NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [20 DECEMBER, 2017].


Below are the headlines found on The Punch Online Newspaper for today, Wednesday, 20 December, 2017.

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
The chairmen of the 16 Local Government Areas in Ekiti State have sued the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as well as governors of the 36 states of the federation for approving the withdrawal of $1bn from the Excess Crude Account for the fight against insurgency.

They, through their lawyer, Ola Olanipekun, filed the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1264/17, before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday.


 
A 14-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Everest Igweokolo, a litigation executive in Olanipekun’s law firm, was filed in support of the suit.

The plaintiffs prayed for an order of injunction restraining the Federal Government and the governors of the 36 states of the federation or their agents, from giving effect to “the appropriation and/or approval of appropriation of the sum of $1bn from the ECA of the Federation.

They contended that the approval of the $1bn, being challenged, was contained in the decision made on December 15, 2017 at the National Economic Council.

They maintained that the approval was invalid unless and it was by means of statutory allocation by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

They therefore prayed the court to declare that the approval of the sum of $1bn by the 36 state governors to “purportedly execute the constitutional duty of the Federal Government, which has been sufficiently funded from the Federation Account, without their consent, is ultra vires, unlawful, null and void.”

The LGA chairmen and the plaintiffs, who instituted the suit, are Deji Ogunsakin (Ado LGA); Bola Alonge (Ikere LGA); Lanrewaju Omolase (Ekiti South-West LGA); Dapo Olagunju (Irepodun/Ifelodun LGA); Samuel Adeniyi (Ekiti East LGA); Olumide Falade (Ise/Orun LGA); Sade Akinrinmola (Gbonyin LGA); Tayo Ogundare (Oye LGA); and Chief Ayodeji Arogbodo (Ido/Osi LGA).

The rest are Taiwo Oguntuase (Emure LGA); Kolawole Omotunde (Ekiti West LGA); Bolaji Jeje (Efon LGA); Adesola Adeyanju (Ikole LGA); Ganiyu Bakare (Ilejemele LGA); Adeniyi Adebayo (Moba LGA) and Abiodun Dada (Ijero LGA).

The plaintiffs also asked for the court’s order declaring that in the discharge of “its constitutional duty to safeguard the security and territorial integrity of Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria, being the 1st defendant’s principal, must be funded in accordance with its appropriation Act and by means of due accruals from the Federation Account only.”


 
They also seek “a declaration that the 1st to 37 defendants’ appropriation and /or approval of appropriation of the sum of $1bn from the Excess Crude Account of the federation made at the National Economic Council meeting of December 12, 2017, without regard to the consent of the 38th defendant (the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission), the plaintiffs (integral part of the local governments of the federation of Nigeria) and the due appropriation of the various states’ Houses of Assembly, is unconstitutional, unlawful, ultra vires, null, void ab initio and of no effect whatsoever.”

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja Immediate past Senate President, David Mark, has described the allegation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that he purchased his house in Apo Legislative Quarters Abuja illegally as spurious, contrived and baseless. Mark, in a statement on Tuesday by his Media Assistant, Mr. Paul Mumeh, said the EFCC or any other [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
John Ameh, Abuja The House of Representatives on Tuesday intervened in the raging controversy over the refusal of the Nigerian Law School to call a graduate, Amasa Firdaus, to the Bar. The House directed its Committees on Justice and Judiciary to investigate the matter and make appropriate recommendations to the floor. The resolution followed a [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party, on Tuesday, alleged that the Federal Government was building more prisons. It also said that the government was planning to descend on PDP members in 2018. The National Chairman of the party, Mr. Uche Secondus, stated these in Abuja at the opening of a two-day retreat for members [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu One of the leaders of the Christian Charismatic Ministries, Mr. Innocent Nwangwu, has told an Enugu Magistrate Court that the General Overseer, Pastor Sabinus Onuigbo, forged documents to change the churchs Board of Trustees after he was suspended for alleged misconduct. Onuigbo, the General Overseer of the Christian Charismatic Ministries, is facing [] 


Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, said the much-criticised $1bn that state governors asked the Federal Government to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account was not meant for the fight against insurgency alone. He said the sum was meant for all security challenges being experienced in all the states of the federation. Osinbajo [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
John Ameh, Abuja Peoples Democratic Party members of the House of Representatives protested on Tuesday as another key member, Mr. Raphael Igbokwe, defected to the All Progressives Congress. Igbokwe, who is from Imo State, first came to the House in 2011. He defected on the floor of the House in the presence of the Imo [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Femi Makinde, Osogbo Labour leaders in Osun State have rejected the plan by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to pay workers modulated salaries for the month of November 2017. The labour leaders in a statement in Osogbo on Tuesday insisted that the governor must pay them full salaries following the receipt of N6.3bn by the state government [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja State governors and Speakers of Houses of Assembly on Tuesday agreed to set up a committee to look into all the issues concerning the ongoing constitution review. Members of the committee whose identities are not disclosed are expected to submit their report within a reasonable time. The decision was taken at an [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, will be distributing Certificates of Occupancy and other land title documents to another batch of beneficiaries under the Homeowners Charter Programme on Thursday. The Director General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Biyi Ismail, who disclosed this in his office, said the beneficiaries would collect their documents by 9am [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Oladimeji Ramon A human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has disclosed that he will, from January next year, begin a campaign for the enforcement of the Child Rights Law and the Universal Basic Education Law, which make basic education free and compulsory for every Nigerian child. The renowned lawyer said he was inspired to [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Sesan Olufowobi, Olalekan Adetayo and Success Nwogu President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday congratulated the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on his 55th birthday. According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said he joined all members of the National Assembly, friends and family in celebrating Saraki. He [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Ted Odogwu, Kano The Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, on Tuesday expressed shock at the outburst of his deputy, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, whose brother was removed as the chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Mandawari ward. Abubakar, who was a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, in an audio clip, was overheard; furiously, [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said the persons behind the large sums of foreign and local currencies recovered in April by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a residential apartment at the Osborne Towers, Lagos would be sanctioned. According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Umar Muhammed, Lafia The Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Mr. Silas Agara, has refuted a media report that Governor Umaru Al-Makura has endorsed his intention to contest the 2019 governorship election in the state. A statement signed by the deputy governors media aide, Mr. Godspower Ede, and made available to our correspondent in Lafia, the Nasarawa [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Simon Utebor, Yenagoa The Bayelsa State Government has debunked claims that some civil servants have been sacked following the preliminary findings of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into irregularities in the public sector. The government explained on Monday that the salaries of some workers were suspended after the discovery of irregular credentials, promotions, age falsification, [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Alexander Okere, Benin The Peoples Democratic Party has blamed the migration of Edo citizens to Europe on the alleged failure of the state government to create jobs. But the government has dismissed the allegation as a desperate attempt by the PDP to gain relevance and reclaim political power. The state has received no fewer than [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Simon Utebor, Yenagoa A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa State, Mr. Osom Makbere, has said the South-South geopolitical zone deserves the national chairmanship position of the party. Makbere, who is the publicity secretary of the PDP in Bayelsa, stated this in a telephone interview on Tuesday. He said, In the entire country [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti An Ekiti State High Court, Ado Ekiti, has ordered the authorities of the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, to reinstate a student, Adedotun Babalola, who was expelled for alleged rape. The court also awarded N10m damages against the university in favour of Babalola for expelling him without finding him guilty by [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday arrested the Chairman/Managing Director of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, Chief Innocent Chukwuma Company, at his residence in the GRA area of Enugu. It was gathered that the EFCC operatives, who were accompanied by heavily armed policemen, stormed Chukwumas residence at Savage Crescent, GRA, [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja The Federal Fire Service has received 25 new fire trucks and water tenders for the first time since it was established 116 years ago in 1901. The trucks, which consist of 14 fire engines and 11 water tenders, were unveiled by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, at the Old Parade Ground, [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu MEMBERS Ozongwu family of Okwojo Ngwo in the Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, whose son, Mr. Ejiofor Ozongwu, was murdered in 2015, have alleged that some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad were harassing them. Ozongwu, the former secretary of the Committee for the Actualisation of Adada State, was killed [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Olaide Oyelude, Katsina An 18-year old boy, Saidu Abdullahi, has been arraigned before a Katsina Senior Magistrates Court for allegedly having sexual intercourse with his eight-year-old sibling. Abdullahi, a junior secondary school student, lives with his family at Jabango Quarters, Katsina. The accused is facing a charge of incest which the police said is contrary [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Simon Utebor, Yenagoa A group of gunmen suspected to be kidnappers has abducted Madam Tina, wife of Ayakoro communitys paramount ruler, Chief Righteous Inegbagha. The suspected kidnappers also took hostage, the Principal of Government Craft Development Centre, Ayakoro, Mr. Egbele Jack, who hails from Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state. The hoodlums were said [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Mudiaga Affe, Calabar THE Cross River State Police Command on Tuesday said it had arrested three members of a notorious cult gang and recovered two locally-made pistols, two live cartridges and one expended AA cartridge. Although the names of the cult group was not stated, the Commissioner of Police in Cross River State, Mr. Hafiz [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Enyioha Opara, Minna The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has inaugurated a security response call centre in Minna to assist in addressing the security challenges confronting the state. Bello, while unveiling the facility on Tuesday, said, This is in furtherance of our concerted efforts in making sure that our people are secured in any part [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Afeez Hanafi The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday asked civil servants in the state to respond to challenges of the government. In achieving this, Ambode said his administration had resolved to continually train workers to live up to expectation. Ambode, at the opening of a two-day training session for civil servants in Ikeja [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Friday Olokor, Jos Restructuring is the only solution that can stop the agitation for disintegration currently pervading Nigeria, the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress and the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate, Chief Gani Adams, has declared. According to him, Nigeria, as it is presently constituted, is not sustainable. A statement by his Chief of Staff, [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Enyioha Opara, Minna A protest by some youths in Minna, Niger State over poor power supply has further worsened the power situation in the state capital, grounding business and commercial activities. The blackout in the state capital entered its second day on Tuesday after the youths sacked officials of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company from [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has urged the new members of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party to ensure transparent and credible primaries ahead of the 2019 general elections. He blamed the party's defeat in the 2015 general elections on lack of internal democracy that manifested in the [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Sesan Olufowobi the Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it was committed to ensuring safety in the workplace through effective monitoring and enforcement of relevant rules. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State stated this at a symposium on occupational safety and health regulation with the theme, Achieving Workplace Safety in A Mega Smart City, organised [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Simon Utebor, Yenagoa THE police in Bayelsa State say they have arrested no fewer than 625 persons in the state in connection with suspected murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms. The police also said they had recovered 66 weapons of different makes as well as hundreds of ammunition in the state. [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Afeez Hanafi the Lagos State Ministry of Justice has called on pupils to speak out against those who violate their rights in order to ensure that justice is served. The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Funlola Odunlami, said the state government would ensure that children and adults were treated with dignity and respect. Odunlami, [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Oyetunji Abioye The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, says the banking sector is vital to economic growth and players in the sector must be celebrated. Shittu said this at the launch of a book titled, ''Beyond the banking hall.'' The book was written in honour of a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Umar Muhammed, Lafia No fewer than 380 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nasarawa State Command have been trained on criminal prosecution in lower courts. The state NSCDC Commandant, Mr. Muhammad Mahmoud-Fari, stated that the training would ensure quick dispensation of criminal justice. He explained that the exercise was organised in conjunction [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
