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Update: How Nigerian officials received Nyanya bombing suspect from Sudan

Ogwuche Interpole

Aminu Ogwuche reportedly fled to Sudan immediately after the April 14 bomb blast.

The International Police, INTERPOL, on Tuesday handed over the alleged mastermind of a Nyanya bomb blast, Aminu Ogwuche, to Nigerian security.

The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, first said this through its twitter handle @DefenceInfoNG.

“Ogwuche, the Nyanya Bombing Mastermind was received at the Abuja Airport 3:150PM today, Now in Nigerian Security Custody #CounterInsurgency,” it said.

Not long after, officials briefed journalists on the matter, saying the suspect was extradited from Sudan.

The Coordinator, National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, led the spokespersons of the police, Frank Mba; Department of State Services (DSS), Marilyn Ogar; and Defence Headquarters, Chris Olukolade, to receive the suspect.

Mr. Ogwuche was declared wanted by the federal government on May 15 shortly after the DSS paraded some suspects in connection with the bombing which led to the death of at least 75 people.

Also declared wanted was Abubakar Tsiga, said to be chief mastermind of the bombing.

Shortly after Mr. Ogwuche was declared wanted, he was arrested by the International Police Organisation, INTERPOL, in Sudan, where he fled to. The extradition process back to Nigeria was kept a top secret by the security agencies for operational reasons.

However, on Tuesday the police sent a text inviting journalists to cover the unveiling of a “Special Counter-Terrorism Equipment’’ at the airport.

A few minutes after the journalists arrived at the airport, only photographers and television cameramen were invited to take photographs of the special equipment.

At about 3.20 p.m., the spokesperson of the DSS emerged from the arrival hall, beaming with smile and announced the arrival of Mr. Ogwuche, saying “here is the special counter-terrorism equipment.”

Mr. Ogwuche was guarded by plain clothed security operatives into an 18-seater Toyota bus and driven away.

Addressing journalists later, Mr. Omeri said that the suspect would be interrogated and prosecuted.

“We have just successfully been able to secure his (Ogwuche’s) extradition from Sudan and he is back to his home country to answer questions.

“The usual procedure will take place; he will be interrogated appropriately and charged to court when all the processes are concluded.

“The fight against insurgency and the effort to get our girls back is top a priority of the Federal Government,’’ Mr. Omeri said.

The accused, a U.K.-born Nigerian, was a soldier with service number SVC 95/104 but deserted the army in 2006.

He served in the Intelligence Unit of the Nigerian Army at Child Avenue, Arakan Barracks, Lagos, between 2001 and 2006.

He was arrested on November 12, 2011 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on arrival from the U.K. for suspected involvement in terrorism-related activities.

He was, however, released on bail to his father, Agene Ogwuche, a retired colonel, on October 15, 2012, following intense pressure from human rights activists, who alleged human rights violation, the SSS said.

The elder Ogwuche, a retired colonel in the Nigerian Army in 2012, had pledged to produce his son when needed for questioning.

On May 15, the State Security Service arrested the suspect’s father, Agene Ogwuche, following a breach of bond, which he signed while taking his son’s bail in 2012.

UPDATED: Jonathan nominates FRSC boss, Chidoka, one other as minister

Osita Chidoka

The Nigerian senate has received communication from President Goodluck Jonathan nominating the Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Osita Chidoka, and  Abubakar Olanrewaju from Kwara, as ministers.

If confirmed by the senate, Mr. Chidoka, an indigene of Anambra state, would replace in the Federal cabinet the former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, who was removed from her post after media reports accused her of abuse of office.

He has been nominated Ms. Oduah’s replacement ahead of former Governor Peter Obi who, though a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, was repeatedly touted for the slot.

Mr. Osita’s second tenure as head of Nigeria’s road safety agency ends in June 2015.

Mr. Olarenwaju, a lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Abuja, would be replacing former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi in the federal executive council.

He is a surprise nominee as the names of Gbemisola Saraki, a former senator,  and Dele Belgore, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), have repeatedly been touted for the post.

The President only on Wednesday sworn in four new ministers – Ibrahim Shekarau (Education), Adedayo Adeyeye (Minister of State for Works) Stephen Oru (Niger Delta) and Abdul Bulama (Science and Technology).

