The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on security agencies to ensure the unconditional release of peaceful protesters and journalists arrested on Wednesday during the commemoration of the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.
NBA’s President, Olumide Akpata, in a statement, noted that the arrest of peaceful protesters and journalists on lawful duty showed that the country and its security agencies have not learnt from last years’ experience.
Akpata, who directed the NBA Human Rights Committee to immediately spring into action to ensure the protection of the rights of those arrested, frowned at the failure of the various governments to compensate victims of police brutality, whose petitions have been upheld by the various #EndSARS panels.
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Part of the statement reads: “It is regrettable that on the occasion of the anniversary of such a symbolic moment in our nation’s history, we do not appear to have learnt our lessons as symbolised by the arrest and detention of peaceful protesters exercising their fundamental human rights, and journalists going about their lawful duties at the Lekki Toll Plaza this morning.
“The NBA unequivocally calls for unconditional release of all peaceful protesters and journalists arrested today and hereby mandates the NBA Human Rights Committee to immediately spring into action to ensure the protection of their rights.
“I am, however, not under any illusion that the issues associated with police-citizen relations can be addressed by mere recommendations of quasi-judicial panels.
“A sustainable improvement in the quality of that relationship must consist of robust legislative intervention that addresses the structural problems of the Police Force itself as an institution, with particular concern to the welfare and discipline of the rank and file.
“It was in furtherance of this realisation, that the Nigerian Bar Association, is collaborating with the House of Representatives in its legislative response to the underlying issues.
“That intervention crystallised into a Bill repealing and re-enacting the Police Service Commission Act, which is due, now for Third Reading at the National Assembly.
“I am confident that the propositions in the draft Bill, when passed into Law, would achieve a significant landmark in the relationship between the citizens and the police.
“I want to conclude by honouring the memories of all those who have died due to police/SARS related brutality. In this regard, particular mention must be made of those who fell at the Lekki Toll Plaza on that fateful day.
“We are consoled by the fact that their ultimate sacrifice was not in vain. If anything, it has elicited a new national consciousness amongst the youths of Nigeria; one that would continue to be consolidated in the struggle for justice, equity, and fairness.
“They are the heroes of this hour. May their soul continue to rest in peace, and may their memory be a blessing to us.”
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APC: Court Fixes Dec 17 To Hear Suit Seeking Removal Of Buni-led Caretaker Committee
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Jabi, Abuja has fixed December 17, for hearing of a suit seeking an order to set aside all actions and decisions taken by the Governor Mai Mala Buni led caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party.
Other defendants to include the All Progressives Congress; Isiaka Oyebola; Ken Nnamani; Stell Okorete; Governor Sani Bello; Dr. James Lalu; Senator Abubakar Yusuf; Hon Akenyemi Olaiade: David Leon; Abba Ali; Prof. Tahir Mammam Ismail Ahmed and Senator James Akpan Udoedehe.
The suit was filed by an aggrieved member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Okosisi Emeka Ngwu.
In the suit marked FCT/HC/CV/1824/2021, filed by his lawyer, Chief Oba Maduabuchi (SAN), the plaintiff wants an order dissolving the Committee known as and called the Caretaker/ extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
Ngwu said he wanted to contest the position of the National Chairman of the APC in 2018, when the term of the National Chairman of the party expired but was prevailed upon to allow Adams Oshiomhole to be returned un-opposed.
After two years, according to him, he was surprised to hear that the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee had been dissolved and a contraption known as Caretaker/Extraordinary Planning Committee had been created by an unknown person and Mai Mala Buni asked unilaterally to head the Committee.
He is therefore seeking a declaration that unless an election is conducted in accordance with the Electoral Act and by an organ known to and created by the constitution of the All Progressives Congress no valid candidates can emerge from such a primary.
He said he was surprised going by the constitution of the party, the National Executive Committee would be in office for four years until June 22, 2022.
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Travel Ban: NGF Faults Canada And UK, Ask WHO To Intervene
Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have condemned the travel ban imposed on the country by authorities in Canada and the United Kingdom over the report of confirmed cases of omicron COVID-19 variant.
In a statement on Tuesday by NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, they described the action of both countries, as discriminatory and called for the intervention of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) wishes to draw the attention of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to the arbitrary stigmatisation that is caused by the recent banning of countries from visitation based on omicron spread,” said Governor Fayemi. “Only three cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus were detected in Nigeria less than a week ago, precisely on December 1st, 2021.
“Canada and the United Kingdom have hastily included Nigeria among the Omicron present countries which must stay away from their shores, an action viewed by the NGF as precipitate, unfair and discriminatory.”
According to the governors, omicron remains relatively unknown globally as it is not yet clear whether it is more transmissible from person to person, compared to other variants, including Delta.
They stressed that it was very discouraging to note that several countries have reported cases of omicron with tallies similar to or higher than Nigeria’s, yet travellers there have not been banned from entering the UK and Canada.
