Osun NLC Suspends Strike Again, Recalls Workers

osun workers strike-nlcThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Osun State has again suspended its ongoing eight weeks industrial action, with a call on Workers to resume work immediately.

The workers union ended the strike after it singed another Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with the State government at the Governors Office in Abere, Osun State.

The Chairman of the NLC in Osun State, Jacob Adekomi, explained that the agreement contained a promise to pay workers the salary for February 2015, with effect from August 3, while the balance of the fraction payment made to level eight and above would be returned.

Adekomi said that the decision to suspend the industrial action was in the interest of the state workforce and the State government, believing that the government would live up to its part of the agreement.

While directing all the workers to resume with immediate effect, the NLC Chairman maintained that the state government had renewed its commitment to full employment ‎and not retrenchment of its workforce.

The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, said that the government had never reneged on its agreement. He also explained that the industrial action was due to shortfall in the Federal Allocation which was not peculiar to the state alone.

Last week, the Labour Leaders resolved to continue with the strike until the State government fulfilled its part of the agreement contained in the MoU.

However, the Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Bayo Adejumo, maintained that workers would not return to work until the full payment of January and February salary was implemented.

Second Edition Of Bayelsa Economic Forum Begins In Yenagoa

BSIEF-BayelsaThe second edition of the Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum (BSIEF) has kicked-off in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

The State Commissioner of Trade, Investment and Industry, Mr Kemela Okara, told reporters on Wednesday that he essence of the Economic Forum was to bring the world to Bayelsa State and vice-versa.

Mr Okara said that this year’s edition of the summit was intended to consolidate on the achievements made from the forum during the first edition that was held in July last year.

The Commissioner, who assured participates at the forum of a safe environment in the state, advised them to take advantage of the preparedness of the present administration to unveil the projects of the government, and enter into fruitful partnership with all interested participants.

The BSIEF is a platform through which government of Bayelsa State seeks to collaborate with the private sector to build a system where private enterprise will thrive.

According to the BSIEF’s website, this year’s forum will showcase to the world, Bayelsa State’s industrialisation plan and the consequent investment opportunities existing in the state.

The platform is also organised to unveil the proposed Eco-Industrial Park and the investment opportunities that are existent in its development, foster discussions and dialogue between projects developers, investors and financiers and the state government, encourage and facilitate investments in oil and gas and power generation among others.

Senate Asks Buhari To Constitute North-East Rehabilitation Committee

Nigeria-SenateThe Nigerian Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a Presidential Intervention Committee on the rehabilitation of the north-eastern part of the nation, devastated by activities of the Boko Haram terrorists.

The Senate reached the resolution after an observation by Senator George Sekibo, a Peoples Democratic Party member representing Rivers East Senatorial District, on infrastructural damages caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east.

He said: “Thousands of personal buildings and properties, social amenities and infrastructure, such as electricity, and telephone services have been destroyed in many parts of the zone.

“The livelihood of many indigenes of the area has been disrupted such that majority of the people are either in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps or are helplessly roaming the streets without any hope for their future”.

Some lawmakers argued that any rehabilitation of the north-east without first winning the insurgency would be a waste of time.

Others also called for a deliberate strategy to generate adequate funds for the reconstruction of social infrastructure destroyed by the insurgents.

While rounding off the debate, the Senate President pledged that the Senate should complement the efforts of the President to actualise his campaign promises, which was basically to guarantee security and welfare of Nigerians.

After an exhaustive debate on the issue, the Senate resolved that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, would lead a delegation to visit the troops and Internally Displaced Peoples camps in the north-east.

For over five years, the Boko Haram terrorist group has carried out series of attacks on communities, schools, places of worship and other public places in the north-east, rendering many homeless.

House Of Representatives Wades Into WAEC Debt Crisis

waec-WASSCE-2015The Nigerian House of Representatives has set up an Ad hoc Committee to intervene in the alleged debt crisis between the West African Examination‎ Council (WAEC) and some states, resulting to a threat by the examination body to withhold the results of some students.

The House took the decision following a motion by a lawmaker, Linus Okorie that the academic pursuit of more than half of the 1.2 million candidates who sat for the examination would be disrupted if WAEC was allowed to carry out its threat.

The motion was passed unanimously after deliberations, and the House mandated the Committee to report back in one week, to allow actions be taken before the date for the release of the May/June 2015 West African Secondary Schools Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results.

On Monday, the examination body claimed that 19 states out of the 36 states were owing about four billion Naira exam entry fees for state government sponsored candidates.

The Head of WAEC in Nigeria, Charles Eguridu, said: “A total number of 19 states in the country owe the Council in respect of entry fees for state government sponsored candidates for the May/June 2015 WASSCE. Some states also still owe the Council registration fees for the May/June 2014 WASSCE.

“We, therefore, want to publicly plead with the affected states to off-set the registration fees of their candidates as soon as possible, as we cannot guarantee that the results of their candidates for the May/June 2015 will be released along with others”.

