23 Rights Groups Seek Review Of EFCC Act By NASS

A coalition of 23 concerned Nigeria Political Pressure groups has called on the National Assembly to review certain aspects of the Act establishing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This is even as the coalition frowned at what it described as the unwarranted persecution and ridiculing of the immediate past first lady of the country, Dame Patience Jonathan by the anti-graft agency.
The Coalition made the call at a news conference jointly addressed by Alhaji Ali Abacha, of the Northern Patriotic Forum and its national coordinator, Ogbuefi Fidelisuma Nnelirk-Mmalive, in the South-East.
The p called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate stoppage of the said persecution of Mrs. Jonathan.
The coalition, which tagged itself as “non-political and non-partisan”, advised that the
EFCC, under its present Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, should not be made a monster organization to be used by the Executive against perceived opponents.
The EFCC, the coalition said, should desist from its lazy man’s posture which makes it often apply media trial on matters that ought to be tried in law courts.
According to the pressure groups, “the Commission must ensure that it rounds off investigations on matters on its table before going public as this would not only give its prosecution a sound presentation, but also win it a favourable judgment at the courts”.
The Coalition added, “we have been watching with keen interest in the past 15 months the prosecution of the anti-corruption war of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari by agents and agencies under his administration who have been charged with driving this noble and well-conceived initiative.
“First, we must commend Mr. President for this irrepressible war which has earned him immense national and international recognition.
“This coalition, and of cause all well-meaning Nigerians are solidly behind him and sincerely wish him success as he aggressively pursues this single cancerous scourge that is shredding our nation Nigeria into pieces.
“However, we have regrettably observed as concerned Nigerians that certain elements within the President’s administration are bent on diverting attention from this noble course by unnecessarily politicizing the war to achieve their own selfish motives, philosophy, mission and vision.
“It is against this background that we as concerned Nigerians are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly intervene and halt this unnecessary persecution of Jonathan through his wife by the EFCC.
“Mr. President should demonstrate his respect for the humble, humane former President Goodluck Jonathan and womanhood, by publicly expressing his confidence in the ability of Mrs. Patience Jonathan to keep her husband’s home affairs from the scrutiny of the public domain just as he commendably defended his wife’s domestic and public roles in a recent event in Germany.
“Mr. President should quickly direct the immediate unblocking and defreezing of all personal accounts of Mrs. Patience Jonathan from the ‘No withdrawal’ status they have been placed by the EFCC”, the coalition said.



2019: Jonathan’s Loyalists Seek Lifeline For PDP

Loyalists of former President Goodluck Jonathan are trying very hard to end the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general elections, it was learnt Saturday.

The loyalists especially former ministers and governors during former administration of Jonathan were said to be visiting different state chapters of the PDP to seek reconciliation among aggrieved PDP members.

It was was gathered that Jonathan’s men were working under the auspices of the Ministers’ Forum (MF), comprising former governors, former ministers and PDP stalwarts.

There were indications that if their mission yielded expected fruits, they would either mount pressure on Jonathan to return for a second term or support the presidential ambition of former Jigawa State Governor, Lamido Sanusi.

The team alongside some former PDP governors was in Bayelsa State for a similar purpose, though they were said to have seized the opportunity to tour some ongoing projects of Governor Seriake Dickson.

Read More:

