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Human Rights Radio Ends ASUU Crowdfunding As Lecturers’ Union Rejects Offer

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Abuja-based Human Rights Radio has announced the suspension of an initiative to raise funds for striking university lecturers after the teachers’ union rejected the offer.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Saturday rejected an offer by the anchor of the popular Brekete radio, Ahmed Isah, to raise money for the union through crowdfunding, to enable lecturers return to work after a lengthy strike.

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The president of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, who was at the radio station on Saturday, announced that the union would distance itself from the campaign and that its name should be removed.

The president of ASUU, Mr Osodeke, a professor, while speaking as a guest at the station on Saturday, said the union was distancing itself from the fundraiser and that ASUU’s name should be removed from the account name.

READ ALSO: Popular Abuja Radio Anchor Set To Raise N18 Billion To End ASUU Strike

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He said: “Please I want to appeal that we shouldn’t be associated with the money that we are seeing on the floor here. Take notice that ASUU is not part it.

“We saw that the account opened also has ASUU’s name on it. If ASUU’s name is on it, ASUU requests that you kindly remove it.”

Mr Osodeke was referring to a N50 million cash displayed in the studio by Mr Isah.

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The N50 million, he said, was received from Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State as part of the fundraiser.

We will come, we will talk about our issues. But definitely ASUU is not part of what we are seeing here. So also, we will also like to reiterate that we love what you are doing. Everybody has the right to launch a fund for anything including the university,” ASUU president added.

Mr Osodeke, however, explained that his comments were aimed at setting records straight so that the public would not think that his union has accepted money from the radio station.

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He said all the money being requested from the government is not meant for his union, but for all the public universities.

He added that ASUU as a union does not receive money from the government and that all funds are sent directly to the universities involved.

Brekete family can decide to say we are doing a project XYZ in each of the universities, there is nothing wrong with it. You can put your name, your picture,” he said.

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Reacting to ASUU’s position, Mr Isah immediately ordered the suspension of the Brekete ASUU Intervention Bank account and donation to the accounts.

READ ALSO: N80bn Fraud: Arrest Of Accountant-General Proves IPPIS Conduit – ASUU

Mr Isah, popularly known as ordinary president, had on June 2, announced the creation of two accounts with the name at the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and Jaiz Bank to crowd-fund for ASUU.

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He said more than N12 million naira has been received into both accounts. The live update of the funds posted on the station’s website.

Mr Isah said he requested the banks to integrate the live update of the funds as they are received online.

Mr Isah also announced and displayed N50 million cash donated by Governor Emmanuel.

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Meanwhile, another group of people, Arochukwu Youth Association (AYA) in Abuja, also donated N100,000 during the live programme.

But callers on the programme appealed to Mr Isah not to discontinue the fundraising.

In response to the appeal, he said: “I will think about it. But it remains suspended for now,” he finally said.

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Apart from ASUU, other campus-based unions including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), are also on strike, demanding better welfare for their members and the fulfilment of agreement they had with the government.

READ ALSO: ASUU Strike: Protesting Students Threaten To Stop Osun Gov’ship Poll

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Akwa Ibom Chief Judge Threatens To Jail Rights Lawyer Over Bias Accusation

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The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, has threatened to put behind bars a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong (Esq) for accusing her of being biased or likelihood of bias in the ongoing libel suit by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and Senator Effiong Bob against his client, Leo Ekpenyong, Esq.

It could be recalled that in suits No HU/279/2019 between deacon Udom Emmanuel VS. Leo Ekpenyong Esq and No: HU/273/2019 between Senator Effiong Bob VS Leo Ekpenyong respectively delivered on 2021by Justice Obot, the defendant was found guilty of libel and was asked to pay the governor a sum of N1.5 Billion and a sum of N500Million to Senator Effiong Bob.

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Counsel to the defendant, Mr Effiong, however, filed a motion for the judgement to be set aside, insisting that his client was not given a fair hearing; the prayer was later granted by the court.

However, the defence counsel also filed another motion praying the Chief Judge to recuse from the case, alleging prejudice and likelihood of bias.

