Agrégateur de flux

Sowore: Sultan Of Sokoto Tells Buhari To Obey Court Orders

Sahara Reporters - ven, 2019-12-13 01:13


 

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has told President Muhammadu Buhari and all those in his regime to obey court orders because according to him failure to do so holds dire consequences.

The Sultan gave the warning while speaking at the 2019 fourth quarter meeting of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council in Abuja.

Abubakar said nobody can decide to disregard the court at will, adding that it would be detrimental to national development.

He said, “We must regularly obey and respect the laws of our land. 

"We should never disregard the laws to avoid the consequences. 

"If a court makes a judicial pronouncement on a particular matter, it should be obeyed to the letter.

“If you have any problem or disagree with the pronouncement, the next step is to appeal the pronouncement instead of disregarding or violating court judgments.

"If you are served a court order and you deliberately refused to obey it because you are a governor, president or any influential person, then you are setting a dangerous precedent." 

The Nigerian Government has failed to release Omoyele Sowore, disregarding two court orders by two different judges.

Sowore was rearrested at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday by operatives of the Department of State Services less than 24 hours after he was released on bail after 125 days in detention.

The invasion of the court and refusal to obey court orders has by President Buhari’s regime has been condemned from around the world. 

The government is accusing him of insulting President Muhammadu Buhari and planning to bring down his regime. 

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INEC Appeals Inclusion Of SDP Candidate In Kogi Election

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 22:38


Natasha Akpoti

Natasha Akpoti

The Independent National Electoral Commission has appealed the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja reversing the commission’s disqualification of the Social Democratic Party candidate, Natasha Akpoti, in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State.

The Federal High Court presided by Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, had on November 7, 2019,  ordered INEC to restore Akpoti as candidate of the SDP in the governorship election.

The court held that INEC had no power to disqualify any candidate for an election as contained in sections 31(1) and 83 of the Electoral Act.

But in an appeal petition filed by the commission at the appellate court, INEac said the Federal High Court erred in law and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

The respondents in the appeal were Natasha Akpoti, Adams Khalid, and the SDP.

The INEC added that without proper evaluation of the evidence of appellant, the court proceeded to grant the reliefs sought by the respondents.

In the eight-ground petition, INEC stated among others that the Federal High Court failed to put into consideration the fact that SDP had no validly nominated deputy governorship candidate at the close of the period for nomination on September 9.

The petition further stated that the invalidity of the deputy governorship candidate (Muhammed Bashir Yakubu) invalidated SDP’s nomination of Akpoti as its governorship candidate.

But reacting to the appeal, the SDP candidate alleged that INEC was biased by going ahead to conduct the election when there were issues.

She said, “INEC’s decision to appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court is simply to silence me at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal. 

"They do not want anything Natasha in the courts with regards to the Kogi governorship election because they know that I will fight vigorously to the end. 

"I have sent in a petition to the tribunal asking for the cancellation of the entire election.

“Questions arising from INEC’s decision to appeal will include: what happens to the election? I recorded about 10, 000 votes, so what happens to these 10, 000 voices? Will there be another election? We would have 10,000 who have been deceived into voting Natasha?

“The judgment came nine days before the election, why did they not appeal against it and they would have gone ahead without me being on the ballot. 

"They also had the option of postponing the election and allow the courts to deal with this. Unfortunately, they did not do this. Coincidentally, SDP was not on any of the result sheets.”

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Senate Reviewing Law Requiring Female Police Personnel To Seek Permission To Marry

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 22:05


The Nigerian Senate is reviewing the law forbidding policewomen from marrying without first seeking permission from the force.

The amendment to the Police Act 2004 to expunge the gender-discriminatory provisions passed the second reading on Thursday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

This followed the presentation of the bill by the sponsor, Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi (PDP-Imo East), during plenary.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Onyewuchi said that the bill was read for the first time on October 10.

He explained that there was need to expunge the regulations as it was not reasonably justifiable in a democratic state like Nigeria. 

The lawmaker enumerated the duties of the police to include prevention and detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order among others.

He said that that the bill sought to expunge the provisions of regulations 122, 123, 124 and 127 from the principal act.

Onyewuchi noted that Regulation 122 restricts policewomen assigned to the General Duties Branch of the Nigeria Police Force to telephone, clerical and office orderly duties.

He said, “Regulation 123 prohibits women police from drilling under arms; Regulation 124 mandates female police officers to apply for permission to marry while the intending fiancé is also investigated for criminal records.

“It also stipulates that a policewoman who is single at the time of enlistment must spend three years in service before applying for permission to marry.

“Analysis of the Police Act and other regulatory/policy documents governing the internal and external workings of the Nigeria Police Force reveals a preponderance of discriminatory regulations and workplace practices that reinforce gender discrimination."

