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Senate Approves Rehabilitation Of Eight Airstrips In Nigeria

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The chairman of, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi says the senate has approved the rehabilitation of eight airstrips across the country.

The airstrips include: Uli-Okija (Anambra) Bida (Niger), Zuru (Kebbi), Zaria (Kaduna), Kotangora (Niger), Ajaokuta, (Kogi) Irrhua (Edo) and Mubi (Adamawa).

Adeyemi disclosed this, on Friday, while presenting his panel report on the 2022 budget before the Appropriations Committee, said the rehabilitation of the airstrips has become imperative to curb excessive spending and enable the people to move around the country, especially the hinterland.

“Most airports in Nigeria, aside from those in Lagos, Abuja, and a few others, were elephant projects and could not boost 100,000 passengers in a year.

“State governments should stop wasting billions on building airports but consider a functional airstrip, which only requires N1bn or N2bn to construct.

“We must not have, or plan to have a full-fledged airport in many cities of Nigeria but we could have airstrips that will enable people to move around the country.

“The Covid-19 has made it imperative to start thinking of accelerating the economic development of the country. That is why the airstrips must be rehabilitated. We only need N1bn or N2bn to construct a functional airstrip.

“Whether an airport has a terminal of N10bn or N20bn does not matter. What matters is that it must have a good landing facility. If we have a good runway for an airstrip, it may not be able to accommodate a Boeing series but it could accommodate a shuttle flight of 50 passengers, which is okay.

“We don’t need a Boeing series that would be looking for 100 passengers to take off. If we have a 50-seater aircraft, it could land and pick 30 passengers at no loss. But if you are waiting for a Boeing series before you construct an airport, you are not helping the Nigerian nation.

“We should not be looking at aviation from the level of America. We have to graduate and the way to do it is to have an airstrip in place.”

But, the vice-chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Stella Oduah, said Nigeria could never have enough airports to serve its population of over 200 million people, and maintained that any state that finds it viable as a business model should be encouraged to build an airport.

“Private sector involvement in aviation is the right way to go and the global best practice,” she said.

 

 

Legal News

High Court Orders Nigerian Government To Pay Kanu N1b

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Abia State High Court presided over by Justice Benson Anya has ordered the Nigerian government to pay the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, the sum of N1 Billion over infringement of his fundamental rights.

According to the court the damages to be paid to Kanu were for the invasion of his house.

The judge stated that the defence counsel did little or nothing to defend the evidence as provided by the plaintiff.

It also ruled that the Umuahia High Court has jurisdiction to rule on extradition cases as one of the applications was solely on the status.

Kanu’s lawyer Aloy Ejimakor, in the suit filed on August 27, 2021, sought an order of injunction restraining the Federal Government from taking any further step in prosecuting Kanu in the charge numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015.

Kanu also demanded an apology for the alleged infringement of his fundamental rights, to be published in three national dailies.

The suit also is seeking an order compelling the government to forthwith release Kanu from detention, restore the liberty he enjoyed before his alleged abduction on June 19, 2021, and repatriate him to Britain, where he is a citizen.

Part of the prayers is “A declaration that the military invasion of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s home in Abia State in September 2017 by the Nigerian government is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of his fundamental rights to life, the dignity of his person, his personal liberty and fair hearing as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

“A declaration that the arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Kenya by agents of the Nigerian government without due process of law is arbitrary, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of his fundamental rights against arbitrary arrest, to his personal liberty and to fair hearing as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

“A declaration that the torture and detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Kenya by agents of the Nigerian government is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of his fundamental rights against torture and a fair hearing, as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

“A declaration that the expulsion of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria by the Nigerian government and his consequent detention and planned prosecution in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (the Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu) is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of his fundamental rights against unlawful expulsion and detention, and to a fair hearing, as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights”.

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Senate Challenges Military, Other Security Agencies To Block Escape Routes Of Terrorists

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The Nigerian Senate has challenged the military and other security agencies to closely monitor and effectively block the escape routes being used by bandits and fleeing terrorists to forestall their relocation to safe havens in the country.

This was just as it urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to provide food and other livelihood support amenities to affected villages and those that are internally displaced in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu Local Government Areas in Niger North Senatorial District.

The Senate resolutions followed a motion on “Renewed kidnappings and banditry attacks on communities in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu Local Government Areas of Niger North Senatorial District.”

Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the new Senate Standing Orders, the Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, bemoaned the disturbing trend of renewed kidnappings and banditry communities of Mariga, Mashegu and Kontagora Local Government Areas of Niger State.

He recalled that, “Following the massive onslaught against criminal elements and bandits operating in eastern parts of Sokoto State and Zamfara, there was massive movement of these escaping bandits and their criminal elements into Niger State and specifically into Mariga local government area of Niger State.

According to him, “These bandits continuously attacked communities in Mariga LGA leading to massive internal displacement of many communities. Currently Villagers have moved out of MaÚndu, Alabani, Sappaji in Berri Ward; over twenty villages are now empty in Galma/Wamba ward and scanty residents in Ukuru, Igoma, Maruba and Ruka villages in Bobbi Ward.

“Communities that border Kaduna, Zamfara and Kebbi States located in Mariga LGA namely Galma, Makici, Makogi Na Maforo, Nassarawa, and Kwanan Duci are constantly being attacked by bandits and over 15 persons killed in Bobbi ward of Mariga Local Government Area.

“Some notorious bandits in their numbers operated for hours in five villages on Friday, 14 January 2022, where several cattle were rustled as villagers fled their homes.

“The bandits first attacked Tungan-Ruá village in the morning, later moved to Tungan Maje and also rustled cattle.

“The same day they attacked Kawo Mashegu where two people were killed, four persons abducted and proceeded to attack Tungan Magaji village where several cattle were also taken away.

“After several operations 17 persons were abducted including two persons delivering ransom. The same day Farin Shinge village a few kilometres away from Kontagora town was also attacked and two persons kidnapped,” he stressed.

The lawmaker lamented that “the bandits are in the habit of burning down villages, burning farms with agricultural produce unharvested, stealing the home stored foods of villages they attack with the danger of those who brave the odds to go to their farms for harvest being killed or kidnapped”, adding that many villagers are now IDPs in places like Bangi, Mangoro and other safer locations with no food or amenities for their livelihoods.

Senator Abdullahi recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the nation’s Armed Forces for a major military operation in Niger State which has faced continued attacks on its communities by bandits and remnants of Boko Haram terrorists fleeing theatres of war in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts of the country.

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Governor Wike Orders LGA Chairmen To Destroy Illegal Refinery

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Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike has ordered all the 23 Local Government Area Chairmen in the state to hire bulldozers and destroy every identified illegal crude oil bunkering and artisanal refinery site in the state.

Recall that the governor on Friday, 14th January 2022 issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the 23 Local Government Area chairmen to provide him with a comprehensive list of all illegal refinery sites and their operators within their respective jurisdiction.

The governor also directed Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday to provide adequate security for the chairmen as they embark on the mass destruction of illegal refinery sites across the state.

Wike gave the order on Wednesday during a meeting with the council Chairmen, the State Commissioner of Police, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Port Harcourt.

“One thing I want to say and which is very clear, and like everybody knows, I am not against anybody making money. But, we cannot allow people to make money, while others are dying.”

“I will not relent in this fight. And all of you should hire bulldozers. All those areas where the illegal refinery sites are in the bush, in the creek, clear the place. The government will give you some money to go and hire bulldozers to go and clear the sites so that they will know we are serious.

“With the receipt of the list of identified illegal refinery sites, the state government would provide financial support to the Local Government Area Chairmen to hire bulldozers and swamp buggies for the purpose of destroying all the sites,” Wike said.

He urged the Commissioner of Police to give the Local Government Area chairmen adequate security personnel to go and destroy all illegal refinery sites stressing that government would not allow those engaged in illegitimate business to operate in Rivers State.

The governor acknowledged that since the state government intensified the fight against illegal refinery operators, who are primarily responsible for the discharge of impure carbon particles resulting from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, the air quality in parts of the Rivers State has improved remarkably.

He said he was mindful that as the state government intensifies the war against illegal refinery activities, the cartel behind illicit business would make effort to compromise unscrupulous security agents in the State.

The governor, however, warned that he would personally visit the Inspector General of Police, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Chief of Army Staff in Abuja, to report any of their personnel implicated in illegal crude oil bunkering and artisanal refinery activities in Rivers State.

“You know in Nigeria; we don’t believe that anything can happen. We don’t take government seriously, but in our own case, they have no choice, they’ll take us seriously,” he said.

He regretted the failure of the Federal Government to take any action to end the soot crisis in the oil-producing states saying that his administration cannot fold its arms and watch some deviant persons destroy the environment and health of the citizens.

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