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#ENDSARS: Citizens Solution Network Describes Freezing Bank Account Of Protesters As Autocratic Policy

12 November 2020 - 8:55am

The Citizens Solution Network has described as an autocratic policy the freezing of bank accounts of peaceful #ENDSARS protesters.

The pan-national initiative also condemned the clampdown on protesters by President Muhammadu Buhari's government, saying it was a show of “a new and expanding reservoir of frustrations, grievances and dismay arising from the insensitivity and daring foolishness of the Nigerian Government”.

Richard Inoyo, Country Director of Citizens Solution Network, in a statement on Thursday urged Nigerians not to be deterred from seeking justice from the government.

Inoyo said, "This sudden rise in autocratic policy-actions taken by the central government with the objective of clamping down and intimidating not just yesterday protesters but to deter future participants; is building new tension and generating great concern from diverse quarters.

“In light of this, I join the rest of conscionable Nigerians to condemn these tyrannical moves of the national government to deny us our extant right to express our frustrations and displeasure against this cold and callous government that have continuously implemented anti-masses policies which in turn have long led to the current rise of prices of goods, services and cost of living across the country with millions of Nigerians unjustly kicked into the gutters of cut-throat poverty and unprecedented hardship.

“Today, I reject both the terrifying terror unleashed by this Buhari regime and the missensical justification propagated by this anti-social government and its payroll gangs.

“Let it be on public registry and national dossier that the entire Civilian Council and Elder Panel of Citizens Solution Network condemn in totality with the strongest terms the current terror of this regime aimed at intimidating civic actors, terrifying Nigerian youth and undermining the fundamental right of the generality of Nigerians to speak up against the rise of draconian, evil and anti-citizen policies of this insensitive regime.”

Stressing that nothing can deter the organisation from speaking up against “these government-led injustices”, the group added that it will be joining other civil society organisations to stage nationwide protest to demand the Buhari government “ends its current attack on our fundamental human right, and the end of its policy-set that is torturing millions of Nigerians in form of rising inflation”.

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Saraki’s Aide Collected Over N100m For Security And Contingency

12 November 2020 - 8:54am

Bukola Saraki.

A witness to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said that an aide to former Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki, collected at least N100m monthly for ‘security and contingency’ every month during Saraki's reign as governor.

According to TheCable, Isiaka Kareem, who was Controller of Finance and Accounts at the time, said the allocation, which grew monthly from N100m, was provided for in the state’s budgetary approval.

Bukola Saraki.

“Every month, when monthly allocations were disbursed, Abdul Adama would come to collect funds designated as security and contingency,” Kareem told Justice Mohammed Limann of the Lagos Federal High Court.

“In my office, we designated a form for everyone that came to collect funds and Adama signed the form every month for the funds he collected from my office.

“The allocation to government house was not static; it was less than N100m when we started and it kept increasing over time. That was why I said it was not N100m every month,” he added.

The EFCC is also seeking the forfeiture of two properties in Lagos owned by Saraki.

The court had in June asked the commission to show more proof that the properties were bought with proceeds of corruption.

Kareem, however, said that he knew nothing about the properties when asked by the judge.

The case was adjourned until November 25, 2020 for continuation.

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Edo Governor, Obaseki, Deputy Inaugurated For Second Term

12 November 2020 - 7:17am

The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, have been inaugurated for a second term in office.

The ceremony was held on Thursday at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the state capital.

The Oath of Office was administered by Chief Judge of the state, Justice Esther Edigin.


Dignitaries in attendance include governors of the Peoples Democratic Party like Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; among others.

Obaseki had defeated his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, during the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.

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NBC Denies Sanctioning Channels, AIT, Arise TV Over Coverage Of EndSARS Protest

12 November 2020 - 6:14am

The National Broadcasting Commission has denied sanctioning Channels Television, Arise Television and African Independent Television over their coverage of the #EndSARS protest.

The NBC had in October slammed a fine of N3m each on the broadcast stations, claiming that the media stations covered the protest unethically and also used unverifiable video footages from social media in reporting the #EndSARS protests.

See Also Sahara Reporters Nigerian Government Fines Channels, AIT, Arise TV N9m Over #EndSARS Coverage 0 Comments 3 Weeks Ago

The action drew criticism from the public including rights group, who condemned the regulatory agency for trying to censor the media.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, 261 concerned Nigerians, civil society and media groups also dragged the NBC to court, querying the legality of the fine imposed by the NBC.

Responding to a letter by Concerned Nigerians on the fine on the broadcast stations, the NBC denied sanctioning the media houses for covering the protest.

It claimed that it fined the media houses for transmitting unverified and unauthenticated contents from social media.

The NBC, in a letter by George Obi, Head, Legal of the commission said, “The commission is always cautious of the constitutional rights of citizens and the press under the constitution as a universal human rights and does not interfere with these rights.

