A Lagos-based lawyer and rights activist, Mr Adeola Samuel-Ilori, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to protect the masses from alleged abuse of their rights by electricity providers.
Samuel-Ilori, the National Coordinator of All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.
He spoke on the sidelines of the 2019 Annual World Human Rights Day organised by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Lagos Branch.
He was the Chairman of the event tagged: “Criminalisation of Rights to Freedom of Speech and Expression as Enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution”.
According to Samuel-Ilori, many people are aware of their rights but have a problem with how to activate them, as well as the limitations.
Electricity consumers in Nigeria need help. Many of their rights as embedded in the law are being trampled upon by electricity distribution companies (Discos). It is the government that can help the people to get those rights.
For us, as consumer rights advocates, we are doing our best to activate those rights. There are rights for the electricity consumers which cannot be enforceable by themselves.
They can only be enforceable through the help of the government or the agency overseeing the sector which is the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Unfortunately, NERC is overwhelmed and not helping to curb the oppression of electricity consumers. NERC’s directives are not being followed. The methodology of giving estimated billings is not being followed.
Who will the consumers now run to? They are handicapped and frustrated, and except the government rises up, we may not get respite. These rights must be enforced,” he said.
The activist alleged that the right to process before disconnection of electricity could take place was being flouted by Discos while many consumers were burdened with estimated billings.
According to him, anything done without following due process in electricity disconnection is illegal and criminal as contained in Section 11, subsection 1 of Connection and Disconnection Schedule, 2007 of the Electric Power Sector Reforms Act, 2005.
Samuel-Ilori said: ” For the whole community to be put in darkness because some people are owing is illegal and a criminal offence. Government should help end the excesses of power providers.
It is a criminal offence for any Disco to illegally disconnect any consumer without following given disconnection notice .
On right to vote and to be voted for, Samuel-Ilori said that many youths were ignorant that not voting was neglecting a right.
My advice to youths is to be more proactive. If you leave anything for just anybody, that thing will be messed up. You must be able to continue to strive until you win.
Nigerian youths must be more engaging in politics. Politics is not dirty, it is the people that made it dirty, politics is not killing, it is the people that make it so,” the rights activist added.
Speaking on the theme, the activist said that the freedom of speech and expression could never be criminalised.
You can only make provisions for remedies for those who are injured to seek redress.
” It is enforcement of rights and the limitations that we need, and not criminalisation of rights,” he said.
In his address, Mr Alex Omotehinse, the Chairman, CDHR, Lagos Branch, urged the media to do more in promoting human rights and curbing fake news.
Omotehinse said: The 1999 Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, respectively, guarantee freedom of speech and expression and, thus, an attempt any institution or individual to infringe on the right as enshrined, will not only lead to people’s revolt but also anarchy. ”
According to him, Nigerians should stand firm with the CDHR in protecting the rights of the voiceless.
Edited by: Ijeoma Popoola
Chef in court over alleged theft of employer’s $2,350
A 30- year-old chef, Kiki Kehinde, who allegedly broke into his employer’s room and stole 2,350 dollars, (N900,000) on Tuesday appeared in an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court.
The police charged Kehinde, who resides at 14, Olarinle St., Ikorodu, Lagos, with two counts bordering on stealing.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Prosecution Counsel, ASP Raji Akeem, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on April 20 at Osborne Offshore area of Ikoyi, Lagos .
Akeem alleged that the defendant broke into the room of his employer, Mr Hakan Aktan, a Turkish and carted away the money, a new sport shoe and a Samsung iPad.
He said the police was able to track the defendant to Ikorodu area and arrested him.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 287 (7) and 308 of the Criminal Law of Lagos,2015.
Section 287 (7) stipulates seven years jail term for stealing from one’s employer.
Chief Magistrate Yetunde Aje- Afunwa admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N600,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Aje- Afunwa adjourned the case until Sept. 30 for mention.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Sadiya Hamza
Court remands 3 men over alleged armed robbery
An Ikeja Magistrates’ court on Tuesday ordered that three men, who allegedly robbed a shop owner while armed with a machete and a locally made pistol, be remanded in a correctional centre.
The police charged Kelechi Okonne,29, Emmanuel Uche, 25, Chibuike Nwankwu,27 with criminal conspiracy, armed robbery and breach of peace.
Magistrate A.O. Ajibade, who did not take the plea of Okonne, Uche and Nwankwu, adjourned the matter until Oct. 20 for mention.
Ajibade, however, admitted Usmaila Shuaibu,25, to bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties for receiving the stolen goods from Okonne, Uche and Nwankwu.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, ASP Kehinde Ajayi told the court that the crime was committed on Feb. 16 at No 12, Awosika Street, Governor’s road, Ikotjn, Lagos.
She said that the complainant, Alhaji Moruf Akanni, alleged that the suspects and some others at large, while armed with machete, a knife and a locally made pistol, broke into his shop and stole 16 wrist watches worth N1.2 million.
