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News & Announcements

Prof Yinka Olomojobi Emerges With A New Book Titled ‘Exploring The Convergence Between Human Rights Law And Humanitarian Law’

Issues about human rights, international humanitarian laws, peace took centre stage at the launching of Prof. Yinka Olomojobi’s latest book titled ‘Armed Conflict: The Convergence between International Human Rights Law & International Humanitarian Law’.

No doubt, in today’s world, understanding the intricate interplay between human rights and humanitarian law is more vital than ever, especially, against the backdrop of numerous conflicts unfolding globally. ‘Armed Conflict: The Convergence between International Human Rights Law & International Humanitarian Law’ provides timely insights and in-depth analysis, shedding light on how these legal frameworks intersect and apply to contemporary conflicts.

Speaking during the presentation of the book in Lagos, Olomojobi, a legal practitioner, human rights activist and Professor of Law at Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, underscored the need to avoid war and conflicts because of the danger they bring to the society. He said the use of nuclear weapons leads to human suffering and weakens global economies, stressing also that the danger of leaving nuclear weapons in the hands of corruption-ridden countries, as would expose the world to great danger.

The author notes that International Human Rights Human Rights Law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) are complex subject matters, as they are interwoven and at the same time belong to different sets of legal regimes. Human rights law has been an effective legal regime and has made substantial progress of development since 1945. According to him, the main challenge of human rights law is that it has constantly been violated during armed conflict. “Universal standards of human rights law are seldomly adopted during armed hostilities, even though death and destruction are directly consequences of these conflicts; it is IHL that regulates the rules on how wars can be fought.

“International humanitarian law is a system of law that aims to cushion the effects of armed conflict for humanitarian reasons. This is achieved by placing restrictions on how war is waged, and protecting the rights of those who are not currently – or have ceased to be – directly or actively engaged in hostilities. International humanitarian law is also commonly known as ‘the law of war’ or ‘the law of armed conflict.’”

He added that, perhaps, even more fundamental, is that “the rationale behind IHL, is its human application, unlike human rights law which is of general application. What is particularly significant about IHL is that it is precise. It may be regarded as the ‘Queensbury rules’ of war. However, beyond the scope of IHL is that over the years, it has become increasingly difficult to demarcate the lines between IHL and IHRL. What is important to realise is that IHL is traditionally considered separate from IHRL, even though the two legal disciplines frequently overlap. Thus, there is a convergence between the two bodies of law. Therefore, this book aims at throwing more light on the argument that IHRL and IHL are complementary and are not fixated under any strict rule of compartmentalisation.”

In attendance at the book presentation include the CEO, Adron Homes & Properties, Aare Ademola Emmanuel King, who was the Chairman of the occasion; the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN); Professor of Commercial and Intellectual Property Law, Babcock University, Dorcas Odunaike; Barrister Adewole Koko; Barrister Kemi Osunde; and Mrs. Adebimpe Audullahi Mosadoluwa, from Harmony Gardens & Estate Development.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Aare Ademola Emmanuel King, commended Olomojobi for writing the book, noting that “a lot of work and nights of studies were put to work to write and publish this book which will be a reference point now, and in several years to come. The book is a great addition to the legal world. Having the book will do the society a great good.”

Also, in his remarks, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN) also commended the autor for writing the book, describing it as “a job well done. I will also have the opportunity to attend the next publication.”

Osunde, in is remark, commended the author for having the ability to put his thoughts together in the book, noting that “people will remember the amount of time and energy put into this book and read it. I urge you to keep impacting knowledge on people.”

A pivotal work in the field of international law, ‘Armed Conflict: The Convergence between International Human Rights Law & International Humanitarian Law’, is a must-read for anyone seeking to comprehend the complexities of modern warfare and its legal implications.

