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Drug cartel victims return home

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Two Nigerians, Miss Zainab Aliyu and Ibrahim Abubakar, who were implicated for alleged drug trafficking but freed by Saudi Arabian authorities have returned home.

The duo arrived at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport aboard the same flight at 10 am, two weeks after regaining freedom after diplomatic intervention by the Federal Government.

Miss Aliyu, a final-year student of the Maitama Sule University, Kano, was overwhelmed with joy as she was received by her father at the airport.
“I thank God; I thank God,” was all she could say. Her father was also speechless. “I thank God,” he told reporters.

In the company of excited family members and friends, Zainab boarded a waiting vehicle and headed for her Kundila residence in Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.

They were received by neighbours, who anxiously awaited them.

Miss Aliyu and Abubakar were arrested and detained for four months by the Saudi Arabian Anti-drug Trafficking Agency, over alleged drug trafficking, but released after Nigerian and Saudi authorities established their innocence.
Miss Aliyu was arrested on December 26, 2018, a day after her arrival in Saudi Arabia to perform the Lesser Hajj.

A Senior Programme Officer at the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Malam Isah Garba, has called on operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to beef up security at the nation’s airports for real drug pushers to be apprehended and brought to book.

Addressing newsmen in Kano yesterday, Garba said the issue of Miss Aliyu, who was detained in connection with a luggage containing a banned substance drugs had left much to be desired in terms of apprehending the real owners of the luggage for prosecution.

According to him, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) must intensify their search and surveillance on passengers’ luggage as well as the surrounding environment during boarding to ensure that no luggage escaped the screening process.

He said the airliners on their part, should ensure adequate protection for passengers luggage under their custody.

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Local News

Ekiti begins public shaming of sex offenders

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The Ekiti State government has begun the public shaming of sex offenders in the State.

The government said it has started this move by making public a picture of an Anglican priest, Rev’d Asateru Gabriel, who was convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl.

A statement from the office of the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Faphounda, on Monday, said the step was taken to discourage the obnoxious act following an increase in reported cases of sexual violence in the state.

The statement added, “The state government is concerned about the frequency of sexual violence. It has, therefore, become necessary to put in place proactive measures to halt the trend. One of these measures includes public notification of the status of convicted sex offenders by displaying their photographs via television and announcing their names on the radio.”

Rev. Gabriel, who became the first scapegoat of the state government campaign, was a former Anglican priest who was currently serving a five-year jail term at Government Prison in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

His picture and identity had been displayed through the mass media to further establish the zero-tolerance stance of the Fayemi-led administration for violence against women and children.

According to the statement, other measures embarked upon by the state government include: posting of pictures of offenders in public places within their environment, compulsory psychiatric tests, uploading of their pictures on the state government’s official website among others.

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Politics

Obaseki visits Oshiomhole to end their rift

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Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday raised hope of an earnest end to the war of attrition between him and his predecessor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who is now the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).

He said in Benin City that he had met with Oshiomhole and efforts were being made to resolve issues created by those he referred to as third parties in the state.

He reiterated his position that there are no fundamental issues between them.

Obaseki spoke during a mass at the St. Paul Catholic Church, Benin City, to mark the 80th birthday of the first executive governor of the state and Oshiomhole’s predecessor as APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The simmering crisis of confidence between Obaseki and Oshiomhole blew open in the wake of the inauguration of the state House of Assembly during which 14 members-elect who are reportedly loyal to the APC national chairman refused to be inaugurated.

The governor was accused of surreptitiously issuing the proclamation letter for the inauguration of the state legislature, leading to the swearing in of only nine out of the 24-members-elect then.

Efforts to resolve the crisis, including the intervention of the National Assembly, which has asked the governor to issue a fresh proclamation otherwise it would take over the functions of the House of Assembly, have been mired in legal battles.

The faction of the state lawmakers loyal to the governor has secured court orders stopping Obaseki from issuing a fresh proclamation and the National Assembly from carrying out its takeover threat.

However, at the thanksgiving for Odigie-Oyegun’s 80th birthday celebration, Obaseki said the state would soon put the crisis behind it and forge ahead with its developmental strides.

He said: “I thank you very much for the remarkable homily by Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, Catholic Archbishop of Benin Metropolitan See. I listened very attentively and I have taken every word in your remark to heart and very seriously. I want to assure you that we are in pursuit of peace and we will have peace in Edo State.

“We have met – me and my predecessor in office – and fortunately, we do not have any fundamental issues. And because we do not have any fundamental issues, I believe that whatever third parties are trying to propagate, I am sure we can talk over it. I assure you that very soon things will return to normalcy in Edo State.”

He said the state government, in line with the spirit of Nigeria’s national anthem, would not forget the labour of past heroes, which shall never be in vain.

“Today, we are here to celebrate our own Chief Odigie-Oyegun. On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I want to congratulate you on your 80th birthday,” Obaseki said.

