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After criticisms, Buhari explains pardon for ex-Govs Dariye, Nyame



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Following outrage that trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s pardon for two former State Governors, he has explained reason for the action even as he reiterated his determination to continue with his anti-corruption war.
Former Governors of Plateau (Joshua Dariye) and Taraba (Jolly Nyame) were recently granted freedom from prison even when they have some years  on the excuse of age and ill health.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu however tried to clarify the issue saying the recent note presented to the Council of State after the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM) report.
His statement Wednesday night said it was a culmination of a process begun by the convicts and others concerned in line with the constitution.
Shehu maintained that Section 175 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the President to exercise his constitutional powers to grant a pardon.
He recalled that the Federal Government constituted the PACPM on August 28, 2018, to assist the President in the discharge of his responsibility of granting pardon/clemency.
The committee filed its first report in March 2020 and reconvened in September 2021 to attend to pending applications.
The cases, Shehu noted, followed the established process of applying for pardon or clemency, first to the Correctional Service, which must certify claims made.
Dariye, Nyame, John Joshua Uloh, Umar Bamalli, Sa’adu Ayinla Alanamu, Charles Ihenatu, Akinwumi Ajayi and scores of others made the approved list of 159.

Shehu said the PACPM, led by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, followed up the recommendations with a visit to selected persons in different States.

The visit appraised and identified “potential cases of convicts and ex-convicts before nominating them for presidential pardon/clemency and reduced sentences”.
The presidency explained that during the exercise, 412 inmates were interviewed and 162 were presented to the Council of State by the President.
Shehu said while it is natural that the cases of the ex-governors would generate criticisms, “the President would have come across as insensitive were he to have ignored compelling cases recommended for pardon because someone is a former Governor”.

Buhari assured that nothing was done to achieve a political end or send a revisionist message on “the relentless war against corruption”.

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30 CSOs denounce Lawyers who dragged EFCC chair before UN, UK, others




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***describe them as jobless detractors, paid hecklers, defenders of Injustice

Lawyers who dragged the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede to the United Nations, United Kingdom and other international nations have been called out by 30 civil society groups

The lawyers had on Friday accused the EFCC boss of flagrantly disregarding valid court orders and breaching the constitutional rights of Nigerians.

At a press conference on Saturday, the Convener of the 30 Civil Societies and Chairman of Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria, Mr. Adams Otakwu, indicated that the allegation against the EFCC by the lawyers is a slap on the entire nation, aimed at distracting and derailing the ongoing war on corruption.

The Nigerian Civil Societies denounced the lawyers’ unfounded claims and “dismissed the group as jobless detractors, paid hecklers and defenders of Injustice unknown to the civil society.

“The assertions put forth by these lawyers, accusing the EFCC of flouting court orders and infringing upon the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens, are not only devoid of merit but are also symptomatic of a deliberate attempt to impede the ongoing efforts of the EFCC to combat corruption and promote accountability within our nation.

“It is imperative to underscore that actions undertaken by Mr. Olukoyede are not personal endeavors but are emblematic of the steadfast commitment of the EFCC as an institution of the Nigerian people to uphold the rule of law and foster transparency in governance. Any insinuation to the contrary is not only fallacious but also an affront to the integrity of the EFCC and the Nigerian People.

“Furthermore, we categorically reject the insinuation that these self-proclaimed defenders of justice are acting in the interest of the Nigerian populace. On the contrary, it is evident that they are driven by ulterior motives, perhaps influenced by vested interests seeking to undermine the progress achieved by the EFCC and the watchful Civil Society of Nigeria in the last six months.”

The groups urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union not to listen to the so call lawyers.

“It is ludicrous to suggest that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union should entertain the baseless demands of these individuals. Such propositions are not only preposterous but also reflective of a desperate attempt to garner attention through sensationalism and misinformation.

“We call on the international community to disregard these frivolous allegations and instead lend unwavering support to the EFCC and the Nigerian State in the noble pursuit of combating corruption and promoting good governance.

“The EFCC has made significant strides in the fight against corruption in the last six months, and the Nigerian Civil Society remains confident in the ability of the EFCC to steer our nation towards a future free from the scourge of corruption,” the groups said.

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Uphold virtues of Ethics, Civic Education, Akpabio charges Scout Association of Nigeria




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The Scout Movement of Nigeria has been admonished to inculcate in Nigerian youths virtues of national ethics and the need to be prepared for any eventuality in life all the time
The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio gave the admonition when the Chief Commissioner of The Scout Association of Nigeria, Dave Padopads-Awunah led other executive members of the Association on a courtesy to him at the National Assembly.
The Association visited Akpabio as one of their own to brief him on the forthcoming Nigeria Scout Parade and President’s Award event coming up in Abuja from 17-21 May, 2024.

In his opening remarks, The Chief Commissioner of Scout of Nigeria, Dave Padopads-Awunah expressed their joy over the elevation Senator Godswill Akpabio to the position of President of the Senate of Nigeria, stating that Senator Akpabio’s quality as a young scout has propelled him to excel in his tasks as one of the best governors Nigeria ever produced and now his giant strides in his short stay as President of the Senate.

