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Why We Can’t Yet Name And Shame Sponsors Of Terrorism —AGF Malami

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, assured yesterday that no stone would be left unturned in the prosecution of Boko Haram financiers, saying it wasn’t yet time to name and shame their sponsors.

Malami, in a statement signed by his media aide Dr. Umar Gwandu, said investigation to unravel those behind activities of insurgents in the country had reached an advanced stage.

According to the statement, the AGF, who spoke during an interview with journalists in New York, in continuation of the ongoing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, stressed that time was not ripe for holistic disclosures, so as not to pre-empt the investigation process.

He said FG would take all steps to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria, adding that the public “would be properly and adequately informed about the investigation and prosecution process at the appropriate milestones as they unfold”.

“The position, as it stands, is that investigation has reached an advanced stage and the Government will make a statement in that direction in due course.

“Time is not ripe for holistic disclosures so as not to pre-empt the investigation process. The prime object remains the attainment of peace and security of our dear nation.

“As far as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we have succeeded in identifying those that are allegedly responsible for funding same and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding while embarking on an aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.

“The truth of the matter is that investigation is ongoing and advancing. For the purpose of investigation, I would not like to be pre-emptive in terms of making disclosures that will have the effect of undermining the successes we are recording.

“One thing I can tell you for sure is that whatever we do in terms of detention and arrest is indeed backed-up by judicial processes.

“We have acquired and obtained legitimate court orders taking into consideration the facts and material proof of evidence presented before the court on account of which the court eventually exercises its discretion in terms of granting orders that we can have the suspects in custody pending the conclusion of the investigation,” Malami stated.

He said the FG, through the Complex Case Group of the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federation in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, reviewed over 1000 Boko Haram Case files, out of which 285 have been filed before the Federal High Court based on prima facie cases of terrorism against them.

“The delay witnessed in the prosecution process was occasioned by COVID-19 lockdown, Judiciary Staff Union (JUSUN) Strike, and court vacation.

“Naming and shaming of suspects is not embarked upon as a policy by the Federal Government out of sheer respect the constitutional rights of Nigerians relating to presumption of innocence.

“It is a product of constitutionalism and the law. It is rooted in the law and the names of the suspects will accordingly be made public at the point of judicial arraignment while the shaming remains a consequence of judicial conviction. Trials are judicial processes and not about media sensations.

“Naming and shaming in the Nigerian context must be rooted in constitutionalism.

“We must strike a balance between the constitutional presumption of innocence and evidential proof of reasonable ground for suspicion in making disclosures associated with terrorism funding and financing.

“Where reasonable grounds are established, suspects must be naturally taken to court at which point their identity must be disclosed and the naming becomes apparent. ’’

“Shaming, on the other hand, is the product of conviction at which point the public are equally judicially put on noticed.

“In essence naming and shaming within the context of Nigerian law are judicial functions which commence with the arraignment and terminate with convictions.

“Naming and shaming is not an unguided and unregulated process. It is not like a discarded ship left at the mercy of winds and tides”, the statement further read.

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It’s Idiocy To Claim Buhari Is Dead and Replaced With Jubril From Sudan —- Femi Adesina

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The Presidency has rubbished claims by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), that President Muhammadu Buhari is Jubril of Sudan.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity said it is “idiocy” to claim that the president is dead and was replaced with Jubril from Sudan.

Adesina disclosed this in his latest article titled, ‘The Essential Buhari: VP Osinbajo got it!.’

He recalls how Buhari, upon return from his medical trip abroad in 2017, recognized him.

The article reads partly: “I remember that day in August 2017, when the President returned to the country finally from his medical vacation. From January of that year, he had been in and out a couple of times, but spending weeks and months outside, attending to his health. And finally, on August 19, he returned home, triumphantly.

“We were at the airport to receive him. I have told the story a number of times, to dispel the idiocy that it was a certain Jibril of Sudan that came back and not Buhari. The daughter of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, was getting married. And I had attended both the church service and reception, decked in full Yoruba traditional attire of Agbada and a cap to match. Straight from the ceremony, I went to the airport to join the welcome party for the President.