2019: Jonathan’s loyalists seek lifeline for PDP

Reps Seek Life Imprisonment For Terrorists, Sponsors

The House of Representatives moved on Tuesday to prescribe tougher penalties for terrorism, including “a maximum of life imprisonment.”
A person, who facilitates the escape of a suspect held for an act of terrorism also faces a life prison sentence.
Sponsors of terrorism face the penalty of life imprisonment as those who commit the act itself.
Under the new law in view, planning a terror act is punishable even when the act is not committed eventually.
The provisions were contained in two consolidated bills, which passed second reading at the House in Abuja.
They bills were a  “A Bill for an Act to Make Provisions for Offences Relating to Terrorism, Prohibit the Financing of Terrorism and Consolidate all Acts Relating to Terrorism and for Related Matters” and “A Bill for an Act to Amen the Terrorism Act 2011 for the Purpose of Applying Stringent Prison Terms for Offences of Terrorism, an Remove the Ambiguities in the Act and for Related Matters.”
The bills were sponsored by Mr. Mohammed Monguno and Mr. Ahmed Kaita.
While the first bill sought to repeal the existing terrorism (prohibition) law and make entirely new provisions for offences, the second bill sought to amend the extant law by strengthening it.
Section 19 of Monguno’s bill states, “A person who knowingly, directly or indirectly (a) aids and abets, (b) induces, instigates, instructs, (c) counsels or procures another person by means to commit an act of terrorism, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment. “
It adds, “Where the offence of terrorism is not committed, to an imprisonment for a term of 20 years.”
The bill defines terrorism broadly to mean any “deliberate” act of “malice”, which may cause harm/damage to a country, its government, economy, national assets, international organisations or result in loss of lives.
Kidnapping and the use of biological or chemical weapons, among others, are classified as terrorism under the bill.
It also includes “interference with or disruption of the supply of water, power or any other fundamental natural resource, the effect of which is to endanger human life.”
Credit: dailytimes

Tompolo’s Associates Seek To Quash N47.6b Fraud Charge

Some associates of wanted Niger Delta militant Chief Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) have asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to quash a N47.8 billion fraud charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Tompolo and others were arraigned in absentia on April 18 on 22 counts of conspiracy, stealing, advance fee fraud and money laundering.

He was charged along with a former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA’s) Director-General Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who pleaded not guilty.

Others are Kime Engozu, Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa, Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd/GTE, Oyeinteke Global Network Limited, Wabod Global Resources Ltd, Boloboere Properties Estate Ltd, Gokaid Marine Oil and Gas Ltd, Muhaabix Global Services Ltd and Watershed Associated Resources.

Also named in the charge are Akpobolokemi’s four brothers – Victor, Nobert, Emmanuel and Clement – said to be at large. They were said to have aided the suspects to commit the fraud.

The trial was stalled due to the absence of prosecution counsel Mr. Festus Keyamo, who wrote to inform the court that a principal prosecution witness would not be available.

One of the defence counsel, Mr. Oyesoji Oyeleke (SAN), said he filed a preliminary objection challenging the competence of the charge.

He argued that since the prosecution failed to depose to an affidavit stating that it had concluded its investigation, the court should strike out the charge.

Another defence counsel, Mr. Sylvester Ekweme, representing one of Akpobolokemi’s brothers, Clement, said his client had been in detention since April, adding that his bail application was still pending.

EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired among themselves to defraud the Federal Government of the sum between December 2, 2014 and last April 10.

The EFCC claimed that the accused persons “falsely pretend to the Federal Government that a parcel of land and its appurtenances situated at Mieka Dive Training Institute, Kurutie, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State had been acquired by NIMASA for the temporary campus of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.”

The alleged offence violates Section 1 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related Offences Act, 2006 and were liable to punishment under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

The defendants were also accused of swindling the Federal Government to the tune of N11.940 billion, by presenting a forged Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy of Bendel State of Nigeria dated May 6, 2014 to NIMASA on the false claim that the forged document was genuine and issued by Warri South-West Local Council, Delta State.

Some staff members of Global West Vessel Specialist Limited stormed the court yesterday to protest the alleged non-payment of their salaries for 15 months.

The company was charged along with Tompolo, Akpobolokemi and others in a separate case.

EFCC, in the 40-count charge, also before Justice Ibrahim Buba, said the suspects allegedly diverted N34 billion for personal use.

It alleged the money accrued from the public private partnership agreement between NIMASA and Global West Vessel Specialist, said to be owned by Tompolo.

The workers said due to the freezing of the company’s accounts, their salaries had not been paid for the past 15 months.

They bore placards, which read: “Global West is not owned by Tompolo”, “We are suffering, some of our colleagues have died in the process”, “Global West Vessel Specialist Limited workers need our 15 months salaries” and “Mr. President save our soul; we are in support of your government, we are not militants”.

Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned the first case till November 10 for hearing of pending applications.

He fixed trial for December 13 and 14.


Tompolo’s associates seek to quash N47.6b fraud charge

Naira Sinks To 375/Dollar, Economists Seek Policy Change

Economists on Wednesday advised the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to review their policies and introduce measures that would turn around the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s economy.

They spoke against the backdrop of the persistent fall of the naira against the dollar, with the local currency exchanging for 375 against the greenback at the parallel market on Wednesday; the imminent economic recession; and the spike in inflation to 16.5 per cent in June.

The Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, who noted that the global fall in crude oil prices had made the nation’s oil revenue to nosedive, said there was a need for the Federal Government to seek foreign exchange from alternatives sources in order to cover for the shortfall.

He said Nigeria and its economic managers could not afford to fold their arms and allow the situation to get worsened. Rather, he said efforts must be geared towards implementing policies that would fight negative growth and inadequate liquidity at the interbank market.

Teriba said, “There are a number of things we can do as a country to boost our forex supply. Just the way India did some years ago, we can tap Nigerians in the Diaspora to contribute forex to save the situation at home. We can’t say we have done all when we have not done this.

“Billions of dollar can be raised through this. Saudi Arabia has just raised billions of dollars by issuing an Initial Public Offering on government agencies. Nigeria can raise billions of dollars in Foreign Direct Investment by issuing IPOs on government monopolies in critical infrastructure like rail, power transmission, oil and gas pipelines. There are a whole lot of things we can do to save the economy.”

A professor of Economics at the Olabisi Obabanjo University, Sherriffdeen Tella, who emphasised the need to stop the speculative attack on the naira, said the Federal Government needed to review its policies and boost local production.

Credit: Punch

Christine Lagarde Advises Nigeria To Seek International Help For Economic Woes

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says Nigeria should seek economic help from international institutions.

Speaking at the IMF conference hall in Washington DC on Thursday, Lagarde said Nigeria needs to be open-minded on foreign exchange, and swiftly approve the 2016 budget.

“Our recommendation is that Nigeria should seek help from the international institutions that can best help,” she said.

“Second, that Nigeria should be open-minded in using flexibility of the exchange rates, in order to absorb some of the shocks. We believe that this is more efficient than to have a list of products that are barred from being imported to the country.

“Third, we believe that it’s really important that budget be completed, decided and approved and we stand ready to help Nigeria, if it wants to seek our help.”

Lagarde, who was in the company of David Lipton, IMF first deputy managing director and Gerry Rice, IMF spokesperson, also called on Nigeria to diversify its economy, adding that oil prices may be low for longer.

“I believe, having visited Nigeria in January, that it is also really important that the country looks at diversifying its economy, because it cannot rely exclusively on commodity prices only, particularly oil, because it might very well stay low for longer,” she said.

“Nigeria is full of energy, smart people, and can really transform some of its activities including the agricultural sector where there is just too much by way of import, when there could be a lot of transformation in Nigeria and local consumption.”

She also spoke on the viral panama papers, calling for international cooperation, while assuring the world that IMF would be at “happy” to play a role in resolving such worldwide issues.

Lagarde reiterated that countries must reinforce their commitment to durable global growth and employ a more potent policy mix.

“A three-pronged approach with monetary, fiscal, and structural actions can work as a virtuous trinity, lifting actual and potential growth, averting recession risks, and enhancing financial stability,” she said.

Credit: Sun

Argentine President’s Foes Seek Panama Papers Probe

An Argentine opposition lawmaker pressed charges Wednesday against President Mauricio Macri, seeking to have him investigated for financial crimes after his name appeared in the so-called Panama Papers leaks.

Lawmaker Norman Martinez asked a federal judge to order an investigation into whether the conservative president “knew of, collaborated in, ordered or approved maneuvers to launder money or evade taxes.”

Martinez, an ally of Macri’s predecessor and opponent, Cristina Kirchner, filed the complaint after the lower house voted down a bill that sought to force the president to testify before Congress on his interests in two firms registered in the Bahamas and Panama.

Macri still faces a separate move to launch a congressional commission to probe any irregularities in his finances.