According to him, the state government has named the soon-to-be-completed Civil Service Training Centre after the celebrant for his contributions to the development of the state and the country at large.

“For your contributions and what you have done for our dear state, I have decided to name the public service academy, which is under construction, after you. We know your passion for public service; we know and acknowledge the contributions you made to the public service in Nigeria. Therefore, we have decided to name this edifice, which will be completed within the next 60 days, by the grace of God, after you. President Muhammadu Buhari will come and commission the academy, with you standing beside him. It will be known as the John Odigie-Oyegun Institute for Public Administration,” he added.

The institute, according to the governor, is on “three floors and is made up of large training rooms that will host 220 people. Two halls hold 118 people each. There are seven training halls that will host 58 people each. There is a library, a sick bay, a cafeteria and 12 offices. This facility at any point in time can hold and train a minimum of 900 people. It will be the largest facility for training public servants in Nigeria.”

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SECURITY

Enugu: Miyetti set to shut down market activities for two days

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The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said on Saturday, August 10, it would shut down the livestock market in Enugu as a result of the need to boost security in the state.

MACBAN plans to do this in collaboration with the northern livestock and perishable goods market traders’ union, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). It was learnt that leaders of the groups spoke in Enugu at a joint news conference after their meeting where they reviewed the security situation in the state as it concerned their businesses.

Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, chairman of MACBAN in the south east, who read the joint resolution, said that they would embark on the sensitisation of all livestock and perishable goods markets necessitating their closure for two days.

“We want to tell our people that they should be mindful of what they do so that they do not allow criminal elements to penetrate their camps. Critics of insecurity in Nigeria are not patriotic – Buhari.

“In this connection, we are embarking on sensitisation tour of all livestock and perishable goods markets and every Fulani settlements in Enugu state between August 14 and August 15.

“We wish to state that during this sensitisation exercise all livestock and perishable goods markets will be closed down either in cattle markets, Fulani settlements or wherever they exist throughout Enugu state.,” he said

Siddiki added that various security agencies including the police, DSS, military and civil defence, would provide the groups with adequate protection during the statewide sensitisation. He said the groups regretted the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Reverend Father Paul Offu of ‘St James The Greater’ parish, Ugbawka. He enjoined the family of the deceased and the people of the state to mourn with fortitude.

“In appreciation of the good gesture, which Enugu state government and people have extended to us, we are prepared to join hands with the police, military and other security agencies in ensuring maximum security in our neighbourhood.

“We, therefore, appreciate Enugu state government for the peace that prevails in the state which has helped us in our business and the peaceful co-existence we have enjoyed over the years,’’ he added.

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Legal

Produce ‘two prominent and reliable persons’ as sureties – Kaduna court tells El-Zakzaky

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The Kaduna State Government has ordered leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky; and his wife, Zeenat, to produce “two prominent and reliable persons” as sureties, being one of the conditions the couple must fulfill before they would be allowed to leave the state for overseas treatment.

“One of the sureties must be a first class chief or emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna State, who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted the government as saying.

The Kaduna Government also said it respects the court’s ruling granting permission to the couple to travel to India for treatment.

Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this in a statement in Kaduna on Wednesday, NAN said.

Quoting the statement, NAN wrote: “An appeal will be lodged on the matter, but a stay of execution will not be sought as the state government believes that a person may choose to travel abroad for any medical condition at his own cost.”

He said the government respects the right of anyone to seek treatment anywhere in the world, “even for malaria or common cold, so long as they are paying for it.

“But in the case of persons facing trial for serious offences, necessary safeguards are required to ensure that such persons do not become fugitives from justice or frustrate trial by claiming asylum or the status of political prisoner in the host country.”

According to him, in compliance with the court ruling, the state government has filed at the Kaduna High Court, terms for strict supervision of the medical leave granted El-Zakzaky.

Under the terms, the state government wants the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to confirm the appointments of the applicants with the Medanta Hospital, India.

It also asked the ministry to undertake all necessary diplomatic arrangements and protocols to ensure compliance with the conditions of the medical leave.

The statement also said each of the applicants should be made to make an undertaking to return to Nigeria to continue their trial as soon as they are discharged from the hospital.

The government also wants El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, to be responsible for the cost of their travel, treatment and living expenses while on their medical leave.

“Each of the defendants/applicants shall produce two prominent and reliable persons as sureties, one being a first class chief or emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna State, who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed.

“The sureties must also produce evidence of landed property within Kaduna State.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria shall obtain from the Government of India an irrevocable guarantee that it will not entertain any application by the defendants/applicants.

“Or any third party seeking asylum under any guise or conferring the status of political prisoners or any other status aside from being medical patients on the defendants/applicants and shall also restrain the defendants/applicants from any act inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

News Agency of Nigeria recalls that a Kaduna High Court, on Aug. 5, granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, leave to travel out of Nigeria for urgent medical treatment at Medanta Hospital, India

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