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End of ASUU Strike in Sight As Branches Begin Voting

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Branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will commence traditional voting today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) over the ongoing strike by the union, according to The Punch.

The decision of the various branches will be transmitted to the National Executive Council for final decision.

A highly-placed source within the NEC disclosed this to The Punch in Abuja on Tuesday.

“We got the directive after the meeting with the speaker yesterday(Monday). The intervention was timely. Branches will vote between today and tomorrow after which the decisions will be convened to the NEC,” the source said.

The new development comes on the heels of the meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who called several meetings between the union and the Federal Government.

The lead counsel to ASUU, Femi Falana, SAN had also explained that the strike would be over in a few days.

ASUU had on Monday, February 14, 2022 embarked on a strike over what the union described as the failure of the government to meet lingering demands of the union.

The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige after what he described as “failed negotiations” dragged the striking lecturers to the National Industrial Court.

The National Industrial Court had on 21 September ordered ASUU to call off the strike.

The court granted the motion on notice filed by the federal government, directing the lecturers to return to classrooms.

Ruling on the interlocutory injunction, the trial judge, Polycarp Hamman, restrained ASUU from continuing with the industrial action pending the determination of the suit filed against ASUU by the federal government.
Displeased by the ruling, the union headed to the appeal court to appeal the ruling.

It also filed a stay of execution of the ruling of the industrial court.
The Court of Appeal ordered the striking lecturers to “immediately” call off the eight months strike, having struck out ASUU’s application for a stay of execution of the lower court’s order.

It said it was within ASUU’s right to appeal the decision of the industrial court.

Agreeing with the federal government’s argument that ASUU cannot approach the appellate court with “dirty hands”, the panel held, “should the applicant fail to obey the order (of the lower court), the leave granted shall be automatically vacated.”

The Punch

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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