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Despite Government’s Refusal To Obey Court Orders, Nigeria’s Attorney-General Tells Global Audience There’s No Room For Impunity In Country

mar, 2019-12-03 21:19


Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has told an international audience that there is no room for impunity in the country.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, Malami was said to have on Monday told the 18th session of the assembly of state parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to upholding the rule of law in Nigeria.

He said, “Nigeria is not a jungle. It is a peace and justice-loving country which is aspiring to develop and create a conducive environment for foreign and other investments, thereby generating jobs and other opportunities for the teeming population.

“Therefore, impunity being a critical element that could prevent this lofty idea from coming to fruition does not have a place and will never be tolerated in all facets of our criminal justice system.”

But Malami’ claim is in direct contrast to the reality on ground, according to checks by SaharaReporters.

On November 25, 2019 for instance, legal adviser to Amnesty International, Dr Kolawole Olaniyan, revealed that President Buhari had shown “stunning disregard for the rule of law and human rights, ignoring Nigerian judges on at least 40 occasions”.

The London-based lawyer, who accused the President of treating judges with disdain, also questioned the sincerity of Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.

He said, “It’s hard to overstate the significance of this disregard of court orders not just for the operation of the rule of law but also effective respect for constitutional and international human rights, such as freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association and access to information. Yet, Buhari is carrying on, irrespective of human rights and the rule of law.

“Anytime the courts have told Buhari’s government to do something it doesn’t like, it has refused to obey it.

“Even Buhari’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami (SAN), once said the rule of law is what the authorities determine it to be.

“The government always has explanations on why it should not obey lawful court orders, seemingly replacing binding legal decisions with the vagaries of politics, and obeying the decisions whenever they suit it.”

The Nigerian Bar Association on Tuesday described  Buhari government's habit of flouting court orders as legendary.

In an interview with PUNCH, National Publicity Secretary of NBA, Kunle Edun, said Malami, as chief law officer of the country, ought to be worried by this trend.

He said, “The disobedience of court orders by the present Federal government is legendary.

“This is not good for our polity. The judiciary remains the only arm of government that can guarantee the rule of law in this country. Court orders are now disobeyed by the Federal Government with impunity.

“Col. Dasuki, El-Zakzaky, Omoyele Sowore and many others that have been granted bail are still in the custody of security agencies that report to the Presidency.

“This sends a very dangerous signal to foreign investors and the international community.

“It is rather shameful that it had to take a foreign court to compel the Federal Government to comply with a judgment entered in relation to the P& ID case.

“The Federal Government does not respect Nigerian courts and the Attorney-General of the Federation who is the chief law officer and legal adviser to the Federal Government ought to be very concerned.”

It has been over three years since Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, directed Buhari’s government to free leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zennah, from custody.

In his ruling on December 3, 2016, Justice Kolawole posited that the continued detention of the IMN leader and his wife was in gross abuse of their human rights as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution and African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

The judge ordered their freedom within 45 days and a compensation of N50m to be paid to them by the government.

Spokesperson for the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, in a statement on Monday, said, “Failure to obey that judgment by President Buhari three years on and counting, makes it one of the worst violations of the rule of law and a monumental abuse of the rights of the couple.”

Senior Advocate of Nigeria and lawyer to El-Zakzaky, Femi Falana, disclosed that he had a roll call of at least 50 cases whose court pronouncements Buhari's government flouted.

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31 Political Parties Conduct Parallel IPAC Election In Kwara

mar, 2019-12-03 20:01


The Inter-Party Advisory Council election in Kwara State ended in rancour as 31 political parties in the state resolved to conduct a parallel election.

The election, which was coordinated by Alhaji Ganiu Galadima, was described as biased and one staged to fit the agenda of the commission.

The political parties had alleged that IPAC and INEC connived "to present fake names and imposters as party leadership in the state”.

Chairman of Action Democratic Party in Kwara, Adesina Lukman Ajisafe, who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved political parties, said INEC had been compromised.

He also said that INEC had bought over some political parties using the divide and rule policy to achieve its agenda in the state.

