TRENDING NOW

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, has announced the appointment of two senior officers to strategic management positions within the Nigeria Police Force.


This move is part of ongoing efforts to enhance the efficiency of the force and strengthen international crime-fighting collaborations.


AIG Yetunde Longe has been appointed as the new Force Secretary, while AIG Idowu Owohunwa has been assigned to the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) in Abuja.


The appointments were disclosed in a statement released on Tuesday by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi. The statement highlighted that these postings are aimed at improving the operational effectiveness of the Nigeria Police Force and its multinational approach to tackling crimes.


In her new role, AIG Longe will be responsible for overseeing the secretarial functions at Force Headquarters, ensuring the implementation of the IGP’s policies and directives, and coordinating the affairs of senior police officers.


AIG Owohunwa, on the other hand, will focus on enhancing international police cooperation and ensuring Nigeria meets its obligations within the global INTERPOL framework.


“The Inspector General of Police, while commending the senior police officers for their dedication and service to the Nigeria Police Force, emphasized that their new assignments are a testament to their exceptional abilities and the trust the Force places in their capabilities,” the statement read.


Adejobi also noted that these postings take immediate effect and follow the retirement of their predecessors.


These appointments are expected to bring a new level of efficiency and international cooperation to the Nigeria Police Force, furthering its mission to ensure national and international security.


A train bound for Abuja from Kaduna State crushed twin children Hassana and Hussaina Barau to death in Kuchiko village, a border community between the FCT’s Bwari Area Council and Niger State’s Tafa Local Government Area.


The victims were supposed to celebrate their second birthday in July of this year.


Andrew Dogonyaro, a community leader, confirmed the incident to the Daily Trust on Tuesday, May 29, 2024, saying it occurred around 10 a.m. on Saturday.


“The children used to visit their neighbours on their own. That’s how they got out of their home that day without anyone being aware,” he explained.


“A man sighted them from afar facing each other on the track and he attempted to take them off the track following horns from the train but it was late.”


He added that the accident was first reported at the police outpost in Sabon-Bwari and later at the Sabon-Wuse Division in Tafa LGA of Niger State.


The spokesperson of the Niger State Police Command, SP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident.


“Information was received that on 24/5/2024, a moving train from Abuja heading to Kaduna crushed two girls named Hassana Baro and Hussaina Baro, who were about one year and six months old to death, while playing on the railway at Kuchiko village, via New-Bwari area in Tafa LGA,” he said.


He said the incident would be referred to the Railway Division, Kubwa, Abuja for further investigation and necessary action.


 


 

The federal government led by Bola Tinubu has begun free distribution of filled cooking gas cylinders to rural women in Abuja’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).


Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), launched the distribution exercise in Abuja on Tuesday, May 28.


The campaign is being carried out by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources as part of the Decade of Gas Outreach Programme.


Platinumpost reports that the project aims to benefit 250,000 homes across the country each year for the next four years. During the program’s initial phase, the ministry handed the cylinders to approximately 1,000 women from various Abuja local councils. According to the government, the distribution would be extended to other states in due course.


Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the programme, the Coordinating Director, Decade of Gas Programme, Ed Ubong, said the distribution of cooking gas to rural women was in line with the President Bola Tinubu’s initiative on gas.


“As part of the LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) grassroot programme, we will be committed to see how we can move over a million cooking gas cylinders to mainly women in rural areas, which is why we came here in Apo. We could have stayed in the central part of Abuja, but here we tried to cover all the general areas in Abuja district,” Ubong said.


“Cooking gas, of course, is cleaner. Nigeria has significant gas resources, so we partner with the private sector players, working under the supervision of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) to see how we deploy over one million cylinders, about 250,000 every year to all parts of Nigeria, regional areas and states.


“This is the pilot phase and we are committed towards this as we move more Nigerians to start using gas. Today we are distributing about 1,000 cylinders filled with cooking gas here in Abuja.”


Asked to state those funding the project, Ubong replied, “It is funded by the private sector. And we are giving it out for free. The gas cylinders are filled for free and they have stoves on them. Also, a training will be done for free.


“When we get the right sponsorship we may even begin to refill for free. But this is a journey we have taken and we hope Nigerians will support us to deploy as many cooking gas to rural women and eliminate all forms of charcoal, firewood and kerosene usage.”


