By Capt. Hashim Abdullahi
1. ARMY LAUNCHES OPERATION TO END CATTLE RUSTLING
The 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna has launched a special operation in parts of Kaduna and Niger States to tackle rising cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling. The operation, code named `Karamin Goro’, will cover Minna-Birnin Gwari-Pandogari and Minna-Sarkin Pawa general area, a statement by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Muhammad Dole said on Thursday.Dole said in Kaduna that the special operation involved the Nigeria Air Force, Police, DSS operatives and Nigeria Civil Defence Corps. He said emerging cases of armed robberies, cattle rustling and kidnappings in the affected areas have continued to pose serious security threats to Nigerians. “These criminals use the thick forests as hideouts and major highways as staging areas to perpetuate their nefarious activities along highways, major roads, adjoining towns and villages. “As a result of their dastardly acts, some remote villages were completely deserted, causing the residents to abandon their ancestral domains to unknown destinations for their safety.
2. MAJORITY OF 50,000 BOKO HARAM ORPHANS ARE GIRL CHILD – KASHIM SHETIMA
The Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima has disclosed that the majority of the 50,000 children orphaned by the Boko Haram crisis who are taking refuge at the various internally Displaced persons ( IDPs) camps in Maiduguri and environs are Girl child. Shettima made the disclosure Tuesday in Maiduguri while officially launching the flag -off of the Nine European Union ( EU ) – funded projects aimed at building the resilience in conflict affected communities in Borno state . He said the Nine projects which will benefit over one Million displaced persons for which EU has earmarked 123 million Euros include : Basic Services (Health , Education , Nutrition ,Water, Sanitation and Hygiene- Wash- and electricity); and social protection ( Livelihood opportunities , Vocational training and social safety nets. Governor kashim Shettima who was represented by his Deputy, Usman Durkwa at the occasion thanked the EU for the support, saying that the project will go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the citizens displaced by the Boko Haram crisis.
3. BOKO HARAM, MILITANCY CAN END IN SIX MONTHS IF – UNC BOSS
Amid escalating violence in parts of the country, the United Nigeria Chaplaincy (UNC) has declared that it can end within six months the menace of Boko Haram, militancy and other strands of violence plaguing the nation. The International Commandant General of the Chaplaincy, Prof. Jide Jisos Ejie assured that sustainable peace can be attained within six months if President Muhammadu Buhari expedites action towards signing into law the UNC bill currently before the National Assembly. The UNC bill seeks for an Act to establish the organization, a pro-One Nigeria association as a legal entity. Speaking at the UNC’s Peace Summit in Abuja on Monday, the Professor of Human Resources stated that the organization has men on the ground working in all 36 States of the federation to rebrand the minds of Nigerians to embrace peace, stressing that the chaplaincy’s mission aims at making Nigeria indivisible.
4. GOVERNOR EL-RUFA’I BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF SECURITY COMMAND CENTRE
Govenor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Tuesday laid the foundation of a command centre to serve for internal security in the state. The governor said at the ceremony in Kaduna that the government decided to establish the CCTV Command Center to boost security in the state. He said, when completed, the centre would have modern security tracking equipment to ensure all round security surveillance and monitoring. The governor disclosed that Close Circuit Camera TV will be deployed within the metropolis while stationed and mobile drones will be deployed to monitor forests all over the state, especially, “where we suspect bandits are located”. He said: “We are also going to have optical fiber network in Kaduna to connect key government facilities with the command center.
5. ARMY BEGINS MANHUNT FOR KILLERS OF BEHEADED SOLDIER
The Nigerian Army has launched a military operation at at Toru-Ndoro community in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, to fish out those who beheaded a soldier in the area. A security source disclosed that four soldiers were killed in the bloody clash between militants and soldiers. Trouble started in the community following the beheading of a soldier. The Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe subsequently launched a manhunt in the area with a mandate to arrest the militants behind the dastardly act. The Ijaw Youths Council and Bayelsa government had accused troops of violence and razing houses of innocent residents in the area. Four of the soldiers who are in the operation were said to have been killed in a shootout with the militants. The Commander of JTF Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, has deployed more troops as reinforcement in the community.
6. SECURITY COMMITTEE INTERCEPTS UNIDENTIFIED HERDSMEN IN DELTA
The Security Committee on Herdsmen and Farmers recently constituted by the Police Command in Delta State has intercepted a group of unidentified herdsmen and their cattle. Spokesperson for the command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, who made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Asaba, said the unidentified herdsmen claimed to have arrived Asaba from Kogi State. He said the committee swung into action following the circulation of a video on the social media that claimed some armed herdsmen had arrived Asaba through the River Niger. The police spokesperson, however, explained that none of the herdsmen was found with firearms as alleged on the social media. According to him, a herder, Alhaji Katti, who has been resident in the area for over three decades, is the only herdsman remaining there. Aniamaka said the committee warned Katti not to harbour any unidentified migrant herdsmen in the area forthwith.
