The Inspector General of Police (IG) Alkali Usman has said operatives who raided the residence of Supreme Court judge, Justice Mary Odili have been arrested.
He disclosed this during an interview at a two-day capacity building workshop for security operatives in Lagos and Ogun organised by the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone Two, held at Victoria Island, Lagos.
Justice Odili’s residence was on Friday night invaded by armed security operatives for reasons yet to be ascertained.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubarkar Malami (SAN), Department of State Services (DSS) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) all denied any involvement in the invasion which attracted widespread condemnation.
Following public outcry, the IG on Monday disclosed that an investigation into the incident had commenced and assured the perpetrators would be fished out and brought to justice.
Giving updates on the case, Usman said: “I have taken my time not to speak quickly on this issue to ensure that when I speak, I am able to give Nigerians information on what transpired or what has been done. To the best of my knowledge, we have been able to arrest the perpetrators and we are investigating the circumstances surrounding the invasion or siege on the judge’s residence.”
On the wee-hour attack at University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), Usman said the police and other security agencies were working to ensure the safe rescue of the six persons kidnapped.
“We have information that bandits attacked the University of Abuja and six persons were kidnapped. The police and other security agencies including the military are working to ensure the safe rescue of the victims,” he said.
The IG also dismissed reports that suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari has been recalled as he assured of adequate security in the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra State.
So many Nigerians, socio-cultural organisations have reacted to the sudden release of Sambo Dasuki, Omoyele Sowore in a fashion not reminiscent of the tyrannical tendencies of Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and his blatant disobedience of several court orders from Nigerian courts and ECOWAS courts.
Buhari has refused and disobeyed court orders to release Sambo Dasuki in the ast four year, in what many think was based on simple personal grievances with Buhari.
Activist and convener of the RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, in the evening of Tuesday, December 24, was released alongside Col. Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser.
Dasuki was seen here for the first time in four years reunited with his family praying and being hugged by family members.
Dasuki has been detained under the pretence which Buhari and his cabal called “threat to national security” a term usually used by tyrants to detain opposition or someone they fear and used to obfuscate the unsuspecting public.
Buhari met the new United States Ambasssdor and it was alleged that she ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to release all political and religious prisoners or he and his regime may face serious consequences from the international community. Few days before the release of these men, the United Congressmen have addressed a serious worded letter to the Nigerian Attorney General, Mr Abubakar Mallami urging him to respect the rule of law and democratic tenets of Nigeria and release Omoyele Sowore.
Mrs Mary Beth Leonard in the conversation with Buhari who sounded very traumatised said that ” the recent listing of Nigeria for human rights concerns created an impression that some people were being unfarily treated or marginalised in the country. I know that those with access have created an impression of being marginalised, but I sit here with clear conscience and I took an oath and I am honouring the office”.
Ambbassador Mary, who was not deterred told Buhari that “Nigeria was listed in the watch list to deepen the conversation on humanitarian situation in the country, especially with religious leaders and mediators”
Many would observe that Buhari’s government has overseen thousands of deaths of mostly Christians in the hands of Fulani herdsmen, who are largely Muslims. He dragged his feet and refused to designate the group as terrorists but rushed to proscribe the Biafran group IPOB as terrorists. Also, the Shiite group led by Sheikh El-Zakyzaky whose crime was only a religious march, which allegedly blocked the passage of Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur J. Buratai.
It is obvious that the United States have over time observed the trends in the tyrannical administration of Muhammadu Buhari and has decided that it is time to address his dictatorship and stiffling of religious rights of Christians and Shiites group in Nigeria.
The United States Congressman Chris Smith earlier yesterday said that “Buhari must account for all the killings by Fulani herdsmen”. This is a very serious matter that could take international dimension if care is not taken. Buhari could be brought to international court to give account of the killings by Fulani herdsmen and state what measures his government took to check on their activities, if any.
Some Nigerians have expressed their feelings about how the man they have seen as a tyrant, who doesn’t bow to court orders or the judiciary, rather have this arrogant attitude towards them has bowed to little pressure from the United States.
The question is would Buhari begin now to turn a new leaf or go back to his old ways? But it seems the new Ambassador of the United States is one who will not let Buhari behave as he has been doing in his last four years as a tyrant
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Amnesty international has reacted to the seven-count charge of treasonable felony and money laundering against detained activist and Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore by the Federal Government.
Sowore, a presidential candidate in the February 2019 presidential election was charged along with Olawale Bakare, also known as Mandate.
The charges were signed on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), by Aminu Alilu, a Chief State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Justice.
In the charges instituted against the defendants, the prosecution accused Sowore and his co-defendant of committing conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign on September 5, 2019 aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The prosecution also accused them of committing the actual offence of reasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.
It also accused Sowore of cybercrime offences in violation of section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, by “knowingly” sending “messages by means of press interview granted on Arise Television network which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Reacting, Amnesty international in a post on its verified Twitter page condemned the charges.
The global rights human organization described the charges against Sowore “as an attempt by the Nigerian authorities to deprive Sowore of his human rights”
The post read: “Amnesty International condemns the bizarre charges pressed on activist Omoyele Sowore for expressing his views in media interviews.
“The trumped up charges he is facing show an attempt by the Nigerian authorities to deprive him of his human rights; Omoyele Sowore continued incarceration on application of the Terrorism Act for exercising his right to freedom of expression is a misuse of the criminal system to silence dissent.
“We call on the Nigerian authorities to respect and protect human rights of all persons without discrimination and ensure that it does not use its laws to justify violations of Omoyele Sowore human rights.”
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Prof. Wole Soyinka has alleged that the Buhari-led administration is using security agencies to silence Nigerians.
The Nobel Laureate made this claim at the unveiling of an art gallery in commemoration of his 85th birthday. Insisting that such move only shows that the government is afraid, Soyinka added that it also reduces those running the government, Igbere TV reports.
“It is important to send strong message to this government and to the security services to stop trying to muzzle people when they come together to exchange ideas.
“You’re reducing them as human beings and you’re also reducing yourselves as human beings, because it means you’re afraid to listen” he said.
Speaking further at the event held on Saturday August 24, Soyinka told Nigerians not to believe everything they read on social media.
“Be very, very careful what you believe even when you read such materials in social media or sometimes in newspapers because in this country, we have a most fertile multiplier effect.
“When somebody hears something, he puts it on the Internet, it spreads and an industry begins as people start commenting on things which never existed.
“Sometimes on social media, you’ll even see trending quotes supposedly from me, with my name, my photograph, with statements which represents what those people want to say but lacked the courage to say it” he said.
This is coming after security operatives sealed off the venue of a symposium where Soyinka, Falana and many others were expected to speak on the security issues ravaging the country.
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A National Executive Committee member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mohammed Abdulrahman, tells TOBI AWORINDE that President Muhammadu Buhari may not achieve balance in the appointments of his security chiefs before the 2019 elections
What do you think of the predominance of northerners among the security chiefs in the country as we approach the election year?
The 2019 elections will be inconclusive because the blood flowing in Nigeria is beyond what God permits. God does not even permit blood flow. Nobody has a power to destroy His creation. People are losing their lives every day in Nigeria to the extent that America, England, Europe and other countries are saying the bloodletting should stop. It is unfortunate that all these are happening in a country where we are supposed to be the strongest force among the African peacekeeping forces. Even on social media, they are wasting their time, watching and monitoring what people say. Is leadership about that? Has what you hear people discuss got anything to do with good eldership? It will never help them. They are spending billions on what will not help the common man. God gave Buhari the Presidency but removed his ability to watch whether he is going to serve the common man or not because that is what God brought him to do – to change the face of Nigeria, reposition Nigeria in Africa. But instead of repositioning Nigeria, they made the situation worse.
So, the appointment of security chiefs from one section of the country and the heavy spending on security payments can never save Nigeria form insecurity.
He is not God. He is a human being like all of us. He cannot use power and security to break people. He has left the issue of leadership, but God is going to intervene. We all have to be patient.
What do you think of the ethnic composition of the appointments of Buhari’s service chiefs in particular?
That is what I am telling you. It was done to create the conquering of other tribes in Nigeria. But Nigeria has about 370 tribes. They are the owners of Nigeria, not the northerners; every Nigerian — Yoruba, Igbo or Ijaw — owns Nigeria. Mark my words: no human being has the capacity to chain them. War does not knock on the door. It triggers intolerance and impunity, which are happening now. If they put the entire security outfits in (the hands of) one ethnic group, just watch what God is going to do about it.
Do you think Buhari can reshuffle the appointments before the elections?
Think about it. You know Buhari’s antecedent since his first coming as a military head of state. The National Security Organisation was very powerful because it was a military outfit. Nothing happened in government without the NSO. That’s where I was. Even if he (Buhari) makes the whole security outfit from his house, it cannot change anything. It’s now in God’s hands. The Igbo have known that there can never be Igbo presidency in Buhari’s time. All these things we are watching are part of God’s intervention. He (Buhari) can never change his cabinet. Even if he changes it, it is cosmetic with no desire to move Nigeria forward, but to deceive Nigerians. And if we’re talking about deceit, well, you know very well the credentials of this government as far as deceit is concerned. (Punch)
• Shiite, IPOB extrajudicial killings, Dasuki’s detention cited as rights abuses, violation of rule of law
Tobi Soniyi in Lagos
The United States Department of State has again issued a damning assessment of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari in its 2017 Country Report on Human Rights released last Friday in Washington D.C.
In the 48-page report posted on the website of the State Department, the U.S. government said impunity remained widespread at all levels of government in Nigeria, further noting that the Buhari-led administration lacked transparency.
A copy of the report obtained by THISDAY added that government officials engaged in massive corruption.
Corruption, the report said, was not limited to government officials but very rampant among the security agencies.
The report stated: “Although the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
“Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security services.”
On the anti-corruption agencies, the report noted that although the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) efforts remained largely focused on low – and mid-level government officials, following the 2015 presidential election both organisations started investigations into and brought indictments against various active and former high-level government officials.
It, however, observed that the EFCC often did not observe all due process safeguards and refused to obey court orders granting bail to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
“Many of these cases were pending in court. According to both ICPC and EFCC, the delays were the result of a lack of judges and the widespread practice of filing for and granting multiple adjournments.
“EFCC’s arrests and indictments of politicians continued throughout the year, implicating a significant number of opposition political figures and leading to allegations of partisan motivations on the part of the EFCC.
“In a case brought by the EFCC, in November a federal court convicted four firms allegedly used by a former aide of former President Goodluck Jonathan of laundering 1.67 billion naira ($$55.3 million) in stolen funds.
“In its pursuit of corruption, the EFCC often did not observe all pertinent due process safeguards. In November, the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice declared unlawful the arrest and detention in 2015 of former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
“A court ordered him released on bail in a case brought by the EFCC for the alleged diversion of 13.6 billion naira ($$443.2 million) intended to purchase military material during the Jonathan administration. Despite the court order, he remained in detention,” said the report.
In support of the claim that impunity remains the order of the day in Nigeria, the report further noted that government did not often take steps to prosecute officials who perpetuated impunity whether in the security forces or elsewhere in government.
It, however, acknowledged that government did take steps to investigate such impunity but failed to bring to book those who violated the law.
The report cited various instances including the atrocities allegedly committed in the North-east by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and the refusal to bring to justice military men who killed members of the Shia group Islamic Movement of Nigeria in 2015 in circumstances adjudged to be extrajudicial.
“As of November, the government had not adequately investigated or held police or military personnel accountable for extrajudicial killings of supporters of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra,” the report added.
Excerpts from the report added: “Authorities generally did not hold police, military, or other security force personnel accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody.
“State and federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths generally did not make their findings public.
“In August, the acting president (Yemi Osinbajo) convened a civilian-led presidential investigative panel to review compliance of the armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement. As of November, the panel had not issued a report.”
The state department report stated that respect for human rights generally remained appalling in Nigeria.
The report identified the following as the most significant human rights abuses: extrajudicial and arbitrary killings; disappearances and arbitrary detentions; torture, particularly in detention facilities, including sexual exploitation and abuse; use of children by some security elements, looting, and destruction of property; civilian detentions in military facilities, often based on flimsy evidence; denial of fair public trial; executive influence on the judiciary; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and movement; official corruption; lack of accountability in cases involving violence against women and children, including female genital mutilation/cutting and sexual exploitation of children; trafficking in persons; early and forced marriages; criminalisation of status and same-sex sexual conduct based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and forced and bonded labour.
Speaking during the official release of the report, the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour of the US Department of State, Mr Michael Kozak, said the 2017 report marked the 42nd year that the U.S. has published the country-specific annual Human Rights Reports.
He said the law requires the U.S. executive to produce the report every year.
According to him, “This goes back to the 1970s when Congress said to the Executive Branch, ‘When we’re making decisions about foreign assistance and security assistance and trade agreements and all of that, we’d really like to know: what is the human rights situation in the countries that we’re dealing with’.”
He said the U.S. did not produce the report to pass judgment “on other countries or to name and shame”.
“It’s to fulfil a statutory responsibility to our Congress to try to produce the most accurate description of what we find is going on in other countries so that they can use that in making decisions,” he explained.
Efforts to get the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, to react to the report proved abortive as his phone was switched off. (THISDAY)