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NIN-SIM Linkage Gets Fresh December Deadline, 66 Million Enrolled

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The Federal Government has extended the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to the end of 2021.

This was contained in a joint statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, and the Head, Corporate Communications at the Nigeria Identity Management Commission, Mr Kayode Adegoke, on Saturday.

The statement was titled, ‘Stakeholders Applaud the NIN-SIM Verification Exercise as FG Urges Citizens and Legal Residents to Enrol before the End of the Year.’

According to the statement, the extension was due to appeals by the mobile network operators and other industry stakeholders.

It reads partly, “The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has conveyed the approval of the Federal Government to extend the deadline for the National Identity Number-Subscriber Identity Module data verification. Citizens and legal residents are urged to complete the process before the end of the year 2021.

“The decision to extend the deadline was made further to appeals by the mobile network operators and other industry stakeholders, soliciting for a further extension to ensure better compliance with government’s directive and to avoid widening the digital divide. The extension would also provide the enabling environment for the registration of Nigerians in remote areas, diaspora, schools, hospitals, worship centres, as well as foreigners, diplomatic missions, those in other areas that were hitherto unreachable, and increase enrolments in countries with a significant number of Nigerians.”

The statement said more than 9,500 enrolment systems with over 8,000 NIN enrolment centres were available in and outside the country.

It added that “66 million unique NIN enrolments have been captured since the enrolment process began, with an average of three to four SIMs linked to the NIN.”

Reacting, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Ikechukwu Nnamani, said “It was extended because the goal has not been achieved. Nobody wants to disconnect citizens; but at the same time, citizens should take advantage and just register.

“No one should ignore it and hope that they will postpone it again. A time will come when there won’t be any more extension.”

‘There’ll be another review by December’

Also, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, said, “The deadline has been extended till December 31. It is interesting; I must say that we do appreciate the ministry and the NCC for listening to us.

“However, by December 31, we will have to check what the mobile network operators have been able to do. We will also look at the areas that have been locked out if they have opened.

“Another review will be done by December as to how far they’ve been able to go, as well as those areas that are shut down; have they come up so that they can also link their SIMs. We thank the NCC and the ministry, but by December we will need to review our progress again.”

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BREAKING: EFCC Restricting Me From APC Presidential Screening – Okorocha Voices Out

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Former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha has alleged that the seige on his Abuja home by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is an attempt to stop him from attending the presidential screening of the All progressives Congress, APC.

Okorocha raised alarm on Tuesday when operatives of the Anti-graft commission stormed his Abuja home.

The FidelinfoNews learnt this while Speaking to journalists at his Maitama residence, he called on the Nigerian populace to come to his aid.

He says that he never received any invitation or got court summons from any quarters.

“Frankly speaking, the situation I find myself is a situation of what I call hostage. Policemen and EFCC operatives are currently in my compound and they want to possibly whisk me away… my gate is blocked.

“All I am asking for now is to allow me to go for my screening because I am a Presidential aspirant and our election comes up on Sunday. If I am not allowed to go for this screening, I might miss it.”, he said.

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Lagos Explosion: Gas Plant Owner Dies, Lawyer Insist On N800m Compensation

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Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court, on Monday, struck out the criminal charges against the owner of Fash Oil Limited, Alhaji Waidi Fashola, popularly known as Larafash, following his death.

As at the time of filling this report , the FidelinfoNews couldn’t gathered the cause of the sudden death of the defendant.

The Lagos State Government had dragged Fashola to court following an explosion at his gas plant, Bestroof, on Cardoso Road, Baruwa Estate, Ipaja.

No fewer than eight people died in the explosion, which happened on October 8, 2020, on Baruwa Estate, in the Ipaja area of the state.

Many houses and shops were also destroyed in the explosion.

During the short court sitting on Monday, the defence counsel, Ademola Adeshina, announced appearance for the defendant and informed the judge of his death through a letter to the court.

While the judge was going through the documents, she asked the counsel, “What happened to him?”

Adeshina replied, “We wrote a letter and also attached pictures and other documents.”

The state counsel, Abike Oluwasanmi, acknowledged the service of the letter and expressed her condolences.

“In the circumstance, we apply that the case be struck out,” Adeshina added.

Justice Ogala in response said, “Honestly, we extend our condolences too. The case is struck out.”

The 64-year-old businessman was facing 30 counts and was granted bail.

The charges read in part, “That you, Waidi Fasola, committed an offence on October 8, 2020, around 5.45am at 61b, Cardoso Road, Baruwa, Ipaja, in the Ikeja Judicial Division, when a loaded truck in your company with negligence and unlawful permitting the discharge of LPG (gas) into a tank, led to the deaths of Aderinsoye Olamilekan, Aderinsoye Mowa, Mohammed Abubakar, Abike Oluwasanmi, Evans Udom, Adebowale Aisha, Adeleke Olusola Amos and Adeleke Oluwadarasinmi.”

The prosecution also claimed that the unlawful act of “failure to take precaution against danger” led to severe bodily harm to Adebisi Micheal and Adache Blessings, while causing severe burns to Bose Oyelumade, Nuru Nasir, Ayo Ademisoye, Emmanuel Udom, and bodily injuries to Omorieghe Josephine, severe burns to Usman Yakubu, Ronke Gbele, Mrs Juwon Abiodun, as well as inflicting head lacerations on one Sunday.

Aside from the deaths and bodily injuries, the prosecution equally claimed that the failure of Fashola to take precautions led to the destruction of houses and shops and the destruction of some apartments in the community.

The counsel for the family of victims affected by the explosion, Akeem Fadun, while condoling with Fashola’s family, said the death would not affect the already filed civil case in court.

He said, “The civil case in court is against the Lagos State Government and Bestroof Limited, and the death of the man will not affect the case in any way. The total number of people that died in the explosion is 10.”

Fadun said the compensation being sought for families of the deceased and those who were injured was about N800m, which he said his law firm would continue to pursue.

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Lawyer Criticises EFCC’s Arrest Of Advert Executive In Enugu

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Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has criticised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over its arrest of an advertisement executive, Baron Nnamdi, in Enugu State.

The FidelinfoNews reports that EFCC said the billboard advert is an “offensive political campaign message”.

The EFCC accused Mr Nnamdi of publishing an “offensive political campaign message” on a billboard in Enugu, with the commission’s name and logo on it.

In a message on the billboard obtained by The FidelinfoNews.The message reads; ‘2023: Enugu PDP Learn From 2007 Election… EFCC Is Coming With Koboko On Corrupt Candidates’.

The EFCC arrested Mr Nnamdi on Saturday, according to the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.

Mr Effiong, however, said Mr Nnamdi committed no offence and, therefore, should be released immediately by the anti-graft commission.

He also asked the EFCC to apologise to him.

The lawyer, in a statement on Sunday, said the reasons given by the EFCC to justify the arrest of Mr Namdi were “baseless, false and legally unfounded”.

“The use of the logo or name of the EFCC is in itself not a criminal offence,” Mr Effiong said.

“There is no Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 that makes the mere use of the name or logo of the EFCC, without more, a criminal offence.

“Section 6 (q) of the EFCC Act provides for the functions of the Commission, which includes: ‘carrying out and sustaining rigorous public and enlightenment campaigns against economic and financial crimes within and outside Nigeria.’

“By Section 24 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), citizens have a constitutional duty to assist law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their functions,” he said.

Mr Effiong dismissed as “false and misleading” the claim by the EFCC that the billboards at Otigba and Zik Avenue Junctions in Enugu could threaten the aspiration of some politicians in the state in the buildup to the 2023 general election.

The lawyer said the message in the billboard is positive and promotes the agency’s war against corruption.

“It is rather ironic that the same EFCC that claims to be investigating politicians regarding the source of the humongous sums they are using to buy nomination forms, is now antagonising patriotic citizens who are warning corrupt politicians to be mindful of the same EFCC.”

Mr Effiong described the arrest as “needless persecution and distraction”.

He said the commission should rather commend the group that sponsored the advert.

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