…No Victor, No Vanquished, FG Reacts
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will appeal the ruling of the National Industrial Court which ordered the lecturers to call off their ongoing strike.
Mr Femi Falana, who is the counsel to the union, confirmed this to Channels Television on Wednesday hours after the ruling of the court, saying he was preparing the grounds of appeal at the time of this report.
The industrial action by ASUU has continued to take a toll on the nation’s education, especially the tertiary sector as academic activities in most government-owned universities have been halted for over seven months.
The lecturers downed tools on February 14 over the controversy on the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the university sector, among other issues.
They had also condemned the poor funding of universities, non-payment of salaries and allowances of some of their colleagues, as well as the inability of the government to pay earned academic allowance to lecturers.
But efforts to get the academics back to class have failed until now as several negotiations between the union and the government have failed.
Amid outcry over the effect of the industrial action and after seemingly exploring all available options, the government decided to take legal action against the union.
The government, through its lead counsel, Mr James Igwe, had filed an application for an interlocutory injunction, seeking an order of the court restraining ASUU from further continuing with the strike.
Delivering a ruling on the government’s application, Justice Polycarp Hamman restrained ASUU from continuing with the industrial action, pending the determination of the suit.
He ordered that the case file should be returned to the president of the Industrial Court for reassignment to another judge, as he is a vacation judge.
According to the judge, the strike is detrimental to public university students who cannot afford to attend private tertiary institutions.
He added that the Trade Dispute Act mandates workers not to embark on strike once an issue has been referred to the industrial court.
Justice Hamman upheld the application of the government, saying it was meritorious and granted, but refused to fine the government as demanded by ASUU.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has declared that nobody won or lost in the ruling of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), ordering members of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to work.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the declaration on Wednesday while receiving members of the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) at his office in Abuja.
Ngige also gave an assurance that the court ruling does not preclude further negotiation between the Federal Government and ASUU.
“The ruling is in the best interest of the nation,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by a spokesperson for the ministry, Olajide Oshundun. “It is a win-win situation for all of us – government, students, lecturers – all Nigerians indeed.
“I have just gotten the order of court asking ASUU to go back to work. It is a sound judgment. It is no victor, no vanquished. You doctors in academics are for now members of ASUU, but, you are here, even though you have dissociated yourself and you are working. We want to thank you for working and teaching your students.
“The court ruling does not preclude us from going on with further negotiation and consultations. The pro-chancellors met Mr President and made some demands, such as topping up government offers and seeing whether there could be some bailout. Mr President said in considering it, he will consult stakeholders. So, he is going to consult everybody.”
Ngige welcomed the intervention of the House of Representatives in the crisis, saying he was happy that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the lawmakers would meet with the President.
He said the intervention was timely considering that the President must have also consulted some stakeholders, adding that whatever money to be put in would go into the 2023 appropriation where the National Assembly comes in.
“If they have shown interest now, it is good and wonderful. When they bring that proposal, the Executive will not have any problem. ASUU should also know that this is a step in the right direction.
“And all these things have been promised them by the Minister of Education at their last meeting with him. For me, they should do the needful and get back to the classroom,” the minister stated.
He said the government would order the vice-chancellors to reopen the universities in compliance with the order of the court.
1,308 total views, 3 views today
2023: I’ll Put And End To National Grid Collapse If Elected President, Peter Obi Assures Nigerians
…As Ihedioha Distances Self From Calling Peter Obi’s Igbo Supporters ‘Saboteurs’
…Aisha Yesufu Blasts Ex-Imo Gov Over Comments
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said that national grid collapse will be a thing of history under his watch if elected as President in 2023.
The former governor of Anambra State said this in reaction to news of yet another collapse of the national grid, which he described as disturbing.
Proffering solution, Obi stated that his team has a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards.
He tweeted on Wednesday, “The report of yet another national grid collapse is very disturbing to me, and is a reminder of the long rescue and recovery journey ahead of us. Effective power generation, transmission and distribution remain a national security issue.
“This also places power on the front burner of campaign and policy. Painfully, this latest episode is the 7th national grid collapse in 2022. As part of the Obi-Datti policy plan, we have put together a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation, and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards. Power is critical to the development and sustainability of all sectors of the national economy
“For us, power remains a top priority. Under my watch, national grid collapse will become a matter of history and a reference point for erstwhile administrations. -PO.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday, denied calling Igbo people who are supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, saboteurs.
Ihedioha in a statement issued in Owerri, the Imo State capital, by his spokesperson, Chibuike Onyeukwu, said that there was no way he could have called Igbo people supporting Obi saboteurs when he shared close relationship with the LP presidential candidate.
The statement accused those it described as “fifth columnists” of being responsible for the media bashing he had received following the development.
Ihedioha said his address at the new yam festival of Mbaise people living in Ghana was misconstrued, adding that he was referring to members of his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, who were sabotaging the party in the South-East zone.
The statement read, “A few days ago, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, on the invitation of his kinsmen, was in Accra, Ghana, to celebrate this year’s Iri Ji festival with the Mbaise community in that country.
