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Posts tagged ‘Yobe’

Nigerian Army failed Jonathan despite all efforts; FG recruits’s forest guards to fight B’Haram.


 

The Federal Government has resorted to recruiting forest guards to assist the Joint Task Force in combating Boko Haram insurgents in the northern part of the country.
Most of the insurgents are believed to be using routes cutting through forests in states like Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa to smuggle arms into the country from Cameroon and other neighbouring countries.
The Conservator General of National Park Service, Mr. Haruna Abubakar, told the House of Representatives Committee on Environment on Monday that the guards would help the JTF to comb the forests for hideouts of insurgents.
Abubakar had appeared before the committee in Abuja to defend the 2014 budget of the agency.
The NPS had been classified as a para-military agency in January this year by the government.
According to Abubakar, the agency will rely on its knowledge of the country’s forest terrain to conduct sweeps with the military.
He informed the committee that the agency controlled seven national parks in the country, covering about 24,000- square kilometres of land.
Abubakar said, “The National Park Service has been playing a crucial role in intelligence gathering for the country’s military in the North-East and the forest bordering Chad and Cameroon.”
The committee, which is chaired by Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, stated that insurgents operated camps in forests like Sambisa, Mafa, Wulgo and Kirenowa, all in Borno State.
Sambisa forest camp which was said to have been first discovered during a military raid in 2013, covers an area of about 300-square kilometres.
The chairman of the committee expressed concern that besides the loss of human lives and property, Nigeria was losing revenue from tourism due to the activities of insurgents.
“We have to look inwards to find a way to protect our forests.
“It is regrettable that our forests have been turned into havens for insurgents,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Baptist Convention has appealed to Boko Haram sect to pursue the path of peace for Nigerians to live in harmony.
The sect destroyed Mainok village, about 50 kilometres to Maiduguri in Borno State and killed 39 people in its latest attack on Sunday.
During a press briefing organised by NBC on Monday in Ibadan, the President of the church in Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, sympathised with the victims of the attack, adding that the church would maintain its stance against all forms of terrorism in the country.
Ayokunle called on the Federal Government to step up security in the northern part of the country.

 

(From Biafra Galaxy)

Despite Boko Haram, Yobe Council Polls Witness Large Turnout – PREMIUM TIMES.


Photo: Premium Times
by PREMIUM TIMES

Voters across Yobe on Saturday turned out in large numbers to cast their votes to elect chairmen and councillors of the 17 local government areas in the state.

A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited some polling booths in the capital Damaturu as well as some local government areas reports that scores of people lined up at the various polling booths as early as 7 a.m. to accredit and cast their votes.

A correspondent, who also visited Bamari, Kalalawa, Ajeri, Gaidam and Bukarti towns, also reported large turnout of voters.

There was, however, heavy security presence in all the polling booths as well as major streets in Damaturu with a combined team of soldiers, police, civil defence corps and immigration officers watching over.

Shops and other businesses were closed while restriction on movement was imposed throughout the state from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reports from other parts of the state also spoke of security build up to forestall any unforeseen circumstances.

Only 10 parties participated in the polls while the major opposition party in the state, the PDP, boycotted the election.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, the state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, said the conduct of the election had proved skeptics wrong on the security situation in the state.

He blamed “mischievous politicians’’ for raising false alarm of a possible breakdown of law of order in the state.

Yobe is one of the three states under emergency rule following the activities of the Boko Haram.

“We know what is going on here because we are here on the ground. We know the security situation in our state that is why we went ahead to conduct the election,” Mr. Gaidam said.

The governor said that from the reports he received, eligible voters cast their votes peacefully in all the 17 local government areas in the state.

“You can see we have gotten relative peace when I was coming here; I inspected about three areas and the elections were going on peacefully and I am sure we will conclude it safely.

“So, I think politicians should stop making noise since they are not on ground. We are the ones on the ground; anytime this kind of thing is happening, they should call us to give them the true positions of things on the ground,’’ Mr. Gaidam said.

Also speaking to journalists, a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Lawal, described the election as successful, adding that many people came out to cast their votes.

Mr. Lawal said that he went round about 10 local government areas to inspect the conduct of the polls and found that a large turnout of voters was recorded in the many areas.

Femi Bafunsho, Chairman Justice and Equity for All, an NGO, who was observing the conduct of the polls, said the turnout in most polling units was commendable.

The Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Hannatu Binyat, said that reports received from across the state indicate a peaceful conduct of the elections.

(NAN)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Boko Haram forces 1,000 teachers to flee.


boko haram carnage

The militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has forced more than 1,000 teachers to flee from various areas in the northern part of Nigeria.

The group has also burnt 50 schools and forced 60 others to close in the northern part of the country.

An international human rights organisation, Amnesty International, which stated these on Friday in a report titled, ‘Keep away from schools,’ said that at least 70 teachers and 100 schoolchildren had been killed.

It said, “Education is under attack in northern Nigeria. Since the beginning of 2012, according to Amnesty International’s research, at least 70 teachers and over 100 schoolchildren and students have been killed or wounded.

 

“At least 50 schools have either been burnt or seriously damaged and more than 60 others have been forced to close. Thousands of children have been forced out of schools across communities in Yobe, Kaduna, Adamawa and Borno states.”

The group stated that many teachers had been forced to flee for their safety to other states.

“The highest number of attacks was in Borno State in the North-East. According to the Nigeria Teachers’ Union, more than 1,000 teachers have been forced to flee from areas in the North since 2012,” it said.

It said that because of the attacks, most schools in Bama, Baga, Jajeri, Umarari Garnam, Mai Malari, Mungono and Gamboru in Borno State were forced to close between February 2012 and June 2013.

The group called on the Federal Government to protect schools in the region, investigate the attacks and bring those responsible to justice.

AI added, “The Nigerian government is obliged, as part of its obligation under Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, to protect everybody’s right to education and to take measures that prevent third parties from interfering with the enjoyment of the right.”

It noted that the attack on schools had increased since the declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states.

According to the group, since the beginning of 2013, attacks had been more brutal.

It said in some attacks, teachers were killed on school premises in full view of children, adding that in others, school buildings were set on fire.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Boko Haram Killing Spree Claims 110 Nigerians.


Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Davide Perillo
Jos Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, president of the Bishops Conference of Nigeria, speaks with journalist Davide Perillo.

The militant Islamist sect Boko Haram is suspected of killing at least 110 people of various faiths across Nigeria during the past week, prompting the country’s top Catholic bishop to declare the rebel movement “has no limits.”

On Thursday, gunmen killed the Rev. Augustine Yohana, a Catholic priest, and two of his sons in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Yobe, then set their home and church building ablaze.

The Nigerian news service Daily Trust quoted one of Yoahana’s surviving sons, Ibrahim, as saying the gunmen arrived in their town of Garinbaba in the middle of the night, “woke us up, asked us to lie down in front of the church, tied our hands with rope and said they are security personnel on a search mission.”

No arrests have yet been made.

A Christian leader in the area, who asked that his name not be used to help preserve his safety, told World Watch Monitor the attackers were members of Boko Haram.

“My life and that of many other Christians in the state is in danger and we are only hoping that the government will take necessary measures to stop these endless killings in the state,” he said.

In the neighboring northeastern state of Borno, suspected Boko Haram attackers raided the town of Gamboru twice. The first attack, on Wednesday night, killed six. The second, late Thursday, killed a further 21.

On Saturday, in the central state of Kaduna, gunmen moved into the town of Zangang in the early-morning hours, burned homes and killed 15 people. Hundreds of residents fled the village. Guardian News Nigeria cited a survivor of the attack as saying most of the victims were young people on their way into the farm fields.

The Northern States Governors Forum has said it suspects Boko Haram of the attack.

