A Four man gang of armed robbers Wednesday stormed the Agip Road branch of Skye Bank Plc with the intent of robbing the bank and carting away huge amounts of money. Luck however ran out on them, as Mobile police patrolling the area prevented them from entering the premises and engaged them in a shootout. The shootouts lead to death of two men of the gang, while the other two escaped in their vehicle.
History was made in Abuja on Wednesday as the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria screened and confirmed the nomination of Justice Aloma Mariam Mukthar as Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice of Nigeria, as proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Kano born jurist, although Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice, is not new to pioneering as she was the first woman to be appointed Judge at the court of appeal (in September, 1987).
Mrs. Mukhtar, who was called to the Nigerian bar in 1967, a year after she was called to the English bar, was also the first female to be appointed Justice of the Supreme Court, in 2005.
Before ascending to her new role, she was one of only three female justices of the apex court, the others being Olufunlola Adekeye and Mary Odili (wife of indicted former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili).
Mrs. Mukhtar is best remembered for being one of the three judges who nullified the 2007 presidential elections that brought in late President Umaru Yar’Adua. Along with George Oguntade and Walter Onnoghen, Mrs. Mukhtar ruled that the several violations of the electoral law particularly non serialization of ballot papers used for the Presidential election, was enough to disqualify the election.
Their views were however in the minority as the majority of four Supreme Court justices ruled that the non-compliance, though existed, were not enough to invalidate the elections.
The dreaded terrorist sect, Boko Haram, which claims responsibility for the mass killings of innocent Christians last weekend in Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau State, has officially stated that there is no going back in its “Jihad” in Nigeria.
In a statement made available to selected media house, the sect also stated that the newly appointed National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki lied in his claims that he was in contact with their leadership and plans to facilitate a ceasefire during the upcoming Ramadan season.
The full text of the statement as translated reads:
“The Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, is grateful to Almighty God and hereby makes it known to the world of our success and attack on Barkin Ladi and Riyom in Plateau State on Christians, security agencies and members of National Assembly.
Like we said earlier, Christians in Nigeria should accept Islam, that is true religion, or they will never have peace. We do not regard them as trusted Christians as some illiterates are campaigning because it was Christians that first declared war on Muslims with the support of government.
Like we said, we shall continue to look for government officials; they will not have the rest of mind. We will attack their homes and security agencies in the same way they are attacking us and destroying our houses that we been renting. We will continue with what we did in Rijiyar Zaki in Kano State.
To the general public, particularly those in Kano that are dragging their heads into this fight by supporting security agencies. Let them learn from what happened to people in Kurna quarters. From now on anyone found wanting should have himself to blame. We do not have any agenda than working to establish Islamic Kingdom like during the time of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) no matter what will happen to us.
We heard the information going round that new National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has gotten means of reaching us for a dialogue, that is a new lie.”
It was gathered that Bankole had approached the court for dissolution of their marriage on the ground of extra-marital affairs. The marriage is over 10 years and blessed with three children.
In her defence to the allegations made against her by Bankola, Elizabeth argued that it is already obvious that she was not involved in extra marital affair with any man since a curse had been placed on her when her husband took her to a shrine where she took a vow against infidelity and adultery.
Elizabeth explained that the person her husband accused her of going out with was a relative who used to stay with her whenever he was in town. She said the man, who is now late, was a member of her family and her mother used to send him to her anytime he was in Akure.
Bankola had, in his petition before the court, accused his wife of being unfriendly, proud and full of hatred for him and his people. He also accused her of being disrespectful to people and in the habit of raining curses and abuses on him.
Bankole, who bares the same name with an ex-Speaker of the House of Reps, thus begged the court to dissolve their marriage, saying he is tired and could no longer live with her.
In his preliminary ruling, Chief Julius Fabinu, president of the court, ordered Bankole to take his wife back to the shrine where the oath was taken to remove the curse on her. He said such much be done so that if the court dissolve the marriage the woman should be free of the curse and be able to remarry if she want to.
“Statement of Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor,
President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
Before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights
On “U.S. Policy Toward Nigeria: West Africa’s Troubled Titan
July 10, 2012
Chairman Smith and Members of the Subcommittee, I want to thank you for the opportunity
today to address this committee and for your interest in the situation in the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, and especially the increase in terrorist attacks targeting Christians and Christian
Institutions. Just this last weekend, 58 people were killed in Christian villages in Jos, including a
federal senator and a state lawmaker. Boko Haram already claimed responsibility for these
coordinated attacks against the Christian community in Jos, and they also reaffirmed their earlier
position saying that “for Christians in Nigeria to know peace they must accept Islam as the only
true religion.” Boko Haram is not only a northern problem, but a Nigerian problem with global
implications. Nigeria is not a country divided by North and South, but a country divided
between those who support freedom and equality in the eyes of the law, and those who promote
persecution and violence as a means to an end.
