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Rotary Club empowers traders, artisans with loans, tools - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : In furtherance of its empowerment programme, the Rotary Club of Ikeja, on Monday brought smiles to trading clusters and arti...

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rotary Club empowers traders, artisans with loans, tools - ITREALMS

In furtherance of its empowerment programme, the Rotary Club of Ikeja, on Monday brought smiles to trading clusters and artisans in Isolo, Agidingbi, Ikorodu and the Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) with interest-free loans and trade tools worth millions of naira, reports ITREALMS.

The donations included a quarterly N500,000 interest-free loan to the Isolo Market Men/Women Association, which is spread at N25,000 to each of 20 beneficiaries.

The others were such vocational tools as sewing machines, hair driers and washing stands, grinding machines and oven for the artisans from Agidingbi Village, Laara Village in Ikorodu and NAFOWA respectively.

Presenting the items at a programme to mark his first official visit to Ikeja Rotary Club, the Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Kola Shodipo, explained that the micro credit scheme is a poverty alleviation package to help the beneficiaries meet their trading needs and expand their businesses.

According to Shodipo, “one good thing about the loan scheme is that it is interest-free and is returned every three months, after which it goes to another batch of 20 persons to complete the target of 80 persons each year.

“This has been run for 10 years on behalf of the Rotary Club of Ikeja, others have theirs.We have a management team that helps monitor these beneficiaries and it includes the executives and past leaders of the associations.

“They identify their members and help to ensure that they remain focused, while our team pays periodic visits to monitor and counsel them on how to keep their businesses profitable and able to return the loan on schedule.

“We also help in the area of health and education by partnering government in rehabilitating and equipping schools with laboratories and other teaching aids.”

Also speaking, former District Governor, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, noted that wherever there are rotarians, they look around to see how they could assist the community, and“those in Nigeria will continue to ensure that those in their communities feel better, feed better and have better health.

“We don’t just do things for the beneficiaries, we monitor and ask them what they want,what we can do together; they tell us and we help to satisfy their needs. We have been doing this year in year out and are encouraged by the sustainability of the programme.”

He urged people of goodwill in different callings to “look at the usefulness of rotary as a means of doing good in this kind of environment. The more the number of persons they can assist, the better forthey themselves. We also raise funds from non-members, and it is quite significant.”

Similarly, President of the Rotary Club of Ikeja, Niyi Adelaja, described the loan scheme as the club’s signature programme through which 20 beneficiaries per quarter and 80 persons per year get assistance, stating that the club has adopted the Isolo community for the scheme.

On behalf of her group,leader of the Isolo trading community, Wosilat Yusuf, commended the organisation for sustaining the programme for over a decade, during which many of them have had life-changing business experiences.

Likewise, leader of Agidingbi artisans, who were given five sewing machines and five hair driers, commended the rotary’s consistency with the programme, stating that some of former beneficiaries have acquired two or more tools from proceeds from the tool they got from the club some years ago.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Don says Nigeria loses N126.2b on abandoned FG properties nationwide - ITREALMS

The Federal Government (FG) has been charged to either concession or sell all its buildings that are not being utilized across the country to private investors in order to forestall further deterioration as a result of continued abandonment, reports ITREALMS.

A Professor of Building, Prof. Olumide Afolarin Adenuga, who gave the charge in his inaugural lecture at the J.F Ade Ajayi Memorial Hall, University of Lagos, Akoka, on Wednesday, said, N126.2 billion revenue have been lost since 2006 on the Federal Government properties in Lagos State alone, because the government have refused to either sell or concession the assets.

Adenuga, a professor of building management lamented that the nation have been hemorrhaging as a result of the neglect of the buildings, warning that the huge economic benefits of these iconic structures would continue to elude the nation if the government continue to ignore the need to restore them to beneficial use for Nigerians.

