Tag Archives: FG

Naira Redesign: FG Files Objection Against Supreme Court Decision

The federal government Wednesday filed a preliminary objection challenging the application by Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi states against the implementation of the February 10 currency swap deadline.

In the objection filed by Mahmud Magaji (SAN), the federal government argued that the suit ought not to have been brought before the Supreme Court as the reliefs sought were against an agency of the federal government, the CBN on its powers to withdraw old banknotes and introduce new ones under the CBN Act, 2007.

The federal government argued that the Federal High Court had the proper jurisdiction to entertain such suits under Section 251(1)(a)(p)(q) & (r) of the Constitution (exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court).

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While contending that the action before the apex court constituted an abuse of judicial process, the federal government said the state governments have no locus standi and reasonable cause of action to warrant the “invocation of the original jurisdiction of this honourable court.”

Before the objection by the federal government, the Supreme Court earlier yesterday ordered the CBN to allow the use of the old N1000, N500 and N200 notes beyond February 10 and fixed February 15 to hear the case.

A seven-member panel of justices presided by Justice John Inyang Okoro made the restraining order in a unanimous ruling.

Arguing the motion, counsel to the governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) said the matter was important and had come with an affidavit of urgency.

But Magaji Mahmud (SAN), who announced appearance for the Attorney-General of the Federation, was not heard by the apex court being an ex parte motion.

It is just an order not a judgment- Presidency Source

Reacting to the Supreme Court order, a source in the Presidency said: “Generally speaking, it is not a judgment, it is just an order. An ex-parte order is a constitutional leverage specifically given to judges to make an order in exceptional circumstances granting the request of an applicant in a suit in the interim without hearing from the other party.

“The order is only temporary. The judge will hold a full hearing within a short period of time,” he said. Millions of Nigerians have been thrown into confusion following the mopping up of over 1.7trillion old naira notes and the glaring unavailability of the redesigned notes.

The development had led to endless queues in banking halls and ATMs as well as demonstrations in parts of the country.

Extend time – IMF

Lending its voice, the IMF said the CBN should consider extending the February 10 deadline for the swapping of old naira.

The Fund in a statement on Wednesday cited disruptions in trade and payments resulting from the exercise.

“In light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline, should problems persist in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline,” Ari Aisen, the Fund’s Resident Representative to Nigeria, said.

Buhari receives Emefiele, Malami

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele as well as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was held a few hours after the Supreme Court had restrained the federal government from enforcing the deadline of old naira notes.

Daily Trust findings revealed that Emefiele had met with Malami twice on Tuesday ahead of the Supreme Court judgment.

Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council hails S/Court

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu has hailed state governors for standing on the side of the Nigerian people over the CBN new naira policy.

Tinubu in a statement by Bayo Onanuga, the Director, Media and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, said the governors and especially the APC governors who instituted the suit against the CBN and federal government at the Supreme Court acted well on behalf of the hapless Nigerians who have been made to bear the brunt of naira redesign policy that has been “poorly implemented.”

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, said the governors have saved the country from needless political and economic crises and miseries, which have clearly become the unintended consequences of the monetary policy of the apex bank.

Also, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has urged the residents of the state, particularly traders, to stop taking the old notes to bank for deposit.

The governor also urged the people to continue transactions with the old notes, saying nobody can stop them even as the February 10 deadline approaches.

The governor also promised the traders and the people of the state that nobody in the state will lose his hard earned money because of the naira redesign policy.

El-Rufai in a video clip seen by Daily Trust on Social media, made the comment on Tuesday at a meeting with leaders of traders in the state. He told them to pass the message to others in their state to stop taking their money to banks.

“Stop taking your money to banks because when you deposit nine naira only one naira will be given to you because the notes are scarce.

“The law says if you have old notes with you even if it takes 100 years and you take it to the central bank it will be accepted. So keep your money with you even if it will take you 100 years,” he said.

Experts proffer solution as IMF seeks deadline extension

Economists and financial experts said yesterday that the only way to resolve the financial crisis in the country is to restore normal cash flow to restart the economy and ease the pains millions of Nigerians are going through.

The experts told the Daily Trust that the issues could be resolved when the right thing is done.

The CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf, welcomed the restraining order of the Supreme Court on the timeline for the currency swap. He said the action will restore normalcy to economic activities, especially in the distributive trade sector, the informal sector and rural economy.

The CPPE reiterates its position that given the huge population of over 200million, the large informal sector, which accounts for over 40% of the GDP, the large rural economy and the over 30 million unbanked Nigerians, the CBN cash swap model and timeline was greatly flawed.

“It is inappropriate to arbitrarily cut down on currency in circulation without due regard to data, empirical studies and global best practices,” he said.

