ASUU strike: CONUA threatens to sue FG over unpaid salaries – Newstrends
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ASUU strike: CONUA threatens to sue FG over unpaid salaries



Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, CONUA National President

Congress of University Academics (CONUA) has voiced its displeasure with the Federal Government, particularly the Ministry of Labour and Employment, over the failure to pay the withheld salaries of its members.

The union said its members did not call for any industrial action and were not involved in the strike that shut down the university system nationwide for eight months.

It said it was wrong for the Federal Government to treat its members in the same manner as members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who went on an eight-month strike between February and October 2022.

In the statement by its National President, Secretary, and Publicity Secretary, Drs. Niyi Sunmonu, Henry Oripeloye, and Ernest Nwoke, respectively, CONUA said when it noticed the development, it wrote  to the Accountant-General of the Federation and Ministry of Labour and Employment reminding them that it was an error to lump its members with those that declared and embarked on industrial action.


“It was yet another shock for the outstanding backlog of salaries not to have been paid to our members along with the November 2022 salary,” it said.

The union threatened to sue the Federal Government for withholding its members’ salaries.

“CONUA formally made its non-involvement in the strike known to the Federal Government in a letter addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, in April 2022.

“In the letter, we made it clear that because CONUA constituted a separate and independent union in the university system, our members did not call for any strike. This was followed by a press conference in Abuja on August 19, 2022 at which it was categorically stated that CONUA was not part of any ongoing strike, and that the “no work no pay” principle ought not to apply to members of the union.

“CONUA’s expectation is that, due to the express and categorical declaration, the government would seamlessly release our members’ outstanding salaries when it resumed the payment of salaries to all university staff in October 2022. But to our dismay, CONUA members were also paid pro-rata salaries in complete disregard to the fact that we were indeed shut out of duties by the strike.

“…From the foregoing and as a law-abiding union that pledged to do things differently, we have resolved to seek legal redress of the illegal withholding of our legitimate salaries by taking the matter to court in consonance with the rights enshrined in our laws,” the union said.


How bulldozer working on street drain caused Lagos mosque collapse (+ photos)



How bulldozer working on street drain caused Lagos mosque collapse (+ photos)

A bulldozer working on a reconstruction of a street drain was responsible for the collapse on Sunday afternoon of a Lagos mosque, a storey-building, residents have said.

Some of the residents in conjunction with rescue teams from the state were feverishly still working as of 5pm Sunday to bring out some of those trapped under the rubble.

Some lifeless bodies including were earlier recovered from the rubble and the injured rushed to hospitals when the central mosque caved in after the afternoon prayer along Yusuf/Sotinoye Junction in the Papa Ajao area of Mushin.

But the Lagos Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) confirmed five persons were rescued, and one dead body recovered from the totally collapsed mosque.

An elder and resident of Yusuf Street who identified himself simply as Mr Adeyinka told Newstrends that some worshippers were still in the mosque including Islamic school pupils after the afternoon prayer when the bulldozer man digging the trench for the drain hit the building ground.

He said, “The mosque was too close to the expanded drain; it’s obviously too large. The drain was being expanded on Yusuf Street towards Ladipo Market Road.

“As the man was working in front of the mosque, I think the claw of the bulldozer had been hitting the edge of the foundation and the last strike brought the entire mosque down.

“It was after Zuhur salat (afternoon prayer) and many of the worshippers had just left the mosque, with a few people left and students of the Madrasat (Islamic school) in the upper floor.”

Another resident, Taiye Oseni, said, “Some of those trapped were brought out lifeless; many were injured and promptly rushed to nearby hospitals.

“The digging was too close to the mosque. They have asked everyone to leave the building when the work reached the spot if they knew they won’t any space at all for the structure to rest on.”

Permanent Secretary of LASEMA, Femi Osanyintolu, said in a statement listed the emergency responders at the scene as the LASEMA response team, the police, the Lagos State Ambulance Service, and the Lagos State Fire Service.

The PS in an updated statement later said, “Upon arrival at the scene at 01:40pm, a storey building (mosque) was found to have collapsed and preliminary investigation carried out upon arrival at the scene revealed that an excavator clearing the road recklessly hit a mosque (a storey building) by the road side which resulted in the mosque collapsing as prayer was about to commence. Four victims were immediately rushed to the hospital.

“A total of 10 people were trapped beneath the rubble. Search and Rescue of the victims trapped under the rubbles under the supervision of the PS was conducted with the aid of the Agency’s heavy duty equipment crane, Hiab and an excavator.

“One adult was retrieved dead while the others received pre-hospital care on the scene from the Agency’s Pre Hospital Care Unit. One with serious injuries was transferred to hospital.”



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Two Kogi varsity students killed in kidnappers den



James Michael Anajuwe and Musa Hussein

Two Kogi varsity students killed in kidnappers den

Two abducted students of Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) have been killed by kidnappers.

The two victims, James Michael Anajuwe, a 100-level Information Technology student, and Musa Hussein, a 100-level Software Engineering student were among students kidnapped by gunmen who invaded the school on May 9, 2024.

A total of 20 of the abducted students were rescued by the security operatives and local hunters.

According to the Nigerian Tribune, the two students must have been killed by the kidnappers as an act of revenge due to the killing of some of the kidnappers during the rescue mission.

Meanwhile, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Education For All (E4A) has condemned the murder of two students despite ongoing negotiations with the parents of the children, saying the murder is the height of callousness by the kidnappers.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja which was signed by the Publicity Secretary of the NGO, Nasir Ibrahim, E4A said the kidnappers intended to scare young people from going to school.


