Operation Positive Identification: Court Fixes May 15 For Verdict

 

The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed May 15 to give its verdict on a suit instituted by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, over planned implementation of the “Operation Positive Identification’ by the Nigerian Army.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa fixed the date after listening to arguments from the lawyers representing all the parties in the suit.

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had filed the Fundamental Rights Enforcement suit on October 25, 2019, against the planned exercise by the army scheduled to hold from November 1 to December 23.

Alongside the Nigerian Army, Mr Falana listed the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as the respondents to the suit.

The senior lawyer in his suit asked the court to stop the implementation of the exercise, arguing that the operation – which would entail Nigerians to move around with a valid means of identification such as the National Identification Card, Voters Registration Card, Drivers’ Licence and passports or other valid official identification – is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

READ ALSO: South-South Governors To Establish Regional Security Network

Citing several authorities, Mr Falana submitted that armed troops are not allowed by law to mount checkpoints on highways in the country. He says this is a job for the police and the respondents have not shown why the soldiers must take over the duties of the police.

He also submitted that the Appeal Courts have ruled severally that the army has no business in civil actions neither are they allowed to get involved in elections.

He argued that the relief sought pertains to his right to life, liberty, and freedom of movement as there was a likelihood that the soldiers could shoot to death any individual who failed to produce any means of identification on demand.

While asking the court to grant his fundamental rights application, Falana insisted that his move was completely anchored on Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution.

But the three respondents to the suit filed a preliminary objection challenging the suit.

In her arguments on the preliminary objection today, Counsel to the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff, Mrs Olayemi Badewole asked the court to dismiss the suit for lack of merit.

She argued that Mr Falana’s complaints are all based on Newspaper publications which are speculative. She further stressed that the reliefs sought are spent as the time-lapse for the nationwide operation had since elapsed and the case had become academic. She urged the court to dismiss the suit for lack of merit.

Counsel to the AGF, Mr Terhember Agbe, on his part, asked the court to take judicial notice of the insurgency in the country and the call for the sack of the Service Chiefs.

He stressed that operation positive identification had been going on in the North East and was a means by the army to fish out criminals and stop the breach of peace.

He claimed that the move to extend the exercise to other parts of the country was not aimed at shooting Nigerians or infringing on the fundamental human rights as guaranteed in the nation’s constitution.

Agbe also submitted that no evidence had been placed before the court to show that Operation Positive Identification has caused the death of any Nigerian.

He, therefore, urged the court not to give in to Mr Falana’s fear, a fear which he says is not founded in law and is not in the public interest.

After listening to all the arguments, the court fixed May 15 for its verdict.

Residents Flee As Boko Haram, Troops Exchange Gunfire In Borno

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

Residents of Damboa local government area of Borno State were on Wednesday morning, caught in a crossfire between the Nigerian Army and Boko Haram insurgents.

The insurgents attempted to attack a military location in Damboa, shooting sporadically but were countered with stiff resistance as troops on the ground responded with superior firepower.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Oshiomhole To Stop Parading Himself As APC Chairman

According to sources, the attack and the exchange of fire caused panic among the civilian populace leading to injury as some of those who ran were caught up in the crossfire.

The sources could not confirm the casualty figure but said the Army reportedly inflicted the insurgents with heavy casualties.

The exchange lasted for an hour until the insurgents retreated towards the Sambisa forest axis which is just on the fringes of Damboa local government.

Calm has returned to the town.

At Least 30 Killed As Gunmen Attack Kaduna Villages

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s North-Central region.

 

At least 30 people have been killed while several others injured as gunmen suspected to be bandits attacked some villages in Igabi and Giwa local government areas of Kaduna State.

The affected villages are Kerawa, Rago, Marina, Zariyawa, Hashimawa, Gidan Musa Saidu, and Unguwar Barau.

Although the police authorities and Kaduna state government are yet to confirm the attack, an indigene of Giwa local government told Channels Television that Troops of the Nigerian Army and Air Force launched offensive attacks against the bandits and in the process, killed many of them.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Catholics In Nigeria March Against Incessant Killings, Kidnappings

Sources also said that the bandits launched the attacks in what seems like revenge against the villagers who they accused of providing information to security agencies which resulted in the killing of their members.

As at the time of filing this report, the military is still carrying out offensive attacks on camps occupied by the bandits inside the thick forests within Giwa, Birnin Gwari and Igabi local government areas.

Soldier Opens Fire On Colleagues, Kills Four And Commits Suicide

 

A Corporal of the Nigerian Army serving at the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Army Super Camp 15, located at Malam Fatori went berserk in early hours of 26 February 2020 and opened fire killing 4 of his colleagues before shooting himself.

