Saturday, November 30, 2013

OPINION: New FIFA Ranking, Nigerians React?

A cross section of Football fans on Thursday in Abuja expressed mixed reactions to the monthly FIFA ranking where Nigeria dropped three spots from the 33rd to 36th position.
Some of them expressed surprise that given Super Eagles’ performance in recent times and their qualification for the 2014 World Cup Nigeria would have moved up the ladder.
James Peters, the Assistant Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), said he could not understand the criteria used in the ranking as Nigeria lost grounds in spite of improved performance.
“I do not understand how they go about it because we have done very well in recent times. We also played a Grade A friendly match with Italy which ended 2-2.
“ I think by all standards, we should have moved up; but I don’t seem to understand the method behind the ranking,’’ he said.
Peters said Super Eagles’ 0-1 loss to Jordan on Oct. 29 in an international friendly match could not have been used because Nigeria fielded the home based players in the game.
He said Nigerians should not be bothered by the ranking because “it does not reduce or add anything” to the Super Eagles.
“I think we should not be bothered with the ranking because it does not affect our performance.
“If we were to go by that, we would not have qualified for the world cup, because they didn’t rate us well.
“So, I think we should be less bothered by it and keep doing what we are doing and do it well,’’ Peters said.
Mr Victor Orji, President, Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA), said the drop in the ranking would make the Super Eagles to work harder.
“No matter what the criteria is, it is okay by us because it will make us work harder. When you are overrated, it could be dangerous.
“So, as it is now, it will spur us to work harder and be what we are aspiring to be with our national team,’’ Orji said.
A sports journalist, Kehinde Abdulrahman, said he was not surprised by the drop but was worried by the steps the Super Eagles lost.
“I was not really surprised that we dropped but with the fact that we dropped by three spots. I was expecting just one spot because of our loss to Jordan.
“I felt that our victory over Ethiopia in the World Cup qualifier and the draw with Italy should make us to avoid dropping.
“But that notwithstanding, the fact remains that the Super Eagles are getting better by the day and that is the most important thing for us now,’’ Abdulrahman said.
Source: NAN

RIVERS CRISIS: Amaechi Fire Obio-Akpor Councillors?

Forty eight hours after a Port Harcourt High Court reinstated Timothy Nsirim, the Chairman and 17 Councillors of Obio-Akpor Local Government Council, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, avoiding legal traps, has now formally dissolved the Council, with effect from 28 November.
In a Government statement announcing the dissolution and endorsed by Mr George D.N. Feyii,Secretary to the Rivers State Government,SSG, and made available to P.M. NEWS at about 10.45pm, the Governor carried out the dissolution in exercise of the powers conferred on him by the Rivers State Local Government Law, 2012.
According to the statement, the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council is hereby directed to handover to the Head of Personnel Management of the Council immediately.
Justice Iyayi Lamikanran had invalidated the earlier dissolution of the same council because due process was not followed, by appointing a caretaker committee to take over the affairs of the council.
Now, Governor Amaechi has avoided the legal booby trap by asking the management of the Council to hand over to the Head of Personnel Management instead of a Caretaker Committee.
The Rivers State House of Assembly, had on April 23 2013,suspended the Chairman, Vice Chairman and the 17 councillors of Obio Akpor Local Government Area over allegations of abuse of public funds and breach of security.
The House, which also froze the account of the council, called on the state government to immediately appoint a Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the council until investigations into the allegations were concluded.
Mr. Nyesom Wike, minister of state for education, was former two-term chairman of the council.
Source: PM News

DESPERADO: Mothers Forced Into Prostitution, 3 Nabbed?

Spanish police said Thursday they have arrested three Nigerians who forced African women into prostitution in Europe, including by holding two women’s children captive for at least four months.
Five women in different Spanish cities were freed from the clutches of the gang after a long operation that began at the beginning of the year, on the basis of information from a young African prostitute, a police statement said.
In August, police rescued two little children, one of them aged three, from an address in Valmojado, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Madrid. They were found in poor health and malnourished.
“They were kept locked in separate rooms… at times gagged and tied to the bed” by captors who fed them tranquilisers to keep them docile, the statement said.
“The children were to guarantee that the women paid off their ‘debts’ by going into prostitution and to stop them running away.”
The mothers were eventually found in France, where they were forced to work as prostitutes.
The criminal gang holding them used that and other strategies to bring Nigerian women to Spain and force them to work as prostitutes, the police said.
The women were “enticed with fraudulent promises, with false job offers or by abusing their precarious situation”. They were smuggled to Spain by boat from Morocco.
Once in Spain, they were sold to pimps in EU countries, the statement said.
Source: AFP

BORNO STATE: Boko Haram Camps Bombed, Many Dead?

Nigeria’s military has launched air strikes on Boko Haram camps in the country’s northeast killing “many” insurgents, a spokesman said Thursday of latest operation aimed at crushing the four-year Islamist uprising.
The bombardment last Sunday targeted the notorious Sambisa Forest area of Borno state, which is considered an extremist fiefdom and has become a key focus of the military’s ongoing offensive.
News of the assault was slow to emerge as the mobile phone network in Borno remains switched off, part of the military strategy to hamper communication between the militants.
“Our men have identified and destroyed some camps of terrorists along the Sambisa area and the operation was a huge success,” area army spokesman Mohammed Dole told journalists in Borno’s capital Maiduguri.
“I cannot tell you the exact number of the terrorists killed but… many of them have been killed during the airstrike which we strongly believe was precise,” he added.
A military source who requested anonymity told AFP that dozens of militants were likely to have been killed in the attack.
The Boko Haram leader: aerial bombing by Nigeria's military on target
The Boko Haram leader: aerial bombing by Nigeria’s military on target
Sambisa area resident Bintu James, who spoke to reporters in Maiduguri, said “the airstrike started at night and raged on until Monday morning”.
Nigeria’s military has claimed a string of recent successes against Boko Haram in the northeast, the group’s historic stronghold.
The government earlier this month extended the state of emergency in the area that was first imposed in May, giving the military added powers for six additional months to flush out or kill the rebel fighters.
Boko Haram launched its uprising against the Nigerian state in 2009 and has carried out attacks across northern and central Nigeria that have killed thousands.
There is evidence that the military offensive has succeeded in cornering the militants in remote parts of the northeast, leaving them only capable of attacking soft targets.
But hundreds of civilians have been killed in recent weeks, including scores of students.
Boko Haram has said it is fighting to create a strict in Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.
The United States declared the insurgent group and its linked organisation Ansaru terrorist organisations on November 13.
Source: PM News

N170, 000 FRAUD: Native Doctor In Hot Soup?

