Monday, September 30, 2013

FACTS: Everyone’s A Terrorist

The easiest way to get away with anything is to claim you are acting against a terrorist. Once the charge is pressed, with the attendant publicity, the onus is on the suspect to extricate himself from the allegation.
Suspects tagged terrorists are guilty until they prove their innocence. We have entered a more dangerous loop in the war against terror. We hope the authorities realise the new applications of official violence against suspects can cause further challenges in the fight against terrorists.
Who were the occupants of the uncompleted building which security agencies stormed in Apo, Abuja? Who made the report that they were terrorists? Motor cycle riders are raising a strong voice that eight of those killed were their members? Again, that is not a proof that they were not terrorists!
Any proof that they were terrorists? “Considering the ammunition recovered, in addition to arms and weapons from suspects and from the fact that on approach to the area, the personnel were fired at, there is no doubt that those people were terrorists,” Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika told newsmen.
If armed robbers had arms, ammunition, weapons and fired at security agencies on approach, would that make them terrorists?
Our concern is that the loss of lives, like other incidents where security agencies felt they had nothing to explain to anyone, should worry anyone, who believes the law still has a place in guiding our society. What would replace the lost lives? What type of fire power should the security agencies use when they come under attack?
As usual, government is moving on, using the incident as excuse to unleash its own terror on people. The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed said 100,000 illegal buildings and 435 uncompleted houses had been identified for demolition. How did construction of such number of building begin without FCT approval?
Mohammed told a House of Representatives Committee of FCT’s determination to take down the buildings, possibly its contribution to taking out terrorists, who reside in those places. He should also consider how the uncompleted buildings had been accommodation for hundreds of thousands, who Abuja treats as mere statistics — it never plans for them.
This incident, within firing shots of residences of most federal legislators, is grabbing attention but it ranks low in the long list of security operations that question concerns for lives.
Our legislators place their comfort and safety above others’. Assurances that the operation in Apo was for their safety are enough for them to lose interest on how many died and why they were killed.
An independent enquiry is needed on the Apo killings; it could at least set standards for security operations.
Source: Vanguard

YOBE MASSACRE: Death Toll Now 78

The death toll at the College of Agriculure, Gujba ,Yobe State has risen to 78. At least 50 of them were students who were attacked in the early hours of yesterday morning as they slept in their hostel. Some were shot, others were butchered with swords and knives. The gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram sect members later moved to houses around the hostel, killing residents they find. Then they blocked the Damaturu-Maiduguri road and killed travellers. So far, 78 bodies have been counted, with many more people still unaccounted for. A student of the college who survived the massacre explained what happened...
"They started gathering students into groups outside, then they opened fire and killed one group and then moved onto the next group and killed them. It was so terrible. They came with guns around 1a.m. and went directly to the male hostel and opened fire on them. The college is in the bush, so the other students were running around helplessly as guns went off and some of them were shot down.”
The gunmen stormed the hostels in two double-cabin pickup all-terrain vehicles and on motorcycles, and were dressed in military camouflage. They attacked 4 male hostels but avoided the only hostel reserved for girls. Swords and knives were used to kill at least 30 male students. Some corpses that were found were without heads while others had heads hanging to the bodies. Wailing parents and relatives were at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital mortuary in Damaturu this morning to identify their loved ones. This can't continue. This government has to do something about the situation.

