Image

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.

Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +32497220468, +23481819650279, +32466100102.

https://facebook.com/TheRepulicanNews, https://twitter.com/RNNetwork1, https://instagram.com/therepublicannews1

Continue reading
Advertisements
Image

IPOB Declares Sit-AT-Home Over Nnamdi Kanu’s Disappearance |RN

NnamdiKanu1

IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu

“Nationwide general strike observed as a sit-at-home across Biafraland on September 14, 2018, is the only way we Biafrans can honour our fallen brethren”

• Sets aside Sept 14 to mark invasion of leader’s Umuahia home

Okey Sampson, Aba

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared September 14, 2018, as sit-at-home in all Biafra land in protest of the invasion of the home of the leader of the Biafran group at Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State by the military.

In a statement  by  Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful,  the protest will “be a way to register our anger regarding the men and women killed at Afaraukwu in Umuahia, during Operation Python Dance II on September 14 last year.”

Powerful said the protest will also be for “those killed in Ngwa, Aba, Igweocha (Port Harcourt) and buried in unmarked mass graves as a result of an unprovoked military invasion of Biafraland by the Nigerian Army.

 “We shall also remember all those killed in the struggle for the restoration of Biafra independence since August 2015, when the army shot dead one Okafor in Onitsha on a peaceful march from Nkpor to Onitsha main town. Their sacrifice will neither be forgotten nor will it be in vain, because come what may, this generation of IPOB must and will restore Biafra. 

“The sacrilegious and disgraceful humiliation of Igbo women, some of them great grand-mothers, ranks as one of the most abominable acts of desecration ever visited upon the land of Biafra in recorded history. It will mark the defining event that completed the shame and humiliation of the Igbo race. 

“Nationwide general strike observed as a sit-at-home across Biafraland on September 14, 2018, is the only way we Biafrans can honour our fallen brethren and legitimately remind our northern oppressors and their collaborators in our midst that enough is enough. 

“We do not want another Operation Python Dance or another mass murder of Biafra agitators and humiliation of our mothers in our land.  Biafraland, we state categorically, must emerge as a free nation under God, whether our enemies like it or not.   

“What happened at Afaraukwu; the desecration of the house of a traditional ruler, the slaughter of innocent men and women: the wholesale massacre along the Ngwa segment of Enugu-Igweocha (Port Harcourt) Expressway, countless number of mass graves across Biafraland, are repulsive, inhumane, barbaric and worthy of total condemnation by all right-thinking people,” the statement stated.  (The Sun)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

 

Continue reading

Image

IPOB: France Demands Evidence To Support Nigeria’s Claim |The Republican News

• We’re not aware of  FG’s request to ban group’s radio  – UK

By Emma Emeozor

France has denied knowledge of the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in its territory.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed told the press that the financial headquarters of IPOB is in France. “Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know, but you see, can you as a government stop sending money to your parents?”

But in a communiqué made available to Daily Sun yesterday, the French Embassy in Abuja expressed surprise over Mohammed’s statement.

The communiqué signed by the Embassy’s Press Officer, Ms Claude Abily read: “The Embassy of France was surprised by the statement made yesterday by the Minister of Information and Culture indicating that the “financial headquarters” of IPOB were in France.

“We don’t have any knowledge of a particular presence of IPOB in France and the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with the Embassy on this point. We stand ready to examine any information which could support this statement.

Furthermore, we would like to reiterate that France actively cooperates with Nigeria in the field of security and that we strongly support the unity of the country.”

The United Kingdom High Commission in Abuja also responded to Daily Sun’s request for its reaction to Mohammed’s remarks regarding Radio Biafra operating from London. The minister had said the UK government was frustrating Nigeria’s effort to halt the operation of IPOB’s internal radio operating from London.

In its response, the High Commission said it was not aware of any representation from the Nigerian government about Radio Biafra.

The statement signed by the Press and Public Affairs Officer, Joe Abuku read:

“The UK is not aware of any representation from the Nigerian government about Radio Biafra. Were we to receive any such request, we would, of course, consider it carefully on the basis of the available evidence, recognizing that freedom of speech and expression carries responsibilities.”     (The Sun)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

FG, States Agree On Special Courts For Hate Speech, Terrorism, Kidnapping |RN

 yemi-osinbajo1
                                  Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Federal and state governments have agreed to designate special courts for the purposes of prosecuting purveyors of hate speeches as well as suspected terrorists and kidnappers.

According to a statement in Abuja on Sunday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, the decision was reached at a one-day National Security Retreat organised by the National Economic Council on Thursday.

The council, which is chaired by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has the 36 states governors, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as members.

Akande said the retreat discussed concerns about the delay in the nation’s criminal justice system and NEC members concluded that prompt action by law enforcement agencies was imperative.

In arriving at special courts for purveyors of hate speeches as well as suspected terrorists and kidnappers, he said it was resolved that the Federal Government would help states to develop a template for such courts.

He said, “NEC members urged prompt action in the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of terrorist acts, kidnappings and purveyors of hate speeches.

“To facilitate this, the designation of special courts was also advocated and the consensus was that the judiciary and executive arms of the Federal and state governments will be working together to establish such courts.

“The Federal Government will also be helping states to develop a template on how such special courts would be established and managed.”

On the clamour for the state police, Akande said the conclusion was that policing the country and the entire law enforcement generally, could not effectively continue without devolving policing and law enforcement out to the states.

He, however, said it was noted that while the idea of state police required constitutional amendments, the Community Policing Model must be enforced now.

“We must enforce a model that democratises security in such a way as to include everyone in the process of protecting themselves, securing their own lives and the lives of people in their community.

“The simple advantage of the arrangement is that it would involve the ordinary citizen in ensuring his security and that of his community.

“It must involve all local leaders, all structures of civil society. And on every street, the police ought to have one or two persons who can contact the police at short notice,” Akande quoted Osinbajo as saying at the retreat held behind closed doors.

He explained that the roll-out of the Community Policing Programme was intended to enhance crime prevention and control, improve intelligence-gathering capabilities of the police and deliver quality and people-oriented policing.

He said the programme would involve the community partnering with the police to uncover and solve crimes through a process involving town hall meetings to assess security situation and security priorities of the communities, the performance of the police and the nature of the support the communities could provide to improve the quality of policing.

Akande said the issues about funding of security agencies and provision of equipment also featured in the discussion while NEC members agreed that funding was essential.

“It was however added that defence budget and funding for other security agencies of government always form some of the biggest components of the budget. Calls for greater accountability of the resources released were also made,” he said.

He disclosed that the council members also recognised the fact that herdsmen and farmers’ clashes were being caused by the problem of land use, which he noted, had taken ethnic and religious dimensions.

Akande said it was agreed that both the Federal and state governments should properly define the problems and shun the ethnoreligious construction of what was otherwise an economic challenge.

“NEC members stated that it would be useful to bring the different groups together — herdsmen and the farmers — to meet and discuss, and also work out some of the issues that concern them,” he added.

On agitations in parts of the country, he quoted Osinbajo as saying that notwithstanding Nigerians’ right to freedom of expression, the constitution could not be compromised.

“With respect to the ethnoreligious crisis and agitations, what we all seem to agree on is that while people have the right to express their views, those views must not compromise democracy and must not compromise the integrity of our nation.

“However a person chooses to express his views, the constitution cannot be compromised. That is why I have made a point about hate speech and that our national unity is important, it is crucial.

“Without national unity and territorial integrity of our nation, we won’t even be here let alone talking about it,” Osinbajo reportedly said.

Despite the security challenges in parts of the country, the Vice-President was also quoted as commending the nation’s security agencies. (Punchng.com)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading