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Shocker: Hidden truths about Gbajabiamila’s Bill

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After WWII, the world became aware of the holocaust which was the genocide against Jews. This mass extermination, preceded by lockdown, arrests and deportation to Concentration camps, of Jews was an organised quarantine carried out by civil servants obeying official instructions.
In order to forestall the reoccurring of such actions and activities by governments and citizens, the United Nations Charter of Human Rights was set up. This charter protects the universal natural rights of all human beings bestowed on them by the Creator of life. These rights are inalienable and unnegotiable and they must be recognised and protected by all nations and governments.

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These Rights include:
The Right to Life
The Right to Personal Liberty
The Freedom from Degrading and Inhumane Treatment
The Right to Personal and Family Life
The Right to Privacy
The Right to Acquire and Own Property
The Freedom of Movement
The Freedom of Religion
These Rights are held sacred and inviolable.
Thus courts in Nigeria, on numerous occasions have struck down Acts of Parliament and other legislation (including executive orders of government) which do violence to any of these fundamental rights as provided in Chapter IV of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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With the above understanding, and looking at the contents and provisions of this proposed bill, one wonders whether our law makers who swore to protect and uphold the constitution of our Federal Republic are committed to keeping the pledge they made.
Reading through this law and looking at the timing, the true intention of the promoters of this bill is questionable. We can dare say that the promoters of this bill are not interested in any sincere control or prohibition of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
The world is presently battling a virus that has affected several nations with no officially announced cure as yet. Fear and dread has been stirred up in people across the world by the media, most unfortunately, about the effects of this disease. It is this fear that some agents, who are behind this bill, want to ride on to rush this law through.

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A LOOK AT SOME OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE BILL.
Firstly, aside the first 3 sections of the bill which make mention of the declaration by the President of the Federal Republic of a public health emergency such as Covid-19, all remaining (over) 77 sections of the law talks about matters and/or issues that are not of any urgent importance now, to warrant the National Assembly (breaking the lockdown order and attendant risks to themselves) to gather in Abuja to pass the law without any input by public health workers and other very relevant stake holders in Nigeria.

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SOME ODD PROVISIONS OF THE BILL

  1. S.3(8) empowers the DG of NCDC, all by himself or any officer under him or a police officer on his direction, to enter into any premises or gathering of people in any area declared by the President as a public health restricted zone without a warrant. This is clearly in breach of the right of Nigerians to freedom of assembly, right to liberty, etc. This kind of power in the hands of over zealous police officer or NCDC official can cause serious civil unrest.
    A religious zealot in office as NCDC DG can close up a church crusade or church service or mosque gathering if he so chooses. He doesn’t require a warrant. He doesn’t require any scientific or medical proof to do it. It’s his prerogative. And he cannot be challenged in court.
  2. S.5(3). This section empowers the DG to compel you (or any person) if you are SUSPECTED by him of having an infectious disease or being in contact with anyone suspected, to undergo a medical examination or test that he (the DG) prescribes.
    This sub section also allows the DG to take the blood or any other sample from the person for purposes of public health surveillance.
    So God help you if your church or Muslim sect is in conflict with the DG or the government in power. You can become a suspect. You cannot appeal to any court or even apply for an interim injunction.
    This of course is in breach of the constitutional Right of every Nigerian to his privacy and Right to respect of his human person.
    Please note that this sub section, like the other provisions of this bill, has nothing to do with whether there is a public health emergency or not. It is a permanent provision of the law exercisable at any time at the delight of the DG.
    If you refuse to allow the DG take his samples or do the prescribed test, you are guilty of an offence.
    S.6 also has a similar provision.
  3. S.8 makes it obligatory for your personal doctor or lab scientist or nurse treating you to release to the DG, your medical details and records without any regard to the age long professional code of confidentiality between a doctor and his patient. But, alas, the bill renders this professional etiquette a crime to refuse to release the information requested. The DG can do this without recourse to getting a court warrant etc to procure these records which is the usual judicial practice.
    Of course, you cannot appeal or have recourse to the courts.
  4. S.13 empowers the DG upon only a MERE SUSPICION NOT MEDICAL INFORMATION that you are infected with an infectious disease and/or just recovered from an infectious disease, arrest you and detain you FOR AS LONG AS HE DEEMS NECESSARY WITHOUT A WARRANT OR COURT ORDER at any isolation center of his choice and it is an offence to resist him.
    Of course, you cannot challenge this order in court.
    We know Nigerians and our history. If the DG or his staff should have a private issue against you or your tribe or your religion, only God can help you.
  5. S.15 is the only section referring to the Federal Minister of Health in this part of the bill. He can declare any premises whether public or private as an isolation center and the moment this is announced, nobody will be allowed to enter or leave the premises without the authorisation of the Minister.
    Your church or your mosque or your school etc can be converted into an isolation center.
    Your right to enjoyment of your property is thereby taken away WITHOUT COMPENSATION as required by our Federal Constitution.
  6. S.16, the DG CAN DECLARE ANY BUILDING OR GATHERING (vigil, campmeeting, political rally, convention etc) as OVERCROWDED AND WITHOUT ANY COURT ORDER or WARRANT ENTER THE PREMISES USING SUCH FORCE AS HE DEEMS NECESSARY TO DISPERSE THE GATHERING AND MAY ALSO CLOSE THE BUILDING.
    A similar provision is in S.17.
    This is probably the most dangerous provision in this bill. It can be, and will be, very much abused.
    You or your church or mosque or political party etc cannot challenge this in court.
  7. S.23 authorises the DG or an enforcement officer of his agency or police to seize anyone walking on any street whom he SUSPECTS of having an infectious disease without any warrant or court order.
    You can say goodbye to your son or brother or husband etc in the morning and that would be the last time you see them for the foreseeable future.
    All that is required is a suspicion. Do you know that the bill empowers your neighbour to report you or your family members if he suspects you of having an infectious disease? If he suspected you but didn’t report it, he’s guilty of an offence.
    So egungun be careful before you reject an unwanted sexual advance.
  8. S.19 EMPOWERS THE DG TO CLOSE ANY MEETING OR PUBLIC GATHERING OR EVENT HE CONSIDERS TO LIKELY INCREASE THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE WITHOUT ANY COURT ORDER.
    With this provision, mega churches, mega crusades, mega vigils, and anything mega: bye👋
  9. S.30 makes vaccination compulsory if you are leaving or arriving Nigeria. Whether you like it or not. Whether you want to or not. You must vaccinate.
  10. S.47 Empowers the DG to direct COMPULSORY VACCINATION in an outbreak or a SUSPECTED OUTBREAK.
    SOME SALIENT POINTS
  11. The bill sanctions any failure to comply with the directive of the DG of NCDC as an offence . THE ESSENCE OF THIS IS THAT THE BILL SEEKS TO TURN THE AVERAGE NIGERIAN into a Criminal on a sensitive issue of health.
    2.The bill gives so much power to the NCDC DG with the attendant risk of abuse by an occupier of the position and the rank and file officers of NCDC. The DG has more powers than the Federal Minister of Health in an area that is under the ambit of the Minister and his ministry.
  12. The Bill fails to take into consideration the Federalism status of Nigeria with the overreaching authority given to NCDC DIRECTOR -GENERAL and the Minister of Health on matters under the exclusive powers of the States.
  13. There are no specific provisions to check the potential abuse of powers of the DG and the MINISTER of HEALTH in the bill.( NO CHECKS AND BALANCES).
  14. The authority to take over the PRIVATE PROPERTY OF NIGERIANS and turn them into ISOLATION CENTERS in S.15 of the Bill at the instance of the DG and the Minister of Health in any part of the Federation is a potential abuse of the rights of Nigerians to own and enjoy property is in direct contravention of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  15. FINALLY, THE BILL OUSTS THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS. THE BILL SAYS THAT ANYONE WHO IS AGGRIEVED WITH ANY DECISION OF THE DG OR ANY OF HIS ORDERS CAN ONLY APPEAL TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND SUCH DECISION IS FINAL.
  16. DOESN’T THIS REMIND YOU OF DECREE 4 OF 1984? THAT LAW WAS MADE IN AN ERA WHEN THE CONSTITUTION WAS SUSPENDED AND NIGERIA WAS UNDER THE MILITARY.
    ARE WE BACK THERE TODAY? IS DEMOCRACY GONE?