The suspect pleaded not guilty
A native doctor, Ade Bamise, on Friday, appeared before a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court in Lagos, charged with obtaining N170, 000 from one Adekunle Ademola, under false pretences.
Mr. Bamise, 44, is facing a three-count charge of obtaining under pretext, stealing and conspiracy.
The Prosecutor, Daniel Ighodalo, told the court that the accused committed the offences between November18 and 19 at Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
“On the said day, the accused accosted the complainant and told him that he (Ademola) needed prayers for his lost glory and destiny to be restored,” Mr. Ighodalo, a police sergeant, said.
“The complainant was taken to an undisclosed destination where he claimed he was hypnotised and told to bring the sum of N100, 000 for spiritual cleansing and herbs.”
“The complainant did as the native doctor ordered and went ahead to withdraw the said cash.”
“He repeatedly withdrew another N70,000 the following day, as ordered by Bamise,” Mr. Ighodalo said.
Mr. Ademola said that it was after he had remitted the money that he got back to his senses, and quickly alerted the police to help apprehend the culprit.
The prosecutor explained that the offences contravene Sections 409, 314(b) and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Mr. Bamise, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Magistrate, O.M. Ajayi, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum, who must provide income tax receipts for three years and one of who must be a blood relation of the accused.
She adjourned the case till Dec. 17 for mention.
Source: NAN

UNEMPLOYMENT: 8,000 Fight Over 10 Job Vacancies?

The unemployment rate in Enugu is one of the highest in Nigeria.
At least 8,000 job seekers stormed the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital to interview for the position of administrative officers, on Thursday.
The applicants responded to the university’s local advertisement for Administrative Officer II. At least, 5,000, were shortlisted for the interview. The position the job seekers interviewed for – Administrative Officer II – is one of over thirty categories of workers the university advertised recently.
Although the university did not indicate the number of administrative officer vacancies it hopes to employ, a staff of the university told PREMIUM TIMES not more than 10 applicants will be employed in each category through the process.
The employment drive began earlier this week. The previous day, about the same number of jobseekers besieged the school to be interviewed for positions in paramedics and few auxiliary jobs.
The job seekers, mostly young graduates, overwhelmed the school’s facilities. Many waited under the sun for hours to be interviewed. Others sat on bricks for an opportunity to be interviewed.
Job seekers searching for names on a notice board before the interview
The school could not provide sitting for the interviewees
Many sat on blocks
An interviewee chilling hoping to take the test.
Enugu, formerly the administrative capital of south east Nigeria, is the largest city in the zone. it has at least six tertiary institutions but also one of the highest unemployment and crime rate in Nigeria. Nigeria Bureau of Statistics says at least 28 per cent of employable residents of the state are unemployed; a figure many say is grossly underestimated.
Enugu’s unemployment rate is more than 100 percent higher than the 12 percent recorded in neighbouring Anambra state.
In August this year, at least 6,251 job seekers applied for 400 vacancies at the Universal Basic Education Enugu, with an expected monthly salary of N18, 000.00.
The job rush at UNTH exemplifies the scorching job shortage in Nigeria. From a record low of 5.3 per cent in 2006, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics admits it has worsened by 400.5 percent to 24 percent at the end of 2011.
The World Bank estimates that Nigeria’s youth unemployment is high up at 38 percent. Many Nigerians argue World Bank and government estimates are conservative.
“In a family of five kids, you will hardly find more than two employed,” Chinasa Ugwu, one of the applicants, who sought to be an Environmental Officer II, said. Interviewing for her category was cancelled by the university.
Source: Premium Times

HOT PHOTO: The Fate Of 3 Lebanese Hezbollah Suspects

The Federal High Court in Abuja today ruled on the case between the Federal Government and three Lebanese suspects arrested for illegal possession of weapons and connection with the Hezbollah. The suspects are Talal Ahmad Roda, Mustapha Fawaz, the owner of a popular Amigo Supermarket and Abdallah Tahini
The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano arrested the men on May 31 with a large cache of arms in a bunker during a raid on their residence. Weapons recovered were 17 AK 47 rifles, 44 magazines, four land mines and 12 RPG bombs, 14 RPG chargers, 11 66 mm anti-tanks weapons, one SMG magazine, one pistol and several magazines.
Also recovered were 11, 433 rounds of 7.26 mm special, 76 hand grenades, rocket-propelled guns, and 122 calibre artillery and anti-mine weapons.
The suspects, who were previously in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS), were later transferred to prison custody following an alarm raised by the suspects that their lives were not safe in the hands of the SSS.
The arrests also led to the closure of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Recreational Center, both of which are owned by Mr. Fawaz.
However today, Justice Ademola Adeniji of the Federal High Court in Abuja acquitted and discharged Mr. Fawaz and Tahini while sentencing Ahmad Roda to life imprisonment.
Our photographers captured the end of trial here.

DELTA AIRLINE: A Hellish Flight To Lagos?

Passengers onboard a Delta Airline flight to Lagos, southwestern Nigeria, emerged from the plane half nude on Friday night following a hellish heat on the aircraft, witnesses said.
It was not clear what caused the air-conditioned system of America’s first class airline to collapse but witnesses described as hellish the last minutes of the flight from New York to Lagos.
It was learnt that about six people collapsed under the terrible heat, a source said.
“Passengers said the heat was unbearable. Many people removed their clothes, men and women were naked,” a source who saw and spoke to some passengers said.
“The cooling system failed and the heat was terrible,” the source said.
Many Nigerians prefer to travel with foreign airlines because of the comfort and safety record, but the latest incident may leave many passengers wary.
Meanwhile it was learnt that Ethiopian Airline flight to Nigeria’s south-eastern city of Enugu was cancelled because there were only three passengers onboard.
Nigeria’s embattled minister of aviation, Stella Oduah, who is enmeshed in a corruption scandal, designated Enugu airport as an international airport this year, but many airlines find the Enugu route not viable.
Source: PM News

AMIGO SUPERMARKET: Lebanese Sentence To Life Imprisonment?