"However, the sanctions imposed by the commission on Channels TV, Arise and AIT contained in the press release by the commission dated October 26, 2020 was for transmitting unverified and unauthenticated social media sources in breach of Section 5.6.9 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and not for covering the #EndSARS protest as alleged.” 

The Concerned Nigerians group stated that it will no longer tolerate the bullying of media organisations in the country.

“Next will be constant visa ban petitions. They have been warned. No long stories,” the group added in response to the claim by the NBC.

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Farmers In Northern Part Of Nigeria Now Pay Bandits N1.7m As Tax, Harvest Fees To Avoid Attacks

12 November 2020 - 6:03am

Farmers in Northern Nigeria now pay bandits at least N1.7m annually as tax and harvest fees before they can have access to their farms and avoid being abducted.

“Our people have stopped going to their farmlands for fear of being kidnapped or killed. Kidnapping has become a common phenomenon in this area. 

“Bandits are now the ones who decide whether we go to farms or not, in some areas even if farmers plant crops they cannot cultivate due to insecurity.

“In my village, we pay N800,000 as tax and N900,000 as harvest fees. Even if you pay, they will come to your farm and abduct you. This Fulani herdsmen are our problem here in Zamfara, only God can help us,” a resident of Dankurmi Village in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State told SaharaReporters.

A farmer in Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina said they now negotiated with bandits before they were allowed to harvest their crops.

He said about 45 farmers had been killed by bandits in the local government area alone in 2020.

“They send messages of attack to communities or tax us large amounts of money before they allow us to go to farm,” he said.

Meanwhile, some Nigerians on Twitter have corroborated the claims of the farmers.

“Bandits are collecting sum of N800,000 as tax from local farmers in Ɗan Kurmi under Maru LG of Zamfara, but social media bill and EndSARS protest is more important to Northern governors than insecurity,” @AM_Saleeem tweeted.

“Same with Yankara community under Faskari LG of Katsina State. Before they allow you harvest your crops, you’ve to negotiate with them and pay a minimum of N300,000. The bigger the farm, the higher the price. If you refuse to pay the ransom, they’ll burn the crops.
#SecureNorth,” Another Twitter user, Ibrahim Umar Rufa’i @khaliifa_Umar, said.

Same with Yankara community under Faskari LG of Katsina state. Before they allow you harvest your crops, you’ve to negotiate with them and pay a minimum of 300k. The bigger the farm, the higher the price. If you refuses to pay the ransom, they’ll burn the crops.#SecureNorth

— LANDLORD™️✨🤴🏽 (@aminuyaro_) November 11, 2020

Zamfara and Katsina are the states most affected by terrorism and banditry in Nigeria's North-West region.


See Also Sahara Reporters Bandits Demand N7m Ransom To Free Kidnapped Zamfara Villagers 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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Ex-President Of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, Is Dead

12 November 2020 - 5:51am

Jerry Rawlings

A former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, is dead.

He is suspected to have died of COVID-19 complications at a hospital in Accra, Ghana, on Thursday morning.

Jerry Rawlings

Rawlings was an ex-military head of state but later joined politics.

He was Ghana's leader from 1981 to 2001.

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We Can Re-write Nigeria In Arabic -- What Matters Is Governance By Fredrick Nwabufo

12 November 2020 - 4:57am

Fredrick Nwabufo

Bigotry. We are big on it. To inflame passions and to smoke out the most reticent of Nigerians, flagellate the tempers of religion and ethnicity. Yes, then you will see the beast behind the mask. The mute compels speech and even the Nigerian PhD holder brawls when matters circle around his religion and ethnicity. Critical thinking is embargoed and the animal in man takes over.

Why do we lose our heads over religion? Some Nigerians become executioners when they assume their religion has been slighted, but when it comes to the bounden duty of holding government to account they surrender their rights to fate. What we should be most concerned about – which is governance – we take a tepid attitude to it. We cannot make progress when our capacity for outrage is gauged by religion and ethnicity.

Religion and ethnicity is a very vexed subject here, and the Buhari administration has stoked that furnace. Recently, the CBN was secured under a social media guillotine for reportedly putting Arabic inscriptions on naira notes – even though the inscriptions are Ajami (Arabic derivative of Hausa). The tired outrage over Islamisation rippled.

The epigraphs on the naira notes are Ajami which is an Arabic derivative of Hausa. The words and meaning of the inscriptions are Hausa but laced in Arabic script just like Swahili. The Nigerian constitution recognises English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba as languages for official performance. So, why the hoopla?

Well, the reason for the mass hysteria is largely ignorance and the government’s divisive propensity. The Buhari administration has lost public trust and it is seen as representing only a section of the country.

Fredrick Nwabufo

By its deliberate pursuit of selective appointments and provincial interest, the Buhari government has set itself up for suspicion and scorn. Even though the ‘Arabic epigraphs’ have been on the naira notes long before the Buhari administration, that there is a hue and cry over the inscriptions now is because of the ethnically and religiously-charged atmosphere created by the current government. The inscriptions have been on the national currencies even when Nigeria used pounds and shillings. That citizens are railing against the lettering now, even going as far as filing a lawsuit, is symptomatic of general fear and distrust of the government.

