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Army threatens personnel using social media to tackle authorities

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The Nigerian Army says it will descend heavily on its personnel who resort to the use of social media to complain about their welfare or tackle the authorities.
Reacting to the rejection of the Nigerian Army Welfare Housing Scheme by Non Commissioned Officers and Senior Non Commissioned Officers the Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, in a statement, said members of the Nigerian Army have established mechanisms of responding to administrative issues and not through social media.
In an open letter to President Muhamamadu Buhari and co-signed by 05NA/57/2084 SGT Yusuf Shetima, 04NA/55/0925 CPL James Ibok, 09NA/62/5578 LCPL Danladi Ibrahim,11NA/66/10622 LCPL Afolabi Showumi and 13NA/70/11034 PTE Lucky Dolph, soldiers accused the Commissioned Officers of “eating fat”, while they starved.
However, the Army spokesman, in the statement, noted that, “the attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to the referenced story being circulated in the social media and the following is our response which is simply to disabuse the minds of members of the general public.
“That the signatories who claimed to be writing on behalf of NA soldiers are fictitious names and numbers which are non-existent in the Nigerian Army records.
“That the current Chief of Army Staff met an Army Housing Scheme in the pipeline and constituted a Committee to understudy its feasibility and desireability. Questionnaire was subsequently designed by the Committee for soldiers to bare their minds on the scheme and to ascertain those who are interested in it. It was still at this stage of administering the questionnaire to soldiers that agent provocateurs seized the moment to demonize the scheme with toxic narratives.
“That members of the Nigerian Army have established mechanisms of responding to administrative issues and resort to social media is not one of them. Any personnel caught using social media to engage the authorities will be severely dealt with. It is however curious that a scheme meant to benefit soldiers and families could be so fragantly twisted in the social media using names and numbers that are alien to the Nigerian Army. The motive for this kind of strange act will ultimately be uncovered.”

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JUST IN: Old naira: IMF asks FG, CBN to extend February 10 deadline

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the extension of the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

The International monetary body made the call just after the Supreme Court had restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from enforcing the deadline.

The IMF, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by Laraba Bonet, said the plea was on the hardship Nigerians were exposed to over the issue.

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It said: “in light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline should problems persist  in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline”.

The IMF is the first international financial organisation to openly call for extension of the deadline for the deposit of old Naira notes.

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Cash crunch: Protesters defy police in Abeokuta, make bonfires on major roads

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Residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State, took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the scarcity of cash and the attendant pains.

Major streets affected by the protests are Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta as the protesters made bonfires and chanted anti-CBN songs
The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised and the protesters tried to set it ablaze.
Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the protest, saying police officers were on the ground to monitor the situation and prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.
He said some group of boys were involved in the crisis.
The police later came to disperse the protesters but they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene.
The situation affected vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran in different directions to avert being caught up in the chaotic situation.

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Court frees Diezani associate Omokore of $1.6bn fraud

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An Abuja federal high court on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of $1.6bn fraud allegations.

Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were accused of fraudulently diverting the $1.6bn said to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

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