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Why Nigerian Army denied Declaring IPOB Terrorist Organisation (0)
Why Nigerian Army denied Declaring IPOB Terrorist Organisation

TUKUR Buratai, chief of army staff, on Monday, stated that the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, did not declare the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB a terrorist organization in the country. The Army Chief made the denial in Abakaliki during the official launch of Operation Python Dance II, he argued that what the Defence Headquarters did was a pronouncement on IPOB added that the statement of the military gave room for the right steps to be taken on the matter. According to Buratai, the action of the Federal government concerning IPOB was right and that the military did not over step its bound towards the protection of lives and properties in the country. “You have to get it very clear. First of all, what the Defence Headquarters did was to make pronouncement. It wasn’t a declaration per se. But this has given room for the right step to be taken. I think the government is doing the right thing. “It is not that we are overstepping our bounds. We are still within the limits. And I ensure you that what the military said was to set the ball rolling and to bring the awareness to the public that this is what this organization is all about. I’m happy that the government has done the right thing right now. The Chief of Army staff, General Tukur Buratai further assured the people of the Southeast that the Army will abide by the rule of law and rules of engagement in carrying out the Exercise Egwu Eke II which kicked off on Saturday in the region. Also in a courtesy to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, the Chief of Army Staff noted that the exercise was targeted at improving the security situation of the zone which according to him, was very strategic to the security of the country. According to him the exercise will help to bring about the much needed peace and security and also be used to train the Military in basic internal security. “They army have taken into cognizance the security of the people in deployment of it’s personnel for the operation”. He said the army in carrying out the operation will liaise and work with other security agencies in the region. “The army is very sensitive to the cultural norms of the people and will abide by all the rules of engagement and code of conduct that have been laid down which is quite in tandem with the Constitution”. According to him, some of the activities of the exercise will include Patrols, indoor battle exercises, Civil-Military cooperation activities like medical outreach, sanitation, donation of books to schools etc. He therefore appealed for understanding.

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The All Progressives Congress(APC) has hit the nation’s critic-in-chief, Professor Itse Sagay over his statement in a recent newspaper interview accusing the party’s leaders of being a bunch of unprincipled people, encouraging and accepting rogues into the party. The APC in turn called Sagay, a professor of constitutional law, a ‘rogue elephant,” in a reaction issued by publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi. “Our attention has been brought to an interview published on pages 46-47 of The Nation Newspaper of Sunday, September 24, 2017, granted by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay (SAN). “In the said interview, Sagay described the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as “the most unprincipled group of people” who are “encouraging and accepting rogues” in the party. He said: “When I say ‘rogues’, I don’t mean stealing. In literature, when you say someone is a rogue elephant, it means people who are running riot and destroying the party.” “The Webster dictionary defines ‘rogue elephant’ as “one whose behaviour resembles that of a rogue elephant in being aberrant or independent.” Clearly if we have today, anyone in our government or, by extension, the party who feels accountable only to his own ego; who does not feel the need to bridle his tongue for the sake of anything that is higher than himself; who feels independent of everyone and every institution; that person is Professor Sagay. “Asked by the interviewer if he would stop speaking if the President asks him to stop speaking, he said: “Yes, he is my employer. If he tells me to stop talking, I’ll stop talking. But I have certain rights too that I can exercise in addition to that, because I’m not going to be in a position where I am impotent. So, I must obey him, but I can go beyond that and obey myself too. That’s it.” Framed in another way, what Sagay is saying here is that, no matter what is at stake, he would rather resign than obey the President if the President tries to restrain him. This is the quintessential rogue elephant behaviour. “In his sheer arrogance, he forgets that it is impossible for him to call out the leadership of the party as “weak” and “unprincipled” without indicting the President, who is the leader of the party and has the fundamental responsibility to build the party. If Sagay had any iota of respect for the man who dug him back from inevitable oblivion and puts him in a position in which he now feels superior to everyone, he would channel his opinions and advice to the President on how to make the party stronger and more principled. It appears however that Sagay does not have anything constructive to say about anything. He only knows how to tear down and assault everyone and everything. “We want to remind Sagay and all other appointees of our government that the only reason they occupy their current position today is because the APC won the election. There is, therefore, a matter of honour to show decorum and respect for the party and its leadership. You cannot love the fruit and hate the tree that produced it”. Sagay had also had several verbal squabbles with National Assembly members,especially senators, asking them to jettison ‘distinguished’, which prefixed their title of Senators and has vowed to continue to criticise them for ‘bleeding’ the nation dry.

The Federal Government has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions and healthcare providers in the Federal Health Institutions operating under the auspices of (JOHESU) to call off their strike. Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made the appeal in a statement signed by Mr Samuel Olowokere, Deputy Director Press in the ministry on Monday in Abuja. Ngige expressed deep regret over the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union and appealed to them to call off their industrial action. The minister pleaded with them to return to their different beats in the hospitals and institutions. He said that their calling off the strike would prevent unnecessary hardship and death of patients in the hospitals. “For the avoidance of doubt, however, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, working in concert with the Ministry of Health, has fixed another conciliatory meeting for tomorrow Tuesday, 26th Sept. by 2 p.m.’’ He called on members of JOHESU to resume work as serious efforts were being made to meet their grievances, such as the payment of shortfalls of salaries, promotion arrears, repatriation allowances among others. He said that the grievances have already been addressed by government through various negotiations with other unions representing the interest of workers. The minister said the unions are the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the last three weeks. “I also wish to place on record that JOHESU had wrongly issued a seven-day strike ultimatum on Sept. 14, instead of the mandatory fifteen-day notice the law requires of those on essential duties. “The body took another wrong step by routing its notice of action to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) instead of the Labour and Employment Minister. “JOHESU is fully aware that the minister is empowered by the Section 5(6) of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 to apprehend such dispute within the time frame of notice and effect conciliation thereafter,’’ he said.

The spokesman for the American Embassy in Nigeria, Russell Brooks, said last week that the US government does not view IPOB as a terrorist group. He said this in response to an email which asked if the United States sees IPOB as a terrorist organisation. He said, “The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. “Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organisation under US law.” The US embassy, however, declined to comment on whether the Federal Government had asked it to treat IPOB as a terrorist organisation and to block money sent to IPOB from the US. Brooks also did not state the US’ position on the agitation for a Biafran state. Last week, the Federal High Court in Abuja gave a judicial backing the executive order of President Muhammadu Buhari, outlawing the group and its activities in the country. The court granted the order to proscribe the group on Wednesday. It declared that the activities of the group constituted acts of terrorism. Speaking after the court judgment last week, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the Federal Government would proceed to gazette the order proscribing the group The Federal Government also accused France and the United Kingdom of aiding IPOB activities. .Meanwhile, IPOB in a statement on Saturday said that the Radio Biafra which is said to be based outside the country neither belonged to MASSOB nor its leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. IPOB, in a statement made available in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, explained that though MASSOB assisted in funding the radio station, the arrangement only lasted from April to July 2009. The statement, signed by the Deputy Leader of IPOB, who is also the Deputy Director of Radio Biafra, Uche Mefor, noted that the station later went off-air and eventually shut down in December 2009. It insisted that MASSOB, which has since transformed into Biafra Independence Movement, had nothing to do with Radio Biafra. The statement added, “The entire humanity is hereby notified that MASSOB is not the owner of Radio Biafra. Uwazuruike is not the owner of Radio Biafra. “Radio Biafra first operated as ‘Broadcasting Corporation of Biafra’ in the 1960s in the face of genocidal war of extermination propagated by the northern Nigerian military dictators who spearheaded their jihadism against the Biafrans.” Also, MASSOB on Saturday called on the Federal Government to immediately release its members who were labelled supporters of IPOB, arrested and detained by security agents. MASSOB said eight of its members were arrested by security agents on September 13, 2017, while they were on their way to Onitsha, Anambra State, to celebrate the group’s 18th anniversary. Its National Director of Information, Mr. Sunday Okereafor, said that security agencies should have known the difference between IPOB members and MASSOB followers. Okereafor alleged that the MASSOB members were detained in Afara Prison in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. He added that his group had since its existence embraced non-violence as its method of agitation and wondered why police and soldiers would contemplate arresting and detaining them. He listed the names of five of the eight arrested MASSOB members as Igwe Ndukwe, Onyebuchi Nmeregini, I. Ugonna, ThankGod Udeh and Ugwu Emeka. He said, “We are calling on the Attorney General of the Federation and the Attorney General of Abia State to release them. They should leave MASSOB alone because MASSOB is not violent. Those arrested are not IPOB members. They are MASSOB members.’’