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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Receives Updates From Korean K-Rice Belt Initiative Team and Efforts to Increase Rice Production

President Dr Julius Maada Bio has received a technical team from the K-Rice Belt Initiative of South Korea, which updated him on the outcome of their visit and plans to increase rice production, improve food security and ultimately reduce reliance on rice imports.

Led by Jae-Hyeon Ryu, the team comprising agricultural experts, told the President about their pre-feasibility study and assessment of potential sites in the country, adding that they had identified Bo Manehun in the Bonthe District due to its characteristics, including land fertility, expansiveness, transportation accessibility, and water supply feasibility.

He said they were now returning to present the findings to their government and following which the necessary infrastructure improvements in the chosen area would be undertaken to support the project.
He informed the President that they would return to commence the implementation process, first with a full-scale study while effective implementation should be expected to begin this year.

President Julius Maada Bio said he was very excited to have the team and notified them of the visit last week of the outgoing Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sierra Leone, His Excellency KIM Young Chae, who informed him about their coming. He said he was eager about the relationship between Sierra Leone and Korea, especially in the aspect of food production.

The President expressed hope that the Koreans would share their experiences, and expertise and develop the capacity of locals by working with them. He added that that was very important for the transfer of knowledge and to get them fully involved in every aspect of the project.

He said he wanted to meet them in person to register his commitment to the project, adding that his government would give all the support needed, including making the roads leading to the sites they had chosen. He wished them well and assured of his government’s readiness whenever they were ready.
The K-Rice Belt Initiative, launched by South Korea as a part of its international aid and cooperation programmes, involves collaboration with several African countries to enhance their rice production capabilities based on their experience and success in rice cultivation and agricultural technology.
Today’s visit is a follow-up to discussions, including those between President Bio and the Korean President, His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol, during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September last year.

Immediately after that meeting in New York, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Henry Musa Kpaka, travelled to Korea and engaged the Deputy Prime Minister, Choi Sang-mok, the leader of the K-Rice Belt Initiative to express Sierra Leone’s interest.

His formal application for Sierra Leone to join the countries receiving support under the initiative was also approved by the Korean Government. The partnership was to be later formalised through a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries on 16 October 2023, the day the FEED SALONE was launched by the President.

According to the MoU, K-Rice Belt Objectives would seek to increase rice production by introducing high-yielding seed varieties to significantly boost local rice production and reduce reliance on imports.
It would also ensure technology and knowledge transfer through the introduction of advanced South Korean agricultural practices and high-yield rice varieties, including the provision of machinery for the project and extension services by the Koreans. It would further support sustainable agricultural practices and long-term viability and resilience in rice cultivation.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Republic of Sierra Leone State House.

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Former Attorney For Fugees Rapper, Pras Michel, Faces Probation, Fine For Contempt Of Court 

David Kenner, an 82-year-old former attorney for Fugees rapper Pras Michel, was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and fined for contempt of court.

The sentencing came after Kenner admitted to violating a court order by sharing protected discovery material with reporters in the lead-up to Michel’s 2023 trial. Kenner reached a plea deal with prosecutors, avoiding jail time but agreeing to a one-year probationary period and a fine.

During a virtual hearing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta initially expressed reservations about the deal, emphasizing the importance of sending the right signal to lawyers bound by protective orders. However, after negotiations, Mehta accepted the agreement with the provision that he retained the authority to impose a maximum fine of $5,000. Mehta remarked that the fine, while symbolic, holds significance.

Kenner’s attorney, Barrett Boss, did not contest the $5,000 fine but highlighted that Kenner had personally spent $1.4 million on expenses related to Michel’s defense. Kenner, appearing virtually from his California office, characterized the conviction as a “low point” in his 56-year career, expressing remorse and accepting responsibility for his “reckless” conduct.

Michel had severed ties with Kenner following his April 2023 conviction on 10 felony counts related to his association with a Malaysian billionaire accused of embezzling billions from the country’s sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB. Michel faced charges such as acting as an unregistered foreign agent of China, conspiring to make illegal campaign contributions, and witness intimidation. The judge in Michel’s case is currently reviewing a motion for a new trial, alleging that Kenner mishandled the defense, including the use of AI to generate the closing argument.