Then, at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, about 30 gunmen stormed the Agricultural College campus in Gujba, Yobe state. They roused the sleeping students, gathered them into a single place, and shot them. News accounts vary about the number of students killed, initially putting the death toll between 40 and 50, and later increasing it to 65. Several other students were injured, and many dodged gunfire as they fled into the surrounding countryside.

Some of the college buildings were set on fire. After visiting with hospitalized victims Sunday, a tearful Yobe Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam implored Nigerian security forces to improve vigilance against violence.

Msgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, archbishop of Jos and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, on Monday issued a statement that noted most of the victims of the attack at the college were Muslim.

“In the beginning the aim of Boko Haram was to attack Christians in order to destabilize the community. But now the ferocity of the members of this movement has no limits to the point of slaughtering even those who should be their fellow Muslims,” Kaigama said through the Catholic news service Agenzia Fides. “Boko Haram has made further progress in the sophistication and ferocity of their attacks but it is now made up of fanatics who have lost their original goal.”

The leadership of Boko Haram has declared its intent to wipe out Nigerian democracy and replace it with an Islamic state guided by sharia law.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and others condemned the killings and urged the federal government to intensify efforts to stop the Islamic insurgents who have killed thousands of people in the northern parts of the country.

“There is fear and apprehension in the length and breadth of this nation, but Jesus said: Take courage,” he said Sunday at a service to mark Nigeria’s 53rd year of independence.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Attack horrific, says Europen Union.


Catherine-Ashton

There was huge outcry yesterday against the perpetrators of the attack on Yobe College of Agriculture, with the Europen Union (EU) describing it as “horrific”.

It promised to support the Nigerian governmemt to combat the deadly Boko Haram sect.

The spokesperson of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, said in a statement:

“The High Representative condemns the horrific terrorist attack perpetrated today in Yobe State and those that took place on

previous days and weeks in Northern Nigeria in Abuja and elsewhere. Her thoughts are with the victims and their families.

The High Representative reiterates the EU’s firm rejection of such unjustifiable violence, whoever the perpetrators. Today’s attack clearly targeted children and students. Those responsible for this and all other attacks must be brought to justice and be held responsible for their acts.

The EU stands firmly with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, under the principles of the rule of law, including full respect and protection of human rights.”

Senate President David Mark, Northern states governors and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, among others, mourned the students and urged the government to reassess its security apparatchik.

Mark commiserated with the government and people of Yobe State.

He also condoled with the government and people of Niger State over the ill-fated boat mishap in the Niger River near Malilli village in which no fewer than 42 souls have been confirmed dead.

Mark in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Paul Mumeh, bemoaned the Yobe attack and urged the perpetrators to hearken to the voice of reason and sheathe their swords.

He said: “Violence has never produced any positive result neither has it any solution to problems or grievances. If you have any grievances, the only way out is through dialogue. Resorting to killing others can only add to the problem and not solution.

“There are more than enough channels of communication and ways of redressing misgivings. These killings, especially innocent citizens, are not part of our culture. They are truly alien to us. All right thinking members of the society must rise up to end this carnage ravaging our land.”

The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) urged security agencies to halt the senseless killing of defenceless citizens and attacks on places of worship and educational facilities by Boko Haram.

The forum was disturbed about the wanton killings of several innocent people since 2009 when the sect began acts of violence in the Northern region.

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu also condemned the killing of 15 persons in Zangang community in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Aliyu, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo, said, “The forum is particularly alarmed that the shooting dead of 38 students of the College of Agriculture, Gujba, Yobe State following the same pattern as the killing of 22 students and a teacher at Government Secondary School, Mamudo in the same state last July.”

The forum described the fresh attacks by the dreaded group as horrendous, callous and devoid of any shred of humanity.

It commiserated with the families of the victims and prayed God to grant eternal rest to the deceased and quick recovery to the injured.

The forum called on security agencies to do more to protect the lives and property of citizens and also ensure that those behind the violence are brought to justice.

The forum reiterated its pledge to continue to work with other tiers of government to bring an end to security challenges confronting the nation.

Atiku described as senseless and tragic, the murder of dozens of students gunned down in their sleep.

In a statement issued by his media office yesterday, Atiku underlined his disposition to the spate of instability in the country with a quote from the late American civil rights hero, Martin Luther King Jr: “Those who love peace must learn to organise as effectively as those who love war.”

Atiku continued: “As a father, I am deeply saddened by these senseless murders. These were young Nigerians studying agriculture with a goal of helping to feed our nation.

“We must urgently review our strategy for confronting these cowards. The murders at the Gujba College of Agriculture are further proof we need to rethink how we provide security for our nation.

“We must organise ourselves better to provide dignity and security for Nigeria. To defeat terror, we must use much more potent, unbeatable weapons: democracy, education and opportunity.”

“Nigerians have lost faith in their government because of this lack of vision in the management of the nation’s political, economic and social affairs.”

The former vice president enjoined leaders not to seek elective offices simply for the sake of power if they lacked the vision to push economic growth, which in turn, creates employment and greater prosperity for the citizenry.

According to him, the economy is central to every aspect of national life and demands vision-driven leadership to move forward.

“Our economy has weakened in the past few years, with crippling unemployment, especially among our youth. Nigeria has become unable to deliver the goods and services to give our people a decent standard of living and dignity.”

Atiku restated his commitment to working with willing Nigerians to make a difference and expressed concern at the unchanging shambolic state of national infrastructure and the deteriorating state of education in the country.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Suspected Islamic Extremists Kill 30 Students in Nigeria.


Boko Haram
Suspected Boko Haram members on Saturday attacked a school in Mamudo, Yobe, in Nigeria. (Arab News Agency)

Suspected Boko Haram members on Saturday attacked a school in Mamudo, Yobe, one of the three states where the Nigerian government imposed a state of emergency in May.

Survivors told media that the attackers arrived with containers full of fuel and set fire to the school. It is believed that some of the victims were burned alive, while others were shot as they tried to flee. According to the Associated Press, 29 students and one teacher were killed.

Samaila, a teacher at the school, told Open Doors that he could see scores of parents in shock trying to identify children. An Associated Press journalist also described chaotic scenes at a nearby Potiskum hospital as parents tried to identify their children from among the deceased.

About 30 Christians along with others attend the school. However, Open Doors could not confirm immediately how many Christians have been affected by the attack. Schools across Yobe have been closed.

There were two similar attacks on schools in June. On June 16 at a school in Damaturu, Yobe, suspected Boko Haram attackers opened fire on students. A pastor told Open Doors that the attackers arrived at the school asking for the Christian students by name. However, security agents interfered in the attack and the insurgents ended up firing random shots, killing 13 students and teachers. Open Doors has not been able to confirm how many Christians were among the victims.

On June 18 suspected Boko Haram members also opened fire on students at a Muslim school in Maiduguri. Nine students and one medical worker were killed.

“The carnage in Nigeria continues,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “The senseless slaughter of helpless school students is hard to fathom. Pray for the Lord’s comfort and grace to all families affected by the latest attack. Pray that the Lord will enable the Church to respond in love in the midst of these circumstances and reach out to all affected.”

Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

OPEN DOORS USA

Yobe Closes All Secondary Schools Over Boko Haram Killing Of 30 Students.


 

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam
By SaharaReporters, New York

Following Saturday’s killing of about 30 students and a teacher of the Government Secondary School, Mamudo, the Yobe State government has shut down all secondary schools in the area.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, worried that more students may be attached, gave the order for all the students to be sent home to allow for review of school security throughout the State.

The governor, according to a military source, has also appealed for the restoration of mobile phone use to enable citizens to alert security agencies of emergency situations.

The Joint Task Force and other security operatives have arrived in the State, SaharaReporters also learnt, and are planning on how to contain Boko Haram’s new tactics in the state.

