The suspected kidnapper of Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, a judge with the Benin division of the Court of Appeal has been arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The alleged kidnap kingpin, identified as Stanley Onoriode Ekemaye, was said to have been tracked down at Okwuzi Egbema in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State in the early hours of Tuesday.
Justice Nwosu-Iheme was kidnapped by her attackers who killed her police orderly on October 30 after trailing their vehicle from the Ramat park area of the Edo State capital.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Danmallam Mohammed, confirmed that the judge was rescued from kidnappers and later reunited with her family.
The Justice’s abduction led to public outcry from various quarters including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin Branch, embarking on a three-day boycott of all courts.
Ekemaye is also believed to have been responsible for several robbery operations around Delta, Edo and Rivers for years as well as high profile kidnappings, including the recent kidnap of the chief medical officer of Irrua specialist hospital, Sylvanus Okogbenin, and a sister-in-law to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Despite meeting their bail conditions, Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, are still in the custody of the DSS after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja had ordered their release on Wednesday, November 6.
The counsel to Sowore, Mr Femi Falana, told Channels Television on Wednesday that his clients have met the bail conditions imposed on them with regards to the charges of treasonable felony preferred against them by the Federal Government
He added that lawyers from his team and court bailiffs would go to the DSS office on Thursday morning to effect the release of his clients.
Meanwhile, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu has adjourned the trial of Sowore to the 5th and 6th of December, 2019.
The adjournment is occasioned by the objections raised by Counsel to Sowore, Mr Femi Falana to the effect that the defense team was never served with the witness statement that the prosecution is relying on to proceed with the trial.
The human rights advocate insists that there is a deliberate attempt on the part of the prosecution to ambush the defense team.
The Department of State Services (DSS) on Monday refuted reports that it arrested a journalist and activist, Chido Onumah in Abuja airport.
The agency, in a statement signed on Monday by the Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunaya, explained that Mr Onumah was only engaged in an interaction during which an act of his capable of undermining public order and national security was explained to him.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to make clarifications regarding media reports that Dr Chido Onumah was arrested by the Service. To set the records right, Onumah was never arrested by the Service.
“He was rather engaged in an interaction during which an act of his capable of undermining public order and national security was explained to him.
“On his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on 29th September 2019, it was discovered that Onumah wore a T-shirt with WE ARE ALL BIAFRANS inscription on it. With credible intelligence that he might be a subject of mob attack if allowed to go into town in the same cloth, the Service invited him and drew his attention to the implications of his probable (un)intended action,” the statement read in part.
According to the DSS, an attack on Onumah based on the inscription on his T-shirt would have sparked ethno-religious reprisals with dire consequences for law and order and public safety in the country.
“He understood the issues and pledged not to engage in activities that may cause disaffection in Abuja and the country at large. He subsequently removed the cloth with the inciting symbols and inscriptions and agreed not to use it,” the statement added.
The DSS spokesperson explained further that the interaction between Onumah and the Service was held in a convivial atmosphere and he even appreciated the courtesies extended to him.
After the interaction, the Service said they arranged for Onumah to go back to his accommodation in town.
The Service said it simply acted within the confines of its mandate and only carried out its routine security duty that could have been discharged by a similar agency in any part of the world.
“It is not out of place for concerned security agencies to have sought clarification from a traveler concerning a subject of security interest,” the DSS said.
Onumah was earlier reported to have been arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Abuja on Sunday evening while returning to Nigeria from Spain, where he had obtained a PhD in communication studies.
The Columnist is the author of a book titled, ‘We Are All Biafrans.’
The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned against the use of social media to incite violence
The security agency says it will not condone any act that is capable of destabilising the country through the use of social media platforms.
