There was pandemonium at the Abia State Sub-Treasury office in Umuahia when an aged man believed to be a pensioner collapsed and died at the gate of the sub-treasury last Thursday morning at about 8.20am.
Scores of pensioners besiege the sub-treasury daily to collect their arrears of pensions. It is rumoured that the man who collapsed and died was one of them.
The corpse was at the sub-treasury gate for a while before security operatives, including some policemen and men of the Civil Defence corps in company of an officer of the Ministry of Finance came and removed it and took it to the Federal Medical Centre mortuary.
Eye witnesses said that when a search was conducted on the corpse, an eye glass, and the sum of N30 was found on him. The identity of the dead man could not be established as at press time.
NERC Bars DisCos From Billing Unmetered Residents Above N1,800
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), amidst sustained outrage on over-billing, has barred the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) from charging residential customers above an average of N1,800 monthly until they are metered.
In an Order 197 signed by the Chairman, Prof. James Momoh and the Commissioner, Legal, Licencing & Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, NERC said the new order repeals the 2012 estimated billing regulation effective since last Thursday.
It also said electricity consumers have grown from five million in 2012 to over 10million by December, 2019.
But about 52 per cent of them are not metered and are placed on estimated billing by the DisCos.
It said the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) was initiated to increase the metering of consumers within three years.
“The Estimated Billing Methodology Regulation is hereby repealed and shall cease to have effect as a basis for computing the consumption of unmetered customers in NESI,” it noted.
NERC said all unmetered residential and commercial customers shall not be invoiced for the consumption of energy if they are not metered by April.
Presently, it said R2 customers cannot be billed for more than the worth of 78 kilowatt hour (kwh) of energy monthly which is about N1,800.
Residents that consume less than 50kwh will be billed at N4 per kwh and a maximum of N200 monthly.
All other customers on higher tariff classes must be metered by DisCos by April 30, 2020.
“Failing which these customers are not liable to pay any estimated bill issued by the DisCo.
“Any customer that rejects the installation of a meter on their premises by a DisCo shall not be entitled to supply and must be disconnected”, it noted.
Late Mechanic: CSOs Give Police 48Hours To Disclose Autopsy Report
A coalition of civil society organisations in Rivers State has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the State Police Command to make available result of the autopsy conducted on late Ikoku mechanic, Chima Ikwunado.
The Tide recalls that the spokesman of the State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, had said that his principal (Police Commissioner), Mustapha Dandaura, would brief the media this week on the result of the autopsy performed on the late mechanic, but failed to give any specific date for the briefing.
However, Chairman of the Coalition of CSOs, Enefaa Georgewill, who disclosed this in Port Harcourt, said that if the report of the autopsy is not released after the deadline, the civil society organisations may be forced to take action.
“I have applied for the autopsy to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), and of course, the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State to get the result of the autopsy. We believe that in the next 48 hours, the autopsy result will be made available.
“As we are cooperating with the police, the police too should return the same favour. We don’t want to believe that the police won’t do the needful to give us the report. But if they don’t, we will be left with no choice than to take another action in accordance with the law”, he emphasised.
Similarly, traders at the Ikoku Spare Parts Market in Mile Three area of Diobu, Port Harcourt, have said they would stage a sit-at-home protest by today, if the police fail to take action against the officers indicted in the death of late Chima Ikwunado and the torture of the surviving Ikoku Four.
The Chairman of the Ikoku Spare Parts Market Traders Association, Anthony Alaribole, who revealed this to newsmen, accused the police of buying time in order to make the public forget about the matter, but added that the demand for justice for the Ikoku Five cannot be swept under the carpet.
Alaribole expressed dismay that the female police officer, who along with other officers of the Eagle Crack Team that were involved in the death of Chima Ikwunado and the torture of four Ikoku traders, were yet to be prosecuted, saying that the delay in arraigning the police personnel was tantamount to delaying justice in the matter.
“Police like buying time, but I think this could be a ploy to douse the situation. We are determined for justice, and we are up for this. Therefore, we cannot relent. But it is like they (police) are not taking us seriously. All our demands, none has been attended to.
“Sergeant Rose is walking around free. The other names that were mentioned, I cannot remember now, are still walking freely. I don’t know what they are waiting for to prosecute these people. If they think that because he is a common mechanic that died, then he has no right to his life, we will find out.
“But at the end of this Wednesday (today), if nothing is done, we are going to shut down at Ikoku,” the chairman, added.
Consultant Doctors Declare Strike Over NUC’s PhD Policy
The Medical and Dental Consultant Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has declared an indefinite strike action over the National Universities Commission (NUC) requirement that clinical lecturers must acquire a Ph.D. as a condition for career progression in the Nigerian university system.
The consultant doctors said their strike was designed to press home their demand that the circular should be withdrawn.
The National President of MDCAN, Prof. Kenneth Ozoilo, announced the strike at a press conference in Jos, yesterday.
The MCAN President said, “The decision of the NUC to embark on this policy direction, without due attention to the consequences and implications is, to say, the least, embarrassing.
“Consequently, we are left with no further choice than to withdraw our services from the universities with immediate effect.”
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