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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

#Nigeria FG to Amend Anti-terrorism Act

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Senate President, David Mark

By  Chuks Okocha   and Michael Olugbode
A n amendment to the Anti-terrorism Act, 2011, is underway to compel the trial of terror suspects, their sponsors and others suspected of aiding and abetting terror suspects under military law, THISDAY has learnt.

THISDAY gathered at the weekend that President Goodluck Jonathan would soon send an executive bill to the National Assembly to amend the Act, which when passed, would preclude members of Boko Haram, their sponsors and others involved in terrorist activities in the country from being tried in regular courts.

The proposed amendment is meant to hasten the trial of suspects and prevent them from exploiting any loopholes in the existing Anti-terrorism Act and the nation’s legal system to escape justice.

Boko Haram’s attacks, which have claimed about 1,500 lives since they were launched in 2009, have increased in intensity following the 2011 general elections which Jonathan contested and won in the presidential stanza of the contest.

The death toll rose again by three yesterday when suspected terrorists and members of the Joint Task Force engaged in a gun duel at a wedding in Maiduguri.

Also, in Potiskum, Yobe State, where suspected Boko Haram members attacked a cattle market, killing about 60 people on Wednesday, the people marched on the streets yesterday in protest against soldiers whom they accused of not coming to their aid during the attack.

THISDAY learnt that apart from members of Boko Haram, the amendment to the law will ensure that all those involved in unlawful combat against the government and their sponsors would face a military trial.

Others that may be affected by the martial law are Niger Delta militants and other militant tribal groups.

The amendment bill, which is being drafted, seeks to define the term of “unlawful combatants” to include all belligerent suspects, their sponsors and Niger Delta militants who are yet to surrender and others engaged in militant activities that are not defined within the context of the “Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“The decision to ensure the invocation of full military trials or what could be described as martial law,” a presidency source explained, is that the passage of the bill “is a full declaration of war by the federal government on the unlawful combatant forces.”

According to the presidency official, “These unlawful combatant forces are engaged in various hostilities and have committed belligerent acts or have directly sponsored or supported hostilities in aid of unlawful combatant forces against the stability and security interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its citizens in general.”

He said the decision to adopt this measure stemmed from the fact that “Nigeria is at war against a mobile, dangerous and fanatical individual gang that has been inspired by an extremist interpretation of the Koran, and which will use the techniques of mass terror, violence and hatred to attack innocent citizens – both Christians, Muslims and otherwise minded.”

He said under the proposed amendment, the term “unlawful combatant” is defined to include, “an individual who was part of, or sponsored or supported the terrorist activities of unlawful combatant forces, or associated groups that are engaged in terrorist hostilities against the stability and security interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and its citizens in general.

“This shall include any person or persons who commits a belligerent act or has directly aided, abetted, or is perceived to have sponsored or supported hostilities in aid of unlawful combatant forces.”

The presidency source added that “the bill would endeavour to curb the excesses of some lawyers, whose deliberate use of legal tactics stall the trial and prosecution of those connected with unlawful combats.”

The bill will empower the Nigerian government to collaborate with countries that have successfully dealt with terrorist organisations like Israel, the United States of America and the United Kingdom which have a vested interest in combating global terrorism.
This, the source said, was to ensure that Nigeria is not a safe haven for terrorism or for its promoters.

In Maiduguri, a wedding ceremony became a theatre of war when members of Boko Haram and JTF personnel exchanged gunfire.

When the battle subsided, three people were killed in the crossfire and eight persons were arrested.

It was gathered that the military invaded the wedding, said to have been organised by a man suspected to have links to the sect at Sabon Layi, Gwange, following a tip-off that notable members of the sect, who are on a wanted list, would be in attendance.
On sighting the soldiers, the terrorists at the wedding were said to have immediately opened fire on them.
The guests at the ceremony scampered to safety as the members of JTF and Boko Haram engaged in a deadly gun battle.

It was gathered that most of the members of the sect in attendance shot their way out of the venue without being captured as they were conversant with the area.

JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement, confirmed the clash between the parties, saying three civilians were killed and four others, including two soldiers, were wounded.

He added that an AK47 rifle, 20 rounds of ammunition and a vehicle used by the terrorists were recovered.

Similarly, there was a breakdown of law and order in Potiskum, the commercial nerve centre in Yobe State, yesterday as residents challenged the authority of the soldiers deployed to the town at the peak of the Boko Haram crisis.