US bombers have flown close to North Korea’s east coast to demonstrate the military options available to defeat any threat, the Pentagon has said. It said the flight was the farthest north of the demilitarised zone between the Koreas that any US fighter jet or bomber had flown in the 21st Century. BBC reports that tensions have risen recently over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. At the UN, North Korea’s foreign minister said US President Donald Trump was on a “suicide mission”. Ri Yong-ho’s comments to the General Assembly mimicked Mr Trump’s remarks at the UN on Tuesday, when he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man on a suicide mission”. Mr Ri added that “insults” by Mr Trump – who was, he said, “mentally deranged and full of megalomania” – were an “irreversible mistake making it inevitable” that North Korean rockets would hit the US mainland. Mr Trump, the foreign minister said, would “pay dearly” for his speech, in which he also said he would “totally destroy” North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies. Shortly before his address, the Pentagon announced that the show of force underscored “the seriousness” with which the US took North Korea’s “reckless” behaviour, calling the country’s weapons programme a “grave threat”. “This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” it said in a statement. “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies.” US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam, escorted by Air Force F-15C Eagle fighters from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace, the Pentagon added. The flight follows a week of heated rhetoric between the leaders of both countries – after Mr Trump’s comments, Mr Kim called him “mentally deranged” and “a dotard”. Mr Ri did not comment on the Pentagon’s announcement. North Korea has refused to stop its missile and nuclear tests, despite successive rounds of UN sanctions. Its leaders say nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it. After the North’s latest and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on the country. But speaking at the UN, Mr Ri repeated that the restrictions would not make the country stop its nuclear development. Meanwhile, a shallow magnitude 3.4 tremor was detected near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday morning, but experts believe it was a natural earthquake. The quake was recorded at a depth of 0km in North Hamgyong province, home to the Punggye-ri site, South Korea’s meteorological agency said. The US Geological Survey also said it occurred in the nuclear test area, but added that its seismologists assessed it as having a depth of 5km. South Korea said no specific sound waves generated by artificial earthquakes were detected. China’s Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor. The agency had initially said it was a “suspected explosion”. Analysts from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the UN-backed monitoring group, said the quake was “unlikely man-made”. CTBTO executive secretary Lassina Zerbo tweeted that the quake had occurred “about 50km from prior tests”. “The most probable hypothesis currently is that it is the consequence of the previous event… which could still have further repercussions,” Mr Zerbo told the AFP news agency, referring to North Korea’s massive nuclear test on 3 September. North Korea – which has recently carried out a series of nuclear tests – has so far made no comment. In a separate development, China moved to limit the North Korea’s oil supply and stop buying textiles from the country, in line with the latest UN sanctions. China is North Korea’s most important trading partner, and one of its only sources of hard currency. The ban on textiles – Pyongyang’s second-biggest export – is expected to cost the country more than $700m (£530m) a year. Clothing has often partially been made in North Korea but finished in China, allowing a Made in China label to be legally sewn onto the clothing, BBC World Service Asia-Pacific Editor Celia Hatton says. China also said its restrictions on refined petroleum products would apply from 1 October, and on liquefied natural gas immediately. Under a UN resolution, China will still be able to export a maximum of two million barrels of refined petroleum to North Korea annually, beginning next year. North Korea is estimated to have imported 6,000 barrels of refined petroleum daily from China in 2016 – the equivalent of nearly 2.2 million in total for the entire year, BBC reports.

