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The Christian Association of Nigeria, on Sunday, distanced itself from the alleged N2bn claimed to have been given by the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, to churches under its umbrella.

The Christian body also said it would probe the source of the petition, in which the allegation was made, describing its content as untrue and malicious.

The petition, allegedly written by one Pastor Frank Onwumere and dated December 15, 2022,  was addressed to the CAN President.

The petitioner claimed that the N2bn was shared among some mega-churches while other denominations were sidelined.

I Watched Video Of Person Shot During Protest, Not Knowing It Was My Husband – Wife Of Victim

But Onwumere, whose name appeared on the petition as the author, denied knowledge of the petition when contacted on Sunday by The PUNCH.

Regardless, the President of CAN, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, strongly refuted the letter, saying the organisation did not receive any money from the LP standard bearer.

Okoh made the clarification in a statement titled, ‘Re: Petition on the misappropriation of N2bn given by the presidential candidate of Labour party, Mr Peter Obi, to churches under the umbrella of CAN.’

He said, “The attention of the national leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has been drawn to a purported letter currently in circulation on the social media, alleging that a certain sum of N2bn was given by the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, to churches under the umbrella of CAN.

“I use this medium to categorically state that the so-called letter of petition reportedly signed by one Pastor Frank Onwumere and addressed to my office is illogical and can best be described as a failed attempt to drag the apex Christian body into the politics of 2023. However, we will investigate the source of the letter in the interest of the public.

 “To set the records straight, I am not aware of any N2bn given to churches in Nigeria to mobilise votes for any 2023 presidential candidate and never received the said petition, dated December 22, 2022.’’

The Christian leader noted that CAN, as a faith-based entity, maintains its non-partisan stance and will not endorse or mobilise support for any candidate in the upcoming elections.

“CAN, therefore, urges members of the public to disregard the purported letter of petition as its content is not only untrue but also malicious,’’ he added.

When contacted by one of our correspondents, the alleged petitioner, Onwumere, denied knowledge of the petition, stressing that he had never had any meeting with Obi before.

He said, “I don’t know anything about it (petition). I have traversed the whole of Imo State without finding the person behind it. I don’t even own a church. I have never met Peter Obi before.

“Apart from seeing Obi on television screen, I have never had any private meeting with Peter Obi before. I will address a press conference on Monday (today) to address this issue. My enemies are behind this forgery of my name and phone number.”

Also, the media team of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign described the purported claims of N2bn largesse as a  “propaganda material” designed to injure the rising political profile of Obi.

In a statement on Sunday, the Head, Media, Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign, Diran Boniface, said the allegation was the ‘killer punch’ the LP had earlier warned Nigerians that the opposition was planning in their attempt to discredit Obi.

He said, “Recall that on February 6, 2023, the Obi-Datti Media Office, acting on credible intelligence, alerted the nation to a grand design to fatally injure the rising political profile of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, with what they called a ‘killer punch’ propaganda material.

“We hinted that the so-called ‘killer punch’ will come in various forms, including but not limited to a documentary portraying Obi in various negative lights.

Election day

“But as election day draws nearer and the victory of their ‘unwanted’ Obi looks real, the anger and frustration of some dubious characters have increased. We are even beginning to notice some state of despair which is resulting in senseless violence and blackmail all aimed at distracting and removing the candidate’s eyes already glued to the ball.”

Similarly, the National Secretary of Labour Party, Umar Farouk, debunked the claim that Obi doled out N2bn to the CAN or any other religious body.

While saying the allegation was unfortunate, Farouk fingered the opposition as being behind the fake news.

He said, “Of course, it is a lie and CAN itself has disputed it. It has written to debunk it.  Even you people in the media know this is not true.

“The Labour Party has denied this completely. There is no iota of truth in that report. Instead of Peter Obi giving out money, it is even the people contributing to support his campaign. It is the figment of imagination of the writer.

“We are suspecting the opposition as the brain behind this fake news, which is very unfortunate. They have been trying to bring us down after they have done their ‘Muslim-Muslim ticket’, they are now turning attention to the churches.

“Who asked them to do Muslim-Muslim ticket? Look, I am a Muslim, I go to a mosque and talk to my people to vote for Peter Obi. All they can do in their own case is to seek ways to blackmail the church. They are doing themselves more harm than good.

