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Naira scarcity: Why NLC is not calling for mass actions against FG, CBN – Wabba



National President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba

National President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has given the reason why the leadership of the labour movement in thr country has not called for mass actions against the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the scarcity of both the newly redesigned naira notes and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

He explained that there might have been a grand plan from the powers that be to use the twin scarcity of naira notes and fuel to disrupt the conduct of this year’s general elections, slated for February 25th and March 11th, saying NLC would not want to be part of whatever, will cause disruption of the polls.

He made the disclosure during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after the commissioning of Food Union Hotel and Suites, Apata, Ibadan, built by the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), under the leadership of its outgoing national president, Lateef Oyelekan.

According to Wabba, “We want the election to hold. Basically, I would agree from what is happening; possibly there is also a theory to actually push Nigerians to the wall so that Nigerians will react, and therefore will disrupt the election process.


“We will not be part of that disruptive tendencies. We want the election to hold and be free and fair. We want Nigerians to be able to elect leaders that can change this negative narrative.

“As far back as 12th of December 2022, we wrote to the CBN Governor the likely consequence of the action he was about to take in redesigning the naira notes, without consultation and dialogue with stakeholders. He took the action unilaterally.

“We have seen it come to pass the consequence that we warned him against. Also, we wrote  to Mr. President as NLC to tell him what we envisaged because the entire economy of Nigeria and lather part of Africa is mostly informal.

“So, people trade in their small and medium scale businesses in actual currencies. By the time you retrieve the old currencies, and the new ones are not available, what you can see is chaos. When I was coming to Ibadan this morning, in every bank, I have seen a very chaotic situation, where people are losing a lot of man-hour. People queue in banks to retrieve their hard-earned money that government cannot give them.

“It is really a situation that has called for concern for every right thinking Nigerian. It is condemnable. We have condemned the situation. Nigerians are not supposed to be in this type of situation, because we are a country that is blessed in terms of resources. This is why we said the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) Revolution is important for us to change the negative narrative, not to lament, not to join them in disruptive tendencies.”

On the scarcity of fuel, Wabba stated: “It is a situation that is really unbecoming. It is very pathetic and condemnable. We have told every Nigerian the only way we can bring in a better society. Our politicians have become immune to strike and protest. But we know there is a ‘PVC Revolution’ going on, where we can elect leaders of our choice that we believe can fix the problems.

“Basically, at the eve of elections like this, it is really unfortunate that these issues are happening, either deliberately or because they believe that Nigerians cannot exercise their rights to freely vote and get people that they want as their leaders. So, I call on all Nigerians, including workers to use the current election cycle to vote leaders that will change  the negative narrative.

“The issue of price modulation has failed and the issue of continued importation of fuel as well as complaints that there is subsidy have failed. What is the option? The option is to be refining the product here in Nigeria. This is the position of NLC, and that os why we refused to engage them in this issue of reducing or increasing the price because it has been a viscous cycle  for the past 30 years. What is important is policy change… God has given us this product free of charge. What is lacking I the political will to make the four refineries to work, and also encourage private refineries to come in. These at what will address this problem.”


Four sentenced to death by hanging for kidnapping Emzor Pharmaceutical MD’s sister



Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on Thursday sentenced four men to death by hanging for armed robbery and kidnapping of Mrs. Gloria Emole, the younger sister of Emzor Pharmaceu­tical Managing Director, Chief Ebuka Okafor.

The convicts are Victor Chuk­wunonso V, Ifeanyi Maduaka, Obinna Nwankwo, and Richard Nwabueze.

The trial judge, Justice Lawal-Aka­po, held that the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The first convict Chukwunoso was a former employee of the victim’s el­der brother who was sacked after he fought in the company against the rule of the company that fighting was prohibited.

The convicts were arraigned on July 13, 2013, and were remanded in prison custody.

The convicts had on November 19, 2012, at about 8:30 a.m. committed the offences.

They were arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on conspir­acy, armed robbery, and kidnapping preferred against them by Lagos State.

The Director of Public Prosecu­tion, Dr. Babajide Martins, had told the court during their arraignment that they had kidnapped the victim who was about to leave her house at 7, Unity Street, Ogudu GRA, Lagos.


Martins had told the court that the victim was kidnapped, blind­folded thrown inside the booth, and was driven to an unknown area in Ikorodu.

According to the Prosecutor, the offences committed are contrary to and Punishable Under sections 297,285 (2) a, and 291, of the Criminal laws of Lagos State 2015.

The victim was later released on November 22, 2012, after a ransom of $ 70,000 US dollars was paid, by her husband.

