REACTIONS have continued to trail Friday’s judgment of Oyo State High Court which declared self-determination agitation as legal and resistance to it by agents of government as “crude and most unprofessional.”
Leader of the Yoruba Nation group and Ilana Omo Oodua, Emeritus Professor of History, Professor Banji Akintoye, told Sunday Tribune that the verdict has made the Yoruba Nation and other self-determination groups in the country invincible threatening to take further legal action against the FG for disrupting its rally in Lagos.
“We knew it would come, because it is the truth. People can try to hide the truth for as long as they want, but someday, the truth always surfaces. The truth has surfaced.
“Nigerians now know that our struggle for self-determination is totally lawful and legal, that the government has no right to stop us. The knowledge now is that more and more people are rallying into our court.
“If our young people try to hold a rally now, it will be much bigger than that of Ado-Ekiti. More and more people are coming forward. The government has threatened our existence not only at home but even abroad. That is now coming to an end.
“We are not dissolving our organisation, but instead now realising the need to merge together and be stronger than ever now, realising we are all brothers. We are going to exploit what we have; we are going to be more active; we are going to be doing what we did in Ibadan against the government.
“We are going to do more; we are going to take them to court for the disruption of our rally in Lagos. It was a peacefully rally based upon law, but they illegally disrupted it.
“We are going to go after them with the power of the law and they will know they cannot fight us. We have become invincible. Part of our injunctions is that we respect the government and the laws of Nigeria.
“What we have led from the beginning is that our self-determination agitation is totally legitimate. The international law proclaims it as legitimate. The Charter of the United Nations and various other instruments of the United Nations support our clamour.
“Without seeking permission from anybody, a nationality can decide to assert its self-determination. When it does that, the government of whichever county they belong to must respect what they are doing and not interfere with their civic rights in the country.
“But the people who are fighting for self-determination also have a responsibility. They must not start an insurrection; they must not generate violence in the streets. Those are the conditions. So as long as you are doing it peacefully, you are in good order.
“So we Yoruba people decided from the beginning that this was going to be a thoroughly peaceful and law abiding movement, and it has been so continuously. Our children did not do anything illegal. Nobody was wounded, nobody was arrested, neither was there any altercation with the police nor destruction of properties.”
Also reacting, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), commended the courage of the Judge in upholding the rights of citizens to freedom of expression and association. The South-South apex socio-cultural group, through its national Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, congratulated Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Igboho, his legal team and all patriotic citizens for the victory.
He, however, urged the Appeal Court to live up to expectations by abiding by the “merits of the case and not get influenced by the powers that be.”
“We say well done to the court on the landmark judgment in the Igboho case. It’s commonly said that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man, but it goes beyond that.
“The judiciary is, indeed, the last hope of all citizens, common or special, particularly, in a regime like we have now, which is increasingly becoming dictatorial with unnecessary deployment of state forces to intimidate and coerce citizens, who have dissenting opinions.
“It is unthinkable that a supposed democratic administration will give citizens all kinds of labels, for simply ventilating their discontent and disaffection with the way and manner the government conducts the affairs of the country.
There are still upright men in Judiciary-Ohanaeze
The National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Youths, Mazi Chika Art Adiele, hailed the judgment , saying “it is a testament that there are still upright men in the sacred temple of justice.
“It is a landmark ruling. It will help our jurisprudence,” he said.
The judgment, Sunday Tribune gathered, dominated discussions in most public arena in Enugu State on Saturday, with many calling it an indictment on “extra-judicial murders of suspected IPOB members as well as its proscription and labeling as a terrorist organisation by the Buhari regime.”
Self determination is part of Nigerian laws -Ex NBA chairman
In his own view, the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Owerri branch, Imo State, Damian Nosike said although he was yet to read the judgment, Nigeria could not afford to go against the UN Charter to which it was signatory.
He said: “when people are not happy with the way they are treated, they have the right to say they don’t want to belong again, provided they don’t do it illegally by taking up arms.”
He recalled that Eritrea was created out of Ethiopia, while South Sudan was carved out of Sudan, through the clamour for self determination.
Shaving Inibehe Effiong’s hair, beard a security measure, says NCoS
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Akwa Ibom command, says the shaving of the hair and beard of Inibehe Effiong, a legal practitioner, is a security measure.
Effiong was sent to prison July 27 by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom, Ekaette Obot, after the lawyer reportedly protested against the presence of armed policemen in court.
