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Kano Governor, Ganduje, Briefs President Buhari About Musician Sentenced To Death For Alleged Blasphemy Against Prophet Mohammed

23 September 2020 - 12:47am


Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari of the case of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a musician sentenced to death in Kano for allegedly singing a song deemed blasphemous against Prophet Mohammed.

Ganduje disclosed this when he spoke with journalists at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, PUNCH reports.

Ganduje, who said the President had been put on notice, refused to disclose the position of Buhari on the matter.

He said that the house of the father of the accused was burnt by locals “but the boy was secured, charged to court and sentenced to death” 

Kano State Government and the Sharia Council have come under intense attack following the death sentence of the musician.

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has petitioned the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, The Gambia, over the decision of an Upper Sharia Court in Kano State sentencing Sharif-Aminu to death over the song.

Falana is asking the commission to exercise its mandate and authority under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and pursuant to the commission’s order 100(1) of the commission’s Rules of Procedure, 2020.

Amnesty International has also called on the state government to quash the conviction and death sentence of Sharif-Aminu.

The musician was on August 10, 2020 sentenced to death for the alleged offence.

Appealing the death sentence in a suit filed on Thursday at the Kano State High Court by his lawyer, Kola Alapini, Sharif-Aminu said he was dissatisfied with the judgment of the Shari’a court.

He described the Kano State Penal Law 2000 as unconstitutional, null and void, having grossly violated and conflicted with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended.

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The Nigerian Citizen And

 Unlawful Search And Seizure Of Mobile Phones By Robinson Tombari Sibe

23 September 2020 - 12:26am


Engr. R. Tombari Sibe, MNSE

The Internet has been awash with yet another alleged brutal murder. This time, a young lad, allegedly shot dead by a Mobile Police Officer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. News have it that the young man was asked to provide the password to his device, and when he refused, was cruelly shot dead by the officer. There is another version of the story which says he was shot while running away from SARS operatives. The facts are still emerging, and this article is not intended to validate (or not) the authenticity of any version. This article will only look at the former of the two scenarios; since it is a frequent occurrence here. Without prejudice to the investigation going on, this piece will examine the legal provisions of search and seizure, particularly of mobile phones and electronic devices. In this analysis, I will examine the scenario, looking at two jurisdictions: USA and Nigeria. 

Here is a caveat: I am not a lawyer. However, my training as cybersecurity and digital forensic specialist has exposed me to the fundamental lessons of legal considerations in search and seizure, particularly, of digital devices. This is even more so in mobile forensics, given the nature of mobile devices. Like data, mobile devices are ubiquitous and continue to be a major source of digital evidence. Therefore, expectedly, phones and mobile devices will continue to be of interest to law enforcement agents. Nigeria has a reputation for being one of the major hotbeds of cybercrime in the world. Expectedly, the law enforcement agents have ramped up efforts to curb the menace. This often desperate desire to stamp out the menace often see officers carry out unlawful search and seizures and alleged torture of suspects to get passcodes to phones. It is therefore not surprising that most of these do not scale legal scrutiny, and easily fall by the wayside on technicalities. Acquisition of digital evidence is as delicate as the tiny legs of the microchip embedded in the phones. 

Acquisition of digital forensics evidence is governed by certain rules and regulations; most of which are derived from the constitution. For instance, in the United States of America, the 4th amendment protects citizens against unlawful search and seizures. The implication is that to conduct a search, there must be a valid court warrant permitting same. In the case under review, searching a suspect's phone constitutes a search; and if this were in the United States, would be an unlawful search and a breach of his 4th amendment rights, since it was without a search warrant (except any of the exigent conditions hold sway). Digital evidence acquired from this, no matter how incriminating, will not be admissible. Such evidence is termed, "fruit of a poisonous tree". 

Engr. R. Tombari Sibe, MNSE

However, like most cases in life, there are exceptions. These conditions include plain view, consent, and other exigent scenarios. Plain view means the evidence in question was already in view and did not require extra efforts to search. By consenting to a search, the suspect also has waved his 4th amendment rights, and evidence acquired therefrom could be easily admissible (all things being equal). Other exigent conditions where a warrantless search is permissible includes when failure to do so could endanger the life of the law enforcement agent or the public. Also, a warrantless search may be exigent if there is a risk that the evidence might be altered or destroyed. In these exigent conditions, once evidence has been seized and preserved, you will still need an appropriate search warrants to gain access to the seized phone and conduct a proper forensic analysis. This is best practice in digital forensics.

In the case under review, not only did the Law Enforcement allegedly carry out a warrantless search and seizure, they also allegedly forced the suspect to supply the password to phone. That is a breach of his rights. In the United States, this will constitute a breach of his 5th amendment rights. The 5th amendment rights protect citizens from self-incrimination. This is what is often summarized during arrests as: "you have the right to remain silent". A suspect has the right not to incriminate self. There are a lot of celebrated cases that tested both the 4th and 5th amendment rights of the American citizen in relation to cybersecurity and digital forensics. Examples include FBI v. Apple, State v. Stahl, etc. 

In Nigeria, fundamentally, the Nigerian constitution makes provision for the protection of the privacy of citizens. Section 37 of the Nigerian Constitution particularly states that: "The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected". Therefore, in the case under review, the victim, as a Nigerian, has rights to his privacy; and that includes the privacy of his data contained in his phone or other mobile or computing devices. Warrantless search of his phone, therefore, constitutes a breach. 

The right of the Nigerian citizen to privacy was further amplified by Nigeria's recent data protection legislation(courtesy NITDA) known as the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR). It is noteworthy to mention that while there are differences (and indeed fears of lak of mechanism and will for implementation), the NDPR seems modelled after EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Beyond this, there is also the Cybercrime Act 2015, which criminalizes the breach of citizens privacy. It is ironical that most of the illegal search and seizures done by the law enforcement end up in court, and suspects are prosecuted for breach of the cybercrimes act 2015; same Act that was breached in the process of acquisition of digital evidence.  

However, despite this sweeping provision for privacy in the Nigerian constitution (and the other Acts and Regulations), in reality, it is not as smooth as the paragraph above suggests. Section 29 of the Police Act states that: "A police officer may detain and search any person whom he reasonably suspects of having in his possession or conveying in any manner anything which he has reason to believe to have been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained". This gives the police extended rights to search and seize, on mere suspicion. So, in the case under review, the Police may hold on to their right to so search and detain if there is reasonable suspicion. This brings to question, what constitutes reasonable suspicion? The so-called "objective test" to determine the degree of reasonability, in my opinion, is subjective and prone to multiple interpretations.

In addition, the Nigerian jurisprudence has another curious complexity. While the "fruit of the poisonous rule" applies in the US, in Nigeria, improperly acquired evidence are admissible; except the judge discretionarily thinks otherwise. Section 14 of the Evidence Act 2011 specifically states that evidence obtained improperly or in contravention of a law "shall be admissible unless the court is of the opinion that the desirability of admitting the evidence is out-weighed by the undesirability of admitting evidence that has been obtained in a manner in the evidence was obtained".  

This inclusionary rule allows for the admissibility of any evidence, once is deemed relevant; not minding the circumstance acquired. In my opinion, this gives the law enforcement a loaded gun, with citizens as objects for target practice. The rule seems to encourage law enforcement agents to take the short cuts of unlawful search and seizure, and in some instances, extreme torture to gain access to mobile devices. It is noteworthy to mention that the 1975 UN Declaration on torture clearly prohibits the use of evidence from torture. Specifically, article 12 states that: "Any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment may not be invoked as evidence against the person concerned or against any other person in any proceedings".  Therefore, torturing a suspect to obtain his passcodes constitute a breach of this declaration by the UN. While Nigeria must continue to improve in their war against cybercrime, such should be done in respect to the rights of citizens. 

As we mourn this youthful life cut short, this is a call for the law enforcement agents to investigate this alleged murder and ensure justice is served. Beyond this, it is important that officers are properly trained on best practices in digital evidence acquisition. It is a delicate and painstaking process, and there are no shortcuts. Every process in digital forensics is painstaking and requires patience. From the preliminary investigation to securing the necessary search warrants from a competent court, down to search and seizure; they all take time and careful planning. Even what appears a simple task of getting a forensic duplicate of a seized device could take several hours or even days, depending on the size of the device and the tools used. Therefore, substituting technical skills for brute will always lead to the case being thrown out on technicalities. Read the case file of a typical cybercrime investigation in the United States and you will understand the complexity and time it takes, and why they have greater prosecution success ratio in that jurisdiction. 

Finally, the justice system grinds slowly, in comparison to the fast pace technology it seeks to investigate. Digital forensics is still an emerging area, and still unfolding. The complexities of other emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, Internet of things (IoT), Big Data, etc, further complicates digital investigations and prosecutions. Therefore, judges and judicial officers need to be constantly trained and equipped to understand the complexities of digital evidence, as well as understand expert testimonies in this regards. Also, there is a greater need for more handshakes and collaborations between the justice system and digital forensic experts, for Nigeria to be able to wage a formidable war against cybercrime. Digital crime investigation must be standardized and methodical, in line with best practice. Failure to do this, and the law enforcement agents will continue to clamp down on the rights of citizens, in the name of clamping down on cybercrime. Digital forensics is a noble profession; not for brutes. 

