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Freedom of Movement Guaranteed For Humans Not For Cows – SAN



Cattle farming

Some senior lawyers have faulted the position of the presidency on the open grazing ban in the South.

Some of them described the president’s statement as parochial, sectional and one that is capable of further tearing the country apart.

Mr. John Baiyesea (SAN), who described the statement as part of the bizarre situation the country is dealing with, wondered if such could ever emanate from Buhari.

According to him, such statements are often made under the cover of the presidency.

He said: “It is doubtful if the president knows about such annoying statements, which seem to suggest that he has narrowed his office to the North. I don’t believe that the president will personally support one ethnic group against another or wilfully diminish the scope of his authority. I don’t think he will make himself so irrelevant as president of Nigeria.”

He, however, stated that if the president’s silence to such tribalistic and ethnic posturing of his appointees means acquiescence or approval, then the country is endangered.

“How many times are they to be told (for them to understand), that freedom of movement guaranteed by the constitution is for human beings and not for cows, or animals.

“As long as Fulani herdsmen stay within the law, their freedom of movement is guaranteed. But their cows do not enjoy the same constitutional rights or protections.

“Except for the mischievous intentions of these government officials who are bent on dividing this country, it is too elementary that the constitutional system does not give the rights of people to animals,” he said.

He, however, advised the federal government to be careful not to allow the horrors experienced in Rwanda and Burundi to happen in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), faulted the presidency, saying that the Southern governors acted within the ambit of the law.

He added: “I do not agree with him for the simple reason that it is not in tandem with my previously expressed view that the governors were right in their decision to ban open grazing.

“In a constitutional setting as ours, the issue may have to be referred to the judicial arm of government for resolution. Until that is done, the governors are at liberty to stick to their position.”

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), also faulted the presidency and advised the government to study the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964, which provides for the establishment and operation of grazing reserves in the North.

He said since there was a popular demand for the proscription of open grazing, efforts should be made to immediately establish ranches.

“It smacks of brazen official impunity on the part of the presidency to have said that the ban on open grazing is of doubtful legality. Last Friday, the Federal High Court ruled that state governments have the power to enact anti-grazing laws,” he stated.

Constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), accused Malami of ill-advising the president against the stance of the Southern governors.

He challenged the federal government to sue the governors if it is convinced that their position is legally flawed.

He said: “President Buhari has obviously been ill-advised on the well thought out Southern governors’ stance against open grazing by the attorney-general whose views were made known only two days ago. Buhari, with all humility, is quite wrong to say the Southern governors’ stance is an act of questionable legality.

“If the federal government feels strongly and sure about its puritanical, but legally flawed stance, I challenge the federal government to challenge the governors’ resolutions by suing all the state governors of Nigeria, through the invocation of the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under section 232(1) of the 1999 Constitution.”

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Real Madrid Breaks Financial Records, Posts €1 Billion Revenue Amid Stadium Overhaul



Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

Real Madrid has announced record-breaking revenue exceeding €1 billion for the 2023/24 fiscal year.

The club’s latest financial report reveals a €1.073 billion ($1.16 billion) in revenue, a substantial 27% increase from the previous year.

This impressive growth comes despite the ongoing overhaul of the Santiago Bernabéu, which has temporarily limited its full operational capacity.

The revenue surge highlights the club’s ability to generate substantial income through various channels, including marketing and stadium operations.

Real Madrid’s success is not confined to the pitch; it has achieved significant commercial milestones.

The 2023/24 season saw the club secure its sixth UEFA Champions League title in a decade, alongside domestic triumphs in La Liga and the Super Cup.

Also, Real Madrid’s basketball team also enjoyed a stellar season, clinching the Spanish league title, King’s Cup, and Spanish Super Cup, while reaching the Euroleague finals.

Despite a decline in broadcasting revenues from La Liga, the club’s financial performance has been buoyed by increased marketing and sponsorship deals.

Notably, Real Madrid secured a new shirt sleeve sponsorship with HP, contributing to a substantial rise in marketing revenues.

The club’s EBITDA soared to €144 million ($156 million), a 71% increase from the previous year, reflecting its robust financial health and operational efficiency.

