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Sowore: Sahara Reporters Bank Account Was “Frozen” By Nigerian Govt – CPJ

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Sowore - Sahara Reporters

The Nigerian bank account of Sahara Reporters, owned by embattled journalist and activist Omoyele Sowore, was frozen in October, Committee to Protect Journalists said.

“Sahara Reporters’ Nigeria-based account with Guaranty Trust Bank was frozen without warning in October, La Keisha Landrum Pierre, Sahara Reporters’ chief operating officer, told CPJ.

Pierre told CPJ the bank said the account was subject to “a government hold” and “not able to be operated,” but would not elaborate.

Meanwhile, When CPJ requested comment by email, Ijeoma Nwachukwu, a relationship manager with Guaranty Trust Bank, declined to reveal details about specific accounts because of “duty of confidentiality.”

The committee said apart from freezing the media platform’s bank account, a staff who spoke to CPJ said the platform website was separately disabled twice due to allegations of copyright infringement.

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“Surveillance, cyberattacks, and copyright notices against Sahara Reporters mark a concerning pattern of interference and harassment of an investigative news outlet,” Pierra told CPJ.

Pierre said the entire site was “separately taken down for several hours each on October 16 and November 17 in relation to a copyright complaint under U.S. law.”

“Staff report cyber attacks and increased surveillance outside their Lagos office,” CPJ said.

“Sahara Reporters must be permitted to keep the Nigerian public informed without intimidation,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator.

Meanwhile, the Sahara Reporters’ boss, Omoyele Sowore was arrested by State Security Service August 3 over his planned RevolutionNow Protest, was detained over an alleged plot to overthrow the present government. He was charged with treason, cybercrime, and money laundering.

However,despite court orders granting him bail, he was kept in DSS Custody.

He was released last Thursday but was re-arrested less than 24 hours later over fresh alleged charges.

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  1. Kelvin Agbogidi

    December 11, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    When we call Buhari a dictator we are not wrong… He has done it again

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‘Rubber Stamp’ Tag Won’t Distract Us — Lawan

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Ahmad Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, on Friday, dismissed the insinuation that the ninth National Assembly is a rubber stamp legislature.

Lawan who returned to Nigeria Thursday morning after about three weeks private visit abroad, according to his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, in Abuja, said no amount of blackmail will discourage the present Assembly from working with the executive arm of government for the betterment of the people.

The Senate President was responding to a surprised belated birthday presentation by his North East Support Group at the Dutse Airport in Jigawa state on his way to his Yobe North Senatorial District in Yobe State.

Lawan said: “The ninth National Assembly is a National Assembly that is focused, that is united, that is determined to make a positive difference in the lives of Nigerians.

“We are so terribly misunderstood that when we say that we are going to work with the Executive arm of government in a very harmonious and productive manner, some people, some out of misunderstanding, some out of mischief, say it’s a rubber stamp National Assembly.

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“But let me say this: no amount of distractions or blackmail will stop us from being united in the National Assembly for the benefit of Nigerians who elected us and nothing will discourage us from working with the executive arm of government for the betterment of our country.

“As a legislature we know where our limits lie in terms of cooperation and in working with the executive arm of government. But we are going to give the President and his team every possible legislative support that they require to make this country better and greater.

“Where we feel that there is a breach of procedures and processes by the executive arm of government, we will insist that the right things are done.

“So it doesn’t mean that because we are peaceful and that we are cordial with the executive arm of government that we are rubber stamp but that is something that will not distract us.

“We have seen what a “rubber stamp” National Assembly could do. We have already passed so many important and critical legislations within the last six months and if that is what we can be achieving with that kind of understanding, so be it.”

The Senate President also expressed satisfaction about the prevailing cordiality among members of the National Assembly and sought the support and understanding of the people.

“Our colleagues in the Senate particularly and generally in the National Assembly have given us every support that we need to perform our functions as a legislature.

“We are going to continue to seek for your support and understanding and the support of all Nigerians in this enterprise.

“We believe governance is not only for those who are elected or appointed. Governance is for everybody. Those who are elected and appointed and those who will hold the offices in trust for.

“So you should continue to pray for us. You should continue to advise us. You should continue to ensure that we don’t derail,” Lawan said.

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Ihedioha: Ekiti PDP Protests, Demands Resignation Of CJN

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Tanko Muhammad - Tanko Mohammed

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State on Friday protested against the removal of Emeka Ihedioha by the Supreme Court and the declaration of Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, as the duly elected governor of the state.

The protesting PDP members who stormed the party’s secretariat located at Ajilosun area in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital marched to the street to express displeasure against what they termed injustice against Ihiodioha and onslaught against PDP.

They bored placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Ekiti PDP say no to injustice’, ‘Ekiti PDP Condemned Jankara Judgement’, Judiciary stop being cowed by Buhari, ‘Only Ihedihoa we know’ and Stop robbing the PDP of its mandate’.

The protesting PDP members were accompanied on the protest by the police, operatives of the Department of State Security Services to forestall a possible breakdown of law and order.

Leading the peaceful protest, the chairman of the party in the state, Barr. Gboyega Oguntuase said the Supreme Court’s judgement is a clear indication that the judiciary is an appendage of the ruling APC.

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Oguntuase who described the verdict as travesty of Justice and onslaught against the wishes of people of Imo State, called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to step aside for the judiciary to regain its lost integrity.

The Chairman urged the apex court to reverse itself and declare Ihedioha the winner, saying the decision is an attempt to disrupt the country’s nascent democracy.

He regretted that the judiciary that is regarded as the last hope of the common man has evolved into the masses’ enemies through its ‘irrational action and inactions’.

“We are here to express unequivocally that the judgement given by the Supreme Court sacking the duly elected governor of Imo State, Ihiodioha. That judgement is repugnant to fairness, justice, equity and an inferno that could destroy Nigeria democratic status.

“Here in Ekiti in conjunction with totality of negative expression that had been made in all over the 35 states and the FCT against the judgement of the spec court. We are here to say that the judgement is unacceptable and against the wishes of the people of Imo.

“It is not the entire justice of the supreme court that we are condemning but we are saying the pronouncement of those justice that served on that case is unacceptable to the ordinary man in the street. It is against logic, common sense and acceptable procedure.

“It was a shame APC want to take the state’s through the back door. We know the APC want to take over power in all segment of the 36 states of the federation forcefully despite the fact that the people had rejected the party for its failure to deliver the superlative services inherent in democracy.

“We are appealing to Nigerians to encourage the Justices of the Supreme Court not to be intimidated and cowed by a group of insensitive people called progressive” he said.

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Arewa Youth Leader, Yerima Declares Support For Amotekun, Tells North What To Do

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The leader of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Shettima Yerima has declared his support for Amotekun, the South-West’s security outfit that has generated different reactions across the country.

According to Yerima, rather than criticise the initiative of the governors in the zone, their northern counterparts should begin to consider replicating Amotekun in their own region, which is heavily bedevilled by kidnappings, banditry and other forms of crime.

Yerima called the initiative a noble one, especially considering the rate of crime across the country currently.

He urged the federal government to end the controversy surrounding the creation of the group and tagging it illegal.

According to him, the government at the centre should provide the opportunity to liaise with the governors to ensure that the idea succeeds.

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Yerima, who described himself as a strong supporter of devolution of policing to the community level added: “I believe that Amotekun is a right step in the right direction which should be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians.”

He stated further: “As far as I am concerned the north should get ready to start its own version of Amotekun in order to be able to tackle the rising wave of insecurity in the region. It is only when one is alive that there could be governance.”

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