Sunday, 19 November 2017
Items filtered by date: January 2017

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Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have recovered the body of Lt. Col  K Yusuf, the former Commanding Officer of 223 Tank Battalion and 15 soldiers who were declared missing.

The bodies  were recovered  after troops conducted clearance operations and dislodging of some Boko Haram elements at Asaga village along Kamadugou river line in Borno State.

 The late Lt Col. Yusuf and his soldiers were declared missing in action on October 16, 2016 after Boko Haram fighters dislodged them from their station in Gashiga.

The Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole , Major General Lucky Iraboh, who announced this yesterday during a review of the operations under his command, said the fallen soldiers were buried at the Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery “with full military honours.”

Maj. Gen Irabor said the troops successfully conducted several clearance operations and arrested 963 civilians as Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) suspects while two Boko Haram members surrendered to the troops during the operations conducted between January 4-11.

 Gen. Iraboh said following reports of an attempt by Boko Haram members to regroup, troops embarked on clearance operation and clashed with Boko Haram at Wulge village. In the fire fight that ensued ,11 Boko Haram members were killed while nine others were arrested .

Also, six Boko Haram members were killed while two soldiers were injured in a clearance operation on January 8, 2017. The operation involved troops and the Civilian Joint Task Force in Dogon Chuku towards Tumbun Rago.

The theatre commander said: “ On 8 Jan 17 at 0830hrs, own troops conducted clearance operation in MANAWASI and GAREL villages. The troops encountered BHT at BULAKESA village. The troops successfully cleared the BHT with support from Air Component and dominated the village.

“Sadly, an officer and four soldiers were killed in action while three other soldiers were wounded. A total   of 50 BHT were killed in action while 3 AK47 rifles and several weapons and grenade were recovered from the BHT. Also, 9 BHT adults and 18 minors were arrested during the operation,” he said.

 Gen. Iraboh said on January 3rd, four women and 13 children were apprehended by vigilantes at BUNI YADI and were later handed over to troops. He said preliminary investigation revealed that the women were wives of BHTs who fled from Sambisa Forest as a result of the operations.

 The theatre Commander said:  “On 4 Jan 17 at about 1300hrs, own troops at KATARKO while on patrol along GUJBA-NANAMAJI road arrested four BHT suspects fleeing TALALA. Their names are Babagana Mohammedu from HONG in MICHIKA LGA, Usman Usman from FUNTUA Katsitna State,  Murtala Dan-azimi from KOFAR GOMBE Bauchi State and Sanusi Dahiru from SAKWAYA in Jigawa State. Arrested suspects are in own custody undergoing further interrogation.

“On January 5,2017 own troops and CJTF arrested four BHT suspects at SHUWARI village ahead of own checkpoint following a tip off that there were some BHT amirs lurking around. The suspects are Modu Auwami, Mamye Modu, Usman Kachanawa and Mallum Maji. During preliminary investigation, some local witnesses identified Modo Auwami as the one who used to provide medical treatment to injured BHT and had been seen wielding AK47 rifle on several occasions. The other 3 suspects claimed they were abducted by the BHT but only spent few days in their camps. The suspects are all from DAGUMBA and GUMSHE in MAFA and DIKWA LGA respectively. The suspects are in custody undergoing further interrogation.

“On 8 Jan 17 at about 2317hrs, following a tip-off a suspected BHT member one Abubakar Babagana Tijani (also known as Mafiyo) was arrested at GONGE area of MAIDUGURI. The suspect is believed to be among those at the top hierarchy of the BHT sect as he is especially known for his cross border activities. He has been to Chad, Cameroun and Republic of Niger at various times. The suspect has been undergoing interrogation.

“On 6 Jan 16 at about 2120hrs, own troops deployed at BUNI YADI arrested 2 men who were wandering forward of own troops location. On challenge, one of them identified himself as an ex-soldier. Troops arrested them and preliminary investigation revealed that the ex-soldier was dismissed from the military in Jan 16 at NASI while the other suspect was his friend. The suspects are undergoing interrogation. “

General Iraboh explained that a total of 119 Nigerian refugees were handed over to Nigerian troops at Banki by the Cameroonian forces. They were made up of 20 male adults, 25 female adults and 74 children. They were screened and moved to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

 He said the troops had reconstructed many bridges. “ I am hopeful that my earlier call to well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies for equipment support for construction and rebuilding of infrastructure will be fruitful,” the military chief said.

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The Nigerian Army and popular online medium, Premium Times, are currently engaged in a war of words over reports published by the latter on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and operations of the army in the Northeast. 

Both have threatened to drag each other to court if the needful was not done.

In a letter sent to Premium Times on 9th January and signed by I.M. Alkali on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, the Army accused the medium of false, libelous and unauthorised reports on Buratai and the military operations against Boko Haram in the Northeast.

