary constituency he fought for the revalidation of June 12, election result and had to be exiled after surviving assassination attempt on his life. At present, he is the only credible politician in the North that is advocating for the restructuring of the nation. And when APC government which he helped to install reneged on its promises to the nation he criticized them and when they refused to bulged, he left the party. When he was the Vice-President under Obasanjo, he risked his life and political future to oppose the latter’s self-succession agenda. What more can I say? Atiku has never been afraid to speak truth to power. The riot that ensued when the alleged culprits were arrested shows that the Wazirin was right in deleting his earlier posts. Atiku should be commended for condemning evil and for being proactive enough to pull out his post to evade crisis. If he hadn’t done what he did, I know the ruling All progressives Party (APC) would have accused him of instigating crisis in the polity.

These broods of fanatics are clearly misrepresenting Islam which is a religion of peace. They are a disgrace to the North. They are the creation of unscrupulous politicians who did not want the North to see the light of development and economic progress. As an activist, one who advocates for the vulnerable people in our midst, I condemn this act of barbarism and religious intolerance. The innocent girl was naïve and obviously insensitive to the religious belief of the environment she found herself. I can imagine the anguish her parents and siblings will go through as a result of her death. The government should do something about religious intolerance. Religious clerics should be cautious in their utterances. Our politicians should desist from instigating crisis using religion as a tool. As a Muslim I know there is no place in the Koran where you are asked to kill for the holy prophet or for Allah. Religious fanaticism is the bane of development in the Northern Nigeria. Only the likes of Atiku can tackle this by enlightenment, empowerment and job creation. Nigeria is a multi-cultural country just like USA, Britain and India. We should advocate harmonious co-existence in order

to harness the gains of our diversity like other nations. This is what I think broad minded leaders like Atiku Abubakar, the bridge-builder can give the country when he is sworn in as president in 2023. Atiku Abubakar knows the country very well and can unify the country. A man of his stature and greatness is what Nigeria needs in these troubled times to survive the misery and the uncertainty that the APC regime has bequeathed on us. Our justice system and our security system are bastardized. If really she had committed blasphemy why can’t she be arrested and arraigned for trial? This is one of the fallouts of APC’s inept leadership. Under APC there is reign of impunity as people take laws into their hands. It is a sign of failed government – Jungle justice, banditry, unknown gunmen, hooliganism, cultism. APC has failed the nation. Therefore, there is urgent need to vote them out. Nigeria should vote PDP and Atiku Abubakar to rescue the country from the brink; to restore peace and harmonious co-existence in the land. Hajia Hadiza Mohammed can be reached at hajiahadizamohammed@




Torture and human rights violation in Nigeria By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu


onventional security agents in Nigeria, and those providing ancillary policing functions such as vigilantes, community police formations, among others have a history of deploying torture as a means of extracting confessions from suspects, albeit under duress. Article 1(1) of the United Nations Convention Against Torture explains that torture means ” any act by which severe pain or suffering whether physical or mentally, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind,when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions”. Conventional security agents in Nigeria, and those providing ancillary policing functions such as vigilantes, community police formations, among others have a history of deploying torture as a means of extracting confessions from suspects, albeit under duress.

This negates the provisions of Section 28 of the Nigeria Evidence Act, which stipulates that” A confession made by an accused person is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding, if the making of the confession appears to the court to have been caused by any inducement, threat or promise having reference to the charge against the accused person, proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient, in the opinion of the court, to give the accused person grounds which would appear to him reasonable for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature”. Conventional security services or those claiming to provide security services in various locations have adopted both physical and psychological methods of torture on victims. These include continuous blows with either fists, gun butts, matchetes or heavy sticks;sexual torture such as rape, threat of imminent rape, insertion of broomsticks or broken

objects into victims genitals; forced positions; pouring of contaminated water which may sometimes contain faeces and urine. Others are suspension or hanging in the air through a hook or some other hard object in the roof of an isolated room; deprivation of food and water for a long period of time; flogging with horsewhips, cane or electric cable; nakedness; rudeness and obscene insult. Torture strongly contravenes several local and international legal instruments on human rights such as articles 4 and 5 of the African Charter on Human And Peoples’ Rights which provide that” Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right”; Every individual shall have the right to be respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment

and treatment shall be probihited. Also, chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution provides the following rights to a Nigerian citizen: right to life, human dignity( freedom from degrading treatment,torture) and personal liberty; right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; right to remain silent; right against self- incrimination; right to fair, open and impartial judicial process, among other rights. To ensure that the menace of torture is addressed in Nigeria, all international treaties should be domesticated. The federal government, as a matter of urgency, should ratify international treaties containing safeguards against torture and other illtratments, including International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its first Optional Protocol; and the UN Convention against Torture; the excesses of local vigilantes, community police formations or any other group claiming to provide policing functions for communities should be strictly checked by judicial processes.

Conventional security services or those claiming to provide security services in various locations have adopted both physical and psychological methods of torture on victims.

The appropriate quarters should not hesitate to apply punishments when necessary to erring groups, even to the extent of disbanding such groups. Their functions should be restricted to providing intelligence to the police, and they should not be allowed to carry firearms to avoid abuse. On the other hand, recruitment of members into these groups should strictly be based on credibility, and individuals with questionable characters and no visible means of livelihood should not be recruited into those local security arrangements. Conventional security agents should be exposed to some academic trainings in human psychology, the constitution to enhance civilian- police relations, and respect for human rights. Also, locations where persons are secretly detained should be unraveled and get rid of. It is also suggested that the” teeth for tat” principle should be applied here in the sense that in the course of torture, the victim dies, the perpetrators should be brought to book and made to face the full wrath by paying with heads through sentencing to death by hanging. If the above recommendations are strictly applied, the incidence of torture in Nigeria will be highly checked. Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu is a Public Affairs Analyst.

The Keke menace and why it must be tamed By Adewale Kupoluyi,


ricycles have regrettably turned into a nightmare for road users. They have equally become prime sources of trauma to commuters and other motorists. It is common knowledge and real-time experience that commercial motorcyclists, otherwise called “Keke Marwa”, have become a source of worry in society. When some states across Nigeria clamped down on motorcycles, popularly called “Okada”, for a number of unpleasant reasons such as recklessness, robberies, kidnapping, speeding and dangerous riding, many people had thought that there would be sanity on our roads. Alas, they were dead wrong! The ban of commercial motorcycles from major roads in the country had encouraged the patronage of tricycles as the alternative mode of transport for the common man. Apart from the structural similarity and functionality to motorcycles, tricycles are not expensive to buy, use and maintain. The operators easily maneouvre very busy roads, especially, during serious hold-ups and when many people are eager to get to their destinations at the same time. This causes commotion on the road. It is common to see a cross-section of people within the working class ride on commercial motorcycles whenever they need to keep up important and urgent

appointments. Massive importation of tricycles encouraged more people to take to that line of selfemployment by earning a living and boosting the economic life of many states. Before now, the common means of public transport in the major cities involved the use of taxis with commercial buses joining as the nation’s population shot up. Tricycles became prominent during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, which implemented the National Agency for Poverty Eradication Programme, making it possible for the importation of large quantities of tricycles into the country, mainly for jobless youths and young school leavers. The rationale behind banning commercial motorcycles (Okada) in many state capitals had to do with the negative consequences associated with the fast-growing mode of transport in the country as well as other developing nations. As noted earlier, they are cheaper to purchase, manage and ride,

unlike cars or vehicles that require more attention and effort, to maintain or move from one place to another. The lawlessness that has been associated with “Okada” brought about more patronage of tricycles, as an alternative, but it appears to be causing more problem than the relief it was meant to bring. This unfortunate development has fuelled agitations for the proscription of tricycles from our roads. Many people also feel that tricycles should not be proscribed in the sense that they remain a viable alternative and a cheaper mode of transport. Sadly, tricycles have regrettably turned into a nightmare for road users. They have equally become prime sources of trauma to commuters and other motorists. They are now a terror on the roads through reckless speeding, disobeying traffic rules and dangerously meandering through every available space between vehicles on serious traffic situations and engaging in recklessness. I have seen on several occasions

where tricycle riders struggle with vehicle owners on the road. The truth is that there is a faint difference between motorcycles and tricycles. In actual sense, what most motorcyclists did after their ban was to dispose of their motorcycles and purchased tricycles in order to be in business. What it means is that nothing has really changed when we look at the so-called migration. It is the same personalities behind both the banned motorcycles and the new tricycles that are still carrying excess luggage, engaging in speeding and committing other crimes and attacking commuters. It is simply like an old wine in a new bottle; no matter how much the wine is packaged or represented, it remains the same. It is for these reasons that a better approach should be put in place to tame this monster. It remains a social problem because of the lives and property of the people that are involved and vulnerable to the untold and ugly experiences being suffered

The ban of commercial motorcycles from major roads in the country had encouraged the patronage of tricycles as the alternative mode of transport for the common man

in the hands of the operators. To start with, the purchase and use of tricycles for commercial purposes should be revisited. They should be well-regulated so as to prevent people of questionable character from becoming commercial tricyclists overnight. Furthermore, indiscriminate importation of tricycles into the country should be closely monitored, as many of them are not roadworthy at all. The country appears to be a dumping ground for imported equipment and machines. Government personnel plying for roads safety should stop looking elsewhere and rather beam their searchlight on only cars and buses at the neglect of motorcycles and tricycles. Stiffer penalties such as fines should be imposed, to punish anyone that violates traffic rules and regulations. Law enforcement agents should be supportive in restoring sanity on our roads. More mobile courts should be put in place to summarily try traffic offenders. They should not compromise their status by setting free offenders. This often happens when reckless offenders plead with law enforcement agents to set them free and never be punished. This gives some of them the courage to misbehave and feel on top of the world when they evade deserved punishment. Adewale Kupoluyi is of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta



NEWS 2023: Why APC Kano delegates should vote me - Amaechi From Kano




head of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential primaries, former Minister of Transportation, Rt.Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has appealed to Kano State delegates to vote for him considering the numerous achievements he attracted to the state during his time as minister. Amaechi said, his commitment to providing employment through infrastructural development for the people of Kano made him to cite the biggest railway project in the state, adding that

if elected he would focus on more developmental projects in the area. The former minister spoke when he met with delegates of the APC in the state on Wednesday. Amaechi said, “ I speak to your conscience, let us see how your conscience will prick you on the day of voting , so that you look at your God , look at your ballot paper and vote for your conscience. I was here in Kano as a governor of Rivers State when I got information that they were after my life , they refused to allow me fly out of Kano. I had to take my destiny in my hands and start praying to God, and I drove

from here to Abuja by 1 A.M to stay alive. The reason why they wanted me dead was because I was supporting Muhammadu Buhari for President.” “When President Buhari appointed me minister, the first railway project I thought was important was the Lagos to Kano. I had started working on the Kano -Kaduna railway before I resigned. I had visited Kano more than three times inspecting that railway project and presently we have achieved between eighty to one hundred kilometers of rail line already even though we have not placed the track, we have done the foundation. Your Governor told

you about Dala Inland Dry Port. Dala Inland Dry Port had been in the ministry of Transportation for twenty years. I could have declined approval of the project but I knew that the economy of Kano people is large and I needed to create employment for Kano people. “So, I immediately approved the project, and I tasked the contractor that I want to commission it. I could have commissioned it before I left the ministry but I wanted the President to commission it. Before I resigned we had gone for final inspection and we were ready to commission.”

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State with Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the PDP Presidential Aspirant, during Dr. Saraki’s visit to the Oyo State Government House.

ADP Chairman in Ekiti, Abegunde dumps party


he Chairman of the Action Democratic Party, (ADP) in Ekiti State, Mr Abegunde Olakunle, has dumped the party barely a week after the deputy governorship candidate, Mr Idowu Afuye defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Olakunle, who said this in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday, at a news conference, denied his purported suspension by the national leadership of the party. He faulted the letter of the purported suspension saying it was not addressed to him, noting

that he only called for a press conference to make comments on it. He, however, noted that he would have about three months ago tendered his resignation due to alleged mal-administration, but cited the negative effects it would have on the party’s governorship candidate, Erelu Kemi ElebuteHalle in the elections. He said: “Considering the maladministration and unbearable inadequacies characterizing the leadership of the party. I would have resigned my membership about three months ago.

