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Human Rights Abuses: Stop Interfering In Our Affairs; Mind Your Business, Presidency Tells U.S. UK, EU

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A Nigerian presidential spokesperson on Wednesday warned the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union to stop interfering in Nigeria’s affairs, especially on the issue of human rights abuses.

This warning was issued by Femi Adesina, spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday while reacting to reports from the EU, UK and the U.S. that Nigeria has a high record of human rights abuses.

He reacted during an interview on Channels TV “Politics Today” programme.

Mr Adesina explained that Nigeria is a sovereign nation and “will not be bothered about the reports from the foreign countries.”

Invasion

Speaking on the invasion of court by operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) to re-arrest the Publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, last Friday, he said: “We are not answerable to the U.S., the UK or the EU.”

“We are Nigeria, a sovereign country. Those countries and entities have issues of their own. Let them deal with their issues. Let Nigeria also deal with her internal issues. We are not answerable to them.”

Mr Adesina, a two-term president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, however, said he would respect the opinion of Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka “than that of any foreign nation or commentators”.

“We respect Professor Soyinka. You don’t have too many of them in the country or even on the continent. He is an avatar, and he is well respected, but his opinion will remain his opinion. It will be considered and if there are things to act on, we will act on them,” he disclosed.

Some lawmakers from the UK and the U.S. have called for the release of Mr Sowore but the federal government has rebuffed this.

Apart from Mr Sowore, the Nigerian government is also illegally detaining many others including a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and the Shiite leader, Ibrahim El Zakzaky.

The presidency also described the opinions of those calling for the release of those ‘illegally’ detained as “that of a few Nigerians”.

“Genuine issues will be looked into. We have had instances in which the government had to reverse itself because there were concerns raised,” Mr Adesina said. “It shows that the government is responsive but you cannot listen to a babble of voices. It will distract you from what you are doing.”

Responding to allegations that he stopped being a journalist after taking up the job to be Mr Buhari’s media adviser, Mr Adesina said: “I am still in the media. It is just that the roles are a bit reversed. When I am done with the government by the grace of God, I will still return to the media,” he said.

BIG STORY

APC, PDP Go Spiritual As Supreme Court Decides Sokoto, Benue, Kano, Bauchi Polls Today

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There is anxiety in Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto and Kano states following the tension created in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment on the governorship elections in the two states billed to be delivered today (Monday).

Some elders in the Bauchi under the aegis of the Coalition of Elders for Peace and Good Governance in Bauchi State appealed to the people to remain calm.

They made the appeal in a statement on Sunday signed by Sarkin Arewan Bauchi, Alhaji Hassan Sharif, and 19 others.

They said, “As elders, we foresee the danger in crises, and we won’t like a situation where the generation of our unborn children suffer because of the inactions of some unscrupulous elements within our midst.

“It is on this basis that we call on the good citizens of Bauchi State to maintain the tempo they are known for by accepting whatever decision the Supreme Court may make as Bauchi should be our first priority.”

The Bauchi State Government had expressed confidence that Governor Bala Mohammed would emerge victorious.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr Ladan Salihu, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Saturday

He said the apex court’s judgment sacking Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State, would not have any negative effect on Bala’s election.

Salihu also said Bala, who returned to the country from a “routine medical trip” to the United Kingdom on Saturday, was not bed-ridden as being insinuated.

He said the governor would attend the Supreme Court’s hearing on Monday.

Delivering judgment on the appeal arising from the last gubernatorial election in Imo State, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, had sacked Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party and replaced him with Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress.

But Salihu said the situation that led to the Supreme Court’s verdict would not be applicable in the case of Bauchi State, and would, therefore, have no effect on Bala’s victory.

The commissioner said, “The case that played out in Imo State and the one that will play out in Bauchi State is as different as chalk is from cheese.

“In our own case, all the elections in all the polling units were conducted and votes were counted. All the issues that were in contention were sorted at the ballot box and at the end of the day, Governor Bala Mohammed emerged a comprehensive winner.”

Meanwhile, a civil society organization, Arewa Youth Mobilisation and Mass Mobilisation for Voting Wisely, has urged politicians and supporters of political parties in the state to avoid overheating the polity ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict.

A spokesman for the group, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, stated this while addressing a press conference in Bauchi.

He also urged security agents to be on the alert with a view to forestalling any potential break down of law and order after the judgment.

In Kano, members of Kwankwasiyya group of the Peoples Democratic Party have embarked on fasting and prayers for the judgment to be in their favour.

Also, the All Progressives Congress members have embarked on fasting and prayers, according to sources who spoke with one of our correspondents.

The spokesman for Abba Yusuf, the PDP governorship candidate, Sanusi Tofa, said, “The party loyalists, including the entire members of the Kwankwasiya group, voluntarily declared today (Sunday) for fasting ahead of tomorrow’s (Monday) ruling.

When one of our correspondents visited the Government House on Sunday, it was observed that both Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, his deputy, Dr Nasiru Gawuana, top government functionaries and some party chieftains had gone to Abuja.

It was also learnt that loyalists of the ruling APC had embarked on fasting and prayers for the judgment to be in their favour.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State on Sunday expressed fears over Monday’s Supreme Court judgment on the governorship elections in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Sokoto and Plateau states.

The party said the states could go the way of Imo State.

The PDP chairman in the state, Mr Felix Hyet, made the position of the party known at a press conference.

Hyet said the PDP felt shortchanged by the judgment of the Supreme Court on Imo State.

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BIG STORY

26-Year-Old Mother Of One Fakes Own Kidnap, Demands N10m Ransom From Employer

Peter Okunoren

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Operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a 26-year-old mother of one, Ataghar Namdoo, for allegedly faking her own kidnap.

DSP Bala Elkana, the Command’s spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Elkana said the suspect conspired with her boyfriend, Emmanuel Idu, and one Okpe David, to produce two short videos of herself being kidnapped.

He said: “In the videos, the lady was blindfolded and driven to a bush in a truck at Sangotedo area, Ajah, where she was threatened by a man wearing a mask and holding a Jackknife.

“Police, upon investigation, later identified the masked man as Idu, who is the boyfriend of the lady.

“The abductors were demanding for N10 million as ransom from her employer with a threat to kill her and also go after the family of the employer if the ransom is not paid.”

Elkana said the frightened employer, who was into fleet business, reported the case to the Police.

He added: “On the receipt of the case, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, ordered the anti-kidnapping unit to carry out an in-depth investigation into the case.

“The videos were thoroughly analyzed alongside other vital leads and a well-coordinated operation was put in place which led to the successful rescue of the victim and the arrest of the two suspects.”

Elkana said that Okpe David was in police custody, while Idu was on the run.

He said: “The three suspects all come from Benue State. They have known each other for so many years. Both the lady and the man arrested confessed to the commission of the crime.

“It is worthy to note that it is a criminal offense for anyone to fake his or her kidnapping.

“Under the Lagos State laws, the offender upon conviction is liable to 14 years imprisonment.
“The suspects will be charged to court.”

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BIG STORY

Many Die, Over 200 Houses Burnt As Fresh Pipeline Fire Rocks Lagos [ Graphic Videos]

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The National Emergency Management Agency on Sunday said two bodies had been recovered from the explosion site of a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline at Ile Epo axis of Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Ibrahim Farinloye, Acting Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office, NEMA, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

However, from gory videos and pictures released by The Eagle Online, several persons died in the inferno that followed the fire outbreak.

Over 200 houses and vehicles were reportedly burnt as at press time.

Several persons also suffered varying degrees of injury from the fire.

NAN reports that the raging fire caused panic among the residents of Abule Egba, Ile Epo and Ekoro Road due to the thick smoke, which oozed out from the explosion scene.

Farinloye said several buildings and articulated vehicles were engulfed in the inferno which happened on Sunday night.

He noted that the cause of the incident had yet to be ascertained, saying emergency responders immediately swung into action after receiving distress calls from some residents of the area.

He said: “NEMA and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency officials are here.

“The Lagos State Fire Service officials are here trying to put off the fire.

“We have contacted NNPC to shut down the pipelines and so far, we have been able to recover two bodies.”

Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, Director General, LASEMA, also confirmed the incident in a statement.

Oke-Osanyintolu said: “A raging fire from the explosion of a vandalized NNPC pipeline has caused panic among residents within Awori, U-turn and Pipeline communities in Abule Egba.

“LASEMA, Lagos Fire Service are responding and are on top of the situation.”

It will be recalled that a similar incident had occurred on December 5, 2019, after some suspected pipeline vandals disrupted the Atlas Cove-Mosinmi Pipeline, part of the System 2B Pipeline at Peace Estate, Varies in Idimu axis of the state.

 

 

 

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