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26 Jun 2019

Again, Army Rescues Over 100 Women And Children From Boko Haram Stronghold

Nigerian troops have freed over 100 women and children from Boko Haram’s stronghold Mafa, Borno State, the military said.

The army said the hostages were rescued during “robust and aggressive clearance operations in recent days”.
“Dozens of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters were annihilated,” Sagir Musa, army spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Musa added that large cache of assorted arms, ammunition and so many variants of gun trucks and other fighting vehicles were captured.

The army spokesman also confirmed that troops came under attack on Monday but the army repelled and ‘effectively dealt ruthlessly” with the terrorists. He said three terrorists were killed.

But a report by Sahara Reporters claims that at least seven people were killed including three terrorists while two soldiers sustained varying degrees of injuries during the clash.

The army has regularly claimed control on most of the strongholds of the terrorists yet Boko Haram, which has intensified attacks on military targets, has killed dozens of soldiers and overrunning bases.

More recently in early June, ISWAP fighters attacked military bases south of Baga in Marte, Dikwa and Kirenowa.

On June 14, Islamic State’s West Africa Province claimed of overrunning 158 Task Force Battalion in Kareto, Borno state, killing the unit’s commander and nineteen other soldiers.

A large cache of arms of the unit, a tank and a Shilka were allegedly destroyed during the attack.

The number of military casualties caused in recent attacks is unclear.

The Nigerian military seldom comments on the ongoing counter-insurgency operations, and tends to downplay the insurgents’ effectiveness, rarely acknowledging engagements and seemingly understating military casualties and equipment losses.

Mourinho Makes Decision On Becoming Newcastle Manager

Jose Mourinho has ruled out replacing Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United, because he has no interest in fighting for survival.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss has been out of work since December, after he was sacked at Old Trafford.
And the Portuguese has been linked with a Premier League return, as a replacement for old foe Benitez.

Newcastle have confirmed that Benitez will leave, when his contract expires this Sunday.

Toon owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley have now been tasked with finding a new manager.

“The only thing that I know is what I don’t want: I am quite pathological in the sense of I have to play to win.

“Then, if I don’t win, then that’s my problem and the players and the club and the structure. But I need a project where the feeling is I play to win.

“If somebody gives me a wonderful 10-year contract and the objective of the team is to stay in the first half of the table and if you finish seventh, eighth or ninth, it’s perfect, then that’s not for me. That’s my nature.

“My next [position] is to fight to win,” Mourinho told The Coaches’ Voice.

The Real Reason I Fired Walter Onnoghen - President Buhari Finally Explains

The presidency has clarified why former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, was fired over allegations of corruption and non-declaration of assets.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the clarification yesterday during a meeting with the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, and chieftains of the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, who were at Aso Rock to table the rising insecurity in the South West region before the nation’s number one citizen.

He said: “What I do is when a person cannot justify what he has or fails to declare as the constitution specifies… some of them swear to almighty God that their property doesn’t belong to them until we show them their bank accounts and their companies, right then we have some peace.

“Anybody who cannot account for what he has and for refusing to declare, we will have to do something about it. I will tell you Afenifere leaders that that was why I had to deal, though reluctantly, with the former Chief Justice of Nigeria because there were millions of dollars, euros not to talk of naira which were not declared.

“I wonder what sort of conscience some of us have. How can you seat and preside and lock people up for years and even sentence some to death and yet you are not doing what the constitution says you should do by occupying that vital institution?”

Naira Gains On The Parallel Market, See Current Value

The Naira has gained a little on on the parallel market in comparison with how it closed yesterday.

See the current exchange rate:

We Only Spent N1.2bn Of Burials - Aide To Ex Bauchi Governor Blows Hot

Immediate past governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar, spent only N1.27 billion on burials, not N2.3 billion as alleged by the incumbent, Governor Bala Mohammed.

