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The Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has cautioned the Federal Government over its categorisation of hate speeches to act of terrorism, saying: “This appears as another plot to silence the opposition and I make bold to say that saying the truth concerning the country and its rulers cannot be termed as hate speech.”

Fayose said the All Progressives Congress is the number one promoter and beneficiary of hate speeches in the country.

He said: “When the APC was looking for power, several provocative statements were made. Nigerians are yet to forget President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’ hate speeches and the threat by the APC to form a parallel government.”

In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Friday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose, who said he was totally against hate speech and will support any effort to curb it, added that it was important to caution the Federal Government on the danger inherent in the blanket categorisation of hate speech as treasonable.

He said: “Even if the APC government is sincere with its new found hatred for hate speeches, the APC government must first apologise to Nigerians for being the number one promoter and beneficiary of hate speech.”

The governor counselled that rather the blanket criminalisation of hate speeches, the Federal Government should embark on reorientation of Nigerians, especially the youths, on the consequences of hate speeches to the unity of the country and restore the confidence of the people in the government.

The statement reads: “I wish to express concern over the pronouncement of the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo that hate speech will henceforth be treated as terrorism.

“While I am totally against hate speech and will support any effort to curb it, it is important to caution the federal government on the danger inherent in the blanket categorisation of hate speech as treasonable.

“I make bold to say that saying the truth concerning the country and its rulers cannot be termed as hate speech.

“I only hope Nigeria is not being systematically returned to the colonial days when the law of sedition was used to jail many of those who fought for our independence or the era of Buhari’s military regime when the notorious Public Officers (Protection against False accusation) Decree 4 of 1984 was used to jail Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor, both of The Guardian newspapers, for publishing what the government termed as false.

“Most importantly, going by the APC government’s use of the so-called anti-corruption fight to harass, intimidate, arrest and detain opposition figures, there is no doubt that categorising whatever that is termed as hate speech as act of terrorism is unconstitutional and an attempt to gag Nigerians, especially the press.

“It should therefore not be seen that since the use of corruption to harass, arrest and detain opposition figures is no longer fashionable, hate speech will now be another instrument of oppression to be used against opposition.

“The questions that must be answered by the federal government are; what constitutes hate speech and who determines it? Has the Presidency becomes law unto itself such that it is now the one to determine what is an offense and what punishment to be applied?

“From all intent and purposes, the Acting President pronouncement which is obviously not backed by any legislation is an attempt to provide reasons for an impending clampdown on opposition and Nigerians will resist any attempt to mortgage their fundamental rights to freedom of expression under the guise of hate speeches.

“When the APC was looking for power, several provocative statements were made.

Nigerians are yet to forget President Buhari’s ‘the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’ hate speeches and the threat by the APC to form a parallel government.

“What can be more treasonable than these statements made by President Buhari and his party?

“It is also on record that during the 2011 election campaign, President Buhari’s inciting statement led to widespread violence by his supporters in the North after he lost. Over 1000 people were slaughtered in cold blood, including innocent National Youth Service Corp members.

“Therefore, even if the APC government is sincere with its new found hatred for hate speeches, the APC government must first apologise to Nigerians for being the number one promoter and beneficiary of hate speech.

“Also, rather than this blanket criminalising of hate speeches, the federal government should embark on reorientation of Nigerians, especially the youths on the consequences of hate speeches to the unity of the country while the confidence of the people in the government (at all levels) must be restored.”

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BREAKING: I Remain Lagos Police Commissioner, It’s A New Order From Abuja – Edgal Imohimi Declares

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Edgal Imohimi, has declared that he remains the Lagos State Commissioner of Police.

Imohimi told members of the press on Tuesday during a handover-takeover ceremony between him and supposed incoming CP, Kayode Egbetokun, that they were about concluding the process when a directive came from Abuja asking them to suspend the action.

Imohimi, who addressed journalists in the presence of Egbetokun at the Lagos State Police Command’s headquarters, said, “I am sure that you know Mr Kayode Egbetokun, he is an old timer in the command.

“You all know that our first job is about order and direction; we were about concluding the handing and taking over procedure when we were instructed by our bosses from Abuja to suspend action for now. So, there will be no change of guard for now. Of course, we would keep the press briefed about any development.

“But I am happy, humbled that you find it serious enough for you all to come to witness what we are doing here. I consider it an honor.”

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JUST IN: Buhari Formally Names Mohammed Adamu New IGP, Decorates Him In Aso Rock [PHOTOS]

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President Muhammadu Buhari has officially named Mohammed Adamu as acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP.

Buhari decorated him with the new rank during his meeting with the outgoing Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris and Adamu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mohammed had served as the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State.

He was one-time director of peacekeeping operations of the Force.

He had been the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone Five, in Benin, Edo State.

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BIG STORY

EFCC Nabs Bishop Defrauding People In God’s Name

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office has arrested a Bishop and suspected fraudster, Giniko Obi, for allegedly defrauding thousands of people of millions of naira, in the guise of helping them “fight poverty”.

Obi, founder of Beloved Gideon Foundation, based in Agbor, Delta State, with outreaches in Bayelsa, Onitsha, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Benin City, however, denied any involvement in fraud claiming that he was only “doing the will of God by trying to help the people fight poverty”.

According to him, it was his desire and God’s will to see people prosper that led him into operating what appears to be a Ponzi Scheme. Obi who claim to be a consecrated Bishop, possessing a diploma in theology explains thus:

“We write books such as ‘24 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘36 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘48 Nuggets for Successful Living’. We organise seminars and conferences on how to be successful. We tell the people to subscribe to these publications. If you subscribe with N10, 800, we give you N15, 000. If you subscribe with N18, 000, we give you N23, 000. I had about 30,000 subscribers and I was paying them”.

According to him, when he left Agbor for Lagos, his desire was to expand his subscription base but his subscribers were impatient.

“If they allowed me to hold the conference in Lagos, I would have paid them,” he claimed.

However, some of his victims who have continued to throng the EFCC office, since his arrest, described him as a “fraud”.

One of them, Janet Amaka Okafor, said the Bishop sold a dummy to them by claiming that he was from the famous Gideons International, based in the United States.

She said: “He organised seminars in Agbor market that he was from Gideons International and that their mission was to help eradicate poverty in Nigeria.

“He told us that unlike in the past when Gideons International distributed Bibles and Christian literatures, their mission now was to eradicate poverty”.

On how she became a victim of the scheme, Okafor, 35, who claims she has never participated in any Ponzi scheme in the past said she fell for his tricks because the “Bishop” swore with the Bible.

“The Bishop knelt down and swore with the Bible. He convinced us that he was from Texas, USA and we believed him. I subscribed with N10, 800 and he paid me N15, 000. It was after this that he engaged over 60 of us as canvassers. I brought many people including my relations and friends. All together, they invested over N5 million”.

Another victim, Bessie Nwadibire, 67, said the Bishop was very deceptive from the beginning.

“When he came to the market he gave out drinks and dashed some people money as much as N50, 000 as he said the poverty rate in Nigeria was too high,” Nwadibire said, praying and hoping that the Bishop will be made to refund her money.

Expressing gratitude that the EFCC has arrested the Bishop, she said, “Before he was arrested, we went into hiding, because all the people who invested their money into the business through me have threatened to kill me unless I refund their money. The money is over N8, 000, 000 (Eight Million Naira) only”.

The same tale of woes has become the lot of Wisdom Aderemor Okpuzor, a civil servant based in Agbor.

Okpuzor who said she had to flee her home for fear of being attacked described the Bishop as “callous and evil”.

The suspect will soon be arraigned in court. (NAN)

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