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Govs approve autonomy template for state legislature, judiciary –Fayemi




The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), has approved a uniform template for the implementation of the Memorandum of Action on financial autonomy for State legislatures and judiciary.

The forum disclosed this in a communiqué signed by its Chairman and Ekiti State Gov. Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday night, in Abuja, after its 32nd teleconference meeting.

It noted that the template was signed with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASUN) to facilitate the implementation of financial autonomy for the State legislatures and judiciary.

The template was developed following a joint meeting of the State Attorneys General and the Commissioners of Finance held on June 25, on the directive of the Forum.

The forum expressed its concern over certain proposed amendments to the Principal Stamp Duties Act by the Senate.

It noted that the amendment sought to remove the powers to administer and collect stamp duties from the Federal Inland Revenue Service or their State counterparts, depending on the nature of the transaction, to the Nigeria Postal Service.

“The provisions of Section 163 of the 1999 Constitution requires that Stamp Duties on transactions between a company and an individual should be paid to the FIRS and returned to the state of derivation”, the forum noted, as it resolved to engage with the National Assembly on the matter.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the communique stated that the governors were in full support of the unbundling and commercialization of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), but were, however, concerned with the proposed ownership structure of the NNPC, which was handed to the Federal Government.

“The NGF recommends that given that the corporation is owned by the three tiers of government, NNPC Limited, the new incorporated entity, should be owned by a vehicle that holds the interest of the three tiers of government.

“For now, the institution that is positioned to carry out this mandate is the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

“This amendment, as well as the proposed 3 per cent share of oil revenue to host communities and 30 per cent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins, will be responded to at relevant channels, including the National Assembly and the National Economic Council (NEC)”, the forum said.

The forum also stated that it would take a position on the planned privatization of assets of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) as listed by the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), because it was done without due consultation with state governments, who are also shareholders of the company.

“ NDPHC is incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act as a private limited liability company with shareholding fully subscribed to by the federal, state and local governments with a mandate to manage National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) in the country”, the forum noted.

The Forum threw its weight behind the launch of the NGF Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative (PISI) developed to tackle insecurity, conflicts and violence in the country.

It stated that the launch of PISI on July 8 heralded an important milestone for the NGF as it sought to build a more inclusive and collaborative platform to drive an urgent country-wide response to security challenges in the country.

The communique noted that Fayemi had briefed the governors on the inauguration of the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (NPRGS), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with a mandate to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

It added that state governors were enjoined to nominate focal persons, who would consolidate policy strategies put in place by State governments to end poverty in the country.

The focal persons would be inducted into a Technical Working Group, chaired by the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, and co-chaired by the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, the communique said.

The forum also acknowledged receiving an update from the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the recent rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases and called for consensual action to prevent a third wave in the country.

“Following the update, the Forum called on all state governors to revive their COVID-19 protocols and collaborate with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take appropriate and immediate actions to flatten the transmission curve.

“The forum will interface with the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 to accelerate processes required to fast track the delivery of additional vaccines for the country.”

It stated that an update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability – Program-for-Results (PforR) was also presented at the meeting, in addition to another update on the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Programme for Results (Nigeria CARES), from Mrs. Firo Elhassan, NGF’s Programme Manager.

Following the update, the forum resolved to interface with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMBNP) and the Federal Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to ensure speedy approval and commencement of the programme, in line with the 2021 budgets of States.

Another presentation by Princess Miriam Onuoha, Chairman, House of Representatives, Committee on Disabilities on the adoption of the Discrimination against Person with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act (2018) was also received.

Thereafter, the forum expressed its commitment to actively support, through the NGF Secretariat, the domestication of the disability law in states where it had not been passed.

Since 2018, at least 12 States had passed disability laws, including Ekiti, Lagos, Kwara, Kogi, Plateau, Jigawa, Ondo, Bauchi, Anambra, Niger and River State.

The Chief Executive Officer of Suburban Fiber Company, Mr Bruce Ayonote, also made a presentation to the forum on the Roadmap for Successful Digital Transformation Execution in States, according to the communique.

“The proposal, which sought to build both hard and soft digital infrastructure for State governments, was welcomed by the governors, who mandated the NGF Secretariat to facilitate the planning and partnership process with interested state governments.

“Lastly, the Forum also received a report on the diversification and non-oil export opportunities for states post-COVID-19 from the Policy Development Facility (PDF) Bridge Programme.

While welcoming the study, the forum noted that the findings of the report would help strengthen the diversification agenda of states.




