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Journalists Detained For Allegedly Defaming Kwara Governor Get Bail

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An Ilorin Magistrate Court on Wednesday granted bail to two detained journalist siblings, Dare Akogun and Abdulrasheed Akogun, for allegedly defaming and inciting the public against the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

 

Magistrate Bio Saliu admitted the two journalists to a bail of N500,000 each and a surety each with landed property in Ilorin, among others requests.

 

The detained journalists were brought to court unchained around 10:15 am with sympathisers, colleagues and family members flooding the court premises.

There was a mild drama between the police prosecutor and the representative of the office of the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice over the way and manner the case was taken over by the office of the Attorney General.

Representative of the office of Attorney General, Abdulmumeen Busari, had asked the court to grant him at least 24 hours to study the case, having just taken over the matter, to enable him be in good standing on the bail application.

 

Busari also said that it would be unfair on his part, if was denied the request because he needed to give a fair hearing in the case.

 

But Counsel to the defendants, Barrister C.N. Olaitan, opposed the submission saying, “I vehemently oppose that application asking for 24 hours to respond.

“The operative word in the content of their taking over the matter is to take over and continue. So it’s either they swim or sink with whatever action that had been taken. The CP has been duly served since Monday and the 48 hours have started running since then.

 

“On the face of the motion papers, today has been fixed for application of the bail to be heard so the application of the Attorney General is ill-conceived and brought in bad faith.”

He added, “On the issue of fair hearing cited by the representative of the Attorney General, it means opportunity should be given to both parties, and once opportunity has been given and a party refuses to take advantage of the opportunity, he can’t cry foul of being denied fair hearing.

 

“The liberty of the defendants is at stake and their application is to continue to incarcerate the suspects in prison custody. It’s their constitutional rights to receive the bail, so I urged the court to refuse the application of the office of the AG.”

The defendants’ counsel also said that the prosecution was duly served in the bail application and that their refusal to file any counter was an admission of all the deposition in the bail application.

 

He, therefore, asked the court to admit the defendants to bail on liberal ground.

 

Magistrate Bio in his ruling granted bail to the defendants and adjourned the case till November 23,2022 for further hearing.

It would be recalled that the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Rafiu Ajakaye, through a petition to the Commissioner of Police, accused the duo of defamation and inciting the public against the government.

 

Ajakaye alleged that AbdulRasheed posted a comment on the popular WhatsApp platform, Kwara Commission, accusing the government of being most corrupt and of facilitating N15 million to prosecute the last election of the Kwara state council election of the Nigerian Union of Journalist.

Our correspondent noted that during the intervention of Kwara State Police Commissioner, Paul Odama, he advised that the two defendants should write apology letter to the governor but the duo claimed that the apology could be used against them both now and in the future by the government.

 

The defendants further claimed during the intervention that they have evidences to proof their claims, and were ready to press the charges against the state government; a development that made the police commissioner to order the prosecution of the case.

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NAUTH Resident Doctors Suspend Strike

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Resident doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, have suspended its five-day warning strike.

 

The group said it considered the plight of stranded patients who are in need of critical and emergency care before arriving at the decision to suspend the strike after an emergency meeting on Friday.

 

The doctors had embarked on a five-day warning strike on Wednesday to express displeasure over the assault meted out on one of its members by relatives of a deceased patient, whom the doctor was helping to resuscitate.

 

According to a statement signed by its President, Dr Ndukwe Chinwe, and General Secretary, Dr Egbue Obiora, on Saturday, the body said it unanimously resolved to suspend the strike, resume emergency services by 8 am on Saturday and routine clinic services/activities by Monday.

 

The doctors said it observed that the hospital’s management has shown commitment by ensuring the arrest of the culprits and has promised to follow the matter to a logical conclusion.

 

They also noted the commitment of the hospital towards fulfilling all the other demands outlined by the doctors.

 

The statement read, “Recall that on January 25, doctors under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi embarked on a five-day warning strike to express displeasure over the assault meted out on one of our members by relatives of a deceased patient, whom the doctor was helping to resuscitate.

“In an emergency general meeting held on Friday, January 27, 2023, the members observed that the hospital management has shown commitment by ensuring the arrest of the culprits and have promised to follow the matter to a logical conclusion.

“The management has begun the enforcement of compliance to visiting hours in the wards and has put measures to ensure that patient relatives are not found inside the wards at odd hours. A memo has been issued to that effect.

 

“The Hospital Management has also reiterated their commitment to fulfil all the other demands outlined by ARD.

 

“Congress observed the lamentations of patients who could not assess healthcare during the period of the industrial action since resident doctors make up the bulk of the doctors in the teaching hospital.

