Category Archives: Nigeria

Africa: Remarks With Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

From: U.S. Department of State
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
July 21, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. I am very honored to welcome somebody who’s become a friend, the president of Nigeria, President Buhari. I first met him when I went over there before the elections, and we had occasion to talk about the importance of the election process. It was in the middle of the campaign. And then I had the pleasure of going back for his inauguration, which was very festive and represented the first transfer peacefully of power as the result of an election, and it was a very, very important moment.

Nigeria is an extraordinarily important country, and we have very, very important interests together. We have pledged with the President’s meeting yesterday to work very closely on economic development, on the economy, on counterterrorism, on regional issues, but very importantly also, to join together in an effort to do a better job of taking on Boko Haram. The president is deeply committed to this endeavor. He has a military background. He has himself been in combat. He has led the armed forces of his country and he knows what this is going to take. So we have a ready and willing partner, and we look forward to developing our counterterrorism and our counter-Boko Haram plans even as we also work on energy development, on education, health, and other issues within the country.

So we’re delighted to welcome the president here to Washington. He’s brought a very significant delegation with a number of governors. That’s very important to the ability to put in reforms, and I might mention the president is deeply committed to tackling the problem of corruption, which has prevented the country from doing many of the developmental and other initiatives that are on the table.

So Mr. President, we welcome you. We’re really delighted to have you here. Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT BUHARI: Thank you very much, (inaudible). I’m very pleased to get this opportunity to thank the Secretary of State because his visit to Nigeria, which he’s just referred to, since his visit seemed like a friend to Nigeria. As the United States’ message sent to the previous administration was clean and clear that the United States would not accept anything extraconstitutional, that prepared the minds of Nigerians to back us and to arrive where we are today. Nigeria will remain very grateful to the United States, to the President, and to the Secretary of State. He saw the president then, he saw the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, and he saw the opposition. And by the day, the United States maintained pressure on the government, the law enforcement agencies, and the election officials to make sure that the election was free and fair.

We thank God, we thank the United States, we thank technology for the introduction of a permanent voter’s card and reader cards made so much difference from previous elections. I thank you very much, Secretary. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen of the press.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT BUHARI: Thank you very much. Happy to see you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. We’re going to have a working lunch now. Thank you.
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Nigeria: Boko Haram terrorists deny ceasefire claim by Nigeria s government

From: ‘frank patrick materu’

The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls had converted to Islam and been married off since being taken, the BBC reported. But the Boko Haram leader said the girls were “in their marital homes” after being married off by the group, the BBC reported.

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On Saturday, November 1, 2014 11:37 PM, “” <> wrote:
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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Boko Haram terrorists deny ceasefire claim by Nigeria’s government

By Michael Ireland
Special Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

LAGOS, NIGERIA (ANS) — In a video released by Boko Haram, showing its leader Abubakar Shekau delivering a speech on October 31, the group denies the Nigerian Government’s claim they have reached a ceasefire agreement.

The video, released on Friday and a screenshot of which was posted to the BBC website, was Boko Haram’s first statement after the government announced a ceasefire.

Boko Haram denied claims by Nigeria’s government that it has agreed to a ceasefire and would release more than 200 abducted schoolgirls.

The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the girls had converted to Islam and been married off since being taken, the BBC reported.

The BBC earlier reported that Nigeria’s army announced a ceasefire with the militants on October 17, saying the girls would soon be freed.

But the BBC says violence has continued since news of the alleged truce, including a fatal bomb blast on Friday.

Boko Haram has been fighting an insurgency since 2009, with some 2,000 civilians reportedly killed this year, the BBC said.

In the video released on Friday, Abubakar Shekau said: “We have not made ceasefire with anyone. We did not negotiate with anyone. It’s a lie. We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiati on? Allah said we should not.”

The BBC said Shekau also claimed that the militants were holding a German national, thought to be a teacher, who was kidnapped by gunmen in July.

The BBC said there was no indication of when or where the group’s latest video was shot.

In its analysis, the BBC’s Tomi Oladipo in Lagos says the video will come as a huge embarrassment for the Nigerian government after it said it had secured a ceasefire with Boko Haram.

The BBC added that newspapers with headlines on the Chibok girls and their possible release are displayed at a news stand in Abuja. The October 1, 2014 News of the government announcement supposedly sealing a truce with Boko Haram made the front pages.

The BBC explained that the Islamist militants sparked global outrage in April by abducting 219 schoolgirls from the remote north-eastern town of Chibok, in Borno state. Their continued captivity has led to criticism of the Nigerian government’s efforts to secure their release.

It added that hopes were raise d earlier this month when Nigeria’s chief of defense staff, Alex Badeh, announced a truce with the group.

“They’ve assured us they have the girls and they will release them,” he said. “I am cautiously optimistic.”

But the Boko Haram leader said the girls were “in their marital homes” after being married off by the group, the BBC reported.

The BBC added that last week, Human Rights Watch said in a report that Boko Haram was holding more than 500 women and young girls captive and that forced marriage was common in the group’s camps.

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** Michael Ireland is a volunteer Internet Journalist and licensed minister who has served as Chief Correspondent and Senior International Correspondent for ASSIST News Service ASSIST News Service. since 1998. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. For a digest of ANS stories, log-on to Mike’s Monitor at

One of 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls shares story of her dramatic escape

From: ‘frank patrick materu’

Escaped from Boko Haram
On Friday, September 26, 2014 11:41 AM, “ANS@ wrote:
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

One of 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls shares story of her dramatic escape

By Mark Ellis

Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS) — She was only 18, a high school senior, when she was awakened from her school dormitory at 11:34 p.m. by the sounds of gunfire. The terror group Boko Haram had overrun Chibok and was headed for her school.

“I called my father and he said we should not go anywhere,” says Saa, a pseudonym used for her protection. “He said we should gather ourselves together and pray so God will help us.” Saa is a Christian and her father is the pastor of Nigeria Church of the Brethren.

Her riveting testimony was given at a September 19th forum hosted by the Hudson Institute and supported by the Jubilee Campaign for religious freedom.

When Boko Haram entered the school on the evening of April 14th, the teachers and staff had already fled. When the gun-toting extremists entered her dorm room, Saa didn’t realize at first it was Boko Haram – but that soon became clear.

“They said if we shouted or tried to run away they would kill us. We didn’t know what to do. We were scared. A girl showed them where we kept our food, because it was a boarding school. They packed the food on large trucks and all the property. They gathered us near the gates and started bombing the school,” she recounts.

The girls were herded under a large tree and then loaded into trucks. “They said if we didn’t want to go they will kill us,” Saa says.

Three girls would not fit on the trucks and the jihadists questioned them about their faith. An intense verbal altercation erupted between the jihadists over whether to free or kill the three. One of them felt strongly any non-Muslim should die.


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Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and the founder of He is available to speak to groups about the plight of the church in restricted countries, to share stories and testimonies from the mission field, and to preach the gospel.



A Federal High Court sitting in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja this afternoon granted an order of mandamus compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-EFCC to explain why it must not release the information requested by a Civil Society Coalition under the Freedom of Information Act.

