MASSOB Demands Release Of Member ‘Unlawfully’ Detained

MASSOB, BiafraThe Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and its sister organisation, Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), are asking the police to release one of their members, Mr Eze Israel.

The groups conveyed their request to the Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police in charge of Zone Nine, Hassan Karma, whom they want to intervene and order the Anambra State Police Command to release their member.

According to MASSOB-BIM Zonal Information Director in Abia Central Zone, Anselem Ogbonna, Mr Israel was nabbed by the Police on December 15, 2016 and dumped at the Awka Central Police Station.

The group said that Israel, who was also the MASSOB and BIM Zonal Information Director of Enugu West and Group Regional Information Director of Oji River in Enugu State, was arrested by the Police on his way to a meeting with their leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, without reason, and had since been languishing in detention.

Ogbonna alerted the AIG that Mr Israel was a diabetic patient and that his condition of health was fast deteriorating. He lamented that although MASSOB and BIM had never been violent, her members were being treated in a brutish manner.

“As at today, he has spent 13 days in the Police custody without trial. All efforts by our men to secure his release have proved abortive, as the Anambra Police command have even refused filing charges.

“His detention brings to mind, the arrest of our members by a combined team of the Army, Police, State Security Service (SSS) in Anambra State on October 22, 2012 whose dead bodies were later found floating on the Ezu River at Amansea Community in Awka North Local Government area on Saturday, January 19, 2013,

“It is alleged that the Police killed them extra-judicially and dumped their corpses in Ezu River,

“I, therefore, call on you AIG Karma to advise the Anambra State Police Command now before it is too late,” he demanded.

Judges’ Arrest: Former British Cop Berates Execution Of ‘Sting Operation’

vince-onyekwelu-judges-arrestThe arrest of some court judges by a combined team of Police and DSS officials in the early hours of Saturday, October 8 has continued to generate reactions.

While various judicial stakeholders have criticised the government for the arrest, a former British police officer, Vince Onyekwelu, has picked holes in the level of expertise displayed by the DSS during its execution of the operation.

The security analyst told Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily how the arrest should have been carried out, since it was believed to be a sting operation.

“We have to understand (that) one of the major concepts of a sting operation is deceit.

“When you talk about deceit, sting operations are planned to have this element of propaganda, element of treachery, element of ‘make believe’ (and) element of trying to deceive a potential criminal,” he explained.

Outer Shell

Speaking on Thursday’s edition of the programme, Onyekwelu expressed disappointment that Governor Nyesom Wike was able to interrupt the arrest of one of the judges at his residence in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

He stressed the importance of the strategy that ought to be used and questioned if the security operatives were capable and competent to carry out such operation.

“For example, there is what we call ‘the outer shell’.

“You have to block the entrance (and) position men at critical areas.

“It makes me to ask questions how come the Governor had access to go through this outer shell (and) come to the epicentre that he was able to influence what was going on there.

“You’re supposed to have an outer shell that is well-trained to contain and to stop any kind of politically exposed person that have got so much power.

“He (Wike) can tell you his concerns (while) you record them in your notebook and promise to get back to him in the next 24 hours, but not to give him access to influence what is going on,” he stated.

Although the DSS later justified its action by giving reasons for the arrest, the operation attracted criticisms from several notable Nigerians and professional bodies, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which asked the executive to release of the detained court justices.

femi-falana-speaks
Human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana

Human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, however, blamed legal practitioners for the harassment of judges.

The agency subsequently released all the judges on self-recognition one day after their arrest but they are to report at the agency’s office when requested to, as the investigation and preparation to charge them to court continue.

The judges are accused of misconduct, corruption and had been under investigation by the DSS.

Judges Arrest: I Have No Objection To DSS’ Action – Abu Hamisu

Dr. Abu Hamisu, As reactions continue to trail the arrest of some judges over the weekend, a lecturer at the University of Abuja, Dr. Abu Hamisu, says he has no objection with the involvement of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the arrest.

The lecturer at the Political Science Department is of the opinion that if the government feels the DSS could play a crucial role in its anti-corruption campaign, there is nothing wrong with it.

“We’ve been advocating for collaboration and synergy building in such a way that all the security agencies can tap into the professionalism of one another depending on the case they want to prosecute.

“If (the) EFCC, ICPC and the government of the day feel that the DSS can be really decisive in the fight against corruption in this country, I have nothing against that,” the political scientist said.

