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Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Breaking: Remaining Abducted Abuja-Kaduna Train Passengers Released

Breaking: Remaining Abducted Abuja-Kaduna Train Passengers Released





All the passengers abducted from a Kaduna-bound train on March 28, 2022, have been released, according to the Federal Government.


Prof. Usman Yusuf Secretary, Chief of Defense Staff Action Committee (CDSAC), announced this on Wednesday afternoon.


“I am pleased to announce to the nation and the world that at 1600Hrs. (4:00pm) today, Wednesday 5-10-2022, the seven-man Presidential Committee assembled by the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General L E O Irabor, secured the release and took custody of all the 23 remaining passengers held hostage by Boko Haram Terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on 28-3-2022.



“The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian Military under the leadership of the CDS who conceived and guided the operation. from start to finish. All sister Security Agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this Operation.


“The unwavering support of the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is what made it all possible.


“Members of this Committee are grateful for the rare honour and privilege to be part of this Humanitarian Operation. May God Almighty Heal Our Wounds and Bring Peace to Our Land.”


Breaking : Court Orders FCMB To Pay Ex EFCC Chairman's Pastor N540m

Breaking : Court Orders FCMB To Pay Ex EFCC Chairman's Pastor N540m


 

Justice Halilu Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court has exonerated the former acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and Prophet Emmanuel Omale of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry of  N573million Money laundering claims.


Recall that the Justice Isa Salami-led presidential investigation panel that investigated Magu after he was asked to step aside, claimed in its report that an investigation by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, revealed that the ex-EFCC boss paid N573million into Omale’s church’s FCMB account and the said money was used to purchase a property in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, UAE.


Omale had approached the court to challenge the claim.


In the ruling delivered today October 5, Justice Halilu noted that the evidence before the court showed that Omale’s bank admitted error in its report to the NFIU, of entries in the Divine hand of God Prophetic ministries account. The judge further held that the bank claimed that the purported N573 million was wrongly reflected as a credit entry in Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry’s account by its reporting system, which it recently upgraded.


Justice Halilu noted that FCMB admitted the error, which occasioned incalculable damage to the reputation of Pastor Omale, his wife and their church both within and outside the country.


The judge further awarded the sum of N540 million Naira as damages in favour of the church.

   Ethiopian Embassy Bans Visa On Arrival For Nigerians

Ethiopian Embassy Bans Visa On Arrival For Nigerians

 

The Ethiopian embassy has reportedly suspended visas on arrival for Nigerians with immediate effect.


Ethiopian Airlines, in a memo sent to travel partners on Tuesday, October 4, said passengers are to obtain their Visa at the Ethiopian embassy in Abuja before embarking on any trip to the country, DailyTrust reports. 


According to the report, the airlines said, “Please be informed that effective immediate No More Visa on Arrival for Nigerian citizens.


Passengers are to obtain their visa at the Ethiopian Embassy in Abuja before traveling. 


Please note that: Passengers transiting overnight in Addis Ababa are not affected by the ban. E.g. passengers having layover in Addis to travel the next morning to Zanzibar, Seycheles, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Harare, Cape Town, etc are not affected by the ban and do not need transit visa for their trips.”

Judgement Against Oyetola Shows APC Does Not Have Candidates For 2023 Elections..Atiku Spokesman

Judgement Against Oyetola Shows APC Does Not Have Candidates For 2023 Elections..Atiku Spokesman


 

A spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign, Daniel Bwala, has reacted to the nullification of the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his Deputy, Benedict Alabi, as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Osun State governorship election.

Last week, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, nullified the nominations of Oyetola and his deputy while delivering judgment in the suit filed by the PDP.

The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/468/2022, has former Acting Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and four others as defendants.

Justice Nwite in his judgement held that the nomination of Oyetola and his deputy, was unlawful and unconstitutional because Buni, who submitted their names to INEC, violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Reacting, Bwala in a tweet on Tuesday said this means that the APC does not have candidates in all the governorship, national and state assemblies in the country.


“Going by the decision of the high court that disqualified Gov. Oyetola on the grounds that the APC National Chairman who then acted didn’t qualify to act in that capacity, it means APC DOES NOT HAVE CANDIDATES IN ALL THE GOVERNORSHIP, NATIONAL AND STATE ASSEMBLIES IN THE COUNTRY,” he tweeted

How  New University Union CONUA Started

How New University Union CONUA Started


 

The Federal Government yesterday approved the registration of two rival groups to ASUU, the Congress of University Academics, CONUA, and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics, NAMDA.

