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Lawyer Say 6 Cameroonian Lecturers, Others Detained Illegally

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By Gloria Ikibah

Lawyer to six Cameroonian professors teaching in some Nigerian universities and four others, Barr Joseph Fru, has said that his clients were illegally imprisoned by the Cameroonian authorities.
Naijablitznews.com recalled that they had petitioned the House of Representatives to help secure their release after being allegedly abducted from Nigeria and imprisoned in Cameroon since January 2018.
The petitioners, all of Cameroonian nationality, of which the others include refugees and asylum seekers, said they were all legally resident in Nigeria.
According to their statement, they were illegally abducted  and deported from Nigeria on January 5th 2018 to Cameroon, on “frivolous allegations of plotting to destabilize the government of La Republique du Cameroon (LRC) President Mr. Paul Biya.”
They petitioned that they were unfairly tried and incarcerated.
In the petition they submitted to the House Committee on Public Petitions by their lawyers, they said two separate judgments in Nigeria had been ruled in their favour connection with the matter.
They stated that despite the judgement by Nigerian courts that their arrest and deportation were illegal hence they should be released and compensated financially, they were still being held at the Kondengui Security Detention facility in Cameroon.
They also added that in October 2022, the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN-HRC-WGAD) in Communication 59/2022 of 14th October 2022, found their arrest and detention by Nigeria and Cameroun arbitrary and illegal and it had asked both countries to unconditionally free the victims and pay them appropriate compensation.
At the penultimate hearing of the matter before the House Committee on Public Petitions a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Manu, had said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had no record if this petition.
He had said their findings revealed the matter was handled by the government as a security and legal matter.
Briefing reporters after another hearing on the matter on Tuesday, Fru said said they were optimistic by the intervention of the legislature in resolving the matter.
Fru, who was in the company of family members of those affected, said however rued that the representative of the United Nations and relevant agencies of the Nigerian government were missing at the hearing.
He said those who failed to turn up included the Attorney General of the Federation, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, UN High Commission Country Representative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Intelligence Agency and the Department of State Services (DSS)
He said, “There is a clarification that we need to make that is fundamental and cardinal. They were abducted. They were not arrested. When you say someone is arrested, there is a legal course for them to be picked up by the forces of law and order. And in a normal arrest situation, you have probable cause that you are being suspected of committing a crime and before you get to that point, there has to be a procedure you follow to get either an arrest warrant or search warrant that may lead to their apprehension.
“But when someone arbitrarily without any legal course is picked up and then held for as long as they were held in Nigeria before being sent to Cameron that is called an abduction.
“An abduction does not end when we know where they are. That illegal act continues and abides with them until that illegality is cured. And to this point that illegality has not been cured and that is why we are still in prison.
“The second thing is that they were not repatriated. You repatriate someone when you go through a legal channel and you exhaust all the legal processes and the court decides that they go back to where they came from to answer in that jurisdiction. Before you repatriate someone there has to be bilateral treaty that is observed. None of that in this case.
“We adjourned for 11 June 2024 because the committee is not happy with the fact that the last time they were elements of the government of the executive arm that were required to be at the hearing but none of them showed up.
“So motions were moved and it was adopted that these entities should necessarily appear in the next hearing so that resolution to this can be taken. In the event they do not show up, the committee is ready to move forward. How they move forward depends on their deliberation and that is above my pay grade.
“The Chairman said they were going to give these entities a last chance to appear so they can have enough information to go by and come up with a resolution.”
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Reno Omokri Criticizes Tinubu Government: Calls Return of Old National Anthem a Step Backward and Unnecessary act

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Reno omokri a former Aide to President Goodluck Jonathan had reacted to changing of the Nigerian anthem to the old anthem, In a tweet on X (formerly known as Twitter) , he said “My heart is very heavy about Nigeria right now because, in my opinion, we just took a giant step backwards in our national journey. Now, do not get me wrong, I support the current economic policies of my country. Fuel subsidy removal and Naira flotation are necessary policies that any lover of Nigeria should adhere to regardless of party affiliation.

One of the most unnecessary acts of governance in Nigeria in recent times is the law returning the old National Anthem. First of all, there was nothing wrong with the existing anthem. Secondly, with all of the multifaceted issues we face, it seems like we have a lack of priorities, when we major on such a settled issue as an anthem.

To me, it looks like a step backwards to discard the ‘Arise, O Compatriots’ National Anthem written by a collective of young Nigerians, including John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P. O. Aderibigbe in 1978, for ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’, written by an English woman, Lillian Jean Williams.