The ongoing renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, with a total investment of €1.163 billion ($1.262 billion), is set to further enhance the club’s revenue streams.

The final phase of the renovation, including VIP areas and event spaces, is expected to be completed by the 2024/25 financial year.

This development will likely drive additional revenue growth, reinforcing Real Madrid’s financial strength.

The club’s net worth stands at €574 million ($623 million), with a modest net debt of just €8 million ($8.6 million) as of June 30, 2024.

The financial results highlight Real Madrid’s resilience and strategic acumen, particularly in managing significant investments and leveraging commercial opportunities.

“Achieving over €1 billion in revenue is a groundbreaking accomplishment for Real Madrid,” said a club spokesperson.

“Despite the challenges posed by the stadium renovation, we have successfully driven growth through innovative marketing strategies and commercial partnerships. Our focus remains on building a stronger future both on and off the field.”

As the club prepares for the 2024/25 season, the anticipated arrival of Kylian Mbappé on a free transfer is expected to further boost commercial prospects and enhance the club’s marketability.

The combination of sporting success, strategic investments, and a renovated stadium positions Real Madrid for continued financial and on-field success.

Real Madrid’s achievement reflects broader trends in football finance, where top clubs are increasingly leveraging commercial opportunities to achieve unprecedented revenue milestones.

The club’s performance sets a new benchmark for financial success in the sport and underscores its enduring global appeal.

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Singapore Tops Passport Power Rankings, Overtakes European Rivals



Singapore has reclaimed its position as the holder of the world’s most powerful passport, surpassing European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

According to the Henley Passport Index, Singaporean citizens can now enjoy visa-free access to 195 destinations globally, placing the city-state at the top of the rankings.

The Henley Passport Index, which uses data from the International Air Transport Association, evaluates 199 passports and their access to 227 destinations.

The latest update sees Singapore leapfrogging previous leaders, with the European quartet and Japan now sharing second place.

In third place are Austria, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, South Korea, and Sweden, whose passport holders have visa-free access to 191 destinations.

This is the first time seven nations have occupied this spot together.

Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, emphasized the significance of passport strength in today’s globalized world.

“The ability to travel visa-free is more than convenience; it’s a powerful economic tool driving growth, fostering international cooperation, and attracting foreign investment.”

While Singapore rises, the United States continues its decline, now ranking eighth, a drop from its former position at the top alongside the UK a decade ago. The UK, meanwhile, has slipped to fourth place.

At the bottom of the list, Afghanistan remains the weakest passport, offering visa-free entry to just 26 destinations.

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Netflix’s Premium Plan Sees 40% Price Hike Amidst Nigerian Inflation




Netflix has increased its subscription prices in Nigeria with the Premium Plan seeing a 40% hike from ₦5,000 to ₦7,000 per month.

According to the updated pricing on Netflix’s website, the Standard Plan, popular for its HD quality and multi-screen options, now costs ₦5,500, up from ₦4,000—a 37.5% rise.

Meanwhile, the Basic Plan increased by 21% to ₦3,500, and the Mobile Plan saw a dramatic 83% jump from ₦1,200 to ₦2,200.

In April, Netflix adjusted its Premium Plan from ₦4,400 to ₦5,000 and its Standard Plan from ₦3,600 to ₦4,000. The Basic Plan remained unchanged at ₦2,900 during that period.

The company stated these changes were part of a broader strategy to enhance revenue and support its expanding content offerings.

This latest hike comes amid soaring inflation in Nigeria, which has significantly impacted the cost of living.

As food and essential goods prices rise, many Nigerians find entertainment subscriptions increasingly unaffordable.

Netflix’s price adjustments are not limited to Nigeria; similar increases have occurred in major markets like the United States, United Kingdom, and France.

In October 2023, both the Basic and Premium plans experienced hikes in these countries as part of Netflix’s global pricing strategy.

The frequent price hikes have sparked concern among Nigerian subscribers who already face economic challenges. Many are reevaluating their subscriptions as home entertainment costs continue to climb.

As Netflix continues to adjust its pricing to sustain growth and content expansion, Nigerian consumers are left weighing the value of their streaming subscriptions against other financial priorities.

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