To an outside observer it may appear as though Boko Haram is not a monolithic group; that it is
fragmented and disorganized, but I am here today to give you the Nigerian perspective. Since its
creation, the Boko Haram network has never hidden its agenda or intentions. Boko Haram has
openly stated that they reject the Nigerian State and its Constitution and seek to impose Shari’ah
Law. To this end, Boko Haram has waged a systematic campaign of terror and violence. They seek an end to western influence and a removal of the Christian presence in Nigeria.
This is outright terrorism, not legitimate political activity or the airing of grievances. By
refusing to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization, the United States is sending
a very clear message, not just to the Federal Government of Nigeria, but to the world – that the
murder of innocent Christians, and Muslims who reject Islamism, and I make a clear distinction
here between Islam and Islamism, are acceptable losses. It is hypocritical for the United States
and the international community to say that they believe in freedom and equality, when their
actions do not support those who are being persecuted.
A non-designation for the group only serves to hamper the cause of justice, and has emboldened
Boko Haram to continue to strike out at those who are denied equal protection under the law.
The frequency, lethality and sophistication of Boko Haram’s attacks raise disturbing questions
regarding training and logistical support they have received from other like minded international
terrorist networks. In January 2012 the United Nations Security Council published a report
stating that Boko Haram members from Nigeria received training in AQIM camps located in
Mali and Chad during the summer of 2011. That same summer Boko Haram carried out a bold
terrorist attack against the United Nations building in Abuja. Boko Haram did not hesitate in
claiming responsibility for the attack, nor has it ever hesitated in claiming responsibility for its
ongoing attacks against police, military, local businesses, and increasingly churches and
In Nigeria, my people are dying every single day, and it is only a matter of time before the
international terrorist links and anti-democratic Islamist agenda of Boko Haram turns its
attention to the United States. In fact, this may already be a reality, in April of 2012 the NYPD learned that a U.S. resident living on the East Coast had sent surveillance, including maps and
photographs of lower Manhattan and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels to an alleged member of
Boko Haram based in Nigeria.
State Department designated Boko Haram’s current leader; Abubaker Shekau and 2 others as
“specially designated terrorists”, but fell short of designating the organization. This would be the
equivalent of designating Bin Laden as a terrorist, but failing to designate Al Qaeda as a terrorist
Although I am aware that the designation of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is
not the final solution to all of Nigeria’s problems, yet it is an important first step towards
restoring the confidence of those who support freedom and equality in the eyes of the law.
We too, want to have freedom, freedom of religion, freedom to worship as we choose without
fear, we want to have justice, based in equality and not driven by discriminatory religious
practices. Let me remind us that this is not about economics but about an ideology that has a
history of sponsoring genocide across the globe. As Boko Haram increasingly turns towards
genocide through the systematic targeting of Christians and Christian institutions in pursuit of
its goals, history will not forget the actions or the inactions of your great nation. I thank you for
this opportunity and I look forward to continuing our strong
partnership with America.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the National Assembly to concentrate on its primary duty of making functional laws for the country instead of probing issues and institutions and save Nigerians from emotional stress and depression.
According to PENGASSAN, the lawmakers have turned probing and paneling into their major oversight function instead of making laws that will be of benefit to all Nigerians and the Nigerian nation.
The association argued that all you hear about both chambers of the National Assembly now is probe and nothing else.
The association said that there are many bills awaiting passage on the floors of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, which were left unattended to because of the legislators’ flair for probes, while Nigerians have been giving the need to enact laws that will aid purposeful management of Nigeria resources and government.
“We have many bills that can be of benefit to the Nigeria economy on the floors of the two chambers of the National Assembly that are unattended to. These bills need urgent attention to be passed into laws to improve the welfare and well being of Nigerians,” the association added.
Bills that need urgent attention of the legislators listed by PENGASSAN include the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and the Medical and Health Insurance Bill among others.
“All we hear about the National Assembly are probes and probes. What about the laws they were voted into the National Assembly to make. There are so many bills that can improve the nation’s economy, enhance foreign direct investments into the country, and improve the nation’s education and health systems, which need their urgent attention.
“Presently, the country’s security is in a precarious situation with threat to the existence of Nigeria as one indivisible nation. We think the oversight function of the legislators is to ensure that the ugly situation we find ourselves in this country does not arise but not to be crying over spilled milk as they are doing now,” it added.
PENGASSAN said that in the first place, the honourable House of Representatives can give the Nigerian citizens more desired results by putting machinery in place that will not allow the alleged frauds or mismanagements of funds instead of allowing it to happen before the noise.