According to Yusuf, “We affirm our position that N2.6 trillion in circulation is not too much for the Nigerian economy with a GDP of about N250 trillion. Any attempt to arbitrarily cut it will create a crisis.

“It is unacceptable that citizens are denied access to their cash deposited for purposes of cash swap. This could undermine the confidence of the citizens in the banking system and pose a major risk to the financial inclusion objective of the CBN.

“In Nigeria, cash to GDP ratio is less than 1.5%; while cash/money supply ratio is just about 5%. These are some of the best currency ratios globally and a mark of the remarkable progress that has been made in cashless policy drive. Cash to GDP in the United States is about 9%; in the Eurozone it is about 10%.

“This underlines the fact that cash is not the problem of the Nigerian economy or monetary policy effectiveness. CBN Ways and Means financing of over N22 trillion is a much bigger problem for liquidity management.

“It is regrettable that a purely monetary policy management issue has been profoundly politicised as witnessed in the past few weeks. This has obscured fundamental economic conversations,” he said.

Also speaking, an economist, Prof. Uche Uwaleke noted that it will be difficult to quantify how much money is in circulation that will determine if Nigeria’s economy is cashless or not. He, however, said that the CBN should increase supply of the new notes and expand its supply channels.

“If CBN says maximum over the counter withdrawals for a week is N500, 000 for individuals, then it should expand the supply chain for the new notes.

“The micro finance banks and more PoS operators should be involved in the supply chain. Also, the lower denominations should be printed more to ensure that the new notes reach Nigerians, especially traders that carry out their functions,” he said.

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On the other hand, he urged the CBN to obey the order of the Supreme Court on the February 10 expiration of old notes.

“All over the world, especially where central banks are independent, the conduct of monetary policy is their exclusive preserve- a responsibility not encumbered by either the executive arm or the Judiciary,” he said


IFMA praises FG over National Theatre handover


The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Nigeria Chapter, has hailed Federal Government’s initiative in handing over the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Banker’s Committee.

The association described the development as commendable and a step in the right direction. The Acting President of the Association, Mr. Segun Adebayo, who stated this, said the initiative through the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Banker’s Committee should also be extended to other national facilities like the National Museum and National Stadium, amongst others not being put into optimal use.

According to him, one of the challenges with the effective operation of the National Theatre was lack of professional management of the facility. He urged the driver of the project to begin with the end in mind, by engaging professional facility management practitioner as part of the team of consultants on the project.

“Infact, IFMA, Nigeria Chapter is not only willing, but equally ready to offer free professional services as our support towards the success of the project. This will guarantee the sustainability and positive impact on the economy through job creation and other associated value creation for artisan and technicians,” Adebayo said.

Earlier in the year, the association celebrated the World Facility Management Day, drawing attention to the significant contribution facility management makes to the global economy.


[Nigeria] FG awaits $200m from 2 countries – Malami


The Federal Government says Nigeria is awaiting the return of $200million from the Netherlands and Switzerland.

According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, the money is part of proceeds from the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 Malabu oil deal.

Mr Malami disclosed this on Tuesday at a one-day capacity building workshop organised for judiciary correspondents in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

At the event, he presented a scorecard of the Ministry of Justice in the last one year during which he outlined the efforts of the present administration in the war against corruption.


“On the fight against corruption and associated recovery of looted and illicit assets, I am happy to inform you that within the period in contention, Nigeria succeeded in recovering $311 billion from U.S. and New Jersey and the money has been repatriated to Nigeria,” Malami said.

The minister said due to the anti-corruption crusade, the Federal Government facilitated the recovery of $62 billion arrears from oil companies as part of its Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).

He explained that the money has been paid into the Federal Government treasury for utility development such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kano-Abuja Expressway, and the Second Niger Bridge, in line with the agreement reached with the foreign partners.

Malami also disclosed that over N685 million was recovered through the help of whistle-blowers within the last one year while N500 million was recovered from forfeited vessels, trucks, and barges.


Elsewhere, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the government has recovered looted funds in excess of N800 billion with over 1,400 convictions secured.

Mohammed, who also addressed reporters in the nation’s capital, stated that the present administration’s fight against corruption was as strong as ever.

While stressing that there were records to back up his claim, he said Nigerians have recently been inundated with allegations of monumental corruption in a number of government agencies.

He listed some of the agencies to include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


    News+: FG convicts 1,400; recover N800bn looted funds


    The Federal Government says it has recovered looted funds in excess of N800 billion with over 1,400 convictions secured.

    The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

    He said the current government’s fight against corruption is as strong as ever, and that the government has records to back up the claims.

    Mohammed added that the government also forfeited several properties suspected to have been acquired through corrupt means.

    Details later.


      Eid-el-kabir: FG names July 30, 31 public holiday


      The Federal Government has declared Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31 as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir Celebration.

      This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah.