R. Tombari Sibe is a Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics Expert. He tweets as @rsibe

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Femi Fani-Kayode’s Third Wife, Regina, Describes Him As A Caring Husband, Claims They Are Still Together

22 September 2020 - 11:43pm


Regina Amonoo

Regina Amonoo, third wife of Femi Fani-Kayode, has described the former Minister of Aviation in Nigeria as a caring husband.

Regina, a Ghanaian, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, claimed that contrary to media reports, she was still married to the former minister.

Regina Amonoo

The revelation comes amid controversy over Fani-Kayode’s fourth marriage to former beauty queen, Precious Chikwendu.

“Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is my husband. We got married under traditional law and custom in Accra, Ghana, in 1997 and we got married under the Marriage Act at the Apapa Registry in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2002. 

“We have a beautiful daughter called Oluwaremilekun and both she and I are very proud of him. He has been a wonderful father and caring husband and he has never subjected me to any form of domestic abuse or treated me badly. 

“Anyone that knows Femi well knows that his greatest weakness are those he loves and he will do anything for them. He is a warm, kind, generous, gentle, intelligent and loving man who is not afraid of anything or anyone and who takes care of his own. From the very beginning of his relationship with Precious he told me about it and I accepted it in good faith. 

“Reports in the media that we are divorced are fake and suggestions that I was treated in a bad way by him or subjected to any form of abuse at any time in the 23 years that we have been married are malicious and false,” she said.

Recall that Fani-Kayode, who was earlier in the news for his verbal assault on a journalist, recently separated from Precious, his fourth wife, after six years of marriage.

SaharaReporters gathered that the reason the marriage collapsed was due to domestic violence.

The former minister, it was learnt, accused Precious with whom he had four sons of infidelity.

Sources told SaharaReporters that the former minister started physically abusing the ex-beauty queen from the first year of their marriage -- the same fate that befell her predecessors.

The violence, it was gathered, increased as the years went by. 

FFK, as the ex-minister is often reffered to, was said to have ordered Precious to abort her last pregnancy, claiming it did not belong to him.

See Also Scandal Femi Fani-Kayode’s Fourth Marriage Explodes Over Domestic Violence 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

The sources said Precious ignored him but got savage beating, including on her belly for the recalcitrance.

A source said Fani-Kayode always hit the woman violently in presence of their homehelps and sometimes threatened her with a gun by sticking the weapon in her mouth to warn her against squealing.            

He sometimes instructed his bodyguard to hit the ex-beauty queen.

Fani-Kayode’s first wife, Saratu Attah, whom he married when he was 22, was also regularly pummeled by him.

See Also Scandal How Fani-Kayode Beat His Ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu, During Pregnancy, Assaulted Her For Six Years —Former Sister-in-law 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

Sources said the woman, daughter of the late Adamu Attah, was viciously beaten for requesting a swimming pool in their home on Marine Road in Apapa, Lagos. 
                    
FFK's next marriage was to Yemisi Odesanya, daughter of a judge. 

She is now known as Yemisi Wada after remarrying. 

In newspaper interviews, the woman told stories of Fani-Kayode's viciousness and lack of care for their daughters, the reason for which he was excluded from the marriage of one of them, Temitope, in 2014.

Despite the disconnect between him and the children, FFK never fails to advertise his "love" for them on Facebook on their birthdays.

See Also Breaking News How Femi Fani-Kayode Used Apostle Suleman To Cover Up Wife Abuse By Claiming Buhari Planned To Assassinate His Wife 0 Comments 2 Years Ago

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Insecurity: Pastors, Families In Southern Kaduna Paid N420 Million In Ransom In 2019, Says SOKAPU President

22 September 2020 - 11:12pm


President of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Binniyat, said pastors and their families who live in the area paid up to N420m as a ransom  to Fulani herdsmen in 2019.

Binniyat said contrary to President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that the killing of Christians is a cultural thing, there is a government-sponsored displacement drive in the local governments that make up Southern Kaduna.

He said SOKAPU had 80,000 registered refugees displaced from 109 communities in four local governments.

According to him, all these communities have been settled on by persons of Fulani extraction, who are now farming on the seized lands.

While addressing his cabinet at a ministerial retreat on September 8, Buhari said he told the American president “that this – killing of Christians –  has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It’s a cultural thing, which the respective leadership was failing the nation.”

Binniyat wondered when ransom collection became a part of the culture.

