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AIT Saga: Despite Court Ruling, Police, DSS Surround Premises, Intend To Shut It Down |RN

Heavily fortified security operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Service have surrounded the premises of African Independent Television (AIT) after the station came back on air late Friday.

Group Managing Director of DAAR Communication Mr. Tony Akiotu speaking to newsmen said shortly after AIT commenced operation, security forces gathered around the station’s premises

He decried the action saying the action of the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Service was an ‘unwarranted threat’ on AIT.

He explained that by 12.30 a.m. Saturday morning, the premises of DAAR Communications Plc was surrounded by security operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Service.

He went further to say the “heavily fortified security operatives were carrying out surveillance on the premises,”

Mr Akiotu said this is “unusual” and the motive “unclear” but the sation will not be deterrd as “the station is still transmitting signals on its national and global beam,” adding that the action of the security operatives was “unwarranted threat” .

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, had granted an ex-parte order that restored the operating license of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television, AIT, and Ray Power FM, which was earlier suspended by the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

The court ordered both DAAR Communications Plc and NBC to revert to the status quo that was in existence as at May 30, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit before it. The order followed a suit the media establishment lodged to challenge the suspension of its operating licence on Thursday by the NBC.

Read also: https://therepublicannews.net/2019/06/06/just-in-atiku-abubakar-condemns-shut-down-of-ait-warns-against-dictatorship-the-republican-news/

The NBC had based its action on allegation that the media outfit breached its rules and regulations. Meanwhile, cited as Respondents in the suit the plaintiff filed through its lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, were the NBC, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC) and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF.

The plaintiff equally filed an affidavit of urgency, wherein it urged the court to quickly intervene in the matter. Out of three principal reliefs that DAAR Communications Plc sought in its motion ex-parte, the court declined to grant two of them.

Specifically, the plaintiff had sought to restrain the Respondents, its agents or privies, from interfering with its operations in any manner whatsoever, pending the determination of its application for injunctive reliefs. However, in his ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo, said he was minded to grant the alternative relief to restore the status quo that was in existence as at when the matter was brought before the court for adjudication.

The court therefore issued, “An order for the maintenance of status quo ante bellum as at 30th of May, 2019, pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice filed along with this application”. Justice Ekwo said he would not hesitate to sanction the plaintiff, if the court is later convinced that the order was made in error.

Read also: https://therepublicannews.net/2019/06/07/court-quashes-shut-down-by-nbc-orders-status-quo-on-ait-the-republican-news/

More so, the court ordered all the Respondents to appear before it on June 13, “to show cause why the prayers in the applicant’s motion should not be granted”. DAAR Communications Plc had in its affidavit of urgency that was deposed to by one Mr. Kelly Elisha, prayed the court to wade into the matter that led to NBC’s sanction against it.

“The timeous intervention by this Honourable Court is necessary to prevent irreparable damage from being done to the Plaintiff, thus foisting a situation of complete helplessness on this Honourable Court”, it pleaded. In the motion, the embattled media organisation sought for, “An order of interlocutory Injunction in favour of DAAR Communication Plc, the Plaintiff/Applicant (operators of African Independent Television (AIT), RAYPOWER 100.5 FM, FAJI FM and DARSAT), restraining the Defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, operatives, servants and/or privies, howsoever called, from blocking, jamming, stopping, removing from air and/or interfering with the air waves of the Plaintiff/Applicant in any way and manner howsoever, in its broadcast and airing of news, views, documentaries, or any other legitimate broadcast material that is usually associated with television, radio or social media broadcast pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

As well as, “An order of interlocutory Injunction in favour of DAAR Communication Plc, the Plaintiff/Applicant (African Independent Television (AIT), RAYPOWER 100.5 FM, FAJI FM and DARSAT), restraining the Defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, operatives, servants and/or privies, howsoever called from invading the premises of the Plaintiff/Applicant, or closing down, viet armis, the said premises, its operations or broadcast services, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”. As part of its grounds for making the application, the Plaintiff/Applicant, told the court that it was the first privately owned Independent Broadcasting Organisation in Nigeria, having been licensed to broadcast on television and radio since 1996.

“The Plaintiff/Applicant has in the best tenets and tradition of broadcast and in compliance with section 22 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as altered, carried out its duties legally, legitimately, morally and nationalistically, in informing, educating and entertaining Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora on sundry matters, which activities have energized and contributed to national development and also nurtured, widened, deepened and strengthened democracy, rule of law, human rights and anti-corruption in Nigeria.