And by granting Aliko Dangote and Abdul Samad Rabiu of BUA Group exclusive rights to export cement through the land borders while several other businesses are excluded, how does the government want this interpreted? This here is the fount of hate speech.

The government's nepotistic bent and knack for favouring cronies fuels ethnic tension which breaks into hateful exchanges. Naturally, actions like this unsoothe already frayed nerves. The government, by its blinkered disposition, is the biggest promoter of hate speech.
Reacting to the government’s decision, Atedo Peterside, foremost businessman and founder of Stanbic IBTC, said Nigeria’s economy is rigged in favour of well-connected people.

He said, “Allowing legitimate exporters & importers to move their goods across the border should be a no-brainer. Why refuse everybody else and allow only one company (Dangote)? This is why some of us argue that the Nigerian economy is rigged in favour of a handful of well-connected persons.”
This is patently true.

Again, hate speech is a symptom of the government’s divisiveness. When a government is blind to optics and insensitive to diversity, it creates room for division and suspicion. As I often say, if Nigerians were divided by an invisible line in the past; President Buhari came and built a towering wall separating them according to religion and ethnicity.

As a matter of fact, even if Nigeria is written in Arabic or Hebrew, but the government of the day is fair to all sections of the country and it is seen to be fair to all groups, Nigerians will not be taken up in conspiracy theories of Islamisation. This conspiracy theory derives its oxygen from the government’s failure at uniting the country.

Nigerians need to understand that religion and ethnicity are weapons of partitioning utilised by the beneficiaries of discord to keep the people at daggers drawn with one another and against the possibility of coming to a united purpose. A good example is the communiqué from the last Northern Governors Forum meeting where traditional leaders admitted to exploiting the sentiments of ‘’religion and ethnicity’’ in prevailing on their subjects not to join the #EndSARS protests – on an important issue that affects them.

Brawling over religion and ethnicity only serves the interest of the common enemy of the people. The enemy is not Arabic, Hebrew or Latin. What matters to the enemy is to keep the status quo of bad governance -- while goading you to hate your fellow victim of the rigged system.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist

Twitter @FredrickNwabufo

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Repentant Boko Haram Member Responsible For Army Colonel, Bako’s Death, Senator Ndume Says

12 November 2020 - 4:55am

Ali Ndume

Chairman of Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, has called on the Nigerian Government to stop granting amnesty to so called repentant terrorists.

Ndume made this known shortly after the budget defence session of the Nigerian Army.

Ali Ndume

According to the Borno lawmaker, a repentant Boko Haram member was responsible for the murder of Colonel D.C. Bako, one of the commanders of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
See Also Military Troops Angry As Nigerian Army Fails To Recognise Other Soldiers Killed With Colonel Bako 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

Bako was killed on September 20 in an ambush by the terrorist group as he led a patrol to clear insurgents from Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis near Damboa.

His patrol team was trapped in an ambush set by the terrorists.

Ndume said, “I am in disagreement with the government on the issue of de-radicalising and reintegrating (Boko Haram repentants). I still maintain that. You can’t be resettling people, pampering them while the war is on. The committee is on the same page and I believe many Nigerians are on the same page with this.

“In my village, mallams, not ordinary Muslims, elders above 60, 75 of them were taken to an abattoir and slaughtered by Boko Haram. Can you imagine that the Nigerian Army or the Nigerian Government is saying that because these people have gone to repent or they say they have their hands up, you bring them back and pamper them.

“In addition to that, the recent attack in Damboa was carried out by a repentant (Boko Haram) giving information as to the movement of the army, the general that was killed was a victim.”

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Epileptic Power, Poor Facilities Affecting Military Operations In Oyo, Says Air Force

12 November 2020 - 3:56am

The Nigerian Air Force has been unable to operate a military base at the Ibadan Airport, Oyo State, because of the poor state of facilities including epileptic power supply and absence of other key infrastructure.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated this during his operational visit to the state when he met with the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, noting that the poor power supply was also frustrating the activities of the Air Force Comprehensive School, Airport area, Ibadan.

The NAF presently has bases in Lagos State and Ipetu-Ijesha, Osun State – a representation which is grossly inadequate for the South-West region.

The CAS conducted an assessment tour of facilities at the AFCS, lamenting that because of its remote location, the facility was yet to be connected to a reliable power source. 

Abubakar said, “The service intends to further expand its presence in the South-West geopolitical zone because at present it only has units in Lagos and Ipetu-Ijesha while the unit in Ibadan is inadequate to meet the air power requirements of the service for the zone.

“We intend to key into the airport upgrade project to expand presence in Ibadan by building a new base along with necessary support facilities so as to have an alternate base for the C-130H fleet to operate from.

“We are interested in keying into the airport expansion plan so that we can have Ibadan as another base for the C-130H aircraft that we operate in Lagos so that when we have any problem, we don’t have to fly from Lagos.