Part of the letter read: ”The Nigerian Army has observed with dismay the unwarranted serial provocative, unauthorised, libelous and defamatory publications against the person of Lieutenant General T.Y Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army and Nigerian Army counter insurgency operations in the North East by your online newspaper, The Premium Times. The latest in series of offensive publications was written by Evelyn Okakwu on 12 December, 2016 alleging that the Chief of Army Staff in the person of Lieutenant General T.Y, Buratai was to appear before the Code Conduct of Bureau over false asset declaration. Other similarly false, publications include the one captioned: “Exclusive: 83 Nigerian Soldiers still missing days after Boko Haram attack” written by Samuel Ogundipe on 21 October, 2016. As if that is not enough, on 19 November, 2016, there was another false and unsubstantiated story published in your newspaper alleging that the Nigerian Army killed a pastor and labeled him a militant among numerous unprofessional publications.

”These stories published without reference to the Nigerian Army in order to have a balance, have without doubt exposed your deep hatred for the leadership of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Army as a service and the Nigerian nation for undisclosed reasons. It is submitted that your unprofessional one sided and unprovoked attacks on the Nigerian Army and its leadership, especially with regards to its operation in the Country have confirmed your unalloyed loyalty to the terrorist cause.”

The Army called on the medium to apologise to the Chief of Army Staff, the Nigerian Army and retract the reports in at least 3 national dailies and in online newspapers for 3 days consecutively from 29 -31 December, 2016, failure for which it will seek redress in the law court.

But in its response, the Premium Times through its lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, described the allegations against it and its publisher, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, as wild allegations, stressing that the constitution of Nigeria guaranteed freedom of expression for all Nigerians.

The medium demanded a withdrawal of the threats and allegations contained in the letter within seven days, failure for which it will institute legal action against the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria for enforcement of its fundamental human rights.

”You should know that your wild allegations against our clients implicate the invocation, against our clients, of Section 4 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, No. 10,2011, which prescribes a maximum prison term of 20 years for any person convicted of knowingly, in any manner, soliciting or rendering support for an act of terrorism or a proscribed terrorist organization, and the death penalty where death results from such solicitation or rendering of support. And you should also have realized that your allegations imputed, on the part of our clients, the commission of treasonable offences and aiding the enemy under our criminal law.

”In the circumstances, we hereby demand that you write a letter of withdrawal of these threats and allegations, to our clients, wherein you are to assure them of their safety and protection by the security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria, in particular, the Nigerian Army. The letter, to be addressed to Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Premium Times Services Limited must be received within seven (7) working days of delivery of this letter to you

”TAKE NOTICE that should you fail, refuse or neglect to write and deliver the above letter as demanded, our clients will not hesitate to institute a legal action against you, your principals, the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria, to enforce their fundamental rights under the Constitution.

Read the full statement issued by Premium Times below:

9th January, 2017

Major General I. M Alkali,
Headquarters,
Nigerian Army,
Ministry of Defence,
Area 7, Gark.i
PMB 239, Abuja, FCT.
E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Major-General I.M Alkali,

RE: REQUEST FOR THE RETRACTION OF THE UNAUTHORIZED FALSE LIBELOUS AND DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION BY PREMIUM TIMES AGAINST THE PERSON OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL T Y BURATAI THE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF AND WITHDRAWAL OF UNAUTHORIZED FALSE PUBLICATIONS ON NIGERIAN ARMY OPERATIONS.

We act as Solicitors to Premium Times Services Limited, owner and publisher of Premium Times, the leading online newspaper in Nigeria; Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Premium Times Services Limited; and the members of staff of Premium Times Services Limited, and journalists working with Premium Times, including Evelyn Okakwu and Samuel Ogundipe ( all, jointly hereinafter referred to as ” our clients” ) on whose behalf and instructions we write this letter.

Your Letter under reference, Reference No.AHQ DOAA/G1/300/200 of 22nd December 2016, addressed to Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Premium Times Services Limited has been passed to us. We have been fully briefed in respect of the grave and weighty allegations contained in the letter, and we hereby make the following representations on behalf of our clients.

1. The said letter was written for and on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, General T.Y Buratai, “the complainant”, whom we assume delegated the power to write the letter to you.

2. The said letter, which, for ease of reference, and for a proper appreciation of its purports, is hereunder reproduced in full, complains about the stories published in Premium Times. The letter states:

22nd December, 2016

AHQ DOAA/GI/300/200

Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi
The Editor -in- Chief/Managing Director
Premium Times Services Limited
53 Mambolo Street
Zone 2
Wuse
Abuja

REQUEST FOR THE RETRACTION OF THE UNAUTHORIZED FALSE LIBELOUS AND DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION BY PREMIUM TIMES AGAINST THE PERSON OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL TY BURATAI THE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF AND WITHDRAWAL OF UNAUTHORIZED FALSE PUBLICATIONS ON NIGERIAN ARMY OPERATIONS.

1. The Nigerian Army has observed with dismay the unwarranted serial provocative, unauthorised, libelous and defamatory publications against the person of Lieutenant General T.Y Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army and Nigerian Army counter insurgency operations in the North East by your online newspaper, The Premium Times. The latest in series of offensive publications was written by Evelyn Okakwu on 12 December, 2016 alleging that the Chief of Army Staff in the person of Lieutenant General T.Y, Buratai was to appear before the Code Conduct of Bureau over false asset declaration. Other similarly false, publications include the one captioned: “Exclusive: 83 Nigerian Soldiers still missing days after Boko Haram attack” written by Samuel Ogundipe on 21 October, 2016. As if that is not enough, on 19 November, 2016, there was another false and unsubstantiated story published in your newspaper alleging that the Nigerian Army killed a pastor and labeled him a militant among numerous unprofessional publications.