The new university-based academic unions were presented certificates of registration at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who announced this in his office in Abuja, said the two unions would operate along with ASUU.

Reacting to the development, the National Coordinator of the Congress of University Academics, CONUA, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, described the registration of the body as historic.

Sunmonu in a statement said: “The registration of the Congress of University Academics, CONUA, as a trade union in the Nigerian university system is monumentally historic.

“The hurdles we have faced to get here, since 2018 when we submitted our application for registration, have been seemingly insurmountable. The registration is, therefore, the validation of the power of the human will. It asserts the value of courage, initiative, focus, tenacity, patience, forbearance and persistent positive thinking.

“We are immensely grateful to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, and his team of diligent staff for insisting on merit, due process and thoroughness all through the processing of our application for the registration of CONUA. “The very strict and dispassionate review of our application brought out the best in the membership of the union.

“We regard the registration of CONUA as a sacred trust and pledge to reciprocate by devoting ourselves unceasingly to the advancement of university education in this country. We will make the details of our programmes available to the public in due course.

“For now, we are giving the assurance that we will work to ensure that the nation is not traumatised again by academic unions’ dislocations in the country’s public universities.

“We are also deeply grateful to the numerous personalities and well-wishers whose good counsel and concrete actions have facilitated the success we have witnessed today. We believe in the saying that to whom much is given, much is expected. We will, therefore, constantly strive to make them all proud of CONUA.

“We appreciate the entire membership of the union for believing in the righteousness of the CONUA cause and for believing in the leadership of the union, and thereby remaining salutarily steadfast, even when disconcerting and demoralising situations arose.

“In this journey, the invaluable role of the media cannot be discounted. We are truly grateful to the media and look forward to furthering mutually beneficial interactions as we strive for the development of this nation.  Above all, we are absolutely grateful to Almighty God for granting us this grace.”

It will be recalled that public universities in the country have been shut down since February,14, as ASUU proceeded on a one-month warning strike, which later snowballed into an indefinite strike.

How CONUA started

In 2016, the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife chapter of ASUU was enmeshed in a crisis and as usual, leaders and members of the union took the matter to the national leadership for resolution.

However, instead of the crisis being resolved, some of the members felt the national leadership took sides with the leaders of the local chapter that they had grouse with.

The issues dragged till 2018 and when the aggrieved members waited endlessly for a solution that did not come, they formed CONUA.

Since it was formed, it struggled to get registered until that was done yesterday.

The body now has members in 12 universities across the country including OAU, Federal University, Lokoja, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Federal University, and Oye-Ekiti in Ekiti State, among others.

The incessant face-off between ASUU and the government no doubt hastened the registration of CONUA.

Buhari Accuses ASUU Of Corruption And Sexual Harassment

Buhari Accuses ASUU Of Corruption And Sexual Harassment


 

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday accused the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, of being complicit in corruption in the tertiary education sector in the country.

This came on a day Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said  President Buhari has accepted the report on the engagement of members of the House with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on how to resolve the ongoing strike by the union.

This is even as the Federal Government approved the registration of two rival groups to ASUU, the Congress of University Academics, CONUA, and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics, NAMDA, in what appears an attempt to break the ranks of striking ASUU

But ASUU in a prompt response said President Buhari’s allegations are unfounded, and noted that the registration of two new trade unions by the government for academic staff in the university system is inconsequential and poses no threat to its existence.


On corruption in the universities, President Buhari made the accusation in his address at the fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector, jointly organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board, JAMB, held at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The President also accused lecturers of deploying disguised terminologies to perpetuate corruption in the ivory towers, a development he said, impinges on the fight against the menace in the education sector.


He equally accused management of tertiary institutions of not being transparent in the expenditure of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, asking stakeholders and the media to beam their searchlights on it.

‘Corruption undermining education’


He said: “Incessant strikes, especially by unions in the tertiary education, often imply that government is grossly under-funding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.

“Government and stakeholders in the educational sector are concerned about the manifestation of various forms of corruption in the education sector. I am aware that students in our universities, for example, use different terminologies to describe different forms of corruption they experience on our campuses.

“There is sorting or cash for marks/grades, sex for marks, sex for grade alterations, examination malpractice, and so on.


“Sexual harassment has assumed an alarming proportion. Other forms of corruption include payroll padding or ghost workers, lecturers taking up full-time appointments in more than one academic institution, including private institutions, lecturers writing seminar papers, projects and dissertations for students for a fee, and admission racketeering, to mention only the most glaring corrupt practices.”