“The AFSC emerged as the overall best public secondary school in Nigeria in the last West African Examination Council examinations. But the school needs to be connected to a reliable mains poweMakinder supply.”  

Oyo State governorunwayr, ,lconfirmed the erratic power supply to the AFCS, promising the military that the  would be expanded and refueling facilities erected to bring the airport to international standard and make it more economically viable for commercial air operations.”

The governor directed the state's Ministry of Works to look into how to resolve the power connection and supply problems.

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Benue Health Commissioner, Ikwulono, ls Dead

12 November 2020 - 3:37am

Emmanuel Ikwulono

Commissioner for Health and Human Services in Benue State, Dr Emmanuel Ikwulono, is dead.

Ikwulono died on Wednesday afternoon after spending three months as commissioner. 

Emmanuel Ikwulono

He was sworn in on August 5, 2020 after his predecessor, Dr Sunday Ongbabo, resigned his position as a member of the State Executive Council.

Ms Ngunan Addingi, Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism in the state, confirmed his death in a statement on Thursday.

The statement reads, “The Benue State Government wishes to announce with great sorrow the sad departure of our beloved Dr Emmanuel Saleh Ikwulono.

“The Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services. Our heart goes out to the family and the entire state at this time. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Details of interment will be announced soon.”

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SPECIAL REPORT: Critics Knock Ganduje As Kano Pupils, Teachers Cry For Help Over Rot In Public Schools

12 November 2020 - 12:04am

Muhammad Maigadonkaya Primary and Junior Secondary is a government-owned school in Gwale Local Government area of Kano State. The school has been in existence since the 1990s and has produced prominent persons, including Yusuf Babangida, a two-term House of Representatives member representing Gwale Local Government Area, Kano State. 

Over the last ten years, this school has been neglected by the state government. Pupils sit on the bare floor to take classes as there is no furniture in the classrooms. The classrooms are in a ramshackle state without chalkboards and windows. The floors have been broken as well. The school's toilets are also terrible as they are unfit for human use.

"For over seven years, my school had no chairs and desk for learning," said a JSS3 student of Muhammad Maigadonkaya. "Most of the time, we sit on the floor attaching our shoes, mat or leathers for learning. Sometimes due to the condition of the floor, we get distracted from learning." 

"The school is also insecure," the student added. "Community members often come to our classes and defecate. During the rainy season, most classes are dismissed due to flooding and excrements from community members in the classrooms. These reasons will not allow our teachers to attend classes for days." 

A teacher, who preferred to be anonymous because he was not authorised to speak for the school, said, "Muhammad Maigodonkaya has suffered neglect from the government for over ten years that I have been teaching until 2014 that the House of Reps member representing Gwale Local Government Area renovated only four classes out of over 20 classes in the schools.

"It has been a worrisome situation because most teachers felt uncomfortable teaching students due to lack of good boards and a conducive environment. We need the government to do something about it," the teacher said.

Slowly sinking without attention

The Government Secondary School, Goron Dutse in the Dala Local Government Area of Kano shows a structure slowly sinking without attention. Some of the classrooms in this school have falling ceilings, bad chalkboard, inadequate chairs, broken floors, and collapsing roofs.

A senior school official, who does not want to be named, said, "The government has not been performing its duties towards protecting the interest of public schools pupils' education, most especially the public schools out of the metropolis are suffering more neglect by the government. Students are familiar with taking lessons outside or under the trees."

The official stressed the need for the overhaul of public schools in Kano State. "Facilities need to be provided so the teachers can teach the students and also the pupils can understand under good conditions. However, it has become a habit for local education authorities to divert resources belonging to pupils for their usage." 

Pollution and poor sanitation while learning

At Gaida Makada Government Primary School in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State, classrooms are appalling. Here, there are classrooms without chairs, rusted ceilings, broken doors, uncompleted classrooms, and unwashed toilets. 

Parents and community members said students take lessons on the floors in their white uniform, which leaves them looking dirty and unkempt after school hours.

"The nature of government schools is appalling," said a parent, Naziru Musa Ahmad. "Most of the environment is polluted, and the government is not doing anything about it. We, as parents, have appealed to the government about the condition as our children are not comfortable with the environment.

"Most of the parents are poor. That's why our pupils are attending public schools. The children of politicians don't attend most of these schools. So the government has not done anything towards promoting the public education sector in Kano state, and we believe the government is a government of the people."

He appealed to the state government to reconstruct the classrooms to create a conducive learning environment for students. 

Another community leader, who wishes to be anonymous, said the government had neglected public schools in the state. 

"Our public schools are in a bad situation," he said. "Each class contains 150 to 170 students, so the classes are too small for the students. No reasonable government will adopt this kind of educational system where students are jam-packed in a single class."   

Special schools are neglected too

Zawaciki Special Government Primary School in Kumbotso Local Government has only six classrooms, forcing the management to divide the pupils into morning and afternoon sessions.