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Court Adjourns Naira Marley's Trial To February

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 21:47


The trial of musician, Azeez Fashola widely known as Naira Marley, continued on Thursday at the Federal High Court in Lagos. 

Nuru Buhari, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, told Justice Nicolas Oweibo that the laptop retrieved from the defendant during investigation does not show either it was used for crime or not.

Buhari stated this while being cross-examined by Naira Marley's counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN). 

When asked how he accessed the Laptop without the owner's password, Buhari replied that as a cybercrime hacker, he doesn't need to know the password of anybody because it was part of his training. 

Justice Oweibo later adjourned further trial to February 27 and 28, 2020. 

Naira Marley is being prosecuted by the EFCC on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, possession of counterfeit cards and fraud.

His co-defendant is one Yad Isril, who is said to still be at large.

Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to all 11 counts.

He was also granted bail in the sum of N2m with two sureties in like sum.

According to the charge, the defendant committed the offences on different dates, November 26, 2018, December 11, 2018, and May 10.

He and his accomplices are said to have conspired to use different ATM cards to defraud their victims.

The offences contravene the provisions of Section 1 23 (1) (b), 27 (1}, 33, 33(9) Cybercrime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015.
 

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JUST IN: Inspector-General of Police Suspends APC Rally In Edo

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 21:17


IGP Mohammed Adamu

IGP Mohammed Adamu

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has suspended the rally of a faction of the All Progressives Congress scheduled for Benin, Edo State, on Friday.

The faction is loyal to the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, PUNCH reports.

The IGP’s letter suspending the rally was communicated to the deputy governor of the state, Mr Philip Shuaibu, about one hour ago.
 

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Unilag Alumni Call On Nigerian Government To Release Sowore

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 20:25


 

The University of Lagos Alumni Association, North American Chapter, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to release Omoyele Sowore, who is one of its members.

The group in a statement expressed grave concern on the treatment of Sowore, who was rearrested barely 24 hours after he was released on bail following a third court order to free him.

The group said it was concerned about the refusal of the government to release him, adding that the government should respect the law governing the country.

The statement reads, “We are especially concerned about the government’s refusal to set him free after he had perfected his bail conditions as set down by the court.

“The North American chapter of the association wishes to implore the government to release Sowore on bail as a welcome gesture of deference to the rule of law.

“We wish to emphasise that the association is avowedly non-political and our statement is not to be construed as partisan posturing. 

“We simply intend to charge the Federal Government of Nigeria to maintain respect for due process and eschew all actions that could undermine the rights of all accused to fair and impartial hearing.”

Sowore was first arrested on August 3, 2019 by operatives of the DSS in Lagos for calling on citizens to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from Buhari’s administration.

In charges that have been described as baseless and laughable by observers around the world, the government is accusing Sowore of insulting Buhari and planning to bring down his government.

But despite two court orders directing his freedom on bail, the 48-year-old journalist remains in detention – a glaring breach of his fundamental human rights as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution and several conventions the country is a signatory to.

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Influential Nigerians Pressuring Us To Release Ondo Pastor Arrested Over Missing Child In Church –DSS Source

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 20:13


Alfa Babatunde

Alfa Babatunde

Following the arrest of founder of Sotitobire Miracle Centre in Akure, Ondo State, Pastor Alfa Babatunde, by operatives of the Department of State Services on Tuesday over a missing child in his church, some high-profile Nigerians are already begging to mount pressure on the secret police to release the cleric from custody, SaharaReporters can confirm. 

A source in the DSS, who confirmed the development to SaharaReporters, disclosed that top politicians and traditional rulers in the state are among those currently lobbying for the cleric’s release.

Babatunde was arrested following a petition by parents of the missing one-year-old boy known as Eniola Kolawole, who went missing at the crèche section of the church during a service on November 10, 2019.

The source said, “He (Pastor Alfa) is still with us in Akure and has been allowed access to his lawyer.

“Some traditional rulers and politicians have been sending emissaries and trying to lobby top officials of the DSS to release the cleric based on recognition.

“Investigation is ongoing and we may invite other top officials of the church for interrogation.”

Already, activities at the church had been paralysed following the arrest of Pastor Babatunde by the DSS.  See Also Breaking News JUST IN: DSS Arrests, Detains Popular Akure Pastor Over Missing Child In Church 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

Our correspondent, who visited the church on Thursday, observed that the evening programme usually held on such days had been suspended.

Members of the church were seen wearing long faces as they discussed the arrest and detention of the pastor. 

Also, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in the state has disowned the cleric, saying that the Christian group does not condole any acts of evil.

Ondo State Chairman of PFN, Bishop Kolawole Opayinka, said security agencies must do their jobs by investigating the case of the missing child and bring those involved to book.

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Commercial Motorcycle Rider Stabs Task Force Official In Abuja

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 19:44


File Photo

File Photo Google

There was commotion on Thursday in Abuja as a commercial motorcycle rider popularly known as Okada, stabbed a member of the joint FCTA Transportation/Traffic Enforcement Team identified as Danladi Ibrahim.