7. POLICE ARREST KILLERS OF 19 VILLAGERS AND TWO POLICEMEN
The killers of 19 villagers and two policemen in Alawa In Shiroro local government area of Niger state have been arrested by the Police. The Force Public Relation Officer, Jimoh Moshood while parading the bandits at the Niger state Police Command said that the 11 bandits were responsible for razing down the Police Station at Alawa and killing two policemen. He added that the bandits, who have been terrorising Tegina, Makera, Shiroro areas in Niger state and Zamfara state, have confessed to have kidnap and killed 19 people including seven people that were kidnapped in a mosque in Shiroro local government area. Moshood added that the bandits were arrested by a special Tactical Squad under Operation Absolute Sanity set up by the Inspector General of Police. It was gathered that the suspects were once vigilantes in Alawa community of Shiroro local government area who turned to kidnapping when they saw it would be more profitable for them. Questioning the leader of the gang, Lawal Kwali ‘Mai saje’, he said that he was not commissioned to kidnap and kill any NJ ody adding that ‘I killed them just like that. ‘Accepting responsibility for the whole operation, Kwali said, ‘what my boys did, the people they killed were done under my directive. I was not paid or commissioned for their kidnap or killing, I did it and gave the orders out of my own discretion.” One of the suspects, Zakari Mamman recounted a scenario where a father was pleading that his son was spared but they ended up killing both father and son adding that he worked at the directive of Kwali confessing that they buried the bodies of their victims in a secondary school in Alawa.
8. TERRORISM: COURT SENTENCES BERENDE, ADEWUMI TO 40 YEARS IMPRISONMENT
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and Saheed Oluremi Adewumi to a total of 40 years imprisonment for committing acts of terrorism. But both convicts, Berende and Adewumi might have spent their sentences as the six count charge on which they were found guilty are running concurrently. They have been in detention since 2012. Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who handed over the sentence in a judgment delivered on Wednesday, held that the confessional statements of both the convicts attested to the fact that they indeed committed acts of terrorism. He said the evidences of the convicts were collaborated by the evidences of prosecution witnesses. The judge said, “And after reviewing the evidences of eight prosecution witness and those of the defendants, I found Berende guilty on all six count. I found the second defendant guilty on count 5 and 6.” In his sentencing, the judge said: “In view of the fact that both defendants have spent 5 years in custody, the 1st defendant (Berende) is sentenced to 5 years on count 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. While, the second defendant (Adewumi ) is sentenced to 5 years on count 5 and 6. Each count to run concurrently.” Both convicts were found guilty for providing support for acts of terrorism by an Iranian militant cell. Abdullahi Mustapha Berende was trained in Lebanon and Iran in the act of weapon handling including explosive according to the court document. He had recruited Saheed Oluremi Adewumi to gather intelligence about locations frequented by Israelis and Americans before their arrest. Pleading for mercy on their behalf before sentencing, the lawyer to the convicts, M. Hannafi, urged the judge to temper justice with mercy as Berende has no previous crime record. He added that Berende had spent five years in custody. In same vein, lawyer to Adewumi, Mr. O Oladimeji, said that Adewumi has no criminal record. According to him, his client is a young man with master’s degree, saying that he also spent five years in detention.
9. NAVY SEIZES STOLEN CRUDE OIL OFF RIVERS COAST
The Nigerian Navy has seized huge quantity of petroleum product suspected to be crude oil off Rivers coast, a senior navy official has revealed. Commodore Samson Bura, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, paraded the vessel, MT Marina Express, and its crew members in Onne, Rivers on Tuesday. Bura said the vessel and its crew members had been on the Navy’s radar for suspicious behaviour over a period of time. “On January 20, at about 00:45 hours, we got information about a suspicious vessel in compromising position at St. Bartholomew River in Onne. “On gathering of this intelligence, we immediately deployed our gunboats and thereafter impounded the large vessel, MT Marina Express. “The vessel at the time of arrest had two all-male crew members of Nigerian nationality with an unspecified quantity of product suspected to be crude oil,” he said. Read also: Navy arrests 22 vessels in onslaught on maritime criminals Bura said the vessel had been of interest and that it was for the same reason the crew members allegedly switched off its automatic identification system to hide the illegality. “The vessel was then moved to its present position which is at Onne seaport for further processing (of the product). “Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the vessel did not have required documentation or approvals for the product or the position (location) it was found. “We are going to carry out volumetric analysis to know the exact quantity of the crude oil the vessel was carrying,” he assured. According to News Agency of Nigeria the vessel was transporting several metric tons of suspected crude oil at the time it was seized. Bura said the vessel would be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies in line with the harmonised standard operating procedures for the arrest, detention, and prosecution of vessels.
10. SMALL ARMS, DRUG TRAFFICKING, ABUSE RESPONSIBLE FOR INSECURITY – DAMBAZAU
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, on Tuesday in Abuja, blamed the increasing cases of insecurity in the country on proliferation of small arms, drug trafficking and abuse insisting that without firearms and drugs, those perpetrating the violence would not have the courage to do so with such magnitude as seen in the violent conflicts between farmers and headers in Benue and other places. Dambazau, who made the above declaration when he held a crucial closed-door meeting with heads of internal security agencies over the security challenges in the country, further, expressed concern over the current security situation in the country. He also noted that the meeting was a follow-up to a meeting with state governors two weeks ago over the violent conflicts between farmers and headers in Benue and other places. He said “One of the issues that came up in the communiqué was the issue of the proliferation of small arms and drug trafficking and abuse. “We also found out that these two issues are triggers to the violence taking place in this country,”. “Without the fire arms and drugs, those who partake in violence would not have the courage to carry out the kind of violence taking place in this country,” The minister said that there was need to take urgent steps toward ensuring that the situation was dealt with accordingly. “As a follow-up I called for this meeting so that we can examine and analyse (the situation) to see how best we can deal with the situation,” he said. On the report by the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament, which stated that there were approximately 500 million assorted fire arms in West Africa and that out of this figure, 350 million (representing 70 per cent) are in Nigeria, he said that a large consignment of weapons had been smuggled from North Africa (in particular Libya) as a consequence of crises in that country. He said “The situation is worsened by the insurgency in the North East because of the supply of weapons to the insurgents and terrorists there.