2. These stories published without reference to the Nigerian Army in order to have a balance, have without doubt exposed your deep hatred for the leadership of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Army as a service and the Nigerian nation for undisclosed reasons. It is submitted that your unprofessional one sided and unprovoked attacks on the Nigerian Army and its leadership, especially with regards to its operation in the Country have confirmed your unalloyed loyalty to the terrorist cause.

3. It is obvious that the Nigerian Army have always cooperated and worked in harmony with the press. Let it be known that the Code of Conduct Bureau through their letters dated 11 July and 29 September, 2016 cleared the Chief of Army Staff of false asset declaration. Equally, there was no time that 83 Nigerian army soldiers were missing as a result of Boko Haram attack. Nor did Nigerian army kill a pastor and labeled him a militant. One then wonders where your organisation got your false stories from. Despite the fact that your unprofessional publications are injurious to the personality of the leadership of the Nigerian army and the Nigerian army as a whole, it may interest you to know that your attempt have failed woefully to malign and impugn the hard earned good character of the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army.

4. In view of the foregoing, you are hereby advised to immediately retract the said unauthorized false, libelous and malicious stories against the person of Lieutenant General T.Y Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff and withdraw all false and unauthorized publications on the Nigerian army operations as published by your online medium, the Premium Times forthwith. Your retraction should be done in at least 3 national dailies and in online newspapers for 3 days consecutively from 29 – 31 December, 2016. You are to also publish an apology to the Chief of Army staff and the Nigerian Army in 3 Nigerian newspapers and online publications. Failure to retract and withdraw the said publications by Premium Times services Limited on or before 31 December, 2016. The Nigerian Army Team of Lawyers will be instructed to proceed against you in court.

5. Please accept the warm assurances of the Chief of Army Staffs highest esteem.
I.M Alkali
Major General
for: Chief of Army Staff

cc:
Chief of Army Staff

3. Whilst our clients can understand your disappointment that Premium Times published reports which you did not find favourable to the Nigerian Army, which you are at liberty to deny if you had exercised the right of reply on behalf of your principals, by writing a rejoinder in Premium Times, or by using other news media to so do, our clients, hard as they have tried, cannot understand why you used that letter to level very grave accusations against them, brazenly threaten them, and violate or attempt to violate their rights to life, dignity of the human person, personal liberty and freedom of expression and the press, respectively guaranteed by Sections 33, 34, 35 and 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, and relevant international human rights protecting instruments.

4. In case you did not, while penning your letter, measure the words therein deployed or weigh carefully the meanings, import and intendments of the words used in the allegations contained therein, we draw your attention to the second paragraph of your letter which alleged that ” these stories published without reference to the Nigerian Army in order to have a balance, have without doubt exposed your deep hatred for the leadership of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Army as a service and the Nigerian nation for undisclosed reasons. It is submitted that your unprofessional one sided and unprovoked attacks on the Nigerian Army and its leadership, especially with regards to its operation in the Country have confirmed your unalloyed loyalty to the terrorist cause.

5. Our clients hereby state unequivocally that there is no truth whatsoever in any of the claims you made in your said letter. Our clients do not have any hatred, deep or shallow, for anyone in the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Army as an institution, or indeed the Nigerian State. Our clients have no loyalty to any terrorists’ cause or to any terrorist organization, including Boko Haram. Our clients’ stories were well checked, and their procedure was professional. Our clients therefore will not retract their stories and will not tender reserved or unreserved apology as demanded by you and your principals.

6. Our clients discharge their journalistic duties without any bias, fear or favour. They recognize and respect the right of reply by the readers of Premium Times or anyone who may be affected by stories published in and by Premium Times. Our clients have a commitment to continue to do so within the confines of the laws of Nigeria, and according to international best journalistic practices.

7. By the contents of your letter, you and the authority for whom you wrote your letter have played the role of the complainant, and the judge in your own cause. More worryingly, you and the said authority have reached conclusions which are both chilling and frightening. Through your letter, you now seek a conviction which plays to the notion of your own power and worth. By your letter you have threatened the lives of our clients, and our clients are thus obliged to put the Nigerian public and the international community on notice that should any harm come to them, you, the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army should be held accountable.

8. Given your position in the Nigerian Army and your claim that your letter was written on behalf of the Nigerian Army and its leadership, our Clients are of the clear view that your threats have come from the very top of the Nigerian Army.

9. Our Clients hope that the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, the Ministry of Defence and the Minister of Defence, and indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria are aware of this letter from you and the grave implications of the letter.

Sir, may we declare to you that the assertions and the declarations in your letter have very grave implications.

