ASUU Ends Warning Strike, Orders Lecturers Back To Class Wednesday

The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday confirmed that it had ended its one week nationwide warning strike over the non-implementation of a 2009 agreement with the Federal Government.

The President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who said this in Abuja, urged lecturers to return to work.

“We are making progress, especially with the intervention of the Senate. In the next one or two meetings, if we are able to get a clear path to the matter, we will avoid elongation of the strike action.

“I have been receiving these reports that ASUU says strike continues. No. The strike ends today (Tuesday). All lecturers are to go back to work Wednesday morning.”

According to him, ASUU was hopeful of a positive outcome, going by the response coming from the Federal Government.


Money Laundering: Diezani Back In London Court March

Former Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and her mother Beatrice Agama have been told by a London court that they may still have a case to answer regarding the £27,000 money laundering and bribery allegation made against her by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The ex-minister, who was first arraigned at the Westminster Magistrate’s Court in October last year, would have to return again in March on the request of the NCA for another six months to give the agency more time to tighten its case.

With the March date, it is the third time in one year that Mrs. Alison-Madueke and others would be invited.

The former minister, her mother (the lead suspect); son Ugonna Madueke, family friend Ms Melanie Spencer, wife of a Ghanaian oil tycoon, Kevin Okyere and one of her siblings are all on the radar of the UK crime agency.

It is typical of the NCA, drawing its authority from the Proceeds of Crime Act, to ask for more time for its investigations to build a strong case.

The Proceeds of Crime Act says: “The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with criminal confiscation being the most commonly used power.”

Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place. Other means of recovering the proceeds of crime, which do not require a conviction, are provided for in the Act, namely civil recovery, cash seizure and taxation powers.

The investigation is now global, extending to Nigeria and Switzerland, where billionaire businessman Kola Aluko was questioned and his home raided on the request of the NCA.

Aluko, who has Swiss nationality and owns Atlantic Energy, did some oil deals with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) when Mrs. Alison-Madueke was in charge.

He is believed to be a key figure in the money laundering network.

Atlantic Energy signed a lucrative strategic alliance in 2011 with NNPC under Mrs. Alison-Madueke, giving it the right to sell oil from four big blocks on behalf of Nigeria.

Before the oil price crashed, Aluko said the commercial value of the contract was estimated at $7 billion.

Aluko confirmed to the Sunday Times of London last year that he was under a probe on potential violations of the United Kingdom Proceeds of Crime Act and Bribery Act. But he professed his innocence.

He said: “I am willing to co-operate with anybody. I have nothing to hide.”

The businessman added that he paid the rent on a flat in St John’s Wood in London for Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s mother, “as well as bringing her hams, sausages and orchids”.

Beatrice, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, son and others involved in the laundering and bribery allegation risk losing the £27,000 in contention and jail term, if the charges were proven against them in court.


‘Money laundering’: Diezani back in London court March

Fisherman Discovers Giant 14-Pound Lobster, Releases It Back To Sea

Fisherman Tristin Loescher from the Sanctuary Marine in Bermuda was fishing for grey snapper one night after Hurricane Nicole lashed the area, and instead, discovered an enormous, 14-pound lobster.

“Never in my life have I seen anything this big,” Loescher, who has been lobster diving for about 15 years, told “I think never in my life will I see one this big again.”

Ebola: Where Is It Hiding And When Will It Be Back?

Ebola is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can spread between animals and humans. It burns hot and fast through people. Its ruthless nature means that we are often the end of the line for the virus: a host like us that gets too sick too fast, that dies too quickly, cuts down the virus’s ability to jump into a fresh body. To remain a threat, Ebola needs a safe house in which to lie low and hide.

