TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, TUESDAY
1. Provide Evidence – FG Knocks Reuters Over Claim On Secret Abortion For Boko Haram Victims
The federal government says the allegation that the Nigerian Military conducted secret abortions for victims of Boko Haram attack is baseless.
The government in a statement on Monday through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed challenged Reuters which spread the report to provide evidence to back its claims.
Mohammed further told the international news agency that spreading such rumours without any evidence is dangerous. Naija News recalls Reuters had accused the military of carrying out a secret mass abortion on victims of terrorist attacks in the north-east.
The news agency claimed that the Nigerian Army since 2013 has carried out secret abortions in the Northeast. The investigation carried out by Reuters stated that at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls were terminated.
The report further stated that pregnant victims who resisted were either beaten or drugged into compliance.
But Mohammed in a response on behalf of the government said the allegation by Reuters is based on a review of some phantom documents and an interview with just 33 women and girls.
Mohammed maintained that the Nigerian Military always operates and is guided by international best practices and acceptable rules of engagement.
The Minister submitted that there was no “secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme” being run by the military in the country.”
2. Cash Limit Withdrawal: Falana Tackles CBN, Says Policy Is Illegal
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has tackled the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying the bank’s recent reintroduction of the cash withdrawal limit is illegal.
The human rights lawyer argued that the policy was illegal because the Money Laundering Act 2022, which has fixed maximum cash withdrawal to N5 million, has not been amended.
Falana in a statement on Monday explained that on that premise, it would be illegal for CBN to fix daily and weekly cash limitations to N20,000 and N100,000 respectively.
He said it was also illegal for CBN to order Deposit Money Banks (DMOs) and other financial institutions to ensure that weekly over-the-counter (OTC) cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively.
His reaction follows the release of a memo issued by the apex bank last Tuesday fixing daily and weekly withdrawal limits to N20, 000 and N100,000 respectively.
The memo signed by the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, reveals that withdrawals above the thresholds would attract processing fees of 5% and 10%, respectively, for individuals and corporate entities going forward.
It also said third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for OTC payment while extant limits of N10m on clearing cheques still remain. The circular also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs and restricted withdrawal to N20, 000 per day from ATMs.
However, Falana in the statement he titled “Maximum withdrawal limit is N5m in Nigeria” advanced that it was rather embarrassing that the CBN has been making announcements without any regard to the constitution and other relevant laws on the national economy.
He further noted that it is particularly worrisome that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele has purportedly placed a limitation on cash withdrawals in Nigeria in complete defiance of the Money Laundering Act.
3. 2023: Babachir Lawal Speaks On Dumping Obi For Atiku
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal has once again distanced himself from the presidential ambition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar.
Lawal on Monday insisted that he would not support Atiku in the 2023 election. According to Lawal, Atiku’s emergence as president would amount to another Muslim Fulani president taking over from President Muhammadu Buhari.
He further stated that such an occurrence would be worse than the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former SGF noted that Atiku taking over from Buhari in 2023 will amount to ethnic domination.
Lawal who had earlier expressed his support for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, reaffirmed his support. The former SGF in a statement released on Monday in Abuja dismissed the report that he has dumped Obi for Atiku.
4. Fire Guts Defence Headquarters In Abuja
The Defence Headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Monday experienced a fire incident.
The fire incident which cause is yet to be ascertained occurred on the second floor of the DHQ building.
The incident was confirmed by the Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor. According to Akpor, the incident was brought under control with the combined effort of the military and Federal Fire Service personnel and resources.
He further stated that there was no injury sustained or loss of life in the incident on Monday. Akpor noted that Investigation has commenced to ascertain the cause of the fire incident.
5. Fuel Scarcity: DSS May Also Be A Player, Cabals Must Be Dealt With – Stakeholders
Some stakeholders in the petroleum industry have reacted to the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Department of State Services (DSS) for normalcy to be restored in making petrol available to Nigerians.
According to the stakeholders, the DSS might know more than what it is telling Nigerians about the current fuel scarcity.
They also submitted that the ultimatum given by the DSS is unrealistic and won’t be effective because there are cabals and cartels that should be dealt with instead of issuing ultimatums.
As fuel scarcity continues to bite harder across the country, the DSS on Thursday ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and other stakeholders in the oil sector to address the lingering fuel crisis within 48 hours.
However, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), through its Chairman, System 2E, Eastern Zone, Sunny Nkpe stated on Monday that for the fuel scarcity to stop, the cabals must be taken care of.
He accused private depot owners of hoarding the product and causing hardship to Nigerians.
Similarly, a former President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Peter Esele, who was also a guest on the same programme said the DSS must work on the information it has.
He argued that for the secret police to issue the ultimatum, there is more to the current scarcity being experienced in the country.
6. I Can’t Retire To National Assembly Because I Can’t Function There – El-Rufai Opens Up
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has come out clean to state that he can never retire to the National Assembly after the end of his tenure as governor in 2023.
El-Rufai on Monday said he doesn’t intend to retire to the legislature as most of his colleagues do because he can’t function there.
The governor made this revelation while he spoke as the Chairman of the distinguished parliamentarians lecture series of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies in Abuja.
He said he doesn’t have the patience to be a legislator, noting that it required hard work of lobbying colleagues for bills and motions.
According to him, it is difficult to manage in the legislature because everyone is equal, unlike in the executive where one is required to manage only their subordinates, hire and fire at will.
7. Ex-Governor Leading Top APC Chieftains, Govs To Work Against Tinubu Revealed
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have another big issue to deal with ahead of the 2023 election, as reports claim some top party chieftains are working against its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Reports on Monday alleged that former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, is leading a team of aggrieved Northern leaders of the party to sabotage Tinubu’s victory in the coming polls secretly.
It was gathered that the APC chieftains are collaborating with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure the victory of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Sources who reportedly spoke with SaharaReporters noted that Yari recently met with Atiku in Paris, France while on his way to the United States.
Sources in the APC presidential campaign council (PCC) who are in the know told the news platform that the Northern politicians were accusing the party’s national leaders and Tinubu of disregarding Yari’s nominations to the PCC.
Yari was one of the founding members of the APC from the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).
READ ALSO: How the New CBN’s Cash Withdrawal Policy will affect Traders, Currency Sellers, POS, Retail Distribution Services
8. You Lied, Presidential Panel On Stamp Duty Recovery Legitimate, Kazaure Replies Presidency
A member of the House of Representatives, Muhammad Kazaure, has said that the Presidential Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to recover Stamp Duties was legitimate and independent.
Kazaure, who is the Secretary of the Committee made this known in a statement on Sunday in response to the claims by the Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, on the activities of the committee.
Recall that Kazaure had alleged that some forces stopped him from accessing to submit the one-month report to the president regarding the discovery of over N89 trillion Stamp Duty in three accounts domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Shehu had in a statement, however, debunked the statement, saying the committee had been dissolved on the orders of the president.
But Kazaure said that the president who set up the committee directed its members to work with the Department of the State Service, DSS, in the investigation, warning that none of his appointees should interfere.
9. INEC Confirms Attack On Imo Headquarters
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday confirmed the attack on its headquarters in Imo State.
The incident was confirmed by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye.
Okoye in a statement released on Monday said no critical election materials were destroyed in the attack on its Imo headquarters.
Gunmen attacked the head office of INEC in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
The gunmen, however, were repelled by police officers stationed at the office, leading to the death of three of the gunmen.
Okoye noted that INEC resident commissioner, Sylvia Uchenna Agu, reported at about 3 am that the head office was attacked.
According to Okoye, although the attack affected the part of the building occupied by the election and party monitoring (EPM) department, no critical election material was destroyed.
10. Buhari’s Nephew Names Preferred Presidential Candidate For 2023
President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Alhaji Musa Haro, has named his preferred presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.
According to the president’s aide, Garba Shehu, the District Head of Dumurkol has declared his support for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He quoted the traditional title holder as saying that his community in Daura and the entire residents of Katsina State would vote massively for the former Governor of Lagos State in the coming election.
Naija News understands that Haro made the declaration during the weekend when he met with Shehu and other chieftains of the APC including those Dumurkol people in the presidential campaign council.
Speaking further, Haro assured that his people would also vote for the APC governor candidate in the state, Dikko Radda.