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Governors received N30bn to cushion hardship – Akpabio

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Senate President, Godswill Akpabio

Governors received N30bn to cushion hardship – Akpabio

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, stated that an “unverified report” revealed that state governors received N30 billion apiece from the Federation Account to alleviate inflation and high food prices in their respective states.

Last September, the federal government announced that N2 billion had been released to governors from the N5 billion loan it gave to each state to cushion the impact of the cessation of fuel subsidies.

During the plenary on Tuesday, Akpabio stated that information available to him suggests that, in addition to the initial tranche of monies, the governors received an additional N30 billion through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

“I must say that an unverified report has it that each of the state governments in the last few months has received additional N30 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service outside their normal allocations from the Federation Account to assist them in ameliorating the food situation,” Akpabio said.

Akpabio advised the governors to use the funds judiciously to reduce the high cost of food items and other challenges facing the country.

“We believed that every state government should utilise the funds received towards ensuring that food is available in the country.

“So, the state governments have a lot to do. They are closer to the people, and I do not want to mention local government because most of the local governments are controlled by the state governors.

“My belief is that if the state government does what is needed, then the local government will be involved in sharing to make sure that these things get to the people. But we must not overlook the fact that Nigerians are not going to be interested in stories.

“Nigerians want to see action. Nigerians want to eat, and we will provide food for them; there is no excuse. Despite what we met on the ground,” Akpabio added.

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However, Akpabio alleged that many of the protests were organised by an organisation opposed to the federal administration.

Akpabio claimed that the demonstrators and their supporters refused to appreciate the Senate and the federal government’s efforts to combat inflation in the country.

“The situation is revolving daily. You can see a lot of protests here and there, but those people are not aware. Most of those sponsored protests are not aware of the kind of efforts being made by this Senate to tackle the situation together with the joint management team of the Federation Government of Nigeria.

“There is no father who will want to see his child sleep in the night without food with the stomach grumbling, so we must provide. That is why I said we must not limit our discussion to We will not import food; wherever we can find food to put on the table of Nigerians, we shall do so,” Akpabio said.

Akpabio added that the worsening economic situation was driven by COVID-19, insecurity, and the N30 trillion Ways and Means Advance acquired by the Muhammadu Buhari administration from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“It is an uncommon situation that has been execrated by many factors, from COVID-19 to insecurity to inflation to even the ways and means of N30 trillion that put so much pressure on the Central Bank of Nigeria and left a very big gap in the financial situation such that if this government inherited this situation, it tried to feel the gap. It means that people will not eat, salaries will not be paid, and nothing will be done until the gap is filled. We have taken it, and we must move on,” Akpabio said.

In his speech, Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin stated that the high cost of living and deteriorating economic situation are not unique to Nigeria.

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Mr. Jibrin stated that other developed countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America, are also experiencing difficult economic times.

“What is happening presently in Nigeria is not something that is happening in isolation. It is not only Nigeria that is facing this economic challenge. It is something that has an international dimension.

“The world economy is not in its best shape as we speak. As we speak, the United Kingdom’s economy is in recession. They are in recession as we speak. The price of goods and commodities in the whole world has risen everywhere—in the U.S., name it. So, it is not peculiar to Nigeria.

“The Russia-Ukraine war and the Middle East crisis have created a situation where prices of goods and commodities all over the world have gone up. So what is left for us here is to look at our own problems and try to summon these problems, and that is exactly what we are doing. We should stop thinking that it is only Nigeria,” he added.

The Deputy Senate President stated that the federal government is doing all possible to address the economy’s deterioration.

“Yes, we are facing challenges occasioned by what is happening internationally. We have to look at the problems and how we deal with them, and this is exactly what we are doing.

“Of course, our security situation is not what we want it to be. We understand that the CinC (Commander-in-Chief) is doing his best in collaboration with service chiefs and other security agencies. They are doing their best.

“The government is doing its best, and the president is doing his best. What we need to do is have everybody come together, a full collaboration of everyone,” he said.

Governors received N30bn to cushion hardship – Akpabio

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BREAKING: FCCPC storms Chinese supermarket over discrimination against Nigerians

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BREAKING: FCCPC storms Chinese supermarket over discrimination against Nigerians

The Federal Competition and Consumer and Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Monday visited the Abuja-based Chinese supermarket situated at the China General Chamber of Commerce over alleged discrimination against Nigerians.

Nigerians on Sunday expressed outrage over reports that the supermarket only allowed entry to Chinese.

The issue was further escalated when a group of Nigerians visited the shopping mall only to be stopped by security personnel.

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The facility manager of the complex, Shaibu Sanusi, confirmed that Nigerians from outside the complex were not allowed to shop but Nigerians within could access it.

