Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Monday, 24 August, 2020)

Babatunde Fashola

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

We owe contractors N336bn, says Fashola

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says the Federal Government owes contractors N336bn as of July, 2020.

He said only N27bn had been released by the Federal Ministry of Finance while about N162bn was available through the Sukuk Bond.

“Our debts as of the end of July, our outstanding and unpaid certificates for example were in the area of N336bn. Now, the release we have from the Ministry of Finance for the second quarter is N27bn,” Fashola said this during an interview on Arise Television on Sunday which was monitored by our correspondent.

Bandits killed 1,126 Nigerian villagers in six months – Amnesty

Global rights group, Amnesty International, says bandits killed 1,126 villagers in Nigeria between January and June 2020.

The organisation said the most affected were villages in Southern Kaduna, where armed men killed at least 366 people in multiple attacks between January and July.

The AI said this in a report signed by its Director, Osai Ojigho, on Sunday. The organisation said it interviewed civilians in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states, who said they lived in fear of attacks and abduction as insecurity escalated in the rural areas.

Sanusi visits Kaduna, knocks NBA for withdrawing El-Rufai’s invitation

The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ll, on Sunday faulted the Nigerian Bar Association’s withdrawal of the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, as guest speaker at its 2020 conference.

Sanusi was in Kaduna on a weeklong official visit, the first since he was dethroned by the Kano State Government in March.

Sanusi, who was received by El-Rufai at the Government House, cautioned the body of lawyers not to allow the controversy to take a religious or ethnic dimension. He described the NBA action as sad for freedom of speech, noting that such did not depict those who wanted progress.

APC interim panel compiles errant members’ list, to propose expulsion

There are strong indications that the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress has dumped the Chief Bisi Akande-led APC National Reconciliation Committee.

A highly placed source confided in The PUNCH on Sunday that the leadership of the party had opted for smaller committees and allowed the Akande-led panel to “die a natural death.”

It was also learnt that the caretaker committee had started compiling a list of the APC members who refused to withdraw court cases despite the directive of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the party’s National Executive Committee meeting on June 25, 2020.

El-Rufai: Ikeja, Kano, PH, other branches shun call to boycott NBA confab

Branches of the Nigerian Bar Association in Katsina, Ikeja, Abeokuta, Kano, Port Harcourt and other major towns on Sunday said they would attend the NBA annual general meeting starting on Wednesday.

The groups, in separate interviews with our correspondents, faulted the call by the Kaduna State branch of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria for all Muslim lawyers to withdraw from the conference because of the NBA’s withdrawal of the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who was initially one of the speakers at the meeting

But the branch of the association in Bauchi insisted on its position that it would not attend the conference if the NBA failed to rescind its decision to withdraw El-Rufai’s invitation.

Police, DSS, IPOB clash, give conflicting casualty figures

No fewer than 10 persons were killed on Sunday in Emene, in the Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, when policemen, operatives of the Department of State Services and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra clashed.

The clash threw Emene and its environs into confusion and disrupted church services as worshippers ran helter-skelter to escape being caught in the crossfire.

It was gathered that trouble started around 7am when some DSS operatives and policemen stormed Practicing School Emene, where the members of IPOB were observing their Jewish prayers, and started to arrest them.

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