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Nigerian newspapers headlines Thursday morning

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Patriot, Big Ordinary Citizen And Nigeria’s Number One Dissident, Balarabe Musa, Bows Out [LEADERSHIP]

Second Republic governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, is dead. He died yesterday after a brief illness at the age of 84 after a protracted illness.

He has since been buried according to Islamic rites after funeral prayers at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna.

The funeral prayer was led by popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi and attended a mammoth crowd.

One of his sons, Kallamu Balarabe-Musa, confirmed the death of the former national chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) to LEADERSHIP.

Kallamu had also said the late patriot will be buried by 4 pm after funeral prayers at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Kaduna.

Musa’s death was announced by one of his close political associates and former Senator, Shehu Sani.

“Alhaji Balarabe Musa has died.May Allah forgive his souls and grant him Aljanna firdausi.Amin,” Mr Sani tweeted on his Twitter handle.

The late Musa, a dissident who was consistently opposed to bad governance and politics of greed and selfishness, was chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and later stepped down voluntarily on health ground and old age.

PMB, Lawan, Govs, Obasanjo, Atiku Others Mourn

President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, state governors, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku

Abubakar, and other prominent Nigerians yesterday paid glowing tributes to the Balarabe Musa, describing him as the champion for the upliftment of the poor.

President Buhari joined the government and people of Kaduna State in mourning the late Musa, saying he will be sorely missed by all Nigerians who have diligently followed his antecedents as a voice for the voiceless.

In a statement by his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, the president said Musa reflected the passion and vigour that heralded Nigeria’s independence, which steadily translated into activism for return to democracy at the height of military interregnum and has remained steadfast in the call for good and inclusive governance.

Shehu noted that as the former governor goes home, President Buhari “affirmed that he left a bold footprint on Nigeria’s democracy”, even as said his “role in promoting good governance and development will always be remembered and appreciated by posterity”.

President Buhari prayed Almighty God “to grant his soul eternal rest, and comfort his family, friends and associates”.

Also, the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, condoled with the family of the former Kaduna State as well as the government and people of the State

over the demise of Musa.

The Senate president described Alhaji Balarabe Muss as a principled political leader who throughout his life consistently championed the cause of the masses.

In a press statement signed by his spokesman, Ola Awoniyi, Lawan said the former governor shunned material benefits and remained constant on

the path of his convictions all through his long and illustrious political career.

He noted that Alhaji Balarabe Musa’s life personified the struggle for the underdogs, adding that his legacy is indelible and

will always be cherished.

The Senate president prayed for the sweet repose of Musa’s gentle soul in

Aljannah Firdaus.

Also, the Northern Governors Forum said it was saddened by the death of the former civilian governor.

Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, in a statement signed by his director of press and public affairs, Simon Makut Macham, said the passing of the elder statesman was a great loss to his immediate family, the Government and people of Kaduna State and Nigeria at large as he will be greatly

missed.

 

Finally, FG Ratifies Membership Of AfCFTA [LEADERSHIP]

The federal government has finally ratified the Africa Continental Free Trade

Agreement (AfCFTA) entered by the country in July 2019.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to

State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC)

meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the

presidential villa.

Mohammed spoke on behalf of the minister of Industry, Trade and

Investment, Otunba Niyi Afebayo, who he said presented a memo to

council in that regard.

He said with the ratification by FEC, Nigeria has beaten the December 5 deadline set for all member countries to ratify the agreement.

He stated: “The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment presented a memo today asking the Federal Executive Council to ratify Nigeria’s

membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

“You remember that on the 7th of July, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCTA

agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the

Assembly of the African Union (AU). The effective date ought to have

been July 2020. But as a result of the pandemic, it was postponed to

the 1st of January 2021. And all member-states were given up to the

5th of December to ratify the agreement. That is precisely what Nigeria did today.

“The Federal Executive Council approved ratification of the membership

of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. It was ratified

and as such, we beat the deadline of the 5th of December. Effectively,

we hope that by 1st of January 2021, the agreement will come into force”.

On his part, minister of Health, Osagie Ohanire said the ministry presented a memo on behalf of the National

Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to introduce electronic medical records

and management in a concept known as E-NHIS.

