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Atiku is a serial loser, Tinubu tells tribunal

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The President-Elect, Bola Tinubu says the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has always lost his bid to lead the country since 1993.

Tinubu asked Atiku not to see his loss at the last election as strange, arguing that it would have been a miracle for the PDP and its candidate to win in view of the crisis rocking the party before and during the elections.

The President-Elect said these in his response to the petition filed by Atiku and the PDP before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in which they are praying to be declared the winner or for the court to order a rerun.

He noted that Atiku was without a stable political platform and has lost majority of his key supporters, in view of his habit of jumping from one political party to another.

Tinubu equally said that Atiku’s emergence as PDP’s candidate fueled the crisis in the party, resulting in five of its sitting governors resolving to work against him and ensure he lost.

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The President-Elect’s response was filed by his team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun.

The President -Elect described the petition as not only frivolous but an abuse of court process.

He stated the PDP having earlier filed a suit at the Supreme Court, through some of its governors, demanding the cancellation of the election, cannot maintain two cases on the same issue in different courts at the same time.

He stated that on February 28, the PDP through its governors in Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto states filed a suit at the Supreme Court, demanding among others, that the February 25 presidential election be cancelled.

He also faulted the competence of the petition on the grounds that Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) were excluded despite the fact that the petitioners were contesting the results from the states won by the LP and NNPP.

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The petitioners complained about outcome of the election in Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kano, Plateau and Lagos states, and Tinubu was not declared as the overall winner in any of the these states.

The response stated that Tinubu cannot be made to defend an infraction allegedly committed in any of the states afore-mentioned.

The response from Tinubu’s team ended with a query on Atiku’s petition on the result of elections in all the states where he, Obi won the election, including but not limited to Adamawa, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Gombe, Yobe, Sokoto, Osun, Kebbi and Katsina states, without making themselves co-respondents to the petition; whereas, under Section 133(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, a party whose election is being challenged shall be made a respondent.”

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Minimum Wage: No figure is sacrosanct, there’s always room for adjustments – Labour

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Following the seeminglt unending discussions on a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers, organised labour has said that it is not fixated on any figure.

 

The tripartite committee on minimum wage ended its deliberations last week, submitting two figures to President Bola Tinubu for consideration as the new minimum wage.

 

While the government and the organised private sector are proposing ₦62,000, organised labour is demanding ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage.

 

However, the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, The Morning Brief on Friday, said no figure is sacrosanct as there is always room for adjustments.

 

“What we said is that for us when we give figures, there is always a room to meander, there is always a room for us to do some adjustment here and there,” Osifo said.

 

“So, there is no figure that is sacrosanct, there is no figure that is cast in stone that both parties will be fixated on it. One of the reasons that we went on industrial action the last time was because when it got to N60,000, they told us that a kobo cannot even join the N60,000, that they cannot even add one naira to it.

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“So that was one of the reasons that led to that industrial action beyond the fact that there were also delays.”

 

President Tinubu is expected to send an executive bill to the National Assembly for legislative action.

 

The TUC President said that they are not going to pre-empt the President, but they are making all efforts to justify why Tinubu should tilt towards the figure presented by the labour instead of the one by the organised private sector and the government.

 

He said that if the President send a figure that is not favourable to the labour to the National Assembly, they will still approach the lawmakers and push them to do much more.

 

Osifo vowed that the work of the labour leaders will not end until the Minimum Wage Act 2024 becomes law. He said it is premature to predict what labour will do if what is passed is not acceptable to them at the end of the day.

 

I will approve what Nigeria can afford

Meanwhile, President Tinubu has said that he will only approve a new minimum wage that the government can afford.

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He stated this on Wednesday at a dinner to mark Nigeria’s 25 years of unbroken democracy in Abuja.

 

“I have to celebrate with you my dear brother, Senate President, Deputy Senate President,” he said, adding that Senate President Godswill Akpabio and his deputy, Jibrin Barau would soon get an Executive Bill from him on the new minimum wage.

 

“The minimum wage is going to be what Nigerians can afford, what you can afford and what I can afford. Cut your coat according to your size, if you have size at all,” he said.

 

I pity Tinubu if he approves unsustainable wage

Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, says he pities President Tinubu if he approves an “unsustainable” minimum wage for workers in the country.

 

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) warned that not all state governments and the organised private sector can pay the ₦62,000 proposed by the Federal Government and the ₦250,000 demand of organised labour.

 

Soludo spoke on Wednesday at The Platform Nigeria, a programme by Lagos-based church, Covenant Nation, to mark 2024 Democracy Day.

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“But on the other hand, you have to come back to reality, talking about these MSMEs, the schools, churches, so on and so forth. You will have to pay your own driver. We are all in it. Whatever they agree, we will muddle through but may be after one year, we will need to meet to discuss the consequences.”

 

“I pity the President because it will all be on his head if the consequences come down, whatever it is, if whatever is negotiated is unsustainable or payable or whatever. Months to come, who will bear the responsibility? Not me.”

