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I Have 39 More Prophecies, Says Mbaka [PUNCH]

The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, says there are 39 more prophecies of his that will come to pass in 2020.

Mbaka said this in a statement while reacting to the removal of the Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, by the Supreme Court and the inauguration of Senator Hope Uzodinma as governor.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday nullified the election of Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State and declared Uzodinma as the governor of the state.

In the statement by his spokesman, Maximus Ugwuoke, the Catholic priest stated that he gave 40 prophecies on New Year’s Eve but the only one that went viral was that of Uzodinma.

Uzodinma Sworn In, Begins Probe Of Three Ex-Govs [PUNCH]

The new governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, on Wednesday initiated the process of the probe of contracts awarded from 2010 till date in the state.

He also sought the comprehensive financial status of the state within the same period.

Former governors Ikedi Ohakim, Rochas Okorocha and Emeka Ihedioha were in charge of the state during the period.

The governor gave the order in his inaugural speech, after he was sworn in.

He said his administration was anchored on rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery.

According to him, he will revive the state and make it work again.

He said the judiciary demonstrated courage by declaring him the duly elected governor of the state.

He said his victory at the Supreme Court would not have been possible without the support of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress.

The governor said, “My government shall be anchored on reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery. Every Imo person shall have a say in my government.

“My doors are wide open. I forgive those who conspired to rob me of my hard-earned mandate. Let us work hard to make Imo the pride of Nigeria.

“I  hereby direct the accountant general of the state to within four days forward to me the comprehensive financial status of the state from May 2010 till date.

“I also direct the permanent secretaries of all the ministries to within the same period toward the status of the contracts awarded within the time frame. Payment of all ongoing contracts is hereby stopped.”

FG implements Finance Act, Charges 7.5% VAT On Transactions [PUNCH]

The Federal Government has begun the implementation of some aspects of the Finance Act with the imposition of 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax on government transactions.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, confirmed the development in an interview with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

The move followed the signing of the finance bill into law on Monday by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The objectives of the Act are to strategically promote fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reform domestic tax laws to align with global best practice; and introduce tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets.

It is also aimed at supporting small businesses in line with the ongoing ease of doing business reforms, and raise revenues for the government by various fiscal measures, including an increase in VAT from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.

Idris said since the law had been signed, it was imperative for his office to obey the law.

Specifically, the Accountant-General said he had to stop the payment of a certain amount on Tuesday because the transaction was processed based on five per cent VAT.

According to him, payment for the transaction which occurred last year would not be made until the 7.5 per cent VAT was factored into the cost of transaction.

When asked if it was right to impose VAT of 7.5 per cent on a business transaction that had already been done before the signing of the finance bill, he said VAT was deducted at the point of payment rather than the point of purchase.

Nigeria Will Not Witness Another Civil War – PMB [LEADERSHIP]

As Nigeria yesterday marked 50 years of the end of the country’s tragic civil war, President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the citizens to ensure that the mistakes and tragedies of the fratricidal war are not repeated.

He assured Nigerians that the federal government would remember the victims of the conflict and honour those on both sides who lost their lives.

The president said that their tragedy shall be neither forgotten nor repeated.

In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president said that the war served as a “potent warning on the dangers of aggressive regionalism, ethnic baiting and political corruption. In it, we must forge common memory that can serve as a bridge to a future free from the ravages of sectarianism.

“We remember the past to draw its lessons; on how we move forward together and live in peace. Unfortunately, there are some who fail to recognise them and instead repeat its mistakes, preaching inflammatory rhetoric meant only to divide. We call on all leaders and parties to moderate their language.

“There were no victors in this war. Yet in rejecting division and embracing unity, we ensure those lives lost were not in vain.

“Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

UAE To Invest In Nigeria’s Petroleum Sector [LEADERSHIP]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reinstated its readiness to invest in Nigeria’s petroleum sector and to facilitate high level bilateral opportunities to deepen the cooperation between both countries.

UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Fahad Al Taffaq, gave the assurance yesterday when he visited the minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in Abuja.

In a statement signed by Alhaji Garba Deen Muhammad, the spokesman for the minister, Al Taffaq reiterated the need to deepen the existing collaboration between Nigeria and the UAE.

He promised to facilitate opportunities that would see to the creation of new projects in the short, medium and long-term for the benefit of the two countries.

The envoy commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring a strong and stable oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

He further applauded the competence shown in the oil and gas industry by Sylva and the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari,.

In his response, Sylva said that 2020 remained an important year for Nigeria as the federal government proposes marginal field and major bid rounds in the sector.

Tony Elumelu Donates Technology Centre To AAU [LEADERSHI]

Chairman of UBA Group, Tony Elumelu, has donated a multipurpose information technology centre to his alma mater, Ambrose Ali University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State.

The donation was made through the UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA).

The hall, to be named The Tony O. Elumelu Multipurpose Hall, and furnished with computers, desks and chairs, measures 839 square meters and has adjoining offices and conveniences.

Speaking while handing over the facility to the university authorities, Elumelu said he was motivated to make the donation because he believes education is crucial to Nigeria’s human capital development.