The university don who said maintenance is as old as creation, said man have had to contend with managing his space and the ecosystem since he abandoned a wandering lifestyle to adopt a settled life, pointing out that maintenance was responsible for increased lifespan of structures such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Papal States in the Vatican City, The White House in the United States and the Golden Temples, and other monuments, most of which have been kept in same serviceable condition as they were at the time of their construction.

For him, it is regrettable that many of the nation’s iconic assets, which were pleasant to look at, at the time of their construction, had been allowed to degenerate due to lack of maintenance and planned repairs that could have reversed the trend and turned them into positive economic assets.

“It is a glaring fact that our buildings are in very poor and deplorable conditions of structures and decorative disrepair, abandoned and reduced more or less to refuse dumps and natural homes for rodents and vermins in spite of billions of Naira spent to build and commission them.”

Adenuga listed among such assets wasting away in Lagos State to include; the National Stadium, Surulere, the Federal Secretariat Complex, Ikoyi, The Nigerian Eternal Telecommunications (NET) building, Marina, the Defence House (formerly Independence Building), and the former NAVY Headquarters building in Marina. Other buildings according to him are: the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, former National Assembly complex, Tafawa Balewa Square, and the Supreme Court building among others.

He said: “All these buildings are in deplorable states of structural and decorative repairs because we do not have any maintenance culture, a fact which manifests in the general apathy for maintenance coupled with ignorance on the part of occupiers of the benefits of planed preventive maintenance and care of buildings.”

According to him, the cumulative potential economic loss at the National Stadium alone, between 2004 to date, is about N52.6 billion, while the Federal Secretariat, which has been overgrown with weeds and is now home to reptiles and rodents, could have been yielded over N72 billion, if it had been converted to luxury residential apartments as proposed by Resort international Limited since 2006, while the 32-storey NET building with about 720 sq. metres of lettable space could have attracted over N1.6 billion in rent annually if well maintained and optimally utilised.

He said apart from the loss of the huge revenue which could have been ploughed back into provision of social amenities for Nigerians, the 480 units of luxury residential apartments being proposed by RIL could have contributed to reducing the shortfall in the nation’s housing stock.

“Because of their present deplorable state, these once iconic structures have become a nuisance not only to the city of Lagos and her residents, but is also a source of economic loss arising from abandonment and gross under-utilisation,” he added.

He said since it hardly feasible to construct buildings that are maintenance free, it is desirable for experts to think of building maintenance projections even at the design stage to reduce the cost of maintenance work throughout the lifespan of a building.

“All elements of buildings deteriorate at a greater or lesser rate depending on the materials used, methods of construction, environmental conditions, and the use of the building,” he said.

To reverse the trend of improper maintenance of public or private properties, Adenuga recommended a formulation and formalization of regular minimum repair programme, regular and effective inspection of all the fabrics of the buildings, including their sorroundings, as well as the comfort of the occupants to detect signs of disrepair, prompt attention to repair needs of buildings, to prevent further deterioration in order to keep the buildings in acceptable standards.

He canvassed planned preventive maintenance, which according to him are best accommodated at the design and construction stages of building development, even as he urged occupiers of buildings to be adequately educated to report, as soon as noticed, defects for prompt maintenance even as he charge them to use the property in such a way as to keep them in good tenantable conditions.

He canvassed that occupiers of public properties should be responsible for repairs and maintenance of the properties, the avoidance of deliberate alterations, which may lead to immediate or eventual decline in the state and aesthetic value of property, the standardization of building components.

He added that property owners, both private and public, should guide against overcrowding which may result in over-use of facilities and undue pressure on sanitary facilities.

Adenuga, a product of the polytechnic system, who described the lecture as his debt to academic and scholarship, is the second professor to have given his inaugural lecture in the Department of Building and the ninth professor in the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the University of Lagos.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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#EndSARS Ekhomu applauds IGP for overhauling SARS - ITREALMS

The President of Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu has commended the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris on administrative and operational measures announced to overhaul the special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) whose name had become synonymous with human rights abuses, reports ITREALMS.