It was gathered that Ibrahim was with the team at Apo area in Gudu District where commercial motorcycles are banned when the incident happened.

The task force arrived the area and confiscated a commercial motorcycle but some angry workers at a car wash outlet allegedly confronted the team in an attempt to free the rider.

SaharaReporters gathered that in the ensuing argument, the Okada rider brought out a knife from his pocket and stabbed Ibrahim on the chest.

The suspect was said to have fled the scene with his motorcycle while those, who tried to defend him, also took to their heels.

Though the victim was promptly rushed to the hospital for medical attention, our correspondent gathered that he remains in a critical condition going by the extent of the stab wound inflicted on him. 

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Sowore: Body Of SANs Knocks Nigerian Government, Demands Investigation Into Court Invasion

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 19:21


 

As condemnation continues to trail the manner at which operatives of Department of State Services invaded the Federal High Court on Friday to forcefully rearrest pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, less than 24 hours after his release on bail after spending 125 days in detention, the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a judicial commission of enquiry to probe the action of the agency.

The body of SANs said the audacity with which the operatives entered the courtroom had exposed the nation's hallmark of indiscipline to the whole world.

The latest call by the SANs followed earlier moves by the Nigerian Senate, which called for an investigation into the court invasion and Sowore’s rearrest.

On Wednesday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had said that government was setting up a panel to investigate the incident.

Malami’s statement followed widespread condemnation from around the world that greeted the action of the DSS operatives.

Sowore was first arrested on August 3, 2019 by operatives of the DSS in Lagos for calling on citizens to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from Buhari’s administration.

In charges that have been described as baseless and laughable by observers around the world, the government is accusing Sowore of insulting Buhari and planning to bring down his government.

But despite two court orders directing his freedom on bail, the 48-year-old journalist remains in detention – a glaring breach of his fundamental human rights as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution and several conventions the country is a signatory to.

 

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Ministerial Clutching At Straws By Barnabas Igho

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 18:08


 

If you are supervising an important ministry like that of communication even without the recent fancy addition of “digital economy” to its name, and you still need a spokesperson to pen almost 2,000 words of polemics in order to project your image, then your self-inflicted trouble is just starting in my reckoning.

Before her latest outburst in the media, thoughtlessly blaming imaginary saboteurs for trying to stop her ‘unstoppable boss’, Uwa Suleman had issued a disconcerting diatribe in form of a press release, accusing all critical stakeholders of the ministry her principal supervises including the media, of ganging up against him because he was the ‘best thing’ that happened to the industry since its liberalisation in the year 2000. This prompted ripostes of some respected columnists like Mr Sanya Oni of The Nation newspaper, who eloquently summed up the minister’s tragedy as a case of exaggerated notion of the office that he occupies as “he obviously didn’t think that his remit stops at formulating and implementing policies for the digital economy; as he wants to play the regulator”.

Since his assuming office in August this year, Mr Pantami has indeed found it difficult to adjust from the regulatory role he used to enjoy at National Information Technology Development Agency to his new titular position as per regulating the industry is concerned, and his unconstitutional attempts to dabble into it has invited the resistance of major actors in the industry like Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria as well as that of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria.

Coming back to Uwa’s latest invectives however, there are some fundamental half-truths she raised in her slay-queen styled article, like ridiculous claim that South Africa and other countries are busy copying and pasting the minister’s example of his failed data price reduction directive. While this, to say the least, is very disrespectful to the authorities in South Africa, who have never impliedly referred to Nigeria in taking their decisions, it’s obviously not the actual representation of the truth of the matter. 

Someone should wake Uwa up and hand over a mug of coffee to her together with the contrasting news of India’s example that hiked data prices to as much as 40 per cent. We don’t know how this is ignored as a copy and pasting of what the policy of the man she obsequiously describes in ludicrous adjectives that late Idi Amin of Uganda would have rejected. To cut the story short, India used to enjoy the cheapest data in the world, but the industry could no longer sustain it without risking losing in further investment to support the telecom infrastructure in the country. This still happened within the 21-day coincidence Uwa claimed to have provided the copy and paste effect in South Africa.

Still, what Uwa hasn’t told us was that South Africa used to be among the top three in terms of the cost of data and even with 50 per cent reduction, it wouldn’t come down to the level of Nigeria despite the fact that the challenges the telcos face and cost of production in Nigeria are clearly on a different scale. Even on the strength of TheCable report that Pantami quoted in the past, it put Nigeria and South Africa, with the average of $2.22 and $7.19 per 1GB respectively. And one can forgive Uwa for her poor grasp of the issue as she embarrassingly attributed the directive in South Africa to the country’s telecom regulator, while a little search on Google on the matter would have told her that the decision emanated from South Africa Competition Regulatory Authority, not the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and the decision must have been scientifically based, not jejune subjective populist directive.

But such kinds of faux pas are understandable as Uwa and co in the new mandate are trying to learn the rope. And they should be reminded of the fact that before their arrival on the scene, the industry had already matured. There were over 70 million Nigerians on the high-speed Internet, millions of active subscriber base as well as numerous sensational story in the industry, which has been on this sustained trajectory for long. Hence, accusing both the providers and regulator of connivance is not only reckless but cheap as both the stakeholders collaboratively built the industry from the scratch. Some years ago, we saw how the regulator, NCC fined a major MNO over N1trn. Pray what kind of compromised regulator would dare?    

It’s not too late for the minister however, to curb himself of this seduction to ‘populism’ and court the important stakeholders of the ministry by beginning to put the cart before the horse – addressing industry issues – if he wants to succeed.

Omobola Johnson was very effective as a minster because she fully understood the job and how to manage a delicate industry like telecommunications. If Mr Pantami wants to succeed, he needs all the regulators and operators on his side, and he can’t achieve that by constantly pitching them against the consumers thereby making his narcissistic self-good and everybody that has contributed to the development of the industry bad.

For now, let him know that his take-off was very bad and turbulent and everything boils down to his poor piloting skills, and not the army of imaginary saboteurs and enemies his aides are busy conjuring up for him. 

Igho, a telecoms engineer cum public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos.

 

If you are supervising an important ministry like that of communication even without the recent fancy addition of “digital economy” to its name, and you still need a spokesperson to pen almost 2,000 words of polemics in order to project your image, then your self-inflicted trouble is just starting in my reckoning.

Before her latest outburst in the media, thoughtlessly blaming imaginary saboteurs for trying to stop her ‘unstoppable boss’, Uwa Suleman had issued a disconcerting diatribe in form of a press release, accusing all critical stakeholders of the ministry her principal supervises including the media, of ganging up against him because he was the ‘best thing’ that happened to the industry since its liberalisation in the year 2000. This prompted ripostes of some respected columnists like Mr Sanya Oni of The Nation newspaper, who eloquently summed up the minister’s tragedy as a case of exaggerated notion of the office that he occupies as “he obviously didn’t think that his remit stops at formulating and implementing policies for the digital economy; as he wants to play the regulator”.

Since his assuming office in August this year, Mr Pantami has indeed found it difficult to adjust from the regulatory role he used to enjoy at National Information Technology Development Agency to his new titular position as per regulating the industry is concerned, and his unconstitutional attempts to dabble into it has invited the resistance of major actors in the industry like Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria as well as that of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria.

Coming back to Uwa’s latest invectives however, there are some fundamental half-truths she raised in her slay-queen styled article, like ridiculous claim that South Africa and other countries are busy copying and pasting the minister’s example of his failed data price reduction directive. While this, to say the least, is very disrespectful to the authorities in South Africa, who have never impliedly referred to Nigeria in taking their decisions, it’s obviously not the actual representation of the truth of the matter. 

Someone should wake Uwa up and hand over a mug of coffee to her together with the contrasting news of India’s example that hiked data prices to as much as 40 per cent. We don’t know how this is ignored as a copy and pasting of what the policy of the man she obsequiously describes in ludicrous adjectives that late Idi Amin of Uganda would have rejected. To cut the story short, India used to enjoy the cheapest data in the world, but the industry could no longer sustain it without risking losing in further investment to support the telecom infrastructure in the country. This still happened within the 21-day coincidence Uwa claimed to have provided the copy and paste effect in South Africa.

Still, what Uwa hasn’t told us was that South Africa used to be among the top three in terms of the cost of data and even with 50 per cent reduction, it wouldn’t come down to the level of Nigeria despite the fact that the challenges the telcos face and cost of production in Nigeria are clearly on a different scale. Even on the strength of TheCable report that Pantami quoted in the past, it put Nigeria and South Africa, with the average of $2.22 and $7.19 per 1GB respectively. And one can forgive Uwa for her poor grasp of the issue as she embarrassingly attributed the directive in South Africa to the country’s telecom regulator, while a little search on Google on the matter would have told her that the decision emanated from South Africa Competition Regulatory Authority, not the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and the decision must have been scientifically based, not jejune subjective populist directive.

But such kinds of faux pas are understandable as Uwa and co in the new mandate are trying to learn the rope. And they should be reminded of the fact that before their arrival on the scene, the industry had already matured. There were over 70 million Nigerians on the high-speed Internet, millions of active subscriber base as well as numerous sensational story in the industry, which has been on this sustained trajectory for long. Hence, accusing both the providers and regulator of connivance is not only reckless but cheap as both the stakeholders collaboratively built the industry from the scratch. Some years ago, we saw how the regulator, NCC fined a major MNO over N1trn. Pray what kind of compromised regulator would dare?    

