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Enugu: Miyetti set to shut down market activities for two days

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The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said on Saturday, August 10, it would shut down the livestock market in Enugu as a result of the need to boost security in the state.

MACBAN plans to do this in collaboration with the northern livestock and perishable goods market traders’ union, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). It was learnt that leaders of the groups spoke in Enugu at a joint news conference after their meeting where they reviewed the security situation in the state as it concerned their businesses.

Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, chairman of MACBAN in the south east, who read the joint resolution, said that they would embark on the sensitisation of all livestock and perishable goods markets necessitating their closure for two days.

“We want to tell our people that they should be mindful of what they do so that they do not allow criminal elements to penetrate their camps. Critics of insecurity in Nigeria are not patriotic – Buhari.

“In this connection, we are embarking on sensitisation tour of all livestock and perishable goods markets and every Fulani settlements in Enugu state between August 14 and August 15.

“We wish to state that during this sensitisation exercise all livestock and perishable goods markets will be closed down either in cattle markets, Fulani settlements or wherever they exist throughout Enugu state.,” he said

Siddiki added that various security agencies including the police, DSS, military and civil defence, would provide the groups with adequate protection during the statewide sensitisation. He said the groups regretted the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Reverend Father Paul Offu of ‘St James The Greater’ parish, Ugbawka. He enjoined the family of the deceased and the people of the state to mourn with fortitude.

“In appreciation of the good gesture, which Enugu state government and people have extended to us, we are prepared to join hands with the police, military and other security agencies in ensuring maximum security in our neighbourhood.

“We, therefore, appreciate Enugu state government for the peace that prevails in the state which has helped us in our business and the peaceful co-existence we have enjoyed over the years,’’ he added.

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SECURITY

Police re-arrest Taraba kingpin

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Fleeing kidnap kingpin at the center of the killing of police detectives by soldiers in Taraba State, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, has been re-arrested.

The suspect, who was arrested on Monday evening, has since been moved to the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
His initial arrest by policemen had precipitated the killing of detectives who were leading him in handcuffs to the Taraba State Police Command for interrogation.

Soldiers manning checkpoints along Ibi-Wukari Road had opened fire on the police team, killing three police detectives and two civilians.

A statement by Force Spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frank Mba, said Wadume was arrested in his hideout in Kano State.

“The operatives of the Nigeria Police have re-arrested the notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume. He was re-arrested in the late hours of yesterday, 19th August, 2019 in his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State”, he said.

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SECURITY

Buhari renames Nigerian Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Service

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill into law.

Nigerian Prison

The Act repeals the Nigerian Prisons Service Act.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, disclosed this to State House correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.

With the signing, the Nigerian Prisons Service will now be called the Nigerian Correctional Service.

 

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SECURITY

FG declares Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) a Terrorist group – Enemies of state

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The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, yesterday declared the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) belonging to the Shiite Islamic sect, a terrorist group, and enemies of the state. The Federal High Court in Abuja, ruling in an ex-parte motion filed by the federal government, had on July 26 ordered the proscription of the sect.

Adamu said following the proscription of the group by the government, the police would treat its members as terrorists and enemies of the state.
He added that members of the group who engage in further advancement of the cause of the proscribed group would be prosecuted.

He spoke at a meeting in Abuja with senior police officers on the same day the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, asked the federal government to respect the order of the court granting the leader of the Shi’ite Islamic group, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife bail.

Adamu said following the subversive activities of the sect over the years, including the recent violence unleashed by the group, which claimed the lives of a senior police officer, Umar Usman, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a reporter with Channels TV, Precious Owolabi, the el-Zakzaky group would be treated as a terrorist organisation.

He listed the unlawful activities of the sect to include the setting up of a paramilitary guard known as Hurras through which the group had terrorized local residents, engaging in provocative preaching and hate speeches aimed at inciting members and non-members, working towards its agenda of creating an Islamic state in Nigeria and challenging the legitimacy of the federal government.

Others include the non-recognition of the 1999 Constitution, non-recognition of state authority, non-recognition of democratic values and disrespect for judicial processes.

“It is obvious from the foregoing that the activities of the IMN constitute glaring defiance and/or rebellion against the Nigerian state, calculated efforts to plunge the nation into ethnoreligious war, intimidation of citizens and security agencies, disrespect for Nigerian laws and the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“Their activities also clearly and consistently negate Section 1(20(A) & (B) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act of 2013 and hence, justify their proscription in overriding national security interest.

“In consequence, henceforth, any person engaged or associating in any manner that could advance the activities of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria shall be treated as a terrorist, enemy of the state and a subversive element and shall be brought to justice within the context of the Terrorism Act. The import of this is that all forms of procession or protest by IMN are now illegal and thus banned,” he said.

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SECURITY

Court declares Shiites’ movement a terrorist group

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the proscription of the Shiites’ movement, declares it a terrorist group.

Saturday PUNCH reports that Justice Nkeonye Maha issued the order in a ruling in which she also designated the activities of the Shiite organisation in any part of Nigeria “as acts of terrorism and illegality.”

The court restrained “any person or group of persons” from participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the IMN “under any name or platform” in Nigeria.

To complete the process of the proscription of the group, the court ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation “to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies.”

The judge gave the order following an ex parte application by the Federal Government.

A copy of the ex parte application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019 which was sighted by Saturday PUNCH on Friday, was filed in the name of the ‘Attorney-General of the Federation.’

Justice Maha granted the four prayers contained in the application shortly after the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata, argued the application on Friday.

The IMN was the sole respondent to the application but the group was not represented by a lawyer on Friday since it was an ex parte hearing.

Ruling on Friday, the court made “a declaration that the activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria amounts to acts of terrorism and illegality.”

The court said, “An order of this honourable court proscribing the existence and activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria, under whatever form or guise either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called.

“An order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) under any other name or platform howsoever called or described in any part of Nigeria.

“An order directing the applicant (the AGF) to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies.”

The Federal Government had filed the application before the court on Thursday, barely 72 hours after a protest by members of the group in Abuja led to a bloody clash between them and the police.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Federal Capital Territory Command, Usman Umar, and a Channels Television journalist, Precious Owolabi, died in the clash with many others injured and property destroyed.

The Shiites have for over two years been regularly taking to the streets particularly in Abuja to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

The couple has been in the custody of the Department of State Services since December 2015 after a bloody clash between members of the group and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.

In the application for the proscription of the group, the Federal Government accused the group of carrying out coordinated violent protests in the country.

It alleged that the “aggressive activities” of members of the group had led to the loss of lives and destruction of private and public property in the Federal Capital Territory and other cities in northern Nigeria.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations in the FCT Command, Nyinnaya Adiogu, who deposed to the affidavit filed in support of the application, also alleged that the Shiites engaged in series of illegal activities, “which are inimical to the corporate interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Such activities, according to Adiogu, who said he was briefed by the Inspector-General of Police and the Solicitor-General of the Federation included setting up of a para-military guard called ‘HURRAS’.

The group was also accused of “nefarious activities”, murder, attacks on security agents and provocative preaching and hate speeches while working towards an agenda of creating an Islamic State in Nigeria.

The affidavit, which highlighted what it described as “series of violent and unlawful activities” of the group since 1991, stated that the activities of the IMN members under the guise of clamouring for the release of their leader had not only heightened tension and insecurity in the country but also earned the country negative rating globally.

The affidavit stated in part, “On July 22, 2019, the respondent’s members again launched another vicious cycle of violent protests around the Federal Secretariat (Abuja), during which they set a sub-station/Ambulance Bay of the National Emergency Management Agency, containing a truck and an ambulance on fire.

“A Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar, in charge of Operations in the FCT; a national youth corps member by the name of Precious Owolabi, reporting for Channels TV and others were killed by the protesters. (Copies of media reports by The Nation, Daily Trust, Leadership, Punch and The Sun newspapers dated July 23, 2019, on this incident are attached herewith and marked as Exhibit FGN 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E).

“The violent and aggressive activities of the members of the respondent under the guise of clamouring for the release of their leader have not only heightened tension and insecurity in the country, but it is also earning the country negative rating globally.

“Both the US and UK governments have already issued travel warnings on Nigeria on account of these violent protests which are equally deleterious to foreign investments. (A copy of the above report by The Punch newspaper is attached herewith and marked Exhibit FGN 5).”

It recalled that before the July 22, 2019 incident, the group’s members, in a violent protest on July 9, 2019, while trying to force their way into the National Assembly complex, “inflicted fatal injuries on policemen stationed at the National Assembly, shot two policemen and also injured other policemen with stones and clubs, damaged police vehicles and other vehicles belonging to visitors and staff members of the National Assembly who also sustained varying degrees of injuries.”

The affidavit also stated the “nefarious activities” of the group, to include, “unauthorised blocking of public highway (especially the Zaria-Kano Highway during their processions), engagement in illegal road traffic functions, illegal roadblocks, imposition of illegal curfews and checkpoints, raids on police posts, prevention of arrest of their members, invasion of court premises to abort legal proceedings involving respondent members, refusal to submit to ordinary security checks, and attacks on security agents which led to the death of Corporal Dan Kaduna Yakubu;

“Setting up of a para-military guard known as ‘HURRAS’ through which the respondent has been terrorising local residents; respondent has also instituted unregistered security outfits and performed paramilitary ceremonies, hoisting of flag, combat exercises, parades and inspection by the respondent leader reminiscent of state authority.

“Provocative preaching and hate speeches aimed at inciting members against non-members while working towards its agenda of creating an Islamic State in Nigeria.

“Brazen acts of disrespect of Nigerian laws and non-recognition of constituted authorities, refusal to operate within the ambit of the law, failure to register with the appropriate authorities.”

The affidavit also recalled the clash between Shiites and soldiers in the Chief of Army Staff’s convoy in Zaria on December 14, 2015.

It recalled similar clashes between members of the IMN with “security forces in Kaduna” in 1991, and another incident in 1996 when the members of the group allegedly “seized and decapitated a Christian, alleging that his wife used pages from the Quran to clean their baby.”

It also alleged that in June 2005, the group “clashed with emirate authorities in Sokoto over access to the city’s central mosque.”

It alleged that in July 2007, the group “murdered” a Sunni cleric in Sokoto, Umar Dan Maishiya, “for being highly critical of Shiites.”

It added as part of the group’s unlawful activities that the activities of the respondent’s members in Gyallesu, Zaria and environs have been threatening the peace and security of the affected areas over the years.

“Constant conflicts with local communities and forceful takeover or appropriation of mosques not belonging to the respondent in Kaduna and Kano states as well as other northern states.

“Violent protests, creating ethnoreligious strifes and other criminal acts of aggression against individuals and communities which often results in deaths, grievous bodily harm and destruction of property.

“The respondent has over the years manifested its penchant for launching attacks on security agents.”

We won’t abandon our religion –Shiites

However, the spokesperson for the group, Ibrahim Musa, said the government could not proscribe the movement, pointing out that its members were Muslims practising Islam as “revealed” by Prophet Muhammed.

He said the group was neither an association nor a political party that could be proscribed by fiat.

Musa, who spoke to Saturday PUNCH on Friday, noted that the IMN was a mass movement and could not be made to abandon its religion just like that.

Musa said, “Firstly, we are not an organisation or association or a political party that can be proscribed by fiat.

“We are Muslims practising Islam as revealed to Prophet Muhammed under the leadership of his family. Ours is a mass movement, hence we can’t abandon our religion just like that.

“We don’t bear arms, we don’t force others to join us, we are just demanding justice within the ambit of the law, therefore, proscribing us won’t work.

“We can’t say this is what we will do if we are proscribed, because it just won’t work. We are in each and every facet of life like other citizens.”

Three of our members died in police custody, Shiites claim

The IMN also said three of its members who were shot and held in police custody had died.

The sect explained that the deceased were arrested during Monday clash between its members and the police during which about 13 persons, including a deputy commissioner of police, died in Abuja.

The President, Media Forum of IMN, Musa, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the three detainees died as a result of bullet wounds they sustained during the incident.

The Federal Capital Territory police spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, could not be reached for comments as calls to his phone rang out. He had yet to reply to a text message as of the time of filing this report.

FG, IMN may explore truce as negotiator meets El-Zakzaky

Meanwhile, the Federal Government may have begun moves to negotiate with the IMN in order to end the sect’s violent agitations for the release of its leader, El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

However, the development had yet to be independently verified as of the time of filing this report on Friday

A senior IMN member, Abdulrahman Abubakar, who confirmed the development on Friday, said the movement was waiting for the government to set up a committee that would negotiate with the Shiite members.

Abubakar, who is the coordinator, Free El-Zakzaky Campaign, explained that the representative of the European country handling the negotiations had met with El-Zakzaky in custody to hear from him.

Also, other sources said the Federal Government might have opened talks with the IMN to stop their protests against the continued detention of their leader.

Sources at the Nigerian Army Guards Brigade, Abuja, told our correspondent that the FG was not happy with the protests, which turned violent.

At the office of the National Security Adviser, a top source told our correspondent that he was not aware of any negotiation between the FG and Shiites.

Mr Femi Falana (SAN), who has been defending El-Zakzaky in court since 2015 and obtained the Federal High Court’s December 2, 2019 judgment which ordered the clergy man’s release from custody, told one of our correspondents on Friday that he was not aware of the said talks between Shiites and the Federal Government.

“I am not aware of such negotiation,” he said.

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