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Anti-hate speech bill, abuse of legislative process – Atiku

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Anti-hate speech bill, abuse of legislative process – Atiku

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residential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has described the Anti-Hate Speech Bill before the National Assembly as an abuse of the legislative process that would violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech.

 

The bill is proposing death penalty by hanging as punishment for violators, if passed into law.

 

Atiku, in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, reminded those behind this bill the fact that Nigeria’s democracy “survived its longest incarnation, because those who governed this great nation between 1999 and 2015 never toyed with this most fundamental of freedoms.

 

“It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests.”

 

The former vice president stated that freedom of speech was not just bestowed to Nigerians by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) but it is a divine right given to all men by their Creator.

 

“History is littered with the very negative unintended consequences that result when this God-given right is obstructed by those who seek to intimidate the people rather than accommodate them.

 

“We should be reminded that history does not repeat itself. Rather, men repeat history, and often to disastrous consequences.

 

“Nigeria presently has too many pressing concerns. We are now the world headquarters of extreme poverty as well as the global epicentre of out-of-school children.

“Our economy is smaller than it was in 2015, while our population is one of the world’s fastest growing.

 

“We have retrogressed in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, from the position we held four years ago, and our Human Development Indexes are abysmally low.

 

“It, therefore, begs the question: should we not rather make laws to tackle these pressing domestic challenges, instead of this bill, which many citizens consider obnoxious?” Atiku asked.

He wants the lawmakers to prioritise the nation’s challenges “ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth.”

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  1. ปั้มไลค์

    November 13, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

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We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC

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We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has stated that corruption is the fastest route to the destruction of the nation’s institutions.
Citing examples of the effects of corruption on institutions, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in his message Monday at the 2019 United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day, noted that “when a country’s institutions are weakened by corruption for instance, its security forces would not be trusted, its borders would become porous, criminality will fester and its insecurity may be internationalized.”
He, however, warned that the days of impunity were over in Nigeria and that all corrupt persons must be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
His words: “As we explore the option of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office. The days of impunity are over. The warning must be given, loud and clear, that the corrupt will be dealt with firmly, and with the degree of ruthlessness that the law permits.”

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Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq

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Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has disclosed that the immediate past administration incurred a debt of about N100 billion as against the N30 billion it handed over to his administration.
AbdulRazaq, who disclosed this on Monday in Ilorin, the state capital, during a rally commemorating the United Nation’s Anti Corruption Day,  commended the EFCC for preventing the removal of about N4 billion from the treasury of the state by the immediate past administration at its twilight.
The governor noted that corruption is a cankerworm that affects all and sundry and the fight against it should be embraced by every member of the society, if there would be meaningful progress and development in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole.
He said: “The anti corruption laws should not be seen as punitive but an effort to guide the people to do the right thing.
“Corruption is a cankerworm that is detrimental and it drastically retards socioeconomic growth and development of the people, the state and the nation.”
He, however, promised that his administration would effectively collaborate with the anti graft agency so as to make the state better.

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Ganduje appoints Sanusi Chairman Kano Council of Emirs

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Ganduje appoints Sanusi Chairman Kano Council of Emirs

Kano Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Chairman of the state’s Emirate Council of Chiefs.

Ganduje said he did this going by the powers conferred on him in Sections 4 (2) (g) and Section 5((1) (2) of the Kano State Emirate Councils Law 2019.

Also Four First Class Emirs of Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Alhaji Dr Tafida Abubakar (Autan Bawo), Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II and Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, are appointed as automatic members of the Council, as enshrined in the state’s Emirate Council Law.

According to a press release signed by Mr Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor and made available to newsmen on Monday, the governor stated that Section 4(2) names other members as Secretary to the State Government, Commissioner for Local Governments, five Chairmen of local government councils one each from the local government council where the Emir’s palace is situated.

Section 5(1), (2) of the law provides that, the Chairmanship of the state Council of Chiefs shall be rotational among the five Emirs of the Emirates and the sequence of which is to be determined by the governor and the chairman shall serve for a period of two years only.

The appointment is with effect from Monday, December 9.

Governor Ganduje urged all the Council members to utilize the opportunity to serve the people in the state and to strengthen the Emirates and the traditional system of administration in the state in advising the state government, more particularly on security matters

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Sowore: Coalition threatens mass action after 14-day ultimatum

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Sowore: Coalition threatens mass action after 14-day ultimatum

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations has threatened to mobilise Nigerians for a mass action against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government after the expiration of a14-day ultimatum it issued for the release of Omoyele Sowore and others illegally detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).

