– Many Policemen missing -Military operations in Zamfara successful, Commissioner insists
-We’ve over 200 members with 150 AK-47 rifles, arrested kidnapper confesses
Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto, John Shiklam in Kaduna and Francis Sardauna in Katsina
It was another sad day for the people and residents of Sabon Birni local government area of Sokoto State as suspected armed bandits again attack the local government with no fewer than 27 people abducted from Gatawa, a community in the local government area.
This is just as in Zamfara, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ibrahim Dosara, yesterday insisted that the ongoing military operations against bandits and other criminals has recorded huge success, disclosing that the fleeing bandits whose source of food supply had been cut off, have resorted to eating raw food.
In a related development, a suspected kidnap kingpin who was arrested by the Katsina State Police Command, Surajo Mamman, alias Kutika, has confessed that he belongs to a kidnapping syndicate that has over 200 members with 150 AK-47 rifles.
In Gatawa community in Sabon Birni local government area of Sokoto State, a source who spoke with THISDAY confirmed that in the latest attack where no fewer than 27 persons were abducted, a resident of the town was said to have been burnt alive while many policemen have been unaccounted for after the attack which occurred on Wednesday.
It was in same Sabon Birnin that bandits had gunned down at least 17 security personnel earlier in the week.
A member of the State House of Assembly who represents Sabon Birni East Constituency, Sa’idu Ibrahim, who confirmed the development said the bandits now target security formations in the area.
“They are now looking for where security operatives are stationed because their morale was boosted by their recent attack on a military formation at Dama, where many soldiers, policemen and Civil Defence officers were killed.
“So they are now attacking places where they know military, police or other para-military camp.
“They shot two persons, including a woman and burnt three others who hid in a grain store. One of them died instantly while the other two are receiving treatment in the hospital,” he said.
According to the lawmaker, they invaded Gatawa because of the presence of “Operation Puff Ader” camp in the area.
“As I am talking to you now, many policemen are still missing. We don’t know whether they were abducted or ran away,” he said.
Meanwhile, all efforts to get the reaction of Nigeria Police Force, Sokoto State Command was not successful as at the time of filing this report. But when contacted by THISDAY, the Public Relations Officer of the Command, Sanusi Abubakar, said he was in a meeting and promised to get back.
Military Operations in Zamfara Successful
Also, the Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ibrahim Dosara, yesterday said the ongoing military operations against bandits in the state has recorded huge success.
Briefing journalists in Kaduna, Dosara also disclosed that over 2000 informants to the bandits had been arrested and were providing useful information about their operations and those involved.
According to him, the fleeing bandits have been going around farms, eating raw millet and okro as they have been cut off from those supplying foodstuffs to them.
Dosara said the military operations have recorded huge success as many of the bandits have fled the state while many others were neutralised by security forces.
He said the state government was considering restoring telecom services to Gusau, the state capital within the week.
“I am happy to announce to you that after a month of the military operations and imposing appropriate measures, we have greatly succeeded in so many respects.
“The bandits have fled Zamfara state for fear of being killed by security operatives. So many bandits fled Zamfara state to where they feel safe,” the Commissioner said.
“Just yesterday, the Sokoto state commissioner for security said 80 per cent of the bandits have relocated to Sokoto and the Sokoto state government is trying its best to push them out or neutralised them.
“According to him only 20 per cent of the bandits are in Zamfara and Katsina state and I am sure the Sokoto state government will not relent in efforts to make sure that the bandits are pushed out of their state,” Dosara said.
According to him the military operations was successful due to the cooperation of the Zamfara people who embraced the measures put in place to ensure lasting solutions to banditry.
He said, “The people cooperated with us and prayed for government and security to succeed. Government provided relief materials to the people following the hardship caused by the measures adopted to crush the bandits.
“Rice, maize, beans and guinea corn was provided by to cushion the hardship faced by people during the period,” he said.
According to him, “Over 2000 informants who are the most serious problems of banditry in Zamfara state have been arrested and are providing vital information regarding their operations, the way they collaborate with the bandits and those involved in armed banditry, including highly placed personalities and they are making a lot of vital information available.”
Dosara said the state government also set up a situation room and constituted a committee where information, complaints and other vital data were being collected, “so that government will respond positively and as quickly as possible to such complaints, especially to where such communities are being attack by bandits or where the bandits are hiding.”
He added: “So many of the bandits have been forced to take raw food in farms such as millets and okro to survive because they have been cut off from the supplies they use to get from their collaborators in town in terms of drugs, food etc.
“Because of the hardship being faced by the bandits as a results of the stiffer measures taken by government the bandits have resorted to using camels to perpetrate their heinous acts against communities.
“In a nutshell so many successes have been recorded and government is very happy about this and as a result government is considering opening up Gusau the state capital by restoring telecom services before the end of this week.”
The commissioner accused some politicians, who according to him, were not happy with the security measures and, “who do not wish Zamfara people well because they think that if Zamfara state is peaceful, they will not have the opportunity to rule the state and they decided to sponsor some sections of the media, particularly the social media to write fake news and inciting reports against the operations and against the military.”
