UN experts warns Egypt to halt executions of 6 men in flawed trials. - Mega Icon Magazine
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UN experts warns Egypt to halt executions of 6 men in flawed trials.

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A group of UN human rights experts have warned the Government of Egypt to halt the executions of six men sentenced to death after trials which they said did not meet international standards of fairness.

The experts expressed deep concern that the men had been convicted on the basis of forced confessions that were later retracted.

“To proceed with the executions of the six men on the basis of these flawed trials would violate international human rights law and constitute arbitrary executions,” noted the experts on summary executions, torture, arbitrary detention and countering-terrorism.

The death sentences were upheld on 7 June by Egypt’s highest criminal court, the Court of Cassation. The six men – Basem Mohsen Elkhorieby, Khaled Askar, Mahmoud Mamhouh Wahba, Ibrahim Yahia Azab, Abd Elrahman Attia and Ahmed al-Waleed al-Shal – were convicted in 2015 of terrorism-related charges, in particular in connection with the killing of a police officer in 2014.

According to reports, all the six men have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment to force them to confess, before being transferred to prison where they were held in inhumane conditions. Three of the men were made to confess on national TV.

“It is extremely worrying that while all six men recanted their forced confessions in court and indicated that they had been obtained under torture, these were still used as the basis for their convictions,” said the experts. “This is in clear violation of Article 1 of the Convention against Torture, to which Egypt is a party.”

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The experts noted that supporting evidence used against the men, as well as testimonies from state security members, also showed major inconsistencies. For example, witness statements did not match video footage of the alleged crime scene.

“Capital punishment may only be carried out after a legal process that gives all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial,” they stressed.

“The only thing that distinguishes capital punishment – as possibly permitted under international law – from arbitrary execution is full respect for stringent due process guarantees.

“The Government must halt these executions and ensure a retrial in compliance with international law and standards, in particular ensuring that they receive a fair trial and that due process guarantees are met.”

The experts have sought clarifications from the Egyptian authorities on the issues in question.

 

 

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Makinde’ll move Oyo from poverty to prosperity through improved IGR – Internal Revenue boss

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The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS), Aremo John Adeleke, has said that the State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde is determined to take Oyo State from poverty to prosperity by boosting the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Aremo Adeleke, who stated this while speaking to newsmen in Ibadan ahead of the State’s one-day Tax stakeholders’ summit holding in Ibadan, added that the administration has been vigorously pursuing improved IGR since its inception.

According to him, improved IGR would make the vision to move Oyo State from poverty to prosperity a reality.

He added that the State under the leadership of Governor Makinde has set the objective to be self-sufficient financially and to have enough resources to cover all its recurrent expenditures such as salaries and wages.

Adeleke stated that when this objective is achieved, it would become easier for the State to attain the prosperous height it so desired.
He further stated that it was for this purpose that the OYIRS and the Ministry of Finance are jointly floating a programme tagged: “Tax Stakeholders’ POVERTY TO PROSPERITY Summit.”

Aremo Adeleke also counselled that for the benefits derivable from improved IGR to be sustained, the citizenry would have to play their parts by ensuring regular payment of their taxes, levies and rates, as “there is no government that can do much without adequate internal resources.”

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He stated: “ It is to further reassure ourselves that the OYIRS  and the Ministry of Finance is floating a one-day conference on January 28.
“The Summit essentially is for sensitization of all stakeholders and for the Governor to be able to enumerate all his efforts at restructuring the Internally Generated Revenue architecture.

“The Governor will also solicit the co-operation of the taxpaying public from manufacturers to business men as well as other operators in the Informal Sector – artisans, drivers, market women and men, motorcyclists, trade unions and trade associations etc. He will stress the need for all to contribute their quotas and discharge their civic duties.

“His Excellency intends to establish the nexus between improved and adequate IGR and the ability of his administration to provide sustained good governance. At the earliest possible time, the State objective is to ensure it has enough IGR to cover all its recurrent expenditures such as salaries and wages, cost of running the government and maintaining infrastructure.”

Some of the dignitaries expected at the summit include Prof Abiola Sanni, a Professor of Taxation and Fiscal Matters, Mr Samuel Kolawole, MD of University Press and current Chairman of Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti state; prominent business man, Chief Olatunji Fadairo, CEO of Tafotech Group, and The Asiwaju of Eruwa Land, and Mr Lawal Abubakar, Executive Secretary, Joint Tax Board,
“We expect Messages of Good will from His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunnuso I, the Olubadan of Ibadan Land,” the  statement read.

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The OYIRS boss added: “We expect all tax payers and the general public to turn up en masse for this important dialogue, as it will represent a turning point in government-public engagement.

“This Summit is part of Governor Seyi Makinde’s strategy of pushing the frontier of good governance. Taking our people from poverty to prosperity through responsible citizenship is not just a slogan of this government it is an ideal for which we are totally committed to and for which our people must totally imbibe.”

