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Kaduna: 87 Shiites Granted Freedom By Court

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Kaduna: 87 Shiites Granted Freedom By Court

A Kaduna court on Friday freed 87 members of the Shiite group accused of killing a soldier following clashes with troops more than four years ago, their lawyer said.

The court “discharged and acquitted” the members of the Islamic Movement for lack of evidence linking them to the death of the soldier during the bloody encounter in December 2015.

Founded by Muslim cleric, Ibrahim Zakzaky, in the late 1970s and inspired by the Iranian Revolution, the IMN has been at loggerheads with the Nigerian authorities for decades.

Troops launched a ferocious clampdown on the group in the northern city of Zaria in 2015 when members blocked the convoy of the army chief of staff during a religious procession.

Rights groups said some 350 IMN members were killed and buried in mass graves after two days of clashes in which their leader Zakzaky was blinded in one eye and arrested along with more than 200 supporters.

Last year, more than one hundred detained members were released in two batches after they were acquitted by the court.

But Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat are still behind bars on charges including “culpable homicide” despite previous court rulings ordering their release.

The lawyer said he would continue to push for the release of the Shiite leader.

“We will now focus our attention on the trial of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky,” Magashi said.

Zakzaky’s continued detention has led to street protests by IMN members in the nation’s capital, Abuja, sparking violent clashes with security forces that have claimed dozens of lives.

Last July the Nigerian government listed the IMN as a proscribed terror group, banning their activities.

Shiites make up a small minority of Muslim believers in mainly Sunni northern Nigeria.

(AFP)

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BREAKING: FG Proposes Extension Of Fuel Subsidy Removal By 18 Months, Seeks To Amend PIA

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BREAKING: NNPC Increases Petrol Price, To Sell For N170/Litre

The Federal Government is proposing to extend the period for the implementation of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, by 18 months.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, announced this on Tuesday while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja.

He disclosed that the government has concluded plans to approach the National Assembly to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

“We are proposing an 18-month extension but what the National Assembly is going to approve is up to them,” the minister said. “We would approve an 18-month extension and then it is up to the National Assembly to look at it and pass the amendment as they see it.

“With assent by the President on August 16, 2021, the PMS subsidy removal was therefore expected to take place effective February 16, 2022. However, following extensive consultations with all key stakeholders within and outside the government, it has been agreed that the implementation period for the removal of the subsidy should be extended.

“This extension will give all the stakeholders time to ensure that the implementation is carried out in a manner that ensures all necessary modalities are in place to cushion the effect of the PMS subsidy removal, in line with prevailing economic realities.

“The President assures that his administration will continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of all Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.”

Sylva, who chairs the PIA Implementation Committee, stressed that the decision of the executive arm of government to seek an amendment of the law was not politically motivated.

Rather, he explained that such a move has become necessary to halt the potential suffering of the vulnerable in the society.

The minister believes other measures such as the Dangote refinery, the Port Harcourt refinery, and other modular refineries will have significantly come on stream by the end of the year.

According to him, the new PIA provides for unrestricted market pricing for PMS from the effective date.

Sylva, however, stated that the PIA also envisaged the potential for supply disruption with its resultant effect on the economy.

“Consequently, it provides for a window of six months from the effective date for the government to request the services of NNPC Limited as the supplier of last resort.

“This is to forestall supply disruptions and guide market readiness preparatory to migration to the deregulated pricing regime,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari, he stated, has assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of the citizens, especially the most vulnerable.

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Former Lagos SSG Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya Dies At 74

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Former Secretary to the Lagos State Government Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya has died after a brief illness.

It was learnt that Adeniran-Ogunsanya, who served as SSG under former Governor Babatunde Fashola, died on Tuesday.

She was reportedly in a comma for a few days at the Lagos State University (LASUTH) before her death.

The Ikorodu-born grassroots politician and daughter of chairman of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPN) in the Second Republic Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya was apex leader of the Lagos4Lagos movement which recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Her illness prevented her from attending the group’s official defection ceremony at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday, January 22.

Details later…

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Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Amends Charge Against Fani-Kayode

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering.

Fani-Kayode is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC had earlier preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6 billion money laundering against the defendants before the former trial judge, Justice Mohammed Aikawa.

The defendants had each pleaded not guilty to the counts and were granted bail.

Hearing of the case had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were being led in evidence before the trial judge was transferred out of the Lagos division of the court.

The case was subsequently assigned to a new trial judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants had to start the case from the beginning (de novo).

At Monday’s proceedings, the amended 17-count charge was read over to the defendants and they each pleaded not guilty.

After the plea, the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo asked the court for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), however, asked the court to allow the defendants to continue on the existing bail conditions granted by the former trial judge.

In a short ruling, the court allowed the defendants to continue on their existing bail conditions. He adjourned the case to March 11, for trial.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.

They were alleged to have at various times, unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.

In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.

The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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