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Archive for November, 2013

Ijaw youths threaten Benin govt over Asari-Dokubo.


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The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has demanded an unreserved apology from the government of Benin Republic over the arrest of the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force ( NDPLF), Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo.
The council has also warned that it would no longer condone the arrest and harassment of Ijaw leaders.
The Ijaw nation was jolted when the news of the arrest of Asari-Dokubo filtered into Nigeria with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta( MEND) threatening to attack Beninose interests if he was not released.
The IYC noted that though Asari-Dokubo has been released, his arrest and detention was politically motivated by enemies of the Ijaw nation who are uncomfortable with his position as it relates to President Goodluck Jonathan running for the presidency in 2015.

Mr Udengs Eradiri who was declared President by the electoral committee in an interview after conducting his first congress at the IJaw House, Yenagoa said the Ijaw nation is suspecting foul play in the arrest of Asari-Dokubo.
According to him, the arrest was an affront on the Ijaw nation and the government of Nigeria since Asari-Dokubo was doing legitimate business in Benin Republic.
He warned politicians against heating up the polity by setting up perceived opponents instead of sticking to the rules of the game.
His words: “On the issue of arrest of the former President of IYC, Asari Dokubo. First of all, we want to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for the timely intervention on the arrest of Asari-Dokubo. We acknowledge the fact that Dokubo is doing business in Republic of Benin peacefully and freely and did not breach any law. We are saying again that we will not tolerate the arrest of any of our leaders.We are suspecting foul play from the political dimension on the arrest of Dokubo. We are warning that those trying to play politics to stick to the rules of politics and not use or ridicule Ijaw nation and leaders”

Source: Radio Biafra.

The owners of the zoological republic of Nigeria warns Presidency against inducing Northen elders 2015.


northern leaders

Pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative forum has warned the Presidency against any move to induce some prominent leaders in the region to support President Goodluck Jonathan‘s re-election in 2015.

Raising the alarm in Kaduna on Friday, the forum through its Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, said some people purportedly working for the presidency had gone round the region with a long list of prominent Northern leaders that would be heavily induced to work for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 presidential poll.

The Niger State Governor and Chairman, Northern States Governor’s Forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu had raised the alarm that the Presidency had penciled down 400 names of prominent northerners that would be induced to support President Jonathan in his re-election bid in 2015. He promised to make available the lists to public.

However, the ACF’ Chairman in a terse statement noted that the purported long list which he claimed he had seen actually contained names of respected leaders from the north.

The Chairman added that those advising the president to bribe some prominent northern leaders with money in exchange for support were merely deceiving him. He therefore called upon such persons to leave northern leaders out of the 2015 power play.

“Those seeking or advising the President to offer inducement in exchange for support are clearly taking the matter of the President’s re-election away from performance in office to something else. If that is the case, they will be well advised to leave Northern leaders out of it,” he said.

The Chairman added: “The attention of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has been drawn to stories circulating in the media lately suggesting that some people said to be working for the Presidency are going about with a long list of names of Northern leaders they wish to induce in order that they will support the President’s re-election in 2015.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Not Again, say no to Ngige and APC Islamising Anambra like Rochas Okorocha in Imo State.


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Vote for Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, and the entire Imo accepted. Why because he has Igbo name and we thought he will be better than the then tyrant Ikedi Ohakim !
Imo people ask who bigot this son of the devil? The answer is no. What can Imo people do now that he is turning their sons and daughters into Boko Haram members? Time to place bounty on Okorocha’s head in Biafraland or he will do worst that this video portrayed.

Owerri people, Mbaise people, Orlu people and other Imo people wake up and deal with this embodiment otherwise we cannot say that we did not see it when we became under pressure for a man that we all voted for.

Do it your way let’s stop this Hausa man from destroying our land and culture.

Source: Radio Biafra

Chief Nwosu President Goodluck the only president talking about development.


Chief-Evarist-Nwosu

I have considered the way Nigeria is going and I thought she needs to grow and develop. But while I was in the public service, I couldn’t make comments on issues concerning leadership in the country but I secretly wrote articles which were published in The Guardian, for instance, “Why the Military Intrude in African Politics“, published in 1978.

I retired voluntarily from the Customs and began thinking of how to write a book that will encapsulate all my ideas about leadership, growth and development. By that, I tried in my book,”Leadership & Developmental Issues in Nigeria: A Search for Development Strategies”, to make a distinction between growth and development. Growth is simply economic expansion where you produce and people consume and it does not translate to development. But development is when Political Leadership begin thinking in terms of how to bridge the gap, that is technological gap between us and developed countries of the world.

This is done by building infrastructures, mass transit fares to move people, building aeroplanes, why can’t we build our own automobiles and automobile parts and couple them in this country and then sell to other countries? We need industrialisation,

technological acquisition, development and adapting, etc , these are ingredients for development.

