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Fuel, Naira Scarcity: We’ll Embark On Nationwide Protest If…, Falana Warns FG

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Falana

The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has threatened a nationwide demonstration should the Federal Government fail to bring to an end the scarcity of fuel and naira notes in the country.

The group, in a statement signed by its interim Chairman, Femi Falana, on Monday, said the currency and fuel crises constitute an unprecedented challenge to economic survival of ordinary people and these may threaten the 2023 elections.

“Unless the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity are immediately resolved within the timeline given by the President, ASCAB has resolved to call on the Nigerian people to commence series of peaceful mass actions in their communities to resist the unjustifiable economic hardship which may compel postponement of the forthcoming elections as INEC has hinted.

“If the Federal Government fails to resolve the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity before February 10, 2023 the country will witness nationwide peaceful mass actions by the Nigerian people,” ASCAB said.

See full statement below:

TIME TO END CURRENCY AND FUEL CRISES

The Federal Government has unleashed untold hardship on the masses of Nigeria by the unprecedented scarcity of the Naira, fuel scarcity and skyrocketing rise in fuel prices. Fuel and currency scarcity is inexplicable and unacceptable.The Federal Government has shirked its obligation to guarantee the security and welfare of the Nigerian people as provided under Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

Sporadic peaceful protests have erupted throughout the country expressing the deep displeasure of the masses.There is an urgent need for leading human and pro-democracy organisations to provide leadership in canalizing the energies and anger of the masses in order to give the protests direction and prevent anarchy, state terrorism and continued arbitrary repression of the masses.

Since it is now clear that enough Naira notes have not been printed the Central Bank should allow the old and new Naira notes to be legal tender in Nigeria. This suggestion is in line with Section 22 of the Central Bank Act which permits the replacement of old currency notes with new ones after the deadline fixed by the CBN.

Meanwhile, officials of the CBN and other banks involved in hoarding or selling the new currency notes should be prosecuted to serve as a deterent to other economic saboteurs.

The soldiers who unleashed violence on the students of the University of Benin as well as trigger happy troops who murdered a young man and injured several others at Ibadan, Oyo State should be arrested and prosecuted without any delay.

ON ARTIFICIAL FUEL SCARCITY

Against the increasing fuel scarcity across the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has said that it has two billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, in stock. The artificial scarcity of fuel is designed to force Nigerians to accept the increase in the pump price of PMS. In many parts of the country, petrol is sold between N300 and N600 per litre.

To give the impression that the crisis is being addressed a Task Force headed by President Buhari was set up a couple of weeks ago. Like similar Task Forces set up in the past the new Task Force will not solve the crisis. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, President Buhari should direct the NNPCL to supply adequate fuel and ensure that the product is sold at the official price. Anyone who hoards the product or who sell it beyond the official price should be arrested and prosecuted.

ALTERNATIVE TO PMS

On January 16, 2020, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timpere Silva announced the plan of the Federal Government to reduce the pump price of fuel by migrating from the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) at a cost of about N95 to N97 per litre. The Minister further informed the members of the public that the CNG had undergone a pilot project in Benin City, Edo State where over 10,000 vehicles are already running on it.

In order to facilitate the conversion of vehicles run on PMS to CNG the Federal Government caused the Central Bank of Nigeria to set aside a whopping sum of N250 billion for willing investors in autogas assembly plants. But in a bid to continue the fraud laden subsidy regime the Federal Government has abandoned the planned conversion of vehicles run on PMS to CNG .

Instead of committing themselves to the investigation of the massive fuel subsidy scam, some presidential candidates have threatened to remove subsidy and consequently increase the prices of petroleum products in the country if they win the election. We warn such politicians to drop the dangerous agenda unless they are prepared to rule a dead people. We are compelled to call on the Federal Government to join the list of governments in Africa that are encouraging end users to convert their conventional fuel vehicles to bio-fuel vehicles like CNG and LPG fuel as these fuels are environment friendly and have lower carbon dioxide emissions.

