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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed a petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Umar Ardo, challenging the election of Ahmadu Fintiri as Adamawa State governor.
Delivering ruling, Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu affirmed a previous decision of the Tribunal led by Justice Theodora Uloho, which had dismissed Ardo’s petition for being incompetent and not properly filed.
The appellate court held that the appellants did not prove the allegations of corrupt practices and non-compliance to the Electoral Act, against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Ogakwu said there was no basis to grant the appeal.
The SDP candidate and his party had filed a petition at the State Governorship Election Tribunal after Fintiri was declared the winner of the poll.
Ardo had sought the nullification of Fintiri’s re-election on the grounds that there was substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act, corrupt practices, threats, and violence during the exercise.
Ardo subsequently appealed the tribunal’s judgment but the appellate court dismissed his petition.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo has presented a draft budget of N410 billion for Anambra State in 2024.
Soludo presented the budget estimate to the State House of Assembly in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Tuesday.
The governor disclosed that there is only about 57.8 percent increase in the present budget compared to the 2023 budget of over N280 billion.
While the Recurrent expenditure accounts for N96.2 billion, the Capital expenditure is N313.9 billion, indicating that 77 percent of the entire budget is targeted at Capital expenditure.
The governor said that with the budget, the state is changing gears towards the promised transformation agenda for a liveable and prosperous smart mega city.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nasarawa State Command, said it has arrested 27 persons over alleged cult-related activities in Lafia, the state capital.
The commandant of the corps in Nasarawa, Mr Bappa Abbas Muhammed, stated this yesterday while parading the suspected cult members.
The NSCDC boss also said one person was killed as a result of the cult activities while one other sustained a matchet injury and was receiving treatment.
Muhammed expressed worry over the increasing rate of cultism across the 13 local government areas of the state, particularly in Lafia the state capital.
He, however, said the command had launched a new security strategy to tackle the ugly menace.
He said those arrested would soon be charged to court for prosecution.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed an appeal brought before it by the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Titus Uba challenging the election of Hyacinth Alia as the elected governor of Benue State.
In a unanimous judgment, the court resolved all three issues formulated for determination against Uba and PDP for various reasons.
Justice Onyekachi Otisi who delivered the lead judgment dismissed the allegations of non-qualification made by Uba against the deputy governor Samuel Ode.
He held that the PDP candidate failed to establish forgery of INEC form EC9 by Ode beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Appellate Court, among other reasons, said the issues of non-qualification are pre-election matters that can only be challenged at a Federal High Court and not at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal as done by Uba.
Justice Otisi added that a suit to challenge non-qualification can only be instituted within 14 days of the occurrence of the subject matter.
The Court also dealt with the allegations by Uba that the name of the Governor, Hyacinth Alia was not not submitted by the All Progressives Congress to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC within 180 days before the election of March 18.
The Appellate Court held that the allegations could survive because the primary election that produced Alia was ordered by a High Court and was done within the period ordered by the court.
Justice Otisi held that the appeal of Uba against the judgment of the Benue State Election Petition Tribunal delivered on September 23 lacked merit and was dismissed.
The Court subsequently upheld the judgment of the tribunal and rejected the plea of the PDP governorship candidate to set it aside.
Monday’s development came about eight months after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Alia as the winner of the governorship exercise in the North-Central state.
The Catholic priest won 473,933 votes ahead of his closest rival Uba who polled 223,913 votes.
The Nigeria Police Force has revealed its intention to adopt solar and other renewable energy sources as lightening option for police stations, police barracks and police colleges as it looks to reduce emissions.
Making this disclosure in a statement made available on its official X handle, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, detailed that the decision was taken after the force signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Green Initiative known as the Nigeria Police Green Initiative.
“A key aspect of the Initiative is “Nigeria Police Emission Reduction Programme” which is aligned to the national and global direction in addressing climate change issues through emission reduction projects and lifestyle to be adopted by all Police Officers so as to create awareness for responsible production and consumption across sectors including renewable energy source for lighting applications such as solar lighting across the Police Stations, Police Colleges, Police Barracks, Police Outpost and Communities in alignment with the transition to low-carbon climate-resilient development,” the statement partly read.
“Additionally, the initiative aims at promoting eco-friendly transportation methods within the Police Force. This includes transitioning to electric vehicles and gas conversion vehicles thus reducing premium motor spirits (PMS) consumption and air pollution while increasing efficiency and promoting a healthier lifestyle among police personnel and the community. The Initiative will also leverage environmentally sustainable waste and water management include solar boreholes, waste-to-energy programmes, thereby reducing operational cost, create jobs and a cleaner environment,” it added.
