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IGP Idris to Saraki: “Do not interfere with police investigations”

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IGP, Ibrahim Idris
IGP, Ibrahim Idris

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris appears ready to assert the independence and authority of the Nigerian Police even as he waves aside the allegations of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki that the Police is working to implicate him on criminal charges.

Do not interfere with Police investigations, the IGP counsels the Senate President.

In a statement, the Force Public Relation Officer, ACP Jimoh Moshood stated that “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to Press Statement credited to the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, of “Plot Against Him by IGP”.

“The Nigeria Police Force is shocked at the unbelievable claims, unverifiable allegations and unfounded accusations being peddled against the IGP by the Senate President, accusing the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris of plot and strategies against him to settle scores.

“The Force therefore wishes to categorically state that, there is no iota of truth in the allegation and false assertion by the Senate President of plot against him by the IGP to implicate the Kwara State Government and the Senate President in any criminal matter.

“Until investigation is concluded, any person, persons or group who tries to interfere in the investigation process by action or utterances is committing an offence.

“To set the records straight, the Kwara State Police Command on the 11th of May, 2018, paraded the following suspects before the Media and the Public, namely;

Abolaji Safti Ojulari of Kankatu area, Ilorin;
Lanre Mohammed Soliu a.k.a Askari of Ile Nda Compound, Ilorin;
Azeez Moyaki of Moyaki Compound, Gambari Area Ilorin.

Others are:
Suleiman Babatunde of Gambari Area, Ilorin;
Yusuf Habeeb of Kangile Village, Kulende, Ilorin;
and Umar Yahaya of Kangile Village, Kulende, Ilorin.

“The suspects admitted and confessed before the press and the public to have killed Eleven (11) innocent persons in kwara State and other States of the country.

“The victims according to the suspects were targeted and killed on the instructions of their sponsors.

“Find attached names of victims killed in cold blood (i) Bukola Ajikobi killed on 18/01/2016 at ajikobi Area in Ilorin

(ii) Azeez Lawal killed in February, 2018 at Oja oba area of Ilorin

(iii) Lateef (Surname unknown) killed February, 2018 at Ode Alfa Nda area of Ilorin

(iv) Jamiu (Surname unknown) killed in February 2018 at idi ape area, Ilorin

(v) One segun (Surname unknown) killed in September, 2017 at kankatu area of Ilorin. Others are

(vi) Wasiu (Surname unknown) killed in September 29, 2016 at Shao garage of Ilorin

(vii) Musiliu (Surname unknown) killed in February, 2018 at Shao Area Ilorin

(viii) Bayo Ajia killed in January 18, 2018 at taiwo Road, Ilorin

(ix) Another Lateef killed in January 2016 at Baboko Area of Ilorin

(x) Abbey a student of Kwara Polytechnic killed in April, 2017 at Niger Road, Ilorin

(xi) Lanre (Surname unknown) killed on 23rd August, 2015 at Isale Aluko Area of Ilorin.

“Consequent upon the public confessions of these vicious and notorious killer squad to the killings in cold blood of more than Eleven (11) innocent people in Kwara State and other States of the Federation, the statutory procedure and practice in the Force is that such a heinous crime and capital offence is transferred to the Force Headquarters for further investigation.

“This is to enable a thorough and discreet investigation into the crime.

“However, it is pertinent to state that, there is no vested interest by the Inspector General of Police in the ongoing investigation into the several murders committed by this killer gang, other than ensuring that justice prevails in the matter.

“Nobody, no matter how highly placed would be allowed to interfere or obstruct Police investigation to pervert the course of justice.

“It is also imperative to let the public know that last year, suspects arrested over the mayhem and killings of innocent people in Ile-Ife, Osun State and those arrested in Southern Kaduna crisis in Kaduna State and suspects arrested in connection with Zaki-biam killings in Benue State were all transferred to the Force Headquarters, Abuja for further investigation before they were arraigned in court of competent jurisdiction.

“Therefore, transferring this hired assassin gang masquerading as cultists in kwara State to Force Headquarters, Abuja for further investigation is in accordance with Police investigation procedures.

“It is also important to underscore that the statement credited to the Senate President can dissuade and discourage living victims/deceased families of those who must have been killed by this vicious hired assassin gang from coming forward to give evidence against them.

“The Nigeria Police Force hereby implores members of the general public to disregard and discountenance the claim of plot by the IGP against the Senate President as a ruse, unfortunate and an attempt to divert Police investigation into the killings of more than Eleven (11) innocent people from kwara State and other States of the Federation in the recent past by the killer squad who operate under the guise of a cult group.

