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Police Confused On Mass Trial Order, Adeboye, Kumuyi Defy Twitter Ban

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BABA

• How do police arrest prominent Nigerians because they are using Twitter? – Force The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, and the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, have defied the Federal Government’s order directing Nigerians to stop using Twitter.

 

 

While Adeboye said his tweets were covered by Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Kumuyi said his tweets were targeted at a global audience.

 

 

The clerics said these as the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Republic of Ireland, after a meeting with the  Federal Government on Monday insisted on their position that the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government was a violation of the freedom of expression.

 

 

Also, there were indications on Monday that the police were confused on how to handle Nigerians who were still   using  Twitter despite the Federal Government’s suspension of its operations in Nigeria.

 

 

Earlier  on Monday, the RCCG General  Overseer, Adeboye, justified his use of Twitter.  In a tweet, he stated  his church was  present across the world.

 

 

He wrote, “The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 nations and territories. The tweets here are in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

 

Kumuyi, while also tweeting, said, “In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than five continents and over 100 nations and we share the content from any of these locations.”

 

The churches of the two revered Christian leaders also copied their tweets.

 

Checks by our correspondents showed that the Senior Pastor of the Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria, Pastor Sam Adeyemi; the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, have also continued to tweet despite the ban.

 

 

Adeyemi retweeted around 2pm on Monday an event posted by Horasis @HorasisOrg, where he was scheduled to be speaking.

 

Suleiman, on his part, has been consistently tweeting and retweeting posts and events.His last two posts on Monday were birthday greetings of a junior pastor and his daughter, respectively.

 

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, a staunch supporter of the present regime, also tweeted on Sunday despite the ban.

 

The Federal Government last Friday suspended Twitter barely two days after the social media platform deleted a tweet by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), which many Nigerians believed was repugnant.

 

The Buhari regime subsequently came under fire from several rights groups across the world for stifling free speech.

 

 

Amidst the public outcry and criticism that followed the government’s decision, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Saturday directed the Director of Public Prosecution in his office to begin the process of prosecuting violators of the government’s suspension order.

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Despite the ban, however, many Nigerians have been using Virtual Private Networks to access Twitter, a move which has further infuriated the government.

 

 

Titter ban: Police in dilemma over Malami’s directive on prosecution

Multiple sources in the police headquarters in Abuja on Monday told our correspondents  that the police authorities were in a dilemma on how to enforce Malami’s directive.

 

 

One of the sources, who is a senior police officer, said, “Honestly, it is not something the police authorities will want to dabble into. Do you expect the police to begin to arrest these prominent Nigerians who you have mentioned because they are using Twitter?

 

 

“You know that policemen are already the ‘whipping boys’ of the Nigerian society always. Do you expect us to add this to our burden?”.

 

Another police officer confided in one of our correspondents that the police authorities were not favourably disposed to being involved in the enforcement of the suspension, saying the Office of the AGF would do so.

 

When reminded that before the Office of the AGF could prosecute, the police would have to first arrest the suspects, the source said, “I am not aware of any plan to arrest anybody.

 

“In any case, it is not the police alone that can arrest offenders. For instance, are officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps not empowered to arrest?”

 

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, did not take his calls when PUNCH made several attempts to speak with him on Monday.

 

He has yet to return the calls or respond to the text message sent to him on the matter as of the time of filing this report.

 

Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, also did not respond to enquiries on the matter on Monday.

Arresting, prosecuting Twitter offenders not our job –NCC

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said that it is not within its purview to arrest and prosecute violators of the suspension order.

 

Recall that in the Saturday statement, Malami had directed the Director of Public Prosecution to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, the NCC and other relevant government agencies “to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.”

 

But when contacted on Monday on how far the NCC had gone in collaborating with the DPP to prosecute offenders, the Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said it was not within the power of the commission to arrest or prosecute.

 

 

The NCC is a regulator. It is not within our power to arrest or prosecute. Based on our statement, we limited ourselves based on the order given to us by the government, which was to instruct the operators to disconnect, which was what we did. So, the other aspects are not within our purview,” Adinde said.

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US, UK, Canada, others insist on position, FG begs for understanding

But the Federal Government at the meeting with US, UK and Canada on Monday pleaded with them for support and   understanding over its decision to ban Twitter,  saying it was already in discussion with the mirco- logging site.

 

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, spoke on behalf of the five envoys and their representatives in Abuja after a closed-door meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama.

Leonard, who told the minister that access to social media by citizens was germane to freedom of speech, which in turn is a prerequisite for a democratic culture, also advised the Nigerian government to identify those who committed crimes and use judicial processes to deal with offenders, adding “but to constrain, that is not the behaviour.”

 

The envoy also said that they were glad to hear that Nigeria was interacting with Twitter.

 

“We recognise the official position of the Nigerian government on the responsible use of social media but we remain firm in our position that free access to information is very important and perhaps more important during troubled times”, Leonard stressed.

The envoy said further that it was actually in troubled times that there was the need for individual expression and open conversation and accountability.

 

“We are here as partners and we want to see Nigeria succeed. It’s very clear that we are Nigeria’s strongest partners on issues of security and we recognise the daunting times in the way of the security challenges that confront Nigeria.

 

While they are daunting, they are not insurmountable and part of the ways to surmount them is the partnership of the people you see represented here”, the envoy stated.

 

Onyeama confirmed that the Nigerian government was in dialogue with Twitter on the best ways to resolve the matter and perhaps lift the ban.

 

“As you yourself have said, discussions are ongoing with Twitter, we want to see how that progresses. So I cannot say for now the duration of the suspension.

 

There are conversations with our partners and with the social media platform”, he stated.

The minister told the envoys that the Federal Government was not against the use of social media but wanted to see it use for global good and responsible communications.

 

He said, “We know the power of words and when you have that kind of power to manage and facilitate communication to billions of people, it has to come with responsibility.

 

So, we are taking this measure to see to what extent we can rebalance the media as forces of good and stop them being used as a platform for destabilisation and facilitation of criminality.

 

Onyeama, who said that the meeting was meant to clarify issues, said, “We are asking them to also support us as we confront all these challenges and we have listened to their opinions.

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“You were all aware when Mr President was elected, security was number one on the list of his priorities and it is something he really wants to deliver for the people of Nigeria. Without security everything else fails. Investment will not come and lives will be displaced.”

 

The minister said social media had many advantages, adding that the communication revolution should not be use to destabilise the country.

He  stated, “We are not saying that Twitter is threatening the country or any such thing like that. That is not the justification. The justification for taking  this measure is to see to what extent we can rebalance the media as forces of good and stop them from being used as a platform for destabilisation and facilitation of criminality and encouragement of criminality.”

 

Meanwhile,  the Federal Government on Monday issued more directives on its ban on Twitter as the National Broadcasting Commission ordered broadcast stations  to suspend the patronage of Twitter with immediate effect.

 

The Acting Director General of the NBC, Professor Armstrong Idachaba, issued the directives in a statement titled, ‘Suspend Twitter handles.’

 

The commission directed the broadcast stations to “de- install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source  of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in.

 

“Consequent on the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission directs all broadcasting stations in Nigeria to suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately.

 

“In compliance to the above directive, broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de- install Twitter handles and desist from using twitter as a source  of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in.”

 

He cited the relevant sections of the NBC Act to justify his directives.

IPC, MRA threaten to drag FG before AU, UN

The groups stated that the action was an unjustifiable violation of the rights of all Nigerians to freedom of expression and access to information, noting that  the action of the government violated the international and African charters  the country was a party to.

 

This was contained in a joint statement signed by MRA’s Executive Director, Mr. Edetaen Ojo; and the Executive Director of IPC, Mr Lanre Arogundade.

 

The statement was titled, ‘MRA, IPC condemn Federal Government’s Twitter ban, threaten to lodge complaints before the AU, UN bodies.’    ,,

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Breaking: EFCC Re-arrests Mompha For Alleged Money Laundering

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Operatives of the Lagos Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have re-arrested a suspected internet fraudster, Ismailia Mustapha, for laundering funds obtained through unlawful activities and retention of  alleged proceeds  of crime.
According to a statement made available to ThePage News Online, signed by Its Media Head, Wilson Uwujaren,
 Mompha was arrested on Monday, January 10, 2022.
 The suspect is currently standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited on an amended twenty two-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N32.9bn (Thirty-two Billion Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) brought against him by the EFCC.
It will be recalled that Mompha had earlier been arrested on October 18, 2019 at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport while boarding an Emirates Airline Flight to Dubai by the staff of the Nigeria Immigration Service, following a watch list by the EFCC.
 Mompha is alleged to have used his registered companies to receive illicit funds on behalf of “yahoo yahoo” boys from across the world in return for commission.
 The account of one of his companies, Ismalob Global Investment Limited Bank, a Bureau de Change Company, domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc, was allegedly used to launder funds derived from unlawful activities.
 Investigation has revealed a fraudulent transfer slip of $92, 412, 75 found in the suspect’s IPhone 8 device.
He will soon be charged to court.

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Nigeria To Conduct Digital Census In May 2022, NPC Reveals, As Bandits Kill Staff

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The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa Kwarra, has disclosed that the commission will conduct the maiden digital population census in May 2022.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, on Monday, he said the commission is ready to conduct the digital population census in the country.
According to him, “We are ready to give the country a first-ever digital census by May 2022.
“We have the map data in our system, androids which unlike the analogue era will make it very easy for a reliable and credible census.”
He also stressed the commission’s capacity to tackle insecurity in all the states of the federation during the census.
He observed that the aim of his visit was to create awareness of the forthcoming census and solicit the support of the government and the people of Kaduna State for the success of its activities.
“The commission has intensified efforts towards the forthcoming Population and Housing Census as we have already conducted Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise in 772 Local Government Area’s (LGA’s) across the 36 States and the FCT.
“The demarcation of the last two LGA’s will be completed in the next one month.
“In Kaduna state, only Birin Gwari LGA is remaining because of insecurity,” the NPC chairman said.
Responding, Governor Nasir El -Rufai said Kaduna needed an update of the census in the state to ensure that plans are done in line with the number of citizens.
“As the third most populated state in the country, Kaduna will work with the commission to ensure a successful census.
“Let me use this opportunity to express our condolence on behalf of the people of Kaduna state over the death of one of your staff who was killed by bandits.
“I want to assure you of the support and cooperation of the government and the citizens of the state to help ensure a smooth conduct of the next census exercise as our doors are open to any support required,” the governor said.

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Ladoja Absent As Olubadan-in-council Announces Lekan Balogun as Olubadan-designate

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Lekan Balogun

The Olubadan-in-council has announced Chief Lekan Balogun as Olubadan-designate.

 

The Osi Balogun of Ibadan, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola made the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday at Mapo Hall, in Ibadan, the state capital following his endorsement by 10 kingmakers.

 

According to Ajibola, the kingmakers resolved that Dr Balogun is next in line to ascend the throne of Olubadan according to the tradition.

 

 

He also debunks insinuations relating to the health and wellness of the new Olubadan-designate.

 

However, former governor Rashidi Ladoja, Osi Olubadan, was absent.

 

The Press Nigeria understands that Ibadan kingmakers are 11.

 

High Chiefs in attendance are Balogun Olubadan, Owolabi Olakulehin; Otun Balogun, Olufemi Olaifa; Ashipa Olubadan, Eddy Oyewole and Osi Balogun, Tajudeen Ajibola.

 

The others are Ekaarun Olubadan, Amidu Ajibade; Ashila Balogun Olubadan, Lateef Gbadamosi, Ekaarun Balogun, Kola Adegbola and Ekerin Olubadan Abiodun Kola-Daisi

 

More details soon

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