Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro asked his supporters Saturday “not to give ammunition to the scoundrel,” the day after popular leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva walked free from jail.
Breaking his silence on the release of his arch-nemesis, Bolsonaro told his Twitter followers: “Lovers of freedom and good, we are a majority. We cannot make mistakes.”
He added Lula was “momentarily free, but guilty.”
Lula’s dramatic exit from jail in the southern city of Curitiba on Friday came a day after a controversial Supreme Court ruling that could release thousands of convicts and undermine a sprawling corruption investigation called Car Wash.
A 6-5 decision overturned a rule requiring convicted criminals to go to jail after losing their first appeal.
Those convicts would remain free until they had exhausted their rights to appeal — a process critics say could take years in cases involving people able to afford expensive lawyers.
In an impassioned address to hundreds of supporters who greeted him as he walked out of the federal police headquarters, Lula, 74, vowed to keep fighting for poor people.
The former union leader who helped found the Workers Party (PT) also denounced the economic policies of Bolsonaro, who was swept to power in 2018 in an election Lula had been widely tipped to win.
Cheers and Fireworks
“People are hungrier, they have no jobs, people work for Uber or delivering pizzas on a bike,” Lula said in remarks sometimes drowned out by cheers from the crowd and fireworks overhead.
Lula’s release is likely to spur the divided and rudderless left and, paradoxically, could also help Bolsonaro, who capitalized in last year’s vote on widespread anti-PT sentiment after a massive corruption scandal.
Lula, who led Brazil through a historic boom from 2003 to 2010, earning him the gratitude of millions of Brazilians for redistributing wealth to haul them out of poverty, was serving eight years and 10 months for corruption.
He was sentenced to almost 13 years in jail in February in a separate corruption case and still faces another half dozen corruption trials.
Lula has denied all the charges, arguing they were politically motivated to keep him out of the 2018 presidential election that was won by Bolsonaro.
Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who convicted Lula when he was a judge in 2017, said the Supreme Court’s decision must be respected, but he noted “Congress can modify the Constitution or the law” to allow the jailing of convicted criminals after their first appeal.
Left-wing leaders from around the world, including Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and US liberal presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders have cheered Lula’s release.
“I am delighted that he has been released from jail, something that never should have happened in the first place,” Sanders tweeted.
Even though he has been freed, Lula’s criminal record will prevent him from resuming his political career. He was the founder of the Workers Party (PT).
That could change, however, if the Supreme Court were to decide in a separate case that Moro had been biased.
Lula has so far indicated he is not going to use his freedom to sit on the political sidelines.
On Saturday, he will visit he metalworkers’ union he once led near Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city.
“Afterward the doors of Brazil will be open so that I can travel around this country,” he said.
Police authorities say they have recovered monetary and non-monetary assets of the Federal Government hidden in some commercial banks across the country.
They have also recovered a total of 9,657 illegal and prohibited arms and more than 26,000 ammunition in two batches across the country.
Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood on Thursday said the nationwide mop up exercise by the police is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act.
According to him, the mop-up began after the expiration of the ultimatum of the deadline given by the force for persons with illegal firearms, weapons and ammunition to turn them in.
Read the full statement by the police below:
UPDATE ON THE RECOVERY OF PROHIBITED FIREARMS, ILLEGAL WEAPONS AND LOCALLY FABRICATED LETHAL DEVICES RECOVERED IN THE ONGOING MOP-UP OF FIREARMS/ILLEGAL WEAPONS BY THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE AND EFFORTS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN THE RECOVERY OF MONETARY AND NON- MONETARY ASSETS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; BY THE FPRO, Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD AT THE FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA ON 20th SEPTEMBER, 2018.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, on 21st February, 2018 directed the Commissioners of Police of all the State Commands of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and their Supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police of the Twelve Zonal Commands in the Country, and the Force Headquarters Joint Task Enforcement Team to immediately commence simultaneously throughout the Country, the mopping-up, recovery of prohibited firearms, ammunition and weapons in the possession of all suspected Militias, Bandits, Armed Herdsmen and Farmers, Vigilante groups, Neighbourhood watch and other groups or Individual(s) or Bodies bearing prohibited firearms and ammunition, illegal weapons and lethal devices whether locally fabricated, modified or otherwise fashioned to kill or that can cause harm or injury to persons or that can cause panic, fear, apprehension, security breach, breach of Public peace or that can cause threat to law and order anywhere in the Country.
