Fighting Insecurity: Jonathan Meets With Governors, Security Chiefs

GEJ2The expanded meeting convened by the Federal Government to look at security situation in Nigeria has kicked off in the Presidential Villa with President Goodluck Jonathan presiding.

The meeting which has a fuller house as against what happened a week before, has many of the governors from the opposition parties present.

The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor are also attending the meeting.

Twenty-four governors are in attendance while the governors of Jigawa, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Plateau, Edo and Yobe are being represented by their deputies.

The security chiefs in attendance are; the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, the Comptrollers-General of Customs and  Immigration, Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Commandant-General of the  Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp.

The Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro, Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abduljelil Adesiyan, the  Foreign Affairs Minister,  Viola Onwuleri, Agriculture Minister,  Akinwunmi Adeshina and the  Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, are also present.

The expanded National Security Council meeting was summoned by President Jonathan following the bombing in Nyanya, Abuja and the abduction of over one hundred female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.

 

Amnesty International Accuses Both Insurgents And Security Agencies Of War Crimes

amnesty internationalRights group, Amnesty International (AI) has said that both the Nigerian security agencies and the Boko Haram insurgents have committed war crimes in the troubled north-eastern part of the country.

A statement issued by the group says that more than 1,500 people had been killed in the first three months of 2014, and that the situation in the north-east region has escalated into a non-international armed conflict.

Amnesty added that it has documented the killings carried out in January, February and March 2014 by both Boko Haram and the Nigerian security forces.

Part of the statement reads, “AI has received credible evidence that as the military regained control, more than 600 people, mostly unarmed recaptured detainees, were extra-judicially executed in various locations across Maiduguri.”

The rights group is asking the international community to ensure prompt, independent investigations into acts that might constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

NDLEA, Army Raid Kaduna, Arrest Suspected Drug Barons, Addicts

NDLEAA combined team of officers from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Army, Air Force and Civil Defence Corps today raided Sabon Tasha and Kawo areas, a suburb for notorious criminals’ hideout in the Kaduna state capital.

The operation which lasted many hours, led to the arrest of 50 suspected drug addicts and over one hundred addicts as well as seizure of various kilogrammes of narcotics such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin.

Parading some of the suspects, Kaduna State NDLEA Commander, Mohammed Jibrin told Channels Television that the aim of the operation is to flush out criminals out of the state and make it peaceful ahead of the 2015 general elections, warning that Kaduna is no longer a safe haven for illicit drug users or traders.

The commander added that the operation was the third this year since the inauguration of the Joint Task Force by the state governor in December 2013.

He commended the Nigerian Army, Civil Defence Corps for giving the needed backup because of the notoriety of the area.

Giving an insight on the operation, the Assistant State Commander in Charge of Operations, Goody Obanoke, said the suspected drug peddlers would be prosecuted after investigation while the users  are to be taken to the agency’s facility in Zaria for counselling and rehabilitation.

He  urged stakeholders to support the NDLEA towards the eradication of illegal drugs in the society.

Anambra Guber: Jega Promises Better Election As Units Open

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, has promised a better voting exercise as polling units open for the accreditation of voters for a supplementary election which holds today, in parts of Anambra state.

He also promised that the wrong of the first poll which held on November 16 will be corrected this time around.

The election is being conducted in Idemili North and Onitsha south local government areas, where the exercise according to INEC was bungled on the 16th of November .

The Nigerian Police has also assured of its readiness to ensure a peaceful election as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, promised that the security arrangements made during the November the 16th poll are still in place.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, who is covering the supplementary election in Idemili North reported reported that there is heavy presence of security by members of the army, police and State Security Service (SSS).

However, “the atmosphere is peaceful and calm,” he said.

He also reported ttraffic jam in some areas owing to the roadblocks put up by security agents but residents in the areas where election will hold have been moving around and going about their normal daily affairs.

INEC has also arranged for senior officers of the commission in other states to assist in today’s supplementary election.

The resident electoral commissioners in charge of Ondo and Ekiti states said that INEC is prepared to conduct a hitch free poll.

Clashes Break Out In Cairo Between Pro And Anti-Mursi Factions

Clashes broke out in central Cairo on Tuesday when supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi came under attack as they marched to the Interior Ministry, a Reuters reporter said.

