Defence/Security

Human rights violations: Army to sensitise troops

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai on Tuesday said  the Nigerian Army would sensitise its troops in different operations across the country to human rights violations.

Buratai made the disclosure when he inaugurated a human rights office of the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army in Jos.

The COAS was represented by Maj.-Gen. Usman Muhammed, the Chief of Civil – Military Affairs.

He said the initiative of the human rights desk was to bring to light his vision to have a professional and responsive army to discharge its responsibilities.

“The sensitisation of our troops to their rights and that of others is paramount and that will go a long way in preventing violation of human rights.

“I am indeed satisfied because the division has worked hard to establish a human rights desk on the Plateau.

“With the establishment of the desk, I have no doubt that the alleged human rights violations will be reduced.

“Civil-Military corporation will run smoothly between the civil populace and military personnel in tackling internal security within and outside the state,” he added.

Also, Maj.-Gen. Nuhu Angbazo, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division Nigerian Army, Rukuba near Jos, said the office was established due to various allegations against army personnel of fundamental human rights violations.

Angbazo said the office will investigate the allegations and act on them on their merits.

“The Divisional Rights Office is situated at No. 3 DB Zang Road Jos, outside the barracks, to make it more accessible to civil populace.

“The aim of the human rights office is to ensure a robust civil-military relations,” he said.

The GOC assured that the complaints would be objectively looked into and that replies or responses would be provided.

According to him, the office is also to protect the rights of the military personnel.

“We have seen instances where soldiers are accosted and abused.

“This is a two way avenue for us to have our rights protected and also protect the rights of citizens, which we have sworn to do and which is constitutional,” he added.

Angbazo said that the office would also be used as the Nigerian Army recruitment centre for Plateau.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the inauguration was witnessed by all security chiefs in Plateau including the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Maj.-Gen. Augustine Agundu.

Defence/Security

ICPC, EFCC sensitise Sokoto residents to zero-tolerance for corruption

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences and the Economic and Crimes on Monday staged separate rallies in Sokoto to solicit for a collective support against all forms of corruption.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the commissions organised the rallies in Sokoto metropolis as part of activities to celebrate the 2019 International Anti-Corruption Day.

The day is observed every Dec.9 since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on Oct. 31, 2003 to raise public awareness against corruption.

In his message, ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said the theme for the year, ‘United Against Corruption’, was not limited to anti-corruption agencies alone, but to every eligible Nigerian.

According to him, fighting corruption is an obligation of every citizen, in view of the fact that the after effects of corruption are not limited to those directly involved, but to all citizens.

Therefore, for the fight against corruption to succeed, you, the Nigerian citizen, need to contribute your quota,” he said.

Owasanoye, who was represented by ICPC Commissioner in Sokoto State, Mr Musa Alkali, also identified some of the effects of corruption on a nation.

When a country’s institutions are weakened by corruption, for instance, its security forces will not be trusted; its borders will become porous, criminality will fester and insecurity may be internationalised.

The key question to be asked here is, ‘What are the immediate causes of corruption and its debilitating effects on the society.

Would it not be better if the entire society join hands to tackle it.

The battle against corruption is currently raging and it is our belief that it is not the sole responsibility of the ICPC or government alone, but the collective responsibility of each and everyone of us as citizens of this great country, Nigeria.

As we explore the options of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office,” he said.

On his part, the EFCC head in-charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Mr Abdullahi Lawal, said the zone had made tremendous impact in the course of its operations over time.

According to Lawal, the zone has 151 cases still under investigation, while 49 were already in its legal department.

He said the commission had also secured four convictions out of 20 prosecutions from the 236 petitions it received.

We have recovered over N910.9 million monetary recoveries, four vehicles and 53 tricycles on investigation; and five houses and two shops marked from our various operations between January to date,” he said.

Lawal, while noting that the dangers of corruption were enormous and negative to national development, said the fight against corruption was one for every patriot to join hands and bring to an end.

Edited by: Moses Solanke and Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

Ikoyi Passport Office to go tough on touts — Yari

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Control , Ikoyi Passport office, Lagos, has said the office will no longer tolerate the activities of touts within the office vicinity

Yari told Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Lagos, while appreciating the Immigration for the award given to him on Dec.7 in Abuja during the service’s end of the year dinner and awards night.

NAN reports that Yari was given the award of the service in exemplary leadership that entailed ability to simplify passport issuance process.

Yari, appreciating the NIS, said the office aimed to eliminate totally the activities of the touts in the year 2020.

The touts usually double cross innocent citizens on their way to the centre promising to get them international passports.

Such promise, most times, never worked thereby ending up in duping the citizens,” he said.

The PCO, therefore, pleaded with Nigerians, who were desirous of obtaining international passports to visit the centre directly.

He further said the Passport Office would strengthen its existing structures to improve service delivery in 2020.

He said, “the particular area we plan to intensify effort on is curbing the activities of quacks who hijack applicants.

The office had taken some measures already but the measures would be intensified come year 2020.

Yari further promised to exceed 2019 delivery by issuing more passports to applicants in 2020.

“Since the issuance of e-passports started in Ikoyi more than 50,000 passports have been issued to applicants for passports with both five years and 10 years validity,’’ he stated.

Edited /Donald Ugwu

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Defence/Security

EFCC secures 1,900 convictions, recovers N794bn in 4 years — Magu

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Convictions

/Philomina Attah

Abuja, Nov. 9, 2019 Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), says the commission has so far secured 1,900 convictions and recovered N794 billion in four years.

Magu disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at the 2019 International Anti-Corruption Day with the theme:  “Zero Tolerance for Corruption”.

Our scorecard in this regard speaks volumes; for the four years that I have been in-charge of the commission, we have secured about 1,900 convictions, including top government officials.

Former governors; captains of industry, oil subsidy merchants and scores of players in the private sector.  Former military chiefs and civil servants have also been convicted as well as many illegal oil bunkerers in the Niger Delta.

On recoveries, there is no law enforcement agency in Africa that has equalled the phenomenal recoveries that the EFCC has made.

In the four years under my watch, we have recovered more than N794 billion and have ensured hundreds of properties forfeited to the government, “ he said.

He added that in the Port Harcourt Zone of the EFCC, a total of 244 trucks were forfeited to the government owing to illegal oil bunkering activities in the region.

As a commission, we are not unrelenting in our determination to completely eradicate corruption from Nigeria through our fight against corruption.

Those who doubt our resolve must sooner come to terms with the fact that the EFCC is a marathoner and when it comes to the fight against corruption, we never give up.

This was recently demonstrated last week when, after 12 years of legal hide and seek that took us to the Supreme Court and back, the long convoluted trial of former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu (ended).

 

This trial was brought to closure with his conviction and sentence to 12 years imprisonment without an option of fine for stealing over seven billion naira from the treasury of Abia State Government.

This brings to three, the number of former state governors that were convicted of corruption within one year on my watch, “ he said.

Magu said the commission would go into partnership with various sectors in the fight against corruption as  everybody needed to be involved in the fight to achieve a sustainable result.

We have chosen to partner with various sectors because we want to go into not only fighting corruption alone but select very notorious sectors and partner with them.

“Let us go into sectoral approach in the fight against corruption. We will go with the health sector first because there is a lot of problem in the hospitals with the doctors. This approach might change the narrative. ’’

Edited /Chukwudi Ekezie

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Defence/Security

EFCC secures 171 convictions in Ibadan Zone

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The Economic and Crimes , Ibadan Zonal Office, says it secured 171 convictions out of the 268 corruption related cases prosecuted in the last 11 months.

Mr Friday Ebelo, the Head of the Commission’s Zonal Office in Ibadan, made the disclosure on Monday in Ibadan during a news conference to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that some countries of the world came together under the auspices of the United Nations to pass the Against in December 2003.

In the last one year, particularly from January 2019 till date, the zone received 691 petitions; 213 of these were returned unapproved as issues raised therein did not fall under the purview of our mandate.

‘’In the course of investigations, the zone arrested 878 persons out of which 268 were prosecuted and 171 convicted,” he said.

Ebelo said that the zonal office of the commission also recovered huge sums of money in both local and foreign currencies from January till date.

These include a total of N211,134,927.26 (Two Hundred and Eleven Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Four thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Six kobo).

For the foreign currencies, we had $136,289 (One Hundred and Thirty-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty-Nine United States Dollars), €2000 (Two Thousand Euros) and £765 (Seven Hundred and Sixty-Five British Pounds).

Our investigations also led to temporary freezing of 1044 bank accounts, while 56 automobiles and 14 houses were impounded.

‘We equally have several laptops, android phones and many other electronic devices confiscated in compliance with court orders,” he said.

The EFCC Zonal head called on Nigerians to stand to be counted in the fight against corruption, saying “corruption poses existential threat to individual and nation’s survival.

We must personalise the fight against the monster if we truly desire a corruption-free Nigeria. We can’t sit on the fence and expect success in this campaign.

We must all get involved. It is a winnable war if only we show doggedness and commitment,” he said.

Ebelo said that the last one year witnessed a beehive of activities with unprecedented successes, adding the zone contributed its modest quota to the global fight against corruption.