The Police further revealed that it will “also going beyond our immediate environment by lighting up Communities with Solar Power to reduce security vulnerability and herder-farmer crisis, conducting outreach programs to educate citizens on the importance of preserving natural resources, reducing pollution, and engaging in sustainable practices, thereby effectively managing natural resource-induced conflicts such as the herder-famer conflicts.”
Vice-President Kashim Shettima is meeting with members of the private sector including the Chairman of the Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, and the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu.
The meeting is being held behind closed doors with the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate in attendance.
Others present are international development partners, including the Country Director of the World Bank, Schubham Chaudhuri among others.
The Supreme Court has fixed March 13, 2024, to hear a suit filed in 2008, by the Attorney General of Lagos State against the Federal Government in respect of who controls and regulates the gaming and lottery sector.
Ekiti State was joined as co-plaintiff in the suit following an order of the court made on October 6, 2020.
The attorneys general of 34 other states were joined as defendants by the Supreme Court on November 15, 2022.
A seven-member panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun fixed the date for the day’s proceedings.
The plaintiffs want the apex court to declare that the lottery is not one of the 68 items for which the National Assembly has the exclusive vires to make laws under Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
They are also seeking a declaration that the National Assembly lacks the vires to legally and constitutionally make any law to regulate and control the operation of lottery in Nigeria.
There is anxiety in the police over plan to enforce the rule on mandatory retirement by officers.
Those affected are officers above 60 years and those who have spent 35 years in the service.
They are expected to send their letters of retirement to the appropriate police commands, according to a circular by Inspector General Kayode Egbetokun.
However, the affected over-aged officers are trying to resist the move to enforce the order.
The Police Service Commission (PSC), which has frowned at the officers’ resistance to retirement, said it is contrary to service rules.
There was apprehension among the officers, following the issuance of the internal memo by the Inspector-General that the over-aged officers should proceed on retirement.
Egbetokun said the names of the affected officers will be published soon.
In the memo circulating online, Egbetokun ordered police formations and commands to extract letters of retirement from officers who are due for retirement, but are reluctant to leave.
The memo reads: “Cooperating with other government bodies in compliance with the directive of the honourable chairman, Police Service Commission, the IGP directs and draw the attention of all members of the force to the emerging and disturbing trend in the Nigeria Police Force wherein officers upon attainment of 35 years in service or 60 years of age refuse to proceed on retirement.
“This is contrary to the provisions of the public service rule (PSR) 020810 i & ii which provides that the mandatory retirement age for all grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service no officer shall be allowed to remain in service after attaining the retirement of age of 60 or 35 years of pensionable service whichever is earlier all actions taken by the said officers for the Nigeria police are null and void as a result of expiration of service duration accordingly you are to immediately extract a letter of voluntary retirement from such officers.
“The police authorities need to publish all officers that have violated their service retirement age.”
The Head, Press and Public Relations of PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, who confirmed the circular, said the memo is authentic.
He added: “Those that are due for retirement, the IGP has said they should write and leave the service.”
THE House of Representatives has summoned 83 ministries, departments, and agencies of the Federal Government as it begins an investigation into the alleged mismanagement of over N447.6bn Covid-19 intervention fund from 2020 to 2022.
Checks in the budgets of the MDAs showed that at least 22 of them got not less than N447.6bn as COVID-19 funds in 2020 alone.
This implies that the COVID-19 intervention fund from 2020 to 2022 was way higher than the N447.6bn received by less than half the number of MDAs invited by the House of Representatives for the probe slated to begin from November 27, 2023, and end on December 4.
The House invited the Ministries of Agriculture and Food Security, Communications and Digital Economy, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, and scores of other Ministries, Department and Agencies.
The MDAs are to appear before the lawmakers to answer questions on alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds distributed among them to fight the global health pandemic.
In an invitation issued by the Chairman of the Committee and a member representing Ede North/Ede South Federal Constituency, Osun State, Bamidele Salam, dated November 20, 2023, the lawmakers asked each of the MDAs to be represented by their “Chief Accounting Officers, Head of Finance, Head of Procurement and any other relevant officer to defend the expenditure contained in their various submissions.”
To appear before the Committee on Monday, November 27, are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, FERMA, Federal Ministries of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, and Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
Others include the Federal Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mines and Steel Development, Water Resources, Health, National Hospital, Abuja, and National Directorate of Employment.
On Tuesday, November 28, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps are expected to appear before the committee for the exercise.
