2019: INEC Registers 21 New Political Parties

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the registration of 21 new political parties, bringing the number of registered parties in the country to 67.

The commission through a statement signed by Mrs May Agbmuche-Mbu, INEC National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, said the approval wss given at the commission’s weekly meeting on Thursday in Abuja.

The statement said that the associations were registered as political parties, because they had fulfilled the constitutional requirements for registration.

The new political parties are All Blending Party (ABP), All Grassroots Alliance (AGA), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Coalition for Change (C4C) and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

Also registered are Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP), Legacy Party of Nigeria (LPN), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA), Modern Democratic Party (MDP), National Interest Party (NIP), National Rescue Mission (NRM) and New Progressive Mission (NPM).

New Progressive Movement (NPM), Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP), People’s Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL), People’s Trust (PT) and Providence People’s Congress (PPC) were also registered.

Also on the list are Re-Build Nigeria Party (RBNP), Restoration Party of Nigeria (RP) and Sustainable National Party (SNP).

The commission also approved immediate and compulsory retirement of a member of staff and the dismissal of two others in Kogi office over act of gross misconduct.

It said that the action was taken against the three members of staff over their involvement in alleged double registration of Gov. Yahaya Bello in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

“Following reports of the alleged double registration by the Governor of Kogi State in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), the Commission set up a panel of investigation into the involvement of staff in the matter.

“The initial report submitted by the panel was referred to the Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee, which made recommendations to the Commission.

It added that the decision was taken in respect of its staff while the governor currently enjoys immunity from prosecution.

On the Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election, INEC said it had applied for Certified True Copy of the Federal High Abuja judgment on the election to enable it take a decision.

“It will be recalled that following the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Commission announced that the outstanding election to fill the vacant seat for the Anambra Central Senatorial District would take place on Jan. 13, 2018.

“However, the attention of the Commission has been drawn to the judgment of the Federal High Abuja on the issue, delivered on Dec. 13, 2017.

“The Commission has applied for Certified True Copy of the judgment to enable us take a decision.”

EFCC Quizzes Ex-Senate President David Mark

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission yesterday quizzed a former President of the Senate, Chief David Mark in connection with some financial issues.

But Mark was released on bail by the anti-graft agency after some hours.
A top source in the commission said: “We invited the ex-Senate President for interaction on some financial issues and he came to clarify certain aspects relating to him.
“He spent a few hours with us, made a statement and he was granted an administrative bail.

Asked of the status of Mark, the source added: “It is too early to release the details but we did not detain him.

“As soon as we get to a convenient bend, we will tell Nigerians why we quizzed Mark.
“He was implicated in some transactions and we decided to hear from him. This does not mean that he is guilty of any infractions at this stage.

” I think it is obvious that our detectives will still interrogate him again on the next few days or weeks.”

Source: The Nation

Court Halts El-Rufai’s Plan To Sack 21,000 Teachers In Kaduna

The Kaduna branch of National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered Kaduna State Government to stop the planned sack of 21,000 primary school teachers who failed competency test.

Over 21,000 out of 30,000 teachers who sat for the competency test organised by the state government were alleged to have failed and government moved to sack them resulted into protest from Nigerian Union of Teachers.

The teachers had in October dragged the government before the industrial court, asking the court to stop state government from sacking any teacher on the basis of the test conducted in June 2017.

Samuel Atum, the lawyer who represented the teachers, had on October 30 filed a motion of “interlocutory injunction”, asking the court to restrain the government from dismissing or disengaging any teacher on the basis of the test conducted in June 2017.

Justice Lawal Mani on Thursday at the hearing granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit and adjourned the case to February 6th, 2018.

Speaking with newsmen after the court session, the plaintiff’s counsel lauded the court for granting their order against the plans of the state government.

“This is democracy and the premise of democracy is the rule of law, so we expect nothing more than absolute submission by the state government to comply with the order of the court.

“I have confidence that the government will comply or obey this order.” he said

Meanwhile, hundreds of Teachers present at the court were seen jubilating and congratulating themselves over the court injunction.

