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Court orders suspension of Operation Positive Identification

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the Nigerian Army to suspend its ongoing Operation Positive Identification.

Justice Rilwanu Aikawa ordered the Nigerian Army and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, to maintain status quo pending the determination of a suit filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana.

Falana, who filed the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1939/2019 on October 25, is seeking among others, an order stopping the operation.

The COAS, the Army and the Attorney-General of the Federation are first to third respondents in the suit.

When the matter came up on Tuesday, none of the respondents were in court.

Falana informed the judge that the respondents had been served the processes and the proof of service was in the court’s file.

Principal State Counsel from the Ministry of Justice prayed the judge to grant an adjournment to enable the Solicitor-General, Mr Dayo Apata, handle the matter personally and also give the respondents time to harmonise their positions.

Justice Aikawa granted his application, saying, “In view of the agreement between both counsels, I hereby order the first and second defendants to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case.”

He matter was adjourned till November 18 for further hearing.

In his suit, Falana had argued that the planned nationwide operation, which will run from November 1, to December 23, 2019, by which Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with means of identification, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

He argued that the operation violates his right and that of other Nigerian citizens to liberty as encapsulated in Section 35 respectively of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, (Cap A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

He filed along with the suit an order seeking an interim injunction restraining the three respondents from going on with the plan pending the hearing of the substantive suit.

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Arewa

Man nabbed for allegedly killing student in Kaduna

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The Kaduna State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a suspect in the killing of a student, Hassan Abdullah of Government Secondary Rigachikun, in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

The incident occurred in the school premises on Thursday at about 11 am when the suspect, Sani Umar, who is not a student of the school, accosted Abdullahi and allegedly stabbed him with a knife.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Kaduna that the victim died on the way to hospital.

Sabo said Umar had been arrested and is undergoing investigation.

According to him, the matter was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to unravel the circumstances that led to the incident.

The police spokesman assured that the suspect would be prosecuted after the investigation.

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Education

NECO dismisses over 70 staff over certificate forgery

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The National Examinations Council (NECO) has fired no fewer than 70 staff for alleged certificate forgery.

The approval for the sack of the affected staff was made at NECO’s 17th extra-ordinary meeting of the Governing Board after vetting a report by a verification committee set up by the management.

The decision was part of a statement signed by the Head of Information and Public Relations Division, Azeez Sani in Minna.

The exam body said that the dismissal of the staff was as a result of a report submitted by a committee constituted to verify the certificates of staff by the management of NECO.

“The certificate Verification Committee carried out its assignment diligently by inviting all staff with questionable credentials to appear before it, during which some staff actually attested that their certificates were fake,” the statement said.

“The Committee also contacted the Schools and Institutions the affected staff claimed to have attended and the Schools and Institutions denied having certificated them.”

It added that the sack is the first phase in the series of the on-going staff certificate verification exercise in the Council.

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Arewa

DSS explains why Dasuki, EL-Zakzaky, Sowore are still in detention

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The Department of State Services, DSS, has reacted to public outcry by Nigerians about detention of some notable persons undergoing trials at the courts.

DSS has been accused of refusing to obey court orders.

In a statement on Friday, DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, explained the circumstances that warranted the custody of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and Omoyele Sowore in its facility.

He wrote: “For the avoidance of doubt, the duo had appealed to the Courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the Correctional Centres.

“Well meaning Nigerians are equally witnesses to the case of Omoleye Sowore, who, on a similar order of the Court, was to be remanded at the Kuje or Suleja Centre, but preferred to be kept at the DSS.

“Everyone, also, saw what eventually played out with El-Zakzaky, when he opted to be returned to the custody of the Service even as the Court had granted him leave to seek medical care in India. These were choices these personalities made on their own volition.

“Since their stay, the Service has continued to extend the best courtesies to them. They are allowed access to people and use of other facilities like telephones, gymnasium, TV, newspapers and medical facilities.

“Among others, their families and trusted persons bring them food of their choices on a daily basis. There could not have been better treatments than these.

“Against the wrong perception that the Service held these persons in defiance to Court Orders, it is obvious, by the above explanations, that they rather choose to be looked after by the DSS. The reason for such choice is not far fetched. It is simply because the Service’s holding facilities are good and within acceptable international standards.

“It is not in the character of the DSS to join issues with persons or groups. Yet, silence should not be golden at a time like this. For its compliance to democratic norms, the Service owes the Nigerian public a duty to explain some of its activities. This is more so that these are oftentimes grossly misunderstood or misrepresented.

“Once again, the Service restates its commitment to a strong partnership with the media and other stakeholders including opinion leaders. It is not averse to criticisms and therefore welcomes constructive engagement from all and sundry.

“It will continue to conduct its operations within the bounds of the law and importantly be guided by that time tested axiom of Usman Dan Fodio that conscience is an open wound and only the truth can heal it.”

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