I Won’t Appear Before Senate Until Court Ruling – Customs CG

customsReprieve may have come for the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), who was ordered to appear in complete uniform before the Senate on March 22.

The development, follows a suit filed by an Abuja based lawyer, Mohammed Ibrahim, seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the National Assembly from compelling the CG to wear uniform in performance of his duties.

Mr Ali, who acknowledged receipt of the court summons, told a news conference that the Attorney General who is a co-defendant in the suit, has written to the National Assembly advising lawmakers to maintain the status quo, pending the outcome of the suit.

“Based on the summons before the court, all matters relating to the issue are now subjudice so status quo is “anti” which means I will not appear until the court makes a pronouncement therefore the situation remains as it is”.

The CG had been summoned to defend the payment of retroactive duties by motorists whose vehicles have no genuine import duties.

Although he eventually appeared before the Senate on March 16, he made good on his word of not appearing in his uniform.

The House, however, refused to engage him and fixed another date (March 22), for him to appear as required; failure to which the Senate leadership might be forced to issue an arrest warrant as initially threatened.

Meanwhile, more reactions have continued to trail the issue.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, in a statement condemned the summoning of Mr Ali.

He said that although the Senate should not be treated with disdain, the Upper Chamber should have appreciated the limit of its powers under the constitution.

According to Mr Falana, instead of playing into the hands of the Customs boss by invoking the provision of Section 88 of the Constitution, the Senate could have summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, to justify the policy of the Nigeria Customs Service, a parastatal under her supervision.

“No power exists under the section for general investigation, not for personal aggrandizement of the House. So the appellants were not entitled to have invited the respondent in the first instance,” Mr Falana said.

Kogi Governor To Probe His Predecessors

Kogi, Yahaya Bello, Ghost Workers, Corruption
Governor Bello says it is important to know how previous governments spent public funds

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has inaugurated a commission of inquiry to investigate the use of public funds from May 29th 2013 to January 27th 2016.

While inaugurating the members of the commission at the Government House in Lokoja, Governor Bello says he will also surrender himself to be probed by his successor after leaving office.

He charged the commission to avoid any means of victimization but should rather check how public funds were used within the stated period.

In his remark, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state,  Mohammed Ibrahim explained the relevant sections of the law that empowers the state governor to set up the probe panel.

The seven-man judicial panel of commission is headed by Justice Wada Umar Rano as its chairman.

While inaugurating the commission, Governor Bello said it has become necessary to look into the activities of the past administrations with a view of recovering stolen funds belonging to the state.

He mandated the commission to recommend measures that would prevent stealing of public funds while added that his administration is ready to put Kogi State on the path of development, urging the people to assist the commission in the discharge of its assignment.

Some experts however urge the commission to be honest and fair so as to avoid a witch-hunt.

DSS Alerts Abuja Residents Of Planned Attack By Boko Haram

dssThe Department of State Services (DSS) has alerted Abuja residents over plots by Boko Haram militants to attack Churches, Mosques and Markets, using girls to bomb those places.

A memo by the Director of Security Services, Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Ibrahim, is urging religious bodies to put their members on the alert.

The memo addressed to the National Presidents of Jama’atu Nasril Islam and the Christian Association of Nigeria asked residents to report suspicious elements around places of worship to the authorities.

On Friday, unidentified suicide bomber detonated explosives during a Shia Muslim procession in Kano, killing 21 people and injuring several.

The blast took place in the village of Dakasoye, about 51km south of Kano.

Kaduna Poly Lecturers Commence 3-Day Warning Strike

Kaduna PolyLecturers of Kaduna Polytechnic on Tuesday embarked on a three-day warning strike over the failure of the school management to yield to their demands.

Addressing journalists in Kaduna, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Kaduna Poly chapter, Engr. Musa Ibrahim, said that the main reason for the three-day warning strike was the unjustifiable removal of their workload allowance by the management, as well as the poor state of infrastructure in the institution.

He further stated that there would be no lectures during the period of the strike, warning that the union shall resume an indefinite strike if at the end of the three days, the school management fails to restore their workload allowance and also address some other demands that are critical to their job.

The lecturers are also aggrieved over the delay in the full commencement of Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology Lagos as universities, nine years after the federal government announced their conversion into a University of Technology.

