Clerical Error Behind Discrepancies in Chicago University Certificate – Tinubu; Tobi Amusan Comes 6th in Athletics Championship Final | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Clerical Error Behind Discrepancies in Chicago University Certificate – Tinubu
  • LP’s Leadership Crisis Worsens: Abure and Apapa Clamour for National Chairman
  • Tobi Amusan Comes 6th in Athletics Championship Final
  • Tinubu Sends Islamic Leaders To Niger Republic For More Dialogue
  • ASUU Raises Concerns About Unpaid Salaries and University Issues

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

Clerical Error Behind Discrepancies in Chicago University Certificate – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has responded to the ongoing controversy surrounding his academic records, citing a clerical error as the cause of discrepancies on his recently-issued certificate from Chicago State University. Legal representatives Oluwole Afolabi and Christopher Carmichael, acting on behalf of Tinubu, stated that an unidentified university clerk had inaccurately documented the graduation date on the certificate, thus inadvertently creating what they referred to as “the appearance of differences.”

The response came in the context of a legal suit initiated by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who is seeking access to Tinubu’s academic records from the university. A United States court had set an August 23 deadline for Tinubu to present a formal argument against the release of his records to Abubakar.

President Tinubu asserted that he holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Chicago State University. However, Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the February presidential election, alleges that Tinubu’s academic credentials were forged.

Tinubu’s legal team argued, “Unfortunately, in responding to the illegal and invalid subpoena, CSU made several errors. CSU issued a new diploma for Bola A. Tinubu, but incorrectly wrote the date of graduation as June 27, 1979. The correct date was June 22, 1979. This scrivener’s error, along with other minor changes, led to the perceived differences between the earlier issued diploma and the one provided in response to the 2022 subpoena.”

Abubakar’s legal pursuit also involves requesting the credentials that Tinubu had submitted to Chicago State University during his admission process. As the legal tussle continues, the discrepancy attributed to a clerical error adds a new layer to the unfolding saga.

LP’s Leadership Crisis Worsens: Abure and Apapa Clamour for National Chairman

The Labour Party (LP) finds itself engulfed in a worsening leadership crisis, with a cloud of confusion hovering over the true identity of its national chairman. This tumultuous situation gained momentum after a recent court ruling, leaving both Lamidi Apapa and Julius Abure, leaders of factional divisions within the party, asserting their legitimacy as the chairperson of the LP.

Addressing the media in Abuja, Apapa asserted that a court of appeal judgment in Owerri had endorsed his position as the bona fide national chairman. The same judgment, he noted, nullified the Julius Abure-led faction and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize governorship candidates produced by his faction for the impending November 11 elections.

Apapa recounted, “The FCT High Court had earlier restrained Abure and others from assuming national roles within the party. Subsequently, in accordance with our constitution, I was appointed Acting National Chairman.” He further explained that his faction informed INEC of changes to the primary election date, previously set by Abure for April 15, which was then rescheduled to April 16.

Apapa revealed that despite Abure’s restraining order, Abure proceeded with primary elections in multiple states. Apapa’s faction also conducted primaries on April 16, leading to two sets of primaries. The ensuing legal tussle witnessed a candidate from the Abure faction contesting the legitimacy of Apapa’s candidates.

However, Monday Mawah, legal counsel to the LP, clarified on a news program that the court of appeal in Edo did not affirm Abure as the national chairman but ruled against his suspension by his ward. Mawah emphasized the ongoing complexity of the case, stating that more legal aspects remain unresolved.

In response, Obiora Ifoh, spokesperson of the Abure-led faction, countered Apapa’s claims, asserting that the appellate court’s judgment did not favor Apapa’s faction. Ifoh clarified that the court’s ruling primarily focused on the issue of locus standi against the plaintiff and upheld Senator Athan Achonu as the validly nominated candidate for the 2023 Imo governorship election.

Tobi Amusan Comes 6th in Athletics Championship Final

Nigerian world champion Tobi Amusan faced disappointment in the ongoing World Athletics Championship in Budapest, finishing 6th in the final and failing to retain her title. Jamaica’s Danielle Williams clinched the victory with a season-best time of 12.43s, while Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and USA’s Kendra Harrison secured second and third places.