Padopads-Awunah further recalled the role the senate president played by paying for scouts and ensuring Nigeria Scouts were represented at the world scout jamboree in Japan during his period as governor.

In his response, Akpabio expressed his joy at the visit and recalled with nolstagia, his period as a young scout.
He highlighted the tenets of scouting which he said help in molding the character of persons who grow in good citizens of their country.
He stated his commitment to amending the Boy Scout Act of Nigeria and also assist the association in delivering on their core mission to the young people of Nigeria

A statement by the Special Assistant to the President of the Senate, Anietie Ekong quoted Senator Akpabio as having advised the Association on the need for discipline, continuous education on issues like climate change and artificial intelligence.

According to Senator Akpabio, “I don’t know at what stage that Nigeria stopped having organizations like yours in primary and secondary schools. In my time, we had Scout Movements in primary and secondary schools. We even use to have the female counterpart, The Girls’ Guide.

“These Movements inculcated right ethics and ethos on the young ones, getting them to know their country, the national pledge, national anthem and respect for national symbols like the national flags and currency.

“The Scout Movement should prepare the youths for leadership in all spheres of life and that is why the motto of the Scouts, “Be Prepared” appeals to me. You should be prepared for situations that are favourable, be prepared for the rainy season and dry season; be prepared for the season of bountiful harvest and even famine,” he said.

Senator Akpabio extolled the Scouts Movement as a disciplined organization which should be encouraged through training and retraining on contemporary issues like climate change and artificial intelligence and pledged the support of the National Assembly in their programmes.

Mr. Awunah who led the delegation intimated the Senate President on the forth-coming Nigeria Scout Parade and President’s Medal Awards, sought the collaboration of the National Assembly in executing their programmes that would ne of immense benefit to Nigerian youths.
The deputy senate president and other leaders of the senate were present at the event where the President of the senate was decorated by the Chief Commissioner alongside his colleagues

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Nigeria on the path of codifying national values through NOA – Issa-Onilu




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

DIRECTOR-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu has said that the Nigerian nation is on the path of codifying its values through the National Values Charter being midwived by the Agency.

Issa-Onilu who disclosed this during a “Town Hall Meeting with Stakeholders in Kogi State on Government Policies Programmes and Activities” on Thursday in Lokoja said this was part of the mandate given to the agency by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He said that the Values Charter was not anything new as all communities and ethnic nationalities hold strongly to their values but unfortunately, “the country has not put any value system in place.”

Onilu said values would only be appreciated when they are kept and made sacrosanct, promoted and nurtured by the people.

The NOA DG regretted that as it is today, no one can give a definite answer if asked, Who is a Nigerian? “We don’t have a definition for who a Nigerian is.

“And it is important we define who a Nigerian is because we know at the end of the day the definition would mean that a Nigerian cannot be a bandit, a proper Nigerian cannot be a kidnapper.

“A proper Nigerian cannot get to government and become a thief, stealing government resources and promoting corruption and bringing hardship to the people.

“A proper Nigerian is the one that will become governor and do the right thing, provide infrastructure, create employment and promote peace and stability in the state.

“That’s who a good Nigerian is. A good Nigerian is the president that will come and promote prosperity, ensure unity and there is no nepotism.

No one side is promoted above the other and no one side is marginalized. That is the value of a good Nigerian. But all of these are just my opinions”, the DG quickly added.

Issa-Onilu noted that Articles of great nations are codified and the values held in high esteem adding, “We must know ourselves and what we represent.”

He said that the best way to develop a nation is through attitude adding that attitude led us to where we are today and therefore called for character building by promoting the values charter.

The DG revealed that the Federal Government would soon introduce Citizenship Study in all schools from primary to secondary and tertiary levels as compulsory subjects or courses with emphasis on the right values, right character and how to be a good Nigerian.

This is to inculcate the right values in children so that when they grow up and get into the society, they would live their lives in a way that both the parents, the society, and the country will be proud of them.

“So this will happen soon. And we are starting this year with 37,000 Citizenship Brigades, 1,000 per state in primary school and secondary schools*, he said.

Stakeholders at the Townhall meeting, among other demands, called on NOA to impress on the the Federal Government the urgent need to reduce Petroleum pump price, and making Religious Education compulsory at all levels of education.

Speaking earlier, Mr Patrick Edogbanya, Acting State Director of the Agency in Kogi, commended Issa-Onilu for the visit saying that so far, the NOA DG had taken the message of government programmes and activities to 10 states, Kogi being the 11th.

Edogbanya noted that the Townhall meeting with stakeholders drawn from various societal strata in Kogi provided a rare opportunity to rub minds with the people towards finding a lasting solution to some of the surmountable challenges being faced by the country.

He enumerated some the DG’s achievements adding that his initiatives on staff welfare had started yielding results alluding to his charismatic team leadership adding, “Your hard work and selfless service show that we have a capable DG in the driver’s seat.” (Ends)

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