On how beneficiaries were selected, Ubong said the Decade of Gas programme “worked very closely with the local council representatives who know where all the rural women are. The Smart Gas team also visited the women in their homes to be sure that we are giving out these cooking gas to the right women.


“A key part of this programme is documentation. Each of the women that received cylinders, we collected their numbers, we know their addresses and we will continue to work with them to ensure that they are actually utilising these gas cylinders.”


Ubong explained that all key players in the oil and gas sector were sponsoring the Decade of Gas programme, noting that funding for the free cooking gas distribution was coming from these sponsors.


“The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) chairs the Decade of Gas Committee, but we have a huge range of sponsors, possibly everybody in the oil and gas sector. From indigenous oil and gas producers to international oil companies, they are part of the Decade of Gas programme,” he stated.


On his part, the minister described the exercise as the inaugural LPG penetration programme and LPG bottle distribution, which is part of the clean cooking initiative of President Tinubu.


Ekpo said, “This event is a crucial milestone in our common journey towards a cleaner, better, and more prosperous Nigeria. This event is an ideal fit for the President’s theme, ‘From Gas to Prosperity; Renewed Hope.’


“We are not only introducing a programme today, we are on a mission to change millions of Nigerians’ lives in our six geographical zones. By 2030, we want to convert 250,000 houses a year to clean cooking gas, which is a lofty but attainable target.


“This programme is evidence of our steadfast dedication to lessening the over-reliance on solid fuels, which for a long time served as many households’ primary source of energy and include firewood, kerosene, and charcoal.”


Ekpo said it was impossible to overestimate the negative consequences of utilising these conventional fuels, as their contribution to deforestation, environmental degradation, and harmful health impacts from indoor air pollution was substantial.


“In order to ensure a cleaner environment, enhance public health, and promote sustainable development, we must encourage the usage and adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Our initiative today is a clear indicator that we are headed in the right direction and a direct reflection of that resolve.


“Additionally, the goal of this effort is to improve women’s inclusion and provide employment opportunities for our youth.


“Transitioning to clean cooking gas will be especially beneficial for women, who are disproportionately affected by the health effects of traditional cooking methods.


“We are advancing gender equality and economic empowerment by providing them with safer and more effective energy solutions,” the minister stated.


 

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has issued a strong condemnation following a physical altercation between its officers and operatives of the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) in Abuja.


This incident, which was captured in a viral video, took place less than a week ago at the AYA Roundabout.


In a statement released on Tuesday in Abuja, NCS National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, confirmed the incident and announced that an investigation has been launched.


“Our attention has been drawn to a video circulating on social media showing some officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in a confrontation with Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO). The NCS acknowledges that the event occurred on Friday, 24 May 2024, at AYA Roundabout, Abuja VIO Office,” Maiwada stated.


Maiwada specified that the officers involved were from the Customs Mechanical Unit stationed in Karu Barracks, Abuja. The NCS expressed deep concern and empathy for those affected by the incident and unequivocally distanced itself from the officers’ actions, which were described as self-motivated and unrepresentative of the service’s values.


Maiwada emphasized that the incident contradicts the core values and operational standards of the NCS. He noted that such behavior undermines the policy thrust of the Comptroller-General of Customs, which prioritizes collaboration with other security agencies to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians and their properties.


“The NCS, under the leadership of CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and his Management Team, strongly condemns such conduct and does not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the commitment to professionalism and inter-agency cooperation,” the statement read. “The Service remains steadfast in its mission to generate revenue, facilitate trade, and suppress smuggling to support a more robust and secure economy for all Nigerians.”


Maiwada assured the public that thorough investigations are ongoing and that appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken to prevent future occurrences. He reiterated the NCS’s dedication to maintaining high professional standards and fostering a cooperative environment with other agencies.


This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining professionalism and cooperation among Nigeria’s security and regulatory agencies to ensure the effective functioning of their duties and the safety of the public.


On Wednesday, the Federal Government, FG, informed a Federal High Court in Abuja that it will no longer pursue the alleged terrorist allegation against Alhaji Bello Bodejo, President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Kore.


Mrs. Aderonke Imana, the prosecuting counsel, said this at the case’s resumed hearing on Wednesday. In an oral application, Mrs. Imana stated that she was applying under Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.


She said the request was further predicated on the power of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) under Section 174 of the Constitution.