First, the chilling threat that you have subjected our clients to shows a disregard for the due process which includes the constitutionally entrenched control of the military by civilian authorities, and equally respect of freedom of the Press. It is our view that all working journalists and news outlets are entitled to some protection from public officers, especially of the military and security agencies who are charged with the duty to secure and protect Nigeria and Nigerians, their lives and property, and maintain law and order, but who often, because of the uniqueness of that duty and for reason of the exclusive bearing of arms and control of our commonly owned ordinance, assume very erroneously that they are above the law.

Second, the penchant of public officers to flippantly, arrogantly and ignorantly label media reports and stories and journalists “unprofessional” once they are affected by media reports and stories must be deprecated with decorous pungency. Sir, you are not in any position at all to teach our clients about media professionalism, ethics and standards. It really can be exasperating and disconcerting to see public officers condescendingly castigate journalists, many of whom are not only internationally acclaimed and celebrated but who also have up to forty years of practice as journalists under their belts.

Third, we must also refute the false assumption that our military men, exclusively, are an epitome of patriotism and national sacrifice, and that they love Nigeria more than civilians do. Sir, the Nigerian Army of which you spoke so glowingly is an heir to a military that unpatriotically subverted, many times, constitutional governance in Nigeria, plunged Nigeria into a three year internecine civil war, committed unspeakable rights violations against the Nigerian people and thwarted the efforts of Nigerians to restore democratic governance to Nigeria. The Nigerian Media, if you must be reminded, played a frontline role and suffered gross human rights violations, perpetrated by the military, in the struggle to rid Nigeria of military dictatorship. During the struggle for Nigeria’s independence, the Nigerian Media carried on its shoulders the anti-colonial agitations of the nationalists movement. Our clients, therefore, totally reject your claim that they hate Nigeria, their country. The Nigerian Army does not love Nigeria more than Nigerians love themselves. An armed force of less than three hundred thousand officers and men cannot claim to love Nigeria, a country of over one hundred and eighty million people, more than the Nigerian civil population.

Even under the current civil government, the officers and men of the Nigerian Army continue to carry out acts that threaten the survival of democratic governance, they trumpet they are sworn to protect. The ignoble roles played by officers and men of the Nigerian Army in the Ekiti State Governorship Election in 2014; the insertion of the Nigerian Army in the partisan allegation that the WASC School Certificate of our President, Muhammadu Buhari, then a candidate, could not be found in the Nigerian Army’s records during the 2015 electioneering campaigns; the seizure and confiscation of newspapers nationwide during the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan by men and officers of the Nigerian Army under the guise of looking for terrorist elements; the stealing of humongous sums from the budget of the military, meant, in part, for the counter-insurgency operation in the North East, by heads of the Nigerian Armed Forces, some of whom are now on trial for corruption and money laundering offences, but who more appropriately ought to have been charged with the offence of treachery punishable with death for subverting and undermining the capacity of the Nigerian State to levy war; and the recent killings that attended the insistence on right of way by the Nigerian Army against the adherents of the Shiite Islamic Sect in Zaria, in which hundreds of civilians lost their lives, are cases in point. A Nigerian Army that carries out such acts that not only violate the human rights of the citizens, but also subvert democracy and the rule of law cannot lay a claim to patriotism that is superior to the patriotism of the Nigerian media.

We state that just as the Nigerian Armed Forces are assigned a role to play in our national life under Sections 217 and 218 of the Constitution, so is the mass media assigned a role under Section 22 of the same Constitution which, in stipulating the obligation of the mass media, provides that ” the press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”

Although you ended your letter in a civil manner, and perfectly within your right, by demanding a retraction of the stories published by our clients, and an apology to be published in both national online and print media, failing which you and your principals may have recourse to a civil action, the allegations and threats contained in your letter are too grave and serious to be overlooked.

The right of our clients to practice their profession and publish the stories you are complaining about is guaranteed under the Constitution, which in Section 39 (1&2) provides that ” every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference; and that without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions”. It is our firm view that this right and the other above-listed rights of our clients have been, are being and are about to be breached by the threats issued to and the terrorist tags placed on our clients by your letter.

You should know that your wild allegations against our clients implicate the invocation, against our clients, of Section 4 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, No. 10,2011, which prescribes a maximum prison term of 20 years for any person convicted of knowingly, in any manner, soliciting or rendering support for an act of terrorism or a proscribed terrorist organization, and the death penalty where death results from such solicitation or rendering of support. And you should also have realized that your allegations imputed, on the part of our clients, the commission of treasonable offences and aiding the enemy under our criminal law.

In the circumstances, we hereby demand that you write a letter of withdrawal of these threats and allegations, to our clients, wherein you are to assure them of their safety and protection by the security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria, in particular, the Nigerian Army. The letter, to be addressed to Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Premium Times Services Limited must be received within seven (7) working days of delivery of this letter to you

TAKE NOTICE that should you fail, refuse or neglect to write and deliver the above letter as demanded, our clients will not hesitate to institute a legal action against you, your principals, the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria, to enforce their fundamental rights under the Constitution.

Kindly accept the assurances of our highest regards.

