The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as “Shiites” has been declared a terrorists organisation after series of deadly protest by its members led to the death of Usman Umar, a Deputy Commissioner of police and Precious Owolabi, a Channels Television reporter.
Justice Nkeonye Maha, of the Federal High Court in Abuja, made the declaration on Friday.
The group had engaged the Nigerian police and other security agencies in several clashes over the continuous detention of its leader in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzakky and wife.
With the order according to Punch, the court restrained any person or group of persons from participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the IMN under any name or platform in Nigeria.
A copy of the ex parte application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019, was filed in the name of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Reports say Justice Maha granted the four prayers contained in the application shortly after the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata, argued the application on Friday.
The IMN was the sole respondent to the application but the group was not represented by a lawyer on Friday since it was an ex parte hearing.
It would be recalled that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was also proscribed and declared terrorists group two years ago by the Federal Government following the activities of its leader Nnamdi Kanu. (NAN)
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A renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gummi, has said the best Jihad for Muslims to pursue in this modern time is knowledge and not killings of innocent lives.
He described both western and Islamic knowledge as best form of Jihad every Muslim male or female should acquire.
The scholar made the comment while closing this year’s Tafsir lecture at Sultan Bello Mosque Kaduna on Sunday evening.
He said due to poor understanding of the concept of Islam, many youths have misunderstood the true message of Islam and are using verses of Jihad to cause havoc and to kill innocent people.
The Islamic cleric explained that there was an Hadith that says before the end of time, true knowledge will be lifted off while ignorant remains and there will be lot of commotion.
“What commotion means here is lot of killings and murder between Muslims all in the name of Islam.
“Islam is free of such obligations because Allah has not called anyone to kill anybody. There is a system of jihad and the best jihad now is knowledge.
“We need to educate our daughters in the field of medicine if we want to free our married women from being attended to by male doctors. “We need to make sure our male children go into ICT because everything today is about ICT.
“There are also other important sectors that Muslims are lacking and we need to acquire such knowledge if we really want to be important in the society.
“All these are jihad that we need to do for our future generations. So, whoever tries to obtain knowledge no matter how, he is a ‘Mujahid’.
“Therefore, all these killings are directed by ignorance and lack of moral education which makes it the most paramount targets of the congregation. May Allah give us victory over all evil army,” he said. (Daily Trust)
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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says it’s difficult to say exactly if Boko Haram will ever be eradicated in Nigeria. He, however, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration should be praised for reducing the insurgents’ attacks against the country considerably.
It may be recalled that the Federal Government had, in 2016, claimed to have defeated Boko Haram.
Shehu, who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme, said this in Abuja on Monday.
The President’s spokesman made the point when he was reminded that thousands of Internally Displaced Persons had yet to return to their homes, while periodic attacks by insurgents still take place in some parts of the North-East.
In response, Shehu said, “Well, I can’t promise you that Boko Haram will or will not be eradicated. But it is an ongoing challenge, globally. “Even in more advanced countries, more ‘weaponised’ nations, it is still a challenge.
“The point we are making is that the attacks you just cited are still a far cry from the enormity of those attacks we have seen in the past.
“They have been greatly minimised and they are being pushed farther away from the national population.”
Shehu also lamented the proliferation of small arms in the country, which he said has worsened the issue of banditry in the country. He, however, said the Police, through its operation Puff Adder outfit, had been able to arrest over 160 bandits across the country.
The President’s spokesman added, “Our security services are coming to terms with the fact that this (weapons proliferation) is one area they have to tackle.
“The source of weapons – whether locally manufactured or imported – must be tackled; otherwise, it will continue, because it is oxygen to crime.” He expressed fear that even weapons that had been seized by the Police from bandits would be replaced by the criminals because weapons are easily available.
Shehu added, “So, we are looking into the source of the weapons. As I said, the government has identified the manufacturers and many people have been arrested along with weapons.”
The President’s aide said neighbouring countries were also assisting Nigeria in the area of curbing weapons’ smuggling. (Punch)
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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has charged Commanding Officers of Army units within the South South, South East and South West zones of the country to work towards tackling crimes and criminality within their areas of responsibilities. General Buratai spoke at the Nigerian Army First Commanding Officers workshop for 2019, urging the Commanding Officers to tackle kidnapping, smuggling, pipeline vandalism and terrorism.
He tasked them to work close with the authorities within their areas of responsibilities to be able to gather intelligence and ensure that they nip crisis rocking these areas in the bud. The Army Chief, who was represented by the Commander, Nigerian Army Signals Corps, Major General Mohammed Mohammed, urged the commanding officers to refresh their minds on how to confront criminality within the areas they are deployed to.
He said that all operations in which the Army was involved in across the country was to sharpen the knowledge of the commanding officers and make them perform optimally, adding that the workshop was put together to ensure that they share knowledge with other Commanding Officers participating in the workshop.
He said: “We have informed the commanding officers to understand that workshops like this are intended to refresh their minds, their experiences and for them to share knowledge with their colleagues from other regions.
