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Policemen Protest Salary Deductions in Lagos

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Hundreds of policemen on Monday stormed the Mechanised Salary Section (MSS) of the Lagos State Police Command in Oduduwa, in the Ikeja area of the state, to protest against what they described as “outrageous and unexpected” deductions from their salaries.

The policemen, comprising rank and files, as well as officers, said between N5,000 and N35,000 were deducted from their February salaries, while others lamented that they had not been paid for the month

Some of the affected policemen, who spoke to PUNCH Metro on condition of anonymity, blamed the development on the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation which pays their salaries.

The majority of the cops, who complained that their salaries were meagre, stated that the deductions had dealt a blow to them as they could not meet up with their needs.

Officials at the MSS office were said to have told the aggrieved policemen that the centre was not responsible for the deduction and gave them forms to lodge their complaints.

A police inspector said he was amazed when he received an alert for his February salary and discovered that N19,800 had been deducted.

He said, “I got the alert on March 8. My salary is N70,000. They deducted N19,800 from it and I was paid about N50,000. It is a fraud. That was why I came here (MSS office) to complain. We were told that the deduction was made by the IPPIS.

“I am almost 20 years in service and I have a wife and children to cater to. The N70,000 is not enough for our upkeep in the first place. This is criminality of the highest order and we want it to stop.”

A policeman and father of three children, who is attached to a police unit in the Ikeja GRA, said he was also surcharged by N20,000, adding that the MSS had promised to send their complaints to Abuja.

He said when he arrived at the MSS office around 9am to lodge his complaint, he met over 300 policemen who had come for the same issue.

“Some of them said they got there at 7am. The IPPIS is responsible for the deduction without giving us any explanation. Even some officials at the MSS were also affected. I am aware that there is a circular regarding the delay in salary payment, but the deduction is strange and outrageous.” he added.

As of 3pm when our correspondent left the MSS office, some policemen were still filling complaint forms.

An Assistant Superintendent of Police, who forcefully parted with N35,000, said the deduction was an indication that the government did not care about the welfare of policemen.

He said, “If N35,000 was deducted from my salary as an ASP, imagine what would be deducted from my superiors’ salaries. Some of them were surcharged by N50,000 or N70,000. It is unfair.”

A corporal, who lamented that he had not been paid for the month of February, said many of his mates were paid between N5,000 and N7,000 less than their normal salary.

“The IPPSI is a new scheme introduced for the payment of our salary. As I speak to you, I have not got my February salary. The issue is not peculiar to policemen in Lagos,” he added.

A police sergeant serving in a police formation in Abuja told our correspondent on the telephone that N9,000 was deducted from her salary. She said although they had not been formally briefed on the reason for the deduction, she learnt it was meant for tax.

She said, “I felt sad when I saw my salary. While I was lamenting, a colleague, who is also a sergeant, said N15,000 was deducted from his salary. They are just stealing us blind.”

The Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Moshood Jimoh, in a statement on Monday said the command finance officers in the 42 MSS centres across the country had been trained to ensure that issues arising from the salary payment were collated and referred to the budget office at the Force headquarters for resolution.

“However, some challenges such as underpayment, omission of names on payroll, non-payment and overpayment of some police personnel currently being experienced in some state commands enrolled on the platform of the IPPIS in the payment of February 2018 salary, have been taken up with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation and it is being addressed…no policeman protested in any state of the country over migration to IPPIS,” the statement read in part.

When contacted on the telephone, the Head of Media Office of Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs. Kene Offie, said she was not aware of the deductions.

She said, “I will find out and get back to you tomorrow (Today).”

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You’ve Nothing to Offer Nigerians, Only Insults, Akwa Ibom Gov Slams Tinubu

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Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Monday, replied the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, saying that he (Tinubu) always resorts to abusing and insulting people during campaigns because he has nothing to bring to the table for Nigerians.

He also said that despite being insulted by the former Lagos State Governor, he would prefer to allow peace to reign by ignoring him and focusing on helping install good governance to rescue Nigerians from their present woes.

Emmanuel spoke on Monday evening at Government House, Uyo while inaugurating newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen and Members of Boards and Commissions, as well as a Transition Committee to ensure the smooth transition of power to the next administration.

Recall that Tinubu had during his rally in Uyo Monday afternoon, reportedly said, “Akwa Ibom, that boy wey bring Atiku here, wey de call himself Governor, tell him enough is enough! He lives in my backyard in Lagos, If no be say we be one, I would have driven him home. You see that mansion he is living, I would just use lizards, pigeons and scorpions to put him inside.“

But reacting few hours later, the Akwa Ibom State Governor said, “for the country to remain in peace, one party must ‘play saint’ and that is why he would refrain from replying Tinubu.

Emmanuel who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential campaigns said, “I also go to other states, and if you watch our campaigns, my principal (Atiku Abubakar) has never spoken about any Governor, he has never spoken openly about Asiwaju before.”