Source: Punch

MEDIA CHAT: The 5 Lies Of Jonathan

Efforts made by President Goodluck Jonathan to shield some obvious truths during the fifth Media Chat held last night on national television, have been exposed by P.M.NEWS painstaking investigation.
Contrary to the President’s claim in the televised media chat that prior to the emergence of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the ruling party at the centre in 1999, there was no mobile phone, the truth, according to P.M. NEWS finding, is that mobile cellular services made their debut in Nigeria in 1993 with a “national” service operated by NITEL and a smaller Lagos service operated by Mobile Telecommunications Services (MTS).
The two companies, with a joint subscriber base of 12, 500, offered voice services over an analogue E-TACS network, as well as basic value-added services such as voicemail and paging, from three switches (in Lagos, Enugu, and Abuja).
Also, in 1995, MTS closed its operations due to failure to pay interconnection charges to NITEL. M-Tel subsequently emerged as Nitel’s mobile service provider. NITEL introduced the 090—phonelines. This was, however, analogue, very expensive and was reserved for the very few. It indeed was a status symbol, but it had limited coverage.
Furthermore, Multi-Links, a private limited liability company was incorporated in Nigeria in 1994 to provide telecommunication services. It only got “a Unified Access Service Licence with an initial 10 years validity and with an option to renew for a further five years to enable it further expand its services and provide a wide ranging bouquet of services covering Digital mobile fixed telephony, ISP, VAS and payphone, Full international gateway and National long distance services,” on 6 November, 2006, from the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
Prior to its expansion, it already introduced the 01- 775-lines into the market.
President Jonathan further claimed that since the emergence of the PDP, the country has witnessed improved standard of living. Surprisingly or maybe in the attempt to cover up the party’s failure at the federal level, he failed to state that many of the statistics churned out yearly do not correctly reflect the true prevailing situation in the country.
Last year, for instance, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) raised an alarm over an increase in the country’s poverty rate. The Statistician-General of Nigeria, Yemi Kale, presented a study report indicating that poverty had risen from 54 percent among Nigeria’s population in 2004 to 69 percent in 2010, or about 112 million Nigerians, a huge figure when compared with Nigeria’s estimated population of 163 million in 2010.
Kale further said estimates show Nigerians may have gotten poorer in 2011.
Again, this year, the Statistician-General put the current rate of unemployment in Nigeria at 23.9 per cent even though it is believed to be higher.
The United Nations has also said that with 60,000 Nigerian children infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) last year, the country has the highest number of children with the virus in the world.
Jonathan also claimed that the Federal Government had only been assisting the striking lecturers of Nigerian universities in terms of payment of arrears as, according to him, the universities are supposed to be self sustaining, getting their pay from their internally generated revenue.
But P.M. NEWS findings have shown that his claim is false as it is not in conformity with the 2009 agreement the union reached with the Federal Government. According to the details of the report released by an implementation committee in November 2012, and obtained by P.M. NEWS, there was nothing to indicate that allowances or even salaries would be paid the lecturers through their internally generated revenue.
The report even made provision for grants for the lecturers to enable them attain more professional qualifications and degrees. The report was signed by both parties from the government and ASUU.
Many Nigerians this morning further slammed the President for mentioning that the ASUU strike was political.
According to them, the statement is unpresidential since the union has a justifiable reason for embarking on the industrial action.
Again, another obvious lie the President told Nigerians was that he had not declared his ambition to contest for the presidency in 2015.
He also denied seeing any of his billboards campaigning for his election, stressing that it was illegal to declare since the electoral laws of the country had not permitted it. Nigerians have not forgotten the recent campaigns by Dame Patience, the President’s wife, both in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and the recent Abuja rally which brought thousands of PDP women together.
Apart from this, the President’s body language has shown his desperate interest in a second term in office. His loyalists and handlers have also, several times, given Nigerians the reason to believe that Jonathan is interested in contesting in 2015.
Analysts also believe that his ambition is the reason for the crises that have engulfed the PDP and torn the party into two.
President Jonathan claimed that his administration had fought corruption and that it is not even a major problem in the country or a major consideration for investors who want to do business in the country. In contrast to this claim, however, Nigerians and the international community have always lamented the high evel of corruption, especially in recent times and the inability of the government to check it.
There has also been a complaint that the rate of oil theft has never been as widespread and as frequent as it is now. This is even as the President has awarded contracts for the monitoring of the country’s waterways.
The secrecy with which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, operates has also been a major point in the criticism of the present administration regarding the huge fraud being perpetrated in the petroleum industry.
At the last count, Transparency International rated Nigeria the 8th most corrupt nation on earth. This was in July this year, when it released the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, which grouped Nigeria along with Zambia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Mongolia as the leading corrupt nations in the world.
Most informed analyses have always singled out corruption as the fundamental problem inhibiting Nigeria’s march to progress. President Jonathan’s comment will thus be deemed an absurdity.
Source: PM News

UNBELIEVABLE: 7 Members Of Same Family Run Mad?

