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JUST IN: Abductors Of Catholic Priest In Ondo Demand N100m Ransom

16 hours 22 min ago


The abductors of the two catholic priests kidnapped on Friday in Ondo State have demanded the sum of N100m before they could be set free, SaharaReporters has learnt.

Rev. Fr. Felix Efobi and Rev. Fr. Josephat Nweke of Catholic Diocese of Awka, Anambra State, were both kidnapped on the Owo-Benin Road in Ose Local Council Area of the state.

The two priest were abducted on their way to a wedding ceremony at the Igbatoro area of Akure where they were waylaid and dragged into the bush by the kidnappers.

Rev Fr Leo Aregbesola, Director of Media and Communications of the Ondo Catholic Diocese, who had earlier confirmed the abduction of the two priest on Sunday, said the abductors had reached out to the family.

He said, "The abductors have confirmed that the two priests are with them but they are demanding the sum of N100m as ransom from their families."

He added that they have resulted in prayers to ensure the safe release of the priests from the den of the kidnappers.

However, Femi Joseph, spokesperson for the police in Ondo State, said the Commissioner of Police had directed detectives from the command to swing into action and rescue the two priest from the hands of the kidnappers.

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Sowore: Afenifere Slams Buhari’s Regime, Says Nigeria Resting In Grip Of Dictatorship

Sun, 2019-12-08 23:56


Yinka Odumakin

Yinka Odumakin

Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, has knocked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its defense of the rearrest of Omoyele Sowore at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by the Department of State Services despite being on bail.

The group also condemned the DSS for the invasion of the court. Afenifere claimed the government was becoming totalitarian, condemning the statement issued by the Presidency on why Sowore was rearrested.

Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, in a statement noted that if there was any sign Nigerians needed to know that the country had slipped into the abyss of totalitarian rule, it was the “unfortunate statement by the Presidency on Sowore”.

Afenifere also likened the invasion of the court by the DSS as a “coup against the judiciary”.

The statement reads, “A truly democratic regime would have condemned the barbaric conduct of the DSS in court on Friday with a promise to investigate it.

“But this Presidency ignored the sacrilege of desecration of the temple of justice and went after Sowore whom it describes as a ‘person of interest’ to the DSS.

"Does it occur to them that what DSS did on Friday was a coup against the judiciary?

“The statement shows this administration is far too gone in its way of riding roughshod over all that we hold dear as a nation.

"If Nigerians do not assert constitutionalism with all peaceful and democratic means, this country may well be resting in pieces in the grip of dictatorship and arbitrariness.

“To see our Presidency patronising Boko Haram in the context of Sowore galls and stinks to high heaven.”

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SERAP Blasts Nigerian Government For Comparing Sowore To Boko Haram Terrorist

Sun, 2019-12-08 22:00


The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has condemned the Nigerian Government for comparing Omoyele Sowore to a Boko Haram terrorist in defense of his rearrest by operatives of the Department of State Services.

The DSS had stormed the Federal High Court, Abuja, to arrest Sowore but the act was temporarily met with resistance by Sowore's supporters leading to the closure of the court activities.

Sowore was subsequently arrested and is being detained at the headquarters of the DSS.

Backing the rearrest of Sowore despite a court order granting him bail, Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, in a statement, said Sowore's act is similar to the Boko Haram group that had killed thousands of Nigerians.

He said, "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’."

Reacting to the statement by Shehu, SERAP said it unacceptable to compare citizens exercising their human rights with militants killing people and destroying property.

SERAP also said that the government was only trying to discourage Nigerians from criticising the President Buhari-led administration.

SERAP said, "We condemn the statement today by @NigeriaGov issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to President Muhammadu Buhari. To be absolutely clear, Sowore and Bakare are not terrorists.

"It’s unacceptable to compare citizens who are also activists simply exercising their human rights including freedom of expression with militants killing our people and destroying property.

"Freedom of expression is not yet a crime under the Nigerian constitution of 1999 (as amended).

"What is happening to Sowore and Bakare shows clear attempts by the Nigerian authorities to further silence critics, activists and the media while they continue to undermine the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

"This is illustrated through a persistent disobedience of court orders, and as we witnessed last week, the invasion of Justice Ojukwu’s court by the DSS."

SERAP also noted that the persecution of Sowore and Bakare is sending a chilling and unambiguous message to all Nigerians, and is part of a systematic effort to silence independent media and critical voices in Nigeria to prevent public scrutiny of governments at both the Federal and state levels.

It added that the government must act in line with the constitution by not only protecting the people but also complying with the rule of law in the country.

It added, "Nigerian authorities now need to begin to protect citizens’ human rights and the rule of law.

"That should start with the immediate withdrawal of the bogus charges against Sowore and Bakare and the immediate and unconditional release of Sowore from arbitrary detention.

"We are concerned that Nigerian authorities continue to openly scorn the Nigerian constitution and the country’s human rights commitments.

"This concerted attack on the rule of law must stop."

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SSS Apologised For Invading Court To Rearrest Sowore, Spokesperson Account Full Of Lies -Falana

Sun, 2019-12-08 21:59


Femi Falana (SAN), lawyer to rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has said the State Security Services apologised to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja for invading her courtroom to arrest Sowore without a warrant. 

Falana said while the invasion was going on, Justice Ojukwu summoned himself and counsel to the Sss, Hasan Liman (SAN), to her chamber to explain what was going on. 

Liman, he said, in turn called the head of the operation, who apologised to Justice Ojukwu and agreed to withdraw his men from the premises, adding that this never happened.

Falana's full account in a statement on Sunday reads, "Our attention has been drawn to the self contradictory press release of the SSS in which an unsuccessful attempt was made to absolve itself of responsibility for the armed invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, in general, and the desecration of Court 7 of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in particular as well as the illegal rearrest of Omoyele Sowore. 

"First, pretending to forget that the abominable desecration of the Federal High Court was covered live by domestic and international media outfits and journlists, some of whom were also direct victims of the gangsterism, barbarism and brutalisation displayed by officers of the Service on Friday, the Service has conducted "eyewitness" accounts of what transpired with the aim of showing that officers of the Service were not involved in the rearrest of Sowore.

"Second, the Service argues on the one hand that the arrest of Sowore was "stage managed" by his supporters in order to give the Service a bad name whilst also admitting at the same time that officers of the Service arrested Sowore outside the court. 

"Having declared that the Service arrested Sowore "outside the court", despite the "stage managing" argument, what the Nigerian people want to see happen is the immediate release of Sowore, pending his trial as ordered by the court.

Indubitable Facts Confirming Desecration Of Court And Rearrest By DSS 

However, the following facts underscore our insistence that the Service was solely responsible for the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the court. 

By the advantage of information technology, the whole world has placed responsibility for the gangsteric desecration of the court on the SSS. 

The SSS cannot extricate itself from the abominable acts of December 6, 2019.

When I informed the court that fresh charges were being filed against our clients and that they could be re-arrested, the prosecution denied any such plan. 

As soon as the case was adjourned, the SSS pounced on Sowore and caused a disruption of the proceedings of the court. 

Having taken over the court room vi et armis, 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, Liman Hassan denied knowledge of the invasion of her court, she directed him to invite the head of the SSS 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 SSS. 

The judge then directed the officer to withdraw the SSS 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. 

Notwithstanding that the SSS could not produce any warrant of arrest for Sowore, the defence team decided that I should accompany him to the SSS headquarters in view of his physical brutalisation inside the courtroom and the open threat to his life. I did and ensured that he was driven in my car to the SSS headquarters where I handed him over to the officers on duty. Thereafter, I requested for a meeting with the head of the SSS but I was informed that he was not in the office.

Though, ordinarily, officers of the Service do not wear any uniform, on December 6, some of them were in mufti, many were not only armed but also masked while others disguised in lawyer's black and white suit. 

Regardless of the form of appearance, the officers of the Service inside Court 7 were identifiable by their roles and acts of seizing Sowore and pinning him down. It is an utter poor reasoning to say that Sowore's supporters were also those bent on injuring him in order to arrest him. The argument of the Service in this respect is as unfortunate and pitiable as the earlier argument of the Service in respect of the Late Chief

Gani Fawehinmi who was once accused of wanting to set ablaze his own house.

If Sowore's supporters subjected him to such brutalisation in the presence of SSS operatives, why were they not arrested for contravening the provisions of the Anti Torture Act, 2017? Or were the SSS operatives expecting the supporters of a defendant wanted by the state to kill him in their presence?

Before submitting himself for arrest, Sowore had rightly demanded for a warrant of arrest and detention order but the SSS operatives were unable to produce either.

On Rationalisation Of Rearrest By DSS

In rationalising the rearrest of Sowore, which is denied in the same press statement, the Service alleged that Sowore held meetings with some people. Assuming without conceding that Sowore held meetings with some people in Transcorp Hotel as alleged by the SSS, why did the prosecution not inform the trial court that the defendant had breached his bail condition? 

On Claim Of SSS Being Law-abiding 

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

Why did the SSS 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 SSS wait for the 24-hour ultimatum issued by the trial judge before releasing Sowore and Bakare?

