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Updated: 1 year 17 weeks ago

Explosion Rocks Kogi State Government House As Police Detonate Bomb

26 July 2022 - 8:27am

File photo used to illustrate story.

There was panic in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital in the early hours of Tuesday following a loud explosion that was heard around the ever-busy post office area of the town, making residents scamper for safety.
The bomb explosion actually took place around the premises of the office of the Secretary to Kogi State Government, Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, Daily Trust reports.

The explosion, which made workers and many residents scamper for safety, happened around 8.30am when workers were resuming in their various offices and shop owners were out to open their shops for the daily business.
It was learnt that an object like a bomb was sighted around the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs which has in its opposite and adjacent, offices of the secretary to the state government and Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, including the newly completed Muhammadu Buhari event centre that is awaiting Commission at the far opposite.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, confirmed the incident.
He said, “Yes, what happened was, we were informed of a package that looked like a bomb, left on the premises; and I immediately, deployed the bomb disposal unit there to assess the object.
“The object was immediately blown up, the explosion you heard was the handwork of our bomb disposing unit brought about by their efforts to blow up the object.”
However, he said an investigation has commenced to ascertain the character of the object to measure the motive behind its presence in the areas.

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National Strike Looms If Nigerian Government Fails To End University Lecturers’ Agitations After Our Two-Day Protest – Nigerian Labour Congress

26 July 2022 - 7:46am

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba.

The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that the union after the two-day protest against the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike may declare a nationwide industrial action.
Wabba, who spoke while featuring on Channels TV on Tuesday, said that the union members were directly affected by the ASUU strike as most of their children were at home.

SaharaReporters reported that ASUU had embarked on the lingering strike on February 14, after the Federal Government failed to implement the 2009 ASUU/FG Agreement on modalities to fund the country's public university education.
Some of the demands among others things are; the release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.
It reported that NLC declared the two-day nationwide protest for Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26 and 27 respectfully in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The NLC president said the protest was not illegal, adding that it was a democratic norm which was constitutional and supported by international charters.

He said if the government did not resolve the issues after the two-day protest, the congress would resort to a three-day warning strike.

“The two-day warning strike is to call for attention and the issues to be resolved promptly. The next level is three-day national warning strike, if nothing has happened after the protest to show our grievances,” he said.

“These are democratic norms. Everywhere in the world, even as an individual you have the right to air your grievances. It is within the provision of our law; it is backed by UN charter for human and people rights; African charter for human and peoples right. It is there in our constitution — section 39, 40. Even the court has pronounced that you don’t require any permission. It is legal and within your fundamental human rights to protest issues.

“When people say it’s illegal, I think people should remember that no condition is permanent. We have had some of our current politicians join NLC to press for similar action in the past. We are not on a solidarity action, we are affected directly.”

Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, had said the protest was against international labour practices.
Also, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, had also said the protest was illegal and would create anarchy in the country.

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ASUU Strike: Nigerian Labour Congress Warns Buhari Government Over New Version Of #EndSARS Uprising

26 July 2022 - 5:13am

The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has warned the Federal Government against provoking the people to embark on another round of nationwide protests as witnessed during the #EndSARS protest in October 2020.
The NLC urged the government to quickly take steps to resolve the ongoing industrial actions by staff unions in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The Chairperson of the Lagos Council of the NLC, Mrs Funmi Sessy, gave the warning during the solidarity rally organised by the Congress in support of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU and other unions who are on strike.

SaharaReporters reported that ASUU had embarked on the lingering strike on February 14, after the Federal Government failed to implement the 2009 ASUU/FG Agreement on modalities to fund the country's public university eduction.
Some of the demands among others things are, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.

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Nigerian Workers, NLC Protest Grounds Activities In Oyo, Edo, Kano, Kaduna, Others

26 July 2022 - 5:11am

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday began its two-day nationwide protest in solidarity with the strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress are presently protesting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in solidarity with the strike action of ASUU.

The protest is also being held in other states such as Kaduna, Edo, Kano, and Lagos states.
It has reportedly grounded government and official activities across the states as photographs of the protest marches are obtained by SaharaReporters.
The protest, the NLC said, is also an opportunity for the workers to bring the attention of the government and other relevant agencies to several other issues affecting the nation.
The scores of protesters who stormed the street carried placards with several inscriptions that called on the relevant agencies to attend to their demands.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been at loggerheads with the Federal Government since February 14 over the latter’s failure to honour some past agreements, among others.
The disagreement has kept students of public universities at home for the past five months.
Some other unions in the university system are also on strike due to disagreements with the Federal Government for different reasons.

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Falana Joins Nigerian Labour Congress Protest As Security Operatives Cordon Lagos State Secretariat

26 July 2022 - 5:06am

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, on Tuesday joined the protest organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which commenced in Lagos State.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that there was heavy presence of security operatives including policemen at the venue to prevent breach or attack on the protesters by thugs.

