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We’re Closely Monitoring Sowore’s Case — EU

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The European Union (EU) yesterday said it was closely following recent developments in the case involving the publisher of Sahara Reporter, Omoleye Sowore and the Federal Government.

EU Ambassador, Ketil Karlsen, stated this in Abuja at an event to mark the International Human Rights Day and the grand finale of the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

The envoy noted: “As always, it is not for the EU to interfere in the judicial processes of countries where we operate but it goes without saying that we are following up very closely and we are hoping that there will be due process and the justice system will play its role as it is supposed to with full transparency which is necessary in any democracy.”

According to Karlsen, the bloc “stands very firm on the principle of freedom of speech and fundamental values as laid down in the universal declaration of human rights in the European convention of human rights.”

He submitted that in any democratic society, people must be allowed to participate as long as they seek peaceful means to voice their opinions.

Insisting that this was a crucial component of democracy, he added: “So, as a matter of principle, it is important that when somebody is detained, there is a due process that the justice system provides.”

On gender-based violence, the ambassador noted that the struggle could not be left for the international community alone, calling on government at all levels to show political will and prioritise the struggle.

However, the Executive Director of African Centre for Peace and Development, Senator Shehu Sani, has called on government to respect the constitution and the rule of law in all its dealings.

“Our human rights record as a nation presently is appalling, repugnant and odious,” he stated

The lawmaker described Nigeria as a “graveyard for human rights and a mortuary for rule of law.”

He added: “We cannot aspire to be a moral power in Africa and the world when the pages of the books of our laws and our constitution are used as toilet rolls and sanitary pads.”

Also yesterday, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) urged Nigerians to walk towards achieving a functional civil society community.

It also called for the decentralisation of the police to free it from the stronghold of the executive arm of government.

Its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko at a press conference in Abuja, stated that the civil society community “is not just about the CSOs, but about every individual asking the right questions and holding the government accountable all the times.” He added that democracy was as good as dead if Nigerians could not ask questions.

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: DSS Bar Journalists From Premises Of Magu’s Probe

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Men of the Department of State Service (DSS) on Monday barred journalists from gaining access to Conference Centre of the State House where the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was being grilled.

News broke on Monday of the alleged arrest of Magu by the DSS.

However, State House Correspondents went over to the Conference Centre to ascertain the state of the development.

Men of the DSS, many of whom had been stationed within the premises of the Conference Centre, however, asked the journalists to leave the premises.

“They said you people should excuse the use of this place for today,” a security official detailed to the venue, politely told reporters.

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Inside Nigeria

JUST IN: DSS Arrests EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

It was that DSS operatives arrived the EFCC headquarters in Abuja Monday afternoon and quietly whisked him away without creating any scene.

His arrest comes a few days after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), accused the anti-graft czar of gross infractions.

The AGF asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Magu over some “weighty” allegations, including the diversion of recovered loot.

In addition to allegedly re-looting the recovered loot, Malami accused the acting EFCC chairman of insubordination and misconduct.

It was also learnt that the EFCC chief travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates without the authorisation of the president during the COVID-19 lockdown.

And when he was questioned, he said he went for an investigation.

He is also alleged to be living above his means.

In 2016, the senate declined to confirm the appointment of Magu as EFCC chairman after a DSS report indicted him of corruption.

The report read: “Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.

“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.”

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Buhari Condemns Boko Haram’s Attack On UN Helicopter In Northeast

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned what he called “the dastardly attack on UN aid helicopter in the Northeast on Saturday by the Boko Haram terrorists.”

In a reaction to the reports of the incident, President Buhari said:

“This latest cowardly attack on the UN humanitarian helicopter is yet another desperate rear guard action by the Boko Haram terrorists who have been under intense pressure from the Nigerian military.”

“Let me reassure the international community and Nigerians that this latest cowardly attack on a UN helicopter which claimed the lives of two people, including a five year old baby, would not go without severe consequences.”

“Boko Haram terrorists are clearly on the back foot and their increasing attacks on innocent civilians, including UN humanitarian workers, was part of their desperation to prove that they are strong in order to cover up their dwindling fortunes.”

President Buhari said “the security of foreigners and Nigerians remain the top priority of this administration, and we shall leave no stone unturned until we eliminate these remorseless enemies of humanity.”

The President also underscored the need for all humanitarian and other aid workers in the region to, at all times, properly coordinate movements — air or land, with the Theatre Commander and other military authorities.

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