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08/27/14

*Intersociety Writes Jonathan on The Redeployment Of Senior Police Officers

By Intersociety

Ref.: Intersociety/08/04/014/FGN/ABJ/NG/NPF

1. His Excellency
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria & Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
Thro
Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation
The SGF Office, Shehu Shagari Complex
Three Arms Zone, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

2. Senator David Mark, President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Senate Chambers, National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Zones, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

3. Honourable Aminu Tambuwal
Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria
The House of Reps Chambers, National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Zone, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

4. Prof. Shuaibu Oba AbdulRaheem
Executive Chairman, Federal Character Commission
The FCC Headquarters, Plot 64, First Avenue
Off Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

5. IGP (rtd.) Mike Mbama Okiro
Chairman, Police Service Commission
The PSC Headquarters, Federal Secretariat Complex
Shehu Shagari Way, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Sir,

Redeployment Of Senior Police Officers: Why Acting IGP’s Confirmation Should Be Tied To His Handling Of Ethno-Religious Domination & Lopsided Operational Posting & Assignment Of Strategic Duties In The NPF

(Security & Rule of Law, Onitsha Nigeria, August 27th 2014)-General Information: In early February 2014, our organization (International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law) discovered existing ethno-religious domination in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). The discovery was in respect of promotion of senior police officers carried out constitutionally by the Police Service Commission (PSC) and operational posting and assignment of duties, which are constitutionally performed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP). The discovery was also made in respect of the lopsided arrangement of names of serving senior police officers ranging from CSPs to DIGs.

In the same February 2014 (4th, 5th and 6th), we addressed a three-part letter of protest to your important public offices seeking redress. Few months later, the Police Service Commission publicly promised to investigate and address the lopsidedness complained of. On 4th June 2014, new promotions comprising two AIGs, seven CPs and a number of other senior officers, were announced by the PSC. AIG Dr. Grace Chita Okudo of the NPF Medicals from Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria, was one of the two new AIGs. With her promotion, the Southeast geopolitical zone was remembered and included in the AIG list many months after it was excluded from it with reckless abandon. With her promotion, the zone got one AIG out of 23 serving AIGs in the NPF then.

On July 31st 2014, AIG Suleiman Abba was promoted to Acting Inspector General of Police. His promotion marked the third in row of the IGP from Northwest zone between 2010 and 2014. On August 19th 2014, eight new DIGs were promoted with Northwest and South/south zones getting two each while North-central, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest zones got one each. On 20th of August 2014, nineteen new AIGs were promoted, bringing the total number of serving AIGs to thirty-one, out of which Northwest has nine, followed by North-central with seven, South/south five, Southeast four and Northeast and Southwest three respectively. On August 23rd 2014, the Acting IGP, Suleiman Abba exercised his first major constitutional duty of redeploying the affected and newly promoted senior police officers. In the context of operational portfolio or “juicy” and “tea-making” duty assignments, he spread out the 12 Zonal Commands among five geopolitical zones lopsidedly leaving out Southeast zone.

This he did by appointing eight Muslims to head eight strategic zonal commands leaving Christians with only four. He also allocated four zonal commands each to Northwest and North-central zones respectively. The South/south zone was given two zonal commands while Northeast and Southwest zones were given one each. Shockingly the Southeast zone was left without a single zonal command. No woman AIG was among those appointed heads of Zonal Commands. With this continued ethno-religious and gender discrimination by the Acting IGP, it is hugely feared that the redeployment of more senior police officers who are reportedly awaiting new promotion by the PSC including about twenty-eight coming CPs, will go the same way the redeployment of AIGs went. .

As it stands now, out of four new AIGs of Southeast origin, two (Godfrey E. Okeke) and (Felix Osita Uyanna) will retire on 16th September 2014 and 15th January 2015 respectively leaving the important zone with only two AIGs. Out of about 96 serving CPs, Southeast presently has three out of which one (Sylvester A. Umeh) will retire on 10th November 2014, leaving the zone with only two serving CPs out of 96 serving CPs in the NPF.

Why We Write: Our writing your important public offices followed our recent public statements over the issue including our public statements of 21st, 22nd and 24th of August 2014 in which the two exercises were graphically analyzed and pitfalls inherent in them extensively pointed with far reaching recommendations. Our extensive investigations clearly showed that the major bane of the Nigeria Police Force is ethno-religious domination, which has bred seeming incurable corruption and policing mediocrity. This has also entrenched a culture of favoritism and nepotism in the Force. The NPF is also far from being a pluralistic police force direly needed in a pluralistic country like Nigeria.

In the course of our extensive investigations under reference, we also discovered a Stone Age practice whereby police officers from the Southeast zone have their promotions delayed or stunted for years resulting in “retirement era promotions”. The assignment of less important and less strategic duties to the officers under reference is also very common and indiscriminate in the NPF. These have resulted and still result to deep “police-citizen” protection disparity between indigenes of other federating tribes and Igbo federating tribe particularly during ethno-religious crises.

Demands: It is recalled that in early 2012 when former IGP, Mohammed Abubakar was appointed, police roadblock extortions and indiscriminate killings associated with them were widespread and they became a national calamity leading to a series of outcries by Nigerians and issuance of reports by local and international rights groups. Among such reports and publications issued then were “Everyone’s on the Game” (How Corruption Fuels Human Rights Abuses by the NPF): Human Rights Watch (August 2010) and “Corruption As Human Rights Abuse: How Personnel of the NPF Raked in N53.48Billion from Police Roadblocks in Three Years (2009-2011)” & “Nigeria In A State Of War: How 54,000 Citizens Were Killed Outside The Law Since 1999”: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (December 2011). The foregoing advocacy actions then forced the Presidency to tie the confirmation of then Acting IGP (A-IGP), Mohammed Abubakar as substantive IGP on his management of the high incidence of police roadblock extortions and killings across the country. In a swift response so as to get substantively confirmed, then A-IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, dismantled most of the existing 3,500 police roadblocks across the country, which was prevalent and indiscriminate in the Southeast with over 1,500 of them. Thousands of potential victims of police roadblock killings and extortion ridden billions of naira were saved.

Today, crude ethno-religious domination policy in the NPF is as worse as, if not more menacing than police abuses and unlawful killings breading by roadblock extortions/corruption. While the Police Service Commission appears to have taken a bold step in addressing the Stone Age policy in its ongoing promotions, the A-IGP, Suleiman Abba appears hell bent in retaining the divisive and retrogressive policy in his ongoing operational duty assignments and postings. It gladdens our heart to inform your important public offices that Intersociety is not alone in the struggle to end this socially poisonous policy.

Just on Sunday, August 24th 2014, the Southeast zone of the federally ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) announced their total rejection of the new police posting under reference and called on the A-IGP and the PSC to look into it so as to address it and ensure geopolitical balance in the exercise. This complimentary and commendable demand was made in Umuahia, Abia State, Southeast Nigeria during the meeting attended by key public office holders of the Party from the geopolitical zone, which included a number of State Governors, Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps, among others.

As your important public offices are aware, the gross lopsidedness under contention grossly violates Section 14(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as well as the Federal Character Act No 34 of 1996. The useless and crisis breading policy also attacks brutally the hallowed doctrines of equity, fairness, social integration and pluralism upon which the foundation of the country is laid.

In view of these, we firmly demand the following:

1. That the practice of ethno-religious domination and discrimination in the NPF in matters of promotions, operational duty postings and assignments should be publicly condemned and abolished by your important public offices.

2. That the Acting Inspector General of Police, A-IGP Suleiman Abba should be ordered to reverse the recent lopsided posting of AIGs particularly as it affects the headship of the Zonal Commands as well as exclusion of women AIGs from it. Equitable geopolitical representation and fair gender representation must be ensured.

3. That the confirmation of A-IGP Suleiman A. Abba as the country’s substantive IGP by the Presidency should be tied to his effective and unbiased handling and reversal of the despicable policy under contention. In other words, if he fails to address the despicable and condemnable issue under reference, then his confirmation should be swiftly reversed. He must show his secularist disposition and competence to lead the pluralistic NPF.

4. That henceforth, the issue of promotion and operational posting of senior police officers should strictly be tied to equitable zonal geopolitical representation and specifically, there shall be 12 DIG positions in the NPF out of which each zone should get two; 36 AIG positions out of which each zone should get six; and 90 CP positions out of which each zone should be given 15.

5. That out of existing 12 Zonal Commands in the country headed by AIGs, each zone should be given two; out of 36 State Police Commands in the country, each zone should be given six.

6. That all promotions made into the senior ranks of CSPs to DIGs as well as their operational postings and assignment of duties should be based on existing six geopolitical zonal spread.

7. That the policy of “promotion stagnancy or hanging” being used to maltreat the senior police officers of Southeast extraction should totally be abolished and prohibited; likewise promotion of the affected senior police officers in the twilight of their statutory retirement.

8. That once a senior police officer from a particular zone including the Southeast zone holding important police duty such as DIG, head of a zonal command or State Command CP retires, his or her position should be retained by another officer from the same zone. Same thing should apply in the case of promotion of senior officers particularly from CSP to DIG.

9. That the composition of current headships of important operational police departments such as State Commands, Special Protection Units, Anti Terrorism Squads, Police Border Patrols, Police Highway Patrols, Airport Police, Port Authority Police, Special Anti Robbery Squads, Police Mobile Force, Police Training Institutions, Area Commands and Divisional Police Commands, should be revisited with a view to ensuring that they are not dominated by officers of a particular geopolitical zone or ethno-religious section of the country.

10. That the plight of Police Traffic Warding (PTWs) should be revisited and redressed particularly in the area of existing obnoxious Decree 21 of 1975, which has made them perpetual slaves in the hands of the NPF and abominably pegged the highest ranking in the Service to “Assistant Superintendent of Traffic”, which is an equivalent of Police ASP.

The obnoxious Act should be abrogated to make room for absorption of the over 8,000 personnel of the PTWs into the NPF Motor Traffic Division and remove them from age-long discriminatory practice particularly in ranking, promotion and duty control and assignment.

Yours Faithfully,

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies) Chairman of the Board

Barrister Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

Barrister Anita Onochie, Head, Security & Safety Program

Barrister Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil & Rule of Law Program

CC: A-IGP Suleiman Abba, Acting Inspector General of Police Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
- CLICK FOR ANOTHER PHOTO.

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*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb

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08/26/14

*Rogue Nigerian Naval Officer Batter Politician After Stealing Fuel from Gas Station - Help bring him to book

By GlobalvilleNews Reporter

In what appears to be a repeat of the Lady Uzoma Okere’s treatment by naval officers in Lagos, a prominent politician in Eket local government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Ekanem Willie was in the early hours of Sunday August 24, 2014, viciously battered and assaulted by a naval officer believed to be attached to the Navy Basic Training School, Onne, Port Harcourt Rivers State after he ran away with fuel worth of three thousand Naira.

The ugly and unnecessary display of smartness by the rogue naval officer who name is yet to be known happened at Stevegrad Filling Station along Liverpool Rood in Eket. ( Continues below….. )

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Photo Above: The bully rogue Nigerian Naval Officer; to the left is the van he drove

Hon. Willie said while briefing newsmen in Eket over the incident said that the naval officer took off his batch to deliberately conceal his identity and avoid identification by anyone who was around the scene.

“The naval officer, whose service number and name was not displayed on his unofficial uniform, drove into a filling station and bought fuel worth #3,000 (about $32) only. He tricked the pump attendant to allow him to eat some parked food in the naval bus before making payment. He all of a sudden entered the dark blue navy bus with an inscription “NAVY BASIC TRAINING SCHOOL, ONNE” and with registration number NAVY NNO9-D09, and drove off quickly. The pump attendant stood helpless.

Since I was in the same filling station to buy fuel, I offered to assist the pump attendant by pursuing the naval officer whom I accosted along Onna-Ikot Abasi High Way. I asked him to pay for the fuel he bought. He (Naval Officer) denied buying fuel without making payment but later accepted.”

Hon. Willie, a former Vice Chairman of Eket Local Government Council said his only sin for the torture in the hands of the thievery naval officer was he bluntly told him in the face he was a disgrace to the Nigerian Navy. ( Continues below….. )

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Photo Above: The bully rogue Nigerian Naval Officer; to the left is the van he drove - Photo 2

“My only sin was for me to tell him that he is an embarrassment to Nigeria and The Nigerian Navy.

This huge and tall Naval Officer slapped me and tore my dress to pieces.” Hon. Ekanem Willie, an Eket grassroots politician and community leader, who aspired for Eket LGA Chairmanship position in the last primaries under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called on well-meaning Nigerians to help him by bringing this Naval Officer to justice.

Reacting to the news, an Abuja based human right activist, Mr. John Peter said the action of the naval officer was not only criminal but a violation of Hon. Willie’s fundamental human right and abuse of his professional uniform. He called on the Nigerian Navy to take a disciplinary action against what he described as “barefaced thief in navy uniform’ to serve as a deterrent to others.

All efforts by our reporters to contact Director of Logistic and Administration Naval Basic Training School, Onne, Rivers State did yield dividends as calls and text messages directed to his mobile numbers were unresponsive as at the time of going to the press.

