The Nigerian army on Saturday said troops of 8 Division have neutralised bandits operating around Mayanchi-Dogo Karfe and Fagantama villages in Talata Marafa local government area of Zamfara State.
According to a statement signed by army spokesman, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the troops came under fire from the bandits but were able to overwhelm the gunmen and recovered one PKT rifle, a large cache of ammunition, and a motorcycle.
Elsewhere in the state, troops were also said to have overpowered five more bandits in Bingi village, Bungudu local government area.
Reacting to the feat, Major-General Farouk Yahaya encouraged the troops to sustain the aggressive posture in order to defeat all criminal elements operating in the North-West and other parts of the country.
He also appealed to communities in the North-West to support the soldiers with useful information to help them in their operations.
A fresh attack has been carried out by gunmen on a security formation in Rivers State and five soldiers have been reported killed.
The gunmen on Monday morning attacked the camp at Abua, in Abua/Odual Local Government Area, killing the officers.
Although the six Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt is yet to release an official statement, two top security personnel in Rivers State confirmed the attack and killings to Channels Television.
Meanwhile, all heads of security agencies in Rivers State are currently at a meeting at the headquarters of the Rivers State Police Command, ostensibly to re-strategise ahead of the new scale of insecurity in the state.
This attack comes barely 24 hours after gunmen killed some police and customs officers at their patrol base in Isiokpo, the Headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government, which is along the Port Harcourt-Owerri road.
While the Police are yet to reveal the casualty figure for Saturday night’s attack in Isiokpo, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had said three of its personnel were killed by the gunmen.
The spokesperson for Zone C, Custom’s Federal Operations Unit, Mr Jerry Atta, told Channels Television on Sunday that the gunmen also went away with an AK-47 rifle and two Toyota Hilux vans belonging to the service.
He said a thorough investigation would be carried out to unravel the circumstances that led to the attack and to unravel the motive of the assailants.
Atta blamed the killing of the security operatives on armed smugglers whose businesses have been frustrated by the customs in recent times.
As the seventh substantive GOC since the operationalization of the 6 Division Port Harcourt in 2016, Major General Mohammed will command Army formations and units in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States.
In a statement, the Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 6 Division Port Harcourt, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Ekeocha said the new GOC, “before his new appointment was a Director at Army Headquarters Department of Training and Operations.”
Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has filed a suit against the Nigerian Army, it’s Chief of Army Staff and the Attorney-General of the Federation, praying for an order to stop the planned kick-off of Nigeria Army’s Operation Positive Identification.
The suit marked FHC/L/CS/1939/2019 was filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos on October 25.
The Senior Advocate had in a letter published on the 27th of October, stated that the decision of the authorities of the Nigerian Army to subject law abiding citizens to personal identification on the road constitutes a gross infringement of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights to freedom of movement and dignity.
He further stated that it is a sad reminder of the illegal practice of the white minority rulers which compelled Africans to carry pass books outside their homelands or designated areas under the apartheid regime in South Africa.
In his suit regarding the matter, Falana gave eight grounds for seeking reliefs.
A. By virtue of Section 215 (3) of the Constitution, 1999 as amended, the Nigeria police force has been conferred with the exclusive power to maintain law and order and secure public safety and public order in the country.
B. Section 217 (1) of the Constitution empowers the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to deploy the armed forces for the suppression of insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore law and order, but the power cannot be exercised until there is an insurrection or civil disturbance which cannot be contained by the Nigeria police.
C. There is no insurrection in every part of the country which the Nigeria police cannot contain to warrant the deployment of armed troops all over the country from 1st November, 2019 to December 23rd, 2019.
D. Neither the Constitution nor the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 LFN, 2004 has empowered the Nigeria Army to arrest any citizen who is not subject to service law.