“It is either Buhari is bereft of information, or he is displaying his notorious incompetence in handling matters of security,” Binniyat said. “In 2019, N420m was paid to Fulani kidnappers and bandits by pastors, their families and Christians in four rural communities in Chikun and Kauru local governments alone.

“Our experience in Southern Kaduna is that of Muslim Fulani people killing, plundering and chasing people out of their communities and now living in these communities. What type of culture says you should displace and kill people?”

Between 1980 and 2011, when persons identified by the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu Panel as supporters of the current president went on a killing spree to protest his defeat, every ethnoreligious violence in Kaduna has always had an identifiable root cause, the literature on the subject shows.

Since 2013, however, attacks have become more consistent, intensifying in 2015.

Binniyat said the current reality is a recurring pattern of kidnapping and killing targeted at Christians.
 
He said, “The violence is targeted at Christians. In some areas, in Chikun, there are no churches again. The survivors of these attacks say the attackers shouted ‘Allahu Akbar – God is greatest’.
 
“We have consistently cried that as at today, 109 communities of Southern Kaduna in four local government areas have been seized by the Fulanis who are occupying them. If the president is not in touch with this reality, then it is a shame.”
 
Binniyat said while the bandits killed people, state and federal government actors enhanced the displacement drive through policy moves.
 
“These Fulani bandits have been encouraged by the statements of Nasir El-Rufai in the case of Southern Kaduna and the complicit silence of General Buhari. They may be attacking Hausas in Sokoto, Jigawa, Katsina and other places; they are not occupying their lands like they are in Southern Kaduna.
 
“The plan is not only in the use of arms; it is also in the use of state policy. There is a place called Kachia grazing reserve. It is 33,000 hectares in size. When El-Rufai came into office, he seized lands and increased it by 74,000 hectares, for the exclusive use of Fulanis. One hectare is like one and a half football fields.”
 
“The only federal project in Southern Kaduna is located in Laduga, a Fulani settlement and Southern Kaduna is more than half of Kaduna,” he added.
 
Although evidence that points to the ethnoreligious nature of the attacks exist, a source said peaceful Fulani communities were also suffering from the control of these brute invaders.
 
The source, who chose to remain anonymous, said the federal government paid lobbyists in the US government to downplay the seriousness of the killings and maiming carried out by the Fulani bandits.
 
“Every time you report about what is happening in Nigeria, there is a US government official that will go and counter it; paid by the Nigerian government,” the source said.
 
“We are trying to gather incontrovertible data on killings across the country that the Nigerian government cannot argue against so that we can get the American government to send in an envoy,” the source said.
 
For two years now, a group in the US, Save the Persecuted Christians, has gathered signatures from more than 100 organisations, asking the US government to send a fact-finding diplomat to investigate targeted killings in Nigeria and Lake Chad.
 
The US government, on March 9, announced plans to send an envoy to investigate militant attacks in the Sahel region, which includes Nigeria.
 
The terms of reference for the appointed diplomat does not include bandit attacks in the North-West and North-Central.
 
“It is clear that these bandits have some agenda type backing,” the source said. “The way these Fulani herdsmen come, a helicopter re-supplies them when they are shooting, a helicopter takes their wounded and drops fresh attackers. They cannot buy the guns they come with.”
 
The source said the president was either genuinely ignorant of the internal security situation in his country or was masterminding the masterplan and playing dumb.

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United Kingdom Lawmakers Write Commonwealth Over Bloodshed Under President Buhari, Open Up On Encounter With TY Danjuma

22 September 2020 - 12:03pm


Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's President.

Some United Kingdom lawmakers have written the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC, over widespread violence in Nigeria.

The lawmakers including Caroline Cox, David Alton, Jin Shannon and Helena Kennedy, said thousands of civilians in the country had been killed and elements of the Nigerian Government may be complicit in the violence.

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's President.

Others, who signed the letter, are Lord Williams, Lord Carey, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Phillip Mounstephen, Lord Stoddart, Lord Anderson, Lord Cormack.

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Ayo Adedoin, Ewelina Ochab, Mervyn Thomas, Dr Khataza Gondwe, Nevile Kyrte-Smith, Dr John Eibiner  and Ann Buwalda.

They sought intervention on the killings in Nigeria, highlighting the helplessness of the current administration.

The letter reads, “We write to highlight urgent concerns about escalating violence in Nigeria where attacks led by Boko Haram, Fulani herders and other Islamic militia continue in Northern and central-belt states with reports of increasing violence in the South-East.

“According to a report by the UK All-Party Parliament Group for international Freedom of Religion or Belief, thousands of civilians have been killed and elements of the Nigeria Government may be complicit in violence.

“The APPG's concern reflects the findings of a report by Amnesty International, which concludes that the Nigerian armed forces have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during their operations.

“The Nigerian former army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma, whom some of us have met and spoken to, says the armed forces are "not neutral, they collude" in the "ethnic cleansing" by Fulani herders. He insists that villagers must defend themselves because "depending on the armed forces" will result in them dying" one by one. The ethnic cleansing must stop.

“The state's failure to protect its citizens is a clear breach of its obligations under the commonwealth charter in respect of human rights. There is now an urgent need (a) to ensure adequate protection and aid for those suffering the loss of family members and destruction of their homes and livelihood and (b) to end impunity by ensuring that complaints related to human rights violations are promptly, inadequate and impartially investigated, and those responsible are held to account after fair trials.

“We write therefore, to ask whether you are able to respond on behalf of The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.  We should be very willing to meet in person (or perhaps more practically, online via Zoom) to discuss how we might proceed.”

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Fire Guts LASTMA Headquarters In Lagos

22 September 2020 - 11:42am


There was a fire outbreak at the headquarters of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority in the Oshodi area of the city on Tuesday.

LASTMA made this known in a statement by its Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Filade Olumide.

Olumide said the fire emanated from a faulty air conditioner on the second floor of the building.

He said, “There was a minor fire incident at the LASTMA Headquarters today, September 22, 2020.

“Immediately the fire was noticed on the air conditioner, the headquarters staff following the past fire drill training put out the fire.

“The Fire Service was immediately summoned through a telephone call. The Lagos State Fire Service promptly responded to the call, put out the fire which was still slightly burning from the air conditioner, and ensured that the fire did not spread inside the office it occurred or the whole building.”

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Ondo Students Demand Payment Of N60m Bursary From Governor Akeredolu

22 September 2020 - 11:33am


Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Students of Ondo State origin in tertiary institutions have demanded the sum of N60m for the payment for their bursary and scholarship allowances.

The students said the money was the accumulation of the yearly stipends and allowances owed them by the Ondo State Government.

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Angered by the accumulation, the students under the aegis of the National Association of Ondo State Students said it was high time the state government paid the money.

Speaking on Tuesday, NAOSS National President, Kikiowo Ayoade, said the students were earning N10, 000 yearly as stipend from the state government.

See Also ACTIVISM Ondo Students Defy Rain To Protest Nonpayment Of Bursary Since 2015 0 Comments 2 Years Ago

Ayoade explained that the last time the money was paid to the students in Ondo State was in 2015 during the government of ex-governor Olusegun Mimiko.

He revealed that the students’ body met with Governor Akeredolu after he came on board to table their plight but there had been no response.

He said, "In January, we met with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who promised the disbursement of the bursary soon.

"Series of the letters were written to the governor since our first meeting in January to communicate our plight to him.

"In August, when this promise was yet to be fulfilled, we consulted the Commissioner for Education and the management of the scholarship board. However, all these consultations failed to transition beyond the promises made.

"We have waited eight months since we received the promise and yet no single student of Ondo State has received payment.

"While we understand the several bottlenecks of running a government, we hold our position that budgeting N60m for students for over eight months is nothing but overdue.

"Payment for the bursary is overdue and students of Ondo State could be greatly relieved if it is paid at this time.”

Commissioner for Education in the state could not be reached for comments at the time of this report.

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Despite Uproar, Nigerian Government Insists On Going Ahead With Water Resource Bill

22 September 2020 - 11:16am


Lai Mohammed

The Nigerian Government has said it would go ahead with its plan on the Water Resource Bill 2020.

The bill was met with stiff criticism since it was brought back at the House of Representatives.

Lai Mohammed

Among other things, the bill seeks to place the control of all water, usage and its resources solely at the hands of the Nigerian Government.

Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the government will not back down but continue with its plan on the bill.

He accused critics of the bill of being mischievous, saying there was nothing new about the bill.

He said, “There is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time.

“These are: Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004; The River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004; The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004; and National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004.

“So, why are the laws being re-packaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020?

“The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

“Critics contend that the bill is aimed at taking the resources of a certain part of the country for the use of herders. In other words, the Federal Government is seeking to implement RUGA by subterfuge.

“We also want to state that the bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”

He posited that the bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of the people.

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Obaseki Extends Hand Of Friendship To Ize-Iyamu, Oshiomhole After Winning Edo Governorship Election

22 September 2020 - 9:38am


Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has urged his main rival in the September 19 governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, and a former National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to join him in moving the state forward.

Obaseki disclosed this on Tuesday shortly after receiving his certificate of return at the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Benin City, the Edo State capital, three days after winning the governorship election.

The governor was declared winner of the Saturday’s poll by INEC having met all requirements by polling 307,955 and winning 13 out of the 18 local government areas in the state.

Obaseki said, “To our friends and our brothers on the other side of the divide, we are one family in the pursuit to provide services and public good for our citizens. Our citizens have decided that as for now, they trust us more to provide them leadership. It does not mean that they do not have a role to play. It does not mean that they are not part of a family.

“I’m using this opportunity to extend the hand of fellowship to my brother, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his other colleagues in the All Progressives Congress to join us and work with us so that we can move Edo forward.

“On a specific note, I want to use this occasion to call on the former chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, that the fight is over and he should come and join in building the house where he was part of laying the foundation.

“We have no malice, the only thing we disagreed on is the approach in moving Edo forward.”

See Also Politics My Victory A Triumph Over Godfatherism —Governor Obaseki 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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Stop Looking For Endorsement From Pastors, Imams, Bishop Kukah Tells Nigerian Politicians

22 September 2020 - 9:09am


Matthew Kukah

Bishop Matthew Kukah has knocked politicians, who run to religious leaders for endorsement, saying Nigeria was practicing democracy not theocracy.

Kukah, who is the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese and a member of the National Peace Committee, also commended the conduct of the Edo governorship election, urging the people of Ondo to imitate Edo electorates.

Matthew Kukah Daily Post

While speaking on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, the cleric said politicians should engage the people and practice issues-based campaigns.

He said, “When last did you see a politician across Europe we are trying to imitate, go and bow to the queen or king or seek blessings from a bishop. We have too many intervening variables that are confusing the narrative.

“We are really not practicing the principles of democracy and it lies in the fact that only those who have money can hope to be voted into power.

“If you feel you need to be anointed to ascend to power then we are running a theocracy.

“Our commendation goes to the people of Edo State. I have received quite a lot of messages from old friends that I haven’t spoken to in a long time commending the work of the National Peace Committee but really this is not an honour that one individual should take.”

See Also Politics Supremacist, Divisive Policies Mark Buhari’s Government –Kukah 0 Comments 7 Months Ago

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NLC Vows To Proceed With Planned Strike Action Over Petrol, Electricity Tariff Hike

22 September 2020 - 8:30am


Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba.

The Nigerian Labour Congress has said that it was not going back on its plan to embark on a strike action on September 28 over the government's refusal to reverse the increase in the prices of petrol and electricity tariff.

National Executive Council of the organisation reached the conclusion at the end of a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday afternoon.

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba.

According to NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the decision to proceed with the planned industrial action was unanimously taken by leaders of the union across the 36 states and FCT in the country.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency had announced an increase in the price of premium motor spirit better known as petrol while the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission also increased electricity tariff from N30.23 to N62.33 per kwh.

See Also LABOR/WORKERS' RIGHTS Nigerian Labour Congress Vows To Go Ahead With Planned Protest In Rivers State 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

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LASU College Of Medicine Management Throws Out Students’ Belongings From Hostels

22 September 2020 - 8:04am



The management of the Lagos State University College of Medicine has thrown out belongings of students from halls of residence in the institution.

SaharaReporters gathered the institution had asked graduating students to resume as ordered by the state government and informed others to move out their properties from the hostels.

Schools in the state had been closed since March as part of measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

The governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently directed all tertiary institutions under the state to reopen on September 14.

“After the reopening, the state government asked that only students in exit classes should resume and also instructed students in middle classes to move their things out of the hostel.

“But some of them couldn’t come back to pick their belongings because they are not in Lagos. I think this is very insensitive and silly, there should be a way to help them manage their belongings rather than throwing them out like that,” a student said.

Many items belonging to students including electronics were left in the rain after they were thrown out by the school’s management.

When contacted, Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations of the university, Mr Ademola Adekoya, feigned ignorance of the development, promising to get back to our correspondent when he has enough information on the incident.

Commenting on the development, however, Acting Provost of the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Prof Abiodun Adewuya, said, “Students left March and we asked them to move all their belongings out of the hostel because we want to renovate the hostels. 

“We are renovating our hostels, we had given the notice a long time ago, the students’ body sent the notice to all the classes and the idea is that after a deadline, if there are things that are still there, we will move them out so that we can renovate the rooms, that’s the situation.”

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Suspect On FBI List For $6m Internet Scam Turns Self In

22 September 2020 - 7:26am


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced investigation into the involvement of one Felix Osilama Okpoh, an alleged fraudster on the Federal Bureau of Investigations list in a $6m Internet scam.

Okpoh alongside Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh, Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode and Nnamdi Orson Benson were declared wanted by the FBI in 2019 for their alleged involvement in a Business Email Compromise scheme that defrauded over 70 businesses in the United States of over $6m.

The suspect allegedly provided over 40 bank accounts to his conspirators, which were used to receive fraudulent wire transfers from their victims totalling over $1m.

He was on August 21, 2019 indicted in the United States District Court of Nebraska on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

However, Okpoh on Friday, September 18, 2020, turned himself in at the Lagos Zonal Office of the commission in company with his parents, Col. Garuba Okpoh (retd) and Mrs Justina Okpoh.

Okpoh during interrogation said he made the move to surrender himself to the EFCC out of respect he had for his parents and his resolve to be morally upright.

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Security Agents Stop Protest Against Hardship In Kano

22 September 2020 - 6:52am




Security agents comprising police, Department of State Security and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have stopped some Nigerians from staging a protest against the increase in the prices of petrol, electricity and Value Added Tax in the country.

The protest led by a civil society organisation, Joint Action Forum, started as a rally in front of the premises of the Nigerian Union of Journalists along Farm Center Road on Tuesday morning amidst heavy security presence.

In a statement by Chairman of the group, Dr Musa Bashir, and the Secretary, Abba Bello Ahmed, the Joint Action Forum called on the Nigerian Government to reverse the price of fuel from N160 to N86 and also the increase of electricity tariff and Value Added Tax.

"Immediate and unconditional reversal of the hike in petrol price from the current N160 to N86 price of 2012, and reversal of the increase in electricity tariffs and VAT.

"The government has the responsibility to make our refineries work and build new ones in order to ensure availability of petroleum products at cheaper and affordable prices.

"Re-engineering of the security apparatus to ensure organised crimes such as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery are reduced to the barest minimum is curtailed." 

The protesters called on organised labour to ensure that the agreed minimum wage of N30,000 was implemented in the country.

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Tension In Plateau As Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Kill Traditional Ruler

22 September 2020 - 6:49am


The murder of Da Bulus Chuwang Jang, Acting Gwom Rwei of Foron District in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State by suspected Fulani herdsmen has heightened tension in the area as villagers move in to forestall reprisal attacks.

SaharaReporters gathered that Jang was killed by the AK-47-wielding herdsmen, who invaded his house on Monday night.

A resident of the community lamented the recurrence of nomadic attacks against villagers and wondered why the government had not been able to offer measures towards saving them from the brutality.

“The gruesome killing of Da Bulus Chuwang Jang, the Acting Gwom Rwei Foron District Barkin Ladi LGA by Fulani herdsmen is barbaric, callous and unfortunate.

"Our leadership and security agency must rise to the occasion, come out and ensure that perpetrators are arrested and justice is gotten,” Peter Matong, a former Director General at Global Clinical Psychology Nigeria posted on Facebook.

Spokesperson for the police in the state, Ubah Gabriel Ogaba, confirmed the incident, saying, “The traditional ruler was killed by some gunmen, investigation is ongoing to unravel the perpetrators of that act.”

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October 1: More Lawyers Volunteer To Defend #RevolutionNow Protesters Nationwide

22 September 2020 - 5:51am


With less than one week to the #RevolutionNow protest against insecurity, extrajudicial killings, abuse of human rights, bad governance and other induced social and economic hardship on October 1, more lawyers have supported the movement and indicated interest in defending citizens arrested during the event.

According to National President of Revolutionary Lawyers Forum, Tope Akinyode, lawyers will be on standby in Abuja, Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Kano, Osogbo, Calabar, Port-Harcourt, Edo and Asaba to support protesters.

He said, "Lawyers are on standby in Abuja, Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Akure, Ado Ekiti, Kano, Osogbo, Calabar, Port Harcourt and Asaba to support protesters on 1st October 2020. Protest is a constitutional right. More lawyers needed."

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Serving NYSC Member Cries Out For Help After Police In Anambra Brutalise Her While Conducting Illegal Search Operation

22 September 2020 - 5:50am



Officers of the Nigeria Police Force in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State have brutalised a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps while also falsifying her police statement.

The corps member, Akinlabi (other names concealed), said the harassment against her began on September 17 after men of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad broke into her compound while she was asleep and pointed a flashlight to her face while claiming to be looking for “yahoo boys”.

SARS is notorious for numerous rights violations of young people in the country with the intent of extorting them or incriminating them of uncommitted crimes.

Narrating her ordeal to SaharaReporters on Tuesday, Akinlabi said, “On 17th of September 2020 by 2:00am, a team of people broke into our compound claiming to be SARS and searching for yahoo guys broke my window net, pointed their torchlight at my face while asleep and commanded me to open the entrance door for them.

