By SP Haruna Mohammed,
In what initially started as a peaceful protests against alleged Police brutality, which has attracted both national and international attention, a swift response has been gotten from the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu. This led to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), as well as taking other positive steps, to address the matter in order to avert a breakdown of law and order.
But, despite frantic efforts by the government to address the matter amicably, all of a sudden, hoodlums–in Anambra, like in other States–hijacked the protests, launching vicious and ‘murderous’ attacks on police personnel and their facilities, on the night of 21st October 2020, in Nnewi, through to the evening of 24th October 2020 in Uli.
Tragically, at the end of these callous attacks, four Police officers including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Osumenyi Division, CSP Akpan Joseph, ASP Agu Micheal, the Station Officer (SO), Osumenyi Division and a young PC Udegbunam Sunday Celestine, were all sent to the great beyond by these blood-thirsty hoodlums, while they also left many others injured. In their state of desperation, they also murdered and beheaded Insp John Oche, attached to the Command Anti- Cult Unit, burnt his body to ashes and his head paraded on the streets in Ogidi area.
Aside human loss, 12 Police formations were completely razed down, seven Divisional Police Stations vandalized, two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) were damaged beyond repairs, while 27 Police vehicles, along with personal and exhibits vehicles were burnt completely.The degree of the carnage makes one to wonder what the offence of the Police could have been.
In the wake of those coordinated attacks, some patriotic youths, traditional/community leaders, vigilante groups and other residents of Anambra State join the police in the defence of various police formations, due to robust synergy with the Command and other law enforcement agencies, which has greatly helped in calming down the situation and averted further attacks by the hoodlums in the State.
Following the unfortunate incidents, our pragmatic and visionary Commissioner of Police John B. Abang, visited different Police Stations burnt and vandalized during the #ENDSARS protests, for an on-the-spot assessment. Abang, who inspected the levels of destruction done to those facilities, also held interactive discussions with police officers of the affected formations, and sympathized with them on behalf of IGP Adamu.
He encouraged them to overcome the tragedies and focus on their constitutional duties. While reconstruction works was ongoing at the affected areas, temporary operational bases were set up immediately by the Command and our policemen returned to regular operations in the State, despite the setbacks encountered during the protests.
Furthermore, the Command carried out threat analysis and intelligence gathering throughout the State in order to stem the tide of crimes. This was followed by the aggressive
deployment of police operatives, which also includes aerial surveillance, patrols and traffic control, aimed at ensuring that “Ndi Anambra” and other residents alike are adequately protected and secured, taking into cognizance blackspots and vulnerable areas such as Nkpor roundabout, Upper Iweka Axis, Idemili, Owerri road, Onitsha, Enugu Agidi road, Nnobi junction, Ifite Okpuno and other flashpoints.
However, in order to further reassure and restore public confidence in the State, the Command under the watch of CP John Abang, embarked on aggressive confidence building, through awareness campaign and visitation by the Command Public Relations unit.
The aim is to build public confidence and reassure them that Police has occupied the public space in compliance with IGP’s directive, and to confirm that operations have resumed fully in Anambra State.
This will further serve as deterrence and also sent a strong message to the criminal elements that it cannot be business as usual and that the Command will deny them any opportunity to perpetrate crime in the State. It would also ensure the safety and security of all citizens, before during and after the Christmas, and new year celebrations.
Consequently, on the 12 of November, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano paid a visit to our Anambra State Police Command Headquarters, in Awka, to commiserate with the Command over the unfortunate attacks, killing of four police officers and injuring fifteen others during the protest. The Governor condoled the families of four slain officers, the injured and those whose personal properties were destroyed during the protests. He equally presented a welfare package of 2 Million Naira each to families of four deceased Police officers who paid the supreme price during the unfortunate incident, and a cash gift of #250,000 each to fifteen officers injured during the crisis in addition to shouldering their medical expenses.
in his usual tradition of rewarding selfless service, the governor also presented cash reward to selected officers and their personnel who defended their facilities despite the attacks and also made concerted efforts to manage the crisis.
The Governor equally unveiled the ‘New Command Rapid Response Squad’ and donated thirteen vehicles, comprising ten Hilux and three IVM IKENGA, fortified with security gadgets to boost police operations in the State. Since their commissioning, the Command Rapid Response Squad is making so many breakthrough, by drastically reducing heinous crimes such as armed robbery, car snatching and cult-related killings in the State.
Nevertheless, as part of their social responsibilities of promoting safety and security, some business tycoons and other well meaning individuals in the State have commenced the reconstruction of the destroyed facilities at Nbewi, Oraifite, Ukpor and Isiowulu, among other communities in the State. More volunteers are still showing interest to undertake reconstruction of other facilities destroyed during the attacks. One major factor responsible for the overall successes recorded by the Command was the support of the good people of Anambra State, who were very cooperative with the security agencies, as well as the robust inter-agency collaboration, achieved through community policing.
There is need for such kind of collaboration to be sustained. It will do a whole lot of good for Ndi Anambra, while also making the officers and men of the Police Command to rededicate themselves to their constitutional cum sacred duties of protecting the lives of Ndi Anambra, and their valuable properties.
*Mohammed, is the PPRO, Anambra State Police Command*
CBN Denies Freezing #EndSARS Promoters’ Accounts
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has faulted claim that his bank obtained court orders to block accounts associated with promoters of the #EndSARS protests.
