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Buhari’s Minister In N21.5m Debt Scandal, Dragged To Industrial Court

Peter Okunoren

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Two former aides to the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, on Tuesday, dragged the minister before an Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court (NIC) over twenty-one million, five hundred thousand Naira (N21,500,000.00) unpaid salaries and allowances.

They were former Personal Assistant to the minister, Razaq Olubodun and Special Assistant on Media, Victor Oluwadamilare.

The duo in their separate suits filed by their counsel, Adewale Lawal prayed the court to order the payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances which the Minister allegedly denied them while serving under him.

Olubodun, in his suit numbered NICN/Abj/132/2019 is seeking to recover from the Minister the sum of N9.8m allegedly paid alongside the Minister’s salaries and allowances for 24 months.

It was gathered that no fewer than seven aides of the minister have resigned due to issues bordering on nonpayment of salaries and allowances since he (Shittu) was appointed in 2015.

Recall that Olubodun resigned after failed attempts to reclaim his salaries from the Minister.

Oluwadamilare in his suit, NICN/Abj/133/2019 is claiming N11.7m being his outstanding salaries and allowances for 28 months.

He also resigned after failed attempts to reclaim his salaries from the Minister.

The duo are seeking the order of the court to declare that the non-payment of full salaries and allowances to them for those periods as wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional.

They urged the court to order the minister to pay them their unpaid salaries and allowances according to the Federal Government directive for payment of aides to the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The claimants are asking for an order on the defendant to pay the sum of N50m to each of them and to also pay them their full taxed costs of the prosecution of the suits. They averred that by their letters of appointments as PA and SA respectively, they were informed that their monthly emolument would be in line with the existing practice for paying PA and SA to Hon. Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Though, the claimants noted that the above-stated fact was indicated in the ‘paragraph 3′ of their letters of appointments dated 23rd Nov. 2015, the defendant “tried to make the salaries and allowances of PA and SA to Hon. Minister to look like his own personal affairs. The defendant tried to indicate this by an Internal Memo, seven months after the claimants’ appointments”.

While Olubodun claimed to have received just N1m all through his period of service from the Minister, Oluwadamilare disclosed that he was paid thrice to the tune of N2.3m in his 28 months of service under the Minister, yet, the defendant was alleged to have collected all salaries and allowances belonging to them from the FGN and refused to forward or remit same to them.

The claimants recalled that based on the circular from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) dated 27th July, 1999, it indicated in paragraph 1a that the salaries of PAs and SAs to the Ministers are Grade Levels 12 and 16, steps 4 respectively.

The Minister was accused by the former aides of applying intimidation, harassment, draconian and Machiavellian approach and threatened to take them to the court where he would ensure that they are frustrated and would still not pay them the salaries in contention each time they demanded for their rights while serving under him.

The claimants disclosed that they have been subjected to immense sufferings, ridicule and untold hardship as a result of the denial of their rights by the Minister.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the case in which both the PA and SA presented 35 and 40 statements of facts respectively.

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I’ll Retrieve My Senate Mandate And Become Kogi Governor …Dino Melaye Reacts To Tribunal Sack Order

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has sacked Dino Melaye as the representative of the Kogi West senatorial district in the Senate.

Melaye beat his closest challenger, Smart Adeyemi, and other candidates in the election that was conducted on February 23, 2019 for a second term in the upper legislative chamber.

However, Mr. Melaye has allayed the fears of his supporters saying, “no cause for alarm”.

In a twitter message immediately after the tribunal ruling, Melaye wrote;

“On Tribunal judgement. No cause for alarm at all. Even if it went my way they will still go to the Appeal Court. Our mandate cannot be taken. We will get judgment at the Appeal Court.

There will be a fresh election in Kogi West because I will be governor. For my senate mandate, no shaking.”

Adeyemi filed a petition before the tribunal to contest the result, alleging that the process was plagued with irregularities and disorganizations.

The tribunal agreed with him and annulled the election in a ruling delivered on Friday, August 23.

In a unanimous judgment, the three-member panel, led by Justice A. O. Chijioke, ordered for a fresh election to be conducted in the district.

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BREAKING: Tribunal Sacks Dino Melaye As Kogi West Senator, Orders Fresh Election

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has nullified the election of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial district.

Recall that Dino Melaye polled a total of 85,395 votes to defeat his APC opponent who scored 66,902 votes.

But the APC candidate, Sam Adeyemi proceeded to challenge the declaration on three grounds of irregularities, overvoting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

According to Vanguard, the three-man panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke, in a unanimous judgment on Friday, accepted Adeyemi’s ground and ordered for another election in the senatorial district.

Details later…

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Okorocha Stole N1trillion From Imo State, He Must Account For All His Evil Deeds —– Gov Ihedioha

Peter Okunoren

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Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has accused former Governor Rochas Okorocha, of stealing N1trillion while in power.

This was contained in a statement on Friday issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Steve Osuji.

“Available records show that in eight years, former Governor Okorocha mismanaged about One Trillion Naira belonging to Imo State”, he said.

“We are taking our time in unveiling the numerous atrocities of the last administration and certainly, he must answer for all the evil he did against the people of Imo State.

“It is very strange that a former Governor could sit and concoct lies. How could Governor Emeka Ihedioha spend N2.8b on sanitation? What was it used for? Okorocha’s problem is that he is so used to lies that he no longer knows the difference between lies and the truth.

“The state spends only about Twenty-Five Million Naira on sanitation and the bulk of the funds come from support from corporate organizations as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“Okorocha also alleged that Governor Ihedioha has, within two months in office, built a Hotel in Abuja and new houses in Owerri and his village. This further shows that the man, Okorocha is sick.

“As at today, Governor Ihedioha operates from his private residence in Owerri, following the pillage and vandalisation of Government House by former Governor Okorocha and his cronies.

“How could he say the Governor is building new houses when he owns a palatial residence in Owerri, where he operates from and mansions in his village, built many years ago? The question is – are houses built in two months?

“Only Okorocha can build a house in two months and it collapses after a short while. Imo people already know that Okorocha is a habitual liar and should not be taken seriously.

“The truth is that Okorocha wrecked Imo State. All he is doing is to attempt to divert the attention of Imo people. Unfortunately, Imo people are smarter than that.

“He also claimed that Governor Ihedioha did not win the last election. So who won? He cannot get over the fact that his puppet in-law failed; he is also in pains that he has not been able to extend his dynasty in Imo.

“But no amount of falsehood will deter the people’s governor, Ihedioha from fulfilling his electoral promise of rebuilding Imo State. The present administration shall remain on course in its efforts to recover Imo people’s funds and property looted by Rochas Okorocha and his cronies,” he said.

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