Yobe is one of Nigeria’s three States currently under emergency conditions as a result of the violent activities of the Boko Haram sect.  Members of the public are now questioning the quality of the work being done by the military under the emergency following the sect’s brutal attack on GSS Mamudo yesterday.

State Of Emergency: Nigerian Government And Phone Companies Accused of Violating Freedom Of Expression.


As the Nigerian authorities continue with the suspension of mobile telephone services in the northeastern Nigerian states affected by the state of emergency, two citizens have filed a motion charging the Government with violating fundamental human rights, specifically freedom of expression.

Comrade Shehu Sani & Ibrahim M. Attahir filed the motion at the Federal High Court in Gombe yesterday, claiming that under Section 39 of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, the government’s shutting down of telecommunications services “amounts to the deprivation of Rights of Expression to the entire citizens of Nigeria.”

The applicants asserted that the powers given to the President under the state of emergency declaration do not “extend to or include the imposition of collective punishment on the applicants and citizens of Nigeria through the shutting down of mobile communication services in the three affected states.”

The motion also called for an end to the parts of the emergency that cover the shutting down of telecommunications in the three states, and on the government and several named companies to apologize as well as pay to the affected citizens, damages in the sum of 250 million Naira.

SEE LAWSUIT FILINGS BELOW:

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT CASE

In

The Federal High Court of Nigeria

Holden

At Gombe

Suit No:…………..

In

The Matter of an Application For Orders For The Enforcement of The Applicants’

Fundamental Human Rights To Freedom of Expression, Including Freedom to Hold

and to Receive and Impart Ideas And Information Freely Without Interference

Between

Ibrahim M. Attahir                                                                                … 1st Applicant

Comrade Shehu Sani                                                                         … 2nd Applicant

And

The Federal Government of Nigeria                                                …1st Respondent

The Attorney General of the Federation                                         …2nd Respondent

Nigerian Communications Commission                                          …3rd Respondent

Mtn Nigeria Ltd.                                                                               …4th Respondent

Airtel Nigeria Ltd.                                                                             …5th Respondent

Globacom Ltd.                                                                                 …6th Respondent

Etisalat Nigeria Ltd.                                                                         …7th Respondent

Motion

On Notice

Brought

Pursuant To:

1.     Order ii Rules 1-5 of The Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009.

2.     Sections 39 And 46 of The Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended)

3.     Article 9 of The African Charter On Human and People’s Rights (Ratification &

Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) LFN, 2004

4.     The Inherent Jurisdiction of This Honourable Court Take Notice that this Honourable Court shall be moved on the…Day of…2013 at the Hour of 9 O’clock in the forenoon or so soon thereafter as counsel on behalf of the Applicants may be heard praying this Honourable Court for Order enforcing the Fundamental Rights of the Applicants to wit:-

1.  A DECLARATION that the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services by the collaborative effort of the Respondents in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States pursuant to the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria amounts to deprivation of Rights of Expression to the entire citizens of Nigeria thereby violating and threatening the fundamental human right to freedom of expression including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information of the Applicants and other Nigerians as guaranteed under Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) herein  referred to as the 1999 Constitution.

2.  A DECLARATION that the powers of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution and State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder affecting Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States does not extend OR include the imposition of collective punishment on the Applicants and the citizens of

Nigeria by completely shutting down telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely in the 3 affected States.

3.  A DECLARATION that the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely as a result of the imposed State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States on 14th May, 2013 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has deprived and continued to deprive the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including the Applicants of their fundamental rights to freedom of expression to receive and impart ideas within themselves and, therefore, such act is illegal, unconstitutional and null and void.

4.  AN ORDER nullifying and or invalidating parts of the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder that are related or connected to the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely by the Respondents in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States imposed on 14th May, 2013 to date.

5.  AN ORDER directing the Respondents jointly and or severally to pay the Applicants the sum of N 250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) only as exemplary damages.

6.  AN ORDER directing the 4th to the 7th Respondents jointly and or severally to pay the Applicants and other Nigerian subscribers of their respective services the sum of N 250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) only as damages for denying them the right and access to make and receive calls to and from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States from 14th May, 2013 to date.

7.  AN ORDER directing the 4th – 7th Respondents jointly and severally to apologise to the Applicants and other Nigerian subscribers for denying them

access to GSM services to make and receive calls or text messages from all

parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States from 14th May, 2013 to date without explanation.

8.  AN ORDER of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents from further completely shutting down, continuing to completely shut down or further completely

shutting down telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States or any part of Nigeria without notice or reasonable ground justifiable in a democratic society of Nigeria.

9.  ALTERNATIVELY, AN ORDER directing the Respondents to pay compensation to the Applicants and other Nigerian subscribers as envisaged under Section 2 (e) of the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013.

10. AND for such further order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

Dated This 10th Day of June, 2013

……………………

L.A.  Haruna,

Rabiu

Ayuba,

Y.I.

Danbima

Applicant’s Counsel,

C/o L.a. Haruna & Co.

Top floor, Gombe

Chemist Building,

Biu Road,

Gombe,Gombe State.

Email: lucasharuna@yahoo.com

Gsm:

0803 482 2618

OR

Suite

C – 12, Halima Plaza,

Balanga Street,

Behind Sahad Stores,

Garki II, Abuja.

For Service On The Respondents

1. The 1st & 2nd Respondents

C/o Federal Ministry

of Justice,

Central Business

District,

Shehu Shagari Way,

Abuja, FCT.

1. 3rd Respondent

Plot 423, Aguyi

Ironsi Street, Maitama District,

Abuja, FCT.

1. The 4th Respondent

MTN Nigeria Ltd,

Golden Plaza, By

Folomo Bridge,

Ikoyi, Lagos State.

1. The 5th Respondent

Airtel Nigeria Ltd.,

Plot 12, Banana

Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.

1. The 6th Respondent

Globacom Ltd.,

Mike Adenuga Towers,

1 M/Adenuga close,

Off Adeola Adeku,

Victoria Island,

Lagos.

1. The 7th Respondent

Etisalat Nigeria

Ltd.,

Plot 19, Everest Court,

Zone L,

Banana Island,

Ikoyi, Lagos.

This Motion is for Service on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents in Abuja, Fct and 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Respondents in Lagos State Out of Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.

In

The Federal High Court of Nigeria

Holden

At Gombe

Suit No:…………..

In

The Matter of an Application For Orders For The Enforcement of The Applicants’

Fundamental Human Rights To Freedom of Expression, Including Freedom to Hold and to Receive and Impart Ideas And Information Freely Without Interference

Between

Ibrahim M. Attahir                                                                                 … 1st Applicant Comrade Shehu Sani                                                                         … 2nd Applicant

And

The Federal Government of Nigeria                                                …1st Respondent

The Attorney General of the Federation                                         …2nd Respondent

Nigerian Communications Commission                                          …3rd Respondent

Mtn Nigeria Ltd.                                                                               …4th Respondent

Airtel Nigeria Ltd.                                                                             …5th Respondent

Globacom Nigeria Ltd.                                                                     …6th Respondent

Etisalat Nigeria Ltd.                                                                          …7th Respondent

Statement In Support Of Facts

1. Names And Description of The Applicants. The 1st Applicant is Ibrahim M. Attahir, Male, Nigerian, Legal Practitioner of Taufiq Law Office, Pantami Extension, Gombe, Gombe State while the 2nd Applicant is Comrade Shehu Sani, Male, Nigerian of Civil Rights Congress, Kaduna, Kaduna State.

1. Reliefs Sought:

1.  A DECLARATION that the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services by the collaborative effort of the Respondents in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States pursuant to the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria amounts to deprivation of Rights of Expression to the entire citizens of Nigeria thereby violating and threatening the fundamental human right to freedom of expression including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information of the Applicants and other Nigerians as guaranteed under Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) herein referred to as the 1999 Constitution.

