Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Tuesday 28th July 2020

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Tuesday 28th July 2020

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 28/07/20

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Nigerians Raise N365,000 For Wife Of Lance Corporal Martins Arrested For Condemning Service Chiefs

The sum of N365,000 has been raised and given to the wife of Lance Corporal Martins Idakpani to cater for the family following the arrest of her husband by the Nigerian Army.
Lance Corporal was arrested on June 23 l, 2020 after appearing in a viral video where he expressed anger at the security chiefs for not being committed to end the incessant killings of Nigerians by terrorists and armed bandits.
He revealed how the military ordered the illegal detention of some soldiers, who demanded better weapons and ammunition to combat Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country.

The soldier was arrested on the orders of the Chief of Army Staff, Buratai.
Hassan Idowu set up a GoFundMe account targeted at raising $10,000 for the wife and children of the soldier.
A Twitter user, @MaiyegunsDiary, on Monday revealed that £681.85 had been raised and given to the wife of the soldier.
“Maiyegun’s Diary Politico has successfully transferred a total of N365,000 raised through @GoFundMeUK to Mrs Victoria Idakpani, wife of the arrested Lance Corporal Martins Idakpani today as our support.
“After speaking with Mrs Idakpani and her two lawyers, the fund totalling £681.85 was forwarded to her bank today. We collectively ask the Nigerian Army to#FreeCorporalMartins,” he tweeted.
 

Video of Lance Corporal Blasts Chief Of Army Staff, Buratai, Over Incessant Killings In Nigeria

Lance Corporal Blasts Chief Of Army Staff, Buratai, Over Incessant Killings In Nigeria

WATCH FULL VIDEO: Lance Corporal Blasts Chief Of Army Staff, Buratai, Over Incessant Killings In Nigeria

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E2%80%99s-attorney-general-malami-using-presidential-panel-investigating-magu EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami, Using Presidential Panel Investigating Magu To Sabotage High-profile Cases

Abubakar Malami

The Presidential Investigative Panel headed by former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, is being used by Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to frustrate some high-profile cases handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission he has personal interest in, SaharaReporters has gathered.
The panel is investigating corruption allegations against the suspended Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu.
Magu’s travail followed a memo by Malami accusing him of grave malfeasance and mismanagement of recovered loot.
He was also alleged to have sold seized assets to associates and refused to subject himself to the supervision of the office of the AGF.

Abubakar Malami

Arrested on July 6 by a combined team of security personnel including officers of the Department of State Services and policemen before being taken to Aso Villa to face the investigative panel, Magu was detained for 10 days at the Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation Department in Abuja before being released on bail.
He has since denied all allegations levelled against him, describing them as baseless.
Magu has also accused Malami of always interfering with the EFCC’s investigations and working with others to strip it of its statutory powers.
Giving more insight into the situation on Monday, a source, who spoke with SaharaReporters, disclosed that Malami had already been using the Presidential Investigative Panel to kill a number of high-profile cases handled by the EFCC.
Without prejudice to his ongoing corruption trial, the AGF brought a former Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Dauda Lawal, to appear before the panel to testify against Magu with a promise that the money laundering charges against him will be dropped.
Lawal is currently standing trial before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly receiving $25m out of the $153m loot traced to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The EFCC had frozen Lawal’s accounts and applied for the permanent forfeiture of his funds, which the ex-banker challenged.
In a counter-affidavit he deposed to which formed the basis for his invitation by the panel, Lawal said the EFCC detained him for 11 days in 2016 and promised to release him only on the condition that he return some funds.
On how he received the $25m, Lawal said he received a call from a friend, Stanley Lawson, in March 2015 to help collect the money, which he subsequently paid into an account provided to him.
SaharaReporters gathered that another witness, which Malami promised to discontinue his case using the Presidential Investigative Panel, is a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), who is currently standing trial on money laundering-related charges involving about N400m.
The case marked FHC/ABJ/CR/39/2017, is before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Adoke was accused of among others receiving the dollar equivalent of N300m from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300m, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities all in violation of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
He was also accused of making “structured cash payments in 22 tranches” amounting to N80m, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50m into his Unity Bank account.
EFCC alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.
 

