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Monday, 19 August 2019

Friday, 16 August 2019

Fairview Pointers

1 Ferrari

2 Tuyuca

3 Prince in Action

4 Okavango Delta

6 Stream of kindness

7 Elusive Diva

8 Travel 


Federal government changes name of Twitter handle


Brendan Umoren

The Federal Government has changed the name of its handle on micro blogging site Twitter.

It announced this in a tweet on Thursday, noting that the handle now has the name @NigeriaGov and no longer @AsoRock.

The government explained that the change of name was necessary to reflect the fact that the handle represents the Federal Government of Nigeria and exists on its behalf.

The tweet read: “NOTIFICATION: Twitter Handle Change | From @AsoRock to @NigeriaGov, to more accurately reflect the fact that this handle represents, and exists on behalf of, the Federal Government of Nigeria.”


No unfairness finding for innocent student caught up in English testing scandal

In Rauf v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1276, the Home Office cited the incorrect part of the Immigration Rules in curtailing a student visa. The failure of Mr Rauf’s appeal reminds us that it’s extremely difficult to prove unfairness in immigration cases.

Mr Rauf had submitted a successful application for leave to remain ahead of study at the University of Sunderland. About a month before he was due to start, the university withdrew its sponsorship, citing concerns about cheating on English language testing for visas.

Mr Rauf was understandably put out: he didn’t actually need to pass an English test because of his existing academic qualifications. Nevertheless, he received a letter from the Home Office curtailing his visa. This was based on paragraph 323A(a)(ii)(1) of the Immigration Rules:

In addition to the grounds specified in paragraph 323, the leave to enter or remain of a… Tier 4 Migrant… is to be curtailed if… the migrant fails to commence studying with the Sponsor.

In the First-tier Tribunal, the Home Office conceded that it had erroneously curtailed Mr Rauf’s leave and he should have been given 60 days to find a new sponsor. The Home Office then realised that this concession was wrong: Mr Rauf’s leave should still have been curtailed in accordance with paragraph 323A, but under sub-paragraph (2): “the Sponsor has excluded or withdrawn the migrant, or the migrant has withdrawn, from the course of studies”. It successfully withdrew the concession in the Upper Tribunal.

The Court of Appeal was faced with two questions: 1) was the Upper Tribunal right to allow the erroneous concession to be withdrawn? and 2) was it was fair to do so?

The first question was a straightforward “yes”. Among other things, it didn’t really matter whether the Home Office relied on paragraph 323A(a)(ii)(1) or 323A(a)(ii)(2). The effect would be the same regardless of whether the attributing fact was a failure to commence study or a sponsor withdrawing their offer of a place.

The second question was also resolved as a “yes” because Mr Rauf should have pursued the university. It was the decision to withdraw the offer which was the catalyst for the series of events that followed. The Court of Appeal also distinguished Patel (Revocation of Sponsor Licence: Fairness: India) [2011] UKUT 211 (IAC).

The sponsor chose to withdraw its offer to Mr Rauf. It cannot sensibly be said that a decision by a Minister to carry out an investigation into the abuse of the UK student visa system made the Secretary of State responsible for the University’s decision. There is no residual unfairness, the case does not fall within the spirit of Patel and, in any event, Mr Rauf had 7 months to find another sponsor and protect his position.

As this suggests, the bigger injustice is the inexplicable decision of the University of Sunderland to withdraw Mr Rauf’s offer of a place over the integrity of English language testing when he didn’t need an English language test to begin with.


THE suspected Taraba kidnap kingpin is a petty fish trader, painter, politician, polygamist with many children and a philanthropist. His wealth status might have been exergerated because of his generosity and profligate spending.

He was reclusive until the last two years. His wealth, allegedly through kidnapping shot him into ‘prominence’.

He is at the centre of a disagreement between the Army and the Police following soldiers killing of three policemen and a civilian who were on an anti-kidnapping mission in Taraba State.

The incident is under probe following public outcry.

Who is he? His name is Hamisu Bala. His nickname is “Why Do You Mean?”, which many mistake for “Wadume.” He is a Hausa man whose great grand father migrated from Katsina state.