2.  A DECLARATION that the powers of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution and State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder affecting Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States does not extend OR include the imposition of collective punishment on the Applicants and the citizens of

Nigeria by completely shutting down telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely in the 3 affected States.

3.  A DECLARATION that the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely as a result of the imposed State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States on 14th May, 2013 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has deprived and continued to deprive the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including the Applicants of their fundamental rights to freedom of expression to receive and impart ideas within themselves and, therefore, such

act is illegal, unconstitutional and null and void.

4.  AN ORDER nullifying and or invalidating parts of the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder that are related or connected to the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely by the Respondents in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States imposed on 14th May, 2013 to date.

5.  AN ORDER directing the Respondents jointly and or severally to pay the Applicants the sum of N 250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) only as exemplary damages.

6.  AN ORDER directing the 4th to the 7th Respondents jointly and or severally to pay the Applicants and other Nigerian subscribers of their respective services the sum of N 250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) only as damages for denying them the right and access to make and receive calls to and from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States from 14th May, 2013 to date.

7.  AN ORDER directing the 4th – 7th Respondents jointly and severally to

apologise to the Applicants and other Nigerian subscribers for denying them access to GSM services to make and receive calls or text messages from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States from 14th May, 2013 to date without explanation.

8.  AN ORDER of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents from further completely shutting down, continuing to completely shut down or further completely

shutting down telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States or any part of Nigeria without notice or reasonable ground justifiable in a democratic society of Nigeria.

9.  ALTERNATIVELY, AN ORDER directing the Respondents to pay compensation to the Applicants and other Nigerian subscribers as envisaged under Section 2 (e) of the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013.

10. AND for such further order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

1. Grounds Upon Which Reliefs Are Sought:

1. The Applicants are law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as such are entitled to their Fundamental Rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution particularly rights to freedom of expression provided under Section 39 thereof.

2. Section 45 of the 1999 Constitution only allows derogation from fundamental rights during period of emergency through a law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

3. The complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States from 14th May, 2013 to date by Respondents in pursuance of the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder which has affected other States of the Country and beyond is unprecedented and unbecoming in a democratic society and therefore, not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

4. The complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely by the 4th to 7th Respondents in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States on the basis of the proclamation of State of Emergency by the 1st Respondent has flagrantly affected and prevented telecommunication/GSM services to and from all parts the 3 affected states to other States in Nigeria and beyond and this action has violated and is violating the fundamental human right of the Applicants and many other Nigerians alike to receive information, report and news about their children, wives, parents, colleagues, business associates and well wishers resident in the affected States who are students of the University of Maiduguri and other federal universities and tertiary institutions in the 3 affected states.

5. The complete shutting down of telecommunication services indefinitely by the 4th to 7th Respondents in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States on the basis of the proclamation of State of Emergency by the 1st Respondent has flagrantly affected and prevented telecommunication/GSM services to and from these States to other States in Nigeria and beyond and this action has violated and is violating the fundamental human right of the Applicants and many other Nigerians alike to receive information, report and news about their children, wives, parents, colleagues, business associates and well wishers schooling in University of Maiduguri and other federal universities and tertiary institutions in the 3 affected states.

6. The denial by the Respondents to allow the Applicants and many other parents/guardians in Nigeria and beyond to have access to information, report and news about their children/wards in the University of Maiduguri and other federal universities and tertiary institutions in the face of the proclamation of the State of Emergency has subjected the Applicants and other parents/guardians to psychological trauma and a situation of complete helplessness.

7. The denial by the Respondents to allow many other parents/guardians in Nigeria and beyond to have access to information, report and news about their children/wards in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa State in the face of the proclamation of the State of Emergency has subjected the parents/guardians to psychological trauma and a situation of complete helplessness.

8. The Fundamental Rights of the Applicants guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution have been and are being flagrantly violated by the Respondents without recourse to any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society as enshrined under Section 45 of the 1999 Constitution.

9. The 1999 Constitution empowers this Honourable Court to give such directions as it may    consider appropriate for the purpose of securing the    enforcement of the Fundamental  Right of the Applicants AND Nigerians.

10. There is no reasonable ground existing in a democratic     society in Nigeria to warrant the complete shutting down of     telecommunications/GSM services on the basis of the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder.

11. The State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Regulations made thereunder envisage that there may be some infringement of rights of innocent citizens in course of enforcing the state of emergency.

Hence a provision is made under Section 2 (e) of the Proclamation Act for payment of compensation to such citizens whose rights are thereby infringed.

Dated This 10th June, 2013

……………………

L.A.  Haruna,

Rabiu

Ayuba,

Y.I.

Danbima

Applicant’s Counsel,

C/o L.a. Haruna & Co.

Top floor, Gombe

Chemist Building,

Biu Road,

Gombe,Gombe State.

Email: lucasharuna@yahoo.com

Gsm:

0803 482 2618

OR

Suite

C – 12, Halima Plaza,

Balanga Street,

Behind Sahad Stores,

Garki II, Abuja.

In

The Federal High Court of Nigeria

Holden

At Gombe

Suit No:…………..

In

The Matter of an Application For Orders For The Enforcement of The Applicants’

Fundamental Human Rights To Freedom of Expression, Including Freedom to Hold

and to Receive and Impart Ideas And Information Freely Without Interference

Between

Ibrahim

M. Attahir                                                                                             … 1st Applicant

Comrade Shehu Sani                                                                         … 2nd Applicant

And

The Federal Government of Nigeria                                                …1st Respondent

The Attorney General of the Federation                                         …2nd Respondent

Nigerian Communications Commission                                          …3rd Respondent

Mtn Nigeria Ltd.                                                                               …4th Respondent

Airtel Nigeria Ltd.                                                                             …5th Respondent

Globacom Nigeria Ltd.                                                                     …6th Respondent

Etisalat Nigeria Ltd.                                                                          …7th Respondent

Verifying Affidavit of Facts Relied Upon

I, Ibrahim M. Attahir, Muslim, male, Nigerian of Taufiq Law Office, No. 24 Pantami Extension, Gombe, Gombe State do hereby make oath and state as follows:

1. That I am the 1st Applicant in this case and by virtue of my position   aforesaid I am familiar with the facts of this case.

2. That I have the consent and authority the 2nd Applicant and our Counsel,   L.A. Haruna Esq. to depose to this Affidavit.

3. That I verify that the facts which constitute the grounds upon which the    application is brought are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.

4. That the Respondents will not be prejudiced if the application is granted.

5. That the Applicants will be highly prejudiced if the application is refused.

6. That I swear to this affidavit in good faith and in accordance with the Oaths Act, 2004.

………………

Deponent

Sworn to at the Federal High Court Registry at Gombe

Dated This 10th Day of June, 2013

Before

Me

Commissioner

For Oaths

In

The Federal High Court of Nigeria

Holden

At Gombe

Suit No:…………..

In

The Matter of an Application For Orders For The Enforcement of The Applicants’

Fundamental Human Rights To Freedom of Expression, Including Freedom to Hold

and to Receive and Impart Ideas And Information Freely Without Interference

Between

Ibrahim

M. Attahir                                                                                             … 1st Applicant

Comrade Shehu Sani                                                                         … 2nd Applicant

And

The Federal Government of Nigeria                                                …1st Respondent

The Attorney General of the Federation                                         …2nd Respondent

Nigerian Communications Commission                                          …3rd Respondent

Mtn Nigeria Ltd.                                                                               …4th Respondent

Airtel Nigeria Ltd.                                                                             …5th Respondent

Globacom Nigeria Ltd.                                                                     …6th Respondent

Etisalat Nigeria Ltd.                                                                          …7th Respondent

Affidavit In Support of Motion on Notice

I, Ibrahim M. Attahir,

Muslim, male, legal practitioner, Nigerian of Taufiq Law Office, No. 24 Pantami

Extension, Gombe, Gombe State do hereby make oath and state as follows:-

1. I am the 1st Applicant in this case and by virtue of my position aforesaid I am familiar with the facts of this case.

2. That I have the consent and authority of the 2nd Applicant and our Counsel, L. A. Haruna Esq. to depose to this Affidavit.

