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Human Rights: ‘Nigeria Democracy Is Without Democrats’-Former Labour Leader

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Govt Attempting To Gag Human Rights Space

A former labour leader in the defunct Bendel State, Rev. Olu Aderibigbe, Tuesday, December 10th, described the Nigerian democracy system as “democracy without democrats.”

Aderibigbe who made this assertion while speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2019 edition of World Human Right  Day, noted that Nigeria democracy is without democrats.

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This year’s World Human Rights Day with theme: “Youth Standing up for Human Right”, was organised by Edo Civil Society Organizations.

He said, “The situation in Nigeria is that we are in democracy without democrats, or how do one explain the situation where people stole  billions of naira, money belonging to Nigerians and the most they get is ten years imprisonment, but when someone talks, they will say it is hate speech and the person is to be  given death sentence.

He called on Nigerians to condemn the proposed penalty for hate speech partucularly the proposed death penalty.

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We should all condemn hate speech, they did not kill the former governor, who later became a senator, he was said to have stollen billions of naira. But when someone talks, they say hate speech and the person must be hanged. Look at the way Sowore was arrested in the court, we should all stand to condemn it.

Rev. Olu Aderibigbe (left)

He challenged Nigerians partucularly the youths to stand for their rights and also protect what belongs to them.

Corroborating Aderibigbe’s assertions, Leftist Omobude Agho, Coordinator-General, Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO), noted that this year’s Human Rights Day was United Nations call to youths to stand for their rights.

He said this year’s edition was a total shift of direction so that the younger generations wake up and take the fight of human rights and drive.

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Speaking on how best the youth can know their rights, Agho noted that youths must first learn about what their right is and then take it upon themselves that it is their rights, adding that bring back civic education to the education curriculum is one of the ways.

Youths can know their rights by first learning about what their right is, then take it upon themselves that it is their rights. I think they should also insist that government should bring back civic education to the curriculum. It must be thought in the primary as basic and then brought to the secondary and university and other higher institutions.

“Our history must be brought back, that is how we know about the past. Our society was a better society when we had all these courses in our schools. As soon as they removed them deliberately and systematically, which we were not sensitive enough, that is how we found ourselves in this mess. We now shout that we are in military era but we are in democracy”, he added.

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Agho raised the alarm that the government of the day has been making everything possible to gag the human rights space in the country and to shut up everybody, stressing that this has made EDOCSO to let the younger ones know their lives is being endangered.

He noted, “And you can see presently in Nigeria partucularly on where our leaders and government is trying to shrink the human right space and to shut everybody up. So we are trying to let the younger ones know that it is not the lives of the elderly ones that is being endangered because those ones are already on their ways out, but the younger ones who are coming in, whose lives, whose destiny is about to be changed. So, they better rise as we are speaking.”

On Sowore’s recent arrest in the court room, EDOCSO C.G. decried all manners of human rights abuse perpetrated by security agencies in the country, calling on the younger ones to speak against such.

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EDOCSO Public Relations officer, Leftist Osazee Edigin, said the programme was packaged to sensitise members of the public on their rights and also chart a new course for new agenda for 2020 so that people can be more equipped in knowing their fundamental human rights and enforce them accordingly.

He noted that one of the problems faced in the state was that youths are being oppressed and intimidated, while their rights are being utterly abused by security agencies

“And this has been a general problem we have been facing in Edo State, where Edo youths are being oppressed, intimidated and their rights are being abused excessively in Edo State by law enforcement agencies basically, and by some government agents by their ways of operations.

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“As we speak, if you go to detention, you will be amazed by the number of youths held their. And some are their beyond Constitutional time, and even when we wrote letters to some of these institutions, some of them refused and denied us access to these detentions facilities. This is to tell you a whole lots of human rights abuses going on in these agencies and they don’t want the civil society to know”, he said

Osazee, however,scored EDOCSO high in her bid in fighting for human rights by saying that the Organisations has freed many who were illegally detained or who a huge amount were requested from for bail without paying a dime.

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3 Lawyers Docked For Impersonating CBN, Unity Bank In N52m Judgment Debt

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The Federal Government has charged three Abuja-based legal practitioners before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on four counts of criminal charges, bordering on false information with the intent to mislead the Court into entering a N52m consent judgment in their favour.

The prosecution agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) told the court that the offences are contrary to sections 96 and 140 of the Panel Code law of Northern Nigeria as applicable in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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The lawyers are Messrs Maxwell Opara, Gold Nwankwo and Jubilate Obasikene, all practising in the law firm of Maxwell Opara and Associates.

The charge filed marked CR/444/2022 and by the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Buba followed a petition by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to the Chairman of the EFCC, accusing the lawyers of fraudulent representation and impersonation.

They were alleged to have fraudulently entered appearances for the CBN and Unity Bank Plc, without the consent and authorization of the banks in an appeal in respect of garnishee proceedings involving the sum of N52 million, at the Court of Appeal, Abuja division.

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READ ALSO: IGP Launches Portal To Report Stolen Vehicles

The proceedings were in respect of appeal No: CA/A/18M/2017, between Mr. Godwin Emmanuel Vs Chris Obot. Ambo Top Nig Ltd, Unity Bank Plc and CBN.

The appeal arose from garnishee proceedings wherein the CBN was served with an order Nisi dated November 3, 2015, by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gwagwalada, Abuja.

