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HURIWA Asks UN Council To Sanction Nigeria Over Crackdown On Media

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Buhari Writes Senate, Seeks Passage Of Finance Bill

The Human Rights Writers of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked the United Nations Human Rights Council to punish  Nigeria for the violations of the human rights of media workers in the country.

The rights group said the classification of the Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by the United Nations Human Rights Council should be downgraded as a global sanction for President Muhammadu Buhari’s penchant for physically brutalizing media workers and administratively frustrating enjoyment of press freedoms and freedom of expression in Nigeria.

According to HURIWA. even when it is evidently clear that President Buhari has crippled the operational independence of the Nigeria’s Human Rights Commission, the United Nations Human Rights Council behaves as if Nigerians are less valued in terms of the universality of the fundamental human rights captured by the universal declarations of human rights.

“We think the UN Human Rights system is racist because how else do you explain this inequality and neglect of the crackdown of media workers happening in Nigeria but the British Government continues to dine and wine with the rapidly emerging dictator in Abuja who keeps globetrotting?” HURIWA asked.

In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA regretted that on a daily basis security forces apply physical torture and brute force to stop and prevent media practitioners from exercising their functions stipulated in section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution thus “22. The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.”

READ ALSO: Tokyo Olympics: Our Nigerian Fiasco

“No day passes without report of arrests or physical brutalization of journalists by the Department of State Service (DSS) or the police just as there have been attempts even by the Federal High Court in criminal collusion with the security forces to bar Independent journalists from covering litigation of public importance. Over a dozen journalists  have been killed by police attempting to quell peaceful protests just as these media workers are only just doing their duty  as permitted by the GrundNorm.

“We totally condemn these systematic clampdowns! on Journalists. We condemn President Muhammadu Buhari for escalating attacks against the citizen’ enjoyment of freedoms of expression including the illegal ban imposed on the use of tweeter for over a month.

There are over a month. There are scores of attacks against citizens for posting comments considered damaging to the reputation of political office holders and governors and there are another dozens of Nigerians who are languishing in jails over media rights related issues.

HURIWA recalled that on JULy 28, 2021 operatives of the Department of State Services on Wednesday at Mpape Magistrate Court, Abuja, harassed a journalist with online medium, Premium Times, Ameh Ekwonyilo, for taking the pictures of five activists arrested at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre for wearing T-Shirts with the inscription #BuhariMustGo.

The reporter, who was in court to cover the proceedings of the trial of the activists, was harassed and had his mobile phone seized by the gun-wielding officers who were stationed within the premises.

HURIWA said : “Then on July 26, 2021 There was 12 heavy security presence at the Federal High Court in Abuja this morning, preparatory to the arrival of the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, for continuation of his trial on treasonable felony charge.

Armed security operatives, mainly from the Department of State Services, DSS, barricaded all access routes to the court premises which is beside the Federal Ministry of Justice.

” The operatives blatantly refused to allow this reporter access to the court premises, insisting that only media outlets on a list that was handed to them, would be allowed to enter the court premises.

READ ALSO: U.S. Report Blames China For Outbreak Of COVID-19

“Again on 11th June 2021 the operatives of the Department of the State Services (DSS) and some policemen, yesterday, descended on a reporter with the Punch newspaper, Friday Olokor. The journalist, who was to cover a panel of discussants at the ongoing African Council of Women Conference in Abuja, was brutalised and had his clothes torn by the security men on duty.

“Narrating his ordeal, Olokor stated: ‘I drove to the venue, M & M Events Centre, Abuja, close to NICON Luxury in Central Business District. After introducing myself, the Mopol stopped me at the gate and said I should get entrance tag. I told him I can only get the tag from the people who invited me. Still, he refused. I had to call Patience Ihejirika of Leadership Newspapers who came, gave me my tag.’

“On July 30, 2021 in the North Eastern state of Bauchi,  HURIWA recalled that the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) directed all media organizations in Bauchi state to suspend the coverage of all police activities in the state after an assault on a journalist in an event in the state metropolis.”

The union of media workers, HURIWA said, while reacting to an attack on the reporter of Africa Independent Television (AIT) in Bauchi, Nagari Damina Yusuf by the Police Special Squad at his duty post, gave the directive in a press release signed by the States Chairman Umar Sa’id and Secretary Isah Garba Gadau and issued at the end of its emergency meeting on Friday.

HURIWA quoted NUJ as saying thus: “The Bauchi Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists has noted with dismay, the uncivilized manner in which the Nigeria Police are adopting brutality as part of their tradition, especially against the journalists.”

 

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Why Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Expired – Govt

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Why Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Expired - Govt

The Federal Government has explained why some COVID-19 vaccines in the country have expired and they were not used.

The Federal Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that some of the vaccine doses which were given by donors had residual shelf lives.

The ministry made this clarification following a report published by Reuters, which stated that over one million doses of coronavirus vaccines were expired in the country last month.

However, the country’s health ministry in a statement by the minister in charge, Osagie Ehanire, explained that the vaccines which were received in form of donations through COVAX and AVATT facility had residual shelf lives leaving the country with a limited period to facilitate distribution and usage.

READ ALSO: One Million COVID-19 Vaccines Expire In Nigeria

The statement partly read : “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Health has been drawn to reports circulating in the media to the effect that some COVID-19 vaccines had expired in Nigeria.

“This press statement is to properly brief the public and set records right. Nigeria has, of late, enjoyed the generosity of several, mainly European countries, who have offered us doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of their stockpiles, free of charge, through COVAX or AVAT facility.

“These donations are always acknowledged and thankfully received. However, some of them had residual shelf lives of only a few months that left us a very short time – some just weeks – to use them, after deduction of time to transport, clear, distribute and deliver to users. If such vaccines arrive back-to-back or are many, logistic bottlenecks occasionally arise.

“We appreciate the kind gesture of donors, but also communicated the challenge of short shelf lives, whereupon some manufacturers offered to extend the vaccine shelf life after the fact, by three months; a practice that, though accepted by experts, is declined by the Federal Ministry of Health, because it is not accommodated in our standards.”

The ministry stated that the dilemma is not typical to Nigeria, but a situation in which many low- and medium-income countries find themselves.

It said: “Donors also recognise a need to give away unused vaccines, before they expire in their own stock, but they need to begin the process early enough and create a well-oiled pathway for prompt shipment and distribution through the COVAX and AVAT facilities, to reduce risk of expiration. With better coordination, vaccines need not expire in the stock of donors or recipients.

“Nigeria has utilized most of the over 10m short-shelf-life doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far supplied to us, in good time, and saved N16.4B or more than $40m in foreign exchange. The vaccines that expired had been withdrawn before then and will be destroyed accordingly by NAFDAC.

“The Ministry of Health shares its experience with partners regularly and now politely declines all vaccine donations with short shelf life or those that cannot be delivered in time.

“The long-term measure to prevent such incident is for Nigeria to produce its own vaccines so that vaccines produced to have at least 12 months to expiration. This is why the Federal Ministry of Health is collaborating with stakeholders to fast-track the establishment of indigenous vaccine manufacturing capacity. This is a goal we are pursuing with dedication.”

 

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Police Arrest Three Housemasters, Five Pupils Of Dowen College Over Dead Pupil

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Police Arrest Three Housemasters, Five Pupils Of Dowen College Over Dead Pupil

The police have stepped up their efforts to find the killers of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. as they have arrested three
housemasters and five pupils of Dowen College, Lagos.

Three pupils of the school were earlier arrested on Tuesday by homicide detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Street, Yaba.

Sylvester Oromoni allegedly died as a result of the injuries he sustained when he was beaten up by some pupils of Dowen for refusing to join their secret cult gang.

Shedding light on the extent of the investigation carried out so far, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said that the five pupils mentioned by the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. before he died as being responsible for bullying him and three housemasters of Dowen College Lekki were in his custody.

He said nobody was above the law, noting that the case would be thoroughly investigated with a view to getting to the root of the matter.

He said four of the pupils were mentioned by the parents of the victim to be directly involved in the crime while the fifth pupil is assisting the police in their investigation.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Three Suspects Over Dowen College Pupil’s Death, Two On The Run

The police added that: “The pupils whose names were mentioned are in police custody and investigation is on.

“Equally too, I have gotten in touch with my colleague in Delta State.

“Yesterday, I spoke with the mother of the deceased. I got them invited, so once they come now, we will be able to get the full facts of the case.

“The school has told us their own version of the case and the parents too, we will get their own version of the story.

“The four groups involved in the investigation now are the police, the bereaved family, the Dowen school authorities and the governments of Lagos and Delta State.

“So now, the four groups will come together to witness the post-mortem that will be conducted on Sylvester’s corpse in order to achieve an objective result. So, that is the latest situation.”

 

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Terrorists Burn To Death 30 Bus Passengers In Sokoto

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Terrorists Burn To Death 30 Bus Passengers In Sokoto

Terrorists have burnt to death between 24 and 30 bus passengers in Sokoto State .

The terrorists, known locally as bandits, have in the past year carried out violent attacks targeting villagers and commuters travelling on highways and kidnapped hundreds of school children for ransom in the north of the country.

Sanusi Abubakar, spokesman for the Sokoto Police Command, said the bus was carrying 24 passengers when it was on Monday set alight by armed men and that seven people had escaped with injuries and were taken to hospital.

But two residents who reached the scene and helped retrieve bodies said that the bus was overloaded and the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

According to reports, the bandits first fired at the bus, before setting it ablaze.

They counted body parts of at least 30 people, including women and children.

READ ALSO: Gumi Protests As Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists

The residents said the villagers were ambushed on a road linking the Sabon Birni local government area and the village of Gidan Bawa.

The terrorists move around on motor-bikes and are known to hide in forests, where they often keep kidnapped victims while awaiting ransom payment.

One of the hospitalised survivors of the attack related his ordeal to Rundunar Adalci, a human rights group.

“I’m from Rumbukawa. We were attacked by bandits yesterday before we reached Bayin Gidan Bawa.

“They shot several people that tried to escape and burnt down the vehicle. I don’t know what happened to my co-passengers but two of us miraculously escaped death,” he said.

Basharu Guyawa, coordinator of Rundunar Adalci told newsmen that they took the passengers to the hospital.

“They were 24 people including men and women on the bus. There were several infants and children in the vehicle.

“For now, we have eight people with several degrees of injuries that have been taken to the General Hospital in Isa town. The chairman of Isa town has settled the medical bills,” he said.

Mr Guyawa said five of the passengers died in the hospital. He said they were three women, a girl and a man.

 

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