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Cross River civil servants protest unpaid salaries by state govt

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Cross River civil servants protest unpaid salaries by state govt

Civil servants in Calabar, Cross River State have in the early hours of Thursday stormed the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Anthony Owan Eno, to demand their January salary which is yet to be paid as of the 15th of February.

According to them, the economic situation is unbearable and the need for the government to pay salaries is urgent.

The civil servants said they have been asked to visit the SSG’s office to write their name which according to them is unacceptable.

They are calling on Governor Bassey Otu to act fast as people are dying of hunger.

Following the protest, the State Government explained that over 80% of salaries have been paid, adding that the delay in others is due to a verification exercise by the state government.

While speaking in Calabar, the Deputy Governor of Cross River Peter Odey explained that some workers have been receiving multiple salaries and the state government had embarked on staff audit and verification for all MDAs and employees in the local government system owing to the enormous wage bill despite a large number of retirements from the service.

According to him, the Bassey Otu-led administration remains committed to its People First Agenda which can only be realised when all segments of the state make sacrifices and support the drive for a transparent and accountable system.

The State Government notes the difficult times and assures that all those whose salaries have been delayed genuinely will be paid as soon as possible.

READ ALSO  Minimum Wage consultations between Organised Labour, Tinubu inconclusive

Source: Channelstv

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Tinubu, Shettima, governors in closed-door meeting

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Tinubu, Shettima, governors in closed-door meeting

President Bola Tinubu is currently meeting with some state governors at the State House, Abuja.

The meeting comes after the president met with the leaders of organised labour over minimum wage negotiations.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima is also attending the meeting.

Earlier, the representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had a meeting with Tinubu at the presidential villa.

Though labour leaders and government representatives at the meeting said they discussed the minimum wage, they are to reconvene in seven days.

Over the past few months, labour unions, federal and state governments, and the private sector have been deliberating on a new minimum wage for workers.

On June 3, labour unions embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike over the failure of the government to yield to their demand for the minimum wage.

The NLC and TUC had proposed N494,000 as the new national minimum wage, citing inflation and the prevailing economic hardship in the country, while rejecting the federal government’s N60,000 minimum wage offer.

On June 7, state governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) said a N60,000 minimum wage would prove unsustainable.

At the last meeting of the tripartite committee, organised labour rejected the N62,000 proposed by the government and lowered its demand to N250,000.

The federal government had asked labour unions to demand a more realistic and sustainable wage.

Tinubu had also directed Wale Edun, minister of finance, to present the cost implications for a new minimum wage.

READ ALSO  Minimum Wage consultations between Organised Labour, Tinubu inconclusive

Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, said the presentation would form the basis of further negotiations.

Source: The Cable

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Minimum Wage consultations between Organised Labour, Tinubu inconclusive

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Tinubu appeals to governors’ for unity of purpose to ‘make Nigeria greater’

Minimum Wage consultations between the Organised Labour and President Bola Tinubu have again adjourned without a conclusive agreement.

The meeting called at the instance of the President, Bola Tinubu has just ended with no meaningful resolutions reached.

The Labour leaders who emerged from the meeting, however, told reporters that their consultations with the Presidency will continue next week as they also have to go back to their organs to relay what the President discussed with them.

President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero said the positions of N250,000 for Labour and N62,000 for the Federal Government still stands.

Recall that Nigerians, especially the nation’s workforce have been expecting a new minimum wage from the government.

 

READ ALSO  Tinubu, Shettima, governors in closed-door meeting
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Ganduje, wife to appear in court over alleged bribery on Thursday

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The Forum of All Progressives Congress State Chairmen on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence on the National Chairman of the party,

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, his wife Hafsat, and six others are expected to appear in court on Thursday over charges related to alleged bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds.

This development comes after a notice of trial served on the respondents through substituted means by order of the court.

A Kano State High Court granted the order on June 5, 2024, allowing the state to serve the seven respondents through substituted service, which was subsequently executed via advertisements in two national newspapers on June 6, 2024.

The respondents in the case include Abdullahi Ganduje (1st respondent), his wife Hafsat (2nd respondent), Abubakar Bawuro (3rd respondent), Umar Abdullahi Umar (4th respondent), Jibrilla Muhammad (5th respondent), Safari Textiles Ltd (7th respondent), and Lesage General Enterprises (8th respondent).

Justice Amina Adamu, who presided over the case, granted the order following an application by Zahradeen Kofar-Mata, counsel for the state government, representing the lead prosecution counsel, Ya’u Adamu.

“This court grants the application for substituted service because it is necessary to ensure the respondents are duly notified of the proceedings,” stated Justice Adamu during the court session.

“The matter is adjourned till July 11, 2024, for hearing, and all parties involved are ordered to present their fiat to the court.”

The hearing is expected to commence at 10am at the Kano State High Court on Thursday.

Source: Vanguard

READ ALSO  Minimum Wage consultations between Organised Labour, Tinubu inconclusive
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Tinubu relives fond memories of mum at play presentation

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Tinubu relives fond memories of mum at play presentation

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu went emotional yesterday as he relived memories of his late mum Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji.

It was at the preview of a stage play titled: “Abibatu Mogaji: The Play,” written by a renowned playwright Prof. Ahmed Yarima and produced by Ola Awakan.

The President recounted how his mother’s breasts served as his first restaurant.

“Mama’s grandson (Seyi) didn’t partake in my first breakfast with Mama because my first restaurant was her breast, my first toilet was her lap and my first-ever bedroom was her back.

“There is no way I could have been this old without that care,” Tinubu said.

The President praised Awakan for his thorough research and thoughtful presentation of the life of his mum, a prominent businesswoman, who was the Iyaloja-General of Nigeria.

Alhaja Mogaji died on June 15, 2013. She was 96.

Tinubu pledged to invest in Nigeria’s Arts and Culture sector.

Sharing the fond memories of his childhood and the values instilled in him by his mother, Tinubu thanked the cast and crew for their hard work and dedication.

He promised to support the arts and culture sector because of its importance in the preservation of Nigeria’s heritage and promoting its rich cultural diversity.

The President left the State House Conference Centre midway into the presentation, pleading for the understanding of guests as he had another meeting with leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

According to him, the sub-regional leaders had been waiting for the meeting for three days.

READ ALSO  Tinubu, Shettima, governors in closed-door meeting

He mandated Vice President Kashim Shettima to stand in for him.

He said: “I thank Ola Awakan. He’s a very great researcher, producer and thoughtful person to have come up with this and I can see some faces of Mama’s children – Tunji Alausa and the rest of the people are here.

“I will invest in the play; nothing could have been better than rewarding a very thorough research.

“I can see Adams Oshiomhole there, they knew her – many of you here knew her.

“Tough, she was a disciplinarian and I thank God for the gift that I got from her and that gift is an enduring one – character, determination, and never to give up.

“I’m so grateful to all of you in large numbers, I would have enjoyed the audience more with you. I’ll find another opportunity to do that, but I asked for this assignment. Through your exercise and commitment, you gave it to me.

“Only 48 hours ago, they renewed my mandate as the Chairman of ECOWAS. So, if they now give me an assignment, I don’t have a choice, but to do it.

“Seyi, you didn’t partake in my breastfeeding, I enjoyed it better than you. So, enjoy the play. I thank all of you immensely from the bottom of my heart.

“Ola Awakan, Yerima and the members of the cast, I say thank you. We will invest in Nigeria’s culture and art for the education of our children and for the benefit of mankind and all of you.

“I thank you for sparing your evening to celebrate my mother, a great woman. Thank you,” he said.

READ ALSO  Minimum Wage consultations between Organised Labour, Tinubu inconclusive

The event was attended by notable figures.

Oshiomhole and Alausa attested to the late Alhaja Mogaji’s legacy.

Seyi thanked the managers and crew for putting up a brilliant performance.

Awakan thanked the President for the opportunity and support to stage the play at the Presidential Villa.

Source: The Nation

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 Lagos court orders final forfeiture of $16.5 million, N127 million diverted from NIMASA

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The Federal High Court has issued an interim order, restraining the chairman of Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offence

Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Lagos Federal High Court, Ikoyi has ordered the final forfeiture of $16.5 million and N127 million which were fraudulently diverted from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to the federal government of Nigeria.

Justice Ogundare finally forfeited the monies, while granting an application for such orders, which was filed and moved by an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lawyer, Sulaiman I. Sulaiman, today.

The monies, according to the EFCC, were said to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

The judge had on May 23, 2024, ordered the interim forfeiture of the monies, while granting an Exparte motion, brought before the court pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14. 2006; and Section 44 (2)(B) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended)

The court after forfeiting the monies in the interim on May 23, 2024, had directed the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper, to show cause why the monies should not be finally forfeited.

However, at the resumed hearing of the final forfeiture of the money today, counsel to the EFCC, Suleiman Suleiman, informed the court that pursuant to your lordship’s order made on May 23, 2024, that the order be published, the publication of the order was made on June 6, 2024, on a national daily.