“As a founding member and one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he seized the opportunity of that visit to address PDP issues nationally but particularly in Imo State and assuage the anxiety of the members of his party who have been apprehensive of the developments within the party.
“In doing so, he decried what, at best, is the insouciant attitude and worse, the outright sabotage of some acclaimed party leaders who are engaging in acts that are inimical to the success of the PDP, especially in the South-East by working in cahoots with the other parties. He was only talking about members of his own political party.
“For clarity purposes, His Excellency neither referred to members of any other political party, especially the Labour Party, as saboteurs. He only spoke in the context of the PDP and the emphasis was on the need for members of his party to remain consistent and committed.
“It is inconceivable that he will refer to anybody who is supporting Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, his long time friend, with whom he shares close political affinity and has utmost respect for, as a saboteur.
“It is unfortunate that his well-intentioned speech, which addressed the specific issue of happenings within his own political party, was, again, manipulated by fifth columnists to suit their mischievous scheme of bringing him on a collision with Mr. Peter Obi, whose unwavering political philosophy of ‘Taking Back Nigeria’ from the draconian stranglehold of the failed ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, he wholeheartedly shares.
“His Excellency respects the aspirations and passion of members of other political parties, even as he remains committed to the cause of his own political party and it is not in his character to cast aspersions on those who hold contrary political opinion.”
However, popular Nigerian activist and social critic, Aisha Yesufu, has attacked the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, for his recent statement in which he labelled Peter Obi’s supporters as saboteurs.
Recall that Ihedioha had said that Nigeria’s presidency would rotate to the South-East after the administration of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, if he wins next year’s election.
He also called those supporting Peter Obi and Labour Party saboteurs.
Reacting to the statement by Ihedioha, the human rights activist in a video said he (Ihedioha) had continuously kept everyone down so he would be the only one riding at the top.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to vote for good governance, accountability, and transparency.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to go with a candidate who has competence, character, and capacity.
“You are sitting down there and telling people that it will be the turn of Igbos after Atiku Abubakar. No, it will be your turn; that is why you want people to go that way, even when they consider there is a better candidate who happens to come from their region.
“We are not saboteurs; you are the saboteur. You and your ilks are the saboteurs of Nigeria; those who have held our country back and have only done what is in their interest,” she said.
187 total views, 187 views today
Bamise: Again, Absence Of BRT Driver’s Lawyer Stalls Court Hearing
The trial of Andrew Ominikoron, a BRT driver who allegedly raped and murdered Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a 22-year-old fashion designer, again failed to go on today owing to the absence of his lawyer.
The lawyer, Abayomi Omotubora, arrived at the Lagos High Court, sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square after the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Sonaike, had adjourned the hearing to Thursday owing to his absence.
It is about the fifth time that Omotubora would be absent from the court hearing since the start of the trial.
He was absent at the court proceedings on July 30 but sent a junior counsel. He was also absent at the proceedings of June 7th and 9th.
At the last sitting of the court on July 7, where he was again absent, Justice Sonaike condemned his continuous absence. The judge described it as “appalling and unbecoming of the noble profession.”
The court also ordered the defendant to get a lawyer to defend him before adjourning till today, Sept 28.
When the journalist sought to know what happened after he arrived late to today’s proceeding, the lawyer said that he came all the way from the Ikorodu area of the state to the TBS.
On his repeated absence, the lawyer said that he also has other matters to attend to.
“This is not the only matter, I have to appear for other matters too,” he said.
328 total views, 328 views today
High Court Orders Obi’s Supporters Not To Converge At Lekki Toll Gate
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Labour Party and its supporters not to converge at the Lekki toll gate for its #Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally billed to hold on the 1st of October, 2022.
The court also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, to ensure compliance with the order.
Justice Daniel Osiagor made the order today while ruling on a motion for injunction brought by 10 plaintiffs, who are asking the court to, among others, restrain the LP, its presidential candidate Peter Obi, his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed, one Julius Abure and their loyalists from holding the rally.
The court also held that while Obi’s supporters cannot stop at the Lekki toll gate, they can pass through the venue to access Falomo Bridge and other venues at which the rally plans to meet.
A preliminary objection filed by the defendants seeking to stop the court from hearing the motion on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction could however not be entertained as all parties to the suit had not been served.
The court adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to November 4, 2022.
In the suit, 10 plaintiffs are Adedotun Ajulo Esq., Salamatu Suleiman Lewi Esq., Hakeem Ijaduola, Esq., Ogunbona Akinpelu Esq., Owolabi K. Oluwasegun, Esq., Mogbojuri Kayode Esq., Wuyep Mantim Nadom Esq., Dimimu Mabel, Esq., Kolawole Salami, Esq. and Mr. Wale Abe Lawrence.
The 1st to 10th defendants are Obi, LP, Baba-Ahmed, Abure, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police (Lagos State Command), Director-General (Department of State Services), Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Limited, Attorney-General of Lagos State and The Governor of Lagos State.
In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs are arguing among other things that a repeat or celebration of the “infamous” EndSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” will cause a breakdown of peace and will result in post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
333 total views, 333 views today
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