This was contained in a statement signed on Wednesday its spokesperson, Peter Afunaya. It added that it has identified mechanisms by unpatriotic actors whose utterances in several social media platforms have stirred panic in the minds of citizens and has gone ahead to apprehend some of those concerned.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) has observed with concern, the deliberate plots and attempts by some subversive and undemocratic elements to incite or pit one ethnic group against the other by stoking the embers of tribal sentiments to cause disaffection and violence across the country.
“Findings revealed that these unpatriotic actors make unguarded public statements and/or use social media platforms to instill fear in the minds of citizens. These are reflected in the misleading statements and articles being circulated among unsuspecting members of the public. Such inciting materials oftentimes are designed to make or convey false accusations by one group against the other. They also resort to skewing historical narratives to suit their objective of masterminding ethnic violence in the nation. So far, some of the culprits have been arrested.
“In view of the Service’s mandate to detect and prevent crimes against the country’s internal security, it reiterates its commitment to the indissolubility and indivisibility of the country as enshrined in the Constitution. Similarly, it affirms its avowed dedication to the protection of democracy in Nigeria.
“In this regard, it will continue to sustain its position on positively and gainfully engaging stakeholders while undertaking appropriate security measures against the undesirable characters whose preoccupation is planning to cause a breakdown of law and order in the country,” the statement read in part.
The agency, therefore, warned individuals or groups involved to desist.
DSS said further that it is determined to ensure that the tribal chauvinists and mischief makers do not continue to exploit socio-political differences and the internet platforms to threaten the peace and stability of the country.
The agency also enjoined Community leaders and persons of influence to be “most responsible in their utterances as well as rein in (their) people for national cohesion and peaceful co-existence.”
Aggrieved persons and groups were also encouraged to use dialogue as a true means of non-violent resolution of disputes or any misgivings.
All heads of prosecuting agencies of the Federal Government are in a crucial meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa.
The agencies include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Department of State Services (DSS), and the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Although the reason for the meeting is unknown, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the recent setbacks suffered in the government’s corruption cases.
The Federal Government has filed an appeal against the decision of Justice Jude Okeke of the FCT High Court, upholding the no case submission in the corruption case against Justice Adeniyi Ademola; his wife, Olabowale, and Mr Joe Agi.
It was also gathered that the government, through the Ministry of Justice, has also filed a fresh case against Justice Ademola and his wife, this time in the Code of Conduct Tribunal, for allegedly living above their means and failure to declare their assets.
The Kaduna State Government has placed a ban on street hawking and begging, as well as commercial motorcycle activities in the state capital and environs.
This is the outcome of resolutions reached at the State Security Council meeting held on Tuesday at the Government House.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Samuel Aruwan, said the decision was reached so as to maintain law and order in the state, based on credible intelligence report of security threat to lives and properties.
He explained that the ban was with immediate effect and will remain in force till further notice, while asking the citizens to be law abiding, that is abide by this and other government directives.
“Kaduna State Security Council has announced the enforcement of subsisting restrictions on begging, street hawking and usage of motorcycles for commercial transport in Kaduna metropolis and other urban centres in the state.
“Credible reports at the disposal of security agencies have made it necessary to begin vigorous enforcement of the laws against street begging, hawking and the illegal business of motorcycle taxis, as well as safeguard lives and property.
“Law enforcement agencies have been directed to begin enforcement of the restrictions against begging, street hawking and Okadas/Achabas in Kaduna town and other cities in the state.
“The directive is with immediate effect and is based on cogent security concerns and the need to uphold law and order in the state.
“Citizens are urged to cooperate with the security agencies as they enforce the relevant laws; the directive is clear.
“No motorcycle is allowed to carry any passenger. Beggars and hawkers are also reminded by this notice to leave the streets, please,” the Governor’s spokesman urged.
The State Security Council meeting, which is usually chaired by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, and attended by his deputy, Heads of Security Agencies and traditional rulers in the state, is to appraise the security situation in Kaduna State.
The meeting deliberated on the situation report on Southern Kaduna where many attacks occurred in several communities which took a toll on lives and properties.