We’ve over 200 Members with 150 AK-47 Rifles, Arrested Kidnapper Confesses
Meanwhile, a suspected kidnap kingpin arrested by the Katsina State Police Command, Surajo Mamman alias Kutika, has confessed that he belongs to a kidnapping syndicate with over 200 members with 150 AK-47 rifles.
The 50-year-old Mamman, who claimed he had lost count of the number of innocent farmers and business tycoons he had killed and kidnapped for ransom in Danmusa, Safana, Dutsin-ma and Batsari local government areas of the state, said he was into kidnapping to earn a living.
He told journalists in an interview at the state Police headquarters that he was an assistant commander of another suspected kidnap kingpin, Sani Muhidinge, who is on the wanted list of police in the state.
He said: “I belong to a kidnapping gang under the leadership of Sani Muhidinge. We have over 200 members with at least 150 AK-47 rifles. I have lost count of the number of people we had killed and kidnapped for ransom but I am seeking Allah’s forgiveness.”
Parading the suspect alongside other suspected kidnappers, bandits and their informants, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah, explained that efforts were on to nab Mamman’s accomplices, including the gang commander (Muhidinge).
Isah, a superintendent of police, said: “On the September 16, 2021 at about 1300hrs, the Command succeeded in arresting one Surajo Mamman alias ‘KUTIKA’, aged 50yrs of Tulun Busawa village, a notorious kidnapper terrorizing the state.
“In the course of investigation, suspect confessed to be under the command of one Sani Muhidinge, a notorious, recalcitrant and unrepentant bandit leader hibernating in Rugu forest.
“He further confessed to have participated in so many attacks, kidnapping and cattle rustling in villages at Dan Musa, Safana, Dutsinma and Batsari LGA of the state. He confessed that he cannot remember the number of persons he killed or kidnapped. Investigation is ongoing.”
‘Tax evasion’: Tribunal okays Multichoice’s N8bn deposit, fixes date to hear appeal against FIRS
The tax appeal tribunal (TAT) has ruled that Multichoice Nigeria Limited met the conditions necessary to prosecute an appeal against the N1.8 trillion tax levied on it by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Multichoice is the owner of the satellite televisions, DStv and Gotv – popular subscription-based platforms in Nigeria.
At the hearing in Lagos on Wednesday, the administrative court said it was satisfied that MultiChoice had complied with the directive by depositing N8 billion — as instructed on the provision of the FIRS Act.
Paragraph 15(7)(c) of the fifth schedule of the FIRS Act, 2007 requires an appellant to pay 50 percent of the tax paid the previous year plus 10 percent mark-up as security before prosecuting an appeal.
At the last hearing in September, the FIRS had asked the tribunal to discontinue the hearing of MultiChoice’s appeal and enter judgment against the appellant for failure to pay 50 percent of the disputed N1.8 trillion sum under assessment — about N900 billion.
But Multichoice Nigeria Limited said it had complied with the directives of the tax tribunal by depositing an amount required by the law with the FIRS, which according to the company, is N8 billion.
Both parties had expressed diverse views on the amount expected to pay as security for prosecuting an appeal before the TAT — as stakeholders, including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), faulted loopholes in the FIRS Act.
Reading the ruling, AB Ahmad, the tribunal chairman, dismissed the contention of the FIRS that the deposit made by MultiChoice amounted to non-compliance with Paragraph 15(7) of the FIRS Act.
He said the appellant has shown respect to and complied with the tribunal’s directive.
The tribunal also dismissed the argument of the FIRS that the security deposit MultiChoice was required to make should cover 10 consecutive financial years — not just that of the preceding financial year, which is 2019.
The tribunal agreed with the position of MultiChoice that the relevant provision of the FIRS Act stated the preceding year and not years — as the FIRS had argued.
The tribunal then fixed November 17, 2021, for the commencement of the hearing of the appeal.
How 16 Army Generals Were Unjustly Eased Out Of Service, Despite Malami’s Interventions
Nine Major Generals and 7 Brigadier Generals ‘arbitrarily’ sacked by the Nigerian Army in 2016 for not justifiable reasons have been technically eased out of the service, despite interventions of Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
PRNigeria gathered that the affected generals have reached their run out date this year and cannot be reinstated into the military even after the resolutions of the National Assembly (NASS) and several courts ordered their reinstatements which were flagrantly ignored by the Nigerian Army.
The affected military generals were among the 38 Army Officers that were compulsorily retired on 9 June 2016 without any cogent reason.
The affected officers ‘technically’ eased out of service while waiting for justice are Major Generals F. O. Alli, E.J. Atewe, I.N. Ijioma, L.C. Ilo, T.C. Ude, L. Wiwa, S.D. Aliyu, M.Y. Ibrahim and O. Ejemai.