A teacher in the school, who does not want to be identified, said they lacked necessary facilities in the school. "Whenever we need to excrete, we have to go back to our houses because the school toilets lack maintenance," he said. 

"Teachers also are not comfortable teaching students under a ramshackle environment. Most of the students hardly comprehend what we teach due to a large number of students, and all taking lessons on the bare floor make learning boring due to discomfort." 

A community leader and the chairman in charge of school feeding, Zubairu Almu, begged the government to intervene to uplift teaching and to learn in the school.  

"Our classes have been in a tumbledown situation for a long time," Almu said. "As a local authority, I led a movement for the transformation of my community school, but all efforts proved abortive.

"After suffering neglect from the state government, I called some private bodies such as Coca-Cola bottling company, WOFAN and SUBEB. These private bodies helped in renovating some of the zinks, ceilings and also provided us with toilets."

Almu said the state government had done a poor job in putting public schools in better shape. 

"We are calling the attention of the government to provide us with facilities."

Similar neglect of girls schools 

Government Girls Secondary School, Danzaki in Gezawa Local Government Area, which is about 20 kilometres away from Kano Metropolis, has been neglected by the state and the local government. 

The school has only four blocks with more than 80 students in a class, forcing the school to divide classes into morning and afternoon sessions, just like many other public schools in Kano.

Despite being an all-girls school, GGSS Danzaki does not have toilets and fences. Most of the sinks, ceilings, walls, floors, and other facilities are in a terrible state.

A school teacher, who wishes to be unidentified because she was not authorised to speak to the press, said the government had abandoned the school.

"This school has been neglected by the authorities for over six years now," she said. "Efforts have been made by both parents, and the school management to renovate and build more blocks to accommodate students to ease learning, but all efforts proved abortive."

A student of the school said the school situation is terrible, especially during the rainy season as the roofs are perforated. Most of the time, she said, they sit on the floor as chairs are not enough for all the students.

"The situation is getting worse because teachers are absent from classes," she added. 

School Report is an initiative of Civic Media Lab with support from MacArthur Foundation seeking to increase the accountability of State and Local governments towards the improving basic education delivery in Nigeria.

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Illegal Chinese Fishing May Collapse Nigeria's Coastal Ecosystem—Report

11 November 2020 - 10:59pm

Nigeria's fishery resources are at the risk of collapse following a spate of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in its waters, an investigative report on Chinese transhipment activities in Ghana and Nigeria has found.

The report conducted by Modern Ghana with support from the Money Trail Project, a Eurasian and African grant fund, uncovered how political inaction, corruption, and Chinese impunity threaten fish populations in the West Africa region.  

Foreign-owned vessels, the report notes, in connivance with some local fishermen and security officials engage in transhipment activities despite prohibition by Nigeria's Sea Fisheries Act.

Nigeriaabroad reports that Transhipment activities in fishing occur when industrial trawlers licensed to harvest bottom-dwelling species instead target the staple fishes left for local fishers, and then sell their catches to the local fishers at a profit.

"Transshipment activities by Chinese-owned trawlers are considered a major problem in Oyorokoto, in the Niger Delta region," the report states, quoting one Mr Monwon, a local fisher who recounted being "threatened at sea after confronting a Chinese-manned vessel."

The activities of the Chinese trawlers are blamed for the dwindling catch and economic hardship facing many residents of Oyorokoto who depend on artisanal fishing for their livelihoods.

"After they have finished fishing, we hardly see fishes catch," Mr Monwon told the investigators, pointing to a fishing vessel at a far distance.

Promise Bristol, head of artisanal fishermen in Bonny also shared similar sentiments: "Foreign trawlers connive with security agents to attack local fishermen who rebel against their illegal activities."

Quoting Prof. Chioma Nzeh of the Department of Zoology at the University of Ilorin, the report further says that in Nigeria, "many marine and coastal ecosystems are close to collapse due to IUU fishing."

A 2018 report by the Nigerian navy says Nigeria loses as much as $70million to IUU activities yearly.

Many of these Chinese fishing vessels, with no fishing licences, fish as far as four nautical miles depriving local fishers of their daily catch. Four Chinese fishing vessels were arrested by the Nigerian Navy in August 2017 while fishing within the Non-Trawling Zone (2-6 nautical miles).

Rivers State chairman of the Fisheries Association of Nigeria, Nene Jamabo, told the investigators that the Nigerian government should intervene with "effective laws, and there must be proper monitoring from officials of the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF)."

In Ghana, the situation is no less different. A 28-year-old fishing investigator, Emmanuel Essien, "vanished onboard a Chinese-owned trawler called Meng Xin 15 on July 5, 2019," the report says.

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Large Consignment Of Cocaine Shipped From Nigeria Seized By UK Officials

11 November 2020 - 10:58pm

Border officials in the United Kingdom on Tuesday said it seized 500gm of cocaine from  Nigeria that was headed for India.