Yours faithfully,

Jiti Ogunye, Esq;
Principal Solicitor & Counsel

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM...CELEBRITIES, ENTERTAINMENT, FASHION & MORE MAGAZINE: The Federal Government on Wednesday says she will no longer recognise Taiwan as a country but rather pledged support for One China.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this while answering questions from newsmen after a joint news conference with the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.

Onyeama said Nigeria had withdrawn all diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country, adding that Taiwanese office in Abuja would be shut down and be relocated to Lagos.

According to him, Nigeria has communicated Taiwan and they are moving to Lagos as soon as possible.

“Taiwan will stop enjoying any privileges because it is not a country that is recognised under international law and under the position we have taken internationally we recognise the people of China.

“Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving to Lagos to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff.

“Chinese Government does not oppose trading with Taiwan as such as long there is no formal contact with the Government that will suggest recognition of Taiwan as sovereign country,” he said.

According to him, China does not oppose relationship with Taiwan in the level of trade but not on government to government level.

The minister, however, said that Nigeria was not pressurised to take the decision, noting that the development was a bit of anomaly on the side of Nigeria

He said that Nigeria recognised the People’s Republic of China as country because Nigeria was one the leading African nations that fought for China to reclaim its seat at the UN Security Council from Taiwan.

He said the step being taken was to right the wrong that one could not specifically say how it came.

“It was not very clear how it got into Nigeria system – an arrangement for the Taiwan for a trade mission.

“And in granting the right of the trade mission, it did not accurately reflect the nature of relationship between Nigeria and Taiwan,” he said.

Onyeama stated that the country took the decision to remove any iota of doubt in the mind of the Chinese people.

He said on the issue of building trust, the international community had embraced one China and China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue.

The minister stressed that Nigeria would adhere to it completely and there is no ambiguity at all.

He said Nigeria as a nation would do everything to realise the One China Policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and well being of the People’s Republic of China.

According to Onyeama, China is one of the countries that have been in full support of reforms in the UN that would see Africa having two seats at the UN Security Council, as such deserved to be supported in her unification drive of One China.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY:  Detectives have traced over N632.2million to former Enugu State Chief Judge Innocent Azubuike Umezulike’s account.

Some of the lodgements came from lawyers, businessmen, politicians and litigants, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) source said yesterday.

Besides, Justice Umezulike is believed to have been operating an account without a Bank Verification Number (BVN).

Three properties allocated to the ex-CJ may be confiscated, The Nation learnt.

The former Chief Judge has been invited for interrogation on January 17 on some of the “shocking” lodgments.

It was learnt that the ongoing probe of the judge followed petitions against him, including some sent to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The NJC on September 29, 2016 recommended Justice Umezulike for compulsory retirement alongside Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, who was the Presiding Justice of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal

Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court was recommended for dismissal.

The NJC said it recommended Umezulike to Governor Justice Lawrence Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for compulsory retirement for “delivering judgment in a case 126 days after final addresses were adopted by parties, and for other instances of abuse of office”.

He has since been retired.

The council also found Justice Umezulike guilty of allegedly “receiving a donation of N10m from a businessman, Prince Arthur Eze, during his book launch while two cases in which Eze was said to have had “vested interest”, were in the judge’s court.”

There appears to be more trouble for Justice Umezulike, going by the preliminary investigation of EFCC detectives.

A highly-placed source, said: “From the probe of the salary account of the judge with the main branch of First Bank Plc in Enugu, our team discovered that he was operating it without a BVN as at June 2016.

“Further verification showed that he was earning N701, 726. 28 per month but he did not make any single withdrawal for 11 months.

“When we analysed an account linked to the judge, the turnover was about N396, 544.034.73 with a closing balance of N632.223.47 as at 15th of June 2016.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “We were able to identify how lodgments were made into the account linked to Justice Umezulike.

“The depositors included Justice Umezulike, legal practitioners, businessmen, politicians and litigants. The judge invested most of the cash in Treasury Bills.”

As at press time, there were indications that some assets identified with the judge might be seized by the EFCC, pending the conclusion of its investigation – in line with sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004.

The source added: “Our detectives uncovered three properties allocated to the ex-CJ by the Enugu State Government. These are:

  • Plot H/136 Golf Phase II, Enugu allocated in 2000 but sold to Mr. J.I. Chime in 2007 who subsequently sold it to Cosmas Offia in 2008;
  • Block B2 Flat 16 Maryland Estate, Enugu allocated in 2012 Sold to Igwe Goddy Moore; and
  • Plot H/88 Gold Estate Phase I, GRA Enugu allocated in 2015 which is still in the judge’s possession.

 Justice Umezulike is likely to report to the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC.

Detectives tried but failed to obtain the Assets Declaration Form of the ex-CJ from the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“We may however place the properties located so far under temporary asset forfeiture.”

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’

Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part: “The Court may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.

(2)  “Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just.”

Published in Headliners
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 12:55

YES434: Late Gov. Kure buried in Minna

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: The remains of former Governor of Niger, Abdulkadir Kure,  was laid to rest on Wednesday in Minna, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Kure died on Sunday, Jan. 8, in a private hospital in Germany at the age of 60 years.

The burial prayer was led by Chief Imam of Minna Central Mosque, Sheik Isa Fari.