Kenner’s sentence follows a series of articles by Bloomberg, published almost 11 months ago, revealing grand jury materials and nonpublic information protected by a court order. Kenner had shared this information with reporters investigating Michel’s case. Despite having the reporters sign a protective order, they later disregarded it, prompting Kenner’s acknowledgment of recklessness in not terminating their access after they indicated non-compliance with the order’s terms.

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US Professor Accidentally Shot Dead By Security Bidding Him ‘Goodbye’ In Osun

A tragic incident struck in Ejigbo, Osun state when a United States Professor and politician, Richard Adeoriokin, was accidentally shot dead by a local security guard while bidding him farewell after an event.
The incident occurred around 8:30 pm on Saturday along Inisha Road of Ejigbo, following the conclusion of a public function attended by Professor Adeoriokin, his political associates, and the son of Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oyeyode Oyesosin. 

After the meeting at the king’s residence, the son ordered the security guard to fire gunshots into the air to bid farewell to his friends. 
Unfortunately, one of the bullets struck the Professor, resulting in his death, and the enraged mob subsequently killed the security guard. 

Afeez Lawal, the personal assistant to Professor Richard who was present at the scene, recounted that his boss, a lecturer at Prairie View A&M University in Houston, Texas, and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had attended a ceremony where Governor Ademola Adeleke was conferred with a chieftaincy title before the tragic incident occurred.

He said: “We headed to Ejigbo for the 50th coronation anniversary of the Ogiyan of Ejigbo. Immediately, after the event, we were almost set to go back to Osogbo, the king’s son, Oyeyode Oyesosin said we should go to his house along Inisha road for a brief meeting, so those that followed him home Ayodele Asalu, Timothy and Prof Richard. 

“When the king’s son wanted to bid his guests farewell, he ordered the local security to fire guns to the air, as a gesture but unfortunately, one of the security’s guns was facing down, instead of firing to the sky, he fired the bullet downward, the bullet hit Professor on his leg, he fell, before we could rush him to the hospital he had lost a lot of blood. He gave up the ghost at the Baptist hospital in Ejigbo.”
The aide confirmed that the remains of the Professor had been deposited in Osun State University Teaching Hospital Morgue. 

Meanwhile, Governor Ademola Adeleke ordered through investigation over the killing of Adeoriokin and one other as he condoled with the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyeyosin. 
He directed law enforcement agencies to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and ensure that the law takes its cause.

He further called for pre-emptive action by the security agencies to prevent any possible counter-attacks or eruption of violence in the ancient town following the sad incident. 
Adeleke Urged families of the deceased not to take laws into their own hands.

He said: “What happened at Ejigbo is really sad. I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased. I have directed an immediate investigation into the killings of Dr Richard Adeoriokin and the subsequent killing of his killer. I have also instructed the State Police Command to issue guidelines on the usage of local guns. Such regulations will enhance the safety and protection of the citizens, especially at public functions.”

Subsequently, the All Progressives Congress (APC) through its state Chairman, Tajudeen Lawal condoled with Ejigbo over the killing of one of its prominent indigenes, describing the death as tragic and wicked and tasked the Police Authority to investigate the matter.

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First Lady Launches ILO’s Opportunity Salone, A Knowledge-Sharing Event

The provision of employment backed by the creation of decent jobs for all and investing in young people to boost economic growth and investment is core to the actualisation of every country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, the creation of decent jobs is an essential mandate of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the world body has continuously made tremendous contributions towards ensuring the implementation of the highest forms of labour standards and practices across the globe.

However, these efforts have been often hamstrung by the unstable economic conditions of some member states that jeopardise the creation of decent jobs in the private sector on one hand, and inadequate investment opportunities that could allow the country’s private sector to boost development and create a competitive environment, which creates jobs and trade integration.