”But I realised that doing so might negatively affect the efforts of the candidate of the party. This is why I decided to endure till the end of the election before tendering my resignation letter. ”However, now that it is the national leadership that goes on air to announce the unwarranted suspension of Adekunle Abegunde of no title, location and address. ”I Pastor Chief Abegunde Emmanuel Olakunle, Chairman of the Action Democratic Party, Ekiti State, ….hereby declare that I drop and quit the ADP. I cease to be chairman of ADP in Ekiti State.”

He went further to say that his resignation did not have anything to do with the ambition of the party’s governorship candidate, Erelu Kemi Elebute-Halle, while not ruling out the possibility of returning to the party. “I will say that my relationship with the ADP candidate remains very cordial, but wouldn’t know what she feels, to me, I have nothing against her.” On what is likely to be his next move, Abegunde said, “I will go home and consult with my family and their decision will determine my next step of action.” (NAN)

Deborah Samuel: IPCR condemns killing, sues for peace By Ochiaka Ugwu


he Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has condemned killing of Deborah Samuel, a student of College of Education, Sokoto, on Thursday 12 May 2022 over alleged blasphemous statement. In a press statement released in Abuja Wednesday, it noted the Institute calls for calm and sue for peaceful co-existence among citizens. “We are brothers and sisters, who should be living together as siblings devoid of violence and hate. “The Institute commends the Sokoto State Government for already taking measures to address the situation. We still call on the state government not to relax or give any chance until peace is restored in the state. “The Institute appeals for tolerance, as that are the only way peaceful co-existence and harmony can be guaranteed. “The Institute notes that the country has gone through several challenges, and in this period of electioneering, what Nigeria need more is tolerance and peace if the nation must move forward”. “The Director General, Dr. Bakut T. Bakut, appeals that all hands must be on deck to assist the nation to achieve its desired peace. Nigeria cannot afford another difficult circumstances that will further strain the nation’s fragile security situation. “We appeal that our youths should be educated by all stakeholders on the danger of violence and taking laws into their hands, as this will only escalate the present crisis situation” the statement read in part. “Similarly, we also wish to caution promoters of hate and violence to desist from such as Nigeria is not known for fighting interreligious war. “We therefore call on all relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators to book to serve as deterrent to others, who would want to toe such path” it concluded.

Don’t allow yourselves to be used as thugs - Don tells youths Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


University Don and a Professor of Biochemistry, from Usman Danfodio University Sokoto, Prof. Sahabi Danladi Mahuta has called on Nigerians not to allow themselves to used as thugs by politicians. He gave this adviced yesterday at Zuru while addressing the supporter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial aspirant Alhaji Garba Musa Maidoki. He said youths should use thier 8 years experience from APC administration as an example for them to effect changes.


Why I left APC – Former Niger Delta Minister, Usani By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ormer Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani has explained that due to continued constriction of the governorship space in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Cross River State, he had to leave to pursue his long-held ambition in the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP). In an interview with Journalists in Calabar, Usani, who was one of the two governorship candidates of APC in 2019 said, “It is the constriction of the democratic space in the state that has occasioned this expediency.” Usani who has been a diehard member of the Action Congress Nigeria, which metamorphosed into APC, lamented that he had expended his time, resources and energy to build the party until ‘strangers’ invaded it. “We built up the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the members of the APC are not my enemies.” It would be recalled that Usani was one of the 17 gubernatorial aspirants for the APC ticket in the state. A 7-man committee had pruned the number to four, after which about two weeks ago, the party caucus selected Prince Bassey Otu as its consensus candidate. This seemingly angered other frontline aspirants. To pacify them, the party has now agreed to conduct primaries to have an acceptable flagbearer next week.


INEC registers 126,763 new voters in Adamawa By Musa Baba Adamu


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has registered 126,763 new voters in Adamawa State. The electoral body said the new entrants into the voters are those who never registered and have never voted in past elections but could now vote in the 2023 elections and subsequent ones. The INEC Resident Commissioner in Adamawa State, Kassim Gaidam, made the disclosure Thursday while

addressing a stakeholders’ meeting at his office in the state capital, Yola. He recalled that the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) started last year, June 28, 2021. He explained that the 126,763 completed online and in-person registrations are among the online preregistration of 146, 443 people and that the CVR exercise will end next month, June 30 to allow for time to get all PVCs out before the 2023 elections. Kassim Gaidam also announced that the INEC

headquarters had printed and delivered to Adamawa State 39,770 permanent voter cards (PVCs) of genuine new registrants, which he said had been distributed to collection centres across the state since last month, April 19. He said, however, that of the 39,770 new PVCs released, only 3,641 had been collected one full month after being made available and appealed to all voters who registered between June and December 2021 to collect their PVCs. The INEC Commissioner

announced that Adamawa State currently has 4,104 polling units (PUs) across its 21 LGAs, explaining, “INEC converted the voting points (VPs) used in the 2019 general election to fullfledged polling units. The VPs were 1,495 while the PUs were 2,609.” He said there was no truth to the speculation that some PUs had been relocated, stressing that, “All the 2,609 hitherto existing PUs remain where they were. The 1,495 VPs converted to PUs also remain in the same RAs/wards where the VPs existed.”

R-L: PDP Presidential Aspirant and Former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim; Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde; his Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi and chairman advisory committee to governor, Ayoola Agboola during Anyim meeting with South West PDP Delegates, yesterday in Ibadan,

Soludo presents revised N170b 2021 budget to Anambra lawmakers By Christiana Ekpa


nambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo has presented a revised 2021 budget of N170 billion to the Anambra State House of Assembly. The governor, while presenting the revised budget, said his government hit the ground running as promised and remained committed to creating a liveable homeland for the Anambra people. He said the revised budget

was meant to meet the realities on ground and also help his government succeed. According to him, “Mr. Speaker, Hon members! The purpose of the 2022 Revised budget is to reflect the current realities, challenges, and priorities of the new administration and Ndi Anambra. “We are undaunted by the state of the treasury. We have seriously started reforming our system of tax administration to significantly ramp up our internally generated revenue

over the coming years. In the meantime, the dire needs of Ndi Anambra and our transformation agenda cannot wait. “We are working on a mixture of financing options (including debt that is ring-fenced to fund bankable projects and/ or infrastructure with impacts on the economy) to guarantee efficient and effective service delivery to our people while ensuring fiscal sustainability over the medium to longer terms. The details of these will be laid out in our 2023 budget. ”

He gave the size of the revised budget as about N170 billion versus the existing appropriation of N142 billion (with the capital expenditure accounting for 64% compared to 57% previously). “Capital expenditure increased by 33% from N81 billion to N108 billion while Recurrent expenditure increased marginally by 0.79% from N60 billion. “We have declared a state of emergency on rebuilding our road infrastructure and traffic management. About N52

billion or about 31% of the total budget is for the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and we intend to simultaneously invest in roads in most of the local governments, paying special attention to our urban regeneration agenda. “We have requested the Federal Government to kindly intervene on an emergency basis on a number of federal roads in the state that have become nightmarish death traps. We confidently expect their urgent responsive action”, Soludo said.

APC clears 31 House of Assembly aspirants in Ekiti


he Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly Screening Committee has cleared 31 aspirants. The Secretary of the screening committee, Dele Akinleye, said this in a statement on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti. The cleared aspirants were Mariam Ogunlade (Emure), Okeimen Fakunle (Ilejemeje), Hakeem Jamiu (Irepodun/ Ifelodun), Tajudeen Akingbolu (Ekiti West), and Lateef Akanle (Ekiti East).

Others were Yemisi Ayokunle (Ekiti South West ), Adeoye Aribasoye (Ikole II), Ayorinde Oluwayomi, Ayodeji Ajayi (Ise/ Orun), and Babatunde Fawekun (Ido/Osi I). Also cleared were Babatunde Oke (Ikere II), Babatunde Idowu (Ikere II), Bode Oyekola (from Ekiti West II), Femi Akindele (from Irepodun/Ifelodun), and Adeteju Okuyiga (from Gbonyin). The list also included Abimbola Solanke (from Moba I), Ayodeji Adegbite (Ado I), Oladapo Osunniyi (from Ekiti southwest

II), Bolaji Olagbaju (Ado II), and Bosede Olowookere (Efon ). Temitope Longe, (Oye 1), Kareem Agunbiade (Ekiti West I), Goke Oyeleye (Ijero), Babafemi Fatunla (Ikole 1), and Omoyeni Oluwasola (Ekiti East II) also made the list. The rest were Abraham Fatoba (Ekiti East I), Mathew Attah (Ikere II), Idowu Odebunmi (Oye II), Oluwafemi Alabi, and Adeyemi Awoniyi (Moba II), as well as Rotimi Orewole (Gbonyin). However, Akinleye said the committee did not clear the

following aspirants: Afolabi Olurotimi (Idk/Osi II), Michael Ige (Ekiti southwest II), Ojo Ademola (Ijero), Ayodeji Ajogbeje (Ikere II), and Ayodeji Oladele (Moba 1). Others that were also not cleared included Ademuko Oladele (Ijero), Helen Ajisafe (Ado), Kayode Ojo (Irepodun/Ifelodun), Ayodele Adarabierin (Ado), Martins Ibidapo (Ekiti West), and Akinjide Akintola (Ado). The remaining ones were Ibrahim Lanre (Irepodun/ Ifelodun), Oluwole Fagbohun (Ekiti South West), Joshua Ayanna

(Ijero), Kehinde Adaramodu (Ekiti South West), and Opeyemi Agbede (Irepodun/Ifelodun), as well as Oluwaseun Ojuolape (Ekiti South West). He further said the Appeal Committee to review complaints from the screening of the house of assembly aspirants would begin sitting on Thursday, May 19. He said the venue would be at JKF Center, Ajilosun, AdoEkiti from 9 a.m. and enjoined members with complaints to get to the appeal committee on May 19. (NAN)




APC primaries: Borno holds delegates congresses; Zulum, INEC attend flag-off By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno State has flagged-off congresses for the election of Local Governments, State and National delegates that will take part in the Party’s primaries for State and National Assembly seats, Governorship and office of the President. The flag-off took place on Wednesday evening in Mafa town, the hometown of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, just as the exercise was expected to be held simultaneously across the 27 Local Government Areas of Borno State. State Chairman of the APC in Borno State, Ali Bukar Dalori, introduced the event before handing over to Chairman of the Party’s National Committee on the congresses in Borno State, Prof. Jones Ode Erue, who presided over the election of 13 delegates in Mafa as part of the flag-off. Erue announced that his committee has since constituted resident sub-committees for all the 27 Local Government Areas. A member of the resident committee on Mafa, State Women Leader of the APC, Hajja Fati Kakinna Monguno, called out names of all delegates who emerged through consensus. Prof. Erue asked members of the Party if anyone had objection to any of the delegates, to which there were unanimous approvals. In three groups, all the delegates were affirmed by voice vote with unanimous ‘YES’, and no nay sayers. Five Local Government delegates, five State delegates and the three National delegates were elected to represent Mafa Local Government Area in all primaries (State Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship and the Presidential primary in Abuja). Representative of the Independent National Election, INEC, said he had witnessed a credible electoral process and will report back to the INEC. Chairman of the APC’s National Committee on the congress in Borno State, Prof. Jones Ode Erue commended Governor Zulum for insisting that the party follows due process in its election of all delegates in line with the Party’s constitution and Nigeria’s electoral law. In his remark, Governor Zulum thanked the national committee for their good work and congratulated all delegates for their successful election.

