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Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo accuses Punch newspaper of editorial dictatorship

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Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has accused The Punch newspapers of editorial dictatorship.

In a statement on Tuesday, Keyamo said he was compelled to issue the release because of the newspaper’s alleged mistreatment of a senior citizen and the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Folake Solanke.

As background to the issue, the minister wrote: “On the 25th of March, 2020, I made these seemingly harmless tweets:

‘God has allowed COVID-19 to afflict the human race only to redirect our steps back to Him. We have so distorted God’s Word to suit our own human weaknesses and satisfy our greed, even in supposed Holy Places. We should collectively ask for forgiveness & it will all end in praise

‘Aside the spiritual angle to this scourge, we must all work and pray; God can only help those who help themselves. Those our recalcitrant Pastors must realise this. All the directives of @NCDCgov must be followed to the letter by all and sundry before it can quickly end in praise.’

“As usual, the tweets generated varied reactions.

“On the 2nd of April, 2020, one Abimbola Adelakun wrote an article on the back page of the Punch entitled, No God Is Punishing US With COVID-19. See it here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/punchng.com/no-god-is-punishing-us-with-covid-19/%3famp=1

“In the said article, the said lady made disparaging insinuations about my person and my rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. My only offence was expressing my personal Christian belief in my tweet and also emphasizing the physical aspect of the fight against COVID-19 (a fact she conveniently left out in her analysis). In the process, she also, by innuendo, disparaged the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.”

Keyamo said that as a policy, he does not engage in “petty quarrels with anyone” and that as a public officer, he had fortified the disposition the more.

“However, a few days later, I received a call from Chief (Mrs) Folake Solanke, SAN, who apparently felt slighted on my behalf and on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, about the indiscretion of the said Abimbola Adelakun, in referring to the rank of SAN in such disparaging manner,” the minister continued.

“She shared with me a rejoinder she had written to the said lady correcting her article and insisting that her rejoinder be published VERBATIM. She also shared with me the private apology the said Ms. Adelakun sent to her by mail, but kept mute about publishing Mrs. Solanke’s rejoinder.

“I was effusive in my appreciation to ‘mummy’ (as I often call Mrs. Solanke, SAN) and sent an email to her thanking her. I thought little of the incident again and mentally switched off from the matter.

“However, earlier today, I opened my mail only to see another email from Mrs. Folake Solanke, SAN, addressed to the editor of Punch Newspapers, complaining about the suppression of her response to the article by Ms. Adelakun.”

In the letter, the 88-year-old senior lawyer urged the newspaper’s editor for the weekday publications, Ademola Oni, to publish her response which she titled ‘A Rebuttal of the Verbal Disparagement of the TITLE Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)’.

Keyamo then said he was disappointed to be treated in this manner by the newspaper he claimed to have defended in court in the early and mid-nineties while working with Gani Fawehinmi Chambers.

He said: “My word! An 88-year old octogenarian making all these efforts and STRUGGLING to get a simple rebuttal published??!! What manner of editorial dictatorship is this??!! It is shocking to see a newspaper that supposedly takes the posture of ‘fighting dictatorship’, practicing a worst form of it (suppressing alternative views) even in a relatively small enclave! It is sad to see the Punch that I defended in court so vigorously in the early and mid-nineties when I plied my trade with Gani Fawehinmi Chambers, descend into this morass of moral and political debauchery.

“I will expect Punch to do the needful immediately. As much as public officers are exposed to harsh criticisms, critical and fair comments, there are however limits. Malice is proven when you refuse to publish a rebuttal to such a story or comment. Or when you fail to accord the rejoinder equal prominence as the original comment. In that situation, the legal option would be the only way.”

Culled from QED.com

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BREAKINGNEWS: LAGOS APC LAWMAKER, TUNDE BRAIMOH, IS DEAD

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ACCORDING TO A CLOSE MEMBER OF THE FAMILY , BRAIMOH DIED EARLY HOURS OF FRIDAY.

HE WAS TWO TIMES CHAIRMAN OF KOSOFE LGC AND CURRENTLY SERVING HIS SECOND TIME IN THE LAGOS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

UNTIL HIS DEMISE, BRAIMOH, WHO IS A LAWYER, HEADED COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION, SECURITY AND STRATEGY IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

IT WOULD BE RECALLED THAT, THE FORMER SENATOR, BAYO OSINOWO, WHO DIED RECENTLY WAS ALSO FROM KOSOFE LGA.

