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Sowore: NBA calls for DSS DG suspension, urges Nigerians to defend rule of law

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The Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] has issued a strong rebuke of the Department of State Services [DSS], calling its arrest of Omoyele Sowore in Abuja Court as assault and desecration of the court.

In a statement by its National publicity Kunle Edun, the NBA while calling on Nigerians to defend the rule of law, asked the FG to immediately suspend the Director General of the DSS  from office.

Full Statement By The NBA:

DESECRATION AND ASSAULT ON THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT BY DSS: NBA URGES ALL NIGERIANS TO DEFEND THE RULE OF LAW

The Nigerian Bar Association is greatly dismayed at the exhibition of primitivity, thuggery, insane passion for lawlessness, contempt and disrespect for the rule of law by the agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) within the precincts of the Federal High Court, Abuja while attempting to re-arrest Citizens Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare earlier today.

Eventually, Sowore and Bakare were re-arrested by the DSS in spite of being on bail granted by the Federal High Court.

The NBA has been properly briefed – beyond the shameful videos of the incident in public domain- by our members who witnessed the disgraceful and crass violation of the hallowed precincts of the law by the officers of the Department of State Services, an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The NBA finds it disgraceful that this ‘court riot’ occasioned by the high handedness and insensitivity of the security operatives interrupted judicial proceedings and made the Presiding Judge to abandon judicial proceedings because of safety concerns.

The Nigerian Bar Association strongly condemns the action of the Department of State Security, which is another in the series of impunity and lawlessness exhibited by the DSS. The invasion of the court by the agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria runs contrary to the avowed assurances of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that he will ensure that the Federal Government and agencies under it obey court orders. The disrespect of the court by the DSS is legendary and unrivalled.

Few days ago, the officers of the Nigerian Police Force exhibited similar traits when it also invaded the precincts of the High Court, Effurun to arrest Mr. Ademi-Akpeto, Chairman of Sapele branch of the NBA. Many Nigerians are still in unlawful custody and not charged to court. Nigerians are now under siege by security agents who have no regards for the law and the courts.

The NBA urges all Nigerians to be alive to their responsibilities as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and is ready to partner with all Nigerians and civil society organisations to ensure that the rights of Nigerians as guaranteed by Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended are not trampled upon by by any agency of government.

The NBA therefore, demands as follows:

1. That the Federal Government of Nigeria and the National Assembly immediately investigate the shameful conduct by the DSS and ensure that all persons found culpable are duly punished in accordance with the law.

2. The immediate suspension of the Director General of the Department of State Security from office. We make this demand bearing in mind the fact that the DSS under his leadership has established itself as a brutish and irresponsible agency that derives immense pleasure from violating the fundamental rights of Nigerians and disrespecting court orders.

3. That the National Assembly should review the laws setting up the DSS and indeed all security agencies in Nigeria with a view to repositioning them to be more responsible and responsive to the public.

4. That the Attorney General of the Federation, being the Chief Law officer of the Federation takes over all the political cases or cases involving politically exposed persons presently handled by the DSS.

The above demands of the NBA is without prejudice to the consultations presently going on amongst critical stakeholders in the legal profession and the judiciary on how best to ensure that this sad incident does not re-occur.

NBA thanks all lawyers and Nigerians who have expressed displeasure over this sad incident. NBA shall keep lawyers and Nigerians alike informed of our further engagements with critical stakeholders.

Kunle Edun
National Publicity Secretary, Nigeria Bar Association

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Kashamu maneuvered law, politics to escape justice on alleged crimes but couldn’t beat death – Obasanjo

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Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has reacted to the death of a popular Nigerian politician and Ogun state Senator, Buruji Kashamu.

According to reports, Kashamu passed away on Saturday, it was said that the 62-year-old Kashamu die of Covid-19 at Cardiology hospital, Lagos.

Obasanjo said despite his smartness against law, he was unable to escape death.

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Obasanjo in a condolence message addressed to the state governor, described the death as sad.

He said ” I received the sad news of the demise of Senator Esho Jinadu (Buruji Kashmu) a significant citizen of Ogun State. Please accept my condolence and that of my family on this irreparable loss.

“The life and history of the departed have lessons for those of all us on this side of the veil. Senator Esho Jinadu (Buruji Kashmu) in his lifetime used the maneuver of law and politics to escape from facing justice on the alleged criminal offense in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.

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” But no legal, political, cultural, social, or even medical maneuver could stop the cold hand of death when the Creator of all of us decides that the time is up.

“May Allah forgive his sin and accept his soul into Aljanah, and may God grant his family and friends fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

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JUST IN: Buruji Kashamu dies of COVID-19

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A former Senator representing Ogun East, Senator Buruji Kashamu, is dead after suffering from COVID-19 complications, Senator Murray Bruce has disclosed

Ben Murray-Bruce who broke the news on Twitter on Saturday said Kashamu died at First Cardiologist Consultants in Lagos.

Kashamu represented Ogun east in the eighth senate.

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He had a brush with the law over allegations of drug dealing while he was in the US.

In 2015, there was a stand-off at his residence after operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) attempted to arrest him for extradition to the US.

He challenged the attempt to extradite until his death.

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He was 62 years old.

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Governor Bala defends appointment of SA on unmarried women

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Governor Mohammed Bala of Bauchi State has defended the appointment of Balaraba Ibrahim as a Special Assistant on unmarried women affairs.

Earlier, in a letter dated August 4, 2020, with reference number GO/SS/POL/S/83, the governor approved the appointment. Meanwhile, the new appointment caused a controversy in the media.

However, in a statement released by his senior special assistant on media Mukhtar Gidado on Saturday, Governor Bala said he appointed a special assistant on unmarried women affairs to address the needs of widows and divorcees in the state.

The Bauchi State Governor who noted that the widows and divorcees constitute a significant segment of the state’s population, said the unending petitions by representatives of this group led to the appointment.

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The statement read;

“The governor decided to establish a channel of communication whereby their plight can be addressed like those of other groups in the state.

“After due consideration and in keeping with his campaign pledge not to leave anybody behind, the governor graciously acceded to their request hence the appointment of a special assistant on women affairs, with the specific responsibility of handling matters related to widows and divorcees, not “unmarried” women.

“Unfortunately, while producing it, the word “unmarried” was inadvertently introduced into the letter. This is a clear mistake of the head; not of the heart which the Government sincerely regrets.

“Governor Bala Mohammed is sincerely pained that this error could have caused the women of Bauchi state and elsewhere, considerable distress and embarrassment.

“He has therefore directed that his personal apologies be conveyed to all women of Bauchi State, particularly the widows and divorcees whose interests he has vowed to protect and advance, always.

“Finally, governor Bala Mohammed enjoins the good people of Bauchi state to put this matter behind us so that, together, we can sustain the achievements that have been recorded, so far, in diverse areas such as youth empowerment, infrastructural development, rehabilitation of schools and primary healthcare centres, amelioration of the plight of senior citizens and retirees and the harmonious relationship between the executive and the legislature.”

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