Supporters of the new military-installed government hurled stones at the marchers and threw bottles at them from balconies. Police then fired tear gas at the pro-Mursi protesters.

A few thousand pro-Mursi protesters were taking part in the march when the trouble erupted. Local residents taunted them, calling them terrorists and saying they were not welcome. They then began throwing stones at them.

The Mursi supporters responded by also hurling rocks.

Women and children marchers fled the scene in panic. Two men wielding machetes were seen chasing marchers.

The protesters are calling for the reinstatement of Mursi, who was overthrown by the military on July 3 and is now being held at undisclosed location.

Army Court Martial 17 Soldiers For Unprofessional Acts In Yobe, Borno

A general court martial has been convened by the three division of the Nigerian Army placing on trial some seventeen erring military personnel for various offences.

The three division rhino officers mess Maxwell Khobe cantonment, in Jos north central Nigeria witnessed the arraignment of the soldiers charged for various offences at the general court martial inaugurated by the general officer commanding the division.

The General Officer commander of the division, Major General Ebiobowei Bonna Awala emphasised the importance of discipline and loyalty as essential requirements for soldiers and officers to succeed in professional soldiering.

Those facing the trial are from the division’s area of operation including the Joint Task Force, Operation Restore Order in Borno and Yobe states as well as the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven in Plateau State with charges of communicating with the enemy, cowardly behaviour, murder and manslaughter amongst others.

The challenge before the twelve member general court martial is to uphold the tenets of fairness and impartiality in the proceedings of the court and the dispensation of justice as the people that are affected in these cases of abuse are waiting for justice to be implemented.

Congolese Army, Rebels Clash For A Second Day Near Goma

The Congolese army clashed with rebel fighters near the eastern city of Goma for a second day on Tuesday, threatening an uneasy six-month peace in the region ahead of a scheduled visit by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week.

Government forces and the M23 insurgents exchanged heavy weapons fire from early on Tuesday, with both sides reporting an unspecified number of dead and accusing the other of starting the clashes.

“The M23 tried to overrun our positions and we’re in the process of pushing them back,” army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli told Reuters. “We’re very confident (of defending Goma)”.

The fighting marked the first combat since November, when M23 troops routed Democratic Republic of Congo’s army – known as FARDC – and briefly seized Goma, despite the presence of thousands of U.N. peacekeepers.

M23 spokesman Amani Kabasha said the rebels had come under heavy army shelling for a second day and the group’s military commander, Sultani Makenga, had given the order to respond.

“It seems the government wants to fight,” he said. “There is no political will for bringing peace through a negotiated settlement”.

Peace talks between the M23 and the Congolese government in the Kampala, the capital of neighbouring Uganda, have stalled.

During its year-long insurgency, M23 has repeatedly used alleged army aggression as a pretext to launch offensives.

Last year, U.N. experts accused Rwanda of sending troops and weapons across the border to support the rebels. Rwanda denies the accusation.

In recent months, the M23 has been weakened by in-fighting and defections. The Congolese army is also struggling to re-organise after its humiliating defeat in Goma last year.

The United Nations is deploying around 3,000 troops as part of an Intervention Brigade to bolster its 17,000 strong peacekeeping mission. The brigade has a mandate to neutralise armed groups in eastern Congo, including M23.

Ban is due to arrive in Goma this week with the president of the World Bank as part of a high-profile visit to push for an end to nearly two decades of violence in the mineral-rich region which has left millions dead.

Troops Crack Down On Terrorists’ Attempt To Infiltrate Maiduguri

The Special Forces deployed to rid the nation of any act of terrorism that has been rocking the northern region of the country has apprehended 65 persons confirmed to be terrorists, attempting to infiltrate Maiduguri while fleeing from various camps now under attack by the Special Forces deployed after President Goodluck Jonathan declared State of Emergency on three northern States that were fast becoming the sect’s stronghold.

A total of 11 vehicles, 4 tricycles and 24 handsets were also seized in the process and the suspects are in custody of Joint Task Force and are currently being interrogated, according to the press release by the Director of Defence Information; Brigadier General Chris Olukolade.

In what is looking like a sure victory against terrorism, the troops claim that camps of these terrorists have been found deserted in several locations and they immediately take possession of the facilities.