Mrs. Imana said: “Consequently, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation has instructed me to withdraw this charge against the defendant in the interest of justice.


“That is our humble application my lord.


Defence lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, did not oppose the prosecution’s application.


Raji thanked the AGF for his “magnanimous gesture,” adding: “We urge your lordship to discharge the accused person under the sections refers to by the prosecutor.”


Ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the discharge of Bodejo.


Justice Ekwo said: “The court is hereby moved to consider the application for the discharge of the defendant.


“Consequently, an order is hereby made discharging the defendant. That is the order of this court.”


More details to follow…


 


(Nation)

 

A former Director of Currency Operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Ahmed Umar, testified on Tuesday in an FCT High Court regarding the controversial naira redesign policy.


Umar revealed that he was not privy to the minutes of a crucial CBN management meeting on the naira redesign, central to the case against the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.


Emefiele is facing a four-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleging that he disobeyed legal directives, thereby causing public harm during the implementation of the naira swap policy initiated under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The trial is being conducted before Justice Maryann Anenih.


Mr. Umar, serving as the prosecution’s first witness (PW1), confirmed that he had signed the memorandum for the naira redesign in 2022. However, he clarified that the minutes of the October 26, 2023, Meeting of the Committee of Governors (CoG) of the CBN were not sent to him. “The minutes of the meeting were only circulated among members of the CoG,” he stated.


Led in evidence by EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, Umar detailed the process leading up to the naira redesign. He explained that the CBN management had directed the Currency Operations Department to draft a memo on the redesign of the naira notes in August 2022. Upon completion, this memo was submitted to the CoG for consideration.


The CoG, chaired by the CBN governor and comprising four deputy governors, held a meeting via Zoom on October 26, 2022, to deliberate on the submitted memo. Umar joined the meeting to present the memo but left after his presentation. He further disclosed that following the meeting, the Corporate Affairs Department conveyed an anticipatory approval from the CoG, pending ratification by the Board of Directors (BoD).


The trial continues as the court delves deeper into the proceedings and the implications of the naira redesign policy and its implementation.



(DailyNigerian)

The Kaduna State Police Command announced the arrest of a kidnapper who later confessed to his crimes, as confirmed by the command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Mansir Hassan, in a statement issued on Tuesday.


On May 22, at approximately 10:00 AM, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Saminaka Division, acting on credible intelligence, successfully apprehended Abdulkarim Maude, a 33-year-old from Tudun Wada Mariri.


The arrest took place in Upara Warsapiti, Lere Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.


Upon his arrest, Maude was found with a bag containing ₦347,000, a machete, and various criminal charms. During interrogation, Maude confessed to being part of a kidnapping ring along with one Alhaji Yakubu and two others from Binchim Village, Bassa LGA, Plateau.


The suspect revealed that the recovered money was his share of the ransom collected from the kidnapping of two tractor operators, Yau Balele (45) and Lukman Abubakar (40).


The victims were abducted on May 17, 2024, while working on the farm of Alhaji Gambo and were taken to Binchim Hills, Bassa LGA, Plateau. They were released on May 20, 2024, after the ransom was paid.


Efforts are currently underway to apprehend the remaining accomplices involved in the kidnapping. The suspect, along with the recovered items, has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigation.


Commissioner of Police Ali Dabigi reassured the public of the command’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all residents. He expressed appreciation for the ongoing support and cooperation from the public and urged everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the police.


The Kaduna State Police Command continues to work diligently to combat crime and protect its citizens, demonstrating its dedication to maintaining law and order in the region.


(NAN)

 

A mother, Lola Disu, and her son, Ahmed Disu, have been remanded at Kirikiri Prison in Lagos following their arraignment on charges of allegedly stealing office property valued at over N122 million from Uccas Resources Ltd.


Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the remand after the duo’s arraignment by the police on a 14-count charge of theft. According to the charges, Lola and Ahmed, along with other unidentified individuals, conspired to steal various properties from Uccas Resources Ltd on June 25, 2021. The company is represented by its Managing Director, Ukata Christian.


The police alleged that the accused forged a court order stating “possession taken by court order on June 25, 2021” with the intent to use it against Uccas Resources Ltd and its Managing Director. The stolen items reportedly included computers, office chairs, tables, air-conditioners, printers, scanners, copiers, industrial water filters, confidential documents, and other office equipment.


One of the specific charges stated:



“That you, Lola Disu ‘f’, Ahmed Disu ‘m’, on the same date, time, and place, within the aforesaid judicial division, did steal office properties of the Reception Desk: (a) reception tables with drawers valued at N650,000, (b) reception chairs valued at N71,000, (c) Computer (CPU, monitor, and printer; all HP Pavilion Tower Computers) (10th generation Intel Core, i7, 1.8GHz): dual storage drive 256GB valued at N861,000, (d) HP 5-in-one printer, scanner, and copier valued at N73,000, (e) Intercom connected to all offices: receiver valued at N5,000, (f) office main line 012916425 (with handset) valued at N45,000, (g) visitors memo booklet valued at N700, total value of property amount to N1.705 million, property of Uccas Resources Ltd, represented by Ukata Christian, the MD/CEO.”


The court has ordered the remand of Lola and Ahmed Disu at Kirikiri Prison pending further investigations and trial. The police continue to search for the other individuals involved in the alleged conspiracy.


Justice Awogboro emphasized the seriousness of the charges and the ongoing commitment to ensure justice is served. The remand underscores the judiciary’s resolve to address such significant allegations of theft and forgery in Lagos.


The Federal Government, FG, of Nigeria announced on Tuesday the reinstatement of its suspended social investment programme, aimed at providing financial relief to 75 million citizens across 50 million households.
This initiative is a strategic move to alleviate the hardships faced by vulnerable groups within the country.

The cash transfer programme has been revamped to tackle fraud, ensuring that the aid reaches the intended beneficiaries. Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, made this announcement during a ministerial briefing marking the first year of President Bola Tinubu’s administration in Abuja.

In January, President Tinubu suspended all programmes managed by the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) to investigate alleged mismanagement.

This suspension also included the conditional cash transfer scheme, the N-Power programme, the government enterprise and empowerment programme, and the home-grown school feeding initiative.

Following a call from the House of Representatives to resume the suspended initiatives, President Tinubu established a Special Presidential Panel led by Minister Edun to review and audit the existing frameworks of these programmes. The aim is to enhance efficiency and ensure the integrity of the social investment efforts.

Minister Edun highlighted that the government is committed to providing support to poor Nigerians. “We have restarted the social investment program, providing direct payments to 75 million Nigerians in 50 million households,” he stated. Additionally, he noted that the government has improved access to credit, allocating N1 billion to consumer credit and issuing grants of 50,000 Naira to one million nano industries.

Nigeria’s inflation rate, particularly food inflation, has been a pressing issue. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, food inflation reached 40.53 percent in April 2024. This situation has been exacerbated by the removal of petrol subsidies, causing a significant rise in the prices of goods and services.

Minister Edun emphasized the critical role of agriculture in combating food insecurity and supporting economic growth. The government has allocated N200 billion for agricultural intervention programmes, aiming to boost food security and reduce inflation. Edun also mentioned ongoing discussions with development partners on the President’s emergency plan for food security.

To curb corruption, the government has initiated direct payments to contractors, suppliers, and vendors. This measure is designed to ensure the nation’s wealth is spent prudently and accountably. Minister Edun revealed plans to roll out an Economic Emergency Plan within the next six months, focusing on stabilizing the economy and fostering growth.


“The government is committed to counterbalancing the negative effects of economic reforms with interventions across the social spectrum,” Edun said. This includes setting up a fund to support housing construction and low-interest mortgages for the average Nigerian.

Minister Edun also highlighted efforts to attract investments, particularly in the oil and gas sector, and to promote the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and renewable energy sources. These initiatives are expected to bring in significant investments and enhance productivity.

Furthermore, Nigeria’s international credit rating has improved, with agencies like Moody’s and Fitch upgrading the country’s ratings to positive. This improvement, alongside the settlement of a $200 million shareholding with the Islamic Development Bank, has bolstered confidence in Nigeria’s financial stability.

Infrastructure development remains a key focus for the government. A new fund has been established to provide long-term support for housing projects and low-interest mortgages. Additionally, the government is addressing wage reforms, ensuring compliance with the national minimum wage laws.

Minister Edun reiterated that the challenges faced by the Nigerian economy are inherited from previous administrations. However, the current government is dedicated to resolving these issues and setting Nigeria on a path of sustainable growth.

“We are now in a situation where the revenue of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been revamped and increased substantially,” he noted. This financial rejuvenation has positioned the government to comfortably service its debts and meet its financial obligations.

