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Police get IGP nod to fight back if attacked

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The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has told the police to protect themselves when attacked.

The order came on Friday against the backdrop of the killing of 22 policemen and burning of 205 police stations and other security formations during the EndSARS riots across the country.

He stated this during a visit to the police command of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to assess the level of damage during the EndSARS protest.

He commended officers and men of the force for their resilience and professionalism during the protest.

The IGP said the Federal Government was relying on the police to ensure that the public space was not taken over by criminals.

He said, “No amount of provocation and insult will make us shy away from our responsibilities. Inasmuch as we are aware that the government is behind us, we will encourage you to continue to be professional and civic in performing your duties.

“But if anybody touches or assaults you, you can also protect yourself because when we talk of human right, the police are human; so the rights of police officers should also be protected. We are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves,” he said.

He said the visit was to commiserate with the officers and men of the command for the loss of lives and property during the protests.

“I have seen how you went out to deal with very difficult situation in trying to maintain peace, law and order in the FCT during the protest,” he said.

The IGP said that during the protest, some roads were blocked; some vehicles were burnt and police stations in some parts of the country, including the FCT, were burnt with police officers assaulted. Adamu said the destruction and other criminal activities was done because the protesters were waiting for the police to react.

He said, “I know how you went about protecting the protesters so that they would not be molested, but along the line, the protesters attacked not only members of the public but also police officers.

“These are criminal activities by the protesters wanting to provoke police personnel to use maximum force against them to justify police brutality.

“But with your resilience and professionalism, you were able to show maximum restrain and meet up with the standard that is required in curbing protest without using force.”

The Commissioner of Police at the FCT, Mr Bala Ciroma, commended the IGP for the visit, adding that the command arrested and had arraigned 196 suspects in connection with the riot.

The IGP said 22 police personnel were killed and scores of others injured during the EndSARS protests in different locations across the country. The police chief stated this on the heels of a report by Amnesty International that police personnel shot at peaceful protesters during the rallies.

Adamu, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, said that 205 police stations and formations, including other critical private and public infrastructure, were also damaged by a section of the protesters.

The IGP, who faulted the Amnesty International’s report, claimed that many of the personnel injured during the protests were in life-threatening conditions in hospitals.

He described the report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidence.

The statement reads in part: “Officers of the Nigeria Police Force acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country. “During the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.

“Even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.

“Available reports show that twenty-two (22) police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests. Many of the injured personnel are in life-threatening conditions at the hospitals.

“Two hundred and five (205) police stations and formations, including other critical private and public infrastructure, were also damaged by a section of the protesters. Despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report.”

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EFCC detains, grills ex-Gov Al-Makura over corruption allegations

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained a former Governor of Nasarawa State and serving senator, Tanko Al-Makura, and his wife, Mairo Al-Makura.
Sources ae the EFCC Abuja head office said thecouple honoured the invitation extended to them by the commission.
One of the sources said they were detained when the operatives of the anti-graft agency demanded some explanations from them about the finances of the state but were unable to answer.
They were said to have been detained and grilled over misappropriation of funds.
Al-Makura governed Nasarawa between 2011 and 2019 before he was elected as the Senator representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District.
It was learnt that the duo were still at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja at about 10:30pm.
Spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, could however not confirm the development, saying he was yet to be briefed.

When contacted, the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren said he was yet to be briefed on the development.

When contacted for his comment, the ex-governor’s spokesperson, Danjuma Joseph, said he was not aware of the arrest.

“His Excellency left Lafia (Nasarawa State capital) for Abuja this morning. I am not aware of such arrest,” Mr Joseph said.

The former governor, until Wednesday, has never been known to be facing EFCC probe.

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US lawmakers halt $875m military equipment sale to Nigeria

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United States lawmakers have stalled a proposed sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria based on President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s perceived human rights abuse, the Endsars protests of 2020 that ended in crisis and banditry.
According to Saharareporters, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have delayed clearing a proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military, pausing a deal worth some $875 million, according to US officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter.
Former US President, Donald Trump’s administration had agreed to sell the Nigerian government 12 A-29 Super Tucano warplanes, resurrecting a proposed sale the Obama administration froze after the Nigerian Air Force bombed a refugee camp that January. The first batch of those planes arrived in Nigeria earlier this month.
The report notes that the behind-the-scenes controversy over the proposed arms sale illustrates a broader debate among Washington policymakers over how to balance national security with human rights objectives.
This is also an indication that the US lawmakers want to push the Biden administration to rethink US relations with Nigeria amid overarching concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari is drifting toward dictatorship as his government is besieged by multiple security challenges, including jihadist insurgency.
Nigeria is on the front lines in the battle against Boko Haram, one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups, and plays a role in the US and international efforts to roll back extremist groups in the Sahel region of West Africa.
But Western governments and international human rights organizations have ramped up their criticisms of the Nigerian government, particularly in the wake of its ban on Twitter, systemic corruption issues, and the Nigerian military’s role in deadly crackdowns on protesters after widespread demonstrations against police brutality last year.
Sen. Bob Menendez, the chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for a “fundamental rethink of the framework of our overall engagement” with Nigeria during a Senate hearing with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June.
Both Menendez and Sen. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have placed a hold on the proposed arms sale, according to multiple U.S. officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter, who spoke to Foreign Policy on condition of anonymity.
The details on the proposed sale were first sent by the U.S. State Department to Congress in January before then-former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, according to officials familiar with the matter.
In addition to the helicopters, the proposed sale included 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade aircraft navigation systems made by Honeywell, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems—laser-guided rocket munitions, according to information sent by the State Department to Congress and reviewed by Foreign Policy.
Nigeria has relied on U.S. arms sales in the past to help address multiple security challenges: the 12-year insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the country’s northeast, a spate of high-profile kidnapping-for-ransom campaigns targeting schoolchildren in the country’s northwest, and deadly clashes between the country’s semi-nomadic herders and farmers fueled by climate change and environmental degradation of the country’s arable land.
The State Department describes the U.S.-Nigeria relationship as “among the most important in sub-Saharan Africa” and has provided limited funding for various military training and education programs.
Some experts said the United States should hit the pause button on major defense sales until it makes a broader assessment of the extent to which corruption and mismanagement hobble the Nigerian military and whether the military is doing enough to minimize civilian casualties in its campaign against Boko Haram and other violent insurrectionists.
“There doesn’t have to be a reason why we don’t provide weapons or equipment to the Nigerian military,” said Judd Devermont, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank.
“But it has to be done with an assessment of how it will, one, change the direction of conflict in Nigeria, and, two, that they will use it consistent with our laws. In both cases, it’s either a question mark or a fail.”
“There is a culture of impunity that exists around abuses by the military,” said Anietie Ewang, the Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Ewang cited the Nigerian military’s killing of unarmed protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos during the country’s massive #EndSARS demonstrations against police corruption and brutality last year as well as cases documented by human rights organizations of abuses in the military’s campaign against Boko Haram.
“I’m sure it’s a difficult situation. There are so many conflicts springing up across the country now,” Ewang said.
“The authorities, I presume, are trying to do the best they can to save lives and property. But this must be done in accordance with human rights standards. You can’t throw one out just to be able to achieve the other.”

 

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Court frees El-Zakzaky, wife of culpable homicide, other charges

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Justice Gideon Kurada of Kaduna High Court has discharged and acquitted leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria otherwise known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.
The IMN leader and his wife had been standing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, among other criminal charges since December 2015, following a clash between his followers and convoy of the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The court had fixed July 28 for ruling in the no-case submission filed by Zakzaky.

Justice Kurada fixed the date after the prosecution and counsel to the defendants addressed the court on the no-case submission prayer
Briefing journalists after the secret trial, counsel to Zakzaky, Marshal Abubakar, said the court upheld their no-case submission and agreed that the case lacked merit.

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