Tag Archives: prison

Just in: Afghanistan leader vow to set 2000 Taliban inmates free


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has started the process to release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a “goodwill gesture”, his spokesperson said, in a move that came after the government welcomed the armed group’s surprise announcement of a three-day ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The decision to release the prisoners was taken “to ensure success of the peace process”, Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the ceasefire appeared to hold as there were no reports of clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces by the end of the first day on Sunday.

Ghani said a government delegation was “ready to immediately start the peace talks” with the Taliban.

Government negotiators would be headed by Ghani’s former rival Abdullah Abdullah after the two signed a power-sharing deal last week that ended a months-long political crisis.

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Pres. Ghani today initiated a process to release up to 2000 Taliban prisoners as a good will gesture in response to the Taliban’s announcement of a ceasefire during Eid.The AFG Gov is extending the offer of peace and is taking further steps to ensure success of the peace process.

A US-Taliban agreement signed in February in Qatar’s capital, Doha, stipulated that the Afghan government would release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners while the Taliban would free about 1,000 Afghan security forces personnel.

The prisoner swap was mentioned in the agreement as a “confidence-building measure” before long-awaited peace talks between the government and Taliban.

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Before Sunday’s announcement, Kabul had already released about 1,000 Taliban inmates while the Taliban had freed roughly 300 members of the Afghan security forces, according to reports.

The Taliban said they were committed to freeing prisoners, but reminded Kabul that the agreement was to “release 5,000” of their members as agreed with the US in Doha.

“This process should be completed in order to remove hurdles in the way of commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations,” Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said on Twitter.

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The Taliban’s offer of a ceasefire came just days after leader Haibatullah Akhunzada urged Washington “not to waste” the opportunity offered by the Doha agreement that set the stage for the withdrawal of US troops from the country after more than 18 years.

US Special Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, who brokered the February 29 agreement, said the ceasefire was “a momentous opportunity that should not be missed” while pledging that the US would “do its part to help”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also hailed the ceasefire, but said in a statement on Sunday that he expected “the Taliban to adhere to their commitment not to allow released prisoners to return to the battlefield”.

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He also urged the two sides to avoid escalating violence after Eid, the festival marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has made it a priority to end the country’s longest war and, in a bid to pull out foreign forces, US officials have been pushing the Taliban and government leaders to hold peace talks.

Analysts, however, say the Taliban has been emboldened by the agreement with the US, and attacks by the group have continued since the signing.

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War-weary residents in the capital, Kabul, expressed relief after the ceasefire was announced.

In a similar holiday truce in 2018, there were unprecedented scenes of fighters from opposite sides embracing and taking selfies.


#Newsworthy…

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Not less than 41 test positive for COVID-19 in DR Congo prison.

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At least 41 coronavirus cases have been recorded in an overcrowded military prison outside DR Congo’s capital Kinshasa, health authorities said Friday.

Health Minister Eteni Longondo told TopCongo radio that prisoners at the Ndolo jail were still being tested but he expected the number of cases to rise.

Longondo said the current hypothesis was that “a woman who came to leave food” at the jail had transmitted the virus.

Human Rights Watch warned last month that poor conditions in overcrowded DR Congo jails such as Kinshasa’s Makala prison — filled to more than four times capacity — were a likely virus breeding ground.

The government said on April 8 that at least 1,200 prisoners had been released in order to help stop the virus spread.

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To date the vast central African country, one of the world’s poorest, has reported 572 confirmed cases — almost all in Kinshasa — and 31 deaths.

Authorities confirmed 72 new cases on Thursday, all in the capital except one at Kasindi on the Ugandan border, the largest daily rise since the country’s first on March 10.


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerian government grant 2,600 inmates bail.


The Nigerian Federal Government has granted amnesty to no fewer than 2,600 prison inmates as part of measures to de-congest prison facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


President Buhari grants pardon


Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, announced this at a press conference which held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Abuja today, April 9.

According to the Minister, those eligible for the pardon include inmates that are 60 years and above; those suffering from ill-health likely to result in death; convicts serving three years and above and have less than six months to serve; inmates with mental issues; and inmates with an option of fine not exceeding N50,000.


President Buhari grants pardon


Aregbesola said that out of the said number, 70 inmates will be released today from Kuje maximum custodial centre.

