Security agents uncover bomb factory in Zaria

A combined team of security agencies have uncovered a bomb making factory in Zaria, Kaduna State, recovering Improvised Explosive devices in various stages of completion and arresting a 60- year old man, Umaru Mohammed in the process.

The raid which was carried out by a combined team of officers of the Nigerian Army, the Police and operatives of the State Security Service is coming barely four days after explosions rocked the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji.

The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations in charge of the One Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, told journalists in his office that the exercise took place in the early hours of Thursday.

He also disclosed that in line with the resolve of security agents in the country to fight terrorism, the two bedroom bungalow housing the bomb factory has been demolished while the suspect and the items recovered are in custody.

Col. Usman said: “We invited you to inform you that following a tip off from well-meaning citizens of this country, a combined team of troops of the Nigerian Army, elements of the Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Security carried out a cordon and search operation at Kwanar Shahada, Jushin Ciki, Zaria city, Kaduna State yesterday, Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 01300 -0800 hours (1.30-8.00am) local time.

“During the operation, a two bedroom bungalow of bomb factory was discovered in which Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in stage one of readiness and several IED making components were recovered as follows: 17 sensor mechanical timers (remote controls), 11 primed suicide bombers vests, 36 IEDs in bobo cans, one military kitbag with support items like saw, hammer, cello tape and gums, two gallons of paints containing prepared IEDs, two gallons of turkey oil brand with prepared IEDs, seven rolls of wires of various lengths, one bag containing several sensors and 25 nine volt batteries.

“A 60-year old man, Umaru Mohammed was arrested within the premises and in line with our resolve to deter terrorists, the building housing the factory was demolished. Both the suspect and the items recovered are in custody.

“Headquarter, 1 division, Nigerian Army would like to use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the well-meaning citizens that reported the matter and also reiterate our resolve to fight terrorism in this country.

“We also wish to appeal to the general public to report any suspicious movement, establishment or persons in their environment. We wish to assure you that any information provided would be treated with absolute confidentiality.”

36 Primed Improvised Explosive Devices in “Bobo” cans
One military kitbag with support items like saw, hammer, cello tapes and guns
25 nine volt batteries
2 paint bucket containing prepared IEDs and 2 gallons of turkey oil brand with prepared IEDs

Amnesty International accuses army of abuses in Boko Haram crackdown

A human rights group, Amnesty International on Wednesday accused the Nigerian security forces of widespread abuses in their campaign against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The group in a report listed the abuses to include extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance and torture, reports the BBC.

A spokesman from the Nigerian army rejected the accusations, saying soldiers always operate within the law.

Boko Haram campaigns for an Islamic state and has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people this year.

It has carried out frequent attacks in northern and central Nigeria since 2009.

In its report, Amnesty International blamed Boko Haram for widespread atrocities, including murder, burning down churches and schools, and attacks against the media.

But it said a heavy-handed response by the security forces had only fuelled further violence.

“The cycle of attack and counter-attack has been marked by unlawful violence on both sides, with devastating consequences for the human rights of those trapped in the middle,” said the group’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty.

“People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Boko Haram and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protecting them.”

Reports of people being shot dead by the army or beaten to death in detention were particularly common in the north-east of the country, Amnesty said.

In response, Nigerian army spokesman, Col SK Usman told the BBC that soldiers were professional and properly trained.

“There is no Nigerian soldier that goes out on the streets to just kill innocent Nigerians,” he said.

“So whatever we do we always make sure it is done within the ambit of the law.”

Amnesty’s report documents what it calls an “increasing climate of fear” in which people are too scared to report crimes and journalists do not dare to cover them.

It calls on Nigeria’s government to clarify the truth about incidents linked to Boko Haram, establish accountability for abuses and bring those responsible to justice.

Army parades 17 suspects for kidnapping, theft and cultism

The 4th Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army in Benin has paraded 17 suspected kidnappers at the Brigade Headquarters in Benin City.

The suspects were alleged to have committed crimes ranging from bunkering,  kidnapping, cultism and illegal possession of military uniforms.

Also paraded were arms and ammunition, computers, handsets and bags of Indian hemp seized from the suspects.

