Naija News Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Naija National News

1. 37 APC Lawmakers Defiant, Appeal Court Judgment
• Accuse judge of meddling in internal affairs of the legislature
• APC: Ruling meant to cause mischief
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its 37 House of Representatives members, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the opposition party, Tuesday took solace in the doctrine of the separation of powers, checks and balances, when it accused the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, which ordered them to vacate their seats, of meddling in the internal affairs of the legislature. In a ruling on Monday, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court had restrained the defected members from altering the current leadership of the lower chamber. The court further held that they should have resigned honourably having defected from the party on whose platform they were elected into the House.But the lawmakers, in a show of defiance yesterday, said they would not quit and appealed the judgment. They were joined in the suit appealing the judgment by the House Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, and the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. The parties to the appeal are also seeking a stay of execution of the judgment pending the determination of their case by the Court of Appeal. In a notice of appeal filed in Abuja yesterday by their lawyer, M. A. Mahmoud (SAN), the appellants faulted Justice Ademola’s reasoning and urged the Court of Appeal, Abuja, to set aside the judgment.

Thisday, front pg, cont on pg8

2. Nigeria on high alert over Ebola virus
• Denies outbreak of disease, confirms case of dengue fever • Cautions on bush meat hunting, others.
WITH suspected cases in Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia and 78 deaths in Guinea, Nigeria is on high alert over possible outbreak of Ebola virus, even as the country has confirmed an outbreak of Dengue haemorrhagic fever. Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tuesday declared Nigeria Guinea worm-free. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Tuesday insisted that Ebola virus disease is not in the country, but warned Nigerians to watch out for dengue fever, whose symptoms look like malaria in most cases. The ministry has, however, issued an alert on the early signs of Ebola disease which had been reported in some African countries. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, told reporters in Abuja that the case that was reported as Ebola in Nigeria was actually Dengue Fever, another deadly disease that mimics malaria and often mistakenly diagnosed as malaria. On Ebola, the Centre for Disease Control has asked people with symptoms of malaria or anything at all to go to the nearest health facility for check up and be sure that they don’t have any signs of Ebola. The Ebola virus causes a severe acute viral illness often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, and diarrhoea and vomiting. Ebola virus disease outbreak has a case fatality rate of up to 90 per cent. As there is no treatment or vaccine available, prevention is the most effective way to stop the transmission.

The Guardian,. Front pg, cont on pg2

3. 21 killed as soldiers attack B’Haram bombers
THE Defence Headquarters has said that Special Forces have foiled an attempt by four suicide bombers to blast a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation facility along the Maiduguri-Damboa Road, Mulai in Borno State on Tuesday. The four suicide bombers, two other suspected terrorists and 15 civilians died in the incident. Five soldiers, and 17 others were wounded. The Director of Defence Information, Maj.Gen. Chris Olukolade, who confirmed the incicident in an electronic mail, said one of the terrorists was arrested while eight vehicles were destroyed. He said that three of the four cars laden with Improvised Explosive Devices exploded when soldiers fired at them. The statement by the DHQ spokesman reads, “Four terrorists believed to be suicide bombers, apparently heading for an NNPC facility along Maiduguri-Damboa Road have died in their IED-laden vehicles. “The explosions took place at Mulai on the outskirts of Maiduguri. Three of the four explosive-laden vehicles were demobilised by shots fired at them by soldiers at the checkpoint shortly before the explosions that rocked the area. “Five soldiers were wounded while the civilian casualties have yet to be determined.”

The Punch, pg2

4. Fashola blames FG for Apapa traffic gridlock
LAGOS State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said that the failure of the Federal Government at complementing the efforts of the state, towards finding a lasting solution to the indiscriminate parking of trailers and tankers on Apapa/Oshodi Expressway was responsible for the perennial gridlock on the road. He also noted that so long as Nigeria continues to import fuel, tankers would be seen on the road, even as he added that the nation could still have fuel without tankers parking on the road. Fashola said this yesterday in Lagos at the formal opening of ‘The Brook’, BusinessDay’s Corporate office. Those at the event include; Mr. Sam Amuka, Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay Newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, General Manager/Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Eniola Bello, Managing Director of ThisDay Newspapers, Mr. Mideno Bayagbon Editor of Vanguard Newspapers and Mr. Emeka Izeze Managing Director of he Guardian Newspapers .Others are: Mr. Imo Itsueli, Chairman and Managing Director, Dubril Oil, Nigeria, Mr Stanley Egbochukwu, Publisher of Manufacturing Today, Mr. Foluso Phillips, Director General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group,NESG, Mr. Funmi Onajide, General Manager Corporate Affairs, MTN among others According to Fashola, ‘’What Brook represents is strong confidence. And I can assure that this confidence will not be misplaced.

Vanguard, pg9

5. Senate to strip INEC boss of power to appoint Secretary
• Backs staggered elections. Divided over electronic voting system.

Senate on Tuesday proposed to strip the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the powers to appoint the Executive Secretary of the commission. The proposal was contained in three consolidated bills it passed after a vigorous debate on the issue. The Senate canvassed instead that the appointment of the Secretary of the Commission should be done by the President who appoints the Chairman and INEC Commissioners. Senate also rejected the conduct of the 2015 general elections in one day, stating that a staggered process would eliminate confusion and lessen electoral rancour. Senate’s resolve to remove the powers to appoint the INEC Executive Secretary from the Chairman of the commission was contained in the Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act, 2010 to provide for tenure of office of Secretary, power to issue duplicate voters card, determine voting procedure and for other related matters in 2014 which passed for Second Reading in the Senate.

Daily Independent, front pg, cont pg2

6. PE firms position for greater role in power sector
Private equity (PE) firms are positioning to play a greater role in Nigeria’s fast evolving power sector as the need for re-financing of purchased assets leads to deals in the sector. “PE plays a critical role in a deregulated economy as they help to mobilise capital to various sectors where capital is needed,” said Okey Enelamah, CEO, Africa Capital Alliance, a PE firm, at the annual Africa Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) conference in Lagos, yesterday. “A lot of work is being done with the private institutions that bought these power assets using mostly bank debt, but are struggling to find long-term capital.” PE firms raised $3.3 billion in capital in 2013, a 130 percent increase from the levels seen in 2007, according to a recent report by Ernst & Young. It is estimated that Nigeria needs an annual investment of $3.5 billion to achieve its generation capacity target of 40,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020.

BusinessDay, front pg, cont on pg4

Naija Business News

FIRS: Tax Offenders Risk Travel Ban
The acting Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabir Mashi, has warned that going henceforth, those who circumvent tax obligations may risk a travel ban. He said given that the Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) was becoming a key travel document requirement, for Nigerians eyeing global destinations of choice, “a few who may have decided to still run against the law” might soon find it difficult to travel abroad.

Thisday, pg10

Naira steady on oil companies’ dollar sales
The naira has been steady against the dollar on the interbank market, following the sales of dollar by two major energy companies. The local currency closed at N164.95 to the United States currency on Tuesday, the same level it closed on Friday.

The Punch, pg29

World/Regional News

Lagos appeals court judgment on Lekki-Ikoyi bridge tolling
LAGOS—Lagos State Government has filed an appeal asking the appellate court to vacate the judgment of the Federal High Court which barred it from further collecting of tolls from users of the Lekki-Ikoyi Suspension Bridge. This came as activist and lawyer, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, yesterday, said it was unfortunate that the Lagos State Government was carrying on with impunity, by refusing to obey the Federal High Court, Lagos’ order, which declared as unconstitutional, the tolling of the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge.

Vanguard, pg10

Britain to investigate Muslim Brotherhood
The British government has announced that it will launch a review into the operations of the Muslim Brotherhood inside the UK. A spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday that “given the concerns now being expressed about the group and its alleged links to violent extremism, it’s absolutely right and prudent that we get a better handle of what the Brotherhood stands for”.

The Punch, from the net

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