The Federal Government has accused the social media platform, Facebook of being responsible for the violence being perpetrated by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East.
The government said IPOB has been using Facebook to instigate violence and ethnic hatred in the country and the social media platform could not do anything to curtail the activities of the group.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known at a meeting with a team from Facebook in Abuja on Tuesday
Mohammed said Facebook has no reason to allow its platform to be used by the outlawed group whose aim is to destabilise the country.
He said: “I have called this meeting to enable us to discuss the increasing use of Facebook by separatists and anarchists, especially those of them based outside the country, to instigate violence and ethnic hatred in Nigeria,” he said.
“For whatever reason, they seem to have now chosen Facebook as their platform of choice. And their tools include disinformation, incendiary statements and hate speech.
“They use Facebook broadcasts to reach their followers, who are in thousands. They tag those opposed to their violent ways as ‘saboteurs’ who must be attacked, maimed and killed. They use both English and their local language as it suits them.
“Our social media people have been monitoring these separatists, anarchists and purveyors of hate, and have been reporting their atrocious actions to Facebook, but all they get are default responses that their complaints have been received and are being looked into.
“Most often than not, nothing is done about such complaints. The truth is that whatever Facebook is doing to check these people is mere tokenism and is totally ineffective.”
The minister said the plan by the government to regulate social media is not an attempt to stifle the press or encroach on press freedom.
Mohammed said the Buhari administration is just advocating for the responsible use of social media.
He added: “Some have tagged our efforts as an attempt to stifle social media.
“They are wrong because we have no intention of preventing Nigerians from using social media responsibly. All we have been advocating is a responsible use of social media.”
BREAKING: Court Dismisses Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail Application
The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the application for bail by the detained leader of the Proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Justice Binta Nyako, in her ruling on Tuesday, said the suit was a gross abuse of the court process and an attempt to continue to litigate on issues that have already been ruled on.
She, however, advised the applicant to approach the Court of Appeal on the issue of bail, should he feel aggrieved by the decision of the court.
The trial judge stated that since the ruling in July 2017 when Kanu was granted bail till date, the suit has suffered 15 adjournments and the matter has yet to enter a substantive hearing.
She added that she was not satisfied with the reason the IPOB leader gave for his failure to appear in court for the continuation of his trial.
Justice Nyako stated that from the records of the court, Kanu was represented by his lawyer on the day his bail was revoked, likewise his sureties and he has never been denied a fair hearing.
She held that a court could vacate a previous order when confronted with a cogent and verifiable reason.
In the trial judge’s words, “In the instant case, I have not been given any, neither have I been given any reason to set aside the order.”
She insisted that the IPOB leader must explain the reason why he breached the previous bail that was given to him before he could enjoy another favourable discretion from it.
Thereafter, the case was adjourned until November 14 for mention and to await the outcome of Kanu’s appeal at the appellate court.
Tuesday’s ruling comes a month after the court declined to release the embattled IPOB leader on bail on May 18.
Ekweremadu Takes NIMC, NIS to Court
Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, have sued the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and others over controversy surrounding David Ukpo’s real age.
Others mentioned in the suit are the Comptroller General (C-G), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Stanbic-IBTC Bank; United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc as 2nd to 5th respondents respectively.
Recall that Ekweremadu and his wife were, on Thursday, remanded in the UK police custody, after they were tried before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court for alleged conspiracy to facilitate the travel of Ukpo, alleged to be a minor, for organ harvesting.
The couple, however, denied the allegations and the court adjourned till July 7 for hearing.
But in an originating summon marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022, dated and filed June 27 by their counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, the Ekweremadus asked the court for an order directing the NIMC to supply them with the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the biodata information of David Nwamini Ukpo.
The applicants said Ukpo’s National Identification Number (NIN):19438077110, which is in the possession of the agency, should be produced for the purpose of facilitating the criminal investigation and tendering same to establish their innocence with respect to Ukpo’s age in the criminal charges against them before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court.
They also sought an order directing the NIS C-G to supply the applicants with the documents and application form of David Nwamini Ukpo in the possession of the 2nd respondent presented for the issuance of International passport No. BO0569974 for the purpose of assisting criminal investigation and issuing same before the Uxbridge Magistrate Court, UK until July 7 in the alleged criminal charge brought against the applicants.
The lawyer noted that documents being sought to be handed over to the applicants will support the applicants in their defence and establish their innocence of the charges in the interest of justice.
Also, Bright Ekweremadu, the elder brother of the lawmaker, in the affidavit deposed to, said Ukpo informed the couple that he was 21 years old, having been born in the year 2000 and was ready to help Sonia.
Justice Ekwo fixed July 1 for hearing of the matter.
‘23 died of hunger, unhealthy conditions in Katsina IDPs camp’
Twenty-three have died of hunger, high blood pressure and depression at the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The chairman of the IDP camp, Sa’ad Salisu, disclosed this while speaking to some journalists in Jibia yesterday.
A record made available by the Jibia Development Association showed that at least 22,365 IDPs from Shimfida, Garin Maiwuya, Garin Zango, Garin Kwari (Farfaru) and Tsambaye villages live in Jibia town.
The IDPs are taking refuge at Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jibia
Salisu, who is also the chairman of the Shimfida Youth Development Association, said that at least 35 women had also given birth in the camp within the last four months, saying that the number could be even higher.
Another disturbing development as Salisu explained, was that the vast majority of the children both in the town and in the camp could not have access to education.
“We have over 3,000 children in this camp that left their communities with school uniforms but now cannot go to school because the government hasn’t provided a school for them in the camp,” he said.
Salisu then called on the state government to expedite action towards restoring security in their communities to enable them to return and continue with their farming activities.
In his reaction, the Jibia Local Government Chairman, Bishir Sabi’u, said the government had provided adequate relief materials to the IDPs.
“Fifteen bags of rice are being cooked for them in the camp daily. I do give them N200,000 weekly to support their daily activities in the camp,” he said.
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