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Police adopt community policing strategies, checkmate social media abuse

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The Sokoto State Police Commissioner, Mr Usaini Gumel, said police had adopted community policing approach and evolved ways to checkmate excesses of social media platforms.

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Gumel stated this in his keynote address as a guest speaker at Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto State Chapter congress on Saturday in Sokoto.

He said efforts were geared toward safeguarding public lives in line with the institutional mandates as well as checkmate malicious contents circulation.

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” It is in this direction that the I-G launched community policing in all the 36 states and 774 LG’s of the federation encompassing them to partner with the police in information sharing, ” Gumel. said.

He added that Nigeria Police also launched a cell phone application called “ Police Rescue Me App” to be on the same page with citizens’ journalism and to monitor new trends of crimes.

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According to him, the application collates so many features with real-timeline locations which are being monitored 24 hours at the Command and Control Centres across the 36 states of the federation and FCT.

” The features include: Emergency calls, live streaming of incidences, picture reporting and lot more.

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”Equally in place is a free toll line available 24 hours across Nigeria for the same purpose ” the Commissioner.

He described media as an important platform of conveying the feelings of the society about the performance of the security agencies.

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He explained that police were using the media outlets, like news organizations and reporters to assist in crime prevention, detection and the promotion of positive image of the force.

According to him, police use media to communicate with the public through organized media outlets, telling the public when they need to protect themselves or how citizens can assist the police in investigations.

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He said the efforts were to improve the perceptions and public trust of the Police, adding, ”however, we are often the subjects of serious public scrutiny and receive harsh assessment from the public.

” Due to their professionalism, the media actors also play a vital role in ensuring fair assessment of the security agencies, the security situation in the society, and the maintenance of law and order through their reportage.

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” With the widespread of modern information and telecommunication technology, such as smartphones, digital devices and cameras, citizens have gained some power to instantly record scenarios and other real-time incidences.

” People use the gadgets to report on different media platforms, often without the requisite professional media practice skills. ” Gumel said.

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The commissioner further explained that such brought to fore the cases of unverified and false information, which is known as “fake news”.

” All are in the name of community surveillance, some citizens release controversial recorded videos or audios of incidences, especially security related incidences.

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” Some conventional field reporters have unwittingly fallen prey to such ill-conceived reportage and have gotten into trouble with their media house, ” he added.

He said that the gaps created by this situation clearly explained why police find it was difficult to achieve their goals of getting it right on “media management” in totality.

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” This is because the social media lack rules, ethics, organization, professionalism and control.

”As these new media practices allow citizens to participate in sharing information at their own discretion.

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” It’s sufficient to say that this Community Surveillance System is what are often referred as social media practices or citizen journalism.

”This is also described as “guerrilla journalism’ because it involves citizens gathering evidence and sharing their own interpretations of current events with the public.

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” Police enforce the laws that keep the communities and public lives and property safe,” Gumel said.

Gumel urged journalists to support security agencies in highlighting the dangers of social media excesses and always balance reports to avoid misinforming public and jeopardizing public peace.

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He underscored the need for robust media collaboration as well as information managers to achieve an optimum level for maintaining security. (NAN)

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After 138 days: Journalist detained for allegedly exposing Ogun state Gov, finally released

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Prince Olamilekan Hammed, blogger and publisher of Eagles Foresight has been released on bail after spending 138 days in detention.

His lawyer, Habeeb Whyte, confirmed his release to The PUNCH in a phone conversation.

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“Yes, he has been released. The case was struck out,” he said.

The journalist was detained by the DSS, also known as the State Security Service (SSS), on the orders of Dapo Abiodun.

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According to his lawyer, he was invited by the agency over a report he published exposing the criminal activities of Abiodun.

The Ogun State Command of the State Security Service (SSS) has arrested and detained blogger and publisher of eaglesforesight.com.ng, Prince Olamilekan Hammed (Lahbash) for reasons yet to be disclosed,” the lawyer had said in a statement.

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However, it was reported that Ogun State Government denied Governor Abiodun’s involvement in the blogger’s arrest and detention.

He was detained for publishing a story relating to Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun’s credit card fraud in the United States of America.

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It was gathered that Hammed, who appeared before the Federal High Court 1, Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital, was released on Tuesday.

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Confusion as Court nullifies all PDP primaries in Ogun elections

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* Bars INEC from recognising
as governorship candidate

*Orders another primary in 14 days

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By Francesca Iwambe

A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, on has nullified all the primary elections conducted by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in choosing candidates for the 2023 general elections in the State.

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The presiding judge, Justice O. O Oguntoyinbo in his judgement ordered the party to conduct another primaries within the next 14 days.

The court also barred the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Hon. Ladi Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.

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The party had on May 25 conducted the primary election which produced Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party.

But three members of the party, Taiwo Olabode Idris, Kehinde Akala and Alhaji Ayinde Monsuri had dragged the party, Ladi Adebutu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court challenging the authenticity of the delegates’ lists used for the conduct of the primaries.

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The plaintiffs argued, the persons on delegates’ list used by electoral panel for the primaries were not democratically elected at the ward, local government and state congresses, hence the panel “cannot unilaterally or arbitrarily impose” the list on the party for the primaries.

The plaintiffs in their originating summons, had prayed the court among others to nullify or set aside the state congress/indirect primary election, held by the 1st defendant (PDP) on 25th of May, 2022 “for the purpose of choosing the candidate which the 1st Defendant intends to nominate/sponsor at the 2023 Governorship election in Ogun State based on the list of delegates who were not democratically elected at the ward congress.”

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They also sought an order directing the 2nd Defendant (INEC) “to disregard and/or refrain from giving effect to the results of the alleged 1st Defendant’s indirect primary election held on the 25th of May, 2022 based on the list of ad-hoc delegates who were not elected at the ward congresses constituted by the 1st Defendant for that purpose”.

Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to the plaintiffs, Thaddeus Idenyi said, the court nullified the election “because it was conducted using a list of ad-hoc delegates who were not elected.

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“The implication of the judgement is obvious, the PDP will have to put their house together and then conduct a fresh primary as ordered by the court.

“This time around, the court was specific that they have to use the list that has been certified by INEC because after the primary, those lists were submitted to INEC as parts of its report of covering those ward congresses held, so the court has now said that is the list which must be considered in the conduct of the fresh primaries, so the PDP had to just put their house together and use those lists to conduct a fresh primary.”

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The Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Akinloye Bankole said, the party would study the judgement before any action is taken.

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Jubilation in Rivers as Wike receives aircraft abandoned in Germany

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By Francesca Iwambe

There was Jubilation in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday as governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, said the recovery and eventual return of an asset of the State, Legacy 600 Aircraft, was a reality and not mere politics.

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The governor had earlier on Tuesday morning returned to Nigeria from London, where he had traveled to for an undisclosed reason, along with his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom.

Wike spoke after receiving the Legacy 600 aircraft that touched down on Tuesday at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre local government area of the State.

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He explained that it took intelligence report for his administration to discover such asset, owned by the state government.

“The immediate past administration flew the aircraft to far away Germany, without any record of it made available to his administration.

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“To the glory of God, the plane is back and Rivers people can see, Nigerians can see. It is not that we are playing politics. All we are saying, we never knew, nobody told us until we got intelligence that we have this asset somewhere”, he said.

Wike recalled that the Legacy 600 Aircraft was purchased by the Dr. Peter Odili-led administration to serve the interest of Rivers people, but was abandoned with the General Atomics Aerotec in Munich, Germany by the Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi-led administration since 2012.

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The governor said: “What is very important to all of us here today is that when we came into power in 2015, nobody handed over any report or gave us handover note to let us know where such asset of the State was, only for us to hear in 2019 that this asset is somewhere.”

He said that because air transportation is a more technical area, great care was taken to put the Legacy 600 Aircraft into its best form to undertake air travel effectively.

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Wike stated that so much money was expended by the state government on the aircraft, money that would have gone into other development projects if his administration had known of the Aircraft quite early.

“In fixing the aircraft, certificate of air worthiness issued by the Nigerian government, was secured for the aircraft to return to Nigeria.

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“Of course, we did everything we could do and we told Nigerians that by the grace of God we will not allow this asset to go that way. We must return it for the people of the State to decide what they are going to do with it.

“I am so elated that at the end of the day, all of our struggles are not in vain. I thank Rivers people for the support. I thank the Rivers State House of Assembly for the support. I thank the Executive for the support.

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“But for their support, it would not have been possible to spend the money we spent. If you hear the money we spent, it’s money that would have been put in other development projects if we were told on time of it.”

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