TOP STORIES: Tinubu Returns To Nigeria 8 Days To Inauguration.

President-elect Bola Tinubu has returned to Nigeria eight days to his inauguration as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The incoming president returned to the country on Saturday after a week in Europe.

His latest trip had raised eyebrow, with some reports saying that he was battling an undisclosed ailment. But Tunde Rahman, his spokesman, had said he went abroad to rest ahead of his inauguration on May 29.

While abroad, Tinubu met with Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Presidential Candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), and former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi.

The meeting had generated tension, with some Kano APC chieftains threatening to withdraw support for the president-elect if he implements one of the decisions arrived at in France.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano had also expressed reservations over the meeting as was heard in a leaked audio conversation. But Ganduje was among the dignitaries who went to the Abuja airport to welcome Tinubu back home.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Vice-President-elect Kashim Shettima, and GodswillAkpabio, anointed candidate for president of the 10th senate, were among those who welcomed Tinubu. The president-elect returned amid the storm generated by the endorsement of some lawmakers as leaders of the 10th National Assembly.

During a protest by aggrieves aspirants, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, National Chairman of the APC, had said the National Assembly leadership list would be reviewed, but the action was not taken in Tinubu’s absence.

Tinubu has abandoned us – Kano State Gov Ganduje explodes.

The meeting between President-elect Bola Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has continued to raised dust, especially among leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano.

The duo had met for four hours in France, discussing a wide range of issues, including the possibility of the NNPP Presidential Candidate joining the incoming cabinet.
Responding, Abdulmajid Kwamanda, an APC leader in Kano, said Tinubu must not give any appointment to Kwankwaso, not even that of a messenger.

“We in the North West do not welcome Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to our party APC.

We do not accept the idea of Bola Tinubu giving him any appointment even as low as a messenger in our dear party. Should Tinubu ignore our outcry and appoint Kwankwaso, we are going to disrupt the entire APC in the north and withdraw our support for him, ,” Kwamanda had told reporters.

Moments after Kwamanda spoke, the audio of phone call between Ganduje and Ibrahim Masari, a former placeholder vice presidential candidate of the APC, leaked.

In the audio, the governor was heard lamenting being treated unfairly by the president-elect in meeting with Kwankwaso.

The governor had started the conversation by saying there is noise all over Kano over the meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso.

Ganduje said even though Masari had told him of the possibility of such meeting, there was nothing he could have done about it. “But at that time, you could have spoken with him (Tinubu). You can (sic) call him and talk to him,” Masari said.
The governor was then heard saying “what could I have told him? Now he (Tinubu) is seeing Kwankwaso as an alternative to us?.

No problem. Because we don’t have a government? And it’s even because of him (Tinubu) we lost the government in any way.

‘The world will miss your leadership qualities,’ Ghana’s Akufo-Addo tells Buhari

The Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Friday paid a glowing tribute to President Muhammadu Buhari who is expected to leave office as Nigeria’s leader in about 10 days.

Akufo-Addo, who spoke during the unveiling of two books written on Buhari’s legacies at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the world would miss the ex-military ruler’s leadership qualities when he leaves office.

The books are – “State of Repair: How Muhammadu Buhari Tried To Transform Nigeria For The Better,” was written by a former African editor of the Financial Times of London, Anthony Goldman, and “The Legacy OF Muhammadu Buhari,” authored by a former senator representing southern Katsina district, Abu Ibrahim.


News: Nyesom Wike And Sim Fubara, Rivers State Governor-elect ‘Fight Dirty’.

Few days to the May 29, 2023 inauguration, the outgoing governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and his political son, and current Governor-elect of the state, Sim Fubara have fallen out, News Direct has learned.

According to reports from Rivers State, the rift is as a result of disagreement between the duo on the Party’s (People’s Democratic Party) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

A source from Port Harcourt said Wike is fuming that Fubara invited Atiku and other PDP leaders considered to be his enemies to the May 29 inauguration at Portharcourt without his consent.
The source said that when confronted, Fubara told his close aides that he wouldn’t want to inherit the enemies of the outgoing governor and wouldn’t want to start fighting political wars early in his administration.

He opted for reconciliation with the party leaders both at the state and national, which didn’t go down well with the Port  Harcourt hit man.

This has created a huge crack between the two and we were told that Wike is withholding release of funds for the inauguration.

Seun Kuti To Remain In Police Detention Till May 22.

Certainly, these are not the best of times for Afrobeat legend, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s son, Seun Kuti as he will now be spending additional four days in police custody for slapping a police officer.

The Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Yaba, Lagos granted the application by the police to remand the singer for additional four days.

The embattled musician has been remanded until Tuesday, May 22nd, 2023 by the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Adeola Olatubosun.

The police legal team led by Mr. Simon Lough (SAN) on Thursday, May 18th, 2023 moved the application. He said the extension is to allow further investigation into the real cause of the assault against the police officer.
It would be recalled that the singer was arraigned on Tuesday during which the chief magistrate ordered his remand for 48 hours.


How we spent N200bn on 2023 postponed census preparation – NPC.

The National Population Commission (NPC) says it has spent about N200 billion to prepare for the 2023 population and housing census.

This is part of the N800 billion expected from the Federal Government as the total budget, including the cost of more than five years of preparation.
Its Executive Chairman, Nasir Kwarra, made the declaration at a breakfast meeting with media executives in Abuja on Thursday.

Kwarra said the cost of conducting a digital census was high considering the procurement of equipment and data required for the exercise.
He said the Commission recruited about one million personnel in a bid to conduct a credible and acceptable digital census.

He reiterated its commitment to a credible and acceptable census and urged the media to sustain the tempo of publicity.
“It is important to sustain the tempo of the preparation for the census. The focus of the Commission is to lay a foundation for future censuses,’’ he said.

Dr. Inuwa Jalingo, Census Manager, stated that the Commission worked round-the-clock to conduct a digital census.
Jalingo said the NPC already set up a robust quality dashboard and data for a credible census.

In his remarks, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya, Director of the Public Affairs Department at the NPC, also called on the media to continue to emphasise to the public the imperatives of conducting censuses.
Yahaya noted that advocacy and publicity were critical to making the census successful.

Otunba Subomi Balogun, founder FCMB dies at 89.

Nigerian Billionaire, banker and philanthropist, Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun, the founder of FCMB, has passed away at age 89.

Otunba Subomi Balogun was said to have died in a London hospital on Friday morning. He was an alumnus of Igbobi College and studied law at the London School of Economics.

The deceased practised as a lawyer in the regional justice ministry and then at the federal ministry of justice until the January 1966 coup.

After the coup, Mr Balogun ventured into banking and joined the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB).

He pioneered Icon Securities — a subsidiary of NIDB which specialised in merchant banking — as director of operations. He ventured into several commerce and economics firms until FCMB was established in 1979.


Buhari Appoints First Female As Accountant General of the Federation.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein as the new Accountant General of the Federation.

The appointment was announced in a statement signed by the President’s Director of Communication, Mohammed Ahmed on Friday, 19th May 2023.

Madein, alongside 19 other candidates was shortlisted for the position back in January.
“President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the appointment of Dr. (Mrs) Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein, as the substantive Accountant-General of the Federation following the successful conduct of a selection process to fill the existing vacancy.
“The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR made this known today, Friday 19 May 2023, in Abuja, adding that the appointment is with effect from Thursday, May 18, 2023,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the new appointee is to resume immediately.
Prior to this appointment, she served as the Director, Finance and Accounts, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

She holds a Ph.D. in Management Finance from Walden University, Minnesota, USA and would become the first female to occupy that office in Nigeria.


PDP Director Of Media, Others Resign, Meet Yahaya Bello.

The former Director of Media for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Honourable Onibiyo Dayo (Yagba East), Folunsho Mamood (Lokoja), Stephen Bankole (Yagba) and other party members recently resigned from the main opposition party.

The former PDP members were welcomed by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, on Friday at his office in Lugard House, Lokoja.

During the meeting, Governor Bello noted that he was not surprised about their exit from the PDP which he described as a struggling party.

He emphasized the need to accommodate them into the progressive movement of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that the APC in Kogi State would continue to grow in numbers, highlighting the achievements of his administration and their commitment to providing good governance for the people of Kogi State.

Onogwu Muhammed, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor in a press statement on Friday noted that Governor Bello extended a warm welcome to the former PDP members, pointing out that the doors of the APC are open for anyone willing to contribute to the state’s development.
The group of defectors pledged their support to Governor Bello’s administration and assured him of their collective commitment to campaign for the APC candidate in the 2023 Kogi gubernatorial election.

