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Election Tribunal: Kano Govt. decries attempt to bribe Judge

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The Kano State Government has expressed concern over a bribery alert raised by the Chairman of the Kano State National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Flora Ngozi Azinge.

Azinge had said that there was an attempt to bribe a member of the tribunal with money in order to sway justice in favour of a lawyer’s client.
She lamented in open court before the commencement of session on Tuesday in Kano, how senior lawyers particularly engaged in unethical practice.

A statement signed by the State Commissioner of Information, Malam Baba Halilu Dantiye, said: “The attention of the Kano State Government has been drawn to an allegation made by the chairman of Kano National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Hon. Justice Flora Ngozi Azinge, that there was an attempt to bribe a member of the tribunal with money in order to sway Justice as according to her, “money has been flying in the Tribunal”.

Dantiye said the state government viewed the incident with a great concern as there is a strong rumour that some “strong forces who are well-known for their corrupt attitude are working tirelessly to scuttle the hard-earned mandate of the people of Kano State”.

He said the State Government viewed the incident as a litmus test for the present administration to show Nigerians its commitment to fighting corruption and defending democratic principles by ensuring that the case was thoroughly investigated and the culprits prosecuted.

“The anti-corruption agencies are equally expected to swing into action, especially when this type of allegation was made in open court by a respected Judge,” he said.

The commissioner said the government, however, viewed with delight the action of Justice Azinge as a positive testimony that “there is still hope in the Nigerian judiciary, and that Judges and Justices with high sense of integrity abound in our country.

“The state government also thanked the good people of Kano that voted the NNPP into power with well over one million votes at a time when they didn’t have federal, state, local government and financial resources.

“The government, therefore, notes and appreciates the readiness of Kano people to defend their mandate through whatever means possible,” Dantiye added.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

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In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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