Matawalle Seeks Tougher Punishment For Human Traffickers, Others

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has called for more stringent measures against all those involved in any form of human trafficking and gender-based violence in the country.

He made the call on Thursday while delivering a message at an event held at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

At the event organised to commemorate this year’s ‘World Day against Trafficking in People’, the governor proposed that such measures should also handle all those colluding with others to commit the act.

He stressed the importance to ensure that such persons or groups were made to face the full wrath of the law.

Governor Matawalle, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Bala Umar Tsafe, described this year’s topic – Victims’ Voices Lead the Way – as apt, saying it would certainly put the victims of human trafficking at the centre of the campaign.

According to him, it will also highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking and provide a better approach and response against the menace which is like the return of slavery in the age that has recorded the highest pinnacle of development in all spheres of human existence

The governor hinted that his administration has noticed an upsurge in gender-based violence-related issues in Zamfara State.

He explained that the state government set up a high-powered committee led by the first lady in Zamfara with a view to ensuring all policies and programmes would involve women and children, in order to achieve an equal society that would provide a veritable platform for development.

Governor Matawalle commended the organisers and stakeholders at the event for packaging the programme with the hope that all participants would genuinely engage one another towards coming up with a roadmap that would finally nip the act of trafficking in persons and other related issues in the bud.

Impeachment: Zamfara Deputy Gov Asks State Assembly To Respect Court Order

Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu.

 

Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu, has asked the State House of Assembly to obey the court order which restrained the parliament from impeaching him.

The House had earlier invited the deputy governor to appear before it in person on July 27, a move the deputy governor did not honour.

Similarly on Tuesday, the parliament issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the deputy governor appear before it over allegations of official misconduct levelled against him.

The invitation is unconnected with a recently conducted political rally on July 10, amid banditry attacks on Maradun communities within the same period under review.

But addressing reporters in Gusau on Thursday, Aliyu raised an alarm that despite the court order, the lawmakers went ahead by scheduling sitting to proceed with impeachment proceedings, thereby disobeying the directive of the court.

He said he is constrained to draw the attention of the public to what he described as an ugly situation, hoping that well-meaning citizens will call the state lawmakers to order and help them appreciate the need to obey subsisting court order.

“You will recall that the Federal High Court has granted an order directing the maintenance of the status quo ante bellum by the Court on the 19th day of July 2021. The Court Order was served on the Chief Judge of Zamfara State, Zamfara State House of Assembly, and the Governor of Zamfara State,” he said.

“Notwithstanding the service of the said Court Order, Mr Emmanuel C. Ukala SAN and Distinguished Life Bencher wrote a letter to the Honourable Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly drawing the attention of the Speaker and the House of Assembly to the Court Order and the Suit no.  FHC/ABJ/CS/650/2021: PDP vs. INEC & 5 Others challenging the vires of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, as presently constituted, to commence impeachment or any other proceedings against the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, elected on the platform of the PDP.

“Despite the foregoing state of affairs, the Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly and the House of Assembly have now embarked on steps and actions, to over-reach the pending suit, disobey the order of the court and render the effect of the suit nugatory by scheduling a sitting to proceed with impeachment proceedings on Thursday 29th July 2021 (today) against i the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State.

“I am of the honest view that action will be improper, indecorous, in appropriate and unlawful as it constitutes disobedience to court order and will be tantamount to a flagrant breach of the law as enunciated in a host of Supreme Court Cases such as the Supreme Court cases of Vaswani v Savallakh [1972] (PART 2) ALL NLR 438 and Ojukwu v Governor of Lagos State [1983] 2 NWLR (PART 10) 106 and Mohammed v. Olawunmi [1993] 4 NWLR (PART 287) 254.

“These cases have laid down the principle which has become time honoured and a settled law beyond peradventure that where there is pending application pursuant to an appeal before a court, no action aimed at or capable of foisting on the court a fait accompli and render it decision nugatory should be taken or entertain.

“In fact, the parties should not engage itself in speculation by concluding or assuming that the application before the Court will fail because an action before a court is the civilised way of enforcement and maintenance of legal rights and a person that take that course of action should not be silenced or forced to abandon or renounce his right to complain.

