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EDO POLICE PAYS N20, 000 AS LOSS OF INCOME TO TRICYCLE RIDER AFTER DETAINING TRICYCLE ILLEGALLY:

It was like the usual horrifying and oppressive experience suffered by motorists, motorcycle and tricycle riders in the hands of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force until members of Edo Civil Society Organisations changed the narrative recently.
It was on Thursday 14th October, 2021 that a tricycle rider, Mr. Victor Asuquo was plying Etete road in the GRA area of Benin City when some police officers on checkpoint stopped him to demand for his rider’s permit. His inability to present it led to the seizure and detention of his tricycle in Etete police station till the next day upon which it was released due to the intervention of some members of Edo Civil Society Organisations.
On Friday the 15th of October, 2021 which was the next day, Mr. Victor Asuquo was on same road when same detachment of police officers stopped him again to demand for same rider’s permit which he offered explanations as to what transpired a previous day. All entreaties by Mr. Asuquo fell on deaf ears as they took the tricycle once again to the police station for another round of detention.
Mr. Asuquo who was now distressed as his only means of livelihood has been taken away from him again approached the Interim TEC Chairman of Edo Civil Society Organisations, Bishop Osadolor Ochei who constitute a team to look into the matter and take appropriate steps to see to the release of the tricycle.
The team swung into action by first analysing the situation painstakingly and interrogating the powers of the police to demand for rider’s permit and subsequent detention of the tricycle. Having duly analysed the situation and concluded that no criminal offence had been preferred against the rider, they took necessary steps.
A visit was paid to the police station to demand for the release of the tricycle and payment for the loss of income to the rider. It was clear the police couldn’t provide the constitutional powers donated to them to be demanding for rider’s permit and to detaining the tricycle. The Divisional Police Officer having been made to know the implications of the infractions done by her men, she resorted to resolution but the activists wouldn’t hear of it without a compensation for the detention of the tricycle which has led to loss of income to the rider.
The DPO promised to make up the loss of income for the tricycle rider on Monday the 18th day of October, 2021. On said day, the sum of N20, 000 was handed to the tricycle rider for loss of income for the period his tricycle was detained in the station illegally.
It must be sounded loud and clear that, there is no more room for police oppression, intimidation and extortion in Edo state as long as Edo Civil Society Organisations which is ably led by Bishop Osadolor Ochei as the Interim TEC Chairman exists.
This is victory for all Edo people. Knowing your rights and pursuing same is the sweetest thing to be experienced.
EDOCSO promotes good governance, social justice and human rights.
Leftist Aliyu Umweni
Interim Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO)

