2019 governorship: Amosun, Okorocha lose out as APC insists on Dapo Abiodun, Uzodinma

NATIONAL Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, declared yesterday that Senator Hope Uzodinma and Prince Dapo Abiodun remain the party’s governorship candidates for Imo and Ogun States respectively, despite protestations from the governors of the two states. Oshiomhole said he would not be a party to alleged effort by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to create a political dynasty in the state. He said Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State would also not be allowed to keep running the affairs of the party in his state like an emperor. The party chair spoke to reporters in Abuja ahead of last night’s deadline for the parties to submit the names of their governorship and state assembly candidates for next year’s elections.
Oshiomhole said the party was in the process of conducting fresh primaries in Rivers State after the Supreme Court invalidated the last congresses in the state that produced candidates for the elections. Taking the states one after the other, he said while the party’s constitution allows only the National Working Committee to conduct primaries, Amosun resorted to selfhelp by organising primaries where the secretary to his government was the chief returning officer. His words: “The Ogun State governor decided in his wisdom to conduct his own self help. I mean resorting to what you can call self-help by conducting what he called his own primary. “The Secretary to Ogun State Government became the Chief Returning Officer and I and other NWC members were watching the television and we saw the Secretary to Ogun State Government proclaiming himself as the returning officer, and purported to have conducted the primary.”
Amosun, he also claimed, at a point decided to introduce consensus and went ahead to announce the names of those he said were the consensus candidates of the party. The governor’s action, he said, was rejected by other stakeholders in the state, after which the governor settled for direct primary. Oshiomhole said that when the electoral committee sent to the state to conduct the primary got there, Amosun and his preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, refused to participate in the exercise. Dapo Abiodun went on to win the primary, he said. Oshiomhole said Amosun thereafter began to pile pressure on the party’s hierarchy to get the party to accept Akinlade, including mobilising some traditional rulers in the state to visit the President on the matter.
He vowed that no amount of blackmail would make him or members of the National Working Committee change what had been done in accordance with the laws of the party and in accordance with the provisions of the electoral act unless a court of competent jurisdiction rules otherwise. He said: “As we speak, we have submitted Amosun’s name to INEC as our senatorial candidate (for Ogun Central). “If we had anything against him, we would have found a way to disqualify him. The fact that we submitted his name means we don’t have anything against him. The issue is that he did not have his way. “He announced somebody as the consensus governor. He proceeded to announce another man as deputy governor. “He went on to proclaim himself as the next senator, and he said the current senator, Tejuoso, should step aside. “He also went on to announce that the second senator, also from Ogun State, will step aside while another man will come in. “Governor Amosun went on to announce another man who will be the next speaker, and another one as the next deputy speaker.
“He also singlehandedly picked eight House of Representatives members. Seven will not return, according to him; only one will return. All these he claimed as consensus.” On Imo State, Oshiomhole said the APC reviewed the report of the panel sent to the state, headed by Ahmed Gulak, and discovered that it substantially met with the guidelines set by the party and decided to uphold the report and adopt the senator as its candidate. Responding to a reporter’s question, the APC chair said: “The governor of Imo State said I should obey the order of the court and the law. I accept that advice wholeheartedly. “Yesterday (Thursday), I received documents from the High Court of Justice in Owerri where Governor Rochas heads the executive arm of government. The Chief Judge of the state ordered that I should not tamper with anything that has been done legally to throw up Uzodinma as the candidate of the party.
“The sitting Deputy Governor is the one who obtained that order. So, in accordance with the advice of Governor Rochas, I will respect that order of court.” Oshiomhole vowed that he would not be a party to helping the governor to build a political dynasty for himself where he would be a senatorial candidate of the party while his son-in-law would become the governorship candidate. He said Governor Okorocha is already a beneficiary of the party’s belief in doing things in accordance with the principles of fairness and justice. He said: “He completely lost out in the congress that was conducted by my predecessors, and when we came in, he cried foul and we took another look at the process and decided to cancel it, and we conducted another congress that now put a smile on his face.”
On Zamfara State where INEC said the party did not conduct primaries and will not be allowed to field candidadtes, Oshiomhole said the party is already in court to challenge the INEC position. His words: “We respect the sanctity of INEC and we expect them to remain impartial and not deny the people of Zamfara the opportunity to choose who should be their governor.” He said it would be undemocratic for the electoral management body to deny the party its right in the state. Oshiomhole expressed confidence that justice will prevail and the party will be allowed to present candidates in the state. The APC chair said the party will soon conduct fresh primaries in Rivers to pick its candidates for all elections after the previous list sent to INEC was invalidated by the Supreme Court. He apologised to the judicial arm of government for the invasion of the court by hired thugs in Rivers. He also expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari will emerge winner of the 2019 election, boasting that “Buhari will defeat Atiku in his home town.

