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We’re born Eagles with question mark, says Fr. Dzugwe - ITREALMS Online

SundaySermon@ITREALMS :  The gospel of today, ends with people questioning ‘what will this Child be?’. This is the question that immedi...

SS-ICT4D Week 2018

Sunday, June 24, 2018

We’re born Eagles with question mark, says Fr. Dzugwe - ITREALMS Online

The gospel of today, ends with people questioning ‘what will this Child be?’. This is the question that immediately hangs upon our head once we are born. Every serious Christian's life is a journey in answer to this question. The secret to this answer is a sincere pursuit of our purpose in life with honest fidelity to God’s instructions.

WE ARE BORN WITH A GREAT DESTINY! We are born eagles! Not Chickens! No body is created with an insignificant destiny. God has earmarked a great destiny for all of us. Our task is to maximize our potentials and achieve our destiny. The plans he has for us are always great (Jer. 29: 11). Like today’s first reading avers (Isaiah 49:1-6), the Lord ‘calls’ us before we were born, ‘equips’ us and gives a unique ‘name’ (like John’s-unique, irreplaceable, unlike no other). This ‘call’ is a call unto something; a position, a role, a status…. This ‘name’ is also the symbolism for the uniqueness of the task, roles, status, vocation that the Lord has allotted for us. Unfortunately, the devil also has his own plans for each and every individual, and many end up living out the plans of the devil and not that of God.

•             Like David in today’s 2nd Reading.
WE ARE BORN WITH A ‘NAME’: There is some sort of uniqueness and specificity about our vocation in life which must never drown in the sea of ‘others. Today, Many have sacrificed their unique vocation (their name) in life at the altar of trade-unionism, crowd mentality, *cultism, fake life, dangerous imitation

EVERY CHRISTIAN IS CALLED TO BE A HERALD OF CHRIST: This is the sense in which we all share in the vocation of John the Baptist. We all have a duty to selflessly point out Christ to others by our lives, words and comportment. We have a challenge to prepare a place for Christ in our lives and hearts, but also importantly to prepare a fitting place for Christ in our community and environment by helping to push back evil in order to create space for Christ wherever we may be. 

This is Kingdom service. This is the prophetic summon of Luke 1:76 which binds us. We must ask ourselves today again, how committed we are to it. We are called to represent the voice of caution, of control, of kindness, of rebuke, of warning, of prophecy, of challenge … wherever we are. John described himself as the voice and thereby taught us to describe and define our selves by the role we have undertaken in Kingdom service. In this light, what would you say you are? May God help us!

•             CONCLUSION:
Just like John, ‘getting ready’ and ‘making ready’. We are called today to imbibe this motif as regards our commitment to ourselves and towards those around us. As the opening prayer insinuates, like John the Baptist, we have a challenge of making ourselves and our world ready for the constant coming and final coming of Christ our Lord.


•             We ask you Lord to give us the moral strength to re-examine again our commitments to the questions, wonders, and destinies of our birth and to rise up to the challenge and contribute in making the world fit for your coming. Amen

*Courtesy: Rev. Fr Simon Peter Dzungwe, who contributed from Ibadan, being a homily for Sunday, June 24, 2018.

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BAT: APC successful convention, prayer answered in reverse of opposition - ITREALMS Online

The National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared that the national convention which concluded at the weekend in Abuja successfully, was a prayer answered in reverse of opposition request, and for the continuation of the Change Agenda they promised Nigerians in 2015, reports ITRealms.

He stated this in his address to the convention on Saturday, entitled “To Continue the workd we started” a copy of which was made available to ITRealms.


He also said the convention has given rest to the doubters who gave APC no chance of existence or of continued survival have gotten their reply in full. “Their envious prayers and complaints have been answered in reverse,” he asserted.

According to him, they (opposition) wanted to see the end of APC and pursuit of good governance for Nigeria.

“You should not forget, as I shall never forget, the strong efforts they made to stop us in the courts.

“There were twelve cases brought trying to stop us from merging, from registering the new party, then attempting to bar our candidate from the election.

