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The Appeal Court will today deliver judgment on an appeal brought by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, against the election of Governor Dapo Abioudn of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Naija News recalls that Adebutu had earlier approached the tribunal to challenge the victory of Governor Abiodun in the March 18, 2023, governorship election.

The PDP candidate had alleged that the election that returned Abiodun did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He also claimed that the election was marred with irregularities and corrupt practices, adding that over 40,000 voters were disenfranchised due to violence.

He asked the appellate court to nullify the election of Governor Abiodun and declare him the winner of the gubernatorial election.

But, the Hamidu Kunaza-led tribunal dismissed Adebutu’s petition, saying it lacked merit.

Not satisfied, Adebutu proceeded to the Appeal Court to seek redress, praying that the judgement of the trial tribunal be set aside.

However, members of both parties have left Ogun State to witness the court proceeding in Lagos State.

The sitting will start at 9 am at the Court of Appeal sitting in Igbosere, Lagos.

The Appeal Court will today deliver judgment on an appeal brought by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Ovie Omo-Agege, against the election of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Recall that Omo-Agege, immediate past deputy Senate president, filed the appeal to challenge the judgment of the state governorship election petition tribunal, which upheld the election of Governor Oborevwori in the March 18th, 2023 governorship election.

Omo-Agege is asking the appellate court to declare him the winner of the gubernatorial election on the grounds that he garnered the majority of the lawful votes cast.

He accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of declaring Oborevwori winner with excess votes that resulted from over-voting.

But Governor Oborevwori contended that the appeal by the APC governorship candidate lacks merit and urged the Court of Appeal to dismiss same.

Meanwhile, a pressure group within the state PDP, Delta Political Vanguard (DPV), is apprehensive about the outcome of the court.

Speaking to journalists in Asaba, the Delta State capital, Secretary of the group, Ese Sanco, said the trend of judgment by the Court of Appeal across states of the federation tends to favour APC.

Sanco cited the cases of Zamfara, Kano, and Plateau states, where the Court of Appeal’s verdict sacked sitting governors of the opposition parties.

He added that the case of Nasarawa State, where the judgment of the election tribunal sacked the sitting APC governor, was reversed by the appellate court.

Sanco said: “I am indeed saddened by the worthless vituperation of Delta APC and the belief that Mr. President has promised to hand over Delta State to them through the court. If this is true, then Nigeria is finished.

“I am not here to doubt whatever they decide to say or believe because there are clearly ominous signs that threaten not just our faith in the electoral and judicial system but evincing that our democracy is compromised.

“It is also crystal clear that the ruling party will not desist from this inglorious ideology of ‘snatch, grab and run away with power’ as directed by Mr. President during the electioneering period.”

Establish Agric Production Clusters, Reduce Post-Harvest Losses

Offer Support To 100,000 Farmers Nationwide, Boost Food Security

…WHO, Nigerian Governors To Sign Health Compact Agreement


There are indications that the level of hunger, including the inflationary trend in the country featured prominently at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday, a development that may have prompted stakeholders at the meeting chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima to announce plans to channel at least $1.52 billion in donor funds into 36 special agro-industrial pro­cessing zones nationwide.

NEC is also projecting that the agro-processing zones will create 17.5 million jobs and offer support to 100,000 farmers nationwide.

The first phase, which now runs in Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, Imo, Cross River and the Federal Capital Ter­ritory, will gulp over $520 million and is set to conclude by 2028.

To this end, about 26 states have ex­pressed interest in joining Phase II of the programme, where the $1 billion funding from the AfDB and other partners will be chan­neled.

The states will begin docu­mentation for the second phase in early 2024.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, gave the hint while briefing State House correspondents after the conclusion of the 137th National Economic Council (NEC) meet­ing.

Kyari said the funds are earli­er pledges by the African Develop­ment Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, who voted $1 billion to deliver SAPZs in 24 states at the Nor­man Borlaug International Di­alogue, World Food Prize 202, in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, in late October.

This is aside from an initial $520 million voted by the devel­opment partners for the same purpose.

“The Vice President who at­tended the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, met with the president of the African Devel­opment Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, who has already pledged $1 billion to the second phase,” the minister noted.

He noted that his ministry made a presentation to the coun­cil outlining the collaborative pro­gramme with the African Devel­opment Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Develop­ment, the Islamic Development Bank, various state governments, and private investors.

“The seven states are Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, Imo and Cross River and like I said, with the FCT being the eighth partner in this programme.