Institute begins conference to promote corporate governance

Chartered Institute of Certified Secretaries & Reporters of Nigeria (CICSR), will on November 13, hold its 31st annual national conference/seminar in Enugu to promote corporate governance. PHOTO: Enugu State GovernmentThe Chartered Institute of Certified Secretaries & Reporters of Nigeria (CICSR), will on November 13, hold its 31st annual national conference/seminar in Enugu to promote corporate governance.
Founder/Registrar of the Institute, Mr. Samuel Ozomah, who spoke with The Guardian, said the theme and sub-themes of this year’s programme are very essential for modern day capacity building and knowledge update.
He said the seminar is a mandatory continuous professional development programme (MCPDP) for official verbatim reporters, confidential secretaries and secretarial assistant officers.
Others are data processors, executive officers and other categories of administrative officers and professionals who hold positions of responsibility.
With the theme, “The Nigerian Official Reporters and Secretaries: Challenges of Office Technology Management and ICT in the 21st Century,” the conference is aimed at ensuring that members get better, get more professional, informed and acquainted with modern trends in the profession.
He said the conference would ensure optimal efficiency and productivity in a complex business environment driven with ICT skills.

President Buhari, WAEC and PDP’s toxic air

The West African Examinations Council, WAEC, Friday, said the controversy concerning President Muhammadu Buhari’s school certificate is embarrassing and felt a sense of duty to produce and deliver to him a confirmation and attestation of his results, in form of a duplicate certificate.
This is a god-sent, with WAEC being a non-political entity. This should put to rest the absurd allegations by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, brought up again and again, that he did not attend a secondary school.
The unreasonable position of the PDP had been sustained all along in spite of testimony by classmates who read with him in school and graduated together, and that fact that a court of law had given a ruling on the matter.
In 2014-2015 when they raked up the issue, I remember that it took the courage of the then college Principal to issue a statement of results from available records. In doing so, he defied the ruling PDP government in the state which asked him not to.
At the time we got the results sheet, reports said that the government had determined to send arsonists to burn the school to ashes so that the existing records will be obliterated.
This was against the backdrop of the shocking claim by the Army Records office in Lokoja, that they didn’t keep any records of General Buhari as a military officer.
Curiously, the Army Records office had once come under Muhammadu Buhari, as Military Secretary who, during his tenure streamlined the records of the entire officer corps, and could not, by any stretch of imagination, have left his own records in a mess. General Alani Akinrinade (Rtd) reportedly dismissed this mischief as an insult to the military.
After doing his conscience’s duty by daringly releasing those results, the then government of Katsina State punished the Principal by stripping him of his seniority and posting.
As we said in a number of past statements, the matter of the President’s qualification to run for office is a non-issue, nonetheless feasted upon by the PDP which has stopped thinking and have nothing to offer to Nigerians.
Based on arguments that “education gives a human being the power to discriminate between right and wrong,” the 1999 Constitution stipulates a minimum educational qualification for citizens who intend to contest for elections at all levels, which requires that they must possess a secondary school education or its equivalent.