“In a symbolic gesture of the amnesty given to the 2,600 inmates across Nigeria, 41 Federal inmates and 29 FCT inmates making a total of 70 inmates who met the above criteria will be released today from the Kuje Custodial Centre in Abuja. This amnesty will not apply to inmates sentenced for violent extreme offences such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed banditry, rape, human trafficking, culpable homicide and so on.

The Governors of the 36 states under whose jurisdiction most of the inmates were incarcerated will complete the exercise in line with the federal principle.” he said


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Morocco set to release 5,600 inmates to curb spread.


Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Sunday pardoned more than 5,600 prisoners and ordered their release in stages to avoid contagion in the country’s overcrowded jails.

The justice ministry said the 5,654 detainees that would be freed were selected based in their age, health, good conduct and length of detention.


They would be released in stages due to “exceptional circumstances linked to the emergency health situation and necessary precautions” against the virus, it said in a statement.

The decision came as the COVID-19 illness has officially killed 66 people and infected 960 in the North African country.


The king also ordered authorities to take “all the necessary measures to reinforce the protection of detainees in prisons” which are widely known to be overcrowded.

Morocco, home to 35 million people, has an estimated 232 detainees per 100,000 inhabitants.


With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, rights groups have urged authorities to release all political prisoners, including those held in preventive detention or nearing the end of the terms.

But it was not immediately clear if detainees linked to the “Hirak” protest movement that rocked northern Morocco in 2016 and 2017 would be among those pardoned by the king.


Morocco’s prison authorities have meanwhile taken measures to protect staff and reduced visits.

The UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet last month said countries should consider releasing older detainees and low-risk offenders.

Several other countries, including Iran, Afghanistan and Indonesia, have moved to release thousands of prisoners to lower the risk of a major outbreak of the virus in prisons.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Harvey Weinstein test positive in prison.


Harvey Weinstein, a former US filmmaker, has tested positive for coronavirus, in prison.

Citing officials at Wende Correctional Facility in Western New York, Niagara Gazette, a local newspaper in Albany, said the 68-year-old tested positive for the killer virus alongside another inmate of the prison.


The development comes about 11 days after the Oscar-winning movie producer was sentenced to 23 years in prison after he was convicted of two felony sex crimes — rape and sexual assault.

Weinstein was said to have arrived Wende from Rikers Island, where there are cases of the pandemic.


Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), declined comment on the filmmaker’s health, citing privacy rules.

This was even as he ordered immediate suspension of all “non essential” transfer of inmates from one place to another during for the time being.


“There is no better breeding ground for this virus than a closed environment such as a correctional facility,” he was quoted to have said.

Weinstein’s recent conviction follows a lingering legal battle with multiple women on sexual misconduct allegations, with Lupita Nyong’o, a Kenyan-Mexican actress, detailing her personal experience with Weinstein in 2017.

He has, however, denied wrongdoings.


#Newsworthy…

40 years old convicted Ronaldinho celebrate birthday in prison.


Ronaldinho spent his time on the pitch dodging defenders and his post-football career evading the law.

But the Brazilian superstar will spend his 40th birthday in a Paraguayan prison today with the biggest challenge of his life threatening to shackle him to a six-month jail sentence.


The former PSG, Barcelona and Milan playmaker won the 2005 Ballon D’Or, the 2002 World Cup – after beating David Seaman with a famous free-kick – and the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal.

He is arguably among the three best Brazilian players to follow Pele along with Ronaldo and Neymar. But Ronaldinho was the undisputed best at Samba-style partying.

His lawyer Adolfo Marín claimed: “He could have entered Paraguay with his Brazilian papers. He thought he had received special Paraguayan documents. He didn’t know he was committing a crime, because he didn’t understand he’d been given false documents. He’s stupid.”


#NobleSport

Ronaldinho allowed to play in paraguayan prison but must not score. {Details}


Former Barcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho will be allowed to participate in a prison football tournament organised by inmates only if he does not score.

Ronaldinho was arrested in Paraguay last week after he and his brother were found to be using fake Paraguayan passports.


The reason the Brazilian was travelling to Paraguay was to attend the launch of his new book ‘Genius of Life’.

Having been caught, the former AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain player faced trial in the South American nation and was denied bail and must remain in a Paraguayan prison while the investigation continues.


NobleSport learnt that Ronaldinho could fill his time in prison by playing football in a tournament set-up by the inmates.

According to Paraguayan media outlet Hoy, the Brazilian was told he could play in the tournament on one condition: he wasn’t allowed to score goals.

During his program on a channel, journalist Iván Leguizamón reported that several of the team captains tried to “sign” the 39-year-old for their respective teams. It is claimed, however, that Ronaldinho was unwilling to participate in the tournament following his set-back of remaining in the facility for longer than anticipated.

The tournament itself is said to involve 15 teams, competing indoors in a five-a-side format. According to the report, the tournament is encouraged by officials as it is seen as a stimulating form of recreational activity, as well as exercise, for the inmates.


#NobleSport

Actor who played ‘Zombie Role’ in ‘Walking Dead’ jailed.


According to NobleReporters findings, the 52-year-old actor started dating Beverly Jackson, 41, eight years ago after meeting at a UK fan event.

However, the US actor returned to America and got back in touch with Beverly two years ago to ask if he could stay in her spare room in Manchester when he next came to the UK. Then in 2018, Michael attacked Beverly in a hotel room in Germany.


She said, “He hit me around the face, bit me on the hands, arm, and back, kicked me and threw me out of the room.

Beverly went on to tell The Sun that the abuse only got worse.

The British mum added: “I fell for him. Initially, he was very charming and promised to help me get into films. But he became more and more abusive.”


#Newsworthy…

Bobrisky allegedly cries out in prison. {Photo}


Popular Nigerian cross dresser, Idris Okuneye Olorunwaje popularly known as Bobrisky was arrested yesterday for a business deal gone wrong as he stands accused of defrauding a business partner to the tune of 7 Million Naira.

In the wake of his detainment, Bobrisky reportedly lamented in the cell over the excruciating pains he is feeling from the alleged pile he is suffering from.

According to NobleReporters, Bobrisky claims he can’t go more than 24 hours without applying his medications on the alleged infection and he is crying bitterly and in severe pains.

“Bobrisky is crying bitterly that he has serious pile infection with serious sours on his anus, he claims he must apply his medications on it every 24 hours else the sickness will deteriorate”

Piles or Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum. They often subside on their own or with treatment from over-the-counter products. But in rare cases, hemorrhoids can become infected.

COVID-19: Iran release 54,000 from prisons to curb spread.


The Iranian government has temporarily released 54,000 people from prisons to avoid the spread of coronavirus after the country’s death toll exceeded Italy’s with 92 dead on Wednesday.

They also announced total infections rose to 2,922 and also confirmed that the country’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri was the latest high-profile figure to contract the disease.


Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters that 54,000 inmates o were allowed out of prison after testing negative for Covid-19 and posting bail. “Security prisoners” sentenced to more than five years will not be let out.

The ministry is also activating a nationwide team of 300,000 health workers and specialists, Deputy Health Minister Ali Reza Reisy told Iran’s semi-official ILNA news agency.

The coronavirus which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan has now spread to all continents, except for Antarctica, killing more than 3,000 people and infecting more than 90,000 worldwide.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: US embassy in Japan announce removal of citizens from virus floating prison


The US Embassy in Japan announced that Americans aboard the Diamond Princess – a luxury cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan after a coronavirus outbreak on board – will be flown back home on a chartered flight on Sunday.


About 380 Americans are aboard the ship, which has docked at Yokohama, a port city southwest of Tokyo.
So far, 218 people from the ship have tested positive for the new virus, reports France24.


Japan’s Health Ministry allowed 11 passengers to disembark Friday, saying that those above 80 years of age, with underlying medical conditions as well as those staying in windowless cabins during the 14-day quarantine can stay at a designated facility on shore.


The Diamond Princess’ passengers have reported feelings of anxiety and ennui: “It’s not going to be a luxury cruise, it’s going to be like a floating prison,” passenger David Abel said in a video posted on Facebook at the start of the quarantine nearly two weeks ago.

“How do we cope with it? We can either be creative and thinking positive things or we can be dragging ourselves down into the gutter.”
Other passengers posted images of sparse meals, crew in face masks and once bustling common areas now eerily deserted.