It is surprising that people say no we can’t develop that way but if you look at developed countries of the world, they are the most advanced in terms of technology, they are the richest, and so, Nigeria cannot continue to depend on only one natural resource; selling of oil and all that, otherwise, why are we always broke? The answer is simply because the profit or whatever money we make from oil sales is not enough to run the affairs of this country.

That is why we run borrowing from time to time. We need to expand our resource base, by industrialisation, manufacturing and exporting, producing food in abundance for everybody then put prices down, develop housing for people and when you give them transportation in addition to low cost housing, you don’t need to pay big money as salary because they have transport and other amenities.

Nigeria’s level of development?

I will limit myself to this present administration. It appears that because President Jonathan is educated and also, a science person, it seems to me that for the first in the history of Nigeria, we have someone who is thinking about development. Jonathan is such a leader, apart from Late Yar’Adua who would have been such a person but death stopped him too early. But Jonathan stepped into his shoes and seems to have gone further than expectation as far as I am concerned. I am speaking for myself. Jonathan is talking about development, launching of satellite, building our own automobiles and all that because he is the kind of president that has development agenda for the nation.

Objective of the book?

My book is to create awareness and arouse in the minds of political leaders the need to bridge development, technological and industrial gap between us and advanced countries of the world. Other countries will not take us serious if we don’t begin to put necessary infrastructure in place, for the nation’s development.

Once again, Nigeria needs to grow and develop and that is why I have in my book, documented all the indices of development which have been lacking in the governance of Nigeria

How can Nigeria win the war against corruption?

First and foremost, the presidential system of Governance should be dropped because it is not conducive for Nigerian polity. Parliamentary system which will keep leaders on their toes is best because there will be no room for corruption. What we have at the moment is a situation whereby the executive, judiciary and legislature are busy chasing their personal agenda because the presidential system does not check them properly. All these are documented in my book for reference purpose.

Source: Radio Biafra.

BILIE Joins Yoruba Declared For Independence Of Southern Nigeria.


BHRI

BILIE Human Rights Initiative has declared that they are no longer fighting for the restoration of Biafra rather that they are figting for the independence of  ‘Southern Nigeria‘ state( A Country that will made up of Yoruba and Igbos) , this declaration has made Biafras to call on all people that are with Bilie or

intending to join BILIE to stop as they are now an instrument working agains the Biafra restoration just like MASSOB and Ralph UwazuruikeIt is time to ask all genuine Buifrans that we made in the past when we were working with BILIE to Join BILIE to withdrwa their membership. BILIE not only compromised, but have started a new very dangerous moves that have never been heard of in the history of Biafra restoration quest. See how they have changed from BILIE to APC and now SOUTHERN NIGERIA.Carol Munday reports her encounter with a BILIE Officer who is also a Nigeria security agent : Who ever is for Biafra and was/is with BHRI plans, should have removed themselves already, and cut communications coming from them. I am well aware of the compromise within BHRI as sad as it may be, let me confirm again Nigerian security forces and Rochas Okorocha are now behind key members of BHRI and are steering all of them and their connections to support APC, the person who has been working with them, even mailing for them, is a Yoruba Nigerian security forces officer who today contacted me and after threatening me and found I was not so easily worried about nonsense, then asked tomeet me in London, to discuss to come to an agreement with them for a ‘one southern Nigeria’, they don’t want Biafra and say it can not be, they will use the law to stop this, they feel a ‘southern Nigeria will be the answer’, they want to try even to bribe me with minerals (oil) into supporting this group. Human life is worth more than anything, even if it is the price of a few to save many!! The UN convention 2007 allows the indigenous people of Biafra the right to self determination, do not let anyone tell you, you are wrong or breaking the law, as even Nigeria is a member of the UN.Withdraw your BILIE membership now or you will probably be islamised before you know it. We Biafrans want to make it clear once again that we are not working with BILIE anymore and will never be. They have been compromised  and we have first hand information now to prove that they compromised due to APC influence and as we have made out stand clear, APC is an Hausa/Yoruba party hellbent on turning all Biafrans into Muslim. We can only stop this from happening by separating from Nigeria as an unadulterated indigenous people of Biafra. Join Radio Biafra and the indigenous people of Biafra towards the restoration of Biafra. We are the one with majority and we are way ahead of all these minor groups like BILIE and MASSOB that APC have hoodwinked into accepting Islam. Our mission is to restore Biafra on nothing! No Compromise! Every Biafarn should have the right of freedom of expression and  and equal rights, we should never be slaves in our own land. Follow the right people now!Once again withdraw your BILIE membership, if you choose not to RBL will not be liable for asking you to join BILIE in the past should you be harmed while following BILIE. The revolution that will follow will be consequential and you are once again ask to join the Indeginous people and get among your people. BILIE is now infiltrated by Hausa and Yoruba and this is a very bad mix.