‘EFCC Chairman, Bawa Requested $2M bribe from me, Gov. Matawalle.

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has publicly accused Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of requesting a $2 million bribe.

This claim comes amidst a growing conflict between the governor and the anti-corruption agency. Governor Matawalle in a statement released on Wednesday called for Bawa’s resignation, asserting that the EFCC Chairman should face scrutiny over corruption allegations.

Bawa, however, rebutted these accusations, stating that he has nothing to conceal and encouraging the governor to petition relevant authorities if he possesses any incriminating evidence.

Meanwhile, Matawalle, in a BBC Hausa interview, voiced his distrust of Bawa and questioned the EFCC’s selective scrutiny, saying, “It is not just to always blame governors. It is not only governors who have treasury, the federal government also has. What does the EFCC boss do to them? As he is claiming he has evidence on governors, let him show to the world evidence of those at the federal level.

“If he exits office, people will surely know he is not an honest person. I have evidence against him. Let him vacate office, I am telling you within 10 seconds probably more than 200 people will bring evidences of bribe he collected from them. He knows what he requested from me but I declined.
“He requested a bribe of $2 million from me and I have evidence of this.

He knows the house we met, he invited me and told me the conditions. He told me governors were going to his office but I did not. If I don’t have evidence, I won’t say this.”

Alex Otti reacts after court sacks him as Abia Govt Elect, reveals next line of action.

Abia state governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, has urged residents not to panic over the alleged dismissal of him by the federal court in Kano. Otti called the court’s decision a “kangaroo ruling” and said he had nothing to worry about.

Asked about his inauguration on May 29, Otti said everything was going according to plan and that the Abian people would have their way. Mr. Otti told Abia’s Vanguard that everything was ready for him to take the oath of office on May 29 and that the actions of those opposed to democracy could not interfere with the wishes of the Abia people.

This is because the Labour Party considered the above ruling to be a waste of time. Similarly, Abia State Labour Party leader Hong Sikei Igala said the court’s decision was “absurd”.

He argued that the court’s decision would not affect future gubernatorial inauguration ceremonies.

Another problem is that the Abia state government has dismissed a number of political appointments following the PDP’s defeat in recent elections.
After declining his nomination, Gov. Okezie Ikpeaz instructed the State Comptroller to pay the March 2023 grant immediately. State Secretary of Government (SSG) Chris Ezem said those affected included special advisers and senior special advisers.

Alex Otti and Ikpeazu have a verbal altercation over allegations of public sector employment fraud in Abia. New allegations against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu have been brought up by the new Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti.

The LP Governor said Ikpeazu was suspected of working illegally in several ministries and semi-governmental organizations, and employees were issued retroactive employment notices. In an interesting reply, Ikpeazu told Otti he was still responsible until he advised him to sack him and wait.

Abia Governor-Elect, Alex Otti, reveals ‘those’ behind his Sack

Abia state governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti, has made serious allegations against some of his opponents following his recent sack by a Federal High Court  in Kano.

Specifically, Otti accused Abia state government, and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of masterminding and sponsoring the misinformation against him.

Otti accused them of instigating the (judicial coup) to possibly distract him.
He made this known when he addressed a press conference Friday, may 19, in Umuahia through his Media Adviser, Ferdinand Ekeoma.
The statement read:

“The report being sponsored and widely circulated by the PDP and Abia State Government alleging that a Kano High Court has sacked the Abia Governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, is baseless, unfounded and misleading, and thus should be ignored.

“For the records, though the perpetrators targeted the Abia Governor-elect and the people of Abia for that legal coup, they were not courageous enough to confront him in the open, hence he was never joined as a party for fear that his eminently qualified lawyers would take the perpetrators to the cleaners.

“To put the records straight and reassure our teeming supporters and millions of Abians who are still celebrating the liberation of Abia, we wish to emphatically state that the Federal High Court in Kano did not issue any order on Abia Labour Party candidates nor the Governor-Elect, Dr. Alex Otti because, unlike those who brought the suit to steal the Abia peoples’ mandate, the court was conscious of its powers and careful not not to fall into the booby trap set for it by the  PDP and Abia state  government.”




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