Buhari Renews Akabueze’s Tenure As Budget Office DG

A file photo of the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Benjamin Akabueze. Photo: Twitter- @NGRPresident.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the renewal of the tenure of Mr Benjamin Akabueze as Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation.

The Presidency announced this in a tweet on Sunday.

 

According to the government, the Budget Office is currently undergoing several reforms under the leadership of Akabueze, towards improving effectiveness and efficiency.

It added that President Buhari gave the approval for an extension as a result of Akabueze’s track record of sterling performance and his achievements.

He was first appointed as a Special Adviser on Planning to the President in February 2016 before he was redeployed as the Director-General of the Budget Office after about four months.

His current tenure is scheduled to expire on June 10, 2020, and with the new development, Akabueze is expected to retain his position for another four years.

In 2000, Akabueze was elected as the Chief Executive Officer of NAL Bank Plc, a post he held until 2005 when the bank merged to become Sterling Bank Plc.

Two years later, he served as the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State until 2015.

Presidency Reveals How Buhari Will Tackle Nigeria’s Weak Health System

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to tackle Nigeria’s weak health system through the establishment of standard laboratories, intensive care units, and isolation centres.

This is according to a communiqué from the presidency.

In its statement on Thursday, the presidency noted that President Buhari plans to have the labs, intensive care units and isolation centres in all states across the federation.

According to the statement signed by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the health infrastructure will eventually be recalibrated for the good of the people, and in readiness for future emergencies.

READ ALSO: Test Results Of Dubai, UK, US Returnees Will Not Be Shared With Public – NCDC

The Presidency also noted that there is a global anxiety on what the future holds for humanity post-COVID-19, particularly in respect of the economy, healthcare, job security, and general wellbeing.

“Naturally, Nigerians are not immune from the disquietude, as they belong to the global community”, the statement added.

Below is a checklist of some measures that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken, and will further take, to make life easier for Nigerians.

Ø An economic team, headed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been set up to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

Ø Economic Sustainability Committee headed by the Vice President to define a post-COVID-19 economy for Nigeria.

Ø Taskforce set up on the free movement of farm produce headed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Ø Plans afoot to tackle weak health systems and infrastructure through the establishment of standard laboratories, intensive care units, and isolation centres in all states of the Federation. The health infrastructure will eventually be recalibrated for the good of the people, and in readiness for future emergencies.

Ø As long term measure, emphasis will be placed on integrating local content in proven researches in the cure, and production of materials in the health sector.

Ø A Fiscal Sustainability Plan to complement the suite of monetary and banking interventions recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Ø A mass agricultural programme to be put in place.

Ø Major rural road construction programme.

Ø Mass housing programme.

Ø Large scale installation of residential solar systems, utilizing mainly local materials.

Ø Expansion of the Social Investment Programme.

Ø The 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Budget 2020 assumptions and targets have already been revised.

Ø Time-sensitive expenditures are to be prioritized over less critical spending.

Ø Extant financial controls are to be strengthened to detect, eliminate and sanction instances of waste, funds misappropriation and corruption.

COVID-19: Movement Of Essential Goods Must Be Seamless, Presidency Tells Security Officials

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu speaks on Sowore and Dasuki’s release. (file photo).

 

The Presidency has asked all law enforcement officials in the states to allow the movement of essential goods to be seamless.

This is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that essential commodities such as food can be transported despite the movement ban.

In a statement on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said a large number of trucks were being delayed at various checkpoints across the country.

“It is essential that attention is drawn to the reported large number of food trucks that are being delayed at various checkpoints around the country or prevented from crossing state borders, as a result of the various curfews and lockdowns in different states.

READ ALSO: FG Delivers 110 Trucks Of Rice, Grains To Kano

“The restrictions of movement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic do not apply to vehicles transporting essential commodities, such as food.

“The country cannot afford a situation where agricultural products are being left to rot in trucks held at various checkpoints when millions of Nigerians across the country need food. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, Nigerians need to eat”, Shehu said.

He stated that other essential items such as pharmaceutical and sanitary supplies, personal care items, agrochemicals, and agricultural machinery amongst others can be transported regardless of the movement restriction, which was prescribed by the Presidential Task Force.

“Other essential items that can be transported despite the ban on movement as prescribed by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) include pharmaceutical and sanitary supplies, personal care items, agrochemicals and agricultural machinery, electrical products and electronics, oil and gas, courier services, health supplies, and protective garments.

“Vehicles transporting essential items must not convey any commercial passengers. In addition, the occupants must not exceed three, i.e. the driver, spare driver, and conductor.