PRESS BRIEFING ON BAN ON OPEN GRAZING

PRESS BRIEFING ON THE PROPOSED BAN ON OPEN GRAZING IN EDO STATE AND RELATED MATTERS DELIVERED BY BISHOP (DR) OSADOLOR OCHEI, THE INTERIM CHAIRMAN OF THE EXTENDED COUNCIL (TEC) OF EDO CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS HELD ON THE 21ST OCTOBER, 2021.
Gentlemen of the press, stakeholders, members of Edo Civil Society Organisations and everyone present in today’s press briefing are all welcomed and appreciated.
We the above named coalition of civil rights groups in Edo state with a huge membership strength within Nigeria and in the Diaspora, having our structures in the 18 local government councils of the state do hereby deliver our positions and recommendations on the proposed ban on open grazing by Edo state government.
BACKGROUND
There is no gainsaying that herders/farmers clash has become a national discourse in the past few years. This had led to several deaths and food scarcity in the country. It has also created insecurity in our communities hence some state governments have taken steps in the prevention and mitigation against its ugly outcome.
We all must first agree that pastoral farming is a private venture and must be conducted in a manner that other citizens’ rights are not infringed on. The movement of cattle to openly graze on farm lands or to constitute nuisance should be prohibited in the 21st century.
Flowing from above, Edo state governor on the 11th of May, 2021 alongside other 15 out of 17 governors under the aegis of Governors of Southern Nigeria met in Asaba to issue a communiqué on open grazing ban. It was a unanimous decision by the governors in order to address the high rate of insecurity open grazing had posed in the region. To that extent, Edo state cannot unilaterally dissociates itself from such unified agreement. It amounts to betrayal of confidence and would lead to inertia on the part of other southern states for future collaboration geared towards mutual and collective benefits in the region.
Furthermore, Edo state government decided to hold a town hall meeting on the 11th of October, 2021 for the deliberation on the proposed anti-open grazing law after pressures from citizens and critical stakeholders. It was agreed by all that, the ban on open grazing is a prerequisite to putting a total end to the herders/farmers clash and other criminal activities associated with it. Never during the meeting did the governor informed participants of his intention to meet with President Mohammadu Buhari for Edo state to key into the National Livestock Transformation Plan which was initially code named Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).
The concept is for the federal government to create reserves as ranches for pastoralists that will serve as settlements for herders in states that subscribes to the plan. Several states have rejected the plan because they felt cattle rearing is a private business venture and should be left for the private investors to build ranches themselves instead of creating another community or colony of herders in states. They fear for future claims to such colonies which could lead to communal clash.
Edo state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki should give Edo people details of his meeting with Mr. President as it touches on the following questions below:
1. Does Edo state government have data of owners of the cattle that grazes the state?
2. Is the federal government releasing funds to individuals that own cattle to build ranches or the federal government intends to acquire reserves for them?
3. Has Edo state government trained or plans to train indigenes on the practice of managing and tendering cattle in ranches or same crop of occupational herders are still going to be engaged?
4. Did the cattle owners complained of not having the financial wherewithal to build a modest ranch to keep their cattle?
5. Has Edo state government held a meeting with the cattle owners to identify their constraints and challenges?
6. Why is so much priority given to cattle owners above every other agricultural venture in Edo state?
7. Why is Edo people demand on ban on open grazing not given its due place first before any other steps taken?
8. Can we conveniently conclude that there is a political twist to the reason the demands of Edo people on the proposed law to ban open grazing not considered?
Our positions and recommendations are contained herein under:
1. Edo state should promulgate a law to prohibit open grazing of cattle with stiff punishment for violators.
2. All cattle owners must ranch their cattle.
3. It is not the business of government to provide lands for cattle owners.
4. A unit of the Edo state vigilante network should be duly trained, paid and deployed in the enforcement of the law with support from the Nigeria Police Force.
5. Any cattle owner that allows his cattle to graze on a farmer’s land or destroy any property should be made to serve a jail term not less than six months and pay compensation to the farmer whose farm is destroyed. He should also stand the chance of forfeiting the cattle to the state government.
6. The provision of colony to cattle owners should be discouraged. Every cattle owner should purchase/lease land for the purpose of ranching and/or any other farming operations.
7. Edo state government as a matter of urgency facilitates training on cattle husbandry with startup capital for our teeming unemployed youths, graduates and non graduates respectively. The trained youths should be formed into clusters to operate the ranches that will be built in all the local government councils.
8. Implementation of number 7 above will create chains of employment which will lead to drastic reduction in crime, tax generation increment. With a projection of 16 months of consistency it will cover for the high demands for beef by our people.
9. There is also need for the government to seek for security assistance with countries with technology to combat crimes like kidnapping and banditry that has crept into Edo state.
10. Edo state governor should halt further discussion on the National Livestock Transformation Plan with the federal government irrespective of the monetary benefits as that was not the resolutions from the Governors of Southern Nigeria forum and the town hall meeting held in Asaba and Benin City respectively.
We believe the adoption of the above recommendations would address the worries and challenges open grazing has brought to our dear state. The issue of food security would be addressed and government should also make deliberate efforts in investing in the agricultural sector. Edo people will not be a party to ceding their lands to the federal government plan in whatever disguise. There is no going back on the ban on open grazing in Edo state which is the yearnings of Edo people. Owners of cattle should build their ranches to carry out their legitimate business.
I want to thank you all for taking out your valuable time to be part of this press brieing today.
God bless us all, God bless Edo state and God bless Nigeria.
Signed:
Bishop Dr. Osadolor Ochei (JP)
Interim TEC Chairman

EDO CP MEETS WITH EDOCSO AND OTHERS

The Commissioner of Police, CP Ogbadu Aliyu Philip and senior police officers of the command had met with the interim leadership of Edo Civil Society Organisations and other civil rights groups in the state earlier today in a bid to creating a platform for synergy between the command and the civil society community.

 

The Interim TEC Chairman of Edo Civil Society Organisations, Bishop Osadolor Ochei led other members of the group to meet with COMPOL in a stakeholders’ meeting wherein various issues that bother on reforming the police institution and the strengthening of police-citizen relationship was emphasized.

 

The COMPOL assured of regular meetings with the civil society community going forward in ensuring that the established synergy brings about the best of police operations as he also promised to ensure that any officer deviating from the standard policing rules will be handled in line with the extant laws.

 

Other civil society groups and individuals present raised various cases that were not handled satisfactorily by the police with the COMPOL even as security challenges facing the state were also deliberated on. The COMPOL directed all of such cases to be examined and assured that criminal elements in the state will have no hiding place.

