BREAKING: Tribunal annuls Adeleke’s victory, declares APC candidate, Oyetola Osun gov

The election for governor of Osun, which was held on July 16, was declared invalid by the Election Petition Tribunal, which was hearing the APC and Adegboyega Oyetola’s petition against Ademola Adeleke’s victory for the PDP.

In her majority opinion, Justice Tetsea Kume stated that INEC had violated the Electoral Act’s and the Constitution’s provisions in significant ways.

After subtracting the observed overvoting from the votes cast for each candidate, he ruled that Oyetola had won the election with 314, 921 votes, while Adeleke’s total dropped to 290, 266.

He directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issued another one to Oyetola who won a majority of the lawful votes.

Meanwhile, a minority decision by one of the judges is being read as at the time of filing this report.

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Old naira note: churches, schools bar state deadline for payment, offering

Some mega-churches, schools, and retailers have established time limits for the collection of the old currencies before the Central Bank of Nigeria’s January 31 deadline for the phase-out of the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes.

This occurred at the same time when several commercial banks were forced to shut down their ATMs in Lagos, Abuja, and other states across the nation due to the persistent lack of old naira notes.

Due to the CBN’s direction that lenders should only load the new notes into their ATMs and prohibit over-the-counter customer payments using the new currencies, Deposit Money Banks have been struggling with a lack of old bills.

However, amid long queues in banks across the country, findings by The journalist on Thursday indicated that a number of mega-churches, schools and retailers had stipulated earlier time limits for the collection of the old notes.

This, it was learnt, was aimed at saving the organizations from the burden and challenges associated with the exchange of the old naira notes for new ones.

A leading Pentecostal church, Deeper Christian Life Ministry, in a memo directed its church leaders to stop the collection of the old naira notes on January 29, 2023, about two days before the January 31 deadline set by the CBN.

The memo, a copy of which was obtained by news media was signed by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry Church Secretary, Pastor S.M. Afuwape.

 The internal memo, titled, ‘lodgement of old naira notes’ read, “Calvary’s greetings to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is to inform you that the Central Bank of Nigeria deadline of 31st January 2023 on the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes in circulation is drawing near.

“The church will like to inform you to sensitize your members and the brethren to lodge all Tithes and Offerings collected in the Group on or before 29th January, 2023. Also, no old notes in the specified denominations above should be paid as offerings as from 29th January 2023. To this end, any old notes (in the prescribed denominations) brought to the headquarters which was not lodged in the bank will be paid for by the Group. Thanks for understanding and co-operation.”

Also, it further gathered that some provinces of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, had directed members to deposit old notes in their banks by January 26, about five days ahead of the CBN deadline.

This, it was said, would help to avoid a situation where members would have no choice but to use old notes as offerings and tithes in the church.

On a WhatsApp platform of pastors in one of the RCCG provinces in Ota, Ogun State, members were advised to deposit old notes in banks or Point of Sale agents before the January 31 deadline.

Deposit all of your old notes at your bank or a POS nearby by January 31, 2023, according to the warning. Never take them to church. The deadline for accepting old notes is January 26, 2023.

News organizations, however, were unable to confirm whether the document was truly issued by the RCCG.

Additionally, Sango Ota’s banks were crowded with clients struggling to deposit old notes at a time when ATMs and banks like FBN, Fidelity, and UBA were still issuing them a few days before the deadline.

Reacting to the development, a spokesman for the RCCG, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, said, “There is no official postponement regarding the use of new naira note. People should do what the government wants them to do. They should enable to take their old notes to the bank. We believe God will help the central bank because the new notes are not circulating outside but anything is possible before the January 31 deadline.

“We have not issued any statement but as much as possible, we believe everyone has been counseling their members on the old notes; not just about bringing it to church on Sundays, it is about ensuring our people do not suffer unnecessarily.”

Also, a Lagos-based Pentecostal church, New Covenant Mission, advised members to deposit old notes ahead of the CBN deadline.

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Breaking: Nasarawa State Governor, Sule loses son

The Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule has loss his son, Alhaji Hassan AA Sule at the early hours of Friday.

Vanguard gathered that Hassan died after a brief illness.Meanwhile, condolences have started pouring in following the demise of the governor’s son.

In a condolence message signed by the Publisher of Eggonnews, Matthew Kuju and made available to Vanguard in Lafia at about 5.30 am, reads: “it is with pains in our hearts to learn of the passage of your dear son, Hassan. No doubt, it is very painful when a father has to bury a son, but only Allah can explain such happenings.

“We pray May Allah raise him among the righteous and grant him aljannah Firdausi, and may Allah grant the family the fortitude to bear this painful demise.

In a similar message, the Honourable member representing Lafia North Constituency at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly Hon. Barr. Muhammed Ibrahim Alkali said he received with great shock the passing of the Son of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State Alh. Hassan Abdullahi Sule.

In a Condolence message to the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, His Excellency Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, the Lawmaker described the death of the governor’s Son as a colossal loss not only to Nasarawa State but the Nation at large.

Hon. Alkali prayed God almighty to forgive the deceased all his short comings and grant him Aljanatul Firdaus as his final abode.

“I share my deep condolences with His Excellency, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule, over the passing of his beloved son Alh. Hassan. I pray that Allah (SWT) grants him Aljanatul Firdaus and comfort his family” the statement,’ added.

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New naira: Extend deadline to 6 months — Reps

The House of Representatives yesterday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to extend the deadline for use of the old naira notes by at least six months, since the new notes were not readily available.

It also insisted that chief executive officers of banks in the country must appear before the ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate reasons for the scarcity of the new notes.

According to the lower legislative chamber, both the old and new notes can be in use till June, in line with the CBN Act.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who made the call after a briefing by the ad hoc committee, led by the House leader, Ado Doguwa, to resolve issues around the new naira notes, said the extension had become necessary, in view of the scarcity of the new notes in commercial banks.

He said:  “The House of Representatives recognizes the Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN, authority to determine the country’s legal tender and to recall currency with reasonable notice, subject to the approval of the President.

‘’The House is also aware that Section 20 (3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act mandates the CBN to redeem the face value of the recalled currency upon demand, even after the expiration of the notice of recall.

“Notwithstanding the deadline imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, this House will see to it that this provision of the law is honoured in full.

“Let me explain that again. The Central Bank Act under section 20 allows the Central Bank to change the legal tender. But it also says that after the expiration date, such naira note changed will no longer be legal tender.

‘’But it says that 2, 3 to 5 months after, even in June, any old notes presented to the banks shall be redeemed by the banks. That point needs to be made to the Central Bank and to the public. It has not been made. It’s a provision of law.”

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‘Back your prayer with action, Get your PVC’ – Iya Adura

Reverend Esther Ajayi, commonly known as Iya Adura, the founder of the Love of Christ Generation Church, has asked Christians to back their prayers with deeds by carrying out their civic responsibilities and casting ballots to elect their favourite candidates in the upcoming general elections.

She revealed this when answering questions from reporters at an event. “Look at this card I’m carrying; here is my PVC,” Rev. Ajayi advised Nigerians. You have the ability. I wanted to discuss it with my people today, but I couldn’t since I had to come here. It’s my schedule for our meeting the following week.

Again, she added, “the PVC is your power, don’t lose it. Go and vote. That’s the only way you can change whoever is leading. At least your conscience tells you that you’ve got to vote. So, go and vote!”

She didn’t disparage the importance of prayers but emphasized that prayers alone won’t change leadership.

“Prayer will help you. Prayer is important, but when you carry out the practical aspect of prayer it enhances the prayer, and makes it go straight to God,” she quipped.

In a separate incident, she hinted on how Nigerians could navigate the year 2023 successfully in a press release as she welcomes the body of Christ to what she termed “2023: the Year of Possessing My Possessions.”

She admonished Christians in a statement to be more graceful, and more loving. The cleric quoted the Bible, citing Love as the principal virtue.

She called on Christians to develop and nurture relationships because that is what Christ would do. Yes, one must “be mindful of acquaintances with ulterior motives, but as much as possible have peace with all men. There is a place for healthy interpersonal relationship. That’s what Hebrews 12:14 tells us.

“That is the counsel of God, and the benefits are not just personal. It goes a long way,” the cleric added.

She also averred that globally, times are hard. But in response to the economic difficulty Christians ought to stay prayerful and try to improve on their approach to evolving innovations and technologies.

“Times are changing fast, and unemployment rate is increasing. Even well-educated people are finding it difficult to get jobs, and this puts extra strains on families. But with prayers and the right attitude to emerging fields and current technologies, I’m sure Nigerians will have better chances in 2023,” she added.

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UN warns against hate speech ahead elections

The United Nations has warned Nigerians against using hate speech, noting that there will be serious repercussions as the general election campaigning heats up.

