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NHRC summons SARS officer over disappearance of 20-year-old boy in 2012

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The National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria [NHRC] has summoned a SARS officer, James Nwafor, over the alleged disappearance of 28-year-old Chijioke Iloanya, who was allegedly arrested eight years ago.

Nigerians have testified of the heinous crimes perpetrated by the SARs Boss who claims no one can question him for his constant act of violating human rights.

Chijioke who was 20-year-old at the time was seeking admission to a university when he was carted away during the child dedication of one of his friends on November 29, 2012, in the Ajali area of the state.

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His family members, who visited the Ajali Police Station in search of him, were informed that he had been transferred to the SARS headquarters.

Upon getting to the SARS office, Nwafor, who was the Officer-in-Charge of the Anambra State Special Anti-Robbery Squad then, reportedly denied that his men arrested the victim. He was said to have later claimed Chijioke had been shot dead by the police.

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Reacting to the matter, the NHRC, through its Twitter handle, stated that the officer had been invited to Abuja for questioning, adding that the commission would ensure that justice was served.

It tweeted,

The attention of @NhrcNigeria was brought to a painful report by a Twitter user, of the alleged torture and murder of her brother by CP James Nwafor who led the Awkuzu SARS division in Anambra State.

“Other Twitter users commented under the post, retelling their experiences or that of their family members. The issue was brought to the attention of @NHRCNigeria and we are working with other authorities to ensure this is not swept under the carpet.

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UPDATED: Lagos revokes 2018 land use charge

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Lagos state government has cancelled 2018 land use charge and has reverted to pre-2018 land use charges while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.

The government announced this at a press conference addressed by the state commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Center, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja on Wednesday.

The government has also waived penalties for those who defaulted in payment of land use charge for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, which according to the commissioner translates to a loss of revenue to the state amounting to N5.6b.

Olowo said the new Land Use Charge Law 2020 is a product of series of stakeholders meetings and is designed to accommodate the agitations of Lagosians and reduce the financial pressure on citizens as it relates to Land Use.

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The new law reduces the penalties for defaulters from between 25 to 100 per cent to 10 to 50 per cent; there is also a 48 per cent reduction in the annual charge rates for different properties.

“Still on reductions, another major sector that had its charge reduced is the Agricultural sector, which annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.”

The government further re-introduced the 15 per cent early payment discount which has been increased by a 10 per cent special COVID-19 incentive making it 25 per cent when payment is paid before due date.

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Unlike in the 2018 law pensioners now include retirees from private and public institutions in the state (or any person that has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration) and their properties are exempted from paying land use charge.

Also “profit-oriented cemeteries and burial grounds are no longer exempted from payment of Land Use Charge,” the same thing goes for private libraries.

Olowo said,

“We have completed the LUC Reform process and review of bills. Property owners should expect to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and we expect property owners to leverage on the 25% early payment discount.

“Furthermore, the LUC payment can now be made Online via https://Lagos.ebsrcm.com Payment can also be made using USSD Code to any of our designated banks with the appropriate code stated below;

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It would be recalled that the land use charge was increased via a law under the administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and it generated a lot of heat among residents with widespread protest as resident rejected the outrageous increase.

When the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration took over the reins of governance, it promised to redress the situation and effect some reform which resulted in the latest development seen as a huge relief to property owners across the state.

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Benue rejects FG’s rice donation, says deliveries have expired

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Benue State Government has rejected three trailers load of rice donated by the Federal Government through the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs as COVID-19 palliatives.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the State Emergency Committee on COVID-19 and Deputy Governor Benson Abounu.

The chairman who also doubles as the deputy governor said the rice deliveries have expired and are no longer fit for human consumption.

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The Deputy Governor further disclosed that even though the bags of rice had been taken to the three senatorial zones, the government has decided to return them to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

Abounu said;

“Government cannot afford to risk the health of its citizen by given them expired rice to eat.”

He also revealed that the state government spent about N2 million to purchase the bags of rice.

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SERAP condemns attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has “strongly condemned reported violent attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters in Abuja, Osogbo and other parts of the country. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari must end the use of excessive force against protesters, and allow people to peacefully exercise their human rights.”

The Department of State Services today reportedly arrested Olawale Bakare and six other #RevolutionNow protesters wearing orange-coloured caps around Olaiya area of Osogbo, Osun State capital. Several protesters were also arrested by the police and the Nigerian Army in the Abuja metropolis.

In a statement today by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said:

“By failing to adequately protect protesters from violent attacks, Nigerian authorities have blatantly violated their obligations under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

“Nobody should be arrested or subjected to torture and ill-treatment simply for taking part in peaceful protests. The authorities should stop criminalising peaceful protesters.”

“Rather than suppressing peaceful protests, the authorities ought to protect peaceful protesters and ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to exercise their constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

“SERAP urges the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested, promptly investigate attacks on protesters, and identify security agents suspected to be responsible and bring them to justice.”

“Nigerian authorities need to take seriously the protesters’ socio-economic grievances, including by immediately taking measures to genuinely fight grand corruption, and improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services.”

“SERAP urges the international community including the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Union and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to publicly condemn attacks on peaceful protests and to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to effectively investigate attacks on protesters, prosecute perpetrators and to respect and protect the human rights of everyone.”

“Nigerian constitution and human rights treaties to which Nigeria is a state party guarantee the rights to liberty and security of person, freedom from arbitrary detention, freedom of expression, and the right of peaceful assembly.”

“The UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials prohibit the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters.”

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