Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Friday, 9 October, 2020)

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Good Day 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.

PDP rejects OAU VC as ‘likely’ returning officer

The Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the choice of the Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, as the Chief Returning Officer for Saturday’s Ondo State governorship election.

Chairman, National Campaign Council of the PDP, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, announced this at a press briefing in Akure, on Thursday.

Makinde said “We are speaking in particular about the appointment of Prof. Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as the Chief Returning Officer of the Ondo State Governorship election. The PDP totally rejects Prof. Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede acting as Chief Returning Officer. He is a known crony of Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, candidate of the All Progressives Congress and hails from Owo, the same hometown as the candidate. He cannot be a fair party in the proceedings by virtue of their association.

Debts, salaries take 52.6% as FG budgets N13.08tn for 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, presented to the National Assembly, N13.08tn budget estimates for 2021 with N3.12tn (23.85 per cent) earmarked for debt servicing.

Buhari, who said the nation’s economy might relapse into recession, stated that N3.85tn (29.43 per cent) was voted for capital projects, while personnel costs (salaries and allowances) would gulp N3.76tn (28.75 per cent).

With 23.85 per cent allocated for debt serving and personnel costs gulping 28.75 per cent, it means 52.60 per cent of the budget or N6.88tn will be spent on both items next year.

Ex-Alpha Beta MD sues firm, narrates rift with Tinubu

A former Managing Director of Alpha Beta Consulting, Mr Oladapo Apara, has sued the company, a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu; and the current Managing Director of the firm, Akin Doherty; before a Lagos State High Court, Igbosere.

In the writ of summons marked LD/7330GCMW/2020, Apara asked the respondents to appear within 42 days or judgment might be given in their absence.

Apara had in a petition addressed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, accused the company of N100bn fraud but two years after, the EFCC had yet to take action.

In his statement of claim, the former Alpha Beta boss said Tinubu boasted that the then acting chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, would protect him.

I’ll attend trial when doctor certifies my knee healed – Maina

The Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has said he will resume his trial only when his doctor gives him a clean bill of health.

Maina, who claimed to be suffering from knee injuries, spoke in a recorded video clip which circulated online on Thursday.

The about six-and-a-half-minute-long video clip showed him fielding questions from an unseen “journalist” who claimed to have embarked on an “independent investigation” to verify if Maina had jumped bail as being speculated in the media. Maina was shown lying in a bed as he fielded questions, with his son, Faisal, who is also being prosecuted for separate charges, seated beside him.

Review revenue allocation formula, Okowa urges FG

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has called for a review of the existing revenue allocation formula in favour of states and local governments to reflect the current socio-economic realities in the country.

Okowa made the call when he received the National Executive Council members of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria led by the National President, Kolade Alabi, who were on a courtesy visit to the governor on Thursday in Asaba.

The governor said that the review of the revenue formula had become expedient in view of the huge responsibilities facing states and local governments in the country.

PTF releases fresh guidelines for school reopening

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday released fresh guidelines for the reopening of schools nationwide.

This followed the earlier directive by the PTF that schools were free to reopen as from October 12.

Addressing journalists at the Thursday’s briefing of the PTF in Abuja, the National Coordinator of the taskforce, Dr Sani Aliyu, said the fresh guidelines were developed by the PTF in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

World Bank backs FG on petrol subsidy removal

The World Bank said on Thursday that the removal of petrol subsidy in Nigeria was an important step amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The bank, in its ‘Africa’s Pulse’ report entitled ‘Charting the road to recovery’, said countries in sub-Saharan Africa were seizing the opportunity created by the crisis to accelerate the structural reform agenda.

“The COVID-19 crisis is not being wasted among countries in the region… In Nigeria, the government has taken important steps to reform its subsidy regime,” it said.

The World Bank noted that the Nigerian government had eliminated petrol subsidy and established a market-based pricing mechanism with no price ceilings.

Court freezes Lagos speaker’s accounts, grilled by EFCC

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary freezing of three accounts belonging to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa.

The order was pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which is investigating the Speaker for alleged fraud.

According to court papers obtained by Sahara Reporters marked FHC/L/CS/1069/2020, Obasa’s three accounts with Standard Chartered Bank are under restriction pending the conclusion of the substantive probe. They include a United States dollar account, marked 001852963; a current account with number 0018552956 and a savings account 5002349821.

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