Brigadier General Abel Umahi who addressed journalists on their exploits in the last one month disclosed that the suspected kidnappers were caught after a distress call was made by a victim, whom her abductors abandoned on sighting army patrol vehicle.

He said the Man O’ War paramilitary unit of College of Education Ekiadolor were also arrested for possession of military uniforms after flaunting an instruction by him to desist from the act.

He however expressed dismay at the arrest of a woman who they had previously arrested for engaging in sale of Cannabis and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The suspects, however did not deny the offences they were arrested and paraded for.

Your days are numbered, army chief tells terrorists

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, on Wednesday warned perpetrators of terrorist activities to have a rethink, warning that “nobody can bomb us into submission.”

Petinrin made this declaration at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja during the presentation of entitlement cheques to the Next of Kins of the military personnel killed in action in 2012.

He said in any country there are those whose stock in trade is to constitute a nuisance and use acts of intimidation to get power.
He, however, urged Nigerians, especially families of those who died in the line of duty while defending the territorial integrity of the country, to be resolute as “the days of trouble makers are numbered.”

“We must be resolute, not only we in the armed forces but our families and children must be as resolute as we are,” he said.
The CDS advised those harbouring ambitions of ruling the country to do so through the proper channels rather than through the back-door of violence.

“Nobody will bomb us into submission or kill us into submission. If you want to rule people you don’t rule them by killing, you rule them by appealing to them, by forming your party, and by running elections,” he said.

Nigeria Army seek retirement age of 70years for its officers

The Nigerian Army has commenced the process of reviewing upward the retirement age for its officers to 70 years old.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika made the announcement at the commissioning of the Nigerian Army Transformation and Innovation Centre in Abuja.

Lieutenant General Ihejirika noted that the review is necessary for the army to save some experience and resources, which are being lost on the basis of regular retirement.

He enjoined the officers to be up and doing in the discharge of their duties because Nigerians look up to them for their security.

Speaking on the centre that was being commissioned, the Chief of Army Staff stated that the centre will serve as a think-tank for the Nigerian army security strategies.

The Army Transformation and Innovation Centre is a place designed to assist the army to strategize on how to combat contemporary challenges using latest innovations and strategy.

The army is hoping to engage retired officers in the centre and believes that if the retirement age of officers is increased, it will offer the force more experiences.

Explaining the reason the Nigerian Army must harness the resources in its old officers, the Chief of Army Transformation and Innovation; Major General Ibrahim Sani argued that judges in Nigeria have a mandatory 70 years retirement age and until recently, university lecturers have a similar retirement age.

The minimum age for enlisting into the Nigerian Armed Forces is put at 18 years old for voluntary service and at 55 years or after putting in 35 years of service according to the Federal Civil Service; public servants are expected to retire.

However, analysts view the plan for an upward review of the retirement age for the armed forces to 70 as needless.

In other countries, such as the United States, military officers are expected to put a minimum of 20 years of service and a maximum of 30 years, according to the department of defense directive. An officer can be enlisted in the force at the age of 17.

In Britain, officers are enlisted into the force at the age of 16 and are expected to put in at least 18 years of service.

In Africa, Ghana enlists officers at the age of 18 and retires officers at 50 years while in South Africa, officers stay in active service until they are 60 years and could be enlisted at the age of 18.

Nigerian Army commissions dog center

The Nigerian Army has stepped up its efforts to curb the series of terrorist attacks in the country, with the commissioning of a dog center in Ipaja area of Lagos state.

The dogs are to assist officers in explosives and narcotics detection, tracking and guard duties.

And to ensure the effective use of the acquired dogs, 40 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army have been trained on dog handling techniques in some of the best canine institutes in the world.

While another batch of 25 are currently undergoing training in the United States.

183 Cadet Officers commissioned from DSS

One hundred and eighty three cadet officers of the direct short service course have been commissioned into the Nigerian army.

Addressing the new officers at the passing out  and piping ceremony, the chief of army staff Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirka observed that global  security challenges that has continued to manifest itself  in kidnapping ,suicide bombings and terrorism made it mandatory for military around the world to  adopt new strategies and tactics  to combat these adversaries.

The army chief said the course curriculum of the various training institutes of the Nigerian army has been packaged to ensure that it produces officers and men that are able to confront contemporary security challenges.

He urged the new officers to be disciplined and loyal to their fatherland.

The arrival of the chief of army staff, who is also the reviewing officer kick-started the passing out parade for the direct short service course 19, first was the dexterity display by the officers to be commissioned.

This was shortly followed by a review of the parade by the graduates by the chief of army staff.

And in line with military tradition the graduates started with the slow march and then the quick steps.

As expected the chief of army staff had some words for the newly commissioned officers as he reminded them of what is expected of them in the military.

The army chief also touched on the current security challenges in the country and what the army is doing to combat the challenges.

The chief of army staff announced that the curriculum of military institutions of the army has been tailored to produce officers that able to confront contemporary security challenges.

The event saw the presentation of awards to the best four graduating cadets.

As they depart from the parade ground as officers of the Nigerian army, it is expected that they will use their new skills to tackle the insecurity in the country.

Army rescues over 250 kids and adults, going to Lagos as house helps

Officers of the Nigerian Army have apprehended some suspected human traffickers at Itobe Bridge in the Ajaokuta area of Kogi state.

Over 250 persons including children, men and women within the age range of 4 to 27yrs were being transported by the bandits in different batches, using commercial buses.

They were on the way to Lagos when they were intercepted and arrested by the soldiers.

A very distraught Commandant of Army Record, Lokoja, Major-General Alphonsus Chukwu, lamented why people will do such a thing to kids of such age grades, describing it as barbaric and criminal.

The Army Commander told Channels Television that further investigation has revealed that the suspected trafficker has being in business of shipping these children from different parts of the country to Lagos for over a decade.

“Our investigations have revealed that he has being in the business for over ten years and you know, every day is for the thief but one day is for the owner”he said.

The suspected trafficker, Sunday Agbo, an indigene of Benue state, initially explained that he was only trying to help convey six boys to their father in Ikorodu, in Lagos.

But his claim ran contrary to the narration of one of the teenage girls being trafficked as she explained in broken English incoherently, that the man-Mr Agbo- took her from her village after the closure of their school and promised to bring her back to the village in December.

When asked what she was to do in Lagos, she replied, “he is carrying me to go do work.”

Mr Agbo later recounted his claim, confessing that “what I did is that if a girl can work for N10,000 they (the employer) will give me my own (commission out of the money) and the rest they will pay it to the person (victim).”

Another suspected trafficker, told Channels Television that some of the children are orphans and they do not have money or any other way to survive, so they agree to go and work in Lagos.

The military intercepted many more victims as the days went by, with children of different age grades, mainly from Benue state being rescued.

When the drivers of buses used for the transportation were questioned, they claimed they were paid to convey the people to states in the South-West part of the country.

Major-General Chukwu later stated that the suspected traffickers would be handed over to the police for prosecution.

Army donates anti-bombing device to Churches, Mosques

The Nigerian Army, Thursday, unveiled and presented vehicle stoppers to some Churches and Mosques, as part of its corporate social responsibility in curtailing the spate of suicide bombing at worship centres across the country.

Presenting the device in Abuja, the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Major Gen. Bitrus Kwaji said the vehicle stoppers were designed to stop any vehicle from all angle at any speed.

He added that the anti-bombing device would be distributed to the representatives of Christian and Muslim bodies, who should in turn produce it in mass for distribution, while stressing that security is everybody’s business.

His words, “it has been discovered that most attacks of suicide bombers are being carried out with vehicles loaded with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The mode of operation is simple as a suicide bomber drives his vehicle straight into his target and explosion occurs.

“In order to disallow bombers from reaching their targets, this invention comes in handy as it forcefully stops any vehicle that comes in contact with it at whatever speed.

“The unfolding security challenges confronting the nation amongst which is the Boko Haram terrorist menace have continued to hinder the congress of the transformation agenda of Mr President as well as the development of the nation at large.

