FG releases 62nd Independence programme; ASUU strike: Student drags lecturers, Nigerian govt, 36 states, National Assembly to court | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • FG releases 62nd Independence programme
  • Lagos Assembly passes bill to protect accident victims, prosecution witnesses
  • ASUU strike: Student drags lecturers, Nigerian govt, 36 states, National Assembly to court
  • Uncertainty in the South-East as politicians are ambushed by gunmen
  • Bauchi Assembly passes bill on anti-corruption commission into law

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldnt miss:

FG releases 62nd Independence programme

In advance of the country’s 62nd anniversary of independence on October 1st, the Federal Government released a schedule of events.

Thursday, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed told reporters in Abuja that festivities commemorating the 2022 Independence Day would begin on September 25.

Sunday, September 25, at 3:00 pm, a church service will be held at the National Christian Centre in Abuja’s Central Business District.

“This will be followed by a Public Lecture focused on National Unity on Thursday, September 29th, 2022 at the State House Conference Hall at 10 am

“On Friday, September 30th, 2022, there will be a Special Juma’at Prayers at the National Mosque, Central Business District, here in Abuja

“On Saturday, Oct. 1st, 2022, there will be a Presidential Broadcast at 7 am. Later on the same day, there will be a Military Parade at the Eagle Square, Central Business District, Abuja, starting at 10 am”, he added.

The Minister also stated that the awarding of National Honours would be conducted in the nation’s capital on October 11 as part of the 62nd Independence Anniversary.

Mr. Mohammed stated that marking Nigeria’s independence anniversary in 2022 serves as a reminder that Nigerians remain united despite the problems the country has undergone.

He reaffirmed the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to “promote national unity, security, and stability.”

Lagos Assembly passes bill to protect accident victims, prosecution witnesses

A bill protecting prosecution witnesses and accident victims has been unanimously approved by the Lagos State Assembly.

On Thursday, the law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims, the protection of witnesses, and other objectives was approved.

Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the House, presided over the plenary.

The measure mandates the provision of assistance and protection to victims and witnesses who are in possession of critical information that could aid in the successful prosecution of cases.

No longer will informants be subject to intimidation for cooperating with the prosecution or law enforcement agencies, effective immediately.

A part of the bill further states: “Every person, including security agents shall render assistance to victims of accidents or crimes and ensure that such persons are taken to the nearest hospital.

“A public or private hospital shall provide immediate and adequate treatment to an accident victim or any person with gunshot and severe injuries or wounds.”

The bill further stipulates a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related section of the bill.

“A private hospital that receives accident victims with severe injuries or wounds for treatment under this section must inform the agency within 48 hours of admission.”

The hospital can then forward a request for reimbursement of medical expenses to the family members or relations.

In cases, they cannot be identified or where the victim is indigent, subject to the approval of the request by a Lagos agency, hospitals shall forward records of the treatment to the government.

Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his assent.

ASUU strike: Student drags lecturers, Nigerian govt, 36 states, National Assembly to court

Soohemba Aker, a university student, has petitioned the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the activities of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) until the ASUU strike is ended.

The law student in his final year at Benue State University likewise sought the same injunction blocking the operation of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC),

The respondents consist of the Federal Government, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and the Minister of Justice.

Other participants include the Attorney Generals of the 36 states, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, the Governor of Abia, RMAFC, FAAC, and Umar Faruk (President of the National Association of Nigerian Students) (NANS).

In a fundamental rights enforcement complaint marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1684/2022 and submitted by her attorney Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, SAN, the student asserts that she is affected by the continuing strike.

According to NAN, Aker filed the lawsuit on behalf of all students currently affected by the nationwide ASUU strike at public tertiary institutions.

The claim is supported by Sections 46(1), (2), and (3) of the 1999 Constitution and Article 17(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 (Charter 10 LFN 1990) No. 2 of 1983.

Aker asked the court to prohibit the payment of wages, allowances, and other benefits to all political officeholders in the White House and in Congress.

She urged the court to suspend the wages and benefits of ministers, permanent secretaries, leaders of parastatals and extra-ministerial entities, vice chancellors of striking universities, parliamentarians, and ASUU members.

