Nigeria Army Abducts Two Shiites In Kastina

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has accused soldiers of the Nigeria Army of kidnapping at least two of its members.

This was made known in a statement by the group’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa early this afternoon.

Musa claimed the abductions began Monday when the soldiers bundled one Sunusi Haruna into their vehicle and zoomed off.

Read the full press statement below:

It has come to the notice of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) the abduction of two of its members by the Nigerian Army on their way back to their homes after evening session of Ashura mourning in Katsina state.

The abduction started on Monday 3rdOctober 2016 with Sunusi Haruna at Dutsin-ma, Katsina state. Some soldiers just bundled him into their van in a kidnap like manner, snatching the black flag of Ya-Husain from him. Since then he has been held incommunicado.

Then on Tuesday the following day, some soldiers in Katsina metropolis abducted a teenage Muslim sister, A’isha Attah, after attending the Ashura mourning session by sunset. She has since been reportedly whisked to Kano, though her whereabouts in Kano still remain unknown.

As at the time of writing this statement no offense has been established by the authorities holding members of the IMN, therefore we wish to inform the general public that the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar is a period of mourning the killing of the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Imam Husain in the year 61 AH (680 AD). Incidentally these members of IMN were arrested when returning from such a mourning sessions.

We don’t want to believe that Nigerian secular Army, as an institution has been turned into a religious vanguard, but its recent actions in Katsina is indicating the contrary. When has Ashura mourning session become a crime in Nigeria?

A similar report in Jos, Plateau state and Potiskum, Yobe state, indicated that some soldiers were drafted to the centers where such Ashura mourning is being held, though there was no report of any incident. An important question begging for answer is why the intimidation by the Army?

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria hereby call on the authorities responsible for the arrest of our members to release them unconditionally, since they haven’t committed any crime. We also call on the authorities to stop any harassment by the military on our members henceforth.




Former UI VC Shot In Failed Kidnap Attempt

A former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof Olufemi Bamiro today Tuesday evening was shot by unknown gunmen in Ibadan.

Bamiro was shot as the gunmen attempted to kidnap him.

The Oyo State Police Command, through its Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu has confirmed the incident.

The police said that the kidnappers had almost succeeded with their criminal mission when a team of policemen arrived at the scene and saved the former Vice Chancellor. But this was not without gun shots from the kidnappers who shot him in the process.

The attempt was another in the series of rising wave of abductions across the country the last heard of being that of former Minister of the Environment, Mrs Laurencia Mallam and her husband in Kaduna State Monday evening.

Kidnappers had earlier seized wife of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Margaret Emefiele in Delta State. She was rescued the following day.

Oyegun Plays Down Talks Of Rift With Tinubu

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Oyegun, has reacted to the call by a former Lagos governor and a leader of the party, Ahmed Tinubu, that he should resign.
Mr. Oyegun said the national chairman of a party cannot be removed on the pages of newspapers.
He said Mr. Tinubu’s letter accusing him of highhandedness and being a mole in the party, was a “bit too harsh”, but said the two politicians merely had a “difference of opinion”.
Mr. Tinubu came down hard on Mr. Oyegun in a lengthy statement last week, accusing the party chairman of betrayal and fraud.
“Evidently, some errant members believe promises and vows are mere words to be easily spoken and more easily broken.
“Chairman John Oyegun has breached these good pledges in a most overt and brazen display,” Mr. Tinubu said. “In doing so, Oyegun has dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead. It is an awful parent who suffocates his own child for the sake of a few naira.”
Mr. Oyegun responded on Tuesday at the presidential villa after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The method of getting rid of a national chairman if that is what I will call it, are spelt out in the constitution. They don’t take place on the pages of newspapers,” Mr. Oyegun told journalists.

