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Over 300 Nigerians languishing in Italian jail

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Over 300 Nigerian youths are currently languishing in Italian prisons for trumped-up charges on mafia-related offences.

Edo State Ex Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Osaze Osemwingie-Ero, has raised the alarm over the illegal detention

Osemwingie said he learnt about the plight of the innocent young Nigerians during his wrongful detention in Italy as a result of a “very corrupt and complex system.”

The former commissioner, who spoke during an interview on Arise TV, on Friday, said the youths are held and committed to maximum prisons in Italy because they do not have the resources to access an independent lawyer.

“They don’t have money to take lawyers; the prosecutor gives them government lawyers that he uses to manipulate them,” the ex-commissioner noted.

He further called for the collaboration of all stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and the media, among others to ensure the release of the youths.

According to him, “We have over 300 Nigerian youths who are unjustly being held in prison because of these mafia-related crimes; they didn’t commit the crime.“I made a promise that I am going to create awareness for the release of those innocent Nigerians. We must fight as Nigerians to ensure that they regain their freedom.”

He continued: “As a senior government official, there was no support from the Nigerian government during my ordeal in Italy. I have spoken to the chairperson of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, who is very proactive and vocal, and she’s ready to work with us to ensure that those people are released.

“These over 300 Nigerians have families, wives, children and parents who are suffering as well. We must not sit down and allow them to languish in prison because of a very corrupt and complex system. The prosecutors are very corrupt and are using us for modern-day slavery because the European Union is paying them huge sums of money to fight mafia activities.”

“It is worthy of note that we don’t have mafia in Nigeria. I also believe that anyone who commits a crime should be prosecuted and, if found guilty, made to face the consequences. But these Nigerians, who are innocent, are suffering in prison in Europe. We must stand up for them and speak out for their release. It’s because these Nigerians don’t have a voice or the resources that they are jailed unjustly,” Osemwingie noted.

The ex-commissioner explained that he was on official trip to Germany, in 2019, to have a meeting with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, on the Benin artefact restitution campaign when he was arrested in Amsterdam and illegally detained for over a year in Italy, adding, “I was a victim of racial discrimination and manipulation of a very corrupt prosecutor of the Italian Justice system.”

 

 

 

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Let’s move on – Ningi Tells Colleagues On Resumption From Suspension

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Senator Abdul Ningi ( PDP Bauchi Central ), on resumption from suspension , told fellow Senators on Tuesday at plenary that ” It’s time to move on ” , just as the Senate President , Godswill Akpabio , said ” bygone should be bygone .

Senator Ningi made the ‘ time to move on ‘ assertion while expressing his appreciation to the Senate for recalling him from suspension after spending 75 out of 90 days slammed on him on March 12, 2024 at the committee of the whole .

Ningi who expressed his appreciation through Order 42 of the Senate standing rules , said he was in Turkey when he had of his being recalled from suspension.

He said : Mr President , Distinguished colleagues , I rise with profound humility to commend the Senate , its President , Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate leadership and the minority caucus for recalling me from suspension .

” I was in Turkey when the news got to me last week and I’m very much appreciative of the gesture .

” I’m happy to be back at home because National Assembly is like home to me , having served as House leader , Deputy Senate Leader in the past and now as one pf the Distinguished serving senators .

” I also thank my State Governor , Senator Bala Mohammed , the people of Bauchi State and other Nigerians who reached out to me in one way or the other during the period that has now been put behind “.

In his response , the President of the Senate , Senator Godswill Akpabio , on behalf of the Senate , said bygone should be bygone .

” Distinguished Senator Abdul Ningi , you are a very resourceful person needed in the 10th Senate , electorates from Bauchi Central Senatorial District voted you for .

” You are welcome and let bygone be bygone

The Senate had on Tuesday last week on the strength of motion sponsored by the minority leader , Senator Abba Moro on behalf of minority caucus , recalled Senator Ningi from the three months suspension .

Recall that Senator Ningi was suspended by the Senate at the committee of the whole on 2024 budget padding allegation leveled against the Senate during interview he had with the BBC Hausa service.

Apparently elated to be back in the Senate , Senator Ningi was among the first set of Senators and House of Representatives members to arrive the National Assembly for plenary on Tuesday .

Senator Ningi who along with some few other Senators like Suleiman Kawu ( NNPP Kano South) , Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ( PDP Sokoto South) etc , came into the National Assembly through the Villa Gate , arrived exactly at 10: 40am , 20minutes to 11:00am fixed for commencement of plenary which even started at about 12:10 pm .

However as a result of his suspension , Senator Ningi lost his Chairmanship position of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population , which was allocated to Senator Mustapha Musa ( APC Yobe East ) ,two days after the now lifted suspension .

 

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Commissioner of Police Dies At Force Headquarters

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Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mr. Abubakar Muhammad Guri was reported to have slumped and passed away on Monday at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

According to sources, DCP Muhammad collapsed shortly after entering his office at the Louis Edet House, without displaying any prior signs of illness.

Eyewitnesses recounted that the late police chief, dressed in his uniform, collapsed on his seat within his office premises. Swift action was taken as fellow officers rushed him to the hospital for immediate medical attention.

Sadly, despite all efforts to revive him, DCP Muhammad was pronounced dead upon arrival at the medical facility.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation shared, “Some officers rushed him to the hospital and even before reaching there, he had already passed away.”

Despite the gravity of the incident, official statements from police authorities are yet to be issued regarding the untimely demise of DCP Muhammad.

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INEC Extends Voter Registration In Edo, Ondo

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Following a review meeting held with stakeholders, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), said it has extended voters’ registration for Edo and Ondo States respectively.

Registration was earlier slated to end on the 5th of June, 2024 in the two states.

However, a statement by the commission said following appeals by stakeholders, the date has been extended from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th, June 2024, to allow more eligible persons to register.

The commission, similarly, extended the duration of the exercise from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily.

Furthermore, it said the number of centres has been increased beyond 397 wards, and the two states’ offices in Benin City and Akure to include all the 36 Local Government offices of the commission.

“More machines will also be deployed to areas identified to have peculiar needs such as difficult terrain or communal issues,” the statement partly said.

Like the ward registration centres, INEC explained that the detailed information on the names and location addresses of the LGA offices, have also been uploaded on its websites and social media platforms for the guidance of registration in the two states.

Meanwhile, the commission said the exercise is progressing in the two states.

It said, “As of Monday, 3rd June 2024, eight days after the commencement of the CVR, a cumulative of 120, 1458 new voters have registered. Of this figure, 55, 861 (46.4%) are male, while 120, 458 (53.6%) are female,”

It added that the majority of the 82, 003 registered voters, representing 68.8 per cent, are youth between the ages of 18-34 years.

In terms of occupation, 43, 419 or 36.8 per cent are students, while 812, 0.67 per cent, are persons with disability.

It, however, noted that the figures were preliminary, adding that the final figures will be published on a state basis and for all categories of registration at the end of the exercise, and after data clean-up, using Automated Biometric Identified System (ABIS).

 

 

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