The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Friday that the release of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, from detention by the Federal Government was based on compassionate grounds.
He also said in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Umar Gwandu, who quoted him as speaking to the BBC Hausa and the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, that they were released because the government decided to comply with orders granting them bail.
Explaining why the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, were not released like Dasuki and Sowore, Malami said “the Federal Government does not interfere with the cases that are being prosecuted by a state government.”
El-Zakzaky and his wife are being prosecuted by the Kaduna State government on charges of murder.
Malami said the release of Sowore and Dasuki, which came after about four years of government disobeying at least five separate court orders granting bail to the ex-NSA, and two orders granting bail to Sowore in September and November 2019 was a demonstration of government’s commitment to rule of law.
He maintained that it was not due to any domestic or international pressure.
He said, “The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders and compassionate grounds.
“It is important to understand the fact that as far as the law is concerned and in relation to the Nigerian justice system, one has multiple options after a court has ruled on a matter.”
Gwandu’s statement in explaining the minister’s comments on Friday said, “the individuals concerned were released out of compassion and mercy as well as obedience to the rule of law and not because of any extraneous consideration maintaining that the Federal Government has the right to keep detaining the suspects while challenging the order admitting them to bail up to the apex court.”
It added, the multiple options government had in the aftermath of the court orders for the detainees’ bail, according to the minister “include the right to appeal the said ruling, the right to ask the same court that issued an order to vary or review the terms of the order as well as the right to request for stay of execution of the order pending the hearing and determination of an appeal in that matter”.
The statement added, “According to the minister, it was in line with the above provisions of the law that the Federal Government considered the relevant court orders in respect of these cases.
“He said the individuals concerned were released out of compassion and mercy as well as obedience to the rule of law and not because of any extraneous consideration maintaining that the Federal Government has the right to keep detaining the suspects while challenging the order admitting them to bail up to the apex court.”
For about four years of detaining Dasuki, there was no appeal filed by the government against any of the five court orders granting him bail.
The government did not also file any appeal against the bail granted Sowore in September before his arraignment on charges of treasonable felony, among others, and in November after his arraignment on the charges.
The Department of State Services reluctantly released Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, on December 5, following a 24-hour ultimatum issued by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, but only for the operatives of the agency to invade the court the following day to rearrest the RevolutionNow’ protests convener.
The December 6, 2019 invasion of the court by the operatives of the court to rearrest the former presidential candidate had galvanised domestic and international condemnations of the culture of impunity, disregard for human rights, and violation of rule of law, believed to be major features of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The release came 13 days after PUNCH published a hard-hitting editorial criticising the human rights record of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and his government’s penchant for ignoring court orders.
The editorial had also informed the public of PUNCH’s decision to prefix the president’s name with his army rank as a military dictator in the 80s and to refer to his administration as a regime pending the time that the President and the regime would purge themselves of their contempt for the rule of law.
Six United States of American lawmakers also reportedly wrote Malami requesting the release of Sowore and adherence to rule of law by the government.
But Malami maintained on Friday that the two men were released not due to domestic and international pressure, specifically denying recieving any letter from the American lawmakers.
He noted that the government had the option of continuing to detain them while prosecuting appeals against the court orders granting them bail.
The statement by the minister’s spokesperson added, “Malami repudiated the claim that his office has received any formal communication from any American Senator on the matter and that the discusion during the visit of the American Ambassador to Nigeria at the event of the submision of letter of credende were not in any way connected to the accused persons.”
It quoted Malami as saying, “Even if we received any communication from them, that will never be the basis on the part of the Federal Government to obey or disobey court orders emanating from Nigeria.”
Malami was said to have said that each of the cases of Dasuki and Sowore were treated on their individual merit “and not in relation to one another or any other factors while describing as blatant falsehood the claims that Dasuki was detained for scoring certain primordial sentiments”.
The minister added, “The critical question that you may ask should be whether there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence or not. If there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence which deserved, as a matter of necessity, to be investigated through legal steps then there was no room for thinking of witch hunting an individual, scoring acrimonies or personal vendetta against anyone.”
