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The Nigeria Customs Service, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command, said it has handed over seized fake $10, 000 to officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Announcing this in a statement on Saturday, the command’s Public Relations Officer, Juliana Tomo, said a 41-year-old suspect, Ifeanachor Ugbor, was arrested in connection with the seizure.
She said that the suspect who was heading to Brazil, contravened the the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of Nigeria.
Tomo said the command made this seizure less than two months after the new Customs Area Controller, Charles Orbih, was redeployed from Abia/Imo Area Command to MMIA.
“Considering Section 15 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) Act No 11, 2011 and Act No 1, 2012, which entails the money laundering offences, a passenger contravened a part of this section within our jurisdiction.
“This passenger, Ifeanacho Ugbor, is a 41-year-old Nigerian from Enugu State with a valid Nigerian Standard Passport No. B00033052 who was scheduled to travel from Murtala Muhammad International Airport with the Ethiopian Airline (flight ET900) to Brazil on Friday 10th November 2023 was suspected to have contravened the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of Nigeria,” she said.
The spokesperson said the suspect was restrained from traveling and detained for further investigation.
“The suspect, having declared the sum of $10,000 on our currency declaration form, our officers took a step further to examine the currency in line with section 66 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, and the officers discovered that the sum of $10,000 was all counterfeit,” the statement noted.
The Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Orbih, said that the achievement was a result of the due diligence of the officers.
“We have eagle eyes officers in this command, they are ready to work for 24 hours of the day and seven days of the week combating all customs-related crimes and bringing to the limelight the perpetrators,” he added.
“We hereby hand over the sum of $10,000 counterfeited currency to the EFCC, the suspect, a valid Nigerian Standard Passport No. B00033052, two phones and his baggage for further necessary action,” he concluded.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has congratulated the government and people of Liberia on the successful conduct of the Liberian Presidential Election.
Naija News reports that Tinubu made this known in a statement on Saturday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.
The President also congratulated President-elect Joseph Boakai, who won the mandate of the people, enjoining him to unite the country and build on the popular support expressed through the ballot box to deliver good governance to the people of Liberia.
President Tinubu commends President George Weah for demonstrating uncommon leadership by conceding the election and averting any form of socio-political crisis.
The President says President Weah’s great act of democratic sportsmanship is exemplary, particularly at this time in West Africa, when democracy is under attack by malign actors who are bent on subverting the will of the people.
“I commend President George Weah for his sterling example, undiluted patriotism, and statesmanship. He has defied the stereotype that peaceful transitions of power are untenable in West Africa. He has demonstrated that the outcome of elections in the sub-region need not become the propellant of violence and unrest and that the will of the people must always be respected,” the President stated.
President Tinubu also thanked the people of Liberia for peacefully exercising their rights and implores them to remain steadfast in the furtherance of peace and democracy.
Recall that Liberian President and African football legend George Weah had earlier conceded defeat to opposition leader Joseph Boakai.
Results announced indicated that the opposition leader was leading the polls with nearly 51 per cent of the votes in Liberia.
However, speaking as the country’s election umpire continued the result announcements, Weah said that there was no way he could overturn Boakai’s lead.
“The result announced tonight, though not final, indicates that…Boakai is in a lead that we cannot surpass,” Weah said.
“This is the time for graciousness in defeat,” he added.
In his speech, the Liberian president emphasized that despite losing the presidential poll, the people of Liberia won.
Liberia’s incumbent president and football legend, George Weah, conceded defeat on Friday evening after nearly complete returns showed opposition leader, Joseph Boakai, leading with 50.89 per cent of the vote.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the CDC (party) has lost the election, but Liberia has won. This is the time for graciousness in defeat, to put national interest above personal interest,” he said in a speech on national radio.
Results published by the electoral commission after tallying the ballots from more than 99 per cent of polling stations gave Weah 49.11 per cent of the votes cast.
The 78-year-old Boakai beat Weah by just over 28,000 votes.
Weah said he had spoken to Boakai “to congratulate him on his victory”.
“The Liberian people have spoken, and we have heard their voice. However, the closeness of the results reveals a deep division within our country,” Weah said in his speech.