Presidency taunts PDP as Buhari gets WAEC attestation certificate

The controversy surrounding the West African School Certificate (WASC) Examination result of President Muhammadu Buhari was laid to rest yesterday as the West African Examination Council (WAEC) handed to the President the attestation of the certificate issued to him in 1961.
But in different reactions, the Presidency described the development as an end to the smear campaign of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the President while the PDP described it as a tragicomedy.
The PDP had turned Buhari’s inability to submit his WAEC certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress into a major campaign issue in the build-up to the 2015 election.
Buhari had explained then that his certificate was with the military, but the then ruling party insisted that he had no certificate in spite of a statement of result provided by Buhari’s former school and retired General Alani Akinrinade’s claim that it was the tradition in the military to take the certificates of new recruits.
And while the matter appeared to have been settled with Buhari’s victory in the 2015 presidential election, it reared its head again with another presidential election in the offing and Buhari once more the presidential candidate of APC.
The controversy was however laid to rest with WAEC’s presentation of an attested version of the President’s certificate to him in Abuja yesterday.
A statement issued by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said that the documents were presented to the President at State House during a courtesy visit by a delegation of WAEC led by its Registrar, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, and accompanied by Olutise Adenipekun, Head, National Office, WAEC; Abiodun Aduloju, Head Public Affairs, WAEC; and Olufemi Oke, Zonal Coordinator, WAEC Abuja.
Receiving the certificate, President Buhari thanked the examination board for upholding its integrity over the years, saying that he expected nothing less from the institution.
The President said it would have been impossible for him to attend the Defence Services Staff College, India (1973) and thereafter, United States Army War College as a Nigerian military officer if he did not sit the WASC examinations in 1961.
He recalled that during his secondary school days, it was very difficult to commit examination fraud even though it was not impossible.
He said: “My colleagues and I who spent close to nine years in boarding school both in primary and secondary, including Gen. Musa Yar’Adua, when we intended to join the military, we had to take a military examination.
”We were examined in three subjects-English, Mathematics and General Knowledge-because English is the language for general instruction throughout the country because of our colonial heritage.
”Mathematics in the military was necessary, coupled with Geography. We were trained on how to be dropped off in the bush, given only a pair of compass, and since we were not astronomers, you had to learn to find your way, calculate, using the Pythagoras Theorem and others to work out your position.”
In his remarks, Uwadiae said it was possible for candidates to lose their examination certificates through fire and any other unfortunate incident.
”We don’t issue certificates twice but we can issue attestations or duplicate copy of the certificate.
”We also have what we refer to as confirmation. Usually, universities were using this in those days when Information Technology was not in vogue.
”Whoever sat for WASC exams in whatever year, we have the records in our database. And Mr President, we have the records of the examinations you sat in 1961.
”We have the attestation of results which we issue to candidates who lost their certificates and confirmation of results.”
Presidency, APC taunt PDP
Reacting to the development in a statement yesterday, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, described it as god-sent, considering that WAEC is a non-political entity.
“This should put to rest the absurd allegations by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, brought up again and again, that he (President Buhari) did not attend a secondary school.
“The unreasonable position of the PDP had been sustained all along in spite of testimony by classmates who read with him in school and graduated together, and that fact that a court of law had given a ruling on the matter,” Shehu said.
He added: “In 2014-2015 when they raked up the issue, I remember that it took the courage of the then college Principal to issue a statement of results from available records.
“In doing so, he defied the ruling PDP government in the state which asked him not to.
“At the time we got the results sheet, reports said that the government had determined to send arsonists to burn the school to ashes so that the existing records would be obliterated.”
Shehu wondered why the PDP chose to dwell on the issue of Buhari’s certificate in its political fight for 2019 instead of more serious ones like security, corruption and job creation.
He said: “In its political fight for 2019, the PDP is not relying on the big issues of the day-security, corruption and jobs-but on small, distractive matters that take little or no account of national interest.
“But what do you expect of a group that has stopped thinking, just blowing hot, toxic air, indulging in divisive politics and is raking up sectional issues so that the people will forget the real issues of corruption, infrastructure, security and economy for which they have no plans?”
In his own reaction on his Twitter handle yesterday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, wondered what next Buhari’s critics would say after yesterday’s event.
“WAEC presents attestation certificate and confirmation of school cert result to President Buhari. What will the naysayers say next?” he wrote.
The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the party had always been confident that President Buhari has all it takes to contest the 2019 election, adding that all the noise about the President not having a certificate was based on mischief.
“We know that the President is well qualified for the contest. In fact, he has more than the school certificate they are talking about. But they don’t just want to acknowledge that because of mischief,” he said.
On his part, Chairman of the Buhari Media Organisation, Niyi Akinsaju, said the presentation from WAEC vindicated the President and has now pave the way for other political parties to begin to do the right thing and face the election.
He said what the PDP had been doing was mere mischief aimed at tarnishing the image of the President and destroying his weapon of integrity with which he will face the election.
He said Nigerians are aware of the fact that the President is well qualified, having been educated in the best military institutions in the world, adding that the President could not have been admitted into those institutions without the required qualifications.
The PDP, he said, merely refused to accept the affidavit presented by the President, adding that as a man of integrity, the President has gone further to prove that the affidavit he presented was genuine.
It’s a political certificate, says PDP
The PDP yesterday described the attestation received by the President WAEC as tragicomedy.
Reacting to the President’s receipt of the document, spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PDP never expected President Buhari to dramatically come this low because “you cannot have a certificate and be calling it an attestation.”
Ologbondiyan said: “What are they attesting to? We stand by our position that Mr. President has no school certificate.
“It’s simply a political certificate. We have said that the Buhari presidency and his handlers are always fretting at the mention of a certificate, so they want to mislead Nigerians to say that Mr. President has a school certificate.
“If Mr. President has a certificate, why did he not use it in the 2015 election? Why is the certificate suddenly emerging a few months to the election?
“And have you checked the photograph that was attached to the certificate? In 1961, was it the requirement of WAEC to have a passport attached to school certificate?
“Even in our own generation, was it a condition in WAEC that you must submit your passport to be attached to your certificate?
“They should come off it. It’s too low.

