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NITDA has opened virtual libraries in over 20 varsities – DG, Abdullahi

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The National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) said it has provided over 20 Virtual Libraries in higher Institutions of learning across the country.

This was disclosed by the Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE when he received in audience the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Professor Mohammed Ladan Tawfiq at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja.

Inuwa who was represented by Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS), Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, said that NITDA’s major focus is to regulate and develop ICT for Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) therefore, NIALS will also be considered for its intervention.

“NITDA’s major focus is to regulate and develop ICT in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and your Institute has so far met all requirements for the Agency’s support and intervention,” he said.

He asserted that, with all round the clock power supply for higher Institutions of learning, the Agency has provided over 100 PCs with same facilities adding that “so far, the Agency has offered Virtual Libraries to over 20 institutions this year. And With the support of the DG, the Agency will provide IT Training Centre for NIALS to accommodate more IT knowledge-based students.”

While making his request, Director General, NIALS, Professor Mohammed Ladan Tawfiq noted that under his watch, the Institute has begun online courses to train Lawyers and Judges in an ideal ICT environment hence it becomes expedient to seek for NITDA’s intervention, technical guidance and collaboration.

“We need NIDTA’s technical guidance to drive our purpose for the online courses we started in training Judges and Lawyers in an ideal online environment,” he said.

Prof. Ladan revealed that the Institute has in recent times been showcasing NITDA’s activities and guidelines through its platform, he however implored the Agency to provide adequate ICT tools and facilities to enable them do more.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Director eGovernment Development and Regulation Department Dr Vincent Olatunji commended the DG, NIALS for taking the step to collaborate with NITDA.

He however advised the Institute to set up ICT department which the technical group from NITDA can always provide support to ensure cyber security within their system.

In his contribution, the Head Legal Unit, Barr Emmanuel Edet said, so far, NITDA have been in partnership with Institutions in areas of Legal Research For Lawyers and Judges and have also provided capacity building by way of giving out scholarships for Masters students.

Edet added that, the Agency is partnering with Universities like, University of Lagos, Bayero University and others for capacity buildings and scholarship.

The duo however agreed to constitute a working Committee to further strengthen and fast track the Institute’s request with a possible Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

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We can only release Sowore to his sureties, says DSS

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DSS DG, Bichi

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it is ready to release Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.

Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3 and subsequently flown to Abuja where he has been detained.

A federal high court in Abuja had granted him bail but the activist is yet to regain freedom even after fulfilling his bail conditions.

This had prompted a nationwide outrage and protest at the headquarters of the agency. There were reports of assault on the protesters on Tuesday.

But in a statement sent to The Witness on Wednesday, Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS, said operatives of the agency, did not open fire on protesters but prevented those who wanted to forcefully break into the agency to release Sowore.

Read the full statement below:

The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to state that its operatives did not open fire on alleged protesters who had stormed its facility on 12th November, 2019.

As a normal global security practice, the operatives stood in defence of their facility when some group of persons made unruly attempts to forcefully break into the place and effect the release of Omoloye SOWORE.

Despite serial and unwarranted provocations, the Service, as a professional and responsible Organisation, did not shoot at the so called protesters. It could not have done so.

For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release SOWORE once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of SOWORE.

While all those that have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and therefore unqualified, many others have either chosen to grandstand or politicise it to achieve hidden interests.

In the last few days, the Service has continued to witness deliberate campaigns of calumny, threats and aspersions against it. It will not, for any reason, join issues with its mudslingers. The media is called upon to be neutral and remain champions of the truth.

It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for SOWORE present themselves and have him released to them. It is even more disappointing that Femi FALANA, who is a senior lawyer, would wrongly guide his client and supporters. He is rather playing to the gallery and mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities. He has excellent relationship with the DGSS. But in the circumstance, he has refused to reach out to him over the case like he had on previously related ones.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Service restates its commitment to the rule of law and particularly respect to the Court. It, therefore, calls for calm but states that it will not be intimidated or harassed into hasty actions.

It reassures the public that it will not waste a second to release SOWORE if the proper processes are followed. And FALANA, sure, knows what these are.

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
Abuja
13th November, 2019

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APC suspends Edo gov, deputy, SSG over alleged anti-party activities

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Leaders of the All Progressives Congress APC, in Edo State have suspended the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu and the Secretary to the state Government, Osarodion Ogie for alleged anti party activities.

A chieftain of the party, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale stated this while briefing journalists in Benin City on Wednesday.

Details later.

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APC govs to Oshiomhole: You have failed, resign now

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Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have expressed dissatisfaction with the various crisis currently rocking the party and have demanded that the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole convene a National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting or resign immediately.

The governors under the aegis of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) specifically mentioned the ongoing political battle between the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and Oshiomhole himself among many others across the country.
The APC in Edo State on Tuesday suspended the APC National Chairman over what it termed as “his role in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party”.

The decision followed the vote of no confidence passed on Comrade Oshiomhole by the Chairmen of the APC in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Edo State.

However, In a statement made available to newsmen Wednesday morning in Abuja and signed by the PGF’s Director-General Salihu Moh. Lukman, the forum asked “Why is it impossible to convene a NEC or even National Caucus meetings, which are supposed to hold every quarter to resolve all these issues? Why should the NWC under Comrade Oshiomhole continue to imagine that it can conduct affairs of the party without mandatory meetings of party organs?

What legacy is Comrade Oshiomhole hoping to achieve as a National Chairman by running the party in a way that suggests almost zero commitment to issues of party development?”
While demanding for a statutory NEC meeting, the governors said: “In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party. It is either Comrade Oshiomhole respects the provision of the party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign.

“Our national leaders must rise to the challenge facing us as a party and take all necessary measures to convene superior organ meetings to begin to resolve all our challenges as a party. The current public disgrace must end!”

The governors said it is very painful for many of them who have had the privilege of being mentored by Comrade Oshiomhole to see him being devalued to a local factional leader from a very high pedestal of an illustrious national leader.

“As National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole hardly appreciates that he now has a national constituency and not just a state constituency, which may have been responsible for his apparent intemperance in the handling of matters affecting Edo State. I wish he paid similar attention to the handling of issues affecting Rivers and Zamfara states during the 2019 elections.

“Information coming from Edo State indicate that members of the State Executive Council of APC have passed a vote of no confidence in Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of our party, APC. In so many respects, it could be argued, it is a natural outcome of unfolding power play between Comrade Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki since June 2019 with the contentious inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly.

“Possible retaliatory responses from both Comrade Oshiomhole and groups such as Edo Peoples Movement who are loyal to Comrade Oshiomhole should be expected. In other words, the could be counter pronouncement suspending Governor Obaseki.

“Side by side with the news of the vote of no confidence was also the discomforting report of the Federal High Court judgement in Abuja disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo as our Deputy Governorship candidate for the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa election. While expecting that every necessary step will be taken to vacate the judgement, it is very depressing forever.

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