Around 2.4 million Liberians were eligible to vote on Tuesday, but no turnout figures have been released.
Dozens of Boakai’s supporters danced in celebration outside one of his party’s offices in the capital Monrovia.
The elections were the first since the United Nations in 2018 ended its peacekeeping mission, created after more than 250,000 people died in two civil wars in Liberia between 1989 and 2003.
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) has conferred the title of a professor on Abubakar-Surajo Imam, a lieutenant-colonel and Head of Department of Mechatronics Engineering at the institution.
Imam is now is now Professor of Mechatronics Engineering.
He is said to be the first professor from among serving personnel in the history of the Nigerian Army.
The Registrar of the Academy, A.M Tukur, a brigadier-general, announced the promotion in a statement in Kaduna.
He said the promotion was ratified during the NDA Council Meeting in September, and took effect from 1 October 2022.
The registrar said that the council’s decision was a reflection of the confidence and recognition of the contributions of Imam to the Department of Mechatronics Engineering of the Academy.
He said the new professor has provided exemplary services and upheld the standards of excellence expected in his field.
“This recognition not only honours Professor Imam but also highlights the commitment of the Nigerian Defence Academy to acknowledging and rewarding outstanding contributions within its academic community.”
“On behalf of the Commandant and staff of the Academy, I sincerely congratulate you on your well-deserved promotion. It is expected that you will continue to work hard to justify the confidence.”
Imam, who hails from Kankia in Katsina State, has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bayero University, Kano, Kano State.
He also holds a master’s degree in Mechatronics from Newcastle University, United Kingdom, and PhD in Mechatronics and Robotics from the same university.
Imam joined the Nigerian Army as a member of Short Service Combatant Course 32, and was assigned to the Nigerian Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
He later converted to Regular Commission, and served in numerous units including 1 Base Workshop, Technical Group EME, HQ Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps, and DICON.
Imam is an Examiner and Member Central Selection Committee for Master’s and PhD candidates being sponsored by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.
He is also a researcher with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), the Defence Research and Development Bureau, Abuja, Command Engineering Depot, Buffalo Engineering Technology, and National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.
Imam is also a researcher with the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology in Wudil, Kano State.
The new professor has attended over 40 international workshops and numerous seminars and presented papers at several conferences in the United Kingdom, Spain, Egypt and the United States of America.
He currently doubles as Head, Department of Mechatronics Engineering and Director Centre for Innovation and Creativity, at the NDA.
At the NDA, Imam has through his Research and Development efforts enormously contributed to enhancing the visibility of the Academy among Nigerian Universities.
He spearheaded the founding of the NDA Department of Mechatronic Engineering, and the establishment of the Centre for Innovation and Creativity.
The centre’s serves as platform for the realisation of Nigeria’s Military Industrial Complex through promotion of innovation and creativity in cutting-edge technologies related to novel military and civil hardware and software solutions, thereby reducing Nigeria’s dependence on foreign technical solutions.
His published books cover Mechatronics; PIC Microcontrollers; Embedded Systems Design; Sensors and Actuators for Embedded Systems; Coding, Robotics and Drone Technology for Kids; and Field Manual for Drone Technology, among others.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, has called for the appointment of a Chief of Space Staff to bolster the nation’s defence capabilities.
Kalu made this recommendation during the closing ceremony of a two-day post-inauguration retreat organised by the National Defence College in Abuja for members of the House Committee on Defence.
He stated the need to evolve beyond traditional security mechanisms and address the emerging threats in space, asserting that establishing a Space Service Chief would be crucial in safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity, considering the evolving nature of modern warfare.
“In some countries, you have Space Service Chiefs; what are we doing about that? There is a need for one to be created. We are beyond what is obvious.
“Some of the warfare is now taking place in space. And I can assure you, if we ignore that, we will not be doing justice to the mandate of protecting the territorial borders of this country,” stated Kalu.
Kalu also pledged support for the Defence Industry Corporation (DICON) Bill and the Armed Forces Trust Fund Bill currently before the National Assembly for re-gazetting. These bills, although passed by the 9th Assembly, did not receive the assent of former President Muhammad Buhari.
