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SERAP, Others Drag Buhari To Court Over NBC Directive On Newspaper Review

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SERAP

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, over the order stopping journalists and broadcast stations from reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims.

 

 

They are asking the court to declare the order as null and void.

 

 

Joined in the suit as Defendant, is the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

 

 

The suit followed the directive by the NBC, asking journalists, television and radio stations in Nigeria to stop “glamourising and giving too many details on the nefarious activities of terrorists and kidnappers” during their daily newspaper reviews.

 

 

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/725/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP and PTCIJ are seeking: “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Mr Lai Muhammed or any other persons from imposing fines or other sanctions on broadcast stations for carrying out their constitutional duties of reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims during daily newspaper reviews.”

 

 

They are also seeking “an order to compel and direct the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed to withdraw the directive asking journalists and broadcast stations to stop reporting details on terrorist attacks and victims, as the directive is unlawful and inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and the country’s international human rights obligations.

 

 

“An order setting aside the directive on reporting of terrorist attacks and victims, for being inconsistent and incompatible with sections 22 and 39 of the Nigerian Constitution, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

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According to SERAP, “unless the reliefs sought are urgently granted by this Honourable Court, the directive by the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed would be used to impermissibly restrict Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression, access to information, media freedom, and victims’ right to justice and effective remedies.”

 

 

SERAP and PTCIJ are arguing that the failure by the government to withdraw the directive, violates sections 5[a] and [b], 147 and 148 of the Nigerian Constitution, Code of Conduct for Public Officers [Fifth Schedule Part 1], and Oath of office [Seventh Schedule] of the Constitution.”

 

 

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP and PTCIJ by their lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “The NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed lack the power and authority to restrict the ability of journalists and broadcast stations to carry out their constitutional duties and to unlawfully impose penalties such as fines and other sanctions on any journalists and broadcast stations for reporting on details of terrorist attacks and victims in the country.”

 

 

“SERAP and PTCIJ together with several millions of Nigerians easily access information, news and form opinions on government policies through the daily newspaper reviews by journalists and broadcast stations in Nigeria.”

 

 

SERAP believes that while the NBC has the powers to make rules to enable it perform its statutory functions under section 2[1] [a] to [u] of NBC Act, such statutory powers ought to be exercised in line with the Nigerian Constitution, and the country’s international human rights obligations.

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Female Journalist Laments EFCC Night Invasion Of Her Bedroom, Kitchen

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A woman journalist, Mrs. Norah Okafor, has alerted authorities to the invasion of her home in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, by over 25 masked operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

 

The incident, she said, took place on Thursday between 1:36 a.m and 2 a.m.

 

 

 

“At exactly 1:36 a.m, I was alerted by my brother that there were armed robbers at my gate trying to make their way into the compound. Because it was an electric fence, I didn’t bother enough because I felt they could not make their way in. Alas, I was wrong. At 2 a.m prompt, they entered the compound, and they came prepared. There were over 25 of them in two Hilux buses. They were masked and dressed in all-black attire.

 

 

A huge member of the team climbed the fence with a pair of pliers and immediately cut off parts of the wires. He jumped into the compound and, with an axe, broke the gate key open to enable the team enter my apartment.

 

 

“As a nude sleeper, while they tried to make their way into the compound, I found something to wear while my brothers and I were thinking of a way of escape. The worst case scenario for me was that they would rape or take the only valuable available (a car key).

 

 

So, I prepared my mind. The next thing I realised was that about seven of them were in my room with shouts of ‘Lie down, face down; (switch) on the light. Where’s your phone? Where’s your car key?’ They asked for so many things and I became confused. Seeing over 25 hefty men with different kinds of guns, mhen, e don be, be that (It had finally happened, I presumed).

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“I handed the phone over to them with the key. Before then, they had taken my laptop. I turned to be sure if they were armed robbers.

 

 

They asked for my passwords to all the devices collected with masking tape to identify each. Still in shock, I heard someone destroying everything in the kitchen, my room, that of my brothers and all the drawers. I was still asking myself: what’s happening?

 

 

“They asked me to stand and follow them downstairs. Lo and beyond, they unmasked themselves. Hmmmm! Are these criminals? I asked. All my neighbours were already going through the same pain as I was.

 

 

They had given my brothers the beating of their lives, carried my neighbour downstairs and tried unlocking all the cars in the compound. And after searching all the phones and laptops, three of them walked in. Behold, they were from EFCC.

 

 

“What?” I screamed.

“Shut up” was the next thing I heard.

 

 

“When they couldn’t open my phone, they asked me to, and I did. After a while, I asked them: ‘Please, where is your office so I can come and pick up my things on my way to work?’ They asked me what I do and I said I’m a journalist. They asked my neighbour and he said ‘lawyer’; the other one a ‘doctor’.

 

 

 

“They looked at me, handed over the phones and said: ‘We just wasted our time.’

 

 

“Those fools spent over one hour molesting and destroying things in this compound. I feel so pained and embarrassed right now. “Is this how EFCC operates? How did we get here? Who is the informant? I am just confused right now. Thank God, my mum isn’t here…”

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Yoruba Nation, Biafra Agitators, Two Others Protest As Buhari Addresses UN Assembly Today

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Yoruba Nation

Three Nigerian groups On Yoruba Nation  are set for protests today at the United Nations headquarters in New as the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) addresses the UN General Assembly.

 

 

While two of the groups are protesting against the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the third group will demonstrate in support of the ex-military leader.

 

 

One of the groups comprising Yoruba Nation and Biafra agitators, Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, is headed by Prof Banji Akintoye.

 

 

Also, activists under the aegis of TakeItBack movement have mobilised for a protest at UN headquarters in New York with demands.

 

 

PUNCH gathered that the last group would be holding a pro-Buhari protest tagged, ‘One Nigeria March.’

 

 

 

Akintoye explained that NINAS’ protest tagged, ‘Million-Man Freedom March,’ was to show the world “the crimes against humanity, attacks on press freedom, free speech and other criminalities being aided by the Buhari-led government of Nigeria.”

 

 

He also said the agitators “are demanding the conduct of a regional referendum so that the indigenous people can decide on their nationhood”.

 

The renowned historian accused the Federal Government of sponsoring the counter-protest at UN headquarters, alleging that black foreigners living in the United States of America were “hired at $500 per head.”

 

 

Akintoye, in a statement on Thursday by NINAS Director of Public Communications, Mr Maxwell Adeleye, said, “Irrespective of the material and financial superiorities of these Lions, there’s no way they can defeat United Foxes in a democracy.

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“The Friday Grand March in New York shall be historic; hence, the Nigerian government is jittery. The ring leader of government officials and a top Lagos journalist are now in New York to start hiring black people who will pretend as Nigerians to stage a pro-Buhari and One Nigeria protest to counter NINAS.

 

 

“But we refuse to be rattled. We shall not be intimidated. No oppressor has ever triumphed against the collective will of the people. The people are the government and power belongs to the people. The people make the constitution.”

 

 

 

TakeitBack Movement’s Global Director of Mobilisation, Gbola Owoborode, listed four demands for the activists’ protest, among which were that the leader of Independent People of Biafra and Yoruba Nation activists, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho, should be freed.

 

 

He said, “The regime should also free Sowore, unconditionally and drop all charges, of which he has been falsely accused.

 

 

“We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Nnamdi Kanu, Igboho and the over 300 #endSARS activists still under illegal detention, as well as an end to terrorism, kidnappings. and banditry that has completely ravaged the entire country.

 

 

“The resignation of the Buhari regime that is incompetent, lawless, despotic, nepotistic and corrupt.

 

 

It has failed to guarantee the security and welfare of Nigerians which is their primary responsibility as a government. The Buhari Junta must go!”

 

 

 PUNCH

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EvaluatePR Hosts Industry Talk With Communication Experts Today

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Communications experts to dissect industry challenges at the 18th edition of EvaluatePR.

 

Nigeria’s foremost media intelligence agency, P+ Measurement Services is set to host its quarterly edition of EvaluatePR as it welcomes all communications professionals around the globe to the 18th edition of this event.

 

 

EvaluatePR is an informative event that will be honoured by communications and media monitoring professionals, who will be sharing their experiences, advice, insights, and quotes on Media Measurement, Monitoring, and Evaluation during the interactive session.

 

 

This edition will feature public relations and measurement practitioners which includes: Francois Van Dyk, Head of Operations, Ornico Group, Johannesburg, South Africa and Samuel O. Adeyemi, Lead Strategist, Media DNA, Nigeria, who together will share from their wealth of knowledge, experiences and insights to the theme of the event.

 

 

The 18th Edition of EvaluatePR, is scheduled to take place on Friday, 24th September 2021, with the theme “Media Monitoring & Measurement: An Essential Tool in Public Relations” between the hours of 12pm and 1pm (West African Time) on the Google Meet platform.

 

 

To be a part of the conversation, kindly join using the Google Meet link: https://meet.google.com/qty-nbnk-emf

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