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07/31/14

*North Central Theological Seminary to Award Full Scholarships In All Degree Levels To Nigerians

[ Press Release For Immediate Release ] By North Central Theological Seminary
North Central Theological Seminary, an American Institution of Higher learning to Award $300,000.00 in Full Scholarships for the Accelerated Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctoral Degree Programs to Nigerians.
Contact: Dr. Philip Jay, North Central Theological Seminary, Phone: +1 612-293-3801 ( Continues below….. )

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Photo Above: As labeled

MINNEAPOLIS, USA, July 26, 2014 -- Christians and pastors in Nigeria interested in pursuing seminary Education at the bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level now have the opportunity to complete all of their courses online and free of charge with a full scholarship at North Central Theological Seminary, an accredited online religious vocational institution of higher learning based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Candidates interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree program must have a high school diploma or equivalent. To pursue the Master's program, they must have a bachelor's degree in any vocation, and for admission into the doctorate program, a master's degree in any vocation.

According to Dr. Phil Jay, North Central Theological Seminary's director of graduate and undergraduate studies, "The current societal moral decay, declining church attendance, and Islamic extremism are all indicative of the urgent need to train new pastors, evangelists, and religious educators in Nigeria who will fearlessly and impartially preach the gospel of Jesus Christ nationally and internationally. As a result of today's economic hardships, many people interested in winning souls for Christ do not have the funds to attend seminary and earn the credentials required to make an impact. This is why North Central Theological Seminary is making these full scholarships available through private funding to potential men and women of God."

It is the firm policy of North Central Theological Seminary that its students invest in themselves and in taking their life pursuits seriously. To this end, and to enable all students to participate in self-improving full use of our electronic library and academic resources, we still require full scholarship students to pay a $29.00 Student Activity fee each month until they graduate, withdraw, or transfer from the seminary.

The scholarships from this program are not available to currently enrolled students. We will be awarding them until the funds are used in accordance with donor base stipulation. Pastors and Christians interested in taking advantage of this opportunity should submit a non-obligatory enrollment application immediately because only the first fifty qualified enrollments will be accepted. Candidates are to submit a non obligatory enrollment application by clicking on the "Degree" tab at www.nctsmn.org using scholarship referral # PRCNW2014

The accelerated completion schedule is 24 to 30 months for the Bachelor's degree program, 11 to 18 months for the Master's, and 14 to 18 months for the doctorate.

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07/23/14

*Masterweb Interviews Mabel Mark, Nigerian Spanish Acid Attack Victim

By Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain)

She is a well to do Nigerian lady living in Las Palmas Spain. She hails from Ishan L. G. A. inEdo state. As she travelled home to Nigeria in last April 2013, she never knew that fate had a bitter package for her. And she never returned back to Spain the same again. The once beautiful lady was bathed with acid on her face and body while in Nigeria with the assailant escaping while she alleges her spouse in Spain to be the brain behind that. While the doctors are still battling to save her life in Spain, our special correspondent in Spain got into contact with her through the Nigerian embassy for an interview and here is her story.

When did you come to Spain?

The year 2000

Since the year 2000 you have been living in Las Palmas?

I lived in Madrid for about a year and five months after which I came to Las Palmas.

When did you get married and with who?

That was in 2008 and with Kingsley Ojugberu ( Continues below..... )

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Photo Above: Mabel Mark Before Acid Attack by Husband

You met here or in Nigeria?

I met him in Nigeria. And it was through a friend of mine that worked together with me in my place of work and later went back to Nigeria. It happened that he was living in the same house where Kingsley lived, and he helped her. It was in that process that my friend informed me that there is a young man who saw your pictures and said he would like to talk to you. She connected us and from there we started interacting on phone until 2008 we met and got married in Lagos through the court.

When did he join you here in Spain?

In 2010, and it was not easy because I went through a lot of process which took almost one year before I succeeded to secure visa and travel documents for him to join me.

How many children do you have?

Just this girl, she just completed 4 years pointing - to her daughter on the side

How has your relationship with your husband been before this incident?

After he joined me in 2010 we were living fine, but we didn’t really live long as we were almost three years together before this incident.

When did this incident happen and what actually led to that?

Happened on April 20, 2013. Living together was good during the first 2 years. Within this period I was helping him right from Nigeria as things were not okay with him. I can say I am a successful person; I have got a lot of properties in Nigeria and here before we met and he came here. As we were living together as husband and wife, I put his name in two of my properties in Lagos. But the ones in Benin and others I did not put his name.

I buy and send goods to Nigeria, and about a year and four months before we went to Nigeria I sent a bus with goods to Nigeria, and it was cleared and sold by the brother and when I asked for the money, it could not be accounted for. And I discovered that other things were going wrong as I found out that huge sums of money has been removed from the joint account we have with First bank in Lagos. He had the account before and my name was added and I saved money in the account. And the brother also ripped me off with about 1 million naira (N1.0M) in the house I bought in Shasha Lagos.

As a husband and wife, I trusted him and put my money there, until I got to Nigeria and found out that things were going wrong as a lot of money have been taken from the account without my knowledge. I confronted him on that, and that led to an argument and I went to a doctor in Lagos he introduced to me as his uncle and reported to him. When we came back to Spain, I told him this is not going to be, because I found out now that everything I own is on him. I let him to realize how I have helped him a lot, even two of his brothers I spent my money to bring to Spain. And after all these they are still eating my money in Nigeria. Then we had a quarrel.

And I decided to go Nigeria to change his name from the properties and the house recently bought in Shasha, which the payment was going through his account and open a new account to transfer the payment. And perhaps let us have time to study and understand each other more. While in Lagos, I went to the bank to take money, the bank refused me saying that my husband made a call to the bank instructing that they should not release money from the account to me. And he knew that the money in the account is what I was meant to use in Nigeria.

I called him and he said no that he did not call the bank, and I told him that the bank is not lying that I was there and it is written on the screen, he cut the call and offed his phone. I was stranded. I managed to move down to Benin to tell my parents. My mother said she could not handle that alone. We contacted my uncle who suggested connecting me to a lawyer in Lagos to help me. Before travelling to Lagos I decided to do my hair in a salon near my uncles house, while there a boy walked in and my attention was drawn to the way he tied his hair with a piece of a Rasta insignia. He said he was looking for somebody and as I raised my face, he stepped closer and splashed something on my face and body and dashed out immediately.

I felt horrible pains over my body and was rushed to a hospital. And the first hospital said they cannot treat my case and was referred to UBTH where they could only administer pain reliefs and I heard the doctors saying that I would die if they keep me there that the best solution is to take me abroad for the treatment. When the doctor learnt I was living abroad, they invited the police to the hospital and a police report was prepared and arrangement was made to take me to Lagos and back to Spain.

How long did it take for you to come back to Spain after the incident?

Luckily for me, two days after I was flown back to Spain and from the airport straight to the hospital. ( Continues below..... )

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Photo Above: Mabel Mark After Acid Attack by Husband

How have you been undergoing the treatment since then?

I must say that the Spanish doctors have tried a lot; I spent about three months in the first phase of the treatment at the hospital. I have done the first skin operation where they removed all the affected skins and replaced with other skins to cover up the body. They did not work much on the face; rather they pilled it against the second surgery.

Was the whole body affected?

No, from my chest upward.

How was your husband informed and what was his reaction about the incident?

According to my sisters that very Saturday he woke them up about 8 am asking them have you heard from your sister. Saying they should call her because he has a feeling that something bad has happened to her. Two hours later my mum called telling them that I have had an acid attack. And because of what he told them two hours back, they went and confronted him that he has succeeded in harming their sister and they quarreled. So that was how he knew. When I arrived Spain I was taken straight to the hospital and I did not tell anybody. And at the hospital they asked me what happened to me. I told them that it happened in Nigeria. It was from the hospital that I called to inform my sisters that I was in Spain and that one of them should come and from there the news spread.

Did he come to the hospital after he knew?

He came to the hospital but my sisters did not allow him in.

So he was prevented from seeing you?

I later opened up to the nurses what happened and that I don’t want him to see me. And they invited the press who felt much concern how I managed to bear the pains without treatment from Nigeria to Spain.

Since then has he seen you?

Yes he saw me in the hospital once. He came to the hospital and was dragging with the nurses and eventually they let him in. But when he saw me he didn’t talk and they have to walk him out. That was how he saw me before they got him arrested after sometime. When the press came, they asked to know if I was having dispute with anybody and I told them he was the number one suspect.

He was arrested after he visited you at the hospital?

Yes, two days after because a civil defense security agent who knows me came to my shop and asked my sisters about me and they told him that I was in the hospital and he asked to know why I was in the hospital, my sister told him what happened to me in Nigeria. He grew annoyed and reported the matter to the police. So that was how the police came in and have to protect my daughter and sisters because as I was inside, I am not sure of what could happen next and what his plans were.

After he was arrested did you make any allegation?

The police came to me at the hospital and I told them everything that happened. His threats telling me that he is a black axe, that if I eventually separate from him, he will kill me. These were the threats, though I didn’t take them serious because I thought he could not go to that extent. I so much trusted him because I thought that even if something happen and we have to separate he would not harm me because I have helped him a lot.

Perhaps they would have let him out but because of his declaration that an uncle whom I presented him to in Benin wanted to marry me and that is why the wives planned and attacked me with acid. And the question is how did he know that?

Has this matter gone to court?

Yes the matter has gone to court here but the one in Nigeria I don’t have the strength now. After investigations, they sentenced him for what was done here, like beating my sister. He was sentenced for two years. And is banned to come close to me for five years. But my concern is in Nigeria as I don’t have anybody except my old mother and she can’t do much.

What was the reaction of his family down home over this incident?

As I am talking to you now, I have not heard from any member of his family down home. Even the doctor he claimed as the uncle has not called me or contacted my family. Two of his brothers I helped bring to Spain used to call but the police said I should stop to avoid further stress. As at now I don’t even know his family in Nigeria.

You did not have traditional marriage?

No traditional marriage only court wedding in Lagos

What has the Nigerian embassy in Spain done to help you?

The Nigerian embassy was contacted through the help of Nigerian community here; also the court here asked me to do that so that the embassy will intervene to protect my money in the bank and other properties in Nigeria. The embassy came immediately to see me, also visited Kingsley in the prison. And they have contacted the bank in Nigeria and they were told what to do. And I am very happy for the help and concern the embassy has shown over my plight.

You run a shop here?

Yes, an African shop

Is it in your name?

Yes, for one year I put it in his name, so when we started having dispute I removed it on his name but the rent remained on his name until last month.

What further plan do you have for your treatment?

I have gone to see a specialist and we have settled about the plastic surgery.

How much is that likely to cost?

That would cost about 43,000 euros. About eight million and six hundred thousand Naira (N8.6M)

What else do you have to say?

The only thing I would add, I would take care of myself. I want him to leave me alone and go on his own without hurting me and my daughter. I want my family, money and properties to be protected. I would like to have my properties without fighting. And I don’t want that to cost my life or any member of my family.

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07/17/14

*2 Men With Sack Containing The Body of Dead Child Arrested By NSCDC, Abia Command

By Masterweb News Desk

Yesterday, July 16, at about 2:45pm, a patrol team of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abia Command apprehended two men suspected to be ritualists along Aba expressway, Aba, Abia State close to Ariaria International Market. ( Continues below….. )

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Photo Above: The two suspect ritualists with the sack bag containing the body of the female child

The men were carrying fresh dead body of a female child aged between 6-8yrs in a sack bag when the NSCDC operatives intercepted them. They claimed the baby died in a hospital and her father contracted them with N2,000 to help bury her. When asked to provide identification of the deceased’s father, they said they did not have such details. The hospital they claimed the child died in told NSCDC there was no such death in their facility. ( Continues below….. )

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Photo Above: The two suspected ritualists on display with the body of the female child
Click For Enlarged Photo.

Investigation is still ongoing as at the time of this report; meanwhile, the suspects have been transferred to the police for further interrogation.

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07/09/14

*Liberia Hanging of Dr. Justin Obi, An Igbo Chemistry Professor

By Chief Charles O. Okereke

On November 19, 1969 as the Biafran war was winding down, Dr. Justin Obi, a 65-year-old Igbo professor of chemistry, allegedly shot to death Rt. Rev. Dillard Brown, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Missionary - District of Liberia, his Treasurer Claude Nadar and wounded three others, including Miss Patricia Newiss, the Bishop’s secretary. Dr. Obi was a brilliant former chemistry professor at Cuttington University College of Liberia in Suaccoco, a suburb of Monrovia. He obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from Havard University in the United States. Cuttington University College was owned and operated by the Episcopal Church.

Obi allegedly had stopped over in Monrovia on a flight from Biafra to the United States and while ostensibly looking for mail, after walking into the offices opened fire with a pistol, killing two people and wounding three. He was indicted by a grand jury of Montserrado County on December 24, 1969 as principal, along with others as accessories, whose trials were severed. At the trial he claimed legal insanity, for the crime appeared senseless, with no apparent cause except mutual agreement for his services to be terminate at Cuttington University College. He also pointed to lack of malice, based in part on total lack of recall of the event. Obi was convicted in March 1971 for double murder and sentenced to death by public hanging. In his words after sentencing: “I have no malice, nor do I hate anyone. I go to my creator with joy.”