NAN reports that due to unprecedented crowd, the body of late Kure could not be brought out of the ambulance as the funeral prayer was conducted.

The funeral was attended by Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger, former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, DIG Shuaibu Gambo, Emir of Bida, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Emir of Lapai, Alhaji Umar Bago, Emir of Minna, Nuhu Bahago and the Emir of Suleja, Alhaji Auwal Ibrahim.

Also at the funeral were the Speaker, Niger House of Assembly, members of the Niger executive council, National Assembly members, top government officials, as well and politicians.

Former Governor of Niger, Babangida Aliyu, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, Sen. David Mark, and former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim were also at the funeral, among others.

In his tribute, Gov. Bello of Niger said the people would continue to be proud of the deceased’s contributions to the development of the state and the country in general.

He said the deceased had offered useful advises to the government and people of Niger on how to move the state forward.

The governor added that “we share things in common èven though we belong to different political parties because he has the interest of Niger at heart.

“He was honest, humble, committed, sincere and complete gentleman and ever
willing to help his country, state and community when he held various public offices.

“We will continue to pray for the deceased for his tremendous contributions to the socio-economic and political development of our state.”

Late Kure left behind one wife and six children.

 

 
Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC-Yobe North) on Wednesday resumed as the new Senate Majority Leader.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, at plenary on Tuesday, announced Senator Lawan as Leader of the Senate.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, at plenary on Tuesday, announced Sen. Ahmed Lawan (APC-Yobe North) as Leader of the Senate.

Reading a letter from the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senate Caucus dated Jan. 10, Saraki said based on the letter, Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) was no longer the leader of the senate.

He said that “a letter from the APC Senate Caucus dated Jan. 10, His Excellency, the President of the Senate, notice of change of leadership.

“This is to inform your Excellency and the senate that after several meetings held on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 and upon due deliberations and consultations, the APC caucus of the senate wishes to notify you of the change in the leadership of the senate.

“The new senate leader is now Sen. Ahmed Lawan, representing Yobe North Senatorial District, Yobe State.’’

In his reaction, Ndume expressed shock at his removal as the leader of the senate.

He said he had no prior information with regard to the development, adding that the announcement of his removal was made when he stepped out of the chamber.

“I was leading the business of the senate and I asked Bala Ibn N’Allah to sit in for me to pray and on coming back the session ended.

“I didn’t know that there was a change because I went to pray. I don’t know if I am no longer the senate leader.

“I was not invited for any meeting. There should be a procedure. The announcement came to me as a surprise, I can’t tell you more than that.”

Ndume said he was not sure if his removal was as a result of his position on
Ibrahim Magu’s non-confirmation as Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He promised to speak to newsmen on the development.

The APC in a mock election on June 6, 2015, adopted Sen. Ahmed Lawan as President of the Senate.

However, Saraki emerged President of the Senate at the inauguration of 8th National Assembly on June 9, 2015, while Ndume emerged as leader of the senate.

Until his emergence as leader of the senate, Lawan was Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: The “temporary” forfeiture of $153 million looted funds by the former minister of petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke to the federal government, once again points to the felonious nature of Nigerian banks and their executives. It is a crying shame that there are no sacred institutions in Nigeria. Actually, there are no institutions. Criminality seems the norm everywhere. Only a few are interested in building an enduring enterprise, company or the nation. Everyone else wants to “hammer”! Everyone wants to steal from the system. The shame that a woman is involved in this monumental heist and crime against the Nigerian state is crippling to those of us who wonder if anyone needs that much money. Especially if the money is not coming from genuine enterprise and honest contribution to humanity.

Nigeria’s financial system is not only corrupt in practice, it is corrupt by design. Nigeria banks are notoriously invested in short termism. They offer no real product and services to advance the real sector of the economy. They play and game the system. Their promotions and salaries are designed to incentivise unethical and criminal behaviour and anything else it takes to bring in deposits and generate profits. The banks, like other systems within the country, are a true reflection of the society. A society inflicted with a systemic corrosion of values. A society where the incentive system rewards fraudulent behaviour. Thus, there is no surprise when we get these kind of results because fraudulent behaviour begets social tragedy. The banking halls are vaults of reward for criminal behaviour and in the absence of deterrence and governmental refusal to prosecute, we can only expect more crime.

Nigeria cannot continue this way. What action is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) taking on this issue? Will it continue to be business as usual?… The price of corruption is steeper than we realise. Every act of compromise has a deleterious effect on the country and it multiplies with grave consequences.

The deep-seated cultural and ethical failures involved in the transfer of money from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on behalf of Ms. Diezani Alison-Madueke confirms the lack of respect for law, regulation and the public trust by banks. At every turn, we continue to see bank executives, who have no respect for financial laws and regulations, who are not worthy of public trust, and are culturally and ethically impaired at a very profound level. Unfortunately, the story will remain the same with the reluctant attitude towards the criminal prosecution of bankers and the banks themselves. It is unfortunate that legal safeguards cannot be maintained because the money the banks spend taints the political process from beginning to end. Even the religious houses are not exempt. Not long ago, some bankers did their stealing in the name of God.

