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Top 10 stories of Friday, March 25, 2016

Badeh Diverted N3.7B to Personal Use, Witness tells Court

A witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday narrated how former Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Air Marshal Alex Badeh authorized the transfer of funds which he later diverted to his personal use.

Testifying before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, the witness, Air Commodore Abdullahi Yashau, Former Director, Finance, Nigerian Air Force stated during a cross-examination by the defence counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN) that no money goes out of the accounts of Nigerian Air force without the authorization of Chief of Staff.


Aspirant Laments Youth Unemployment in Edo

As the governorship election in Edo State beckons, an aspirant, on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Blessing Agbomhere has decried the rising unemployment of youths in the state.

Agbomhere, who addressed the press yesterday, said it was unfortunate to see Edo youths unengaged in any productive venture, insisting that the government has failed in terms of youths in the state. The aspirant said if he gets the opportunity, he would probe past and present administrations in the state.


Varsity Teacher Develops Model to Avert Food Crisis

A lecturer at the Delta State University, Abraka, Prof. Pat Egbule has developed a youth-based agricultural model, which is designed to guarantee food sufficiency and address the high unemployment rate in the country.

Presenting the model at the inaugural lecture in Abraka, titled, “Farms without Youths: Making Gamblers the Career Farmers” , Egbule urged state government to apply the model in mopping up those he called “gamblers” from the streets.


Government Pledges Increased Funding for TB Control

Aisha Buhari leads national campaign as part of the activities making this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, was yesterday chosen to lead the national anti-campaign.

This was as Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who performed the investiture, assured of increased government funding of management and control of TB, which he said presents a complex but solvable challenge for the country.


National Assembly Slashes ONSA Vote to N56.791B

The National Assembly has slashed the allocation to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) from N88.702 billion as proposed last year to N56.791 billion. It was not clear last night if the reduction followed proposal by the president or it was the National Assembly decision.

Also, the approved spending plan has shown that the National Assembly has increased the portion for constituency projects to N100 billion from the N60 billion proposals sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.


Plan to Unbundle INEC Underway

An amendment to the Electoral Act to be presented to the National Assembly soon would include the unbundling of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) into semi-autonomous entities.

The Director General of the Electoral Institute, Dr. Abubakar Momoh, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday at the policy briefing on election violent mitigation tools by the CLEEN Foundation, said that though the semi autonomous units would still be part of the commission into entities that would be self-autonomous in the execution of their mandates.


Succession Plot: APC Senators’ New Move to Stop PDP

The intense battle to succeed the president of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki by desperate lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may have reached a dead end. Saraki is currently facing trial over his alleged under-declaration of assets when he held away as governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

Sensing that his trial may go either way and open up the Senate Presidency’s seat, the PDP Senators who have maintained united since the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly, were believed to have been plotting another surprise. Names were bandied around on whom to succeed Saraki in the event that he is removed.


Senate Panel asks PPPRA to Pay N634B to FERMA

The Senate Committee on works yesterday asks the Petroleum Products Prices Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to pay the sum of N634 billion of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).

The money, according to the committee, was the total amount of money that has accumulated from what the PPPRA failed to remit to the FERMA in compliance with the law since 2007. The Committee at a meeting with officials of agencies with the roles in the development sector noted that for many years, the PPPRA had not been remitting funds to the FERMA in such terms as dictated by law.


Court Directs NGOs to Put N’ Assembly ‘On Notice’ Over Motion on Anti-Social Media Bill

A Federal High Court in Lagos has directed that the National Assembly be “put on notice” before the court would consider an application seeking to restrain both the Senate and House of Representatives from passing the frivolous Petitions (prohibition, ETC) Bills otherwise known as the Anti- Social Media Bill.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola gave the directives while declining to grant a motion ex-parte brought by three nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Enough is Enough Nigeria (EIE); Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the proposed law.


Lekki Gardens MD Gets Bail on Self – Recognition

Managing Director of Lekki Gardens, Richard Nyong and the Contractor, Taiwo Odofin arraigned at the Ebute Metta Chief Magistrate Court on Thursday was granted bail on self-recognition by Chief Magistrate Afolashade Botoku of an Ebute Meta Court.

She has slammed a bail of N10 million with two sureties on Taiwo Odofin, one of the contractors of the collapsed building. She ordered that the duo should report at the Sate Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, SCID, Panti-Yaba between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., every day until the police investigations was concluded.


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