Award-winning Nigerian rapper, actor and singer Folarin Falana professionally known as Falz has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the letter titled: “REQUEST FOR RECONSTITUTION OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR THE DISCHARGE OF ITS FUNCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO CASES OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN NIGERIA,” he demands for a reconstitution of the governing council of the National Human Rights Commission
“It has been brought to my knowledge via a statement by your Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, that the Federal Government has accepted the 5-point request of the ENDSARS protests presented by well-meaning Nigerian youths. This statement went on to state that there will be an independent investigation panel to look into the violations of Human Rights by the defunct SARS and other segments of the Nigeria Police.
Quoting Mr Adeshina’s statement: “the Forum agrees to the setting up of this independent panel by the National Human Rights Commission within the next one week’.
“As it stands now, the National Human Rights Commission has remained without the Governing Council since 2015 and still remains without it The unfortunate circumstance has led to the aggravation of human rights abuse,”
It is pertinent to note that Section 5 of the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act 2010 empowers the National Human Rights Commission itself to receive complaints and investigate all alleged cases of human rights violation in Nigeria and mak appropriate recommendations to the president.
The detailed and concise provisions of this section adequately empower the Human Rights Commission to look into these cases by itself. The commission need not set up another panel for the exercise of its functions.
More importantly, the National Human Rights Commission ought to have a Governing council under Section 2 of the National Human Rights Commision (Amendment) Act consisting of the following people:
(a) a chairman who shall be a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria or the Court of Appeal or a retired judge of th High Court of a State;
(b) a representative each of the following Federal Ministries-
(i) Justice; (ii) Foreign Affairs; (iii) Internal Affairs;
(c) three representatives of registered human rights organisations in Nigeria;
(d) two legal practitioners who shall not have less than ten years post qualification experience;
(e) three representatives of the media, at least two of whom shall be from the private seector.
(f) three other persons to represent a variety of interests; and
(g) the executive secretary of the commission.
According to section 7(3) of the National Human Right Commission Act, the Executive Secretary of the Commission does not have the power to act without a Governing Council.
In the light of the foegoing, I hereby call on Your Excellency to immediately reconstitute the Governing Council of the National Human RIghts Commission and to do so publicly as well as transparently in order to restore the confidence of young Nigerians in your proposed police reform process.
“Failure to do this would force young Nigerians to believe that the continuous refusal to re-constitute the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission is a deliberate attempt to mislead us into thinking genuine efforts are being made at reforming the Nigeria Police, when in truth the opposite is the case.”
I am confident that Your Excellency will grant my humble request in order to guarantee the protection of the fundamental human rights of all Nigerians”
Temi Otedola Wins Best Actress at Ghana Movie Awards
Nigerian fashion blogger and actress, Temiloluwa Elizabeth Otedola known as Temi Otedola, won the best actress (African Collaboration) at the just concluded 10th edition of Ghana Movie Awards (GMA).
Announcing her win on Twitter, Temi Otedola wrote: “I just heard I won the Ghana Movie Award in the category of Best Actress (African Collaboration) for my role in Citation!!! So so grateful! Thank you for this honor”, she also appreciated Kunle Afolayan, the producer of the movie. “also, congratulation @Kunleafolayan who won for best movie (African Collaboration), so happy for the entire citation family”.
The awards ceremony which held virtually, awarded Temi Otedola as Best Actress (African collaboration) category for her acting debut role in “Citation” competing with Ini Edo in the same movie, Eucharia Anunobi in the movie Foreigners God and Ivorian actress Alexandra Amon in the movie ‘fix us’.
Kunle Afolayan also won the Best Movie (African Collaboration) with the Citation, competing in the same category was “fix us” – Yvonne Nelson, Ogbozo – Destiny Omon & Ama K. Abrebese and “Foreigners God” – Ifan Michael
With over 30 nominees, here are the winners for the 2020 Ghana Movie Awards:
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bernard Aduse-Poku — Heroes of Africa
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Van Vicker — Heroes of Africa
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Habiba Sinare — 18
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Roselyn Ngissah — Ogbozo
Michelle Attoh – Fix Us
SOUND EDITING AND MIXING
Fix us — Bernie Anti
Heroes of Africa — Frank Fiifi Gharbin
18 — Kobby Okyere
Ogbozo — Solomon Tamakloe
Fix Us — John Passah
COSTUME & WARDROBE
Heroes of Africa — George Atobrah
MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING
Heroes of Africa — Zion Train
Heroes of Africa — Bismark Gyamerah
MUSIC ORIGINAL SONG
Ogbozo — Blakk Rasta
MUSIC ORIGINAL SCORE
Fix Us — Berni Anti
BEST ACTOR – AFRICAN COLLABORATION
Sam Dede — Foreigners God
BEST ACTRESS – AFRICAN COLLABORATION
Temi Otedola – Citation
BEST MOVIE – AFRICAN COLLABORATION
Citation — Kunle Afolayan
BEST SHORT FILM
Wrong One — Kobby Maxwell
BEST ANIMATION MOVIE
ILL-MINE — Divine Jones
Irene Logah — Fix Us
WRITING ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Fix Us — Pascal Amanfo
Heroes of Africa — Frank Fiifi Gharbin, Matilda Asare
French MPs Approve Return of Stolen Artefacts to Benin, Senegal
France’s Members of Parliament have approved the return of historical artefacts stolen from Republic of Benin and Senegal.