President Jonathan also forwarded to the senate the names of Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and Ebenezer Fobi, for confirmation to the Senate as director-general and commissioner South-South zone.

The Pension Reform Act states that the commission shall comprise a part time chairman, director-general, four commissioners and seven part-time members.

The Act also provides that the appointment of the chairman, the director-general and other members of the commission, other than ex-officio members, shall be made by the president subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Mr. Jonathan said the request was in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004, following the expiration term of the acting director-general of PENCOM and the commissioner representing South-South.

He expressed the hope that the request would receive the usual expeditious consideration and confirmation of the Senate.

(NAN)

 

 

Osun Governorship Election: Omisore accepts open debate with Aregbesola

Mr. Omisore, PDP,  declaring his intention to run for governorship of Osun state recently

The PDP governorship candidate in Osun, Iyiola Omisore, has accepted the challenge to an open debate with Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress.

The acceptance is contained in a statement circulated to journalists in Osogbo on Tuesday by Diran Odeyemi, Mr. Omisore’s Director of Media Affairs.

Governor Aregbesola, the APC candidate in the August 9 election, had thrown the challenge at the inauguration of Ayegbaju International Market on Tuesday in Osogbo.

However, the statement said the governor must ensure that security prevailed for
the debate to take place.

“Assurance of safety, among other things, would make Omisore to attend the debate,” the statement said.

“When an argument is being made between two different parties for instance, it may result in physical assault and harassment.

“The senator is a complete gentleman and a holder of Ph.D. So, we need an assurance that there will be no physical assault on him,” the statement added.
(NAN)

Shettima orders investigation into mass abduction of women

Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima

There were reports of about 60 women abducted in a place near Chibok.

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno has ordered an investigation into alleged abduction of 60 women by suspected insurgents in Damboa Local Government Area of the state.

This is contained in a statement by Isa Gusau, his Special Adviser on Communications.

Mr. Gusau stated in Maiduguri on Wednesday that the governor was disturbed by reports on the alleged mass abduction.

“Governor Shettima has read with serious concern, media reports about yet another abduction in part of Damboa Local Government Area of the state.

“He has since directed the chairman of the affected local government and other government officials from the affected areas to make very urgent but accurate enquiries from communities.

“He also directed them report to him as soon as they can, even as security agencies take appropriate actions.

“The governor views the reported abduction with all the seriousness it deserves.

“He is also worried that weighty developments such as information concerning the abduction of 60 persons require careful enquiry in order to obtain information that is comprehensive and beyond any reasonable doubt.

“The governor is worried that only recently, leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association were reported as refuting similar reports that some 30 Fulani women were kidnapped at a community in Chibok,” Mr. Gusau stated.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported on the alleged kidnap of the scores of women.

“The women were abducted between Thursday and Sunday in southern Borno villages of Kummabza, Yaga and Dagu, Damboa local government area, Borno State”, said Abba Aji Khalil, the Command of Sector 5 unit of the Civilian-JTF.

“Some suspected Boko Haram members invaded Kumanza, Yaga and Dagu villages and kidnapped 91 persons. More than sixty married women and young girls, the rest 31 were young men and were forcefully taken away by Boko Haram terrorists. Four villagers who tried to escape were shot dead on the spot,” Mr. Khali added.

Boko Haram activities un-Islamic – Governor Aliyu

Babangida Aliyu

Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State on Monday in Kaduna condemned the activities of members of the Boko Haram terrorist group, saying that it was un-Islamic.

Mr. Aliyu, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, said this at the international conference on Security and Development Challenges of Pastoralists in West and Central Africa

According to Aliyu, Boko Haram is un-Islamic and must be condemned, adding that the right Jihad in this 21st century is the one that improves the standard of living rather than seek to destroy lives.

“Boko Haram is un-islamic. Islam is about moderation and not extremism. Jihad is about how to make peace and life better, not how to kill people.’’

Earlier, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, lamented that pastoralism had become a security threat.

According to Mr. Adesina, pastoralism has over the years been a seasonal and mutually beneficial traditional livestock management and production system which had worked well between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers.

“Pastoralism has become a worrisome practice characterised by incessant clashes of unimaginable proportions usually resulting in huge losses of lives and property.’’

