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Sowore’s Re-arrest, DSS Court Invasion Reason I Rejected Soyinka Centre Award — Osinbajo

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Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has frowned at the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow and for this reason has rejected an award from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.

The Vice President who was a keynote speaker in the United Arab Emirates explained why he refused to accept the award for his achievements in the justice system of Nigeria.

In statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Vice President said in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, “I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.”

Osinbajo then went on to thanks the organizers of the event for considering him for an award.

“I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to me.

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“The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.

“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.

“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.

“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organizing team. God bless you,” the statement read.

Inside Nigeria

Biafra: We Have No Regrets Fighting Civil War — Gowon

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Gowon

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has said his administration had no regret going into the Biafra war because it was necessary to keep Nigeria one.

The ex-military dictator said this in a special interview he granted the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the Nigerian civil war, on Wednesday.

He said, “The war was fought to keep Nigeria one, not for other reasons as is being speculated in some quarters. It is because of this that we don’t have regrets about fighting the war.

“We fought because of our love for our country. That is why at the end of the war, we declared that there was no victor, no vanquished.”

The retired general, however, cautioned those he said were trying to turn back the hands of time with their conduct and utterances to desist from doing so in order to prevent a descent into chaos.

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Inside Nigeria

Why I’ll Ensure Free, Fair Elections In 2023, By Buhari

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Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to bequeath a free and fair electoral culture when he hands over in 2023 because he is a product of a free and fair contest.

The President spoke at a dinner with members of the legal team for the 2019 presidential election petition on Thursday in Abuja.

The President, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, recounted the turnout of Nigerians during his presidential campaigns to the 36 states of the Federation in 2019 convinced him that his re-election was not a fluke.

“The number of people that turned out in every state across the country was more than anybody can buy or force.

“This gave me so much confidence and the election proved that with the votes I got.

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“That is why I insist that elections must be free and fair because I am a clear successor to a free and fair election,” he said.

The President told the legal team that he was already looking forward to a peaceful hand over in 2023, stressing that he was morally bound to fulfil that wish.

“Morally I want to have a clear conscience. I swore by the Holy Book that I will abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I will continue to do my best and I hope that by 2023, I can handover quietly to whoever succeeds me and I wish him the best of luck,” he said.

The President commended the legal team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN for the outstanding legal successes recorded in the presidential election petition.

He praised the team for the effective legal strategy that thrived in piloting his election litigation.

“You creditably demonstrated a deep understanding of the law and its practices and I am indeed proud of you all.

“I am confident that by securing a convincing and unanimous legal victory at the Supreme Court you have by so doing ensured that the political mandate of the Nigerian electorate is now firmly secured,” he said.

The President added that the legal team’s enormous contributions have affirmed the rule of law and further entrenched democratic governance in Nigeria.

“This legal team is an assemblage of some of the most scholarly legal teams ever assembled in this country.

“I must note that the aforesaid legal successes recorded through your excellence have assisted me in fulfilling this government’s desire for a better Nigeria,’’ he said.

On behalf of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the President told the team to accept his commendations and best wishes for their meritorious service.

Olanipekun said the legal victory was won based on the facts of the law, stressing that the President never used his position or office to influence the decision of the Courts.

The lead counsel said: “The courts were allowed to do their job, Mr President and I must commend you for that Sir. Nobody whispered to anyone of us, how we are going to see Judge A or Judge B. That’s the way it should be. Judges must be allowed and be given free hand to do their job.

‘‘Mr President, we are happy to have been called upon and we are happy that we delivered. ’’

On electoral reforms, Olanipekun acknowledged that while the National Assembly was doing something about the Electoral Act, the Act requires some ‘‘rejigging and cleansing.’’

‘‘We are happy to know that the National Assembly is doing something about the Electoral law.

‘‘We are ready to cooperate with them without taking a dime, whether as consultants, whether as legal practitioners, whether as experts. If the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) will co-opt us we are ready to give assistance,’’ he said.

Olanipekun commended the President’s commitment to the rule of law, saying ‘‘it is the surest legacy Mr President can bequeath to our dear nation.’’

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Inside Nigeria

PHOTOS: Buhari Meets Security Chiefs In Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with security chiefs at the Presidential Villa Abuja.

Present at the meeting were Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar;,Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin; Minister of Defence, Bashir Magash among others.

From left: Inspector General of Police. Mohammed Adamu; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin; Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi and President Muhammadu Buhari during a security meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday

Chief of the Air Staff, Air MarshalSadique Abubakar (R) with the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice-MarshalMohammed Usman briefing State House Correspondents after a security meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday

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