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I Want Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Dead Or Alive In 40 Days, Buratai To Troops

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The Nigerian Army has handed out a 40-days ultimatum to troops fighting in North East to capture and deliver to the leaders of the Boko Haram insurgents, Abubakar Shekau to the Army Headquarters dead or alive.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai handed the ultimatum to the Theatre Commander of Operation LAFIA DOLE, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, urging him to deploy every weapon in the arsenal of the command to smoke out Shekau.
A statement from Army Spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman said the Army Chief gave a period of 40 days for the Theatre Command to accomplish the mission.

The statement reads: “Today, Friday 21st July 2017, the Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, has directed the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, to capture Abubakar Shekau, the so-called and self-styled leader of Boko Haram terrorist group, dead or alive.
“The Theatre Commander has further been directed to do so within 40 days.
“He is to employ all arsenal at the disposal of the Theatre Command to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria.
“The general public is please requested to also assist and volunteer information that would lead to the accomplishment of this task.” (The Sun)

 

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Female Suicide Bomber Hits Maiduguri Mosque, Kill Eight |The Republican News

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Eight people were killed on Monday when a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a mosque in northeast Nigeria, in the latest attack in the restive region.

The head of the Borno state emergency management agency, Ahmed Satomi, said the blast happened at about 5:30 am (0430 GMT) in the London Ciki area of Maiduguri, which has been at the epicentre of Boko Haram violence since 2009.

“She killed eight people and injured 15 others. The mosque was being guarded by civilian JTF (joint task force militia) during prayers,” he told AFP.

“Unknown to them, the girl was being pursued from another part of town by residents who were suspicious of her movement at the time.

“When she approached the mosque, they demanded that she stop to be searched but she suddenly bolted into the mosque and set off her bombs.”

Three other female suicide bombers were located in Maiduguri at about the same time, said Satomi.

Two were killed in the Mammanti area as they tried to cross the ditch around the city perimeter while another set off her explosives in the suburb of Simari, he added.

It is the second time in a week that four female suicide bombers have sought to cause carnage in Maiduguri.

Last Monday, at least 19 people were killed and 23 others injured when four women set off their bombs in the Molai Kolemari area of the city.

Boko Haram has increasingly used women and young girls as human bombs as they have been forced out of captured territory due to a sustained military counter-insurgency.

Maiduguri has been repeatedly attacked in recent months, with mosques, markets, camps for those displaced by the conflict and other civilian “soft” targets hit regularly. (Punchng.com)

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Terrorism Charges: Ndume Has No Case To Answer, Court Rules |RN

 AliNdume
             Senator Ali Ndume
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out the terrorism charges instituted against a former Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, in 2011.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in his judgment on Tuesday, upheld Ndume’s no-case-submission on the grounds that the prosecution was unable to establish any prima facie case against the defendant.

The judge held that the prosecution failed to lead any evidence to prove any of the ingredients of the four counts anchored on the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011.

The Federal Government had, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, filed the charges dated November 30, 2011, against the senator currently representing the Borno South Senatorial District.

The senator was on December 12, 2011, arraigned on four counts of terrorism charges under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.

The prosecution had alleged a link between Ndume and a suspected member of Boko Haram, Ali Konduga, who had since been convicted and sentenced for terrorism charges.

Ndume was accused of, among other offences, sponsoring the Boko Haram sect, and providing logistics support to the violent sect.

He was also accused of providing‎ to the sect the phone numbers of top public officers, including the then AGF, for the purpose of sending terrorism messages to them.

He was also accused of failing to disclose the information about the sect alleged to be in his (Ndume’s) possession to law officers and law enforcement agencies within the shortest practicable time.

But upholding the defendant’s no-case submission on Tuesday, Justice Kolawole held that the prosecution failed to debunk the defence by Ndume in the three extra-judicial statements which the senator made to the Department of State Service that he came in contact with some members of the sect while acting on behalf of the Federal Government in the presidential committee set up to look at the security challenges in the North-East part of the country.

The judge held that the prosecution also failed to call Konduga, still serving jail terms , even for the purpose of giving evidence as to the period he communicated with Ndume, to enable the court to form a view as to whether the communication between the Senator and Konduga was before or during the time the federal lawmaker was serving on the security committee.

