DHQ Denies Reports Of Detaining Children As Terrorists In Facilities

boko haram

 

The Defence Headquarters has denied reports that troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are arbitrarily detaining children in its facilities in the North East.

The DHQ in a statement by it’s Acting Director Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said that children used as suicide bombers by terrorists are arrested, managed and treated as victims of war and not as suspects.

This is a reaction to a report by the Human Rights Watch, accusing the Armed Forces of Nigeria arbitrarily detaining children. The DHQ added that the apprehended children are adequately fed, profiled and de-radicalized before their release, as captured by the civil society group in its report.

“It is an established fact that Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) indoctrinate women and children who they use as suicide bombers in the theatre of operations. In the conduct of their operations, troops arrest these children while attempting to detonate explosives and provide tacit support to insurgents such as intelligence on troops’ movement and deployments.

“Contrary to HRW claims, however, the AFN manages children in the North East theatre as victims of war and not as suspects. Apprehended children are kept in secured places, where they are adequately fed, profiled and de-radicalized before their release.”

READ ALSO: Xenophobic Attacks: Buhari Orders Immediate Voluntary Evacuation Of Nigerians From South Africa

The statement added that only profiled Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are held in detention pending their prosecution by appropriate prosecuting agencies.

It also stated that another set of children are the ones found with some adult female Boko Haram terrorists arrested in terrorists’ enclaves during combat, and in such cases, the women opt to keep their children rather than hand them over to relations.

“While the female terrorists are kept in the detention facility, their children are given protected care in a welfare holding facility, not a detention facility, where they could be accessed by their mothers under supervision by female personnel. The children are provided with regular feeding, clothing, requisite medical attention, in-house spiritual and educational tutoring and other welfare needs.

“The DHQ, therefore, wishes to state that no children are kept and tortured in any detention facility. The children caught in the act of terrorism are moved to safe facilities such as the Borno State Rehabilitation Centre in Bulunkutu, Maiduguri, and Operation SAFE CORRIDOR, where they are de-radicalized, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society. Those whose families could not be traced are handed over to IDP Camps officials for administration.”

The DHQ also maintained that terrorists and insurgents killed in combat cannot be regarded as extrajudicial killing.

“The AFN is a professional military with extant doctrines and Standard Operating procedures, hence, extrajudicial killing or summary execution is an aberration and not permissible in our operational engagements.”

DHQ Constitutes Joint Panel To Probe Killing Of Policemen In Taraba

 

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has set up a joint panel to investigate the killing of three police officers and a civilian by soldiers in Taraba State.

Acting Director of Information Defence Headquarters, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, announced this in a statement on Friday.

He explained that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, constituted the committee following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Service Chiefs Brief Buhari On Security, Killing Of Policemen In Taraba

According to Colonel Nwachukwu, the seven-man panel chaired by Rear Admiral I.T. Olaiya has commenced work immediately.

The panel comprises representatives of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, the Nigeria Police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

Colonel Nwachukwu said the committee has been asked to unravel the circumstances that led to the killing of the security personnel and the civilian along Ibi – Wukari Road in Taraba on Tuesday.

President Buhari issued the directive on Thursday when he met with the Service Chiefs over the incident and the nation’s security situation.

According to a statement from the police, the slain operatives were on investigation activities to arrest one Alhaji Hamisu indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the state.

The Force said the operatives, who were taking the arrested suspect to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot at severally by the soldiers despite sufficient proof that they were police personnel on legitimate duty.

Reacting in a statement, the army explained that although the incident could have been avoided, the policemen “refused to stop when they were halted by troops at three consecutive checkpoints.”

It said the refusal of the security operatives to stop at the checkpoints prompted a hot pursuit by the troops, adding that policemen opened fire at the troops “sporadically” which prompted them to return fire.

Read the full statement below:

In compliance with the presidential directive issued by the President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin has constituted a 7-man Joint Investigation Panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police allegedly resulting in the killing of 3 personnel of the Nigeria Police and a civilian along Ibi – Wukari road in Taraba State.

The Joint Investigation panel is headed by Rear Admiral IT Olaiya and has a representative each from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce the Nigeria Police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

The Joint Committee has commenced work immediately.

ONYEMA NWACHUKWU
Colonel
Acting Director, Defence Information

Banditry: DHQ Condemn Troops For Maltreating Arrested Suspects

boko haram

 

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has condemned the behaviour of troops of the AFN, captured in a trending video, who allegedly maltreated some suspected armed bandits and kidnappers arrested along the Abuja Kaduna highway, describing it as unprofessional.

According to a statement by the Acting Director, Defence information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu on Wednesday, the troops had acted in overzealousness in a desperate attempt to extract information from the suspected bandit.

The attention of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been drawn to video footage trending in the social media, visually displaying the maltreatment of some suspected armed bandits and kidnappers who were arrested along Road Abuja Kaduna during a recent operation.

Apparently the troops had in their overzealousness tied one of the suspects to a stake in a desperate attempt to extract information from him.

READ ALSO: 16 Killed, 14 Injured As Suspected Bandits Attack Zamfara Community

The statement also explained that the act is in violation of the military code of conduct and the Chief of Defence Staff has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.

The DHQ wishes to unambiguously state that the acts exhibited by the troops in the video footage is very unprofessional and an outright violation of the code of conduct handed down to guide the conduct and behaviour of troops of the AFN during operations.

The DHQ therefore, in very strong terms condemn this act of ineptitude and exhibition of lawlessness. The DHQ considers the conduct of the troops highly regrettable.

In order to promptly address the anomaly, the Chief of Defence Staff has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident to bring to book all those found culpable in accordance with the military justice system.

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ

 

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says no new salary scale has been approved for the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

Acting Director of Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, said this in a statement in reaction to a purported document containing a new upgraded salary structure for the military.

“The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has observed with utmost dismay, the circulation of a fictitious document that has gone viral on social media purportedly showing a new upgraded Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) salary structure with effect from May 2019,” he said.

READ ALSOBuhari Donates $500,000, Vehicles To Guinea Bissau For Elections

“The DHQ wishes to clarify that the said document does not exist, neither does it reflect the true salary structure of personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”

Colonel Nwachukwu noted that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, had signed a new minimum wage of N30,000 for workers across the country.

He, however, stated that it was “outrightly mischievous” for anyone to circulate fake documents detailing the salary structure of the AFN.

“The DHQ, therefore, wishes to reiterate that the purported new salary scale for members of the AFN being circulated is nothing but a false and malicious publication intended to cause disaffection among members of the AFN, as no such salary scale exists,” the DHQ spokesman added.

He stressed further that it was pertinent to note that the military does not approve salaries for its personnel.

Colonel Nwachukwu, thereafter, urged Nigerians, especially members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to discountenance the purported document.

DHQ Announces Date For Alex Badeh’s Burial

DHQ Announces Date For Alex Badeh’s Burial
A file photo of Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh

 

The Defence Headquarters has announced the date for the burial of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd).

Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim, made the announcement in a statement on Friday.

According to him, activities lined-up for the interment of the former defence chief will begin on Sunday with the Service of Songs scheduled to hold at the Nigerian Air Force Base Protestant Church in Abuja.

Brigadier General Agim also disclosed that this would be followed by a church service expected to hold at the same venue on Wednesday next week.

The former defence chief would be laid to rest later in the afternoon at the National Military Cemetery in the nation’s capital.


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NASS Calls For Probe Of Alex Badeh’s Murder


Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh was killed by gunmen who attacked his vehicle while he was returning from his farm along Abuja-Keffi Road in December 2018.

He became the 18th Chief of Air Staff in October 2012 and was appointed Chief of Defence Staff in January 2014 until his retirement in July 2015.

Defence Headquarters Gets New Spokesman

Defence Headquarters Gets New Spokesman
L-R: Major General John Enenche and Brigadier General John Agim

 

Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters military has appointed a new Director Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim.

The military announced this in a statement from the DHQ and signed on Monday by Wing Commander O.O. Ademosu

Brigadier General Agim replaces Major General John Enenche who is now the Commandant at the Army War College, Nigeria.

Until his appointment as the new DHQ spokesman, Agim was Commandant of Nigerian Army School of Public Relations.

According to the statement, his appointment takes immediate effect.

Nigerian Military Declares IPOB Terrorist Organisation

File Photo: Nnamdi kalu

The Defence Headquarters has declared the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a militant terrorist organisation.

Director, Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche, in a statement on Friday, said parents should dissuade their wards from joining the group and that the Armed Forces will confront “all security challenges facing the country.’’

Enenche listed reasons for the declaration to include, the formation of a Biafra Secret Service, claimed formation of Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads; extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal roadblocks, and militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others) on a military patrol on September 10, 2017.

“From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation,” it said.

Based on the declaration, the army warned Nigerians against joining the group.

“Therefore, parents and particularly unsuspecting residents of the South East and other Nigerians should advise their wards to desist from joining the group,” it said.

“The Defence Headquarters restates its commitment to handling all the security challenges in the Country and further assures all Nigerians of the protection of lives and property.”

See full reasons for the declaration below:

  • The Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) group which has posed to be a security challenge in the Country, has been metamorphosing from one stage to the other. After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient, to notify the general public that; the claim by IPOB actors that the organization is non-violent is not true. Hence, the need to bring to public awareness the true and current state of IPOB. In this regard, some of their actions, clandestinely and actively, that has been terrorising the general public among others include;
  • The formation of a Biafra Secret Service.
  • Claimed formation of Biafra National Guard.
  • Unauthorised blocking of public access roads.
  • Extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal roadblocks.
  • Militant possession and use of weapons (stones, Molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others) on a military patrol on 10 September 2017.
  • Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a checkpoint on 11 September 2017 and also attempts to snatch their rifles.
  • Attack by IPOB members, on a military checkpoint on 12 September 2017, at Isialangwa, where one IPOB actor attempted to snatch a female soldier’s rifle.

 

Army-IPOB Clash: DHQ Blames Incident On Group Members

Army-IPOB Clash: DHQ Blames Incident On Group Members
John Enenche

The Defence Headquarters has blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for the recent clash between Army troops and its members in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

IPOB had accused the soldiers of invading their leader’s home on Sunday and opened fire on the security personnel who tried to prevent them from gaining entry.

The military, however, denied the claims, saying troops were on a routine patrol before they were intercepted by members of the group who blocked the road.

READ ALSO: Nnamdi Kanu Accuses Army Of ‘Terrorising’ His People

“Troops were just in their normal operation, patrolling, and some chaps who were later identified to be IPOB members blocked the road and say they shouldn’t pass,” said DHQ spokesman, Major General John Enenche.

“It was peaceful and they started throwing stones at them (the troops), missiles (I mean stones and things that are hard objects) to the extent of injuring a soldier on his head, and then a passerby, one lady. That was what happened.”

Major General Enenche, who appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, said the issue was exaggerated by the group.

He accused the group of using a photo editing tool to modify the pictures which it used to back the claims that some of its members were injured by the military.

He said, “It did not even escalate to what they posted on the internet when they went and photoshopped a picture of people that were in a range-like position and then firing against IPOB flag.”

“It is rather unfortunate. I was contacted directly and I was in touch with them and that is ‘what is the situation?'”

The DHQ spokesman also denied claims by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who alleged that the operation was conducted to terrorise and scare members of the group.

Nnamdi Kanu accuses Army of ‘terrorising’ his people

He stated that the troops were on a routine patrol and not testing an armoured vehicle, saying different reports would emerge when such incident takes place.

“You know when things like this happen, people can come up with various things. I am not saying that the police did not give you a version of what they understood or what they were given, but I am now telling you that what happened is that it is a normal routine exercise,” he said.

“It was not like specifically, we were testing an armoured personnel carrier or whatever; we didn’t just acquire armoured personnel carriers, we have been using them.

“So, if it was something expected and then looked at from that angle, they would have gone out with their combat camera and captured it,” Enenche added.

Boko Haram Relying On Collaborators For Fresh Attacks – DHQ

Boko Haram Attacks Based Strongly On Collaborators – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters has blamed the pockets of Boko Haram attacks in Borno State on the information the insurgents get from informants.

The Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, stated this on Monday on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

An exploration team – including five lecturers of the University of Maiduguri, about 15 soldiers, 11 members of the civilian JTF and some staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – was ambushed by the insurgents on Tuesday last week.

Reacting to the attack, Major General Enenche noted that unless the terrorists were given adequate information about the progress of the exploration exercise, the team would not have fallen into the ambush.

“These things happening now are information bound strongly and I still want to state that there are informants, there are still collaborators who are collaborating [with the terrorists]. How come they did not attack them on the first day when they started the exploration exercise with the soldiers [until] when they have finished and are going back?” he questioned.

The DHQ spokesman insisted that some people must have been monitoring the oil workers and their escorts, stressing that conspirators ensured the attack on the team was successfully carried out.

He, however, called on the public to support the onslaught against the insurgents by availing the military with useful and prompt information to wipe out the terrorists.

“What is an ambush? You conceal yourself, pass through people, hide your weapons and waylay them; that is it. So it is the work of conspirators and we need the cooperation of the people seriously.

“These people that ambushed this team did not just come from the sky, they passed through people and they got information. Some people must have told them [monitor them (the team), they are moving from here to there] and they are collaborators”, he added.

The major general noted further that the insurgents are not back in full force contrary to reports and called for more information on fleeing terrorists in order to completely rid them of the region.

“It’s not full force; if they were back full force, they would have been controlling territories. They are not back full force but we need information to begin to clear them until we clear them completely”.

Inappropriate Marking Of IDP Camp Caused Rann Bombing – DHQ

Rann Misfire: Air Force Panel Dialogues With Traumatised Survivors

The Defence Headquarters has responded to the Rann bombing which took place at the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp in January 2017.

According to the defence spokesman, Major General John Eneche, the lack of appropriate marking of the IDP camp was responsible for the accidental bombing in Rann, a community in Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno State.

He told journalists in Abuja on Friday that an IDP camp was not supposed to be built in that community, saying it was not marked on the operational map.

READ ALSO: Scores Feared Dead As Nigerian Jet Accidentally Drops Bomb On Borno Settlement

Major General Eneche stressed further that because it was not marked an IDP camp, it appeared to be a place for terrorist activities when a mass movement was noticed via satellite.

He added that the various boards of inquiry into the incidence have recommended that all locations should be marked appropriately on the operational map.

The panels also asked all agencies participating in the operations in North East Nigeria to share timely information such as locations of IDP camps.

According to them, this would help to prevent confusion for other participants in the operations, especially the military.

Rann Bombing: Buhari Warns Against Re-occurrence

The clarification from the Defence Headquarters came six months after a military plane accidentally dropped a bomb inside a settlement in Borno State, killing several people.

A spokesman for the military, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television on January 17, acknowledged that the incident was an error deeply regretted by the military.

He, however, claimed that the incident did not occur in an IDP camp as reported in some quarters but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

He explained that soldiers had gotten information of the movement of Boko Haram members in the Kalabalge area and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists.

According to him, it was the air support that mistakenly dropped the bomb.

President Muhammadu Buhari had sent his condolence message to victims of the misfire and the Borno State government.

The Chief of Staff to the president, Abba Kyari, conveyed the president’s message when he led a Federal Government delegation on a condolence visit to the state.

President Buhari, however, warned the military to ensure that adequate measures were put in place to prevent any reoccurrence of such incident.

Counterinsurgency: Nigerian Military Denies Use Of Mercenaries

Nigerian MilitaryThe Nigerian military has debunked insinuations that it has resorted to using mercenaries in the ongoing counterinsurgency operation in the North East.

The Acting Director of Defence Information, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, addressed the issue in a statement on Friday.

The statement read, “The insinuation and the entire story are utterly scurrilous and a calculated attempt to smear the good image of the Nigerian military. The orchestrated campaign is aimed at rubbishing the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies who are working hard to contain the insurgencies in the North East.

“To this end the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) wishes to state that the military has enough trained soldiers to fight the terrorists in the North East without resorting to the use of mercenaries. Also, the military has significantly up-scaled its troops and equipment deployment since the Presidential mandate and does not need mercenaries whether foreign or local to rout out and put an effective end to guerrilla movements in the North East within the allotted time.

“Since the Presidential order the military has been fighting the insurgents more and more effectively and all Nigerians, irrespective of where they live, have come to understand that we are making progress.

“The DHQ therefore wishes to state that the report is a covert campaign of blackmail by disgruntled elements in the society, designed to pit the Nigerian people against their armed forces. These blackmailers are not only unhappy because of the progress the military is making in the fight but more so because their illicit gains in the war has been effectively stopped.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces are doing all that are needed to be done to ensure that the terrorists in the North East and all forms of criminalities are brought under effective control within the shortest possible time.”

He appealed to the public to ignore the “unfounded rumours” and give the armed forces their support and encouragement in the ongoing war against terror.

Maiduguri Bombing: Nigerian Military Vow To Avenge Killings

MaiduguriThe Nigerian Military has reacted to the Maiduguri bomb attacks with a vow to avenge the killings.

The Defence Headquarters, on its Twitter handle, wrote, “We will avenge the Innocent Blood. Despicable Acts of Terrorists clinging to Straws and set to be exterminated. To #NeverAgain rise.”

The DHQ also stated that “The situation was being managed and under control as emergency services had been activated.”

The military confirmed the suicide bomb attacks to have occurred in three locations; Baga Motor Park, Monday Market and Borno Express Park.

Most roads in Maiduguri metropolis were condoned off to avoid further attack as youth volunteers mounted heavy surveillance in many parts of the city.

58 people were reportedly killed while 139 were injured following the multiple bombings that hit strategic points of Maiduguri the Borno State capital.

The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Clement Adoda, confirmed this to the media on Saturday.

Saturday’s bombings in Maiduguri, Borno State is the latest since security forces commenced severe operation in the northeast after the shift of the 2015 general election with a view to curtail the activities of the insurgents in the troubled region.

Earlier on Saturday, the DHQ had tweeted that troops were conducting mopping operation in Buniyadi and Bunigari, after a successful simultaneous operation concluded at dawn.

According to the military, troops had “sacked terrorists” from the two villages formerly controlled by the Boko Haram sect.