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UPDATED: FG Declares May 29 Work-Free Day 

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The Federal Government has declared Monday, May 29, 2023, as a work-free day for all workers in the country. 

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in a statement on Friday by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Shuaib Belgore, said this is to commemorate the inauguration of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu. 

He enjoined Nigerians to continue to support and promote democracy through adherence to the rule of law. 

The statement partly read, “The Minister felicitates with all Nigerians on the momentous occasion, commending them for their faith in democracy as expressed in the nationwide election that produced the President and his Deputy being inaugurated and indeed in all elections across the nation.

“He said democracy anywhere is an unfinished business and the only way it can keep developing and serve its end of being the vehicle to good governance and the welfare of all the people is by adhering to its tenets of the rule of law, supporting democratic institutions, promotion of free and responsible press and advancement of the frontiers of freedom for all the people. 

“Aregbesola urged Nigerians also to continue to promote ideals of peaceful coexistence and love for our neighbours, noting that we can only practice democracy and enjoy its dividends in a peaceful environment.”

The Minister, however, commended all Nigerians for their efforts at achieving an unbroken civilian rule and successful change of governments since 1999. 

He urged them to support and cooperate with the coming administration, arguing that the unbounded energy of the people is the nation’s greatest strength and will take the nation to its greatest height when it is positively deployed in its service.

The Minister, however, charged Nigerians to shun any form of violence and other untoward acts, assuring them that with all hands on deck, the future is very bright when the nation will attain greatness in all facets of human development.

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NIS Will Focus More On Passport Insurance, Staff Welfare – New Ag. CG

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The newly appointed Acting Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Caroline Adepoju, has promised to promote staff welfare and passport insurance.

Adepoju, therefore, directed all passport offices nationwide to take necessary steps to ensure no Nigerian is subjected to unnecessary delays or substandard treatment in the course of applying for passports.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Tony Akuneme, in Abuja, yesterday.

The Acting CG read the riot act, when she addressed top management of the NIS minutes after taking over from Alhaji Isah Jere, her immediate predecessor.

Adepoju affirmed that she would focus majorly on passport issues and staff welfare as those two aspects contribute mostly to the complaints of Nigerians and NIS personnel.

She announced that a stakeholders meeting would be convened in the next few days to x-ray the real issues in passport process and proffer far-reaching solutions.

This, she said, would include opening more front offices in the Lagos area, where the bulk of complaints emanate from.

Adepoju equally said she would adopt a bottom-top approach in tackling officers’ welfare.

“We will start by meeting all cadres of staff to hear their genuine needs, in a bid to hit the ground running with a blue print that will be based on an all inclusive needs assessment,” she said.

She appreciated the immediate past Comptroller General for making positive impact on the service during his tenure and asked God to guide him in his future endeavours.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adepoju had served in various locations during her career in the NIS.

Until her appointment, she was the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Finance.

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Tinubu Reinstates Sanity As DSS, EFCC Squabble Over Property In Lagos

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A protracted conflict between Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a building at No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, appeared to have taken a dirty twist, yesterday.

The incident, however, earned a place in the archive of the new administration as one of the first interventions by President Bola Tinubu, who was sworn in barely 24 hours earlier.

Operatives of the DSS had barricaded entrance to the EFCC’s office, located at the said building, leading the anti-graft agency to issue a protest statement.

Meanwhile, the DSS issued a counter statement, denying it barricaded the premises, and claiming it was “only occupying its own” facility.

According to a statement released by presidential spokesman, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu “directed DSS to immediately vacate the office of the EFCC in Ikoyi, Lagos,” adding, “if there were issues between the two important agencies of government, they would be resolved amicably.”

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, described the incident as bizarre, given that both agencies had shared the controversial facility for decades.

The statement reads: “Operatives of the Lagos Command of the EFCC arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, this morning, May 30, 2023, to be denied entry by agents of the DSS, who had barricaded the entrance with armoured personnel carriers.

“This development is strange to the Commission, given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident.

“By denying operatives access to their offices, the Commission’s operations at its largest hub, with over 500 personnel, hundreds of exhibits, and many suspects in detention have been disrupted.

Cases scheduled for court hearing today have been aborted, while many suspects who had been invited for questioning are left unattended.

“Even more alarming is that suspects in detention are left without care, with grave implications for their rights as inmates. All of these have wider implications for the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes.

“The siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation, especially when there are ongoing discussions on the matter.”

DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, however, said: “It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true. The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.

“By the way, there is no controversy over No 15 Awolowo Road, as being insinuated by the media. Did the EFCC tell you it is contesting ownership of the building? I will be surprised if it is contesting the ownership.

“Awolowo Road was NSO headquarters. SSS/DSS started from there. It is a common knowledge. It is a historical fact. Check it out.

“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over and about anything. Please, do not create any imaginary one. They are great partners working for the good of the nation. Dismiss any falsehood of a fight.”

Guardian

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Three Killed While Travelling To Attend Inauguration Of New Ebonyi Governor, Nwifuru

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The victims who hailed, from Izzi Local Government Area, the home town of the new governor, Francis Nwifuru, were said to have died in a ghastly motor accident on their way to Abakaliki.

Three persons travelling to attend Monday’s swearing-in ceremony in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Southeast Nigeria, have reportedly been killed.

The victims who hailed, from Izzi Local Government Area, the home town of the new governor, Francis Nwifuru, were said to have died in a ghastly motor accident on their way to Abakaliki.

Although the details of the accident were still sketchy, reports claimed many others also sustained varying degrees of injury.

According to one report, the vehicle carrying the victims had gone to Izzi to pick up villagers. Unfortunately, while they were travelling from the local government area to Abakaliki, one of the car tyres was deflated. 

Those injured in the accident have reportedly been moved to the Ebonyi Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki.

The swearing-in ceremony in the state, like it is happening across the country today (Monday), is holding at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki.

Meanwhile, efforts made by SaharaReporters to speak with the State Police Public Relations Officer SP, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, were unsuccessful as she didn’t answer her calls.

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