According to Aker’s affidavit, the strike continues to have a negative impact on her, as her ambitions to graduate this academic year 2022, and attend the Nigerian Law School have been blocked.

The person bemoaned that her tuition money for the academic year will be wasted if nothing is done, as the academic year is nearly lost.

Aker stated that her dream of graduating from law school and becoming a lawyer was on the verge of collapsing as her sponsor declared that this year would be the last she would be sponsored.

A judge has not yet been assigned to the case. ASUU began on strike on February 14, 2022. Despite multiple sessions, the deadlock has not yet been addressed.

Uncertainty in the South-East as politicians are ambushed by gunmen

As electioneering campaigns get underway, there is increased apprehension that the political process may be disrupted in the South East zone of Nigeria.

This is following the recent spate of insecurity in the zone, especially by persons who disguise themselves as unknown gunmen and separatists.

Last two weeks, the peace of Anambra State was disrupted by an attack on the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial zone, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah. Ubah was moving in his convoy, after attending a function, and was headed to Nnewi, his hometown, when he was attacked at Nkwo Enugwu-Ukwu junction at about 7 pm that Sunday.

It would not be the first time a politician would be attacked in the State. In fact, in the entire South eastern zone, politicians have come under attack, with some losing their lives in the process, while others have been kidnapped and released after payment of ransom.

Some of those who have fallen prey include the governorship candidate of Labour Party in Anambra State, Mr. Obiora Agbasimalo, who is still missing since after he was kidnapped close to the November 2021 governorship election in the State. Hon Chris Azubogu, who was a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was also attacked before the election, and some vehicles in his convoy damaged.

Dr. Chime Akunyili, husband of the late former minister for information and Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Dora Akunyili was killed last year too after he was mistaken to be a politician.

In Imo State, former PDP chieftain and former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak was also killed, while the homes of the State governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma and the Ohanaeze President General, Amb. George Obiozor have been attacked and burnt down. Despite several efforts by the State governments, the attacks have continued, and in Anambra too, a lawmaker, Hon Okey Okoye and his aide, Mr Cyril Chiegboka were kidnapped and beheaded. Former lawmakers have also been kidnapped, and one of them who was also living with disability was also beheaded.

The insecurity especially in Anambra was so rife that the Anambra State 2021 governorship election which was held in November was almost truncated. Even though it held, some parts of the State were ruled out for campaigns because of violence.

Other States, Ebonyi, Abia and Enugu have also had their fair share of the attacks. Not long ago, a Labour Party meeting in Enugu State was attacked by unknown gunmen in Awgu Local Government Area of the State.

Bauchi Assembly passes bill on anti-corruption commission into law

A bill to establish the Bauchi State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has been signed into law by the Bauchi State House of Assembly.

Following the report of the House Committee on Public Petitions and Human Rights, which was laid by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Bakoji Aliyu Bobbo, representing Chiroma Constituency on Thursday during plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Danlami Ahmed Kawule, the bill was passed.

The committee explained that it had visited Kano and Taraba States, which had enacted the same law, in order to learn from their experiences, and that it had also invited all relevant stakeholders and held a public hearing at which it received memoranda, observations, suggestions, contributions, and input.

The committee noted that the fight against corruption is a national trend that should be adopted and complemented by the Bauchi State Government because corruption and abuse of power are widespread problems that need to be addressed in the civil and public service, and therefore the Bill is timely and desirable in order to combat the problem.

The committee suggested, however, that a new Section 6 be added to the law to ensure the independence of the commission: “In exercising its duties under this bill, the commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any authority.”

The committee also suggested the addition of a legal and enforcement department, and the House accepted all of its recommendations.

Hon. Bakoji Aliyu Bobbo, representing Chiroma Constituency, and Hon. Gazali Abubakar Wunti, representing Ganjuwa East Constituency, consequently sought the House to enable a bill for a law to create the Bauchi State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission to proceed to third reading.

As a result of the House’s approval, the Speaker authorized the Deputy Clerk of the House, Lamara Abdu Chinade, to conduct the third reading, and the measure became law.

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