      According to the statement, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, congratulated Muslim faithful and all Nigerians both at home and abroad on the occasion.

      “He called on the Muslims to continue to imbibe the spirit of love, peace, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and to also use the period to pray for peace, unity, prosperity and the stability of the country especially as the world is witnessing global health challenges caused by Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement partly read.


      While reiterating President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to battling the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic, Aregbesola asked for the cooperation of all Nigerians.

      A file photo of the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola

      The Minister stressed that the Federal Government will continue to foster peaceful coexistence, national cohesion and stability in its march towards actualizing the nation’s full potentials.

      He, therefore, called on the masses to support the government “in its avowed determination to build a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous country, where the rights of every citizen, are protected and guaranteed, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

        The Minister also advised Nigerians to take responsibility against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, urging the citizens to stay safe by observing physical and social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene, as well as other regulations issued by relevant authorities.


        Breaking: FG meet with resident doctors in bid to halt proposed strike


        The Federal Government has met with the leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) over the planned industrial action of the medical practitioners.

        The conciliation meeting which held on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital ended with high expectations that the planned strike would be shelved.

        At the discussion, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who convened the meeting gave an assurance that the government would address the issues raised by the doctors.


        This comes two days after the resident doctors issued a three-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the union or risk a nationwide strike.

        The demands include the doctors’ welfare, the residency training programme, and the poor state of infrastructure in government hospitals.

        The National President of NARD, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, led the resident doctors to the meeting.

        Government officials also at the meeting include the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo.


        Nigerians stranded in European countries set to return – Abike Dabiri-Erewa


        Amid the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, the Federal Government says more Nigerians stranded in France and other European countries are being evacuated to the country.

        This was disclosed on Sunday by the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa via Twitter.

        Dabiri-Erewa explained that the citizens, who departed Citizen Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, are expected back today and will land at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.


        The evacuation exercise was coordinated by the Nigerian Mission in France under Ambassador Modupe Irele and monitored by the commission.

        FILE PHOTO: The stranded Nigerians at the Newark Airport, New Jersey were expected in the country on July 18, 2020. Credit: Geoffrey Onyeama

        Upon arrival, the Nigerian returnees are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation as mandated by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

        This is the second evacuation from Europe since this month.

        Meanwhile, over 6,317 Nigerians have been evacuated from abroad, and that’s according to NIDCOM.


        The evacuation carried out in collaboration with the agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Missions around the world comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the globe.

        Giving a breakdown of the figures, the NIDCOM boss said United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest evacuees with 1,405, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 831 and the United States with 806 Nigerians stranded Nigerians repatriated in three batches.

        Another set of stranded Nigerians who departed Citizen Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris expected into the country on July 26, 2020. Credit: NIDCOM

        Other countries where Nigerians have departed include Saudi Araba – 117, Egypt – 372, France – 70, India – 540, Turkey – 324, Sudan – 365, Uganda and Kenya – 172.

          Also not left out are Senegal – 17, Pakistan – 56, Egypt – 102, China – 268, Malaysia and Thailand – 247, Lebanon – 147, Canada – 51, South Africa – 324 and Ghana – 205.

          The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa


          Resident Doctors give FG 3 weeks ultimatum – threaten to resume strike


          The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors on Saturday said it will resume its suspended nationwide strike in three weeks if the Federal Government fails to meet its demands.

          President of the Association, Aliyu Sokomba, revealed this to journalists in a press conference in Abuja.

          NARD had, on June 22, suspended its nationwide strike, after a virtual meeting of over 300 of its members.


          Sokomba, at the time, said the association suspended the strike in order to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfill its outstanding demands.

          A file photo of President of National Association of Resident Doctors, Aliyu Sokomba.

          The association declared an indefinite strike on June 15 over several demands including the provision of adequate PPE for all healthcare workers and immediate reversal of the disengagement of all 26 resident doctors at the University Teaching Hospital in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

          Others demands were the universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and State Hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of an equal cadre.

            The doctors also asked the government to implement the revised hazard and payment of agreed COVID-19 inducement allowances, as well as stop and immediately refund all cuts in salaries of their colleagues in Kaduna and other states.


            Senate ask FG to present 2021 budget before end of September


            President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, urged the Executive arm of Government to work on the estimates for the 2021 budget to ensure its timely presentation to the National Assembly by the end of September this year.

            Lawan stated this in his remarks after referring President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper request to the Senate Committees on Finance; and National Planning for further legislative work.

            The Senate President while charging both Committees to engage the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning on the MTEF/FSP request, stressed the need for the panel to lend its support where necessary to Revenue Generating Agencies towards meeting expected revenue targets.

            A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
            The Committees were given four weeks to report back to the Senate.