He recalled that all individuals that were suspected of committing offences at various levels and at various times were charged to court with some granted bail based on the merits of their cases.
He added, “The time has now come for Sambo Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore to also enjoy bail based on the merit of their individual cases.They were charged based on their individual cases, taken to court, granted bail and now have been released. All the individuals involved were treated fairly and justly; they were taken to court, enjoyed the court’s favourable discretion and they were all released.”
Akwa Ibom Corps Member Slaughters Boyfriend
A corps member identified as Princess Odume, was on Monday arrested by the Akwa Ibom police command for the murder of a yet-to-be-identified man.
The young woman, who is said to be a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, was stripped naked by neighbours of the victim who caught her trying to skip the fence with a machete.
The Akwa Ibom Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Ogbeche-Macdon confirmed the victim was the alleged murderer’s lover.
He also said, “The police are investigating. The police have her in custody, she committed the act, but as I speak, an investigation is ongoing as to how and why she did it.”
COVID-19 Claims the Life of a House on the Rock Pastor
A House On The Rock pastor, Adeyinka Akinbami(61), lost his life to COVID-19 on Friday, the 8th of January, 2021.
The Senior Pastor, of the church, Paul Adefarasin, urged Nigerians to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.
“Yesterday (Friday), I received the rude and shocking news of someone deeply dear to me and all of the HOTR family. The passing of Pastor Yinka Akinbami has become most painful because if there truly were good men, he was certainly one. To my brother, sleep well till we meet to part no more.
“Family, kindly allow me to solicit your intercession for his dear wife of over 30 years; Pastor Tolu, his children, his children-in-law, and grandchildren. We can only at best imagine how much pain they are feeling. We share the pain of his loss but they will feel it a lot more.
“It’s important to remind the community about the deadly nature of the COVID-19 and its mutant virus strains. Please do your part by following all the recommended precautions. That way, you are able to protect yourself and others who become proximal to you. God bless and keep us all”, Adefarasin Tweeted.
Pius and Dr, Ifenyiwa Angbo: The sad story of everyday Nigerian hardworking women.
The Channels news staffer Pius Angbo-seen in this picture battered his wife, who went public with the beating. In her own words, the woman had these to say:-
”Hello people, my name is Ifeyinwa. I am a doctor. I have been married to Pius Angbo of Channels TV for six years, and for six years, I have not known peace in this marriage. It’s been from one woman to another.
I just had baby. It was a Caesarian section just about 4 weeks ago. Just because I told him to spend wisely and not on women so recklessly considering we have four children, that is why I got this beating. He tried to strangle me and all that, sat on my incision, the children were crying.
When I was pregnant with this child, when the pregnancy was three months, it was the same thing. He would sit on my stomach. hit me, try to strangle me and all that”
As the outcry over the beating gathered momentum, a sitting State Governor called for a truce between husband and wife. Now, you can see husband and wife hugging it out.
Pius Angbo should be arrested and face the full wrath of the law for causing his wife such bodily harm. As shown in those pictures, the beating went too far, and because Ifeaniyiwa had a cesarian operation four weeks ago, the man almost killed her. The matter should not be swept under the carpet.
The next time around, the woman may not be alive to tell her story. Her case represents a tiny fraction of what everyday Nigerian woman is facing. I spoke with the Lagos State Police PRO and waits to talk with the Commissioner of Police very shortly, concerning this matter. More updates will be made public.
AGU is Nigerian-American International award wining musician, song writer and Producer/ publisher.
The Nigeria-Biafra war: Remembering the fearless heroes- photo-Gallery/video by Agu
It was probably 15 years after the Nigerian -Biafran civil war ended that my thought process comprehended the full tragic impact it had on my family. The first time I saw four of my nephews, I wondered why they could not speak my dialect. Also, they had a last name that does not sound anything close to the language that I speak. I became inquisitive and began asking questions. My mother told me how the Nigerian soldiers took over my town and started kidnapping girls from my village. My senior sisters hidden inside the house Chimney were not spared after the soldier’s informant gave them away.
