The National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno, says border closure will remain until the objectives behind the closure are achieved.
Monguno told journalists over the weekend that the ongoing joint taskforce operation which is the reason for the closure will extend beyond the 28 days earlier fixed and will last till the objectives are achieved.
The sacking of US national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday was a “sign clear” that Washington’s campaign of sanctions against Tehran was failing, an aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said
“Bolton’s marginalisation and his subsequent removal isn’t an accident but a clear sign of the defeat of America’s maximum pressure strategy” against Iran, Hesameddin Ashena tweeted.
“Have no doubt that we have the power to manage the US approach towards Iran and will never back down. The blockade of Iran will break.”
US President Donald Trump announced in a post on Twitter that he had asked Bolton to resign.
Trump had a series of disagreements with the hawkish adviser, most notably on Iran which has been subject to crippling US sanctions since last year.
The sanctions were imposed after Washington unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The Federal Government has faulted the reports that the National Security Adviser (NSA) plans to shut down internet access during the general elections.
In a statement from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on Friday, the government said there was no plan to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to work with service providers to shut down internet access during the polls.
It condemned the reports of the alleged plot to shut down internet access to facilitate rigging of the polls, noting that they were untrue.
“The Office wishes to advise the general public to disregard the allegation, which is disinformation,” said the government in the statement by the ONSA spokesperson, Danjuma Reuben.
“This Office wishes to state that the internet and associated communications infrastructure are major components of the Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII), which ONSA is mandated to ensure its security.”
The government noted that the ONSA has been making continuous efforts in collaboration with relevant government ministries, departments and agencies to protect them and improve service delivery to Nigerians.
It stressed that every single national security platform in the country rides on the same internet to function.
The government, therefore, likened “shutting down” the internet to shutting down national development and security.
“The Office of the National Security Adviser remains committed to protecting the rights of the public to access Information and Communication Technology facilities,” the statement added.
“The Office also remains non-partisan and committed to ensuring that Nigerians freely exercise their civil rights.”
The National Security Adviser, Mr Babagana Monguno, has raised alarm over an alleged plan by some individuals to cause widespread violence in the forthcoming general elections.
He disclosed this while addressing the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, stating, however, that the government in collaboration with security agencies will do its best to ensure that nothing mars the conduct of the elections.
“Reports reaching me have revealed that some persons are uncertain of their fate in the elections and are hence plotting to precipitate widespread violence aimed at scuttling the conduct of the polls,” he said.
“Their strategy is to cause the crisis that could snowball into an endless crisis for the government and the citizenry of this country.
“There are indications that these unscrupulous elements are already mobilising merchants of violence, including armed bandits and terrorists to orchestrate violence during the elections in several states of the federation”.
Meanwhile, speaking to journalists after the meeting, the Chairman of the NGF, who is also the Zamfara State Governor, Abdul-Aziz Yari, reiterated the commitment of governors to ensuring that the polls are free, fair and credible.
He said, “We are committed to collaborating with other security agencies to ensure that the elections are free, fair and in a peaceful atmosphere.
“We are however concerned about the proliferation of arms and ammunition as well as the spate of kidnapping across the country”.
She stressed the need for the Federal Government to increase funding for training, infrastructure, and salaries of police personnel.
The retired justice, who spoke on behalf of the PSC Chairman and former IGP, Musiliu Smith, commended the President’s effort in improving the fortune of the police.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, as well as the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, and that of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ahmed Abubakar, were also present at the meeting.
The meeting held one day after the President met with all the service chiefs as well as the IGP and the DG DSS at the State House in Abuja.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said on Saturday that the government was taking immediate measures to ensure that the loopholes which led to the fatalities were blocked once and for all.
On Sunday, another presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad, disclosed that President Buhari had hinted that he would be engaging the military and intelligence chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps in the coming days.
Shots were fired Wednesday when a vehicle tried to enter the National Security Agency, the US electronic spying agency outside Washington, without authorization — an incident that left at least one person injured, officials said.
But hours after the 7:00 am (1200 GMT) shooting at the main entrance to the highly secure facility in Fort Meade, Maryland, the agency did not explain who fired the shots or the nature of the injuries.
“The situation is under control and there is no ongoing security or safety threat,” the NSA said.
Aerial footage of the scene from NBC News showed a black SUV with numerous bullet holes in its windshield crashed into concrete barriers at the entrance gate.
The images showed what appeared to be police surrounding a man on the ground in handcuffs.
“Weapons were discharged in the course of the incident, which remains under investigation at this time,” the agency said in a statement.
“Several individuals were transported to area hospitals; however, preliminary reports do not presently indicate that there are injuries attributable to gunfire.”
Earlier, an NSA spokesman told AFP that one person was injured.
The local ABC television affiliate put the number of injured at three and said a suspect was arrested.
