A report released by the Nigeria Watch Project says Lagos recorded 837 violent death in 2016. The report is the 6th Annual Report on lethal violence in Nigeria covers the period between 1 January and 31 December 2016. It has been written at the University of Ibadan, with the support of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) and the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA-Nigeria). “In Lagos in 2016, it recorded 837 violent deaths, including 460 resulting from various criminal incidents. In contrast, the police recorded 246 murders, or a low rate of 2.7 homicides for 100,000 people as per the 2006 census, against a national average of 20 according to UNODC. Anyone walking in the streets of Lagos would thus be quite surprised to learn that the city is almost as safe as Stockholm in Sweden or Geneva in Switzerland, two countries that record homicide rates equivalent to 2 homicides for 100,000 people,” the report said. The report added that although the statistics for fatalities in Lagos and Rivers were quite similar, the former is far more prone to criminal activities than the latter, disclosing that Lagos recorded 235 events, while Rivers listed just 108 incidents in 2016. “Also, Lagos State recorded the highest number of fatalities, 194 in road mishaps. The result is rather intriguing because there is no evidence to show that Rivers State has a better road infrastructure than Abuja and Lagos. Perhaps the explanation lies in the fact that vehicle pressures on Lagos and Abuja seem to be more intense. “In the case of Lagos, the ongoing road construction on the Lagos–Ibadan expressway may be a factor. A major aspect of crime in Rivers was cult violence, which killed 254 people, as against 93 in Lagos and 2 in Abuja. Most of the cult killings were perpetrated by gangs such as the Icelanders, Greenlanders, and Deygbam. The killings occurred in 11 LGAs, especially in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (80 deaths), Ahoada East (59), Emuoha (51), and Ikwerre (26). “The problem hinges on the fact that politicians reportedly use cultist groups to harass opposition parties. The overall assessment of security as a combination of both crime incidents and road accidents shows that Rivers is more unsafe than Lagos and Abuja. However, the situation in these states is not comparable with Borno State, which records 56.2 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants,” the report revealed. The report further revealed that in 2016, the main causes of violence in Nigeria in order of number of fatalities were crime (4,127), political conflict (3,502), religious violence (3,361), and accidents including road crashes (2,618).
As its central message on this year's World Human Rights Day, a frontline civil Rights and Non-Governmental organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Federal government of Nigeria and the National Assembly to transparently carry out an investigation into allegations of high handedness and extralegal killings of unarmed members of the pro-self determination group-Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) shortly before it was hurriedly proscribed during the controversial operation python dance two by soldiers drafted to the South East of Nigeria. In a statement against the backdrop of the commemoration of the year 2017 World Human Rights Day and the Tenth anniversary of the founding of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), the Rights group condemned the widespread conspiratorial silence by the officials of the current administration to the massive and large scale atrocities and massive human rights violations committed by the operatives and officers of the Nigeria Army during the month-long operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria during which scores of civilians were killed through coordinated extralegal executions carried out by the armed security forces and the public torture of dozens of civilians suspected to be members of the now proscribed Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB). In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the Federal government of Nigeria and the leadership of the Nigerian National Assembly for apparently failing to carry out proper; thorough and forensic human rights investigation with the objectives of naming, shaming, prosecuting and legally sanctioning the culprits who inflicted pains and carried out illegal executions of civilians who were completely unarmed and whose only crime was that they belonged to the Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB which as at the time of these widespread atrocities wasn't proscribed. HURIWA affirmed that the nation can't make any claim of subscribing to the tenets and provisions of the Universal Declarations of HUMAN RIGHTS when the supposed law enforcement agencies like the security forces including the Police are neck deep in carrying out large scale atrocities of gross human rights abuses including committing crimes against humanity such as massive extralegal executions of unarmed protesters and civilians whose only crime was that they were canvassing for self determination through constitutional means. The Rights group tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to provide clear and unambiguous information on the physical whereabouts of the Director of Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB Mr Nnamdi Kanu whose home was attacked and ransacked by armed security forces during the controversial military deployment that undertook the operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA said the conspiratorial silence of government over these allegations of gross violations of human rights in the South East of Nigeria amounted to the institutionalisation of impunity. HURIWA carpeted the United Nations Human Rights Council; the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for failing to speak out against the widespread abuses of the human rights of South Eastern Nigerians. HURIWA condemns the total disobedience of binding Court orders which ordered the release of erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim ElZaczacky who have spent two years in illegal detention. "Mr President must tell Nigerians where the leader of IPOB is since his home was bombarded by the armed security forces on his instructions. The Nigerian State must provide accountability for the activities of the armed security forces in