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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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Nigerians To Pay More For Beverages, Sweetened Drinks As FG Enforces Sugar Tax

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The Federal Government has commenced the implementation of the N10 per litre sugar tax on carbonated sugar drinks and beverages.

According to the Chief Superintendent of Customs, Department of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives, Dennis Ituma, the tax would help combat Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).

He spoke at a Policy Breakfast Meeting which held in Abuja this weekend.

The event was organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) to proffer ways to implement tax and other interventions to reduce consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) in Nigeria.

The implementation is coming despite pleas by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and some related stakeholders who asked the government to halt the policy introduced in the Finance Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2021.

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In a statement, the Coalition Representative of the 12-member NASR, Omei Bongos-Ikwue, quoted  the Customs official as saying the services had commenced.

“The N10 per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages has been implemented on June 1, by July 21, all excise duties must have been collected and paid into the federation account. It should interest you that taxation on SSBs was a policy of the Federal Government in 1984 but was stopped in January 2009.

“Previously both SSBs, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when SSBs was removed from taxable beverages,” he said.

Members of the NASR are Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Nigeria Cancer Society, Breast Without Spot, Lafiya Wealth Initiative, TalkHealth9ja, Nigeria Health Watch, Project PINK BLUE, Sustainable Development Initiative, African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD), Bundies Care Initiative, and Nigerian Heart Foundation.

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Ekweremadu: Immigration says Ukpo birthday certificate shows he’s 21 not 15

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Birth certificate of Ekweremadu ‘kidney donor’ shows he’s 21, says immigration

The Nigeria Immigration Service says David Ukpo, the “kidney donor” at the centre of the organ harvesting allegation against Ike Ekweremadu, is 21 years old — not 15.

Spokesman for the NIS, Amos Okpu, disclosed this in a statement released on Sunday.

Okpu said the birth certificate presented by Ukpo during his international passport registration showed that he is 21 years old.

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, were arrested last Thursday and arraigned in court for allegedly bringing a child to the UK for organ harvesting.

They were subsequently remanded in custody till July 7 while investigations are still ongoing.

The senator had written to the UK high commission to support a visa application of a “donor”.

Although the UK police said the donor was 15, Ukpo was listed as 21 years old on his international passport and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) portal.

The immigration spokesman said the birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the national identity number (NIN) slip presented by Ukpo indicated that he is 21.

He explained that Ukpo’s date of birth was listed as October 12, 2000 — meaning he will be 22 years old in October 2022.

“The facts of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that the said Mr David Ukpo Nwamina applied and paid for the enhanced standard passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja, on the 2nd November 2021 for his interview,” the statement reads.

“To support his application, Mr. Nwamina presented all the necessary documents required, including his National Population Commission (NPC) issued Birth Certificate, showing 12 October, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identity Number (NIN) corroborating the date of birth on his birth certificate, issued by NIMC; a letter of introduction issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office situated at Maitama District Abuja, and a Guarantor’s form duly signed by one Mr. Uchechukwu Chukwuma Ogbonno.
“In view of the above, the general public may wish to be informed that the date of birth, or any other information for that matter, on any Nigerian passport is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process that involves both physical and forensic examination of the applicant’s breeder documents. Mr. Nwamina’s case, therefore, was not different.”

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South African police investigate death of 20 in nightclub 

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South African police are investigating the deaths of at least 20 people at a nightclub in the coastal town of East London early Sunday morning.

According to AP, it is unclear what led to the deaths of the young people, who were reportedly attending a party to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

Local newspaper Daily Dispatch reported that bodies were strewn across tables and chairs without any visible signs of injuries.

“At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death,” said health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana.

“We are going to conduct autopsies as soon as possible to establish the probable cause of death. The deceased have been taken to state mortuaries,” Manana added.

The owner of the club, Siyakhangela Ndevu, told local broadcaster eNCA that he had been called to the scene early Sunday morning.

“I am still uncertain about what really happened, but when I was called in the morning I was told the place was too full and that some people were trying to force their way into the tavern,” he said.

“However, we will hear what the police say about the cause of death,” Ndevu added.

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