***Demands that arrest of militiamen terrorising Benue communities
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA), on Wednesday, condemned the boneless act of Fulani herdsmen who invaded some communities in the Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, forcibly displacing native dwellers to plan permanent settlement.
This was contained in a statement issued by National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) Emmanuel Onwubiko.
The statement quoted one Joseph Anawah, a community leader and former media aide to an ex-governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam, to have said that the herders invaded the communities with more than 1,000 cows and settled at the Tse Azaye, Tse Agah, Tse Getim and Tse Iosun communities in the Tombo ward.
Anawah said, “They are so hostile and do not want anybody to come close to them. The residents, on sighting the arrival of cows, started packing out of their villages for the fear of the unknown.
“When the kindred Head of the Mbaifu community, Gbamga Nengem, visited their settlement to know their mission in his community, they told him clearly that they had come for settlement and any attempt to evict them, either by the host community or government agencies, would invoke their anger and they would be left with no option but to resort to physical and open confrontation.”
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged security agents to arrest the militiamen terrorising the North Central state and prosecute them forthwith to send a clear signal that forcible takeover of land won’t be condoned.
HURIWA condemned the resurgence of the heinous activities of Fulani herdsmen in Benue and called on federal authorities and security agents to act fast to stop the menacing trend.
The group noted that the growing killings by aggressive killer Fulani herders have reached an alarming decibel and the regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari must act swiftly if indeed it does not covertly support the acts of the vicious herders.
Just last Saturday, suspected herders killed three persons in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue while returning from a burial. Killings, abductions and rape have been steadily recorded on a daily basis in the state since 2015 when Buhari took over the seat of power.
As though emboldened by Buhari’s tribal affiliation to them as a Fulani man, the herdsmen attacked Governor Samuel Ortom last March in what was a clear assassination attempt, with the governor saying herdsmen numbering about 15 attacked him in his farm at Tyo-Mu community, near Makurdi, the state capital.
He attributed the attack to his campaign against killer herdsmen, who had been attacking farmers in the state and other parts of the country.
A group, the Fulani National Movement had said it carried out the attack on Ortom. The group disclosed that 11 of its members were involved in the assassination attempt on Ortom, noting that a technical error aided the governor’s escape, adding that he would not escape next time.
Sadly, till date, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Army, and other security and intelligence agencies are yet to bring members of this callous group to book.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Killings have resumed with the resurgence of invasion of Benue State by armed Fulani herdsmen. Since 2015 when Buhari came in till now, over 5,000 Benue State natives have been killed by armed Fulani herdsmen. However, for all of these killings and destructions of farms and houses, churches, killing of priests and worshippers, there is no single suspect in jail for these heinous crimes because the federal government is unwilling to order soldiers, DSS and police to arrest and for Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute them for these mass killings.
“In fact, the President has rather listed Governor Ortom as persona non grata for demanding action and justice for his people. At several times the Benue State government carried out mass burial including the burial of over 100 natives killed at a time by armed Fulani herdsmen and yet these terrorists are freely moving about.
“The governor almost got killed but for good fortune that he escaped. police said the attempted killers who shot at the governor were arrested but this is false because for a year now, not one person is prosecuted. Federal government has continued to sweep these killings under the carpet.
“The AGF must also begin the process of declaring killer herders as terrorists just like bandits. Killer herdsmen must be prosecuted for their atrocious acts. When impudence goes unchallenged, the aggressor becomes emboldened. HURIWA, therefore, calls for the immediate arrest of the marauding herders who displace Benue original residents from the Logo LGA. There must also be judicial actions against these killers who are roaming freely in the streets of Nigeria because the Federal government does not wish to arrest or prosecute them.
“Already, HURIWA has filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands over it. HURIWA will also be filing another fresh petition this week because for seven years, the Federal Government has tolerated the killings and postured itself as a Fulani herders’ sympathiser.”
Kogi East senator builds New police headquarters in Anyigba to enhance security
The senator representing Kogi East in the senate, Jibrin Isah Echcho has unveiled a new police Area Command Headquarters he funded in Anyigba.
The senator who had embarked on the constituency project to ensure adequate protection of the lives and property of his constituents, decided to make the police headquarters a state-of-the-art facility.
The project which he sponsored was commissioned at a well attended innauguration ceremony by persons from all walks of life including the Ogohi of Anyigba HRH Alhaji Shauibu Okolo, party chieftains, and other eminent personalities from the senatorial district, which underscored the importance of the milestone in the town’s development.
The senator who is known for his uncomon representation constructed the imposing edifice, as another testament to his commitment to the security and wellbeing of his people.
The newly commissioned Area Command Headquarters is poised to providing the Nigerian Police with a modern and well-equipped base of operations, ensuring they have the tools and facilities necessary to maintain law and order effectively.
The facility is projected to boost the police force’s ability to respond swiftly and decisively to security challenges within the Anyigba area.
The commissioning ceremony which was a display of pump and pageantry, was marked by speeches underscoring the significance of the development in the community’s history.
All and sundry who witnessed the cmmisdioning commended Senator Jibrin Isah’s commitment to improving security and public safety in Anyigba.
The new headquarters is projected to serve as a vital hub for coordinating law enforcement activities, fostering community engagement, and ultimately making Anyigba a safer place for its residents.
Senator Isah’s commitment to investing in security infrastructure has drawn accolades for him, which has prompted the people in to praising and recognizing him as a leader dedicated to the wellbeing of his constituents.
The newly commissioned Anyigba Area Command Headquarters stands as a visible legacy of the senator’s vision for a safer and more secure future for the town and its residents.
Kogi Guber: Court orders DG DSS, IGP to give full protection to ADC candidate
The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to give full protection to the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Hon Leke Abejide from any arrest or detention by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the court barred the DSS, Police and Bello in separate orders, from inviting, arresting, detaining, or threatening the life and properties of the governorship candidate pending the hearing and determination of a suit instituted against them by the politician.
The judge issued the restraining orders on Wednesday in Abuja while ruling in an ex-parte application argued by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Sammie Somiari on behalf of the governorship candidate.
In the order signed by Justice Mohammed, the DSS, Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps were ordered to protect the properties of the politician in Abuja, Kogi State and in any parts of the country while the orders last.
The governorship candidate in the ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1248/2023 had sought for enforcement of his fundermental rights to life, dignity of person, personal liberty, fair hearing, peaceful assembly and association.
He also sought for his rights to freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination as enshrined in sections 33, 34,35,36,37, 38,40,41,42 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution and other relevant laws on human rights.
He complained that since he emerged governorship candidate and his campaign booming, governor Yahaya Bello had allegedly become jittery and threatened and opted to get him arrested and caged to keep him out of circulation.
Abejide who was recently in the House of Representatives from Kogi West side of Kogi State alleged that the ultimate aim of the Governor is to harass, intimidate, threaten and get him out of the November 11, 2023 governorship election at all cost to pave way for his anointed candidate in the All Progressive Congress (APC).
After listening to arguments of the senior lawyer along with tendered exhibits, Justice Mohammed issued the restraining orders against the respondents to the effect that the applicant must not be arrested, detained or harassed pending the resolution of his substantive suit.
“An Order is hereby made restraining the respondents, their agents, servants and anybody acting through or under them from arresting, inviting, detaining or threatening the applicant’s life and properties pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An Order is hereby made compelling the 2nd – 8th respondents to immediately provide maximum security to the applicant in Abuja FCT, Kogi State and elsewhere in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”, the judge held.
The Judge ordered the applicant to serve all processes in respect of the suit on the respondents.
The respondents in the suit are the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, Nigeria Police Force, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Commissioner of Police (Kogi State), DSS, Director General of DSS, Director DSS (Kogi State) and the Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Judge thereafter, fixed September 20 for hearing of the substantive suit.
It will be recalled that the same Court had on July 13 ordered security agencies in the country to provide maximum protection for another governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the November governorship election in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka following similar complaints of threat to life.
In the substantive suit filed on his behalf by Ogwu James Onoja SAN, the ADC governorship candidate prayed the Court for declaration that hounding, harassment, intimidation, threat to arrest, kill, detain by Kogi Governor, using armed officers, militias and thugs to stop him from participating in the November 11 election is a violation of his rights to life and dignity of his human person.
He also wants the Court to declare that the threat by Governor Yahaya Bello to attack, invade and destroy his motor vehicles, houses and offices so as to kill, arrest and detain him is a violation of his rights to peaceful assembly and association, freedom to life, dignity and personal liberty.
Abejide applied for an order of the Court restraining the respondents whether by themselves, their agents or privies from arresting, abducting, detaining, or further harassing, intimidating, shooting, threatening him and his properties.
The ADC governorship candidate also sought another order on Governor Yahaya Bello to pay him N2Bn for the alleged gross violation of his fundermental human rights in addition to tendering public apology.
In a 27-paragraph affidavit he personally deposed to in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff averred that the agents of the Kogi State Governor have allegedly laid siege on his house in Abuja since he became a front runner in the Kogi State Governorship election.
He claimed that his protest and complaints to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) did not yield fruitful results, hence, his decision toapproach the court for protection for his life and properties.
Oil theft: FG commends Tantita Security Services for pipeline protection
The Federal Government on Saturday expressed gratitude to the management of Tantita Security Services Limited for their efforts in pipeline protection in the Niger Delta region.
The Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, gave this commendation while answering questions from reporters during his tour of oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
Lokpobiri who was accompanied on the tour by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, among other Government officials, said the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration is determined to stop all forms of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the country.
Lokpobiri said: “We’re here because of the problem of pipeline vandalization and illegal bunkering that is going on in the Niger Delta.
“I believe that, it has become an existential problem and we need to fight them. We need to fight these criminals to submission.
“What is happening here is so bad that we cannot even know the implications unless maybe when people start dying in their numbers that is when people will know that a few persons were profiting from this crime are here to wipe all of them out.
“So as a responsible government we have decided that we are going to put a stop to it.
“We are going to work with stakeholders to ensure that we stop all this nonsense in our society. We are not going to allow them.
“I want to also use the opportunity to express our gratitude to Tantita that has been commissioned by the NNPCL to be able to do some work but we are going to do a lot more.”
On his part, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu said the Federal Governor will sustain its partnership with Tantita Security Services Limited, to curb the crime of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta.
He added that the Federal Government will soon take additional measures to ensure that things change for the better in pipeline security.
Ribadu said: “We have done very well to get to where we are now. We are certainly going to take more measures. So far, things are beginning to change. Give us little time and you will see things change for the better.”
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