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ASUU Strike: Again, Soldiers Attack Protesting Nigerian Students

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For the second time in one week, students protesting the continued shutdown of Nigerian universities were on Tuesday reportedly attacked by soldiers in Ondo State.

The students, who had blocked the busy Akure-Ilesa road for the second day, said without being provoked the soldiers visited the protest ground and forcefully dispersed the protesters, even as they shot sporadically.

Some unidentified soldiers had also on Friday forcefully driven through a crowd of protesting students in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The director of the Nigerian army public relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, a major general, in a terse response to our reporter’s inquiry, denied knowledge of the incident but promised to find out.

He, however, did not get back to our reporter.

Also, on Tuesday, a message sent to his mobile line to inquire about the alleged attack was not responded to as of the time of writing this report.

Tuesday’s incident

According to the chairman of the Ondo State axis of the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Surprise Omotosho, the military men allegedly came to the protest ground and “immediately started shooting indiscriminately.”

He said: “We started our peaceful protest yesterday (Monday) and we held a meeting with stakeholders and security agencies telling them that we could stop the protest but at a point, we agreed to end Tuesday’s protest at noon.

“Just from nowhere, these military men came and started shooting live bullets at us. We have some bullet shells with us.

“You can ask other security men on the ground- the police, Amotekun, and even road safety officials, they will all tell you that we were peaceful enough. That will not deter us, we will continue to either stay on the road or in our classrooms. The government has to choose one.”

Meanwhile, pictures and video clips obtained by PREMIUM TIMES also revealed students scampering for safety amidst sporadic gunshots.

Oyo

Also in Oyo State, the protesting students said they were violently attacked by police officers on Iwo Road in Ibadan.

The students had in the last two weeks consistently staged protests until Friday when they had altercations with the soldiers.

But rather than being discouraged, a student leader, Emiola Solomon, said they were determined to ensure that the universities are reopened.

“So we continued with the protest on Monday but when we got to Iwo-Road, armed mobile police officers attacked us violently and broke some of the phones belonging to our members,” Mr. Solomon said.

Osun

Meanwhile, the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, also on Tuesday, converged to continue the protest against the ongoing strike by the Nigerian university workers’ unions.

From the OAU campus, the students proceeded to Oduduwa University Ile-Ife (OUI) and barricaded the Ibadan-Ife road, and obstructed both human and vehicular movements.

According to the public relations officer of the OAU students’ union, Taofeek Ogunperi, the students want the government and the striking workers to resolve their issues and call off the strike.

He said: “We want the government and ASUU to find a common ground and call off the strike so that we can resume our academic activities. We solidarize with ASUU because their demands are genuine and they are for the betterment of education and by extension, Nigeria as a country.

“The government should honor their agreement too and they should ensure they do due diligence in ASUU and get back to classes.”

Backstory

The strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which commenced on February 14, has clocked 93 days on Tuesday over unmet demands by the Nigerian government.

Other workers’ unions within the university system have also embarked on strike over similar agitations.

The workers’ agitations revolve around issues of poor welfare packages, revitalization of the universities, and the alleged imposition of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) on the workers as a payment platform for their entitlements.

 

Credit: Premium Times

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Ekweremadu Narrates How David, “Kidney Donor” Refused To Return To Nigeria

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The former deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has explained that David Ukpo Nwamini, the would-be kidney donor of his daughter, Sonia refused to return to Nigeria after it was discovered that his kidney was not compatible with his daughter’s.

The Enugu-born federal lawmaker gave the details in a suit filed along with his wife, Beatrice, against the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) over the controversy surrounding the real age of Nwamini.

Ike Ekweremadu and his wife were recently arrested for allegedly bringing a minor to the UK to harvest his organ. They were subsequently remanded in custody till July 7.

However, Ekweremadu had written to the UK high commission to support the visa application of a “kidney donor” for his daughter Sonia.

Although the UK police said the donor was 15, he was listed as 21 years old on his international passport and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) portal.

In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022 and filed on June 27 by Adegboyega Awomolo, counsel to the senator and his wife, before Inyang Ekwo, justice of a federal high court in Abuja, the Ekweremadus prayed the court for an order directing the NIMC to supply them with the certified true copy (CTC) of Ukpo’s biodata, The Cable reported.

They also sought an order directing the NIS comptroller-general to supply the applicants with Ukpo’s documents and application form presented for the issuance of his international passport.

The suit is also seeking an order directing Stanbic IBTC Bank and UBA to supply the applicants with the certified true copy of the “mandate card and account opening package of Ukpo’s bank accounts”.

Awomolo, who gave 20 grounds why the prayers should be granted, said Ukpo offered to donate one of his kidneys to the daughter of the applicants if his kidney was compatible.

He said Ukpo informed the applicants that he was 21 years old, after which Ekweremadu supported his visa application to the United Kingdom with a letter to the British high commission in Nigeria, explaining the purpose of the visit.

“After conducting various medical tests, the Royal Free Hospital in London decided that the said David Nwamini Ukpo was not a suitable donor because his kidney is not compatible with that of Sonia Ekweremadu,” he said.

According to Awomolo, Ukpo was then asked to return to Nigeria but rather than do so, he approached the authorities in the UK, claiming he was 15 years old.

“The applicants require documents from the respondents to assist in the fair criminal investigation and as facts in their defense to establish their innocence of the allegation in the charge and to prove that David Nwamini Ukpo is not a minor and indeed consented to the medical examination in the United Kingdom,” he said.

Ekwo fixed July 1 for a hearing of the matter.

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JUST IN: Court Dismisses Kanu’s Application For Revocation Of Bail

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The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has dismissed an application by Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), seeking an order discharging the earlier order revoking his bail.

Justice Binta Nyako in her ruling on Tuesday ruled that Kanu has not provided sufficient reasons to warrant the court to set aside its order.

She accordingly dismissed the application for being an abuse of the court process.

In the dismissed application which was filed by his lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Kanu also prayed for an order setting aside the order made on March 28, 2019, directing for his arrest and continuation of his trial in absentia.

Justice Nyako had, on March 28, 2019, revoked the bail Kanu, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial should continue in his absence.

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CJN Resignation: Public Confidence In Judiciary System At All-Time Low – Olumide Akpata

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Olumide Akpata, president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the resignation of Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as CJN, saying public confidence in the judiciary is currently at “an all-time low”.

In the statement, Akpata thanked the retired CJN for his service to the nation and prayed for his quick recovery.

“In the course of previous publications and communications, I have consistently appreciated the outgone chief justice of Nigeria for the cordial working relationship between the bar and the bench under our respective administrations. I must do so again today as he bows out,” the statement read.

“It is however impossible, to consider his lordship’s retirement in isolation of the recent unprecedented developments at the supreme court where 14 justices of the court censured the outgone chief justice of Nigeria over his lordship’s handling of their welfare and related issues.

“Beyond this, there is near-universal agreement that public confidence in the judiciary and indeed the legal profession is at an all-time low.”

The NBA chairman added that “there is now more than ever the need for urgent reforms in the judiciary and to rebuild the almost dissipated confidence that Nigerians have in the judiciary and the wider legal profession in Nigeria”.

“These should form the immediate first tasks for honorable Mr. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who is expected to now take over as the acting chief justice of Nigeria,” he said.

“The NBA welcomes the appointment of honorable Mr. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola and pledges its readiness to work together with his lordship and the judiciary in cleansing the Augean Stable and addressing the ills that have continued to plague not just the Judiciary but the entire legal profession.”

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