Egypt Court Frees Al Jazeera Journalists

Al jazeera JournalistsAn Egyptian court on Thursday, released two detained Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed on bail.

The judge ordered the release of all defendants at the retrial’s opening Thursday.

Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed who appeared in a court in Cairo for a retrial due to lack of evidence over alleged links to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, according to a source, had been unjustly jailed since December 29, 2013.

Their retrial was ordered by the Court of Cessation January 2015, overturning a lower court’s verdict which found them guilty of aiding the outlawed group.

A third Al Jazeera journalist, Peter Greste, who was also to be retried, was deported on February 1 under a presidential decree after spending 400 days in jail. He had since returned to his home in Australia.

“Fahmy and Mohamed have now spent 411 days in prison,” a source said.

Obasanjo Endorses Buhari For President

Obasanjo Endorses Buhari

A former President of Nigeria,  Olusegun Obasanjo, appears to have finally taken a stand on his choice of a presidential candidate by endorsing the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.).

Chief Obasanjo, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made the declaration during an interview with the Financial Times at the launch of his autobiography titled, ‘My Watch’, in Nairobi, Kenya.

“The circumstances he (Buhari) would be working under if he wins the election is different from the ones he worked under before, where he was both the Executive and the Legislature, He knows that.

“He is smart enough, he is educated enough. He’s experienced enough. Why shouldn’t I support him?” the former President said.

Chief Obasanjo believed that Buhari, who ruled Nigeria between December 1983 and August 1985 as a military Head of State, is aware of Nigeria’s challenges today, and has the qualification to guide the nation out of them.

It was the first time the former president would publicly speak of his support for Muhammadu Buhari. He recently said that he would only speak out after the election had been conducted.

Obasanjo, also condemned the postponement of the election while criticising the continuous decline of the country’s resources.


Owerri: Journalist Injured In Widows’ Protest

Protesting Widows
Protesting Widows In Owerri

The existing peace enjoyed in Imo State, since the commencement of campaigns by different political parties was truncated when party supporters from the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, clashed at the Government House gate in Owerri, the Imo State capital, south east Nigeria.

Eyewitness said that the clash occurred at about 8:00am on Tuesday, when some aggrieved widows, all dressed in black attires from different Local Government Areas of the state, alleged to be supporters of PDP stalwart and the Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri, marched towards the government house with coffin, to protest against the purported and incessant media attack on the minister by the State Government.

However supporters of Governor Rochas Okorocha, who were not pleased with the whole scenario attempted to prevent the widows’ entrance into the government house, which eventually led into a free for all fight.

In the course of the whole pandemonium, an innocent journalist, Eric Etuk, who was on assignment, sustained several injuries during the protest.

Meanwhile, on arrival from Abuja, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, while suing for peace, condemned the act by Professor Onwuliri, for instigating such action against the State Government.

He called on President President Goodluck Jonathan to call his ministers and PDP leaders in the state to order, so as to prevent any further chaos and political violence in the state.

However, while speaking to Channels Television, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in Imo State, Mohammad Kura, expressed disappointment over the incident which he said is capable of destabilizing the existing peace in the state.

He said hence, any protest or rally by any political party or group should get the permission of the police. he warned all politicians to play by the rules in this delicate period.

With the present acrimony existing among the two major political parties following the postponement of the elections, it is hoped that politicians and their supporters in the state conduct themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner, to avoid any further breakdown of law and order in the state.

Nigeria, US Judges Exchange Ideas On Quick Resolution of Election Cases

inec-2 Nigeria and United States Judges have been exchanging ideas on how to ensure prompt resolution of cases arising from the general elections.

The forum attracted Judges and prominent lawyers from Nigeria and the United States.

Members of the Nigerian Bar and the Bench who attended the event promised that frivolous applications that delayed proceedings at the election tribunals would no longer be entertained.

Coming at a time when there were frayed nerves in the run up to the elections, as a result of the recent postponement of the process, the meeting served as a reminder and preparation for the Judges on how best to deal with post-election petitions in a timely, transparent and credible manner.

One of the criticisms of these Judges was the attacks by members of the judiciary. They said public confidence was consistently being eroded because legal practitioners disparage judgement and decisions made by the Bench.

Police Nabs Men with Illegal Ammunition

Kwara-police-3The Kwara State Police Command has paraded two suspects in possession of over one hundred thousand rounds of ammunition en-route Oyo State State.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on the arms-laden truck, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Salihu Garba, disclosed that two suspects, Abdulazeez Isiaka, a Nigerian and Amusail Amodu, a Ghanaian were arrested with the truck, adding that the ammunition was hidden in a compartment inside the truck.

Garba said a Mercedes Benz truck laden with 108,260 rounds of live cartridges was arrested at Kosubosu in Baruten Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner added that another middle-aged graduate of Industrial Engineering, from Samuel Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State, was arrested for possessing some highly sophisticated arms and ammunition.

The suspect, identified as Momoh Ogirimah, who said that the cache of arms and ammunition belonged to his late father, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr. Mohammed Momoh, who died while leading an operation with police team, as they were ambushed by Ombatse cults in Nassarawa State about two years ago.

The ammunition includes 133 pieces of 7.62mm ammunition, 28 pieces of 0.9mm ammunition, 22 pieces of 7.6mm ammunition, three bullet proof vests, one respirator, one complete set of body protector, three blasts, one hand grenade.

Others include 11 smoke cartridges, 86 life cartridges, 42 pieces of 5.56mm ammunition, two pieces of .36mm ammunition, 27 live rubber cartridges, 9 0.9mm rubber bullet and one anti-riot helmet.

The Commissioner  warned the youths and other residents in the state against illegal possession and use of firearms, adding that the police would strictly enforce ‘stop and search’ operations for motorcyclists, as he stated that several ferocious crimes in the state were perpetuated with the help of motorcycles.

Court Of Appeal Adopts Fast Track Practice Direction

Court of AppealThe Court of Appeal has launched a fast track practice direction for the prosecution of cases before it.

The new practice direction, according to the President of the court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, is a set of directions with the fundamental objective of enabling the Court of Appeal to deal with appeals quickly and efficiently through the introduction of active case management.

She explained that the direction would kick against frivolous applications and allows parties to change lawyers at any time during the hearing of the case without delaying proceedings as its the case before now.

The new practice direction also gives the Court of Appeal powers to decide the management technique to apply to cases.

The direction received approval from the bar and members of the public with the hope that its adoption would yield the desired results.

Fast track appeals include, debt appeals, appeals bordering on corruption, human trafficking, kidnapping, financial crimes and rape.

Others include terrorism and appeals against security agencies in the country and may be applied to any other case before the court.

It is expected that the new practice direction would have positive effects on justice delivery in Nigeria.

Legal practitioners drawn from the bench and the bar were at the formal presentation of the fast-track practice direction.