According to a statement by Sagir Musa, Colonel Acting Director of Army Public Relations, two other colleagues were also injured during the incident and are currently in stable condition in our hospital in Maiduguri.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Suspect In Connection With Murder Of AEDC Official

Colonel Musa said efforts are ongoing to contact the families of our gallant colleagues who paid the supreme price in the line of duty. May their gentle souls Rest In Peace.

Meanwhile, an investigation into the case has since been instituted to determine the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.

Nigerian Army Confirms Killing Of Four Soldiers In Bayelsa

 

The Nigerian Army has confirmed the killing of four soldiers by gunmen in Letugene, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

This was disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by the spokesperson of Operation Delta Safe, Major Victor Olukoya.

The army explained that troops were on their routine duty in the area when they were ambushed by the gunmen on Sunday, February 16th leading to the death of the soldiers.

READ ALSO: Identity Of Youth Who Jumped From 3rd Mainland Bridge Confirmed

“Troops while carrying out their routine duty within its area of responsibility on Sunday 16 February 2020 at about 6:00 p.m. were ambushed by gunmen and killed.

“Four soldiers were killed in action. However, an investigation is ongoing to ascertain the person’s or groups behind the attack,” the statement read in part.

The army in the statement also denied online reports claiming that the troops invaded the community following the attack and killing of the soldiers.

“It is important to state here that contrary to an online report; the men of OPDS did not invade any community in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa state as a result of the incident.

“Please be informed that the Nigerian Military is an organised and disciplined force and all its operations are guided by codes of conduct and rules of engagement.”

It explained further that the Commander Operation Delta Safe along with the Commander 16 Brigade and Commander Sector 2, embarked on an operational visit to Letugene, and some other communities in the local government area after the incident and observed that the areas were peaceful.

Auno Killing: Army’s Failure Led To Death Of 30 Travellers, Says Lawmaker

 

The lawmaker representing Chibok, Damboa and Gwoza, Ahmahdu Usman Jaha, has accused the Nigerian Army of negligence and complacency in securing the country.

According to Jaha, it was the failure on their path to carry out their duties that led to the killing of 30 persons in Auno, Borno State.

“Failure or inability on the part of the Nigerian Army to have a constructive listening of intelligence gathering from the DSS and other relevant informants in the community led to this attack,” he said on Wednesday at the floor of the House.

He further stated that despite receiving fillers that there was a potential attack and some of the insurgents had been sighted hours before the attack, “nobody cared to do anything”.

Jaha said the situation was a national issue and if he could give his life for peace to be restored in the northeast, he would do so, as he cannot bear to watch the continued tragedy.


RELATED

Buhari Returns To Nigeria, Pays Condolence Visit To Maiduguri

Reps Ask FG To Declare Emergency On Security


“I’ve said without fear of any contradiction that I am ready to give out my life if those in the northeast can live in peace,” he said.

“The most painful thing on earth is for you to stay in your comfort zone while your constituents are dying like animals.

“So, Mr Speaker, as far as I’m concerned, this is a national issue. It happened today in Borno but only God knows where next it will happen in the 36 states of the federation because of negligence or complacency on the part of our security operatives”.

10 Killed As Boko Haram Attacks Passengers In Borno

Photos: Borno Social Media Frontier

 

Boko Haram insurgents killed 10 stranded passengers on Sunday night at Auno, a village near Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

This was confirmed by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, who spoke to journalists at the headquarters operation Lafiya Dole Maiduguri on Monday.

He stated that the passengers were forced to pass the night at Auno village, 24 kilometers away from Maiduguri, due to their inability to meet up with the 5pm curfew imposed by the Army for travelers.

READ ALSO: All Kidnapped Children Will Be Freed From Boko Haram Shackles – Buhari

However, conflicting figures from eyewitnesses who spoke to Channels Television, said at least 20 people died in the attack and no fewer than 18 cars, including heavy-duty trucks, were set ablaze during the attack.

An unspecified number of people mostly women are also believed to have been abducted.

 

 

Meanwhile, Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, accompanied by the Garrison Commander 7 Division, Nigerian Army, visited the scene and sympathised with the victims.

He assured of his commitment and that of the Federal Government to end the insurgency problem in the northeast.

Army Committed To Improving – Buratai

A file photo of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
A file photo of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Friday, said the Nigerian Army is committed to the training and retraining of its personnel to be more proficient and well-equipped to carry out its constitutional role.

The army chief disclosed this at a passing-out ceremony at 241 Recce Model Battalion, Nguru in Yobe State.

A total of 452 young officers, comprised of 26 females and 426 males had attended a three months training with the Battalion.