For the family of Mr Ogbonnaya Ani in Umuose Urobo in the Uburu area of Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State, life can’t be more cruel to 7 members of the household now afflicted with madness one after the other. The Ani family is being ravaged by the spirit of madness.
The sad story of the family of Mr Ogbonnaya goes thus:
Ogbonnaya Ani’s elder brother’s daughter is mentally challenged. His younger brother’s son is in the same condition. Three of his own children, a male and two females, are equally afflicted. His daughter-in-law is not left out. So, there are six mentally ill persons in the family and, perhaps, still counting. Worst still, one of Ani’s mentally challenged daughters is heavily pregnant and no one seems to know who impregnated her...
And before his first wife died, she exhibited some signs of madness.
Recently, Mr Ogbonnaya told the stranger than fiction story. There is no doubt that the madness ravaging his immediate and nuclear families have left its toll on the old man. Sadness is evident in his sunken eyes. He looked frail and his voice quakes in palpable agony as he spoke. But for the magnanimity of a relation, Mr Ani and his household would not have had a place to lay their heads. This is because his mentally challenged son, Igwe Ani, alias Martin Martin, set his house ablaze. And before help could come, the structure had been reduced to ashes.
So, currently, Ogbonnaya and his family are squatters somewhere in Uburu, Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State.
When the reporter visited the family last Wednesday, Ozieme, his beautiful but insane daughter, was hanging around. With her tummy protruding as a result of advanced pregnancy, she looked vacantly into space, perhaps unaware of her environment and condition. A few times she smiled and muttered to herself. When asked to pose for a photograph, Ozieme obliged.
Tale like no other
“This place we are is not my house,” Ogbonnaya began. “My place is further up, after Oriebe. I relocated to this place because of the problem that I’m facing. I had a small mud house and I made it good enough for people to stay in before the problem started through my son, Igwe. It first started with Igwe and his sister, Ozieme joined later. While Igwe’s problem started at home, Ozieme’s started from outside the community. When she travelled and returned, she began to behave abnormally.”
In an agony laden voice, Ogbonnaya continued: “I don’t know how it started but we suspected or thought that Igwe joined his mates to smoke all sorts of things. I cautioned him to stop it if he was indulging in such act but there was no difference. We used to beat him to stop smoking to know if he would but to no avail. He started manifesting madness about eight years ago. He was still in primary school when it started; he was in Primary Four when he broke loose. Because of the problem, he couldn’t continue with his education. I cannot really say if he brought it upon himself by smoking certain substances or it is a problem destined to come”.
He said that the problem reached a crescendo when Igwe burnt down his house. “He used to pack all sorts of rubbish and dump in the house. It was impossible to chase him out of the house because he used to wield cutlasses and wood, threatening to harm anyone who gets close to him. At a point, he had outgrown everybody. On a certain day, he set the house ablaze and before people could come to fight the fire, things had got out of hand. That was how the building containing two rooms, a parlour and big verandah were razed down. Thereafter, we became homeless, so I brought my wife and kids to stay in a relation’s place. That was how we relocated.”
Like brother like sister
Ani said that his daughter was okay until a certain man from Nsukka in Enugu State came to seek her hand in marriage. According to him, the man eloped with the girl, adding that by the time she returned home, she had lost her mind even as she nursed a baby.
His words: “In the case of Ozieme, there was a time she travelled to Enugu to stay with her brother. There she started a relationship with one man from Nsukka and they agreed to marry. She brought the man home and introduced him to us. After meeting with us, the man said that he was going to prepare and come back for the formalization of the relationship. She insisted on going with the man; we asked her to wait for the man to go and come but she refused. We didn’t see the man again.
"When she was coming back, she came with a baby and started behaving in a manner we could not understand. We tried all we could to deal with the situation to no avail. This thing happened about five years ago and we have not set eyes on the man ever since. She didn’t have the soundness of mind to breastfeed and properly care for the baby and she died. Right now, she is heavily pregnant, she will be putting to bed anytime and we do not know who is responsible for the pregnancy.
"Again, another of my daughter who is married and a seamstress is also behaving abnormally.
"I cannot explain how this problem came into the family. From our parents, we did not experience any such thing. It did not happen to my eldest brother, who had died.”
Source: Sun News

