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Archive for the tag “State Security Service”

Police arrest five over ThisDay, Sun bombing

 

Bombed sectionn of ThisDay office in Abuja
By Adelani Adepegba

KADUNA  State Police Command has arrested five suspects in connection with the bombing of the Kaduna offices of ThisDay and Sun newspapers.

Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State, Mohammed Abubakar, told our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday that the suspects had been transferred to Abuja for further investigation.

Police had earlier arrested one of the bombers, Umar Mustapha, but four others were later apprehended

“Four other suspects were actually arrested later and they have been moved to Abuja along with the first suspect that was arrested on the scene of the attack and hospitalised,” the CP said.

Meanwhile, security agencies have yet to come to terms with the way a suicide bomber beat all security checks mounted at the entrance to the Federal capital Territory to attack ThisDay’s office at Jabi, Abuja on April 26, it has been learnt.

Our correspondent learnt that security operatives, including the State Security Service, the Police and the military were worried about the ease with which the hoodlums beat the security checks put in place to forestall attacks in Abuja.

Deployment of equipment and security teams at the entrances and exit of the FCT had given the illusion of security in Abuja until the devatsting attack which claimed three lives and injured 15 others.

A security source told THE PUNCH on Tuesday that security agencies could not explain how the suicide bomber driving  a green Isuzu jeep was able to beat the security agencies and attacked ThisDay’s office in the heart of the city.

The source stated that security chiefs were surprised by the failure of security equipment and assault teams to detect the suicide bomber and his deadly cargo, stressing that a lot of brainstorming was still going on over the incident which caught security agencies by surprise.

“Security agencies were confused by the Thisday attacks because we believed we had covered all the entrances and exits to Abuja. we just couldn’t explain the attack and up till now, a lot of questions and brainstorming were still going on over the incident,” the source said.”

Source: The Punch Newspapers

JTF Kills 4 Gunmen as SSS Official Dies in Enugu

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Nigerian Police IG, Muhammmed Dikko ABUBAKAR

 

By Ibrahim Shuaibu and Christopher Isiguzo

Four suspected gunmen were Sunday killed at Ring Road, Hotoron Gabas, Kano State by members of the Joint military Task Force (JTF) in an operation launched in one of the suspected house of the gunmen.

The killing of the suspected gunmen by JTF however came on a day an official of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Petrus Onwu, was killed by bullets allegedly fired by policemen at fleeing hoodlums terrorising the Asata area of Enugu metropolis in Enugu State mistakenly hit him while driving along the road.

An eye witness in Kano confirmed that the shootout started around 9a.m. and lasted for over two hours before the suspects were overpowered by members of the JTF. The suspects engaged by members of JTF in a shootout, were eventually killed after a prolonged exchange of gunshots between members of the JTF and the suspects.

Residents of the area were thrown into panic as they ran helter-skelter in search of safety following heavy explosions and gunshots.

Spokesman of the Joint military Task Force (JTF), Lieutenant Ikedichi Iweha confirmed the operation and the killing, saying a number of arrests were also made during the operation.
Iweha also declined further comment on the actual arrest so far made but said the operation was successful and would continue until miscreants were finally flushed out from the area.

He therefore solicited the cooperation of the general public in the effort to bring back peace in the state. The area was seriously condoned off by the security agencies and no movement of vehicles or passerby was being allowed as the joint task force operatives were seriously searching the area to arrest the suspected gunmen in the area.

It was also observed that the commercial activities in the area was shut down due to the heavy presence of the security operatives deployed in the area, while the resident of the area remained indoors.

Meanwhile, another meat seller, one Philomena Udealor, who was also hit by the Police bullets was said to be recuperating at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUT), as at the time of filing this report.

Reports said Onwu, who was attached to the branch of the SSS in Enugu, had met his untimely death along the Ogui road, while driving with his wife in a Mercedes Benz car with registration number BS 138 KJA.

A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, which confirmed the incident, said the SSS personnel was hit by a bullet while driving on the road and was confirmed dead by doctors at the Annunciation hospital, Emene where he was rushed to.

The PPRO however said the state command had commenced full scale investigation into the incident, noting that the police patrol team which fired the bullets was in pursuit of cultists, who later robbed certain residents at gun point at the Artisan market area of the state.

“On Sunday, men suspected to be cult men springing up probably from a revenge mission from the Matured Students Programme (MSP) of the Enugu state University of Science and Technology (ESUT) allegedly struck twice on different locations with a motorcycle wounding one Philomena Udealor a sales girl with one meat shop located at Atisan market, dispossessing her of all the daily proceeds made.

He stated that the hoodlums on citing the police patrol team, started shooting sporadically, leading to the hitting on the head of the Onwu.

Amaraizu said the Police Commissioner in the state, Musa Daura, had expressed displeasure over the incident and had directed Divisional Police Officers in the state to ensure that no commercial motorcycle operator plied the routes designated by the state government as no go areas.

Source: Thisday

Beyond Aregbesola’s Treason Trial

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Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), was elected the governor of Osun State in 2007. But since it was a “do or die” election for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  its candidate, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, was falsely returned by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The illegal declaration was fought in a protracted legal battle. Eventually, the Court of Appeal restored Aregbesola’s mandate after three and a half years.

Two months later, the appeal filed by the 30 chairmen elected on the platform of the PDP against the verdict of the Court of Appeal, which had ordered their removal from office, was dismissed by the Supreme Court. Having handled the case for the Osun State chapters of the Action Congress, National Conscience Party and All Nigeria Peoples Party from the High Court to the apex court, Aregbesola asked for my interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Osun State & Ors v Action Congress & 2 Ors (2011) 10. Notwithstanding the pressure mounted on the governor by his party leaders to dissolve the council chairmen and councilors on the basis of the judgment he refused. He directed that they be allowed to remain in office since they had only one month left to complete their tenure.
The governor’s handling of two other issues confirmed his political maturity. The ACN members had vehemently opposed the appointment of a top lawyer in the ministry of justice in the state on the ground that she was used by the ousted regime to prosecute its political opponents including the governor. He made the appointment on the ground that the prosecutor was discharging her duty at the material time. In the same vein, he dismissed the objection of his party leaders on the appointment of a significant number of children and wards of PDP members in the state employment scheme. He made it clear that he is the governor the state and not the chairman of the ACN.

THE TREASON CHARGES
As far as the PDP leaders were concerned the stat Aregbesola of recruited 20,000 thugs under the pretext of job creation. It was also alleged that his decision to rebrand the state of Osun and design a flag, anthem and coat of arms were treasonable. It was, however, intriguing that the Director-General of the State Security Service, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, who had discharged his duty without fear or favour, decided to team up with the ruling party in justifying the monstrous allegation that the governor had concluded arrangements to dismember the Federal Republic of Nigeria by excising Osun State there from. In a tendentious report  Aregbesola was alleged to be associating with a Muslim group, which is linked with the Boko Haram sect.
Although no one has referred to the specific provisions of any law violated by the governor, it is pertinent to examine the legal implications of the rebranding of Osun state in the context of the relevant laws. It is unfortunate to note that those who compiled the security report on  Aregbesola are not familiar with the constitutional history of Nigeria. Otherwise they would have found that in the First Republic, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria existed side by side with regional constitutions and that there were regional police forces.

Apart from the embassies of the Federal Government the federating units had consulates and properties in some foreign countries.  Even under the defunct military dictatorship when to keep Nigeria one was a task that required absolute loyalty every state had their own coat of arms. At a time that there were 12 states in Nigeria it was only the western state, which established a regional Court of Appeal, which served as an intermediary court between the State High Court and the Supreme Court. But in line with the tenets of federalism the remaining 11 states did not establish any Court of Appeal. Under the current political dispensation the Olagunsoye Oyinlola Administration in Osun State set up the Customary Court of Appeal in 2010. No other state in the south-west has set up such an appellate court even though it is provided for in the Constitution.
Another ridiculous allegation is that   Aregbesola dispatched some Osun State indigenes for training in Cuba. In spite of her economic difficulties aggravated by the economic blockage imposed by the United States over 50 years ago,  Cuba is acknowledged to have excelled in the areas of education, medicine and peace keeping operations. Because of his implicit confidence in the Cuban educational system  Aregbesola sent his first son, Abdul,  to Havana for his first degree in informatics before proceeding to the United Kingdom for post -graduate studies. For over a decade, the Cuban government has awarded scholarships to scores of Nigerian youths to study in Cuba. The federal ministry of education, which administers the scholarship scheme, has always appreciated the generosity and solidarity of the Cuban government. It is curious that the SSS has not accused the Federal Government of engaging in treason by allowing Nigerian youths to acquire education in Cuba!

IN DEFENCE OF AREGBESOLA
A few weeks ago, I attended the convocation ceremony of the Ekiti state university (ESU) at Ado, Ekiti state. Unlike most universities in the country which have commercialised their honorary degrees the ESU conferred doctorate degrees honoris causas on three distinguished Africans  namely Mr. John Dramani Mahama, Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO and Professor Tekena Tamuno, former vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan.

On that occasion the anthems of Ghana, Nigeria and Ekiti State were played to mark the commencement and conclusion of the ceremony. The state governor, and  the Visitor to the university, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was present at the occasion.  Last week,  Fayemi presented the staff of office to the Oba of my home town, the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi. The anthems of Nigeria, Ekiti and Ilawe were played to the delight of the audience. My wife asked me if the SSS would not accuse  Fayemi of treason for leading the audience to sing the Ekiti anthem. I reminded her that no one has ever been charged with any crime for singing the famous Egba anthem, which was composed by Fela Anikulapo’s grand father several years before Nigeria was born.
In a country where religious bodies, schools, trade unions, political parties, clubs and other friendly societies have their constitutions, anthems, mottos and emblems it is bunkum to accuse a governor of committing treason for causing a state to have a flag, coat of arms and an anthem. Indubitably, section 1(2) of the Constitution prohibits any person or a group from taking over the government of Nigeria or any part of it. Having contested and won the governorship election of Osun State  Aregbesola cannot be said to have taken government by force.

It is also submitted that the 68 items in the exclusive legislative list in the Constitution on which only the National Assembly can legislate does not include flag, coat of arms and anthem. To that extent,  Aregbesola cannot be said to have usurped the legislative powers of the federal government. Neither has his decision to call the state the “State of Osun” violated Section 3 (2) of the Constitution, which states that there shall be ” a Federation consisting of states and a Federal Capital Territory”. In the United States of America from where Nigeria copied her Constitution most of the states have their courts of appeal, supreme courts, flags, coat of arms, police forces etc. Even counties (local governments) and corporate bodies including universities have their own police or quasi military institutions without being accused of courting treason.
The attempt by the SSS to link Aregbesola with the Boko Haram sect is dangerous. It should not be taken lightly as it was deliberately designed to promote religious crisis in a peaceful environment. No doubt, Aregbesola is a devout Muslim  but certainly not a fanatic. On the day of his inauguration he led the huge crowd at Osogbo to sing many Christian songs while thanking God for restoring his mandate. Last year, I attended a public function at Osogbo presided over by the governor. Before the commencement of the event he invited a pastor, an imam and an Ifa priest to pray for Osun state and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To the embarrassment of the Christian and Muslim members in the hall there was a prolonged ovation when the Ifa priest said prayers in undiluted Yoruba language. At the end of the programme a born again Christian friend walked up to the governor and questioned his blasphemous policy of promoting idolatry. To which Aregbesola replied “you saw the reaction of the audience. The people were not clapping for the Ifa priest. They were applauding our decision to recognise and promoting traditional religion. That is in line with section 10 of the Constitution which states that the State shall not adopt any particular religion”.
It is germane to draw the attention of security forces to section 37 of the Criminal Code Act which defines treason as the act of levying war  against the State, in order to intimidate or overawe the President or the Governor of a State, and any person involved in the offence is liable to the punishment of death. In Dokubo-Asari v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007) 30 WRN 1 at 75 the Supreme Court held that “a charge of treasonable felony is a very serious offence and is prejudicial to national security”. The late jurist, Dr. Akinola Aguda was of the view that a person accused of treason  “must be shown to have had the intention to intimidate or overawe the President or any state governor by any physical or unlawful means”. On intimidating or overawing the President the learned author opined that it “involves creating a situation where the government feels compelled to choose between yielding to force or exposing its members or the public to a very serious danger”.
From the foregoing a charge of treason or treasonable felony cannot be sustained against Aregbesola for having a state flag, coat of arms and anthem. So far no scintilla of evidence has been adduced to show that the governor has planned to levy war against the State with a view to intimidating or overawing the President. Instead of demonising the governor he should be commended for embarking on massive job creation in a country where mass unemployment has led to unprecedented wave of armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism and other violent crimes.

