Lack Of Prosecution Fuels Sectarian Violence In Nigeria – Human Rights Watch

The lack of prosecution of perpetrators of sectarian clashes in Nigeria’s religiously mixed Middle Belt is fuelling the crime, the Human Rights Watch has said.

During the presentation of the report on Sectarian Violence in Nigeria, the group’s Nigerian Researcher, Mr Eric Guttschuss, told a press conference in Abuja that the police and the governments of Plateau and Kaduna States had failed to prosecute perpetrators of sectarian violence.

Mr Guttschuss pointed out that the police had failed to collect evidence properly and conduct proper investigations.

‘Leave Everything to God’

“Nigerian authorities have largely ignored the crises that have killed 3,000 people since 2010,” he said.

“Witnesses came forward to tell their stories, compiled lists of the dead, and identified the attackers, but in most cases nothing was done,” Africa director at Human Rights Watch, Daniel Bekele,  said, explaining how the report was generated .

“The authorities may have forgotten these killings, but communities haven’t. In the absence of justice, residents have resorted to violence to avenge their losses,” he said citing excerpts of a new 146-page report entitled ‘Leave Everything to God’.

‘Untrue And Unholistic’

Plateau State Police Commissioner, Chris Olagbe, rejected the findings  which also noted that a series of massacres and tit-for-tat sectarian attacks had gone largely unpunished as police overlooked witnesses or failed to collect evidence properly.

“That is totally untrue and unholistic,” he insisted.

“All the gunmen that have been arrested in Plateau have been taken to court,” Olagbe added, without giving details of any convictions.

Plateau state government’s spokesman, Yiljap Abraham, said Human Rights Watch had reported hearsay and its reports were “not objective or balanced”.

The Kaduna Police commissioner said that he would not comment until he had seen a copy of the report.

The report was based on interviews with 180 witnesses and victims in Kaduna and Plateau states, which lie in Nigeria’s volatile “Middle Belt”, where the largely Christian South meets the mostly Muslim North.


Women Group Protest At EFCC Headquarters

Women Protesters have stormed the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) in Abuja, demanding that the Commission should investigate the activities of some politicians in the country.

During the protest to the anti-graft agency, the women who came under the Widows Organisation International, alleged that politicians are using ill-gotten wealth to cause violence in the country.

Spokesperson for the group, Ms Patience Offoegbu said the group is concerned as the nation moves towards the 2015 general election.



We’ve Committed No Wrong To Deserve Amnesty – Boko Haram

The leader of extremist group, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau has claimed in a statement that his group had “not committed any wrong to deserve amnesty.”

“Surprisingly, the Nigerian government is talking about granting us amnesty. What wrong have we done? On the contrary, it is we that should grant you pardon,” he said, listing what he described as the state’s “atrocities” against Muslims.

The Hausa language audio recording was distributed by email in a manner consistent with previous Boko Haram messages, and the voice was similar to that of previous Shekau statements.

President Goodluck Jonathan last week formed a panel to look at the possibility of offering an amnesty deal to the Islamists, whose insurgency has left more than 3 000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the military Joint Task Force (JTF).

Some northern religious and political leaders have been urging President Jonathan to grant an amnesty to members of Boko Haram as they say the army’s response to the insurgency is not bringing peace.

In 2009, former President Umar Musa Yar Adua granted an amnesty to thousands of militants wreaking havoc in the oil-rich Niger Delta in the south.
The violence fell dramatically but there are worrying warnings of further unrest in the Delta, analysts say.

Asadu’s Murder: Police Say No Clue Yet

Almost 3 days after the murder of the Kwara state commissioner of police, Chinwike Asadu in Enugu, the police command says no arrests have been made yet.

The slain commissioner was killed on Saturday night by unknown gunmen in his car at Amorji Nike, near the densely populated Abakpa Nike area in Enugu East local government area within the state capital.

The Orderly of the Commissioner and driver escaped the attack but sustained gunshot wounds and they are reported to be in a critical state at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu.

The force public relations officer, Frank Mbah confirmed that investigations are ongoing, while echoing the inspector general’s position that the late Asadu’s killers have murdered sleep.

Three Boko Haram members killed in Damaturu

Three suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect have been killed in a gun battle with the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Damaturu the Yobe state capital.

The Yobe state commissioner of police Patrick Egbuniwe disclosed this on Sunday as an aftermath of the repeated gunshots and continuous bombings that rocked the Nyanya and the Obasanjo Housing estates on Friday in Damaturu running through the night

Mr Egnuniwe said the JTF on patrol around the estates suspected a hide out of the radical Islamic sect and in efforts to get closed to the site witnessed a severe resistance leading to exchange of gun battle which detonates several explosive devices in the hideout.

