Justice Agwu Umah Kalu of Abia State High Court sitting in Isuikwuato has ordered the Senate of the Abia State University, Uturu, to immediately restore the degree result and certificate of a former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, withdrawn from him over allegations of fraud and breach of regulations concerning admission and graduation. In a judgement delivered on Wednesday, the court held that the action of the Senate of the institution in withdrawing Kalu’s result and certificate over the allegation without giving the former governor an opportunity to defend himself is a breach of his constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing. The court also quashed the proceedings, decisions, findings and or report of the Abia State University’s Ad-hoc Senate Investigation Panel that was set up to investigate the allegations.
The judge held: “In the case before us, it is clear that the defendants (Abia State University and its Senate) did not accord the claimant (Dr. Kalu) his right to fair hearing. He was not informed of the petition written against him. He was not shown the exhibit “E”. “The claimant was not informed of the setting up of the Senate Ad-hoc Panel to investigate the matter of the exhibit “E” as it concerned the claimant. “The claimant was not invited to the sittings of the said Ad-hoc panel and the 2nd defendant (Abia State University) before each arrived at the decision adverse to the interest of the claimant.
“In a nutshell, the defendants did not afford the claimant common courtesy, decency and natural justice. Even God, in all His omniscience, did not pass a sentence upon Adam before he was called upon to make his defence. “Following all I have said above, the court holds that the suit of the claimant is meritorious and grants all the reliefs sought by the claimant.
The court proceeds to declare that the report of the Ad-hoc Senate Investigation Panel on allegations of Fraud and Breach of Regulations concerning the admission and graduation of the claimant (Kalu, Orji U. 00/42226- GDP) and the decision of the Senate of the Abia State University of 1st March, 2013, which cancelled and withdrew the degree result of the claimant (Kalu Orji U. 00/42226-GDP) without affording the claimant an opportunity to defend the grave allegations against him amounted to a breach of the claimant’s right to a fair hearing guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”
The court held that: “Now, in consequence of the above declaration, the court issues an order removing into this court for the purpose of its being quashed, the proceedings, decisions, findings and or report of the Abia State University’s Ad-hoc Senate Investigation Panel on Allegations of Fraud and Breach of Regulations concerning the admission and graduation of the claimant, (Kalu, Orji U. 00/42226-GPD) for breach of the claimant’s right to fair hearing guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The court further issues an order removing into this court, for the purpose of its being quashed, the decision of the 2nd defendant made on the 1st day of March, 2013, which was based on the report of the Abia State University Senate’s Adhoc Investigation Panel on Allegations of Fraud and Breach of Regulations concerning the admission and graduation of the claimant, (Kalu Orji, U. 00/42226-GPD) for breach of the claimant’s right to fair hearing guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended).
“Finally, an order issues from this court mandating and/or directing the 2nd defendant to immediately restore the degree result and certificate of the claimant Kalu Orji, U. 00/42226/- GPD.” The court also directed the defendants to pay N100,000 as cost of filing the suit to Dr. Kalu.
The former governor had filed the suit on May 27, 2013, to challenge the decision of the Senate of Abia State University to withdraw his degree result and certificate over the alleged offences without giving him fair hearing. Abia State University and the Senate of the institution were joined as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively in the suit.
While testifying in the matter, Dr. Kalu told the court that at the regular meeting of the 2nd defendant held on Wednesday, 30th October, 2002, his degree result (Kalu, Orji U 00/42226 GDP) was approved by the defendants. However, the claimant said that on or about Monday, March 4, 2013, he was inundated with phone calls from his political associates, well-wishers and other well-meaning Nigerians concerning a publication in some national newspapers indicating that his degree result and certificate has been withdrawn over alleged breach of the extant academic regulations of Abia State University, in the process of his admission and graduation.
In his further evidence in chief, the claimant told the court that in arriving at their various decisions that were adverse to him, neither the Ad-hoc Panel of investigation into the allegations nor the Senate heard from him. Specifically, the claimant testified that the defendants and their agents did not inform him of the existence of any allegation concerning him, the identity or identities of those making the allegation and he was not afforded an opportunity to make representations in respect of the said allegations made against him.
The claimant said that defendants, in addition, denied him of the opportunity of confronting his accusers as the defendants and their agents carried on with their investigations behind him and without concern for his right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and, indeed, the laws of natural justice. The claimant contended that he has a right to be heard from before the defendants and their agencies took such an adverse decision against him.
In their notice of objection, the defendants contended that the suit is premature and that the claimant did not seek or exhaust the domestic remedies as provided in section 9 of the Abia State University Edict No. 5 of 1995 before approaching the court. They, therefore, urged the court to strike out same.
Saving them from self destruction
Angwan Tivi in Ruga community, a sex den for a good number of men in Abuja, is slowly turning into a HIV-infested den. REGINA OTOKPA reports on a unique case and efforts of a concerned NGO to change the tale of the community
Seventeen-year-old Christiana David (not real name), is five months pregnant and currently infected with the Human Immune Virus (HIV). She is one of the young women engaged in illicit sex trade activities at Angwan Tivi, a settlement within Ruga community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Growing up like every other child, Christiana never envisaged her life would take this turn until two years ago when her mother, Sarah (not real name), whose husband is late, introduced Christiana and her two sisters into the business of prostitution at the brothel where she has been selling food since 2015.
Showing no remorse her children were involved in such trade, she told Inside Abuja her husband was late and she and her daughters must hustle to survive.
Inside Abuja checks revealed that one of the sisters presently has a child, unsure of whom the father is, while the second recently had an abortion from an unwanted pregnancy.
Meanwhile, Christiana, who still engages in the act with her five-month pregnancy, has not been able to assess antenatal care. It was also observed that men flock in from all parts of Abuja, including Utako, Asokoro, Gwarinpa and the likes, to patronise these ladies. Running free HIV counselling and test for the women engaged in the illicit trade, the Wanda Adu foundation recorded 25 positive cases.
Most of the women and young girls hail from Benue State, but have found their way into the city with the aim of making a living for themselves.
Worried by the developing trend and committed towards changing the tale about Angwan Tivi, founder of the foundation, Wanda Ebe, has commenced a two weeks training and empowerment exercise for 62 girls and women, to equip them with necessary information and materials on chemical classes for liquid soap, Dettol and cream production.
Also, the training would cover bead making, teach the ladies how to tie head scarf(gele), as well as pedicure and manicure .
Ebe, who recently trained 20 women in Mpape, told Inside Abuja that the idea behind making the ladies learn and acquire vocational skills was to assist them become self sustained and to teach them to always believe in themselves by engaging in different types of business rather than relying on the men for their means of survival.
“It is more honourable to have a means of livelihood and grow a business than to rely on the government or individuals to meet their needs on a daily basis.
We are seeking for ways of empower- ing them and making them better individuals. This will give them an opportunity to choose from all the skills they learnt at the end of the training and be able to stand out on one particular skill.”
Committed to ensuring those free from HIV protect themselves from contracting sexually transmitted diseases and other forms of disease affecting females, Ebe took time, advising the ladies on preventive methods.
Taking a step further, sanitary pads, condoms, antiseptic and liquid soaps were distributed to the ladies. “It is very essential to use condom when engaging in sexual activity with your partner.
Do not hesitate or wait till tomorrow as you cannot detect disease with mere eyes. We have provided means of doing voluntary counseling and testing through AIDS healthcare foundation (AHF), which will give you follow up treatment after the diagnosis,” Ebe said.
She urged Nigerians not to judge women who indulge in sex trade from afar, saying that,”we should learn to show love to them and not chastise them, because we don’t know where they are coming from and what they have been through.
Most of these ladies happen to start this kind of life due to being single mothers ” Capitalising on the Valentine
N10bn NHIS scam: APC government stinks corruption – PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the alleged N10 billion theft by officials of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is the height of official hypocrisy by President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The party also disputed the claim of Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed that Nigerian was in safe hands when the reality on the ground showed that the nation is on autopilot and drifting to the precipice.
In a statement, yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said the Buhari presidency’s incompetence is manifesting on daily basis.
The party said it was shocking that the NHIS money was syphoned through the Federal Government Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which is under the direct purview of the presidency.
“Nigerians can now see the level of debauchery associated with this administration. It is appalling that a government can be so depraved that it superintended over the stealing of money meant to provide healthcare for the citizens,” the party said.
PDP noted that the only reason for the concealment was because the presidency was complicit, while the stolen fund was being used to service an anti-people cabal brazenly operating in the Buhari-led presidency.
“We challenge the presidency to speak out on this report as well as similarly reported sleazes that has occurred under its watch.
“Who in the presidency authorized the withdrawal of the money from the TSA and who are the beneficiaries thereof?
“What has the presidency to say about revelations that it ordered the reinstatement of the indicted Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Prof. Yusuf Usman, to help conceal these illegal withdrawals and shield members of the presidency cabals involved in the deal?
“Until and unless the presidency clears its name by investigating, exposing and prosecuting those involved, it must directly be held responsible for this wicked act against Nigerians, who daily suffer
hunger, deprivation and death owing to the corruption in the APC government,” the statement added.
The PDP expressed shock that Alhaji Mohammed, could tell Nigerians abroad that the country was in safe hands under Buhari when under the administration, Nigerians were inflicted with economic and security problems.
It said either the minister had lost touch with reality or he was just trying to play with words to please the incompetent Buhari presidency or its crisis-ridden party, the APC.
“If a minister of information who ought to give the correct state of affairs can announce that a government which collapsed the nation’s once robust economy and plagued it with violence, ethnic division and political tension, is indeed a safe hand, then our nation is in much more trouble under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“How can anybody say that the same presidency whose incompetence and bad policies are directly responsible for the unabated killings, massive unemployment and job losses, a collapse of businesses and even the lingering fuel crisis which has brought untold hardship in the land is indeed a safe hand?
“This is a government under whose watch the nation has become heavily polarized along dangerous fault lines and where citizens now live in fear and mutual suspicion; where citizens are slaughtered by the day by marauders; where hunger and strange diseases ravage the people due to its bad policies.
“The reasonable takeaway from the statement of the information minister is that this government has come to its wits end and has no solution for the troubles it caused the nation,” PDP said.
It added that the minister’s statement has further exposed the fact that this failed administration is not the least remorseful for the pain it has caused the people, which underpins its arrogance and disdain towards Nigerians.
Naked couple found dead in car
A naked couple found dead in a car are believed to have suffocated after turning on the engine to keep warm while allegedly having sex.
The 39-year-old man and 44-year-old woman’s bodies were discovered by police in a locked garage in the city of Bottrop in western Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state.
Investigators said the naked couple, whose names have not been released, appeared to have turned on the car engine to get warm, leading to their suffocation.
Nobody had noticed the car engine had been left running for hours behind the metal gate of the garage which is located behind a commercial building.
Police opened the garage door because the man’s family had reported that he had been missing for days.
Meanwhile, officers in the city had also started an investigation into the woman’s sudden disappearance.
Police said there appeared to be no evidence of a crime but forensic scientists were working hard to establish exactly what happened. Tests are being carried out to ascertain CO levels in the blood of the couple
A police spokesman said, “At the moment all evidence points to an accident.
“To put all doubts to rest, the public prosecutor ordered an autopsy be performed on the bodies.”
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