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EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria's Chief Of Naval Staff, Ibok Ibas, Allegedly Locks Up Navy Captain For Six Days In Toilet For Uncovering Fraudulent Act

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 20:54



Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, has been accused of locking up Navy Captain Emmanuel Ekpe Owen (NN1538) in toilet for six days after exposing his financial impropriety.

This was revealed in a 10-page petition to military authorities dated December 12, 2019 and signed by the victim, who is seeking justice. 

The petition partly reads, "I regret to humbly state the victimisation and injustice of my person vide a petition on the present Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibot Ette Ibas, to the Commander-In-Chief of our great country Nigeria.  

"The genesis of my problem with the present CNS could be traced to 1995 and 1996 when we were on national assignment in Liberia under the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group." 

A source familiar with the matter told SaharaReporters that Owen was assigned to ECOMOG as Supply Officer in 1996.

The Nigerian Naval Ship AMBE was said to have been assigned to ECOMOG fleet under the command of Retd Captain Dada  Labinjo (then commander), with present CNS (Ibas) then a Lieutenant Commander and second in command.

On one of NNS AMBE's  trip to Nigeria in 1996 for Back Loading Military Ordinance, five officers and 33 ratings were dropped from the ship and assigned to various duties at Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos.

It was gathered that a total of 45 personnel were left onboard NNS AMBE, which eventually returned to Moronvia, Liberia, for continuation of ECOMOG duties.

The source said Captain Owen stumbled on the allowance file for the personnel onboard at the time and discovered that the present CNS had inflated the names of personnel to 85 instead of 45 with various rates attached to each recipient and already paid.

It was gathered that Owen summoned courage and confronted Ibas about the issue, insisting that the discrepancies in the ECOMOG allowance could put the ship in trouble and embarrass the Nigerian Navy.

Upon realising that Owen was in the know of his financial malfeasance with respect to the disbursement of allowances for 85 personnel instead of 45, Ibas ordered him locked inside a toilet for six days.

Ibas went further to accuse Owen of all sorts of offences including dereliction of duty. 

At the moment, Ibas is said to be deliberately refusing to promote Owen but instead pencilled him down for early retirement next week. 

Normally, Owen is expected to proceed on retirement in 2026. 

The CNS is said to be responsible for the ordeal of Labinjo and his wife, who were detained for one year in an underground cell. 

They have now been transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution. 

When SaharaReporters contacted spokesperson for the Navy, Suleiman Dahun, over the matter, he said he was not aware of the incident and declined further comments. 

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Abuja: Police Allegedly Kill Passerby In Attempt To Disperse Shiite Protesters

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 20:15


The remains of the victim


The injured passersby

The remains of the victim SaharaReporters Media


A middle-aged man has been shot dead by the police in Abuja during a protest by members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as 'Shiites'. 

The incident occurred at the Berger roundabout on Tuesday when armed policemen opened fire on the protesters.

It was gathered that the victim was hit by bullet on the head and died on the spot. 

Another person was said to have been shot on the leg.

As at time of filing this report, the area had been deserted as people ran for fear of being hit by police bullets.  The injured passersby SaharaReporters Media

Secretary of the Academic Forum of the Movement, Abdullahi Musa, confirmed  to SaharaReporters that the victim was not their member. 

He went ahead to condemn the brutality of the police for killing an innocent citizen for just no reason.

Calls put across to the Public Relations Officer of the FCT Command, Anjuguri Manzal, were not answered.
 

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Amnesty International Condemns Killing Of Adamawa CAN Chairman

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 19:34


 

Amnesty International has urged the Nigerian Government to ensure that Boko Haram and other terrorist groups involved in crimes against humanity must not go unpunished.

AI said this in reaction to the killing of Rev. Lawan Andimi, Chairman of a local chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria by Boko Haram.

The rights group, in a statement, said it is appalled by the killing of Andimi, adding that the government must ensure that every member of the terrorist group must be brought to justice.

Amnesty said, “With this horrific murder and an increasing number of attacks in recent weeks, Boko Haram has again shown its brazen disregard for the sanctity of life. 