He was born and brought up in Ibi local government area of Taraba State. His late father, Bala, was Hausa, while his mother was Tiv, from Ukum local government area of Benue state.

He holds a secondary school certificate, having attended the Government Secondary School (GSS) Ibi. It was gathered that he was “not a brilliant” Arts student.

“He completed secondary school in 2004 and did not proceed to any tertiary institution,” one of his classmates told The Nation.

Bala, 35, suddenly became so rich that many believe he made it through ‘ritual’. His posh residence in Ibi was built only last year. Before then, he was a petty trader who specialised in buying and selling fish in Ibi.

“He was not even a big trader; he could only afford to buy only one or most of the time, half a basket of fish to sell at retail prices,” a source, who knows him well, said.

Bala was a painter who had partnership with his brother.

During the 2019 polls, he aspired to become a House of Assembly member, representing Ibi Constituency, on the platform of the Young Democratic Party (YDP). But, he did not make it.

After making money Bala has been living the life of a philanthropist.

In the last two years, he reportedly built houses for his friends and donated hundreds of motorcycles and cars to young men and women. He is also believed to be generous to security agents.

“Sometimes he (alleged kidnapper) goes to tea sellers and settles the bills of tea drinkers. Then, he gives N10,000 each to the people,” a source in Ibi said.

Two of his wives have been under house arrest. His other two wives are in Mecca on pilgrimage, it was learnt.

So, how did police know Bala was a big time kidnapper to the extent of apprehending him? One of Bala’s accomplices, known as Kwarba, was apprehended by the police in Jalingo, over his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of a Permanent Secretary.

During interrogation, Kwarba revealed that Bala was their leader. The police then allowed Kwarba to be communicating with Bala on the phone for over three days, as though he was not in detention. Based on their communication, the police were able to gather useful information.

It was during one of their conversations on the phone that Bala disclosed that he was coming to Ibi for Eid el Kabir celebration. On arrival in Ibi, Bala phoned Kwarba to inform him.

Operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) embarked on the journey. They got to the police headquarters in Jalingo, before proceeding to Ibi, in a white Toyota Hummer Bus marked, LAGOS: MUS-564EU.

They were in mufti, and carried Kwarba along so that he could identify Bala. They met Bala at a coffee joint, at the junction to Government Lodge. Kwarba identified him.

To pull the wool over the kidnapper’s eyes, the policemen in disguise went out and told him they brought a bus for sale. Bala sought to know the cost of the vehicle so that he could buy it, but the policemen suggested they would step aside for bargaining.

It was when he (Bala) got into the bus that the policemen told him they were there to arrest him, after handcuffing and chaining his legs.

After arresting the suspect, the operatives drove into Ibi town briefly and began to drive carefully out of the town.

But while passing the coffee joint, (where Bala was picked) the suspected kidnapper forced his head out of the vehicle and shouted: “I have been kidnapped by these people.”

Soon, the news spread and some of Bala’s ‘boys’ began to chase the vehicle on motorbikes. The operatives had passed the first and second check points, with only one remaining to pass.

Bala’s accomplices then called the military checkpoint where the bus was ambushed. They opened fire on the bus conveying the operatives and suspected kidnapper. The bus somersaulted into the bush, following the barrage of gun fire, as the driver lost control of the wheel.

A source revealed that, after the killing of the three policemen and the civilian, Bala, who was handcuffed and chained in the legs, crawled and took refuge in the home of an old Jukun woman.

The following day, he called his army captain friend who came with three of his ‘boys’ in a red Tyoyota Corolla.

Our source alleged that the army captain cut the chains on the suspected kidnapper.

“It was around 7:30 am that he (Bala) was taken back to his home in Ibi in the red car,” an eyewitness said.

On getting back to Ibi, his neighbours and Ibi residents went into jubilation. It was gathered that while the jubilation was on, Bala sneaked out of town. He has not been seen since then.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Vaal Pointers

2 Rock you

6 Culture trip

7 Way of the world

8 Angelic

9 Cranberry crush