The prompt action, he said, by the IGP showed that the government was responsive to the concerns and complaints of citizens.”

In a press release issued on Wednesday, Dr. Ekhomu said that the new administrative measure which centralizes the SARS organization in the office of the IGP was a mistaken strategy which will deepen lack of accountability of the unit. He said the problem with SARS was not the organizational structure but their excessively violent behavior which involved brutality, torture, high-hardened extra-judicial murders and so on.

The security expert said that it was a “big mistake” to relocate SARS from FCID to Operations Directorate. He said that SARS, as a tactical/detective unit naturally and operationally resides in the Investigations Directorate. Stressing “reform must be aimed at improving process activities, service delivery, and quality of service but reform should never be for its own sake” he noted.

Dr. Ekhomu said that the investigative strategy of the Nigeria Police Force had been to cast SARS as the “bad cop” which was designed to strike fear in the hearts of hardened criminals. 

“However, due to poor supervision and a culture of corruption, the squad went rogue - torturing, maiming and killing as alleged by the #ENDSARS campaigners and Amnesty International” he added.

According to Ekhomu, “the strong-arm tactics of SARS has tainted the entire police force and created a gulf between the people and the police agency. That is why people “fear” the police, and refuse to give information that could help in solving crimes. Unfortunately, citizen trust and co-operation are vital in effective policing.” 

Ekhomu said that new administrative, programmatic and technological means must be found to increase the effectiveness of SARS in combating armed robbery and kidnapping as mandated by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The administrative means should go beyond redesign of the SARS organogram, forensic psychiatry, issuance of ID cards to field operatives, and opening of human rights desks. It should include robust risk mitigation, background vetting of each SARS personnel, talent–spotting crack detectives for SARS, training and retraining and security certification.

According to the security expert, programmatic means should include inter-agency co-operation, community liaison (especially with traditional rulers and other leaders), informant programs, reward programs, etc.

Ekhomu said that the directive from the acting president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to carry out intelligence-led policing meant that Nigeria Police Force must invest in policing technologies to improve its effectiveness. He said that the long awaited criminal database should be set up to solve crimes.

He said that SARS detectives should now be trained in crime scene forensics to enable the harnessing of the power of criminalistics in crime fighting.

He said that the presidential mandate to overhaul SARS provides an opportunity for a new beginning in crime fighting in the country, he asked the NPF to seize opportunity to demonstrate that it is truly a great agency.  

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NUJ petitions Osinbajo over IGP’s incessant attacks on Nigerian journalists - ITREALMS

The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abdulwaheed Odusile, has petitioned the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on the incessant attacks on Nigerian journalists by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, reports ITREALMS.

Odusile, who wrote the petition on behalf of Nigerian journalists, used the arrest and detention of a Premium Times Reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, as take-off point.

He said Idris has a history of hounding Nigerian journalists, adding that this is giving the government a bad image.

The letter reads in full:

“August 15, 2018
His Excellency,
The Acting president,
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN
The Villa, 

“Your Excellency,


I write this petition on behalf of thousands of Nigerian journalists, against the Inspector-General of police, Mr Ibrahim Idris over his incessant attacks on journalists and violent violations of their human rights, culminating in yesterday's (Tuesday)arrest of a Premium Times reporter, Mr Samuel Ogundipe.

Mr Ogundipe is being detained over the publication of the letter of the IGP to your Excellency, in respect of the police investigation on the DSS siege on National Assembly. The journalist is being held to disclose his source of information, a demand that is against the ethical precepts of our profession.

Your Excellency, we want to note that this is not the first time the IGP has been hounding the press. On January 1, this year, two journalists who are brothers, Messrs Daniel and Izuchukwu Elomba were abducted in their homes by SARS officers, on the orders of the IGP and detained for ten days, over what was published on their blog purportedly against the IGP.