 

“The body unanimously agreed that the hospital management has shown a quick response to their demands which led to a total shutdown of services offered by Resident Doctors in NAUTH.

 

“The congress unanimously resolved to suspend the strike, resume emergency services by 8 am on Saturday and routine clinic services/activities by Monday 8 am.

 

“Congress also resolved that the exco should continue to engage the hospital management until other demands are met. That any other form of assault on any doctor will be met with stringent measures.

“That a rapid response team be instituted to quickly tackle this menace on the spot in the event of any re-occurrence.”

 

The group, therefore, commended the management of NAUTH for its swift response towards putting measures to forestall a future repeat of this condemnable act and ensuring that the majority of our demands received the needed attention.

 

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NIPOST Workers To Begin Strike On Monday

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Workers of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) staff are threatening to embark on industrial action from Monday, January 30th over alleged abandonment by the Federal Government.

The protesting staff urged the Federal Government to urgently intervene before the industrial action commences.

 

The General Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies, Ayo Olorunfemi, led the protest on Friday.

According to Olorunfemi, several staff members of the service have not been receiving any form of capital funding from Federal Government in the last 15 years.

He also asked the government to beam its searchlight on the finances of the agency.

 

“All we are saying is this: Reform must be open; [it] must be clear. Our fear must be addressed and the reform must be in the overall interest of Nigeria. Any reform that is targeting some individuals will not be accepted.

 

“Therefore, this is another process. We have been going on strike and they have been talking to us to suspend them,” he said.

 

But this time around, according to Olorunfemi, the industrial action is targeted solely at actualising a much-needed reform process.

“We expect a suspension of the process. Let the next government come and follow due process in ensuring that we have a sustainable reform procedure.

 

“We’re expecting that a percentage, even if it is not more than two percent of that fund, be released to NIPOST for infrastructure and the welfare of staff.

 

“Immediately the so-called Finance Bill was passed into law, the money was packed away. One naira has not been given to NIPOST and NIPOST is not on any capital budget of the Federal Government,” he said.

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Lagos Estate Residents Lament Ordeal With Popular Gospel Singer, Testimony Jaga

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Residents of Alagbado Estate Road in Lagos state have raised alarm over threats to their lives by a popular Nigerian gospel singer, Mr. Salau Olayiwola, known by the stage name, Testimony Jaga alleging that he has been unleashing terror on them.

 

One of the victims identified as Mrs. Agbede Abimbola alleged that the singer poured urine and water on her after she accused him of obstructing vehicular movement in the estate.

 

The victim, Mrs. Abimbola, told Vanguard that her trouble with him started after she invited her friend to deliver frozen foods to her in preparation for her son’s 15th birthday, last week.

According to her, when I confronted him over the way the whole streets are blocked during his church sessions, he unleashed his church boys on me and I was beaten and bathed in urine.

 

Speaking further, Mrs. Abimbola said she was still on the ground after being beaten when water was poured on her and also urine which splashed on some of the neighbors who tried to help her get up. “Jaga walked up to me and said it was women like me that would molest me. Immediately he said that with little strength left in me, I was about holding his clothes when he moved back and my hand grabbed his necklace. He stepped back further while my hand was at the chain and the chain cut. Immediately, his members took the chain from me.

 

“Jaga told his members not to let me go until I provide the chain. They also descended on my friend Agnes and held her on the ground. After the confrontation, we reported he case to the police.

 

Recounting the incident, Mrs. Abimbola’s friend, who gave her name as Agnes John narrated that when she entered the street, the road was blocked. “I was honking so that I could drive in; no one was ready to move. So, someone walked up to me and said that they were holding a programme and I should park my car.

“I parked, locked my car and walked to my friend’s house to inform her that I could not drive in because a programme was being held on the road and she would need to go and get the frozen foods from the car herself. She told me it must be Jaga because he holds his street gospel movement every Tuesday. So, I went along with her to the car to pack the frozen foods. It was while we were going that we met Jaga on the road and because I don’t know him, my friend pointed at him, showing me that it was him.

“Immediately, I called his attention. I thought he would walk out of the crowd to answer me but he said I should come, which I did. I told him whenever he is holding his programme he should create a space for others because we all are road users and it won’t be nice for him to disturb others with his programme. While I was leaving, I heard noise and when I turned back, I saw my friend on the ground with a crowd descending on her. I had to call people nearby to join them in the commotion and in the process of explaining to them what happened, the police arrived with their patrol vehicle and took me and my friend away for interrogation, leaving Jaga behind.

 

When contacted, the singer denied the story stating that he had nothing more to say as the case is with the police.

 

Lagos State police spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin told Vanguard when called on phone: : “I am not aware of the incident but I will contact Alagbado DPO and get back to you.”

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