The internationally coordinated effort, which lasted from September 14 to October 11, led to 178 seizures across the globe.

India was also a source of drugs.

According to customs officials in Britain, 174,400 sildenafil tablets entered the UK from India.

Drugs were not the only items seized. Animal skin, live reptiles and elephant tusks were part of the confiscated products.

Britain's minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts, Chris Philp, said: "Organised crime groups drive the trade in endangered species and the movement of banned animal products is key to how they operate.

"This is why Border Force's specialist officers will continue their vital work at the border to prevent the importation and exportation of endangered animals and plants, as well as working alongside enforcement partners such as the National Wildlife Crime Unit, and police from across the UK to eradicate this ruthless and exploitative trade."

The operation was co-led by the World Customs Organisation and Interpol, Hindustan Times reports.

It also involved police, customs, environment, wildlife and forestry agencies from 111 countries.

Aside from the drugs, the contraband items impounded included 1.3 tonnes of ivory, more than one tonne of Pangolin scales, 1,400 live turtles and 1,800 reptiles.

The news outlet reports that the seizure of sildenafil tablets from India meant to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) is the second such major UK seizure in two years.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency seized 3.5 million such pills worth £10 million in 2019, 96 per cent of them were shipped from India.

ED pills are available through pharmacies on a doctor's prescription after an assessment.

Illegal traders posing as legitimate suppliers sell unlicensed medications for the UK market online, offering attractive prices, officials said.

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Nigerian Government Under Fire For Tagging #EndSARS Campaigners Terrorists

11 November 2020 - 10:56pm

The Nigerian government came under fire on Wednesday for tagging #EndSARS campaigners as terrorists with prominent citizens and groups condemning the Central Bank of Nigeria's action, which led to the freezing of the accounts of some of the campaigners.

The government had succeeded in freezing the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after telling a Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities.

This was according to a written address in support of a motion ex parte filed by the CBN, which froze 20 accounts in the second week of October and after that approached the court to seek an ex parte order to freeze the accounts, Punch reports.

In the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, filed before Justice A. R. Mohammed, the CBN, however, made no mention of the fact that the 20 accounts were owned by persons involved in the #EndSARS protests, but told the court that the funds might have emanated from terrorist activities.

The Nigerian Bar Association said on Wednesday that blocking the accounts of #EndSARS protesters on the pretext that they were terrorism suspects showed that the Federal Government was insincere.

Speaking for the body of lawyers in an interview with The PUNCH, the Publicity Secretary of the association, Dr Raps Nduka, maintained that the #EndSARS protests were lawful and the demands of the campaigners genuine.

He added that the action of the Federal Government through the CBN in blocking the accounts of the promoters of the movement showed that the government was insincere with its promise to address their demands.

Nduka said, "The timing looks very suspicious. The protests are lawful, and the demands of the protesters and the concerns they expressed are genuine.

"What has happened shows that the protesters were right to insist that they were not going to leave the streets because, over time, the government would promise something and do the opposite. This action of the CBN lends credence to the position taken by the youth.

"Even if the government is right, who will believe it at this time? The government makes it look like it is trying to silence people from talking about the ills of society. Why does the government appear to be doing that?

"It tells us that the government may not be doing anything to ensure that the complaints are being addressed. It also tells us that their original claims that they were standing with the youth were pretences. You cannot be standing with them and freeze their accounts. It does not work that way.

"Let us assume that the allegations are true: what happens to discrete investigation? Why should they block the accounts of persons because you are investigating them? Why don't they be on the trail of the money going into the accounts, assuming the allegations are true?

"The time is very suspicious. It lends credence to the belief of the average Nigerian that the government is not being sincere."

Reacting to the apex bank's action, a prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, on Wednesday described the Federal Government's tagging of the promoters of the #EndSARS protests as terrorists as unlawful, unconstitutional and insensitive.

Ozekhome, who said he found it hard to believe that the CBN made such a claim in the application filed to obtain the court order freezing the accounts, noted that the Nigerian Constitution guaranteed the rights to protest.

He said, "Who is saying that peaceful protests on the streets of Nigeria by Nigerians, who are constitutionally entitled under sections 37 and 38 of the Constitution to protest, to assemble, to associate, to move freely, to kick against bad government policies, to demonstrate on the streets peacefully, to sing, to dance and to hold a rally, are terrorism? Who is the person saying that these amount to terrorism? What can this government not do to give a dog a bad name to hang it?

"So, the government does not know that the herdsmen are the real terrorists? The government does not know that Boko Haram members are the real terrorists? The government does not know that the rampaging kidnappers are the real terrorists? The government does not know that the bandits are the real terrorists? The government does not know that those in government stealing the commonwealth belonging to the people are the real terrorists?"

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Lekki Protesters Jumped Into River While Escaping From Shooting, Fled To Ikorodu – Survivor

11 November 2020 - 10:56pm

At least six EndSARS protesters jumped into the river around the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State on the evening of October 20, 2020, while the Nigerian Army deployed soldiers to fire bullets at peaceful protesters.

