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Cameroon govt sued over internet shutdown in Anglophone regions.

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The Cameroonian government has been hurled before the country’s top court over the imposition of an internet blackout on the restive Anglophone regions.

Two net freedom groups, Access Now and Internet Sans Frontieres (ISF) on January 19, intervened in a lawsuit “challenging a government-ordered shutdown in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions last year.

“We are providing expert advice on requirements under international human rights law and urging the court to end the shutdowns for good, a statement by Access Now said.

The two groups come under the banner of #KeepItOn coalition and have been documenting the cost of internet shutdowns. They are joining two earlier actions instituted in April 2017 seeking to have judicial pronouncement on the shutdown.

In the 2017 papers, the Cameroon government, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication and the sector agency Cameroon Telecommunication (CAMTEL) are listed as respondents. There are five petitioners including the Global Conscience Initiative and Global Links.

The government on September 30, 2017 placed restrictions on access to social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and whatsapp.

This was despite a government statement saying that no such plans were to be implemented. Activists doing a count say Thursday January 25, 2018; is the 118th day of shutdown.

September 30 was the eve of a symbolic declaration of independence by the two Anglophone regions under the Ambazonia State banner. At the time a heavy security deployment across the regions was also in place, subsequent clashes between separatists and security forces lead to deaths, injuries and mass arrests.

It was, however, not the first such disruption in the Central African nation, an earlier one was a total blackout in the northwest and southwest regions. It was only lifted in April 2017 after over three months.

Cameroon’s courts have the opportunity to set a global precedent in favor of human rights and the rule of law,” said Peter Micek, General Counsel of Access Now.

“By declaring the government’s shutdown order a discriminatory, unnecessary, and disproportionate decree, issued under flawed procedures, the court can provide remedy to Cameroonians and light a path for victims of shutdowns elsewhere.”

“A decision by Cameroon’s Constitutional Council to reaffirm the protection of Human Rights, and rule on the illegality of shutdowns, would send a historic and powerful signal to other countries of the Central Africa region,” said Julie Owono, Executive Director of Internet San Frontieres.

Between 2016 and 2017, most countries in the region arbitrarily used internet shutdowns for political reasons.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Activist freed after months of detention

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Omoyele Sowore a Nigerian human rights activist, pro-democracy campaigner, and founder of an online news agency Sahara Reporters has been released.

On August 3, 2019 Sowore was arrested by the Nigerian Department of Security Services (DSS) for alleged treason after calling for a protest tagged Revolution now.

A judge in Abuja ordered the secret police to free Mr Sowore and pay a fine for their repeated refusal to comply with court rulings on the case.

The police had previously refused to grant him bail, despite being told to do so.

He has pleaded not guilty to treason, money laundering and cyber-stalking.

Human rights campaigners say the case is part of a broader move to restrict freedom of speech in Nigeria.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Court sentenced Orji kalu to 12 years in prision

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President Muhammadu Buhari regime has so far tackle corruption as promised to Nigerians before affirming the Nigerian president.

Though, one can not say whether his efforts are being recognize by Nigerian citizens after coming under criticism with his reform plans.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering.

Orji Kalu is a business tycoon who served as the governor of Abia State, Nigeria from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007. Prior to his election, he served as the chairman of the Borno Water Board and the chairman of the Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited.

Kalu was also a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees.

He was the party’s presidential candidate in the April 2007 general election. He is currently a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) after he officially announced his resignation as a PPA BOT.

The court convicted Kalu, now a senator, on all the 39 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charge.

Kalu was charged alongside a former Commissioner for Finance, in the state Jones Udeogo, and his company, Slok Nig. Ltd.

While Kalu and his company were found guilty of all the 39 counts, Udeogo was convicted on 34 counts and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The court ordered that the Slok Nig. Ltd. be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government

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