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HEDA Demands Climate Justice For Nigeria, Africa

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Still worried by the level of human insensitive and reckless actions and inactions towards the environment, a frontline civil society organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has called for climate justice for Nigeria and Africa at large.
In preparation for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP27, which would be the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held from November 6 to 18, 2022, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, HEDA took to the streets of Lagos over the weekend to create awareness on the need for Africa to stand out (regarding the climate change) in the conference.
The roadshow, which took place in Maryland, Ikeja and other strategic locations of Lagos, saw some concerned young men and women in branded T-Shirts and placards and other forms of display designed to draw public attention towards the unfortunate environmental realities which citizens themselves have advertently created.
With different inscriptions like: “What’s going on here?”, “The world is changing”, “We are killing the ecosystem”, “Trees are the lungs of the earth, let the earth breath, plant a tree today”, “Climate change is natural”, “Climate change is man-made”, “The climate is changing because you and I refuse to change”, “We pollute the environment”, “We block drainages”, “We demand climate Justice,” etcetera, the environmental justice and sustainability advocate (HEDA) called for caution and restrain in the way and manner people relates with the environment and its inhabitants including plants, animals, water and other creatures.
Speaking shortly after, the Executive Secretary of HEDA, Mr Arigbabu Sulaimon, said the world was changing but not in the best interest of mankind- due to human (individuals and corporate organisations) unfriendly activities towards the environment, urging Nigerians and Africans at large to shun any practice capable of destroying the environment.
According to him, what Africa deserves among other salient needs is climate justice: “Africa is in drought. Animals are dying. People are suffering. Farm produce is shrinking. Most parts of Nigeria including the food basket of Nigeria is over-flooded due to the failure of water and dams management system”.
HEDA’s scribe decried the level of Nigerians’ reactive response towards ugly incidents which were oftentimes predicted by NiMet and other organisations earlier, saying, “When the alarm is raised over an impending doom, like NiMet did since February on the flood which has destroyed lives, property and farm produce worth billions, we need to be proactive and take frantic actions to prepare for such days like this.
“Howbeit, on the side of the government, it’s not enough to raise the alarm, we need action, people especially farmers need to be mentally equipped with professional advice, for instance, they (farmers) need to know the kind/ varieties of seeds to plant and how to go about it the farming system for that particular season.”
By extension, he added that Africa needs money to adapt to climate change and meet up to its obligations in the international community.
“Howbeit, proper management of available resources like ecological funds and other foreign aids must be prudently utilised and deployed maximally.
“We understand that corruption is still eating deep into the fabrics of most African countries; that is why everyone must rise now and do something worth doing to mitigate the effects of climate change. As you may see, we are all affected by the calamity the floods have caused, because we all interdependent on one another for one exchange for the other, like food, and roads network, among others.
“Olams and other large farmers lost investments worth billions in Nassawara State. Across every state, you see people affected by one act of natural phenomena or the other which has always been there, but the sad thing is that we keep falling victim of their recurrence because of failure to plan by the government across the board.
“All hands must be on deck to preserve the environment, especially the government which gives policy direction and controls the financial resources. As friends of the environment, we are not leaving any stone unturned to see that we let people be aware of the dangers of treating the environment indiscreetly. Civil society organisations also should rise now and act in this regard before things get out of control,” he charged.

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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