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Defamation: Banire seeks redress from FIJ, threatens N1Billion libel suit

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Defamation: Banire seeks redress from FIJ, threatens N1Billion libel suit

By: Michael Mike

Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Convener of social advocacy group, United Action for Change, UAC, Dr. Muiz Banire has threatened to drag Foundation for Investigative Journalism, FIJ, to court for N1billion compensation if the organisation fails to meet his demands over damages done his 35 years legal and academic record.

This was disclosed in a letter titled “DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS AGAINST DR MUIZ BANIRE, SAN, OON PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL WRITTEN MEMORANDUM”, dated 7th May 2024 and addressed to FIJ by his lawyer, Kunle Adegoke SAN.

The letter whose copy was made available to journalists, read: “Our client Informed us, and we verily believe him, that: his attention was drawn to your organisation’s publication of
6th May 2024 with the caption: CONFIRMED: Muiz Banire Wrote the Petition That Triggered FIJ Reporter’s Abduction, published on your organisation’s website.

“In the said publication, your organisation wrote that our client is responsible for the abduction of one Daniel Ojukwu, a member of staff of your organisation.”

The letter further said “your publication deliberately conveyed the malicious
impression that our client engineered the kidnap of the aforementioned Daniel Ojukwu, thereby, suggesting that our client engages in criminal conduct; in this vein, your publication failed to mention that our client acted in line with his professional obligation in the representation of his client and that his office, M. A. Banire & Associates, authored the petition to the Inspector-General of Police on behalf of their client to report a case of
cyberbullying; your publication is, without a doubt, designed to damage the
reputation of our client, a purpose it is currently serving.

“Due to the popularity and effectiveness of your organisation’s online distribution network, millions of people have received and read your organisation’s defamatory publication; your organisation to note that your publication has dragged our client’s carefully nurtured good name in the mud and exposed our client to underserved public opprobrium; many that have read your publications, particularly his professional colleagues and associates, have expressed shock as to why our client would engage in the criminal behaviour your organisation attributed to him.

“Many also queried our client on the sins or transgressions of the said Daniel Ojukwu against the person of our client as to warrant our client resorting to the crime of engineering his abduction; to many of them, our client’s explanation that he had no personal relationship with the said Daniel Ojukwu and did not know him from Adam but only acted in his professional capacity as counsel to his client in the submission of a petition to the police on his client’s behalf fell on deaf ears; and your organisation has, through its false and heinous allegations, inflicted grievous damage on our client’s reputation.

“It is beyond cavil that the referenced publication casts a direct aspersion on the person of our client. To right-thinking members of society, you have presented
our client as a criminal who engages in abduction of people. Furthermore, your organisation’s publication has caused many to believe that our client, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a member of the Body of Benchers and a holder of a doctorate degree in Law, has no qualms in committing the heinous crime your organisation’s publications attributed to him.

“The gross implication of your organisation’s publication is that it has informed the world that our client is unfit to be a legal practitioner or an Officer of the Order of the Niger and is only fit for the four walls of a prison.”

The legal luminary therefore gave the organisation 14 days to retract and make amends, without which, he would be left with no other option than to drag FIJ before the court.

“It is in view of the foregoing that we, on behalf of our client, demand the following:
not later than 14 (fourteen) days from the delivery of this written memorandum to your organisation, your organisation immediately retracts the said publication and tenders an unreserved apology through all your organisation’s platforms and 5 (five) national daily newspapers circulating all over the federation, which must include the Punch Newspaper and ThisDay Newspaper;

“Not later than 14 (fourteen) days from the delivery of this letter on your organisation, pay the sum of N500,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million Naira) as compensation for the reputation of our client that your organisation has maligned maliciously and/or recklessly.

As your organisation is aware, our client considers litigation only as a last resort. In this regard, our client is open to resolving this matter through conciliation, mediation, arbitration or other dispute resolution options you deem most suitable.”

At the expiration of the 14 days grace, the letter said Banire’s lawyers will pursue litigation to seek redress if the stated demands are not met. The court suit among other reliefs will seek “AN ORDER compelling your organisation to immediately withdraw the said publication and tender an unreserved apology in 5 (five) national daily newspapers, which must include Punch Newspapers and ThisDay Newspapers;

“An Order of the Honourable Court compelling your organisation to pay damages in the sum of N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) as compensation for the person of our client that your organisation has defamed.”

Defamation: Banire seeks redress from FIJ, threatens N1Billion libel suit

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Our Children Our Future: As First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen Oluremi Tinubu celebrates children at the Banquet Hall State House.

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Our Children Our Future: As First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen Oluremi Tinubu celebrates children at the Banquet Hall State House.

By: Our Reporter

International Children’s Day is marked every year in Nigeria as other countries of the world since the UN General Assembly declaration in 1959 to honour the rights of children .

The day is celebrated on different dates by most countries across the globe with special focus on issues relating to welfare and the wellbeing of the child.

Nigeria joined other nations in 1964, setting aside 27th May as children’s Day.