The judge also made specific reference to the content of Ndume’s statements where the senator had claimed that, contrary to the prosecution’ case, he disclosed the information he had about the sect to the then Vice-President and the then Director-General of the Department of State Service.

Justice Kolawole said the prosecution failed to call any of the then Vice President and the ex-DG of DSS for the purpose of debunking the Senator’s claim.

The judge also ruled that the Information Technology expert, Dr Peter Olayiwola, called by the prosecution as its fifth witness to exploit the content of Ndume’s and Konduga’s phones, was unable to perform the task due to a technical problem.

He added that with the order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on December 17, 2013, expunging certain key exhibits tendered by the prosecution from the records of the court (the trial court) and with the gaps in the prosecution’s case earlier highlighted, there was nothing left for Ndume to defend.  (Punchng.com)

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Multiple Suicide Bomb Attacks Kill 16 In Borno |The Republican News

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More than 16 persons were killed in a coordinated suicide bombing at the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) and Zannari Community in Maiduguri on Sunday night.
An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri that the bombing started around 10 p.m
“The noise of the explosion coming from the university woke us up from the sleep around 10 p.m.
“Few minutes after, the explosion spread to other parts of the town, especially around London Ciki,” Malam Usman Chiroma, a resident of Mairi near the university said.
Malam Abdullahi Cirani, another resident, who live around Gidan Dambe corroborated the claim.
“We heard about 10 explosions coming from around the university.

“The explosion led to a stampede in London Ciki as residents abandoned their homes for fear of being affected,” Cirani said.
He said that most residents in the densely populated London Ciki slept in the open near the Gwange Cemetery for fear of being attacked.
But some residents of Zannari interviewed gave a different version of the incident.
Malam Lawan Modu said that the area was invaded by suspected suicide bombers who detonated their explosives in four different locations in the community.
“We had explosions in four different locations in Zannari yesterday, the first explosion happened around 10:30 pm.

“The other explosions took place within short intervals,” Modu said.
He said about 10 people were killed in the attacks.

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So many people were affected, in fact, we evacuated about 10 bodies in the morning. Several others were also injured,” Modu said.
Mr Damian Chukwu the State’s Commissioner of Police confirmed the incidents, saying that 16 persons were killed.
“All in all, 16 persons including some suicide bombers died in the multiple suicide attacks, while 13 others were injured.
“Yesterday at about 2221 hours, a male suicide bomber gained entry into the premises of UNIMAID and detonated explosive on his body near the Rapid Response Service office building.
“The bomber died while three university security personnel on duty were injured,” Chukwu said.
He said, however, that one of the injured security personnel later died at the hospital.
“One of the injured security personnel a female known as Becky Edubi later died at the hospital.
“At about 2230 hours the same night, four female suicide bombers infiltrated Zannari Community in Gwange general area.
“Two of the suicide bombers detonated explosives on their bodies in two different residential buildings killing eight persons and injuring 11 others.

“The third suicide bomber detonated his explosive in another area killing himself alone.
“The forth female suicide bomber was arrested that same night but she died as a result of injuries she had sustained,” Chukwu said.
He said that another set of bombers later returned to the university around 0408 hours in the morning.
“Today at about 0408 hours, two suspected female suicide bombers detonated explosives on their bodies within the premises of the university.
“One detonated close to the Entrepreneurship Centre killing herself alone with no other casualty, while the other detonated behind Works Department Complex also killing herself alone,” he said.
Chukwu said that the police anti-explosion unit had been mobilised to the scenes, while the injured were evacuated to hospital for medical treatment. (NAN)

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Residents Flee As Boko Haram Attacks Maiduguri |The Republican News

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Olaleye Aluko and Kayode Idowu

The Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday engaged troops of the Nigerian Army in a gun battle, after attempting to capture Jiddari Polo community in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Our correspondents learnt that an undisclosed number of the terrorists were shot dead, while some escaped with gunshot injuries.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, who confirmed the attack, said the troops repelled the invasion and killed most of the terrorists.

Residents of Jiddari Polo fled their houses to neighbouring communities, as the terrorists, whose number was reportedly overwhelming, attacked the area.

Many residents of the town were forced to stay indoors as bullets flew on the streets of Jiddari Polo, an area on the outskirts of the troubled town.

A resident of Jiddari Polo, Janet Ibrahim, who spoke to one of our correspondents at about 8 pm said, “There were bullets flying everywhere, and all of us were in a panic.”

She said, “I cannot tell you the number of casualties now. But I can say the insurgents tried to gain entrance into Maiduguri and they were engaged by the military for about two hours.”

Ibrahim added, “They (insurgents) fled back when the military aircraft came hovering over the area. The situation was bad as you can still see bullets all over the streets.”

The attack made some residents of Jiddari Polo flee into other parts of Maiduguri as they fear they might be caught up in the crossfire.

One resident that fled the area, Abraham Haruna, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that “I just had to run from my house when the gunshots seem to be coming closer.”

He added, “I am not returning home tonight, I will have to sleep in our church within Maiduguri.”

Confirming the attack, the Deputy Director Army Public Relations 7 Division, headquarters in Maiduguri, Lt. Col. Kingsley Samuel, in a press statement, asked that the residents of the town should not panic.

He said, “The situation in Maiduguri is under control. The general public is requested not to panic and stay calm.”  (Punchng.com)

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Ex-VP, Ex-SSS Boss Were Aware Of My Communication With Boko Haram, Says Ndume

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Former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume

 Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday fixed July 4 for ruling on the no-case submission filed by a former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, seeking an order terminating his trial on terrorism charges preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Ndume, through his no-case submission, is seeking an order discharging him of charges including supporting Boko Haram, and failure to disclose material information arising from his alleged relationship with the sect.

His no-case submission was anchored on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to lead evidence linking him to the alleged offences.

In denying the charges on Tuesday, Ndume explained how he came in contact with the sect and how he disclosed the necessary information about his interaction with the sect to the then Vice President and the then Director-General of the State Security Service.

But the Federal Government insisted on Tuesday that it had led sufficient evidence showing Ndume’s complicity in the alleged offences, thus the need for him to offer some explanations.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date for a ruling after hearing both the defence and the prosecution on Tuesday.

The Federal Government had on December 12, 2011, arraigned Ndume on four counts of terrorism charges.

The prosecution had alleged a link between Ndume and a suspected member of Boko Haram, Ali Konduga, who had since been convicted and sentenced for terrorism charge‎s.

Ndume was accused of, among other counts, sponsoring the Boko Haram sect, and failing to disclose the phone number of Konduga, which was alleged to be in his (Ndume’s) possession.

He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The prosecution commenced trial on July 3, 2012, and closed its case on June 22, 2016, after calling a total of nine witnesses.

The prosecution also tendered five exhibits two of which were phones with which Ndume allegedly communicated with Boko Haram member.

Justice Kolawole had adjourned until July 9, 2016, for the defendant to open his defence.

But instead of opening his defence, the defendant, through his counsel filed a no-case submission on August 16, 2016, arguing that he should be discharged on the grounds of absence of any evidence led by the prosecution linking him to the alleged offences.

The no-case submission was anchored on Section 303, among other provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Adopting his client’s addresses on Tuesday, Tarfa insisted that an analysis of the phone conversation between Ndume and Konduga, failed to disclose any fact warranting the Senator from Borno State to offer any defence.

He explained that Ndume’s contact with Boko Haram came about when the senator was a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Matters in the North-East of the country.

The lawyer said, “We have taken the counts from one to four and have analysed them.

“Clearly, there is nothing in the evidence led by the prosecution that will necessitate the defendant to be called upon to enter his defence in the charge.

“Clearly from the totality of the evidence placed before the court, the defendant coming into contact with the Boko Haram sect came about when he was acting on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the presidential committee set up to look at the security challenges in the North-East part of the country.

“The evidence is clear and has been confirmed through cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses.

“We have shown how the alleged analysis of the mobile phone did not disclose any fact which will necessitate the defendant to defend the charge.

“Clearly, having regards to the four counts before the court, we have analysed the ingredients of the counts and shown how the prosecution has failed to proffer any evidence in support of the ingredients in the four counts.”

In his further reply on point of law to the opposition by the Federal Government, Tarfa argued that the allegation that his client failed to disclose material facts about his communication with Konduga, was baseless on the grounds that all necessary information was disclosed to then Vice-President and the then Director-General of the State Security Service.

He said, “We have made the point on the issue of non-disclosure of information and we have demonstrated clearly that the defendant has done everything possible working to bring peace and security to the country, the Federal Republic Nigeria.

“He has brought the necessary facts, which formed the basis of the charge, to the second highest political office holder in the country, the then Vice-President and the Director-General of the SSS at the time.”

He added that the alleged communication between Ndume and the Boko Haram member was nothing more than greetings.

Tarfa said, “There was nothing in that communication rather than greetings.

“The burden remained on the prosecution and the prosecution never discharged that burden.”

Opposing the no-case submission, Federal Government’s prosecutor, Mrs G.N Okafor, argued that there was sufficient evidence led by the prosecution linking the defendant to the alleged crimes, thus the need for him to offer some explanations through his defence.

She said the defendant had not denied communicating with the Boko Haram member.

She maintained the defendant rather corroborated the communication in his statements tendered as exhibits before the court.

She also indicated that there could not have been any legitimate basis for Ndume to communicate with Boko Haram members as he was not the only member of the presidential committee on the security challenges in the North-East.

The prosecutor said, “The prosecution submits that at the stage of no-case submission, the court as the umpire, is called upon to determine whether a prima facie case has been established against the defendant to warrant him to enter his defence or whether the defence discredited the evidence offered by the prosecution.

“The prosecution submits that the charge before this honourable court against the defendant has to do with the failure of the defendant to disclose material information to law enforcement agency as well as rendering support to a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“My lord the Prosecution has tendered in evidence, exhibits P1, P2, P3, which are the statements made by the defendant.

“These statement by defendant connect him the charges levelled by the prosecution.

“We submit that the defendant has even corroborated the evidence of the prosecution to the effect that there was a communication between the defendant and members of the terrorist group.

“He has also corroborated that there was a communication because he was. Member of presidential committee on security matters on the North-East.

“My Lord, the prosecution submits that the defendant was not the only member of the Presidential Committee.

“My lord the volume of information found on him warranted the need for him to be reprimanded.”

She said the reliance on section 303 of the ACJ Act by the defendant to seek to be discharged would not avail the defendant at the stage of the trial, saying the prosecution witnesses had been able to link the defendant to the alleged crimes.

She said, “On that note, the prosecution submits that section 303 of ACJA relied on by the defendant cannot avail him in the no-case submission at this stage.

“Apart from exhibits, the witnesses have been able to link the defendant to the charge.

“We rely on section 396(2) of the ACJA and state that this defendant should be called upon to answer to the charges levelled against him and that the no-case submission cannot avail him at this stage.

“The evidence led by the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the defendant and the prosecution submits finally that it is in the interest of the defendant that this case be heard on merit and in the interest of justice.”

Justice Kolawole fixed 2 pm on July 4 for ruling.   (Punchng.com)

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DSS Hands Over 82 Chibok School Girls To Ministry Today |The Republican News

From Magnus Eze, Abuja

The Department of State Services (DSS) will, today, hand over the 82 recently-rescued Chibok schoolgirls to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, to commence a comprehensive process of rehabilitation.

The Federal Government had, through negotiations with the Boko Haram, secured the release of the girls; after 21 others had been rescued last October.

Details from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, yesterday, said the handing-over ceremony will take place at the National Women Development Centre, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, had, during the reunion for the girls and their parents at the DSS Clinic, in Abuja on May 20, 2017, disclosed that a group of experts had been assembled to give the girls psycho-social support as well as address their medical needs.

The minister, who was represented by Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, Mrs. Abidemi Aremo, also disclosed that the 24 others rescued last year were equally undergoing psycho-social counselling and remedial programme preparatory to their enrolment in school in September, this year.

“The children are being rehabilitated and we believe that in due course they will be properly aligned with their families.

“Intensive medical attention is being administered and as soon as they are done, they will be enrolled into a remedial programme,” she said.

Alhassan had reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to rescuing the remaining girls and  noted that they have intensified efforts in that direction.  (The Sun)

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