Peter Obi Questions FG: ‘Where’s the Fuel Subsidy Money Going?’; President Tinubu Employs Special Investigator to Probe CBN | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Peter Obi Questions FG: ‘Where’s the Fuel Subsidy Money Going?’
  • President Tinubu Employs Special Investigator to Probe CBN
  • ECOWAS Takes Bold Stand Against Coup Plotters in Niger – Imposes Drastic Sanctions
  • DSS Finally Releases Nnamdi Kanu For Medical Examination
  • 24-Hour Curfew Imposed After Mass Looting Sparks Chaos in Adamawa State

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

Peter Obi Questions FG: ‘Where’s the Fuel Subsidy Money Going?’

Renowned for his astute political acumen, Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, has raised a formidable challenge to the Federal Government, demanding transparency in the allocation of funds generated from the removal of petrol subsidy. Speaking as a guest on the highly anticipated ‘Peter Obi Live on Parallel Facts’ Twitter space on Saturday, July 29, Obi critically analyzed the economic implications of subsidy removal and questioned the administration’s approach.

The decision to eliminate the petrol subsidy was purportedly aimed at curbing corruption and bolstering government finances during Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s tenure. However, Obi remained skeptical, pointing to alleged corruption in the distribution of the savings itself.

“Nigerians need to see the numbers and figures from the savings made from subsidy,” Obi declared emphatically, likening the subsidy setup to a criminal enterprise. He emphasized the incongruity of calling for sacrifices while the government appeared to live lavishly, acquiring expensive vehicles from around the globe.

Expressing his alternative approach, Obi highlighted the necessity for structured phases in subsidy removal. He argued that such an approach would enable the government to ascertain the exact subsidy components and facilitate holistic and effective action.

“The oil sector remains deeply riddled with corruption, and the government must be well-informed about each facet of oil subsidy it deals with,” Obi emphasized.

Drawing attention to rampant corruption, Obi referenced a former governor, Isah Yuguda, who allegedly claimed to have made enough money through fraudulent subsidy payments. This revelation painted a grim picture of the magnitude of corruption plaguing the system.

Turning his focus to the nation’s refineries, Obi expressed deep concern about their poor state and the apparent lack of crude oil supply to modular refineries.

In response to the hardships faced by Nigerians post-subsidy removal, Obi stressed the need for collaborative efforts with stakeholders to alleviate the burden of these policies.

The challenges faced during subsidy removal reminded Obi of his experience as the Governor of Anambra State when he successfully returned schools to their original owners. He acknowledged the complexities of such decisions but credited careful consideration and strategic planning for the positive outcome, citing Anambra’s thriving secondary schools as evidence of their prudent approach.

As the nation awaits further developments, Obi’s unwavering stance on transparency and accountability continues to resonate with concerned citizens across Nigeria.

President Tinubu Employs Special Investigator to Probe CBN

In a decisive move to combat corruption, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Jim Osayande as a Special Investigator tasked with probing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its affiliated entities. This move is in alignment with the constitutional mandate of addressing corruption, as stated in Section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

A letter signed by President Tinubu and addressed to Obazee, the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), announced the appointment of the Special Investigator. The letter emphasized the urgency of the task at hand and directed the investigator to report directly to the President’s office with immediate effect.

While the full terms of the engagement will be communicated in due course, the primary objectives of the investigation are clear. The appointed investigator is charged with ensuring the integrity and transparency of key Government Business Entities (GBEs), curbing leakages within the CBN and related GBEs, and providing a comprehensive report on the extent of public wealth under the control of corrupt individuals and establishments, whether in the private or public sector.

The President’s directive mandates the investigator to assemble a competent and experienced team and collaborate with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to carry out the probe effectively. Additionally, President Tinubu expects weekly briefings on the progress made in the investigation.

In a parallel development, President Tinubu suspended Godwin Emefiele, the incumbent chief of the apex bank, amid ongoing trial proceedings. Emefiele has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since his suspension, following charges related to the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, which were filed against him by the Federal Government. Emefiele maintains his plea of not guilty to the charges.

As the nation awaits the outcome of this high-stakes investigation, the focus remains on uncovering potential corruption within the CBN and associated entities, ensuring accountability, and safeguarding public resources.