The Nigerian Air Force said it has increased air surveillance in Southern Kaduna and has also deployed 60 Special Forces to compliment the ongoing military operations aimed at restoring peace and security in the area.
The Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh, on his part said security operatives have taken the war against armed bandits into the forest where they are hiding, and some suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks.
“Prior to our relocation to the place, you are already aware that the Commanders were directed to move to Kafanchan to ensure that peace returns to the area and today, we are happy to tell you that we have been able to restore peace to Kafanchan and environs.
“We are going to sustain this effort and we are appealing to members of the community too to assist us in achieving this objective.
“However, in recent time, we have been confronted with other problems regarding the crisis in Southern Kaduna, like I earlier said in the previous briefing that some people are actually fueling these crises.
“We have made arrest of people who write letters that are intended to incite people against one another. To say that, it has been written that an attack will be carried out in communities.
“We investigated some of these letters and we made arrest of persons, which in due time, we will parade before you so that you will see that some of these inciting speeches and letters are actually not even done by the perpetrators of the acts.
“We assure that we are going to continue to bring about law and order in that part of the state, with the efforts of the communities.
“As long as they want peace to reign, they must contribute their quota to try as much as possible to speak to the youths who are the principal actors in this violence, because the only way to peace is for the people themselves to be prepared to embrace peace, accommodate themselves and live together,” the Police Commissioner said.
Also, the Commander One Division Garrison, Brigadier General Samaila Isah, revealed that as part of the efforts in sustaining the peace in Southern Kaduna, the Nigerian Army would embark on a major exercise called ‘Exercise Harbin Kunama’ in the area.
On his part, the State Director of the Department of State Services, Mohammed Wakili, urged the public to ignore inciting messages from the social and traditional media, aimed at fueling the crisis in Southern Kaduna.
The Kaduna State Government said it was working with Federal Security Agencies that are taking proactive measures to flush out armed bandits and other criminal elements from every part of the state, especially now that the state is going to witness influx of people through the Kaduna Airport.
The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam.
The arrest was made after the Service said it uncovered a large cache of arms and ammunition from a property allegedly belonging to the former governor at number 44 Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama-Abuja.
According to a statement by the DSS spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, the operation was informed by intelligence that some incriminating items were stashed in the boots of cars parked at the property.
The DSS said after carrying out a raid on the property in the presence of two private security officers employed by the company, the following items were recovered:
A glock pistol with two magazines and a total of 29 rounds of ammunition;
A mini-uzi with two magazines containing 10 rounds and four rounds respectively;
Forty-two extra rounds of ammunition contained in a pack and one Ak-47.
The search also revealed:
Twenty-one Certificates of Occupancy and one Offer of Statutory Right of Occupancy;
Twenty-three luxury designer watches; and
Forty-five keys to various exotic cars.
The DSS warned politicians to desist from making inciting comments that may heat up the system.
“It is in the light of this latest development that the Service wishes to sound a note of warning to persons and groups that it will no longer tolerate any acts of lawlessness by those who ought to be law abiding and responsible citizens.
“The Service has also observed with total dismay, the inciting utterances of some political actors whose activities heat-up the polity.
“It also wishes to express its disappointment with these politicians who in their desperation, are engaged in hate speeches and sponsor of radio campaign jingles when the electoral umpire has not authorised such campaigns in line with the Electoral Act.
“More worrisome is the unpatriotic involvement of some media outfits in these divisive tendencies which negate their constitutional role as the fourth estate of the realm.
“In line with its statutory mandate of maintaining the peace and internal security of the country, the Service hereby restates its commitment to go after anyone no matter how highly placed. who engages in acts capable of causing the breach of peace in the country,” the statement read.
The Nigerian Army says it has arrested three suspected Chadian Boko Haram terrorists in Gombe State, northeast Nigeria.
According to a statement by the Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, the arrest was carried out in conjunction with the Department of State Services (DSS), after a painstaking effort of tracking the suspects.
The suspects, Bilal Muhammed Umar, Bashir Muhammed and Muhammed Maigari Abubakar, were arrested at Arawa and Mallam Inna areas of Gombe metropolis.
They were reported to be members of Albarnawi faction of the Boko Haram that operates in Chad and mostly northern part of Borno State.
During the operation, Bilal Muhammed Umar attempted to escape and was shot on the leg, apprehended afterwards and presently receiving medical treatment.
The suspects, who were also arrested with Improvised Explosive Device (IED), are currently in custody undergoing preliminary investigation.
Following resurgence of attacks by remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima, has held an emergency security meeting with security operatives.
The meeting was attended by heads of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police and the Department of State Services (DSS), with proactive measures taken on how to increase surveillance and forestall unanticipated security breach.
Governor Shettima began with a three-hour closed door meeting with the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Leo Irabor, on Friday at the Government House in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
During the meeting, he was briefed on recent attacks and ongoing military operations while discussions were held with assurances that the remnants of the insurgents were on suicidal mission, given their displacement from their former headquarters at the Sambisa forest.
Spokesman to the governor, Mr Isa Gusau, said in a statement issued on Sunday that after meeting with the Theater Commander who is not a member of the State Security Council, Governor Shettima presided over an emergency meeting of the State Security Council that involved core armed forces.
At the end of meeting, new guard locations were established in some routes across the state to curtail the movement of the Boko Haram fighters.
The number of security personnel deployed to various locations were also increased with more members of the Civilian JTF (youth volunteers) involved.
Governor Shettima also gave approval for the release of additional patrol vehicles to security agencies for increased surveillance in the state.
He also approved logistics to compliment efforts of the Federal Government in strengthening the armed forces, while measures were adopted to strengthen the Civilian JTF and hunters.
The Council also reviewed the synergy between formal armed forces and volunteers, with steps adopted to increase collaboration and clamp down on cattle rustling used by insurgents to raise funds.
The meeting, which lasted for over three hours at the council chambers of the Government House, had in attendance the General Officer Commanding, Seven Division of the Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu; the Commander, 79 Composite group of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Charles Ohwo; the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, and the Garrison Commander, Seven Division of the Army, Brigadier General Jibrin Mohammed.
Others at the meeting are the State Director of the DSS, Suleiman Kankia, Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Secretary to the State Government, Usman Shuwa, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kaka Lawan and the Permanent Secretary in charge of Security.
For the second time, the Nigerian government has applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja for secret trial and protection of witnesses that will testify against the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki in the case of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering brought against him.
The fresh application which was filed by the prosecutor, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyi, urged the court to try the former National Security Adviser in secret and also protect the witnesses by not allowing their names and addresses to be made public in the course of the trial.
But in a strong opposition to the fresh request, the former National Security Adviser asked the court to dismiss the government motion on the ground that it lacks merit and constituted a gross abuse of court process.
Counsel to the former NSA, Mr Ahmed Raji, argued that there was no justification for the federal government to have brought the motion for secret trial for the second time having lost in the first motion filed before the same court.
He reminded the court that government had on its own volition placed the charges against him on the internet where the names, addresses and positions of the witnesses were conspicuously put at the disposal of the general public.
He reminded the court that in a ruling it dismissed the request on the ground that the witnesses were already known by the public having given their names and addresses to the public through the internet.
He further said that bringing the same motion to the same court constituted a gross abuse of court process and that what the prosecution ought to do if not satisfied with the decision of the court is to approach the Court of Appeal to ventilate its case.
The defense did not object to the request for the adjournment but clarified that the fresh motion for secret trial was served on the defendant last Thursday, hence their counter affidavit prepared over the weekend was served on Monday within the time allowed by law.
The federal government through the Department of State Services (DSS) had in 2015 slammed a 2-count charge of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering against Colonel Dasuki.