FACTS: Presidential Media Chat, The Key Points

Speaking on a nationwide radio/television programme Presidential media chat, which was monitored by NigerianEYE, President Jonathan revealed that just like majority of Nigerians who are puzzled by the validity of the death of Boko Haram leader, Shekau, as president, he does not know whether he is dead or alive.
In his words, 'I do not know whether he is dead or alive I don’t want to speculate', Jonathan says in response to a question on whether Boko Haram leader, Shekau, is dead
President Goodluck Jonathan also said the activities of the Boko Haram sect which has devastated especially the north eastern part of the country is not because of him but is part of international global terrorist network.
Speaking on a nationwide radio/television programme Presidential media chat, President Jonathan also insisted that the House in Apo where some persons were killed by security forces had elements of Boko Haram adding that though innocent persons may have died in the exchange between security forces and the terrorists, it does not mean that innocent persons were deliberately targeted
“Boko Haram has been there even before I became the president. When the bombed the United |Nations and the barrack in Abuja, we did not have the capacity to tackle them.
People talk about Boko Haram as if Jonathan is the cause of Boko Haram. Yet it has been there and it was even in 2009 that Yusuf (Boko Haram Leader) was killed.
But with time, we have built the capacity of the security services and we have made tremendous progress. I am not God so I cannot be everywhere.
What I can promise Nigerians is that within the limit of our ability, we will ensure that we will try our best to ensure that we check the activities of these people and put an end to their activities” he said.
He said though the security services are doing their best to check the activities of the Boko Haram sect, the terrorists are always evolving ways in collaboration with international terrorist organizations to undermine the activities of the security agencies.
Speaking on the recent killings in Apo, President Jonathan said ‘though innocent persons may have died, there were confessions from arrested Boko Haram operatives that there were arms in that building. Where there is a confrontation between security operatives and criminals, innocent persons sometimes fall victims. But definitely, there were Boko Haram elements in that building.
The Boko Haram has links with their network with AlQaeda and other terrorist organizations. Some of the people that were arrested confessed and they were leading them to where they said arms were kept and there was an exchange of gunfire.
In the process some people were arrested some died. I cannot say clearly that all those who died were members of Boko Haram but definitely there were Boko Haram elements there” he said.
Jonathan also said his administration was working with the legislature, judiciary etc to fight corruption. When asked about why people who stole a lot of money were given V.I.P treatment, he responded, “As a president you cannot gag the judiciary,.. you must allow the judiciary to be independent,”
We are winning the war on corruption, Jonathan says on the fight against corruption. He says fertilizer scam and the corruption in the oil sector is being tackled
Also on corruption, Jonathan says perception is different from reality. “Everyone talks as if corruption is our number one problem. But corruption is not Nigeria’s biggest problem. The key thing is access to finance, infrastructure
The problem with government is not the number of special assistants and senior special assistants we have. ”If you are a minister, you need people that are competent to help you,”
People complain about political appointees as if that’s the problem. If you want to run government as you run a modern business, you will even have more problems, Jonathan says in response to a question on the size and cost of governance.
Jonathan evasive on whether he will run in 2015 or not. “If you declare too early, you will destabilise government, the electoral law gives a timeframe within which you can declare.”
“They should show you the agreement. I only talked about single term arrangement for our country not that Jonathan will serve for a single term.”
Jonathan alleged that politics has crept into ASUU’s strike and demands.
We can’t change the problems in the university overnight. We are using funds from other agencies to intervene in the problems in the tertiary institutions. Government is taking inventories in the universities, photographs and video clips. He said his administration was the first to do that.
The president also said there are certain things in the 2009 agreement with ASUU that are difficult to implement. “This particular issue is beyond the 2009 agreement.”
ASUU should consider the sincerity in government and realise his government is not ready to close down other departments of government in other to solve the problems overnight.
Jonathan alleged that some of the government officials that negotiated 2009 agreement with ASUU were not competent and asks for a holistic resolution of the problem in the universities.
The President also said he does not control the resources of the states and wondered why lecturers in state universities are on strike over a matter that has to do with the centre.
President Jonathan was interviewed by Nosa Igiebor (TELL), Shola Oshunkeye (SUN), Shehu Dauda (CAPITAL POST), Senami Ohiomokhare (AIT), Gloria Ume-Ezeoke (CHANNELS) on sunday evening and the interview was aired LIVE on major T.v and radio stations in Nigeria.
Source: Nigerian Eye