Abubakar’s aide, Muktar Jibril, denied that his principal used such amount to purchase woods and shrouds for burial of corpses at the Bauchi Muslims cemetery.
Spokesman to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor, Dr. Ladan Salihu, had on Monday alleged that Abubakar spent N2.3 billion on funerals within five months.

Jibril said his principal inherited the practice of purchasing burial materials for the graveyard from his predecessors.

His words: “In response to media reports on the issue of mahogany and shrouds procured for burials, we want to state that this is a practice inherited by the government of Abubakar from its predecessors. Considering its significance and impact on the people, especially the bereaved, it decided to continue with it.

“However, the project, like any other of same magnitude, was awarded to qualified contractors. Based on available verifiable record, N1,270,743,520 had been expended since its inception and not the exaggerated figure of N2.3 billion mischievously posted on the social media by critics.

“We urge the good people of the state to disregard this insinuation and act of desperation by elements of retrogression.”

He said every contract awarded was subjected to scrutiny and appraisal by the due process agency, in accordance with public procurement law, contract agreement, payment of tax due on such contracts and other requirements.

Noting that the figure posted was calculated to portray the previous government in bad light, he said the story was intended to distract people’s attention from the poor start of the present PDP administration marked by brigandage and affront to the rule of law and basic tenets of democracy.

Breaking News: Court Pronounces Judgement On Togolese Cook That Killed Credit Switch Boss

A Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, on Tuesday, sentenced 22-year-old Togolese cook, Sunday Anani, to life imprisonment for killing the Chairman of Credit Switch Technology, Chief Ope Bademosi, at his Parkview Estate residence in the Ikoyi area of the state.

Anani was convicted by Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile after he pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Anani stabbed his boss with a knife on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, three days after he was employed.

Anani, who fled the home with some valuables belonging to his boss after committing the crime, was arrested by the Ondo State Police Command around 9.30am on November 2, 2018, in the Yaba area of Ondo town.

The suspect, who initially denied involvement in the murder, claimed that he and the victim were attacked by armed robbers, who demanded money from Bademosi.

He claimed that when the assailants were not satisfied with what they got, they killed the Credit Switch boss.

However, Anani, who later confessed to the court that he stabbed Bademosi while trying to rob him, admitted that he was the person caught on the Closed Circuit Television footage fleeing the premises after the murder.

He struck a plea bargain deal with the Lagos State Government by admitting the lesser charge of manslaughter soon after the trial commenced.

Anani’s counsel and the Director, Office of the Public Defender, Mrs Adenrera Adeyemi, urged the court to temper justice with mercy.

She said, “The defendant is a young man and he is remorseful about what he has done. He is a first-time offender; there is no evidence that he committed any crime before this. Our humble application is to urge your lordship to grant a sentence of years certain.

“However, if my lordship is mindful of upholding what we have agreed in the plea bargain, we will accept the sentence therein.”

Opposing the plea to grant sentence of certain years to the convict, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Titilayo Shitta-Bey, said, “We urge this court to grant the maximum sentence for the offence of voluntary manslaughter act as charged, because there were some special aggravating circumstances surrounding the case, such as breach of trust.

“The defendant was employed in the home of his boss, entrusted with a high level of responsibility as a cook but barely three days after resumption of duty, the defendant cut short the life of a man who gave him a new lease of life, depriving him the privilege of enjoying life with his wife and children, which the deceased was entitled to.

“Judicial notice must be taken of the fact that this act of violence by domestic employees against their employers is becoming rampant. The sentence must reflect that this conduct is unacceptable to our society; we must send the message to others of like minds like the defendant.”

Delivering her judgment, Justice Okikiolu-Ighile said, “It is annoying that a young man like this would involve himself in this kind of crime. What did he hope to achieve in life by involving himself in this kind of crime? It is very painful that a young man, whom the family of Bademosi welcomed in their home as a cook, ended up causing so much havoc and endless pain.

“It is even more painful that the defendant had no motive of working but came into the house with a criminal intention to steal, to kill and to destroy. The defendant admitted ‘I killed him.’ This was an innocent and unsuspecting family.

“Sunday Adefonou Anani is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. The term of imprisonment shall commence from today (Tuesday) June 25, 2019.”

JUST IN: Nollywood Actor, Two Teenagers, Confirmed Dead In Swimming Accident

A Nollywood writer, actor and director, Kagho Harley Akpor, has reportedly drowned in a swimming pool at a popular hotel in Asaba, Delta State.

Although the details of the incident were still sketchy as of press time, sources said Akpor was at a location shooting a movie with other crew members when he fell into the pool.
The source stated that the director might have drowned as a result of lack of swimming skills, adding that as of the time he was rescued from the swimming pool, it was already too late.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeleke Adeyinka, who confirmed the incident on Tuesday, however, said he could not give details.

Adeleke said contrary to rumours, the deceased was not at a movie location when he drowned, but simply went to the swimming pool for other reasons.

In a similar development, two teenagers have allegedly drowned at a local pond in Ogwashi-Uku in the Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.

The victims were said to have drowned when they went to swim in the pond that was recently dredged for fishing.

It was gathered that the pond was not initially meant for fish breeding, but was a burrow pit where water from a cassava processing machine close to it was being emptied.

The pit was also said to be used as a waste dump by residents of the neighbourhood.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “From what we gathered, someone opted to dredge the pit, expand it and convert it to a fish pond. Already, the pit has been dredged and filled with fresh water.

“It was the pond that the boys went to swim in unaware that the dredging was not properly done, because there is still accumulated mud beneath, which obviously trapped their legs. This resulted in their drowning.”

Youths Dismember Herdsman, Display Body Parts On Benin-Ore Expressway In Protest

Some youths in the Ofumwengbe community in the Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, on Tuesday, blocked the Benin-Ore Expressway to protest the death of a yet-to-be-identified woman, who was allegedly raped and killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

It was gathered that the victim, who had gone to her farm on Monday, failed to return, prompting the community to raise a search party for her.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the woman’s corpse was found on her farm with one of her arms and legs allegedly cut off by her assailants.

It was gathered that the victim, who got married last year, was allegedly raped by the suspected herdsmen before she was killed.

PUNCH Metro learnt that herdsmen in the area had fled for fear of being attacked by the youth.

The angry youths took the body of the victim to the expressway, where a bonfire was made to protest her death.

The protest, which caused a gridlock on the expressway, was later brought under control by security agents.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told one of our correspondents that he spent four hours in the gridlock before the security agents were able to disperse the crowd.

He said, “I was coming to Lagos State when we suddenly encountered the gridlock. I learnt that a woman went to the farm and herdsmen raped her on the farm before killing her. The villagers took the body of the woman, brought it to the expressway and stopped vehicular movement on both sides of the road.

“The youth went after the herdsmen and got hold of one of them, who had a gun on him, but there was no bullet in the gun. They got hold of him and killed him, cut his leg and brought his body to the expressway.

“It took the intervention of policemen, soldiers and other security agents before we were able to go. The security agents at first tried to pacify the youth but when they were not listening, they had to use force to disperse them.”

However, when contacted, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, DanMallam Muhammed, denied the alleged clash between the herdsmen and the youth, adding that the cause of the woman’s death had not been ascertained.

He said, “The youth blocked the road, because a woman died on the farm and they alleged that herdsmen killed her. They did not wait for police investigation but blocked the road and brought hardship on travellers, who did not know anything about it.

“The woman went to the farm and this morning, she was discovered dead. The youth suspected it that herdsmen killed her but nobody saw the herdsmen killing her.”

Tension As All South-East Governors Reject FG Plans To Establish Herdsmen Settlements Across Nigeria

The Federal Government on Tuesday said in the next five years, the establishment of Ruga settlements in the country would stop open grazing by herdsmen and end herdsmen-farmers’ clashes across the country.

It explained that the establishment of Ruga settlements, which had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and had started in 12 states, would allow herdsmen to stay in specific areas, where they could graze their animals.
But all the five South-East state governors, Samuel Ortom (Benue); Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and the Ondo State Government have rejected the Ruga settlements, saying they would not give out their land for herdsmen’s settlements in their states.

Recall that the Federal Government had last year planned to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen, but many states kicked against them.

But On May 21, 2019, the immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, announced that Buhari had approved the Ruga settlement initiative earlier in the same month.

“Just 10 days ago, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a programme called the Ruga settlement. We are going to build settlements where herders will live, grow their cattle and produce milk. The milk will be bought by a milking parlour thus preventing their wives from moving around with milk. This is especially to avert any conflict between the herders and the farmers,” Ogbeh reportedly stated.

Also, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Umar, while speaking on the sidelines of the West Africa Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop in Abuja on Tuesday, insisted that the Ruga settlements would attract investors to Nigeria.

The workshop was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. West African countries including Nigeria, agreed to collaborate to address the destructive effects of antimicrobial resistance on human and animal health.

Explaining how the Ruga settlements would work, he said many states had indicated interest in the programme.

Umar said, “The Ruga settlement is one of the very important things being done by the ministry and it is one of the best things that can happen not only to Nigeria but to most of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a concept that we developed to deal with internal security.

“We felt that to do away with herders-farmers’ conflict, we need to settle our nomads and those who breed animals. We want to put them in a place that has been developed as a settlement, where we provide water for their animals, pasture, schools for their children, security, agro-rangers, etc.”

He added, “We also felt that we need to develop cattle markets whereby you don’t need to be transporting animals through very long distances. We will also bring in investors that will set up modern centres where cattle breeders can slaughter their animals. When we do that, a lot of other things will come up.

“We are going to change their (herdsmen) lifestyle, take them away from our streets and from wandering in the bush and develop districts, hamlets and towns and definitely in the next five to 10 years you will never see a nomad moving about, wandering or kidnapping. And this will end all these security challenges.”

Asked when the programme would take off, Umar replied, “We have already taken off. First of all, we are starting with about 12 states and we have identified the required locations. In each and every state we are going to have at least nothing less than six locations which we will start with and will settle these people along with other people that are interested in rearing animals.

“The Ruga settlement will attract a lot of investments to Nigeria and it is our belief that in the next five years, each Ruga settlement will provide nothing less than 2,000 employment opportunities. We are collaborating with the cattle breeders’ associations in Nigeria.”

The permanent secretary stated that many state governments had indicated interest and were visiting the ministry to get details about the initiative.

He said, “Already state and local governments are buying into the initiative. Many states have indicated interest. They have been coming to the ministry and will like to join to ensure that we set up Ruga settlements in their states so that their nomads will have a place. Also, they will have cattle markets and modern abattoirs in their states.”

Ogun: Amosun Opens Up On Illegally Importing 1000 AK-47 Guns, Two Million Bullets

A former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has denied illegally importing massive cache of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition into the country and handing them over to the police towards the end of his administration.

Reports had emerged Monday night in some quarters that the ex-governor imported, without appropriate permits, 1,000 AK47 assault guns and two million rounds of ammunition.
Amosun reacted to the report via a statement issued yesterday night by his media aide, Mr. Rotimi Durojaiye.

Though the former governor admitted handing over some armoured vehicles and light weapons to the Ogun State Police Command at the twilight of his government, he vehemently denied that guns were involved in the handing over exercise.

Amosun further clarified that he imported the security hardware with the approval of the Presidency, under Goodluck Jonathan in 2012.

The statement reads in part, “It is important to stress that this was not the first time that Senator Amosun, whilst in office as governor and former chief security officer of Ogun State would be handing over security assets to the police.

“The particular exercise of 28 May, 2019 was done openly in the full glare of the public and the media to ensure accountability, guarantee transparency and judicious use of the assets.