One of the six protesters, Caleb Ossai, told SaharaReporters that a boat operator came to their rescue and evacuated them to the Ikorodu area on the water.

He narrated that he was told a few persons, who were out of help, might have drowned.

Ossai said he was initially declared missing by his family members for close to a week before they traced him to the residence of a Good Samaritan in the Ikorodu area, where he was recuperating from the injuries he sustained during the ordeal.

The boat, which took the fleeing protesters from the Lekki Tollgate area to Ikorodu, almost capsized, according to the man who rescued Ossai, after he became unconscious during the incident.

In an interview with SaharaReporters, the 27-year-old said, "Trouble started when the soldiers arrived and started shooting, and some fell with injuries. People started running. Near the Lekki River where I was, some people also tried to escape from the bullets, and they began to push one another until some of us fell into the river. I could not swim, but I wore a white shirt. I was lucky to be visible, and the next time I woke up, I found myself in a house in the Ikorodu area.

"I could not find my phone or did not remember any contact of family members I could call. It took a week for my family members to be able to locate me. Many people jumped into that river. I am not sure everyone made it out alive. The man who hosted me in his house told me that the boat was filled and almost capsized as they journeyed to Ikorodu."

It will be recalled that the peaceful EndSARS protest in the Lekki Tollgate area turned into a blood field on the evening of October 20 and around 6.50 pm, when soldiers from the 65 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Bonny Camp, Victoria Island, opened fire on the protesters. The military men killed and injured several demonstrators.

A certain Lieutenant Colonel Bello, who was the Commanding Officer of the battalion, had led the soldiers to fire bullets at the scene.

While addressing the Lagos Panel of Inquiry, Bello claimed that he only fired blank ammunition into the air.

According to witnesses, while people were rushed to hospital after bleeding from serious bullet injuries, complaints about missing persons increased from friends and family members of youths who were suspected of having attended the Lekki Tollgate protest.

Ossai was one of such requests.

A day after the shootings, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had initially denied any loss of life by gunfire or that he was aware of the deployment of soldiers.

Later, he admitted that two persons were killed in the incident, while the army said in a terse statement that the state government requested for a military clampdown on the protesters to enforce its earlier-than-scheduled curfew.

According to accounts of protesters, the deceased persons included two males; Folorunsho Olabisi and Anthony Okechukwu. His relatives have found Olabisi's body at the mortuary of St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, with three bullet injuries.

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Sowore Raises Alarm Over Plot By Nigerian Government To Arrest, Kill Him For Demanding Good Governance

11 November 2020 - 3:52pm

Omoyele Sowore

Rights activist and Convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, Omoyele Sowore, has accused the Nigerian Government of plotting to arrest and kill him.

The alarm by the activist comes as the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government continues its clampdown on major actors and promoters of the #ENDSARS protest.

Omoyele Sowore

In a post on Twitter on Wednesday, Sowore said that the Nigerian military had put a bounty on his head for him to be either arrested or killed.

#RevolutionNow Info reaching me now is that a signal from DIA has put a bounty on my head, that I must be arrested or murdered as they claim I’d resist arrest in the next 24hrs! This is from the Defence HQ here is Abuja! Be it known that this can’t affect the struggle for freedom

— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) November 11, 2020

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami @MalamiSan and new chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari and @HQNigerianArmy chief, Buratai are all involved! @cenbank Governor, Godwin Emefiele is bankrolling the deadly plot

— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) November 11, 2020

Just yesterday @MalamiSan went to an FCT court headed by Justice AB Muhammed to obtain an exparte order against me and @SaharaReporters, he want to make it look like his part of it is “civil” to pretend he wasn’t part of the assassination squad they put together!

— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) November 11, 2020

Over the week their minions wrote press releases, letters to foreign embassies, @TheNationNews was generous in claiming some “Genuine EndSars” people want me arrested. The @HQNigerianArmy had a team of @twitter influencers on Sunday suggesting I should be assassinated

— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) November 11, 2020

Sowore was arrested in the early hours of August 3, 2019 by operatives of the Department of State Services for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations on August 5 to demand a better country from the administration of President Buhari.

He was kept in unlawful detention from that period until December 5, 2019 when he was finally released on bail despite two court orders earlier sanctioning his freedom.

In a twist of events, DSS operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, 2019 to rearrest him without any court order.

See Also ACTIVISM #Don'tForgetSowore: Timeline Of An Activist's 90 Days In DSS Detention 0 Comments 1 Year Ago

VIDEO: DSS Officer Strangles Sowore, Brandish Guns In Attempt To Rearrest Him

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 6, 2019

He remained in unlawful detention until 18 days later when he was released by the secret police for the second time.

The journalist remains confined to Abuja as one of his bail conditions forbids him from leaving the city or speaking with journalists until the end of his trial.