“The Force will leave no stone unturned and will do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure justice in this matter, no matter whose ox is gored.”

Human Rights

Amnesty confirms 60 killed by Boko Haram in Rann

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The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. On 30 January 2019, hundreds of structures appear heavily burned. Environmental sensors remotely detected fires in the area on 28 and 29 January 2019.

At least 60 people were killed following the 28 January devastating Boko Haram attack on Rann, a border town in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, Amnesty International has confirmed.

The organization also analyzed satellite imagery which shows hundreds of burned structures in the town. Many of the destroyed structures only date back to 2017, suggesting they were shelters for internally displaced people who came to Rann seeking protection.

“We have now confirmed that this week’s attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people. Using satellite imagery we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

Satellite imagery which shows hundreds of burned structures in the town

“This attack on civilians who have already been displaced by the bloody conflict may amount to possible war crime, and those responsible must be brought to justice. Disturbingly, witnesses told us that Nigerian soldiers abandoned their posts the day before the attack, demonstrating the authorities’ utter failure to protect civilians.”

Inadequate security

Alleged withdrawal of troops, triggered a massive exodus of civilians to Cameroon, as fear spread that Boko Haram would take advantage and attack the town. At around 9am on 28 January, a group of Boko Haram fighters arrived on motorcycles. They set houses ablaze and killed those left behind. They also chased after those who attempted to escape and killed some people outside the town.  Eleven bodies were found within Rann town, and 49 bodies were found outside.

The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. A closer look at one burned area on 30 January 2019 shows the severity of the damage. Many of the structures are new since 2017 suggesting they are shelters for IDPs living in the town.

The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. A closer look at one burned area on 30 January 2019 shows the severity of the damage. Many of the structures are new since 2017 suggesting they are shelters for IDPs living in the town.

Amnesty International was informed that about 50 people have not been accounted for. Those who took part in the burial explained what they saw.

According to an eyewitness: “Ten of us [Civilian Joint Task Force] came from Cameroon to Rann for the burial. When we arrived, we found and buried 11 corpses within the town, but the soldiers told us that they buried several others yesterday [30 January] who had decayed. Outside the town, we recovered and buried 49 dead bodies all with gunshot wounds.”

Aid agencies have reported that some 30,000 civilians have fled for the border with Cameroon in recent days, joining a further 9,000 who fled Boko Haram’s previous attack on Rann on 14 January.

Satellite evidence of mass burning

Amnesty International analyzed satellite images from 30 January 2019 showing hundreds of structures burned in the east, south and southeast of Rann. Environmental sensors detected fires in the area on 28 and 29 January.

The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. On 30 January 2019, hundreds of structures appear heavily burned. Environmental sensors remotely detected fires in the area on 28 and 29 January 2019.

In the 14 January attack, Boko Haram burned well over 100 structures in other areas of Rann. These two recent attacks have left most of the town heavily damaged or destroyed.

Amnesty International is calling on Nigerian authorities to investigate the alleged withdrawal of security forces of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) from Rann, which may have left tens of thousands of civilians exposed to this latest deadly attack.

“Boko Haram has consistently and deliberately targeted civilians in Rann, which makes the Nigerian authorities failure to protect people all the more unacceptable,” said Osai Ojigho.

“The authorities on both sides of the border must provide the supplies and safety that these people require. The Cameroonian authorities must also desist from forcing people to return until conditions are safe and they choose to do so voluntarily.”

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Media groups mourn slain Ghanaian Journalist in Nigeria

– March to Ghana High Commission, open a condolence register in Abuja

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The group holding a banner in solidarity with slain Ghanaian journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom, Safer Media Initiative (SMI) and colleagues from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Thursday in solidarity mourned the death of Ghanaian Journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale who was assassinated in his country on Wednesday, January 16.

Hussein-Suale, an undercover journalist with Tiger Eye, an investigative reporting project founded by Anas Aremeyaw Anas was shot three times by gunmen on a motor bike who eventually drove off without carting away with any valuables from his vehicle.

In solidarity to the fallen hero, journalists from SATELLITE TIMES, Safer Media Initiative and colleagues from the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) came out, dressed in black to mourn and also condemn the gruesome killing of Hussein-Suale. The ceremony is in continuation of a week-long activity in Abuja and Lagos by investigative reporters bent on seeking justice for their slain colleague in Ghana as well as upholding the ideals for which he gave his life.