While the supermarket remains shut, the consumer protection agency seems to believe that some people are hiding inside in a bid to avoid confrontation with the agency.

BREAKING: FCCPC storms Chinese supermarket over discrimination against Nigerians

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BREAKING: Judge vacates order suspending Ganduje as APC National Chairman

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Abdullahi Ganduje

BREAKING: Judge vacates order suspending Ganduje as APC National Chairman

Kano State High Court, Presided over by Justice Usman Mallam Na’Abba that earlier on slammed an order Suspending Dr Umar Abdullahi Ganduje as National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress APC, has reverses Self vacating same order.

One Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani Barguma who claimed to be the Chairman and Secretary respectively of the APC Ganduje Ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of the State, had secured an order Suspending Ganduje As the Chairman of the Party.

However in a twist of events the Presiding Judge of the High Court Justice Usman Na’Abba said while vacating his earlier order, that upon reading a Motion Ex-Parte together with 27 paragraph affidavit in support and a written address dated the 22nd day of April, 2024 sworn to by one Glory Adah a litigation secretary in the 4th respondent solicitors law firm.

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“And after hearing, Mr. L. O. Oyewo Esq, with A. Falana Esq and J. Essiet Esq counsel’s of the 4th Respondent/Applicant, an order of interim injunction is hereby granted”.

The Interim Injunction order is for staying of the execution of the order of interim injunction contained in the ruling of the court delivered on the 17th April, 2024 directing parties to maintain status qou ante as at the 15th day of April, 2024 in relation to the suspension of the 4th respondent/applicant from the 1st respondent by the Ganduje Ward Executive Committee pending the hearing and determination of the 4th respondent/applicant Motion on Notice..

The Judge than adjourned to 30th day of April, 2024 for hearing on the case.

BREAKING: Judge vacates order suspending Ganduje as APC National Chairman

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BREAKING: Court frees Ex-NIMASA DG Akpobolokemi of N8.5BN fraud

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Patrick Akpobolokemi

BREAKING: Court frees Ex-NIMASA DG Akpobolokemi of N8.5BN fraud

Justice Ayokunle Faji, discharged and acquitted the former NIMASA director-general, today April 22, 2024, while delivering a ruling on a no-case submission filed by him and four defendants, in a 22-count charge against them.

Akpobolokemi was arraigned before the court alongside Major-General Emmanuel Atewe (rtd), a former Commander of the Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield, and two other staff of the agency, Kime Engonzu and Josphine Otuaga.

In discharging and acquitting Akpobolokemi and one Josephine Otuaga, a staff of NIMASA, Justice Faji held that the EFCC failed to establish a prima facie (sufficient evidence) case against them.

However, he ruled that a former Commander of the Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield, Major-General Emmanuel Atewe (rtd), (second defendant), and a Staff of NIMASA, Kime Engonzu (third defendant), have to open their defence because they have a case to answer in counts 12 to 22 of the charge.

Akpobolokemi had in a no-case submission filed by his lawyers, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) leading with Collins Ogbonna, prayed the court for an acquittal without having him present a defence.

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He stated that the prosecution, with all its witnesses and evidence tendered while making its case, failed to link him to the alleged crimes.

The defendants are being prosecuted for an amended 22-count charge bordering on conspiracy; conversion; and stealing (by fraudulent conversion).

One of the counts reads: “That you, Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, Kime Engozu, and Josphine Otuaga sometime in 2014, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: Conversion of the sum of N8,537,586,798.58 property of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

They had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, thereby prompting the commencement of their trial.

Upon conclusion of the prosecution’s case, all the defendants opted for no-case submission.

Delivering its Ruling, Justice Faji held that none of the witnesses called by the Prosecution led any shred of evidence linking the first defendant, Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi, and the fourth defendant to the offences they were charged for.

The court held that having regard to the totality of evidence led by the prosecution failed to provide any credible evidence linking the first defendant with the commission of the crimes alleged against him in Counts 1-11 of the first amended Charge and/or established a prima facie case against him warranting him to enter upon his defence.

The court also noted that out of the eleven witnesses fielded by the Complainant, only one witness, (PW 2), gave evidence where the name of the first defendant (Akpobolokemi) featured, while other witnesses made it abundantly clear that, they did not know the first Defendant and did not have any dealings with him.

“If there is no sufficient evidence linking the accused with the statutory elements and ingredients a court of trial must as a matter of law discharge him. It has no business searching for evidence what is nowhere and therefore cannot be found,” the Court held.

BREAKING: Court frees Ex-NIMASA DG Akpobolokemi of N8.5BN fraud

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