#Newsworthy…

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Actor murder neighbor over electricity bill in Lagos.


A 30-year-old Nollywood actor, Temitayo Ogunbusola, has reportedly stabbed his neighbour, Oladotun Osho, to death following a disagreement over the payment of electricity bill.

The incident happened on Sunday at No. 4 Sebil Kazeem Street in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.

Temitayo was said to have been beaten to a pulp by a mob before the intervention of policemen from the Ikotun Police Station.

The remains of the victim were deposited in a morgue for autopsy.

NobleReporters gathered that trouble started when a resident of the house, one Banjo, demanded the payment of the electricity bill from the other occupants.

However, Temitayo was alleged to have refused to pay his share of the bill, which led to an argument between him and Banjo.

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The suspect was said to have in a fit of anger taken a dagger with which he threatened to stab Banjo.

N.Rs gathered that Oladotun, who was coming into the compound with his brother and friend, saw Temitayo, who was searching for Banjo to stab him.

When Temitayo could not find his target, he reportedly directed his aggression at Oladotun and stabbed him in the chest.

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Oladotun’s sister, Ronke Akindipe, who spoke with Media, alleged that the Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case tried to cover it up by not informing the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Ikotun Police Station, because the suspect was a known face at the station.

She said, “The landlord does not stay in the house, so the person in charge of the electricity bill in the house went to the tenants on Sunday to tell them to settle the bill, but when he got to Temitayo’s apartment to ask for his share of the bill, an argument ensued between them and Temitayo threatened to break the man’s head.

“Banjo ran out of the compound and brought his brother, who is a soldier, and his colleagues and when they came, he was taken to the Ikotun Police Station to write an undertaken that he would not touch Banjo and others in the compound.

“When Temitayo got home, he started threatening to break Banjo’s head for daring to report him at the police station and when Banjo came back, other neighbours told him to run away and Temitayo started pursuing him in the compound.

“Oladotun and one of our brothers and his friend did not have a clue as to what was going on in the compound and they entered, because it did not cross my brother’s mind that he was going to stab him, because the disagreement was between Banjo and Temitayo.

“When Temitayo could not find Banjo, he stabbed my brother in the chest and my brother started shouting for help. When my other brother bent down to carry Oladotun, Temitayo attempted to stab him in the back, but for the intervention of their friend, who used his hand to block the assailant. My brother was rushed to hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

“After the incident, people went after Temitayo and almost beat him to a pulp, but the police came to rescue him and took him away to the station. The IPO in charge of the case tried to change the narrative at the station by asking my dad if my brother had an underlying disease for him to have died from stabbing.