“The drivers must have basic protective and sanitary items, including face masks, hand sanitisers, and tissue paper to and from their destinations”, he said.

The President’s spokesman added that “once these conditions are satisfied, they must be allowed to travel freely to and from any part of Nigeria”.

Buhari Receives COVID-19 Updates From Minister Of Health, NCDC Boss – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari met with the Minister of Health, Ehanire Osagie and NCDC boss, Chikwe Ihekweazu on Saturday, according to State House media.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with the Minister of Health, Ehanire Osagie and NCDC boss, Chikwe Ihekweazu on Saturday, according to State House media.

 

The Presidency on Saturday tweeted a video and pictures showing President Muhammadu Buhari meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu at the State House.

The minister and the NCDC boss were said to have briefed the President on their activities and efforts towards preventing the spread of COVID-19 outbreak across the country.

The meeting held amid reports that the presidential villa has been on partial lockdown after an aide of the President tested positive for coronavirus and is currently being treated at a secure location, according to the Minister of Health.

 

The meeting came amid criticism of the President’s lack of public briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, has defended the President’s lack of regular briefing by saying it is “a matter of style.”

“The style our President has adopted is to set up a Presidential Task Force headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), which briefs regularly,” Mr Adesina said on Thursday.

“You have the Minister of Health who briefs, you have the Minister of State for Health who briefs, you have the NCDC who briefs; so you have that chain and there is no lack of information.”

 

Presidency Keeps Mum Over Kyari, Monguno Dispute

A photo collage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno.

 

There appears to be an uneasy calm in the presidency regarding the revelation of a spat between the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno.

In a leaked memo dated December 2019 and published by an online website, Premium Times, Monguno accused Kyari of usurping the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari and interfering on issues of national security.

The leaked memo was sent to the service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police, with the President and the Chief of Staff as well as some ministers in the copy.

READ ALSO: Buhari Attends Passing Out Parade Of New EFCC Detectives In Kaduna

Monguno claimed that Kyari was fond of giving orders to the service chiefs without the knowledge of President Buhari.

He told the service chiefs that as professionals, they should be aware that the security of Nigeria requires concerted and centralized efforts, taking into account internal, external and diplomatic factors.

He also explained that many gains recorded in the effort to secure the nation are being undermined owing to the interventions of Kyari who allegedly presides over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security agencies and diplomatic officials in the absence of the NSA.

He, therefore, directed the security chiefs not to take orders from the Kyari as he is not the head of the security forces, neither has he sworn to an oath to defend the country.

Sources in the presidency have however kept mum over the matter when channels television attempted to get their response.

Casillas Joins Spanish FA Presidential Race

 

Spain’s World Cup-winning captain Iker Casillas will run for the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), he confirmed on Monday.

The date of the election has not yet been decided but Casillas said he has informed his current club, Porto of his decision, with the 38-year-old now expected to retire from playing the game.

“Yes, I will run for the presidency of the RFEF when the elections are called,” Casillas wrote in a statement.

“Together we will put our federation at the top of the best football in the world, the football of Spain.

“I have informed the president of my club, FC Porto, to whom I can only express the deepest gratitude.”

Casillas is considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation and led Spain to their first World Cup triumph in South Africa in 2010.

He played 167 times for Spain, also winning two Euros in 2008 and 2012, and made more than 700 appearances for Real Madrid, with whom he won five La Liga titles and the Champions League three times, before joining Porto in 2015.

Casillas was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI five years in a row between 2008 and 2012.

But last April, he suffered a heart attack during training and has not played another competitive match since.

Casillas had been linked with the RFEF presidency for several months and is now expected to go up against current incumbent Luis Rubiales for the post.

“We are working with the utmost respect and determination in our candidacy,” added Casillas. “More than 23,000 voters are waiting for us in fair and transparent elections. The 139 assembly members will decide.”

Rubiales has been in perpetual conflict with Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, and the pair have clashed over numerous issues, including fixtures on Monday and Friday nights, matches abroad and the postponement of the Clasico in October.

According to the rules, the elections should be held in the second half of this year after the Tokyo Olympics but Rubiales has requested they be brought forward, before Euro 2020, which will run from 12 June to 12 July.

AFP

Beneficiaries Of Boko Haram Insurgency Paying People To Protest Against Service Chiefs – Presidency

A file photo of the Service Chiefs at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on January 17, 2020.

 

 

The Presidency has cautioned those it described as “a section of the political class” against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions in the country.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the warning in a statement on Saturday.

He said, “A group of politicians and beneficiaries of the Boko Haram insurgency is right now paying for people to join their planned protest against our country’s service chiefs.”

This follows the various calls by prominent citizens in the country for the sack of the service chiefs over the spate of killings and crimes recorded recently.

Also worried about the security situation, some lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives chambers of the National Assembly recently called for the replacement of the service chiefs with those with fresh ideas.

 

A False Narrative?

In Saturday’s statement, Shehu raised an alarm that the Presidency had received reports that about 2,000 men and women have been hired to protest against the service chiefs on Monday.

He also accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as being one of the sponsors of the demonstration, but the opposition party has yet to respond to the allegation.

The President’s spokesman said, “This imminent gathering is the latest in a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the opposition to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“As part of this overall scheme, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with its belligerent politics, has been marching from one embassy to the other in protest against the Buhari administration and the nation’s highest court of justice, the Supreme Court.

“They are keen to give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets, and they will go to any length to promote this false narrative.”

 

Cheer Vs Boo

Following the killing of 30 travellers along the Maiduguri – Damaturu Road in the North East, President Buhari had paid a condolence visit to Borno State.

There were reports that a crowd of residents trooped to the streets and booed the President, supposedly over the recent attacks by the insurgents in the state.

President Buhari with Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, and Shehu of Borno, HRM Abubakar Umar El-Kanemi, at the Shehu’s Palace on February 12, 2020.

 

 

Although Shehu did not deny that his principal was booed, he insisted that those jeered him were ‘a handful’ while the President was cheered by a crowd.

He claimed that the incident was part of the elaborate scheme of the opposition and criticised those who termed to be a verdict against the President.

“This was clearly a hired few, but the news was promoted by the opposition who had, of course, positioned themselves to record the booing – all just to embarrass the President,” he said.

The presidential aide, however, urged the media to remain unbiased and discerning in their reporting.

‘It Is Unlawful For Buhari’s Daughter To Use Presidential Jet For Private Affairs’ – Falana

 

 

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has said that the private use of the Presidential Jet by members of President Buhari’s immediate family, is not in accordance with law. 

Falana in a statement on Sunday urged President Buhari to stop members of his family from using the aircraft within the presidential fleet.

The erudite scholar noted that the “official policy” of the federal government “does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions”.

He added that there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.

Falana further stressed that at the inception of his government, President Buhari had promised to reduce the cost of maintaining aircraft in the presidential fleet, which according to him, stands at N8.5 billion in the 2020 budget.

“On October 27, 2016, the Presidency confirmed the newspaper reports of the planned sale of the two Presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000.

“In a press statement issued by the Presidency through the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu the Nigerian people were informed that President Buhari had directed that the aircraft in the Presidential air fleet be reduced to cut down on waste.

“The presidential spokesman reminded Nigerians that President Buhari was elected in 2015 on a commitment to crack down on the country’s systemic corruption, hence downsizing the outlandish presidential fleet had been among his campaign pledges.

“‘In particular, Mr. Shehu had said inter alia:

“‘When he campaigned to be President, the then APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the presidential air fleet with a view to cutting down on waste’.

“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he liked to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President, and other government officials that go on special missions.”

“President Buhari’s directive on the use of the presidential fleet which was adopted by the Federal Government was popularly acclaimed by Nigerians.

“Since then the national assembly has ensured that the annual Appropriation Bills enacted into law have made provision for the maintenance of the aircraft in the presidential fleet in line with the official policy.

“In the 2020 Appropriation Act the sum of N8.5 billion was earmarked for the maintenance of the aircraft in the presidential fleet,” Falana explained.

READ ALSO: Presidential Fleet Not For Hanan’s Photography Trip, PDP Tells Buhari

Falana went on to argue that when on January 10, 2020, one of the daughters of President Buhari was reported to have travelled from Abuja to Bauchi in a presidential jet for a private engagement, it was in utter breach of the official policy of the Federal Government.

Hanan Buhari, the president’s daughter, had flown in a presidential jet to Bauchi on Thursday for a private function.

Many Nigerians condemned the action, but the presidency defended it.

Mr. Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, said it is normal practice for the president’s family to use the presidential aircraft.

Reacting to the presidency’s claim, Falana stated that instead of apologising for the breach of the official policy, the Presidency has defended the use of the presidential jet for the private visit of a member of the first family.

He said the presidency is incorrect as it is at variance with the official policy of the Federal Government, adding that the official policy does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions.

“In fact, there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria. Having publicly declared that his administration would maintain “a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President and other government officials that go on special missions” President Buhari is estopped from allowing members of the first family to use the jets for their private affairs,” Falana opined.

The rights advocate stated that the so-called ‘normal practice’ of using the aircraft in the presidential fleet by members of the first family to attend to private engagements is not backed by any extant law or official policy.

According to Falana, the use of the aircraft in the presidential fleet by the Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Justice of Nigeria has not been approved by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission which is the statutory body empowered by the Constitution and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission Act to determine the remuneration and allowances of all political office holders in Nigeria.

The Senior Advocate was of the opinion that a country which is said to be the headquarters of the greatest number of poverty-stricken people in the world cannot afford to waste billions of Naira on the use of presidential aircraft and the hiring of commercial jets by state governors that are owing workers several months of unpaid salaries.

Presidential Fleet Not For Hanan’s Photography Trip, PDP Tells Buhari

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari directly abused his office and exhibited the worst form of corruption by detailing the officially restricted Presidential jet to chauffeur his daughter, Hanan, reportedly, for her private photography event in Bauchi state.

The party noted in a statement on Saturday that the action was provocative, condemnable, completely improper and an unpardonable slap on the sensibility of millions of Nigerians, particularly, the youths, who look up to Mr. President for integrity, uprightness, and respect for rules.

The PDP holds that the development is a strong pointer to the recklessness that pervades the Buhari Presidency and the indefensible annexation of our national assets and resources for illegal private use.

It is even most appalling that instead of apologizing to Nigerians, the Buhari Presidency, in its arrogance, is resorting to falsehood and trying to justify the inexcusable.

“Our party holds that Mr. President should apologise for approving that her daughter uses the Presidential jet just for the purpose of allegedly taking photographs in a Durbar event in Bauchi state.

“Perhaps, the Buhari Presidency forgot that it is public knowledge that the Presidential fleet can only be authorized for use by the President, the First Lady, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Presidents, Presidential delegation and no one else.

“Moreover, the rules do not grant the President any powers to transfer any paraphernalia of office or privileges of his position to any of his children,” the party stated.

The PDP further stated that the Presidency’s defence on the subject matter is a direct spat on millions of Nigerians who cannot freely ply our highways because Mr. President and his party the APC, have failed to fix and rid our roads of kidnappers and bandits, who have practically taken over major routes under their despicable watch.

“The PDP notes that never in the history of our nation has a Presidency exhibited such arrogance, impunity and corruption, adding that the action has further shown that the Buhari Presidency had only been parading and getting away with false integrity.

“Nigerians could recall how President Buhari heavily accused and criticized previous administrations of voting and wasting huge resources to maintain the Presidential fleet and promised to sell off most of the planes to save cost.

“Since President Buhari assumed office, none of the planes had been sold. Instead, the Buhari Presidency had continued to budget more funds for the fleet with N8.5 bn budgeted for 2020 alone, only to approve that his daughter uses a Presidential jet for her private photography event,” the party’s statement partly read.

The PDP also urged the Presidency to respect the sensibilities of Nigerians by immediately withdrawing his provocative justification and show leadership by apologizing to the nation for this abuse of office.

Decision To Detain Dasuki, Sowore Despite Court Orders Backed By Law, Presidency Insists

Omoyele Sowore                                                                                                                    Sambo Dasuki

 

 

The Presidency has insisted that the Federal Government’s decision to hold Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Mr Omoyele Sowore did not go against the laws of the land.

Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), spent more than four years in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) while Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, was held for almost five months.

Defending the position of the government on the prolonged detention of the duo, a presidential spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, stressed that the government has always obeyed the orders of the court.

He, however, clarified that Dasuki and Sowore remained in detention on the advice of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami.


RELATED
DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore
Sambo Dasuki Released After Over Four Years In Detention


 

A Right To Appeal

“The Attorney General of the Federation who is the chief law officer, as far as the government is concerned, has convinced everyone and the government inclusive that there is a basis for their continued detention because the individual right must not undermine the collective right,” the President’s media aide told Channels Television on Wednesday in an interview on Politics Today.

He added, “The Attorney General of the Federation has explained the position of the government. If you like call it a new leaf, if you like accept the fact that the government has a renewed determination to show the example of how the court should be treated even when you are feeling aggrieved.

“In this particular case, the government has its own right as to how and why the bail was given, and an intention to appeal.”

“However, the government is saying, ‘let us do this to show respect for the court of the land so that all of this thing about the lack of respect for due process will just give us a chance and leave the table for now,” Shehu stressed.

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

Dasuki was arrested in December 2015 over allegations of diverting $2.1billion arms funds while Sowore was charged along with his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, with counts of treasonable felony and money laundering among others.

The defendants have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail by various courts.

 

A Sudden U-Turn

Following widespread outrage over the continued detention of the former NSA and the #RevolutionNow protests convener, the AGF ordered the DSS to release the duo on Christmas eve.

But President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman argued that the sudden U-turn by the government has nothing to do with pressure from any individual or group.

According to him, the AGF made it clear over time that there is a major principle of the law which says that the rights of a majority and that of a community under threat override the rights of an individual.

Shehu added that the minister took the case to a conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), adding that it was underscored by a major decision of the Supreme Court.

He stressed that it was a major principle to sacrifice the freedom of an individual for that of a larger community when the need arises, pointing out the case of Dasuki and Sowore.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu speaks about Sowore and Dasuki’s release. (file photo).

 

No Compromise

The presidential aide, however, said there was a need for those granted bail not to misinterpret their release as an acquittal but abide with the terms upon with the bail was granted.

“The government is not compromising anything but the government wants to set an example of the obedience of the law even when it disagrees with what the court says it should do,” the President’s aide clarified, adding, “The government has a position on the non-release founded in the laws of the country.”

“The Attorney General of the Federation is convinced that their continued detention did not breach the laws of the country; that it is consistent with the laws and the adjudication of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Our understanding is that he (AGF) believes that the decision to keep them there was strongly founded in the law and so, therefore, it is not something that is extra-judicial,” he said.

Sowore: Though FG Disagrees With Court Ruling, We Want To Set An Example – Presidency

The Presidency has reacted to the release of the Convener of the Revolution Now protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore and a former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki by the Department of State Service (DSS).

While Dasuki was arrested in December 2015, Sowore was rearrested on December 5 after his initial arrest on August 5.

Although both men regained their freedom yesterday, the Attorney General of Justice and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the release was in compliance with subsisting court orders.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration ordered their release despite not agreeing to the verdict of the court.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt Orders Release Of Sowore, Dasuki

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu speaks on Sowore and Dasuki’s release. (file photo).

According to him, the act by the Federal Government was to set an important example that to the world that it adheres to the rule of law.

“The government is not compromising anything. The government wants to set an important example of obedience to the law even when you disagree with what the court says you should do,” he said.

When asked to clarify some comments reportedly credited to them that there are some cabals in the current administration, the presidential spokesman accused Nigerians of coining the word.

He recalled that when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was in power, people also accused his government of being controlled by cabals.

“When Mr Jonathan was in office, wasn’t it said that he had a cabal? When President Yar’adua was in office, wasn’t it said that he had a cabal?

“So what we are saying is that Nigerians have formed the practice by labelling people that are in an advisable position of the President as a cabal,” he said.

Sowore: We Won’t Allow Troublemakers To Incite Nigerians, Presidency Warns

Garba Shehu                                                                                                                      Omoyele Sowore

 

 

The Presidency has insisted that the Muhammadu Buhari administration will not allow any individual or group to incite the public.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, stated this in a Facebook post on Wednesday while clarifying the controversy trailing the arrest of Mr Omoyele Sowore.

Shehu stressed that Sowore, the publisher of online news platform Sahara Reporters, was not arrested as a journalist but for calling for a revolution.

According to him, some international news outlets have been making mistake by describing the release of the #RevolutionNow movement convener as that of a journalist.


RELATED
DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore
Sambo Dasuki Released After Over Four Years In Detention


The presidential aide said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Buhari administration has never, since coming into office in 2015, detained a journalist, seized copies of newspapers or shut down a medium of information.”

“No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.

“The government believes strictly in observing the rule of law but must safeguard public security and will not allow troublemakers to incite the public and cause a breakdown of law and order,” he added.

The president’s spokesman accused the activist of calling for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

Sowore, according to him, did so on television and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely-read digital newspaper run from the United States.

“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow,” Shehu alleged.

He made the clarification a day after the Sahara Reporters publisher left the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) after being held for almost five months.

The DSS released Sowore on Tuesday following the directive of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Malami gave the directive for Sowore’s release, as well as that of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who has spent over four years in DSS custody.

The DSS arrested Sowore, the publisher of online media outfit Sahara Reporters, on August 3.

Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, are standing trial on a 16-count bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering amongst other charges.

They have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N100 million and N30 million respectively.

The DSS had refused to release them on bail even after they met their bail application, forcing Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu to issue a 24-hour order for their release.

Sowore and Bakare were later released on December 5, but the Sahara Reporters publisher was rearrested barely 24 hours after by the DSS.

Read Garba Shehu’s post below: