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Thousands Of Ukrainians Sign Petition To Give Embattled UK Leader, Boris Johnson Citizenship, Make Him Prime Minister Of War-torn Country

27 July 2022 - 8:34am


Boris Johnson

Amidst political disturbance due to the Ukraine-Russia crisis, Ukrainians are signing a petition to grant the United Kingdom’s outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson citizenship and make him the Prime Minister of the war-torn country.

The petition has garnered over 2,500 signatures hours after it was started.

It was gathered that the petition, however, does acknowledge one negative side of such an appointment: its non-compliance with Ukraine’s constitution, Times of India reports.

PM Johnson is much regarded in Kyiv because of his pro-Ukrainian stand against Russian aggression. Moreover, he is nicknamed “Johnsoniuk” by locals to show their love for him.

The petition that was posted on Ukraine’s official petitions site lists Johnson’s strengths as “worldwide support for Boris Johnson, a clear position against the military invasion of Ukraine, (and) wisdom in the political, financial and legal spheres”.

The petition, addressed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, lists Johnson’s strengths as “worldwide support for Boris Johnson, a clear position against the military invasion of Ukraine, (and) wisdom in the political, financial and legal spheres.”

However, president Zelenskyy has not responded to the petition but he is obliged to officially respond if it receives 25,000 signatures.

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Categories: audio

Why Akwa Ibom Chief Judge Sent Human Rights Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong To Jail

27 July 2022 - 8:27am


Facts have emerged as to why the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State High Court, Justice Ekaette F. F. Obot sent human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong to one month in prison.

SaharaReporters reported earlier that Justice Obot allowed armed policemen wielding AK-47 rifles into the courtroom on Wednesday, June 30, after threatening to jail Effiong for accusing her of being bias and asking her to recuse herself from the case.

It reported that on Wednesday, July 27 in fulfilment of her threat, the judge jailed the lawyer for one month for asking her to recuse herself from a libel suit filed against a fellow lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong by the state governor, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in Suit No. HU/279/2019.

Udom Emmanuel had sued Ekpenyong for defamation of character over a publication in which he accused the governor of “buying judgment” from the 2019 National Assembly Election Tribunal.

However, Justice Obot on December 15, 2020, gave judgment in favour of the governor, the Claimant/Applicant. The court found the Defendant liable for defamation and subsequently awarded N1.5 billion against him.

Effiong however challenged the judgement and one other involving a former senator, Effiong Bob and successfully persuaded the court to set them aside.

“You don’t stand before me and talk nonsense,” Justice Obot in December 2021 told the human rights lawyer.

“I’ve been on this side of the law for over 30 years and you don’t come and teach me the law from there.”

Effiong who urged the court to give priority to his application for extension of time had cited the Supreme Court’s position on the matter, “Notwithstanding that preliminary objection is on jurisdiction, provided there is an application before the court for extension of time that application must be taken first.”

Refusing Effiong’s application, the judge had said, “Preliminary objections are taken first in every proceeding, especially when it touches on jurisdiction. If you have replied to that objection, why are you afraid?

“Is anything the matter with you? This is the court of law and things are done according to rules here. Sentiments do not overrule that.

“You are not on Channels Television, neither are you on Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Television.”

Following the manifest bias, the Defendant (Ekpenyong) through his Counsel, Inibehe Effiong, filed a Motion on Notice asking Justice Obot to reassign the case to a neutral judge, having shown bias.

Inibehe had argued that since the Chief Judge had already entered a default judgment in the suit against his client in the manner and circumstance, her mind was prejudiced or likely to be prejudiced against the Defendant/Applicant.

He had stated that "the animosity and hostility exhibited by Her Lordship, Hon. Justice Ekaette F. F. Obot, towards the Defendant/Applicant's counsel predates the instant case and there is no indication that it will abate anytime soon." Citing a case in "Suit No: HU/MISC.4/2019 between MR ENEFIOK EKEFRE VS. GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE & ANOR, which was before the judge, she had cautioned and pointedly said to Inibehe Effiong, Esq: "stop fighting my governor."

Justice Obot in the “course of the proceedings in that case, just like in the instant case, derided the Applicant's counsel."

The lawyer also cited that Justice Obot attended on June 11, 2022, the wedding ceremony of one Ms. Eyakena Abast Effiong Bob; the daughter of Senator Effiong Dickson Bab, a notable political figure in Akwa Ibom State.

The insistence of Inibehe to ask the Chief Judge to recuse herself was also based on the alleged hatred Justice Obot had exhibited against him several times in open court for defending his client.

The Chief Judge was alleged to have openly asked a lawyer, Mr Augustine Asuquo why he was practising in the same law firm with his colleague, Inibehe Effiong, and openly derided him in the most uncomplimentary terms and gone further to impress on Asuquo to leave the law firm (Inibehe Effiong Chambers) and look for "a senior lawyer" to work with so that he can learn.

She was also said to have accused Inibehe of evading service and "running away from the bailiff on the streets of Uyo". She also accused him of bringing an "herbalist" to the court during a court sitting in the case.

It was gathered that Justice Obot saw the application to reassign the case as a threat to her career in the judiciary.

Legal News AddThis :  Original Author :  Saharareporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

BREAKING: Nigerian Senate To Invite Central Bank Governor, Emefiele Over Rising Inflation, Naira Devaluation

27 July 2022 - 8:22am


The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday said it would invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over rising inflation and naira devaluation which have made lives difficult for Nigerians.

The senators lamented that the exchange rate of the US dollar to naira had now risen to N700 which was described as very sad. They, therefore, called for immediate attention.

Devaluation is an official reduction of the value of a domestic currency to the value of the foreign currency, particularly those currencies accepted internationally for transactions like the US dollars. 

Devaluation is a deliberate action of the monetary authority. It can be reversed to appreciation through the same market forces when an economy improves. 

A major issue of concern and challenge for most individuals and companies is the widespread surge in prices of goods and services due to this devaluation. 

Economy Breaking News News AddThis :  Original Author :  Saharareporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

BREAKING: Nigerian Senate To Invite Central Bank Governor, Emefiele Over Rising Inflation, Naira Devaluation

27 July 2022 - 8:15am


The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday said it would invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over rising inflation and naira devaluation which have made lives difficult for Nigerians.

The senators lamented that the exchange rate of the US dollar to naira had now risen to N700 which was described as very sad. They, therefore, called for immediate attention.

Devaluation is an official reduction of the value of a domestic currency to the value of the foreign currency, particularly those currencies accepted internationally for transactions like the US dollars. 

 

Devaluation is a deliberate action of the monetary authority. It can be reversed to appreciation through the same market forces when an economy improves. 

 

A major issue of concern and challenge for most individuals and companies is the widespread surge in prices of goods and services due to this devaluation. 

Economy Breaking News News AddThis :  Original Author :  Saharareporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

BREAKING: Nigerian Senate To Invite Central Bank Governor, Emefiele Over Rising Inflation, Naira Devaluation

27 July 2022 - 8:09am


The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday said it would invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, over rising inflation and naira devaluation which have made lives difficult for Nigerians.

The senators lamented that the exchange rate of the US dollar to naira had now risen to N700 which was described as very sad. They, therefore, called for immediate attention.

Devaluation is an official reduction of the value of a domestic currency to the value of the foreign currency, particularly those currencies accepted internationally for transactions like the US dollars. 

 

Devaluation is a deliberate action of the monetary authority. It can be reversed to appreciation through the same market forces when an economy improves. 

 

A major issue of concern and challenge for most individuals and companies is the widespread surge in prices of goods and services due to this devaluation. 

Economy Breaking News News AddThis :  Original Author :  Saharareporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

BREAKING: #Buhari-Must-Go: Nigerian Senators Demand President’s Impeachment Over Alarming Insecurity, Killings

27 July 2022 - 7:00am


Senators across the party divides on Wednesday called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari over the escalation of terror attacks in the country.

The lawmakers, who angrily stormed out of the plenary around 2.10pm, were all chanting "Buhari must go" repeatedly.

Addressing journalists at the Senate Press Corps (SPC) Centre, the Minority Leader, Senator Philip Aduda, said they gave President Buhari six weeks’ ultimatum within which to resolve the heightened insecurity in the country or face impeachment.

Aduda, who was flanked by many other lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); People's Democratic Party (PDP); All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the newly formed New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP), expressed displeasure at the daily occurrence of kidnappings, killings, extortions by the terrorists and bandits across the country.

There was a mild drama that played out during the plenary in the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It was gathered that the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Phillip Aduda, had raised a point of order asking the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to discuss the security situation in the country and the impeachment of President Buhari.

However, Senator Lawan, who presided over the plenary, declined the request of the minority leader, saying the point of order raised, fell flat on its face.

SaharaReporters had earlier today reported that the Northern Elders Forum spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, also advised Buhari to resign due to the current state of Nigeria.

The NEF spokesman had said this in a series of tweets.

He lamented the failures of Buhari as a president despite his huge resources and power.

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Categories: audio

Buhari Should Resign; Enough Is Enough In Nigeria – Northern Elders Forum

27 July 2022 - 6:47am


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Northern Elders Forum has again advised President Muhammadu Buhari to resign due to the alarming insecurity and socio-economic problems facing the country.

The NEF spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated this in a series of tweets.

He added that 2023 might be the worst year so far for the country, considering the present state of the economy and security.

He lamented the failure of Buhari as a president despite the huge resources.

Baba-Ahmed said, "When you have a President with huge powers like ours has, NOBODY leads anything. He is everything. He sets standards.

"He determines how those below him work. He determines how those below him work; even VP, governors, Legislators, Ministers etc. He can't pass the buck. Where you a near-total collapse, he is responsible. This is MY PERSONAL opinion; I am terrified by the state of Nigeria. I am more terrified by what it will be by May 2023.

"If there are people he listens to, they should ask him to consider resigning. Any lawful option is better than his continuing. Raise your voice, Nigeria. It's enough."

 

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Categories: audio

Nigerian Government Directs Abuja Private Schools To Close Over Scare Of Terrorists’ Attacks

27 July 2022 - 6:42am


The Nigerian government has directed the closure of all private schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, over the rising insecurity and fear of terrorists’ attacks. 

This was contained in a statement signed by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Nigeria, Abuja, stating that the directive to shut down schools came from the FCT Education secretariat.

The message reads, “Dear school educators, instruction reaching me now from the Ag. Director DQA is that the FCT Education secretariat has directed that schools are to make sure all examinations going on should be ended by Wednesday, July 27, 2022, and all students including those in boarding should be allowed to go home for the holiday.” 

The directive comes amidst threats of attacks in the capital city.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that the government ordered the immediate closure of one of its Unity Colleges, the Federal Government College Kwali, located in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

It had also been reported that security agencies got a security report that the Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram planned to attack Lagos, Kaduna, Kogi, Katsina and Zamfara states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

The decision to close the federal schools was taken after a reported terrorist attack on the neighbouring Sheda community in the Area Council, which is close to the college.

Insecurity News AddThis :  Original Author :  Saharareporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

Nigerian Police Officer Allegedly Rapes, Impregnates 15-Year-Old Niece In Nasarawa

27 July 2022 - 6:19am


File Photo

A police officer attached to the State Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force, Nasarawa State command, has allegedly raped and impregnated his 15-year-old niece who resided with him. .
This was revealed by the State Chairman of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Mrs Rabiatu Addra, during a press briefing in Lafia, the state capital on Wednesday, Daily Trust reports.


Mrs Addra stated that a whistleblower had reported the incident, stating that the victim was allegedly raped by her uncle, who is an inspector in the Nigeria Police Force.
According to her, the suspect has been arrested.
She further restated her commitment to follow up on the case and ensure that the suspect was being prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to other residents of the state.
Addra also appealed to the police command in the state to ensure a thorough investigation into the matter should be followed to the later.
She said, “On receipt of the information by the whistleblower, FIDA in conjunction with the Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response team, facilitated and mobilised police officers to get the suspect arrested.
“Our team with the police took the victim to the hospital and paid for her treatment but unfortunately she lost the six-month-old baby. The state ministry of Justice further paid the bill for a DNA test as part of the ongoing investigation to ascertain the real culprit.”
Mrs Rabiatu Addra, however, said that the victim had been discharged from the hospital and taken back to her family.

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Categories: audio

Akwa Ibom Chief Judge Displayed Judicial Shamelessness, Recklessness – AAC Party Demands Immediate Release Of National Legal Adviser, Inibehe Effiong From Prison

27 July 2022 - 6:13am


The African Action Congress Party (AAC) has condemned in the strongest terms, the arrest and remand of its National Legal Adviser, Inibehe Effiong by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot.
Justice Obot committed Barrister Effiong for contempt while representing a client against whom the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, had filed libel charges, when he (Effiong) prayed the judge that heavily armed policemen be asked to leave the courtroom, after the same judge ordered journalists out of the court.


The judge subsequently ordered that Effiong be remanded in Uyo Prison.
Reacting to the development, AAC in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Femi Adeyeye, demanded the immediate release of the lawyer from detention, failure of which, the party warned that it would carry out a mass action.
The party also demanded that a disciplinary action be taken against Justice Obot for what it described as reckless abuse of judicial authority and desecration of what ought to be the hallowed temple of justice.
The statement read, “The parody of democracy that Nigerians live under has again been brought to the fore with the distressing news of the remand of Mr Inibehe Effiong in prison while carrying out his legitimate duty as a lawyer and officer in the temple of justice. This is shocking to all members of the African Action Congress (AAC) and lovers of human rights globally.
“Barr. Inibehe was committed for contempt and ordered to be remanded in Uyo Prisons by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot in a reckless abuse of judicial authority and desecration of what ought to be the hallowed temple of justice.
“According to reports from Mr Inibehe and other eye-witnesses, our party’s legal adviser who was representing a client against whom the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel had filed libel charges, only prayed the judge that heavily armed policemen be asked to leave the courtroom, after the same judge had ordered journalists out of the court in what ought to be a public trial.
“It is obvious that all these intimidation tactics are the machinations of the state government, under Udom Emmanuel, the Akwa Ibom State Governor who has continued to act like a tyrant in a supposed democracy and suborned the judiciary.
“The action of the Chief Judge acting the script of the tyrant Governor against a lawyer in the legitimate pursuit of his duties is pure judicial rascality, judicial shamelessness and judicial recklessness. It is a fruitless conspiratorial attempt to intimidate a counsel, a fighter of human rights in the legitimate activity of representing his client.
“We call for the immediate release of Inibehe Effiong now! Failure to release him with immediate effect would be met with serious mass actions.”

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Categories: audio

We Are Responsible For Destruction Of Cows In Abia Community For Trespassing On Our Farmlands – IPOB

27 July 2022 - 5:04am


The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said that its security network codenamed the Eastern Security Network (ESN) was responsible for the killing of “Fulani cows destroying people’s farmlands” in the South-East region of Nigeria.
IPOB while commending the security network in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Wednesday, assured that neither the group nor its security operatives are after legitimate Fulani who are carrying out their legitimate businesses in the region.


The group said that “Terrorists masquerading as herdsmen in Lokpanta should know that ESN under IPOB is responsible for the recent decimation of cows that the terrorists are using as cover to kidnap, rape and destroy our people's farmlands.”
IPOB therefore warned that “If these terrorists attack any community in that area, they must prepare to leave that area and in fact entirely Biafra land.”
Commending the ESN for what IPOB described as doing the needful, the statement partly read, “We, the global family and movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU commend the doggedness of our great security outfit called the Eastern Security Network (ESN) which confronted the terrorists masquerading as herdsmen at Lokpanta on 22nd July 2022.
“We commend the IPOB leadership who has seen what our people are passing through in the hands of these terrorists kidnapping for ransom, raping our mothers in farms, killing of our men in their farms and snatching cars from all the travellers following the routes in Isiukwuato, Umunneochi, Isuochi and Okigwe since over two years but government refused to heed to the crying of the citizens.
“IPOB hails them for doing the needful in that area, we are not pursuing responsible fulanis not to do their legitimate business. But we are after those terrorists masquerading as herdsmen kidnapping and destroying our people's lives and farm lands in that area.
“IPOB and ESN are responsible for the killing of cows encroaching into people's farm lands. We also warn the Fulani terrorists not to venture attack any community in the area as in their nature. If they attack any community; that means Fulani will no longer be allowed to do business again in that market.
“IPOB advises all Fulani in a legitimate business to ensure they stay within the designated areas assigned for them in the market. They must not exceed the square meters and measurements given to them in that market. If they do, they will have scores to settle with IPOB.
“IPOB and ESN have a responsibility to keep our land safe for our indigenous people and lawful residents. We will not compromise on this obligation even when the compromised Nigeria Security agencies have joined to forcefully take over our Land. IPOB is the people and the people are IPOB and no one or tribe will take over our Land. Not today and not tomorrow.”

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Categories: audio

SERAP, AAC Presidential Candidate, Sowore Demand Release Of Lawyer, Inibehe Sentenced Unjustly By Akwa Ibom Chief Judge

27 July 2022 - 4:48am


A civic group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), and the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, have both condemned the action of the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, who sentenced a human right lawyer, Inbehe Effiong, to jail for appearing in a suit against the state governor, Udom Emmanuel.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Effiong was jailed one month for challenging the Chief Judge about armed policemen who invaded the court wielding AK-47 rifles and for demanding that she recused herself from the case.


While reacing, the AAC presidential candidate, Sowore, on Twitter, said, “It has come to my attention that a Chief Judge of High Court , Akwa Ibom just summarily sentenced rights lawyer, @InibeheEffiong for month for doing his legal duties defending an individual that allegedly defamed Gov. @MrUdomEmmanuel . This act is despicable #FreeInibehe NOW!
“#FreeInibehe NOW! This particular judge kept harassing @InibeheEffiong before now, he was in Abuja with us yesterday and had expressed concern that Gov @MrUdomEmmanuel might be up to some mischief over a defamation case he was handling against him!” 

It has come to my attention that a Chief Judge of High Court , Akwa ibom just summarily sentenced rights lawyer, @InibeheEffiong for month for doing his legal duties defending an individual that allegedly defamed Gov. @MrUdomEmmanuel . This act is despicable #FreeInibehe NOW! pic.twitter.com/2anKu3ca3x

— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) July 27, 2022

Meanwhile, SERAP asked Governor Udom to order the release of the unlawfully detained lawyer.
"Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel must immediately and unconditionally release lawyer Inibehe Effiong who has reportedly been sent to Uyo prison while in court representing his client against the governor.
"We'll see in court if Effiong is not immediately released," the group threatened.

BREAKING: Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel must immediately and unconditionally release lawyer Inibehe Effiong who has reportedly been sent to Uyo prison while in court representing his client against the governor.

We'll see in court if Effiong is not immediately released.

— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) July 27, 2022

SaharaReporters on June 30 reported that in a motion on notice filed by Ekpenyong’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, he asked Justice Obot to reassign the case to a neutral judge.
He accused the Chief Justice of impunity, bias and violation of the code of conduct.
“AN ORDER of the Honourable Court for this Court (CORAM:HON. JUSTICE EKAETTE FF OBOT) to disqualify and release herself from further hearing and or presiding over the proceedings of this case, that is suit no: HU/279/2019 between DEACON EMMANUEL GABRIEL UDOM VS LEO EKPENYONG, ESQ on grounds of fair hearing, particularly for bias,” the court document read.
“AN ORDER of this Honorable Court reassigning this case, that is suit no: HU/279/2019 between DEACON EMMANUEL GABRIEL UDOM VS LEO EKPENYONG, ESQ to another Judge of the Akwa Ibom State High Court to be heard de novo.”
Justice Obot in 2021 lashed out at the defence lawyer, Effiong who said the court had breached the Nigerian Constitution in its December 15, 2020 judgment against his client, Leo Ekpenyong.
The court on December 15, 2020, ordered the defendant to pay N1.5 billion to the governor as general damages for libel.
Effiong however challenged the judgement and one other involving a former senator, Effiong Bob and successfully persuaded the court to set them aside.
“You don’t stand before me and talk nonsense,” Justice Obot in December 2021 told the human rights lawyer.
“I’ve been on this side of the law for over 30 years and you don’t come and teach me the law from there.”
Effiong who urged the court to give priority to his application for extension of time had cited the Supreme Court’s position on the matter, “Notwithstanding that preliminary objection is on jurisdiction, provided there is an application before the court for extension of time that application must be taken first.”

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Categories: audio

Ekiti Election: Court Grants SDP Candidate, Segun Oni Access To Inspect Electoral Materials

27 July 2022 - 4:16am


The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital on Tuesday granted a request by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Segun Oni, to be allowed to inspect the electoral materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the June 18 election.
The three-member panel led by Justice Wilfred Kpochi, with Justice Sa’ad Zadawa and Justice Jacob Atsen as members, also granted an application for an order of substituted service of court processes on the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governor-elect as well as his running mate, Daily Independent reports.


Recall that Oni had through his legal team represented by Obafemi Adewale (SAN), filed an application for an order, “permitting the applicant or its agents for the purpose of prosecuting its petition to take certified true copies and conduct manual/physical inspection of all electoral materials used in the conduct of the election into the office of the governor of Ekiti State held on June 18 in the 16 local governments.”
In the suit, the SDP candidate also sought “an order of leave to effect the service of the petitioner and other processes in the proceedings on the 1st, 3rd and 5th respondents by substituted means, through the national secretary or any other officer of the APC at 40, Blantyre Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja FCT.”
Also, on July 7, Oni approached the Ekiti State Governorship Tribunal sitting on the premises of the State High Court, Ado-Ekiti to challenge Oyebanji’s victory in the June 18 governorship poll.
The SDP candidate in his petition called for the reversal of the declaration of the APC candidate as the winner of the poll and declared him the winner, claiming that he scored the highest number of lawful votes in the poll.
He prayed the tribunal to in the alternative nullify the election and order a rerun in view of the alleged widespread irregularities that fraught the election.
On Tuesday, Justice Kpochi, while delivering the panel’s ruling said the grounds granted are the pillars that support the Oni’s petition to continue the petition submitted before the tribunal.
Justice Kpochi noted that they found merit in the motion ex-parte and ordered INEC to give unhindered access to the petitioner to inspect the electoral materials, which included BVAS, all ballot papers, voters’ registers, among others.

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Categories: audio

Mubarak Bala: Atheist Activism And Liberation From Religious Oppression In Nigeria By Leo Igwe

27 July 2022 - 3:52am


The case of Nigerian humanist, Mubarak Bala has made it necessary to reflect on the situation of atheism in Nigeria. It is imperative to examine how religious minds have demonized atheism and tyrannized the lives of nonbelievers.

Irreligiosity is not a phenomenon that is often linked to the African continent. But in recent times things have started to change. The religious landscape is undergoing significant shifts and transformations. Despite the growing visibility of religion on the continent, irreligious individuals are becoming active.

Groups of nonbelievers are emerging and organizing. There is a need to explore the link between atheist activism and liberation, especially the liberation of nonreligious persons in Africa. It is in investigating this connection that efforts and actions by atheists and humanists to free themselves and society from religious bondage could better be understood. Such an exploration would situate initiatives by godless and faithless individuals to bring about social change and transformation.

Atheist activism has been misrepresented by pious minds and in pious scholarship. And in consequence, atheist assertiveness has largely been misunderstood and mischaracterized. Atheist activism is designated as militant, fundamentalist, and in some cases, Islamophobic. Nonbelief in religious gods, deities, and dogmas has been presented in the negative sense; as an 'antiestablishment' sentiment, a deviation from the norm, a violation of the sociopolitical order, an epitome of intellectual, or moral debauchery and deserving of suppression and repression.

 

Little attention has been paid to the notion that religious faiths encapsulate theologies of oppression, persecution, and marginalization. The god idea has become an epithet for dictatorship, a pretext to perpetrate heinous crimes and abuse. The name of Allah has been used to justify bloodletting, savagery, genocide, physical and structural violence, and other atrocities. Religions make absolute claims to knowledge, truth, power, and morality. Supernatural faiths do not countenance opposition and disputation. They are totalitarian. Faith groups maintain and strive to control to the minutest details the lives and actions of individuals and societies. Religions sanction socio-economic oppression and political subjugation of others, the religious and non-religious others.

 

The case of Mubarak Bala shows that misrepresentation of atheism is entrenched, and serves the cause of religious tyranny and despotism in Nigeria. Theocratic governments politicize mischaracterization of atheism to justify denial and erosion of irreligious liberties, violation of the humanity of atheists, the sanctification of impunity, as in the notion of holy war or jihad, and cruel and unjust treatment.

This presentation focuses on two main weapons of religious oppression, apostasy, and blasphemy. It explains the actions taken by Bala to undo these oppressive mechanisms and further his freedom. I argue that atheists' assertion of their rights and liberties are not transgressions but an exercise in social, political, and economic liberation from religious oppression.

 

Bala came out as an ex-Muslim in 2014. Take note of the expression, 'came out. The profession of Islam is like being locked away in a room and prevented from leaving. Bala might have ditched Islam much earlier than 2014 but the hostage and antagonistic climate did not permit him to go open and public with his non-belief. As I was told, persons who are born into Muslim families are automatically Muslims. Born into an Islamic home, there is no option of choice to belong or not to belong.

One cannot decide not to be a Muslim. Once a Muslim always as a Muslim. One cannot leave or renounce the religion because abandoning Islam is a dishonor to the family and an offense against the Islamic state and community.

 

But apostasy is not an infraction in any way. It is a right. However, Muslims made it a violation of Islam. As a transgression, apostasy attracts heavy penalties: ex-communication, banishment, honor killing, execution, or extrajudicial killing by nonstate Islamic actors. Thus it takes a lot of courage to renounce Islam, to scale the religious prison walls. Many who are unable to leave or escape this religious bondage resign to fate; they continue to pay lip service to the religion. They continue to identify as Muslims even when they are not. Many observe the teachings of Islam even when they think and believe otherwise. Simply put, Islamic faith holds its confessors and members captive.

 

To free himself from this social prison and mental hostage, Bala left Islam. He could not continue to deceive himself. He could no longer pretend to be a Muslim when he was not. More importantly, Bala found the teachings and practices of the religion objectionable, harmful, and incompatible with a reasoned outlook. He discovered that Islam as practiced was outdated, incompatible with human rights, and an improper moral guide to happy and meaningful living in this 21st century.

 

Bala's renunciation of Islam came at an enormous cost because Islamic gatekeepers put a heavy price on freedom, freethought, free speech, and free assembly. Islamic prison guards placed a price, the supreme price on liberty which many of its prisoners cannot afford to pay. In the case of Bala, he decided to bite the bullet. He resolved to free himself. But his quest for freedom led to the severance of family ties. Relatives consigned him to a mental hospital where he was shackled and treated as a psychiatric patient. His family regarded his renunciation of Islam as a form of mental illness. They thought he must be out of his mind to leave or to contemplate leaving Islam. They took him to a state hospital for rehabilitation. The family wanted to cure him of apostasy so that he could regain his sanity and return to the Islamic faith.