It would be recalled that counsel to the two journalists, Festus Keyamo, (SAN) petitioned your Excellency and you caused the matter to be investigated. 

Consequently, on April 23, 2018, a Federal High court, sitting in Abuja awarded N5 million damages against the police for this illegal detention.

Also, on March 13, 2018, SARS officers, under the control of the IGP, abducted Abdulahi Krishi, the National Assembly correspondent of Daily Trust, right at the premises of the National Assembly. He was subsequently released 24 hours later after an outcry from the media.

Your Excellency, it is obvious that the excesses of the IGP against the media is giving your government a bad image as an anti-press government, even when it's obvious these infractions were carried out without the presidency's imprimatur.

We therefore implore your Excellency to call the Inspector-General to order and stop his incessant attacks on the media.

We also demand that the detained reporter of Premium Times be released forthwith.

Yours sincerely,
Abdulwaheed Odusile
National president

Nigeria Union of Journalists.”

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Yvonne Chaka Chaka appointed NEPAD Agency’s Goodwill Ambassador - ITREALMS

The Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, internationally-renowned singer and humanitarian has been appointed as the NEPAD Agency’s Goodwill Ambassador for TB and nutrition, reports ITREALMS.

“I am pleased to confirm your appointment as NEPAD Agency Goodwill Ambassador with effect from 1 August 2018. Your commitment to supporting the NEPAD Agency through advocacy and communicating to a broad public will undoubtedly raise the profile of our continental projects,” Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, NEPAD Agency’s CEO stated in his message to Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

Considered a role model throughout the African continent, Yvonne has demonstrated compassion for others throughout her career. She has promoted literacy, women and children’s rights, and is also a champion in the fight against malaria.

Yvonne established the Princess of Africa Foundation in 2006 to complement her humanitarian work. Through this non-profit organisation, she has continued to advocate for various causes and mobilise resources towards projects for people in need.

As the implementing body of the African Union, the NEPAD Agency’s strategic impact areas are industrialisation and wealth-creation; shared prosperity and transformed livelihoods; human capital development and transformed institutions; and environmental sustainability. Given Yvonne’s strong commitment to the values and principles of the NEPAD Agency, she will be an excellent and eloquent advocate of the continent’s development agenda.

As Goodwill Ambassador for the NEPAD Agency, Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s public policy advocacy focus will especially be the promotion of food security and good nutrition as key response components in the fight against TB, as well as public awareness on the challenges and solutions to ending TB in Africa.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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Arsenal, WorldRemit enter Future Stars deal for African community coaches - ITREALMS

The Arsenal Football Club and digital money transfer experts, WorldRemit have entered into a deal to offer local coaches the chance to attend an exclusive new training camp with Arsenal’s top youth coaches in London, across Africa, under the project Future Stars, reports ITREALMS.

The shortlisted 25 coaches, ITREALMS gathered, will be rewarded with Arsenal kit for their entire youth squad.

WorldRemit will arrange for the successful applicant to fly to London, where they will attend an exclusive training camp with Arsenal Soccer Schools coaches. During the camp they will work together with the Soccer Schools coaches on plans to use this training to build a lasting legacy in their home country. The camp will be free to apply for and open to youth team (under 16s) coaches from across Africa.

Applicants ITREALMS also gathered, will be assessed by a panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal. ITREALMS reports that the judging panel includes the founder and CEO of WorldRemit, Ismail Ahmed, and his co-founder, Catherine Wines, Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Soccer Schools and Marc Thorogood, Business Manager of Arsenal Soccer Schools.

The commitment of the coach to improving the lives of their community, the impact the coach has had on young people within their community, and the strength of the coach’s proposal to pass on their training on their return home.

From the applications, ITREALMS reports that WorldRemit and Arsenal will select a shortlist of 25 coaches who will receive Arsenal youth kits for their entire squad, from where the top five coaches will emerge as finalists.

