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We’ve Not Stopped Nigerians From Using Twitter, FG Tells Court

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The Federal Government has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that it has not stopped Nigerians from using the social media platform, Twitter, adding that many Nigerians are still using it every day.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Federal Government said this in a counter-affidavit they deposed to in response to an originating motion filed by human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.

The government had on June 4, 2021, suspended Twitter barely two days after the social media platform deleted a tweet by the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

However, many Nigerians have bypassed the Twitter suspension by using a Virtual Private Network.

Malami in a statement threatened to prosecute Nigerians still using the platform while the National Broadcasting Commission ordered all radio and television stations to stop using Twitter or picking content from the platform.

Rights lawyer, Effiong, subsequently sued the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Malami, and the Federal Government for suspending the social media platform.

In the fundamental human rights suit marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, Effiong is seeking nine reliefs, including an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further suspending, deactivating or banning the operation and accessibility of Twitter or any other social media service in Nigeria because the act was in violation of his rights.

Effiong asked the court to declare as illegal the threat of criminal prosecution by Malami and Lai Mohammed against Nigerians who ‘violate’ the suspension or ban of Twitter, despite the absence of any written law.

In an affidavit deposed to by Mr Ilop Lawrence on behalf of the Federal Government and the AGF, it was stated that the suspension of Twitter was not an abuse of human rights because Nigerians were still using Twitter despite the suspension.

It read in part, “The applicant (Effiong) and the class he seeks to represent can still operate those Twitter accounts from anywhere in the world and even from Nigeria. Nigerians are still tweeting, even at this moment as the ban on Twitter is not aimed at intimidating Nigerians or an infringement on the rights of Nigerians to express their opinion.

“The respondents (Federal Government and AGF) have never stopped the applicant (Effiong) and the class of persons he seeks to represent from voicing their opinions to access government information and offer criticism where necessary.”

The government told the court that Nigerians are still free to use other platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Tiktok, and others.

The Federal Government also denied knowledge of Twitter deleting Buhari’s tweet on the Biafra civil which offended many Nigerians.

It said Twitter had made its platform accessible to elements like Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra; and had supported the #EndSARS protests of October 2020 which was later hijacked by hoodlums.

The government further stated that Nigerians should direct their anger at Twitter and not the government because Twitter would not have been suspended if it complied with Nigeria’s laws.

It told the court that the Twitter suspension would be lifted once the platform registers with the NBC and the Corporate Affairs Commission.

BIG STORY

Lagos Acquires Two Brand New Sets 10-Cars Intra-City Metropolitan Trains For Red Line Rail Project [PHOTOS]

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In line with his administration’s commitment to Traffic Management and Transportation, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has acquired two sets of new 10 cars Talgo 330kmph trains for the Lagos Red Line rail project.

Governor Sanwo-Olu completed the acquisition deal of the trains at a public event inside the Milwaukee facilities of Spanish train manufacturer Talgo Incorporated in the United States, on Tuesday.

The trains will be heading to Lagos, Nigeria for the Red Line, a 37 km track rail project started by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The red line will have 11 stations and when completed, it will be the first operational metro system in West Africa.

Speaking at the event, Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde; Special Adviser to the Governor on Works, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye and Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, said Lagos State Government is excited to complete the purchase of the two brand new trains.

He said they were in Milwaukee to see things for themselves in respect of the purchase of the trains, adding that they have inspected the trains, seen their configuration, and are satisfied that they fit into the tracks of the Redline in Lagos.

“A train is not something you can just go on the shelf and pick up. We are very lucky to get brand new trains. We have seen our beautiful white and red trains. Coincidentally, the rail line is called Red Line and you can see they have given us the colour. We are just going to brand it and put up our seal there.

“We hope that this (purchase of the trains) will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial business relationship. Providing source of livelihood for our citizens is all about providing jobs for our people and that is what we are doing. It is about ensuring that we can build our economy; people can move from one location to another and businesses can grow.

“Part of what we have done in the last two and half years is to have what we call Integrated Urban Mass transportation system, where we will be using road infrastructure, waterway infrastructure and rail infrastructure so that we can move over 20 million Lagosians within and around the city,” he said.

The acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, who received Governor Sanwo-Olu in the city, said: “It is a little bittersweet. I am sending my congratulations to the Governor of Lagos State in Nigeria, but also a little disappointed that we missed out on the opportunity to have those train sets operating here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.”

Also speaking the CEO and President, Talgo USA Antonio Perez, said “For us, it is important that our trains are utilized. It doesn’t make any good for the trains that we built to be stored and kept without passengers riding them.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu accompanied by the Lagos State delegation during the visit inspected the interior design of the newly acquired Talgo 330kmph intra-city metropolitan trains.

Since the commencement of his administration on May 29, 2019, Governor Sanwo-Olu has maintained his administration’s commitment to bringing the Red Line project to fruition during the lifetime of his government.

The Governor has specifically promised Lagosians that the first phase of the Red Line will begin by the last quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, with a capacity of 500,000 passengers daily.

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Davido Slams Cousin Dele Adeleke For Writing About His Mother’s Death

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David Adeleke, better known as Davido, a multi-award-winning Nigerian singer, has slammed his cousin, Dele Adeleke, for his bid for governor of Osun State.

This time, the musician chastised the politician for mentioning his (Davido’s) mother’s death in a story about his political ambitions.

Davido mentioned in a series of tweets on Wednesday that his cousin hired individuals to write about him (Davido), but he didn’t seem to mind.

However, the singer noted that his mother raised his cousin, yet the latter wrote about his death.

“Because of your ambition, you have your people write about me (which I don’t care about) but to include the death of my mother in an article; the same woman that raised you. Ok Dele, God will reward you,” Davido tweeted.

The Aye crooner noted that Dele Adeleke also stoop so low to mention the name of another family member, whom Davido simply described as ‘Aunty Vero.’

He said, “The truth hurt you that much you had to go that low to mention your Aunty Vero that cared for you. Well, I don open my crase for the year (sic). Stay tuned.”

Davido had on Tuesday called out Dele Adeleke for eyeing the governorship seat of Osun State, a position which his uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke, was also interested in.

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BREAKING: Court Orders FG To Pay Nnamdi Kanu N1bn

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A High Court in Abia State has ordered the Federal Government to pay N1 billion to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, as well as write him a letter of apology.

Kanu has petitioned the court for N5 billion in compensation for the military’s raid of his father’s home on September 10, 2017.

In a ruling on Wednesday, according to his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, the Court presided over by Justice Benson Anya stated that the Federal Government violated the IPOB leader’s fundamental rights.

The Court also recommended a political solution to the agitation for the restoration of the defunct Biafra Republic championed by IPOB.

Kanu’s lawyer made this known in a tweet, saying, “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu WINS as Abia High Court rules that the Federal Government violated his fundamental rights. Orders the Federal government to pay N1b to him and issue a letter of apology to him.

“Most importantly, the Court recommended political solution to the #Biafran agitation.”

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