“The quick wins here are that even in the stage of construction, you will have the opportunity for over 3,000 jobs.

“And at the end of the con­struction, opportunities will be for almost 500,000 jobs on each zone that is for each state and then also to support about 100,000 farmers”, he explained.

The minister described the SAPZs as a cross-cutting ini­tiative and platform to attract private sector investment, add value to Nigeria’s agro-process­ing, and unlock opportunities for improved food security and job creation.

He revealed that the pro­gramme, which commenced in 2022, saw the active participation of seven states and the Federal Capital Territory, even as the zones will not only serve as pro­duction sites “but also hubs for aggregation and processing of agricultural produce.”

The programme has ear­marked approximately $530 mil­lion for the first phase, aiming to establish clusters of agricultural production and significantly re­duce post-harvest losses, the for­mer lawmaker noted.

“For instance, Kano has keyed in to do a lot of tomatoes in this zone. And we know that tomato losses run to almost 50 to 60 per­cent. It is unacceptable in today’s agricultural sector,” the minister pointed out.

On Phase II, Kyari said, “We have already received expres­sions of interest from about 26 states so far. The second phase is supposed to kick in from next year. This first phase will last for five years. And the documenta­tion for Phase Two will begin by next year.

“There are only three states (Abia, Adamawa and Yobe) that have not expressed interest. But as we were leaving here, one (Abia State) had already signified and are working on sending the expression of interest.”

The council also acknowl­edged the leading role of Ogun State in the development of these zones.

Kyari said despite Ogun’s de­lay in signing the subsidiary loan agreement, a commitment was recently secured from the state government to sign it promptly.

To further expedite the initia­tive, the council approved “the accelerated transmission of the official documents to funders by the Federal Ministry of Finance” and granted a waiver from the same ministry for the payment of performance allowance to project staff by the funders as requested by the executing agency to “avoid project implementation risks.”

The NEC called for “a lot of en­thusiasm from state governors to participate and key into” the proj­ect, which it said will drive signif­icant economic growth through job creation and modernised agricultural practices.

WHO, Nigerian Governors To Sign Health Compact Agreement

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and all the 36 states governors will sign a compact agreement to improve healthcare services delivery in the country.

Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bau­chi State stated this on Thursday while briefing newsmen at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting chaired by the Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the Presidential Vil­la, Abuja.

He explained that the decision to sign an agreement with WHO was reached at the council after a presentation on Nigeria’s Health Sector Renewal Programme by the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate.

According to him, the presen­tation looks at all the challenges in health sector from financing, human capital, and supervisory point of view.

He also said that the presenta­tion reviews the leadership level from the presidency to the local levels and the need for governors and local governments to put in­terest on the health sector.

The governor noted that with­out the health sector being taken care of, the country may not have the necessary technological devel­opment required.

“So there was a resolution of council that the World Health Or­ganisation is coming on Decem­ber 15, all the governors will come and sign a compact agreement in terms of service compact.

“Governors will be able to reiterate our determination to approach the health sector in terms of budgeting, given it the required impetus, the required attention that it deserves.

“The National Economic Council (NEC) received a pre­sentation from the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare on Nigeria’s Health Sec­tor Renewal Programme which looked and dissected in terms of very robust sector scan on health.

“From tertiary to the prima­ry level, looking at all the gaps, the problem and challenges of funding, and even of the need for renewed interest by stakeholders, mostly governors at the subna­tional level, experts, doctors and everybody.

“And of course the Renewed Hope that President Bola Tinu­bu’s administration is trying to establish in trying to bring syn­ergy and collaboration between all the various stakeholders in the country.

“And they are trying to make sure that they establish a compact in a manner that we will be able to generate resources from every­where.”

The governor said that after presentation by the minister, suggestions were made on how to generate resources from taxes in communications, on airlines as well as taxes from the state gov­ernment to bridge the gap.

“Certainly, we have huge prob­lem on human capital and the need to develop strategy to retain our own experts to take care of our own health sector.”

President Bola Tinubu has assented to the Defence In­dustries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Bill, 2023.

The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria was established on August 1, 1964, by an Act of Par­liament and revised as the DICON Act in Chapter 94 of the Laws of the Federa­tion, 2004.

The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2023, repeals the previ­ous iteration of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Act and empowers the Defence Industries Cor­poration of Nigeria to oper­ate, maintain, and control subsidiaries and ordnance factories to manufacture, store, and dispose of ord­nance and ancillary stores and material.