However, it is ironical that while the state security service was reading treason into the Osun State Aregbesola of treason the World Bank led officials of the federal government and 15 states to Osogbo to understand the employment generation programme of his administration.

•Falana is a lawyer and member of THISDAY Editorial Board.

-Thisday

Terrorism: IG orders CPs to secure media houses

Acting Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed
May 3, 2012 by Adelani Adepegba, Mustapha Salihu and Eniola Akinkuotu

Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has directed all state commissioners of police to beefup security around media houses in the country.

This is just as the training of 100 policemen in the handling of Explosive Ordinance Disposal has begun.

The IG’s directive followed the threat by Boko Haram to attack PUNCH and some other South-based newspapers in the country.

The sect made the threat in a Youtube video on Tuesday, in which it justified last Friday’s suicide bomb attack on ThisDay Newspapers office in Jabi, Abuja.

Speaking at a dinner with crime correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, Abubakar stated that the police would provide security for media outfits.

He also gave the assurance that efforts would be made to protect journalists from harm.

“I’m aware of the threat to media houses by the group of criminals causing trouble in parts of the country. I have directed all commissioners of police in charge of state commands to provide security for journalists and media houses. We won’t allow any harm to befall them,” the IG said.

He also vowed that security agencies would continue to combat terrorists in their areas of operation.

He urged Nigerians to support the security agencies in their efforts to deal with security threats across the country by providing useful information.

Also on Tuesday, the State Security Service said it was investigating the sect’s threat to attack media houses.

SSS Deputy Director, Media and Publicity, Marilyn Ogar, said the agency was working to thwart any plot against the media.

She dismissed the report of a bomb scare in Abuja on Tuesday, adding that the “stop and search” operation conducted on persons and vehicles by security agencies was a proactive measure led by the Brigade of Guards to assure the public of their combat readiness.

She said, “There was no bomb scare in Abuja as reported by some newspapers. The stop and search conducted on Tuesday was a show of force by the Brigade of Guards to show that they are alert to any security issue.”

Meanwhile, the training of the 100 policemen in EOD techniques began on Wednesday in Lagos, in a bid to address the rising level of insecurity in the country as well as incessant bombings.

The training is in response to the IG’s order that the EOD should intensify security in all states where it has units and should also endeavour to establish its presence in states where it has none.

The training was formally opened on Wednesday in Lagos by the Commissioner of Police in charge of the EOD, Mr. Folusho Adebanjo, who represented the IG.

The spokesperson for the EOD, Mr. Gbolahan Moronfolu, said it was meant to strengthen the capability of the police in the handling of explosives.

He said, “The 100 participants are conventional policemen from various police commands and formations who were successful in an aptitude test previously conducted by the EOD. The course is for one month and will centre on the basic training module.

