Nigerian Army Promises To Investigate, Sanction Erring Officers After Borno Governor’s Outburst

A screenshot from the video of Governor Zulum confronting the soldiers.


The Nigerian Army says the accusation of extortion by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, against soldiers, will not be taken lightly.

Governor Zulum had earlier in a video confronted soldiers manning Maiduguri-Damaturu expressway accusing them of extorting travellers.

In reaction to this, Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Aminu Iliyasu in a statement on Monday said as a professional and disciplined institution, it will not take such allegations lightly, particularly coming from a state executive.

They assured that the allegation will be duly investigated and culprits will be dealt with accordingly.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Angry Borno Governor Slams Soldiers, Policemen For ‘Extorting’ Travellers

“The Nigerian Army as a professional and disciplined institution views such allegations seriously, particularly coming from a State Executive.

“It is on record that, whenever such allegations of troops’ misconduct were made in the past, the Nigerian Army never reneged in conducting thorough investigations to establish them and where any infractions were established against any personnel, appropriate sanctions were applied in line with extant rules and regulations as provided for in the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

“Thus, the Nigerian Army wishes to assure the good people of Borno State and indeed the nation at large that any allegations of misconduct by Nigerian Army troops will be duly investigated and culprits will be dealt with accordingly,” the statement read in part.

The Nigerian Army, however, pointed out that the outburst of the governor could be counterproductive in its fight against insurgency.

“However, it is important to unequivocally observe that public outburst, particularly by eminent personalities such as a State Executive, could be counterproductive and indeed capable of reversing the gains recorded so far in the ongoing fight against insurgents and other criminal elements across the nation,” the statement read further.

The Nigerian Army, therefore, assured citizens that it remains committed to the protection of lives, properties of all law-abiding citizens as it is committed to wiping out insurgency in the North East and other forms of criminality across the country.

Kwara CP Warns Officers Against Searching People’s Phones

Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun


The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has warned officers against searching people’s phone with the intent of extorting money, stressing it’s unethical for them to do so.

While briefing officers and journalists at the State Command in Ilorin, the police boss said extortion is a criminal offence and will attract a stiff penalty.

“It’s unethical to seize and start searching anybody’s mobile phone on the road. The practice of searching the phone of an individual on the road for evidence of internet fraud amounts to conducting a roadside investigation,” he stated.

Egbetokun noted that he is worried of some media reports of how some policemen on highway patrol would stop and search the phones of young undergraduate.

More worrisome, he explained, is the demand of about N2,000 before their phones could be released to the students suspected to be internet fraudsters.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Suspected Kidnappers Of Buhari’s ADC’s Father-In-Law

While vowing that the Command under his watch would not condone such an act, the Commissioner warned officers to desist from such activities.

According to him, it is a criminal offence for any policeman to extort any member of the public by demanding money before releasing their mobile set.

“In some of these cases, the young men mostly university undergraduates are made to part with a little or as much as N2,000 for their releases or the release of their phones.

“The Command frowns at this ugly trend and will stop at nothing in identifying and dealing with culprits of these acts.

“It becomes a criminal offence if that (search) intends in extortion or done with an intent to extort. Al policemen in this command, especially patrolmen are constantly being reminded that extortion while bearing firearms completes the ingredients of the offence of armed robbery.

“Henceforth, any policeman found to be engaging in any form of extortion while armed on the highway will be arrested, detained, tried and if found guilty, dismissed and charged with armed robbery,” he said.

Buratai Orders Probe Into Alleged Soldiers’ Extortion On Motorists

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, has ordered an immediate investigation into allegations of soldiers on truck drivers.

A statement from the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Sani Usman on Sunday said the COAS gave this directive in order to keep up with the professionalism the Nigerian Army is known for.

According to Usman, a concerned Nigeria took to his twitter handle to accuse the military officers of extorting money from trucks along the Maiduguri-Gamboru Ngala road, Borno State, North-East Nigeria.

The twitter user further alleged that each truck owner paid N300,000 for escorting trucks, thereby leading to the complacency of the troops.

“The Nigerian Army has noted with great concern about an allegation of complacency and extortion against soldiers by someone with twitter handle called “Danborno” on Social Media.

“He alleged long queues of trucks along Maiduguri-Gamboru Ngala road, Borno State He also alleged that each truck owner pays the sum of N300,000.00k to soldiers for escorting them.

“Consequent upon this, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai has ordered for immediate investigation over these allegations,” Usman said.

While frowning against acts of indiscipline on any soldier, the army spokesman said the military leadership would not tolerate any act of misdemeanour by any of its personnel.

He also called on members of the public, especially residents of the state to further avail the military of useful information that will aid its operation.

To this end, any aggrieved member of the public could lodge a complained through a toll-free line on 193 to report any observed lapses or allegation against any officer or soldier.

American Claims Extortion Behind Bali Jailbreak

An American man who escaped Bali’s notorious Kerobokan jail before being recaptured claimed Wednesday he broke out of the facility because he faced extortion threats.

Christian Beasley, who is awaiting sentencing after being caught in August with five grams of hashish, made a break from the Indonesian resort island’s main prison with a fellow inmate after cutting a hole in the roof with a hacksaw.

He was found Saturday hiding on the neighbouring island of Lombok after five days on the run.

At a press conference Wednesday, the handcuffed American was paraded in front of media with chains around his ankles and wearing an orange prison uniform and balaclava.

The 32-year-old told journalists he escaped because he was being extorted — although he did not say by whom.

“In jail they threatened me for protection money, that’s why I left,” he said.

Beasley said he had permission from US authorities to use marijuana for an undisclosed medical condition.

“I need rehab, not four years or more in jail, please help me, in my country (it) is not a crime to use ganja — I have (a) licence,” he shouted as he was escorted away by armed officers.

But Kerobokan’s chief warden, Tonny Nainggolan, rejected Beasley’s extortion claims as “total nonsense”.

He added: “There is no such thing, he made it up, we protect and guarantee the safety of the inmates and detainees in Kerobokan.”

Beasley escaped last Monday along with Paul Anthony Hoffman, 57.

Hoffman was immediately recaptured but Beasley managed to cross to Lombok where he evaded police for five days.

Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where inmates are often held in unsanitary conditions at overcrowded and poorly guarded prisons.

In May, more than 200 inmates staged a mass breakout from an overcrowded prison on Sumatra island.


Nine Policemen Arrested In Lagos Over Bribery, Extortion Of Motorists

Lagos State Police Commissioner, Edgal Imohimi

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested nine policemen and three others for engaging in corruption practices.

New Commissioner of Police in the State, Edgal Imohimi, said on Thursday that the arrest was in line with the command’s zero tolerance to corruption.

He also said two divisional police officers in the areas under which those arrested operated were issued queries after the arrests.

The policemen, a traffic warden, and two others identified as their accomplices were arrested between September 1 and 18, 2017 as a follow-up to the commissioner’s warning to officers of the command to shun corruption.

Imohimi said, based on his directive, operatives of the X-Squad, which is tasked with monitoring the activities of police operatives for corrupt practices, have intensified their operations, leading to the arrest.

“Nine policemen and a senior traffic warden alongside two of their accomplices popularly known as ‘Camp Boys’ or ‘Antelopes’ were arrested between September 1 and 18, 2017,” the commissioner told journalists.

The two accomplices were arrested separately – along Ikotun Road and along Igando Road – for aiding “some unscrupulous policemen” in extorting money from motorists at the respective areas where they were caught.

The Lagos Police Commissioner said the policemen arrested “are currently undergoing departmental orderly room trial to ensure a total purging of the command of its bad eggs, while their civilian accomplices are being charged to court for related offences”.

Michael Okpara University Lecturers Protest Onyebinama’s Suspension

onyebinamaThe Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Michael Okpara University Of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) branch, in solidarity with their members from Owerri zone, have reacted to the suspension of  their Chairman, Dr. Uzochukwu Onyebinama, without salary or due process by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Hillary Edeoga.

In a news briefing at the university, the ASUU Chairman of the Owerri Zone, Dr Onyebianama, in agreement with members of the congress, vowed to give no room to impunity being perpetuated by the administration of Professor Edeoga.

He said that no amount of intimidation would stop the union from exposing the ills going on in the institution that include extortion, exploitations, manipulations and funds misappropriation.

Mr Onyebianama said students of the institution were made to pay exorbitant hostel accommodation fees that are more expensive than the ones seen outside the University campus, also compelling jobless Nigerians to pay for job application.

Dr Onyebinama’s office was under lock and key as he spoke to newsmen outside the university premises, hinting that there were more to the drama but maintained he could not speak further because the matter is in the court.

However, the Vice Chancellor, in response to the allegations, said that the MOUAU’s ASUU Chairman, Dr Onyebinama, was suspended because of an act of gross misconduct and insubordination, noting that nobody is above the law or a disciplinary action.


Motorists In Kaduna Accuse Road Safety Officials Of Extortion

Road SafetyCommercial drivers and private vehicle owners in Kaduna State have decried the activities of officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in most parts of the state, describing them as extortionists.

The motorists, who spoke to Channels Television Correspondent described as appalling, a situation whereby after struggling to buy fuel into their vehicles and maintaining them, Road Safety officials would always intercept and extort money from them on account of one offence or the other.

According to them, even when all the vehicle particulars and other requirements are complete, they still asked or looked for a fault in order to detain the vehicle in order for the driver to part with some of his day’s earning.

Amongst its functions, according to the edict that established the Federal Road Safety Corp, was traffic law enforcement and patrols on the highways, clearing of obstructions and providing assistance to stranded road users on journeys, aggressive and coordinated public education, awareness and enlightenment on friendly use of the roads by motorists and other road users as well as rescue operations and providing first aid to accident victims on the road.

While there were those who believe the Road Safety officials are doing their best in terms of accident reduction and sanity on the roads, some motorists insisted that the they had no business operating within Kaduna metropolis.

They alleged that instead of mounting checks on the federal highways, the FRSC officials position themselves on rural roads where they collect money from drivers.

When contacted, the Kaduna State FRSC Sector Commander, Olumide Olagunju, said that he was aware of such misconduct among some of his men, but stressed that officers who were caught in the act of extortion and other corrupt behaviours have been made to face disciplinary actions.

On whether his men have the right to check motorists on Local Government and state roads, the Corps Commander said that his men had powers to operate at all the streets and roads in Kaduna.

Although accusations such as this have always been meted to other security agencies like the Police, Customs and others, it is expected that the Road Safety authorities would take the allegations very seriously by ensuring that all corrupt officers are punished accordingly, while at the same time making traffic offenders to face the law.

FRSC Goes Tough On Unlawful Use Of Siren

FRSC-2Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) from the Lagos and Ogun zone, say they will use the big stick against the use of siren by unauthorised persons.

At the 2014 zonal retreat held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, for senior officers from the zone on Tuesday, the Deputy Corps Commander Operations, Danjuma Garba  asked the officials to provide the much needed critical  leadership that would ensure effective road management in line with the best international practices.

The  retreat had the theme, “Building  a Reliable  Framework  for Public  Education  and Communications Management”.

In his message, Mr Garba urged officers to be more dedicated to duty and be good ambassadors of the zone in the discharge of their duties. He further stressed the need for officers to shun corruption, extortion and other sharp practices that could bring the corps into disrepute.

The Acting Zonal Commanding Officer, John Metheux, also said various initiatives put in place to promote safety on Nigerian roads had started yielding positive results.

Some officers of the zone were honoured for their dedication and selfless service.

The Lagos State government on July 1 passed a law banning the unlawful use of siren in the State and this informed the road safety commission’s decision to begin the enforcement of the law.

The Attorney General of Lagos State and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, announced the ban through a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the state’s Ministry of Justice, Mrs Bola Akingbade.

Ipaye said apart from vehicles used for emergency purposes such as ambulances, fire engines and law enforcement vehicles on urgent calls, use of siren on any other vehicle in the state would not be permitted.

He explained that the ban followed the need to eliminate harassments to road users, reduce traffic congestion, motor accidents and damages to properties.



Don’t Blame Dismissed Policeman, Blame Our Leaders- Femi Kuti

Nigerian afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti has blamed the leadership of Nigeria for the ills bedeviling the country.

Speaking in reaction to the video of a police officer that was taped while demanding for a bribe, the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, said “as much as I am very against it, if the leaders of this country look at the problems of this country objectively, the police force will be the kind of police force we desire and we deserve”.

He blamed the leaders, especially after the return to democratic rule in 1999 of treating the problems of the country with laxity.

He looked at other parts of the economy, Kuti said “we look at education, how many police officers can afford? I tell you it’s only the AIG, the top police officers can send his kids to the best schools inis country.

He said it is impossible to eradicate corruption to in the country without paying the police officers well.

Kuti asked about other police officers engaged in soliciting and collecting of bribes saying ‘’what about the rest that do it on a daily basis” adding that “what about the mechanics that keep stealing the parts of your car, what about your house help” he quipped.

He lamented the fact that “to buy drugs in general hospital today, you have to bribe the doctor, the nurse… to get your way, to get treated, to get a bed in general hospital”.

He said the dismissed police officer (Chris Omeleze) will be used as a “scape goat” noting that “he is not the problem” but an “unfortunate part of the problem”.

Kuti further noted that “probably if the police are paid very well, they are not enlightened to know that they are been paid very well, because the corruption is now embedded in our system, it is now in our blood”

Global Phenomenon

Kuti, who just returned from a tour of Europe, also bemoaned the high level of unemployment in the country but was quick to admit that it is fast becoming a global phenomenon.

He said “when you go to Spain there are no jobs, when you go to England people have no jobs, when you to France people…… You see problem was an African problem, poverty was an African problem, unfortunately is a global problem now”.