The new Act also estab­lishes the Defence Indus­try Technology, Research, and Development Insti­tute (DITRDI) to create an elaborate scientific and re­search-based technological foundation for Nigeria’s defence industry through the leveraging of com­bined, multi-disciplinary research from multiple mil­itary research institutes for application that leads to commercialisation and the development of new military technology and capacity in Nigeria.

“It equally provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for the regula­tion of the manufacturing, distribution, storage, and disposal of defence articles in Nigeria.

“Incentivises the devel­opment of a nuanced fi­nancing architecture that enables private capital to facilitate research, devel­opment, and production in the defence sector in a transparent and predict­able fashion.

“The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill, 2023, was sponsored by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Com­mittee on Defence, Hon. Ba­bajimi Benson (APC: Ikoro­du Federal Constituency)”, Ajuri Ngelale, Special Ad­viser to the President on Media & Publicity noted.


Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, has defended the country’s current economic situation, saying that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a dead economy.

Naija News reports that Soludo stated this while commenting on the current naira-dollar exchange during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Thursday night.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) faulted the apex bank for illegally printing money in total violation of the 2007 Act governing the financial institution.

He maintained that Tinubu inherited a dead economy many Nigerians saw as standing.

He said, “We must realize where we were coming from. We sat here in this country and saw the monetary authorities literally printing money. And to prevent us from getting to where we are today, that was why we had an explicit clause that prevented the Central Bank from landing recklessly, granting ways and means to the federal government.

“We explicitly put into the law that you can’t grant the federal government more than 5% of the previous year’s actual revenue. And that so granted must be retired by the end of the year in which it was granted. And when the federal government fails to retire, the central bank is forbidden by that law from further advancing ways and means. That was the law 2007 act of the Central Bank.

“But we sat all of us Nigerians watching the CBN illegally and brazenly violating that act year on year and kept on printing money. That is when advance money is not backed by nothing; you just credit the federal government with trillions N 4 trillion, N10 trillion, N15 trillion and we kept going.

“I said it before. This particular government inherited a dead economy from a micro economic point of view, this government inherited a dead horse that was seen standing but people didn’t know that it was dead. I think it’s important for Nigerians to understand this.”

The political fate of the Minister of Labour and Employment and Senator-elect Simon Lalong will be decided by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.


It was learned last night that the President would decide if Lalong remains in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) or quit for the Senate.

Recall that Lalong on Thursday received his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner Mohammed Haruna as Senator-elect for Plateau South.

Lalong got the Certificate of Return, which was withdrawn from his opponent in the February 20 election, Air Vice Marshall Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the order of the tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

The minister was accompanied to the INEC National Headquarters by his wife Regina, children, and prominent party leaders from Plateau State.

They included former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Idris Wase, Member Representing QuanPan, Shendam, House Representatives member John Dafaan (Mikang Constituency), APC Deputy National Secretary Festus Fuanter, Minority leader of Plateau State House of Assembly Joe Bukar, former Majority Leader Naalong, former Head of Service Sunday Hyat, former commissioners and many council chairmen.

This raised speculations that he might resign his ministerial position and go to the Senate.

But a source told The Nation that the former Plateau State governor told him earlier in the week that the President would decide on the matter on his return from Germany.

Lalong’s aides also confirmed that he was waiting for the President to decide what he would do.

However, an All Progressives Congress (APC) leader said Lalong would take his seat in the Senate. According to him, this had been decided at all the appropriate levels.

The party chieftain said APC leaders are excited that the resolution of the litigation arising from the Plateau South Senatorial poll in Lalong’s favour will swell APC’s ranks in the Senate.

A party source said Lalong, who is a loyal party member, would abide by the decision on the next move the president may suggest.

The source said if he resumes at the Senate, his experience as a two-term House of Assembly Speaker will come in handy, adding that he will enjoy the status of a ranking senator.

Besides, the source said the thinking in the APC favoured avoiding an inevitable supplementary senatorial election which Lalong’s resignation from the Senate will cause.

The source said: “Lalong has conceded to the President, who is his boss in the FEC and National Leader of his party, to, in consultation with other leaders, particularly from the Northcentral, suggest the way forward. He is not opposed to making sacrifices in honour of the party.

“He is a treasured member of the cabinet who has been very active. He is a dependable ally of the President, and in fact, the leader of cabinet members from the Northcentral, whose profile cannot diminish if he quits for the Senate, which is his political right and electoral entitlement.”

