Court Grants Bail To Seven Shiites In Abuja

Shiites, Abuja, CourtA Magistrate Court in Karu has granted bail to seven members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, who are popularly known as Shiites.

The court on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, granted them bail of 100,000 Naira each on the three-count charge against each of them.

The defendants have been charged for the offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting public peace, contrary to sections 97, 102 and 114 of the Penal Code.

Magistrate Abubakar Umaru granted the defendants bail with two reliable and reasonable sureties each in like sum.

He stated that the sureties must be civil or public servants in grade level eight and above.

The Magistrate further ruled that the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court and ordered that their addresses be verified by the officer of the court.

He asked the sureties to submit their passport photographs and national identity cards to the court.

Latest Protest Disrupted

Before their bail was granted, Shiites have continued to stage countless protests to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

However, the latest protest was disrupted by police officials on Thursday in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Alkali Usman, had defended the action, saying it was to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015, after a bloody clash between the Shiites and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Army Arrests Sheikh Zakzaky In Zaria

Army arrests ZakzakyThe leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, has been arrested by soldiers after long hours’ siege on his residence in Zaria.

One of his followers confirmed his arrest to Channels Television.

“I saw armoured tanks demolishing the Hussainiyya shrine and the residence of Sheikh El-Zakzaky,” he said.

The Nigerian Army and members of the sect have accused each other of instigating attacks that led to the death of members of the movement on Saturday and Sunday morning.

While the army accuse the sect members of attempting to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, the Islamic Movement said soldiers opened fire on defenceless innocent people who were on a peaceful procession.

It was gathered from residence that heavily armed soldiers sustained a crackdown on the members of the movement throughout Saturday night till the early hours of Sunday.

Heavy shootings were heard in Gullesu and Sokoto road, where the spiritual centre of the sect is located.

The Islamic Movement claimed that over 500 of their members were killed by soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.

They called on the international community and human rights groups to probe the killings.

 

The Islamic movement has over a million members, mostly in Kaduna and Kano states.

Police Confirm 11 Dead In Adamawa Suicide Bombing

Bomb-blastThe Adamawa State Police Command has confirmed the killing of 11 persons, by two female suicide bombers who attacked Dar village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State on Saturday night.

The suicide bombers suspected to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist group invaded the village and particularly chose a crowded area where they detonated the explosive devices they had strapped on themselves.

Police spokesman for the Adamawa State Police Command, DSP Othman Abubakar, told Channels Television in Yola, the capital of the state, that bodies of the suicide bombers were discovered among those of the innocent lives lost.

Mr Abubakar said three houses were burnt while most of the wounded persons were receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Center in Yola.

Boko Haram Militants have been launching attacks on villages since Madagali was liberated from their grip by the Nigerian troops in February.

For over five years, the insurgents have attacked communities, places of worship, schools and other public places in the region, as they seek the establishment of an Islamic state and an end to western education in the region.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, had in August mandated the military to end the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the region in three months.

Last week, he said he would continue the fight against the insurgents until their defeat and also gave conditions for any possible negotiation with the terrorist group.

Jonathan Reiterates Commitment To Boko Haram Defeat

Jonathan-Boko HaramThe Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has re-emphasised the government’s commitment to fighting the Boko Haram terrorist group, in what may be described as a ray of hope in the fight against insurgency in the nation’s north-east.

President Jonathan, who spoke to BBC in Abuja on Thursday, maintained that the Islamic sect was getting weaker and weaker by the day.

He expressed hopes that all territory seized by the terrorist group would be retaken within a month.

The Nigerian President admitted that the security forces had been slow in their response to the advance of the terrorists in the north-east Nigeria.

President Jonathan also admitted that the authorities “never expected that Boko Haram group would build up that kind of capacity”.

Earlier this week, the Nigerian military said the militants no longer control any urban centres in Yobe and Adamawa, two out of the three worst-affected states in the north-east.

The military also pledged that Borno State, the birthplace of the Boko Haram, would soon be freed.

Lawmakers Return From Recess, Insist On ‘End To Insurgency’

Senator David Mark, Senate President. Lawmakers in Nigeria resumed from their recess and called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare total war on insurgency in the north east, insisting that the acts of terrorism must be brought to an end.

While the lawmakers were away, the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, battled with Nigerian Army in some states in the north-east.

Also, while they were away, the dreaded Ebola Virus was confirmed in Nigeria, leaving so much for the lawmakers to handle on resumption.

The lawmakers called for a national honour for the female doctor, Ameyo Adedevoh, who died from the Ebola Virus while treating patients infected with the virus.

They resumed this week but they had their hands full, as they sort to attend to national issues that emerged while they were on a long recess.

The Gavel this week looks at the parliament’s reactions to the violence of insurgency and the Ebola outbreak, which they commended the health ministry and health workers for their remarkable efforts in containing the spread of the virus.

The Senate President, David Mark, stressed the need for the growing atrocities of the Boko Haram sect to be tackled with serious commitment.

“The escalation of violence and the heinous crimes daily perpetrated by insurgents and terrorists including the declaration of a caliphate have reached an alarming proportion.

“The Boko Haram sect has become more emboldened and daring, killing innocent Nigerians and destroying property at will. They have declared total war on Nigerians,” he said.

He called for a clear and concise mission statement on how to win the war, insisting that security agencies must, as a matter of urgency, “fish out all the financier of the terrorist wherever they are and bring them to book”.

Some other Senators condemned the crimes, insisting that the reason for establishing a government was to ensure the security of Nigerians.

At the House of Representatives, the issue of 2015 general elections and the need to ensure that it was peaceful were emphasised by the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.

He stressed that all efforts must be made to ensure the safety of Nigerians wherever they live, referring to the insurgency in the north-east which he said was threatening Nigeria’s unity and territorial integrity.

The resumption of primary and secondary schools in Nigeria was also considered by the House of Representatives Committee on Education at a meeting with the Ministry of Education.

Bring Back Our Girls Group Advise FG To Negotiate With Boko Haram

BBOGThe ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaigners  have advised  the Nigerian Government to negotiate with  the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to put an end  to insecurity in the country.

The group, who gave the advice at its sit out session at the Unity Fountain Area in Abuja, believes that negotiation with the Sect was not an act of cowardice but a move which would restore peace and development in the country.

Chanting their regular message, “all we are saying, bring back our girls now and alive”, members of the bring back our girls group continued their daily gathering in Abuja to press home their demand for the release of the over 200 girls abducted by members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State.

Although it was over 80 days since the abduction of the school girls, the campaigners said that they remained resolute and advised the government to negotiate with the sect to  rescue the girls.

One of the campaigners, Peter Iliya, said, “There is room for negotiation, if they (Government) say they will negotiate with this people, we are not going to crucify them, I think we are going to commend them. The important thing is that after the negotiation, what do you do?

“It is an act of bravery, it’s an act of strategic thinking, it’s an act of responsible leadership to agree to negotiate because you are not looking at yourself…but you are looking at the outcome of that negotiation – 200 plus girls’ lives are at stake.”

Some of the campaigners who spoke to Channels Television also maintained that Government must ensure timely intervention in the rescue of the abducted girls.

Chibok Community Seeks United Nations’ Support

Chibok community to UNMembers of the Chibok community have appealed for the support of the United Nations in tackling the spate of insecurity in their community.

Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, the National Chairman of Kibaku Area Development Association, Dr Pogu Bitrus, said that the appeal to the international organisation became necessary going by total neglect by the Federal Government in providing adequate security to the community after over 200 girls were abducted.

“The inability or unwillingness of the Federal Government to provide adequate security to the Chibok community following the abduction of the girls leaves us with no option than to call on the United Nations to use its apparatus to come to our aid and protect us from the imminent annihilation as a people”, he said

Dr Pogu said that 81 days after the abduction, seven parents of the abducted girls had died, while over 229 persons have been killed after the attack on Government Girls Secondary School Chibok.