He said that previous interventions to curb pastoralists-farmers clashes had been largely unsuccessful because of the growing foreign dimension to the conflict.

The minister noted that there had been reports of some of these foreign migrant pastoralists carrying dangerous weapons and assault rifles.

“This is not the usual pastoralists that we know in Nigeria, who for decades have lived in harmony with their communities. Criminality has increased, especially with the menace of cattle rustling.

“The issue is no longer an agriculture problem. It is a national security problem and we need an integrated set of solutions that includes agriculture and security.

“We must face these challenges squarely, be frank and realistic in our solutions.

“One thing is clear: the status quo of unbounded pastoralism can no longer continue. These solutions can no longer be just national,’’ he said.

Mr. Adesina harped on the need for a regional solution, stressing the need to “think out of the box’’.

“Old traditions must give way to new realities and challenges. Moving animals, instead of beef, can no longer be sustained.’’

According to him, movement of animals without tracking systems for animals or record of the animals for traceability can no longer be sustained in the face of rising conflicts, criminality and insecurity.

“We must accept that just like humans cannot move between places without identification, it is no longer tenable for migrant pastoralists, whether local or foreign, to move without any identification.

“We must accept that just like cars cannot move without licenses or chassis number, the days that animals are without labels, records and tracking are limited.

“As a government, we must change our approach. Our communities must change, and within ECOWAS, we must change.

“One fundamental change that must be made, which is structural is that we must end the practice of moving animals.

“Rather, we should be moving beef, not animals. This requires that urgent priority be placed on West and Central Africa developing its Halal-meat industry,’’ Adesina stated.

The Speaker of House of Representative, Aminu Tambuwal, said there was need to constantly create avenues where pastoralists and farmers could meet to discuss areas of conflicts before they get out of hand.

He noted that if there was good communication avenue between the two classes of food producers, there would be less reason for battles.

“I urge the media to help us in this regard by resisting the urge to portray pastoralists as the eternal drivers of conflicts.

“Sometimes, they are also victims and sometimes, it is not the herdsmen that are involved but some cattle rustlers and mercenaries.

“These things are more complicated than they are sometimes portrayed.

“I must commend the initiative of Mr. (Sambo) Dasuki (National Security Adviser) and his team and I hope that we will continue to see more of these kinds of interventions.

“This will help us to better understand the issues before rolling out policies for them,’’ Mr. Tambuwal said.

(NAN)

 

PDP attributes victory at Ekiti poll to party’s adherence to internal democracy

PDP Chairman, Adamu Muazu

The PDP on Sunday attributed its victory at the just-concluded Ekiti State governorship election to its strict adherence to the principles of internal democracy.

This is contained in a statement issued by Olisa Metuh, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, in Abuja.

The statement, which congratulated the Governor-elect of the state, Ayodele Fayose, described his victory at the election as well deserved.

The statement further attributed PDP’s victory to the transparent conduct of its governorship primary which produced a popular candidate that was the choice of party members.

According to it, the victory is also a clear confirmation of PDP’s position that the APC is not really on ground and has no genuine followership even in states it controls.

It thanked the people of Ekiti State for their support and urged the governor-elect to ensure an all-inclusive administration that would revamp and reposition the state.

This, it said, should be done in line with the manifesto and ideology of the PDP.

The statement urged the APC to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship by accepting defeat and congratulating the PDP and the governor-elect.

According to the statement, the handwriting has since been on the wall as evident in the massive support Mr. Fayose has been receiving since emerging as PDP candidate.

“We demand of the APC, the sportsmanship required of democrats in an electoral contest by congratulating the victorious candidate.

“Its like as we did in Edo State where it won, and in Ondo and Anambra states where Labour and APGA won respectively, instead of taking to incitement and other bad loser syndrome,” the statement said.

It further congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan on his principled stand on the legacy of credible elections, adding that his commitment remained the greatest motivation to the new story of credible polls in Nigeria.

“He has effectively put behind us, the story of Nigeria as an electoral pariah in the international community,” the statement said.

It described the Ekiti governorship poll as credible, free and fair, adding that it was an unequivocal statement on the preference of the PDP by the entire people of the state and Nigerians.

