Top Nigerian Newspaper Headlines For Today, Tuesday, 7th March, 2023
Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Tuesday, 7th March 2023
1. President Buhari Advocates For Duty-Free Market Access, Debt Relief
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the developed world to provide duty-free and quota-free market access to ensure that goods from the world’s 46 least developed countries are incorporated into regional and global value chains.
President Buhari stated this in the UN Conference on Least Developed Countries, which took place in Doha, Qatar.
In his presentation, Buhari vehemently condemned the current configuration of the world financial system, which throws an unsupportable burden of external debt on the most vulnerable countries.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Advisor on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President warned that such debt loads would make it virtually hard for LDCs to fulfill the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
2. INEC Seeks Court Order To Alter Inspection Of Electoral Materials By Atiku, Peter Obi
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has requested the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) to alter the request by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi, respectively, to inspect electoral materials for the conduct of the presidential election.
Naija News reports that the commission in a motion on notice filed on March 4, is seeking the court to alter the order which restrained it from tampering with materials used for the election.
The commission said it needed to reconfigure the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the next round of elections.
Recall that Obi and Atiku filed different motions to inspect the materials used for the conduct of the last presidential election last week and the court granted permission for both parties to inspect election materials used by INEC to conduct the Feb. 25 presidential election.
However, the commission in its motion sighted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) prayed the court to vary the order to allow it to reconfigure BVAS for the March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
It was learnt that the request to vary the order was the only prayer in the application of the commission filed at the court, and a date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the application.
3. 2023 Election Result: Atiku Reveals Reason Behind PDP Protest
The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has opened up on the reason behind Monday’s protest at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters.
Atiku who spoke with newsmen at the gate of the INEC office in Abuja accused the electoral umpire of contravening all the provisions of the 2022 Electoral law during the February 25 presidential election in Nigeria.
He added that prior to the final announcement of results, the PDP had raised an alarm, calling INEC’s attention to the irregularities observed.
The former Vice President however said INEC didn’t consider its objections but went ahead to declare the results which gave victory to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He added that the protest does not stop the PDP from heading to court in the bid to reclaim its mandate.
4. IGP Meets CPs, Others Behind Closed-Doors Ahead Gubernatorial Elections
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali, has held a closed-door meeting with 37 Commissioners of Police superintending over the internal security of 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory ahead of the upcoming governorship elections scheduled for Saturday.
The meeting held at the Force Headquarters, had in attendance some Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIG), Assistant Inspectors-General (AIG) and other strategic commanders.
Speaking to newsmen before the meeting commenced around 10 am, IGP Baba Usman said the gathering had three pertinent objectives among which is the charge to the senior officers to prepare for post-election security challenges that may arise after the polls in their respective States.
He stated that about 203 electoral offenders were arrested during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections, noting that 185 major incidents that would have thrown the country into chaos were averted nationwide.
Baba charged the senior officers to maintain the same tempo as it was during February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
5. Supreme Court Confirms Lawal As Zamfara PDP Gov Candidate
The Supreme Court on Monday confirmed Dauda Lawal as the standard governorship flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State.
Naija News reports that the development is coming barely five days before the commencement of the state governorship elections scheduled for March 11 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.
Earlier on January 6, 2023, the Court of Appeal in Sokoto set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court that nullified the primary election of Dauda Lawal-Dare as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Zamfara State.
The primary election was challenged at the Federal High Court in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, where a fresh primary election was ordered. The re-run was conducted on September 23rd, 2022, and again won by Lawal-Dare, but the same court also quashed the election for irregularities, this news platform understands.
The Appellants, Dauda Lawal-Dare, Adamu Maina-Waziri, the chairman PDP primary election committee and retired Col. Bala Mande, approached Appeal Court for redress.
Respondents in the suit were Dr Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, Alhaji Wadatau Madawaki, Hafiz Nahuche, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
However, in a unanimous judgment read by Justice Abubakar Talba on behalf of others, Justice Talba said the Appellants have succeeded in proving all the seven grounds of appeals canvassed by the Counsels and all resolved in favour of the Appellants.
He thereby dismissed all the preliminary objections on the competency of the appeal suit based on judicial provisions and interest of fear hearing, arguing that technical defaults could not supersede judicial conditions.
6. Protest: PDP Makes Five Demands In Letter To INEC Over 2023 Election Result
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has made five (5) demands in its letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding the 2023 presidential election result.
The demands were contained in a letter on Monday signed by the PDP National Chairman Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and the party’s National Secretary, Samuel N. Anyanwu.
The letter follows the protest on Monday at the INEC headquarters in Abuja in which the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar as well as some party stalwarts made their grievances concerning the outcome of the February 25 presidential election known.
The PDP letter described the 2023 presidential election as a charade and cautioned INEC against destabilizing Nigeria’s fledging democracy.
The major opposition party accused INEC of involvement in aiding and abetting the rigging and manipulation of the 2023 election results in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
7. Soludo Speaks On Holding Strategic Meeting With Tinubu Over Peter Obi
Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has dismissed reports that he met with the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC), at Imo State Government House, Owerri.
The Governor stated that no meeting was held on how to stop the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, from going to court to challenge last Saturday’s presidential election results.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, as the poll winner with 8,794,726 votes, while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party scored 6.96 million votes and Peter Obi of LP polled 6.1 million votes to come third.
Unconfirmed reports had claimed that a helicopter allegedly flew into Awka, the Anambra State capital, by 1:30 am on Sunday and took Soludo to a secret meeting at Government House, Owerri.
The reports alleged that Tinubu was said to be expressing concern about the growing popularity of Peter Obi and solicited the help of Soludo to find a solution to the problem.
Reacting in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, Soludo said allegations of such meeting were false and nauseating.
The governor said he has been in Anambra State engaging stakeholders for the forthcoming House of Assembly election on Saturday.
Soludo said the allegations are a ploy to cause chaos during the forthcoming State Assembly election in the South East geopolitical zone.
8. Court Grants Ado Doguwa N500m Bail
Embattled majority leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, has been granted bail.
Naija News understands that the lawmaker was granted bail on Monday (today) by a Federal High Court in Kano.
Recall that Ado Doguwa was arrested last week over alleged links to electoral violence in Kano State during the 2023 general elections.
Doguwa was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport while about to board a flight to Abuja. The high-ranking National Assembly member was nabbed by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force over allegations that he personally led the thugs that set ablaze the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) secretariat in Kano where at least two persons were burnt to death.
The violence event happened in the Tudun Wada local government area of Kano. Doguwa was immediately arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court on charges of arson and murder.
He was nailed for criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, arson and illegal possession of firearms, among others.
However, counsel to the accused, Nureini Jimoh (SAN), applied for an exparte order before Justice Muhammad Nasir Yunusa to grant the accused bail based on alleged infringement of his fundamental human rights and absence of jurisdiction by the magistrate’s court that had remanded the accused.
Jimoh contended that since the accused was charged with culpable homicide and illegal possession of firearms, a Magistrate’s Court lacked jurisdictional power to remand Doguwa
Upon hearing the application, Justice Yunusa granted him bail with the condition that the suspect must provide two sureties, one of which shall be a first-class traditional ruler while the other must be a permanent secretary at the federal or state civil service.
The Judge ordered that the suspect shall deposit his travel documents with the Court registry, which can be released upon request if needed for travel. The documents must be resubmitted upon return from the journey.
9. What INEC Told Atiku, Ayu, PDP Leaders During Protest
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it does not have any allegiance to any political party or candidate.
According to the INEC National Commissioner for Publicity and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, the Commission is a public trust and belongs to the Nigerian people.
He stated this while addressing members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who protested at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
Naija News reported that the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had led protesters to INEC’s office to protest the outcome of the presidential election won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The protesters, who were dressed in black, started their protest from PDP National Headquarters, Legacy House, around 10am, which led to heavy traffic congestion around the Maitama axis.
10. 2023: Rhodes-Vivour Is A Bonafide Lagosian, Nothing Must Happen To Him – Bode George
A former Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has risen in defence of the governorship candidate of Labour Party (LP) in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
He alleged that some people are planning to assassinate the Lagos Labour Party governorship candidate before the upcoming March 11 governorship elections.
Speaking on Monday, Chief George alleged that there were concerns about the security and safety of the LP guber candidate and called on security agents to rise up to the occasion.
He added that their position is not about his political affiliation but about protecting a bonafide Lagosian.
The PDP chieftain spoke at a press conference on behalf of Omo Eko Pataki, an umbrella body of prominent Lagos indigenes which took place at his Ikoyi office.
According to him, Rhodes-Vivour is a bonafide Lagosian and should anything happen to him, members of the public should know who to hold responsible.