The MPs voted for a limited restitution to the two countries on Thursday.
Both countries, colonised by the French in the 19th century lost lots of historical artefacts to their colonial master. There are about 90,000 looted and artefacts in France at the point.
Benin will receive 26 of its stolen artefacts in the restitution with one of them being the throne of the last king of Dahomey, Behanzin.
Senegal will receive a sword owned by a 19th-century Sheikh El Hadj Omar. The sword and its sheath is in the museum of the French Army but had been loaned to Dakar Museum on a long-term.
A total of 48 MPs voted for the restitution, none voted against while there were two abstentions.
The vote for a restitution of the artefacts has been described as a “strong act towards African and Afro-descendant youth”
Historical museums like the Quai-Branly Jacques Chirac museum and several British institutions continue to face pressure to return stolen artefacts back to their roots.
In France, there are at least 240 artefacts which have their roots currently under investigation.
Germany also opened a museum on Wednesday with criticisms greeting the event as artefacts from Benin Kingdom, Nigeria and other African countries were found there.
Law Student, Maryam Umar, Wins BBC Hausa Story Writing Competition
Maryam Umar, a 20-year-old student law student in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria, has emerged the winner of the BBC Hausa women’s short story writing competition for 2020.
Umar, a student at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, won the competition with her story entitled: ‘Rai da Cuta’ – meaning ‘Life and Sickness’ in the English Language.
Umar’s ‘Rai da Cuta’ tells the story of Azima whose husband returns from a trip exhibiting all the symptoms of the (COVID-19). Although his wife is heavily pregnant, he refuses to isolate himself and remains in denial of the virus.
Azima locks him up in a room but soon finds out she has already contracted the virus from her husband. This eventually leads to the loss of her baby and a long battle for her life.
Umar, who expressed happiness for emerging the winner said, “I have always loved books as a little girl. I would hide to read books.
“Growing up, I would assemble my friends and tell them about a book I read, but in truth it was always a story that I made up in my head.
“I have always been someone who loves to solve problems. I enjoy finding solutions in innovative ways.
“Then I found the internet – the easiest way to deliver my message. That’s how I began to write.”
Surayya Yahaya, a 25-year-old indigene of Kano State, emerged the first runner up in the competition with a book, titled “Numfashin Siyasata,” (My Political Life).
The book tells the story of a young woman, who goes into active politics to save the people of her village from underdevelopment but she is turned down by the same people she was keen on saving because she was a woman.
Her determination to represent her people leads to the death of her parents and she almost loses her own life.
Yahaya, who expressed joy for emerging first runners in the competition, said since her father died, she had not been able further her education beyond secondary school.
She stated that she would like to further her education if she could get support from well-meaning Nigerians or corporate organisations.
Rufaida Ibrahim, a 25-year-old student of the Federal College of Education, Kano State, came third with a story titled, “Farar Kafa” which literally means “The Wife Who Brings Bad Luck”.
Her book tells the story of Ramatu, who is considered ‘the bringer of bad luck’ after her husband experiences losses shortly after their marriage.
His business crumbles due to poor financial decisions just as his small shop is destroyed by fire.
He divorces Ramatu because he believes she is the cause of his bad luck.
Her second husband dies just a week after their wedding and this causes more trouble for her.
Marina Forsythe, the BBC World Service Group Communications Publicist, explained that the contest which began five years ago was introduced to give female writers a platform to tell and share their stories.
She quoted the Editor of BBC Hausa Service, Aliyu Tanko as saying: “I’m thrilled that this year’s awards were won by very young writers which show how our primary targets have embraced this competition.
“Many writers have been empowered by these awards over the past five years which is a testimony to how we value our young female audiences.”
Bilkisu Funtua, the Lead Judge, said: “To me all the writers are winners.
“We see a sharp change in the themes and writing styles from what is typically seen in Hausa women’s writing. But Maryam Umar’s ‘Rai da Cuta’ is outstanding.
“This writer was able to incorporate wit and humour in what could have easily been the saddest story.
“She brought to the fore front the nonchalance of our people toward the coronavirus pandemic in a unique style.”
Also speaking, Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, Head of BBC West Africa said the organisation was pleased to support the competition.
According to Ogunseye, it is important to provide female Hausa writers with the platform to tell their stories.
“This year’s winner highlights a story that everyone can relate to in these unprecedented times.”
BBC Hausa is part of the BBC World Service that offers a breadth of multimedia content which reaches 24 million people across the world on a weekly basis.
It broadcasts to Hausa-speaking audiences, providing radio, online, and TV content in West Africa as well as to diaspora audiences.
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