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Senate wants University of Agriculture established in Delta, Ondo States





The Senate has passed for second reading, two bills seeking to establish a Federal University of Agriculture and Technology in Aboh (Delta State, and Araromi Obu (Ondo State), respectively. 

The bills are sponsored by Senators Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North); and Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP, Ondo South). 

Nwaoboshi in his lead debate  said that Aboh, which is a part of the Ndokwa ethnic action in Delta State, holds huge deposits of crude oil and gas resources. 

According to the lawmaker, Ndokwa is a major contributor to the national economy, in addition to generating 480 Megawatts from the Okpai Independent Gas Power Plant.

He lamented that despite the immense contribution of Ndokwa federal constituency to the Nigerian economy, it continues to suffered neglect. 

“Mr. President, each day that this institution is not in existence is a disservice to this country and, I must say, a continuation of a historical pattern of systemic abandonment of the peace-loving people of Ndokwa who give their best for the good of all. 

“They want this institution. They deserve it. Let us give it to them. It will promote national development and harmony”, Nwaoboshi said. 

He added that the establishment of the Federal University of Agriculture and Technology, Aboh, was in response to the Federal Government’s policy to establish a university with specialisations in agriculture in every geo-political zone. 

“The South-South geo-political zone does not have one yet. Therefore, the proposed Federal University of Agriculture and Technology, Aboh is for the South-South region in line with this equitable policy”, the lawmaker said. 

Nwaoboshi emphasised that the institution when established, would  be a centre of excellence with specialised research and study interests in the immense natural endowments in Ndokwa and beyond.

He assured that the Ndokwa people in Aboh have offered to donate a large expanse of land in excess of 100 hectares in Aboh for the development of the main campus of the university.

Contributing to the debate, the Deputy Senate President lamented the marginalisation of the Ndokwa people, adding that the federal constituency remains the only constituency without the presence of a higher institution in Delta State. 

“The Ndokwa Federal Constituency produces so much to the economy of this country, not just by way of oil and gas deposits.

“Indeed, in the entire West Africa, it is Otorogun in my constituency and Okpai that hosts the highest gas deposits in the entire coast.

“Mr. President, notwithstanding this contribution, there’s nothing in that Federal Constituency that is in anyway commensurate with their contributions to the economy of this country.

“Mr. President, this Federal Constituency has been so marginalised. 

“They have been crying for a higher institution either from the state government or federal government. 

“But for some reason we are unable to explain, Mr. President, they have been deprived. 

“The perception on the street in the federal constituency is that government is indeed very wicked to them.

“Mr. President, by bringing this bill, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi seeks to correct that perception.” 

He added, saying, “Mr. President, about a month ago, notwithstanding these agitations, the Delta State government established three new state universities, but none was established in this federal constituency. 

“Let me make it very clear, that those areas where the new universities were established are deserving. I’m not in anyway suggesting that they are not deserving.

“But this federal constituency is most deserving, taking into account that others already have higher institutions of learning – either federal or state.” 

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred both bills seeking  to establish a Federal University of Agriculture and Technology in Aboh (Delta State, and Araromi Obu (Ondo State), to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita is expected to carry out further legislative work on the bills and report back in four weeks. 


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Supreme Court Orders FG To Pay allocations Directly To LGAs




The supreme court has ruled that the federal government should henceforth pay allocations directly to local government councils from the federation account.

Delivering judgment in the suit on Thursday, a seven-member panel of justices held that state governments have continued to abuse their powers by retaining and using the funds meant for LGAs.

In May, the federal government filed a suit at the supreme court against governors of the 36 states.

In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the federal government asked for full autonomy for the country’s 774 local governments.

In the suit filed by Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, the federal government also requested the supreme court to authorise the direct transfer of funds from the federation account to local governments — in accordance with the constitution.

The suit was hinged on 27 grounds.

“That the constitution of Nigeria recognizes federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognized tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the federation account created by the constitution,” the originating summons had read.

“That all efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system, has not yielded any result and that to continue to disburse funds from the federation account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local governments is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 constitution.”

