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God prepared me to be VC of Federal University Lokoja – Prof Akinwumi

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From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja

The Vice Chancellor of Federal University Lokoja, Prof Olayemi Akinwumi, has said his achievements in his first year in office as the third vice chancellor of the 10-year-old institution is proof that God had prepared him for the position.

Prof Akinwumi, in an exclusive interview with the Sun Newspaper on his first year in office, said that before his appointment God had made him to pass through all the necessary stages of the university system so as to be moulded to perform optimally as vice chancellor.

According to him, ‘I have gone through the necessary stages of the university system; I was a Head of department, Dean of Faculty, a director, a council member and a deputy vice chancellor before my appointment as a vice chancellor. So, there is practically nothing that is strange to me in the university system. Therefore, I believe it is the discern of the Almighty God to bring me at this time to transform the university.’

The VC said although he inherited a divided university where there were factions within the academic staff, different camps within Indigene and non indigene staff, he was able to unite all the camps even as he had to visit some staff in their houses and knelt down to beg them to give peace a chance.

On his achievements in his first year, the VC said he was able to carry out institutionalisation of academic traditions and ceremonies where by six professors’ have been able to deliver their inagural lectures out of the two who had delivered since the establishment of the school 10 years ago.

Prof Akinwumi also said in his bid to achieve physical development and expansion, the university has commenced academic activities to the permanent site at the Felele campus while stringent security measures have been carried out to secure the lives of students and staff at the permanent site.

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The VC also announced that the university request for the upward review of the students admission quota to the NUC and JAMB from 1,500 students per session has been granted to 4,000

He said he was able to move the ranking of the university from eight among the twelve federal universities that were established in 2012 to the number one position and expressed his committement to the highest standard of education noting that the university will soon rank among the best 10 within the sub Sahara Africa.

Prof Akinwumi said there were lots of physical transformations and academic improvements recorded within his short stay in office which he said was already creating some positive impacts upon the staff and students

He noted that the Academic staff of various Departments are being considered for award of Foreign Study Fellowship to pursue Master and PhD programmes in their respective fields through TETFund intervention.

He also said Some Academic Statf are also being considered for award of Local Study Fellowships to pursue their PhD programmes and Masters degrees through TETFund sponsorship.

Prof Akinunmi stated that the management was striving to increase and improve on the existing facilities and to equally lay emphasis on staff training and development so that the university would be able to cope with the increasing number of students.

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#EndSARS: Borno youth regains freedom after 15 months, says ‘hunger almost killed me in Kirikiri prison’

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Fifteen months after being arrested and wrongly detained for taking part in the #EndSARS protest, Peter John, regained freedom.

John, who hails from Borno State, told that he is 23 years old.

According to John, he was arrested on October 23, 2020 on his way to work but set free 15 months after his arrest.

“I had a horrible expereince in prison. I was arrested for what I didn’t do. I was not arrested at any riot venue. I was arrested days after the riot on my way to work at Lekki new market,” he told our correspondent while sharing his ordeal in prison.

The young man said he thought that he was going to die in prison because of hunger and beating from “senior” prisoners.

While emphasing that he suffered for an offence he knew nothing about, the 23-year-old said, “They arrested me at Lekki Phase I. I was arrested because of the #EndSARS protest that I never took part in.

“They told me that I was part of those that caused riots in Lagos State. They also said I was part of those that burnt government properties. These are lies.

“I saw many bad things in the prison. I also learnt how to praise God and stay with people in difficult times. I  have many painful experiences to share.

“I really suffered there. It was a very painful experience. I almost died ofhunger. A lot of people die of hunger there. Prisoners cannot even consume the kind of food they give to us.  They give us food two times a day. In the morning, they give us beans and you dare eat the beans, you will fall sick and suffer diarrhoea.After the beans, they will give us Garri (casava) in the evening.

“I fell seriously sick in the prison. If not for God and my family, I should have been dead. I wouldn’t have been alive to grant this interview. Some people who are seniors in the cell do beat us. They also send us on errands.

“Kirikiri prison is a place where you must do everything you are asked to do. You have no freedom. You will be severely beaten if you resist, your human rights don’t matter, and you can’t say anything.”

