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UN Committee To Visit Nigeria Over Torture

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A dawn raid carried out yesterday by combined team of Kano Joint Task Force and the Directorate of State Security Services at Taiyawa in Remin Kebi in Ungogo local goverment area of the state has resulted in the killing of four terrorists.
The operation, sources said lasted for several hours as residents wThe United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has listed Nigeria as one of the countries to visit next year. This was contained in a news release signed by Oluseyi Soremekun, the National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, yesterday.
According to the release, the SPT will also conduct missions next year to Ecuador, Malta, Netherlands and Togo, and plans a follow-up visit to a previously visited country. The rights body will also visit Nicaragua.
Following previous practice, some of the SPT’s visits will focus on providing advice and assistance to national preventive mechanisms, which are bodies that themselves monitor places of detention.
In addition, the SPT will also conduct a broad range of visits to places of detention, as well as short missions that will focus on advising the national authorities on how to best to comply with their OPCAT obligations.
The SPT’s role is to prevent and eliminate torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment of detainees.
The UN organ works with national governments that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
The Chairperson Malcolm Evans was quoted to have said: “For the SPT, the key to preventing torture and ill-treatment lies in building constructive relations between national and international bodies within the OPCAT framework,”, after the SPT’s latest session held in Geneva from 11 to 15 November.
“We have seen many real, positive developments as a result of this approach, and we are committed to bringing the benefits of becoming partners in prevention to all States parties as soon as we can,” he said.
Evans explained further that this is why the SPT is devising more ways of fulfilling its convention mandate, which not only grants it unrestricted access to all kinds of places of detention in countries that have ratified the OPCAT, but also calls on it to work closely with national, regional and other international mechanisms involved in the prevention of torture.
“As a result of the OPCAT and the work of the SPT, systems for regular visits to places of detention as part of international efforts to prevent torture are now a reality in more than 50 states,” he added.
“The SPT is at the centre of this international framework of independent torture prevention mechanisms and we need to become ever more closely involved in encouraging and supporting all those involved in this work, at whatever level,” Mr Evans said.ere gripped in fear when they heard sound of explosion and gunshots.
It was learnt that the operation was a continuation of the last operation carried out by the two agencies last month when two soldiers and five terrorists were killed.
Sources also said that dangerous weapons were also recovered at the terrorists’ hideout in the area.
Residents said two soldiers appeared dead in the gun duel, while the family members of the owner of the building, believed to be the terrorists’ hideout were apprehended.
However, the Spokesman of the JTF in Kano State, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, could not confirm the report, but said “anytime I get something, I will keep you informed”.
Also, four persons, including a police corporal, died when gunmen attacked the Bojude Police Station in Kwami local government area of Gombe State yesterday.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Fwaje Atajiri, confirmed that the gunmen attacked the station at about 2am.
He said that three of the gunmen were killed while one police corporal also died during gun duel with the hoodlums.
Atajiri explained that some of the gunmen escaped with bullet wounds while another policeman, who sustained injuries, was treated and discharged.
He called on health workers in clinics and hospitals in the state to report to the police, any persons with bullet wounds who might visit their facilities for treatment.
He said that the situation was calm and that more policemen had been deployed to the area.
Meanwhile, at least eight people were feared dead yesterday in Lagos as a truck veered off its lane and crashed into stationary vehicles at Oshodi.
Five vehicles were involved in the accident which occurred at the Oshodi `Isale’ Bus Stop on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
The lorry was coming from the Apapa end of the highway when the accident occurred. The stationary vehicles involved in the accident included three commercial buses and a jeep.
Our correspondent, who was at the scene shortly after the accident, reports that blood stained some portions of the road while luggage of the victims scattered. Transport managers pulled off the affected vehicles off the road to prevent a gridlock.
The Oshodi Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Samuel Ogundayo said  that 19 people were involved in the accident.
“A tipper had a break failure; 19 people were involved but eight died instantly. “They have been taken to the General Hospital, Ikeja and the Health Centre, Oshodi,” Ogundayo said.
However, an official of the Lagos State Transport Management Authority, who pleaded anonymity, said that five people died in the accident and five injured.
He said that the bodies of the dead had been taken to the General Hospital, Ikeja, while the wounded were taken to the Trauma Centre Oshodi.

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2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence

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The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.

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Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC

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The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.

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Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death

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The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.

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