He however insisted that there was no rift with Mr. Tinubu.
“We have differences of opinion, differences of perception and I think that is normal. Yes, I agree that the nature of the statement was a bit harsh,” he said.
Asked whether the party would reverse its decision on the Ondo election primaries, since it was causing crisis in the party, Mr. Oyegun said, “It is only INEC that can make U-turn on Ondo”.
Mr. Tinubu had faulted Mr. Oyegun’s refusal to heed the recommendation of the party’s panel to cancel the Ondo primary that produced Rotimi Akeredolu as the party’s candidate.
He called for Mr. Odigie-Oyegun’s resignation.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, who refused to go into details of what happened in the Ondo primary, told journalists that the report was with the Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar, the chairman of the primaries committee.
The two party leaders had met on Monday at President Muhammadu Buhari’s book launch in Abuja. It was their first meeting since Mr. Tinubu issued the statement on Mr. Oyegun.
On allegations that he sponsored some youth who protested at the party’s headquarters against the alleged highhandedness of Mr. Tinubu, the APC national chairman said, “God forbid, anybody who knows me knows that that is not my style. I’m equally shocked and I’m going to look into it and find out why and who is behind it”.
Asked if the handshake and pleasantries shared with Mr. Tinubu at Buhari’s book launch were genuine, he replied, “Do they know how far back our association goes? Do they know that we were in the trenches together in the NADECO days? Why can’t people who have mutual respect for each other have different opinions? All we had was difference of opinions, yes it was expressed a bit harshly but that doesn’t remove the basic fact that we have worked together for a very long time”.

Buhari Orders Sales Of Presidential Jets

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday disclosed that the government is downsizing the presidential Air fleet.
In a statement, he said the newspaper advertisements for the sale of two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000, were duly authorized by the Presidency.
The statement reads: “This is in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that aircraft in the presidential air fleet be reduced to cut down on waste.
“When he campaigned to be President, the then APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the presidential air fleet with view to cutting down on waste.
“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he likes to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President and other government officials that go on special missions. This exercise is by no means complete.
“I am sure the commander of the presidential air fleet will any time from now, call you to a ceremony at which he will hand over some other aircraft to the Air Force for their operations.”

Code Of Conduct Tribunal Finds Ex-Minister Orubebe Guilty Of False Declaration Of Assets

‎The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has found Godsday Orubebe, former minister of Niger Delta affairs, guilty of false declaration of assets.

Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal, delivered the judgment convicting Orubebe of the offence.

However, he gave him a light sentence.

“‎I hereby seize, on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057,” he ruled.

“The prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and all evidence tendered are admitted.”

He held that Orubebe committed an offence for not declaring a piece of property in Abuja, which he claimed he had sold.

The federal government had filed a one-count charge of false declaration of assets against Orubebe.

The government claimed that he committed the offence while he was a public officer.

The former minister is better known for his outburst at the national collation centre of the 2015 presidential election, in an attempt to prevent Attahiru Jega, a professor of political science and chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from declaring the results of the election.

Speaking with journalists at the end of the proceedings, Larry Izimoje‎, Orubebe’s lawyer, described the judgment as a travesty of justice.

“This is beyond travesty of justice. I can say that this is a case of whether you like it or not, I must convict you,” he said.

“That’s what played out today. Thank goodness, this is not where it ends. The court of appeal is there, so we will definitely appeal against it.”

The government claimed that he committed the offence while he was a public officer.

The Cable

Fresh $40M Found In Bank Accounts Linked To Former Nigerian First Lady Patience Jonathan

Officials of Skye Bank Plc have informed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of newly discovered accounts owned by Mrs. Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan. The accounts are said to have an aggregate  balance of $40million.

Last month,  the EFCC froze Mrs. Jonathan’s $30.1million in various accounts domiciled in the same bank. Sources at the bank told SaharaReporters that the latest discoveries were brought to EFCC’s attention by Skye Bank officials angered by the limp explanations on how she came about such a huge sum in the multiple domiciliary accounts earlier frozen by the EFCC.

The newly discovered accounts were said to have been opened by Mrs. Jonathan, using fake names, and abetted by crooked bank officials.

The EFCC, SaharaReporters learnt, has obtained a court order to freeze the accounts. Since the discovery of the bank accounts, Mrs. Jonathan has taken desperate measures to retrieve the illegal loot from EFCC’s grip, with the most recent being the hiring a lawyer, Barrister Osuagwu Ugochukwu, to write to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) requesting it to confirm if Mrs. Jonathan and her husband declared the monies after leaving the Presidency in 2015.

