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#EndSARS: Stop Soldiers From Dispersing Protesters, Falana-led Group Tells Buhari

Peter Okunoren

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The Alliance for Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond, a coalition of labour and civil society groups being led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has warned the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), against deploying soldiers to disperse the #EndSARS protesters from the streets.

The human rights activist in a statement on behalf of ASCAB on Sunday in Abuja, also vowed to drag the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, to the International Criminal Court, in The Hague if any of the #EndSARs protesters were killed by any soldiers.

The statement is titled, ‘#EndSARS: Kill protesters, face International Criminal Court, ASCAB cautions Buratai’.

The group specifically urged the Federal Government to withdraw plans to use soldiers to quell the protests that have rocked major cities across Nigeria.

The protests against police brutality which began over a week ago in Lagos and Abuja have spread to about 30 states in the country.

It was earlier reported that the Nigerian Army said it would commence Exercise Crocodile Smile VI from October 20 to December 31, as part of its effort to enhance the safety and security of the country.

But Falana, who is the Chairman of ASCAB, warned, “Buhari should not invite soldiers to resolve a purely democratic issue that calls for dialogue and constructive engagement.”

ASCAB noted that protests have common features across the world as seen in Hong Kong, United States, France, South Africa, Belarus and even in Sudan.

It added that in no instance were soldiers deployed to suppress the protesters.

“Nigeria wants to set another ugly precedence in world history,” the group said.

It reminded the Federal Government that Operation Crocodile Smile had been declared illegal by a Nigerian Court with competent jurisdiction following legal actions filed by Falana.

It added that efforts by the Chief of Army Staff to challenge the order by approaching the Court of Appeal met a brick wall.

ASCAB recalled that the Federal High Court in July this year, granted a perpetual injunction restraining the Army from such an exercise, in Femi Falana SAN v Chief of Army Staff (FHV/L/CS/1939/19

The group said it was already monitoring and compiling lists of all extra-judicial killings associated with the protests and that Buratai or any soldier involved in any killings would be held personally responsible at the international court.

ASCAB said peaceful protests remained the only way Nigerians are entitled under the Nigerian constitution to register their grievances against a system that suffocates them.

The statement further read, “The plan to deploy soldiers is dangerous.

“It will push Nigeria into the red light district of global reckoning.

“Sending soldiers after school children and leaders of tomorrow shows what future we anticipate for the teeming population of young men and women who have taken to the streets to protest against a system that buries their dreams and shatter their potentials and aspirations.

“Nigerian authorities said on Saturday that soldiers will be deployed this week to bring an end to the weeklong demonstration over police brutality.

“We urge President Mohammadu Buhari not to use soldiers to quell a peaceful, civil protest.

“The protesters have been lawful. The few cases of violence were associated with armed thugs disrupting the protests coupled with the shooting of protesters by security operatives.”

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Nigerian Government Demands Apology From UK Over Claim That Gowon Looted Central Bank

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The federal government has demanded an apology from the British government over the “unsubstantiated” claim by a member of its parliament that Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former head of state, looted the public treasury.

Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesman of the ministry of foreign affairs, in a statement on Friday, said Nigeria has also demanded that the statement be retracted.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the UK parliament foreign affairs committee, had accused Gowon of looting half of Nigeria’s central bank when he left office.

Speaking at the parliament’s recent debate on the #EndSARS crisis, Tugendhat said: “Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the Central Bank, so it is said, and moved to London.”

However, the MP did not provide any evidence or source to support his claim.

Nwonye said the ministry, upon learning of the claim, “immediately sought an apology and retraction of the unsubstantiated allegation from the British Government”.

He said the federal government also consulted with Charlotte Pierre, head of Africa Department of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, who “expressed strong reservations on the comment of the Parliamentarian”.

The statement quoted Pierre as saying “the said comment of the MP does not reflect the views of Her Majesty’s Government and the British Government has no mechanism for controlling the actions and speeches of members of the Parliament.”

It added that she urged Nigeria to “discountenance the said comment of the MP, as Her Majesty’s Government has nothing to do with it”.

Gowon had “described the MP’s claim as “rubbish”.

He had told the BBC: “What the MP said was just mere ridicule and I don’t know as to where he cooked up such statement. I served Nigeria as much as I could and my achievements during those years are available to everyone.”

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JUST IN: Amotekun Rescue Wife Of Akeredolu’s Chief Of Staff

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Barely two days after her abduction, the wife of the Chief of Staff to the Ondo State governor, Olugbenga Ale, has regained her freedom.

We had earlier reported that Mrs Sade Ale, alongside one other person, were kidnapped on Thursday evening along the Ondo-Akure Expressway while travelling from Lagos to Akure.

It was, however, gathered that the victims were rescued on Saturday morning by men of the Ondo State Security Network also known as Amotekun Corps in collaboration with local hunters and vigilantes in the area.

The Commander of the Amotekun Corps, Adetunji Adeleye, who confirmed the release of Mrs Ale to newsmen, said it was too early to disclose details of the rescue operation.

He said, “We thank God for the achievement, it was not easy. But we are able to arrest some persons in connection with the matter.”

Adeleye also said some suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi, who was killed by some gunmen on Thursday.

“We are closing in on the hoodlums. We also arrested some persons at Elegbeka in connection with the killing of the monarch. But they are under interrogation and they are helping us with useful information,” Adeleye said.

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City People Magazine Honours Akogun Lanre Alfred

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A goldfish never has a hiding place and when one is exceedingly good at what he does, he will always be fished out for honours that will spur to him to greater heights and exploits.

Perhaps, it’s recognition time for cerebral and prolific top-notch society and lifestyle writer and author of five books, Akogun Lanre Alfred, as adorns the garb of ‘Lifestyle King’- (Highlife and Society Reportage) at the 2nd City People Magazine Online Fashion and Beauty Award courtesy top of the range soft-sell tabloid, City People Magazine.

The prestigious honorary award comes up this Sunday 29, November 2020, and it will be attended by the cream of the society as sensational singer SBLive will be on the bandstand, while Lanre’s friends in the business world will be in attendance.

The ‘African Prince’, as he is fondly called by his friends, is the head honcho of Seafrills Energy International, The OldEnglish Bakery with branches in Lagos.

Akogun Lanre Alfred, who is also Executive Consultant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Reputation Management, has been on the scene for over two-decades and very meticulous in his unique and uncommon style of society and lifestyle journalism, with a couple of aptly concise books on highlife styles of top society players.

Interestingly, there is no gainsaying Alfred possesses admirable poise and panache; a man of venerable taste in fashion, he effortlessly depicts style as an outward and inward sign of grace and character. He has got the money habit, and an enduring flair for the modish and timeless, in repute and colossal proportions.

Unlike several dudes of his ilk, he is neither tormented nor overwhelmed by his love for the classy and urbane. Such habit and love are practicable at a steep price and he rises to the measure and monetary worth of his taste for high fashion and art.

Many rich, privileged men stumble into vogue but it takes a discerning man of class and élan to mirror the girth and depth of burgeoning trends to the world.

Lanre Alfred without doubt epitomizes such an exclusive breed of manhood; among other traits, he flaunts immaculate flair and charisma to often lead and set the pace in whatever social circuit he inhabits. He effortlessly characterizes the essence and refinement, exemplary of intensely constituted men of style.

Little wonder he cuts a perfect portrait of a man fully at home and at peace with his inner grandeur.

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