The source acknowledged that if Lalong quits, there may be jostling for the vacancy in FEC.

Party chieftains likely to be considered as replacements are Dr Amos Gizo, Director of Artisans of the defunct Presidential Campaign Council, and Faunter.


The source added: “If it turns out to leaving the cabinet, Lalong will make a significant input into the choice of his successor as minister.”


The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity and National Population, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, has lamented the absence of accurate population data to plan Nigeria.

He also regretted that successive administrations have relied on inconsistent numbers, making it difficult to arrive at a strategic plan for the future.


Addressing a delegation from the National Population Commission (NPC) led by the Chairman, Nasir Isa Kwarra, Senator Ningi said, “Public analysts say that Nigerians are over 200 million. Some would say 220. Just yesterday I heard that we are over 250 million.

“All those things are mere guesswork. And it is the population commission that is saddled with the constitutional responsibility to do that. And that has been actually emphasized by an Act of Parliament.

“If we want to belong to the comity of nations that make an impact in the world, we need to know what we are doing, we need to know our capacity. And without knowing who we are, and how many we are, we can’t continue to guess.”


He further revealed that the population census was necessary to prepare for tomorrow.

A member of the committee and the Senator representing Jigawa Northwest, Babangida Hussaini (APC), said measures need to be put in place for the proper policing of the country’s 927,000 sq kilometer of land to check illegal immigrants.

“Today, our borders are as open as the sky. These are issues that are germane to population growth, to plan cities, to issues of education, security, and water.”




On her part, Saidat Olayinka Oladunjiye, President Bola Tinubu’s nominee as NPC Commissioner for Lagos State assured the committee of a rich guideline to guide the NPC towards a successful enumeration exercise.

She explained that the commission would deploy the Geographic Information System (GIS), adding that “the population census we are going to have this time is going to be one of the best in the country because like you said data is blood.”


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas has called for the privatisation of the nation’s refineries.

According to him, it has become evident that the Nigerian government can not run some businesses and the time to stop the deception is now.

Speaking on Thursday when he received the management of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), led by the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari in Abuja, Abbas said the privatization should be done before Dangote refineries come on stream.

According to him, Dangote refineries would expose the inadequacies of the government-run refineries and the inefficiencies would become more naked due to competition.

He argued that the condition and activities of the national refineries in the past twenty years are shameful and workers are getting paid for doing almost nothing.

The Speaker however said that the NNPC Limited will be supported for success and optimal function.

“There is need to make these refineries have multi-dimensional uses, if there is no crude oil, are there other activities that can make the workers to be active so that what they earn is deserved; I need you and your management to look at how we can turn around this decades of losses;

“One way to do so is to find a way to privatise these refineries; we have spent so much money and time deceiving ourselves that some businesses can be run by the government.

“In the case of the refineries, we have now realised that some sectors of NNPC business can only be handled by the private sector and our refineries are one of those.

“The inadequacies will become manifest as soon as Dangote’ refinery comes on board because the competition will be there and inefficiencies of the refineries will become more naked.

“I want you to put it as part of your cardinal objectives, let us find ways to privatise our refineries so that they can be active so that in the near future, they will be able to compete with new refineries that will come up,” Abbas said.

Naija News reports that during the visit, the NNPCL boss assured that the nation’s refineries would resume operations gradually by December 2023 and by the end of 2024, Nigeria would stop importing fuel.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity and National Population, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, has lament­ed the absence of accurate popu­lation data to plan Nigeria.

He also regretted that succes­sive administrations have relied on inconsistent numbers making it difficult to arrive at a strategic plan for the future.


Addressing a delegation from the National Population Commis­sion (NPC) led by the Chairman, Nasir Isa Kaura, Senator Ningi said, “Public analysts say that Nigerians are over 200 million. Some would say 220 (million). Just yesterday, I heard that we are over 250 million.

“All those things are mere guess works. And it is the popu­lation commission that is saddled with the constitutional responsi­bility to do that. And that has been actually emphasised by an Act of Parliament.

“I want to prepare your mind as to the assignment before us. It is not an easy assignment, it is not any how assignment. It has to do with the future of this country, and how we move as a nation.


“If we want to belong to the comity of nations that make impact in the world, we need to know what we are doing, we need to know our capacity.

“And without knowing who are we, and how many are we. We can’t continue to guess.”

He further revealed that pop­ulation census “is not about how many Christians are in Lagos, how many Muslims are in Lagos. How many Yorubas, how many Igbos. That is not the importance of population census. It has to do with preparation for tomorrow.

“It doesn’t matter who you are. We go to Alaba Market, Muslims, Christians. So, if you say how many Christians go to Alaba Market, how many Muslims go to Alaba Market, what is impor­tance of that?

“Whatever comes to Lagos, Lagosians share whether Chris­tians or Muslims. So, these are all small, small things that make the issue of census or public account a very major dogma.”

He explained that Nigerians over time continue to contest census figures, as he urged the delegation to take the need for an accurate census to the grassroots.

A member of the committee and the senator representing Jigawa North-West, Babangida Hussaini (APC), in his contri­bution urged a “a different look of what population census is all about,” as he regretted that the current centralised approach is not achieving the desired effect for the nation.

He highlighted migration and emigration as challenges facing proper census in the country.

Senator Hussaini also insist­ed that measures need to be put in place for the proper policing of the country’s 927,000sq kilo­metres of land to check illegal immigrants.


“Today, our borders are as open as the sky. These are issues that are germane to population growths, to plan cities, to issues of education, security, water, name it.

“So, I think the starting point is for us to appreciate what popu­lation census is all about.”

On her part, Saidat Olayinka Oladunjiye, President Bola Tinu­bu’s nominee as NPC Commis­sioner for Lagos State assured the committee of a rich guideline to side the NPC at a successful enu­meration exercise.


She explained that the com­mission would deploy the Geo­graphic Information System (GIS), adding that “the population census we are going to have this time is going to be one of the best in the country because like you said data is blood.”

She also revealed that the commission has robust plans for capturing of children in the up­coming exercise.

“I want to say with all sense of humility, having served as commissioner twice in the state, I know how it is, and I know how to get things done.


“I know the indices of how to access children. I want to say to you that in Lagos State I have access to my colleagues as com­missioner that I could leverage on to get things done.” 

According to her, the next population census would be the best in the history of the country, maintaining that NPC would em­bark on capacity building for staff, as well as partnering with local government administrations to ensure the success of the exercise.

On religion, she underscored that the commission will empha­sise on competence, adding that “once you’re competent you’ll get the job.”

“We know what we are going to do. We have the template. We have the programme. We are go­ing to work with all relevant gov­ernment agencies— ministry of education, health, environment, local government chairmen, lo­cal government ministries, the ministry of information to get the necessary information out.


“So, at the end of the day the population census is going to be the best.”


On low technology penetra­tion in parts of the country that may hamper the deployment of the GIS for the exercise, Oladun­jiye revealed that the commission would adopt same strategy used by the Independent National Elec­toral Commission (INEC) on the use of the Bimodal Voter Accredi­tation System (BVAS) for election.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has warned Nigerians against patronizing fake online stores ahead of the customary seasonal sales, known as ‘Black Friday’.

Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC disclosed this in an advisory statement on Thursday.

According to Irukera, the Commission foresees a 135 per cent rise in fake online stores.


The Commission said Nigerians should be vigilant and only patronize trusted and credible platforms to satisfy their needs.

“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has received credible intelligence that the customary seasonal sales at deep discounts on a specific Friday, otherwise known as ‘Black Friday’, may witness an increase of fake online stores by 135%, including scams, misrepresentation and other exploitative conduct. This information is corroborated by publicly available reports such as Netcraft.

“The Commission advises consumers to be vigilant and discerning in this period and to demand and insist on their rights, particularly concerning full and transparent disclosures,” he said.

Netcraft, a research group, had earlier raised the alarm on the rise of fake online stores ahead of Black Friday sales, which officially kick-started on 24th-27th November after the United Thanksgiving Day celebration.

According to Netcraft, fraudulent online stores use different techniques, including offering bogus discounts and impersonating luxurious, fake websites to deceive their victims.

A report said financial fraud in 2021 was valued at N193.5 billion ($544 million), a significant increase from the N153.4 billion ($431 million) lost in 2020.

However, the soaring inflation rate, which increased to 27.33 per cent, may have reduced Nigerians’ purchasing power and increased the cost of living.

Also, the persistent foreign exchange crisis, as FX hit N956.33/$1 on Thursday, has continued to affect Nigeria’s consumption trend.

These harsh economic realities would no doubt lure many Nigerians into patronising Black Friday sales.