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#EndSARS: Fresh Protest Looms as CSOs Urge FG to Unfreeze Promoters’ Accounts

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Controversies have trailed the ex parte order obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze the accounts of 20 individuals and an organisation linked to the #EndSARS campaign.

#EndSARS: Fresh Protest Looms as CSOs Urge FG to Unfreeze Promoters’ Accounts

This is coming as Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria and Yiaga Africa, two civil society organizations, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to refrain from implementing a recent court order freezing the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters, including Oluwarinu Oduala, who is a member of the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of protesters at the Lekki toll gate.

Many Nigerians especially youths also taken to social media to condemn the move by the apex bank.

EiE Nigeria and Yiaga Africa also warned that implementing the court order would have grave implications towards building citizens’ confidence in the Judicial Panel and in its ability to ensure justice for victims of police brutality.

The CSOs raised the alarm in a joint statement signed by Yemi Adamolekun, EiE’s executive director, and Cynthia Mbamalu, Yiaga Africa’s director of Programmes, in Abuja on Sunday.

Recall that the Lagos Judicial Panel Inquiry was unable to receive submissions and petitions last Saturday due to the absence of Oluwarinu Oduala, and Temitope Majekodunmi, two youth members of the panel, in protest against the freezing of Oduala’s bank account till January 2021 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The statement reads, “We note with concern the recent attacks and clampdowns on some members of the Panels representing youths.

“This action has grave implications towards building citizens’ confidence in the Panels and in the ability of the Panels to ensure justice for victims of police brutality.

“In the interest of justice, we hereby call on the Government acting through the Central Bank of Nigeria to refrain from implementing this tactical intimidation of freezing the bank accounts of lawful citizens, who exercised their constitutionally guaranteed rights and some of whom are performing national duty in seeking justice for victims of police brutality.

“We recommend the immediate unfreezing of the accounts and a cessation of the attacks and harassment of youth representatives on the Panels to enable them carry out their assignments.”

The CSOs also raised concern over the perceived unwillingness of security agencies, especially the military to the grant members of the judicial panel access to certain place relevant to the inquiry.

They said, “We, however, call on the security agencies to work with the panels in providing requisite information requested for and to welcome this process as a critical reform process to improve the work of the security agencies.

“We also call on the Panels to ensure transparency, fairness and participation as they sit and to conduct their responsibility without fear of intimidation by security agencies.”

In addition, the CSOs lamented the short timelines issued by the judicial panels of inquiry in some states for the submission of petitions and memoranda.

“We, therefore, call on the panel to extend the deadlines for submission of memoranda in order to ensure all victims of police brutality submit their memoranda and petitions to the Panels,” the statement added.


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Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

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At least N87 million bribes were paid to Nigerian public and private officials in 2023, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

NBS data also indicated that of all Nigerian citizens who had at least one contact with a public official in the 12 months prior to the 2023 survey, 27 per cent paid a bribe to a public official.

According to the Bureau, Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption effort has been declining over time and across regions.

“While in 2019, more than half of all citizens thought that the government was effective in fighting corruption, in 2023, the share declined to less than a third of all citizens.

“The downward trend in the citizens’ confidence is observable across the entire country, with all six zones recording reductions of more than 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2023 in terms of the share of citizens who thought the government was effective in fighting corruption,” it stated.


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12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture has significantly expanded its educational initiatives by inducting 27 Nigerian academics and research interns.

12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

A cross section of participants in the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture’s 2024 sabbatical and research programme in a group photograph with the leadership of SPDC’s Corporate Relations team at the induction ceremony held in Port Harcourt…recently.

This year’s programme, a 35% increase from the previous year, welcomed eight professors, four senior lecturers, and 15 other participants.

Held at the company’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the induction ceremony marked the beginning of a one-year programme focused on knowledge exchange and skill development.

Drawn from 13 Nigerian universities, these participants will gain valuable industry experience in fields like biodiversity, petroleum engineering, and environmental impact assessment.

“The research and internship programmes are central to our commitment to supporting higher education in Nigeria,” explained Mr. Igo Weli, Shell Nigeria’s Head of Corporate Relations, and SPDC Director.

He described the programme as mutually beneficial nature by offering Shell access to specialised expertise from professors and lecturers, who in turn acquire practical industry knowledge and exposure to cutting-edge technologies.

Despite operational challenges, Mr. Weli reaffirmed Shell’s position as the industry leader in fostering a positive learning environment and empowering people.

Representing Mrs. Bunmi Edith Lawson, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, echoed Mr. Weli’s sentiments. She highlighted the programme’s significance in scientific exploration, environmental stewardship, and knowledge advancement.

“This is an investment in the next generation of innovators,” she stated, “and a way for us to give back to our stakeholders.”

The 2024 programme includes participants from a diverse range of universities across Nigeria, including the University of Benin, Rivers State University, University of Ibadan, Niger Delta University, and Ahmadu Bello University.

Others are Bingham University Karu, Federal University Wukari, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Covenant University, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, University of Uyo, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.

 

 


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Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

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Saleh Mamman, former minister of Power, who was charged for a N33 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been granted bail.

Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

During a sitting on Friday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Mamman was granted N10 billion billion with two sureties in like sum.

Issuing the verdict, James Omotosho, chief judge, held that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within the Federal Capital Territory with a minimum valuation of N750 million.

The judge stated that the sureties must swear an affidavit of means and submit their three-year tax clearance certificates, adding that certified copies of the defendant and sureties’ bank statements and their most recent passport photograph must also be submitted.

In addition, the judge directed the defendant to turn in his international passport to the court’s registrar, stating that the registrar must confirm every document before the defendant is allowed to leave custody.

The court further ordered that the defendant be held in jail until all bail requirements were fulfilled and that the sureties could provide a bank guarantee or bond of N10 billion. The case has been adjourned until September 25, 2024.

On Thursday, July 11, the judge ordered the remand of the former minister at the Kuje Prison after his not-guilty plea to all the 12-count charges preferred against him. His lawyer, Femi Ate, a senior advocate, however, told the court that a bail application had been filed on behalf of his client.

Although the judge stated the bail application had not yet made it into the court file, the lawyer representing the EFCC, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, also a senior advocate, admitted that the application had been received.

Meanwhile, the defendant had collapsed outside the courtroom before the hearing on Thursday but was revived with the help of his lawyers and some medical personnel at the court.

 


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