Don’t mortgage your children’s future Tambuwal tells Lagos PDP delegates


overnor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and PDP presidential aspirant has advised the party’s national delegates in Lagos State not to mortgage the future of their children by voting for the wrong aspirant. He also urged the delegates to ensure they voted for the right presidential aspirant at the upcoming party’s presidential primaries, to safeguard the future of the country. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the main opposition party had fixed its presidential primaries for May 28 and 29, to choose its flag bearer for the 2023 presidential election. Tambuwal, in the company of some PDP chieftains, made the remark when he met the national delegates of the Lagos chapter of the PDP on Wednesday night in Ikeja. His visit came a day after another presidential aspirant and former Anambra governor, Peter Obi, admonished the delegates against “money bag” politicians. The governor, who advised the delegates to critically assess the aspirants’ track records in choosing the party’s presidential flag bearer, said they must go for the most competent, professional and experienced. “Don’t mortgage the future of

your children, don’t mortgage the future of this country. “This is the Centre of Excellence, you must go for excellence. Check all, and be guided by conscience as you cast your vote on May 28 and 29. “Check our records as aspirants and know what to do. The task ahead is the task of rebuilding Nigeria and it requires someone at the centre who can midwife that process. I am a pan-Nigerian,” he said. The governor said he had delivered as a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and governor of Sokoto state, not owing workers’ salaries, pension and gratuity while also delivering massive infrastructure with meagre resources. Tambuwal added: “It is not about where you are from, it is about your person, character, competence, capacity and whether the people can trust you with power. “Power in the wrong hand can destroy everything. “You must therefore put up your thinking caps and think wisely as we put up measures to nominate our party’s flag bearer who can together and collectively with all of us and other leaders of our party, win the election for the PDP.” Tambuwal listed variables and factors in winning an election to include age, capacity, experience,

competence and character, adding that he had passed all the variables. The governor pledged not to be a dictator but rather to run fully democratic governance. He urged the delegates to have the criteria of the type of leader they wanted to give their children and the one they want to be seen on the international scene. Tambuwal, who decried the level of insecurity, economic hardship and corruption, said his first priority if elected would be to forge greater unity in the country and give hope to the hopeless. He cautioned against sentiments in choosing the party’s flag-bearer. “The job is a very tasking one, it requires experience because we cannot afford to take the risk of experimenting with leadership in this country again. “Nigeria is indeed challenged and we must do everything humanly possible together to surmount the challenges and to build it. “We must be very clear in our vision and understanding of the type of leader Nigeria requires at this time,” he said. According to him, Nigeria needs a leader with experience in democratic governance, legislature, executive and someone with the knowledge of the constitution and the rule of law.

Tambuwal, who noted that he remained a bridge between the young and old, added that he could relate very well with the youths, as he understood issues about the country. “I understand issues of this country, having served for 12 years in the House of Representatives and related with the representatives of virtually 360 federal constituencies of this country at different times as a member, minority leader, deputy chief whip and ultimately as speaker of the house of representatives. “I have been close with most of the representatives from various tribes of this country. “I understand issues of this country are as complex as they are. They (issues) require dexterity, capacity, competence and character. We can and we must make Nigeria work. Nigeria will work again for all of us,” he said. Tambuwal, however, called for unity and understanding among PDP members in Lagos state to begin the process of ruling the state in 2023. In his response, the Lagos State PDP Chairman, Philips Aivijo, said the state chapter would support Tambuwal’s aspiration. NAN reports that the event was also attended by the state and local government executives of the party among other PDP leaders.

Osun State PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, Sen. Ademola Adeleke, with PDP Presidential Aspirant, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, during Dr. Saraki’s meeting with PDP delegates and leaders in Osun State.

2023: Ganduje’s commissioner for finance resigns, joins NNPP By Musa Baba Adamu


he Kano State Commissioner for Finance, Shehu Na’Allah, on Thursday, resigned from the cabinet of Abdullahi Ganduje. Na’Allah has joined his former principal, former governor Ibrahim Shekarau, who defected to the New Nigeria People Party

(NNPP) on Wednesday. His resignation from Ganduje’s cabinet followed that of Chief of Staff, Ali Makoda, who also quit the cabinet and defected to NNPP. The Kano State government in a statement said, “One of the commissioners nominated for appointment by Senator Ibrahim Shekarau into the

administration of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje in the lucrative ministry of finance and economic development, Shehu Na’Allah Kura has resigned and joined his boss.” The state’s Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, said Na’Allah was appointed as commissioner into the key ministry at the request of

Shekarau after the 2019 election. Garba said until the recent defection of his boss, Na’Allah was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and had previously served as commissioner for planning and budget. However, Na’Allah is yet to announce his official defection to the NNPP.


2023: Ex-Rep, 128 others dump APC, PDP, SDP for NNPP in Yobe By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP), is waxing stronger in Yobe State with the defection of a former federal lawmaker, Aliyu Yakubu Mainasara, alongside 128 into its fold. The defectors were mostly from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP). One of the defectors and exfederal lawmaker representing Potiskum/Nangere Federal Constituency of Yobe state, Aliyu Yakubu Mainasara, cited injustice, lack of level playing ground and confusion that are rocking APC in the state as some of the reasons that forced him out of the ruling party. Mainasara was a member of the House Representatives under PDP from 2011-2015, he later joined APC and now shifted his loyalty to NNPP with the hope of returning to the green chamber on the platform of his new party. Reacting to the development, the Chairman of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Yobe State chapter, Alhaji Yakubu Shehu Damagum, said what is going on in Yobe State right from inception of democratic dispensation is an additional circle of those who have been in leadership positions. “We have a lot of youths in Yobe, what we are doing now as a party is to sensitize them about their future in our party. “We will give both women and youths the opportunity to participate in the new beginning under our party and we know that we will make a great party in Yobe State,” Damagum said. The NNPP Chairman also observed that most of the party’s members are youths and therefore have the strength to keep the party going for a longer time. “Most of the youths are from 35 years down and then women, who also make the greater part of our party,” he said.



Ask Ademola his source of wealth – Ogunbiyi tells Osun people By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Accord Party gubernatorial candidate in the Osun State elections, Akin Ogunbiyi has charged the people of the state to challenge Senator Ademola Adeleke to reveal the source of his wealth. Senator Adeleke is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Osun State. Akin, who recently defected from PDP to pick the Accord Party’s ticket made this assertion during a press briefing at the party secretariat in Osogbo, on

Thursday. “Even the PDP dancing senator, nothing will work. He said he has all the money to be voted (into power). ‘fire for fire’. Is Osun for sale? Ask Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of (the) PDP, what is his source of income. Where did he make all the money he wants to use to fight. “Leadership is character. Leadership is integrity and I have integrity. In addition, Akin described the duo of All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as embodiments of failure.

“We have had the PDP in the last 16 years and they have ruined everything ruinable, they bastardize everything bastardizeable. Now the APC came, they talked of change, have you seen the change now? In 8 years, APC has done worse. APC has done worse woes. Everything is now upside down. Let us say no to the APC with our votes. Let us say no to the PDP with our votes. “I say Osun is indebted. They owe civil servants and pensioners. How to describe someone who is at level 17, over seven years ago and still earns level 10’s salary? It is the responsibility of

a government to inherit both the assets and liabilities of the past administration. “Osun state has 26 commercially viable natural resources But the (state) government is looking away because of side-kicks, because of side attractions, because of side money they are making. As a result, the state does not get what is due from the miners. I will restructure the mining sector.” He subsequently appealed to the people to vote for the party in the coming election.

L-R: Executive Director Large Enterprises Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Simon Aranonu; Company Secretary BOI, Mrs Olufunlola Salami; Chairman BOI, Mallam Aliyu AbdulRahman Dikko; Managing Director/CEO, BOI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan; Executive Director Micro Enterprises BOI, Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, and Executive Director SME, BOI, Mr Shekarau Omar, during the Bank of Industry 62nd Annual General Meeting held in Abuja yesterday

I’m running as Nigerian Presidential aspirant not northern aspirant - Lawan By Musa Baba Adamu


he President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said on Thursday that his presidential bid is in his capacity as a Nigerian who is qualified to be President and not as a northern aspirant as is being insinuated in some quarters. “I am not running as a northern aspirant because the impression created is that I’m a northern aspirant or that northerners are saying they are not going to allow power to the South. “I’m not running as a northern candidate. I’m running as a Nigerian Presidential aspirant and therefore I come with all my qualifications for that office and people should judge me on the basis of what I have to

offer,” Lawan said in Katsina. The Senate President was in Katsina to seek the support of party members particularly the delegates for his presidential bid ahead of the party primaries later this month. Lawan made the remarks at a meeting with some members of the Katsina State House of Assembly who came to see him. They were led by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Tasiu Musa Maigari. Lawan who is one of the longest serving Nigerian Federal lawmakers having been elected into the National Assembly since 1999 said he possessed the requisite experience and qualifications that put him at an advantage over other aspirants. “We have been around for

sometime. Thank God, from 2019, we have been working with the President of our Party, President Muhammadu Buhari, very closely. I know and I understand most of the national issues that we deal with. “I’m a participant in this government and I use that as one advantage that I have. Even though I’m a parliamentarian, I have some experience in governance. Real experience. Therefore, we are going round to tell Nigerians that we are available. “The fact that we came out last speaks volumes, because I didn’t just wake up one morning and say I want to be President. It took a lot of time for those who believe in me to talk to me to also throw my hat in the ring. And after some time, I

accepted. “And that is to say that some people are not satisfied with those they are seeing and they think that we can do better. I have a great deal of respect for those who are running. The other aspirants. “And I believe that I have my advantages and I’m going to use my advantages by the Grace of God to not only emerge as the candidate of our party but also win the general elections. “And I’m not running like someone from the northeast, I’m running as a Nigerian because I believe that I understand the issues of development in Nigeria today. “And as a participant in this administration, I know that this administration succeeded in some

ways and has not succeeded as much in others and therefore, those areas in which we succeeded, it’s for me to continue to build on them. “Those areas that we have found ourselves in deficit, that we have not been able to succeed as much, it’s for us to work on them I am a product of this administration and my party and therefore I commit myself to the ideals of my party. “I commit myself to the ideals of this administration because it takes every effort by everyone to bring development. Mr President will be finishing his term in 2023 as we all know but his ideals are there and his ideals are to develop our country,” Lawan said.


By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja


eplat Energy Plc has appointed Basil Omiyi as the company’s new independent non-executive chairman, effective immediately. The appointment comes as Bryant Orjiako, a founding chairman of the company, stepped down as chairman of Seplat Energy. Orjiako was the chairman of the company for over 12 years. In 2009, his company Shebah Exploration and Production Company and Platform Petroleum Limited cofounded Seplat Energy. In a statement on Thursday, the company said his appointment follows a thorough assessment of internal and external candidates and was approved after a unanimous vote by all directors of Seplat Energy, in compliance with stipulated regulations. Omiyi has been a member of Seplat Energy’s board of directors since March 2013. In February 2021, he became a senior independent non-executive director of the board. “During this period, he sat on the Company’s Remuneration, Nominations & Governance, Energy Transition, and Risk Management & HSSE committees,” the statement reads. “His experience in the energy industry is extensive, with more than 40 years at Royal Dutch Shell, during which time he held senior roles in Nigeria and Europe, including becoming Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in 2004 and in addition, Country Chairman of Shell Companies, Nigeria, until his retirement in 2009. “Omiyi has held several leadership positions in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, including: Chairman, Upstream Industry Group (Oil Producers Trade Section, Lagos Chambers of Commerce & Industry) from 2007-2010; Chairman of the Energy Sector of NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria, and Board Member NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria from 2005-2010; Chairman, of the Oil & Gas Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group from 20052010; and Board Member, Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2007-2010.” Omiyi is also the independent non-executive chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group — a post he has held since 2015. It added that Charles Okeahalam will be succeeding Omiyi as the senior


Septate Energy appoints new non executive chairman independent non-executive director of the energy firm. Okeahalam joined the board in March 2013 as an independent nonexecutive director and is chairman of Seplat Energy’s finance committee. He is also a member of the company’s energy transition, remuneration, and nominations and governance committees. “Dr. Okeahalam has extensive corporate finance and capital markets expertise and in particular, detailed knowledge of African financial markets, economies and the investment industry,” the statement added.