REVEALED: The PDP Plan To Rig 2015 Election

Lai Mohammed
The All Progressives Congress says it has uncovered a ‘grand and serpentine’ plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Presidency to rig the 2015 general elections, especially the presidential poll, and to destabilize Nigeria. In a statement issued in Lagos today by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the multi-faceted strategy includes suppression of votes in areas where the President's chances are slim, using the police and the military.
According to APC, the PDP and the Presidency also plan to use what they have tagged a ‘Third Force’ to:
• Bamboozle Nigerians and project the image of a performing Presidency, even when they admit that the current public perception of the government is less than salutary because of its weakness and lack of vision;
• Engage in the destabilization of the APC using moles and fifth columnists;
• Instigate chaos in the South-West using what they called the ''Old Afenifere Guards'' and
• Infiltrate and weaken socio-cultural and socio-political organizations in areas they deem to be unfavourable to the President.
Shockingly, APC said, the PDP/Presidency's grand plot also does not exclude even the PDP itself, as they are pursuing a strategy of decisively and ruthlessly purging from the ranks of the party's inner decision-making caucus all recalcitrant members, including governors and House of Representatives members. '
'The dogged pursuit of this action of dealing with supposed recalcitrant members has led to suspensions, expulsions and alienation of some PDP members, and it was the immediate trigger of the collapse of the party of tattered umbrella,'' APC said. ''After all, it is said that a house divided against itself cannot stand." Elaborating on the plot, APC said the North-East and the North-West have been singled out as areas where votes must be suppressed in 2015, by creating an enabling environment for the deployment of ''special forces'' in the run-up to the 2015 elections. To that end, it said the plan involves launching police/military actions in the run-up to 2015, to ensure most of the registered voters in the zones are disenfranchised. ''The reason these two geo-political zones have been singled out for 'vote suppression' is because of what the PDP/Presidency called the 'voting demographics' in the zones in 2011. The North West had 18,900, 543 registered voters in 2011 while the North-East had 10,038,119.
By contrast, the President's 'safe support base' of South-South and South-East had 8,937,057 and 7,028,560 respectively, the total of which was less than that of the North-West alone! ''The PDP/Presidency therefore believe that unless the votes in these two zones are suppressed, and those of the South-West (14,298,356) stifled one way or the other, the chances of the President winning re-election are very poor. Needless to say that these three zones (NE, NW and SW) are considered to be hostile to the President, hence must be tamed,'' APC said. With regards to the Third Force, APC said it involves railroading unsuspecting credible and independent-minded Nigerians with deep knowledge of, and extensive penetration of the media, civil society, labour, youth, women and ethnic nationalities into the plan, in which they will be given scripts written by the government and sent out to inundate the airwaves and the print media, posing as experts and public analysts to peddle lies and reel out statistics that have no bearing on the standard of living of the average Nigerian. It said that perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the plot is the determined attempt by the PDP/Presidency to constrict the democratic space by moving against the main opposition party which they regard as a ''real threat'' to the President if it (the party) does not implode or is forced to break up before 2015.
“The strategy to achieve this is multi-pronged: The PDP/Presidency will use those they called fifth columnists, disillusioned party members and 'deep cover plants' to fracture the APC; Play up clash of ambitions among its leaders, as well as create and empower a new anti-APC political force in the South-West, comprising the old Afenifere guards whom they described as spent and disillusioned forces, but who can be manipulated to achieve the desired objective of neutralizing the APC; And to revive some dormant political forces.” APC said while it is not bothered by the desperation of the PDP/Presidency to engage in unfair and foul means to win elections, it is astounded that a democratically-elected President will resort to actions that are far from democratic just to retain power at all costs.
''The PDP/Presidency should know that no power in the world can stop an idea whose time has come. For Nigeria, this is the time for change, and change will come in spite of the shenanigans of the devilish duo. Our hope is that these desperadoes do not destroy the country in their rabid ambition,'' the party said. It called on Nigerians to be vigilant in the days, weeks and months ahead as the PDP/Presidency begin to roll out their grand plot.

MEDIA CHAT: Jonathan Offer No Plan Over ASUU Strike?

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday offered the clearest sign yet that his administration was in no haste to resolve the three-month-old strike by university lecturers, calling their demands “politicized” and urging the lecturers to return to work for the sake of the students.
On his fifth presidential media chat on the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, the president said the nation’s bitter politics had crept into the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, and was responsible for the refusal of the lecturers to suspend their action despite the government’s effort.
“In the past, they did not go this far when strikes were called off; but now politics has gone into everything,” the president said. He did not elaborate when pressed further by a five-member interview panel on his claim about ASUU demands being politicized.
Mr. Jonathan said his administration had made concessions for the strike to be resolved, and has demonstrated remarkable commitment to addressing the massive infrastructure in the universities, one of the key demands ASUU has made.
He said the lecturers have refused to accept the government’s explanations that broad range reforms cannot be achieved instantly.
“ASUU strike is very very unfortunate,” Mr Jonathan, himself a former lecturer, said. He said crisis in education, in developing countries would always continue.
The president said the biggest indication to his government’s commitment to such reforms was the decision to catalogue the perennial rot afflicting all the universities.
“Throughout this time, no government has taken inventory of all the problems in federal and state universities,” the president said. “We said this must change. But it cannot change overnight. So for ASUU to go on strike over infrastructure, they need to understand that we are serious about intervening starting with N100 billion.”
The president’s remarks on the strike was his first since lecturers downed tools in June, asking for improved pay and better funding for universities. They vowed not to resume until the government fully implements the last agreement both sides reached in 2009.
The lecturers have vowed not to accept partial implementation of the agreement, with multiple intervention by the Senate and the House of Representatives stalemated.
The government said the challenges of improved funding requires more time, and claims it has made concessions by providing initial funding.
As the negotiations deadlock, millions of students have remained stranded at home with each claim of quick resolution to the crisis turning out unrealistic.
Mr Jonathan’s comments on Sunday provided the strongest indication yet, that, save a change in decision, students will remain at home longer as the crisis stretches without a resolution.
Asked specifically what the way forward would be for the strike, the president said he was calling on the lecturers to resume work for the sake of the Nigerian children and to realize that the government was committed to improving education.
He said the 2009 agreement which ASUU has harped upon, was negotiated by officials incapable for such a responsibility as the agreement was “not implementable”.
“Even if we have all the money in the world we cannot change things overnight,” he said. “The members of ASUU are our brothers and sisters, they should look at these young people and look at the commitment of govt.”
Source: Premium Times

CALABAR: Thugs Attack Community Over Monarch Stool?

Armed thugs on Saturday unleashed mayhem on some residents of Uyi Effiong Street, behind the secretariat of Calabar South Local Government Area, Cross River State.
It was learnt that the disorder was the fallout of a tussle over the stool of Muri Munene of the Efut Kingdom, occupied by Effiong Mbukpa, which was recently declared vacant by a state High Court in Calabar.
The State High Court in Calabar, presided over by Justice Elias Abua, on September 25, 2013, in Suit No HC/343/2012, nullified the kingship of Mbukpa for failing to submit himself for another selection process ordered by the Cross River State Government on September 21, 2012.
However, residents of the affected street who spoke with PUNCH Metro on Sunday alleged that the attack was carried out by agents of one of the new contenders to the throne.
A victim, Mr. Ndabu Otong, whose right arm was bandaged, said the thugs invaded Uyi Effiong Street with machetes which they used to attack some residents, while few others were beaten up.
He said, “The thugs came in two buses and they were about 16 in number. They unleashed terror on a number of us. We had to call the Efut Abua Police Division to come to our help. I don’t know whether any of them have been arrested.”
Another resident, Mr. Simon Ita, said the embattled king, Mbukpa, was on April 25 chased out of the palace by people suspected to be hired thugs allegedly sponsored by some factional kingmakers.
The factional group had invaded the palace in some buses loaded with boys suspected to be area boys, when Mbukpa and the Palace Secretary, Godwin Bassey, who was also the Secretary of Efut Combined Assembly, were having a meeting.
Meanwhile, Mbukpa has filed an appeal at the court insisting that he remained the Muri Munene of Efut Kingdom.
He said the High Court judgement delivered by Justice Elias Abua did not address the issues at stake.
Mbukpa said, “I did not put myself in the position of Muri Munene but the people did. So, the government cannot choose a Muri Munene for the Efut people who voluntarily selected me. The ruling did not address the issue which we took to the court.
“They know the truth, but because of politics they have not allowed the truth to prevail and some legal officers have allowed themselves to be used by the politicians and making a caricature of the court which is supposed to be the last hope of the common man.”
In his notice of appeal, Mbukpa, among others, said the action of Justice Abua affected his right of fair hearing as the applicant and therefore the decision was a nullity.
He also said that the approval of the Governor of Cross River State to fill the vacant seat of the Muri Munene of Efut was contrary to pending suit in the Calabar High Court HC/210/2011 and HC/304/2010 against the exercise of the selection of another monarch.
Source: Punch