“It is sad that the criminals killed two of the students who were not among the 21 rescued through the operation coordinated by the Kogi State Government, though the circumstances of their kidnap and being traced to a forest in Kwara State by security agencies are yet to be ascertained. This is sad, callous, and a call for collective action against attackers of educational institutions,” the statement read.

“We are aware that parents of the students were negotiating with the kidnappers which slowed down the offensive on the kidnappers by security agencies so as not to endanger the lives of the captives. We were very hopeful and optimistic that they would be released at the end of the negotiations.

“Information reaching us shows that the students allegedly killed were James Michael Anajuwe, a 100-level Information Technology student, and Musa Hussein, a 100-level Software Engineering student of the University. They were allegedly killed at the kidnappers’ hideout in Kwara.

“We are broken and shattered that despite the efforts of the parents, NGOs, and the State Government, we still lost these promising students. We call on the Kogi State Government to work with its Kwara State counterpart to take decisive action against the perpetrators who are said to be hiding in a forest in Kwara, very close to Kogi and Ekiti States.

The NGO commiserates with the families of the lost children, urging the NSA and the Federal Ministry of Education to reinvigorate efforts on the Safe School Initiative.

“The painful loss of the two students should provoke the office of the National Security Adviser to work with the Federal Ministry of Education to ensure the safety of our schools across the country.

“It is unacceptable to lose children whose only offense was embracing education. Our nation must rise to the occasion to arrest the rising insecurity across the country.”

Two Kogi varsity students killed in kidnappers den

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Paris-bound businessman ingests 111 wraps of cocaine



Emmanuel Okechuku Orjinze

Paris-bound businessman ingests 111 wraps of cocaine
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested a 48-year-old Paris, France-bound businessman, Emmanuel Okechuku Orjinze for ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine.

Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters Abuja, Femi Babafemi, who made this known in a statement on Sunday, said Orinze excreted the substance after days of observation in the agency’s custody following his arrest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja.

According to the statement, Okechukwu who also claimed he was a professional footballer in Europe was arrested on Tuesday 21st May during the outward clearance of Airfrance flight AF 878 from Abuja to Paris, France.

“After a body scan confirmed he ingested illicit drugs, he was taken into custody where he excreted a total of 111 pellets of cocaine that weighed 1.603 kilograms over a period of three days. The suspect claimed he does business in the maritime sector while still scouting for any European football club to engage him,” Babafemi said.

Babafemi said in the same vein, NDLEA officers operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos have dismantled another drug trafficking syndicate at the airport

He said this followed the arrest of four members of the network and the seizure of a total of 8kg of methamphetamine and  7.60kg of Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis imported from South Africa.


The spokesman said the lid was blown off the syndicate when an official within the airport system was intercepted with a backpack and a bag at the departure hall of Terminal 1 of the airport by NDLEA officers with the support of Aviation Security officers on Tuesday 21st May 2024.

He said a search of the bags led to the discovery of the illicit substances.

“A swift follow-up operation at Ajao Estate area of Lagos led to the arrest of two other members of the syndicate: Chris Nwadozie and Chinedu Nwaosu. Further investigation led to the arrest of another member of the cartel working within the airport system on Saturday 25th May,” Babafemi said.

He added that in a related development, NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport have arrested a freight agent, Sonubi Mariam Abiodun over her attempt to cargo 8 parcels of cocaine weighing 2kg concealed in three out of six paint buckets containing shea butter packaged for export to the United Kingdom on Wednesday 22nd May.

The statement reads, “In another part of Lagos, precisely at Igbo Elerin in Ojo local government area, NDLEA officers on Tuesday 21st May arrested a suspect, Odumegwu Obijofor producing and distributing skuchies, a mixture of black currant and illicit drugs. No fewer than 2,480 litres of the New Psychoactive Substance, NPS, were recovered from his clandestine factory when he was arrested.

“In Cross River state, while Ogar Emmanuel, was arrested with 2.5kg of cannabis at Ukpada Utugwan village, 29 sacks of the same substance weighing 290kg were recovered from the warehouse of another suspect, Usani Ikpi, who is currently at large. Three suspects: Sa’adu Sule, 23; Mukhtar Nura, 23; and Hamza Nura, 18, were nabbed at Jabiri Funtua, Katsina state on Friday 24th May with 129 blocks of cannabis weighing 70kg coming from Ogere, Ogun state.

“No fewer than five suspects including: Ezekiel Munda, 30; and Sule Mustapha, 21, were  arrested by NDLEA operatives on Thursday 23rd May during raids at Karu Abattoir, Jikwoyi and Tora Bora hill area of FCT, Abuja, where 95.01kg of cannabis and different quantities of opioids were recovered from them.”

Babafemi also said that in Edo state, operatives arrested a person with disability and notorious drug dealer, Zekere Sufianu, 45, at Auchi town on Wednesday 22nd May.

He said at the time of his arrest, Sufianu was found with 751 grams of Loud, 178 grams of tramadol and pills of swinol.

“In like manner, the various commands of the Agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week.

Some of them include: WADA sensitisation lecture for students and teachers of Baptist Grammar School, Iresi, Osun; students and teachers of Anwar-Ul-Islam Grammar School, Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo state; students of Shalom Secondary School, Saminaka, Kaduna; students of Government Day Secondary School, Gandu, Gombe; students of Pakoto Senior High School, Ifo, Ogun state; students of Nwafor-Orizu Demonstration Secondary School, Awka, Anambra and muslim faithful at Central Mosque, Abudu, Orhionmwon LGA, Edo state.

“While commending the officers and men of the NAIA, MMIA, FCT, Lagos, Cross River, Katsina, and Edo Commands of the Agency for their outstanding feats in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) equally applauded their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures,” the statement reads.

Paris-bound businessman ingests 111 wraps of cocaine

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