“I am constrained to draw the attention of the public this ugly situation in the matter in the hope that well-meaning citizens and people of goodwill will call the House of Assembly of Zamfara State to order and impress upon them the need to obey the subsisting order of the court and respect the judicial process to exercise restraint and await the outcome.”

Alleged Misconduct: Zamfara Deputy Governor Ignores State Assembly’s Invitation

Zamfara State Deputy Governor Mahdi Gusau addressing the press on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

 

Zamfara state Deputy Governor Mahdi Aliyu has shunned the invitation by the state House of Assembly over alleged official misconduct leveled against him.

The Deputy Governor is expected to appear before the House to explain the reasons behind organising a political rally on his return to the state Capital after over 50 people were killed by bandits at Faru community in Maradun local government area of the state.

The House had on Wednesday 14th July 2021 invited the Deputy governor to appear before it in person on the 27th of July.

The lawmakers had also summoned the state commissioner of Police Hussaini Rabi’u to furnish the House on why the police allowed the state Deputy Governor to hold the rally.

The Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau has not replied the House since he was served the Invitation.

A press statement signed by the Spokesperson of the House Mustapha Jafaru Kaura says the Zamfara state House of Assembly has extended the invitation with 48hours to 29th July to enable the Deputy Governor to appear before it.

Zamfara Assembly Gives Deputy Governor 48 Hr-Ultimatum To Appear Over Misconduct

Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Nasiru Magarya, during plenary in Gusau on July 27, 2021.

 

The Zamfara State House of Assembly has given the Deputy Governor, Barrister Aliyu Gusau, a 48-hour ultimatum to appear before it over allegations of official misconduct levelled against him.

He is to appear before the House over a political rally conducted on July 10, amid banditry attacks on Maradun communities within the same period under review.

This is coming barely a month after the deputy governor refused to join the All Progressive Congress (APC) with Governor Bello Matawalle who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on June 29.

Following his refusal to defect to the APC, Matawalle warned that he will not tolerate a disrespectful attitude from Gusau.

The Federal High Court, Abuja on July 19 restrained the Zamfara House of Assembly and the Chief Judge of the state from taking steps to impeach him.

Tuesday’s extension followed a motion moved by the Deputy Leader, Nasiru Bello Bungudu to explain why he held a political rally in the recent wake of killings in the state.

The deputy leader moved the motion under matters of personal explanation and prayers of the House and seconded by Hon Shafi’u Dama Wanke representing Gusau II constituency.

READ ALSO: Zamfara House Of Assembly Summons Deputy Governor Mahdi Aliyu

In his prayers, the Deputy Leader drew the attention of Speaker and his colleagues on the House resolution of July 14 where the House resolved to invite the Deputy Governor to appear in person.

He also wondered why the Commissioner of Police, Hussaini Rabi’u will permit the Deputy governor to hold a political rally at that unfortunate period when the state was mourning the death of over 56 innocent people at Faru community in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

“Hon Nasiru Bungudu further opined that since the Deputy governor was fully and officially communicated with the House summon to appear today and no response was heard either from him or his office, there is the compelling need for the House to still respect the exalted office of the Deputy Governor and give him additional timeframe of 48 hours that’s Thursday 29th July 2021 for him to respond,” a statement by the House spokesman, Mustapha Jafaru partly read.

“After careful observation of the request by the House Deputy leader, the speaker Nasiru Mu’azu Magarya referred to his colleagues on whether they agreed to extend 48 hours ultimatum to the Deputy Governor to appear before the House? The members unanimously agreed through voice votes.”

Troops Arrest 19 Bandits’ Collaborators In Zamfara

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have arrested 19 suspected bandits’collaborators in Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

They were arrested in connection with the banditry and kidnapping in the area.

Confirming the arrest to Channels Television, a resident of the area, Mallam Nuhu Dansadau said the arrest came as a surprise because most of the suspects are very well known persons in the community.

He noted that the residents of Dansadau are happy over the arrest, “we are very much happy and surprised because some of the them are well known, you will see quiet, gentle and unexpected person”

He added that “some of them are arrested because they will tell bandits to kidnap and kill their brothers”

Dansadau said the bandits leader in the area has contacted the community head of area, querying him of why they are arresting some people in the community.

He said since the arrest was made, the bandits have laid siege surround the community, trying to attack them and the residents can no longer sleep with their eyes closed.

Bandits Invade Zamfara Community, Kill 3 Persons, Abduct 7

 

Bandits have again attacked the Dansadau community within Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing 3 persons and abducting 7 others.

A source in the community told Channels TV that the armed bandits attacked the community around 2:30am and the siege lasted for about 4 hours, ending in the early hours of Friday morning.

He also confirmed that armoured personnel carrier belonging to the Nigerian military was also set ablaze by the bandits.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Five In Attack On Nasarawa Community

This attack is coming barely a few days after 100 kidnapped victims from Manawa village under the Dansadau district were released by the marauders, and barely a week after a military Alpha jet was shot down by gunmen in the state.

As of the time of filing this report, the state police command was yet to confirm the latest attack, though the public relations officer promised to get back to our correspondent with more information.

Dansadau community is about ninety-nine kilometers from Gusau the Zamfara State capital and is one of the hottest zones in terms of banditry, kidnappings, and other related crimes in the state.

100 Kidnapped Victims Rescued In Zamfara After 42 Days In Captivity

The police command in Zamfara State says security operatives have rescued 100 abducted persons from bandits at Kabaro forest.

The victims, mostly women, and children were kidnapped on June 8 by bandits and taken to Kabaro village in Maru Local Government Area of the state.

Police spokesperson, Muhammad Shehu, disclosed this in a statement in Gusau, the state capital, on Tuesday.

Shehu said the rescue was done in collaboration with the state ministry of security and home affairs, adding that the victims had spent 42 days with the abductors before they were rescued.

He added that all the victims were from Manawa village of Maru Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, the victims were released unconditionally, adding that no ransom was paid before their release.

Shehu who presented 80 rescued victims before the journalists maintained that, the remaining 20 are in the hospital receiving treatment.

“The Zamfara state police in collaboration with the state ministry for security and home affairs have successfully secured the unconditional release of one hundred kidnapped victims who were abducted from Manawa village of Mutunji district in Dansadau Emirate of Maru local government area of the State.

“It could be recalled that on 8th June 2021, some recalcitrant bandits stormed Manawa village, and abducted 100 villagers, including nursing mothers, males, and children.

“The victims, who were in the custody of their abductors for 42 days, were released without giving any financial or material gain and they will be medically checked and debriefed before being reunited with their respective families,” Shehu said.

The Commissioner of Police, Hussaini Rabiu, warned the recalcitrant bandits to renounce criminalities and embrace peace or face the full wrath of the law.

The Special Adviser to Governor Matawalle on Security Matters, Mamman Tsafe explained that the state government would continue to use both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches in ensuring dealing with banditry issues.

He said the state government will continue to dialogue with the bandits and will also use force in dealing with recalcitrant bandits.

Bandits Release Over 70 Abducted Women In Zamfara

Over 70 women abducted by bandits in Malele community, Zamfara have been released.

Although the reason for the release of the victims is still unknown, local residents confirmed to Channels Television that the women were released by the bandits.

They were earlier abducted on June 7, 2021, in the community under Dansadau district of Maru Local Government Area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Mohammed Shehu confirmed the release. He added that the victims are on their way to the state capital.

He said the command will give more details to journalists on the development.

Eid-El Kabir: Police Deploy 2200 Operatives To Provide Adequate Security In Zamfara

 

In view of the forthcoming Eid-El-Kabir Sallah celebrations slated from 20th and the 21st July 2021, the Zamfara State Police Command has deployed 2200 operatives to ensure guarantee safety and security of lives and properties in the state. 

The State Police Commissioner, CP Hussaini Rabiu made the arrangement that is aimed at catering to the security needs of the 14 Local Government Areas in Zamfara, stated a communique on Monday.

“The strategy is aimed at securing vulnerable places such as Eid Praying grounds, recreational centres, major highways, government and private infrastructures against any security threats.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill 13 Police Officers In Zamfara

“This critical assignment will be executed in Collaboration with other Security Agencies and other critical stakeholders, all in a bid to ensure that, the celebration is peaceful and hitch-free,” the statement partly reads.

Personnel who are involved in this special assignment are under the strict instruction of the Commissioner of Police to be civil but firm in the discharge of their duties.

However, the Command warned parents and guardians to control their children against involvement in any act capable of undermining the peace of the state. Any person or group arrested in violation of law and order will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The Commissioner Police facilitated with Muslim faithful and other citizens in the state as they celebrate Eid-el Kabir and enjoins them to co-operate with the police and other security agencies in an effort to ensure peaceful celebrations.

Residents in Zamfara are expected to report suspicious persons and objects to the nearest police station or call the following phone numbers, 08034537596, 08035318484, 08033422152, 08039655054, 09064296391.

Court Halts Impeachment of Zamfara Deputy Governor

Zamfara State Deputy Governor Mahdi Gusau addressing the press on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

 

Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday restrained the Zamfara State House of Assembly, the Chief Judge, and others from effecting the impeachment of the state’s Deputy Governor, Mahdi Gusau.

The judge gave the order while ruling in an ex-parte motion brought by the Peoples Democratic Party.

Zamfara politics was plunged into the national limelight recently after Governor Bello Matawalle defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress.

The PDP has dragged the Governor to court over the transfer of its mandate to the APC.

However, Deputy Governor Gusau decided not to join his boss in defecting to the APC.

In Monday’s ruling, Justice Egwuatu also stopped the Zamfara State House of Assembly from impeaching its other members who are still in the PDP.

The Zamfara State House of Assembly had, earlier this month, asked Deputy Governor Gusau to appear before its members on July 27 over a political rally he (Gusau) organised in the state.

Bandits Abduct 45 Persons In Zamfara Communities

A map of Zamfara in north-west Nigeria.

 

Bandits have reportedly abducted about 45 persons in Zamfara communities

The affected communities are Badarawa, Maberaya, Kware and Kurya, all under Shinkafi local government area of the state.

The communities were thrown into despair after a one-day ultimatum given to them by a notorious bandit leader, Turji, to vacate their homes.

According to a source who confirmed the development to Channels Television, the Bandit leader gave the ultimatum over the arrest of his father by a rival bandit group in Kano.

According to him, his father was arrested over cattle the bandit son rustled from another group.

The ultimatum expired on Friday when the attack occurred.

When contacted for confirmation, police spokesman in the state Mohammed Shehu said the command was preparing to issue a press statement concerning the development.

Abducted Zamfara College Provost Regains Freedom

A map of Zamfara in North-West Nigeria.

 

 

The abducted provost of College of Agriculture and Animal Science Bakura, Mr Habibu Mainasara, has regained his freedom.

Mr Mainasara’s elder brother, Nasiru Mainasara, told Channels TV that he was freed on Wednesday night, three days after bandits abducted him from his official residence in the institution.

Details about his release remain sketchy and his brother did not disclose whether a ransom was paid.

On Monday, a day after he was taken, the bandits demanded a ransom of N5 million from his family with negotiations commencing for his release.

His brother, however, said prominent members of the community told the family to stop the negotiation and assured them that he will be rescued safely.

Following his abduction, the Police Command in the state deployed a search and rescue team in the area to hunt down the bandits and ensure his safe return.

Spokesperson of the Command Mohammed Shehu, however, said on Monday that the command was not aware of any negotiation between the family and the abductors.

Rampaging bandits

Zamfara is among states in the North battling to halt the activities of rampaging bandits that have engaged in killings abductions and other crimes.

Only last week, bandits killed 35 persons during an attack on five communities of Faru District in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

The communities – Gudan-Baushi, Gidan-Adamu,Gudan-Maidawa, Tsauni, and Wari – were attacked by motorcycle-riding bandits in the late hours of Thursday,  July 8.

They stormed the village with their guns blazing, murdering many of the villagers as they tried to flee to safety before going on to destroy properties.

The state of the roads leading to the village contributed to the casualty suffered as the police could not reach it easily, according to the Zamfara Command’s spokesperson.

“The police personnel tried their best to reach the affected communities on receiving the information that the bandits were there but unfortunately they could not reach the places because of the bad roads,” Mohammed Shehu said.

While the attack on the communities is one of the most deadly in recent weeks in terms of killings, the abduction of 317 females students from a government school in February is one of the most brazen cases of abductions in the country.