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Senate blows hot over ‘unlawful’ arrest of Nigerians by Benin Republic 

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The Senate has condemned what it described as the “unlawful” encroachment and arrest of Nigerians by the authorities of the Republic of Benin.

Accordingly, the upper chamber directed its Committees on Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and States and Local Governments to interface with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Justice and National Border Commission to urgently put in place the necessary mechanism that would provide lasting solutions to this issue.

The upper chamber’s decision to intervene was reached amid its resolutions, following a point of order raised by Senator Tolu Odebiyi (APC, Ogun West).

Coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Rules, Odebiyi recalled the numerous reports of alleged encroachments into Nigeria’s territory by authorities of the Republic of Benin, which, according to him, “has become increasingly disturbing.”

The lawmaker said, “Recall also that the reports revealed by Nigeria’s major news outlets like the PUNCH newspaper, published on the 22nd of April 2021, and another report published on the 5th of July 2021 bears testament to these facts;

“Notes that, according to a report by CHANNELS TV station posted on the 2nd of July 2021, it was reported that, “gendarmes” from the Republic of Benin crossed ILLEGALLY into Nigeria territory to carry out the arrest of one Pastor Kunle Garb and Mr. Benjamin Amosu, his interpreter, who are residents of Igbokofi Village in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State for demanding the reversal of the land encroachment by Government of the Republic of Benin;

“Notes that the arrest of these Nigerians is based on the allegation that they are resisting encroachment into Nigerian Land through Igbokofi village in Yewa-North local government area of Ogun State;

“Further Notes that these allegations of encroachment have been also flayed by the government of the state as published in a release from the State Government calling on the Federal Government to immediately secure the release of Nigerian citizens currently languishing in detention in the Republic of Benin as a result of their resistance to the continued encroachment;

“Aware that the continuous “unchecked” Egress and Ingress of persons at the

different entry points and borders between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin – the  country’s closest neighbour, are largely the result of the porosity of our country’s borders;

“Further Aware that the said Pastor Kunle Garb and Mr. Benjamin Amosu were allegedly arrested in Nigeria in a gestapo style and shipped to prison in Ajase, Port Novo area of Benin Republic, without an order of a competent court of jurisdiction in Nigeria;

“Disturbed that this very sad event is in contradiction to the mutually beneficial bilateral relationship that is currently in place between both countries and is a huge deviation from the provisions of Section 6 of the Extradition Act, CAP E25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 which clearly states the processes in matters of Extradition;

“Further Disturbed, that this action by the Government and agents of the Republic of Benin are capable of causing huge unrest, and can lead to mass action against citizens residing in both countries;

“Concerned that if these actions as allegedly committed by the Government and agents of the Republic of Benin is not urgently investigated and properly looked into, it might degenerate into a diplomatic row between both countries.”

The Senate in its resolutions, condemned any act of unlawful encroachment and the unlawful arrest of Nigerians by the authorities of Republic of Benin.

It also directed its Committees on Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and States and Local Governments to interface with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Justice and National Border Commission to urgently put in place the necessary mechanism that would provide lasting solutions to this issue

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Terrorists Release Four More Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack Victims 

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Terrorists who attacked  an AK9 Train in Kaduna state on March 28 have released four more hostages in their custody.

Among the released hostages include an  90-year-old woman, Hajiya Halimatu Atta and and her 53-year-old daughter, Adama Aliyu.

A member of the negotiating team,  Tukur Mamu told Channels Television that the victims were released on Friday after spending over four months in captivity.

Meanwhile, Mamu  has drawn the attention of the federal government and the Christian Association of Nigeria about  plan by the terrorists to marry off the  youngest victim, 21-year-old Azurfa Lois John any moment from now, just as they did in the case of Leah Sharibu in Yobe state some years ago.

According to Mamu, one of the top commanders of the terrorists is said to be in love with Ms John.

He however pled with the Federal Government and other stakeholders  to intensify efforts towards the release of the 23 victims still with the terrorists whose health  conditions, he said, is pathetic and require urgent medical attention.

