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Sowore: Presidency accuses Wole Soyinka of blackmail

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The presidency on Sunday accused Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka of blackmail for condemning the arrest of an activist, Omoyele Sowore.

Mr Sowore was arrested on Saturday by armed officials of the State Security Service, SSS, for calling for a revolutionary protest.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Soyinka condemned the arrest of Mr Sowore who is accused of calling for a revolution against bad governance.

“Beyond the word ‘revolution, another much mis-used and misunderstood word, nothing that Sowore has uttered, written, or advocated suggests that he is embarking on, or urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of government,” Mr Soyinka said.

He compared the actions of the security agencies that arrested Mr Sowore to what happened during the tenure of the late dictator, Sani Abacha.

“We underwent identical cynical contrivances under the late, unlamented Sani Abacha, when he sent storm-troopers to disrupt a planning session for a similar across-nation march at Tai Solarin School, Ikenne,” Mr Soyinka wrote in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

In its reaction, the presidency through Mr Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said Mr Soyinka and others who have condemned Mr Sowore’s arrest are blackmailers.

“You mentioned the name of Professor Wole Soyinka. Some of these critics of government are people whom we have great respect and admiration for. When things are going wrongly with law and order in the country, they say the Police are not doing their work. They raise their voices, asking that “the culprits to be booked and expeditiously punished in the most severe manner.”

“The police under a new leadership is now rising to the occasion, saying “we cannot take any more atrocities against the law in our country and they are saying don’t do anything. They are calling out President Buhari and comparing him to autocratic leaders.” This is an unpardonable blackmail that cannot stop Police and other law enforcement agencies from doing their work,” Mr Shehu wrote.

The presidential aide then alleged that Mr Sowore’s revolution call was a call for violent change of government.

“A Nigerian is by right empowered to call for a change of government using constitutional means; to protest peacefully against government policies and decisions. But to call for the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government and president and worse – were those calling for it to attempt to do so – is not acceptable under any law in Nigeria. Violence will ever be accepted again as a way to change governments in this country. Those days are gone.

“Nigeria has a well-crafted Constitution and elaborate laws governing elections that guide an orderly succession in government. We have a judicial system that actively serves as a watchdog of the people’s rights.

“Yet, we are daily witnesses to obscene display of delight in the killing of our soldiers and policemen, an open contempt for the country’s laws and its people, accompanied by loud cheers from the so-called New Media. Is this the way to grow a country?” Mr Shehu wrote.

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A few hours earlier, Mr Shehu released another statement, wherein he restated the presidency’s stance.

Read the earlier statement below.

ELECTIONS MORE APPROPRIATE FOR CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT, NOT “REVOLUTION’’ – PRESIDENCY TELLS GROUP
Following calls circulating on social and digital media, an organisation that calls itself the “Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria” plans a “revolution” march tomorrow, Monday 5th August, with the aim of bringing “regime change” in Nigeria without recourse to a nationwide vote.

The President of Nigeria and his administration respect and uphold the right of every Nigerian to peaceful protest and civil campaign– whether to raise awareness on issues, and even oppose the government. It is the inalienable right of all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do so.

There is, however, a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.

The organisation championing this planned action is not fronted by any serious public faces. We call on the sponsors and organisers to have the decency to come forward and make their identity known – out of respect to all Nigerians – so that Nigerians can be fully aware in whose name this “revolution” is being proposed and who the beneficiaries may be.

Less than six months ago, Nigeria held simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. Both contests were won resoundingly by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All-Progressives Congress party. The campaign was observed, and results were confirmed by international election monitoring groups and observers. The result was even contested by the losing presidential candidate and his party in Court.

The ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria. The days of coups and revolutions are over.

Those making the “revolution’’ call hide behind the veil of social media modernity. But without revealing the identity of their sponsors this shadowy campaign is no better, and no more democratic, than the days of old.

The President calls on all those who seek to use and hide behind everyday citizens to attain power through undemocratic and violent means, which has been alluded, to come out clearly and be identified. They should lead their march in person. Only then will they begin to have the right to call themselves leaders before the people of Nigeria.

 

~Premium Times

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Housewife seeks divorce because husband refuses to pray

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A housewife, Shamsiya Muhammad, on Wednesday begged a Sharia Court ll, sitting in Magajin Gari, Kaduna State to dissolve her marriage with Sani Adamu, over his refusal to pray.

The complainant, Muhammad, who resides at Tudun Wada, Kaduna, said that she cannot continue with Adamu, because he also does not care for her and always insults her parents whenever they have a misunderstanding.

“We got married six years ago and we have two children, he paid N40,000 as my bride price, I am willing to return back his money and free myself from the union as Islam guides us,’’ she said.

The defendant, Adamu who also resides at Tudun Wada, Kaduna, who denied insulting his wife’s parents and said that he prays five times daily.

Adamu also said that he loves his wife and prayed the court to give him more time to settle their differences.

Earlier, a witness, Malam Sulaiman Sabo, leader of Kaduna butchers, said that he had made several attempts to settle both parties so that their marriage can continue but to no avail.

“I have sat them down many time to settle them, at my presence they oblige and forgive each other and promise to live in peace.

“After every meeting with them, bad news follows on the same issues I tried to settle between them, all of them are my neighbors and Adamu’s father is a butcher under my leadership, I tried my best but it’s not working out,’’ Sabo said.

The Judge, Murtala Nasir, after listening to both parties and Sabo, adjourned the case to Sept. 30 for the complainant to bring the N40, 000 she received as bride price for judgment.

NAN reports that the case was adjourned four times at different sittings to enable Malam Sabo to intervene but the wife still remained on her stands of seeking divorce.

-CybokNews

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Court renews arrest warrant against Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda

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A Lagos High Court in Igbosere on Monday renewed a bench warrant for the arrest of actress and producer, Monalisa Chinda Coker, over a tax evasion charge.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye renewed the order for Coker’s arrest following her failure to appear in court for trial, allegedly since 2017.

She adjourned further proceedings till June 5.

When the case was called Monday, neither Coker nor her lawyer was present.

Prosecution counsel Babatunde Sumonu told the judge that the bench warrant had yet to be effected.

“The bench warrant is to continue,” Justice Akintoye held.

The judge made the original order for Coker’s arrest last January 21, following an application by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

The state alleged that Coker repeatedly failed to honour a court summons.

The application for her arrest flowed from a two-count charge accusing Coker of failure to file annual tax returns and pay income tax in respect of her company, Monalisa Code Productions, for six years.

Monalisa Code Productions carries on its business from Lekki in Lagos.

On January 21, prosecution counsel, Y. A. Pitan told Justice Akintoye that Coker had not appeared in court since 2017 when the charge was filed against her.

“The defendant has been served with hearing notice. The proof of service is in the court’s file,” Pitan said while making an application for the bench warrant.

Granting the application, Justice Akintoye adjourned further proceedings till February 2.

But on February 2, the court heard that the bench warrant had yet to be effected.

It ordered that the warrant should continue and adjourned till Monday.

Count one of the charges, marked LD/5712c/2017, reads in part: “Failure to furnish and file annual tax returns for the purpose of personal income taxation with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) contrary to Section 94(1) of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 (as amended).”

The particulars of the count stated that Coker “of Monalisa Code Productions, being a taxable person in Nigeria and carrying on business at… Lekki… failed to furnish and file tax returns on your personal income for the years 2011 to 2016.
Count two reads: “Failure to pay income tax contrary to Section 56 of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law of 2006.”

-TheNation

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