"These deplorable crimes must not go unpunished.

"It is appalling that Boko Haram followed up the killing of Rev. Andimi on Monday with an attack on his village — in Chibok Local Government Borno State. Targeting civilians is a crime under international law.

"Boko Haram must immediately stop its attacks on civilians. All those responsible for war crimes and other human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria must be brought to justice in a fair trial.

"The Nigerian authorities must re-double their efforts to rescue the hundreds of civilians still detained by Boko Haram.

"Since December last year, Boko Haram has been escalating attacks on civilians, commuters, infrastructure and humanitarian facilities across North-East."

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BREAKING: Nine Imo Lawmaker Defect To APC

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 19:15


 

Nine lawmakers in the Imo State House of Assembly has defected to the All Progressives Congress.

The lawmakers, who defected on Tuesday, used to be members of the Peoples Democratic Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, and Action Alliance.

Speaker of the state assembly, Collins Chiji, read their letters of defection on the floor of the house.

The lawmakers are Authur Egwim (Ideato North) from AA to APC; Chyna Iwuanyanwu(Nwangele), PDP; Chidiebere Ogbunikpa(Okigwe), PDP; Obinna Okwara(Nkwerre), AA; and Paul Emeziem (Onuimo) also from PDP to APC.

Others are Ekene Nnodimele (Orsu) from APGA to APC, Johnson Duru (Ideato South), AA; Ngozi Obiefule (Isu) AA; and Heclus Okorocha (Ohaji/Egbema) from PDP to APC.

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Declaration Of Causes: Why Yoruba Will Leave Nigeria By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 18:00


Bayo Oluwasanmi

Bayo Oluwasanmi

 

This is Nigeria’s end time. The tyrannical regime of General Muhammadu Buhari will give way to secession. In the absence of a unifying national interest, Nigeria has become fragmented, lawless, disorderly, dangerous, and seemingly unliveable.

Predictions about the breakup of Nigeria have reached its crescendo. The Fulani controlled federal government headed by General Buhari continues to thumb its nose at Yorubas. With the formation of Amotekun, the Western Nigeria Security Network, Yorubas have obviously stated their declaration of causes why they will leave Nigeria.

In the declaration of causes, two major themes emerged: domination and internal colonisation. Other grievances include economic exploitation and blatant display of injustice. The Fulanis have never hidden their agenda to dominate the rest of the country. By October 1, it would be 60 years of independence from the Brits. Out of the 60 years, the Fulanis have been in charge of the central government for more than 40 years.

It means the control, misuse, and misappropriation of our collective God-given resources. It means the monopoly of federal government political appointments and federal agencies. Immigration, prison, customs, railways, EFCC, CCT, ICPC, FIRS, NTA, FRCN, federal civil service are headed by Fulanis. 99.99 per cent of federal judges are Fulanis. All the security agencies – military, navy, SSS or DSS, police, are controlled by Fulanis. Above all, the Fulani control of federal bureaucracy, agencies, and corporations mean utter waste of generations unborn and truncation of destinies.

Internally, the domination of Fulanis is on full speed.  With the moral, spiritual, financial support, power, and influence of the presidency, the Fulani herdsmen terrorists killed, maimed, and raped our people. Appeasing the terrorists, General Buhari urged victims of Fulani carnage to learn to live in peace with their neighbours. The Northerners acting like custodians and owners of the presidency, gleefully thundered that “with Amotekun, Yorubas should forget the presidency in 2023. They even went further to demand that General Buhari the Commander-in-Chief of Fulani terrorists, should arrest Yoruba leaders because of Amotekun.

Yoruba Declaration of Causes include but not limited to the following why Yoruba is ready to leave Nigeria:

1. Nigeria is convulsed by internal violence. Yorubas are no longer safe. Nigeria can no longer deliver positive political goods to our people.

2. General Buhari’s tyrannical regime has lost its legitimacy, and by extension, Nigeria has become illegitimate.

3. Nigeria enjoys no stability and predictability. No one is in charge. Our democracy has turned dictatorship. Nothing works in Nigeria. Everything is in disarray.

4. All the ethnic groups are tense, deeply conflicted, dangerous, and contested bitterly by warring factions. There’s unprecedented disharmonies between communities and among states.

5. Nigeria is no longer or willing to perform its fundamental jobs of a nation-state. Nigeria exhibits flawed and failed institutions. Only the institution of the executive functions. If legislatures exist at all, they are rubber stamp machines. The judiciary is an annex of Aso Rock. We can no longer rely on the court system for redress or remedy.

6. Corruption flourishes on an unusually destructive scale. There’s a vacuum of authority. Nigeria is a mere geographical expression.

7. Nigeria is cursed by the discovery of oil. Failure and collapse of Nigeria is man-made. Ethnicity, economics, and ideology all fuelled our decision to leave Nigeria.

There’s no shortage of groups that want Nigeria to split up. Far from the contrary opinion of the Fulanis, secession is a populist option, it’s not a collection of cranky lonesome idealists. Nigeria is a phony country built on borrowed convenience. The looming secession will tear Nigeria to pieces. The pandemic, or an economic collapse, is driving the country to sauve qui peut secession – “let him save himself who can.”

Yorubas have no trust in General Buhari’s Nigeria. We don’t feel represented or belong in the Nigeria experiment. The only way to regain our socioeconomic and political destiny is to leave Nigeria and chart a brand new country that will guarantee our pursuit of happiness, liberty, peace, progress, and prosperity.

Under international law, Yorubas are qualified as “people” who have the right to self-determination, the ability to freely determine our political fate and form a representative government. Yoruba en masse really and truly want to secede, so legal arguments would be irrelevant. The present arrangement, the present General Buhari’s regime are not conducive to our freedom and democracy. We must leave the jungle!

If other nations broke up successfully, why would the Fulanis think Nigeria’s case is etched in stone? Here are some successful secessions:

Algeria broke away from France. East Timor seceded from Indonesia. Eritrea left Ethiopia. Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan. Uruguay left Brazil. Greece and Serbia left Ottoman Empire. South Sudan left Sudan. And Panama left Colombia. Let’s go there!

 

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Affirms Fintiri As Governor Of Adamawa

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 17:13


The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed Ahmadu Fintiri as the authentic governor of Adamawa State.

The apex court dismissed an appeal by candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Jibrilla Bindo, challenging the emergence of Fintiri as winner of the exercise for lacking in merit and failing to prove why its verdict should not stand. 

 

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Organiser Of Nigerian Legal Awards Arraigned Over N20m Fraud

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 16:53


Lere Fashola

Lere Fashola TodayNG

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned Chief Executive Officer of Legal Blitz Ltd, Mr Lere Fashola, over N20m theft and issuance of dud cheques before Justice Sherifat Sholebo of Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja.

Fashola and Legal Blitz Ltd were arraigned on a three-count charge of stealing and issuance of dud cheques.

First defendant, Fashola, is the publisher of ESQ Legal Practice magazine and convener of the annual Esquire Nigerian Legal Awards, which honours outstanding lawyers across the country.

The Advanced Fee Fraud Section of the EFCC said the lawyer was arrested following a petition by Mr Adeyemi Adebola alleging that he obtained the N20m under false pretence in a property transaction upon representation that the property was assigned to the firm "by the dependents and administrators of the Estate of Alhaji Ganiyu Balogun".

The property is located at Plot 732. Block XXVII (27), Omole Residential Scheme, Phase 2, Isheri in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos.

EFCC counsel, Mrs Joy Amahian, said Fashola and Legal Blitz Ltd between January 5, 2018 and February 28, 2018, in Lagos, "dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N20m, property of Mr Adeyemi Adebola."

It said the defendants' conduct amounted to "stealing, contrary to Sections 278 (1) (f) and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011."