The federal government had asked the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the constitution to declare that the governors and state houses of assembly are under obligation to ensure democratically elected systems at the third tier.

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N33bn Fraud: Ex-Minister Mamman Collapses Outside Court




The arraignment of Saleh Mamman, the former Minister of Power under ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, was on Thursday, July 11, 2024, stalled at a Federal High Court in Abuja due to ill health.

Mamman, whose plea was fixed for Thursday morning, collapsed outside the courtroom before the case was called.

The former minister’s counsel, Femi Ate (SAN), told the presiding judge Justice James Omotosho shortly when the matter was called for Mamman to take his plea.

Upon resumed hearing, the ex-minister walked into the courtroom and stepped into the dock with part of his clothes drenched.

Justice Omotosho then asked why Mamman was sweating or whether it was raining outside.

The former minister, who responded from the dock, said water was poured on him.

The counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), while addressing the court, said though the matter was fixed for Mamman’s arraignment, there was a development outside the courtroom.

Olumide-Fusika said he had a discussion with Ate outside the courtroom about Mamman’s ill-health.

“I was informed of an incident outside. I will want my learner senior advocate to tell the honourable court himself,” he said.

Speaking, Ate said Mamman, “upon being brought into the premises of the court collapsed and had to be resuscitated and treated by the medical personnel of the Federal High Court.”

He said his client was served with the charge after he was resuscitated.

N1.6bn fraud: Please give me time to return looted funds, ex-AGF begs court

“He was served this morning,” he added.

The lawyer said he sought the understanding of Olumide-Fusika for an adjournment so that the arraignment could be done on Monday when his client would have been okay.

However, the judge said due to the workload in the court dockets, the arraignment could only be fixed for September ending.

Ate then withdrew the oral application for an adjournment.

The judge, however, asked Mamman if he was fit enough to take his plea today and he responded in the affirmative.

Mamman, however, said he was fit to continue with the arraignment.

“It can happen to anyone,” the judge said.

Justice Omotosho, thereafter, stepped down the arraignment until Thursday afternoon.

The EFCC had filed a 12-count money laundering charge against the Mamman.

He was alleged to have committed money laundering offences to the tune of N33 billion.

The former minister served under former President Buhari from 2019 to 2021.


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Olaide Akinremi, House Of Reps Member, Dies At 51




Olaide Adewale Akinremi, a member of the house of representatives, is dead.

The lawmaker died on Wednesday morning aged 51.

Akinremi represented Ibadan north federal constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was a ranking member and house committee chairman on science and research.

In a statement, Akin Rotimi, spokesperson of the house, said the Oyo lawmaker was a “dedicated public servant known for his unwavering commitment to the development of his constituency and the country at large”.

“His passion for service, coupled with his deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of his people, earned him the endearing title of ‘Jagaban’.

“Throughout his tenure, he was a staunch advocate for policies and initiatives that promoted social welfare, economic growth, and scientific research.

“His contributions to legislative debates and his active participation in committee activities were a testament to his dedication and hard work.

“Rep. Akinremi was as much a grassroots politician as he was an astute statesman who leveraged his goodwill and network of relationships to attract positive impact to the people of his constituency.

“He built friendships by being intentional about reaching out and sending goodwill messages to all colleagues on special occasions, fostering camaraderie and unity within the House.

“As a ranking member, Rep. Akinremi had keen institutional memory and was a mentor to many first-time parliamentarians, guiding them with wisdom gained from his extensive experience in legislative affairs.”

Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house, also expressed “profound sadness” over the passing of the lawmaker.

“Rep. Akinremi Olaide Adewale was a beacon of dedication and service,” Abbas said.

“His contributions to our legislative work, especially in the area of science and research, were invaluable.

“His passing is a great loss to the House, his constituency, and the nation. We will miss his leadership, wisdom, and the unique passion he brought to his work.”

Akinremi’s death comes weeks after the passing of Isa Dogonyaro, a member of the house of representatives who represented Babura/Garki federal constituency of Jigawa state.

Dogonyaro died in May after a brief illness.


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