However, Kalu expressed confidence that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would prioritize these bills, emphasizing their significance in stimulating local content and manufacturing essential tools and equipment for the Armed Forces.
“With the Bills, there will be a stimulation of local content in manufacturing the tools and the equipment needed to keep our nation safe.
“It is a call on Mr. President to do it and do it as urgently as possible. So that some of the funding contracts of the military at the moment will be converted into military industrial complexes,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Benson, commended the leadership of the 10th House of Representatives and pledged the committee’s commitment to collaborate with the Defence sector in achieving the legislative agenda of the Green Chamber and addressing insecurity in Nigeria.
Kano Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has rejected the Court of Appeal judgment, which sacked him on Friday.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld the nullification of the election of Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) by the state election petition tribunal.
However, Yusuf and his party, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), rejected this judgment and declared their resolve to take the case to the Supreme Court in an effort to retain his seat.
Yusuf announced this in a post on his X page.
He wrote: “After careful study and rigorous stakeholders engagement, my team and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), have decided to approach the Supreme Court on the miscarriage of justice, delivered by the Appeal Court, yesterday in Abuja.
“We are optimistic that the Supreme Court will by the grace of Allahu SWT, will set aside these miscarriages of justice by the Tribunal and the Appeal Court, and reaffirm our mandate, as given by the good people of Kano State.
“Furthermore, I call on the good people of the Kano State to continue to go about their legitimate businesses, as we have taken all the necessary measures to ensure the security of thier lives and property as a cardinal responsibility.
“Finally, I call on the good people of the state and other well-meaning Nigerians to continue to pray for Allah’s mercy and protection to save the state from the injustice of mischief makers, who are desperately scheming to hijack power through the back door and return the state to the dark ages.”
A school environment is meant to be the epitome of sanctity, devoid of external vices capable of corrupting or influencing the minds of students.
Sadly, that is far from the picture cut by the surroundings of Silver Spring Schools in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.
For a first-time visitor to the area, it would be difficult to locate the school as it is obscured by a series of stalls and kiosks built close to the drainage, by the school fence.
The first impression that comes to mind on getting to the place is that of a fast-expanding local market meant to serve the immediate needs of those living close by.
However, a closer look would reveal something more sinister, a melting pot for gamblers and alcoholics.
Based on findings made by our correspondent, due to easy access to alcoholic drinks packaged in sachets, students in schools around the area find pleasure in converging at the market to indulge and after getting high, would break into fights, disrupting the peace of the area.
How, succour came the way of motorists, residents and business owners, who have over the years complained about the activities of the traders.
Officials of the Lagos Waste Management Authority and the state’s Ministry of Environment stormed the area and demolished stalls and kiosks built by the traders on the drainage channel beside the school.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that this development followed a request made by a lawyer and development consultant, Mrs Iyabo Awokoya to the Lagos State Ministry of Education and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency via her verified X (formerly Twitter) handle on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, according to the official internet portal for all schools in the state known as ‘Lagos Schools Online’, the Silver Springs Schools, which is situated at Onitire, Abaranje, was started by its proprietress, Mrs Olaide Fawehinmi in 2001.
The school, our correspondent gathered, has about 105 students and has another college located in Ijeshatedo, Surulere.
In a photograph of the school, which Awokoya appended to her post, an array of wooden kiosks and umbrellas owned by traders could be seen adjoining the fence erected by the school.
The traders who ranged from Point-of-Sale operators to those who hawked snacks and pastries had their merchandise placed over the drainage channel, beside the school building.
Findings by Saturday PUNCH revealed that in the past few years, through various press releases, the Lagos State Government had expressed worries over the increasing abuse of setbacks and incidental open spaces around public schools and has sought to check such infractions.
In a series of replies to comments elicited by her post on Silver Spring Schools, Awokoya lamented that the shops had repelled parents from registering their children in the school, noting that its premises had been turned into a marketplace.
She further disclosed that the efforts of the school proprietress, who is her aunt, to eject the illegal traders had failed and she had even become afraid due to the recalcitrance of the stall owners.