Federal High Court 2, Abuja, presided over by Justice Kasarati granted the leave as sought by the plaintiff- Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC to issue an order of mandamus against the anti-corruption Agency.

Reacting to the Court decision, Counsel to MIIVOC, Barrister Obasi Agu expressed satisfaction with what he described as judicial uprightness and expressed confidence that justice shall prevail.

“The implication of today’s court pronouncement is that the Court has issued an order, compelling the EFCC to explain to the Court why it must not make the information requested by my client available to him. The Commission has about fourteen days to respond.”

Adding his voice, MIIVOC Executive Director, Walter Duru expressed confidence in the ability of the judiciary to deliver justice, reiterating the coalition’s commitment to making anti-Corruption agencies in the country accountable.

He decried what he described as the absence of transparency and accountability in the operations of anti-corruption agencies in the country and reiterated his coalition’s commitment to righting the wrongs in the system.

It would be recalled that a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-EFCC to Court over its refusal to respond to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

The matter filed in Federal High Court, Abuja, with Suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/265/13 between the Incorporated Trustees of Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption as plaintiff and the Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission-EFCC-defendant, prays the Court to compel the defendant to make available the information sought by the Plaintiff in accordance with section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

The matter seeks four reliefs, among which is “a declaration by the Court that the denial of assess by the respondents to make available to the applicant the information sought, without explanation amounts to a violation of the applicant’s right to information enshrined in the Freedom of Information Act 2011, section 4”

MIIVOC had through a letter dated 27th January, 2014, invoked the Freedom of information act via a request for information bothering on credibility, finances and Police presence in the Commission, a copy of which he displayed.

According to the FOI request, signed by the Organisation’s Programme and Publicity Director, Philip Inyang, copy of which is acknowledged by the EFCC, MIIVOC made a 7-point demand that centered on the controversies surrounding the Commission’s financial state, alleged dominance of the Commission by the Police and other credibility issues.

“We refer to the August 5, 2013 publication on Daily Sun Newspapers and the Punch newspaper of August 2nd, 2013 which reported that there are about 700 Policemen working in the EFCC, majority of whom are top management Staff. In another report in the Nigerian, an online newspaper, it was alleged that most heads of Units, Departments and zones in the Commission are headed by Policemen, irrespective of qualifications, federal character and background. In response to the Vanguard Newspapers publication of January 21st, 2013, the EFCC Spokesman denied the predominant presence of Policemen in the Commission, without explaining what the 700 policemen are doing in EFCC and how 700 policemen, out of less than 1,200 EFCC staff is not a predominant figure in an organization that was created more than ten years ago. He also failed to address the issues raised in the report by the Senate where EFCC was alleged to be spending funds meant for the recruitment of new staff and payment of benefits to its core officials to Police.”

“On ThisDay newspaper of 17th December, 2013, the Commission was quoted as being broke and having less than N2m in her accounts. In another statement credited to the Commission’s Spokesman, Wilson Uwajuren and published on Vanguard and Guardian newspapers of 19th December, 2013, the Commission was reported to have somersaulted, claiming that it was not broke.”

“To sustain the credibility of this Commission among Nigerians and at the international level, a more robust and convincing response is expected from the Commission in situations such as this, considering the series of controversies that have trailed the Commission’s activities and operations lately.”

“It is the need for this credibility and in view of the right of Nigerians to know, that we most respectfully invoke Sections 1, 2 (3)(V), 2(3)(Vi) of the 2011 Freedom of Information Act to request for the following: Details of all Police officers posted to EFCC, their qualifications, ranks, and duties as well as dates of secondment to EFCC; Details of police officers that are in charge of operations, sections and units of EFCC; Details of senior officers of EFCC occupying Directorate positions and the number that are supposed to be in Directorate positions if not for the police officers; The volume and value of EFCC funds (INCLUDING NON-APPROPRIATED FUNDS) that go to the Police, Ministry of Trade and Investment Special Control Unit Department, Training of staff, number of officials of EFCC trained (and other officials who are not EFCC officials) and how much was saved from EFCC budget in 2013 given all the international funding and support it obtained in 2012/2013.

Other requests are: Details of support and funding from the international community in 2013, especially, funds from: GIABA/ECOWAS and World Bank; Details of EFCC officials trained by international agencies in 2013 and how much was saved in the budget of EFCC because of this support and the actual financial statement of the Commission, as at December 31st, 2013.

Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) is a coalition of communication, civil society and human rights activists and groups with interest in the war against injustice, Violence, immorality and corruption, as well as the protection of human rights, from a communication perspective. It is believed to be working with a coalition of over twenty different non-governmental Organisations in the Project.

Among the NGOs in the Coalition are: Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria-NOPRIN; International Association of Criminal Justice Practitioners-IACJP; Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development- FENRAD; Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights-CCIDSOR, Center for Zero Violence Advocacy-CEZVA; Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption; Initiative for Reorientation for Peace-building –I-REP, among others.

Philip Inyang
Director, Publicity

Africa: World Business Leaders Gather in Nigeria for Bayelsa Investment and Business Forum

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Making Bayelsa state the Dubai of Africa

LAGOS, Nigeria, July 2, 2014/ — The Bayelsa State Government of Nigeria ( says it has concluded arrangements to host global business leaders between 16th and 18th July, 2014, at its maiden investment and economic forum with the theme ‘Unlocking Bayelsa State’s Economic Potentials’.


Photo 1: (Barrister Kemela Okara, Hon Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Bayelsa State)

Photo 2:

Disclosing this at a press briefing in Lagos, the State Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Investment, Barrister Kemela Okara said the Forum was in line with the present administration’s economic blueprint of a private sector driven economy which he said some foreign investors were already tapping into.

“Our expectation”, he said, “is that potential investors from different parts of the world, within Nigeria and Bayelsans in the Diaspora will come and take advantage of the various opportunities that exist in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Oil and Gas, ICT, Tourism and Hospitality, and Power”.

He further said that in line with the administration’s vision of making the state the Dubai of Africa the government was creating an enabling environment complete with adequate security, infrastructure and an investor-friendly legal framework.

Some on-going projects which the Commissioner said would delight potential investors include the Agge Deep Seaport, the Cargo Airport, the World class diagnostics centre, a multi-billion naira 5-star hotel as well as the free trade zone the state government is planning to establish where there will be non-application of local taxation.

In the same vein, the Director General of the Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, Freda Murray-Bruce said that the choice of Bayelsa as host of many international events in the last two and half years evidently attests to the fact that it is the most peaceful state in the country.

Highlighting the achievements of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the chief press secretary disclosed that the state was now generating N1billion as internally generated revenue (IGR) per month, representing about 1000 per cent increase; a figure projected to hit N6billion in the next few years. This, he noted, could only be achieved by inviting investors, both foreign and domestic, to invest.

Noting the relevance of the power sector to the economy, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Cyril Akika disclosed that the government, in addition to the present power supply is planning to generate 3000 megawatts to boost power supply in the state.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Bayelsa State Government of Nigeria.

