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Rights Group Slams Detention Of Journalists In Nigeria

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Rights Group Slams Detention Of Journalists In Nigeria

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) campaign group on Tuesday denounced the growing harassment of the media and a “climate of fear” created by security agencies in Nigeria as two journalists face court.

The recent arrests of several reporters and activists in Nigeria highlight a disturbing trend towards repression of freedom of expression, the group said in a statement.

“Throwing reporters in jail for doing their job of informing the public sends a chilling message to journalists in Nigeria,” HRW researcher Anietie Ewang added.

“The Nigerian authorities need to end any harassment and ensure that members of the press can operate without fear.”

Jones Abiri, a journalist at the Weekly Source newspaper, was arrested by the State Security Service and held incommunicado for nearly two years without trial, HRW said.

He was held over allegations he had ties to rebels in the Niger Delta, an oil-rich region in the southeast of the country.

Following a massive media campaign, he was released on bail on August 16. His trial will begin on September 5 in the capital Abuja.

Samuel Ogundipe, a journalist for the Premium Times website, was arrested in mid-August and released on bail a few days later after publishing a confidential report on a parliament takeover by security agencies.

On August 7, armed and hooded police and security service personnel blocked access to the parliament in Abuja for several hours, preventing parliamentarians, employees and journalists from entering. The head of the security services, Lawal Musa Daura, was sacked in the aftermath.

Ogundipe is scheduled to appear in court on August 23 accused of stealing classified documents.

“State Security agencies… have previously been implicated in abuse of power and human rights violations across the country, including illegal arrests, detention, and torture,” HRW added.

“Firing Lawal Daura is not enough to transform the abusive State Security Service into a rights-respecting institution, without overhauling the systems that make abuse possible,” Ewang said.

“Nigerian authorities should take immediate steps to end the pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation by security agencies. Dropping all charges against Jones Abiri and Samuel Ogundipe for exercising free expression is a good place to start.”

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Somalia Lawmakers Plan To Impeach President

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Somalia Lawmakers Plan To Impeach President

Somali’s top official said on members of parliament had filed a motion with the speaker of the house to impeach the country’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi.

The are accusing him of secretly signing agreements with other countries including Ethiopia and Eritrea. The agreements touched on the use of Somali ports and economic and security cooperation, it said.

He was also accused of illegally extraditing alleged criminals to other countries and violating Somalia’s federalism law and the rules and regulations of parliament.

Somalia’s parliament has 275 lawmakers in total. A successful impeachment vote requires the backing of two thirds of all MPs.

Constitutionally, 92 lawmakers have to sign such a motion for it to be submitted to the speaker.

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President Buhari Promises Not To Complain About Inherited Problems

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President Buhari Promises Not To Complain About Inherited Problems

President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerian citizens living in Poland that he would no longer complain about problems his administration inherited from the previous government.  He says belly-aching over the country’s history of corruption and mismanagement of resources has not helped his administration much.  He says he would now face the challenges head on.

President Buhari is in Krakow, Poland, attending the COP24 summit on climate change.  The President told the Nigerian diasporans he felt lucky to have won the presidency on the fourth try.  He said it’s a job for which he asked; so, he won’t complain.

The President told his audience security of Nigerians, the environment and the institutions are his administration’s top priorities.  He referred to the Boko Haram group that was holding seventeen local government areas when he took office.  He says now, Boko Haram holds no local government area.

He said it has not been easy to fund the war against terror.

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EFCC Finds Evidence In Jonah Jang Trial Case

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EFCC Finds Evidence In Jonah Jang Trial Case

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced properties worth N500 million to former plateau state governor Jonah Jang.

EFCC acting spokesman Tony Orilade, says the properties are located in Kaduna state.

Orilade said preliminary investigation has revealed that the properties were purchased from new capital properties limited, a subsidiary of Northern Nigerian Development Company (NNDC) in Kaduna.

Jang is standing trial on a 12-count charge of diversion of public funds.

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