Ajimobi Presents N267bn Budget Of Stabilisation For 2018

Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi presents 2018 budget of N267 billion to State House of Assembly with about N60 billion higher than the N207 billion presented in 2017.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the appropriation bill tagged, `Budget of Stabilisation, has capital expenditure in the bill was N149.1 billion while the recurrent expenditure was estimated at N118.37 billion.

The governor stated that capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure in the budget stood at 55 and 45 percent respectively.

Ajimobi also said that N156.42 billion was realised out of the estimated N208.65 billion revenue in the 2017 Appropriation Act as at September.

He said that revenue performance stood at 46.95 percent against 62.63 percent in September, while expenditure performance stood at 46.62 percent against 62.19 percent.

Ajimobi said recurrent expenditure, particularly on personnel cost, was heavier due to the continued commitment to payment of workers’ salaries.

“It is to be recalled that apart from consistently utilising more than the stipulated minimum of all the recurrent intervention from the Federal Government to settle salary/pension and arrears, our administration had conceded 100% monthly allocation from the Federation Account to payment of salaries and pensions of the state’s work force.

“This is hinged on our philosophy that only a motivated workforce can facilitate productive performance of an administration for the actualiSation of the delivery of expected dividends of democracy,’’ he said.

He, however, said that his administration was confronted with several challenges during the outgoing fiscal year, noting that government experienced decline in the monthly federal allocation throughout the year.

Ajimobi stated that the situation impacted negatively on the level of budget performance, adding that the 2018 budget was structured toward consolidating upon the gains of the previous years.

He appealed to tax defaulters to perform their civic responsibilities and join hands with others to contribute to government efforts at advancing the development of the state.

“To ensure the realisation of our internally generated objectives, we must continue to restructure government agencies in charge of receivables including the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

“This is our commitment for a well- structured financial system which will give us the impetus to demand from the people their obligations to government,’’ he said.

The governor said that his administration had in the last six years ensured security of lives and properties and massive infrastructure development.

(NAN)

Governor Bello, Let Common-Sense Prevail

By Hussain Obaro

SIR; These past days, the internet and social media have been awash with news and pictures of the newly built mansion of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in his home town of Okene. Some news platforms have alleged that the expensive house is worth billions of naira, while others have described it as an architectural masterpiece of the century.

The question I asked some of the governor’s critics is: when and how has it become a sin for a sitting governor to build a house? If a similar house was built by a performing governor, would it have attracted the kind of reaction, condemnation and bashing that the palatial mansion has received so far?

It has since dawned on me that it isn’t really about the house, which some persons have described as a heaven on earth, but the timing, the funfair, extravagant ceremony and the unnecessary flaunting of the magnificent edifice by the governor’s praise singers and clueless appointees who go about posting and celebrating the mansion as if it is a sort of a dividend of democracy and a gift to the people of Kogi State.

Common-sense demands that since the governor is doing little or nothing to ameliorate the sufferings of the masses of Kogi State, he would stop doing things that will further increase their pain and frustrations. Erecting a gigantic multi-million naira mansion and rubbing it on the faces of the hungry masses is tantamount to dancing on the graves of those who have lost their lives to accidents while travelling to participate in the more than one year screening exercise that the administration embarked upon with no tangible result to show for it. It insults the patience and sensibilities of the workers who have endured hunger and humiliation as a result of the hardship imposed on them by the Yahaya Bello administration.

The families of those who have committed suicide as a result of the economic hardship in the state wouldn’t smile at the mansion whenever they walk past it. Aside the fact that many of the governor’s appointees have allegedly become so rich that they are also building mansions of their own in choice areas across the state and beyond. The only thing they seem to be good at is haul insults at constructive critics, using gutter and garage languages. It is said that a sensible leader selects the best of the best and empower them to deliver on set goals and objectives.

Our dear governor, you were not wrong to have built a house of your own in your home town, but the timing was wrong and so was the funfair and publicity it attracted. It makes no iota of common-sense that while President Muhammadu Buhari was away in Kano State commissioning state-of-the-art hospitals, roads and factories that has the capacity to employ more than 5000 unemployed, you were commissioning your mansion amidst hungry and poor Kogites.

Hussain Obaro,
Lokoja, Kogi State.

#OgbeniGovtAt7: Rural Development Remains Top Priority

By Abisola Omibeku

It is no longer news that the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has committed so many resources to the development of the State. While most people are familiar with the giant strides of his administration in massive infrastructural development as can be seen in the renovation and construction of mega school structures, good roads, and other infrastructures that dot the urban areas; critics will say that these projects are limited to the urban areas; however, the not so talked about achievements are those done in the rural areas in the State. Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration through various agencies of government has been executing various community driven projects across the State in the areas of water and sanitation, primary health care, education, markets, transportation, electricity etc.

A case study is the Agency for Community and Social Development. In delivering service to the people in the rural areas, projects which are communities’ identified and driven are part financed by the communities, with them paying 10% of the project sum, and the Government contributing 90% of the funds. The Government is able to do this by sourcing for funds from the World Bank. The rationale behind the 10% contribution by the communities is to ensure ownership and sustainability of the projects.

For the records, as at October 2017, Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration has through the Agency for Community and Social Development carried out 109 Rural Electrification projects; 71 road projects, 57 different projects under the social economic sector, including construction of civic centers, 62 water projects, 41 in the education sector, 9 environmental projects, 14 in the health sector and 4 Gender and Vulnerable G&V Projects, totalling 351 completed Micro Projects. A case at hand is the recent commissioning by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of seven rural electrification projects in various communities in Ife North Local Government Area of the State. The commissioned projects in the seven communities in Ife North local government which are, Yakooyo, Amule, Asipa, Akorede, Akinlalu, Isale-Ola and Kumegun, will further boost the local economy by creating wealth and enhancing communal progress. These projects are not new on the agenda of Ogbeni’s government as a power generation plant was also provided in another area of Ife North local government few years ago.

Also, in line with Ogbeni’s unwavering commitment to the 6-point integral action plan of his government, which are to banish poverty, banish hunger, banish unemployment, restore healthy living, promote functional education and enhance communal peace and progress, 10 kilometres road in each local government area of the State have been constructed, and through the State government’s Rural Access Mobility Project rehabilitated and constructed 313.82 kilometres of rural roads, and 61 kilometres pilot roads have undergone annual mechanized maintenance. In addition, the government has also constructed 21 river crossings and on-going construction of 3 river crossings across the State. Now, farmers can easily transport their produce, thereby creating wealth and improving their standard of living. Proper drainages have also been constructed, which has helped the State in preventing floods.

Currently, over 200 Boreholes are set to be sunk, and construction of 100 Sanitation and Health Facilities, in Ifedayo, Ayedaade and Odo-Otin Local Government Areas of the State of Osun through the Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency. Other projects include 11 Solar Motorized Boreholes, 123 Hand pumps in 115 Communities, 30 of 3-compartment Gender Friendly Pour Flush Sanitation Facilities and 57 of 2-compartment which are also to be erected in 51 schools and 36 Health Facilities in the State. Completed projects in the State are construction of 488 water and sanitation facilities in three Local Government Areas, and 395 hand pump boreholes in two Local Government Areas.

In his seventh year as the Governor of the State of Osun, detractors can say what they will, propagandists can go to town spinning what they know how to, however, what is glaring and cannot be taken away from Ogbeni is his doggedness, passion and will to make Osun a better place than what he met when he came into power. His belief is whether you are in the rural or urban areas, you deserve a better standard of living, and this he shows by relentlessly investing in infrastructures and programmes.

Indeed, Ogbeni has laid a good foundation for coming administrations to build on. The strategic Omoluabi branding which is now a way of life is believed to pass on from one generation to the next; with this, the infrastructures that have been established in this administration should not be hard to maintain.

Abisola Omibeku
Osogbo, State of Osun

Another 249 Nigerians Return From Libya

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU) on Thursday facilitated the return of another 249 Nigerian returnees from Libya.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 9.47pm aboard an Afriqiyah Airbus A330-300 with Registration Number 5A-ONR.

They were received by the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mustapha Maihajja.

Maihajja, who was represented by the South West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, implored the returnees to be champions of positive change by supporting the campaign against irregular migration.