The court found Tahal Roda, guilty of terrorism charges.
A Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced a Lebanese, Tahal Roda, to life imprisonment on terrorism charges.
Mr. Roda was charged to court by the Department of State Security Services, SSS.
The court, however, freed two other Lebanese, Mustapha Fawaz and Abdullah Thani, of the charges.
Mr. Fawaz is a co-owner of one of Abuja’s largest supermarkets, Amigo Supermarket, and Wonderland Amusement Park, also in Abuja
Both buildings have been sealed since the suspects were arrested by the military and the SSS.
The Court had on October 21 failed to deliver judgment in the suit, with Justice Adeniyi Ademola reserving judgement on the matter after the parties in the case separately adopted their written addresses.
The Federal Government had dragged the accused, Mustapha Fawaz, Abdallah Thahani and Talal Ahmed Rodo, to court over terrorist activities bordering on illegal importation of firearms.
The Nigerian military had uncovered heavy weaponry in a building in Kano allegedly owned by the Lebanese.
Nigerian authorities subsequently sealed off two buildings in Abuja, Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park, also co-owned by Mr. Fawaz.
The Lebanese were also accused of being members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon based group considered a terrorist organisation by the U.S.
During the trial, Simon Egede, who is the prosecution counsel, maintained that the accused persons were guilty of the charges, especially based on the evidence given by the witness.
Mr. Egede said that Hezbollah was a terrorist group and should be treated as such. He explained that any organization that was involved in bombing and destruction was a terrorist organization and therefore prayed the court to convict the accused.
Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who is the defence counsel, however, opposed the submission of the prosecution counsel, saying Hezbollah had not been pronounced a terrorist organization by the Nigerian Government.
He said Hezbollah was like any other group and therefore prayed the court to acquit and discharge the accused.
Source: Premium Times
UPDATE: Why court freed Amigo Supermarket owner
The court also ordered the immediate re-opening of Amigo Supermarket.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday sentenced Talal Roda, a Lebanese, to life in prison for illegal possession of firearms.
Mr. Ademola, who gave the verdict in his judgment, held that Mr. Roda was guilty of conspiracy to transport, import, sell and hoard large unlicensed firearms stored at No.3 Gaya Road, Kano.
Mr. Roda, also accused of being a member of the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, along with two of his compatriots, Mustapha Fawaz and Abdallah Thahini, were charged with criminal conspiracy and unlawful importation of prohibited firearms.
They were arrested in May in connection with a large cache of arms found at the Gaya Road residence in Kano. Mr. Fawaz is a co-owner of Abuja’s Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park.
The judge, however, said the prosecution failed to prove the allegation of illegal possession against Messrs Fawaz and Thahini.
“It is clear from the evidence adduced by both the prosecution and Roda that he (Roda) is guilty on count four and nine of the charge.”
“He did not only reside at No.3 Gaya Road, Kano, he was in charge of the arm cache, allegedly managed by Abdulhassan Tahir, now at large.”
“In this circumstance, Roda is found guilty of illegal possession which carries life sentence, while the first and the second accused persons are freed from this,’’ he said.
Similarly, the judge dismissed the declaration sought by the prosecution, urging the court to hold that Hezbollah was an International Terrorist Organisation.
Hezbollah is considered by the U.S. and recently by the EU as a terrorist organisation. The Lebanese organisation has both a political arm, which has representatives in government, and a military wing.
Justice Ademola said that aspect of the allegation linking the three accused persons to a terrorist organisation could not be proved by the prosecution.
“The Terrorism Protection Act (TPA) underscores the elements that must be fulfilled by a group to be declared as a terrorism organisation.”
“The court is not convinced by the allegation that Hezbollah is an international terrorist organisation.”
“This is because Nigeria is signatory to about 12 international laws on terrorism and Hezbollah has not been captured in these statutes as a terrorist organisation.”
“If such law declaring Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation exists elsewhere, it is yet to be domesticated and published in a Federal gazette in Nigeria.”
“I hold that the allegation is baseless and stand dismissed against the three accused persons,” he said.
On the allegation that Roda, Fawaz and Thahini converted Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park to meeting points to plan terrorists’ attacks, the judge said no evidence was adduced by the prosecution to prove the charge.
Ademola further held that Fawaz, the owner of the two business outfits located in Abuja, did not convert his two premises to terrorists’ haven.
“Fawaz, Amigo Supermarket and the Wonderland Amusement park are hereby absolved of all the allegations and are therefore freed,’’ he said.
On the charge of money laundering instituted against the second accused person, Thahini, over non-declaration of 61,170 dollars at the Aminu Kano Airport, Kano, Mr. Ademola said the prosecution could not prove the allegation.
“I tend to believe the confessional statement made by Thahini that he was at the point of declaring the money before he was arrested.”
“The security operatives that accosted Thahini did not do so because of the money he carried, they only discovered the cash during his search,’’ he held.
In his consequential order, Mr. Ademola said that the management of the Prison Service should immediately release the first and the second accused persons to enable them return to their homes.
He further held that Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park must be immediately vacated and opened by the State Security Service or other agents of government in charge.
Also, Mr. Ademola directed that the sum of 61,170 dollars sized from Mr. Thahini should be returned to him.
According to him, the impounded firearms should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Earlier, Ahmed Raji, counsel to the accused persons, pleaded with the court to use its discretion in sentencing Mr. Roda.
Mr. Raji said the plea was predicated on the fact that Mr. Roda was a first offender and had assisted the security operatives during their investigations.
He further said the convict has a wife, children and grandchildren to watch over.
However, the judge said that Section 131(1) of the Terrorism Protection Act under which the convict was charged, prescribed life sentence.
“This section of the Act has barred me from using any discretion in sentencing the convict,’’ he said.
Source: NAN

2015 ELECTION: SSS Arrest Rotimi Fashakin's Brother?

The suspect spent about 13 hours in SSS custody.
The Department of State Security Services has released Emmanuel Fashakin who was arrested at Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos, early on Friday after arriving from the United States of America.
Mr. Fashakin told PREMIUM TIMES on telephone that shortly after he emerged from the SSS detention facility in Ikoyi that his release followed inquiries by officials of the U.S. embassy in Nigeria.
Emmanuel Fashakin is a brother of Rotimi Fashakin, the spokesperson of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, a party founded by former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the SSS informed the U.S. embassy staff that they arrested him in error over what they claimed was a case of mistaken identity.
“They informed the embassy people that it was a case of mistaken identity and they had me released, but while interrogating me, they never said anything like that, they only told me this after they told the embassy staff,” he said.
Mr. Fashakin, who is also an American citizen, stated that his arrest might not be unconnected to a remark he posted on his Facebook page some months ago in which he criticised the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said he never took up arms against the country and had no links with any terrorist group. He said he was just an ordinary citizen showing his anger over how things have become in Nigeria.
“They were only lying when the American embassy called them. Back in the U.S. were I made the so called criticism, we have the fourth amendment rights whereby any American can abuse the president all the time, and nobody will come and arrest you, as long as you are not carrying arms to fight the government.
Mr. Fashakin was released after spending over 13 hours in detention by at the SSS’ offices at the Airport and Ikoyi, Lagos.
The victim’s brother, Rotimi Fashakin, had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES his brother was arrested around 5 a.m. shortly after arriving Nigeria from New York
“I was on my way to pick him up at the Airport when I received a call from him that he had been detained and his passport was taken away,” he said.
Mr. Fashakin, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, also said the arrest and illegal detention of his brother is a sign that the Nigerian government is getting jittery and increasingly repressive.
“They are showing signs of a regime that is on its way out. These type of regimes become repressive when they are dying,” he said.
He said “they did not allow his lawyers to see him, while, we his family members have also not been allowed to see him,”.
Before the release of Mr. Fashakin, his lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, had issued a petition to the director general of the SSS, giving him 24 hours to release Mr. Fashakin.
In the petition, a copy of which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Aturu stated that it is clearly indefensible to subject a person who had been on an eleven hour non-stop flight to the physical and psychological stress of detention which cause is not divulged for hours.
“Without doubt, the act of the operatives constitutes an unwarranted violation of the right of our client to respect for the dignity of his person and not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment as guaranteed by section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, Articles 4 and 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and all other International Human Rights Instruments,” he stated.
The lawyer gave the DG 24 hours to release his client after receiving the correspondence in accordance with Mr. Fashakin’s undoubted rights under both Nigerian and international law.
Mr. Aturu said it is worrisome that arrest of dissidents and principled voices is now becoming the order of the day even in a dispensation that claims to be democratic.
“It is important that we emphasise that preventive detention has no place in a liberal democratic society. Indeed, it is unconscionable and represents an intolerable reversal of the gains that our people have made in our unstoppable march from military despotism to a free society.
“As officers in the temple of justice, it is our bounden duty to put it beyond any peradventure that our client is entitled to be treated with all the dignities guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including but not limited to reasonable access to his lawyers, family members and doctors,” Mr. Aturu said.
Source: Premium Times

