Peter Obi’s Labour Party Tenders 18,088 Blurred Polling Unit Result Sheets at Tribunal; President Tinubu Inaugurates National Economic Council | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Peter Obi’s Labour Party Tenders 18,088 Blurred Polling Unit Result Sheets at Tribunal
  • President Tinubu Inaugurates National Economic Council
  • Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Rises to 22.41% Amid Fuel Subsidy Removal
  • Reps Reject Motion to Address Nigerian Migration Phenomenon ‘Japa’
  • Federal High Court Judge Orders EFCC to Arrest Individuals Over Threats to His Life

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

Peter Obi’s Labour Party Tenders 18,088 Blurred Polling Unit Result Sheets at Tribunal

The Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, have submitted a total of 18,088 blurred polling unit result sheets and other documents before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) in Abuja. This move is part of their ongoing case to challenge the outcome of the presidential election.

The documents were tendered by the petitioners’ counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, through their fourth witness (PW4), Professor Eric Ofoedu, a Mathematics professor at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Professor Ofoedu presented an analysis of some election materials and a letter dated February 20, 2023, from the LP engaging him to analyze data related to the February 25 presidential election.

The petitioners also submitted a subpoena issued to Professor Ofoedu, compelling him to appear in court and produce the aforementioned documents.

During the proceedings, objections were raised by the counsel representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettma, and the All Progressives Congress (APC). However, they reserved their reasons for objection until the final stage of their written addresses.

The respondents’ lawyers expressed dissatisfaction with the petitioners for serving them with Professor Ofoedu’s written statement only moments before the court session. They argued that they should have been provided with the statement earlier to allow for proper examination and preparation for cross-examination.

In addition to the testimonies and evidence presented by Professor Ofoedu, the petitioners called their fifth witness (PW5), Lumnie Edevbie. Edevbie, a subpoenaed witness from a private television channel station, submitted a flash drive containing a video recording of a presentation by INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the Chatham House in London.

The proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal continue as both the petitioners and the respondents present their respective arguments and evidence. The submission of the blurred polling unit result sheets and other documents marks another significant development in the case as it unfolds.

President Tinubu Inaugurates National Economic Council

President Bola Tinubu has officially inaugurated the National Economic Council (NEC) with a strong commitment to sustaining the rejuvenation of the country’s economy. Addressing the Federation Governors, President Tinubu called on the council to join forces in supporting his administration’s efforts to transform the nation’s economy.

In his remarks, President Tinubu reminded the council members of the promises made during his inaugural speech, emphasizing the focus on eight priority areas including security, economy, job creation, agriculture, and infrastructure, among others. Recognizing the magnitude of the task to grow the economy, President Tinubu stressed the importance of harnessing the nation’s potential to stimulate significant growth.

The NEC inauguration follows President Tinubu’s recent directive to the council to convene and propose interventions to mitigate the impact of petroleum subsidies. The president subsequently concluded the inauguration by reiterating the importance of collaboration among NEC members, emphasizing that working together is not a crime.

Among those in attendance at the commencement of the meeting were several state governors including Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara, Ademola Adeleke of Osun, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, Peter Mbah of Enugu, Bassey Otu of Cross River, Caleb Muftwang of Plateau, Nasir Idris of Kebbi, Aliyu Radda of Katsina, and Hycinth Alia of Benue.

Other attendees included Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Charles Soludo of Anambra, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, Agbu Kefas of Taraba, Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers, Mohammed Bago of Niger, Ahmad Aliyu of Sokoto, Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi, Uba Sani of Kaduna, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Alex Otti of Abia, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Abba Yusuf of Kano, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Umar Kadafur (Deputy Governor of Borno), and Lucky Ayedatiwa (Deputy Governor of Ondo).

Notable attendees also included Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari; Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein; Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Folashodun Shonubi; Permanent Secretaries of Budget and National Planning, and Federal Capital Territory Administration.

The inauguration of the National Economic Council sets the stage for concerted efforts to revitalize and propel the nation’s economy forward, guided by the collective commitment and collaboration of key stakeholders.

