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Nigerian Law Students Sue University Lecturers Over Strike, Demand N10Bn Compensation

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Nigerian lecturers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), have been sued by some students over a strike action that has dragged on for nine months.

The Law Students Association of Nigeria dragged ASUU before the Federal High Court Abuja, challenging what it described as the incessant strikes of the union.

In the suit which was filed at the court on Friday, the association is seeking an order to compel ASUU to return to the classroom as well as an order of perpetual injunction to restrain ASUU from embarking on further strikes.

The suit which was filed by the President of the association, Mr Blessing Agbomhere on behalf of his members is also asking the court to compel ASUU to pay N10 billion compensation to Nigerian students.

This, the association claims is for allegedly infringing on the right of the students to education as guaranteed by Section 18 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 17 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

The association is further asking the court to order ASUU to pay damages to all Nigerian students for the psychological and emotional torture metted out to them as well as the loss of valuable time following the continuous strike.

Speaking to newsmen, Agbomwere said that the suit was sequel to its findings that ASUU members had been short- changing the Federal Government by teaching in more than one university.

He said it’s investigations also revealed that members of the union were engaging in consultancy services in oil companies and collecting multiple salaries at the detriment of the Nigerian students.

Apart from ASUU, the association also joined Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi,
ASUU President, the Minister for Education, the Minister for Labour
and Employment, the Attorney-General of Federation and the Federal Government as 2nd to 6th defendants in the suit.

The association is seeking among other reliefs, a declaration the strike of the union is a breech of the right of members of the association to education.

“A declaration that the indefinite strike embarked upon by the 1st and 2nd defendants since March 2020, leading to the closure of government owned universities, which has detrimentally and negatively impacted on plaintiff’s learning and the smooth operation of academic calendar of universities, is a brazen infraction of the plaintiff’s right to education.

“An order of mandatory injunction compelling the 1st and 2nd defendants to call off the strike and return to the status quo ante bellum whilst negotiation for amicable resolution of the issues in contention or among the defendants is ongoing.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants whether by themselves, servants, agents and/or privies from further declaring or embarking on indefinite and incessant strikes.”

The students are also seeking an order directing the 3rd to 6th defendants to re-open government owned universities and to honour their contractual agreements with the 1st and 2nd defendants in the overall interest of the plaintiff.

The students are also asking the court to award the sum of N10 billion against the union.

“This is to serve as general and exemplary damages for the loss of valuable time, opportunity, mental torture, psychological anguish and general deprivation which the plaintiff has suffered or is likely to be exposed to on graduation.”

In his statement of claim, Agbomwere said that he is a Nigerian citizen, a final year law student of Baze University and currently the President of the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN).

He further averred that the suit was sequel to a mandate given to him by the Senate of Law Students’ Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), to institute this suit in a representative capacity against the defendants.

No date has however, been fixed to hear the suit.

ASUU has been on strike since March 2 and officials of the union have been negotiating with the government since then.

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Rice Farmers’ Murder: Ezekwesili Calls For Nigeria’s President Buhari Medical Report

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Former World Bank President, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, on Tuesday called for full disclosure on the state of mental and physical health of President Muhammadu Buhari, following the killing of 43 farmers in Borno State.

News Central reports that the farmers were tied and their throats slit by members of the Boko Haram insurgents on November 2 at Koshobe community in Borno State.

Ezekwesili, in a statement by her Publicist and Spokesperson, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, said she’s making the call following the recurrent failure of Buhari’s administration to provide a credible response to the spate of massacres in the country.

She said the frequency with which citizens were killed, without any form of prevention by the security establishment, which the President supervises as Commander-in-Chief, nor any prosecution and judicial consequences against perpetrators of heinous murders, raises questions on whether he was still able to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

Ezekwesili said Buhari’s failure to decisively tackle the persistent killing of Nigerians had further emboldened pre-judicial and terrorist activities within the Nigerian territory, thereby necessitating her call.

The former World Bank Vice President said citizens should collectively demand for a credible independent medical panel to investigate and disclose the state of the President’s physical and mental health to Nigerians in order to determine his fitness to continue in office.

“I think that at this stage and depth of fragility of the Nigeria state, privacy has to yield ground to our right-to-know as citizens, the state of health of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The state of affairs in the country is dangerous enough for citizens while the President appears incapable of providing effective leadership necessary to secure, stabilise the country and protect lives.”

“We really must assess the physical or mental capability of the President to carry on the duties of his office,” Ezekwesili said.

According to the 2019 Presidential candidate, the conditions of Nigeria “have become too grave for us all to sit still and watch a train wreck in the making.”

She added, “citizens can collectively push for an independent panel to help us make the critical medical determination of the state of mind and body of our President.

“As an extremely concerned citizen, I hereby demand for a #MedicalPanelOnBuhari since we obviously cannot trust the State House physician to provide us accurate information. It is a reasonable demand now for citizens to have full disclosure on the state of health of Buhari and I hope that more people from all regions of the country will speak up.”

Boko Haram militants slaughtered 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate attacks on October 12 and 25, .

The latest beheading of about 43 (110 according to figures from United Nations) farmers/fishermen on November 28 occurred barely 48 hours after the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, raised the alarm that the North had been taken over by bandits who kill and maim at will.

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Namibia Begins Economic Recovery Plan In 2021

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Namibia warns against second wave of covid 19

Namibian President Hage Geingob on Tuesday said his government will present an economic recovery plan by February 2021.

He said the plan is aimed at reviving the Namibian economy that is struggling from the effects of (COVID-19).

Geingob said at the last decision-making cabinet of the year that it was crucial for the country to revive the economy.

“We must revive the economy. We must create jobs for our young people in the critical sectors.

“These include the present-day green and blue economies. We must deliver better services to our people. These are vital undertakings,” he said.

The President pointed out that a safe and peaceful environment is central to the country’s development and survival.

“Our success depends on our ability to work harder and smarter in unison and not in silos. Peace, stability and rule of law are condition sine qua non for development to take place,” he said.

According to the Bank of Namibia, the country’s domestic economy is estimated to contract by 7.8 per cent this year compared to a lesser contraction of 1.1 per cent in 2019

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News In 60 |1 – 12 – 2020

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Catch up with Newscentral’s Sulaiman Aledeh on the major stories from Africa today.

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