“Lacking the courage to face the democratic will of the people, they tried to misuse the courts as a weapon against democracy. We thank the judiciary for following the letter and spirit of the constitution by dismissing this dirty dozen of malicious cases filed against us.

“With their schemes foiled, those who tried to destroy us must bear witness to the destruction of their edifice of corrupt governance and their dreams of unjust domination of our nation.

“While they planned a lifetime of greedy enrichment by looting the people’s resources and the public treasury for 60 years, we moved to reform the economy to bring development and aid to the poor.

“When they called for hate and division, we strove for compassion and unity. When they hoisted the standard of bias, we raised the flag of justice and the chevron of fairness.

“When they sought to make Nigeria a monument to corrupt government, we sought to remake Nigeria into a place of transparency and honest opportunity for all.

“The APC’s formation is the most important political development in our recent history. This is not due to the names of those who founded the party. It is because of the ideals upon which the party was established.

“The APC was not brought into existence to compel the majority to serve the few. For 16 consecutive years, the PDP had already assumed that mean role.

“The APC came into being to reverse this unjust equation.

“Under the PDP, the people were made to let the beast ride them.  The APC came to stop this travesty. By right, it is the people who are to ride the beast not the other way around.

“As we go through today’s deliberations, we must keep in remembrance and put into action the purposes for which this party was formed.

“Yes, human nature is partly composed of personal ambitions. Life would be incomplete without such goals and dreams. Yet, we must be motivated by other things more sublime than our personal benefit.

“As good citizens of Nigeria and members of the party, we must seek to prosper with society more that we seek to prosper from society.

“In the APC, we are many but we are also one. Thus, we must stand together for democratic good governance or stand not at all.

“We have experienced much since our inception. Unexpected events and harsh realities emerged to block our way. Those who detest progress fought severely against us. And they are still fighting.


“Yet, we remain true to our beliefs. In a few short years, we have done more than the other party did in 16 long years,” he said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Why Senator Abaribe was arrested by DSS - ITREALMS Online

The last Friday’s arrest by the Federal Department of State Services (DSS) of the Senator representing Abia South in the Senate, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, may not after all be unconnected to the alarm he raised on about N30bn inserted in the budget of Power in the country signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari without requisite Senate approval, reports ITRealms.

Investigations by ITRealms also revealed that Senator Abaribe’s arrest by DSS may not be far from his unrepentant criticism of the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led government’s ineptitude.

Senator Abaribe who was arrested Friday in Abuja at a popular hotel in Maitama District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), ITRealms gathered was later taken to his house for search which lasted over three hours.

ITRealms reports that Abaribe, who is the chairman of Senate Committee on Power, had raised alarm over the insertions contained in the version of the appropriation bill signed last Wednesday by Mr. President.


He had insisted that his committee knows nothing about it (N30b) as it did not pass through them.

Further pointer was the inability to produce Nnamdi Kalu whom he gauranted his earlier bail but owing to military invasion of Kalu's country home with 'operation python dance," got missing, as well as associated alleged gun-running due to his support for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).


Already, some Igbo political intelligentsia has commenced an online advocacy for his release with banners and hashtag #FreeSenatorEnyiAbaribeNow, which is currently trending.

Meanwhile the President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo in adding his voice in condemnding the arrest requested the Senator's release, noting that only the military can produce Kalu in assumption that was the reason for the arrest, insisting "we are all equal before the law."


The circumstances prevailing at the time of the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, he said are beyond the contemplation of the law that a surety can guarantee the production of an accused person.


Stressing that the army in the name of "Operation Python Dance" invaded Nnamdi's home and destabilized normalcy there, hence, "It is only the security agency that can disclose Nnamdi's whereabout."


Maintaining that Senator  Abaribe has no capacity,  nor has any surety in the circumstances to know the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu.  


"What happened in Umahia was an invasion, a war of a kind. Nnamdi may have been killed or captured in the imbroglio or even escaped into hiding. The onus lies on the  security forces to disclose  his whereabout," Nnia Nwodo declared.


He warned the judiciary of beginning to tow the line of the executive by throwing the law overboard in matters that affect the South East.


Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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'No Nigerian journalist in detention' - ITREALMS Online

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has debunked the report by the press freedom organization, Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ), that a certain Nigerian journalist has been in detention for the past two years, reports ITRealms.

The Minister, who issued the rebuttal at the Gala/Award Night of the International Press Institute (IPI) in Abuja on Friday, said the person the CPJ was referring to was never a journalist.

“Let me state here, without equivocating, that contrary to the report by the Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ), no journalist is in detention in Nigeria. Clement Abiri, who is being referred to as a journalist, is not one. He does not belong to any chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists. He was arrested for pipeline vandalism and crude theft, including militant activities in the Niger Delta,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed restated the commitment of the present administration to press freedom and gave the assurance that the media has nothing to fear under the present dispensation.

“In my opening comments at the 2016 IPI Congress in Doha, I said we as a government view the media as a partner. That remains true. I also said the media in Nigeria has nothing to fear from this Administration, and that - if anything - we as a government are the ones who have to fear the media. Also, that has not changed.

''We are proud that the Nigerian media is one of the most vibrant in the world. We are proud of the role that the Nigerian media has played in our long march to democratic governance. This administration will continue to provide the enabling environment for the journalist to function unmolested,” he said.

While speaking on the theme of the 67th IPI World Congress, which is “Why Good Journalism Matters,” the Minister said apart from alerting the government to the indispensable role of the media in the society, it reminds it of the purpose of journalism which is to serve all citizens in a democratic society and to tell the truth.

“If we all agree about this obligation, then it behoves the media to tell the truth, not just to power, but to the people, making it easier for them to get the facts in the right context, thus facilitating their decision-making process. But in an era of growing cases of fake news and disinformation, can we still say the media – whether traditional or new - is living true to this dictum? If the answer is no, what does this portend for the profession in particular and the society in general? I am sure this congress is examining the issue critically in the course of its deliberations,” he said.


Alhaji Mohammed appealed to the media to always report the government in the right context in order to give the people the opportunity to make informed decisions.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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GOCOP supports Nigeria's new Media Code for Election Coverage - ITREALMS Online

The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) has expressed optimism that the newly launched Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage (Revised Edition 2018) will to a large extent guide operators and separate trained journalists from those who suddenly  found themselves reporting simply because they have access to a laptop or phone and data, reports ITRealms.

Dotun Oladipo, President of GOCOP, made this declaration on Friday at the public launch and presentation of the Code during the ongoing International Press Institute Congress holding at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Oladipo said: “The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers is elated at this recent development in the Nigerian media space with the launch today of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage.

“We have been a part of this as individual publications and as an association since the journey to review the Code began. We are proud to associate with this effort spearheaded by the International Press Centre, headed by our own Lanre Arogundade, and those who have supported the effort through funding and capacity building.
“For us, the Code represents what we believe in as an association, especially as it relates to election coverage.

“In coming together, the idea behind the formation of GOCOP was to serve as a peer review gathering of Online Publishers who have worked in the print for several years, with some of us rising to become Managing Directors/Editors-in-Chief, Title Editors and a minimum of Line Editors. Most of us also belong to the prestigious Editors’ Club in Nigeria, the Nigeria Guild of Editors.”

Oladipo said further that GOCOP is concerned with the upholding of journalism ethics, especially online, where, according to him, “ethics has been thrown away,” adding: “We pledge our support to this cause as we go on this journey to entrench the code.”

Speaking, the Director of International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade, said the public launch and presentation of the Code “represents a strong statement that good election reporting matters to journalists and media institutions in Nigeria”.

Arogundade disclosed that the Code has been endorsed by six umbrella media professional groups: Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN);  Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON); Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE); Nigeria Union of Hours (NUJ); GOCOP; RATTAWU; 75 broadcast, print and online media; 15 media support groups; and two journalism training institutions - Nigeria Institute of Journalism and International Institute of Journalism.

Arogundade, therefore, enjoined all journalists and media organisations in Nigeria “to strive to read, digest, understand and implement the provisions of this Code”.

According to him, the ultimate goal is that through the credible reporting of the 2019 elections and the electoral processes before and after it, “we can all contribute to credible, free and fair and peaceful elections in the country”.

Arogundade thanked the European  Union for supporting the production and dissemination of the Code.
In his presentation, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said from their statistics, youths and women would play greater roles in the 2019 elections.

However, Yakubu assured that strategic plan has been put in place to ensure hitch free elections, noting that part of the plan was the release of election timetable in January  2018, a year ahead of the general elections billed for February  2019.

Yakubu reiterated that there will be no electronic voting in 2019, saying: “I want to assure you that the will of election voters will continue to prevail.”

He said no fewer than 85 media organisations have so far been accredited by INEC, adding that the 2019 elections will be the most widely covered in the history of election in Nigeria.

Speaking, EU Deputy Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Richard Young, assured that the EU would continue to support process that is fair and transparent, saying it is important that the code of conduct has been put in place.

Young commended all the media organisations that partnered with International Press Centre to come up with the revised edition of the Code, noting that it would contribute to free, fair and transparent elections in 2019.
Present at the occasion were the creme de la creme of Nigerian media and their counterparts from across the world attending the IPI conference.

They included the owner of Channels Television, John Momoh; and the Chairman of NPAN and Publisher of THISDAY Newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

PMB: Why I signed 2018 budget despite NASS padding - ITREALM Online

  • ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE SIGNING INTO LAW, THE 2018 APPROPRIATION BILL, PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20TH 2018.
I would like to thank the leadership of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as all the Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, for passing the 2018 Appropriation Bill, after seven months.
2. When I submitted the 2018 Budget proposals to the National Assembly on 7th November 2017, I had hoped that the usual legislative review process would be quick, so as to move Nigeria towards a predictable January-December financial year.  The importance of this predictability cannot be overemphasized.  
3. While the Federal Government’s budget represents less than 10% of aggregate yearly expenditures in the economy, it has a very significant accelerator effect on the financial plans of other tiers of government, and even more importantly, the private sector, which mostly operates on a January-December financial year.  
4. Notwithstanding the delay this year, I am determined to continue to work with the National Assembly towards improving the budgeting process and restoring our country to the January-December fiscal cycle.
5. I note, with pleasure, that the National Assembly is working on the enactment of an Organic Budget Law, so as to improve the efficiency of the nation’s budgetary process.
6. As I mentioned during the presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill, we intend to use the 2018 Budget to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.  
7. It is in this regard that I am concerned about some of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the budget proposals that I presented.  The logic behind the Constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that, it is the Executive that knows and defines its policies and projects.  
8. Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me.  The National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.
9. Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation.  Some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualized, designed and costed and will therefore be difficult to execute.  
10. Furthermore, many of these new projects introduced by the National Assembly have been added to the budgets of most MDAs with no consideration for institutional capacity to execute them or the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required.  
11. As it is, some of these projects relate to matters that are the responsibility of the States and Local Governments, and for which the Federal Government should therefore not be unduly burdened.
12. Such examples of projects from which cuts were made are as follows:
·  a. The provisions for some nationally/regionally strategic infrastructure projects such as Counter-part funding for the Mambilla Power Plant, Second Niger Bridge/ancillary roads, the East-West Road, Bonny-Bodo Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail Project were cut by an aggregate of 11.5 billion Naira.
·  b. Similarly, provisions for some ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the FCT, Abuja especially major arterial roads and the mass transit rail project, were cut by a total of 7.5 billion Naira.
·  c. The provision for Rehabilitation and Additional Security Measures for the United Nations Building by the FCT, Abuja was cut by 3.9 billion Naira from 4 billion Naira to 100 million Naira; this will make it impossible for the Federal Government of Nigeria to fulfill its commitment to the United Nations on this project.
·  d. The provisions for various Strategic Interventions in the health sector such as the upgrade of some tertiary health institutions, transport and storage of vaccines through the cold chain supply system, provision of anti-retroviral drugs for persons on treatment, establishment of chemotherapy centres and procurement of dialysis consumables were cut by an aggregate amount of 7.45 billion Naira.
·  e. The provision for security infrastructure in the 104 Unity Schools across the country were cut by 3 billion Naira at a time when securing our students against acts of terrorism ought to be a major concern of government.
·  f. The provision for the Federal Government’s National Housing Programme was cut by 8.7 billion Naira.
·  g. At a time when we are working with Labour to address compensation-related issues, a total of 5 billion Naira was cut from the provisions for Pension Redemption Fund and Public Service Wage Adjustment.
·  h. The provisions for Export Expansion Grant (EEG) and Special Economic Zones/Industrial Parks, which are key industrialization initiatives of this Administration, were cut by a total of 14.5 billion Naira.
·  i. The provision for Construction of the Terminal Building at Enugu Airport was cut from 2 billion Naira to 500 million Naira which will further delay the completion of this critical project.
·  j. The Take-off Grant for the Maritime University in Delta State, a key strategic initiative of the Federal Government, was cut from 5 billion Naira to 3.4 billion Naira.
·  k. About seventy (70) new road projects have been inserted into the budget of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.  In doing so, the National Assembly applied some of the additional funds expected from the upward review of the oil price benchmark to the Ministry’s vote.  Regrettably, however, in order to make provision for some of the new roads, the amounts allocated to some strategic major roads have been cut by the National Assembly.
13. Another area of concern is the increase by the National Assembly of the provisions for Statutory Transfers by an aggregate of 73.96 billion Naira.  Most of these increases are for recurrent expenditure at a time we are trying to keep down the cost of governance.  
14. An example of this increase is the budget of the National Assembly itself which has increased by 14.5 billion Naira, from 125 billion Naira to 139.5 billion Naira without any discussion with the Executive.
15. Notwithstanding the above stated observations, I have decided to sign the 2018 Budget in order not to further slowdown the pace of recovery of our economy, which has doubtlessly been affected by the delay in passing the budget.
 16. However, it is my intention to seek to remedy some of the most critical of these issues through a supplementary and/or amendment budget which I hope the National Assembly will be able to expeditiously consider.
17. I am pleased with the success recorded in the implementation of the 2017 Budget.  A total sum of 1.5 trillion Naira has been released for the implementation of capital projects during the 2017 fiscal year.  In response to this and other policy measures implemented, we have observed significant improvement in the performance of the Nigerian economy.
18. To achieve the laudable objectives of the 2018 Budget, we will work very hard to generate the revenues required to finance our projects and programmes.  The positive global oil market outlook, as well as continuing improvement in non-oil revenues, make us optimistic about our ability to finance the budget.
19. However, being a deficit budget, the Borrowing Plan will be forwarded to the National Assembly shortly.  I crave the indulgence of the National Assembly for a speedy consideration and approval of the Plan.
20. The 2018 Budget I have just signed into law provides for aggregate expenditures of 9.12 trillion Naira, which is 22.6% higher than the 2017 Appropriation.  Further details of the approved budget will be provided by the Minister of Budget and National Planning.
21. I thank the Ministers of Budget and National Planning, the Budget Office of the Federation, and everyone who worked tirelessly and sacrificed so much to bring us to this day.  However, the job is only partly done.  
22. I am sure you will remain committed to advancing our Change Agenda, not only in the preparation of the national budget, but also in ensuring its effective implementation.
I thank you and may God bless Nigeria.


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*PMB during the signing of 2018 Appropriation bill into law

