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Middle belt, Kaduna group allege conspiracy over Mailafia’s death

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The Middle Belt Forum and Southern Kaduna Peoples Union have alleged a foul play in the death on Sunday of former activist and former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.

They therefore called for an investigation into his death.

He was said to have been denied a proper medical attention in two hospitals, where he was rushed to after taking ill.

The MBF, in a statement issued on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Isuwa Dogo, alleged that the lackadaisical attitude of medical personnel was responsible largely responsible for the untimely death of Mailafia.

The statement read in part, “The death of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, Abuja, this morning came to us as a great shock.

“As someone who relentlessly participated in the activities of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), his untimely death has dealt  a deadly blow on ethnic nationalities of not only the Middle Belt but the country at large.

“Arising from various enquiries from Nigerians over the circumstances of his death, the Forum wishes to state as follows: That Dr Mailafia arrived Abuja last Sunday September 12, 2021 from Akure and was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by his wife.

“On arrival at home, the wife noticed he was not in the best of health conditions and seemed to be suffering from malaria. After three days of treatment without signs of improvement, he went to the CBN Hospital on Friday September 17, 2021 where he was shabbily treated. It took the intervention of a senior medic who immediately placed him on oxygen and admitted him.

“Dr Mailafia’s was later given the option of choosing three hospitals: Gwagwalada Hospital, National Hospital and EHA Clinics. The wife opted for the third choice. On arrival at the EHA Clinics, the wife was subjected to yet another moment of anxiety as it took a direct order from the top management of the hospital to accept him.

“After few hours of treatment, the EHA Clinics told the wife that it was expedient to transfer the former CBN Deputy Governor to Gwagwalada as the clinic was not fully equipped to handle the case.

“The wife opposed the decision and insisted that she was opposed to the idea of taking her husband to Gwagwalada. Mailafia’s wife only succumbed when the consultant assured her that nothing bad will happen to her husband.

“Yesterday, Saturday September 18, 2021, Dr Obadiah was transferred to Gwagwalada. On arrival, the name of the doctor that was billed to attend to Dr Mailafia was not on duty. Even when an attempt was made by foreign health consultants to save the situation, the doctor on duty got angry and said he was not obligated to listen to any foreign consultants that had been brought into the matter with the sole purpose of ensuring nothing  goes wrong.

“Wife of the former CBN Deputy Governor was asked to pay the sum of N600’000 as deposit even when it was a referral case, with accruing medical bill to be settled by the CBN. At a point, Dr Mailafia complained over his breathing problems and pleaded with the doctors to place him in a ventilator. The doctors flatly refused.

“Even after the doctors declared Dr Mailafia dead, foreign consultants who were brought into the matter through Dr Mailafia’s son that is  living abroad, had directed a family member who is a medical professional, with the wife of the CBN Deputy Governor, to mount pressure on the chest of Dr.  Mailafia for  resuscitation and thereafter place him on a life support.

“The doctors in Gwagwalada refused all entreaties by the family members of Dr Mailafia to follow the advice of the foreign consultants, insisting that they have already pronounced him dead.

“Even when the wife could feel the pulse of her husband, the doctor flatly declared there was nothing they could do since they had already pronounced him dead.

“While the above narration sums up the circumstances under which Dr Mailafia died,  we still  await the result of the actual cause of his death. As a nationalist and patriot that he was, Dr. Mailafia  was completely dedicated to the emancipation of ethnic nationalities from the clutches of oppression.

“The economist was never afraid to speak truth to power just as he remained committed to the enthronement of justice and equity to all citizens across ethnic and religious divides.

“In the twilight of his life, this consummate technocrat and global scholar of repute beamed his searchlight on the raging insecurity ravaging our country. He expressed regrets over government’s incapacity to rein in the activities of insurgents and criminal groups terrorising the nation.

“As a former presidential candidate in the 2019 poll, Dr Mailafia sought to deploy politics to bring about the dream he had for his country. Even after he lost the election, he never let down the bar in demanding for a fair treatment for all Nigerians.

“The Forum recalls his patriotic zeal in standing up for truth and justice. He was never a letdown in being at the forefront of  showing the way for national greatness as he was willing to lay down his life for Nigeria.