Buhari, Tinubu meet in Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met behind closed doors with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
There was similar meeting last Wednesday.
The meeting was still in progress at the time of filing this report.

Ex-MBGN, Anita Iseghohi announces separation from hubby

Anita Iseghohi, winner of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN)  in 2004 and businesswoman, has announced her separation from husband, Tom Iseghohi.
Anita who was married to Iseghohi for nearly 15 years, both share three children.
She posted the announcement on Instagram while expressing `a heavy heart.’’
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“Following our almost 15 years relationship as well as a lot of recent thought and careful consideration, I have made a difficult decision to separate from my husband.
`We are still a family and will always be loving, dedicated parents to our three lovely children.’’
Tom and Anita met before her reign as MBGN.
Following a registry ceremony in America, the couple had their society wedding in Lagos in 2008.
Anita has reverted to her maiden name, Uwagbale.

Court frees Indian businessman over alleged N120m fraud

FCT High Court. Photo: HotelsThe Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja High Court yesterday discharged an Indian national, Gulati Ankit, held on behalf of DAMAC Star Properties LLC, Dubai, in an alleged $350,000 (about N120 million) property fraud.
Profitel Limited, a Nigerian company, had in 2015 sued DAMAC Star Properties LLC for alleged breach of contract and swindling of a deposit for nine apartments in Dubai.
The judge, Justice Y. Halilu, held that Ankit, DAMAC’s Business Development Manager was not an “alter-ego” of the company, adding that he (Ankit) could not be made to pay for the misdemeanour of the company.

Lassa fever kills two, infects five in Edo, Ebonyi, Ondo

Ondo State. PHOTO: en.wikipedia.orgThe Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed the death of two, and infection of five people from Lassa fever in Edo, Ebonyi and Ondo states, including a health worker.
This was contained in the NCDC latest figures on Lassa fever published yesterday in its Week 44 (October 29 to November 4, 2018) outline.
The NCDC noted that from January 1 to November 4, 2018, a total of 2950 suspected cases had been reported from 22 states.
Of these, 553 were confirmed positive, 17 probables, 2,380 negative (not a case), and that since the onset of the 2018 outbreak, there have been 143 deaths in confirmed cases and 17 in probable cases.
The centre noted that the Case Fatality Rate in confirmed cases is 25.9 per cent and 22 states have recorded at least, one confirmed case across 90 local council areas in Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo and Plateau states.
Others are Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe, Ekiti, Kaduna, Abia, Adamawa and Enugu states.
It, however, reported that eighteen states have exited the active phase of the outbreak, while four: Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi and Delta states remain active.
It disclosed further that latest figures on the ongoing cholera outbreak in the country showed have shown 173 new suspected cases.
They are from five states of Katsina (four), Borno (35), Zamfara (37), Adamawa (92) and Yobe (six), with one new death in Adamawa.

Court dismisses Ladoja’s ‘no case’ submission

Rashidi LadojaJustice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ruled that former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State has a case to answer.
He dismissed his application challenging the alleged N4.7 billion suit filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The agency had alleged that he converted the N4.7 billion from Oyo State treasury to his personal use.
Ladoja was re-arraigned alongside his former Commissioner for Finance, Waheed Akanbi, on 11-count charge of money laundering and unlawful conversion of public funds.
It said their offences contravene the provisions of Sections 14, 16, 17 (a) and 18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004,
The accused had pleaded not guilty to all the charges against. After the close of prosecution’s case, the counsel argued that the prosecution failed to establish a case against them.
Justice Idris held that, based on evidence by the prosecution, the accused had some explanations to make.
The judge held “In the light of all the evidence tendered by the prosecution, and in my opinion, the defendants might have to explain the contents of some of those exhibits, and ordered the accused to open defence.”
Following the ruling, defendants counsel, Bolaji Onilenla prayed for an adjournment to enable the accused to open his defence.
The judge therefore adjourned the case till November 20,2018.

Appeal court adjourns Ogun PDP leadership crisis suit

Lawmaker representing Ogun East in the Senate, Buruji KashamuThe Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday adjourned the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party against the Chief Adebayo Dayo-led executive committee in Ogun State till November 20, 2018, after striking out the motion for extension of time to appeal.
The court struck out the application for time extension based on the objection of the lead counsel to the Dayo executive, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) who argued that the ruling sought to be appealed against was not attached to the motion on notice.
The embattled group is being backed by the lawmaker representing Ogun East in the Senate, Buruji Kashamu.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta had weeks back ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Uche Secondus-led national leadership of the party to accept and process the list of candidates and delegates submitted to them by the group for the 2019 general elections.
It gave the order while ruling on a motion for interlocutory injunction after entertaining arguments from counsel to the state party executive, Mr. Ricky Tarfa (SAN), who noted that the court had on September 28, 2018 ordered that the defendants be put on notice before adjourning till October 2, 2018 for definite hearing of the motion for interlocutory injunction.
The same court had also penultimate week reiterated its order directing the PDP and INEC to accept and process only the list of delegates and candidates submitted by Dayo executive for next year’s polls.
The court ruled while considering an application seeking to set aside the orders made by it on October 2 compelling the defendants to recognise the Dayo- led executives.
The court, in its judgment, had dismissed the application seeking to set aside the October 2 order and proceeded to reaffirm the orders.
The court further stated that it did not give any order stopping the national convention of the PDP but only directed the party to accord recognition to the list of delegates attached as Schedule A to the motion for interlocutory injunction.
The current suit before the Court of Appeal is to overturn the order of the Federal High Court mandating the PDP and INEC to accept and process only the list of delegates and candidates submitted by the Dayo executive.
The Abeokuta high court had equally granted a stay of the proceedings and adjourned the matter till December 13, 2018 pending the outcome of the appeal against its interlocutory orders/injunctions.

INEC not averse to public scrutiny

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood YakubuThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that its activities are open for public assessments and criticisms.
It’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this yesterday at a public dialogue with civil society groups, organised by European Centre for Electoral Support.
He said the rationale to subject electoral process to public scrutiny was to guarantee transparency and build public confidence in the commission.
Yakubu explained that the public reserves the right to challenge electoral process being funded and conducted by public funds.
He added that the commission has so far recorded tremendous success in the conduct of its off-season governorship elections in some states.
Represented by a National Commissioner, Prof. Antonia Okooisi Simbine, the INEC chairman hinted that the essence of the public dialogue was to share ideas and knowledge that could further strengthening the electoral process.
Senior legal expert with European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) Maria Teresa stressed the interest behind support for INEC was to ensure credible electoral process, ahead of 2019 general elections.
Meanwhile, INEC has pledged to identify and expose those with illegal possession of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
This followed media reports that a high volume of foreigners from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Togo and Benin Republic had been arrested by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Lagos for illegal possession of PVCs.
National Commissioner; Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, said all legal frameworks and budgets of the elections have been perfected for the elections.
INEC also urged politicians to be modest in their conducts to ensure that the process is free, fair and credible.
He spoke yesterday at the INEC Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC), zonal implementers trainers workshop sponsored by European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
Special Assistance to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mohammed Kuna, said the workshop was important to meet up with the demands
The commission boss said: “We must concert efforts at ensuring that we get adequately prepared for the 2019 general election, and right now we are very much on course.

Checks on Atiku’s plane not politically motivated, says minister

The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi SirikaThe Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has debunked insinuations that the checks conducted by security operatives on the aircraft belonging to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was politically motivated
He said the security checks were misinterpreted as having political undertone, when actually it was a case of professional and industry practice as regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
A statement by the Director of Press and Publicity in the ministry, James Odaudu, stated: “It should be noted that such checks as carried out on the former vice president’s aircraft are mandatory and routine, and that no one is exempted except the president, vice president and visiting presidents.
“The ICAO security programme also requires that ministers and senior government officials are screened in the same manner as other passengers as they are expected to set examples for the travelling public and to the aviation security officials responsible for screening passengers.
“It is a routine practice that all incoming aircraft and passengers on international flights must go through customs, immigration, health, security and money laundering checks.
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“The general public is, therefore, assured that the ministry and its agencies would always accord the desired respect to the nation’s leaders, just as they are committed to ensuring the entrenchment of safety and security at the nation’s airports without political considerations,” the statement read in part.
Sirika, in a post on his twitter handle @hadisirika, had described Atiku’s claim as a “mischievous attempt to grab the headlines.”
He said Nigerians needed to know that “one of the resolutions of the Atiku team at their recently-concluded Dubai retreat was to embark on scaremongering. This is one of such.

PTAD begins payment of New Nigerian pensioners

PensionThe management of the New Nigerian led by the Acting Managing Director, Mary Ibrahim, yesterday paid a courtesy visit to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) in Abuja to express appreciation for the placing of the newspaper’s ex-workers on the pension list.
The NNN officials told the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Sharon Ikeazor, that they were very happy at the speed at which PTAD was able to resolve, compute and pay their pensioners.
They acknowledged the competence and diligence of PTAD staff in putting the pensioners first.
PTAD had in October placed 470 New Nigerian pensioners on monthly pension payment for life.

