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BREAKING: Amnesty International Declares Sowore, Bakare, Jalingo Prisoners Of Conscience

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Omoyele Sowore

International rights group, Amnesty International, has declared human rights activists – Omoyele Sowore, Olawale Bakare and Agba Jalingo – as prisoners of conscience following their arbitrary detention and unfair trials for exercising their rights.

The group in statement by its Head of Media and Communication for Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said, “The Nigerian authorities at both federal and state levels have repeatedly targeted human rights defenders, activists and journalists including by stifling dissenting voices and passing repressive legislation to restrict the civic space.”

AI added that despite meeting their stringent bail conditions, the State Security Service had continued to refuse to obey a court order to release Sowore and Bakare, while Jalingo’s bail applications have been repeatedly and unjustifiably rejected.

It added, “We consider Sowore, Jalingo and Bakare to be prisoners of conscience detained solely for exercising their human rights.

“The Nigerian authorities must drop all charges against them and release them immediately and unconditionally.

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“Sowore, Jalingo and Bakare’s continued detention is a matter of shame for Nigeria.

“Their cases show just how far the authorities in Nigeria can go to silence critics.

“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari needs to stop filing bogus and politically motivated charges against critics, and start listening to what they have to say.

“The authorities must stop using the security agents and judiciary as a tool for persecuting people who voice dissenting opinions, challenge abuse and call for accountability.

“The flawed charges and sham trials of Sowore, Jalingo and Bakare expose the inadequacies and bizarre manipulation of the Nigerian criminal justice system and an unacceptable contempt for the rule of law and human rights.”

Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The government has accused him of insulting President Buhari and planning to bring down his government – charges observers around the world including leading legal practitioners describe as frivolous and laughable.

(SR)

Inside Nigeria

NYSC Approves N33,000 Monthly Allowance For Corps Members

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has increased the monthly allowance of corps members to N33, 000.
Corps members were getting N19, 800 until the latest review.

Director General of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, announced the increase during a working visit to the NYSC secretariat in Bauchi.

He said the increase is in line with the new minimum wage approved by the federal government.

In a statement on the official Facebook page of NYSC, Ibrahim informed provisions for the new allowance have been made in the 2020 budget and “payment would commence as soon as funds are released by the appropriate authorities”.

The DG had pledged the monthly allowance of corps members would be increased “immediately the federal government starts the payment of the new minimum wage”.

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“Your monthly allowance would be increased immediately the Federal Government starts the payment of the new minimum wage to all public servants nationwide,” he said in an address delivered at the NYSC orientation camp in Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos.

“Efforts are in top gear at all levels to ensure adequate welfare for all corps members.”

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law in April 2019.

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Inside Nigeria

Amotekun Is A Subtle Plot By Christians To Dominate Southwest — Sharia Council

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The Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria has lashed out at the establishment of Amotekun, a security outfit it claimed was a subtle plot by Christians to dominate the South-West region of the country.

Speaking to newsmen in Osogbo, Osun State’s capital, the Muslim group’s Vice President Sheikh Abdurrasheed Hadiyatullah alleged that the affairs of the Christian-dominated State Police Force was designed and determined from the Church at the expense of the Muslim majority in the region.

He added that the Amotekun program is viewed as a subtle method of further Christianization of the Southwest by its promoters.

Hadiyatullah said: “The Amotekun program is viewed as a subtle method of further Christianization of the Southwest by its promoters in their usual manner of having political and power dominance over the Muslims in the region.

“It is another elusive way of establishing a ‘Christian-dominated State Police Force whose affairs would be designed and determined from the Church at the expense of the Muslims majority in the region.

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“Provision of effective safety for lives and property of the people at any point in time is a collective responsibility one that is devoid of any iota of elements of religious, ethnic and primitive bigotry; a type of garment that Amotekun presently but unfortunately wears.

“Issues of security of the peoples ought not to be premised on the altar of politics and personal interests as doing such would amount to building an empire on mere propaganda and the figment of the imagination of the gullible. It stands to collapse shortly after its creation.

“Any form of the Christian agenda camouflaged as a Security Outfit, such as the Amotekun, where the Muslims population from the Southwest and in the country at large is viewed as a target is an act of injustice, unfairness, inequality, barbarism, savagery and wickedness taken too far and therefore outright unacceptable and thereby condemned in its entirety”.

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Inside Nigeria

Injustice Fuelling Killings In Nigeria, Says Atiku

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Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that failure of the justice system to apprehend and punish perpetrators of violence and killings is fuelling insecurity in the country.

He stated this in a statement signed by his media aide, Paul Ibe in apparent reaction to killings in Plateau and Taraba over the weekend.

Recall that unknown gunmen suspected to be bandits killed more than 10 persons around Kwatas village in Bokkos LGA of Plateau on Sunday.

The 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that justice remained key to promoting peace in the society.

Atiku noted that the government must ensure those caught perpetrating crimes face the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrence to others and raise the confidence of the citizenry in the justice system.

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“A society with a derelict justice system is a fertile land for misconduct, according to a popular Africa adage.

“To be sure that we are one step ahead of criminals who pose existential threats to our internal security, it is important that we empower our justice system with the belief that when stiff punishments are handed down on these criminals, there will be a deterrence for a repeat of this nature of crime.

“So, there is no deterrence to such crimes. Justice is thus key to promoting peace in our communities.

“If you give people the confidence that anyone who breaks the law will be found and made to face the full wrath of the law, then people will be less inclined to promote violence and the killings that come with it,” Atiku said.

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