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NDDC N40b Probe: No Kobo Is Missing, Misapplied by the IMC…..Ojougboh

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THE Acting Executive Director, Projects, Interim Management Committee, IMC of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has said that no single Kobo has been misapplied by the Committee since it came on board.

Speaking in Abuja Thursday when he appeared before the Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi ( APC, Ekiti North) led Ad-hoc Committee probing  into alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the IMC, Ojougboh said that since the interim management came on board, it has not awarded any contract, except the recent one of the Coronavirus, COVID-19  Pandemic where Palliatives were given to people.

Ojougboh  who is presently addressing the Committee has accused both the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and his House of Representatives counterpart as the problem of the interventionist agency.

According to him, if they remain as chairmen of the Committees, Niger Delta region will never develop.

Meanwhile, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has told the Ad- hoc Committee that a total of N281 billion has so far been released to the NDDC from 2016 to May this year.

Giving a breakdown, he said that in 2016, N41billion was released; in 2017, N64 billion was released; in 2018, a total of N71 billion was released; in 2019, N71 billion was released and from January to May this year, N34 billion was released.

Recall that the Senate is probing alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Against this backdrop, the Senate had set up six-man Ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into all issues relating to but not limited to the alleged misapplication and misappropriation of the sum of N40billion by the commission.

The Committee, which had four weeks to report back at plenary, was asked to look into all procurement and financial transactions of the commission in this fiscal year (2020) and any other matter that is not in accordance with the provision of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000 or any other extant law.

In a related development, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has assured the National Assembly of his utmost cooperation in the ongoing probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Recall once again that the Senate is probing alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Against this backdrop, the Senate had set up a six-man Ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into all issues relating to but not limited to the alleged misapplication and misappropriation of the sum of N40billion by the commission.

Appearing before the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Thursday,  the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Olusade Adesola who stood in for the Minister  regretted the absence of the Minister due to circumstances beyond his control.

Mr Adesola assured the Committee that the Minister held the Panel in high repute and would appear on any other date that the Committee would extend an invitation to him.

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22 YEARS AFTER: WE JUST CANNOT FORGET MKO

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July 7 marks the 22nd anniversary of the murder of Chief MKO Abiola, the man popularly elected by Nigerians as president on June 12, 1993.
Abiola was eliminated after spending over four years in incarceration just because of his blunt refusal to compromise his principled belief that a mandate freely and enthusiastically given by over 14 million Nigerians cannot be overturned by military fiat.
Abiola displayed uncommon courage, unparalled dignity, and unusual candour in his staunch defence of the mandate given him by change-seeking Nigerians who, after trooping out to massively vote for him in 1993, had also engaged all the illegal regimes that held sway while the legal president languished in jail.
Twenty-two years after his elimination, Abiola still stands taller than all his adversaries and murderers.
He represents what Nigeria is capable of being but which we were denied because of the machinations of a greedy cabal fearful of the real CHANGE that Abiola not only promised but also typified.
All the troubles of Nigeria, which Abiola’s victory was meant to abolish, are the very shenanigans threatening the corporate existence of this country today.
A country that gleefully elected a Muslim/Muslim ticket, would not hear of such today as it has become badly fractured along regional and religious divides.
Today, we remember MKO in the midst of insurgency ruins, Chibok and Dapchi abductions among many others too numerous to mention, with people daily burying their dead in the innumerable harvests of death.
Abiola’s memory challenges us to end these and many other acts of terror that not only dehumanize us but also depreciate our human capital stock in the comity of nations.
We therefore enjoin Nigerians to continue to insist on the following demands from their rulers:
i. The posthumous recognition of Abiola as President of Nigeria and for his portrait to be displayed amongst those of past Nigerian presidents and heads of State.
ii. A judicial commission of enquiry to unravel how the high treason of the murder of MKO Abiola was carried out while he was in the custody of the Nigerian State.
iii. Restructuring of Nigeria, which has become the only exercise that can stall and reverse the fragmentation of the country.
We therefore also call on Nigerians, irrespective of creed, race, religious inclination or affiliation, to re-dedicate themselves to the ideals of the struggle for genuine democracy birthed by credible elections.
Entrenching the true spirit of June 12, which is free and fair elections, is the best way to immortalize MKO.
 In conclusion, we salute the memory of MKO Abiola, whose election was clean, free and fair and was so adjudged by local and international observers.
As we salute the memory of MKO Abiola, we call for an end to political manipulations that have hallmarked most elections before and after that of June 12, 1993.
In the same way, we call for the restoration of MKO’s political agenda to emancipate the downtrodden and long-suffering Nigerian masses as the true objective of real democracy and true measure of national Independence.

 

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