Newspaper Headlines For Today, Thursday, 9th February, 2023

Top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today, Thursday, 9th February 2023

1. Supreme Court Gives Fresh Order On Deadline For Old Naira Notes

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the old naira notes should remain in circulation beyond the February 10 deadline earlier announced.

The apex court gave the fresh order barely two days before the deadline for the naira swap announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

It would be recalled that three State Governors – Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara had filed an ex parte motion before the Supreme Court petition for a temporary restraining order to stop President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from continuing with the deadline for the full implementation of the naira redesign policy.

The Governors had challenged the deadline set for the withdrawal of the N1,000, N500, and N200 old notes from circulation.

Giving judgment on Wednesday in the ex-parte motion brought by the Governors, a seven-member panel of the apex court led by Justice John Okoro temporarily halted the move by the Federal Government to ban the use of the old naira notes from February 10, 2023.

2. Adeleke Vs Oyetola: INEC Appeals Osun Tribunal Judgement, Lists 44 Grounds

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday appealed the judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal that nullified the victory of Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, in the July 16 governorship poll.

The electoral body in the Notice of Appeal dated 30th January 2023, filed before the Court of Appeal, Akure Division listed 44 grounds of appeal.

INEC asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement of the Tribunal.

The commission also asked the court to dismiss the petition filed by All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Gboyega Oyetola for lacking in merit.

Truetells Nigeria recalls that a tribunal panel led by Justice Tertsea Kume nullified Adeleke’s victory and declared Oyetola as the elected governor of the state.

The panel said over-voting was established in 744 polling units and deducted the excess votes from the votes garnered by Adeleke and Oyetola.

But in a minority judgement delivered by another member of the panel, Justice A. Ogbuli, he dismissed APC’s petition and upheld Adeleke’s victory at the poll.

Also in the Notice of Appeal signed by counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) and 17 others, the Commission challenged the decision of the Tribunal on the grounds that the panel erred in law by claiming that Adeleke did not score the majority of the lawful votes, saying the petitioners only called two witnesses who did not prove that the PDP candidate did not win the election.

The INEC also said the Tribunal erred in law by using a table contained in the final written address of the petitioners to determine overvoting and deducted votes scored by the respondent.

3. Details Of INEC Chairman, Yakubu’s Briefing With FEC

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday, briefed the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on the preparation of the commission for the 2023 general elections.

The FEC meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Yakubu after the meeting assured Nigerians that the general elections will hold as scheduled on February 25 and March 11, 2023.

Speaking after the meeting Yakubu said, “It was a general briefing. On the eve of major elections, the commission is invited to brief the council. It is also invited to brief the council of state. The briefing with the council of state is going to take place on February 10.

“So basically, it is about the readiness of the commission to conduct the election. So, we took members of the council through all the preparations that we have put in place for the election and the few challenges that we are facing and the steps we have taken to address those challenges.

“I can tell you two of these challenges quickly. The first one is the availability of petroleum products. We had a meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers and they raised that as an issue of concern. Immediately after that meeting, we interfaced with the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and right now there’s a technical community working. The idea is for them to avail use the use of their over 900 land mega stations as well as floating mega stations nationwide for the purpose of stocking products to ensure that the commission doesn’t suffer any encumbrances in the movement of personnel and materials for the elections.

“The second one is the currency issue. Again, we had an engagement yesterday with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. And he assured us that the commission will not suffer encumbrances on that score. Fortunately for us, all our accounts, national and state are with the apex bank.

4. CBN Gov, Emefiele Meets Buhari In Aso Rock After Supreme Court Order

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, is reportedly in a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock in Abuja.

Truetells Nigeria reports that the meeting is coming shortly after a Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday ordered that the old naira notes should remain in circulation beyond the February 10 deadline earlier announced.

The apex court gave the fresh order barely two days before the deadline for the naira swap announced by the CBN.

In a unanimous ruling, a seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro, granted the interim injunction after an ex parte filed by Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara state governments.

The highest court also held that the Federal Government and the apex must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a notice on notice in respect of the issue on February 15.

5. Senator Nwaoboshi Rearrested, Jailed Over N805 Million Scam

The lawmaker representing Delta North Senatorial district at the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for money laundering.

Naija News reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed the latest development in a statement via its website on Wednesday.

