…Capt. Hashim Abdullahi
- BOKO HARAM LEADER’S ALLEGED EX-WIFE NABBED IN MAIDUGURI
Ex-wife of the factional leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Mamman Nur, was one of the two teenage suspected suicide bombers intercepted by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Borno State. The leader’s 15-year-old ex-wife, Fatima Kabir, had Mamman Nur as her first husband before she was divorced and later married two other insurgents in a space of two years during her captivity. Fatima was four months pregnant and tested positive to HIV when she was caught loitering at a Maiduguri motor park. Speaking to journalists, Fatima claimed that she hailed from Gwoza town and was abducted by the insurgents and taken to Sambisa forest three years ago. She said: “I am an indigene of Gwoza town. One day, Boko Haram stormed our town, killed many people and kidnapped me. “Since then, I have been living in the dreaded forest and also passed from one Boko Haram commander to another. “I was tired of that horrifying life; so, one day, I resolved to flee, and I succeeded. As I was running, I saw a team of military men and quickly rushed to them and narrated my ordeal.” She added: “They sympathised with me and took me to their colleagues in Gwoza, who in turn conveyed me to Kano motor park in Maiduguri and gave me N3,000 to use for food and transport. “I was told to look for my parents in one of the camps for the Internally Displaced Persons. The night fell and I became stranded with nowhere to go. Some operatives of the civil defence apprehended us and took us here.” The other teenage girl arrested alongside Fatima, Amina Salisu, corroborated Fatima’s narration that they were stranded before their arrest and that they never planned detonating any explosive. She said she hailed from Gulak town in Adamawa State, but was abducted and taken to Sambisa two years ago. She also alleged that she was married to two insurgents during her captivity which lasted for two years. The Borno State Command of the NSCDC, Ibrahim Abdu, during the briefing, said the intelligence operatives intercepted two teenage girls, comprising an ex-wife of the factional leader of Boko Haram sect.
- ‘WE’LL ENGAGE BOKO HARAM UNTIL LAST GUNSHOT IS HEARD’
The Nigerian military has said it is going to engage the Boko Haram insurgents in the ongoing war until the last gunshot is heard from their position. The head of the military Counter-insurgency operation in the North East, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, while speaking at an Easter party organised for all military and security personnel, said the war was far from over and the military and other security agencies were ever ready to defend the territorial integrity of the nation. He said, “Boko Haram has come to inflict pains and mystery on our people, but you took up the mantle to say enough is enough. And that you have achieved, but I must say it is not over until it is over. Until the last bullet is shot by the Boko Haram insurgents or we do not see them anymore, the job is not over.” “That is why I am glad that we have here other security agencies that are increasing in numbers. The last time we had this, we were not this many. “I commend the resilience everyone is putting into this. The nation looks up to us for the cherished values our nation was once known for, we are beginning to retrieve it back. “It is your contribution that has led to it and you need to understand that that status must be maintained, we need to keep it up and we must know that we cannot rest on our oars but rather to re-energize, to reinvigorate and to ensure that we raise the bar of professional excellence and together we will end this madness of Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency,” he added.
- HUNTER BECOMES THE HUNTED, HOUSE INVESTIGATES ARMS PROBE PANEL
In what looks like a displacement of the Presidential Arm Probe Panel headed by Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Jon Ode from the top of the Pecking Order, the House of Representatives has mandated a joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Public Procurement to investigate the presidential arms probe panel. The arms probe panel was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari at the outset of his administration to investigate the procurement of arms and ammunition by successive governments. Before its disbandment last year, the panel indicted several former government officials, serving and retired military personnel, individuals and companies for the mismanagement and diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms for the war against the insurgency in the North-east. Several of those indicted are currently facing prosecution in various courts in the country. One of the notable persons indicted by the panel includes the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, who has been in detention for more than one and a half years, despite bail orders granted by three courts. According to a statement on Tuesday by media consultant, PRNigeria, the joint committee chaired by both Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji of the Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Hon. Oluwole Oke of the Committee on Public Procurement, which has begun investigation of the probe panel, has called for the submission of written memoranda/position papers from top government officials and the 241 indicted firms. A member of the committee, who did not want his name in print, said other stakeholders and the general public with relevant information on the matter have been requested to make submissions before holding the public hearings. Those officially invited to make submissions on their memoranda include the chairman and members of the arms probe panel, NSA, Defence Minister, Finance Minister, Interior Minister, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Accountant General of the Federation and Auditor General of the Federation. During their investigation, some members of the arms probe panel were accused of receiving bribes from individuals and companies that were being investigated by the same panel. One of the members, Air Commodore Umaru Mohammed (rtd.), was later arrested and detained by DSS for money laundering and illegal possession of firearms. Some serving security officials also accused the panel of criminalising critical institutions and indicting groups and individuals through media trials without being arraigned in courts of competent jurisdiction where the accused could defend themselves. Apart from AVM Jon Ode who was the chairman, other members of the disbanded arms probe panel included Rear Admiral J.A. Aikhomu (rtd.), Rear Admiral. E. Ogbor (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. L. Adekagun (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. N. Rimtip (rtd.), the late Rear Admiral T.D. Ikoli; Air Cdre U. Mohammed (rtd.), Air Cdre I. Shafi’I, Col. A.A. Ariyibi, Group Capt. C.A. Oriaku (rtd.), acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, and Brig.-Gen Y.I. Shalangwa as its secretary.