Speaking on Tuesday on Sunrise Daily, Dr. Hamisu believes corruption is the cause of Nigeria’s underdeveloped stage, reiterating his stance on the DSS’ involvement.

“The most important thing is to ensure that corruption is really dealt with because the basis of our underdevelopment as a nation up to this very moment is corruption.

“For me, it’s something that has to do with those that are leading us and if they feel that they can give us result and DSS can play a role in this, I have no objection,” he insisted.

The academic warned that the future of the Nigerian child was at risk and called on stakeholders to tackle its menace headlong to ensure a brighter future.

“All we want is to ensure that we have a better future for our children.

“The future that we did not enjoy, the future that corruption denied us because some people were saddled with responsibilities that they abused and perverted,” he lamented.

Face-off With Wike

Dr. Hamisu’s remarks followed a face-off between the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and some DSS officials who were on an assignment to arrest a Federal High Court judge in Port Harcourt.

Nyesom-Wike-Governor-of-Rivers-State
Governor Nyesom Wike prevented the arrest of a judge in Rivers State

On getting wind of the planned arrest, Governor Wike went to the residence of the judge with the aim of averting the arrest.

He stated that it would not be appropriate to arrest a judge at an odd hour when he has not been declared as a criminal, but invited to have a chat which they said was the motive of the arrest.

The arrest caught the attention of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which asked the executive to release of the judge and some order court justices.

While a human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, blames legal practitioners for harassment of judges, the DSS gave reasons for the arrest.

The DSS subsequently released all the judges on self-recognition.

However, they are to report at the agency’s office when requested to, as the investigation and preparation to charge them to court continue.

The judges are accused of misconduct corruption and had been under investigation by the DSS.

Why Falana Blames Legal Practitioners For Harassment Of Judges

Femi-FalanaA Nigerian lawyer and a human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, says the lip service that legal practitioners pay to the menace of judicial corruption in Nigeria led to the harassment of judges.

Mr Falana gave the opinion in reaction to the arrests of some judges on Friday by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The DSS, which raided the official quarters of judges at Abuja, Gombe, Kano and Port Harcourt, said they were arrested for alleged misconduct and corrupt practices.

The arrests have raised diverse comments from lawyers and other groups, with most of them saying that the DSS’ act was unconstitutional.

But Mr Falana is taking a different stand on the issue.

He said: “It is a matter of grave concern that the legal profession has allowed the denigration of the hallowed temple of justice because of the misconduct of a few corrupt judges.

“For several years, judges who committed grave criminal offences were not prosecuted but merely retired by the authorities on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

“Although the National Judicial Council recently recommended the dismissal and prosecution of a judge for extorting the sum of 197 million Naira from a litigant the authorities had paid lip service to the menace of judicial corruption in the country.

“In particular, the Nigerian Bar Association which has information on all corrupt judges and lawyers in the country have continued to shield them to the embarrassment of incorruptible members of the bar and the bench.

“The few lawyers who have plucked up the courage to expose corrupt judges and lawyers have been stigmatised and treated like lepers by their colleagues.

“It is on record that when both the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission sent invitation letters to judges suspected of corruption they had rushed to the Federal High Court to obtain interlocutory injunctions to prevent their arrest, investigation and prosecution”.

Account Of Negligence

Mr Falana further gave instances where legal practitioners have shielded corrupt colleagues, saying “about two years ago, an anti-graft agency found two billion Naira in the account of a high court judge. As soon as the judge was invited for questioning she reported and made a statement and was granted bail.

“But as she could not defend the lodgement in her bank account she obtained an interlocutory injunction from one of the judges in the custody of the State Security Service. (SSS)

“It is common knowledge that two Senior Advocates of Nigeria are standing trial in the Lagos High Court for allegedly bribing a judge. Even though it takes two to tangle the judge has not been charged to court for allegedly receiving bribe.

“Having failed to take advantage of the relevant statutory disciplinary bodies to purge the bar and the bench of corrupt elements the members of the legal profession have themselves to blame for the harassment of judges by security forces”.

The lawyer says it is on account of negligence on the part of the legal profession that the SSS which screens candidates before they are recommended by the National Judicial Council for appointment as judges has now engaged in the arrest of judges for alleged corruption and abuse of office.

He urged the bar and the bench to immediately strengthen their disciplinary bodies with a view to removing the few corrupt judges and lawyers whose criminal activities have continued to erode public confidence in the judiciary.

On the rights of the arrested persons, which many lawyers said was violated, Mr Falana said: “It is painful to note that, before now, the demand of the human rights community to the effect that the fundamental rights of lowly placed criminal suspects be respected by the Police and other security agencies has been treated with disdain.

“But having regard to the fact that judges and other influential citizens have since become victims of institutionalised abuse of official harassment, it is high time that all stakeholders demanded that every criminal suspect be treated with dignity in line with the provision of the Constitution and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015”.

Giving his  opinion further on the rights of the arrested judges, the human rights activist also highlighted that since the detained judges are presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the State, they should be admitted to bail in self recognisance.

He urged the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to ensure that the suspects were arraigned in court without any further delay.

No Vendetta Against Past Leaders, Nigeria’s Presidency Says

garba Shehu, London Telegraph, Boko Haram,Nigeria’s presidency on Friday denied allegation by demonstrators in Bayelsa State on Thursday that allowances due to a former President have been stopped and his bank accounts frozen.

An official of Aso Rock Villa said the allegation was false.

“It is patently untrue.

“We have confirmed with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) that the former President and the other past leaders were paid their allowances up to the second quarter.

“The past leaders have not been paid third quarter allowances but will get their dues when remittances are received by the SGF from the Ministry of Finance.

“Also, the story of account closure is false. It is not known to the investigation agencies,” a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu, said in a statement.

A Picture Of Vendetta

He stated that the National Security Adviser to the President, the Director General of the State Security Service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Inspector General of Police were not aware of the bank account closure.

“With all of these agencies not being involved, how then could a thing like that happen? In a dream perhaps!

“To put it starkly, we believe there is a clear motive for the demonstration that is different from that which was being canvassed.

“This is a premeditated attempt to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for something he knows nothing about.

“These claims are false and poorly sourced to present a picture of vendetta; and they should be disregarded by well-meaning members of the public,” the statement further read.

Mr Shehu also stated that President Buhari remained committed to the ideals of justice and fairness to all irrespective of creed, religion and political leanings.

“His administration will not engage in vendetta,” he added.

Kaduna Govt. Inaugurates Vigilante Security Outfit

Kaduna, Vigilante, Nasir El-RufaiThe Kaduna State government has established a new security outfit known as the ”Vigilante Service” that will assist security agencies to tackle cattle rustling and all forms of criminality in the state.

The State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, inaugurated the Board of Management of the service and other parastatals on Friday.

He explained that the new security outfit was to complement the work of the police and other security agencies in intelligence gathering and crime prevention.

He also announced the disbandment of all private vigilante groups across the state.

The Chairman of the board, Dika Anto, on his part, assured the Governor that they would live up to expectations.

The vigilante service board has representations from the army, civil defence corps, State Security Service and traditional rulers.

SSS Busts ISIS Sleeper Cell In Kano

SSS, ISIS, KanoThe State Security Service has arrested five persons allegedly connected to the creation of sleeper ISIS training cells in Kano State, northwest Nigeria.

The Kano State Director of SSS, Abdullahi Chiranchi, told journalists on Thursday that the arrest was a significant breakthrough in blocking every possible move to make Kano a training ground for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

He said those arrested were from Kogi State and were moving to Libya, Morocco and other places with ISIS presence.

However, Mr Chiranchi did not disclose the names of the arrested suspects.

He added that a nine-man international cattle rustling, armed robbery, kidnapping and car-snatching gang was also arrested.

The Kano State SSS boss said the gang had been terrorising Kano, Kaduna and residents of Niger Republic.

Mike Ejiofor Sees Need For Report On Chibok Girls To Be Made Public

Mike-EjioforA former Director with the State Security Service (SSS), Mike Ejiofor, says it is necessary for the Nigerian government to make the report on the abducted Chibok girls public.

The former SSS boss, who was part of the team that investigated the girls’ abduction, said the girls were taken from their dormitory as claimed.

“We looked at the register of people writing the exams and WAEC enrolment and the people who were not available to write the exams,” he told Channels Television on Friday while giving his opinion on Nigeria’s security situation and the efforts to rescue the over 200 girls abducted two years ago.

Mr Ejiofor, however, declined to speak further on the findings since the report had not been released.

He also said he had expected that the government would have released the report, but expressed optimism that the government, being a continuum, would do so soon.

Mr Ejiofor pointed out that the issue of the abducted Chibok girls taken by members of the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014 from their school’s dormitory was a puzzle that the government must solve.

On why it has become so difficult to rescue the girls, he said: “We do not have sufficient intelligence on the whereabouts of the girls and this necessitated the Senate to invite the Security Chiefs”.

