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Anxiety As Supreme Court Determines Fate Of Seven State Governors Today [See List]

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There’s serious anxiety in seven states of the federation, especially Imo and Sokoto States ahead of today’s consideration of the governorship election petition by the Supreme Court.

Supporters of Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha are awaiting the verdict of the apex court with bated breath.

The other governors whose cases are to be considered today are Abdullahi Ganduje Kano; Simon Lalong, Plateau; Samuel Ortom, Benue; Bala Muhammed, Bauchi, and Ahmadu Fintiri, Adamawa.

Although the Supreme Court only sent a hearing notice to the lawyers, the apex court might deliver its verdict. This was the same way it happened last week when the decision on some states was delivered unexpectedly.

Besides, legal litigation time has almost elapsed.

The police are on a red alert in Sokoto. It has deployed 1000 men to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Kaoje said: “We are on a 24-hour red alert and we are on standby round the clock, 24/7. We will not waiver in our sustained routine and surprise tactics to keep the peace.

“We will leave no stone unturned in keeping the state safe and secure for all law-abiding residents to conduct their lawful businesses.”

He added that the policemen would remain on the streets in line with a recent directive by the Police headquarters.

In Imo, the PDP and the APC expressed optimism that today’s judgment would favour them.

The key issue to be determined by the Supreme Court, in this case, is whether Ihedioha won two-thirds of votes in two-thirds of the local governments in the state.

The APC permutation is reinforced by the recent prediction by Catholic priest Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka that the candidate of the APC, Hope Uzodinma would take over the reins of power the PDP-led government.

Supporters of both parties have been throwing brickbats at each other since the Mbaka prediction.

They have taken to all platforms including placing newspaper advertorials to lambast each other.

A philanthropist, Princess Ogbuefi Ezinwa, wrote on her Facebook wall, “I am extremely tensed about Monday(today) judgment more than many Governor Ihedioha’s appointees. My party, my people and the entire Imolites, God please keep us all alive to be witnesses.”

The state publicity secretary of APC, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, said that evidence so far shows that Uzodinma won the election.

However, another official of the PDP, who pleaded not to be mentioned said, “We are praying that the judgment goes in our favour but we are not at peace with the situation.”

Police spokesman Orlando Ikeokwu, said the command was working with other security agencies to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.

He advised the people to go about their businesses without fear of intimidation or molestation.

Ikeokwu said, “We also warn all parties involved to maintain decorum. If you must rejoice or jubilate do that with respect.”

As the Supreme Court set to give a final judgment on the Kano state Governorship election, between Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the PDP candidate Abba Kabiru Yusuf, the ancient city of Kano remain in uneasy calm.

Police Spokesman Abdullahi Haruna, said “security is intact as we monitoring situation. We won’t entertain any breach of law and order in this state.”

Another senior policeman, who also spoke said, “we are aware of the Supreme Court judgment tomorrow(today) but l want to tell you that for now, we have not received any report of danger.

“But l can also assure you that security agencies are ready for any eventuality. However, for now, there is no cause for alarm

In Makurdi, The Nation learnt that most top government and PDP officials in the state had traveled to Abuja where the judgment would be delivered.

Police spokesperson in the state, Kate Sewuese, said they were ready to deal with anyone found fomenting trouble ahead of the judgment.

Jos, the Plateau State capital was calm on Sunday

Lalong of the APC triumphed at both the Governorship Petitions Tribunal and at the Appeal level before the PDP and its candidate headed to the Supreme Court.

Both parties (APC and PDP) are expectant of a positive verdict.

In Bauchi, the ruling PDP and APC expressed confidence that they would coast to victory again.

A chieftain of the PDP, Muhammad Idris, ruled out any chances of the APC having the upper hand at the supreme court. He cited the massive support given by the generality of the people the PDP as the reason why the governor Mohammed was unshaken.

He said, “ Our expectation for Monday is winning. We don’t have any battle, we started from the tribunal to the Court of Appeal now to the final judgment which is the Supreme Court.

“We are confident of the judiciary system in the country. We don’t believe there is any need for panic. I am assuring you by the God of grace we are going to win our case. The generality of the people of Bauchi state is behind Governor Mohammed. A trader in the market can attest to that.

“Our achievement in the last eight months surpasses that of the immediate past All Progressives Congress-led administration in the last four years. There is no panic because we don’t have any skeleton in our cupboard ”

The APC and its candidate Mohammed Abubakar had prayed to the Supreme Court to set aside the victories of the governor at both the tribunal and the Appeal court.

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Federal Government Plans Petrol Alternative, To Crash Fuel Price To N97

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The Federal Government on Thursday said it would crash the price of petrol by providing Compressed Natural Gas as an alternative source of fuel for vehicles nationwide.

The CNG is a fuel that can be used in the place of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol. It can also be used in the place of diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

Speaking on what the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources would work on this year during a press conference in Abuja, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, stated that the Federal Government was working for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill before May.

He further stated that moves by the Federal Government to recover $62bn from international oil companies were seemingly impossible, as no such money was sitting anywhere to be harvested by the country.

Sylva further declared that the Nigerian oil and gas sector was retrogressing, particularly when compared to the oil sector of other nations.

He stated that the use of petrol had caused a serious drain on the finances of the Federal Government as a result of the continued subsidy on the commodity.

Explaining how the government intends to crash petrol prices, Sylva said, “When you say we are thinking about reducing the pump price of petrol, I could easily say yes. Why I could say yes is because we are looking at giving the masses an alternative.

“Today, we are using the PMS but what we want to do, going forward is to see that we are able to move the masses to the CNG. If we take all transport vehicles to the use of the CNG, you would have impacted the poor positively.”

Sylva said findings by the government showed that the CNG cost less than the subsidized PMS and that once the CNG was fully deployed, the price of fuel would crash.

“The subsidized rate of the PMS per litre is N145 but the CNG cost between N95 to N97 per litre and that is why I said that we want to reduce the cost of fuel,” he stated.

He said Nigeria had abundant gas and that deploying the CNG would not be tough for the country.

“Nigeria’s gas reserve is significant. Nigeria currently has estimated 202TCF (trillion standard cubic feet) of gas, with a projection of 600TCF,” Sylva said.

On the PIB, the minister said, “We are optimistic that both the Petroleum Industry Governance Administration and Host Communities Bill, on the one hand, and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill, on the other hand, will be passed within the first anniversary of the second tenure of this administration.”

Commenting on moves by the Federal Government to recover $62bn from international oil companies based on an October 17 judgment of the Supreme Court, Sylva stated that it was practically impossible to recoup such funds from the IOCs.

He declared that no $62bn was anywhere for release by the IOCs and explained that it was best for the government to sit and discuss with the oil firms on how to go about the issue.

The Federal Government had through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation written to the IOCs, demanding various sums of money on the basis of the Supreme Court judgment.

The court had ordered the Federal Government to recoup all revenues lost to oil-exploring and exploiting companies due to the wrong profit-sharing formula since August 2003.

Sylva said, “Yes there was a provision in the amended Deep Offshore Act, but when we had crude oil prices above $20 per barrel, the Federal Government should have asked for some form of an increase in its take.

“Unfortunately we didn’t activate that aspect. You will not blame the Federal Government or the oil companies for not activating that aspect of the Act. You will agree that $62bn could not have been sitting somewhere for us to harvest; it is not possible.”

The minister stated that Nigeria was retrogressing in the oil sector, particularly when compared to other nations that started at similar times with Nigeria in the oil and gas business.

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Ghana Emerges 3rd Most Corrupt Country In The World

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Ghana has emerged as the third most corrupt country in the world in the most recent version of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

The West African country scored 67 points in the rankings released earlier this week.

Another African country, Kenya, also made the top 10, occupying the 8th position with 53 points.

Colombia is perceived to be the most corrupt country in the world, according to U.S. News’ 2020 Best Countries rankings, a characterization of 73 countries based on a survey of more than 20,000 global citizens.

In the survey, respondents answered how closely they related each of the countries to the term “corrupt”, the exact meaning of which was left to their own interpretation. The attribute is factored into the Best Countries rankings for transparency, as well as the best countries to invest in and headquarter a corporation.

Colombia, which sees an estimated $14 billion a year in corruption-related costs, experienced a wave of anti-government protests starting at the end of November. A new set of strikes could ensue after protest leaders meet with government officials later this month.

While the country is known for its decades of political scandals, voters recently elected Claudia López, a member of Colombia’s green party and a prominent activist, as the mayor of Bogota. López is the first woman and openly gay individual to become mayor of Colombia’s capital city.

Mexico, known for its deadly drug cartels, follows Colombia as the No. 2 most corrupt country in the 2020 ranking. Myanmar, Guatemala, Saudia Arabia, Brazil, and Bolivia also made the top 10.

Russia, which has been accused of election meddling and Olympic doping, joins the top 10 list this year after placing No. 12 in 2019.

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Catholic Church May Bar Fr. Mbaka From Preaching Over His Partisanship Prophecies —- Archbishop

Peter Okunoren

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The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Adewale Martins, says the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, could be banned from preaching if he continues to deviate from the doctrines and tenets of the Catholic Church.

Martins, who was appointed Archbishop of Lagos by the Pope in 2012, said this during an interview with the BBC Igbo while reacting to Mbaka’s prophecy that Hope Uzodinma would emerge as governor of Imo State.

Mbaka had on New Year’s Eve prophesied that Uzodinma would emerge as governor in 2020, a prophecy which came to pass on Tuesday when the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha and named Uzodinma as the duly elected governor.

Reacting to the prophecy, which has stirred heated debate, the archbishop said Mbaka was under the Diocese of Enugu and did not report to him.

He, however, said if Mbaka continued in the manner he was doing things, the Catholic Church may bar him from ministering.

Martins said, “Fr. Mbaka falls under the authority of the Bishop of Enugu Diocese and therefore he has the responsibility of cautioning him. I can imagine that this must be giving the bishop some challenges.

“It must be giving him a bit of a headache and I feel sorry for him and I hope he will find some way of dealing with this matter that has been recurring. Of course, what could be done in the end is either to say, ok you receive the sanction of being stopped from public ministry. That is a possibility. If it is not done, there must be a reason.”

Martins, who was ordained a priest in 1983, said the Catholic Church does not engage in partisan politics.

He said even if Mbaka received a prophecy from God, he ought to ensure that his conduct corresponds with the scriptures and the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

The archbishop added, “It is utterly surprising that Fr Mbaka would go as far as naming one person as governor against another. It is embarrassing when you hear of priests or people in a position of authority making statements that are clearly partisan.

“The position of the Catholic Church on matters that have to do with politics is not to be partisan. Of course, we as a church cannot be oblivious to political events and happenings in the country or the world at large and therefore we must speak from the point of view of principles.

“The priest who believes he has a gift of prophecy has to test whatever has been told to him in the light of the scriptures, in the light of the teachings of the church and in terms of the authority that has been given to leaders in the church.”

Martins said Mbaka’s behaviour was at variance with the teachings of the Catholic Church and he had fallen below the standard expected of priests.

Mbaka, who was ordained a Catholic priest in 1995, has been known to give many controversial prophecies.

In 2002, he prophesied that the then Governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, would not return to office in the election but the governor won a second term.

In 2015, Mbaka prophesied that President Goodluck Jonathan would lose to the current President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), which came true.

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