“I was scared to do as commanded because I couldn't identify who they were, rather, I shouted and ran into the passage for help.

“On getting to the passage, I saw another set of people at the window threatening to deal with me if I did not open the door. As I continued to shout for help, one of my neighbours opened her door for me and I entered her room and was shocked as they still came to the window of the woman insisting that we must open the door or they would break the door. 

“Some of them later broke into an empty room by cutting off the burglary and entered the passage. The others broke the burglary of the room we were, opened the door for others to have access to the room. They started assaulting me by slapping and hitting me with cutlasses and sticks.

“At this point, I was practically naked and had to plead with them to allow me to put on my clothes which they eventually allowed but violated my privacy as I was forced to dress up in their presence. The beating continued after that and I got handcuffed like a common criminal for an offence I knew nothing about. They threatened to lock me up for 48 hours for refusing to open the door for them.

“I and another guy in the lodge were taken to their van and they asked us to stand in the rain for hours. They insisted on us giving them money for fuel before we could be released. We were released when they realised we were not ready to give any money.”

Despite reporting the incident to NYSC officials in the state, Akinlabi said her report was falsified and never shown to her.

“The following morning, I called my LGI first and my PPA principal and they both asked me to go to the police station to make a report. On getting there, one officer initially refused to take my complaint until she was informed that the DPO was aware of the incident.

“In spite of this, she insisted on writing my statement by herself and in her own way. Please note that I never wrote or signed any statement at the police station as the officer refused to allow me to do so,” she said.

Fearing for her safety and that of her family, Akinlabi called on the Inspector-General of Police, rights groups and the international community to investigate the brutal invasion of her residence and assault against her and bring the officers involved to book.

She also asked the IGP to see to it that she was duly compensated for damages done to her physically and on her properties in the process of the crime committed against her while serving her country.

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BREAKING: INEC Presents Certificate Of Return To Obaseki

22 September 2020 - 4:49am


The Independent National Electoral Commission has presented a certificate of return to Governor Godwin Obaseki, winner of the just concluded Edo State governorship election.

INEC presented the certificate to Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, on Tuesday.

Obaseki polled 307,955 votes across the 18 local government areas of the state to defeat All Progressives Congress candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who scored 223,619 votes.

The APC conceded defeat at the poll and congratulated Obaseki following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the outcome of the election as a victory for democracy.

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Obaseki’s Win A Victory For Democracy, APC Says As Party Finally Concedes Defeat

22 September 2020 - 4:05am


The All Progressives Congress has finally admitted defeat in last Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State.

The party conceded defeat following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the outcome of the election as a victory for democracy.

Chairman of National Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni; and Chairman of Edo APC Governorship Campaign Council, Abdullahi Ganduje; met with the President on Monday to deliberate on the outcome of the election.

In a statement by Buni after the election, the party congratulated incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, and the people of Edo.

“Edo State governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the person of Mr Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians. The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represents victory for Nigeria’s democracy

“As a party, we join our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, to affirm our commitment to free and fair elections in order to strengthen the foundation for our political and moral authority,” the statement reads partly.

The APC also commended INEC and security agencies for their non-partisanship and ensuring the process was peaceful.

“We commend INEC, our security agencies and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election.

“As a governing party, we will take every step necessary to support the Federal Government to consolidate all the gains achieved,” the statement added.

Obaseki polled 307,955 votes across the 18 local government areas of the state to defeat APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who scored 223,619 votes.

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Remove Service Chiefs Over Non-performance, Our Communities Are Defenceless, Borno Elders Tell President Buhari

22 September 2020 - 4:03am


The Coalition of North-East Elders for Peace and Development has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove all serving service chiefs over persistent insecurity in their communities.

Zana Goni, Chairman of the group in a statement, said security under the current service chiefs had become unbearable, adding that communities were left defenceless as they are attacked routinely.

The statement reads in part, “The worsening security situation in the country is further reinforcing the urgent need to inject new hands with fresh ideas to han­dle the nation’s security archi­tecture. We have seen that the security situation under the current service chiefs has reached an unbearable state.

“There is no denying the fact that at this moment, the entire nation is distressed by the incessant mind­less killing of our citizens and pillaging of defenceless com­munities by insurgents, ban­dits and kidnappers. There is no denying the fact also that these have resulted in indescribable agony, anguish and torment to the Nigerian citizens.

“And following these mentioned above, we, the Coalition of North-East Elders for Peace and Development, in the strongest terms, restate the call to President Muhammadu Buhari to honour the resolution of the National Assembly and positions of the majority of Nigerians to im­mediately remove the service chiefs and bring in new hands to effectively confront the secu­rity challenges staring us in our face as a nation.”

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