Osuagwu had employed the same trick in the case of the  Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, whom the CCB said declared the $1.5million properties acquired in Dubai, apparently using Nigerian Army funds.

However, a letter recently obtained by SaharaReporters shows that the CCB never screened General Buratai.

Sahara Reporters

Release Sambo Dasuki Now, ECOWAS Court Rules

The Court of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, on Tuesday declared the arrest and detention of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, as unlawful and arbitrary.

The court also held that the further arrest of Mr. Dasuki by government on November 4, after he was granted bail by a court of law, amounts to a mockery of democracy and the rule of law.

Mr. Dasuki is facing multiple trials for alleged diversion of $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms in the immediate past administration.

He is also accused of illegal possession of fire arms.

He approached the ECOWAS court after he was rearrested by members of Nigeria’s State Security Service shortly after meeting his bail conditions in November last year.

He has remained in the custody of the SSS since his arrest.

On Tuesday, a three-member panel led by Justice Friday Nwoke said Nigeria’s government was wrong in arresting Mr. Dasuki without a search warrant, adding that the pattern of arrest negates the provisions of Section 28 of the Nigerian Police Act.

According to the said section, a superior police officer may authorise the search of a resident belonging to a suspect assumed to be in illegal possession of an item, if the officer so authorised has a search warrant.

The court also noted that Section 143 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, allows that where such a search is proposed by the police or other authorities, an application must first be made to a court of law and and granted after due consideration of the said application, in compliance with section 144 of the ACJA.

The court further said the submission of Nigerian government that it came with the search warrant to Mr. Dasuki’s house but could not give it to him, because officers at his residence resisted the security operatives, was ineffective in proving its points.

Acording to the judge, the search warrant presented before the ECOWAS court was not certified and therefore lacks verifiable authenticity.

The court said government failed to prove its reasons for arresting and detaining Mr. Dasuki, as documents presented before it only emphasised the allegations of fraud and illegal possession of arms.

It added that the ECOWAS court was not set to determine whether or not the possession of arms by Mr. Dasuki amounted to an offence or not.

It however decided that the arrest was unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of local and international rights to liberty.

The court ruled that Federal Government should pay a sum of N15 million as damages to Mr. Dasuki.

It also decided that the cost of litigation will be summed up and charged against the Nigerian government.

Premium Times

Criticising Aregbesola Is Not Politically Correct – Osun APC Tells Ekiti APC

The State of Osun chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, backed the weekend visit of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to Ekiti state on the invitation of Governor Ayodele Fayose, who belonged to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Osun State chapter which lampooned the Ekiti State chapter of the party for not recognising the political maturity displayed by Ogbeni Aregbseola in his visit to Governor Fayose, over the weekend.

Responding yesterday, the Director of Publicity of APC in Osun State, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said: “Politicians should grow up and they should know the difference between governance and politics. Aregbesola is the head of government in Osun just as Fayose is the head of government in Ekiti. We are in a federation in which these two governors don’t necessarily have to belong to the same party.

“Their differences in political alignments do not stop interaction between the two as heads of their various governments, neither should the interaction between them be politically given.

“It will be irresponsible for any head of government to visit another head and then begin to throw political insults on him simply because one abhors the politics of another. Aregbesola has shown maturity in his interaction with Fayose. To criticise him for doing so, is not politically correct.”

Editorial: Parapo Mobsters

•Oyo must prosecute the armed mob that levied war on lawful citizens, even as it sorts out the LAUTECH ownership issue with Osun

The folly of mob action never came out more clearly than the experience of poor Citizen Osunbade, a staff of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, a university which Oyo and Osun states jointly own.

A mob, allegedly from a body that calls itself Ogbomoso Parapo, had pounced on Osunbade. His crime? That he was an Osun indigene, who had the audacity to stay on, when a pro-Oyo lobby had allegedly told him and fellow Osun natives employed by LAUTECH to choose between their jobs and their lives, because Osun was not contributing its own proprietary costs to running the university.

But alas, poor Osunbade, despite his name, hailed from Oyo and not Osun! So, the mob had fallen on its own!