He said that it would create an electronic governance platform that will allow interoperability with all other stakeholders including  particularly the State’s Health Insurance Schemes, the Health Management Organisations and the hospitals who offer service to

patients.

…Okays N62.7bn For Kano Road, Approves Digital ID For IDPs

The federal government also approved the sum of N62.7 billion for road

projects in Kano State.

Minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this after the federal executive council meeting, said, “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented one memorandum for the construction of Kano-Dawakin-Tofa-Gwarzo-Dariyo road in Kano.

It was approved for N62.7 billion. It is to be executed in 24 months.

During his briefing, minister of communication and digital economy,

Isa Pantami, said the council approved the National Digital Innovation

and Entrepreneurship Center in Abuja.

He said this was part of the efforts of the federal government in producing many entrepreneurs, particularly looking at the

challenge of unemployment and unemployable citizens.

Pantami noted: “We came up with this plan to establish a digital innovation and

entrepreneurship centre where millions of our citizens are going to be

trained as entrepreneurs, particularly in ICT, so that they will be future potential employers rather than being employees.

“This is, somehow, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, they have a programme they call Regional Entrepreneurship

Acceleration Programme (REAP), where they support a country or an

institution to produce many entrepreneurs in the area of their choice.

“So, our focus, looking at our mandate in the ministry, is on the development of ICT and this centre is going to be managed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), while the

Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is going to provide the

policy direction for the centre and to supervise the implementation of

the policy. It is going to be completed in three years.

“However, some of our members raised observations that the government

will look into the possibility of completing that as soon as we can so that the centre will be operational. This is in summary about the first memo”.

He said the second memo is in relations with the National Identity

Management Commission (NIMC).

The minister continued: “As we all know that NIMC Act 2007 has made it

mandatory that each citizen must require a National Identity Number,

according to the Act’s section 5, and section 27 emphasises that it could be an offence not to acquire the number.

 

Federal Govt under fire for tagging #EndSARS campaigners terrorists [PUNCH]

The Federal Government came under fire on Wednesday for tagging of #EndSARS campaigners as terrorists with prominent citizens and groups deploring the Central Bank of Nigeria’s action, which led to the freezing of the accounts of some of the campaigners.

The Federal Government had succeeded in freezing the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after telling a Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities.

This was according to a written address in support of a motion ex parte filed by the CBN, which froze 20 accounts in the second week of October and thereafter approached the court to seek an ex parte order to freeze the accounts.

In the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, filed before Justice A. R. Mohammed, the CBN, however, made no mention of the fact that the 20 accounts were owned by persons involved in the #EndSARS protests, but told the court that the funds might have emanated from terrorist activities.

FG insincere, pretentious – NBA

The Nigerian Bar Association said on Wednesday that blocking the accounts of #EndSARS protesters on the pretext that they were terrorism suspects showed that the Federal Government was insincere.

Speaking for the body of lawyers in an interview with The PUNCH, the Publicity Secretary of the association, Dr Raps Nduka, maintained that the #EndSARS protests were lawful and the demands of the campaigners genuine.

He added that the action of the Federal Government through the CBN in blocking the accounts of the promoters of the movement showed that the government was insincere with its promise to address their demands.

Nduka said, “The timing looks very suspicious. The protests are lawful and the demands of the protesters and the concerns they expressed are genuine.

“What has happened shows that the protesters were right to insist that they were not going to leave the streets because over time, the government would promise something and do the opposite. This action of the CBN lends credence to the position taken by the youth.

“Even if the government is right, who will believe it at this time? The government makes it look like it is trying to silence people from talking about the ills of the society. Why does the government appear to be doing that?

“It tells us that the government may not be doing anything to ensure that the complaints are being addressed. It also tells us that that their original claims that they were standing with the youth were pretences. You cannot be standing with them and freeze their accounts. It does not work that way.

“Let us assume that the allegations are true, what happens to discrete investigation? Why should they block the accounts of persons because you are investigating them? Why don’t they be on the trail of the money going into the accounts, assuming the allegations are true?

“The time is very suspicious. It lends credence to the belief of the average Nigerian that the government is not being sincere.”

It’s an attempt to intimidate states’ panels of inquiry – Ozekhome

Reacting to the apex bank’s action, a prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, on Wednesday described the Federal Government’s tagging of the promoters of the #EndSARS protests as terrorists as  unlawful, unconstitutional and insensitive.

Ozekhome, who said he found it hard to believe that the CBN made such a claim in the application filed to obtain the court order freezing the accounts, noted that the rights to protest were guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.

He said, “Who is saying that peaceful protests on the streets of Nigeria by Nigerians, who are constitutionally entitled under sections 37 and 38 of the Constitution to protest, to assemble, to associate, to move freely, to kick against bad government policies, to demonstrate on the streets peacefully, to sing, to dance and to hold rally, are terrorism? Who is the person saying that these amount to terrorism? What can this government not do to give a dog a bad name so as to hang it?

“So, the government does not know that the herdsmen are the real terrorists? The government does not know that Boko Haram members are the real terrorists? The government does not know that the rampaging kidnappers are the real terrorists? The government does not know that the bandits are the real terrorists? The government does not know that those in government stealing the commonwealth belonging to the people are the real terrorists?

“It is insensitive; it is immoral; it is illegal; it is unconstitutional; it is unlawful; it is wrongful for the government, through CBN or any agency, to tag peaceful protesters as terrorists. It is most unfortunate and saddening.”

 

Harvest of death, rape, drug abuse in Osun mining communities [PUNCH]

The recent death of a food vendor, Mrs Wumi Babatope, a resident of Ibodi in Osun State at a mining site in the nearby village of Afon, once again brought to the fore the alarming rate of violent crimes in mining communities across the state.

The availability of mineral resources should ordinarily be a source of prosperity for many towns and villages spread across Atakumosa East and Atakumosa West local government areas of the state, especially where large deposits of these nature’s gifts have been confirmed, but the contrary is the case in the communities.

The communities are not only wallowing in under-development, with fear of natural disaster in the no distant future, owing to massive land degradation; the inhabitants also, almost on a daily basis, experience violent crimes.

The huge presence of miners, mostly labourers, from the northern part of the country as Mali and Republic of Niger, is turning these mineral-rich communities to hotbeds of violent crimes.

The spill over of criminal activities linked to mining is felt in many nearby towns and villages, raising concerns about the safety of the entire state if the situation is allowed to further degenerate.

From kidnapping to banditry, land grabbing, killings, rape and illicit substances abuse, the Osun mineral-rich communities have had to grapple with some heinous crimes that have left bitter taste in the mouth, just as the development many indigenes envisaged before allowing the miners access to their land has continued to elude them.

Before the latest incident involving a food vendor, who was allegedly raped to death in Afon, the Alagun of Itagunmodi in the Atakumosa West Local Government Area of the state, Oba Michael Famadewa-Kosile, had in May 2019 called for the suspension of mining activities across Ijesaland, because the presence of miners had complicated the security situation in the area.

He said the state of insecurity across Ijesaland was directly a resultant effect of mining activities going on in many villages in the area.

The monarch, who was also abducted by gunmen suspected to be Fulani bandits, while narrating his ordeal said, “I was kidnapped around 4.30pm by 20 men on May 30, 2018 at the Okiika junction on my way home from hospital. I was thoroughly beaten by my abductors, who took N1.7m from my vehicle. I managed to escape when the men slept off.

 

Abandoned bodies litter Ondo mortuary as corpses turn skeleton [PUNCH]

An epidemic may break out within the environs of the Ore General Hospital, Ondo State, as hundreds of corpses are piling up on the premises of the hospital’s mortuary.

PUNCH Metro learnt from recent visitors to the public hospital that bodies of men and women were openly placed on corridors where they were beaten by rain.

Horrifying photos and videos of the mortuary surroundings obtained by our correspondent showed some bodies were on the pathways, while a few were covered with iron sheets.

Concrete blocks were used to demarcate the placements of some of the cadavers.

Inside a room that appeared like an office, corpses of many people, including women, were put on the floor.

Two standing corpses in the room had become skeletons.

PUNCH Metro observed that the mortuary had two small generators kept in a shade.

Our source, who visited to collect the remains of a neighbour, lamented the condition of the mortuary.

He noted that the facility lacked proper embalming tools, adding that the morticians said the general hospital was not supported with funds.

“My neighbor died in an accident while coming to Lagos and his remains were brought to the mortuary by officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps.

“We came here to pick the body and what we saw was unbelievable. The corpses are just too many. Those washing them said they could number close to 300 and they were abandoned by their families for more than a year. They only embalm them on the floor so that they will not smell,” the source said.

Another visitor said there was an uncompleted building where another set of corpses were kept.

He explained that the mortuary workers said the hospital was planning a mass burial for some of them.

“A relative of mine died and his body was deposited here. I was called to come and see where his corpse was kept.

“As I was walking to the mortuary, someone called my attention to the bodies on the floor and that I was beginning to step on them. I was in shock.

“Some of the bodies are where sun and rain beat them. Some are covered with clothes and others with iron sheets. A wrapper they probably got from an accident scene was used to cover a few others. The bodies are not fresh. They are becoming rotten on the floor where they are kept. It is not a good experience at all,” she added.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Akinyele Semudara, declined comment, saying he could not speak to our correspondent on the phone.

The Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Ajibayo Adeyeye, said workers at the hospital were overwhelmed due to the amount of bodies brought to the mortuary.

He said, “I was also at the place yesterday (Tuesday) and I was confronted with the same situation. We are aware of it. The problem is a result of the location of the hospital; it is close to the highway. A lot of accident victims get dumped in the hospital. You’ll find a situation where the police just bring corpses, drop them and go away.

“Corpses that are products of accidents are coroner cases. That means they cannot be buried without an autopsy or the police bringing an order of the court.

“In the midst of the hospital coping with people that are still alive, the workers easily get overwhelmed by these corpses. However, we have been appealing to the police authorities to take care of their cases so that the bodies can be buried.”

 

$1m capital: 753 Nigerian traders in Ghana request evacuation [PUNCH]

About 753 members of the  Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana have presented a  letter to the Federal Government requesting for evacuation from the former Gold Coast.

The Save-Our-Soul letter was presented to the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission,  Abike Dabiri-Erewa in Abuja by the union President, Dr Ken Ukoaha, and some members.

This is happening against the backdrop of the imposition of $1m business equity on non-Ghanaians as well as other conditions.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Interior,  Rauf Aregbesola, had urged the traders not to leave Ghana, noting that the government was still engaging with the Ghanaian authorities over the matter.

But a statement from Gabriel Odu, of the NIDCOM Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit on Wednesday disclosed that the 753 signatories expressed their willingness to return home.

They alleged that  their shops had been locked for almost one year by the Ghanaian authorities, “more so, since all diplomatic niceties at the highest level between Nigeria and Ghana have not yielded positive results, they are left with no choice than to ask for evacuation.”

“Now, landlords are coming to ask us for rent. How do we pay with our shops locked up for so long; were are dying here,” the statement quoted them as saying.

However, Dabiri-Erewa again called for peace, stressing that all relevant stakeholders would continually be engaged.

She also said Nigeria would not hesitate to gladly and safely welcome her citizens back to the country.

 

Row over panel to dispose of recovered govt assets [THE NATION]

THE status of the panel set up by Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami to dispose of recovered looted assets of the Federal Government is in contention.

Malami (SAN), who is also the Minister of Justice, is under fire for the action, which senior lawyers and rights activists described as illegal.

Their argument: only the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which recovered the loot is legally empowered to sell them off according to the Act setting up the anti-graft agency.

But Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Seyi Sowemimo differed. He reasoned that from the wording of the law, the AGF may “technically” be acting within his powers.

The 21-man panel, whose members were inaugurated on Monday, is expected to sell off all assets forfeited in favour of the Federal Government within six months.

Malami said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the constitution of the committee, which is chaired by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata (SAN).

Its members include the representatives of the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President; the Federal Ministry of Justice; Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Auditor-General of the Federation, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related offences) Commission.

They also include the representatives of Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Department of State Security, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Department of Petroleum Resources, National Oil Spillage, Detection and Response Agency, Bureau of Public Procurement, and the Civil Society Organisation.

The rest are the representatives of the youth, the media, and any other Nigerian with exceptional expertise that could add value to the Committee as deemed fit by the Attorney General of the Federation.