Friday, June 22, 2018

Court says no to suspension of FOI suit against Lagos - ITREALMS Online

For the second time in four months, a Lagos High Court has struck out a motion by the Lagos State Government to suspend proceedings in a Freedom of Information suit brought against it by Media Rights Agenda (MRA) pending the Government’s appeal against the court’s ruling that the FOI Act, 2011 is applicable to the Government of Lagos State and all other States, reports ITRealms.
Justice Beatrice Oke-Lawal, sitting in the Ikeja Judicial Division of the State High Court, struck out the re-listed motion for stay of proceedings on June 20, 2018 for lack of diligent prosecution by the Lagos State Government, which she ordered to pay MRA N30,000 as costs. She had previously struck out the motion for the same reason on February 19, 2018, following which the Government applied to have it re-listed.
The suit arose from an FOI request made by MRA in November 2016 to the Lagos State Ministry of Health asking, among other things, for details of plans by the Ministry to provide the Araromi Zion Estate located in Akiode Area of Ojodu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) with health care services taking into consideration the peculiar needs and circumstances of the community as well as details of the budgets and costs estimates for the implementation of the plans, if any.
When the Ministry failed to respond to MRA’s request despite a reminder issued to it, the organization filed a suit against the Ministry and the Attorney-General of Lagos State asking the Court to declare the Ministry’s refusal to provide it with the information wrongful and compel the institution to disclose the information to the organization in accordance with the FOI Act.
But the Ministry filed a notice of preliminary objection to the suit in which it contended that the court had no jurisdiction to determine the suit and asked that the suit be struck out on the ground, among others, that the FOI Act is not applicable to Lagos State and that the Ministry is not a juristic person that can sue or be sued.
In her ruling on the Ministry’s preliminary objection on November 28, 2017, Justice Oke-Lawal upheld the arguments of MRA’s lawyer, Mrs. Mosunmola Olanrewaju, that the FOI Act was validly enacted by the National Assembly and that it is applicable to the Government of the Federation as well as to State Governments. She also overruled the Government’s claim that the Ministry cannot be sued.
The Lagos State Government thereafter lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Lagos on December 5, 2017, asking it to set aside Justice Oke-Lawal’s ruling which held, among other things, that the FOI Act requires no “domestication” for it to be applicable to States.  The Government and the Ministry also filed a motion on notice asking the court to stay further proceedings in the suit pending the determination of its appeal by the Court of Appeal.
However, on several occasions thereafter, when the motion was slated for arguments, neither the Ministry nor the Attorney-General of the State was represented in court. On February 19, 2018, upon a motion by MRA’s lawyer asking the court to strike out the application for stay of proceedings, the Government’s motion was struck out for lack of diligent prosecution and a date fixed for the hearing of the substantive suit.
But rather than proceed with the substantive suit, the Ministry filed an application in March 2018 asking the court to relist its motion for stay ofproceedings pending appeal. The court granted the application to relist the motion which the State Government then filed again on April 10, 2018.
On two consecutive occasions thereafter, when the matter came up for hearing, neither the Ministry nor its counsel was in court and no letter was written to the court to explain their absence.
On June 20, 2018, when the motion again came up for hearing, neither the Ministry nor the State’s Attorney-General was represented or present in court to move the motion for stay of proceedings.
MRA’s counsel, Ms. Morisola Alaba, reminded the judge that when the matter last came up on May 16, 2018, the Ministry and its lawyers were absent and the court adjourned proceedings till June 20 so that the Ministry would be given a fair opportunity to argue its case consistent with the principles of fair hearing.
She noted that the Ministry again had no representation in court and urged the court to strike out the motion for stay of proceeding for lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the Ministry.  She also prayed the court to set down the substantive case for hearing.
Ms. Alaba accused the Ministry of “intentionally delaying the case while depriving Media Rights Agenda of its right guaranteed by the Freedom of Information Act.”  She urged the court to award substantial costs of N50,000 against the State Government.
In her ruling, Justice Oke-Lawal struck out the State Government’s motion for stay of proceedings for lack of diligent prosecution and awarded costs of N30,000 to MRA against the Government.
The Court thereafter adjourned the case to October 2, 2018 for the hearing of the substantive suit.
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pro-freedom leaders head to Rome for CitizensGO Summer School - ITREALMS Online

The third summer school organized by the CitizensGO is headed to the city of Italy in Rome in partnership with the Leadership Institute, reports ITRealms.
The Summer School slated for July 3 through 6 with emphasis on participation, training, and networking of young pro-life, pro-family, and pro-freedom leaders. 
A public statement from CitizensGO and made available to ITRealms, informed “We will talk about the most relevant challenges to our values, including gender ideology, attacks on marriage and the family, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, and the violation of freedom of opinion in the West.”
ITRealms gathered that during the Summer School students and participants from around the world will learn how to improve their advocacy skills through full-immersion training and networking with influential pro-life and pro-family leaders.
Also, ITRealms gathered that topics that would be discussed include communication strategy, the values-driven audience, judgments and choices, identity as message, messaging toolkit, storytelling: connecting with people who share your values, television interview techniques, producing compelling video (to better distribute your messages), working with the media, etc.
Imagine the huge benefit that you and I, as citizengoers, get from a programme such as this and contact with people (especially young people) from all over the world who are training along with us to spread the values that you and I defend.
“We who build communities (this is why I am writing to you and asking you for help) will ensure that highly-skilled speakers promote the values that you and I defend as citizengoers. And this way your voice, and mine, and that of those who defend life, family and freedom, will be stronger, spread farther ... and fulfill what we set out to do: spread the word, spread this message and share.”

 Nonye Dom/GEE

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Tanzania’s CSO battle government on Internet regulation - ITREALMS Online

The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Tanzania are now at the battle ground with the government of the country over the introduction of Internet regulations, reports ITRealms.

On the Monday of 11th June 2018, ITRealms recalls, the Tanzanian government tightened its grip on free speech by ordering the immediate suspension of unregistered blogging sites and other online fora.

Failure to suspend, ITRealms gathered, would lead to prosecution under Tanzania’s criminal law, forewarned the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). The authority went ahead to explain that this move was in a bid to solve computer misuses such as hate speech, pornography, and online bullying.

According to Human and Digital Rights advocates, violators of the regulation will find themselves liable to paying a fine of at least five million Tanzania Shillings (2200 USD), serving a 12-month jail term or to both. 

This is in a bid to enforce the March Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations 2018 that requires bloggers and any other Internet-based service to reveal the names of their shareholders, their details, their approximate cost of investment, tax clearance certifications, pay slightly more than 900 USD in fees that includes an initial application fee, a licence fee and a renewable licence fee after 3 years and a lot more.

It is evident that this regulation only aims further stifle the already tight freedom of expression of the Internet in Tanzania. A popular site Jamiiforums that is known to be used to expose unethical information on matters concerning the country continues to fight it out in court on grounds on infringement of the right to privacy of the freedom of expression. The appellate court is to rule on the freedom of expression in Tanzania but the most recent ruling was in the government’s favor.

Tanzania’s civil society organizations have argued that “The law is part of a crackdown on dissent and free speech by the government of President John Magufuli, who was elected in 2015."

The government of Tanzania is defying International, regional and national regulation with the legislation. It is evident that they have forgotten that, “ the same rights people have offline must also be protected online," as provided in  Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-In this case the universal freedom of expression.

The exorbitant fees will only seek to ensure that bloggers from the lower end of the economic spectrum are off the net, taking away their source of livelihood and freedom of speech.


We urge that the government of Tanzania and president Magufuli recall this legislation as it grossly contributes towards the abuse of numerous human rights. We are calling on Tanzania to keep the Internet open and free.

Ayo Midele/GEE

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Paradigm takes NGOs on Google Impact Challenge @ 7 cities - ITREALMS Online

Seven cities across the federation would play host to series of workshops dedicated to nonprofit and social enterprises interested in applying for the 2018 Google Impact Challenge Nigeria, courtesy of Paradigm Initiative partnership with Google, reports ITRealms.

The workshop, ITRealms gathered is being organized by Paradigm Initiative on behalf of Google in Aba, Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Jos, Port Harcourt and Yola between June 25 and 27, 2018.
Director of Programmes, Paradigm Initiative, Tope Ogundipe, confirmed this to ITRealms, saying that the Google Impact Challenge is an important project design to empower Nigerian nonprofits and social enterprises with important resources to help deepen their work.
“The application workshops will help prospective applicants understand what the challenge is all about, its rules and the intricacies of putting forward a strong application,” she declared.
Ogundipe also said that Google is looking for 12 most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises in Nigeria and Paradigm Initiative wants to ensure that everyone doing great work in their communities stand a chance to making the cut.
“This is why we are organizing the workshop in all the 6 geopolitical zones and the federal capital territory. Great ideas are everywhere and we hope all the worthy ideas are able to compete on an equal footing. Those interested in the workshop can go to our website paradigmhq.org to register,” she said.
Ogundipe further said that the Google Impact Challenge Nigeria is an open invitation to nonprofits, social enterprises and businesses in Nigeria to share their vision for innovative ways to make our community stronger and create social impact, with a specific focus on increasing economic opportunity.
ITRealms equally gathered that judges for the 6-month challenge would include MI Abaga, John Momoh, Parminder Vir OBE, Kanu Nwankwo and Mo Abudu.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Buhari blames NASS over cut on second Niger bridge, other strategic infrastructure - ITREALMS Online

President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the National Assembly (NASS) for some strategic cuts in the 2018 appropriation bill for the provision of national and regional infrastructure projects like the Mambilla Power Plant, Second Niger Bridge/ancillary roads, the East-West Road, Bonny-Bodo Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail Project, reports ITRealms.
Revealing this Wednesday during the signing of the 2018 appropriation bill, Buhari lamented that an aggregated N11.5 billion was cut off the strategic infrastructure vote, just as the bill for provisions of some ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the FCT, Abuja especially major arterial roads and the mass transit rail project, were cut by a total of N7.5 billion.
Although he expressed thanks to the leadership of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as all the distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, for passing the 2018 Appropriation Bill, after seven months.
“When I submitted the 2018 budget proposals to the National Assembly on 7th November 2017, I had hoped that the usual legislative review process would be quick, so as to move Nigeria towards a predictable January-December financial year.  The importance of this predictability cannot be overemphasized,” he said.
Also, he noted that while the Federal Government’s budget represents less than 10 per cent of aggregate yearly expenditures in the economy, it has a very significant accelerator effect on the financial plans of other tiers of government, and even more importantly, the private sector, which mostly operates on a January-December financial year.  
For Mr. President, NASS is working towards improving the budgeting process and restoring our country to the January-December fiscal cycle, stressing that the National Assembly is working on the enactment of an Organic Budget Law, so as to improve the efficiency of the nation’s budgetary process.
“As I mentioned during the presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill, we intend to use the 2018 Budget to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020,” President Buhari said.  
He further expressed concern over some of the changes that the National Assembly made to the budget proposals that was presented, insisting that the logic behind the Constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that, it is the Executive that knows and defines its policies and projects.  
Buhari described as “Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me.  The National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.
Lamenting that many of the projects cut were critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation as some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualized, designed, costed and will therefore be difficult to execute.
Furthermore, he pointed out that many of these new projects introduced by the National Assembly have been added to the budgets of most MDAs with no consideration for institutional capacity to execute them or the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required.  

“As it is, some of these projects relate to matters that are the responsibility of the States and Local Governments, and for which the Federal Government should therefore not be unduly burdened,” he maintained.
Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Nigerian father, son graduate, collect degrees in Scotland - ITREALMS Online

Graduation is no doubt, a time for families to celebrate their loved one’s success, however, this year will be extra special for a Nigerian family who have fallen in love with the University of Dundee, Scotland, reports ITRealms.

Sulaiman Badmus, who graduated Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Mechanical Engineering would today, June 21st witness his father Abdulwaheed Badmus, feel the tap of the Dundee bonnet as he graduates from Scottish Law.

The pair, ITRealms gathered would follow in the footsteps of Sulamain’s sister, Mariam, who graduated from the University two years ago. Meanwhile, Abdulwaheed’s wife, Khadijat, who will be watching the ceremony, is also due to finish her own degree in Scottish Law later this year.

Sulamain said that the friendliness of Scottish people initially attracted the Badmus family from Ibadan in Nigeria to Scotland.

“Everything is wonderful about Dundee. We think it is marvellous. We were able to integrate so quickly into Scottish culture and feel much more involved here than anywhere else,” he declared.

For his father, Abdulwaheed, Dundee is an excellent example of inclusive education, “it is laudable and something we, as graduates, should be proud of. Studying in Dundee is like a second chance. I will be 55-years-old next year and the University helped me to start a new career with a promising future. Dundee sets the pace for inclusive education for all, irrespective of family backgrounds and ethnic diversities.”

In addition, he pointed out that “No matter who you are and where you are from, I think that Scottish education can help you become who you want to be.”

After graduating, Abdulwaheed says the family intends to continue to practice law in Scotland.

He explained that they do not just want to stay here in Scotland but wanted to work here and run own family law firm and be ambassadors of the University.

“All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the University,” he asserted.


Uj. N. Dominic/ED, Ops

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