the South East of Nigeria during the controversial military deployment." Conversely, the Rights group said the Federal government must also carry out comprehensive reforms of the Nigeria Police force which the group argued has become a criminal syndicate used by the hierarchy to perpetrate all sorts of organised and sophisticated crimes including armed robberies, grandscale extortion racketeering, commercialisation of weapons to hoodlums,bribery and massive corruption. HURIWA stated that: "The nation-wide advocacy for the abolition of SARS by the police is in order. SARS is the police unit that has over the years committed gross human rights violations including the extralegal killings of hundreds of detainees in the various police detention facilities in the Country. This same so called special anti-robbery squad of the Nigeria police was responsible for the killing of over three dozen youths whose fresh corpes were discovered in Awka Anambra state in a River. SARS have carried out atrocities in Lagos and Rivers States including organised crime and the harassment of youngsters." "We use this auspicious occasion of the World's Human Rights Day to call on the Federal government to dismantle the notorious police roadblocks in the South East of Nigeria which are used to extort money from commercial drivers and in a lot of cases these triggar happy rogue police operatives have been found committing extralegal executions of commercial drivers and innocent road users. We condemn this military and police occupation of the South East of Nigeria and to stop forthwith the Widespread human rights violations". HURIWA stated thus: " As a civil society group we subscribe to the opinions of experts that the responsibility of national governments to uphold and implement international human rights standards is not in doubt. International human rights law is a subset of public international law, and as such, it engages the commitment of nation states. The applicability of international human rights treaties to ratifying states is not controversial and there is no ambiguity about the general principle that governments are accountable for human rights standards". HURIWA reminds the Nigerian state of what human rights scholars have determined to be the obligations of government to enforce human rights provisions thus:"This question has been considered in different contexts, including the International Law Commission’s (ILC) work on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and in conjunction with implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights." "We are aware that over the past two decades a consensus has emerged that with respect to international human rights states have a threefold responsibility: to respect, to protect, and to fulfill their obligations. As expounded by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights.The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses.The obligation to fulfill means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights."
The Nigeria Police Force have smashed notorious robbery and kidnap gang terrorising motorists along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway and recovered AK-47 riffles, pump action guns and others from the gang. The gang were paraded in Abuja by CSP Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja on Friday. Recovered from the gang are: Two AK47 Riffles, three English Pump action guns, one revolver English pistol, one Beretta English pistol, two single barrel gun, 133 AK47 Ammunition, 50 live cartridges, 20 Beretta, four pairs of suspected fake military uniform, three different suspected fake army ranks of Major, sergeant and staff sergeant; KIA Saloon Lift up and Mercedes Benz Saloon. According to Moshood, the Nigeria Police Force was unrelenting in its efforts to ensure safety and adequate protection of travelers and people in the communities along Abuja – Jere – Kaduna highways, saying that as a result, the operation absolute sanity was strengthened with additional police personnel and needed logistics by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim K. Idris to proactively tackle the gangs of kidnappers, armed robbers and car snatchers on the highways and other major roads nationwide. He said the Commander of the IGP Special Tactical Squad (STS) and his personnel under the Operation Absolute Sanity stormed and raided some identified kidnappers den, camps, black spot and criminal hideouts in the forests located in the FCT, Niger and Kaduna States and successfully smashed three notorious gangs and arrested 28 suspects in the act of kidnapping and collection of ransom. Arms and ammunition recovered from the gang Moshood said some of their victims were rescued from their captivity unhurt and were reunited with their families, as some of the suspects were also arrested for armed robberies and multiple car snatching. “All the suspects arrested confessed to the various roles they played in the commission of the crimes and some of them have been identified by their victims. They will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation. However, investigation is being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large. “The Inspector-General of Police has directed Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) in the zones and State commands across the country to beef up security in their Area of Responsibilities (AOR) and ensure massive deployment of armed police personnel, patrol teams and undercover operatives to black spots, flash points and other vulnerable criminal spots to nip in the bud all forms of crimes and criminality nationwide throughout this period to the upcoming Christmas and New Year festivities and beyond. “They are also to make sure that detection of crimes that couldn’t be prevented is prompt to serve as effective deterrent to who-will-be criminal. The ongoing raids on criminal hideouts, black spots will be sustained throughout the country,” he said. The suspected gang members The suspects are: Yusuf Adamu, gang leader, Bello Salisu, Jafar Salisu, Hamza Usman, Mohammed Abdullahi, Umar Ibrahim, Jibrin Adamu, Abdullahi Abubakar, Ismail Mammam, Usman Adamu and Ibrahim Shehu. Others are: Hassan Salisu, Stephen Dung, Datchun Chodi, Fom Haruna, Yakubu Chollom, Mike Aboy, Nehemiah Duniya,Augustine Pam, Yusuf Boyi, Elijah Pam, Abdullahi Ibrahim, David Andy, Muazu Useni, Usman Shaibu, Olawale Ariyo, Daudu Garba and Aliyu Bahago.