Two days earlier, members of Safer Media Initiative took their solidarity march to the Ghana High Commission in Abuja where they called on the Ghanaian government to take action and further justice for the slain journalist.

Reacting to the murder, publisher of SATELLITE TIMES newspaper and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah, in strong terms condemned the act, adding that it is one too many on African journalists.

 Publisher of SATELLITE TIMES newspaper and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah

Publisher of SATELLITE TIMES newspaper and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah

Mayah used the medium to also encourage journalists not to fret or be discouraged by the attack on their colleague. Though he recognized the fact that the work of journalists in Africa is becoming increasingly difficult, he charged them to keep shinning light on the truth as they remain the defenders of the social contract, ridding the continent of corruption, bad governance and inequality.

In an earlier statement condemning the murder, Mayah said “We at SATELLITE TIMES newsroom join our colleagues in the global investigative journalism community in condemning the cowardly killing of this young journalist in Ghana. To Anas: we stand by you and share in your grief in this dark moment. To Ahmed’s family: the pain never goes away. To the government of Ghana we say: Journalists are not public enemy, rather they are protectors of the public interest; the defenders of the social contract between the citizens and the state.”

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom took turns to sign a condolence register in memory and honour of Hussein-Suale.

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom signing condolence register

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom signing condolence register

Tony Icheku, a member of the NUJ in his condolence message said, “A threat to one is a threat to all. Ahmed Hussein-Suale’s death must not be in vain. RIP brother man!”

In his remark, the Executive Director of Safer Media Initiative, Peter Iorter said “it is unfortunate and worrisome that this has happened in Ghana, a country regarded as one of the most democratic countries in Africa and also ranking better than any other African country on the World Press Freedom index.”

Hussein-Suale was a member of the undercover team that exposed football corruption in Ghana and his last work, an investigation into ritual killings in Malawi published by the BBC.

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Satellite Times condemn the assassination of investigative journalist

-calls on journalists in Nigeria to wear black

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Ahmed Hussein-Suale, the Tiger Eye the investigative journalist who was killed by gunmen [Photo credit: Quartz Africa]
Ahmed Hussein-Suale, the Tiger Eye investigative journalist who was killed by gunmen [Photo credit: Quartz Africa]

Nigeria’s frontline investigative newspaper, Satellite Times, has condemned in strong terms the assassination in Ghana of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale.

Ahmed was killed in a hail of bullets from gunmen on motorbike who aimed at his chest and neck, eventually speeding off without taking any valuables from his car which they had trailed till the attack. The slain journalist was one of the reporters at Tiger Eye, an investigative reporting project founded by ace Ghanaian journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Reacting to the murder, Satellite Times’ publisher and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah, said in a statement that the shooting dead of Ahmed Hussein-Suale is one gruesome attack too many on African journalists doing the difficult work of ridding the continent of corruption, bad governance and political capture.

In the press statement Mayah said:

“I am reeling in shock as I write this. What happened in Ghana is too close to home that it is producing a petrifying aftershock here in Nigeria. Over the years I have received with angst news of killings of journalists across the world but none was as jolting as the slaying of Ahmed Hussein-Suale; maybe because I knew him in person.

“We at Satellite Times newsroom, join our colleagues in the global investigative journalism community in condemning the cowardly killing of this young journalist in Ghana. To Anas: we stand by you and share in your grief in this dark moment. To Ahmed’s family: the pain never goes away. To the government of Ghana we say: Journalists are not public enemy, rather they are protectors of the public interest; the defenders of the social contract between the citizens and the state.

We ask the government of Ghana and indeed those of the other member states of the African Union to recall Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against corruption, which provides that each state party shall take measures to protect “the freedom to seek, receive, publish and disseminate information concerning corruption”. In the spirit of this statute, we call on the government of Ghana to fish out and bring to justice the killers of Ahmed; be they in government or friends of the government.

“Death is everyone’s destiny but death for the investigative journalist is a choice. Journalists fought for the independence of nations of Africa. They fought against colonialism, apartheid, military dictatorship and now even in a democracy, they are fighting against bad governance, human rights violations and official brigandage, the last obstacles to the total emancipation of the African continent.

“We ask the African community that we serve to see investigative journalists as freedom fighters in the mould of Steve Biko, Martin Luther King, Patrice Mulumba, Thomas Sankara, Che Guevera, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Ken Saro-Wiwa; and of course, Dele Giwa, Norbert Zongo and Anna Politkovskaya.

“Journalists in Satellite Times newsroom will begin today (Friday) to wear black for seven days as we mourn our departed colleague in Ghana.”

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