Such a long-term host, the quiet refuge of a pathogen, is known as a reservoir species. If a reservoir species is Ebola’s safe house, we are its luxury retirement property, a place for it to live out its last days with a bang. The trouble is that we aren’t sure where the safe house is. If we are going to be vigilant against Ebola’s re-emergence, we need to find it.
Searches so far have focused on forested parts of Africa, the home of a number of possible reservoirs. Classically, bats have been considered the most likely culprits, given that they overlap with humans geographically and can carry Ebola infection without symptoms. Based on research that has tested a wide variety of small mammals, bats, primates, insects and amphibians, several species of fruit bat have emerged as possible candidates.
A 2005 study published in Nature and helmed by Eric Leroy tested over 1,000 small vertebrates in central Africa and found evidence of symptomless Ebola infection in three species of fruit bat, suggesting that these animals — which are sometimes hunted for bushmeat — might be Ebola’s reservoir. An editor’s summary ran alongside the paper, titled simply: “Ebola virus: don’t eat the bats.”
But not everyone is convinced that fruit bats are to blame. Some researchers, like Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, are working with circumstantial evidence that points to the insectivorous bat Mops condylurus. The first — or “index” — case of the 2014 Ebola epidemic was traced to a two-year-old boy in Guinea who may have spent time inside a large hollow cola tree near his house before falling ill.
The tree was a known roost for these bats and a popular neighborhood play spot. The boy died in December 2013, and by the following March, officials were alerting the public to the brewing outbreak. However, by the time researchers arrived in April to examine the tree and its inhabitants, it had been burned down.
Still others are looking elsewhere for Ebola’s home, skeptical that bats are to blame. Virologist Jens Kuhn of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, has told Nature that he thinks bats live much too close to humans: if they were the reservoir, it would be curious that there have been so few emergences of Ebola since we first discovered the virus 40 years ago. Instead, he believes insects or fungi could be possibilities.
As Kuhn told National Geographic in 2015, he’s betting on finding Ebola in a “strange host”, explaining that perhaps the virus is hiding in a tick or a flea that intermittently bites bats, which only sometimes initiates the virus’s move from the wild into human communities.
Read More: CNN

BringBackOurGirls Group Hits Back At Presidency

BringBackOurGirls group said yesterday that the statement by the presidency a few days ago, in response to its assessment of the federal government’s effort to rescue the kidnapped 218 Chibok girls — since its engagement with the President in July 2015, was a misrepresentation of the group.

The advocacy group in a statement signed by Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwesili last night, said that contrary to the presidency’s insinuation, the movement could not be insensitive to the loss of lives and livelihoods of other Nigerians, as well as the plight of those facing the humanitarian tragedy, saying its members absolutely reject the ‘’false labelling’.

Presenting its monthly monitoring report for July 2016, BringBackOurGirls said that July 15 was 27 months to the sad day in April 2014, when the Chibok girls were abducted from their dormitories in Government Secondary School, Chibok, adding that 822 days later, 218 girls remain in captivity.

‘’We present this as part of our monthly monitoring of the efforts to rescue our girls and bring an end to the Boko Haram Insurgency’’, the group added.

‘’In a continuation of recent trends, the last month marked the liberation of thousands of our citizens and the opening up of more access routes. We also recorded a declining number of insurgent attacks within our shores and witnessed peaceful Eid celebrations in the capitals of the North East for the first time in over five years.

‘’We continue to commend our security forces for these successes which have inspired renewed hope and conviction in the capacity of our troops to #BringBackOurGirls and ensure an end to the insurgency. Sadly however, the period brought to light the scale of humanitarian crisis in the North East occasioned by acute malnutrition among children and adults, and the real threat to survival of an entire generation of our people.’’

The advocacy group added that nothing reinforced its repeated call for urgency and a more visible, deliberate and result-based humanitarian response to the insurgency than the submission from a July 8 statement by the UN Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, Toby Lanzer, who said, “A failure to act now will result in deeper and broader suffering, unlike any seen to date in Nigeria’s North East and a steeper bill for all concerned to alleviate suffering and stabilize the situation.”

The group added: ‘’We shudder at the possibility of more suffering for our fellow citizens in the North East, especially knowing what they have been through in the last few years”.

‘’Since the abduction of our girls we have led several initiatives, often times in advance of government. We crowd sourced the Citizens Solution to end terrorism early on and highlighted the need for improved military welfare and a comprehensive de-radicalisation program, among others.

‘’We anticipated the need for a system of handling the movement of affected communities and designed both the Verification, Authentication and Reunification System (VARS) and modalities for a Missing Persons’ Register.’’

The group said it had also mobilised relief materials and campaigned on behalf of the Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees in neighbouring countries, going on to warn of an impending humanitarian tragedy for many months before any action began.

Credit: Thisday

Brexit: Britain Leaving EU, Must Not Turn Our Back On Europe– Cameron

EU leaders attempted to rescue the European project and Prime Minister David Cameron sought to calm fears over Britain’s vote to leave the bloc as the country lost its prized top-category credit rating.

Britain has been pitched into uncertainty by Thursday’s referendum result, with Cameron announcing his resignation, the economy facing a string of shocks and Scotland making a fresh threat to break away.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who flew to Brussels and London for talks on the crisis, said there was also “a genuine fear of contagion” and the leaders of Germany, France and Italy vowed a “new impulse” for the EU at talks in Berlin.

While Cameron does not want to trigger the process to leave before he steps down by September, he is facing pressure from other EU leaders to hurry the process up ahead of a flashpoint Brussels summit Tuesday.

But he is also facing pressure at home from those who opposed leaving the EU not to rush into a swift settlement. Nearly four million people have now signed a petition calling for a second referendum on EU membership.

In his first appearance before a sombre House of Commons since the referendum, Cameron told lawmakers he wanted to retain the “strongest possible economic links with our European leaders”.