“He was a co-founder of AGH Capital Group, private equity and diversified investment holding company based in Johannesburg, with assets in several African countries. “Prior to co-founding AGH Capital Group in 2002, he was a Professor of Financial Economics and Banking at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.” Roger Brown, chief executive officer of Seplat Energy, said: “As the founders of Seplat Energy Dr. ABC Orjiako and Mr. Austin Avuru step off the board and the Company moves into the next chapter of its development,

Seplat has once again demonstrated its commitment to strong corporate governance in delivering on its promise of appointing an independent Non-Executive Chairman.” Brown said Omiyi has been a leading figure in the Nigerian oil and gas sector and also with Seplat Energy, having joined its board in 2013 and helped it to achieve a dual listing in April 2014. “The vast depth of experience and his detailed knowledge of Seplat Energy will be invaluable as we continue to evolve and mature the company. He has provided invaluable guidance as an Independent Director

and I look forward to his continued leadership as our new Independent Non-Executive Chairman,” Rogers said. “We will also benefit from the considerable expertise of Dr. Charles Okeahalam as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, especially his experience and knowledge of Africa’s economies and its financial markets. “Under their guidance, we will continue to expand and consolidate our position as Nigeria’s leading energy company and the partner of choice to deliver energy transition for Africa’s largest economy and its rapidly growing population.”

Executive Chairman, FIRS, Nami Muhammad with Dr. James Kayode Naiyeju, FCTI; CITN President, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Adesina Isaac Adedayo, mni, FCTI; Vice President CITN, Agbeluyi, S.O. (Barr.), FCTI and Chairman 24th Annual Tax Conference Committee, Ruth Oluwabamike Arokoyo, FCTI, at the Chartered Institute of Taxation 24th Annual Conference in Abuja.

IFIs Is Crucial To Alleviating Food Security In Vulnerable Countries-IMF By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja


ristalina Georgieva, managing director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), says coordination among international financial institutions (IFIs) is crucial to alleviating food insecurity in vulnerable countries. Georgieva said this in a statement published on IMF’s website on Wednesday. The IMF chief said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had created “a crisis on top of a crisis” around the globe with countries facing food shortages and sharply higher prices for food, energy, and fertilisers.

According to her, the pressures occur at a time when countries’ public finances have already stretched from the pandemic and debt burdens are high. Georgieva said with inflation reaching the highest levels seen in decades, vulnerable households in low-and middle-income countries were most at risk of acute food insecurity. She noted that history had shown that hunger often triggered social unrest and violence. “If we have learnt one lesson from the 2007 to 2008 food crisis, it is that the international community needs to take fast and well-coordinated actions to tackle a food crisis by maintaining

open trade, supporting vulnerable households, ensuring sufficient agricultural supply, and addressing financing pressures,” she said. “I am glad that the heads of the IFIs worked together to propose concrete actions. Coordination between us will be critical for the plan to have maximum impact in quickly alleviating food insecurity, especially for the most vulnerable households in the most vulnerable countries. “Working closely with the World Bank and other International Financial Institutions, the IMF will provide policy advice, capacity development assistance, and financial support to help further

catalyse and complement financing from other institutions. The IMF is investing in its monitoring capabilities to allow for timely identification of countries with the most pronounced financing pressures, especially fragile and conflict-affected states, which will particularly be affected by food insecurity.” Georgieva added that IMF was also working with country authorities on macroeconomic frameworks and policy priorities. According to her, a critical area of focus is to assist countries in their efforts to rapidly improve social safety nets to protect vulnerable households from the imminent threat of hunger.

“Helping members identify ways to safeguard food security without resorting to export restrictions has been another priority,” she added. Inflation is rising to unprecedented heights across the globe, forcing governments to raise interest rates. On Wednesday, the inflation rate reached 9 per cent in the United Kingdom. Nigeria is also not spared from surging food prices. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has linked the soaring prices of food to supply disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.



BUSINESS We’ll redeploy e-valuation policy on imported vehicles Friday-Says Custom T he Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it will reintroduce the suspended electronic valuation policy on Friday. NCS said this in a letter dated May 17, 2022, and signed by Ajibola Odusany, NCS’ deputy controller, administration, on behalf of Yusuf Malanta, area controller in charge of the Apapa Command of the service. The agency said there would be a sensitisation programme for stakeholders in the clearance chain in preparation for the redeployment. “In line with the planned nationwide deployment of the VIN Valuation on Friday, 20 May 2022, and the need to continually enhance the platform for optimal performance and service delivery, the sensitisation which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 11:00 am is to hold at the Apapa Command conference hall. The Deputy Controller Administration, A Y. Odusanya, on behalf of the Customs Area Controller requested that clearing agents should send their representatives to attend, saying the session would benefit everyone and further clarify any question,” the letter reads. Also known as vehicle inspection number (VIN), the policy has generated controversy since its introduction this year. Maritime stakeholders and clearing agents associations had protested the deployment of the e-valuation policy and grounded activities at the ports. The freight forwarders said the e-valuation system sharply increased duty paid on imported vehicles. The objection forced NCS to suspend the implementation of the VIN policy, following the intervention of the house of representatives. Confirming the latest development to TheCable, Kayode Farinto, acting national president, Nigerian Licensed

Customs Agents (ANLCA), said the association would speak after it attends the training. “We’re going for the training. So, we can’t say anything until we’re through with the training,” he said. “We had one in Abuja, and we’ve given them advice. So, based on our advice, they are coming with the training.” CITN 24th Annual Tax Conference: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Drums Support For FIRS Digitisation Agenda. The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has been urged to support the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in its drive towards full digitalisation of tax administrative processes. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN made this call in his speech at the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria’s (CITN) 24th

Annual Tax Conference held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. The Vice President was represented at the event by the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami who delivered the address on his behalf. Professor Osinbajo noted that the theme for the tax conference, “Global Disruption, Taxation and Digitalisation: Implication for Socio-Economic Development” aptly captures the prevailing realities within the national and global fiscal space. He said, “Nigeria’s economy is fast digitalising. The digitalisation of the Nigerian economy means that the ways and manners of organising and doing businesses have changed. Indeed, the radical changes brought about by digitalisation have displaced the traditional approach to tax

administration. Consequently, the digitalisation of tax administration is unavoidable, that is why our government has continued to heavily invest in the automation of tax administrative processes and digital infrastructure.” He further noted that the government had provided the enabling environment for digitalised tax administration by making necessary tax policy changes, developing rules for taxation of the digital economy, enactment of required legislation, and providing necessary political backing for the team negotiating the new international tax rules for the digitalised economy. The Vice President urged the institute to see its role in the society as a pillar for the country’s socio-economic development. “The possible impact of noncompliance by taxpayers—whom

you hold briefs for—on the government’s revenue and the larger society is crucial and must be given topmost priority while holding briefs for them. “In doing so, you must always bear in mind the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal in Phoenix Motors v. National Provident Fund Management Board (1993) that it is in the best interest of the society at large that government be in revenue. “It is through this prism that I see your Institute as a pillar for the socio-economic development of Nigeria and the emancipation of the downtrodden of our society. Without a doubt, your members will continue to discharge the solemn and sacred responsibility of ensuring that the interest of the larger society in Nigeria is not trodden upon; and this you must do with patriotic zeal.” He noted.

L-R: Coordinator/Trustee, Lekki Adult Literacy and Vocational Centre, Mr. John Mbulu; Trustee, Pastor Tunde Netufo and another Trustee, Mrs. Chika Idalah-Allison, during a press conference to kick illiteracy out of Lagos State Campaign by RCCG, Christ The Lord Central Parish, CTL Lagos Province 20, in Lekki, Lagos,yesterday.

FEC approves N169bn private sector investment for road infrastructure By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja


he federal executive council (FEC) has approved N169 billion in private sector investments for road infrastructure through the government’s tax credit programme. The council gave approval on Wednesday in a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said the programme was initiated in 2019 through executive order No 7, signed by the president. He said the executive order allowed the private sector to finance public infrastructure in lieu of tax and then offset it over time using tax credits.

Fashola further explained that the first project the council approved based on the policy was the 234-kilometre road from Bali to Sheti through Gashaka to Gembu in Taraba state at the sum of N95,232,474,010.72. He disclosed that the existing N20 billion under the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) tax credit scheme would be used to kickstart the project immediately. “The second road which is also the tax credit scheme, which was approved by the council is three roads. The applicant, in this case, is Mainstream Energy Solutions, a major energy player in the country is now seeking to also participate in this policy by investing a total of N74,486,577, 050,” he said. Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed,

minister of information and culture, who spoke on behalf of his counterparts in aviation, power, and agriculture, said the council approved the sum of N3,491,622,340 for the purchase of a property in Abuja for the ministry of aviation. He said the property would enable the ministry to co-locate with many of its agencies. Mohammed said that the council also awarded a N553.575 million contract for the establishment and deployment of advanced report generation utility engine web-based reporting tools in favour of Messers Sinecou Limited with a delivery date of 12 months. He said the council also approved (for the power ministry) an upward review of the original

contract sum in respect of the construction of 232 kilometres Yola, Song, Gombe, Mubi, Gulako 132 KV double circuit transmission line from $16 million, plus N1.248 billion to $16.698 billion, plus N2,337,643,640. Mohammed added that N409 million was approved for the power ministry to purchase replacements for defective circuit breakers. He also disclosed that a memo from the minister of agriculture seeking approval for a national agricultural technology innovation policy was approved. On his part, Clement Agba, minister of state for finance, said Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, presented a memo on phase three of the Lighthouse

Programme on the digital infrastructure of voluntary assets and income declaration scheme bids and tax harmonisation, normalisation analytics and application program interface. He said the update on the Project Lighthouse application was on the debt recovery module, the corporate profiling engine as a government gateway, and then the Project Lighthouse website, federal government revenue performance management module and capacity building. Agba added that with phases one and two of the project, the government has been able to recover the sum of N5 billion from contractors assuring that with the implementation of the third phase, more recovery would be made.



Airtel’s SmartCash Payment Service Bank commences operations in Nigeria ...Says operations to gradually expand across the country. By Abubakar Yunusa Abuja


irtel Africa Plc has announced that its payment service bank subsidiary, SmartCash, has commenced operations in Nigeria. This was disclosed in a statement signed by the company’s secretary, Simon O’Hara and filed with the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX). The statement read, “Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, today announces that its subsidiary SmartCash Payment Service Bank Limited (‘SmartCash PSB’), has commenced operations in Nigeria”. According to the disclosure, services will be provided at select retail locations at first, with operations gradually expanding across the country over the coming months. Commenting on the commencement of the payment service bank’s operations in Nigeria, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, said, “I am very excited to announce our commencement of operations for financial services in Nigeria through SmartCash PSB. This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country. To help further digitise the economy, and most importantly to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services.” Recall that in April 2022, the apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted final approval for SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank limited (‘Smartcash’) to operate a Payment Service Bank (‘PSB’) in Nigeria. This came after the CBN had earlier granted Airtel’s subsidiary Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria Ltd a full “super agent” license, allowing it to serve customers of Nigerian banks, payment service banks, and licensed mobile money carriers.


WACMAC conference to focus on effective regulation By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja


he West Africa Securities Regulators Association (WASRA) will hold its biennial West Africa Capital Market Conference (WACMaC) in Accra, Ghana, from the 23rd to the 25th of May 2022. The conference has as its theme “Deepening and Strengthening the Capital Markets across West Africa Though Effective Regulation”. This was disclosed by the Director General Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda who is also the Chairman of WASRA. According to Yuguda, the conference brings together experts, top government officials, captains of industry, international organisations and other key stakeholders to discus issues of regional concerns and seek ways to further drive regional

integration through the capital market. He said, “WACMaC provides a veritable platform for networking as over 300 participants would gather to reflect on issues affecting regional integration and proffer practical solutions to address such issues while also solutions around where our strategic efforts should be focussed in the coming years. “As a region, we have advanced we have advanced by bringing together focused initiatives intended to engender trust and confidence as we consistently aim for deeper and more resilient capital market”. WACMaC is a biennial event that seeks to present the West African region and indeed Africa as a whole the opportunity to address important issues related to the orderly growth and development of the regional and continental capital market. Since it’s introduction,

WACMaC has become the foremost and revered gathering in the capital market of West Africa and Africa. The conference will open with a Seminar for Regulators, Exchanges and Depositories in the region, followed by the public conference with speakers and panellists drawn from Regulatory agencies, investment funds, interregional economic bodies, as well as eminent researchers and academics. The WACMaC is a biennial event for the capital market community in the region and is jointly organised by WASRA, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI). To prudently discuss the theme, specific thematic areas that will be addressed include

access to finance, sustainable finance, cooperation and investor protection, investor education and innovative finance and technology. Others are private equity and venture capital in SMEs financing in Africa as well as Islamic finance. The WACMaC objectives are, among others to: promote the economic integration through the capital market in West Africa; bring innovative solutions to reduce the gap between capital markets and the financial needs of the economy in the region; and increase awareness and capacity building around the benefits of regional integration for each stakeholder; Other objectives are to identify key actions for capital markets’ stakeholders to sustain economic growth; and address critical issues related to project financing sustainability and cross border issuers and market operators.

