Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Nyeson Wike Weeps At Private Meeting With ASUU

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The supervising Minister of Education, Nyeson Wike had thought that it would be a piece of cake for him to go into a discussion with the leadership of ASUU and come out smiling after a compromise, but was shocked at the recent meeting in Abuja when it became obvious that ASUU is very serious.
 
His plan to use the resolution of the strike to lobby President Jonathan to make a full Minister of Education has does suffered a serious set back. It doesn't seem that would happen anytime soon and it appears ASUU and its leadership are not ready to accept anything less.

Defer handing over of PHCN to investors, TUC tells FG

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to defer the proposed handover date of Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s successor companies to their new owners until all agreements with the unions are met.

The government had proposed November 1 as the date for the handover of the successor companies to their new investors.

TUC’s Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Simeso Amachree, made the call in a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

He said: “It will be unfair if the government go ahead with the hand over, without first settling all the workers.

“What is the hurry about? We are not opposed to privatisation if it is in the best interest of Nigerians and the country.

“But the workers must be paid their entitlements before the handover, ’’ he said.

Amachree said the government must be seen to deal fairly and transparently with the workers, to avoid unpleasant consequences.

“We will not hesitate to call out our other affiliates in other sectors to join in the struggle, because an injury to one is an injury to all,’’ he warned.

Amachree said the unions would engage in peaceful and legal means to compel the government to honour its agreement with them.

“We have decided to stage protests and eventually embark on total strike, if the government reneges on its agreement,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the contending issues include the non-payment of retirement savings to pension fund administrators and non-remittance of dues of two per cent deducted from workers’ salaries to the unions.

Others are the non-payment of benefits of retirees who disengaged in 2011, non-regularisation of the service of some casual workers and the non-payment of the severance package to some of the workers.

14-Yr-Old Boy Rapes 9-Yr-Old Girl to Death

The police in Lagos State have commenced investigation into how a nine-year-old girl died, after sustaining injuries caused by alleged consistent rape.

According to police authorities, the deceased was raped over five times, by a 14-year-old student, Onyi Adimabua, in the Ikorodu area of the state.

The father of the deceased, Simeon Jigo, told INFO BREAKERS Metro that Onyi is the son of the proprietor of the school his daughter attended.

He said his daughter opened up about the rape when she started having medical problems.

The 77-year-old man said his daughter died on October 3, 2013. He said:

“Up until my daughter’s death, she was a pupil of Fulfilled Greenland School, Ikorodu, and she was in primary three. One day, she came home and started complaining of pains around her vagina, stomach area.

We rushed her to Ikorodu General Hospital. A doctor checked her and after conducting some tests on her, told us that my daughter had sustained medical complications due to forced sexual intercourse.

I was alarmed by this; so, I had a private discussion with my daughter. She told me that it was her school proprietor’s son, Onyi, that had been raping her. The boy had threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone about it.”

The indigene of Ondo State told INFO BREAKERS  that after initial treatments, he took his daughter to Arogbo in Ondo State to be taken care of but her condition continued to deteriorate.

A few days after the troubled father travelled to Ondo State, Onyi, accompanied by his parents, also travelled to Ondo State, to apologise to Jigo’s family. The girl, however, was said to have died that very day.

“On getting to the house where my daughter was, we discovered that she was dead. Onyi confessed that he had been raping my daughter prior to her death,’ Jigo said.

INFO BREAKERS  learnt that after the girl’s demise, irate youths in the area attempted to lynch the 14-year-old boy. The bereaved father was said to have intervened and reported the matter to a nearby police station, where the teenager was held for safe keeping. 

The next morning, Onyi and his parents travelled back to Lagos.The alleged rapist’s parents, in company with a chief in Ikorodu, reportedly visited Jigo when he returned to Lagos. 

The group were said to have pleaded that the bereaved father should not pursue the case but he refused. Jigo said:

“I went to the Ikorodu Police station to report the case but was surprised when the policemen on duty said I should not write any statement.  They only told me to write down my telephone number and said they would call me later.

After waiting for many days without any call, I wrote a petition and the matter was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.”

It was however learnt that Onyi had been taken to his father’s hometown in Delta State thereby stalling police investigation.

The teenager’s parents,  however described the incident as the handiwork of the devil.

The 14-year-old boy’s father, Andrew Adimabua, said:

“I trained that boy in the way of the Lord and expected so much from him. He has confessed to the act; there is nothing to hide. He told me that he learnt about sex by watching blue (pornographic) films.

We are not hiding him and we will cooperate with the police. On the day the little girl died, he was beaten up and made to stay in the rain for hours. As a result, he contracted pneumonia so we sent him home for treatment. When he recovers, he’ll be taken to the police for questioning.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent on the telephone, expressed shock at the development.Braide said Onyi would be re-arrested in the course of investigation.

“It is appalling that a teenager could indulge in such act. The matter is under investigation and the culprit will be re-arrested.”

Probe of NIMASA contract scam ‘inconclusive’

A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday heard that investigation of alleged contract scam at the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was inconclusive.

An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor Ibrahim Ahmed said there were no documents showing whether the contracts, which were alleged to have been split, were indeed supplied.

He was testifying in the trial of former NIMASA Director-General Raymond Omatseye.

EFCC re-arraigned him before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on an amended 27-count charge bordering on contract scam.

Omatseye pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

His re-arraignment was due to the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako.

The accused person was charged with alleged illegal transfer of the agency’s fund and contract splitting estimated at over N1.5 billion.

During cross-examination by defence counsel Olusina Sofola (SAN), Ahmed said he asked for the “performance” documents, but was not given.

“I made request for the documents orally from the people who made statements. I also requested for the documents from the contractors,” he said.

The witness said he was, therefore, unable to determine the “performance” of the contracts allegedly awarded by Omatseye.

“According to statements made by the accused person and the contractors, the items were supplied.

“The contractors said the contract was performed. I requested for documents showing performance of the contracts but was not given.

“Because the documents were not available, I wasn’t able to confirm the contract performance,” he said.

Asked by Sofola if he stated his inability to confirm the contract performance in his statement before the court, the witness said he did not write down everything.

“It’s not everything I did in the course of my investigation that is contained in my statement,” Ahmed said.

The EFCC witness, however, said the materials supplied to NIMASA were “almost the same thing” and ought to be awarded to a single contractor.

He added that the contracts were allegedly split to come within the approved threshold for management approval.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned till December 3 for continuation of hearing.

Central African Republic's UN protection force approved

Archive shot of a Seleka rebel - July 2013 There has been a break down in law and order in CAR since rebels seized power

The UN Security Council has approved a special 250-strong military force to protect UN workers in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The UN director of humanitarian operations said CAR was "chaotic" and more than half the population was in need of assistance.

"The scale of suffering is among the worst in the world and getting worse," John Ging said.

CAR has been in a state of chaos since rebels seized power in March.

A rebel alliance known as Seleka ousted President Francois Bozize from office, replacing him with the alliance's commander, Michel Djotodia
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Last month, Mr Djotodia formally disbanded the rebels and integrated many fighters into the national army.

However, rebels linked to Seleka have continued to launch attacks on scores of villages, prompting the emergence of local civilian protection groups. 

Central African Republic

Map


'Tinderbox'
 
The 250 UN troops will be taken from an existing peacekeeping force and based in the capital, Bangui, diplomats said.

The strength of the force will then be strengthened to 560 troops so they can deploy to areas outside the capital where there is a UN presence.

Mr Ging, who has recently visited CAR, said there was a worrying new religious dimension to the violence, with armed groups inciting Christian and Muslim communities against each other.

"We are seeing the seeds of a profoundly dangerous development between communities.

"It's a tinderbox that can ignite into something very, very big and very, very bad," the Associated Press news agency quoted Mr Ging as saying.

The African Union is in the process of deploying a 3,600-strong peacekeeping mission to the country - incorporating a regional force already on the ground.

Earlier this month, France said it was sending some more troops to its former colony where it already has about 400 troops based at the airport in Bangui. 

CAR has huge deposits of precious minerals but has been plagued by chronic instability since independence in 1960.

DR Congo army 'seizes' Bunagana base from M23 rebels

Congolese soldiers arrive on a truck at Rumangabo military base, formerly held by M23 rebels, north of Goma, on 28 October 2013Government forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have captured Bunagana town, the main base of the M23 rebel group, residents say.

The troops entered the town on the Ugandan border in large numbers as the rebels fled, residents told the BBC.

M23 political leader Bertrand Bisimwa was earlier reported to have crossed the border into Uganda as Congolese troops advanced on his base.

The M23 launched a rebellion in eastern DR Congo in April 2012. 

It is made up of army deserters who say they are fighting for the rights of the minority Tutsi ethnic group.
At least 800,000 people have been left homeless since the conflict started.

About 10,000 people fled to Uganda this week, with about half of them arriving on Wednesday, said Lucy 

Beck, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports.

Heavy shelling
On Monday, the UN special envoy to DR Congo, Martin Kobler, said the M23 was all but finished as a military threat in DR Congo.

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His comments came after government forces captured five M23-held areas, including Rumangabo where the rebels had a big military training camp. 

The government forces have been backed by a UN intervention brigade deployed earlier this year to confront the M23 and other armed groups.

The BBC's Ignatius Bahizi in Uganda says residents in Bunagana told him there was heavy shelling, before the town fell to government forces. 

Bunagana, a town of several thousand people and the headquarters of Mr Bisimwa, is on the Uganda-DR Congo border.

Mr Bisimwa had surrendered to Ugandan security operatives after crossing the border in a convoy of two vehicles, Uganda's state-owned New Vision newspaper reported. 

He left Bunagana when government and UN forces were about 5km (three miles) away from the town and he was being questioned by Ugandan security operatives, the paper said. 

However, M23 officials denied that Mr Bisimwa had fled. 

They told our reporter that the M23 political leader had travelled to Uganda to sign a peace accord with the government. 

Peace talks hosted by Uganda broke down last week. 

The UN and DR Congo government have repeatedly accused Rwanda and Uganda of backing the rebels. They deny the allegation. 

Eastern DR Congo has been wracked by conflict since 1994, when Hutu militias fled across the border from Rwanda after carrying out a genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus.