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Daily Archives: February 20, 2018

OAU striking staff shut school down again

A strike by the Joint Action Committee, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has degenerated to a ‘total and comprehensive’ action, causing the blockade of the main roads and disruption of water and electricity supplies to the campus.

The JAC, consisting of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU; and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, had started their strike at the beginning of December last year after they disagreed with authorities over the sharing of the earned allowances between them and their teaching staff counterparts.

But with the commencement of the examinations in January, the action was reviewed to allow the school provide a limited level of service to the students studying.

With the examinations over last Saturday, the striking group said they are bringing the school to a halt.

“We held congress last week Friday and it was at the congress that we reached a resolution that we must shut the university this week,” said a staffer, Oyeleke Adelegan.

Mr. Oyelegan said: “The university management was given two weeks to conduct exams for students and they even went ahead to breach the agreement for making the exam last for three weeks and now that the students are done with the exam. We have to go back to our total and comprehensive strike,” he said.

The chairman of the NASU, OAU, Wole Odewunmi said the striking unions had earlier cooperated with the university basically, ”because of the students.”

“We agreed to reduce the ‘force’ of the strike because of the students’ examinations because we are also parents and we know that they are lagging behind. Now that they are done with their exams, we are going back to the total and comprehensive shut-down of the university.

“As you can see, the roads have been blocked and we can no longer guarantee electricity, water and others.”

Our correspondent saw how the roads on the campus, including the main Adesoji Aderemi Road, also known as ‘Road 1’, were blocked on Monday and Tuesday.

Man accuses wife of being pregnant for boyfriend, seeks divorce

A 34-year-old man has approached the Igando Customary court for dissolution of marriage after accusing his wife of being pregnant for her boyfriend.

Ola Ismaila, an indigene of Ede, Osun State, said he got to know about his wife’s supposed pregnancy when she started having stomach pains.

Mr. Ismaila said his suspicion was confirmed when he caught his wife, Aminat, patronising a midwife for a pregnancy test and possible abortion.

“I have not released in her whenever we have sex based on doctor’s advice,” Mr. Ismaila said.

“Right from the day I got married to her, her way has been questionable. She has a boyfriend. The boyfriend even called her right on our matrimonial bed around 7 a.m. How can an unmarried man call my wife around 7 a.m.?

“Her mother could testify to her infidelity. Even when I reported her to the mum, she corrected her and asked her to delete her boyfriend’s number from her mobile phone.”

Mr. Ismaila also accused his wife, who is his landlord’s daughter, of being fetish.

“When she was pregnant with her twins, she brought an oil from her mum telling me to use. After bathing and drinking out of the oil, things turned around. My job became so bad to the point I couldn’t feed my family.”

He further accused her of threatening his life with a knife.

But Aminat denied all the allegations but said she used the knife in self-defence.

“He brought out cutlass the first and second time, then the third time, I picked up a knife to defend myself,” she said.

“I have never cheated on my husband. The man that called me was my JAMB mate. I called him after missing his call the night before. It was around 9 am that I spoke with him.

“I was not pregnant for any man. I was only having pain below my abdomen after an operation I had while giving birth to our child. My husband was just being suspicious for what is not real.

“About the oil, it was given to me by my mum which she got from a church. Everybody that used out of the oil never complained except him.”

She further pleaded with the court not dissolve their four-year-old marriage, adding that she still loves him despite her husband’s “lack of love.”

Akin Akinniyi, the court president, ruled that the couple should be referred to the dispute resolution section.

He said they both lacked understanding, adding that the court was not just a dissolution centre but a reconciliation home.

He adjourned the case till March 6.

NAHCON refunds N820m to Hajj 2017 pilgrims

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has released over N820 million (N820,283,965) as refund to state Muslim pilgrims welfare boards and agencies for 2017 Hajj operations.

The refunds consist of about N181 million for pilgrims and officials of states that could not travel for the pilgrimage and N209 million refundable deposits from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj.

It also consists of refunds for catering services that were either not rendered or poorly rendered for which the commission did not pay the service providers. This was about N46.1 million.

Other refunds, according to Adamu Abdullahi, NAHCON spokesperson, in a statement Tuesday, consists of “sums for poorly rendered tent-C services, faulty cooling systems at Arafat for which the total sum of N278 million was demanded and collected by the commission from the organisation responsible,”

The refunds, he added, also comprise N1.5 million for states that did not receive Zam-zam water.

“The refund, which was done in two batches, witnessed eleven state pilgrims boards receiving a total of N401,291,658.41 in December 2017, while 13 pilgrims boards and agencies received N418,992,307.77 as the second batch in 2018 after reconciliations,” Mr. Abdullahi said.

