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Sowore granted bail in sum of N20m

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Omoyele Sowore, convener of the Revolution Now Movement, has been granted bail in the sum of N20 million.

A magistrate court sitting in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, on Monday granted bail but Sowore said the conditions were too stringent.

He along with Peter Williams, Sanyaolu Juwon, Emmanuel Bulus and Damilare Adenola were arrested on New Year’s eve during a protest organised and led by him.

The police had arraigned the five persons last week Monday on three counts of conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and incitement.

Mabel Segun-Bello, the magistrate, had ordered that they be remanded at the Kuje correctional centre.

But last Tuesday, they were transferred to the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID) after Sowore reported that they were denied access to healthcare, food and water.

Counsel to the defendants, Marshal Abubakar, while moving the application for bail, asked the court to grant them clients “on self recognisance or in the alternative grant bail in the most liberal terms”.

The ruling which was scheduled for Friday was stalled owing to the failure of the police to produce the defendants in court.

On Monday, ruling on the bail application, the chief magistrate said the defendants did not resist arrest while being apprehended.

According to her, the defendants are entitled to bail as it is their fundamental right to liberty.

The second, third, fourth and fifth defendants were granted bail in liberal terms with a bond of one million each.

They are also to produce one surety in like sum who “must be resident in Abuja with an identifiable workplace and residential address”.

“The first defendant however, Omoyele Sowore is also admitted to bail in the sum of N20m and two sureties in like sum,” the magistrate ordered.

One of the sureties must be a civil servant not below grade level 12 in the federal civil service.

The magistrate said Sowore must report physically to the chief registrar of the FCT high court or any other person designated by the chief registrar every Monday and Friday morning until the end of the case.

She added that all defendants must not travel outside Abuja metropolis or outside the country pending determination of the case.

Sowore, in his reaction, said the bail conditions were too stringent.

He said the bail sum was too high for a civil servant, adding that no civil servant would want to risk their job for such bail.

Sowore, however, thanked his supporters for standing by him.

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Abducted Tegina kids fall sick, bandits reduce ransom to N150m

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Some of the 136 abducted pupils of Tanko Salihu Islamiyya School, Tegina in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State have fallen sick in captivity.
The bandits disclosed the children’s ill health to headmaster of the Islamiyya School, Alhassan Garba Abubakar, who reported the situation to reporters.
The bandits, according to the headmaster, have reduced the demanded ransom for the release of the kids to N150m.
The bandits who had been demanding for N200m said they would accept N150m as ransom for the abducted children.
The children were abducted on May 30, 2021 and have been in captivity since then.
Parents of some of the children have turned public-spirited individuals and groups, visiting churches and mosques in a bid to raise the money for the ransom.
The headmaster said, “The amount raised so far has been a far cry from what the bandits are demanding before they release the pupils.
“I am not part of the committee of the parents going to churches and mosques to solicit for donations for the ransom money to be paid; so I cannot tell you the exact amount of money raised so far.”
Niger State Government has said it will not pay any ransom for the release of the children.
It however said that plans were underway to rescue the children.
Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, said the government would not pay any ransom to the bandits.
Responding to the ill health of the children, the SSG stated the bandits could use any kind of strategy to make the parents pay the ransom.

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Open grazing: Miyetti Allah denies giving Delta 72-hour ultimatum

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The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association Of Nigeria has denied giving a 72-hour ultimatum to Delta State Government to reverse its laws on open grazing.
Secretary-General of MACBAN, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, said some faceless individuals and mischief makers were behind the ultimatum.
An unknown group on Sunday threatened to attack Asaba and Agbor in Delta State if the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, failed to withdraw the resolution to ban open grazing within 72 hours.
The unsigned letter of threat was pasted in some locations across the state.
“We hereby demand the Governor of Delta State to immediately withdraw his earlier stand on the call to ban open grazing in 17 regions (referring to 17 southern states) in not less than 72 hours from the above date, and also withdraw his position as the leading voice for the governors,” the letter said.
The threat did not go down well with some socio-cultural groups such as the Southern and Middle Belt Elders Forum and Pan Niger Delta Forum who threatened to fight back.
Baba-Ngelzarma said such statements from an unknown group should not be given consideration.
He further described MACBAN as a responsible association with eminent personalities such as the Sultan of Sokoto as its patron, and as such would never do anything to jeopardise the peace of the country.
Baba-Ngelzerma who however insisted that the position of the group on open grazing still remained unchamged, urged northern governors to ensure the recovery of all grazing routes in the country as Fulani herders have equal rights with all Nigerians and could not be treated as second-class citizens.

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Boko Haram/ISWAP releases abducted UN worker, nine others

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A Senior Protection Assistant with the United Nation High Commission for Refugees, Abubakar Idris abducted over five months ago by the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) has been released.
Idris popularly known as Alooma was abducted on Maiduguri/Damaturu highway.
The insurgents reportedly attacked a convoy of travellers close to Matari village between Mainok and Jakana along Maiduguri/Damaturu highway where Alooma was abducted at about 8.30am Saturday, January 2, 2021.
The insurgents alleged to have dressed in military uniforms mounted a roadblock on the highway with three Hilux vans and motorcycles.
It was revealed that Alooma got into trouble when he tried to throw away his identification card and was sighted by one of the insurgents.
He is said to be undergoing medical and military check with troops of Operation Hadin Kai in Maiduguri before he will be allowed to reunite with his family.
A businessman, Muazu Bawa, abducted on the same day with Alooma, was also released along with eight other captives.
Bawa was in his private vehicle and ran into the Boko Haram checkpoint but his car was shot from behind before the insurgents whisked him away.
Executive Director of Yobe State Network of Civil Society, Abubakar Baba Shehu, confirmed the release.
“I was together with someone who called a family member of Alooma and he confirmed the release of his brother. This is encouraging news and we pray that more captives should be released soon,” Shehu said.
Friends of the freed captives have taken to Facebook and other social media platforms to celebrate the release of their friends from Boko Haram captivity.

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