Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Friday, 20 November, 2020)

President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan

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.

N2bn bribery allegation to confirm Yakubu mischievous, says Lawan

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said he did not collect N2bn to facilitate the confirmation of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, for a second five-year tenure.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had recently reappointed Mahmood for a second term and asked the Senate to confirm his appointment.

However, an online tabloid reported on Thursday that a group in the Senate, led by Lawan, demanded N2bn bribe from the nominee to facilitate his confirmation. But the Senate President, through a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi, on Thursday, denied the allegation.

Umahi: We remain committed to our party —PDP govs

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Thursday, reiterated their loyalty and commitment to strengthening the party.

Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, spoke on behalf of his colleagues at the ongoing 90th NEC meeting of the party holding at the party’s National Secretariat, Wadata House, Abuja.

He said, “All 15 of us are here present. We are individually committed to good governance in our various states to in order to make our party strong. This is a clear statement that we are united and working towards strengthening our party for the future.”

Again, Wike attacks Umahi as APC welcomes gov, expects others

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Thursday, finally defected to the All Progressives Congress, putting an end to weeks of speculation.

However, the decision did not sit well with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who warned Umahi not to allow his alleged quest to become Nigeria’s President to destroy the South-East zone politically. This was just as indications emerged that about 10 members of the National Assembly from the South-East zone elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party might dump the party for the APC.

Wike stated, “Before the PDP left office, the South-East had Senate Presidents. It had the national chairman of the party and Secretary to the Government of the Federation. It had the Minister of Finance. Now, tell me what the APC has given to the people of the South-East since 2015 – Minister of Labour, Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Three senators from his (Umahi’s) state said they have seen the need for the South-East to produce the President. However, it is not the way their governor is going about it. This is not a personal thing. Your ambition should not destroy the entire South-East.”

PDP, APC fight over six kidnapped policemen, insecurity, defections

The Peoples Democratic Party has scolded the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)-led All Progressives Congress regime over the deteriorating security situation in the country. It specifically berated the President for failing to address the kidnap of eight senior police officers by bandits, but was quick to comment on the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC.

Bandits had abducted eight Assistant Superintendents of Police in Katsina State over a week ago and demanded N100m ransom for their release. The families of the victims are currently running helter-skelter to raise the reduced ransom of N500,000 to secure the release of each of the cops.

In response, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, described comments made by the leadership of the PDP “as the last kick of a dying horse. Ordinarily, one would not bother to respond to their tantrums, because it is obvious that they are pained that they have lost a very vibrant governor to the family of progressives. Like I had said before, this is just the beginning. Very soon, we will be welcoming many more big fishes from the dying PDP.

Nigeria spends $500m annually importing palm oil, says FG

Officials from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, states, agencies and non-governmental organisations on Thursday said Nigeria was spending about $500m annually on oil palm imports.

At the National Workshop on oil palm organised in Abuja by Solidaridad, an international NGO, senior government officials and other stakeholders agreed to partner to reduce the continued import of the commodity.

Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, the Deputy Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, FMARD, Bernard Okata, said, “The partnership is to move the oil palm sector forward.

Crude in commercial quantity discovered in Benue Trough – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday said the volume of crude oil discovered in Benue Trough was in commercial quantity.

It said Nigerian geologists were spearheading efforts in the discovery of the commodity in the trough. The corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja by NNPC’s spokesperson, Kennie Obateru.

In October last year, NNPC announced the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.

Some banks, MDAs colluding to divert funds, alleges Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has accused some banks of conniving with certain categories workers in government agencies to divert public funds to private pockets.

He has therefore tasked the anti-corruption agencies to focus more on the activities of the banks especially their handling of government funds.

Lawan spoke on Thursday at a brief ceremony in his office where the executive officers of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria made him their patron.

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