It was learnt that labour members, other unions, civil society groups gathered at under bridge axis in Ikeja.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had on Monday called on members and civil society groups in Lagos State to come out massively on Tuesday morning to begin the two-day protest in solidarity with striking universities’ lecturers.
Meanwhile, security operatives have surrounded all critical infrastructure at the government house in Alausa, Lagos State.
However, as of the time of filing this report, the protesters are yet to reach the secretariat but security officials are on the ground to monitor the protest.

A police officer said the presence of the security operatives was to maintain law and order and not to harass protesters.

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Ex-US President, Trump Returns To Washington Two Years After Election Loss

26 July 2022 - 4:20am

Donald Trump

United States’ former President, Donald Trump, will return to Washington on Tuesday for the first time since leaving office, delivering a policy speech before an allied think-tank that has been crafting an agenda for a possible second term.
According to CNN, Trump will address the America First Policy Institute’s two-day America First Agenda Summit as some advisers urged him to spend more time talking about his vision for the future and less time re-litigating the 2020 election as he prepares to announce an expected 2024 White House campaign.

“I believe it will be a very policy-focused, forward-leaning speech, very much like a State of the Union 5.0,” said Brooke Rollins, AFPI’s president.
Composed of former Trump administration officials and allies, the nonprofit is widely seen as an “administration in waiting” that could quickly move to the West Wing if Trump were to run again and win.
Trump’s first trip back since January 2021, when President Joe Biden was sworn into office comes as his potential 2024 rivals have been taking increasingly overt steps to challenge his status as the party’s standard-bearer.
They include former Vice President Mike Pence, who has been touting his own “Freedom Agenda” in speeches that serve as an implicit contrast with Trump.
“Some people may choose to focus on the past, but I believe conservatives must focus on the future. If we do, we won’t just win the next election, we will change the course of American history for generations,” Pence had planned to say in a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on the eve of Trump’s visit.
Pence’s appearance was postponed because of bad weather, but he will be delivering his own speech Tuesday morning before the Young America’s Foundation not far from the AFPI meeting.
Trump is said to have spent much of his time since leaving office fixated on the 2020 election and spreading lies about his loss to sow doubt about Biden’s victory.
Indeed, even as the Jan. 6 committee was laying bare his desperate and potentially illegal attempts to remain in power and his refusal to call off a violent mob of his supporters as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power, Trump continued to try to pressure officials to overturn Biden’s win, despite there being no legal means to decertify the past election.

“President Trump sees a nation in decline that is driven, in part, by rising crime and communities becoming less safe under Democrat policies,” said his spokesman, Taylor Budowich. “His remarks will highlight the policy failures of Democrats, while laying out an America First vision for public safety that will surely be a defining issue during the midterms and beyond.”
Beyond the summit, staff at the America First Policy Institute have been laying their own groundwork for the future, “making sure we do have the policies, personnel and process nailed down for every key agency when we do take the White House back,” Rollins said.

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Lagos Government Approves Four Days As Work-Free To Enable Residents Get Voter Cards

26 July 2022 - 4:10am

Permanent Voters Card (PVC)

The Lagos State Government has approved four days as work-free for civil servants in the state to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) against the July 31 deadline by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this in a statement signed by the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, on Monday, noting that the work free days begin from Tuesday, July 26 till Friday, July 29.

“It is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in the Electoral process of her country. Therefore, all Public Servants are encouraged to partake in the upcoming Year 2023 General Elections,” the government’s statement reads in part.
“Consequently, it is notified for general information that all Public Servants who are yet to register for or collect their PVC from designated INEC centres are advised do so before the deadline date of 30th July 2022.
“To this end, Mr Governor has graciously approved a Work Free Day for Public Servants to enable them process/collect their PVCs from their respective Local Governments/ Local Council Development Areas.
“Officers are expected to return back to work with their Voter’s Card after this exercise.”

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BREAKING: Illegal Task Force Officials Arrested in Lagos For Disrupting Nigerian Labour Congress Protest

26 July 2022 - 3:41am

Security operatives have arrested some illegal task force officials during the protest organised by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) in Lagos on Tuesday.
The task force officials, including a driver and other team members, created a scene after arresting an offender.

The illegal task force officials were later arrested and have been taken to the police station, The Nation reports.
It was learnt that the scene created by the task force caused some union members to engage in heated arguments with the illegal task force team.
It however took the timely intervention of the security operatives deployed to the protest ground to curtail the situation.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Sunday promised to embark on a two-day nationwide protest in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and other affiliate unions over the lingering industrial action in public universities in Nigeria.
The national president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba in a statement told fellow workers that the national days of protest were in support of the education unions in Nigeria’s public universities which are fighting for quality education.
“In line with the decisions of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress held on the 30th of June 2022, we have scheduled as follows the national days of protest to get our children back to school and support our unions in Nigeria’s public universities fighting for quality education.
“You are requested to immediately convene the meetings of your SAC to disseminate this information and to fully mobilize workers in the states for this very important protest for good governance,” Comrade Wabba said in the circular jointly signed by the NLC general secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja.

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Identities Of Terrorists’ Leaders, Who Attacked Nigerian Army Personnel In Bwari, Plan Attacks On Worship Centres In Abuja, Revealed

26 July 2022 - 2:35am

Some terrorists who planned to attack the Nigerian Law School in Abuja and later ambushed some Nigerian Army personnel in Bwari, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were led by two kingpins.
According to Daily Nigerian, the terrorists were led by two banditry kingpins, Kachalla Ali Kawaje and Kachalla Dansadi.

Kawaje, who controls hundreds of fighters in Kuyambana Forest, which stretches across Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger states, was responsible for shooting down a Nigerian Air Force jet on July 18, 2021.
Security reports say the terrorists planned to attack the Central Mosque and worship centres and security formations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This is coming few weeks after terrorists who later identitfied themselves as members of the Islamic State - West African Province (ISWAP) attacked the Kuje Correctional Centre in the Nigeria’s capital, releasing over 800 inmates including 64 Boko Haram suspects and killed 10 inmates and one security officer. 
Intelligence sources also confirmed that the terrorists were planning to plant improvised explosive devices in open manholes around security formations, mosques, churches and public places.
“Central Mosque, Abuja, was particularly targeted for attack,” the source said.
The source further revealed that credible intelligence had revealed that the kidnappers and bandits terrorising Bwari general area are camping on the mountains and caves behind Usman Dam, linking Ushafa to Mpape satellite communities.
“The terrorists have been mingling with the locals recently. They came on motorcycles from their camps to buy food and drugs in Ushafa and Mpape,” the security source added.
The source said unless serious security measures are taken to frustrate their plans, the terrorists may strike any moment.
Parts of the security measures advised during a recent security meeting are immediate replacement of the stolen manhole covers, ban on commercial motorcycles in the FCT and stepping up surveillance on the outskirts of the city.

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Atiku, Others Have No Business In Government, They Should Retire And Face The Consequences Of Darkness They Brought To Nigeria—Sowore

26 July 2022 - 2:27am

Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has told the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar and others who have been in the corridors of power since 1999 to retire and face the consequences of darkness they brought to Nigeria. 

Sowore said this during an interview on Arise TV on Sunday while reacting to the former Vice President's statement that Sowore doesn't understand the issues affecting Nigeria's power sector. 

Atiku also accused Sowore of contesting for President every four years and leaving afterwards, an allegation the AAC presidential candidate has since dismissed as 2019 was the first time he contested for President. 

"He has all along lived outside this country, he doesn't even know the policy implementation or policy initiative. When we came in, the total generation was about 4,000 megawatts, we initiated the building of 9 additional power stations. By the time those nine were finished, the capacity had gone from 4,000 to about 13,000 megawatts. And unfortunately no corresponding increase, as far as these transmission lines are concerned. They keep on collapsing because there is no way to transmit them.

"These additional nine power stations were completed by (Goodluck) Jonathan. Umaru was on it. He died, and Jonathan continued. And he completed them. That is why anytime there is an increase in power generation and then you have a transmission system, and there is no transmission to evacuate the power, it will collapse. So he doesn't even know because he lives outside this country. He comes every four years and contests for the president and goes back. What does Sowore know about this country? Nothing, absolutely nothing," Atiku had said. 

Meanwhile while reacting to this comment in the interview, Sowore said, "I think he is losing memories. Otherwise, he would have known that I have never at any point in my life left issues concerning Nigeria. In fact, for him and others, I was the source of news while they were in office. Happenings in the government. When Garba Shehu used to work with him as SA, he used to send me documents so as to counter Obasanjo in those days when they were at each other's necks. 

"And he also said that they increased electricity from 4,000 to 13,000 megawatts. That is not true. The highest Nigeria ever had is 13,000 and that was done within 16 to 20 years, they have been in power. When they were in power, the highest was 7,000 and the available for the public was 3,000 megawatts

"When Umaru Yar'Adua came, he pushed it to about 9,500 megawatts before he died. And Jonathan completed their project to 12,000 megawatts.

"Buhari in his seven years only added 1,000 megawatts. All along this period, Nigeria only has available 5,500 till today. It has now collapsed to about 2,500 megawatts.

"So who builds and generates electricity without corresponding distribution or transmission? That is where they get it wrong. So you can't be telling me you just built these megawatts without transmission lines to evacuate them. That is why I said these guys have no business in government. It is time for them to quit and retire and face the consequence of the darkness they brought to Nigeria. 

