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I didn’t receive N28m from Magu, Falana says

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Femi Falana

Lagos lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, on Sunday repudiated a report he was a loot funnel for suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.

In a letter dated July 12 written to a media house over the said report, Falana, through his lawyer, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, a Silk, distanced himself from whatever alleged corrupt practices likely perpetrated by Magu whose tenure temporarily came to a halt last Wednesday when President Muhammadu Buhari approved his suspension.

The letter reads in part,

“The publication and the imputations it conveyed is damning, as you will no doubt agree with me. It is particularly damning against my client because his entire career as a lawyer has been devoted to fighting human rights abuses and corruption in high and low places (among the many public causes he has become noted for). So, to charge such a person with the imputations in your publication is not something that he can (in fairness to himself and the reputation he has worked for all his life) ignore despite that he is also a well-known advocate and defender of press freedom.

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“It is noteworthy that no attempt was made by you to contact and request my client to react to the allegation before publishing and circulating it to your worldwide readers. The impression my client gets from this is that you were well aware that you were publishing a planted story, hence there was no desire or need on your part to seek and balance it with my clients reaction. This speaks volume as to your professionalism, as well as your malicious intent.

 

“My client does not deny that he is a supporter and public advocate of the EFCC, and indeed of all agencies set-up to rescue our country and its downtrodden masses from the noose of corruption. He has been since the inception of the EFCC and the tenure of its first Chairman, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu.

 

“As a token of his support and public advocacy against corruption, he has, since the Commission was established in 2003 and up till now,  refused and rejected all approaches by the high and mighty (who are loaded with cash and able to pay for his services and thus save him from the indignity of having to criminally scrape around for =N=28m or any sum whatsoever from anyone in the EFCC) to take-up their cases or causes against the EFCC. He stands tall to also say despite his public advocacy for the Commission and its anti-graft efforts, all reports or allegations of human rights abuse of disobedience of court orders by the Commission or any of its officials that came to his attention were always taken-up by him with its Management.

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“My client acknowledges that just as his anti-corruption activism has won him friends, they have also bred enmity from those who see things from a different perspective and have therefore always tried to paint and present him (or anyone that strives or claims to be different) as someone that is also not free from the stains of corruption! Not long ago, these elements invented and spread through the media the lie that my client was a beneficiary of property purchase from the EFCC. When given the opportunity to prove the allegation, the publisher failed to take up the opportunity but apologised for the false publication. I am not too sure that your case will turn out different if you permit it to degenerate to the level of being sued.

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“In the circumstance, my immediate instruction is to demand that you acknowledge your wrongdoing, expressly admit that what you imputed against my client was false, and apologise for your unprofessionalism and the damage you have caused to him. I do hope that you will, within the next 48 hours, comply with this gentlemanly request by publication on the front page of your newspaper. Failing compliance, my instruction is to issue a Writ in the tort of defamation in other to afford you an opportunity to prove what you imputed against my client’s character.”

 

See the letter below;

 

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IG threatens Sowore with N10bn lawsuit

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Mohammed Adamu

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has described as false a media report accusing him of illegally raising funds to build a police training school in Nasarawa State.

Denying the August 3, 2020 report published by SaharaReporters, the IG, through his lawyer, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), threatened to file a N10bn suit against the online platform and its publisher, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

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Titled, ‘Re: Defamatory publication against Mr Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, NPM, mni (current Inspector-General of Police): Demand for retraction and unequivocal apology’, Izinyon, in the August 6, 2020, pre-action letter addressed to the United States of America address of SaharaReporters and Sowore, also threatened to file a criminal complaint against them with relevant government agencies.

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Izinyon said the IG had given SaharaReporters and Sowore only seven days to tender “a written and unequivocal retraction with an apology carried with the same prominence on their platform and three national dailies,” failing which he would head for court.

Izinyon stated in the letter:

“Our client hastened to inform you that these defamatory words in your said publications are farrago of lies, concoctions all calculated by you to bring our client to the lowest contempt as they are a product of you and your online publication to achieve your premeditated blackmail, dubious and diabolical ends.

“We would not waste our energy here but reserve it for the appropriate time.”

 

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I refuse to retract comment about Northern governor being Boko Haram’s leader- Mailafia

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Ex-Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia has insisted that a Northern Governor is Boko Haram’s leader.

Mailafia stated this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists shortly after he was released by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The DSS detained him for questioning for over six hours in their Jos, Plateau State office.

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However, Mailafia made it clear he did not need to retract the statement he made, during a recent interview.

