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Top 10 Stories of Wednesday, October 25, 2017

1. BUHARI TURNS DOWN REQUEST FOR SINGLE CURRENCY IN WEST AFRICAN STATES

President Muhamadu Buhari on Tuesday in Niamey, Republic of Niger, urged member countries of the Economic Community of West African States to tread carefully in pushing for a single currency in the sub-region by 2020.
He cited the challenges faced by the European Union in realising the same goal to buttress his position.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President made his position known in his speech at the fourth meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS Currency Programme.
2. FG SHIFTS FEC MEETINGS TO THURSDAY
The federal government has reportedly moved Wednesday’s Executive Council (FEC) meeting to Thursday. According to reports, the meeting was postponed because the details of the 2018 budget, which are billed to be discussed, are still being worked on by the Budget Office.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week submitted the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly in which he proposed the sum of N8.6 trillion for the 2018 budget.
The proposal is, however, subject to review by either the president or the lawmakers.
3. JONATHAN TO APPEAR IN COURT TODAY
Former President Goodluck Jonathan is expected in court today to stand as a witness in Olisa Metuh’s trial. Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on Tuesday affirmed the order compelling former President Goodluck Jonathan and a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to appear in court with respect to the trial of the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh, on Wednesday.
But challenging the subpoena summoning him to appear in court on Wednesday, Dasuki, through his lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), told the court on Tuesday that it would be self-incriminating for him if he was made to testify in the case.
Justice Abang, after hearing Raji as well as the prosecution and the defence, both of whom opposed Dasuki’s application on Tuesday, fixed Wednesday for the ruling.
4. EFCC SEALS MAINA’S PROPERTIES IN KADUNA
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has sealed some properties belonging to the former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, in Kaduna.
EFCC’s spokesman in Kaduna Ibrahim Kamiludeen said the agency also sealed two companies and six other properties on Monday.
Maina was accused of being involved in a N2 bn fraud and on the wanted list of the EFCC for the alleged offence.
Meanwhile, all the properties acquired by Maina have been identified by the anti-graft agency for possible forfeiture to the federal government.
5. PDP NEC APPROVES DECEMBER 9 FOR CONVENTION
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP, yesterday, approved December 9 for the party’s national convention.
The NEC also received a report from Senator Abiodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), who accused her state governor, Ayodele Fayose, of running the party with impunity in the state.
Addressing newsmen last night at the end of the meeting in Abuja, which lasted for over seven hours, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the party had resolved to investigate the issues in Ekiti so as to retain the state in 2018.
He added that the Senator Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee had also presented a proposed budget for the convention to NEC for approval.
6. WHY WE ARE DELAYING DINO MELAYE’S RECALL – INEC CHAIRMAN
Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has stated that the commission has not forgotten the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye. According to him, the process was only being delayed by the court and the legal process initiated by Melaye.
“These are legal processes. We cannot, as a law-abiding agency, ignore the court and just proceed.
“But I will not like to say more because the matter is already before the court,” he said.
7. FRESH ASUU STRIKE LOOMS IN NIGERIA
There are indications the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, would embark on a fresh strike.
ASUU had called off its strike in September after the federal government agreed to implement some components of the 2009 and 2013 deals, especially the payment of shortfall in salaries and Earned Academic Allowances.
However, some lecturers have revealed that barely one week to the end of the October timeline, the government has not implemented any aspect of the agreement, even when they claimed during negotiation that implementation has commenced.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, however, said if by the end of October they are not satisfied with the level of implementation of the agreement, the strike would continue.
8. CUSTOMS SEIZE 27 VEHICLES WORTH N342 M
Twenty-seven vehicles with unpaid duties estimated at N342 M have been seized by the Nigerian Customs. The Hilux pickup vehicles are suspected to have been smuggled into the country.
They were evacuated from two open car stands in Abuja.
The Customs Service has given the owners time to provide duty clearance documents or forfeit the cars to the government.
The agency adds that it is soon to hold bilateral talks with the Turkish government to stop illegal arms importation into the country.
9. NIGERIA TO INCREASE ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION
Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria and Indonesia will work together to increase economic cooperation between both countries.
Osinbajo held a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, on the sidelines of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Conference in Jakarta.
Osinbajo told Kalla that Nigeria is open to business and more investment. On his part, Kalla told Osinbajo that his own country is also ready for more economic cooperation with African countries, especially Nigeria.
Vice President Osinbajo had since left for Nigeria after the meeting with Kalla.
10. PDP SENATE CAUCUS SCREENS CHAIRMANSHIP ASPIRANTS
The People’s Democratic Party senators have met with four of the contestants for the position of the party’s next chairman. The senators questioned Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, Raymond Dokpesi and Tunde Adeniran about their plans for the PDP, and its December national convention.
After the screening, senators of the major opposition party told journalists that the exercise will aid them in arriving at a decision on who to support as a caucus at the forthcoming national convention in Abuja.

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