3. That the 1st Respondent is the executive arm of government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria responsible for the day-to-day administration of the country.

4. That the 2nd Respondent is the Chief Law Officer and Minister of Justice of the 1st Respondent.

5. That the 3rd Respondent is an agency of the 1st Respondent that supervises and regulates telecommunications/GSM services.

6. That the 4th – 7th Respondents telecommunication/GSM service providers regulated by the 3rd Respondent.

7. I am the father of Al-Husain Ibrahim, a part four student of Faculty of Law, University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

8. That the said Al-Husain Ibrahim is a subscriber of MTN Nigeria Ltd and his GSM line is 0803 705 4220.

9. I am also a subscriber of MTN Nigeria Ltd, Airtel Nigeria Ltd, Globacom  Ltd and Etisalat Nigeria Ltd with the following GSM numbers: 0703 800 7711, 0802 374 8705, 0807 519 1975 and 0809 655 8695 respectively.

10. That all my 4 GSM lines are loaded with enough credits /airtime at all times material to this application.

11. That since the proclamation of state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States by the 1st Respondent on 14th May, 2013 I  have severally tried to call the said Al-Husain Ibrahim with all the  4 GSM lines and I am always told by the customised voice  responding that the line is switched off or cannot be reached.

12. The 2nd Applicant too severally tried without success to reach   his friend via Glo line but was always told through the customised   voice responding that the line was switched off or could not be   reached.

13. That we later realized that telecommunication/GSM services    in all parts the 3 affected states were completely shut down indefinitely as result of the Proclamation of state of emergency.

14. that the 4th to the 7th Respondents are carrying on substantial part of their business in Gombe and other State of the Federation.

15. That my female relations keep on crying because we cannot   communicate with the said Al-Husain Ibrahim to hear about his   well being and I thereby suffered serious psychological   trauma.That I attended the University of Maiduguri and, therefore, have a fair knowledge of its location in the city of Maiduguri.

16. That University of Maiduguri and its surrounding have been     peaceful since the beginning the ongoing crisis in Maiduguri.

17. That the University of Maiduguri is not among the places where 24 hours curfew is imposed in Maiduguri as the University is on session and examinations currently going on.

18. That the 3rd – 7th Respondents have never announced or otherwise informed me and the general public of the complete shutting down of their services indefinitely in all parts of the said 3 states affected by the proclamation of state of  emergency and have never apologised or explained the reason for the shut down.

19. That I have continued to buy credit cards of the 4th – 7th Respondents

from 14th   May, 2013 to date when the GSM services to and from the said 3 states remain completely shut down.

20. That Gombe and Kaduna States or other States of Nigeria (apart

from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States) are not under the proclamation of state of emergency.

21. That the University of Maiduguri has over 20, 000 students population from across all the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.

22. That most of the parents and guardians of the said students are suffering from similar psychological trauma as a result of the complete shutting down of the telecommunication/GSM services indefinitely.

23. The Applicants, residents of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States are now left incommunicado by the act of the Respondents, their privies, servants and assigns.

24. That the general public in Nigeria and beyond are also suffering and cannot reach their friends, children, parents, wives, husbands, colleagues and associate resident in all parts of the 3 State of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa as a result of shutting down indefinitely of telecommunications following the proclamation of

State of Emergency in the 3 affected States.

25. That business activities and provision of medical services to residents of the affected States is likely to be adversely affected as a result of shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services in all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States following the proclamation of State of Emergency.

26. The grant of this application will strengthen the cause of democratic development in Nigeria and as such the Respondents will not be prejudiced.

27. That I depose to this affidavit in good faith and in accordance with the Oaths Act, 2004.

………………

Deponent

Sworn to at the Federal High Court Registry at Gombe

Dated

This 10th June, 2013

Before

Me

Commissioner

For Oaths

In The Federal High Court of Nigeria

Holden

At Gombe

Suit No:…………..

In

The Matter of an Application For Orders For The Enforcement of The Applicants’

Fundamental Human Rights To Freedom of Expression, Including Freedom to Hold

and to Receive and Impart Ideas And Information Freely Without Interference

Between

Ibrahim

M. Attahir                                                                                             … 1st Applicant Comrade Shehu Sani                                                                         … 2nd Applicant

And

The Federal Government of Nigeria                                                …1st Respondent

The Attorney General of the Federation                                         …2nd Respondent

Nigerian Communications Commission                                          …3rd Respondent

Mtn Nigeria Ltd.                                                                               …4th Respondent

Airtel Nigeria Ltd.                                                                             …5th Respondent

Globacom Nigeria Ltd.                                                                     …6th Respondent

Etisalat Nigeria Ltd.                                                                          …7th Respondent

Written Address In Support of Application

1. Introduction

1.1.    This is an application by way of motion on notice seeking for the reliefs contained on the face of the motion on notice. The application is brought pursuant to Order II Rules 1-5 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, AND Sections 39 and 46 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, LFN 2004 AND the Inherent Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.

1.2.    The Application is accompanied by statement in support of the Application, Verifying Affidavit, Affidavit in Support of Application and a Written Address in compliance with the rules governing this kind of application. We rely on the statement, all the depositions in the said Affidavits and the Written Address. We urge this Honourable Court to deem the Affidavits as read.

1. Brief Facts

2.1.    The facts of the case are as deposed to in the Affidavit in Support and the Statement and Grounds of seeking the reliefs. However, by way of summary, on 14th May, 2013 the President of the Federal Republic Nigeria proclaimed state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

2.2.    Consequently, from the 14th May, 2013, the day the proclamation was pronounced, all telecommunication/GSM services provided by 4th to the 7th Respondents under the supervision of the 3rd Respondent in all parts of the 3 affected states were shut down completely indefinitely without any explanation or apology to the various subscribers of their services.

2.3.    The 1st Applicant has his son, Al-Hussain Ibrahim who is a Part 4 student of the Faculty of Law University of Maiduguri. The said Al-Hussain Ibrahim has MTN Nigeria Plc GSM line 0803 705 4220.The 1st Applicant too has MTN Plc, Airtel Plc, Globacom Plc and Etisalat Nigeria Plc GSM lines with the following numbers respectively: 0703 800 7711, 0802 372 8705, 0807 519 1975 and 0809 655 8695. The 1st Applicant severally attempted to call the said Al-Hussain Ibrahim with all the above 4 GSM lines to know his well being but to no avail. The 2nd Applicant similarly tried unsuccessfully to call a friend at Maiduguri.

2.4.    Most of the parents and guardians of students of University of Maiduguri and other federal universities and tertiary institutions in the 3 affected states are suffering from similar psychological trauma as a result of the complete shutting down of the telecommunication/GSM services.

2.5.    The Applicants, residents of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa State are now unreasonably left incommunicado by the act of the Respondents, their privies, servants and assigns.

2.6.    The general public in Nigeria and beyond are also suffering and cannot reach their friends, children, parents, wives, husbands, colleagues and associates resident in the 3 State of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa as a result of shutting down

indefinitely of telecommunications/GSM services following the proclamation of State of Emergency.

2.7.    Business activities and provision of medical services to residents of the affected States is likely to be adversely affected as a result of shutting down of

telecommunication/GSM services to and from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States following the proclamation of State of Emergency.

2.8.    The Applicants now brought this application on behalf of themselves and the general public seeking to enforce their fundamental right to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.

1. ISSUE(S) FOR DETERMINATION

3.0.    Whether the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services to and from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States indefinitely by the Respondents pursuant to the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013, the Regulations made  thereunder or any other law or instrument related thereto is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society?

1. ARGUMENT ON ISSUE

4.1.    We state, at the onset, with respect, that the fundamental right to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and receive and impart ideas and information without interference as guaranteed under Section 39 of the 1999

Constitution is not an absolute right. It is a qualified one. See the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of DIRECTOR OF SSS Vs OLISA AGBAKOBA (1999) LPELR – SC. 5/1995, (1999) 3 NWLR (pt 595) p. 3 @ 40, (1999) 3 S.C 59.

4.2.    However, it is gratifying that the same Constitution provides guideline as to how to derogate from the guaranteed fundamental right. Section 45 of the Constitution provides thus:

45        (1) Nothing in sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this Constitution shall      invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic     society –

a.            In the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

b.            For the purposes of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.

(2) An Act of the National Assembly shall not be invalidated by reason only that it provides for the taking, during periods of emergency, of measures that derogate from the provisions of section 33 or 35 of  this Constitution; but no such measures shall be     taken in pursuance of  any such Act during any period of  emergency save to the extent that those measures  are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of     dealing with the situation that exists during that     period of emergency: Provided that nothing in this section shall authorise any derogation from the provisions of section 33 of this Constitution, except in respect of death resulting from acts of war or authorise any derogation from the provisions of section 36 (8) of this constitution

(3) In this section, a “period of emergency” means any period during which there is in force a Proclamation of a state of emergency declared by the President in exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 305 of this Constitution.” (Underlining supplied for emphasis)

4.3.   A careful reading of the above constitutional provision will reveal that there are 2 basic requirements.

i.   The derogation must be under a law. This requirement excludes arbitrariness. It also affords opportunity for the people to know the detailed provisions of the law that derogates from their basic rights so as to guard against breaking it. When any such law derogating from the fundamental rights is challenged the courts will also have the opportunity to examine the provisions and see whether they can stand or not. As far back as 1920s during colonial era the issue of whether or not government must be guided by law in taking any action that affects rights of the people came up in the case ESHUGBAYI ELEKO Vs THE OFFICER ADMINISTERING THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA No.1 (1928) 6 NILR 19. The Privy Council per Lord Atkin held that: “Their Lordships are satisfied that the opinion which has prevailed that the Courts cannot investigate the whole of the necessary conditions is erroneous. The Governor acting under the Ordinance acts solely under executive powers, and in no sense as a Court. As the executive he can only act in pursuance of the powers given to him by law. In accordance with British jurisprudence no member of the executive can interfere with the liberty or property of a British subject except on the condition that he can support the legality of his action before a court of justice…”

ii. The law must be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. This second requirement is an additional safeguard to ensure that rights of the people are protected even during period of emergency. The law derogating from the basic rights of the people must be subjected to the test of whether or not it is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

4.4.   For the requirement of a law, the State of Emergency (Certain States of the

Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Emergency Powers (General) Regulations, 2013 were enacted. Supposedly that is the basis upon which the Respondents shut down telecommunication/GSM services to and from all parts of the 3 states affected by the proclamation which the Applicants now complain of. It is noteworthy that declaration of state of emergency is fairly new in our democratic experience. The first time we had state of emergency was in 1962 under the Emergency Powers Act No. 1 of 1961. The second was in 2004 when the Emergency Powers Act, 1961 which was not listed in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 was wrongfully relied upon to declare state of emergency. Fortunately or unfortunately our courts did not have the opportunity of pronouncing on the issue. This time around the government avoided repeating that mistake. The learning process is now faster.

4.5.

It is doubtful if the shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services to and from all the 3 affected states is covered by the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Emergency Powers (General) Regulations, 2013. Sadly today 3 weeks after the proclamation the Act and the Regulations made thereunder have not been publicised. This is a big minus. In this digital age one will expect that any law passed by the National Assembly will be pasted in its website immediately. However, three weeks after the proclamation the Act and the regulations made pursuant to it are nowhere to be found in the National Assembly website. The nature of proclamation of a state of emergency whether as a result of war, disturbances or disaster is such that it will affect so many human activities. The citizens must know its details. For example, there were 13 Regulations under the 1962 state of emergency affecting general powers, essential services, retention of services, requisition, billeting, misleading reports, protected places, procession and meetings, control of arms and explosives, curfew, detention of persons, restriction orders and reporting of persons. In 2004 there were 9 Regulations affecting general powers, process and meetings, reporting of persons, control of arms and explosives, curfew, detention of persons, restriction orders, and protected places. There may be more or less Regulations under the present state of emergency. But people are still in the dark. Laws are not hidden in a democratic society.

4.6.   Assuming but not conceding that the action of the Respondents in shutting down telecommunication/GSM services to and from the 3 affected states is covered by any law. The law must satisfy the second test of “reasonably justifiable in a democratic society”. In trying to answer this issue, Your Lordship should bear in mind that our democracy is still at its infancy stage. The Nigerian Supreme Court came close to having the opportunity to make pronouncements on state of emergency in the case of PLATEAU STATE & ANOR. VS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION & ANOR. (2006) NWLR (pt.968) 346. But the case terminated at preliminary stage. We, therefore, have to look at some jurisdictions with similar constitution and longer democratic experience within the common law countries. Canada is a good example. And so when their democracy was faced with similar situation, the Supreme Court of Canada had to lay down the guidelines for ascertaining whether or not a law is reasonably justifiable in democratic society in the case of R Vs OAKES (1986) 1 S.C.R. 103. The Court interpreted Section 11 (d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees freedom of presumption of innocence against the provisions of the Narcotic Control Act, 1970 section 8 which contains “reverse onus” clause which violates presumption of innocence. In coming to conclusion whether or not to justify the limitation, the Court adopted two tests. The first test is that of “an objective related to concerns which are pressing and substantial in a free and democratic society. The second test is that “the means chosen is reasonable and demonstrably justified”. These two tests are akin to our own “reasonably justifiable in a democratic society” clause under Section 45 1999 of the Constitution.

4.7.   The Supreme Court of Canada then identified 3 important criteria to arrive at what is “reasonable and demonstrably justified”. One, the measure must be fair and not arbitrary, carefully designed to achieve the objective in question and rationally connected to that objective. Two, the measure should impair the right in question as little as possible. Three, there must be proportionality between the effect of the limiting measure and the objective.

4.8.   If we apply the above tests to the instant case, the measures adopted by the Respondents may satisfy the first and the third criteria. But they do not satisfy the second criterion. That is to say the measure of shutting down telecommunication/GSM services is not impairing the rights guaranteed under Section 39 of the Constitution as little as possible. Conversely, it is rather impairing the rights of the Applicants and other GSM subscribers as big as possible! If the shutting down of telecommunication services is for only 48 hours, for example, or it only affects few parts of the 3 states, it may satisfy the second criterion. During the revolution in Egypt Internet was only shut down for 2 to 3 days and there was outcry. However, in the instant case the shutting down of telecommunication/GSM is complete, indefinite and throughout the affected states. It has so far reached considerable days since 14th May, 2013. The University of Maiduguri alone has students population of over 20, 000. The students have their parents and guardians. There are many other federal institutions of higher learning in the three affected states. There are other Nigerians especially employees of federal government agencies working in the affected states. There are indigenes of the affected states working in so many places within and outside Nigeria. The persons whose rights to freedom of expression, including the right to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference as guaranteed under Section 39 of the Constitution will be over 5 million. This blanked shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services is tantamount to collective punishment and cannot be “reasonably justifiable in a democratic society”.

4.9.   In the case of DIRECTOR OF SSS Vs AGBAKOBA (SUPRA) the Supreme Court of Nigeria considered the provision of Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution which guarantees right to freedom of movement against the provision of Section 5 (1) of the Passport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, CAP 343 LFN 1990 which empowers the Minister of Internal Affairs to seize passport for certain defaults as stated in the Act. It then came to the conclusion that the law authorising seizure of passport of the Applicant was an unjustifiable derogation from his fundamental right to freedom of movement under Section 38 of the 1979 Constitution because he could not travel without the passport.

4.10   The right of the Applicants and other Nigerian citizens to freedom of expression guaranteed under Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution is of fundamental nature. That is why the right is entrenched in the constitution. We submit, with respect, that the burden of proving the legality of action of the Respondents is rested on them. The rights of the citizens and the Applicants living in other parts of the country cannot just be deprived without justification merely because of the existence of State of Emergency in the affected States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. That will enable this Hon. Court to determine whether or not there is good, justifiable and reasonable ground for the complete shutting down of telecommunication/GSM services.

4.11   Since the days of military dictatorship, Nigerian Courts starting from the courageous decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Lakami & Anor Vs. A.G. (West) & Ors (1970) LPELR – SC. 58/69 have held that any law including a military

Decree must be subjected to judicial scrutiny to determine whether or not the

Decree is consistent with the provision of the constitution. Where the also

held that “In the distribution of powers the courts are vested with the exclusive right to determine the justiciable controversies between citizens and the State”.

4.12  See also Barclays Bank of Nigeria Ltd. Vs. CBN (1976) 6 S.C 75; Uwaifo Vs. A.G. Bendel (1992) 7 S.C. 124 @ 281; A.G. Federation Vs. Guardian Ltd. (1999) V. 69 LRCN P. 1531 @ 1569.

4.12   In addition to the constitutional provision, Article 3 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 provides that; “Every individual shall have the right to receive information. And every individual shall have the right to express and disseminate his opinions within the law.” That is the more reason why the Respondents must adhere to this admonishment of our laws in discharging their constitutional/statutory duties and must ensure that their actions and inactions are subjected to the provisions of the1999 Constitution.

4.13   Section 1 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that: “This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria” The Supreme Court has echoed the supremacy of the1999 Constitution in the case of TROUSSEAU INVESTMENT Ltd Vs. EYO (2011) 6 NWLR (pt.1242) p.195 @ 200 RATIO 7.

      Conclusion

5.1      It is the case of the Applicant that the Respondents have shut down telecommunication/GSM services to and from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States supposedly pursuant to the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013 and the Emergency Powers (General) Regulations, 2013 which act have unjustifiably and unreasonably denied the Applicants and other citizens access to communicate with their children, parents, wives, husbands, business and political associate in Nigeria and beyond.

5.2       Having regard to the argument canvassed in this application, with all the authorities cited, we humbly urge this Honourable Court to resolve the sole issue raised in favour of the Applicants and grant all the reliefs sought.

5.3      ALTERNATIVELY, if for any reason this Honourable Court finds that the State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013and the Emergency Powers (General) Regulations, 2013 are reasonably justifiable in democratic society, we urge your lordship to order the Respondents to pay compensation to the Applicants in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 (e) of the Act which provides for payment of compensation to the persons to be affected by the Order. The makers of this provision must be commended. They know that enforcing the state of emergency may affect the rights of some individuals. Hence the provision is inserted to take care of payment of compensation to them.

5.4      We are most obliged to your lordship.

6    List of Authorities

1.     African Charter on Human and peoples’ Rights (Ratification & Enforcement) Act.

2.     Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria 1999 (as Amended 2011).

3.     Emergency Powers Act No. 1 of 1961.

4.     Emergency Powers (General) Regulations, 2013.

5.     Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

6.     Passport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, CAP 343 LFN 1990

7.  State of Emergency (Certain States of the Federation) Proclamation Act, 2013

8.     DIRECTOR OF SSS Vs OLISA AGBAKOBA (1999) LPELR – SC. 5/1995, (1999) 3 NWLR (pt 595) p. 3 @ 40, (1999) 3 S.C 59.

9.    ESHUGBAYI ELEKO Vs THE OFFICER ADMINISTERING THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA No.1(1928) 6 NILR 19

10.  PLATEAU STATE & ANOR. VS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION & ANOR. (2006) NWLR (pt.968) 346

11.    R Vs OAKES (1986) 1 S.C.R. 103.

12.    TROUSSEAU INVESTMENT Ltd  Vs. EYO ( 2011) 6 NWLR (pt.1242) p.

195

13.    Odogu Vs. A.G Federation (2000) 2 HRLRA PAGE 82 AT 86 2

Dated This 10th Day

of June, 2013

……………………

L.A.  Haruna,

Rabiu

Ayuba,

Y.I.

Danbima

Applicant’s Counsel,

C/o L.a. Haruna & Co.

Top floor, Gombe

Chemist Building,

Biu Road,

Gombe,Gombe State.

Email: lucasharuna@yahoo.com

Gsm: 0803 – 4822618

OR

Suite

C – 12, Halima Plaza,

Balanga Street,

Behind Sahad Stores,

Garki II, Abuja.

For Service On The

Respondent

1. The 1st & 2nd Respondents

C/o Federal Ministry of Justice

Central Business District,

Shehu Shagari Way,

Abuja, FCT.

1. 3rd Respondent

Plot 423, Aguyi Ironsi Street,

Maitama District,

Abuja, FCT.

1. The 4th Respondent

MTN Nigeria Ltd,

Golden Plaza, By

Folomo Bridge,

Ikoyi, Lagos State.

1. The 5th Respondent

Airtel Nigeria Ltd.,

Plot 12, Banana Island,

Ikoyi, Lagos.

1. The 6th Respondent

Globacom Ltd.,

Mike Adenuga Towers,

1 M/Adenuga close,

Off Adeola Adeku,

Victoria Island, Lagos.

1. The 7th Respondent

Etisalat Nigeria Ltd.,

Plot 19, Everest

Court, Zone L,

Banana Island,

Ikoyi, Lagos.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Mr. Jonathan Can You See Clearly Now? But It’s Too Little, Too Late! By Bayo Oluwasanmi.


By Bayo Oluwasanmi

If Johny Nash was the embedded musician to boost morale of Nigerian troops in the ongoing campaign against Boko Haram insurgents, his choice of song would have been his all time classic “I can see clearly now the rain is gone …”

But Nash’s special one for the troops would have been: “Mr. Jonathan, can you see clearly now the smoke is coming …? Can you see clearly now the dialogue is dead …? Can you see clearly now the amnesty is dead …? It’s dead, dead, dead … and it’s too little … and too late … It’s dead, dead, dead … the war is on…”

For the first time in his three-year old presidency, Mr. Jonathan as a new Commander-in-Chief (sort of) emerged from the trenches as it were, to take charge.

In his prime time live TV address to the nation, Mr. Jonathan told weary Nigerians that he had declared emergency in Yobe, Borno, and Adamawa states to stem the killing of innocent victims hacked down like trees by Boko Haram loonies.

When the ram’s horn blows a warning shouldn’t the president be alarmed? Against the advice and pleadings of well meaning Nigerians, the self-satisfied president rejected all common sense and tactical approach to the problem.

The Boko Haram terrorists snuffed life from both the dead and the living. Our people staggered from town to town, and village to village. They are like a man who runs from a lion only to meet a bear. The stench of death filled the air. Those who survived were like charred sticks pulled from a fire.
The president, turned into a ping pong ball by the Haramists, was being battered from one end to the other.

At last, Mr. Jonathan realized that he would have to change his leadership style and shift his paradigms to effectively mount the cockpit of fire in order to put out the fire.

How many lives was Mr. Jonathan willing to sacrifice to the Haramists in order to appease them? Why did it take Mr. Jonathan so long to turn off the tap blood of defenseless victims of the barbarians?

