Top Nigerian Newspapers Headlines For Today, Thursday
1. FG Approves N92.1bn For Second NAIA Abuja Runway Project
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has approved N92.123 billion for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The fund was approved on Wednesday (today) during the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Buhari.
Addressing state house reporters shortly after the meeting held at the presidential villa, Abuja, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika explained that the entire fund would be spread over a number of projects to be carried out at the airport.
The approval of the huge sum is coming a day after the inauguration of a new terminal building at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
2. “This Time Around Is Different” – Says Atiku As He Officially Declares For 2023 Presidency
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed confidence about clinching the 2023 presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party and going ahead to win the 2023 presidency during the general election.
Atiku expressed the optimism and confidence on Wednesday as he officially declared interest in joining the race for the 2023 presidency at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
According to him, he has all the qualities that Nigeria needs in a leader and he is offering himself to serve as the next President of the country.
Atiku boasted that he has the idea of what is needed to fix Nigeria and is ready to be a President who understands and inspires.
While describing Nigeria as a land of opportunities, the former Vice President disclosed that he has consistently been contesting for presidency because of a passion to “rekindle the Nigerian dream.”
3. National Convention: Buni Speaks On Rift Among APC Governors
The Caretaker Chairman of the All Progressives Congress and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni has denied reports of renewed differences among governors elected on the platform of the party.
According to Buni, the Progressives Governors Forum are at peace following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buni in a statement released through his spokesman on Wednesday, Mamman Mohammed accused some people of trying to cause a rift among chieftains of the party.
He further stated that this person have plans to ignite an unsolicited crisis, just a few days before the party’s national convention.
Mohammed noted that media war, backstabbing and name-calling had stopped since the intervention of President Buhari.
4. Reps To Appeal Judgement On Section 84 (12) Of Electoral Act, Petition NJC
The House of Representatives on Wednesday revealed plans to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, asking the Attorney General of the Federation to delete section 84 (12) from the electoral act amendment bill recently signed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed the bill into law after several calls from stakeholders who believe doing so ahead of the 2023 general election will help curb excesses by politicians before, during, and after elections.
The lawmakers, however, during the plenary on Wednesday resolved also to petition the National Judicial Council (NJC) about the conduct of the judge who gave judgment against the National Assembly even when they were not necessary parties to the suit.
Members of the House expressed disappointment and displeasure with the judgment, which they said was aimed at usurping the powers of lawmaking conferred on them by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
They also asked the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami not to tamper with the law as made by the National Assembly pending the determination of all appeals related to it.
5. Fire Engulfs Popular Apongbon Market In Lagos
A fire outbreak has occurred at Apongbon market on Lagos Island on Wednesday, causing panic among traders and residents of the area.
It was learnt that many stores and properties were destroyed in the fire incident and the inferno has caused a gridlock on the Eko bridge.
Vehicles parked under the bridge were also affected by the inferno which has enveloped a large section of the bridge.
The Federal and Lagos Fire Services are at the scene of the incident, worked tirelessly to put out the fire.
6. Don’t Vent Your Frustration On Us And Nigerian Youths – PDP Replies Presidency
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being unconcerned about the suffering of Nigerians.
This is as it added that both the APC and the Muhammadu Buhari administration are frustrated and haunted by their own failures.
The party however stated that it would continue to expose the atrocities of the Buhari and APC government.
The PDP made the submission in a statement on Wednesday through its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba where it responded to the claims by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina that the opposition party was trying to destabilize Nigeria.
According to Ologunagba, APC has failed to address the challenges facing the nation and has only succeeded in bringing more troubles to the citizens due to its ineptitude and arrogance.
The presidency on Tuesday accused the PDP of scheming to destabilize Nigeria so it can get back to power in 2023.
The presidency statement added that PDP is unpatriotic and doesn’t wish the country well.
The statement cautioned that the PDP might be on its way to extinction if it has nothing good to wish Nigeria as a country.
But replying on Wednesday, the PDP in the statement by Ologunagba said APC is only “running from their shadows and haunted by their failures in governance”.
7. Malami Gives Update On Deleting Section 84 (12) Of The Electoral Act As NASS Appeals Court Judgement
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has declared that relevant government agencies are working on implementing the court order on the removal of Section 84 (12) from the Electoral Act.
Speaking with State House correspondents on Wednesday after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Malami said the process was ongoing.
The Minister stated that there are necessary steps to be taken to ensure the court order is respected, adding that at the end of the day, all things must be done in accordance with the provisions of the law.
The section reads: “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
After signing the act, President Muhammadu Buhari had written the lawmakers to remove the section arguing that it violates the Constitution and breached the rights of government appointees but the National Assembly members declined the President’s request.
However, a Federal High Court sitting in Umahia, Abia State which was presided over by Justice Evelyn Anyadike on Friday 18th March, 2022 directed the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to delete Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act.
8. 2023 Presidency: Ikpeazu Hosts PDP Governors In Abia
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday met behind closed doors in Abia State.
The governors were hosted by their colleague, Okezie Ikpeazu at his country home of Umuobiakwa, Obingwa local government area country home of the state.
It was gathered that the issue of zoning and the 2023 presidency will top the agenda the governors will consider.
Present at the meeting were Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
According to party officials, the above governors were said to have arrived yesterday (Tuesday).
9. Hushpuppi: Abba Kyari’s Extradition Proceedings Adjourned
The extradition proceedings against the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, has been adjourned till April 27 for further hearing.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja adjourned the hearing after the Attorney General of the Federal (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) failed to serve Kyari with the extradition application.
Recall that the minister had filed an extradition application against Kyari following the request by the United State Government in a multi-million dollar fraud case involving suspected fraudster, Ramon Abba, aka Hushpuppi.
Addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting last week Wednesday, Malami said the application was still being processed.
At the mention of the case on Wednesday, lawyer to Kyari, Nureini Jimoh (SAN) told the court that the AGF has not served his client with the extradition application filed.
Counsel to the AGF and the Head of the Central Authority Unit (CAU) at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Pius Akutah, confirmed that the applicant was yet to effect service on the respondent.
10. Alleged IPOB Spy, Gloria Okolie Released From Detention
An alleged spy for the Indigenous People of Biafra, Gloria Okolie, has been released from detention after perfecting her bail condition.
The 21-year-old was released on Wednesday after been detained for 150 days by the Nigerian police before being arraigned in court.
Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team in Imo State had arrested Okolie on June 17, 2021.
The IRT unit of the Nigeria Police Force had detained Okolie for months on allegations of spying for IPOB.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on November 23, 2021 had granted bail to Okolie in the sum of N10million with two sureties.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo in his ruling admitted her to bail with sureties one of whom must be at least a level-14 Civil Servant while the other must own landed property and must have lived at the present address for at least 2 years.
Okolie’s counsel, Ihensekhien Samuel, while reacting to the bail conditions commended the judge for admitting her to bail though the terms were stringent but they would apply for variation in due course.
Okolie and her co-defendant remained in Suleja Correctional Centre custody pending the fulfillment of their bail conditions.