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Engage Yoruba, IPOB agitators to foster peace in Nig, IHRC tells FG

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The International Human Rights Commission on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to dialogue with Indigenous People of Biafra, Yoruba nation agitators and bandits in consultative engagement for peace to reign in Nigeria.

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While attributing kidnapping, banditry and killings, among other forms of insecurity in the country to the bad economy, the commission also expressed concern over the exodus of Nigerian youths overseas.

The IHRC’s Ambassador at Large and Head of Diplomatic Missions in Nigeria, Dr. Duru Hezekiah, said these while addressing journalists in Abuja on the occasion of 2022 International Peace Day observed every September 21.

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He urged the President, Muhammadu Buhari regime to declare a state of emergency in tackling the menace of youth exodus.

“Racism is everywhere, most especially we Africans and Nigerians.

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The rate of racism against Africans and Nigerians calls for urgent attention. In fact, there should be a state of emergency.

lot of Nigerians are migrating to the West and other parts of the world due to bad economy and insecurity.

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When our people leave the country to find greener pastures elsewhere, the people in the host countries would start treating us as beggars. Youths are moving because the economy is bad.

There is a need for us to come together and develop our country. When those who abroad see an improvement in economy and security, they would surely come back,” the IHRC stated.

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He observed that acts of violence and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, immigration status, and religion are increasingly alarming globally and presented a risk to humanity.

He said government must tackle the root causes of insecurity in the country by addressing other sociological factors like poverty, unemployment, and lack of adequate education.

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Hezekiah said, “This platform is an avenue that would enable us to dialogue with the government. We need to understand why people are carrying arms, and iis because the economy is bad. Our youth must drop their guns and come for dialogue.

The insecurity issue in Nigeria is like talking about sickness, we need to get to the root of that sickness. There is a root cause of this banditry. What do they really want? What is their motive? The truth is motives differ.

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If you come to the South East, we have the Indigenous People of Biafra and we know what they want, even though what we think they want is beyond what we are seeing now.

“In the South-East, there is no business on Monday but yet people don’t go to work on Monday. That means there is something fundamental that we need to know.

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“I believe that my coming on board as Diplomatic Head of IHRC will give us an avenue and ample opportunity to reach out to those carrying guns to see how they can drop their guns. Lets us reason together and engage the government.

we can even form the east. By the time we get it right, our people will come back and invest. With this platform we have today, Nigeria is going to be a better place.”

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He also expressed concern over the exodus of Nigerian youths to oversee countries, stating that a state of emergency needs to be declared to tackle the menace.

Also, in his presentation, the Head of IHRC African Diplomatic Missions, Dr. Friday Sanni, linked the recent attacks on prisons across the country to congestion.

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He explained the need for Nigeria’s justice system to embrace non-custodial measures which include suspended sentences, community service, and fines, among others.

“The non-custodial sentencing introduced by the former Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello, is no longer being respected that is why the prison that has facilities for 50 inmates is now accommodating 500 people.

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This is also why our prisons have become vulnerable to attacks. If we have a justice system that is proactive, all the violence in the country shall become history”, Sanni stated.

He added that the organisation would be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Conference of Nigerian political parties to ensure that the 2023 elections are conducted in a peaceful environment.

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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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