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Publication of my academic records witch-hunt, mischief – Atiku

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Atiku Abubakar

Publication of my academic records witch-hunt, mischief – Atiku

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has accused an online newspaper of mischief and witch-hunt, by claiming that he refused to release his academic records.

The newspaper had reported that the former vice president refused to release his academic records despite exposing President Bola Tinubu.

But Atiku in a statement issued by his Media Adviser Paul Ibe said the newspaper did not adhere to any known ethics of journalism, and accused it of publishing a story that is neither controversial nor shrouded in a cover-up.

According to the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, the documents upon which the report was based are already in the public space.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the body that is the repository of all relevant documents required by law for anyone contesting election into public office,” Atiku stated, adding that the newspaper did not write to INEC to place a demand for Atiku Abubakar’s documents.

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The former vice president also disclosed that he is an alumnus of both Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, noting that neither of the institutions was contacted for his academic records with them, “nor did Atiku stop the school or go to court to ask any of these schools not to release his records.”

He also said the publication is at liberty to write to the West African Examination Council (WAEC) demanding a copy of his certificate and transcript.

“The ethics of journalism seeks to establish the truth when there is a dispute about it or when there is a deliberate cover-up that inhibits public interest,” alleging that the newspaper was not interested in interrogating the discoveries from the Chicago State University “for the obvious reason that a parent owner of the newspaper occupies a critical seat in the current government.

“And, then, we ask the question: What manner of a newspaper sets out to protect the interest of a government but is very willing to embark on a wild goose chase on a private citizen?”

Publication of my academic records witch-hunt, mischief – Atiku

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We got N313.4bn, spent $6.72 per voter for 2023 elections – INEC

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INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

We got N313.4bn, spent $6.72 per voter for 2023 elections – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the Federal Government released N313.4 billion for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

The commission in its 2023 General Election Report released on Friday, said that out of the N355.b approved for the conduct of the elections, the sum of N313.4 billion was only released as at September 2023,.

According to the report, based on the key activities in the approved Election Project Plan for the 2023 general election, INEC proposed a budget of N305 billion for the conduct of the elections.

The breakdown of this amount showed that the commission asked for N159.7 billion for electoral operations; N117. 3 billion for electoral technology; and N20.4 billion for electoral administrative costs.

It also showed that N7.4 billion representing 2.5 per cent of the election operation, technological and administrative costs was set aside for unforeseen electoral expenses.

The report stated that in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the commission’s budget proposal for the 2023 general election was submitted to the presidency and duly transmitted to the National Assembly for approval.

“Consequently, the commission appeared before Senate and House Committees on INEC as well as the Senate and House Appropriations Committee in a joint session during which the INEC Chairman presented the expenditure layout of the budget and answered all questions and queries from Committee members.

“The National Assembly approved and appropriated the sum of N303.1 billion for the conduct of the 2023 general election,” it stated.

It, however, stated that by January 2023, it was clear that the approved amount would not be enough for the conduct of the election due to the inflation rate and consumer price index as well as the widening differentials in the foreign exchange rate.

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It added that INEC was also faced the necessity to rebuild or relocate its operations from its buildings that were destroyed or burnt and replace lost election materials due to arson attacks and fire outbreak.

It also noted that INEC suffered more than 50 attacks on its facilities and vandalisation of properties and election material between 2019 and 2022.

These three factors, according to the report, negatively impacted on the procurement of domestic goods and services and the purchase of offshore electoral equipment and materials.

“The commission was therefore compelled to request for supplementary appropriation in the sum of N52.billion from the presidency.

“The request was duly considered and approved for appropriation by the National Assembly bringing the total funds approved and appropriated for the conduct of the 2023 general election to N355.2 billion.

“The breakdown of the appropriated amount on the basis of the Average Cost per Registered Voter Index (COVI), for the 93,469,008 registered voters in Nigeria is N3,801 (US$6.72) per voter.

“This is well within the internationally acceptable Average Cost per Registered Voter (ACRV) of $4 to $8 that is deemed adequate for the conduct of election in transitional democracies.

“In fact, the ACRV for the 2023 general election is less than the actual cost of $9.62 and US$7.38 cost per voter for the 2015 and 2019 general election respectively and very reasonable in comparison to the cost per voter in other transitional democracies such as Ghana and Kenya,” the report stated.

It added that consequent upon the appropriation of the election budget proposals by the National Assembly, INEC engaged with the Minister and officials of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for the release of funds as stipulated in Section 81(2,3&4) of the 1999 Constitution.

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“This led to the cumulative release of the sum of N293.4 billion in tranches between February 2022 and February 2023.

“A further amount of N20b was released to the Commission in August and September 2023.
“The sum of N61.8 billion is outstanding as of October 2023,” the report said.

It also stated that INEC also receives support from development partners for electoral activities.
The support according to the commission was tailored around training, capacity building, civic and voter education, production of information, education and communication materials and engagement with stakeholders.

These supports are directed at the provision of technical assistance, information dissemination, strengthening the integrity of the electoral process, promoting citizens’ participation, and enhancing advocacy for inclusivity with reference to women, youths, persons with disability and other marginalised groups.

“To be clear, the commission does not receive any direct cash transfer from development partners.

“Rather, these partners are required to hold on to their funds and undertake the direct implementation of any activity requested by the commission that are usually directed at meeting urgent and sometimes unanticipated needs or to augment the cost of enhancing electoral integrity, “ it stated.

Section 81(2,3&4) of the Constitution provides that the required funding to meet INEC expenditure be issued directly from the Consolidated Revenue of the Federation to the commission i.e on a first-line charge to the consolidated revenue.

The section also stipulated that any further funding required by the commission should be presented to the National Assembly for supplementary appropriation if the amount in the original budget is insufficient or if no amount was provided for in the original budget to meet unforeseen expenditure.

The Section also stipulated that funds due to the commission for any general election should be released not later than one year before the election and gave INEC the power to disburse such funds in accordance with its financial rules and regulations.

Also the Federal Government of Nigeria is solely responsible for providing funding to the Commission as a sovereign responsibility.

We got N313.4bn, spent $6.72 per voter for 2023 elections – INEC

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BREAKING: Court orders FAAN to account for airports toll gate revenue since 2015

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BREAKING: Court orders FAAN to account for airports toll gate revenue since 2015

The Federal High Court in Lagos Friday, February 23, ordered the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to disclose how much it made from toll gates and parking lots fees in all federal government-owned airports and how much it remitted from January 2015 till January 2024.

Justice Ibrahim Ahmad Kala, who made the order, compelled the FAAN (the sole Respondent) to provide details of the revenue to a public interest applicant, The Registered Trustees of The Centre for Law & Civil Culture.

The judge gave the federal agency three months to comply with the order.

The applicant filed the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1086/2022 following the Respondent’s failure to accede to its freedom of information request of August 24, 2022, saying this violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011.

B.O. Fowewe represented the Applicant while A.A. Lawal represented the Respondent.

Following the conclusion of the hearing on January 25, 2024, with both parties adopting their written addresses, the court adjourned for judgment.

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At the resumption of proceedings Friday, the judge granted the Applicant’s prayer, noting that it had satisfied all the conditions stipulated in Section 20 of the FOI Act.

Justice Kala held: “I shall, therefore, reach the irresistible conclusion that the lone issue for determination in this case, id est. “Whether the Respondent is mandated to provide the requested information to the Applicant as provided for under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and the Applicant entitled to the reliefs sought in their Originating Application,” is resolved against the Respondent and in favour of the Applicant. The Applicant’s application succeeds, and it is accordingly granted as follows:

“It is hereby declared that the refusal and failure of the respondents to accede to the Applicant’s freedom of information requests dated 24/8/2021, 6/10/2021 and 22/4/2022 requesting to know the total annual generated revenue from the toll gates and parking lots in each of the Federal Government owned Airports across the Federal Republic of Nigeria since 2015 till date is a gross violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

“An order of mandamus is, hereby, granted compelling the Respondent to avail the Applicant with the details of the statement of the accounts showing the total annual generated revenue from the toll gates and parking lots in each of the Federal Government owned Airports across the Federal Republic of Nigeria and evidence of yearly remittance of such sum so generated per year from January 2015 to January 2024 within a period of three months from today.”

BREAKING: Court orders FAAN to account for airports toll gate revenue since 2015

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‘Electricity is not free’ – Adelabu orders DisCo to publish names of debtors

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Minister of Power Bayo Adelabu

‘Electricity is not free’ – Adelabu orders DisCo to publish names of debtors

Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power has directed the publication of names of debtors owing outstanding electricity bills to the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

Adelabu, on an inspection tour of power projects in Edo, issued a directive during a meeting with BEDC management in Benin.

“There is nothing wrong with publishing the names of the company’s debtors” because electricity supply is not free,” he said.

“The BEDC needs money to remain in business and serve its customers well.

“I will not stop you from disconnecting organizations or individuals owing.

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“I am also not going to stop you from publishing the names of the debtors. Nigerians need to know the truth.

“If you want to publish the names of those owing, you can go ahead and do so.”

The minister criticized the high energy theft rate in the country and pledged to sponsor bills at the national assembly to combat it.

He also assured Tinubu of his commitment to improving power supply and promised to complete all existing projects before awarding new ones.

“Meter bypassing is making this company to run at a loss,”

Deolu Ijose, managing director of BEDC identified meter bypassing as a significant challenge for the company.

However, Ijose said the company had connected many communities to the national grid and provided feeders in its franchise states.

‘Electricity is not free’ – Adelabu orders DisCo to publish names of debtors

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