E. The 1st Respondent under the leadership of the 2nd Respondent is not empowered to take over police duties and the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces lacks the power to deploy members of the armed forces in the maintenance of internal security in any part of the country by virtue of Section 217 (a) (b) and (c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
F. The planned nationwide operation by the 1st Respondent scheduled for November 1, 2019 to December 23rd 2019 tagged Operation Positive Identification (OPI) by which the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with legitimate means of Identification such as National Identification Card, voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International passports is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void as it violates the rights of the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens to freedom of movement as encapsulated in Section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended and Article 12 respectively of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, (Cap A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
G. The planned nationwide operation by the 1st Respondent scheduled for November 1, 2019 to December 23rd 2019 tagged Operation Positive Identification (OPI) by which the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with legitimate means of Identification such as National Identification Card, voters Registration Card, Drivers’ License and International passports is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void as it violates the rights of the Applicant and other Nigerian citizens to liberty respectively as encapsulated in Section 35 respectively of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, (Cap A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
H. Unless the Respondents are restrained by an order of interim injunction pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit, irreparable damage may occur.
Below is the suit filed by Falana, as obtained by Channels Television.
A total of six soldiers died in the ambush which occurred on the 17th of July, but the sixth soldier, a Captain was immediately buried according to Islamic rites.
The burial of the Colonel and four soldiers was delayed to allow army authorities get across to the families and relatives of the deceased personnel.
The solemn ceremony was conducted under the lead of Major General Olusegun Adeniyi who is now the Acting Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole following redeployment of commanders in the Nigerian Army.
Adeniyi describes the soldiers as heroes who died for Nigeria while assuring that the fighting troops in the theatre of operation will not be deterred by the killing of their colleagues, until normalcy is restored in the region.
Following reinvigorated operational strategies and robust anti-banditry operations injected into the activities of Operation HARBIN KUNAMA III, troops have in a renewed effort arrested several gangs of bandits terrorizing Isa, Rabbah, and Burkusuma communities around Sububu Forest in Sokoto State as well as in Batsari, Safana and Kankara in Dumburum Forest of Katsina state.
Similarly, troops deployed in Super Camp covering Bena, Jega, Danko, and Wasagu encountered and annihilated an unconfirmed number of bandits and destroyed five( 5) bandits’ camps in Gando Forest of Kebbi State.
Briefing journalists on the activities of the operation, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 8 Division, Maj Gen Hakeem Otiki on the 26 June 2019 stated that five camps and 25 motorcycles were destroyed during the operation.
He added that the operation which covers Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States witnessed series of successful simultaneous ground operations activities involving raids, ambushes, cordon and search with the occasional support of the Air Task Force component which the troops are poised to sustain.
The GOC further stated that items recovered during the operation include: a. 8 x AK 47 rifles b. 2 x General Purpose Machine Guns c. 2 x G3 rifles d. 3 x dane guns. e. 9 x AK 47 magazine f. 48 x rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
According to him, “The operation is to facilitate the return of refugees and internally displaced persons back to their homes, creating enabling environment for economic activities to strive and instilled confidence in the locals to remain in their villages and continue their normal lives unmolested.
He assured the residents of the Nigerian Army readiness to provide adequate security and improve synergy and collaboration with other security agencies within 8 Division Area of Responsibility with the aim of Combating banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, and other security challenges.
He used the opportunity to commend the gallant officers and soldiers of the Division for their resilience and patriotism in the ongoing operation even as he commends members of various vigilante groups and local hunters for their supportive roles to troops.
He appealed to residents of the areas to always provide useful and timely information to the security agencies for prompt action.
Below is the full text of Major Abiade’s statement.
UPDATE ON OPERATION SHARAN DAJI ACTIVITIES
1. In line with the mandate of operation SHARAN DAJI, troops commenced clearance operations into bandits enclaves in Zamfara State and Katsina on 19 January 2019 and to last up till June 2019. The operation is being conducted simultaneously on collaboration with all security agencies and local vigilante to achieve synergy. The current offensive is designed to identify and destroy bandits’ camps/enclaves in the area of operation.
2. Already, the operation has recorded some successes. On 20 January 2019, troops came into contact with a large gang of bandits armed with sophisticated firearms and Rocket Propelled grenades at Dumburum and Gando forests leading to fierce gun battles which lasted several hours. The bandits were forced to abandon their camps due to superior firepower during these encounters.
3. The items recovered from the bandits include:
a. 5 Fabric National Rifles. b. 4 AK Rifles. c. 10 locally made rifles. d. 1 locally fabricated pistol. e. 40 motor cycles.
4. The casualty figures on the bandits’ side were 58 bandits neutralized, while one was captured alive. Troops also destroyed 18 camps and rescued 75 kidnapped victims held in some of these camps. The freed captives who were mostly from local communities in Zamfara State were debriefed and reunited with their families.
5. Unfortunately, Operation SHARAN DAJI also suffered some casualties in these encounters. So far, two gallant soldiers and 2 members of the vigilante paid the supreme prize. A total of 8 soldiers and 6 vigilantes also sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries. Those who sustained injuries were immediately evacuated to Federal Medical Centre, Gusau for medical treatment, while those with life threatening conditions were evacuated by air for specialist attention outside the theatre of operation. The families of the fallen heroes have been contacted accordingly, while the deceased members of the vigilante were laid to rest in Anka Cemetery according to Islamic rites.
6. The Force Commander, Operation SHARAN DAJI, Maj Gen SO Olabanji commiserates with families of the fallen heroes and assures them that their sacrifices will not be in vain. He reaffirms the commitment of operation SHARAN DAJI to rid Zamfara State of all forms of banditry and criminality in line with its mandate. Therefore, the general public is enjoined to cooperate with troops and furnish security agencies with useful and timely information about bandits’ activities within their domain.
7. You are please requested to disseminate this information through your medium. Thanks.
CLEMENT K ABIADE Major Acting Force Information Officer Operation SHARAN DAJI”
A wanted Boko Haram terrorist has been arrested by gallant troops of 7 Division Garrison.
The troops nabbed the jihadist while carrying out cordon and search operations in conjunction with troops of 195 Battalion, Mobile Policemen and CJTF, in some parts of the fringes of Maiduguri on Friday.
According to an army statement signed by Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, the terror group member called Babagana Abubakar (aka Alagarno), was hiding at Bulabulim Ngarnam community.
The army spokesman said Abubakar was found hiding in a room in possession of 2 military Ballistic helmets, a pair of military desert boot, a fragment jacket, a Jersey pull over, military backpack, camouflage design shorts, 2 voters identification cards, National identification card, amulets, camouflage T-shirts and military jungle hat.
“He has since been moved out of the area for further interrogation,” the statement read in parts.
The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, who is also the Commander, Sector 1 of Operation LAFIYA DOLE had visited the troops and conveyed the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE’s commendation to them for the painstaking efforts and professionalism.
The Ogun State Police Command says it has arrested two persons who have allegedly been parading themselves as officers of the Nigerian Army in order to extort and maltreat innocent citizens in Agbado area of Ogun state.
In a press release by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, it was stated that, “the two men, Joseph David and Adebayo Olanrewaju Ojoye, were arrested following a complaint from Barrister Paul Oniyo and Chima Solomon, that the two suspects who put on military camouflage accosted them, beat them up and inflicted injuries on them over a minor disagreement.
”Upon their complaint, the Divisional Police Officer, Agbado Division, (CSP) Abioye Shittu, led detectives to the scene where the suspects were arrested and brought to the station.
“On interrogation, it was discovered that the suspects acclaimed military men were mere impostors thriving on illegality for sustenance”. the P.R.O said.
Items recovered from them include: various military hard wares, cap and camp bed.
The Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, has now ordered the immediate transfer of the suspects to State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation.
Officials of the American Embassy, led by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr David Young, are in Delta State in Nigeria’s south-south for an all-embracing dialogue involving all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
At a meeting with the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, held in Asaba, the capital of the State, Mr Young said that their visit was part of measures toward finding lasting solutions to the crisis in the region which had crippled oil production.
Addressing reporters after the visit to the Delta State government, Mr Young said that the U.S. government believed that dialogue was very important in resolving grievances and there is a need to encourage Nigerians to exploit mechanisms for dialogue in moving forward.
The Governor of Delta State suggested the creation of an environment that would foster peace and tranquility, adding that the state government have also made efforts to forestall peace in the delta region.
The Niger Delta region encompasses about 8% of Nigeria’s landmass and with oil drilling in the region, the nation’s economy was stimulated.
Numerous multinational corporations also established oil operations in the region with very high stakes.
The activities of the oil companies have caused several environmental and economic issues in the region, leading to militancy in the past.
In recent times, there has been a resurgence of militant activities in the region with new groups taking up arms and attacking oil installations in the region.
A militant group known as Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on oil-producing facilities causing the shutdown of oil terminals and a fall in Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level.