EDO COUNCIL ELECTORAL BODY FIXES COUNCIL POLLS FOR APRIL 9

The recently inaugurated Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), has released timetable for the Local Government Councils election in the state.

Chairman of the Commission, Justice James Oyomire (Rtd.), in the Notice of Election endorsed by the Commission’s Secretary, Peter.O. Ojo Esq., stated that the commission would meet with political parties on Monday, March 28, 2022.

The EDSIEC disclosed that party primaries will be held between March 30 and April 6, 2022, while the publication of notice of polls at the ward collation centres will be on April 11, 2022 and the election will hold on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.

According to the notice of election, collection and submission of forms by political parties is scheduled for 7th to 12th April, 2022, Electioneering Campaign will commence on 12th April, 2022.

The Commission also disclosed that sreening of aspirants contesting elective positions in the council polls, will take place between 13th and 14th April 2022, while names of candidates will be displayed on 15th April, 2022.

Submission of names of changed/substituted candidates and screening of substituted candidates is scheduled for 16th April, 2022, while final publication of listed candidates is billed for 17th April, 2022.

The EDSIEC further stated that the electioneering campaign will end on 18th April, 2022.

NON-SERVICE OF PROCESSES STALLS ABBA KIYARI’S EXTRADITION SUIT

Hearing in the extradition to the United States proceedings against the suspended DCP Abba Kyari, was stalled owing to the non-service of the application by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

Kiyari’s Counsel, Nureni Jimoh, told the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo, that he was yet to be served with the AGF’s processes.

Counsel to the Federal Government, Pius Akutah, counsel to the government said, the case was slated for a preliminary hearing.

Akutah, who admitted non-service of the processes, said it was as a result of the time taken by a sister case of alleged drug trafficking filed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) against Kyari and six others before Hon. Justice Emeka Nwite.

Counsel to the Federal Government, who said he had within 14 days to effect the service under the law and, however, promised to serve Kyari’s counsel the application by Thursday.

Ruling, Hon Justice Ekwo said, having listened to the Prosecution’s reasons for the delay in service, the Court was inclined to give the Prosecution extra days to put their house in order.

Hon. Justice Ekwo ruled that upon service of the processes, the respondent had 14 days, within which to respond and gave seven more days for the parties to put their house in order.

The matter was adjourned to April 27, 2022 for hearing.

The Federal Government had filed the suit seeking Kyari’s extradition to the United States over his link with Instagram celebrity Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi.

COURT REMANDS NATIVE DOCTOR FOR ALLEGEDLY SLAUGHTERING WOMAN

A herbalist, two men and a woman were on Monday docked before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly dismembering a mother of two.

The police arraigned Mayowa Bamidele, 36, Kemi Azeez, 20, Oyedegun Adewale, 27, and Jejelaye Olusola, 22.

Bamidele is charged with murder and misconduct with regards to corpses while Azeez, Adewale and Olusola are charged with concealing felony and stealing.

Bamidele’s plea was not taken but the three other defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Peter Nwaka remanded Bamidele in Ikoyi correctional centre while the second to fourth defendants were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 with three sureties in like sum.

He ordered that the sureties be gainfully employed with evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government and have their addresses and offices verified by the court.

He held that the sureties must also show proof of employment and proof of their sources of income.

Nwaka adjourned the case until March 4 for legal advice from the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

Earlier, Police Prosecutor, SP Thomas Nurudeen told the court that the suspects committed the offence at 7.30pm on Dec. 16, 2021, at No. 17, Ijedodo road, Ijegun area of Lagos.

He said the deceased, went to Bamidele’s traditional home to receive treatment and that she had called her friend to transfer money to Bamidele’s bank account and that was the last time she was seen or heard from.

Nurudeen told the court that the deceased was declared missing for about a month.

”My Lord, the first defendant put the deceased in a cooking pot. The second to fourth defendants helped the first defendant bury the sack bags in the backyard of the house and the bedsheet in an uncompleted building,’ he said.

The deceased’s Tecno Camon phone was also discovered in their custody, he said.

The offence, he said, contravenes the provisions of sections 222, 165, 98 and 280 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015. (Revised) (NAN)

EFCC DETAINS VON DG OVER ALLEGED N1.3Bn FRAUD

Ositta Okechukwu


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has detained the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria(VON), Osita Okechukwu, over allegation of fraud.

The DG was invited by the EFCC to answer questions bothering on a case of alleged conspiracy, abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of ₦1.3 billion naira, milling up against him.

Osita Okechukwu, who reportedly arrived the headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja at about 1.30 pm on Saturday to honour the invitation, was still at the office of the anti-graft agency late into the night.

Spokesman of the EFCC Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the invitation of the VON DG but did not give further details.

MAN JAILED TWO YEAR FOR STEALING COWS

One Mohammed Magaji Ali has been sentenced to two years behind bars by a Bauchi High for selling three cows that were put in his care.

The Prosecution stated that the convict was to tend the cows for the owner, instead, he fattened the animals, sold them and converted the proceeds, an offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 311 and 312 of the Penal Code.

Having pleaded guilty to the one count charge, the trial Judge, Justice S.Y. Abubakar, accordinglly sentenced him to two year jail term with an option of fine of fifty thousand naira (N50, 000) and ordered him to pay the victim the sum of Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira (N360, 000) as restitution.

The convict was dragged before the Court by the Gombe Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for criminal breach of trust to the tune of Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N650, 000.00).

MIYETTI ALLAH DENIES BACKING TINUBU FOR 2023 PRESIDENCY

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) says it has not endorse former Lagos State Governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu for President.

MACBAN National Secretary, Baba Ngelzarma, who made the position known, Wednesday, disclosed that the view of individual concerning whoever succueeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, should not be generalized.

“The attention of MACBAN headquarters has been drawn to stories in the media claiming that we have endorsed the presidential aspiration of Sen. Ahmed Tinubu.

“We want to make it clear that the association has not endorsed any candidate. Those who endorsed Tinubu are doing so as individuals.

“MACBAN should not in any way be dragged into the politics of endorsement at this stage.”

MACBAN National Publicity Secretary, however, added that the group respects the ambition of all aspirants and was yet to endorse any of them for the 2023 presidential bid.

NEC CONSIDERS NEW PUMP PRICE OF N302 PER LITRE

The National Economic Council(NEC), is meeting in Abuja to consider reports of its adhoc committee, recommending a N302 per litre price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol.

The meeting chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is being attended by the Governor of Ekiti state and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum NGF, Kayode Fayemi, with Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo state and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state in attendance, amongst others.

The National Economic Council(NEC) is Chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is also attended by other members including Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Godwin Emefiele and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

NLC REJECT GOVERNMENT’S PLANNED INCREAMENT OF TAXES ON SOFT DRINKS

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected plans by the Federal Government to increase taxes on non-alcoholic and carbonated drinks.

President of the Labour Union, Mr Ayuba Wabba, made the position known to Newsmen in Abuja.

The full statement :

On the 31st of December 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Finance Act.

Some of the provisions of the Finance Act includes the imposition of excise duties on locally produced non-alcoholic, carbonated, and sugary drinks.

The reason offered by government for this decision was to discourage the consumption of sugar by Nigerians as it has led to upsurge in obesity and diabetes.

In a letter dated 27th November 2021, the Nigeria Labour Congress wrote to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly pleading that government should suspend the implementation of the excise duties on non-alcoholic, carbonated and sugary drinks.

The Congress provided a number of very cogent reasons why government should not go ahead with the decision to impose fresh taxes on soft drinks.

One of the reasons we advanced was that the re-introduction of excise duties on non-alcoholic, carbonated and sugary drinks will impose immense hardship on ordinary Nigerians who easily keep hunger at bay with a bottle of soft drink and maybe a loaf of bread.

Our concern is the mass hunger that would result from the slightest increase in the retail price of soft drinks owing to imposition of excise duties as it would be priced beyond the reach of many Nigerians.

Congress was also alerted by the complaint of manufacturers of soft drinks in Nigeria that the re-introduction of excise duties would lead to very sharp decline in sales, forced reduction in production capacity, and a certain roll back in investments with the certainty of job losses and possibly shut down of manufacturing plants.

Nigerians would recall that this was also the complaint of tyre manufacturing companies such as Dunlop and Michelin which was overlooked by government until the two companies relocated to neighbouring Ghana.

A similar situation is playing out with the soft drinks manufacturing sub-sector. Government should pay attention.

With 38% of the entire manufacturing output in Nigeria and 22.5% share representation of the entire manufacturing sector in Nigeria, the food and beverage industry is the largest industrial sub sector in our country.

The food and beverage sub-sector has generated to the coffers of government N202 billion as VAT in the past five years, N7.3 billion as Corporate Social Responsibility and has created 1.5 million decent jobs both directly and indirectly.

There is thus no gainsaying the fact that the industry is a golden goose that must be kept alive. The health reason proffered by government as reason for the reintroduction of the excise duties seems altruistic.

Yet, we are amiss why the government did not place the excise duties on sugar itself as a commodity rather than on carbonated drinks.

The truth of the matter is that an additional increase in the retail price of carbonated drinks would put more Nigerians at risk of serious health challenges as many people would resort to consuming sub-standard and unhygienic drinks as substitutes for carbonated drinks.

The appeal to rescind the re-introduction of excise duties on non-alcoholic drinks becomes even more compelling when the projected immediate revenue expected from the policy is weighed against the potential long-term loss to both manufacturers and government.

The beverage sub-sector will lose 40% of its current sales revenue.

This translates to a loss of N1.9 trillion.

While the government will only make total projected receipts of N81 billion from the proposed reintroduction of the excise duties.

Government also stands to will lose N197 billion in VAT, Company Income Tax and Tertiary Education Tax as a consequence of expected downturn in overall industry performance should the excise duties be effected as being planned.

In light of the foregoing, we ask the National Assembly to quickly amend the sections of the Finance Act that re-introduced excise duties on non-alcoholic and carbonated drinks.

We also ask government to extend COVID-19 palliatives and support incentives to the Food and Beverages industry to cushion the shock and haemorrhage that the industry is trying to recover from.

Finally, we demand that Government should engage Employers in the subsector and Organized Labour in sincere discussions on other options that can deliver a mutually satisfying win-win solution to this issue.

We hope that the current situation will not be allowed to degenerate into a breakdown in industrial relations in the sector and generally in the country.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni

President

January 2022