The President, however, commended the ICPC for its due diligence in investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment as an abuse of power in the country’s educational institutions.

“Government will continue to fund education within realistically available revenue while urging stakeholders, including the media to equally advocate transparency in the amount generated as internally generated revenue by educational institutions and how such funds are expended.

“Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions,’’ Buhari noted.

He called on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions. He also implored the unions to work with the government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.

Jega laments

In his keynote address, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, regretted that Nigeria is perceived as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

He said the effects of corruption on the education sector undermined national capacity to develop requisite national social capital for socio-economic development, adding that no nation developed without adequate and appropriate investment in education.

Jega lamented that the Nigerian education sector has suffered neglect, is chronically underfunded and is engulfed in crisis, compounded by the impact of corruption, both from within the education sector itself and from the wider public sector.

According to him, there is increasing evidence of how corrupt practices rooted in the wider public sector effect and compel corrupt practices in the tertiary education sector, especially universities, which he said statutorily enjoy some relative autonomy.

He said: “There are examples of how reform policies, formulated with good intentions, are often circumscribed by endemic corruption in the public sector, and in their application in the education sector, create their own dynamics of corrupt practices.

“This can be illustrated with examples of how three reform policies by the Federal Government compel many vice-chancellors of federal universities to become somewhat ‘compulsorily’, even if in some cases, reluctantly involved in or with endemic corrupt practices in the wider public sector.

“The first reform policy of measure is the Procurement Act 2007, which requires that contracts of certain threshold should seek approval either at the Ministerial Tenders Board, MTB, or at the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP.

“The second is the requirement by members of the National Assembly that every vice-chancellor must appear before them to defend their budgetary proposals before funds would be appropriated to their universities.

“The third, which is relatively more recent, is the requirement by the Federal Government that no university should recruit any staff, even to fill existing vacancies, without at least three layers of approvals by the federal bureaucracy, at the NUC, at the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, and at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.”

Jega noted that all these three policies, in spite of the good intentions, which might have underlined them, not only undermined the relative autonomy of the universities but also introduced extraneous relations and influences ladened with corrupt practices.

Buhari has accepted Reps report on ASUU strike —Gbaja

In a similar development yesterday, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the President has accepted the report of their engagement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on how to resolve the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the union.

The speaker disclosed this when he led a delegation of principal officers of the House to the Presidential Villa immediately after yesterday’s plenary.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting, the speaker highlighted the reason for their visit.

He said:  “After a series of engagements with ASUU and with people on the executive side, we’ve been able to come to some kind of decisions and recommendations to be made to Mr. President for his approval.

“As you know, what is on the front burner today, even beyond the politics, is that our universities, our lecturers, and our children are out of school.

“The House of Representatives decided to step in at that point four weeks ago and we’ve had a series of meetings that lasted hours and we’ve been able to get both sides to shift grounds to an extent and what we came to discuss with Mr President is about those recommendations.


“Mr President, as usual, had a very good listening ear, he took the report of the House, accepted it. We discussed at length, the details of the report and he wanted to go through them himself. We have another meeting on Thursday (tomorrow) between our good selves and Mr President for his final decision. We had a good engagement, with a very positive response.

“He asked us a couple of questions on some grey areas which we clarified, and he accepted the report and he wanted a couple of days to go through it.


“We are working and we are hopeful that this (strike) will soon be a thing of the past. I know once this is agreed upon, the strike will be called off.’’

On the allegation of complicity in corruption

Osodeke, who also reacted to the allegation by the President that ASUU members were complicit in corrupt practices in the university system, described the such allegation as unfounded.

“As a union, we have been championing transparency and accountability in the university system. That is why we are calling for the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, as the payment platform in the university system. Those indicted for misappropriating over N100 billion through  IPPIS, are they our members?

“Moreover, one of our demands is that visitation panels be set up to probe the activities and the finances of universities in the country. If we don’t want corruption stamped out, we would not be asking for that, “ he explained.

Bet9ja Founder Floats Commercial Airline

Bet9ja Founder Floats Commercial Airline




 A new airline has made its debut into the Nigerian aviation industry 

Value Jet is owned by CEO of the biggest Sports betting platform in Nigeria

The airline will commence commercial operations soon 

This is coming on the heel of the high cost of running airlines in Nigeria which has made some airlines like Dana Air , Aero suspending their flight operations