Does it not sound preposterous that a foreigner should write our National Anthem? Are we that shallow and uninspired that we cannot come up with our own indigenous anthem? You can imagine the land of such music icons, like Fela Kuti, Osita Osadebe, Dan Maraya Jos, and contemporary stars, like Sade Adu, Burna Boy, Davido and Wizkid, importing music of national significance from Britain. As my Yoruba brethren will say, ‘O wrong now!’

Already, the name Nigeria was given to us by another English lady, Flora Shaw. And she named us in 1897 in much the same way you name a dog. She did it tongue in cheek, for an article she wrote for The Times of London.

We ought to have even changed that name to something indigenous, such as the Republic of Wazobia, as Ghana did in 1957 when she changed from Gold Coast to Ghana at Independence in 1957.

We should also have reverted to the original name for Lagos, Eko. Lagos is an imposed Portuguese name. The annoying thing is that the Portuguese who renamed Eko as Lagos were just opportunistic slave traders who did not set up any viable administrative structure.

Instead of undertaking these name changes, we are rather doubling down on another colonial relic by discarding the anthem written by our own citizens for one written by a foreigner.

I dare anyone reading this to name another country whose National Anthem was written by a foreigner. Even a Banana Republic would not do that!

In my humble opinion, President Tinubu ought not to have assented to that bill. Instead, he should have written a strongly worded letter to communicate to the National Assembly the implications on our sovereignty and national psyche to revert to an anthem written by a foreigner, which would make us a free nation that willingly chose to return to the yoke of imperialism.

Is it too late for the President to do what he ought to have done? No. He is our Head of State and has a duty to promote indigenous ideas over imperialistic ones”.

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APC Lawmakers throw weight behind Ado Bayero

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

As the emirship tussle continues in Kano State, the 12 members of the All Progressives Congress in the House of Assembly have pledged allegiance to the 15th Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero.

Led by the minority leader, Labaran Abdul Madari, the 12 lawmakers from APC paid homage to Ado Bayero at the Nassarawa Palace after the assembly’s plenary session on Tuesday.

Recall that a crisis has broken out since the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano at the weekend, after Governor Abba Yusuf repealed the five emirates council.

Both Sanusi and Ado Bayero have refused to bow to pressure of different court orders asking them to vacate the palace.

This has created tension in the city as different organisations including the police, ulamas, eminent figures, lawyers, politicians have tried to wade in to resolve the matter but the two sides refused to budge.

Meanwhile, as the APC lawmakers in the State House paid a visit to Ado Bayero, Kantin Kwari Market Traders Association did the same to Sanusi on Tuesday.

The delegation of the traders led by the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Adamu Aliyu Kibiya, was at the emir’s palace, Kofar Kudu to register their allegiance and loyalty to the monarch.

Sanusi enjoined the traders to uphold the principles of honesty and fairness in all their business transactions, noting that Kano remains a leading commercial centre, attracting merchants from outside the country because of the contribution of traders.

The emir has been receiving visitors coming to pay homage since Sunday when 40 district heads and title holders pledged their allegiance.

Findings showed that vigilante groups and local hunters (Yan Tauri) are still keeping vigil at the palace.

Five DSS operatives were seen manning an entrance to one of the offices of the emir at Gidan Rumfa.

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Tinubu Under Fire Over National Anthem Bill, Says ‘Hungry People Don’t Sing

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Some Nigerians have expressed outrage over the bill President Bola Tinubu signed into law on Wednesday morning.

The bill, which was simultaneously introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives last week, received an accelerated consideration and passage.

The speed with which both chambers of the National Assembly considered and passed the bill at a time Nigerians are facing more pressing issues occasioned by rising inflation and security challenges, has been criticised.

While launching the National Anthem at the National Assembly, Tinubu commended the lawmakers.

““Please, let’s continue to collaborate and build our country. We have no other institutions or personality that will help us unless we do it ourselves. Let us work together to build our nation not only for us but generations yet unborn”, he said.

‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’, composed by the Britons, was the national anthem of Nigeria used from Independence in 1960 until 1978, when it was replaced by a new anthem, ‘Arise, O Compatriots.’

But with the new law, ‘Arise, O Compatriots’, will give way for ‘Nigeria, we hail Thee’.

While a few persons have commended the president for signing it into law, others see it as a mispriority.

On X, a social media user, @Zarmaomar, wrote: “The long-awaited national anthem bill that will solve the issues of insecurity, hunger, corruption and create job opportunities has been officially signed by the President…”

@Mudiaga247 said: “How does signing this bill help the Drowning Economy

@KennyNuga: “Misplaced priority . we need laws mandating all vehicles to shift off the road when an Ambulance is approaching. we need laws that criminalize bullying in our institutions.”

@RealQueenBee_: “This will now be an achievement for the Tinubu administration, reverting back to the colonial anthem.”
@Ikepicano: “did he know what he signed?”

