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NO GOING BACK ON CASH WITHDRAWAL LIMIT – NFIU

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The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit has said it is acting within the confines of the law concerning the guidelines on cash withdrawals from all government accounts.

The Director, NFIU, Modibbo Tukur, made this known on Saturday in response to a statement made by the Nigerian Governors Forum regarding the ban.

The governors’ forum after a meeting on Friday agreed to set up a six-man panel headed by Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, to interface with the NFIU and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Responding to the NGF, Tukur said, “First of all we are ready to partner with the six-man committee that they have set up. We will enlighten them.

“Secondly, we acted within our functions and the law. We issued the guidelines to control the barrage of investigations that we saw coming. Our guidelines were meant to help the governors, not to fight them or any public servant.”

Tukur, who spoke in a statement signed by the agency’s Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, said, “We have reached a stage that if we allow the present scenario to continue, all public institutions will drift into structured cash withdrawals of certain amounts of money which by law, standards and best practices must be investigated continuously which is neither desirable nor reasonable.

“We feel communities must move on by accommodating changes and adjusting to new developments.”

He noted that the NFIU is a law-abiding agency that works in tandem with relevant laws, adding that the LGAs lost out in court after they sued the NFIU concerning the initial LGA withdrawal guidelines.

He added, “But more importantly we need to understand that in recent past, the United States FIU and United Kingdom FIU penalised Nigerian banks with fines of millions of US dollars due to non-compliance.

“Internally, non compliance with sections cited in the recent guidelines comes with heavy penalties on financial institutions. We did, on gentlemanly pretext, avoid until this moment putting a fine to financial institutions, expecting gradual learning and adjustments. But to eternally guarantee this kind gesture is to automatically keep abusing our laws.

“We want every stake holder to appreciate that we cooperated for too far and long. We held deep breath while defending these deficiencies Internationally, just to continue to remain in the International pay points and competing with others.

“Finally, we also clearly stated in the preceding advisory, that the entire financial system suffered excess liquidity and liquidity ratio infringements which put hedging pressure of demand for foreign currency and gradually destroying the value of the naira and above all creating wide room for money laundering and terrorism, affecting significantly the rural populace on top of general inflation in the open market place. We are in support of working together to stop these challenges and in most progressive manner.”

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Nation

BE DECISIVE ON FUEL CRISIS, JERRY GANA TO BUHARI

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•Don’t ruin economy, extend deadline for new naira not

Former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, has asked the Federal Government to put an end to the ongoing fuel shortages and price hike in the country.

Gana said the avoidable long queues in the filling stations are unacceptable and no longer tolerable.

He said this in Akure, the Ondo state capital, during the anniversary of the Archbishop Vining College of Theology.

According to him “the unnecessary fuel scarcity has crippled the economy of the country while motorists and commuters are subjected to untold suffering across the country as a result of poor supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

“We expect them to perform their duty because the fuel shortage is a serious problem and we know the government of the day should certainly do something decisively about the fuel crisis. 

“And so, we request them and urge them on behalf of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do something urgently. It is not an appeal but the people of the nation is calling on government to do something urgently” he said. 

Also, the former Minister, frowned at the current unnecessary hardship being faced by the citizenry in accessing the new redesigned Naira notes in the country. 

According to him, a lot of people across the country could not access the new redesigned Naira notes despite the closeness to the deadline as stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He, however, called for immediate extension of the due date in order to allow the people to access the new redesigned Naira notes and nib the crisis in the bud.

 “The issue of new Naira notes, people are going through very serious difficulties, this is not a joke, we are speaking from what we see on the field and therefore they should not ruin this economy 

“Ordinary people cannot get access to the new notes and therefore we are very much in support for the extension of the date. 

“This is very important, it is not for elite but for people living in thousands of area within the country and don’t have access and they are the economy and they should therefore listen to those people. 

“People are against the policy, particularly, the limits in terms of withdrawal. There must be some logistics, moving around, it’s not a matter of buying votes or not.”

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KIDNAPPER SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING FOR MURDER

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A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced a man to death by hanging for killing four persons and using their intestines to prepare pepper soup meal in Okwalie community in the Khana Local Government Area of the state.

The convict, Bestman Lekia, also known as Biggie was found guilty of murder, armed robbery, burglary, kidnapping and cultism.

Lekia and others now at large were reportedly killed Gbodu Nobaale, Etim Ekpe, Nenalebarri Mmeabe and Loveday Mmeabe, after they were kidnapped and taken to an undisclosed location.

One of the victims, Mmeable’s stomach was said to have been ripped open and his intestines used to prepare pepper soup and plantain meal by the abductors in 2019.

The trial Judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, in his judgment found Lekia guilty of murder, kidnapping, cultism and armed robbery.

Justice Enebeli stated that the prosecution counsel was able to prove his case with the necessary evidence and presentations.

He said the attitude of the convict throughout his trial proved that he was a hardened criminal, cultist and terror who if possible was supposed to be hanged four times and die four times.

Justice Enebeli ruled that he should be hanged by the neck until he was confirmed dead.

Speaking to journalists outside the courtroom, the state prosecution counsel, Chidi Ekeh, expressed happiness with the judgment, saying it had taken a threat out of society.

Ekeh stated, “As a human being, I do not take delight in the fact that he (Lekia) is going to die. But I feel happy that the law and the state did not fail society. That Ogoni community will know peace that they will never see him again. So to me, it was a hard-nose judgment. The judge has demonstrated once again that he is worth his salt.”

The defence counsel, N. O. Megwari, declined to comment on the judgment.

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BUHARI INAUGURATES 12 PROJECTS IN KATSINA

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The projects inaugurated by the President include 10 selected projects executed by the Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, the Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology, Katsina, constructed and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities by the federal government and a 400 tons per day capacity producing Darma Rice Mill constructed by Alhaji Dahiru Bara’u Mangal, a Katsina-based business mogul across the three senatorial zones of the state

Buhari, who began his official duty in the state last Thursday, inaugurated the Kofar Kaura Underpass, Katsina Water Supply Booster Station, Revenue House, Kofar Kwaya Underpass and remodelled Katsina General Hospital.

He inspected the ongoing work on the state’s first flyover at the Government Reserved Area, which is 90 per cent completed.

On the second day (Friday), Buhari traversed some local governments and communities of the state where he inaugurated General Hospital, Musawa, Government Day Secondary School, Musawa, Gora-Makauraci-Malamawa Road, rehabilitated and asphalted Sandamu-Baure-Babban-Mutum Road as well as the Gurjiya-Sandamu-Karkarku Road executed by the state government.

However, in all places where Buhari inaugurated the projects, he did not make a speech as he only read the plaques that carried the inscription of the date on which the projects were inaugurated.

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