Chuks Egbune/GEE with agency report.

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#FreeSamuelOgundipe: GOCOP demands immediate release of PREMIUM TIMES journalist - ITREALMS

The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) has demanded the immediate release of Premium Times Security Reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, detained by the Nigeria Police Force for carrying out his constitutional duty, reports ITREALMS.

The Guild’s Publicity Secretary, Olumide Iyanda, on Wednesday also condemned the arrest by the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad and harassment of the online newspaper’s Editor-In-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and Education Reporter, Azeezat Adedigba, both of who have been released.

The Guild noted with disappointment that the Police action was carried out on the day Acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered the restructuring of the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which is notorious for blatant human rights abuses.

While Mojeed and Adedigba have been released after harrowing interrogations, Ogundipe was still in detention as at Wednesday morning with no contact with his family or employers.

GOCOP considers the circumstances of the journalist’s arrest as a damning indictment of the President Muhammadu Buhari Government, which has been accused by several groups and individuals of gross abuse of citizens’ rights.

Ogundipe was arrested over a report on a correspondence sent by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to acting President Osinbajo on the sacked Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura.

Daura was dismissed last week by Osinbajo for deploying DSS operatives to the National Assembly in a show of brute force.

Ogundipe’s commendable refusal to disclose the source of his report is the reason the Police have held on to him in flagrant disregard for the Nigerian Constitution, which states that the Press shall at all times be free to hold the government accountable to the people.

GOCOP condemned the arrest and harassment of journalists in whatever form.

It advised the Nigerian Government to lecture its security agents on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, which confers Journalism Confidentiality Privileges on the media.

GOCOP demanded the release of Ogundipe and other journalists held by the Police and other government agencies without further delay.

Nenye Dom/GEE

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#FreeSamuelOgundipe: IPC, CPJ furious over detention by Police - ITREALMS

The International Press Centre (IPC) in Lagos has said it is furious by the detention of Premium Times Security Sector Reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, as well as the harassment of the newspaper’s Editor-In-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and Education Reporter, Azeezat Adedigba, on Tuesday, saying it’s a clear assault on press freedom and threat to journalism practice, reports ITREALMS.

Just as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has joined other prominent individuals and groups in condemning the arrest and detention of Samuel Ogundipe by the Nigerian Police, and urged for his immediate release, stressing that Ogundipe is not a criminal.

Meanwhile Mojeed and Adedigba were released after being arrested, detained and harassed, Ogundipe was still being held as at press time.

IPC in a press statement available to ITREALMS, expressed dismay that the Police authorities want Ogundipe to disclose the source of information over a story published by the newspaper on a correspondence between the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on the dismissed Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura.

Daura was dismissed and ordered arrested last week by Osinbajo for authorising the deployment of DSS operatives to the National Assembly.

IPC Director, Lanre Arogundade, described the arrest, harassment and detention of journalists as a “clear assault on press freedom and a clear threat to the safety of the detained journalist and his colleagues.”

“The Police authorities are also hereby reminded that the Freedom of Information Act,  a federal law, enacted in 2011, in Section 16 subsection C confers on the media 'Journalism Confidentiality Privileges' and as such should desist from engaging in unconstitutional acts.

“We condemn the arrests and detention of the concerned journalists and hereby demand the immediate release of Mr. Ogundipe.”

In addition, CPJ Africa Programme Coordinator, Angela Quintal, reacted from Johannesburg, South Africa, saying, “CPJ is gravely concerned  by reports that Premium Times journalist Samuel Ogundipe was detained by Nigerian Police yesterday for his reporting. 

“Samuel Ogundipe must be released immediately without any condition and be allowed to report without fear of reprisal.

“Journalists are ethically bound not to disclose their confidential sources and the fact that police reportedly arrested him because he refused to name his source is outrageous.

“Samuel Ogundipe, is a journalist who is protecting his sources, and not a criminal. He must be freed now.”

