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NEWSPAPERS REVIEW: TOP HEADLINES THAT MADE THE FRONT PAGES THIS FRIDAY MORNING

2018 budget defence: Senators walk Fashola out
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy has turned back Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, over alleged “unpreparedness to face the committee for his 2018 budget defence.”

The minister was turned back when he appeared before the committee, to defend estimates of his ministry’s 2018 budget, yesterday. The event took place at the Senate Hearing Room 2.11, in the New Senate Wing of the National Assembly.

The move by the committee was just as senators picked holes in the ministry’s proposed N10 billion solar power projects for nine universities across various states.

The Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe-led committee said Fashola was not ready to face members and that the minister did not appear before them with necessary documents concerning the budget.

Excess Crude Account: SERAP, CSOs flay NEC for $1bn approval to fight BHaram
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
The National Economic Council, on Thursday, asked the Federal Government to withdraw $1bn from the $2.3bn currently in the Excess Crude Account and use it to fight insurgency in the North-East.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The council chaired by the Vice-President has all state governors as members.
Some civil society groups and analysts, however, faulted the move by the Federal Government on the basis that past allocations to defence and the anti-terrorism operations had yet to be judiciously accounted for.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed the decision of NEC to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

Forget Biafra, Nwodo tells IPOB
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has restated his earlier position that it will be injurious to the Igbo to pursue self-determination and urged members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to drop their agitation and join the organisation’s quest for a restructured Nigeria. 
He spoke during a Town Hall meeting organised by the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation in Lagos, yesterday.
Nwodo, who  noted that the youths were free to express themselves over what he described as the relegation of the Igbo to second class citizens in Nigeria, stressed that the South East would be the ultimate loser in the event of another civil war. 

Osinbajo, Gowon, Shonekan, Adeboye attend carol in Villa
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.); a former Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were  among dignitaries that on Thursday attended the 2017 Christmas Praise Concert inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
 The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, delivered the sermon at the service held inside the old Banquet Hall.

PDP needs South-West to succeed, says Dickson
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Post-Convention Committee on Reconciliation,  who is also the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has said the party will  need the full support of its members in the South-West to effectively execute its plan to regain political power in 2019.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as having made the comment when he led the reconciliation committee on a visit to the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in Lagos on Thursday.

Criticisms trial Govs' approval of N1bn to fight Boko Haram
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
The National Economic Council, NEC, at its meeting in Abuja yesterday resolved that $1 billion be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to boost the fight against insurgency by the military, just as it came to light that at least five soldiers were killed during an attack by Boko Haram militants on Nigerian Army positions in Mainok village in Borno State on Wednesday night.
The proposal to withdraw the $1 billion from the ECA would leave the account with a balance of $1.31 billion, a development that was flayed by Senator Enyinannya Abaribe who said that only the National Assembly could make appropriations to the security agencies. Lawyers, however, expressed mixed reactions on the issue. 

State Assemblies Begin Debate On Constitution Amendment
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
Three months after the National Assembly transmitted drafts of the 1999 Constitution Amendment to State Houses of Assembly, some houses have commenced debate on the bills.
Indication emerged yesterday that the National Assembly sent only 15 bills to State Houses of Assembly for adoption out of the 21 bills adopted by the National Assembly.
LEADERSHIP investigation revealed that presiding officers of the National Assembly committed a technical error during voting on the bills and as such, some of the bills could not be transmitted to the state Houses of Assembly.
Recall that the National Assembly Constitution Review Committee led by Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu formulated 33 bills for the purpose of the constitution amendment.

2019 Elections: Politicians desperate to destroy us, CJN warns Judges
Fri, 15 Dec 2017
Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, warned judgesin Nigeria to watch company they keep, saying saying politicians are desperate to destroy judges.