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The Newspapers – Things You Need To Know This Friday

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Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The Department of State Service (DSS) Thursday released the convener of RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore and his co-accused, Olawale Bakare. Sowore was let off the hook of the DSS along with his co-accused, Olawale Bakare around 7:15. They were released to their lead counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr Femi Falana. This comes barely hours after an Abuja Federal High Court, ordered his release within 24 hours.

2. A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of 39 counts of N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering. Kalu was charged alongside Jones Udeogo, the state Commissioner for Finance during his tenure as the governor. Kalu’s company, Slok Nig. Ltd. was also a defendant in the suit. While Kalu and his company were convicted on all the 39 counts of the fraud charge, Udeogo was found guilty of 34 counts.

3. Victor Etie, Esq, Lawyer to former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has said that the court judgement sentencing his client to 12 years in prison would be appealed. The lawyer who spoke with newsmen on Thursday, faulted the judgement, insisting that it was unknown to law and cannot stand. He said the judgement would be appealed up to the Supreme Court.

4. The organised labour in Ogun State has threatened to embark on strike any moment from today, Friday. Their resolve to down tools is not unconnected with their inability to meet with Gov Dapo Abiodun over the national minimum wage of N30,000. The organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, lamented that their several requests to meet Governor Abiodun over the issue were ignored, hence they can no longer guarantee industrial harmony in the state. This was contained in a letter dated November 22, 2019 and addressed to the governor through the Head of Service, Lanre Bisiriyu.

5. The Senate and the House of Representatives have both passed the 2020 budget with a significant increase. Meanwhile, the National Assembly is a major beneficiary of the increase. The President proposed N10.33 Trillion while the Appropriations committees of both chambers recommended N10.59 trillion. The breakdown of the budget revealed that out of the N263 billion increment, the National Assembly increased its budget from N125 billion to N128billion.

6. Few hours after the passage of the Executive Bill sent to the Kano State House of Assembly for the creation of four more Emirates in the state, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has signed the bill into law. After signing the bill into law, Governor Ganduje apparently referring to Emir Sanusi, said, “we are going to have the Chairman of the five Kano Emirs, who would be reconvening meetings, and anyone who fails to appear for 5 times will be deposed.

7. Nigerians may start paying tax on every product purchased online and delivered to their respective homes as from January 2020. This was disclosed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service. The service also denied claims made by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation that the service illegally deducted and failed to remit N210bn into the Federation Account. Speaking on the sidelines of the third annual meeting of the Nigerian Tax Research Network in Abuja, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, told journalists that a lot of products purchased online and delivered to homes across the country were not taxed, hence the new resolve.

8. Report has it that Nigeria’s external reserves had between March and November this year, dropped by $4.99bn from $44.79bn to $39.8bn. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s data, the $4.99bn represents a decline of 10.65 per cent.

9. A Kaduna State High Court on Thursday ordered that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat be transferred from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, to a correctional centre in the state. Justice Gideon Kudafa in his ruling explained that the decision to remand El-Zakzaky and his wife in a correctional facility was to enable their lawyers and doctors to have easy access to them. The judge adjourned the case to February 6th, 2020 for the commencement of trial.

10. Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of an FCT High Court Maitama, on Thursday, foreclosed the prosecution in the trial of Sen. Dino Melaye for alleged falsehood. Melaye is standing trial on a two-count charge bordering on giving false information to the police. The presiding Judge, Justice Goodluck stated that the case had been adjourned more than the required five times at the instance of the prosecution through absence in court or non-preparedness to go on with the case. The case was then adjourned until February 11, 2020 for the defence’s no-case-submission.

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