ON Lawan Farouk Gate and the oil probe, the trade union advised the National assembly to stop further interference and probing of the bribery saga, adding that the legislators should allow government agencies and anti-corruption bodies saddled with the responsibility prosecuting offenders and fighting corruption to do their job.
It further said, “The level of involvement of the collector of a bribe with duress, blackmail and intimidation cannot be compared with the giver. People are using the benefit of their office to exploit impatience Nigerians.
“When you are subjected to frustration and your business or investment or necessary documentation to do your job is withheld, most Nigerians become impatient and are thus forced to part with a chunk of their hard earn money.
“The National Assembly should the security agencies and judiciary to do their job. The legislators should not unnecessarily protect their own.”
Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu has boasted that should he be given the mandate to fish out the thieves of Petroleum Subsidy Fund (PSF), he would only spend a week to deliver on the assignment. Ribadu, stated this while on a visit to the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja.
He blamed all the atrocities perpetrated in the management of the fund on the regulatory agency, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA) that released the fund and could not account for it.
He submitted that as an intelligence chief, he would have simply checked their letters of credit and bill of lading to bring all who benefited from the subsidy to justice.
The Presidency has advised a civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to seek information about President Goodluck Jonathan’s assets declaration from the Code of Conduct Bureau since the Bureau “has the powers and responsibility for addressing the issues such as the one you are pursuing.”
This response followed a request by the group made under the Freedom of Information Act asking President Jonathan to “provide information on your assets declaration details between May 2007 and May 2012, and to publish widely the information on a dedicated website.”
However, in a letter with reference number SH/SHC/9/Vol.6/128, dated 5 July 2012 and signed by Jalal A. Arabi, State House Counsel on behalf of the Chief of Staff to the President, the presidency said: I am to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 26 June 2012 in which you request Mr President to urgently provide information on his assets declaration details between May 2007 and May 2012, hinging your request on the provisions of both the 1999 Constitution as amended, and the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.”
The presidency also stated that, “I take the liberty in advising that you explore the possibility of invoking Section 3(1) Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, referred to in your write-up, which has conferred powers and responsibility for addressing issues such as the one you are pursuing. Please be assured of the Chief of Staff’s kind request.”
In response, the group’s executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni said: “Firstly, we welcome the response by Mr President as a very positive development for government’s accountability in this country because it is rare to see this kind of dialogue between the presidency and civil society. So, Mr President has broken a new ground, which we now hope will be translated into good governance, and improved transparency and accountability for millions of impoverished Nigerians.”
“Secondly, while the advice by the presidency is sound constitutionally, we took the decision to simultaneously send our letter to both President Jonathan and the Code of Conduct Bureau because we believe the issue is not only a constitutional matter but also a moral one. And we expected the president, being the father of the nation, to have shown leadership by example.”
According to the group, “by advising SERAP to go to the Code of Conduct Bureau, the president missed an important opportunity to show to Nigerians his oft-repeated commitment to transparency and accountability, as we believe releasing the information to us would have cost Mr President nothing. We still hope that Mr President would take up the challenge and release the information as a matter of leadership and morality.”
“It is useful to point out however, that while we have received a response from the presidency, no response has yet come from the Code of Conduct Bureau. We believe the Bureau could learn an important lesson from the speed, professionalism, and courtesy with which the presidency has handled SERAP’s request,” the group added.
The organization also said that, “Since the Bureau has so far failed to respond to our request after the mandatory period of 7 days; we have prepared the necessary court papers which will be filed before the court this week to compel the Bureau to discharge its constitutional responsibility.”
It would be recalled that SERAP had earlier sent a request to both the president and the Code of Conduct Bureau, arguing that, “The disclosure of the information requested will give SERAP and the general public a true picture of the assets of the president from May 2007 to May 2012, and will demonstrate the president’s oft-expressed commitment to transparency and accountability and show that the signing of the FOI was not just a public relation exercise but a public duty done in good faith.”
The group also said that it was “concerned that your recent statement that you would not publicly declare your asset is a clear violation of the Nigerian Constitution and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party, and entirely inconsistent with your oft-repeated promises to prevent and combat high-level official corruption in the country.”
“Your statement may also have breached the provisions of chapter two of the 1999 Constitution dealing with Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, which among others require the government to take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power,” the group added.
“We are also concerned that your statement shows your government’s lack of political will to lead by example, and to combat the endemic grand corruption which has continued to have corrosive effects on the human rights, in particular economic and social rights of millions of Nigerians. Your statement is also inconsistent with the action of a president who signed into law and is supposedly committed to the effective implementation of the Freedom of Information Act,” the group also said.
The group also said that “We believe that disclosure of assets is crucial for ensuring that public officials’ personal interests including that of the president as the leader of the nation, do not conflict with their duties and responsibilities. Public disclosure also helps to provide a baseline and thus means for comparison to identify assets that may have been corruptly acquired and that a public official may legitimately be asked to account for.”