CONFESSION: My Stupid Colleague Caused It - Suspect

Olusanya, Balogun and Oluwatosin
Olusanya, Balogun and Oluwatosin
Some robbery suspects engaged in a war of words on Thursday at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters.
The suspects, who were recently arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, traded blames over who caused their arrest.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects, Fatai Balogun, Wale Oluwatosin and Gbenga Olusanya, were arrested shortly after robbing a family in the Iju, Ishaga area of the state.
Police authorities said after the robbery, the suspects shared the loot and went their separate ways.
Oluwatosin was, however, spotted while hiding his gun at the backyard of his house.
An eyewitness was said to have reported to the police and Oluwatosin was arrested. It was learnt that through his confessional statement, the police apprehended his colleagues.
One of the suspects, Balogun, who claimed to be a barber, said he regretted following Oluwatosin for the robbery.
He said, “He (Oluwatosin) is a very stupid boy. He is just 20-years-old and I see him like a younger brother because we grew up in the same area. Some days ago, he told me that there was a man in the area drove a nice car and he had studied the man’s movements.
“We got guns and when it was midnight, we stormed the house. We stole about N500,000 and I felt this was enough, but Oluwatosin was not satisfied. He stole CDs, laptops, seven mobile phones, video games and other items that we did not need.
“Carrying such things around at night could draw suspicion to us and I told him this but he was too stubborn. As I predicted, he was the one that caused our arrest. He is stupid.”
Another suspect, Olusanya, said he was not an armed robber but a smuggler. He said he knew the gang but had only followed them for one operation.
He said, “I followed them for a robbery some months ago but we did not succeed. On that particular operation, we met policemen on the road and decided to turn back. However, the driver was drunk and we had an accident.
“We had to snatch another car which we used to escape. After the unsuccessful robbery, I went back to my smuggling business because I felt those guys were not serious armed robbers. They were too clumsy.”
Oluwatosin, who is the youngest among the suspects, said he went into robbery so he could impress the suspects.
He said the suspects usually gave him N7, 000 as an informant but he wanted to make more money which made him to lead the operation.
He said, “I knew Balogun was an armed robber and I looked up to him. He used to give me N7,000 as an informant, but I felt I could do more. I did not know I would get caught after my first robbery.”
Deputy Police Public Rleations Officer, Damasus Ozoani, said the suspects would soon be charged to court.
Source: Punch

Saturday, September 28, 2013

REVEALED: How Delta's Notorious Kidnapper Was Arrested?

