I cut off roads to Natasha Akpoti’s constituency for security reasons – Yahaya Bello; Emefiele, Malami must resign for misleading Buhari on naira policy – APC | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • I cut off roads to Natasha Akpoti’s constituency for security reasons – Yahaya Bello
  • Comply immediately with Supreme court ruling on naira redesign policy – Femi Gbajabiamila to CBN
  • Tribunal grants Atiku, Obi’s request to inspect INEC’s election materials
  • Emefiele, Malami must resign for misleading Buhari on naira policy – APC
  • Petroleum marketers blame FG for hike in fuel price

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

I cut off roads to Natasha Akpoti’s constituency for security reasons – Yahaya Bello

Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State, has spoken out about tearing up and shutting off roads to some parts of the state.

Bello had hired a construction company to block access to the senatorial district during Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections in order to thwart elections in certain communities by preventing officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, security agents, and other stakeholders from entering the district.

Thursday, the Kogi State Command of the Nigerian Police Force apprehended employees of a Chinese construction company, CCECC, who were reportedly hired by Bello to block roads going to the Kogi Central Senatorial District.

The route connects to the senatorial district of Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, a senatorial candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.

On Arise TV on Friday evening, Bello acknowledged closing the road but claimed security concerns.

Speaking on his relationship with Mrs. Uduaghan, Bello said, “I usually avoid talking about her simply because she’s my sister and my subject and I’m bound to provide a level playing ground for everyone to carry out the electioneering process as free as possible and I’ve always provided that.

“Honestly, if you ask me today why she continues to mention my name probably she has not said the truth, why? My name is so sweet in her mouth.

“She goes to bed and dreams it’s Yahaya Bello. If she has any issues with her husband and friends, it’s Yahaya Bello. Anything that goes right or wrong with her it’s Yahaya Bello. ”

On the reason he dug up the road, the Governor added, “So, did I dig some entering and exit roads, yes, I did. I did that because as the chief security officer, I must take every step to protect the lives and property of all at all times.

“Every day, I continue to come up with security measures and improve on it to secure the lives of the people. I study to move ahead of criminals at all times. In 2019 some people were killed and mainly they were our supporters even a day before the 2019 general elections.

“We realised that these criminals did not fly in but moved through the roads and we identified some of these roads. Then comes 2023 and there are indications that these criminals were coming.

“Long before the election, we had mapped out those roads all across Kogi central and other places. All these attacks that were carried out and people killed, these were the roads they passed through.

“And there are other roads people pass through. Those dug roads served as escape routes.

“So what we did was to dig up those roads so that if you commit a crime and try to escape, we’ll catch you. I chose good timing as well because that is when they usually come to commit crimes during the electioneering campaign. We are aware of the machineries that were brought in from different parts of the country.”

Comply immediately with Supreme court ruling on naira redesign policy – Femi Gbajabiamila to CBN

The speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has praised the supreme court’s ruling on the naira redesign policy.

On Friday morning, the supreme court dismissed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s naira policy (CBN).

A seven-member panel of the country’s highest court ruled that the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes will remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

The court criticized the policy and stated that its timing and implementation were flawed.

The CBN introduced the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on December 23, 2022, and set February 10 as the deadline for using the previous ones, notwithstanding a temporary order by the supreme court that the old notes remained legal tender.

In a statement released on Friday, Gbajabiamila stated that the supreme court’s decision is consistent with the viewpoint of the house of representatives.

“It has always been the position of the House of Representatives that despite the noble intentions behind the currency swap policy, the design and implementation of the policy has been fatally flawed and contradictory to the ends of law and public policy,” he said.

“The decision of the supreme court suspending the currency swap policy introduced by CBN and extending the implementation deadline to 31st December 2023 validates the position of the house in its entirety.”

Gbajabiamila said the “remarkably haphazard implementation of the currency swap policy fell way short of international standards”.

“It deviated from the prior practice of the CBN without providing any benefits to the Nigerian people or the economy of Nigeria, both of which have suffered significant harm as a result,” he said.

“The CBN must respect the apex court’s judgement and act quickly to give it full effect. This is necessary to reverse some of the damage done to our economy and prevent the continued suffering of the Nigerian people.”

Gbajabiamila said while the CBN is expected to take action on the supreme court verdict, the house of representatives “will exercise its authority to review the actions and inactions, the failures of law and procedure that set the conditions for this profound failure of public policy”.