“We are particularly elated that the will of the people of Ekiti State prevailed.

“We sincerely congratulate them for realising their yearning for a truly democratically elected administration in their dear state,’’ the statement said.

It added that the outcome of the election confirmed the popularity and acceptability of the PDP and its candidate.

This, it said, brought to the front burner, the genuineness of the crowd that thronged the PDP rallies across the country, especially in Ekiti State.

The statement commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for their contributions for the successful conduct of the election.

Mr. Fayose got 200,390 votes to emerge winner of the election, while the incumbent, Governor Kayode Fayemi, got 120,433 votes.

The election was contested by 18 candidates from different political parties

(NAN)

 

 

Fayose dedicates victory to Ekiti people

Governor-elect Ayodele Fayose

The governor-elect of  Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, on Sunday  dedicated his victory in Saturday’s governorship election to the people of the state.

Mr. Fayose told  the  News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado-Ekiti  that  his victory reflected the wishes  of the people of the state.

The governor-elect, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, described the election that produced him as free, fair and credible.

He promised to improve the living standard of the people by providing job opportunities and making education affordable.

Also reacting, the Labour Party’s candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele, said, “I am not desperate to be governor.”

Mr. Bamidele, however, said that he remained a credible alternative for the position of governor in the state.

Asked whether he regretted not collaborating with Mr. Fayose in prosecuting the election, Mr. Bamidele said he turned down the request because he still had the ambition of becoming the governor of the state.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Kayode Fayemi, Olayinka Oyebode, however, told NAN that his boss would react to the outcome of the election at the appropriate time.

(NAN)

 

Fayose dethrones Fayemi, sweeps Ekiti governorship election

L-R: Kayode Fayemi 9All Progressives Congress); Ayo Fayose, (Peoples Democratic Party); Opeyemi Bamidele (Labour Party).... Photo Credit: nationalmirroronline.net

Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] has won Saturday’s governorship election held in Ekiti State, with what appears a landslide.

To emerge winner, Mr. Fayose polled a total of 203,090 votes, winning the highest number of votes in all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state.

Incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress [APC], who is his closest challenger, came a distant second, garnering 120,433 votes.

The candidate of the Labour Party [LP], Opeyemi Bamidele, received a paltry 18,135 votes.

“Having satisfied the requirements of the law and scoring the highest numbers of votes, Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party is therefore returned elected,” the chief returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Isaac Asuzu, said while announcing the result.

In Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Fayose got 41, 169 votes to beat Fayemi who had  13, 927 votes and Mr. Bamidele with 2,065 votes.

While Mr. Fayose polled 5,335 votes in Effon Local Government Area,  Mr. Fayemi had 3,422 with Mr. Bamidele garnering 358 votes.

In Emure Local Government Area, Mr. Fayose had 7,086 while Fayemi got 4,332 with Bamidele recording 1,527 votes.

The PDP’s candidate got 11, 200 votes in Oye Local Government Area while the APC candidate polled 10, 176 votes and Labour trailed with 512 votes.

While Mr. Fayose had 3,670 votes in Ilejemeje Local Government Area, Mr. Fayemi got 3,336 votes and Mr. Bamidele garnered 165 votes.

In Ikere Local Government Area, the PDP’s candidate scored 16,197 votes while APC had 7,989, with Labour polling 585.

Mr. Fayose also led in Ikole Local Government Area with 14,238 votes with APC scoring 8,804 and Labour Party, 1,259.

The PDP flagbearer hauled in 11,038 votes in Ekiti South West Local Government while APC had 6,745 and Labour Party, 1,413.

While Mr. Fayose had 13,814 votes in Ijero Local Governement Area, Mr. Fayemi scored 9,348, and Mr. Bamidele followed with 1,554 votes.

In Mr. Fayose’s Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government, the PDP candidate polled 13,038 votes while Mr. Fayemi came second with 6,834 and Labour coming third with 3,555 votes.

Mr. Fayose was also victorious with 12,498 votes in Ekiti East Local Government Area while Mr. Fayemi had 8,584 and Mr. Bamidele,  762.

In Moba, the PDP candidate scored 8,878 votes, APC had 7994 and Labour 1,000.