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NobleReporters later learnt that the IPO did not inform the DPO about the matter until we saw the DPO and explained everything to him, and when he called the IPO, he started giving excuses on why he did not report the matter. The suspect was not feeling remorseful for what he did when the case was still with the IPO, but when the DPO intervened, he started feeling remorseful.

“We want justice; we don’t want them to release a criminal to start walking freely on the street, because if not for the DPO, the IPO would have released him as he was bringing up excuses for the suspect.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the arrest of the suspect to our correspondent, stated that Temitayo was beaten by a mob and he needed to be fit for trial before he could be charged.

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He said, “The report we got was that there was a misunderstanding between two neighbours and one stabbed the other and the suspect narrowly escaped mob action because of the timely intervention of the police.

“He is in our custody. The DPO reported the matter to the command headquarters, but the suspect was battered by the mob and we cannot detain him like that; so, he has to be treated under guard. He cannot stand trial the way he is. As soon as he is fit to stand trial, he will be in court.”


#Newsworthy…

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Infectious diseases bill: Gbajabiamila faces impeachment threat. [Nigeria]



As controversy continues to trail the Infectious Disease Control Bill before the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s seat seems to be hanging in the balance as forces not comfortable with his recent style of leadership are said to be moving against him.

NobleReporters gathered that the recent face-off between the leadership of the House led by Gbajabiamila, the state governors and former Speaker of the House and now governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal may cause Gbajabiamila his seat if not properly handled.

According to the source, the governors who are allegedly not happy with the way the House of Representatives responded to their advice that the Infectious Disease Control Bill be “stepped down” until proper consultations are made, are mobilising against the Speaker who is the lead sponsor of the Bill.

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The source further disclosed that the governors at a recent meeting in Abuja had “secretly” agreed to push for the Speaker’s impeachment through their various representatives at the green chamber.

He said some of the governors openly accused the Speaker of being “arrogant” in his approach to “national issues” a development they said should be checked to maintain the cordial relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.

Speaking further, the source stated the governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal’s loyalists who felt slighted that the governor was accused of misleading and misguiding other members of the Governors Forum are also “spoiling for war”.

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He said some members of the House already have grudges against the Speaker over allegation of overbearing especially in handling the donation to the fight against the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

It was also alleged that the Speaker has been making frantic efforts to get his political godfather to rally the governors to shelve their plans and create an avenue for dialogue.

It would be recalled that the governors operating under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF had recently urged the National Assembly to step down the proposed Infectious Disease Control Bill, 2020 introduced by the House of Representatives until an appropriate consultative process is held.

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Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is also the Governor of Ekiti state had in Communiqué at the end of the Forum’s eight teleconference meeting added that the consultation must include a public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns on the proposed Bill.

However, responding to the advice by the Governor’s Forum, the House of Representatives said it does not legislate for the states and therefore should not be “cowed” from doing its Constitutional responsibility.

The spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu in a statement regretted that Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who is a former Speaker of the House stood a better position to rightly inform the Governors Forum but failed to do so.

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Hon. Kalu went ahead to call for the disqualification of Tambuwal who is also the Governor of Sokoto state from a proposed consultative meeting with the Nigeria Governors Forum accusing him of being biased towards the Infectious Disease Control Bill insisting that Tambuwal misled and misguided the Forum into asking the House to step down the Bill.

“We assume that his position was informed by his well-known personal and partisan opposition to the emergence of the current leadership of House led by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila considering his obvious stance in 2015 and 2019,” he stated.

He said that the House of Representatives would proceed with the legislative work on the controversial Infectious Disease Control Bill because according to him, the House of Representatives and National Assembly in general are not under the control of any state governor.

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Also the House of Representatives has insisted on the consideration of the contentious Control of Infectious Diseases Bill explaining that it has not been stopped by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

In a statement yesterday, he House regretted that a section of the media had erroneously reported that the Federal High Court in its ruling on suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020 last week had stopped the further consideration of the bill.

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The House spokesman explained that though the applicant, through a motion ex parts, had sought an order of the court suspending the consideration of the bill, the court declined to grant the reliefs sought by the applicant so as to allow the respondent to appear before it and enter a defence.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Lanre Lasisi asked for time to comment on the matter but never did at the time of going to press. Also the spokesperson of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulrazaq Barkindo could not be reached.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] CAN rejects infectious diseases bill, give advise on way forward.

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The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has expressed concern on the Infectious Disease Control bill before the House of Representatives.

It maintained that it should not be passed into law in national interest.

CAN’s opinion was contained in a letter dated 4th May, 2020 by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

CAN urged the House of Representatives to discontinue discussion on the Bill forthwith in the overall interest of the Nigerian citizens.

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“However, should you insist that there is merit in this unacceptable bill, we insist that this bill should pass through public hearing,” it said.

CAN told the legislators that courts on numerous occasions struck out Acts of Parliaments and legislations, including Executive Orders of Governments, which violates any of the Fundamental Human Rights provided for in the Constitution.

The organisation also queried the intention behind the bill, and advised the leadership and members of the House of Representatives to immediately allow the spirit of God to prevail over the primordial intentions and ambition.

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It asked the lawmakers not to pass what it called the “controversial, nebulous and obnoxious bill into law in the overall interest of Nigerians.”

“This bill is not what is currently being expected from the House of Representatives, but rather, the development of the vaccines that will stop this COVID-19 pandemic from further killing of our citizens,” CAN advised.


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerian Senate begin work on controversial health emergency bill.