William Tubman Sr. (Liberia President January 3, 1944 - July 23, 1971) did not sign Obi's death warrant because no motive was proven in court for the murder. Rumour had it that there was rift between Obi and the Bishop over Miss Newiss, his secretary but that did not change Tubman’s mind as it was not raised in court. Obi therefore, remained on death roll until the reign of William Tolbert Jr. (Liberia President July 23, 1971 -April 12, 1980), an ordained Baptist pastor who should have known that only God judges and that life is sacred and should not be taken by fellow man. Maybe, Tolbert should have considered the implications of mounting a pendulum that would never attain equilibrium between Church and State, as State may propose and the bible disposes according to the ten commandments. Tolbert signed Obi’s death warrant after two weeks in office as Liberian President. Mr. Jalaoso, Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia at the time, Christians, Churches, civil rights organizations and world leaders unsuccessfully sought pardon or leniency for the condemned. Obi was publicly hanged on Friday, November 19, 1971, exactly two years after the homicides . Tolbert signed a total of sixteen death warrants during his tenure, including that of his cousin William Tolbert who killed his wife. ( Continues below….. )

William Tolbert Jr.

Photo Above: William Tolbert Jr.

The first witness to take the stand for the prosecution was Miss Patricia Newiss, a British and one of the victims of the shooting. She testified in chief: "On the 19th of November, 1969, Bishop Brown returned to his office at fifteen minutes to four P.M. At that time Mr. Nader was in his office with the representative whose name I cannot recall. I was seated at my desk finishing up my work; Jacob also was talking with Kamara in the outer office.

“At 4 P.M. the door opened and Mr. Justin M. Obi came in. He came forward toward my desk. I asked him who and what he wanted, he did not reply. He continued toward my office towards Mr. Nader's. He still said nothing to me. I repeatedly asked what he wanted. He then turned round and came towards my desk. I then asked again if I could help, if not he should sit in the waiting area until either Mr. Nader or Bishop Brown would see him. At this time he was standing at the front of my desk. He then turned around and came beside my desk and he started looking through papers and envelopes. At this point I stood up and asked him to put the papers down as he had no right to touch the papers. At this time Bishop Brown came from his office and looked over to Mr. Obi. Right up to this time Mr. Obi had not said one word and Bishop Brown had not been given a chance to speak. Obi took out his gun and shot Bishop Brown.

“I gasped and ran forward to catch Bishop Brown, Obi turned around and shot in my mouth. The next thing I was on the floor and I prayed. While I was on the floor, I couldn't speak, I couldn't read. I just held my face and prayed. While I was on the floor I heard shouts and screaming and three more bullet shots. All of this time I did not see Obi again. As I was lying, my face down on the floor at this time, I then crawled over towards Bishop Brown's office, he was this time dead. I was at this point so angry that such a wonderful man could be murdered in cold blood. I refused to die. I then crawled over behind my desk, still unable to speak. At this point Kamara, the driver, was shouting, 'It's not me, it's not me.' I, of course, knew it was not Kamara.

“I cried, Obi, Obi, but nothing could come, so I wrote with my own blood on the floor the name Obi, because I knew if God has not granted me to be here today, possibly no one would know who had committed this murder. Then help came; I was taken down to my brother-inlaw's clinic, my brother-in-law is Dr. Wittk Sidney Lewis. On the office floor which I had been strapped down with the strapper, in the clinic, Doctor Lewis stitched my gashed tongue and this saved my life. I was then taken in an open pickup to the Catholic Hospital where I came through within 48 hours of critical period. This is my statement."

Below is part of Newiss cross-examination.

Q. Tell us whether or not you have ever in such close proximity witnessed the shooting of a gun?

A. I have never ever witnessed such a shooting and I know I will never again.

Q. So then you cannot say for sure whether the defendant in the dock did shoot and kill Claude Nader, am I correct?

A. I stated correctly that Bishop Brown was shot in front of me and I agree that was the time that Claude Nader was shot, I was at this time on the floor so I did not witness the actual shooting of Mr. Nader, but from shouts and screams I knew who was being shot and from where I was lying on the floor I had the full view of the open door to the office and up to this point no one had entered the office."

A witness to Dr. Obi’s hanging described it in his words as “one of the most gruesome and brutal killings that I ever saw or read about. His dead body, which was hanging with a white noose around his neck, was not released to friends or relatives, who sought to give Dr. Obi a decent burial. His hanging was one of several "murders" that had ritualistic connotations in Liberia at the time!”

It was alleged by unconfirmed sources that some powerful Liberian politicians at that time wanted Dr. Obi hanged so that his human body parts would be removed for powerful rituals. Ritual murders were booming business in Liberia for several years before the April 12, 1980 coup d'etat that brought Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe in power. According to unconfirmed reports, Samuel Doe had a field day ritually mutilating the body of deposed President Tolbert. One report (by Thomas Clough at http://www.weirdrepublic.com/episode79.htm) was as follows: “On April 12th, 1980 a Liberian army sergeant assigned to a beach patrol near the Liberian president’s home directed his platoon to the presidential palace and surprised President Tolbert in his bed, where the president was promptly disemboweled. Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe personally cut out President Tolbert’s liver and heart and ritually mutilated the organs; he left his teeth marks in the flesh; he would later nail Tolbert’s liver to a wall of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia. Within hours of his murder, thirteen of President Tolbert’s cabinet ministers were bound to telephone poles on a Monrovia beach and shot to death by drunken soldiers loyal to the illiterate Sergeant Doe. Thus began Liberia’s descent into ruin and depravity.”

Ironically, those that lived by the sword in Liberia died by the sword; if not dead, await the ultímate faith in international solitary confinement. Is this a lesson for those that take lives, be them the ruled or rulers? Did Dr. Obi commit the crime or was he insane when he committed murder? Did Biafra war trauma play any role on the mental state of Obi when he went on the abominable rampage, assuming he was guilty as ruled by the court? Please add your voice to this matter by making your comments below.

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06/18/14

*Weighing up the Boko Haram: An Analysis

By Philip Probity $ Abdullah Ibrahim .

How do we as Nigerians understand the Boko Haram and what must be done to undermine its power? We have been experiencing a lot of killings and attacks -- not just on Christians but Muslims and other groups since 2004. The world has now awakened to its influence following the kidnapping of the schoolgirls. Discussion with Dr Kusum Gopal in Geneva.

Question 1: How do we get to grips with the Boko Haram?