God bless Biafra.By Carol Munday and Biafra Galaxy - See more at:http://www.biafragalaxy.com/2013/11/breaking-news-bilie-human-rights.html#.UpkSbMQW02Y

Hezbollah Lebanese Kano Arms Cachebags life jail.


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The trial of three Lebanese accused of belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist group, and in ration the Kano arm find,

ended yesterday with a Federal High Court in Abuja jailing one of them for life.

Talal Ahmad Roda, who was arrested in the Kano house where the ammunition was found, got life to imprisonment having been found guilty of conspiracy.

Mustapha Fawaz, owner of Abuja-based Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park, both companies and the second accused person, Abdallah Thahini were freed.

Justice Ademola Adeniyi, in a judgment yesterday, held that the prosecution failed to provide concrete evidence linking them with terrorism.

The Federal Government had on July 29 arraigned that three men and the companies on a 16-count charge of terrorism.

While Roda was convicted on counts 8 and 9 relating to conspiracy, Fawaz, his companies and Thahini were acquitted on all the counts.

Justice Adeniyi held that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the discharged persons are terrorists.

The judge was of the opinion that since the Hezbollah military group was not labelled a terrorist group under any Nigerian law, the court could not hold otherwise.

Justice Adeniyi observed that some aspects of the investigation were not properly conducted.

The judge also also observed that the prosecution failed by the evidence brought before the court to establish a case of terrorism against the accused persons.

He held that the prosecution was wrong by not producing before the court either the ammunition recovered from No 3, Gaiya Road, Kano or the photographer who took pictures of the ammunition.

The judge further held that the prosecution could have, as an alternative, applied to have the court visit the Kano house and see the ammunition.

Justice Adeniyi was of the opinion that the failure by the prosecution to take any of the above steps makes the the photo evidence of the ammunition tendered inadmissible.

The judge also noted that the witness brought by the prosecution who conducted the search confessed that he was neither a forensic or ballistic expert.

While the judge was about to sentence Roda, defence lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN), pleaded him to be lenient and temper justice with mercy.

He said the convict co-orperated with the security agencies all through the trial and that he has lived his entire life in Nigeria.

Prosecution lawyer, Simon Egede, said though he shared the sentiment of the defence lawyer, the law must take its course, no matter what happened.

He said that the punishment for conspiracy is life imprisonment and he urged the court to follow the law in making its pronouncement.

The judge rose for about 45 minutes and when he resumed sitting announced the sentencing of the third accused person (Roda) to life imprisonment.

Justice Adeniyi held that the terrorism law, under which he was charged, provides for life imprisonment on conviction for conspiracy, and that the court has no discretion to vary it.

“I have listened to the allocutus of the defence counsel on the issue of sentencing.

“After I have read one or two authorities as to the provision where the accused was charged, it does not give room for judicial discretion.

“I, thereby, sentence the third accused person to life imprisonment on Counts 8 and 9 and both terms are to run concurrently”.

The judge ordered that both Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park be unsealed with immediate effect.

He added that the 61,170 US dollars seized from the second accused person (Thahini) be returned to him.

The judge also directed that all personal properties seized from the discharged persons and their relatives be returned to them forthwith.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Spread of terrorism: Army uncovers Boko Haram’s terrorists new tactics.


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The Chief of Army Staff Lt General Azubike Ihejirika, has advised Nigerians not to panic over speculation of the spread of terrorists into other regions of the country, assuring that security moves were in top gear to monitor terrorists movements just as the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru also alerted Nigerians that Boko Haram terrorists have come out with new tactics to circumvent security measures put in place towards curtailing their activities in the North East.

The new methods according to General Attahiru include resorting to attacks on soft targets and erecting snap road blocks on major highways in the north east.

He however stressed that the Army has been responding swiftly through effective combat patrols both on air and land.
General Attahiru said: “While the onslaught on the violence extremist organisation continues, the insurgents have devised methods

to circumvent the new security measures by resorting to attacks on soft targets and erecting snap road blocks on major highways in the north east” he said.

“Equally, our troops have responded appropriately through effective combat patrols both on land and air in order to dominate the area of operations,” he stated.

Describing the United States’ designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTO) as a step in the right direction, he noted that the Nigerian Army has continued to carry out “full spectrum counter-insurgency operations, with emphasis on both kinetic and non-kinetic operations to shape the operational environment in the north east”.

“Currently, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in conjunction with the Nigerian Air force had carried out simultaneous offensive operations. Based on these operations, insurgents were successfully cleared from some camps in SambisaForest, BitaVillage in Damboa Local Government as well as Gujba in neighbouring YobeState. Many insurgents were killed and large cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered,” the Army spokesman said.

In the same vein, the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 2 Division Garrison, Major General Ahmed Jubrin expressed the readiness of the Nigerian Army to combat terrorism and other security challenges in the country.