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{VIDEO}: Police Disobey IGP Order – Oyo LG Boss Alleges

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The Council  Chairman of Ajorosun Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Oyo state, Mr Adeyinka Adeyemi on Monday alleged that police officers in the council have gone against the order of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu  as he was restricted access to the council secretariat alongside other elected councilors.

Adeyinka also alleged that the Police specifically stated that they were acting on the instruction of the Oyo state government not to allow elected executives to gain entrance into the local government council secretariat.

The council boss in a video obtained by Mega Icon Magazine added that the council secretariat was under lock and key.

 

The IGP, Adamu had earlier directed the Commissioner of Police in Oyo state, Mr Shina Olukolu, to take actions to implement the legal opinion of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on the sacked local government chairmen in the state.

Adamu in a letter signed by his Principal Staff Officer, Idowu Owohunwa, dated January 23, 2020 was in response to an earlier letter written by Prince Abass-Aleshiloye, the ALGON Chairman.

The letter titled “Re: Federal Government Order to Governor Seyi Makinde to Reverse Sack of Local Government/ Local Council Development Areas Chairmen in Oyo State- Result for Police Protection”, reads:

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“Your letter dated 21st, January, 2020 on the above underlined subject, refers,

“I am to inform you that the Inspector-General of Police has directed the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State to initiate appropriate actions in line with the legal opinion of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on the matter.

“You may accordingly, liaise with him to facilitate. Accept the assurances of the esteemed regards of the Inspector General of Police, please”.

But, the Ajorosun LCDA council boss, Adeyinka in the video recorded at the Council secretariat today lamented, “Hello Executive member of ALGON, this is Ajorosun LCDA, we are live in front of the local government with my Councilors, Supervisory Councilors and party executives .

“As you can see, the Nigeria Police men said we cannot enter that the instruction from the state government states that they should not allow democratically elected local government executives to enter the local government.

“As you can see, I am right in front of the local government, everywhere is under lock and key and they have carried out the order of the state government contrary to the order of the IG that is what the police in my local government are doing . I want you to react on that and  notify everybody that should be notified that the Nigeria Police has gone against the order of the IG”.

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It was also reliably gathered that the situation was the same in  Ibadan North East Local Government and some local councils in the Oke Ogun axis of the state.

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EU, UN concerned by increasing attacks against aid workers in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe

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The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) expressed concerns, in a joint press conference last  Friday about the recent upsurge in attacks against aid workers and civilians recorded in recent weeks in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

Amidst a deteriorating security situation, they reiterated their commitment to work better together and strengthen efforts to provide life-saving assistance to those affected by more than ten years of crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, in north-east Nigeria, and to increase support to people rebuilding their lives and communities.

On his first official trip outside Europe, Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, joined by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hon. Sadiya Umar Farouq, and Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, as well as various partners from local CSOs, international NGOs and UN agencies implementing the humanitarian response in north-east Nigeria.

During this two-day visit, Commissioner Lenarčič and Mr Kallon, also met with people displaced and affected by the violence in the Borno State town of Gwoza and visited EU-funded relief projects.

Announcing that the European Union will allocate an additional €26.5 million in humanitarian aid,Commissioner Lenarčič declared: “I saw first-hand today the suffering that conflict has brought to people’s lives and how crucial humanitarian aid is to people’s survival. What matters most is that humanitarian organisations can reach all the people in need, without restrictions, including in areas under the influence of non-state armed groups. It is vital that all States and parties to armed conflicts respect their obligation to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief.

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It is also key to implement in parallel a comprehensive strategy in the region, exploring political tracks while addressing the root causes of conflict.” Recent weeks have been marked by an upsurge in violent attacks from non-state armed groups and an increasing trend of illegal checkpoints on major supply and commercial routes directly targeting civilians, authorities and aid workers, especially in Borno State.

Twelve aid workers were deliberately and brutally murdered by non-state armed groups in 2019, twice the number in 2018. Two aid workers, Grace Taku and Alice Loksha, are still being held hostage by non-state armed groups and the humanitarian community call for their immediate and safe release.

“This highly symbolic visit comes at a critical time and brings together the United Nations, international and Nigerian NGOs, local and national CSOs and the European Union, as one of the most important donors,” highlighted Mr Kallon. “We are extremely worried that civilians and those who are providing them with assistance are the direct target of violent attacks, hindering our ability to save lives and help people rebuild livelihoods and communities.”

“All actors and stakeholders must strengthen their efforts to provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people affected by the crisis, and do their utmost to guarantee the protection of civilians and aid workers, and safe, unconditional access to the people in need,” added the Humanitarian Coordinator.

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The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria remains one of the largest crises across the globe. In a complex and volatile security environment, the United Nations and NGO partners, in collaboration with local and national authorities in Nigeria, have delivered urgent support and basic services to over 5.6 million people in the crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, in Nigeria’s north-east.
In 2020, the humanitarian community estimates that 7.7 million people will need emergency assistance.

Over 1.8 million people, across the three crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe are still living in camps or are hosted in other communities, that are themselves becoming extremely vulnerable.

1.2 million people in need remain cut off from humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach areas.

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