Emefiele’s position was stated by his lawyer, former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mike Aondoakaa (SAN) while appearing before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Aondoakaa is the CBN Governor’s lawyer in the case, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020)of CBN v. Bolatito Rachael Oduala and 19 others in which Justice Ahmed Mohammed granted an order freezing the accounts of the defendants for 90 minutes in the first instance.
The former AGF spoke while reacting to remarks by Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), lawyer to Albert A. Ugochuwu and others, whose accounts were also frozen in similar circumstance by another judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo in the case marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/12000/2020.
Aondoakaa, who insisted that his client acted within the provision of Section 60 (b) of the Bank and other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), allows the CBN to apply pending for a freezing order pending conclusion of investigation.
The ex-AGF faulted claim by Adegboruwa that the CBN was going about filing multiple cases to freeze people’s accounts, including those linked with the #EndSARS protests.
He said the CBN did not apply for the freezing of any accounts because of the owners were associated with the #EndSARS protests.
Aondoakaa stated that his client only applied to have the accounts frozen on suspecting questionable transactions in the accounts.
He noted that none of those affected by the orders have claimed, in the processes they filed, that they are #EndSARS protesters.
Arguing earlier, Adegboruwa accused the CBN of filing multiple cases to freeze accounts of people indiscriminately. He cited the case of those associated with the #EndSARS protests.
He argued that the CBN a misconception of Section 60(b) of the BOFIA, and that the CBN lacks the power to conduct investigation into alleged infraction of the law.
Adegboruwa noted that the CBN came before the court on September 21, 2020 and obtained the freezing order pending the conclusion of its investigation.
“The law permitting the CBN to approach the court makes it a clearing house. Not to investigate. The CBN is arrogating the powers of the investigating agencies. The CBN lacks the power to investigate crimes,” he said.
Adegboruwa prayed the court to vacate the order earlier made by the court and dismiss the CBN’s suit.
Justice Taiwo has adjourned till December 16 for ruling.
FG Delivers Relief Items To Families Of Slain Farmers In Borno (photos)
FG DELEGATION DELIVERS RELIEF ITEMS TO FAMILIES OF SLAIN FARMERS IN BORNO
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has officially visited families and the community of the 43 famers who were killed by extremists last Saturday in Zabarmari community located in Jere Local Government Area of the State.
The Minister who represented President Muhammadu Buhari led a seven man delegation to express sadness over the incident where 43 farmers were gruesomely murdered on rice fields located on the outskirts of Borno.
In her remarks, the Minister described the killing as gruesome and unacceptable to any religion.
“Your Excellency, I am here to convey the sympathy of the Federal Government to the Government and people of Borno State over the sad incident which occurred on Saturday 28th November 2020 in Zabarmari community in Jere Local Government Area of the State where innocent citizens were gruesomely murdered by Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is shocking to imagine this act of gruesome murder by the insurgents. This cannot be justified under any guise. We are all aware that our religion is against what has happened to the innocent and hardworking farmers that were not only working to feed themselves but contributing to the food security of the nation.
“His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is saddened by the attack and has directed me to come here to deliver relief support from the Federal Government to families of the victims and other affected persons”.
Responding, Governor Zulum thanked President Buhari for sending emissaries through the federal government delegation and appealed to him to implement the recommendations made by the state to stamp out insurgency in the North East.
“I also appeal to the minister of Humanitarian Affairs to develop a roadmap to help tackle the menace of insurgency in the country.
“We don’t have good roads networks and this has impeded the state’s efforts in fighting the insurgents, so we appeal to you assist the North East by developing a raadmap that will see to the end of these senseless killings”.
The minister visited the Zambarmari community Mosque to sympathize with the community leaders and later handed over 13,000 bags of 12.5kg rice, 13,000 bags of 12.5kg maize, 13,000 bags of 25kg beans, 1,300 kegs of vegetable oil, 2,116 cartons of seasoning, 1,083 cartons of tin tomato and 650 bags of salt to the state government for onward distribution to the families of affected persons and people of Zabarmari community .
Apart from the 43 persons who were confirmed dead and subsequently buried on Saturday, the District Head of the community Lawan Abba Umar stated that more than 100 farmers were still missing after the incident and were currently being sought after by the combined team of the military and other security agencies.
NNEKA IKEM ANIBEZE
Boko Haram Attacks An International Conspiracy To Split Nigeria – Army
The Nigerian Army has said that the Boko Haram attacks are an international conspiracy to “cut Nigeria to size” and to destabilise the peace of the country.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, stated this, claiming that there are some international paymasters sponsoring Boko Haram.
Musa stated this in an article he shared on social media and with journalists.
The army spokesman said, “The recent killing of our people on a rice farm in Borno State was unexpected, inhuman, cowardly, dastardly and sadistic cruelty by the Boko Haram terrorists. There is no normal human being that will take pleasure in such inhuman massacre of defenceless and armless civilians, working on their farms; but that is the nature of terrorism and those who sponsor it.
“There is an international conspiracy to cut Nigeria to size and compromise national renegades making attempts to destabilise and dismember Nigeria if possible in subservience to the international paymasters; who are the owners of Boko Haram. They train them, arm them, finance them and supply their logistics.
“Without this treacherous international support of Boko Haram; they would have since been defeated. Yet, we can defeat them through our unity and unflinching support and encouragement of our security forces, particularly the military.”
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