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University Don convenes 2021 APAS International Conference

The President, Association for the Promotion of African Studies (APAS), Professor Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, OSA, has convened the 2021 APAS International Conference with the theme, “African Ideologies And Innovative Trends And Advances: Honoring The Past And Shaping The Future.”
Prof. Kanu, who disclosed this in a statement in Jos, the Plateau State capital on Wednesday, noted that the conference which is going to be virtual, comes up on 25th May 2021, which according to him, is Africa Day; a day instituted by the Organization for African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU).
He observed that this conference would be bringing together scholars of different academic backgrounds from all over the world to discuss the innovative trends and advances emerging in Africa for greater change and freedom in the people of the continent.
Prof. Kanu,  who is also a Catholic Priest of the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA), pointed out that this collective action of APAS scholars is representative of the shared energy and excitement around Africa’s potential.
He said, “The year 2021 marks the beginning of a promising decade for Africa. In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, the continent continues to be home to seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. Ours is a continent that has continued to give birth to beautiful and inspirational stories in spite of difficult circumstances.
“It is from this background that Prof. Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony, OSA, the President of the Association for the Promotion of African Studies (APAS) convenes the 2021 APAS International Conference on the theme: ‘African Ideologies And Innovative Trends And Advances: Honoring The Past And Shaping The Future.’
“To lead in the discussions at this conference are Professor Izu Marcel Onyeocha, CM, from the Imo State University, Nigeria, who would be giving the Keynote Address and Professor Mahmoud Masaeli from Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, who would present the Lead Paper. At the heart of the organization of this conference is Dr. Ejikemeuwa J.O. Ndubisi, who is the Secretary of APAS.”
While adding that this conference was inspired by a retinue of questions that had bordered the inquisitive minds of the members of APAS and beyond, he said, “We, therefore, look forward to a great interaction come 25th May 2021 as APAS scholars have taken up the challenge to respond to these fundamental questions through research.”
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Synagogue church denies fire outbreak at TB Joshua’s tomb 

Owolola Adebola 
The management of Synagogue Church of All Nations has described as misleading and untrue the reported fire incident at a section of the church penultimate week.
It said the church had clarified that the minor fire outbreak which was recorded on Wednesday, 27th April 2022 was at the Church prayer resort at Agodo-Egbe, a different church site which is over two kilometers away from the Ikotun-Egbe site of the main church premises where the tomb of Late Prophet T.B Joshua is sited.

According to Barrister James Akhigbe of the Legal Department of the Church, “the Church authority is quite shocked, disappointed and embarrassed that in spite of the press statement promptly issued by the Church and made available to media houses on the incident, a supposedly reputable media house had abandoned all the known ethics of responsible journalism, the sacred journalistic principles of truthfulness and accuracy and descended with reckless abandon to the abyss of sensationalism and junk journalism when it reported, falsely, that the fire outbreak had gutted part of the late Prophet’s tomb.

“Quite unfortunately enough, many other smaller media houses fed from this false reportage and thereby got the public largely misinformed.

Akhigbe advanced further that, the over two kilometers distance between the  Agodo prayer resort where the minor fire incident was recorded was at one of the general-purpose stores;” and the Ikotun-Egbe Headquarter premises of the Church where the tomb is located is too far apart to give room for any form of confusion or mix-up by any careful, genuine and honest reporter who is out for the truth.”

Barrister Akhigbe, who obviously spoke on behalf of the church, informed our correspondent that, the Church’s Press Statement providing all the details of the incident had been wildly circulated long before the misleading report of the media house triggers a lot of curiosity.

“In the circumstances, the Church is constrained to view the unfortunate media report by the said media house as deliberate mischief contrived by light-detesting detractors, probably in cahoots with some disgruntled journalists, to advance a narrative pre-designed to embarrass the Church and the memories of our beloved Prophet.

“While we wish to correct the misinformation caused by this false reportage, we assure the public that regardless of how much the agents of darkness may strive, we stand on the promises of God that light shall always prevail”.

The legal practitioner said that the Church has consequentially instructed that necessary legal steps be taken in order to prevent a recurrence and protect the public from this manner of deliberate misinformation in the future.

“As sons and daughters of love, we shall continually uphold the assurances of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has conquered the world for our sakes”, he said.

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Tinubu camp jittery as Osinbajo declares for presidency

Vice-President Osinbajo
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Court may commit Amaechi to prison for contempt over ICTN contract

Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation
Eyewitness reporter
The Minister of Transportation,  Rotimi Amaechi, risks being committed to prison, fine or suffers both penalties if he is convicted of contempt of court for which proceeding has commenced.
Ameachi stirred the hornet’s nest when he was alleged to have wilfully disobeyed the court order on the controversial award of International Cargo Tracking Note(ICTN).
As a result, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday directed the initiation of contempt proceedings against the Minister, following complaints that he flouted an earlier order made by the court.
Justice Donatus Okorowo gave the directive after being informed that Amaechi allegedly violated an order for the maintenance of status quo issued on January 22, 2022, in a suit filed by a civil group, the Incorporated Trustees of Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), challenging Amaechi’s handling of the process of appointing operators of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) in Nigeria.

In the suit, CASER alleged among others, that Amaechi has manipulated the appointment process to the benefit of two local and inexperienced firms – Medtech Scientific Ltd and Rozi International Nigeria Ltd.

Listed with Amaechi as defendants in the suit are the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Medtech Ltd, and Rozi Ltd.

At the resumed hearing of the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1587/2021 on Wednesday, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) told the court that Amaechi defied the order for the maintenance of the status quo and continued with the appointment process and currently on the verge of completing the process of appointment.

“He (Amaechi) has taken fundamental steps on the subject matter of this suit, and we have documents to be placed before the court to establish that he has ignored the order of the court completely.

“In order to protect the sanctity of this honourable court, we have issued Form 48 against the Minister of Transportation.
“With the commencement of this committal process, which takes precedence over any other matter, we urge this court to suspend further proceedings in the substantive suit.” the lawyer to the plaintiff, Mustapha,  declared.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) further disclosed that having issued Form 48 on the Minister, he was in the process of filing a motion on notice to commit the minister to prison.

In response, Amaechi’s lawyer, Omosanya Popoola admitted receiving a letter notifying him of the issuance of Form 48 on his client.

Popoola said his client is a law-abiding citizen and he was yet to be personally served with Form 48.

Lawyer to BPP, Akin Olujinmi (SAN) said his client has also not been served with the Form 48 personally as required by law.

Olujinmi argued that there was no motion for committal before the court, adding that the plaintiff’s lawyer has to file an affidavit to establish his allegations that the defendants, including Amaechi, had violated the court’s order.

The lawyer to the AGF, Mohammed Sheriff, agreed with the submissions by lawyers to Amaechi and BPP that proceedings in the main suit should not be halted.

Justice Okorowo agreed to suspend proceedings in the main suit, noting that: “Once the issue of contempt is raised, the court must suspend proceedings.

“The court will not close its eyes when being told that its orders are being flouted.

“We have to suspend proceedings for the court to ascertain the veracity of the allegations.”

The judge then directed the plaintiff’s lawyer to proceed to file a motion on notice with an affidavit to establish the facts of the alleged violation of the court’s orders, which must be filed and served before the next adjourned date.

The court has scheduled a ruling for May 9 on the application filed by a firm, Antaser Nigeria Limited to be made a party in the suit.

Antaser’s lawyer, James Ogwu Onoja (SAN) told the court that his client was a necessary party in the case because it sought to participate in the bidding process but was unlawfully excluded.

The plaintiff in the suit, CASER, stated, in an affidavit supporting the substantive suit, that the purported procurement process, leading to the appointment of the fourth and fifth defendants (Medtech and Rozi) as companies providing ICTN services shows that it was riddled with non-compliance with the known procurement procedures as stipulated in the law.

The plaintiff claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari “was misguided in granting an anticipatory approval for a direct appointment of the fourth and fifth defendants’ companies.

“The approval by Mr. President cannot waive the procurement process stipulated under the Public Procurement Act.

“The steps of the first and second defendants (Transport Minister and BPP) by opting for selective bidding and or direct procurement method amount to a willful violation of due process and a desperate design to circumvent the provisions of the Procurement Act by abandoning the demands of fairness, competitiveness, accountability, and transparency as envisaged by the Act.

“The failure of the relevant agencies to follow due process and appoint qualified companies contributed immensely to the failure of the ICTN project in the year 2010 and 2015.

“The appointment of the fourth and fifth defendants without due process will further worsen the already threatened security and fragile economy of this country.”

The plaintiff is praying the court for among others: A declaration that in view of the mandatory provisions of sections 40(1), 24 & 25 of the Public Procurement Act 2007, it is ultra vires the powers of the 1st defendant to seek Mr. President’s anticipatory approval for due process “no objection” from the 2nd defendant for the appointment of the 4th defendant as technical partners to the 5th defendant to provide international cargo tracking note in the country.

An order nullifying the entire process of appointing the 4th and 5th defendant as operator of the international cargo tracking note in the country.

An order setting aside the due process ‘no objection’ issued by the 2nd defendant to the 1st defendant, for the restricted selection of the 4th and 5th defendants.

An order of this honourable court stopping the proposed and imminent appointment of the 4th and 5th defendants as the operators of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) in Nigeria in view of the clear breach of the provision of Public Procurement Act, 2007.

An order of mandamus directing the first and second defendants to conduct international competitive bidding to ensure the proper selection of the service provider for the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) in Nigeria.

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