L-R: Mrs Chiaka Ben-Obi, Group Lead, Digital and Innovation Support Group, FIRS; Dr Dick Irri, Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group, FIRS; and Barr Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, NCC, Mrs Faozat Ogunniyi, Group Lead, Enforcement Support Group, FIRS; Mr Ephraim Nwokenneya, Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC; and Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, after inauguration of 17-member joint committee on National Revenues recently at the NCC’s Board Room in Abuja.

Seplat Energy: FG rejects $1.28 billion acquisition of Mobil oil assets


he Federal Government has refused to give its consent to the proposed acquisition of oil and gas assets belonging to Mobil Oil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) by Seplat Energy. The government in its formal response attributed its decision to reject the deal which was first announced almost 3 months ago, to overriding national interest, among other reasons. According to Thisday, this was made known by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, in 2 separate letters dated May 13, 2022, addressed to the Chairman/ Managing Director, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Mr. Richard Laing as well as the immediate past Chairman of Seplat Energy, Dr. ABC Orjiako. Komolafe had in the letter

maintained that regardless of the mode of the transaction, Mobil Oil still remains to all intents and purposes, the assignor of the asset under Nigerian law. Komolafe stated, “We also note that MPNU failed to follow the procedure for assignments laid down in the Guidelines by not providing the requisite notices to the Commission at all relevant stages of the transaction. Even if the transaction has been between Seplat Energy Offshore Limited and the MPNU shareholders, responsibility to ensure compliance with Nigerian laws, rules and regulations always remain that of MPNU, the entity that was awarded the assets. “We regret to inform you that His Excellency, the Minister of Petroleum Resources has declined his consent to the transaction. Nothing in this letter shall be deemed to be a waiver, on the part of the Commission, of any

rights under the Guidelines, any law, rule or regulation, and the Commission reserves all its rights in respect of the subject matter. Please accept the assurances of my highest esteem,” the Commission’s boss stated in the letter addressed to Laing, with reference number: NUPRC/ LD/1189/01, titled: “Re: Potential Sale and Purchase of the Equity (Shares) of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.” Komolafe in his letter also made reference to the multinational oil company’s letter dated March 30, 2022 with Ref: MPN-PGA-NUP-CCE-0322-0027 on the above subject matter. Komolafe highlighted the contents of the letter MPNU wrote then to the NUPRC on the proposed acquisition, and in particular, the section that stated that the transaction was between parties who were not privy to the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA)

between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the MPNU dated June 28, 1990, and that does not trigger any relevant rights or obligations under the JOA for either NNPC or MPNU. “Also, the MPNU had stated in the letter that the sale of shares by shareholders of MPNU would have no bearing on the consent or preferential right and option requirements of the JOA in favour of NNPC and that the NNPC does not have preferential rights in respect to the transaction. “In addition, the regulator made reference to another aspect of the letter Mobil wrote to it on the matter that, the MPNU shareholders would be proceeding with their efforts to satisfy the conditions required for the approval of the proposed transaction, and the procurement of the consent of the Minister of Petroleum Resources”,he said.


Helpline engages 300 women, youth in traditional skill programme By Stanley Onyekwere


Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Helpline Foundation For The Needy, Abuja has engaged 300 vulnerable and marginalized women and youth in strategic traditional skill transfer programme. Helpline disclosed that the programme is being powered by MacCArthur Foundation Abuja, through Resource Center For Human Right And Civic Education (CHRICED), as part of its activities of promoting the rights of the original inhabitants of FCT project. Speaking during the graduation /exhibition ceremony of the original inhabitants Batch A participants of the skill transfer scheme, yesterday in Abuja, Helpline President, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said the project has included 9 other original inhabitants (OIs), in their various capacities all gravitating towards giving and promoting the voice of the Ols in their land. Ahmadu, who was represented by Onoja Arome, the NGO’s Project Officer, noted the beneficiaries have shown interest and resilience in preserving the culture of their fore fathers through traditional skill acquisition. According to her, “We are sure that this skill so far gained will not only revamp their cultures but will serve as a veritable means of livelihood. “To the participants graduating today, I want to welcome you to a new world because this is a new thing happening to you today. “The skill is for you to gain two things number one, to preserve your culture in the midst of rapid urban progress and then sustenance if livelihood”. As part of the programme, there was an exhibition to showcase what the participants have produced this is to demonstrate how prepared the Ols are to continue to preserve and sustain their culture via the display of their traditional identification.



FCT Minister suspends inauguration of Council Chairmen By Stanley Onyekwere


he Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has suspended today’s planned inauguration of the six Area Council Chairmen of the Territory, who were duly elected some weeks ago, as a result of a court injunction. Bello while announcing the suspension yesterday,in a statement he personally signed, attributed the suspension to communication of a judgment by a court in the FCT directing FCT Administration to suspend the inauguration of the new Chairmen that emerged from the elections held in February this year, expected to be sworn in

today, 20th May 2022. He explained that due to the judgment, based on the recently signed Electoral Act of 2022, which stipulates that the tenure of office of the Chairmen of the Area Councils in FCT would now be four years instead of three years, the existing Chairmen whose tenure were meant to expire or end today, have another one year to continue, based on the new law. He therefore noted that as a law-abiding government, the FCT Administration has no option than to suspend the planned inauguration. He said “ In March of 2019, we held the Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory, whereby Six Council Chairmen and Councilors were elected after

a very competitive and rigorous process. “These six Council Chairmen of the FCT were then inaugurated on the 20th of May 2019, under the 2010 Electoral Act. Based on that Act, the tenure of the Chairmen would end today. “As an administration that is very conscious of the need to abide by the rule of law, even though we are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, we have no option but to comply. “While complying, we are also making efforts to vacate the judgment and if need arises, to appeal the judgment, so that the correct position of the law will be determined by the legal processes”. Continuing, the Minister adds:

“ In the interim therefore, we are very conscious of the fact that the stand of the court has raised a lot of concerns within certain sections of the FCT residents. I wish to appeal to everyone to be calm, to be law abiding and to await the outcome of the legal processes. “FCT is a creation of law. The FCT has always been known to be a place of unity, peace and good governance and populated by law abiding residents. Please let us continue the way we are and await the court processes. “At the end of the court processes, the clear direction of what needs to be done would be clearly stated and then as an administration, we will do the needful.” A cross section of FCT original inhabitants displaying their traditional identification during the graduation / exhibition ceremony of the original inhabitants Batch A participants of Helpline Foundation for the Needy’s skill transfer scheme, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Stanley Onyekwere

Dei-dei mayhem: Why we closed market - FCTA By Stanley Onyekwere


ollowing the violence that engulfed the Dei-Dei building materials market in Abuja, the FCT Administration ordered the temporary closure of the timber market and adjoining markets, to allow for a full scale investigation by the security organisations. It also ordered the immediate ban on all trading activities along the road sides and directed that all transactions be carried out within the shops. The Administration however, revealed that the violence was as a result of the action of criminal elements who started the violence, in order to carry out their criminal intentions. This was disclosed by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, when he visited the market on Wednesday's evening, to

ascertain for himself the cause and extent of the violence which claimed four lives and resulted in the razing of shops and vehicles within the market. Accompanied by the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Mr Abdullahi Adamu Candido, FCT Commissioner of Police Mr Sunday Babaji and other top security and senior officials of the FCTA, the Minister met with the various market and community leaders and took an assessment tour of damage in the market. He said: “After an emergency security meeting with the relevant security agencies including the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the DSS and senior management officials of the FCT, we decided come here. “And we came here specifically because on the social media, all kinds of stories are being circulated

saying there is an inter-ethnic crisis in Abuja with one tribe fighting against the other. "I have come here and met the leadership of the market, I have met the leadership of the communities and met the political leadership as represented by the Chairman and vice chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, and what really came out very clearly was that this was an accident that occurred when a lady on a commercial motorcycle fell off and a vehicle ran over her and unfortunately, she passed on. “As a result of this incident tension rose and hoodlums took over and like they do everywhere in the world, their target is economic assets and they burnt down a substantial part of the timber market and other markets around here and they burnt many vehicles. “There was no communal clash here and I appeal to all residents

of Abuja to continue to live here as we have always lived in peace as the center of unity". The Minister called on the community leaders to work at fishing out the bag eggs within their folds and help in bringing them to justice. He adds, “What I told the community leaders is that they have to fish out the hoodlums and the bad eggs amongst them. This is because this time around, hoodlums carried arms and they shot innocent people. This is very sad and totally, unequivocally, unacceptable in Abuja. “I am appealing to other communities within the FCT that this is not a tribal or religious misunderstanding. All the leadership of the various stakeholders have lived here in peace for many, many years. “It is simply a matter of

criminals and hoodlums taking the law into their hands and I implore every community in the FCT to ensure that community leaders identify miscreants, drug pushers, drug dens and drinking joints where crime and criminality takes place. The police and the military cannot be everywhere at the same time". Reacting to a request by one of the market leaders that the police presence in the market be improved, the Minister pledged that the police post in the market will be upgraded and the FCT Administration will provide the needed support while the police commissioner equally pledged more personnel. While commending the efforts of the security agencies and community leaders for their efforts in containing the violence, Malam Bello prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives.



world news

Russian soldier pleads guilty in first war crimes trial of Ukraine conflict A

21-year-old Russian soldier has pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed civilian, in the first war crimes trial in Ukraine since the war started. Vadim Shishimarin admitted shooting a 62-year-old man a few days after the invasion began. He faces life in jail. The prisoner was brought into the tiny Kyiv courtroom in handcuffs, flanked by heavily armed guards. He looked nervous, and kept his head bowed. Just a couple of metres from him, the widow of the man killed was sitting. She wiped tears from her eyes as the soldier entered court, then sat with hands clasped as the prosecutor set out his case, describing the moment Kateryna’s husband was shot in the head. “Do you accept your guilt?” the judge asked. “Yes,” Shishimarin replied. “Totally?” “Yes,” he replied quietly from behind the glass of his grey metal-and-glass cage. Prosecutors say Shishimarin

Vadim Shishimarin is a 21-year-old tank commander in the Russian armed forces was commanding a unit in a tank division when his convoy came under attack. He and four other soldiers stole a car, and as they travelled near Chupakhivka, they encountered the 62-year-old on a

bicycle, they said. According to prosecutors, Shishimarin was ordered to kill the civilian and used a Kalashnikov assault rifle to do so. The Kremlin said earlier it was not informed about the case.

Pennsylvania primary: Trump-backed ‘Dr Oz’ in cliffhanger vote count


Trump-backed celebrity doctor’s campaign to run as the next Republican senator for Pennsylvania has come down to a nailbiting conclusion. Mehmet Oz, a surgeon best known for his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, is facing a cliffhanger vote count after the party primary. He was neck and neck with former hedge fund executive David McCormick. The race is being closely watched as a test of former President Donald Trump’s hold over the Republican party. The contest in this key presidential swing state is one of a number taking place across the country to determine who will stand for office in the midterm elections in November. The midterms fall halfway through a president’s term in office. They decide who controls the two chambers which make up Congress - the Senate and the House of Representatives. At present, the Democrat party controls both chambers, but by very slim majorities. And historically, the party that holds the White House has tended to suffer losses in the midterms. The primaries decide which party’s candidates will run against each other in the midterms, and their election will play an important part in determining the rest of US President Joe Biden’s presidency. Five states held primary elections on Tuesday, making it the busiest date on the 2022 midterms calendar so far. Here are some of the projected results: • Pennsylvania: Pro-Trump Republican state legislator Doug Mastriano won the race to become the

Shishimarin’s trial was adjourned shortly after the civilian’s widow heard for the first time the Russian soldier admit to the murder. This high profile hearing will restart on Thursday in a larger courtroom.