“We the principal aides were on a line to receive the President as he descended from the aircraft. And he shook hands with each person, having one wisecrack or the other to say, as is typical of him. When he got to me, he said, “Adesina, this is the best I’ve seen you dressed.” And we both laughed.

“Jibril of Sudan? How did he know I was Adesina? How would he know how I normally dressed? Idiocy, I say again. But that is just a digression, not the story I really want to tell to support the topic at hand.”

Kanu had rumoured Buhari’s death in 2017, following the president’s medical trip to London.

He had claimed that Buhari was cloned and replaced with Jubril Al-Sudan after his death.

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Take Vaccine or Present Negative COVID-19 Result, FG Tells Civil Servants

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The Federal Government has informed federal civil servants that they either get the COVID-19 vaccine or present a negative test result.

Recall that the FG had mandated all civil servants to get the vaccine or else they would not be allowed to enter offices.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, at a press conference, on Thursday, in Abuja, made clear that federal civil servants were not under obligation to take the vaccine, however, they must show negative COVID-19 PCR test.

He said, “The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), on Wednesday, announced interventions to, not only protect the most vulnerable people in our society but to also ensure that the workplace is safe for all citizens. Clearly, there is a loss of productivity and its impact on socio-economic development when workers are unable to come to work on a regular, and consistent basis due to outbreaks of an infectious disease such as COVID-19.

“Following advice by public health experts, the PSC announced that all Federal Government employees should make a choice as to how they can contribute towards making the work environment COVID-19-free. The logical choice is between taking the vaccine and showing the evidence or presenting proof that one is COVID-19-free by showing a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior.

“This provision is applicable to all Federal Government institutions. The decision to release the advisory was not taken lightly. It is part of the PSC and Federal Ministry of Health’s mantra to always use scientific evidence to make decisions for the benefit of all Nigerians.”

Shuaib also confirmed that there are enough vaccines to cover the population of employees of the Federal Government and more, stating that the PSC had already done a comprehensive analysis and forecast on the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Based on delivery forecasts from the COVAX facility and African Union, Nigeria will have adequate vaccines to cover more than 50 percent of eligible populations by the end of the first quarter of 2022. In order words, please do not worry about the availability of vaccines because we have the supply chain figured out already,” he added.

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N4.9bn Fraud: Judge Angry, Slams N200K Fine On Fani-Kayode For Shunning Trial For Fifth Time

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Justice Daniel Osaigor of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, ordered a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, to pay N200,000 for not making himself available for re-arraignment for alleged money laundering.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Osaigor said he had gone through the court’s file and noted five different letters by Fani-Kayode, seeking adjournment on the same medical grounds.

The court, consequently ordered that he should pay the sum or risk revocation of his bail.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman.

Also charged was Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.

The EFCC preferred 17 counts bordering on N4.6bn money laundering against them before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.

They had all pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

The trial had begun before Aikawa and witnesses being led in evidence before the judge was transferred out of the Lagos jurisdiction of the court.

The case was consequently assigned to Justice Osaigor and the defendants scheduled for re-arraignment on Wednesday.

When the case was called on Wednesday, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, announced an appearance for prosecution.

Mr I. J. Ogechukwu appeared for the first defendant (Usman), Mr B. F. Ajudua appeared for the second defendant (Fani-Kayode) and Y. Olabode appeared for the third and fourth defendants.

Buhari then informed the court that on July 15, the prosecution asked the court to adjourn the matter for re-arraignment of the defendants.

She told the court that on October 11, the prosecution received a letter from the second defendant informing them that he had been given bed rest.

“Whenever he doesn’t want to attend court, this is the type of letter we get,” Buhari said.

However, Ajudua told the court that although his Fani-Kayode’s illness was recurring, he had attended court regularly.

After the judge went through the court’s file, he asked his counsel to take one of two options: revocation of Fani-Kayode’s bail or imposition of N200,000 fine to be paid before the next adjourned date.

The counsel chose the fine option.

Justice Osaigor adjourned the case till November 30.

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