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BIG STORY

ASUU Set To Embark On Nationwide Strike As FG Insists On IPPIS For Lecturers Salary

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities will this week decide whether or not to call upon its members to proceed on a nationwide strike following the decision of the Federal Government to stop salaries of lecturers who have not enrolled in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

It was gathered that ASUU held its National Executive Council meeting at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, on Saturday and Sunday, where issues such as the IPPIS and the Federal Government’s failure to honour the 2009 agreements were discussed.

It was learnt that the Federal Government would this week pay February salaries of its workers, including university lecturers, who had registered on the IPPIS.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in an interview at a management retreat in Kano on Thursday, had said lecturers who did not enroll for the IPPIS would not get their February salaries.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had in October last year directed all Federal Government workers to enroll in the IPPIS to ensure transparency.

But ASUU kicked against the directive on the grounds that it negated the principle of autonomy of universities.

The union directed its members to shun government officials sent to universities between October 25 and November 7, 2019, for the purpose of enrolling workers in the IPPIS.

On Thursday, the finance minister said 55 percent of ASUU members had registered for the IPPIS, saying, “the ones that have not are not getting their February salary.”

A source at the Enugu meeting of ASUU said the lecturers had been asked to go on strike if their salaries were stopped.

The Chairman of ASUU at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Dr Christina Opata, in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, also said lecturers at the university were waiting for directives from the leadership of ASUU at the national level.

She said, “They started on Saturday and by the end of today’s meeting (Sunday), the body will come up with a decision.”

The ASUU branch chairman said the integrated payroll system was defective and full of corruption.

She said, “The Federal Government has not told Nigerians the truth about what it wants to achieve through the IPPIS because the IPPIS is an embodiment of corruption itself. There is evidence to prove that many people are on the payroll under IPPIS yet they are not working anywhere. If they are sincere they should decentralize it.

“Each university should have desk officers so that anytime somebody has a complaint, it doesn’t require the person going to Abuja; you walk over to the desk officer in your university and put up your complaint. But as it is now, if you go to Abuja you will hire a hotel and you may spend three, four days without meeting the officer in charge. These are the things that people have been pointing out but they don’t want to understand it that way.

BIG STORY

#JusticeForUwa: Students Protest In Benin, Demand Death Sentence For Sex Offenders

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday occupied major streets of Benin City, the Edo state capital in protest.

The students demanded justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin who was recently raped and killed.

They also demanded that a death sentence be pronounced for sex offenders.

The President of the students’ union, Danielson Akpan, spoke with Channels Television during the protest demanding justice for their late colleague.

The lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Dennis Idahosa, who also joined the students in the solidarity march vowed that he would move a motion to support capital punishment at the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo had earlier on Wednesday promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring that the culprits involved in the circumstances that led to Uwaila’s death are apprehended and made to face the law.

Kokumo made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

Uwa, a 22-year-old student of UNIBEN was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, Edo State Capital.

The hoodlums were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

The news of her death has continued to spark outrage with trends on social media demanding justice and an end to rape.

(Channels TV)

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BIG STORY

Buhari Is Not In Charge Of Aso Rock —- Wole Soyinka

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Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says he does not believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is in charge of the country.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on PlusTv Africa, the renowned writer said the answer to the nation’s problem is decentralization, adding that there’s a need for the people to be historically conscious.

Soyinka was reacting to an open letter written by Umar Dangiwa, retired colonel and former military administrator of Kaduna, to Buhari over the president’s knack for appointing people from his section of the country into office.

“First of all, I was appalled by the silence that followed this revelation. I think those who are responsible for this criminal lopsidedness should be punished. It is not sufficient just to discuss it. It’s criminal,” Soyinka said.

“I have said this before. I don’t believe there is really anybody in charge in Aso Rock. I’m sorry to say this. I’ve been studying the trend over the past year and a half and I believe this president is not in charge of this nation, in so many aspects and directions. I’m convinced he’s not really and totally with it.

“It’s so serious. It is not the fact alone, we know the history of this. We know what it has caused the nation and we know it isn’t over yet. And you say are launching an enquiry. That’s not enough. This man is not in charge.”

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BIG STORY

Police Arrest 3 Brothers For The Kidnap and Murder Of A Mother Of 5 In Abuja, Exhume Corpse Of The Deceased For Forensic Examination [GRAPHIC PHOTOS]

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Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested three (3) suspects namely; Johnson Emmanuel – 38yrs, Gideon Emmanuel – 31yrs and Success Emmanuel – 27yrs for the kidnap and gruesome murder of one Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya on 14th May 2020.

The suspects, born by same parents, all-male and native of Isiekenesi, Ideato LGA of Imo State were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, in order to evade police arrest.

Investigations that led to the arrest of the suspects is a sequel to complaints received from one Chinedu Ogbonnaya who alleged that his mother, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, 55yrs, a native of Ozuitem in Bende LGA of Abia State had been kidnapped and a 5-Million naira ransom demanded before she could be released. A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by the police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three (3) suspects, whom, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried. Further findings revealed that the victim, a widow, who had been a Facebook friend of the principal suspect – Johnson Emmanuel, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada to visit the suspect. The suspect thereafter took advantage of the visit, served her yoghurt laced with drugs and subsequently had her murdered. The suspect had killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded 5-Million naira ransom as pre-condition for her release. ​

Meanwhile, on 4th June 2020, the suspects led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank. The exhumed body has been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination.

A Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to the deceased has also been recovered by Police operatives at a mechanic workshop in Apo where it had been repainted into a different colour, vehicle documents fraudulently changed and ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred to one of the masterminds of the crime – Johnson Emmanuel.

Investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold-off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, while commending the operatives for a job well done, reassures that perpetrators of any form of crimes in the country will not go undetected and unpunished. He, however, enjoins citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station.

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