“…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.
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.
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“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.
Emefiele wants to cause uprising to have Interim Govt – Fani-Kayode
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, is seeking to precipitate an uprising in Nigeria with a view to make peaceful elections impossible. Femi Fani-Kayode, Director of Social Media Campaign of the All Progressive Congress on Tuesday accused the CBN Governor of working towards the realisation of Interim National Government.
Fani-Kayode’s lamentations came on the heels of Emefiele’s appearance before the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
He accused Emefiele of weaponsing the CBN saying he “is an enemy of democracy.”
His condemnations came amidst series of complications are having over the exchange of their old notes with new ones.
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There are also scarcity of naira notes at banks and Points of Sales points across the country.
“The policy of cancelling old notes must be totally cancelled until AFTER the election and then done lawfully,” the former Minister of Aviation suggested.
Accusing Emefiele of seeking to cause nationwide unrest, Fani-Kayode said, “He wants to cause a crisis, provoke a people’s uprising, derail our democracy and pave the way for an ING.”
Pre-empting the CBN governor, he said “He has NO plans to release enough new naira notes any time soon.
“He wants to STARVE the people of cash and drive them to rage out of frustration. This is not about politics but about stoking up protest and revolution. This is subversion and destablisation.He must be stopped and caged!”
Muslim leaders protest alleged rape of woman in Niqob (purdah) inside mosque in Ibadan
Some Muslim youths, scholars and organisations in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have staged a protest over alleged rape of a Muslim lady in one of the mosques in Ibadan.
The woman was in ‘Niqob’ Purdah when the incident occurred, a source told DAILY POST.
The protest was staged by the concerned Muslim leaders on Monday.
The protesters demanded prosecution of the suspect.
DAILY POST gathered on Monday that a Muslim lady, who was in purdah, was allegedly raped inside a mosque at Iwo Road area of Ibadan on Sunday.
A source said, “An unfortunate incident happened on Sunday in Ibadan, when the son of a road transport union sneaked into a mosque and raped a niqobite.
“This then prompted the concerned Muslim leaders to stage the protest on Monday.”
The concerned Muslims were led in the protest by an Ibadan-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Amubieya.
Another source told DAILY POST that the suspect had been arrested.
He said, “The thug who raped a niqobite (Muslim lady in veil) has been identified as Idris, also known as Kesari.
“He is the son of a union leader known as Al-Majiri. He was arrested by the police and the case has now been transferred to the State CID”.
Consumers challenge Ikeja Electric over threat to withdraw prepaid meters
A group of entrepreneurs and customers of Ikeja Electric Plc. in Lagos State, weekend, sent an S.O.S to the Minister for Power, accusing the electricity distribution company of desperate attempts to crush their operations.
Specifically, they accused the officials of the energy supplier, believed to be the largest electricity distribution company in Nigeria, of threatening to ‘’forcefully confiscate their meters under the pretext that the consumers were operating with what they termed “old meters’’.
Thrice last week, the staff of the company from Igbobi Undertaking in the Somolu area of the State who mobilised to forcefully uninstall and cart the meters away were resisted.
“And, despite repeated explanations and appeals, the electricity company team said to be led by a male management of the company refused, bluntly to listen, saying that Ikeja Electric Distribution Company had already phased out ‘old meters’, the affected consumers stated.
‘’We further appealed to the officers that the meters were purchased by us and that it will be illegal to withdraw the meters which we bought, without replacement.
‘’In fact, we told them that we are of the opinion that in a normal clime, the meters should be replaced when they are withdrawing the current ones instead of putting us in darkness.
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‘’But to our dismay, they mobilised the second day, in multiples, apparently poised for a showdown with us.
‘’However, as law abiding citizens, we maintained our position that our meters were sold to us by Ikeja Electricity company and further our claims that we paid with bank drafts in favour of Ikeja Electric, yet they insisted on taking away our property’’, the customers said.
‘’Yet the team leader who was simply called ‘Sam’, the Undertaking Manager told us that throughout the country, meters are the property of electricity distribution companies, hence they are at liberty to withdraw same anytime, even, without notice.
‘’Despite the argument that we would inform our lawyers about the development, for advice, the Ikeja Electric men re-surfaced the third day with ladders, threatening to illegally cart away our meters and we still, as gentlemen and law abiding citizens asked them to reason.
‘’At that point, one of them told us that he did not expect us to argue the matter because if occasion demands, he would never resist taking his own meter by the company.
The electricity company however said that customers with ‘old meter’ should apply for ‘new meter’ while they would be ‘put on estimates’ pending the approval of their application.
‘’We were mandated to pay for ‘new meters’ costing approximately N117,000.00 each, within 14 days, failure which the officials threatened to take “drastic action’’.
Similar situation was reported by a top Lagos civil servant at the Ipaja New Town Scheme, an estate flagged off by the Lagos State Government in Ilapo Village via AIT, Alagbado Lagos, who recently approached Ikeja Electric for the replacement of her damaged ‘Customer Card’ but was only told to buy a new meter because the present one is ‘outdated’.
According to the consumer, ‘’they bluntly told me l would need to immediately pay for a new one which l did not plan for due to the present economic realities’’.
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Two of the affected consumers, Dele Oguntayo, journalist and Abass Adie, a businessman, narrated how the ‘bold-faced’ Ikeja Electric personnel swooped on their premises for the withdrawal of their meter to which they declined.
Oguntayo explained that he applied for a meter in year 2010 having paid N55,000.00 bank draft to Ikeja Electric and was not metered for several months.
While he was being issued what he termed ‘cut-throat estimated bills’ for about a year, he added that ‘’at a point, despite operating with a stand-by generator for several hours daily, the Ikeja Electric was billing him “thousands of Naira every month.
“The meter l applied for in the first quarter of that year was not supplied until about a year after my application and payment despite repeated visits and pleas to the company.
“Something will interest you: A professional colleague in a news agency as Energy Correspondent in Lagos had come visiting; and, about a year after his first visit, he promised to take my matter up with the Managing Director of Ikeja Electric.
“He even challenged me that as a journalist, l should have approached either the company’s Head of Public Affairs or better still, the Managing Director.
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“So, less than 24 hours of his intervention, two meters were brought to me, same day, on the instruction of the Managing Director of Ikeja Electric!
‘’My conclusion then was that the officials were hoarding the meters for the highest bidders and did not attend to applicants, except through touts.
“It may interest you again that about ten years later, a female staff of the Ikeja Electricity Company who claimed to be of the marketing department came with another joker, claiming that the meter I was using was the allocation of a woman within the zone.
“She threatened to withdraw the meter because, according to her, l probably manipulated the system to secure the meter through the back-door.
“Consequently, I made several visits to see the Manager when they relocated to Obanikoro area of Ikorodu Road but was always told that their boss was busy.
‘’But when I spoke with one Mr. Ayeni, the Ikeja Electric spokesman on the telephone last week, about the recent threat and my resolve to brief a lawyer, he directed me to one Mrs. Ayanga, the Igbobi Business Manager who could still not be reached for an appointment.”
While reacting to the incident, Adie was of the view that upgrading of facilities, including the metering system was a welcome development and asked the company to phase payment of the new meter rather than putting consumers on estimated bills after withdrawal of the existing meters.
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