- CHIBOK GIRLS MAY NOT RETURN SOON –DEFENCE MINISTER
If you are one of those expecting the release of the over 170 girls being held by Boko Haram, you need to exercise cautious optimism as the Minister of Defence, Mansur Ali, has warned it may take years to find all of them. The Islamist terror group kidnapped 276 students from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014. While 57 of them managed to escape, three were found, and 21 released after the sect struck a deal with the government. About 195 are still missing and are believed to be in the custody of insurgents, whose activities have caused the death of an estimated 100,000 people since 2009. The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement has been advocating for the release of the girls. President Muhammadu Buhari, in his statement to mark the three years abduction of the Chibok girls, had pledged that his administration would do everything possible to ensure their freedom.
The minister, a retired brigadier general, told the VOA’s Hausa service, monitored in Yola yesterday, that the military was committed to finding the girls and was combing Boko Haram hideouts in the Sambisa forest, a vast area covering parts of three states in North-eastern region. He compared the inability to find the girls despite retaking most of the territory initially occupied by Boko Haram to the United States’ efforts to find Osama bin Laden after the invasion of Afghanistan. “It took the US up to seven, eight, up to 10 years before they could get to bin Laden. We are continuing our campaign in the Sambisa forest in all its nooks and crannies,” he said. Brig-Gen Ali spoke to VOA against the backdrop of intense pressure by activists on the Federal Government to intensify effort to free the girls. In 2014, Boko Haram seized control of about 14 local governments in the Northeast region. But they have since been flushed out of virtually all the territory they occupied by Nigerian soldiers. However, the government’s inability to find the Chibok girls has continued to overshadow the military’s victory. While reacting to the abduction on the VOA programme, an Islamic cleric, Nuru Khalid, a member of the influential Interfaith group that tries to ensure peace between Nigerian Muslims and Christians, said failure to find the girls would translate into a victory for Boko Haram. “We can never allow the terrorists to win the war. If they got (away) free with those girls, then they have relatively won the war,” Khalid said.
- NIGERIAN AIR FORCE TO UNVEIL NEW AIRCRAFT ON 53RD ANNIVERSARY
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has concluded plans for the public presentation of two newly acquired Mi-35M sophisticated attack aircraft. The new airplanes, which would be unveiled at the 53rd anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force scheduled for this weekend in Makurdi, Benue State, has unique features, in addition to its capacity to fully operate in both day and night hours irrespective of the weather conditions. Director of NAF Operations and the Chairman, 2017 NAF Day Organising Committee, Air Vice Marshall, Oladayo Amao, told newsmen at the pre-event press conference in Abuja yesterday that the 2017 NAF day celebration would focus on the theme, “employment of air power for enduring national security.” AVM Amao said that annual NAF Day basically offer opportunity for stock taking, considering the active role of NAF in combating both real and perceived territorial challenges facing Nigeria. He said, “There is no gain saying that the priority of the NAF lies in the consolidation of the gains of air power employment especially at this crucial stage in the history of Nigeria.” He further highlighted other programmes lined up to celebrate the great achievements of the Nigerian Air Force, particularly in securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria. According to him, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has directed that holistic medical outreach be conducted in all NAF commands and Abuja throughout the period of the celebration, for people living within the immediate host communities around NAF bases.
- BHT: NAF BLOW UP SCORES IN GWOZA HILLS; KILLS 57 TERRORISTS IN ‘OPERATION DEEP PUNCH’
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has activated ‘Operation Deep Punch’, the chapter of the counter insurgency operation code-named tailored towards clearing out remnants of Boko Haram terrorists, who escaped to different axis of the North East, following the fall of Sambisa. The NAF noted that the new operation commenced early this year and has recorded tremendous success in curtailing the excesses of the fleeing Boko Haram terrorists particularly its clear out of scores of terrorists massing atop the Gwoza hills. According to the Air Component Commander of Operation Lafia Dole, Air Commodore Charles Owoh who was briefing on the first quarter operations for 2017, the Air Component’s projection for second quarter of 2017 would include the continuous projection of close air support for the surface forces and independent missions in support of the Operation Deep punch. Owoh maintained that Nigerians should expect more result oriented missions from the NAF in years ahead as the experience garnered in 2016 has brought to the fore a number of operational gaps in the application of air power. He noted that the overall objective was to improve capabilities, methodology and refine processes with a view to ensuring effectiveness and efficiency in the application of airpower. Giving details of operational statistics from January to March 2017, Owoh said the Air Component of Operation Lafia Dole carried out a total of 974 sorties in 1,486 hours and 26 minutes, flying hours in 701 missions with a total of jet A-1 of 1,227,834,960 of fuel at the cost of N343,834,960 and a total of 1,206L for Gas. He pointed out NAF engagements in these operations are in the areas of close air support, interdiction, surveillance, and logistics resupply missions, air transport and medical/causality evacuation for surface forces. Speaking further, the Air Component Commander stated that the NAF is set to fully deploy its unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV CH-34), newly acquired Mi-35M gunship helicopters and recently enrolled L-39ZA jets to reinforce the air capability in the second quarter. He said the NAF Forward Operation Base in Monguno was also under reactivation to support the combat and non-combat helicopter’s operations in support of the various operations Meanwhile, Owho confirmed that troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole and the Multi-National Joint Task Force shot dead at least 57 Boko Haram terrorists in Arege area of northern Borno State, during a recent gun battle. The Boko Haram insurgents, who were regrouping under trees in the area, were reportedly caught by an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform of the air component, Lafiya Dole, before the MNJTF troops opened fire on them.
