TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, SATURDAY
Appraising CBN’s Revised Cash Withdrawal Policy
The manner in which a critical section of the Nigerian establishment has railed against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) justifies the wisdom of the framers of the country’s laws in entrenching the independence of CBN. According to Section 1(3) of CBN Act 2007, “the Bank shall be an independent body in the discharge of its functions.” How the House of Representatives intends to circumvent this provision by reportedly calling for the suspension of the new cash withdrawal policy being vigorously pursued by the central bank remains to be seen. Although he quickly went for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the CBN Governor enjoys such term security that he is not intended to kowtow to anybody. Nigeria is better off with strong institutions than strong men. Politicians need to do more to convince Nigerians that their opposition to this drive by the CBN isn’t because it solves the menace of vote buying.
In its quest to accelerate the digitization of the economy, the central bank in a circular to all deposit money banks and other financial institutions on Tuesday, slammed restrictions on maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate entities per week, allowing only N100,000 and N500,000 respectively. It also directed that only N200 and lower denominations should be loaded into banks’ ATMs, pegging the maximum cash withdrawal per week for individuals via Automated teller Machine (ATM) at N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal daily. In the same vein, the apex bank also fixed daily maximum withdrawals via a point of sale (PoS) terminal at N20,000. The apex bank must have been led into believing that Nigerians are increasingly going cashless as recent data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) indicated that e-payment transactions carried out in the country hit ₦32.8 trillion in September.
Umahi vs Agom-Eze: Supreme Court Takes Final Decision On Ebonyi South APC Senatorial Candidate
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the suit seeking to disqualify Governor Dave Umahi as the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate for the 2023 Ebonyi South Senatorial District election.
The apex court in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices, affirmed Umahi as the authentic APC candidate, dismissing the suit brought by Princess Ann Agom-Eze for lack of merit.
The panel was led by Justice Kudirat Ekekere-Ekun.
It would be recalled that Agom-Eze and Umahi have been involved in a running legal battle over who should be the authentic APC candidate for the senatorial district.
Before getting to the Supreme Court, the Federal High Court as well as the Court of Appeal had upheld the APC primary election.
The May 28 APC primary election was initially won by Austin Umahi, the younger brother of Gov Umahi.
However, after Governor Umahi failed in his bid to clinch the presidential ticket of the APC, his younger brother was said to have voluntarily relinquished the senatorial ticket to him but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disagreed with the move and declared the Governor’s candidacy won’t be recognized.
D’banj Released From Detention
Nigerian musician Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’banj, has regained his freedom after hours in detention.
Legal counsels to the embattled singer confirmed the development to SaharaReporters, noting that D’banj was released on bail because he made himself available for investigation.
Recall that the anti-graft agency, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) detained D’banj on Tuesday at its office over alleged N-Power fraud.
The singer would soon speak on the alleged involvement in irregularities in the Federal Government empowerment scheme.
N-Power Beneficiaries Lament Over Non-Receipt Of Monthly Stipends
The ICPC reported earlier that it received numerous petitions on the diversion of N-Power funds running into billions of naira following the approval and release of such funds to the beneficiaries by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
The anti-graft agency said many N-Power beneficiaries had been lamenting over the non-receipt of their monthly stipends despite the government’s confirmation of releasing the funds.
Nigeria’s Public Debt Hits N44trn, DMO Gives Reason
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced that Nigeria’s public debt reached N44.6 trillion in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022.
In a statement released on its website on Friday, the DMO said the figure released represents a 2.9 percent quarter-on-quarter decline when compared to N42.84 trillion recorded in Q2 in 2022.
The agency revealed that the increase in public debt was due to new borrowings by the Federal Government to part-finance the deficit in the 2022 Appropriation Act, as well as new borrowings by sub-nationals.
According to DMO, the total public debt stock comprises domestic debt of N26.92 trillion and external debt of N17.5 trillion, adding that the country spent N1.17 trillion on debt in Q3’22.
It stated that the figure comprises N820.59 billion for domestic debt service and N356.92 billion ($801.23 million) for external debt service.
2023: People Living With Disability Reject Atiku, Reveal Their Best President
The executive secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), James Lalu has cautioned the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar to stop fraternizing with people with disabilities ahead of the 2023 elections.
He said when Atiku and the PDP were in power, they paid little or no attention to the plight of people living with disabilities in Nigeria.
Lalu lamented that even currently, the running mate to Atiku who is the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa is yet to sign the disability bill into law in his state.
He stated this at a press briefing on Thursday.
