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Buhari re-appoints Yakubu as INEC chairman

The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd. ) , has re -appointed Prof . Mahmood Yakubu , as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission .

Special Adviser to the President , on Media and Publicity , Femi Adesina , disclosed this in a statement titled , “ President Buhari nominates Prof . Yakubu as INEC chairman for second term in office, ” in Abuja , on Tuesday .

The statement read, “ President Muhammadu Buhari, has presented the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission , Prof Mahmood Yakubu , for a second term in office.

“ In a letter to President of the Senate , Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan , the President said, in accordance with the provision of Section 154 ( 1 ) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , 1999 ( as amended ) , ‘I am pleased to present for confirmation by the Senate , the nomination of Professor Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman , Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) for a second and final term . ”

Prof. Yakubu was first appointed by President Buhari in November 2015 .

Fund shortage may affect plans for N’Delta, says Akpabio

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio , has expressed the fears that paucity of funds might affect President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , from meeting his plans for the Niger Delta region.

The minister stated this on Tuesday while defending his ministry’ s 2021 budget proposal before the Senate Committee on Niger . Delta Affairs.

The minister solicited the assistance of the Committee to increase the ministry ’s budgetary allocation.

Akpabio said the N 26 . 6bn proposed for the Ministry of Niger Delta for 2021 was meagre and significantly inadequate in the face of the mandate and goals of the ministry to meet the yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta region.

He said “ The capital estimate reveals that the sum of N 15 , ,000 , 000 ,000 out of N 19 , 533 ,720 ,033 for capital infrastructure project was allocated to the East – West Road ( Sections I – IV ) alone, on the order of Mr President . This leaves N 4 ,533 , 720 ,033 for the other infrastructural projects. ”

Akpabio said the “ gross inadequate funding has led to; derailment of the programmes of engagement of youths and women of the region .”

He said, “ It has reduced training for knowledge acquisition, poor performance and protracted delay in project delivery and intermittent disruption by youths who chase away contractors from sites.”

APC group succumbs to pressure, suspends planned nationwide protest

Supporters of the All Progressives Congress, under the aegis of Concerned APC members, on Tuesday , suspended their planned nationwide protest .

The group had two weeks ago issued a 14 -days ultimatum to the party leadership , to either release a time – table for the national convention, or be prepared for mass action . The ultimatum expired by midnight on Monday .

Spokesman for the group , Abdullahi Dauda confirmed this development to The PUNCH , in an interview, in Abuja .

He explained that the suspension became imperative as a result of several entreaties by unnamed party leaders and the show of good faith by the Mai Mala Buni -led Caretaker /Extra – Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee.

Dauda said, “ We are loyal party members . We are not unmindful of the situation in the country today. I can confirm that some of our leaders talked to us and we also see reason to give the caretaker committee the benefit of the doubt since the Deputy National Publicity Secretary , Yekini Nabena , has come out to address some of our concerns on the issue of convention.

“ He said they are preparing the time table and that the committee is working very hard towards holding the convention within the time allocated for it to work .

“ We want to give them the benefit of the doubt to see whether they are deceiving us. ”

The group ’s spokesman further explained that members agreed to suspend the proposed mass action in honour of youths who recently lost their lives during the # EndSARS protests .

Dauda added that , as loyal party members , the concerned APC members will continue to identify with the aspirations of the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , who is determined to provide leadership to take Nigeria to the next level of good governance .

#ENDSARS: 7 Customs Command attacked, one officer killed

As the attacks on government and private facilities spread across the country the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has disclosed that six of its Commands were affected.

The attacks on five, namely, Ogun1 Idiroko, Jigawa, Adamawa, Kwara and Edo Commands, according to NCS, were successful.

Attempts to attack Commands in Kano and Abuja were repelled while in Ondo/Ekiti, the youths took hijacked a patrol van and drove it around town for days before it was recovered.

Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report, the National Public Relations of NCS, Joseph Attah, confirming these said it is regrettable that a peaceful protest was hijacked by some people who have resorted to destroying public and private properties.

He lamented that Customs had its own share of the attacks, stressing that Adamawa Command was the hardest hit. He also said that one officer was killed at Ogun1 Command by the attackers.

To this end, he said that the Service has put in place strategies to ensure the safety of officers, facilities and properties of the Service.

He also called on parents and guardians should talk to their children and wards to ensure that they do not engage themselves in the looting presently going on the country.

At the Kwara Customs Command, a large number of hoodlums armed with guns, machetes, axes, charms and other dangerous weapons were determined to unleash mayhem on the Command but were resisted by the combined efforts of the Customs officers and the army.

Public Relations Officer of the Command, Chado Zakari, in a statement, said there was an exchange of gunfire for about 40 minutes leading to serious injuries on two officers, who he said are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

He said 24 motorcycles and one tricycle meant to move goods out of the Command were seized during the encounter.

