The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has issued a stern warning to Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, asking him to stop prosecuting opposition leader back home in Turkey.
MURIC berated the president ahead of his arrival in Nigeria today, Monday, on a state visit.
The Muslim rights group, in a statement signed by its director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, accused Erdogan of arbitrary arrest, torture, political killings, long imprisonment of opposition figures and critics, particularly members of the Hizmet Movement.
The President is expected to sign some business deals with the Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
And MURIC claimed that Erdogan’s visit leaves a sour taste in the mouth because of his alleged undemocratic and tyrannical practices back home in Turkey.
“He cooked up a phantom coup on 15th July, 2016 to justify sweeping changes to the constitution and he arrogated extensive powers to himself as president,” MURIC said.
“What followed was arbitrary arrest, torture, political killings, long imprisonment of opposition figures and critics, particularly members of the Hizmet Movement.
“Travelling documents of key members of Hizmet were seized, and their properties were confiscated. They were thrown in jail in their thousands without fair trial. Members of the group who were outside Turkey were disallowed from returning.
“Though Hizmet is not a political movement that could threaten his position, yet like all dictators and tyrants, Erdogan was envious of the group because the latter had become extremely popular.
“Erdogan uses its diplomats in Nigeria to haunt Turkish citizens and members of the Hizmet Movement who are rendering humanitarian services in the country. They were declared persona non grata in Turkey and disallowed to enter their country of origin. Their travelling documents were seized, thereby denying them right of return.
“Erdogan also uses his diplomats in Nigeria to label members of the Hizmet as terrorists. This is a very wicked attempt to push Nigerian security agencies to arrest, intimidate and unduely punish innocent refugees and asylum seekers.
“Members of their families whom they left behind in Turkey are also not allowed to travel out to unite with their loved ones in Nigeria. Thus we find Recep the tyrant masquerading as a liberal, Tayyip the dictator disguising as a democrat and Erdogan the bully pretending to be a hero. Afraid of his own shadow, Erdogan has forcefully separated husbands from their wives and children from their parents.
“MURIC affirms clearly, unequivocally and categorically that members of Hizmet are peace-loving people who are committed to the service of Nigerians and other people of the world. This they do by establishing primary and secondary schools of international standard as well as universities and hospitals. They also assist in building boreholes in Nigeria’s public schools and villages.
“Hizmet is, therefore, a mere network of humanitarian workers committed to the upliftment of mankind from ignorance to knowledge and from the abyss of poverty to the pinnacle of economic emancipation. This is service to humanity per excellence. How can anyone in his right senses accuse such a movement of being a terrorist group?
“MURIC rejects the double standard and hypocritical pretence of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We charge him to leave members of Hizmet who are resident in Nigeria alone. We call on Erdogan to fling open the doors of Turkish prisons and torture chambers if he wants to be embraced by the international community.
“The whole world is now fully aware that Erdogan is an enemy of democracy. Allah-given fundamental human rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of association and the rule of law are alien to Erdogan’s political philosophy. The whole of Turkey has become a huge prison camp in the grips of a vicious ruler.
“We appeal to the world community to intervene in the case of prisoners of conscience in Turkey. Thousands are languishing in jail without trial. Too many people are being tortured by Erdogan’s agents. Hundreds of Turkey citizens who have loved ones outside the country should be allowed to travel out. We call on Amnesty International and all other civil society groups around the world to speak out against Erdogan’s inhumanity to his perceived enemies.
“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of the antics of the Turkish president as they both engage in business deals for their two countries. Erdogan is the modern fox of the Balkans, the Otto Von Bismarck of the Mediterranean and the Jekyll and Hyde of the Black Sea. Erdogan is not to be trusted. There is no scintilla of humanity in him.”
Court to hear ‘certificate forgery’ suit against Tinubu Sept 7
A federal high court in Abuja has fixed September 7 for the hearing in a suit seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from contesting in the 2023 elections.
The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.
Tlaintiffs said the deposition was untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections that Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the alleged false information he gave INEC.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever.
“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.
Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.
“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.
Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.
The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.
Four months after pardon, Dariye, Nyame released from prison
Two former state governors, Joshua Dariye of Plateau and Jolly Nyame of Taraba, have been released from the correctional facility in Kuje council area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This is coming about four months after the former governors were granted state pardon.
Dariye and Nyame were among 159 inmates pardoned at a council of state meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in April.
The two former governors, jailed for fraud, were granted pardon on the grounds of age and ill health.
Nyame was convicted in 2018 and given 14 years imprisonment for diverting public funds, but his sentence was later reduced to 12 years in 2020, following a ruling by the supreme court which affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal on the matter.
On his part, Dariye was sentenced to 14 years in prison for N1.126 billion fraud, but his jail term was reduced by four years, following a verdict by the supreme court affirming an earlier judgment by the court of appeal.
Dariye, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for N1.16 billion fraud, was on June 12, 2018 sentenced to 14 years in prison for criminal breach of trust and two years in addition for misappropriation of public funds, both to run concurrently.
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT court before, whom he was standing trial for a 23-count amended charge, found him guilty of 15 of the counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public funds but discharged him on eight.
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Dariye was first arraigned on July 13, 2007 at the High Court after which he proceeded to the Appeal court with an application to quash all the charges but were all dismissed.
The court ordered accelerated hearing of the fraud case against him, thus necessitating the continuation of trial on January 25, 2016, before Justice Banjoko.
In addition to his sentencing, Justice Banjoko also ordered that the N80 million recovered by the EFCC be forfeited to the state government’s coffers.
The state pardon had generated controversy, with some persons insisting it would not send the right message on the fight against corruption.
However, the presidency had defended the decision, saying it was done in the interest of fairness.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had said, “While it is natural that the cases of the ex-governors — two among many — would excite political analysts, coming at a time when elections are in the air, the President would at the same time have come across as insensitive and cruel to most people were he to have ignored very compelling cases recommended for pardon made to him because someone is a former Governor.
“Even Governors have the right to be treated fairly under the law. President Buhari assures the nation that nothing done here was intended to achieve a political end or send a revisionist message on the relentless war against corruption which he has ably and evidently led by personal examples.”
Wike alleges politicians recruiting cultists to destabilise Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says he has received intelligence reports that some misguided politicians are already recruiting cultists, ex-convicts and thugs in furtherance of their political aspirations for 2023.
The governor said the state government waa aware that owners of hotels and entertainment centres were planning to give out their premises to politicians and political parties as a convenient bases for the gathering of these political thugs across the state.
Wike, in a state broadcast on Sunday, emphasised that the government is not taking the intelligence reports at its disposal lightly, and will therefore not allow any politician, no matter his previous or present position, the chance or opportunity to upset the prevailing peace and security in Rivers.
He said, “We will not allow any political party, be it the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to threaten the safety and security of life and property during the campaigns with mayhem, thuggery or violence.
“Accordingly, we have already alerted and set the security agencies on the trail of these misguided politicians and leaders of political parties and stop them in their tracks with the full weight of the law.
“We also wish to warn owners of hotels and proprietors of relaxation centres to take notice and desist from releasing their facilities for politicians and party leaders to use to meet and plot against the peace, safety and security of our state.”
The governor warned that the state government would demolish hotels and other entertainment places linked with such criminal political activities.
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