It’s not too late for the minister however, to curb himself of this seduction to ‘populism’ and court the important stakeholders of the ministry by beginning to put the cart before the horse – addressing industry issues – if he wants to succeed.

Omobola Johnson was very effective as a minster because she fully understood the job and how to manage a delicate industry like telecommunications. If Mr Pantami wants to succeed, he needs all the regulators and operators on his side, and he can’t achieve that by constantly pitching them against the consumers thereby making his narcissistic self-good and everybody that has contributed to the development of the industry bad.

For now, let him know that his take-off was very bad and turbulent and everything boils down to his poor piloting skills, and not the army of imaginary saboteurs and enemies his aides are busy conjuring up for him. 

Igho, a telecoms engineer cum public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos.

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JUST IN: Bauchi Auto Crash Claims Lives Of 28 Family Members

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 17:45


At least 28 persons said to be members of the same family have been burnt to death in a vehicle accident that occurred along the Bauchi-Ningi Federal Highway in Bauchi State on Thursday morning.

A relation of the victims, Abdullahi Yamadi, confirmed the incident to PUNCH, describing it as “very sad”.

Secretary, North-West Zone of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Yamadi, said the deceased were all his relatives.

He said they were on their way to Yola, Adamawa State, when the incident occurred.

He said, “Yes, the accident is true and all of the deceased are my relatives.

“They were traveling to Yola, Adamawa State, for a visit when the unfortunate incident happened.

“You know, after the harvest and at seasons like this, people travel to visit loved ones resident in different places; and that was where they were going to.

“They left Dutsinma, Katsina State, and they had left Jigawa State and were within Bauchi State when their vehicle had a head-on collision with another vehicle.

“They were 29 in the vehicle and all of them died except the driver, who survived.

“This is a very sad news and very pathetic for 28 people from the same family to die in an accident in one day. It is really sad.”

The Bauchi Police Command has yet to make an official pronouncement on the incident.

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Dump Provocative Social Media Bill, Group Tells Senate

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 17:39


The Centre for Democracy and Development has called on the Nigerian Senate to throw away the bill seeking to regulate the social media by government.

The group, in a statement by its Director, Idayat Hassan, on Thursday said, “The provocative legislation, which has passed second reading in the Senate, is an attempt to use the legislative process to muzzle freedom of expression.”

CDD said the growing intolerant political climate must give way to a free society where journalists, activists and dissenting voices are free to contribute to democracy.

The group urges the Senate to disregard the entire bill and look for alternative approaches to the problems of hate speech and the spread of false information on social media.

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Nagode Aisha Buhari For Punching Garba Shehu, Mamman Daura’s Shoe Shiner By Churchill Okonkwo

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 16:43


 

Aisha Buhari has proven herself before now as an amazon and woman of courage and character. When in October 2016 President Buhari said Aisha "belongs to my kitchen, and my living room and the other room", a good percentage of Nigerians (men and women) lambasted him for demeaning and derogating women. In response, President Buhari stubbornly maintained that his wife belongs in the kitchen even in the face of national outcry. He added that Aisha should stay out of politics.

Unfortunately for President Buhari and the people around him who claim to be speaking on his behalf even without his knowledge, Aisha has stayed in politics and has fired again. This time, she has accused her husband’s nephew, Mamman Daura, of giving out orders for the scrapping of the office of the First Lady. In the allegation, Aisha accused her husband’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, of ordering for the scraping the office of the First Lady without the President’s knowledge. By this statement, Aisha Buhari is clearly saying that Garba Shehu is shining Mamman Daura’s shoes.

By speaking up on the cabal that hijacked her husband’s administration, again, Aisha Buhari is demonstrating an act of rare courage that encapsulates the theme of the 2017 International Women’s day “Women in the Changing World of Work. Aisha Buhari remains a model for Nigerian girls and women. For daring to voice the genuine concern of most Nigerians, Aisha Buhari should be seen and celebrated by Nigerian women (as well as men) as a symbol of courage.

In this latest sucker punch, Aisha Buhari stated that even with the scaping of the office of the First Lady by Shehu Garba and the real powers behind Buhari, she has raised funds to run her humanitarian programs. Aisha Buhari is building momentum for the effective implementation of the goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; ensuring inclusive and quality education for all, promoting lifelong learning and celebrating extraordinary women.

I am particularly thrilled by the power and stubborn determination exhibited by Aisha when on his return in October, he publicised and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media on some incidents in Aso Rock. Aisha Buhari, thus, did the job that Shehu Garba is paid to do.

Shehu Garba and Femi Adesina, who ordinarily should know better, have been celebrating imprisonment of press freedom in Nigeria. The media team of the Nigerian Presidency is grossly incompetent and has been displaying a blurred vision. Vision blurred by intellectual dullness and moral depravity.