The reinstatement and overhaul of the social investment programme reflect the Nigerian government’s commitment to improving the welfare of its citizens, ensuring economic stability, and fostering growth through strategic reforms and investments.

 

(Punch)

As President Bola Tinubu approaches his first anniversary in office, a surprising contradiction has emerged between his spokesmen, Bayo Onanuga and Ajuri Ngelale, regarding the nature of his address on this milestone.


President Tinubu, who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, will complete one year in office on Wednesday. However, conflicting statements from his spokesmen have caused confusion about how the president will mark the occasion.


Bayo Onanuga announced that President Tinubu would not deliver a nationwide broadcast but would instead address a joint session of the National Assembly. Onanuga stated, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not make a broadcast to the nation on Wednesday to celebrate his first anniversary as the leader of Nigeria. Instead, the President will address a joint session of the National Assembly, which has lined up a programme to commemorate 25 years of the nation’s democratic journey at both the executive and legislative levels.”


Onanuga further detailed that the president’s speech would focus on his administration’s achievements and the progress of Nigeria’s democracy since the transition from military rule in 1999.


He also mentioned that prominent figures such as former Senate President David Mark, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, and former military ruler General Abdulsalami Abubakar would also address the parliament.


Following the speeches, President Tinubu was expected to commission the National Assembly Library and Resource Center, now named the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Building.


Contradicting Onanuga’s statement, Ajuri Ngelale issued a clarification that the information about the president addressing the National Assembly was false and unauthorized. Ngelale asserted, “In view of public commentary concerning the President delivering a speech before a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly tomorrow, May 29, 2024, it is important to state that this information is false and unauthorized as the Office of the President was not involved in the planning of the event.”


The conflicting messages from Onanuga and Ngelale have left the public and media puzzled about the president’s actual plans for his first anniversary in office. The reason for the contradictory accounts remains unclear, raising questions about communication and coordination within the presidential team.


As Nigerians await clarity, the incident underscores the importance of coherent and unified messaging from the President’s Office, especially regarding significant events that capture national attention.



(DailyTrust)


Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), has named Abuja’s southern parkway after President Bola Tinubu.


The southern parkway stretches from the Christian Centre to Ring Road One and is considered one of the city’s major spines.


Wike made the announcement on Tuesday at the commissioning of the project executed by the FCT administration.


The minister said the project was completed in line with the president’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’, 13 years after construction commenced, adding that it would ease free flow of traffic in the FCT.


The southern parkway complements the northern parkway, the major arterial known as Sani Abacha road that runs across Mabushi and terminates at Life Camp.


The project was commissioned by Tinubu who had just returned from an official trip to Lagos, where he flagged off the construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway which began in March.


The president also oversaw the official commissioning of the reconstructed Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota expressway and the rehabilitated Third Mainland Bridge.


The president also virtually inaugurated the rehabilitation of 330 roads and bridges nationwide.


ONE YEAR OF TINUBU ADMINISTRATION: EX-PRESIDENT BUHARI CONVEYS GOOD WISHES TO PRESIDENT.


Former President Muhammadu Buhari extends his best wishes to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the completion of his first year in office.


The former President appealed to all citizens to continue to strengthen the thread of national unity and goodwill.


He also appealed to them to give their blessings and support to the Tinubu administration so that it can succeed in its efforts to build a Nigeria of our dreams.


President Buhari expressed his wish for a successful tenure in office by the Tinubu administration.


Signed:

Garba Shehu.

28-5-24.

Chioma Okoli was arraigned on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at the Federal High Court in Abuja before Hon. Justice Peter Lifu.


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Chioma Okoli to be remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre over the review of Tomato products made by Erisco Foods Limited on Facebook.


Chioma Okoli was arraigned on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at the Federal High Court in Abuja before Hon. Justice Peter Lifu.


Okoli pleaded not guilty to the two counts of conspiracy and cyberstalking levelled against her.

She was remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre till Friday 31st May, 2024 for ruling on her bail application.


Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, along with S. M Oyeghe appeared for Chioma while Abdulrashid Isyaku-Sidi appeared for the Inspector General of Police.


Okoli’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, told the court that his client suffered miscarriage in the course of the case and eventually lost her baby.

