The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by one Engineer Yin’s Manhaja, challenging the nomination and subsequent election of Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State.
Manhaja, in the appeal, which he filed in the apex court after the Federal High Court and the Appeal Court ruled against him, alleged that Governor Geidam forged the first school living certificate that he submitted to the independent national electoral commission, contrary to the Electoral Act.
He also said that having completed the tenure of late Maman Ali, his predecessor who died in office in 2009, Governor Geidam was not qualified to serve another term in office.
The Supreme Court, however, unanimously threw out the appeal for lacking in merit.
Foreign scouts are expected to witness the 2016 Governor’s Cup football competition in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.
The Director of Sports in the state, Abubakar Ago, who disclosed this at the draws of the competition, said it would kick off throughout the state on Monday, December 19.
The draws brought together football lovers and administrators within and outside Yobe State, including members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and club owners among others.
Mr Ago said that the 2016 competition has been expanded to give room for participation from private and individual teams, contrary to that of the previous years where only local government teams were allowed to participate.
He said that the aim of the competition was to uncover the hidden talents that abound in the state.
The sports director said five centers have been selected for the competition, adding that Potiskum, Gashua, Nguru and Geidam township stadia would all be occupied from December 20.
He further urged participating footballers to display their best performances as the competition would be witnessed by foreign scouts.
The opening match of the competition would be between Damaturu Local Government FC and a Damaturu metropolitan club, Ajari United.
At least 239,000 Nigerians are still refugees in neighbouring countries where they fled to in the heat of insurgency in the oil-rich nation’s northeast, an emergency management agency said on Monday.
The figure was contained in a report of humanitarian relief intervention by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) released recently.
It also says that about 29, 581 Nigerians, who fled their communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to Republic of Niger and Cameroun as a result of insurgents’ activities had voluntarily returned to Nigeria.
‘Provided With Humanitarian Relief’
According to the report, 13,046 Nigerians returned from Niger Republic in May, 2015 and were received in Geidam, Yobe State while Between April and December, 2015 NEMA received about 16,595 Nigerians that have voluntarily returned from Cameroon through the Sahuda border crossing area near Mubi in Adamawa State.
“Some of the Nigerians that fled to Neighbouring countries (Niger, Chad and Cameroun) were provided with humanitarian relief support by the Federal Government of Nigeria through NEMA to alleviate their suffering.
“The displaced Nigerians have also received humanitarian supports from the host governments, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the host communities and Nigerian citizens living in the three host countries’’ the report read.
The spokesman for the agency, Sani Datti, said that of the 239,834 refugees, 20,804 of them are living in the Republic of Chad, 80,709 in the Republic of Cameroun and 138,321 in the Republic in Niger.
The agency further said that it had adopted a monthly Humanitarian Coordination Meeting; a forum that consists of relevant Federal government Agencies, UN Systems and International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) to undertake analysis of causes of humanitarian situations, conduct need assessments, identify priorities and provide humanitarian interventions based on their respective mandates.
According to the agency, the system operates through different sectors lead by national Ministries Department and Agencies and co-lead by UN Agencies.
The report pointed out that due to the successes recorded by the Nigerian Military with the support of Multi-National Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, the humanitarian dashboard was fast changing.
“The focus is gradually shifting towards Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Recovery and dignified return of IDPs back home while process for the return of Nigerian refugees from neighboring countries is equally on-going.
“NEMA will continue to support and work towards bridging the identified gaps in humanitarian response through enhanced coordination, capacity building and strengthening of collaboration with the affected States and relevant stakeholders including line MDAs, local and international response organizations and the UN system,” the report added.
Boko Haram has, in the past seven years, carried out a campaign to establish an Islamic State and also end Western education in the region.
It has attacked communities and villages, taking people hostage, mostly women and children.
The residents, who came out on Thursday morning to assess the extent of destruction after the gun battle, said that the style of attack carried out by the insurgents revealed that several shops selling food items and beverages among others were burgled.
The Boko Haram militants, according to them, also robbed well-to-do individuals in the town of their money among several other valuables.
“They took away cars belonging to residents, broke shops, loaded the stolen items and went away with it,” an anonymous resident said.
They also said that the town had been placed under a curfew as security personnel drove away residents who were counting losses early in the morning.
“When we went out to assess the extent of destruction hours after the attack, security operatives later came and drove us away. They asked everybody to go back home and to stay indoors until further notice,” he said.
The source also said that the Police barracks and the Customs office in Geidam town, among several shops belonging to the people were set ablaze.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, Yobe Command, ASP Toyin Gbadegesin, said that the town was calm but there was no official statement on imposition of a curfew on the town.
He also said that security operatives were taking stock, promising that they would make their findings public after taking stock of the destruction inflicted on the town.
At least 16 Boko Haram suspects, their collaborators and stimulant suppliers have been arrested by the 27th Military Task Force Brigade in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state in north-east Nigeria.
Parading the suspects at the military base in Damaturu on Wednesday, the Acting Commander of the Task Force, Colonel Dahiru Bako, said the suspects were arrested at different locations across the state.
The Acting Commander said some of the Boko Haram suspects were arrested shortly after carrying out an operation at the outskirt of Damaturu, killing two villagers while others that were nabbed are suspected to be collaborators and informants of the insurgents.
The suspected collaborators, according to him, were involved in supply of logistics such as; foodstuff, fuel and cigarettes among other intoxicants.
Items recovered from the suspects and their collaborators include; 16 jerry can, containing 25 litres of Premium Motor Spirit [Petrol], 8 jerry can of cooking oil and two bags of cannabis among large quantity of assorted drugs.
Other items are 10 bags of Rice, two Bags of sugar, 12 bags of millet, six bags of potash and 12 bags of fertiliser believed to be used in the production of Improvised Explosive Devices.
While reiterating the military and other security agents’ resolve to tackle the activities of the insurgents, Colonel Bako called for the support of well-meaning people of the state and beyond towards ending the crisis.
Security forces have of recent been carrying out severe aerial and land assaults on the insurgents’ hideouts across the north-east region, in an effort to end the insurgency before the end of 2015, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s ultimatum.
The activities of the terrorists have crippled various socio-economic activities in the north-east region and have left over 1.5 million persons displaced, according to United Nations High Commission For Refugees.
Recent breakthroughs that have been recorded by the troops in various operations have brought relative peace in some states in the region, reducing the spate of attacks by the terrorist group.
The 27 Task Force Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Yobe State, north-east Nigeria, has honoured its officers and men for their gallantry in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.
At a ‘Medal Parade’ in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, all the officers and men involved in the operation “Zaman Lafiya” for a period of six months, were honoured with the medals.
Another category of the awards is the Nigerian Army Purple Heart Medal Award meant for those killed or injured while in active service.
At the ceremony in Damaturu, the State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, applauded the officers and men for giving their all, for the restoration of peace and stability in the troubled state.
‘Never Be Forgotten’
The Governor said the awards symbolise the expression of government’s gratitude and assurances that the sacrifices and services rendered to their fatherland shall ‘never be forgotten’.
Ibrahim Gaidam also said that apart from the proactive role his administration had been playing since the beginning of the insurgency, the provision of logistic support and giving wrap attention to welfare of officers and men would continue to receive the needed priority.
He said: “In addition to providing logistic support, we have been according priority attention to the welfare of the officers and men who prosecute the insurgency campaign through the provision of drugs to the brigade clinic, payment of allowances, payment of medical bills of those who sustained injuries and assistance to the families of our heroes who lost their lives while combating insurgency in the state”.
He paid glorious tribute to those killed in the various operations saying “they have not died in vain as their patriotic act will forever remain green in the memories of well-meaning Nigerians”.
The Army Spokesman of the 27 Brigade, Captain Eli Lazarus, while reading out the citation of “Operation Zaman Lafiya” and the Purple Heart Medals Awards, said the awards were approved by the Chief of Army Staff for the gallantry exhibited by the officers and men of the brigade in the various operation against the insurgency which has of recent liberated Gulani and Gujba from the terrorists.
He said the brigade had deployed personnel in Nguru, Damaturu, Geidam, Gashua, Katarko, Goneri/Buni Yadi and would continue to work assiduously towards restoration of peace in the affected areas.
The National Emergency Management Agency is partnering with the Borno State Government in dealing with the humanitarian crisis that has devastated the state.
Director-General of the Emergency Agency, Mohammed Sidi, has been evaluating the extent of devastation with a view to intervening.
The Borno State Government had repeatedly groaned under the burden of housing and catering for the displaced unaided and this led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with NEMA for coordination and partnership.
It is in furtherance to the MoU previously signed that Mr Mohammed Sidi has been visiting camps, health facilities and stakeholders in the capital city to evaluate areas requiring the agency’s intervention.
The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has now said that NEMA’s intervention has helped stabilize the dwindling fortunes of the state.
Some of the displaced persons have also confirmed that their basic needs are being catered for with food items expected to supply the Internally Displaced Persons for the next two months arriving the state.
Over 900,000 people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency have been living in the 23 make shift camps spread across the capital city, Maiduguri.
Most families in the host community have also opened their doors to displaced friends and relatives sacked from their homes in less safer parts of the state.
The University of Maiduguri has also been officially identified as the 23rd make-shift camp as the management is now stuck with many students who have lost their hometowns to the insurgency.
Officials say Borno State is home to 70% of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria.
Halima Ali, a mother of two in an interview with Channels Television also narrated her experience in an encounter with the Islamist Group.
While some of the rescued persons remain in the hospital in Geidam, Yobe State, the locals around and their vigilante group said they were not unmindful of the strategies of the terrorist group and would face them head-on.
The Borno State Government has established a camp for the indigenes of the state recently repatriated from neighbouring Niger Republic.
The establishment of a special camp for the repatriated indigenes, who are among the over 6,000 deported from Niger Republic after the attack on two of the country’s islands by the Boko Haram sect, takes the number of camps established for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to 21 in the state.
Speaking to journalists while receiving the first batch of 1,200 deportees at Njimtilo, at the entrance to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Grema Terab, said the state government decided to establish a new camp for them because of their special case.
Mr Grema, who said that another set of 17 mass transit buses had been sent to Geidam to convey the second batch of 1,200 people, adds that more people are still expected as the Nigerien government continues to repatriate more people. “The 2,400 are not the only people we are expecting back in Borno from Niger and provisions have been made to get them housed in one of the 400 Housing Estate along Gubio Road.
“Some of them, though Nigerians, were born in Niger and have never been to Nigeria. We have to keep them in a camp for now, console them and treat those that are traumatised with the intention of allowing them to mix with other Nigerians in not too distant a time.
“We are equally looking at the possibility of assisting them to start a new life in the country by given them economic assistance.” He said the state government was not ruling out collapsing the new camp into the 20 already in existence after few months.
“When we are sure the local government of the deportees, we will allow them to mix with their people in the other local governments. We will also involve them in the larger programme of rehabilitation of the victims of the insurgency,” he said.