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MURIC to FG: We join Falana in seeking pardon for jailed 54 Soldiers

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Sequel to a letter written by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), to President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking presidential pardon for soldiers jailed for refusing to fight Boko Haram, the Muslim Rights Concern has added its voice to the call for pardon for the soldiers.

MURIC’s call was made on Thursday in a statement through its Director and Founder, Prof. Ishaq Akintola.

MURIC said: “We endorse every sentence in the letter written by foremost human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), asking President Muhammadu Buhari to pardon soldiers jailed for refusing to fight Boko Haram with poor weapons. This case has unassailable merit and Mr. Falana’s letter has addressed all the necessary issues.

“We strongly believe that the punishment meted out to the soldiers were a miscarriage of justice. We also frown at the way the soldiers were discharged from prison after serving their term without any concern for their welfare. It is an invitation to anarchy. These are soldiers trained as members of the special forces. They were not ordinary soldiers. Releasing them into the society was therefore a most dangerous move. They may fall into wrong hands.

“However, we appeal to the released men to continue to be of good conduct, to remain law abiding and to always remember that Allah has a reason for everything. While they were in jail, many soldiers died fighting the insurgents. Some lost their limbs. But Allah has preserved them. It is also worthy of gratitude to Allah that none of them died in jail.

“Therefore our message to the 54 soldiers is this, ‘Have faith and thank God. It is possible that the Supreme Creator, in His divine wisdom, decided to keep you in jail in order to keep you alive or to keep you away from a worse fate.’ Afterall Prophet Yusuf (Joseph, peace be upon him) was imprisoned for no just cause and he came out victorious (Glorious Qur’an 12:35; Genesis 39:20).

“The Muslims among them should remember what Allah said in the Hadith Qudsy, ‘Whoever is not pleased with what I have decided, let him get out from under my sky. Let him look for another sky other than mine. Whoever is not pleased with what I impose on him, let him leave my earth. Let him seek another earth other than mine.’

“But is there any other sky apart from the one above our heads? Is there any other earth where homo sapiens can live other than the one created by Allah? Where can we go if we decide that we will no longer live under Allah’s sky or on His earth? Has any of the super powers succeeded in producing its own sky or its separate earth? Nay, there is no other sky and no other earth apart from what the Supreme Creator has made. This is why we should always accept our fate.

“Christians among the jailed soldiers should reflect on the words of Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians, ‘Let us thank God in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18).

“We therefore beseech these men to accept the fate that the Supreme Creator allowed to befall them. They should not seek vengeance from society by hurting innocent people. They should not use their special training negatively. Vengeance is a square peg. Justice is a round hole. What you seek to get is not what you obtain in the long run.

“MURIC commends leading human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, for his role in the struggle to get justice for the jailed soldiers. He has consistently defended the oppressed, sometimes pro bono. Once again, Falana has put humanity on the driving seat in the practice of his profession. We have no scinttila of doubt that posterity will write his name in letters of gold.”

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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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