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ECOWAS: Tinubu Calls For Suspension Of Sanctions On Guinea, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

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President Bola Tinubu has called for the suspension of economic sanctions imposed on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea by ECOWAS.

Presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, dropped the hint in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday.

Speaking at the Extra-ordinary Summit of ECOWAS in Abuja on Saturday, President Tinubu, who is the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the organization, stated that: “Everything we did was in hopes of persuading our brothers that there existed a better path, a path that would lead to genuine improvement of their people’s welfare through democratic good governance. And this was a path each of our nations had solemnly agreed with one another pursuant to formal regional treaty and protocol.“

However, the sanctions that we contemplated might help lead our brothers to the negotiating table have become a harsh stumbling block. In my mind and heart, that which is hurtful yet ineffective serves no good purpose and should be abandoned.

“ECOWAS was established for the unassailable objective of improving the lives of the people of this region through fraternal cooperation among all member states. This edifice was cemented on the strong foundation and apt conviction that, united as one, we can be the true masters of our destiny.”

The President further explained that ECOWAS took the steps it did based on the regional ideals of security, social stability; democratic governance, political freedom, broad-based prosperity, and sustainable economic development through fair opportunity for each and every one in West Africa.

He said neither hatred nor hidden motive influenced the steps taken and that there was never any intention to douse or undermine the legitimate political aspirations of any member state or to advance the interests of any outside party.

In calling for the suspension of sanctions, President Tinubu stressed that: “We must take note of the approach of the holy month of Ramadan and of Lent. Whether you pray in the mosque or in the church, this represents a time for compassion, hope, and harmony. It is a time that we must not only seek God but also a closer relationship with brother and neighbour.

“In the Spirit of the holy month and of the Lenten period, and with hearts bestirred by goodwill towards all our people, let us extend a hand as brothers and friends to those in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

“What I suggest in real and practical terms is that we, my colleagues and fellow heads of state in ECOWAS, indefinitely suspend economic sanctions against Niger, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso and against the leadership of the military authorities in those nations.”

The President asked that ECOWAS facilitate the unfettered flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian items to the people of these nations, especially to the most vulnerable, adding that for Nigeria, this will also mean the prompt resumption of export of electric power to Niger.

“In this vein, suspension of sanctions is an important but initial step. What we seek is more than the breaking of the diplomatic logjam. We must use this very moment when things seem tense and progress unavailing, to forge greater cooperation within our community.

“We not only reach out to our brothers. Today, we say unto them — let us begin to work more earnestly together for the economic development of our people and towards confronting those modern challenges that respect no borders or boundaries. Challenges ranging from climate change to violent extremism to illegal pilfering of our precious natural resources require that we join together in progress or we fail separately.

“As leaders of ECOWAS, we have accepted the honour and duty to draft the history of the region and its people during our tenure in office. We have also accepted the honour and duty to reach out to our brothers, letting them know this regional home belongs to us all. I shall do my utmost in this regard. I humbly beseech that you do the same.

“For these reasons, we must suspend sanctions and return to brotherly dialogue. I call on the leadership in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger to embrace the hand extended,” the President stated.

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Sylvester Oromoni: Falana Faults Judgment, Says Coroner Ignored Evidence

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Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has faulted the recent ruling by Coroner Inquest sitting in Ogba Magistrate Court examining the death of a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Sylvester Junior Oromoni.

Falana said the Coroner disregarded further toxicological examination and withdrew initial recommendations for criminal negligence charges, despite glaring evidence and allegations of bullying within the school, including the discovery of a mysterious substance in Sylvester’s stomach.

Earlier, the Coroner Magistrate, Mikhail Kadiri, said Oromoni died as a result of failed treatment for his enlarged liver due to his parents and doctor’s negligence.

Kadiri said, “Based on the foregoing it is clear that the deceased health deteriorated in (doctor) PW 3’s care.

“PW 3, did not take proper care of the deceased, PW 3, completely abandoned the deceased for a period of more than 32 hours.

“The deceased’s death was an avoidable one but for the negligence of the parents and PW 3, they didn’t take him to the hospital until the day he died on November 30, 2021.

“The deceased went through an avoidable and excruciating pain and made to suffer needlessly,” Kadiri said.