The post read, “Dear Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, LASEPA official, Tunde, Please this is my aunty’s school on Abaranje Road, Ikotun, in Lagos.
“See the way the traders have taken over the setback and have erected permanent kiosks even attaching them to the fence. We have reported in all the possible places to be reported to no avail. Later the Ministry of Education will come with a contravention order. How can a school be rendered to a market?
“And they are vicious. My Aunt is 70 years old and afraid of them now. They first promised to leave when the LGA came with my agent, but then they failed. Then the LGA also relented. There is nothing we have not done. We petitioned the LGA and LCDA, Tunde Sosina,” she wrote in two separate posts.
Govt evacuates illegal stalls
Barely 18 hours after Awokoya’s post, state officials came to the school premises and removed the stalls and kiosks around the drainage setback.
The state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, in a post made via his X handle, on Thursday, said he gave the directive and urged the school principal to take over the school setback.
He wrote, “As I instructed, illegal kiosks built on drainage setbacks beside Silver Spring Schools, Abaranje Road, Ikotun were earlier today evacuated by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority enforcement team and the Lagos State Ministry of Environment monitoring officers.
“The monitoring officers were directed to request the principal of the school to take over the setback and then beautify it in accordance with the ‘ Greener Lagos’ policy of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.”
Responding to this, Awokoya posted on Thursday, “Wow! I truly can’t believe this. I cried out here yesterday about illegal kiosks that are erected in front of my aunty’s school in Ikotun and right now they are being evacuated.
“Dear Tokunbo Wahab, this is an uncommon favour sir. My aunt just called me to let me know. I am grateful to LASEPA and its General Manager, Tunde Ajayi. Lagos is working. Please Oliver Twist needs a little more help. The okadas that are always parking in front of the school entrance should find another bus stop.
“My aunty was getting so frustrated that she was thinking of selling the school and just keeping her flagship school in Surulere. The (school) expansion led her into a problem. Now, the Ministry of Environment has asked that we beautify immediately and my aunt is a flower lover so I am sure she will get cracking immediately.”
When our correspondent visited the school on Friday morning, he observed that the stalls had indeed been cleared and there were no more encroachments on the school fence.
A resident who gave his name only as Tunji commended the move which he said should not have happened if there had been strict enforcement.
“The stalls were removed yesterday and their owners have been forced to move elsewhere. They constituted much distraction to the students and the school surrounding was beginning to look ugly. Most of the people who patronised them were outsiders and if care hadn’t been taken, the whole place would have become a hideout for hoodlums. This should never have been in the first place if there had been strict enforcements,” he stated.
Invaded by alcohol-selling traders, gambling booths
Another resident of the area, Tobi Fagbemi, lamented that the setbacks of other secondary schools in Ikotun have been taken over by those hawking alcoholic beverages and gamblers.
“These traders have taken over all the setbacks in most of the secondary schools. Especially the Ikotun High School. It started gradually and now if you go around these schools, you will see people hawking herbal concoctions and alcohol in sachets. They also have gambling (Baba Ijebu) and sports betting kiosks.
“During school hours, you will see these students who are supposed to be in their classes learning subjects, sneaking out to hang around these joints. Even after closing hours, they still go there to spend their pocket money, and you’ll see them sipping alcohol in sachets. The government has to ban these shops around schools,” he told our correspondent.
School traders breeding thugs – Teacher
A teacher in a private school in Oshodi, Mrs Bukola Adelani, in a chat with our correspondent, expressed worries over the negative effects the presence of alcohol and cigarette vendors can have on students.
She said, “This problem is gradually getting out of hand because these traders around schools sell alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and even aphrodisiacs to students. Students go there to take these things and they start misbehaving, sleeping with their colleagues, and becoming violent.
“There was a case where a student went to take one of these drinks and he started sleeping in class. This is how substance abuse starts. Who knows what else they are selling to these children that we have not yet discovered? If you go through these markets springing up around schools, you will find that they sell adult materials to underage students.
“These vendors know what they are doing. They see students in school uniforms, especially the females among them coming to purchase these things and they don’t object. They will even argue that their gin is a remedy for stomach upset.
