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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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President Tinubu To Address Joint Sitting Of National Assembly Tomorrow

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As part the event to commemorate 25 years of unbroken democracy and Legislature in Nigeria, there will be joint sitting of both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday 29 May, 2024.

This is contained in a statement by clerk to the national Assembly Sani Magaji Tambuwal and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

The statement indicates that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will address the joint sitting on state of the nation and also flag off the National Assembly Library.

Senators and Honourable Members are expected to be seated by 9am.

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Sanusi Reinstated As Emir Of Kano

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Four years after Muhammadu Sanusi II was deposed as the Emir of Kano, Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State has reinstated him to the throne.

“With the full support of the kingmakers, I have approved the reappointment of Malam Sanusi Lamido,” the governor said to cheers at the Art Chamber of the Kano State Government House around 5:16 pm on Thursday.

He announced the decision right after signing the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

The new law replaces the Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019, and dissolves the emirate councils created by Governor Yusuf’s predecessor Abdullahi Ganduje.

It was based on the law that Ganduje split the Kano Emirate into five in December 2019 and deposed the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II on March 9, 2020. The emirates created by the Ganduje administration were Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Gaya, in addition to Kano.

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FG Offers 2-Month Free Ride On Abuja Light Rail

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The federal government has offered 2-month free ride services to passengers on the Abuja Light rail after its inauguration on Monday.

Nyesom Wike, The FCT Minister, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at a ministerial press briefing on the one year in office of President Bola Tinubu.

He said President Tinubu would inaugurate the rail project on Monday, while it would start commercial services on Tuesday.

“For those who are saying that the rail system had already been commissioned, don’t make a mistake. What was earlier commissioned was the building. What we want to commission on Monday is commercial operations.

“If you are going to the airport, from here to airport is 20 minutes. Seeing is believing. Go on Tuesday. We are going to allow for free rides for two months.

“You know, Mr. President, he can even say extend it to six months just to reduce the pain of our people. That is renewed hope agenda. When you say something, you do it,” Wike said.

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