Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Thursday, 21 January, 2021 Edition)

Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State

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.

Makinde offers Daniel PDP leader in Ogun

The Governor of Oyo State ,Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday held a closed-door meeting with a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in his Asoludero Court country home in Sagamu, Ogun State.

The meeting was later followed by the offer of the People’s Democratic Party leadership in the state. The offer, it was gathered, was to end the lingering crises among the members of the party in the state. The party is divided into three factions.

Daniel who had announced his exit from partisan politics was reportedly wooed back to the party by Makinde . Makinde was accompanied by former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and some leaders of the PDP in the South-West. The Oyo State Governor was quoted to have maintained that Daniel was in the best position to provide leadership for the party in the state.

SANs, Afenifere back Akeredolu, fault Presidency, NEF disagrees

Senior lawyers and groups, including Afenifere and the Yoruba Council of Elders, on Wednesday, criticised the Presidency over its stand on the Ondo State Government’s ultimatum to herdsmen in the state’s forest reserves.

But the Northern Elders’ Forum directed the Fulani herdsmen to disregard the notice to quit forest reserves in the state.

However, on Wednesday, the Ondo State Government said it did not tell herdsmen to leave the state or its forests, but forest reserves, which had become hideouts of kidnappers.

Maina bail request to evade arrest, flee to US – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday said the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina’s bail request is to evade arrest and flee to the United States of America.

The Commission in a fresh court document said Maina wanted to flee to the US where he and his family are equally citizens.

It said, “After jumping court bail, Maina sneaked to the Niger Republic to obtain new travel documents at the US Embassy in Niamey to enable him flee back to the US where he and his family are equally citizens.”

Grass-cutting scandal: EFCC presents first witness against ex-SGF

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has opened its case in the ongoing trial of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and three others when it presented its first witness, Mohammed Babansule, a relationship manager with the First City Monument Bank.

According to a statement on Wednesday by the EFCC’s head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the witness, who is the account manager of the sixth defendant, Josmon Technologies Ltd, during his examination-in-chief, told the court the account opening form and other documents submitted to the bank showed that the fourth defendant, Apeh, is the signatory to the account. Babansule said the account of Josmon Technologies Ltd which was opened in 2015 was allocated to him in June 2018. The prosecution counsel, O. I. Uket, thereafter asked the court to admit in evidence, copies of the account opening package, Corporate Affairs Commission’s registration forms with copies of the director’s international passport and utility bill.

Lawal along with his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Monday Apeh and two companies; Rholavision Engineering Ltd., and Josmon Technologies Ltd as standing trial before Justice Agbaza of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja on a 10-count charge bordering on diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy and official corruption to the tune of N544m. The defendants were re-arraigned before Justice Charles Agbaza on November 30, 2020, after the demise of Justice Jude Okeke who had been hearing the matter.

21 million subscribers still without NINs, say telcos

A total of about 143 million Subscriber Identification Modules are now identifiable to the National Identity Management Commission for registration with their respective National Identity Numbers, telecommunications operators said on Wednesday.

Mobile operators also explained that the number of subscribers without NINs was about 21 million, as the deadline for the registration of SIMs with valid NINs draws near.

Speaking on behalf of the firms, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, told our correspondent that the number of NINs submitted by the telecoms sector to NIMC was for about 143 million SIMs. The Federal Government through the Nigerian Communications Commission had announced on Tuesday that so far a total of 47.8 million NINs had been collected by the mobile operators.

We can’t confirm beneficiaries got N226.8bn intervention grants – AuGF

The national register for recording all receipts of funds, materials, and other resources made available for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic does not yet contain information to confirm that beneficiary agencies received the funds and donations registered for them, the Federal Government has said.

On January 15, 2021, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the Federal Government revealed that a total of N226.85bn was mobilised from various sources in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic between March and June 2020.

It made this public in the interim report on the special audit of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the period of 1st March to 30th June 2020. The report was released by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation and signed by the Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine. Additional details obtained from the report in Abuja on Wednesday showed that the Federal Government could not confirm if beneficiaries actually received the N226.8bn COVID-19 intervention funding.

Biafra above Kanu’s capacity to decide, says Ohanaeze

The new President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, has said the issue concerning Biafra is beyond the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Obiozor also warned the people of the South-East and some organisations to restrain forthwith actions or utterances that put Ndigbo in imminent danger or harm’s way.

Obiozor, who spoke on Wednesday during a World Press Conference at Ohanaeze National Secretariat Enugu, said the Igbo nation was not at war with Nigeria and had nothing pending before any authority that demanded a separate entity for Ndigbo.

Accept defeat, stop attacks on Obaseki, PDP tells Oshiomhole

The Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has called on the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, and the former media coordinator for the state APC in the 2020 governorship poll, John Mayaki, to accept the defeat suffered in the hands of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, in a statement said unwarranted attacks on the governor and his administration by Oshiomhole and Mayaki, especially the latest attack over an alleged N18bn loan request, demonstrated an obsession with propagation of falsehood to curry public sympathy after humiliating defeat at the polls.

Nehikhare dismissed the loan claim, stating that the governor was not profligate.

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