Reacting to the issues raised by the lecturers, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, described the allegation as untrue.

He explained that over N6 Million has been spent on the payment of the excess workload allowance to the lecturers despite inheriting over N1.5 billion debt when he came on board three years ago.

The Rector, while describing the strike by the lecturers as uncalled for, said that the management did not stop the payment of the excess workload allowance, but explained that what has delayed the payment of outstanding arrears is lack of funds.

He, however, appealed to the Kaduna Poly lecturers to suspend the strike, promising that their remaining allowances would be paid as soon as funds are available.

Ebola Virus: Kaduna NMA Advocates Campaign In Rural Communities

TheEbola virus disease Kaduna State branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has advised both the federal and state governments to focus more of their enlightenment campaign on the Ebola virus disease to the rural communities rather than concentrating on the urban areas.

The association said that this has become imperative because majority of the rural dwellers eat more bush meat than their urban counterparts, and are also not properly enlightened to know the risks associated with the Ebola virus disease.

 

The Kaduna State NMA Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, gave this advice at a press briefing in Kaduna on Saturday, where he debunked rumours spreading round the state since Thursday that there was an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the state.

He advised the residents to always confirm any issue relating to the Ebola case from health personnel instead of relying on rumours. He also advised them to adopt measures of protecting themselves from contracting the virus.

Mr Ibrahim reiterated the willingness of his members to attend to any case of Ebola or any other emergency in the state, despite the ongoing strike by medical doctors across the country.

He, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the Federal Government’s insurance cover for health workers who are attending to victims of Ebola virus, as well as the level of preparedness shown so far by both the Federal Government and the 36 state governments.

 

IG Deploys AIG, Four CPs To Supervise Ekiti Election

igp-md-abubakarAs part of measures aimed at ensuring a proper coordination of security operations and realizing a hitch-free election devoid of electoral fraud in the forthcoming Ekiti governorship election, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, has deployed an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG Bala M Nasarawa and four other commissioners to supervise security arrangements. 

While CP Ikechukwu Aduba will function as CP in charge of Ekiti State for the period of the election, three other CPs will be specifically saddled with the responsibility of supervising security arrangements in the three senatorial districts of the state.

They are: CP Danladi Y. Mshelbwala (Ekiti-North), CP Mohammed Ibrahim (Ekiti-Central) and CP Augustine Eubakhabokum (Ekiti-South). CP Hosea Karma (CP in charge of PMF) will be charged with the responsibility of supervising the operations of the Police Mobile Force and other special Strike Forces.

In the same vein, the IGP has also placed an order banning movements in and out of Ekiti state with effect from 6pm today, Thursday, 19th June, 2014 till the elections are over. On Saturday 21st June 2014, which is the day of the election, movements will be restricted within the state between 6am to 8pm.

Consequently, the states of Kwara, Kogi, Ondo and Osun which are close to Ekiti state will have increased police presence with all entry and exit points in and out of Ekiti maximally policed.

However, persons on essential duties such as ambulance service providers, INEC officials, on-duty security men, accredited election monitors/observers, accredited journalists, etc are not affected by this order.

The Force High Command notes that the restriction order is informed by the exigencies of overriding security considerations, noting that the Force is not ignorant of the citizen’s right to freedom of movement, as enshrined in the constitution. It however reiterates that the order is informed by the need to forestall plans by criminal elements to undermine the electoral process as gathered through intelligence reports.

While empathizing with the citizenry over the inconveniences the order may cause, the IGP implores them to see this restriction as a necessary sacrifice in the present circumstance geared towards the quest for a seamless, credible and successful gubernatorial election.

He also appeals to travellers to avail themselves of the use of alternate routes to their various destinations where necessary within the stipulated days.

Meanwhile, the Force sternly warns all security details to desist from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election. It emphasizes that only security personnel specially assigned for election duties must be seen within and around the election designated places.

11 Killed As Gunmen Attack Adamawa Deputy Governor’s Residence

At least 11 people have been killed in an early morning attack on Midlu village in Adamawa state, while staging an attack on the residence of the state’s Deputy Governor.

The Deputy Governor’s country home where he normally spends his weekend was alleged attacked by the gunmen who murdered two police guards attached to his house before setting the building ablaze. The raid reportedly lasted over two hours.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mohammed Ibrahim, confirmed the attack stating that unidentified gunmen raided Midlu village, in Madagali local government area of the state, and attacked the home of the state deputy governor, Bala Ngalari.

The police officer failed to provide any more details.

“So far, the information available to me is that 11 people lost their lives in the village, including two private security men at the deputy governor’s house” Mr. Ibrahim said.

However, agency reports, say the gunmen attacked several houses, calling out names and shooting residents leaving some dead, and others injured.

An eye witness, who does not want to be identified according to agency reports said the incident took place in the early hours of Saturday around 2am.

“They attack Bala Ngilari house and I believe they kill some people in the house before set it on fire” he added.

The eye witness explained that the attackers went from house-to-house, picking out their victims, who they even called by name.

According to the witness, the exact number of deaths are yet to be ascertained.

Police arrest Mubi murder suspects

Security experts have begun search for the gunmen who invaded Mubi, Adamawa State, on Monday night, killing about 26 students from three higher institutions in the state.

The search for the killers on Wednesday led to a house-to-house search in Mubi during which an unspecified number of suspects were arrested.
The state Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ibrahim, who confirmed the arrest to Reuters, declined to give further details.

The search began just as President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the security forces to intensify efforts to fish out the killers, widely believed to be members of dreaded sect, Boko Haram while Senate President David Mark called for capital punishment for the attackers.

The gunmen who had attacked students of the Federal Polytechnic, Adamawa State University and the School of Health Technology, all in Mubi, were said to have gone from room to room in a building in the town on Monday and killed the people they found there with guns and machetes.

The commissioner said the police were still keeping an open mind on whether the killing spree was carried out by militants or rival students, but there were signs of an “inside job”.

“Relatives of the slain students said the assailants called their names out before killing them. The majority were killed with gun shots or slaughtered like goats,” he added.

According to a local media, One possibility was that the killings were related to a dispute between rival groups at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, following a student union election on Sunday,

“The second day after the election winners were declared, you have the killings … Really we cannot rule out the possibility that the attack may have been carried out by either the Boko Haram or a … gang,” the commissioner added

Mr Jonathan, who was briefed about the incident, along with other cabinet members, by the Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday in Abuja, condemned the attack.

According to the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, Reuben Abati, Mr Jonathan described the killings as tragic, sad, barbaric and shocking.

“The president has directed security agencies to investigate the matter and get to the root because this kind of incident, where people are called out and shot, is really shocking,” he said in a statement.

Senate president in reaction to the attack, advocated capital punishment for the killers to serve as a deterrent to others.

In his remarks while the Senate was considering a motion by Senator Bindowo Jibrilla, from Adamawa North Senatorial District, said the time has come for the country to test the capital punishment clause as enshrined in the statute books.

Before observing a one-minute silence for the victims of the attack, the Senate urged the Federal Government to swiftly bring the perpetrators to book.

He said: “The security challenges before us in this country are grievous and we have to tackle them headlong. On the specific issue of this are the Mubi killings.

“I think it is a pity that people will go from one room to the other calling names and slaughtering the people. It is totally unacceptable. Even if it is just attacking the symptoms now, those involved must be arrested and brought to book.

“I know that this is a democracy and with due respect to all of us, but capital punishment is still in our statutes.”

He said the time and opportunity had come for the country to apply the death clause in the statute books and use it as a deterrent to others.
While blaming government for its slow response to security emergencies, he said: “It is not that crimes don’t take place in other places; they do. But it is the reaction of government; the speed with which those involved in crimes in other countries are arrested, tried and punished accordingly that differs.

“However, when they happen in this country, after a week, we tend to forget it and wait for the next one to happen.

“I think we have gone beyond the point of singing these songs of lamentations over and over again. We should not be lamenting, we should be able to act. And government needs to act as swiftly as possible.”

Mr Mark urged both the Federal Government and states to live up to their responsibilities of providing security to the citizenry.
“I think this is a very serious issue and if we don’t tackle the real issues and begin to go on diversionary expeditions, we will be missing the point.

“Terrorists will succeed once they can stop you from doing what you want to do and once they can stop government from doing what they want to do, they want all Nigerians to be very scared of sending their children to polytechnics and universities. I think there are very serious challenges and we must address them,” he added.