 

The discussions for a new minimum wage has lingered for months, with the tripartite committee ending with the two figures last week.

 

While labour dropped its earlier demand from ₦494,000 to ₦250,000, the government added ₦2,000 to its initial ₦60,000 and offered workers ₦62,000.

 

Both sides submitted their reports to the President, who is expected to make a decision and send an executive bill to the National Assembly to pass a new minimum wage bill to be signed into law by the President.

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Good morning! Here Are Some Major News Headlines In The Newspapers Today: Rainstorm Destroys Over 100 Houses In Jigawa

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1. A devastating windstorm and heavy rain have wreaked havoc in Kaugama Local Government Area of Jigawa State, causing over 100 houses to collapse and resulting in significant property loss. Musa Kaugama, a victim of the disaster, said his two-room house collapsed, and he lost all his belongings.

 

2. The Court of Appeal in Abuja has quashed the contempt case initiated by the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, against the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede. In a judgment on Thursday, June 13, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal held, among other things, that the contempt case was premised on expired interim orders issued by the Kogi State High Court, sitting in Lokoja.

 

 

3. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the final list of candidates for the Ondo State governorship election. Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ajayi Agboola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olorunfemi Ayodele of the Labour Party, and Akingboye Benson of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) are among the 17 candidates contesting in the November 16 poll.

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4. Some residents of Abaji area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) set the corpse of a suspected armed robber ablaze on Thursday. A police officer told reporters that the robbers first attacked the police station along Toto Road, where an inspector simply identified as Abila was shot dead.

 

5. President Bola Tinubu has appointed Mr. Tanimu Yakubu as the new Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, succeeding Mr Ben Akabueze, whose tenure has expired. This was contained in a statement on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

 

6. Ahead of the forthcoming Sallah, the Kano State Police Command has banned Durbar activities in the state. This was announced in a statement issued by Abdullahi Kiyawa, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command.

 

7. Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote, says local and foreign mafia tried several times to sabotage his $19 billion refinery from coming to fruition. He also mentioned that he has repaid about $2.4 billion of the $5.5 billion borrowed to build the refinery.

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8. President Bola Tinubu will, on Friday, receive a draft bill seeking a return to a regional system of government for Nigeria.

 

9. An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti on Thursday sentenced the cleric of a church in Omuo Ekiti in the Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Pastor Enoch, to life imprisonment for raping a minor. The victim, said to be the daughter of one of the church members, was raped by the pastor during one of her visits to the cleric’s residence.

 

10. An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti Division on Thursday sentenced four persons to death by hanging for armed robbery, murder, and conspiracy. The court also convicted and sentenced the defendants to life imprisonment for the offense of attempted murder.

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World Bank approves $2.25bn loan for Nigeria

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The minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Wale Edun, has announced the approval of two major “financial support packages” by the World Bank — valued at $2.25 billion.

 

According to a statement on Thursday, this is part of President Tinubu’s ongoing efforts to stabilise the economy, reposition it for sustained and inclusive growth, and provide urgent support to the poor and vulnerable.

 

The statement was signed by Mohammed Manga, the ministry’s director of information and public relations.

 

“The approved operations include $1.5 billion for the Nigeria Reforms for Economic Stabilization to Enable Transformation (RESET) Development Policy Financing Program (DPF) and $750 million for the Nigeria Accelerating Resource Mobilization Reforms (ARMOR) Program-for-Results (PforR),” the statement reads.

 

“The combined total of $2.25 billion will provide essential financial and technical support as the government continues to address economic distortions.”

 

Additionally, Manga said the support package will assist Nigeria in its long-term goal of increasing non-oil revenues and securing oil revenues to ensure fiscal sustainability and the delivery of quality public services.

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He said ‘RESET’ aims to strengthen Nigeria’s economic policy framework, create fiscal space, and protect the poor and vulnerable.

 

The statement also noted that ‘Armor PforR’ supports tax and excise reforms, improves tax revenue and customs administration, and safeguards oil revenues.

 

Commenting on the approval, Edun welcomed the support of the World Bank.

 

“We have undertaken bold and necessary reforms to restore macroeconomic stability and put Nigeria on a path to sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” he said.

 

“These reforms will create quality jobs and economic opportunities for all Nigerians.

 

“We welcome the support of the RESET and ARMOR programs as we further consolidate and implement our policy reforms, consistent with accelerating investment and using public resources more sustainably to achieve our development goals.”

 

On his part, Ousmane Diagana, the World Bank vice-president for Western and Central Africa, lauded the country’s efforts in reforming the financial sector.

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“Nigeria’s comprehensive macro-fiscal reforms are placing the country on a new path that can stabilize the economy and lift people out of poverty,” Diagana said.

 

“It is essential to maintain the momentum of these reforms and continue to provide support to the poor and vulnerable to mitigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.”

 

The vice-president said the financing package will strengthen the World Bank’s strong partnership with Nigeria and support efforts to rejuvenate the economy and expedite poverty reduction, serving as an example for Africa.

 

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