            “The request of Mr. President C-in-C is referred to the two committees, Senate Committees on Finance; Budget and National Planning, with Finance as the lead Committee.


            “This Senate is giving the Committee four weeks within which to work very closely with the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, and particularly engagement with the revenue-generating agencies where we are expecting them to meet their targets.

            “We need to ensure that they have all the support that they require from the National Assembly, particularly the Senate to meet their targets.

              “Meanwhile, the executive should continue to work on the preparations for the 2021 budget, and by this, we are also equally committed to ensuring that we receive the budget estimates at the end of September and that we are able to consider the budget and get it passed before the end of December to repeat what we did for budget 2020,” Lawan said.


              FG reveal date for 3rd mainland bridge closure


              The Federal Government says the Third Mainland Bridge will be closed on Friday at midnight and will not be reopened until January 2021.

              Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who confirmed this at a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, called on motorists in Lagos to be patient with the repairs.

              Mr Fashola explained that the maintenance of the busiest bridge in the country was aimed at replacing damaged components for a better motoring experience.

              The maintenance is to be carried out on a length of 3.5 kilometres out of the 11.8 kilometres of the bridge.


              Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the repair work will cause temporary hardship to motorists and commuters but it will pay off in the long run.

              A file photo of a section of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, south-west Nigeria.

              The planned duration of the closure and the importance of the bridge to activities in Lagos which has battled traffic for years has led to concerns.

              Mr Fashola acknowledged that the closure will lead to hardship in the short term but explained that there was no other way to carry out the maintenance work without closing the bridge.

                He added that it was better to bear six months of work and closure than to allow the bridge to collapse, a development that would take years to fix.


                Govt evacuate 324 Nigerians from United States


                The Federal Government has evacuated another batch of 324 Nigerians who are stranded in the United States of America.+

                This was revealed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on Saturday via Twitter.

                  According to him, the Nigerian returnees are being expected into the country from Newark Airport, New Jersey.


                  Onyeama noted that the flight left the American soil on Friday and is due to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 15:35 pm today.

                  Slide to see images

                  The Minister explained that following the development of the third evacuation of these citizens, two more evacuation flights are expected from the country on July 28 and 31 respectively.

                  The stranded Nigerians at the Newark Airport, New Jersey are being expected into the country July 18, 2020. Credit: Geoffrey Onyeama

                  “The third evacuation flight from the #USA has departed Newark, New Jersey to Abuja with 324 Nigerians. The flight departed 23:27hrs on Friday 17th to arrive at about 15:35 pm today.

                  “Two more evacuation flights are expected from the US to Abuja and Lagos, on the 28th and 31st of this month,” he said.


                  The Nigerian government had on July 4 evacuated 335 stranded citizens from the US as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

                  Slide to see images

                  The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) who confirmed this to Channels Television said the evacuees tested negative for COVID-19 before boarding.

                  It, however, stated that they would remain in 14-day isolation before reuniting with their families.

                  Over 2,000 Nigerians have so far been evacuated from various parts of the world, among those who have indicated interest to return home following the COVID-19 pandemic.


                  FG, WAEC yes shift in WASSCE date


                  …School proprietors get July 29 deadline to meet guidelines for reopening

                  The Federal Government and West African Examination Council have agreed to shift the date of West African Senior School Certificate Examination from the August 4 to September 5, 2020, earlier announced by the Council.

                  Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who made this known on Friday in Abuja, said this was the outcome of a meeting between the Federal Government and officials of WAEC in Nigeria on Monday and that both parties have agreed to further consult with four other countries on new examination date.

                    The Minister also the government has given school owners in the country up to 29th July 2020 to meet specific guidelines towards the reopening of schools at a date to be announced in due course.

                    He said the Ministry, having consulted widely, has in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control,(NCDC), the Education in Emergencies Working Group, developed and circulated guidelines for the reopening of schools.


                    Director, Information, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Bem Goong, in a statement quoted the minister as saying that the school owners were to prepare and comply with the guidelines.

                    Nwajuiba urged the schools to undertake self-assessment and send feedback to State Ministries of Education, not later than 29th July 2020.

                    “Thereafter, consultations with relevant stakeholders will be held to review the situation and decide on a specific date for reopening or otherwise,” he said.

                    The Minister further noted that having taken the painful but necessary decision not to reopen schools without necessary preparations to ensure the safety of students and teachers, the Federal Ministry of Education has continued consultations with stakeholders, and a mechanism to assess and monitor compliance shall be put in place.


                    According to him, since Tuesday last week, “we have consulted widely with stakeholders in the sector, including Commissioners of Education in all the states of the federation, the Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria,(APSON), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools,(NAPPS), Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, some State Governors, and development partners.

                    “On WAEC, we met with WAEC on Monday and have agreed to further consult with four other countries on new examination date.

                    “We appreciate the concern shown by all stakeholders and note the divergent views expressed on the matter, the Minister added.

                    “Parents should be rest assured that the safety of our students and teachers is paramount as we work assiduously towards the speedy reopening of our schools for the exit classes to take external examinations,” he said.


                    Saraki smiles as Court order FG to return forfeited properties


                    The Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the return of two houses belonging to former Nigeria Senate President Bukola Saraki that were forfeited to the Nigerian government.

                    The Federal High Court in Lagos in 2019, ordered the interim forfeiture of two properties located at Ilorin, Kwara State capital.

                      Nigeria’s anti-graft agency the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an exparte application filed by its lawyer Nnaemeka Omewa alleged that they were acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.


                      The judge Rilwan Aikawa, in December 2019, granted an interim forfeiture of Saraki’s houses located at Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State, through an ex parte motion filed by the EFCC.

                      Giving the order on Thursday, Aikawa ruled that there is no sufficient basis in the EFCC application for the permanent forfeiture of Saraki’s houses.

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                      Court orders Atiku, Saraki to pay N5m Damages to Trader, presidency react.

                      Reacting to the interim forfeiture order in 2019, Saraki said EFCC’s claims were outrightly false that he acquired the properties illegally.

                      Saraki had resisted the forfeiture of his Ilorin houses on several occasions, saying the act was a witch hunt by the EFCC.


                      “The EFCC’s claim that the Ilorin property was built by any proceeds of fraud is outrightly false. One can only see that EFCC is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its cheap attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy,” Saraki said.

                      Bukola Saraki

                      Saraki said the Ilorin property was built partly by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 while he funded the remaining cost of the building with his personal funds.

                      Delivering judgement on EFCC’s application for permanent forfeiture of the properties on Thursday, the Federal Court judge, Rilwan Aikawa, said there is no sufficient basis to forfeit the properties.

                      Justice Aikawa said he could not find his way through to grant the permanent forfeiture order. He ordered the release of Saraki’s Ilorin houses.


                      FG begin Special Public Works Programme Nationwide


                      The Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government has kicked off nationwide.

                      More to come


                      Discard ministers for school resumption halt – Afenifere tells FG


                      The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere has condemned the decision of the Federal Government that schools should remain closed in the country until further notice.

                      The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the ministers of education for planning to ground education for a year.

                      The Secretary-General of the association, Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa, said the Federal Government should have allowed pupils to resume and find means of protecting them against coronavirus disease.

                      He said, “Adamu Adamu should be sacked, he cannot bring our school system back to the stone age. They had about six months to plan for these children what did the Federal Government do?

                      “It means the two of them (Adamu and the Minister of State for Education) don’t know what they are doing, so they should go. I think the two ministers in the ministry should go. Why would one say the pupils should resume to take their paper in August and the other minister would come and reverse the order?”



                      COVID-19: Nigeria develop test kits


                      The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the indigenous development and validation of RNA-Swift in the country.

                      RNA-Swift is a test kit used for the identification of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19.

                      According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the development of the test kit was aimed at speeding up effective testing of Nigerians during the pandemic.


                      The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, talking to reporters in Abuja said;

                      “The RNA-Swift has amazing precision for the detection of SARS-COV-2 and will be commercially available at a price that places it ahead of competitors in terms of sensitivity and affordability.”

                      “I want to confirm to you that the RNA-Swift product team is in consultation with the African Development Bank for the funding of an African-wide testing programme for COVID-19 and the establishment for RNA-Swift production in Nigeria,” he stated.



                      ANCOPPS: We don’t understand FG’s U-turn on WAEC


                      Principals of secondary schools nationwide under the aegis of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) have also expressed surprise over Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu’s announcement on Wednesday withdrawing all the SS3 students in all the 104 Federal Government colleges nationwide from participating in the forthcoming West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) being conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

                      It said the association was fully represented at the education stakeholders’ meetings on Tuesday where they were all voluntarily agreed that WAEC could go ahead with its pending exam with all safety guidelines and protocols applied.

                      The national president of the association, Mr Anselm Izuagie, said this in an exclusive interview on Thursday, noting that the sudden twist by the government on the exam is still baffling them more than 24 hours after the minister’s pronouncement.

                      He said both the Federal and various state government had representatives at the said meeting with the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, as the chairman.


                      He added, “The representatives of WAEC, National Examinations Council (NECO) and the National Board for Technical Education (NABTE) and other critical stakeholders in the sector were also in attendance.

                      “We all reviewed and considered the safety of everyone who would be involved in the exam and promised that all hands would be on deck to ensure no lapses is recorded only for the minister to announce the contrary the following day. That is why the news is shocking to us and also confusing.

                      “But all the same, we ANCOPPS will meet tomorrow with the NUT to review the whole issue and take position and make it public.”



