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Petitions trail UI VC selection committee

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Some members of the University of Ibadan academic community have expressed displeasure over the election of members of the community to join the Joint Council Senate Committee of the institution in the selection of its new vice-chancellor.
There are 18 contestants for the position of vice-chancellor of the premier university.
The Joint Senate Council Committee of the university had elected two members of the council committee to join other top authorities of the institution in selecting a new vice-chancellor.
But some members of the community have faulted the method used in the election of the two members.
A petition signed by Prof. Ademola Dasylva of the Department of English of the institution, stated that the whole exercise and outcome of the activities of the committee was “a far cry from credible”.

He noted that the platform for e-voting by the committee to select a new vice-chancellor for the institution was allegedly compromised and manipulated.

“There were two windows associated with the platform, one was meant to display the cumulative votes for each candidate. The other was to display the actual votes that accrued to each of the contestants.

“At the beginning of the exercise, a request was made for the open display of the voting process for close public viewing to ensure transparency; unfortunately, this was not done.

“Instead, the tellers were given a link through which they could check vote counts.

“What was accessible through the link was the first window, which displayed the cumulative votes, denying the tellers access to the second window which should display the actual votes accruing to each of the contestants,” he said in the petition.

Other petitions, directed to the council chairman of the institution, cited various alleged irregularities in the process of appointing a new vice-chancellor for the university.

The petitioners stated that the result of the September 21 election of the two members by the committee was not free and fair.

They requested the council committee to set up an investigation to look into the electoral process.

“I am also constrained to request that the entire election and the results released be nullified.

“Let there be a repeat election to be organised by an external body and monitored by the Joint Council Senate Committee”, one of the petitioners said, pleading anonymity.

Also, pleading anonymity, another petitioner said, “The list (and details) of eligible members of the senate member who had been accredited to vote in the election was not displayed (hard copy or electronically) before the election to enable confirmation of details and validation of those eligible to participate in the election”.
He said that the distribution of the votes in the final result released did not follow the distribution expected of “free and fair” elections.

“There are confirmed reports of conference voting in some offices on campus.
“This violates the most important principle of e-voting which is the enablement of individual voting from individual personal computers.

“The question begging for an answer is if the voters who undertook conference voting normally go to the said offices to read their emails on a daily basis,” the petitioner said.

He noted that the platform for e-voting was allegedly compromised and manipulated.

Others who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on condition of anonymity, said that the whole process for appointing a new vice-chancellor for the institution was compromised.
But Tunji Oladejo, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, in an interview, denied receiving any petitions written to discredit the process of appointing a new vice-chancellor for the university.

“I am not aware of any petition written to the Council Chairman Nde Waklek who is also the Pro- Chancellor, University of Ibadan,” Oladejo said

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Some public servants earn more salary than the president – RMAFC boss

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Mohammed Shehu, chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)

Mohammed Shehu, chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), says some political appointees earn more salary than President Muhammadu Buhari.

Shehu disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday.

The RMAFC boss, who spoke on the commission’s plan to review judicial and political holders’ salaries, said some officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) collect salaries higher than the president.

He said the country needs to review allocations as some agencies remit less revenue. 

“The severance package of the president is just N10.5 million. This is after the president leaves office. You can imagine after spending four or eight years, that would be the only take-home. The salary of Mr President is not up to N1.3 million a month,” he said.

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“There are people in the private sector and others in other public sectors that earn twice, three times or four times. No public servant should earn a salary bigger than Mr President. But we do have public servants that earn salaries bigger than Mr President, such as in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), etc.

“My argument has always been that no public servant should earn allowances, severances, or salaries larger than the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and I stand by it.”

Speaking further on how salaries would be reviewed, especially on current realities, Shehu said salary review would go through processes.

He, however, added that salaries may be reviewed upward after going through due processes.

“When you do a review, the takeoff point is not immediate. And this is a process that has to go to the president and then to the national assembly, and then it becomes a law,” he added.

“I can not tell you whether we can afford it or not, but what I can tell you is there are unremitted revenues out there, probably estimated from N6 trillion to N7 trillion that should be remitted to the federation account.

The Cable

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Buckingham Palace aide resigns over racist comments

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A Buckingham Palace aide has resigned and tendered an apology over racist comments reportedly made to a black British guest at a reception hosted by the Queen Consort.

Ngozi Fulani, the founder of a charity supporting victims of domestic abuse, alleged that she was repeatedly asked by a royal aide at a Palace function where she was “really from” in Africa.

The palace said it was taking the incident “extremely seriously”.

An eyewitness to the conversation, Mandu Reid, confirmed the account and told the BBC the questions put to Ms Fulani were “offensive, racist and unwelcoming”.

Reid said she had a “sense of incredulity” about the exchange with a member of the Royal Household, in which Ms Fulani was “interrogated” about where she was from – even though she had explained she was born and lived in the UK.

Ms Fulani is the founder of the London-based charity Sistah Space, which supports black women who have faced domestic and sexual abuse.

Along with 300 guests, she had been invited to a high-profile reception at the Palace on Tuesday, where the Queen Consort, Camilla, had warned of a “global pandemic of violence against women”.

But after the event, Ms Fulani described her conversation on Twitter, where she was challenged by a royal aide to explain where she was from.

She recounted how she said: “We’re based in Hackney,” and the aide replied: “No, what part of Africa are you from?”

She said, “I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records”, and the Palace member responded, “Well you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from? Here, UK.”

“No, but what nationality are you?”

“I am born here and am British.”

“No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?”

She said that members of the Royal Household were circulating at the reception and making “chit chat” – but she said it became a “really unpleasant interaction”, when despite Ms Fulani’s replies there was an insistent questioning about her background.

Ms Reid said they were “stunned into silence” afterwards and says that Ms Fulani should receive an apology and those working for the palace should receive training.

Both Ms Reid and Sistah Space have decided not to name the royal aide believed to be involved.

Palace reacts

In response, Buckingham Palace said, “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details.

“In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.

“We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.

“In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.

“All members of the household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”

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Adeleke denies sacking workers, monarchs

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has denied making executive orders to sack traditional rulers and workers in the state.

He said he only set up a review panel and nobody has been sacked.

His Chief Press Secretary, Olawale Rasheed, who in spoke Rave FM in Osogbo, said executive order one to five shows the intentions of the administration to review, nullify, and set aside while the instrumentality to effect the orders was order six which is the composition of the panel.

He said: “There was never sack of any worker or traditional ruler. We only set up a review panel. It is impossible to sack and put a review panel in place.

“The review panel is to look at the numbers of the people that were employed, due processes of the employment, and qualification among other things.

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“Before our taking over, there were issues of backdating of employment, even till last year. So, order 1-5 will be operationalised by order 6 which are the panels.

“Those that were employed from July 17 till our takeover are still at work presently, they have not been sacked. The staff audit will review the employment.”

However, a statement by Rasheed said the governor has approved the dissolution of all non-statutory boards in the state with immediate effect.

“As a follow-up to the pronouncement of Governor Adeleke, on Sunday, November 27, 2022, all non-statutory boards, commissions and parastatals, including those of tertiary institutions (with exception of UNIOSUN) are hereby dissolved in the state, forthwith.

“Consequently, all accounting officers of such boards, parastatals and commissions are to take charge with immediate effect.”

Sun

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