 

Other members of EDOCSO present in the meeting were the Interim TEC Secretary, Comrade Keshi St Lawrence, Comrade Omoruyi Egharevba, Comrade Osazee Edigin, the immediate past Public Relations Officer and Comrade Patience Okafor.

 

Comrade Keshi St Lawrence

EDOCSO Interim Secretary

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ESCAPE DEATH IN THE HAND OF IYOWA CDA CHAIRMAN, ETINOSA IGHODARO:

*HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ESCAPE DEATH IN THE HAND OF IYOWA CDA CHAIRMAN, ETINOSA IGHODARO:* Read More

POLICE INSPECTOR ARREST AND DETAINED RAPE VICTIM, TWO SUSPECTS AND COLLECTED ‘BAIL FEES’ BEFORE RELEASE:

*POLICE INSPECTOR ARREST AND DETAINED RAPE VICTIM, TWO SUSPECTS AND COLLECTED ‘BAIL FEES’ BEFORE RELEASE:*

A police inspector and the Investigative Police Officer whose name was simply given as Ellis attached to a divisional police headquarters in Auchi of Edo state arrested and detained a rape victim that reported a case of rape to the station on 27th May, 2020.
The two suspects were also arrested and detained alongside the rape victim. The trio were forced to cough out ‘bail fees’ before they could secure their release from custody.

The rape victim paid the sum of N10, 000 to secure her release while the two suspected culprits paid the sum of N30, 000 each for their release.

It was reported that, one of the suspects had jumped bail as at this moment while the IPO had been requested to refund the money collected as ‘bail fee’ and also face disciplinary procedures in line with the Police Act and Regulations. When confronted with the reason the victim was detained, he was dumbfounded. It was reported that, the Divisional Police Officer was on official duty as at the time the IPO performed the unprofessional conduct.

Members of Edo Civil Society Organisations, Auchi Study Centre have been on top of the matter in ensuring that justice is given to the rape victim whose economic disposition is pitiable.

Leftist Osazee Edigin
Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations
No. 1, Sokponba Road, (ACB Building)
Benin City,
Edo State,
Nigeria.
Twitter: @alutaedocso
www.edocso.org
info@edocso.org, osazedigin@edocso.org

EDOCSO MEMBERS IMMUNITY AGAINST ‘IGHO’SEKA’

*EDOCSO MEMBERS IMMUNITY AGAINST ‘IGHO’SEKA’*

Edo Civil Society Organisations is a coalition of civil rights groups in Edo state with numerous grassroots cluster arrangements in different communities across the state.

Aside standing for good governance, social justice and human rights as a whole, the area it dissipates its energy excessively in, is building the knowledge base of its members and those that care to learn on a whole lot of societal issues bordering on oppression, intimidation or extortion by individuals or institutions.

Back to the heading of the post, ‘igho’seka’ is a Benin word which literally mean coercively paying money that was never planned for or in another rough translation, it means paying somewhat debt you never owed. I tried to see if there is an English word equivalent to it, I couldn’t find any. This type of payment comes with coercion which is against your will.

In Edo state for instance, a lot of our people are faced with the challenge of being forcefully made to pay money never planned for, mostly when in a dire situation. The reason they find themselves in such circumstances is not far fetched. It’s simply because they lack BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR RIGHTS.

You get pained when you see how citizens are being extorted and exploited by agents of government and powerful individuals in Edo state. Such agencies like the police, market unions, electricity company (BEDC), state and local government law enforcers and individuals given certain powers. In all of these, members of EDOCSO cannot and will never pay any money not officially approved. Even some that seems officially approved that fails morality test are ignored as well.

When others are being forced to pay unofficial fees to access public service, any identified member of EDOCSO is exempted. At times it becomes practically impossible for us to make a conviction that bail is free to some category of persons whose minds are already fixed. In some instances that we have facilitated a suspect’s bail, he will go behind us to offer money to the police as cost of freedom which is already constitutionally free. We can only liberate the prisoner to the extent he wants to be liberated.

Just a mere case of two persons involved in a fight, bail fee in Edo state costs between N50, 000 and N100, 000 with much pleading with the IPO. An amount that can buy you a 100ft by 100ft in some rural communities.

AS FOR ME AND MY FELLOW COMRADES, WE HAVE IMMUNITY AGAINST ‘IGHO’SEKA’.

WE DON’T PARTAKE IN THE PAYMENT OF ‘IGHO’SEKA’.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Leftist Osazee Edigin
Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations