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Daily Archives: February 7, 2019

BREAKING: ASUU suspends strike, asks lecturers to resume Friday

The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday suspended its three-month strike following an agreement it reached with the Federal Government.

According to reports, lecturers have also been asked to resume on Friday.

The information was contained on ASUU’s Twitter handle, @ASUUNGR on Thursday evening:

The NEC has decided that the STRIKE HAS BEEN SUSPENDED.

Academic activities resume tomorrow.

#ASUUstrikehasbeensuspended.

The strike was called off after a two hour meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.

Ngige said after the meeting that eight areas of disagreements were discussed and agreed upon by the two parties, while expressing gratitude to ASUU leadership for their understanding.

ASUU president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said lecturers are to resume on Friday, February 8, 2019.

Rivers APC asks INEC to postpone elections

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone elections in the state.

INEC had disqualified the APC from contesting the election over the crisis which affected its primaries.

There are two factions of the party in the state. One led by Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation while Magnus Abe, a serving senator, leads the other faction.

Tonye Princewill, director of strategic communications for the campaign of Tonye Cole, guber candidate of the Amaechi factio, said conducting the election without the APC will be “an exercise in futility”.

He said giving the APC candidates an extension of time to go about their campaigns is necessary because of the “disruption by legal tussle”.

“Of course we are not yet on the ballot, it’s a process. INEC by now has received the first order and in another day or so, will receive the second one,” he said.

“Then their lawyers will advise them and at a meeting of the powers that be, a decision will be taken.

“That decision will be to obey the law. We expect nothing less. If they don’t, then it will be lawful to be lawless in a lawless society. There will be no elections in Rivers state. We knew Wike had penetrated the judiciary, every day the signs are revealed.

“We know he has also penetrated some of our security agencies, but we do not want to believe he has penetrated our electoral body at the highest levels. We are soon about to find out. Let us be patient. These things take time. Our money, that he is using, will be traced to its last hiding place when he leaves office. We know a lot about who he is working with. Money leaves a trace. And in this government, corruption will always come with consequences.”

The statement said having gone round the state, Cole deserves to be elected on March 2.

It added that Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, was taking advantage of the crisis in the APC in Rivers.

“Our candidate, Tonye Cole, has gone from ward to ward in every LGA and had done 236 wards out of 319 before a judge. Magnus and Wike stopped him using the law,” the statement read.

“Magnus is not our focus. He is our lost brother whom we wish well. His room is there, if he returns. Our focus is Wike and nothing will distract us from demystifying his perceived grassroots’ appeal, his supposed strong man status and his recent Mungo park-like discovery of Spirituality.

“Tonye Cole and others must be allowed to finish their campaigns. Anything short of that cannot be just and we will contest it. INEC should get ready for the Presidential elections, but State House of Assembly, National Assembly and the Governorship elections must be a separate exercise set aside for a special date.

“All eyes are now on INEC as the fate of Rivers state now hangs in their balance. Will Wike be given a free ride back into Government house or will the never say die attitude of Tonye Cole emerge from the ashes of court judgements? Very soon, all will be revealed.”

EFCC traces lawyer’s $30,000 payment to Onnoghen’s account

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has traced a deposit of $30,000 by Joe Agi, a senior advocate, into the bank account of Walter Onnoghen, the embattled chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), The Cable is reporting.

It has emerged that Onnoghen also failed to disclose that he has an account at Heritage Bank in his asset declaration form — another violation of the code of conduct law.

Agi is one of the senior advocates defending Onnoghen in his asset declaration case before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

It was learnt  that Agi was also the guarantor when the justice opened the account at Standard Chartered Bank.

The fresh allegations form part of the report sent by the EFCC to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for disciplinary action to be taken against Onnoghen, who has been suspended as CJN by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari said he was acting based on an order issued by the CCT, although observers have accused him of not following due process in his action.

Onnoghen is currently being tried by the CCT over allegations of non-declaration of some of his assets, although he said it was an oversight.

