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BREAKING: Buhari Approves N10bn For Enugu Airport Upgrade

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Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the approval of 10 billion naira for the upgrade of the Enugu International Airport.

Buhari disclosed this on his twitter handle after meeting with South-East Leaders on Thursday at the State House Council Chambers in Abuja.

The leaders had demanded special Federal Government intervention for the speedy completion of the airport and rehabilitation of federal roads in the region.

The Chairman southeast governors forum and leader of the delegation, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, made the request during the meeting with the president.

The leaders also demanded a state of emergency to be declared on the roads in the South East.

The meeting later entered into a closed-door session.

Also in the State House for a meeting with the president were governors of the South-South region. They include Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Ifeanyi Okowa.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had last month commenced the rehabilitation of the runway at the airport.

General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu had confirmed the development to newsmen in Lagos.

FAAN had on August 24 announced the closure of the airport for the reconstruction of its runway.

Yakubu told reporters that work has finally began at the airport ahead of the December 2019 deadline set for the completion of the runway repairs and other renovation works.

The airport was closed on February 10, 2010, by FAAN for the first phase of major renovation and expansion works. The airport was re-opened on 16 December 2010.

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Inside Nigeria

Buhari Not Interested In Fighting Insurgency — Galadima

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Buhari and Buba Galadim

Former spokesperson for the presidential council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari has no genuine interest in fighting insurgency and other security challenges facing the country. He said this is the main reason why he has refused to change the military service chiefs.

The elder statesman who made his feelings known during an interview with Daily Independent said it was a thing of worry that President Buhari refuses to replace the military service chiefs as they have obviously failed in their duties to the country.

Galadima went ahead to allege that the only reason he could deduce for President Buhari’s stubbornness on the issue is the fact that his personal Marabouts (spiritual guide) must have advised him against it despite the outcry of prominent Nigerians.

According to Galadima;

“I have spoken a lot on this matter in the last one year. I don’t think the President has genuine interest in fighting any insurgency. He is like a deaf and dumb”.

A lot of Nigerians have told him the proper thing to do but he doesn’t listen to advice. Whatever you tell him, he doesn’t accept. If not, any serious person who has the welfare and security of his people at heart, would have fired the entire Service Chiefs three, four years ago and bring another people who are capable of doing the job”.

But he will not do it because he must have been instructed by his Marabouts that he shouldn’t remove them for whatever reason. That is the only reason I can give for his not replacing them”.

So, we are just wasting our time by asking him to do so. The man is insensitive to people’s feelings, opinions and the advice well-meaning Nigerians are giving him”.

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Inside Nigeria

Bill To Strip The President Of Powers To Order For Forfeiture Of Assets Of Accused Persons, Scales Second Reading

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A bill seeking to strip the president of the powers to order for forfeiture of assets of accused persons has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

The discretionary power previously granted to the president to order for forfeiture of assets was on Thursday, July 2, transferred to the judges of a High Court.

The bill, which was passed in plenary, yesterday, July 2, is sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ahmed Wase and is entitled “a bill for an act to amend the currency conversion (freezing orders) act cap. C.43, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to give discretionary powers to the judge of a High Court, to order forfeiture of assets of affected persons and for related matters.”

Presenting the bill, the deputy speaker said, “It is noteworthy that the provision for forfeiture in our laws is geared towards ensuring that persons found guilty of offenses do not benefit from the proceeds of those offences.”

He said the discretionary power previously granted to the president by the Principal Act is hereby being replaced by that of a High Court Judge to bring it in line with the spirit of the constitution.

Wase argued that the provision, which vest in the president the power to order forfeiture of property (both movable or immovable) “is not in spirit with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and hence the need for its amendment.

“Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) guarantees the fundamental right of individuals to movable and immovable properties, which shall not be deprived except in specified circumstances which include the ‘imposition of penalties or forfeiture for the breach of any law whether under any civil process or after conviction for an offence’. (S. 44 (2) (c).

“Mr Speaker, colleagues, it is our submission that such breach, can only be determined by the judge of a court and should never be at the discretion of the president.

“It is further noted that the discretion of the president to order the forfeiture of property of an accused person can be subjected to executive abuses and recklessness. Section 9 in the Principal Act does not provide any mechanism (whether legal or administrative) through which the President may exercise this power. Instead the power is left solely at the discretion of the President.

“In a country that has witnessed reckless abuse of political and administrative powers, it will be dangerous to allow such unchecked arrogation of powers to determine the forfeiture of a person’s properties.”

“Such discretion to be exercised by the president can be contrary to the natural doctrine of fair trial as it amounts to the executive being a prosecutor and a ‘Judge’ in its own case.

“This negates the spirit of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) specifies the conditions under which a person can be deprived of movable or immovable properties and that is: ‘under any civil or after conviction for an offence’ after a fair trial.

“The president cannot therefore, usurp the powers of the courts for such will run foul of the doctrine of Separation of Powers.

“Vesting in the president the power to make forfeiture order smack of the era of military dictatorship where the Head of State and Head of the Supreme Military Council and unilaterally order the forfeiture of properties of persons without recourse to any judicial mechanism. This cannot be allowed to exit in a democracy. I therefore urge you all to support this amendment bill.”

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NCDC Blames Youths For Rapid COVID-19 Spread In The Country

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has blamed youths for the rapid COVID-19 spread in the country.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the NCDC Director-General stated this during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday, July 2, in Abuja.

He said youths between the ages of 20 and 40 were responsible for the spread of COVID-19, while the majority of those who succumb to the killer disease are older people from 50 years and above.

He said, “As more people are infected across the world, you would have seen the numbers; it is increasingly obvious that transmission among younger people really, not children, but people aged between 20 and 40 as far as we know, are really driving the spread of this virus, but those that are bearing the brunt of it are people age 50 and above.

“Three out of five people who died from COVID-19 are 50 years and above; so we have to work harder, all of us collectively, to protect our elderly. We are on the verge of opening our airports, we have relaxed intercity travel.”

As of July 2, there are 27,110 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country. 10,801 patients have been discharged and 616 deaths have been recorded.

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