Information about Macri’s offshore financial dealings emerged Sunday in the leak of millions of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which has put a host of world leaders and celebrities in the hot seat over their secret financial dealings.

Macri, who vowed to fight corruption during his presidential campaign last year, denies wrongdoing and says he has nothing to hide.

Martinez also requested an investigation into Nestor Grindetti, a close ally of the president who served as finance secretary for Buenos Aires when Macri was mayor.

Grindetti, who is now mayor of the Buenos Aires suburb of Lanus, was listed in the leaks as managing a Panamanian-registered company and holding a Swiss bank account during his time as finance secretary for the capital.

Credit: ngrguardian

10,000 Hunters Gather, Seek Clearance To Confront Boko Haram In Sambisa Forest

An estimated 10,000 local hunters from the North-east of Nigeria gathered recently in Adamawa State for their annual oath-taking festival, known as Salala in the local parlance.

The hunters, dressed in their warfare attires, and with their Dane guns dangling over their shoulders, vowed to rid the society of criminals.

They appealed to the government to make use of their members in the fight against terrorism and other social vices.

The leader of the hunters in Adamawa, Muhammad Tola, who claimed the hunters had so far played significant roles in the fight against Boko Haram, said hunters were familiar with the terrain in dreaded forests, like the Sambisa forest.

“We are ready to pursue the terrorists because we know the terrain very well,” Mr. Tola said.

“We are appealing to the military authorities to allow us join the fight against Boko Haram at the Sambisa forest.”

Mr. Tola said the hunters needed the government to assist them with ammunition, transportation and logistics.

He said the government could also enlist young hunters who were willing to join the army, police, and other security agencies.

“We remain one big family devoid of religious or tribal sentiments, that is why you can see over 10,000 hunters from Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Borno, Yoba and Adamawa converged for this epoch-making event,” Mr. Tola said.

Female hunters also participated in the Salala festival.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Enugu Legislatures Seek Refund Of Over 25bn Naira From FG

Members of the Enugu State House of Assembly have called on the Federal Government to reimburse the State Government 25.9 billion Naira used to rehabilitate federal roads across the state.

The legislatures moved the motion in a plenary session at the Legislative Complex in Enugu on Monday.

A member representing Nsukka East Constituency, Honourable Chinedu Nwamba, moved the motion explaining that the immediate past administration of Governor Sullivan Chime, two years ago, carried out reconstruction and rehabilitation of over 10 federal roads.

He said the decision to reconstruct the road was taken due to the daily loss of lives, decreasing economic activities and untold hardship citizens faced plying the route.

Mr Nwamba said that the reimbursement would go a long way in assisting the present administration to enhance development in several other sectors of development including agriculture, commerce, education and tourism.

Other members of the House also contributed in the appeal, explaining that the state needed the money to remain afloat in developmental activities.

With the house having a unanimous voice in the appeal, it is clear that the situation is critical.

Urgent reimbursement of the money owed the State Government would help keep hope alive in the various communities of the state, the lawmakers believe.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Lawmakers Seek Investment Of Pension Funds In Infrastructure Development

The Nigerian House of Representatives has asked its Committees on Pension, Finance and Capital Market to look at the viability of investing over five trillion Naira pension funds in infrastructure development.

In a motion sponsored by a member representing Kabba Federal Constituency, Mr Tajudeen Yusuf on Wednesday, the lawmakers lamented the growing decay in infrastructure across Nigeria.

They agreed that the consequences of taking foreign loans and facilities to address infrastructure demands would, in the long run, have a damaging impact on the economy.

The lawmakers, therefore, advised that the pension funds be used to finance infrastructure.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Monarchs Seek Spiritual Means To Free Kidnapped Colleague

Traditional rulers in Imo State under the auspices of Monarchs in Owerri Senatorial zone have decided to seek spiritual and divine intervention into the abduction of their colleague.

This follows the kidnap of the traditional ruler of Nguru Nweafor community in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, HRM Oswald Anyanwu.

The Deputy Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Chidume Okoro, said that the monarch was kidnapped along Port Harcourt road within Owerri municipal few days ago.

He added that they have resolved to fight with all powers within their reach to put an end to kidnapping of traditional rulers and also ensure that the monarch in their custody was released without condition as they are given the perpetrators of such evil 48 hours ultimatum to release the said monarch.

They condemned in strong terms, the continued kidnap of traditional rulers in the state which they described as ‘desecration and abomination’ against revered traditional institution in Igbo land.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Imo State, Andrew Enwerem, who confirmed the kidnap of the monarch, said that the Police command received the information as a rude shock.

He said that the command was not relenting in their effort to ensure the smooth rescue and release of the monarch.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Lawmakers Seek Media Support In Correcting Negative Perception

The House of Representatives says the media must help correct the negative perception Nigerians have of the role of the legislature.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Honourable Abdulrasak Namdas, made this appeal on Monday in a meeting with the Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh and the management team of the media house in Abuja.

Stressing the need for the media support in correcting the negative perception, Mr Namdas said that the public do not get the right information about most issues in the National Assembly.

He said: “They still hold us to all prejudices about the National Assembly.

“For example the issue of vehicles. Since time, the civil service is known for buying vehicles. They buy vehicles for directors,  commissioners, ministers at the federal level and when you say you want to buy vehicle for lawmakers at the National Assembly, people give us a serious misinterpretation.

“The reason is because the National Assembly is the only chamber that houses 360 people and 109 at a time, that is the House of Representatives and the Senate”.

Credit: ChannelsTv

W. African Leaders Seek Ban On Full-Face Veil To Prevent Attacks

West African leaders said Thursday they were seeking to “forbid” women wearing full-face veils in an effort to curb the growing number of female suicide bombers unleashed by Boko Haram jihadists.

The president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, told reporters at the close of a two-day summit in Abuja that leaders must take “measures that would forbid this kind of dress that will not allow security personnel to be sure of their identities.”

Losing swathes of territory to the Nigerian army, Boko Haram jihadists have since July started using young women and girls as suicide bombers by hiding explosives in their loose-fitting clothes.

The radical Sunni group has also used the tactic in Cameroon, Chad and Niger — countries that have already enforced bans on veils this year.

The region is reeling from a spike in female suicide bombings as a weakened Boko Haram shifts its strategy from raiding villages to relying on explosives in its quest to overthrow the government and create a hardline Islamist state in northeast Nigeria.

“Certain dress codes, which make identification of the persons concerned difficult, may considerably hinder actions geared towards protecting people and properties,” said Ouedraogo, who said countries should enforce a ban “in line with their national realities.”

Credit: AFP

Reps Seek Crack Team On Rescue Of Chibok Girls

House of Representatives yesterday disclosed that about 45,000 Nigerians have so far been kidnapped by Boko Haram since 2012.

In considering a motion on the kidnap of 219 girls in Chibok, Borno State, the House sought a crack team comprising all security agencies to rescue the girls and the 45,000 kidnapped Nigerians.

A motion, which called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts to rescue the abducted Chibok girls, sponsored by Hon. Asabe Vilita Bashir, who represents Chibok/Damboa//Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State, was debated by the lawmakers.

In amending the motion, Hon. Nasir Ali Ahmad (Kano-APC), informed the House that about 45,000 Nigerians were at the moment being held hostage by the sect.

His amendment was adopted and passed along.

While presenting her motion, Bashir regretted that the parents and guardians of the abducted girls were not being briefed on developments in the efforts to rescue them.

“Families of the missing Chibok girls and Nigerians are not being informed of any rescue plan and are consequently living in unimaginable agony, not being sure if any efforts are being made to rescue the girls,” she said.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Ife Chiefs Seek Divine Intervention In Selecting Next Monarch

Council of chiefs in Ile-Ife has sought divine intervention in the choice of the next monarch in the ancient town after the death of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.

The chiefs led by Obalufe, Oba S. Omisakin and Lowa of Ile-Ife, High Chief,  J. O Ijaodola prayed earnestly to God Wednesday that another monarch of late Oba  Okunade Sijuwade’ s pedigree should emerge.

They said this during a condolence visit by the National Traditional Council of Nigeria led by Etsu Nupe, Alhaji (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar.

After the burial of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, so many interested candidates have been struggling to ?assume the throne.

Read More: vanguardngr

AIT Staff Seek FG Intervention Over Non-Payment Of Workers’ Salary

Staff at African Independent Television (AIT) in Kaduna state have appealed to the Federal Government to intervene to make the television’s management pay salaries owed them.

The workers lamented dehumanising treatment being meted on them by their employers, describing the non-payment of their salary arrears as a deliberate act.

One of the workers who pleaded anonymity confirmed salary for August 2014 was paid on Tuesday—nearly a year later.

“There has been no communication or excuse whatsoever from management for non-payment of staff salary. When they pay for one month, it will take about four to five months before another payment will be made,” the staff said.

“A lot of people have left the organisation due to this problem while more people are planning to leave; yet the management are not bothered.

“We feel the non-payment is deliberate because the money is there but we are not been paid.

“The non-payment is inflicting suffering on us because we have families that we cannot cater for, we find it difficult to feed, pay our children’s school fees, house rent and other utility bills,” he lamented.

Read Moredailytrust

11 States Seek N300.5bn Refund From FG, Buhari Meets Govs Today

Many state governors will at their meeting on Tuesday(today) with President Muhammadu Buhari demand the refund of billions of naira they spent on Federal Government projects in their respective states during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

A greater chunk of the money went into the rehabilitation of federal roads in the states. For instance, 11 out of the   36 states of the federation will be demanding the refund of N300.5bn from Buhari.

Following their inability to pay their workers’ salaries, many states said a bailout from the Federal Government was the only option available to them.

Read More: punchng

Boko Haram: North East Lawmakers Seek Development Commission

Senators from the North-East states are clamouring for the creation of a North-East Development Commission to rebuild the region following destruction by the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

The senators vowed to sponsor a joint bill as they lamented the level of destruction by Boko Haram in the geo-political zone.

Speaking in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State capital also badly hit by activities of Boko Haram, the Senator representing Adamawa Central Senatorial district, Abdul-Aziz Murtala Nyako, said the move was to hasten rapid infrastructural development in the affected states.

“Everybody can clearly see that the North East zone of Nigeria is in serious crisis particularly as it relates to Boko Haram crisis that we have undergone in the recent years and a lot of infrastructure is down.

“Virtually, we have to revamp the entire system and because of this we have decided to come up with the commission almost in tune with the Niger-Delta Development Commission that will lead to rebuilding the region and better its security,” he said…


Media Rights Group Petitions Buhari To Seek Protection

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nonprofit organisation, has urged the new administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari to uphold the rights of the media.

“As Nigeria aspires to strengthen its democracy, your government must show that it can tackle Nigeria’s challenges, including the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency and the use of terror tactics, but can do so without compromising democratic principles, whose core elements include press freedom and freedom of expression,” CPJ petitioned Buhari.

The organisation added, “The success of the democratic government you now lead will depend largely on the guarantee that journalists are free to inform the society about their commonwealth.”

CPJ congratulated Buhari following his inauguration but insisted on the protection of the media. “As Nigeria prepares to enter a new chapter in its history, we urge you and your administration to take steps to ensure that journalists are able to work freely and openly in the country without fear of reprisal of any form,” stated CPJ.

The media rights group pointed out that Buhari, in his inaugural speech on May 29, identified insecurity and pervasive corruption in Nigeria to be among your immediate concerns.

“You also recognized the country’s ‘vibrant’ press and appealed to the media to exercise ‘its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.’ It is our belief that a patriotic press is also a critical press,” said CPJ.

“To achieve your objective in tackling the challenges Nigeria faces, it is vital that your government prioritize press freedom so that journalists may ask questions and expose corruption at all levels of society without fear of harassment or intimidation. Nigerians and the world must be left without any suspicion or uncertainty about the transparency of your government.”

CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

Credit: CAJ News

Unions Seek Recall Of 58 Sacked Lecturers, N62bn Arrears

The Federal Government has been urged to recall the 58 sacked lecturers of Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto.