"My question to him which he didn't answer was that you guys spent $16bn to generate and procure darkness for Nigerians. He couldn't answer that. But he was saying I come to contest and go back every four years. My first time contesting was in 2019 and I have not left. I have been here since that time. But he has left each time he contested. This is going to be his seventh time contesting. I started contesting in 1992 as SU (Students Union) president, Atiku also contested during the SDP primary against Abiola. He lost and I won. It was we that fought for the 1992-93 transition mandate. I didn't know where he was. He ran away. 

"He called for a one-hour interview with Tinubu, but I am inviting all of them for one-hour interviews, Obi, Tinubu, Atiku. Let's test their record. 

"Between 2010 and 2022, the national grid collapsed 209 times. So it was why I was upset when he was talking about collapse in 2022. You guys have been collapsing the grid since you have been in power since 1999 till now." 

Sowore, however, offered solutions to the problems in the power sector, saying, "I have done the homework to discover that when you spend $70m, you are capable of erecting over 2,000 km of transmission and that is the amount we are going to spend to repair the National Assembly. 

"So, if you spend $16bn, you are capable of providing transmission all over West Africa. So, generating electricity now requires a lot of technology. And if you understand how the world works, it has to be an energy mix. 

"We can easily for the next four years that we will be in power add 15,000 to 20,000 megawatts through gas fire plants. Most of the gas fire plants they built don't have a supply. 

"Egbin has the capacity to generate 1,000 megawatts but it is doing 606. Sapele has the capacity to generate 1,080 megawatts but it is doing less than 200. So when you fire all those plants, you will make it up to 13,000."

He also proposed investing in solar energy "which is now most popular when talking about the energy transition". 

"The problem is that they built a power plant but because of corruption they didn't build gas pipelines. 

"They haven't done the right thing and these guys have no idea on how to get it right," he added.  

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Nigerian Police Storm Labour House In Adamawa Over 'Solidarity Protest’ With University Lecturers, ASUU

26 July 2022 - 2:22am

The Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, Sikiru Akande, on Tuesday led a heavy detachment of policemen to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) House, venue for takeoff of today's nationwide protest in solidarity with the striking university lecturers.
SaharaReporters sighted fierce looking armed policemen with their long convoy of personnel carrier and gun trucks in front of the gate leading into the Labour House.

It was gathered that the Commissioner of Police was inside the building, engaging with the NLC state chairman, Emmanuel Fashe.
It was not yet clear whether the police came to stop the protest or to provide security for the protesters.

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BREAKING: Massive Protest In Lagos As Nigerian Labour Congress Begins Solidarity Strike With University Lecturers, ASUU

26 July 2022 - 2:10am

The protest organised by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has commenced in Lagos State.
There is heavy presence of security operatives including the police and others are at the venue to prevent breach or attack on the protesters by thugs.

It was learnt that labour members, other unions, civil society groups gathered at under bridge axis in Ikeja.
The vehicular movements towards the protest venue have also been disrupted.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had on Monday called on members and civil society groups in Lagos State to come out massively on Tuesday morning to begin the two-day protest in solidarity with striking universities’ lecturers.
Mrs Funmi Sessi, state chairman of NLC, gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting at the union’s secretariat in Yaba, Lagos state.
She added that the exercise was ready to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the nationwide action.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been at loggerheads with the Federal Government since February 14 over the latter’s failure to honour some past agreements, among others.
The disagreement has kept students of public universities at home for the past five months.
Some other unions in the university system are also on strike due to disagreements with the Federal Government for different reasons.
The NLC therefore directed all sectors including the health, electricity and aviation to shut down operations and join the solidarity protest in support of the striking workers.

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BREAKING: Nigerian Army Searches For Captain, 13 Soldiers Abducted By Terrorists In Abuja Community While Responding To Distress Call

26 July 2022 - 2:03am

Terrorists who attempted to attack the Nigerian Law School in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have reportedly abducted a Captain of the Nigerian Army and 13 soldiers who responded to a distress call.
SaharaReporters learnt on Tuesday that the Nigerian Army has launched a search party for the Captain, who was the Commanding Officer of the 13 soldiers.