Kateryna, the 62 year-old’s widow, told the BBC how she was coping, before she left the court for the day. “I feel very sorry for him [Shishimarin],” she said. “But for a crime like that - I can’t forgive him.” Ukraine has so far identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes committed by Russia. The country’s chief prosecutor Iryna Venediktova tweeted: “By this first trial, we are sending a clear signal that every perpetrator, every person who ordered or assisted in the commission of crimes in Ukraine shall not avoid responsibility,” Moscow has denied its troops have targeted civilians, but investigators have been collecting evidence of possible war crimes to bring before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The ICC is sending a team of 42 investigators, forensics experts and support staff to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine has also set up a team to preserve evidence to enable future prosecutions.

Pennsylvania primary marks test of Trump’s strength

By Nomia Iqbal, BBC News


Mehmet Oz won Mr Trump’s backing Republicans’ nominated candidate for governor of the state. He has been a vocal supporter of Mr Trump’s baseless claim that he won the 2020 presidential election • North Carolina: Trumpbacked US Congressman Madison Cawthorn lost a Republican nomination contest to defend his seat amid a number of controversies. In the last few months, the 26-yearold has been charged with carrying a weapon to an airport, claimed he had been invited to orgies by Republican colleagues, faced criticism for appearing in a leaked naked tape and called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” • North Carolina: Congressman Ted Budd - endorsed by Mr Trump - defeated former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to become the Republicans’ nominee. He will face Democrat Cheri Beasley, the first black woman to serve as chief

justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The race is expected to be competitive • Idaho: Republican governor Brad Little defeated a challenge by his own Lt Gov Janice McGeachin. The two have been locked in a power struggle as Trump-backed Ms McGeachin issued orders while Mr Little was out of state last year, including barring mask mandates. Earlier this month, Mr Trump’s pick for the Ohio Senate primary cruised to victory against his opponents. But Pennsylvania’s primary has gone down to the wire. Despite Mr Trump’s endorsement of Mehmet Oz, the race stayed in a three-way dead heat until polls closed. The Republican contest was shaken up by a late surge from rightwing commentator Kathy Barnette. But Mr McCormick came from behind, with the race narrow enough to be in recount territory.

r Oz arrived at the venue and did a thumbs up to us and said he was feeling good. Taking to the stage he thanked everyone who supported him and made it clear he wasn’t conceding. He said victory would be his in the end. But his closest rival Dave McCormick - who wasn’t backed by Mr Trump - said the same thing. The results are still being counted but at the moment it’s within the margins for a recount. The full count of the actual ballots could take days. It feels a lot like 2020 when we were here for the presidential race. In the end Pennsylvania projected for Biden taking him over the threshold. Tonight was a critical test of the former President Trump’s ability to back winners… He wants to use the Primaries to prove his dominance over the Republican Party. Mr Trump really got behind Dr Oz - whether his base did is yet to be decided. The eventual Republican winner will take on Lt Gov John Fetterman, who easily won the Democratic Senate nomination on Tuesday night - two days after announcing he had suffered a stroke. On Monday, the left-wing Democrat’s team said he had undergone surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator. Mr Fetterman, a Harvardeducated former mayor who sported hoodie sweatshirts instead of suits on the campaign trail,

Mr Fetterman tweeted a photo of him voting from a hospital in Lancaster remained in hospital on the night of his election victory, with his wife speaking at a campaign event in his place. In a White House statement on Tuesday night, Mr Biden congratulated Mr Fetterman and argued that the Republican candidates were “too extreme”. But a controversy that dogged Mr Fetterman in his primary campaign is certain to be raised by Republicans during the general election. In 2013, during Mr Fetterman’s second term as mayor of Braddock, a town of around 2,000 outside Pittsburgh, he pursued an innocent black jogger who he wrongly thought had been firing a gun near his home. Mr Fetterman, who is a hulking 6ft 8in and was armed with a shotgun during the confrontation, has refused to apologise for the incident. Source: BBC



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Idrissa Gueye trends globally amid homophobia row #WeareallIdrissa is a top global trend after people online have been tweeting in support of Senegalese Paris St Germain football player, Idrissa Gana Gueye, after he refused to play for this team wearing a shirt with numbers displayed in Pride colours BBC Sports understands. n Tuesday French clubs had been invited to mark 17 May’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Many of the tweets highlight the 32-year-old’s Muslim faith and comment on the legality in the West to criticise Islam or the Quran but what they view as the perceived lack of freedom to oppose homosexuality. However, the hashtag is also being used to spread homophobic content. Many online are angry about Gueye’s reported actions and are calling it insulting and homophobic. Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal and punishable by prison sentences of up to five years. The French Football Federation (FFF) has reportedly written to Gueye to clarify why he was absent from PSG’s Saturday match against Montpellier, according to the AFP news agency. They want him to issue and apology, or say the rumours as to why he missed Saturday’s game are unfounded. The letter reportedly adds if he did refuse to play he would be “validating discriminatory behaviour”. Meanwhile PSG said that they were “very proud” to wear Pride shirts. Initially PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said only that Gueye missed the game for “personal reasons”. BBC Sport has approached Gueye’s representatives for comment.


Sudan morgue ordered to shut because of power cuts


he authorities in Sudan have ordered a morgue in the capital, Khartoum, to shut down because bodies there are starting to decompose in the heat because of frequent power cuts. The facility is said to hold nearly 1,000 unidentified corpses. A health ministry official, Hisham Zain al-Abidin, said that the morgue was so overwhelmed that many bodies were left on the floors and rodents were scavenging on them. Activists have expressed concern that its closure may coverup the truth of how many were killed during protests against Sudan’s military rulers.


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Wife fears Ethiopian general has been abducted


elatives of a prominent Ethiopian army general say they fear for his safety after he went missing two days ago in the capital, Addis Ababa. Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, former commander of the Amhara Special Forces that are allied to the federal army in its fight against rebels from the province of Tigray, had been

critical of the government after he was removed from his position in February. Gen Tefera Mamo left his home in Addis Ababa to meet a friend on Monday but never returned. His wife has told the BBC she fears he has been abducted as she has not heard from him since. He first came to public

attention in 2009 when he was accused of plotting a coup against former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and was thrown in jail. He was released in 2018 when the country was in the midst of political transition. In July last year - when rebel forces from the country’s northern Tigray region were pushing southwards towards the

capital he was appointed as head of the Amhara forces. But earlier this year, in a sign that he had fallen out with authorities, he was replaced. He subsequently criticised the government. Addis Ababa’s police have told the BBC that Gen Tefera is not in their custody.

Afcon 2023: Guinea call up ex-France youth defender Mouctar Diakhaby


uinea have included former France youth international Mouctar Diakhaby in their 23-man squad for next month’s 2023 Africa Cup Nations qualifiers against Egypt and Malawi. The 25-year-old defender, who plays in Spain, represented France from under-19 to under-21 level before switching allegiances to the country of his parents in March. The French-born player is joined in the squad by his Valencia team-mate Ilaix Moriba, who himself swapped allegiances from Spain in November. After receiving clearance from world governing body Fifa, Syli Nationale coach Kaba Diawara named Diakhaby in his latest squad. Guinea travel to face Egypt for their Group D opener on 5 June before hosting Malawi four days later. Established international Naby Keita of Liverpool leads a cast of notable inclusions like Issiaga Sylla, Amadou Diawara and Mohamed Bayo. Brentford defender Julian Jeanvier is handed a recall after making his last appearance in November 2019. The quartet of Bafode Dansoko, Serhou Guirassy,

Mouctar Diakhaby joined Spanish La Liga side Valencia from Lyons in 2018 Antoine Conte and Sekou Oumar Sylla have a chance to make their competitive debut after featuring in March’s friendly draw against South Africa. Notable omissions include Florentin Pogba, Francois Kamano, Morlaye Sylla and Mady Camara. Ethiopia complete the lineup in Group D as Guinea aim

to return to the continental showpiece under Diawara. The former Arsenal player retained his role as coach of Guinea in March despite the country’s football federation (Feguifoot) earlier relieving the technical teams of all its national sides of their jobs. Feguifoot’s normalisation committee, keen to get another

manager for the team, had a change of heart in April by confirming that Diawara will remain in the role. Under Diawara the Syli Nationale reached the last 16 of the 2021 Nations Cup in Cameroon, where they lost 1-0 to The Gambia.

Mozambique detects first wild polio case in 30 years


ozambique has declared an outbreak of wild polio after a young child was diagnosed with the disease in the country’s north-eastern Tete province - its first case in 30 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) says doctors detected it when the child began experiencing the onset of paralysis in late March.

Neighbouring Malawi reported a similar case in February this year. “The detection of another case of wild polio virus in Africa is greatly concerning, even if it’s unsurprising given the recent outbreak in Malawi. However, it shows how dangerous this virus is and how quickly it can spread,” WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr

Matshidiso Moeti, said in a statement. The health ministry is planning a vaccination drive aimed at reaching children who are either not immunised or partially protected to boost their immunity Wild polio remains endemic in only two countries in the world - Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Sequencing done on the sample collected in Mozambique shows that the strain is similar to the one circulating in Pakistan. Polio usually affects children under five, sometimes leading to irreversible paralysis. Although it has no cure, it can be prevented through vaccination.

Mohammed Ali Camara (Young Boys, Switzerland), Saidou Sow (St Etienne, France), Mouctar Diakhaby (Valencia, Spain), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse, France), Sekou Oumar Sylla (Cambuur, Netherlands). Midfielders: Amadou Diawara

(Roma, Italy), Mory Konate (SintTruidense, Belgium), Ibrahima Cisse (Seraing, Belgium), Ilaix Moriba (Valencia, Spain), Seydouba Cisse (Leganes, Spain), Aguibou Camara (Olympiakos, Greece), Naby Keita (Liverpool, England).

Forwards: Alkhaly Momo Cisse (Wisla Krakow, Poland), Morgan Guilavogui (Paris FC, France), Thierno Barry (Tenerife, France), Bafode Dansoko (KMSK Deinze, Belgium), Mohamed Bayo (Clermont, France), Serhou Guirassy (Rennes, France).

Guinea squad to face Egypt and Malawi


oalkeepers: Ibrahima Kone (Hibernians, Malta), Moussa Camara (Horoya), Bangaly Sylla (St Etienne, France) Defenders: Antoine Conte (Universitatea Craiova, Romania) Julian Jenvier (Brentford, England),





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US military probe finds no wrongdoing in deadly Syria air strike A

US military investigation has found that troops did not violate the laws of war or deliberately cause civilian casualties in an air strike in Syria in 2019 that killed dozens of people. The probe was launched in response to a New York Times report which accused the military of a cover-up over the attack on an Islamic State group position. The investigator rejected the claim. But he concluded that “numerous policy compliance deficiencies at multiple levels” had led to delays in reporting. The US-led multinational coalition against IS has acknowledged killing at least 1,417 civilians in air strikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014. But monitoring group Airwars believes the actual figure is between 8,192 and 13,244. The air strike in the eastern Syrian town of Baghuz took place on 18 March 2019, as fighters from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia alliance battled to capture the Islamic State group’s last stronghold. General Michael Garrett, who led the Pentagon’s investigation, says in his report that the SDF requested defensive air support following an IS counter-attack. “The US Ground Force Commander (GFC) responsible for support validated [the IS militants’] hostile act/intent, repeatedly received confirmation that no civilians were in the strike areas, and authorised supporting aerial strikes.” “Unbeknownst to the GFC, civilians were within the blast radius, resulting in [civilian casualties],” it adds. The New York Times reported last November that the strikes hit a camp where women, children, IS captives and scores of

The air strike happened in the Syrian town of Baghuz, then the Islamic State group’s last stronghold wounded men were sheltering, killing about 70 people. But a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday that 52 enemy combatants - 51 men and one child - were killed along with four civilians - one woman and three children. Another 15 civilians - 11 women and four children - were wounded, he added. Gen Garrett’s report says that “through no

fault of his own” the commander relied on data that was not fully accurate. In authorising the strikes, it adds, the commander “acted within presidentially-authorised defensive rules of engagement, did not deliberately or with wanton disregard cause civilian casualties, and did not violate the laws of war”. However, the general does criticise the delays in reporting the civilian casualty

incident, saying that they led to the findings not being reported to Congress. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote in a memo that he was “disappointed” that the initial review was mishandled because it “contributed to a perception that the [Pentagon] was not committed to transparency and was not taking the incident seriously”.