@PatoEner: “This government is never implementing policies that would alleviate the poverty in the economy. Or do they think hungry people sing the national anthem?”

@DoublePrince001: “Within 7 days it was sorted….. Let’s talk about minimum wage or what will benefit Nigerians… It will take months and years.”

@iam_damayor: “Congratulations Nigerians, we now have a new National Anthem. When you want to buy anything, just recite it and you get the 2015 price of that goods/service.”

@That_Ondo_Boy: “As for me, I’m in support of this Old National Anthem ooo. Tinubu you do this one oooo. Now, lets sign to bill the old exchange rate, old food price to as at the time of the old National Anthem.”

Analysts, CSOs fault bill

In an interview with Daily Trust, analysts and civil society organisations argued that the resolution of the National Assembly to revert to the old National Anthem was a misplacement of priority, and also a sign of disconnection with reality.

The Country Director of Action Aid Nigeria (AAN), Mr. Andrew Mamedu, in an interview with Daily Trust, said the bill to revert to the old National Anthem “is an absolute misplacement of priorities and an abuse of legislative privilege, especially given the numerous pressing issues facing the nation that remain unaddressed”.

He stated: “While the National Anthem is a symbol of our heritage, the urgent and concurrent approval of this bill stands in stark contrast to the lack of prioritisation and accelerated legislative action on critical national matters. Issues such as security, economic stability, education, healthcare and infrastructure development are in dire need of attention and resources.

“It is profoundly disappointing and frankly outrageous that the National Anthem is being prioritised over these vital concerns”, he stressed.

Similarly, Yiaga Africa’s Senior Communications Officer, Mr. Mark Amaza, told one of our correspondents that the actions of the federal lawmakers on the issue were “a misplacement of priorities”.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with our current National Anthem that warrants a change. Not only that, this episode shows how disconnected our legislators are from the challenges of Nigeria that at this critical juncture, they chose to prioritise a needless return to our former National Anthem”, Amaza said.

The Executive Director, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, also decried that Nigeria continued to exhibit a disturbing trend of misplaced priorities.

According to him, it is disheartening to see the nation trapped in a cycle of ineffective leadership.

“Our senators, elected to represent the masses, seem disconnected from the pressing needs of the people. Who among the citizens indicated that changing the National Anthem was a priority?

“Nigerians are hungry, angry, and deeply disappointed. Trust in the government is at an all-time low.

“Changing the National Anthem does not address the urgent issues we face: it doesn’t put food on our tables, create jobs, improve security, provide reliable electricity, clean water, good roads, or quality healthcare,” Zikirullahi said.

On his part, a former senator from Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani, said the parliament should have consulted widely before tampering with the National Anthem.

He said that altering the National Anthem without wide consultations would be seen as an attempt to dissolve Nigeria.

Commenting on his X handle, the former lawmaker said: “Tempering with or changing the National Anthem or National Pledge of Nigeria should be done after wider public consultation and should be factored in the process of constitutional amendments.”

A seasoned journalist and former Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, also faulted the lawmakers’ decision to reintroduce the old National Anthem.
He said: “The excessive embrace of the past is part of the metaphysical nostalgia that refused to appreciate the political economic choices and wrong leadership recruitment processes that led us to the deep pit we have been dug into.

“Instead of searching for far more rational and scientifically relevant instruments of problem solving, our lawmakers think an empty gesture of nostalgia offers an easy route.

“There is also an unacceptable demographic tyranny that Opeyemi Bamidele and his colleagues are attempting to impose on Nigeria, with the plan to revert to the old National Anthem. It is an anthem that would resonate with the generation born before independence and maybe immediately after. Let us unpack the facts”, he said in an opinion article published in Daily Trust on Saturday.

Lawmakers’ move in order – NOA DG

The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lanre Issa-Oninlu, said even though the bill was yet to become a law, the move was not a bad one.
“You see, there is so much in words that we speak and we hear. So, in communication, the impact of our statement resonates with us. There are some anthems that you listen to and then you see a call to it. They call you to action. They ask you to act and do certain things. And there are some that are just flags that are just like any other song.

“And anytime you sing them, you don’t feel any psychological attachment. No any feeling. It doesn’t call up any passion in you. It doesn’t really speak to your emotion, and doesn’t call up to your sentiment.

“And it’s important that you have an anthem that connects with your sentiment; that calls you to action so that when carrying out those actions, the impact of the anthem will now reflect in our lives”, he said in an interview on Trust TV’s Daily Politics.

Senate, Reps’ spokespersons silent

Efforts to get reactions of the spokespersons of the two chambers of the National Assembly were unsuccessful.

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