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A week after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, sponsored a legislation entitled ‘National Health Emergency Bill’, the Senate has commenced work on the controverisal bill.

The Senate Bill is sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu-North). He is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Disease.

The Bill which passed first reading on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday was immediately opposed by a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu-West).

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Ekweremadu, referencing Order 41 of the Senate Standing Rule, said the Bill is already generating controversies in the House of Representatives. He insisted that as a senator, he has the privilege of going through the Bill before it passes second reading.

“I rely on Order 41 of the Senate Standing Rule. As a senator, I am entitled to know the details of this Bill. We want to have copies of the gazetted copies. There is controversy over the same Bill in the House of Representatives.

“We don’t want to have the same issue here. We need to be guided to avoid any backlash. I need to read it and prepare ahead of time,” the former deputy senate president said.

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Responding, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan, presiding, said copies will be given to members. He added that the second reading will be taken next week, while senators go through it.

“The copies are ready and everybody will get a copy. We are not taking the second reading immediately. That will be done next week. So members will have the time to read the contents of the Bill.”


#Newsworthy…

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Infectious diseases bill: Nigerian Lawmaker collects bribe from COVID-19 vaccine producers – CNPP

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The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has accused the leadership of the Nigerian House of Representatives of collecting bride from foreign producers of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.

The political group lashed out at the lawmakers, accusing them of working to impose a forced vaccination law on the country.

The CNPP warned that “it’s about time for the National Assembly got a dose of the Nigerian people’s wrath.”

The political organisation, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, and made available to NobleReporters on Tuesday, also accused the lawmakers of hiding under the lockdown measures to engage in impunity.

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CNPP, an umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in THE country further accused legislators of taking bribe from vaccine producers.

“We have watched with uttermost dismay the speed with which the lawmakers are working on a bill to use Nigerians as guinea pigs for the forced testing of Coronavirus disease vaccines and endanger the lives of over 200 million citizens.

“If the lawmakers want to truly justify the bribe they have taken from foreign producers of COVID-19 vaccines, they should make a law that will provide for compulsory vaccination of all the legislators in the country as a way of proving their patriotism to the Nigerian federation. Let them volunteer to be the guinea pigs,” CNPP said.

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The CNPP said it was more shocking that the Nigerian lawmakers have not made any move to put in place a law to force electricity distribution companies in the country to compulsorily install prepaid meters in households across the country but can force citizens to be vaccinated.

“We recall that Bill for the unbundling of the NNPC, the cash cow of the nation and Bill to end gas flaring in the country are there laying fallow in the achieves of history, yet, because of insatiable appetite for wealth propelled by uncommon greed for mundane things of life, the lawmakers want to turn Nigerian citizens into testing animals for vaccines producers now and in the future,” the political parities’ group added.

It wondered why the lawmakers are opting to work against the interest of Nigerians who voted them into power and chosen to fulfill the desires of those who cultured and infected the world with Coronavirus disease for economic gains

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The group wondered if the lawmakers do not, according to them, know that COVID-19 virus ravaging the world is not natural

“Why not a Bill for an Act to compel Federal Government of Nigeria to fund research for local production of infectious disease drugs and vaccines? Are we lacking experts in any field as a country?” It queried

CNPP noted that some Nigerian scientists have claimed to have developed vaccines for COVID-19 treatment and other infectious diseases, but the lawmakers have refused to make inputs towards ensuring that every Nigerian with a claim to a cure of any infectious disease gets his or her claims verified by relevant authorities and certified rather than selling the country wholesale to the western nation and their multi-million dollar corporations.

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“They won’t because such local inventors cannot afford millions of US dollars with which to grease the filthy palms of most lawmakers.

“The Republic of Madagascar recently dared the World Health Organization (WHO) and their collaborators by developing locally made COVID Organics (CVO) for cure of Coronavirus. Right now, the use is expanding to other countries after Madagascar had only 149 cases of COVID-19 with zero death record,” CNPP said.

“In addition to the COVID Organics (CVO), already being marketed in the form of herbal tea in Madagascar, a new injectable solution of the same product is under clinical trials in the lying off the country southeastern coast of Africa with a population of just 27 million people.

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“It then beats the imagination of any sane person that the Nigerian legislators will be this greedy for material acquisition, even at the expense of the Nigerian people who elected them.

“All Nigerians, the media, and all civil society organisations with good conscience should immediately stand up against this evil legislation in the works because everyone will become their guinea pigs and a tool for testing vaccines for deadly all ailments, now and forever if the bill is passed.

“May be Nigerians have forgotten so soon how a secret trial of a pharmaceutical drug in Northern Nigeria killed several children. The company involved, Pfizer, was sued after 11 children died in the clinical trial when the northern state of Kano was hit by meningitis epidemic in 1996. But Pfizer only paid compensation after 15-year legal battle for illegal clinical trials.

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“The intolerable Bill for an Act by the Nigerian legislators to make such killing of citizens a legal act must be resisted now or we will all die in like manner someday soon”, the CNPP warned.

Recall that the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, had on Monday made a similar claim.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19 Bill: We are not turning Nigerians into Guinea Pigs – Femi Gbajabiamila clears air

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Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has said that the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill is not aimed at turning Nigerians into guinea pigs.

In a statement issued, Gbajabiamila blamed conspiracy theorists for the controversies which have been generated by the bill since it got to the floor of the house.

The Speaker, however, assured Nigerians that the bill has no intentions of “taking away their fundamental human rights”.