Reacting to the judgement in a statement on Monday, Falana said the coroner ignored the evidence of the government pathologist that the “black substance” found in the stomach of the deceased was not subjected to toxicological examination.

“It is curious that the coroner ignored the evidence of the government pathologist that the “black substance” found in the stomach of the deceased was not subjected to toxicological examination. The allegation was that the deceased was forced to drink a poisonous substance.

“The Acting Director of Public Prosecution of Lagos State at the material time had recommended that some staff and students be prosecuted for criminal negligence over the bullying of students in the school.

Four days later, the Acting DPP turned around to say that there was no case to answer without any fresh evidence from the police investigators. The coroner ruled that the acting DPP has the power to withdraw her recommendations at any time!

“The doctors who testified stated that the deceased died of sepsis and that the sepsis could have been caused by excessive massaging of the leg of the deceased. The coroner conveniently overlooked the fact that the school doctor and the nurses massaged the leg of the deceased for two days before inviting his parents to take him home.

“In an attempt to exonerate Dowen College, the coroner was silent on the overwhelming evidence of the bullying of the deceased, his sister, and other students by the same set of students. In particular, the coroner discountenanced the evidence of a student who had testified that he saw the deceased beaten up and subjected to torture by a group of senior students.

“In spite of such uncontradicted evidence, the coroner said that the deceased died of natural cause. The coroner claimed that the negligence of the family doctor led to the death of the deceased but failed to refer him to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for appropriate sanctions,” said Falana.

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Woman accused of false testimony meets pastor, says no grudge against megachurch

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The woman who was accused of giving false testimony at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Abuja, Anyim Vera, has said she has no grudge against the church.

A video that went viral on Sunday showed the church’s Senior Pastor, Paul Enenche, questioning the credibility of the woman’s testimony at his church in Abuja.

The woman, who claimed to have graduated with a “Bsc in Law” from the National Open University of Nigeria, was interrupted by Enenche, who accused her of lying.

He told her she didn’t sound like a Law graduate, going by how she spoke. He also told her that there is nothing like a “Bsc in Law” and demanded that she leave the pulpit.

The video attracted mixed reactions, with many asking that the pastor apologise to the woman.

But Anyim, in a post on her Facebook page on Monday, said she had put the situation behind her.

She made the statement after meeting Enenche and his wife, Becky.

Sharing photos from the meeting, she wrote, “I want to inform the whole world that I just had a warm meeting with my spiritual father and mother, Dr Paul Enenche, and Dr Becky Enenche.

“I don’t have any grudge against the church or them. I remain committed to serving God as a member of Dunamis Church.

“I am thankful for the concern of the public.

“I have put the situation at my back, and I have moved forward, and I want everybody to do the same. Peace.”

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Nigerian Army wins 2024 national shooting competition

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The Nigerian Army has emerged as the champion of the 2024 National Open Shooting competition.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, sponsored the national open shooting championship.

The Nigerian army won a total of 10 medals in all at the end of the five-day National Championship held at the indoor sports hall of Moshood Abiola Stadium (Package B) in Abuja.

This was disclosed in a release on the Official Twitter Account of the Nigerian Army, @HQNigerianArmy, late Monday night, April 15, 2024

The press release:

The Nigeria Army have emerged champions of the 2024 National Open Shooting Championship sponsored by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

Nigeria Army won a total of 10 medals consisting of 7 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze at the end of the five-day National Championship held at the indoor sports hall of Moshood Abiola Stadium (Package B) in Abuja.

The Acting Director of Physical Training, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Abdulrahim Bello commended the shooters for putting up brilliant displays at the Championship. Brig Gen Bello said the performance of the team has further shown that the Army remains the leading agency in shooting, promising that the Nigerian Army will continue to support the growth of sports.

He said, “The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja will be impressed that the Nigerian Army emerged winners of the National Shooting Championship.

I want to congratulate the shooters who represented the service at the championship because they put a brilliant display against their opponents.

“The Nigeria Army will ensure we continue to give support to our athletes in order to get maximum output. We have loads of sporting activities in the coming months and I want to assure you that the Nigerian Army will not relent in the quest to dominate Nigeria and Africa at large”.

The team Capture/Coach, Major Oluremi Olusegun also appreciate Brigadier General Bello for his consistent support and guidance given to the team.

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