“The said application is supported by 22 paragraphs deposed to by Oghare Ogbole, an investigator with the EFCC.

“The application is accompanied with two exhibits, the Interim order of the court and Punch publication of June 26, 2024. And It’s supported with the written address.

“We most respectively adopt same and urge the court to grant the relief sought.”

Justice Ogundare after listening to the EFCC lawyer held that “order granted as prayed.”

The EFCC in the affidavit support of the application made the followings: “That on the 2nd October, 2013, the management of NIMASA under the leadership of Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi vide letter referenced: NIMASA 2007/DG/NSA/2013/006 dated 2/10/13, requested for the release of the sum of N1,123,400 billion, for the implementation of International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) projects.

READ ALSO  Minimum Wage consultations between Organised Labour, Tinubu inconclusive

“That on the 4th day of November 2013, the then President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, through the National Security Adviser (NSA) approved the requested sum of N1,123,400 billion. And that upon the release of the first tranche in the sum of N1, 123, 400 billion, an account No. 0060559139, domiciled in Access Bank was opened on 03/1/14, in which Captain Bala Ezekiel Agaba, the Chairman of the ISPS Committee/Executive Director, NIMASA, Mr. Victor I. Onuzurike and Mr. Dele T, Ejekukor are signatories.

“That no sooner had the money hit the Committee’s account, one Mr. Uche Obilor, a close associate of the chairman of the committee, Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba received that total sum of N437,726,666.66 million, through his company known as Seabulk Offshore Operator Limited with account number 005326440 domiciled in Access Bank.

“That the said Mr. Uche Obilor equally received another whopping sum of N402,480 million, through his company Southern Offshore Limited with Zenith Bank Plc., account number 1013224100. And that also, the said Mr. Uche Obilor used his company known as Ace Prothesis Limited to receive the total sum of N66,800 million, through its account number 1012583949, domiciled in Zenith Bank Pic.,

“That out of the N437,726,666.66 million, paid to Seabulk Offshore Operator Limited, the total sum of N187 million, was transferred to Usaini Sabo on 06/03/2014, 10/06/2014, 12/06/2014 and 09/07/2014, who in turn converted same to US Dollars and handed them over to Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba.

“That from the said sum paid to Seabulk Offshore Operator Limited, the total sum of N67 million, was on the 23rd July, 2014, paid to Kofar Fada Limited, who also converted the money to US Dollars and handed over same to Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba. And that the sum of N66,800 million, received by Uche Obilor through his company Ace Prothesis Limited from NIMASA was equally converted to personal use without rendering any service to the agency.

READ ALSO  Tinubu, Shettima, governors in closed-door meeting

“That from the sum of N402,480 million, received by Uche Obilor through his company Southern Offshore Limited from NIMASA, the total sum of N268 million, was paid to one Usaini Sabo, who said sum to US Dollars and handed same over to Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba.

“That from the sum of N402,480 million, received from NIMASA by Mr. Uche Obilor through his company Southern Offshore Limited, the total sum of N103,100 million, was equally transferred to Haji Kawu Investment Bureau De Change and Lekay Leads Ventures Limited, which sums were equally converted to US Dollars and handed over to Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba.

“That the various sums of money transferred to the companies of Mr. Uche Obilor from the treasury of NIMASA were fraudulent in that these companies neither rendered any service nor supply goods to the agency. Rather, the funds were largely converted to Dollars for personal use and the remaining retained by Mr. Uche Obilor.

“That during the course of investigation, the total sum of $16,500 USD cash, was recovered by the Commission, part of the funds diverted from the treasury of NIMASA. And that for using his companies as mentioned above, Mr. Uche Obilor, upon invitation to the Commission during the course of investigation agreed to return the sum of N118 million, admittedly received and retained by his companies from the funds fraudulently converted from the treasury of NIMASA.

“That Mr. Uche Obilor voluntarily raised drafts through First City Monument Bank in the name of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which sums are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

“That the funds sought to be forfeited are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful act of diversion of funds from the treasury of NIMASA, through Mr. Uche Obilor, his companies and other cronies.

READ ALSO  Tinubu, Shettima, governors in closed-door meeting

“That I know as a fact that Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba, the then Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development of NIMASA was convicted, sentenced by this Honourable Court, per Buba, J (rtd) and subsequently granted pardon by the Council of State.

“That in view of the findings in preceding paragraphs and upon a thorough analysis of the evidence on record, this Honourable Court on the 23 day of May 2024 made an interim order of forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria in favour of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) the assets sought to be forfeited.