SaharaReporters had on Monday reported that the troops of the Elite Guards Brigade foiled an attack by terrorists on the Nigerian Law School in Bwari.
A military signal obtained by SaharaReporters had revealed that the gunmen on Sunday ambushed the soldiers who were on routine patrol of the area.
The troops were said to have successfully repelled the terrorists.
A military source revealed on Tuesday morning that the Commanding Officer, identified as Captain Samuel and 13 soldiers were still missing in the aftermath of the operation and a search party had been launched for them.
He said, “Thirteen soldiers with their Commanding Officer, Capt. Samuel who manned the military checkpoint at Bwari - Abuja, are missing after responding to a distress call of kidnapping of some locals by suspected Ansanru terrorist group last Sunday.
“The terrorists had earlier on Friday kidnapped many locals from the Zuma community close to Veritas University, a Catholic University located in Bwari and demanded N500,000 ransom from each of their victims. Problem started when a member of a vigilante group in the community, who was later killed by the terrorist group yesterday alerted the soldiers of this development.
“The military responded swiftly, only for their response to become fatal as we saw many soldiers with bullet wounds being evacuated from the scene of the attack, and heavy movement of military equipment like MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) Armoured Tanks and the military response team around Bwari for the past 3 days for a suspected cleanup operation.”
The source added, “As at the time of this report, the military is still in vigorous search of the Captain and his 13 other soldiers in the rocky terrain of Bwari; they have neither found them or their dead bodies. 

"When the wife of the military officer, Capt. Samuel, who is heavily pregnant, checked on her husband yesterday since she couldn't reach him on the phone, some top military officers convinced her that her husband was on a special duty and he is safe.
“It is important to note that Bwari suburb had witnessed large movements of over hundreds of people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on over 300 motorbikes a day last year and alarm was raised, but the authority said that there was no cause for fear, that those people were on a legitimate movement. Since last year, kidnappings, killings and other violent crimes have risen to apogee in Bwari and its environs. Pray for Bwari! Pray for the missing soldiers!”

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Nine Farmers Killed In Benue Community While I Was Away On Foreign Trip – Governor Ortom

26 July 2022 - 1:44am

Governor Samuel Ortom

No fewer than nine farmers have been reportedly killed at their various farms in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.
This was made known on Monday by Governor Samuel Ortom, while briefing journalists in Makurdi, blaming armed herders for the killings.

The governor explained that the incident happened recently while he was away from the state on a trip outside the country.
While he expressed worry that the terrorists were hindering the farmers from engaging in their livelihood, he added that the attackers were also raping both male and female victims.
Ortom urged the federal government to live up to expectation as things were getting worse as far security of the country was concerned.
“Nine people were killed in my own local government while I was away. It’s rainy season and these people who are supposed to be in their farms but they were killed there,” he said.
SaharaReporters had on Monday reported that Ortom slammed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government over the increasing insecurity situation saying the recent terrorists’ threat to kidnap the president showed there was no government in the country.
Ortom had stated this while reacting to a video trending on social media where bandits were flogging Kaduna-bound train attack victims and their threat to kidnap the president and the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Briefing journalists on Monday with regards to the trending event around the country at the Government House, Ortom had said Buhari government had left Nigerians digging their graves.

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A Lifeline For Judges By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN

26 July 2022 - 1:34am

About a week ago, the National Industrial Court, sitting in Abuja, directed the federal government of Nigeria to increase the salaries of all judicial officers in the country. In a landmark judgment delivered by the Honourable Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, the government was ordered to commence a monthly payment of N10 million to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), N9 million to other Justices of the Supreme Court and the President of the Court of Appeal, N8 million to the Justices of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judges of the Federal High Court and High Court of the States, Heads of the Sharia Court of Appeal and the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, while other judges of the Federal High Court, the State High Courts, Sharia Court and the Customary Court will earn N7 million, in that order. In addition, the Court held that the federal government shall continue to carry out a yearly or once in two years review of the salaries and allowances of all judicial officers. In its judgment, the court held that the refusal of the government to review the salaries and allowances of judicial officers for fourteen years was unconstitutional, unlawful, adding that the National Industrial Court has the power to compel the government to do the needful. 
The judgment of the Court is sequel to the suit filed by renown author and legal luminary, Dr. Sebastine Hon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, against the National Assembly, Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission, Attorney-General of the Federation and the National Judicial Council as the 1st to 4th defendants, respectively. In his affidavit in support of the case, Dr. Hon, SAN stated that as a legal practitioner who has practiced in all the levels of courts in Nigeria, he was aware that the poor pay for judicial officers is seriously affecting the quality of judgments and rulings being delivered and also the discharge of other functions associated with their office. He stated further that the current economic reality in the country requires that the salaries and allowances of judges be improved upon, urgently. The Claimant noted that the highest paid judicial officer in Nigeria, the CJN, currently earns about N3.4 million per annum, far below what is earned by such an officer in other countries. While quoting what all judicial officers currently earn as provided under Part IIB of the Schedule to the Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) Amendment Act 2008, Dr. Hon, SAN averred that the said paltry sums have discouraged him from aspiring to become a judge.