“Since the emergence of the present government, the Plaintiff/Applicant has been under its close surveillance and undue monitoring of its operations by the present government which wrongly believes that the Plaintiff/Applicant had been too supportive of the immediate past government.

“That sometimes on 16th April, 2019, agents of the Federal Government represented by the 1st Defendant, in a Gestapo- like- manner, attacked and pulled down the two gates leading to the Plaintiff/Applicant’s operational Headquarters which damage and destruction run into of hundreds of millions of naira.

“The Defendants and their agents have been writing series of letters with which they harassed and intimidated the Plaintiff over the contents of their broadcast, particularly of late, concerning its social media segment of its morning flagship broadcast show called KAKAKI (the African Voice). “Credible information just reaching the Plaintiff has it that the Defendants have concluded plans to invade and shut down the premises of the Plaintiff and/or part thereof, in the next few days. “Shutting down the broadcast services of the Plaintiff will deny majority of Nigerians access to information which is constitutionally guaranteed, and its teaming workers of their means of livelihood.

“That it is extremely urgent to hear and grant these prayers pending the hearing of the substantive suit, so as prevent irreparable damage which cannot be compensated for on monetary terms from being inflicted on the Plaintiff/Applicant”, it added. NGE condemns suspension of DAAR communications licences, demands reversal

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has condemned the suspension of the licences of the African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and demanded its reversal. The NGE expressed its view in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

In the statement signed by President of the Guild, Mrs Funke Egbemode, the editors appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to use his good offices to call the NBC to order to revoke the suspension. The Guild demanded in clear terms the revocation of the suspension order as it runs contrary to the ideals of free speech and the fine tenets of press freedom.

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Remove Buhari Like Omar al-Bashir Of Sudan — Femi Fani-Kayode Tells Nigerian Youths

Fikayo Olowolagba Fikayo Olowolagba

Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation has called for the removal of President Muhammadu Buhari like that of President of Sudan, Omar Al-Bashir.

Making reference to revolution against Omar al-Bashir by the Sudanese, Fani-Kayode in a tweet on Thursday called on Nigerian youths to revolt against Buhari.

Recall that DAILY POST earlier reported that Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, stepped down, while the military took over after anti government protest.

Thousands of Sudanese had since poured in to the streets of Khartoum in early celebration of what many think could be the end of President Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule.

Reports had it that the revolution for Omar’s removal was led by a 22-year old, named Alaa Salah.

Speaking on the development, Fani Kayode called on Nigerian youths to summon courage and stage up a revolution to demand removal of Buhari from office.

The former minister wrote: “Her name is Alaa Salah. She led a revolution in Sudan. She called for the oppressive leader of Sudan to step down. She is only 22 years old.

“If only the youths of Nigeria had her courage, strength and conviction Buhari would have been out long ago!

“If you really want freedom you must be ready to risk all by openly opposing tyranny and evil, protesting in the streets and fighting for it. Anything short of that will result in failure and prolonged servitude and slavery.

“Some of us have paid our dues and have fought hard against Buhari over the last four years. We have suffered all manner of hardship and persecution for it. It is time for others to do their bit.” (Daily Post)

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BREAKING: 1 Dead, As Military Invades Ateke Tom’s Home, Destroy Property, Kill 3 Dogs|RN

TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt

 

One person has been reportedly shot dead, during alleged military onslaught at the home of the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, Ateke Tom.

Our correspondent gathered that the fierce-looking military men, who invaded the home of Ateke, a former Niger Delta warlord, also arrested over five persons, who were his guests.

It was further gathered that the soldiers, during the operation, killed three dogs belonging to the monarch and destroyed all the security cameras at the palace.

One of the media aides to the king, Tamuno Peters, who confirmed the development, stated that the soldiers upon invasion of the palace shot one person and carried away the body.

He narrated: “Military men in over 20 vans, invaded the home of King Ateke Tom, without any information.

“They killed a youth and carried his body. They killed three dogs because they were barking at them.

“The army also destroyed all the security cameras at the home of King Ateke. They entered the camera room and destroyed everything so that they will not be recorded.

“They went to the guest quarters and arrested five persons for no just cause. They carted away money from the room of his majesty,” Peters claimed.  (The Sun)

 

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Onnoghen: US, UK, EU Supporting Corruption – FG |The Republican News

 

Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

 

The Federal Government has said that the statements by the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, portends tolerance for corrupt acts and the downplaying of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.

