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A Customs Officer Shot Me, Told My Wife To Come For My Corpse – Clearing Agent

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A Customs Officer Shot Me, Told My Wife To Come For My Corpse - Clearing Agent
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Adeyemi Salau is a 33-year-old clearing agent in Lagos State. In this interview, he tells TOBI AWORINDE how an officer with the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service shot him in the leg at Berger checkpoint after the vehicle he picked up was successfully cleared

When and why were you shot by a Customs officer?

The incident happened on March 17, 2021 at Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited on Tin Can Island, Lagos State. I was driving a 2019 Toyota RAV4 out with my client, who owns the car, sitting beside me. The Valuation Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service had given me a compromised value for the car, which I had paid. The vehicle was released from Customs and it came out that same day. When I got to Berger Yard, I was stopped by the (NCS) Federal Operations Unit. They parked two of their Hilux vans at that place and there were up to 20 officers. Because there was a heavy traffic and that place was blocked, the officer who stopped me started shouting, ‘Get down! Come down! Wind down!’ Immediately I wound down the vehicle’s window he brought out a jackknife; he wanted to stab me. I dodged it. He started hitting me with a gun. He shouted, ‘Get down from that car!’ Immediately I opened the door and brought out my leg, he shot my leg.

Are you saying he shot you intentionally and without any provocation?

Yes, he shot me intentionally, it wasn’t an accidental discharge. I said, ‘Oga, you shot me.’ He said, ‘Yes, and I will shoot you again.’ I was trying to crawl from that place, trying to get people’s attention by shouting, “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!” but the Customs officer didn’t allow anybody to carry me.

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I stopped a bike man; he slapped the bike man and sent him away, saying he would make sure I died there; he would put me in their van and give me water so that I would die. In the process, my boss called my phone and said, “I heard a gunshot there. Please, be very careful.” Then I told him I was the person who was shot. Immediately I said that, the officer collected my phone and put it in his pocket.

There was a guy, Monday, that stood by me and wanted to carry me but he was beaten. The guy still carried me while they continued to beat him. But the officer that shot me held me by my clothes and threw me into the gutter. I struggled to come out; he still didn’t allow anybody to carry me. One of his colleagues told him, “Leave that boy; let that boy go.” Some officers of the SPU (Special Procedures Unit) who were, maybe escorting someone from Tin Can, stopped by and were curious about the cause of the traffic. So, they came there and saw what happened. I don’t know if they (SPU officers) talked to the Customs officers but they left with those people before I crawled across the road and went to the hospital.

How did you manage to get to the hospital?

I crawled from that place to the other side of the road. Then I stopped another bike to take me to any nearby hospital. One of my friends assisted me. My wife called my number to ask me how work was going and how I was doing. The officer picked the call and said, ‘Your husband is dead. Come and carry his corpse at Ikeja.’ He then hung up, so she kept on calling – she called some of my friends and my boss. She was calling everybody, crying, before she later came to the hospital to look for me. The Divisional Police Officer, Trinity Police Station came to the hospital. One of the Customs controllers had called him to find out the situation and check on me. The DPO brought N100,000, saying the controller said he should give it to me. I said, “Okay, no problem, but I cannot collect it. Let my people come. They will collect it from you. I cannot do that without their consent.”

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My relatives later went to the station to collect the N100,000. On Friday (March 19), they (Customs) sent another N100,000 to us. On Monday, I asked the person that went to collect the N100,000 to collect my phone from the officer. But Customs said they could not give anybody my phone and that I should come myself when I was strong enough to collect the phone. So, I was there last Monday (March 22), and they gave me back my phone, saying it was unfortunate and they were sorry about what happened, but that they were still doing some kind of investigation.

Did the N200,000 you were given cover the medical expenses?.

No. The advance payment I made for my treatment on that day was about N170,000, at least, to secure my life. My health is very important to me. After then, when I wanted to leave the hospital, I still paid some money. I went there last Wednesday (March 24), and they gave me a list of drugs to buy, which I bought.

Why do you think the Customs officer shot you?

I don’t know why he shot me. I read that they (Customs) said I was struggling for control of the officer’s gun. But that’s not true. If they are sure of their claim that I was struggling for the control of his gun, they should let us do a fingerprint examination.

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Do you know the identity of the officer who shot you?
I don’t know his name but if I see him I will recognise him. The person who shot me is a two-star officer and the person that released the vehicle is an assistant controller. The person that issued the (vehicle’s) valuation and assigned it is a controller as well.

What happened to the owner of the car?
.
They beat him up as well, so, he ran away.

Do you know what happened to the car?