#Newsworthy…

Upadte: Abubakar, Adoke released on bail


Immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has been granted bail on fresh money laundering charges.

He was granted bail by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, earlier today.

The second defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, was also granted bail.


Justice Binta Nyako imposed the same terms and conditions of the bail they were earlier granted by Justice Idris Kutigi of the Gwagwalada Division of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on January 30.

Justice Kutigi had granted each of the men N50m bail with a surety, each.


Adopting the same conditions on Monday, Justice Nyako directed that the defendants should deposit their passport with the FCT High Court.

Defence lawyers – Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo(SAN), who said their clients had already met the bail conditions, pleaded with the court to make a specific order barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from re-arresting them once the release order is served on the commission.


The judge said such order would not be necessary as there would be no basis for their rearrest or continued detention once the court’s release order is served.

Adoke and Abubakar had earlier pleaded not guilty to the seven counts of making payments of dollar equivalent of about N600m in violation of money laundering law.

The prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, alleged that they committed the offences in September 2013.

The judge fixed April 1 and 2 for trial, The Punch reported.


#Newsworthy…

I’d rather be locked up in Kuje prison than EFCC prison

…Adoke did not run away,

…He went for his masters degree abroad


Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, (SAN), on Monday, said he preferred to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mike Ozekhome (SAN), spoke on Adoke’s behalf shortly after he was arraigned on fresh money laundering charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.


Adoke was arraigned alongside Aliyu Abubakar, who was accused of paying dollar equivalent of N300m in Adoke’s account in September 2013 in violation of the Money Laundering Act.

Ozekhome was arguing his client’s bail application when he noted that his client was produced in court by the EFCC from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabi, Abuja, where he had been admitted for treatment.


After the defendants took their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand them in the custody of the EFCC pending when their bail applications would be heard and determined. NobleReporters learnt

The defence lawyers immediately noted that they already filed their bail applications and had been responded to by the prosecution.


Ozekhome appealed to the the court to grant bail to Adoke in liberal and affordable terms and conditions, saying that his client would prefer to be remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre, instead of the custody of the EFCC.

“The first defendant voluntarily returned to the country. There is his statement attached to show that he returned to the country voluntarily. He did not run away. We have attached an exhibit to show that he went for his Masters’ study abroad.

Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, (SAN)


“We have deposed to the affidavit about his health conditions. The prosecution themselves brought him to court from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabib in Abuja, this morning. We also plead that he be taken to the Kuje Correction Centre, a euphemism for Kuje prison pending when he meets his bail conditions to avoid the mental psychological strictures he goes through in the custody of the EFCC.

“My lord we pray that he be granted bail in liberal and affordable terms and conditions so that he can take care of himself. The law says, ‘come and stand trial’, it did not say ‘come and sit trial or come and prostate trial. My lord as you can see, the first defendant who is less than 60 is already bent with age,” he said.


#Newsworthy….

G.O, Sotitobire miracle centre remanded in prison over missing child in Ondo


The General Overseer of Sotitobire Miracle Center, Babatunde Alfa and six others have been remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) in Olokuta, after being arraigned before an Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure.

The 7 suspects arraigned before the court on six counts including felony and conspiracy to kidnap in the case of a missing one-year-old boy, all denied the allegation.

Effort of the defendants’ counsel, Olusola Oke to get bail for his clients was futile as Director of Public Prosecution in the state, Grace Olowoporoku stated that he filed multiple bail applications that were difficult to respond to.

Justice Adedun Odusola adjourned the case till March 16, 2020 after the court session on Thursday February 6.


#Newsworthy…

Agba Jalingo’s case rested till Friday as he was no where to be found


Officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service has failed to produce detained journalist, Agba Jalingo, in court prompting the adjournment of the case.

Jalingo, who was charged with terrorism and cybercrime, was billed to appear before Justice Simon Amobeda, who presides over Court 2 of the Calabar division of the Federal High Court after 55 days of no activity on his matter.

A lawyer in his defense team, James Ibor, explained to journalists that it was due to an administrative issue as his production warrant was not signed.


He said, “The court had earlier notified us that they are ready to hear our application today and we were in court for to be heared but unfortunately, being a criminal trial, Agba Jalingo was not produced. So, the Court has made an order that the prisons should produce him on Friday and with that order, I am very optimistic that Agba Jalingo will be produced on Friday for the purpose of taking our application.”

