TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, FRIDAY
1. $400m Spent On Ajaokuta Steel Will Yield $1.6bn Annual Income – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday visited Kogi State to commission projects in the state.
The President in his statement during the visit said his administration has spent $400m to “transform” the Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State.
According to Buhari, the investment in the industry will add $1.6bn annual income to the Nigerian economy and create over 500,000 estimated jobs.
Buhari said, “I am glad to report that as we begin to round off in the office, we can genuinely say that our administration has rescued Ajaokuta from all legal disabilities.
“It is now ready for concessioning to a private investor with the right profiles to put it to work for Nigeria in general and Kogi State in particular.”
He further stated that no other single project holds the key to unlocking the potential of the state as much as the Ajaokuta Steel Complex which his administration inherited as a long moribund complex “strangulating under a tangle of local and international commercial disputes.”
2. Bolanle Raheem: PSC Okays Suspension Of ASP Drambi Vandi
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has approved the suspension of ASP Drambi Vandi, AP/no 134901, who allegedly shot and killed a female lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, on Christmas day in Ajah area of Lagos State with immediate effect.
Recall that the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, had on Wednesday recommended the immediate suspension of Drambi Vandi.
The IGP noted that the suspension is to “create an enabling environment for necessary legal procedures to uphold justice in the case without interference.”
Vandi is the officer responsible for the shooting and killing of Barrister Raheem on Sunday while she was driving through the Ajah area of Lagos State with her family.
Confirming Vandi’s suspension in a statement on Thursday, PSC Head Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani disclosed that the Commission also directed that the final investigation into the matter is concluded to enable the Commission take further necessary action.
3. 2023: We Shall Celebrate – Osuntokun Makes Fresh Promise To Peter Obi, Obidients
The director-general of the Labour Party (LP) presidential campaign council, Akin Osuntokun has given assurances that Peter Obi would emerge victorious in the 2023 election.
Osuntokun in a statement on Thursday submitted that he understands that the task ahead is not going to be easy but he and his team understand what must be done.
He added that with the support of Nigerians that are ready to be freed from the current situation in the country, he is sure supporters of the Ob-Datti ticket would have reasons to celebrate after the 2023 polls.
The new DG also appreciated all stakeholders for finding him worthy to lead the campaigns.
The newly appointed DG also used the opportunity to appreciate the confidence reposed in him by the Labour Party and its leaders and promised to work hard for the success of the campaign.
4. Oyebanji Vs Oni: Tribunal Delivers Final Judgement On Ekiti June 18 Guber Polls
The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has affirmed Governor Biodun Oyebanji as the winner of the last governorship election held in the state.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Oyebanji as the winner of the election June 18, 2022, governorship election in Ekiti, but the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Segun Oni rejected the result and challenged the election outcome before the tribunal.
Oni’s petition at the tribunal hinged on alleged election rigging by voter inducement and bypass of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) at some polling stations; the authenticity of the WAEC certificate presented by the Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Monisade Afuye among other grounds.
However, in its ruling on Thursday, the Ekiti Tribunal upheld Oyebanji’s victory at the polls.
5. Yahaya Bello Disobeyed Me By Naming Project After Me – Buhari Reveals
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello disobeyed him by naming a project after him in the state.
The president made this disclosure at the commissioning of some legacy projects in Kogi State on Thursday.
According to him, he has always attempted to stop governors and ministers from naming projects after him, but Bello went ahead to name Muhammadu Buhari Square and Civic Centre after him.
The president on Thursday commissioned a new Confluence University of Science and Technology at Osara, Reference Hospital at Okene, and township road networks in Idah, Okene and across the three senatorial districts.
Other projects which the president commissioned include the Ganaja Flyover, Model Science Secondary School and the Muhammadu Buhari Square and Civic Centre in Lokoja.
6. Newly Recruited Police Constables Would Be Deployed For 2023 Elections – IGP
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has said that the force would deploy newly recruited constables to monitor the 2023 general elections across local government areas.
The police boss noted this while speaking at the passing out parade of the trained constables in Ilorin on Thursday.
While congratulating the graduands, Baba said they would be deployed to their communities for next year’s elections to complement the efforts of Nigeria police in their desire to ensure free, fair and credible exercise.
The IGP warned the recruits that the police force under his watch has zero tolerance for indiscipline and acts that vary with police professionalism.
Usman Baba asserted that the bedrock of policing is discipline, saying, “how far you go into this career depends greatly on your character, discipline and integrity.”
He charged them not to engage in any act unedifying their good names, families and the police as they launch their careers in the police force.
7. You Cannot Withdraw Your Candidacy – INEC Counters Peter Obi’s Campaign DG, Osuntokun On Senatorial Ambition
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that Labour Party (LP) presidential campaign Director-General (DG), Akin Osuntokun, still remains the senatorial candidate for Ekiti Central Senatorial Zone under another political party; the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Osuntokun was appointed the DG of Peter Obi and Datti Baba Ahmed presidential campaign after the resignation of the former DG Doyin Okupe.
Osuntokun, during an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, had stated that he abandoned his senatorial ambition under ZLP to take up Peter Obi’s campaign DG post.
However, the electoral commission has said that neither the new DG nor his party can withdraw his candidacy.
INEC’s Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, told Premium Times via a telephone call that Osuntokun still remains the ZLP’s Ekiti Central Senatorial candidate.
Okoye insisted that it was impossible for the new DG or any political party for that matter to withdraw, submit or substitute the name of any candidate taking part in the 2023 general elections.
8. Court Stops DSS From Arresting CBN Gov Emefiele
The Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) have been stopped by a High Court in Abuja from arresting and detaining the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.
The security agencies had made moves to arrest Emefiele over the allegations of terrorism and sundry offences against him.
The court on Thursday also restrained the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, who are listed as 1st, 2nd and 5th defendants.
The presiding judge, Justice MA Hassan gave the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked FCT/HC/CV/GAR/41/2022, filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Leadership.
Justice Hassan before the ruling on Thursday had on the 19th of December granted an exparte application restraining the defendants from arresting and detaining the CBN governor.
9. 2023: The Offer Is Fantastically Positive – Bashir Ahmad Drops Hint On Candidate G5 Governors Have Adopted
The Special Assistant on Digital Communications to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad has dropped a hint on the candidate the aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors (G5) will be supporting for the 2023 presidency.
Ahmad, who is the Deputy Director, Special Media Projects/New Media, of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) suggested the G5 Governors would be supporting Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He stated this in a short statement via his Twitter account on Thursday, 29th December where he said the offer put forward by the five Governors was fantastically positive.
He added that the offer will seal the expected victory for the APC presidential candidate.
Ahmad wrote: “The offer put forward by the five governors was fantastically positive. That will definitely help us to seal our eminent victory in 2023. Let’s do it together.”
10. Brazilian Football Legend, Pele Is Dead
Brazilian football legend, Pele on Thursday died at the age of 82.
The three times World Cup winner had been hospitalised at the Albert Einstein Israelita Hospital in Sao Paulo shortly before Christmas after news that his colon cancer had worsened.
There were reports that the 82-year-old was having cardiac issues and medical staff were concerned that his chemotherapy treatment was not having the expected results.
A medical report released on 21 December said Pele’s cancer had worsened. His daughter confirmed the family would spend Christmas in the hospital with Pele after it emerged he required treatment for heart and kidney trouble.
However, the Associated Press on Thursday night confirmed that the three times World Cup winner who won the World Cup three times is dead.
Pele won the World Cup three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970.