My father could not do anything to stop them. He came close to being killed by the same soldiers. He watched in utter shock how his girls got taken away. After that incident, my father left the village and never came back alive. It hurts to this day that i never get to know my father due to Nigerian-Biafran civil war. Anyway, this part of my story is reserved for another day.
Also, my nephews of Yoruba extract never had a father-son-relationship with their Yoruba fathers. Their lives were equally shattered. The entire Eastern- Nigeria is still a conquered place. Daily, you will think the war is not over.
Today, as we remember those who died during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, let me leave you with this memory. I would also implore you to read this article ‘Buried for 50 years: Britain’s shameful role in the Biafran war”.
See the shocking footages and photo gallery,
Buried for 50 years: Britain’s shameful role in the Biafran war
A million children starved to death. I’m haunted by the images I saw there – and by the complicity of the Wilson government
t is a good thing to be proud of one’s country, and I am – most of the time. But it would be impossible to scan the centuries of Britain’s history without coming across a few incidents that evoke not pride but shame. Among those I would list are the creation by British officialdom in South Africa of the concentration camp, to persecute the families of Boers. Add to that the Amritsar massacre of 1919 and the Hola camps set up and run during the struggle against Mau Mau.
The northern and western regions were swept by a pogrom in which thousands of Igbo were slaughtered
But there is one truly disgusting policy practised by our officialdom during the lifetime of anyone over 50, and one word will suffice: Biafra.
This referred to the civil war in Nigeria that ended 50 years ago this month. It stemmed from the decision of the people of the eastern region of that already riot-racked country to strike for independence as the Republic of Biafra. As I learned when I got there as a BBC correspondent, the Biafrans, mostly of the Igbo people, had their reasons.
The federal government in Lagos was a brutal military dictatorship that came to power in 1966 in a bloodbath. During and following that coup, the northern and western regions were swept by a pogrom in which thousands of resident Igbo were slaughtered. The federal government lifted not a finger to help. It was led by an affable British-educated colonel, Yakubu Gowon. But he was a puppet. The true rulers were a group of northern Nigerian colonels. The crisis deepened, and in early 1967 eastern Nigeria, harbouring about 1.8 million refugees, sought restitution. A British-organised conference was held in Ghana and a concordat agreed. But Gowon, returning home, was flatly contradicted by the colonels, who tore up his terms and reneged on the lot. In April the Eastern Region formally seceded and on 7 July, the federal government declared war.
Biafra was led by the Eastern Region’s Oxford-educated former military governor, “Emeka” Ojukwu. London, ignoring all evidence that it was Lagos that reneged on the deal, denounced the secession, made no attempt to mediate and declared total support for Nigeria.
I arrived in the Biafra capital of Enugu on the third day of the war. In London I had been copiously briefed by Gerald Watrous, head of the BBC’s West Africa Service. What I did not know was that he was the obedient servant of the government’s Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO), which believed every word of its high commissioner in Lagos, David Hunt. It took two days in Enugu to realise that everything I had been told was utter garbage.
I had been briefed that the brilliant Nigerian army would suppress the rebellion in two weeks, four at the most. Fortunately the deputy high commissioner in Enugu, Jim Parker, told me what was really happening. It became clear that the rubbish believed by the CRO and the BBC stemmed from our high commissioner in Lagos. A racist and a snob, Hunt expected Africans to leap to attention when he entered the room – which Gowon did. At their single prewar meeting Ojukwu did not. Hunt loathed him at once.
My brief was to report the all-conquering march of the Nigerian army. It did not happen. Naively, I filed this. When my report was broadcast our high commissioner complained to the CRO in London, who passed it on to the BBC – which accused me of pro-rebel bias and recalled me to London. Six months later, in February 1968, fed up with the slavishness of the BBC to Whitehall, I walked out and flew back to west Africa. Ojukwu roared with laughter and allowed me to stay. My condition was that, having rejected British propaganda, I would not publish his either. He agreed.