As to be expected, after the crime had been committed, there has been a harvest of denials. Ogbomoso Parapo, an ethnic Ogbomoso grouping, has denied its members were involved. The police too have been trying to downplay the crime. So, has the LAUTECH branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) — and that was even after that mob had stormed the office of the bursar (an Osun indigene), and threatened to burn and kill him, but for the timely intervention of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Now, the first thing is to investigate this matter and punish the involved criminals. It is trite that civil society frowns at mob justice, which is the acme of injustice.

Besides, a university that tolerates malcontents, for whatever misguided reason, invading its campus and threatening or harming lawful and legitimate members of that model community, is losing its essence to savagery. The general society is only worse for it.

Now, back to the ownership imbroglio. Fact: some lobby in Ogbomoso has been pushing for Oyo to totally own LAUTECH, because Osun has allegedly consistently reneged on its counterpart funding to the institution. Fact: the Soun of Ogbomoso, by being part of a newspaper advertorial to that campaign, is part of that lobby.

If true Osun is defaulting, then Oyo, that bears the brunt, has a logical right to complain and seek redress.

But how is that an especial headache of Ogbomoso — because it is the host community? So, the privilege of hosting the university can morph into virtual ownership, so much so that some misguided elements could threaten the lives of Osun indigenes, who have as much legal and legitimate rights in the university as their rampaging Oyo counterparts?

Again, this brings out, in bold relief, the utter folly of mob action. Whether Ogbomoso Parapo  has no direct hand in the mob attack as it has claimed, there is a nexus between that action and the Ogbomoso stand in the ownership tussle. That is not good enough. Besides, for irredentists of Yoruba extraction, who believe carving up Nigeria to smaller cocoons is ready solution, this Oyo-on-Osun violence is deep food for thought.

Apart, the gung-ho attitude of the Osun and Oyo legislatures is a thing of utter disgrace, leading to the volatility of the campus situation.  Osun State House of Assembly’s visit to the campus, to assure their indigenes of protection they couldn’t offer, was silly; while the Oyo State assembly’s ringing radicality, on sacking Osun on the ownership question, was more emotional than wise. Both houses failed in their core duty of legislating for peace, justice and good governance.

If the joint ownership of LAUTECH is not working, let the two states, in the best tradition of civility, legality and legitimacy, not to talk of the Yoruba credo of Omoluabi, sit down to renegotiate the union or peacefully agree to a divorce.

Thugs, formed into a mob, storming a university, for whatever reason, is a disgrace to Yoruba civilisation; and a grave affront to 21st century Nigeria.

