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Emefiele: Court fixes July 25 for trial

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The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, is scheduled to appear before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on July 25.

The embattled CBN boss, who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), will enter his plea before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, following allegations levelled against him by the security agency.

The DSS operatives stormed Emefiele’s Ikoyi residence in Lagos on June 10, a day after he was suspended as the CBN governor by President Bola Tinubu.

Subsequently, he was arrested and has remained in custody with the DSS asserting that his detention was based on the order of an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court.

However, a consortium of human rights lawyers, led by Mr Maxwell Okpara and Ahmed Tijani, has criticised Emefiele’s continued detention, accusing the DSS of violating existing court judgments.

To challenge this prolonged detention, the legal practitioners filed a contempt action against the Director General of the Department of State Services, Mr Yusuf Bichi.

The human rights group is also calling for Bichi’s dismissal following a tweet posted on the official DSS Twitter handle, where they were referred to as “charge and bail lawyers” and sympathisers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Meanwhile, the DSS has filed a two-count charge against Emefiele at the Federal High Court, accusing him of unlawfully possessing a single-barrel shotgun (Jojeff Magnum 8371) without a license, which is an offence under Section 4 of the Firearms Laws of the Federation 2004, and punishable under Section 27 (1) (b) (i) of the same act.

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Additionally, he faces charges of possessing 123 rounds of live ammunition (cartridges) without a license.

As the legal proceedings unfold, all eyes will be on the upcoming trial to determine the outcome and implications for Emefiele’s future and the case’s impact on the nation’s financial and political landscape.

 

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On Father’s day, Tinubu, Obaseki hail Fathers for their resilience, sacrifice

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Tinubu wants direct elections into ECOWAS parliament

President Bola Tinubu and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State have congratulated fathers, including all paternal figures for their contributions in shaping Nigeria’s destiny by their sacrifice, forbearance, provision, protection, presence, and guidance of the young ones to the noble and true path.

Tinubu, in a statement issued yesterday on the occasion of this year’s Father’s Day by his Media Adviser, Ajuri Ngelale, stressed that Father’s Day was significant for its purpose as a day set apart to honour all fathers – living, deceased, and paternal figures.

Tinubu traced the history of this special day to the Middle Ages, and official roots in West Virginia, the United States, where an event was held in 1908 to celebrate 362 men who died in an explosion at a coal mining company.

He affirmed that society is in better stead with fathers who rise to the great demand of responsibility, guiding the children through the vagaries of existence and preparing them for the future, as well as bequeathing to them pristine values that money or material comfort cannot provide, but only by personal example of discipline, integrity, service, respect, love and allegiance to the nation.

The president saluted all fathers, the sung and the unsung, who brave the toil of the day and the soreness of the night to provide for their families.

Tinubu urged fathers to stay true to their commitment to positively shape the destinies of those to whom the future belongs.

Meanwhile, Obaseki, has also commended fathers for their enormous responsibilities in holding the society and contributing to societal growth.

READ ALSO  On Father’s day, Tinubu, Obaseki hail Fathers for their resilience, sacrifice

The governor, in a statement to commemorate Father’s Day, said: “I celebrate fathers for their immense contributions to societal development, holding the family unit together amid the hardship occasioned by the prevailing economic realities.”
Obaseki noted: “Despite the economic difficulties, fathers have remained strong pillars of support in the family, toiling daily to make ends meet while juggling roles such as mentor, leader, protector, provider, and breadwinner. They deserve to be celebrated.

“On this auspicious day set aside to acknowledge their gallantry, sacrifice, love, and resilience, we celebrate our fathers and assure them of our continued support to deliver on their duties on the home front with dignity, including the State’s civil and service reforms and increase in the minimum wage to N70, 000, the highest in the country.”

“While we urge them, as the family’s reflective mirrors to imbue in their children the right values and character so as to ensure peace, stability, and harmony in our society, especially amid the electioneering campaigns, we will not relent at ongoing reforms to open up the economy so that our fathers would be actively engaged and are productive. Happy Fathers’ Day!” he added.

Source: THIS DAY

 

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House of Reps: Leaders of thought disagree over new debate on single tenure

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House of Reps: Leaders of thought disagree over new debate on single tenure

That Nigeria is not getting the best out of the present structure of government is a known fact. Over the years, the issue of tenure review to check the excesses and authority of the president and state governors has remained on the front burner of public discourse.

