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SERAP sues Buhari, others over plan to monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari, urging the court to “declare illegal and unconstitutional the plan by the present administration to track, intercept and monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls, and text messages of Nigerians and other people.”

According to SERAP, it severely threatens and violates the right to the preservation of privacy.

The suit followed the proposal in the Supplementary Appropriation Act signed in July 2021 to spend N4.87 billions to monitor private calls and messages.

The amount was part of the N895.8billion supplementary budget approved by the National Assembly.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/2021 filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday, SERAP is seeking: “an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Buhari and any other authority, persons or group of persons from unlawfully monitoring the WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages of Nigerians and other people.”

The suit was filed by SERAP’s lawyers, Kehinde Oyewumi and Kolawole Oluwadare.

The suit partly read, “The Buhari administration has legal obligations to protect Nigerians and other people against arbitrary interference and violations of their human rights. Monitoring of WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages would grant free rein to government agencies to conduct mass surveillance of communications of people.”

Joined in the suit as Respondents are Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation and Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

However, the date for the hearing of the suit has not been fixed yet.

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One dies as bushfire destroys over 90 farmlands in Yobe

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The Yobe State Government, through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), has confirmed the death of one person in a bush fire that gutted farmlands in some communities in the Gulani Local Government Area of the state.

SEMA, via its verified Facebook page, gave the confirmation after its response team carried out an assessment visit to the affected communities.

It also noted that over 90 farmers, who were at the eve of harvest, lost their farmlands to the disaster.

“In the early hours of Tuesday the 30th and 1st of December, 2021; over 90 farmers in Gulani local government who are at the eve of harvest lost their farmlands due to bushfire with one farmer reported dead.

“SEMA response team along with the LGA Chair visited the scene to commiserate with the victims on behalf of the Government and to conduct on the spot assessment”, the agency posted.

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It disclosed that five communities, Bularafa town, Makera Village, Makera Fili, Juggolgam as well as Gulani town, were affected.

“While commiserating with the victims, the Executive Secretary of SEMA Dr. Mohammed Goje assured the victims of Governor Mai Mala Buni’s readiness to come to their plights and support them within available resources to cushion the hardship they might encounter after investing everything for this harvest”, it assured.

Recall that DAILY POST reported that Gulani is regarded as one of the food baskets of the state, hence many expressed concern that the bushfire which destroyed farmlands in the area may affect crop production this year in the state.

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One dies as bushfire destroys over 90 farmlands in Yobe

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Geodesists proffer solution to incessant building collapse in Lagos, others

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Geodesists under the auspices of the Nigeria Association of Geodesy (NAG) have said that lack of deformation surveys for monitoring of structures is the major factor responsible for frequent building collapse in Lagos State and other major cities in the country.

The association, which is a group of scientists and researchers specialised in scientific areas of surveying, said this in a communique issued at the end of their annual conference, theme “Geodetic Solutions to Multi-Disciplinary Problems”, held at Federal School of Surveying, Oyo.

DAILY POST recalls that a 21-story building collapsed on November 1st in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State. No fewer than 40 people lost their lives as a result of the incident.

Our correspondent recalls that another building on November 17th collapsed in the Badagry area of Lagos State.

NAG has however said that the absence of deformation surveys for monitoring of structures such as high-rise buildings, bridges, and dams is responsible for the frequent building collapse in Lagos and other cities.

The association, in the communique made available to DAILY POST through its President, Professor Timothy Oluwadare Idowu, insisted that the only solution to reduce incessant building collapse is to ensure speedy implementation and compliance to the Federal Government’s policy on deformation monitoring of infrastructures.

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NAG suggested that an acceptable format for the generation and presentation of deformation monitoring data should also be developed, in order to reduce incessant building collapse across the country.

The association explained that the alarming rate of retreating Lake Chad is a major international boundary issue that has consequential conflict potentials in the country.

It observed that the “Absence of deformation surveys for monitoring of structures such as high-rise buildings, bridges and dams is responsible for the frequent collapses of such structures in the country.

“Inadequate monitoring and poor understanding of subterraneous activities particularly in areas of intensive mining results in the poor estimation of the environmental impacts of these activities.

“Lack of accurate geoid model for the country is a major problem in the development of a common and unified reference system for the country. Insufficiency of gravity data in the country is a setback for geoid determination and modeling.

“The alarming rate of retreating Lake Chad is a major international boundary issue which has consequential conflict potentials for major socio-economic and national security concerns”.

NAG while speaking further suggested that there is a need to ensure speedy implementation and compliance to the Federal Government’s policy on deformation monitoring of infrastructures so as to reduce incessant cases of building collapse in the country.

“Speedy implementation and compliance to the Federal Government’s policy on deformation monitoring of infrastructures. An acceptable format for the generation and presentation of deformation monitoring data should also be developed. An acceptable format for the generation and presentation of deformation monitoring data should also be developed.

“Geodetic solutions to the spatial dynamics of Lake Chad retreating shorelines should be adopted for sustainable planning and management of the socio-economic activities and the mitigation of environmental impacts of the shoreline retreat, particularly as it relates to the Nigeria border sectors where significant variations are noticeable.

“Geodesy should be considered to stand alone as a full departmental programme in an appropriate faculty/school within university and polytechnic systems to deeply enrich researches in geodesy options like space geodesy, marine geodesy and geophysical exploration amongst others”.

Geodesists proffer solution to incessant building collapse in Lagos, others

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Idoma billionaire businessman, Ochacho, Sen Abah Moro meet Ortom on Benue development

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A billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Mohammed Adah, popularly known as Ochacho, on Wednesday, met with the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom to discuss ways of developing the state.

Ochacho and his entourage were led to the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi, the state capital, by the Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District, Comrade Patrick Abba Moro.

Governor Ortom, while addressing the press after meeting with Ochacho, acknowledged the infrastructural developmental strides of the Ochacho Foundation particularly in the construction of roads in Benue South.

He said although Ochacho is not into politics, he is a Benue son who is adding value to the development of the state and needs collaboration.

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Ochacho’s younger brother, Alex Enokela Ogbe, who is the CEO of the foundation, in a remark, expressed gratitude to God for making the Ochacho Foundation representative of good works.

He urged his supporters to remain calm as they will soon hear from him on the way forward.

Other members of the delegation included the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Sir John Ngbede, members of the Benue State House of Assembly from Zone C, and Chairman of Ado local government council, Hon. James Oche.

Others are Prof. Agbo Madaki, Hon. Chris Aba, Hon Mrs. Abeje Egwa, PDP state Woman leader, Hon Egli Johnson Ahubi, former Deputy Speaker BNSHA, Hon Mike Audu, House of Assembly Member, Adoka/Ugboju among many others.

Idoma billionaire businessman, Ochacho, Sen Abah Moro meet Ortom on Benue development

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