While the Coalition noted that last week’s invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by DSS operatives and re-arrest of Sowore was the highest level of abuse of executive powers, it also stated that the country would slide fully into anarchy if nothing was done to curb the excesses of the government.

Yemi Adamolerun of EiE Nigeria, in the address she read on behalf of the Coalition at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, said that the ultimatum was necessary to put an urgent check on the government before democracy in Nigeria would be completely truncated by power drunk politicians.

Details later…

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One killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption

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One killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption

One person was killed after a volcano erupted on White Island off the coast of New Zealand and an undetermined number of people were injured or missing, authorities said Monday.

John Tims, deputy commissioner of the national police, said at a news conference that there are “likely to be more” deaths. Search and rescue operations have been stalled because “at this stage, it is too dangerous for police and rescue services to go to the island.”

Boats, ships and emergency aircraft in the area had removed 23 people from the island, many of them with burn injuries, he said. About 50 people were believed to have been in the area at the time of the eruption, he said.

Jonathon Fishman, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean Cruises, told NBC News that multiple guests aboard the ship Ovation of the Seas were touring the island, which in quieter times is a tourist attraction popular with birdwatchers. He had no further immediate information, adding: “Please keep all those affected in your prayers.”

GeoNet, the government earthquake agency, said the country’s most active cone volcano, Whakaari White Island, in the Bay of Plenty about 30 miles off the northeast New Zealand coast, erupted at about 2:11 p.m. Monday.

“We are aware that people were on the island immediately before the eruption and we express our concern for their safety,” GeoNet said in a statement. It said that the eruption was a “short-lived” event generating an ash plume 12,000 feet into the sky but that ash fall appeared to be confined to the island.

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Finnish minister Sanna Marin, 34, to become world’s youngest PM

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Finnish minister Sanna Marin, 34, to become world’s youngest PM

Sanna Marin, aged 34, will become the world’s youngest prime minister as head of a women-led coalition government in Finland.

The transportation minister was picked by her Social Democratic party to take charge after PM Antti Rinne quit. She is expected to be sworn in this week.

She will lead a centre-left coalition of five parties all headed by women, reports the BBC.

Rinne stepped down after losing the confidence of a coalition member over his handling of a postal strike.

When she takes office, Ms Marin will be the world’s youngest sitting prime minister. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is 39, while Ukrainian premier Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35.

“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust,” Ms Marin, who won the vote by a narrow margin, told reporters.

She brushed away questions about her age, saying: “I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”

Ms Marin will be the third-ever female prime minister in the Nordic country. The Social Democrats emerged as the largest party in elections held in April, and so can appoint the prime minister who leads the coalition government.

According to Finnish broadcaster YLE, Sanne Marin was raised by a single mother and was the first person in her family to go to university.

Finland currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

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Buhari likens Sowore to Boko Haram terrorists

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Buhari likens Sowore to Boko Haram terrorists

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resident Muhammadu Buhari has likened the activities of the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, to Boko Haram terrorists operating in North-East part of the country.

 

The President stated this in reaction to criticisms that have trailed the re-arrest of the convener of Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, at the Federal High Court, Abuja by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

 

While the fighting between government forces and Boko Haram insurgents since 2009 in the North-East has led to death of several people and displacement of millions, Sowore recently called for a revolution against the government of President Buhari.

 

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday, explained that the criticism which followed the re-arrest of Sowore and Bakare inside the court premises is unnecessary.

 

DSS operatives were reported to have chased away a presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and assaulted journalists in their bid to arrest the duo of Sowore and Bakare in Abuja on Friday.

 

 

Reacting to the condemnation of the Buhari government over the re-arrest which happened inside the court premises, Shehu said Sowore remains a person of interest to the DSS.

 

“Again, it is no surprise that he (Sowore) should be a person of interest to the DSS. Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the North-Eastern region of our country.

 

 

“The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.

 

“Nigerians do not need another spate of lawlessness and loss of lives all in the name of ‘revolution’, especially not one that is orchestrated by a man who makes his home in faraway New York – and who can easily disappear and leave behind whatever instability he intends to cause, to wit, Nnamdi Kanu. This is a matter for the DSS, acting under its powers,” the presidential aide stressed.

 

The Presidential spokesman said no government around the world will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.

 

Shehu said: “No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.

 

 

“Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

 

“He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.

 

“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow.”

 

According to the presidential spokesman, the DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution.

 

The Presidency explained that: “The DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution – which was the foundation for the restoration of democracy in our country in 1999.

 

 

“Mr. Sowore is no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet. He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran – and lost – as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 presidential election.

 

 

“Nigeria’s democracy was a long time in the making, and was achieved after decades of often harsh, military-led overthrows of government: the kind of situation Sowore was advocating.