The human rights lawyer was in court to defend Leo Ekpenyong, a lawyer, in a libel suit filed by Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom.
Many Nigerians, including civil society organisations (CSOs), have called for the release of the human rights lawyer.
On Thursday, reports surfaced on social media that Effiong had been transferred to the Uyo correctional centre, and that the lawyer’s hair and beard had been forcefully shaved.
Speaking on the reports, Femi Falana, human rights advocate, said such action was a violation of Effiong’s fundamental human rights.
In a statement on Friday, Richard Metong, NCoS Akwa Ibom spokesperson, said the shaving was not done with blunt instrument as speculated on social media, adding that the action was “a security measure as well as a routine practice in the facility”.
“On arrival at Uyo, he was duly admitted into the facility and was also informed of the need to cut his hair and beards as a security measure as well as a routine practice in the facility, which he obliged and willingly allowed the barber using a clipper and not a blunt instrument as speculated on social media,” the statement reads.
Meeting told TheCable on Saturday that the decision to shave Effiong’s hair and beard was carried out to ensure his safety among other inmates.
“On the security aspect, you know that the cells where they stay is not only for one person. There are a lot of other persons, and if you know barrister Effiong very well, he has a very long beard,” he said.
“In case of an argument or altercation with somebody in the cell, it can lead to him being harmed in a way if there is anything ensuing between himself and other inmates.
“You know he is a very popular human rights lawyer and I’m also very sure that there are other persons he prosecuted their cases who are also in the same facility.
“So, we are also considering his own safety by asking him to please shave to be clean. It is for his own best interest. It poses security threat to him as he goes into the facility. We don’t want him to be harmed.”
Speaking further, Metong said the decision was in line with the personal hygiene clause stipulated in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the Nelson Mandela rules.
Rule 18 (personal hygiene) of the Nelson Mandela rules states: “Prisoners shall be required to keep their persons clean, and to this end they shall be provided with water and with such toilet articles as are necessary for health and cleanliness.
“In order that prisoners may maintain a good appearance compatible with their self-respect, facilities shall be provided for the proper care of the hair and beard, and men shall be able to shave regularly.”
ASUU won’t go on strike under my administration, says Atiku
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says the Academic Staff Union of Universities will not go on strike if he is elected Nigeria’s president.
He stated this at the commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day in Abuja on Friday.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 due to the inability of the Federal Government to honour their 2009 agreement with the union.
Atiku, who disclosed that he had been investing in education for 30 years, noted that the most important fundamental right of any youth is the right to education.
He said, “I take a very strong exception to the strike by ASUU. The inability of the government to resolve that crisis will never happen under a PDP government or administration that I will oversee.
“I have been investing in education for the past 30 years.”
The former Vice President promised to work with the university authorities to bring an end the incessant strike.
“I believe the PDP provides the best platform for you to actualise your individual, collective aspirations,” he said.
1,500 Nigerian students from Ukraine to resume at Igbinedion varsity
Another set of 1,500 Nigerian students displaced by the Russian invasion in Ukraine is set to commence their studies at the Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State by September 2022.
The development came as a result of a partnership agreement signed by the Ivano Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas with the management of the Igbinedion University.
The Nation had earlier reported that a Ukrainian university, the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, had signed an agreement with the Igbinedion University to help 2, 500 displaced Nigerian students continue their studies in Nigeria.
According to a statement by the representative of the Ukrainian University in Nigeria, Cliff Ogbede, the cooperation was made under the National Universities Commission trans-educational guidelines.
This was confirmed by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the NUC, Dr. Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf.
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Providing further details, Ogbede noted that the students were about 1,500 and would resume by September.
The statement reads: “The students are about 1,500 and they will be back by September.
“In their quest to return students who were displaced by the war in Ukraine to class, another top-rated Ukrainian academic institution—Ivano Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas—has equally signed a cooperation agreement with the Igbinedion University, Okada.
“This cooperation will enable their students who were displaced by the war in Ukraine to resume classroom lectures at the Igbinedion University campus on a joint educational programme, under the Nigerian National Universities Commission Transnational Educational Guidelines.
“The joint Transnational Educational programme will enable the undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Ukrainian Ivano Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas to continue their academic programme uninterrupted in addition to the existing distance learning mode, as a similar model is applied in particular for the organisation of academic cooperation with universities in Turkey and some other countries.”
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