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… Capt. Hashim Abdullahi 





Nigeria’s Chief of Army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has denied reports that he accused international humanitarian organisations, including the United Nations, of infighting and promoting waste in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgency. Reports had quoted General Buratai as saying that the activities of international humanitarian organisations had contributed in sabotaging the military’s counterinsurgency effort. A statement issued by the spokesman of the army, Sani Usman, denied that position. “This is incorrect and misrepresentation of facts and does not reflect the position of the Chief of Army Staff and indeed the Nigerian Army,” said Mr. Usman, a brigadier general. “As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Army has been in good working and cordial relationship with all the UN agencies and the NGOs in our country,” he said. He explained that the reported allegation “was a result of research work and quotation from news report of a Nigerian news medium that the presenter quoted but reported out of context and without proper attribution to the original source”. He said the army appreciated the role of the UN, its agencies and all the NGOs operating in the north east.





The Nigerian Army has raised the alarm over the activities of fraudsters who have been duping ex-servicemen and others with promises of reenlisting them into service. The alarm was raised by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, in a statement on Monday. Usman said there was no such plan to reabsorb the legionnaires or any other set of people into the Army. He encouraged anyone who had enquiries to make use of the Army’s channels of communication, including telephone and email. The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to activities of a group of some unscrupulous elements that duped gullible members of the public especially ex-servicemen. “According to reports, the group has been collecting the sum of N80, 000 from legionnaires across the country with a view to bringing them back into its service. “While efforts are ongoing to track and apprehend them, the Nigerian Army wishes to disassociate itself with such criminals and their activities and advise the public to be wary of them and report same to any of the security agencies.  Above all, the laws, terms and conditions for enlistment into the Army are very clear; it is free. One does not need to pay anyone a dime or give any gratification to be recruited. “The public is please requested to take advantage of the newly established Nigerian Army Information and Call Centre to report any such issue and other security concern by calling the short code 193 using any of the telecommunication service providers in Nigeria or through email at”





The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has declared its readiness to partner with the Nigeria Army and support the newly established 6 Division of the Army, with headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, made the declaration when he received the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Major General Enibonh Udoh, in his office, on Tuesday. This was contained in a statement issued by the Director, Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Mr. Toye Abosede and made available to Tribune Online. Referring to the partnership as bonding, he said, “We will look at a plan that covers a five year period in which the NDCC will partner with the Army to develop infrastructure for the new division.” Ekere noted that it was in the interest of both parties to ensure that the partnership worked not just for the mutual benefit of NDDC and the Nigerian Army, but also for the long term benefit of Nigerians. He commended the 6 Division leadership for its contributions to the improved security in the Niger Delta region, adding, “There is need for more collaboration and interface between the Nigeria Army and the Commission for the sake of the Niger Delta region.”





A Lagos-based telecommunications firm has accused the Nigerian Army of failing to let the law take its full course on some soldiers, who allegedly led some hoodlums to vandalise underground cables worth N63m. The firm, Peace Global Satellite Communications Limited, asked the army to replace the damaged property or pay for damages, adding that the soldiers should be handed over to the police for prosecution. PUNCH Metro had reported that some hoodlums in company with the soldiers had stormed the firm’s office in the Ojodu Berger area of the state on July 2, 2016. While the hoodlums tied the cables to a truck and pulled them from the underground duct, the soldiers, numbering about eight, in a van bearing OP MESSA Sector 3, with number plate, NA 0002 9 Brigade, allegedly provided security backup. An employee of the firm, who challenged them for destroying the property, was allegedly beaten up by a soldier as the gang claimed that the cables belonged to the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited. The case was reported at the Ojodu Police Station. The truck and the vandalised cables were impounded at the station while five of the hoodlums were also arrested. The case was eventually transferred to the Zone 2 Command, Onikan, for further investigation.





The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, slated July 4 to determine whether or not Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume should be compelled to enter his defence to a four-count terrorism charge the Federal Government preferred against him. Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date on a day the government, through the Directorate of Public Prosecution, insisted that Ndume, who represents Borno South Federal Constituency, sponsored activities of the Boko Haram sect. The Federal Government, through a Chief State Counsel, Mrs. G. N. Okafor, told the court that it garnered sufficient evidence that linked Ndume to the terrorist sect. She said: “The charge against the defendant has to do with the fact that he rendered support to a terrorist group, the Boko Haram sect. “The prosecution has tendered in evidence exhibits P1- P3, which were statements the defendant made by himself. “My lord, these statements by the defendant connects him with the charge levelled against him.” Ndume had through his lawyer, Mr. Rickey Tarfa, SAN, contended that totality of evidence the Federal Government tendered against him were not sufficient to warrant the court to compel him to enter his defence to the charge dated November 30, 2011.  He, therefore, prayed the court to uphold a no-case-submission he filed in respect of the terrorism charge against him. Ndume told the court that he actually made contacts with members of the Boko Haram sect, saying he made that fact known to the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo. “My lord, from totality of the evidence, the defendant having contact with the Boko Haram sect came about when he was acting on behalf of the government. “He was head of the Presidential team that was set up to look into the security challenges in the North East. “Part of ingredients of the charge was that the defendant failed to disclose information concerning activities of the sect to appropriate authorities.





Three suspected vandals that disrupted oil production by sabotaging the Tebidaba-Ogboinbiri-Brass Pipeline operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, has been arrested by military Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Delta Safe. The Commander of JTF, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, disclosed, yesterday, in Yenagoa, that two suspected kidnappers were also killed in multiple raids conducted in the area last weekend. He said: “Troops, who were acting on a tip-off, spotted a suspected hideout at a fishing camp along Isonogbene, in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, where three suspects were arrested for complicity in the vandalism incident.”  Rear Admiral Suleiman, who was represented by Colonel Danjuma Abdullahi, added that “during a similar operation, troops deployed at Beneside location in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state also apprehended two suspects.” He said the suspects, Bibowa and Gomogo, were alleged to have been responsible for the sabotage and theft of Wellhead six actuator devices, an oil wellhead tool belonging to one of the international oil companies. He added: “Their criminal action led to disruption of operations in the oil company. The wellhead is currently under repairs.”  Colonel Abdullahi revealed that in another development, “troops deployed at Omoku Forest in Rivers State, acting on a tip-off swiftly responded and engaged some suspected armed kidnappers in a gun battle, leading to rescue of the kidnapped victim and death of two of the kidnappers.





The Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, says its troops have arrested five suspects in connection with pipeline vandalism and stealing of oil wellhead devices in Bayelsa State. Three of the suspects were said to have detonated dynamites to carry out the vandalism, while the other two were allegedly involved in stealing wellhead devices of a multinational oil company. The Commander, OPDS, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, who made this known during a press briefing on Tuesday at the headquarters of the outfit at Igbogene, Yenagoa, the state capital, said the arrest of the suspects were effected last Saturday. Suleiman said, ‘’The OPDS’ efforts in tackling the activities of pipeline vandals resulted in the arrest of suspected vandals that detonated dynamites which resulted in the breach of an international oil company’s facility located at Tebidaba-Ogboinbiri-Brass pipeline, on the outskirts of Imgbiba community of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. “Following the incident, troops, acting on a tip-off, spotted the suspects’ hideout at a fishing camp along Isonogbene, where three suspects, namely;  Mr. Ayebemi Dressman, Mr. Inimotimi Abule and Mr. Epemege Frank; were arrested in connection with the vandalism.’’





Some Internally Displaced Persons in the Bama, Dalori and Banki camps of Borno State have alleged that they paid money to soldiers and members of the civilian Joint Task Force to get food for their children. The women IDPs, who came together under an association, Knifar Movement, said in a series of tweets on Tuesday that they were pleased that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had ordered an investigation into the incident. The female IDPs, who also alleged sexual exploitation by soldiers, however, said they wanted an independent panel, which they could tell their experiences. They said, “In the Bama Camp, we were not allowed to find our own food. If you wanted more food, you had to pay the members of the civilian JTF or soldiers. First, we sold our jewelry. Then, we sold our clothes. When we had nothing left, our young women had to date the members of the civilian JFT and soldiers to feed their children. “Those in the Maiduguri IDP camp still pay for their medical costs. Last week, one of our group members, Bana Modu, died in the hospital because we did not have money. She died in Maiduguri because nobody gave medicines. On Sunday, we had to sell some of our cooking pots to deposit N3, 500 in the hospital and buy N4, 000 worth of medicines for others. “A bowl of food is what the state emergency agency gives four children to share in the Dalori IDP camp. We want the World Food Programme to request food distribution so we can cook. But SEMA says it will cook but it is never enough.





The Nigerian Army, 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, has pledged support for the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, saying the agency deserves to be encouraged in the discharge of its duties. The Commander of the Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Elias Attu, said any military officer caught violating traffic rules would be sanctioned. Attu spoke during a visit to the LASTMA headquarters with some soldiers, a statement said on Tuesday. He said, “What LASTMA is doing is very strategic and important. They are saving our lives and our time and helping with development of Lagos State. Their job is very sensitive and when they ask us to stop, we must not disobey because we are wearing uniforms.” He told the soldiers to always show courtesy to the officials, adding that when they were harassed by hoodlums, soldiers should support and defend them. He said there was no excuse for military men to drive against traffic except if it involved human lives. “The world is changing. The Nigerian military is changing. The era of brawn is gone. We now use brain, because whether you like it or not, it is the taxpayers’ money they use to pay us, buy our uniforms, ammunition and we must show responsibility,” he added. Responding, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olawale Musa, said the agency was glad with the cooperation of the military.





Heavy gunshots reverberated from the outskirts of Maiduguri yesterday evening when Boko Haram made another bold attempt to enter the state capital. Sources told Daily Sun the insurgents repeatedly fired heavy guns from Jiddari Pobo community, after the Federal High Court, around Polo area, at about 5:00pm, which forced many residents to scamper for safety. The military has, however, assured that everything is under control. “The situation in Maiduguri is under control. The general public is requested not to panic and stay calm,” a statement by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Lt. Col. K. M. Samuel said. Also reacting to the situation in Maiduguri, Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman said: “There was an attempt by a few suspected Boko Haram insurgents to attack Jiddari Polo and all have been neutralised. Situation cool and calm.”


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