A group, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, has asked Mohammed Adamu, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, to refrain from getting involved in political disputes.
Femi Falana, Chairman of the group, in a statement drew the attention of the police authorities to the case of Atiku Abubakar v Attorney General of the Federation (2007) LPELR-SC.7/2007, where the Supreme Court made a definitive pronouncement on the mandatory constitutional duty of members of the Nigeria Police Force to maintain neutrality and impartiality in political matters.
The group also condemned the recent arrest of Nastura Ashir Sharif, leader of the Coalition of Northern Groups, for organising a peaceful protest against insecurity in Katsina State.
The statement reads, “We have noted with concern, the proclivity of the Nigeria Police Force to engage in the unwarranted harassment and intimidation of the perceived opponents of President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party. In a number of states the Nigeria Police Force police has arrested, detained and charged some journalists with terrorism before the Federal High Court for criticising the President and ministers, state governors and commissioners. Sometime last month, the Katsina State Police Command arrested a 75-year-old man, Lawal Abdullahi for ‘insulting’ President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State. The septuaganarian was hurriedly charged before a magistrate court which convicted him and made him to pay a fine of N70,000 on him. To prevent him from being sent to jail we had to pay the fine.
A fortnight ago, the police arrested Nastura Ashir Sharif, leader of the Coalition of Northern Groups, for organising a peaceful protest against insecurity in Katsina State. The protest was alleged to have embarrassed the President. Consequently, Mr. Sharf was brought to Abuja where he was interrogated by the police even though he did not commit any criminal offence known to law. However, the police had to release the youth leader from illegal custody when it was reported that President Buhari had scolded the nation’s service chiefs for the worsening state of insecurity in the country. Other peaceful protests by aggrieved citizens in other states of the Federation have been violently disrupted by the police without any legal justification.
“These actions of the police authorities constitute a flagrant infringement of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens to freedom of association as well as freedom to assemble peacefully and protest against the policies or programmes of any government or authority. In Inspector-General of Police v All Nigeria Peoples Party 2008 12 WRN 65 the Court of Appeal held that “The right to demonstrate and the right to protest on matters of public concern are rights which are in the public interest and that which individuals must possess, and which they should exercise without impediment as long as no wrongful act is done. If as speculated by law enforcement agents that breach of the peace would occur our Criminal Code has made adequate provisions for sanctions against breakdown of law and order so that the requirement of permit as a conditionality to holding meetings and rallies can no longer be justified in a democratic society.
“We have also confirmed that following the defection of the deputy governor of Ondo State, Mr Agboola Ajayi, from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the People Democratic Party (PDP) the Ondo State Police Command has withdrawn his security aides. While we do not endorse political prostitution on the part of members of the political class those who decamp from other political parties to the ruling party are not subjected to any form of harassment or intimidation by the Police. Therefore, the discriminatory treatment meted out to politicians in the opposition camp by the police cannot be justified under the current political dispensation.
“It is high time the attention of all police authorities was drawn to the case of Atiku Abubakar v Attorney-General of the Federation (2007) LPELR-SC.7/2007 where the Supreme had this to say: “The primary duty; indeed the most fundamental duty of the Nigeria Police Force is the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the country. In the performance of its duty, the Nigeria Police Force must manifestly demonstrate impartiality; it must not lean to one side against the other; it must be apolitical. It must not take part in any disputation, which has political coloration. These qualities are sine qua non to the enhancement of public respectability to it.”
“In view of the definitive pronouncement of the Apex Court on the mandatory constitutional duty of the members of the Nigeria Police Force to maintain neutrality and impartiality in political matters the Inspector-General of Police should henceforth restrain the police from getting involved in political disputations among the various factions of the members of the political class. At the same time, the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to demonstrate against official policies that are considered inimical to the interests of the nation must be respected by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies in the country.”
Edo Governor to Organise State Burial for Prof. Victor Uwaifo
Edo State Government has said it would be organising a state burial for late music iconic maestro, Sir Prof. Victor Uwaifo, who passed on last month.
In a statement by Chief of Staff to Edo state Governor, Osaigbovo Iyoha, said the government is firming up arrangements with the family of the late music legend to ensure a successful state burial.
Sir Prof. Victor Uwaifo died on August 28, 2021, aged 80 years. He led an illustrious career as a musician, artist and arts teacher, taking the culture, experiences and sound of Edo people to a global audience.
According to Iyoha, “The Governor has approved a state burial for an illustrious and dearly beloved Edo music icon, Prof. Sir Victor Uwaifo.
“The Edo State Government is working closely with the family of Prof. Uwaifo to ensure a seamless state burial. Arrangements are in top gear and we will disclose more details of the burial in conjunction with the family.”
PDP to APC – Acceptance of Wrecking Naira is a Sabotage
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the acceptance by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that it retained a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor that allegedly supervised the sharing of money and looting of our treasury, is an admission that it deliberately sabotaged the economy and made life very difficult for Nigerians.
The PDP invites Nigerians to note the nerviness, uneasiness and tension that have gripped the APC since the call for the resignation and prosecution of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was brought to the public, apparently for fear that such will definitely expose the atrocities of APC leaders.
Our party insists that by the comments of the APC National Secretary, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, the APC deliberately kept a CBN Governor that supposedly supervised the “sharing and looting” of monies in office to enable APC leaders to pillage the CBN.
Akpan Udoedehe might want to be reminded that General Buhari, as he was then known, had in his campaign, promised to fight corruption, yet he retained a CBN Governor, who his party is now accusing of having superintend over “sharing and looting” of funds in the CBN.
Is it not revealing that six years down the line, with the naira heavily depreciated, the same CBN Governor, whom Akpan Udoedehe claimed to have supervised the “sharing and looting” of monies in CBN is still in office?
We call on the APC and the Buhari Presidency to come clean on their activities in the CBN that has brought the value of our naira to her knees and stop the horrible resort by the APC to blackmail those who are demanding for transparency and accountability in the nation’s fiscal sector.
Nigeria has Lost 2000 Persons to CoronaVirus since February 2020 – Min. Of Health
The Min. of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, states that Nigeria has lost over 2,000 persons to Coronavirus since February 2020 (outbreak).
He disclosed this at the joint town hall meeting of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency on COVID-19 Vaccination in Nigeria, South-south zone, which held in Benin City.
The minister disclosed that 90 per cent of those who have died from the pandemic across the globe were those who did not take the first or second dose of the vaccine, adding that it was God who has revealed to the scientists on how to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccines.
He said that the two sure ways available at the moment to safeguard oneself against the virus are the adherence to the non-pharmaceutical guidelines, which are social distancing, washing of the hands, using of hand sanitizer and the vaccine.
Dr Ehanire assured that the Federal Government would continue to work with the relevant agencies and stakeholders to ensure that the citizens get vaccinated, disclosing that the government is making plans to set up vaccine-producing plants in the country.