The recommendation was made on Thursday during a press conference commemorating the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by Mr. Matthias Schmale, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria.

With “It started with words: How hate speech can cause real harm” as the focus of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is observed on January 27, Schmale emphasized the risks associated with hate speech, which primarily affect women and girls. She also noted that the internet has amplified these dangers.

He stressed, “In Nigeria, with national elections imminent, we must be watchful for any upsurge in hate speech and disinformation, particularly if tensions were to rise between political, regional, or ethnic groups.

“We must be vigilant because words can be weaponised, which might lead to physical harm. From historical experience, we know that atrocities have been preceded by hate speech. The Holocaust is, of course, the starkest example of this. But the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica also serve as warnings to us.

“Hate speech is a threat to our cherished values, to the cohesion of our societies, and the lives of our most vulnerable, especially women and girls. Undoubtedly, the internet and social media have amplified such risks. We need to strengthen the resilience of our young people against the ideologies of hatred and educate them on the dangers of disinformation.”

The UN Resident Coordinator added, “I call on all stakeholders in Nigerian society to stand up and speak out against instances of hate speech and discrimination. Each of us can play a role in countering this scourge and ensuring that all people enjoy the protections and rights for which the United Nations stands.”

In his message, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said, “As we mourn the loss of so many and so much, we also recognise that the Holocaust was not inevitable. No genocide ever is.

“It was the deafening silence—both at home and abroad—that emboldened them. The alarm bells were ringing from the very beginning; hate speech and disinformation; contempt for human rights and the rule of law; the glorification of violence and tales of racial supremacy; disdain for democracy and diversity.”

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Edo govt to close churches, mosques without soundproof

According to the Edo State administration, any churches, mosques, event venues, nightclubs, lounges, or other public spaces that do not adhere to the state’s noise pollution regulations, including the installation of soundproof materials, will be sealed by March 31.

Officials from the Edo State Ministries of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development and Environment and Sustainability have formed a joint task force and have been notifying the affected facilities that they have been given a 90-day grace period in which to install soundproofing in their buildings.

The action follows an October 31, 2022, stakeholder meeting with government representatives and owners of businesses that need noise control.

The notice titled, “Soundproofing Requirement for Your Property” has been served to stakeholders and especially owners of hotels, lounges, clubs, bars, churches, mosques, and event centres, among others across Benin.

In a statement, Commissioner for Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, said the notices convey the agreement reached by the stakeholders on a March 31, 2023 deadline for compliance.

She noted, “The facility owners have a 90-day grace period.

“The notices are also accompanied by a leaflet to guide on soundproofing specifications and materials, as well as the role of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability in providing further guidance on soundproofing requirements.

“The move to bring such facilities within acceptable noise level is encoded in the National Environmental (Noise Standard and Control) Regulation Law F.R.N Part V General 13-1308 17 – (2) and the extant Town Planning Laws. 

“It also became necessary after MPPHURD started receiving incessant complaints and petitions from the general public.”

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FG unveils multi-billion naira TETFund facilities in NDA, others 

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund has announced its sponsorship of annual intervention projects at the nation’s top military university, the Nigeria Defence Academy, the Nigerian Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna Polytechnic, and Kaduna State University. President Muhammadu Buhari, unveiled the projects on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, represented the President, who noted that the projects at NDA gulped over N685 million, AFIT over N604 million, KASU over N491 million, and Kaduna Polytechnic over N450 million for the 2020–2021 annual intervention and merged projects.

The inaugurated projects at NDA included a Computer Based Test hall, Faculty of Management and Military Science buildings while that of  AFIT, Department of Cyber Security,  Students’ Hostel of the 2020 Zonal Intervention, and Students’ Hostel of the 2021 Zonal Intervention. 

Also, at The Kaduna Polytechnic, some of the commission projects are the newly constructed Department of Railway Engineering, Classrooms for Chemical Engineering and High-Grade Oxygen Plant for Medicals.

In his remarks shortly after the launching, Senator Wamakko stressed the importance of education in the nation’s development, adding that inaugurating the projects, would in no small measure enhance teaching and learning in According to him, education forms an integral part of President Buhari’s administration agenda. 

He said, “Education as we all know, plays a critical role in the socio-economic development of nations, and therefore, the commissioning of these projects today would in no small measure further enhance teaching and learning and improvement of academic standards.

