The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has ordered travelling officers and men to wear plain clothes [mufti] while travelling across Nigeria.
This is as Buratai accused the Force Headquarters of making “inciting and inflammatory comments” following soldiers’ killing of three policemen and a civilian in Taraba after they had effected the arrest of a notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, who is now on the run.
Buratai’s order which leaked to the media on Monday was contained in a circular with reference number: AHQDAIOPS/G3/240/232, and copied to Army formations nationwide.
The letter signed by Brig. Gen. F. Omoigui, on behalf of the COAS, was entitled: “Need for troops to be circumspect in dealing with members of the Nigeria Police.”
Buratai directed soldiers on internal security (IS) operations across the country to be circumspect, alerting of the likelihood of aggression towards troops by police personnel.
He said Police statements and reactions had the potential of forcing the rank and file of its personnel to “exhibit aggressive tendencies against NA (Nigerian Army) personnel.”.
Buratai, in the circular, told soldiers to travel in mufti to avoid possible attacks by policemen, which he argued, may be occasioned by the Police’s comments on both social and traditional media.
Soldiers of the 93 Battalion had shot dead the IRT operatives – Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, and Sergeant Dahiru Musa.
The Army claimed they were shot after being mistaken for “suspected kidnappers”.
Firing back, Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in a strongly-worded statement, said: “The most important question arising from the Nigerian Army Press Release is: Where is Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume? Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a millionaire kidnapper arrested by the Police but paradoxically treated as a ‘‘kidnap victim’’ by the Soldiers and subsequently ‘rescued’ by them. Where is he? Where is the rescued kidnapper?
“Secondly, the Press Release was silent on the source of the alleged distress report or identity of the complainant, on the strength of whose report, the Army claimed had informed their decision to engage in the purported chase and rescue operation. Needless to state that in the true spirit of transparency and accountability, the Nigerian Army ought to have arrested the purported distress caller – if any – for obviously and deliberately furnishing them with false and misleading information. Besides, such arrest should in fact be made public!
“Thirdly, it is not true that the Policemen failed to identify themselves as alleged in the Press Release. The video on the incident, now viral, wherein the voice of one of the soldiers was heard loudly proclaiming that the Policemen were from the Force Headquarters, Abuja speaks volume. Besides, the presence of the IRT personnel was well known to the Taraba Police Command as the Operatives officially and properly documented not only at the State Command Headquarters but also at the Wukari Area Command and the Ibi Divisional Headquarters. As a matter of fact, some of the Detectives from the Taraba State Command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were part of the operation.
“The Force also considers it insensitive, disrespectful and unpatriotic for the Press Release by the Army to continue to describe Policemen on lawful National Assignment as ‘suspected kidnappers’ long after it had become crystal clear to the Army that these are Law Enforcement Officers who unfortunately were gruesomely murdered in the line of duty by Nigerian soldiers attached to 93 Battalion, Takum.
“In the final analysis, we leave the Nigerian Army authorities to provide Nigerians with answers on the following questions emanating from their Press Release:
- Where is the notorious kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume ‘rescued’ by the soldiers?
- How and why was Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume released by the soldiers?
- How could a kidnap suspect properly restrained with handcuffs by the Police escape from the hands of his military rescuers?
- If Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a ‘‘victim of kidnap’’ as claimed, and properly rescued by soldiers, why was he not taken to the Army Base for documentation purposes and debriefing in line with the Standard Operating Procedure in the Nigerian Army?
- Why were the Police Operatives shot at close range even after they had identified themselves as Police Officers on legitimate duty as evident in the video now in circulation?”
Why We Increased Hate Speech Fine To N5 Million — Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government says it increased the fine for hate speech from N500, 000 to N5 million in the amended National Broadcasting Code to deter people who are willingly violating the provision to destabilise the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the explanation on Friday when he featured on a TVC live Programme, “This Morning”” monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
NAN recalls that the minister in 2019 announced the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the increase of the fine which was later stipulated in the ammended Broadcasting Code.
“What motivated the amendment was that when the fine was N500,000 we saw the provision being violated at will because the amount was very easy to pay,” he said.
The minister explained that some desperate people, who know that their broadcast content contains hate speech, will insist that the broadcast stations should air it while they bear the cost of the fine.
The minister noted that those attacking the government over the increase, must remember that hate speech had destroyed many countries.
He recalled that Rwandan lost 800,000 lives to hate speech while Bosnia and Cambodia equally lost thousands of lives to the menace.
Mohammed said that Nigeria is not the only country to impose sanction on hate speech, adding that some nations have more stringent provisions.
“Chad has today slow down the speed of its internet service to slow down the growth of hate speech.
“Iceland has a provision in its penal code against hate speech and the punishment is up to five years in jail.
“The sanction in Norway is up to two years imprisonment while South Africa separated hate speech from the protection their citizens can get from the constitution,” he said.
The minister said that hate speech is not new but the social media and its wildfire capacity to spread information made it to be more problematic.
He, therefore, reiterated the resolve of the government to regulate the social media without stifling the freedom of speech.
Buhari Signs Amended Companies And Allied Bill Into Law
President Muhmmadu Buhari, on Friday in Abuja, assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly.
President Buhari’s assent to the bill repealed and replaced the one hitherto in effect; Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. The new law comes in 30 years after the previous one.
According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Mr Femi Adesina, the new law is coming with several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing ease of doing business in the country.
Among the newly introduced innovations to the law, according to the statement are the following: “Filing fee reductions and other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria;
“Allowing corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single member or shareholder, and creating limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships to give investors and business people alternative forms of carrying out their business in an efficient and flexible way;
“Innovating processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing ‘authorised share capital’ with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
“Requiring the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency; and
“Enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives,” the statement said.
Aisha, Wife Of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari Flown To Dubai For Urgent Medical Treatment
New reports reveal that Aisha Buhari, the wife of Nigeria’s President, has been flown to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for urgent medical treatment.
It was gathered that the First Lady was flown to the Arabian country last weekend during the Muslim Sallah holiday after complaining of neck pain for about two weeks before that time.
The neck pain was said to have started shortly after Mrs Buhari returned to Abuja from a trip to Lagos in July where she had visited Florence, widow of former Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who died of Coronavirus complications on June 25, 2020.
Upon her return to Abuja, Aisha was said to have self-isolated for 14 days in line with the Coronavirus safety regime.
A source close to the seat of power informed SaharaReporters that the First Lady’s neck pain assumed a disturbing dimension shortly after she completed the 14-day isolation period, forcing the decision to fly her to UAE for medical treatment.
The source confirmed that she is in a stable condition and observing bed rest at a hospital in the Arabian country.
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