Boko Haram: Senator under investigation sues Defence Minister, AGF

The Senator representing Borno Central Senatorial Zone, Ahmed Zanna on Wednesday filed a N5 billion suit against the Minister of Defence, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Spokesman of the military Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt. Col. Sagir Musa for alleged libel and mental trauma when the JTF claimed that a Boko Haram Commander, Shuaibu Mohammed Bama was arrested at his residence in Maiduguri.

Senator Ahmed Zanna, representing Borno Central Senatorial district.

Mr Zanna, who is still being investigated by the State Security Service (SSS), deposed to a 19-point affidavit in support of the action in which he insisted that the arrested Boko Haram Commander was not arrested in his house.

In the Writ of Summons filed by his counsel, Gbenga Olagundoye, the Senator is “claiming N5billion jointly and severally against the defendants for libel.”

The writ reads: “On or about the 19th of October 201, the 4th Defendant (Lt.Col. Sagir Musa) acting at all material time in the normal course of his duties as spokesperson of the Joint Task Force at a press conference attended by numerous representatives of the print and electronic media (both local and foreign) maliciously issued a written press statement which was distributed and disseminated to journalists and members of the public following defamatory words concerning the Plaintiff which the defendants knew to be false.

“I am aware of the facts stated above because my attention was drawn to the publication of the press statement in all newspapers, television and radio stations as well as the internet. I read the report in the newspapers and on the internet, viewed the report on all the television stations in Nigeria and listened to the same report on all the radio broadcast on the issue in Nigeria

“Judging from the volume of phone calls and text messages that myself, my aides, my relatives, friends and well-wishers received on the issues, I sincerely believed that practically every Nigerian read the report of the press statement issued by the 4th Defendant

“That the words referred and were understood to refer to me by the following particulars:

“That I am the only serving Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has a house along Damboa Road GRA Maiduguri

“That I am a member of the National Assembly and the Senator representing Borno Central Senatorial Zone in the Senate

“That the facts in (a) and (b) above are widely known to Nigerians especially my friends, relations and associates and the entire population of Borno State and the Borno Central Senatorial Zone

“That in their natural and ordinary meaning, the said words published concerning me, meant and were understood to mean that:

“I harbored a wanted Boko Haram terror suspect in my house and therefore I am a supporter of the terrorists group Boko Haram

“That the clear innuendo in the words complained of, bore and were understood to bear the meaning which I have just stated by the facts that pleading in the foregoing paragraph by way of innuendo with the following particulars:

“That Boko Haram is a notorious terrorist group operating in Nigeria and who had been held responsible by the public for a series of terrorist activities, bombings and killings of both of civilians as well as military, police and other Para-military personnel

“That it is generally believed by members of the public that the Boko Haram secretly receives materials aid and other support from some members of the society

“That the publication complained of falsely portrayed me as one of the persons who aid and support the Boko Haram in their terrorist activities.”

Police chief visits Damaturu, commends JTF and police officers

The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 12 comprising; Bauchi, Borno and Yobe state, Ibrahim Abdu, today, paid a visit to the Yobe State Police Command to boost the morale of officers in the state to stand firm in the face of  security challenges bedeviling the Zone.

In a chat with news men after addressing the officers and men of the command, the AIG applauded the efforts of the Joint Task Force (JTF), comprising all security agencies, for their efforts in repelling attacks in Damaturu and other areas of the state and implored them to be resolute.

He said the security men on ground have worked hard towards the restoration of peace in the state saying “this is glaring with the recovery of arms and ammunitions in the various operations carried out by the JTF in the recent past”.

The visit, he stressed, is to further encourage the officers and men of the command who have done well in checkmating the hoodlums to continue in that regard for the restoration of peace across the state.

Abdu also said he is in the state to restore the confidence of the Nigeria Police in the minds of residents in the wake of the rising security challenges,

He commended the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar on the reforms initiated, saying it will restore the lost glory of the Nigeria Police Force.

He calls on Nigerians to assist the security agents with useful information towards overcoming the security challenges the nation is passing through presently.

JTF kills 2 Boko Haram commanders

The military Joint Task Force (JTF) on Friday said that it has killed two commanders of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

In a press statement issued by the JTF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri said “at about 2:20pm on Wednesday, a combine team of the JTF acted on intelligence had killed two members of the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram top terrorists commander along Maiduguri- Kano road as they were escaping arrest from security forces.”

Col Sagir said that the killed Boko Haram commanders were believed to be coordinating the activities of the sect in Mubi and Yola of Adamawa and Yobe states adding that the two sect members were traveling in a Honda accord 2000 model with registration number BAM 214 AA.