Some law experts said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act 2004 empowers the EFCC to engage in such disposal of forfeited assets.

They also argued that it was wrong for the Minister to appear hasty in disposing of those forfeited assets when the issue formed part of the allegations in a petition he (the AGF) wrote against suspended EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, which is being considered by the Justice Isa Ayo Salami Judicial panel.

One of the experts argued: “For the avoidance of doubt, Section  31: (1) and subsections (2), (3), (4) and (5) on Final Disposal of Forfeited Property of the EFCC (Establishment), Act 2004, are very clear and unambiguous on how forfeited properties can be sold.

Section 31 (1) states as follows: “A copy of every final order forfeiting the assets and property of a person convicted under this act shall be forwarded to the Commission.

(2) Upon receipt of the final order pursuant to this section, the Secretary to the Commission SHALL (emphasis mine) take steps to dispose of the property concerned by sale or otherwise and where the property is sold, the proceeds thereof shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

(3) Where any part of the property included in a final order is money in a bank account or in the possession of any person, the Commission shall cause of a copy of the order to be produced and served on the manager or any person in control of the head office or branch of the bank concerned and that manager or person shall forthwith pay over the money to the Commission without any further assurance than this Act and the Commission shall pay the money received into the Consolidated Fund of the Federation.

 

ASUU can’t claim varsity autonomy, says Fed Govt [THE NATION]

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) cannot claim to be autonomous when lecturers are paid by the government, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said on Wednesday.

He said autonomy can only work when a university generates its resources to pay workers and meet its obligation.

Ngige spoke while defending his ministry’s budget before the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment.

Striking lecturers have refused to call off their seven-month strike because of disagreement with the government over the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS).

ASUU claimed that enrolling on the platform would erode the autonomy of the university system.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday issued a 14-day ultimatum to parties to resolve the lingering strike or face nationwide protests.

Ngige, according to a statement by his media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, told the lawmakers that the Federal Government was addressing the strike holistically to ensure that other unions in the university system were carried along.

Besides, the minister said the Federal Government has met most of the union’s demands.

“Out of the eight demands of ASUU, the government has solved five. We have made N50 billion available; N20 billion for the revitalisation of the universities and N30 billion for Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).

“The union agreed and went back to their members, only to return and say that the money for EAA should be for ASUU members alone, excluding other unions, namely, SSANU, NASU and NAAT,” Ngige said.

He explained that the Federal Government cannot ignore the other unions as such could be counter-productive to the smooth running of the university system.

“We cannot ignore the other unions whose services are indispensable for the full functioning of the university. If we ignore them, even if ASUU calls off the strike, the other unions will down tools-close the lecture rooms, the libraries, the laboratories- and, even the university gate,” the minister said.

 

Fear of yellow fever grips states [THE NATION]

THE fear of yellow fever has gripped several states, following strange deaths attributed to the acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

The Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Board said it is partnering other health organisations to start yellow fever vaccination on November 20.

Director of Disease Control and Immunisation in the board, Dr Francis Akanbiemu, who spoke during a one-day sensitisation meeting on yellow fever campaign, said the nine-day exercise will be for nine-month-old babies to 44-year-old persons.

“We are targeting 11 LGAs: Akure North, Ifedore, Idanre, Ondo West, Ondo East, Ileoluji-Okeigbo, Odigbo, Irele, Okitipupa, Ilaje and Ese-Odo because they were not covered in the exercise in 2019.

“The vaccination is taken once in a lifetime.”

Wife of Gombe State Governor Hajiya Asma’u Yahaya urged residents to keep their environment clean to prevent an outbreak, given the recent outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Bauchi, which already claimed at least eight lives.

Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BSPHCDA) said an outbreak of yellow fever occurred in Ganjuwa Local Government Areas (LGA), with eight deaths and eight samples testing positive.

The Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, said: “Eight samples were brought for Lassa fever and yellow fever tests and all the samples tested positive for yellow fever.”

The Enugu State Government confirmed that yellow fever is the cause of at least 57 deaths from a reported strange illness in Ette Uno and Umuopu communities of Enugu Ezike town, Igbo-Eze North Area council.

Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, said no fewer than 22 deaths have been recorded in Ika North East Local Government Area (LGA) of the state due to yellow fever outbreak.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) described the recent outbreaks of yellow fever as a failure of routine immunisation.

It blamed it on lack of adequate budgetary allocation to the health sector, inadequate investments in laboratory facilities, and the low motivation of the healthcare workers.

The NCDC said it has begun active case search, risk communications and community engagement to ensure prompt management of cases in the affected states.

 

Why UNILAG VC Ogundipe was reinstated, by panel [THE NATION]

FORMER Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, did not commit any financial infraction that warranted being removed from office, the report of a Special Visitation Panel to the university has revealed.

A statement on Wednesday in Abuja by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben-Bem Goong, said the panel’s report was submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, the university’s Visitor.

The President, it said, overruled Ogundipe’s removal by the university’s Governing Council, headed by Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), dissolved the Governing Council and reinstated the erstwhile Vice Chancellor.

The statement said Ogundipe’s removal did not follow “due process” as he was not granted the opportunity to defend himself over the allegations leveled against him.

The panel also faulted the process adopted by the Babalakin-led council in the appointment of Prof. Omololu Soyombo as Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, adding that the process was inconsistent with the provisions of the law on the appointment of an acting Vice Chancellor.

It recommended that all allegations levelled against Ogundipe and the management of the university before and after the constitution of the Special Visitation Panel should be referred to the regular Visitation Panel for thorough investigation and necessary recommendations.

“Mr. President, after careful review of the report, has approved all the recommendations of the Panel.

“Accordingly, Professor Ogundipe is hereby reinstated as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos.

“The Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Chaired by Dr. B. O. Babalakin, is hereby dissolved.

“Mr. President hopes these steps will bring peace, stability, focus and direction to the university,” the statement said.

Also, the Chairman of UNILAG chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Dele Ashiru, has said the reinstatement of Prof. Ogundipe will ensure peace, progress and stability in the institution.

 

More trouble for #EndSARS protesters [SUN]

In what observers described as subtle but systematic onslaught against perceived promoters of the recent nationwide #EndSARS agitation, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has cancelled the registration of Enough is Enough (EiE), a business organisation linked to one of the promoters of the protest, stating that the name is deceptive.

In a series of tweets, yesterday, the CAC said: “Further to cancellation of the business name registration ‘Enough is Enough BN 2210728’, the Corporate Affairs Commission wishes to inform the public that the proprietors of the cancelled business name are Opayemi Adamolekun and Bisola Edun. Based on the provisions of Section 579 (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, (CAMA), the Corporate Affairs Commission has cancelled the registration of the Business name “Enough is Enough BN 2210728” with immediate effect.”

The de-registration comes amid protests by rights groups over recent repressive actions taken by the  Federal Government against leading figures and celebrities that participated in the two weeks protest against police brutality across the country.

EiE is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) floated by Ms Adamolekun, an activist, who is believed to be the main target of the government.

The EiE has advocated against human rights violations in the past and actively participated in the protest against police brutality and the excesses of its Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

CAC said  EiE was registered in 2012 to engage in general contracts, sales of sport equipment/promotion but has deviated from its main objectives over the course of time.

“Consequently, the Commission has removed it from its database and advised the proprietors to surrender the certificate earlier issued to them.”

EiE, however,  clarified its status in a tweet saying  it was registered as “The EiE Project Ltd/Gte” with RC 1047750 as against what was circulated by CAC.

“A big thank you to those who have reached out & spoken up for us!” the organisation wrote on Twitter, attaching its certificate.

Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted about the de-registration, suggesting it was something supported or being monitored by the presidency.

“The CAC Nigeria has cancelled the registration of the business name ‘Enough is Enough’ with immediate effect. The EiE which was registered in 2012 to engage in General Contracts, Sales of Sport Equipment deviated from its main objectives over the cause of time, the CAC tweeted,” Ahmad tweeted.

 

#EndSARS: PDP frowns at alleged clampdown on protesters [SUN]

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  has frowned at the freezing of the bank accounts of some persons., who participated in the #EndSARS protest against police brutality across the country.

The PDP in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan,  accused the government of harassing some of the protesters, in disregard to the rights of citizens as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The opposition party said  government should take complete responsibility for the violence that trailed the hijack of the #EndSARS protests by hoodlums.

