The Academic Staff Union of Universities is set to summon an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council following the decision of the Federal Government to pay the lecturers half salaries for the month of October, 2022.
Though no date has been fixed yet, our correspondent gathered that the decision to convene a meeting followed the drama which erupted when members of the union received half salaries in their accounts.
A source who spoke to our correspondent in Abuja noted that half salaries were paid, “I was shocked when I received an alert from my bank and I noticed that I got half salary; they didn’t even talk about the backlog of the eight months of the strike.
Another source said, “It is true, I received half, In fact, some professors received salaries of N121,000; this is the fact, we are waiting for the decision of the national body, our members are very angry right now.”
Speaking with our correspondent in Abuja, ASUU National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, confirmed the development.
“Half salaries were paid, no reasons were given whatsoever. We learnt that Ngige wrote the office of the Accountant General and Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system and told them to only pay us for the period when we called off the strike.
“We heard there was a letter to that effect but we haven’t gotten it yet. We are going to summon a meeting.”
When our correspondent reached out to the Ministry of Education which serves as the supervisory ministry for universities, the spokesperson of the ministry said, “We don’t pay salary at the Ministry of Education. Kindly direct your question to the office of the Accountant General.”
AIB Signs MoU With Saudi Arabia On Training For Aircraft Engineers
The federal government has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia on training of aircraft accident investigators between the two countries.
The Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigeria, which has transmuted to National Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) signed for Nigeria, while the Accident Investigation Bureau of Saudi Arabia signed for the Arabian country in Abuja yesterday.
Speaking after signing the MoU, the commissioner of AIB-N, Akin Olateru said: “there is one aviation in the world and the rule of the game is cooperation. There is no one country that is an island. We need to work together as a team to enhance safety.
“We are both established. We both have equipment. We both have human capital but there are a lot of lessons we can learn from each other.”
Speaking on the details of the MoU, Olateru said, “Saudi Arabia will help us in the area of human capital development, we can engage ideas and its all about improving safety for the flying public.
We are going to have constant exchange of ideas.
There will be some form of training exchange programme.
This agreement would have signed before COVID but we are glad, it is signed now.”
Also speaking, the director-general, AIB Saudi Arabia, Abdulelah Felimban said: “We came to meet our counterpart in Nigeria, the Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigeria to open the channels of communication, of cooperation, of sharing experiences, learning from each other and benefiting from the capabilities that each of us have.
“We do investigations to ensure and promote sir safety.
Our business is to collect data, evidences, analyse them and put forward recommendations to make our skies safer.”
Man Electrocuted While Stealing High-tension Wire In Abuja
A middle-aged man, identified simply as Ezekiel, was electrocuted while trying to steal a high-tension wire in the Utako area of the Federal Capital Territory.
The incident occurred on Saturday night.
A commercial driver, who asked to be identified only as Hassan, told our correspondent on Sunday that Ezekiel sustained severe burns from the incident.
He said, “This early morning, a man known as Ezekiel, was electrocuted. He wanted to steal a wire from the high tension belonging to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company and in the process of doing that he was electrocuted.
“We heard the sound of an electrical spark in the night and also heard the scream of the man.
“If not for the fact that saw, plier, and torchlight scattered on the ground, I would have thought that he wanted to commit suicide. But with those tools, he went there for a mission. The man was lucky he did not die, but he sustained multiple burn injuries.”
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, confirmed the incident.
Adeh said, “Our men while on patrol came in contact with him; he had severe burns, and they rushed him to the Wuse General Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment. He will definitely be prosecuted but we will wait till he fully recovers. His tools are in our custody.”
Aisha Buhari Withdraws Suit Against Detained Undergraduate
Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has withdrawn the defamation of character suit she filed against a 500-Level student of the Federal University, Dutse, Aminu Adamu, before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Adamu was arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Yusuf Halilu by the FCT Commissioner of Police following a complaint by Mrs Buhari over a tweet by the defendant on a one-count charge bordering on defamation of the character of the president’s wife.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was subsequently remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre in Niger State by the judge, pending hearing of his bail application.
The matter took a happy turn for Adamu on Friday at the hearing of his bail application when the prosecution counsel, Fidelis Ogbobe, informed the court that the president’s wife had decided to withdraw the case against the defendant following the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians.
Based on the development, Ogbobe then applied for the withdrawal of the case, hinging the application on Section 108 (2) (a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
Ruling on the prosecution’s application to withdraw the case against Adamu, Justice Halilu commended Mrs Buhari for her gesture.
The judge, however, admonished parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards.
He thereafter discharged the defendant.
Adamu’s travails began in June when he tweeted on his Twitter handle, @aminullahie Catalyst, in which he screenshot Mrs Buhari’s image and wrote in Hausa “su mama anchi kudi talakawa ankoshi”, meaning, “mama has eaten monies meant for the poor to satisfaction”.
Following the president’s wife’s complaint, the police traced Adamu to Dutse, Jigawa State, five months after his tweet and arrested him on the premises of the university, brought him to Abuja and allegedly drove him straight to the Presidential Villa, where he was allegedly beaten and tortured.
His arrest and alleged torture on the instructions of the president’s wife were greeted with outrage from Nigerians, prompting the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the umbrella body of Nigerian students, to first apologise to Mrs Buhari for Adamu’s indiscretion and pleaded for his release.
The body, however, later threatened a mass protest by students against Mrs Buhari pending when Adamu would be released.
The planned protest was scheduled to commence on Monday.