Also billed to appear on Tuesday are the Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army, Federal Fire Service, Rural Electrification Agency, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, National Commission on for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Offices, Abuja, and the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State.
On Wednesday, November 29, it will be the turn of the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research, Lagos State; National Eye Centre, Kaduna State; National Ear Centre, Kaduna State; Ministries of Aviation, Industry, Trade and Investment; Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Niger State; Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja; Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi; Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State; Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State; as well as those in Katsina, Nguru, Yobe State, Asaba, Delta State and Gusau, Zamfara State.
Political veteran Joseph Boakai was on Monday declared winner of Liberia’s presidential election, beating incumbent George Weah, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) said after completing the ballot count.
Boakai won with 50.64 percent of the vote, against 49.36 percent of the vote for former international football star Weah, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, president of the commission, told reporters.
Boakai won with only a 20,567-vote margin.
Weah had already conceded defeat on Friday evening, based on the results of more than 99.98 percent of the polling stations.
The outgoing president and former football star won praise from abroad on Monday for conceding and promoting a non-violent transition in a region marred by coups.
“Liberians have once again demonstrated that democracy is alive in the ECOWAS region and that change is possible through peaceful means,” the Economic Community of West African States said in a statement.
Since 2020, ECOWAS states have seen abrupt regime changes with military forces seizing power by force in four of the fifteen member countries: Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger.
The election six years ago of Weah — the first African footballer to win both FIFA’s World Player of the Year trophy and the Ballon d’Or — had sparked high hopes of change in Liberia, which is still reeling from back-to-back civil wars and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic.
But critics have accused his government of corruption and him of failing to keep a promise to improve the lives of the poorest.
While his party lost, “Liberia has won,” Weah had said on radio.
Weah said he had spoken to the man he called the “president-elect” to congratulate him and urged his own supporters to accept the election result.
“This is a time for graciousness in defeat,” he said, adding “our time will come again”.
The African Union sent its congratulations to the president-elect on Monday.
AU chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat also called on “all parties to continue to display maturity and embrace dialogue to consolidate democracy”.
G20: Tinubu seeks partnership with German Chancellor Scholz, on power and rail transportation investmentWritten by Admin
President Bola Tinubu met with German Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, where he discussed Nigeria’s determination to pursue German investment in the power and rail sector, among others.
The President met with Scholz on the sidelines of the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference on Monday.
He noted that his administration is eager to partner with German companies, such as Siemens AG, in reforming the power sector of Nigeria.
Recall that former President Buhari established in 2018 Siemens-backed Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) as an attempt to resolve the lingering challenges in the power sector and to expand the capacity for future power needs.
Siemens Energy was expected to facilitate financing for the project through the German Export Credit Agency (Euler Hermes AG), other ECA’s, and other financing Agencies.
However, President Tinubu noted that there is a need for a review of the initiative to ensure the speedy execution of targeted projects in the power sector.
Noting Siemens AG’s positive impact on the quantity and quality of Egypt’s electric power supply, the President declared that, with his leadership, the implementation of the PPI would now proceed with increased urgency and a more deliberate approach to project execution.
- “For me, I am very much committed to pursuing all aspects of the Siemens Power project and the skill development opportunities that will emerge from that project for our talented youths who can participate in sustaining the industry,” the President told Scholz.
What Germany is saying
On his part, the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, signalled a willingness to address administrative and financial challenges in the sector, recognizing the governance issues inherited from the previous administration.
- “I know that there is a lot of work that has been done. There is already a big production of electricity in Nigeria, but it is not getting to the population. Of course, this has to do with the need for a provision of stations and infrastructure on the grid.
- “Siemens has developed the plan and is ready to deepen implementation, but it is now up to your new government to take the follow-up action that you are now committed to taking. On the railway plans, Siemens will be very happy to do this when more progress is made on the power project which has been started already,” he said.
Speaking on the investment in the rail sector, Scholz said Nigeria can replicate the success of China, noting that the country shared similar opportunities and conditions with the Asia country.
- “There is nothing too unique about the growth of China. It came down to a lot of investment from overseas that leveraged cheap and skilled labour with adequate internal infrastructure and shipping infrastructure for imports and exports to flow easily. These things are possible in Nigeria. You even have abundant natural resources. Step by step, it is achievable, Mr. President,” he added.
What you should know
Germany has shown a great willingness to invest in Nigeria with its Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, visiting the country earlier in October.
During his visit, Scholz noted Nigeria’s huge capacity for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production. He also pledged to invest in the county’s mineral resources as well as the rail sector.