The Nation

Saraki In Fresh Move Against CCB Trial

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has initiated a fresh move aimed at neutralising his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
This time, he has filed a new suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking among others, to restrain CCT and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) (who are listed as respondents) from proceeding with his trial.
The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/117/2016 was filed by one Timipa Jenkins Okponipere, who claimed to be “suing as attorney to Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki”).
The new suit, a fundamental rights enforcement application, is one of the various attempts by the Senate President to stop his trial before the CCT for alleged corruption and false assets declaration.
Saraki had challenged his trial up to the Supreme Court and lost. He has also lost past fundamental rights enforcement applications, the last being the one dismissed on April 15, 2016 by Justice Adamu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In the new suit, the applicant seeks the court’s declaration that “the plan to resume the trial of Senator Abubakar Saraki at the CCT is a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He also seeks an order compelling the CCT and AGF to suspend indefinitely, any plan to resume the trial at the CCT.
Among the grounds relied on by the applicant, include that the trial at CCT was commenced at the wrong time; four years after Saraki allegedly committed the offences.
“Having regard to the aims and objectives of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and its functions in sections 2 and 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal (CCBT) Act, Senator Saraki ought to have been prosecuted by the respondents long before he returned to public life again in 2015 as an elected Senator.
“Indeed, the CCBT Act never contemplated that an incumbent public office holder was already corrupt before he attained public office, otherwise, people like Senator Sraki, who had a case to answer regarding his activities between 2003 and 2011 would not have been permitted to return to public life.
“However, four years later in 2015 4enator Saraki not only returned to public life as a Senator, he went on to become the President of the Senate, Chairman of the National Assembly and Nigeria’s number three citizen.
“It is nobody’s fault that the 1st and 2nd respondents were not vigilant enough to stop or prevent Senator Sarki from attaining public office. If truly the respondents were proactive institutions of government, they ought to have prosecuted Senator Sarki immediately after he left office as Governor of Kwara State in 2011, but they never did.
“The failure, refusal and/or negligence of the respondents to prosecute Senator Saraki for the offences he allegedly committed between 2003 and 2011 before he returned again to public life as a Senator, vitiated all his past alleged misdeeds such that, as of June 8, 2015 when he was inaugurated as a Senator, he was assumed to be a public office holder without blemish in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the respondents, otherwise they would have long since initiated proceedings against him.
“The subsequent attempt to put Senator Saraki on trial over offences allegedly committed between 2003 and 2011 are not only tainted with political mischief and desperation, they constitute a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing,” Okponipere said.
However, the AGF, in a notice of preliminary objection, has faulted the suit and urged the court to dismiss it for lacking in merit.
The AGF noted that the subject matter of the suit did not fall within the provisions of chapter four of the Constitution, containing the guaranteed fundamental human rights.
“The appellant lacks the locus to institute this suit on behalf of Senator Saraki in the absence of any legal basis which prevents him (Saraki) from deposing to the affidavit accompanying this application himself.
“The grant of the applicant’s reliefs will constitute an abuse of court/judicial process having regard to the fact that the subject matter of this suit has been determined by the Supreme Court,” the AGF said.
When the case up for mention on September 29 before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, neither Okponipere nor his lawyer was in court, following which the judge adjourned it to November 16 for hearing.
Meanwhile, the CCT will tomorrow deliver ruling on an application by Saraki seeking that the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar withdraws from his trial on the grounds that Umar made some remarks in the course of the trial, which Saraki considered prejudicial to his case.
Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN) – a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) – had in an application filed on June 13, 2016, accused Umar of making remarks that purportedly betrayed his bias against his client during the June 7, 2016 proceedings.
Umar had, while expressing his displeasure at the delay tactics employed by Saraki’s legal team (comprising over 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria) warned that the delay strategy would not “reduce the consequences the defendant will meet in this tribunal at the end of the trial.”
At the hearing of the application on June 21, Saraki’s lawyer argued that by his statement, the tribunal Chairman had already concluded that his client would be guilty and thereby exposed to “consequences.”
In a counter argument, prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) faulted Saraki’s lawyers’ interpretation of the tribunal Chairman’s remarks.
“That I am aware that the Chairman of this honourable tribunal on the said June 7, 2016 stated clearly that his mind is open to do justice to this matter and that he has no prejudice against any of the parties.
“The statement allegedly made by the Chairman of the honourable tribunal was quoted out of context without referring to the statement made by the Chairman to the effect that his mind was open to do justice to this matter and that he has no prejudice against any of the parties,” Jacobs said.

Anti-Corruption Activist Turned Senator Seeks Amnesty For Looters

A senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, on Sunday said President Buhari should order a six-month moratorium on the arrest and prosecution of suspected looters.

Mr. Melaye said doing so would encourage those who had defrauded the country while in public service to return their ill-gotten cash and asset back to the federal coffers.

Mr. Melaye’s recommendation was contained in an Independence Day message he posted on his Facebook page Sunday afternoon.

“I sincerely want to recommend that Mr. President grant presidential amnesty or pardon to all those who looted our treasury provided they return all proceeds of their loot to the government within six months of the declaration of the amnesty,” Mr. Melaye said. “This, I believe will encourage the voluntary return of the looted funds.”

Mr. Melaye said the refund, if properly coordinated, will help mitigate the impact the lingering economic hardship is having on Nigerians — especially those on the bottom of the economic ladder.

It will “empower the government financially to immediately commence the implementation of projects and programmes that will stimulate the economy and raise the people’s’ standard of living.”

Mr. Melaye said his option is better than the current “fruitless” endeavour of using state agents to pursue suspects who could afford formidable legal representatives that would manipulate the law to frustrate judicial process or even evade justice.

It will “save the judiciary and other law enforcement agencies the agony of fruitlessly pursuing the looters in and out of the courtrooms,” Mr. Melaye said.