FBN Holdings Plc has announced the renaming of all entities under its merchant banking and asset management group. These are FBNQuest Merchant Bank, FBNQuest Asset Management, FBNQuest Securities; FBNQuest Capital, FBNQuest Trustees and FBNQuest Funds. The group said the merchant banking and asset management group was set to close the year on a positive note, [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
say contracts inflated, lopsided John Ameh, Abuja The House of Representatives has asked the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to halt its Rural Electrification Access Programme in Federal Universities. The projects, designed for eight universities, were awarded for N42bn. A motion passed by the House in Abuja on Tuesday alleged that the contracts were [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Enyioha Opara, Minna HELL was let loose in Zazzaga community in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, as a 54-year-old man, Musa Adamu, was shot dead by suspected kidnappers on Tuesday. He was reportedly killed while trying to rescue his sons wives that were abducted by some criminals operating in the area. It [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency on Tuesday announced the commencement of a nationwide technical monitoring and evaluation of power lines and sub-stations. It stated that the exercise was for the primary 33KV feeder lines and associated 33/11KV injection sub-stations with supply source from 330/132/33KV transmission sub-stations. NEMSA said the exigency of [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Oladimeji Ramon A newly-registered political party, Alliance for New Nigeria, says it will see to the ending of godfatherism in the Nigerian political space. The ANN, whose registration was only announced on Monday by the Independent National Electoral Commission, said it was out to change the narrative in Nigeria politics by essentially galvanising professionals and [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Everest Amaefule, Abuja The Nigerian Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to curb the use of telecommunications networks to defraud bank customers. The Head, Zonal Operations Department, NCC, Mrs. Helen Obi, disclosed this at the eight edition of the Consumer Conversation in the North-Central Zone held [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi The Chief Judge of Bauchi State, Justice Rabi Umar, has declared that corrupt magistrates and Shariah judges in Bauchi State will soon be exposed and sanctioned. She said that the corrupt and indolent judges were known and would be made to face the full wrath of the law. Justice Umar, who said [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday said it released 300 trucks of petrol to Lagos and 170 to Abuja, to stem long queues at filling stations. NNPC Spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, announced the release in a statement in Abuja. This followed the call-off of the strike by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Association of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria has said that the high rate of corruption in the country will require the implementation of a sophisticated forensic audit system by the government to eradicate it. The association argued that if the nation must make progress in the quest to prevent and [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump agreed on the importance of a swift post-Brexit bilateral trade deal during talks Tuesday, her Downing Street office said. The leaders discussed a future trade deal between the two countries during a phone call which focused on several other issues including Jerusalem,a spokesman said. It [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
Femi Asu, Okechukwu Nnodim and Chidiebube Okeoma Commuters, motorists and other users of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) faced tougher conditions on Tuesday as the latest round of fuel scarcity in the country got worse, with its attendant negative impacts on transportation and businesses. Some frustrated Nigerians narrated to our correspondents their ordeals while trying to [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
NIGERIAs security is being heavily compromised by illegally acquired guns. A concrete indication is found in a fresh warning by the United Nations about the danger of the influx of small and light weapons into West Africa. At a conference in Abuja, the UN noted that arms worth $35 million were entering the sub-region annually. [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
A British court Tuesday slapped a 25-yearsentence on a man for an acid attack in a nightclub in London, where such crimes have spiralled and prompted government intervention. Arthur Collins looked pale as he was sentenced over the April attack which left 22 people injured, 16 of whom suffered serious burns. This was a despicable [] 

Wed, 20 Dec 2017
The Sahara Group has inaugurated a 36-million-litre storage terminal to facilitate the distribution of petroleum products in Tanzania and other East African nations. Operated by Sahara Tanzania Limited, an affiliate of the Sahara Group, the terminal is located in Vijibweni, in the industrial area of Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam, and has a storage capacity [] 
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