“In May 2011 when Senator Amosun assumed office, the biggest challenge that confronted Ogun State was insecurity. Political assassinations, unnatural and unexplained deaths were prevalent.

“In Ogun East for instance, which comprised of 9 of the 20 LGAs at the time, the entire business and financial institutions architecture had become comatose as no bank or such institutions could open for business in the entire senatorial district.

“Cultism, kidnapping for ransom, violent crime and tertiary institutions related criminality stank to high heavens. Ogun West was totally ravaged by cross border banditry, unbridled smuggling and economic sabotage.

“Ogun Central, though relatively calmer, had its fair share of the very low security index that our state had sunk at the time. No resident, in good conscience, could sleep at night with two eyes closed.

“In the World Bank Ease of Doing Business, 2010, Ogun State was ranked as Number 35 out of 36 as industries and corporations fled the state in droves.

“Senator Ibikunle Amosun took the firm view that nothing would thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity. He, therefore, decided that early to confront the myriad security challenges headlong and thereby open up Ogun State to private investment under a secured environment.

“The SIA administration convened a security parley amongst all stakeholders. The parley gave rise to the Ogun State Security Trust Fund (STF) under the leadership of a former Nigerian national security adviser. The deliberations and recommendations of the STF and the far-reaching initiatives of government have delivered consistent peace of mind, economic prosperity and social progress for all within the borders of Ogun State and even beyond since 2012.

“We note with immense pride that the same Ogun State, generally regarded as a back-water state in terms of security rallied round strongly to emerge as one of the most peaceful and the best place to work and live in Nigeria.

“The SIA administration sought help from the then President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government. First, we sought and got approval to set up “OP MESA” for Ogun State. We followed this up with the specialized QRS unit. We committed substantial funds into procurement of hard and soft ware, and, myriad security assets to decisively combat our security challenges.

“We got all necessary approvals from the Office of the National Security Adviser to procure the 13 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), the 1000 units of AK 47 rifles, 2 million rounds of ammunition,1000 units of bullet proof vests and 500 bullet proof helmets and other security communication gadgets.

“Ogun State not only got approval to import these essential assets, the federal administration under President Goodluck Jonathan, gave all requisite approvals to assist the state. The federal government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) issued the State the End User Certificate Serial Number 000001123 dated 5th of March, 2012. The Federal Ministry of Finance also granted Import Duty Exemption Certificate through a letter from the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy with Reference Number BO/R.10260/S.4/T.4/22 dated 10th April, 2012.

“Indeed, the supplier was an accredited agent of the Nigeria Police Force nominated for the job by the force, who also monitored and supervised the transaction. The security materials were cleared through the Murtala Muhammed Airport and confirmed through Nigeria Customs Memo NCS/MMAC/012/S.1. The materials were publicly handed over to the Inspector General of Police MD Abubakar on 22nd April, 2012 wherein he acknowledged that: ‘I have served in all six geographical zones of this country. I have never seen the kind of equipment you are donating to security agents today. This is the first of such maximum donation I have ever seen since I have been serving as a police officer.’

“Suffice to say categorically that the AK47 rifles were supplied directly to the Nigeria Police, Ogun State Command. The rest of the merchandise were securely kept in the approved designated armoury within the Government House precincts under police surveillance as it obtains in most Government Lodges, to guarantee exclusive use of the materials in Ogun State. These are not matters for the public.

“The suggestion that the security assets were quickly handed over to the police in order that the new administration will not know about it is laughable because the current Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR was the main supplier of some of the assets in question, notably, the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).

“As a governor who understood and took the responsibilities of his office seriously, Senator Amosun was mindful to account for and properly hand over the remainder of the security items to the police and the new administration. On 28 May, 2019, the last of the APCs, and all other security assets under the custody of Ogun State Government were passed over to the police in full glare of the media and general public. We believed that was the surest way to prevent these assets getting into the wrong hands.”
 
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