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THE NATION

CUPP sues President Buhari over ‘illegal stay’ of aides in office

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The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) yesterday instituted a legal action against President Muhammadu Buhari and some of his key appointees at the Federal High Court, Abuja over what it called the “continued illegal stay in office of Buhari’s aides.”

The suit, which was filed on its behalf by the Action Peoples Party (APP) and the coalition’s national spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, has the president, Abba Kyari, Boss Mustapha, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina as first to fifth defendants.

In the case marked FHC/ABJ/CS/762/2019 and dated July 2, the claimants are seeking an order of court declaring the continued stay in office by the second to fifth defendants without reappointment illegal, act of impersonation and desecration of sanctity of constitutional governance

They also want the court to restrain the second to fifth defendants and any other special adviser or personal staff of the president from further parading themselves as appointees pending reappointments.

CUPP equally urged the court to order the second to fifth defendants to vacate their offices with immediate effect while returning salaries and allowances received from May 29 till the day they vacate office into the Federation Account

It also wants the court to determine whether pursuant to the provisions of Section 151 (3), 152 and 171(1), (2) (a) and (6) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the first defendant has the powers to extend and elongate the tenure of office of the second to fifth defendants and any of his aides without first terminating their tenures on May 29.

The claimants are also seeking the determination of the court as to whether the tenure elongation and continued service of the second to fifth defendants and all other aides despite the expiration of the president’s four-year tenure without official reappointment, taking and subscription of oath of office and oath of allegiance are not in clear breach of the constitution.

They equally want to know if the second to fifth defendants are still entitled to any official emoluments and benefits with respect to their offices with effect from May 29 when the four-year tenure of the first defendant (Buhari) ended.

The plaintiffs consequently urged the court to declare that by the provisions of Sections 151, 152 and 171of the constitution, the tenure of all political appointees that were appointed pursuant to Sections 151 and 171 by the first defendant on or before May 28 expired by effluxion of time on May 29.

The applicants further prayed the court to declare the offices of the second to fifth defendants vacant and their continued occupation illegal, unconditional, null and void.

In a statement in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Ugochinyere maintained that it was improper for the Nigerian leader to retain the appointees in alleged breach.

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THE NATION

IPPIS: FG stops salaries of ASUU members, strike looms

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Following the refusal of the staff of the federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria to be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, the Federal Government has ordered that the salaries of the concerned staff be stopped immediately

The affected federal government staff, who will not be paid salaries from January, are members of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU.

According to a letter from the office of the Accountant General of the federation, signed by the Director of IPPIS, Olufehinti, O. J, dated January 21, 2020, and directed to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the minister was ordered not to release funds for the payment of January salaries of the tertiary institutions.

The letter captioned, “Request for stoppage of release of funds for January Salaries to federal universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education”, was silent on whether the non-payment of salaries will affect the non-teaching staff, who have enrolled under the scheme.

The letter reads, “I am directed to inform you that the preparation of January 2020 salary payroll and warrant of the federal tertiary institutions are on-gong and will be ready for submission on or before 29th of January, 2020.

“This is to give effect to the directive of the federal government that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies drawing personnel cost from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, should be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS.

“In order to actualise this directive, you are please requested not to release the funds for payment of salaries to the tertiary institutions as their salaries will henceforth be paid on the IPPIS platform with effect from January 2020.”

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THE NATION

Coronavirus: Wash your hands, cover nose and mouth when sneezing, FG warns

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The federal government of Nigeria through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned Nigerians to protect themselves against the new deadly virus, Coronavirus.

The NCDC in a statement said to reduce the risk of spread of the virus, members of the public should wash their hands regularly with soap under running water and to cover their mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing.

At least 17 people have reportedly died from the virus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, and more than 550 cases have been reported globally.

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The NCDC stated, “There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus yet. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

The “NCDC is currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria. It is in close communication with the WHO which is monitoring the situation globally. WHO is in direct communication with the government of China and other affected countries, and has released technical and travel guidance.”

NCDC called on travellers from Nigeria to Wuhan, China, to avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets.

It added, “Travellers from Wuhan to Nigeria may be asked questions upon arrival by the Port Health Services unit at points of entry about symptoms of illness and travel history, and are advised to report immediately to the NCDC if they feel ill after a trip to Wuhan.”

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Presidency reacts to alleged U.S. visa restrictions against Nigeria

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The presidency has described as mere speculations the reported planned imposition of visa restrictions on some African and Asian countries including Nigeria by America’s government led by President Donald Trump.

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Some local traditional media organisations including online publications quoted foreign media outfits on Tuesday that the Donald Trump administration had concluded plans to add seven countries across the world, including Nigeria, to the country’s travel ban list.

The affected countries included Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea from Africa while Kyrgyzstan and Belarus from Eastern Europe and Myanmar from Asia.

The presidential aide, however, said: ”Yes, we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the U.S. media.

”We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications, and its consequences before we react.”

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