2. Consequently, ultimatums of Twenty One (21) days at intervals were given by the Force for voluntary return of all prohibited firearms in the hands of members of the General Public, individuals and groups such as Vigilantes and neighbourhood watch groups in any of the Thirty Six (36) States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) including the Seven Hundred and Seventy Four (774) Local Government Areas of the Federation, Town Unions, Hunters and Watch night men or any group or association under any capacity or guise, other than Security Agencies recognized statutorily and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bear firearms of specified category; after the expiration of the grace period and ultimatums, the Commissioners of Police of State Commands, FCT and their Supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police and the Force Headquarters Joint Task Enforcement Team in compliance with IGP’s directives and working on actionable intelligence, swung into actions and embarked on Mop-up, Seizure and Recovery of all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from wrong hands, suspected Militias, Militants, Criminal/Unlawful Gangs through search, raid and seizure from identified premises, hideouts, dwelling houses, buildings and sites where these illegal/prohibited firearms were kept based on reasonable suspicion and intelligence and recovered the following prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition:
RECOVERED PROHIBITED FIREARMS Batch 1 – No. of Firearms Recovered = 6, 527 No. of Ammunition Recovered = 14, 809 Batch 2 – No. of Firearms Recovered = 3, 130 No. of Ammunition Recovered = 12, 185 3. Below are the categories of the prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition, specified under Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 Fire Arms Act: Prohibited Firearms i. Artillery ii. Apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile. iii. Rocket weapons iv. Bombs and Grenades v. Machine-Guns and Machine-Pistols vi. Military rifles, namely; those of calibers 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches vii. Revolvers and Pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols). viii. Firearms such as Pump action gun of all categories ix. Any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill
4. This operation which is still ongoing among other purposes, is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act, mopping-up and recovery of all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons and will enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with Herders/Farmers Clashes, Kidnappings, Armed Robbery, Cattle Rustling, Militancy and Terrorism etc.
5. EFFORTS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN THE RECOVERY OF MONETARY AND NON- MONETARY ASSETS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT On assumption of Office, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni created Special Units to handle high profile cases including Terrorism, Cyber and high-tech crimes, some of which includes the IGP Monitoring Unit, Special Investigation Panel (SIP) and Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism. As a result of these efforts, the Nigeria Police Force recovered the following monetary and non-monetary assets for the Federal Government. RECOVERY OF CASH ITEMS i. The sum of Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cent ($470,519,889.10) belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT hidden in some commercial banks after the directives of the Federal Government on TSA. ii. The sum of Eight Billion, Eight Hundred and Seven Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira, Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN8,807,264,834.96) monies belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT, that was not remitted to TSA Account of the Federal Government was also recovered iii. The Sum of One Hundred and Fourteen Million, Two Hundred And Ninety Thousand Naira, (NGN 114,290,000.00) in relation to the December 10th, 2016, National And State Assembly Re-Run Elections in Rivers State Of Nigeria was recovered from twenty-three (23) INEC Electoral officials. RECOVERY OF NON-CASH ITEMS · The Nigeria Police Force in the fight against Economic Sabotage and pipeline vandalism related crimes recovered two (2) Vessels, seven (7) Speed Boats, eight-three (83) Trucks, twenty-five assorted Cars including Jeeps, thirty-six (36) Buses, twenty-nine (29) Motorcycles, five Speed Boat engines and thirty-eight (38) pumping/Drilling Machines and Generators. Summary of Monetary and Non-Monetary Assets recovered The total recoveries of Monetary and Non-Monetary Assets of the Federal Government by the Nigeria Police Force are:
(a) MONETARY ASSETS · Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cents ($470,519,889.10). · Eight Billion, Nine Hundred and Twenty-One Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira and Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN 8,921,554,834.96). (b) NON-MONETARY ASSETS: · Two (2) Vessels · Seven (7) Speed Boats · Eighty-three (83) Tanker Trucks · Sixty-one (61) assorted Vehicles · Five (5) Speed Boats Engines · Twenty-nine (29) Motorcycles · Thirty-eight (38) Pumping/Drilling Machines and Generators. 6. While the Firearms Mop-up Operations and the recovery of monetary/non-monetary assets of Government are still ongoing, the Nigeria Police Force, therefore, implores Members of the Public with useful information that will assist the Police to report via the following contacts:
DIG Department of Operations: 08037025670 O/C IGP Special Investigation Panel: 08035891859 O/C IGP Monitoring Unit: 08032451594 O/C IGP Intelligence Response Team: 09098049333
7. The commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to guarantee protection of Lives and Property and recovery of Government assets in the hands of unpatriotic individual(s), group(s) or corporate bodies across the country remains unequivocal and unwavering.
Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER FORCE HEADQUARTERS ABUJA
The joint task force in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe has arrested a suspected oil bunkering kingpin, Nkwe Godspower.
The suspect was allegedly found with 10 different chequebooks, an international passport and over one million Naira.
The task force also arrested 50-year-old Matthew Okafor in connection with buying and selling of an international oil company wellhead, as well as three persons alleged to be actively involved in the manufacturing local arms.
Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Apochi Sulieman while parading the suspects reaffirmed his commitment as well as that of his officers to protecting oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
The commander also commended the general public and the media for the support given to the troops in the effort to achieve its mandate.
The Delta State Police Command has nabbed suspected child traffickers of a seven-year-old boy who was reported missing since September 6, 2016.
The kidnapped boy, Moses Ijoba, was said to reside in Okpanam, a community close to the State’s capital, Asaba, where various cases of child theft had been reported severally.
According to Moses’ younger sister, he was lured by an unknown lady who pleaded with him to help her run some errands.
The Delta State Police Command confirmed that it had arrested one Abigail Nwakama, also known by the syndicate as ‘Madam Cash’ as well as nine other members, in connection with child trafficking in the area.
Parading suspects at the command’s headquarters in Asaba, the police said most of the suspects have admitted to the crime which in turn led to the recovery of about 12 children.
The parents of the children have been asked to contact the police for immediate identification of their children.
Among other reported cases where the arrest of one Chukwuma Ijoema who allegedly raped and killed one Blessing Ogammer, who prior to her death, was also reported missing.
Suspected cultists, robbers, murderers and kidnappers were caught and paraded alongside recovered items – riffles, locally made guns, ammunition, cartridges and phones.
The police have intensified efforts to achieve peace and order at all times in the state and re-unite seven-year old Moses, who was still declared missing, with his family.
Troops have killed two Boko Haram members and rescued two children as they clear terrorists in some villages of Bama Local Government Area.
A statement by the Nigerian Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, said that troops of 7 Division Strike Group Team B and 22 Task Force Brigade made the feat.
This was achieved while they conducted a simultaneous dawn raid on suspected Boko Haram militants’ hideouts in Biggoro, Warpaya and Aura North of Kumshe in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, northeast Nigeria.
The essence of the operation, according to the statement, was to stop the reported criminal activities of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists hiding in the three villages.
“This became necessary as previous efforts were futile (and) the suspected terrorists kept coming in search for food, water and shelter.
“The surprised dawn attack yielded positive result as the troops discovered well concealed observation posts on trees in the villages constructed by the terrorists, to give them early warning of troops movement or approach.
“In addition, the troops found out that the observation posts on tree tops, were constructed in such manner with chairs and ropes to pull up foods and other needs by the sentry without necessarily coming down the trees.
“To also save for the rainy day, the terrorists had underground food storage facilities where they stocked large quantity of foodstuffs,” the statement read.
The Nigerian Army also revealed that three AK-47 rifles, magazines, ammunition and two motorcycles were recovered from them.
A South African police investigator said on Wednesday he wants to charge global track star Oscar Pistorius with possession of illegal weapons after an unlicenced .38 handgun and ammunition were found in his home.
This was disclosed at a bail hearing for the Paralympic star.
Two containers of testosterone and needles were also discovered in his bedroom, a detective testifying at his murder bail hearing revealed.
Also at the hearing, South African prosecutors said that a witness heard “non-stop shouting” coming from his home shortly before he shot his girlfriend.
Unknown gunmen killed a banker on Friday in Maiduguri, Borno state, north-east Nigeria.
The late banker identified as Yakubu Abdullahi was reported to have been gunned down while he was breaking his fast on Friday evening in the company of two of his friends.
One of them escaped unhurt while the other sustained injuries.
Eyewitness reports say two teenagers walked into the banker’s house with AK-47 rifles and opened fire on the banker.
The spokesman for the Borno state police command, Gideon Jibrin, confirmed the incident, saying investigations into the killing had begun.
Meanwhile the joint task force (JTF) in Maiduguri recovered a cache of arms and ammunition in an undisclosed location in the metropolis, following intelligence reports.
The recovered items include four Kalashnikov rifles, a general purpose machine gun, nine rapid propelled guns, 11 chargers, three AK 47 rifles, three wooden butts, and 1, 032 rounds of ammunition.
Displaying the arms and ammunitions at the JTF headquarters in Maiduguri, the field operation officer col. Victor Ebhaleme appealed to the people to continue to accord security forces the needed cooperation, and report suspected hideouts of terrorists to the JTF.