“The actual aim is to strengthen the workforce of the EOD command throughout the federation in view of the incessant bombings. The training aims to increase personnel and use them to create more units in states where there is no EOD unit.

“Many embassies, media houses, police divisions as well as other possible targets will now have more EOD presence.”

On Wednesday, the Lagos State Police Command summoned all area commanders that have media houses under their jurisdiction to its headquarters.

The command’s spokesman, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, who confirmed this to one of our correspondents on the telephone, explained it was in response to the Boko Haram threat.

He said, “The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Mr. Tunde Sobulo, is presently having a meeting with area commanders who have media houses within their areas of operation.

“Since the April 26, 2012 attack on some media houses in Abuja and Kaduna, the Commissioner of Police for the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Umar Manko, had ordered that security should be beefed up in the state. But with the recent threat, we have to restrategise.”

Jaiyeoba said he would inform our correspondent about the security measures being implemented by the command.

The SSS command in Kano State has arrested a middle aged chemical merchant, Ayuba Usman, suspected to be dealing in chemicals for the production of explosives to Boko Haram members.

Usman, who is a native of Dala Local Government Area in Kano metropolis, was paraded before newsmen by the Director of SSS in the state, Mr. Bassey Eteng, on Wednesday.

The alleged merchant was found in possession of 35 big drums of highly combustible chemicals and substances used for making bombs and other Improvised Explosive Devices.

Eteng said, “Chemicals are controlled items and they are supposed to be sold to people legitimately for economic use. But when we then find some individuals selling them to other individuals, then these individuals turn them to harmful use on innocent persons.”

He stated that the arrest of Usman, whose shop is located in one of the main markets in the state, was effected through information provided by a suspect in custody.

The director, however, refused to name the market where the suspect’s business place was located for security reasons. He stated that Usman’s arrest followed Tuesday’s successful raid by the Joint Task Force on a suspected Boko Haram factory/house located at Bubugaje in Sharada Phase 111 Industrial Estate in Kano metropolis.

“The suspect brought before you is a suspect whom we found from investigations to have links with some extremist elements.

“And what I believe, based on statements made by the high profile suspect the service is dealing with, we were able to know that the suspect, Ayuba Usman, has been providing very combustive chemicals to the extremist group.

“These are the chemicals being used in making Improvised Explosive Devices and other types of explosive devices. He was arrested yesterday (Tuesday) in Kano. He is the owner of all the (chemical) substances found in his shop. These substances are controlled items.

“Suspects in custody were able to identify their main link of where, from whom they are getting the above materials and who provides them the materials in Kano. This happened to be Ayuba Usman They (terrorist bombers) mix this thing with fertiliser and other inflammable substances.

“He was not just picked because he is selling these materials, but because information from those in custody, who identified him, who described him, where his shop is; led us to his arrest.

Kano: SSS Operatives Arrest Suspected Supplier of Bomb Making Chemicals

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The JTF shows off some explosives recovered from an earlier raid

 

By Ibrahim Shuaibu

State Security Service (SSS) operatives in Kano have arrested a middle aged man, Ayuba Usman suspected to be the chief supplier of chemicals used in making IEDs by Boko Haram members .

State Director of the SSS, Mr Bassey Eteng said in Kano on Wednesday while parading the suspect before reporters, that “based on investigation the suspect is believed to have links with some extremist elements in the state.

“Also based on statements made by some of the suspects in our custody, the suspect has been providing chemicals being used by the terrorists to make IEDs.”

According to him, the suspect was apprehended on Wednesday with 35 drums of chemicals and other materials which were highly inflammable in one of the markets in Dala Local Government Area.

According to the director: “Chemicals are controlled or sold to individuals to make economic gains.

“But when we find individuals selling such materials to individuals who turn to harm innocent people, the security will be concerned and that is why we are concerned.”

He said the SSS operatives in the state would dig deeper in order to know their network with a view to tracking down their accomplices, adding that investigation would continue until the perpetrators of such illegal activities were arrested.

-Thisday

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