I saw the car the day I went to Ikeja.

How bad is the gunshot wound you sustained?.

There were two bullets. One passed through my leg and came out from the other side. Then another hit my ankle.

Did the bullet hit your bone?.

It didn’t, but I want them to remove the stitches first to be sure. I went back to the hospital after six or seven days for them to remove the stitches but they said it wasn’t yet time as blood was still oozing from the wounds. So, maybe after they remove the stitches and I get a bit better, I will go for an X-ray.

Did the doctors express any concern about the risk of amputation?

No, there is nothing like that.

How has the incident affected your livelihood?

Presently, I cannot go to work and in this line of work, if some clients don’t see you in person, it would be very difficult to do business with you and I am a family man; I have three children. But thank God I’m alive.

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Ogbaru Relief Market Traders Pass No Vote Of Confidence On Chairman of All Line Chairmen

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Ogbaru Relief Market Traders Pass No Vote Of Confidence On Chairman of All Line Chairmen
Pix : Ogbaru Relief Market
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By Oge Onyeanusi, Onitsha

In their bid to ensure complete peace in Ogbaru Relief Market in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, traders in the market have passed vote of no confidence on Chairman of All Lines Chairman of the market, Mr. Chukwunonye Anaka, (a.k.a Westino ) over his alleged insubordination towards the state government and the Ogbaru Relief Market Caretaker Committee President, Mr. Ndubisi Ochiogu.

It was gathered that Mr. Anaka was still loyal to the previous market leadership, without any regard to the present administration , even though he knows that state government gave authority paper to Mr. Ndubisi Ochiogu as new market president.

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Motion for Anaka’s impeachment was moved by traders during a general meeting of the association , where they sanctioned him, telling him to vacant his position, as he was begged severally but he refused to comply with, since then , he still remained adamant in his refusal to be submissive to relevant authorities.

According to the line chairmen and secretaries, “we all know that government gave authority paper to Mr. Ndubisi Ochiogu as new president of the market. Everyone should be loyal to him. His administration is willing and ready to accommodate every trader, to follow due process.

“We would not want to witness any riot or violence in our market. Anaka’s behaviour is inimical to the existing peace in the market,” the traders lamented.

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They further lamented that Mr, Chukwunonye Anaka did not carry traders along in his administration, we did not elected him and that he was not their true representative, henceforth has no mandate to represent them and therefore, he should stop parading himself as their leader.

However, the Caretaker Committee President, Mr. Ndubisi Ochogu, urged the traders to remain calm, that he would look into the matter and follow due process in arriving at a decision.

In his reaction, the secretary of the Ogbaru Relief Market, Mr. Buckno Agu, said, i have served previous administration, follow it up to this new government , on a principles, based on the understanding that whoever that would be in that position as the president of the market should be given massive support.

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Speaking on behalf of traders, a trader in the market, Chetachukwu Achuwa, described the activities and dispositions of Anaka as uncalled for.

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Nigerian Army Debunks Report On Distribution Of Ramadan Packages By Boko Haram

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Nigerian Army Debunks Report On Distribution Of Ramadan Packages By Boko Haram
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The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to an ill-informed publication by an online news medium Sahara Reporters of 11 May 2021 where it was alleged that Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province had distributed Ramadan welfare packages to some residents of Borno and Yobe States. The article went on to give breakdown of the food items distributed including cash which the publisher alleged was meant to entice the locals to join the terrorists ranks. The article then switched to speak on the 2019 report of International Crisis Group which tended to pour encomiums on the terrorists recruitment system since breaking away from the Abubakar Shekau’s faction. Unfortunately the article did not mention any specific location where the alleged distribution took place.

The NA being a professional organisation decided to look at the article with every seriousness with a view to making intelligence out of it. However, our analysis established that there was nothing substantial about the claim except that it was a hurriedly packaged piece of propaganda that was meant to distract the populace away from the recent defeats being suffered by the terrorists. It is a notorious fact that the terrorists at various times have made several attempts to make the lives of the residents of these states miserable through the Ramadan season which were met with overwhelming response from the troops of Operation Hadin Kai. The most recent of such being their failure to sneak into Maiduguri on 11 May 2021 same day this ill-conceived article was published. The fate of the terrorists that made that audacious attempt is already a public knowledge.

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The author of this article displayed his/her clear lack of situational awareness by getting designation of the various terrorist groups moduled up. In the self-styled amateurish publication, there was no single mention of any community that the said distribution took place which is indicative of the fact that there was indeed no community or village where such activity took place. The writer consciously omitted such an important part knowing that once a name is attached to the publication it would be much easier to unravel the motive behind it, which is simply to mislead the unsuspecting readers.

Our team of eagle-eyed analysts went further to critically examine the pictures attached to this malicious publication and discovered that they were simply stage-managed in a typical terrorists-styled propaganda. The uncoordinated director of the photo shoot presented the pictures according his IQ and decided to measure the standard of the Nigerian public from his own personal standing. He used two poorly constructed shacks sited in the wilderness in multiple scenes by simply changing the arrangement of items and introducing different faces to make it look like an existing structure. He later posted a truck loaded with bags and a few terrorists on it parked in the middle of nowhere. A closer look at the background of all the pictures clearly showed an empty forest with no signs of human habitation or activity except the few terrorists and some children that must have forcefully taken away from their parents. These facts therefore met every known style of the terrorists propaganda.

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The million dollar question here is why the choice of Sahara Reporters as the medium to propagate such unfounded piece that failed every test of professional journalism? Could it be that the terrorists find the media outfit fertile enough for propagating their devilish stories? These are questions that demand answers from the publishers of this piece of disinformation.

The NA therefore calls on the general public to disregard this article as it is nothing but a tissue of lies aimed at misleading them. The NA under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru will continue to maintain the pressure on the remnants of terrorists hibernating in the forests around the North Eastern borders until they are completely obliterated.

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You are kindly requested to disseminate this information to the general public through your medium.

MOHAMMED YERIMA
Brigadier General
Director Army Public Relations
13 May 2021

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Southern Governors’ Resolutions: ACF Backs Open Grazing Ban

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Southern Governors’ Resolutions: ACF Backs Open Grazing Ban
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• Some restructuring advocates want Nigeria disintegrated – Forum
• Houses to get bills soon, lawmakers seek legal backing for resolutions
• With 2014 confab report, no need for fresh dialogue, says Middle Belt

Southern governors’ resolutions at their meeting on Tuesday generated more nationwide reactions on Wednesday.

The northern sociopolitical group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, told The PUNCH that some of those advocating restructuring were bent on the disintegration of the country.

The group, however, supported the decision of the governors to ban open grazing of cattle.

But the Southern Senators and members of the House of Representatives commended the governors’ call for restructuring and the ban on open grazing.

The governors, had at their meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, banned open grazing and called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to take bold steps in restructuring the country.

They also called on the President to address the nation and convene a national dialogue.

ACF backs open grazing ban, calls on Buhari to address Nigerians, opposes restructuring

The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Emmanuel Yaw, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Kaduna on Wednesday, faulted the call for restructuring, but supported other resolutions of the southern governors.

Yawe stated, “On restructuring, the ACF believes that before we take a decision on this, we should agree on whether Nigeria should remain one country before deciding on what

Restructuring advocates wants to disintegrate Nigeria – ACF

“Our position on this is informed by the fact that some of the advocates of restructuring are at the same time advocating the dissolution of Nigeria. Are they believers in Nigeria at all? We must all agree to let Nigeria be, before we move forward.”

He said there was nothing wrong for the President to address Nigerians on matters affecting the country.

The forum also said it supported the ban on the open grazing, noting that the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, an umbrella body of the herders, had called for the establishment of ranches.

The ACF spokesman also said, “There is nothing wrong with their call on the President to talk to Nigerians. As a politician he should jump at any opportunity to communicate with the electorate.

“On the issue of ban of open grazing, I don’t think there is problem here with the stand of the ACF.

“At our last National Working Committee meeting in Kaduna the national leader of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria spoke to us at length.

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“He said he and his organisation had decided that the only way forward ,and that in the interest of MACABAN, was to embark on ranching and that they were waiting for government’s policy.

“If MACABAN wants open grazing banned, not only in the southern part of Nigeria but all over Nigeria, who are we to say otherwise?

“On the issue of dialogue, the ACF has always believed in this if the aim of the dialogue is to promote the unity and progress of the whole country, our forum will hold dialogue with any state and group of people that share our cherished ideals of unity, justice, peace and progress.”

Southern Senators, Reps back govs, seek bills on resolutions

The southern caucus in the House of Representatives, in a statement on Wednesday commended the governors on the demand for true federalism and restructuring.

The statement was signed by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu; Deputy Majority Leader, Peter Akpatason; Deputy Majority Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu; Deputy Minority Whip Adesegun Adekoya; Dolapo Badaru, Jimoh Ojugbele and Femi Fakeye, “on behalf of the southern members in the House of Representatives.”

Justifying the ban on open grazing, they said the Federal Government should provide “alternative and modern livestock management that does not constitute a security and economic challenge to the nation.”