“I wish to reiterate that education forms an integral part of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s agenda, hence the Federal Government would continue to provide necessary support towards making our educational institutions globally competitive for the economic and technological development of the country.

“It is on record that through the support of the Federal Government, TETFund has performed exceptionally in the provision of physical infrastructure, support for academic staff training and development, book publication, ICT, Research and Development amongst others in public tertiary educational institutions across the country.

“I am delighted to note that the Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna and other public tertiary educational institutions in Kaduna State have not been exempted from these intervention efforts of TETFund.” 

Earlier, the NDA Commandant,  Major General  Ibrahim Yusuf said the institution had received over N8.2 billion in support from the TETFund in the last seven years.

He explained that about N6 billion of the money went into infrastructural development while N2.2 billion was spent on training, research and publication, library and ICT, among others.

He added that the NDA currently has nine ongoing TETFund projects from the merged funds for 2019 to 2022 interventions.

Also speaking,  the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, said the event marked the start of a major TETFund activity in 2023.

Echono, represented by Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Olatunde Olajide, said that in 2023, 162 iconic TETFund projects would be inaugurated in 54 tertiary institutions spread across 28 states.

According to him, the financing of the projects by TETFund is a clear demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to the provision of requisite physical infrastructure in the nation’s public tertiary institutions.

“It is our commitment at TETFund to ensure that value is obtained for funds allocated to the benefitting institutions to aid teaching, learning and research and by implication, make them globally competitive,” he said.

Echono then hailed the authorities of the NDA for successfully completing the three projects among other notable ones being executed in the Academy with TETFund support.

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Residents of Ondo storm INEC office in demand of PVC

Prospective voters who wanted to pick up their Permanent Voter Cards, or PVCs, crowded the Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC, offices in Ondo State.

The high number of potential voters who surrounded INEC offices and caused chaos was difficult for officials to manage.

Workers in the state were given Tuesday off work so they could pick up their PVCs, according to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

When Vanguard visited the INEC office, located at Oda Road, in Akure, registered voters had assembled as early as 5.30am in large numbers, struggling to get their PVCs for an exercise that commenced at 8am.

Those who spoke with newsmen lamented the difficulties faced during the collection of the PVCs, describing the process as cumbersome.

Many that were unable to collect their PVCs urged the state government to extend the work-free day to enable more eligible voters to collect their voter cards.

A registered voter, Mrs Margaret Akinwumi, who was yet to collect her card, expressed worry over the delay in the distribution of the PVCs.

Akinwumi said the process was stressful as many were yet to collect their PVCs.

The coordinator of WE VOTE NIGERIA, Mr Emmanuel Aje, in a chat, said the collection was tedious because the registered voters failed to turn out for the collection of their PVCs during distribution at the ward level.

Osifeso, said the commission was aware of the crowded registered voters at the local government offices of INEC for the collection of the PVC.

 Segun-Osifeso said: “The overcrowded registered voters were not the fault of the INEC staff, it was the fault of registered voters who decided to wait for the last minutes.”

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Political parties warn against election postponement

Some political groups in the nation have criticized Nigerians who demanded the upcoming general elections be delayed.

They requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission proceed with its intention to hold the elections on the planned date.

The Chancellor of Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti, Afe Babalola (SAN), reportedly issued a warning against holding elections under the 1999 Constitution.

“Any election conducted under the 1999 Constitution will merely result in recycling the same people who have brought Nigeria to grinding poverty, unemployment, underfunded education, insecurity, and huge external debt,” Babalola was quoted to have said.

The leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Elijah Ayodele, had also called on INEC to reschedule the elections.

The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, had however insisted that the commission is ready to conduct the elections as scheduled and does not anticipate any change in the agenda of activities.

In an interview with journalist, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Felix Morka, dismissed the calls for postponement of the elections.

“The call for postponement is his view; the country is going forward with the planned elections.

On his part, the National Publicity Secretary of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, Major Agboh, also faulted the call.

He said, “Were the elections in the past not conducted with the 1999 Constitution?

“I think that is not patriotic enough because whether he likes it or not, we are in a democracy, and a president and governors have to emerge.”

The National Chairman of the Africa Democratic Congress, Ralph Nwosu, said the postponement will not help Nigeria’s democracy.

He said, “Postponement cannot help our democracy; INEC has assured us consistently from all the meetings that we have been to that they are ready to proceed.

“INEC, the body managing the electoral process is ready, the only thing that we need from the President is to show determination and get the security agencies, the intelligence agencies and others to key in.”

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