Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Thursday, 29 October, 2020)

Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the 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.

Yakubu’s re-appointment, opportunity for INEC to redeem itself – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party has said the re-appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, has provided the commission another opportunity to redeem itself.

This was contained in a statement titled, “INEC: PDP Charges Yakubu on Credible, Conclusive Elections,” signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wednesday.

Ologbondiyan said, “In the light of this five-year extension, our party hopes that the failures, disappointments and miscarriages that characterized the first five years tenure of Yakubu will have no place in the new order. It is therefore instructive to state that with his re-appointment, Prof Yakubu has been given an ample time and opportunity to redeem himself, the image of the commission and preparation for credible, free and fair elections in our country.

Wike signs executive order proscribing IPOB

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on Indigenous Peoples Organization of Biafra and its activities in the State.

The governor maintained that while Rivers remains the home to all tribes and ethnic nationalities, the state government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in Rivers State.

Governor Wike, in a state broadcast on Wednesday night, said while the Government acknowledges and appreciate the enormous contributions from non-indigenes to the political, social, and economic development of the State, it will neither accept nor allow any individual or group from within and outside to violate the peace, endanger lives and property under any guise in the State.

We lost N1.062bn to ghost workers, pensioners —Bauchi

Bauchi State Government has lost over N1.062 billion to ghost workers and pensioners between June 2016 and January 2020. The state Commissioner of Finance, Umar Sanda, disclosed this while addressing journalists on the outcome of the Bauchi State Executive Council meeting held on Wednesday.

He said a memorandum of the committee on some of the findings on the issue of ghost workers from June 2016 to January 2020, involving 259 ghost workers, were mindboggling. According to him, in the state payroll, a total of 193 people were involved, while over N270m was lost in the fraud. Sanda added that at the local government payroll, 66 persons were involved and had collected over N792m.

He said, “The total amount of fraud for both the state and local government payrolls is N1.062bn.

Buhari divisive, say Ohanaeze, Afenifere as President advises against disunity

Socio-political organisations on Wednesday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s advice to Nigerians at the launch of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day emblem and Appeal Fund.

The President, at the launch of the armed forces remembrance day emblem in Abuja, called on Nigerians to desist from actions and comments that could jeopardise the unity and progress of the nation.

But organisations such as the apex Igbo socio-culural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Yoruba group, Afenifere and the Middle Belt Forum in their separate reactions told The PUNCH that more than anything, Buhari’s actions were dividing Nigerians.

Lekki shootings: NBA insists on probe, Amnesty releases evidence linking military

The global rights group, Amnesty International, has collated and released a timeline of the killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate, Lagos on October 20.

The AI said its crisis response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirmed the security forces were present at the Lekki toll gate when the shootings occurred. The evidence was published on the group’s website, Amnesty International Home on Wednesday.

The Nigerian Bar Association and an activist, Raphael Adebayo, in their separate reactions to Amnesty’s statement, reiterated their calls for the probe of the Lekki shootings. The NBA further advised government to stop denying the incident and admit its error.

Prisons reject suspected looters, thugs arraigned by police

The police in Lagos have begun the arraignment of all suspected hoodlums arrested in connection with the mayhem unleashed on the state in the aftermath of the Lekki tollgate shootings at #EndSARS protesters by soldiers.

No fewer than 520 suspects were arrested by the police in relation to arson, murder, stealing and assault, among others. The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos, Muyiwa Adejobi, told The PUNCH on Wednesday that over 200 of the arrested 520 suspects had been arraigned.

However, our correspondents gathered that the suspects were returned to the police cell after their arraignment in court, instead of being remanded in prison. It was gathered that the Nigeria Custodial Service declined taking in the suspected hoodlums for challenge of space in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate faults 20 power projects in minister’s LGA

The Senate on Wednesday condemned the proposed citing of 20 projects in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State where the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, hails from.

The Senate Committee on Power expressed the dissatisfaction while scrutinising the 2021 budget proposals of the Rural Electrification Agency.

Members of the panel identified 20 rural electrification projects of various sums, ranging between N20m to N52m in the 2021 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly. They expressed dismay that the record indicated that only one of the electrification projects for 2021 in the entire South-South geopolitical zone was proposed to be cited in Delta State.

Okonjo-Iweala favoured for WTO job despite US opposition

Most European Union member states have continued to express their support for Nigeria’s former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the next director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

The BBC also reported on Wednesday that the WTO’s ambassadors have backed Okonjo-Iweala for the position. If the former managing director of the World Bank finally clinches the position, she would be the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO.

However, the WTO’s effort to select a new leader by consensus hit a brick wall on Wednesday after the United States vetoed the move towards consensus. According to Bloomberg, US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, had pushed for Yoo even though Okonjo-Iweala gained American citizenship in 2019.

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