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Ojukaye: RSG Denies Witch-Hunt

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The Rivers State Government says the criminal charges filed against the embattled former Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of the State, Ojukaye Flag-Amaechree at the State High Court has nothing to do with political victimization as being speculated by the opposition party and members of the accused family in the state.
The State Attorney-General and the Commissioner for Justice, Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma (SAN), stated this while speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, Wednesday.
The State Attorney-General, who is also the lead prosecuting counsel in the matter, said the explanation became imperative following various attacks on his office alleging that the present trial of the former Asalga Council boss was politically-motivated.
According to him, the criminal offence which Ojukaye was charged with at the State Magistrate Court was the outcome of a one year investigation carried out by the State Police Command on the alleged murder of two persons, late Iminabo Dokubo and Smart Soberekon in Buguma in 2015.
He stated that the Police investigation was conducted and the report signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Yahaya Abubakar, adding that it was on the report that the Police relied to charge the accused to court for murder and conspiracy.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said he was merely exercising his powers as the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice as enshrined in section 211 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which empowers both the Federal and State Attorneys-General to institute and discontinue any criminal matters.
“Section 211 of 1999 constitution empowers both the Federal Government and State Attorney-Generals, not Inspector-General of Police (IGP), to institute to continue or to discontinue the prosecution of any criminal charges. They don’t share these powers with any Police officers”, he disclosed.
Aguma wondered why a matter that investigation was conducted and concluded during the last administration in the state would be viewed as political witch- hunt.
“Our administration came in May 29, 2015. This matter was investigated by the Police and concluded in 2014/2015,” he stated.
The State Attorney-General alleged that the Inspector-General of Police had made two separate attempts to withdraw the prosecution of the matter even when a prima facia case was established by the Police against the accused.
He alleged that his office and sub ordinate staff in the State Ministry of Justice have been receiving threat messages since the matter was moved to the High Court for trial, adding that they cannot be intimidated by the various threats to their lives not to continue with the matter to a logical conclusion.
The SAN, however, said it was left with the court to prove whether the accused was innocent or guilty to the two-count charge against him, adding they will argue the bail application on the next adjourned date.

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity

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Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari

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Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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