To prevent further attacks on their community and the north eastern part of the country, the group has also called for a negotiation between the Federal Government and members of the Islamic sect.

Yobe Residents Ask Reconciliation Cmte’ To Unveil Sponsors Of Boko Haram

Residents in Yobe state at an interactive session with the presidential committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in the north have asked the committee to identify and unveil sponsors of Boko Haram.

An elder statesman, Khalifa Hassan Yusuf, who made the call for unveiling sponsors of the group asked why Nigerians “are still in the dark” on sponsors of the group.

According to him, apart from revealing who the sponsors are, Nigerians and the whole world are keen to know where and how sophisticated firearms are in circulation or in use by various hoodlums for their various operations across the country.

“Several arrests have been made since the commencement of the insurgency, lots of revelations have been uncovered, caches of arms have been recovered, yet Nigerians and the whole world are yet to know those behind the Boko Haram insurgency” he lamented.

The elder statesman also challenged the committee to verify and tell Nigerians which countries, groups or individuals are supplying AK47, Rapid Propel Grenade (RPG) among other weapons to the group.

Another Damaturu elder, Alhaji Mohammadu Gombe, lamented on the colossal loss of lives and property since the attacks on people in Damaturu and Maiduguri.

He process solicited assistance for groups and individuals who suffered losses as a result of the attack, while urging the federal government to bring culprits to book. He also alleged that some highly placed individuals must be involved in the dastard act.

Other speakers called on parents, religious groups and organisations to preach and inculcate good morals in the minds of their followers, warning that without it religious tolerance will continue to deteriorate and have adverse effects on the peace and progress of the country.

While commending the President for constituting the committee, participants at the session also called on the committee to be objective and to ensure that lasting peace is achieved at the end of their assignment.

The Committee Chairman and Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs; Kabiru Tanimu Turaki assured participants that the committee will be fair and diligent in the course of its assignment pointing out that tremendous progress is being made in the quest for peace.

Stakeholders and participants were drawn from the Jamatul Nasir Islam (JNI) the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) traditional rulers, various political, tribal, religious and social groups as well as trade unions among other interest groups.

 

Be Cautious of Boko Haram’s Ceasefire Announcement, Army Chief Warns FG

The Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sahaad has asked the Federal Government to treat the ceasefire declared by a faction of the Boko Haram Islamic sect with caution.

Admiral Sahaad, who spoke with reporters after a meeting in Abuja, also called on government to strengthen its security operations all over the country to avert further attacks by the group.

According to him, defence officials are excited on the declaration of ceasefire by members of the sect but, will not rest on its oars in ensuring the security of lives and properties in Nigeria.

Other security officials in the country also commended members of the group for the ceasefire.

A faction of the Boko Haram sect had on Monday declared ceasefire after allegedly holding talks with “officials of Borno State Government and leaders of thought from the state”.

“I am announcing this ceasefire with the approval and consent of the leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau. We, therefore, call on all our members to stop all acts of violent immediately and await further directives,” said Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who introduced himself as the second in command to Mr Shekau.

He added that members of the Boko Haram should relate the ceasefire message to those “who are not aware or informed of today’s (Monday) development.”

Aziz explained: “The Boko Haram ceasefire is nationwide and commences immediately.”

He, however, denied the group’s involvement in the recent attacks and killings in Borno and other parts of the North, attributing the violence to the activities of armed robbers and other criminals that allegedly operate under the guise of Boko Haram.

While speaking on the violence that took over Maiduguri recently, Aziz distanced the group from such acts, pointing out that such attacks were politically-motivated by those seeking power in the Borno Emirate Council, government or otherwise, but not in line with the ideology of the group who are fighting for the cause of Allah.

He also urged the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security agents to respond positively to the ceasefire.

He said: “Talks with government officials on how to surrender our arms and weapons has also commenced,” urging members of the sect to cooperate fully, by surrendering their arms and weapons to security agents.

The group had on 1 November 2012 said they were ready to ceasefire and listed some conditions. The conditions included the arrest and prosecution of a former governor of Borno State, and also that the dialogue must take place in Saudi Arabia.

They had also demanded that all their members, who were arrested and under the custody of security agencies be released immediately, just as their wives and children who were displaced following the crises should be rehabilitated into the society to allow room for dialogue with the Federal Government.

Nigerian mediators who were to represent the group in the dialogue with the Federal Government had included Shettima Ali Monguno, Muhammadu Buhari, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari and Barrister Aisha Wakil and her husband.

Boko Haram, which in Hausa, loosely translates to mean “Western education is sinful”, said they were fighting to impose Islamic law on Nigeria.
At least 2,800 people have died in the North and Abuja since the group unleashed violence in 2009. Its most lethal attack killed at least 186 people in Kano in January 2012 in co-ordinated bombings and shootings.

The group has repeatedly struck churches during services, at Christmas and Easter killing scores of people. A bomb attack on St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla on Abuja’s outskirts during a packed Christmas Mass in 2011 killed at least 37 people.

Last Easter Sunday, a bombing at a church compound in northern Kaduna during a service killed at least 36 people.

In other major attacks, gunmen killed at least 19 people in two attacks on Christian worshippers in the Nigerian city of Kano and in the northeastern town of Maiduguri on April 29, 2012.

In June, three gunmen sprayed bullets at the congregation of a church in Biu Town, in northeastern Borno State. In Jos, a Boko Haram suicide bomber drove a car to the entrance of the Christ Chosen Church and blew it up.

In the same month, a bomb attack in a church in Kaduna triggered a week of tit-for-tat violence that killed at least 90 people.

In October a suicide bomber drove a sport utility vehicle full of explosives into a Catholic church during morning mass, killing eight and wounding more than 100. The most recent attack on a church a few weeks ago was when suicide bombers struck the St. Andrew Military Protestant Church at the Jaji barracks in Kaduna State killing 11 people and wounding 30.

Adedeji says politicians used and dumped Boko Haram members

A public affairs analyst, Tokunbo Adedeji on Friday said the creation of the fundamentalist group Boko Haram was not for religious but political purposes.

Mr Adedeji, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said that the group and its members were recruited for political reasons and after serving their employers, they were abandoned.

The security expert wondered why the group refused to go after those who used them and dumped them, instead of killing innocent Nigerians.

Watch complete interview for more details.

Yobe: Gunmen attack police station; kill three

Unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram on Friday stormed the Buni Yadi Divisional police Station killing three police men in the process.

Buni Yadi is the capital of Gujba local government council located at about 56 kilometres south of Damaturu the Yobe state capital north east Nigeria.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe lieutenant Eli Lazarus said some arms were also carted away during the attack as three churches were also burnt down by the hoodlums.

The statement also says the JTF responded swiftly to the distress call by beefing up security in the town to forestall further attack as efforts are being down to track down the attackers.

Analyst says Boko Haram’s ceasefire conditions are impossible

A presidential aspirants in the 2007 general election under the plateform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and a consultant to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Galtima Liman on Friday said the conditions for negotiation with the Federal government proposed by the fundamentalist group, Boko Haram are unrealistic and impossible to meet.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Liman said President Goodluck Jonathan as the president of the country cannot be dictated to.

A purported spokesman of the Boko Haram sect on Thursday proposed to dialogue with the federal government and to planning a ceasefire if the government is willing to honour certain conditions.

The conditions for negotiation according to the sect include the arrest and prosecution of former Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff for allegedly arresting and killing some of their members.

The second condition is that the venue for the dialogue with the government must be in Saudi Arabia.

The group also listed the names of the negotiators both from their side and from the federal government side.

The purported Boko Haram’s spokesman, who gave his name as Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz, listed the mediators from the government side to include Shettima Ali Mongonu, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Gaji Galtimari and Barrister Aisha Wakil and her husband.

While according to Mr Abdulaziz, negotiators from the sect would include himself, Abu Mohammed Abdullaziz, Sheik Abu Abas, Sheik Ibrahim Yusuf, Sheik Sani Kontagora, and Mamman Nur.