Osun State University today marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of the institution with a symposium held at the main campus of the University in Osogbo, capital of Osun State.  

The symposium with the theme: “UNIOSUN Yesterday, Today and in the Future” was designed to evaluate the existence of the university in the past ten years and ensure a better future for the institution in line with the vision of its founding fathers.   

Former Vice Chancellors of the university including Professor Basiru Okesina and Professor Ganiyu Olatunde were among the discussants at the symposium which took place at Olagunsoye Oyinlola Auditorium.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Ibadan School of Governance and Public Policy, Dr Tunji Olaopa was the Chairman of the symposium. The Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Education and Finance in the state also joined the representatives of the students and the alumni association of the university as discussants during the symposium.

 In his opening remarks, Dr Olaopa congratulated the management of UNIOSUN for the successes recorded by the university in the past and tasked the management to buckle up to take the institution to a greater height.

In their separate remarks, former acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde and former Vice Chancellor, Prof Basir Okesina said UNIOSUN was established on a solid foundation.

They noted that the university had rapid growth because of the proper funding and the autonomy it enjoyed when it was established and expressed worry that the institution was also suffered inadequate funding now owing to the global economic recession.

The duo said the relatively stable funding it enjoyed assisted the pioneer management of the university to mount several courses and established collaborations with educational institutions across the globe, the development that instantly put the institution in global reckoning.

While speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Labode Popoola, said the university organised the symposium to enable it keep track of the objectives behind its establishment and charged the staff of the university to rededicate themselves to the duties.

Prof Popoola maintained that only the diligent, committed, intelligent and resourceful staff could assist the university to achieve the goal of producing best graduates that can compete with their counterparts in any part of the world.

Makarfi Sheriff
The National Judicial Council, NJC, has cleared Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja of any wrongdoing in his verdicts relating to the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Council, in a letter dated March 15 and signed by its Secretary, Mr. Danladi Halilu, dismissed allegations of gross misconduct that was levelled against the Judge by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led action of the party. 

The legal body said it found no merit in the petition the group lodged against Justice Abang. 

It will be recalled that Justice Abang had on July 29, 2016, declared the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the PDP illegal. He held that the Committee was illegal considering that it was a product of a convention a faction of the party held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on May 21, 2016, in defiance of a subsisting court order that was made by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, which had stopped the said convention from holding.

Justice Abang went ahead and accorded recognition to the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff leadership of the party. Meanwhile, dissatisfied with the decision of the court, Makarfi wrote a petition to the NJC dated August 25, 2016, in respect of suits Nos. FHC/ABJ/CS/439/2016 and FHC/ABH/CS/464/2016.

He accused Justice Abang of assuming appellate powers by overriding the decision of another court of the a coordinate jurisdiction. 

After due consideration of the petition, the NJC in its letter with reference number NJC/ F.3/FHC 44/VII/55 stated: “At the end of deliberations, the council found that your petition finds no merit as there was no sufficient material before the NJC to infer that the judge sat on appeal over the decision of his brother judge of coordinate jurisdiction. “The appeal, therefore, lacked merit and is subsequently dismissed”.

Human rights activist, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) has cemented his place as one not to toy with by anyone desirous of stability and in need of their reputation remaining intact. It does not matter if this erudite scholar once held brief for that someone, all that is needed is a falling out and he will unleash his demons from hell on that person. They get a dose of his venom regardless of whether they once inked the dotted lines with the lawyer. On the surface, this is a portrayal of a no nonsense person who speaks truth to power.

Recent development around the legal luminary however calls for a radical societal rethinking of the roles he is playing in shaping discourse of profound national issues. There are inherent dangers when those looked upon as the community's moral compass not only put on demagogic robes bestowed on them by their swooning worshippers but have taken to living like demagogues and eventually transiting into deities, an inordinate quest to be named idols of modern day.

Even in the midst of a destructive rampage, the way he has conducted himself in recent times strongly suggests that Nigeria has only one saint, one wise man, the only principality and the lone deity that must be worshipped by anyone that cares to retain a good name. That singular entity is Mr. Falana. The only rich man in Nigeria without a bank account. The poor lawyer who trained his kids abroad but has no money and that one who passionately hates the corrupt and oppressive elite. 

It was he who, even in the face of overwhelming leaning of Nigerians, delivered the fiat that the vexious Comptroller General of Customs, Hamid Ali cannot be compelled by Senate to wear uniform. He of course had as his explanation the fact that no law stipulates that the customs boss should wear uniform. The lawyer was, for all his intellect, somehow glossed over the fact that Ali happily uses other NIS branded items, draws salaries from the place and takes decisions based on the powers conferred by his current office yet the uniform is toxic to his skin. Perhaps, since it does not appear so straightforward to Ali's unofficial counsel, the uniform debacle was the direct result of a custom boss that has decided he will not heed directives from the Senate not to retroactively apply a new policy on car owners. The demand that he wears uniform is symbolic of him answering to Nigerians, whom he wanted to retroactively punish, through their representatives. Falana thinks Ali does not answer to Nigerians and who dares questions the emperor of human rights?

Falana has apparently fallen out with his former client, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), with which he had a retainership. Same cannot be said of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). His relationship with the Nigerian Police at the end of his contracts with them speaks volumes as to what propels his own brand of activism. Once his retainership ends with a government agency and there is no renewal then come the fang barring sessions at which every occurrence in the country is exploited to make the concerned organization look bad. What readily comes to mind is the general saying that where lies a man's treasure so also his heart.

In this vein, he has recently pitched tent with members of an outlawed fanatical group, an unregistered para-military group and persons arrested in the wake of the deadly clash in Ile-Ife, Osun State. One is therefore not left in doubt as to the overriding incentive for his human rights intervention in these cases that provided him the platform to lash out at his estranged client, the Nigerian Police Force.

As if standing morality on its head to hit at the police was not bad enough, Falana might have also decided to hit out at the entire country, maybe because of the many juicy federal appointments that have eluded him or the governorship ticket of the ruling party that he is now certain he will never get for Ekiti state. His anger against the country finds expression in routing for the dollar what he lost by lack of access to controlling government allocation. His response to this was to hang out with terrorists and stay closer to a dollarized economy, guaranteed each time he sustains outbursts against the government. Mention any group that is up against the State and Falana is there by its side waiting to see what he could make out of their crimes. He represents everything that is truly wrong with our society.

On one hand he asserted that it is illegal for citizens to protest against an NGO that is openly supporting terrorists but on the other hand he sees reasons with Shiites and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) carrying out menacing street actions, sometimes directed against the Nigerian State and citizens. He holds the record of supervising the most ferocious of protests known to Nigerians and yet suddenly finds those for which he was not commissioned or mobilized for to be offensive. Could it be that our legal luminary is angry that the protesters did not remit 'owó ilè' (ground rent) to him the way some younger civil society groups normally pay to some seniors?

Living such multiple lives comes at a price as they can leave the subject conflicted. One is therefore not caught unawares with another of his outburst in which he accused the Nigerian government of sponsoring protests against Amnesty International. That was closely followed by his tirade about the Nigeria Police Force's decision to parade those arrested in connection with the Ile-Ife mayhem. While the innocence of accused persons until proven guilty must be held sacrosanct, Falana delving into such matter often does not help those so accused. The venomous tone with which his views were expressed portrays an ethnic god that is confident that baying can obliterate the substantial fact of the wanton loss of human lives traced to the apprehended persons.

The contradictions around Falana are better understood against the background of his prevailing want or desperation. At the time when he was hell bent on becoming the governor of Ekiti State, before his toxic personality alienated him from those who should make that happen, he had actively canvassed for the EFCC to arrest Ayo Fayose, the incumbent governor, even when he clearly knows that he was shielded by constitutionally guaranteed immunity. That call was a lesson in being careful of the opinion of a Falana with a mission. To him, Fayose can be arrested by the EFCC at the time he wanted a democratic coup to pave way for his ascension as a governor.

At 58 the possibility is strong for a man to rue some of his actions taken in his younger life that have yielded and may still be yielding undesired outcomes like being distrusted to the point of being un-appointable in successive governments. The solution is not in trying to short circuit the entire country over such bitterness. Instead of setting everything in his path alight he should ask if he has, for instance, made any meaningful academic inputs into human rights law that would stand the test of time since that has been his advertised forte. The one aspect he has made so much money from is lacking constructive inputs from him. Instead, he has done more to undermine the very thing he postures to be promoting.

Falana must remember the saying that "A witch doctor who invokes a storm on his people cannot prevent his house from destruction". Whether he is treading this path of destruction out of vendetta or a desire for pecuniary gain of being paid in foreign currency he remains part of this country and will not be insulated from the consequences of the destruction he is stoking for the land and must not wait to learn the hard way that "He who burns down his house knows why ashes cost a fortune." But where he is suicidal to the point of being beyond cares for how his petulant actions and utterances are affecting the land he should do the rest of us the favour of going down alone or with his terrorist clients and not take the country with him.

Akanji is a forensic psychologist and contributed this piece from Lagos.

The federation of International Football Association, FIFA on Teusday banned the Barcelona star, Lionel Messi for wearing at an assistant referee.

He was banned for four Argentina matches by FIFA report by AFP says.

Messi was found guilty of “having directed insulting words at an assistant referee” in the World Cup qualifier against Chile last Thursday which Argentina won 1-0 thanks to a penalty from the Barcelona hit-man.

Messi will miss Argentina’s next South American qualifying game against Bolivia, scheduled for later Tuesday, with the remainder of the suspension served over his country’s subsequent World Cup qualifiers.

Dino Melaye NYSC Certificate
Two major flaws have been detected by News Punch in the just flaunted National Service Youth Corps, NYSC Certificate by the embattled Senator, representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, that suggest the certificate may be FAKE after all.

In a bid to prove his graduate status of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Senator Melaye this morning shared his National Service Youth Corps Certificate on his tweeter handle @dino_melaye.

In the shared NYSC certificate, it was indicated that the embattled Senator concluded his compulsory NYSC in 2001

The tweet by the Senator reads:
However, in-depth critical analyses of the certificate revealed that it was issued on 8th July 2001, which was no doubt on Sunday, a non-working day, which official documents are not issued

Apart from the above flaw, the certificate number quoted as MD/ABU/99/113459; the "99" in the certificate number signifies the year of completion of the NYSC Service and issuance, 1999; this also contradict the Date of issuance on the same certificate which is said to be issued on the 8th July 2001

The senator representing Kogi West has been under fire in the past week, as critics allege that he did not earn an academic degree from the ABU as claimed.

In his defence, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, had deposed before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on Monday that Melaye earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from ABU, with a Third Class.

Saraki and Buhari
Barely 2 weeks after the Senate rejected the nomination of Alhaji Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); the red chamber has also rejected the nomination of 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

President Muhammadu Buhari, had written to the Senate, seeking the confirmation of appointment of 19 RECs and reappointment of 8 others.

This is, in accordance with sections 14(3)(a) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

Immediately the motion was moved for the confirmation of the nominees, on Tuesday, the Senators took to their turns to lambast what they described as “affront” on the part of the executive.

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North), who led the debate on the motion, accused the executive of looking down on the legislature.

The lawmakers were specifically pained that, the EFCC boss, Magu, was still being allowed by the President to act as Chairman of the anti-graft agency, even when the Senate had long rejected him.

They argued that, the principle of separation of powers was under threat and there was urgent need to put things in the right perspectives.

Speaker after Speaker, the lawmakers vowed not to confirm any of the nominees, until their decision on Magu was duly implemented by the President.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, however, saved the day, when he interceded that the confirmation should rather be stepped down and not total rejection, until the executive would be adequately briefed on the recent workings of the Senate.

With the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, corroborating Saraki’s stance, the Lawmakers, therefore, resolved to step down action on the confirmation for 2 weeks, until when the President would fully implement their earlier decision.

See the full list of the nominees here :

1. Prof. Godswill Obioma – Abia (New Appointment)
2. Ibrahim Abdullahi – Adamawa (New Appointment)
3. Alhaji Ahmad Makama – Bauchi (Reappointment)
4. James Iorliam Apam – Benue (New Appointment)
5. Barr. Mike A. Igini – Delta (Reappointment)
6. Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji – Ebonyi (New Appointment)
7. Dr. Ilo Joseph Valentine Chuks – Enugu (New Appointment)
8. Hussaini Halilu Pai – FCT (Reappointment)
9. Sadiq Abubakar Musa – Kaduna (Reappointment)
10. Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa – Kano (Reappointment)
11. Dr. (Mrs.) Asmau Sani Maikudi – Katsina (New Appointment)
12. Dr. Mahmuda Isah – Kebbi (New Appointment)
13. Prof. Samuel G. Egwu – Kogi (New Appointment)
14. Amb. (Dr.) Rufus O. Akeju – Lagos (Reappointment)
15. Prof. Mustapha Zubairu – Niger (New Appointment)
16. Agboke Mutiu Olaleke – Ogun (New Appointment)
17. Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun – Ondo (Reappointment)
18. AbdulGaniyu Olayinka Raji – Oyo (New Appointment)
19. Prof. Riskuwa A. Shehu – Sokoto (New Appointment)
20. Barr. Kasim Gana Geidam – Yobe (Reappointment)
21. Ahmad Bello Mahmud – Zamfara (New Appointment)
22. Dr. Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda – Plateau (New Appointment)
23. Umar Ibrahim – Taraba (New Appointment)
24. Mr. Emeka Ononamadu Joseph – Imo (New Appointment)
25. Obo O. Effanga – Cross River (New Appointment)
26. Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu – Anambra (New Appointment)
27. Dr. Briyai O. Frankland – Bayelsa (New Appointment).
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