“The government needs to do something if we are to get rid of the menace of thuggery and drug addiction that is now spreading across schools in the state.”
Commenting on the development, an Ikorodu resident, Saheed Lawal, in his reply to Awokoya’s post on X, tweeted, “Go to United Secondary School and Ayangburen Secondary School in Ikorodu. These schools are adjacent to Ikorodu Road at the garage section, but they have all been taken over by people frying akara, clothes, food, ogogoro (local gin distilled from palm wine) sellers. It is absurd passing there every morning.”
Another, a project engineer on X, Fayemi Olatunbosun, who stated that he was a part of the team that worked on the ongoing road construction in Abaranje, Ikotun, disclosed that the setbacks were allocated by some community members.
“I joined a team of engineers who worked on the aforementioned road. You won’t believe that some people from the community allocated that small portion of the setback to different kiosks at a cost of not less than N30,000. They were doing this even when our work there was ongoing,” he wrote.
Government urges collaboration
In a lengthy post on Friday, Wahab, stated that his office had been inundated with numerous complaints from concerned citizens about noise pollution, flooding, and obstruction of walkways by traders.
“As a ministry, we continue to act swiftly upon receiving these vital complaints, and we are fully committed to responding promptly and decisively to restore law and order across the state. As the custodians of the state’s environmental well-being, we acknowledge the significance of addressing these concerns with utmost urgency.
“Flooding, noise pollution, and the unlawful blockage of walkways represent critical challenges that impact the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. Therefore, the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources is diligently organising and implementing a comprehensive action plan to tackle these issues head-on.
“This proactive response will involve collaborative efforts among various departments within the Ministry, in conjunction with relevant authorities, to ensure the effective resolution of these environmental challenges. The ministry urges all residents and stakeholders to join hands in this collective endeavour to maintain a clean, safe, and sustainable environment for everyone in Lagos State.”
Govt must implement EIA – Environmental researcher
An environmental researcher, Seun Awoyinfa, told Saturday PUNCH that the state government needs to implement an Environmental Impact Assessment to tackle the abuse of school setbacks.
“For every project, whether it involves erecting a kiosk or structure, especially around a school, an EIA must be carried out. There is no environmental sustainability without an environmental analysis.
“For instance, a school should not be close to the marketplace because the noise pollution will affect the level of concentration of the students. They should not be built close to a casino or betting spot otherwise, the intellect of those students is in contention due to that level of distraction.
“The same applies to allowing pubs or stores selling stimulants or drugs. They should not be sited close to a school because they could have negative impacts on students. The government should ensure that EIAs are carried out at each LGA and LCDA to curb this,” he advised.
Sudan has informed the UN chief of the “immediate” end of the United Nations political mission in the war-torn country, according to a letter circulated in the Security Council.
In an official letter in Arabic dated Thursday, accompanied by an English version from the Sudanese ambassador to the UN, Foreign Minister Ali Elsadig Ali informed Antonio Guterres of “the decision of the government of Sudan to terminate the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) with immediate effect.”
According to the English version, UNITAMS had aimed to “assist the transitional government of Sudan after the December 2018 revolution,” but the government said the mission had proven “disappointing.”
However, Khartoum said it would continue to work “constructively” with the United Nations.
Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Friday the mission’s mandate was scheduled to end on December 3.
“The Secretary-General has appointed Ian Martin to lead a strategic review of the UN Mission in Sudan to provide the Security Council with options on how to adapt the mission’s mandate,” he said.
Guterres was also appointing Algeria’s Ramtane Lamamra as his personal envoy for Sudan.
“We will continue to engage closely with all actors, including the Sudanese authorities and members of the Security Council, to clarify next steps,” Dujarric said.
UNITAMS employs 245 people, including 88 in Port Sudan, as well as others outside Sudan in Nairobi and Addis Ababa, Dujarric confirmed.
In an address to the Security Council on Thursday, the UN assistant secretary general for Africa, Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, denounced the spread of the conflict to other parts of Sudan, which already has the largest number of displaced people in the world.
“Sudan is facing a convergence of a worsening humanitarian calamity and a catastrophic human rights crisis,” she said.
