Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspapers headlines in Nigeria for today, Wednesday, 23rd February 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari has justified the huge investments and borrowings by his administration in the infrastructural base of Nigeria.
The President who spoke at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja when he played host to a delegation from Kaduna State pointed out that he understands the key role infrastructure can play in the lives of Nigerians hence the huge investments and focus on the sector.
President Buhari observed that once infrastructural facilities like rail, road, and power are sorted out, the people of the country will be able to focus on business activities easily including moving goods from point of production to points of sale/need.
The President stated that without his intervention in infrastructural facilities and development, “people would have been trekking because the road was not there, the rail was not there and there was so much insecurity.”
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has zoned the 2023 presidency to the Southern region, Naija News can report.
Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State made this known on Tuesday in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and APC governors.
According to the governor, the ruling party has also zoned its party National Chairmanship to the North, adding that the decisions were approved by the President.
The Kaduna governor stated that the President and the governors agreed on the zoning formula for all the six geopolitical zones ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He added that Northern zones will take positions that Southern zones had in the last eight years and vice versa, which is simple and equitable.
The former Governor of Kano State, Musa Kwankwaso, alongside former Minister of Youths and Sport Development, Solomon Dalung, Buba Galadima and other prominent Nigerians on Tuesday launched a third political force.
Naija News had earlier reported that the Peoples Democratic Party chieftain was set to officially declare the movement under the aegis of ‘The National Movement’ (TNM).
This is coming at a time major political parties in the country are hoping to win political positions in the 2023 general elections.
The politicians noted that the third force was created to take over power from the All Progressives Congress and the PDP in 2023.
The TNM said it was conscious of its strong duties to save Nigeria from disintegration.
A former Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, has been jailed for six months over conspiracy and money laundering.
The Federal High Court Jos Division jailed the former minister, Deputy Director for Goodluck/Sambo 2015 election campaign and former Acting Chairman of PDP, Plateau State and one other after finding them guilty on Tuesday.
Naija News reports that Ochekpe, Raymond Dabo and Leo Sunday had been standing trial for four years over alleged conspiracy and money laundering.
The trio was convicted by Justice H. M. Kurya of the Federal High Court, Jos, Plateau State, on an amended three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering launched by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
They were alleged to have received the sum of N450million from Fidelity Bank Plc through cash and wire transfer by some oil companies and former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Monday affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari-led government will not dialogue with bandits.
Mohammed, however, stated that due to the complexity of the issue, state governments should be allowed to decide whether they would dialogue with the terrorists or not.
The minister in an interview with Daily Trust said in the case of Boko Haram terrorists about 3000 of them have surrendered in Borno State.
He added that their leaders also surrender, but the federal government would not announce it so that it will not lead to mutiny within the leadership of the terrorists.
Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the party’s next national chairman would emerge from consensus.
Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu, made this known while briefing State House Correspondents on Tuesday.
Bagudu said the decision was taken during a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and APC governors at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The Kebbi governor said past chairmen of the party were elected based on consensus and it would continue in the same light this time around.
He also said that Buhari has approved the March 26 National Convention date and agreed to the current timetable as released by the Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee on Monday.
Bagudu maintained that the governors are united over these matters and will forge ahead with preparations for the party’s convention.
Also speaking with reporters, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has denied reports that the governors are divided over the timing of the convention.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has been given the approval to detain the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, for 14 days.
Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Abuja gave the approval on Tuesday while ruling in an ex-parte application argued by the NDLEA counsel, Joseph Sunday.
Naija News reports that Sunday had requested that the court should grant the NDLEA more time to detain Kyari on the ground that the hard drug trafficking allegations against the suspect were complex.
The lawyer added that the anti-narcotic agency may need to travel outside the country to investigate the matter and get some clarifications regarding the drug cartel working with Kyari.
He, however, asked the court to grant the detention extension in the interest of justice and to be fair to the suspect through diligent investigation.
In her ruling, Justice Abubakar granted the extension request made by the NDLEA pending the outcome of its investigation into the cocaine trafficking allegations against the embattled police officer.
The Presidency has stated that it is just a matter of hours for President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the re-worked Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Naija News reports that the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this on Tuesday during an interview on Sunrise Daily, Channels TV.
“He (Buhari) will sign it (the bill) any moment from now.
“It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be anytime, but within the 30 days,” he said.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has sacked Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen as his Chief of Staff.
His sack was made known in a letter dated 22nd February, 2022, and signed by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem.
Sources close to the Akwa Ibom State government told Naija News on Tuesday that Inyangeyen’s sack is connected to a statement he made against the governor.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged by the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams to employ a new strategy to save the economy of Nigeria.
Adams while speaking at the 2022 edition of Grandmothers’ Festival in Epe on Tuesday claimed that the policies of Buhari’s administration have seen the country survive on foreign loans.
He warned that borrowing to actualize projects in the country would make Nigeria a perpetual debtor and cause problems for future generations.
Adams said, “Nigeria’s economy is dwindling; in a state of comatose. Nothing is working. There is an urgent need for the Federal Government to salvage the economic doldrums.