He said that the event was global and the essence was to enlist all stakeholders to collectively and individually get involved in the fight against corruption for the good and progress of mankind.

“As you all know, much more than before, the EFCC has upped the ante of the anti-corruption campaign in our country with verifiable evidence to prove that our efforts are yielding positive results,” he said.

(Edited by: Bayo Sekoni/Mufutau Ojo)
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

Fight against corruption: NSC emphasises importance of technology 

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Corruption

/Philomina Attah

Abuja, Dec. 9, 2019 Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, has emphasised the importance of technology in the country’s fight against corruption.

Bello spoke during a walk/summit to mark the UN International Anti-Corruption Day on Monday in Abuja.

The summit was organised by the NSC in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other agencies of the Ministry of Transportation.

The theme of the summit was: “Zero Tolerance for Corruption’’.

One of the things to do to get rid of corruption is deployment of appropriate technology.

The moment you have that technology, then it will be transparent, it will be faster, with no delays, no human interface, so that is what we are trying to do.

The next focus is technology to drive away corruption in our system,’’ Bello said.

He said the event was to support the Federal Government’s effort in the fight against corruption, especially in transportation and maritime sector of the economy.

According to Bello, the sector is key to the growth and development of the nation and ought to be free from corruption.

He urged the various agencies to employ conscious efforts to ensure corruption was eradicated in the sector and the country.

Bello reiterated efforts by the Ministry of Transportation to audit the various agencies as a way of eliminating corrupt practices in the sector.

He said:“the Minister of Transportation has already started an audit, we are auditing our processes, procedures and even our staffing and that is how it is supposed to be; we have to be accountable.

Lack of accountability is why we have corruption. We think, if we unburden transport from corruption, other sectors will follow suit.

We are partnering with all anti-corruption agencies, ICPC, EFCC and the like, so that we can have a kind of enforcement and standard operating procedure.

“We are saying each agency must have a standard operating procedure and the shippers council will enforce that.’’

The Acting Chairman, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said the commission was focusing on the maritime sector to completely eradicate all forms of corrupt practices.

We are not looking at just the maritime sector but all sectors; we are looking at corruption in itself.

But the emphasis today is the transportation and maritime sector, we are moving to other areas too as there is a change of heart in fighting corruption.

There is a lot of corruption in the maritime sector and so we need to address it.

Corruption has become systematic, anaemic, and so we need a holistic approach in the fight against corruption in the maritime industry.

The most important thing is to encourage people to report corrupt practices to the appropriate authorities,’’ Magu said.

In his remark, Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the event was to awaken the attention of citizens to the negative impact of corruption to development.

According to him, Nigeria depends largely on import and export for survival and by extension, growth.

He said: “If that sector is riddled by corruption, it affects the cost of goods and services and there is always an opportunity cost for corruption.

“Corruption normally benefits a narrow few and makes lots of us suffer. That is why we are making efforts to raise awareness on its negative impact, especially in the maritime sector,’’ Peterside said.

Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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We’ll fight corruption with full powers of law -ICPC

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Monday said it would fight corruption according to the full dictates of the law.

The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, state this in Kaduna after a walk to mark the 2019 International Anti-corruption Day.

Represented by the ICPC Commissioner in Kaduna Office, Malam Shehu Yahaya, he said the commission would ensure that the anti-corruption crusade positively affect governance and well-being of Nigerians.

The days of impunity is over and the warning must be given loud and clear, that the corrupt will be dealt with firmly with the degree of ruthlessness that the law permits.

The battle against corruption is currently raging and it is our belief that it is not the sole responsibility of the ICPC or government, but a collective responsibility.

As we explore the option of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office,” he said.

The ICPC boss explained that the objective of the walk was to raise awareness among the public on the ills of corruption and mobilise public support in the fight.

He added that the commemoration of the day provided a platform for exchange of ideas that would aid the fight against corruption for the development of the country.

Similarly, Yahaya said that the commission had received several petitions from January to date in Kaduna state.

Yahaya added that 24 cases were currently before the courts and urged members of the public to desist from all forms of corrupt practices in the country.

Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

EFCC receives 580 petitions, convicts 27 in Kaduna zone -Official

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Kaduna Zonal Office, has received over 580 petitions and convicted 27 from January to date.

The Zonal Head, Mailafiya Yakubu disclosed this after a walk from the EFCC Office as part of activity to mark the 2019 International Anti-corruption Day.

Yakubu also said that the office currently has about 100 cases ongoing in courts, adding that more would be convicted before the end of the year.

He said that close to N300 million had been recovered and returned to people that have been defrauded within the period.

Not only that, we have gotten interim forfeiture of 15 houses acquired through illicit means and currently working towards getting final forfeiture.