Court Refuses To Stop Speaker From Setting Up Committees

courtA Federal High Court in Abuja has again declined to stop the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, from appointing principal officers and standing committees for the House of Representatives.

While ruling in an ex parte motion brought by Honourable Abubakar Lado and Olanipekun Jimoh, seeking to stop the Speaker from appointing principal officers, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that the issue was a domestic affair of the House of Representatives.

Justice Kolawole said that “the court could only intervene when there is substantial infraction of the 1999 Constitution”, stressing that ‘for now there has been no breach of the Constitution’.

He added that it was not the duty of the court to choose principal officers for the National Assembly, because it had its own machinery.

The court also maintained that it would not allow itself to be used as a platform by aggrieved members, to get what they should canvass on the floor of the House.

Justice Kolawole insisted that  the court was not a supervising institution for the National Assembly on account of Separation of Power and that there was no evidence before the court that the constitution had been breached.

He, therefore, refused the application in its entity  and thereafter directed that the defendants in the substantive suit, which includes the Speaker of the House of Representatives, his Deputy, the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the National Assembly, be put on notice and served with the originating summon.

The case has been adjourned to August 12 before Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

In a related development, an ex parte order seeking to stop the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, from constituting the Senate Standing Committe, was rejected on Tuesday.

The Judge, Justice Kolawole, said there was nothing urgent in the application.

Court Refuses To Stop Police From Investigating Ekweremadu, Others

Deputy_Senate_President_Ike_EkweremaduA Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to grant a request to stop the Police from its on-going investigation of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and some others in relation to the alleged forgery of the 2015 Standing Rules of the Senate.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in his ruling, refused an ex-parte application filed by Senator Gilbert Emeka Nnaji, in which he sought to restrain the Police from proceeding with the investigation and making public the report of the inquiry.

Senator Nnaji had sought interim orders to restrain the defendants in the case, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase and the Attorney General of the Federation pending the determination of his substantive suit.

The substantive suit is challenging the constitutionality of the investigation within the context of the doctrine of Separation of Power.

However, Justice Kolawole said he could not grant the request sought by the plaintiff at the ex-parte stage when his court possesses the power to conduct a judicial review of the action complained about in the substantive suit.

He also refused the plaintiff’s request to abridge the time within which the defendants could respond.

According to him, while the court’s rules allow defendants 30 days, within which to respond, a reduction in the period must be with the consent of parties in the suit.

He ordered the defendants to appear and explain why he should not grant the request of the plaintiff in his ex-parte application.

After hearing the applications, Justice Kolawole adjourned the case till August 4.

NASS Crisis Would Soon Be Forgotten – Oshiomhole

Adams-OshiomholeThe Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, says the ongoing crisis in Nigeria’s National Assembly over the choice of principal officers will soon be a thing of the past.

Addressing reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, alongside Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Oshiomhole said the meeting they had with the warring Senators on Sunday evening was useful.

“I feel the position now is ‘look how do you ensure that having elected this two (Senate President and his Deputy), that the remaining position that are within the discretion of the APC caucus in the Senate are distributed in a way as to give the other group that were shut out of the process a sense of belonging?

“We are convinced that a winner-takes-all in this case won’t work and building peace is making concession and power works better when it acknowledges that even the person who is powerless has a right to exist,” the Edo State Governor said.

Oshiomhole told reporters that he had met with President Buhari to brief him on how their meeting with the Senators went.

“My brother (Bagudu) and I spent some time with the senators last night (Sunday) and we had what I think was a useful conversation. We have come today to report to the President what transpired at the meeting and make few suggestions to him and I think for me there is light, as they say, at the end of the tunnel.

“One thing is clear, we are all APC family, we are all committed to change. We recognise that there are few issues; people may not be comfortable, but we have what it takes to resolve the issues so that in the National Assembly we will have an APC Senate caucus that is united, that is ready to support the change agenda as the President is committed to and work along with PDP.

“Nobody is suggesting that we shouldn’t work with PDP. PDP exists in the House, just as APC had existed in the House under PDP government. So, at some point there has to be a way to engage bipartisan. So, that is basically why we are here,” Governor Oshiomhole stated.

The National Assembly has been embroiled in crisis following the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party as Deputy Senate President.

The party had nominated Governor Oshiomhole and his Kebbi State counterpart, to mediate between the warring Senators.

20 Months Old Baby Declared Stolen In Ogun

babyA 20-month-old baby has been reported stolen in Akorede Estate of Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State in south-west Nigeria, during his niece’s naming ceremony on Sunday.

Although the whereabouts of the young boy is yet unknown, a middle aged herbalist has been linked to the kidnap of the young boy.

Elizabeth Ogundele, the 26-year-old mother of the toddler, said she was assisting her brother’s wife in preparation for the ceremony when she noticed her son was missing.

“I was helping my brother’s wife get ready for the ceremony when I noticed that my son was missing.

“I searched for him in and around the house because some tenants said they saw him playing ball, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“I ran outside the house into the community still searching and that was when I encountered two guys at Chief Ifayemi’s house.

“I asked if they had seen my son, they denied and started giggling, so I left,” she explained.

Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Abdulmajid Ali, has promised thorough investigation into the misery surrounding the whereabouts of the young boy, promising to bring the culprit to book.

He said: “Actually a two-year-old boy was kidnapped yesterday, but the site that was discovered has no relationship with the boy and other human parts that were found at the site.

“Already we have commenced investigation on the matter,‎ and we will let you see what really happened when we finish our investigation”.

Meanwhile, Police in the state has continued to maintain its presence in the area to forestall any possible breakdown of law and order.

Warri Wolves Beat El-Kanemi Warriors 5-0

Warri wolvesWarri Wolves have moved up to the fourth spot on the Nigeria Professional Football League after the team recorded the biggest win of the 2014/2015 season in a rescheduled game.

Wolves on Sunday thrashed El-Kanemi Warriors 5-0 at the Warri City Stadium.

The team took the game beyond their opponents from Maiduguri by the hour mark, as Paul Aigbogun’s men raced into a four-goal lead.

With Wolves in total control, they needed just a goal to move into the top-four behind Sunshine Stars, Enyimba and Wikki Tourists. Lordson Ichull got the all important goal to wrap up the one-sided contest.

Wolves are now four points behind table-topping Sunshine Stars and could cut that lead to one by Wednesday if they beat Kwara United.

Manchester United Sign Romero

romeroEnglish Premier League club, Manchester United, have confirmed the signing of Argentina goalkeeper, Sergio Romero, following the uncertainty of David de Gea’s future.

Romero was a free agent after leaving Sampdoria and will replace back-up keeper, Victor Valdes, who has been told he can leave the club.

The 28-year-old, who sealed a three-year deal, is United’s fifth signing of the summer, having signed full-back, Matteo Darmian, midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and forward, Memphis Depay.

Romero has 62 caps with the Argentine national team and played in the 2014 World Cup final, he also won the 2008-2009 Eredivisie title under Van Gaal at Az Alkmaar.

Addressing reporters about the new goalkeeper, Manchester Utd team boss, Louis van Gaal, said Romero did very well in the World Cup.

He said: “Sergio Romero is an international goalkeeper from the Argentina team. He was also a former player of mine. I was trainer-coach, manager of AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands, I picked him up when he was 19 and he was a great talent. We became champions with him, with a minor club, and in the Netherlands it was a fantastic result of course.

“I know him very well and I think in our situation, if De Gea is going or not going, it is always a threat and we have to take care, make sure that we are prepared and that is why I think it is very good that Sergio Romero is now a Manchester United player”.

Joshua Enaholo Joins Enyimba

enaholoFlying Eagles Goalkeeper, Joshua Enaholo, has joined Nigeria Professional Football League side, Eyimba FC, from lower division side, MFM.

Enaholo, who was in goal for Nigeria during the 2015 African Youth Championship and the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, has been cleared by his club to make the move to the Aba Elephants.

Enaholo was also in goal for the Flying Eagles when the team defeated Enyimba 2-0 during the Super Six invitational in Abuja.

Enaholo’s arrival has increased the number of goalkeepers at Enyimba and will equally boost competition in goal as club coach, Kadiri Ikhana, seeks an unprecedented seventh title.

2015 WASSCE: WAEC Decries Mass Failure, Threatens To Withhold Results

waec wassceLess than 45 per cent of those who sat for the 2015 West African Senior School Certificate Exams (WASSCE) passed with credit grade and above, a trend that would seem to have continued from 2013.

The poor performance has been put down to a lack of preparation and teaching facilities, and an inadequate number of quality teachers.

To defeat the menace and also curb examination malpractice, the Head of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) national office in Nigeria, Charles Eguridu, said proper technology had been deployed.

Meanwhile, the examination body said that 19 states out of the 36 states of the federation are owing about four billion Naira exam entry fees for State government sponsored candidates in the May/June 2014 and 2015 WASSCE.

Speaking to Channels Television after addressing a press conference, Mr Eguridu maintained that the body was cash-trapped and was struggling with meeting its financial obligations.

He also noted that the Council may delay the release‎ of results of government sponsored candidates when the council announces the May/June 2015 WASSCE results.

He said: “A total number of 19 states in the country owe the Council in respect of entry fees for state government sponsored candidates for the May/June 2015 WASSCE. Some states also still owe the Council registration fees for the May/June 2014 WASSCE.

“We have written to the affected State governments without any response. The poor response of the ‘debtor states’ is threatening the smooth operations of the Council.

“We therefore want to publicly plead with the affected states to off-set the registration fees of their candidates as soon as possible, as we cannot guarantee that the results of their candidates for the May/June 2015 will be released along with others”.