Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 Edition)

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

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.

EFCC narrows N10bn fraud probe to 10 PDP items’ spending

As part of its ongoing probe of the finances of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has beamed its searchlight on at least 10 expenditure items in the party’s financial records.

This was sequel to a petition filed by a now expelled member of the PDP, Kassim Afegbua, who alleged, among other things, that the party leadership had yet to account for N10bn funds released from the sale of nomination forms.

A document obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Tuesday indicated that the items included a total of N243.8m as legal and other professional charges to consultants in 12 transactions and a total of N78.9m for transport and travel expenses.

SANs fault Presidency attack on grazing ban, NEF slams Buhari

Prominent lawyers on Tuesday faulted the position of the Presidency that the Southern Governors Forum’s ban on open grazing was of questionable legality.

Senior advocates, including Professor Itse Sagay, Mr Tayo Oyetibo, Damian Dodo and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, in separate interviews with The PUNCH, criticised the Presidency for its wrong interpretation of the right of free movement. The lawyers stated this as the Northern Elders’ Forum took a swipe at the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). It blamed the situation in the country on his “multiple failures.”

Recall that Southern governors, at their recent meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, banned open grazing of cattle to stem the rising insecurity in the region. But the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday said the governors’ action was unconstitutional. The Presidency, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday described the ban and other resolutions of the governors as “acts of politicking.”

ASUU alleges bribe-for-salaries in AGF office, massive IPPIS fraud

The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities have again clashed over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System with government saying the payment platform is inevitable.

The President of ASUU, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview with The PUNCH, alleged that the IPPIS was fraught with corruption, adding that some officials in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation were involved in what he called “bribe-for-salaries.”

Ogunyemi was reacting to a statement by the Director of Press of the Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, who told one of our correspondents that ASUU could not avoid the IPPIS.

Experts fear inflation as CBN further devalues naira to 410.25/$

The Central Bank of Nigeria officially devalued the naira to 410.25/$ after the country’s currency defied all interventions to retain its value. However, experts have said that the last resort employed by the CBN to adopt the NAFEX Investor & Exporter forex window rate of N410.25 as its official exchange rate to the dollar would lead to inflation and increase the poverty level in the country.

The CBN confirmed the new official rate on its website after it had removed N379/$ earlier in May. The Punch had recently exclusively reported that the naira officially depreciated to 410/$, quoting the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele had said that the drop in crude oil earnings and the associated reduction in foreign portfolio inflows significantly affected the supply of foreign exchange into Nigeria. “In order to adjust for the decrease in supply of foreign exchange, the naira depreciated at the official window from 305/$ to 360/$ and now hovers around N410/$,” he had said.

Nigeria should scrap 1999 Constitution, adopt 1963 Republican constitution –Sagay

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has said the 1999 Constitution should be scrapped and the 1963 Republican Constitution should be amended and adopted as the country’s constitution.

He spoke on Monday evening while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme monitored by The PUNCH.

The 80-year-old senior advocate believed that the 1963 Republican Constitution contained all that were being agitated for in the country at the moment.

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