FACTS: The Boko Haram Atrocities

Boko Haram has abducted scores of women and girls, used children as young as 12 in hostilities, and killed hundreds of people in recent attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nigerian government, meanwhile, has failed to account for hundreds of men and boys whom security forces have rounded up and forcibly disappeared during Boko Haram’s four-year insurgency.
The rise of an anti-Boko Haram group allied with Nigerian security forces, the so-called Civilian Joint Task Force, has added a worrisome new dimension to the violence. Civilian Joint Task Force members inform security forces about presumed local Boko Haram activity; the Islamist group then retaliates against both the neighborhood vigilante group and the broader community.
“For a group that claims to be religious, Boko Haram’s tactics are the most profane acts we can imagine,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The killing and mutilation of ordinary Nigerians, the abduction and rape of women and girls, and the use of children for fighting are horrifying human rights violations.”
In a nine-day November 2013 visit to Kano and Maiduguri, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 60 victims and witnesses, as well as medical personnel, members of local rights groups, Civilian Joint Task Force commanders, and government officials.
Commanders of the Civilian Joint Task Force, working with security forces, said that they had rescued 26 abducted women and girls from a Boko Haram stronghold in Maiduguri and later in Sambisa Forest. Some of the women and girls were pregnant; others had babies. The commanders told Human Rights Watch that a number of the girls had been abducted while hawking wares on the street or working on farms in remote villages. Many girls who were rescued or had escaped were sent off by their families to distant cities like Abuja and Lagos to avoid the stigma of rape or pregnancy outside of marriage, activists said.
Several witnesses said they saw children in the ranks of Boko Haram during attacks. In Maiduguri, Human Rights Watch researchers saw a video recording of the interrogation by security forces of a 14-year-old boy, who described the role he played in Boko Haram operations. Commanders of the Civilian Joint Task Force said they had freed numerous children during a 2013 attack on a Boko Haram base in Sambisa Forest.
Human Rights Watch also observed children who appeared to be aged 15 - 17 manning checkpoints for the Civilian Joint Task Force in Maiduguri; other witnesses described seeing children manning checkpoints elsewhere in Borno and Yobe states.
Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that Boko Haram intensified its attacks on civilians following the state of emergency imposed by the federal government in May in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states. President Goodluck Jonathan in November renewed the state of emergency in these states for another six months.
Witnesses described Boko Haram laying siege to towns, villages, and highways; looting and burning houses, shops, and vehicles; and executing and decapitating people, some of whom they accused of aiding the Civilian Joint Task Force. In July, the combined efforts of the security forces and Civilian Joint Task Force appear to have pushed Boko Haram out of Maiduguri. Since then, the group has carried out numerous attacks in the nearby towns of Damaturu, Benisheikh, and Gamboru.
Boko Haram’s September 17 attack on Benisheikh, 74 kilometers west of Maiduguri, killed at least 142 people and was the most lethal incident in Borno State since 2010. A man who went to Benisheikh to look for a colleague on the morning after the attack described what he saw at a checkpoint that had been set up by Boko Haram and that was crowded with burned vehicles:
“There were bodies all over… three here, two there, four near the next – all lying face down, dead next to their vehicle. Then I saw a long line of bodies… about 30 of them. But weirdly, one of the trucks was carrying cows, which were still alive. Who are these people who kill the human beings, yet leave the cows standing?” he said.
Another witness described seeing about 20 women abducted during the September 17 Benisheikh attack. A health worker in Maiduguri told Human Rights Watch that he attended to a 15-year-old girl who had recently returned home pregnant several months after Boko Haram abducted her.
Security forces acting with enhanced powers, particularly during the state of emergency, established frequent screening routines for male youths in Maiduguri, detaining several hundred young men, according to residents. Witnesses described how soldiers pounded on doors in neighborhoods perceived as Boko Haram strongholds beginning at 5 a.m., ordered the young men out, demanded that they stand before a car with its headlights on, and then declared the men either free or under arrest. Scores of those arrested have disappeared, and their family members, despite great efforts, have been unable to locate them.
A woman in Gwange, a Maiduguri neighborhood, described how security forces arrested her seven sons, between the ages of 12 and 30, who had gathered in front of their home with 15 others for evening prayers in May. Another woman told Human Rights Watch that eight soldiers ordered her 10-year-old son to lie down, beat him with batons and tied him up, piled him face down with 22 others in an open-back vehicle, and then drove them away.
Two former detainees and three other witnesses provided detailed statements about the horrific conditions in the security forces’ notorious Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri. They said that hundreds of detainees died as a result of dehydration, illness, and beatings, while many others were executed.
Boko Haram should halt all attacks and release immediately all children and women in its custody, Human Rights Watch said. The Nigerian government should thoroughly and impartially investigate the fate of the disappeared, as well as credible allegations of arbitrary detention, use of torture, and deaths in custody by security forces.
The Nigerian government has a responsibility under international human rights law to take all reasonable steps to protect its residents from violence, but should not use excessive force, mistreat and torture detainees, or conduct arbitrary arrests in quelling the Boko Haram threat.
The Nigerian authorities should prosecute, based on fair trial standards, all those who committed crimes during the conflict, including members of the government security forces and pro-government vigilante groups. The Civilian Joint Task Force, Human Rights Watch said, should end recruitment and use of children in counterinsurgency and intelligence activities.
The federal attorney general’s office, drawing on information from the military, police, and State Security Service, should compile, maintain, and make available a list of detention facilities and detainees. The authorities should give detainees access to lawyers and family members. Detainees should either be publicly and promptly charged with a recognized crime in a civilian court or released.
The government, in coordination with the National Human Rights Commission, should establish a commission of inquiry on “disappearances” in northeast Nigeria; train Civilian Joint Task Force members in human rights norms and standards; and work with child protection agencies to facilitate the rehabilitation of former child soldiers and the return to their families. It should also help provide psychological and medical services to girls and women who have been abducted and raped.
“Many Nigerian families have suffered, even lost loved ones, at the hands of both Boko Haram and the security forces,” Bekele said. “Boko Haram must desist from waging war on ordinary Nigerians, while the government should take urgent steps to hold to account soldiers who have tortured, disappeared, and killed, regardless of rank.”
Fighting Between Boko Haram and Nigerian Security Forces
