NPS Pledges Better Welfare Packages for Prison Officials
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Controller General of Nigerian Prison Service (NPS), Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed, has promised to improve welfare package and medical facilities in the service.
Mr Ahmed made the disclosure at Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri while commiserating with the victim of the recent attack on prisoners by yet to be identified gunmen within the premises of Owerri High Court.
Mr Ja’afaru who had had also visited other inmates being treated in Owerri Prisons Clinic for various degrees of bullet wounds, commended the timely response of other security agencies during the attack.
He assured members of the public that the fleeing fugitives would be rearrested in no distant time. Mr Ahmed thanked the Imo State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, for offering financial rewards for information that would aid the arrest of fugitives, appealing to the public to provide useful information that would lead to the arrest of the notorious criminal, Mr Chibueze Henry Oyenkachi, aka Vampire.
The prisons boss also had audience with the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Mr Eze Madumere, at the Government House and the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Pascal Obinna Nnaji, whose premises the unfortunate incident occurred.
The Chief Judge promised to continue to support the course of speedy trial of inmates with a view to decongesting the prison and mitigate security concerns usually associated with managing suspects in custody.
It would be recalled that on the 27th of January, 2017 at about 1000hrs, 58 pre-trial detainees who were taken to Owerri High Court in 2 Black Maria Court Duty Vehicles were attacked as the inmates disembarked from the vehicles within the premises of the court.
The gunmen who were said to have strategically positioned themselves in the premises opened fire and shot sporadically hitting 5 inmates in the process. The escort wardens in collaboration with other sister security agencies were able secure 49 of of the inmates and returned them to safe custody.
Unfortunately, a notorious criminal, Chibueze Henry Oyenkachi, aka Vampire on whose behalf the hoodlums are suspected to have carried out the dastardly act, and 7 other prisoners escaped.
Owerri prison was built in 1905 with an intake capacity of 540 inmates but as at the time of the incident the prison had a population of 2,260 prisoners. Out of this number 2,044 are awaiting trial.
Tinubu Travelled Abroad to Rest, Will Return Soon–Aide
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The office of the president-elect has confirmed that Mr Bola Tinubu has jetted out of Nigeria for a rest in the United Kingdom and France ahead of his swearing-in ceremony slated for May 29, 2023.
An online platform on Wednesday reported that the winner of the February 25 presidential election travelled to Europe for urgent medical attention.
But in a statement issued by one of his aides, Mr Tunde Rahman, it was emphasized that the former Governor of Lagos State only left the country to have a rest in London and Paris before going to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.
It was disclosed that Mr Tinubu travelled out of Nigeria on Tuesday night via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja Lagos.
“After a very exhaustive campaign and election season, President-elect, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, has travelled abroad to rest and plan his transition programme ahead of May 29, 2023 inauguration.
“The President-elect left the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, for Europe on Tuesday night.
“The President-elect decided to take a break after the hectic campaign and election season to rest in Paris and London, preparatory to going to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (Lesser Hajj) and the Ramadan Fasting that begins Thursday.
“While away, the President-elect will also use the opportunity to plan his transition programme.
“He is expected back in the country soon.
“We enjoin the media to stop publishing rumours and unsubstantiated claims and to always seek clarifications from our office,” the statement said.
INEC Declares Labour Party’s Alex Otti Abia Governor-Elect
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The candidate of the Labour Party in the governorship election in Abia State, Mr Alex Otti, has been declared as the winner of the exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The former banker polled a total of 175,467 votes to defeat his closest rival in the poll, Mr Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 88,529 votes.
The Abia State governorship election was earlier declared inconclusive by the electoral umpire due to issues arising from over-voting. The collation centre had to be moved to Abuja from Umuahia, the state capital.
The governor-elect, in a short post via his verified Twitter handle, reacted to the development by saying, “See what the Lord has done.”
Mr Otti left the banking industry a few years ago after serving as the managing director of the defunct Diamond Bank, which merged with Access Bank. He left his office in the bank to pursue his political ambition in 2015, but he failed until he succeeded in 2023.
Cash Scarcity: NLC Orders Workers to Embark on Strike
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed public sector workers in the country to embark on strike beginning from Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
President of the union, Mr Joe Ajaero, gave this directive at a media briefing at Labour House in Abuja on Wednesday, March 22.
He also directed affiliate unions of the NLC to be on standby for a picketing exercise across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nationwide.
The union leader said the directive became imperative following the expiration of a one-week ultimatum given to the apex bank to make cash available for Nigerians.
The scarcity has heightened with plans by the central bank to mop up the old Naira in circulation. The apex bank recently said it had removed N2.3 trillion from circulation between October 2022 and February 2023 while printing fewer new notes.
Business Post reported that between October last year and February 2023, the cash in circulation dropped to N982.09 billion from N3.29 trillion.
This is one of the factors that has extended the scarcity of the Naira and have also prolonged it into March.
Despite the Supreme Court judgement on March 3, 2023, that the old Naira remain legal until December 31, 2023, new notes have not reached many households with the old notes and new notes difficult to acquire.
With the cash in circulation dropping and the currency in commercial banks’ vaults or that of the CBN rising, Nigerians still find it difficult to access the money deposited in their accounts despite the ruling that the new and old notes should co-exist for 10 months.
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