Reps Launch Investigation into Fuel Price Increase; Mmesoma Offers Apology to JAMB for Result Forgery | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Reps Launch Investigation into Fuel Price Increase
  • Nigeria Places 90th on List of Countries With Most Visa-Free Access to Other Nations
  • Mmesoma Offers Apology to JAMB for Result Forgery
  • APC Governors Convene Following Adamu and Omisore’s Resignations
  • Emefiele Faces Arrest Warrant for Failure to Appear in Court

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

Reps Launch Investigation into Fuel Price Increase

In response to the recent surge in the fuel pump price, the House of Representatives has taken decisive action, passing a resolution during Wednesday’s plenary session to establish an ad hoc committee.

The committee’s primary objective is to investigate the circumstances leading to the increment of the petrol pump price and propose palliative measures to cushion the impact of the petrol subsidy removal, a move made after the complete deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.

The resolution came to light following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Imo state.

The lawmaker cited constitutional backing, specifically section 88 (1) and (2), which empowers the National Assembly to investigate the activities of any authority executing or administering laws passed by the parliament.

Additionally, he pointed to section 32 of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, which assigns the Petroleum Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority the responsibility of regulating and monitoring technical and commercial midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria.

The contentious petrol price increase by oil marketers, which saw rates climb to N617 per litre in Abuja and N568 per litre in Lagos from the previous N537 per litre, has caused significant public concern. This hike followed President Bola Tinubu’s announcement on May 29, declaring the end of the petrol subsidy and resulting in nationwide price spikes.

Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu stressed that the petrol marketers had increased the price “without conferring with the relevant agencies of government.” Given the prevailing socio-economic challenges faced by Nigerians, this increase could impose great suffering and hardship on citizens.

During the heated debate, Zakaria Nyampa, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Adamawa, proposed that the house should ask oil marketers to revert to the old price until the investigation’s outcome. However, this proposal faced rejection when it was put to a voice vote by Benjamin Kalu, the deputy speaker and presiding officer.

As the resolution passed through a vote, the House of Representatives has taken a significant step towards addressing the concerns surrounding the petrol price hike. The establishment of the ad hoc committee will facilitate an in-depth investigation into the matter, bringing clarity to the factors behind the price increase and ensuring appropriate measures are taken to alleviate the impact on Nigerian citizens.

Nigeria Places 90th on List of Countries With Most Visa-Free Access to Other Nations

A recent report by Henley and Partners, utilizing exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has positioned Nigeria at the 90th spot on the list of countries with the most visa-free access to other nations. Alongside South Sudan, Nigeria enjoys visa-free access to only 46 platforms.

The report further highlights Nigeria’s status as the fifth lowest-ranked African country in terms of visa-free travel access, surpassing only the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Sudan, and Libya, all of which are grappling with severe violence.

Among African countries, Seychelles emerged as the frontrunner, securing the 24th position with access to 155 countries, while Mauritius ranked 29th with access to 148 countries. South African nationals claimed the 51st spot, being able to visit 106 countries without a prior visa. These two countries took the second and third positions, respectively, in the African continent.

The top position on the list was claimed by Singapore, surpassing Japan for the first time in five years. Singaporean citizens can explore 192 travel destinations worldwide without the need for a visa. Germany, Italy, and Spain now share the second spot, granting visa-free access to 190 destinations. Passport holders from Japan, Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden secure the third spot with access to 189 destinations without a prior visa.

The United Kingdom and the United States, once jointly holding the first place on the index almost a decade ago in 2014, have been on a downward trajectory since then, currently occupying the fourth and eighth places, respectively.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with only 27 countries offering visa-free access, followed by Iraq with 29, and Syria with 30 – all three being the weakest passports in the world.

In light of the report’s findings, Nigerian authorities may consider exploring measures to improve visa-free travel access for its citizens, thus boosting international mobility and strengthening diplomatic ties.

Mmesoma Offers Apology to JAMB for Result Forgery

Ejikeme Mmesoma, the student who gained notoriety for her purported high score in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), has issued an apology to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) regarding the alleged forgery of her exam result.

Mmesoma appeared before an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the matter, where she expressed remorse and pleaded for leniency to lift the imposed ban.

During her appearance, Ishaq Oloyede, the JAMB registrar, and other high-ranking directors of the board were also present. Mmesoma humbly acknowledged her mistake, admitting that she had obtained her JAMB result from a non-official portal, apologizing for the pain and blame she caused.

Mmesoma pointed out that her actions were a result of ignorance, which played a significant role in the process of obtaining the fake result. However, the JAMB registrar maintained that Mmesoma had deliberately conspired with others to forge the result.

Prior to her appearance before the ad hoc committee, an Anambra committee assigned to investigate the matter reported that Mmesoma had admitted to faking her results. The controversy arose when Mmesoma, a student of Anglican Girls Secondary School in Nnewi, Anambra state, was initially acclaimed to have scored 362 in the 2023 UTME. However, JAMB refuted this claim and stated that she had scored 249, not 362.

As a consequence of the alleged forgery, JAMB took action by shutting down more than eight UTME centers found involved in infractions related to result manipulation. Additionally, the panel of inquiry mandated Mmesoma to provide a written apology to JAMB, the Anglican Girls Secondary School, and the Anambra state government.

Despite the controversy surrounding her results, Mmesoma had garnered considerable attention and was celebrated by the public. Innocent Chukwuma, an automobile businessman, even awarded her a scholarship worth N3 million.

Now, with her appearance before the House ad hoc committee and her apology to JAMB, Mmesoma seeks to rectify her mistake and move forward, hoping for a favorable outcome.

APC Governors Convene Following Adamu and Omisore’s Resignations

Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) convened a private meeting on Wednesday evening to address the recent developments within the party, specifically the resignations of its National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

The duo stepped down from their positions on Monday, which paved the way for the emergence of Senator Abubakar Kyari, the Deputy National Chairman (North), as the new National Chairman of the party.

Presided over by Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, the meeting was attended by several governors, including those from Ekiti, Ebonyi, Niger, and Benue states. Other notable attendees included governors from Kaduna, Lagos, Yobe, Katsina, Kebbi, and the acting governor of Ondo State.

Senator Abubakar Kyari officially assumed the role of the APC’s National Chairman after a National Working Committee (NWC) meeting held in Abuja on Monday. During this meeting, he formally announced the resignation of Senator Adamu and Senator Omisore from their positions as National Chairman and National Secretary, respectively.

Following these resignations, concerns were raised by some party members, with Muiz Banire, a former APC National Legal Adviser, suggesting that the resignations might not have been voluntary but rather a result of external pressures. Banire expressed his views on Channels Television’s Politics Today, noting that issues related to maladministration and misappropriation of funds within the party might have led to the resignations.

Despite speculations, the APC governors gathered to deliberate on the current state of affairs and strategize on the way forward for the party. As the leadership transition unfolds, the party remains focused on addressing internal challenges and maintaining its cohesion.

Emefiele Faces Arrest Warrant for Failure to Appear in Court

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja has issued a stern warning, threatening to issue a warrant of arrest against the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

This action comes in response to Emefiele’s failure to appear in court and provide an explanation regarding the $53 million judgement debt arising from the Pars Club refund.

During the court proceeding, Justice Ekwo expressed his concern over Emefiele’s absence and ordered him to appear on the next adjourned date. The judge stated that he was inclined to show restraint in the matter, offering the ex-CBN boss an opportunity to explain himself.

Emefiele’s counsel, Audu Anuga, intervened, seeking another chance for his client. Anuga explained that they had been unable to reach Emefiele since the last order instructing him to appear in court. Anuga further revealed that Emefiele, who had been suspended as the CBN governor, was in detention, making it challenging to communicate the court’s directive to him.

Justice Ekwo had previously issued an order on October 20, 2022, requiring the CBN governor to appear in court on January 18, due to his alleged refusal to comply with the court’s order for the payment of the judgement debt in favor of legal practitioner Mr. Joe Agi.

Agi had taken legal action against Linas International Ltd, the Minister of Finance, CBN, and Emefiele, who were the 1st to 4th judgement debtors, respectively. The case involved an application for garnishee made by Agi as the judgement creditor.

As the court awaits Emefiele’s appearance to address the matter at hand, it remains to be seen whether further legal actions will be taken if he fails to comply with the court’s order on the adjourned date.

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