The prosecutor also alleged that the defendants in the same period in Lagos "knowing that you had no sufficient fund in your Diamond Bank Plc account, issued cheque No. 53160448 dated June 4, 2018 in the sum of N10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira Only) as a refund in favour of Mr Adeyemi Adebola, which upon presentation was returned unpaid for lack of funds."

Fashola also allegedly issued another dud cheque on July 4, 2018 which was also returned unpaid for lack of funds.

The prosecutor said issuance of dud cheque contravened Section 1(l)(b) and (i) of the Dishonoured Cheques Act of 2004.

Justice Solebo ordered that the award organiser be remanded in a correctional facility.

“Pending the hearing and the determination of the bail application, the defendant is ordered to be remanded at the correctional facility,” Justice Solebo said.

The case was adjourned until February 10, 2020 for hearing of the bail application.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Affirms Ortom's Election Victory

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 16:38


 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the October 7, 2019 decision of the Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, and the November 28, 2019 judgment of the Appeal Court, which upheld the election of Samuel Ortom as governor of the state.

In a unanimous ruling, a 7-man panel led by Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour held that the appeal by Emmanuel Jime and the All Progressives Congress was lacking in merit.

 

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Saraki Urges Court To Vacate Forfeiture Order On Property

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 16:34


 

Former President of the Nigerian Senate and two-term Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission praying for the permanent forfeiture of his Ilorin houses.

Saraki described the suit as an abuse of court process and a move to scandalise him.

He argued that it was a ploy by the EFCC to review the July 6, 2018 decision of the Supreme Court “discharging the applicant from culpability arising from the same money and houses which are the subject matter of this action.”

The EFCC had in the suit filed before Justice Rilwan Aikawa claimed that the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State – were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki while he was Kwara State governor between 2003 and 2011.

Justice Aikawa had on December 2, 2019 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses to the Federal Government.

The judge adjourned for Saraki to appear before him to give reasons why the houses should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In response, Saraki, through his lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), filed a preliminary objection, challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

Ogunwumiju said the new suit by the EFCC was an abuse of court processes because it was filed at a time when a suit on the same subject matter was still pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

According to him, in the Abuja suit, Justice Taiwo Taiwo had on May 14, 2019 made an order for parties to stay action on the subject matter pending the determination of an originating motion on notice.

The ex-Kwara governor said the new EFCC’s suit was meant to “irritate, annoy and scandalise” him and urged Justice Aikawa to dismiss it.

The judge on Tuesday adjourned until February 5 to take arguments on Saraki’s objection.

 

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Police Barricade Gani Fawehinmi Park In Lagos, Prevent Amotekun Protesters From Using Venue

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 16:00


Google/Vanguard

 

Policemen on Tuesday barricaded venue of the protest against the Nigerian Government’s position declaring the establishment of ‘Operation Amotekun’ illegal, a report by PUNCH said.

Recall that Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had in a statement described the establishment of ‘Operation Amotekun’ unconstitutional.

The protest expected to hold at the Gani Fawehinmi Park was organised by the Yoruba World Congress.

Over 20 police vans with armed personnel were stationed around the popular park to prevent demonstrators from accessing the place.

 

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Group Endorses Strike By ASUP, SSANIP In Bida Polytechnic

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:46


 

The Education Rights Campaign has backed the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the organisation said the unions were in their right to enforce payment of their salary arrears and appropriate funding of the polytechnic.

The statement reads in part, “The full payment of salary is a right and we demand its immediate payment across the board.

“We also call for the adequate funding of education by both the federal and the state governments and the management of the Federal Polytechnic Bida led by Dr Abubakar Dzukogi.

“We urge ASUP and SSANIP and their members not to relent on in this struggle. We also urge them not to limit this struggle to a sit-at-home strike action but to commence mobilisation of members and students in mass protests in Bida, Minna and Abuja.

“The management is attacking the rights to dissent and harassing opposition staff unions. For instance six ASUP Bida leaders were arrested and detained in Minna for six days on the orders of Dr Dzukogi. 

“We condemn this repressive action against leadership of unions as it is an attack on their democratic rights. 