Addressing the soldiers, General Jubrin who was represented by the Commander, 4 Brigade, Benin, Brig.-Gen. Patrick Akem, said at the end of the 2 Brigade “Inter Brigade Combat Proficiency Competition,” which ended in Benin City, yesterday, said that the exercise was geared towards combat readiness, as much as confidence building for men of the Nigerian Army.

According to him, “all these are geared ensuring that the desire of the Chief of Army Staff to build capacity in a manner that will position us to tackle the challenges we are facing currently. We have done this not only to create awareness but to give confidence to the nation that indeed we are training and we are able to tackle the challenges that we are facing.

Chief of Army Staff in Lagos

Speaking in Lagos while commissioning the remodeled headquarters of the Nigerian Army Engineers Complex, at Bonny cantonment , Victoria Island, Ihejirika noted that attempt by some insurgents to

spread from the North eastern region of the country to other regions have met brick-wall following their subsequent arrests, adding that the Nigerian Army would continue to do its best in providing equipment and logistics to enable troops carry out their duties”.

He said, “The spread should not cause panic. We monitor their movement and the exposure on them is beefed up in the North East in particular and in other parts of the North and the tendency is not for them to fret down wards.”

What we are trying to do is to build new cells in the new areas particularly for those of them that are unrepentant.a

We have a common understanding with the SSS ,the police and other sister services to continue to monitor them and they are being arrested”.

Commending the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers for turning giving its head quarters a structural face lift, Ihejirika noted that the initiative and courage to undertake such project was in line with his vision to transform the Nigerian Army into a force that would meet the demands of the present challenges as well as remain relevant in national development.

According to him, “ this giant strides entailed a lot of sacrifice, integrity and on the part of the commander and his officers and soldiers. It is a proof that the transformation agenda of the president, commander- in chief of Armed Forces, Dr Goodluck Jonathan is being imbibed by some commanders in the Nigeria Army.”

He therefore,urged other commanders to emulate such,even as he encouraged the Commander, officers and soldiers of the Corps to strive more to improve upon the standards attained, noting that any organisation that is not growing is dying. here is still room for improvement particularly in support for the Nigeria Army operations in the North East where we have made progress the Army Headquarters in the face of limited resources and other competing needs.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Murtala Muhammed Airport Arrival Hall Heat Nearly Killed Us, Delta Passengers Say.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

SaharaReporters wishes to retract a story republished earlier from PM News claiming that the cooling system of a Delta Airline plane into Lagos had failed, forcing passengers coming out of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) to take off their clothes, some of them appearing in semi-nude condition.

This retraction follows the retraction of the story by PM News, and SaharaReporters wishes to do same.

Several passengers who were on the flight told SaharaReporters that it was the heat in the arrival hall of the airport, not the aircraft air conditioning system, that made them to take off their clothes and.

They said the heat in the luggage reclaim area as they awaited their luggage was unbearable, forcing them to depart the Customs Hall in ways that shocked relatives and other airport users.

Similarly PM News reporter Simon Ateba who penned the original story told SaharaReporters his newspaper has since found out that the initial reporting was erroneous, and that it will be corrected as early as possible.

SaharaReporters regrets the erroneous report.

The embattled Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, has spent several billions on airport renovation across the country, but little improvement has been noticed.  The customary epileptic power supply and breakdown of infrastructure continues, with MMA retaining its poor reputation as the most hostile airport in the country through which to travel.

Nigeria: Boko Haram Abducts Women, Recruits Children Hundreds ‘Disappeared’ by Security Forces; Vigilante Movement on the Rise-HRW.


(Abuja, November 29, 2013) – Boko Haram has abducted scores of women and girls, used children as young as 12 in hostilities, and killed hundreds of people in recent attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nigerian government, meanwhile, has failed to account for hundreds of men and boys whom security forces have rounded up and forcibly disappeared during Boko Haram’s four-year insurgency.

The rise of an anti-Boko Haram group allied with Nigerian security forces, the so-called Civilian Joint Task Force, has added a worrisome new dimension to the violence. Civilian Joint Task Force members inform security forces about presumed local Boko Haram activity; the Islamist group then retaliates against both the neighborhood vigilante group and the broader community.

“For a group that claims to be religious, Boko Haram’s tactics are the most profane acts we can imagine,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The killing and mutilation of ordinary Nigerians, the abduction and rape of women and girls, and the use of children for fighting are horrifying human rights violations.”

In a nine-day November 2013 visit to Kano and Maiduguri, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 60 victims and witnesses, as well as medical personnel, members of local rights groups, Civilian Joint Task Force commanders, and government officials.