He added that the parties decided to hold parallel IPAC election because they could not trust Galadima and INEC to conduct a credible election in Kwara State.

He said, “We discovered so many discrepancies from INEC in Kwara State and IPAC sent from the national level.

“There were so many daylight robberies, we say enough is enough and we have decided to take the bull by the horn.

“INEC has not been able to give us the desired performance. We have been requesting for the list of the registered political parties in Kwara State from INEC but they did not give us.

“To our dismay, we discovered that after collecting the list from INEC, at the venue of election, another list emerged where names of people who are known political parties in the state have been changed and removed.

“While some of our names were missing, in another instance, some had the right names but other information were forged.”

Chairman of the African Action Congress, Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed, accused INEC and Galadima of being bias and recognising expelled members of the party as valid members.

He narrated that Leonard Ezenwa, expelled Secretary of the party, who now parades himself as chairman, sent “an imposter” to represent the party.

He said, “Leonard sent an imposter as chairperson to impersonate Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed, the authentic party chairman of AAC.

“We wonder overnight how Galadima would call Leonard the National Chairman of AAC, and also order security personnel to manhandled Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed out of the hall.”

The 31 political party chairmen after conducting their parallel election, urged INEC to summon the leadership of the electoral umpire in the state to make public the official list of all registered parties in the state.


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Students Protest In Bayelsa As Police Confirm Abduction Of Three Females

mar, 2019-12-03 19:34


Angry students of the Bayelsa State College of Health Technology on Tuesday took to the streets to register their displeasure over the abduction of three females of the institution along the College of Health Technology Road, Otuogidi under Ogbia Local Government Area on Monday.

The protesting students, who barricaded Ogbia-Nembe Road on Tuesday, called on security agencies to expedite action and rescue the abducted ladies from their captors.

The students’ action followed a confirmation of the abduction by the police in the state.

In a statement, spokesperson for the police in Bayelsa, Asimin Butswat, said, “On December 2, 2019 at about 1120 hours, three female students of Environmental Health Department, College of Health Technology, Otuogidi, Bayelsa State, were kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

“Police were alerted, a search of the area was conducted and a boat containing foodstuffs and other items used by the kidnappers was recovered.

“The surrounding area was cordoned off and a joint patrol is ongoing to rescue the victims and arrest the kidnappers.”


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Nigeria Loses Four Million Barrels Of Oil From Nembe Creek Trunk Line

mar, 2019-12-03 19:01


Nigeria has lost four million barrels of oil from the disturbed Nembe Creek Trunk Line in 2019.

This is the figure given by Victor Okonkwo, Managing Director of Aiteo, at a week-long conference organised by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The figure does not tally with the 61 days of shutdown the company said in a statement that it had recorded on the pipeline, which carries 200,000 barrels of oil daily, so far in 2019.

Okonkwo said security agencies had up to the point of his presentation, failed to arrest any of the ‘crude oil thieves’ identified and reported.

He said, “Despite our efforts in raising NCTL uptime from 60 to over 80 per cent since acquisition, we have recorded more shutdown days in operations due to third party infractions for over two months this year compared to previous years.

“This has resulted in loss of revenue and deferments estimated at about four million barrels so far this year.

“Also worrying is the amount of crude loss recorded even when the pipeline is operational, usually in the range of 25 to 35 per cent.

“More worrying is that even when the perpetrators of these acts are caught and handed over to security agencies, we are yet to witness any conviction.”

Speaking further, Okonkwo stated that the challenge with operating the line had not stopped it from investing N3.6bn on community development projects.

He added, “Despite all these challenges, we have kept our commitment to NCDMB, paying up to N1.52bn in fees and N1.5bn as NDDC levies.

“In addition, Aiteo has spent over N3.6bn in community support programs and projects; offered jobs to thousands of Nigerians and intentionally led inclusive participation of indigenous contractors in our business operations.”

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said Nigeria’s resources were being depleted by a high cost of producing a barrel of petroleum relative to the margins in other OPEC member-states.    

He disclosed that he would reduce the cost of production in crude oil exploration by five per cent.


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Lagos Governor Renames Onikan Stadium After Late Mobolaji Johnson

mar, 2019-12-03 18:53


Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has renamed the Onikan Stadium as Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson Arena.

The renaming was announced by the governor during a ‘Day of Honour’ event organised to celebrate the exit of the first Military Governor of Lagos State, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson.

Paying tributes to the late Johnson, Sanwo-Olu described him as "a man who saw the future and worked to achieve the Lagos of our dreams".

He said, “In whatever role we knew him, the first and longest serving military administrator of Lagos State stood out as a special person for his leadership and charismatic personality.

“If anyone was qualified to be addressed as ‘an officer and gentleman’, it was Brigadier-General Johnson. Despite his imposing frame, he was as gentle as a dove.

“He never threw his weight around, even though he was a man of power.

“As a man of authority, he was never authoritarian. Though a soldier, he never ruled with an iron hand; he was compassionate.”

The Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, led members of the state’s Executive Council and high-profile dignitaries to the event to honour the life and times of the deceased.

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Ex-Ondo Footballers Disrupt Training Session Of Sunshine Stars Over Unsettled Sign-on Fees

mar, 2019-12-03 18:47


Former players of Sunshine Stars, Sunshine Queens, Rising Stars and Rising Queens on Tuesday in Akure, Ondo State, disrupted the training session of Sunshine Stars FC over the non-payment of their sign-on fees.

The ex-players chased members of the team away from the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure.

Former Sunshine Queens player, Esther Michael, told journalists that she got injured while playing for the club but was abandoned to her fate.

Michael added that she had remained without a job since sustaining a career-threatening injury five years ago while playing for the club.

She disclosed that no form of help came from the management of the Ondo State Football Agency since that period.

She said, “For almost five years after I was injured and spent my entire earnings on treating myself, I have had no job.

“We are therefore appealing to Ondo State Government to help us out.

“I played almost five years for this team, the injury I had, government and management didn’t help me. So, they should pay us our money.”

Former Sunshine Stars player, James Moses, said government should honour the agreement it entered into with the players and pay them their sign-on fees.

Moses, fondly called “Okomu’’ in his playing days by fans, said the love they had for the team had prevented them from taking legal action against the management.

He said, “The state has been owing us sign-on fees for long and we have been begging for them to pay us.

“Sunshine was my first club, I love Sunshine so much. I want them to pay us our money that is due to us.

“We are calling on the state governor to help us because some of us have families to take care of.”

In his reaction, Tajudeen Akinyemi, Chairman, Ondo State Football Agency, said the previous government agreed to pay the money in 15 instalments but was only able to offset eight.

Akinyemi said the file for the remaining seven months had been sent to the Head of Service, who had raised the issue with the governor of the state.

He promised that government would accelerate action on the file to ensure that the former players were paid.

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Temperature Might Get Hotter Except We Address Climate Change –UN

mar, 2019-12-03 17:48

Scientific Visualization Studio Goddard Space Flight Center


Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organisation, Petteri Taalas, has said that the current temperature might increase except the climate condition was addressed.

Taalas said this at the UN climate summit in Madrid, Spain, on Tuesday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

He also stated that the current decade had been the hottest so far.

He said, “We are nowhere near on track to meet the Paris Agreement target. If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than three degrees by the end of the century.”

Delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered in the Spanish capital to iron out rules to reach the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

According to the WMO, the global average temperature until October of 2019 was 1.1 degrees above the levels seen before the start of the industrial age in the late 18th century.

It said that the recent records put 2019 on course to be the second or third warmest year on record.

The WMO also reiterated its recent finding that concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide hit a record level in the atmosphere in 2018 and continued to rise in 2019.

WMO warned that the oceans are paying a heavy price for global warming as they absorb heat and carbon dioxide.

It added that ocean’s heat has reached record levels as seawater is 26 per cent more acidic than at the start of the industrial era, warning that marine ecosystems are being degraded.


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Six Girls Die In Kebbi Canoe Accident

mar, 2019-12-03 17:21

Boat accident

Boat accident google


At least six girls have been killed in a canoe accident in Suru Local Government Area of Kebbi State.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the incident was confirmed by Umaru Maigandi, Chairman of the LGA.

Maigandi said the incident occurred when the canoe capsized while ferrying the victims across Tindifai River on Monday.

He said the canoe left the village conveying nine girls to the area they were going to harvest rice but it capsized along the way.

Maigandi said, “The village is close to Bendu in Tundifai; they were going to harvest rice in the Fadama area when the incident occurred and resulted in the death of six females.

“The deceased were between the ages of 12 and 15 years.

“Three other victims had been rescued alive by the driver of the canoe, Umar Faruk, a 13-year-old.”


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Political Parties Have No Structure For Monitoring Public Office Holders

mar, 2019-12-03 17:20


A former media adviser to Goodluck Jonathan, Ruben Abati, has faulted political parties in Nigeria for having no means of monitoring the commitments made by their members elected into public offices.

Speaking on the controversy over invisible constituency projects and a failure by members of the legislature to open constituency offices, Abati said politics in the country was driven by poverty.

He went on to claim political parties do not also have a plan for poverty reduction.

Abati said, “Political parties have no structure or means for monitoring the performance or the commitment of their members in public positions. That must change.”

Abati who switched to politics from the media, observed that lawmakers and their constituents have created a symbiotic relationship.

The rule of the union imposes it on the would-be senator/honourable to organise parties, share food and drinks, give out transport fare and other sundry things in exchange for oxygen cylinders of hope.

According to him, this type of relationship is nurtured by the fact that “Political parties have no poverty reduction strategies”.

He however, feels that, “Nonetheless, no politician should run away from the people because they seek help from him or her.

“Constituency work is part of the lawmaker's mandate. To build a positive reputation, he must connect with citizens and other politicians.”

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Police Rescue Kidnapped Corps Member In Lagos

mar, 2019-12-03 16:44


The police in Lagos has rescued Onyiwara Chinwe Faith, a member of the National Youth Service Corps, who was abducted by suspected kidnappers.

Onyiwara was rescued on Tuesday by Hakeem Odumosu, Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Coordinator of the Police Service Commission.

According to Bala Elkana, spokesperson for the command, Onyiwara serving at ABC Farm, Ilamija Nla Village, was abducted on Friday, November 29.

He said, "The kidnappers’ ring leader, Moses Ofeye, 31 from Ondo State, was arrested with gun wounds.

"The victim was taken to hospital for medical attention due to the shock and trauma she experienced and long distance trek. But she is in stable condition.

"She has just been handed over to the Lagos State Coordinator of the NYSC and her family by the Commissioner of Police."

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BREAKING: Police Declare Nnamdi Kanu’s Lawyer Wanted Over Killing Of Officers

mar, 2019-12-03 16:31

File Photo: Ifeanyi Ejiofor addressing IPOB members

File Photo: Ifeanyi Ejiofor addressing IPOB members


The Anambra State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has declared Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, wanted over the killing of two police officers in the state.

Some irate youth in Oraifite under Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State on Monday reportedly killed two policemen for allegedly attacking the house of Ejiofor.

A source in the area had said that in retaliation for the attack on the lawyer’s house, youths in the community killed the two policemen and burnt them at the Nkwo Market area of Oraifite.

Commissioner of Police in the state, John Abang, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Awka, the capital, on Tuesday.

He said, “I’ll like Nigerians to know that Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor (a member of the proscribed IPOB) has been declared wanted.

“I’ll seek the cooperation of law abiding Nigerians, East, West, North and South that wherever they find this individual, they should report to the nearest police station for possible arrest and prosecution based on the rules and laws of Nigeria.”

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Disability: No Child In Nigeria Must Be Left Behind! By Cecilia Oluwafisayo Aransiola

mar, 2019-12-03 15:15


It is estimated that no fewer than 25 million people are living with disabilities in Nigeria. This includes millions of children who daily face discrimination and in some cases abuse due to their disability. Earlier in the year, there was the case of seven-year old Imran Kanun Muhammad which was widely reported in the media. As a child with a disability, Imran allegedly suffered sexual violence and inhuman treatment at the School for the Deaf, Kuje, FCT. He was withdrawn from the school by his parents and the case is currently the subject of a criminal action. However, as a result, for several months Imran had no access to any education as most government schools did not have the capacity to accommodate him, some were unwilling. This is despite the fact that all children have the right to an education in Nigeria which the government is legally bound to implement. While his peers were in school, Imran was at home. Eventually Imran was able to attend another school. However, his mother pays N50,000 naira from her income every month for special education teachers to tutor him. Sadly, such a case is not an isolated incident. Some months ago, there were allegations of rape of female students in the School for the Blind, Utako, Abuja. This led to the suspension of two teachers by the Federal Capital Territory Administration. In another case, the dilapidated state of the Kwara State School for Special Needs in Ilorin was recently uncovered by the governor and he made commitments to improve the conditions in the school. Incidences such as these give credence to the fact that children with disabilities continue to face discrimination, neglect and in many cases abuse and violence which not only amounts to criminality but also violates their fundamental rights including their right to education.

Children with disabilities continue to face multiple barriers, despite the Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, which Nigeria has signed up to achieve. These barriers include lack of access to mainstream schools, the high cost of education designed to meet their particular needs, physical inaccessibility, negative attitudes and stereotypes. Often, these barriers will intersect with a cumulative impact on the child. More broadly, entrenched inequalities persist within the educational system that impact on children with disabilities: inadequate teaching materials and assistive devices, violence in schools, lack of an inclusive curriculum, poor welfare of students, untrained teachers and deficient teaching methodology. Sadly, these inequalities do not end in schools; people with disabilities also face discrimination in seeking employment.

In Nigeria, the educational model mostly practised is segregation, where children with disabilities are educated at special schools. Segregation can often reinforce discrimination against children with disabilities, excludes them from socialisation in a diverse society and makes them vulnerable to a range of human rights abuses. In line with its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, inclusive education should be the goal of the Nigerian government. Inclusive education provides an avenue for mainstream schools to accommodate all children, regardless of disability with sufficient and appropriate assistance and support. Children with or without disabilities can learn, play and interact at the same level and in a diverse environment. At the same time children without disabilities can appreciate the need to treat their peers living with disabilities with dignity and understanding. Although the government has some margin of appreciation as to how it implements inclusive education, it must ensure reasonable accommodation for the individual needs of the child, provide suitable curriculum and appropriate training for teachers and staff who work with children.

Every child has the right to education, a right which is essential for the exercise of all other human rights. Both national and international laws guarantee the right to education for all without discrimination. The recently passed Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 provides that a person with disability shall have an unfettered right to education without discrimination or segregation in any form. It further stipulates that all public educational establishments shall be run to be inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities. In 2015, Nigeria adopted the National Policy on Special Needs Education. Additionally, the Child Rights Act outlines that every child has the right to free, compulsory and basic education and it shall be the duty of the Government in Nigeria to provide such education. Yet clearly Nigeria is breaching its own laws as well as its international commitments.

Internationally, Nigeria has made a significant commitment to the right to education for children with disabilities by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Convention on the Rights of the Child and International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. All these international instruments place an obligation on Nigeria to ensure that children with disabilities enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community. Despite these national and international laws and standards, many children with disabilities remain excluded from the educational system. For some of those within the educational system, they continue to face various forms of violence and disability-based discrimination.

As we commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Nigerian Government must ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are better respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled. While the enactment of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act is a move in the right direction, all state governments must expeditiously domesticate the Act. At the same time the government must ensure the effective enforcement and implementation of the Act across the country. Quality and inclusive education for children with disabilities is a human right and not a mere charitable act. In the words of John F. Kennedy, our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource. No child must be left behind!

Cecilia Oluwafisayo Aransiola is an Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Researcher at Amnesty International Nigeria

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Youths Kill Two Policemen For Attacking House Of Nnamdi Kanu's Lawyer

mar, 2019-12-03 14:04


Youths in Oraifite under Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State on Monday reportedly killed two policemen for allegedly attacking the house of Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

A source in the area said, “In retaliation for the attack on the lawyer’s house, youths in the community killed two policemen and burnt them at the Nkwo Market  area of Oraifite.

“The police may have gone to Ejiofor’s house in error thinking that the cult boys they were looking for were the ones who gathered in the IPOB lawyer’s house.

“The police on reaching the lawyer’s house had an altercation with the IPOB members which led to the police opening fire on the IPOB members and in reaction, the angry youth of Oraifite mobilised and attacked the policemen and in the process, two policemen were killed and burnt.”

It was gathered that the situation hindered vehicular movement for hours as the roads were deserted for fear of a possible mass arrest, a report by PUNCH said. 

Traditional ruler of Oraifite,  Igwe  Dan Udeorji, confirmed the incident but said he did not have details of the matter, adding that he was somewhere when  he received a text message about the incident.

He said, “I think every problem can be settled through Dialogue instead of killing people. 

"We must maintain peace at all time; killing and rioting will not lead anybody to anywhere. 

"Government needs to re-educate the police and the army. Killing citizens is not the way.”

When contacted, spokesperson for the police in the state, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the incident. 

He said, “We’re on it. When we are through with our report on the issue, we shall make it public."

Earlier, Kanu had alleged that the police and army killed three men when they invaded the house of his lawyer.

In a statement, Kanu called on world bodies to ‘intervene in the intimation of IPOB members in Nigeria.’

He said, “Confirmed reports indicate that a combined team of Nigeria police and military assassination squad invaded the home of my lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, in Oraifite, Anambra State in a bid to kill him and his family.

“Sadly, three innocent Biafrans were killed by the invading Fulani force at his residence.

“This comes on the heel of yet another killing of two IPOB members who were peacefully gathered in Arondizuogu on Sunday December 1. Their bodies are still in the morgue.

 “Police and army must know that the time is fast approaching when British diplomatic clout and protection may not be enough to shield them from the consequences of their daily crimes against innocent Biafrans.”

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Lawmaker's Death May Force Reps To Postpone 2020 Budget Passage

mar, 2019-12-03 13:13


The House of Representatives is billed to receive and consider the report by the Committee on Appropriations on the 2020 Appropriation Bill on Tuesday (today).

Consideration of the report will form the third reading and passage of the national budget, a report by PUNCH said. 

The National Assembly had scheduled consideration of the report by the Committees on Appropriations on the budget for November 28 (Thursday).

The parliament had however, deferred the consideration to this week.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, last Tuesday said that consideration and adoption of the report would be delayed to allow a thorough work on it.

He had said, “We have deferred this to next Tuesday (today) because there is mopping up or putting finishing touches to the budget. 

"It is a lot of work and we believe that it is better anything worth doing is worth doing well. 

"So, the laying of the budget has been deferred from today to Tuesday, the 3rd of December.”

The House and the Senate are however, expected to adjourn plenary in honour of lawmaker representing Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency of Niger State in the House of Representatives, Ja’afaru Iliyasu, who died on Monday.

It is a tradition in the National Assembly that the chambers adjourn plenary for a legislative day when a member of either the Senate or House dies.

Iliyasu, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, was said to have died at his Maitama residence in Abuja.

Gbajabiamila, who confirmed the death in a statement, expressed sadness over the demise of the lawmaker.

The statement said Iliyasu had just returned to Abuja on Sunday after a retreat organised for members of the House Committee on Public Accounts in Lagos.

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84-year-old Allegedly Commits Suicide In Enugu

mar, 2019-12-03 13:04


The Police Command in Enugu State has commenced investigation into the death of an octogenarian, Pa Mathias, 84, who allegedly committed suicide in a community in the state, according to the News Agency of Nigeria. 

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, who made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Enugu, said that the alleged suicide was committed in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.

He said, “It was gathered that the victim identified as Mathias was allegedly found dead while hanging on a tree on December 1 in the evening.’’

In another development, one Ogbonna in Nkanu West Local Government Area had been helping police operatives in their investigation in relation to the death of one Ngwu from the same area.

Amaraizu added, “The deceased, Ngwu, had allegedly gone to separate a fight between the suspect and his wife on November 25 before the suspect allegedly pursued him with a stick and this resulted in Ngwu falling into a well inside a neighbour’s compound.

“It was further gathered that Ngwu was later rescued from the well and taken to University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla for medical attention and was later confirmed dead by a doctor on duty. ’’

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Niger Government Warns Corps Member On Danger Zones

mar, 2019-12-03 11:21


The Niger State Government has warned members of the National Youth Service Corps posted to the state to avoid some local government areas in the state because of high risk of violence.

Secretary to the state government, Ahmed Matane, said this during the swearing-in of corps members posted to Niger. 

He assured corps members of the state government’s commitment to ensure their safety. 

He said, “We will ensure that no corps member is posted to areas in the four local governments with security challenges.”

There have been bandit attacks in Rafi, Shiroro, Munya and parts of Mashegu Local Government Areas of the state in recent times.

Matane said corps members would only be posted to trouble-prone areas if the menace was tackled, while commending security agencies for the relative peace enjoyed in the state.

He said that the ongoing development of camp facilities was to give comfort to corps members and assured of government’s continuous support. 

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Persons Living With Disabilities Protest In Bayelsa

mar, 2019-12-03 11:16

Members of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities on Monday staged a peaceful protest in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to register their displeasure over poor welfare in the society in commemoration of the International Day for Persons With Disabilities.

The protest led to gridlock in parts of the city as many shops and business centres were  shut down. 

Eric Ikilowei, Acting Chairman of the association in Bayelsa State, said they had no choice than to stage the protest to register their anger.

He said, "The protest became necessary being the only option left since the state government had refused to respond to our demand for funds to enable us join other persons with disabilities across the world to commemorate their day." 

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No Date Yet For Border Re-opening -FG

mar, 2019-12-03 11:06


The Nigerian Government has said there is no date in sight for the re-opening of Nigeria's land borders. 

The government shut the border to curb smuggling. 

Neighbouring countries have raised the alarm over the closure but the Nigerian Government has insisted that the border would remain closed until there was a commitment from neighbouring countries to curb smuggling.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who said this on Monday in Daura, Katsina State, also stated that he had not given any date for the reopening of the land borders. 

He disclosed that the country’s domestic fuel consumption had dropped by more than 30 per cent following the closure of land borders. 

Buhari, while speaking, hailed the actions taken by the President of Niger Republic, Muhammadou Youssoufou, including the dismissal of officials and a ban on the use of the country as dumping ground for Nigeria-bound smuggled goods.

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EFCC Arrests 23 Men From ‘Yahoo-yahoo’ School

mar, 2019-12-03 11:05


The Economic and Financial Crimes has arrested 23 suspected students learning Internet scam also known as ‘yahoo-yahoo’. 

Operatives of the commission busted an alleged training centre on Essien Essien Street, Ikot Ibiok Village, Eket Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. 

Spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwajaren, said the fraudsters were arrested during an operation, which took place in the early hours of Thursday, November 28, 2019. 

He noted that the suspects between the ages of 19 and 35 years confessed that they were undergoing training in various aspects of cybercrime such as love scam, online trading scam, identity theft etc. 

Uwajaren also disclosed that during questioning, the suspects narrated how they were recruited into the ‘academy’ to be trained in cybercrime in the regimented premises.

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Accident Victims Dying At Clinic Doors For Lack Of Police Reports By Saidat Akanbi

mar, 2019-12-03 10:59


What does one do when institutions entrusted with our very lives betray that trust in one's most vulnerable moment?

Few months ago in Lagos, a young lady, Ruth, was run into by a speeding car. She was rushed to the nearest hospital with hopes that she would be saved. That hospital turned her down, not because she was dead already, but because she didn't have a police report. The good Samaritans pleaded to no avail, the hospital wouldn't take her. The young lady died before she could make it to another hospital.

For many people like me, it is difficult to draw the link between police reports and accident victims. Why should a police report be needed before an accident victim would seek care? On the other hand, the requirement of police reports before gunshot victims can access healthcare is more popular, though wrongfully so. Is it ethically right to allow a man die for mere lack of a police report? Should hospitals not accept and treat every patient in need? Treat, save a life first and ask questions later? Even a criminal’s life is worth saving, if not for anything but the wealth of intelligence it holds.

In 2017, Nigeria took a bold step to introduce the National Gunshot Act which was set to turn things around. The Act stipulates compulsory treatment and care of gunshot victims, regardless of money and police report. Unfortunately, two years after many hospitals, particularly private clinics still reject such victims. In fact, the police report prerequisite seems to have extended to victims of road traffic accidents.

It is easy to surmise that clinic owners and health care workers are callous and inhumane, or why else would they turn victims away? A reactionary measure that many people have suggested is for healthcare regulatory agencies to come forth and enforce punitive measures against such hospitals that are apparently flouting a national policy. In my opinion, that would be superficial and ineffective. If the country is truly willing to solve this problem, a thorough root cause analysis is necessary to understand prevailing circumstances and proffer practical solutions.

In an emergency, the first responsibility of any healthcare worker is to save a life. Even without a national policy to #TreatFirstQuestionsLater, the natural reaction of any healthcare worker is expected to be to save the patient. And that is what many clinics do. But they have landed in trouble many times for doing so. Police officers are known to visit such clinics, harass, extort and sometimes arrest the clinic staff. Hence, clinic managers appear to have set an unwritten counter-policy against receiving such victims that may cause police hassles. Every staff on duty tries to protect her job and means of livelihood by making sure not to admit such victims.

That is not the only scenario where clinics and their staff face harassments. They face threats and violence from ruffians too. If a ruffian who suffered injury during a gang fight dies in a clinic, other members of his gang may decide to rough-handle the staff. If a popular person dies in your clinic, you may be in trouble. Some years back, when an Ibadan political celebrity died in the Accidents and Emergency room of the University College Hospital, healthcare workers had to hurriedly remove wardcoats and uniforms because his thugs became violent against anyone they recognised as such. In fact, there are several reported instances of clinics facing near demolitions and property destruction from ruffians.

Beyond police reports, the Act stipulates treating victims 'regardless of money'. Clinic owners and healthcare workers have often wondered how practicable this is especially in Nigeria where there is very little health insurance coverage. The recurrent question is: if I treat such patients, who will pay the bills? While many of them take the risk to nevertheless accept and treat such patients, others bitterly recount instances where such patients and their relatives refuse to pay (or have difficulties paying) when the patient became stable.

While all these may sound exonerative, they are in no way justifications for a victim to not be able to access care when they need it, especially in their most vulnerable period. That hospital betrayed Ruth. The healthcare system, Police Force and Nigeria betrayed Ruth. And no one is safe, until every one is safe.

Few weeks after Ruth's case in Lagos, Jemima died after being turned down for lack of police report by a hospital in Jos. Through November, a #TreatFirstQuestionsLater campaign was launched (initiated by Caleb Somtochukwu), and a petition signed by thousands of Nigerians. That petition has now been forwarded to the National Assembly.

In a few days, the world will celebrate the Universal Health Coverage Day. But only when everyone is truly able to access quality care, every time they need it, can Nigeria boast of Universal Health Coverage. It is not about what exists in policy documents, it’s about what we do every time to everyone, anyone, irrespective of how they come.

It is important that all stakeholders are made aware of on-ground realities, understand root causes, and reach practical agreement for a standard operating procedure that would truly give access to victims and patients in their moment of dire need.

To mark the upcoming Universal Health Coverage Day on December 12, a non-profit initiative, Afara 360 is holding a first-of-its kind roundtable event that will bring together high-level stakeholders and influencers from healthcare, government, Police Force, health law, and the media, as well as victims' relatives to decisively deliberate on the steps for actual implementation of the written policy document. Event details and registration:

Dr Saidat Akanbi is a public health physician and global health scholar


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