Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Wednesday, 14 October, 2020)

Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman

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.

Oshiomhole pleads for out-of-court settlement in Ortom’s N10bn suit

A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomole, on Tuesday, sought for an out-of-court settlement in the N10bn libel suit instituted against him by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

Ortom had filed the suit against the former APC chairman over his comments against him at a press conference on July 27, 2018, where Oshiomhole accused the governor of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East Local Government Area on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a “very critical sermon” against him (the governor).

Earlier on the suit, Oshiomhole had filed six preliminary objections which the court resolved all in Ortom’s favour. However, at the resumption of the case on Tuesday, counsel for Ortom, Samuel Irabor, submitted that he was ready to call his witnesses, but said that Oshiomhole’s counsel, Festus Jumbo had informed him that they have considered putting up a retraction of the publication and it would be ready within a week.

ASUU strike: Ngige foresees end, team meets Senate on UTAS

A delegation of the Federal Government led by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, met behind closed doors with the leadership of the Senate on Tuesday to appraise the University Transparency Account Systems payment platform developed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The meeting, chaired by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, also had in attendance, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and the ASUU leadership led by the President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi.

Ngige had before the commencement of the meeting, said the parley was at the instance of the Senate President, as part of efforts to resolve the lingering crisis between the Federal Government and ASUU.

Addressing journalists after about a three-hour closed session on the issue on Tuesday, Ngige said, “ASUU has demonstrated to us, how the UTAS they developed could work but the demonstration will continue. We will involve other government agencies who would also come and assess it. Discussions on it are not foreclosed yet. UTAS is homegrown software. It is what we call local content that Mr President is encouraging. It will be considered by the government,” Ngige added.

Senators clash as National Assembly debates 2021 budget

Senators on Tuesday commenced debate on the general principles of the 2021 budget estimates, presented to the Joint session of the National Assembly last Thursday by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress commended the Buhari regime for coming up with the N10.08trn fiscal document tagged, “Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience”.

But their Peoples Democratic Party counterparts described the budget as unrealistic for implementation.

The Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, who started the debate, said the proposed budget deficit of N5.19tn represented 3.64 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, which was above the threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

Nigeria’s economy’ll contract by 4.3% in 2020 – IMF

The International Monetary Fund has projected that Nigeria’s economy will contract by 4.3 per cent in 2020.

It disclosed this in its World Economic Outlook report for October 2020 which was released on Tuesday.

The IMF had earlier April predicted a 3.4 per cent contraction of the economy. It also predicted 5.4 per cent contraction in June. It however projected that the economy would recover by 1.7 per cent in 2021.

Poly can’t meet COVID-19 protocols for resumption –ASUP

The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics met on Tuesday in a fresh bid to avert a planned nationwide strike by the lecturers.

ASUP had issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the polytechnics NEEDS assessment, as well as correct the challenges of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System.

The delegation of ASUP led by its President, Anderson Ezeibe, noted that while the Federal Government had directed that schools should reopen, the polytechnics could not mmet COVID-19 protocols for resumption.

“Beyond the sentiments of announcing that all institutions resume, the polytechnics lacked support to enforce resumption protocols,” ASUP President said.

Akeredolu says victory shows ‘Ondo is not Edo’

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Akeredolu, who secured his second term by winning the last Saturday’s governorship election in the state, also presented his certificate of return to the President. He was accompanied by the state deputy governor-elect, Lucky Ayedatiwa; and the governors of Lagos, Kebbi, Ekiti and Jigawa states.

Akeredolu told State House correspondent that his victory was achieved by the sense of unity displayed by leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, including state governors elected on the party’s platform. He added that his victory proved that “Ondo is not Edo.”

Opposition, groups kick as Buhari appoint aide INEC commissioner

The Peoples Democratic Party, several civil society organisations, as well as the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere asked President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the nomination of one of his media aides, Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission representing Delta State.

Buhari had in a letter read on the floor of the Senate, by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, on Tuesday, requested for the confirmation of Onochie, who is currently his Special Assistant on social media, and three others as INEC national commissioners. The three nominees are: Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina); Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti); and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa).

Senators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in a statement soon afterwards, berated the president for nominating. They said with her nomination, Buhari “has willfully gone against the constitution that he swore to uphold,” adding that, “Item F, paragraph 14 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbids a card-carrying member of a political party to be a member of INEC.

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