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#EndSARS: Be Careful On Clampdown, Seizures, PDP Reps Urge FG

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The Peoples Democratic Party Caucus in the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to handle issues arising from the recent #EndSARS protests with utmost caution, and show respect for the youth.
The caucus stated that the government must follow all democratic principles in dealing with those arrested due to their involvement in the protests, stressing that the rule of law must be observed in whatever measures it was willing to take against them.
The Leader of the caucus, Hon Kingsley Chinda (Rivers), stated this in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Post-#EndSARS Protest: We Must Tread Carefully and Respect the Leaders of Tomorrow, PDP Reps Caution FG…Call for Observance of Democratic Tenets, Rule of Law.’
Chinda said the caucus noted, “with trepidation” that in the last few weeks, the media had been inundated with news reports of actions taken by the government against #EndSARS protesters and alleged supporters.
The statement partly read, “These actions, which include seizure of passports/travel documents, freezing of bank accounts, court orders sought and obtained by the government against citizens, de-registration of companies perceived to be supporters of #EndSars by the Corporate Affairs Commission, and arrests and prosecution of some genuine protesters, show the insidious and ridiculous length the government has gone in muzzling the rights and freedoms of citizens, whose only offence is that they dared to speak truth to power and to a government that has become tone-deaf, on auto-drive and, of course, blind to the sufferings of Nigerians.
“Though it is the constitutional responsibility of government to maintain law and order, we believe that this purposive duty imposed by the Constitution must be discharged in a manner that accords respect for the rights of citizens and within the bounds of the rule of law. So far, the actions of the government speak volume of the way it continues to treat the citizens with disdain, stoking the flames of anarchy that would invariably devour the relationship between it and the citizens.
“When a government persists on the path of unreasonable and irrational actions, the tension that ensues between it and the citizens can only grow into civil resistance of citizens who consider it as an enemy and not partners in nation-building.
“We do hope that the government retraces its steps and engages our youths as partners and not dissidents that must be treated with scorn and discredited for voicing their opinions on the many unfortunate happenstances in our country. This government must free itself from fifth columnists bent on derailing our democracy.”
The PDP lawmakers further warned the government against muddling up the genuine agitation of the protesters with the subsequent hijacking of the protests by hoodlums.
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UNDP, IGP Seek Partnership On Police Reforms

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Nigeria, has sued for concrete partnership with the police high command in fostering police reform agenda of the government.
UNDP made the call during a meeting led by its Resident Representative, Mohammed Yahya, with the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, and members of the Force Management Team in Abuja, midweek.
Yahya’s entourage included representatives of the German Government at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, as part of the Presidential Committee on Police Reforms Agenda for the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the spokesman of the police, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, “During the meeting, the UNDP Resident Representative discussed areas of further collaborations with the Nigeria Police Force to achieve the Presidential Action Plan for Police Reforms in the country.
The areas considered and deliberated upon included training and retraining, support in acquisition of logistics such as ICT-based gadgets and intelligence networks, welfare, in line with the President’s approved road map.
“The IGP expressed the willingness of the Force under his Command to support the UNDP, international community and other relevant agencies under the Presidential Committee on Police Reforms.
He discussed some projects that have been completed under his watch in line with the Police Reform Agenda, such as the completion of more than 120 model police stations across the country, and construction of modern NPF Resource Centres.
Also include in the projects are Provision of barrack accommodation to some officers and men of the Force, health facilities, and other developmental projects across the country, as well as the yearly recruitment of 10,000 Police Constables to boost the manpower drive of the Nigeria Police Force, which, he said, “are all catalytic to improved service delivery of the NPF”.
In the same vein, the IG appreciated the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, for its continuous support in all areas to reposition and boost the police for effective and efficient service delivery in Nigeria.
He reiterated the commitment of the Police Force to improving its services at all levels in order to have better security and public safety in Nigeria.

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Trafficking: NAPTIP Holds Peer Review For Member States

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) has organized a second batch of Boot Camp Peer Review for members of states’ taskforces to fight human trafficking
The  five-day North/South boot camp organiaed in partnership with Expertise France, International Organisation Migration (IOM), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and others, was aimed at deepening engagement of members of states taskforce in fighting human traffickers.
In her opening remarks, the Director – General (DG) NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, appreciated Expertise France, IOM, UNODC and others for their support towards organising the boot camp.
Waziri-Azi said the collaboration would provide avenue to holistically assess the level of progress made by the inaugurated taskforces across the country.
The NAPTIP DG said although the trends and proportionality of human trafficking might differ, statistics revealed that no state was free from human traffickers.
“NAPTIP’s statistical analysis from 2019 – 2022 revealed that 61 per cent of human trafficking cases in the country occurred internally while 39 per cent was across our borders.
“It is an undisputable fact that what anti-human trafficking stakeholders have in their hands now is a national crisis.
“This is major reason this forum is imperative for in-depth interactions among state and non-state actors,” she said.
The DG, who was represented by Mr Olubiyi Olusayo, Director of Intelligence, Research and Programme Development, NAPTIP, said the second phase of the boot camp was organised for 12 states.
“It would enable NAPTIP to take stock of the impact of the taskforces at the subnational levels.
“The states included Edo, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Rivers, Cross-River, Akwa-Ibom, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Borno, and Jigawa,” she said.
According to her, there is no doubt that human trafficking is a dynamic and emerging crime.
She urged the taskforces to present and maintain a clearer picture of how human trafficking affected their communities and how traffickers were changing their tactics.
“NAPTIP would be looking forward to receiving and studying the report that would emanate from this five-day meeting,” she stressed.
The NAPTIP boss further commended partner organisations for their support in making the camp boot a reality.

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New CJN Debunks Rift Among Justices

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The newly confirmed Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has denied any rift among justices of the Supreme Court.
Ariwoola reacted to the leaked memo suggesting that Supreme Court justices were at each other’s jugular when he appeared before Senators at the red Chamber for his confirmation to take over from the former CJN, Mohammed Tanko, in Abuja.
Recall that Tanko had resigned over health issues.
Ariwoola in his response to questions by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary and Legal Matters, Michael Bamidele Opeyemi, and other Senators expressed concern that petitions were allegedly written against the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Tanko, by 15 other Supreme Court justices without recourse to the procedure.
He clarified that Supreme Court Justices didn’t write petitions to or against Justice Mohammed Tanko as CJN then but an internal memo on how to address challenges being faced by them as regards welfare and an unconducive working environment.
“Justices of the Supreme Court didn’t write petition to or against Justice Mohammed Tanko as CJN few months back, but memo where issues relating to welfare of each of the Justices and unconducive working environment of Justices at the Supreme Court generally were raised.
“We, the Justices were embarrassed when we read the content of our memo in the papers.
“It was never intended to be for public consumption since the motive behind the memo was not to fight or bring down anybody.
“When the handwritten memo was signed by all the Justices, we didn’t allow anybody to see it, making its leakage to the media to be like a miracle to us”, he said.
He, however, said most of the issues raised in the memo are still not attended to, due to paucity of funds and poor funding of the Supreme Court in particular and Judiciary in general.
According to him, Justices who were appointed in 2020 have not had official accommodation, making them come to the office from Satellite towns within the FCT.
After the screening by the Committee of the whole, he was confirmed by the plenary which was presided by the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan.

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