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The Court of Appeal had granted the CBN leave to appeal against the judgment of the lower court on the condition that the entire judgment sum of N52m be deposited to the deputy Registrar to be kept in an interest-yielding account in a commercial bank within 30 days from the date of the ruling, pending the determination of the appeal.

The CBN said it was surprising to learn that the matter came up for hearing on September 9, 2020, and that on that day, based on the application filed by counsel to the judgment creditor, Maxwell Opara, the court ordered that the judgment sum be released to the judgment creditor.

The bank asserted that its concern was the fact that neither the bank nor its counsel was served with any hearing notice in respect of the proceedings of September 9, 2020.

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That it was further informed that CBN was purportedly represented by one Gold Nwankwo in the proceedings of September 9, 2020, a counsel unknown to or briefed by the bank nor affiliated in any way to any of its external solicitors.

That in the same vein, One Okechukwu Jubilate Obasikene was said not to have the authority of Unity bank and also appeared for Unity bank in the proceedings.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the said Gold Nwankwo was listed on the letterhead of Messrs. Maxwell Opara and Associates(counsel to the judgment creditor), as one of its lawyers in chambers.

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That it, therefore, appears that the counsel from the chambers of Messrs. Maxwell Opara and Associates representing the judgment creditor, might have colluded to deceive the Court of Appeal by impersonating the counsel briefed by the CBN, contrary to the legal practitioners’ rules of professional conduct.

Meanwhile, when the case was called for trial, the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Buba informed the court about the absence of witnesses from the CBN and Unity Bank in court.

He, therefore, urged the court to grant a short adjournment to enable him produce them in court.

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Following the consent of the defence of counsel, Justice Hamza Muazu adjourned the case to February 1 and 2, 2023 for trial.

The charge marked CR/444/2022, and dated August 26, 2022, reads:
“That you Barrister Maxwell Okpara and Barrister Gold Nwankwo sometime in September 2020 in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, did conspire to commit an offence to wit: giving false information with intent to mislead public servant and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 96 of the Penal Code law of Northern Nigeria as applicable in the FCT, and punishable under section 97 of the same law.

”That you Barrister Gold Nwankwo on the 9th day of September 2020 in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, did inform the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja that you were representing the Central Bank of Nigeria during the hearing of appeal No CA/A/18/M/2017 and consented to the withdrawal and striking of the motion paper dated August 29, 2020 and filed on September 1, 2020, knowing that the Central Bank of Nigeria never authorised you to represent it in the proceedings, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 140 of the Penal Code law of the Northern Nigeria as applicable in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, and punishable under section 140 of the same law.

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”That you Barrister Maxwell Okpara and Barrister Jubilate Obasikene sometime in September 2020 in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, did conspire to commit an offence to wit: giving false information with the intent to mislead public servant and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 96 of the Penal Code law of Northern Nigeria as applicable in the FCT, and punishable under section 97 of the same law.

READ ALSO: Wike: Supreme Court Dismisses Alleged DSS Interrogation Of CJN

”That you Barrister Jubilate Obasikene on the 9th of September 2020 in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, did inform the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, that you represented the Unity Bank Plc during the hearing of appeal No CA/A/18/M/2017, and consented to the withdrawal and striking out of the motion paper dated August 29, 2020, and filed on September 1, 2020, knowing that the Unity Bank Plc never authorised you to represent it in the proceedings and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 140 of the Penal Code law of the Northern Nigeria as applicable in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, and punishable under section 140 of the same law.

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2nd House Prize Winner Emerges In Festival Of Joy Promo Draw In Port Harcourt

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Foremost mobile network operator, Globacom, on Thursday held a draw to select the winner of a second three-bedroom house prize in Port Harcourt in furtherance of its Festival of Joy loyalty reward promo.

In a press statement issued by the company after the Port Harcourt draw, Globacom encouraged subscribers who desire to win prizes in the promo to dial *611# and keep recharging (voice and data during the promo period) to qualify for the draw.

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The winning number was drawn by an elderly Glo subscriber, Mr. Ogbomade Sampson Joe, who was present at the Gloworld to transact business. It was witnessed by several Glo subscribers, the media as well as Mr. Koko Finny, the representative of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) in Port Harcourt.

READ ALSO: Glo Festival Of Joy Train Arrives Lagos With Brand New Car, Other Prizes

The lucky Glo subscriber who emerged winner in the draw will receive the house prize at a presentation ceremony billed for Friday, December 9, 2022.

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Three lucky Glo subscribers had previously become landlords in Ibadan, Abuja and Port Harcourt courtesy of Glo Festival of Joy promo which has on offer, 20 houses, 24 brand new cars, 100 generators, 200 sewing machines and 1,000 rechargeable fans.

 

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Abducted Ondo Monarch Regains Freedom

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The monarch of Oso Ajowa Akoko in in Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Clement Jimoh, who was kidnapped, has regained freedom.

The traditional ruler, who was abducted in his palace, was set free by the bandits after he had spent seven days in their den.

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According to a family source, the monarch was freed on Wednesday evening and he had been taken to the hospital where he was receiving treatment.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap Ondo Monarch, Police Launch Probe

Kabiyesi regained freedom yesterday (Wednesday) evening but he has been taken to the hospital for treatment,” the source stated.

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Details later…

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