He said three of the suspects were killed while a woman was arrested in the hideout.

He also disclosed that one AK47 rifle and several round of ammunitions were recovered in the hide out.

The recent attack is happening just two days after the visit of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki to Yobe and Borno states.

JTF arrests suspected Boko Haram leader

Operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) arrested a man suspected to be a high-profile operational commander of the extremist group, Boko Haram, along with his wife and five children, during a raid at his residence in Farawa quarters, Kumbotso local Government area, Kano state.
The operation commander was identified by the JTF as Suleiman Mohammed, a Yoruba tribe member from Ogbomosho in Osun State, South West Nigeria.

Security sources said that the suspect and his entire family has been flown to Abuja for interrogation.

Sophisticated weapons were recovered during the raid, including a rifle, 10 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), three pistols, and 1,000 rounds of live ammunition.

No shots were fired during the raid.

The Kano Police Commissioner; Ibrahim Idris who confirmed the arrest told journalists that “details of the suspect were not for public consumption for now.”

The arrest of Mr. Mohammed coincided with the recovery of seven trucks of empty used soft drink cans from an uncompleted building in the Kano metropolis.

The Police Commissioner said that the cans were veritable components in making low calibre IED’s and enjoined the public to always endeavour to destroy such  cans to frustrate criminal elements from converting them into parts of making explosives.

Boko Haram, whose official name in Arabic translates as “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad,” is agitating for the enforcement of Islamic sharia law, at least in the Muslim areas of the north.

Recently, the islamic sect Boko Haram offered to open dialogue with President Goodluck Jonathan but gave little or no  room for compromise regarding its main mission.

Oshiomhole orders renaming of Anenih’s street after his slained aide

The Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole has renamed the Delta Crescent, where the house of the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tony Anenih is located in GRA Benin City, after his late Principal Private Secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde.

The late Principal Private Secretary to governor Adams Oshiomhole, Olaitan Oyerinde

The governor who made the pronouncement on Wednesday, during the Service of Songs for the late Oyerinde at Government House Benin City, said the deceased who was killed at his residence last week, fought against god fatherism, the entrenchment of democracy and good governance in Edo state, “therefore it is very proper we rename Delta Crescent where a lot of big men resides, after him”.

Mr. Oshiomhole said his former aide was killed 48 hours after he wrote a petition to the police.

“After we learnt of how the PDP was plotting how to rig the election and destabilize the state, I spoke to Olaitan to write a petition to the INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega, he was actually supposed to go with me to Abuja that day but he said we should go so that he will handle some things in Benin. Those cowards could not fight me during the day so they decided to go at night to kill Olaitan,” he said.

“They have left a young widow and four innocent children behind. I want us to continue to cry but we will not cry any more. If Olaitan was alive he expects us to fight on because he is a fighter. The only way we can immortalize him is to ensure that his dream of good governance and democracy comes to stay in Edo state. I am glad President Jonathan has called for serious investigation to the murder.

“We are hoping and praying that the police should find the killers. Nobody can kill with impunity any more. Those who killed Olaitan, God knows why but we know that God will not forgive them because what they did was wicked and unacceptable” Mr Oshiomhole said.

The late Oyerinde, who hails from Ede, Osun State, was killed in the early hours of last Friday by unknown gunmen in his Benin residence.

Police in Delta state arrests notorious kidnap gang

The Delta State Commissioner of Police command on Thursday paraded suspected members of a Kidnap gang who were accused to killing one Army and four police officers in the state.

The Delta state Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba told journalist that the leader of the gang shot and killed a member of his gang and shot another on the neck following disagreement over the formula for the sharing of their loot.

Mr Aduba said that the gang, which had been on the wanted list “killed an Army L/CPL Uman Asufa while escorting Petroleum Product Marketing Company, PPMC Manager at Abraka on March 24, this year as well as four Police Inspectors and rank and file in Warri and Abraka areas.”
The Commissioner said that one of the gang members escaped from Warri prison, recently.

“The gang was responsible for most high profile kidnapping in Warri and diligent efforts are on to track down the die-hard animalistic gang and their collaborators.”

Items recovered and displayed at the state Police headquarters in Asaba, included three AK 47 riles, $300, assorted jewellery carted away from the couple killed in their Warri Centre market jewellery shop on December 19, 2011, 19 different telephone handsets, 1, 416 rounds of live ammunition, among others.

Mr Aduba said “While Asaba and environs had been crime-free in the last weeks, Warri and environs have continued to record spates of kidnappings and armed robberies.”

Jonathan denies allegations that he masterminded Independence Day bombings

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday denied allegations brought against him by MEND leader, Henry Okah, that he and his aides masterminded two bombings in 2010 in order to implicate some leaders of Northern Nigeria.

The Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan condemns the on-going attempt by a segment of the military in Guinea- Bissau

Mr. Okah is the detained leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), blamed for the 2010 Independence Day bomb that killed at least 10 people with many more injured.

Mr. Okah’s allegations are contained in an affidavit he swore to in South Africa, where he is facing trial for his alleged involvement in terrorist acts against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jonathan has denied the allegation in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, describing the allegations as “false in their entirety and without any factual foundation.”

“As the case of Mr. Okah’s involvement in the plotting and execution of terrorist attacks in Nigeria is already before a court of competent jurisdiction in South Africa, the Presidency does not intend to say anymore on the matter for now and will, in accordance with due process and international law, make a full representation on the matter to the court when the trial opens,” the statement said.

Mr. Okah also stated in the affidavit that early in 2010, Diezani Allison-Madueke called him over 20 times to solicit his input into getting the portfolio of Petroleum Resources Minister, to which Mr. Jonathan subsequently appointed her.

In what seemed to be a reference to that point, the presidency advised the Nigerian media “to respect the sanctity of the legal and judicial processes in this matter and avoid becoming willing tools in the hands of Mr. Okah and his agents in an entirely diversionary trial by the media aimed only at falsely impugning the character and integrity of the President and officials of his administration.”

Oritsejafor gives final warning to government over Boko Haram

The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejafor has issued what he described as final warning to the Federal Government to employ all available resources like other nations have done to stop terrorism in the country.

The CAN president, who was speaking during a news conference in Abuja, said it is clear that the bombings by the Boko Haram sect is not as a result of poverty but based on religious ideologies used to intimidate and destroy many families.

“The questions we have always asked is that in the 51 years of existence of Nigeria as a nation, who are those that have governed this country most? Most of them are from a particular section of the North,” Mr. Oritsejafor said.

The CAN president further asked what these leaders from the North did with the resources at their disposal in reducing the poverty level in the North.

Mr Oritsejafor said that the church leadership is willing to partner with well-meaning Muslims to fight terrorism in Nigeria.
He warned that the church will no longer remain silent while Christians in the North are attacked.

“The Church leadership had hitherto put great restraint on the restive and aggrieved millions of Nigerians but can no longer guarantee such cooperation if this trend of terror is not halted immediately,” the CAN president said.

No fewer than 20 people were killed while several others sustained various degrees of injury in last Sunday attack against worshippers at St Stephen Catholic Chaplain, Bayero University, Kano.

The multiple blasts were targeted at the early morning Christian worshippers at Theatre Two near Sport Complex, old Campus of the institution.

Attacks a national disgrace 

The Kaduna state Chapter of CAN described the Boko Haram onslaught against Christians in parts of the North as a national disgrace, saying that the Federal Government must rise up to halt the carnage before it got out of hand.

In a statement signed by the Kaduna CAN Chairman, Samuel Kugiyat noted that the continued onslaught on Christians by the sect was a deliberate attempt to wipe out Christians from the region, adding that all political leaders from the region must act now.

According to the CAN leader, it was amazing that Christians in the Northern States were being sacrificed on the altar of the religious extremism of the Boko Haram sect, while their rights and privileges as Nigerians were also being deliberately eluded by authorities who claimed to be just and want peace in the region.

He argued that apart from the killings of Christians in the region, Christians in the predominantly Muslim Northern States were being short-changed as second class citizens of Nigeria.

Mr. Kujiyat said that the Sunday attacks and killings of Christians in Bayero University Kano and Maiduguri were a barbaric and heinous act of sheer deliberate wickedness and persecution of Christians in the core states of Northern Nigeria.

The CAN boss said: “Governments at all levels all over the country with their security agencies have the responsibility to protect all citizens, Christians, Muslims and the non religious.

“Therefore the entire onslaught and sheer killing of Christians with impunity by the Boko Haram is certainly a National disgrace that the federal Government must do all at its disposal to arrest before it consumes us all to which we say God forbid.

“Therefore it is our prayer that the Federal Government with its instrument and legality will arise and seize the opportunity to nip in the bud this ongoing cleansing of Christians in Northern States of Nigeria.”