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Military Rescues Six Students After Bandits’ Invasion Of Zamfara Community





Six of the 24 students of the Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State kidnapped in the early hours of Friday (today) have been rescued, Channels Television reports.

A top military source close to the Commander of 1 Brigade Nigerian Army, Gusau, confirmed this to our correspondent, following the bandits’ invasion of the Sabon-Gida community of Bungudu Local Government Area.

He said the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Sani Ahmed is currently leading the operation with other security agencies in the forest along Tsafe Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The source also confirmed that several bandits were neutralised during the ongoing operation with some weapons recovered.

Earlier, a student of the school, who asked to be anonymous for security reasons, told Channels Television that over 24 schoolmates, mostly ladies, were abducted during the attack.

A resident of Sabon-Gida identified as Nazeer Sabon-Gida also confirmed that the gunmen invaded the community around 3 am and started shooting indiscriminately.

According to him, three students’ hostels were attacked and all the students in the hostels were taken away by the bandits.

In a related development, the Zamfara State Police Command confirmed the abduction of the students.

The spokesperson for the command, ASP Yazid Abubakar, in a telephone conversation on Friday said the command has yet to confirm the number of the students abducted.

He also confirmed that the rescue operation was ongoing.

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Atiku explains to Supreme Court why PEPC judgement is flawed



Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

The former Vice President insisted that the February 25 poll was “conducted based on very grave and gross misrepresentation” and was, therefore, oppressive to the appellants, thus not free and fair, and not in accordance with the principles of the Electoral Act 2022

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, is seeking an overturn of the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court due to its failure to take into cognisance the “Doctrine of Legitimate Expectation” regarding the failure of INEC to conduct the election in accordance with its own guidelines and the Electoral Act 2022.

Atiku, in his Notice of Appeal, dated September 18, filed by his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, submitted that the failure of the tribunal to apply the said doctrine was enough ground for the apex court to set aside the entire decision of the lower court.

Specifically in ground seven of his notice, Atiku maintained that the lower court erred in law when it failed to nullify the presidential election held on February 25, 2023, on the ground of non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022.

Atiku submitted that INEC conducted the presidential election based on gross misrepresentation to the appellants and the general voting public that the presiding officers were going to electronically transmit the results of the election directly from the polling units to the 1st Respondent’s Collation System.

He said: “Contrary to the above unambiguous representations, undertakings, and guarantees, the 1st Respondent neither deployed the electronic transmission of election results nor the electronic collation system in the said election, sabotaging the raison d’etre for the enactment of the new Electoral Act 2022 and the introduction of the technological innovations.

“Rather than hold the 1st Respondent (INEC) as a public institution accountable to the representations that it made pursuant to its statutory and constitutional duties, which created legitimate expectations on the part of the Appellant, the lower court wrongly exonerated the 1st Respondent of any responsibility by holding that the use of the technological innovations to guarantee transparency was not mandatory.”




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Please Forgive Me,’ Shaibu Begs Obaseki



Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu and Governor Godwin Obaseki
Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu and Governor Godwin Obaseki

The embattled Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has begged his principal, Governor Godwin Obakeki, for forgiveness over their political differences.

Addressing journalists on Thursday in Benin City, Shaibu appealed to Governor Obaseki to forgive and forget.

“I use this medium to appeal to Mr Governor, if there is anything that I don’t know that I have done, please forgive me so that we can develop our state together,” he said.

“We have just one year to go. We have been the envy of the entire country. So Mr Governor, if there is anything you feel that I have done, please I am sorry. I need us to work together to finish well and strong.”

When asked if he had resumed at his new office, Shaibu said, “We have resumed but there is still a lot of work to be done there.

“There is no problem about it. The governor has asked us to go there. Like I have always tried to prove, I am a loyal servant and nothing has changed.

“I took a personal vow to support my governor and you can see my Catholic people are here. When I took a vow with God, nothing can change it and I wish that the relationship that we had will come back in the next few days and weeks.

“I am missing my governor and by the grace of God, He will touch the governor’s heart and touch all of us and even those that are between us.

“I mean well. If there is any mistake I have made as a human, it is not out of wickedness because I know I’m not wicked. I have a very clean heart.”

Recently, Obaseki and Shaibu have been at loggerheads over issues relating to the alleged plots to impeach the deputy governor.

Last month, the governor accused his deputy of attempting to overthrow him, a claim Shaibu denied.

In early September, Shaibu was barred from gaining access to an event organised by the state where the governor and other top leaders were present.

Not long after, the deputy governor’s office was moved to a building outside the Edo State Government House.



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