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Amnesty International Holds Outreach To Stop Torture, Help Victims Seek Redress

Amnesty International Nigeria has held an outreach to sensitise and empower the public, especially those who have been victims of torture from security operatives, on its effects on the people and on how such victims can seek redress.

Through its Stop Torture Project, Amnesty International Nigeria held  the community outreach in Mpape community in Abuja with a panel on reporting torture and seeking justice. 

The event which equally featured a drama was equally aimed at “deepening understanding of torture” among the people. 

In a statement made available to newsmen by its media manager in Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, Amnesty International also said that the event was attended by leaders of various groups of Mpape community, including a victim of torture who narrated his ordeal to the gathering. 

The statement quoted the organisation’s director in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, as saying “such community outreach programmes will continue to expand ways of addressing torture in Nigeria.” 

It said the Project co-ordinator, Onyinye Onyemobi, also said that Stop Torture project implemented across Nigeria is aimed at empowering individuals and communities to deal with and stop torture. 

According to the statement, “In the last two-years of this project, Amnesty International and partners have stood between the torturers and the tortured in Nigeria. Through this project, Amnesty International Nigeria and partners have ensured that people who have been detained get to see their families, lawyers and receive medical care.” 

It said, “We work with lawyers, community volunteers and paralegals to ensure that victims get help as soon as possible during the crucial first 48 hours after a person’s arrest. From our research, we know that the danger of torture is greatest in first few hours or days of arrest.” 

“So, interventions at that early point, creates the chances of stopping the torture, and ensuring the health and well-being of those detained are respected.” said  Onyinye Onyemobi, Stop Torture Project Coordinator.

The statement also said that Amnesty International and its partners in different states have held community dialogues on torture in states like Rivers, Bauchi, Lagos, Plateau, Kaduna and most recently in Onitsha, Anambra state to help communities understand Torture and how to seek redress. 

Amnesty International Nigeria is in Mpape today, to educate and create awareness among community members about the effects of torture on an individual and how torture victims can seek and get help,” said Onyinye Onyemobi.


FIBA Won’t Ban Nigeria On November 30, Says Kida

Nigeria Basketball Federation ‘Abuja’ president, Musa Kida said that there is no fear of the world basketball ruling body, FIBA banning Nigeria as a fall-out of the stalemate in the country’s basketball administration. 

Kida, who was speaking in Lagos yesterday argued that FIBA has come to understand the situation with the NBF adding that his board now have the full backing of Nigerian basketball stakeholders to pursue the development of the sport in the country. 

Two basketball federation board had emerged after Tijani Umar led a group of basketball stakeholders to hold an election in Kano, while Kida emerged the president of the version conducted by the sports ministry in Abuja. 

FIBA had urged both parties to reconcile their differences giving a November 30 deadline or Nigeria will be thrown out of world basketball contests. 

We are not losing any sleep about a November 30 deadline. What is clear is that FIBA wanted facts to know whether there was government inference. 

As time went on they came to understand the elections was accepted nationwide and they giving that deadline was an overkill. Basketball in Nigeria will go on,” said Kida. 

He added that his board will not be cowed into submission by clubs who floated the rules. 

Those clubs who are protesting were told not to participate in a competition that was not recognised by the NBF board. 

Nigeria is fundamentally a free country, the clubs are free to protest, but the NBF will not be arm-twisted to let off clubs that have gone against the rules. 

“Some of these clubs have written to state why they took part in the competition. And we are ready to look into the case.” 

Kida added that his board will do everything to ensure that the female basketball team are well prepared for the FIBA World Championship next year in China.

FG Moves To Seize BVN-less Accounts 

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja has granted a request by Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for a temporary forfeiture of all funds held in bank accounts not linked to BVNs. 

Also to be forfeited are funds in accounts whose ownership could not be identified. The latter are accounts without sufficient know-your-customer credentials, premium times has reported.

The order followed an originating motion of notice filed by Mr. Malami on behalf of the Nigerian government on September 28. 

Justice Dimgba granted all the nine reliefs sought by Mr. Malami, represented by a lawyer, Usman Dakas on October 17. The court ordered all the 19 deposit money banks, DMBs, operating in the country to release to Nigerian government names of accounts not yet connected to BVN; Account Numbers; their outstanding balances; Domiciling Locations; and Domiciliary Accounts without BVN and where they are domiciled. 

Nigeria deposit money banks that were listed as respondents in the ex-parte suit are: Access Bank, Citi Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank and First City Monument Bank. Others are: Guaranty Trust Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa

The remaining three are: Unity, Bank Wema Bank and Zenith Bank. The court also ordered all of them to disclose any investments made with funds and to withhold authorisation for any outward inflow of funds from the accounts.

All the details are to be submitted to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS, and the CBN for authentication. The banks were also directed to publish all bank accounts not linked to BVN in national newspapers with a 14-day notice for individuals with interest in such accounts to come forward and justify why their funds should not be forfeited to the Nigerian government. 

Mr. Dimgba also ordered the CBN, which was joined as 20th respondent alongside the 19 DMBs, to appoint an official who will examine all the details submitted to the apex bank for compliance. 

The government argued the matter under Section 3 of the Money Laundering Act, 2011. The section said banks must “ensure that documents, data or information collected under the customer due diligence process is kept up-to-date and relevant by undertaking reviews of existing records, particularly for higher risk categories of customers or business relationships.” 

The Bank Verification Number is a unique identification number that can be verified and used to transact business across all the banking platforms in Nigeria. 

The CBN imposed the policy to capture customers’ data for financial transactions and check fraud in the banking system. Registration for BVNs commenced on February 14, 2014, across the country. The CBN said over 20.8 million customers enrolled 40 million bank accounts before the October 31, 2015, final deadline for customers residing within the country. The CBN extended the deadline for Nigerians in the diaspora to December 2016 to sign up for the BVN system. But hundreds of thousands home and abroad are still believed to be left behind.

Withdraw Directives To Unfreeze Patience Jonathan’s Accounts, SERAP Tells Saraki, Dogara

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr Yakubu Dogara to “Urgently withdraw the patently unconstitutional directives to some banks to unfreeze former First Lady Mrs Patience Jonathan’s accounts.”

The organization said that, “the directives to banks to unfreeze Mrs Jonathan’s accounts amount to mingling of the executive and judicial powers in the National Assembly. Checks and balances should ideally help contribute to the rule of law and strengthening our democratic dispensation but if one branch of government grows too strong and overreaching the country might be in trouble.” 

In a statement signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale the organization said that, “It’s an affront to our constitutional democracy for the National Assembly to turn itself into a tool for checkmating the country’s justice system, especially the prosecution of grand corruption. Rather than helping Mrs Jonathan’s desire to achieve justice for what she may consider to be violations of her human rights, such directives are doing exactly the opposite and politicising the criminal justice process.” 

The Senate had last week decided that Mrs Jonathan’s accounts should be unfrozen, saying that some of the accounts including with Stanbic IBTC, First Bank, Union Bank, Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank and Bank Zenith Bank were frozen based on some administrative lapses.

It claimed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) used the banks to close the accounts without due process of law. 

The House of Representatives in September gave a similar directive to the banks to free the former first lady’s blocked accounts. 

But SERAP said that, “Nigerians are concerned about their lawmakers’ thirst for power, and about the National Assembly aggrandizing its legislative powers without sufficient checks and constitutional scrutiny and validity. The National Assembly ought to focus the exercise of its legislative powers solely on making laws for the peace, order and good government of our country, addressing only matters of prime national concern, and when necessary, checking the excesses of the executive branch.” 

The statement reads in part: “The directives purportedly unfreezing the accounts of Mrs Jonathan will not give the public the confidence that the National Assembly will change its ways and embrace the rule of law.” 

“The National Assembly should not show itself as incapable and unwilling to address the concerns of Nigerians about its operations and apparent lack of transparency. These kinds of interventions by the National Assembly could portray our lawmakers in the eyes of Nigerians as forgetting what they are in Abuja to do.” 

“The Senate and House of Representatives should advise Mrs Jonathan to seek appropriate judicial remedies if she feels the criminal justice mechanisms have violated her human rights. That’s the essence of the rule of law, separation of powers and checks and balances. The supposed directives to banks have unfortunately again put the reputation of the National Assembly at stake.” 

“What Nigerians want and deserve is a balanced sharing of constitutional powers for the sake of the public good, and not ‘Imperial National Assembly’, a National Assembly that sits on its throne in Abuja and treats Nigerians as serfs in their fiefdoms.” 

“If the body that makes law also controls its execution, implementation and interpretation, it can effectively tailor the laws to help itself and its friends and hurt its perceived enemies. It can thwart the virtue of impartial general law-making by rendering it a tool for singling out.”

Are Ona Kakanfo’s Origin, Myth And Power By Prof. Banji Akintoye

Professor Banji Akintoye, a second republic senator and historian, is a repertoire of knowledge when it comes to narrating historical events. 

Akintoye spoke to Vanguard on the myth surrounding the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land title and how the holder, in the pre-colonial period, wielded so much power and influence.

The title of Are Ona Kakanfo was created to check the excesses and frequent incursions of Ibaribas into Yoruba territories. During that time, Ibaribas were terrorising the Yoruba nation and, when the then Alaafin realised the gargantuan nature of the problem, he created the title of the Are Ona Kakanfo.

His duty was to watch over the homeland with the help of assistant commanders who had a special army. The criteria for the selection of title holder To be the Are Ona Kakanfo, you must be a great warrior and very courageous. The creation of the title stopped the invasion of Yoruba land by external aggressors. 

The Are Ona Kakanfo was so powerful and invincible that he would fight several wars at the same time. He never lost any battle. Due to his power, the Alaafin would not allow him to live in the same town with him. The Aare Ona Kakanfo normally lives in a commercial city.

His installation is always a very big ceremony. All important people in Yoruba land including the Oyomesi (kingmakers) would be in attendance. 

Myth of violent death That is not true. Those who suffered such death were few. I will mention one of them. Afonja betrayed the Alaafin, that’s why he died a violent death. He gathered foreigners around him to revolt against the Alaafin and the Oyo people stood in defence of their king, came together and killed Afonja. There were Are Ona Kakanfos who lived long. For example, one of the holders of the title who lived long was Oyabi from Ajase. He was very loyal to Alaafin and the Oyo Empire. So, there is no foundation to the claim that the Are Ona Kakanfo usually lives a short and uneventful life.

I think Gani Adams is an excellent man and a good choice for the title. He was nobody but he developed himself and became what he is today. 

We have a lot of people who developed themselves. I was a lecturer for many years in the university and I had students who rose from nothing to become great scholars. I appreciate people like that. And Adams belongs to that category. He started from nothing and without anybody but today he is a university degree holder.

Those who say all sorts of things against the Oodua Peoples Congress are not fair to the group. Have they forgotten what the OPC did for us in Yoruba land?

There are some things you cannot compare. Chief Moshood Abiola and Chief Ladoke Akintola became the Are Ona Kakanfo at different times. 

MKO and Akintola did tremendously well for the Yoruba and the Alaafin had no problem choosing them as Are Ona Kakanfo. And Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has taken time to explain the qualities he considered before he made the choice.

The monarch said Gani Adams is very courageous and that he has the interest of Yoruba at heart. Gani Adams was a very young man when some Yoruba leaders decided to establish OPC. As a result of his courage, he was chosen as the leader of the group and he has held the position creditably well. There was a time when the OPC was protecting Yoruba land from attacks. We should know that for somebody to have done that, he deserves our respect and recognition. Gani Adams deserves the title of the Are Ona Kakanfo the Alaafin has conferred on him.
Source: Vanguard

​Isabella Unveils Indescribable & A New Beginning Album Cover

Award winning Gospel Artist, Isabella finally release the official Album cover for her 7th & 8th Albums (Indescribable and A New Beginning) respectively. 

The albums are set to drop on the 3rd of November 2017.

The 7th Album (Indescribable) comprises of 13 original worship songs all produced by Music Magnate, which are:

1. Our Great God Reign

2. Omnipotent God

3. All Glory

4. Indescribable

5. In Jesus Name

6. Great Jehovah

7. King Of Kings

8. In You I Find Myself

9. Draw Me Close

10. Desperate For You

11. Revival Fire Fall

12. You Are My God

13. Nara Ekele

The 8th Album (A New Beginning) comprises of 10 original worship songs all produced by Niyi P, which are:

1. You’re A Wonder

2. Lord Be Glorified

3. Sweet Jesus

4. Hallel

5. Miracle

6. Call On Jesus

7. King Of My Heart

8. Worthy Is The Lamb

9. Mekwanu Ya Ozo

10. Imaranma

We are expecting this to be loud….

Musical Video: You’re A Wonder – Isabella

YOU’RE A WONDER is the second single to be released off Isabella‘s 8th studio album, A NEW BEGINNING, which is due for release 3rd of November 2017.

Shot by veteran music video director, Fred Williams, at Icon Towers studios in Basildon, United Kingdom.

YOU’RE A WONDER is purposely designed to be a simple, classy, stripped down monochrome video which focuses on the profundity/intensity of the worship moments, to avoid distracting the audience or detracting from the essence & message of the song.
A captivating intimate worship song which builds in crescendo to reach an exhilarating worship climax, it is sure to draw the listener/viewer into an atmosphere of deep worship. Audio produced by Niyi P