Incidentally, the prosecutor, Liman Hassan, was the counsel to the defendant in the case of FRN vs Air Commodore Mohammed. In that case, the order of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba for the release of the defendant on bail was flouted by the SSS. As if that was not enough, the SSS invaded the home of the judge on October 8, 2016 when the houses of judges accused of corruption were raided. Even though I have never appeared before Justice Dimgba, I have always known him as a judge of impeccable integrity. So, I challenged the SSS for painting an incorruptible judge with the brush of shame. It was after my intervention that the NJC gave the judge a clean bill of health. 

Thereafter, the judge was compelled to withdraw from the case. The SSS thought that it had won but it was a phyrric victory. Thus, Justice John Tsoho (current Chief Judge of the Federal High Court) to whom the case was reassigned, reiterated the orders of Justice Dimgba and proceeded to rule that trial would not commence in the case until the defendant was released from custody. It was at that stage that the SSS complied with the order of the court.

Conclusion

In light of the foregoing, we reiterate our demand for the release of not only Sowore in obedience to court orders, pending the verdict of the court in their trial, we equally call for the release of all other political detainees and criminal suspects who have been admitted to bail pending trial by competent courts. 

Finally, it is common knowledge that this country was ruled by military dictators for about three decades. On no occasion did security operatives invade court premises to arrest political activists inside a courtroom.

Therefore, the bizarre harassment of courts cannot be tolerated under a democratic government that claims to operate under the rule of law.
 

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They Have Started Again By Richard Akinnola

Sun, 2019-12-08 21:48


Richard Akinnola

Richard Akinnola

When Dele Giwa was assassinated on October  19, 1986, the major suspects were the two security operatives of the General Ibrahim Babangida junta. In an attempt to shift the focus from them,  they procured some Nigerians to peddle false narratives, accusing Dele's wife and his colleagues as the main suspects.

Also in 1986, Alozie Ogugbuaja, then the Lagos spokesperson for police, ran into troubled waters over his accusations against the military government for not funding the police. He was suspended. Thereafter, the agents of the junta went after his life. A grenade was thrown from a moving vehicle at him but it refused to detonate. Instead of standing by their man, the police IG, Gambo, said the grenade was "harmless" and must have fallen from a moving vehicle. Ever heard of a harmless grenade! They always have odious lies to peddle.

In 1988, agents of Babangida junta set fire on Gani Fawehinmi's house at 28 Sabiu Ajose Crescent, Surulere, Lagos, housing his library and his second wife and her children. Guess what the police said? In an attempt to change the narrative of their dastardly action, they accused Gani Fawehinmi of setting his house on fire "in order to embarrass the government". A livid Fawehinmi countered the police - "You mean l would set fire on my house, housing my wife and children and books worth millions of naira just to embarrass a government that is already embarrassed? You must be insane like your useless government". 

In 1996, after the assassination of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola by the agents of Abacha junta,  the security agencies, also in an attempt to shift the accusations from them, arrested some NADECO chieftains,  accused them of being behind the gruesome act till a court ordered their release. Of course, Nigerians knew that Abacha's Strike Force was behind the gruesome act. 

Now, after the show of shame inside the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, the perpetrators have equally procured some people to retail some puerile and jejune narrative that it was Omoyele Sowore and his team that simulated the scene in order to blackmail the security agency.

Unfortunately,  one of my friends,  Mallam Jaji, is part of those peddling this narrative. I have told him on his wall that with his position, l'm afraid of him. I can't feel comfortable being friends with people like this.

In fact, l would have to unfriend him. It's as serious as that. We are not just Facebook friends, we are friends in real life.  But not anymore. There are certain irreducible minimums l can tolerate from people l call my friends. This is not about holding a contrary view but peddling falsehood to save face after such a despicable conduct of Friday. 

You can go ahead to continue retailing your false narrative in order to mask an obvious fact but l also reserve the right to distance myself from such "friends". I'm not emotional about severing relationship with such people. As l often posit, this issue is not about Sowore as a person but about principle. 

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Richard Akinnola Disable advertisements : 

DSS Is Credibility Deficient! By Adeola Soetan

Sun, 2019-12-08 21:46


I am sorry, I don't and I can't believe an organisation that has no service  integrity, the lawless and pathologically lying Department of State Services that gave three different ridiculous childish reasons/lies within a week why Omoyele Sowore was not immediately released after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, granted him bail and only reluctantly obeyed days later after a contempt notice and another court order. 

DSS first claimed Sowore wouldn't be released because the bail order was served after closing hours, later the story changed to nobody to collect him, then, they changed the tale to they wouldn't release him to unruly mob, and the most ridiculous reason - they wouldn't release Sowore to avoid being  knocked down by vehicle.

Was it not the same DSS that denied that its armed men didn't invade the National Assembly during Bukola Saraki's leadership before Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was Acting President at the time, fired the DG of DSS. 

Even in their public refutal, they repeated their boring monotonous generational lies - in their imagination, they always 'confirm' plans by some people to disrupt Nigeria and yet after the scare, there won't be any disruption and nobody would be arrested as confirmed agents of disruption. Big budget!

They made this scaring claim also before the last governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, yet, they were not able to prevent the 'tatata tata' electoral gangsterism in Kogi.

This has always been the pattern even  before President Muhammadu Buhari. We recall how DSS invaded APC Media and Propaganda Social Media Centre in Lagos and created a big scare of an alleged masterplan of the then 'opposition' party to distrupt Nigeria. Many Nigerians of good conscience stood firmly to condemn the act of trying to close the democratic space and breached rights.

I remember how Lai Mohammed, the then 'opposition' spokesperson and propaganda-in-chief became restless and was addressing media every hour like a parrot on steroid and singing like  a canary bird. 

Today, unfortunately, the same Lai Mohammed and some members of the now  'Abobaku Orchestra' who were then rightly and fiercely against DSS lies and Jonathan regime attempt to militarise the democratic space are the same people doing the worse of attacks and believe same DSS lies. What a life of unprincipled power-drunk bourgeois politicians and their supporters! 

Well, let DSS first work on its credibility and integrity before people like me will start believing them. They caused the scene by coming to court with armed and masked men when they could have contacted Femi Falana (SAN), Sowore's lawyer.

By the way, if Sowore had broken his bail condition as they claimed, why can't DSS go back to Ojukwu's court with evidence and apply for a revocation of the bail? Why the ambush and pre-arresting him before going to court? That's lawlessness.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Adeola Soetan Disable advertisements : 

RE: DSS And The 6th December Federal High Court, Abuja Incident By Lucky Ighoyota

Sun, 2019-12-08 18:16





On Saturday, December 7, 24 hours after the debacle at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Department of State Services prevaricated about the real fact just to offset its damaged reputation.

It is no surprise to us or the general public, who are now used to the DSS' novelties of historical records of numerous lies m intended to create a false or misleading impression.

The invasion of the Federal High Court on Friday by DSS operatives to perfect a rearrest of Omoyele Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, less than 24 hours after they were granted bail is the highest act of sacrilege against the judicial arm of government that the operative has constantly expressed contempt for.

After willfully violating two different court orders that granted bail to Omoyele Sowore, and until Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu's 24-hour ultimatum to the operative, it became an obvious fact that the compliance with the court order was with the ulterior motive of releasing and rearresting Sowore, just to be seen to have obeyed the pending court.

During the court proceeding of the day under reference, defence counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), intimated the judge of the intention of the DSS to rearrest Sowore, but it was overlooked.

However, as soon as Sowore was about stepping out of the courtroom, DSS operatives laid hands on him to rearrest him without a charge; hence, the pandemonium between the violent operatives of the DSS and supporters of Sowore who couldn't comprehend the justification for a rearrest barely 24 hours after his release.

Eyewitness and media accounts have it that the DSS operatives stormed the courtroom violently and disrupted proceeding for which the sitting judge, Justice Ojukwu, had to scamper for safety.

In the press release of the DSS, it accused Sowore's supporters of shielding him from an "imaginary arrest." But in reality, the rearrest already proved that it wasn't an imaginary arrest. 

Since Sowore's appearances in court over this case with the DSS, armed operatives of the service in the court premises on December 6 were greater in number than ever. This is to show that Sowore's rearrest was a decision reached by the service even before his release on December 5!

On the claim by the DSS that its operatives were not inside the courtroom to carry out the rearrest, a critical look at the videos in circulation by the media and eyewitnesses revealed that some men of the operatives not dressed in DSS' branded uniform dragging Sowore on the ground inside the courtroom.

One of the service men inside the courtroom to forcefully rearrest Sowore was Marshall. He was not dressed in the branded uniform of the DSS. He was in a black jacket as seen in all videos in circulation.

Marshall was always the DSS operative restraining Sowore from speaking with the press during his previous appearances in court.

Also, it is worthy to note that Sowore while still within the premises of the court told this same Marshall that he was a disgrace. 

With this fact alone, it is abundantly clear that after 24 hours of silence over the court debacle by the DSS, in a bid to salvage their publicly damaged reputation, they still couldn't manufacture a "smart lie" that serves to make amends.

It is unthinkable of the DSS to accuse Sowore of addressing a group of persons at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on the same day of his release of a "reassured cause" to create anarchy in the country. 

This allegation is spurious, bogus, fake, and inauthentic.The DSS intends to make the public think something that is not true. 

In other words, the DSS is trying to establish the basis for rearresting Sowore to be that he had violated one of his bail conditions. This is laughable!

It is on record that when the DSS earlier insisted on validating the sureties to Sowore's bail, Justice m Ojukwu asked the counsel to the DSS if the agency was running a parallel court.

Most reasonably now, if a bail condition has been violated, it is of the same court that gave the conditions to determine that. The bail conditions were not by the DSS but by the court.

By DSS' inconsistent actions, the agency has assumed both the role of the court, the law, and the judge in this matter. This is a tragedy and a travesty of justice. 

DSS' historical records of numerous lies, human right violations, court contempt, and the recent desecration of the court all speak of one truth, which is, the operative is unabashedly unruly and does not have the genetic composition to abide by the law. 

There is no plan by any one group connected to Omoyele Sowore to organise an insurrection in the country. A wise saying has it that the evil that men do live after them. DSS' unequivocal reputation for false alarms is a psychological self-defense mechanism to preempt the provocative paranoia their oppressive tendencies are stirring in Nigerians. 

The agency is gradually militarising our democracy by its undemocratic actions and terrorising assaults on dissenting voices of truth.

We are requesting well meaning Nigerians to lend a voice of opposition to this assault on our democracy, institutions, and freedom of expression as enshrined in our constitution.


Also, we are demanding the unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore from illegal detention.

 

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Lucky Ighoyota Disable advertisements : 

Diaspora Nigerians Protest At World Bank; Petition FBI Over Bribery Allegations

Sun, 2019-12-08 17:02


Nigerians in Diaspora on the platform of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria protested at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington DC, United States, to present a petition to the President of the global financial institution, David Malpass, requesting them to stop granting loans to the Nigerian Government already indebted to the tune of over $82bn. 

The group later moved to the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence and delivered a petition requesting the body to investigate allegations that World Bank officials allegedly receive bribe to grant loans to states and the Nigerian Government.
The petition was supported with 105 pages of 2,266 signatories signed by Nigerians viaChange.org 

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Frederick Odorige said that since writing off Nigeria's $18bn debt by the Paris Club in 2005, the government had continued to borrow at the detriment of Nigerians with very little or nothing on ground to show for it. 

This has been worsened by the fact that they have borrowed Nigeria into being the poverty capital of the world.  

He said, "$460m was reportedly borrowed from China about a decade ago under the guise of using it to install CCTV in the Federal Capital territory. 

"The project was not executed as contracted but our country continue to service that loan. 

"There are no verifiable evidences to show how the $320m loot of our late former Head of State Sani Abacha was appropriated after it was repatriated from Switzerland.  

"There are no verifiable evidences to show how the purported N500b ($1.56b) so-called Trader-moni in the name of social-investment funds were disbursed. 

 "Money borrowed from the World Bank, China and other places are used in buying the bullets that kill unarmed protesters who are fighting for economic and social justice. 

"Lenders are investing in the blood of our compatriots many of whom are currently under unlawful detention. 

"Money borrowed from the World Bank, China and other sources are used in financing the unlawful detention of Nigerians against the orders of the courts. 

"Finally, it is very important that we bring to your notice, ongoing allegations that officials of the World Bank receive bribe in order to grant loans to states and Federal Government of Nigeria. It is alleged that this is the reason why loans are quickly granted. We are not making direct accusations at this point because we do not have verifiable evidences. However, we know that there is no smoke without fire.

"Therefore, we respectfully petition that you quickly embark on a thorough investigation in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of investigations on the ongoing allegations making the round in Nigeria."

In response to the protest, Marcela Sanchez-Bender, Media Relations and Lead Corporate Communications in company with colleagues, promised to deliver the petition to the appropriate authority. 

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A Sick Nation And Her Sickening Secret Service By Erasmus Ikhide

Sun, 2019-12-08 16:50


The citizens' clarion call that the Department of State Services should be scrapped forthwith by the act of National Assembly and its operatives from top to bottom debriefed; re-educated, even rusticated or redistributed to other minimally functional paramilitary institutions like the Nigeria Police Force will no doubt heals the nation of the wounds from the vested madness and brutality the secret service has visited on the failed state called Nigeria. 

How best do we describe a beastly secret service or its operatives whose beastiality threatens national cohesion, the nation's constitution and the judiciary, democracy and its majestic ethos? Who need an obsolete self-serving stone age anti-democratic security outfit, with scant methodology on intelligence gathering, lacking in cybernetics sophistry without a single idea on how to tame real and actual security threats to the nation? 