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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SNEPCo MD calls for diversification roadmap - ITREALMS

…as Shell wins SPE exhibition award
The Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari, has harped on economic diversification as a panacea for job creation and rapid economic growth of Nigeria, reports ITRealms.

Speaking at the just-concluded annual conference and exhibition of the Nigeria Council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) where Shell Companies in Nigeria bagged the award for best exhibitor, beating to the second and third positions Chevron and Exxon Mobil respectively.
Speaking on the conference theme, Diversification of the Nigerian Economy – The Oil & Gas Industry as an Enabler, Ojulari called for a diversification roadmap bearing the commitment signature of major stakeholders in the Nigerian project. “With such a roadmap, we are able to track performance year-in year-out while remaining focused.”
Ojulari added, “For Nigeria to diversify its economy, it must leverage the low hanging fruits such as agriculture, petrochemicals, which use gas as its feedstock and most importantly, education and technology.”

At the awards ceremony, two Shell staff,  Oghogho Effiom and Stella Egwim, received the SPE Nigeria Chairman Medallion awards while 10 other Shell staff got Service awards. The awards demonstrate a strong Shell participation at the 2018 SPE conference at which 20 technical papers were delivered by Shell staff out of 150 papers constituting about 13% from Shell.

“Over the years, Shell Companies in Nigeria have continued to demonstrate thought leadership at flagship industry events such as the SPE and we continue to promote self-development and professional affiliation by our staff as part of our wider human capacity development in Nigeria,” said Ojulari who received the best exhibitor award from the outgoing SPE Nigeria Council Chairman, Mr. Chikezie Nwosu.
Shell’s exhibition stand combined aesthetics, architecture, informative posters, panel discussion sessions, career talks, video presentations and the ever popular Shell Health stand, to be a central attraction at the conference.
Visitors who thronged the Shell booth were received by the Lead exhibitor, Kefe and team. The guests were drawn from oil servicing firms, equipment manufacturers, student, professional and academic bodies as well as international and indigenous oil contractors and companies.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Pix: L-R; Lead, Subsurface Shallow Water, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Kefe Amrasa; Outgoing Chairman, Nigeria Council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Chikezie Nwozu; Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, Bayo Ojulari and Shell’s Vice President, Health, Safety and Environment, Osa Igiehon, at the presentation of The Best Exhibitor Award to Shell at the just-concluded SPE Nigeria annual conference and exhibition in Lagos.

#FreeSamuelOgundipe hashtag trends, Police denies knowledge of arrest, detention - ITREALMS


The Nigerian Police has denied knowledge of the arrested and detained PREMIUM TIMES journalist, Samuel Ogundipe, this is coming as the hashtag #FreeSamuelOgundipe on Twitter has been trending since Tuesday, reports ITREALMS.

According to the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, he is not aware of the details of the arrest of Mr. Ogundipe, during a chat on AIT programme, Kakaaki, Wednesday morning, insisting, no Nigerian is beyond being arrested by the police when an investigation is being carried out.

“I am not aware of the details of the matter. But what I can say is that any Nigerian, whether a journalist or any member of the public can be invited by an investigating officer to come around so that he or she can clear themselves of any allegations against them. Since you are telling me now, I will find out exactly what is happening,” Mr Moshood was quoted as saying.

Media observers in the country see Mr Moshood’s claim of ignorance perhaps as typifying the hypocrisy and incompetence within the Nigerian police, meanwhile the hashtag #FreeSamuelOgundipe on Twitter has trended since Tuesday with many tweeting at the police. Despite these, the police spokesperson claimed he was not aware of the arrest.

The police, through the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), on Tuesday arrested and detained Mr Ogundipe, who covers the security sector for PREMIUM TIMES.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Pix: IGP Idris

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Premium Times requests immediate release of arrested Reporter, NUJ kicks - ITREALMS

Premium Times has requested immediate release of one of its journalists, Samuel Ogundipe, who was arrested Tuesday by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, reports ITRealms.