The former SSS official also said he was never against negotiations with the terrorists on the release of the girls.

“The problem we are actually facing is the issue of getting credible leadership from within the Boko Haram to negotiate with the Federal Government.

“I am not opposed to negotiation especially in the release of the girls because it is one issue that the government must solve.

“The worrisome aspect of it is that since these girls were taken two years ago, several rescues have been made but we have not found one of the girls among those rescued,” Mr Ejiofor pointed out.

The UN had few days ago said in a report that the number of young girls being used as suicide bombers by Boko Haram had increased.

But Mr Ejiofor believes that the girls being used for the suicide bombing were not the Chibok girls.

“The age range of the girls being used are between nine and 12. The girls that were taken, none of them will be less than 19, going by the fact that they were taking their final exams in secondary school,” he stressed.

The former SSS boss also urged the Nigerian government to re-introduce the National Information Centre for coordination of information given to the media on security issues facing the nation.

“The previous administration established the National Information Centre where all services were represented and information is co-ordinated.

“The establishment should be reintroduced to ensure that the government speaks with one voice,” the former SSS Director stated.

 

 

 

Buhari Appoints Musa Daura As New Director-General of SSS

SSSPresident Muhamadu Buhari has appointed Lawal Musa Daura as the new Director-General Department of State Security Service (SSS).

The appointment was conveyed today in a letter by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Barrister Danladi Kifasi.

Lawal Musa Daura was born in Daura on the 5th of August, 1953. He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1977 – 1980.

He started his career in the State Security Service (SSS) in 1982 and rose to the rank of Director.

He was at one time the Deputy Director Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre at the Presidential Villa Abuja between 2003 and 2007.

He also served as the State Director of Security Service at various times in Kano, Sokoto, Edo, Lagos, Osun and Imo States.

He attended various professional courses both home and abroad including the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS) Kuru.

The appointment is with immediate effect.

Data Centre Raid : APC Challenges DSS To Publish Findings

Data centreThe All Progressives Congress (APC) is telling the Department of State Security Service, DSS, to make public the outcome of its investigations after the alleged raid by the security service on the facility the party claims it uses as a data centre.

The APC on Tuesday said that the DSS should be ready to apologise to Nigerians if the outcome of its investigations does not lead to the claimed cloning of Permanent Voter Cards which were said to be the business carried out at the data centre in Lagos.

The party, in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, said “Any further delay in telling Nigerians the outcome of the investigations, after almost 10 days, could mean that the DSS is trying to manufacture evidence to support its faulty intelligence.”

Meanwhile, the DSS, in a swift response says, “After concluding its investigation, given the scale and magnitude of what has been discovered that would shock Nigerians, we will accordingly inform Nigerians and the world of our findings and the law will take its course.”

In the meantime, the APC has gone to court to seek redress since last week’s purported raid on its office in Lagos.

Ali Modu Sheriff Denies Sponsoring Boko Haram

Boko HaramFormer Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has denied sponsoring the Boko Haram sect and threatened to sue the Australian negotiator, Mr Stephen Davis, who was reported to have linked him to the Boko Haram sect.

Senator Sheriff, at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the fact that one of his commissioners was identified as a Boko Haram member doesn’t make him one.

He went on to say that he had no association with any terrorists anywhere and denies ever meeting the Boko Haram group.

“I cannot be a sponsor of a group I have not met before. Today, there are 10,000 members of Boko Haram terrorising our people. All my actions as governor was to guide my people right.

“I don’t have foot soldiers, as they alleged. The allegation that some foot soldiers who turned against me became Boko Haram is not true. I am prepared to face any panel in the world to clear my name of Boko Haram,” he said.

He, however, cleared the air about his recent invitation to the office of the Department of State Security Service and that it has nothing to do with the Boko Haram sect.

Security Council Warns Against Registration Of Nigerians

The Security Council has warned states that engage in the registration of non-indigenes of their states  to desist forthwith or face the consequences.

The warning was handed down by the Director-General of the State Security Service, Mr Ekpenyong Ita, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abukabakar, who addressed reporters at the end of the Security Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Security Council meeting had in attendance, all the service chiefs, the Ministers of Defence, Police Affairs, Interior, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the SSS.

The meeting started about 10.00 in the morning and lasted till 1.00pm when they addressed the press. Other issues discussed include the war against insurgency in the northern part of the country.

According to the Federal Government, the location of the Chibok girls has been well known but the security agencies were being careful in their approach to avoid having casualties among the abducted girls.