At last, the trial of the trio of Mahmud Tukur, Abdullahi Alao and Ochonoghor Alex and their companies Eternal Plc and Axenergy has commenced, with a prosecution witness, Abdul-rasheed Bawa, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, telling Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos how the defendants defrauded the Federal Government of the sum of N3,121,393,098 ( Three Billion, One Hundred and Twenty- one Million, Three Hundred and Ninety- three Thousand, Ninety- eight Naira). The defendants had previously been arraigned before Justice Lawal Akapo on December 10, 2015 for allegedly diverting the money obtained from the Federal Government for the purpose of importing Premium Motor Spirit, PMS. Counsels to the accused had subsequently filed a joint application seeking to quash the charge preferred against their clients by the Commission. The defence counsel had argued that the State High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter on the grounds that the allegations against them were oil and gas related, which could only be heard by a Federal High Court. The accused, through their counsel, had also argued that the prosecution could not establish a prima facie case against them. In his ruling, Justice Oshodi had dismissed the application and upheld the argument of the prosecution. Justice Oshodi also held that the prosecution had successfully established a prima facie case against the accused persons and described the application as “premature”. At the resumed hearing before Justice Oshodi on Friday, November 24, 2017, the defence, again, argued that the prosecution did not have the fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, to prosecute the case. In his response, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, however, submitted that he did not have to show the defence if he had the fiat of the AGF to prosecute them. Jacobs further submitted that he could only show his client, the EFCC and the court the fiat rather than the defence counsel. Justice Oshodi upheld the argument of the prosecution counsel, thereby setting the stage for the prosecution witness, Bawa, to give his evidence against the accused. The accused, among others, claimed that they had imported and discharged PMS sometime in September, 2011 at a tank farm in Lagos, First Deep Water Discovery Limited, for which they were paid the sum of N626m subsidy. Also, the accused was said to have received the sum of N595m from the government after claiming to have imported and discharged PMS at the same tank farm in Lagos sometime in October, 2011. However, the witness, in his testimony, told court how the accused had forged over 30 documents and submitted same to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, to fraudulently obtain the subsidy for importation of PMS in 2011. Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, the witness said: “The owner of the vessel, MT Deepwater EX MT Valle Di Castiglia, and the claimed tank farm of discharge, First Deep Water Discovery Limited, denied the usage of their vessel for the transaction and, also confirmed forgery of documents submitted by Eternal to PPPRA. “The EFCC had access to Lloyds List Intelligence and search conducted for the movement of MT Valle Di Castiglia revealed that the vessel was at the Republic of Turkey all through the period that Eternal claimed to have taken PMS from it with MT Deepwater. So, how can a vessel that was in Turkey give products to another vessel in offshore Cotonou?” Giving further evidence on MT Fulmar, Ex MT Emirates Star and MT Panther EX MT Emirates Star, the witness said the modus operandiemployed by the defendants to defraud the government was alteration of bills of lading dates resulting in higher costs of importation. He said: “The claimed MT Emirates has a bill of lading dated 28 April, 2011 which gave Eternal a loading cost of about N151. “However, investigation revealed that the actual mother vessel for the transaction is MT GonHild Kirk, which had a bill of lading date of April 3, 2011, with landing cost of about N141. “The government, acting on forged importation documents indicating MT Emirates Star, paid Eternal about N3.3bn instead of N2.9bn. Thus Eternal was overpaid about N300, 000,000.” He added that search on LLyods Intelligence on Emirates Star indicated that the vessel sailed out of Doven Strait, United Kingdom and arrived New York, USA within the period that the Eternal documents claimed that the vessel was discharging its products into MT Fuliman and MT Panthern. The case was adjourned to February 26, 2018 for continuation of trial.
The Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) has sacked eight junior officers for various acts of indiscipline including smuggling of prohibited items into prison yards for inmates. Spokesman of the NPS, Mr Francis Enobore, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja. Enobore said the smuggled items included cell phones, marijuana and other intoxicating substances. He said two of the culprits, identified as Thomas Jatau and Mottallem Yari, were dismissed for “trafficking in mobile phones”. The rest, Mohammed Jibril, Saleh Dan’Azare, Umar Gusau, Mohammed Ja’Oji, Saidu Gusau and Maji Maiku, were involved in smuggling of marijuana and other prohibited items into the prison yards, he said. Enoboro stated that their dismissal followed the approval of the recommendation of the NPS Zonal Disciplinary Committee by the Comptroller-General, Mr Jaáfaru Ahmed. He said, “Illegal access to mobile phones and other communication gadgets by prisoners has been of great concern to the management of the Prisons Service. “This is because various criminal activities have been perpetrated with them by inmates including facilitating jailbreaks and escapes. “Similarly, apart from the far-reaching health implications of exposing inmates to the use of Indian hemp and other intoxicating substances, the act also compromises discipline and negates inmate reformation thrust of the NPS,” he said. The spokesman conveyed the appreciation of the Controller-General to men and officers of the service as well as the general public for assisting the service with information on bad eggs in the system.