The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has again threatened to resume its industrial action following the failure of the Federal Government to implement the agreement reached with the union.
Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU President, announced this to journalists after meeting with representatives of the Federal Government on Monday.
Providing an outcome of the National Executive Council meeting of ASUU held on November 13 and 14, Osodeke said the union has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government before it proceeds on strike.
Osodeke further said the National Executive Council of ASUU would meet on the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum to give necessary directives to its members to resume the strike.
He said if the Federal Government fails to implement the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) that led to the suspension of the strike, the union would likely resume its strike.
Minister urges labour unions not to shut down power supply
The Federal Ministry of Power has urged labour unions not to go through with their threat to shut down power supply in the Federal Capital Territory and other states.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy Agba.
The statement reads:
“The attention of the Federal Ministry of Power has been drawn to a threat by a section of Labour unions in the power sector, to the effect that it would shut down power supply in the Federal Capital Territory and beyond.
“That union is anchoring this threat on a situation in the ownership tussle of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), which has made the company fail in some responsibilities to workers.
“We are also aware that the Unions in the sector have been part of the solution to this problem and therefore know the facts and stage of the efforts towards solving the problem, as far as workers rights are concerned.
“We also note that such problems are not peculiar to the AEDC. The Federal Ministry of Power, therefore, calls on the Union to be cautious and responsible to avoid endangering the fragile state of our electricity infrastructure which the present Government is working hard to strengthen.
“It is also worthy of note that Labour matters have a procedure to address them and the unions are enjoined to follow due process to pursue its legitimate right. Doing the contrary, have other consequences including economic sabotage and related offences.
“The Federal Ministry of Power has taken up the leadership of efforts to engage relevant stakeholders including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to resolve this problem very soon.
“All Nigerians are hereby enjoined to be alert as we plead with the aggrieved unions to toe the line of peace and dialogue.
Lagos APC Faction Defects To PDP
A faction within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, ‘Lagos4Lagos Movement’, has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The faction, which is headed by Olajide Adediran, defected to the PDP at an event held in Lagos on Saturday.
On hand to receive the defectors into the PDP was Bukola Saraki, a former Senate president and ex-Kwara State governor.
The Lagos4Lagos Movement has been critical of the reign and stronghold of APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, saying no one has the right to impose governors and political office holders in the state.
The Adediran faction had in September 2021 held a parallel local government congress at different locations in the state, condemning the leadership of the party in the state for adopting consensus as the option for electing ward executives.
It had alleged impunity, imposition and marginalisation in the party for its action but the congress of the movement was not recognised by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Saraki called for a voice vote on the group’s defection from APC to PDP.
“Those in favour that Lagos4Lagos should move to PDP say ‘aye’,” Saraki said, calling for a vote in the manner done at plenary at the senate.
Members of the group chorused “aye” in response and Saraki said, “the ayes have it”.
He, however, did not ask if any members were against defecting to PDP.
White Paper Review Of Lagos #EndSARS Panel Report Illegal, Says Falana
Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, has described the White Paper produced by the Lagos State government from the state’s Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the Lekki Toll Gate shooting as illegal.
Falana, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), made his stance known in a statement on Friday.
The Lagos State government on Tuesday released its White Paper of the panel’s report, which was submitted to Babajde Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, on 15 November.
The panel had in its report stated that nine persons were killed during the #EndSARS protest at the toll gate on October 20, 2020, adding that the action of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force on the night could be equated to a massacre.
However, the state government dismissed the findings of the panel, describing the report of deaths as “assumptions and speculations”.
The government also faulted the duplication of names and details in the report, saying it created contradictions, as well as “doubts and gaps”.
But speaking on the development, Falana said the White Paper committee set up by Governor Sanwo-Olu lacked the legal backing and competence to edit, modify, alter or reject the report of the commission.
Citing section 15 (2) of the Tribunals of Inquiry Law of Lagos State, Falana said the report of the judicial panel is as effective as a judgment of the Lagos state high court, thus its findings can only be challenged in a competent court.
He wrote: “When the government set up a White Paper committee a fortnight ago, I questioned its legal validity. It was my view that since the committee is unknown to law, the members were not competent to edit, modify, alter, edit or reject the report of the commission, more so, that the members of White Paper committee did not have the opportunity of taking evidence from the witnesses who had testified before the commission.
“I argued further than that the governor cannot reject the report, summary of evidence and findings of the Okuwobi Judicial Commission in any material particular.
“I am not unaware that it is the practice of governments to issue a white paper on the report of a commission of inquiry. But since there is no provision for a White Paper under the law the Lagos state government is bound by the findings and recommendations of the Panel.
“Therefore, any institution and individual indicted by the commission may wish to approach the High Court to challenge any aspect of the report. Since the White Paper committee is illegal its findings are of no moment.
“By insisting that only one person was killed at the Lekki Toll Gate, the writers of the White Paper contradicted an earlier statement by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu that two people were killed following a violent attack on peaceful protesters by Nigerian soldiers.”
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