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Extension of Emergency Rule: Senate postpones debate, summons Service chiefs, others .Reps divided over emergency rule extension .Northern Senators reject extension ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, MUSA BABA AHMED and JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja Senate has deferred debate on extension of emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, saying that the Upper Chamber must circulate the gazette before debating it. Also, the Upper Chamber in its resolution summoned Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Inspector General of Police, National Security Adviser, Minister of Police Affairs, Minister of Defence and Director, State Security Service (SSS) to appear before Senate today (Thursday). This is even as the House of Representatives yesterday appeared sharply divided along party line on the proposed extension of the state of emergency declared in three North Eastern States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe by another six months as requested by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday Also, Northern Senators Forum yesterday vowed to vote against extension of state of emergency rule imposed on three North East states by President Goodluck Jonathan on last year May Moving motion on postponement of the debate, Senate Leader, Senator Ndoma Egba, hinged the postponement of the debate on the fact that the aspect of the constitution dealing with emergency rule has not been gazetted and also the Upper Chamber is yet to review success of the emergency in those states for past one year. His words:" I will be moving that we differ the debate to another legislative day for following reasons: we must circulate the gazette before we can debate on it. Secondly, it is the tradition of the Senate that before we approve it, we appraise the performance of the emergency rule before we debate on it. "So I will move that this Senate do invite Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Inspector General of Police, National Security Adviser, Minister of Police Affairs, Minister of Defence and Director State Security Service to appear before senate on Thursday." It could be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had asked the Senate to approve the extension of the one year old state of emergency in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe because of the growing activities of the insurgents in the North East. Meanwhile, Northern Senators Forum yesterday vowed to vote against extension of state of emergency rule imposed on three North East states by President Goodluck Jonathan on last year May. Senate had scheduled Thursday to meet the Service Chief before approving the extension of emergency rule requested by President Goodluck Jonathan in the affected states.


Briefing the newsmen after three hours closed door meeting, the leader of the Northern Senators Caucus, Senator Umaru Dahiru, said that extension of emergency rule in the three states is not the best option to counter insurgency which had paralyzed the economic activities of the affected states. He however said the forum has set a committee to meet with the governors of the affected states on the way forward. Dahiru said:"Our meeting this (yesterday) afternoon discussed basically the issue of emergency rule in Adamawa , Borno and Yobe states. Everybody in attendance made contributions and a lot was said. "The majority position is basically that we are not going with state of emergency rule that could make the security personnel to achieve success in the area. "We believe a lot of things ought to be addressed in order to conquer the issue of insurgency. So, our own position is that we are not going to support extension of emergency rule in the area. "We are going to engage the three governors in the affected states. We want to know what went wrong to be able to come up with better ways to tackle the crisis. However, the government must work for the benefits of its citizens. "The leadership of the affected states and our forum are saying no to emergency rule. "The constitution requires two-third in terms of voting. Of course, we are going to vote on the issue. If we can out number them during the voting fine, but of course, our position is that we are going to vote against it. "Technically, Section 304 sub section 6, states the requirements of how the states of emergency should be declared and our position is against it and obviously we are going to stand by it." The Caucus however said the committee set up by the forum had submitted its report and conveyed the recommendations to the government. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday appeared sharply divided along party line on the proposed extension of the state of emergency declared in three North Eastern States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe by another six months as requested by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday. Members while debating an Executive motion moved by the House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDP, Oyo), on the need to approve an extension of the emergency rule in the affected states advanced various shades of argument ranging from the credibility of government determination to curb insurgency in the face of international solidarity and support to legal and constitutional provisions jettisoning the necessity of imposing an emergency rule to fight insurgency. Leading the debate on behalf of Borno Caucus, Muhammad Monguno (APC, Borno) told the House that while they may not be averse to extension of the emergency rule in Borno, it is important for the Federal Government to adequately fund and motivate the military because so far, the state of emergency has failed to yield the desired results.


“One year of emergency rule has failed woefully due to the ill-equipment of our military who are always left helpless to challenge any attack by Boko Haram sect. There was a time insurgents attacked a town and the Commander asked his men to launch a counter attack and they refused, saying that they would not be led to their early graves because they don’t have the necessary equipment to face the fire power of Boko Haram sect”, he said. For Hon. Tits Ganama (Bornu), “if the emergency rule is not extended, what signal would we be sending to the International community who have come in to show solidarity with us in this trying time”? Other members who supported the motion alluded to the fact that the emergency rule has not yielded results, but they however urged the Federal Government to do more by equipping the military; an area they believed has been responsible for the failure of the state of emergency. While some blamed the shortcomings of the armed forces on corruption within the institutions, others cited lack of budget implementation by the Executive where the issues of defence are concerned. To this end, the Chairman, Committee on Defence, Bashir Adamu (PDP, Jigawa), told the House that the Committee on Defence has never failed submit its reports after oversight functions. “Defence budget since 2011 has never gone up to 50 per cent implementation. A situation where less than N150 billion would be released out of over N300 billion of the budget would not help achieve anything for the nation”. Then halting the flow of argument in favour of the motion many thought would have had no opposition with regards to issues of seriousness of government in the eyes of foreign allies, Hon. Goni Bukar Lawal (APC, Yobe) rose to dismiss arguments espoused by supporters of the motion with statistics of casualties recorded in Yobe State under the emergency rule which is why they are opposed to any extension. “The emergency rule has only succeeded in breeding more terrorism in Yobe State”, he said. He gave instances of the killing of students in a Unity school in Buni Yadi. “A teacher was explaining to governor how the attack took place and how the military behaved. The Commander asked him to keep quiet or be labeled a Boko Haram member right in our presence, and I challenged him to do that,” he said. He alleged that all the unprecedented destruction that took place in Yobe State were all under the state of emergency. “Just yesterday, there was information that Boko Haram members were coming to attack but the military refused to go there. It was the civilian JTF who mobilised themselves to confront the Boko Haram and killed over 200 insurgents as well as seized and burnt over 70 motorbikes and two Hilux Jeeps. They refused to hand the captured ones over to the military due to past experiences of them being released by JTF,” he said.


For Hon. Emmanuel Jime (APC, Benue) and Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos), there are legal and constitutional provisions empowering the President to deploy the military in crisis situations without declaring a state of emergency. Hon Jime asked: “Has a state solved any incidence of insurgency anywhere in the world”?, adding that “the Americans have been fighting terrorism since 2001 as well as Mali. There’s a faulty approach that has been applied in this emergency rule. Is there an alternative to this, and I say yes. The Anti-Terrorism Act is adequate enough to allow the President fight terrorism without coming to the National Assembly for approval for a state of emergency because it's not necessary in this case”. The Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, cited Section 218 of the constitution that empowers the President to deploy and determine the operational use of the armed forces in ways necessary. “If by self admission, the President in his letter has said emergency rule has not abated the crisis and that casualty rates are on the increase, then what reasons should he advance to justify any extension”, he queried. The Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, in reserving ruling on the matter, urged members to exercise patience till tomorrow (today) pending the meeting with service chiefs in respect of a resolution asking for a briefing from the joint service chiefs on the situation with the abducted Chibok girls. GOC 7 Div escapes death as aggrieved soldiers open fire on vehicle .Youths kill over 200 insurgents BY AHMED MARI, MAIDUGURI The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, yesterday, escaped death when disgruntled soldiers opened fire on his official vehicle when he came to address them at the Maimalari Military Barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State. A source said the incident which occurred in Maimalari Barracks along Maiduguri - Baga road was after the soldiers sighted corpses of some soldiers who were sent to Chibok Local Government Area for on going search of the over 234 schoolgirls abducted by Book Haram insurgents and were on their back to Maiduguri ambushed by insurgents, killing some of the soldiers. He said while coming back to Maiduguri, the troops realised that the day was getting darker and too dangerous to drive along Maiduguri-Damboa road in the night, therefore requested the GOC to allow them spend the night in one of the villages considered to be safe for them, but the GOC insisted that they must come back the same night and report to Maiduguri. In a conflicting report, another source said the soldiers were returning from an operation in Kala Balge council area of the state and were instructed to withdraw from the assignment and return back to Maiduguri immediately. On their way back, they were waylaid by Boko Haram insurgents which led to the death of some soldiers.


