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If FG Really Loves Education, $23m Abacha Loot Would Be Used To Meet Our Demands – ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the federal government should have used the recovered $23 million Abacha loot to meet its demands.

Emmanuel Osodeke, president of ASUU, spoke on Tuesday in an interview on Channels Television.

ASUU has been on strike since February 2022 to protest the non-implementation of its demands by the federal government.

Last Tuesday, the federal government and the US reached an agreement to repatriate a new batch of funds looted by Sani Abacha, the former Nigerian head of state.

Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, said the recovered loot, which is tagged ‘Abacha-5’, has been earmarked for the completion of the Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and the Second Niger Bridge.

Following the announcement, the conversation has been rife on whether the federal government is making the right decision on the recovered loot amid the lingering ASUU strike.

Giving his take on the development, Osodeke said the federal government would have deployed the recovered loot to education if the government loves the sector.

“Definitely. Let’s use a typical man as an example, you have a house and your child is sick seriously and you were paid money that you were not expecting. Where will you put the money?” the ASUU president asked.

“That child should be the first thing you will treat. Is it not? Before you will start thinking about how you are going to buy clothes.

“Your universities are shut for six months. You now have access to a fund you were not expecting, If you really love education, where should you put the money? In that particular place. They said they don’t have money. We need to love this country.”

Reacting to reports that ASUU had stopped negotiations with the federal government, Osodeke said: “In Nigeria, we have so many media, social media, and what have you. They just release issues to get popularity. We never said so. We are open to negotiations and invitations as a union.”

The union recently announced its decision to convert the roll-over strike into a “comprehensive, total and indefinite” industrial action.

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New Naira Notes: Reps Committee Rejects CBN’s One Week Extension, Threatens Emefiele’s Arrest

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The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on the redesign of three naira notes has rejected the 10 days extension granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 bank notes.

In a statement on Sunday, the Chairman of the Committee and the Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said the green chamber will proceed and sign an arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to appear before the committee.

According to him, the new naira redesign policy is capable of frustrating the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

The CBN on October 26, 2022, announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes. President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed the January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.

The CBN also pegged its weekly cash withdrawal limits to N500,000 for individuals and N5m for corporate firms.

Many Nigerians have lamented the scarcity of new notes as the January 31 deadline approached while the National Assembly demanded a six-month extension.

However, emerging from a meeting with the President on Sunday, the apex bank chief said Buhari gave permission for the deadline to be extended to February 10.

In its immediate reaction, the House of Representatives committee chaired by Doguwa rejected the extension, insisting that the CBN must comply with sections 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN Act.

The lawmaker said, “The 10-day extension for the exchange of the old naira notes is not the solution: We as a legislative committee with a constitutional mandate of the house, would only accept clear compliance with section 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN act and nothing more.

“Nigeria as a developing economy and a nascent democracy must respect the principle of the rule of law. And the House would go ahead to sign arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor to appear before the adhoc committee.”

Doguwa said under his chairmanship, the committee would continue its work until it gets the demands of Nigerians addressed in accordance with the laws of the land.

He described the extension as a mere political gimmick to further deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social livelihood, insisting that the CBN governor must appear before or stand the risk of being arrested on the strength of legislative writs signed earlier by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

He also said the policy is capable of frustrating the forthcoming general elections.
“Security agencies and their operations especially at the states level are generally funded through cash advances and direct table payments of allowances to operatives during elections,” he said.

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UPDATE: 9 Confirmed Dead As Container Falls Off Truck In Lagos [VIDEO]

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An articulated truck conveying a 20ft container fell on a commercial bus at Ojuelegba, Lagos on Sunday killing nine persons.

Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said the truck lost control while ascending a bridge.

“Upon arrival at the scene, a truck conveying a 20ft container was found to have landed on top of a commercial bus.

“Investigation revealed that the bus was picking up passengers when the truck lost control and fell over the side of the bridge.

“A total of nine fatalities were recovered, comprising four adult males, three adult females, a girl, and a boy.

“After suspending the container load with the aid of LASEMA’s forklift, an adult woman was extricated alive and taken to the trauma center,’’ he said.

Oke-Osanyintolu said LASEMA’s heavy-duty ambulance and Lagos State Fire Service were on hand for a rescue operation, just as LASTMA and Nigeria Police were on ground to control traffic.

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INSECURITY: Three Officers Killed As Gunmen Attack Ebonyi/Enugu Border Checkpoint

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Three police officers have been killed by gunmen at the border checkpoint along Enugu/Abakaliki expressway.

The police officers were reportedly shot dead on Saturday night.

The gunmen, who operated in a Sienna bus, reportedly opened fire at the checkpoint, injuring one officer in the leg and killing three.

The Ebonyi police command confirmed the incident.

Chris Anyanwu, the command’s spokesperson, said the attack occurred around 6pm.

“The attack by gunmen at Ebonyi/Enugu boundary took place at about 18:08hrs ” he said.

“Three police personnel of Operation Safer Highway were fatally injured and later confirmed dead.

“The hoodlums operated in two sienna vehicles, drove into the checkpoint, and opened fire on the policemen.”

He said the officer who was shot is receiving treatment at a medical facility in Abakaliki, the state capital.

In December, two people, including a police officer, were killed following an attack on a police checkpoint in Abakaliki.

One of the gunmen was also killed in the attack.

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