Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Thursday, 15th October 2020
1. Federal Government Approves ₦33.01bn For Roads, Rail, Security, Others
The Federal Executive Council has given approval for the construction of some major roads, railway services installation, and public procurement to kick start unfailingly next week.
Naija News understands that the construction will cost the federal government over N33.01 billion naira.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who sat alongside Ministers of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi; Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and Power, Engr. Mamman Saleh as well as the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Mamman Ahmadu, disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Wednesday after the weekly virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Mohammed said the FEC approved two road projects located in Lagos State and an inter-state, stretching from Kano to Maiduguri.
According to him, a total of N22,247,332,000 was approved for the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota road phase section two while augmentation of N8 billion was approved for the initial cost of the Kano-Wudil-Shuarin section of the Kano-Maiduguri Road.
This contract was awarded today for the sum of N22,247,332,000. But you must know that this is one of the projects being awarded under the Infrastructural Tax Credit Scheme.
In other words, it is awarded to Dangote and Dangote will construct it and over the years, it will be deducted from the tax payable by the group. It is one of the various means of PPP that this administration has embraced.
2. Pastor Adeboye Of RCCG Adds His Voice To The #EndSARS Protests
Pastor E.A Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has added his voice to the ongoing #EndSARS protests calling for the reform of the Nigeria Police Force.
The revered clergy in a statement on Wednesday evening via his Twitter account declared support for the protests calling on the government to end all forms of Police brutality.
He said in the statement that “Our daughters will not be able to prophesy and young men will not see visions if we don’t keep them alive.”
“I support the youths in this peaceful protest as they “speak up” to #EndPoliceBrutality, #EndSARS, #ENDSWAT.
3. Buhari Seeks Power To Freeze Accounts Holding Proceeds of Crime
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the House of Representatives to pass a Bill seeking to empower the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to freeze accounts allegedly holding crimes proceeds.
Naija News reports that the Bill will also give the anti-corruption agency more power to clamp down on money launderers.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, read Buhari’s letter in plenary on Wednesday, with the instrument of legislation attached, at 11:35 am.
Recall that President Buhari had denied assenting to the same Bill in 2020, which worsened the rift between the National Assembly and the Executive.
In the letter to the House of Reps, the President also sought the creation of a Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Agency.
In the letter dated October 6, 2020, Buhari noted that the bill seeking to establish the agency was presented to the Federal Executive Council on September 16, 2020, and was subsequently approved tor transmission to the National Assembly.
4. Tension As Armed Thugs Attack Abuja #EndSARS Protesters
Nigerians protesting against police brutality in Abuja under the #EndSARS movement were on Wednesday attacked by armed thugs.
Naija News gathered that the thugs armed with cutlasses invaded the protest venue at Berger junction about an hour after the #EndSARS protesters had convened.
They harassed the protesters, including passers-by, destroying vehicles parked in the area.
An unconfirmed number of the protesters sustained injuries with five cars reportedly destroyed.
5. Court Rules On INEC’s De-Registration Of Youth Party Of Nigeria
The Federal High Court in Abuja has reversed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission to de-register the Youth Party of Nigeria, YPN.
The court in its ruling noted that the decision of the electoral body is an abuse of the political party’s right to fair hearing.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, while passing his judgement, noted that INEC breached YPN’s right by de-registering it despite a pending case the party filed against INEC’s earlier threat.
Justice Ekwo’s ruling was on a suit filed by the Youth Party, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/10/2020, which had INEC as the sole defendant.
The judge ruled that although INEC is empowered under Section 255(a) of the Constitution to de-register political parties, such power must be exercised within the ambit of the law.
6. Boko Haram: Bring SARS To My State, Zulum Tells Federal Government
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has called for the deployment of Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) officers to support the fight against Boko Haram in the state.
Welcoming Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola, the governor said SARS officials had done a commendable job in the fight against Boko Haram in the state.
The call came after the governor made after some groups in the state staged peaceful protests in support of SARS.
Zulum said, in Borno state, SARS had made remarkable achievements against Boko Haram.
In his remarks, Aregbesola told the governor that he was visiting the state to get an update on the security situation in the state.
He also commended Governor Zulum for his steadfastness in ensuring security and stability in Borno State.
7. #EndSARS: Your Silence Is Not Golden, Address Nigerians Now – CNPP Tells Buhari
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to as a matter of national importance, address the citizens of the country immediately.
The call was made in a statement on Wednesday by the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) – the umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in Nigeria.
The CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Chief Willy Ezugwu said an address from the president will go a long way in giving reassurance and calm frayed nerves as protesters continue to demand a total reform of the Nigeria Police Force through the #EndSARS protest.
“There is a time silence is not golden and such a time is now,” the statement noted.
It added that, “for the President to continue to keep quiet while peacefully protesting young Nigerians are being brutalized and killed by security operatives raises doubt on how sensitive the current administration is to the plights of suffering Nigerians.
8. Oshiomhole Pleads For Out-Of-Court Settlement In Ortom’s N10bn Suit
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has pleaded for an out-of-court settlement in the N10bn libel suit filed against him by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
The Peoples Democratic Party Governor has filed the suit against former Edo State Governor following his statement against him at a press conference on July 27, 2020.
Oshiomhole in his statement had accused Ortom of having hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East Local Government Area on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a “very critical sermon” against him (the governor).
Oshiomhole in the suit had filed six preliminary objections which the court resolved all in Ortom’s favour.
However, at the resumption of the case on Tuesday, counsel for Ortom, Samuel Irabor, submitted that he was ready to call his witnesses, but said that Oshiomhole’s counsel, Festus Jumbo had informed him that they have considered putting up a retraction of the publication and it would be ready within a week.
He said he was applying for another date to take a look at the terms of settlement canvassed by Oshiomhole.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman of State High Court sitting in Makurdi, after listening to both parties, adjourned the case to October 29, for a report on the out-of-court settlement.
9. Why Buhari Can’t Increase Policemen Salaries- Keyamo Tell Protesters
Festus Keyamo, SAN, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has opined that the continuous #EndSARS protest rocking the country is becoming a mob action.
He explained that some criminals have mixed with protesters to unleash terror on citizens and the police.
Keyamo reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari‘s regime was committed to improved welfare for members of the police.
Reacting to one of the demands of #EndSARS protesters who want better remuneration for police officers nationwide, Keyamo said the President had just two years ago, increased policemen salaries.
He added that at the moment, the Federal Government was not buoyant to increase the salaries of police officer at the moment.
He said, “The President has no powers to come up tomorrow and announce new salaries for policemen. When you do that, you even trigger an industrial crisis because you have different segments of the society, doctors, civil servants, soldiers and others will make fresh demands.
We just did a minimum wage last year. It was President Buhari that increased the salaries of policemen two years ago. It was after a rigorous exercise, almost 100 per cent increment. Corporals and all that went home all smiling.
“You have to look at the national purse to do that. Right now, we are borrowing and that is why we are freeing up a lot of subsidies.”
He emphasised that the reformation of the Nigeria Police Force is a process that won’t happen in a day.
10. PDP Govs Reject New Police Act, Describe It As Unconstitutional
Governor elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday rejected sections of the Police Act recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The govvernors called for a repeal to the sections in a communique issued after a Zoom meeting and signed by the Chairman of the forum, Aminu Tambuwal, who is also the governor of Sokoto State.
The governor described as unconstitutional Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2020.
The section “purportedly authorises the President to deduct 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.”
The PDP governors called on President Buhari and the National Assembly to repeal the section.
The communiqué read in part, “The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr. President, Commander in Chief.
“While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the Forum emphasized the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr. President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational and the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organization and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
“The Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States. Whereas S.12(2) gives the responsibility to the Police Service Commission, S. 12(4) gives either the Police Service Commission or Inspector-General of Police the same responsibility.
“This is even more regrettable as the Constitution gives this responsibility to the Police Service Commission (S. 215) (1)(b). We advise that the constitutional provision be upheld.
“Furthermore, the Forum canvassed for appropriate consultations with the Governors of various States on the deployment of Police Commissioners to the States since the Police is a common institution that executes the laws of both the Federal and State governments.
“The Forum implored Mr. President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2020 which purports to authorize the President to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional.
“The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States, and Local Governments only. More creative funding options should be explored.”
That’s the top Nigerian newspaper headlines for today. Read more Nigerian news on Naija News. See you again tomorrow.
Source: Naija News