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Rises to 22.41%  Amid Fuel Subsidy Removal 

The inflation rate in Nigeria climbed to 22.41 percent in May 2023, marking an increase from the previous month’s rate of 22.22 percent. This surge in inflation was reported in the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday.

The CPI serves as a measure of the rate of change in prices of goods and services. According to the report, the May 2023 inflation rate witnessed a 0.19% points rise compared to the headline inflation rate in April 2023.

Furthermore, the year-on-year basis indicated a significant increase of 4.70% points compared to the inflation rate recorded in May 2022, which stood at 17.71%. This data reflects a higher headline inflation rate in May 2023 in comparison to the same month of the preceding year.

On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2023 reached 1.94%, showing a 0.03% increase from the rate recorded in April 2023, which stood at 1.91%. Therefore, the average general price level in May 2023 was 0.03% higher relative to April 2023, as reported by the NBS.

The CPI report also revealed that the percentage change in the average CPI for the twelve-month period ending in May 2023, compared to the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period, was 21.20%. This indicates a 4.75% increase compared to the 16.45% recorded in May 2022.

The rise in Nigeria’s inflation rate during May 2023, coupled with the removal of subsidy on petrol, presents a challenging economic landscape that requires careful monitoring and strategic interventions to ensure price stability and mitigate the impact on consumers.

Reps Reject Motion to Address Nigerian Migration Phenomenon ‘Japa’

In an interesting turn of events, the House of Representatives on Thursday voted against a motion aimed at addressing the migration of Nigerians to other countries in search of a better life. The motion, proposed by member Victor Agbese, called on the Federal Government to declare the “Japa” (migration) syndrome a national emergency and organize a national summit to tackle the issue. However, the majority of lawmakers voted against the motion, leaving the matter unresolved.

The “Japa” phenomenon, characterized by the mass exodus of Nigerian youths to countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, has gained momentum due to Nigeria’s staggering unemployment rate, which recently reached a record high of 33.3 percent. Young Nigerians are seeking better education, employment opportunities, and improved security conditions abroad.

In another development, the House also rejected a motion to suspend the importation license of Petroleum Motor Spirit (petrol) granted exclusively to the Dangote refinery. A member of the House had proposed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) suspend the license and extend the option to other capable importers. However, the motion was voted down by the lawmakers.

The NNPCL had previously refuted claims that it had granted a license to Aliko Dangote, the owner of the Dangote refinery, for petrol importation. The company clarified that it does not possess the authority to issue licenses or permits for fuel import.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the 10th House of Representatives, inaugurated on June 13, 2023, saw all four candidates endorsed by President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) secure the top four positions. Godswill Akpabio emerged as the Senate President, defeating Abdul’aziz Yari, while Jibrin Barau became the Senate Deputy President. In the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas was elected Speaker, with Benjamin Kalu assuming the role of Deputy Speaker.

Federal High Court Judge Orders EFCC to Arrest Individuals Over Threats to His Life

In a significant development, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to apprehend certain individuals who have allegedly threatened his life. The judge disclosed that he received text messages warning him against presiding over the trial of Stella Oduah, the former Minister of Aviation, and other defendants. During the court proceedings, Justice Ekwo shared copies of the messages with the lawyers representing all parties involved.

In response to the threats, the judge has temporarily suspended Oduah’s arraignment, citing concerns for his personal safety. The former aviation minister is facing charges of misappropriation of N5 billion, brought against her by the EFCC. Justice Ekwo emphasized that the court proceedings will not proceed until the individuals responsible for the threats are identified and brought before the court.

To facilitate the apprehension of the culprits, Justice Ekwo ordered the deputy registrar in charge of litigation to collaborate with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in obtaining the identities of the message senders. The judge stressed the importance of upholding the sanctity of the court, highlighting that Nigeria is not a lawless society where such acts can be tolerated.

Furthermore, the judge directed the prosecution to present the culprits in court to ensure the safety of the defendants during the trial. Ofem Uket, counsel to the EFCC, assured the court that the anti-graft agency would make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. Uket requested that the court not allow the unknown individuals to undermine the progress of the trial.

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