Justice Amobeda had in December granted the prayers of the defendant for the provision of an electronic verbatim recorder before also recusing himself.


But Ibor said that having waited for so long and the provision of the EVR not forthcoming, the defense had to file a motion to vary the order of Justice Amobeda.

He added, “We have applied to the court to vary its order for verbatim electronic recording. The reason is because the process of procuring those equipment, I think, will take a lot of time. The court has ordered that the Federal Government to provide the verbatim electronic devices to its court to enable them record proceedings verbatim.


“But unfortunately, the process of procuring that or installing that may take a long time. I am not speaking for the Federal High Court but I am speculating that it is over a month since the order was made and it has not been provided and it may take quite a long time to do so knowing the way things work in this country.

“So, we don’t want to wait. We are confident that the court will give us justice and that is why we want to make use of the longhand, archaic, backward, handwritten recording for now, pending when the Federal Government will do the needful.”


Also, a twist in the case showed that the Cross River State Government may take over the case by the next court date.

When asked to explain whether that was possible and the reason for it, Ibor averred that, “It will be difficult to answer for the Attorney-General of the Federation taking over the matter or the Attorney-General of Cross River State taking over the matter.

“Constitutionally, it is their duty, it is their right to take over or discontinue any trial or prosecution anywhere in Nigeria. I am not in a better position to answer that.

“The matter will not be transferred to a state High Court. They are federal offenses and the matter will remain in the Federal High Court and we are very optimistic we will get justice.”


#Newsworthy…

C & S pastor in UK jailed for several rape cases and sexual abuses (Video)

...15 counts of rape

…24 counts of child sexual abuses and rapes

…3 counts of aiding and abeting rape


Michael Oluronbi, a Cherubim and Seraphim pastor based in Birmingham, in the UK was convicted Tuesday of 24 counts of child sexual abuse and rapes. Specifically, he was found guilty of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault, and two counts of sexual assault

Sixty year-old Oluronbi, was leader of the religious group when he committed the vile crimes. His wife,Juliana Oluronbi, age 58, was also convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape.


Five of the seven victims are siblings who were abused at their home address where the church conducted services. All victims were abused from a young age under the guise of it being religious practice. They fell under the malign influence and authority the defendants held, and honestly believed their actions were on God’s behalf.

The prosecution case was that Mr Oluronbi used what he called ‘spiritual work’ as subterfuge for sexual abuse. The main tactic he employed was to claim that God had instructed him to administer ‘Holy Baths’ to some of his congregation in order to ‘cleanse’ them and protect them from evil influences. The CPS used CCTV, mobile phone material, photographs, forensic evidence, and witness statements to build the prosecution case.


Oluronbi’s C&S vestments used while administering holy baths

Juliana Oluronbi was unwavering in her support for her husband and the case against her is based on the lengths to which she was prepared to go to support him and keep him in his position. We proved she not only knew what Michael Oluronbi was doing but that her actions (particularly in arranging abortions) effectively aided and abetted the continued, systematic rapes of three victims.


Georgina Hewins, from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This case involved the serious and sustained sexual abuse of vulnerable young children by a religious leader. The young age of the victims greatly increases the seriousness of the offences.

“As a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, and the strength of the evidence, the two defendants were found guilty after trial.

“It is only due to the great courage of the victims that this abuse was brought to light, and the full extent of the despicable and lawless behaviour of these people revealed.”

Watch Michael Oluronbi’s confession, courtesy Daily Mail. On camera, he calls himself an animal that should not have been living among human beings :


#Newsworthy…

I met my lover in prison, we were married for 58 years – Politician


James E. Clyburn, an American politician of the Democratic Party serving as House Majority Whip, took to Twitter to reveal how he met his wife.

The Majority Whip representing South Carolina’s 6th District said he was arrested during a civil rights march and while in jail, he met his wife.

She brought him food and ate with him. He later found out she knew him all along and had been plotting to meet him.


He tweeted: “I met my wife in jail after being arrested during a civil rights march. She brought me food and shared a hamburger with me. Turns out, she knew who I was and had been plotting to meet me for some time. We were married for 58 years.”

James Clyburn’s wife, Emily Clyburn died in September 2019 after 58 years of marriage. A Columbia, SC street has been renamed in her memory.

James Clyburn’s tweet narrating how he met his wife has gone viral after being liked by over 59. 4 K Twitter users.


#Newsworthy…

32 year old Man arrested and jailed for wearing police uniform


The Nigeria Police Force has arrested and charged to court a 32-year-old man, Jerry Gabriel, for allegedly putting on a police uniform.

Gabriel was arraigned before an Igbosere chief magistrate court, Lagos.

According to the police, the suspect was nabbed on December 15, 2019 at General Paints, Ajah, and charged with impersonation.


Police prosecutor, Adega, alleged that the accused person was unlawfully in possession of a Nigerian Police Force uniform.

Other items suspected to have been stolen by the accused person and found in his possession were one Infinix X627 smartphone, one itel phone and one Tecno phone.

Gabriel pleaded not guilty to the three-count criminal charge.

Mrs Ope Agbe admitted him to bail and fixed trial for 14 January 2020.


#Newsworthy…

Gov. Obaseki pardon one prisoner, changes judgement for 4.


Governor Godwin Obaseki addressing a gathering in Abuja on July 19, 2019.

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has converted the death sentence given to four prisoners to life imprisonment.


The governor also approved the release of one person from the Correctional Centre.

Mr Obaseki gave the approval in the exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, on the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.


The four Prisoners whose sentences were transmuted from death row to life imprisonment are Ayo Olofin, Abiodun Uwagboe, Sanni Ladan and Joel Ighalo; while the released inmate is one Emejor Amos.

In June 2019, Governor Obaseki approved the release of eight prisoners who were on death row and transmuted the death penalty of nine others.

Those freed were “Abu Dennis Ulubeka (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Murder; Tirimisiyu Adebayo (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of conspiracy and Armed Robbery; Tajudeen Fabiyi (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of Conspiracy and Armed Robbery, and Olufemi Ajayi (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of Conspiracy and Armed Robbery.”

Others were “Charles Omowunmi (M) found guilty for the offence of murder and was ordered to be detained in prison at the pleasure of the Governor; Kalu Ojeh (M) convicted and sentenced to 21 years imprisonment on each count, both sentences to run concurrently for the offences of Conspiracy and Armed Robbery; Mathew Idoko (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of murder and Robinson James (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of conspiracy and Armed Robbery.”


#Newsworthy…

Femi Falana script open letter to AGF, Malami over continued detention of El-Zakzaky


Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has written a letter to the Attorney-General of the federation and justice minister, Abubakar Malami, over the detention of Shiites leader, El-Zakzaky and his wife.

Read the full letter below..

Dear Honourable Justice Minister,

Request for compliance with court orders in favour of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and Hajia Zeinat El-Zakzaky

We are solicitors to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and Hajia Zeinat El-Zakzaky (hereinafter referred to as “our clients”) on whose behalf we write this letter.


In view of the recent decision of the Federal Government to comply with all court orders, we have the instructions of our clients to request you to ensure compliance with the valid and subsisting orders of the Federal High Court and Kaduna State High Court concerning them which are set out hereunder:

1. On December 2, 2016, the Federal High Court presided over by the Honourable Justice G. O. Kolawole (now of the Court of Appeal) declared illegal and unconstitutional the arrest and detention of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Hajia Zeinat El-Zakzaky by armed soldiers.


2. Consequently, the court awarded them N50m damages for their illegal detention, ordered the state security service to release them from custody forthwith and provide them with a house since the Nigerian Army had burnt down and demolished their house in Zaria, Kaduna State.

3. Without any legal basis whatsoever the Federal Government refused to comply with the aforesaid court orders. Curiously, the contemptuous acts of the Federal Government were publicly defended by your good self and some other high ranking officials of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. The reasons adduced for non-compliance with the said court orders include the following:


i. On January 3, 2017, the Federal Government filed an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court for the release of our clients. No motion was filed for stay of execution of any of the orders of the court. However, the motion of the Federal Government for extension of time to file the appellant’s brief out of time was not taken on the grounds that a contemnor could seek any relief from an appellate court.

ii. On January 19, 2017, the Federal Government claimed that Mrs Zeinat El-Zakzaky was not in detention but decided to keep her husband’s company.


iii. On January 20, 2017, sources close to the Presidency were alleged to have said that our clients could not be released on grounds of national security.

iv. On June 16, 2017, the Honourable Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, explained that the reason why our clients had not been released was that the house being built for them by the Federal Government had not been completed.