 

 

“To believe in and desire armed revolution is not normal amongst ‘human rights activists’, as Sowore has been incorrectly described.”

Meanwhile, the US Department of State has expressed concerns over the re-arrest of Sowore.

 

 

In a tweet on Saturday, the United States reminded the Nigerian Government that respect for rule of law, freedom and judicial independence are key elements of democracy.

 

 

“We are deeply concerned that Sowore has been re-detained in Nigeria, shortly after a court ordered he be released on bail. Respect for rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of democracy,” the US Department of State said.

 

 

 

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Sowore: HURIWA tackles Presidency, DSS

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Sowore: HURIWA tackles Presidency, DSS

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uman Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, flayed the Presidency and the Department of State Services (DSS) over the re-arrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, inside the courtroom.

The advocacy group described the incident as “outrageous and primitive” and called for the dismissal of the Director-General of DSS, Alhaji Yusuf Bichi.

 

 

In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the group also frowned at the attempt made by the DSS spokesperson to exculpate his agency “from the abominable defecation of the Temple of Justice.”

 

 

It said: “This invasion of the Federal High Court, just like the invasion of the National Assembly by 100 hooded armed security forces of the DSS and the invasion of the residences of Justices of the nation’s Supreme Court and Federal High Court, are symptomatic of the increasing desire of the administration to institute arbitrariness and anarchy and then to elevate impunity and official lawlessness to a state policy which will culminate in the ultimate collapse of constitutional democracy and the emergence of full dictatorship.”

 

 

HURIWA’s statement came against the backdrop of claim by the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, that Sowore acted a well-rehearsed script to give the world the impression that its agents arrested him inside a courtroom.

According to the rights group, there is no justifiable reason for an institution created by statute to actively invade the sacred sanctum of the Federal High Court and employ brute force to arbitrarily re-arrest two Nigerian citizens who were already on bail granted to them by a competent court of law.

 

 

It insisted that the half-baked efforts by reactionary forces aligned to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to explain away the weighty issues connected with the invasion of the courtroom of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu “makes the government appear to be totally cut off from reality.”

 

 

HURIWA added: “This attempt to paint black what is white and to deny an event recorded on video and circulated all over the world will present the government as a bunch of people who are in the business of canonizing falsehoods and adopting naked lies as the hallmarks of the current administration.

 

“This is a serious disservice to the Nigerian State and these crude tendencies will harm the international image of the country for a long time to come.”

 

The group declared that the action of the DSS operatives cannot possibly find any rational, empirical and constitutional support since it “amounted to a gross disrespect for the sanctity of the judiciary.”

 

 

“It is comical and irrational that the spokesman for the President of a constitutional democracy in the 21st Century can be seen arguing that a citizen who has already been granted bail by the court of competent jurisdiction can be rearrested over very nebulous and incoherent reasons that find no justification in law and for which same reasons framed as criminal charges are already before the court of law and during which pendency the presiding judge, Her Lordship Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, had graciously exercised her constitution power of discretion and granted bail to the accused, thereby rendering his second arrest as an exercise in erection of double jeopardy,” it said.

 

The group, however, urged President Buhari to desist from abusing his powers and office, saying “political power is transient.”

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Why Senate is in a hurry to perform, by Lawan

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Why Senate is in a hurry to perform, by Lawan

The President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, explained that the Ninth Senate was in a hurry to deliver on some of the targets set in its legislative agenda, in order to beat the 2023 political season, which might slow down governance. Lawan gave this explanation at the end-of-the-year get-together/award ceremony, organised by the Senate management for the staff of the Senate. He said: “We came with our own ideas, our own agenda as Distinguished Senators of the Ninth Senate. “We passed our agenda.

 

What we intend to do as Senators to enhance good governance in Nigeria is to make Nigeria better for the citizens. And, of course, the way we want to go is different from the way of the past because perhaps the goals and targets are different. “And we are also in a hurry.

 

We know the need for us to act fast. Time is of essence. In the next two years or so, the Nigerian political landscape will be dotted by people campaigning for presidency, for governorship and the rest of it. And that will in a way cause some disruption or slowdown in governance. “So between now and the next two years we have told ourselves that we have to work hard to ensure that, as a legislature, we are able to perform our roles creditably to enable government function very well for Nigerians.

 

And that is what we have been trying to do. The President of the Senate said that by the time the lawmakers returned from their break in January, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which appeared to have defied passage and the constitutional amendment which is a continuous exercise, would be addressed. “The mode of operation of this current Senate is: we don’t give space. We don’t create any space in the middle. We just want it done and done away with it,” he said.

 

Lawan thanked the staff for their dedication, hard work and noted that they are so significant to the achievement so far recorded by the Senate. “We are supposed to celebrate you. That is why I’m here because we have put all of you to test when we came in. The first test we had for ourselves as Senators and you as supporting staff was the screening of the Presidential ministerial nominees. “We were supposed to go on break, but we held back for one week and it was a very exhaustive week. We sat up to about 8p.m. from morning.

 

We succeeded because you were there for us. “And the subsequent activities including, of course, the budget that we have just passed. The National Assembly turned into a beehive of activities right from the day we said the budget defence will start and the budget defence will end. Most of you were always in the National Assembly. You worked so hard. You made us to succeed,” he said.

 

Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori also commended the staff and assured them that the management would continue to strive hard to meet their needs within the available resources.

 

“We have never, as a management, failed to acknowledge the fact that we are within a very serious constraint. But what we have said is that, whatever is due to you, you will get it, within the context of the available resources,” Omolori said.

 

Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, assured the staff that the get-together had become an annual event. The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the 2019 Senate President Award to Usman Labaran Gumama for his dedication to duty, vigilance, valour and enforcement of security at the National Assembly complex.

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Falana: DSS can’t absolve self from court’s desecration

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Falana: DSS can’t absolve self from court’s desecration

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rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has said the Department of State Services (DSS) cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the desecration of a Federal High Court in Abuja occasioned by its invasion by some armed operatives of the agency in their quest to re-arrest the Convener of#RevolutionNowgroup, Omoyele Sowore.

 

 

The silk said it is self-contradictory for the DSS to claim on one hand that Sowore’s arrest was stage-managed by his supporters while at the same time admitting that its operatives arrested Sowore outside the court’s premises.

 

The DSS had, in a statement after last Friday’s incident, disclosed that Sowore was mobbed by his “supporters” who were trying to shield him from ‘an imaginary arrest’ and that its operatives never invaded the court.

 

However, in his response, Falana, who represented Sowore in court on the day of the incident, insisted that the DSS was solely responsible for the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the court as well as the ‘illegal’ arrest of his client.

 

 

He said DSS’ claims that the arrest was stage-managed could not hold water as it is difficult to believe that Sowore’s supporters will subject him to brutalisation in the presence of DSS operatives.

 

“Why were they not arrested for contravening the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017? Or were the DSS operatives expecting the supporters of a defendant to kill him in their presence?” Falana asked.

 

According to Falana, “The abominable desecration of the Federal High Court was covered live by domestic and international media outfits and journalists, some of whom were also direct victims of the gangsterism, barbarism and brutalisation displayed by officers of the Service on the 6th day of December 2019.”

 

Recounting the chain of events on the day of the incident, Falana said: “As soon as the case was adjourned, the DSS pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court. Having taken over the courtroom, Justice Ojukwu hurriedly rose and asked the registrar to adjourn all other cases. After the learned trial judge had risen for the day, she summoned the heads of the prosecution and defence teams to her chambers.

 

“When the lead prosecutor, Dr. Liman Hassan (SAN) denied knowledge of the invasion of her court, she directed him to invite the head of the DSS team in the court. When challenged to justify the invasion of the court, the officer could not. He apologised to Justice Ojukwu on behalf of the DSS. The judge then directed the officer to withdraw the DSS operatives from the courtroom. The directive was complied with as the operatives withdrew from the courtroom, but rushed out to join their colleagues who had taken over the entire court house.

 

 

“Notwithstanding that the DSS could not produce any warrant of arrest for Sowore, the defence team decided that I should accompany him to the DSS headquarters in view of his physical brutalisation inside the court room and the open threat to his life.

 

 

“I did and ensured that he was driven in my car to the DSS headquarters where I handed him over to the officers on duty. Thereafter, I requested for a meeting with the head of the DSS, but I was informed that he was not in the office.”

The silk also faulted claims by the DSS that it is law abiding, saying its activities pointed to the contrary.

 

 

“The DSS says it is a law abiding institution. But why did it refuse to comply with the order of Justice Taiwo to release Sowore? Why did the DSS threaten to report the judge to the NJC for granting bail to Sowore?

 

 

“Why did the DSS subject the order of Justice Ojukwu for the release of Sowore to its own approval by asking the sureties already verified by the judge to report themselves to it? Why did the DSS wait for the 24-hour ultimatum issued by the trial judge before releasing Sowore and Bakare?” he asked.

 

 

Falana, while demanding for the immediate release of Sowore, all political detainees and criminal suspects who have been admitted to bail pending trial by competent courts, added that bizarre harassment of courts cannot be tolerated under a democratically-elected government that claims to operate under the rule of law.

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