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Amnesty asks Biden to close U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay

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U.S President Joe Biden and Guantanamo Bay

Amnesty International has urged United States President Joe Biden to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba which has been operational for 20 years this month.

The camp stands for arbitrariness, injustice, and torture, Amnesty’s U.S. expert, Sumit Bhattacharyya, told dpa in Washington.

Mr Bhattacharyya urged Biden to close the camp and bring people who were involved in torture or other illegal activities there to justice.

The camp which now has 39 detainees left, was established under the government of Republican President George Bush to hold suspected Islamist terrorists without trial after September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC.

Mr Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, wanted to close it but failed due to opposition in the U.S. Congress, while Republican Donald Trump wanted to keep the camp open.

Mr Biden, who was Mr Obama’s vice-president, is trying to push through with plans to close the facility.

To mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of the opening of the camp, the rights body is planning protests in several cities in Germany and other countries on Saturday.

The first prisoners were brought to the Guantanamo camp – located on a U.S. military base in Cuba on January 11, 2002.

(dpa/NAN)

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NUC approves two more universities for Lagos: Sanwo-Olu

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Sanwo Olu.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos says the National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the establishment of two more universities for the state. 
Mr Sanwo-Olu dropped the hint at the public presentation of a book titled: Oluwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe @60; Audacity of Resilience, on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, the development is timely, as it will expand access to the teeming youth who aspire for higher education.

He stressed that the two existing universities in the state were not enough to accommodate the quest for the growing number of youths seeking higher education.

The governor emphasised that education remained the only potent weapon to eradicate poverty and breach all limitations.

According to him, there is also the need to groom future leaders, as well as develop a curriculum that speaks to the needs of tomorrow.

Mr Sanwo-Olu added that Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu would henceforth become University of Science and Technology, while Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education would now merge with Michael Otedola College of Primary Education and upgraded as University of Education.

(NAN)

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INEC withholds pay of 630 ad hoc staff over election materials

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Prof. Yakub Mahmood

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it withheld the allowances of 630 ad hoc staff who failed to return election materials and devices used for the gubernatorial election in Anambra on November 6, 2021.

The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Nkwachukwu Orji, during a news conference on Tuesday, said the commission was displeased that the ad hoc staff failed to return the commission’s materials.

“The commission has taken the unfortunate decision to withhold the allowances of staff involved in the act, pending the return of the materials to the commission,” he said.

The INEC official named some of the materials to include; Bio-modal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, battery chargers, cables and other accessories.

Mr Orji said although some of the staff concerned have started returning the items, the commission has resolved to place an order that all the materials must be returned before payment would be made to them.

The REC also announced that INEC had lifted the suspension placed on the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in the state.

“INEC suspended CVR in Anambra on Sept. 15, 2021 because of the governorship election in the state, but with the election successfully completed, the commission has from today Tuesday Jan. 25 lifted the suspension,” he said.

He said the exercise would take place in the 21 LGAs of the state and the commission’s headquarters in Awka.

(NAN)

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Willing Muslims can wear hijab in public schools: Kwara Govt

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Kwara state governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

The Kwara state government on Tuesday directed heads of schools to allow the use of hijabs in all categories of public schools, warning that attempts to sabotage the peaceful coexistence among state residents will not be tolerated.

The Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Sa’adatu Moddibo-Kawu, made this known on Tuesday at a meeting with Muslim and Christian stakeholders of Ijagbo, Oyun LGA, held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Ilorin on Tuesday.

A statement issued by Yakub Aliagan, the ministry spokesperson, said the policy statement allowing willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear the hijab was binding on all public schools, including grant-aided ones.

“This conforms with the judicial pronouncements of the courts of law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement said.

The commissioner, therefore, appealed to both Muslim and Christian leaders to allow peace to reign and thereafter directed the school heads of Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, to immediately implement the policy statement on the use of the hijab in public schools.

According to the statement, the meeting was also attended by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, the Teaching Service Commission and TESCOM Board members, ANCOPSS/ NUT members.

Also in attendance were the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Ijagbo, Rev. Samuel Ajayi, Chairman Muslim Stakeholders, Offa & Oyun LGA, Abubakar AbdulWasiu and the Chairman, Kwara state Muslim stakeholders, among others. 

(NAN)

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