Buratai, who was represented by the Director of Training in the army headquarters, Major-General Abdusalami Bagudu, noted that the orientation course is to equip the young officers on various aspects of regimentation, leadership and weapons-handling.

The army chief also noted that the training will enhance the troops on operational efficiency in combating the security challenges confronting Nigeria.

The Commanding Officer, 241 Recce Model Battalion, Colonel Edwin Ugorji, added that the three months training acquainted the officers on raid operation, ambushes, communication, map reading and field craft.

 

 

Army Deploys 185 Troops To Guinea Bissau On Peacekeeping Operation

Army Appoints New Operational Commanders For Operation Lafiya Dole
A file photo of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai

 

The Nigerian Army has deployed 185 officers and soldiers to Guinea Bissau on a peacekeeping mission.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, announced this at an event on Friday in Kaduna State.

Buratai was represented by Major General Kelvin Aligbe at the passing out ceremony of the troops from the Martin Luther Agwai Peacekeeping Centre in Jaji.

This comes ahead of their departure to Bissau, the Guinea Bissau capital as they are expected to depart Nigeria immediately after their induction.

Aligbe warned the troops that the Nigerian Army would not tolerate any act of cowardice or professional misconduct during the operation in the West African country.

He advised the contingent to abide by the rules of engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals, and to also respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Guinea Bissau.

The army chief’s representative reminded the soldiers of the United Nations’ zero tolerance for drug trafficking and human rights abuse.

He asked them to avoid indecent characters capable of tarnishing the image of the Nigerian Army and the nation in general.

The Commandant of the Martin Luther Agwai Peacekeeping Centre, Major General James Ataguba, also spoke at the event.

According to him, the training is in line with the Nigerian Army Headquarters’ desire to ensure that troops receive the needed robust and theatre-specific pre-deployment training prior to their induction into peacekeeping missions.

Ataguba was confident that the high level of enthusiasm and cohesion exhibited by the soldiers and officers would reflect on their operational conduct abroad.

He disclosed that the troops were deployed following a 4-week special training in preparation for their induction into the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Guinea Bissau.

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.

Army Troops Rescue 461 Boko Haram Captives, Kill Insurgents In Borno

 

Troops of the Nigerian Army have rescued 461 Boko Haram captives and killed some insurgents during a raid and search operation between Jakana and mainok area of Maiduguri-Damaturu Road in Borno state.

The operation which was carried out by combined troops of 5 and 29 Battalion in conjunction with the Chief of Army Staff intervention Battalion 2, combed Boko Haram hideouts and killed some insurgents.

According to Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator in a statement on Sunday, those rescued comprise of “100 adult males, 154 adult females and 207 children during raid/cordon and search operations on 4 January 2020.”

READ ALSO: Update: Death Toll From Kaduna Gas Plant Explosion Rises to Six

Colonel Iliyasu also released pictures which according to him are bodies of killed Boko Haram criminals and a cache of arms and ammunition captured by troops of 29 Task Force Brigade after an encounter at Jakana on a separate but continuing encounter on Saturday, January 4.

The Media Coordinator said the operations which lasted between 2nd to 4th January 2020 was about “Traction of Boko Haram hideouts between Jakana and Mainok by combined troops of 5 and 29 Brigades in conjunction with the Chief of Army Staff Intervention Battalion 2.”

Another group of four minors according to the statement were also rescued by troops of the 159 Task Force Battalion deployed at a checkpoint along Damasak-Kareto road in Mobbar Local government of Borno State.

Army Resolves Land Dispute In Taraba

Army Appoints New Operational Commanders For Operation Lafiya Dole
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, speaks to reporters in Abuja (file)

 

The Nigerian Army says it has resolved its age-long land dispute with residents of Serti in Gashaka local government area of Taraba State.

Speaking during the West African Social Activities Day on Friday in Taraba, Commanding Officer, 20 Model Battalion Serti, Sani Adamu, said the resolution was handled by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

At the same event, the traditional ruler of Gashaka Kingdom, Zubairu Hamman-Gabdo thanked Buratai “for his magnanimity” in resolving the dispute. 

“I want to use this medium to inform the people of Gashaka that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai holds this community in high esteem,” Adamu said in his speech.

“And as such, the lingering problem that has been on for many years in this unit that was yet to be solved has just recently been solved with the permission granted by the Chief of Army Staff to let go of the encroached barrack land and for us to take possession of the compensated land that was given by the Gashaka Local Government Council in collaboration with the Gashaka Emirate Council. 

“This information was sought just three days ago when I was with the Chief of Army Staff in Yola. And I find it necessary to put it on record on a day like this that we have both our royal fathers and also our mother in our presence. So to you people of Gashaka, I want to say a very big congratulations; and we thank you for your patience and understanding.”