Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspapers headlines in Nigeria for today, Tuesday, 9th November 2021
The former chairman of the now-defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has been jailed for money laundering.
Naija News reports that the former Pension boss was sentenced to 61 years in jail on Monday by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
In a terse judgement, Justice Abang ruled that Maina will spend only eight years in prison and the jail term is required to run concurrently, with effect from October 25, 2019.
According to the judge, Maina got a reduced sentence due to his plea for mercy, stating that the law made provision for a maximum sentence of 14 years.
The judge had earlier found Maina and his company, Common Input Property and Investment Limited guilty of the 12-count charge of money laundering levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Nigerian Defence Academy has denied receiving an arrested Nigerian Air Force personnel, Sergeant Torsabo Solomon.
Sergeant Solomon was reportedly arrested on Monday and flown to Kaduna State for further investigations over his involvement in the attack on the NDA on August 24 which resulted in the killing of two security operatives and kidnap of another.
But reacting in a statement titled, ‘RE: Arrest of sergeant Torsabo Solomon’, Major Bashir Jajira claimed that Solomon is not in the custody of the NDA.
He stated that the NDA is a military training institution and not an investigative security agency.
The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) has raised a fresh alarm about the threat facing Nigeria as a people and as a country.
According to the Minister, the country is facing the threat of national food security and the situation has been amplified by the challenges of insecurity.
He made the submission on Monday while speaking at the Defence Advisers/Attachés annual conference organized by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).
Magashi observed that the high cost of foodstuffs in the market is a threat to the economic life of the country and its citizens and must be brought under control.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has warned Nigerians against panic buying petrol.
In the statement signed by the NNPC spokesman Garba Deen Muhammad, the national oil company said there are over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock.
While stating that it is unnecessary to entertain any fear of scarcity of petrol throughout the festive season, the NNPC disclosed that the country has a huge reserve of petrol and is still expecting more in the coming days and weeks.
“The general public is hereby advised not to engage in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit, more commonly known as petrol,” company said.
“The NNPC has over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock and more product is expected to arrive into the country daily over the coming weeks and months”, the national oil company said in a statement on Monday“.
The NNPC also dismissed plans by the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to increase the price of petrol.
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the inconclusive governorship poll in Anambra State.
CUPP in a statement by its spokesperson, Barrister Chukwudi Ezeobika alleged that the electoral umpire failed in its duties to conduct a hitch-free governorship election in Anambra.
The statement which questioned INEC’s preparations for the 2023 general elections said it has become imperative to ask such questions if the electoral body had so many challenges in conducting the Anambra governorship election which is an off-season and single poll.
He argued that the failure of the BVAS machines in many polling units has exposed the incompetencies of INEC and its workers.
The CUPP statement also accused INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu of insincerity, alledging that the INEC boss flagrantly disregards court orders.
Ezeobika in the statement called on Yakubi to resign as the INEC chairman.
There was a mild drama on the floor of the Imo State House of Assembly on Monday morning as lawmakers impeached the Speaker, Rt Hon. Paul Emeziem, over allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office.
Naija News learned that the Speaker was reportedly removed by 19 of the 27 members of the Assembly and replaced with Hon. Kennedy Ibe, the member representing Obowo State Constituency.
The impeachment exercise, which was carried out amidst tight security, was said to have been moved by the impeached Deputy Speaker, Amara Iwuanyanwu.
It was learnt that Iwuanyanwu had stormed the Chambers with some lawmakers and some security personnel to impeach the Speaker.
7. Plateau Assembly: Lagos Lawmakers Ask Buhari To Defend Democracy, Issues Directive To Speakers Conference
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday condemned the crises in the Plateau and Imo Houses of Assembly calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up in defence of the country’s democracy.
Naija News recalls that the Plateau State House of Assembly is currently rocked with crisis which led to the impeachment of its Speaker.
The impeached speaker, Abok Nuhu, had accused Governor Simon Lalong of orchestrating is removal and the crisis in the Assembly.
Reacting, Lagos lawmakers, who spoke during plenary, condemned the alleged interference of the executive arm of the Plateau state government in the legislature.
They also called on the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and others to ensure that the crises are resolved and all those who took part in the impeachment of the Plateau Speaker brought to book.
The lawmakers further urged the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria to stop recognising any lawmaker who emerges Speaker from such illegalities like it happened in Plateau where only six members supposedly impeached the Speaker, Nuhu Ayuba Abok.
Speaker of the Lagos Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the sitting, said every well-meaning Nigerian must speak against the impeachment of the Plateau Speaker, which has led to the Assembly being under lock and keys.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has cleared the management of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) of any wrongdoing in appointing the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami as a Professor of cybersecurity.
A probe panel was set up by the FUTO chapter of ASUU in September 2021 following the controversy that followed the announcement of Pantami as a professor by the institution.
Naija News recalls Pantami’s appointment as professor in FUTO has been mired in controversy with some Nigerians faulting FUTO on the reported promotion of a minister, who has never been on the teaching roaster of the university and whose highest academic attainment was just a lecturer before he ventured into politics.
But FUTO in the heat of the controversy claimed that it did not promote the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, to a professorial position, but only “appointed” him a Professor, considering that the minister was already a Reader.
The five-man panel of ASUU has now agreed with FUTO that Pantami’s appointment followed due process.
It added that those crying foul in the Pantami issue are only out to drag FUTO’s name in the mud, urging the institution to take legal action against them.
The timeline for the Tuesday supplementary election in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State has been adjusted by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The decision was disclosed in a statement released by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
Recall that the state Collation/Returning Officer, Florence Obi, on Sunday had announced that the supplementary election has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Okoye in the statement noted that the adjustment for the commencement and the ending time for voting was made in line with the electoral body’s extant rules and regulations.
According to Okoye, voting in the affected local government area would commence on Tuesday at 10 am. and end at 4 pm.
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to compensate the families of the victims that died in the 21-storey collapsed Ikoyi building.
Naija News reports that over forty individuals lost their lives in the 21-storey building that collapsed at Gerard Road, Ikoyi on Monday, November 1, 2021, with many others injured.
The Lagos Assembly, in a motion, called on the Governor to direct relevant agencies to ensure that all requirements for buildings as stipulated in extant laws of the State are strictly adhered to.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the sitting, said that it was an unfortunate development given the loss of lives that occurred following the incident.