“The Forum is inspired by his altruistic disposition and contributions to national development. We remain proud of his footprints on the political, economic and social sands of our nation.

“In this period of grief, we extend our sympathy to his immediate family members and pray to the Almighty God to grant each and everyone of them the fortitude to bear the pain of this irreparable loss.

“The death of Dr Mailafia today represents a dark day for not only the Middle Belt but also for all citizens who yearn for a new dawn for justice in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, spokesperson for SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, described Mailafia’s death as a huge loss to Nigeria.

He said the union suspected foul play in his death and demanded a “thorough independent forensic analysis” to determine the cause.

The statement read, “The death of Dr. Mailafiya is a sad, huge lose not only to Southern Kaduna and Nigeria, but to the global community.

“The kinds of Mailafiya are not common to find in any generation. He was not only one who loved Southern Kaduna, the Middle Belt and all other suppressed persons in Nigeria, he was a global citizen.

“He was so accomplished in his field that his services were sought after world-wide as his biography reveals.

“Before his curious and sudden demise, Dr Mailafiya had been persistent in accusing ‘powerful persons’ in power of plotting to eliminate him permanently.

“In fact he had been in hiding when his harassment from the secret police became too persistent.

“A select officials had visited him sometimes last year at his abode where a friendly governor had given him a safe place to stay complete with security.

“For a person of interest to Nigerian government to arrive at a government hospital, just to be declared dead after a few hours, sure smacks of foul play.”

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Breaking: President Swears in Nigeria’s New Chief Justice

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in the new Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola.
The President performed the swearing ceremony today in Abuja.

The brief ceremony took place at the Presidential Villa.

NPO Eeports that Ariwoola will be serving in acting capacity pending the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Justice Ariwoola was born on 22 August 1958).
He was formerly a Justice of the Nigerian courts of appeal and on November 22, 2011, he was appointed to the bench of the supreme court of Nigeria as Justice, sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He was appointed and awaiting Nigerian Senate’s approval as Chief Justice of Nigeria on the 27th June 2022 following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad.

His appointment comes amidst clamour for better condition of service at the apex court.

NPO

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Fireworks mistaken for gunfire cause stampede at New York parade

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A stampede occurred at a Pride Parade in the city of New York, United States, on Sunday, with hundreds of people attempting to flee after mistaking the sound of fireworks for gunfire, police said.

“There were no shots fired in Washington Square Park. After an investigation, it was determined that the sound was fireworks set off at the location,” the NY Police Department said in a tweet shortly after the incident.

Police told newsmen “there were no serious injuries” from the stampede.

Terrified people ran or walked briskly along a street adjacent to the square after the scare, videos on social media showed.

Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s LGBTQIA+ Pride parade, which wound its way through the streets of lower Manhattan under the blazing sun.

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The atmosphere was largely festive, although the shadow of Friday’s US Supreme Court decision to abolish a constitutional right to abortion — leaving states to legislate on the matter themselves — loomed over proceedings.

New York’s Pride parade is the second-largest in the United States, after San Francisco, and Sunday’s gathering was the first time it had taken place since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Organisers also said the US Supreme Court decision on abortion was “devastating.”

“This dangerous decision puts millions in harm’s way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy,” the organisers said.

Many rights groups fear that the verdict on abortion could be the beginning of a broader push by the Supreme Court, currently dominated by a conservative majority, to curtail other freedoms won in recent decades, such as rights to contraception or same-sex marriage.

AFP/Punch

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Updated: Things to know about Justice Ariwoola, acting CJN

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Justice Olukayode Ariwoola

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola is expected to be sworn in today as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) after the sudden resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad.

Tanko’s resignation has been confirmed by the CJN’s spokesperson, Ahuraka Isah, on Monday morning.

Ariwoola is billed to leave the judicial service in 2028 should he eventually get the CJN substantive job.

Born on August 22, 1958, Justice Ariwoola was a Justice of the Court of Appeal before his appointment on November 11, 2011 as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association, and the Nigerian Body of Benchers.

Ariwoola was among the Supreme Court justices that heard the appeal of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the declaration of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the 2019 election.

He was a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 2005 and 2011 after having been elevated from the State High Court of Oyo State.

He was first appointed a Judge of Superior Court of record in Oyo State in 1992 from private legal practice.

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