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Why I signed National Open University amended law – Buhari

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…As over 32,000 graduate in combined virtual convocation

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his prompt signature on the amended law of the National Open University of Nigeria’s (NOUN) has resolved the long-term non-recognition of its graduates in the country.

He stated this on Saturday during the university’s combined 9th and 10th Convocation Ceremony, which was held virtually.

The president, represented via a virtual connection by the National Universities Commission (NUC) Deputy Executive Secretary, Ramon Yusuf, stated: “NOUN is delivering on its mandate by taking education to the doorstep of Nigerians.”

Buhari, who is the university visitor, added that his administration has placed a great premium to education, especially in ensuring a lifelong learning via the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode.

While saluting the efforts of the university’s management in continuing to expand access to higher education, the president acknowledged that NOUN has remained the only single-mode ODL institution in Nigeria.

In his message, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, said the combined ceremony has seen the graduation of a total of 32,725 students from various courses of study in undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Adamu, who is rounding off his five-year tenure on February 10, 2021, disclosed that a total of 24,300 graduands were drawn from the year 2020, the convocation ceremony of which was shelved due to the enforced lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the year 2021 has a total of 8,425 graduands, making it a cumulative 80,418 students who graduated within his five-year stint at the university.

The Vice-Chancellor added, “It became necessary to hold a combined convocation due to inability to hold the 9th convocation in March 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“The virtual convocation is not the first in the country due to Covid-19 restriction, but it is the most significant in leading way to the largest single event mass graduation of students in the history of higher education in the country.”

Adamu, who took time off to explain his achievements, said the recorded strides were a culmination of “dedication and singular focus in moving the university from a static provider of ODL to dynamic process of transformation of higher education delivery models in Africa.”

The Chancellor of the university, Amb. (Dr.) Lawrence O.C. Agubuzu, thanked the federal government for its support to the university.

On his part, the chairman, Governing Council, Professor Peter Okebukola, said the combined convocation conducted virtually was unique in many ways, as it will set standard for other universities in Nigeria.

He said, “This is the last convocation under the leadership of Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, whose five years go down as the best in the annals of the university.”

Goodwill messages were received from other universities as thousands of students, families and friends hooked on via the various streaming platforms.

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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