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Lockdown: Group Wants Courts exempted To Address Rising Abuses

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A civil society organisation, Citizens’ Gavel, Tuesday, April 4, said courts should be exempted in the 14-day lockdown by the Federal Government to attend to rising cases of human rights abuses and other sensitive cases.

Communication Associate, Citizens’ Gavel,
Taiwo Makanjuola, in a release said the Federal Government should review the lockdown and allow the justice system to go on to guard against a ‘pandemic of human rights’ abuses.’

The organisation said in the alternative, the Chief Judges of states could also designate some courts for arraignment of such cases, noting that the “closure of the criminal justice system in Nigeria has brought the wheel of justice to a halt.”

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PUNCH quoted the group saying, “The outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown have drastically affected our way of life and system. One of such systems affected is the criminal justice system of Nigeria. The shutdown of the judicial process has raised several issues; how do the police and other law enforcement agencies arraign defendants during this pandemic to prevent violation of the constitutionally guaranteed rights in Section 35 of the constitution?

“Two, how are suspects arrested for various crimes prosecuted? Are they left to languish in the police cells thereby exposing them and other inmates to the risk of infections?

“With a potential increase in domestic violence, child defilement and other sexual and gender-based violence issues, how do victims of abuse get recompense during this trying time? The law enforcement and court will obviously need to urgently redesign the way they carry out their statutory activities. We propose a periodic sitting of courts or in the alternative the Chief Judge of respective states designate courts for arraignment.

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“We propose that Magistrates pursuant to Section 34 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act should help checkmate inordinate detention of citizens.

(PUNCH)

(PHOTO: File)

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Police Officer Caught Collecting Bribe On Camera Demoted

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The Imo State Police Command says its officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, who was caught on camera collecting bribes from motorists along the Owerri-Onitsha express road, has been demoted.

This was disclosed in a statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Henry Okoye, shared on X on Monday.

The video which went viral on Monday, showed the officer collecting money from drivers plying the road. He could also be seen handing them change whenever the need arises.

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According to the statement, Osudueh, who was attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit, Owerri, has been reduced in rank after facing disciplinary action. At the same time, the supervising officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.

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The statement said, “The Imo State Police Command is issuing this statement in response to a viral video making the rounds on social media where a Police officer was seen extorting money from motorists along Owerri-Onitsha express road.

“The erring officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Owerri, has been recommended for a reduction in rank after the necessary orderly room proceedings, for exhibiting such a shameful and unprofessional act, while the supervisory officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.”

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The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, had earlier condemned the officer’s actions as “bad and shameful” and confirmed his arrest and disciplinary action.

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‘This Is Bad And Shameful,’ Force PRO Condemns Viral Extortion Video

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The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, has reacted to a viral video of a police officer caught on camera accepting bribe from commercial bus drivers.

He described the officer’s action as bad and shameful adding that the officer has been arrested and subjected to disciplinary actions.

An X user, SKYPOND who tweets anonymously as Skypond_, shared the video with the caption, “This is why those gunmen waste them easily, they are never cautious of their environment. They throw every single caution into the wind. #Princemoye1, Ire o.”

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Reacting to the video Olumuyiwa wrote, “This is bad and shameful. I hate seeing videos and pictures like this. I have been informed that the policeman has been identified and arrested since a week ago. He has been subjected to disciplinary procedures. The PPRO Imo has been asked to react to this and make the command’s actions known. Thanks.”

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US-based Nigerian Set To Contest US Congress Seat

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A Nigerian-American man, Yomi Faparusi, has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress to represent Tennessee’s 5th District in the upcoming elections.

The election is scheduled for November 5, 2024.

Faparusi shared his aspirations during a virtual meeting with reporters over the weekend.

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He said his election victory will inspire future generations and serve as a unifying force for the country.

As a researcher, Faparusi stated that he is running for Congress because America is currently divided and weakened.

He emphasised that his victory would help unite Americans across various divides.

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Highlighting the issue of hyperinflation, he noted the increasing difficulty for people to survive and the disappearing middle class, which threatens the American dream.

He stated, “America is so divided and weakened because politicians now run on divisive and wedge issues. Hence, I decided to run as a unifier, so that things could get done. I also hope my victory in November will inspire the next generation.”

“There is inflation, making it hard to make ends meet; the middle class is disappearing, and the American dream is threatened. I want to tackle inflation. I want to create an environment that is conducive to small businesses, the most important unit of job creation.

“Congress is in stalemate, and nothing is getting done. I will work across the aisle for the common good. Americans are tired of cyclical threats of government shutdowns. Immigration is in total disarray. Open borders are not a policy; it only makes it hard to have a comprehensive plan. Immigration is not only a social issue; it is a financial/economic issue: you don’t have papers; you can’t get a job.

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He continued, “The reality is that most legislators would not entertain any immigration relief package unless the border is secure. Hence, we need to secure the border and get back with a bipartisan comprehensive immigration plan.

“I still have a political ideology. There is something called the advantage of incumbency, but incumbents lose, as I hope in November. The TN 5th district is ideologically diverse and it needs to be represented by someone who understands and appreciates this diversity. I will represent ALL the people, not just a partisan segment.”

He highlighted his experience as a business owner and negotiator, “I am a business owner and I know about job creation. Also, I have had to work with diverse stakeholders, hence I learned how to listen and be humble. These have allowed me to be a good negotiator in any forum. As an immigrant and now an immigration attorney, I know the practicalities of immigration,” he said.

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Speaking on his agenda, he said, “My agenda is ‘I care’. I care about your concerns and I want to go to Washington to serve you. I hope that you will give me a chance to represent you, and I will always be answerable to you, my constituents. I will advocate for your concerns and needs without fear of retribution because I have placed the people above the party. In the end, everything will be okay.”

Born in the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Faparusi’s ancestral hometown is Ode-Ekiti, Gbonyin LGA, in Ekiti State.

He graduated as a medical doctor from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, where he was active in students’ union politics, serving as the Hall Chairman of Alexander Brown Hall.

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Faparusi is a licensed physician and attorney based in Tennessee, focusing mostly on immigration law. He fled Nigeria during the Abacha regime to escape persecution for his involvement in agitating against military rule.

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