“Specifically, Section 153 of the Constitution establishes a Code of Conduct Bureau to ensure, among other things, that all public officers, as defined in Part II of the Fifth Schedule, declare their assets on assuming office and immediately their terms of office expire. Paragraph Three of Part 1 (A) of the Third Schedule, empowers the Bureau to receive declarations made by all public officers, examine same and keep them in custody. Paragraph 3(C) says the Bureau shall have the power to “retain custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.”
“Similarly, the UN Convention against Corruption requires public officials to make declarations to appropriate authorities regarding, inter alia, their outside activities, employment, investments, assets and substantial gifts or benefits from which a conflict of interest may result with respect to their functions as public officials,” the group also added.
The organization also said that, “By virtue of Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on the assets declaration by the president of Nigeria, being a public document within the meaning of the FOI, and which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution.”
When asked why he has not yet publicly declared his assets during his recent media chat the president responded that: “I don’t give a damn about that. The law is clear about it and so, making it public is no issue and I will not play into the hands of the people. I have nothing to hide. “I declared (assets publicly) under the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua because he did it, but it is not proper. I could be investigated when I leave office. “You don’t need to publicly declare it and it is a matter of principle. It is not the President declaring assets that will change the country.”
Former Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the competence of the 107-count criminal charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The embattled ex-governor is contending that the Abuja Division of the Appeal Court miscarried justice against him by giving the anti-graft agency the nod to prosecute him over allegations he said were baseless.
The appellate court had dismissed Kalu’s appeal, saying it was satisfied that the EFCC successfully established a prima facie criminal case that would warrant his trial.
Kalu approached the appellate court following the refusal of Justice Adamu Bello to quash any of the substantive charges before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
It also dismissed an application filed by Cross River State last Friday to stop the judgment.
Cross River had gone to the Supreme Court claiming ownership of the wells.
It also joined the Federal Government as a defendant in the suit.
The state asked the court to compel the Federal Government and Akwa Ibom State to pay N15.5 billion to it as 13 per cent derivation from November 2009 to March 10, 2010.
The plaintiff had filed an application at the apex court on Friday, asking it to stay action on the judgment because Akwa Ibom presented a doctored map of the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary as part of the documents it submitted to the court.
It had urged the apex court to expunge the map.
Few days after they attacked and kill many innocent Nigerians in Plateau State, including a Senator, men suspected to the Fulani herdsmen have again carried out another high profile killing with impunity.
When Brig. Gen. Sylvester Iruh (retd.) left Ilorin, Kwara State, on Friday, July 6, his goal was to return to his family in Akute, Ogun State. Having left them for a day to attend a burial in Ilorin, Iruh must have been eager to return to his Akute residence.
It was gathered that Gen. Sylvester asked the other occupants to get into the vehicle quickly so that they could leave the place. But before Iruh could join them, two men came out from under the bridge and immediately shot him with an arrow.
Christiana said, “I was told they immediately pounced on him after that and stabbed him all over his body and face. One of the daggers stuck to his back. The dagger was removed at the mortuary. The men who attacked him were said to be carrying sticks like Fulani nomads with bows and arrows in their bags.”
One of the occupants of the vehicle was said to have sustained stab wounds on his arm too. The suspects, it was learnt, robbed them of their money and phones.
You may wish to know that the Ogun State Police Command at a time promised consistent patrol of the area based on the order of the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Abubakar Mohammed.
When contacted, the state Police PRO, Muyiwa Adejobi, said: “We are always patrolling the long bridge because the area is notorious for robberies and attacks. Last night, we even arrested five suspected robbers there. When the police got wind of the attack, we did what we were supposed to do and we will continue to pay attention to the area.”
Kali Umar, son of the Nasarawa state Governor, Alhaji Tanko Almakura information revealed has been arrested and detained in a Malaysia prison for possession of hard drugs and gun running. He was reportedly picked up by the Malaysian security personnel following a tip off.
Information recent made available revealed that the son, who is the son of the first Lady, Hajiya Salamatu Al Makura – used to be a student at the Nasarawa State University in Keffi where he majored in Social Sciences. During his second year at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, his father, the governor of Nasarawa State, sought admission for him at a school in Malaysia – and flew Kali Umar to Malaysia to further his studies.
The governor’s son was reported to have been arrested in the last week of June 2012 – resulting in his father cutting short a USA official trip to branch to Malaysia to attend to the case. It is uncertain to what extent the father was able to dilute the case but credible sources indicate the son is still be held in detention in Malaysia.
In talking with the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the governor, Abdulhamid Kwara, on Friday July 6, 2012, he declined to comment – stating that “the matter was family affair”. Other members of the Al Makura administration contact remained tight lipped on the matter. The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary pleaded to be left out of the matter.