John said it took the intervention of his parents and human rights lawyer, Festus Ogun, for him to regain freedom.

“I thank God that the lawyer helped me out. He also helped others. I have really suffered a lot. We are plenty that they arrested. Many innocent people are in the prison because of EndSARS. Some are still there as we speak,” he added.

While lamenting that John was kept in prison despite the strucking out of his case by the court, the lawyer called for a reform of Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

He said, “We need an urgent reform in our criminal justice system. This should not happen in the first place but the criminal justice system is criminal.

“The case was struck out December 17, 2021.  It is the authority who arrested and took him to prison that should ensure he is out since the case was struck out, but they refused. We need to fix the system.”

The #ENDSARS protests lasted between October 7th and 20th in Lagos and several other states of the federation.

While the protests lasted, relations, friends, and associates of missing persons claimed their relations had either been killed or held incommunicado by security agents.

Of particular concern was the Lekki toll gate shooting of Tuesday, October 20, where peaceful #ENDSARS protesters were shot at by security agents, leading to a yet-to-be ascertained number of casualties.

The shooting incident had attracted national and international outcry, with the Lagos State and Federal governments being urged to unravel the identity of the shooters and who deployed them.

Ajudicial panel set up by Lagos State said people were killed at Lekki tollgate by security operatives but the government through a whitepaper panel debunked the claim.

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President Buhari commences two-day visit to Kaduna

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From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

President Muhammadu Buhari will commence a two-day working visit to Kaduna State, beginning from Thursday.

President Buhari will during the visit, commission several important projects which will end on Friday.

The president who will visit the three major towns of Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan, will also be shown around road projects across the state, which was executed by the Governor Nasir El Rufai administration.

A statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye listed the projects that will be commissioned to include the remodelled Murtala Muhammed Square, which is located at the heart of Kaduna town.

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The Special Adviser also listed the Infectious Disease Hospital, which is located at Mando, the Dangote Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited along Kaduna-Abuja expressway, and the Sabon Gari market in Zaria.

Mr Adekeye also said that the President will also commission completed projects like the reconstructed Kawo flyover which has three grand rotaries and access roads, the WAFF Road which has been dualized with junction improvement.

President Buhari will also commission road projects in Kafanchan and Zaria.

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Nnamdi Kanu chose to appear in same attire because ‘it is designers’ – FG tells court

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Despite the order of Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja, the leader of the Indigenious People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday, appeared on the same Fendi designers clothes he had been wearing since June last year when he was arrested.

Justice Nyako had on Tuesday, ordered the Department of State Services, to allow Kanu to have a change of cloth.

“I don’t want to see him in this cloth again. This one is almost off-white. Also, make sure that you allow him to exercise and give him a good mattress”, Justice Nyako had ordered.

Meanwhile, when the matter was called up on Wednesday, the prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, told the Court that Kanu was the one that chose to wear his designer Fendi clothes.

He said, “My lord, based on your order yesterday, we provided the defendant with a new Orthopedic mattress, pillows and blankets.

“As for his appearance, he chose to wear this particular one because he said that it is designers”.

In his response, Kanu’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, told the Court that it was not true that his client insisted on wearing his designer’s clothes.

“My Lord, what happened was that by the time proceedings ended yesterday, and because it was not his visiting day, we were not able to pass to him, some clothes we obtained for him.

“We even discussed it with him this morning and he said that on the next visiting day he would want to have the new clothes”, Ozekhome added.

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He however commended the DSS for providing the IPOB leader with new mattress and pillows.

“I want to commend the DSS and the Court for ensuring that it was done”, Ozekhome said.

Before allowing Kanu to be re-arraigned on the amended 15-count treasonable felony charge the Federal Government preferred against him, Justice Nyako reiterated her demand for the defendant to have a change of clothes.

Kanu is currently entering his plea to the fresh amended charge against him which borders on his alleged commission of acts of terrorism, felony, incitement, unlawful importation of a radio transmitter, and headship of an illegal organization.

Already, the DSS had before Kanu was ushered into the courtroom around 10:15 am, produced several documentary evidence, including electronic devices it would use to play some of the alleged inciting broadcasts that were made by the Defendant.

Details soon…

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