See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Sowore Raises The Alarm Over Plot By Buhari's Regime To Re-arrest Him After SaharaReporters Exposed Coronavirus In Aso Villa 0 Comments 7 Months Ago

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Nigerian Army Releases List Of 86 Most Wanted Terrorists

11 November 2020 - 3:12pm

Nigerian troops are fighting jihadist insurgency in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

The Nigerian Army has released a list of 86 persons wanted in connection with acts of terrorism.

Those on the list are alleged to be members of the Boko Haram sect.

Nigerian troops are fighting jihadist insurgency in the northeastern part of Nigeria. Nigerian Army

The latest release is the fourth to be issued by the military authorities, who have in the past equally rolled out lists of wanted terrorists.

The list was launched by Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, alongside Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno State, at the Nigerian Army Super Camp, Chabbal in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno.

Buratai said the two events were part of activities designed for the final push to end Boko Haram activities in the North-East region.

The army chief said no “child CJTF” will participate in the operation, calling on the public to support the military in fishing out remnants of the insurgents.

Prominent on the list is the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, who has been declared dead on a few occasions in the past.

Others are Abu Musa Al Barnawi, Modu Sulum, Malkam Umar, Bello Husba, Yan Kolo, Ibrahim Abu Maryam, Baka Kwasari, Bana Gonna, Mohammed Abu Maryam, Abu Imma, and Abu Dardda.

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Bandits Kill One Person, Abduct Traditional Ruler, Children In Zamfara

11 November 2020 - 3:07pm

File Photo

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have abducted the district head of Matseri community under Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

One person, Mallan Maigariya, was, however, killed while trying to rescue the abducted victims.

File Photo

It was gathered that the gunmen armed with automatic weapons, stormed the community on motorcycles in large numbers.

The Emir of Anka, who doubles as Chairman of Zamfara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmed, confirmed the incident.

Ahmed said the bandits did not talk to or attack anyone else in the village but took away the district head and his children.

He said, “We do not know whether they have issues that have not been settled with the district head.”

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United States Lawmakers Ask Immigration And Customs Enforcement To Halt Deportation Of African Asylum-seekers

11 November 2020 - 3:02pm

The United States House of Representatives has asked the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop the deportation African asylum-seekers from Cameroon and other countries on the continent.

Karen Bass, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Bennie Thompson, Shelia Jackson-Lee, Judy Chu, Joaquin Castro and Jamie Raskin disclosed this in a joint statement issued on Tuesday.

The lawmakers said the deportation process by ICE should be put on hold until a new administration is sworn in.

The statement reads, “Our offices have been alerted that African asylum-seekers from Cameroon and other African countries, many of whom were allegedly improperly coerced by ICE to sign voluntary deportation orders, will be deported as early as tomorrow morning. Upon their arrival to their designated countries, many will be at imminent risk of death.

“Their deportation should be put on hold until the new administration is sworn in and able to carefully review these claims. Anything otherwise is outrageous and unacceptable. We plan to introduce a measure this week to condemn this deportation should it take place.

“The United States should uphold its commitment under international treaties related to refugees and asylum-seekers and halt this unjust deportation.”

The US has indicated interest to fly some Cameroonian asylum seekers back to their home country despite fears that their lives will be at risk.

Some of the deportees are activists from the country’s Anglophone minority, who face arrest warrants for their political activities from government forces with a well-documented record of extrajudicial killings.

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Police Dismiss 10 Officers in Lagos For Murder, Corruption, Others

11 November 2020 - 2:59pm

The Lagos State Police Command has dismissed no fewer than 10 of its personnel for various offences ranging from murder, discreditable conduct, excessive use of power, corruption among others.

The Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement added that 18 police officers were demoted while 29 others were issued warning.

It reads, “In its bid to promote discipline and core values of policing in Lagos State, the  police command has tried eighty one (81) personnel for various criminal and disciplinary offences that were committed between October 2019 and October 2020, ranging from murder, discreditable conducts, excessive use of power, corrupt practices and negligence.

“The command has dismissed and prosecuted seven, while 10 personnel were dismissed. In addition, 18 of the men were reduced in ranks and 29 were awarded #10 naira major entries and warning letters accordingly. Others were awarded extra fatigue while 16 of the men were discharged and acquitted for want of evidence.

“The personnel that were tried in the orderly room proceedings conducted at various locations in Lagos State included 45 inspectors, 29 and seven corporals. Similarly, some senior officers of the command have been queried for various disciplinary offences and the queries are being processed at the Force Headquarters Abuja for necessary action and punishments.

“It is important to state that some of the affected personnel were attached to Lagos State Police Command while others were serving at various police formations within Lagos State. The trials were instituted based on a series of complaints/allegations levelled against them.

“According to the provisions of the Police Act and Regulations, punishments are awarded according to the magnitude of offences committed by police personnel. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, has deemed it necessary to inform the general public on the steps being taken by the command to sanitise its workforce in order to change the general perception that Lagos State Police Command and the entire police force, in particular, condone indiscipline and crimes.”


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