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False Accusation: Activist Bags Seven Years Jail Term

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A Nigerian activist has been jailed for seven years for falsely accusing a public official of corruption.

Ibrahim Wala, popularly called I G Wala, was jailed on Wednesday by Justice Yusuf Halilu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He was found guilty of falsely accusing the head of a pilgrim commission of corruption and leading a protest against the official.

Justice Halilu found Mr Wala guilty on three of the four charges filed against him by the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation.

The three charges for which he was found guilty include unlawful assembly, public incitement and criminal defamation of character.

The judge, however, dismissed the charge of criminal intimidation for lack of merit.

The trial

The activist was arraigned following a petition filed by the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mukhtar.

In the petition, Mr Mukhtar alleged that Mr Wala used his Facebook page to incite the public against him and defame his integrity and that of the commission he heads.

On the charge of unlawful assembly, Mr Wala was found guilty of using his organisation, the Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), to form an unlawful assembly. The judge ruled that the organisation was unregistered.

The judge said the prosecution “has been able to establish the offence of making an unlawful assembly.”

He, therefore, sentenced him to seven years in Prison for the offence.

The judge also found Mr Wala guilty of public incitement, an offence contrary to section 114 of the penal code which deals with the breach of public peace.

He sentenced him to three years in prison for the offence.

Mr Yusuf also agreed with the prosecution that Mr Wala criminally defamed Mr Mukhtar after he alleged that the NAHCON boss “made N3 billion for himself” from the 2017 Hajj operations.

The judge said Mr Wala wrote on his Facebook page that he has documents to prove the allegation.

He, however, said the activist failed to provide the document to prove his claims in court.

“Where is the document proving N3 billion made by chairman hajj commission?

“Why has the accused person failed to tender such document now that he has been dragged before a court of law?” the judge said.

He said by his inability to provide relevant documents to prove his ‘huge allegations’, Mr Wala “has made the case of the prosecution less cumbersome”.

The judge sentenced him to two years in prison for criminal defamation.

The judge also said all the sentences would be served concurrently; meaning the convict would serve seven years in jail unless the ruling is upturned by an appeal court.

Mr Wala is to serve the sentence in Suleja prison.

Mr Wala has led protests against issues like corruption and human rights violations in several parts of the country.

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#EndSARS: CNN Calls FG’s Bluff, Releases Second Report on Lekki Shootings

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Amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government over its investigative report on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests, CNN has released a second report on the incident.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week described CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.

Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN in Atlanta.

However, the network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.

The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.

The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.

The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.

The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.

The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.

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Buhari’s Letter Seeking Yakubu’s Confirmation as INEC Chairman Read in Senate

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.

Buhari’s official communication to the red chamber was read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday, by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

He sought the lawmakers’ expeditious consideration of his request for another five-year tenure for Yakubu.

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MDCN Suspends Beautiful Lagos Plastic Surgeon over Failed Surgery

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A Lagos plastic surgeon, Anuoluwapo Adepoju, whose services allegedly resulted in the death of her patient, Nneka Onwuzuligbo, has been suspended indefinitely by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).

MDCN took the interim disciplinary action against Ms Adepoju, owner of Med-Contour, a plastic surgery hospital, on Monday, pending the determination of her case with its disciplinary tribunal.

The plastic surgeon allegedly operated on the late Onwuzuligbo, a 2013 winner of Face of Democracy Transformation in Nigeria, at a medical facility on December 31, 2018.

The news of her patient’s death first went viral in February 2019.

Ms Adepoju is also currently being investigated over suspicion of illegal activities and alleged evasion from an investigation into the failed plastic surgery.

She is also charged with failure to comply with a summons by The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

With the charges, nonetheless, Ms Adepoju continues to showcase photos and videos of her numerous cosmetic surgeries, ‘positive’ feedbacks, and patient transformations on her hospital’s Instagram handle which boasts over 74,000 followers.

The self-confessed body contour specialist and mother of two is also an Instagram celebrity who openly flaunts her curves.

Reacting to the development, FCCPC said it welcomed MDCN’s decision to impose interim measures suspending the plastic surgeon indefinitely from practicing medicine pending full and final disposition of disciplinary proceedings.

‘‘Every action, whether interim or final that prevents the risk of injury to patients/consumers and or mitigates the pain and suffering of citizens on account of injury by manufacturers or service providers is an important component of a larger effort to protect citizens.

‘’This is a demonstration that the system works and can endure, as well as inure to the benefit of society. Whether patient care or good manufacturing, ultimately, the highest responsibility is to consumers. We, as regulators, must hold producers and providers accountable to that obligation,’’ Ondaje Ijagwu, the agency’s spokesman, said in a statement issued on Monday.

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital had urged the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Investigation Panel to investigate the alleged professional misconduct of the Lagos plastic surgeon.

The hospital, in a petition dated June 11, 2020, and signed by its Director of Legal Services, O. O. Olajide, accused Ms Adepoju of professional misconduct during a surgery she performed on Ms Onwuzuligbo at her facility.

According to LUTH, Ms Adepoju had continued to perform surgeries despite the fact that her facility was sealed off by the Lagos State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency.

In an affidavit attached to the petition, the hospital alleged that she (suspect) referred the victim from her facility to LUTH on January 3, 2019, on the pretext that she was being referred from the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island.

The victim, according to the affidavit deposed to by a consultant surgeon, Andrew Ugburo, was presented to LUTH with severe respiratory distress and septicemia with infected surgical wounds.

Mr Ugburo further deposed that the victim developed multiple organ failure of cardiac, respiratory and renal failures.

He also said the patient had a cardiac arrest “on the 31st day of admission”, adding that after cardio-pulmonary resuscitation was unsuccessful, the victim was certified dead around 9 a.m. on February 3, 2019.

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