The JTF Spokesman also said that the terrorists were on their way to Damaturu for a planned special operation to attack civilians and military locations on Thursday 20 September, 2012 pointing out that intelligence equally revealed that they were planning to launch attack in Maiduguri soon.

Items recovered from the terrorists according to Col Sagir include a Honda Car and 5 GSM handsets and weapons.

The statement also stated that a total of eight terrorists were equally arrested in Nganaram, GRA and Lawanti areas of Maiduguri metropolis in earlier operations within the troubled city.

Those arrested according to Col Sagir were confirmed to have travelled into Maiduguri from neighbouring states, pointing out that items recovered during the arrests include a Silver coloured Camry car of 1988 model with Yobe Registration number AE 74 DTR suspected to have been stolen for possible suicide mission and weapons for the dastard act.

Boko Haram has managed large-scale, damaging assaults, including one in January where at least 186 people died in coordinated attacks in Kano, the biggest city in Northern Nigeria.

This week, authorities said they had killed the sect’s spokesman Abu Qaqa and another senior commander while members of Boko Haram were suspected of killing a former Comptroller of prison and the Commission for Justice in Borno state, of which Maiduguri is the capital.

 

JTF kills seven, arrest 13 suspected members of Boko Haram

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital has killed seven and arrested 13 persons suspected to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.

The spokesman of the JTF in Borno state, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa in a statement made available to Channels Television in Maiduguri said the security officials were conducting a cordon and search operation at Gwange junction of the metropolis when the hoodlums started shooting at them sporadically in reaction to the operation.

The statement said in response to the attack, seven of the insurgents were killed while thirteen were arrested.

Col Sagir however said no casualty was recorded on the side of the security forces.

Suspected sect member had on Wednesday launched an attack on telecommunication installations destroying several masts and killing over 20 persons in Yobe, Borno and Kano states.

The spokesman of the sect, Abul Qaqai in an emailed statement said “the attacks on these communication facilities will continue unabated, because the GSM firms are assisting the Federal Government and its security agencies in tracking and eventual arrests of our members in many parts of the country.”

The Boko Haram in the statement also threatened attacks on the facilities of the Voice of America (VOA), including its personnel and correspondents.

The statement reads “Our ultimate goal is the establishment of an Islamic State in Nigeria and we would not hesitate in taking punitive measures against anybody who sabotage or assist others that are sabotaging our efforts.

“This is why we are fighting the Nigerian government and its collaborators, including telecommunication companies. We would continue attacking them (telecoms) until the time they stopped releasing information about our activities.

Telecommunication facilities were vandalised across the northern part of the country rendering communication within the region erratic.

Suspected sect members kill four persons in Maiduguri

Four men were on Tuesday night slaughtered in Maiduguri the Borno state capital by assailants believed to be members of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram

The incident occurred barely 24 hours after a lecturer of the University of Ado-Ekiti and his friend a local government secretary in Borno State were killed in the restive city of Maiduguri, North East Nigeria

Witnesses said the four people were killed at their residences at Gwange ward of Maiduguri metropolis on Tuesday night stressing that nobody heard about the killing until Wednesday morning when the corpses were evacuated from their houses.

The Borno State Police Public Relations Officer, Gideon Jubril, a deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) confirmed the incident but said no arrest has been made as at press time but investigation has commenced on the crime.

University of Ado-Ekiti’s lecturer killed in Maiduguri

Gunmen suspected to be members of the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram on Monday killed two people including a university lecturer and a serving secretary of Bama local government area in the restive Nigeria north east city of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

The don was a lecturer at the university of Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti state south west Nigeria.

The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Yuguda confirmed the incident to journalists in Maduguri.

He said the university Lecturer, Abubakar Salihu arrived the city on Monday morning to enrol his 12 years old son in a college in Maiduguri metropolis and decided to sleep in his friend, Mohammed Salisu’s house, the secretary of Bama Local Government Area of the State.

Unknown to him, some assailants were already on the trail of the secretary.

While both Misters Mohammed and Abubakar were watching Television, the gunmen sneaked into the house through the fence and they were both killed, a relative of the Local Government boss who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reason said.

The university don was due to present a paper on Tuesday at the Nigeria law school Abuja the nation’s capital.

JTF intercept bomb-laden car in Maiduguri

The Joint Task Force (JTF) on Monday intercepted a suicide bomb-laden car heading for suicide missions in Borno and Yobe states.
The driver of the ill-fated car is currently undergoing interrogation.

Confirming the arrests in a JTF signed press statement, its spokesman, Lt. Col Sagir Musa said the explosives were meant for suicide bombings in some strategic parts of Borno and Yobe states.

“There was an interception of a Camry car with registration no. Borno AA 867 MAF at Tudun Quarters at Mudugumeri Area of Maiduguri at about 6p.m.

“The car was loaded with four cylinders; four DAF gas oil cylinders; three constructed Improvised Explosive Devices; 18 by 9 volts battery with two switches and 4 by 25 litres jerricans of incendiary materials earmarked for suicide bombings.

“The car was intercepted by a vigilant patrol team which was undergoing routine surveillance following security reports on likely simultaneous suicide bombings in Yobe and Borno states.

“All the items recovered are in the custody of the JTF for analysis and further investigation. The driver of the car has been undergoing interrogation in JTF custody.”

“Security has been reinforced in the two affected states with more teams on patrol and strategic checkpoints put on red alert.”

He said the sponsors of the suicide bomber led by a high profile terrorist commander are under surveillance and would soon be arrested by the JTF.

JTF killed civilians not our members-Boko Haram

The Islamic Sect Boko Haram has denied the killings of 20 of its members in Maiduguri by the military Joint Task Force (JTF), claiming that those killed in raids, were civilians and not their members.

JTF yesterday said 20 suspected armed terrorists were killed in the multiple raids carried out in Maiduguri metropolis on Saturday, following a tip off about a Boko Haram meeting going on Saturday.

Spokesman of the sect, Abu Qaqa, in a teleconference with newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri said that his fighters had not been meeting at the place where the military said it killed them.

He said “they only succeeded in killing civilians adding twenty of them cannot risk sitting in a volatile place to hold meetings”.

The Islamists have killed hundreds in gun and bomb attacks in Nigeria, since they launched an uprising in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital in July, 2009.

The violence recently has been centered on Maiduguri and Yobe state as well as other parts of the North.

Ministry of Environment warns 14 states of impending flood disaster

Fourteen states have been pinpointed as states to be ravaged by floods between now and the 19th of August 2012. This was contained in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management Department of the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Morohunkeji Oyeleke.

The states are Adamawa, Plateau, Sokoto, Jigawa, Borno and Gombe states. Others include Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Oyo, Zamfara and Kano states.

Bauchi and Katsina were also listed amongst the forewarned flood prone states.

The Ministry listed Demsa, Numan, Jimeta, Mayo Belwa, Mubi and Song, all in Adamawa state; and Langtang, Shelleng, Shandam and Wase in Plateau state.

Others are Gada, Goronyo and Shinkafi in Sokoto State; Gumel, Hadeija, Miga and Mallam Fatori in Jigawa state; as well as Bama, Briyel, Damasak, Dikwa, Geidam, Ngala, and Kukawa in Borno State.

She also listed Nafada in Gombe State; Anka, Bagudo, Birnin-Kebbi, Bungudu, Bunza, Gwandu, Jega and Kamba, all in Kebbi State.

Also listed among the flood prone areas were Gashua, Potiskum, Dapchi, Kanama and Machina in Yobe State; and Bali, Gembu, Ibi, Lau, Wukari and Mutum Biyu in Taraba State.

Also to be affected are Apata, Bodija, Challenge, Moniya, Ojoo, Eruwa, Odo Ora, Ibadan and Oyo town, all in Oyo State and Kaura, Maru, Gusau; and Namoda in Zamfara State.

Others are Gezawa, Gwarzo, Karaye, Wudil and Kano, all in Kano State; and Azare, Bajoga, Jamaare, Kari and Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi State; and Bakori, Bindawa, Daura, Jibiya and Katsina and Funtua, all in Kastina State.

Oyeleke therefore called on governments of the affected states to take precautionary measures to avoid loss of lives and property.

The North Eastern part of the country is the most affected as all the states-Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi- were all listed. Kaduna state is the only state spared from the North West and Oyo state is the sole representative of the South West while Plateau that of the North Central.

Missing from the list is Lagos, a state that has suffered from flooding in recent years during the raining season.

 

Gunmen kill six in Borno after emergency rule was lifted

About six persons have been killed in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital in two separate incidents after gunmen attacked the city’s largest market, the military said on Friday.

The attacks occurred a day after President Goodluck Jonathan lifted a state of emergency in some states in Northern Nigeria.

Two people were killed on Thursday during a gunfight between suspected Boko Haram members and the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, before gunmen killed four people at a nearby market, the JTF said.

“My men were patrolling around the market after it closed,” the Borno State Police Commissioner, Bala Hassan said after confirming the death toll from the attacks.

Many traders fled the market as the attack broke out in the market, while the management of the market locked up the six main entrances.

Elsewhere, the joint task force, JTF, clashed with gunmen suspected to be sect members in Gambouru ward of Maiduguri killing two persons.

Reports say that the clash happened when suspected gunmen attacked one of the military patrol vehicles near Kofa Biyu on Sir Kashim Ibrahim way.