The DSS needs internal purgation, and urgently too. Someone like Peter Afunanya, its spokesperson, should be thrown out of the window for further disgracing an ethically flawed institution which knew next to nothing about intelligence gathering,  solely masquerading as an attack dog for the presidency. 

The conundrum has been why furnish and burnish criminal government with false intelligence reports against the citizens when the real enemy of the state is the same vampire government? I have laboured in the past to educate the DSS and her collaborators that its protective alibi labelled "national security" is a mere subterfuge. The actual name is "regime security" coded as "national security" to defraud and cow uninformed citizens to submission. Citizens must not be given order by lawless secret service that can not differentiate between Boko Haram and social change agents and activists.

Tragically, Peter Afunanya is a poor image maker for the DSS with his amateurish defence and blatant falsehood he puts forward on the several viral videos that signposted the desecration of the hall of justice at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday by the DSS.

Afunanya couldn't hide the fact that doing the bidding of a murderous tyrant is different from protective media anchorage. He could still not give valid reasons or answers as to why the DSS rearrested Omoyele Sowore after less than 24 hours after he was released on bail. 

Like the ostrich that he is, Afunanya buried his head and that of the DSS in the sand without a word on the abduction of the journalist and human rights activist in a bizarre and gangly despotic manner. Afunanya spilled poor half-truth on the secret service disgraceful outing without mentioning the commando-like but shameful exhibition of empty power in the midst of defenceless citizens. 

What's the usefulness of a discredited ethnically cultivated and motivated compromised secret service that could not decipher or detect activities of murderous militias like Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen long before they unleash terror on the nation? What's the DSS's day job when cultists kill themselves and cause mayhem on a daily basis across the country? What inform DSS open contempt for the judiciary and the law, if not misplaced intelligence computation, analysis and misplaced priority? 

It's time the National Assembly revisits the law that established the DSS for taking sadistic pleasure in dehumanising Nigerians. The DSS needs complete restructuring or outright scrapping from its present banality and rescue it away from being an appendage of any president in power or unlisted powerful individuals at the corridors of power. 

Without that, Nigerians would wake up one day and be told that the notorious scofflaw has created her own law courts where they (the DSS) can now do maximum violence to Nigerian citizens, democracy and civilisation. 

Email: ikhideerasmus@gmail.com 

Follow me on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1

 

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JUST IN: Presidency Denies Authorising Sowore's Rearrest

Sun, 2019-12-08 16:06


Omoyele Sowore

Omoyele Sowore BBC

The Nigerian Presidency has denied ordering the rearrest of pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, on Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja. 

Sowore was rearrested by the Department of State Services less than 24 hours after he was released from 125 days of arbitrary detention. 

The DSS is under the direct control and supervision of the Presidency. 

In a statement on Sunday, spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, denied granting permission to the DSS to carry out the rearrest.

Shehu said, "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.

"However, it should not surprise anyone who has followed his actions and words that Sowore is a person of interest to the DSS."

He added that Sowore was rearrested for calling for a revolution, an alleged offence for which he has been granted bail twice by the Federal High Court in Abuja. 

Sowore was first arrested on August 3 for calling on Nigerians to pour out to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Buhari. 

The trail in a case brought against him by the government was ongoing at the Abuja court on Friday when the DSS stormed the place to forcefully take him away. 
 

Politics News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

SSS Is Indeed A Lying Machine By Stanley Imhanruor

Sun, 2019-12-08 15:42




I have read with amusement, the press release by the SSS wherein the service unashamedly denied any attempt to rearrest Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare in the well of the court.

Since the barbaric and misguided act by the SSS was well captured on tape, it is pertinent to reference some of the pictures and videos circulating in the media space.

In the viral video, the person holding Sowore down (the man that eventually emerged  beneath Sowore, wearing white shirt and a black jacket is an officer of the SSS.

Everyone could see from the viral video that when the arresting officer got up people where asking him: who are you? Who are you? But the officer refused to respond to the posers.

The officer is also arrowed in some of the viral pictures circulating on social media platforms.

The said officer is constantly around Sowore in the courtroom and he is the officer obviously detailed by the SSS to always be with Sowore in the courtroom to monitor his movement and conduct whenever the matter comes up in court whilst other officers stay some metres away watching.

For clarity, the officer's name in question is Dekko Nelly (Marshal).

Please do not be deceived by the press release by the SSS as same is merely a smokescreen designed to save its already badly battered image locally and internationally in the circumstance.

No matter how far and fast a lie travels, truth which is eternal and immutable will always overtake it in the long run.
 

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Adamawa LG Poll: Youths Barricade Roads To Protest Non-conduct Of Exercise

Sun, 2019-12-08 15:18




Irate youth in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State on Saturday set-up burn-fires and barricaded roads to protest the non-conduct of local government council election in the area. 

Residents of the area waited in vain for the arrival of election materials on Saturday, leading to frustration. 

The situation led to tension in the area with many people taking alternative routes to get to their destinations as a result of the action of the youth. 

However, Chairman of the state electoral commission, Isa Shetima, denied knowledge of non-conduct of election in the council area.
 

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Court Invasion: Call DSS To Order, IYC Urges Buhari

Sun, 2019-12-08 14:52




The Ijaw Youth Council worldwide has called on President  Muhammadu Buhari to act immediately to stop the reign of impunity by security agencies in the desecration of justice in Nigeria. 

In a statement, President of IYC, Eric Omare, said it was on record that the Buhari administration had one of the worst records of disobedience of court orders and desecration of the judiciary. 

The group's position followed the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday by operatives of the Department of State Services trying to forcefully arrest pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore. 

Omare said, “We strongly condemn this act of impunity by security agencies under the Buhari administration. 

"The IYC is worried that the Presidency is mute in the face of this sacrilege on the judiciary.  

"It would be recalled that when the DSS carried out similar acts of impunity by invading the National Assembly when Vice President,  Yemi Osinbajo, was the Acting President,  Osinbajo promptly acted by sacking the then Director-General of the agency and brought some level of sanity into the security architecture.

“However, we are shocked that a worst act of impunity was carried out under the watch of President Buhari and he has decided to keep mute. 

"This is a worrisome development and gives the impression that these acts of impunity have the blessings of President Buhari.

“Consequently,  we call on President Buhari to quickly act to stop the ongoing impunity by security agencies against the rule of law and desecration of the judiciary. 

"Nigeria is fast sliding into a state of lawlessness under the watchful eyes of President Buhari and he must act now to save our dear country and democracy."
 

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Gunmen Abduct Two Catholic Priests Travelling For Wedding In Ondo

Sun, 2019-12-08 14:22



Two Catholic priests have been abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in Ondo State. 

Rev. Fr Joseph Nweke and Felix Efobi were kidnapped on Friday along Owo-Benin Road in Ose Local Council Area of the state. 

The clergymen were from Awka Catholic Diocese in Anambra State and travelling for a wedding engagement when the incident occurred. 

Rev Fr Leo Aregbesola, Director  of Media and Communications of the Ondo Catholic Diocese, confirmed the abduction of the two priests on Sunday. 

Aregbesola explained that the Diocese had not been able to locate their whereabouts since they were abducted. 

He said, "They left Awka on Friday and were coming to Akure for a wedding ceremony and since then nobody could tell where they are."

Earlier, a member of the Ondo Diocese had confirmed the abduction of the two priests.

“The two priests were kidnapped around the Elegbeka area. 

“I learnt the armed men stopped their vehicle on the road and pretended like security agents.

"They disguised like they were doing a stop and search on the road before kidnapping them."

Femi Joseph, spokesperson for the police in Ondo State, said the command was not aware of the kidnap incident. 

Joseph said the Ose Divisional Police Station in charge of the jurisdiction had not been brief. 

He said, "I can't confirm this as at now."
 

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Sowore: Former Edo Attorney-General Calls For Dissolution Of DSS

Sun, 2019-12-08 14:18



A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Edo State, Osagie Obayuwana, has called for the dissolution of the Department of State Services.

The former commissioner, while speaking at the 2019 World Human Rights Week organised by the Edo Civil Society Organisations in Benin, said the law creating the secret police should be repealed. 

He also condemned the rearrest of pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, within the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday. 

Operatives of the DSS had besieged the court on Friday to effect a rearrest barely 24 hours after it released Sowore on bail after 125 in detention.

Obayuwana called on Nigerians and the Nigerian Bar Association to insist that the National Assembly repeal the law that established the DSS and lay the foundation for a new security agency that is focused on the protection of the wellbeing of all Nigerians. 

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Imo Journalists Threaten Boycott Of State's Assembly Coverage Over Harassment

Sun, 2019-12-08 14:02


The Imo State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists has threatened to boycott activities of the state’s House of Assembly over harassment of its members.

The association said its members were being constantly restrained from covering the plenary despite showing valid identity cards. 

According to reports, the mandatory accreditation imposed by the state assembly had restricted many media houses from gaining access to report the Plenary sessions.

In a letter addressed to Speaker of the Assembly, Chiji Collins, the association head saids  “We, the members of the correspondents’ chapel, are constrained to draw the attention of the Speaker to an ongoing process of restriction on journalists, especially correspondents of national newspapers, radio and television networks from covering the activities of the Imo State House of Assembly.

“From our findings, the action was premised on a mandatory accreditation exercise for journalists for which our members were hardly notified. 

“Since this untoward action, our members who come to the assembly complex with their valid identity cards have several times been embarrassed and harassed by the security personnel attached to the House of Assembly, on the instruction of the leadership. 

“We view this action as a dangerous precedent and if steps are not taken to redress it, we are afraid the legislature under you might be viewed as undermining the freedom of the press and of course, the very norms and essence of constitutional democracy which it pledged to uphold. 

“This restrictive policy, if sustained, would be an unfortunate reminder of the dark days of Nigeria’s repressive juntas. 

“Therefore, we request that, like it is done at the National Assembly and other state houses of assembly, correspondents in Imo State be given unrestricted access to cover the activities of the Imo State House of Assembly because we are major stakeholders in the Imo project.”  

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Ganduje To Appoint New Emirs Council Chairman

Sun, 2019-12-08 11:33


Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, is set to appoint a chairman of the state’s Council of Emirs.

This is coming following the creation of new emirates in the state. 

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Ganduje, Abba Anwar, the governor said the four new emirates created are for the development of the state. 

Ganduje has been in a running battle with the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who was also a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. 

The new emirates created by the governor include Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya.

Ganduje argued that the law gave him the right to appoint the chairman of the Council of Chiefs, which is the central council for the five first-class emirs, apart from their individual emirate councils.

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We’ve Stopped 150 Trafficking Victims From Travelling In Four Months -NIS

Sun, 2019-12-08 11:29


The Nigeria Immigration Service had said that it has restricted not less than 150 suspected victims of human trafficking from travelling through various airlines out of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

This was made possible through the efforts of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the command set up to foil suspected victims of trafficking. 

Comptroller of Immigration at the airport, Abdullahi Usman, disclosed that officers at the command had beefed up their screening and profiling mechanisms to track suspected victims of trafficking, according to a report by Daily Trust. 

He said the officers were also on the lookout for traffickers.

Usman said the 150 people ranged between the ages of 16 and 40 years and were denied boarding because they could not fulfil the requirements “of passing through the control post. 

“They didn’t know what they were travelling out to do and where they were going to.

"We stopped and counselled them and they are satisfied that going out there would be a problem for them."

Speaking further, Usman disclosed that the service had processed over 58,000 visas on arrival for international passengers between January 2019 till date. 

It has also commenced the implementation of the Migrant Information Data Analysis System for passengers flying into and out of the country for the first time. 

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We've No Reason To Declare Kalu’s Seat Vacant -Senate

Sun, 2019-12-08 11:11


The Nigerian Senate has said that it does not have any reason to declare Orji Uzor Kalu’s seat vacant, according to a report by PUNCH.

Kalu was convicted of money laundering and embezzlement of funds while he was governor of Abia State. 

Justice Mohammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment over N7.1bn fraud charges against him since 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 

The former governor and serving senator was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, who served under him as Director of Fnance and Account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.  See Also Corruption Court Sentences Orji Kalu To 12 Years Imprisonment Over N7.1bn Fraud 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

The Senate has now said it would not be declaring the seat of Kalu vacant even as he spends his time in prison. 

The Senate said, “There is no reason to declare his seat vacant. This is not the first time that such a thing would happen.

“There is no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant.

“He still has the opportunity to appeal the case.

“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.

 

“The Senate President cannot declare the seat of Kalu vacant. It is against the law."

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Another US Lawmaker, Josh Gottheimer, Rejects Sowore's Rearrest, Detention

Sun, 2019-12-08 11:06




Josh Gottheimer, a member of the United States Congress, has condemned the rearrest of pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, by the Department of State Services at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday. 

This came barely 24 hours after he was released on bail after spending 125 days in detention. 

Reacting to the situation, Gottheimer said he is "deeply concerned" about the ongoing harassment of Sowore. 

He disclosed that he was working alongside Senator Bob Menendez to ensure Sowore returns home safe.

The lawmaker said, "@SenatorMenendez and I are deeply concerned about the rearrest, harassment and ongoing detention in Nigeria of Omoyele Sowore from Haworth, NJ. 

"We will continue working to ensure he is not deprived of his rights and will be able to return to his family safely." 

.@SenatorMenendez and I are deeply concerned about the re-arrest, harassment and ongoing detention in Nigeria of Omoyele Sowore from Haworth, NJ.

We will continue working to ensure he is not deprived of his rights and will be able to return to his family safely. pic.twitter.com/3mp0zPrCd8

— Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) December 7, 2019

Sowore was first arrested on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to pour out to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

His being accused of insulting President Buhari and planning to bring down his government. 

Trial in the case commenced on Friday before the DSS invaded the court to forcefully take him away without giving any reason. 
 

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