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El-Zakzaky, wife released to travel for medicare



RELIEF came for members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) as the Department of State Services (DSS) released their leader Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky to travel abroad for medical treatment. He was released last night

Justice Darius Khobo of Kaduna State High Court on Monday granted the Shiites’ leader and his wife Zeenat leave to travel to India for medical attention.

The DSS action was contained in a statement by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dr. Peter Afunanya.

The statement reads: “This is to inform the public that the Department of State Services (DSS) has received the order granting Ibrahim El-Zakzaky leave to travel to India for medical treatment.

“Consequently, the Service is liaising with relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance.  Conformity with the order is in line with the Service’s avowed commitment to the Rule of Law inherent in a democracy.”

A top security source added: “All the conditions set by a High Court in Kaduna will be complied with. The top most condition is that he must return to Nigeria for trial.”

In granting the leave, the court said that El Zakzaky and his wife are to go on medical leave under the supervision or the state.

The IMN swiftly reacted to the ruling, saying, it was a favourable judgment, which is long overdue.

But the counsel to the state government and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dari Bayero said they may be appealing the ruling.

El Zakzaky and wife are facing an eight-count charge, including culpable homicide and public disturbance in connection with the December 2015 clashes between members of the IMN and soldiers in Zaria, which left many persons dead.

Lead counsel to the petitioner, Femi Falana SAN, had earlier filed application before Justice Darius Khobo’s Kaduna State High Court, seeking leave to allow his clients seek medical treatment abroad.

Subsequently, the application was adjourned till Monday for ruling.

Counsel to El-Zakzaky, Marshal Abubakar, while briefing reporters on the outcome of the court ruling said that what Zakzaky was granted was leave, and not bail.

Abubakar said: “We filed the application asking for leave to save the life of our clients, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife.

“The ruling came up and the court under Justice Darius Khobo graciously agreed with Mr. Femi Falana SAN and the various medical reports that were attached to the applications. There were eight medical reports that clearly show the applicants are in dire need of medical treatment abroad.

“The court agreed that they should be be allowed immediate treatment that they sort for and with supervision of the state.”

However, the state counsel, Bayero said, the state will study the ruling to see whether it will appeal the judgement or not.

Bayero said: “The context of the court ruling is that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife are granted leave to travel out for urgent medical attention.

“The court looked through the medical reports filed and believed Mallam is indeed in dire need of medical attention. This is not a bail, but a leave to travel.”

Asked how long the leave would last, Bayero said:  “Once he is discharged by the hospital he is referred to. So, as soon as his discharged from the hospital and he returns to the country, his trial will resume.

“The court has ruled and we are bound by the ruling of the court.”

Asked whether the IMN leader has choice to go to other hospital for the treatment apart from India, Bayero said, “Zakzaky specifically choose to go to the hospital in India.

“We will go and sit down and study the ruling and explore whether there is need for us to appeal. We have a month to go through that.”

However, the IMN in a statement issued shortly after the court ruling by Chairman, Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee, Abdurrahman Abubakar Yola, described the ruling as a victory for their dogged determination and perseverance in the face of extreme persecution.

The IMN statement reads: “Today (Monday 05/08/19), we obtained a favourable judgement in the ruling on application specifically seeking for the court’s permission to allow Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenat Ibrahim to seek urgent medical treatment outside this country.

“This ruling is not only a vindication that leaving all doors open to obtain favourable outcomes works, but it is a victory for our dogged determination, patience and perseverance in the face of extreme persecution. It is a victory for truth and justice against tyranny and impunity.

“As a result of all these physical and psychological stresses, the Sheikh suffered series of mild strokes and is at the risk of further recurrences.”



NUC, NYSC to block ‘fake’ foreign-trained graduates from service



The National Universities Commission (NUC), in collaboration with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Tuesday said it had put measures in place to block fake foreign-trained graduates from partaking in the compulsory one-year national service.

The NUC said it would continue to ensure the credibility of certificates issued by Nigerian universities and block fake foreign-trained graduates coming into the country.

Its Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, spoke when the NYSC Director General, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, visited him at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

A statement in Abuja by the NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, regretted the challenges in vetting the certificates obtained from universities established by Nigerians outside the country.

The NUC chief said many universities produce quality graduates while some produce graduates who cannot defend their certificates.

He said the commission had not approved the degrees of some online universities operating in the country.

Rasheed added that the commission had approached the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to shut down some illegal universities operating in Nigeria.

“NUC and NYSC must work together to help the country in producing quality graduates. The NUC will continue to certify the credibility of certificates obtained from Nigerian universities,” he said.

The NYSC DG said the scheme will not issue Certificate of National Service to unqualified graduates.

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Eid-el-kabir: FG declares Monday, Tuesday public holidays



The Federal Government has declared Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th August as Public Holidays to mark the 2019 Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Barr. Georgina Ehuriah, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated the Muslim faithful on the occasion .

She called on all Nigerians, at home and in diaspora, to use the period of this year’s Eid-Al-Kabir celebration to embrace the virtues of love, humility, peace and sacrifice as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

She urged Nigerians to shun any form of disruptive tendencies and join hands with the Federal Government to build a peaceful, strong and united Nigeria so as to achieve an enviable Next Level of growth and development.

According to a statement by Director (Press & Public Relations), Mohammed Manga, the Permanent Secretary reaffirmed the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, adding that Security Agencies under the Ministry have been directed to ensure the provision of adequate security, before, during and after the Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

She restated government’s desire for all Nigerians to live a life of sacrifice, charity and love for one another.

Bar. Ehuriah wished Nigerians a happy, peaceful and fulfilling Eid-Al-Kabir celebrations.

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Why Buhari must act now, by comedian Ali Baba



Foremost Nigerian stand-up comedian and actor, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, widely known as Ali Baba recently charged President Muhammad Buhari and Nigerians to be futuristic in their dreams.

The ace comedian who took to his social media page said the present administration needs to be proactive in creating the future for the next generation.

“Buhari needs to act now. He must start creating the future, developing our infrastructures and prepare them for the next generation,” he posted.

“The Eiffel Tower was built in the 1800s. Today, that structure is the centre of the economy of Paris. The Pyramids built in the days of Moses, still feed Egypt. The Walls of China. The leaning Tower of Pissa. The Ruins of Rome… What structures do we have, to drive economic development and help trigger different dreams. Where can you see those iconic landmarks in Nigeria?  How have their values been maximized? Visit our Museums. Yet we want the artefacts taken away, that are getting the best treatment, to be returned. Laughable.”

The 54 years old comedians, however described the present situation of the country as ‘hand to mouth,” “We live from hand to mouth. We sell the oil. Spend it. Drill for more oil. Spend it. And the fraction we even spend is small. The rest of the money stolen. We have been stolen blind. And the thieves are living large amongst us. And we can see them but can’t make them face the music.”

Ali Baba who after completing his academic degree in 1990, relocated to Lagos to develop his comedic talent said he still think about how people tried to discouraged him when he started doing stand-up comedy in 1988.

“In 1988, when I started doing standup comedy, there were many who told me that much. My father disowned me. His reason? He could not see any future in what I did. Many people are limited by history of things and what they already know. Those who create the future get triggered by things that can be seen in the future.

“I look back now and think about how many people tried to discourage me. Those who thought the ladder to success, was exclusively by climbing as a Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Banker, Architect, Accountant, Civil Servant… Today, there are comedians who are worth 3 billion (more or less) in assets and liquid cash. There are comedians, whose social impact and economic value has empowered many who are in those core walks of life mentioned above.”

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