The same thing happened in all the other Commands as large numbers of youths were also involved in the attacks.

‘Nigeria received $26.9bn foreign support in 6 years’

Mr Clement Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, says Nigeria has received $26.94 billion Development Assistance funds from International Donors between 2015 and 2020.

Agba made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while briefing House of Representatives Committee on Civil Society and Development Partners on Donor Funds Receipts, Transfers and Disbursement to Government Agencies, Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria.

Breaking down the figure, Agba said that the amount comprised $ 2.34 billion received in 2015, $1.15 billion gotten in 2016 and $ 774.93 million collected in 2017.

The minister said that $22.02 billion was obtained in 2018, while $655.64 million was received in 2019 and $5.64 million got in 2020.

According to him, these donations come from the European Development Fund (EDF) and the United Nations Development Systems (UNDS).

He explained that some of the funds also came from China through the Bilateral Agreement between the Government of Nigeria and the Peoples Republic of China signed since1972.

Agba said some funds came from Japan Activities in Nigeria via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

He said that others came from the Department for International Development (DFID), United States Agency for lnternational Development (USAID) and the German International Cooperation (GIZ).

According to him, the ministry does not receive donor funds, hence cannot transfer or disburse what is not received.

He said that Nigeria does not currently qualify for budget support because it is not classified as very poor but as a lower middle income country that is only qualified for projects/programmes support.

“The implication of this is that Donors do not give us the funds for management, rather Donors work with the sectoral stakeholders to fund the project directly after identifying the needs by the MDAs/States in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

“For the purpose of clarification, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is responsible for coordinating Nigeria’s multilateral and bilateral economic cooperation including development aid and technical assistance programmers by signing of cooperation agreements.

Supreme Court declines jurisdiction over Bayelsa Soku oil wells suit

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear a suit brought by the Bayelsa government seeking to stop the Federal Government from further paying monthly statutory allocation from Soku oil wells to Rivers.

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, who led the seven-man panel of justices of the apex court declined hearing the matter on the grounds that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

The court then ordered the Bayelsa government to approach the Court of Appeal to decide the matter.

Bayelsa government had filed the suit at the Supreme Court seeking to stop the Federal Government from further paying monthly statutory allocation from Soku oil wells to the Rivers government.

The Bayelsa government had invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, which enables a state government to sue the Federal Government directly at the apex court.

However, when the matter came up on Tuesday, the apex court declined jurisdiction and asked parties to approach the appellate court.

Nigeria Union Of Journalists Bans Media Coverage Of Police Activities In Delta Over Brutalization Of Member

he Nigeria Union of Journalists, Delta State chapter, has placed a ban on the coverage of all police activities in the state over the unwarranted attack and brutalisation of Vanguard correspondent, Akpokona Omafuaire.

The journalist was brutalised by police officers at Ovwian-Aladja Police Station, Udu Local Government Area, on Friday despite identifying himself as a media practitioner.

“I was driving out of Ighodakpo Street in Ekete when the police attacked me, saying that no one was allowed near that area. I parked to show my identity card but as I made it near them, they descended on me with cutlasses and guns, cutting and whipping me, cutting my car, shattering the lights,” the journalist said as he narrated his encounter with the police.

Reacting to the issue, Michael Ikeogwu, NUJ Chairman in the state, Patrick Ochei, Secretary, decried that the police were insensitive to the plight of the journalist.

The NUJ said while the brutalisation of journalists was not new in Delta State, the union could no longer watch members being molested, beaten, harassed, brutalised, intimidated and detained.

The union therefore directed journalists to blacklist the police in all of its reportage.

“Right now we are calling on our members in the Council to stop attending police press briefings, stop using their press releases, stop covering their activities or taking interviews from them henceforth.

“We are in support of the victim seeking redress in court, and we will join him to get justice.

“The PPRO whose office it is to coordinate police relationship with the media has shown disdain and no concern to the frequent harassment, intimidation and brutalization of journalists in the State,” the NUJ said.

The union is demanding the removal of the DPO of Owvian Aladja Police Division for gross incompetence, adding that the police hierarchy should fish out Sergeant Godspower and cohorts for carrying out the attack.

The NUJ added that it was ready to maintain working synergy and cordial relationship with the police if they were ready to do so.

“However, we are not ready to bury any of our members who will die from police brutality before the police will learn how to deal with journalists.

Nigerian Government Declares Thursday Public Holiday To Mark Muslim Festival

The Nigerian Government has declared Thursday, October 29, 2020, as a public holiday across the country.

The holiday is to mark this year’s Eid-El-Maulud in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the announcement on Tuesday in a statement by Mohammed Manga, Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry.

Aregbesola enjoined Muslim faithful to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance during the period, calling on Nigerians to reject violence, lawlessness, adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.

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