- Trial adjourned to January 19
Justice Binta Nyako of Abuja Federal High Court has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to allow Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to change his clothes.
The judge also adjourned the trial to January 19 (Wednesday).
At the court session on Tuesday, Mike Ozekhome, Kanu’s lead counsel, complained that his client is still being subjected to poor treatment in DSS custody.
He said Kanu was still being kept in solitary confinement and that any other detainee who greetee him was also kept in solitary confinement.
Shortly before adjourning the matter, Nyako reminded the defendant that a detention facility is not a five-star hotel.
However, she reiterated her previous order that the IPOB leader should be allowed the maximum comfort possible, including changing his Fendi outfit with which he was brought back into the country in June 2021.
“I don’t want to see him in these clothes again. This one is almost off-white. Also, make sure that you allow him to exercise,” Nyako said.
Meanwhile, Justice Nyako adjourned the trial after Ozekhome (SAN) sought time to enable him to study the amended 15-count charges filed by the prosecution on January 17, 2022.
Ozekhome argued that the defence was ambushed with the fresh charge by the prosecution.
He claimed that the proof of evidence served on the defence by the prosecution was not legible enough to enable them know what constitutes the fresh charge.
Lead prosecuting lawyer, Magaji Labaran, however, faulted the defence’s claim that the amended charge was an ambush.
Labaran also faulted the defence’s claim of Kanu not being properly fed, allowed to practise his religion and allowed free access to his family members.
Nyako had similarly in the past directed the DSS to allow the IPOB leader to have a bath whenever he wants to, change his clothes, eat properly and practice his faith.
Oyetola left N76bn salary, pension debts
Mrs Bimpe Ogunlumade, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance in Osun, says the state government has discovered a salary and pension-related debts, amounting to over N76 billion, left by the immediate past Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola’s administration.
A statement by Malam Olawale Rasheed, the Spokesperson of Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun, said on Thursday in Osogbo that Ogunlumade made the revelations while briefing officials of the new administration on the state’s financial status.
According to Rasheed, the Osun Government has uncovered a monumental debt in salaries, pensions and insurance commitments incurred by the administration of Mr Gboyega Oyetola, amounting to N76 billion.
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“This revelation was made by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Bimpe Ogunlumade, while briefing officials of the new administration on the financial status of the state on Thursday.
Some public servants earn more salary than the president – RMAFC boss
Mohammed Shehu, chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), says some political appointees earn more salary than President Muhammadu Buhari.
Shehu disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday.
The RMAFC boss, who spoke on the commission’s plan to review judicial and political holders’ salaries, said some officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) collect salaries higher than the president.
He said the country needs to review allocations as some agencies remit less revenue.
“The severance package of the president is just N10.5 million. This is after the president leaves office. You can imagine after spending four or eight years, that would be the only take-home. The salary of Mr President is not up to N1.3 million a month,” he said.
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“There are people in the private sector and others in other public sectors that earn twice, three times or four times. No public servant should earn a salary bigger than Mr President. But we do have public servants that earn salaries bigger than Mr President, such as in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), etc.
“My argument has always been that no public servant should earn allowances, severances, or salaries larger than the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and I stand by it.”
Speaking further on how salaries would be reviewed, especially on current realities, Shehu said salary review would go through processes.
He, however, added that salaries may be reviewed upward after going through due processes.
“When you do a review, the takeoff point is not immediate. And this is a process that has to go to the president and then to the national assembly, and then it becomes a law,” he added.
“I can not tell you whether we can afford it or not, but what I can tell you is there are unremitted revenues out there, probably estimated from N6 trillion to N7 trillion that should be remitted to the federation account.
Buckingham Palace aide resigns over racist comments
A Buckingham Palace aide has resigned and tendered an apology over racist comments reportedly made to a black British guest at a reception hosted by the Queen Consort.
Ngozi Fulani, the founder of a charity supporting victims of domestic abuse, alleged that she was repeatedly asked by a royal aide at a Palace function where she was “really from” in Africa.
The palace said it was taking the incident “extremely seriously”.
An eyewitness to the conversation, Mandu Reid, confirmed the account and told the BBC the questions put to Ms Fulani were “offensive, racist and unwelcoming”.
Reid said she had a “sense of incredulity” about the exchange with a member of the Royal Household, in which Ms Fulani was “interrogated” about where she was from – even though she had explained she was born and lived in the UK.
Ms Fulani is the founder of the London-based charity Sistah Space, which supports black women who have faced domestic and sexual abuse.
Along with 300 guests, she had been invited to a high-profile reception at the Palace on Tuesday, where the Queen Consort, Camilla, had warned of a “global pandemic of violence against women”.
But after the event, Ms Fulani described her conversation on Twitter, where she was challenged by a royal aide to explain where she was from.
She recounted how she said: “We’re based in Hackney,” and the aide replied: “No, what part of Africa are you from?”
She said, “I don’t know, they didn’t leave any records”, and the Palace member responded, “Well you must know where you’re from, I spent time in France. Where are you from? Here, UK.”
“No, but what nationality are you?”
“I am born here and am British.”
“No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?”
She said that members of the Royal Household were circulating at the reception and making “chit chat” – but she said it became a “really unpleasant interaction”, when despite Ms Fulani’s replies there was an insistent questioning about her background.
Ms Reid said they were “stunned into silence” afterwards and says that Ms Fulani should receive an apology and those working for the palace should receive training.
Both Ms Reid and Sistah Space have decided not to name the royal aide believed to be involved.
In response, Buckingham Palace said, “We take this incident extremely seriously and have investigated immediately to establish the full details.
“In this instance, unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments have been made.
“We have reached out to Ngozi Fulani on this matter, and are inviting her to discuss all elements of her experience in person if she wishes.
“In the meantime, the individual concerned would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused and has stepped aside from her honorary role with immediate effect.
“All members of the household are being reminded of the diversity and inclusivity policies which they are required to uphold at all times.”
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