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Fed Govt’s ‘no work, no pay rule’ vindictive, says NLC

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THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has accused the government of being vindictive in its application of labour laws.

It insisted that Nigerian workers will not accept being turned into slaves in their own country as a result of government’s selective application of the laws.

The congress, in a statement yesterday, said the decision by government to invoke the “no work, no pay rule” on striking workers was an attempt to intimidate them into accepting unfriendly labour practices.

It added that the struggle by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) did not start today, while government has consistently failed to meet its own side of the bargain.

The statement signed by the Acting President, Comrade Lawal Dutsinma reads: “The attention of the NLC, has been drawn to a memo by the Federal Government dated November 29, 2018, directing Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities to apply the “No Work… No Pay” rule. We understand that the Federal Government has since rescinded this order.

“Nonetheless, Nigerian workers are concerned that for the umpteenth time, the Federal Government and many state governments have resorted to bullying and draconian threats in dealing with matters that strictly reside in the domain of industrial relations. This is truly sad, highly unfortunate and extremely provoking.

“We recall that the current struggle by ASUU for improved conditions of learning in our public universities is not the first time that the Federal Government is issuing the “No Work… No Pay” threat. During the last warning strike by the NLC on the new national minimum wage, Minister of Labour and Productivity Dr. Chris Ngige issued a “No Work… No Pay” threat against workers.

“Also, during the last nationwide strike action by health workers, the Federal Government did not only issue a “No Work… No Pay” threat, it went ahead to implement it. Till now, government still withholds about three months of salaries due to health workers.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress considers the application of the “No Work… No Pay” rule as an autocratic attempt to cow workers into abandoning their legitimate demand for decent wages, conducive work spaces and social justice…

“We warn government at all levels to desist from using the “No Work… No Pay” rule to shirk away from their responsibilities. We also demand immediate release of workers’ salaries withheld on the account of “No Work… No Pay” rule.

“Also, we ask government to respect agreements it freely entered into with ASUU to restore normalcy and sanity to our public institutions of learning, especially our universities. Our children have suffered enough already. Enough is enough.”

Source: TheNation

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EFCC denies arresting Atiku’s sons

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied arresting the sons of Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

EFCC’s Acting Spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, made the denial in a statement in Abuja, on Monday.

According to Orilade, we have received several calls and e-mail messages asking us to confirm the arrest of the sons of Abubakar as being alleged in some quarters.

”Some only said we raided the apartments of Atiku’s sons looking for foreign currencies.

”This is nothing but another tales by moonlight.”

He said that the commission, as a responsible organisation, was abreast of the establishment mandate and shall not deviate from such mandate.

”We never went after Atiku’s sons, neither were Atiku’s sons among the two boys arrested.”

The spokesperson, however, said “it is in the news that we have been investigating the former Abia governor, Sen. Theodore Orji, over alleged N27 billion money-laundering.

”In the course of investigation, we discovered that he laundered part of the money through his sons.

”We have been on the trail of some of the purchases made by his sons, including the cars the boys allegedly bought.

”There is no link whatsoever to Atiku.” (NAN)

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Alleged 1.4bn fraud: I’m innocent – NBA President cries out

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President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Paul Usoro, says he is innocent of the N1.4 billion money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Usoro stated this while fielding questions from reporters on Sunday after the NBA National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja.

He said, “I haven’t been served. I expect I will be served but the facts as I know it, I am completely innocent and the facts as I know it, I presented it in the address that was adopted by NEC.”

“Assuming that there was something that was done; except the association itself makes a complaint to the EFCC or any of the other criminal investigating agencies, then they don’t have any basis having to come in into what we are doing,” Usoro added.

“We are an association of lawyers; we have a way of regulating ourselves.”

The NBA President, however, said he would appear in court.

He further called for a legislation that would prohibit media trial of persons in court.

According to him, the situation if not addressed will lead to maligning of character whether or not one is innocent or guilty of the offence he is charged with.

The EFCC had filed 10 counts of fraudulent conversion of N1.4bn against the NBA President before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

In the first count, the EFCC alleged that Mr Usoro and some persons conspired in 2015 to convert the sum of N1.4bn property of the Akwa Ibom State Government which they ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of crime.

The others accused by the anti-graft agency are Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State (who currently enjoys constitutional immunity against criminal prosecution), as well as the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; the Accountant-General, Mfon Udomah; the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Uwemedimo Nwoko; and Margaret Ukpe.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, who signed the charge sheet said the offences were contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

Five senior advocates – Gboyega Awomolo, Tayo Oyetibo, Theophilus Oyesanya, Onyechi Ikpeazu, and Damian Dodo, have been listed as witnesses along with some bank representatives to give evidence in the matter.

The commission said it would arraign Mr Usoro on Monday, December 10.

-ChannelsTV

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2019: I’m not neutral, vote out Buhari – Obasanjo declares

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that only a fool would sit on the fence when his country was being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism and brazen impunity.

Obasanjo warned that if Nigerians failed to become active and get much needed change of the current administration, what they would suffer would be much worse than their current situation.

He said this while reacting to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) titled, “Atiku: Obasanjo Shifts Political Gear to Neutral,” which suggested that he would not campaign for any particular candidate in 2019.

He had spoken at the 27th annual Owu National Convention held on Saturday in Iwo, Osun State.

But in a statement issued yesterday by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the ex-president said it was disingenuous and malicious for anyone to suggest that he was being neutral.

He warned against manipulating his position on the 2019 presidential election to perpetrate or perpetuate Nigeria’s continued destruction.

Obasanjo stressed that nobody should fool himself or deceive others about his position that “what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria.”

The former president urged Nigerians who are victims of the current situation in the land to stop complaining but go out to get beneficial change.

“They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria,” he added.

Obasanjo, who had faulted the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, recently endorsed the ambition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for 2019.

He maintained in his statement titled, “2019 elections and reports of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s neutrality,” that he will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored.

The statement read, “While Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is in Cairo to attend the maiden edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), of which he is Chairman of the Advisory Council, his attention has been drawn to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) with the headline ‘Atiku: Obasanjo Shifts Political Gear to Neutral.’

“It is disingenuous, if not malicious, for anyone to suggest that Chief Obasanjo was being neutral when he chose not to use the Owu Convention as a platform for political campaign but instead adopt a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu family.

“For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former President said at the Convention in Iwo was that while he would not impress any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who will drive growth and development and make their lives better than it is now.

“Chief Obasanjo’s statement did not suggest his neutrality. In fact, the former President believes that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious. Chief Obasanjo is no such fool nor is he so unwise.

“The former President reassures Nigerians that he will not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Chief Obasanjo reaffirms that he is on the side of what is best for Nigeria and what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria, so nobody should fool himself or deceive others about Chief Obasanjo’s position.

“The former President further urges Nigerians who are victims of what we have for now to stop just complaining and go out to get beneficial change. They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria.

“If they do not become active and get much needed change of the current administration to a government that will improve the economy, regain the confidence of investors and generally drive growth, development and economic progress with security, what is coming will be much worse than what Nigerians currently suffer.

“On his part, Chief Obasanjo will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored. Nobody should manipulate Chief Obasanjo’s position, particularly on the 2019 Presidential election and what he said in Iwo to perpetrate or perpetuate continued destruction of our country.

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