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Ayu returns to Nigeria



Mr Ayu travelled to Europe two weeks ago.

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, on Friday returned to the country after a two-week trip to Europe.

The Special Adviser to the National Chairman on Media, Simon Imobo-Tswam, disclosed this in a statement he issued on Friday in Abuja.

Mr Imobo-Tswam said that Mr Ayu, who jetted out of the country on 14 September returned to Abuja via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, at about 7 p.m.

It is recalled that Mr Ayu had handed over to the party’s Deputy Chairman (North), Iliya Damagun, and communicated the handover to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


While Mr Ayu was away, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State alleged that he collected N1 billion from a presidential candidate in Lagos and worked for the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate.

Mr Wike and some party members in his camp have been demanding the resignation of the national chairman to pave way for the emergence of a southerner as chairman of the party since Atiku hails from the north as him (Ayu).

Mr Wike’s group believes that it will balance the lopsidedness in the leadership of the party.

Also, on Thursday some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the opposition party, returned over N120 million to the Mr Ayu.

The monies ranging from N28 million to N36 million were recently paid into their accounts and tagged “housing allowance” or “house rent.”

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In separate letters addressed to Mr Ayu, the four members said it became necessary to return the money after backlash from the media accusing them of taking bribe.

The NWC members who returned the money are the National Vice Chairman (South-West) Olasoji Adagunodo, the Deputy National Chairman (South)

; the National Vice Chairman (South), Dan Orbih and the National Women Leader, Stella Affah-Attoe.

While Mr Arapaja got N36 million, Messrs Adagunodo and Orbih and Ms Effah-Attoe got N28.8 million each.

The national chairman was abroad when Atiku inaugurated the 600-member presidential campaign council for the 2023 election.


Mr Ayu is a member of the council.

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Tension in Cross River as governorship petition tribunal delivers judgment Tuesday



The Tribunal has reserved judgment in a Suit No. EPT/CR/GOV/02/2023
seeking to oust the Governor of Cross River State, Bassey Otu, after adoption of counsels written addresses on August 14, 2023.

The suit was jointly instituted by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship standard bearer, Prof. Sandy Onor, and his party against the election of Senator Bassey Otu and the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon. Peter Odey of All Progressives Congress (APC).

Barely six weeks after the adoption, the Secretary of the tribunal, Mr Akawu Bambu, issued a statement in Calabar at the weekend that the panel would deliver judgment on Tuesday, September 26.

In the final written address, counsel to the petitioners, Dr. J. Y. Musa, SAN, had told the court that evidences extracted under cross-examination of the respondents goes to fortify the case of their petition and also confirm the falsity of the evidence presented by the second and third respondents (Governor Otu and Peter Odey).


Musa said the case of the petitioners is not allegations of forgery against any of the respondents (Otu and Odey) and so all the authorities they cited to the effect that they needed to call witnesses from institutions are non-sequitor, rather their case is that the second and third respondents lied on oath.

He insisted that the second and third respondents (Otu and Odey) brought documents to show that they forged documents.

“In the process of trying to say they did not lie on oath, they opened a Pandora box where we saw the discrepancies.

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“I, therefore, urge the tribunal to declare the votes of the second and third respondents wasted because they were not qualified to stand for the election and declare the petitioners winner of the elections,” he stated.

On his part, the lead counsel to the second and third respondents, Prof. Mike Ozekhone, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the petition “for being frivolous, un-meritorious, gold-digging, distracting and for constituting an abuse of the court process.”


He added that “withdrawal of grounds two and three by the petitioners sounded a death kernel to their own petition because it was an admission that the elections were validly held.”

On his part, counsel to the first respondents (INEC), K. O. Balogun, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition and also adopted Professor Ozekhome’s submission in respect of the qualification of the second and third respondent.

However, a few hours away to judgment day, fear has gripped both All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts and supporters across the state over the outcome of the case.

While both die-hard supporters are optimistic that their party would come out victorious, some are worried at the inconsistencies that are coming out of the Tribunals across the country, fueling speculations that judgment may go either way depending on the ability of counsels to prove their cases before the Court.

An APC chieftain, Chief Asuquo Ededem, from Calabar South, said:”I expect nothing but victory for Governor Bassey Otu and our party. We are very optimistic that the Court would re-affirm Otu’s mandate given to him by Cross Riverians.

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“By tomorrow, I am certain we shall click glasses and merry because we worked hard for Otu and Odey’s emergence at polls.”

On his part, a former member of PDP Campaign Council in the state, Ntufam Emmanuel Ojong, from Ikom, said: “Tomorrow is a day for the party to reclaim its mandate from APC. And anybody who had followed the Tribunal from the beginning would know that our party have a good case.

“Our lawyers put up a good argument and backed it up with documents and witnesses to prove our case beyond doubt. So, we expect victory at the Court and it is only then that justice would have been done to our case.”

But a legal practitioner, who spoke off record, said Court cases of this nature are very dicey because most times the judges deal with technicalities and other legal matters that are beyond mere elections, calling on all parties to call their supporters to order to ensure peaceful co-existent during and after the Tribunal.

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FG to partner with NITP for sustainable urban development – Musa Dangiwa



Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa has announced the Federal Government’s plan to enhance cooperation with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) to advance efforts aimed at achieving a more sustainable housing and urban landscape.

The minister made this commitment during a meeting with the leadership of the institute on Thursday at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

Arc. Dangiwa emphasized the significance of effective urban and regional planning, highlighting that the institute’s contributions and the expertise of its members would play a pivotal role in the ministry’s endeavours to construct livable, respectable, and sustainable cities and communities.

He stated,


“As you are all aware, our great nation is at a critical juncture in its history. With a rapidly growing population and urbanization trends, the challenges facing our cities and towns have become more complex and demanding. It is evident that proper urban planning and housing development are key to addressing these challenges effectively.”

He further underscored the institute’s vital role in shaping the physical, social, and economic development of cities and communities, emphasizing the importance of expertise in spatial planning, environmental management, and infrastructure development to ensure well-structured urban areas that meet the needs of citizens.

NITP’s advocacy for policy reforms and capacity-building initiatives

NITP’s delegation, led by its president, Town Planner Nathaniel Atebije, highlighted the challenges faced by the institute and the sector as a whole.

They called on the Minister to support specific requests, including expediting the completion of the Revised National Urban Development Policy and National Physical Planning Standards.

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They also urged the implementation of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law to guide physical development and the establishment of relevant institutions such as the National Urban and Regional Planning Commission.

Atebije further noted that

“Presenting an executive bill to amend areas of the law that do not have sufficient provisions for effective enforcement to make the law more contemporary, particularly with the possibility of putting physical planning matters on the concurrent list in the constitution, is an important step to take.” He urged the Ministry to prioritize comprehensive capacity building for professionals to enhance their performance.

One of the institute’s requests is the establishment of an agency responsible for gathering and analyzing housing data to access both quantity and quality, facilitating effective planning and implementation of housing policies.



Minister’s reassurances and Collaborative efforts on Urban Planning Challenges

In response, the Minister assured the delegation that many issues related to the legal and regulatory frameworks of urban and physical planning, raised by the institute, were already under examination by relevant departments and partner agencies.

He stated,

“For instance, we’re already working with the National Population Commission to conduct a housing census to determine the quality and quantity of houses in Nigeria so that we can ascertain the true situation. We do not believe there’s a need to create another agency for that purpose, as it would further increase the cost of governance, which this administration is trying to reduce. Besides, that would amount to duplication of responsibilities.”
“On the issue of placing the law in the concurrent list, we’re already working with the states to make that a reality. However, it also depends on the cooperation of the National Assembly, which we’re confident we will receive. I can assure you that the other issues you raised, including those related to the implementation of the Urban and Regional Planning law, undue tenure elongation of your council members, and the recruitment and training of professionals, are matters we are taking seriously as a ministry, and they will be resolved in due time.”

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FG Drops N169.4 Billion for Subsidy in August What You Need to Know!”



Despite President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s assurances that the subsidy had been abolished, revelations surrounding the Federal Government’s payment of N169.4 billion in subsidy in August have ignited controversy and skepticism. This development challenges the narrative of subsidy removal and prompts further inquiry into its implications.


Government Subsidy Under Scrutiny

Daily Trust’s investigation uncovered that the Federal Government disbursed N169.4 billion in August to maintain the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at N620 per litre. The payment was allegedly orchestrated by the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), which utilized dividends of $275 million from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to offset the subsidy. The move suggests that subsidies on PMS may have resurfaced, raising questions about the government’s commitment to subsidy removal.



A Return to Subsidy?

The revelation has led to concerns among Nigerians, especially given the challenging economic climate. The depreciation of the Naira against the US Dollar and rising international crude oil prices, exceeding $95 per barrel, have fueled doubts about the sustainability of subsidy removal.


Economic and Market Dynamics


Analysis indicates that despite rising global crude oil prices and exchange rate fluctuations, the Federal Government has kept the domestic PMS price steady at N617 per litre. Notably, the price of PMS at the international market has surged, posing challenges for Nigerian marketers. With increased landing costs, PMS now stands at approximately N728.64 per litre, significantly higher than the N529 rate observed in July.

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Government’s Strategy and Loan Dilemma

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited’s announcement of a $3 billion crude repayment loan from the African Export-Import (Afrexim) Bank aimed at stabilizing the Naira has faced obstacles as other lenders withdrew from the syndicated transaction. The loan’s impact on fuel costs remains uncertain.



Behind Closed Doors

Daily Trust’s investigation reveals that high-level government approval facilitated the controversial N169.4 billion subsidy payment. A delicate agreement with oil marketers reportedly helped maintain the current PMS price, averting a potential crisis.


Expert Perspectives

Experts have voiced concerns about the sustainability of subsidy removal without a functional refinery and FX stability. They emphasize that fluctuations in crude oil prices and foreign exchange rates directly affect PMS prices. Stabilizing the Naira is seen as critical to fulfilling the government’s promise of subsidy removal.
As questions linger and the subsidy debate continues, Nigerians await clarity on the government’s stance and its implications for the economy and their daily lives.


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