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The statement reads in part: “When the House last sat in session on Tuesday the 28th of April 2020, we considered the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, amongst other things. Since then, there has been a barrage of criticisms and accusations, including allegations that the proposed Bill is a product of inducement by foreign interests

“The Bill, which is still a proposal subject to consideration, amendment & improvement has been assailed as a sinister attempt to turn Nigerians into guinea pigs for medical research while taking away their fundamental human rights.

“Suffice it to say that none of these allegations are true. Unfortunately, we now live in a time when conspiracy theories have gained such currency that genuine endeavours in the public interest can quickly become mischaracterised and misconstrued to raise the spectre of sinister intent and ominous possibility.

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“This House of Representatives will never, take any action that purposes to bring harm to any Nigerian here at home or abroad.

“As we have thus far shown by our conduct, the resolutions and actions we take in this 9th House of Representatives will always be in the best interests of the Nigerian people who elected us, and no one else.

“In the recent uproar, certain fundamental truths have been lost and are worth remembering. Our current framework for the prevention and management of infectious diseases is obsolete and no longer fit for purpose.

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“The current law severely constrains the ability of the Federal Government of Nigeria & the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take proactive action to prevent the entry into Nigeria of Infectious diseases and the management of public health emergencies when they occur.

“Even now, the government remains vulnerable to claims that some directives already being implemented to manage the present crisis do not have the backing of the law and therefore cannot withstand judicial scrutiny”.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Pressure mount on Reps to suspend COVID-19 Bill.

… stakeholders warn against hasty passage

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Concerned Nigerians yesterday intensified pressure on the House of Representatives even as it appeared poised to pass the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 today.

They raised posers as to why the proposed legislation is coming as Nigeria battles the coronavirus pandemic. They wondered why the country is exploring the prospect of forcing parents to vaccinate their children at birth when western nations and China where the disease originated from have not done so.

There were also insinuations that the sponsors of the bill might be aiming to satisfy foreign interests to the detriment of Nigerians.

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Sponsored by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Chair of the House Committee on Health Institutions Pascal Obi and Chair of the House Committee on Health services Tanko Sanunu, the bill, which scaled the second reading during an emergency session last week, seeks to repeal the Quarantine Act 2004.

But a rights organisation, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), condemned the attempt by the House to give accelerated passage to the critical legislation without consultation and input from stakeholders and the public.

Executive Director Auwal Musa Rafsanjani in a statement said: “It is important to note that while we understand the importance of a legislative framework that guarantees effective response to pandemics/public health crises, we must do so within the rule of law and in conformity with the constitution and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations.

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“The National Assembly should refrain from vesting powers beyond the remit of institutions. We must avoid the temptation of vesting absolute powers in public officials as this could be abused and misused to undermine constitutionally guaranteed rights. Laws must be made for the people and any law that fails to protect the human rights of the people as guaranteed in the constitution must be rejected in its entirety.”

Also, the conveners of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution and the Free Nigeria Coalition, Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Adebayo Raphael, said: “While we welcome every genuine effort to repeal and replace the Quarantine Act with a comprehensive legal framework, we also want the lawmakers to know that the passage of this bill cannot be rushed because it is in conflict with the constitution and threatens national security.”

They noted further: “We fear that any further attempt to hurriedly act on this proposed bill could lend credence to rising public concerns and conspiracy theories on social media locally and internationally that the House of the Representatives is acting insensitively under the ‘dark influence’ of some global vaccine players with undeclared interest.

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“The sponsors of this bill have demonstrated crass ignorance of history about public resistance to vaccine in Nigeria. Consequently, the suspicions already generated by the poor handling of this process are bound to trigger a new wave of resistance and rejection when a COVID-19 vaccine is eventually discovered and brought into the country.”

A former senator, Dino Melaye, yesterday filed a court action against the planned repeal of the Quarantine Act. Melaye in the suit (FHC/ABJ/CS/465/2020) filed in the Federal High Court Abuja had the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation and Inspector General of Police as respondents.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had in a statement by National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan said: “It was imperative to allow for popular participation, especially as the bill seeks to prescribe clauses on critical issues, particularly that of vaccination, which has become globally controversial in the face of raging conspiracy theories on the COVID-19 pandemic. Such an approach is already worsening public mistrust as well as heightening apprehension over the intentions of presiding officers of the House of Representatives and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration at this critical time.”

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The party insisted that Nigerians should be “carried along in the decision-making process of such a critical legislation, which seeks to make provisions that will directly affect their health, as well as overall individual and collective safety and wellbeing.

“Anything short of that would be counter-productive and capable of breeding an avoidable public resistance, especially given the deepening fear and anxiety in the polity over the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moving the bill, Gbajabiamila had explained that the legislation would empower the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to discharge its duties effectively.

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He added: “If you look at the language of the bill, the NCDC ‘may’ be empowered. It is also not true to say public hearing is an integral part of every bill, but public hearing gives the people outside the opportunity to contribute.

“ What this means is that the House will have to subject every bill to public hearing. I thought we are here to address some very serious and important issues. This bill is to improve on what we have. The essence of the bill is what we should keep our focus on and work out the details and I plead that we pass this bill and send it to the Senate.”

But Sergius Ogun (Edo, PDP) urged caution, saying it behoved the House to think twice and avoid giving so much power to the NCDC. “We must be careful with vaccines and avoid any conspiracy,” he warned.

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Ossai Nicholas (Delta, PDP), however, expressed support for the initiative, stressing that all the clauses of the bill capture the need to treat and handle outbreaks urgently.