Since fighting with security forces in the summer of July 2009, Nigeria’s homegrown Islamist insurgent movement, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, has carried out frequent attacks on police, soldiers, politicians, and other symbols of authority, as well as on civilian property such as schools. The group is waging a war against the government to establish an Islamic legal code.
Human Rights Watch for several years has documented Boko Haram attacks and abuses by government security forces against civilians and suspected Boko Haram members. In a 2012 report, “Spiraling Violence”, Human Rights Watch analyzed the pattern and scope of the violence that has engulfed communities in northeast and central Nigeria.
In June 2013, young men in Maiduguri organized into a group known as the Civilian Joint Task Force, or Yan Gora, to monitor and protect their town and neighboring villages from violence. Members interviewed by Human Rights Watch said the youth had grown tired of being targeted by both Boko Haram and the security forces. The group maintains checkpoints; searches pedestrians, vehicles, and residences; and provides intelligence to the security services.
The Civilian Joint Task Force relies on members’ knowledge of the community to identify Boko Haram members for the security forces. The Borno State governor has recruited 1,800 youths, paying them the equivalent of US$100 per month to work with the Civilian Joint Task Force, who are trained by security forces. Recruitment and training of Civilian Joint Task Force members is ongoing.
Boko Haram’s Execution and Decapitation of Civilians in Benisheikh
The September 17, 2013 attack on Benisheikh was Boko Haram’s most deadly attack on civilians in Borno State since 2009. At least 150 members of Boko Haram took over and for several hours held a stretch of the highway near the town, 75 kilometers west of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
During the siege, they killed at least 142 people, according to officials from the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency, which cleared away and buried the bodies. The heavily travelled road connects Maiduguri with Kano, the commercial hub to the west.
Human Rights Watch interviewed seven witnesses with knowledge of the attack, including three detained by Boko Haram during the episode and four others who went to the scene shortly after Boko Haram members fled.
The witnesses described how heavily armed men from Boko Haram set up checkpoints that forced at least 30 vehicles to stop – private cars, commercial taxis and minibuses, motorcycles, and trucks carrying goods and livestock. The armed men ordered the passengers out of the vehicles and demanded their cash, telephones, and identity cards. Boko Haram separated the women and children from the men, who were ordered to lie down on the road, then executed scores of the men and several boys. During and after the attack, Boko Haram stole merchandise from the vehicles as well as from stores inside Benisheikh.
Witnesses who arrived shortly after Boko Haram fled described seeing several lines of bodies on the road, many with their feet and hands bound. Others were in the grass not far from the road. Most had one or a few bullets to the head and neck; others had deep machete wounds. According to a morgue attendant who picked up the bodies, at least six had been decapitated.
Witnesses said that based on comments from Boko Haram, many of the victims were targeted merely on the basis of where they lived: those from Maiduguri, Damaturu, and other towns in Borno and Yobe states were singled out for execution because of their perceived support for the Civilian Joint Task Force. Many of those from Kano and elsewhere were spared. A driver from Kano said:
At the entrance to the town, I was stopped by a group of 35 men in military uniform and turbans covering their faces. They were heavily armed with AK[47]’s; many had machine guns. They looked in my car and seeing I had mostly women, motioned for me to move on until I was stopped by another big group of more than 100, at the truck stop [where we usually pray and eat]. I was one of at least 30 vehicles. They ordered us out, yelling at the men to lie down on the road, and for the women to move to one side. They asked the men where we were from….
The driver never again saw his passengers, who were from Maiduguri:
While lying there, I saw them kill 10 men… they walked behind a small house with them, then I heard them in Hausa saying, “Uh huh… you’ve left us, you are Civilian JTF [Joint Task Force], you have chosen your side,” meaning the government. Then a shot… and another and another. Later, after BH [Boko Haram] fled, I saw the 10 bodies where they’d been slaughtered.
Another driver identified the bodies of two of his friends – one in a cluster with nine other bodies, another with four other dead. A third driver, who also searched for his colleague, found his body, but “his head was to one side… completely severed… I couldn’t sleep for days.”
A man who went to Benisheikh on the morning after the attack described what he saw as he searched for the body of his colleague who had failed to return home from Kano:
I saw four big trucks and about 15 cars or minibuses – most of them burned, some still smoldering, and next to them were the bodies… three here, two there, four near the next – all lying face down, dead next to their vehicle. Then I saw a long line of bodies… about 30 of them. Each had his legs and hands bound, and a cloth over their eyes… it was here I found my friend. He, like the rest, had been killed with a bullet to the back of the head.
Boko Haram Abduction and Rape of Women and Girls
A driver detained in September at a checkpoint manned by Boko Haram near the town of Benisheikh told Human Rights Watch that he saw Islamist group members force more than 20 women at gunpoint to get off public transport vehicles and climb onto two other vehicles that sped away with Boko Haram:
At their checkpoint they ordered us out, yelling at the men to lie down on the road, and for the women to move to one side. I remained on the ground for over 45 minutes… I saw them kill many men, but the women, they took them away… I saw two of the vehicles they’d stopped drive up close to us… one 16-seater, the other of about 10 seats. A few of the BH [Boko Haram] went over to where the women were gathered, pointing at which ones they wanted. They didn’t take those with children – mostly, they took young women in their 20s… they picked the fine [pretty] ones. They ordered them inside, at times pointing their guns, saying, “Go, go.” A few other women were ordered to get into one of their Hiluxes [vehicles]… The women were crying and saying, “Oh my God, oh my God,” as they entered the cars. None of the men dared say a word… Then they [Boko Haram] drove away with [the women]…
A woman who works with a local nongovernmental organization told Human Rights Watch that she interviewed a young woman who was saved from abduction during the Benisheikh attack after a former neighbor, now a member of Boko Haram, recognized her. A bus owner said Boko Haram released one of his captured passengers after seeing her walk with a limp.
In Maiduguri, residents told Human Rights Watch that, on several occasions, members of Boko Haram forcefully abducted several teenage girls. One man who had documented several of these cases said, “After storming into the homes and throwing sums of money at their parents, with a declaration that it was the dowry for their teenage daughter, they would take the girls away.” Some of the girls returned months later, showing signs of pregnancy or babies born during their captivity. One witness said his neighbor was shot dead for rejecting the “dowry” thrown at her by insurgents, who took away the neighbor’s daughter.
A Civilian Joint Task Force commander who had participated in a raid that freed some abducted women and girls said:
When we made Maiduguri “too hot” for Boko Haram, they ran away without their wives. Now they are picking up women anywhere and using them to satisfy themselves. Some of the girls we found hiding when we invaded Boko Haram camps around Sambisa [Forest] told us they were dragged into vehicles when hawking on the street. When we return them home, their families are too ashamed to keep them because nobody will marry a girl who has been raped or has a child for these bad people.