This was clearly on display from the allegations Aisha Buhari leveled against Garba Shehu whom she accused of attempting to sack her media crew and getting them suspended for doing their job. Shehu Garba and Femi Adesina who recently claimed that millions of Nigerians do not care about Omoyele Sowore’s illegal detention have brought more shame and disgrace to the President and the office of the President they are paid to manage. Shameful.

As Aisha Buhari, rightly pointed out, “in saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers.” But no, Shehu Garba will not resign.

The culture of affirmation as opposed to challenge being displayed by the likes of Shehu Garba and Femi Adesina is disturbing and by some measures, offensive. Be it laziness or narcissism, there is little excuse for obviously well paid and well-educated professionals to relax into tired inertia. They deceive themselves and those around them that Nigeria is being moved in the right direction by this administration. Thus, the future of Nigeria is being threatened by sloppy thinking as superstitious nonsense spread its tentacles.

Aisha’s sucker punch of Shehu Garba as a person with not just intellectual dullness but one that also has intellectual dishonesty should be worrying to all supporters of President Buhari, myself inclusive.

To paraphrase Cyril Connolly, Garba Shehu with all his talents has now condemned himself to second-rate thought and the degrading job of shinning Mamman Daura’s Shoes. He has shown himself to be intellectually lazy and shallow: peddling ignorance as an actual governing alternative. It is very interesting watching Garba Shehu descend to the lowest level of a sycophant shining Daura’s shoes in other to keep his job. 

Thank you, again, Aisha for being courageous in exposing the dangerous men that are endangering Nigeria’s hard-earned democracy.

Nagode Aisha!

@Churchillnnobi

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Aisha Buhari’s Unending Drama Amidst Nigerian Child’s Plight By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 16:25


Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Olabisi Deji-Folutile google

 

If President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, devotes half of the energy invested in fighting the cabal in Aso Rock to pressing for the welfare of the Nigerian child, perhaps, there could have been a significant reduction in the number of the over 13 million out-of-school children in the country. This could also have probably led to a drastic reduction in the number of child brides in the country – the highest in Africa. I am not saying this out of spite but in recognition of the First Lady’s strong convictions and immense political sagacity. She knows how to grab Nigerians’ attention at will. She knows what to say, when to talk and the appropriate channel to utilise in passing her message across. She was, for instance, the first to tell Nigerians that her husband was not in control of his government. She also threatened that she might not support him for a second term in office if things continued the way they were. Somehow, she succeeds in attracting some sympathy from Nigerians even when it was glaring that her complaints are centered around herself, family and personal interests. Some of us can still remember how the All Progressives Congress set up a parallel campaign body with the First Lady being in charge of one prior to the 2019 presidential election and how Aisha recently went to Kogi State to beg the people to re-elect a governor that had not paid workers’ salaries for years.   

For those who have taken time to study the First Lady, her own special modus operandi is maximising a public speaking engagement to her advantage. When Mrs. Buhari hinted last week that her husband’s spokespersons were not doing their job well, I knew she was about to release another bombshell. She did not disappoint. Part of the statement she personally signed on Wednesday indicted Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesperson, who she accused of telling Nigerians that there would be no office of the First Lady in 2015without her husband’s instruction. She claimed Shehu took orders from Mamman Daura, her husband’s influential nephew, who does not hold any official position in this administration. For that reason and many others more, she thinks Shehu is no longer fit to be her husband’s spokesperson.

I, however, find the First Lady’s latest outburst on scrapping the position of the First Lady amusing. Isn’t that was what her husband and party promised to do ahead of the presidential election in 2015? This was a major selling point during the “Change campaign” that ushered in Buhari’s administration. The President clearly stated that the office of the First Lady was not in the constitution. Buhari, in an interview he granted to Weekly Trust in December 2014 (though the web page is no longer available) had categorically stated that he would not have an office of the First Lady. He said the Ministry of Women Affairs should be allowed to play its role unhindered.

In another interview with the Premium Times in 2014, Aisha had also promised to adhere to what the constitution stipulates, saying, “When my husband is elected as the president of this country, he will rule the country within the rule of law based on the constitution of the country. If the office of the First Lady is constitutionally recognised, he will not tamper with it, but if it is not that’s okay.

“For me, I will perform my duties and role as the wife of the President of Nigeria traditionally.  Wives of presidents have some traditional roles, like receiving guests, visiting orphanages, helping the less privileged people. They also lead in the fight for the right of women and malnourished children, infant mortality rate, kidnapping and girl-child trafficking.”

We all know that going by the provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there is no mention of the office of the First Lady or wife of the President as the case may be in the constitution. Yet, this government never scrapped the office. Rather, President Buhari merely changed the title of the office from the First Lady to Wife of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria in his first term. Just as under other administrations, Aisha’s office has always been occupied by staff members, aides, security details and protocol officials, attached to her. In 2019, the office was officially designated as the Office of the First Lady through the pronouncement of Aisha herself. While changing her title, she said it was her choice not to be called the First Lady and that she had changed her mind. That’s governance in Nigeria for you!

After all said and done, I find it confusing that Mrs Buhari could still publicly accuse her husband’s aide of scrapping the office of the First Lady through someone, other than her husband’s instruction. That sounds like an insult on the collective intelligence of Nigerians. From Aisha’s latest statement, it seems most things she and her husband said before the 2015 elections were carefully crafted to deceive gullible Nigerians for electoral gains. For me, I don’t see a big deal in retaining or scrapping the office of a first lady. Neither does the absence of such office distress any reasonable Nigerian woman as claimed by Aisha. I think Nigerian women are more interested in seeing a President’s wife that can use her influence to touch the lives of the downtrodden, the oppressed and the forgotten in the society. Wife of one of Nigeria’s former vice presidents, Mrs Titilayo Atiku, once used her Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication project to wage war against forced prostitution and other forms of human trafficking in the country. Her pet project was more popular than that of the late First Lady, Mrs Stella Obasanjo, because it touched on a core problem in the Nigerian society then. 

When will Mrs Buhari begin to talk passionately about child marriage, the burgeoning out-of-school children population in the country and other plights of the Nigerian child as she does about the activities of her husband’s kinsmen in Aso Rock? We need a strong voice like hers to draw national and global attention to the plight of these kids on continuous basis. This goes beyond making political statements once in a while.  Instead of the unending drama of bringing her family’s battle to the court of Nigerians all the time, Mrs Buhari should use her power and position to draw the attention of wealthy Nigerians to the problem of school children still learning under trees in Nigeria. The honest truth is that the disloyalty of a presidential aide to his boss cannot pass for a Nigeria’s problem? The President elected the aide and he has the power to sack him. Aisha should know how to get her husband to do that. If she cannot, too bad!    Some of us are tired of the endless drama coming from the first family’s abode. It is no longer entertaining. It is becoming increasingly boring. Nigerians need some breathing space. We want something more refreshing from the office of the First Lady.

Going forward, I expect Mrs Buhari to use the resources at her disposal to influence policies that will stop child marriage in Nigeria and improve learning environments for children. She could use her privileged position as a Northerner, who is educated, to push for girl-child education in the North. The region harbours the highest number of child brides in the country. She can work with state governments towards domesticating the Child Rights Act passed by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2003. Currently, 11 states, mainly in the North, are yet to domesticate this law. Interestingly, Adamawa, the home state of Mrs Buhari, is one of such states. Others are Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno and Gombe.

It would be unfortunate if after spending eight years in office as First Lady; Mrs Buhari fails to influence these 11 Northern states to domesticate the Child Rights Act.  The Child Rights Convention was adopted 30 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly. This is just a human right treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. This is something that every state government should be interested in. I challenge Mrs Buhari to take this up.

I know that the First Lady has a pet project known as Future Assured aimed at empowering Nigerians. She needs to do more to enhance the survival of the Nigerian child. There is a need for serious advocacy towards the development of the girl child and the right of Nigerian children in general to better life, education and empowerment so that they can reach their full potential. This will be an enviable legacy in the eyes of the public!

Olabisi Deji-Folutile is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email: bisideji@yahoo.co.uk

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BREAKING: Police Fire Gunshots At Protesting Shiite Members In Abuja

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 16:22



 

Policemen have fired gunshots at protesting members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Abuja as members of the sect took to the streets in commemoration of four years of the Zaria massacre where many of their colleagues were allegedly killed by the Nigerian Army.

The protest, which kicked off from Wuse Market, was disrupted at Berger bus-stop when the armed policemen fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse the crowd.

The demonstrators retaliated in anger and pelted the policemen with stones.

Commercial activities have been grounded around the area as people scurried for safety. 

Recall that the group had engaged in a bloody clash with the entourage of Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State, in 2015 leading to the death of many members of the sect and arrest of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who remains in detention together with his wife.

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Probe Of DSS Court Invasion Ordered By Nigerian Senate

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 16:08


 

The Nigerian Senate is set to investigate the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by operatives of the Department of State Services last Friday.

The secret police had stormed the place to effect the rearrest of pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, who was standing trial in a case brought against him by the Nigerian Government.

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

The government is accusing him of insulting President Buhari and planning to bring down his regime.

He was rearrested by the DSS on Friday less than 24 hours after being released on bail after 125 days in detention.

Chairman of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, moved the motion for the probe of the court invasion by the DSS.

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, instructed the committee to begin legislative procedure on the matter and report next week.

 

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Man Slumps At Arrival Hall Of Murtala Mohammed Airport

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 15:59


 

A man identified as Chukwuma Anthony Ezeh, slumped and died at the arrival hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the man was returning from China aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight.

“While walking at the arrival hall, the man slumped and died,” spokesperson for the MMIA Police Command, Joseph Alabi said.

He noted that the corpse had been deposited at the Air Force Base Hospital mortuary.

Alabi said the patient was rushed to the MMIA clinic on Wednesday afternoon but was pronounced dead on arrival.


 

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NHIS Paid Unapproved Allowances To Staff Between 2016 And 2017

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 15:53


Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine

Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine

 

The National Health Insurance Scheme paid allowances worth N4.93bn to its staff from January 2016 to December 2017.

This is part of findings made by the Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine, whose office was not empowered to institute probes against non-compliant agencies of government.

According to Ayine, 11 ministries, departments and agencies have never submitted their audited reports to him as stipulated by law.

In 2016, 160 failed to submit their audited accounts to his office, while 175 failed to do so in 2017.

“During the periodic check of National Health Insurance Scheme, Abuja, various irregular and unapproved allowances amounting to N4,931,475,094.63 were paid to members of staff during the period January 2016 to December 2017,” the 2017 audit report seen by PUNCH, read in part.

“The payments violated Public Service Rule 130102 as they are not part of the allowances listed as payable to officers in the Federal Public Service.

“Allowance differential payment is illegal and alien to the public service as public service allowances are paid on the basis of grade level as at the time of payment.

“Sitting allowance was paid for holding day to day committee meetings for which the officers received salaries in violation of Circular Ref No. SWC/s/04/S.310/T/65 of April 8, 2016 which says that ‘public officers on monthly salary are not entitled to sitting allowance for holding meetings in their offices.”

Some other allowances paid by the scheme include upfront allowance, upfront differential allowance, 13th-month salary allowance, pre-retirement overseas training allowance, a terminal benefit or exit package, and sitting allowance.

The report noted that the terminal benefit allowance is different from what the Contributory Pension Act provided for.

Bemoaning the poor finance and public sector accounting values in the civil service, Mr Ayine said, “A number of major weaknesses and lapses in the management of public funds and resources were identified across several MDAs during the annual audit.

“Our findings range from irregular expenditures to failure to surrender surplus revenues to the treasury, all running into billions of naira.

“Overall, our findings are indicative of significant weaknesses in expenditure control, accounting, and financial reporting and in the completeness and accuracy of the consolidated financial statements.”

President Muhammadu Buhari in July sacked the immediate-past Executive Secretary of the NHIS, Usman Yusuf, over numerous allegations of corruption and personal enrichment.

Another former Executive Secretary, Olufemi Thomas, is standing trial over a $2.1m corruption scandal.

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DSS Invites Online News Publisher Over Investigative Report On Kano Ecological Fund Project

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 15:53


 

While the uproar on the repression of the media space continues to rise in Nigeria, the Department of State Services has invited the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newsdiary Online, Danlami Nmodu, to the headquarters of the agency in Abuja for questioning.

A DSS operative, who called Danlami on the telephone on Wednesday morning, said the invitation was over a story recently published on the Kano Ecological Fund project, PRNigeria reports.

He was asked to come either Wednesday or Thursday morning.

Nmodu is also the General Secretary of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers.

Newsdiary online had published a story titled: “Diplomatic backlash, legal tussle loom as FG dumps German firm over Kano project.”

After publishing the story, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made further facts available through a rejoinder, which clarified the issues.

The Federal Government's equally illuminating rejoinder was copiously published by the newspaper.

The online newspaper was also among those that went for an on-the-spot assessment of the Challawa, Sharada and Bompai N2.6bn ecological projects in Kano in the aftermath of the Newsdiary online story.

However, highly placed sources said on Wednesday that the DSS may be investigating how some documents quoted by Newsdiary online leaked.

 

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Despite Increase In Birth Registration, 17 Million Nigerian Children Remain ‘Invisible’ –UNICEF

Sahara Reporters - jeu, 2019-12-12 15:46


UNICEF/Kaalu/2018

 

While the number of children whose births are officially registered has increased significantly in Nigeria from 30 per cent in 2013 to 43 per cent in 2018 by integrating birth registration into health services, about 17 million children under five or one in five remain unregistered, according to a new report on global birth registration released by UNICEF.

Despite progress, the majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa lag behind the rest of the world and some of the lowest levels of registration are found in Chad (12 per cent) and Guinea-Bissau (24 per cent).

“We have come a long way in Nigeria and ensuring that children are registered through the health services is making a big difference - but still too many children are slipping through the cracks,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

“These children are uncounted and unaccounted for – non-existent in the eyes of the government or the law.

“Without proof of identity, children are often excluded from accessing education, health care and other vital services, and are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

“Every child has a right to a name, a nationality and a legal identity. We have just marked the 30th anniversary of these rights – as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child – and 2020 will mark the 30th anniversary of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child – which provides that every child be registered immediately after birth. We must continue to register and not stop until every Nigerian child is registered – every child counts.”

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