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Anger over killing of three Kaduna Greenfield varsity students

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Nigerians have reacted with shock and anger to the killing of three of the students of Greenfield University, Kaduna kidnapped by bandits on Tuesday from the school.

The Kaduna State’s commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, had in a statement yesterday morning, announced that the bandits shot dead three of the abducted students.

Former Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar; leader of the Yoruba pan socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; the Peoples Democratic Party, two Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Mr Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome, and the leadership of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria expressed anger, sadness and disappointment in government’s failure to rescue the students before being killed by the criminal elements.

Atiku, who described the killing as heart-breaking, said it was time to allow governors to manage security in their states.

He said in his verified tweeter handle: “Heart-breaking to learn of the killing of three of the abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna. How long shall we continue to lose precious souls? May their families and friends be comforted. It is time states are granted constitutional roles in the management of security.”

Reacting to the murder of the students last night, the leader of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo said it was regrettable that the security situation could break down so bad in a regime led by a retired army general.

He said, “It shows the extent to which security has broken down under General Muhammadu Buhari. It shows his incompetence and how far he is inefficient as a former commander.

“Each time we talk about him, Lai Mohammed will put up a propaganda saying everything is in order and Buhari is the best President that we have ever had.

“It is until they kill all of us that they will now know he should have left the place. Law and order have broken down in the country, there’s no doubt about that. The earlier people persuade Buhari to get out of the place the better for all of us.”

 

Adebanjo said the unhealthy security situation was a veritable reason for unending calls for restructuring of the country. “It all comes down to what I’ve been talking about -restructuring of the country. All the governors have no authority over the security of their states. They are all lame duck governors; I’ve been saying that all the time.”

He said the 1999 Constitution was forced on the nation by the military and that it must be replaced by a truly federal constitution, stating that with this new constitution, the governors could be held accountable.

 

“Right now, the governors have no control over the police in their area. Even right now, a man in his cabinet has been proven to be in collaboration and is one of the Imams of Boko Haram.”

PDP: Govt Must Do Everything to Apprehend Assailants

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described as extremely wicked, the murder of the three students by gunmen.

The party asked the federal government to invoke every process permissible within the laws of the nation to apprehend the assailants, as well as secure the release of the remaining abducted students of Greenfield University.

 

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said, “Our party also demands an intensified action for the rescue of the abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna.”

 

The PDP lamented that the bleeding of the nation was approaching a Class IV haemorrhage and urged Buhari to allow for the rejigging of the security system to guarantee state and community policing in the country.

 

The PDP also charged Nigerians to remain at alert and provide useful information to security agencies at this critical moment.

 

Falana: No Sacrifice is too Much to Secure the Abducted Students

 

In his reaction, human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana said it was regretted that the government could not rescue the kidnapped students.

 

Speaking with one of our correspondents last night, Falana said government owes it a duty to protect the citizens. He also advised the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai to do everything possible to rescue the remaining students.

 

He said, “It was extremely painful and extremely sad to hear the tragic news of the brutal killing of three of the kidnapped students of Greenfield University Kaduna.

 

“Certainly, the government owes the responsibility to the parents and the society. This is not the time for the governor of the state to engage in grandstanding if school children and other people are kidnapped by criminal elements.

 

“The government owes it a duty to rescue them at whatever costs because the security of lives and property of everybody in Nigeria is guaranteed in the constitution.”

 

Falana said there was an urgent need for government at both the federal and state levels to invest heavily on modern security gadgets as a way of outsmarting the criminals, saying government should be able to learn from the way the United States government was able to rescue one of its citizens kidnapped in Nigeria, recently.

 

“A serious government would have liaised with the American government to ensure that kidnapping becomes a thing of the past,” the Senior Advocate stated.

 

Ozekhome: Nigerians Shouldn’t Be Surprised at The Turn Of Events

 

Another senior lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, (SAN) said he wasn’t disappointed at the floppy manner in which the federal government has been handling the issue of kidnappings in Nigeria, especially in the recent time.

In a short message to one of our correspondents last night, the fiery lawyer said Nigerians ought not to be surprised at the turn of things in the country, given the failure of the government to resolve previous kidnappings. He asked, “What were Nigerians expecting? Where is Leah Sharibu? Where are the Chibok girls abducted since April 2014?

“Has this government ever walked the talk in its vain glorious posturing against Boko Haram, armed banditry, herdsmen, kidnapping and other violent crimes across the board in Nigeria?

“Has Nigeria not been turned into a sprawling field of crimson and posing blood of innocent Nigerians?

 

“Can any Nigerian sleep with his two eyes closed? Are we not worse off security-wise today than we were in 2014?”

CAN: Kaduna Government Talks too Much

 

In his reaction, the Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab said that the way forward to ending banditry, killings and abductions is for government to live up to its responsibility.

 

Hayab lamented that almost on a daily basis, people were being killed or abducted in Kaduna State, without the government doing much to bring the criminals to justice.

 

According to him, “The way forward to stop these killings is for our government to wake up and stop making noise. Our government is adding salt to injury. Our government is talking too much. Our government is using poor governanace.

 

“Everywhere in Kaduna is not safe. So, our government must stop insulting people and act responsibly. In Kaduna state, life is no longer useful. If they killed you, you would hear one funny statement from state government telling us that the governor expressed his condolences.

“Kaduna State people are tired of the governor’s condolences. They want to see these criminals tormenting them being arrested and brought to justice.”

 

In announcing the killing of the three students, the Kaduna State government said, “In an act of mindless evil and sheer wickedness, the armed bandits who kidnapped students of Greenfield University have shot dead three of the abducted students.

 

“The armed bandits on Tuesday night kidnapped an unspecified number of students at the institution located at Kasarami village off Kaduna-Abuja Road in Chikun LGA

“The remains of three students were found today (Friday), in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university and have been evacuated to a mortuary by the Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, and Force Commander, Operation Thunder Strike, Lt.Col. MH Abdullahi.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the killing of three students as sheer wickedness, inhumanity and an outright desecration of human lives by vile entities.”

 

The statement quoted the governor as saying that, “the armed bandits represent the worst of humankind and must be fought at all cost for the violent wickedness they represent”.

“Evil, the Governor further said, would not triumph over God-given humanity. He appealed to citizens to come together against the forces of darkness challenging national security and the very existence of the Nigerian State.

 

“The Governor, on behalf of the Government and people of Kaduna State sent deep condolences and empathy to the students’ families and the university community, as he prayed for the repose of their souls.

 

“The Government will keep citizens informed of further developments”, Aruwan said.

The statement was silent about the number of the students abducted.

-THISDAY

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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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