But things had changed. British covert interference had become huge. Weapons and ammunition poured in quietly as Whitehall and the Harold Wilson government lied and denied it all. Much enlarged, with fresh weapons and secret advisory teams, the Nigerian army inched across Biafra as the defenders tried to fight back with a few bullets a day. Soviet Ilyushin bombers ranged overhead, dropping 1,000lb bombs on straw villages. But the transformation came in July.
Missionaries had noticed mothers emerging from the deep bush carrying children reduced to living skeletons yet with bloated bellies. Catholic priests recognised the symptoms – kwashiorkor or acute protein deficiency.
That same July the Daily Express cameraman David Cairns ran off a score of rolls of film and took them to London. Back then, the British public had never seen such heartrending images of starved and dying children. When the pictures hit the newsstands the story exploded. There were headlines, questions in the House of Commons, demonstrations, marches.
As the resident guide for foreign news teams I became somewhat overwhelmed. But at last the full secret involvement of the British government started to be exposed and the lies revealed. Wilson came under attack. The story swept Europe then the US.
Donations flooded in. The money could buy food – but how to get it there? Around year’s end the extraordinary Joint Church Aid was born.
The World Council of Churches helped to buy some clapped-out freighter aircraft and gained permission from Portugal to use the offshore island São Tomé as a base. Scandinavian pilots and crew, mostly airline pilots, offered to fly without pay. Joint Church Aid was quickly nicknamed Jesus Christ Airlines. And thus came into being the world’s only illegal mercy air bridge.
On a visit to London in spring 1969 I learned the efforts the British establishment will take to cover up its tracks. Every reporter, peer or parliamentarian who had visited Biafra and reported on what he had seen was smeared as a stooge of Biafra – even the utterly honourable John Hunt, leader of the Everest expedition.
Throughout 1969 the relief planes flew through the night, dodging Nigerian MiG fighters, to deliver their life-giving cargoes of reinforced milk powder to a jungle airstrip. From there trucks took the sacks to the missions, the nuns boiled up the nutriments and kept thousands of children alive.
Karl Jaggi, head of the Red Cross, estimated that up to a million children died, but that at least half a million were saved. As for me, sometimes in the wee small hours I see the stick-like children with the dull eyes and lolling heads, and hear their wails of hunger and the low moans as they died.
What is truly shameful is that this was not done by savages but aided and assisted at every stage by Oxbridge-educated British mandarins. Why? Did they love the corruption-riven, dictator-prone Nigeria? No. From start to finish, it was to cover up that the UK’s assessment of the Nigerian situation was an enormous judgmental screw-up. And, worse: with neutrality and diplomacy from London it could all have been avoided.
Biafra is little discussed in the UK these days – a conflict overshadowed geopolitically by the Vietnam war, which raged at the same time. Yet the sheer nastiness of the British establishment during those three years remains a source of deep shame that we should never forget.
Frederick Forsyth is a former war correspondent and an author
Recent Posts: New York News & music netowrk-nynn.com
As a Nigerian-American International award-winning songster, musicologist, and music producer, I choose to live a tranquil life. I am very private and also lead and keep a low-profile lifestyle. It is my choice, for I believe nothing in this universe is worth all the commotion and noise we witness regularly.Life itself is a bitch; there […]
In the last six months, I have been a target of hundreds of online scam bags. Today, a particular individual who said he is the Secretary of the Arewa Journalists group hacked my Wattsapp. He told me at a specific time; they will be holding a meeting. He sent me a code, and since I […]
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American rapper, singer, and songwriter Rayshawn Lamar Bennett, professionally known as YFN Lucci is presently wanted by the Atlanta police department for allegedly shooting a man to death. Lucci has been slapped with multiple charges including possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, participation in criminal street gang activity, aggravated assault, and […]
African Giant crooner Burna Boy, has been on a winning streak this wee year, following a spillover of success from 2020, which saw the release of his latest album, Twice as Tall, another Grammy nomination, and collaboration with Wizkid. On Monday the 11th of January, 2021, Australian superstar Sia, announced via her Instagram account, a […]
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