13 feared dead after Kelvin’s arrest
No fewer than 13 persons were feared dead in Wednesday’s bloody clash between the Joint Task Force (JTF) troops and armed youths loyal to kidnap and robbery kingpin Kelvin Prosper Oniarah (aka Ibruvwe) in Kokori, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
Oniarah, who was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) and JTF in an undisclosed hotel in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Some of his victims were Chief Mike Ozekhome and a former Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr. Chudi Nwike, who was killed in captivity.
Troops deployed in Kokori to secure the town shortly after his arrest on Wednesday came under intense gunfire, leading to a shootout that lasted for over three hours before the youths were overpowered.
Oniarah’s close associate identified as Charles and a juju priest, Michael Omonigho, who is believed to be the gang’s spiritual head, were arrested.
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who addressed reporters yesterday in Warri, confirmed the arrest, saying one person died in the clash. The Nation learnt that the governor relied on information provided by security operatives and a body retrieved from the scene.
Our independent investigation revealed that the death toll was higher than one. The body recovered from Kokori on Wednesday night has been taken to Effurun Barracks headquarters of the Sector 1 Command of the JTF.
A reliable security source involved in the operation, told our reporter: “The armed youths killed were at least 13; some of the bodies were dragged from the scene and taken to an unknown location by their colleagues.”
Our source, who craved anonymity, added that at least 25 youths of the town escaped with gunshot wounds.
It was gathered that two of the troops’ Hilux vans used for Wednesday’s operation were damaged by the hoodlums, who attempted to set them on fire by shooting the fuel tanks repeatedly.
“Luckily for us, the tank was made of plastic. They were able to destroy the tyres and we had to move the vehicle out of the town with flat tyres before fixing it,” a JTF source, who was part of the team, told our reporter.
Our reporter counted at least four bullet holes on a van marked DT-Jul-019.
At least 15 vehicles of various brands were smashed and burnt in the town; although it could not be ascertained if the destruction was carried out by the soldiers or the rampaging youths.
Operation clean-up Kokori
As a follow up to Wednesday’s incident, the 3 and 222 battalions of the Nigerian Army in Effurun-Warri and Agbarha-Otor, yesterday began a military operation to rid Kokori and neighbouring communities of remnants of Kelvin’s gang members.
Troops were also deployed to man the Orhioke-Kokori crude oil well head and manifold in the area, apparently to prevent the rampaging youths from making good their threat to set it on fire.
The operation was led by Lt.-Col Ifeanyi Otu (3 Battalion) and Lt. Col VC Ibeh of 222 Battalion.
It began with an address by Lt.-Col. Otu at about 9:35am, in front of the Isiokolo Police Divisional Headquarters and a brief workout before the troops moved into Kokori.
Lt.-Col Otu laid out the rules of engagement, warning the troops against indiscriminate use of firearms and force.
He added: “Fire control, discipline must be maintained at all times and you must remain focussed.”
At about 10:05am, 19 Toyota Hilux vans and one Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), conveying over 100 soldiers and policemen, stormed the town.
The town was almost completely deserted, except for a handful of aged women and children who were too weak to flee.
Our reporter saw two crying children: the eldest, who is about five-year-old, identified himself as Onini. He said his parents fled on sighting the troops leaving him and his younger sibling behind.
Our correspondent, who witnessed the operation, reported that although Kokori was like a ghost town, remnants of Kelvin’s gang remained and caused problems for the troops.
The gang mounted roadblocks on the Market Road entrance to the town and dared the security operatives to cross them and move towards their hideout at the end of the town.
They also barricaded entrances to major streets with coffins and made sacrifices from dead animals and chicken, ostensibly to deter the advancing troops.
A midsize truck, which apparently conveyed drinks to the town, was seized and the bottles it was carrying broken and scattered on the road to restrict movement.
The truck was also set ablaze and its carcass used to block the road.
One of those remaining in the community, Mr. Stephen Onokayime, told our reporter that he was not part of the criminal operation.
He said he tried to dissuade the youths, adding: “They refused to listen to me.”
Uduaghan imposes dusk-to-dawn curfew on Kokori
Uduaghan vowed that the military operation would continue until all remnants of Kelvin’s men and their supporters were arrested.
He said: “The overall objective (of military operation) is to flush out the criminal gangs, get their arms and ammunition and restore normalcy to the town.”
He imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the town, saying nobody should be found outside the community once it is past 6pm.
Uduaghan advised persons living in communities, such as Eku, Abraka and others to ensure that they did not move about aimlessly.
The governor lamented that the people of Kokori backed the criminals, saying: “It is a shame that Kokori women came out dancing with their children holding guns. In other places, women dance with their graduating children.”
He said innocent people would be spared, adding that all must bear some pains to wrest the town from the hoodlums.
The governor assured oil companies of adequate security, urging them to ignore the threat of the so-called Liberation Movement of Urhobo People.
How Kelvin was arrested
Fresh facts obtained by our reporter revealed how Kelvin, whose operations reportedly spread across the Niger Delta and beyond, was nabbed on Wednesday. His car was bugged and a tracker installed.
Contrary to initial report that he was tracked after last Wednesday’s 60-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, The Nation authoritatively gathered that security operatives had been on his trail at least two weeks before the declaration.
It was gathered that a section of the security services was blanked out from the investigations because of concerns that some of them may have been compromised by the gang.
A top official of the DSS said Kelvin escaped arrest for so long by shunning a luxury lifestyle and moving about in taxis and vans.
“He usually drove around in rickety vehicles used as taxi. That way he was able to avoid drawing attention to himself. That was how he was able to beat all checkpoints around the area.”
Besides, it was gathered that the JTF narrowly missed arresting him months ago, when he killed two of his close friends who he accused of giving information to the security apparatus of the state government.
“What he did was to get the phone of those his aides and he dialled the number of some security top shots who he knew were working on his case. He was surprised to find that the boys had the number. Without wasting time, he wasted them both,” our source said.
It was gathered that the death of the two moles hampered investigations until the SSS stepped in, infiltrated his camp and bugged his car.
Kelvin implicates top security operatives, traditional leaders
The kidnap kingpin has reportedly made earth-quaking confessional statements, implicating a high-ranking military officer in the state, police top brass, prominent politicians and community leaders.
“From what we have heard, heads may roll if the confessions made by Kelvin so far turn out to be true, because he said so many things and implicated so many people, including a very high-ranking officer of the Nigerian Army,” a source said yesterday.
Asked to comment on the alleged involvement of politicians in funding and arming the hoodlum yesterday, Uduaghan said a full-scale investigation would be conducted, adding: “At the end of the day, the full story of Kevlin will be told. Let us not be biased at this moment.”
Uduaghan hinted that heads could roll in Agbon Kingdom and Kokori, where he said Kelvin was backed by his kinsmen.
The governor said: “We (government and the monarch) are having very deep discussions. We are in touch with the king. We believe that certain persons in that community (Kokori) have questions to answer. No matter how big or how high they are, we will fish them out.”
Source: The Nation