Bala escaped from the hospital and continued to live, identify and conduct himself as an apostate. In 2020, police arrested Bala for making some Facebook posts. Some Islamists claimed that the posts insulted their prophet and offended their religious sensibilities. One way that Muslims have tried to hold people hostage is to make a violation of their sensibilities an offense, a punishable infraction for other Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Meanwhile, nobody punishes Muslims for offending other religious and irreligious sentiments and sensibilities. Nobody penalizes the Islamic faithful for casting aspersions on non-Muslims and nonbelievers. Again, Bala refused to be caged or gagged. He continued to speak freely and express his thoughts and ideas about religions and their prophets. Of course, it was not for a long time. After two years of incarceration, Islamic theocrats prosecuted and jailed him.

 

As the case of Mubarak Bala has shown, Islam has become an oppressive ideology, and a device to hold any real or imagined nonbelievers hostage. Atheist activism tries to undo the oppression and subjugation of infidels and other religious nonbelievers. Atheists in Africa are human beings and have equal rights. Atheists want to be free and to exercise their liberty like religious believers. But theocrats undermine this process of liberation and progressive emancipation. Atheists want to live in a society where people freely embrace, renounce or change their beliefs. But the religious establishment is opposed to freedom and equality of all and for all. Atheists want to live in an environment where individuals are free to say or write whatever they think about any religion or prophet. Religious tyrants loathe freethought and free expression. Early in this 21st century, atheist activism has become a liberation struggle against religious tyranny and totalitarianism.

Atheist activists have become freedom fighters, social, political, and intellectual liberators of Africa and Africans. Atheist activists have become awakeners of Africa and Africans from religiously induced slumber, oppression and mental slavery.

 

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Shehu Sani Joins Nigerian Labour Congress Protest In Abuja, Says Buhari Government Should Release Money To Fund Universities

27 July 2022 - 3:47am


A former Senator who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th Assembly, Shehu Sani, on Wednesday stated that the Nigerian government was lying by claiming that there was no money to fund the country’s university system.
Sani urged the government to do what is necessary.


He made this known as he joined the protest organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which commenced at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the NLC grounded Activities in Central Area of FCT in continuation of its two-day nationwide protest in solidarity with the strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Scores of protesters on Wednesday stormed Unity Fountain in Abuja carrying placards with several inscriptions that called on the relevant agencies to attend to their demands.
The protesters led by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, were well protected with different security forces while they marched from Unity Fountain to National Assembly.
The former lawmaker who addressed the protesters at the Eagle’s Square said they were out to secure Nigeria future.
"We are here to save the future of our country Most of the people in government today are products and beneficiaries of public education. Why do you want to destroy the system that made you who you are today?" he said.

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Gunboat Crushes Four Policemen, David Lyon’s Younger Brother To Death In Bayelsa

27 July 2022 - 3:38am



A gunboat in the early hours of Wednesday crushed four policemen on patrol duty and officials of an oil surveillance company to death at Okumugbene and Odewari River close to Korokorosei junction in Bayelsa State.
According to reports, a younger brother to the former gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, David Lyon, identified as Odi Lyon, was among the deceased, while another aide to Lyon identified as Ogbojimo was lucky to have survived the unfortunate incident.


Odi Lyon was said to be the operations Manager of the Darlon Oil Surveillance company in the Southern Ijaw community of Olugbobiri.
It was gathered that the boat was heading towards Korokorosei when the incident happened.
SaharaReporters learnt that the corpse of one of the policemen had been recovered while the three riot policemen were still missing.
The recovered policeman was able to swim to the shore but died before he could get to the clinic at Olugbobiri.
The boat conveying the four mobile policemen, the younger brother of David Lyon, a governor’s aide with a 200 horsepower engine was said to have stopped for yet-to-be-ascertained reasons when the gunboat attacked them.
The Bayelsa State Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident but did not give any further details on it.

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BREAKING: Akwa Ibom Chief Judge Sends Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong To Prison For Defending Colleague In Case With Governor Udom

27 July 2022 - 3:32am


The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Ekaette Obot, has sent human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, to one month imprisonment for asking her to recuse herself from a libel suit filed against a fellow lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong, by the state governor, Udom Emmanuel.
SaharaReporters learnt that Obot who allowed armed policemen wielding AK-47 rifles into the courtroom on Wednesday, on June 30, threatened to jail Effiong for accusing her of being bias and asking her to recuse herself from the case.  