                      Makinde ignore FG – insist Oyo WAEC will hold


                      Oyo State government has announced that SSS3 students in the state would continue their preparation for the examination, despite the federal government’s stance on 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

                      The state commissioner for education, science and technology, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, said that Governor Seyi Makinde-led government is still assessing the situation. The commissioner, however, noted that the state’s schools remained open with students in SSS3 continuing preparation for WASSCE.

                      The minister of education, Adamu Adamu, had on Wednesday, July 8, noted that the secondary school students preparing for their final examinations would not be able to return to school any time soon because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


                      Speaking with journalists in his office, on Thursday, July 9, on the latest federal government’s position, Olaleye said that the state was also watching out for the reaction of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to the development. While acknowledging that WASSCE was a critical part of education for all students in the state, Olaleye pointed out that the state would make its position known based on its assessment of the prevailing situation.

                      Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde

                      While stating that the federal government’s directive was specifically for its schools, Olaleye said the state’s schools remained open in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. “I listened to the federal minister of education and he was emphatic about FG schools. We have resumed in Oyo state and you must have seen the level of compliance to COVID-19 protocols by our schools.

                      “If you go to our schools, you will see that our senior students are still learning and the preparation for WAEC is ongoing. The examination is part of educational development. So the state government will assess the situation especially because of the fact that WAEC is an integral part of educational development hence it cannot be ignored. “WAEC is a regional examination that involves five countries so we are waiting for the reaction of WAEC. The state government will then assess the situation,” Olaleye said.



                      Storyline: FG’s plan to rearrest Sowore leaks


                      Nigerian Government has continued to adopt various strategies to keep the activist out of circulation including a plot to now rearrest him for no reason.

                      The national leadership of the African Action Congress has accused the Nigerian Government of planning to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters and convener of #RevolutionNow Movement.

                      According to the AAC, the government planned using the Department of State Services to rearrest Sowore, who is the National Chairman of the party, and other activists on Friday and put them away before August 5, which is the first anniversary of the now famous #RevolutionNow protest.

                      “We have be informed about a plan to rearrest our National Chairman, @YeleSowore, and urge all Nigerians and @aacparty members nationwide and globally to be on alert as we will not tolerate another lawless and repressive act from @MBuhari regime.”


                      Sowore was arrested in the early hours of August 3, 2019 by operatives of the Department of State Services for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations on August 5 to demand a better country from the administration of President Buhari.

                      Omoyele Sowore

                      He was kept in unlawful detention from that period until December 5, 2019 when he was finally released on bail despite two court orders earlier sanctioning his freedom.

                      In a twist of event, DSS operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, 2019 to rearrest him without any court order.

                      He remained in unlawful detention until 18 days later when he was released by the secret police for the second time.


                      At the resumption of his trial in a case brought against him by the Nigerian Government, the prosecution failed to prove accusations against him and even went ahead to dropping seven of the charges earlier preferred against him.

                      Groups and high-raking individuals from around the world have described the charges against Sowore as baseless and a waste of time.

                      The journalist remains confined to Abuja as one of his bail conditions forbids him from leaving the city or speaking with journalists until the end of his trial.

                      The Nigerian Government has continued to adopt various strategies to keep the activist out of circulation including a plot to now rearrest him for no reason.



                      FG announces traffic diversion point amid 3rd mainland bridge closure


                      The Federal Government has announced the different phase’s points of diversion of traffic during the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repair works.

                      Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Engr Olukayode Popoola, who disclosed this during a press conference at Alausa, appealed to motorists and Lagos residents to cooperate with government and appropriate agencies during the 6 months partial closure which is expected to start on July 24.

                      Engr. Popoola revealed that there would be diversion of traffic in 2 phases during the partial closure of the bridge between Friday, July 24, 2020 and January 24, 2021.

                      He said the First Phase of the diversion, which will last for 3 months of repairs of the Oworonsoki bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm from Oworonshoki to Lagos Island on the Lagos Island-bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00 pm to 12:00 am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Lagos Island-bound lane.


                      Engr. Popoola said the Phase 2 of the diversion, which would last also for three months of repairs of the Lagos Island-bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm from Oworonsoki to Lagos Island on the Oworonsoki bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00 pm to 12:00 am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Oworonsoki bound lane.

                      Popoola said, “Motorists are advised to also ply these alternative routes: First, from Carter Bridge through Iddo through Oyingbo to join Adekunle ramp inward Oworonsoki. Secondly, from Ijora Olopa through Western Avenue to Ikorodu Road.”

                      On his own part, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said priority will be given to those driving from Mainland to the Island in morning and afternoon to use the Third Mainland while those driving against traffic will use the alternative routes.

                      Dr. Oladeinde assured motorists that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will work with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in all the alternative routes to ensure that motorists have a smooth journey during the partial closure of the bridge.