ECOWAS Takes Bold Stand Against Coup Plotters in Niger – Imposes Drastic Sanctions

In a decisive move, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has issued a one-week ultimatum for the coup plotters in Niger to relinquish power and restore the democratically elected government. This resolution was reached during an extraordinary session of ECOWAS member states, with President Bola Tinubu presiding as the chairman in Abuja on Sunday.

The military coup in Niger, led by Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane, resulted in the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum from office. In a late-night address on Wednesday, Abdramane dissolved the country’s constitution, suspended all institutions, and closed the borders.

Reading the communique from the extraordinary session, Omar Touray, the president of the ECOWAS commission, reaffirmed the authority’s recognition of Bazoum as the legitimate president of Niger. The authority condemned Bazoum’s detention and called for his immediate release and reinstatement.

ECOWAS expressed its firm stance, stating that unless the coup plotters hand over power within the specified one-week period, all necessary measures, including the use of force, will be taken to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.

In the meantime, ECOWAS has implemented stringent sanctions against Niger. All land and air borders between member countries and Niger will be closed. A ‘no-fly zone’ has been instituted for all commercial flights to and from Niger.

Furthermore, all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger have been suspended. This includes freezing all service transactions, energy deals, and transactions with financial institutions.

ECOWAS has imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on military officials involved in the coup. The same sanctions apply to the family members of these military officials and civilians who choose to participate in any institution or government established by the coup plotters.

As tensions escalate in Niger, the international community closely monitors the unfolding political crisis and the impact of ECOWAS’ decisive actions on restoring democratic governance in the country.

DSS Finally Releases Nnamdi Kanu For Medical Examination

In a significant development, the Department of State Services (DSS) has released Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), for an independent medical examination. Following his repeated requests for an independent assessment of his health condition, Kanu was permitted to undergo a medical examination in an undisclosed hospital in Abuja on Friday.

Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Kanu’s lead counsel, confirmed the news and expressed his satisfaction with the proceedings. According to Ejiofor, the medical examination, conducted by Kanu’s preferred personal physician, was seamless and productive. He stated that the IPOB leader would soon progress to the next stage.

Kanu’s incarceration by the DSS began in June 2021 after his arrest and subsequent repatriation from Kenya. During his time in custody, Kanu consistently advocated for an independent medical examination to assess his health condition.

The release for the medical examination marks a pivotal moment in Kanu’s case and has significant implications for the Biafra movement. As the public eagerly awaits the outcome of the examination, questions arise about the potential impact on Kanu’s legal status and the overall trajectory of the IPOB’s activities.

24-Hour Curfew Imposed After Mass Looting Sparks Chaos in Adamawa State

In response to the mass looting of warehouses, Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State has taken decisive action, imposing a 24-hour curfew to quell the dangerous activities of hoodlums wreaking havoc across the state capital. The looting saw hundreds of residents breaking into public and private warehouses, carting away grains and other essential commodities. Governor Fintiri’s spokesman, Humwashi Wonosikou, disclosed this information in a statement issued on a Sunday afternoon.

“The Governor of Adamawa State, the Rt Hon Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has declared a 24-hour curfew on the state, effective immediately Sunday, 30th July 2023,” the statement read.

Governor Fintiri cited the alarming dimension the hoodlums’ activities had taken, with violent attacks on individuals, businesses, and homes, resulting in property damage and loss.

The imposed curfew restricts all movement throughout the state, permitting only those on essential duties with valid identification to move during this period. Governor Fintiri appealed to citizens and residents to comply with the directive, emphasizing that any violation of the curfew order would result in arrests and legal consequences.

Authorities of the Adamawa Police Command have already made some arrests in connection with the looting, and security personnel have been deployed to enforce the curfew.

The looting incidents were triggered by the Nigerian government’s decision to end the fuel subsidy regime last month, which led to quadrupled petrol prices and soaring food prices. The nation’s economy has been weakened by recession and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in hardships for its citizens.

Video footage circulating online captured residents in Yola looting sacks of grain, cartons of pasta, and other household items from a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) warehouse. In response to the unrest, NEMA has put its warehouses across Nigeria on alert to prevent further looting.

As the curfew takes effect, authorities are closely monitoring the situation in Adamawa State and assessing the broader implications on public safety and Nigeria’s economy.

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