Mr. Fayose had a vote haul of 10,136 votes in Ise/Orun Local Government to defeat Mr. Fayemi who got 5,809 and Mr. Bamidele who had 600.

In Gbonyin Local Government Area, the PDP’ candidate had 11,046 votes, APC got 8138 while Labour Party got 714.

Mr. Fayose raked in 10,702 votes in Ekiti West Local Government Area while Mr. Fayemi had 7,860 and Labour 884.

In Ido-Osi, the PDP candidate had 1,3045 votes to beat the APC flag bearer who  had 7134 votes and Labour  candidate who got 1,182.

Eighteen political parties fielded candidates in the election which held in 177 wards.

Find below votes won by the three main political parties in the election.

RESULT OF ELECTION BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

LGs                   APC      LP        PDP

 Ado-Ekiti     13,927    2,065    41,169

Efon                3,422    358      5,335

Ekiti-East     8,584      884       12,498

Ekiti S/W    6,746      1,413    11,038

Ekiti-West     7,860    884         10,702

Emure          4,332      1,527     7,086

Gbonyin         8,138     714        11,046

Ido-Osi           7,134     1,182     13,045

Ifelodun       6,834    3,555    13,038

Ikere             7,989      585     16,197

Ikole            8,804      1,259   14,238

Ijero            9,348       1,554    13,814

Ilejemeje     3,336      165     3,670

Ise                    5,809     600      10,136

Moba             7,994      1,000    8,878

Oye                 10,176   512     11,200

 TOTAL     120,433    18,135    203,090

Read our live-blog of the election here.

Governor Okorocha condemns attempt to bomb church in Owerri

Police detonated two bombs at Winners Chapel, Port Harcourt Road, Owerri.... Photo Credit: Onumara Onyekachi

Mr. Okorocha said that the explosives planted at the church premises could have killed many innocent people, if they had exploded.

——————————————————————————–

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has condemned Sunday’s attempt to bomb the Living Faith Church, located on Port Harcourt Road, Owerri.

Mr. Okorocha, who addressed journalist, condemned the act, and commended the security agencies for their timely intervention.

The two deadly  improvised explosive devices (IEDs)  were  hidden under a flower pot at the entrance to the church.

The governor urged the people of the state to be security conscious at all times and to report any strange objects or movement around them to security agencies.

Mr. Okorocha said that the explosives planted at the church premises could have killed many innocent people, if they had exploded.

The Commissioner of Police in Imo, Abdulmajid Ali, however said six persons had been arrested in connection with the incident.

He also said the anti-bomb squad deployed to the church detonated the bomb on arrival.

Rivers Chief Judge Controversy: NJC directs most senior judge to act

Judge_143576235

“Suffice it to say that the law abhors a vacuum, therefore, where there is a vacuum, the law must fill it.”

About 24 hours after the Rivers State government accused the National Judicial Council, NJC, of plotting to illegally impose an acting chief judge on the state, the council on Tuesday directed the most senior judges in the Rivers High Court and Customary Court of Appeal to oversee the assigning cases to judges.

This is contained in a statement signed by Soji Oye, Acting Director of Information, NJC’s office, in Abuja.

The statement stated that the two senior judges would also perform other related administrative duties.

It said the NJC took the decision at its 67th meeting held on May 27 during which it deliberated on the non-appointment of a substantive or acting Chief Judge for the state.

The statement noted with concern the attendant consequences of this development on administration of justice.

It stated that NJC took the decision to correct the impression created on NJC’s decision on the appointment of the Rivers chief judge.

“Suffice it to say that the law abhors a vacuum, therefore, where there is a vacuum, the law must fill it,’’ it stated.

It would be recalled that NJC had on March 27 suspended Justice Peter Agumagu, as the Chief Judge of Rivers who was sworn-in by Gov. Rotimi Amaechi on March 18.

Agumagu, until his appointment as chief judge, which NJC said breached Section 271 of the 1999 Constitution, was a former President, Rivers Customary Court of Appeal.

Mr. Agumagu has challenged his suspension and the suit is before an Abuja Federal High Court.

Ibim Semenitari, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, on Tuesday called on the public to hold the NJC responsible for any break down of law and order which its “planned-intermeddling with the administration of Justice in Rivers State shall inexorably occasion.”

