Good morning Nigeria. Welcome to the Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Tuesday, 23rd January 2024.
1. President Tinubu Gives Wike Approval For Emergency Procurement To Fight Insecurity In The FCT
President Bola Tinubu has given the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, approval to make emergency procurement of some digital security and tracking equipment.
The procurement is to aid the fight against kidnapping, killings, and other challenges of insecurity in the FCT.
This development was disclosed by Wike during a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.
The Minister said he wouldn’t disclose the details of the security equipment to be purchased but gave assurance that the government is not resting and that the gadgets, when ready, would boost the fight against criminals and insecurity.
According to him, the security agencies are also not sleeping and it is part of their efforts that led to the arrest of some kidnappers by the Police.
Wike submitted that the lack of equipment might have stifled the efforts of the security agencies, but with the approval given by the President, the story would change.
The Minister added that when he was the Rivers State Governor, needed equipment for tracking criminals were purchased despite the high cost and the effort in no small measure helped in curbing the activities of criminals.
2. Tinubu Directs Expansion Of Student Loan Scheme
President Bola Tinubu has directed the expansion of interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill-development programmes.
In a statement on Monday by the presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu directed the management of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to expand its focus to include skill development.
The President issued this directive at the State House on Monday after a briefing from the Executive Secretary of NELFUND, Akintunde Sawyerr, on the build-up to the launch of the programme later in the month.
The President said it is important for the scheme to accommodate those who may not want to pursue university education, noting that skill acquisition is as important as obtaining undergraduate and graduate academic qualifications.
3. Crisis Looms As Sacked Plateau Lawmakers Set To Return To Assembly
In a developing political crisis in Plateau State, 16 members of the state House of Assembly, recently ousted by the Court of Appeal, have declared their intention to return to the House, defying the court judgments that nullified their elections.
This bold stance was made public during a press briefing in Jos, the state capital, on Monday.
The Court of Appeal had previously dismissed these lawmakers on the grounds that their party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lacked the requisite structure to sponsor candidates in the last general elections.
However, the affected members, led by Ishaku Maren, are contesting this decision based on a Supreme Court judgment that upheld the election of the State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang.
They argue that this verdict implicitly qualifies them to retain their positions in the Assembly.
In a move that challenges the legal system, the lawmakers announced plans to resume duties in the House on Tuesday, coinciding with the Assembly’s reconvention after a two-month recess.
This decision is poised to escalate tensions and raise significant legal and constitutional questions.
4. Atiku’s Ex-Aide, Sowunmi Drags PDP NWC To Court
Segun Sowunmi, a former spokesman of ex-vice President Atiku Abubakar, has dragged the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to court for failing to convene a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
Sowunmi filed the case at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.
Listed as respondents in the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/ T024 are the PDP, the party’s acting national chairman, Iliya Damagum, national secretary, Samuel Anyanwu, National Organising Sec., Umar Bature, National Auditor, Okechukwu Daniel, National Treasurer, Ahmed Yayari, and National Youth leader, Muhammed Kadade.
The national officers were sued in their capacity as officers of the PDP, and on behalf of the National Executive Committee/National Working Committee of the party.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was also listed as a respondent in the suit.
5. Northern Senators Question Fund Allocated To The Region In 2024 Budget, Relocation Of Agencies To Lagos
Some National Assembly lawmakers from the northern region have questioned the amount allocated for projects in the region in the 2024 national budget.
They believe the allocation of resources to the region is lopsided and questionable.
The 58 lawmakers, under the auspices of the Northern Senators’ Forum, expressed dissatisfaction with the portion of the N28.7tn 2024 budget allocated for the northern region.
The Senators also questioned the recent decision by the federal government to move some offices/headquarters of some federal government agencies to Lagos State.
They made their views known in a statement on Monday in Abuja, which was signed by their spokesperson, Senator Suleiman Kawu Summaila (NNPP Kano South), in which they described the allocation and distribution of funds in the 2024 budget as unfair to the north.
They, however, added that they would seek an amicable resolution of their grievances with the federal government and urged the people of their constituencies to remain calm.
6. Kidnapping Increased After Tinubu Took Office – Peter Obi
The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has said the kidnappings of Nigerians increased rapidly after President Bola Tinubu took over office on May 29, 2023.
In a post via his official X handle, Obi lamented the kidnappings and killings of innocent citizens in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other parts of the country.