Irked and still mourning the killings of about 60 persons by suspected Boko Haram members, the people accused the soldiers of not coming to their rescue when it mattered.
It was gathered that problem started when the people accused the soldiers of manhandling some residents.

A source from the town told THISDAY that the soldiers are in the habit of beating up people at will.

He said the people, still incensed by the Wednesday attack, challenged the soldiers and demanded that they leave the town.

He said more people later joined the protest and went to drive away the soldiers from checkpoints in the town.

“Of what use are these soldiers anyway? They keep harassing innocent residents of the town but when the occasion presented itself last Wednesday to show the merit of having them around, they chickened out,” a resident said.

Attempts to get the military authorities in the state to comment on the issue proved abortive as calls to the phone lines of the officials failed to connect last night.
Also, the state police spokesman, Toyin Gbadegesin, could not be reached.

Source: Thisday

 

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

#Nigeria #BokoHaram: JTF arrests prime suspect in BUK attacks

May 2, 2012 by Mustapha Salihu, Kano
Joint Security Task Force

The Joint Security Task Force in Kano has arrested a Boko Haram member, Ibrahim Mohammed Ali, a prime suspect in Sunday’s coordinated attacks on Christian worshippers at the old campus of Bayero University, Kano in which 20 persons, including two professors, were killed.

Ali had escaped the early dawn raid on Tuesday by the JTF.

JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Ikedichi Iweha, told newsmen that Ali, a diploma holder from Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State, was nabbed by security operatives who had been on his trail when he escaped after blasting the walls of a factory/house around 4a.m on Tuesday.

Acting on information, the JTF had surrounded the house located at Bubugaje, Sharada Phase III Industrial Layout in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State.

During the three hour shoot-out between the JTF and suspected members of the Boko Haram, one civilian was killed.

Ali is alleged to be the husband of the Camerounian-nursing mother, Fati Mohammed, arrested by the JTF in the dawn raid yesterday.

The Camerounian nursing mother, aged about 20 years, was among the three females, comprising two wives and a teenager, who served as house-girl to one of the sect members.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mohammed had been arrested before in a similar raid by the security operatives, but was freed.

According to her, she was nabbed alongside Lami Idris, who is a maid and Habiba Mohammed.

She was holding a two-month old baby when she was paraded alongside the others.

The bomb factory also used as residence by the deadly sect members had been razed down on the orders of the Commander, 3 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Illyasu Abbah.

Also demolished was the adjoining building used as escape route by one of the sect members.

Intelligence report reveals that the terrorists were among the several others that attacked Christian worshippers at BUK.

Over three bombs already primed exploded in the house, just as a gunfight raged between the JTF and the Boko Haram members.

The walls of the building had hundreds of bullet holes in them when newsmen went to inspect the scene.

About five unexploded bombs already primed for attack were also recovered.

Some of the items recovered from the bomb making factory are one AK 47 rifle, 35 Improvised Explosive Devices, one motorcycle, 5 cylinders already wired with high-calibre explosives, bags of fertiliser and 400 rounds of ammunition.

Others are two laptops, several batteries, remote car keys and other items used as bomb timers, 35 knives and other dangerous weapons.

Addressing newsmen at the scene, Brigadier-General Illyasu Abbah said, “I don’t need to say much, the picture on ground do not tell lie.”

He added, “The information reaching us now is that the one that was killed was among those who attacked Christians while worshiping at BUK last Sunday.”

He disclosed that one dead sect member, two wives, maid and two children, including a two-month old and seven year-old, were professionally brought out unhurt.

According to him, the dead sect member was the only one that was armed and prepared to confront the security forces. “Nemesis caught up with him; that is the dead body lying down there.”

Asked if the house could be referred to as a bomb factory, the Commander said, “If you call it a bomb factory, I can say yes. You can see most of those things have been prepared, ready for a mission, suicide mission of course. These are the IEDs they normally throw around.

“Well let me tell you, the most difficult fight you can have is with terrorists. They know us and we don’t know them. And the way they operate, is in one or two, they don’t permanently reside in a particular place.”

“Today, if we have routed them out from one place, tomorrow you will hear they are somewhere else. So, it is a very, very difficult battle to confront terrorists. But I assure you with the cooperation of the public and the enlightenment of the teeming members of the public, I think we would overcome this ugly incident.”

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