The Brigadier Generals arere D. M. Onoyeiveta, A.S.O. Mormoni-Bashir, A.S.H Sa’ad, L.M. Bello, K.A. Essien, B. A. Fiboinumama and I. M. Lawson.
Meanwhile, three brigadier Generals: D. Abdusalam, A. I. Onibasa and G.O. Agachi can still be reinstated as they still have active years to serve.
Several attempts by Malami, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to resolve the impasse between the Army Generals and their military authorities were also futile.
PRNigeria gathered from credible investigation that the Army Council, then presided by the trio of Mr. Mohammed Mansur Dan-Alli (then Minister for Defence), General AG Olonsakin (then Chief of Defence Staff) and Lt Gen TY Buratai (then Chief of Army Staff) sat and announced the compulsory retirement of the 38 Army officers.
The announcement of the compulsory retirement of the 38 officers was made via the media even before the affected officers were eventually informed by text messages of their retirement, sources revealed to PRNigeria.
While announcing the compulsory retirement to the media, the Nigerian Army claimed that the 38 Army officers that were compulsorily retired have been investigated and found professionally corrupt in defence procurement and/or election-related offences in the 2015 General Elections.
But one of the sources, with vast knowledge on the case, maintained that none of the 38 Army Officers that were compulsorily retired was ever investigated or court-martialled before their public compulsory retirement.
The source, a senior serving military personnel, who asked not to be named, said: “None of the affected officers was ever at any time before their public compulsory retirement queried, notified of any culpability, or subjected to any military police investigation and none was ever court-martialed – these are the mandatory disciplinary process in the military as recognized by law!
“The Army records will show that none of the 38 Army Officers that were compulsorily retired was ever charged with any infraction in accordance with expressed procedures in Armed Forces Act CAP A20 The Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
Another source, while confiding in PRNigeria, said that after their public retirement, many of the victimized officers wrote to the Army leadership under Lieutenant General Buratai, asking to be furnished with facts that constitute any alleged offense as stated in their respective letters of compulsory retirement, but regrettably, the Army failed to respond to this simple request over 5 years now.
“Some of the affected officers also sent letters of redress to both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the victimization of the 38 Army officers. The Nigerian Congress through their respective Public Petition Committees investigated the matter and were shocked that the Army could not provide any allegation of wrongdoing against the officers whose careers were publicly cut short.
“After their respective investigations of the matter, both Houses had admonished the Nigerian Army over arbitrary disengagement of officers without any wrongdoing and due process and warned that such abuse of office would discourage serving officers and soldiers from giving their full commitment to the service of the nation. Both chambers of the National Assembly further recommended the immediate reinstatement of the affected officers.
“The resolutions were duly forwarded to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chief of Army Staff, but these resolutions of Congress have been completely ignored which indicates a deliberate pattern of abuse against these innocent officers,” he said.
Checks by PRNigeria indicates that after the refusal of the Nigerian army to reinstate the officers based on the resolutions of the National Assembly and court orders, Malami, through the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, wrote letters and reminders to the military authorities in October 2019, November 2020 and even in February 2021 seeking clarification “over grave acts of injustice and unlawful compulsory retirement from service Senior Officers.”
In one of the letters, which was also sighted by PRNigeria, Malami reminded the Army Chief that he was yet to receive any response for the initial letter he had sent, in order for him to advise Mr. President appropriately.
Babagana Kingibe: Nigeria’s unity negotiable
Nigeria’s envoy to Chad and the Lake Chad basin region, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, says the unity of the country is negotiable.
He stated this at The Sun Newspapers 2020 Awards held in Lagos on Saturday.
According to the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), even the union between a husband and wife is negotiable.
But he told separatist agitators that the land they reside would not be carved out and taken to anywhere else should the country break up.
“I was born in Nigeria. I was groomed in Nigeria. I believe in Nigeria. People of my generation believe in Nigeria. We have no doubt about the fact that we have no option, but Nigeria.”
“However, I think that a few of my colleagues believe that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. Of course, it is negotiable. Even the unity of a family is negotiable. Even the constitution of husband and wife is negotiable.
“The moment either parties feels this union is no longer bearable, that he or she will rather go his/her way. You help them to sit down consider their condition after a careful and rational examination of the pros and cons of how to be married that they take the decision which suit them best.
“When we ever say we want to go away, I do not think they realise the going away. It is not that you carve out the piece of land, take it up and put it in other side of Ghana. The piece of land will be here. You will be here. Everybody will be here. And we all want to prosper. My appeal to everyone is, please, let us be respectful of one another. Let us not demonise one another. Let us respect the views of everybody.”
Kingibe, who received the newspaper’s ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,’ advised those seeking to leave Nigeria to consider the implications.
“Are you sure where you are going? Are you sure of the consequence of where you are going? Do you really feel that the grass is greener on the other side?”
“If you do, sit with your partner in respect, in mutual respect, in love if possible, but without demonising your husband or your wife because you will always remain the ex of the other person. But discuss quietly so that even if you separate in the future you can inter-relate with love and respect,” he added.
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