During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses, who testified against the defendants.

The victim narrated to the court that she made a statement at the Police station and how the incident happened.

She said that on November 19, 2012, the first accused person held a double barrel, accosted her at about 8:30 a.m., blindfolded and locked her in her booth, and took her to an un­known destination.

She narrated that after the kidnap they demanded $300,000.

The victim’s husband, Osodun Emole, in his testimony also told the court that he paid the first and sec­ond convicts the sum of $70,000 US dollars.

Emole said that they had initially asked for $300,000, but after negotia­tion, they accepted $70,000.

He stated that he put the money in­side an envelope and he was instruct­ed how he was to dress and where to drop the money.

Emole also told the court that it was the police that told him that the convicts had been arrested.

Inspector Gbenga Faguiro, who tendered nine exhibits, had also nar­rated that the first convict was arrest­ed at Alapere Ketu and a Nokia phone was recovered from him. Independent

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Pastor absconded after using group’s thrift savings to pay LAPO debt



Amazing Grace membership form

Martins Emmanuel, a member of the Amazing Grace Eagle Family, a Christian group in Kwara, has told FIJ how a pastor absconded with the monetary contributions of the group.

Emmanuel narrated how his pastor introduced him to the thrift, which was being run by his associate, another pastor named Afolabi Olakunle Alexander.

Emmanuel told FIJ he agreed to the said thrift in order to have savings for his child’s school fees.

“In December 2021, precisely December 27, I got a chat from my pastor, Reverend Simeon Oladejo. He told me thrift was being organised for Christian believers. We attend same church, and he’s one of our pastors in Ife. I asked him how much I could be contributing, and he told me the least was N5000,” said Emmanuel.

“I agreed, and I started making my contributions in February. I made my contributions until November 2022, when I was to get my money.

“According to the list of people that would be paid monthly, which was sent to the platform, I was to be paid on November 15, 2022.”

However, when Emmanuel reached out to his pastor, he was told Pastor Afolabi had absconded with the money and efforts to reach him had been futile.

“When I reached out to Reverend Oladejo, he said the man took away the money, and that he had tried to get across to him, but to no avail,” Emmanuel told FIJ.


“Pastor Afolabi is a known associate of Reverend Oladejo. After making the payment into his account, the receipts were usually sent to him.

“I began to send messages to him to please give me my money, as I needed to pay my children’s school fees. But he replied none of my messages, including the ones sent on WhatsApp. He would read but not reply.”


Documents and other items of evidence at FIJ’s disposal show that no less than hundred contributors were involved.

FIJ reached out to some other members of the group, and their accounts did not differ from Emmanuel’s.

One Omoniyi, a Port-Harcourt resident, told FIJ that he also could not get his money. He said his efforts had always been met with a series of excuses from Reverend Oladejo, who introduced him to the group.

“I am also involved in it. I have about N55,000 with him, but each time I reached out, I was always told that the persons in charge of the money ran away with it. There are many others that have not got their money,” Omoniyi told FIJ.


An inner member of the group, who asked not to be named, told FIJ that no less than N2 million belonging to his own clique in the group had not been paid. This, according to him, was besides his own personal N200,000.

“I am a member of the group, and I hold an important position in the administration of the thrift. The matter is more serious than that. My money too is stuck in there, and it is about N200,000. The people that I brought into the programme have also not been paid their money, which is over N2 million naira.”

FIJ learned that Pastor Afolabi used the money contributed to offset his debt with the microfinance bank popularly known as LAPO.

“He is running round to source for money. The issue is that he was owing LAPO some money. LAPO then told him to pay up to lend him more money, which he believed he would use to pay the contributors in the thrift group,” said a source who asked not to be named.

“However, after he paid LAPO using the contributors’ money, LAPO came up with an excuse that they had closed for the year.”

Efforts by FIJ to hear from Pastor Afolabi proved abortive as his line was unreachable.

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BREAKING: Ike Ekweremadu, wife found guilty of organ trafficking



Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice

Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President; Beatrice, his wife; and their doctor have been found guilty of organ trafficking in the UK.

The decision was reached after a jury deliberated for 14 hours.

It represents the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act of the country.

Ekweremadu, 60; his wife, Beatrice, 56; and Dr Obinna Obeta, 51, were found guilty of facilitating the travel of a young man to Britain to exploit him after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.


Prosecutors told the Old Bailey that the kidney was to be harvested for Sonia, the couple’s daughter. Sonia was cleared of the same charge.The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Obeta was regarded as the middleman in the case. FIJ

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