RESOLUTIONS

The currency and fuel crises constitute unprecedented challenge to economic survival of ordinary people that may threaten the 2023 elections which provide an opportunity for the people to choose a party considered to be representative of their aspirations.

Unless the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity are immediately resolved within the timeline given by the President, ASCAB has resolved to call on the Nigerian people to commence series of peaceful mass actions in their communities to resist the unjustifiable economic hardship which may compel postponement of the forthcoming elections as INEC has hinted.

If the Federal Government fails to resolve the twin crises of fuel and currency scarcity before February 10, 2023 the country will witness nationwide peaceful mass actions by the Nigerian people.

Femi Falana SAN,
Interim Chair,
Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB)

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‘Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish’, Nigerians React As High Court Sentence Bobrisky To Six-Month Imprisonment

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Nigerians have taken to microblogging platform, X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their thought on the court judgment, which saw cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, sentenced to six months imprisonment.


Recall that Bobrisky, on Friday, was sentenced to six months in jail with no option of a fine.

The judgement was passed by Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, April 4, filed six-count of money laundering and abuse of naira against him.

On Friday, April 5, the EFCC arraigned Bobrisky in court on six charges, including Abuse of the Naira and Money laundering.

The court, however, dismissed the money laundering charges but convicted him of Naira Abuse after he confessed to the crime.

Some Nigerians, reacting to the court judgement, saw the ruling as an injustice against the cross-dresser.

Others wondered which section Bobrisky will be in jail because of the controversy around the gender he aligns with.

See some reactions below:

@brodamike07 wrote, “If this is true, the judgment is harsh and should be condemned by all.”

@Grachidex wrote, “So is it gonna be the male or female prison?”

@iamkelechiO wrote, “I honestly don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a bad influence in the society.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

@_konfam wrote, “This is not right at all, they’re sentencing him over what everyone is guilty of?”

@IamKonrade wrote, “I hope this sets precedence and that anyone who violates the naira, politicians inclusive, is sentenced.”

@JoyMart14 wrote, “May we not offend people wey no deh accept apology ”

@Iamlexprince wrote, “Ok, now this is pure wickedness and jealousy. Bobrisky is the least of our problem in this country. If they channel that same energy to the right people, we for no dey complain for this country.”

@divfee wrote, “This country funny, is she the first to spray money like this in naija??

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Junior Pope: Police Recover Three More Bodies From Boat Mishap

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Police authorities in Anambra State have recovered three more bodies from a boat accident involving a movie cast.

Nollywood star Junior Pope Odonwodo was part of the crew that drowned in the boat mishap two days back.

While some crew members were yet to be found following the boat tragedy, the spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command Tochukwu Ikenga said three more bodies of members of the movie cast have been recovered.

“Marine Police of Anambra State Command has recovered bodies of the three remaining victims of the unfortunate boat accident involving a movie cast,” he said in a Friday statement.

“Two of the bodies were recovered yesterday 11th April, 2024 while the last was washed in by the tide this morning.”

The bodies have been deposited at a morgue in Asaba, Delta State while authorities of the guild of actors have also been informed about the recovery.

The spokesman quoted the state’s police commissioner Aderemi Adeoye as advising water commuters to be safety conscious while in transit.

According to the commissioner, the police are fast-tracking the investigation into the accident.

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Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail

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The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has granted bail to a former Central Bank (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Rahman Oshodi granted him bail in the sum of N50m with two sureties in like sum.

The court also held that the sureties must be gainfully employed and have three years of tax payment with the Lagos State Government.

Justice Oshodi said that the sureties must show proper identification and they must be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.
Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail
The judge also said that he was satisfied with the bail conditions of N1 million, earlier given to Emefiele’s co-defendant Henry Isioma-Omoil who is standing trial on another charge before Justice Olufunke Sule-Hamzat of the Lagos High Court sitting in Yaba.

According to the court, the bail documents must be transferred to the special offences court and it must also be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.

Last week Monday, the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Emefiele before the court on a 26-count bordering on alleged abuse of office and irregular allocation of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion respectively

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