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Police release detained Nigerian journalists, CISLAC decries arrest

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The arrested editor and webmaster of NewsDigest, an Abuja-based online newspaper, Gidado Yushau and Adebowale Adekoya, have been released by the Kwara State Police Command after they were thoroughly quizzed for publishing an investigative report in May 2018.

The Chairman Board of Directors of Image Merchants Promotions Limited (IMPR), Publishers of PRNigeria, Sule Yau Sule made the disclosure this morning.

IMPR is the parent company of the NewsDigest.

Mr Sule said after preliminary interrogation of the two NewsDigest’s workers, both Messrs Gidado and Adekoya were released on bail, but asked to return next Monday with Alfred Olufemi for further questioning on the investigative report published by the medium.

The story titled, “Inside Kwara factory where Indian hemp smoking is ‘legalized.” was written by an award-winning campus journalist and investigative reporter, Mr Olufemi, who is a student of one of the foremost universities in Nigeria.

In the report, it was stated that Hillcrest Agro-Alied Industry, owned by a former acting governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sarah Alade, tolerated the smoking of cigarettes as well as Indian hemp by workers saddled with the responsibility of loading and off-loading processed and unprocessed grains in trucks without being sanctioned

Messrs Gidado and Adekoya were arrested by detectives of the Lagos State and Kwara Police Command, last Friday, and on Tuesday, respectively. While Mr Adebowale was picked up at his house in Lagos, Gidado was arrested in Abuja, at his Wuye District residence. They were conveyed to Ilorin early Wednesday morning, by four police detectives, in a blue-coloured vehicle.

Mr Sule said the condition of one of the released staff, who was seriously sick, worsened during the long journeys and detention by the police.

“There is the need for the released staff to be given urgent and proper treatment, after a thorough medical examination might have been conducted on them.”

The chairman who condemned the arrest and detention of the two young men, said whatever reservation the agency may have on any news published, proper and civilised channels are there for a complaint to be made.

“Living in society where freedom of expression and association is said to be guarded only for the security agencies to trampled on such privilege is condemnable and unacceptable.

“There many agencies whose responsibilities are to check the excesses of the media, then why the haste in hauling innocent journalists behind the bar,” he said.

Similarly, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said they are worried by the recent but alarming arrest and detention of Nigerian journalists as expressed in a report by Amnesty International.

CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, in a release, maintained and reiterated the organisation’s position for social justice and press freedom.

Mr Rafsanjani recalled that Mr Gidado who is also the anchor of Youth Digest, has been in the fore front of training young investigative journalists on accountability in the public sector, as demonstrated in “Campus Investigative Journalists Workshop”, where campus students were trained on effective reportage, recently organized by CISLAC in collaboration with Youth Digest.

He said: “This is in addition to the Campus Journalism Awards, where best performing Campus Journalists were rewarded and encouraged in January 2019.

“We are not unaware of the media’s role in influencing public opinion, shaping political agenda, providing a link between the government and the people, while acting as the government watchdog in advancing good governance.”

He continued: “We also recall the crucial importance of the media in the promotion of democracy and rule of law; just as media is indispensable for people to be informed and to effectively participate in a democracy.

“It is on this premise that CISLAC will continue to support young investigative journalists to pursue various legal means to expose corruption and illegalities in our society, as this forms the basis of good governance, transparency and accountability CISLAC advocates and upholds”.

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THE NATION

Cool FM’s Amin Mousalli, Allon Nelken, Kavitta Chellaram, Diana Chan, others for Ethnic Business Awards

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Nigeria-based foreigners who’re contributing to the nation’s economy in terms of visible investments and employment generation will be honoured and celebrated during the Ethnic Business Awards (www.theethnicbusinessawards.com) on Valentine’s day, February 14th, 2020 at the prestigious Oriental hotel Lagos.

These diaspora foreigners who have chosen Nigeria as home despite the stormy waters, according to the organizers of the epoch making event deserve more than celebration and will be honoured in different categories such as Ethnic Man of The Year, Woman of The Year, Entrepreneur of The Year, CSR Brand, Beauty Brand, Financial Institution to mention but a few.

On the Ethnic Man of The Year category are revered international business tycoon such Alli Mousalli of Cool FM, Allon Nelken, (Mega Plaza), Benoy Berry (Contec Group), Robert Tung (Wempco), Mann Lababidi of Crown Flour Mills to mention but a few while the nominees for Ethnic Woman of The Year are Diana Chan (GAC Motors), Kavita Chellaram (ArtHouse Contemporary) and Caterina Bortolussi of Kinabuti Fashions.

Diana Chan (GAC Motors)

Other interesting categories are the Ethnic Financial Institutions where the likes of Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered and Citi Bank are being nominated.

Foreign entertainers who’re making waves in the Nigerian showbiz industry will also be honoured in the catrgories itemized as Cross-Over Actors, Actress and Musician of The Year. Prominent African stars such as Juliet Ibrahim (Ghana), Princess Shyngle (Gambia), Cynthia Emade (Cameroun), Ela Mensah (Ghana), Okawa Shaznay among others.

Ella Mensah

The Ethnic Business Awards is aimed at recognizing and appreciating the outstanding contributions of foreign businesses, organisations, individuals and communities to corporate Nigeria, “this is like thinking outside the box, the awards is designed to reward and encourage innovations and excellence among Nigeria-based foreigners in enterprise”.

Inspired by the growing population of foreign investors, organisations, individuals and migrants communities who have impressed with remarkable inputs into the growth of the Nigerian economy, the Ethnic Business Awards [EBA] seeks to reward the best practices in commerce, international diplomacy and excellence across other industries.

Nigeria became Africa’s largest economy for the second year in a row according to a multinational professional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in 2019. Beyond doubts, this feat would have been impossible without the faith reposed in her by men and women of other nationalities who have defied doom prediction to swarm Nigeria to grow her commerce.

The EBA (www.theethnicbusinessawards.com) pays very special attention to promising and established foreign companies, missions, communities, organisations and individuals of sterling qualities all of whom have been identified and grouped into different categories following a public opinion poll and wide consultations with some of the industry’s finest experts.

The event holds on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2020 at the prestigious Oriental hotel Lagos.

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THE NATION

We’re not recruiting, Nigeria Immigration warns

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned applicants against patronising fake recruitment sites as the Service was not recruiting.

A statement by its spokesperson, Sunday James, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the NIS Comptroller-General, Muhammad Babandede, issued the warning while reacting to the reported existence of fake NIS websites across the country.

It particularly noted that the website – https/nis/recruitmentname.ng – where unsuspected Nigerians were being duped, was fake.

“The service is hereby disassociating itself from the fake claims and advising Nigerians against subscribing to it as no recruitment is ongoing in the service.

“The service recruitment exercise is always advertised in reputable national dailies, televisions and on its website – www.immigration.gov.ng – and it is usually free,“ the statement noted.

He advised the general public to desist from patronising fraudsters and report any suspected case to the following platform and telephone number – nis.servicom@nigeriaimmigration.gov.ng. and 07080607900.

(NAN)

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THE NATION

UNILAG VC, Prof Ogundipe eulogises Pantami, says he is a man of integrity

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L-R: University of Lagos Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ogundipe with the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami when the latter paid him a visit in Abuja on Tuesday

The Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has described the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM as a man of unquestionable integrity who keeps to his promise.

The Vice Chancellor made his position known on Tuesday when he led the management of the institution to a courtesy visit to appreciate the Honourable Minister for the various IT intervention projects donated to the institution aimed at enhancing research and learning.

The VC also invited the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami to deliver a lecture at the upcoming convocation ceremony of the institution scheduled to hold in March.

In his remarks, the ‘Next Level’ vibrant, energetic and focused Minister, Dr Pantami pledged the Ministry’s commitment under his watch to bridge the gap between academia and industry, stressing that skills are very important and critical in driving a digital economy in Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister said “in Nigeria today, we are producing many potential employees and fewer potential employers”, adding that “in technology and most importantly in digital technology, if you can marry both degrees and skills that is the best, however, if it’s only one, then skills have priority over certificates”.

Dr. Pantami maintained that there is a need to think outside the box and enhance the skills of the younger generation through mentorship to drive a digital economy and position the country on the path of prosperity.

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