Recall that the CEO of Erisco Foods, Eric Omeofia, had alleged in 2023 that a negative product review by a customer, Chioma Egodi, negatively impacted his business when she claimed that the Nagiko Tomota Mix she bought had too much sugar.


Okoli was eventually arrested by the police in September 2023 with her lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, raising alarm that the fundamental right of his client was being breached by the police and Omeofia.


Okoli is standing bordering on conspiracy and cyberstalking leveled against her.


The counts read, “That you Chioma Edoka Okoli also known as Chioma Egodi Jnr, Happiness Obas now at large And Don Kashking now at large ‘m’ of on or about sometime in the month of September 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired among yourself and intentionally sent a message by means of computer and social media network such as Facebook, by using your Facebook handle by name Chioma Egodi Jnr, with the intention of instigating people against Erisco Foods Limited, knowing the said information to be false and with intent to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will, or needless anxiety to Erisco Foods Limited, the management, and members of the family, thereby committed an offense contrary and punishable under Section 27 (1) (B) Cyber Crime Prohibition Act.


“That you Chioma Edoka Okoli also known as Chioma Egodi Jnr, Happiness Obas now at large and Don Kashking now at large ‘m’ of on or about sometime in the month of September, 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court intentionally send a message by means of computer and social media network such as Facebook, by using your Facebook handle by name Chioma Egodi Jnr, with the intention of instigating Erisco Foods Limited, knowing the said information to be false and with intent to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to Erisco Foods Limited, the management, and members of the family, and thereby committed an offense contrary and punishable under Section 24 (1) (B) Cyber Crime Prohibition Act.”

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has recommended President Bola Tinubu’s administration to implement six measures to resuscitate the economy and get the country out of its current economic crisis.


Atiku, who is also the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential contender in 2023, gave the suggestion when analysing President Tinubu’s first year in office.


Tinubu’s first year in power has been described as a “cocktail of trial-and-error economic policies” by him.


Atiku, however, proposed six things Tinubu’s administration’must undertake’ to turn the economy around.


First, he asked President Tinubu to pause and reflect on the policies his administration had initiated.


“It is important that the government understands what reforms must be undertaken and in what sequence. A framework is needed with clearly stated reform objectives and strategies,” he advised.


He said, “Second, undertake a comprehensive review of the 2024 budget within the new reform framework. The 2024 FGN Budget, the exact size of which remains a mystery, is not designed to address the structural defects of the Nigerian economy or the cost-of-living crisis. It will neither create prosperity nor promote opportunities for our young people to lead a productive life.


“The review must prioritise fiscal measures to deal with an unprecedented rise in commodity prices. Higher commodity prices have created more misery for the poor in our towns and villages and have pushed millions of people below the poverty line. One of such measures for immediate implementation will be to ease the existing restrictions on selected food imports.


“Third, undertake a comprehensive review of the Social Investment Programme (SIP) to mitigate some of the impact of these policies on the most vulnerable households.


“The SIP must go beyond Conditional Cash Transfers to include programmes that prioritize support to MSEs across all the economic sectors, as they offer the greatest opportunities for achieving inclusive growth. In addition, a holistic programme to support medium and large-scale enterprises to navigate the stormy seas in the aftermath of the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS is also needed.


“Fourth, Tinubu must be cautioned against any attempt to further pauperize the poor by introducing new taxes or increasing tax rates. We are aware of the behind-the-scenes attempts to increase VAT rate from 7.5% to 10%, re-introduce excise on telecommunication, and increase excise rates on a range of goods.


“It needs to be restated that we cannot tax our way out of this situation. Instead, Tinubu must see the need for expenditure rationalization and restraint – by having the budget more in sync with Nigeria’s fiscal reality, by improving efficiency in revenue utilization, improving procurement processes and trimming the size of government – and therefore reducing the cost of governance.”


Fifth, the former vice president advised the administration to provide clarity on the fuel subsidy regime, including the fiscal commitments and benefits from the fuel subsidy reform and the impact on the Federation Accounts.



He said, “It is curious that since April 2024, fuel queues had mounted at many filling stations across Nigeria, and the infamous ‘black market’ has sprouted in several states.”


“How much PMS is being imported and distributed, and at what cost? What is the implicit subsidy,” he asked.


He continued, “Sixth, tackle security headlong. President Tinubu, as a matter of priority, needs to rejig the nation’s security architecture as what is currently in place is not serving the needs of the people.


“The state of pervasive insecurity continues to adversely impact agricultural production and the value it brings to the economy, especially in the Northern parts of the country.


“Insecurity resulting from terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling has compelled many crop farmers and pastoralists to abandon their lands and relocate to the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad, and Cameroun.


“This has drastically caused a reduction in the production of food and skyrocketed prices of foodstuffs. Food scarcity in Nigeria is so dire that a report by Cadre Harmonize warns that between June and August this year, about 31.5 million Nigerians may face severe food shortages and scarcity.”


Atiku said that he had always been a reform advocate, adding that the Nigerian economy requires a large dose of reforms to accelerate its transformation after many years of lacklustre growth.


However, he explained that the difference is that he understands the appropriate reforms to undertake and what steps to take each time to mitigate their negative impact.


He said, “In my Policy Document, I had anticipated that the withdrawal of subsidy and unification of exchange rates could, in the absence of fundamental interventions, impact negatively on micro and small enterprises in the informal sector and on the medium to large enterprises in the formal sector.


“I had also anticipated that such policies could elevate the levels of vulnerability and deprivation of poor families, including the youth and adults with no incomes. With this understanding, I had designed robust mitigation interventions that will be implemented alongside our reforms.


“I was prepared for reform fallouts. Tinubu wasn’t. However, it is not too late for him to change course and do what is right for the good of our people and our nation.”


 


The Delta State Police Command on Tuesday said that detectives attached to the Command Anti-robbery squad have arrested two suspected Kidnappers, armed robbers, disclosing that the squad recovered from the suspects beretta pistol, among others.


In a statement issued and signed by SP Bright Edafe, Police spokesman for the Command, and copy made available to our Correspondent, said that the detectives acting on revelations by some of the suspects arrested in connection to kidnapping and cultism by the command’s special squad deployed to Ughelli, on 24/05/2024 at about 1635hrs, the special team led by ASP Julius Robinson trailed and arrested one Emmanuel John Aisewowhion ‘m’ a.k.a “Small Juju“ aged 34yrs, a native of Ewohimi community Esan-South East LGA of Edo State, but resident at Uwagba Community in Okpe LGA, Delta State. One Beretta pistol was recovered from his house and investigation further revealed that he is a member of Eiye confraternity and he got the gun from one Goodluck Sakutu, a suspected gun runner already in custody. Serious efforts to arrest other members of his gang are ongoing.


The statement added that sequel to series of reported cases of cultism and gun-running in Ughellli/Warri/Sapele/Oghara and environs, operatives on special assignment in Ughelli in line with the directive of the commissioner of Police Delta State CP Abaniwonda Olufemi, embarked on an intelligence-driven policing, moved into Oghara town and arrested one notorious cultist identified as Philips Omomedia “m” aged 37 yrs of Onogo-Vor community in Ethiope West LGA Oghara Delta State.


Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect is a member of Aro-Bagar confraternity and suspected to be involved in a series of cult-related killings was arrested and one Automatic Double Barrel gun with fifteen (15) live cartridges was recovered from him. Investigation is ongoing.


SP Bright Edafe said that On 26/05/2024 at about 1700hrs a combined patrol team of policemen of the division & federal hunters who were deployed on a crime prevention patrol while on stop and search duty along Oputu road Orhowurun community in Udu LGA, flagged down a motorcyclist carrying one passenger for a routine search.


The suspect refused to stop and the team chased them, during the chase one of the suspects Christopher Semede ‘m’ age 33yrs was arrested and one locally made cut-to-size double barrel pistol was recovered from him. A concerted effort to arrest the other fleeing suspect is ongoing.


The statement further said CP Abaniwonda Olufemi however commended officers and men of the command for their steadfastness in fighting crime and urges other officers to emulate the same.


He noted that it is our collective responsibility to flush out criminals from the state in other to guarantee the safety of residents in the State.


He further urged youths to shun all forms of crime, noting that youth involvement in cult-related activities is alarming and has negative consequences for the security of the state and for this reason, the command will not fold its hands and allow lawlessness in the state.


He assured residents that the command will continue to identify, arrest, and prosecute suspects arrested until Delta State is free from all forms of criminality.


 

Minister of Works, David Umahi, made headlines on Tuesday with a surprising move during a scheduled press event in Abuja.


