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he Nigerian Bar Association () has once again called on the Nigerian government to withdraw the charges of non-declaration of assets filed against Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria.

In a statement by Paul Usoro, the NBA President, issued on Tuesday, the association called on the government to comply with due process by allowing the National Judicial Council (NJC) conclude the investigation into the petitions against Onnoghen at the Council.

The call is coming hours before the Code of Conduct Tribunal is expected to sit on Wednesday.

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Usoro said: “Given these non-exhaustive considerations and facts, we press on the Executive arm of the FGN to please discontinue the charge against the CJN when the matter comes up before the CCT on Wednesday, 13 February .

“We respectfully urge full compliance with due process by FGN in this matter by allowing the NJC process to take its course in respect of the two petitions against the CJN, a step that has already, commendably, been embraced by FGN in respect of the EFCC petition.”

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Onnoghen was accused of committing fraud in the declaration of his assets, an offence contrary to the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Moves by the government to freeze Onnoghen’s bank accounts was thwarted by a high court order that barred the government from doing so, except there is a court order.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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#EndSARS: We must regulate social media before it destroys us – Lai Mohammed

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has once again called for the regulation of social media in Nigeria. According to him, Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder if the issue of fake news shared on social media is not urgently addressed.

 

Lai Mohammed said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics, and Values to defend the 2021 budget proposed by his ministry.

 

While responding to questions from members of the committee, Lai Mohammed said that the next war to be fought in the country and across the world might be fought through social media, making reference to the ongoing #EndSARS protests.

 

According to Mohammed, the biggest challenge facing the country was the issue of fake news and misinformation, adding that the government identified this since 2017 and decided to launch a national campaign against fake news. He explained that the government was not seeking to shut down the social media space in the country because “the social media has come to stay”, but to have a social media policy that regulates the social media and check fake news and misinformation.

 

“The biggest challenge facing Nigeria today is fake news and misinformation. Based on that, we dedicated an entire National Council on Information’s meeting to that issue, after which we launched a national campaign against fake news in July 2018.

 

We said, then, that the next war will be fought without a shot being fired, but with the use of fake news. We didn’t stop there. We went on a tour of all media houses to solicit their support in the fight against fake news. We launched the campaign to regulate social media, which was bitterly contested by the stakeholders. We kept saying that if we don’t regulate social media, it will destroy us. Social media and fake news will not destroy Nigeria.

The recent #EndSARS war was fought on social media. They mobilised using the social media. The war today revolves around two things. Smartphone and data and these young men don’t even watch television or listen to radio or read newspapers. You will be shocked that when you start arguing with your children, they will be quoting the social media. So, we need a social media policy in Nigeria and we need to empower the various agencies and we need technology to be able to regulate the social media.”

Members of the committee, however, disagreed with the Minister.

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A member, Emmanuel Oghene, warned against any attempt to shut down the social media in the country, saying the action will be counter-productive and would make the youths to believe that there is an attempt to truncate democracy in the country. He said the government should not only focus on the negative effect of social media.

“Talking about the recent looting of COVID-19 items, in some places they will be looting, but nobody will know. The government will not know and the police will not know. But because of social media, people will be posting as it is happening and the government will be able to go there and save lives.

There was a time when some boys were digging the road and because of social media, this information came out and the situation was arrested. If there are no social media, that will not happen.

I want to appeal that this desire to shot down the social media, we should not overdo it because it will harm us. China is not a good example because it is a communist country. Nigeria has always been free, we are a Democratic country.

Let us look at other democracies and see what they have done with their social media. This technology is already here. It is not going to go away. We should have enough laws in our law books to deal with social media. If people post things that are not correct, they can be taken to court. If the laws are not enough, bring a bill and the National Assembly will pass it into law. If you shut down the social media, democracy will be greatly hampered.”he said

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#EndSARS: Fintiri to begin door-to-door search, vows to demolish houses containing looted goods in Adamawa

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Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State has given 12 hours to looters to return their loot or houses containing such goods will be demolished.

The governor, who made a broadcast Tuesday evening amid a 24-hour curfew he imposed earlier on Sunday following looting of government and private warehouses by thugs who went wild in the guise of End SARS protests, said the havoc done by the thugs especially mass looting around the state capital, Yola, was horrendous.

He said, “I am giving a 12 hour ultimatum (6:00 pm – 6:00 am) to the hoodlums to return whatever they looted from public and private warehouses and homes to the nearest Police Station and traditional rulers’ houses (from the ward to the district level), whichever is nearest to them.

“This ultimatum will expire at 6:00 am on Wednesday, 28th – October, 2020, after which I will sign an Executive Order for a house-to-house search to commence by 7:00 am of the same day.

“Part of the provision of the order is a sanction that will attract withdrawal of C of O and if necessary, demolition of every house that habours any of the stolen properties. Law abiding citizens should cooperate with the security agencies to ensure this is enforced to the letter.”

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He said he had received briefings of what had happened since Sunday morning, and listed places that were affected.

“With shock, we received the report of attacks on the Customs Office, Road Safety, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NEMA office, COVID-19 Isolation Centre at Kofare, North East Commodity Association (NECAS) Kofare, public and private warehouses in Demsawo, Nyako Quarters, opposite airport, behind Zenith Bank, Bakin Kogi, Mayanka, Upper Benue, AADP, LEA, Yola South, Red Cross opposite FMC, Aliyu Mustafa College; Dr. Belel’s workshop, private farms, etc,” Fintiri said.

He reiterated that although his government was still taking stock, to the best of his knowledge so far, the extent of loot and damages to properties of government and private entities is immense.

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“The loss is materially colossal but more enormous is the loss of moral values driven by greedy criminal urge to steal. We condemn in strong terms the outright demonstration of brigandage as barbaric, criminal and a recipe for anarchy,” the governor said.

He apologized to all Adamawa people for the acts of the hoodlums, saying, “As a Government, we take full responsibility for all the hardship attendant upon by the curfew era on decent and hardworking citizens.

“The other two categories of people I greatly owe apologies to are the vulnerable especially at the 21 LGAs who would have been the beneficiaries of the looted goods but were denied because of the activities of the hoodlums; and the owners of the private warehouses, shops and properties looted. I truly feel your pain.”

He assured that the reprieve which the state had had from the hoodlums since Monday afternoon would be sustained.

He said, “As a responsible government, we cannot fold our hands while criminals are trying to take over our society. We are working round the clock to ensure that peace is returned to our society. Working with the security agencies, we have activated the necessary instrument for a return to normalcy and arrest of the looters.”

He disclosed that so far 155 suspects are in police custody while nine Vehicles and 12 tricycles loaded with loot have also been impounded.

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