“Besides, it undermines the value of higher institutions of learning as a place where dissenting views must be accommodated. 

“The ERC calls on ASUP, SSANIP, other staff unions and students' union in Federal Polytechnic Bida to build a united movement that can begin to organise joint strikes, protests and mass demonstrations to force the management to meet demands of workers and students.”

 

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JUST IN: Midnight Fire Razes 12 Flats In Delta Army Barracks

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:43


Illustration

Illustration

 

A block of 12 flats at the 3 Battalion, Army Barracks Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, have been reportedly razed by fire.

SaharaReporters gathered that the inferno started at about 2:00am on Tuesday, destroying buildings and valuables worth several millions of naira before firefighters arrived the scene.

According to a source in the area, residents of the barracks were prevented from recording the incident on their mobile devices, adding that no life was lost in the tragedy.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. 

 

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UPDATE: Boko Haram Rejected N50m Ransom For Adamawa Clergyman Before Beheading Him

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:32


Facts have emerged on how Boko Haram terrorists rejected a N50m ransom and went ahead to behead Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi on Monday.

The insurgents had demanded for £2m (N946m) but was only offered N50m, infuriating the terrorists, who soon turned their anger on the victim, according to CAN chairman in the state, Stephen Dami Mamza.

He said, “Pastor Lawan was beheaded yesterday.

“Negations were still ongoing when they stopped calling. They were offered N50m but they rejected it.

“They called his wife last week, informing her that they will be beheading him on Saturday but somehow they waited till Monday.

“Also yesterday, Pastor Dennis Bagauri of the Lutheran Church was killed in Jereng, Mayo-Belwa area of Adamawa State.

“It is now clear that Christians are not protected by the government; we don't feel like we have a government.”

Reacting to the incident, the Adamawa State Government described the action of the terror group as barbaric. 

Director-General, Media and Communication to Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, Solomon Kumangar, said, “The governor is saddened by the gruesome execution of the pastor.”

Andimi was abducted two weeks ago when Boko Haram fighters stormed Michika town in search of foodstuff and other basic items.

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Alleged Terrorism: Court Admits Ayade’s Critic, Joseph Odok To Bail

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:18


A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, has admitted a lawyer and critic of Governor Ben Ayade charged with terrorism to bail.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda said the defendant had shown “exceptional circumstances” to permit the court to exercise its discretion and admit him to bail.

The terms include a bail bond valued at N10m with two sureties in like sum. 

One of the sureties must be a civil servant with either the state or Federal Government on Grade Level 13 or above while the other must be a “close relative with a verifiable address,” Justice Amobeda ruled.

Also, both sureties are expected to depose to an affidavit and provide two passport photographs.

The defense team was for the first time comprised of more than one lawyer with E. E. Osim, Oliver Osang and Assam Assam Jnr, who represented the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, all entering appearances.

The matter was stood down for a few minutes after it was called due to the absence of the prosecution counsel, Dennis Tarhemba.  

However, another prosecutor from the Cross River State Police command, C. I. Eze, entered appearance for the prosecution.

Osim, thereafter moved the motion for bail dated and filed January 15, 2020. 

Brought pursuant to Section 35 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the motion was supported by an eight paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Mr Emmanuel Otona. 

The motion had three annexures and was accompanied by a written address, which the defense adopted as part of the oral argument to support the application.

In his oral submission, Osim said the defense was in receipt of the prosecution’s counter affidavit dated January 17, 2020 and drew the court’s attention to paragraph 6, which he said “goes into the issue that the court will entertain in the main trial.”

He submitted that the counter affidavit did not contradict the proof in the annexures of the application and urged the court to grant the defendant bail on self-recognition.

However, Eze who relied on all eight paragraphs in the counter affidavit deposed to by the investigating police officer, Ihezuo Ibe, and adopted the written address as part of the prosecution’s oral argument, submitted that the defendant/applicant had not shown exceptional circumstances in order for the court to admit him to bail.

In his ruling, Justice Amobeda held that bail pending trial remained a right enshrined in the constitution. 

He held that the counter affidavit of the prosecution was “bare” as the deponent is a police officer, who “has no expertise in medicine.” 

He ruled that the “mere claim” of the prosecution that the defendant/applicant was not sick was not enough to discountenance the material evidence placed before the court by the defense.

Odok, who arrived court in company with two correctional officers sporting a blue jean, slippers and a black shirt with the inscription “Freedom Cometh By Struggle”, was arrested at his Abuja residence on September 26, 2019 and spent 26 days in police custody before he was arraigned on October 22, 2019 on two charges bordering on terrorism and cybercrime. 

He pleaded not guilty and was remanded at the Medium Security Custodial Center of the Nigerian Correctional Service where he has spent 91 days so far. 

He risks a death sentence if convicted of the charges.

The matter was adjourned until January 28 and 29 for trial. 

His wife had told journalists that his arrest was a plot hatched by the Cross River State Government to silence him – an allegation the state denies.

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ALERT: Ansaru Planning Renewed Attacks In North-Central Nigeria

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 14:24


 

Terror group, Jama'atu Ansril Muslimina Naijeriya better known as Ansaru, is planning a series of renewed attacks in North-Central Nigeria, SaharaReporters can confirm.

Intelligence documents seen by SaharaReporters shows that the group recently received tons of arms and ammunition from Chinese smugglers in Burkina Faso.

The new cache of weapons is to unleash mayhem in states such as Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Kwara and Edo.

In November 2019, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group was given the green light to activate its sleeper cells for the commencement of hostilities in the region.

Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff, Yusuf Buratai, on Monday boasted that terrorism in Nigeria was a thing of the past and that renewed attacks were the last kick of a dying horse.

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Boko Haram Executes Abducted Christian Association Of Nigeria Chairman In Adamawa

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 14:14


 

Boko Haram Terrorists have executed Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Reverend Lawan Andimi.

A source authoritatively told SaharaReporters that the clergyman was killed on Monday.

Andimi was abducted in early January when the insurgents attacked his village.

Shortly afterwards, Boko Haram released a video clip where Andimi asked the governor of Adamawa State to rescue him.

In his plea, he said, “I have never been discouraged because all conditions that one finds himself is in the hands of God.

“God made them to take care of me. I am appealing to my colleagues, reverends, particularly my President, Reverend Joel Billy, who is a strong man, a man of compassion and man of love. He can do all his best to speak to our governor, Umaru Jibrilla (Fintiri) and other necessary agents for my release here.”

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Amotekun As A Metaphor By Osy Agbo

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:37


 

It's always a little challenge for me trying to ease back into life in the United States each time following a trip to Nigeria. I believe it has to do with leaving my happy place back to elsewhere to face the daily struggles that come with more opportunities. Although I have to admit that even that happiness doesn't always come cheap and easy. This last time, being that I travelled with the entire crew, I had to make sure to dot all I’s and cross all T’s. In fact, I even had to hire my own little security detail. Of course my detail though consisting of a pilot vehicle in addition to the one I drove was nothing elaborate like our glamorous politicians with unlimited budget. In the end it still managed to leave a deep hole in my pocket. A pocket already rendered shallow by other sundry demands. Little wonder Nigerian families in the Diaspora find it hard to make the yearly pilgrimage.

Few months ago, following some serious security breaches, Enugu State Government set-up a five-man Joint Security Committee that included former AIG, Aloysius Okorie. A former IGP, Ogbonna Onovo, was also appointed a security consultant to the state government. It was a culmination of extensive effort that saw to the establishment of the forest guard that now patrol all nooks and cranny of the state. The Ugwuanyi administration purchased 260 operational vehicles, 260 motorcycles and other secure communication gadgets to cover the entire electoral ward in the state. Though there are still occasional reports of attack by hoodlums, it's nothing in the scale of what obtains in other places in the country or even in Enugu few months prior to the implementation of the comprehensive security measures. Enugu State without doubt now enjoys relative peace compared to other states in the federation. And so throughout the country you have similar outfit springing up in their record numbers in an attempt to replicate such a feat.