Recruitment and Use of Children by Boko Haram and the Civilian Joint Task Force
Several witnesses described the presence of children, a few as young as 12, in the ranks of Boko Haram. Witnesses to the Benisheikh attack observed some children carrying AK47 rifles. Human Rights Watch viewed a video of the interrogation by the military of an alleged child combatant who described the duties children perform for Boko Haram: intelligence gathering, tracking the movements of the security forces, transporting guns, burning down schools and churches, and providing information before attacks.
Other witnesses described seeing several children aged 15 - 17 manning checkpoints for the Civilian Joint Task Force, working with security forces within several towns in Borno State. Civilian Joint Task Force members admitted to having used numerous children in operations. However, one leader noted recently that “the military had advised us not to allow any children to enter into the Civilian JTF [Joint Task Force] as part of our ongoing recruitment drive.”
Nigeria is party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts, which bans the recruitment and use in hostilities of children under 18 by armed groups distinct from the armed forces of a country. Under Nigeria’s 2003 Child Act, the government is required to ensure that no child is directly involved in any military operations or hostilities.
Mass Arrests, Detention, and Disappearances by Security Forces in Maiduguri
Former detainees, family members of detainees, human rights advocates, and militia leaders described the detention in Maiduguri of hundreds of men in mass arrests by security forces; the numbers of detentions were particularly high in May and June 2013.
Scores, perhaps hundreds, of these men and boys remain unaccounted for. Witnesses and former detainees credibly assert that detainees died in custody from the appalling detention conditions or were executed by the security services within the 21 Armored Brigade, popularly known as Giwa Barracks. Both the detentions and deaths in custody appear to have slowed since July.
Human Rights Watch documented five major mass arrests, in markets, mosques, and other locations where young men are known to congregate. Witnesses said the security forces appeared to detain the men arbitrarily.
Human Rights Watch spoke with 16 family members of men and boys detained by the security services during sweeps of their neighborhoods in Maiduguri, including Gwange, Gamboru ward, Terminus, and Baga fish market. Many of the relatives saw the mass arrests. Family members and witnesses described how, often after Boko Haram attacks, members of the security forces indiscriminately rounded up and arrested boys and young men in the vicinity who were presumed to be aligned with the group.
Several people in the vicinity of Baga fish market in Maiduguri described how, in May 2013, security forces shot and killed 13 young men and arrested more than 200 others during a major operation. One witness said:
I was attending to customers at my stall on Democracy Day (May 29) when at about 9 a.m. soldiers surrounded the market and locked the gates… They ordered everyone to come out into an open space in the market, then separated the young men from the old… The commander of the soldiers… stood in front of the young men with someone whose head was covered… He would count then point…
Whoever he pointed at would have their shirt immediately torn off by other soldiers and the pieces used to tie their hands at their back. Sometimes he would touch people on their chest and if their hearts were pounding or they moved, their shirt would also be torn off and used to tie them. Some people became nervous, afraid, and tried to move away from the soldiers. They were instantly shot dead… Thirteen dead bodies were taken away by the soldiers when they finished screening us at around 9 p.m. at night…
They piled the young men whose hands they had tied on top of each other in the trucks that brought fish to the market… More than 200 people were arrested from this market that day. We heard later that those at the bottom of the piles were already dead when the trucks arrived at JTF [Joint Task Force] Sector 1. Those that remained alive were taken to Giwa Barracks later that night and we never saw them in the market again.
A man who was detained at Giwa Barracks for six months with 16 other men and boys from his neighborhood, ranging in age from 17 - 60, said he was the only one from the group to survive. Hundreds of his cellmates died at Giwa, the man said:
After reaching Giwa, many of us were chained to the columns – four of us on each one – where I remained for 20 hours while they beat us; an old man chained alongside me died right there, his head hanging limp. I watched as six of my neighbors died while being beaten with sticks and iron rods by soldiers the very first day we got to Giwa Barracks – two of them were brothers. They fell down and never got up again.
Of those in my group, the other 10 died from starvation and illness in the cell, where we were detained with over 1,000 other men… They died one by one like so many others, of illness, of sickness like dysentery or cholera, of hunger… sometimes up to 25 would be taken out of the cell dead. In one day I saw others being dragged off for interrogation, but they never returned.
On several occasions I heard the officers saying, “Just finish him,” and then a shot would ring out. Once I saw the major take out a Beretta [firearm] and shoot a detainee… only they will know what to say to Allah on the Day of Judgment.
Several witnesses described an underground bunker where men thought to be active members of Boko Haram were detained and where the conditions were even worse. Two witnesses described seeing corpses on several occasions brought up from the cellar and loaded onto an ambulance.
The former detainees and witnesses described gross overcrowding, with hundreds of men jammed into a cell: “We were packed so tightly; if you dared stand up, there was no way you’d find the room to sit down again,” one former detainee recalled. The detainees at times urinated, defecated, and vomited on themselves. One detainee said he bathed only twice in six months.
Witnesses attributed the majority of deaths in detention to dehydration and illness, primarily dysentery. They said the pace of deaths increased in the hot months and rainy season. One detainee claimed to have seen up to 20 or 25 dead being taken out per day.An 18-year-old former detainee who was arrested in his home with a friend, also 18 years old, said:
I was handcuffed to my friend for 10 months and had only one free hand to quickly use the toilet and get our meal, which is served directly unto our palms within the five minutes we were opened up in the mornings and evenings [to use the bathroom and get meals]. My friend became gravely ill and weak so our cuff was removed, but he received no treatment or medication except painkillers once in a while. When we were eventually released after two years through the intervention of a benefactor, my friend could no longer hear, speak, or walk… He is still gravely ill now.
A group of 70 women and children from the Terminus area of Maiduguri in early November protested the detention without charge of their family members at Giwa Barracks. One of the group’s leaders told Human Rights Watch that the detainees, aged 15 - 30, had not been permitted to see their family members, who had tried desperately to locate and visit their detained loved ones.
Witnesses at a hospital in Maiduguri described seeing soldiers bring corpses to the hospital on nearly a daily basis, both from Boko Haram attacks and Giwa Barracks. The largest numbers were in May and June, when the military ambulance would sometimes make up to seven trips from Giwa Barracks to the morgue, witnesses said. The corpses that arrived at the morgue were visibly emaciated; some with hands tied behind their backs, or had scars around the wrists, suggesting they had been handcuffed for extended periods of time. Some of the corpses had “necks hanging at strange angles” or gunshot wounds that suggested the cause of death, witnesses said.
Source: Human Rights Watch