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Recall that the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on the 1st of July, 2022 sentenced Senator Nwaoboshi to seven years imprisonment for money laundering.

But the lawmaker who was not present in court at the time of the ruling went underground and refused to present himself to the Nigerian Correctional Service.

However, the lawmaker was intercepted by operatives of the EFCC at a Hospital in Lagos on Monday, February 6, 2023.

Senator Nwaoboshi was remanded in Ikoyi Custodial Centre on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, to commence his prison term.

6. 2023: We Didn’t Push For Election Postponement – APC

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied a media report that it is pushing for the postponement of the 2023 general elections.

A report emerged on Tuesday evening that the ruling party is putting pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant agencies to shift the 2023 general elections.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, described the report that it is discreetly pushing for postponement of the polls as false and basless.

Morka stated that the false report is just a figment of imagination of those peddling it, adding that there is no iota of credibility in the reports.

The APC spokesman added that the report offers no substantive justifying content aside from its intended purpose of misleading and causing needless anxiety and speculations regarding the upcoming elections.

Morka added that the 2023 general election is matter of extreme national importance bordering on national security and corporate integrity and should not become a matter for idle, rash, or insensitive speculation by the media.

7. Fuel/Naira Scarcity: INEC Chairman Speaks On Postponing 2023 Election

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu on Wednesday spoke on postponing the 2023 general elections due to the fuel and naira scarcity in Nigeria.

Naija News gathered that Yakubu on Wednesday attended the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The weekly FEC meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Yakubu during the plan said the forthcoming general elections in the country will hold as planned.

There had been concerns about how the fuel and naira scarcity may affect the conduct of the forthcoming presidential and governorship elections on February 25 and March 11 respectively.

Yakubu in a chat with State House correspondents after briefing the FEC on preparations towards the elections and challenges said the fuel and naira scarcity has now been resolved following assurances by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele

He explained that all its accounts both national and state are held by the apex bank, and anticipates that the elections will not be delayed.

8. MC Oluomo: Remove Lagos INEC REC, Now – Atiku Fumes

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately remove the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje.

In a statement on Wednesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, Atiku stated that Agbaje has shown partisanship and he is compromised.

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He said it was curious that Agbaje had insisted on using the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee led by transport kingpin, Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council.

The former Vice President described as watery Agbaje’s excuse that INEC would not be able to use the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) because they had been barred in Lagos State.

The PDP presidential candidate recalled that Agbaje was the REC who superintended over the fraudulent 2018 governorship election rerun in Osun State which even the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union discredited.

9. Naira/Fuel Scarcity: Buhari To Convene Emergency Council Of State Meeting Friday

President Muhammadu Buhari will convene an emergency Council of State meeting on Friday to discuss the crisis bedeviling the nation.

Truetells Nigeria gathered that some of the issues that will be discussed at the meeting are naira scarcity, petrol shortage, and insecurity ahead of the general elections.

The meeting which will be held at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja, at 10 am, will also discuss the protests arising from the naira scarcity in various parts of the country.

According to Daily Trust, the meeting will take major decisions to douse tension ahead of elections and avert a potential national crisis given anger over the scarcity of new naira notes.

It was gathered that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, will provide an update on the new currency redesign policy to the council of state.

Also, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, are expected to brief the council on the preparation for the forthcoming elections.

10. Naira Scarcity: Sanwo-Olu Approves 50% Transport Reduction, Creates Food Palliative

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday announced palliative measures to cushion effects of the crises on residents.

Truetells Nigeria reports that this is following nationwide tension caused by persistent fuel shortage and the debacle of currency exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),

In a statement on Wednesday, the governor directed 50 per cent fare reduction in all State-owned transportation services, effective Thursday.

Passengers using BRT buses, LAGRIDE taxi-scheme, First Mile and Last Mile buses, and Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) will enjoy the palliative for the next one week, using their Cowry Cards.

The Governor also gave express permission to all fuel stations operating within Lagos to commence 24-hour operations to allow residents buy fuel without having to stay in queues for hours.

The controversy over the CBN currency exchange deadline, Sanwo-Olu said, has had dislocation effect on Lagosians, limiting their access to cash for daily transactions and making their means of sustenance difficult.

The Governor announced the establishment of food banks in various parts of the State for the distribution of food items to vulnerable families hit by the lingering crisis.

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