That we have been able to receive over 580 petitions in 11 months is an indication of public confidence in  EFCC.

So far so good. We have gotten reasonable conviction and still counting and we will continue to arrest and prosecute, even on Christmas day,” he said.

He explained that the objective of the walk was to enlighten the public on the ills of corruption and its negative effect on the society.

We want the people to know that corruption is evil, dangerous and disastrous and the public must join the fight against all forms of corruption.

“I am happy that we have gotten the public on our side. This is a good achievement in the fight against corruption in the country,” Yakubu added.

Edited by: Joseph Edeh/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

Maritime security: Nigerian Navy procures landing ship tank

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The Nigerian Navy (NN) has acquired a Landing Ship Tank (LST) 100 to enhance Nigeria’s maritime environment.

Speaking on Monday at the keel-laying ceremony for the LST at Messrs DAMEN Shipyard Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, said the LST would play crucial roles in Nigeria’s maritime security.

LST are naval ships specially designed to transport and deploy troops, vehicles, and supplies onto foreign shores for the conduct of offensive military operations.

They were designed during World War II to disembark military forces without the use of dock facilities or the various cranes and lifts necessary to unload merchant ships.

Today’s ceremony is a significant step toward actualising the dream of restoring NN’s sea-lift capability, after the Service decommissioned two similar LSTs more than 10 years ago.

I recall that the Nigerian Government acquired two Type 502 amphibious vessels NNS AMBE and NNS OFIOM, built by HDW German builders in 1978.

These vessels served the Navy meritoriously in the 1980s-90s, playing significant roles during the ECOMOG intervention Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as other peace support operations in Lebanon.

The NN’s acquisition of this LST 100 will certainly go a long way in filling the operational gap created by the decommissioning of the two NN ships.

The CNS noted that the bid for the project was highly competitive, as several other shipbuilding companies tendered for her construction.

Specifically, the ship will be engaged in the protection of maritime resources and the preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to promotion of global maritime commerce and maritime power projection in Nigerian Maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea at large.

It is therefore my fervent belief that this Shipyard will complete the construction of the LST with all the attention and due diligence that it deserves, to rekindle our historic relationship and pave way for other areas of collaboration in the future,” he said.

Ibas said that the selection of DAMEN Shipyards to execute the project was based on its track record, engineering as well as a belief in the company’s ability to adhere to the timeline for delivery.

The Nigerian Navy is confident that you will not only build this Ship in line with the specifications and configuration to the highest standards, but also deliver the project on schedule. Timely delivery is not negotiable,” he said.

The naval chief thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his untiring support for the rejuvenation of the Nigerian Navy fleet since assumption of office.

Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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Gov. Zulum drums support for anti-corruption campaign

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Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has called for greater community participation in the fight against corruption to promote good governance.

Zulum made the call at a rally to mark the 2019 International Anti-Corruption Day on Monday in Maiduguri.

Represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, the governor reiterated his commitment to fight corruption through community mobilisation and implementation of proactive measures to encourage accountability and transparency in public service.

May I use this opportunity to put on record our total commitment in the fight against corruption by calling on good citizens of Borno to join government in the war against corruption.

”This is by reporting, after thorough investigation any case against individual or organisation involved in corruption for prosecution.

While presenting the 2020 budget; I emphasised the need for instilling the values of due process, accountability and probity in the public expenditure,” he said.

Zulum added that he had also directed for the transfer of the Monitoring and Evaluation Department to his office, to check linkages and waste in governance.

He noted that the fight against corruption was a collective responsibility which needed contribution from all to achieve the set developmental goals and move the state forward.

While commanding the EFCC over the feat achieved, Zulum further called for synergy between various arms of government and stressed need for the judiciary to ensure speedy trial of corruption cases.

In his remarks, Mr Lawrence Iwodi, the Zonal Coordinator of the EFCC, disclosed that the commission had secured 23 convictions and recovered over N244 million this year in Borno and Yobe.

Iwodi said that the commission had also secured an interim forfeiture order of five properties while the process of obtaining similar order involving five other properties and three vehicles would be completed before the end of the year.

He called on the people to cooperate and provide credible information to the commission to enable it to track corrupt persons in the two states.

“We are passionate about the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the vulnerable within our jurisdiction.

In this regard; we are interested in the information that will assist us tract down persons involved in the diversion of relief materials.

We are also interested in people who take advantage of the security situation in the state to defraud unsuspecting members of the public in the name of running humanitarian organisations,” Iwodi said.

The coordinator added that the commission would continue with its campaign to track diversion and misappropriation of public fund as well as prosecute erring public office holders.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was attended by government functionaries, EFCC officials and representatives of about 170 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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