The Joint Action Committee of the non-teaching staff in tertiary institutions in Nigeria made the appeal on Thursday.

The JAC comprises National Association of Academic Technologists, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities.

Spokesperson for the committee and President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Mr Samson Ugwoke, made the appeal at a news conference in Abuja.

President of NASU, Comrade Ladi Iliya, and her NAAT counterpart, Sani Sulaiman, also signed the statement presented at the press conference.

He said the 58 lecturers were sacked with their retirement benefits forcefully paid into their accounts while the case was still in court.

Ugwoke said the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the university had only four months to leave office when he sacked the lecturers.

According to him, all efforts by the unions, through letters and visits to the VC, were to no avail.

Ugwoke also named Abia State University, where “our members have gone to court over the staff school issue.”

He added, “We are worried that the NUC (national Universities Commission) in concert with vice-chancellors, in some cases, have either sacked or threatened to sack the teachers/non-teaching staff, who are our members and bona fide universities’ staff, without recourse to our union or renegotiation.

“We have written several letters on this, copies are attached, and also met several times with government functionaries on this, to no avail. Only promises.

“Our prayer is that non-teaching agreement on staff school should be respected.”

Ugwoke said in the agreement, signed by the three unions, it was stipulated that government, through the universities councils, should fully fund university primary schools.

He said the universities should, without recourse to government for funding, provide infrastructure for the secondary schools.

Read More: punchng

Ghana Agency Seeks NAMA’s Support To Manage Airspace

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority has solicited the support of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in the co-management of the Accra airspace. This included Togo and Benin as against (Agency for Arial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar’s (ASECNA’s) plan to sectorize the airspace.

This was disclosed by the visiting top-level technical team of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority led by its Director General, Abdulahi Alhassan, at the NAMA headquarters complex in Lagos after a facility tour of some of the agency’s installations at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos including the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) site and Control Tower.

The team also expressed delight in the capacity and performance of the TRACON equipment in guaranteeing safety of air navigation in the country. “We are highly impressed with what we have seen here, both in terms of technical infrastructure and human capacity to effectively man these facilities and guarantee safety of air travel in the country,”  Alhassan said.

He said ASECNA had not followed due process in its bid to sectorize the Accra airspace. “It is our belief that ASECNA has not followed due process in its bid to sectorize the Accra airspace. It is a matter that the three bodies (ASECNA, GCAA and NAMA) should discuss on a round table because of its regional safety and security implications and the position of Ghana is that we co-manage the airspace rather than sectorize it,” added Alhassan.

Managing Director of NAMA, Engineer Ibrahim Abdulsalam, maintained was disposed to a peaceful and amicable resolution of aviatIon issues. “We are committed to co-operating with both Ghana and ASECNA in our determination to ensure safety of the African sky,” Abdulsalam said.

Credit: CAJ News

Ekiti Impeachment Plot: Mother Of Late Olaiya & Widow Seek Justice

The impeachment plot against Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose assumed a new di­mension yesterday with the governor urging Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Suleiman Abba to investigate the killing of a protester, Modupe Olaiya on Tuesday. This is even as the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) threw its weight behind Fayose.

Olaiya was killed when Speaker Ad­ewale Omirin, was leading 18 other All Progressives Congress (APC) mem­bers to Ekiti to continue the impeach­ment plot, aborted by Peoples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) loyalists. Mother of the deceased, Mrs Ag­beke Olaiya, yesterday revealed how she lost her 32-year-old son. She is de­manding justice.

She and Olaiya’s widow, Yinka, were at the Government House, Ado- Ekiti, wailing over their loss. Madam Olaiya said: “My son was 32-year-old. It happened at Fabo, at Efon Alaye’s Junction on the way to Ijebu-Ijesha. I was told a serving APC member of the House of Assembly shot him. He is an indigene of Efon.

“They said he was coming with some Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), members from Lagos. They made a de­tour in Osun, but they were coming to Ekiti through Ijebu-Ijesha…”

Read More: sunnewsonline