For children in Public schools in the FCT and some orphanages the 2024 Children’s Day is a remarkably one as they joined the First Lady , wife of the Vice President Hajiya Nana Shettima , wife of the Senate President Mrs Ekaette Akpabio, Wife speaker House of Representatives Hajiya Fatima Abass and other Dignitaries at the Banquet Hall of the State House to celebrate the day .

The host, Sen Oluremi Tinubu, said she was happy to celebrate the day with the children who are the future of our nation .

She noted that the day serves as a reminder of the rights of the children . Highlighting the joy children bring to us.”

It is incumbent for us to show love, care, and nurture children”. the First Lady stated that the Renewed Hope Initiative is supporting vision of the president through various programs for children in the country to achieve their full potentials .

The First Lady Senator Oluremi announced a grant of 10m Naira to each of the participating schools in the FCT.

The Wife of the Vice President Hajiya Nana Shettima, in an address of welcome, admonishes children to inculcate the values of respect, discipline, and hard work .

She noted that the programs of RHI is geared towards empowerment for women to have a multiplier effect on the family as an empowered woman can meet the needs of her children, including Education
There were various cultural performances by the school children depicting unity in diversity. The performances were crowned with an emotional display from children from the school of the blind.
Cheques of 10m were presented to each of the schools.

Our Children Our Future: As First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen Oluremi Tinubu celebrates children at the Banquet Hall State House.

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Zulum Vows Fair Distribution of FG’s 37,000 bags of assorted grains donated to Borno

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Zulum Vows Fair Distribution of FG’s 37,000 bags of assorted grains donated to Borno

The governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, assured the general public, on Monday, of the judicious distribution of 37,000 bags of assorted food items donated by the federal government to the most deserving and vulnerable members of society.

Zulum made this statement during the official handover of 37,000 bags by the National Emergecy Management Agency (NEMA) central store in Maiduguri.

The assorted food items include maize, surghum, millet and garri.

“On behalf of the government and people of Bormo State, I want to profoundly express our appreciation to the federal government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for allocating 37,000 bags of assorted food items,” Zulum said.

The governor further said “I want to use this medium to assure the federal government that the assorted grains will be judiciously distributed to the less previledged and most vulnerable and deserving households in the state. It will not be diverted; I will ensure every deserving member of the society gets it.”

Zulum said this is not the first time the federal government is assisting the people of Bormo State, stressing that they have supported the state in the areas of food items, housing, among others.

“I also want to use this opportunity to express our appreciation to President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the Director General of NEMA, among other organisations for their support to the state,” Zulum reiterated.

Handing over the assorted grains, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mallam Zubaida Umar, said, “President Bola Tinubu approved the release of 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted grains from the national reserve to vulnerable households and groups to cushion the economic hardship.”

The Director General of NEMA, is represented by the the Northeast Zonal Director, Mallam Yakubu Suleiman.

Zulum Vows Fair Distribution of FG’s 37,000 bags of assorted grains donated to Borno

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Children’s Day: NHRC Expresses Concern Over Increasing Cases of Violation of the Rights of the Child

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Children’s Day: NHRC Expresses Concern Over Increasing Cases of Violation of the Rights of the Child

By: Michael Mike

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission NHRC, Dr. Tony Ojukwu has expressed concern over the alarming and continuous rise in cases of violations of the rights of children across the country.

In a statement to commemorate the 2024 Children’s Day, Ojukwu said the disturbing trend which is captured in the Commission’s monthly dashboard (on report of human right violations across the country) underscore an urgent need for a renewed commitment from all facets of the society to protect and guarantee the fundamental rights of our children.

The Executive Secretary said Children represent the most vulnerable population and the consistent increase in reported violations of their right is a stark reminder of the challenges they face daily. “These violations not only threaten their immediate well-being but also compromise their future potentials and the overall health and security of our society. It is therefore imperative that we act decisively and with urgency to address this menace”.

He said though the Child Right Act has been passed by several states in Nigeria, there is a need for the various state governments to strengthen its implementation in order to protect children from all forms of abuse, exploitation, and neglect.

Ojukwu, also used the opportunity of the Children’s Day to call on the government to develop a comprehensive support system for children in distress, create accessible and well-resourced child protection services, helplines, and shelters, that will alleviate the suffering of the victims, he said.

He noted that it is imperative to train professionals in children centered education, social welfare, healthcare, and law enforcement to enable them identify and respond to child right violations and other social problems effectively.

He emphasised that education is key to raise awareness about children’s rights among parents, caregivers, educators, and children themselves, this will empower children to understand and assert their rights.

He also harped on the need to establish a robust mechanism for monitoring, reporting, and addressing violations of children’s rights. “This will ensure that there is accountability at all levels, and that perpetrators of violations are brought to justice”.

According to him, the protection of children’s rights is not merely a legal obligation but a moral imperative which will secure the future of the country. “As we celebrate Children’s Day 2024, let us reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment for every child”

Children’s Day: NHRC Expresses Concern Over Increasing Cases of Violation of the Rights of the Child

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