Nigerian Leaders

While some people have argued in support of the existing two-term tenure, there are a legion of others who are rooting for a single term.

For the protagonists of single tenure, the major attraction is that incumbents are less likely to use the state’s institutions to manipulate elections or alienate their rival contenders. On the part of the leaders, they feel more pressure to deliver results and leave office with a positive legacy.

More importantly, the need to change leadership encourages a new generation of political leaders, fresh ideas, and possible policy changes.

It also promotes healthy competition needed to strengthen democratic institutions and the democratic process thereby focusing politicians on governance rather than re-election. It also reduces campaign costs and tempers the unrest caused by the elections.

From the botched Second Republic to the present dispensation, the idea of single tenure has endured all successive governments. However, due to a lack of consensus, it has died many times and resurrected accordingly.

Apart from its inclusion in the recommendations of the national political conference organized by former President Olusegun Obasanjo along with its third term agenda, the administration of Goodluck Jonathan also made a feeble attempt to send the proposal to the National Assembly to pass into law.

On Tuesday, a fresh debate ensued again in the House of Representatives over the desirability or otherwise of a bill proposing single tenure for the president and state governors.

The bill was sponsored by a group of over 30 lawmakers under the aegis of the Reform Minded Legislators seeking constitutional alterations to provide for the rotation of the presidency among the sigeo-political zones.

According to them, when the bill becomes law, it will reduce government spending, eliminate wastage, and bring about efficiency in governance and national stability following the practice of a single term of six years for the president and the governors.

Already, the bill has passed the first reading. The Coordinator of the group, Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, said: “The electoral reform bills have gone through first reading.

“We are a group of Reform-minded lawmakers committed to using the instrument of lawmaking to reform Nigeria and our political process, constitutional and electoral reform has been a burning topic in Nigeria since independence from Britain in 1960.”

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He explained that the current political arrangement had some identified distortions, defects, and limitations that called for urgent, focused, and realistic attention.

So, it’s a whole range of reforms, covering governance, economic, security, and justice sectors, among others.

The section of the proposed bill that is of particular interest to the majority of stakeholders is the one seeking to amend Section 3 of the Constitution to provide for the recognition of the division of Nigeria into geo-political zones, as well as the creation of the office of two vice presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria.

According to the lawmakers, the first vice president shall be a succession vice president, while the second vice president shall be a Minister in charge of the Administration and Economy, and both shall be Ministers.

While some leaders of thought described the tenure limit as a welcome idea, others dismissed it as a distraction.

Chief Chekwas Okorie, sharing his perspective of the bill with Sunday Sun, said that the intention of the sponsors might be good, but it was done in bad taste.

He went down memory lane, narrating how the late Alex Ekwueme frantically fought for the inclusion of six geo-political zone arrangements in the constitution, but all to no avail.

His words: “The idea of the bill is not novel. It has been on the front burner for a long time. In the case of the late former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, he fought gallantly at the national conference and included it in the new constitution Nigeria had under the late General Sani Abacha. It was Ekwueme who proposed six zonal structures for Nigeria for the rotation of the presidency.

“The idea was that Nigeria would have attained stable nationhood by the time the rotation goes round in 36 years so that it would not matter anymore where the president comes from. However, the provision was dropped. It was well debated, adopted, and recommended.

“However, the Northern political elite that wouldn’t want power rotation in that order went and advised Abacha to come up with another committee to review the recommendation of the conference. It was at that point that that brilliant suggestion was dropped.

“That is why till today the provision for the six geo-political zones is not contained in the 1999 constitution. Nigerians just mention it at their convenience. If Ekweume’s proposal had been allowed into the constitution, every zone would have had the presidency for one term. By now, Nigeria would have attained unity and coercion. The issue of where the president comes from will no longer matter.

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“After Ekwueme, some other leaders like former President Goodluck Jonathan made a similar suggestion, but did not take any direct steps to ensure the implementation by using the executive bill. It is so unfortunate that the sponsors of the bill are now coming up with such an idea at this time to distract all of us.

“To me, it is a mere distraction. The condition put in the 1999 constitution for the creation of a state makes it impossible to create new states. It is like the biblical proverbial camel passing through the eye of the needle. Coming with a private member bill at this time is ridiculous and diversionary.