Friday, November 29, 2013

INTERESTING: Man Post Youtube Video, Jailed?

A 21 year old Nigerian named Kayode Oshin (pictured right), who uploaded a video on YouTube boasting about trying to murder a rival with a machine gun was jailed for 22 years yesterday, Daily Mail reports. His accomplice, Junior Tahir-Akinyele (pictured left) was jailed for 14 years.
"Kayode Oshin, 21, attempted to assassinate Yassin Zouaiou with a Mac 10 in a feud over drugs and money in Hounslow, west London, after being enticed into a world of gang culture and crime’, a court heard.
Mr Zouaiou survived when the gun jammed - but a single bullet was fired, hitting his brother Mohammed Ali Subhani in the neck. But Oshin then posted a rap video bragging about the shooting on YouTube.
The shooting was carried out in an alleyway between North Drive and Kingsley Road, Hounslow, at around 1am on October 6, 2011, the court heard.
Oshin and a second man, Junior Tahir-Akinyele, 19, were arrested the next day in a white Mercedes-Benz they had hired for the attack.
Jailing Oshin for 22 years and Tahir-Akinyele for 14 years, Judge Timothy Pontius said the pair had been ‘enticed into a world of gang culture and crime’.
‘Oshin you are convicted of attempted murder, your clear intention was that Yassin Zouaiou should die,’ he added. ‘That intention would undoubtedly have been realised were it not for the fact that the mechanism on the gun jammed, releasing only one round.'
Oshin was jailed for 22 years for attempted murder; 16 years imprisonment for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and 14 years for wounding with intent, all to run concurrent.
Tahir-Akinyele was sentenced to 14 years in a Young Offenders’ Institution for possession of firearms with intent to endanger life with 12 years concurrent for wounding with intent.
Source: Daily Mail

ANAMBRA ELECTION: Soldiers Crush APC Protesters?

Soldiers deployed to stop APC’s protest
There was tension yesterday in Abuja following the insistence of All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to march on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in protest against its plan to have a supplementary election in Anambra State.
Soldiers were drafted to the INEC headquarters in Maitama District as part of a heavy security build-up to stop the march.
Some INEC officials met with security agencies yesterday. Details of their talks were unknown.
But there were fears that the march might be used to call for the removal of the INEC chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega.
The APC had written the FCT Police Command for protection during the march.
But the police turned down the request.
Soldiers have been deployed at various entry points leading to INEC and the gate.
A source spoke of how: “security agencies had been meeting in the last 48 hours on APC’s request and they have aligned with the decision of the FCT Police Command because of the likelihood of hoodlums hijacking the protest march.
“With recent security challenges at the nation’s capital, we may not be able to permit such a march,” the source said, adding: “I think some security chiefs might relate with APC chiefs for their understanding.”
INEC is said to be treating the march as “purely a security issue”. “It is true that soldiers had been deployed in as part of security measures. We cannot ask security agencies not to do their job,” a source said.
In a statement last night by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC vowed to proceed with the march, despite the “illegal” move by the police to stop it.
The statement said: ‘’We are doing this as a patriotic service to the nation because INEC as presently constituted is not capable of organising a free and fair election again in Nigeria. If the Commission is not checked, its incompetence and conniving acts could plunge the country into chaos of unimaginable proportions.”
APC explained that ahead of the march, it wrote a letter to the FCT Police Command to inform it of the planned procession and to request for escort to forestall a possible hijacking of the march by hoodlums.
It added: ‘’To our dismay, however, the FCT Police Commissioner did not only turn down our request for police escort, but also cheekily advised us to restrict our activity to holding a press conference within our party headquarters to convey our grievances to INEC .
‘’We reject this very patronising directive from the partisan FCT Police Command and hereby states that in exercise of our constitutional rights, the leadership of the APC will go ahead with its planned peaceful procession on Thursday, the 28th of November, to express our dissatisfaction with the corruption-ridden INEC and to pass a vote of no confidence on the Commission.
‘’When we wrote this letter, we were quite aware of the ruling of the Appeal Court affirming the decision of Justice Chinyere of the Abuja Federal High Court the in the case of All Nigeria Peoples Party v Inspector General of Police (2006) CHR 181 which said, inter alia: ‘If
as speculated by law enforcement agents that breach of the peace would occur, our Criminal Code has made adequate provisions for sanctions against breakdown of law and under so that the requirement of a permit as a conditionality to holding meetings and rallies can no longer be justified in a democratic society.’
‘’Being mindful of the position of the law on this issue, but as a law abiding and a patriotic political party, we nonetheless in our said letter asked the police to provide us with escort during the procession, in line with international best practices. That the police turned down this request speaks volumes about its disdain for the rule of law.
‘’We will not be deterred by the blatantly-partisan police, who have missed another great opportunity to affirm their neutrality and respect for the rule of law. We will use this march to prove the point that we shall not condone a police command, however partisan or corrupt, abridging our constitutional rights.”
Source: The Nation

N10.9 BILLION FRAUD: Ex-Finbank Director Now A Free Man?

