A valedictory court session was held by lawyers in honour of the foremost human rights crusader, Chief Gani Fawehinmi Wednesday at Igbosere Magistrate’s court, where he started his law practice.
By Tuesday, the remains of the fallen legal icon whose final journey began on Monday, laid at his chambers at Ajao Estate, Anthony Lagos while over 1000 prominent Nigerians had signed the condolence register at his 9A, Ademola Street, Ikeja GRA, Lagos residence.
The final journey for Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who died Saturday afternoon in Lagos, began Monday, even as a flood of tributes continue to trail his demise.
Gani, as he was popularly called, died at the age of 71 after a protracted battle with lung cancer and will be buried in his country home in Ondo State on September 15th 2009.
Traffic was brought to a standstill Monday afternoon at the Ikeja GRA area as his remains left a private morgue at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for his Ikeja home where the lying in state began.
A multitude of Nigerians joined the convoy of family members and mourners as the ambulance that conveyed Gani’s remains departed at about 11.52am for his Ikeja residence.
Present at the lying in state Monday afternoon were Mr. Banire, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Okei-Odumakin, President of Campaign for Democracy (CD) and other human rights activists.
Meanwhile Civil Society organizations have commenced a meeting in Lagos to plan for their effective participation in the burial of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi who was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The National co-ordinator of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) Otunba Gani Adams told The Tide, that OPC and other civil society organizations in the country would play a big role in the burial activities of the late human rights activist.
He also called for the immortalization of Gani with a solid structure or monument that will become a tourist attraction for all Nigerians.
Last Sunday, a prominent religious leader and serving Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare said nobody can wear Gani’s shoes.
Preaching a sermon in his church in Lagos, Bakare said Gani laid down his life for the nation. “His shoes remain for him, nobody can step into them, because they are uniquely his”, said Bakare who once worked at Gani’s chambers as a young lawyer.
He condoled the family of the late human rights lawyer and urged the congregation to pray for the repose of his soul.
In a tribute, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu praised Gani for his “extra ordinary patriotism while Mrs. Farida Waziri, current EFCC boss described him as “a principled, dogged and unrelenting crusader fully committed to any course he believed”.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo described Gani as “an icon in his own right and a social critic who had the courage of his conviction”, while former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar said Gani was a defender of the rule of law and the common man.
Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda also paid tribute to Gani as one who devoted the better part of life fighting for improved standards, good governance and rule of law.
Others who have already paid tribute to the fallen Senior Advocate of the Masses (SAM) included Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, Speaker House of Representatives, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State and Olisa Agbakoba, a prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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