Court revokes Kalu’s bail for traveling without permission

Orji Uzor KaluFor travelling to Germany without permission, Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday revoked the bail granted to the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
The court ordered him to submit himself and his passport to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) within 24 hours after his return to the country upon the conclusion of his medical treatment abroad.
The trial judge had last week given Kalu a seven -day ultimatum to return to Nigeria from Germany, where he was said to have gone for a surgical operation, or risk the revocation of his bail.
Kalu, the Commissioner for Finance during his tenure, Udeh Jones Udeogu, and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited are standing trial on an amended 39- count charge brought against them by the EFCC.
They were alleged to have used some banks to perpetrate N3.2billion fraud contrary to sections 17(c) 16, 14(1)(b)17(a) and 427 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the count charges
When the matter was called yesterday, the former governor was absent in court, but was represented by his counsel, S.E Eleme who tendered a medical report from Kalu’s doctors in Germany, stating that the accused person would require 12 weeks to recuperate from the surgical operation.
Justice Idris, therefore, reminded him of the terms of his client bail, which state that he must deposit his Nigerian passport and any other passport that he owned to the court, adding that he could not travel outside the country without the leave of the court.
Eleme said his client travelled under an emergency situation, which did not permit him to apply for the court’s permission, but did not respond to how the accused person got the passport with which he travelled outside the country.
Rather, the counsel pleaded with the court to have mercy on his client and also consider the fact that he had so far conducted himself properly before the court since his trial started in 2007.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said that when the case was adjourned indefinitely on September 27, the accused person through his counsel approached him that their client was sick and he needed to travel outside the for treatment.
Jacobs said they agreed that he should go and treat himself, but instead of doing so, the former governor was engaged in politicking.
“He contested and won his political party’s primary in his home state, so it was his fault that he did not treat himself before the trial resumed.
“Though I later got information that they wrote to the chairman of the EFCC informing the agency of the trip, if the letter had been brought to my knowledge, I would have advised them to seek the permission of the court as the anti-graft agency does not process the power to grant him leave to travel abroad.”
Justice Idris, therefore, held that although he recognised the right of the accused person to free movement, he breached the term of his bail, adding that no one is above the law.
” It is not acceptable that someone would break the law and expect that nothing would happen. It is a serious offence for someone to travel outside the country in violation of a valid court order.
“I will allow the accused person to enjoy his treatment without any harassment or intimidation from the court or security agencies, but upon his arrival in the country, he must submit himself to the EFCC. If we must have peace and stability in this country the law must be enforced and the court must not be afraid to enforce the law to ensure sanity in the society.
“So the bail of the accused person is hereby revoked and he must submit himself and his passport to the EFCC at the point of entry until further orders of the court are made,” the judge ruled.
He subsequently adjourned continuation of trial till January 23, 2019.

FUOYE lecturers shun ASUU strike, join CNAU

ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun OgunyemiLecturers at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have backed out of the ongoing strike.
The lecturers announced that they have switched their membership and allegiance to the newly formed Congress of Nigerian Academia of Universities (CNAU).
The leader of CNAU in the university, Ayodeji Ige, disclosed this to The Guardian.
He said they are currently discharging all their lawful duties, “because we are no longer members of ASUU.”
He disclosed that the second semester examinations started is ongoing and was neither halted, nor disrupted by any individual or groups.
He stressed that no one was coerced into taking the decision, even as no one has also been harassed for keying into the choice.
The leadership of FUOYE Students Union, which said their exams were ongoing, also confirmed the steps taken by the lecturers.
Vice President of the students union, Bisiriyu Ayomide, in an interview with The Guardian, commended the lecturers for being independent-mined and not following the crowd.
He stressed that each university has its own unique peculiarities in terms of issues and challenges.
Ige had said ASUU was in decaying stage and no efforts could revamp the body, adding that FUOYE teachers now take directives from CNAU headquarters in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Prior to this development, FUOYE ASUU had been at loggerhead with the branch chairman, Dr. Akinyemi Omonijo, and the zonal leadership of the union, who were accused of misrepresenting happenings in the university.
They claimed that the chairman misled both ASUU national leadership and the Federal Ministry of Education to take some decisions against the university.