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Onumah: Author Of ‘We Are All Biafrans’ Seeks N150m Damages From DSS Over Illegal Detention

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Chido Onumah

Mr Chido Onumah, a journalist and rights activist, on Wednesday, demanded N150 million compensation from the Department of State Security Services (DSS) over alleged illegal detention.

In a suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1270/2019 filed by his Lawyer, Moses Ideh, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Onumah also sought “the enforcement of his fundamental human rights to dignity of his person, right to personal liberty, freedom of expression and right to own personal property brought pursuant to Section 34, 35, 39, 41 and 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while Onumah is the applicant, Mr Yusuf Bichi, who is the DG of DSS, is the 1st respondent and the DSS as an agency is a 2nd respondent in the case.

NAN reports that Onumah was said to have been arrested recently by the DSS operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and detained for several hours for wearing a T-shirt with the inscription: “We Are All Biafrans.”

The inscription on the shirt is the exact title of a book Onumah authored three years ago. However, the DSS said it did not arrest him, saying the activist “was rather engaged in an interaction during which an act of his capable of undermining public order and national security was explained to him.”

In the suit, Onumah, who is the Coordinator, African Centre for Media and Information. Literacy, said his arrest and detention on Sept. 29 at about 5 pm to 10:30 pm by the security agency without lawful cause and without court order constituted a violation. of his fundamental human rights to dignity of his person, personal liberty, freedom of movement and freedom of expression.

He, therefore, demanded compensatory damages of N100 million for the violation of his fundamental human rights and exemplary damages of N50 million for a setback, trauma, psychological and emotional distress experienced and still being experienced.

Other requests made by the applicant include:

“A DECLARATION that the unlawful seizure of the Applicant’s T-Shirt and coercion to write an undertaking never to wear the said T-Shirt again by Officials and/or Agents of the Respondents amounts to a violation of his right to own property and his right to Freedom of Expression as contained in Section 39 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“A DECLARATION that the mental and physical trauma which the Applicant had to endure during the period of time he was held in detention by Officials and/or Agents of the Respondents constitutes a violation of his right to dignity of his person as provided in Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS compelling the 1St Respondent to carry out a thorough and in-depth investigation and prosecution of all its Officers and/ or agents directly and remotely responsible for the Applicant’s unlawful arrest and violation of his fundamental rights.

“A written unreserved apology from the Respondents to the Applicant to be published in two National Dailies for the harassment and unwarranted mental and physical trauma meted on the Applicant while in custody of the Respondents.

“AN ORDER for the immediate release of the Applicant’s T-shirt.”

The matter is yet to be assigned to a judge.

Inside Nigeria

Nigeria Records 416 New Cases Of COVID-19 As FG Eases Lockdown

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416 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Nigeria on Monday, June 1, 2020, despite the FG lifting some measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus in Nigeria.

The Federal and some state governments have been easing some COVID-19 restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Yesterday, the Federal Government on Monday lifted the ban on religious gatherings across the country.

This was disclosed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, at the daily media briefing in Abuja.

“The PTF submitted its recommendations and the PRESIDENT has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review-:

“Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;

“Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities; sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;

“Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.”

Despite this, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria is still on the rise.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 192 cases were recorded in Lagos, 41 in Edo, 33 in Rivers, 30 in Kaduna, 23 in Kwara, 18 in Nasarawa, 17 in Borno, 14 in FCT, 10 in Oyo, 7 in Katsina, 5 in Abia, 5 in Delta, 4 in Adamawa, 4 in Kano, 3 in Imo, 3 in Ondo, 2 in Benue, 2 in Ogun and 1 in Niger state.

In total, Nigeria has recorded 10578 cases of COVID-19. 3122 patients have been discharged from various Isolation centers across the country, while 299 deaths have been recorded.

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: FG Relaxes Ban On Religious Gathering, Reduces Curfew From 10pm To 4am

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The Federal Government on Monday announced the relaxation on ban on religious gathering in the country from June 1.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 disclosed this during its daily briefing in Abuja, saying this is based on the guidelines and protocols agreed by state governments.

The PTF however said the ban on inter-state movement in the country remains in force.

The government also announced that the curfew imposed on the country will now be from 10.00 p.m. to 4.00 a.m.

The ban on religious gatherings had lasted for two months, a move taken to check the spread of Coronavirus.

However, at the briefing of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday, Chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the relaxation of the ban for four weeks.

“The PTF submitted its recommendations and the President has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June 2020, subject to review.

“Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;

“Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities; sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: ban on gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;

“Relaxation of restriction on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.”Boss Mustapha revealed.

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: FG Reduces Petrol Pump Price To N121.50 Per Litre

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The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA ) on Monday announced the reduction of the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N121.50 from N123 per litre.

According to its guidelines price for the month of June 2020, the ex-depot price band is now N100. 13 and N108. 13 per litre while ex-depot for collection is N108. 78 and N111.78 per litre.

In a memo titled “A.4/9/017/C.2/IV/701 31”, the agency urged all marketers to operatensure within the indicative prices.

The PPPPRA said: “Please recall the recently approved pricing regime which became effective 19th March 2020 and the provision for the establishment of a monthly price band within which Petroleum Marketers are expected to sell PMS at the retail stations.

“After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of May and considering Marketers’ realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise of a new PMS guiding pump mice with corresponding Ex-Depot price for the month of June, 2020, as follows:

“Price Band: N121. 50 N123. 50/Litre Ex-Depocorresponding. 13 N104. 13/Litre Ex-Depot for Collection: N109. 78 N1 1 1. 78/Litre.”

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