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Soldiers detained for flogging lady over ‘indecent’ dressing, shaving youths

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The Oyo State security outfit, Operation Burst, said on Monday that it had arrested some of its personnel for allegedly assaulting a lady in the Beere area of Ibadan.

The lady was alleged to have been beaten by some soldiers attached to the security team over allegation of ‘indecent dressing.’

Footage showing the assault on the lady, whose identity has yet to be ascertained, went viral last weekend.

In the viral video, officials of the outfit were seen using horsewhip on her in the full glare of residents of Beere.

Residents of the area alleged that the officials of the outfit had been terrorising them on flimsy excuses in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest that was reportedly hijacked by hoodlums.

During a programme tagged: Fresh FM Situation Room on Fresh 105.9 FM on Monday, the Commander, Operation Burst, Captain Usolo, apologised to the families of those assaulted by personnel of the outfit.

The Commissioner for Youth and Sports in the state, Mr Seun Fakorede, said, “My ears are full with news of the unlawful activities of some soldiers of the Nigerian Army. I reached out to the Commandant of the Operation Burst and I have been assured that the men involved in this distasteful operation have been arrested and taken to the barracks. They will be dealt with accordingly.”

Some of the soldiers, who were chanting ‘End SARS’, also shaved the heads of some youths said to be wearing improper hairstyles.

In a viral video, a young lady wearing a camisole and orange attachment was made to sit on the bare floor at a filling station, while a soldier whipped her buttocks.

The lady begged the soldier repeatedly, but the adamant soldier asked her not to protect her buttocks as he continued to whip her.

A young man, whose head was shaved, narrated how he was pulled down from a commercial motorcycle by one of the soldiers.

Speaking in Yoruba, he said, “I was on a motorcycle with my friends around Beere when I was stopped by soldiers. They said they wanted to see us. I was wondering what I had done because I wasn’t in possession of any weapon and I am not a fraudster.

“They said I should take off my cap and when I did, they flogged me and asked me to kneel down. When I asked what my crime was, one of them ordered me to sit down and then brought out a pair of scissors from his pocket.

“The funny thing was that they collected money from us for the haircut.”

Soldiers deployed in the streets to curb protests have been caught on camera perpetrating several acts of human rights abuse.

Last week, some men of the Nigerian Air Force in Osun State were seen flogging civilians after ordering them to lie face down in mud.

The air force claimed to have arrested them but such cases are usually buried.

Rights group, Amnesty International, has accused the Nigerian military of committing several acts of abuse, including whipping, forced haircuts and sometimes extrajudicial killings.

-The Punch

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400 suspected Boko Haram, bandits’ sponsors arrested

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Security agents have arrested about 400 businessmen for allegedly funding operations of Boko Haram and bandits in the country.

Daily Trust reported that the businessmen were arrested in an operation coordinated by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have approved the operation in 2020.

The newspaper reported that an initial list of 957 suspects comprising bureau de change (BDC) operators, gold miners and sellers, and other businessmen is being acted upon.

A source told the newspaper that about 400 persons were arrested in Kano, Borno, Abuja, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara.

Names of the BDC operators arrested were given as Baba Usaini, Abubakar Yellow (Amfani), Yusuf Ali Yusuf (Babangida), Ibrahim Shani, Auwal Fagge, and Muhammad Lawan Sani, a gold dealer.

Those arrested are reportedly being kept in military and the DSS facilities in Abuja and other places.

“Because this is economic warfare against the insurgents and other militant groups, the president, when approving the operation directed that the NFIU take the lead as the country’s financial intelligence powerhouse,” Daily Trust quoted a source to have said.

The source added that “with the presidential approval, a task team was composed of personally selected senior officers who were deployed under the DIA to carry out the special assignment”.

“The main person coordinating the funding ring for Boko Haram is in our custody, he and his closest ally in the business,” he said.

Another source was quoted to have said about 19 BDCs owned by persons with “direct connection with Boko Haram” were uncovered, while over N300 billion was found to have been used in funding terrorism.

Apart from one person in Borno and another in Zaria, Kaduna state, the source said over N50 billion were traced in funding to the armed groups.

“A number of those arrested have divulged vital information including operational details of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents. But they are being kept to aid further arrests,” the source was quoted to have said.

Family members of those arrested, the newspaper reported, have been calling on the government for their release.

In 2020, six Nigerians were also jailed in the United Arab Emirates for allegedly funding Boko Haram.

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Former Ondo deputy governor agrees to return vehicles

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Former Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has finally agreed to return the two vehicles in his possession to the Ondo State Government.

The state government last week said it would embarrass Agboola if he failed to return the four vehicles.

But Agboola, who said he had only two vehicles, insisted they were part of his benefits.

The state government also petitioned the Ondo State Police Command to help recover the vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, the former deputy governor said he was not the problem of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.

Agboola stated it was in the interest of everybody that Governor Akeredolu demonstrated good governance, transparent policy making and effective change.

He said it was unfortunate some members of the inner circle of Akeredolu have prioritised harassing him on a number of issues most especially the return of vehicles

Agboola said he hoped “these petty interactions would have ceased after the recent inauguration.

“To be clear – if the return of these two vehicles will make the administration focus more on the avalanche of pressing needs, challenges and predicaments facing the state most especially insecurity, the absence of governance and unpaid salaries across the entirety the Ondo public sector – then I’m ready to make the sacrifice and return the two vehicles which they so desperately need.

“I am not the problem of the present administration. I have moved on.”

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Pensioners demand payment of N35bn arrears

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Nigeria pensioners who retired from the electricity sector have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aide in order to resolve the lingering issue of their owed N35billion pension arrears.

The pensioners under the aegis of Electricity Sector Retiree Welfare Association (ESREWA), led by its  President, Elder Benjamin Amako, asked President Buhari to save countless dying pensioners whose fate are tied to the delayed payment of their pension arrears.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Amako said every Nigerian, including President Buhari, knows the pathetic situation of pensioners in the country.

Amako said: “First we thank God that Mr President returned from his medical trip healthier, stronger and successfully. The news of his return gave us pensioners so much joy because we know  he will not sit quiet and watch more pensioners lose their lives because of humanly inaction. So far, his administration has ensured that pensioners gets their rights and this arrears we are asking for is our right.

“Interestingly, President Buhari had already directed that this same arrears (N35billion) be paid to us, but for over five years ago he issued the directive, the relevant authorities who it is their responsibilities to ensure we get this arrears for our dying members seems to be working contrarily.

“So for the past five years, these arrears have always been part of the National Budget under Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) budget and accordingly transferred to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). But sadly, we have not been paid a dime even as I speak, for reasons that are totally and obviously human making.

“So we are pleading with President Buhari, the SGF, Minister of Finance, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Accountant General of the Federation, PTAD and other relevant authorities to save our lives by paying us this money without further delay.”

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