Why did the Commander-in-Chief choose dialogue and amnesty as the best counter terrorists’ attack?  What do we make of his eccentric offer of olive branch to the animals? What was the Commander-in-Chief thinking about?

If Mr. Jonathan could not command his troops to halt killings by domestic terrorists, what happens if Nigeria were to be invaded by a foreign army? No doubt, the Commander-in-Chief is neither battle tested nor battle ready!

The last minute presidential decree of emergency issued  by Mr. Jonathan is like a shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion’s mouth but recover only two legs or a piece of an ear. Mr. Jonathan’s action is too little, too late!

The Boko Haram terrorists present two parts to any military conquests – the initial assault and the “mopping up” operation that deals with any lingering resistance. This principle holds true both in military and in politics.

Study the life of some dictators and you’ll quickly detect some pockets of resistance in their respective administrations: insensitive to the needs of the people, the cruelty that surpassed that of Abacha and ignoring the message of God’s prophets (not necessarily pastors).

Pockets of resistance if left unchallenged, can lead to rebellion. Dealing with those pockets is not optional, it is essential if victory is to be achieved.

Problems present a leader to his people as a worthy leader. Problems make the people build trust and confidence in the man.

Mr. Jonathan magnified and sustained the butchery visited on our people by the Boko Harams by running away from his problems instead of making the problems his friend and plunge into it like a true statesman.

Mr. Jonathan’s too little too late response to the insurgent’s hold on Nigeria widens the gap between the people and his administration. As a result, the people felt betrayed and disconnected.

No one is surprised that Mr. Jonathan’s handling of the nation’s problems erodes the remnant trust and confidence Nigerians have in his leadership. We’re confused as to where we came from and where we’re going.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up spinning your wheels – or worse, you could spend years heading in the wrong direction.

The question on everyone’s lip is: Does Mr. Jonathan knows the way?  As if adding insult to injury, Mr. Jonathan did not show any concern or feelings. Rather, in one or two instances the president was having a good time somewhere overseas.

When you know where you should be headed, your priorities become clearer and your actions take on significance.

Mr. Jonathan’s signature governing style is failure to quickly recognize when a course of action needs to be taken promptly and how to get the job done.
Two leadership flaws have become the Siamese twins of the Jonathan administration: lack of will and commitment.

So far, in dealing with our national problems, Mr. Jonathan has amply demonstrated that he lacks commitment and suffers from a scattered focus.
He looks for excuses, he forgets the big picture, he goes public with private thoughts, he adopts the motto “That’s good enough,” he behaves inconsistently, he creates poor relationships, and he avoids changes.

Commitment moves past the mind and emotions and goes straight to the will. The ancient Chinese said that “the will of a man is like a cart pulled by two horses: the mind and the emotions.” You must get both horses moving in the same direction to move the cart.

It is abundantly clear that Mr. Jonathan lacks the will and commitment to govern Nigeria in a more responsive and responsible fashion.
Commitment is when your mind and emotions move forward, whatever the cost. Commitment starts from the heart. Commitment is tested by action. The only real measure of commitment is action. Talk is cheap, action is expensive!

Commitment opens the door for accomplishments. Commitment enables a leader to make decisions. A leader must determine what’s worth dying for, and then make that the basis for decisions.

Commitment flourishes with public accountability.

Consider the stark contrast between the commitments of two leaders – in fighting terrorism – Presidents Obama and Jonathan. While Obama remained resolutely committed to his course and his people, Jonathan was AWOL!

Mr. Jonathan’s commitment drains away; he follows the path of regression. He followed at a distance and he’s torn between the apathetic and the committed. He’s a man without a country!

Take a look at a partial list of content analysis of stories carried by Nigerian newspapers and other media outlets on Mr. Jonathan’s “vows” to root out Boko Haram terrorists.

Mr. Jonathan has for ever been fighting the terrorists with verbal missiles instead of ballistic missiles. Take a look at misguided and misfired verbal missiles by the Commander-in-Chief:

•    Jonathan Vows to Prosecute Those Behind Violence (AllAfrica, April 15, 2011).

•    Jonathan Vows to end Boko Haram menace (AFP, April 19, 2012).

•    Jonathan Vows to Return Nation to Order (Vanguard, April 21, 2011).

•    Nigerian President vows to bring terrorism under Control, go after group that bombed UN building. (Associated Press, August 27, 2011.

•    UN Building Bombing- Jonathan Vows to Track Down Bombers (Daily Trust, August 28, 2011).

•    Jonathan Vows To Crush Terror Groups, Says Sponsors of Terror groups now unveiled (Nigeria Tribune, Sep. 23, 2011).

•    President Jonathan Vows to Combat Security as Nigeria Celebrates its 51st Independence Day. (IQ4News, October 1, 2011).

•    Jonathan Vows to get bombers (Vanguard, October 2, 2010) .

•    As Boko Haram changes gear, Mars Eid-El-Kabir celebrations in North, Jonathan vows to protect Nigerians (national Daily Newspaper, November 6, 2011).

•    Christmas carnage in Nigeria, Nigeria’s president vows to bring those responsible to justice. (CNN, Dec., 25, 2011).

•    President Jonathan Vows To Exterminate Boko Haram (blanknewsonline, December 26, 2011).

•    Jonathan vows to “crush terrorists” (Reuters, Dec. 31, 2011).

•    Jonathan vows to protect Nigerians (National Daily, Nov. 6, 2011).

•    Jonathan vows vengeance to “crush the terrorists” who set off a series of bombs across Nigeria on Christmas Day (Mail & Guardian, South Africa, Dec 31, 2011).

•    “…It’s fight to finish, Jonathan vows (The Punch, January 1, 2012).

•    Jonathan Vows to Check Destabilization Plot (ThisDay, Jan 17, 2012).

•    We’ll wipe out Boko Haram – Jonathan (The Punch, January 23, 2012).

•    Revenge attacks follow Nigeria Church blasts, Goodluck Jonathan …vows to end the spate of mindless attacks and killings” Al Jazeera (March 12, 2012).

•    Jonathan Vows to End Boko Haram Menace in June (Yonhap News Agency, South Korea, March 28, 2012).

•    I will deal with Boko Haram, Jonathan vows (April 13, 2012).

•    Jonathan vows to end Boko Haram Menace (AFP News, April 19, 2012).

It is evident from President Jonathan’s vows of verbal missiles that all he has been doing is whitewashing the pump which will not purify the water.
Mr. President, to overwork one’s own fault is to miss a valuable free education!

*** A man can be no bigger than the number of people from whom he genuinely cares.
byolu@aol.com

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Families Of 40 Police Officers Killed In Kano Yet To Be Compensated.


Photo: Daily Independent Nigera
By SaharaReporters, New York

Members of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North heard today in Kano that compensation has yet to be paid to the families of the 40 officers killed in a Boko Haram attack on January 20, 2012.

A total of 192 persons, including security personnel from the Department of State Security Services (DSS), Immigration and Customs, were killed.

Members of the committee, who were conducted around the State Police Headquarters, were also told that the Command’s Bomb Disposal Unit has intercepted over 6000 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), most of which were detonated. They inspected assorted explosives seized from suspected militants of the Islamic sect.

Speaking during the occasion, the chairman of the committee, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, dispelled the notion of a contradiction between the work of his committee and emergency rule in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States.

Nigeria is not at war,” he declared, adding that even in countries where there is war, dialogue is also applied.

“No responsible government will sit down and allow a group of individuals to threaten lives and properties. The issue is that those who want to take the option of dialogue will have it; and those who want to continue to fight will continue to fight.”

The Committee also met with members of the bereaved families of the slain police officers, and the Alhaji Turaki promised that efforts would be geared towards their immediate compensation.

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