Given the Israel-Hamas conflict as well as the crisis fuelled by the Russian war on Ukraine, Western European countries have increasingly begun to turn to Africa for their energy sustenance. Nigeria has one of the highest oil reserves in the world, creating an opportunity for both countries to deepen their investment ties.
The removal of subsidies increased revenue inflow into the Federation Account from an average of N650 billion per month to over N1 trillion over the last four months, according to Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Wale Edun.
Making this disclosure at a four-day retreat held in Asaba, Delta state capital, Edun said that the economic reforms that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration had undertaken since its inception clearly outlined the right steps towards the transformation of the country’s economy.
Mr Edun’s statement was read by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Okokon Udo.
“The economic reforms which this administration has undertaken since its inception in May, 2023 clearly outlined right steps to transformation of the country’s economy.In less than six months of the administration, we have witnessed the introduction of important reforms, such as petroleum subsidy removal, fiscal and monetary policies reforms aimed at removing multiple taxation among others,” he said.
“The Federation Account in particular is witnessing improved revenue inflow since the removal of subsidy from an average of N650 billion monthly to over N1 trillion in the last four months.The government had for long realised that petroleum subsidy is not sustainable given it erodes revenues that should have been available to fund viable expenditures that are critical to wellbeing of the populace,” he added.
He claimed that two of Tinubu’s administration’s main goals are to reach the 22 percent tax revenue to GDP target and the 18 percent tax to GDP target by 2026.
Naija News recalls that President Tinubu had on assumption of office immediately removed fuel subsidy and floated the country’s currency.
South Africa will Tuesday host a virtual summit of the BRICS group of nations, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss the Israel-Hamas war, Pretoria and Moscow said Monday.
The BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are a group of major emerging economies seeking to reshape the US and Western-led global order.
Tuesday’s “Extraordinary Joint Meeting on the Middle East Situation in Gaza” will be hosted by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in the hope of drawing up a common response to the more than six-week conflict.
Leaders from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates — who are all due to join the BRICS group in January 2024 — will attend the meeting.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also participate, the South African presidency said in a statement.
It added that all five BRICS heads of state will join the virtual summit, after which a joint statement with particular reference to Gaza is expected.
Fighting is raging in Gaza after a shock Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, with around 240 people taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
In Gaza, around 13,300 people, more than 5,500 of them children, have been killed in the retaliatory air and ground offensive, officials in the Hamas-run territory have said.
South Africa has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party often linking it to its own struggle against apartheid.
The ANC said last Thursday that it would support a parliamentary motion to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel until it agrees to a ceasefire in Gaza, decrying the “genocidal actions of the Israeli regime”.
On Friday, South Africa joined four other nations in calling for an International Criminal Court investigation into the Israel-Hamas war.
China has historically been sympathetic to the Palestinians and supportive of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Beijing has been calling for an immediate ceasefire since the start of the war last month.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of stoking tensions in the Middle East, and criticised Israel for its conduct in the conflict.
Putin skipped the last BRICS annual summit in Johannesburg as he is the target of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant — a provision that South Africa as an ICC member would be expected to implement if he were to set foot in the country
The Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah has assured that his administration would continue to train at least 40,000 youths across the state on relevant digital and entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to compete in the global digital and entrepreneurial markets.
The governor gave this assurance while delivering a keynote address at the Enugu Tech and Entrepreneurship with the theme, “Innovation Unleashed: Transforming Enugu’s Future”.
“We want them to embrace the emerging future of robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and disruptive innovation through skills in information and technology,” he said on Sunday.
“Our administration would train at least 40,000 youths across the state on relevant digital and entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to compete in the global digital and entrepreneurial markets.”
According to him, his administration had already commenced the training of youths on digital innovation, programming, digital marketing, financial technology, and entrepreneurship, among other requisite technological, financial, and business skills.
Mbah is optimistic that with the right training and skills, which his government is determined to facilitate by partnering with different tech industries and stakeholders, the youths could create their own greener pastures in Nigeria without having to travel overseas.
“With the right training and skills which my government would facilitate by partnering with different reputable tech industries, our youths can create their own greener pasture in Nigeria without having to travel abroad. And with their own innovation here, they can create greener pastures on the Enugu soil,” the governor said.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker at the second edition of the Enugu Tech and Entrepreneurship (TxE) Summit. I was privileged to perform the same role at the inaugural edition in 2022.— Peter Ndubuisi Mbah (@PNMbah) November 19, 2023
Speaking on the theme: "Innovation Unleashed: Transforming Enugu’s… pic.twitter.com/7nQCndWoXo