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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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See Full List of 14 Countries Lagos Placed on COVID Watch List

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The Lagos government has placed 14 countries on its COVID-19 watchlist as a measure to prevent a third wave of infections in the state.

Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, said this on Wednesday at a media briefing to highlight the state’s COVID-19 third wave mitigation strategy.

He noted that the Lagos state government is outlining measures that will guide the management of inbound passengers of interest (POIs) from other countries.

The commissioner explained that travellers coming from other countries into Lagos have been classified into three groups — the red countries, the amber countries, and the green countries.

According to him, India, Brazil and Turkey where new variants of COVID are causing an increase in infection rate are as the ‘red countries’.

“From the Lagos perspective, we’re also looking at what we describe as Amber Colour countries, where we know that mutants are circulating. And this is important for us to be able to define how strict our monitoring of your isolation at home and how your testing is performed. We are monitoring countries where we know the mutants are circulating, but the situation is still severe,” he said.

According to him, the ‘amber countries’ are Canada, US, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

He listed the ‘green countries’ as countries with no records of variants from red countries and no clear increase in the number of daily confirmed cases.

“Our protocol for management of inbound passengers from the Red Countries will include: a mandatory PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a 14-day isolation in a government approved facility paid for by the passenger,” he said.

“Passengers of interests from the Amber Countries are also required to do PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a mandatory seven days isolation at home which will be monitored by our logistics, surveillance and EkoTELEMED teams.”

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Former Defence Chief, General Joshua Dogonyaro Dies at 80

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Lt. General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro (Rtd) is dead.

The officer, who heralded and read the coup speech that ended the regime of Nigeria’s current President, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) and brought General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) to power on August 27 1985 died in Jos, Thursday morning after a brief illness.

He turned 80 on 12 September 2020. General Dogonyaro was a former Chief of Defence Staff and is survived by his wife Zainab Esther Dogonyaro and seven children.

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Let’s Pray Against Kidnapping, Banditry – Buhari Urges Nigerians

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians, irrespective of religious affiliation, to pray against kidnapping and banditry.

In recent times, there has been a spate of killings, kidnapping and banditry in different parts of the country.

The president, in a statement to celebrate the Eid festival, noted that the country can overcome its problems if Nigerians come together.

Buhari urged Nigerians to ignore those using religion as a tool of division for their own “selfish advantages”.

“On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all,” Buhari said in a statement released by Garba Shehu, presidential aide, on Wednesday.

“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.

“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.

“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”

The president advised Nigerians to continue to observe the COVID-19 measures, amid the celebration.

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