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There is nowhere in the world where freedom of expression is absolute

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There is nowhere in the world where freedom of expression is absolute - Gbajabiamila speaks on regulation of the media

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has commented on the campaigns against moves by the National Assembly to pass bills providing tighter regulation of the media.

 

In his speech at an event organised by the press corps of the lower chamber in Abuja on Monday July 12, Gbajabiamila stated that they will not pass any bill that seeks to gag the press. 

 

Insisting that freedom of expression is not absolute and is made abundantly clear in the constitution, the House of Representatives Speaker averred that there is need to regulate aspects of media practice in the country to transform the media industry and the practice of journalism in Nigeria.

 

Gbajabiamila further stated that what he understands from the campaign is that the issue is not about being gagged, but regulation. 
 

He said; 

 

“Let me say this. I will not be part of any bill that will seek to gag the press. I want to say it loud and clear if that will be of any consolation. No bill will come to the floor of the house that seeks to gag the press, because the press is supposed to be the voice of the people. 

“However, I hold very strongly to the view that there is press freedom and there is freedom of expression. There has always been and there will always be.

“Freedom of expression is limited to the extent that it does not affect the other person’s freedom. Freedom of expression is not absolute and that is made abundantly clear in the constitution itself.

“If you go to section 45 of your constitution, it tells you how the government is allowed to limit that freedom for the sake of health and security and this is written in black and white.

“Whilst I will not allow gagging of the press, I worry when at every time when the national assembly tries to promulgate a law with the best of intention, everybody descends on the national assembly. For some, it is immediate reaction. Some just jump on the bandwagon without knowing the details or the issues.

“I am using this press council bill as an example. I called the proponent of the bill and ask him, ‘what is going on? What have you done and what is in this bill?’ He tried to break it down. I have not read it myself and I will confess to that. But I will read it in details in the next couples of days. I just have a general idea of the content. He told me that he had a meeting with all the stakeholders. I wasn’t present at the meeting. He said what they wanted was not acceptable to him.

“Whatever provisions that are in that bill that is inimical to the operations of the press, remove it and replace it with something else so that everybody will be happy.

“From my understanding, the issue was not about gagging, but that they don’t want to be regulated. That gives me concern because it has gotten to a point in this country where nobody wants to be regulated.”

 

According to Gbajabiamila, the national assembly is expected to make laws for citizens and institutions cannot be allowed to operate without regulation.

 

He said; 

 

“Everybody just wants to have a free reign. What is government there for if not to regulate for good governance? We talk about good governance, but we don’t want to regulate and achieve good governance. Regulations are a key and essential elements of good governance. We can’t just allow every institution to run amok.

“I have seen marriages break up; I have seen businesses destroyed; I have seen countries ruined; I have seen children hang themselves because of content of information that is irresponsible. We must not be shy to tell each other the truth. For it to be clear, let me emphasise that I will not, as speaker, allow any bill that seeks to gag the press. It will not happen.

“There is a difference between regulation and gagging. Let us try and separate the two. I don’t know how you will feel if the legislature says they don’t want to be regulated. You will be the first to jump on us.

“Let us do a rethink. Let us take another look at the provisions of the bill and ensure that there are provisions in that bill that will sustain the autonomy and independence of the press, because that is not negotiable.

“Is the media regulated in other parts of the world? If the media is not regulated in other parts of the world, then we have to do a rethink because perhaps, this bill will be dead on arrival.”

 

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Family taxi driver killed by Nigeria Police gets N10m in compensation

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Family of Lagos taxi driver killed by police gets N10m compensation

The family of taxi driver, MrAdeshina Adeosun, who was killed by the police, has been paid a N10million in compensation by Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for SARS-related abuses and other matters.

Mr Adeshina family was among the six recipients of N19.25million compensation by the panel, all victims of police brutality.

Chairperson of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd) presented the cheques to the victims or their families on Friday, September 24.  The others who received compensations include Akinmade Akinrolabu who got N1.5 million; Sanusi Oluwakemi N750, 000; Patrick Michael N3 million, Ayomide Oyewunmi got N1 million and Oluwatosin Odebode N3 million.

The family of Adeshina Adeosun, a taxi driver, had appeared before the panel to demand for justice. According to the family, police officers attached to Olosan Police Station in Mushin axis of the state shot at him at Fan Milk junction around Mushin axis of Lagos, on October 20, 2020, during the #EndSARS protest, leading to his death.