He added that it was unfortunate that Tinubu, who was granted state-owned facilities such as the airport, security, stadium, and a good atmosphere to come in and sell his manifesto, ended up coming to insult the integrity of over 7.9 million Akwa Ibom people.

The Governor wondered if it is possible for any Akwa Ibomite to go to Lagos that Tinubu stays or the actual state that he hails from, to insult Tinubu in like manner and still be allowed to safely return home, “but here our people at the stadium including some state governors just laughed and applauded him.”

“What makes him think he will govern Nigeria? If I reply him now, people will call me and say, haba oga you are not like that. But I will reply him one day. There is nothing like ‘emilokan’ (it is my turn) here, Nigeria is in God’s hands.”

He maintained further that despite being the highest revenue contributor to the federation account, Akwa Ibom State has not gotten a single kilometre of road from the APC-led Federal Government for nearly 8 years adding that the poor response from the Federal Government also caused the delayed commencement of the seaport in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor thanked the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for accepting the onerous task of service, and urged them to see themselves as ambassadors and work towards raising the bar of leadership which would encourage productivity and promote good working relationship with subordinates in the service.

“This is one thing I promised Akwa Ibom people that appointment of Permanent Secretaries shall be totally on merit and not by mercy, let those that can do the work be given the opportunity. Permanent Secretary is not a promotion, it is an appointment on merit.

Governor Emmanuel also reiterated his commitments towards enhancing efficiency within Civil Service, noting that during his administration civil servants have been promoted on yearly basis.

He assured that before he exits office more Permanent Secretaries would be appointed into the service to fill vacant positions left by the ones who retired.

Addressing Chairmen of Boards and Commissions, Governor Emmanuel who described them as pillars in government, acknowledged their commitment particularly, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection & Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim, for winning laurels for the state through his outstanding performance in keeping and making the state the cleanest in Nigeria for five consecutive years from 2018 through 2022, and tasked others to create an impact that will stand them out.

In the same vein, the Transition Committee members were handed the task of ensuring a seamless transition of government to an incoming administration, and also verify all projects executed by the present administration.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries are; Mfon Inuaesiet Edemekong Esq., Dr. Stephen Effiong, Atim Chelly Okoko, Iquo Okon Abia Esq., Uwem Sunday Andrew-Essien, Isaiah Robson Ntekim and Emaeyak Nyong Akpan as Auditor-General for Local Government.

The Transition Committee has Mrs. Ekereobong Umoh -Chairman, Uko Udom SAN, Prof Augustine Umoh, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, Mrs. Nsemeke Daniel, Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan, Mr Elijah Udoiyak, Mrs. Esther Inyang, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, Mr. Isaiah Ntekim, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong and Mrs. Bella Akpanya as members.

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PDP Condemns Attack on Buhari in Kano, Blames Tinubu, Ganduje

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The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, has blamed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attacks on the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to the state on Monday.

The spokesperson of the campaign council, Dino Melaye, who shared one of the videos from the reported attack, wrote, “The fight between Tinubu and Buhari is entering a new dimension. The attack in Kano was properly coordinated and funded allegedly by Asiwaju.

“The meeting to push Buhari to submission or face sponsored attack in the north was said to be hatched in Bourdillon. Me, I am busy with Atiku.”

A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who shared another video of the reported attack, said, “They are showing Buhari and APC Shege in Kano and many northern states.”

Similarly, the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday also blamed Tinubu and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attack.

According to the party, the attack was designed to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections “and derail our democracy having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.”

The statement read in part, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.

“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari while performing his official duties in Kano.

“It should be noted that the APC presidential candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.

“The apparent frustration of Asiwaju Tinubu to resort to encourage or condone violence is fueled by his entitlement mentality, that it is his turn to be President, despite his numerous ineligibility and disability baggage.”

Ologunagba reminded Nigerians about Tinubu’s infamous statement in London where he declared to his supporters that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte.”

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Organ Harvesting: Ekweremadu Battles for Freedom, Appears in Court Tuesday

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A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, will on Tuesday appear again in court in the United Kingdom where he has been accused of human trafficking.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after Staines Police Station received a report from a young man claiming to have been trafficked into the UK.

The young man, who made the report shortly after arriving in the UK from Nigeria, also alleged that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

Ekweremadu was immediately arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court for bringing a child into the UK to harvest his organs.

While the lawmaker had been in custody since June 23, his wife, Beatrice, who was arrested with him, was granted bail by a criminal court in London shortly after their arrest.

Monday (today) makes it 221 days since Ekweremadu was placed in the custody of UK authorities.

The case against the lawmaker which had been slated for May was later scheduled for January 31.

The 60-year-old, who denied the allegations against him, will again appear before High Court Judge, Mr Justice Johnson.

His daughter, Sonia, had on November 7, 2022, appeared in court to defend the accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.

According to Daily Mail, the 25-year-old, who is battling a kidney-related illness, pleaded not guilty to the charge level against her when she appeared again in court on January 13.

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