                      The commissioner advised those who don’t have any genuine reason to be on the road to stay at home to reduce vehicular movement during this period while adding that the public vehicles would be available and affordable for road users.

                      Dr. Oladeinde also advised people of Lagos State to use alternative transport such as ferries. He said there will be an increase in the number of fleets by the Lagos Ferry Services in the morning for people from Ikorodu and Mile 2 as alternative transportation.

                      Also speaking, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, said Lagos State Government has commenced necessary preparatory works on all the alternative routes in the state to make them motorable for the commuters.

                      She also warned trucks and vehicles that are not road worthy or serviceable to stay away from Lagos roads.



                      FG approves N108bn road project for 4 states in Nigeria


                      The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N108 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of road projects in four states of the federation.

                      The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the seventh virtual meeting of the council in Abuja, said the projects were located in Adamawa, Borno, Enugu and Rivers States.

                      He said the council approved an augmentation of existing contract by N25 billion for the completion of the Lokponta section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway.


                      The minister said: “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented two memoranda.

                      “The first one was to aid the completion of the Lokponta section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway.

                      Minister of works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola

                      “It was the augmentation of an existing contract by N25 billion and the council approved that augmentation.”

                      Fashola said the council also approved the award of three different roads.


                      “The first is Dikwa-Marte-Monguno road for N60.273 billion and the Numan road linking Borno and Adamawa for N15.527 billion.

                      “The third is for Gombi-Biu linking Adamawa and Borno also for N7.643 billion,” he added.

                      Also at the briefing, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the council approved an agreement between the Kaduna Polytechnic (KADPOLY) and an investor to renovate 18 blocks of students’ hostels.

                      He said the contract which is a 15-year concession at the cost of N744.264 million is under a Renovate Operate, Maintain, and Transfer (ROMT) arrangement.



                      Senate want FG to name Ibadan Airport after Ajimobi


                      The Senate has told the Federal Government to rename the Ibadan Airport after late Senator Abiola Ajimobi who died a few days ago.

                      Ajimobi died on June 25, of COVID-19 complications.

                      At the Senate plenary on Tuesday July 7, Senator Abdulfatahi Buhari moved the motion proposing the renaming of the airport after Ajimobi and it was seconded by Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Senator Buhari had eulogized the late Ajimobi, who was a member of the 5th Senate from 2003 to 2007.

                      The red chamber thereafter observed a minute silence in honor of Ajimobi.



                      FG reveal why Magu was interrogated despite suspension


                      The Presidency has revealed the reason for the interrogation of the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

                      A presidency source who spoke to State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday said that they needed Magu to clear himself.

                      NRM quoted the source as saying the probe of the anti-graft boss was an affirmation that nobody under “the present administration is above scrutiny’’.

                      He maintained that the investigation of the EFCC boss was to reinforce the Buhari administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability.


                      The source affirmed that the holder of an elevated office such as the chairman of the EFCC must be above suspicion.

                      He assured that the Buhari administration will not prejudge anyone as it can be counted on to uphold justice and fairness.

                      The source said the panel investigating allegations against Magu has been
                      “sitting for some weeks”.


                      “In consonance with the principle of fairness and justice, it was needful that the Ag. Chairman be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations, which are weighty in nature.

                      EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu/File

                      “Under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, nobody is above scrutiny. Repeat: nobody. The investigation is to reinforce transparency and accountability, rather than to vitiate it.

                      “Accountability for our actions or inactions is an inalienable part of democracy. In such an elevated position as that of EFCC Chairman, the holder of the position must be above suspicion.

                      “There’s no prejudgment – absolutely none. The Buhari administration can be counted on to uphold fairness and justice at all times.”



                      FG should provide indicted soldiers over allege kidnapping – Falana


                      A Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has asked the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to produce the indicted soldiers involved in the brutal murder of three policemen over suspected kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu in court for trial.

                      Falana made this call on Sunday via a statement he personally issued.

                      The legal practitioner noted that the military’s court-martial lacks the competence to try the soldiers for terrorism offences committed against police personnel or other members of the public.

                      He argued that the terrorism offence allegedly carried out by the soldiers were not provided for in the Armed Forces Act.

                      “With respect, the offence of terrorism allegedly committed by the indicted soldiers are not provided for in the Armed Forces Act.

                      “To that extent, a general court-martial or special court-martial lacks the jurisdictional competence to try the offence of terrorism committed against police personnel and other members of the public by soldiers who are subject to service law.


                      For the avoidance of doubt, Section 32 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended by the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013 provides that “The Federal High Court located in any part of Nigeria, regardless of the location where the offence is committed, shall have jurisdiction to (a) try offences under this Act or any other related enactment; (b) hear and determine proceedings arising under this Act,” the statement partly read.