In the 2022 World Championship, Amusan claimed the gold with an African record time of 12.40s before astonishingly setting a new world record of 12.12s, surpassing Kendra Harrison’s 2016 record. Hopes were high for Amusan to become the fourth woman to win at least two gold medals in the women’s 100m Hurdles at the World Championships, joining the ranks of Gail Devers, Michelle Perry, and Sally Pearson.

Despite her loss, Amusan’s world record status remains intact. Her journey to the final included qualification with a time of 12.56s and a title defense start at 12.48s in the fifth heat of the women’s 100m Hurdles.

Amusan’s eligibility had been under scrutiny before the championship, but she was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing by the Athletics Integrity Unit. The Disciplinary Tribunal’s decision confirmed that Amusan did not commit any Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) related to Whereabouts Failures.

The setback for Amusan adds to Nigeria’s challenges in the championship, following Ese Brume’s fourth-place finish in the women’s long jump event. As of now, Team Nigeria has yet to secure a medal on Day 6 of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Tinubu Sends Islamic Leaders To Niger Republic For More Dialogue

President Bola Tinubu, as the head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has sanctioned the return of an Ulama delegation to Niger Republic for a fresh round of discussions with coup leaders. The decision follows a meeting with prominent Islamic clerics, led by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who had previously engaged in dialogue with the junta led by General Abdourahamane Tiani in Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic, two weeks ago.

Tinubu, at the forefront of ECOWAS, voiced his dedication to a peaceful resolution amidst heightened ethnic rumors and pressure for swift intervention. He shared, “I am managing a very serious situation. If you take ECOWAS aside, other people will react… I am the one holding back ECOWAS.”

Stressing accountability, Tinubu underscored that the military junta must be responsible for safeguarding Niger Republic’s sovereignty without turning arms against its people. He reaffirmed ECOWAS’ commitment to engaging stakeholders diplomatically for resolving the impasse.

Diplomatic efforts have intensified since the coup that removed President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, 2023. ECOWAS imposed sanctions and approved a potential deployment of a standby force to restore constitutional order. Amid a complex Sahel security situation, ECOWAS seeks to avoid further escalation.

Former Nigerian Head of State and ECOWAS envoy to Niger Republic, Abdulsalami Abubakar, reported fruitful interactions with coup leaders. Despite the junta’s pledge to civilian rule within three years, ECOWAS rejected the proposition. The African Union’s suspension of Niger Republic and international concerns reflect the gravity of the situation.

This crisis adds to the region’s instability, with growing jihadist threats linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. Niger Republic marks the fourth West African nation since 2020 to experience a coup, following Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali.

As tensions linger, international attention remains focused on finding a peaceful resolution to this evolving crisis, while ECOWAS balances diplomatic engagements and the prospect of more forceful measures.

ASUU Raises Concerns About Unpaid Salaries and University Issues

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has raised concerns over the non-payment of nearly eight months’ salaries owed to university academics, a result of the 2022 strike. In a statement signed by ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke, the union discussed these concerns during its National Executive Council meeting at the University of Maiduguri.

Emmanuel Osodeke explained that ASUU’s NEC stressed the application of the “No-Work-No-Pay” policy on academics’ salaries, despite recognizing that only the teaching component of academics’ work was affected during the strike. The union emphasized that academics have made up for the lost time under challenging economic conditions, and commended their resilience.

ASUU highlighted its past strikes due to successive governments’ failure to honor agreements and memoranda established through collective bargaining principles. The union called on the government to expedite the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN Agreement, based on recommendations from the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee, to restore the integrity of the Nigerian University System.

ASUU acknowledged ongoing efforts to secure the release of withheld salaries, urging the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), national leadership, and patriots to continue working toward this goal. The union believes that paying the withheld salaries will boost the morale of Nigerian university teachers.

The statement also mentioned that ASUU members are owed several months of promotion arrears due to issues stemming from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). ASUU called on the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) to address this matter promptly for the sake of industrial harmony.

The union expressed concern about irregularities related to the IPPIS, including employment racketeering and illegal appointments. It also noted the erosion of university autonomy due to the dissolution of Governing Councils and criticized the imposition of the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standard (CCMAS).

ASUU urged the government to address the deteriorating working and living conditions that have prompted experienced academics to leave Nigerian public universities. The union emphasized the importance of a competitive salary regime to retain scholars and advised against actions that erode university autonomy.

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