NAHCON advised all concerned pilgrims to check with their respective state pilgrims boards and agencies for collection.

“The refund exercise will be monitored by NAHCON and appropriate security agencies nationwide. NAHCON also directs that any refunds not collected should be returned to the Commission,” the agency said.

NNPC fuel import gulps $5.8bn — but scarcity persists

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday said it has spent $5.8 billion to import 9.8 million metric tons of petrol since late last year to combat the fuel crisis.

Mainkati Baru, NNPC group managing director, said at the public hearing held by the senate committee on public accounts in Abuja that the corporation had to carry out the massive importation after private fuel marketing companies abandoned the trade because of the high landing cost of the fuel.

This, he said, made cost recovery and profitability difficult owing to the regulated price regime.

“This is in fulfilment of (NNPC’s) statutory role of supplier of last resort to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer as a result of product unavailability,” a statement from the corporation quoted Baru as saying.

The NNPC boss, however, pointed out that cross-border smuggling owing to price disparity between Nigeria and neighbouring countries where a litre of petrol sells above N350 per litre as well as logistic issues in trucking products to different locations across the country remained serious challenges in the quest for fuel queue-free situation in the country.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producing country with over 2 million barrels per day of output, imports more than 85% needs of its PMS needs because of inadequate local refining.

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, said on Tuesday the government was working on plans to bring in private sector investment in the repair and management of the refineries and get them up to about 90% of capacity.

“That process is almost completed now, probably in a matter of weeks, we will be announcing the winners,” he said.

“We want to get the private sector to be major investors in building new refineries.”

JUST IN: Dana aircraft overshoots runway in Port Harcourt

A Dana aircraft with registration number 5N-SRI performing a flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt has overshot the runway and ended up in the bush in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Passengers on board the Dana aircraft are currently being evacuated from a nearby bush in Omagwa neighborhood where the Port Harcourt International airport is located in Rivers state.

Emergency officials state that no one was injured as at the time of filing this report.


Police arrest mastermind of Benue killings

Following strict orders by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to his Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and other operational apparatus of the police, the mastermind of the Fulani herdsmen responsible for the recent attacks in Benue State, was arrested by the police.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, DIG Joshak Habillah, who made this disclosure on behalf of the IGP said the mastermind was arrested after deploying the most advanced technology and trailing him for more than three weeks.

The suspect, who was identified as 40-year-old Alhaji Laggi, was arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at the Tunga Forrest in Nasarawa State.

Asides Laggi, the police authorities said four other principal suspects were arrested between February 16 to 19 also in Tunga town, Nasarawa State, in possession of AK47 rifles and other prohibited arms.

The four suspects were arrested in connection to the killing of Sergeant Solomon Dung, other police officers and many innocent citizens in Benue State.

While Laggi was fingered as the mastermind, the other four were identified as Mallam Mumini Abdullahi, 34, Muhammed Adamu, 30 and Ibrahim Sule, 32.

During preliminary interrogations, the suspects confessed to the killings and mentioned their fleeing gang members who are in possession of the police rifles they took from the cops they murdered.

Already the police said serious follow up is in progress in Benue, Taraba and Benue States.

It would be recalled that the IGP had given the Marching orders on Sunday by deploying three additional Police Mobile Force units (PMF) following the recent killings of citizens in the Zurmi area of Zamfara State.

The additional deployment brought to 10 the PMF units dispatched to the state in the recent time to augment the personnel of the Zamfara State Police Command, to maintain law and order and sustain the normalcy that has been restored in Zurmi and other parts of the state.

The IGPhad also dispatched a high-powered joint investigation team headed by an assistant inspector general of police.

He also ordered the arrest of the perpetrators just as he placed commissioners of police, assistant general of police in the state contiguous to Zamfara State on red alert.

According to the IGP, the mandate of the joint police investigation was to arrest and bring to justice the perpetrators of the killings, investigate the incident in totality with a view to unravelling the remote and direct causes of the unfortunate killings and prevent occurrence of such in the future.

They were also mandated to arrest and disarm all suspected bandits, militias and criminal groups in possession of prohibited firearms and restricted weapons in the region.

Court dismisses corruption charges against Nnamani, ex-Enugu gov

A federal high court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the corruption charges against Chimaroke Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu state.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused Nnamani of laundering N4.5 billion while in office between 1999 and 2007.

He was to be re-arraigned before the court on Tuesday after he was first arraigned in 2007.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Rickey Tarfa, Nnamani’s counsel, informed the court of an application he had filed disclosing the result of the plea agreement, which according to him, led to the institution and determination of the charges against the defendants in July 2015

The lawyer said in view of the plea bargain agreement entered into by parties, there is no longer any valid charge pending before the court as Chuka Obiozor, the judge could not seat on an appeal of the previous one.