He also said he made money from agriculture and forex investments.

NJC sources told TheCable that the $30,000 deposit was made sometime in 2009 while a series of “suspicious payments” were also traced to Onnoghen’s accounts between 2011 and 2013 during elections petition cases.

In a previous case, which was eventually dismissed, a foreign firm owned by Agi’s friends paid N30 million into the account of the wife of Adeniyi Adetokunbo Ademola, a justice of the federal high court, for their daughter’s wedding.

The case filed against him for “gratification” was dismissed on technical grounds, although many lawyers argued that it was a professional misconduct which should have been punished by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee.

SDP dumps Donald Duke, adopts Buhari as consensus candidate

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has adopted President Muhammadu Buhari as its consensus candidate for the February 16 presidential election.

The party made the decision on Thursday during its national executive council meeting in Abuja.

Buhari is the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

SDP NEC, however, explained that the adoption does not herald a merger with the APC.

Prior to the development, Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River, was the flagbearer of the SDP.

Duke was declared the presidential candidate of the party in January following a ruling by the court of appeal in Abuja which set aside the judgment of an Abuja high court declaring Jerry Gana, former information minister, as the party’s presidential flagbearer.

Donlad Duke left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2018 to pursue his presidential ambitions on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Moshood “MKO” Abiola won the 1993 presidential election on the platform of the SDP. He was recently honoured with the first-ever posthumous GCFR in Nigeria history in 2018.

This was done by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) had also in January, endorsed Buhari’s re-election.

The party made the move after Oby Ezekwesili, its presidential candidate, withdrew from the race.

Akinrinade: Obasanjo belongs to the waste bin of history

Alani Akinrinade, a former chief of army staff, says ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo belongs to the waste bin of history.

Akinrinade said this in an advertorial he placed in some newspapers on Thursday.

The retired general said Obasanjo should allow Nigerians choose their leader and “stop goading the citizenry for his own selfish interests”.

The ex-army chief said Obasanjo asking the citizens to vote for Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.

“The Nigerian media appear to have forgotten they are indeed the fourth estate of the realm. They are gatekeepers. They owe Nigeria the responsibility of keeping this irritable man where he belongs- the waste bin of history,” he said.

“Like his daughter, Iyabo, reminded him in her letter, Nigeria does not belong to him. He should allow Nigerians choose who they want and stop goading the citizenry for his own selfish interests. With the benefit of hindsight, can anyone truly say Obasanjo’s sense of judgment in choosing leaders can be trusted?

“Take a good look at history. Through the clandestine manoeuvres in 1979, he foisted on Nigeria a reluctant Shehu Shagari at the expense of the cerebral Obafemi Awolowo or Nnamdi Azikiwe. After his second coming, he so manipulated the electoral system that he fraudulently installed an unhealthy Umaru Yar’Adua as President alongside another reluctant character in the person of Goodluck Jonathan as the deputy.

“He denied every interested member of his party while employing all sorts of machination including threat and blackmail. Then came 2015; he told Nigerians Muhammadu Buhari is the best man for the job. As he has done to every presidential candidate he installed or supported, a few years down the line, he says Buhari is unfit for the job again.”

Court threatens to jail Obanikoro

A Lagos High Court judge has threatened to jail former Minister of Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, for failing to appear in court to give evidence in the trial of erstwhile Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose on corruption charges.

Obanikoro, who was to continue his evidence under cross examination on Thursday, did not show up.

EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) told the court that he (Obanikoro) was hospitalised and presented a piece of paper as medical report from an undisclosed clinic.

But Justice Mojisola Olatoregun threatened to commit Obanikoro to prison “so that he can be coming to court in black maria and that if she wanted to take up the matter, the clinic and the doctor who signed report will lose their licences.

“He must present himself to the court at the next adjourned date or be compelled to do so,” the judge said.

Obanikoro had earlier said it was painful for him to be giving evidence against Fayose, who he considers a friend.

The matter wasbadjourned till March 18, 19 and 20 of March, 2019