Media contact:

Lucky Joseph
Earl Glow Communications

Follow @BayelsaBusiness
Follow #BayelsaisGoodforBusiness

Bayelsa State Government of Nigeria

Nigeria: We can bring back all our girls

From: Nizar Visram

By Marc and Craig Kielburger

The Star phoenix May 27, 2014

If only Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford were actually Rambo, Mad Max and Han Solo. Then those aging, action flick superstars could actually go out and rescue the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped in April by a group of ruthless militants. And they’d do it in under two hours. All by themselves.

Instead, The Expendables 3 actors were left holding signs with the words “Bring Back Our Girls” – from the ubiquitous hashtag – for the cameras at the Cannes Film Festival, appealing like the rest of us for a resolution to this heart-wrenching story.

But we don’t need to be superheroes or send selfies – we can each save girls from exploitation and slavery by preventing it from happening in the first place. And we don’t need guns, tanks or Wookiee sidekicks to do it.

The phenomenal #Bring-BackOurGirls campaign made viral by Michelle Obama and other celebrities armed with smartphones has rallied image-conscious world leaders to commit military resources to finding the schoolgirls in Nigeria.
But even more importantly, it has rallied the attention of the rest of us to an issue that’s too often buried in the middle pages of the newspaper (or nowhere at all).

An International Labour Organization report released last week found that 21 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery, including 4.5 million forced into the global sex trade – an appalling industry worth $99 billion US. That’s more than the annual profits of Exxon and Apple combined.

So now that we’re all tuned in, we have a unique opportunity to turn our feelings of helplessness and moral outrage into a plan to bring back our girls – before they’re taken.

The vast majority of girls and women caught in the exploitative global sex trade are not victims of kidnapping, like the Nigerian 276 abducted by Boko Haram, but rather of poverty. Human traffickers prey on poor families who don’t have access to education and aren’t aware of their basic rights.

Mired in grinding poverty, parents desperately take out loans on conditions they don’t understand, pledging their children on their debts.

Similarly, it’s not militant groups that block 31 million girls from getting an education. The girls in Nigeria had a classroom, but many communities don’t have a functioning school. Many families can’t afford school supplies or uniforms.

Many girls have to stay home to care for sick relatives, look after their siblings, or perform essential household chores like walking miles every day for drinking water. Yet the opportunity for an education is critical to the economic future of that girl, that family and that community. Of course there will always be extreme cases of kidnapping and other evil deeds that require drastic measures like the ones being mobilized in Nigeria. But these extreme cases shouldn’t paralyze us from preventing more cases, from addressing the root causes that prevent millions more girls from setting foot in a classroom in the first place.

If we want to protect the world’s girls, we must empower them and their families to break the cycle of poverty.
We can accelerate the spread of microloans to women and families in rural areas and urban slums so they can start small businesses and avoid dependence on shady moneylenders. We can break down the barriers to girls’ education by supporting education initiatives, but also health-care programs and clean-water projects.

These solutions aren’t as exciting as Hollywood’s scripted versions in which heroes kick down doors, stop the bad guys and rescue victims. But they are the most effective and most sustainable ways to protect the world’s girls.

We’ve all felt a visceral reaction to the news from Nigeria over the past few weeks. If we truly want to step off the sidelines and do something to “bring back our girls,” there are many ways to do it. We don’t need to be Schwarzenegger – we just have to finish posting our hash tag selfies and think about what to do once we put the sign down.

(Brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger founded the educational partner and international charity Free The Children and the youth empowerment movement We Day.)

Nigeria: Revolt in the North – Interpreting Boko Haram’s War On Western Education

From: Abdalah Hamis

Since the start of Boko Haram’s insurgency in Northern Nigeria, no single act of violence committed by the group has succeeded in provoking such an intense degree of revulsion worldwide as the now well-documented Chibok kidnappings.

These have served to focus attention on numerous earlier attacks carried out on government schools, and also on an ideology which views Western-style education in Northern Nigeria as the source for the region’s host of woes.

Moreover, it provides a point of departure for an examination of heretofore overlooked personalities, groups, and events inside Nigeria which may contribute to our understanding of Boko Haram, its behavior and its sources of support.

Boko Haram is undoubtedly opposed to Western education, but is more generally opposed to Westernization’s influence on Northern Nigeria. Though the group’s formal name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, or “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad,” its familiar name, ‘Boko Haram’, often interpreted as meaning “Western education is forbidden,” would seem to evince an ideological hatred of non-Islamic literacy.

Yet, the sobriquet means a great deal more. While ‘haram’, an Arabic loanword, refers to that which is forbidden in Islam, according to Paul Newman, Professor Emeritus in linguistics at Indiana University, ‘boko’ is a Hausa word which means “Something (an idea or object) that involves a fraud or any form of deception.”

Western education is viewed by many Northern Nigerians as “a fraudulent deception being imposed upon the [Northern Muslim] population by a conquering European force” which undermines traditional Northern values.

The name Boko Haram, thus, might well be considered shorthand for an ideology opposed to Westernization generally and to Western education in Northern Nigeria, the conduit of Westernization, specifically.

It is important to understand that this ideology opposing Westernization and Western education embraced by Boko Haram was not constructed by Boko Haram itself.

Rather, it is an ideology which for decades has been clearly articulated and accepted by Northern Nigerian academics, politicians, military officers, traditional rulers, and university students to explain how, as they contend, the Western-style educational system imposed on Northern Nigeria by its British colonial masters – a system which according to Usman Bugaje, a prominent Northern leader, is “not only decidedly secular but had taken a position against God and made materialism and hedonism the ultimate in life”- subverted the North’s traditional Islamic values, and replaced “morality, that sense of right and wrong which only consciousness of God confers,” with a kind of ruthless materialism.

Blame for the disparity between Nigeria’s impoverished Muslim North and more-well-to-do largely-Christian South, as well as the rapacity of Nigeria’s leaders, is laid at the feet of Western education. As Bugaje asked, “If not from our educational institutions, where then is it [this decay and retrogression] coming from?”

Evidence of this mainstream Northern Nigerian religio-political ideology which opposes Western education appears in an edited work titled Western Education in Northern Nigeria published in 1996.

The work, produced by the National Gamji Memorial Club, a student association based at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, encloses chapters which present statistical information related to school performance, the education of women in Northern Nigeria, and the education of nomadic peoples. Of particular interest, however, is a chapter authored by none other than Usman Bugaje, entitled “Education, Values, Leadership and the Future of Nigeria.”

In it, Bugaje lays out the problems of the North and their cause as he sees it: “Western imperialism, of which the educational system is the most potent weapon, has gradually and subtly eroded and supplanted the values and ideals of our pre-colonial societies … [and] initiated us into a virulent materialism which has since subverted our social morality, weakened our social fabric and crippled our socio-economic and political progress.”

The “only hope of escaping from this culture of corruption, decay, and mismanagement,” Bugaje tells fellow Northerners, “is by restoring our values and culture buried in the abandoned and forgotten history and culture of our pre-colonial societies … to dislodge the hegemony and monopoly of western liberalism and allow our own indigenous contributions to thoughts and ideas to compete favorably in our institutions of learning.” With the aid of hindsight, this solution could be read as a fundamentalist’s call to jihad against Westernization and Western education in Northern Nigeria.