Udom Emmanuel had sued Ekpenyong for defamation of character over a publication in which he accused the governor of “buying judgment” from the 2019 National Assembly Election Tribunal.
In a motion on notice filed by Ekpenyong’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, he had asked Justice Obot to reassign the case to a neutral judge.
But the events took another turn on Wednesday morning, when the Chief Judge surprisingly ordered that Effiong be thrown behind bars.
In a live Facebook video, the human rights lawyer said, “We were in court this morning and the atmosphere was very hostile. Immediately my Lord, the chief judge came in, she ordered some armed policemen with AK-47 to come into the court room.
“And then the policemen came in; I kept quiet. The proceedings started and then I reminded the court that we had a motion for recusal, asking the Chief Judge to recuse herself from the matter on the grounds of likelihood of bias.
“And then the court said we should go ahead with the trial and while we were at the court, journalists were asked to leave the place and I simply said, ‘My lord, it’s an open court and we are expecting that anyone who wants to observe proceedings should observe it.
“I also said, My lord, I don’t feel comfortable, having armed policemen inside the court; that I have never seen armed policemen inside the court; that it made me feel uncomfortable, threatened and they could be outside.’
“And My lord ordered me to stay out of the bar, ordered me to de-robe and said she is committing me to prison for one month for raising an observation that armed policemen should not be in the courtroom. I am waiting for the conviction warrant. I am going to Uyo prison from here. I think it is also an opportunity to see people that are there. So, we will see how this goes. I just want everyone to see what has been happening.”  
SaharaReporters on June 30 reported that in a motion on notice filed by Ekpenyong’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, he asked Justice Obot to reassign the case to a neutral judge.
He accused the Chief Justice of impunity, bias and violation of the code of conduct.
“AN ORDER of the Honourable Court for this Court (CORAM:HON. JUSTICE EKAETTE FF OBOT) to disqualify and release herself from further hearing and or presiding over the proceedings of this case, that is suit no: HU/279/2019 between DEACON EMMANUEL GABRIEL UDOM VS LEO EKPENYONG, ESQ on grounds of fair hearing, particularly for bias,” the court document read.
“AN ORDER of this Honorable Court reassigning this case, that is suit no: HU/279/2019 between DEACON EMMANUEL GABRIEL UDOM VS LEO EKPENYONG, ESQ to another Judge of the Akwa Ibom State High Court to be heard de novo.”
Justice Obot in 2021 lashed out at the defence lawyer, Effiong who said the court had breached the Nigerian Constitution in its December 15, 2020 judgment against his client, Leo Ekpenyong.
The court on December 15, 2020, ordered the defendant to pay N1.5 billion to the governor as general damages for libel.

Effiong however challenged the judgement and one other involving a former senator, Effiong Bob and successfully persuaded the court to set them aside.
“You don’t stand before me and talk nonsense,” Justice Obot in December 2021 told the human rights lawyer.
“I’ve been on this side of the law for over 30 years and you don’t come and teach me the law from there.”
Effiong who urged the court to give priority to his application for extension of time had cited the Supreme Court’s position on the matter, “Notwithstanding that preliminary objection is on jurisdiction, provided there is an application before the court for extension of time that application must be taken first.”
Refusing Effiong’s application, the judge had said, “Preliminary objections are taken first in every proceeding, especially when it touches on jurisdiction. If you have replied to that objection, why are you afraid?
“Is anything the matter with you? This is the court of law and things are done according to rules here. Sentiments do not overrule that.
“You are not on Channels Television, neither are you on Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Television.”

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Ex-Governor Fayose Undergoes Back Surgery In Secret Hospital Overseas

27 July 2022 - 3:23am


Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has undergone a back surgery in an undisclosed hospital outside the country.
The surgery was confirmed by the former governor’s brother, Isaac and his ex-aide, Lere Olayinka.


The two Fayose’s close sources reportedly confirmed that this was the second surgery the former governor was having in five months.
He reportedly had the first surgery on his neck in February this year.
According to them, the surgery became necessary due to injuries he sustained when he was attacked during the 2018 Ekiti State governorship election.
Fayose is on overseas’ treatment despite the swelling crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State where he has been a major actor.
SaharaReporters earlier this month reported that the Ekiti PDP was enmeshed in crisis after a faction clashed with another faction loyal to Fayose.
The anti-Fayose faction had affirmed that the name of the substantive State Chairman of PDP as confirmed by the State Executive Council, was Deji Ogunshakin.
Meanwhile Fayose’s PDP faction in Ekiti State had earlier appointed Alaba Agboola as the substantive Chairman of the party in the state.
Agboola is to replace the party’s governorship candidate in the last election, Hon Bisi Kolawole, who resigned as the state chairman to contest the governorship.

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How Children of APC Presidential Candidate, Tinubu Acquired US Properties Worth Millions Of Dollars In Cash Despite No Known Sources Of Income

27 July 2022 - 3:10am


Zainab Abisola Tinubu and Habibat Oyindamola Tinubu, two children of the Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu have properties in the United States of America worth millions of dollars.

Aged 32 and 30 respectively, Zainab and Habibat Tinubu, graduated in Boston’s Berklee College in 2013 and have no verifiable work to earn such funds they used to acquire the properties.

The property documents show that Zainab Abisola acquired a deluxe condo at 55, Berry Street, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11249 for $2,150,000 in 2014 when she was 25 years. Her sister, Habibat acquired a deluxe apartment at 255 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 for $2,400,000 when she was 22 years and all the transactions were paid for in cash.

 

David Hundeyin in a report published by West Africa Weekly, said that Habibat, a fresh graduate of music at the time of acquisition of her own property.

Full and upfront cash payments were made and there was no mortgage, even though the children had no known source of income.

The APC presidential candidate has been enmeshed in allegations of financial fraud which he was yet to come clean about.

It would be hard to explain how children who barely after graduating from college and with no work or means of income acquired real estate property with the outright payment of millions of dollars in cash, not even through a mortgage.

 

SaharaReporters reported in September 2008 how U.S. federal agents successfully linked Tinubu to drug trafficking ring in Chicago.

 

It reported that Tinubu may have been involved in a white heroin trafficking network which operated in Chicago and some parts of Indiana, which was led by one Adegboyega Mueez Akande between 1988 and 1993. The source of the white heroine was identified as one Mr. Lee Andrew Edwards who was incarcerated for attempting to murder a federal agent while the agent was executing a search warrant on him.

 

According to the Verified Complaint for forfeiture in case No. 93 C 4483 obtained by SaharaReporters, which was filed on July 26, 1993 before the Hon. Judge Nordberg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Government urged the Court to order the forfeiture of funds in accounts Nos. 263226700 held by First Heritage Bank in the name of Bola Tinubu.

