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Breaking News in Nigeria this Afternoon, Thursday 16th July 2020

1. Youth party set to organize Ondo Primary Election.

The Youth Party has announced dates for its primary elections towards the coming gubernatorial election in Ondo State.

The party in a statement signed by the director of communications, Mr Mayowa Idowu said that “the sale of forms to aspiring candidates closed on the 15th of July 2020. Hence, the screening of candidates will hold on the 16th (today) and 17th of July, while the primaries will hold on the 20th of July.”

He also said that “appeals from the primaries will be addressed on the 21st of July.

“The voting system we are launching is quite novel, as all registered members can vote online. The process is seamless, transparent, and highly protected from any form of manipulation,” Mr Idowu concluded.

2. Delta State got N30.5bn as IGR in six months - State Commissioner for Information.

Delta State Government, said it got N30.5 billion through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from January to June 2020.

According to the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who reeled out the figures for State’s IGR from January to June 2020 while addressing Journalists in Asaba, said the State government would not be distracted by hirelings who were bent on derailing it through deliberate misinformation over alleged embezzlement of funds.

According to him, N7.8 billion was realised in January; N5.3 billion for February; N6 billion for March; N3.9 billion for April; N3.5 billion for May; and N4 billion for June.

He noted that flexibility in the prices of crude oil impacted the IGR during the period under review.

Aniagwu said the state government in the wake of dwindling revenue occasioned by COVID-19 has had discussions with major stakeholders; the contractors, labour unions among others on how to mitigate the challenge.

He, however, expressed the view that with the rise in the price of crude oil, the situation was most likely to return to normal as issues of funding projects and payment of salaries may no longer be a challenge

Aniagwu who was reacting to reports in some sections of the media accusing one of the permanent secretaries in the state of allegedly embezzling funds restated the determination of the State Government to remain focused on delivering its policy of a ‘Stronger Delta’ in the next three years.

He said the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration would continue to uphold the principles of transparency and accountability in governance.

He said government business was done on the basis of memos, regretting however that the authors of the reports failed to give details of the memo which they based their reports on.

3. Northern Governors mourn first Nigerian female helicopter pilot.

The Northern Governors’ Forum has expressed shocked over the sudden death of Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile who died following an accident in Kaduna.

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau and Chairman of the forum said this in a condolence message by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham on Thursday in Jos.

He described the late pilot, as a promising officer, who demonstrated high sense of loyalty, patriotism and diligence in her service to Nigeria particularly in maintaining peace and security.

Lalong said the testimony of the officer’s bravery in the field of combat, especially towards stopping the activities of bandits and terrorists in Nigerians would remain indelible in the history of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and also in the hearts of Nigerians.

He condoled with Arotile’s family, NAF, the Government and people of Kogi and the entire Northern states over the sad incident, while praying that God would receive her soul and grant her eternal rest.

4. NASS NDDC Probe: Governor Wike moving in as Police bars Numieh from leaving residence.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is reportedly moving into Port Harcourt, Rivers State residence of former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Caretaker boss, Joi Numieh, where police are allegedly preventing her from leaving to Abuja for Thursday appearance before House of Reps Committee hearing on NDDC probe.

Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said he was unaware of any police siege on Numieh’s Old GRA home, but a former aid to Numieh, said the “invading “Mobile Police claimed they are from Mopol 19.”

The State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim, is yet unreachable to confirm Governor Wike’s reported interventionist move to Numieh’s home, but a source close to Numieh said, “take my word for it, the Governor is moving there to see what is amiss.”

5. Ondo Primary: APC names Yahaya Bello as panel chairman.

The All Progressives Congress has named the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello as chairman of its Ondo State Governorship Primary Election Committee.

This was contained in a statement titled: “Governor Yahaya Bello Heads Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee,” signed by the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja, on Thursday.

The statement read in part, “Ahead of the All Progressives Congress Ondo State Governorship Primary Election slated for July 20, 2020, the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-ordinary National Convention Planning Committee has constituted Primary Election and Appeal Committees.

“The Governor of Kogi State, H.E. Yahaya Bello will chair the Primary Election Committee while Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe will chair the Primary Election Appeal Committee.

“Ondo State Governorship Primary Election Committee*

1. H.E. Yahaya Bello – Chairman

2. Olorogun o’tega Emerhor OON – Secretary

3. Alwan Hassan – Member

4. Chief Samuel Sambo – Member

5. Hajiya Binta Salihu – Member

6. Mr. Emma Andy – Member

7. Dr. Adebayo Adelabu – Member

8. Abdullahi Aliyu – Member

9. Mrs. Margret Ngozi Igwe – Member.”

The statement also named members of the Ondo State Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee. They are:

1. Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe – Chairman

2. Arch. Abdulmimuni Okara – Secretary

3. Mr. Festus Fientes – Member

4. Mr. Okon Owoefiak – Member

5. Mr. ABBA Isah – Member

6. Alh. Umar Duhu – Member

7. Hon. Sani El-katuzu – Member

8. Mrs. Osuere Eunice – Member

9. Emeka Agaba – Member

He said both Committees will be inaugurated by the Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extra-ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni at the APC National Secretariat by 3pm on Friday 17th July, 2020.

6. Group urges review of EFCC Act, Agency reform.

Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), a non-governmental organisation, on Thursday called for review of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Act to enable it to serve Nigerians better.

COSEYL also asked for reforms in EFCC to ensure its competence and effectiveness in checking corruption.

The group made the call in a news release signed by the coalitions President-General, Chief Goodluck Ibem, and Secretary-General, Mr Kanice Igwe, and made available to Newsmen in Aba on Thursday.

COSEYL said that although Nigerians had in the past complained of governments subjecting the body to hunting down political enemies, recent developments had shown the need to reform the body.

It said EFCC, created during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration to fight financial crimes, enjoyed the goodwill of local and international community and partners but had failed to meet expectations of the citizenry.

“COSEYL expresses deep regret that since its creation, the commission has been largely used by governments in power to hunt down opposition and to stifle voices of dissent.

“However, the body left, in most cases certain persons, mostly party members in power, as the proverbial “sacred cows”.

“Although few cases exist where the commission has gone after persons in government, not much has been seen in terms of prosecution of such politicians in ruling parties.

“It beats the Coalition’s imagination that in spite of billions of dollars reportedly recovered by the commission from corrupt public office holders, Nigerians are yet to feel the impact of such monies meaningfully,” it said.

The body said that the structure of the commission could hardly enable it to function independently as long as its chairman remained an appointee of the executive.

It said that although the body was aware of EFCC’s successes, the anti-financial crimes agency had yet to prove its effectiveness in fighting the economic crimes in Nigeria which appeared to be escalating daily.

The Coalition criticised the appointment of the commission’s head by the country’s presidents and called for a review of the EFCC Act to enable it to operate independently of the executive or other arms of government.

The coalition noted that as constituted, EFCC could not work for the benefit of Nigerian masses or be insulated from political influence except the laws establishing it were reviewed.

These are some of the Breaking News in Nigeria this Afternoon, Thursday 16th July 2020.

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