TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY THURSDAY 

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TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY THURSDAY 

1. Ekweremadu: ‘I Do Hope They Have Learnt’ – Obasanjo Intervenes, Pleads With UK Court

Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has appealed to London’s Central Criminal Court to temper justice with mercy in the case of former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, and a medical doctor, Obinna Obeta.

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Obasanjo’s emotional letter follows the conviction of the trio in the organ trafficking case by a United Kingdom court last month.

The court ruled that they all conspired to bring a young man from Lagos to London to exploit him for his kidney without his knowledge and were found guilty under the UK Modern Slavery Act.

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Sonia, a daughter of the former Deputy Senate President, is said to be down with kidney failure and requires a transplant to stay alive.

However, ahead of their sentencing, Obasanjo has appealed for leniency from the court.

The former Nigerian leader in his letter dated April 3, 2023, and addressed to the clerk of the UK court said he understands the gravity of the situation but hopes the Ekweremadus have learnt their lessons.

He pleaded that the clerk should use his “good office” to appeal for leniency in the sentence of the trio on compassionate grounds.

While describing Ekweremadu and his wife as “God-fearing” Nigerians, Obasanjo narrated how they have used their position and resources to help less privileged members of the society in the past.

He appealed that they be allowed to continue their parenting role in the life of their daughter for whom they took the step initially and who is still in need of urgent medical attention.

2. Petrol Subsidy Removal: World Bank Gives Nigeria $800 Million For Palliatives

The World Bank has provided Nigeria with $800 million to cushion the effects of petrol subsidy removal when finally implemented in June 2023.

The Federal Government had maintained its ground on removing subsidies on petroleum products starting from June this year. Nigerians have been expressing worries since the decision was made public.

Addressing state house correspondents today shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the $800 million in the first tranche of palliatives to be disbursed through cash transfers to about 50 million Nigerians, who belong to the most vulnerable category of society, has been secured.

3. Court Stops Abure, Farouk Ibrahim, Two Others From Parading Themselves As Labour Party National Officers

The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure has been stopped from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.

This is as a Federal Capital Territory High Court has on Wednesday issued an order restraining him, the party’s National Secretary, Farouk Ibrahim and two others from parading themselves as national officers of the Labour Party.

It was gathered that the two other officers of the Labour Party who were affected included the National Organising Secretary, Clement Ojukwu and the Treasurer, Oluchi Opara.

Justice Hamza Muazu issued the restraining order while ruling in an ex-parte application argued by one James Onoja.

Onoja in the application, told the court how Abure and the others allegedly forged several documents of the FCT High Court to carry out unlawful substitutions in the last general elections.

4. El-Rufai Recalls 1,288 Sacked Teachers In Kaduna State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has approved the recall and reinstatement of 1,288 primary school teachers who were sacked about 10 months ago.

It would be recalled that over 2,000 teachers were sacked by the Kaduna State government in June 2022 for failing a competency test.

However, the spokesperson of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB), Hauwa Mohammed, announced the recall of some of the teachers in a statement on Wednesday.

Mohammed said after the action of the government, complaints were received from some of the affected persons, and after a careful review, a fresh action was taken.

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She explained that 1,266 teachers were affected by the competency test, while 22 others were removed from the government payroll for alleged unproven claims.

She said some of the dismissed teachers complained to the state government that they wrote the competency test and were still sacked, while those who claimed to be sick during the time of the test provided proof.

The KADSUBEB spokesperson further said some teachers claimed to have been kidnapped at the time of the test, adding that others among them were suspended due to verification of their certificates.

5. Some Western Countries Harbouring IPOB Despite Its Terrorist Organization Status – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has accused some foreign counties of harboring and encouraging the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).

The Minister accused the countries of harbouring IPOB despite its proscription as a terrorist organization by the federal government of Nigeria.

He alleged that the group is allowed to raise funds in some countries while others allow them to lobby their Congressmen and lawmakers.

Mohammed stated this in Washington during an engagement with international media organizations and Think tanks on the just concluded 2023 polls.

Mohammed further slammed the guilty nations, describing them as a failure saying it is hypocritical for the Western world to claim it is fighting terrorism yet turn around to be supporting a terrorist organization like IPOB.

6. Easter: FG Declares Friday, Monday As Public Holidays

The Federal Government has declared Friday 7 and Monday 10, April 2023, as public holidays to mark this year’s Easter celebration.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration in Abuja in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shuaib Begore, on Wednesday.

Aregbesola urged Christians to emulate the virtues of sacrifice, togetherness, forgiveness, kindness, love, peace and patience which were attributes and practices of Jesus Christ, as exemplified by His ministry on the earth.

The minister called on Christians and all Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Easter celebration to pray for an end to the security challenges in parts of the country.

Aregbesola assured that the Federal Government is doing all that is necessary to ensure a peaceful transition of government following the peaceful conduct of elections.

While wishing Christians at home and in the diaspora a happy and peaceful Easter celebration, the minister also enjoined them to love their neighbours through acts of kindness and generosity of spirit, with the well-to-do sharing their substance with the less privileged around them.

Aregbesola once more assures Nigerians that the nation is persistently on the path to greatness and urges all to positively deploy their creative energy for the full realisation of the coming prosperity.

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7. BVAS: There’s No Real Change – Agbakoba Makes Revelation About 2023 Election

A former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba has disclosed that contrary to what many Nigerians believe, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) can’t perform any ‘magic’ regarding the final outcome of any election.

He argued that the deployment of the BVAS machines for the conduct of the 2023 election in Nigeria did not have much impact.

This is as he argued that the BVAS is merely a tool for voter accreditation and can’t curb over-voting outrightly as many people have been made to believe.

He added that a closer look at the electoral act shows that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is still empowered to present results either normal paper way or through the BVAS.

Agbakoba made the observations on Wednesday during an interview appearance on Arise Television’s Morning Show program.

8. Senate Breaks For Easter, Eid-El-Fitr Holidays, Adjourns Plenary Till April 25

The Senate has adjourned the plenary till April 25, 2023, to allow lawmakers to observe the Easter and Eid-El-Fitr holidays.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, before the end of plenary on Wednesday made the announcement in Abuja.

According to him, the break for the festivities is to enable lawmakers to participate in activities of their various religions for the period and also rest.

It would be recalled that earlier this platform reported the Federal Government declared Friday 7 and Monday 10, April 2023, as public holidays to mark this year’s Easter celebration.

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The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration in Abuja in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shuaib Begore, on Wednesday.

9. Why APC Lost Governorship Election In Kano – Adamu

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu has revealed why the party was defeated in the governorship election in Kano State.

According to Adamu, the ruling party in the state lost in the electoral process because of the selfishness of some party members.

Recall that the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Abba Kabir Yusuf won the election with 1,019,602 votes while Nasir Yusuf Gawuna of APC polled 890,705 votes to come second.

Adamu in an interview with BBC Hausa expressed his disappointment that APC lost an important state like Kano, adding that the party would take action on the erring members.

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10. The Only Thing I Want From Tinubu When He Becomes President – Wole Soyinka

Nigerian writer, Wole Soyinka has disclosed what he wants from Nigeria’s president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu after he is sworn-in as president.

Soyinka while speaking during an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday explained that the only thing he wants from Tinubu is total decentralisation of power.

The renowned author insisted that it would only be fair if the incoming government devolve power to the various arms of governments, states and local governments.

He also explained that he would want a total reinforcement of the civil entity, that is the civil society in the various groupings.

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