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SERAP Petitions UN, Wants Buhari To End Harassment Of #BringBackOurGirls Members

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BBOGGThe Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has drawn the attention of the United Nations to what it said is the continuous harassment and intimidation of the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) advocacy group by the Nigerian authorities, and the impermissible restrictions on the rights of members to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The group, in an urgent appeal dated September 9, 2016 signed by its senior staff counsel, Timothy Adewale and addressed to Mr. Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, described as unjustifiable and in bad faith, the reported ban of protests in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim.

Mr. Ibrahim, in a move targeted at the BBOG, which holds daily sit-outs at the Unity Fountain, Central Business District of the FCT, warned against illegal processions in the nation’s capital.

The police chief specifically viewed with concern, the activities of the BBOG, led by a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, saying it was capable of breaching the peace of the FCT.

SEE ALSO: “Enough Is Enough”, IGP Idris Tells Ezekwesili, BBOG

However, following criticisms that trailed his comment from a cross-section of Nigerians including Mrs. Ezekwesili and a human rights advocate, Femi Falana (SAN), IGP Idris backtracked, saying he never banned protests in the FCT or anywhere for that matter.

The BBOG group has been at the fore-front of the campaign for the safe return of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted since 2014 by the extremist group, Boko Haram.

In the appeal signed by Mr. Adewale, SERAP pointed out that, “No Nigerian law makes it a crime to demonstrate in any part of the country. Harassing the BBOG group and stopping its members from proceeding peacefully to the seat of government is overkill”.

The urgent appeal reads in part: “It’s the primary duty of the President Muhammadu Buhari government to protect all demonstrators, including the BBOG group and enable lawful demonstrations to proceed peacefully. Carrying out this obligation is about deeds, not words.

“SERAP considers restrictions placed on the right of the BBOG group to peaceful assembly by law enforcement agencies as unnecessary, disproportionate, unjustified in law, and in bad faith.

“SERAP is seriously concerned about the continuing indiscriminate and disproportionate restriction on the right of members of the BBOG group to protest. All Nigerians including members of the BBOG group have the rights to freedom of expression and to protest. There is absolutely no reason to view these members as anything other than committed peaceful demonstrators.

“The ability of the BBOG group to organize, mobilise and speak out on matters of the missing Chibok girls cannot be prohibited under any grounds whatsoever. SERAP considers the freedom of assembly and to take part in the conduct of public affairs as a means for public expression and the cornerstone of democracy and the rule of law. Every Nigerian has the right, without prior permission, to assemble peacefully and protest, even if the authorities disagree with the views of the protesters.

“There is in fact a positive obligation on the Nigerian government to take reasonable steps to protect members of the BBOG group from disruption by others. SERAP believes that peaceful protest is also a means to gather support from civil society on issues that affect those demonstrating, and is part of the exercise of an active and participatory democracy.

“The right to freedom of peaceful assembly protects Nigerians’ ability to come together for the common good, and serves as the vehicle for the exercise of many other human rights. When the right to peaceful assembly is suppressed, there is a higher risk for demonstrations to escalate and turn violent”.

SERAP, therefore, requested Mr. Kiai to put pressure on the Nigerian government to end continuing harassment and restrictions on the right of members of the BBOG group to protest and take measures to encourage, promote and facilitate the enjoyment of the right to peaceful assembly by this group and other group of Nigerians in any part of the country.

It also urged the UN Special Rapporteur to among others, remind the government that the task of the police is to protect rights and facilitate, rather than frustrate demonstrations, as well as to promote criminal and disciplinary sanctions against those who interfere with public assemblies; appreciate and recognize the positive role of peaceful protests as a means of strengthening human rights and democracy in the country; remind the Nigerian authorities that the organization of a protest should not be subject to prior authorization, and that organizers of peaceful assemblies like members of the BBOG group should not be criminalized for not requesting an authorization.

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Zamfara Governor Commiserates With Victims Of Bandit Attack

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Zamfara Governor Commiserates With Victims Of Bandit Attack
Zamfara Governor Commiserates With Victims Of Bandit Attack

Bello Matawalle

Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle has commiserated with families of victims of the attack on citizens of Gidan Goga community by armed bandits.

The Governor assured that what is happening in terms of banditry attacks is not a security lapse but a momentary hiccup that will not be allowed to last.

Also Read: Governor Lalong says Plateau lost N75 billion to looters

He said the attack further exposed the desperation of the bandits who are experiencing heavy pressure from the offensive launched by security operatives in recent times.

“I want to assure our law obedient citizens of Zamfara State that the experience we are undergoing will not last. The bandits are experiencing our sustained pressure which they have reacted through cowardly and desperate attacks on innocent citizens,” Matawalle observed.

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Tech News

First celebrity Limited Edition Smartphone in Sub Sahara Africa: Davido Special Edition of Infinix NOTE 8

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Over the last few weeks, Infinix has floated its candy before the eyes of tech enthusiast intensifying their craving for the soon to be released device. Through several social media posts, Infinix has hinted on the imminent release of the NOTE 8 and we all can’t wait for the device to hit the shelves.

Although the proposed date for the launch in its initial teaser videos and banners have passed without
any launch, we have reasons to believe that the launch will take place sometimes this month.

However, here’s a more interesting news. Infinix is set to be the first smart phone company in sub Sahara Africa to launch a limited edition device with a celebrity. A special edition of the NOTE 8 will be released alongside the primal version of the NOTE 8 and the NOTE 8i. The special edition is  signed by Infinix’s brand ambassador David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido.

The available stock for the special Davido-signed edition is limited. However, interested shoppers can
get one for themselves at exclusive SLOT outlets nationwide and on their website Here. Exciting free
gifts are also available if you’re among the lucky few to buy this device while stocks last.

The Infinix NOTE 8 is targeted at the mid-to-high-end market segment and it comes with several
interesting features. The device on-boards a super-fast processor – the MediaTek Helio G80
processor, which supports ultra-fast gaming speed, stable graphics in-game, easy multi-tasking as
well as an all-round optimal performance.

The device also sports six cameras in total. It comes with a dual selfie camera which is cut out from its
super-wide 6.95inches screen. On the back, the NOTE 8 crams a 64MP super night shot camera for
amazing night shot photographs and other photography needs.

Many of Infinix loyalists and smartphone enthusiasts are already clearing their carts and lining up in
preparation for the launch of the Infinix NOTE 8. Now that there’s a special Davido edition in sight, the
queue might just be doubling up.

To stay ahead of interested shoppers and ensure that you’re one of the first to get your hands on this
special edition of the NOTE 8, follow Infinix on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @Infinixnigeria.

You can also join their community of young and vibrant fans on XClub via the app on your Infinix
device or click on this link to download the app if you’re a non Infinix user.

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Sports

The potential for iGaming in Nigeria uncovered

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There is a growing positivity surrounding the Nigerian iGaming industry. As the nation breathes a collective sigh of relief following the announcement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), it’s hoped that many burgeoning industries such as the world of iGaming can be allowed to flourish and bring much-needed tax revenues to the country.

Many analysts within the iGaming industry believe Nigeria has the potential to become Africa’s iGaming hub. Its domestic market is already forecast to be worth $2 billion, due largely to sports betting and the fascination with Nigerian soccer stars overseas like Odion Ighalo at Manchester United. Meanwhile, the domestic penetration of smartphones is also recognised, with some 83% of the population now owning a mobile device.

Nigeria was also a major focal point during this year’s SBC Digital Summit Africa, which was understandably conducted virtually earlier this month. Ahead of the summit, experts enrolled in the event were asked to vote on which African country offered the best foundations for iGaming operators to thrive. Nigeria outperformed every other nation, with 31% of all votes labelling Nigeria as the country with the highest potential to make a real
success of its domestic iGaming sector.

Even South Africa, which has a well-established domestic iGaming market, ranked second with just 28% of the vote. Prospective Nigerian iGaming operators should certainly take a leaf out of the book of South African iGaming brands, many of which have cultivated a strong customer base through the use of incentives and sign-up bonuses. The vast majority of offers available at platforms like Casinos.co.za, direct gamers to the safest and most reputable
platforms.

One of the main reasons that industry experts believe in Nigeria’s iGaming potential is that it already boasts an engaged target demographic. Many of its young adults are already betting on sports like soccer and boxing, and there is a feeling that introducing them to casino gaming verticals would not be too difficult a stretch. Marry that with a growing number of smartphone users, which is predicted to reach over 140 million people by 2025, and you can
see the potential for iGaming apps and web applications to provide immersive, secure gaming
on the go.

Presently, the country has three separate bodies responsible for licensing online betting activities – the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) and the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). At the time of writing, online betting at a domestic Nigerian site is strictly prohibited by law. Loopholes regarding offshore operators make it possible for
Nigerians to play elsewhere, but it seems somewhat short-sighted for the Nigerian government to steer clear of creating its own regulated, revenue-making iGaming industry.

In a nation of substantial population, supporters of developing a domestic iGaming industry in Nigeria believe that the most would be a positive step, creating new career opportunities for everyday people. This could be in customer support, game development or any other facet of an iGaming operator. All the while, generating tax revenues for the Nigerian government and helping to breathe new life into the domestic economy.

There is a general feeling that Nigeria’s gaming industries tend to follow the same path as South Africa’s. The SBC Digital Summit Africa revealed that there has been a “seismic shift” from sports betting markets to casino games in the last eight months, including live dealer tables, that’s according to Sean Coleman, CEO of the South Africa Bookmakers Association.

Live dealer games seemingly “appeal to millennials” across South Africa. Dean Finder, CEO of Evolution Services SA believes the fact that live dealer games are “not gender biased” is an opportunity to reach out to female players, which are an often “unserved market” across Africa.

For these trends to follow suit in Nigeria, operators will need to build further trust in their
games and regulatory measures to curry favour with the country’s legislature.

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