The Director of Defence Information; Brigadier General Chris Olukolade has however advised Nigerians to report to the JTF, any group of persons roaming around the local communities with large quantities of containers in search of fuel as some of the fleeing insurgents from various camps have been noted to be in search of fuel from neighbouring communities..

In another development, troops have engaged and dislodged elements of insurgents groups who carried out attacks on citizens in localities such as Gamboru ward and at the end of the encounter, a total of 10 suspected terrorists were confirmed dead while weapons such as Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers, assorted ammunition and rifle magazines were recovered.

The area is being combed to fish out any of the surviving insurgents.

Explosion Claims Bombers’ Lives In Kano

Two separate bomb attacks targeted at the Joint Task Force checkpoint at Maiduguri road and police check point at eastern bypass, both in Kano metropolis have claimed the lives of two of the suspected bombers.

According to the State police commissioner, Musa Daura, the explosive which targeted the JTF checkpoint was remote controlled and buried in the ground very close to the checkpoint.

Mr Daura added that the person that targeted the police checkpoint disguised as a water truck seller pushing a truck towards the checkpoint with one other person giving him cover on a motorcycle. However, on throwing the explosive, it hit the motorcycle rider and killed both of them on the spot.

The commissioner further disclosed that no police officer was killed or injured from the attacks, adding that four other people were arrested while attempting to attack the police after the explosion.

Meanwhile, three police officers and one local security officer attached to a local government secretariat were killed during an attack at Ganye local government area of Adamawa state.

Residents told Channels Television that gun men on a motorcycle numbering about ten staged a prison break, and set ablaze the local government police divisional headquarters and the local government secretariat, killing the four people in the two separate locations.

Army Recover Arms Among Women And Children In Kaduna

In a stunning revelation, the military has announced the discovery of assorted arms and Improvised Explosive Devices production materials in a building occupied by women and children in Kaduna State.

The Army spokesman, Brig. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru told a news conference in Abuja that the arms were discovered following intelligence report.

Brigadier Attahiru said using civilians as shield has become a major tactics applied by extremist groups to carry out their nefarious activities.

HOS Orders Perm Sec. To Intiate Disciplinary Actions Against Maina

The Head of the civil service of the federation, Alhaji Isa Bello-Sali has directed the permanent secretary of the ministry of interior to initiate disciplinary actions against Abdulrasheed Maina, a deputy director in the Customs, Immigration and Pensions office under the ministry of interior.

In a statement from the Head of Service signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations; Mr Tope Ajakaiye said following the submission of a report from the Inspector General of Police to the president on the inability to locate Maina, it has become apparent that he has absconded from duty without leave, an action which carries severe penalty with public service rules.

Earlier today, President Jonathan directed the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation;  Alhaji Isa Sali, to immediately commence disciplinary action against Alhaji Maina for absconding from duty.

The President through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati stated that Section 030402 of the Federal Government’s Public Service Rules lists Absence from Duty without Leave as an act of Serious Misconduct punishable by dismissal and this was after the Senate on Wednesday threatened a showdown with President Jonathan over the retention of Abdulrasheed Maina as the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team and his repeated refusal to appear before its committee investigating pension administration over allegations of his involvement in a N195 billion pension scam.

The IGP  said in his report that the police has since mounted surveillance at Alhaji Maina’s home and office but has been unable to arrest him because he has gone into hiding and stayed away from both locations since the warrant was issued, leading to his publicly being declared wanted by the Police.

Maina’s Issue Is Beyond Absconding From Duty — Senators

Federal lawmakers have reacted to President Jonathan’s directive that the head of service should commence disciplinary action against the chairman of the pension reform task team; Mr Abdulrasheed Maina for absconding from duty.

Speaking in an interview with Channels Television, a lawmaker representing Kogi State; Senator Smart Adeyemi said although the directive from the presidency is commendable the issue goes beyond absconding from duty.

Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe also reacting to the president’s directive said the presidency should take another look at the report of the Senate committee investigating pension administration in the country.

The committee in that report which was released in June 2012 recommended the immediate arrest and prosecution of the chairman pension reform task team; Mr Abdulrasheed Maina for fraud and outright stealing of pension funds.