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Senate shifts meeting with Service Chiefs, IGP to Thursday

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The Senate on Tuesday shifted its proposed meeting with Service Chiefs, the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Inspector General of Police to Thursday.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan disclosed this at plenary.

Lawan said the security chiefs, who are supposed to brief the Senate, are still engaged at the National Security Council meeting which may extend till Wednesday.

He said: “The briefing will be very crucial, for us to be properly informed and properly guided.

“The only item on the Order Paper on Thursday will be the briefing.”

The Senate last Tuesday, after an exhaustive debate, resolved to invite the heads of the nation’s Armed Forces and other security agencies over the deteriorating security situation in the country.

It had also resolved its leadership should meet with President Muhammdu Buhari, to seek ways of mitigating the security challenges bedeviling the country.

Lawan said: “You will recall that on Wednesday we announced that the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police and the DG NIA will be coming today at 11.00am to brief the Senate on the security situation.

“Today the National Security Council is continuing its meeting that it started last week. Therefore the invited security heads will not be able to come for the briefing.

“We are not sure if they will finish their meeting today. We assume it could spill to Wednesday too just like it spilled from Thursday to Tuesday.

“So to be on the side of caution, we have now fixed the date for the briefing to be Thursday, 6th May.

“I want to appeal to all of us that the briefing we will take from the Service Chiefs and other security agencies will be very crucial for us to be properly informed, properly guided and that if there is any request for supplementary budget, we should be able to understand why we should consider and approve such request.

“On Thursday, the only item on the order paper will be the briefing. We will do that as a special day for the engagement, the interaction between the Senate and the service.”

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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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