Tinubu Resumes Office At The State House; Tribunal Adjourned till May 31, Peter Obi, Labour Party Present First Witness | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Tinubu Resumes Office At The State House
  • SDP Candidate, TUC Leader Spar on TV over Petrol Subsidy
  • Tribunal Adjourned till May 31, Peter Obi, Labour Party Present First Witness
  • Founder of Hilton Hotel Ramon Adedoyin and Three Staff Convicted of Murder by Osun State High Court
  • Senate Amends ICPC Act, Seeks 2-Year Imprisonment for False Petitions

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

Tinubu Resumes Office At The State House

President Bola Tinubu has officially commenced his duties as Nigeria’s 16th President, following his inauguration on Monday.

In a seamless transition of power, President Tinubu arrived at the Presidential Villa after leaving the Defence House.

Upon his arrival, he was warmly welcomed by Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Read Also: Fuel and Transport Prices Soar on President Tinubu’s First Day of Hitting the Ground Running

Accompanying the President were prominent officials, including Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), and Honourable James Faleke, the representative of Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

As President Tinubu entered the villa, he received a respectful salute from the quarter guard stationed at the Presidential gate. Subsequently, he engaged in warm exchanges and pleasantries with Senator Shettima, Speaker Gbajabiamila, and other dignitaries present.

SDP Candidate, TUC Leader Spar on TV over Petrol Subsidy

In a fiery exchange during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Adewole Adebayo, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Festus Osifo, the president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), engaged in a heated argument regarding the removal of petrol subsidy.

The discussion centered around President Bola Tinubu’s recent remark that “petrol subsidy is gone.”

Adebayo criticized the timing and approach of the announcement, stating that the president should have consulted with stakeholders before making such a decision. He expressed concern about the panic caused by the sudden announcement and highlighted the need for proper planning and deliberation.

Osifo, on the other hand, argued that the removal of petrol subsidy should be approached through dialogue and consultation with relevant stakeholders. He emphasized the importance of the subsidy for Nigerian workers and cautioned against its abrupt removal, which he believed would burden the masses.

In response, Adebayo asserted that Osifo’s perspective was outdated and failed to consider the recent legislative developments. He referred to the Appropriation Act 2023 and the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which he claimed signaled the end of subsidy. Adebayo also emphasized his party’s stance during the campaign, stating that the SDP aimed to eliminate corruption in the subsidy rather than remove it entirely.

Tempers flared as Osifo accused Adebayo of contradicting himself and speaking from both sides of his mouth on the issue. He further criticized Adebayo’s electoral performance in the last election.

Throughout the program, the clash between Adebayo and Osifo intensified, resulting in a heated exchange of words that dominated the discussion.

Tribunal Adjourned till May 31, Peter Obi, Labour Party Present First Witness

The Labour Party, represented by its presidential candidate Peter Obi, commenced its petition against President Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The party called its first witness out of the proposed 50 witnesses.

During the hearing, Peter Obi’s counsel, Jibrin Okutepa, presented a judgement from a district court in the United States. The judgement reportedly indicted Tinubu and ordered the forfeiture of $460,000 in drug-related offences.

The Presidential Election Petitions Court reconvened after a week to begin the definite hearing in the petitions brought forward by the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), along with their respective parties. These petitions challenge Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 election.

The proceedings commenced with Okutepa leading the LP witness, Lawrence Nwakaeti, an Anambra-based lawyer, who tendered the certified true copy of the US district court judgement.

During cross-examination by Tinubu’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun, it was revealed that the judgement had not been registered in Nigeria. It was also acknowledged that there was no certificate from any consular office in Nigeria or America supporting the judgement. However, it was argued that the judgement speaks for itself, and Olanipekun claimed to have read the entire judgement in America, expecting to find a mention of the $460,000 forfeiture.

Under cross-examination by the APC’s counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, the witness stated that the American court judgement did not have a certificate provided by any American police officer. The witness denied knowledge of a formal clearance report by a legal attaché from the American embassy regarding the alleged indictment and forfeiture.

The court subsequently admitted the evidence in support of the petition.

In addition, the counsel for Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, submitted all relevant exhibits, including INEC-certified true copies of declaration of results, summary of results, printout of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) reports for each polling unit in the 36 states, and the number of PVCs collected across all states, including the FCT.

The court adjourned the hearing of the petition by the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) to June 2 in order to examine the certified true copy of the Supreme Court judgement issued on May 26 regarding the controversy surrounding the “double nomination” of Vice President Kashim Shettima and its potential impact on their petition.

Present in the courtroom to witness the proceedings were Peter Obi, the LP’s presidential candidate, along with his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed. Festus Keyamo, the former Minister of State for Labour, also made an appearance. Keyamo joined the President’s team of lawyers, and senior lawyers were seen engaging in discussions ahead of the sitting.

Founder of Hilton Hotel Ramon Adedoyin and Three Staff Convicted of Murder by Osun State High Court

The Osun State High Court in Osogbo has handed down a conviction to Ramon Adedoyin, the founder of Hilton Hotel in Ile-Ife, and three of his staff members for their involvement in the conspiracy and murder of a student from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) named Timothy Adegoke.

Adedoyin and his employees, Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle, and Adedeji Adesola, faced multiple charges, including murder, conspiracy, and oath of secrecy. The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adepele Ojo, delivered the judgement on Tuesday.

While Magdalene Chiefuna, Lawrence Oluwole, and Adedeji Adesola were discharged from the charges of conspiracy to murder and murder, they were found guilty of other counts. However, Ramon Adedoyin was convicted of counts 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 15, and 16.

The court rejected the second autopsy reports presented by two pathologists from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, considering them as biased due to vested interests. Justice Ojo established that Timothy Adegoke had stayed at the Hilton Hotel and had made payments into the account of the seventh defendant.

In the court’s ruling, Justice Ojo declared Ramon Adedoyin guilty of conspiracy to murder and murder. The evidence presented during the trial implicated Oyetunde Kazeem, who was identified as being directly involved in the acts, leading to his conviction on the counts.

Regarding the seventh defendant, Adedeji Adesola, the court determined that the circumstances surrounding her involvement were not strong enough to find her guilty on counts 1, 2, and 3.

The conviction of Ramon Adedoyin and three staff members marks a significant development in the murder case, shedding light on the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the tragic incident.

Senate Amends ICPC Act, Seeks 2-Year Imprisonment for False Petitions

The Nigerian Senate has approved a bill to amend the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act, introducing stricter penalties for writers of false petitions. Under the amendment, individuals found guilty of writing false petitions will face a two-year prison sentence without the option of a fine.

The bill was passed after Abdul Kwari, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, presented a report to the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday. Prior to the amendment, the punishment for false petition writers was a fine of N100,000.

During the presentation of the report, Kwari emphasized the necessity of imposing more stringent penalties to discourage people from misleading the ICPC through false petitions.

In the course of the debate, Senator Adamu Aliero, representing Kebbi Central, proposed an even more severe punishment, advocating for a five-year imprisonment without the option of a fine. Aliero argued that many individuals have suffered as a result of false petitions filed against them, including senators themselves.

After a voting session, the clauses of the bill were approved in the “committee of the whole.”

Senate President Ahmad Lawan commended the provision, stating that it would prompt potential offenders to reconsider their actions. Lawan also expressed his belief that the amendment would enhance the effectiveness of the ICPC’s operations.

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