4. In a desperate bid to stop the Shiites from further embarrassing the Federal Government by demanding compliance with the court orders for the release of their leader, government caused the Kaduna State Government to charge our clients with incitement of members of the Shia movement to commit culpable homicide, blocking of roads and leading an unregistered organisation to wit: Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

5. As you are no doubt aware, the over 300 Shiites alleged to have been procured by our clients to commit the said criminal offences have been discharged by the Magistrate Court and High Court of Kaduna State for want of evidence.


6. However, by an order made on August 5, 2019, the Kaduna State High Court granted our clients leave to travel to India for urgent medical treatment subject to the supervision of the respondent i.e the Kaduna State Government. But instead of allowing the hospital to treat our clients under the supervision of the Kaduna State Government, the Federal Government took over the medical treatment, imposed doctors on our clients and denied them access to their personal physician who had accompanied them from Nigeria. Thus, our clients were deliberately denied access to medical treatment in defiance of the order of the Kaduna State High Court.

7. Since our clients were brought back from India they were kept incommunicado until they were transferred to the Kaduna Correctional Centre last month. In spite of several assurances, authorities of the correctional centre have denied our clients access to any form of medical treatment.


8. Notwithstanding the pending criminal case in the Kaduna State High Court, your office and the Presidency have not ceased to justify the refusal of the Federal Government to comply with the orders of the Federal High Court and the Kaduna State High Court. The statements made by your good self and other officials are set out below:

i. On July 23, 2019, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government refused to obey Justice Gabriel Kolawole’s order on the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, because it had appealed the ruling.


ii. On July 26, 2019, during your screening for reappointment as the Attorney-General of the Federation, you told the Senate that the disobedience of court orders by the Buhari administration in respect of El-Zakzaky and others was based on national security.

iii. When the street protests by the Shiites to demand the release of their leader did not stop, the Federal Government announced the proscription of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on July 27, 2019. The proscription was sequel to an ex parte order secured from the Federal High Court by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.


iv. In justifying the decision of the Federal Government to detain Messrs Sowore and Bakare in defiance of the orders of the Federal High Court, the State Security Service issued a statement on November 14, 2019 wherein it claimed that the duo as well as El-Zakzaky and Dasuki were enjoying themselves in custody as “they are allowed access to people and use of other facilities like telephones, gymnasium, TV, newspapers and medical facilities”.

However, following the release of Mr Omoyele Sowore and Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) from illegal custody last week, you were reported to have said that our clients could only be released by the Kaduna State Government. With respect, your position has failed to take cognisance of the fact that your office, the Presidency and the State Security Service had up till last month, repeatedly given contradictory reasons to justify the disobedience of the aforesaid court orders for the release of our clients.

SAN, Femi Falana


In view of the foregoing, we urge you to use your good office to review your position and ensure the immediate and unconditional compliance with the valid and subsisting orders of the Federal High Court and the Kaduna State High Court concerning our clients. This request is in line with the new policy of the Buhari administration to operate under the rule of law.

While wishing you a challenging legal year, please accept, as usual, the assurance of our highest professional regards.

Your Sincerely,

Femi Falana, SAN, FCI Arb.


#Newsworthy…

6 Inmates Released On Pardon In Yobe


Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, has pardoned six prison inmates as part of his New Year gesture.

The announcement was made in a statement by Commissioner of Information, Home Affairs and Culture, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego.


He said, “Governor Buni commends the people of the state for their resilience and the security agencies for their hard work on behalf of peace and security.

“The governor urged the people to continue to partner with the security agencies to ensure peace lasts across the state.

Governor Mai Mala Buni


“As part of celebrating the New Year, His Excellency Governor Buni has also granted pardon to six inmates who were convicted and are serving jail terms for various offences.

“The governor granted these pardons in exercise of his Prerogative of Mercy as conferred on him by Section 212 (1) of the constitution of the country and based on the advice of the Prerogative of Mercy Advisory Council.”


#Newsworthy…