Lancet study: Pollution killed 2.3 million Indians in 2019


ollution led to more than 2.3 million premature deaths in India in 2019, according to a new Lancet study. Nearly 1.6 million deaths were due to air pollution alone, and more than 500,000 were caused by water pollution. The latest Lancet Commission on pollution and health report blamed pollution for nine million - or about one in six - deaths globally. It said India - where bad air kills more than a million people every year - remained among the worst affected. In an update of a 2015 estimate on premature deaths caused by pollution, the Lancet study said that data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2019 (GBD) showed that pollution “remains responsible for approximately nine million deaths per year.” Although there has been a decline in deaths attributable to types of pollution associated with extreme poverty such as household air pollution and water pollution, this fall has been offset by increased deaths caused by industrial pollution, ambient air pollution and toxic chemical pollution. Globally, air pollution - both ambient and household - was responsible for 6.7 million deaths in 2019. Water pollution was responsible for 1.4 million deaths and lead pollution caused 900,000 premature deaths. The study found that more than 90% of pollution related deaths occurred in lowincome and middle-income countries, with India topping the list with 2.36 million and China at number two with 2.1 million deaths. The report says that in 2000, losses due to traditional pollution were 3.2% of

In Delhi, air pollution is especially bad in winters due to stubble burning India’s GDP. Since then, death rates caused by traditional pollution have fallen and economic losses have reduced substantially, but these are still around 1% of India’s GDP. Between 2000 and 2019, economic losses caused by modern forms of pollution - ambient, chemical and lead pollution have increased and are now “conservatively estimated to amount to approximately 1% of GDP” in India. The report says that India has made efforts to control air pollution especially with the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, a scheme launched in 2016 by Prime

Minister Narendra Modi to help poor rural women shift to cooking gas, but gaps remain. “India has developed instruments and regulatory powers to mitigate pollution sources but there is no centralised system to drive pollution control efforts and achieve substantial improvements,” the study said adding that in 93% of the country, the amount of pollution remains well above the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. Indian cities have been routinely dominating global pollution rankings. More than 480 million people in northern India

face the “most extreme levels of air pollution in the world”, a study by a US research group said last year. In September last year, data from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago suggested that residents in the capital, Delhi, could see up to 10 years added to their lives if air pollution was reduced to meet the WHO guideline of 10 µg/m³. In 2019, India’s average particulate matter concentration was 70.3 µg/m³ - the highest in the world. Source: BBC






Lebanon election results raise spectre of new power struggle


or three months in 2019, revolution crackled around the streets of Lebanon like electricity. This fractured country had never seen anything like it before. Young people and old, the elite and the working class came together to roar loudly for change. Even different religions were united and a rallying cry filled the air. “Kellon yaani kellon,” they shouted in Arabic, “All means all.” This time, they shared a common enemy - Lebanon’s politicians - and the corruption and mismanagement sinking their beloved homeland. Three years later, those passionate, desperate Lebanese crowds have finally had their chance to judge their politicians officially, at the ballot box. These elections were never going to produce significant political change. But what message did they send? Turnout in Sunday’s election was just 41% - eight points lower than in 2018 Let’s delve a little deeper. The powerful, Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement, the main group of Lebanon’s Shia Muslims, lost its majority in parliament. That’s a big moment and it’s significant. But when you crunch the numbers, you see that the party itself kept the same number of seats - 13. It was candidates in the overall cross-sectarian alliance, which they’re a part of, that saw losses. Hezbollah’s biggest coalition ally the Free Patriotic Movement - didn’t record as many wins as in 2018. In fact, the Free Patriotic Movement’s rivals, the Lebanese Forces, pulled ahead to become the biggest Christian group in parliament. It’s a blow for the party of the president, Michael Aoun, just months before his successor in the job will be chosen. At a polling station in the sunshine on Sunday, I met Ilham Kaaki. Proudly displaying her inked finger to show she’d voted, she pointed to a badge on her chest showing an image of a young man. It was her son Rami, one of 10 firefighters killed in the devastating explosion at Beirut’s port in 2020. I’d watched people lining up to cast their ballots just hours earlier at the Karentina fire station, which had been Rami’s base. His young, smiling face adorned huge banners there. Almost two years later nobody has been held responsible for his death, because politicians have repeatedly stalled the judge-led investigation. “Khallas,” Ilham told me animatedly. “Khallas” means enough. She’d always voted for an establishment party before, but now she’s lost faith. “We need to wake up and change this whole system. This whole group of politicians. Wake up. We want to know

In 2019, hundreds of thousands of people protested on the streets against political corruption

the truth” she said. “These new faces need to put their soul in their hands. Just like my son put his soul in his hands for the nation, they should do the same. We need something new for the nation. The most important thing is Lebanon, our country, the country that we are losing.” This time, there’s a new group at the table - the independents. These are the individuals and parties who are antiestablishment, and they’ve surged to 13 seats. Many of these political newcomers found their voices during that 2019 revolution, or “thawra” as it’s known in Arabic. Many started out protesting outside Beirut’s parliamentary buildings, and now they’ll be working inside them. Now the results have been counted and confirmed, what comes next? Most likely, a long period of protracted negotiations to try to build a government. For those weeks, even months, Lebanon will carry on struggling to pull itself out of its deep financial crisis. But when the politicians aren’t sitting in cabinet or passing laws, there’s almost no chance of change. After the Beirut port blast the country was without a government for more than a year. For a country desperate for international financial support, that’s a huge problem. Institutions are understandably reluctant to give huge cash handouts to nations that don’t even have a functioning administration. Lebanon’s complex parliamentary system is rigid and hard to change. It was designed that way though, to bring stability to the country after the civil war. It divides up power along sectarian lines,

Ilham Kaaki wore a badge showing her son Rami, who was killed in the Beirut port blast

and everyone is guaranteed a slice of the political cake. But without a majority, Hezbollah’s sectarian alliance will feel a real difference. They’ll have to negotiate - and compromise - far more than they’re used to. It’ll be crucial to watch Lebanon’s north too, the Sunni Muslim heartlands. Their totemic figurehead - former prime minister Saad Hariri - announced he was stepping away from politics ahead of this election. He urged members of his Future Movement not to stand as candidates, and his supporters not to vote at all. In that potential vacuum the Lebanese Forces moved in, offering an alliance with the Sunni bloc. And that powerful new coalition might decide to send a message. Gulf countries have long been pushing for Hezbollah’s military wing to disarm, but it has always said it

won’t give up its weapons, and that it’s a red line. Could an emboldened Saudisupported bloc with a powerful former warlord leader - Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea - decide to bring its Iranian-backed rivals into line? It’s a dangerous prospect, one which even has the potential to spark a new civil war. At the heart of all this are millions of Lebanese lives. Children without food, and families without hope. So many times when I talk to people here they use the word “humiliation” to describe how they feel, and what their country has become. It’s now a race for basic survival, perhaps a bigger job than any politician can take on - let alone those who’ve already proven they can’t fix Lebanon’s problems. Source: BBC


I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion, I am calling on the government, particularly, the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation. Thank you





Magu not free from prosecution yet -Police Affairs Minister

By Egena Sunday Ode


otwithstanding the fact that the newly promoted ex-Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) has been retired, Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi has said that the former czar would be prosecuted if indicted by the probe panel chaired by Justice Ayo Salami (rtd). Recall that following the accusations raised against the former anti-corruption boss by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, President Muhammadu Buhari had set up an investigative panel chaired by Salami to probe him in July 2020. On conclusion of it’s

assignment, the Salami panel turned-in its report in November of same year to the President. Answering a question on why the Police authorities have yet to act on the recommendations of the panel but chose to promote Magu to the position of the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police before his eventual retirement, Dingyadi said “this is an issue that should have been addressed by the Police Service Commission, who have the responsibility to conduct promotions of the police. They are not here. And I am aware that the Police Service Commission is directly under the presidency. “So, I cannot speak for them. But what I know is that Mr. Magu has already retired and that is what I can tell you now. The

fact that he was promoted is a matter for the Police Commission to maybe throw more light on. I’m not aware of the position of government on the report you are talking about and I think it is still being under consideration. It doesn’t mean that when he retires, the laws will not catch up with him whenever he is found guilty. So, I think it’s not completely finished business.” The minister, who declined details on the corruption charges against Abba Kyari, a suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police now in custody facing prosecution, because it would be subjudice to do so, disclosed that the Police has begun to deploy technology in dealing with crimes and criminalities in the country. According to him, the Police authorities were striving to be

civil in their operations but would not hesitate to deploy firearms where necessary in the discharge of their responsibilities. Dingyadi also disclosed that the Ministry was poised to recruit an additional 10,000 police constables in the next one month or two in line with the President’s directive to employ 40,000 men within his second tenure. Responding to request of psychiatric test for policemen to ascertain their psychological stability, the minister said the men were being made to undergo rigorous and extensive screening, including medical tests on prospective recruits, assuring that the best available were those engaged in the system. While noting that the demands of the ENDSARS protesters boiled down to police welfare, which

the government has begun to implement, the minister disclosed that 25,000 comstabularies have been trained for community policing. He however urged the community leaders to cooperate with the comstabularies posted to them by gathering and sharing intelligence as well as reporting cases that needed to be reported. Asked to identify the unknown gunmen causing havoc in the South-east since the members of the Indigenous People’s of Biafra (IPOB) have disowned the killings in the region, Dingyadi said “the unknown gunmen, you want to know who they are? I want to tell you that they are unknown gunmen and they are also criminals. They’re terrorists and we are dealing with them in the language they understand.”



FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2022

31, SMS- 08142929046

Flying Eagles seek Squirrels’ cap to add regional glory to continental ticket By Albert Akota


igeria and neighbours Benin Republic, both already qualified for the 17th Africa U20 Cup of Nations Egypt 2023, will slug it out on Friday to determine which of the two teams is the best U20 squad in the West African Football Union B zone. Like Nigeria, Benin Republic emerged winners of their pool in the group phase, above second –placed Cote d’Ivoire, and then defeated Burkina Faso, second –placed team in Group B, 2-1 in the first semi finals match on Wednesday. Seven –time African champions Nigeria also defeated Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 after extra time in a tense and turgid affair at the Stade General Seyni Kountché, the winner coming from the penalty spot 21 minutes into extra time after both teams were locked at 1-1 following regulation time. Friday’s encounter will confer bragging rights on the winning side and immense confidence going into next year’s continental finals, and Coach Ladan Bosso

Ladan Bosso, flying Eagles coach said on Thursday that his boys are ready to go all out for the trophy.

“We are happy to have the AFCON ticket under our belts now, but we want more. The Cup

is now within reach and we will go all out for it. We want to be WAFU B champions. That will

give us tremendous boost going into the African championship next year.”

India 2022: Flamingos determined to put one leg in World Cup By Albert Akota


igeria’s U17 girls are pumped up to do the hard work away from home by scoring as many goals as possible against hosts Ethiopia when both teams clash in a FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup final round, first leg encounter in Addis Ababa on Friday. Fourteen goals for and none against is the tally of the Nigerian girls in this campaign, after 8-0 and 6-0 aggregate wins over DR Congo and Egypt respectively. Having won their two away games in the series, the Flamingos are determined to achieve another handsome win that will all but hand them the ticket to the finals in India in October this year. The Nigeria delegation arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday night – which was at the behest of the technical crew as Ethiopia is high altitude territory. Head Coach Bankole Olowookere told that his girls are upbeat about Friday’s encounter and will go all out for a win. “We are confident. It is going to be a tough game no doubt, because the

Ethiopians are also a good team. That’s why we have worked hard in the past weeks to perfect observed weak points. The girls know what is at stake and they will throw everything into the fray.” Friday’s match will hold at the Abebe Bekila Stadium in Addis Ababa starting from 4pm Ethiopia time (2pm Nigeria time) and will be superintended by Namibian officials. The return leg is scheduled for the National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, 4th June. FLAMINGOS IN ADDIS ABABA: Goalkeepers: Faith Omilana; Linda Jiwuaku, Jessica Inyiama Defenders: Comfort Folorunsho; Tumininu Adeshina; Olamide Oyinlola; Josephine Edafe; Miracle Usani; Confidence Nwoha; Mistura Yusuf Midfielders: Blessing Emmanuel; Taiwo Afolabi; Chidera Okenwa; Joy Igbokwe Forwards: Omowunmi Bello; Mercy Itimi; Alvine Dah-Zossu; Anastasia Atume; Opeyemi Ajakaiye; Yetunde Ayantosho; Bisola Mosaku; Raheemot Adebayo

India 2022: Olowookere picks 23 for big Cairo clash

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S P Paul E Football Academy Unveils Home Kits By Albert Akota


n Abuja based Football Academy Paul E Football Academy on Wednesday unveils its home kits for the 2022 football season. The kits which was officially presented to the public by the Chairman of the Academy Mr. Chikebebe Somtoochukwu who said the Academy is aimed at identifying, nurturing and empowering the youths in the country through the game of football. He said that the Academy will support the aspirations of the budding talents in country to ensure that they reach their desired height in the game of football. He promised to continue to provide the team with the best of equipments that will ensure they are rated among the best in the country. He advised the players to remain focused and ensure that they remain discipline in and out training. He thanked the management of the Academy for remaining steadfast and dedicated in their trainings , and implored them to support the players in their quest to greatest. Highlights of the presentation ceremony was the formal display of the kits by some of the players. The Academy run programs for youths from the ages of 12 to 17 years.


eicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is determined to keep Nigeria winger Ademola Lookman at the club. Lookman’s loan deal with the former Premier League champions will expire on June 30. The 24-year-old linked up with the Foxes from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig on a season-long deal last summer. According to the Telegraph, Leicester City are prepared to pay £14m to secure his services on a permanent basis at the end of the season. Lookman has scored eight goals and provided five assists in 40 appearances across all competitions for the former Premier League champions this season. RB Leipzig are however demanding around £20m for the player they signed from another Premier League club Everton in 2019. Rodgers confirmed that the Foxes are interested in signing the Nigerian on a permanent contract and will hold discussion with Leipzig in the coming weeks. “We will discuss this in the coming weeks and if it’s possible, I would love to do that,” Rodgers told a press conference ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge. Two Nigerians; Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are already members of the Leicester City squad.




Aubameyang announces retirement from international football


ormer Arsenal striker PierreEmerick Aubameyang has announced his retirement from from international football. Aubameyang won 72 caps for Gabon, and had been captain of his country until the time of his retirement. In a letter to the Gabonese FA Aubameyang wrote: “After 13 years of pride in representing my country, I announce that I am ending my international career. “I would like to thank the Gabonese people and all those who have supported me in the good like the bad times. “And sharing it with all the people was an unforgettable moment. I thank our President, his Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba who has always supported the Panthers and has always worked for football to evolve in our country.“I will keep a lot of good memories like the day I made my debut at romnisports, or the day I came back from Nigeria with the African Ballon d’Or. “I would also like to thank all my coaches, staff and the players that I have come across during this career. “Finally, I thank my father who gave me the desire to do like him, hoping to have made him proud by wearing our colours.” The ex-Arsenal skipper had been due to represent Gabon at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations. But he was sent home early after contracting Covid shortly before joining up with his teammates before the tournament The Gabon FA then revealed that they had discovered lesions on

Aubameyang’s heart. But after he returned back to London the then Arsenal man was cleared as fit and healthy. Aubameyang then joined Barcelona soon after after leaving

the Gunners by mutual consent. The 32-year-old has been a revelation since his switch to the Nou Camp, scoring 11 goals in just 16 appearances in LaLiga. He made his international

debut for Gabon in 2009 and went on to score 30 goals in 72 appearances. He represented his country at the 2012 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Rodgers wants Leicester city to give Lookman permanent deal






NFF empowers State FAs as AITEO Federation Cup kicks off By Albert Akota


he Nigeria Football Federation has directed Football Associations in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory to take charge of registration of teams that will compete in this year’s AITEO Federation Cup competition. In a circular on Wednesday, the Federation directed that the registration of teams for this year’s edition of the country’s most glamorous football championship should commence on Sunday, 1st May 2022 and last for 13 days. Submission of copies of completed players’ licenses to the NFF must be done latest Saturday, 14th May, while the competition in the States, to select two representatives for the national competition, will hold between 15th May – 15th June. The NFF’s Competitions Department expects to have the names of each State’s two flagbearers for the national competition by 15th June. High expectations, as draw ceremonies for Women AFCON, CHAN hold in Morocco

High expectations, as draw ceremonies for Women AFCON, CHAN hold in Morocco By Albert Akota


igeria is among the very few countries with allencompassing interests as the draw ceremonies for this year’s Women Africa Cup of Nations and the qualification series for next year’s African Nations Championship hold in Morocco on Friday. The Mohamed VI Complex in the North African kingdom has been scheduled to host the glamour event, which will bundle the 12 teams qualified for the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations into three groups of four teams each, and also divide the teams entered for the 7th African Nations Championship into pools for the qualification series. Nine –time champions and Cup holders Nigeria have been picked as leaders of Group C, with host nation Morocco at the top of Group A and Cameroon heading Group B. The nine other countries qualified to participate are: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Botswana, Uganda and Zambia. Nigeria won the Women AFCON titles in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018. The 2020 competition was obliterated by the covid19

pandemic. Equatorial Guinea won the competition in 2008 and 2012, but have lost their venom and dazzle in the past few years and failed to reach this year’s finals. All four semi finalists from the finals in Morocco, which is set for 2nd – 23rd July, will fly Africa’s

flag at the 32-team FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. In the African Nations Championship, Nigeria are looking for a first triumph, after finishing as runners-up in Morocco four years ago and picking the bronze

medals in South Africa in 2014. Next year’s finals will be staged in Algeria. The African Nations Championship, exclusively for footballers plying their trade in their home country, started in 2009 and was hosted by Cote

d’Ivoire, with Sudan hosting the second edition in 2011. The event was moved to even years subsequently, with South Africa hosting in 2014, Rwanda in 2016, Morocco in 2018 and Cameroon in 2020 (staged in 2021 as a result of the covid19 pandemic).

. . . putting the people first

FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2022


SPORTS Nigeria’s next president deserves pity LATEST

Philippe Coutinho: Barcelona player joins Aston Villa permanently


ston Villa have signed former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho on a permanent deal from Barcelona. The Brazilian, 29, moved to Villa Park on loan in January in a deal which included an option to buy at the end of the season. He has now signed on a deal running until 2026 for 20m euros (£17m). “Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January,” said manager Steven Gerrard. “This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa. “With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience. “As we look to build towards next season, it is incredible to work at a club that executes its business so decisively and smoothly.” Coutinho has scored four goals and provided three assists at Villa, although none of those have come in his past eight games. He joined Barcelona in a £142m move from Liverpool in January 2018 and had 12 months to run on his contract. Gerrard, who was Coutinho’s captain at Liverpool, made it clear after Saturday’s impressive 3-1 win at Burnley that he wanted to sign Coutinho permanently. Coutinho scored 54 goals in 201 appearances for Liverpool, who he joined in a £8.5m move from Inter Milan in January 2013. Taye Taiwo and Oduamadi



xpectations are high. Rightly so. 2023 has been roundly described as a make-or-mar year for Nigeria. Citizens seek change. Things have to change. The current socio-economic tailspin must be arrested. But we have to be pragmatic with our expectations. Good things do not come easy. No single individual can magic Nigeria into an El dorado in four years. Nigeria’s problems, which are functionally in situ, are agelong. But one ‘’Alexander the Great’’ can actuate the process to cutting the systemic Gordian knots. According to legend, Gordius, king of Gordium, tied an intricate knot and prophesied that whoever untied it would become the ruler of Asia. It was cut through with a sword by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. Alexander went on to conquer most of Asia. So, the term ‘’Gordian knot’’, which means difficulty, snag, setback, problem or obstacle, came from the artful tapestry of the king of Gordium. What are Nigeria’s Gordian knots? Pervasive insecurity, omnipotent corruption, nepotism, prostrate economy, acutely divided citizenry, decrepit health infrastructure, wobbly education, ubiquitous poverty, unchecked killings, indiscipline, persistent workers’ strikes, capricious and avaricious petrol subsidy regime, and general societal malaise. Nigeria’s next president will be coming at a time the country is agonisingly sundered along ethnic and religious contours; at a time of unseething anger and great uncertainty; when the economy is in shreds; corruption at the apogee; at such a perilous a time when Nigerians cannot commute from one part of the country to another for fear of being killed and kidnapped; at such a vulnerable time when a dollar is N600 at the parallel market, and when over 13 million children are out of school. Nigeria’s next president will be coming at a

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Fredrick Nwabufo time of anomie. In the column, ‘Why are ethnicity, zoning dominant issues of 2023 elections’, I said while we fixate on primordial concerns, we lose sight of the most important matters. We dispense too much energy on trivialities, and leaving little to interrogate those who have come forward to represent us. Even if ethnicity, region and religion are to be criteria for selecting Nigeria’s next president for the sake of ‘’justice, equity and fairness’’ as propounded by those calling for an orbiting in the geography of power, this should not take precedence over the principal issues of leadership. The task ahead is humongous and Nigeria desperately needs the right people in government to get the right fixes. A critical concern today is insecurity. How would the next president tackle the hydra of insurgency, banditry, terrorism and kidnapping? What measures will the next president take to address the galloping debts, oil revenue shrinkage and freewheeling inflation? How will the next president provide elixir for

our health sector and get our wobbly education kicking again? What are the plans to take the edge off youth unemployment? What will be the policy on petrol subsidy, considering that N4 trillion will be spent on this Venus flytrap in 2022? What is the plan to oxygenate Nigeria’s power sector and make it less of an embarrassment? How will ASUU demands be addressed for good? How will sectional agitations and omnipresent corruption be tackled? These are some of the issues that the next president will have to contend with. The task ahead is immense. If we are serious about getting out of the doldrums, then we must make this election about real issues – with gravitas. Who will begin the process of cutting Nigeria’s many Gordian knots? As a matter of fact, people with the capacity for governance are not in short supply here. But if we are seeking some flawless individuals or celestial beings to turn Nigeria around, we will only be chasing a will-othe-wisp. Again, we have to be realistic and measure our

Peter Obi’s supporters may think they are aggressively promoting him, but they have only succeeded in reducing him to an ethnic champion

expectations. No single government can fix all of Nigeria’s problems. What we need is successive corrective leadership. One government addresses some critical challenges, and the next comes to build on the successes of the other. Governance should be a progressive continuum. If 2023 is really a makeor-mar year for Nigeria, then we must begin to make every bit of the process to electing a new leadership count. We must prioritise the real issues and interrogate those who have come forward for elective office. It is facile to assume that because delegates, who are often bribed, will nominate the candidates for elections, the choice of the uninitiated population is already compromised. It is not a fait accompli. Delegates do not exist in isolation. They are everyday Nigerians encumbered by the same quotidian problems. I believe the zeitgeist; the mood of the time, (among other factors), will govern the nomination of presidential candidates by the parties. And if I am reading the mood of the country correctly, Nigerians are tired. My sympathies in advance to anyone who takes up the job of leading Nigeria under this reign of babel. By Fredrick Nwabufo; Nwabufo aka Mr OneNigeria is a writer and journalist.


Yahaya Bello submits presidential forms, vows to clinch APC ticket - News

End of discussion!

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