The Northern Governors Forum has admitted that the current system of open grazing of cattle is no longer sustainable in view of Nigeria’s increasing urban population.
They stated this during an emergency meeting held virtually on Monday to discuss issues affecting the country and expressed concern over the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country.
A communiqué released in Jos, Plateau State capital, on Tuesday by the Chairman of the forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, reported the governors as saying they planned to encourage herders to adopt new methods of herding.
It stated, “The current system of herding mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable, in view of growing urbanisation and population of the country.”
The communiqué also stated, “Consequently, the forum resolved to aggressively sensitise herdsmen to the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.
“It appeals to the Federal Government to support states with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production.”
The governors noted with concern the tension the eviction notice given to Fulani herders in some South-West states, adding that this had aggravated the security crisis with threats of reprisals in the North.
They therefore stressed the need for the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to meet and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving the misunderstanding and conflicts arising from such threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.
The communiqué stated, “Forum resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tensed security environment in the North. Accordingly, a four-person committee was put in place to be headed by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum.”
It called for restraint from leaders, including those in the South and urged “all the citizens of the North to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.”
Military under pressure to compromise elections, says CDS Irabor
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has disclosed that the security agencies and the military have been under pressure to compromise general elections through financial inducement.
He however assured Nigerians that the military would maintain neutrality in the whole electoral process.
He spoke at the weekly ministerial press briefing on Thursday in Abuja and gave updates on strides made by the military in the fight against insurgency, terrorism and banditry.
He stated that military personnel were being trained to follow the codified rules of engagement before, during and after the elections.
The CDS disclosed that over 300,000 persons had been freed from the hands of abductors since 2016 while refugees who fled the North-East owing to insurgency were already returning.
General Irabor who admitted there were few sabotaurs within the military asserted that they had not succeeded.
He debunked a recent allegation by an international news media which accused the military of carrying out over 10,000 illegal abortions on female victims of the war in the North-East.
According to him, it is impossible for the military to have been engaged in a planned abortion programme since 2013 and as the military commander in charge of Operation Lafia Dole between 2016 and 2017, he never heard of any such thing.
The CDS also revisited the alleged Lekki tollgate massacre in 2020, insisting that the Nigerian military is not interested in killing its own people, but more concerned about protecting the citizens.
He added that the efforts of the military in the fight against crude oil theft had been yielding positive results with the increase in the crude oil production of 1.6 million barrels per day.
FG recovers N120bn from crime proceeds —Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government has said it had realised at least N120 billion as proceeds from criminal financial operations since the bill on Proceeds of Crime Recovery Management was signed into law earlier this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure at a news briefing where Minister of Environment presented the scorecard of the ministry under the Buhari administration in Abuja, yesterday.
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Mohammed said: “I have an update on the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA), 2022. In line with the new law, all relevant agencies of government have now opened ‘Confiscated and Forfeiture Properties Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
“I can confirm that so far, the Federal Government has realised over N120 billion, among other currencies, from POCA. This money will be used to fund the completion of ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the country such as the Second Niger Bridge as well as Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kano Expressways. We will continue to update you on this,” he added.
Appeal court nullifies sale of Intercontinental Hotel to 11Plc
The sale of Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos to 11Plc by Polaris Bank and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, (AMCON) has been nullified by the Court of Appeal.
The appeal court sitting in Lagos also ordered a return of the facility to the original owner, the Milan Industries Ltd.
The decision was taken in a unanimous judgment delivered by three Justices of the Appeal Court: Jimi Olukayode Bada, who read the lead judgment; Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo and Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen.
The appellate court ruled that Milan Industries Ltd had fully paid the bank the N2 billion mortgage facility it secured from Polaris Bank before the hotel was taken over and sold by AMCON and the bank.
The bank, which was then known as Skye Bank, had put the management of the five-star hotel under the receivership of Mr Kunle Ogunba, an arrangement that was nullified by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Despite this, the bank went ahead and sold the hotel to another company, 11 PLC, a move that was challenged at the Appeal Court by the lawyers to Milan Industries Ltd, Messrs Ahmed Raji SAN and Tunde Kasunmu of Prof A.B Kasunmu SAN chambers.
Milan Industries Ltd had taken a facility from Skye Bank to part finance the five-star hotel located in Victoria Island, Lagos and managed by IHG.
The Milan Group had up till 2021 to pay back the facility. But in a curious move, the bank obtained an interim order to take over the management of the hotel, an order that was vacated when the suit was struck out by the court on March 20, 2018.
According to the Certified True Copy of the judgment signed and released on Wednesday by the Senior Registrar of the court, A. G. Balogun, the appellate court held that the two issues Milan Industries as Appellant/Cross Respondent was contesting were resolved in its favour.
According to the lead judgment by Justice Jimi Bada, “With the resolution of Issues No. 1 and 2 in favour of the Cross Respondent and against the Cross Appellants (Polaris Bank, AMCON and 11 Plc), it is my view that this cross appeal lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed.”
While agreeing with the lead judgment, another member of the appeal court panel, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, stated, “The appellant insisted that it had paid over two billion Naira in liquidating the facility and that as at the time the 1st respondent (Polaris Bank) entered into agreement to sell the appellant’s secured asset to the 2nd respondent (AMCON), there was no collateral and secured asset to sell to the 2nd respondent.
It was also the case of the appellant that at the time the 2nd respondent sold the appellant’s Intercontinental Hotel to the 3rd respondent, the appellant had discharged its obligation under the legal mortgage by paying the amount secured by the property.”
Justice Sirajo ruled, “I adopt his lordship’s reasoning and conclusion in the leading judgment as mine in also allowing the appeal.
“I abide by all the orders made in the lead judgment including that of the costs.”
While also concurring with the lead judgment by Justice Bada, the third member of the appeal panel, Justice Peter Affen said, “The judicial reasoning and conclusions reached on the issues raised accord with mine, and I hereby affirm my agreement with the leading judgment which allowed the main appeal and dismissed the cross appeal. I equally abide by the orders on the costs.”
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