“No matter the good intention of the proposal, it is in a very bad taste. The sponsors of the bill even named the state he wanted to see created from his local government. Two days later, Hon Ned Nwoko submitted his bill, calling for the creation of Anioma State, and even went further to say that Anioma should be incorporated in the Southeast so that the imbalance in the state creation would have been resolved. I don’t see it passing the second reading. It will end at first reading.”

Okorie maintained that only a restructuring of the country could address some of the fundamental problems inherent in the existing federal system, urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take the bull by the horns.

“Let them amend the constitution and incorporate this thing we are talking about in a new constitution. If it is to ensure equality of the zones, let it be in the constitution. It becomes constitutional.

“Already, some people are saying that the issue has been overtaken by events. All we need to do now is restructure Nigeria and let states be the federating units and give each unit the latitude to develop at its own pace. That is why we are expecting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has been part and parcel of true federalism in Nigeria to use his good office to either support constitutional arrangements to make Nigeria a more federal state or produce the executive bill in that regard. This private member bill will not see the light of day because it is self-centred. It is dead on arrival,” he declared.

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Another elder statesman and Second Republic politician in Kano State, Tanko Yakassai, also speaking with Sunday Sun, argued that single tenure would add more to the cost of governance in the country.

He said: “I think they have not done their homework very well because the more you hold elections in the country, the more costly it will be. I don’t support the proposal. According to my calculation, the more you hold elections, the more costly it will be for the country. If you reduce the tenure of the president or governors, it will mean more elections. The idea of a second term is to make people perform not the other way round.

“If they know that they have no stake again after six years, they will do worse things. Again, you know what the legislators in the national and state assemblies are taking as salaries and allowances. The more elections we hold, the more money they will make and the more costly it will be for the country. What we need now is a reduction in the cost of governance.”

However, former Deputy National Chairman (Southwest) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Shuiab Oyedokun, in his opinion, applauded the bill as a welcome development, saying that it would reduce unhealthy competition characterizing the present system.

“Both single and two-term tenures have advantages and disadvantages. But for some reason, I prefer a six-year tenure. In my view, I think it is a good development. The main disadvantage of two-term tenure is the usual cutthroat competition which distracts those who seek a second term from governance while in their first tenure. They always concentrate on subtle mobilization as preparation for a second term. And that discourages many other people who can also aspire because they deliberately alienate other contenders.

“A single term of six years will enable those elected to concentrate on governance. However, to make it effective, the immunity of the governors must be reduced. If they know that they have only six years to spend in office, they could unleash some havoc on society. Therefore, it should be accompanied by checks and balances so that people will not become autocratic within six years,” he posited.

By and large, the debate is still raging on. The next few weeks will determine how far the lawmakers can go in seeking concurrent approval from the two chambers of the National Assembly.

Source: Sun News

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Oil & Gas

Dangote reveals how oil mafia tried to stop establishment of Dangote Refinery

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The founder of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has revealed that both local and international criminal organisations, which he described as “mafia”, made repeated attempts to sabotage his $19bn refinery project located in Lagos.

Speaking at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings, Dangote likened the oil cartels to a mafia stronger than the drug mafia hell-bent on maintaining their grip on the industry.

“Well, I knew that there would be a fight. But I didn’t know that the mafia in oil, they are stronger than the mafia in drugs. I can tell you that. Yes, it’s a fact,” he said.

Dangote, who described himself as a fighter, said they “tried all sorts” to stop him.

“But I’m a person that has been fighting all my life. You know, so I think it’s part of my life to fight,” he said.

He added, “As a matter of fact during the COVID period, some of the international banks really were looking forward to making sure that they push us into default of our loans so that the project will just be dead. And that didn’t happen with the help of banks like Afreximbank.”

Dangote also revealed that he has paid off $2.4bn of the $5.5bn borrowed for the Lagos-based refinery.

Dangote also unveiled plans to diversify into the steel sector, aiming to utilise solely Nigerian-produced steel and achieve self-sufficiency.

Dangote Refinery recently rescheduled the launch of its petrol sales to July 10-15, pushing back its initial June target due to “minor” logistical issues.

READ ALSO  On Father’s day, Tinubu, Obaseki hail Fathers for their resilience, sacrifice

Source: CHAMPION NEWS

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Malawi President, Chakwera confirms death of VP in plane crash

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Malawi President, Chakwera confirms death of VP in plane crash

The President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday confirmed the death of his Vice, Saulos Chilima.

Chakwera said his deputy was killed alongside nine other passengers in a plane crash.

Addressing a press conference, the President said the aircraft carrying his deputy went missing after it failed to land at the Mzuzu International Airport, about 380 km (240 miles) to the north of the capital Lilongwe, adding that the plane’s wreckage has been located.

“The search and rescue operation I ordered to find the missing plane that carried our vice president and nine others has been completed.

“The plane has been found. And I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform you that it has turned out to be a terrible tragedy,” Chakwera said.

DAILY POST had reported that a plane carrying Chilima and nine others disappeared off the radar on Monday.

The plane reportedly crash landed in Chikangawa forest.

A statement from the President’s office said the Malawi Defense Force aircraft “went off the radar” after it left the capital, Lilongwe, on Monday morning.

According to BBC, the President ordered a search and rescue operation after aviation officials were unable to contact the aircraft.

It was supposed to land at Mzuzu International Airport, in the country’s north, just after 10:00 local time (11:00 BST)

Source: Daily Post

 

READ ALSO  On Father’s day, Tinubu, Obaseki hail Fathers for their resilience, sacrifice
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Showbiz & Lifestyle

Linda Ikeji clarifies son’s surname amid social media frenzy

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Linda Ikeji clarifies son’s surname amid social media frenzy

Media personality, Linda Ikeji has finally addressed the controversy surrounding her son Jayce’s surname.

The controversy erupted on Tuesday when the blogger shared an innocent vacation post featuring her six-year-old son and his cousin Ryan, sparking a heated debate among fans.

The blogger intended for a sweet post and caption about the kids’ vacation, but fans swiftly turned things around after they noticed in her caption that she referred to her son with her last name.

In a clarifying statement on her Instagram story, Linda revealed that her son has always carried her surname since birth, putting to rest speculation of a name change.

The blogger expressed disbelief at the notion that she would alter her son’s identity, emphasising that such decisions will be left to him when he comes of age.

Linda said she has not changed her son’s surname as he has always been an Ikeji from birth.

She wrote: “Just to be clear. I’ve never ever had to change my son’s surname.

“He’s been an Ikeji right from when he was born! Where do I have the time or patience to be changing names?

“Changing it and keeping his surname (Ikeji) will be up to him when he ages. Food for my Junior colleagues”.

-The Nation

 

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Trump campaign announces $53m raised after conviction

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Donald Trump’s campaign said Friday it had raised nearly $53 million in online small-dollar donations after he was convicted in his New York hush money trial, boasting that the verdict had galvanized his support “like never before.”

The record haul was equivalent to more than $2 million raised per hour, it said.
Senior campaign aides Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles said in statements that more than a third of the total came from new donors to the campaign and hailed an “outpouring of support from patriots across our country.”

Calling the Thursday court decision a “sham trial verdict” the advisors reported that the “digital fundraising system was overwhelmed with support” despite temporary online delays “because of the amount of traffic” from small-dollar donors.

As of Friday evening, the day’s total had climbed to a whopping $52.8 million.

A jury convicted Trump Thursday on all 34 charges of falsifying business records to cover up a sex scandal in the final stages of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Prosecutors said Trump had sex with porn actress Stormy Daniels soon after his wife Melania had given birth in 2006, and then paid hush money a decade later to avoid the fallout and deceive voters, before creating false paperwork to conceal the payment.

He is due for sentencing on July 11 but is expected to appeal the verdict.

“Crooked Joe Biden and the Democrats with their election interference political witch hunt have awakened the MAGA movement like never before,” LaCivita and Wiles said.

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President Joe Biden has been at pains to avoid commenting on the trial and there is no evidence that he or his administration had any involvement in the investigation, which was launched by New York state, not the federal government.

Trump has a long record of turning scandal to his advantage, and his campaign website began redirecting visitors to a fundraising page declaring he was a “political prisoner” moments after he was convicted.

The page crashed for around an hour within minutes of launching, however, as the surge of Trump supporters overwhelmed WinRed, the official Republican Party donation platform.

Trump regularly characterizes his legal woes as a battle against the evil forces of the “deep state” and Biden’s White House, casting himself as a martyr willing to sacrifice his liberty to stand up for his supporters.

In April, he compared himself to South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela for the second time, and he has also likened himself to Jesus Christ.

Source: The Punch

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