The Sierra Leonean First Lady, Dr Fatima Maada Bio, while delivering the keynote address at the opening of an Agricultural Exhibition staged to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and other businesses from another project, urged the European Union (EU) to create a healthy and competitive space that would enable Sierra Leonean products to thrive on European markets. She, also, commended the EU and ILO for such encouraging initiatives, stressing that it is part of the President’s agenda in making agriculture the mainstay of the economy and gateway for creativity and employment in the country. Important dignitaries from the public sector and chiefs of industry were present at the exhibition. The International Labour Organization defines decent jobs as: “Productive work for women and men in the condition of freedom, equity, security, and human dignity.” The Opportunity Salone programme, with support from the European Union in Sierra Leone, is helping to provide the much-needed human capital boost centred on sustainable development. It is working in collaboration with SMEs and SME contractors to provide a series of training on Start and Improve Your Business (SYIB), Get-Ahead Training, and My Coop, with financial support to acquire various types of machinery to help upscale production processes to meet market demands in the districts of BO, Kenema, Bombali, and Port Loko through the Opportunity Salone programme.

The Project’s Employment-intensive investment programme (EIIP), links infrastructural development with the creation of employment and working with young SME contractors in providing training and contracting these businesses to carry out routine maintenance of feeder roads in the agricultural communities to access markets, link communities and connecting people in the project’s operational districts.

In 2023, these SME contractors maintained 33 kilometres of feeder roads in all four districts with support from the Opportunity Salone programme. In 2024, the project would maintain a total of 102.32 kilometres of feeder roads.

In December 2023, the project organized its maiden edition of the knowledge-sharing events, which brought together key actors involved in the implementation of the Opportunity Salone project. The event was utilised as a platform for them to express their challenges and successes achieved over the year by SMEs, SME contractors, partners, donors, and the beneficiaries themselves.

The Convener, Mr Manoto Tonderai, CTA and team – under the dynamic leadership of Dr Vanessa Phala, Director of the ILO Office for Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana – was able to bring in one room, First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Mrs Fatima Maada Bio; the EU Ambassador, Manuel Muller; Global Coordinator, Value-chain and Entrepreneurship, ILO, Merten Sievers; UN Women Head of Office, Madam Setcheme Mongbo and Sierra Leone’s Minister of Labour, Mr Mohamed Swarray, to the lunch of the knowledge-sharing event.

The three-day event climaxed with an appreciation evening to thank supportive partners, performing SME businesses, business trainers and stakeholders of the project in order to motivate partners to continue to invest, support and encourage SME businesses for the right reasons, and for contributing to the livelihoods of Sierra Leonean youths, women and persons living with disabilities (PLWDs).

Business owners equally expressed their satisfaction with the opportunity to gather in one room to discuss and put ideas together, noting that it made them feel like co-owners of the Opportunity Salone programme. They promised to ensure their continued support towards the project. One of the beneficiaries, Sidkie Bangura, captured their achievements from a personal testimony.

His words: The EU and ILO Opportunity Salone programme has been a blessing to my business and community; with support given to my business, I have been able to provide solar lights for my community; with proceeds gained from the business, I have grown from producing hygienic palm oil to processing the nut oil into cooking oil, which also can be used for cosmetic production.”

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Russia Jails Ailing Pensioner For Enemy Treason

A 61-year-old retired airline pilot was sentenced Friday to over eight years in prison for allegedly planning to join the Ukrainian army, a Russian court said.

Igor Pokusin, born in the Ukrainian city of Odesa, poured paint on a pro-army banner in March 2022 and wrote the words “Glory to Ukraine” on the wall of a local museum in the Siberian town where he lives.

After serving a six-month suspended sentence for those crimes, he was charged with “treason” based on wiretapped calls with relatives in Ukraine, rights groups said.