Lalu made the stand known in response to a recent call by the PDP presidential candidate that people living with disabilities in Nigeria should not vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
However, Atiku’s call has been rejected with Lalu submitting that the best friend and best president of people living with disabilities in Nigeria is President Muhammadu Buhari.
Labour Party Crisis Deepens As Faction Insists On Okupe’s Sack, Accuse Abure Of Anti-Party Activities
The internal crisis rocking the Labour Party (LP) seems to be getting deeper by the day as opposing groups in the opposition party are not showing signs of readiness to sheath their swords.
Recall that the Ogun State chapter of the party had last Thursday announced the sack of Dr Doyin Okupe – the Director-General of the Peter Obi Campaign Organisation – and 10 others for allegedly not paying membership fees, high-handedness and financial recklessness.
According to the LP state chairperson, Michael Ashade, the affected persons contravened Article 9(3) sub(iii) and Article 9(3) (xi) of the party’s constitution and thereby ceased to be party members.
But the National Secretary of the party, Farouk Ibrahim, declared Ashade’s pronouncement over Okupe as null and void, saying the state chapter has no such powers.
Speaking on Wednesday during a Twitter space organised by PREMIUM TIMES tagged “ Okupe’s Purported Dismissal: Crack in Labour Party?”, the National Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Abayomi Arabambi, insisted that Okupe is not a member of the party.
Again, Court Orders Arrest Of Controversial Police Ex-AIG, Mbu
The Cross River State High Court has ordered the Nigeria Police to arrest and produce a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Joseph Mbu, for prosecution.
This is the second time the court will be issuing such order.
The court had earlier issued a warrant of arrest on him on November 2, 2022, and adjourned the case to December 6, 2022, for the police to produce its former officer, but they again failed to do so.
Justice Ukpai Ibitam ordered the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to produce Joseph Mbu at its next sitting on January 9, 2023, over a murder case he is connected with.
The judge gave a fresh warrant of arrest on the defendant before adjourning the case to January 9, 2023.
He charged the Nigeria Police to ensure the retired police officer is available in court on that day unfailingly
Controversies Trail Labour Party’s Pronouncement Over N80,000 To N100,000 Minimum Wage
Reactions have trailed the Labour Party (LP) expression of intention to effect a minimum wage of N80,000 to N100,000 if elected to power next year at the polls.
Part of the reactions emanated from the now-former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Arabambi.
Arabambi slammed that party’s Deputy National Chairman, Ayo Olorunfemi, who made the pronouncement on Thursday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise.
The embattled former spokesman of the party said Olorunfemi, has no locus standi (jurisdiction) to make a such pronouncement on behalf of the flag bearer of the party, Peter Obi.
Arabambi submitted that “He is not competent to speak or make such claim. Such a statement can only come from the mouth of the presidential candidate. Olorunfemi wasn’t directed to speak to that effect. Wherever he picked the information, we don’t know.
“We know Mr Peter Obi is not a frivolous person. There was no way he could just issue a random statement that he will increase the minimum wage from N30,000 to N100,000.
“Don’t forget that he is also a Senatorial candidate in Ondo. Probably, he is saying that in his own capacity pending when he enters the Senate. Maybe, by then, he will able to work towards increasing it to that level.”
Labour Party Suspends National Publicity Secretary, Dissolves Ogun State Exco Over Allegations Against Okupe
The crisis in the Labour Party (LP) took a turn for the worse as the acting National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi was on Friday suspended for anti-party activities.
Arising from an emergency National Working Committee (NWC) meeting in Abuja, the party’s National Secretary, Umar Farouk, said that various allegations by Arabambi against national officers of the party “remain unsubstantiated and a figment of the imagination of perpetrators.”
The party also sacked its Ogun State Chapter chairman and dissolved the state executive for refusing to answer to summons by the NWC over the allegations against the Director General of its Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, Doyin Okupe.
Falana Slams DSS Over Ultimatum Issued To NNPC, Oil Marketers
Prominent Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana, has berated the Department of State Services (DSS) over the 48-hour ultimatum issued to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and oil marketers.
The security agency, on Thursday, directed the NNPC and oil marketers to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country over security threats.
In a statement by its Spokesman, Peter Afunanya, the DSS said failure to make petrol available to Nigerians would prompt the services to activate its operations across the country.
Reacting in an interview on Channels Television on Friday, Falana described the ultimatum as an empty threat, saying that nobody is going to be arrested and prosecuted.
He said it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure that the NNPC and oil marketers make fuel available for Nigerians across the nation.
The lawyer said if the national oil company fails to supply petroleum products to all parts of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari should call the officials to order and possibly sack them.