Confirmed omicron cases across some countries as of December 3, the NGF stated, included Nigeria (three), Australia (seven), Brazil (three), Germany (nine), Israel (four), Italy (nine), and Netherlands (16).
“There is also no evidence that harsh, blanket travel bans will protect the countries that impose them,” said the governors. “It is ironical that this ban comes at a time when the DG of the WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, has advised that ‘rational proportional risk reduction measures’ be taken by countries such as screening passengers prior to departure and/or upon arrival in a country or enforcing a quarantine period.”
“The NGF, therefore, urges the WHO to intervene in this matter by setting uniform standards that are acceptable to all for banning countries across the globe. As we know, vaccine hesitancy is quite high and for many reasons, including disruptive announcements like this which could exacerbate distrust of the vaccine and heighten hesitancy.
“World leaders and stakeholders in the West need to remember that with the COVID-19 pandemic until everyone is free, no one is free. Variants will continue to appear and spread across the globe as long as global herd immunity has not been achieved.
“We call on countries to be guided by science and fairness in setting the criteria for updating their red list. We encourage both public and private stakeholders to continue to support vaccination efforts and address hesitancy. We encourage Nigerians not to be discouraged and to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“As a platform for the 36 democratically elected governors of the country, the NGF believes it reserves the right to speak for its people. Besides, the NGF was proactive and ahead in the Polio eradication program in Nigeria, in the country’s response to the Ebola virus, and lately in the response against the coronavirus pandemic. Finally, health is one of the core mandate areas of the NGF and has remained an item on its meeting agenda in the past several months,” the NGF added.
822 total views, 514 views today
Dowen College: Finally, Sanwo-Olu Breaks Silence, Says Death Of Sylvester Oromoni Disturbing, Heartbreaking
…Coroner Fixes December 15 For Preliminary Meeting
..Police Confirm Arrests Of Two More Students, Three House Masters
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has described the death of Sylvester Oromoni of Dowen College, Lekki as “disturbing and heartbreaking”.
Sanwo-Olu also confirmed he has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
In a Facebook post, the Governor wrote, “I commiserate deeply with the family of late Sylvester (Jnr) Oromoni, the 12-year old pupil of Dowen College, Lagos.
“As a parent, I share the grief Sylvester’s demise has brought upon his parents and the entire household. The incident is not only sad but disturbing and heartbreaking.
“Consequently, I have ordered a comprehensive investigation into the matter. But while that is going on, I would like to give Sylvester’s parents and the entire citizenry of Lagos, the assurance of my full support at this trying time.
“I share their pains and sense of loss. Indeed, words are inadequate to describe my feelings, but I pray that God Almighty will soothe their pains and grant Sylvester Jnr eternal rest.”
The father of the deceased boarding student, Sylvester Oromoni Snr, had claimed the JSS 2 student died from the injuries sustained during an assault by five other students who wanted to initiate him into a cult but the school claimed he died after sustaining an injury during a football match.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Tuesday, confirmed that three of the students have been arrested and are in police custody for alleged assault while two others were still at large.
Meanwhile, the Coroner, Epe District, Magistrate Mikail Kadiri, has fixed December 15 for a preliminary meeting over the death of Sylvester Oromoni.
Sylvester was the 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki whose death has continued to spark reaction and calls for an investigation into the circumstances that led to his death.
The date for the preliminary meeting was fixed on the directive of the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Justice Mojisola Dada.
It was announced in a letter dated December 7, 2021, and titled ‘RE: REQUEST FOR INQUEST INTO THE TRAGIC DEATH OF SYLVESTER OROMONI KILLED AT DOWEN COLLEGE, LEKKI, LAGOS STATE’.
This was in response to the request by the family of Oromoni for an inquest to be conducted into the cause of death of their son who died last week.
The Oromoni family had on Monday briefed the law firm of Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, to demand the inquest.
“Your letter dated 6th December 2021 in respect of the above subject matter refers, please.
“I have the directive of the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Honourable Justice M.A. Dada to act on your request and you are hereby invited to a preliminary meeting,” the letter read.
According to it, the meeting would take place on Wednesday next week by 11 am at Magistrate Court 4, Chambers of the Coroner, Epe District, Combined High Court and Magistrate Court of Lagos State, Epe.
In the meantime, two additional students of Dowen college have reportedly been arrested and detained by the Lagos State Police Command over their alleged involvement in the torture and death of their schoolmate, Sylvester Oromoni. This is according to a report by TVC.
This brings the total number of students in Police custody to five.
Meanwhile, three house masters who were on duty on the day the incident happened have been taken into police custody.
Police say they have obtained a court order to detain the students for 21 days at the Juvenile centre
Earlier, three students and their parents who visited the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba in the company of their parents were detained.
Two of the parents of the accused students have come out to say their children are not responsible for the death of Sylvester Oromoni. Read here and here.
1,234 total views, 791 views today
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