The government also said the statements signified alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party, and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections.

This is the third time the government is reacting to statements by the US, the UK and the EU, having earlier said that the presidency will not bend rules or allow interference, and that the US, UK and the EU were not properly informed over concerns raised by the suspension of Onnoghen.

In a statement by the spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, George Ehidiamen Edokpa, the government stated that the statements were inimical to the wellbeing and development of Nigeria, given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria notes with deep concern, statements made by representatives of foreign governments and international organizations resident in Nigeria, notably the Embassy of the United States of America, the High Commission of the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union Election Observer Mission, regarding the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), which demonstrate serious and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria.

“The various statements, especially of those referred to above, appear prejudicial and signify alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party, and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections in Nigeria. These statements also portend tolerance for corrupt acts and downplay the anticorruption crusade of the Buhari administration, knowing fully that the suspended CJN had not denied the charges against him and that probity requires of him to step aside while the case is under scrutiny.

“It is pertinent to underscore the unfortunate fact that statements, as referred above, are inimical to the wellbeing and development of Nigeria, given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression. Now, more than any other time, Nigerians and true friends of Nigeria should be working towards repositioning Nigeria to realize her potential and sustainably provide the leadership expected of her.

“His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari had consistently demonstrated respect for the rule of law as a presidential candidate and as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and would engage in nothing to the contrary. He also remains a man of integrity who has severally pledged free and fair elections. It is therefore absurd to presume that the suspension of the CJN is geared towards rigging the forthcoming elections in favour of the ruling party.

“For the avoidance of doubt, be it known that on three occasions that Mr. President went to court as a presidential candidate and lost his case, in 2013, 2011 and 2007, the presiding judges at the Supreme Court were all northerners and Muslims: Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais, Idris Lebo Kutigi and Dahiru Mustapha respectively. In fact, in one instance, the presiding judge at the Appeal Court was from Katsina State and the President’s former classmate, yet, he lost the case. The minority judgements in his favour were given by two judges, both of them southerners and Christians: Justices George Adesola Oguntade and Sylvanus Nsofor.

“Resident embassies and international organizations invited to observe the forthcoming elections must therefore be wary of being drawn into the camp of the opposition, otherwise their neutrality, which is the hallmark of election observers becomes questionable. It is indeed unfortunate that foreign missions would align with the opposition and seek to negatively interpret actions by the Federal Government, no matter their positive basis and intention. Had the Federal Government been high-handed, would the opposition have been able to express its views even to the point of pouring invectives on Mr. President? How best can the corruption in the judiciary, which has enormously undermined the rights of the common man and made justice available only to the highest bidder, be best tackled than by ensuring that known cases are fundamentally tackled? Where is the rule of law, if justice is applied selectively?” the government queried.

The government further raised pertinent questions which it said, the opposition and their sympathizers must reflect upon.

“Pertinent questions that the opposition and their sympathizers must reflect upon are: How has the action of Mr. President undermined the resolve for free and fair election? In what ways does it undermine the independence of the Judiciary, except in the minds of the opposition and its cohorts? What right has a representative of a foreign government to incense an already volatile situation on the grounds that her government has invested heavily in the elections? It is insulting for any foreign representative to claim the right to interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs, based on the premise that its government has invested heavily in the election,” the government added.

The government further said Nigeria had invested enormously over the years in election processes of many African countries and will continue to do so without interfering in their internal affairs.

The government also said interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs under any guise will therefore not be accepted.

“Representatives of foreign governments and organizations are therefore advised to tread with caution and desist from using the utterances and actions of opposition organizations and individuals as a vehicle to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs. Embassies and organizations accredited to Nigeria should desist from actions and utterances that can only create political, sectional and religious crises and divides,” the government warned.  (The Sun)

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Obasanjo Slams Buhari: ‘You’re sick In Spirit, Body, Soul |The Republican News

Romans UgwuAbuja, with agency report

 

Less than 24 hours after former President Olusegun Obasanjo President Muhammadu Buharia of behaving like late General Sani Abacha, he has fired yet another shot at the incumbent.

Obasanjo, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, Yoruba, the former president said Buhari is sick in the spirit, body and soul. The elder statesman said Buhari needs to rest and allow another person to take charge of Nigeria, ahead of the February 16 presidential election.

