TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY,  FRIDAY 

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TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY,  FRIDAY 

1. FG Speaks On Shutting Down Telecommunications Network, Online Transfer, Others For Election

The Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has asked Nigerians to ignore reports that it plans to shut down telecommunication networks during the presidential election.

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The government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), asked consumers to ignore such messages.

In a statement on Thursday, Director Public Affairs of the NCC, Reuben Muoka, the commission described reports of plans to shut down the network as fraudulent and misleading information.

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It stated that there is no plan to shut down all telecom networks and relevant ICT Units, including online transfer facilities of the banks.

2. Malami Speaks On President Buhari’s Directive On Naira Redesign

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Thursday spoke on President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on naira redesign.

Malami noted that President Buhari did not breach the Supreme Court’s injunction as regards the Naira redesign and currency swap policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court had ordered the suspension of the naira swap deadlines and directed the continued use of the old notes, following a request by three state governors.

However, in a national broadcast, the president declared only the old 200 notes as legal tender, maintaining that the old 500 and 1000 notes had ceased to be valid.

The development saw some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors drag President Buhari and CBN before the apex court.

The governors, in Suit No SC/CV/162/2023, filed on Friday by their counsel, A.J. Owonikoko (SAN), want the apex court to declare the President’s directives in his broadcast as unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs in the suit are the Attorneys General (AGs) of Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Sokoto, and Lagos states while the defendants are the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), as well as the AGs of Bayelsa and Edo states.

Meanwhile, the minister during the 67th ministerial press briefing at the state house stated that as far as the rule of law is concerned, there are many options available.

Reacting to questions on the allegations of breach of Supreme Court order by the President and his administration, Malami said Buhari has not breached the law.

3. 2023: ADC’s Kachikwu Concedes Defeat Ahead Of Polls, Begs Atiku, Peter Obi To Work On How To Defeat Tinubu

The Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Dumebi Kachikwu has conceded defeat ahead of the presidential election on Saturday.

Kachikwu in a statement he titled ‘My Closing Argument’ said he and his running mate Ahmed Buhari has agreed they cannot win the election due to sellout by some elements in ADC.

He however begged his counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Atiku and Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi to work together to find how to defeat the All Progressive Congress (APC) flag bearer, Bola Tinubu at the polls.

He asserted that tendencies are high that Tinubu might emerge winner at Saturday’s poll, except the North ‘miraculously’ comes together in the next 24 hours to back the PDP and Atiku.

Kachikwu urged Nigerians and youths especially to reject the proponents of tribe and religion in polarising them and making them poor, bitter, frustrated and subject to all forms of manipulation and abuse by desperate politicians.

4. Finnish Police Release Simon Ekpa Hours After Arrest

The factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Simon Ekpa has been released by the Finnish police.

Ekpa was released by the Finnish police hours after he was arrested and grilled.

There had been reports that Finnish authorities on Thursday arrested him at his apartment in Lahti.

Ekpa was later released on Thursday evening after the police allegedly arrested him for a suspected crime in Finland.

The Finnish Central Criminal Police confirmed Ekpa’s release on Thursday, according to HS reports.

The police claimed that its operation in Lahti and the subsequent arrest of the pro-Biafra agitator were in connection with the ongoing preliminary investigation.

Recall that an official of the Finnish Embassy in Abuja who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed Ekpa’s arrest to The PUNCH on Thursday.

5. 2023: Fuel Scarcity, Naira Crisis Plotted To Rig Out Tinubu – Gbajabiamila Alleges

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has alleged that the ongoing fuel crisis and naira crisis were plotted to rig out the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

The speaker claimed that the plotters aimed at stopping Tinubu from partaking in this Saturday’s election three weeks before the elections.

According to him, the only thing he takes solace in is that God is at the centre of everything because he keeps showing at every point.

Gbajabiamila made the claim at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere during his 2003 Constituency Outreach Program on Thursday.

6. Mastermind Of Abuja-Kuduna Train Attack Arrested

One of the masterminds of the terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train which occurred last year has been arrested.

Recall that some dreaded terrorists on March 28, 2022, attacked a moving train on the route and abducted scores of passengers. They also killed some of the train passengers on the spot.

However, the Defence Headquarters revealed in a statement on Thursday (today) that the troops arrested one of the assailants during a recent operation.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami, confirmed in the statement that troops arrested three terrorists recently at Damba, a community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Danmadami explained that the defence headquarters got a tip-off of the whereabouts of the terrorists, and troops mobilised to the location on Valentine’s Day and recovered two motorcycles, two mobile phones, the sum of $5,000 as well as some other currencies.

7. IPOB Reveals Stand On Sit-At-Home Order In Southeast During 2023 Election

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Thursday declared that it did not call for a sit-at-home in the southeast during the 2023 general elections.

IPOB also added that those promoting calls for a sit-at-home in the southeast during the forthcoming elections were not members of the group.

This position was made known by the IPOB publicity secretary, Emma Powerful.

He noted however in the statement that the group is not interested in the forthcoming elections but won’t declare a sit-at-home to stop the process.

Powerful stated that those calling for the sit-at-home are criminals who are trying to paint IPOB in a bad light so the international community would view them as a group that doesn’t support democratic processes.

The clarification became necessary after calls by a Finland-based disciple of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Simon Ekpa who insisted there would be a sit-at-home in the southeast during elections and called for a boycott of the exercise.

Powerful however stated that those promoting the sit-at-home in the southeast were not working for the group.

8. Senate President, Lawan Regrets Naira Policy Implementation

President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has regretted the hardship being suffered by Nigerians following the implementation of the new naira policy.

The currency redesign and naira swap policy is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which is aimed at addressing some challenges in the country, including vote buying, money laundering, and improving the economy, among others.

However, there have been lamentations and a series of controversies since the policy was implemented with the consent of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Reacting to the current situation before the 2023 general elections, Senator Lawan, on Thursday, said though they all agreed about the merit of the policy, its poor implementation has no doubt brought hardship to millions of Nigerians.

Lawan noted this in a statement where he sued for peace and urged eligible Nigerians to go out and vote for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the forthcoming elections.

9. Naira Swap Policy: Security Agencies May Prosecute El-Rufai, Others – Malami

The federal government says security agents may prosecute some Governors for making inciting statements to the public over the naira swap/naira redesign policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami who stated this on Thursday however added that the decision on what to do lies strictly with the security agencies.

He made the submission at a news briefing at the State House, Abuja.

The AGF made it known that security agencies are already investigating some state governors and individuals for alleged treasonable utterances over the currency swap and their fates would be determined by the security agencies involved.

He said it is up to the security agencies to determine if further action would be necessary after concluding their investigations.

Governors including Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State have openly gone against the federal government directive on the old naira notes and told residents of their states to continue spending the old N500 and N1,000 notes as legal tenders.

10. Buhari Arrives Katsina Ahead Of Saturday’s Presidential Election

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Daura, Katsina State ahead of Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections.

The Nigerian leader arrived at the Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua Airport, Katsina today at about 5 PM, where he is expected to proceed to Daura, his home town exercise his civic responsibility this weekend.

Buhari had before leaving the presidential villa in Abuja, summoned a Security Council Meeting, where he met with heads of security agencies to intimate them on the need to protect electorates and ensure the elections are hitch-free.

He also met with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja, where he had admonished him to ensure the elections are free, fair and credible.

He was also present at the International Conference Centre Abuja, on Wednesday, where he witnessed candidates participating in the 2023 presidential election signing a peace accord.

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