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Former minister’s family sues Bauchi govt over removal as Waziri

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Family of former Minister of State for foreign affairs, Muhammad Bello Kirfi has dragged Bauchi State Government to Court challenging the legality of the removal of their patriarch as Wazirin Bauchi.

Spokesperson of the family, Barrister Yakubu Bello Kirfi, disclosed this in a press release made available to journalists in Bauchi on Wednesday.

“Unambiguously, the matter is currently before the competent court of jurisdiction, which will determine the legality of the purported action by the State Government,” Kirfi said in the release.

It denied media reports that the former minister boasted that he would do anything within his power to prevent the re-election bid of Bala Mohammed over his removal as Waziri.

“Our attention has been drawn to the Publications on the 8th and 9th Of January, 2023 respectively, by some Media Organizations quoting Alh. Dr. Muhammad Bello Kirfi CON to have said that, He will unseats Gov. Bala Abdulkadir Muhammed (Kauran Bauchi) in the forthcoming Governatorial Election in Bauchi State. The story is unfounded and not genuine,” the release said.

“Religiously, as Strong believers in the Islamic Article Of Faith, We believe Power belongs to Allah Alone, He Gives it to whom He Wishes, And Takes It When He Wishes.

“Furthermore, the Issue of Removal As Wazirin Bauchi And Council Member on the 3rd January, 2023 orchestrated by the State Government via Emirate Council, have Undoubtedly generated controversies in and around the state.

“Thus, People from all walk of life trooped to the house of Alh. Muhammad Bello Kirfi on sympathy and solidarity visit, it’s much appreciated.

“So far, there is no Official Press Statement/Release from Alhaji. Muhammad Bello Kirfi”

It will be recalled that Bauchi Emirate Council announced Kirfi’s removal as the Wazirin Bauchi, in a letter dated January 3, 2023 from the Bauchi Emirate Council.

“I am directed to refer to a letter received from the Ministry of Local Government Affairs of reference No: MLG/LG/S/72/T dated 30th December, 2022,” the letter,
signed by Alhaji Shehu Mudi Muhammad, the Council Secretary.

“The content of the said letter indicated your disloyalty and disrespect to the Executive Governor of the State and the Government.

“It therefore directed for your removal with immediate effort.

“In view or the above you are hereby removed from office as the Wazirin Bauchi and also a Council Member of Bauchi Emirate”

It is the second time that Kirfi, is being penalised as senior Councilor of the Emirate.

The first was during the tenure of the former Governor Mohammad Abubakar when he was suspended but was subsequently restored by the incumbent Governor Bala Mohammed, the Kauran Bauchi.

Kirfi, a major player in the political circle of Bauchi State, clocked 90 years a fortnight ago.

 

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Contempt: Again, court commits EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to prison

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has been committed to prison for allegedly disobeying court order.

The court also directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to effect Bawa’s arrest and remand him in Kuje prison for the next 14 days until he purges himself of the contempt.

Justice R.O. Ayoola of the Kogi State High Court, in his judgement on Monday, granted the application for committal to prison of the EFCC chairman for disobeying a court ruling delivered on November 30, 2022, wherein the EFCC chairman was directed to produce the applicant in the case, Ali Bello.

Ali Bello had dragged Bawa to court for arresting and detaining him illegally, with the court ruling in his favour, only for the EFCC to arraign him for alleged money laundering three days after the ruling.

The EFCC’s applications for setting aside and stay of execution of the ruling were refused for want of merit.

The Court had, in Form 49, Order IX, Rule 13, marked, “HCL/697M/2022” and titled, “Notice to Show Cause Why Order of Committal Should not be Made,” asked the EFCC Chairman to appear before it on January 18, 2022 to explain why he should not be jailed for flouting the order given on December 12, 2022 in a case filed by Ali Bello against the EFCC and Bawa, as the 1st and 2nd respondents, respectively.

The court ordered that the EFCC and Bawa be served the motion of notice together with Form 49 by substituted means.

The court had declared the arrest and detention of the applicant in the face of a subsisting court order made by a court of competent jurisdiction and without a warrant of arrest “or being informed of the offence for which he was arrested” as unlawful, unconstitutional, and in contravention of the personal liberty and dignity of human person guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The court had also ordered the respondents to tender an apology to the applicant in a national newspaper and awarded N10 million compensation for him.

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Fidelity grows profit to N52 billion for FY 2022 

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Fidelity Bank Plc has announced an impressive growth in Profit Before Tax to N52 bn for the Full Year 2022. This was made known in the Bank’s unaudited statement of account presented to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) on Wednesday, 31 January 2023.

 

According to the regulatory filing, the bank grew Gross Earnings by 33.9% to N335.897 billion (from N250.774 billion in FY 2021) and Net Interest Income by 61.1% to N152.813 billion (from N94.877 billion in FY 2021) leading to a Profit After Tax of N47.163billion for FY 2022 (from N35.579billion in FY 2021).

 

Similarly, Total Assets for the Bank now stand at N3.999trillion (from N3.289trillion in FY 2021) and Deposit from Customers is now at N2.591trillion (from N2.024trillion in FY 2021).

 

Analysts posit that this is yet another strong showing for the tier-one bank having sustained impressive performance year-on-year even in the face of the headwinds in the economy. Despite growing its Gross Earnings at an impressive rate, the bank has managed to record one of the lowest Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratios in the Nigerian banking industry, for instance.

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Petition signatures to Emefiele over new naira hit 1653..

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Petition signatures to Emefiele over new naira hit 1653

 

Following the crisis over the non-availability of the redesigned N100, N200, N500 and N1000, over 1653 Nigerians have petitioned the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to end what they termed ‘hardship’ on the citizens.

 

The petition, hoisted on the global change website, change.org, which was started on Friday, garnered over 1653 signatures on Saturday.

 

As of the time of filing this report, many bank customers have yet to access the new notes as many automated teller machines are either not dispensing cash or completely shut down because of the crowd.

 

Protests have erupted over the situation in some parts of the country and some banks vandalised by hoodlums, demanding access to their money lodged in several accounts.

 

 

 

There have also been controversial videos showing bank officials sabotaging the process by hiding the new notes behind old ones in vaults.

 

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has requested seven days from Nigerians to fix the mess.

 

Part of the petition stated, “The recent shortage of physical cash in Nigeria has caused major untold hardship to Nigerians. People are spending hours in long lines at banks just to withdraw cash, and many are forced to rely more on digital transactions which tend to be unreliable due to poor bank networks.

 

POS operators also charge outrageous amounts; as much as N1000 for a N10,000 withdrawal. The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that the shortage is temporary, but it is causing serious disruption to the daily lives of many Nigerians.

 

“We call on the government, stakeholders, law enforcement agencies and the CBN to take urgent action to address the cash shortage crisis in Nigeria. We demand that the CBN increase the distribution of physical cash to meet the demand, and also any POS operator found charging outrageous amounts for withdrawal should be arrested.’’

 

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has expressed displeasure over the issue, noting that the process was not only ill-timed but also not well thought out.

 

Speaking to Sunday PUNCH during a telephone interview on Friday, National Vice President (External Affairs), Akinteye Afeez-Babatunde, said, “The whole situation is crazy. We are tired. Students are crying and complaining. They can’t get cash. The leaders have confirmed to us that they don’t care for the people. The policy is fine but the process to get it done is to the detriment of our own lives as Nigerians. Our day-to-day activities have been disrupted. Nigerians are suffering.’

 

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