Bugaje himself is interesting, not only for his provocative statements – for example, in March of this year he provoked the ire of Southern Nigerians when he claimed Nigeria’s Niger Delta oil resources were owned by the North – but for what he represents: a direct link which leads from this distinctive fundamentalist ideology to some of the most powerful Northern interest groups in Nigeria.

These include: the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) where he has been a member; the Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ) where he is chairman; the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) where he was formerly the Secretary General; the militant group the Arewa People’s Congress (APC) where he is connected through his membership in the ACF and the Gamji Club; and others.

These groups list among their members and patrons a veritable who’s who of Northern Nigeria’s political elite, including (circa 2002): former heads of state General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida, and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido, and a host of others, all of whom, one might infer, are not only aware of Bugaje’s ideological attitudes but, by virtue of their endorsement of his authority within these groups, endorse his ideas as well.

This may be especially important when considered in light of the rise in Nigeria of ethno-religious paramilitary groups, like the Arewa People’s Congress, which coincided with the country’s return to civilian rule in 1999.

Ethno-religious interest groups, which have long existed in Nigeria, were largely suppressed during the decades of federal military rule (1966-1999). However, the return to civilian rule in 1999 brought forth from the shadows many ethnic and regional organizations, some of them militant in approach, keen to assert rival group rights and pride.

These included three so-called ‘apex organizations’ which represent the interests of Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups: The Afenifere, representing the interests of the Yoruba people of Nigeria’s Southwest; the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, representing the interests of the Igbo people of the Southeast; and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), which represents the interests of the North.

Though banned by Nigeria’s federal government in 2000, each of these organizations quickly formed a paramilitary wing. These ethnic militia groups, including the ACF’s militia wing, the Arewa People’s Congress (APC), have been implicated in some of the worst cases of ethnic and religious violence to rock Nigeria since the nation’s return to civilian rule.

Following soon after a series of meetings, which resulted in the establishment of the Arewa Consultative Forum, on December 13th, 1999, two former army intelligence officers, Brigadier General Halilu Akilu – the Director of Military Intelligence during the Babangida regime and Captain Sagir Mohammed, formed the Arewa People’s Congress in order to carry out activities aimed at protecting and promoting the cultural, economic and political interests of the Northern states and their peoples.

Though it now lurks in the shadows of Northern politics, the APC’s first impulses were accompanied by an abundance of provocative rhetoric. APC spokesman Asaph Zadok remarked, “Should there be mayhem against our Northern interests, the North will react by defending itself.”

Sagir Mohammed said, “We believe we have the capacity, the willpower to go to any part of Nigeria to protect our Northern brothers in distress. . . If it becomes necessary, if we have to use violence, we have to use it to save our people.

If it means jihad, we will launch our jihad.” Media reports suggest that, as a subordinate of the very well-funded ACF, which has collected hundreds of millions of naira in donations from state governors and wealthy Northern citizens, the APC has the financial capacity to carry through on its threats.

In the APC, one finds a well-financed militant group intimately connected to the heart of Northern Nigerian political power but also connected, albeit through Bugaje, to a fundamentalist ideology opposed to Westernization and Western education in Northern Nigeria.

And in the APC one finds a militant group which, one might suspect, possesses in its leaders the military and intelligence expertise to carry out covert paramilitary operations, including bombings. And in the APC one finds also a militant group that, having those things stated, promulgates its intentions to launch into jihad.

While not intending to suggest herein that the APC is Boko Haram, or that the group or its parent organization, the ACF, even supports Boko Haram, those features of the APC which correspond to our perceptions of Boko Haram appear as tantalizing avenues for research.

Some observers of Boko Haram may suffer from a form of apophenia. As Boko Haram’s tactics have evolved, from dane guns and machetes to car bombs and roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs), they have interpreted this evolution as the result of cooperation between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda or al-Shabaab, though very little evidence exists to support such assertions.

In the post-9/11 era, it is perhaps natural that such explanations are forwarded, especially when Abubakar Shekau has often spoken of the insurgency in terms of jihad and boasted of his relationship with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Moreover, given the expansion of al-Qaeda and its affiliates over the last several years, it’s easy to attribute rising violence in Nigeria to connections between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda or other foreign groups in ways reality and the evidence really just do not warrant.

Boko Haram’s attacks on government-run schools in Nigeria’s northeast should be understood as part of an ongoing political-military campaign, a Northern Nigerian jihad, meant not only to rid Northern Nigeria of its Western-style secular schools today, but to purge, conclusively, Nigeria’s Northern Muslim society of the source of its culture of corruption, decay and mismanagement.

The ‘al-Qaeda’ interpretation fails to provide an understanding of Boko Haram, its behavior, its sources of support, and its reasons for carrying out atrocities like that committed in Chibok in ways which fall in line with Nigeria’s often-violent history and extremely complex political culture.

In the wake of the Chibok kidnappings, the US Secretary of State John Kerry has vowed that the United States will “do everything possible to counter the menace of Boko Haram.” This effort should begin with a close examination of heretofore overlooked personalities, groups, and events inside Nigeria.

Kirk Ross is a Ph.D. candidate at King’s College, the University of London where he is examining Boko Haram’s interorganizational relationships and how these influence the group’s direction; he is the author of The Sky Men: A Parachute Rifle Company’s Story of the Battle of the Bulge and the Jump Across the Rhine (2000); he has reported from Kosovo, Crimea, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and elsewhere, he is a frequent contributor to the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings and is the winner of the journal’s 2009 General Prize for “Where Marines Could Be Marines.”


From: Cheekless 2011


Anti Money Laundering/Anti Terrorist Financing Stakeholders in Nigeria have faulted a statement credited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) suggesting that Nigeria has been reconnected to the Egmont Secure Web (ESW).

Following an investigation, a coalition of Civil Society Organizations, under the aegis of Coalition to Stop Corruption in Nigeria, confirmed that Nigeria remains suspended from the Group’s Secure Web, pending the fulfillment of the Country’s obligations and promises to the international community.

National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Wahab Garuba, who expressed concerns over the development during a chat with our Correspondent, urged the EFCC to desist from further misinforming the populace.

According to him, “the problem is that the Commission is not telling President Jonathan the truth. EFCC must desist from distorting the facts. It must desist from misinforming Nigerians. We have seen the letter in question. Egmont Group neither exonerated the Mobile Police officers posted to the EFCC nor the EFCC and Mr. Ibrahim LARMORDE.

“It must be stated here that Egmont Group disconnected Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) from its secure web since November, 2013 because of non-compliance with international standards and the failure of EFCC to allow the NFIU to operate as an independent and operationally autonomous FIU as required,” he added.

Speaking further, he said the NFIU, as presently structured, lacked operational autonomy, adding that all those that had served as Directors of the NFIU, since its inception, were unceremoniously removed by EFCC under different guises.

“NFIU’s establishment as autonomous Unit has no legal backing. If NFIU has the required autonomy, when did the EFCC Chief of Staff, Mr. Kolawole Oladele become a spokesman of the Nigerian Police or that of the NFIU?” he queried.

Speaking further, he said the NFIU disconnection bordered on how EFCC managed the NFIU without allowing other law enforcement agencies to use intelligence information generated by NFIU to combat terrorism and financial crime.

“Again, if it was not on non-compliance issues, why did the Egmont Group in its latest memo recommend that a compliance review be undertaken on the NFIU in order to find out whether or not it meets the Group’s requirements? Why didn’t the fact-finding team recommend NFIU’s reconnection to the Egmont Secured Web if it has the operational autonomy to function and if the offending fact was on the so called Police invasion of NFIU?” he emphasized.

While disclosing that the EFCC was the only body opposed to the establishment of an operationally independent Financial Intelligence Center for Nigeria, out of over twenty law enforcement agencies, Garuba urged the EFCC to desist from what he described as sponsored media propaganda.

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Conclusions of the Paris Summit for Security in Nigeria (17 May 2014)

From: Yona Maro

PARIS, France, May 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Paris Summit for Security in Nigeria (17 May 2014)


The Heads of State of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, France, Niger and Nigeria, as well as representatives of the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated on 17 May 2014 in a Summit in Paris dedicated to security in Nigeria. This Summit has helped intensify regional and international mobilization to combat the terrorism of the Boko Haram group.

The Summit concluded with several decisions that will strengthen cooperation between regional States, both to enable the liberation of the abducted school girls and more generally to combat Boko Haram. The partners present (the European Union, France, the United States and the United Kingdom) are committed to supporting this regional cooperation and strengthening the international means to combat Boko Haram and protect victims. All these States reaffirm their commitment to human rights and particularly the protection of girls who are victims of violence and forced marriage or threatened with slavery.

– Regional Cooperation

Nigeria and its neighbours will build analysis and response capabilities that will contribute to enhancing the security of all populations and the rule of law in the areas affected by Boko Haram’s terrorist acts.

To combat the Boko Haram threat, which has recently manifested itself through several murderous attacks and the abduction of more than 270 school girls,

Nigeria and its neighbours have decided to immediately:

1. On a bilateral basis

– Implement coordinated patrols with the aim of combating Boko Haram and locating the missing school girls

– Establish a system to pool intelligence in order to support this operation

– Establish mechanisms for information exchange on trafficking of weapons and bolster measures to secure weapons stockpiles

– Establish mechanisms for border surveillance;

2. On a multilateral basis

– Establish an intelligence pooling unit

– Create a dedicated team to identify means of implementation and draw up, during a second phase, a regional counter-terrorism strategy in the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

This approach is consistent with the 2012 Summit of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. The United States, the United Kingdom, France and the European Union will coordinate their support for this regional cooperation through technical expertise, training programmes and support for border-area management programmes.

– Efforts at international level:

The participants commit to accelerating the implementation of international sanctions against Boko Haram, Ansaru and their main leaders, within the United Nations framework as a priority.

– Mobilization to support marginalized areas and their fragile populations, and particularly women exposed to violence

The P3 and the EU pledge to mobilize donors in support of programmes fostering the socio-economic development of the regions concerned, with particular emphasis on gender equality, the rights of women and girls and in particular their right to education, increasing women’s participation in all decision-making processes, and supporting victims of sexual violence, including through legal assistance, medical care and psychosocial support. The EU will dedicate a certain number of its programmes to these aspects and will strengthen its efforts to combat radicalization.

The participants agreed that the United Kingdom would host a follow-up meeting next month at Ministerial level to review progress on this action plan.

– See more at:

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA


From: Cheekless 2011

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) has described as mischievous, reports in the media alleging plots to weaken the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) via the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Center (NFIC) Bill currently before the National Assembly.

Executive Director of the Group, Mr. Walter Duru, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday further described the report as sponsored and targeted at misinforming members of the public.

“The claim that creating the NFIC takes away the EFCC’s job simply shows that they do not even understand the core function of the Commission. It is a clear indication that they do not understand the mandate of the Commission and the difference between a financial intelligence center and a law enforcement agency. NFIC is a necessary body that must be in place in order for the country to effectively check financial crimes, money laundering, terrorism financing and other dangerous practices. The argument that the Bill will open the Center to litigations is unfounded and baseless. The proposed NFIC Bill is designed to provide a sustainable and credible legal framework for the NFIC in Nigeria. It seeks to provide the NFIC with operational independence, autonomy and greater ability to provide financial intelligence to all the relevant competent authorities (in Nigeria and abroad) in order to strengthen anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures. It is an international requirement for Nigeria to be seen as a safe country. The NFIU (as it is in Nigeria now) has severally been observed to be deficient by Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on many occasions. All the relevant stakeholders in Nigeria know the latter fact. Nigeria stands the chance of being blacklisted by GIABA during its forthcoming Plenary coming up in Niamey, Niger Republic between 5th and 9th of May 2014 because of this anomaly, which has been going on for years. All the Bill seeks to do is to provide for those things that give the NFIU’s its operational autonomy and strengthen its legal framework in compliance with international standard and best practice.”

“To assure you that they are simply out for mischief and to misinform, the EFCC had long recognized the fact that the NFIU should be operationally autonomous because its board passed a resolution in 2004 to that effect. However, the GIABA and FATF keep on reminding Nigeria that a mere resolution cannot cure the defect but a legal framework.”

Continuing, Mr. Duru explains that “This Bill is aimed at establishing a national agency that will be responsible for the receipt of information from financial institutions, designated non-financial institutions, law enforcement agencies and other relevant persons, analyse the information for the purpose of turning them into financial intelligence and disseminate the latter to all law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities without discrimination. The Bill will ensure that the NFIU is not tied to any agency (to avoid abuse and information hoarding). Rather, it has adequate measures to build an independent financial intelligence system.”

“Financial intelligence can also be used to assist the monitoring of balance of payments, use of foreign currency and prevent the abuse of the financial system by criminals. It should be noted that over 139 countries across all continents have established such independent FIUs. Nigeria as a member of the international community needs to establish one in order to be able to exchange information with other FIUs.”

On the report of an alleged US Intelligence Agency faulting the NFIC Bill, the Media and Civil Society expert described such as phantom and misleading, adding that the body’s (FinCEN) submission suggested further strengthening of some provisions of the Bill.

Duru further stated that “The report alleging that a US Intelligence Agency faulted the NFIC Bill is yet another phantom one. It is not only misleading, but also lacking in substance. The reporter made a deliberate attempt to distort facts. FinCEN’s comments on the letter by the Chairman, Presidential Committee on FATF, which we have seen is geared towards ensuring that the proposed NFIC is truly independent and autonomous in conformity with international guidelines and regulations. It never expressed any reservations about the Bill, but only advised that it be watertight in order to meet international standards. Twisting it to suggest otherwise is simply mischievous.”

On the position canvassed by the EFCC during the Public Hearing on the Bill by the both chambers of the National Assembly, Mr. Duru described it as insignificant, arguing that the interest and future of Nigeria is far above one individual or organization’s interests.

He stated that Out of about twenty stakeholder institutions, only the EFCC opposed the Bill. “The FIU is meant to serve all law enforcement and other relevant agencies in the country, the EFCC inclusive. No single agency must hijack it at the expense of the majority.”

Continuing, the MIIVOC CEO stated, “As we talk, Nigeria remains disconnected from the Secured Web of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units due to the concerns expressed over the autonomy of the NFIU. What this means is that Nigeria can neither receive nor share financial intelligence with other 138 member countries of the Egmont Group on money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as other related matters. More worrisome is the fact that it is happening at a time when Nigeria needs the information most, considering the challenge of terrorism confronting the country presently.”

“The only way out is to have a truly independent and autonomous FIU, as it is in other countries of the world,” he concluded.

Nigeria: Abuja Bus Station Bombing Update

From: Juma Mzuri

Police and emergency services officials in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja have said that the death toll from a bombing this morning at a bus station in Nyanya stands at 76 people. In addition, the officials disclosed that at least 100 people sustained various stages of critical injuries.

Police sources and eyewitnesses said the explosion went off as the park bustled with passengers who gathered there to take commuter buses known as “El Rufai”, after a former Minister of the capital territory, Nasir El Rufai. Our sources stated that day laborers frequently use the big red buses to commute to work at various locations around the metropolis.

The explosion killed many commuters and bystanders as well as set several buses ablaze, several witnesses said.

A police witness said body parts still littered the scene of the explosion several hours after the bombing. Most of the badly decimated remains as well as the injured have been taken to the General Hospital in the Maitama area of Abuja.

Ambulances belonging to different security agencies were seen making several trips from the scene of the attack.

The bombing is the first time the Nigerian capital has seen a major bombing this year. It comes as a group of Nigerians put together by President Goodluck Jonathan is meeting in Abuja to grapple with the country’s future. The gathering known as “National Conference” promptly adjourned their sitting till 4Pm tomorrow ostensibly over security concerns.

Mr. Jonathan reportedly cancelled a planned trip outside of the capital today. The president later visited the scene of the bombing under tight security.



Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption-MIIVOC is shocked at the death of tens of Nigerian unemployed youths who died in the course of a recruitment test organized by the Nigerian Immigration Service last weekend.

As a non-governmental organization that believes in due process, transparency, accountability and protection of human rights, we are amazed that in the 21st century, public office holders still adopt strategies that never worked even in the dark ages.

The tragedy should have been averted, if persons in positions of authority did their Job in a professional, competent and transparent manner.

Our preliminary investigations show that there are more questions than answers on why the tragedy occurred across the centers. The entire exercise was a charade and marred by deceit.

Consequently, MIIVOC has resolved to drag the Federal government of Nigeria and other concerned persons to Court if they fail to conduct a proper probe on the incident. The findings of the probe must be made public and those indicted made to face the wrath of the law.

This jamboree that took the lives of innocent young Nigerians must be probed. The lives of Nigerian youths must not waste, just like that. Our agents were in Port Harcourt, Owerri and Abuja and we saw things for ourselves.

More worrisome is the fact that these same unemployed graduates were compelled to pay a compulsory application fee by the Service, in conspiracy with its cohorts. What other scam could be worse than this? This is an obvious act of corruption and extortion that must also be investigated.

Consequently, we hereby call on the Federal government to immediately suspend from office, the country’s Minister for Interior, Abba Moro, Comptroller General of Immigration and all other public officers involved in the exercise, pending the outcome of the investigations.

Also, the Federal government should forthwith, place a perpetual ban on all forms of application levy by government Agencies, Parastatals and Ministries in Nigeria. Steps must also be taken to ‘heavily’ compensate the families of those that lost their lives in the exercise, beyond rhetoric.

We shall be left with no option, than to seek legal redress and mobilize Nigerians for mass protest against this barbaric and criminal waste of innocent lives of Nigerians, if our demands are not met within seven days.

There shall be no alternative to justice in this matter.

Walter Duru
Executive Director

Nigeria: CSPDN Press Release: National Dialogue: Civil Society Sets Agenda

From: Cheekless 2011
CSPDN Press Release

Ahead of the forthcoming National Dialogue, over one hundred Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria converged in Abuja on Wednesday 5 February 2014, and declared support for the initiative, even as they drew an agenda for consideration.

The participants drawn from all parts of the country under the aegis of Civil Society Partnership for Development in Nigeria (CSPDN) brainstormed and passed far-reaching resolutions.

According to a 12-point Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by the CSPDN National Chairman, Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje; Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee, Mr. John Akuse; and six other CSOs representatives (one from each of the six geopolitical zones), the third Sector representatives articulated several points which they consider very critical for the continued existence and progress of the country.

Among the issues considered for deliberation are: widespread corruption in the country, injustice and violation of laws; fundamental rights, gender equity and protection of children and vulnerable groups; citizens’ participation in governance; peace and social security, as well as health and human capital development.

Others are: youth mobilization, involvement in governance and political violence; transparency and equity in resource allocation; removal of immunity clause protecting some public officers in criminal matters; effective implementation of federal character to be inclusive of residents of every state and merit-based appointments across the country; review of the country’s governance structure, among others.

While appreciating the Federal Government for the inclusion of the Civil Society in the Confab, participants unanimously agreed that the 24 slots availed Civil Society Organisations in the country are grossly inadequate, considering the critical role they play as the third sector of the economy.

Continuing, they called on the National Assembly to ensure that the decisions of the Conference are given legal effect through integration into the ongoing constitutional amendment.

Highlights of the consultative meeting were the setting up of nine Technical Working Groups (TWGs) covering the identified critical areas and the nomination of twenty-four Civil Society representatives for the National Dialogue through a transparent democratic process.

Commenting on the proceedings of the meeting and selection process of Civil Society representatives, Chairman of the Communiqué drafting committee, Mr. Austin Osakwe described it as transparent and urged other sectors of the economy to learn from the third sector.

Some of the Civil Society Organisations present at the meeting are: Afrihealth Optonet Association; Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption- MIIVOC, Women Rights to Education Programme, Last Born Humanity and Development Foundation, African Child Social Empowerment Centre, Citizens Center for Integrated Development & Social Rights-CCIDESOR, Advocacy Initiative for Rural Mobilization and Upliftment and International Centre for Women & Child development.

Others include: Rural Women & Youth Development and Borno State Network for Peace, Center For Integrated Development And Social Rights, Ashbet Initiative, Body And Soul NGO, Habitat Care And Protection Initiative, Poverty In Africa Alternative (POVINAA), Initiative For Community Development, Lion’s Pride Children Initiative, Initiative For Grassroot Advancement (Ingra), Universal Agricultural Empowerment And Development Initiative, Youth Track Millennium Development Initiative, Social Welfare Network Initiative, Social Welfare Network Initiative, Lastborn Humanity and Development Foundation, Education as a Vaccine, Civil Resource Development and Documentation Center, Live Healthy Organization, Growing Businesses Foundation, Women’s Right To Education Programme, Advocacy Initiative for Rural Mobilization And Upliftment, Advocacy Initiative For Rural Mobilization, Foundation For Family Valves and Health Orientation and Empowerment, Shinning Status Women and Youth Initiative, Street Of Diamond Children/Women Health Care, David Mark Bonaventure Initiative, Poverty and Associated Maladies Alleviation Initiative (PAMAI), among others.

Walter Duru
Publicity Coordinator

Nigeria: 2015 – – Southern Forum Endorses Jonathan

From: Cheekless 2011

A socio-political Organisation, the Southern Solidarity Forum (SSF) has endorsed Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as their sole candidate for the 2015 Presidential election.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the inaugural meeting of the Imo State chapter of the Forum, held in Owerri on Saturday, signed by the Imo State Coordinator, Hon. Mike Igbokwe and the National Executive Secretary, Greg Nwadike, the group passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of President Jonathan, even as it urged him not to relent in his good works.

The Forum, through a formal motion moved by Hon. Walter Duru, representing Oguta local Government area and unanimously adopted by the twenty seven Local Government Coordinators, adopted President Jonathan as the sole candidate for the office of the President, come 2015.

It acknowledged that the Igbo race has benefited from the present administration in the country, more than any other, since after the Nigerian Civil war.

The Forum vowed to put machinery in place to ensure victory for President Jonathan, even as it urged him to accommodate more citizens of Imo extraction in his administration.

Earlier in his address, the Imo State chapter Coordinator of the Forum, Hon. Mike Igbokwe described the group as a gathering of patriotic Nigerians who are out to ensure that good governance is sustained in the country.

“The truth must be told. This most-vilified President who once had no shoes has proven to be the ‘Jonathan’ of our nation-Nigeria. Objective critics have come to the agreement that under this President, Nigeria has witnessed tremendous achievements and economic growth, never before witnessed or recorded in the history of the country.”

“Our people have benefited tremendously from the various appointments, including Service chiefs. Until two days ago, our own Onyeabor Ihejirika remained the Chief of Army Staff, a position no Igbo man had ever occupied since after the civil war. Our people now have greater representations in Federal Ministries, Departments, agencies and parastatals of government.”

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NFIA Bill: Why Stakeholders Declared Support–Group

From: Cheekless 2011

Paul Kingston

A group of Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Civil Society Coalition against Corruption believes that key stakeholders in the country threw their weight behind the establishment of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency during last Monday’s public hearing on the bill in the interest of the nation.

A Communication Consultant and Spokesman of the group, Walter Duru revealed this while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday.

Duru, who expressed delight at the voting pattern and the overwhelming support for the Bill commended the stakeholders for putting the nation’s interest above personal gains.

He reiterated the determination of civil society organisations in the country to fight the menace of corruption in order to guarantee the future of the nation.

Stakeholders at the public hearing held on Monday, 16th December, 2013 at the new Senate building, took turns to commend the sponsors of the bill for what they described as a strategic legislation to strengthen the legal framework in the war against money laundering, terrorism financing and corruption in Nigeria.

First on the list was the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, whose representative declared total support for the passage of the Bill and by implication, the establishment of the agency.

Next to speak was the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, whose secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Adegboyega, in what was glaringly an unpopular opinion, opposed the bill.

The EFCC Secretary, while presenting the position paper of the agency, also faulted the regulatory powers granted the proposed agency.

According to Adegboyega, “the proposed NFIA, if made autonomous, would be exploited by politicians, adding that “it is also open to a floodgate of injunctions, restraining orders and other litigation to stall anti-corruption trials.” He therefore told the Senate Panel that “the Bill is unnecessary and should be jettisoned”

In what appeared like a reaction to EFCC’s position, Nigeria’s apex Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria reiterated the urgent need for the creation of the new agency, describing it as long overdue.

Director, Legal Services, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Amusa Ogundana, who represented the CBN governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the apex bank is in support of the establishment of the NFIA, although it recommended some amendments to the bill, especially, the area that gives regulatory and supervisory powers to the proposed agency.

“We are not opposing the NFIA Bill. We are in support and we encourage it.”

In his presentation, representative of the National Intelligence Agency, Norman Smith Nwokoma declared the Agency’s support for the bill. “NIA is in full support of the bill.”

He argued that the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, as is presently constituted is not known to the country’s law.

Making reference to a purported board resolution cited by the EFCC representative, Nwokoma described the document as fake and challenged the Commission to produce evidence of the board meeting where the resolution was made. He challenged all present to put public interest first above pecuniary interests, even as he accused the EFCC of insincerity.

Similarly, Mrs. Blessing Egbefor, who represented the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said the bill, when passed into law, would strengthen the fight against financial crimes in Nigeria.

Also in his presentation, representative of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Joseph Sunday, reiterated that the NFIU as presently structured lacked legal status.

Sunday, who is the NDLEA Director of Prosecution and legal services, said the agency supported the bill because it would empower the FIU to effectively disseminate financial intelligence to law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.

“We are fully in support of the NFIA bill. There is a fundamental problem with the present structure of NFIU.”

In its own contribution, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC threw its full support for the bill, even as it commended the Senate for strengthening legislations on anti- corruption.

Adding its voice, the Nigerian Police Force joined the league of supporters, to the amazement of many and threw its weight behind the Bill.

The Directorate of State Security, which was represented by Mr. C.I. Osagie threw its full weight behind the bill.

Osagie however took a swipe on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over what he described as its insincerity in the handling of public service.

He further argued that the establishment of the NFIA as a central Agency responsible for assessing, analyzing and disseminating financial intelligence to law enforcement and other relevant agencies is not only in conformity with international best practices, but a boost to the war against money laundering, corruption and terrorism financing in Nigeria, even as it will give the stakeholders confidence in dealing with the agency.

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the National Accountants of Nigeria, represented by Nze Joseph Okoro both declared support for the bill.

Thirteen, out of the fourteen government Agencies present at the hearing all declared their support for the bill. Only the EFCC opposed it.

Nigerian Customs Service and Ministry of Finance were conspicuously absent at the public hearing.

Civil Society Organisations also came out en mass to participate in the public hearing. They all threw their weight behind the bill, describing it as very strategic in the fight against corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing in Nigeria.

Among the Civil society organisations present were: International Federation of Women lawyers, Nigerian Bar Association, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption, International Association of Criminal Justice Practitioners, Zero Corruption Coalition, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria and Independent Service Delivery Monitoring group.

Others include: Foundation for environmental rights advocacy and development (FENRAD), Center for community inclusion and disability studies, National emergency department inventory, Citizens Centre for integrated development and social rights, change movement Nigeria, Locale 2020/Nigeria, Educational watch center, Independent advocacy project, among others.

Earlier in his address, Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and anti-Corruption, Senator Victor Lar, said the National Assembly is driven only by national interest and considerations not individual and parochial interests.

He urged participants and stakeholders to put the interest of the nation above personal aims in the course of the meeting.

The NFIA Bill aims at establishing a national agency that will be responsible for the receipt of information from financial institutions and designated non-financial institutions, analysis of the financial information for the purpose of turning the information into financial intelligence and dissemination of the financial intelligence to all law enforcement agencies.