The EFCC prosecutor, Kelvin Uzozie, said after looking at the affidavits filed by the defendant, he is of the view that the entire proceedings should be expunged to enable the prosecution file fresh charges against the defendant.

In his ruling, Obiozor held that “in view of the plea bargain judgement of this court delivered on the 7th of July, 2015, there is no valid charge before his court”.


Adamawa monarch advises Buhari to ignore ‘empty barrel’ elite opposed to his reelection

Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu  Barkindo has asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to listen to some “empty barrel Nigerian elite” opposed to his re-election bid.

Speaking when he hosted the president at his palace on Tuesday, the monarch said Buhari has achieved a lot and should proceed to seek for a second term.

“I am calling you to remain focus, stand firm and don’t listen to the empty barrel Nigerian elite who are calling you not to contest 2019 presidential election,” he said.

“They are burying their heads in shame and telling people that Buhari’s led government has done nothing.”

Barkindo said the elite had forgotten that Buhari implemented the treasury single account which has helped save  trillions of naira.

He listed some of the visible achievements of Buhari to include security, economy and fight against corruption.

Barkindo appealed to the federal government to look into the Chochi water and rice irrigation project which he said had been abandoned for over 20 years.

The monarch appealed to the president to intervene and reconsider the upgrading of Moddibo Adama University of Technology, Yola into full pledge conventional university with schools of management, information technology, health, among others.

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and former military President Ibrahim Babangida are among those who have asked Buhari to leave office at the end of his first term.

We won’t sell the refineries, Kachikwu insists

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu says the federal government will not sell its refineries.

Rather, the aim is to make Nigeria the refinery corridor for the rest of the continent, he said.

The minister was speaking on Tuesday on the short and medium term priorities directed towards growing the country’s oil and gas industry at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.

According to him, a dearth in oil and gas infrastructure had affected the sector’s refining capacity which birthed an infrastructural map by government to address all the defects in crude pipeline and their leakages, depots and all related aspects.

He reaffirmed that rather than selling off Nigeria’s ailing refineries, the federal government will ramp up investments such that new refineries will be built across the country.

“The President (Muhammadu Buhari) has made it clear that he was not going to sell the refineries, because if we sell them, we are going to be selling them as scraps,” he said.

“So the model we came up with is to bring in private sector investment in the repair and management of the refineries and get them up to about 90% of capacity.”

“That process is almost completed now, probably in a matter of weeks, we will be announcing the winners.”

The minister continued: “We want to get the private sector to be major investors in building new refineries.

“There are two or three modular refineries that are ready to come up.

“Agip is working towards final investment decision (FID) on 100,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in  Bayelsa state, and of course there is the Niger Republic Refinery that we are discussing- also a 100,000 bpd potential.

“The objective is to make Nigeria a refinery corridor in Africa.”

On Monday, Kachikwu had said that  Nigeria targets to raise its domestic refining capacity from 14% to 90% between the next 18 to 20 months.

He said the vision is to have Nigeria refine most of its crude locally rather than exporting them.

Hukunyi: I’ve forgiven el-Rufai for demolishing my property

Suleiman Hukunyi, senator representing Kaduna north, says he has forgiven Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, for allegedly pulling down his property.

The property which housed a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was demolished in the early hours of Tuesday.

This happened less than two days after the faction led by the lawmaker suspended the governor.

The Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) had said the exercise was in line with his agency’s mandate to “restore order” across the state.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Hukunyi said if the building had violated any code, it ought to have been brought to his attention.

The senator explained that he gave the property to the APC as part of his contribution to it.

“As my own brother, I wish to let him know that I have forgiven him as a person,” the senator said.

The lawmaker said pulling down his property would not shut him up as it was not wrong to have a disagreement with the governor.

“Your own party, no matter the dispute, what will the military be doing in a location like that, to me if the intention of pulling down that property is to shut me down, it has given me more reason, strong reason to maintain my posture, my belief, maintain my direction in standing strongly with the electorate and my people in my own state,” he said.

“As I am standing here today, the 20th of February 2018, let that be an incident for the growth of democracy in that state, let it serve rallying point for those who have been shortchanged, pained in any way in my state by the leadership of Nasir El-Rufai. This is not too much for a price to carry for democracy to thrive, a price to pay to express the opinion of my teeming supporters.

“Let me also use the opportunity to remind Nasir el-Rufai there is another property which I housed him, which he slept in some many times in the course of bringing some many people together to elect him as governor on Queen Elizabeth road in Zaria. In case he forgets and in case he still wants to take it, I rest my case.”