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Lawyers, human rights activists, and other prominent Nigerians have given their different versions over whether a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, could be prosecuted for confessing that he had on many occasions participated in the rigging of elections in the country in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party. Mantu made the self-confession during a live interview on television.

Asked how Mantu’s confession should be treated by the authorities, a human rights lawyer, Mr . Femi Falana (SAN), said since rigging was a criminal offence, Mantu’s confession should be treated like any confessional statement in a criminal case, noting that crime time did not run against crime. Falana, however, expressed skepticism that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government would take any action against Mantu “because the country is being run on the basis of official impunity.”

Falana said,“It should be treated the way all confessional statements are treated. But I think he made a general statement, he hasn’t identified which election was rigged. “A former governor of Cross River State, Mr . Donald Duke, had actually given a more vivid account of how elections are manipulated in Nigeria. Furthermore, the National Human Rights Commission had also done a compilation of those who participated actively in the rigging of the 2011 elections and the government hasn’t done anything about it.

“I don’t think the Buhari regime will really follow-up on this revelation because we operate in an atmosphere of impunity. The country is run on the basis of official impunity. But clearly, there is no statute of limitation with respect to serious criminal offences, but I am so convinced that this will not be followed up.” Also speaking, a Lagos based lawyer, Mr . Wahab Shittu, called for Mantu’s prosecution based on his confession that he subverted the will of Nigerians.

Shittu said,“How is confession to criminality treated? Do you treat such confession with a kid’s glove or you apply the law? When someone has confessed that he committed a huge crime, such as subversion of the freewill of Nigerians, fraudulent manipulation of the electoral process, the person who makes such confession should be arraigned and prosecuted.”Similarly, the Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti Corruption and Open Leadership, Mr . Debo Adeniran, said Mantu should not be allowed to go scot-free, even if the punishment would be reduced based on his self-confession.

Adeniran said, “It is like the God of the Nigerian people is actually at work and that means that those who have committed damaging crimes that have kept Nigeria perpetually low are being spiritually induced to start confessing and that is why Mantu and all his accomplices should be rounded up. He should name those who participated in the rigging machinery of the PDP when they imposed themselves on Nigerians against what the ballot said. “This case should not be allowed to lie low; the man should be made to account for his deeds. The punishment may be discounted, a kind of amnesty, but he should not be allowed to go scot free.”

Speaking in the same vein, another Lagos- based lawyer, Mr . Dele Adeogun said , “He wasn’ t specific as to which election he rigged . That needs to come into play . However, any form of electoral malpractice is a criminal offence and time does not run against crime. “The processes would be that based on his own confession , the Attorney General of the Federation should commence a process in order to enforce the law . It is just like someone coming out to say I killed somebody , it behoves the AGF to take up such a confession . It is a moral obligation on the AGF . ”

However , Lagos- based lawyers , Messrs Jiti Ogunye and Ebun – Olu Adegboruwa , said Mantu’ s confession might not be useful as it was not particularised. Ogunye said , “ His confession is a confession at large, made to the general public ; it is not a confession that is tied to a specific allegation . And very instructively , he did not volunteer that statement under caution . The confession is not tied to a specific crime that is being investigated by a law enforcement agency , which can result in possible criminal prosecution . At best , what he did can set the stage for him to be invited by a serious -minded and proactive law enforcement agency . ”Adegboruwa added that Mantu’ s confession had justified the need for the establishment of an electoral offences commission .

He said,“We have always agitated for an electoral offences commission , which will be different from the regular police , which will have the power to prosecute political thugs, riggers , bribe – givers and bribe – takers , and because most of our leaders are as guilty as Mantu is, that call has not been heeded . So , I think that Mantu’ s confession is a wake – up call for us to enact that policy of having a separate electoral offences commission. In respect of Mantu, there is little or nothing we can do, there ’ s no complainant, we don’ t know the election he claimed to have rigged . ”

But another Senior Advocate of Nigeria , Chief Emeka Ngige , said Mantu should not be punished but should be made a resource person on how to prevent future elections rigging . Ngige said , “I think he should be invited by the police to give further information and use that information to block future rigging . They should not punish him; rather they should make him a resource person that will help them to get information on how future election rigging can be prevented. ”

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The Cyber Embassy Of Christ Debut Worship Without Walls Global Concert, Features Over 50 Gospel Artistes

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Leading online church, The Cyber Embassy Of Christ, is set to debut a global concert tagged “Worship Without Walls” which will feature over fifty gospel artistes.

