Diezani Files Lawsuit Against AGF and EFCC, Demands N100bn for Libel; FG Declares Monday Public Holiday for Presidential Inauguration | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Diezani Files Lawsuit Against AGF and EFCC, Demands N100bn for Libel
  • Shettima Warns Beginning Of Tinubu Administration ‘Might Not Be Rosy’
  • Sirika Unveils Nigeria Air, Targets 35 Aircraft in 5 Years
  • FG Declares Monday Public Holiday for Presidential Inauguration
  • Buhari Gives Tinubu Tour of Aso Rock Villa

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

Diezani Files Lawsuit Against AGF and EFCC, Demands N100bn for Libel

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has taken legal action against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), seeking N100 billion in damages over allegations of corruption.

The lawsuit, filed on May 26, 2023, at a federal high court in Abuja, was submitted by a team of lawyers led by the renowned Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome.

The details of the writ of summons reveal that Alison-Madueke is also demanding a public apology from the EFCC and the AGF, to be published in three national newspapers. These demands stem from what she claims are false, injurious, malicious, and libelous statements and publications made against her by the EFCC since her departure from the country in 2015.

Alison-Madueke asserts that these statements and publications have tarnished her reputation and integrity, not only in the eyes of the Nigerian public but also among right-thinking individuals globally. She argues that they have subjected her to public ridicule, contempt, and derision, and brought about a sense of disgrace and humiliation.

The EFCC and AGF were given 14 days from the service of the summons to enter their defence.

Alison-Madueke was minister of transportation (and later mines and steel development) from 2007 to 2009 under President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua before serving as petroleum minister under President Goodluck Jonathan from 2010 to 2015.

Shettima Warns Beginning Of Tinubu Administration ‘Might Not Be Rosy’

Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima has offered a realistic outlook on the upcoming administration of Bola Tinubu, cautioning that the initial phase may face challenges. Both Tinubu and Shettima are set to be inaugurated on Monday, marking the conclusion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-term presidency.

During a public lecture at the National Mosque in Abuja on Friday, Shettima sought to reassure Nigerians that Tinubu would swiftly take action upon assuming office. However, he acknowledged that the starting point might not be smooth due to lingering issues such as the burden of oil subsidies and the dual economic system resulting from multiple exchange rates.

Shettima emphasized that the incoming administration would confront significant hurdles, noting the urgency to address the nation’s daunting challenges. He drew upon a Chinese saying that living in interesting times can be seen as a curse, underscoring the gravity of the current situation. Despite the difficulties, Shettima expressed confidence that Nigerians would eventually recognize and celebrate the achievements of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In his address, the Vice President-elect highlighted the transient nature of power and stressed that personal qualifications or academic degrees do not define leaders. He affirmed that he and Tinubu viewed power as an opportunity to serve God and humanity, humbly accepting the responsibility. Shettima lauded Tinubu as a principled leader who would administer fairness to all Nigerians, irrespective of their political, religious, or regional backgrounds.

Additionally, Shettima called for unity among Nigerians, as they share common struggles of poverty, destitution, and insecurity. He urged everyone to join forces and overcome these challenges together.

Sirika Unveils Nigeria Air, Targets 35 Aircraft in 5 Years

Nigeria Air, the long-awaited national carrier, was officially unveiled by the federal government in a ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja, the capital city.

During the event, Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, highlighted the partnership between Nigeria Air and the Ethiopian Airlines (ET) consortium, which was selected as the preferred bidder. This collaboration aims to facilitate connectivity between the two markets.

Sirika emphasized the significance of Nigeria Air, stating that it fills a crucial gap in the country’s aviation sector, offering an airline that matches the size and potential of Nigeria’s market. He expressed optimism about the venture and its potential contributions to the country’s growth and development.

Regarding the commencement of flight operations, Sirika mentioned that certain conditions set by the regulatory body, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), need to be met. A demonstration flight will be conducted to showcase the airline’s capabilities and readiness for operations. The duration of this demonstration flight, typically around 40 hours, will demonstrate the airline’s capacity to operate effectively.

Sirika also shared the long-term plans for Nigeria Air, stating that more aircraft will be acquired over the next five years, gradually expanding the fleet to reach a total of 35 aircraft. He clarified that the airline’s initial focus will be on domestic flights using Boeing 737 aircraft. The airline is privately led, with the government holding only a 5% stake, leaving room for public participation in the future.

FG Declares Monday Public Holiday for Presidential Inauguration

The Nigerian federal government has declared May 29 as a work-free day to commemorate the presidential inauguration. The announcement was made by Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, on Friday.

On May 29, Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, and Kashim Shettima, the Vice President-elect, will be sworn in to commence their new administration. The declaration of a work-free day provides an opportunity for Nigerians to observe and participate in the inauguration events.

In a statement issued by Shuaib Belgore, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Aregbesola urged Nigerians to continue supporting and promoting democracy by upholding the rule of law and respecting democratic institutions.

Aregbesola commended Nigerians for their faith in democracy, as demonstrated in the nationwide elections that led to the election of the President and Vice President. He emphasized that democracy is an ongoing process that requires adherence to its principles, including the rule of law, a free and responsible press, and the advancement of freedom for all citizens.

The Minister also called on Nigerians to reject violence and embrace peaceful coexistence, affirming that the nation can only enjoy the dividends of democracy in a peaceful environment. He expressed confidence that Nigeria will achieve greatness in all aspects of human development.

Aregbesola commended Nigerians for their unwavering efforts in maintaining uninterrupted civilian rule and successful transitions of power since 1999. He urged citizens to support and cooperate with the incoming administration, highlighting the immense strength and potential of the people when their energy is positively harnessed for the nation’s progress.

Buhari Gives Tinubu Tour of Aso Rock Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari accompanied President-elect Senator Bola Tinubu on a brief tour of select areas within the Presidential Villa. After attending Friday prayers at the villa mosque, the two leaders embarked on a tour of various departments.

President Buhari guided President-elect Tinubu through the Council Chamber, making their way to the press gallery where journalists were eagerly waiting to ask questions. However, they walked past the correspondents as the State Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, explained the role of the press gallery to both leaders.

Recently, Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo also conducted a familiarization tour of the Vice President’s office with Vice President-elect Senator Kashim Shettima.

Following the tour, Senator Shettima expressed his commitment to swiftly take action upon his official swearing-in. He mentioned that both he and Vice President Osinbajo had exchanged ideas on advancing the nation’s progress.

These tours signify a period of transition and preparation as the new administration prepares to assume office. The exchanges between the current leaders and their successors provide an opportunity for collaboration and continuity in the nation’s governance.

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