The All Progressives Congress, APC in Katsina state on Saturday endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governor Aminu Masari as their sole candidates for the 2019 general elections. Briefing newsmen at the end of its executives meeting, the state chairman, Shittu S. Shittu said the party decision was informed by their well-laid policies and programmes that have impacted positively on the lives of the people. He said the party did not recognise any faction, noting that factionalisation is contrary to the provision of the constitution of the party . “The Buhari and Masari administration have run open door policies and achieved a lot, we have witnessed great changes of development,” he added

Barely three weeks after an ambush on a military houseboat that killed two in Southern Ijaw creeks in Bayelsa, suspected militants have attacked a tugboat in the same area and killed three crew members. Suspected Niger Delta militants had on Aug. 28 ambushed a houseboat operated by the Joint Task Force and killed a soldier and a civilian crew member. An oil services vessel with a combined team of security escort on board and civilians was attacked on Friday by suspected sea pirates at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two of the victims of the incident which occurred on Friday were security escorts and a civilian crew member of the tugboat towing a vessel. Mr Asinim Butswat, Police Public Relations Officer for Bayelsa Command who confirmed the incident said that one police operative was still missing as his remains has yet to be recovered. He said a response team dispatched to the crime scene rescued eight occupants of the ill-fated boat while efforts are underway to arrest the suspected armed men. “On Sept. 22, at about 18.45hrs, a Tugboat, towing a Barge with a combined team of policemen from the Nigerian Inland Waterways, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and civilians on board was attacked by suspected sea pirates. “The incident took place at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa. “A reinforced team arrived shortly and rescued one policeman, three NSCDC personnel and four civilians. “However, a policeman, one NSCDC personnel and a civilian were shot dead by the sea pirates; one policeman is still missing,’’ Butswat said. He further said the remains of the victims had been recovered and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary, Yenagoa, for autopsy. According to him, a search party has been deployed to find the missing policeman while all security operatives in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area have been alerted, while efforts are ongoing to arrest the culprits.

The Indigenous People of Biafra on Friday asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the orders proscribing it and designating it as a terrorist group. The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, had, on Wednesday, issued the proscription order upon an ex parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami. But in a motion filed by IPOB’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the same judge on Friday, the group contended that the proscription order was unconstitutional. The motion was anchored on 13 grounds, first of which was that the proscription order was made without jurisdiction, “as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law.” The grounds of the application read in part, “That the ex parte order made on the 20th day of September 2017 by this Honorable Court was made without jurisdiction, as the order was granted against an entity unknown to law. “That there is a clear suppression and misrepresentation of facts in the Attorney General’s Affidavit evidence, pursuance to which the Order was granted. “That the Order is unconstitutional, as it was made in clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the Indigenous People of Biafra to self determination; Article 20(1) of the Africa Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, now domesticated into our Law under (Ratification and Enforcement Act) (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990; Right to fair hearing, Right to freedoms of expression, and the press and Rights to peaceful Assembly and Association; clearly provided for under Sections 36, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as (Amended) 2011. “That a declaratory order cannot be made pursuant to an ex parte Application, without hearing from the party against whom the order was made. “The Indigenous People of Biafra who are majorly of Igbo extraction, have no history of violence in the exercise of their right to self determination.