Bamidele Salam (Osun, APC) said: “Just like we handled the Stimulus Bill, we should do the same here. When the bill was about to take off, it wasn’t easy. Many people did not believe in the bill.”

UzomaNkem (Abia, PDP) said: “We should not, because of what we are trying to do, make a big error. If we are going to do away with public hearings, then we must seek direction and not speed. The bill has a wrong timing. Please, let’s apply restraint on the speed.”

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The House of Representatives and the NCDC, meanwhile, do not seem to think the same way concerning the bill.

NCDC Director General Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu told The Guardian yesterday: “Every country needs strong public health laws to keep citizens safe. This is one of the roles of the legislative arm of our government that we are grateful for. However, the development of a public health bill requires widespread consultation, as there are various stakeholders involved. The middle of a pandemic might not be the best time for this.

“We are still learning from this response. What we learn from this response should drive interventions such as new laws, if needed. Public health laws are critical for health security.”

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Ihekweazu had last week told journalists that the NCDC was not aware of the controversial bill but was willing to work with the House of Representative on it.

In a related development, the Federal Government yesterday established a 17-man multi-disciplinary group tagged, ‘Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on Health Sector COVID-19 (MEACoC) Response’.

Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire said the function of the committee shall be to gather evidence and information that would be collated, analysed and interpreted for coordinated response and especially to inform the minister and guide the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 response.

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According to him, the members of the committee include virologists, public health experts, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, pharmacologists, health policy and systems experts, experts of health economics, health communication experts, health technology assessment experts etc.

He said Prof. OyewaleTomori, a former president of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences, would chair the committee.


#Newsworthy…

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Operation Amotekun set to be legalised soon – Lagos govt.


The Lagos State Government announced on Sunday that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would soon sign a bill to establish Amotekun Corps recently passed by the state House of Assembly into law.

The state’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said this in an interview in Ikeja. N.Rs gathered


NobleReporters reports that Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo States are some of the states in the South West that have enacted laws to create Amotekun Corps in their respective states.

Hamzat said the essence of establishing Amotekun Corps in the state was to boost security, especially along major highways and border communities.


He said: “Yes, we will sign it (Bill).
“And on the Amotekun Bill, I think we all know what Amotekun is all about.

“The design of Amotekun is for us to be able to patrol our borders with neighbouring state.


“Lagos has one neighbouring state, Ogun State.

“So, if you are a criminal and you are trying to run from Ogun to Lagos State and vice-versa, Amotekun is there to chop you off.


“That is the essence.”

The deputy governor said the state government already had the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, a complementary community policing outfit, before the idea of Amotekun came up.


He said the state sent the bill establishing the LNSC to all the states in the South West to enrich the formation of their respective Amotekun corps.

Hamzat said a lot of operatives of the LNSC would go into the state’s Amotekun Corps to feed the new outfit with information on their areas of coverage.

The deputy governor said the Amotekun Corps, through intelligence sharing, would help to check trans-border crimes in the South West.
He recalled that it was through intelligence sharing that the state government was able to rescue some pupils who were kidnapped in Lagos in Ondo States a few years ago.


#Newsworthy…

F*ck’n Dick Head – Wizkid blast Senate over proposed Generator ban bill – says..

give us 24 hours electricity first


Nigerian superstar Singer, Wizkid Ayo Balogun, has joined other Nigerians to kick against the proposed Ban of Generating sets by the Nigerian Senate.

A bill proposing 10 years jail term for generator importers and sellers in Nigeria passed the first reading in the Senate.


The bill titled ‘A Bill for an Act to prohibit/ban the importation/use of generating sets to curb the menace of environmental (air) pollution and to facilitate the development of power sector’ was sponsored by Senator Enagi Bima (APC-Niger).

According to the bill, “Any person who imports generating sets; or knowingly sells generating sets shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years.

Wizkid in his reaction, slammed the bill and asked for stable electricity to first be provided before the thought of any sort of ban.


#Newsworthy…

Nigerians call out National Assembly over ‘Generators ban bill’. {Reactions}


Nigerians have begun to call out their representatives at the National Assembly following the introduction of a bill to ban the sale and use of generators.

The bill titled “a bill for an Act to prohibit/ban the importation of generating sets to curb the menace of environmental (air) pollution and to facilitate the development of the power sector” passed First Reading at the Senate on Wednesday.


Sen. Bima Enagi (APC – Niger South) sponsored the bill, which prescribes a 10-year jail term for anyone caught selling generators.

According to the sponsor, the bill when passed will stop “the use of electricity generating sets which run on diesel/petrol/kerosene of all capacities with immediate effect, in the country.”


It will also ban the “importation and use of generating sets (generators) in the country and to curb the menace of environmental pollution which leads to potential health hazards it poses to the whole nation”.

However, the ban shall not include generator sets used for essential services such as medical purposes, airports, railway stations, elevators, escalators, research institutions, and facilities that require a 24-hour power supply.

“Approval for exclusion shall, however, be obtained from the Minister in charge of Power, who shall brief the Federal Executive Council quarterly on approvals granted,” the supporting document read in part.

However, many Nigerians who took to social media queried how a country with an unstable power supply would be able to sustain the ban on generators in residential areas, which the bill appears to target.

hthttps://twitter.com/Omojuwa/status/1237781477045272576tps://twitter.com/Omojuwa/status/1237781477045272576


#Newsworthy…

You must be insane – FFK blast senator behind Generator ban bill.


Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has slammed Senator Bima Enagi who is sponsoring the bill for the ban of Generators in Nigeria.

Remember NobleReporters reported yesterday that the bill passed its first reading on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020.

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Senate passes bill to ban use of Generator in Nigeria


The chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party taking to his Twitter handle to react to the bill, he wrote:

“The Senator that sponsored the Bill to ban generators in Nigeria & send those that sell or use them to jail must be insane. He ought to be tied up, placed in a straight jacket, put in a strong sack filled with weights & dropped in the deepest & darkest part of the Atlantic Ocean.”


#Newsworthy..

Bill to ban use of generators in Nigeria introduced in the Senate.


The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, introduced a bill to ban the use of generators in Nigeria.

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Bima Muhammadu Emagi (APC Niger South), passed its first reading on the floor of the red chamber.


If eventually signed into law, the bill dubbed ‘Generating Set (Prohibition/Ban) Bill’, will prohibit the usage of generating sets in the country.


#Newsworthy…

Update: Reject social media bill – Group tells Senate.


Ahead of the public hearing in Abuja tomorrow, Monday, March 9 for the Social Media Bill (SMB), over 60 rights advocacy groups under the aegis Action Group on Free Civic Space have asked the nation’s lawmakers to throw out the bill.The bill, Protection From Internet Falsehoods, Manipulations and Other Related Matters Bill 2019, is sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger East).But the groups contend that the bill contains provisions that run contrary to the constitutional guaranteed freedom of speech and fair comment protected under national laws.Also, they insist that the bill reproduces rules and regulations already covered by existing laws like the Cyber Crime Act 2015, Terrorism (prevention) Act 2011, Penal Code, National Human Rights Commission Act, etc., just as they noted further that numerous law enforcement mechanisms for curbing cyber crimes already exist.Addressing the media at the weekend, Victoria Ohaeri, legal practitioner and coordinator Spaces for Change asked Nigerians to bluntly discard the bill for its obnoxious nature in stifling freedom and rights of individuals and organisations, arguing further that the language used in framing offenses is overbroad with the potential to criminalise vast swaths of honest expressions, services, and conduct.The group expressed apprehension about the real reasons behind the bill, disclosing that so far not less than 279 cases of clampdown on human freedoms in Nigeria from 2015 till date, with 75 incidents of journalists arrested and assaulted on account of their journalistic duties have been recorded, including 9 media houses either attacked or shut down for publishing or airing content critical of government activities.The group wants the government to strengthen the capacities of existing law enforcement agencies statutorily as well as accelerate the implementation of existing cyber crime laws and policies.“In the light of all the well-founded fears, the Action Group on Free Civic Space, says a big ‘No’ to this bill and urges the Nigerian Senate to reject this bill in its entirety. Doing so is not only in public interest, but also promotes an enabling environment for citizens to freely engage governance in democratic conversations.“Our group represents a loose network of 66 organisations, student unions, social movements and active citizens across Nigeria, working on different thematic issues, but committed to ensuring that government regulation in the name of national security does not shrink the civic space in Nigeria.” The group submitted.


#Newsworthy…

Destroy bill seeking reintegration for repentant insurgents – Ozekhome.


Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has urged the Nigerian Senate to kill and bury the bill seeking to rehabilitate, pardon and grant undue privilege to repentant terrorists in the country.

The bill titled ‘A Bill for the Establishment of the National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria and for other Connected Purposes’ which is presently on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly and sponsored by Senator representing Yobe East, Ibrahim Geideam, had scaled first reading.

Since the introduction of the bill, criticism has trailed the Senate for allowing such on its floor.


In his reaction, Ozekhome said that the proposed law by the Senate to rehabilitate repentant Boko Haram terrorists was madness taken to its very ludicrous zenith.

He said, “It’s an unfortunate confirmation of the long held view that this government has been treating Boko Haram insurgents with kid gloves, if not outright smooching and embracing suggestive of close affinity or patronising consanguinity.


“How can lawmakers establish an agency for the rehabilitation of alleged repentant members of a murderous organisation which has since been declared as the third deadliest terrorist organisation in the world?

“How will they distinguish between genuinely repentant ones and those pretending to have repented, but nonetheless playing along to wreak further maximum damage to an already devastated populace?


“It is morally reprehensible and ethically odious to reintegrate into the society with taxpayers money, earth-scorching killers daily destroying the very essence of humanity, walking literally on hot crimson blood of savagely butchered Nigerians.”

He also noted that the bill would be unfair to the soldiers daily combating the terrorists and to the family of those who have been killed and kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect.

“This Senate that appears idle,visionless and rudderless should save us further denigration, opprobrium, ridicule and embarrassment, by dropping this ill-advised, ill-conceived and ill-digested retrogressive bill and face the current challenges daily threatening Nigeria’s survival and assail her very existence.

“How unfair can such a bill for the memory of those thousands of soldiers cut down in their prime while fighting this societal scourge of rampaging marauders?”


#Newsworthy…

Gbam: Presidency Approves HCC


The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on Monday announced his approval of the constitution of a National Humanitarian Coordination Committee to oversee all humanitarian actions in Nigeria.

The retired major general said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would inaugurate the committee.


According to the president, the committee would be chaired by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq; and have the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as co-Chairman.

He said, “The committee will, among other things, provide a national vision for humanitarian actions, advise on coordination between the security services and humanitarian actors, and settle disputes that may arise from interactions between security services and the humanitarian community.

“The committee will also propose policies that enhance coordination and seamless delivery of humanitarian aid to affected communities, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian interventions to vulnerable persons, and promote transparency and accountability in all aspects of humanitarian delivery in the country.”


#Newsworthy…

Bill to free repentant Boko Haram members must be trashed – Sen. Gyang


Senator Istifanus Gyang, who represents Plateau North and is the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, in the Senate has called on senators to reject a bill seeking to establish an agency for the rehabilitation and reintegration of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists and bandits in the country.

Sen Gyang, in a statement in Jos signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Protocol, Musa Ashoms, said that the bill, if passed, will promote insecurity in the country.

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“The Bill is not only uncalled for but assaults the sensibility of Nigerians in view of the fact that most of the victims and communities affected by insurgency, banditry and violent attacks are still languishing from neglect and lack of the much-needed government attention and intervention despite repeated calls.

“I am calling on all Senators to reject the Bill given its obvious negative implications for the security of the nation. To do otherwise is to incentivize terrorism and put the nation in perpetual harm’s way,” Gyang’s statement read.


The senator disassociated himself from the bill seeking to establish an agency for the rehabilitation and reintegration of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists and bandits introduced for mention on first reading at the Senate and said senators will have the opportunity to debate the bill on second reading.

He argued that victim displaced from their homes and communities by insurgents and bandits are the ones to be rehabilitated and reintegrated, not the terrorists and bandits who are responsible for their plight.


He described as ironic a situation where care and attention for terrorist take precedence over their victims and said the bill is offensive to the good conscience of Nigerians.

“Attempts at certain quarters to compare and equate Boko Haram terrorist with the Niger Delta Agitators which attracted the Presidential Amnesty Initiative and Programme under the administration of President Yar’adua is ludicrous.

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“The Presidential Amnesty Program was not a product of legislation but of government policy and has remained so. It was an intervention programme with a timeline and a terminal date, unlike the Pro Boko Haram Bill which intends to create an agency that will exist in perpetuity.”

The sentator said with the proposed legislation, terrorism will become a permanent feature in the country and the agency will become a terrorist breeding ground.


#Newsworthy…

Senate introduce bill seeking agency for repentant insurgent members


A bill seeking the establishment of an agency for repentant members of the Boko Haram terrorist group has been introduced in the Senate.


It aims to create a national agency that would see to the rehabilitation, de-radicalisation, and integration of repentant insurgents in the country.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam during plenary on Thursday at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.


It is captioned ‘National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of repentant insurgents in Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 340)’.

The bill was read for the first time in the red chamber, along with others sponsored by some senators in the chamber.


They include Federal Polytechnic Maiduguri (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 338) by Senator Kashim Shettima, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 274) by Senator Solomon Adeola, and Metallurgy Training Institute Orumba (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 338) by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Gaidam, is the lawmaker representing Yobe East District in the Senate.


He is also the immediate past governor of Yobe, one of the worst-hit states by insurgents in the north-eastern part of the country.

Other states that have suffered attacks the most in the heat of the insurgency, according to reports, are Borno and Adamawa States.


One of the worst attacks by the insurgents in Yobe, although by a factional Boko Haram group – Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), was the incident in Dapchi.

The insurgents invaded the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi on February 19, 2018, where they abducted over 100 schoolgirls.

Weeks later, the girls returned to their families except Leah Sharibu, who was held back by the insurgents for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Amid various calls for her release and the government’s efforts towards ensuring that Leah regains her freedom, she marked two years on Wednesday in the custody of the insurgents.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Ondo signs bill


Ondo State Government on Wednesday approved a draft bill of the Ondo State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps, codenamed operation Amotekun, for passage into law.

According to a statement issued by Mr Donald Ojogo, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, the bill would be transmitted to the State House of Assembly for legislative scrutiny after which it would be passed into law.

He explained that the details contained in the bill was presented by the Commissioner for Justice in an exhaustive session of deliberations by the state executive members.


“The draft bill has six parts and 44 sections. It is also gratifying to disclose that every apprehension or fears expressed in various quarters have been adequately looked into.

“This is even as traditional rulers will now have roles to play in the operations of the security outfit pursuant to its passage into law by the state assembly.

“Government finds it pertinent to reiterate that this laudable initiative is aimed at complimenting the efforts of the nation’s security agencies.

“It is also necessary to encourage the good people of Ondo State to take maximum advantage of this opportunity,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: AG presents bill to Fayemi


The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda has presented the Western Nigeria Security Network Bill (WNSN) also known as the Amotekun Bill to the Governor of Ekiti State.


The bill was presented to Governor Fayemi at the Governor’s office, Ado-Ekiti.

Mr. Olawale Fapohunda while presenting the Bill appreciated the Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for his unique responsiveness, passion, and commitment to the safety of the lives and properties of the people in Ekiti State.


The Attorney General, while addressing the Governor on the Amotekun Bill said, all the (6) six Attorney Generals’ from the southwest states namely Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos State have been working assiduously to provide a legal framework which will serve as an operational guideline for the proposed Security Agency across the Western States.

Mr. Fapohunda stated that the Amotekun Bill contain 38 provisions and enumerated some of the key provisions to include the Establishment of Ekiti State Security Network; Establishment and Composition of Governing Board for the Security Agency; Establishment of Amotekun Corps and Criteria for being appointed as a Corp Member; and Independence of Amotekun Board, where erring members would be reported among others.

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi in his response appreciated the Attorney General for the job well done and promised to send the Bill to the Ekiti State House of Assembly for accelerated passage.

The Bill will eventually be passed into law after it has passed through the House of Assembly and assented to by the Governor of Ekiti State.


#Newsworthy…