“That I know as a fact and verily believe that this Honourable Court on the said 23 day of May, 2024 also directed the Applicant herein to publish in any national daily the said interim order of forfeiture to enable any interested party to appear before the Court to show cause why the assets should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, in favour of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

“That in compliance with the order of this Honourable Court, the Applicant herein published in The Punch newspaper of 6th June, 2024, the interim order of this Honourable Court.

“That I also know as a fact and verily believe that notwithstanding the Order of this Honourable Court directing any interested party to appear and show cause why the assets sought to be forfeited should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria in favour of NIMASA, no person or party had served any affidavit showing cause on the Applicant herein.

“That this Honourable Court has the requisite power and jurisdiction to grant this application. And that it is in the best interest of Justice to hear and determine this application.”

Source: The Nation

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Bill to create 74 extra seats for women in n’assembly passes second reading

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Bill to create 74 extra seats for women in n’assembly passes second reading

A bill seeking to create 74 seats for women in the national assembly has passed second reading in the house of representatives.

The green chamber voted in favour of the bill during plenary on Tuesday, in a bid to encourage more female participation in politics.

Sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, the deputy speaker, and 12 other lawmakers, the proposed legislation seeks to alter Sections 48, 49, 71, and 117 of the constitution to create one “special seat reserved exclusively for women in the senate and house of representatives for each state of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT)”.

The bill proposes to take effect after the term of the current national assembly elapses, and is subject to review every 16 years.

The bill also proposes to alter Section 91 of the constitution to provide for three special seats “reserved exclusively” for women in houses of assembly of each state of the federation.

Leading the debate, Joshua Gana, co-sponsor of the bill, said the proposed legislation is aimed at addressing a “profound imbalance and the under-representation of women in the national assembly and at sub-national levels”.

He said the bill is “anchored on the fundamental principle of equitable representation, and aims to empower women by ensuring their voices are not only heard but that they actively contribute to shaping the legislative landscape, and the overall development of our nation”.

“The issue of gender equality and representation lies at the heart of our constitutional democracy,” he said.

READ ALSO  Tinubu, Shettima, governors in closed-door meeting

Gana added that even though the constitution guarantees equal rights, the representation of women in the legislature has been “alarmingly low”.

“In the 7th, 8th, and 9th assemblies, women accounted for only 6.4%, 6.1%, and 2.7% of the senate respectively; and 6.4%, 3.05%, and 4.7% of the house of representatives respectively,” he said.

“These statistics underscore the urgent need for proactive measures to ensure equitable representation and amplify the voices of women in our legislative houses at the national and sub-national levels.

“The rationale behind this amendment is grounded on the principles of fairness and inclusivity.

“Globally, Nigeria lags behind in women representation in parliament, ranking among the lowest. Countries that have implemented affirmative action, like Rwanda and Andorra, have seen significant strides towards gender equality in governance.”

The legislator said the bill proposes a “temporary measure of seat reservation” for women to catalyse similar progress in Nigeria, “ensuring that women’s perspectives and priorities are fully integrated into our national and sub-national decision-making processes”.

‘BROAD CONSENSUS’

Contributing to the debate, Akin Rotimi, spokesperson of the house, said there is a “broad consensus” that it is necessary to have more women in parliament.

Kingsley Chinda, minority leader, supported the bill, saying parliament needs to correct the deficiency.

“We must make deliberate effort to solve problems where we see them,” he said.

Kelechi Nwogu from Rivers, corroborated Chinda’s argument, saying women should be given a “better opportunity” in politics.

Several other lawmakers who contributed to the debate, opposed the bill on the premise that it is against the provisions of the constitution on equal opportunity for all.

READ ALSO  Minimum Wage consultations between Organised Labour, Tinubu inconclusive

Ghali Tijani from Kano said rather than reserve special seats for women, political parties should deploy mechanisms to improve women’s participation in politics.

Olamijuwonlo Alao Akala from Oyo, Patrick Umoh from Akwa Ibom, and Billy Osawaru from Edo also opposed the bill, citing violations of the constitution.

Following the debate, Kalu proposed to withdraw the bill, noting that he may be biased as the lead sponsor since he was presiding.

“I will step down the bill until the day I am not presiding,” he said.

Ahmad Satomi from Borno countered Kalu, insisting that he should put the bill to a voice vote.

“It does not matter if you are presiding,” Satomi said.

Subsequently, Kalu put the bill to a voice vote. The “ayes” were louder than the “nays,” but he ruled in favour of the “ayes”.

A similar bill was considered in the 9th assembly during the constitution amendment process. The senate and house of representatives voted against it.

Source: The Cable

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