Ajayi also alleged that they stole nine cell phones worth N835, 000, a Plasma Television set, worth N65,000 and cash of N200, 000.
She alleged that they stole properties worth N2.2 million.
The prosecutor also alleged that they caused a breach of peace by causing public disturbance with their act of violence.
However, she said Shuaibu, was on Feb. 17 by about 4.40p.m. at Alaba-Rago area in Lagos, caught with a Techno Canon 11 pro phone valued N79,000 from Okonne, knowing full well it was stolen.
She said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 168(1)(d)297, 299 and 328 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
NSE, others commit to expanding retail investment opportunities in capital market
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar was on “Capital Market Investing in a Digital Age”.
Mr Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, in his address, said that investor participation was crucial to sustainable economic growth.
Onyema said that the Exchange was committed to playing its role in advancing the Federal Government’s financial inclusion goals.
“Investor participation is central to the growth of sustainable development of any economy.
“NSE is committed to playing a critical role in the advancement of the FG’s financial inclusion goals.
“As part of our efforts to realise the objectives of the financial inclusion, we intend to facilitate conversations which will serve to equip existing and potential investors with the necessary skill to effectively manage and grow financial resources at their disposal.
“In these engagements, we will also expand the retail investment opportunities available in the capital market and the channels through which they can be accessed,” Onyema said.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 adversely affected the global economy in many ways and at different magnitude.
“The Nigerian capital market was also negatively affected, with the market witnessing a downturn in Q1 of this year.
“However, the market rebounded in Q2 and as a result the NSE all share index has recorded a 18.9 per cent increase from its position at the end of March.
“The market also witnessed the growth in the percentage value of equity transactions contributed by retail investors, currently at 29 per cent from 21.8 per cent in 2018 and 24.72 per cent in 2019,” he said.
According to him, these highlight the market’s resilience in time of adversity and is a testament of market stakeholders’ ability to adapt.
Onyema said that digital technology played a significant role in achieving the positive results recorded in the NSE so far.
He said that technology had helped to make significant services more easily accessible.
Mr Laolu Martins, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NISL, said that it had become imperative to ensure that retail investors were made aware of the opportunities inherent in the capital market.
Martins said that for retail investors, navigating through the web of processes in the capital market was usually difficult, thereby discouraging them from investing.
He said: “The general belief is that retail investors are often left behind and do not have enough knowledge on the workings of the capital market.
“NISL is a securities trading company, financial advisory service, offering consulting solutions to corporate bodies across the value of activities on the stock exchange.
“In order to invest properly, all investors need to carry out some sort of financial planning, no matter how small or big.
“We realised that for retail investors, it is usually difficult for them to navigate through these web of processes and other issues that create a bottleneck or discourage investors.”
Martins said that some processes that create difficulties for investors include budgeting, investment, savings, risk management and liquidity management.
“At NISL, we have enough expertise to ensure that we help our investors navigate through this web of terms and processes to ensure that their investment is rewarding,” he said.
Martins said the reason for the webinar was to expose some of the investment opportunities for retail investors.
“This webinar is to enlighten the investing public, retail investors, that they can buy bonds in the NSE and it is like lending your money to a company or a government entity.
“It is advisable that retail investors should approach their stockbrokers to guide them in which bond they should invest in,” he said.
Mr Femi Balogun, Head, Market services Department, NSE, spoke on the importance of market data in guiding investors’ decision.
“Market data is important to the investment of an intending investor.
“Some people are good at picking stocks, but If you use data to drive your decision in conjunction with your expertise, you make a better informed decision on your investment,” he said.
Amolegbe said that the Exchange had always provided avenues that would support and ensure a seamless investing process for retail and other investors.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle
Attack on police officers in Sokoto ‘ll not be left unaddressed – AIG
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 10, Mr Muhammad Mustapha, says the attack on Gidan Madi Police Division in Tangaza Local Government area of Sokoto State by bandits will not be left unaddressed.
Mustapha, who is in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, stated this when he led a delegation of police top brass to condole with the family of the deceased Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Aliyu Abubakar, in Sokoto.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar, and another officer, Insp. Muhammad Abdullahi, attached to the division in Tangaza council area, were, on Thursday, shot dead by unknown gunmen, who invaded the town and engaged the police in a gun battle.
“The deceased was a seasoned police officer who was truly professional. The impact of the loss is felt by the force and it shall not be left unaddressed,” Mustapha said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police in Sokoto State, Mr Ibrahim Kaoje, expressed regret over the killing of the officers, describing it as unfortunate.
He reiterated the command’s avowed commitment to bringing perpetrators of the dastardly act to book.
“On behalf of the command, I regret the unfortunate demise of our officers.
“The deceased were very gallant, hard working and vibrant officers who dutifully and meritoriously served the force,” Kaoje said.
Speaking on behalf of the deceased’s family, Malam Tukur Bawa, a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and uncle to the late DPO, thanked the delegation and the entire police family for the concern shown to them.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare and
Source: NAN‘Wale Sadeeq