FG orders closure of ALL land borders; Buhari govt not in breach of Supreme Court order – Malami | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • FG orders closure of ALL land borders
  • Air Peace, Ibom Air suspend flight operations over Feb 25 elections
  • Buhari govt not in breach of Supreme Court order – Malami
  • President Buhari arrives Daura to cast his votes on Saturday
  • Simon Ekpa released by Finnish Police after hours of questioning

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

FG orders closure of ALL land borders

The federal government has ordered the closure of all land borders ahead of the general election.

The presidential and national assembly elections have been fixed for February 25.

In a statement on Thursday by Tony Akuneme, spokesperson of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Isah Jere, the NIS comptroller-general, said the border closure will last for 24 hours on election day.

The closure will be effective from 12am on Saturday to 12am on Sunday.

“Accordingly, all command comptrollers especially those in the border states are to ensure strict enforcement of this directive,” he added.

The development comes hours after Usman Baba, the inspector-general of police (IGP), ordered the restriction of vehicular movement across the country on election day.

The restriction, which exempts persons on essential duties, will be effective from midnight on Friday till 6 pm on Saturday.

Those on essential services are officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), electoral observers, persons responding to medical emergencies, and firefighters, among others.

Air Peace, Ibom Air suspend flight operations over Feb 25 elections

Air Peace, Nigeria’s flag carrier, says it is suspending flight operations on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

The airline said the suspension of scheduled flights was due to the forthcoming presidential elections.

In a statement on Thursday, the aviation firm assured customers that it would resume services after the elections.

“Members of the public are, hereby, informed that there will be no scheduled flights on February 25, 2023, due to the conduct of the presidential and national assembly elections,” Air Peace said.

“Scheduled flight operations resume on Sunday, February 26, 2023.”

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, will hold its general elections between February and March 2023.

While the presidential and national assembly contest will hold on Saturday, February 25; the gubernatorial and state assembly polls are scheduled in most states for March 11.

Buhari govt not in breach of Supreme Court order – Malami

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari has not acted in breach of the Supreme Court’s injunction preventing the federal government from imposing a deadline on the use of old naira notes.

Malami stated this while speaking at the 67th ministerial press briefing at the state house.

He said there are different ways around the order of the Supreme Court.

Recall that the Supreme Court had earlier this month issued an injunction restraining the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from giving effect to the deadline on the use of the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes.

The order followed an ex parte application brought before the apex court by three states Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi.

Despite the Supreme Court’s order, Buhari had last week in a nationwide broadcast, instructed the CBN to re-circulate the old N200 note, announcing that the old N500 and N1,000 notes were no longer legal tender.

Speaking on the development, Malami said: “Where an order is made by a court, you’ve multiple options but let me state before even addressing the issue of the options available at our disposal as a government.”

“The fact, clearly, that we aren’t in breach of any order made by the court, inclusive of any order associated with the naira redesign. We aren’t in breach.

“I believe I am not a banker, but you’ve not gone to establish which bank is it that you’ve gone to present N1000 or N500 notes that have been rejected. So we are not in breach.

“We are doing the needful as a government in terms of ensuring that the right of the government, within the context of the naira redesign, is being protected. So we aren’t in breach.”

Meanwhile, thirteen other states have joined in the suit against the federal government.

The Supreme Court has fixed March 3 to deliver judgment in the suit.

President Buhari arrives Daura to cast his votes on Saturday

President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in his hometown of Daura in Katsina State on Thursday evening fully prepared to perform his civic duty as a voter in the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections.

According to Garba Shehu, his spokesman: “President Muhammadu Buhari at 5:25 pm arrived in Daura, Katsina State preparatory to the elections on Saturday in which he will participate, not as a candidate as he had done since 2003, but as a voter.

“Knowing the importance of every single vote, the President makes sure that all members of his family, members of the entourage, including security, protocol, and other staff are registered to vote here.”

Simon Ekpa released by Finnish Police after hours of questioning

A popular pro-Biafra separatist agitator, Simon Ekpa, has been released by Police in Finland, hours after he was arrested and grilled on Thursday, according to HS.

Earlier in the day, Ekpa was escorted out of his apartment in Lahti by Finnish policemen.

Read also: Biafra agitator Simon Ekpa arrested in Finland

He was later released after the police allegedly arrested him for a suspected crime.

The Finnish Central Criminal Police has now confirmed Ekpa’s release on Thursday.

The police claimed Ekpa’s arrest was in connection with the ongoing preliminary investigation.

“The person being questioned today is suspected of a crime. We will return to the title on Friday,” Tommi Reen from the Central Criminal Police told HS during a phone interview.

Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, had repeatedly ordered the people of the South-East to observe a sit-at-home and asked them to boycott the country’s general elections billed for Saturday.

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