Not too long ago, Chairman of South-West Governor’s Forum and Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, announced that plans were underway to launch a regional security outfit to combat the spate of security challenges plaguing the zone. Few weeks ago, that outfit was born and is now codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’. It's purported to be an adhoc security arrangement meant to tackle the scourge of widespread banditry allegedly mostly spearheaded by herdsmen. The operation is expected to be funded through a collaborative effort of the states that make up the SW geopolitical zone.

In the Northern states of Kano, Borno etc, you have hybrids program such Hisbah, CJTF that fight alongside the nation’s security agencies to curb the menace of Boko Haram and the likes.

To a lot of Nigerians who have been at the receiving end of the insurgency and pervasive insecurity in the land, such an outfit was long overdue. It's no secret that relying solely on an ill-equipped and poorly funded national police force that has been accused of being constantly manipulated for use in executing sectional agenda is a Hobson’s choice.

As would be expected, not everyone warmed up to the idea. Initially some of the staunchest criticism even came from the Southwest. Afenifere speaking through her national publicity secretary described the outfit as a waste of time and asked the governors to rather expend their energy in support of demand for true federalism instead. Even Aare Ganiyu Adams of OPC cautioned against politicising security by those in government. Later on, everything changed and it gained an almost unanimous support from the Yorubas. It appears that the opposition from Miyetti Allah was the tonic needed to galvanize the southwest to queue behind it. A typical case of enemy from without.

There has been lots of concerns raised about the legality of such an outfit. Folks are also worried about the command and control of such an arrangement to avoid spiralling out of control. In the past, such a setup had triggered instances of extrajudicial killings and some have been deployed to fight political opponents. Those are all genuine concerns and needs to be seriously looked into.

What is not in contentious is that state chief executives have a primary responsibility to do whatever it takes to secure the lives and property of the people under their domain. In the face of an apparent inability of the federal security apparatus to get the job done, the states have no choice than to step in. Which is why the actions of Governor Ugwuanyi, South-West governors and others demand a big commendation. I hope no one is suggesting that we retort to the usual prayer and fasting when the whole country is overrun by criminals, killing our men and women and raping our young girls. Anything short of that would be unconscionable.

Lately, there has been a surge in the push for the formation of a state police. One of the main argument in favour of a regional police force is that the force will be populated by men and women who are from the area of assignment and so will likely have a vested interest to protect where they serve. They will also enjoy more trust and confidence from the people and not seen as an occupation force. But just like restructuring, the government at the centre is yet to show any reasonable propensity to objectively look at these issues on their merit. It appears like the centre is very comfortable with the current arrangement and is very unwilling to listen to alternative arguments.

Not too long ago, the Federal Government put the death toll from banditry at 1460 in 330 attacks within a space of seven months. Of course most people believe this number is extremely conservative. Just this last Tuesday night, gunmen attacked the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum, Alhaji Umaru Bubaram, during his journey between Kaduna and Zaria. Though the Emir was lucky to have survived, four of his aids in addition to about 30 killed and estimated 100 kidnapped were not. Such is the reality of today’s Nigeria.

Truth is whenever a problem is left unsolved it doesn't just disappear into thin air. When it doesn't go away, folks will start to look for a way out. Amotekun just happens to be one of such.

Osmund Agbo, MD, FCCP, writes from Houston, Texas, United States

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Osy Agbo Disable advertisements : 

The Broom Republic By Geleo Covenant

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:36


 

Who brought us here?

In this broom republic!

With their brooms

Unemployment swept in

This uncensored broom

Sickness swept in

Core hardship swept in

Corruption this, corruption that,

We are lost in dismay

Transmission, transmission, oh confusion

The Pharaohs of this generation.

 

Who brought us here?

In this chicken republic

Where we were, no longer where we are

Diversified distraction and classified extortion

...and the priest lost his words.

We tried finding our way back to where we were

Alas! Firemen blocking our way

In this technological era,

Dubai's tall tower,

China's moon car,

The USA and Russians alike,

And the broom republic

Oh what a shame!

