Federal government has blamed the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is on trial for treason, for the murder of Chike Akunyili, the husband of the late Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Dora Akunyili.
The government also said it had established a link between Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and a Boko Haram sponsor, Surajo Muhammad, who was jailed in the United Arab Emirates on charges of financing terrorism.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), made these allegations on Friday while unveiling the findings of a Presidential Committee set up to investigate Kanu and Ighoho.
The 24-member committee, headed by Malami, had representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Federal Ministry of Information, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services, the National Intelligence Agency and the Defence Intelligence Agency.
The government further accused Kanu of being responsible for the murder of a former Presidential Aide, Ahmad Gulak, and over 177 others in the South-East.
The committee said consequent upon the instigating directives of Kanu, members of IPOB and the Eastern Security Network carried out massive attacks on democratic institutions, especially facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “with a view to hampering democratic process in Nigeria.”
It said the attacks that were carried out between October 2020 and June 2021 led to the killing of 175 security personnel.
The report reads in part: “Acting on the instigating directives of Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB members and #EndSARS protesters attacked and killed many security agents, destroyed several public and private properties, including police stations, public transport buses and other facilities across the country.
“That on October 21, 2020, Nnamdi Kanu through an online call-in radio programme (Radio Biafra), further instigated IPOB members to burn down all police stations and kill government security forces, which was carried out, and security personnel (especially police officers) were killed and public and private properties destroyed.
“That 175 security personnel were killed by IPOB/ESN, comprising 128 policemen, 37 military personnel and 10 other security operatives.
“Recently, there were gruesome killings of traditional leaders: Obi 1 of Okwudor autonomous community, Eze E. Anayochukwu Durueburuo and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebineowerre autonomous community, as well as the killings of Dr. Chike Akunyili and eight others, as well as the killing of Alhaji Ahmed Gulak on May 30, 2021.”
The committee found out that as a consequence of Nnamdi Kanu’s broadcasts, there were 19 attacks on INEC facilities that resulted in the destruction of offices and burning of 18 INEC logistical vehicles, several election materials, equipment and ICT gadgets in Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states.
The Presidential Committee stated that 164 police stations and formations, including police Headquarters, Owerri, Imo State were attacked by IPOB/ESN, leading to the death of 128 policemen while 144 were injured and 628 vehicles were destroyed.
It said 396 firearms and 17,738 ammunition were carted away during the IPOB/ESN attacks.
“That there were three IPOB/ESN attacks on Nigerian Correctional Service, including the Headquarters of NCoS, Owerri, Imo State where 1,841 inmates escaped; that the Headquarters of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Umuahia, Abia State was also attacked by IPOB/ESN leading to the death of one officer,” the report read.
Update: 2024 Appropriation Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Reps
The House of Representatives has passed the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget for a second reading.
The House leader, Julius Ihonvbere, on Thursday, November 30, while leading the debate on the general principles of the budget, commended President Bola Tinubu.
Ihonvbere noted that national security and education which got significant allocations will be enhanced if implemented.
He said, “Nigeria will be more secure with the allocation to defence and security. As a teacher, I am impressed by the emphasis on basic education. I am sure that education will be better off this time.”
Tinubu Presents His First Budget As President On Wednesday
President Bola Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
This is according to a memo dated November 27, 2023, signed by the federal legislature’s Secretary of Human Resources and Staff Development, Shuaibu Maina Birma, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly.
“I am directed to inform you that the 2024 Budget would be presented by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 29th November, 2023,” it read.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council has approved a 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion.
This followed the review of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework earlier passed by the National Assembly which benchmarked the exchange rate at N700 to $1 and crude oil price at $73.96 cent per barrel.
Briefing State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said it revised the MTEF and the Fiscal Policy to use an exchange rate of N750 to $1 and also a benchmark crude oil reference price of $77.96 per barrel.
According to Bagudu, the FEC also approved an Appropriation Bill for 2024 with an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion, an increase of over N1.5 trillion from the previously estimated.
He also noted that using the old reference prices, the forecast revenue is now N18.2 trillion which is higher than the 2023 revenue, including that provided in the two supplementary budgets, in which the deficit is lower than that of 2023.
Senate Seeks Nigeria’s Inclusion In $147billion Global Bitumen Market
…passes Bitmen Development Commission Bill for second reading
The Senate Thursday made legislative move of including Nigeria in the $147billion global bitumen market with passage for second reading , a bill seeking for establishment of Bitumen Development Commission .
Nigeria as stated in the bill sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim ( APC Ondo South) , has quantum of 5.9trillion barrels ( 938billion m³) of global in – place Bitumen and heavy oil resources , second to Venezuela .
He specifically informed the Senate that more than 80% of the resources are found in Canada , United States of America , Venezuela and Nigeria .
But lamented that while other countries blessed with the Natural resources are exploiting it through required legislations or legal frameworks , Nigeria’ has no legal framework for such exploration with attendant untapped opportunities and huge market loss .
Therefore according to him, ” the objectives of the Bill includes: the need to develop a legal framework for the regulation of the Bitumen development in Nigeria; to prevent unconventional sources from taking advantage of research-enhanced applications over other competitors; and to lead innovation and resource-based strategy in the development of bitumen in Nigeria.
“The Bill will also ensure effective utilisation of over 38 billion reserve of bitumen in Nigeria; and to promote economic diversification policy of the Federal Government”.
He added that the Bill among other reasons, seeks to restrict the activities of the commission to its regulatory and cordinating functioons , specifically as it relates to the Develooment of Bitumen in Nigeria .
Ondo State alone according to him , has the highest deposit in Africa with an estimated value of $42billion which are aside from depisits in Ogun State , Edo , Lagos and Akwa- Ibom States .
” The proposed Bitumen Development Commission when established , would fastrack the development of Bitumen in Nigeria , make her a key player in the $147billion global market and create instant 12, 000 jobs for Nigerians .
” It would also help Government at various levels to put in place asphalted roads in various communities .
” Out of the 200, 000 kilometres of roads in Nigeria , only 20, 000 are asphalted even with imported Bitumen which is not good and being addressed with the proposed commission” he said .
Many of the Senators who contributed to debate on the bill , concurred with Jimoh Ibrahim’s submissions , making the Senate as put to voice votes by its President , Godswill Akpabio , passed it for second reading .
Akpabio who commended Senator Jimoh Ibrahim for sponsorship of the development – driven bill, mandated the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals to make further legislative inputs on it and report back in a month’s time .
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