Mailafia, who arrived at the office the DSS office around 12.30 pm along with his lawyers, did not leave until 6.40 pm

On his claims, he said,

“Yes, all of those words were made by me. If the whole of the 55 minutes was played out, the context of what I said would have become clearer.

“This is not the time to disown what I said. Yes, I was privy to some very sensitive information which all statesmen are entitled to have by virtue of our public roles.

“I know that I should have corroborated some of the information I received, but perhaps some of it was uncorroborated. I was in no position to follow them to the camp to corroborate what was going on.”

Mailafia added that

“I must never give up on Nigeria, if need be, I will die for Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has called for an investigation into the claims.

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Int’l Youth Day, Ooni wants Big Brother 9ija show replaced

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Wednesday celebrated the International Youth  Day with some Nigerian youths in his palace at Ile Ife, Osun.

Ooni Ogunwusi, who played host to scores of Nigerian youths from all parts of the country under the aegis of the National Youth Council of Nigeria in Ile-Ife, suggested a replacement for Big Brother 9ija.

Among other things, the Ooni criticized the prominent Big Brother 9ija reality show,  which he said has been misrepresenting the goodness and integrity of the Nigerian youths.

The monarch described the youths as the country’s untapped immeasurable wealth and resources.

The royal father, who stressed the need for participation of more youths in leadership, lamented that the youths have misplaced their priorities and must redress it as a matter of urgent public importance.

“Nigerian youths are fond of accusing and abusing our leaders, stop abusing them contribute your own quota. Let’s wear our thinking caps and begin to act like the real future leaders that we are.

“In the last general election, the total number of vote cast was around 27 million while over 170 million people voted during the 2019 Big Brother 9ija reality show.

“This is a practical reality of who Nigerian youths are and where our priorities lies as Nigerians.

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“The funny side in all of these is that we still go to bed, have a good sleep, and wake up with the hope to meet a Nigeria we didn’t create. Nigerians Youths! Nigerians Youths!! Nigerians Youths!!!

“Unfortunately, every time I talk about this kind of attitude, everyone just laughs and moves on. What kind of nation are we building?

“When people say this country, or what kind of country is this, they are indirectly saying these people – it is the people that make a country; so what kind of Nigerian youths are we?” Ooni asked.

Speaking further, the monarch offered a suggestion for a reality show, which will protect the country’s values, cultures, and traditions.

He urged leaders of the National Youth Council of Nigeria to work out plans on the show, which will be called, “The Big Nigeria Reality Show”.

“The proposed show will be structured in a way that young professionals, talented individuals, and others across several fields of endeavor will be showcased and helped to reach their peak.

“This would help the participants and also help viewers to have access to people that can be seen as role models,” Ooni added.

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Earlier in his address, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, who was represented by Dr. Mariam Abdullahi, a Director in the Minister, explained that the youths have major roles to play in the country’s development.

According to him, the digital literacy and skills acquisition, entrepreneurship, employability, and leadership initiative of the Ministry are ongoing and all geared towards the development of our youths.

“As the government, we will keep ensuring that we equip our youths towards prosperity,” the minister assured.

Representing Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun at the event, the state’s Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Yemi Lawal, explained that the youths have a lot to learn from the elders towards reaching their goals.

“As much as we youths are important, let us be humble enough to learn from our elders because they were once like us. Humility, persistence, and patience is the key and we must be upright in our dealings,” he said.

In his address, the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Mr. Sara-Igbe Sukubo, thanked the Ooni for what he described as an unthinkable warm reception for the youths.

“Your Imperial Youthfulness as you told us to address you, we are indeed happy and proud to have you as a father and mentor.

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“We have heard your kind words of wisdom and I want to assure you on behalf of the teeming Nigerian youths that we will put them into action.

“Fellow Nigerian youths, as we reflect on youth engagement for global action today, let us realize that a new era of opportunities and responsibilities is now upon us.

“Today’s youths are now being called upon to rise as practical stakeholders in governance and development. Let us rise to this challenge,” Sukubo said.

Meanwhile, the youths at the occasion announced Ooni Ogunwusi as the ”Royal Father of Nigerian Youths”, in recognition and appreciation of his immeasurable commitment towards youth development in the country.

Similarly, the founder of Elizabeth Jack-Rch Aid Foundation, who is equally the matron of the National YouthCouncil of Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Jack-Rich was given an award for her roles and stance as a mentor to the Nigerian youths.

Mrs. Jack-Rich had earlier expressed the readiness of her foundation to sponsor the reality show proposed by the Ooni.

She admonished youths to ignore all forms of distraction and negative peer pressure on their way to success.

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