Mamu also called on CAN not to politicize the issue or reduce it to mere press releases, but to work closely with relevant authorities to engage the abductors on the case of Ms John before it is late.

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NBC Revokes Silverbird, AIT, Raypower, Rhythm FM, Others’ Licences

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revoked the broadcast licences of Silverbird TV, AIT, Raypower FM, and Rhythm FM amongst others over failure to renew their broadcast licences amounting to N2.66 billion.

A statement by NBC on Friday noted that the move followed the publication of a list of stations yet to renew their licences.

According to the Commission, a two-week waiver was given to them in May to do so after which they risked the revocation of their broadcast licences.

But three months after the publication, NBC said, “some licensees are yet to pay their outstanding debts, in contravention of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, particularly section 10(a) of the third schedule of the Act.

“Therefore, after due consideration, NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the…stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations.

Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance.”

The broadcast regulator said the continued operation of the “debtor stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security”.

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OKADA: LAGOS GOVT EXTENDS BAN TO 4 MORE LGAS, 5 LCDAS FROM SEPT 1

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…7,500 Commercial Motorcycles Impounded, Crushed Since June 1

…‘Enforcement’ll Be Total, Livelihood Support For Willing Riders’ – Govt

Lagos State Government, on Thursday, extended a ban on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, to four more Local Government Areas (LGAs) and six Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

Effective from September 1, 2022, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed enforcement teams to fully implement the proscription order and bust erring riders across the councils listed in the Okada ban.

The additional places are Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin Local Government Areas. The Development Area Councils are Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.

The latest pronouncement came about three months after Sanwo-Olu ordered a total restriction on Okada in six LGAs, comprising Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa, as well as LCDAs under them.

This brings it to 25 councils of the 57 councils in which Okada activities have been proscribed.

Announcing the ban at a press conference held at the Government secretariat in Alausa, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, said the extension of the proscription order was a move by the State Government to sustain the gains recorded in the ongoing action against Okada operations in the State.

The commissioner said Okada accidents and fatalities had reduced by 63.7 per cent across the 15 local councils where the first phase of ban had been enforced, stressing that the development also significantly brought down the rate of crimes associated with motorcycles.

This, Oladehinde said, led to resolutions reached at a Stakeholders Forum, last Tuesday, with interest groups in which the participants unanimously urged the Government to make the Okada ban State-wide.

He said: “The Ministry in conjunction with the inter-ministerial committee on Okada, having critically accessed these resolutions and the challenges of Okada operations on the security architecture of the State, recommended to Mr. Governor not to go back on the already laid down phase ban in a bid to sustain the gains.

“Based on the apparent positive impact of the ban and the resolution of the Stakeholders’
Forum, Mr. Governor has approved the ban of Okada in another four LGAs and their respective five LCDAs for the second phase of the total ban, in addition to the on-going ban in the six LGAs and their respective LCDAs.”

The State Government advised residents to embrace alternative means of transportation for their journey, noting that the State had provided safe and sustainable First- and Last-Mile Transport Scheme, BRT Scheme, e-hailing taxi Scheme and other acceptable means for the safety of commuters.

Oladehinde disclosed that 7,500 motorcycles had been impounded and crushed in the ongoing enforcement, while resistance had dropped sharply. He issued a stern warning to riders who may want to flout the proscription order, stressing that the enforcement would not be sparing.

The Commissioner said the State Government had interventions in place to empower the affected Okada riders as an alternative means of livelihood. He urged them to embrace the intervention programmes which are being coordinated by six Government ministries and also Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

He said: “It is important to reiterate the State Government’s commitment to the safety, security of lives and properties in the State. In exercising this, any motorcycle impounded will be crushed and the process will be made public.

“Both riders and passengers arrested on proscribed routes will be made to face the full wrath of the law in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.”
Commissioner for

Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, observed that the last Tuesday meeting with stakeholders reviewed the enforcement action taken since the total ban, pointing out that the feedback from the public informed further measures to curtail the activities of the commercial motorcycles.

He said Okada riding remained alien to the State’s integrated transportation master plan.
The ban enforcement will be supervised by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation.

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