Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Saturday, 27 March, 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.

2023: I’ll continue blocking loopholes despite threats, says Makinde

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Friday said some elements within the system used to free money were accusing him of “messing with their honeypots.”

Makinde said the people had continued to threaten him regarding his 2023 re-election ambition. In spite of that, the governor said his administration would continue to block the loopholes in the system to prevent wastage and facilitate development.

“Is it all rosy? No. There are people within the system that are used to free money and they are still there. And all they can say to me is that I am messing with their honeypots and that I have blocked the loopholes they were making money from. “They do threaten me on 2023 ambition, saying I will come back again. But I may or may not; that is the news for them. I will ensure that those loopholes remain blocked. The PPP, which Professor Alonge wrote about, is the saving grace for Oyo State right now. We actually call it the Alternative Project Funding Approach, which for us, is very simple,” Makinde spoke at the public presentation of two books authored by a former Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof Temitope Alonge.

Court awards N210m against police in Bauchi over extrajudicial killings, torture

A Federal High Court sitting in Bauchi has awarded N210m against the Nigeria Police as compensation for torture leading to the death of two people and injury to the third person accused of stealing chickens.

The victims, Abdulwahab Bello, Ibrahim Babangida and Ibrahim Samaila, were allegedly beaten by the Divisional Police Officer of the Township Division, SP Baba Ali, on July 21, 2020, over alleged theft of chickens belonging to a retired police officer. The torture led to the death of Samaila and Babangida while Bello survived with life-threatening injuries. The survivor then slammed three separate suits demanding N150m damages each for himself and his two friends from the police. The defendants in the suit included the DPO, 1st defendant; one Sergeant Jibril Mohammed, 2nd defendant; Inspector-General of Police, 3rd defendant; Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State, 4th defendant; and the Police Service Commission, 5th defendant.

Delivering the three judgments separately against the respondents on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Hassan Dikko, said the action of the police against the three accused amounted to an infringement on their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). He declared that the actions of the respondents against the three accused were “callous, cruel and uncivilised.” He therefore awarded N100m each to the biological mothers of the two deceased and N10m to the mother of the survivor as compensation and general damages, with 10 per cent interest rate per annum until the total amounts were fully paid.

Why UTME students must use NIN to register –JAMB registrar

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Friday defended the introduction of the use of the National Identity Number for the registration of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

The board said the move was for security reasons and to checkmate examination malpractice, adding that the directive was from the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.

The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, said this during a virtual meeting with owners of computer-based test centres, service providers and other stakeholders to kick-start the 2021 UTME registration. He said, “We don’t even require the name of the candidate, we just want the NIN. We will then do the needful to pull the data of the candidate and the process will go on from there.

Current structure hindering Nigeria’s development — Aregbesola

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said the argument of some Nigerians that the current political arrangement is hindering the country from moving forward is valid.

The minister, who said he spoke in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the Federal Government, stated that the current structure needed to be adjusted to enable its constituent parts to have access to more resources for development.

He spoke on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State, after his investiture as the grand patron of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, South-West zone. Aregbesola said, “The argument that the current political configuration holds down the country may be admissible to a large extent and we need to adjust our structure, both politically and economically.

Petrol price hike only after negotiation with labour — NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Friday said it would maintain its current ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise called petrol until the conclusion of ongoing engagement with the organised labour and other stakeholders.

NNPC had maintained an ex-depot price of N148/litre since February despite the hike in the actual cost of the commodity, hence incurring subsidy of about N120bn monthly.

Shedding more light on the recent interview by the Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, at the State House, Obateru said NNPC had no intention to preempt ongoing engagement with labour by unilaterally increasing the ex-depot price of petrol. He said this was despite the fact that the corporation was bearing the burden of price differentials between the landing cost and pump price of petrol.

Eight RCCG members kidnapped in Kaduna, 39 students still in captivity

Amid the continued confinement of the 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State 17 days after they were abducted by armed bandits, no fewer than eight members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Region 30, Trinity Sanctuary, Kaduna, were on Friday abducted by gunmen.

Saturday PUNCH gathered that the victims were on the church bus travelling for a programme when they were attacked.

A Facebook user, Eje Faraday, around 7pm broke the news on his page with a picture of the white vehicle. “All the passengers in this bus were just kidnapped along Kachia Road, 63 km from Kaduna,” he wrote.

No serious politician will ignore opportunity of becoming President –Fayemi

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State says no serious politician will ignore the opportunity of becoming the President of Nigeria. Fayemi, who is also Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, said this on a Channel’s Televisions programme, ‘Hard Copy’, which was televised on Friday.

Responding to a question laughingly, Fayemi, who has been endorsed for the Presidency by the Ekiti State House of Assembly said, “I am laughing. You know why? I get asked this question all the time. I don’t know any serious- minded politician who will have the opportunity to govern a country with the blessings that we have – in spite of the challenges – that will not give it a shot but we are not there yet.”

“I am considering finishing well in Ekiti in 2022. I have a job. Frankly, I am eternally grateful to Ekiti people for giving me the opportunity to govern the state twice and I still have a lot to deliver on that agenda. So, the future will take care of itself. I have no means of knowing what is going to happen but for me, the certainty is that I am the Governor of Ekiti State and that term expires in October 2022. That is the job I have for now,” Fayemi said.

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