The Baltimore office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was tasked with handling the investigation.
A law enforcement source told AFP that it was too soon to know whether the incident was an attack on the facility or otherwise.
They are “still trying to ascertain the facts,” the source said.
The White House said that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the situation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected,” the White House said.
The NSA is the premier US signals intelligence agency, eavesdropping on electronic communications and hacking computers of US adversaries and suspects worldwide, and also protects US communications and information systems from cyber attack.
The agency was thrust into the spotlight in 2013 when former contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of its global surveillance programs, including its collection of data on Americans.
Its compound, known as the “Puzzle Palace” — located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Washington — is highly secure.
In March 2015, guards at the NSA gate opened fire on an SUV which did not heed orders to stop, killing the driver and wounding a passenger.
The two involved, it turned out, were men dressed as women who made a wrong turn into a restricted lane and may have refused to stop because, it later turned out, there were drugs in their vehicle.
The leading US spy agencies installed heavy security at their facilities after an assault rifle-wielding man opened fire on cars waiting to enter the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters compound in McLean, Virginia in January 1993. Two CIA employees were killed and three wounded.
The man, Aimal Kasi, escaped to his native Pakistan and it took US investigators four years to find him. He was eventually arrested and sent back to the United States, where he was convicted of murder and executed in 2002.
In 2016, a man drove his car into a fence gate at the CIA headquarters, claiming he was an agency recruit. He was arrested but was found to be mentally unstable, and only received 30 days in jail and a fine.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki to appear and testify in defence of a former National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.
Justice Okon Abang said the former NSA will take the stand and testify because by the court’s action it is only obeying the ruling of the appeal court which ordered it to make an order of subpoena to the DSS for the former NSA to testify.
He said granting the application will go against the decision of the apellate court and because he is not a party to the suit, he cannot make application for an adjournment.
The justice of the case he says demands that the court dismiss the application for lacking in merit.
Justice Abang, after dismissing the application, ordered Dasuki to enter the witness box and testify.
It will be recalled that the DSS earlier today, November 1, produced Dasuki, in court in compliance with an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja, that the ex-NSA should appear as a witness in the ongoing trial of Metuh.
The detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has told the Federal High Court in Abuja, that he could no long remember the details of his dealings with the former National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in 2014.
During the continuation of Metuh’s trial in court, today, November 1, and when asked if he had any dealing with Metuh or his company, Dasuki said he cannot recall if he had any dealings with them from his memory.
He said, “if I had any dealings as it relates to this case. It is not possible that without references to my record I can say I had any dealings with them.”
When asked if he knows the functions of the National Security Adviser, Dasuki said it is public knowledge that he is essentially a principal staff officer in the office of the president.
He was then asked why he is in court.
Dasuki said he is in court to answer a subpoena even though he has not benefitted from other court rulings.
The court then asked Dasuki to explain why Chief Metuh and his company are being charged for receiving money from his office as NSA.
Dasuki said it will be difficult to give any details on the issue of monies paid to Olisa Metuh and his company without references to his records.
“Three years is a long time to recall such. I cannot answer questions on the charges without consulting my records,” Dasuki said.
He was then asked to tell the court when he will have access to his records.
The former NSA said, as soon as the authorities decide to obey four subsisting orders for bail in his favour and one ECOWAS court ruling and release him from the ‘hole’ he is in, that is when he will be able to give a timeline.
“But as long as I am in detention the answer is I don’t know,” Dasuki said.
When asked If he is making efforts to enforce the orders. He said he has processes in court and maybe by the time the case gets to the Supreme Court and it is in his favour those in charge today will obey.
He was then asked to confirm if his appeal at the supreme court is on the 25th of January 2018.
Dasuki said ‘Yes.’
The counsel to Metuh in his application to the court said he has a witness who is willing to testify but after taking introductory questions, he is unable to answer questions with regards to specific actions of his when he was NSA.
“My witness insists that he has to refresh his memory and look at his document before he can give correct answers to questions been asked,” he said.
He added that Dasuki’s position is justifiable, because even the registrar of the court warned him against giving any false witness.
The Yobe State Government is partnering with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to tackle the menace of insurgency in North-East Nigeria.
Speaking at a meeting in the state, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam noted that securing the lives and property of the people was everyone’s business and called for effective collaboration in waging the war against terrorism.
He appealed to the Federal Government to step up efforts to fully rid the region of the Boko Haram terrorists, promising that his administration would continue to accord security issues the desired attention.
“I wish to make an appeal to the Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser, to intensify the mopping up ofthe remnant of Boko Haram terrorists in all nooks and crannies of the North-East, in conjunction with the vigilante group and with the aid of the organised community policing and surveillance training,” the Governor said.
He stressed that the meeting would enable participants to exchange ideas and find a way out of the restiveness engulfing Yobe State and the North-East as a whole.
“A workshop of this nature will enable participants to exchange ideas and arrive at a far reaching resolution on security issues unique to our zone, and take appropriate steps to arrest the threat to lives and property.
“It will equally avail us the opportunity of realising the need for us all to work together collectively towards eliminating the menace of the men of the underworld and miscreants,” Governor Gaidam stated.
Information Is Power
The NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), whose address was read by the Head of the Counter-terrorism Office, Alhassan Useini, lauded the State Government’s effort in the rebuilding process and called for effective collaboration between security forces and the civil populace in tacking insecurity.
He emphasised the need for intelligence and information sharing as an effective way of tackling insurgency across the country.
“The country as a whole must now understand the importance of information sharing and the essence of timeliness in doing so. Information is power and the timely sharing of information is super power.
“This State Workshop should be seen as a call to reawaken the collaborative action which we must all embrace, as victory by one is victory by all of us, and a greater victory for our entire nation and the world. Our motto therefore should be mutual interest, mutual gain and mutual respect,” he said.
The Secretary to the Yobe State Government, Baba Mallam-Wali, described the workshop as timely, saying it would address key issues in the fight against terrorism and work out ways in the rebuilding of the war devastated areas.
He praised the present administration in the state for its role in relocating the Internally Displaced Persons to their ancestral homes.
A Federal High court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lift the restriction placed on some accounts belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose in Zenith Bank.
The court also set aside an earlier order of a Federal High court, Lagos empowering the EFCC to freeze two accounts domiciled in the new generation bank.
The court has consequently ordered the EFCC to immediately defreeze the two accounts belonging to the governor without further delay, on the account that the anti-graft agency did not follow due process in confiscating them.
Delivering his judgement, the presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, said the rights of the governor had been unconstitutionally infringed upon, considering the circumstance of his office.
Justice Taiwo declared that apart from the immunity which Mr Fayose currently enjoyed as a sitting governor under section 308 of the constitution, it was wrong for the EFCC to have gone ahead to seize his two accounts in apparent perpetuity without first investigating him or making him a party.
He averred that rather than the EFCC freezing the governor’s accounts directly through the third party who did not enjoy any mandate from him, the governor himself ought to have been first investigated and brought into the picture.
The judge described Fayose as “a genuinely deprived person who rushed to the court to seek constitutional protection”.
The judge thereby gave a mandatory order the de-freezing, unblocking and making operational the two accounts by the respondents.
He said it was also the duty of any presiding judge to protect the said constitution and its interpretations whenever the need arises.
“The Plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized, doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights”, he said.
The judge however refused to grant other relief sought by the governor, including a perpetual injunction restraining EFCC or its agents from further tampering with his property, and another one asking for payment of N5billion as exemplary damages.
“This court will not shield any person from due investigation and since Police cannot be stopped from investigating a crime, same goes for the First Respondent so as not to whittle down its functions”, the judge said.
EFCC lead counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo was absent at the court but Fayose’s lead counsel, Ozekhome, in his reaction described the judgment as the best to be so made the EFCC in history, saying it would checkmate the agency against years of brazen arbitrariness and excesses.
The EFCC had on June 21, 2016 confiscated the two accounts having allegedly contained a sum of N2.99billion out of the N2.3 billion arms money allegedly drawn by the governor from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to prosecute his governorship election in 2014.
Fayose through his lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome approached the court and sought for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, which involved the de-freezing of the two accounts.
The trial judge in the case of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, has withdrawn from the case in the wake of allegations that he obtained bribe from Dasuki who is standing trial before his court.
Justice Ademola was among the seven judges detained briefly about a week ago after the Department of State Services (DSS) conducted searches and said that it discovered hundreds of thousands in dollars in addition to documents linking them to very expensive real estates.
The DSS which conducted what it called “sting operations” accused the judges of exhibiting lifestyles which their income could not justify.
Ademola was scheduled to deliver a ruling on the DSS’s request to allow witnesses to wear masks in the case against Dasuki when the trial judge announced his intention to hands off the case.
Before making his decision known, Justice Ademola interviewed Colonel Sambo Dasuki asking him to tell the whole world if he had known him prior to the case and if he had given him any money directly or through his lawyers to which the former NSA replied in the negative.
He thereafter went ahead to announce that he was transferring the file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court “for a reassignment to another judge having regards to the allegations against this court by the complainant, that is the DSS.”
Justice Ademola said that his decision to return the file to the Chief Justice for “further directive” is in line with the principles of fair hearing to parties before the court.”
Justice Ademola, at the time of his arrest, was the trial judge in the case against Biafra’s agitator, Nnamdi Kanu who is standing trial for treasonable felony and Colonel Dasuki who is being tried for unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering.