‘Okorocha’s arrest is a ploy to stop his presidential ambition’; Parish priest, 3 others kidnapped in Katsina | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

Okorocha’s camp links EFCC arrest to APC presidential primary
  • Lawyer sues FG, 12 northern states for sharing in VAT realised from sale of alcohol
  • Okorocha’s camp links EFCC arrest to APC presidential primary
  • Terrorists give FG 7-day ultimatum over Abuja-Kaduna train victims
  • Court asks MC Oluomo, NURTW, others not to collect levies from non-members
  • Parish priest, 3 others kidnapped in Kafur, Katsina

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

Lawyer sues FG, 12 northern states for sharing in VAT realised from sale of alcohol

Human rights lawyer, Malcom Omirhobo, has sued the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lagos government and its attorney general, and 12 other northern states and their attorneys general at the Federal High Court, Lagos, over the allocation of Value Added Tax (VAT) realised from the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Other defendants in the suit are Kano, Zamfara, Kaduna, Bauchi, Sokoto, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Yobe, alongside their attorney’s general.

The applicant is asking the court to determine whether, by interpretation and/or construction of the provisions of Section 4 (7) and items 58 and 59 of Part I of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, he is obligated to pay VAT to the 3rd defendant (Lagos) and not to the 1st defendant (FG).

He also wants the court to say whether, by virtue of Section 40 of the VAT Act, Cap VI Laws of the Federations 2004, it is equitable, proper, legal, lawful and constitutional for all domestic VAT collected from the 3rd defendant and other states to be paid into the federation account for allocation to all states and their local councils on a sharing formula.

Okorocha’s camp links EFCC arrest to APC presidential primary

Okorocha’s camp links EFCC arrest to APC presidential primary
Rochas Okorocha

The camp of former Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha believes his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is political.

His spokesman, Sam Onwuemeodo questioned why the arrest coincided with the All Progressives Congress (APC) screening for presidential aspirants.

On Tuesday, EFCC officials and security agents visited his residence in Abuja and arrested him.

Though the security operatives met stiff resistance from the supporters of the former governor, tear gas was fired to disperse them to effect the arrest.

The commission accused Okorocha of shunning multiple invitations and jumping administrative bail.

Onwuemeodo said the arrest occasioned his principal’s demand for a warrant of arrest or court order from the anti-graft agency.

“None was provided. The security personnel finally employed force to arrest Okorocha, without any warrant or court order. If there was any, it could also be made public”, he wrote.

Onwuemeodo warned that if Okorocha is blocked from his bid, over a matter he is deemed innocent until proved otherwise, “it won’t be a nice story for history and posterity.

“We have refused to believe some valid pieces of information at our disposal, on those working to stop Okorocha from exercising his constitutional right.

“The reason for our doubt is that Okorocha has not done anything to warrant such onslaught.”

He continues, “The APC presidential primary is taking place in a few days’ time. There is also the concern that the essence of all these is to prevent him from participating in the party’s primary.”

Terrorists give FG 7-day ultimatum over Abuja-Kaduna train victims

Two months after abducting them, terrorists have given the Federal Government an ultimatum of seven days to enter into meaningful dialogue over the kidnapped victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, otherwise, they would be killed. However, the terrorists said negotiation with the government would not be centred on money.

The terrorists, who contacted the spokesman of Sheikh Ahmed Mahmud Gumi, Malam Tukur Mamu, on phone, said Mamu is the only person they can trust in the media and urged him to convey their message, exactly as stated, to the Federal Government, families of the victims and Nigerians in general.

“We don’t need money. We have a good reason for doing what we did. Until our demands are met, none of the victims will come out alive even if it means we will all die with them. They are well taken care of as you can see from the pictures we sent to you via WhatsApp but we assure you that this will not continue.”

The terrorists who claimed that some of their children and relations were under arrest said, “before any continued discussion on the release of these passengers and a safe resumption of the train service, our children must be released unconditionally.

“Only then will we release some of the abducted victims, especially the women, while other passengers will be released on a prisoner exchange with some of our arrested comrades by the government.”

Court asks MC Oluomo, NURTW, others not to collect levies from non-members

The Federal High Court, Lagos Division, Tuesday granted an application restraining a former chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Lagos branch, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, a.k.a. MC Oluomo, and eight others from collecting union dues and levies from commercial drivers that are non-union members at all motor parks in Lagos.

The ex parte application also restrained the state Government from further enforcing an ₦800 transport union levy on transporters and commercial vehicles in the state, pending the hearing and determination of the plaintiffs’ substantive originating motion.

The eight other respondents affected by the ex parte order are the Registered Trustees of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW); Registered Trustees of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); Registered Trustees of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO); Alhaji Lawal Yusuf Othman; Lagos State Government; Attorney-General of Lagos State; Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Director of State Security Service (SSS).

Justice Peter Lifu granted the application following an ex parte motion filed by a lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, for himself and on behalf of a new association, the Transport Union Society of Nigeria (TUSON).

Ogungbeje filed his application, supported by a 34-paragraph affidavit, in Suit FHC/L/CS/224/2022.

Parish priest, 3 others kidnapped in Kafur, Katsina

In the early hours of Wednesday, bandits attacked Mai Kanbu Catholic Church Parish in Kafur Local Government Area of Katsina and kidnapped the Parish Priest and three other persons from the parish.

According to reports, the terrorists, going in a large number, sneaked into the parish quietly before they began to shoot sporadically and eventually went away with the victims.

Aside from the Mai Kanbu Parish Priest, Father Stephen Ojapah, another priest identified as Fr. Oliver was also kidnapped by the terrorists.

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