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Professor says career ‘effectively ended’ by union’s transphobia claims

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Professor says career ‘effectively ended’ by union’s transphobia claims

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy professor targeted by activists for her views on gender identification, has said she fears her career at Sussex University has been “effectively ended” by a union’s call for an investigation into transphobia.

Sussex’s chapter of the University and College Union (UCU) has urged the university’s management to “take a clear and strong stance against transphobia at Sussex”, and undertake an investigation into “institutional transphobia”.

The UCU statement, which did not name Stock, came only five days after a protest against Stock at the campus near Brighton, including anonymous posters accusing Stock of transphobia and calling for her to be sacked.

“In light of recent events on campus and ensuing public response on social media, we extend our solidarity to all trans and non-binary members of our community who, now more than ever, should receive the unequivocal support of the university and its management,” the statement said.

— Kathleen Stock (@Docstockk) October 12, 2021
Stock posted the union’s statement on social media, and said the UCU branch “has just effectively ended my career at Sussex University” – implying that she would be unable to continue working at the university.

However, the university said it would not agree to the union’s call for an investigation.

A University of Sussex spokesperson said: “We have acted – and will continue to act – firmly and promptly to tackle bullying and harassment, to defend the fundamental principle of academic freedom, to support our community and continue to progress our work on equality, diversity and inclusion. We care deeply about getting this balance right.

“There are a range of very strong views and opinions held across the university on a whole variety of issues and topics, including how we support our trans and non-binary community particularly at this time.

“As a community, we need to come together and talk about what is happening at the moment and to look at the way forward.

“We will be doing this in the coming weeks and this will be led by our newly appointed pro-vice-chancellor for culture, equality and inclusion.”

Stock has said she believes gender identity is not more important than biological sex, “particularly when it comes to law and policy,” and that people cannot change their biological sex.

Stock said she had been advised by the police to install CCTV at her home and to stay away from Sussex’s campus: “I do not know if this will push me out of academia. I do not want to leave,” she told the Sunday Times.

After last week’s protest, Adam Tickell, Sussex’s vice-chancellor, gave public support to Stock, saying: “We cannot and will not tolerate threats to cherished academic freedoms and will take any action necessary to protect the rights of our community.”

But the Sussex UCU statement, signed by the branch’s executive, said the university’s leaders had failed to “uphold the institution’s stated values by ensuring that the dignity and respect of trans and non-binary staff and students, and their allies, are enshrined at the core of the university’s culture”.

It added: “We do not endorse the call for any worker to be summarily sacked and we oppose all forms of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of staff and students.”

A spokesperson for the UCU’s national organisation said: “UCU supports the statement from UCU Sussex branch which makes clear its opposition to the harassment and bullying of staff and students. The statement is also clear that UCU is not calling for any staff to be dismissed from their post.

“UCU is a proud and unequivocal supporter of trans rights and echoes the calls from UCU Sussex branch for the university to match its strong stance on academic freedom with an equally strong stance on trans inclusion.

“UCU condemns the personal threats now being received by members of UCU Sussex branch executive, which include the identification and publishing of contact details.

“These matters are being raised immediately with leadership at the university.”

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EFCC Arrests Fake State House Staff for N22m Employment Scam

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes commission, EFCC, have arrested a syndicate of fake State House Staff in Abuja for alleged criminal conspiracy, false representation and employment scam.

The suspects were arrested separately following investigation on petitions by various victims who were promised jobs as “Directors General” at the Ministry of Communication, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC and other ministries.

The suspects are; Augustine Enamegbai Umogboi, who claimed to be a former staff of the State House, Eleojo Josephine Idakwo, a fake staff of the Ministry of Information in the Registry Unit, and Kingsley Onuh who also claimed that he just concluded his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

Others are Omata Sunday and Eljayon Nigeria Limited, one of the companies which bank account they were using to get money from their victims. Besides, they had different account numbers of different banks through which they were receiving the money amounting to N22,350,00 (Twenty Two million, Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) from different victims.

Umogboi was arrested on June 16, 2024, Idakwo was arrested on April 30, 2024, while Onuh was arrested on April 3, 2024.

Many victims narrated their bitter experience in a series of petitions written to the EFCC.

A sample of such a petition reads : “we were reliably informed that sometime around April 2023, Mr. Gabriel Kingsley Onuh notified our clients about job opportunities in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation LTD(NNPCL) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). With support of Eleojo Josephine Idakwo who claimed to work in NNPCL, they undertook to assist Mr. Toheeb Adesina and Miss Asabe Gambo to secure employment in NNPCL, as well as Mr. Tertindi Reginald Igbayue in FRSC, subject to the payment of a fee. It was agreed that the payment would be in two tranches-initials part payment and the balance payment when the employment letter is ready and when documentation of credentials commences”.

Another victim in a petition written to the EFCC stated that “Sometime in May 2023, one of my friends, Sunday Omata approached me that one Eleojo Josephine Idakwu told him that their office in the Presidential Villa is responsible for screening applicants for the appointment of ‘Directors General’ for all Ministries and Parastatals in the current government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“As such they want me to apply for the position of Director General in the Ministry of Communication… She however gave me a condition that I must pay them Five Million Naira (N5,000,000) before they can start the process.

“Since it involves a big office, they cannot do all the contacts for free and their boss in the office requires some money too. Since then, they have been requesting all sorts of money from me with various accounts”.

They suspects have given useful information to the EFCC and will be charged to court upon conclusion of investigation.

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Ondo Govt reacts to court judgement declaring new LCDAs ‘illegal’

The Ondo State Government says necessary legal action will be taken on the judgement nullifying the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The government’s reaction is contained in a statement by the Attorney General of Ondo State, Mr Kayode Ajulo SAN, made available to  newsmen on Friday in Akure.

Justice A.O Adebusuoye of the state High Court had in a judgement on Thursday described the creation of the LCDAs as unlawful.

The court said it was illegal for a governor to sign a law outside the State.

The court said that the Local Government Creation Law 2023 signed by the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ibadan was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

The statement said the government has taken cognizance of Ondo State High Court’s judgement and had requested for a Certified True Copy of it.

Ajulo said after it was studied and analysed, a legal opinion would be presented to the state government.

“Subsequently, all necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritizing the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served,” the statement said.

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LASTMA impounds 40 vehicles in Oyingbo, ijora, idumota axis

The  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has impounded another 25 commercial and 15 private vehicles operating illegal garages and causing serious road obstructions around Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota areas of  Lagos.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Adebayo said impounding the vehicles at these areas was a decisive move by LASTMA to restore order and ensure the free flow of traffic.

He said the operation was led by LASTMA Head of Enforcement, Mr Kayode Odunuga, under the directives of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Sola Giwa.

Adebayo that they were specifically directed to target illegal garages that had been a persistent source of congestion and inconvenience for residents and commuters.

He said the impoundment, which began in recent weeks, was part of a broader initiative by the  Lagos State Government to enhance the efficiency of the city’s transportation network.

He quoted Giwa as emphasising that government is committed to maintaining law and order on the roads, ensuring that all traffic regulations are strictly enforced.

“illegal garages have been a significant challenge in our quest to maintain a seamless traffic flow in Lagos.

“These impoundments send a strong message to all offenders that the state will not tolerate activities that disrupt public order and endanger the lives of our citizens.

“Our goal is to create a safe and orderly environment for all road users and this action is a crucial step in that direction,” Giwa said.

He noted that the targeted areas, Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota, are known hotspots for traffic congestion due to unauthorised parking and the establishment of makeshift garages.

He said that these activities not only obstruct the free movement of vehicles but also pose safety risks to pedestrians.

“LASTMA’s intervention aims to clear these bottlenecks and enhance the overall traffic situation in these critical areas.

“Residents and business owners have expressed their support for the government’s action, noting the positive impact it will have on their daily activities.

“LASTMA has also assured the public that the operation will be sustained and extended to other parts of the city where illegal garages and related activities are prevalent,” he quoted Giwa as saying.

He urged all vehicle owners and operators to adhere to the state’s traffic regulations and cooperate with authorities to avoid sanctions.

He reiterated that the government’s primary objective was to create a better and more livable Lagos for everyone.

He also urged motorists to take ownership of the roads and to promptly inform LASTMA of any broken down or abandoned trailers or trucks via the Agency’s hotlines: 0810056586008129928503.

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