“Our supporters have already made up their minds that they want to vote for Obi. We are just about 13 days away from the election. So we are good to go. They already have the record of sponsoring fake pastors to events.”

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Chrisland school

The Lagos State Government said it would sue Chrisland High School, Ikeja, some members of staff, and one of the vendors for “Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless and Negligent Acts,” following the death of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Adeniran, during a sporting event organised by the school.

This is according to a Friday statement released by the Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice and published to the ministry’s website.

“On the 9th of February 2023, Whitney Omodesola Adeniran, a student of Chrisland High School, Ikeja, aged 12 years, slumped during the Inter-house Sports organised by the school at the Agege Sports Stadium and was subsequently rushed to the Agege Central Hospital, Agege, Lagos, where she was confirmed ‘brought in dead’ (BID) by the doctor on duty,” the statement partly read.

The statement added that the case was referred to the police “which carried out a thorough investigation with the help of other agencies,” adding that, “The file (of the case) was subsequently forwarded to the DPP (Directorate of Public Prosecutions)’ Office on Monday 20th March, 2023, for review of the duplicate case file.

“On the 23rd of March, 2023, the DPP issued his Legal Advice and came to the conclusion that a prima facie case of Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless and Negligent Acts had been established against the school, some members of staff and one of the vendors.”

Consequently, the statement noted that they shall “be charged with the offences of Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless and Negligent Acts contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, Ch C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

“Information will be filed in accordance with the legal advice issued by the DPP. Certified True Copies of the Legal advice are available on the Ministry of Justice website (”

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*Says 13 committees already set up to midwife transition 

*’President’s Daura community yearning to welcome him back’

The Presidency yesterday declared as “unfounded” insinuations in some quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari who campaigned vigorously for the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the presidential-elect, has vowed not to hand over to him.
Rather, it said the Buhari-led government, which is currently at transition stage, had constituted different committees to midwife a new administration come May 29, 2023.

The Presidency in a statement entitled, “The President Never Said He Won’t Hand Over To Elected Tinubu”, issued by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, also added that the hometown of President Buhari in Daura, Katsina State is agog with arrangements for the return of their son after his eight-year tenure as Nigerian President.

Shehu, in the statement said: “The Presidency wishes to denounce as outrageous and fake, and condemns the fake news brigade for attributing a false quote to President Muhammadu Buhari and circulating it.

“How can you vigorously campaign for somebody, vote for him and then say you won’t hand over to him? This beggars belief.”
He described the alleged report published by an online newspaper as “pretty pathetic”, adding: “Since their ownership is politically partisan in today’s politics, in fact a loser in the presidential election. Instead of talking about issues, they repeatedly sell lies in the hope that people believe them as truth.

“The government is already in the transition phase. The Transition Committee, made up of representatives of the outgoing administration and the incoming one is meeting on an almost daily basis planning the handover to the Tinubu/Shettima administration.
“Thirteen committees as offshoots of the main committee, some to arrange military drills and pulling out of President Buhari, are either all at work or soon to be. So far, everything is going very well and there is no indication of any hitches.

“As for the President, the Daura community has begun their preparations to receive their son back after the successful administration of the country for two terms of eight years. He, on his part, is eager to return home to enjoy his retirement.”

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Godwin Obaseki, the governor of Edo State, has raised the retirement age for teachers in Edo State to 65 or 40 years of service. This is part of his plan to improve the welfare of workers.

Godwin Obaseki, the governor of Edo State, has raised the retirement age for teachers in Edo State to 65 or 40 years of service. This is part of his plan to improve the welfare of workers.

Anthony Okungbowa, the state’s Head of Service, said this in a statement. He said that the governor’s approval shows that he is still committed to building a solid foundation for repositioning the education sector in the state.

He said: “Mr Governor has approved a new retirement age for teachers in Edo State. They will now retire when they clock 65 or 40 years of service, whichever is earlier.

“This is in demonstration of his commitment to ensuring that Edo teachers are the best motivated in Nigeria. It is important to remind Edo people that Edo teachers are the best-paid teachers and Edo workers are the best-paid workers in any public service in Nigeria.”

He said that the transition would ensure that teachers with decades of experience would keep their jobs and continue to help Edo students get a good education.

“This is another big win for Edo workers. The governor has continued to show that he will always place the interest of Edo workers above all else. Today, this is another testimony to that fact.”

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