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Constitution Review: N’Assembly holds no predetermined position on any issue – Lawan

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly holds no predetermined position on any issue of interest to Nigerians ahead of moves to amend the 1999 Constitution.

Lawan made this known during plenary on Tuesday, in his remarks after reading a letter signed by the Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to announce the chairmanship composition to oversee a two-day public hearing across the six geo-political zones on proposals to alter the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

According to Lawan, the exercise would avail Nigerians the opportunity to make submissions on any issue of interest, adding that the National Assembly on its part, would prioritize such issues to enhance the welfare and security of citizens.

He said: “Distinguished colleagues, this is a very important exercise for our country, and I’ll take this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians who have one issue or the other  that they think the Constitution review of the senate should know and take note and address.

“It’s an opportunity to go to the Centre nearest to you. We are open, we are plain, we don’t have any preconceived or predetermined position on anything.

“The numerous issues that Nigerians feel should to be addressed to make Nigeria better, to make citizens secured, and enhance the welfare of our people are topmost in our consideration.

“Because of this so important assignment, by this very important Committee of the Senate, the Senate will suspend plenary throughout next week.

“This is to enable not only the committee members, but the rest of us who are not even members of the Constitution Review Committee to participate in the exercise.

“Once again, we wish our committee on the review of the constitution the best of outing, and Nigerians should take every possible opportunity to be there to present whatever they feel strongly about on how this country could be better. [And] we are welcoming every suggestion and issue.”

The zonal public hearing on proposals to alter the provisions of the 1999 constitution, according to the Senate President, would commence next week and is scheduled to hold in two Centres in each of the six Geo-political zones in the country, from Wednesday 26th to Thursday 27th of May, 2021.

In North Central, the Jos Centres consisting of Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue States would be chaired by Senator Abdullahi Adamu; while the Minna Centre consisting of Niger, Kwara, Kogi and FCT is to be chaired Senator Abdullahi Sabi Aliyu.

The North-East Centre, which is split into the Bauchi Centre (Bauchi, Yobe and Borno); and Gombe Centre (Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa) are to be chaired by Senators Abubakar Kyari and Mohammed Danjuma Goje.

In the North-West, the Kaduna Centre which covers Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States, has as its Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya; and the Sokoto Centre covering Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, to be chaired by Senator Muhammed Aliero.

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, is expected to chair the Owerri Centre which covers Imo and Abia States, while the second centre in Enugu to cover Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra states under the South-East Geo-political zone would be chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

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Defence and Security

Suspects Linked To Owo Church Massacre Arrested – General Irabor

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor
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The Suspects Linked to terror attack on the Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo, have been arrested.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor disclosed this on Tuesday during a parley with executives and editors of media organisations in Nigeria.

General Irabor said the attackers were arrested during joint operations involving the Armed Forces, the Department of Security Services (DSS) and the police.

About 40 people were killed when the gunmen stormed the church on June 5, opened fire on the congregation, and also detonated explosives as the worshippers scampered for safety.

Earlier, operatives of Amotekun Corps in Ondo State had arrested some suspects in connection with the killings.

Briefing journalists in Akure on June 23, the state Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, expressed assurance that all the attackers of the worship center would be apprehended.

Adeleye, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspected terrorists arrested.

“As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on,” he said.

“A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as a well number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”

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Defence and Security

Gunmen Kidnap Three Children In Kogi, Demand N100m Ransom

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Gunmen have kidnapped three underage children in Ajaokuta Local Government area of Kogi State, asking for ransom of N100m.
 
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Command William Ayah confirmed the abduction on Friday.

In a statement, he said the Commissioner of Police in the state Edward Ebuka has deployed operatives of various police anti-kidnapping units in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to trail the kidnappers in order to rescue the children and bring the perpetrators to book.

The three children whose ages ranged from three, five, and ten years were on Wednesday evening around eight o’clock kidnapped at their resident, Kaduna Estate Ajaokuta Steel Township complex, by yet-to-be-identified gunmen

Eyewitness reports revealed that the kidnappers who were fully armed with guns shot sporadically to scare residents away before they abducted the children.

A family member who wants anonymity disclosed that the gunmen on Thursday morning contacted the family and demanded N100m as ransom.

The incident is coming days after gunmen killed three policemen and five vigilantes at Jida-Bassa also in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State.

But, as part of measures to curb the incessant security challenges in Kogi State, the state governor Yahaya Bello ordered the closure of all brothels and banned the use of facemasks in public places for proper identification.

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Defence and Security

Imo Killing: Fish out perpetrators, Northern Elders task security agencies

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IGP Usman Alkali Baba:
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The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has condemned the murder of eight people suspected to be migrants from the North by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State.

The Arewa elders also asked on the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the killings in the state.

NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement on Friday said: “We are deeply concerned over rising cases of profiling, targeting and killings of Northerners in many parts of the South.

“The recent murder of Nigerians in Imo State, apparently on suspicion that they were northerners, is one incident among many recent ones that involve harassments, illegal arrests, attacks and killings of Nigerians from the North.

“It would appear that groups that target northerners draw inspiration from the silence of leaders and the absence of appropriate response from security and other law enforcement agencies.

“The Forum draws attention once again to the dangers  of these escalating incidents and provocations.

“The impression that northerners are fair game for groups and organizations in the South is forcing northerners to exercise their rights to travel and live peacefully in any part of Nigeria only under great danger and fear.

This is intolerable and unacceptable.
“The Forum demands that governments, communities and law enforcement agencies protect northerners living in the South.

“It demands clear and emphatic condemnation from leaders, elders and communities  who understand that the welfare and security of all citizens are vulnerable to the degree that other citizens  are unsafe in certain parts of the country.

“We serve notice that the North will use the degree to which contestants  for political office speak in clear terms in condemnation of these attacks on northerners as a yardstick for our support of candidates and parties.

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