Group Demands Release Of Leaders Detained By Police Over Complaints Against APC Chieftain - IReporteronline
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Group Demands Release Of Leaders Detained By Police Over Complaints Against APC Chieftain

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A human rights group, Talakawa Parliament on Tuesday condemned the continued detention of its four Edo community leaders at the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja.

The group said the leaders from the Uzebu community in Edo State include Fedelis Owen (secretary, Uzebu community), Martins Obakpolor, Sunday Ogbonmwan and Victor Omorogbe.

Kola Edokpayi, speaker for Talakawa parliament said the quartet were arrested on March 29, 2021, while honouring invitation to the police headquarters at the nation’s capital.

While demanding the immediate release of the quartet, Edokpayi said, “Serious steps should be taken to investigate the allegations of Uzebu community leaders to avoid a mass protest.”

The activist said the detainees’ predicament started following the petition they wrote to the police in Benin and Lagos over alleged brutalisation and demolition of their properties by Osakpamwan Eriyo, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC).

Edokpayi said, “In a dramatic twist of events, instead of investigating the complaints of Uzebu people, the police from Abuja turned around and invited those clamouring that he (Osakpamwan) should be brought to justice over his oppressive activities.”

Osakpamwan had denied the allegations saying that the community indegenes demolished his properties.

In a press release by Talakawa’s Parliament, the group threatened to protest if its members were not immediately released. It also enjoined the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to wade into the matter, among other issues it raised.

“Gentlemen of the Press, Comrades in the Struggle for the emancipation of the plebeians, my brethren, you are welcome to the sanctuary of justice for this news conference organized by Talakawa’s Parliament on the stratum of oppression and impunity allegedly exhibited by the Former Edo State Youth Leader, Mr. Osakpamwan Eriyo.

“As critical stakeholders and the advocate of peace, justice, equity and good conscience, it will be a grievous sin against God and crime against humanity if we maintain grave silence in the midst of police brutality, unlawful detention and perversion of justice as if we have strong men with weak institutions in Nigeria.

“It was Dante who submitted in his Divine Comedy that ‘The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in the period of moral crisis maintained their neutrality’.

“As an Organised Civil Society body whose ‘onus probandi’ is to fight against oppression, injustice and man inhumanity to man. We received complaints backed up with credible evidence from the Odionwere and Elders of Uzebu Community which bordered on an attempt by the former APC youth leader to use the police as agents of oppression, injustice and outright perversion of justice even though the constitutional responsibility of the police is to maintain law and order,” the statement partly read.

It continued in revealing the unfolding events that led to their arrest and detention.

“The Odionwere and Elders of Uzebu Community narrated to us:

“That on the 28th day of February, 2021, the Former Youth Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Osakpanmwan Eriyo (alias Nomoless) allegedly led some heavily armed policemen and some youths to Uzebu community, Oredo Local Government Area, where they started shooting sporadically, which gave some persons injuries. As if that was not enough, they burnt vehicles and used bulldozers to bring down some houses in the community without any recourse to the law.

“That the matter was immediately reported at the nearest Police Station being- Evbuotubu Police Station and the Divisional Police Officer as well as the Area Commander swiftly went into the matter. Pellets and expired cartridges allegedly fired were recovered from the scene. The Commissioner of Police immediately called for the case file to be transferred to his office for immediate action.

“That when the matter got unnecessarily complicated, the elders of the community then put up a complaint at the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 5 and  Force Criminal Investigation Department (F.C.I.I).), Force Headquarters Annex, Alagbon , Lagos where the Homicide Section took over the matter.

“That Mr.  Osakpanmwan Eriyo (alias Nomoless) was promptly notified and invited to Lagos but failed to honour the invitation and instead of reporting himself at the Force headquarters Annex, Lagos where he is wanted, he   ran to arrange with the Police at the Monitoring Unit of the Force Headquarters, Abuja to stop the invitation and took over the matter to probably scuttle investigation.

“In a dramatic twist of events, instead of investigating the complaints of the Uzebu people against Osakpanrnwan Eriyo the police from Abuja turned around and invited some of the indigenes of Uzebu community who have been in the vanguard of clamouring that he should be brought to justice over his oppressive activities and upon their arrival at the Force Headquarters, Abuja on the 29th day of March, 2021, they were immediately arrested and detained till date.

“Some of the indigenes of the Uzebu community invited and arrested by the police are Fidelis Owen (the Secretary of the community), Martins Obakpolor, Sunday Ogbonmwan and Victor Omorogbe,” the statement read further.

Edokpayi in the statement urged Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and erstwhile Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to look into the matter in ensuring the freedom of their leaders.

“We have taken our precious time to scrutinise the attached evidentiary documents and found credit in them so a formal petition was transmitted to the Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki to wade into the matter to avoid breakdown law and order in the community and we are optimistic that the needful would be done.

“We are using this medium to call on the Inspector General Of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu (now former police IG) to call the officers of the Monitoring Unit of the Force Headquarters, Abuja involved in this barbaric act to order and henceforth monitor the activities of the Monitoring Unit.

“What the indigenes of Uzebu community arrested by the Police Fidelis Owen (the Secretary of the community), Martins Obakpolor, Sunday Ogbonmwan and Victor Omorogbe be released immediately and serious steps taken to investigate the allegations of the Uzebu Community people to avoid mass protest against the Monitoring Unit as the Rule of Law must prevail,” the statement said.

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OPC Lambasts Dambazau For Linking Group With Boko Haram

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The O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) said the former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Interior, Lieutenant-General Abdurahman Dambazau, is suffering from acute dementia and gradually losing touch with reality.

OPC, in a statement on Saturday by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, reacted to the statement credited to the former minister that the OPC was the same as the dreaded Boko Haram.

The group condemned in strong terms the statement credited to the ex-minister, pointing out that such statements were capable of heating up the polity and disrupting national peace.

Oguntimehin also described Dambazau as a northern irredentist and extremist popularly noted for his unguarded statements and utterances.

“From his statement, it is obvious that the ex-COAS is suffering from acute dementia and he is gradually losing touch with the realities of this time.

 

“Dambazau’s statement that OPC and IPOB are very much the same as the dreaded Boko Haram was made in bad faith and such statements have raised some fundamental questions about his intentions, interests and morality as a former COAS and minister of Interior that have allegedly been supporting the bandits by offering both financial and technical support to the group.

“Such high profile ex-military officer cannot be trusted in the fight against insurgency because he had on several occasion pleaded on their behalf.

“In 2014, before the general election, Dambazau and four other top northern leaders had their hands in the recruitments of bandits into the country. And when he eventually became the minister of Interior, under President Muhammadu Buhari, he requested and pleaded that the Federal Government should raise over N800 billion to settle the bandits. A request which was opposed by Nigerians.

“So for such a person to have said that OPC is the same as Boko Haram is not only derogatory, but it is most unfortunate to say the least.”

Oguntimehin said: “Boko Haram is adjudged globally as the third most dreaded terrorist groups in the world. And up till today, it remains as such with various cases of killings across the North.

“For instance, presently, Boko Haram and bandits have taken over four states in the North and Danbazau had never condemned their atrocities, he didn’t raise a finger.

“It is no doubt that he is one of their sponsors. That is why he had, rather than offering lasting solution to the insurgency in the north and across the country, remained an ardent promoter of bandits and other terrorist groups in Nigeria.

So, from his statement, it shows that the ex-minister is not in his right frame of mind, because when bandits killed a foremost Oba in Ondo, he didn’t talk. When other respected leaders from the north held a meeting on the critical security situation in the country,he didn’t attend.”

The OPC publicity scribe stated further that the group has since its existence in 1994 remains one of the most dependable organizations that have been defending the interest of the people of the south west.

“OPC has never involved in any act of insurgency, including kidnapping or killings. Our group have been at the vanguard of supporting the police and providing information that can help the police in ensuring effective security at the grassroots.

“For instance, during the END SARS protests, OPC came to the rescue in the southwest and we protected the police stations and the police formations against unscrupulous rioters that had hijacked the peaceful protests.

Recently, the OPC under our amiable leader, the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, apprehended the notorious Kidnap kingpin, Abdullah Iskilu Wakili that had been terrorising the people of Ibarapa and its environs, and we handed him over to the police.

“So for somebody of Dambazau status to say such a group is like the Boko Haram truly shows his mindset and level of thinking. Such a person has truly lost touch with the realities of the present time because today, OPC has been reorganised, repackaged, and re-orientated in such a way that it has become a thorn in the flesh of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists. And today, the fear of the OPC has truly become the beginning of wisdom for people like Danbazau and his allies

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You Need UTME To Gain Admission Into Our Academy – NDA

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The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) has announced that the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is a basic requirement for admission into the academy.

This was made known in a statement by Maj. Bashir Jajira, the NDA Public Relations Officer, on Saturday in Kaduna.

He said the academy had nothing to do with fake news speculating that academy suspended UTME for the incoming members of 73 Regular Course.

Part of the statement read: “The academy wishes to inform the general public that UTME is one of the basic requirements for entry into the academy.

“All interested applicants into the academy must have passed the UTME and attained an acceptable minimum national standard as determined by JAMB annual policy meeting before gaining entry into the 73 Regular Course.”

He advised the general public to ignore any information on social media purporting the suspension of JAMB exam for 73 Regular Course.

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No Oil Money Again, FG Printed N60bn To Share In March – Obaseki

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has warned that there would soon be no crude oil revenue for Nigeria to spend, adding that the federal government had to print extra N60 billion for states to share in March.

The governor made this statement on Wednesday during a meeting with the state’s Transition Committee in Benin.

Mr Obaseki noted the Nigerian economy can no longer rely on global oil prices because major oil-producing companies are now investing in alternative sectors, Channels news reported.

The governor further expressed his concern over the habitual borrowing system of the government, he explained that by the end of the year that there would be additional N16 trillion debt owed by the Nigerian government.

He mentioned that the situation may cause a collapse in the economy of the country and the value of naira because there is no way of paying back borrowed loans.

“In another year or so, where will we find this money that we go to Abuja to share every month? Last month, we got FAAC for March. The federal government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for us to share,” he said.

“We say remove subsidy, they say no. This April, next week again, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, the total borrowing is going to be in excess of ₦15 to ₦16 trillion.

“My worry is that we will wake up one day like Argentina, the naira will be ₦1,000, ₦2,000 and will be moving because we don’t have money coming in. You are just borrowing, borrowing and borrowing without any means or idea of how to pay back.”

Speaking further, the governor explained that the people are concerned about the 2023 election while they keep blaming the president for the current state of the nation’s economy.

Also, the governor commended the effort of the Independent National Electoral Committee for adopting technology to bring a change to the voting system in the country so it will be difficult to rig election results.

“INEC itself had also begun its own process of change. They have been worried, scandalised by what happened in Kogi and Bayelsa and were trying to redeem themselves.

“So using technology, they made sure that as soon as you finish voting in the polling unit, that result was uploaded straight into a portal so they can see the pattern which makes it difficult to change results at the collation centers.’’

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