FG Files Amended Terrorism Charge Against Nnamdi Kanu

A file photo of Nnamdi Kanu.

 

The Federal Government has filed an amended seven-count against the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The amended charge which was filed by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Monday, borders on treasonable felony and the alleged involvement of Kanu in acts of terrorism.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Anambra North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Uba, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

In the motion of notice dated October 15, the lawmaker is seeking an order to be allowed to visit Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

He prayed for an order granting him leave to visit the detained IPOB leader, as part of his legislative oversight function and to ascertain his alleged involvement in the unrest in the South East as being alleged.

In an affidavit personally deposed to by Senator Uba, the lawmaker stated that there has been serious agitation aimed at pressing home his release and this has degenerated into a proclamation of sit-at-home orders in the region, a situation which he said was crippling the economy of the South East.

At the DSS detention facility, he was refused access to the defendant and directed to approach the court to obtain permission before he could be allowed to see Kanu.

Kanu was first arrested in 2015 on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.

He was initially detained and arraigned in court, but he fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons.

The embattled IPOB leader was later sighted in Israel, but he was intercepted on June 27 and repatriated to Nigeria to face the charges for which he was arrested – about four years since he jumped bail.

His repatriation followed an operation conducted by Nigerian security operatives in collaboration with international partners.

On July 26, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja adjourned the trial of Kanu until October 21 after the DSS failed to produce him in court.

She faulted the action of the security outfit and asked the prosecution to be diligent with dates whenever she gives one, stressing that it was important for Kanu to be present at his trial.

The judge had also made an order for regimented access to the defendant but declined the proposal of Kanu’s counsel that he should be transferred to a correctional centre.

U.S. To Collaborate With Nigeria To Fight Terrorism

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor, Jon Finer, brief reporters at the end of the meeting held in Abuja on October 18, 2021.

 

The United States Government is not only fighting terrorism within its territory but also extending a helping hand to Nigeria in a new move to address global terrorism.

As part of measures to tackle the menace, the US Deputy National Security Advisor, Jon Finer, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday in Abuja where modalities for collaboration between both countries were discussed.

Although there are plans for other areas of collaboration, tackling terrorism is a common priority for both countries.

According to the US official, the Joe Biden administration underscores the importance of mutual collaboration in areas of climate change, COVID-19, as well as tackling insurgency in the country.

“It is important and consequential for close relationship for the United States and I want to start by underscoring that,” said Finer.

“It is at the centre of so many of us, strategic priorities from getting our arms around the global pandemic to climate change to democracy agenda.”

On his part, Onyeama said the Nigerian government had a fruitful engagement – that bordered on cooperation on the coronavirus disease – with the United States.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Immigration To Release Peter Odili’s Passport

He praised the US for providing over 3.5 million Pfizer vaccines delivered to complement the Nigerian government’s response in tackling the pandemic.

A file photo of three armed men.

 

Nigeria has been battling terrorism for more than a decade now, with Boko Hara and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) emerging as the dominant forces in the conflict.

Since May when Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau killed himself to avoid capture by jihadist rivals, ISWAP has been consolidating in areas it controls in the North East.

The group split from Boko Haram in 2016 and rose to become the dominant jihadist group, focusing on attacking military bases and ambushing troops.

Thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the region as a result of the conflict which began in 2009, and the violence has spread over the borders to Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.

Banditry, Terrorism Will End Very Soon In Nigeria, Says Adeboye

RCCG General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye
A file photo of RCCG General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. Credit: Pastor Adeboye/Twitter

 

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye is confident that Nigeria’s security challenges will end soon. 

Pastor Adeboye said this in his monthly first Sunday telecast streamed on the church’s social media platforms. 

Very soon, all the acts of terrorism, all the acts of banditry, all kinds of evil actions will come to end,” the revered cleric noted, citing the book of 1 Samuel 17. 

The preacher who captioned his sermon, “Divine Involvement”, admitted that though Nigeria is facing challenges in some areas, with divine intervention, the situation will change. 

“When God is involved with a nation, He can solve a national crisis overnight,” Pastor Adeboye added while pinning his assertion on Exodus 14 verses 1-31.

“When God speaks, it is done. When He sends a word of prophecy, you can be sure that as soon it is gone out, it is settled,” Pastor Adeboye further noted. 

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Aside from security issues, the cleric also attributed the reduced impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country to God’s help. 

According to him, while several individuals and international bodies had predicted doom for Africa, especially Nigeria, the nation was spared. 

