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MURIC hails IGP on Hijab approval for female officers



MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola

Human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has hailed the approval of the Inspector General of police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, on the use of hijab by the female officers of the Nigerian Police Force.

MURIC in a press statement signed Friday by the Director of its Zamfara State Chapter, Professor Ahmad Galadima described the approval as a landmark development and the beginning of a new dawn.

 The statement reads in part:

“The High Command of the Nigeria Police Force has approved the use of hijab for police women who are willing to use the Muslim scarf. The single-paragraph statement reads:

‘The High Command of the Nigeria Police Force under the watch of the Inspector General of police, Usman Alkali Baba, has approved the use of hijab for the rank and file of its female workforce. The approval is one of the efforts of the leadership of the NPF, to encourage freedom of worship and promotion of religious tolerance within the police force and by extension, the general public. However, its use is optional and must conform to the approved style and design. This will be a welcome development to many Muslims, and accords respect to the Nigeria Police Force. In many, other countries of the world, especially in America, Canada, Britain, police women are allowed to wear the Hijabs, as part of their uniforms’ (


“MURIC hereby expresses deep appreciation to the Nigeria Police High Command, particularly the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba for listening to the pleas and advocacies of MURIC and other Muslim groups which have been demanding the use of hijab in the security and uniformed agencies for decades.

“This is a landmark development in the history of the struggle for Muslim civil rights. It is the greatest news of the century and the beginning of a new dawn. It is another bite from the dividends of democracy for Nigerian Muslims. With this approval, the Nigeria Police High Command has proved that it is keeping pace with global best practices in police formations around the world.

“It is an open secret that female Muslims in police formations (including their army) in Britain, the United States, Canada, etc use hijab with their uniforms. Nigerians who travel abroad cannot deny this. Therefore what the Nigeria Police High Command has done is not new.

“We advise wailing wailers to accept the development as a natural evolution in civil rights struggle in the country. It will be petty, parochial and archaic to oppose the introduction of something that is already being practised in advanced countries. Only those who want to deprive Muslim women of the dividends of democracy and those whose agenda is to keep Muslims in perpetual bondage will cry foul over the approval of hijab for female police women.

“It is only in Nigeria that religious maradonisation has taken control of our thinking faculties and we have consequently excommunicated objectivity from our boarders. The hijab does not interfere with the professional efficiency of the person wearing it. A Muslim woman who wears hijab has only covered her head, not her brain! Hijab is a crown, not a crime.

“It is also important to note that the High Police Command statement was entitled ‘Newly Approved (Optional) Dress Code for Police Women’. It is therefore meant for female police women who wish to use it alone. Some female Muslim police women who do not wish to use it are free to continue dressing the old way. This means no police woman will be compelled to use hijab. We are deliberately laying emphasis on this to foreclose mischief and misinterpretation.

“MURIC appeals to other security agencies to approve hijab for their female Muslim staffers who wish to use it. This appeal goes to uniformed security agencies like the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Immigrations and Customs as well as para-military bodies and traffic formations like the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA).


“At this juncture, we are constrained to reveal that many female soldiers, police women, female traffic officers, female immigration staff, etc, who are Muslims, have complained to MURIC that they are yearning for use of hijab because they are not comfortable without it.

“We thank all those who have worked behind the scene in collaboration with MURIC, particularly the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Senator Ibrahim Shekarau. Equally worthy of mention are various Islamic organisations in the country.

“We appeal to Nigerians to exercise patience and decorum in all their demands from the authorities. Violence is not the way to go. We will all get what we want at the end of the day if we can be patient. The key words here are patience, advocacy, constant enlightenment, persuasion, dialogue and behind the scene consultations. Nigerian leaders are not blind. They will respond positively when convinced.

 “This was the method adopted by MURIC in its struggle for hijab in the police and it paid off at long last. We carried no placards. We held no demonstration. For instance, as far back as three years ago, MURIC did coloured full page advertorials on the matter in the Daily Trust of Tuesday, September 24th, 2019, page 19 and The Nation newspaper of Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019, page 35. The advertorial showed pictures of female Muslim police women from different parts of the world with all of them wearing hijab.

“We also sent a petition to the Nigerian Senate. The petition titled ‘Position Paper on the Need to Allow Hijab in the Army, Police and Para-military Agencies was dated 6th January, 2020 and copies were sent to the heads of all uniformed agencies including the presidency.

“It has been a long road in our struggle for recognition of hijab in the security agencies. Its approval by the police yesterday signals hope for our dear country, Nigeria. The wind of freedom is blowing.”



Brazilian Returnee Arrested With Cocaine In Private Part, NDLEA Seizes London-Bound Consignment



Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a Brazilian returnee, Uche Benson Igwedum
Igwedum was nabbed at the arrival hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos with pellets of cocaine concealed in his private part, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi said.
The NDLEA spokesman in a statement on Sunday noted that Igwedum was nabbed at the Lagos airport on Monday 20th June upon his arrival on Ethiopian Airlines from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa.
“Preliminary investigations reveal the suspect had swallowed 50 wraps of cocaine before departing Brazil and excreted 48 pellets in Addis Ababa where he handed them over to another person,” the statement read.
“He, however, claimed he was unable to excrete the remaining two wraps at the hotel room in Addis Ababa before boarding his flight but later excreted them in the aircraft restroom during the flight from Ethiopia to Lagos.”
Similarly, NDLEA operatives apprehended a drug kingpin, Onyekachi Chukwuma MacDonald, after three weeks of painstaking investigation and tracking.
He is accused of being behind attempts to export 40 parcels of Methamphetamine popularly called Mkpuru Mmiri locally to London, United Kingdom through the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport.
MacDonald was arrested at Manacola Estate, Alakuko area of Lagos at the weekend, three weeks after his Mkpuru Mmiri consignment weighing 2.05 kilograms was intercepted at the airport and his freight agent, Peter Christopher Anikan arrested on 7th June.
“During his interview, the suspect said he’s from Ahiazu, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state and had lived in Dubai, UAE for 10 years before returning to Nigeria in 2019.
“He stated that after his return to Nigeria, he opened a phone accessories shop in Sango Otta, Ogun State but the business collapsed. He then started sending cigarettes to London and decided to conceal the illicit drug in the consignment after advice from a friend.
“Closely related is the seizure of another consignment of 2kg Mkpuru Mmiri at a courier house in Owerri, Imo state. The cargo seized on Wednesday 22nd June had ankara and lace fabrics in which two cylindrical cellophanes containing the drug heading to Hong Kong were concealed,” the statement added.
Also at the Lagos airport, NDLEA operatives on Friday 24th June intercepted 500,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg packed in 10 cartons and labelled Tramaking imported from Karachi, Pakistan on Emirates Airline. The consignment weighing 407.60kg was seized during a joint examination with Customs and NAFDAC officials.
The same day, a Dubai, UAE-bound passenger, Alegbeleye Taiwo was arrested at the departure hall of the MMIA with 40 ampoules of pentazocine injection. The 21-year-old suspect claims he’s from Osun state.
Meanwhile, two kingpins behind the importation of two recent drug consignments from Canada concealed in vehicle containers through the Tincan seaport in Apapa, Lagos have been arrested by NDLEA operatives.
One of them, Gboyega Ayoola Elegbeji was arrested at his house, 14 Bakare Street, Idi Araba, Lagos on Wednesday 22nd June, for importing a 40ft container TRHU7874497 containing 33 parcels of cannabis indica (Colorado) weighing16.5kg.
The second suspect, Sunday Joe Oyebola, (aka Otunba) was arrested on Thursday 23rd June. He’s linked to the importation of a 40ft container MEDU4389887 containing four vehicles used to conceal 290 parcels weighing 145kg cannabis indica (Colorado) from Montreal, Canada. He had been on the run since March and had in the course of the investigation attempted to bribe officers with N10million to influence the case.
In his response, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Tincan, and Imo state Commands of the Agency for the drug seizures and arrests, especially of those who thought they could evade the long arm of the law. He encouraged them and their compatriots across other formations to intensify their efforts toward achieving set goals.
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Bauchi man lures teenager to farm, plucks out eyes for ritual



The Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a suspected ritualist, Isaac Ezekiel, for allegedly plucking the eyes of a 16-year-old boy, Uzairu Salisu.

Two accomplices, Nensok Bawa, 38, and Yohana Luka, aka Doctor Samu, 52, were also arrested in connection with the crime, which happened at Yelwa community, in the Bauchi area of the state.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident happened around 9am on June 24 when Ezekiel lured Salisu to do a casual job for him on a farm in the community.

Salisu was said to be doing the job when the suspect allegedly used a wire to strangulate him till he lost consciousness.

Afterwards, the 32-year-old reportedly used a knife to pluck out the two eyes of the minor and abandoned him on the farm.


The ward head, Mohammed Lawal, who was among the people who found the minor writhing in pain, alerted the police to the incident.

The victim was said to have identified Ezekiel as the culprit, leading to his arrest.

In a statement on Monday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ahmed Wakil, said Ezekiel and his accomplices had been arrested, adding that the victim’s eyeballs were also recovered.

He said, “Sequel to the case of a suspected ritualist who plucked the eyes of a minor, the suspect, Isaac Ezekiel, 32, of Rafin Zurfi, Yelwa, Bauchi metropolitan, has been arrested, and he voluntarily confessed to the crime.

“A prompt search of his house by the police led to the recovery of Uzairu Salisu’s eyeballs. Exhibits recovered from the suspect are the two human eyeballs in a calabash, the cable wire used in perpetrating the heinous act and a travelling bag containing some native medicine.”

Noting that Bawa and Luka connived with Ezekiel to perpetrate the crime, the PPRO said all the suspects would be prosecuted at the completion of investigation.

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Make Judicial Reform Your First Task, NBA President Urges Acting CJN Ariwoola



Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has called on the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to reform the nation’s judiciary and restore public confidence in the third arm of government.
Mr Akpata made the call on Monday in a statement while reacting to the resignation of the former CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.
He reiterated the need for urgent reforms in the judiciary, urging the incoming chief justice to make judicial reform and the restoration of public confidence in the judiciary his first task upon assuming office.
The NBA president pledged the readiness of the Bar to work together with Justice Ariwoola in cleansing “the Augean stable and addressing the ills that have continued to plague not just the judiciary but the entire legal profession”.
He also thanked the outgone chief justice for the cordial working relationship between the bar and the bench during his tenure and wished him a quick recovery and well-deserved peaceful retirement.
“It is, however, impossible to consider his lordship’s retirement in isolation of the recent unprecedented developments at the Supreme Court where 14 justices of the court censured the outgone Chief Justice of Nigeria over his lordship’s handling of their welfare and related issues,” said Akpata.
President Muhammadu Buhari had sworn in Justice Ariwoola to replace Justice Muhammad who resigned as the CJN on Sunday night on grounds of ill-health.
News of Muhammad’s resignation broke barely a week after 14 justices of the Supreme Court wrote to him to lament the dilapidated state of affairs in the apex court.
In a leaked letter, the justices alleged that Justice Muhammad failed to address the issues raised despite drawing his attention to them, among other claims.
But these allegations were denied by an aide to the former CJN.
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