Commanders of the Civilian Joint Task Force, working with security forces, said that they had rescued 26 abducted women and girls from a Boko Haram stronghold in Maiduguri and later in Sambisa Forest. Some of the women and girls were pregnant; others had babies. The commanders told Human Rights Watch that a number of the girls had been abducted while hawking wares on the street or working on farms in remote villages. Many girls who were rescued or had escaped were sent off by their families to distant cities like Abuja and Lagos to avoid the stigma of rape or pregnancy outside of marriage, activists said.

Several witnesses said they saw children in the ranks of Boko Haram during attacks. In Maiduguri, Human Rights Watch researchers saw a video recording of the interrogation by security forces of a 14-year-old boy, who described the role he played in Boko Haram operations. Commanders of the Civilian Joint Task Force said they had freed numerous children during a 2013 attack on a Boko Haram base in Sambisa Forest.

Human Rights Watch also observed children who appeared to be aged 15 – 17 manning checkpoints for the Civilian Joint Task Force in Maiduguri; other witnesses described seeing children manning checkpoints elsewhere in Borno and Yobe states.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that Boko Haram intensified its attacks on civilians following the state of emergency imposed by the federal government in May in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states. President Goodluck Jonathan in November renewed the state of emergency in these states for another six months.

Witnesses described Boko Haram laying siege to towns, villages, and highways; looting and burning houses, shops, and vehicles; and executing and decapitating people, some of whom they accused of aiding the Civilian Joint Task Force. In July, the combined efforts of the security forces and Civilian Joint Task Force appear to have pushed Boko Haram out of Maiduguri. Since then, the group has carried out numerous attacks in the nearby towns of Damaturu, Benisheikh, and Gamboru.

Boko Haram’s September 17 attack on Benisheikh, 74 kilometers west of Maiduguri, killed at least 142 people and was the most lethal incident in Borno State since 2010. A man who went to Benisheikh to look for a colleague on the morning after the attack described what he saw at a checkpoint that had been set up by Boko Haram and that was crowded with burned vehicles:

“There were bodies all over… three here, two there, four near the next – all lying face down, dead next to their vehicle. Then I saw a long line of bodies… about 30 of them. But weirdly, one of the trucks was carrying cows, which were still alive. Who are these people who kill the human beings, yet leave the cows standing?” he said.

Another witness described seeing about 20 women abducted during the September 17 Benisheikh attack. A health worker in Maiduguri told Human Rights Watch that he attended to a 15-year-old girl who had recently returned home pregnant several months after Boko Haram abducted her.

Security forces acting with enhanced powers, particularly during the state of emergency, established frequent screening routines for male youths in Maiduguri, detaining several hundred young men, according to residents. Witnesses described how soldiers pounded on doors in neighborhoods perceived as Boko Haram strongholds beginning at 5 a.m., ordered the young men out, demanded that they stand before a car with its headlights on, and then declared the men either free or under arrest. Scores of those arrested have disappeared, and their family members, despite great efforts, have been unable to locate them.

A woman in Gwange, a Maiduguri neighborhood, described how security forces arrested her seven sons, between the ages of 12 and 30, who had gathered in front of their home with 15 others for evening prayers in May. Another woman told Human Rights Watch that eight soldiers ordered her 10-year-old son to lie down, beat him with batons and tied him up, piled him face down with 22 others in an open-back vehicle, and then drove them away.

Two former detainees and three other witnesses provided detailed statements about the horrific conditions in the security forces’ notorious Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri. They said that hundreds of detainees died as a result of dehydration, illness, and beatings, while many others were executed.

Boko Haram should halt all attacks and release immediately all children and women in its custody, Human Rights Watch said. The Nigerian government should thoroughly and impartially investigate the fate of the disappeared, as well as credible allegations of arbitrary detention, use of torture, and deaths in custody by security forces.

The Nigerian government has a responsibility under international human rights law to take all reasonable steps to protect its residents from violence, but should not use excessive force, mistreat and torture detainees, or conduct arbitrary arrests in quelling the Boko Haram threat.

The Nigerian authorities should prosecute, based on fair trial standards, all those who committed crimes during the conflict, including members of the government security forces and pro-government vigilante groups. The Civilian Joint Task Force, Human Rights Watch said, should end recruitment and use of children in counterinsurgency and intelligence activities.

The federal attorney general’s office, drawing on information from the military, police, and State Security Service, should compile, maintain, and make available a list of detention facilities and detainees. The authorities should give detainees access to lawyers and family members. Detainees should either be publicly and promptly charged with a recognized crime in a civilian court or released.

The government, in coordination with the National Human Rights Commission, should establish a commission of inquiry on “disappearances” in northeast Nigeria; train Civilian Joint Task Force members in human rights norms and standards; and work with child protection agencies to facilitate the rehabilitation of former child soldiers and the return to their families. It should also help provide psychological and medical services to girls and women who have been abducted and raped.

“Many Nigerian families have suffered, even lost loved ones, at the hands of both Boko Haram and the security forces,” Bekele said. “Boko Haram must desist from waging war on ordinary Nigerians, while the government should take urgent steps to hold to account soldiers who have tortured, disappeared, and killed, regardless of rank.”

Fighting Between Boko Haram and Nigerian Security Forces

Since fighting with security forces in the summer of July 2009, Nigeria’s homegrown Islamist insurgent movement, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, has carried out frequent attacks on police, soldiers, politicians, and other symbols of authority, as well as on civilian property such as schools. The group is waging a war against the government to establish an Islamic legal code.

Human Rights Watch for several years has documented Boko Haram attacks and abuses by government security forces against civilians and suspected Boko Haram members. In a 2012 report, “Spiraling Violence”, Human Rights Watch analyzed the pattern and scope of the violence that has engulfed communities in northeast and central Nigeria.

In June 2013, young men in Maiduguri organized into a group known as the Civilian Joint Task Force, or Yan Gora, to monitor and protect their town and neighboring villages from violence. Members interviewed by Human Rights Watch said the youth had grown tired of being targeted by both Boko Haram and the security forces. The group maintains checkpoints; searches pedestrians, vehicles, and residences; and provides intelligence to the security services.

The Civilian Joint Task Force relies on members’ knowledge of the community to identify Boko Haram members for the security forces. The Borno State governor has recruited 1,800 youths, paying them the equivalent of US$100 per month to work with the Civilian Joint Task Force, who are trained by security forces. Recruitment and training of Civilian Joint Task Force members is ongoing.

Boko Haram’s Execution and Decapitation of Civilians in Benisheikh

The September 17, 2013 attack on Benisheikh was Boko Haram’s most deadly attack on civilians in Borno State since 2009. At least 150 members of Boko Haram took over and for several hours held a stretch of the highway near the town, 75 kilometers west of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

During the siege, they killed at least 142 people, according to officials from the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency, which cleared away and buried the bodies. The heavily travelled road connects Maiduguri with Kano, the commercial hub to the west.

Human Rights Watch interviewed seven witnesses with knowledge of the attack, including three detained by Boko Haram during the episode and four others who went to the scene shortly after Boko Haram members fled.

The witnesses described how heavily armed men from Boko Haram set up checkpoints that forced at least 30 vehicles to stop –  private cars, commercial taxis and minibuses, motorcycles, and trucks carrying goods and livestock. The armed men ordered the passengers out of the vehicles and demanded their cash, telephones, and identity cards. Boko Haram separated the women and children from the men, who were ordered to lie down on the road, then executed scores of the men and several boys. During and after the attack, Boko Haram stole merchandise from the vehicles as well as from stores inside Benisheikh.

Witnesses who arrived shortly after Boko Haram fled described seeing several lines of bodies on the road, many with their feet and hands bound. Others were in the grass not far from the road. Most had one or a few bullets to the head and neck; others had deep machete wounds. According to a morgue attendant who picked up the bodies, at least six had been decapitated.

Witnesses said that based on comments from Boko Haram, many of the victims were targeted merely on the basis of where they lived: those from Maiduguri, Damaturu, and other towns in Borno and Yobe states were singled out for execution because of their perceived support for the Civilian Joint Task Force. Many of those from Kano and elsewhere were spared. A driver from Kano said:

At the entrance to the town, I was stopped by a group of 35 men in military uniform and turbans covering their faces. They were heavily armed with AK[47]’s; many had machine guns. They looked in my car and seeing I had mostly women, motioned for me to move on until I was stopped by another big group of  more than 100, at the truck stop [where we usually pray and eat]. I was one of at least 30 vehicles. They ordered us out, yelling at the men to lie down on the road, and for the women to move to one side. They asked the men where we were from….
The driver never again saw his passengers, who were from Maiduguri:

While lying there, I saw them kill 10 men… they walked behind a small house with them, then I heard them in Hausa saying, “Uh huh… you’ve left us, you are Civilian JTF [Joint Task Force], you have chosen your side,” meaning the government. Then a shot… and another and another. Later, after BH [Boko Haram] fled, I saw the 10 bodies where they’d been slaughtered.

Another driver identified the bodies of two of his friends – one in a cluster with nine other bodies, another with four other dead. A third driver, who also searched for his colleague, found his body, but “his head was to one side… completely severed… I couldn’t sleep for days.”

A man who went to Benisheikh on the morning after the attack described what he saw as he searched for the body of his colleague who had failed to return home from Kano:

I saw four big trucks and about 15 cars or minibuses – most of them burned, some still smoldering, and next to them were the bodies… three here, two there, four near the next – all lying face down, dead next to their vehicle. Then I saw a long line of bodies… about 30 of them. Each had his legs and hands bound, and a cloth over their eyes… it was here I found my friend. He, like the rest, had been killed with a bullet to the back of the head.
Boko Haram Abduction and Rape of Women and Girls

A driver detained in September at a checkpoint manned by Boko Haram near the town of Benisheikh told Human Rights Watch that he saw Islamist group members force more than 20 women at gunpoint to get off public transport vehicles and climb onto two other vehicles that sped away with Boko Haram:

At their checkpoint they ordered us out, yelling at the men to lie down on the road, and for the women to move to one side. I remained on the ground for over 45 minutes… I saw them kill many men, but the women, they took them away… I saw two of the vehicles they’d stopped drive up close to us… one 16-seater, the other of about 10 seats. A few of the BH [Boko Haram] went over to where the women were gathered, pointing at which ones they wanted. They didn’t take those with children – mostly, they took young women in their 20s… they picked the fine [pretty] ones. They ordered them inside, at times pointing their guns, saying, “Go, go.” A few other women were ordered to get into one of their Hiluxes [vehicles]… The women were crying and saying, “Oh my God, oh my God,” as they entered the cars. None of the men dared say a word… Then they [Boko Haram] drove away with [the women]…

A woman who works with a local nongovernmental organization told Human Rights Watch that she interviewed a young woman who was saved from abduction during the Benisheikh attack after a former neighbor, now a member of Boko Haram, recognized her. A bus owner said Boko Haram released one of his captured passengers after seeing her walk with a limp.

In Maiduguri, residents told Human Rights Watch that, on several occasions, members of Boko Haram forcefully abducted several teenage girls. One man who had documented several of these cases said, “After storming into the homes and throwing sums of money at their parents, with a declaration that it was the dowry for their teenage daughter, they would take the girls away.” Some of the girls returned months later, showing signs of pregnancy or babies born during their captivity. One witness said his neighbor was shot dead for rejecting the “dowry” thrown at her by insurgents, who took away the neighbor’s daughter.

A Civilian Joint Task Force commander who had participated in a raid that freed some abducted women and girls said:

When we made Maiduguri “too hot” for Boko Haram, they ran away without their wives. Now they are picking up women anywhere and using them to satisfy themselves. Some of the girls we found hiding when we invaded Boko Haram camps around Sambisa [Forest] told us they were dragged into vehicles when hawking on the street. When we return them home, their families are too ashamed to keep them because nobody will marry a girl who has been raped or has a child for these bad people.

Recruitment and Use of Children by Boko Haram and the Civilian Joint Task Force

Several witnesses described the presence of children, a few as young as 12, in the ranks of Boko Haram. Witnesses to the Benisheikh attack observed some children carrying AK47 rifles. Human Rights Watch viewed a video of the interrogation by the military of an alleged child combatant who described the duties children perform for Boko Haram: intelligence gathering, tracking the movements of the security forces, transporting guns, burning down schools and churches, and providing information before attacks.

Other witnesses described seeing several children aged 15 – 17 manning checkpoints for the Civilian Joint Task Force, working with security forces within several towns in Borno State. Civilian Joint Task Force members admitted to having used numerous children in operations. However, one leader noted recently that “the military had advised us not to allow any children to enter into the Civilian JTF [Joint Task Force] as part of our ongoing recruitment drive.”

Nigeria is party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts, which bans the recruitment and use in hostilities of children under 18 by armed groups distinct from the armed forces of a country. Under Nigeria’s 2003 Child Act, the government is required to ensure that no child is directly involved in any military operations or hostilities.

Mass Arrests, Detention, and Disappearances by Security Forces in Maiduguri

Former detainees, family members of detainees, human rights advocates, and militia leaders described the detention in Maiduguri of hundreds of men in mass arrests by security forces; the numbers of detentions were particularly high in May and June 2013.

Scores, perhaps hundreds, of these men and boys remain unaccounted for. Witnesses and former detainees credibly assert that detainees died in custody from the appalling detention conditions or were executed by the security services within the 21 Armored Brigade, popularly known as Giwa Barracks. Both the detentions and deaths in custody appear to have slowed since July.

Human Rights Watch documented five major mass arrests, in markets, mosques, and other locations where young men are known to congregate. Witnesses said the security forces appeared to detain the men arbitrarily.

Human Rights Watch spoke with 16 family members of men and boys detained by the security services during sweeps of their neighborhoods in Maiduguri, including Gwange, Gamboru ward, Terminus, and Baga fish market. Many of the relatives saw the mass arrests. Family members and witnesses described how, often after Boko Haram attacks, members of the security forces indiscriminately rounded up and arrested boys and young men in the vicinity who were presumed to be aligned with the group.