During a proceeding held at High Court 1, Chief Judge’s court, Barracks road today, the defence counsel said “My Lord, my client Mr Leo Ekpenyong (Esq) has alleged bias, or likelihood of bias of the honourable Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Honourable justice Ekaette Obot.

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“That is why we filed an application before this court on the 23 of June 2022 asking the Honourable Chief Judge to disqualify himself from hearing or presiding over this matter. Defendant has raised that the grounds of that application clearly stated but not limited to the fact that in the course of this proceedings my Lord has personally berated us as counsels. I have been described in venomous terms, we know that by law, a court should not address a counsel in that manner. The seeming hostility that characterized the proceedings to set aside the default judgement is discouraging.

READ ALSO: Ogun Police Confirm Report On Lady Allegedly Used For Ritual

“Why we are also asking that my Lord should reassign this matter is because my Lord has already delivered a judgement though in default against Mr Ekpenyong where he asked him to pay gov Udom Emmanuel a sum of N1.5 billion and I came before this court asking that, that judgement should be set aside having been delivered in error and in flagrant violation of right of my client to fair hearing because the date that judgement was given, no hearing notice was issued and the registrar gave that date off record. The court agreed with us that the right of our client was violated and set the case aside.

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“We are saying because you have already found the defendant guilty in this matter it is only just and fair that those matters should be reassigned to another Judge to be heard denovo, that is the practice my Lord, for example if the court of appeal has set aside a judgement and sends back the case to be tried before the lower court it usually goes with a consequential order that a new judge should handle that matter, so if the defendant said that he doesn’t have confidence in the honourable Chief Judge of the State to hear his case, it’s only fair that, the matter be reassigned to preserve the dignity, impartiality and honour of the court.

“All we are saying is that we do not have confidence in my Lord to interprete my matter.”

Irked by the submissions of the defence counsel and his (Mr Effiong) refusal to sit when the counsel to the Claimant, Samuel Ikpo asked him to do so, the Chief Judge said the court will not condone unruly behaviour in the courtroom, warning of her power to send him behind bars or petition him to the National body.

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According to Justice Obot, “You cannot say that before me, you can’t talk to your senior like that, I don’t know when this man learnt law. You are trying to intimidate your senior, did you see the type of counter you filed over miscellaneous matters I overlooked? I still set aside that judgement only for you to capitalize on it and you want to play on the intelligence of the court? Do not allow me to send you to prison!”

“Saying that when a matter is set aside that it must be reassigned to another Judge is not the practice, it is a lie from the pit of hell.”

The Judge, however, proceeded with the hearing of the witness of the Claimant and later adjourned the case to 27 to 29 July for conclusion of Claimant and hearing of defendants case as well as motions filed even when the defence counsel said the dates were not convenient for him insisting that the case was that of defamation and no urgency in it for accelerated hearing.

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Counsel to the Claimant, Mr Ikpo refused to talk to journalists at the end of the session insisting that the matter is sub judice.

READ ALSO: 2023: Why I Have No Regret Working For Abacha – Al-Mustapha

But, the defence counsel who spoke to journalists said, “what is worrisome is despite the tendency of the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court raising the issue of bias on the last date in this matter, my Lord allowed the claimant in the two cases to call witnesses even when the jurisdiction of the court is being challenged and those witnesses were called in my absence even when I told them that I missed my flight and we were not there to cross examine them, that was why yesterday we filed a motion to set aside the proceeding including the order for the continuation of hearing.

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“Even the proceedings of today were in error and should be set aside and I told the court that the motion should have been determined, my Lord did not determine the two motions and yet insisted that we continue with the hearing. We were basically forced to go into trial today.

“My Lord consistently has accused me of bringing a herbalist to court, how on earth will I do that? I’m not a traditional worshipper but a christian.”

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Nigerian Pastor Deletes Controversial Tweet Amid Backlash From Peter Obi’s Supporters

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Pastor Poju Oyemade, the founder of The Covenant Nation (formerly the Covenant Christian Center) has taken down a tweet that stirred controversy after it was interpreted by netizens as a bias political comment.

In a now-deleted tweet, Oyemade advised Nigerian youths not to “waste their enthusiasm on poorly planned projects“.

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However, the tweet was calculated by supporters of the Labour Party‘s presidential candidate, Peter Obi as an attempt to portray their candidate (Obi) as unprepared for the 2023 general election.