The Rivers State government and the judicial body have been at daggers drawn over the appointment of a Chief Judge for the state.

While Rotimi Amaechi, the state governor, gave the nod to Mr. Agumagu to occupy the position; the NJC preferred Daisy Okocha, the most senior High Court judge in Rivers State.

In March, following a suit filed by the state government, Justice Lawal Akanbi ruled that the governor was not under obligation to accept the recommendation of the NJC on the appointment of a Chief Judge.

Irked by the court’s ruling and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Agumagu as the Chief Judge, the NJC suspended him, stating that his appointment was illegal.

In their statement, Sunday, the Rivers State government said that in addition to the NJC’s surreptitious move to install Mrs. Okocha, they also intend to direct all the judges of the Rivers State judiciary to accept directives and instructions from her.

“This is clearly against the Judgement of the Federal High Court which voided NJC’s recommendation of this same Judge,” the statement read.

“The NJC, to disguise its disrespect for the Law and give the impression that it is acting within the Law, has planned to christen the said Justice Daisy Wotube Okocha as an ‘Administrative Judge’ with powers to perform the functions of the Chief Judge especially the assignment of cases.

“The Rivers State Government wonders what special interest the Chief Justice in person, and the NJC, in general, have in Rivers State and its Judiciary as to contemplate such obviously unconstitutional and illegal act against the state judiciary which act is also contemptuous of a Federal High Court’s Judgment which has voided NJC’s recommendation of Justice Daisy Wotube Okocha for appointment as Chief Judge of Rivers State,” the statement added.

Ms. Semenitari further stated that according to the State’s High Court Law, it is the Chief Judge that has powers to assign cases to judges and not any other person whether known as Administrative or Most Senior Judge.

“The contraption and contrivance known as ‘Administrative Judge’ to perform the functions of a State Chief Judge is unknown to both the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Rivers State’s High Court Law,” she said.

“The public and in particular, Rivers People, are further informed that all issues pertaining to this matter of Justice Daisy Wotube Okocha and her desire to be the Chief Judge of Rivers State with the active support of the NJC, are subject of various litigation in various courts including the one Justice Okocha herself appealed against.”

The Rivers State government further said that it would seek redress in a court if the NJC continues to disobey the Constitution and the court ruling.

“Rivers State Government wishes to state that it shall administratively and legally use all ways and means known to Law, including its powers under the Constitution and all other extant Laws, to resist the over-arching desire and attempts by some politicians in the NJC who hope to use their membership of the NJC to hijack the Rivers State Judiciary for their Group’s political ends while pretending to be politically neutral.

“Finally, the Rivers State Government, which holds the NJC, as a body, in high esteem especially because its members are eminent members of the Learned Profession of Law, however, is constrained to call on Nigerians to hold the Body and its leadership solely responsible for any break down of Law and Order which its planned-intermeddling with the administration of Justice in Rivers State shall inexorably occasion,” it added.

Mutiny: Nigerian military redeploy’s controversial commanding officer

soldiers

“The GOC has been redeployed based on the decision of the headquarters,” he said.

The Defence Headquarters on Thursday announced the redeployment of Ahmed Mohammed as the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Maiduguri.

Chris Olukolade, the Director of Defence Information, made the announcement at a news conference in Maiduguri.

“The GOC has been redeployed based on the decision of the headquarters,” he said.

He said an acting GOC had been appointed to oversee the affairs of the division.

He assured that the redeployment of the GOC would not affect the ongoing anti-terrorism war of the Nigerian military.

“Let me assure that the military will sustain the current tempo in the fight against insurgents,” he said.

Mr. Olukolade, a Major General, however, denied reports that Mr. Mohammed, a Major General, was wounded in the Wednesday’s protest by some soldiers, who fired at his official car during a sympathy visit.

“The GOC or his aides were not wounded during the incident; let me say again that nobody was injured during the incident,” he said.

The spokesperson said the Defence Headquarters had instituted a military inquiry into the unruly behaviour by the soldiers, who fired shots during the GOC’s visit.

“On May 13, our troops, who had been on an assignment in Chibok, were returning to Maiduguri when they were ambushed in Dalwa, few kilometres to the city.

“One officer and five soldiers were killed, while a number of others were wounded.