The source further stated that on their way back to Maiduguri in the night as ordered by the GOC, the soldiers were ambushed by suspected terrorists killing scores of the soldiers. "On sighting the corpses of their slain colleagues, a soldier in Maimalari barracks who took the advantage of the GOC visit to address other troops on the ongoing operation against the insurgency opened fire on the GOC owing to what he described as superior officers' maltreatment in which they sit in their air-conditioned office and send them to the field without equipment and superior power weapons for Boko Haram to kill them�. The situation and the address of the GOC which angered some soldiers made them to start shooting sporadically, while others opened fire on the GOC's vehicle, but he narrowly escaped," the source said. According to the source, "what angered the soldiers most is the unnecessary deduction of their allowances and subjecting them to harsh working conditions without proper equipment to carry out their rules of engagement and responsibilities. As a result, many of them were being killed like rats by the insurgents". Our correspondent who monitored BBC Hausa service in Maiduguri also quoted the BBC as saying that "the Defense Spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, who was called on phone could not answer, but sent a text message that it was an internal military affairs which has since been resolved Meanwhile, our correspondent reports that over 200 Boko Haram insurgents were killed in Sangayari, Mairari and Garawa villages of Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State when Boko Haram insurgents invaded the villages on Tuesday. A resident of area told our correspondent on phone that the terrorists came at about 11:00 am and started shooting sporadically into the air. When the vigilante group came out, they tried to open fire on them with Rocket Propelled Guns (RPGs) but it was not working. The vigilante group retaliated by killing the insurgents. They killed over 200 of the insurgents while 80 motorcycles and five vehicles were also seized. He said: “I personally counted over 150 corpses of the insurgents; they also seized five vehicles and 80 motorcycles from the insurgents in Mailari, Sangayari and Garawa villages of Kala-Baklge Local Government Area of the state.� Nyanya blast mastermind, Ogwuche, arrested in Sudan Suspected Mastermind of the Nyanya bomb blast, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, who was on Monday declared wanted by the State Security Service in connection with he blast, was on Wednesday arrested in Sudan. The arrest came after the National Bureau of the Interpol based at the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters issued an international red alert for the arrest of the fleeing terrorist.


Ogwuche, who is a student of Arabic Language at the International University of Africa, Sudan is a British born Nigerian, formerly of the Nigerian Army with service number SVC 95/104 but deserted the Army in 2006. His arrest was announced at the National Briefing Centre, located at the headquarters of National Orientation Agency (NOA). The Coordinator of the National Briefing Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, who is also the Director-General of NOA, said Ogwuche was arrested in Sudan. “Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche who was earlier declared wanted has been arrested in Sudan with the efforts of the Army, DSS, the National Bureau of the Interpol based at the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters and security operatives of Sudan,� Omeri said. He stated that the security operatives are already working to ensure his extradition back to Nigeria from where he was arrested. He promised to provide more information on his arrest as soon as possible. Omeri while commenting on the Chibok abduction said that international operation had commenced in collaboration with the Nigerian military, insisting that they would be rescued alive. Chibok Schoolgirls: UK offers spy plane to Nigeria The United Kingdom yesterday offered Nigeria a spy plane and military expertise to help with the search for over 200 female students of Government Girls Secondary Scool, Chibok, Borno State abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014, joining similar efforts by the US, France and China. "They do face a very vicious terrorist organisation in terms of Boko Haram, they are investing in and training their armed forces and counter-terrorism abilities," Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs. "We have worked with them on that and we are willing to do more work with them on that, particularly if we can make sure that proper processes are in place for dealing with human rights areas. "But we should help across a broad range of areas, not just counter-terrorism, surveillance and helping them find these people, but also working with the global fund promoted by the former prime minister [Gordon Brown]... In terms of protecting more schools," he said. Cameron was responding during Prime Minister's Questions to Labour MP Tom Clarke, who said the Nigerian government had "not lifted a finger to protect its own citizens in the north". But Cameron insisted the Nigerian authorities were trying to tackle Boko Haram. The Ministry of Defence confirmed the surveillance aircraft offered to Nigeria was a RAF Sentinel R1 spy plane. It said Cameron's offer of the surveillance plane would include an intelligence team in Abuja to help analyse information about the girls' whereabouts.