“One very great scientist and I were discussing not very long ago and he said, ‘The fact of what had happened [COVID-19] with Nigeria showed that there must be something here that is not anywhere else’,” he added. 

“When the Lord is involved in the affairs of a nation, He will protect the people from the pandemic,” said the 79-year-old.

We Have Identified Terrorism Financiers In Nigeria – Malami

 

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), says terrorism financiers in Nigeria have been identified. 

Although he did not mention those identified by the Federal Government, he gave an assurance that they would be prosecuted.

“As far as that aspect (of terrorism financing) is concerned, we have succeeded, one, in identifying those that are responsible for funding,” Malami told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He continued, “Two, blocking the leakages associated with the funding, and then, three, embarking on an aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.”

He added that the investigations and arrests were being carried out in line with the country’s laws, insisting that due process would be followed. 

“One thing I can tell you for sure is that whatever we do, in terms of detention and arrest, is indeed backed by judicial processes,” the minister said. 

“We have acquired and obtained legitimate court orders, taking into consideration the facts and material proof of evidence presented before the court on account of which the court eventually exercises its discretion in terms of granting orders that we can have the suspects in custody pending the conclusion of the investigation.”


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Terrorism: Nigeria Is Not Interested In Naming, Shaming Anybody – Presidency

No Naming, No Shaming

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo: Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, in an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

Malami’s comment comes amid calls for the Federal Government to name sponsors of terrorism in the country. 

But the Presidency had said the government was not interested in naming and shaming, but winning the war against the criminals.

“Naming and shaming will not be the motive, bringing malefactors to justice will be it,” the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, told Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday. 

“Nigeria is not interested in naming and shaming anybody. Rather, it wants to bring them to justice.

“You will see that the United Arab Emirates has given some names and the Attorney-General of the Federation has reacted to that matter, saying that in due course, all these people will have their dates in court. [Be] rest assured that these people will be dragged before justice and justice will have its way.”

Terrorism: Nigeria Is Not Interested In Naming, Shaming Anybody – Presidency

A photo of three armed men.

 

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says the Nigeria Government is not interested in naming and shaming sponsors of terrorism.

Adesina, who made the remark on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, stated that the government would rather prosecute financiers of insurgency in court.

“Naming and shaming will not be the motive, bringing malefactors to justice will be it,” he said. “Nigeria is not interested in naming and shaming anybody. Rather, it wants to bring them to justice.

“You will see that the United Arab Emirates has given some names and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) has reacted to that matter, saying that in due course, all these people will have their dates in court. Rest assured that these people will be dragged before justice and justice will have its way.”

Asked if the government investigates suspects before they are made to face trial, the President’s spokesman replied in the affirmative.

He explained that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and other security agencies were working to get verifiable evidence against the suspects before their arraignment in court.

 

“Investigations are going on at different levels; it will be at the level of the EFCC, it will be at the level of the NIA. All the security agencies will be working on it so that when those people eventually appear in court, there will be a prima facie case against them.

“You don’t first call people before the court and start looking for evidence against them later. No! The cases will be tied up before they appear in court,” Adesina stated.

His remarks come four months after the Federal Government said it had begun profiling for prosecution, well-placed Nigerians suspected to be financiers of terrorism in the country.

On May 7, the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, revealed that investigations conducted established reasonable evidence of the involvement of some highly placed individuals, businessmen, and institutions across Nigeria in financing insurgency in the North East.

Boko Haram Surrender: It Should Not Be Blanket Amnesty And Pampering – Ndume

 

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has reaffirmed his stand against blanket amnesty for repentant Boko Haram fighters.

A few days ago, the Nigerian Army released a statement, saying the recent offensive operations by troops of Operation Hadin Kai have led Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in the North-East to surrender en masse, a report which stirred various reactions as to what becomes of the ‘repentant’ terrorists.

Speaking on the development as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Senator Ndume noted that this did not come to him as a surprise. He is, however, of the opinion that more must be done to the insurgents other than the pat on the back which seems to be the norm at the moment.

“It didn’t come to me as a surprise actually, because I’ve been saying for a long time that the armed forces and other security agencies of the country are handicapped, otherwise, they have the capacity and the ability to prosecute this war.

“Now that what they need is given to them, you can see the results within this short time. And I’m expecting more.

“It is only that, as I have said before, there shouldn’t be blanket amnesty and pampering treatment to those who have surrendered,” the lawmaker said.

READ ALSO: More Boko Haram Members Surrender In Borno, Beg For Forgiveness

‘The First Step’

According to him, what needs to be done now is to ensure that the seemingly contrite insurgents are carefully profiled without any rush to have them return to their communities.

The legislator is of the opinion that the army should be more focused on ensuring that the Boko Haram war is brought to an end even faster than it has been predicted in various quarters.

Senator Ndume has consistently opposed amnesty for the terrorists who have murdered thousands of Nigerians and displaced millions in an insurgency that has lasted over a decade.

 

 

Ndume went on to state that as the war draws to a denouement, what the nation must begin to turn its attention to should be the resettlement of those who have been displaced over time.

For him, it is after the citizens who bore the brunt of this conflict have been satisfactorily resettled, that the nation can begin to talk about how to reintegrate those who have wreaked havoc on the nation and are now pleading for mercy.

“The first step after getting them is the resettlement of people, now that the war is getting to an end or is almost ending. Then, we talk about profiling, investigating, and interrogating those that have surrendered.”

The lawmaker expressed confidence in the new leadership of the armed forces, emphasising that the well-coordinated inter-agency cooperation between the country’s security agencies will yield favourable results for all.

“I think it is a welcome development and I have confidence that more is to be seen with the new leadership and the new cooperation,” he said. “Just as we have been criticising the armed forces, that they are not doing enough, now that they are doing enough, and there is hope, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is a need for Nigerians to come out to support the military by encouraging them, and commending them for what they have done.”

It Is Time To End Banditry, Terrorism – PDP Governors

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on the Federal Government to end the activities of bandits, terrorists, and kidnappers terrorising residents in parts of the country.

They made the call on Monday at the meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum held in Bauchi State, where they deliberated on the state of the nation and reviewed the state of the nation’s democracy, economy, and security.

“It is time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment. Traditional means of conflict resolution and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out.

“Kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism are not business ventures as claimed by APC but heinous state crimes, that is destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society,” said Sokoto State Governor and Chairman of the Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, who read the communique issued at the end of the meeting.

On the economy, the governors admonished the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government to collaborate more with state governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths.

They recommended that this could be achieved through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour.

The governors, however, asked the government to stop paying lip service on the Ease of Doing Business, saying foreign direct investments have continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies willing to invest in Nigeria.

“A glaring example is that of Facebook who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana, and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities,” Governor Tambuwal said.

The governors urged Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing registration of voters by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to arm themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to “rescue Nigeria from the APC maladministration”.

They also asked the youths and women to use the opportunity of the PDP e-registration exercise to register as members of the party, while existing members should update their membership electronically.

Terrorism: Threat To One Country Is Threat To Global Peace – Monguno

 

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), has stated that in order to deal decisively with the complex nature of terrorism and other transnational organized crimes, the international community must see the threat of terrorism to a particular country as a threat to global peace and security.

The NSA made this statement on Monday 28 June 2021, at the ongoing Second United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of members states, convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

General Monguno said terrorism has continued to manifest itself as a vicious and relentless global threat, recognizing no border, nationality, and all religions. He noted that terrorism has become a contemporary weapon of violence for non-state actors in this era of globalization.

“I can say with total conviction that apart from pandemics, natural disasters and the climate itself, today the greatest threat to the existence of human race is the global scourge of terrorism” the NSA stated.

READ ALSO: Court Gives DSS Permission To Remand Nnamdi Kanu

A file photo of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno
A file photo of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno

 

 

The NSA stated that preventing terrorist attacks, safe guiding borders, empowering national police, improving the criminal justice system, curbing illicit financial flows as well as hurting the abuse of drugs and hard substances remain extremely daunting challenges for most nations, including Nigeria in addressing the scourge of terrorism.

“The fallout of activities associated with jihadist and other forms of terror have collectively heightened insecurity in the greater part of the African continent with serious economic, social, and political implications for its people. In the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, the activities of Boko Haram terrorists and the so-called Islamic State West Africa Province with known affiliation to other international terror networks such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda have continued to undermine the security and livelihoods of the whole of the people, while at the same time overlapping into neighboring countries of the Lake Chad Basin”

It was disclosed that over a million persons have been internally displaced in the communities in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, while over seven million remain in need of humanitarians assistance in North-Eastern Nigeria.

The NSA noted that social media platforms have become instruments often leverage by terror groups to propagate their ideologies, recruit vulnerable youths, radicalize them and instill fear in the target community, as well as deflate the morale of defense and security forces. He noted that the terrorist groups’ approach is to portray the government as incapable of guaranteeing the protection and well-being of the population.

The NSA noted that the Nigerian Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to confront these challenges by setting up new structures and national institutions as well as empowering them. It states that the Federal Government has improved the coordination of humanitarian supports for Non-Government Organizations by creating the Ministry of Humanitarians Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.

It stated that in the recent past the President has approved the establishment of the National Commission of the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons as well as the National Commission for the Coordination of Cyber Security. It was equally pointed out that the Government was empowering the National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to trace the sources of funding of terrorist organizations.

General Monguno noted that the President’s funding commitment to the first regional organization for countering insecurity- the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), has continued to yield results, diffusing tensions and curbing the activities of Boko Haram and ISWAP within the fridges of the Lake Chad Basin.

The NSA expressed President Buhari’s commitment to working with all nations, not just those in the sub-region and the African continent but the entire international community. He stated that Nigeria committed to working within the confine of legitimacy and legality in dealing with the multiple problems of security in the country without hurting the sensibility of innocent people, as well as abiding by the international standards of human rights of the people.

Destruction Of Infrastructure Is Not Just Vandalism, It Is A Form Of Terrorism – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Monday said the destruction of public infrastructure and facilities is not just vandalism, it is a form of terrorism.

Lai Mohammed said this during the town hall meeting on the protection of public infrastructure organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Minister lamented that laudable efforts of the Federal government are being thwarted “by some unpatriotic citizens through wanton destruction of critical infrastructure.”

He said further that, “On another level is the incessant attacks on critical public facilities such as police stations and INEC offices. As a matter of fact, the destruction of public infrastructure and facilities is not just vandalism, it is a form of terrorism.

READ ALSO: FG Meets Envoys Of Top Diplomatic Missions Over Twitter Ban

“Removal of rail tracks can cause train derailment, with deadly consequences. Tampering with aviation infrastructure endangers the lives of air passengers. Attacks on police stations have left many police personnel dead. These are all acts of terror.”

Mr Mohammed explained that railway tracks are being subjected to wanton destruction, bridge railings are being removed, manhole covers are being pilfered, street lights and other power infrastructure, oil pipelines, telecoms facilities, and critical aviation infrastructure are being damaged or stolen – thereby endangering the lives of innocent citizens.

 

See The Full Statement Below…

SPEECH BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE,  LAI MOHAMMED, AT THE TOWN HALL MEETING ON PROTECTION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN ABUJA ON MONDAY, 7 JUNE 2021

PROTOCOL

I welcome all our distinguished invitees to this town hall meeting on the protection of public infrastructure. I thank you all for accepting our invitation, and I look forward to a robust interaction on this topical issue.

  1. Let me remind this gathering that the Ministry of Information and Culture launched the town hall meeting series in Lagos on April 25th, 2016 to provide a platform for the Federal Government to regularly give an account of its stewardship to the people and get their feedback, thus enhancing citizens’ participation in governance. This is the 19th edition.
  2. Today’s town hall meeting is both urgent and important because it touches on an issue that is at the very core of economic growth and national development, which is public infrastructure. When public infrastructure is being targeted for destruction by some unpatriotic Nigerians, it calls for great concern and immediate action, hence our decision to organize this town hall meeting.
  3. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria has long suffered a massive infrastructure deficit due to decades of neglect, population explosion, and the absence of maintenance culture. But since coming into office in 2015, the Muhammadu Buhari Administration has embarked on rapid economic growth with equity, i.e. people-centered economic management as well as prioritizing human capital development through enhanced social services and infrastructure development.
  4. This explains why the Federal Government deliberately adopted an inclusive development framework that spreads infrastructure to all sections of the country. Despite a drastic drop in revenues and competing priorities, especially that of tackling insecurity, the Administration has invested heavily in providing new infrastructure, in addition to reconstructing and rehabilitating existing ones.
  5. However, in recent times, such laudable efforts of the government are being thwarted by some unpatriotic citizens through wanton destruction of critical infrastructure, thereby depriving the greater citizenry – for whose benefits these projects and services are provided – from enjoying them.
  6. Railway tracks are being subjected to wanton destruction, bridge railings are being removed, manhole covers are being pilfered, street lights and other power infrastructure, oil pipelines, telecoms facilities, and critical aviation infrastructure are being damaged or stolen. Apart from endangering the lives of fellow innocent citizens, such unpatriotic acts take a toll on the government’s limited revenue, as it seeks to replace, rehabilitate or totally reconstruct such destroyed infrastructure.
  7. On another level is the incessant attacks on critical public facilities such as police stations and INEC offices. As a matter of fact, the destruction of public infrastructure and facilities is not just vandalism, it is a form of terrorism. Removal of rail tracks can cause train derailment, with deadly consequences. Tampering with aviation infrastructure endangers the lives of air passengers. Attacks on police stations have left many police personnel dead. These are all acts of terror.
  8. And this is why we have decided to organize a series of town hall meetings to address this incessant and worsening destruction of public infrastructure and facilities. In organizing these town hall meetings, our main objectives are to:

