Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 12 December, 2017.

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
Nationwide demonstrations were held yesterday for and against proscription of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) over which opinion is divided.

The security outfit has been accused of corruption, high-handedness and extra-judicial killings, sparking a wave of clamour for its abolition and calls for physical protest.

Marchers who yesterday took to the streets, however, intensified controversy on the significance of the squad for policing.

In Rivers State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman, Davis Ikanya, told Commissioner of Police Zaki Ahmed that the party decided to join the pro-SARS rally because many of its members had lost their lives.

“We are concerned about the call to scrap SARS. In 2015, over 300 of our members were killed or beheaded. From 2015 till date, we have lost more than 400. One day alone, in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, we lost persons including my Ward 4 chairman, his pregnant wife, daughter and son,” he said.

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Last week, he had backed calls for banning of the outfit, alleging it was an APC tool designed to rig the 2019 general elections.

Ikanya said politicians opposed to SARS in the state were simply afraid they could lose political power if free and fair polls were held in 2019.

Hundreds took to the streets of Port Harcourt armed with placards. Some read: ‘SARS is fighting enemies to save Rivers’ people’, ‘Say no to end SARS’, ‘Without SARS, criminals will cripple Rivers State.’
Tue, 12 Dec 2017
The Court of Appeal, Lagos division, yesterday ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not have powers to investigate or prosecute serving judicial officers except where such judicial officers have first been dismissed or retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
In a judgment anchored on the principle of separation of powers between the three arms of government in Nigeria, the court held that serving judicial officers can only be prosecuted for offences like murder, stealing and others, if such offences are committed outside the discharge of their official duties.

The court while ruling in the appeal by justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, challenging the jurisdiction of the lower court to try him as a sitting judge, held that once the offence is allegedly committed in the discharge of their duties, they must first be tried by the NJC and dismissed or retired before the EFCC can investigate or prosecute them.

The EFCC had arraigned the judge for allegedly receiving $260,000 and N8.65 million gratifications to enrich himself as a public official. 
Allowing the appeal against a decision of the Lagos High Court, Justice Obaseki Adejumo, who delivered the lead judgment held that the condition precedent to filing of Charge No: LD/4769/2017 by EFCC had not been fulfilled.

He held that the NJC must first strip or remove the appellant (judicial officer) of his judicial standing before he could be charged with such alleged offence allegedly committed in the course of discharge of his duties.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017
The judiciary has been in the news again for the bad reasons. There are manifest evidences of misconduct against some judicial officers resulting in serious disciplinary measures, which perhaps indicate that the judiciary is on a determined self-cleansing mission.
Just last week, a theatric ensued between the National Judicial Council (NJC) and embattled Justice of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Adeniyi Ademola. While the judge claimed he resigned voluntarily, the NJC said it recommended his removal, meaning his ‘voluntary’ resignation was an afterthought to avoid obvious sack.

It is instructive to note that Justice Ademola was one of the eight judges whose apartments were raided by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) for alleged corrupt practices and money laundering.

He was consequently prosecuted by the federal government on allegations of money laundering and corrupt enrichment.

However, Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court discharged and acquitted him recently.

He was due for his statutory retirement in April, 2018, when he would have attained the mandatory retirement age of 65 years, but he suddenly turned in his letter of voluntary retirement, dated December 6, 2017.

The information is that the NJC under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen at its 84th meeting, which was held on December 6, 2017, recommended the compulsory retirement from office of Justice Ademola and Justice O. O. Tokode both of the Federal High Court for misconduct.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017
With more than 2000 highbrow business plazas and other identified properties currently sealed and under temporary seizure for tax default for several years, the Federal Inland Revenue Service [FIRS] has stated that the properties may be auctioned to recover the tax liabilities standing against them if the owners fail to regularize their tax position.

Indeed, the FIRS stated that since July when the Federal Government launched the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme [VAIDS], a tax amnesty programme introduced to encourage defaulting tax payers regularize their tax records without recourse to the appropriate fines and interest, some N17 billion has been generated by those who have utilized the amnesty window.

In fact, more than N6 billion additional payments are on their way to the Government coffers before the end of December 2017 to bring the total payment under the scheme to N23 billion.

These facts were revealed yesterday in Abuja by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service [FIRS], Babatunde Fowler at a one – day sensitization workshop for the Media on the VAIDS.

The remittances, Fowler added was made by less than 10 corporate entities, with part of the remittances made in hard currencies.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017
For several years now there has been a tidal wave of discontent over Nigeria's minimum wage. The workers have consistently said at agitation points that their take home pay cannot take them home. And even with that truthful remark some of the state governments were agitating, a few years ago, for a reduction in the [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
And so, Uche Secondus, despite the hue and cry about heavy monetisation of the process and alleged plan by governors under the influence of Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to hijack the party leadership, still ended up being the national chair of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). For a vast majority of PDP members who [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
Experts in anti-moneylaundering matters have lauded the establishment of Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN) address capacity gaps and promote best practice standards for compliance profession. They submitted that the CIN would contribute to deepening compliance for effective implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism standards (AML/CFT) preventive measures, within the financial services [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Chief Audu Ogbeh, has decried the trespass to the land of the Federal College of Agriculture (FECA), Akure by the locals, expressing optimism that the courts would help the school reclaim them. Speaking during the FECA diamond jubilee celebration last week, the minister, represented by South West Regional [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
The man, Atiku Abubakar, (GCON) means different things to different people. To some people, he is a business tycoon whose empire cuts across real estate, agriculture, container services with the brand name NICOTES which was later rebranded INTELS, an oil servicing company with extensive operations in Nigeria. To some others, Atiku, the original Turaki Adamawa [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
Nasarawa State Coalition of Civil Societies/Media on constitutional review has kicked against immunity for legislators in the ongoing constitutional amendment process. The group took the position at a civil society and media strategy/technical session on constitutional review workshop organized by the Centre for Women Youth and Community Action, (NACWYCA) in collaboration with the Partnership to [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
A new Code of Corporate Governance for Bank Directors was reported, the other day, to have been issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). A noteworthy provision in the Code is the empowerment of banks' Board of Directors to 'remove or sack' any director having non-performing loan(s). The reason for this provision is, no [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
The judiciary has been in the news again for the bad reasons. There are manifest evidences of misconduct against some judicial officers resulting in serious disciplinary measures... 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
New research from the largest study of its kind reveals patients taking painkillers alongside medication for heart disease, stroke or diabetes are 95 per cent more likely to become obese as the sedative drugs make people inactive and affect their metabolism. The findings were published in the journal PLOS One. According to the study, the [] 

Tue, 12 Dec 2017
Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has realised the enormous task ahead of the country to enable her participate in the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) trade reforming initiatives. The conference is underway and will last from 10th-13th December, 2017, during which Nigeria has joined the comity of nations to address [] 
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