He said they should be able to enlighten other Nigerian youths on the dangers of seeking greener pastures outside the country through illegal means based on their experiences in Libya.

“You should let them know that you are always second citizens outside your country and your rights can be violated without opportunity for you to seek redress at all,” Maihajja said.

No fewer than 3,000 Nigerians have voluntarily returned from Libya through the IOM supported programme in the last few months.

NAN reports that 387  had, on Tuesday, returned from the volatile North African country where they had been stranded enroute Europe.

Many return with gory tales of their experiences in the country.

As at the time of filing this report, another batch of Nigerians was being expected from Libya, as their aircraft was said to be on the way from Tripoli.

(NAN)

Osun Schools To Start First Term Vacation On Monday

Elementary, Middle and High Schools across the state will start their vacation from Monday (18th December, 2017) after a rewarding first term of the 2017/2018 academic session.

This is contained in a statement issued out by the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Kola Omotunde-Young.

In the statement, the Commissioner advised parents and guardians to take good care of their children/wards during the holidays and avoid sending them on errands that will endanger the lives of the children.

He stressed further that parents should encourage their children to have fun and engage in games, plays and activities that are intellectually stimulating and improve their psycho motor skills since these help in their growth and development as future leaders.

According to the statement, schools will resume classes on Monday (8thJanuary, 2018) without delays, hence parents should prepare their wards to be psychologically and emotionally ready for effective learning.

The Commissioner for Education wishes the students, parents, teachers and all stakeholders in education, compliments of the season and the very best for the new year 2018.

Nnamani’s Corruption Trial Adjourned To Jan. 19

Corruption trial of former Enugu State Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani has be adjourned by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

A charge of money laundering preffered against him and others was on Thursday, adjourned until Jan.19, 2018.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Nnamani alongside his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu, over N4.5 billion money laundering.

Also charged are six firms namely Rainbownet Nig. Ltd, Hillgate Nig. Ltd, Cosmo FM, Capital City Automobile Nig. Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

The ex-governor and his co-accused were said to have allegedly lodged the laundered sum, in a secret account, with the aim of concealing its source.

Justice Chuka Obiozor had on Dec. 4, issued a bench warrant for the arrest and production of Nnamani in court, to answer to the charges against him.

The court had issued the orders following the absence of the accused in court.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Nnamani’s lawyer, Mr Abubakar Samusudeen informed the court of an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

His application which was brought pursuant to sections 6(6) and 36 of the constitution, is seeking a declaration that the court lacked jurisdiction to determine the offences contained in charge No. FHC/L/90c/07.

In his response to Nnamani’s application, the prosecutor, Mr Kelvin Uzozie, told the court that he was just served with the application, by defence counsel, adding that he required time to respond.

He prayed for a short adjournment.

Justice Obiozor, consequently, adjourned the case until Jan. 19, for hearing of Nnamani’s application as well as to take the plea of the accused.

Nnamani was earlier arraigned before Justice Tijani Abubakar and re-arraigned before Justice Charles Archibong when Tijani Abubakar was elevated to court of appeal and later re-arraigned before Mohammed Yinusa when Justice Archibong retired.

The former governor was re -arraigned on a 105-count charge of money laundering and economic crime to the tune of N4.5 billion.

The case has just been reassigned to Obiozor to start afresh.

According to the commission, their alleged offence contravened the provisions of the Money laundering (Prohibition) Act, and the EFCC Act, 2004.

(NAN)

NECO Releases 2017 Nov/Dec GCE Results

The National Examinations Council (NECO) has released 2017 November/December External Senior School Certificate Examination results.

Prospective candidates are expected to purchase NECO result checking scratch card before proceeding to check their results online,

Cards are available in all NECO offices.

How To Check Result…

1)Go to NECO result checking portal http://www.mynecoexams.com/results/default.aspx

2)Select your examination type i.e. Nov/Dec

3)Select your year of examination i.e. 2017

4)Enter the result checking scratch card PIN number in the required column

5)Enter your examination number

Finally, click on Check My Result button to access your 2017 NECO GCE result