Also, the Southern Senators Forum, in a statement on Wednesday, hailed the resolutions of the governors.

They urged the governors to immediately approach the leadership of the National Assembly for necessary legislative input to give their decisions, the required legal backing.

The statement was titled, “Insecurity: Southern senators commend and endorse the resolutions of the southern governors; urging them to work with the National Assembly for optimal results.”

It was jointly signed by the SSF Chairman, Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti); Secretary General, Mathew Urhoghide (Edo) and Publicity Secretary, Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu).

Open grazing falls short of global best practices – Southern senators

The senators commended the governors for being emphatic on the issues of restructuring, state policing and the jettisoning of archaic traditional grazing methods, “which fall short of global best practice standard and a potential threat to our national cohesion and peace.

“As insecurity continues to take a toll on the country and subjecting many to kidnapping and killing, the Southern Senators Forum has commended governors from the region for taking a firm position on burning national issues, including banning open grazing of cattle.

“The Senators submitted that such deft and unanimous policy would help in reining in those hiding under cattle grazing to unleash terror of kidnapping and killing on the residents of the region.”

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The Senators noted that southern farmers were losing hundreds of millions of naira to plundering of food crops through encroachments on farmlands and exposing the region to famine and acute food scarcity .

Nigeria’s lopsided federation needs speedy restructuring – Southern senators

They added, “With this uniform resolve by our governors to initiate no-open grazing policy, the region will return to its peaceful and agriculturally self-sufficient status it had assumed even long before Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914.

“We salute the governors for ruminating on the expediency and the need for speedy restructuring of the highly lopsided Nigerian nation, saying this will also help to remove the venom that has permeated the land on account of alleged neglect of certain sections of the country.

“Finally, the Southern Senators Forum encourages the governors to swiftly follow up on their resolutions by immediately approaching the leadership of the National Assembly.”

But the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, faulted the decision of the governors’ to ban open grazing.

Ndume, who is representing the Borno South Senatorial District in the upper chamber, stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ndume also advocated the suspension of salary payment to workers and other political office holders so that the money could be used to tackle the security challenges in the country.

Also, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra backed the ban on open grazing.

MASSOB, in statement on Wednesday, by its National Leader, Uchenna Madu, described the decisions of the governors on critical national issues as highly commendable.

Southern states to submit anti-grazing bills to state assemblies

Meanwhile, there were indications on Wednesday that Southern Governors’ Forum had directed state houses of assembly in the South to enact law backing the ban on open grazing.

The Chairman of South-South Governors’ Forum and Governor Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, said that every state would enact its law to enforce the open grazing ban.

The governor, who spoke through the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, stated this on Wednesday in an interview with The PUNCH in Asaba.

He said, “Every state will put in place a law that will be used to prosecute anybody that goes against the ban. The governors of the south have agreed with their people that the right thing to do is to ban open grazing.”

Herdsmen can’t continue moving cows from Kano to P’Harcourt on foot – Akeredolu

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The Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Wednesday explained why the forum placed a ban on open grazing.

Akeredolu, who presided over the Asaba meeting of the governors on Wednesday, during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the decision was not new.

“It is not an entirely new issue; most of the governors have placed a ban on open grazing in their states before the meeting. Most of the states have passed laws on open grazing. Virtually all of us have passed that law.

“We felt that this open grazing must stop. It is causing a lot of problems particularly between the herders and the farmers. Whether we like it or not, times have changed and this must change. We must adopt a modern system of animal husbandry.

“In this day and age, they cannot continue taking cows by foot from Kano to Port Harcourt,” he said.

The governor said the Federal Government needed to throw its weight behind state governments that wanted to set up ranches, adding that this would benefit the herders who were exposed to dangers as they roamed with their cattle.

He added, “At the meeting, we referred to what Governor (Abdullahi) Ganduje said. It was clear that he is also against open grazing. He says it does not augur well and the herders also do not benefit from it. There is no development, they are exposed to dangers.”

On its part, the Middle Belt Forum described as unnecessary the call by the southern governors for the President to convene a fresh national dialogue .

The National Publicity Secretary of the MBF, Dr Isuwa Dogo, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Jos on Wednesday, also faulted the call for the President to address the nation.

governors did not get it right when they asked the President to address the nation. What purpose will that serve when Nigerians want him to take actions to address the challenges they are facing which he has not done?

“And again, the southern governors did not get it right when they called on the President to convene a national dialogue. What happened to the 2014 national conference that captured all the contending issues in the country and what should be done to address them? With the exception of these observations, every other resolution reached by the southern governors during their meeting in Delta State is acceptable to us in the Middle Belt Forum.”

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