                      (FILE PHOTO) Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana

                      SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE


                      The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN was reported to have said that the soldiers indicted in the brutal murder of 3 policemen who arrested a suspected kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (alias Wadume) could be tried by a court-martial. According to the Minister, “They are military personnel. First, they are to go through the in-house processes. There are two options – either to charge them before the court-martial which is a special court established by law for the trial of soldiers or in the alternative for the military after consummation of the in-house processes should consider handing them over for trial.”


                      With respect, the offence of terrorism allegedly committed by the indicted soldiers are not provided for in the Armed Forces Act. To that extent, a general court-martial or special court-martial lacks the jurisdictional competence to try the offence of terrorism committed against police personnel and other members of the public by soldiers who are subject to service law. For the avoidance of doubt, Section 32 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended by the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act 2013 provides that “The Federal High Court located in any part of Nigeria, regardless of the location where the offence is committed, shall have jurisdiction to (a) try offences under this Act or any other related enactment; (b) hear and determine proceedings arising under this Act”.

                      Hence, the indicted soldiers were properly charged with terrorism along with other suspects in the only competent court in the land. However, since the military authorities did not release the suspects to the Police for the purpose of arraigning them in court the learned trial judge, the Honourable Justice Binta Nyako rightly ordered the Chief of Army Staff to produce them to answer to the heinous charge of terrorism and allied offences. Even though the Attorney- General withdrew the charges against the indicted soldiers the order that they be produced in court for arraignment has not been vacated or quashed either by the trial court or the Court of Appeal. Therefore, the Attorney-General is duty-bound by to ensure full and unconditional compliance with the valid and subsisting order of the federal high court in accordance with section 287 (3) of the Constitution.

                      Femi Falana SAN



                      Nigerian govt reveal plan to end DStv’s market monopoly


                      Federal Government of Nigeria has disclosed plans to discontinue the monopoly enjoyed by cable television service providers, especially Digital Satellite Television, owned by MultiChoice, a South Africa-based company, NRM reports.

                      Only DStv currently broadcasts major football competitions in Nigeria, especially the English Premier League.

                      The government said it had amended Nigeria’s broadcasting code to prevent DStv and others from monopolising their channels and contents in the grand strategy which includes ending exclusive rights to sporting events.

                      The House has been probing DStv for allegedly cheating its Nigerian subscribers by restricting them to prepaid plans and increasing its subscription rates on June 1, 2020, despite the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on the people.

                      At the continuation of the investigative hearings organised by an ad hoc committee of the House on the matter in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had dismissed claims by DStv that pay-per-view was not proper for the Nigerian market.


                      Mohammed noted that StarTimes, the cable arm of the Nigerian Television Authority, was already operating for some years.

                      In an audio recording obtained by our correspondent, Mohammed could be heard responding to questions from the lawmakers.

                      The minister said, “On the issue of increase in price for subscribers, with the onset of COVID-19, one of the first things we did in the ministry with the NBC (National Broadcasting Commission) was to provide succour to broadcasters.

                      “We suspended payment for the initial two months to all broadcasters so that they would be able to absorb the impact of COVID-19. Therefore, it will be unfair for those for whom we have suspended payment to also at the same time increase their own fees. And I’m sure that the DG of NBC will take up this matter.”


                      On the issue of monopoly, Mohammed stated that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had in 2019 set up a board of enquiry to look into the activities of broadcasting stations, to ascertain the potency of the broadcasting code and broadcasting act to curtail and regulate the industry against excesses.

                      He added, “We took that opportunity also to make right recommendations to Mr President, including the breaking of the monopoly of the various giant operators. It is to the credit of Mr President that he did approve those recommendations.”

                      Mohammed noted that some recommendations would require that the National Assembly amend the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Act.

                      The minister said, “You will notice, in recent weeks, a lot of attacks on the ministry as a result of these amendments. These amendments have actually struck at the heart of monopoly. These amendments are, for once, giving back to Nigerians their own industry.”


                      Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Mr Unyime Idem, asked Mohammed and the acting Director General of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, to order DStv to suspend its recent rates’ increment.

                      Mohammed immediately ordered the Idachaba to issue the notice. Idem had stated that the minister and all stakeholders present should ensure and commence full implementation of its directives.

                      The House committee’s order included “a marching order to the service providers, particularly Multichoice’s DStv, to reverse the recent June 1, 2020 price hike and revert to the old price as this is not the best of times to increase the prices of services, no matter the reasons for such increase, taking into consideration the ravaging effect of COVID-19 on the economy of Nigerians.”

                      It added, “Come up with a robust strategy to break the monopoly and open up the industry for larger participation. PAYG regime for the digital TV broadcasting in Nigeria, with particular reference to DStv, GOtv, StarTimes and Kwese TV.