The Bill will ensure that the NFIU is not tied to any agency but will have adequate measures to build an independent financial intelligence system, in conformity with international standards and best practices.

NFIU autonomy is part of the Financial Action Task Force Standard Requirements to remove Nigeria from the list of “High Risk” jurisdiction countries of the world.


From: Atlantic Reportersnews

Johnson Johnson

As time goes on, it is becoming clearer that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has lost direction and focus, thereby making it difficult for it to investigate cases dispassionately without witch-hunting and grandstanding.

Ethics and professionalism in the handling of investigations or prosecutions are now history. This worrisome development appears not to surprise many. If an organization is established in error by forcing policemen to lead anti-corruption efforts without first of all cleaning up their own establishment–how can they give what they don’t have? It is no news that the EFCC is another arm of the Nigerian Police. It is also no news that over eighty five percent of the staff of EFCC are Policemen. One now asks, do Nigerians have confidence in the Police? If no, how then can corruption personified lead the war against corruption?
[ . . . ]

Why EFCC is after Oronsaye …The NFIA Connection

From: Cheekless 2011

Azeez Razaq

Facts have emerged on why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC has declared war on Nigeria’s former head of Service, Mr. Stephen Oronsoye.

An impeccable source at the Commission who spoke to our correspondent on the grounds of anonymity expressed displeasure over what he described as witch-hunt and blackmail of an innocent senior citizen by the leadership of the EFCC.

According to him, “This is a set-up to tarnish Mr. Oronsoye’s name for the following reasons: He personally wrote a letter reporting our Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) findings to EFCC, which resulted in the prosecution of one Mrs. Chidi and Dr. Shuaibu.

“Why is it that after EFCC closed investigations in the Pension case in 2010, arraigned the subjects in 2011, obtained a “negotiated judgment” on one of the pension suspects in 2013, the Chairman in an obvious show of incompetence is now seeking to reopen the investigation by claiming that one of the suspects “wrote an additional statement” to include Mr. Oronsaye?

“For the benefit of those who have not been following the pension case –Mrs. Phina Chidi is the lady who has been covering her face in all the pension trial cases. This is a woman whom, investigation reports showed glaring evidence of her involvement in moving money from pension accounts using “her under-aged children”. How can a woman who ought to have been convicted all of a sudden become a star witness for the EFCC? Did the woman suffer from hallucination? Was she under duress after three years to forge a story against Mr. Oronsaye? Why now? Nigerians are not asking questions.”

“We are all aware that Mr. Oronsaye started the investigation of Pension fraud when he became head of Service. It is also a fact that can be checked out that he set up the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) before he retired in 2010. He also personally submitted the final report of that task team to EFCC and ICPC and invited them to investigate and prosecute those indicted before he retired. How come the complainant is now being witch hunted? Instead of prosecuting all those found guilty, EFCC is now turning to claim that it has evidence to prosecute Mr. Oronsaye –forged evidence generated by his ‘selected investigators’ from the North, including Mr. Mustapha Abdurrahman and Mr. Mustapha Gadanya, a younger brother to Mr. Tahir, who, not only was a staff of Mrs. Chidi, but who has been dismissed from civil service for conspiring with Mrs. Chidi to steal Pension fund? Why is EFCC making a charade of such an important case?”

“Mr. Oronsoye is the chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Financial Action Task Force. He recommended the merger of the EFCC with ICPC and has been in support of the autonomy of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, a unit presently under the EFCC which has been battling the Commission for autonomy. The bill for NFIU autonomy has passed through a second reading in both the Senate and House of Representatives and what do you think that EFCC will do when it is obvious that the largest international donor funding comes to EFCC because of NFIU. Nothing in the whole story is either true or close to the truth.”

Continuing, the source lamented over what he described as criminal intimidation of innocent Nigerians, while the actual criminals in the system are allowed to walk the streets freely.

Reacting to a recent publication alleging that Mr. Oronsaye was involved in the diversion of N6.2b pension fund, a legal Practitioner, Barrister Mike Obasi described the report as an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.

According to him, the report which stated that Mr. Oronsoye was grilled following a statement made by a Deputy Director, Pension Account in the office of the head of service, Mrs. Phina Chidi is a clear manifestation of set-up.

“Mrs. Chidi was said to have informed EFCC interrogators that she was given a mandate to shop for contractors who could make returns to the former Head of Service in the award of fictitious contracts which cost the country N5bn. She did not show any evidence of the mandate. In the Civil Service, instructions are communicated through formal memo.”

“She alleged further that the returns were made to Oronsaye through Shuaibu. Where is the evidence that there was such a transaction”?

“The said contracts were awarded between January 2009 and November 2010 when Oronsaye was Head of Service. Why did it take the EFCC three to four years before they realized it”?

“She alleged that the proceeds from the phoney contracts were paid into the accounts of two new generation banks before they were withdrawn by Shuaibu and taken to Oronsaye. You mean, he withdrew over N6b cash and delivered to Mr. Oronsoye? How is that possible? Do they think that Nigerians are fools?”

Continuing, Obasi queried why it took an additional statement after three years for Mrs. Chidi to try to robe in Mr. Oronsoye, describing it as born out of malice waxed in destructive swaggeo.

“If you read the report, Mrs. Chidi was quoted as saying, “In addition to my statement on January 11, 2011, I wish to state as follows: that I was asked by Dr. Shuaibu to shop for company names to execute our contracts, proceeds of which should be given to Mr. Stephen Oronsaye the then Head of Service.”

“After three years of her statement to the EFCC, she now remembered that Mr. Oronsoye should be included? This is a clear case of afterthought. Even a little child will clearly see that it is a set up. I am a lawyer and I can authoritatively tell you that the woman is being used to set the man up.”

Also reacting to the development, a human rights activist, Kazeem Abubakar condemned what it described as the loss of focus by the EFCC under the present leadership.

He revealed that Civil Society Organisations in the country are presently reviewing the activities of anti- corruption agencies in Nigeria, with the view to sanitizing them.

He further accused the EFCC under the present leadership of high level corruption and intimidation of innocent Nigerians, even as he accused it of encouraging corrupt practices in Nigeria.

Adding his voice, a Professor of Mass Communication and Public Relations consultant, Steve Akintoye lamented over what he described as a decline in the ethics of the Journalism profession.

He wondered why media practitioners go to Press without crosschecking their facts and asking relevant questions, siting the case in question, which report he said lacked substance, for not conducting proper investigations, asking the necessary questions and getting the other side of the story.

All efforts to reach the EFCC head of Media, Wilson Uwajuren for comments proved abortive.

Democracy for Nigeria

From: careers

It is a pleasure to present new political action committee. This organization goal is to advances public awareness campaigns on a variety of public policy issues, trains activists and provides funding directly to aspirants for office. This organization has since begun to enlist members from all across the country. We cannot afford to leave the affairs of this country in the grasp of corrupts politicians whom their intention is to acquire wealth.

Whenever one is interesting in aspirating for any political position, one can enrol on ones website

Best Regards,