I have described the commendable efforts of Dr. Hon, SAN as a lifeline for the judges because it is long overdue. We have heard lamentations and complaints from judicial officers during their valedictory speeches, at times embarrassingly, on the state of wanton neglect of the judiciary. The judiciary remains one of the gateways to the economic progress of any nation as the mode and time of resolution of legal disputes are key issues to consider in investment decisions and also part of the indices for determining the ease of doing business. For anyone who has experienced the near-drowning syndrome while swimming or in accident situations, it is always a matter of lapping on to any and all things for immediate rescue or else life is gone. The appalling situation of the judiciary in Nigeria is not so very well appreciated by many. Without mentioning names, there are judges who buy their own generators and fuel them in order to discharge their duties. Some buy stationery and even help to augment the meagre take home pay of those working with them in the courts. Some other judges have no drivers whilst some have no official accommodation. And do you know that when judges retire from service, they become orphans and their pension is not paid as and when due? It got so bad that a retired judge in Lagos recently had to approach the court to get the government to pay his pension. When those of them in service get to hear of such neglect, how do you think they will react? The judiciary had long been in urgent need of the kind of lifeline that Dr. Hon, SAN threw at them, for their survival and for the survival of Nigeria. We cannot pretend about that.
For the lifeline to be of any value however, it must go with autonomy and independence for judges, especially at the State High Courts, where the muzzling of judicial officers by the executive arm of government has reached an epidemic proportion. What this has done is to turn the governors into some kind of emperors who can do no wrong. No matter the amount of money thrown at judges, it will not make the desired impact if they are not free to decide cases in line with the prevailing law and their conscience. A rich man in chains is worse than a poor man who is free. We must all agree to allow our judicial officers the independence that they so richly deserve if justice is to bear its proper meaning. The seeming neglect of the judiciary by the other arms of government is rather unfortunate as in most cases, they need the courts more for them to function effectively. Just imagine the confusion that the Electoral Act 2022 has created already or even the issue of candidates participating in multiple primary elections. What about the case of public servants who want to actualize their political ambitions through the ballot? A nation with poorly paid judges is courting trouble for itself.
Be that as it may, my focus here is beyond salaries and allowances of judges as that is only an aspect of the issues plaguing the judicial sector. My humble appeal is for My Lords to take this lifeline as a challenge of some sort. We as citizens have agonized on behalf of the judiciary for so long on how to achieve effective administration of justice. How do we eliminate the delays, the frustrations and the disappointments that lawyers and litigants go through every day in the courts? The situation in the Lagos State High Court for instance has reached a dead end. New cases filed in these courts remain in the Registry for months unattended to. The e-filing system has become the albatross of the judiciary in Lagos State. Presently, to get a permanent suit number, you have to embrace some prayer and fasting. And while you’re at it, the mischief that was sought to be tackled through the case would have been consolidated by the adversary. What this means is that the court has gradually become a shield for wrongdoers, by default. When a system is subjected to such a grinding delay, then desperation will set in, by those who are eager to have their matters heard expeditiously. Corruption will surely follow such experience as court officials would readily cash in on the misfortune of litigants and lawyers to make brisk business. It is good that the Judiciary Committee of the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association is already collaborating with the authorities of the judiciary in Lagos State to tackle this menace. Let other States take a cue to avoid this pitfall in the implementation of their e-filing systems.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

Appoint Resident Electoral Commissioners With Integrity, Neutrality In 10 Vacant States – Civil Societies Tell Buhari

26 July 2022 - 1:30am

Some civil society organisations in Nigeria have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop further delay in the nomination and appointment of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) into the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace 10 states whose tenure of their RECs ended.
The group stated that further delay in the appointment would undermine the preparations for the 2023 general elections as well as diminish public confidence in the electoral process.

The affected states whose tenure of their Resident Electoral Commissioners ended on July 6, 2022, are; Anambra, Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Oyo, Kogi, Bauchi, Gombe, and Taraba states, while Eight other RECs from Kaduna, Kano, Adamawa, Katsina, Osun, Niger, Akwa-Ibom, and Sokoto will be completing their term on August 11, 2022.
By August 11, INEC offices in 18 states will witness leadership transition exactly 215 days (seven months) to the 2023 general election.
However, nine CSOs in a joint statement issued on July 26, 2022, titled: "Joint Civil Society Statement on the Delayed Appointment of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) into the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)", also advised the President to ensure that he nominated individuals with unquestionable integrity and political neutrality
The statement partly read, "The civil society community is concerned about the delay in the appointment of RECs into INEC especially in the 10 states where the tenure of the outgone RECs has expired. No doubt, the exit of the RECs creates a leadership vacuum in those states that begs for urgent action from the President and National Assembly.
"The appointment of RECs has become very urgent considering the Commission is entering a critical phase in the preparations for the 2023 general elections, particularly with the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

"We commend the outgone and outgoing RECs for their hard work and meritorious service to the nation. Their stewardship as the heads of INEC in the states they served has contributed to the marked improvement in elections in Nigeria and the strengthening of our democracy. As they finish their tenures, we wish them the best in their future endeavours.

