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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the suspension of ongoing recruitment of the National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pending the determination of a filed by one Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olajengbesi, a public interest lawyer, had commenced the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights of all potential applicants to set aside the recruitment by the NNPC on the ground that it was discriminatory.

The recruitment had disqualified Nigerians above the age of 28 from applying for the vacant positions.

Olajengbesi had faulted the age criterion placed on the ongoing recruitment of the NNPC, noting that it violated section 3(e)(iv) of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure), 2009 which protected the public interest of Nigerians.

He had written to the then Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, on March 26, threatening to drag the organisation to court for placing discriminatory age requirement on qualified Nigerians who would have applied for the jobs advertised by the corporation.

The NNPC had invited applications from candidates for a number of positions including trainees who must not be more than 28 years as of Dec. 31, 2018 and had graduated from a or polytechnic not earlier than 2014.

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At the hearing on Oct. 18, , the applicant prayed the court to ensure that justice was served on the unemployed Nigerians who needed to know their stand in the matter.

“The matter has long been before the court and the rest of the matter is at a stake and under Order 8 Rule 4 of the Article II of the African Charter of Human and People’s Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

“I pray that the matter be heard together with the preliminary objection filed by the respondents in the interest of justice,” the applicant said.

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When the matter was called up, the applicant’s counsel informed the court that the respondent filed his counter on Oct. 15, 2019.

In reply, the respondent informed the court that he was sick and had a surgery.

The presiding , Justice Muhammed Tsoho (Acting Chief Justice of The Federal High Court) informed the respondents counsel that his counter was not proper before the court and had not been regularised.

The court in considering the urgent nature of the matter granted an adjournment for the respondents to regularise their counter.

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Tsoho, however, ordered that parties must maintain status quo pending the hearing of the substantive suit.

He adjourned the matter until Oct. 29, 2019 for hearing.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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NERC orders DisCos to suspend new electricity tariffs for two weeks

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday ordered the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to suspend for two weeks the implementation of the new electricity tariffs they introduced on September 1.

The suspension order No. NERC/209/2020 dated September 28 was signed by the Chairman of the commission, James Momoh, and the Commissioner for Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.

The commission said the suspension order would last between September 28 and October 11 when it shall cease to have effect.

During the period, NERC said “all tariffs for end-use customers and market obligations of the DISCOs during the 14-day suspension shall be computed on the basis of rates applicable as at 31 August, 2020.”

New tariff regime

On September 1, NERC, pursuant to Sections 32 and 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, approved the Multi-Year Tariff Order 2020 for the 11 successor electricity distribution companies.

The commission said the primary objectives of the MYTO 2020 Order was to ensure that rates charged by the DisCos were not only fair to customers, but also sufficient for the DisCos to operate efficiently to recover the full cost of their activities, including a reasonable return on the capital invested in the business.

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The affected DisCos are the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Ikeja Electric Plc, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Plc and Yola Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

Following the approval of the new tariffs by NERC, the 11 DisCos immediately hiked their electricity rates, which has now been in operation for about four weeks.

NERC had, however, said the hike would not affect consumers who do not get daily supply of electricity cumulatively for 12 hours a day for a month.

 

Applicable tariffs for customers in service band D and E (that is customers with a service commitment of less than an average of 12 hours supply per day over a period of one month) would be deferred for the period between September 1 and January 1, 2021.

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Labour threat to strike

However, on Monday, the 14 days ultimatum by the organised labour for the reversal of the hikes in the fuel price and electricity tariffs throughout the country lapsed.

To avert the strike, the government met with the Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

 

At the meeting, it was resolved that the review in electricity tariffs would be suspended for 14 days.

The resolution was to allow for further consultations and finalisation of negotiations between the parties on the issue of electricity tariffs hike.

Consequently, NERC said the decision to issue the suspension order was in compliance with Section 33 of EPSRA which states: “the Minister (of Power) may issue general policy directions to the Commission on matters concerning electricity, including directions on overall system planning and coordination, which the Commission shall take into consideration in discharging its functions under section 32(2), provided that such directions are not on conflict with this Act or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Efforts to reach the DisCos on the NERC directive and its implementation were not successful.

The Executive Director of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan, who is also the spokesperson of the group, did not respond to calls and a text message sent to him on the matter.

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Kindergarten teacher sentenced to death for poisoning 25 children

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A nursery school teacher in China has been sentenced to death for poisoning dozens of children, one of them apparently fatally, in an act of revenge against a colleague.
A court in the central province of Henan said Wang Yun put sodium nitrite into porridge being prepared for her colleague’s students after a falling out with the colleague.
The attack in March last year made 25 children ill.Reports at the time said they began vomiting and fainting after eating their breakfast. One boy was severely ill for months and died in January, according to news reports.
The court said on Monday that Wang knew sodium nitrite was harmful and acted “with no regard for the consequences”.
Her “criminal methods and circumstances were exceedingly bad, with especially severe circumstances, and she should be severely punished in accordance with the law,” the court’s sentencing statement said.
The court said Wang and the manager of the nursery must compensate the children’s families.
It was not the first time Wang had used sodium nitrite to poison someone, authorities said. In 2017 she put some in her husband’s mug, causing minor injuries.
Sodium nitrite is used for curing meats but can be toxic when ingested in high amounts.
Credit: Guardian UK

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