Journalists, eagerly waiting for the briefing, were left puzzled as the minister abruptly walked out, declaring the press to be non-existent.


The incident unfolded at the ministry’s conference room, where reporters had gathered after receiving a short notice just two hours prior. Despite the journalists’ punctuality, Umahi arrived late, at 2:50 pm, and wasted no time in reciting the national anthem and pledge before announcing the cancellation of the press conference.


“There is no press here. The press conference is not held again. When the press is ready,” Umahi declared before leaving the room, leaving the invited reporters bewildered.


Among the reporters present were representatives from reputable media outlets such as The Nation, The Guardian, Vanguard, Blueprint, Arise TV, Channels TV, and NTA. The Minister, accompanied by other ministry officials, then proceeded to his office without providing any further clarification or offering an apology for the abrupt end to the briefing.



The unexpected turn of events has sparked conversations about the relationship between the government and the media, highlighting the challenges journalists face in their efforts to cover government activities transparently.


The incident also serves as a reminder of the importance of mutual respect and understanding between the press and public officials in fostering a healthy democracy.


 

(Punch)


Fashion designer Veekee James has shared details about how she met her husband, Femi Atere, amidst controversies surrounding their relationship.


James revealed that Atere was previously a manager for one of her friends, sparking speculation about their connection.


In a recent appearance on the Channels TV programme, Rubbin’ Minds with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, James shed light on their journey together. Despite the rumors, she chose to keep the specifics of their meeting private.


“We are happy. We dated for quite a while. I think for almost two years. After a year and some months, we got engaged and then we planned the wedding for almost six months,” James said.


Their love story culminated in a lavish wedding ceremony held in Akwa Ibom last month. While controversies may surround their meeting, James and Atere are focused on their happiness together.


 

On Tuesday, the Organized Labour, consisting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), rejected a fresh minimum wage proposal of ₦60,000 from the Federal Government.


In recent negotiations, the Labour Unions had adjusted their demand slightly, from ₦497,000 to ₦494,000.


A member of the Tripartite Committee, responsible for negotiating the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers, informed Channels Television that both the Federal Government and the Organised Private Sector had increased their offer from ₦57,000 last week to ₦60,000.


Previously, the government had proposed minimum wage figures of ₦48,000 and ₦54,000, which were also turned down by the Organized Labour.



The ongoing negotiations continue to highlight the significant gap between the government’s offer and the Labour Unions’ demands.


More details to follow…


The Senate has approved the National Anthem Bill 2024, a move aimed at reinstating Nigeria’s old anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”


This bill, which platinumpost earlier reported, rapidly cleared both its first and second readings in the Senate and now awaits President Bola Tinubu’s signature to become law.


The House of Representatives had already passed the bill on Thursday, demonstrating strong legislative support for the change.


The passage of this bill marks a significant shift in Nigeria’s national identity, as “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was the country’s anthem from independence in 1960 until it was replaced in 1978.


The reinstatement reflects a desire to reconnect with Nigeria’s early post-independence history and heritage.


More details to follow…



(Punch)


A non-governmental organisation, Children of Dream and Hope Foundation has felicitated with Nigerian children at the 2024 Children's Day, describing them as the future of the nation. 


In a felicitation message on Monday signed by founder of the foundation, Juliet Clara Onwuka, she said all hands must be on deck to raise noble children on whose shoulders to destiny of our society will rest on tomorrow. 


She said, "As an organization, we rejoice with parents, guardians, and families across the nation, and call for a reinforcement of the family unit as a place where the sacred values of honesty, modesty, hard work and charity are passed down to the shining lights of tomorrow. This forms the building block for a greater society."


The foundation also called on government to increase investment in education and widen the opportunity for Nigerian children to acquire decent and affordable education. 


Juliet Onwuka also announced the readiness of her foundation to embark on the renovation of classroom blocks in select public schools in the FCT. 


A medical laboratory scientist specializing in histopathology and a UK student nurse, Onwuka said her love for humanity drove her into starting the foundation, making it about kids.

Earlier in the year, the foundation launched a N35m back-to-school fund raising programme, where it urged Nigerians to key into the dream to secure the well-being of the future generation.


Some of the items it is seeking to provide for children include, uniforms, backpacks, Writing materials, books, bulb lights, Teachers table/chairs, Pupils table/chairs, Bucket paints, Marker boards, Ceiling fans and more.