Other netizens who perceived the message as a veiled strategy to sell the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate and flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were equally angry.

Oyemade words, “Faith is not just blind belief or hoping for a miracle. Faith sees. Faith has her eyes opened and possesses the evidence upon which it builds its belief. Faith prepares long, sometimes for years just as Joseph did for the years of famine. Faith counts the cost before embarking.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Speaks On Meeting Wike In Francr, PDP Crisis Deepens

“Without having real evidence upon which you are acting nor preparation for the task, recognising real obstacles that lie ahead and making concrete plans, one is just being delusional about the outcome. The enthusiasm of the youth must not be wasted on poorly planned projects.

“Noah spent months/years planning for the flood & he was operating in faith. Jesus said no man goes to battle without taking stock first nor lays the foundation of a tower without counting the cost first lest he will be mocked. Our faith is intelligent it doesn’t live in denial.”

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Reactions:

dedayo🇺🇦 (@AdeparusiA) Pastor Poju is one I hold in a very high esteem, however, I was deeply disappointed by that tweet, whether it’s directed to OBIdient fans or not. It’s really sad such is coming from him. #PeterObiTheNationalist #PeterObi4President2023 #PeterObiForPresident2023

Anyiobi #PeterObi (@Anyiobi2)
Pastor Poju is one I hold in a very high esteem, however, I was deeply disappointed by that tweet, whether it’s directed to OBIdient fans or not. It’s really sad such is coming from him. #PeterObiTheNationalist #PeterObi4President2023 #PeterObiForPresident2023

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Anyiobi #PeterObi (@Anyiobi2) J
The fact that Pastor Poju supported #Buhari in 2015 tells so much about his character! Let no one care about him! In #PeterObi we trust!

 

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How 1,130 Looted Benin Bronzes Got To Germany – FG

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The Federal Government says many of the1,130 looted Benin Bronzes to be repatriated to Nigeria from Germany got to German public institutions via trade and donations

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Friday in Berlin during the signing of a historic joint declaration between Nigeria and Germany.

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The signing of joint declaration according to the minister, will pave the way for the return of the 1,130 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria,

A statement issued on the ceremony in Berlin made available to newsmen in Abuja, said that Mohammed, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada signed for Nigeria.

READ ALSO: FG, Germany Sign Agreement On Return Of Benin Bronzes

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In the statement signed by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Ms Annalena Baerbock, and the Minister of State for Culture and Media, Ms. Claudia Roth, signed for Germany.

Adeyemi is the Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture

As contained in the statement, Mohammed said that Germany did not colonise Nigeria and was not part of the looting of the artefacts.

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The minister recalled that the artefacts were looted from the ancient Benin Kingdom during the Benin Expedition of 1897 by the British force.

Mohammed thanked the government and people of Germany for what he described as the ”single largest repatriation of artefacts anywhere in the world”.

”We also want to most sincerely thank the authorities of the various German regions, cities, museums and institutions that have been working in concert to ensure the manifestation of the history-making event that we are witnessing today.

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“By this singular action, Germany has taken the lead in correcting the wrongs of the past,” he said.

The minister said that Germany and the great people of the nation decided it was better to shape the future by correcting the ills of the past.

He said pace-setting action by the Federal Government of Germany would become a harbinger of more repatriation of cultural property to their place of origin.

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According to Mohammed, other museums and institutions are expected to take a cue from what Germany has done.

Germany has gained more friends in Nigeria and all over the world by returning to Nigeria what rightfully belongs to it,” he said.

On his part, Dada described Germany as the ‘champion of justice and fairness’.

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Also Speaking, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany said, ”It was wrong to take the (Benin) bronzes. It was wrong to keep them for (125 years). This is the beginning to right the wrong.”

READ ALSO: Benin Artefacts: Obaseki Bows, Promises Cooperation With Benin Palace

According to the statement, in a symbolic gesture signifying the impending return of the artefacts, two of the Benin Bronzes were handed over to Nigeria at the ceremony.

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The signing was witnessed by top Nigerian and German government officials, including the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Yusuf Tuggar, and the Director-General of Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Prof. Abba Tijani.

 

 

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