What is worrying is not just the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Chibok – but the visibility which has accompanied it – indeed, how it has been done. We know that the men who claim allegiance to the Boko Haram arrived in jalopies, then proceeded to knock down a school and kidnap 234 girls --and leave, unhurried in a slowly moving convoy of pick-ups and battered vehicles yet nobody raised an alarm when it was occurring. This happened in a State that is under Emergency Rule at present. And, the list of girls released has taken some time and this list is also being questioned. We read that traditional hunters from these very north-eastern states aged from 18—88 years armed with poison arrows and homemade guns as one of the broadsheets has noted are willing to assist the military as they understand the terrain -- 60,000 sq. kms of forest better than most. It is of the greatest urgency that these girls need to be found and returned safely to their families. And, this is an immeasurable outrage. The Rights of the Child states very clearly, “Every child, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, social status, language, nationality or religion, has the right to education and to live without fear of violence.” Thus they should be allowed to attend school and the Nigerian government must take preventive measures everywhere else to protect its citizens and prevent a recurrence! ( Continues below….. )

Abducted Chibok School Girls in a video released by Boko Haram.

Photo Above: Abducted Chibok School Girls in a video released by Boko Haram.

We need to understand why the Boko Haram came into existence. It is quite new about a decade old. And it has been translated as “a congregation of the people of tradition to proselytise and wage jihad, “Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad” -- Boko Haram being the literal translation in Hausa for anti-western education. And, its adherents are reported to have been operating in north-east Nigeria: Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe and Kano as also in Cameroon and Niger. Foremost causes of such violent activitiesis adversity of being on account of widespread excessive poverty, loss of livelihoods, serious unemployment caused by endemic corruption— which is simply not being addressed!

The Criminal Code in Nigeria based on the Indian Penal Code 1861 which was formulated after the Indian Mutiny of 1857 to contain civil unrest-- is outdated and needs to be revised. This would end the culture of violence that is embodied in the state structure – imprisonment is one thing but to torture and kill one’s own citizens is not only unacceptable but will backfire. And, thus there is no recourse to justice: accepting or performing criminal activities appears to be the only option for many – theft and murder or both and this has spawned quite naturally a culture of vigilantism in Nigeria. The presence of militias and cult groups such as the Bokassi boys, MASSOB, Ombatse Cult, OPC and as you know so many more are illustrative of governance and communitas. Indeed, the Boko Haram is merely an extension, an expression of these groups, all of which have been granted general amnesty and co-opted into the regional governments. It may have had messianic roots as its idealist founder from Maiduguri sought to hearken back to times of’ a just society’, in this case, pre-colonial west Africa. Their goal to establish an early form of Islam with Sharia providing the Ideal state in control of its resources.

But we need to take note of the fact that it has many self-styled leaders who may be acting alone or in groups several criminal elements cover their activities under the garb of Boko Haram. As stated earlier, Prof Jean Herskovits has noted perceptively in an interesting article, that the Boko Haram has now evolved into a franchise that includes criminal groups claiming its identity. And, the Nigeria’s State Security Services also identified members of four “criminal syndicates” that send threatening text messages in the name of Boko Haram. Southern Nigerians — not northern Muslims — ran three of these four syndicates. She notes that 25% of the budget has been put aside for police and army and that the brutality of the security forces and the army is much more feared than the Boko Haram: such brutality is counterproductive and unnecessary. It was reported that the security services arrested a Christian southerner wearing northern Muslim garb as he set fire to a church in the Niger Delta. Nor, she observes is the Boko Haram a well-defined, organised terrorist group !Thus she concludes, in Nigeria, religious terrorism is not always what it seems. In recent months the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima noted that the Boko Haram have become a franchise that anyone can buy into. Also, Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Mustapha El-Kanemi, denies that Boko Haram are indigenes of Borno- stating that they are outsiders.

What is clear is that M Yousuf who died in custody had a popular following—in Maidaguri he set up a school for poor from Nigeria and other neighbouring states such as Chad to attend – and then moved base to Yobe. He spoke out against police corruption and poverty. One Nigerian intellectual Chris Kwaja, is keen to emphasise it is not religion but disenfranchisement and inequality. He states a little known fact that in Nigeria the laws have granted special powers to regional political leaders to decide who qualif as 'indigenes' (original inhabitants) or not. Only they can determine whether citizens can participate in politics, own land, seek employment or attend school. This system has excluded many Muslims who have been denied indigene-citizenship certificates. This is indeed a very serious charge and must be redressed. Only the Nigerian government’s civic initiatives hold the answer for long term solutions.

Question 2: What about its agenda to make Nigeria into an Islamic republic governed by Sha’ria?

As discussed earlier, it is critical for the Nigerian government to work actively towards guaranteeing people’s citizenship and indigenes rights – and secure their livelihoods, providing civic facilities, indeed security of personhood. Social security can be provided from the oil revenues if planned correctly. Vigilantism and brutal activities which accompany it will automatically dissolve. As for its agenda –we must acknowledge and respect that historically this region of the Savannah and its kingdoms has accommodated many influences that coexisted with folk spiritualism—If one reflects beyond the current political borders which limit our understanding – then it is possible to understand better the deep connections--- communications and cultural influences of the Sahara with central and western Sudan – trans Saharan trade and polity– Islam has remained integral to this region – Hausa land. There are chronicles such as the Kano Chronicle that give insightful accounts. But what is essential to keep in mind is that while conversion to Islam was gradual, it was not forced and in the countryside animistic practices remain. Also, learning and scholasticism accompanied such cultural syntheses. This also led to the construction of mosques with the movement of peoples such as the Fulani, the Fulbe among so many other groups led to intermarriage; race and ethnicity did not exist. Indeed, the great learning and scholasticism led to the development of indigenous sophisticated systems of justice based on Islamic jurisprudence for those times under the Hausa kings needs to be recognised.

There are many scholarly interpretations on the Boko Haram – and as many denunciations of it being anti-Islamic. In 1903 there had been a violent uprising in this region against the missionaries -- Maitatsine resistance for example and there are connections made between Boko Haram and that revolt! The rejection of western education is directly linked to the Colonial Project, specifically the work of the missionaries. Locals are noted to believe that western education (investments/ businesses included) can be equated with Christianity. Thomas Beidelmann an eminent anthropologist who in a very insightful study on colonial evangelicalism has noted that European missionaries who came out to Africa/ the Indian Subcontinent and other parts of the colonised world were profoundly different from their own countrymen and women – indeed, he states unequivocally that missionaries were the most alien of all – to quote him,” the depth, totality, and length of their commitment were the greatest. They sought to change not only the ways of work and politics of native peoples but their innermost beliefs, feelings, and deepest held values as well; and because of these missionaries may be considered the most ambitious and culturally pervasive of all colonialists, attempting social change and domination in their most radical forms... ” I wonder if you have read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- if you recall her cousin John – you may get a better picture of the kind of people Beidelmann is describing.

It is interesting to note that MSF- Medicines Sans Frontiers workers are never attacked as they do not have any religious affiliation. It is extremely important at this stage to contain this violence. What we are experiencing now along with the extreme poverty and livelihood issues – is a counter-offensive if you like. What can be done? Well, we need to recognise people’s wishes and sentiments in this region. And, that is why the Nigerian government must enter into dialogues of reassurance if only to affirm that the Fulani and Hausa people are indigenes and will be accorded full respect and dignity of being, whether they are Muslim or not. And, allow the forms of governance they wish to enjoy for their region.

Question 3: Any further thoughts?

I think it is critical at this juncture to bring to focus the need for education specifically inter-faith understandings in all parts of the world. Non-Muslims must learn about the many expressions of Islam familiarise themselves with basic tenets – for example -- jihad – al jihad-al-akbar is an intense inner moral struggle that has accompanies the choices we have to make as we strive to live a moral and principled life as a Muslim and al-jihad al-asghar means fighting injustice or oppressive rulers who maybe Muslim or non-Muslim. The Qur’an forbids the killing of innocent people. And so forth, indeed, there are so many common themes in the Judaeo Christian traditions that can be a platform for dialogues and creativity avoiding war and immeasurable suffering. Here the role of elders and religious leaders is invaluable.

Ultimately all understandings are constituted through our engagement with the world and for us living and knowing are interlinked. As anthropologists have noted that morality does not reside exclusively in social relationships or cultural expectations nor in the forces of nature nor in the consciousness of the socially constituted person – but rather all these three components of human conduct are welded into an integrated totality- within specific historical and cultural contexts.

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06/14/14

*24 Hour Electricity Solution !! Complete Solar Power Solutions & More

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06/13/14

*Intersociety Thanks, Appreciates & Celebrates Its Key Allies In Online News Industry

By Intersociety

Dear Publishers/CEOs of:
· News Express
· Nigeria Masterweb
· Elomba.Com
· Chidi Oparareports
· Nigerian Voice
· The Neighborhood
· Global Reporters Vienna
· Odera Igbo
· The Headline News
· News 247.Com
· The Willnigeria
· Others

Sirs,

Appreciation

(Onitsha Nigeria, 10th day of June, 2014)-On behalf of the Board, staff, members and consultants of our organization-International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), we wish to appreciate and thank you for your enormous assistance to us with respect to publication of our advocacy news on your popular and celebrated sites. Most important of all these is the maximum publicity given by your popular and celebrated news sites to our four-part letter to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan over our campaign and insistence on ICC invitation to the country. A copy of the last part (part four) is hereby attached.

No matter how rich a publishing material is, it is worthless if it does not see the light of the day on media. Such blackened rich material also enriches the empty mental faculties of lazy intellectuals and armchair researchers and writers who easily and maliciously credit it to themselves and their works without deeming it fit to give due credit to its originators. This is one major advantage your enormous assistance to us does to our numerous publishing materials. On our own part, we realize the need and importance of not feeding your popular and celebrated sites with contagious, malicious, libelous, scandalous and facts lacking advocacy news items. This explains why we bring all our professional experiences to bear. Good a thing, our BOT Chairman is a Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies. This gives us further advantage in purifying our advocacy news materials and making them libel, scandal, malice and virus free. Our legal and non legal consultancy is also very active.

We share a view that it is better to find writing pieces of 10 lawyers filled with libelous, scandalous and malicious contents than to find one written by a single criminologist. Such a criminologist is not only worthless but also deserves immediate intellectual and certificate disrobing. We also have a track record of faultlessness in most, if not all of our advocacy writings. This is because we are not “liars who use passive voices”, but “truth tellers who use active voices”. We say the truth and insist on it no matter how bitter or where the pendulum swells. We are like a high court that concentrates its business on “ratio decidendi” and discards “orbiter dictum/dicta”. We are sticklers of issue based social development discussions and have no time for frivolities. We have always been vindicated on all major issues we canvassed.

Again, we thank all of you. And we celebrate your huge successes in online media industry. Through your newest ICT voices, voices of the suppressed and oppressed have been re-awakened and heard. You have struck a balance between the Southeast/South-south and Southwest media dichotomy and facilitated a healthy competition between print, audio/audio visual and online news industries. History of invention of ICT media in Nigeria cannot be validly written without all of you. Nigerians celebrate all of you for creating another space for tens of millions of Nigerians especially after malicious and thieving politicians made an inroad into Nigeria’s leading print and electronic media and hijacked it.

Today, columns, editorials and top news on the country’s leading national dailies (print) are no longer what they used to be. Some popular private TV and radio stations especially in Lagos and Abuja have deviated and derailed because corruptly enriched politicians have corrupted and hijacked them. They are now pegged for the highest bidders, yet they have continued to preach accountability and transparency rested on morals.

We urge you not to relent a bit because Nigerians are proud of all of you. They celebrate you day in day out. As grassroots rights, democracy and security advocacy group, we are fully aware that vulcanizers, wheel barrow pushers, “mama put” providers, Keke and Okada riders and hawkers as well as traders now access and assess top news of the moment through their cell phones wherever they are, all thanks to all of you. They even share the news amongst themselves and make steady references to your popular and celebrated sites.

Our writing all of you is like giving you a feed back and letting you know how popular your news and your sites are among millions of Nigeria. We promise to continue to create news for your popular and celebrated sites. We will never let you and your celebrated sites down.

We also wish to use this medium to strongly condemn the ongoing attack by Nigerian military on the country’s print media. By attacking the country’s newspapers over their dutiful coverage and reports on Boko Haram terror campaign and counter-campaign, the Nigerian military has further exposed itself and brought its name to international ridicule. Rather than learning from its mistake of choosing to remain “a typewriter military organization” in ICT age and warfare, it has further exposed itself by not realizing that paper media has gone scientific.

If the soldiers of the Nigerian military seize hard copies of the country’s newspapers, what about their online copies? What about dozens of digital media outfits operating within and beyond the shores of the country? We see the military’s callous and illiterate attack on hard copies of the Nigerian newspapers as repetition of its gross mistake of “using type writer military hardware to combat ICT Boko Haram terror”. It is like a type writer police officer armed with AK-47 and asked to pursue an ICT Boko Haram bomb detonator. The attack under reference is totally condemned. The military has a serious case to answer over credible allegation of abdication of its sworn duties that led to a number of civilian massacres in the northeast States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

Thank You Very Much.

Emeka Umeagbalasi
Board Chairman
+2348100755939 (text 24/7, calls 9.30am -4.pm, Mon.-Fri., office hours)

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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*Intersociety Writes Jonathan To Invite ICC To Nigeria Over Boko Haram Terror & Other Unlawful Killings - Part 4

By Intersociety

Ref: INTERSOC/NG/005/06/14/FGN/ABJ

His Excellency
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
President & Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
Federal Republic of Nigeria
The State House, Three-Arms-Zone
Abuja, FCT, Nigeria

Sir,

Boko Haram Terror & Other Unlawful Killings In Nigeria: Our Opposition To Immunity & Impunity For Atrocity Crimes & Criminals And Insistence On International Criminal Justice Intervention-Part 4

(Security & Rule of Law, Onitsha-Nigeria, 7th day of June, 2014)-This part concludes the referenced letter to Your Excellency by the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety. The parts one, two and three were dated 28th and 31st May and 6th June 2014 and can by read by clicking this link. The subject matter remains a call on Your Excellency for urgent invocation and application of international criminal justice sanctions against those involved in atrocity crimes in both war and peace times in Nigeria since July 2002 in accordance with the international criminal justice, human rights and humanitarian norms. Article 11 of the Rome Statute of the ICC remains our guide in this respect.

Jurisdiction Of The International Criminal Court: “The jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The Court has jurisdiction in accordance with this Statute with respect to the following crimes: 1. The Crime of Genocide; 2. Crimes Against Humanity; 3. War Crimes; and 4. The Crime of Aggression” (not yet universally agreed on definition and modes).

Genocide: For the purpose of this Statute (in accordance with Article 6 of the Statute), "genocide" means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Crimes Against Humanity: 1. For the purpose of this Statute (in accordance with Article 7 of the Statute), "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: (a) Murder; (b) Extermination; (c) Enslavement; (d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population; (e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; (f) Torture; (g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; (h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; (i) Enforced disappearance of persons; (j)The crime of apartheid; (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

2. For the purpose of paragraph 1: (a) "Attack directed against any civilian population" means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack; (b) "Extermination" includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population; (c) "Enslavement" means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children; (d) "Deportation or forcible transfer of population" means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law; (e) "Torture" means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions;

(f) "Forced pregnancy" means the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population or carrying out other grave violations of international law. This definition shall not in any way be interpreted as affecting national laws relating to pregnancy; (g) "Persecution" means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity; (h) "The crime of apartheid" means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime; (i) "Enforced disappearance of persons" means the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

3. For the purpose of this Statute, it is understood that the term "gender" refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term "gender" does not indicate any meaning different from the above.

War Crimes (Article 8 of the ICC): The Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes.

2. For the purpose of this Statute, "war crimes" means: (a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention: (i) Willful killing; (ii) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments; (iii) Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health; (iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; (v) Compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power; (vi) Willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial; (vii) Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement; (viii) Taking of hostages.

(b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts: (i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities; (ii) Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives; (iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict;

Others are: (iv) Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated; (v) Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives; (vi) Killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion; (vii) Making improper use of a flag of truce, of the flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy or of the United Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions, resulting in death or serious personal injury; (viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory; (ix) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives;

(x) Subjecting persons who are in the power of an adverse party to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are neither justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his or her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the health of such person or persons; (xi) Killing or wounding treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army; (xii) Declaring that no quarter will be given; (xiii) Destroying or seizing the enemy's property unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war; (xiv) Declaring abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party; (xv) Compelling the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the war; (xvi) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault; (xvii) Employing poison or poisoned weapons; (xviii) Employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices; (xix) Employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions;

(xx) Employing weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare which are of a nature to causesuperfluous injury or unnecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate in violation of the international law of armed conflict, provided that such weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare are the subject of a comprehensive prohibition and are included in an annex to this Statute, by an amendment in accordance with the relevant provisions set forth in articles 121 and 123; (xxi) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; (xxii) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence also constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions; (xxiii) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations; (xxiv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law; (xxv) Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions; (xxvi) Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities( The ICC June 2014).

Powers Bestow On Your Excellency By The ICC: Having become a State party since 27th September 2001, the State of Nigeria has accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC and crimes under which its jurisdiction investigates, prosecutes and convicts or acquits. This is in accordance with Article 12 of the Statute. Also, Article 14 of the Statute empowers Your Excellency as the President & Commander-in-Chief of the Federation of Nigeria, which is a State-party to the ICC to invite the Chief Prosecutor to the country over the butcheries under reference. The Article 14 (1 & 2) provides: A State Party may refer to the Prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court appear to have been committed requesting the Prosecutor to investigate the situation for the purpose of determining whether one or more specific persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes. 2. As far as possible, a referral shall specify the relevant circumstances and be accompanied by such supporting documentation as is available to the State referring the situation.

On account of apparent “unwillingness” and “inability” by governing authorities in the country to visit the atrocity criminals under reference with municipal criminal code sanctions, invocation of international criminal code sanctions becomes inevitable. This is in line with Article 17 of the Rome Statute. Those exempted by the Statute from being held criminally liable over the aforesaid heinous crimes are those genuinely and popularly tried and convicted or acquitted by municipal courts. This is in accordance with Article 20 of the Statute under reference. Within the context of the subject matter under discussion, it is correct to say that most of those responsible for the butcheries and destructions are still on the prowl with impunity. Article 28 talks about the criminal responsibility of barbarous and murderous security commanders in the conflict under reference.

Lastly Your Excellency, going by the provisions of the Rome Statute on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, we believe strongly that the three have been committed in the butcheries under reference since July 2002 when the ICC Statute came into force in accordance with Article 11 of the Statute. In our view, for instance, the Gwoza massacre of 2nd June, 2014 is considered a crime of genocide because it is a deliberate act to wipe out the entire Christian communities as well as all male populations in the areas. The abduction of over 200 Chibok girls on 14th April 2014 is a war crime because such act is totally forbidden in conflict situations by the ICC’s Rome Statute. The Boko Haram terror insurgency has also become a bloody conflict of international nature on account of recent UN Security Council pronouncement (22nd May, 2014).

As a member of the UN Security Council, Your Excellency should explore other international options including getting several UN backed or recognized bodies to peruse and act towards taming the dire security challenges in the country. A UN and ICC backed Special Criminal Court or Tribunal for Nigeria on Boko Haram Killings & related others should also be considered as an alternative or a complementary option to the ICC’s intervention. Nigeria and Nigerians are tired of “presidential condolence messages”. They are yearning for permanent solutions to butcheries and destructions that have pervaded and still pervade their hallowed landscape especially since July 2002.

Yours Faithfully,

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

CC:
1. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, New York, USA
2. Ms Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor for International Criminal Court, Hague, The Netherlands
3. The United Nations Higher Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
4. Secretary General of Amnesty International, London, UK
5. The Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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