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Meanwhile, a letter from the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited in 2017 seen by SaharaReporters, commended the suspended Acting EFCC boss for the commission’s diligent handling of the recovery of debts from oil marketers.
There were media reports that the investigative panel probing allegations of corruption against Magu raised the issue of alleged misappropriation of the NNPC funds.
However, the commendation by the PPMC may have countered that argument.
“Further to our previous correspondences to your office in respect of the above subject matter, please note that till date, the debts recovered from major marketers include N87,028,851,268.17 and N242,121,256,468.03 for legacy and current debts respectively leaving a balance of N20,604,109,123.90 (broken down into N4,426,439,240.00 – legacy debts and N16,177,669,883.90 – current debts).
“These amounts have been agreed with the marketers that they shall be deducted and paid from their outstanding entitlements or payments due to the marketers from the Federal Ministry of Finance and which will bring to an end the debt recovery effort. 
“We wish to express our profound gratitude for the successful collaboration between EFCC and PPMC/NNPC which largely resulted in the huge recovery of debts from the marketers, from the inception of the recovery exercise in 2016 till date. We appreciate your commission’s professional and diligent handling of the recovery of debts from the marketers throughout the period and we look forward for further collaboration,” the letter signed by Umai I Ajiya, Managing Director of PPMC, read.
 

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Nigerian Government Meets With Resident Doctors Over Fresh Strike Notice

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The Nigerian Government has initiated a negotiation meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors to address its concerns and demands.
SaharaReporters had reported that the resident doctors threatened to embark on a fresh strike action to force the government to meet their demands.
The doctors gave the Nigerian Government three weeks to either meet their demands or face total strike action.

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The ultimatum will elapse on August 17, 2020.
The meeting, which started on Monday, had in attendance Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, and the leadership of the resident doctors led by its President, Dr Sokumba Aliyu.
At the end of the meeting, Ngige said the government through the Federal Ministry of Health and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation will resolve the 20 per cent top up.
The meeting will continue next week Thursday as both sides seek to find a meeting point on the issue.

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COVID-19: Doctors In Delta Abandon Duty Posts Over Government’s Insensitivity

Doctors on duty

Doctors in Delta State under the umbrella of Nigerian Medical Association have abandoned their duty posts to press home some of their demands that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration had yet to meet.
The leadership of the association disclosed that Okowa’s inability to pay the COVID-19 hazard inducement allowances, provide them with enough personal protective equipment, insensitivity to doctors’ plight amongst others were reasons for the three-day warning strike.
The union warned that failure to meet the demands at the expiration of the three-day warning strike will force them to embark on a total strike action.

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Meanwhile, doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, the state capital, have expressed support for the three-day warning strike by the state chapter of the NMA.
The doctors, under the umbrella of Association of Resident Doctors, Asaba FMC branch, disclosed their readiness to join the strike.
President of ARD, Asaba FMC branch, Nwabunor Osifo, said, “Doctors were constantly exposed to the deadly virus in the line of duty due to the shortage of the equipment. Over 1,200 doctors across the country have so far contracted the virus out which 18 have succumbed to it.
“Just recently, the state NMA lost a doctor to COVID-19. It is not funny, we cannot continue to die in the line of duty. COVID-19 is real, it lives among us. We must abide by the set protocols so that together we can combat this ugly virus.”

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Mubarak Bala: Now The United Nations Has Spoken By Leo Igwe

Leo Igwe

Today marks the 90th day since the police arrested Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, in Kaduna. They later transferred him to Kano, where he has been held incommunicado, without access to a lawyer or a legal representation. Bala has not been formally charged or allowed to see his family members.
There has not been an independent confirmation that Mubarak Bala is alive. There has not been a confirmation of the exact place where they detained him, and his well being.
Both governmental and non-governmental agencies, including some foreign Christian faith NGOs, have called for his release. But so far, the Nigerian authorities have ignored all the appeals. Requests to charge or release Mr Bala have fallen on deaf ears. Following what has transpired since his arrest, the police are not committed to prosecuting Mr Bala as required by law. At the same time, they are unwilling to release him.
The police are only interested in disappearing Mubarak Bala as demanded by the Islamist power base that sponsored the petition. However, some days ago, the UN rights experts issued a landmark statement asking Nigeria to release Mr Bala. 

Leo Igwe

In the release, they noted some key points that I would like to reiterate here.
First of all, the UN experts stated that the arrest and detention of Mubarak Bala amounted to the persecution of non-believers in Nigeria. Indeed the arrest of Bala illustrates the systemic and institutionalized oppression of religious non-believers in the country especially those who live in muslim dominated areas. Religious nonbelievers are treated as second class and, in some cases, third-class citizens, who should be seen and not heard or who should neither be seen nor heard. Bala has been accused of making blasphemous posts on Facebook. Those who petitioned him said that he called the prophet of Islam a terrorist and a pedophile. Now, religious believers freely express their views about the prophets, but non-believers are denied the same right and freedom. Meanwhile, religious believers openly and publicly express their thoughts about atheism and atheistic icons without being arrested and detained. 
More so, Bala only made posts on Facebook. He did not attack or kill as many Muslim extremists have done across the country with impunity. So, Bala’s only crime is that he is an atheist. 
The UN experts also highlighted another crucial point. That expression of opinion and beliefs, including those that could be seen to offend religious sensibilities, were protected by international law and should not be restricted. Those, who brought the petition against Mubarak Bala stated that his Facebook posts angered and irritated Muslims. But these right experts have made it clear that remarks, comments, and expressions that could be deemed as religiously provocative or insulting, whether they are made by Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or non-believers, are protected by law. They should not be criminalised.Furthermore, the UN experts went further and stated that as in the case of Mr Bala: “No one should be arbitrarily detained or arrested for expressing peacefully their opinion, thought and conscience or for simply being an atheist”. 
The posts that Bala made on Facebook were opinions that he peacefully expressed. Were they not? The UN statement condemned the harassment, discrimination, and persecution of religious nonbelievers, or persons who identify as atheists or disbelievers in God or Allah. 
Now, some are saying that the UN statement would make no difference in the situation of Mubarak Bala because the people behind the arrest are Islamic fanatics who do not care about what the UN says. They are of the view that the ‘Sharia’ police in Kano would not abide by the directive of the UN. They will not release Mubarak Bala because the Islamist government in Kano does not reckon with the UN. It does not respect human rights. Others believe that the Muslim sponsors of the petition care only about Sharia, not international law. That the islamists are hell-bent on punishing Mr Bala directly or indirectly in line with Islamic law. Thus what is going on in Kano is a prosecution according to the state law as we know. It is a legal charade because Islamists are using the police and court as fronts to consummate their jihadist intent and penalize Mubarak Bala for blaspheming against Prophet Muhammad.
But after 90 days of detention without trial, access to a lawyer and family visits, the police should rethink their handling of Bala’s case. The police should listen to the UN experts and do the needful-release Mubarak Bala. The police should initiate a negotiated settlement of the case and end this stalemate in Kano. The petitioners and the Islamist sponsors should realise that the continued illegal detention of Mr Bala is setting a precedent that will negatively reflect on Islam and Muslims in Nigeria and beyond.

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Inspector-General Of Police, Adamu, Orders Enforcement Of Curfew In Southern Kaduna

IGP Mohammed Adamu

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, to ensure full enforcement of the curfew imposed by the state government on Southern Kaduna owing to recent killings and violence in the area.
Over 40 persons were reported to have been killed in the region over the weekend.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, on Monday said, “The CP is to personally coordinate the operations of the Intervention Squad in carrying out collective and holistic tasks of ensuring peace and safety in the communities.

IGP Mohammed Adamu

“The squad comprises the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Police Special Forces, Detectives/Intelligence Operatives as well as personnel of the Kaduna State Police Command, the military and other security agencies.
“The IGP commiserates with the people of Kaduna State, particularly those who have lost their loved ones and property as a result of the crises.
“He assures that the Force will do everything within its powers and means to ensure that peace is restored in the affected areas.
“Meanwhile, the IGP enjoins the people of Kaduna State to cooperate with the police, the military and other law enforcement agencies as they carry out the full enforcement of the curfew amongst other measures directed at ensuring their safety.
“He however warns troublemakers in the state to desist forthwith from acts of violence and lawlessness.” 

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BREAKING: Nigerian Government Lifts Ban On Airline That Flew Naira Marley To Abuja For Concert

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has lifted the ban placed on Executive Jets Services Limited, an aviation company that own the jet that flew musician, Azeez Fashola widely known as Naira Marley to Abuja for a concert in June.
Sirika said this at the daily briefing on the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

The Nigerian Government had on June 15 suspended the airline indefinitely for acting in contravention of the restriction on interstate movement and closure of airports at the time.
 

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SaharaReporters also reported that the jet, Bombardier Challenger 605 with registration number 5N-EXS, is owned by businessman Sam Iwajoku but operated by Executive Jet Services he co-owns with business merchant, Aliko Dangote.
Executive Jet Services has an approved AOC license issued by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and the license allows several aircraft to operate using its AOC including the ones owned by Dangote.
 

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Group Urges Governor Sanwo-Olu To Order Lagos Polytechnic Acting Rector To Step Aside Pending Outcome Of Sexual Harassment Case

The National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ikorodu North Chapter, has asked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos to order the Acting Rector of Lagos State Polytechnic, Olumide Metilelu, to step down pending the outcome of a sexual harassment case against him.
The United Action for Democracy had petitioned the Lagos State governor over series of alleged sexual misconducts against Metilelu.
Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, General Secretary of UAD, urged the governor not to treat the matter with levity or ignore what may be yet another intent by the Acting Rector to willfully violate another victim.

The youth group in the letter to Sanwo-Olu signed by Coordinator of NYCN, Ikorodu North Chapter, Comrade Ganiu Nurudeen, and Secretary of NYCN, Ikorodu North Chapter, Comrade Lamina Mukadas, insisted that Metilelu must vacate his position to allow an unfettered and thorough investigation of the matter by the panel.
The letter reads partly, “As the umbrella body of all registered students and youth organisations in Ikorodu North LCDA which host the Lagos State Polytechnic in Ikorodu Division, we express confidence that justice would be served by the time the panel concludes its investigation.
“However, it is our firm conviction that for a thorough and uncompromised investigation to take place, the defendant, Mr Olumide Metilelu, has to step down as it is the standard practice and procedure all over the world.
“We have not forgotten quickly that it took upright individuals, students and youth organisations enormous resources to push the plea for a re-opening of an investigation into these rape cases as Mr Metilelu and his collaborators too were working round the clock to thwart all efforts at bringing these cases of rape against him to light.

“We are therefore demanding as a matter of transparency, due process and good public accountability that Mr Olumide Metilelu steps down to allow an unhindered investigation to take place.”
The group also urged Sanwo-Olu to constitute a governing council for LASPOTECH, adding that it must be constituted ahead of the scheduled appointment of a substantive Rector.

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Government Knows More About Southern Kaduna Killings But Not Investigating It, Says Joe Okei-Odumakin

Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin

Joe Okei-Odumakin, rights activist and President of Centre for Change, has accused the Nigerian Government of having more information on the killings in Southern Kaduna but deliberately not launching an investigation into the violence.
Okei-Odumakin in a chat with SaharaReporters, described the killings in the state as “brutal, wanton and most cruel”.
She posited that statements and reactions from the government were more of providing reasons for the incessant killings but no perpetrator had been arrested in connection with killings in Southern Kaduna.

Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin

She said, “Sadly enough, statements coming from the Federal Government have been giving reasons for the killings when it has not told us it arrested culprits it interrogated to know why they went on the killing spree.”Government may unwittingly be exposing itself to  charges of complicity with statements which suggest that it knows more than it should ordinarily have known without official investigations.”
Okei-Odumakin lamented that government had not been providing security for victims of the attacks.
She urged government to immediately take steps to end the killings in Southern Kaduna while all persons culpable are brought to justice.
“It is also not comforting that government assures security cover for the communities only for the killers to steal in and mow down innocent citizens on a daily basis.
“If we may ask, are the security forces there to supervise or aid the killings?
“We challenge the government to end the killings and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Okei-Odumakin added.

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UPDATED: Buhari Names Railway Stations After Deserving Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the renaming of several train stations after some deserving Nigerians.
Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, had on Monday announced that the President had given approval that stations along the Lagos-Ibadan and the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri corridors should be named in honour of some of the nation’s leaders.
Amaechi said the “deserving citizens have contributed to the progress and development of their respective communities and the nation at large”.

Below is a full list of those who were honoured.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Apapa Station)
Mobolaji Johnson (Ebute Metta Station)
Babatunde Raji Fashola  (Agege Station)
Lateef Jakande (Agbado Station)
Yemi Osinbajo  (Kajola Station)
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (Papalanto Station)
Wole Soyinka (Abeokuta Station)
Aremo Segun Osoba (Olodo Station)
Chief Ladoka Akintola (Omio-Adio Station) 
Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Ibadan Station) 
Chief Alex Ekwueme (Operation Control Centre)
Itakpe-Ajaokuta/Aladja-Warri RailwayAlhaji Adamu Attah (Itakpe station)
Dr. Olushola Saraki (Ajaokuta Station)
Admiral Augustus Aikhomu (Itogbo Station)
Brigadier General George Innih (Agenebode Station)
Anthony Eromosele Enahoro (Uromi Station)
Chief Tom Ikimi (Ekehen Station) and 
Brig. Gen. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia (rtd) (Igbanke Station)
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (Agbor Station Complex)
Brigadier General David Ejoor (Abraka Station)
Micheal Ibru (Opara Station)
Alfred Rewane (Ujevwu Station) and 
Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe (Railway Village, Agbor).

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