“The division has embarked on the normal recovery processes to recover wounded soldiers for treatment and to evacuate the bodies of those killed to the morgue.

“The General Officer Commanding (GOC) was touched by the incident. So, he wanted to sympathise with the troop by addressing those present.

“In the process, some soldiers became unruly and began to fire some shots into the air.

“The situation was quickly brought under control and normalcy restored as there was calm in the cantonment and normal operational activities are ongoing.”

He said the inquiry would come out with exact situation of things based on which the military authorities will take next action.

He described the situation as sad, saying, “the Nigerian Army is poised to uphold its principle of discipline and loyalty to service”.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported security sources confirming the attack by the aggrieved soldiers on Mr. Mohammed’s car.

The soldiers blamed Mr. Mohammed for the death of their colleagues killed in the Boko Haram ambush.

Sources said the soldiers were ambushed while on a special operation in Kalabalge Local Government Area where locals had on Tuesday morning killed about 150 insurgents and arrested 10 others.

After the operation, during which some military equipment were recovered from the insurgents, the soldiers who had arrived the council, were asked to return to Maiduguri.

The soldiers reportedly pleaded with their superiors to pass the night and return to Maiduguri the next morning, as the night trip would be too risky.

Their request was allegedly turned down and the troop had to drive in the night back to Maiduguri.

But half way through their journey, they ran into a Boko Haram ambush and 12 of them got killed while some others were injured, sources said. The military had claimed on Wednesday that only four soldiers died, before it increased the figure to six on Thursday.

“Those commanding the troop declined their request to pass the night in one of the villages on the grounds that the top ranks at the headquarters of the 7 Division would not be pleased if they don’t go back to Maiduguri that night,” said a ranking soldier, who sought anonymity.

(NAN)

Aregbesola, Fayemi get APC governorship tickets

APC National Summit 4

Governors Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti have been declared winners of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) governorship primaries in their states.

In Osun, Nasir El-Rufai, the Chief Returning Officer of the Planning Committee of the primary, announced Mr. Aregbesola as the winner in Osogbo on Saturday.

Mr. El-Rufai said, “About 355,729 members registered for the party and 269,631 came out to vote with their membership voter cards for the primary.’’

He said the primary was smooth and well organised in all the 332 wards in the state.

The governor, who was the only candidate in the primary, has thus secured the APC governorship ticket in the Aug. 9 election.

He urged the people of Osun to come out en masse on Aug. 9 to vote for him and urged them to ensure that their votes counted.

The governor restated his readiness to serve the people for another four years in order to complete ongoing projects.

In Ekiti, Mr. Fayemi emerged winner with 192,767 votes.

Chairman of the six-man national electoral panel, Osita Izunaso, who announced the results in Ado-Ekiti, said the figures were generated from votes cast at Saturday’s council and state congresses.

He said Mr. Fayemi scored 22,314 votes in Oye, 21,814 in Ado-Ekiti, 8793 in Ikere, 10, 983 in Gbonyin,   10,704 in Ekiti East, 16, 848 in Ekiti South-West, and 8,801 in Ise/Orun.

Others are: Emure, 6,623, Ijero, 13,454, Irepodun/Ifelodun, 13,151, Ekiti West, 12, 198, Efon, 7,548, Ido/Osi, 10,472, Moba, 10,146, Ilejemeje, 5,157 and Ikole, 13,751.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Fayemi said he was humbled by the solidarity displayed for him by the party members across the state.

He vowed to justify the confidence reposed in him by winning the governorship election for the party on June 21.

Meanwhile, the APC in Osun on Saturday recorded a large turn-out of party faithful for its local government congress in Ede, Egbedore and Ejigbo local government areas.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, said the party would continue to operate within the laid down rules and constitution of the party.

Mr. Salaam said the massive turnout of people was evidence that the people believed in the continuity of the administration of Mr. Aregbesola.

Senator  Mudashir Hussain (APC-Osun East), said the party would ensure peaceful, free and fair governorship election in the state.

The Chief Whip of the State House of assembly, Ipoola Binuyo, said the people of the state would resist any form of violence during the election.

Kamil Oyedele, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, said the party would ensure that one man, one vote principle was adhered to.