Also ordered for forfeiture were funds in accounts 39483134, 39483396, 4650279566, 00400220, 39936404 and 39936383 held by Citibank N.A in the name of Bola Tinubu and funds in accounts 52050-89451952,52050-89451952, 52050-89451953 held by Citibank in the name of Bola Tinubu as there was probable cause to believe that the funds in the accounts represented proceeds of narcotics trafficking or were monies involved in financial transactions in violations of 18 U.S.C, sections 1956 and 1957 and therefore, was forfeitable to the U.S. Government.

 

However, in a tacit defence of the ownership of the funds, Tinubu averred in Court that the funds belonged to himself, his wife, K. O. Tinubu and his surrogate mother, Alhaja Mogaji and warranted that they had the exclusive right, title and interest to the funds.

 

In an affidavit sworn to by Kevin Moss, a Special Agent with the United States Internal Revenue Service, criminal investigation division in support of the verified complaint for forfeiture of Bola Tinubu’s monies held in various Bank accounts, the agent gave a vivid account of how he came to the conclusion that the funds were proceeds of narcotics transaction in violation of the U.S. law.

 

Mr. Moss averred that prior to and during 1988; the government became involved in the investigation of a white heroin trafficking network operating in Chicago, Illinois and Hammond, Indiana.

The investigation disclosed that an individual known as Lee Andrew Edwards was a source of white heroin.

The government sources provided information about Lee Andrew Edwards including the identity of a telephone number which was activated in the electronic pager.

This pager according to him was to be called to place an order for white heroin. According to Mr. Moss, this pager was subscribed to by one Adegboyega Mueez Akande, who at that time was a resident of Chicago.

Mr. Moss further averred that in February 1988, an individual named Abiodun Agbele arrived in the U.S. from Nigeria and during an investigation by the government, Agbele disclosed that Akande was his uncle who provided him with an apartment in Hammond, Indiana.

According to Agbele, Mr. Akande returned to Nigeria in1990; however, before he left, he instructed Agbele to serve as a source of white heroin for Mr. Lee Andrew Edwards as a result of which Agbele sold white heroin for Lee Andrew Edwards on numerous occasions.

Following a tip-off, Agbele sold one ounce of white heroin to a law enforcement agent undercover on November 28, 1990, for $7,000 and was subsequently arrested.

After his arrest, Agbele agreed to cooperate with the law enforcement agents regarding the white heroin distribution and network of Akande.

According to Agbele, Akande controlled the operation of white heroin from Nigeria in conjunction with other individuals in Nigeria and the U.S. One other individual who worked with Akande according to the affidavit was identified as Bola Tinubu who later became the governor of Lagos state from 1999 to 2007, and now bidding to be Nigeria’s President in 2023 after emerging as the candidate of the ruling APC.

The investigation also revealed that in December 1989, Akande took Bola Tinubu to First Heritage Bank where Bola Tinubu opened an individual money market.

In the account opening application, Tinubu gave his address as 7504 South Stewart, Chicago, the same address used previously by Akande and his company, Globe-Link. This is the same address used as the drop-off point for packages from Nigeria that contained the white heroin.

According to bank records, Bola Tinubu also opened a joint checking account in his name and the name of his wife, Oluremi Tinubu. Mrs. Tinubu had previously opened a joint bank account also in the same bank with Abdrey Akande, the wife of the heroin kingpin, Adegboyega Mueez Akande.

Upon opening the account, Tinubu deposited the sum of $1,000 in traveler’s check. However, five days after opening the account, specifically, on January 4, 1990, Tinubu deposited the sum of $80,000 into the account.

Meanwhile, in a credit application dated January 6, 1990, Bola Tinubu had disclosed that he resided at 7504 South Stewart and that Mueez A. Akande was his cousin. Tinubu further stated that he was an employee of Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited, Fairfax, Virginia and his take-home pay was $2,400 per month.

Tinubu stated on the application that he had no other sources of income and listed his wife, Oluremi Tinubu as a co-applicant for the application for an automobile loan.

Tinubu later made lots of deposits into the accounts which his take-home pay at Mobil failed to justify. 

 

DOCUMENT : How Children of APC Presidential Candidate, Tinubu Acquired US Properties Worth Millions Of Doll... by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

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Robbers Attack Bullion Van, Kill Police Officer, Bank Worker In Abia

27 July 2022 - 3:05am



The Abia State Police Command has confirmed the killing of a police officer and a bank cash officer with three others injured when armed robbers attacked a bullion van conveying cash from Umuahia to Aba.

The incident SaharaReporters gathered happened on Tuesday along Port Harcourt - Enugu highway, at Ntigha junction in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State.

Sources told SaharaReporters that six policemen attached to 28 PMF Umuahia and Counter Terrorist Unit base 4 Aba were escorting the bullion Van conveying cash from a new Generation Commercial Bank in Aba to Umuahia, and on getting to the Ntigha junction, armed robbers who had laid ambush struck the convoy.
The armed robbers opened fire at the Bullion Van causing the vehicle to swerve into the bush where the Bank Cash Officer was shot dead by the hoodlums. The driver, however, escaped, one of the sources said.
Unfortunately for the hoodlums, during a gun duel that ensued with the police escorts, one of them was neutralised and his AK 47 rifle with ammunition laden in three magazines strapped together was recovered.

Three of the escort men sustained gunshot injuries and were subsequently rushed to the hospital.

The Abia Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Geoffery Ogbonna, while confirming the incident, said the remains of the victims had been deposited at a nearby mortuary.

He, however, appealed to the public and proprietors of medical facilities in and outside the state to report any person (s) seen or presented with suspected gunshot injuries to the police or any other security agency.

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