“This is necessary to ensure we take the right legislative actions to prevent future recurrence,” he added.

Tribunal grants Atiku, Obi’s request to inspect INEC’s election materials

Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, has been allowed access to all sensitive information utilized by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) in the 25 February poll.

The court also issued the same injunction to People’s Democratic Party presidential contender Atiku Abubakar (PDP).

The rulings were issued on Friday by a panel of the appeal court chaired by Joseph Ikyegh after the court heard two separate ex parte applications brought by the two disgruntled candidates and their political parties.

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of INEC, declared Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the winner of the poll on Wednesday. Tinubu received 8,794,721 votes.

Atiku had 6,984,520 votes while Obi polled 6,101,533 votes.

The opposition candidates have declared their determination to file a legal challenge against the outcome.

In his ex parte application with the designation CA/PEC/02M/23, Obi, represented by a team of attorneys led by Alex Ejesieme, requested six primary reliefs.

In an application submitted by his attorney Adedamola Faloku, Atiku requested seven court orders.

In particular, the petitioners petitioned the court to order INEC to provide them access to election-related records in its control.

They said that the evidence supported their petition to contest Tinubu’s victory.

They also secured an order providing them permission to submit the application outside or before the substantive petitions’ pre-hearing session.

INEC, Tinubu, and the APC are the parties named as respondents in the lawsuit.

Emefiele, Malami must resign for misleading Buhari on naira policy – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in the north-west has asked Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Abubakar Malami, minister of justice, to resign from their offices.

The party made the call following a verdict of the supreme court on Friday which held that the old naira notes are legal tender till December 31, 2023.

The apex bank unveiled the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on December 23, 2022, and fixed February 10 as the deadline for the use of the old ones.

This is in spite of a temporary injunction by the supreme court that the old notes were still legal tender.

The naira redesign policy created a cash crunch that affected the lives of the citizens

In a statement on Friday, Salihu Lukman, vice-chairman of the APC in the north-west, said it was unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari was misled into “illegality and abuse of executive power”.

“Therefore, if indeed, the cashless policy of the Federal Government was supposedly designed to conform with extant legal provisions of the Nigerian Federation, now that it turned out in the direct opposite, both the CBN Governor, Mr. Emefiele and the attorney-general of the federation, Mr. Malami should accept the limitations of both their knowledge of the law and commitment to democracy by resigning from their respective offices forthwith,” Lukman said.

“Rule of law is fundamental to democracy and individuals who flagrantly violate the laws or promote acts that breach the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria must not be tolerated.

“We call on Nigerians to take note of the fact that the crusade against the federal government’s cashless policy was led by APC, not minding the attempt to sensationally politicize it to the benefit of opposition political parties and their candidates in this election season.

“It is gratifying that Nigerians resisted the antics of subversive politicians who wanted to use such crude methods, including inflicting untold hardship and pains on Nigerians to provoke citizens into voting against the APC during the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections.

“We commend and salute Nigerians for their faith in our party, APC, and determination to support our party and our candidates during the 2023 elections.”

Petroleum marketers blame FG for hike in fuel price

Petroleum marketers have blamed the continued hike in the price of petrol, on the inability of the Federal Government to make petroleum products sufficient for marketers in the country.

Rivers State Secretary of the Petroleum Product Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, Ejike Jonathan said the dysfunctional state of refineries in the country had left private depot owners to be the only suppliers of petroleum products.

Jonathan, in an interview, noted that only two depots, out of the nineteen depots in Rivers state, are supplying products to marketers.

He said the shortage of supply by FG had created a gap in demand and supply.

Jonathan said, “Refineries ought to function optimally so that they can sell to retailers; private depot operators will now cushion the effect so that there will be equilibrium in the market. But rather than do that, the refineries are moribund.

“We now have an epileptic situation whereby the PDO’s are supplying to the marmot crowd. Now as I speak with you, we have only two PDO’s that have petroleum products. The transportation alone is almost N400,000.

“Some months ago, tanker drivers were charging within the range of 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 which is a multiplier effect and will affect demand and supply.”

Clarifying the reason for the difference in the price of petrol in various filling stations, Jonathan explained that petroleum marketers scout for products, including outside the state, and sell according to what they buy from private depots.

“People sell as they buy”, he said.

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