It added, "Effective electoral administration is contingent on the sufficiency of competent, and professional staff with the legal power to exercise regulatory authority over electoral processes.
"An understaffed INEC at the state level is incapable of delivering credible, transparent, inclusive and conclusive elections at all levels.
"It is therefore important for President Buhari to prioritise exercising his constitutional power to appoint new RECs into INEC to avail the Commission with the requisite manpower, and leadership it requires to organise credible elections in 2023. Further delay in the appointment will undermine the preparations for the general elections as well as diminish public confidence in the electoral process.

"It is critical for the legitimacy and success of the 2023 general election that the appointment of the RECs is concluded expeditiously in a transparent, non-partisan and professional manner. To this end, the Civil Society community makes the following call;

"That President Muhammadu Buhari should as a matter of urgency, expedite the nomination of individuals with unquestionable integrity, professional competence, experience, and political neutrality as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners;

"That in making nominations into INEC, President Buhari should be guided by the judgment of the Federal High Court on affirmative action wherein the court directed that all appointments must comply with the 35% affirmative action for women.
"In the same vein, the President should ensure the representation of Persons with disability (PWDs) and young people in the appointments. That the Senate accelerates the process of screening nominees without compromising due diligence and comprehensive scrutiny of nominations forwarded by the President."

The CSOs who signed the statement are, Yiaga Africa, International Press Centre, Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund, Centre of Media and Society, The Albino Foundation, Elect Her, The Kukah Centre, Partners for Electoral Reform and Inclusive Friends Association.

News AddThis :  Original Author :  saharareporters, new york Disable advertisements : 
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Why I Refused To Become US Citizen – AfDB President, Adesina

26 July 2022 - 12:53am

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said that Nigerians in diaspora excel and lead in various endeavour because the gene of excellence is programmed into them.
Adesina, who stated this in his speech delivered at Nigeria's Diaspora Day Celebration delivered virtually, stated that Nigerians had an incredible capacity to adapt in any environment and to thrive against all odds.

The Nigerian former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, revealed how he rejected to become an American citizen, because he believed that God did not make a mistake creating him a Nigerian.
He said "Take to anywhere in the world you will find Nigerians. We have an incredible capacity to adapt in any environment and to thrive against all odds. Whether in literally art, music, fashion, hospitality, engineering, sports, medicine, science and technology, mathematics, finance or in the International Development, Nigerians in diaspora are pacesetters.
"We lead as Nigerians in diaspora for one simple reason; I believe, we have genes of excellence programmed into us as Nigerians.
"Today for the first time in our history a Nigerian is the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, a Nigerian is the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, a Nigerian is the President of the African Development Bank that is myself, a Nigerian is the President of Afreximbank and until passing away sadly recently, a Nigerian was the President of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
"A Nigerian, professor Wole Soyinka who actually spend a significant amount of time in the diaspora won the Nobel prize in literature, the first ever by a Nigerian. As a member of the diaspora I have had the honour of winning the world food price, the first ever by a Nigerian. A Nigerian Robert Okeji was named into the US National Aeronautic Space Administration, NASA inventors hall of fame, a Nigerian won the two times World Heavyweight Championship of the world, and a young Nigerian woman in the diaspora was named most outstanding chief marketing Officer in the world by Ford, a Nigerian in the diaspora hold sway as the minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Albert in Canada.
"Now, from those holding high positions to those working day and night, with a long night shift to make an honest living, Nigerians in diaspora have continue to make Nigeria proud. They never forget where their home is."

He further stated, "Earlier in my professional career, I was asked will you stay in the United States and eventually become a citizen and I said no. I showed my colleague my green passport and I said God did not make a mistake to make me a Nigerian. I will live as a Nigerian, I will die as a Nigerian and on the Resurrection morning, I will ask God for permission if possible to rise as a Nigerian if I can hold green white green flag in my hands."
While commending the Nigerian Diaspora Commission in its efforts in focusing on the role, needs and contributions of Nigerians in diaspora, Adesina said that Nigerians in diaspora are like billboards on which Nigeria exhibit itself.
"Today we celebrate 17 million Nigerians in the diaspora who are setting records. We have a duty and responsibility to do so. We represent ourselves and the nation of our birth. Nigerians have proven over and over again even against all odds, great odds if I may say that they can be trusted in leadership positions at the highest levels of enterprise and public life."

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Some Wealthy Nigerians Smuggle Aviation Fuel, Jet A-1 To Other West African Countries, Cause Shortage In Nigeria – Senate

26 July 2022 - 12:42am

The Nigerian Senate committee has revealed that some corrupt and wealthy Nigerians are stealing and exporting the aviation fuel, Jet A-1 to neighbouring West African countries which is the reason for the scarcity in the country.
The senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District and the Chairman of the Senate Aviation Committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said this in an interview with PUNCH, adding that the situation had added to the problem of lack of refineries that the country had been battling with.

He further lamented that the situation had been worsened by the increase in the number of Nigerians who could no longer travel by road due to the insecurity issues.
The senator added that there was no way the economy could thrive when some people kept stealing from the economy.
Adeyemi said, “Before now, we used to procure our oil from Europe but they no longer have that capacity, especially because of the diplomatic issue between Europe and Russia. Europe is no longer buying fuel from Russia, so they have to do with what they have.  As you can see, the pump price of PMS has gone up in Europe itself.
“The consequence for us is that what we would have used as proceeds is what we are using to import back PMS to the country for local consumption. The same thing goes for aviation; the JET A-1 that is being imported is beyond what our country is consuming. Nigerians are smuggling JET A-1 to other West African countries. So, it means neighbouring countries live on what Nigeria is bringing in and that accounts for why the subsidy keeps increasing.
“The people doing this bunker and stealing of our resources aren’t ordinary Nigerians. They are rich and powerful people who have become cabals; they do this stealing in very large quantities. How can anybody justify that 80 per cent of what we produce is stolen?”
The lawmaker further lamented that it was painful as it was further hampering the economy of the country.
He added, “But what can we do when the refineries are not working. The concern of everyone is to make the refineries work and build one or two more refineries.
“When the refineries are not working, these are the consequences and more so with the global economic recession, the recession will first manifest in the aviation industry and that is because people are now traveling more by air than before.
“Also, our own inability to make refineries work and the devaluation of the naira are making it difficult for airlines to get the Jet A-1 and once it’s not available, then there is no way people can move. And it may continue for a while. And apart from the importation business, aviation is a major driver of the economy.
“Many people cannot go by road because of the security state of the nation. And as it is today, the airlines are finding it hard to procure servicing parts because of the cost. I think again, like I said, aviation is very important to the socio-economic development of any nation. Ours is more serious because it is crude, so until we get the refineries working, we cannot think of the other solutions to the aviation industry.”
Adeyemi noted that the good news, however, was that there was rehabilitation work going on at the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, will be visiting the place next week to look at the refineries.

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Explosion In Borno As Boko Haram’s Bomb Kills Eight Persons

26 July 2022 - 12:33am

Eight persons were on Monday killed after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by the Boko Haram terrorists exploded in the North-East of the Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
The men, said to be repentant Boko Haram members, reportedly sneaked out of Bama to deal in scrap metals with some terrorists in a market known as ‘Daula’ on the outskirts of Goniri village before the incident happened.

The former terrorists, who were among the 1,000 reintegrated into the community and resettled at Government Girls Secondary School in Bama, received the scraps from some Boko Haram fighters hiding in Sambisa forest without knowing that an IED abandoned during a military offensive was among the items they were carrying.
Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency expert, reportedly got the information about the incident from an intelligence officer.
He added that the former terrorists constantly dealt in exchanging scrap metal for food items like salt, seasoning, maize, and some non-food items like petrol, medicine, and clothing.
“After receiving the items, they will stay in the outskirt of Bama town to dismantle them into pieces known as Ajakuta, before bringing them into the town to sell to their agents.
“They were in the process of dismantling the iron when the bomb exploded, killing eight of them instantly while only one of them survived with injuries.
“Some of them lost two of their legs, some were decapitated beyond recognition while some of them were shattered into pieces by the explosive,” he said.

Insecurity News AddThis :  Original Author :  Sahara Reporters, New york. Disable advertisements : 
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Alleged Organ Trafficking: UK Court Grants Beatrice Ekweremadu Stringent Bail, Orders Nigerian Senator To Remain In Prison

26 July 2022 - 12:23am

A United Kingdom court has granted former Nigerian Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu’s wife, Beatrice, bail under stringent conditions.
Beatrice Ekweremadu was granted bail by the London court on Monday, over a month after she was held by the UK police on charges of human trafficking and organ harvesting.

Ekweremadu was arrested alongside her husband on June 23 by the police, claiming they tried to traffic a minor to illegally harvest his organ.
The claim that the alleged victim was subsequently debunked after passports, national ID and other documents showed the person as 21.
Still, the Ekweremadus remained behind bars since then and were not granted bail after appearing in court on July 7.
The matter was postponed until August for further hearing before Monday’s decision to free Beatrice Ekweremadu while the senator would remain in custody.
“The position is that I have granted bail to Beatrice subject to some fairly stringent conditions but I have refused bail to Ike,” the Common Serjeant of London, Richard Marks, said in his ruling on Monday evening.
Ekweremadu, 60, a serving senator from Enugu, was Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President from 2015 to 2019. He unsuccessfully ran to be governor of his state during the Peoples Democratic Party’s primaries in May.
The court did not immediately say the stringent terms set for Beatrice Ekweremadu or when the senator would be released before adjourning the matter till August 4.

Scandal News AddThis :  Original Author :  Sahara Reporters, New york. Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio