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Kuje Jail Break: Falana Drags Buhari, National Assembly to Court

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*Asks court to compel FG to provide CCTV, double-perimeter walls in prisons

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By Francesca Iwambe

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and the Controller General of the Correctional Service, to court over the recent attack on the Kuje Correctional Center, Abuja, by gunmen.

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Falana, in the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, is seeking an order of court compelling the defendants to provide necessary security apparatus across correctional centers in the country in line with the law.

The plaintiff in the suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1580/2022 and dated August 23, 2022, blamed the attack that that saw the released of over 600 inmates including 64 Boko Haram terrorists on the absence of necessary security and monitoring equipment at the Kuje Correctional Center.

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In a 12 paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the suit, plaintiff submitted that investigations revealed “that the correctional facility was not equipped with close circuit televisions and other security monitoring devices that it ought to have been equipped with.”

Deponent of the affidavit, Mr Ayodele Aribisala, averred that, “The failure of the federal government to provide these security equipment amounted to a contravention of the provisions of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019.”

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Aribisala, claimed that the purpose of the legal action was to challenge the contravention and non-compliance of the above provision of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act by the Defendants.

Amongst the issues raised for determination were, “Whether the defendants are not under a legal obligation to provide monitoring devices, close circuit television and other instruments of restraint at correctional centers in line with Section 28 (1) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.

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“Whether the defendants are not under a legal obligation to establish and maintain a fully equipped armed squad, intelligence and at correctional centers in line with Section 28 (2) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.”

Counsel to the plaintiff, Mrs Funmi Falana, submitted that if the questions were answered in his favour, the court should declare, “that by virtue of Section 28 (1), (2) & (3) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, the defendants are under a legal obligation to provide monitoring devices to protect, control and safeguard correctional activities, including observatory towers, double perimeter walls, close circuit television, body scanners, e-monitoring devices, electrically activated alarm systems and other instruments of restraint.

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He urged the court to make an order “directing the defendants to fully comply with the provisions of Section 28 (1), (2) & (3) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act.

NiajaBlitzNew.com recalls that gunmen had on July 5, 2022 attacked the correctional facility in Kuje, federal capital territory (FCT), leading to the escape of hundreds of inmates, including suspected Boko Haram members.

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The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) “claimed responsibility” for the attack few days after the attack was carried out.

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Elderly Woman Falls On Her Knees To Pray For Peter Obi In Jos Rally

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As political campaigns for the 2023 general elections commenced on Wednesday, a elderly woman has been captured praying for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, during a solidarity rally held in Jos, Plateau State.

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The Director-General of the Obi-Datti Campaign organization, Doyin Okupe, in a tweet on Wednesday disclosed that the LP candidate and his vice, Datti Baba Ahmed, will attend the Jos rally although the party is yet to commence campaigns officially.

”Today in Jos, HE Peter Obi & his running mate Datti-Ahmed, will honour an invitation from the Middle Belt forum to attend a solidarity rally. We are yet to commence our own campaigns.

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To comfort our students, We urge the FG to quickly resolve the lingering ASSU Crisis,” the tweet read.

Amongst persons seen at the venue to welcome the LP flag bearer was an elderly woman on her knees in the midst of other supporters praying for Peter Obi at the Rwang Pam Stadium Jos, Plateau state.

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UNIBEN releases post-UTME, DE screenings date

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The University of Benin has fixed dates for its Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry screenings for 2022/2023 session.

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The university in a notice by its Registrar, Ademola Bobola on Wednesday in Benin, said the exercise would hold between Nov. 14 and 25.

Bobola said the screening would be conducted in designated centres at the Ugbowo main campus of the institution, using the Computer Based Test mode.

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“Only candidates who applied through JAMB for the 2022/2023 UTME and Direct Entry admission and chose the University of Benin as First Choice and scoring 200 and above for UTME candidates are eligible for this screening exercise,” the registrar said.

Bobola, however, referred admission seekers to the institution to the university’s official website.

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Presidency denies authorising Katsina security outfit to carry arms

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The Presidency has denied that any state has been issued authorisation to procure automatic weapons for its security outfit.

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Last week, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu had accused the Federal Government of bias in refusing to allow the Western Nigeria Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun Corps, to carry sophisticated firearms, while allegedly granting approval to the Katsina State security outfit to carry sophisticated firearms.

That was as the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba said that quasi-security outfits established by state governments have no legal basis to function during the 2023 general elections.

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In a statement on Tuesday, the Presidency said the possession of automatic weapons and AK-47 remains illegal in the country.

“The Presidency wishes to strongly assert that there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits,” the statement reads.

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“Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them”.

The Presidency however said neither Katsina nor Ondo is allowed to purchase automatic weapons for security outfits.

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“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.

“In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their vigilantes for a five-day period….

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“in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,” emphasising that “the vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them”.

The Presidency added that it “appreciates the active involvement of states with security matters. As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities”.

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President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted as saying he has received reports “of acts of utmost bravery and professionalism” by operatives of state security outfits.

“He thanked them for their alertness that is helping to defeat nefarious plots against targets at grassroots levels”, the statement added.

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Furthermore, the Presidency called on leaders at various levels “to exercise restraint in their speech, even as we are in a political season”.

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