*  Create in the public mind that government property are indeed citizens’ property and so must be protected for the benefit of all.

*  Sensitize communities, especially those where infrastructure are located, to be conscious of the import of such and protect them

*   Expose, arrest and prosecute all those who engage in buying pilfered infrastructure items along with those who bring such to them to sell.

*   And sensitize the larger citizenry to support the widespread campaign on the protection and ownership of public infrastructure/assets, especially in the Railways, Roads, and Aviation sectors.

  1. Today’s town hall meeting will be the first of a 3-part series that will address the vandalism of public infrastructure across the country. A similar town hall meeting will hold in Calabar, Cross River State, to address pipeline vandalism while another one will be held in Maiduguri, Borno State, to address vandalism of power and telecommunication infrastructure.
  2. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me end by saying we should never forget this Administration’s massive investment in infrastructure since coming into office, despite the paucity of funds. It’s easy to forget now, but when this Administration came into office in 2015, the price of crude oil, which provides 80 per cent of Nigeria’s budgetary revenues and 95 percent of foreign exchange earnings, had dropped drastically and, along with it, the fund available to the government.
  3. It is therefore a monumental achievement that this Administration has, to a large extent, managed to bridge the deficit in infrastructure. As I always say, no government in the history of this country has done so much with so little! It is incumbent on us, therefore, to do everything within our power to stop the wanton destruction of public infrastructure and facilities.
  4. On this note, I want to once again thank all our invitees. This is wishing all of us a successful town hall meeting.

Insecurity: FG Has Capacity To Crush Terrorists, Bandits – Lai Mohammed

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of soldiers.

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Tuesday said the Federal Government has the capacity to crush Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the northeast and bandits in the north western parts of the country.

This comes as security forces grapple with the activities of terrorists and bandits who have killed thousands, displaces hundreds of thousands and abducted several people for ransom.

Mohammed who spoke during a press conference in Lagos said contrary to the beliefs that the Federal Government is overwhelmed and lacks capacity to tackle the security threats, President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to restoring law and order, peace and security in the country.

“I have read comments saying the Federal Government is overwhelmed and doesn’t have a clue as to how to tackle the challenges. Some have even gone as far as suggesting a truncation of the democratic order, a clearly treasonable stance,” he said.

While noting that the Federal Government “acknowledges the security challenges we face at this time, from terrorism to kidnaping, banditry and farmer-herder conflict, it is definitely not overwhelmed and indeed it has the wherewithal, as you will see in the days ahead, to confront the challenges headlong and restore law and order, peace and security.

READ ALSO: FG To Prosecute 400 Suspects For Funding Terrorism – Lai Mohammed

“One of the most difficult things to do, for a democratically elected government, is to use the instruments of coercion against its own people. For example, while the nation’s military have superior firepower over the rag tag band of Boko Haram and ISWA, the terrorists most often than not operate among the populace, either in our villages or towns, hence the military, in tackling them, is usually careful to avoid collateral damage.

“The same applies to the kidnappers who abduct our school children. Usually, the location of the kidnappers is not unknown to the security forces, but they still must exercise caution in order not to hurt the same children they are trying to rescue. Despite these inhibitions, the security forces have the wherewithal to decisively tackle the challenges.”

The Minister also reacted to attacks on security attacks in the country, describing assault on security operatives as a declaration of war against the country.

While condemning the attacks, the government’s spokesperson warned that such attacks will be countered with overwhelming force.

He added, “There is a growing dangerous trend which I will like to comment on. It is the practice of launching deadly attacks against the nation’s security personnel. Soldiers as well as police, customs, and other security agents have been killed and maimed in some parts of the country in this growing trend of targeting security forces.

“I want to say, unequivocally, that any attack on our security men and women is an attack on the state and a declaration of war against the nation. It follows, therefore, that this will be countered with overwhelming force.”

FG To Prosecute 400 Suspects For Funding Terrorism – Lai Mohammed

A file photo of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

 

The Federal Government is set to prosecute 400 suspects arrested for allegedly funding terrorism in the country.

This is according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who stated this on Tuesday during a press conference in Lagos.

He also reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in tackling the menace of insurgency, banditry and other security threats across the country.

“The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has announced that the Federal Government is set to prosecute 400 suspects arrested for allegedly funding terrorism,” he said.

“This is unprecedented and its a testament to the government’s determination to decisively tackle terrorism and other violent crimes.”

The Minister also appealed to Nigerians to support security agencies, who face the added task of having to watch their backs while working to protect others.

Mohammed also described attacks on security formations as a declaration of war against the country, condemning the assault on security operatives.

He added, “While the government continues with these efforts to restore peace and security continues, I want to appeal to all of us to play our part in lowering the palpable tension in the polity as a result of the security challenges. The first step is to tone down the rhetoric.

READ ALSO: Security Intervention: Southern Governors Meet In Asaba

“Now, there is a growing dangerous trend which I will like to comment on. It is the practice of launching deadly attacks against the nation’s security personnel. Soldiers as well as police, customs, and other security agents have been killed and maimed in some parts of the country in this growing trend of targeting security forces.

“I want to say, unequivocally, that any attack on our security men and women is an attack on the state and a declaration of war against the nation. It follows, therefore, that this will be countered with overwhelming force.”

Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.

The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.

The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.

On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.

Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.

FG Begins Profiling Of Nigerians Linked To Terrorism Financing

 

The Federal Government has begun profiling towards prosecution, well-placed Nigerians suspected of being financiers of terrorism in the country.

Briefing journalists on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami said the arrest of the suspects followed the recent convictions of some Nigerians on terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He said that investigations conducted have established reasonable evidence of the involvement of the highly placed individuals, businessmen and institutions across the country in financing the Boko Haram terrorists.

“As you will actually know, sometimes back there were certain convictions of Nigerians allegedly involved in terrorism financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” he said in reaction to the extent of prosecution.

“That gave rise to wider and far-reaching investigations in Nigeria and I’m happy to report that arising from the wider coverage investigation that has been conducted in Nigeria, a number of people, both institutional and otherwise, were found to be culpable.

“I mean a reasonable ground for suspicion of terrorism financing has been established or perhaps has been proven to be in existence in respect of the transactions of certain higher-profile individuals and businessmen across the country.”

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Upholds Deregistration Of 74 Political Parties

Although Malami declined to disclose names of the terrorist financiers nor the number of those found culpable, he simply stated that a large number of persons were involved, adding that he is not at liberty to disclose further, as investigations (which have reached an advanced stage) and profiling continue.

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

 

He added, “I’m happy to report that investigation has been ongoing for a long and it has reached an advanced stage.

“Arising from the investigation, there exists, certainly, reasonable grounds for suspicion that a lot of Nigerians, high-profile, institutional and otherwise, are involved in terrorism financing and they are being profiled for prosecution.

“In essence, it is indeed true that the government is prosecuting and it’s indeed initiating processes of prosecuting those high-profile individuals that are found to be financing terrorism. It is indeed true.”

“The message is clear: nobody is going to be spared, no stone will be left unturned. We shall certainly and aggressively pursue those people that are involved in terrorist financing as far as the Nigerian state is concerned,” he declared.

Nigeria has been grappling with series of security challenges ranging from Boko Haram terrorism in the northeast to banditry in the northwest, kidnapping for ransom in several parts of the country, ritual, agitations for secession among several others.

The country has been battling insurgency for over a decade with over 36,000 people killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the northeast.

As part of measures to rejig the entire security architecture, President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this year replaced his four top military commanders in a bid to better combat the insurgency that has also displaced more than two million people from their homes since 2009.

ISWAP split from mainstream Boko Haram in 2016 and became a dominant group, launching attacks on military bases and ambushing troops while abducting travellers at fake checkpoints.

Since 2019, the army has mostly withdrawn from villages and smaller bases into so-called “super camps”, fortified garrisons meant to give better protection against attacks.

But critics say the strategy has left jihadists with more freedom to roam untouched in rural areas and made highways vulnerable to kidnappings and assaults.