A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number, NIN by two months.
Justice Maureen Onyetenu granted the extension while delivering a ruling in a fundamental right suit filed by legal practitioner, Monday Ubani against the federal government, the Attorney General of the Federation, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.
In the suit, Ubani had contended that the initial two weeks ultimatum (now extended to April 6, 2021) given to telecommunication operators to block SIM Cards of Nigerians who have not registered their SIM Card with NIN if allowed, will infringe on his constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, right to own moveable property and right to life.
He therefore asked the court for an order halting the said ultimatum and extending the deadline.
The former NBA Ikeja Chairman also asked the court for; a declaration that the ultimatum given to telecommunications operators by the 1st, 3rd and 4th Respondents to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards that are not registered with NIN, is grossly inadequate and will not only work severe hardship, but will likely infringe on the fundamental rights of the Applicant (and millions of other Nigerians) to freedom of expression as guaranteed by section 39(1)(2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as violate section 44(1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which prohibits the compulsory acquisition of right or interest over moveable property.
“A declaration that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising cases in Nigeria presently, the deadline given by the 1st, 3rd and 4th Respondents to the Applicant and over 200 million Nigerians to register their SIM Cards with NIN, will lead to a rush, thereby resulting to clustering of the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens in a NIN registration centre, subjecting him to the possibility of easily contracting the covid-19 virus, and such will amount to a violation of his fundamental right to life as protected by section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“An order halting the said ultimatum given by the 1st, 3rd and 4th Respondents to telecommunication operators to block all SIM Cards that are not registered with NIN.”
In his ruling, Justice Onyetenu granted all the reliefs sought by Ubani.
Source: Channels Television
Obaseki raises alarm over Nigeria’s rising debt profile
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state on Wednesday raised an alarm over the country’s rising debt profile, stressing that the situation is more critical now because of the huge amount borrowed to service the ailing economy.
The governor raised the alarm during a meeting with the Transition Committee members at the Government House in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Obaseki also observed that the major oil giants like Chevron and Shell no longer invest so much oil as was obtainable in the past.
The investment banker further noted that Chevron is now one of the world’s investors in alternative fuel, just as he disclosed that Shell intends to pull out of Nigeria.
According to him, “In another year or so, where will we find this money that we go to Abuja to share every month? Last month, we got FAAC for March. The Federal Government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for us to share.
“We say remove subsidy, they say no. This April, next week again, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, the total borrowing is going to be in excess of ₦15 to ₦16 trillion.
“My worry is that we will wake up one day like Argentina, the naira will be ₦1,000, ₦2,000 and will be moving because we don’t have money coming in. You are just borrowing, borrowing and borrowing without any means or idea of how to pay back”, he added.
UK Medical Trip: Buhari needs not transmit power to Vice President Osinbajo, Presidency insists
The Presidency on Tuesday insisted that it is unnecessary for President Muhammadu Buhari to transmit power to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated this while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
President Buhari had earlier departed the Presidential Villa for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at about 2:30pm after which he proceeded to London for a routine medical check-up.
Speaking further, Garba argued that President Buhari has not contravened the laws of the land by not transmitting power to Vice President Osinbajo while away from the country for a number of days.
According to him, “Buhari will continue from wherever he is,” Shehu argued when asked if the President had transferred duties to the vice president.
“The requirement of the law is that the President is going to be absent in the country for 21 days and more, then that transmission is warranted. In this particular instance, it is not warranted”, he continued.
The Presidency had also informed that the President was expected back in the country in the second week of April.
Army Recruitment: I mentioned 50 Million youths in error, Tinubu clears the air
National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC),Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has informed that he made an error while calling for more youths to be drafted into the Nigerian Army in a bid to adequately tackle the nation’s security challenges.
While advocating for national employment and giving an inference for a security policy that could stem the tides of insurgency, Tinubu asked the Federal Government to recruit 50 million youths into the Nigerian Army.
The former governor of Lagos state while addressing guests on Monday at the 12th colloquium organised in his honour, he noted that the recruitment move will help restore peace within troubled regions and stop miscreants from recruiting young people to do their biddings.
Tinubu has however stated on Tuesday that contrary to comments made at the colloquium in Kano where his 69th birthday was celebrated, his intended recommendation was to have fifty thousand (50,000) youths recruited into various national security agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.
According to a communique issued by his media aide , Tunde Rahman, “Asiwaju seeks the expansion of security personnel by 50,000 for the armed forces, not the N50 million that was mentioned in error. It was an accidental verbal mistake of which we all commit from time to time especially when reciting a series of large numerical figures.
“He did not mean N50 million, which is almost a quarter of our total population.
The crucial matter is that Asiwaju rightly observed that such strong recruitment would serve the twin-purpose of helping to tackle unemployment while at the same time enhancing the security of every Nigerian.
“Please forgive any confusion due to this innocent error. The most vital thing is that he set forth a wise and timely approach that would help us face two of today’s stiffest challenges.
“It is in the spirit that we hope you view and assess his proposal for it seeks to provide a way for more youths to participate in building a greater, safer and more prosperous country”, the communique added.
It also noted that the APC chieftain canvassed the urgent need to combine employment and national security policy by the recruitment of 5 million youths in all aspects of nation-building, ranging from infrastructural development to agricultural modernization.
Tinubu,as contained in the statement believes the more job opportunities are presented to youths, the less some of them will be tempted to delve into illegal and dangerous activities.
As part of this overall approach, the former Senator believes that eligible youths should be recruited into the armed forces, police and other security agencies to augment the functional capacity of Nigeria’s security apparatus, thus ensuring the better security and safety of the people.