 

In this broom republic,

The broomic stand of this broom saddens us

The broomees see nothing wrong about this

We are advancing? Nah, dehydrated!

The dehydration of this nation needs a legislation,

Who will pass the bill?

We are lost and confused!

Politiks of "touch not his anointed",

And the disastrous prophet

Godfathers and their rascality,

 

Area boys and their stupidity

Break this jinx oh compatriots.

Foreigners are scared

Looting and re-looting in a nation,

The gods are saddened

This broom of peaceful disaster.

 

Who brought us here?

Ghana must go, Ghana must go

And this rejection brought greatness to that city

Ah! This next level we desire,

 

...but not from this callous broom

Sick broom of uncircumcised division

Hate speech, hate speech

The body bag Mafian walks free

And the innocent is apprehended

Hunger strike and ASUU strike

 

The god of thunder must strike

Our politicians have conspired against us

Who shall deliver us from their wrath?

A dropout I am cos of this broom

Off my coast, they swept my education.

 

Oxford and Cambridge inhabits their wards

Yet I was made a drop out?

My life, I cannot surrender

For this useless broom is become a disaster.

POETRY AddThis :  Original Author :  Geleo Covenant Disable advertisements : 

EFCC Files Another Seven-count Charge Against Ex-Nigerian Attorney-General, Adoke

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:15


 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed a seven-count charge against a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Adoke was charged alongside one Abubakar Aliyu.

The commission had earlier filed 42 counts against the former AGF and six others in connection with the controversial $1.09bn settlement agreement on Malabu Oil Block.

The seven counts borders on alleged acceptance and spending of about N797.3m. T

The former AGF, who has been in the custody of the EFCC following his arrest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on December 19, is also being tried for his alleged role in the controversial $1.3bn Malabu Oil scandal.

According to the charge sheet signed by Bala Sanga, Aliyu Yusuf, M.S. Abubakar and H.A. Shehu on behalf of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Adoke is facing six counts while Aliyu is facing one count.

The charges read in part, “That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, sometime in September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, accepted as payment the sum of United States dollars equivalent to N300,000,000.00 (Three hundred million naira) from Abubakar Aliyu and you thereby committed an offence as specified under Section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, sometime in September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, made a payment of a sum of United States dollars equivalent to N367,318,800.00 (Three hundred and sixty-seven million, three hundred and eighteen thousand, eight hundred naira) to one Usman Mohammed Bello and you thereby committed an offence as specified under Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b)of the same Act.

“That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, on or about the 16th of September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did cause to be made a structured cash payment in 22 tranches of a sum of money totalling N80,000,000.00 (Eighty million naira) into your Unity Bank Plc account No. 0020153263, which sums you knew was part of an unlawful act, to wit: the payment of an amount exceeding stated threshold amounts outside a financial institution, intending to conceal the origins of the said funds, contrary to Section 15 (2 )(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

 

Corruption Politics News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Balarabe On Amotekun By Wole Soyinka

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:14


 

Balarabe is sadly, but I hope not tragically wrong. I invoke the tragic dimension here because the making of tragedy, especially for nations, often begins when fears are mistaken, or promoted as facts, and governments either by themselves, or together with interest groups, are enticed by fears into embarking on precipitate, irrational, and irreversible acts.

Such acts turn out in the end to be based on nothing but fears, sometimes generated by guilt over past injustices, such as inequitable dealing. That is the basis of tragedy, towards which nations are propelled by a partial, or wrongful reading of socio-political realities and – history.

I would like to see this nation avoid such a blunder. So, I am certain, would Balarabe Musa. Raising the spectre of secession is a facile approach to the dangerous, self-evident lapses in governance which Balarabe himself acknowledges in his response to the Amotekun principle made flesh.

The midwives of Amotekun have repeatedly acknowledged that theirs is only a contribution towards a crisis of escalating proportions. Other states should be encouraged to emulate, not misread such initiatives, then demonize them by false attributions. That is the certain recipe for tragedy.

Wole Soyinka Column Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements :