TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, FRIDAY
1. Details Of Buhari’s Meeting With US President, Biden Emerge
The details of the bilateral meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and his United States counterpart, Joe Biden have emerged.
The two leaders met on Wednesday at the White House on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders Summit. The meeting also had in attendance some other African leaders who are also currently in the United States for the US-Africa Leaders Summit which started on Tuesday, December 13.
In a statement on Thursday signed by the Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Biden praised his Nigerian counterpart for his efforts in deepening democracy in Africa. The US President said the meeting with the select African leaders was to discuss ways to deepen democracy in Africa and share experiences with the US on the forthcoming elections. Biden added that the meeting was to encourage the countries to continue with the democratic process and not truncate the efforts made to deepen democracy.
He said he followed the trajectory of Buhari from when he was an opposition leader to when he was elected president, adding that it is “very heartening” that he is not seeking a third term. Biden, therefore, encouraged Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue to be totally non-partisan, saying it is glad to see that Nigeria is a model for democracy in Africa.
2. 2023: I Am The Stepping Stone To Igbo Presidency – Atiku Declares
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar on Thursday urged the people of the southeast region to vote for him to pave way for the Igbo presidency. The former Vice President described himself as the stepping stone to the Igbo presidency.
He made the submission in Anambra State while addressing supporters during his party’s presidential campaign in the state. Atiku boasted that he has shown his support for the Igbo presidency by running with an Igbo man on three occasions while seeking the country’s presidency.
He told the people of Anambra that a vote for the Atiku/Okowa ticket in 2023 is a faster route to realizing the dream of an Igbo presidency. He said: “The people of Anambra State, I am sure, you know that I am going to be the stepping stone to an Igbo president in this country.
3. Kano Cleric, Kabara To Die By Hanging Over Alleged Blasphemy
Controversial Kano Islamic cleric, Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, has been convicted to die by hanging over alleged blasphemy.
The verdict was passed on Thursday (today) by an Upper Sharia Court in Kano. The court earlier convicted the embattled cleric after finding him guilty of the charge of blasphemy levelled against him.
The court judge, Mallam Ibrahim Sarki Yola, in his sentencing, charged all media to desist from using any of Kabara’s teachings and pictures. The convict was thereafter given 30 days to appeal the judgment or forfeit his right to appeal. It could be recalled that Kabara was first arrested and arraigned in July 2021 by the Kano State government led by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
The government accused the renowned cleric of blaspheming against the Holy Prophet Muhammad, an act it said is capable of inciting public peace.
4. EFCC Announces Recovery Of N30bn From Suspended Accountant-General
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) announced on Thursday that it has recovered over N30 billion from the questionable activities of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed.
The commission is currently prosecuting the embattled AGF over alleged N109 billion fraud. The federal government suspended Idris as the Accountant-General of the Federation after his arrest in Kano over the fraud allegation.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, informed Idris of his suspension in a letter dated May 18. His suspension is without pay, Mrs Ahmed’s letter stated.
Speaking at a media briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa gave highlights on the achievements of the anti-graft body from January to December, 2022.
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5. Anambra: What Soludo Told Atiku About His Presidential Bid Governor
Charles Soludo of Anambra State has said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, is one of the two leading flagbearers.
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CNBN) made this known on Thursday when he received the PDP standard bearer at the Government House in Awka, the state capital.
Soludo, who refused to name the second front-runner for the Presidency, asserted that he is not a politician and is struggling to fully participate in politics. The governor, who formed a close working relationship with Atiku during his time as the CBN governor, stated that he is not scared to express his opinion on the struggle for the number one seat in the country.
Soludo, however, welcomed the former Vice President to the state, adding that he would make up his mind about the presidential candidate to vote for in 2023.
6. Police Launch Investigation Into Abuja Train Crash As Victim Dies
The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has launched an investigation into the fatal train crash incident in Kubwa on Thursday morning.
An Abuja-bound train had crashed into a moving car at Chikakore, in the Kubwa area of Abuja, leading to a breakdown of the train. A video of the accident showed that the train crushed a black Toyota Camry from the driver’s side while the vehicle was crossing the rail track.
The unfortunate accident is happening days after the federal government announced the resumption of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna corridor. Reacting to the incident, FCT Police spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, said, “We are aware of the unfortunate incident of rail/motor fatal accident that happened at the Chikakore axis in the Kubwa area council of the FCT.
“Upon receipt of the information, police crime scene investigators attached to the Byazin Divisional Police Headquarters drifted swiftly to the scene, took charge of the situation, where the victim was confirmed dead by medical practitioners on the ground. “Investigation has commenced by the railway division having jurisdiction over the track.
Findings and safety tips already existing will soon be reiterated to ensure a non-repeat of such incidents.”
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7. Osun: The Only Funds I Met In Govt Coffers Is November Salary – Adeleke Cries Out, Alleges Oyetola Collected N18b Loan After July 16
The Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has come out to say that the only money left in government coffers as of Monday 29th November, when he took over as governor was meant for November 2022 Salary.
The governor said his administration inherited a total loan stock of N331.32 billion from the past government under the watch of the Gboyega Oyetola. According to him, apart from the November salaries left in the government coffers, nothing would have been left for him.
Adeleke made the allegation on Thursday during a meeting with Osun State traditional rulers at Osogbo, Osun State capital. The governor also accused his predecessor, Oyetola of taking loans that amounted to a total of N18 billion after he lost the July 16th, 2022 Osun governorship election.
8. I Will Die A Hero, Show Me No Mercy – Kano Cleric Sentenced To Death by Hanging Tells Court
There was a mild drama in court on Thursday (today) after controversial Kano Islamic cleric, Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, told an Upper Sharia Court judge not to show him mercy during his trial for blasphemy.
Kabara appeared in court today for the continuation of his trial over alleged blasphemy against Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Kabara was first arrested and arraigned in July 2021 by the Kano State government led by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. The government accused the renowned cleric of blaspheming against the Holy Prophet Muhammad, an act it said is capable of inciting public peace.
At the hearing of the case yesterday, the court said it find the embattled cleric guilty of all the charges levelled against him. The judge, in his sentencing, ordered the state government to seize the two mosques belonging to Kabara.
The convict was though given 30 days to appeal the judgment or forfeit his right to appeal. However, before Mallam Ibrahim Sarki Yola delivered the conviction in a court session which lasted over two hours, he asked if Kabara has anything to tell the court.
Barrister Aminu Ado Abubakar, who stood as the defence counsel, prayed to the Court to accord leniency to the accused person for he did what he did out of ignorance. Kabara, however, stirred mixed reactions after he stood up stating that he did not know the lawyer and that it was the first time he was seeing him.
9. EFCC Speaks On Being Behind Ekweremadu’s Travails In UK
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has faulted the claim by Senator Ike Ekweremadu that it was behind his travails at the London Court where he had been in detention over alleged organ harvesting.
Ekweremadu, who has been in custody in London over an alleged organ harvest, told the Federal High Court that the EFCC wrote a letter to the London Court which made the foreign court refuse to admit him to bail.
He made the allegation in an application he filed before the Nigerian court seeking an order of the court to set aside interim order granted in favour of the Federal Government forfeiture of his 40 properties in the country and outside the country.
Reacting to the claim, counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir (SAN) told Justice Inyang Ekwo while arguing his counter affidavit filed in opposition to a motion filed by Ekweremadu’s eldest son, Lloyd, seeking a court order vacating the Nov. 4 interim order of forfeiture on 40 property linked to his father.
Tahir disagreed with Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), lawyer to Ekweremadu, who had earlier, in his argument, said that the anti-graft agency wrote a letter to the London court that made the foreign court refuse to admit his client to bail. But Tahir denied that the anti-corruption commission was behind Ekweremadu’s ordeal, stressing that though the EFCC wrote a letter to the London court, it was based on a special request from the court.
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10. Buhari Govt Opens Second Niger Bridge For 30 Days
The Muhammadu Buhari-led government has said the Second Niger Bridge will be open for use for a month.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made this known on Wednesday at the inauguration of the bridge. Fashola asserted that the bridge, which was officially opened on Thursday, December 15 in order to ease traffic in the South East during the festive season, would be closed to traffic on January 15, 2023.
The minister urged motorists plying the bridge to drive safely and responsibly in order not to defeat the purpose of constructing the project.
Speaking at the inauguration, Fashola said President Muhammadu Buhari’s purpose in completing the bridge was to save lives and alleviate poverty caused by wasted hours resulting from gridlock on the old First Niger Bridge. Fashola said the opening of the Second Niger Bridge would reduce the sufferings of commuters who always experienced traffic congestion during the yuletide.
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