According to him, “Whether our young people join our national institutions, the private sector or, as I did, take the entrepreneurial path, no one can afford to be cut off from the digital world. It has been a personal mission to ensure that the hall was delivered to specification, for the benefit of the students at the AAU.

Success brings with it the duty to give back, and I am just grateful that I am now in a position to meaningfully help the next generation.”

Amotekun: Govs To Meet Buhari As Soyinka, Agbakoba, Others Lampoon AGF [PUNCH]

The South-West governors will  meet the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.),  over  the Federal Government’s declaration of the Western Nigeria Security outfit, Operation Amotekun, as illegal.

The PUNCH gathered that the talks with the President would be preceded by a meeting of the South-West governors  this week.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, had on Tuesday said Operation Amotekun was illegal, adding that the Federal  Government was not carried along while the security outfit was being planned.

But before the launch of the security outfit on Thursday, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, had met the Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Adamu.


More Knocks For AGF Malami Over Operation Amotekun [NATION]

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami came under severe criticisms on Wednesday for dis declaration of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed Operation Amotekun, illegal.

Senior lawyers and critical stakeholders, including former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National President Olisa Agbakoba, rights’ crusader Femi Falana, public analyst Jiti Ogunye and Are Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland Gani Adams among others, concluded that the AGF erred in his declaration.

They defended the establishment of the security outfit by the six states in the Southwest.

Governors did no wrong, say Agbakoba, Falana

Dr. Agbakoba and Falana said the governors of the region have done no wrong with the formation of Amotekun corps.

They said governors were not under any obligation to consult with the AGF before taking security measures to protect their domains.

They were reacting to Malami’s declaration that Amotekun is illegal.

How Hope Became Reality In Imo State [NATION]

Why did the Supreme Court declare Senator Hope Uzodinma winner of the Imo State governorship election held last March 9 despite coming fourth? ERIC IKHILAE analyses the verdict.

When the Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo State, not a few Nigerians wondered how someone who came fourth could replace the person who came first.

The election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was nullified and Uzodinma was ordered to be sworn in immediately.

In the unanimous judgment of the seven-member panel, read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the Supreme Court held that results in 388 polling units were unlawfully excluded during result collation.

According to her, when the excluded results were added, it meant that Uzodinma polled a majority of the lawful votes cast and ought to have been declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Supreme Court, therefore, voided lhedioha’s declaration and ordered that the certificate of return wrongly issued to him be immediately withdrawn and a fresh one issued to Uzodinma.

“It is thereby ordered that the appellant’s votes from 388 polling units unlawfully excluded from the appellant vote declared shall be added and that the first respondent, Emeka Ihedioha, was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast at the said election,” the Supreme Court said.

The Court of Appeal had last November 19 affirmed Ihedioha’s victory.

It disagreed with the appellants, who had argued that he did not obtain the constitutionally required one-quarter of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs) as provided under Section 179 of the 1999 Constitution.

The beginning

Last March 11, the Returning Officer, Vice-Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Prof Francis Otunta, said Ihedioha scored the highest number of votes (273,404).

He declared him the winner “having satisfied all the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes”.

Action Alliance (AA) candidate Uche Nwosu polled 190,364 votes; All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate Ifeanyi Ararume scored 114,676 votes.

Uzodinma, who came fourth, polled 96,458, while Ikedi Ohakim of the Accord Party (AP) got 6,846 votes.

Dissatisfied, Nwosu, Ararume and Uzodinma petitioned the Election Tribunal.

Uzodinma’s case

In his petition, Uzodinma sought to be declared the winner because he scored the majority of lawful votes cast.

He argued that he satisfied the mandatory constitutional requirement of LGA spread.

He stated that the election was heavily manipulated by collation officers of Mbaise extraction allegedly recruited hurriedly by INEC.

Uzodinma claimed that the collation officers deliberately omitted to collate the results from 388 polling units that were his stronghold.

He claimed that by the results declared at the polling unit level by the presiding officers, he got 213, 695 votes in the 388 polling units.

Uzodinma prayed the tribunal to retrieve the excluded votes, add them to the figures declared by INEC, which will make him the candidate with the highest votes.

In the main, Uzodinma’s petition was predicated on his claim that INEC unlawfully cancelled results in most polling units where he scored majority votes.

He contended that INEC lacked the power to nullify the election of a polling unit after the presiding officer had declared the result.

Uzodinma contended that when the votes in the polling units unlawfully cancelled by INEC are added to the 96,458 allocated to him, he would have the highest number of valid votes cast.

7.5% VAT Rate Has Taken Off, Says AGF [NATION]

The implementation of the newly introduced 7.5 per cent  hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) and related tax adjustments in the 2010 Finance Act has commenced, says  Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris said on Wednesday.

The implementation is sequel to Monday’s signing of the Finance Bill by  President Muhammadu Buhari .

The AGF told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday that since the bill had become a law, its implementation by his office had to start.

Idris said he saw a  payment on Wednesday in which five per cent  VAT   was applied, but had to return it  to the person.

His words,  ”on Wednesday, I saw a payment which was done in December last year and when I checked the payment, the VAT on it was five per cent and I said no it must be 7.5 per cent because the five per cent VAT has been overtaken by events because that is the law as at today.


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