“Like you understand, the commanding officers here are from the South South, South East and South West and there is rich knowledge of activities going on in these areas. So, bringing them together here is for them to share knowledge and to understand also the new directive and policies that will guide their conduct and understand the need to integrate with the societies where they are working.”
General Brutai tasked the officers to learn from their contemporaries on how to apply leadership skills in their various units, adding that the workshop was aimed at improving the skills of the Commanding Officers towards developing a more professional and efficient approach to the performance of their statutory roles in both peace and war times.
“I am highly delighted to be in this occasion of the first Commanding Officers workshop, which is highly necessary in line with our vision to the security challenges confronting us on daily basis, and also to find a solution to those challenges,” he said.
Earlier, the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General Musa Yusuf, said the training activities were designed by the Army Headquarters to enhance and build the capacity of the Commanding Officers.
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More than 10 soldiers were allegedly killed after the Islamic State West African Province faction of the Boko Haram insurgents attacked army bases in Kangarwa, Malumfatori and Arge areas of Borno State and Buni Gari, Yobe State, between Saturday and Monday.
The attacks started with Buni Gari on Saturday and spread to Malumfatori on Monday.
On Tuesday, our correspondent learnt that ISWAP fighters were also sighted in Mattari village in the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, with fears of impending attacks on military locations in Jakana and Benishek.
In Malumfatori on Monday, our correspondent learnt that there was a fierce gun battle between government forces and the terrorists, who attempted to overrun the military base in the town.
Eight soldiers were allegedly killed when the terrorists attacked Buni Gari after which the terrorists reportedly stole a gun truck and destroyed an armoured vehicle.
The Nigerian Army confirmed that eight of its troops were killed in Buni Gari, noting that over 10 Boko Haram fighters were also killed by troops.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Usman, said, “It is not true that Boko Haram is holding any area. Indeed, eight of our gallant troops paid the supreme price, while over 10 Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops during the encounter at Buni Gari.”
A military source confirmed Tuesday’s attacks by Boko Haram, saying the insurgents were believed to be having the upper hand in Kangarwa and Arge.
He said, “ISWAP has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Buni Gari and Arge. They seem to have taken over some communities in the two areas. Also in Mattari village in the Konduga LGA, Boko Haram fighters were seen gathering on Tuesday.
“The location is a few miles to Jakana or Benishek. There are military facilities in both areas.”
Meanwhile, the number of casualties of the Malumfatori gun battle between the insurgents and troops could not be confirmed by our correspondent as of press time. However, unconfirmed reports said both sides recorded deaths and injuries.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Monday, directed that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, to remain in the North-East until the security situation in the region improves.
Dan-Ali also said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the “emergency procurement of critical equipment” for the armed forces to be more efficient.
“The CDS and the army chief were also mandated to effect changes in the operational commands of Operations Delta Safe, Lafiya Dole, Sharan Daji and Awatse. This is to enable them to meet up with the current threats and security challenges in their areas of responsibility,” the minister’s Public Relations Officer Col Tukur Gusau said. (Punch)
Boko Haram militants attacked an army base in northeast Nigeria, killing one soldier, military sources told AFP Friday, a day after regional leaders urged more international support to fight the jihadists.
Fighters with the Islamic State West Africa Province came in trucks fitted with anti-aircraft guns and attacked the base in Arege village near the fishing town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad.
The base came under attack before dawn, prompting clashes, a military source told AFP.
“The attack was successfully repelled but unfortunately a soldier was killed and seven others were injured,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the incident.
The same base came under attack on Wednesday, but the militants failed to overrun it “and suffered heavy casualties,” a military statement said on Twitter.
The jihadists have in recent months intensified their attacks on military bases in the northeast, with the most audacious taking place on November 18 when military sources said at least 43 soldiers were killed at a base in Metele near the border with Niger.
Troops who survived said over 100 of their colleagues were killed, but after a long period of silence, the military on Wednesday gave an official figure of 23 deaths.
The latest attack came a day after President Muhammadu Buhari went to N’Djamena to meet top leaders from Chad, Niger and Cameroon to discuss how to deal with the surge in violence.
Buhari is under pressure to show his administration is winning the fight against Boko Haram ahead of a presidential election in February at which he will seek a second term in office.
“The heads of state and government… expressed their deep concern with regards to the upsurge of attacks… and expressed the crucial need to change their modus operandi in the fight against Boko Haram,” a joint statement said after the talks.
They also urged the international community “to support their efforts in the fight against terrorism in the region.”
The nine-year conflict has killed 27,000 people and displaced 1.8 million from their homes in Nigeria.
The violence has also spilt over into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
Dutch police arrested seven men suspected of plotting to carry out a “major terrorist attack” at a high-profile event using explosive belts and an AK-47 assault rifle, on Thursday, the public prosecutor’s office said.
“Police arrested seven men on Thursday… suspected of being at a very advanced stage of preparation for a major terrorist attack in the Netherlands,” it said in a statement, adding one of the suspects had wanted to kill “many victims”.