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NBC Orders TV, Radio Stations Not To Report Details of Bandit/Insurgent Attacks

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The National Broadcasting Commission has ordered television and radio stations in Nigeria not to divulge “details” of the activities of bandits, terrorists, and kidnappers in their reports.

The regulator specifically directed radio and television stations not to “glamourize the nefarious activities of insurgents” during their daily Newspaper Reviews. As an unwritten custom, broadcast stations in Nigeria review Newspaper headlines daily before their breakfast shows.

But the NBC, in a letter dated July 7, 2021, issued to television and radio stations, stressed the need for “caution” by broadcasters while reporting security challenges in the country.

The letter titled, ‘Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution’, was signed by the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan, on behalf of the new Director-General of the Commission, Balarabe Ilelah.

A copy of the letter obtained by The PUNCH, partly reads, “Headlines of most Newspapers on a daily basis are replete with security topics. While bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there is a need for caution as too many details may have an adverse implication on the efforts of our security officials who are duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.

“The Commission, therefore, enjoins broadcasters to collaborate with the government in dealing with the security challenges by;

“Not glamourizing the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, etc.

“Advising guests and/or analysts on programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point.

“Not giving details of either the security issues or victims of these security challenges so as not to jeopardize the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers and other security agents.”

The Commission also reminded the broadcast stations to be guided by provisions of Sections 5.4.1(f) and 5.4.3 of the NBC Code which states thus:

“The broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the divisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

“In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy, and neutrality.”

For over a decade, Nigeria has been grappling with insurgency, especially in the North-Eastern part of the West African nation. At various times, the Nigerian Army and the Presidency had claimed that Boko Haram fighters and those of its splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa Province, had been defeated but the marauders continue to strike with crude savagery and unimaginable guts.

According to Global Conflict Tracker, the insurgents have killed nearly 350,000 innocent women, children, and farmers in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, amongst other volatile places, since 2009.

On the other hand, the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has in recent time, attempt to muzzle the press in Nigeria by prodding the National Assembly to amend the Nigeria Press Council Act and the National Broadcasting Commission Act, one that has been fiercely opposed by media stakeholders who have described the move as an information blackout akin to the infamous Protection Against False Accusations Decree, otherwise known as Decree 4 of 1984.

The Federal Government had also announced the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria on June 4, 2021, citing “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

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BREAKING: Cotonou Court Sends Sunday Igboho Back To Prison After 13 Hours Trial

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Cour De’Appel De Cotonou has returned Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, to police custody pending further investigation.

The activist was returned to cell after a 13-hour hearing, which ended around 11:20 pm on Monday.

The case was heard behind closed doors as the court limited attendance to lawyers, Igboho’s wife, Ropo, and a few others.

According to The Cable, Igboho would not be set free. “The problem is with the extradition, and there is a lot of politics going on”.

This means no immediate extradition for the Yoruba youth leader, who has been declared wanted by the government of Nigeria.

It is however unclear if a political solution will be reached between both states or not.

Journalists, monarchs, and supporters who came to court for the case were barred from witnessing his hearing.

They then hung around the court premises until about 7 pm when armed security operatives came to court to eject anyone who was not a person of interest.

Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested at an airport in Cotonou last week and detained at the request of the Nigerian government.

His lawyers requested the release of his wife on the grounds that she had committed no offense against the Nigerian state.

On Thursday, the court answered the prayers and ordered her release and a return of her passport.

Igboho was taken to detention, where he has been up until Monday.

The charges against the Yoruba Nation activist border on arms smuggling, inciting violence, and calling for a secession of the Yoruba from the Nigerian state.

Igboho and his lawyers have denied all allegations leveled against him.

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Sunday Igboho’s Trial Resumes Behind Closed Doors In Cotonou

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Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, is currently being tried behind closed doors at the Cour D’Appel De Cotonou.

Journalists and his supporters were barred from the court proceeding.

However, his supporters said they were not harassed nor sent out of the court premises.

The Beninese court had last Thursday adjourned Igboho’s case till Monday after his five lawyers failed to convince the prosecutor that he had no case to answer.

The Beninese authorities have, however, released Ropo, the agitator’s wife, who was arrested with the 48-year-old activist on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin on their way to Germany.

On his part, Igboho was returned to police custody.

Igboho is in court for possible extradition charges.

Many supporters of Yoruba Nation agitator had thronged the court on Monday to witness the trial of the activist.

This is despite earlier warnings that Benin Republic courts are not used to large crowds during sittings.

Some of the supporters had arrived in the Benin Republic on Sunday with a Yoruba group offering free accommodation.

It was gathered that the Federal Government would be presenting extradition charges against the Yoruba rights activist today.

According to reports, the Nigerian government would possibly be presenting a piece of video evidence.

Ibrahim Salami, one of the Cotonou, Benin Republic-based lawyers of Sunday Igboho had said on Saturday said that extradition charges were been expected from the Nigerian government.

The counsel insisted that only a Nigerian passport was found on the Yoruba rights activist, adding that he was not being tried for possessing a fake passport.

Following the bloody raid on his Sooka residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Department of State Services had earlier claimed local and international driving licenses in his name. ATM cards, a German residence permit No. YO2N6K1NY bearing his name, and a passport were allegedly recovered.

The lawyer had said, “When he left Nigeria, he took the backdoor into Benin. It was at the airport that security operatives stopped him that he was on the watchlist. He didn’t go against any law in Benin Republic. They didn’t find any Beninese passport on him. He had a Nigerian passport with a German residency card. He needed no visa at that point.

“When we understudied the case, we realized that the Nigerian government had not filed a case for extradition. They only claimed that he is wanted in Nigeria for criminal offenses. Our argument is that he was arrested because of Nigeria’s request, and there is no proof to show that he is a criminal.”

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Yoruba Nation Rally: Police Charge Ogboni Chief For The Murder Of Ojota Pure Water Seller

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One of the 48 Yoruba Nation protesters arrested by the police, Tajudeen Bakare, has been charged for the murder of a sachet water seller, Jumoke Oyeleke.

The sachet water seller reportedly died from a stray bullet during the Yoruba self-determination protest held on July 3 in Ojota, Lagos.

The 48 protesters who were arrested on the same day were charged before a Magistrate Court sitting in Yaba by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu.

This is according to a statement signed by the Communications Manager, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Maxwell Adeleye.

The statement read, “The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, has charged the 48 Yoruba Nation Protesters arrested on Saturday 3rd July 2021 in Ojota, Lagos before a Magistrate Court sitting in Yaba.

“They were charged for Unlawful Assembly, Unlawful Society and Conducts likely to cause a breach of Public Peace.

“However, one of the arrested protesters, Tajudeen Bakare (the popular Ogboni Chief) was charged by the Police for the murder of a Sachet Water Hawker, Jumoke Oyeleke, killed by a stray bullet during the protest.

“The bail granted to all the Protesters was upheld by the Court but that of Bakare was revoked. The Court refers Bakare’s case to the Director of Public Prosecutor (DPP) for further advice.”

 

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