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We’ll regulate, not shut down, social media – FG

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government has no intention of shutting down social media in the country.

Mohammed, however, said the government planned to regulate the operation of those using the social media platforms to address the menace of fake news in the country.

The minister stated this on Thursday during a press conference on the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.

He said the spread of fake news through social media was responsible for the recent outbreak of violence across the country.

Many Nigerians have opposed the planned regulation of social media.

Already, a bill to effect the regulation has passed second reading at the Senate.

Mohammed said the government would forge ahead with the regulation of social media.

He said, “Keen watchers of the developments cannot fail to notice the role played by the social media in the EndSARS protest. As a veritable tool for mass mobilization, the organisers of the protest of course leveraged heavily social media for that purpose.

“But on the other hand, the same social media was used to spread fake news and disinformation that catalyzed the violence that was witnessed across the country.”

The minister also said, “This development has reinforced the campaign against fake news and disinformation, which we launched in 2018. As a matter of fact, as far back as 2017, when we dedicated that year’s National Council on Information to the issue of fake news and disinformation, we had been expressing concerns on the dangers posed by irresponsible use of the new media platform. The concerns culminated in the launch of the national campaign which I referred to earlier.

“The social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties, both public and private.

“As we have said many times, no responsible government will stand by and allow such abuse of social media to continue. The fake news/disinformation purveyors have latched on to our concerns to allege that the Federal Government is planning to shut down social media.

“No, we have no plans to shut down the social media. What we have always advocated, and what we will do, is to regulate the social media. Nigeria is not alone in this regard. The issue of social media regulation is an ongoing debate not just in Nigeria but around the world, including in the United States, which is the flag flyer of constitutional democracy. Even the owners of the various social media platforms, including Facebook, are increasingly joining the call for content regulation.”

Mohammed argued that if social media was left uncensored, there might not be a country left to defend.

He said, “What they have failed to understand is that the only reason we are even able to have this debate is because we have a country. If we allow the abuse of social media to precipitate uncontrolled internecine violence, the kind of which was narrowly averted during the EndSARS crisis, no one will remember or be able to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, for whatever purpose.

“It is incumbent upon us all, therefore, to strike a balance between free speech – which this Administration is committed to upholding – and fake news/disinformation, which it is determined to fight.”

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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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