- FG Asks Court to Revoke Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail
The Federal government has approached the Abuja division of the Federal High Court for an order seeking to revoke the bail granted the self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
On the same day, a group of United Nations human rights experts called on the federal government to take decisive step to deal with those behind hate speech, incitement and quit notices.
The request to revoke Kanu’s bail was premised on the grounds that the defendant had flagrantly violated all the conditions attached to his bail.
In a release by Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Salihu Isiah, the Federal government is seeking for the revocation of Kanu’s bail and to have him in custody pending the determination of his trial.
Some of the grounds the Federal government is seeking the revocation of bail are: That the offence for which he is standing trial is not ordinarily bailable; that among other conditions for the bail of the 1st defendant is that he should not be seen in a crowd exceeding 10 people; that he should not grant any interviews, hold or attend any rallies; that he should file in court medical updates of his health status every month; that rather than observing all of the conditions listed above, the 1st defendant in flagrant disobedience to the court order flouted all conditions of the bail.
The federal government further stated that the first defendant had in furtherance to the offence he was charged, inaugurated Biafra Security Service, adding that such an act is a grave threat to national security and unity of the country.
Justice Binta Nyako granted Kanu the bail to enable him attend to his ailing health. In granting the bail, Justice Nyako had ordered that Kanu must never be seen in a crowd of more than 10 people and should not grant any press interviews nor hold rallies.
“The first defendant Nnamdi Kanu has appealed to the court for bail based on health grounds and it is only the living that can stand trial. So I am minded to grant him bail so that he can attend to his health and face his trial alive”, she said then.
Kanu, Onwudiwe Chidiebere, Banjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi were arraigned by the federal government on an eleven count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and illegal possession of firearms amongst others.
Justice Nyako struck out six out of the 11 count amended charge filed against the defendants on grounds that the charges lack competence.
The United Nations human rights said Nigeria had witnessed a spate of inciting hate messages since a coalition of Arewa Youth groups issued a quit notice to Nigerians of Igbo extraction living in the North by October 1, claiming it was in reaction to the separatist activities of IPOB.
In a statement issued yesterday in Geneva, three UN experts urged the federal government to also take immediate steps to arrest those behind the quit notice and a song that seeks to disparage the Igbos.
The statement was signed by Mr. Mutuma Ruteere, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance; Mr. Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, and Ms. Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The UN experts said any incidents of hate speech and incitement to violence had to be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and punished.
“This includes the people behind the ultimatum and those responsible for the creation, publication and circulation of the hate song and audio message,” they added.
An ultimatum telling Nigeria’s Igbo minority in the north of the country to flee their homes is of “grave concern”, they warned.
The experts also deplored a hate song and audio message being circulated on the internet and on social media. The Hausa-language audio message urges northern Nigerians to destroy the property of Igbo people and kill anyone who refuses to leave by 1 October, the same date given in the ultimatum.
“We are gravely concerned about this proliferation of hate messages and incitement to violence against the Igbo and their property, especially considering the previous history of such violence,” the experts said.
“The Government must be vigilant, as hate speech and incitement can endanger social cohesion and threaten peace by deepening the existing tensions between Nigeria’s ethnic communities.”
The human rights experts noted that some local and national figures, as well as some media representatives, had publicly denounced any form of hate speech and incitement, but said other officials still needed to follow suit.
“We are deeply concerned that some prominent local leaders and elders have not condemned the ultimatum, hate speech and the perpetrators,” the experts stressed.
Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President
Mali’s interim president, Bah Ndaw, chosen to head a transitional government following a coup last month, was sworn in during ceremonies in the capital Bamako on Friday, AFP journalists witnessed.
A committee appointed by the junta which seized power on August 18, toppling President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, selected Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, as interim president.
Ndaw is due to lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.
Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.
The ceremony on Friday took place in a theatre filled with officials dressed in military fatigues, senior judges, and foreign diplomats.
During the ceremony, Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor Boya Dembele said the challenges facing both men were “enormous”.
“It will truly require a reformulation of the state,” said the judge, dressed in red fur-lined robes.
The swearing-in comes as the fragile Sahel state’s neighbours have leaned on the military junta to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister.
The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on the poor country on August 20 to push for a swift return to civilian rule.
A decision by the bloc on whether to ease the measure is possible on Friday, according to former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan.
“We are optimistic that this event will signal the beginning of the return to normalcy in Mali,” he said on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the swearing in of interim-government leaders.
Last month’s coup followed weeks of mass protests against Keita, spurred by frustrations over a brutal jihadist conflict, perceived corruption and the country’s slumping economy.
Mali has struggled to quell an eight-year-old Islamist insurgency which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.
Imo State Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery
Uzodinma Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery
The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has restricted all traffic agents and task forces from operating in the state over bribery and extortions.
Declan Emelumba, the state commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed this at the Government House in Owerri on Thursday.
Checks revealed that the task force team that operates from Heroes’ Square still demands as much as N27,000 fines from people arrested. A shocking situation that has plunged the limited resources of hardworking Imo people.
However, the information commissioner, who described the task force as “illegal”, said the state government has sanctioned its personnel.
Emelumba said, “The governor has since banned all traffic agents and task forces in line with the desire of the people.”
FG Puts Nine-year Presidential Jet Up For Sale
The Federal Government has put up for sale a jet in the presidential fleet, Hawker 4000 aircraft with registration number, 5N-FGX/: RC 066.
The business-size jet which entered into service in December 2011, has capacity for nine passengers and three crew members.
Findings indicate that only 73 Hawker 4000 aircraft were manufactured by Hawker Beechcraft between 2001 and 2013 and they were sold for $22.91m each as of 2012.
The FG in a published advert on Wednesday disclosed that the aircraft with a range of 3,190-nautical mile had flown for 1,768 hours.
It said the aircraft could be inspected at the Presidential Air Fleet’s hangar located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Interested buyers were requested to submit their closed bid to the Chairman, Committee for Sale of Aircraft, Office of the National Security Adviser, care of Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
In an advertisement published in some national dailies on Wednesday, prospective buyers were directed to submit a refundable bank draft for $50,000 to the committee with the bid.
It also said that all the bids should be quoted in dollars.
The notice read, “Please note that all bids must be submitted within one week of this publication.
“Background check is required as a pre-qualification for the bid. Prospective bidders who want to inspect the aircraft will be granted access within one week from this advertisement.”
The Presidency had similarly in 2016 put up for sale two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, in line with the directive of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.
The government also said some aircraft in the fleet would be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations. It could not be confirmed if this had been done.
According to the Presidency, the PAF has 10 aircraft and they include Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or Air Force One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.
Reports said each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m.
The Senior Special Assistant, (Media and Publicity) to the President, Garba Shehu, had yet to respond to inquiries on the number of presidential aircraft sold so far, as of the time of filing this report.
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