“Instead of pointing accusing fingers on others, the Buhari Presidency should come clean on who used security vehicles to convey and coordinate thugs as well as who deployed soldiers to Lekki Toll gate in Lagos to attack unarmed and peaceful protesters.

“Our party is alarmed by the on-going clampdown and freezing of bank accounts of some Nigerians for participating in the genuine and peaceful protests against police brutality in various parts of our country.

“The freezing of accounts of genuine protesters amounts to a deliberate effort to economically asphyxiate these Nigerians and their families, for calling for good governance, respect for the rights of citizens, end to police brutality and manifest slide to lawlessness under the Buhari administration.

“Such action does not engender hope among citizens, especially the youth. Instead, it goes to validate widely held view that government is not ready to listen to the citizens but has already convicted the protesters.

“It is even more disturbing that the government is hounding peaceful protesters while keeping silent on its alleged role in the mobilization of thugs and hoodlums who unleashed violence on Nigerians on the streets,” the PDP stated.

 

#EndSARS : ICC confirms receipt of complaint against Falana [SUN]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has acknowledged receipt of a criminal complaint against human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) for allegedly instigating the violent #EndSARS protests that led to the killing of innocent  citizens and wanton destruction of properties across the country.

This is contained in a reply signed by the Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the ICC, Mark P. Dillon. He stated that the communication has entered the Registry of the Court and will be considered accordingly with the procedure and Rome Statute of the ICC.

The complaint filed by Joseph Nwaegbu, a senior associate of Pathfind Attorneys, on behalf of Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI),  dated November 4, 2020 was addressed to the Office of Madame Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC). In the said complaint, the group said the role played by Mr. Falana before, during and after what observers described as “the mother of all protests in Nigeria” is not only ignoble but criminal.

“On the recent #EndSARS Protests which turned violent across the country, we beg to submit that the role played by Mr. Falana before, during and after what observers described as ‘the mother of all protests in Nigeria’ is not only ignoble but criminal’’, the group said.

The group further accused the senior lawyer of allegedly spreading fake news to further incite the youths in the country against the government which killings and destructions of properties.The group said it has attached sensitive pieces of evidence on the allegations raised to drive home their argument that Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, ought to be prosecuted and sanctioned. The complainant listed policemen killed and government property destroyed as casualties of the protest which lasted for about three weeks.

MNBI said, “Despite the killing of innocent citizens and security agents alike with reckless abandon in the aftermath of the #EndSARS Protest, MNBI believes that it is rather reprehensible, appalling and criminal for Falana, SAN to keep publishing in some online platforms from 25th October, 2020 till this moment with the aim of trivializing the damage caused to innocent citizens in Nigeria. We submit that this again should form a basis why he is liable for investigation and subsequent punishment by this Honourable Court being the last hope of common men worldwide.

“It is our further submission that what Falana is doing gives room for suspicion that another brand of terrorists group may be created to hide under the cover of ‘human rights activists’ whilst sustaining the evils already bedeviling our people through the activities of the disbanded Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Boko Haram and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).”

 

ASUU, others jubilate as Buhari reinstates Ogundipe UNILAG VC, dissolves Council [SUN]

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate reinstatement of suspended Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

This was recommended in a report presented to the President by the Special Visitation Panel  to unearth the cause of the crisis that nearly crippled industrial peace in the institution.

The announcement of Ogundipe’s reinstatement sparked wild jubilation among members of the university community with some members of staff lauding the Federal Government for the intervention.

“We are happy that it has all ended in praise. Our university will once more experience the peace it has been known for. To God be all the glory,” said a staff who declined to give his name.

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNILAG chapter has lauded decision of the Federal Government in reinstating Ogundipe .

The union’s Chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru said: “It feels glorious and I want to thank the visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu  Adamu, for this very historic intervention.

“This has put an end to tyranny, authoritarianism and dictatorship which characterised the Wale Babalakin-led Governing Council. We indeed, thank the visitor for standing on the path of truth, due process and autonomy of the Nigeria university system.

“It is our conviction that this decision by government will return our great university to the path of peace, progress and scholarly excellence for which the university is renowned.”

 

 

 

Nigerian Communication Commission

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