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Amid bribery allegations, PDP NWC members return over N90m

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Some members of the national working committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have returned money reportedly credited to their bank accounts by the party leadership.

In recent weeks, there has been crisis in the PDP over the insistence of allies of Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, on the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman.

Amid the crisis in the party, there have been allegations of financial misappropriation against the Ayu-led NWC of the party, with claims that funds from sale of nomination forms have not been properly accounted for.

An insider had told newsmen that some of the NWC members also want an audit of about N1 billion that the party got from friends of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the party.

Last Friday, Wike, in a media chat, accused Ayu of receiving N1 billion from one of the presidential hopefuls in the party, while alleging that the national chairman is “very corrupt”.

Meanwhile, in separate letters seen by newsmen on Thursday, some members of the Ayu-led NWC said they have returned money received from the party’s bank accounts.

Stella Effah-Attoe, national women leader; Dan Orbih, national vice-chairman (south-south); and Taofeek Arapaja, deputy national chairman (south), are among the NWC members who said they have returned money to the party’s account.

The duo of Effah-Attoe and Orbih said they returned the sum of N28.8 million each, while Arapaja said he returned N36 million to the party’s account.

In the letters addressed to the party, Effah-Attoe and Arapaja said the money was allegedly credited to their accounts by the party leadership for “housing allowance”.

In his letter addressed to Ayu, Arapaja cited a report which alleged that members of the PDP NWC were offered “humongous” amount of money to “silence” financial misappropriation in the party.

“This led me to browse through my various alerts, and I discovered a transfer of thirty-six million naira (N36,000,000.00) from the party. I have my reservation about this money transferred into my account and for personal reasons wish to return it accordingly,” Arapaja’s letter reads.

On her part, Effah-Attoe said she didn’t feel comfortable being in possession of the N28.8 million.

“Since after the lodgement of the money into my Bank Account, I have been inundated with many phone calls from party members, friends, family members and the general public, insinuating that the said money has been given as a bribe to bring me and other NWC members on the side of the National Chairman, following the crisis between him on one side and the Governor of Rivers State, H.E. Governor Nyesom Wike/Wike’s Group, on the other side,” her letter reads.

“In addition, some national newspapers/social media platforms have also carried stories accusing the NWC members of being placated with bribe of N28,800,000.00.

“This development has made me very uncomfortable, having found myself in such an embarrassing situation, I am hereby refunding to the Bank Account of our Great Party at the PDP National Secretariat.”

Orbih, who described discovering the money in his account as a “surprise”, said the return followed allegations that NWC members “were offered N28 million to gloss over scandalous financial misappropriation”.

“To my shock and surprise, it has been confirmed to me by my bank that the sum of N28,800,000 (twenty eight million eight hundred thousand Naira) has been credited to my account by the party. I hereby notify you of my decision to pay back the money to the party’s account,” his letter reads.

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BVN, NIN requirement: CBN keeps mum as deadline expires

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has kept mum as the deadline for banks to restrict customers’ accounts without a Bank Verification Number or National Identity Number has expired.

DAILY POST recalls that CBN, in a notice on December 1 last year, signed by the Director of Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi and Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustapha, asked banks to restrict tier-1 accounts or wallets without NIN or BVN.

“For all existing Tier-1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN: Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ until the new process is satisfied.

“Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’, and no further transactions will be permitted. The BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024”, the statement partly reads.

However, CBN acting spokesperson, Hakama Sidi has yet to respond to calls from DAILY POST on Friday over the fate of banks’ customers without NIN or BVN.

Meanwhile, in a telephone interview with DAILY POST, the President of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, Dr Uju Ogubunka, appealed to CBN for a deadline extension.

According to him, though many accounts have NIN or BVN, there are still many without the requirement.

“At this point, the best thing for CBN to do is extend the deadline for bank customers to have their NIN or BVN”, he told DAILY POST.

A source who preferred anonymity in a tier-1 bank told DAILY POST that no customer account had been restricted owing to the NIN or BVN requirement.

“At the moment, no customers’ accounts have been restricted. Customers in the last three days have trooped in to update their account”, he said.

DAILY POST reported that bank customers were in a last-minute rush to meet the NIN and BVN requirement deadlines as they besieged their respective banks.

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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Gov Mbah signs New Enugu City, ENSIEC bills into law

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On Friday, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State officially approved the New Enugu City Development Agency Bill, the Enugu State Geographical Information System Service Bill, and the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIC) Amendment Bill, turning them into law. The signing ceremony, witnessed by Enugu State House of Assembly Speaker Uchenna Ugwu at the Government House in Enugu, marked significant steps in the state’s governance.

Governor Mbah clarified the purposes of these laws during the signing event. He highlighted that the New Enugu City Development Agency Law grants administrative authority to oversee the development of a new city master plan, aimed at accommodating both present and future generations. The Enugu State Geographical Information System Service Law, on the other hand, focuses on automating and digitizing processes for service delivery, beginning with land-related matters.

Regarding the ENSIEC Amendment Law, Governor Mbah noted its alignment with constitutional amendments concerning electoral bodies, ensuring compliance with the evolving legal framework.

Explaining the rationale behind the New Enugu City Development Agency, Mbah emphasized the government’s forward-thinking approach to governance, addressing the need for urban expansion to accommodate the growing population. He underscored the significance of having a master plan for future generations to prevent urban congestion.

Furthermore, Mbah elaborated on the Enugu State Geographical Information System Service, emphasizing its role in fulfilling the administration’s promise to streamline land administration processes and provide efficient services. He highlighted the agency’s mandate to manage property information systems and facilitate digital platforms for accessing services and making payments.

Governor Mbah expressed gratitude to the State House of Assembly for their support and swift passage of these executive bills, acknowledging the importance of collaboration in driving the state’s development agenda forward. He emphasized that progress and success hinge on the collective efforts of all stakeholders, including the legislature.

In conclusion, Governor Mbah affirmed his administration’s commitment to fulfilling its promises and leveraging legislative support to enhance governance and service delivery in Enugu State.

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Tinubu’s presidency not by chance – Shettima

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Vice President Kashim Shettima asserts that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s rise to the presidency is not coincidental but a divine blessing due to the sincerity of his character. Shettima made these remarks during a courtesy visit by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday.

“The path leading to Tinubu’s presidency wasn’t accidental. He is known for his consistent sacrifices for the nation’s welfare. His success is viewed as a divine reward for his genuine intentions,” Shettima stated.

He stressed the importance of leaders fostering unity, highlighting Tinubu’s significant role in offering an alternative political platform within Nigeria’s system.

“Tinubu has made sacrifices and facilitated unity. He provided a haven for those facing political persecution and offered an alternative platform when others struggled for recognition,” Shettima elaborated.

Shettima urged Nigerians to be patient with Tinubu’s leadership, emphasizing that his presidency is not a coincidence but a deliberate journey towards national success.

He also charged the newly appointed NCPC Board to demonstrate unwavering commitment to their duties and reminded them of the importance of religious dedication in addressing national challenges.

“All of you were selected based on your religious commitment. We cannot overlook the issues within our system. It’s essential for all of us to strive for positive change to achieve the Nigeria we envision,” he concluded.

Previously, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for the opportunity to serve on the board and praised Vice President Shettima’s outstanding leadership, citing his support for the Church and peace efforts in Borno State.

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