A Lagos activist lawyer, Ebun-olu Adegboruwa, has called on the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu to challenge the decision of the Federal High Court which proscribed him and the group. Recall that an Abuja Federal High Court had on Wednesday declared the activities of IPOB as “acts of terrorism”. The court gave the ruling, following an application filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, asking for the proscription of the group. Reacting to the ruling, Adegboruwa said the order proscribing IPOB was faulty because the group was not a legal entity before the law. The activist lawyer argued that the AGF cannot seek legal action against the group because it is non-existent, adding that the court cannot also issue orders against the group as it is “unenforceable.” In a statement he signed and sent to DAILY POST, Adegboruwa urged President Muhammadu Buhari to follow his advice to the United Nations, UN, General Assembly and “adopt dialogue in the resolution of agitations.” The statement reads, “The Order of the Federal High Court proscribing IPOB is faulty in law and should be challenged and set aside by all those affected or to be affected by the said order. “First, there cannot be any legal entity in law known and referred to as IPOB, as such entity does not exist in law. “The Attorney-General of the Federation cannot competently sue IPOB as a defendant, in any court of law, the same being an entity unknown to law. “The Court cannot make an order against a non existing entity, such as IPOB. Such order, if and when made, is at large and unenforceable. “The Supreme Court has stated it times without number that the court cannot proceed against a non juristic person. “The court, which is a creation of law to interpret the law, cannot competently proscribe what does not exist in the eye of the law. “If IPOB is registered in Nigeria at all, it can only sue and be sued in the corporate name of its incorporated trustees. The Hon Attorney-General, with all due respect, cannot file or maintain a suit in court against IPOB, in the manner formulated in this case. “I urge Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and all those concerned to proceed to challenge the competence of the suit itself and the jurisdiction of the court to make the order. “I verily believe that the federal government should follow the noble advice that General Muhammadu Buhari gave to the United Nations, to adopt dialogue in the resolution of the agitations coming from the South East.” Source: barristerng.com

Master Mohammed Sani the victim of military brutality who`s hand was amputated as a result of injury sustained has been given the sum of N660,000 for his education and up keeping. The chairman Presidential Investigation panels to review compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Right Obligations and Rules of engagement, Hon. Justice Biobele Abraham Goegewills while delivering his remarks at the closing of the Public sitting for the North-east at the High Court complex in Maiduguri on Thursday said the panel has donated the sum of N250,000 for the education and up keep of the boy, while the Borno state commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Barrister Kakashehu Lawan donated N100,000 on behalf on himself and N250,00 on behalf of his chambers among other donations from lawyers and individuals. The chairman assured the people of the North-east that the panel will look into all their petitions with a view to addressing them, adding that they will listen to all petitions and complaints and compare them with the submission of the military with a view to ensuring justice and fair hearing. He said the Unity and peace of the country is paramount and as such the panel will do everything possible to ensure its unity and assured the general public that those that were not able to submit their complaints, should still do so through the state ministry for Justice. Earlier, the Borno state commissioner for Justice, Barrister Kakashehu Lawan said the people of the state are satisfied with the way the panel handled the sittings, as the lawyers, general public and the state government are satisfied. He said a desk will be opened in his office specifically to collect petitions from the public for onward submission to the panel in Abuja.

“Father of all bombs’’, the new Iran’s powerful and deadly arsenal, is causing panic in the Gulf states and Israel. But Russian military expert Vladimir Korovin expressed doubt that Iran would use the 10-ton conventional aviation bomb against the U.S. The creation of the 10-ton non-nuclear aviation bomb, has sent a strong signal to Israel and Tehran’s other potential adversaries in the Middle Eastern region. Korovin, an expert at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations’ Center for Military and Political Studies, said that Israel was deeply worried about the fact that Iran is edging closer to its border in Syria. Although Iran was not going to use the bomb against the United States, but Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are the main addressees of Tehran’s “message,” according to Korovin. Reports cited a top Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, Ali Hajizadeh, that Tehran had developed a massive non-nuclear munition comparable to the US’s GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) also known as the “Mother of All Bombs.” Describing the new bomb, Hajizadeh specified that it could be launched from “Ilyushin aircraft” and dubbed it “the father of all bombs” in a reference to America’s most powerful conventional ordnance. Commenting on Hajizadeh’s statement, Korovin pointed out that given the heavy load of the bomb it is most likely the Iranian top military commander referred to the modernized Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) — a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter, produced either in the USSR or the Russian Federation. However, according to the expert, the possibility that the Iranian 10-ton munition will be used in real combat is doubtful, since the modified Il-76 bomber carrying the “father of all bombs” must be accompanied by jet fighters, and remain at a certain altitude flying to the target in the absence of fire resistance from the ground. “Therefore — it’s just a demonstration of Iran’s capabilities,” Korovin noted.

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