All over the world, we have bankers as crooks but it is worse in Nigeria. Our slavish devotion to the worship of money, wealth and consumption drives all the ills in our society. We have rejected the idea that there is any dignity in the lives of ordinary, law-abiding working people. With alarming frequency, many Nigerians show a willingness to break the law to make money.

Where there is money there will be thieves and this is Nigeria where actions do not have consequences. The economy is very informal and people do not have confidence in banks partly because they know their money is not safe. They also know, from the failed banks of Abacha era, to the Cecilia Ibru usurpation and the Akingbola gallivant, that bank executives are fraudulent. Actually, we expect them to cheat the government, their depositors and employees without a care. What we don’t expect is the government letting them get away with it.

There has to be a method to doing things right and doing the right things. The banks may have to police their own conduct and believe in economic and social justice. If they must survive and not self-destruct, they have to find a way of bringing values and ethics into their transactions and discussions.

Banks are smart spaces. They do a cost/benefit analysis when planning actions that might be financially risky or when they plan to do something that they know to be illegal. That is why much of the Diezani loot were placed off the balance sheet in clever schemes to avoid detection. Banks usually plan ahead to examine the odds of getting caught, and they weigh the penalties against the profit from the transaction if caught. If the projected profit exceeds the penalties, or if the risk of getting caught is low, they make a run for it. The top cadre of banks are filled with legal wizards and finance whiz kids paid to think bad! They spend their time on studying labour loopholes that allows marketers to be forced into prostitution in the name of deposits, beat anti-money laundering procedures and offshoring of accounts, hiding liabilities and cooking the books. Illegal banking has evolved into a behemoth that feeds corruption, drug trafficking and terrorism. They are not used to hard work, creative financial services and long term planning. Flirting with enormous sums of money in illicit transfers, is easy money.

Nigeria cannot continue this way. What action is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) taking on this issue? Will it continue to be business as usual? We should be concerned because inspectors from the Central Bank are routinely bribed and entertained by the banks and they don’t do their jobs. The price of corruption is steeper than we realise. Every act of compromise has a deleterious effect on the country and it multiplies with grave consequences. There has to be a method to doing things right and doing the right things. The banks may have to police their own conduct and believe in economic and social justice. If they must survive and not self-destruct, they have to find a way of bringing values and ethics into their transactions and discussions. Gaming the system remarkably by being greedy, aggressive and out of control cannot serve them well. Their complicity in the Diezani heist is absolutely shameful. The Roman playwright Plautus wrote; Nam ego illum periisse duco, cui quidem periit pudor – I count him lost who is lost to shame. If they face no consequences for their actions, it will happen again.

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú is a farmer, youth advocate and political analyst.

Published in Parliament

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday arrested four suspected fleeing members of the Boko Haram at Oko-Oba in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State. 

The DSS in a statement issued on Tuesday gave the names of the suspects as Fanayi Bukar Hassan, Butame Hassan, Kologoni Bukar, and Amina Abubakar.

According to the DSS, ”They were arrested on 10 January, 2017 at Oko-Oba, Ifako-Ijaiye LGA of Lagos State. They are suspected to have fled to the State to evade arrest in the ongoing military offensive in the North East.

Also today, the DSS said it arrested the leader of the Boko Haram sect in Okene, Abdullahi MOHAMMED aka Hujaat at Okene town, Adavi LGA, Kogi State. ”Subject had been responsible for the coordination of Boko Haram activities in Okene axis of Kogi State,” DSS stated.

In its determined counter-terrorism efforts to consolidate on the gains it has made in the sustenance of offensive against identified criminal gangs, kidnap syndicates and terrorist elements across the country, the DSS said it recorded major successes which have further degraded the capability of these elements to operate in the county.

”On 1st January, 2017, at Mutum Biyu in Gassol LGA, Taraba State, Bale Kolomi GREMA and Kolomi ADBA-AJI were arrested in a mosque after they had fled Marte, Borno State, where they were involved in boko haram terrorist activities. Also on the same 1st January, 2017, a kidnap suspect, Amadu BELLO, was apprehended at Hotoron Arewa, Nasarawa LGA of Kano State for his involvement in a kidnap operation at Zomo village, Ningi LGA of Bauchi State from which he got a share of N3m from the ransom.

”In a related development, on 6th January, 2017, one Paul ALI (aka Simplee), a high profile leader of a kidnap syndicate was arrested at Hill Flower Hotel, Asaga Ohafia, Abia State. ALI, who operates camps at Ikot Abasi and Mbo LGAs of Akwa Ibom State, is responsible for notable kidnap incidents across the Niger Delta. He is also a member of the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) which has carried out attacks against oil installations in the area. At the time of his arrest, ALI, with his associate, Chidiebere KANU was planning the kidnap of a Federal Lawmaker and an expatriate. KANU is presently at large.

