Abuja High Court strikes out case to nullify candidature of Bola Tinubu; National Assembly passes students loan bill | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Abuja High Court strikes out case to nullify candidature of Bola Tinubu
  • US approves no-interview student visa renewals for Nigerians
  • President Buhari nominates Lauretta Onochie as NDDC Chairman
  • FUTA ASUU hold protest, criticize FG over half salary payment
  • National Assembly passes students loan bill

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

Abuja High Court strikes out case to nullify candidature of Bola Tinubu

A Federal High Court in Abuja has denied a petition to invalidate Bola Tinubu’s candidacy for the 2023 election.

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was hauled to court by the Action Peoples Party (APP).

The first defendant in case number FHC/UM/CS/124/2022 was the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The former governor of Lagos is the second defendant, while the ruling APC is the third.

Plaintiff asserted that Tinubu supplied fraudulent information on form EC9 to the first defendant.

Prior to the 1999 gubernatorial race, he reportedly forgot to disclose his elementary and secondary schooling on form CF001.

The APP referenced section 29 of the Electoral Act of 2022 and section 131 of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999.

The APC’s attorney, Babatunde Ogala, submitted a notice of preliminary objection, arguing that the litigation was time-barred and the APP lacked standing.

Bayo Onanuga, a spokesperson for the APC campaign, stated that the plaintiff was not present when the case was brought before Justice Emeka Nwite.

“Justice Nwite subsequently struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution”, Onanuga added.

US approves no-interview student visa renewals for Nigerians

The United States government has authorized renewals of student visas for Nigerians without an interview.

The announcement was issued on Wednesday by the US Mission’s Public Affairs Section.

It was stated that Nigerians with an F1 or academic J1 visa may be eligible for renewal without an interview over the winter break.

To qualify, applicants must be physically present in Nigeria and renewing a valid or expired student visa issued within the past 24 months.

There are two acceptable reasons for renewals: continued enrollment in the same course, even if at a different institution, and transferring to a new university.

The second is that they are enrolled at the same institution, albeit in separate majors.

The Embassy promised to deliver passports within two weeks of the appointment date and to prioritize follow-up interviews where necessary.

Students were instructed to visit the U.S. Travel website and adhere to the provided guidelines.

It was discovered that the no-interview visa renewal was a response to concerns that the earliest available appointment dates are December 2024.

President Buhari nominates Lauretta Onochie as NDDC Chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, nominated Lauretta Onochie as the substantive chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Onochie is a Special Assistant to President Buhari on New Media.

The President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan, read the nomination letters sent to the senate by the president at the plenary on Wednesday.

Lawan read out the other fifteen members, making up the list for the NDDC, just as former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu, General Charles Airhiavbere is the Executive Director, Finance.

FUTA ASUU hold protest, criticize FG over half salary payment

Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) staged a demonstration on Wednesday to express their unhappiness with the no-work-no-pay policy of the Federal Government.

According to the protesting lecturers, who descended on the school and marched through the campus, the peaceful action was intended to convey their displeasure with the federal government over the half-salary they were receiving and the failure to pay them for eight months.

The lecturers were armed with placards that read “Pay the arrears of our salaries”, “ASUU FUTA says no to criminalization of legal strikes, casualisation of the academics in Nigeria”, “Ngige’s rascality can’t solve the problems in education sector”, among others.

Prof. Olayinka Awopetu, the union’s chairman in FUTA, stated that the protest was held to let everyone know that ASUU in general, and ASUU FUTA, in particular, are completely against the casualization of academia by the government.

He said that the union picked Wednesday as a no-lecture day and urged Nigerians and stakeholders to pressure the Federal Government to change the policy.

“We did not go on strike because we wanted to go on strike but because the government failed to do its own part, so we can’t be punished for that,” he said.

The NLC Chairman, Mr. Sunday Adeleye, who his secretary, Kehinde Shado, represented, accused the federal government of trying to turn ASUU members into casual workers.

Abiodun Ibiyemi, the president of the students’ union at FUTA, also reaffirmed that the union’s position and agitation were entirely supported by the students.

National Assembly passes students loan bill

On Wednesday, the National Assembly’s two chambers passed the Students Loan Bill, which would give students in higher education better access to financial aid.

Sponsored by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the bill was titled “A Bill for an Act to provide for easy access to higher education for Nigerians through an interest-free loan from the Nigerian Education Bank established in this Act with a view to providing education for Nigerians and for other purposes connected thereto.”

The bill intends to establish the Nigerian Education Bank, which will administer, coordinate, regulate, and monitor the management of student loans in the country. It will also receive applications for student loans through Nigerian higher education institutions on behalf of the applicants and review them to verify that all requirements for the granting of such loans under the Act are met.

In addition, the bank shall have the authority to approve and disburse funds to qualified applicants and to ensure compliance with respect to disbursement, as well as to monitor the academic records of grantees to obtain information on their year of graduation, national service, and employment in order to ensure that grantees of the loan begin repayment on the due date.

According to the Act, all students pursuing a higher education at public institutions of higher education in Nigeria will have equal access to the loan without regard to gender, religion, tribe, rank, or disability.

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed the bill and submitted it to the Senate for concurrence. With the Senate’s approval, a copy would be made and sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for his signature. As soon as the bill is passed into law, Nigerians will be able to obtain the loans.

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