“Buhari is sick in the spirit, body and soul. Let’s beg him to go and rest. He has tried his best. Let give chance to another person..

“When people ask me that, ‘what if the next person is not suitable?’ I tell them ‘that is the beauty of democracy.’”

In an open letter on Sunday, titled: Points for concern and action, Obasanjo specifically accused the president of taking the country back to the Abacha era and also, accused the Buhari government of derailing the country’s democracy by using security institutions to fight perceived critics.

“EFCC, Police and Code of Conduct Tribunal are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results. Criticism, choice and being different are inherent trade mark of democracy. If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow,” Obasanjo said in the letter.

The interview was on its website (www.bbc.com/yoruba/afrika-46942779), yesterday evening, BBC Yoruba, with release of the full interview, today, at 6:00am.

In the interview, Obasanjo also said although he has reservations about Atiku, he would be a better alternative than Buhari.

In a swift reaction, the All Progressives Congress (APC) described Obasanjo as someone whose nuisance value is high.

Reacting to the latest attack on Buhari, from Obasanjo, APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, told Daily Sun, yesterday night, that everything that is supposed to be said about his attacks to Buhari has been said.

Insisting that Obasnjo’s utterances have become inconsequential, Issa-Onilu said Obasanjo should not forget that he has only one, un-influential vote.

“Whatever he is saying now is not different from what he said on Sunday. I have reacted enough to what he said. If mine was not enough, what Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and others said about him should be enough.

“We don’t want to give Obasanjo that privilege of replying to everything he says. APC is done with Obasanjo.

“He is not worth the attention the media is giving to him. It is not true that Nigerians want to hear from him.

“His nuisance value is becoming very high. APC has more important things to do than replying to Obasanjo. He has only one vote and can decide where to take it to.”  (The Sun)

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AGAIN: Obasanjo Hits Buhari Hard, Says He’s Desperate Like Abacha |RN

•Urges Nigerians to fight, safeguard their votes   •Your past haunting you, APC replies ex-president

ByIsmail Omipidan, Laide Raheem, Abeokuta & Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

 

FormerPresident Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday came hard on President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of allegedly plotting to rig the February 16 presidential election.

This is the third time Obasanjo would attack Buhari in less than one year.

The first major attack came through a formal letter to Buhari in January 2018, where he pointedly told a man he helped to power in 2015, not to bother seeking a re-election.

By April of the same year, Obasanjo again hit Buhari, asking him to stop giving Nigerians excuses, insisting that the attitude of always giving excuses was why Buhari had not achieved results.

Obasanjo, who described Buhari as a failure then, this time spoke at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to the New Nigeria 2019 Group, led by the convener, Chima Anyaso, in company with Moses Siasia.

Obasanjo, in a 4002-word letter, titled “Point for Concern and Action,” warned Nigerians never to allow Buhari deceive them the second time.

Obasanjo said: “What is happening under Buhari’s watch can be likened to what we witnessed under Gen. Sani Abacha in many ways. When Abacha decided that he must install himself as Nigerian President by all means and at all costs, he went for broke and surrounded himself with hatchet men who on his order and in his interest and at high costs to Nigeria and Nigerians maimed, tortured and killed for Abacha. Buhari has started on the same path in mad desperation.

“From available intelligence, we have heard of how Buhari and his party are going about his own self-succession project.  They have started recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count.  It is the sole reason he has blatantly refused to sign the revised Electoral Reform Bill into law.

“His henchmen are working round the clock in cahoots with security and election officials to perfect their plan by computing results right from the ward to local government, state and national levels to allot him what will look like a landslide victory irrespective of the true situation for a candidate who might have carried out by proxy presidential debate and campaigns.

“The current plan is to drape the pre-determined results with a toga of credibility.  It is also planned that violence of unimaginable proportion will be unleashed in high voting population areas across the country to precipitate re-run elections and where he will be returned duly elected after concentration of security officials as it happened in Osun State. 

“We are monitoring them and we call on all democrats across the world to keep an eye on the unfolding anti-democratic agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.  This is the time for preventive measures to be taken otherwise Nigeria may be presented with a fait accompli with impunity and total disregard of all pleas.

“His scheme bears eloquent testimony to this road similar to Abacha whom he has praised to high heavens and as an arch-supporter and beneficiary from Abacha, he has seen nothing wrong done by him. 

“Buhari has intimidated and harassed the private sector, attacked the National Assembly and now unconstitutionally and recklessly attacked and intimidated the Judiciary to cow them to submission.

“Today, another Abacha era is here.  The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy. 

“EFCC, police and Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results.  Criticism, choice and being different are inherent trademark of democracy.  If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow.

“Today, as in the day of Abacha, Nigerians must rise up and do what they did in the time of Abacha.  Churches and Mosques prayed.  International community stood by us Nigerians. I was a beneficiary and my life was saved.

“Well-meaning Nigerians took appropriate actions and made sacrifices, some supreme, some less than supreme but God had the final say and He took the ultimate action.

“Buhari has succeeded in deceiving us the first time and we will be fools to allow ourselves to be deceived the second time.  Buba Galadima, who knows Buhari very well as a confidant and has warned us this time around that no matter what he promises, he cannot change his character and attitude. 

“Even when figures, facts and statistics are made clear to Buhari, he keeps repeating what is untrue, either because he cannot understand or for mischief purposes and that places him on the level of a pathological liar.  He believes he can get away with impunity and deceit as he seems to have done on many occasions in the past.

“Galadima’s position is well complemented by Dr. Auwalu Anwar on the APC, CPC, TBO and Buhari’s character and attitude in his yet to be launched book, ‘Politics As Dashed Hopes in Nigeria’.  It is also a stunning revelation. Anwar clearly pointed out, ‘the brazen display of incompetence, insensitivity and irresponsiveness by delusional party, CPC, leadership at all levels’.  Buhari was the leader of the party.“Bola Tinubu’s statement about Buhari in 2003 is fairly prophetic, ‘Muhammadu Buhari is an agent of destabilisation, ethnic bigot and religious fanatic who, if given the chance, would ensure the disintegration of the country.  His ethnocentrism would jeopardise Nigeria’s national unity.’

“Junaid Mohammed was eloquent on the issue of nepotism.  But if as we were told that Buhari is nepotistic because he does not trust others, why should others trust him to continue to put their fate and life in his hand? 

The All Progressives Congress (APC),however,  reacted saying Obasanjo’s “past is actually hunting.” Its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said:

“When you are adept at a particular thing, that is, what you know how to do well, for eight years of president Obasanjo, all the elections he held and government policies were determined by whatever mood he finds himself. All the institutions of government were brought under his wings and what he did for those eight years is what is hunting him.

“We have conducted over 93 elections since the APC came to power and you can be sure that all those elections were conducted without any interference from this government.

His past is actually hunting him and he must be imaging that perhaps the way he did it remains the same.”

“The 2003 and 2007 elections were nothing to write home about and it happened under former president Obasanjo. He has carried himself about as the dispenser of our destiny and God is showing him clearly that he has just only been lucky and he has considered the favours God has done to him as coming from himself.

credible election.  And if the INEC is willing, will the ruling party and government allow it? 

“From what we saw and knew about Osun State gubernatorial election, what was conclusive was declared inconclusive despite all advice to the contrary.  The unnecessary rerun, if viewed as a test-run for a larger general election, would lead people to expect incidences of deliberately contrived, broken or non-working voting machines or card readers, confusion of voters as to their voting stations, inadequate supply of voting materials to designated places, long line to discourage voters and turning blind eyes to favour the blue-eye political party of INEC because the commission’s hands will be tied to enable hatchet men and women to perform their unwholesome assignment. 

“The transmission and collation of results are subject to interference, manipulation and meddling.  If the INEC’s favourite political party wins with all the above infractions, the result will be conclusively declared and if not, there will be a ‘rerun’, the result of which is known before it is carried out.

“I know that I am not alone in being skeptical about the integrity of INEC and its ability to act creditably and above board.  But we are open to be convinced otherwise.”

He also did not spare INEC’s National Commissioner, Amina Zakari either. Obasanjo held that since both the families of Amina Zakari and Buhari have accepted that there was indeed a marriage relationship between both families, she should have excused herself from the election exercise.

Doing otherwise, Obasanjo said, would suggest that she may deliberately have been “assigned to Collation Centre for one duty only – to write out figures that are not results of the voting in the field on fake results sheets without water mark or on genuine results sheets which she will have access to as a commissioner. 

“Amina Zakari is not the only commissioner that can be in the Collation Centre.  Let the INEC chairman act boldly and impartially and prove his absolute neutrality and responsiveness to contribute to make the election peacefully free, fair and credible.  His integrity needs to be transparently demonstrated.”