Adeosun’s daughter, Funmilayo, who witnessed how her father was fatally shot by the police, told the panel in February that his body was also seized by the police attached to the Olosan station in Mushin. Justice Okwuobi ordered the Lagos police to provide the deceased body for burial. She also advised that the Nigerian police officers be trained on how to handle a crowd and a riotous situation.

Ayomide Oyewunmi, 14, got N1million following the trauma he suffered while being handcuffed by some police officers attached to the Ajah area of the state. His father, Taiwo Oyewunmi, had told the panel that the police officers invaded his residence and handcuffed his son.

Mr Oyewunmi said that it took the intervention of the station’s DCO and instruction from the “higher authority not to detain the minor in the cell” adding that his son was traumatized following the incident.

His father had in May on his behalf demanded financial compensation of N25 million.

The panel ruled that the 14-year-old was subjected to fear and exposed to danger and is entitled to compensation and apology from the police.

 

 

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Kano lost an honourable Emir of gaya as he visits death

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Kano lost an honourable Emir of gaya as he visits death

The Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, is dead.

The Emir, who has been sick, died on Wednesday morning in Kano

 

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Shocking reasons Tonto Dikeh, affair with Kpokpogri’s crashed

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Prince Kpokpogri, who is the chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, described his ex-lover as “Helen of Troy” and claimed their short affair was stressful .

“We dated for just  three months and it was more or less a living hell! So much has happened in a that short period that I let go it for the sake of the so-called relationship and my sanity,’’ Kpokpogri said while reacting to the news of their break-up.

Kpokpogri was thrust into the limelight after Tonto Dikeh reveal  him on his birthday on 27 June on her Instagram page. The once happy relationship crashed after a viral voice note and a phone call between Kpokpogri and a socialite was leaked online by an Instagram gossip blogger. Ever since the couple have been at war with each other on Instagram.

Petitions

In a petition against Kpokpogri  6 September and addressed to the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Dikeh through her counsels in Festus Keyamo Chambers, Okechukwu Uju-Azorji, and Arinze Egbo made several shocking revelations.

1-Ulterior motive:

In the petition which was seen by this PREMIUM TIMES, Tonto Dikeh accused her ex-lover Prince Kpokpogri of being a fake lover. She said Kpokpogri carefully planned his way into her life.

They said, ‘‘That in June 2021 one Prince Kpokpogri Joseph started to court our client with a proposal to marry her. In the process, he would invite our client to his residence, and sometimes he came over to our client’s residence. Unknown to our client, the said Joseph Kpokpogri (who our client later discovered to be a serial blackmailer) had other motives for courting our client’’.

2-Blackmailer:

King Tonto accused him of being a hardened blackmailer. In the petition, Dikeh alleged that he blackmailed her and “stage-managed” their relationship for personal gains.

‘‘Our client now has reason and evidence to believe that Prince Joseph Kpokpogri had planted closed circuit Television Cameras (CCTV cameras) at private areas of his residence, and had stage-managed those visits with the aim of blackmailing our client. She was surprised when sometime in August 2021, the suspect started demanding money from her and threatening to expose nude pictures and other such documents relating to her to actualize his demands’’.

3-Fraud:

king Tonto  Dikeh also said Prince Kpokpogri under false pretense obtained huge sums of money from her.

They said, ‘‘The said Prince Kpokpogri also obtained the sum of N8m under false pretenses, however, he has paid back the sum of N6m but has refused, failed, and/or neglected to pay the sum of N2m outstanding.

4-Invasion of privacy:

She also accused him of planting closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV cameras) at private areas of his residence and had stage-managed those visits to blackmail

They said, ‘‘Our client believes that some of that information was obtained by wire-tapping her phone and/or through such other means without her authorisation’’.

They also added that Kpokpogri started sending messages, documents, and files containing sensitive information and materials relating to Dikeh to her phone while also releasing some to taddedblic.

5. Threat to life:

King Tonto Dikeh added that she was threatened not to speak badly about Prince Kpokpogri. She said, “that if she writes anything against the said Kpokpogri, her life will be on the line; that they know where her son is schooling and every other detail about her.”

6. Property seizure:

Tonto Dikeh alleged that Kpokpogri took possession of her Toyota Hilux van 2021 and has refused to return it despite several demands. Her lawyers said the Hilux van (2021 Model) was bought in Dikeh’s name.

Not one to keep quiet in the face of these allegations, Kpokpogri took a swipe at Tonto Dikeh . On his Instagram Live session, he said, ‘‘You rubbished the first man you married, you think you can play the same game with

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