These are the top stories making headlines in Nigeria today: Atiku promises to dredge the River Niger, banks run out of the new naira notes, court refuses to grant motion seeking to stop CBN cash withdrawal policy, and other trending news
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has promised, as part of his campaign manifesto, to dredge the River Niger, ensure that the Onitsha Port becomes operational again, and resuscitate essential industries in the south east. He said this is to boost economic activities in the south east who are primarily known for their industry and trade. Atiku said this at the PDP presidential campaign rally held in Anambra on Thursday. Earlier, while visiting the Anambra State governor, Charles Soludo, Atiku had promised to help the Igbos achieve presidency after his tenure if he emerges winner at the 2023 poll.
Commercial banks in Nigeria commenced issuing of the new Naira notes yesterday, December 15, as part of CBN move to keep the currency safe. The Central Bank of Nigeria had in November launched a redesigned Naira notes from N100, N200, N500, and 1000. It had also slated that the new notes will go into circulation, yesterday, December 15. Meanwhile, reports is that commercial banks are running out of the notes barely 24 hours after it commenced issuing it to customers. Our correspondent also gathered that some customers refused to take the new Naira notes at the banking halls.
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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has disqualified suit seeking to stop the CBN from implementing the cash withdrawal limit policy claiming it would affects the unbanked citizens in Nigeria. Recall that the CBN has, as part of its cashless policy move, restricted over-the-counter withdrawals for individuals at N100,000 and N500,000 for corporate organisations per week. The court, presided by Justice Chizoba Orji, refused to grant the motion and directed that the CBN appear in the court to explain the motive behind the policy. Recall that the CBN governor was summoned by the Senate on Thursday for similar reason.
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A Muslim cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara, has been sentenced to death by hanging in Kano for blasphemy against the Holy Prophet. The Kano Upper Sharia Court sentenced the embattled cleric to death on Thursday. The presiding judge, Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, while passing the judgment, stated that it was in line with section 382 of the Kano state Sharia Penal Code 2000. The court also ordered the state to seize two mosques belonging to the cleric. Responding to the judgment, the cleric accuse the judge of twisting his evidence and turning his submissions upside down, and declared he would die a hero.
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On the international scene, the United States president, Joe Biden, has lavished encomiums on the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, for not seeking a third-term in office as most African leaders. Buhari, who is part of the US-Africa Summit going on in Washington DC, United States, was praised for being a champion of democracy in Africa and a respecter of human rights. Joe Biden said this yesterday while hosting six African leaders expected to hold elections next year in their countries. Biden further urged the INEC to be totally non-partisan in the 2023 election and ensure free, fair, and credible election.