“Britain is leaving the European Union, but we must not turn our back on Europe — or on the rest of the world,” he added. He also announced the creation of a new government unit that will plan Britain’s withdrawal from the EU — a first for a European Union member state.

Credit: Vanguard


Radio Biafra Back On Air, Prays For Confusion In Enemies Camp

Radio Biafra which has been off the air for some time, is currently streaming live across the Nigerian airwaves without Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Checks by an online medium, TheCable revealed that the station is live on Tune In, an Internet radio airing across the world. According to the TheCable, “the radio station has hit the airwaves pushing the same message of “freedom of Biafraland” while condemning the happenings in Nigeria, regarded as a Zoo. Radio Biafra is airing from “30 Sandlings Close, Pilkington Road, London, SE11 3SY England, United Kingdom”.

When TheCable tuned in, the anchor, who was referred to as the new deputy director of the station, was complaining about the state of power and energy resources in the country. After receiving a call from Nigeria to complain that the radio was not being aired via FM in some parts of south east Nigeria, the anchor responded by saying the problem would be resolved.

“There is no problem with our general platform, we would look into it tomorrow. We are not forgetting our leader, Kanu. Lord God almighty, grant our leader protection. Continue to set confusion in the midst of our enemies, grant us total freedom”, he said.

Security agents had earlier arrested suspected masterminds of Radio Biafra, and charging its leader to court for treasonable felony. The signals were also reportedly jammed after initial failed attempts, but the station is still broadcasting on the world wide web, after months off air.

Credit: vanguardngr

Ministerial Slot: Ekiti APC Stakeholders Back Falana

Stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State have said that rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), is qualified for the office of minister based on his antecedents as advocate of good gover­nance and defender of hu­man rights.

The APC stakeholders from Ekiti South-West Council Area of the state, who threw their weight behind the nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari of Falana as min­ister, said appointment of the rights activist, who they described as a “com­pletely neutral person, is the best thing that can happen to the party in the state for now as the legal luminary would be in the best position to rally all factions for success in fu­ture elections”.

They described as “mis­chief makers”, those who wrote petitions to chal­lenge his nomination on grounds that he was not a card-carrying member of the party on Ekiti State.

Read More: nationalmirroronline


Cameroon Sends Back 650 More Nigerian IDPs

Sa’ad Bello, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Camps Coordinator, said on Wednesday in Fufore, Adamawa, that the agency has received another 650 Nigerians sent back home from Cameroun Republic.

“So far, we have received over 9,000 Nigerians who escaped from Boko Haram attacks to Cameroun Republic,” he said. “The repatriated Nigerians were mostly women and children from Borno.”

According to him, the agency has settled the IDPs in four major camps in the state which include the NYSC Orientation Camp at Bajabure in Girei Council Area, the Malkohi IDPs Camp in Yola South Council Area, the Fufore Camp in Fufore Local Government and Saint Theresa Catholic Camp in Yola North Area.

He said that the new IDPs were undergoing intensive security and health screening, and appealed to well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to collaborate with the agency in assisting the IDPs.

Read More: dailytimes

Buhari Fires Back At Saraki

President Muhammadu Buhari has denied claims by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki that he dropped his presidential ambition because of him. Buhari noted that Saraki never contested the presidential ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the party’s presidential  primaries in January.

Buhari was reacting to claims by Saraki that he stepped down from the presidential race to support the emergence of Buhari as the APC candidate for the March 28 presidential election.

Buhari, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said there was no truth in Saraki’s claim. He noted that Saraki was not among those who contested for APC Presidential ticket and so could not have stepped down for him.

Read MoreNationalMirror

Marwa Leads Supporters Back To APC

A week after his formal resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party, a former military administrator of Lagos and Borno States and Nigeria’s ex-Envoy to South Africa, Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), on Wednesday returned to the All Progressives Congress with thousands of his supporters across Adamawa state.

A statement issued in Abuja by Marwa’s media aide, Bello Zubairu, said,  “the decision to return to the APC was jointly reached at a well attended meeting today (Wednesday) between Marwa and his supporters under the aegis of ‘The Marwa Organization.’”

He quoted Marwa as reminding the gathering that they had no reason to leave APC before but for the fact that thousands of TMO members were denied registration into APC in Adamawa State when the party was newly formed.

Marwa told his supporters that, “All efforts to seek redress through the appropriate channels were to no avail, thus leaving thousands of you, TMO members, without a party. I therefore  urge you all to forgo your grievances and let bygones be bygones because with President
Muhammadu Buhari in the saddle, such impunity won’t happen again.

“Nigerians and all elected and appointed officials across the country should support President Buhari and work for positive change in Nigeria.”