The Appeal Court said the Lagos Court lacked jurisdiction to try the matter.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has freed Okey Nwosu, a former Managing Director of Finbank Plc, who was accused of N10.9 billion fraud, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
Mr. Nwosu, alongside Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi, and Agnes Ebubedike – all former directors of the bank – are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for a 26-count amended charge of stealing.
In a unanimous judgment delivered on November 21, the appellate court held that the Ikeja High Court, Lagos, where the charges were instituted against the defendants, had no jurisdiction over capital market-related issues, the basis of all the charges.
The appellate court, comprising of three judges, also held that the facts of the matter in the charges preferred against Mr. Nwosu and his co-defendants did not support the prosecution’s charges of stealing.
“The ruling of the High Court of Lagos State, (Ikeja Judicial Division (Criminal Law Division) delivered. By Justice L.A Okunnu in Charge ID/115c/2011 on May 24, 2011 is hereby set aside by this court,” Justice Sidi Baga stated in his lead judgment.
“Consequently, all the charges filed before that court with respect to the appellant (Nwosu) are hereby struck out,” he added.
The Court of Appeal said its judgment was only valid for Mr. Nwosu, since it was he who approached it after the Ikeja High Court quashed their efforts to acquit themselves of the charges.
It means that only his co-defendants would appear before Justice Lateefat Okunnu on the high court’s next of December 16.
While dismissing the no-case submission filed by the accused, the Lower Court had held that there was a nexus between the defendants and the theft charge.
Justice Okunnu said the prosecution had alleged that the four defendants granted loans worth N20 billion without the approval or knowledge of Finbank’s board of directors.
She also noted that the prosecution had alleged that the loans were disbursed to seven companies through a subsidiary of the bank – Springboard Investment Ltd – to purchase the bank’s shares.
“I am of the objective view that all these evidence ‘suggest’ a link of all the defendants to the charge of stealing,” Justice Okunnu had said.
“There is enough evidence to make it expedient for them to give answers and explanations regarding their conducts, vis-a-vis the said transactions,” the judge had added.
But in last week’s decision of the appellate court, Justice Baga held that the facts of the case filed before the lower court did not support the stealing allegations.
“What is therefore in existence is the fraudulent conversion of fund of the bank as instituted, into shares.
“If the funds in question have turned into shares, which is an issue in the capital market, can the High Court of Lagos State therefore invoke its jurisdiction on such matter on a charge of stealing,” Justice Baga said.
Chinwe Iyizoba, a member of the panel, aligned with the lead judge, in her decision.
“The situation here is different. The facts of the transactions do not in fact support the charge of stealing preferred against the appellant in the High Court of Lagos State,” Justice Iyizoba said.
The Court of Appeal, however, declined from taking a decision on whether the EFCC and the Attorney-General of the Federation had a valid fiat of the Lagos State Attorney-General to prosecute criminal of offences in the state High Court.
The court held that since it had pronounced that the Lower Court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter, it would amount to an academic exercise to take a decision on the issue of fiat.
Source: Premium Times

CONFESSION: My Boss Tried To Rape Me - Victim

A 22-year-old man, Eji Emmanuel, has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command over the murder of a 39-year-old trader, Sylvanus Okoye, who is said to be his boss. According to police, the suspect stabbed the deceased to death at his home on Ezemegbu Drive in the Okota area of Lagos.
“I went along with a relative to report the matter to Okoye and he gave my friend and I N5,000 and shirts. He told us not to worry, so we slept over at his house. At midnight, however, Okoye came to my room and attempted to have sex with me but I refused him.
“My relative later told me that Okoye had sex with him in the parlour that same night. We left in the morning and returned to Anambra State. From there, I went to Abuja where I remained for four months. However, one day, Okoye called me that he had a business deal and invited me to come to Lagos.
“I told Okoye that I would not engage in any act of homosexuality and he agreed.”
The suspect, however, explained that he killed the deceased in self-defence. He alleged that on the day of the incident, Okoye had attempted to rape him, again.
Explaining the events that culminated in Okoye’s death, the suspect said he was a dancer and was lured to Lagos by a friend, Chukwudi, under the guise of doing music business only for the friend to introduce him to the act of homosexuality.
He said he had gone to report the matter to his friend’s boss but his friend’s boss ended up rapping him twice and he reported the matter at the FESTAC Police Division.
He said the matter was transferred to the Zone 2 Police Command and the case was turned against him and this made him to spend two weeks in detention.
Emmanuel said he approached Okoye, who he considered an Igbo leader in the state, to help him with money to return to Anambra State when Okoye also attempted to rape him.
The suspect said when he returned to Lagos, the man claimed he wanted to open a bar in the area and wanted him to manage the business. He said he passed the night at the deceased’s home, but at midnight, the deceased crept into his room and attempted to make love to him, again.
In his words: “In the evening, Okoye served me with bread, butter and tea in my room. Around 3.30am, he crept into my room and wanted to sleep with me, but I refused him.
“Okoye was a big man so he attempted to overpower me, but I picked up the bread knife that was still left in the room and stabbed him in the neck, but he did not die. I picked up a flexible iron and bound it round his neck and locked him inside the room.
"When it was 6am, I stepped out of the house and gave the key to one woman beside the gate and fled."
The incident happened since August 16,2013 Okoye was found murdered in his home two weeks after he was last seen by neighbours.
It was learnt that following the discovery, the security guard and the woman whom the suspect handed the key to were arrested by detectives at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
After three months, detectives were able to locate the suspect in Anambra State.
A police detective said, “The security guard told us that he could identify the suspect if he saw him. In the course of investigation, we obtained call logs from Okoye’s phone and we learnt that the suspect had used Okoye’s phone to call his girlfriend in Anambra State shortly after killing Okoye.
“We travelled to Anambra State and we were able to locate the suspect who was even wearing the deceased’s clothes.”
Emmanuel is, however, insisting that he was not a killer but a victim of circumstance. He added, “My father and my brother are dead. I am the only child of my mother. Who will take care of her (his girlfriend) if I am sent to prison?
“I am not a homosexual but I was used. I tried for several months to impregnate my girlfriend but was not successful. I feel they have stolen my virtues.”
Source: Punch


NASU plans strike
Non academic employees in the universities are warming up for industrial action as a fall out of the resolution of the ASUU strike.
They took the decision during the delegates conference in Owerri under the banner of the Non Academic Staff Union ((NASU). The communique was signed by Deputy President/Chairman of the Universities Trade Group, Comrade Sunday Adeyemi and the Deputy General Secretary, Comrade F.J Ajayi.
The union said it would go on strike the moment a negative action is directed at its members outside the original agreement reached in the 2009 Federal Government NASU agreement.
NASU also expressed worry that its 2009 agreement with the Federal Government was due for review since June, 2012, noting that the non-implementation of the full content of the FG/University based Union 2009 agreement is a political strategy aimed at mitigating early review of the agreement.
The Union urged President Goodluck Jonathan to put necessary machinery in motion to commence the upward review of the agreement within the next three months.
The Council in session also warned the Federal Government not to create more crisis it cannot manage in the process of resolving the ASUU strike, adding that some of its members, including NAAT and SSANU who were formerly members of the Interim Monitoring Committee set up by the Federal Government in October 23, 2013 to confirm the initial payment made to the Universities by the Federal Government, have been excluded.
The Union also sympathised with the family of the late Professor Festus Iyayi who it noted had been in the struggle for a positive change in the nation’s education.
Source: The Nation

HOT PHOTO: Soldiers, Police Stop APC Protesters

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party demanding the cancellation of Anambra gubernatorial poll were stopped by a detachment of soldiers and heavily armed policemen and prevented from reaching the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission offices in Abuja. The leaders including former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, former military head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Bis Akande and Ogbonaya Onu, also a former leader of All Nigeria Peoples Party were physically prevented by the police from reaching INEC offices.

HOT PHOTO: Soldiers, Police Stop APC Protesters

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party demanding the cancellation of Anambra gubernatorial poll were stopped by a detachment of soldiers and heavily armed policemen and prevented from reaching the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission offices in Abuja. The leaders including former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, former military head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Bis Akande and Ogbonaya Onu, also a former leader of All Nigeria Peoples Party were physically prevented by the police from reaching INEC offices.