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Awujale of Ijebuland, 103-year-old monarch, 9VCs among our students – NOUN




The National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Sunday said that, 103-year-old paramount ruler of Isoko North Local Government Area of Edo State; Francis Onovughakpor Ekhama and the 80 year old Awujale of Ijebu Land, Ogun State, Oba Sikiru Adetona are among the 200,000 students of the University.

The Vice Chancellor of the NOUN, Professor Vincent Tenebe, who revealed this to newsmen in Kaduna, added that 9 Vice Chancellors of Nigeria universities were also students of  the  NOUN.

“The NOUN, has demystified university education; it has liberalised and democratised university education in Nigeria. Our open university is the most diversify of all universities to include people of all ages, class and professions.

“I want to inform you that unlike conventional universities where the entry age is 16 and above, yesterday we matriculated the youngest student of the University, and he is just 15 years. We are not restricted by age limit.

“Also, His Royal Higness, the Odion of Emevor, the paramount ruler of Isoko North in Edo state who is 103, has been our student and is in his 200 levels now. We have given him full scholarship to study to any degree. He is still very strong and articulate. He has taken the advantage of the Study Centre that we took to Emevor and he is doing fine.

“Also, the Awujale of Ijebu Land, Ogun State, Oba Sikiru (Adetona), is 80. He is also one of our students”, he said.

In 2004, 84 year old Kenyan, Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge entered the Guiness Book of Records as the oldest person to enroll in Primary school, before dying at 90.

Vanguard checks also shows that Priscilla Sitienei, also a Kenyan enrolled at a primary school in Ndalat village, in the Rift Valley district, five ago and is still a pupil of the school at 90.

There is no known person of the age of Ekhama who is known to be in school, probably making him a potential recipient of the Guinness Book of Records award for the oldest student alive.

Speaking further, Tenebe said: “Even as the Vice Chancellor of the NOUN, I am also a student. I am a Post Graduate Diploma Student student in Distance Education. I am not the only Vice Chancellor studying there, there are 8 others including several other professors and Ph.D holders all doing various courses. So how can anyone doubt the quality of graduates?

“As you may recall, former President Olusegun Obasanjo graduated from our university. Before President Goodluck Jonathan left Aso Rock, he told me that after his tenure, he would come and seek for admission to study at the Open University. I still believe that he will still come.

“We have serving and former Governors; we have Senators, all kinds of professional in the schools. There are also serving and retired military and police top brass; all kinds of accomplished professionals at the University, including the immediate past National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Abdullwaheeb Umar.

“I am taking pains to say this just to explain that the age composition of our students and the professional callings cannot make the formation of Student Unionism feasible, putting in mind the agitation of some of our very young undergraduates calling for it. The average ages of our students is between 45 and 50. I do not see these people forming unions, even as some of them already belong to various professional unions”, he said.

“We now have an active student enrollment of 200,000. This is way below the 500,000 I expected that we ought to have reached by now. But, we are targeting to hit 1.5 million students in the next five years, and we are working towards that, he said.

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Organ harvesting: Dino Melaye reacts to arrest of Ekweremadu, wife



Dino Melaye

Former Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye has expressed his support for ex-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu amid controversy of alleged organ harvesting.

Melaye said he stands with Ekweremadu because there was no wrongdoing by the Senator.

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice were arrested in London for allegedly plotting to harvest the kidney of a Nigerian minor.

The UK metropolitan police had arrested and charged Ekweremadu and his wife to court, but the duo pleaded not guilty to the charges at the Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court.

“These are serious allegations and these matters are now adjourned until 7 July back here at Uxbridge,” Magistrate Lois Sheard said.

Ms Sheard remanded both defendants in custody ahead of their hearing next month.

Sharing Ekweremadu’s letter via his Twitter handle, Melaye wrote: “Sen. Ike Ekweremadu notified the British authorities on his trip with the said boy. I stand with Ike.”

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Supreme Court set to rule on controversial Electoral Act on Friday



The Supreme Court of Nigeria will on Friday deliver judgment on the legality or otherwise of the controversial section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 .

The apex Court is set for its verdict in the suit instituted against the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice.

A notice for the judgment delivery has just been sighted, indicating that the apex Court will make its position known this morning.