The former Governor of Anambra stated that the government is rewarding those who paid to get Tinubu elected rather than spending money to tackle insecurity in the nation.
Obi also called on the Tinubu government to increase the defence budget and stop spending funds on fancy weapons systems that fail to tackle the roots of the problem, which are poverty, poor education, and anger at army atrocities.
The LP chieftain also called out those who have continued to see his criticism of a bad system as bad and are maligning his person and the Obidients for seeking good governance and a better future for all Nigerians.
7. How Buhari Reacted When I Told Him About Tinubu’s ’Emi Lokan’ Speech – Adesina
A former media aide to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has shared an intriguing episode involving Buhari’s reaction to President Bola Tinubu’s notable ‘emi lokan’ speech.
In his narrative, Adesina recalls the moment he informed Buhari about Tinubu’s remarks in June 2022, during a meeting with All Progressives Congress (APC) delegates in Ogun.
The ‘emi lokan’ phrase, which translates to “it is my turn” in Yoruba, gained significant attention when Tinubu, then a presidential aspirant, asserted that Buhari would not have won the 2015 presidential election without his support.
Tinubu also claimed credit for Dapo Abiodun’s victory as the governor of Ogun state.
According to Adesina, Buhari was not in Nigeria when Tinubu made these comments.
The former presidential spokesperson was accompanying Buhari on a trip to Spain for an official event at the time. Adesina encountered Tinubu’s remarks while preparing to leave Spain and return to Nigeria.
Adesina said after he finished narrating what had transpired in Ogun to his principal, Buhari went silent for a few minutes.
8. Fubara Loses As Court Voids Passage Of N800 Billion 2024 Budget By Rivers Assembly
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, voided and set aside the presentation and passage of the N800 billion 2024 budget by a group of four-member legislators in the state led by Edison Ehie.
In a judgment delivered by Justice James Omotosho, the court nullified the signing of the budget into law by Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State.
Justice Omotosho also ordered the state governor to re-present the budget to the legally constituted House of Assembly under the Speaker, Martin Amaewhule.
The judge also quashed the withholding of the House of Assembly fund on the ground, declaring that he had no constitutional power to do so.
The presiding judge restrained Governor Fubara from frustrating the House of Assembly under Amaewhule from sitting or interfering in the affairs of the House.
Justice Omotosho also voided the Governor’s redeployment of the Clerk and the Deputy Clerk and ordered both officials to resume office immediately and unhindered.
He also directed the Inspector General of Police to immediately give adequate security to the Speaker and legislators loyal to former Governor Nyesom Wike.
The judge also barred the National Assembly from taking over the Rivers State House of Assembly or accepting or treating any request from Governor Fubara.
9. Don’t Lose Hope In Tinubu’s Administration, CAN Tells Nigerians
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has encouraged Nigerians to maintain hope amid the economic reforms implemented by President Bola Tinubu‘s administration.
The association urged the President to persist in the direction he has taken since assuming office almost eight months ago, expressing its support for the government.
CAN President, Daniel Okoh, urged Nigerians not to lose hope but to have patience and persevere, acknowledging the efforts made by the President towards securing the nation.
Okoh made this statement to State House Correspondents after the audience with the President at the Council Chamber of the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The meeting on Monday marked the first interaction between the Christian Association of Nigeria and President Bola Tinubu since his inauguration on May 29, 2023.
CAN strongly criticised Tinubu’s predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing the previous administration of inadequately addressing incidents of killings and attacks on churches and communities in the Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, and the Middle Belt.
10. You Have A Case To Answer On Alleged N320 Million Fraud – Court Tells Delta Reps Mutu
A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the no-case submission put forward by a member of the House of Representatives representing Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency of Delta State, Nicholas Mutu.
Mutu, along with two other entities, Airworld Technologies Ltd and Oyien Homes Ltd, are facing charges related to money laundering, accused of being involved in the laundering of approximately N320 million.
In a ruling on Monday, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo ordered Nicholas Mutu and his co-defendants to enter their defence, stating that they have a case to answer regarding the allegations made against them in the 13-count amended charge.
The judge held that the prosecution had presented enough evidence to establish a prima facie case against the three defendants, justifying the need for them to respond and present their defence.
That’s the top Nigerian newspaper headlines for today. Read more Nigerian news on Naija News. See you again tomorrow.
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