Woman dies praying for Chibok schoolgirls A woman, Hajiya Maimuna Danja, died on Wednesday on her way to Katsina to pray for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls. The woman, who hailed from Danja in Danja Local Government Area of Katsina State, died in a car crash on Danja-Katsina road. She was said to be travelling from her village to attend a special prayer session for the release of the girls, organised by the wife of the Katsina State Governor, Hajiya Fatima Shema. The governor’s wife, who announced the death of the woman during the prayer session, said one other woman who sustained injuries, was receiving treatment at a hospital. She prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased, and also prayed for quick recovery of the injured woman. Mrs. Shema urged Nigerians to continue to fast and pray for the safe release of the abducted schoolgirls, and for peace to reign in the country. The governor’s wife called on parents particularly mothers, not to discourage their daughters from going to school as a result of the Chibok incident. She also urged parents to ensure proper upbringing of their children for them to become useful members of the society. Mrs. Shema stressed the need for religious leaders not to distort the teachings of their Holy Books for selfish interest. Also speaking, the Chairperson of High Level Women Advocate, an NGO, Hajiya Mariya Abdullahi, expressed optimism that the girls would be freed unharmed, adding that “nothing is impossible to God Almighty”. The prayer session was attended by different women groups from across the state. Sanusi urges Court to dismiss Intercontinental Bank shareholders suit From Andrew Orolua, Abuja Suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, yesterday, asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss the suit filed against him by Abdullahi Sani and two other Intercontinental Bank shareholders over the sale of the defunct Intercontinental Bank to Access Bank Plc. Sanusi’s prayer which came in form of preliminary objection and served on the plaintiffs yesterday by his Counsel, Sam Kargbo, forced the plaintiff's Counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, to seek for an adjournment.


Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Umar, granted the request for an adjournment as none of the counsels opposed the adjournment. Justice Umar consequently fixed July 16,2014, for the hearing of the preliminary objection. Plaintiff's counsel had told the court that he needed time to respond to Sanusi’s prayer asking the court to dismiss the substantive suit in its entirety because the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it as the act complained of is statute barred. Sanusi also said that the suit is a challenge to the Order he issued on August 14, 2009, which apart from removing the former Managing Director and Executive Directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc, also asked the bank to take steps toward recapitalization following an undisputed special examination conducted into books and affairs of the bank. He said that the sale to and take-over of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc by Access Bank Plc was done in good faith and in full compliance with all the relevant laws and regulations and was done in pursuant to CBN order of August 14, 2009. He said also that the act or default complained about by the plaintiffs clearly occurred on August 14, 2009, while the substantive suit was filed on March 17, 2014, far more than three months after the act complained of. In an 11-points affidavit sworn to by Nduka Okatta in support of the preliminary objection that there was a pending Suit No. FHC/L/CP/254/2011: Okoli Frank Jovita Emeka & Ors V. Intercontinental Bank Plc & others which was dismissed on 2013, stating that on that ground the instant suit amounts to an abuse of Court Process. He maintained that the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs were similar to the one contained in suits already decided by Justice Idris and Justice Okeke. According to Sanusi, the plaintiffs- Abdullahi M. Sani, Adaeze Onwuegbusi and Chijioke Ezeikpe, have no locus standi to institute the action. Tension in Enugu community .As Fulani herdsmen kill farmer FRANCIS IGATA, ENUGU Tension is mounting in Ogui-Agu Eke community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State where Fulani herdsmen allegedly shot a villager dead in his farm. The deceased, Matthew Aniugo (44), was said to have confronted about four herdsmen for persistently destroying his crops with their cows. Angered by the farmer's audacity, the herdsmen reportedly abused the man and left the farm.


It was gathered that three of them returned to the farm few hours later with a pump-action gun with which they shot the farmer to death. A relation of the deceased, Mr. Aliozo Sergius, who briefed newsmen at the Enugu Press Centre yesterday said the deceased and his wife had settled down to eat in the farm when the Fulani men returned and shot him. He recalled that one Moderick Nzekwe was killed in his farm two years ago, but noted that there was nobody to testify to what led to his death. “Also last year, our people carried out a peaceful demonstration to the local government protesting incessant rape of their females in the farm but nothing came out of that,� he said. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident, said some arrests have been made while investigations were ongoing. He said beyond the investigations, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has been having series of meetings with leaders of the Fulani herdsmen in the state in an attempt to forestall future occurrence.

Page 1 & 6 stories may 15, 2014  

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