A 12-hour worship session, it will hold from 9: AM on Saturday, May 31, via http://www.WorshipWithoutWalls.online.

The concert will see worship leaders from over forty countries taking part in the praise and worship showdown.

Headlining artistes for the worship programme include Mike Abdul, Monique, Mike Aremu, Essence, KSB and Righteousman.

Others are Tosin Bee, Folake Umosen, Evang Chucks Praise Channel, A’Dam, Nene Olayide, Bola Udom, Jerry K, Adam, Minister Ighosa,TY Classical, Minister Anny, lIbitayo Jeje, Noble G and Ayo Vincent,   Joseph Emmanuel, Sameodagospel, Fred Maha, TY Phoebe, Frank Jonah, Debby Ugochinyere, Igwe Sax, Yomi Ikuesan, Latoya Okunbor.

During the show, artistes will worship God on an international stage in their unique style.

Sermonettes and Interviews of top gospel artistes and Pastors from across the world will also be available, while up and coming acts can be assured of global exposure to more than 100,000,000 million people on different social media globally.

There will also be a promotion of the musical performance for one month to a global audience of over 10 million people over 30 days through paid adverts before, during, and after the concert.

The top ten performing artistes in the concert will win cash prizes based on the decision reached via voting from worshippers all over the world through voting after the event.

Gospo Digital, the exclusively online distribution company of the organizers will help in promoting the album of performing artistes on 100s of digital sites for online streaming, downloading, and ongoing royalties without an upfront payment for the service.

“Worship Without Walls” is an initiative of The Cyber Embassy Of Christ http://www.thecyberembassy.org/, a
full-fledged 100 percent online church flowing in all five purposes of the church exclusively online.

Founded by Dr. Ope Banwo, The Cyber Embassy Of Christ is the most successful internet church with over 35,000 members of which over 800 have actually attended a one-week full members’ class and joined our private church Cybertorium group on Facebook.

Some of the church services are streamed by over 600,000 people each week with some little adverts.

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COVID-19: Kwara Govt. Approves N25,000 Daily Allowance For Doctors

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The Kwara State Government has approved the payment of a daily N25,000 allowance for doctors in its employ, saying that the stipend is in appreciation for the sacrifices and efforts of frontline health workers in the state’s fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

It said that the allowance payment would cut across all healthcare workers who were involved in the state’s Covid-19 response and that the amount payable to each cader would be determined according to the available categories.

The State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, confirmed the approval through a post on his social media page on Tuesday and expressed appreciation for the efforts of healthcare workers in the frontline of the state’s battle against coronavirus.

Abdulrazaq stated that no allowance could pay for the sacrifices being made by medical doctors and other healthcare workers in the state, but added that the daily disbursements would, however, acknowledge the esteem with which the government viewed its frontline respondents.

“We have approved N25,000 as daily allowance for medical doctors and varying daily allowance for other categories of health workers involved in our fight against COVID-19. This is to show appreciation to health workers as it’s impossible to pay them for their priceless sacrifices”, he said.

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COVID-19: Share Facts, Not Panic

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When the times are uncertain and filled with fears and worry, it is normal to want to share as much information with loved ones as you receive.

It is important, however, to be wary of sharing information that can be misleading or otherwise increase the fear and panic already being experienced by so many people connected to you.

Before you share information, ask yourself the following questions:

1) Where did this message originate from?

2) Does the information tally with information from the World Health Organisation or the NCDC?

3) How will this information affect the person I send this to psychologically?

Some messages can do more harm than good. Please, share only verified information from the NCDC and WHO, to stop the spread of fear, panic, and misinformation.

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