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Gov Uzodinma denies blocking Tinubu from releasing Nnamdi Kanu, accuses PDP of blackmail

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Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has refuted allegations suggesting that he obstructed President Bola Tinubu from assisting in the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Uzodinma accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of using this story as a means of blackmail ahead of the upcoming Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.

In a statement released by his Special Adviser on Public Communications, Collins Ughalaa, Governor Uzodinma stated that the PDP had turned to blackmail due to their awareness that they might lose the approaching gubernatorial election.

He firmly asserted that the narrative of him preventing Tinubu from facilitating Kanu’s release is entirely untrue.

The statement includes the following: “We are aware that the disgruntled opposition party can resort to any means, including supporting or sponsoring chaos in the state, but we assumed that the party still had some dignity. However, their recent desperate attempt to smear Governor Hope Uzodinma with the false story that he is obstructing the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu demonstrates the party’s willingness to engage in any wrongdoing without moral constraints.

In a fabricated story titled ‘Uzodinma blocking the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu – Tinubu,’ circulated by the PDP and their agents, the party falsely accused the governor of preventing the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

The entire story is untrue. Not only did President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not make the statement falsely attributed to him, the governor never took any action to obstruct Kanu’s release, nor did he approach the President to request that Kanu not be released. There is no rationale for such an action whatsoever.”

Previous reports had suggested that Tinubu accused Uzodinma of hindering him from facilitating Kanu’s release during a meeting with Igbo businessmen in Abuja on Monday. However, the presidency has refuted these reports, emphasizing that Tinubu never made such a statement.

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PHOTO: Gov Makinde Host Nigeria Police Games

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1: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) and Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

2: From left, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr Bayo Lawal; Governor Seyi Makinde; Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun and his wife Elizabeth, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

3: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) take a salute from the Police Mascots, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

CREDIT: Oyo Gov Media 

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Economic crisis: Find more ways to improve your IGR – President Tinubu to universities

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The Nigerian government has called upon universities in the country to broaden their sources of funding amidst economic challenges. President Bola Ahmad Tinubu made this assertion during the 6th & 7th combined convocation ceremony of Federal University, Dutse, which took place on Saturday.

Speaking through Professor Kabir Bala, the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who represented him at the event, President Tinubu stressed the government’s dedication to facilitating a conducive environment for universities despite resource limitations.

He urged universities to actively explore alternative funding channels, underlining the significance of self-reliance in the prevailing economic circumstances. The President also encouraged universities to seek international funding opportunities for research, advocating for collaborations and the attraction of funds from global sources.

President Tinubu emphasized that government alone cannot shoulder the financial burden of universities, particularly amid economic challenges and competing demands from various sectors. Nonetheless, he reiterated the administration’s commitment to providing the necessary support within the available resources to ensure universities function as pillars of educational advancement and national development.

He further urged universities to pursue innovative strategies for generating revenue and to tap into international research funding opportunities. He assured that his administration remains dedicated to supporting universities in achieving their objectives as outlined in the Renewed Hope Agenda.

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Contempt threat against NLC, TUC leaders over public protest uncalled for – Femi Falana replies FG

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Human rights advocate and constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana, has clarified that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have every right to organize the nationwide public protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, asserting that it does not constitute contempt of court.

As a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Falana emphasized that Nigerian workers are entitled to freedom of assembly and expression as enshrined in the country’s Constitution. He urged the federal government, in a strongly worded letter to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, to ensure maximum security for the workers and to participate in the protest.

In response to the AGF’s threat of contempt charges against the NLC and TUC leaders, Falana’s letter dated February 24 countered the threat, arguing that it lacked legal basis.

Falana pointed out the history of negotiations between the government and the labor unions following the removal of fuel subsidy in 2023, which resulted in court orders restraining the unions from striking. Despite compliance with these orders, the unions challenged them, and the contempt proceedings initiated by the government were subsequently withdrawn.

He highlighted subsequent legal actions initiated by the government against the unions, noting that these actions were contested by the unions on grounds of abuse of court process and lack of jurisdiction. Falana emphasized that since the contempt proceedings were withdrawn, there is no basis for the government’s threat of contempt charges regarding the planned protest.

He cited legal precedents affirming citizens’ rights to protest on matters of public interest without the need for police permits, emphasizing the democratic importance of freedom of speech and assembly.

Falana urged the government to respect these fundamental rights and directed the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate security for the protesters in accordance with the Police Establishment Act.

In conclusion, he called on the government to reconsider its stance and assured that the protests would be conducted peacefully.

The federal government had previously warned of invoking relevant laws to charge the NLC leadership with contempt if the protest proceeds, citing it as a breach of agreement and a challenge to the court’s authority. The AGF, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, conveyed this warning in a letter to Falana, urging the NLC to abandon the protest to avoid violating the court’s order.

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