The notice was served on Buhari and the National Assembly on Thursday, inviting them to appear before the court today for their judgment.

Our correspondent further observed that the suit is the only one for determination today.

Buhari and Abubakar Malami had filed the suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of the controversial clause in the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

In the suit filed on April 29, Buhari and Malami, who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.

Section 84 (12) has been a subject of intense litigation and political debate in Nigeria since President Buhari signed the amended Electoral Act 2022 into law in February this year.

Shortly after signing it into law, Buhari had asked the parliament to delete the controversial clause in the Electoral Act, but the National Assembly declined the president’s request.

According to Section 84 (12) of the legislation, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

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World’s most livable cities: Vienna climbs back to its No. 1 spot. These are the biggest decliners



World’s most livable cities: Vienna climbs back to its No. 1 spot
The Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical centre of Vienna. It is named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, Vienna's cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world.

After two years, Vienna has overtaken Auckland as the world’s most livable city, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Vienna ranked first in 2018 and 2019, but was overtaken by Auckland, New Zealand, during the pandemic and slipped to 12th place in 2021, according to the Global Liveability Index 2022.

The EIU said that Auckland’s position on the index dipped to the 34th place this year because of higher Covid-19 infection rates and strict border controls in 2021. Although lockdowns ended in New Zealand in December, well-vaccinated cities in Europe and Canada had begun easing restrictions earlier.

However, it’s unlikely that Auckland would’ve clinched the top position in this year’s ranking even without a pandemic, according to the EIU.

“Other cities falling was why Auckland was top last time. Without Covid, it would likely be top 10, but not number one,” said Simon Baptist, global chief economist at the research and advisory firm.

Five other European cities — Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt and Amsterdam — also made the top ten. Canada’s Calgary and Vancouver took the third and fifth spots respectively. Japan’s Osaka and Australia’s Melbourne shared 10th place — the only two “Asian” cities that made it to the top 10.

The 172 cities that were included in the rating were assessed on these categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Biggest decliners
Cities in New Zealand and Australia were the biggest fallers in the EIU’s livability ranking.

New Zealand’s capital Wellington dived by 46 places, while Australia’s Adelaide and Perth lost their 2021 positions in the top 10. They are now in the 30th and 32nd place respectively.

Australian and New Zealand cities snagged six of the top 10 spots last year, but were “much, much lower down” on this year’s list as their partial reopening coincided with the spread of the more contagious omicron variant, Baptist told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.

But the EIU is optimistic that these cities would bounce back.

“We can expect to see Australian and New Zealand cities moving up the rankings next year, when we do the next round of the survey. And this will be because they will have relaxed more of their Covid restrictions,” said Baptist.

Other cities in the region saw their rankings slip as well.

Singapore fell three spots to 37th place this year, while Hong Kong dropped to 62nd place from 49th last year.

“This is a long term change, it’s not just about Covid. That is part of it. But Hong Kong’s loss of connectivity is likely to be permanent,” said Baptist, citing the decline of cultural and political freedom in the city.

Russian cities plunged
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine saw Moscow’s livability ranking fall by 15 places, while St. Petersburg dipped by 13 spots, the EIU reported.

“Both cities record a fall in scores owing to increased instability, censorship, imposition of Western sanctions and corporates withdrawing their operations from the country,” the report said.

The war on Ukraine also affected the rankings of other Eastern European cities that have been facing political standoffs security threats, food and energy insecurities, and rising inflation, EIU said.

For example, Poland’s Warsaw and Hungary’s Budapest saw their stability scores slip as a result of rising diplomatic tensions, the EIU added.

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was also excluded from this year’s report, and 33 new cities — 11 of them in China — were added.

The top 10
These are the world’s most livable cities and their scores, according to The Global Liveability Index 2022:

  1. Vienna, Austria (99.1)
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0)
  3. TIE — Zurich, Switzerland (96.3)
  4. TIE — Calgary, Canada (96.3)
  5. Vancouver, Canada (96.1)
  6. Geneva, Switzerland (95.9)
  7. Frankfurt, Germany (95.7)
  8. Toronto, Canada (95.4)
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands (95.3)
  10. TIE — Osaka, Japan (95.1)
  11. TIE — Melbourne, Australia (95.1)

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