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Snippers Training Saga: NHRC Blames AGF, Obasanjo

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said that investigation of the allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Goodluck Jonathan was training and arming a killer squad for this year’s elections has been frustrated by lack of cooperation by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, SAN, and Obasanjo himself.
The Chairman of the NHRC, Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, who disclosed this in Abuja, said both individuals, who were key to the investigation, refused to avail the commission of necessary evidence.
Odinkalu said both men had refused to honour NHRC’s requests to furnish it with the necessary information and evidence it required to carry out the investigation.
Obasanjo had, in an 18-page letter to Jonathan in December 2013, accused the president of among others, keeping over 1000 people on his political watch list while also secretly training snipers and other armed personnel as well as acquiring weapons for political purposes.
The president then, minuted on the letter to the AGF, who in turn, forwarded that aspect of the letter to the NHRC for investigation.
Odinkalu said the commission, in trying to give all the parties the opportunity to make representations, had written both men twice, but got no response.
He said: “What happened was very straightforward. We need materials and evidence from different people. We have written to the Attorney General of the Federation to give us his evidence. We have written to General Obasanjo to give us his evidence. And we have heard from neither side. Now we have repeated the demand, we have heard from neither side.
According to him, “The process is facts-based. It is evidence-led. We are not going to sit down here and manufacture evidence. We wanted to give everybody a chance before proceeding. Again, we wanted to convene a public hearing, but again, it was close to the elections.”
“So, we took a deliberate decision that we did not want to make that a factor in the elections. After the elections, we are going to convene that hearing. But if the attitude continues, which is that neither side is willing to give us evidence, we will adjourn it sine die (indefinitely),” he said.
Odinkalu also explained why the commission decided not to go public on its conclusion of the case of right abuse made against the Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, by his wife, Clara.
Mrs Chime had accused her husband of keeping her incommunicado against her wish on allegation that she was mentally unstable.
“The commission also has the responsibility to fashion remedies to fit the facts. In the case of the wife of the Enugu State governor, the most important thing for us was that there is a child, who is barely four years old. We have a responsibility to that child. And everything we have done has been focused on making sure that that child is protected. Everything we did was done in the best interest of that child,” he said.

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity

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Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari

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Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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