After almost seven months of fighting between the Sudanese army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, almost 25 million people need humanitarian aid in Sudan, UN humanitarian operations chief Martin Griffiths said Monday.
The civil war, which started on April 15, has left more than 10,000 dead, according to an estimate by the NGO Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (Acled), a figure that is widely considered an underestimate.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has inaugurated a Very Important Persons Unit to provide adequate protection for persons of prominence in the country.
The Commandant-General, Ahmed Audi, disclosed this at the Passing-Out-Parade of the 501 trained personnel.
The event was held at the NSCDC National Headquarters in Abuja on Friday.
Audi, represented by Assistant Commandant-General in charge of Agro-Rangers, Augustine Obiekwe, said the trained personnel were to protect persons of higher threats due to status, prominence and influence.
He urged the officers and men to discharge their duties professionally and serve as good ambassadors of the Corps at all times without compromise.
He explained that the primary objective of a VIP Unit was to minimise the risk of harm to VIPs and maintain their privacy, while allowing them to carry out their daily routines and engagements.
The CG said that the essential coordination and communication among team members was essential for the smooth operations of the protection unit, and charged the team to collaborate with intelligent agents of other security agencies.
According to Audi, the personnel were drawn from all NSCDC state commands and formations and had undergone a rigorous proficiency training at the Corps’ headquarters in Abuja.
In his address of welcome, ACG Training and Manpower Development, David Abi, enjoined the graduands to put into practice all they learnt in the course of training, stressing that the Corps must not fall short of expectations.
According to him, the establishment of the unit was for proper coordination, control and communication amongst guards for better service delivery in line with global best practice.
Abi said: “They underwent a special intelligence proficiency course which focused on VIP escorts, duties, psychological behaviours, the effect of emotions on temper, attitude, relationship between principals and personnel amongst others.
“This will no doubt equip the selected officers in the discharge of their duties beyond previous expectations and outcomes.”
A former Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof Bola Akinterinwa, has advised President Bola Tinubu not to appoint his cronies as ambassadors.
Akinterinwa was reacting to a report that some Governors, the President’s associates, unsuccessful governorship aspirants, and retired military officers have submitted loyalist names for ambassadorial appointments.
Speaking with The Punch on Friday, Akinterinwa said the President should not use such important positions to reward or compensate his political cronies who helped him win the 2023 election.
He said the President should consider appointing academic ambassadors who specialised in handling international affairs of the countries they would serve in rather than political ambassadors.
Akinterinwa asserted that most political ambassadors usually pursue personal interests over national interests because they have no training as diplomatic agents.
He said, “Political ambassadors are not interested in any national interest to protect abroad. The moment they are appointed, they look out for how to survive even after the tenure of the President who appoints them.
“Nigerian politicians do not place priority on the protection of national interests. If President Tinubu is not careful with the appointments and decides to reward his political cronies and friends, Nigeria will certainly be in trouble very shortly.
“If we are suggesting academic diplomats, I agree with that; there are many academic diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There can be a focus on the specialisation of those who have served in some countries if they meet the level of Grade Level 16 or 17; those are the people they should be looking out for.
“Political ambassadors need diplomatic training to be able to perform diplomatic functions enshrined in the 1961 Vienna Convention. Most unfortunately, it is the political ambassadors that have always behaved in a manner considered not compatible with the status of diplomats.”
The nomination of 22 justices for elevation to the Supreme Court bench has been attributed to the ongoing pressures to fill the vacancies at the nation’s apex court.
The Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) had on Thursday listed 22 justices to fill the vacancies on the bench from the six geopolitical zones according to the gaps observed.
The document shows that the list has been sent to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for further action.
The list include: North Central: Jumai Sankey (Plateau, priority); Muhammed Ibrahim Sirajo (Plateau, reserve); Stephen Adah (Kogi, priority); Ridman Maiwada Abdullahi (Nasarawa, reserve); Baba Idris (Niger, priority); and Joseph Ikyegh (Benue, reserve).
For the North East, the list comprises Haruna Tsammani (Bauchi, priority) and Abubakar Talba (Adamawa).
The list from the North West comprises of Muhammad Lawal Shuaibu (Jigawa, priority); Bello Aliyu (Zamfara, reserve); Abubakar Sadiq Umar (Kebbi, priority); and Abdullahi Mahmud Bayero (Kano, reserve).
The South East list has Chidiebere Nwaoma Uwa (Abia, priority); Onyekachi Otisi (Abia, reserve); Obande Ogbuinya (Ebonyi, priority); Theresa Orji-Abadua (Imo, reserve); Chioma Nwosu-Iheme (Imo, reserve) and Anthony Ogakwu (Enugu, priority).
South South has Moore Adumein (Bayelsa, priority) and Biobele Georgewill (Rivers, reserve).
South West has Adewale Abiru (Lagos, priority) and Olubunmi Oyewole (Osun, reserve).
Sources say the nomination of the 22 justices followed the growing gaps left by the death or retirement of 12 of the justices in the last two years, which made the apex court short on the 21 justices provided in Section 230 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999.
The complaint by retired Supreme Court, Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, who had on October 27 spoken over the reducing number of justices of the Supreme Court from the constitutionally guaranteed number, is one of the factors believed to have influenced the move to fill up the vacancies.
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna on Friday announced the promotion of Lt. Col. Abubakar-Surajo Imam to Professor of Mechatronics Engineering.
Imam is said to be the first ever professor among serving personnel in the history of the Nigerian Army.
Brig.-Gen. AM Tukur, Registrar of the Academy, announced the promotion in a statement on Friday in Kaduna State.
According to him, the promotion was ratified during the NDA Council Meeting in September and took effect from October 1, 2023.
The registrar said that the council’s decision was a reflection of the confidence and recognition of the contributions of Imam to the Department of Mechatronics Engineering of the Academy.
He said the new professor had provided exemplary services and upheld the standard of excellence expected in his field.
“This recognition not only honours Professor Imam but also highlights the commitment of the Nigerian Defence Academy to acknowledging and rewarding outstanding contributions within its academic community,” he added.
Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Kano State, has expressed confidence in the party’s victory at the Supreme Court following the recent Appeal Court judgment. The Appeal Court had declared Dr. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, the APC candidate, winner of the March 18 governorship election, overturning the earlier victory of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf.
During a press conference in Abuja on Friday, Ganduje commended the judiciary for upholding justice and assured the public that the APC would prevail even if the case proceeds to the Supreme Court. He highlighted that Gawuna’s administration would surpass his own achievements during his eight years as governor.
Ganduje stated, “This is an indication that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. Democracy, we can say, is matured in Nigeria. We have to thank all those stakeholders, the political parties, even the NNPP that took us to the Appeal Court.”
While acknowledging the possibility of the case moving to the Supreme Court, Ganduje expressed readiness for the legal process. He said, “There is nothing wrong for them to go to the Supreme Court. We too, we are ready to meet them in Supreme Court. And Insha Allah, we will win at the Supreme Court as well.”
Gawuna, the governor-elect for Kano State, also expressed happiness over the judgment and assured the people of good governance under his leadership. Ganduje affirmed his belief that Gawuna’s administration would surpass the achievements of his previous tenure.
The political landscape in Kano remains dynamic, and the legal proceedings are expected to continue, emphasizing the significance of the judiciary in upholding democratic principles.
There is apprehension in the camp of major opposition parties that some chieftains could switch allegiance to the All Progressives Congress, following a series of election petition cases that had been decided in favour of the ruling party in the last two months.
Recall that the Supreme Court had affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu on October 26, 2023.
The verdict ended the 171-day legal battle to nullify the election of the President by the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party candidates, Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar respectively.
Five days after the apex court’s judgment, the immediate past National Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Prof Rufa’i Alkali, and 25 chieftains of the party, including three governorship candidates announced their defection to the APC.
The new ‘converts’, who were warmly received by the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, at its secretariat in Abuja on October 31, claimed that they switched allegiance because the ruling party was accommodating.
Shortly before that, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, representing Anambra South Senatorial District, moved from the Young Progressive Party to the APC.