“The terrorists over the years have continued to attack places of worship (churches and mosques) in order to destabilize the nation. This has necessitated the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to charge all corps and services of the Nigerian Army to provide ways and means of curtailing this menace.

“This charge has yielded a lot of responses as we witnessed the commissioning of an indigenous Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) by the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces during the recently concluded Nigerian Army Day Celebration in Kaduna.

Receiving the devices on behalf of the Religion Bodies, Very Rev. Monday Okonkwo of the Methodist Church, Nyanya and the Executive Secretary of the National Mosque Abuja, Alh. Ibrahim Jega expressed satisfaction with Military Authorities, just as they promised to be security conscious, to complement the efforts of security agents, in riding the country of terrorism”.

They also called on faithful to join hands with authorities in their various churches and mosques, to prevent any further attack, and report any suspicion to the relevant authorities, insisting that, government can not do it alone.

Nigeria gets bullet proof vest factory

President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a company that will be manufacturing bullet proof vest for the military and other security agents.  

The President at the commissioning in Kaduna, commended the Public Private Partnership (PPP) between DICON and MAROM-DOLPHIN Nigeria Limited which resulted in the domestic production of the bullet proof vests and other textile wares for security agencies in the country.

President Jonathan noted that the landmark event shows that the military establishment has effectively keyed into the federal government’s Local Content Policy which is aimed at building indigenous capacity in the petroleum and other sectors of the national economy.”

The President restated his administration’s commitment “to creating the requisite enabling environment for local manufacturing industries to grow, become major employers of labour and progressively become globally competitive.”

Noting that the Nigerian Navy has locally designed and constructed Seaward Defence Boat, just as the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps produced an Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), the president stated that these are part of activities marking the 2012 Nigerian Army Day Celebrations (NADCEL).

He added that this year’s celebration coupled with the creation of the army and navy marks the beginning of the end of the nation’s total reliance on foreign suppliers for the country’s security needs.

While urging all Nigerians to show patriotism by buying DICON products, President Jonathan indicated that a directive would soon be issued to compel all Federal agencies to patronise DICON unless they can prove convincingly that such products are not available locally.

“That is the only way we can move as a nation,” he said, while calling on other foreign investors to emulate MAROM-DOLPHIN.

President Jonathan accompanied by the governors of Kaduna and Bayelsa States, Ministers, members of the National Assembly and the Chief of Defence Staff among other top government officials, also inspected weapons made by DICON-MAROM.

DICON was established by an Act of Parliament in 1964 to primarily “produce small arms and ammunitions for the use of the Nigerian Army, paramilitary and security agencies in the country.”



FG restates commitment to provision of security in Nigeria

The federal government has restated its commitment to the provision of adequate and effective security in the country.

The Commander of the Nigerian Army Corp of Artillery, Major General Amnon Kwaskebe made the promise in Kachia, Kaduna State at the graduation ceremony of  military officers and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp who went on  a four weeks training in counter terrorism and counter insurgency.

General Kwaskebe said the training of security personnel will be a continuous exercise as part of the federal government’s efforts at combating terrorism and other forms of security challenges being faced by the nation.

The training was a joint training exercise for officers and men of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp in counter terrorism and counter insurgency at the Nigerian Army base in Kachia, Kaduna State. Commander of the Nigeria Army Corp of Artillery told the participants that the federal government remains committed to the security of all persons.

The Zonal Commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp expressed satisfaction with the performance of the participants saying the Corp will continue to collaborate with other security agencies towards ensuring internal security.

With the presentation of certificates to all the participants, the Director of Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency, Brigadier General Tijani Golau enjoined the graduands to be good examples of their organisations.

Nigerian Army trains 498 soldiers and Civil Defence on Counter Terrorism

498 soldiers and members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps have been trained in basic anti-terrorism to curb the rising cases of insurgency and terrorist acts in the country by the Nigerian Army.

According to the commandant of the guards brigade, Brigadier General Emmanuel Atewe, the training held at the counter terrorism and counter insurgency centre in Kachia, Kaduna state, is in addition to the procurement of modern combat equipment, enhanced logistics and welfare packages.

He urged the participants to utilise their newly acquired skills when required and ensure they adhere to the rules of engagement.