Ogundipe was arrested and the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Musikilu Mojeed, harassed by the purely anti-robbery outfit on a day the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, called for its reform and the need for it to operate strictly within its mandate.

The Publisher, Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, told ITRealms, the Reporter was arrested by SARS operatives demanding for the source of the damning and error-filled report the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, sent to Osinbajo on the sacked Director General of the Department of State Service, Lawal Daura.

Osinbajo had directed Idris to investigate Daura over the invasion and blockade of the National Assembly by operatives of the DSS last week.

As said by Olorunyomi, “PREMIUM TIMES hereby calls for the immediate release of its reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, who was detained on Tuesday by the Nigeria Police over a report.

“On the day the Nigerian presidency was complaining about the excesses of a unit in the police, the same unit was forcing a PREMIUM TIMES journalist to disclose his source.

“The Nigerian police, through the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Tuesday arrested and detained the reporter.

“Apart from Mr Ogundipe, this newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and its education correspondent, Azeezat Adedigba, were also briefly detained and manhandled by the police at the SARS headquarters in Abuja.
“Ms Adedigba was later released after about three hours of detention.

“Mr Mojeed and Mr Ogundipe were driven from the SARS headquarters in Abuja to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters where Mr Ogundipe was made to write a statement.

“At the Force headquarters, a Deputy Commissioner of Police at the IGP Monitoring Unit, Sani Ahmadu, was heard directing lawyers to ‘rush to court’ to obtain a warrant to detain Mr Ogundipe.

“They repeatedly asked the journalist to disclose his source for a story published by this newspaper.

“The story, also published by other media, revealed a letter written by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on last week’s siege to the National Assembly by security officials.

“When Mr Mojeed alerted the DCP that it was wrong compelling a journalist to disclose a source of information, the police officer became furious threatening the journalist.

“‘He said the police was acting within the law and that Samuel would remain detained unless he discloses those who gave him the document.’

“The police are yet to offer a coherent reason for their denial of the reporter his freedom.

“Premium Times especially condemns the Gestapo manner in which the Nigeria Police have taken Mr Ogundipe into custody and hereby demands his immediate and unconditional release.

“His detention is in gross violation of Mr Ogundipe's rights, the Nigerian laws and all democratic tenets; and is an unacceptable abridgement of his citizenship and professional privileges.

“It should be embarrassing to the Nigeria Police to so brazenly clamp down on a law-abiding citizen and journalist with an apparent sinister view to inhibiting the practice of his profession in line with its ethics and within the latitude guaranteed by the laws of Nigeria and international conventions.

“The subterfuge employed in bringing in the reporter, even while harassing his colleagues should also be condemned by all Nigerians.

“This heavy-handed treatment of a journalist against whom no case of violation of the law has been made is an embarrassment to Nigeria and advertises the country as disdainful of its own laws and democratic practice. 

“We wonder what the Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, finds attractive in making Nigeria a laughing stock at a time the eyes of the civilised world are on the country as it approaches a milestone in the development of its democracy.

“We therefore call on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to direct the Police to release Mr Ogundipe immediately and unconditionally.”

In a statement on the development, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) also condemned the arrest of Ogundipe by the Police and his detention at the facility of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS in Abuja, describing it as horrifying.

According to NUJ, National President, Abdulwaheed Odusile,“Samuel Ogundipe was arrested for reporting on the report sent to the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on the sacked and detained DG of SSS, Malam Lawal Daura. The NUJ is horrified by the constant harassment and molestation of Journalists by the Police and other Agents of the State and requests that such should abate forthwith.

NUJ he also noted that confidentiality of sources is  necessary for good journalism to flourish and Journalists should not be coerced into revealing such sources.

“We call for the immediate and unconditional release  of Samuel Ogundipe and an end to all forms of impunity against the media.”

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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DPR joins ‘FOI Hall “of Shame’ - ITREALMS

For disregarding the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has inducted the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria’s petroleum regulatory agency, into its “FOI Hall of Shame” reports ITRealms.

MRA’s FOI Programme Manager, Mr Ridwan Sulaimon, noted in a statement in Lagos that “the induction of the DPR into the FOI Hall of Shame evidences a rot in the oil and gas sector that is pervasive, deep-seated and apparently intractable, as it is the fourth public institution in the sector to be awarded this badge of dishonour within a period of one year for lack of transparency and accountability arising from the flagrant violation of the FOI Act.”

He recalled that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the state oil company, was earlier inducted into the Hall of Shame in July 2017, followed by the Petroleum Equalisation Fund in March 2018 and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in June 2018, saying “It is a matter of concern that despite these revelations about the opaque practices of these institutions, no significant steps have been taken to make them open up or comply with their statutory obligations.”

Mr. Sulaimon said: “Clearly, despite the attention drawn to the unlawful actions of its sister public institutions in the oil and gas sector over the last year, the DPR is undaunted in pursuing a path of secrecy and shielding its activities and operations from public scrutiny.”

According to him, “It is repugnant to imagine that a public institution with such a culture of disrespect and disobedience of an existing Law has the responsibility of ensuring compliance with petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines in the Oil and Gas Industry even while it is persisting in its failure to comply with the Law.”

Mr. Sulaimon explained that the DPR was assessed on its level of compliance with various obligations of public institutions under the FOI Act including: the submission of annual implementation reports, the proactive publication of certain categories of information, the training of the institution’s staff on the public’s right of access to information, the designation of an FOI Desk Officer and publication of contact details of such an official as well as responsiveness to requests for information from members of the public.

He said the DPR failed in all the indicators.

He noted that: “since 2011 when the Act was passed into Law until now, the DPR ought to have submitted seven annual reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation on its implementation of the Act, but the institution has not submitted a single report over the period, thereby repeatedly breaching the provisions of Section 29 of the Act.”

Mr. Sulaimon said there was no indication that the DPR has ever granted any request for information, attributing the problem of ascertaining this precisely to the institution’s failure to submit its annual report to the Attorney-General of the Federation, which would have provided the requisite information about a series of facts and figures relevant to the its implementation of the Act.

According to him, “As a direct result of DPR’s failure to submit its annual implementation reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation, we are unable to determine the number of applications for information that it received and number of such applications that it processed. We also do not know how many requests for information the DPR has granted or denied over the years or if at all, the institution has ever at least received and/or acknowledged any request from members of the public”

In addition, Mr. Sulaimon said, the DPR has not fulfilled its proactive disclosure obligations under Section 2 of the Act as it has not published on its websites or anywhere else, the 16 categories of information that it is required by the FOI Act to publish and disseminate widely to members of the public through various means, including print, electronic and online sources.

He alleged that the DPR has also failed to comply with Section 13 of the FOI Act, which requires every public institution to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right of access to information and records held by the government or public institution for the effective implementation of the Act.

Citing the Database of FOI Desk Officers compiled by the Federal Ministry of Justice, the oversight institution for the implementation of the FOI Act, Mr. Sulaimon said the DPR had not designated any official to whom requests for information should be made and has not published the name of any such official as required by Section 2(3)(f) of the Act and despite repeated requests and reminders issued by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to all public institutions to immediately designate such officials and submit their details to the Office for inclusion in the Database.

He therefore called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to take urgent measures to ensure that the DPR and other public institutions in the oil and gas sector comply with their duties and obligations under the FOI Act and as part of the efforts of the Federal government to rid the sector of its plaguing corruption.

The FOI Hall of Shame is an initiative of MRA, launched in July 2017, to name and shame public institutions or officials that are undermining the effectiveness of the FOI Act.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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