Prosecutors alleged that Pokusin, who according to local media suffers from multiple health problems, planned to travel to Ukraine to “fight against the Russian army”.

“Pokusin was unable to follow through with his actions,” the top court in Russia’s Siberian Khakassia region said, sentencing him to eight years and one month in prison for “state treason”.

Pokusin acknowledged his opposition to the conflict, the Perviy Otdel rights group said, but denied that he planned to “fight on anyone’s side”.

Moscow made criticism of its army illegal shortly after launching its Ukraine offensive in February 2022, and thousands of the conflict’s opponents have been censored, jailed or exiled.

Pokusin’s sentencing came a day after a human rights activist was sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly “discrediting” Moscow’s army in a social media comment.

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Femi Otedola Visits Dangote Refinery, Says ‘History Had Been Made’

Femi Otedola, the Nigerian billionaire and business mogul, declared that history had been made after his visit to the Dangote Refinery. This comes following reports on January 12, 2023, that the refinery initiated the production of diesel and aviation fuel.

The Dangote Refinery boasts a 650,000 barrel-per-day oil processing capacity and was officially inaugurated by former President Muhammadu Buhari. The commencement of operations followed the receipt of six shipments of one million barrels of crude cargo.

In a post on his X page, Otedola extended congratulations to Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of Dangote Group, for the successful establishment of the refinery. He expressed admiration for the Dangote Oil Refinery, referring to it as the “8th wonder of the world” that had just started production.

Otedola commended Dangote for this significant achievement, highlighting the refinery’s Guinness Book of Records recognition as the world’s largest single-train petroleum refinery. He concluded by acknowledging the historic nature of the accomplishment.

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Kenya Starvation Cult Leader Charged With Terrorism

The leader of a starvation cult in Kenya has been formally charged with terrorism in connection to the deaths of over 400 of his followers, as announced by a Kenyan court on Thursday.

Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, along with 94 other individuals, entered a plea of “not guilty” to charges of radicalization. Additionally, Mackenzie faced charges of “organized criminal activity,” as outlined in documents from the Mombasa court.

Mackenzie is accused of inciting his followers to starve to death with the belief of meeting Jesus, a shocking case that gained international attention. His arrest in April followed the discovery of bodies in the Shakahola forest near the Indian Ocean, where autopsies revealed that a majority of the 429 victims had succumbed to hunger. Disturbingly, some victims, including children, showed signs of having been strangled, beaten, or suffocated.

The pre-trial detention of Mackenzie, a former taxi driver, was repeatedly extended as the prosecution continued its investigation. However, a court issued a warning last week, indicating that Mackenzie would be released unless formal charges were filed within 14 days.

The gruesome incident, known as the “Shakahola Forest Massacre,” prompted the government to emphasize the necessity of enhanced oversight over fringe denominations.

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South African Police Kill Six Suspects In Shootout

In an early morning encounter near Durban, South African police engaged in a shootout, resulting in the death of six suspects. The police operation targeted a gang linked to a series of house robberies and murders that had recently occurred.

The escalating crime rates in South Africa have raised concerns, with the country recording three murders per hour in the first three months of 2023. The South African Police Service (SAPS) stated that the operation was based on intelligence regarding the suspects involved in house robberies, murders, business robberies, and carjackings.

Upon reaching a residence in Inanda, a crime-prone township northwest of Durban, the police encountered a fierce exchange of gunfire. Three suspects, including a woman and two men, were apprehended. Police Minister Bheki Cele, who visited the scene, reported the discovery of valuable items such as expensive alcohol and technology in the house.

The intense shootout lasted approximately 25 minutes, with Minister Cele expressing gratitude that the police survived the encounter. Authorities recovered two rifles, a shotgun, and a vehicle stolen in December from the premises.

This incident follows a similar event in September, where police thwarted a cash-in-transit heist in the country’s northeast, resulting in the death of eighteen individuals.

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