The former president also took Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the cleaners for leading the Trader Moni campaign, saying it is “outrightly idiotic” for a person of his status, to lead such a campaign.

“It is no use, at this juncture, to keep lamenting about the failure, incompetence, divisiveness, nepotism, encouragement and condonation of corruption by Buhari administration as there is neither redeeming feature nor personality to salvage the situation within that hierarchy. 

“You cannot give what you don’t have.  Bode George put it bluntly in his statement of December 3, 2018 when he said: ‘The other day, the Vice-President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo – a learned man, an enlightened person in all parameters – was seen at various markets in Lagos State and Abuja distributing N10,000 each to market women.  What an absurdity!  It was indeed an obscene display of executive recklessness and abuse of office.  Pray, where did the money come from?  Was it budgeted for in the appropriation law? In more civilised nations, Osinbajo would have been impeached and prosecuted for gutting our collective treasury.’

“What an act by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria lawyer, number two man in the executive hierarchy; and what is more, a pastor of one of the Christian movements led by a revered, respected and upright church leader, Pastor E. A. Adeboye. 

“Osinbajo must have gone for, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’.  A great pity indeed and which makes people ask the questions, ‘any hope?’  Yes, for me, there is hope. 

“Osinbajo has shown the human weakness and proved the saying that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption. His explanation that it was their government programme can only be construed to be very shallow and lopsided, if not an outrightly idiotic programme.”     (The Sun)

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Armed Soldiers Shut Daily Trust, Arrest Editor, Reporter |The Republican News

Armed soldiers invaded Daily Trusthead office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, hours after taking over the newspaper’s regional office in Maiduguri, Borno State and arrested the Regional Editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.

They demanded to see some senior staff, among whom was the Political Editor, Hamza Idris.

At the Abuja headquarters of the newspaper, they reportedly forced the gate open and drove in with three Jokic vans loaded with armed soldiers.

Everyone in the building was asked to move to the ground floor while they moved the newspaper’s computers.

Last night, security operatives sealed up the premises of Media Trust Limited, publisher of Daily Trust newspaper; over Boko Haram stories.

The operatives, led by a Second Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army, arrived the Utako, Abuja premises at 6:00pm, with scores of soldiers and plain-cloth personnel. They immediately demanded to see some staff. The soldiers wore masks and cordoned off the Mafeni Crescent, off Solomon Lar Street of the newspaper.

Staff of the organisation, who gathered in group outside the office, told Daily Sun that the operatives,
on arrival, asked them to converge at the front yard of the office. After that, the soldiers, reportedly disconnected computers in the office, assembled and loaded them into their vehicles and drove away.

A statement by the Deputy Managing Director of the organisation, Mahmud Jega, said the soldiers still laid siege to the newspaper’s office, as at yesterday night.

Jega said: “Armed soldiers in several vehicles have laid siege to Daily Trust headquarters in Abuja. They have surrounded the premises, dismissed the Mobile Police guards and do not allow entry or exit. “

“Soldiers had earlier today (yesterday) entered Daily Trust’s office in Maiduguri and arrested two reporters, including the Bureau Chief, Usman Abubakar. They say it is regarding today’s lead story of Daily Trust on Sunday. Production has stopped.”

As at 8.30 pm soldiers were still manning the entrance and premises of the newspaper at Utako. Several staff of the organisation gathered in groups, on the street, and discussed the development. Meanwhile, the Lagos Bureau Office of the newspaper, was also, yesterday night, taken over by a combination of armed military and police officers.

The security operatives had earlier in the day besieged and shut down the Borno regional office of the news publication before arresting the regional editor and a reporter.

At about 9:00pm, seven security operatives’ vehicles were stationed within and outside the Lagos office premises situated at the Textile Labour House on Acme Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja.

Of the seven vehicles, two Hilux vans and one Rapid Response Squad (RRS) car were situated right in front of the Bureau office.

Four other Hilux vans were situated at the other side of the road, facing TheNews publishing house, a stone throw from Media Trust office.

About 15 soldiers and police officers were seen angling around the premises; as at the time of filing this report.

But, Defence Spokesman, Brigadier-General John Agim, described the newspaper’s Sunday publication as unpatriotic and capable of undermining the war against Boko Haram.

He told Daily Sun that the newspaper published highly classified details about a Boko Haram operation; which could ultimately hinder the war against insurgency.

In a development yesterday night, the Federal Government ordered the military to vacate Daily Trust’s offices.  (The Sun)

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