”In another incident, two (2) suspected Boko Haram insurgents, Ibrahim MALA and Abdallah MODU were arrested on 6th January 2017 at Amba and Gudi villages of Kokona LGA of Nasarawa State. The suspects who are indigenes of Maiduguri, Borno State, had fled the military action in Borno State and were regrouping in the State under different trade covers. While MODU sells children’s wears, MALA, who trades in perfumes, confessed to his membership of the sect and disclosed that he (Mala) joined the Yusufiyya faction in 2007. Similarly, Abdulkarim DAHIRU, a key terrorist commander and an indigene of Okengwa, Okene LGA of Kogi State, was arrested at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. Suspect was identified as the main coordinator of several kidnappings as well as other robbery activities in Kogi and Edo States.

”Furthermore, security operations conducted from 3rd to 7th January, 2017, across some flashpoints in Lagos State led to the arrest of seven (7) kidnap suspects, six of whom, namely; Gilbert Koku NELSON, John NELSON, Adekoya KAZEEM, Muhammad LAWAL, Abu YAHRO and Kelvin NWANAJI; were arrested in connection with the kidnap of a management staff of Dangote Company. The two (2) other suspects, Abdullahi BELLO, a Custom Officer and Bello GUMEL, were apprehended at Navy Town, Ojo LGA, and Naval Base, Alakija, respectively, in connection with the kidnap of another Custom Officer, on 20th December, 2016. Members of the above gang specialized in spying on senior company executives and laying ambush for kidnap and robbery operations for huge ransoms.

”On 7th January, 2017, one Muhammad AUWAL was arrested at Andaza village, Kiyawa LGA of Bauchi State in conncetion with boko haram terrorist activities. AUWAL who was arrested with the sum of three hundred thousand Naira (N300,000.00) on him, is believed to be a drug supplier to the Boko Haram sect in Sambisa Forest.

”Also on 7th January, 2017, the Service also arrested the trio of Elijah AWUA, Joseph EJAKA and Hope NATHAN, at Kanshio, Otukpo road, Makurdi, Benue State. The suspects are members of a notorious kidnap syndicate that has been responsible for several kidnap operations in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau States. Their most recent venture was the gang’s abduction of a staff of Radio Benue, Makurdi on 2nd December, 2016. Suspects were arrested with a silver coloured Toyota RAV4 vehicle marked ABJ AQ 720 KUJ. Two (2) other members of the syndicate identified as Gabriel JOSHUA and TIMOTHY (FNU) are currently on the run and being trailed.

”On 8th January, 2017, one Bello MOHAMMED (aka Awilo), the leader of a syndicate that specialized in car theft and burglary in Gombe State was arrested at Jekadafari area of Gombe metropolis of the State. MOHAMMED confessed to being the kingpin of the syndicate in the State. His confession led to the arrest of an associate, Abdullahi IBRAHIM (alias DIBAL) who is seen at the arrowhead of the gang in the North East. IBRAHIM also disclosed that he has stolen ten (10) cars in Gombe. Based on his confession two (2) buyers of the stolen cars identified as Surajo Ali GOMBE, and Danjuma BAKA, have been arrested.

”On 8th January, 2017 about 1500 hours, one Elijah OYEBODE, aged twenty-two (22) years, was arrested in connection with the disappearance of one Damilola Rofiat ADEBISI (F), a 400 level student of the Department of Chemistry Education, Osun State University, Ipetu-Ijesa campus, Oriade LGA. The incident occurred on 22nd December, 2016. OYEBADE confessed to picking the victim along with two (2) other men on 22nd October, 2016 and claimed to have dropped them off at a house in Ikirun. Investigation is ongoing.

”It is important to state that these successes were recorded as a result of proactive and credible intelligence offered by patriotic citizens, and the effective cooperation of sister agencies and other relevant stakeholders. This Service wishes to restate its determination to sustain the tempo within the provisions of the law as part of its drive towards ensuring the security of lives and property of all law-abiding residents and citizens in the country, the statement signed by Tony Opuiyo on behalf of DSS stated.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has welcomed the removal of Mr. Jim Obazee, Executive Secretary, Financial Reporting Council (FRC) yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

FRC is the body whose law led to the retirement of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye as General Overseer of Nigerian arm of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

CAN General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake while reacting to this development said the sack of Obazee by President Muhammadu Buhari was divine.

He added that God used authorities to punish the official for daring to interfere in the work of the church.

Asake while speaking with newsmen said, “The sack of Jim (Obazee) is good riddance to bad rubbish. Anybody that wants to fight the church will find himself where he does not want”.

“Jim got to the position by the grace of God but set out to probe and destroy the church of God. I spoke with him several times on this issue but he wouldn’t listen.

“He was going to take the church to what is worse than Armageddon. Thank God the authorities have stepped in to right the wrong.

“He should have been fired a long time ago and we don’t know why he was left alone, but God’s time is always the best.

“That code should be thrown out completely because the government should not interfere with the church.

“The church is a no-go zone for the government. Doing that has serious implications. If they attempt it, it will lead to confusion in the nation”, he added.

Meanwhile, Obazee who was a former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, had said only 89 of the 23,216 registered churches in the country had complied with FRC provisions.

Also, the leadership of CAN is set to hold an emergency meeting on the FRC code and other related matters.

Rev. Samson Ayokunle, CAN President said the organisation’s lawyers would review the issues and make their position known to the public.

Published in Business and Economy
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