- BOMB BLAST KILLS 1 VIGILANTE, INJURES 7 OTHERS IN YOBE
An explosive device believed to have been planted by Boko Haram insurgents has exploded, killing one and injuring seven other members of a vigilante group near a bridge at Wulle village, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State. The Commander of the affected vigilante group, Mallam Muhammad Awana, said, “Yes, the incident happened, and we are sad about it but it will not deter us from fighting the insurgents.
“We will continue to look out for these criminals till we wipe them off completely to restore normalcy.” Sources said the vigilantes responded to a distress call from the village that the insurgents snatched a vehicle, and they had rushed to cordon off the area for search operation when the explosion occurred. One of the vigilantes who escaped the explosion, Malam Baitu, said the explosive device planted by the insurgents went off and killed the driver conveying them for the operation. He said those that sustained injuries (7 of them) have been treated at the Damaturu Specialist Hospital.
- WHY MILITARY TAKES OVER BATTLE AGAINST INSURGENCY FROM POLICE — IGP IDRIS
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, explained, yesterday, that the military had taken over the role of the police in combating internal crises in the country because the latter lacked sophisticated weapons. He also dismissed recent reports by some international rights groups, especially Amnesty International, of rights violations by security agencies in the management of internal crises in the country, insisting that the rules of engagement were being applied in line with international best practices. Idris particularly said the military was in the forefront of battle against resource-based and sectarian insurgency in the country rather than the police which, he noted, was the primary institution saddled with responsibility of dealing with internal security. According to him, the police have no sophisticated weapons to match those used by insurgents. His revelation was contained in a keynote address presented at a seminar with the theme, Counter Insurgency, Human Rights and Good Governance in the context of Nigeria Situation, organised by a civil society organisation, under the aegis of Global Amnesty Watch, GAW, in Abuja, yesterday. “The police, being the primary institution saddled with the responsibility of internal security, had much to contend with in the rising wave of resource-based and sectarian insurgency, hence the military had to step in to assist as the police had no sophisticated weapons to match the ones used by the insurgents,” he said.
- GUNMEN KILL 2 COPS, STEAL GUNS IN SULEJA
Suspected gunmen on Thursday night shot dead two policemen and escaped with their guns at an outpost near Suleja, Niger State. A resident of the area, who gave his name as Salihu, said the incident happened at about 8:22 p.m. at Maje police outpost, near Suleja town. He said the two suspects alighted from an unmarked vehicle and went straight to where the policemen were sitting and opened fire on them, killing them on the spot before taking away their guns. “The sound of the gun shots attracted residents of the area and caused the people to scamper for safety,” he added. He said the suspected gunmen immediately went back into their vehicle and sped off towards Minna road. It was gathered that the remains of the deceased policemen have been deposited at Suleja General Hospital. When contacted, the Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said, “Yes, that is what we are actually appraising, but I will get back to you later,” he told our reporter on phone.
- POLICE KILL SUSPECTED KILLERS OF POLICE, ARMY PERSONNEL IN IKORODU
The Inspector general of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris Intelligence Response Team (IRT), has engaged some of the vicious and notorious criminal/militant gang responsible for the killings in an ambush of two Inspectors of Police, two Police sergeants and an Army Captain and also wounded the Divisional Police Officer in Ikorodu area of Lagos Sate on Sunday April, 9, 2017 and killed one of them. After the gun duel a principal suspect now deceased who is a kingpin in the killings of the Policemen and the Army Officer, one Endurance Ominisan aka, mighty, native of Arogbo town in Ondo State was shot while trying to escape from the roof top of a house at No. 20 Joel Adebolu Street, Ibeshi area of Ikorodu. In a statement by the FPRO, CSP Jimoh Moshood, while he was being taken for medical treatment, he made oral confessional statement admitting to the criminal roles he played along with other suspects at large in some kidnap for ransom cases and militant attacks on Ikorodu and other neighbouring communities in Lagos State. He also confessed to Oniba of Iba kidnapping, Turkish School children and members of staff kidnapping and many other kidnappings in Lagos and Ogun States before he was confirmed dead at the Hospital. The FPRO noted that the Police Special Units and IGP Intelligence Response Team are on the trail of the other members of this vicious and notorious gang. CSP Moshood also noted that much progress have been made in the investigation of the gruesome murder of the Police and military personnel.
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