Three killed in Kano

In Kano, west of Maiduguri, gunmen riding on motorcycles shot dead three people who were playing cards late on Thursday, the police said on Friday.

Boko Haram often targets people who are drinking alcohol or suspected of gambling.

The majority of the sect’s attacks are in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where its insurgency began in 2009, although the threat has spread and bombings and shootings are common in cities across the north.

President Jonathan on Wednesday rescinded a state of emergency in several local government areas, including in Borno, ahead of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, which is observed by most of Nigeria’s estimated 80 million Muslims.

Curfews and movement restrictions were relaxed in several cities hit by recent violence.

Suicide bomber kills 5 in Maiduguri mosque

A suicide bomber killed five people at the central mosque in Maiduguri on Friday, the military said.

The blast narrowly missed the deputy governor of Borno state, Zanna Umar Mustapha, and Borno’s Shehu (regional religious leader), Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, who were attending Friday prayers.

People walk in front of a mosque after a bomb attack in Nigeria's north-eastern city of Maiduguri

“The suicide bomber was about 15 years old … Fortunately we both escaped unhurt,” Mr Mustapha told reporters.

Six people were also injured in the attack, military spokesman Sagir Musa told reporters.

Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people this year in an insurgency against the Federal government of Nigeria, seeking to carve out an Islamic state in the country.

The sect often targets government officials, religious figures and places of worship, usually Christian churches.

Security experts believe Boko Haram’s attacks on religious centres in central and northern Nigeria are an attempt to provoke wider religious conflict in the country.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for attacks that killed more than 65 people in Plateau State over the weekend, including a ruling party senator, although security officials blamed localised ethnic clashes.

A suicide bomber killed five people at the central mosque in Maiduguri on Friday, the military said.

The blast narrowly missed the deputy governor of Borno state, Zanna Umar Mustapha, and Borno’s Shehu (regional religious leader), Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, who were attending Friday prayers.

“The suicide bomber was about 15 years old … Fortunately we both escaped unhurt,” Mr Mustapha told reporters.

Six people were also injured in the attack, military spokesman Sagir Musa told reporters.

Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people this year in an insurgency against the Federal government of Nigeria, seeking to carve out an Islamic state in the country.

The sect often targets government officials, religious figures and places of worship, usually Christian churches.

Security experts believe Boko Haram’s attacks on religious centres in central and northern Nigeria are an attempt to provoke wider religious conflict in the country.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for attacks that killed more than 65 people in Plateau State over the weekend, including a ruling party senator, although security officials blamed localised ethnic clashes.

David Mark condemns attack

The President of the Senate, David Mark, has condemned the bombing of the Mosque of the Shehu of Borno in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Mr Mark, who described the act as “callous”, said attack on places of worship is not only ungodly but “a huge sacrilege.”

He said the  attack on the Shehu’s Mosque has shown that Boko Haram in itself is not helping to propagate Islam contrary to the messages that had been churned out by the sect.

The senate President commiserated with government and people of Borno State and advised Nigerians to be security conscious.

He urged Nigerians to continue to provide information that would quell the activities of the Boko Haram sect to security agencies even as he called on those responsible for these murderous acts to have a rethink and accept dialogue

Insecurity in Nigeria dominates Council of State meeting

The insecurity in Nigeria on Thursday was the issue that dominated the National Council of States meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja.

Present at the meeting were past Nigerian leaders including Shehu Shagari, Ernest Shenekan and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as the governors of the 36 states of the federation or their deputies.

There was no formal briefing after the meeting but sources said that National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki briefed the meeting on security situation in Plateau state and the efforts being put in place so far to nip it in the bud as well as the situation in Mali and its effect on neighbouring countries including Nigeria.

The Belgore Report on constitutional matters and the National Honours list were also discussed during the meeting

The 36 state governors met last night in Abuja to take a common position on the incessant violence in parts of the country ahead of the council meeting.

Officials close to the forum said the governors were discussing the level of insecurity especially in the North, and were considering taking a common position ahead of the Council of State meeting.

The governors’ meeting was summoned in the wake of the latest bloodshed in Plateau State, where dozens of people were in killed in attacks on villages, which also led to the deaths of Senator Gyang Dantong and state legislator Gyang Fulani.

Last night’s meeting was held at the Rivers’ State Governors’ Lodge in Abuja.

The governors’ meeting was attended by governors of Katsina, Kaduna, Borno, Zamfara, Kebbi, Taraba, Jigawa, Kogi, Enugu, Delta, Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Ebonyi, Abia, Plateau, Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra, Gombe and Adamawa states. Deputy governors of Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara, Ogun and Yobe states were also in attendance.

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