Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Wednesday, 20 January, 2021 Edition)

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

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.

INEC planning to make NIN compulsory for voter registration

The Independent National Electoral Commission is considering making the National Identity Number a precondition for registering voters when the continuous voter registration exercise commences in a few weeks, The PUNCH has learnt.

A national commissioner at INEC disclosed this during an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday.

He said the NIN would help tackle challenges of underage voting, alien voting and other challenges associated with registration. The national commissioner, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to speak, said a final decision would soon be reached.

Akeredolu’s order: Ondo tackles Presidency, Villa defends herdsmen

The Presidency on Tuesday waded into the controversy generated by the directive of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, asking herdsmen to leave the state government forest reserves. Apart from ejecting the herdsmen, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu also banned under-aged grazing, night grazing, movement of cattle within the cities and highways. He also gave the herdsmen seven days ultimatum to comply with the order.

However, the Secretary General of the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, had reacted that the association had not been formally informed.

But in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President called for restraint on the side of the state government and the Fulani communities. In the statement titled, ‘In tackling crime, Ondo State Government will not act outside the constitution,’ the Presidency also called on both sides to continue their dialogue.

Gunmen abduct Lagos varsity deputy VC in Nasarawa, demand N20m

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Anchor University, Lagos State, Prof. Johnson Fatokun, has been kidnapped.

Anchor University is a faith-based institution in Ayobo, Lagos, owned by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry. Fatokun is a professor of Computational Mathematics and Numerical Analysis, and was the pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, before joining the services of Anchor University in 2017.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim left Lagos on Sunday to drop off his two children, who were schooling in the North. He was said to be returning on Monday when his vehicle was attacked by the gunmen in Nasarawa en route to the airport to return to Lagos. A source said the assailants were in police uniform.

Mama Boko Haram facing 13 cases on 419, says EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says there are about 13 court cases against Aisha Wakil, popularly known as Mama Boko Haram at the federal and state high courts here in Maiduguri.

According to a statement by North-East Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr. Egbodolo Olumide, the three counts before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court in Maiduguri is a fresh charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence and inducement. It noted that the charges were against Aisha Wakil, Saidu Daura and Lawal Shoyede as chief executive officer, programme manager and country director respectively of a non-governmental organisation, Complete Care and Aid Foundation.

They (Mama Boko Haram and other suspects) were alleged to have obtained the sum of N41,777,750.00 by false pretence. The suspects were alleged to have induced one Hajia Bilkisu Abubakar to execute a supply contract worth N41m for Complete Care and Aid Foundation, owned by Mama Boko Haram, and refused to pay after the contract was executed. The defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to them.

Constitution amendment without restructuring, waste of time –Jang

A former Governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang on Tuesday said amending Nigeria’s constitution without restructuring will be a waste of time. He blamed the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As amended) for the nation’s current socio-economic problems.

Jang said this while speaking on the state of the nation in an interview with journalists in Jos. He described the constitution as a document “full of injustice and imbalance” which should be dumped.

The former Governor further said, “The Military cannot create a Constitution for a civil and democratic society. The 1999 Constitution (As Amended), is problematic because it gives some people undue advantage over the others.

FG to pay 24.3 million poor Nigerians N729bn, says minister

The Federal Government on Tuesday said about 24.3 million poor Nigerians would get N5,000 each for a period of six months. This translates to N729bn within the six-month period.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, disclosed this at the inauguration of the Federal Government’s emergency intervention database for the urban poor.

A statement issued in Abuja by the minister’s aide, Nneka Anibeze, said the intervention would serve as cushion for those further impoverished by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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