Several people in the vicinity of Baga fish market in Maiduguri described how, in May 2013, security forces shot and killed 13 young men and arrested more than 200 others during a major operation. One witness said:

I was attending to customers at my stall on Democracy Day (May 29) when at about 9 a.m. soldiers surrounded the market and locked the gates… They ordered everyone to come out into an open space in the market, then separated the young men from the old… The commander of the soldiers… stood in front of the young men with someone whose head was covered… He would count then point…

Whoever he pointed at would have their shirt immediately torn off by other soldiers and the pieces used to tie their hands at their back. Sometimes he would touch people on their chest and if their hearts were pounding or they moved, their shirt would also be torn off and used to tie them. Some people became nervous, afraid, and tried to move away from the soldiers. They were instantly shot dead… Thirteen dead bodies were taken away by the soldiers when they finished screening us at around 9 p.m. at night…

They piled the young men whose hands they had tied on top of each other in the trucks that brought fish to the market… More than 200 people were arrested from this market that day. We heard later that those at the bottom of the piles were already dead when the trucks arrived at JTF [Joint Task Force] Sector 1. Those that remained alive were taken to Giwa Barracks later that night and we never saw them in the market again.

A man who was detained at Giwa Barracks for six months with 16 other men and boys from his neighborhood, ranging in age from 17 – 60, said he was the only one from the group to survive. Hundreds of his cellmates died at Giwa, the man said:

After reaching Giwa, many of us were chained to the columns – four of us on each one – where I remained for 20 hours while they beat us; an old man chained alongside me died right there, his head hanging limp. I watched as six of my neighbors died while being beaten with sticks and iron rods by soldiers the very first day we got to Giwa Barracks – two of them were brothers. They fell down and never got up again.

Of those in my group, the other 10 died from starvation and illness in the cell, where we were detained with over 1,000 other men… They died one by one like so many others, of illness, of sickness like dysentery or cholera, of hunger… sometimes up to 25 would be taken out of the cell dead. In one day I saw others being dragged off for interrogation, but they never returned.

On several occasions I heard the officers saying, “Just finish him,” and then a shot would ring out. Once I saw the major take out a Beretta [firearm] and shoot a detainee… only they will know what to say to Allah on the Day of Judgment.

Several witnesses described an underground bunker where men thought to be active members of Boko Haram were detained and where the conditions were even worse. Two witnesses described seeing corpses on several occasions brought up from the cellar and loaded onto an ambulance.

The former detainees and witnesses described gross overcrowding, with hundreds of men jammed into a cell: “We were packed so tightly; if you dared stand up, there was no way you’d find the room to sit down again,” one former detainee recalled. The detainees at times urinated, defecated, and vomited on themselves. One detainee said he bathed only twice in six months.

Witnesses attributed the majority of deaths in detention to dehydration and illness, primarily dysentery. They said the pace of deaths increased in the hot months and rainy season. One detainee claimed to have seen up to 20 or 25 dead being taken out per day.An 18-year-old former detainee who was arrested in his home with a friend, also 18 years old, said:

I was handcuffed to my friend for 10 months and had only one free hand to quickly use the toilet and get our meal, which is served directly unto our palms within the five minutes we were opened up in the mornings and evenings [to use the bathroom and get meals]. My friend became gravely ill and weak so our cuff was removed, but he received no treatment or medication except painkillers once in a while. When we were eventually released after two years through the intervention of a benefactor, my friend could no longer hear, speak, or walk… He is still gravely ill now.

A group of 70 women and children from the Terminus area of Maiduguri in early November protested the detention without charge of their family members at Giwa Barracks. One of the group’s leaders told Human Rights Watch that the detainees, aged 15 – 30, had not been permitted to see their family members, who had tried desperately to locate and visit their detained loved ones.

Witnesses at a hospital in Maiduguri described seeing soldiers bring corpses to the hospital on nearly a daily basis, both from Boko Haram attacks and Giwa Barracks. The largest numbers were in May and June, when the military ambulance would sometimes make up to seven trips from Giwa Barracks to the morgue, witnesses said. The corpses that arrived at the morgue were visibly emaciated; some with hands tied behind their backs, or had scars around the wrists, suggesting they had been handcuffed for extended periods of time. Some of the corpses had “necks hanging at strange angles” or gunshot wounds that suggested the cause of death, witnesses said.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Nigerian Judge Frees Two Lebanese Terror Suspects Accused Of Hezbollah Connection, Sentences A Third To Life imprisonment.


By SaharaReporters, New York

An Abuja  Federal High Court judge today sentenced Talal Ahmad Roda, one of the three Lebanese nationals  arrested in connection with  illegal possession of weapons and Hezbollah connection to life imprisonment which, the judge ordered must be run concurrently.

Two other co-accused person, Mustapha Fawaz, the owner of a popular Amigo Supermarket and Abdallah Tahini were set free by the judge.

Giving the ruling today Justice Ademola Adeniyi said that there was no room for judicial discussion as to the first and second accused persons, he subsequently ordered that they should be released immediately with their personal belongings  released to them.

Regarding the third suspect, the judge ruled that the he was guilty of all the five counts of illegal possesion of weapons and conspiracy as he was found at the location of the arm cache in Kano.

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