President Buhari Orders DSS To Hand Over Judges’ Cases To EFCC.

President Muhammadu Buhari, reportedly unhappy with the work of the Department of State Services (DSS) after a team of lawyers reviewed the evidence gathered from the agency’s recent raid on judges suspected of corruption, has ordered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) take over the matter.

The decision is said to have followed weeks of reviewing the evidence assembled by DSS, as well as the statements made by the judges involved.  The president is said to be insisting that the investigations must be more professionally handled.

Sources told SaharaReporters that the review of the case files, the delay in filing charges against the judges, and the shoddiness of the performance of DSS gave some of the judges the opportunity to start recanting their statements and twisting the facts of their cases.

A Presidency source said the President, as well as the office of the Vice President which also reviewed the cases, decided that multi-agency collaboration was needed to strengthen the cases before they go to court.

The DSS was initially mandated to work with the EFCC to do thorough investigations before a raid was carried out, but sources told SaharaReporters that due to intra-agency rivalry, the DSS refused to hand over case information to the EFCC and hid their plans from the anti-corruption agency, preferring to work with the Nigeria police.

Police officers invited on the raid, in turn, leaked the plans to the judges involved.  In the case of Rivers State, for instance, the police tipped off the state Governor, Nyeson Wike, who then mobilized, with the support of the state Commissioner of Police, to personally stop the arrest of a federal judge.

Another reason adduced for the action of the DSS was said to be the desire by the Director-General of the agency, Lawal Daura, to warm himself into the heart of the President.

President Buhari has now ordered him to work with the EFCC and ensure that future investigations are properly done.  Given the size of the anti-corruption challenge, however, it is unclear if, in the absence of outright rebuke or personnel changes,the president’s scheme might not be subverted.

Anambra Community Declares 4 Chiefs Missing

The Abagana Welfare Association, AWA, in Anambra State has declared four prominent traditional leaders of the community missing.

The Onowu (traditional Prime Minister) of Abagana, High Chief Alfred Onugha who spoke in a telephone interview, yesterday, said that those allegedly missing after the police invasion of Abagana community following the land dispute between the people and Ukpo community include High Chiefs Amobi Ezekwe, Eugene Anene, Stephen Ezediegwu and Charles Nwazojie.

This was even as police sources said in Awka that the traditional chiefs who were arrested on August 19 in their residences over alleged conduct likely to cause a breach of peace were helping detectives in their investigations over the issue. However, AWA asked the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, to compel the state Police Commissioner, Samuel Okaula, to immediately release all persons arrested in the wake of the latest round of clashes between the two communities or, in the alternative, charge them to court.

They said that some of those arrested in the land dispute were paraded as terrorists while the whereabouts of others including the high chiefs were unknown. In a petition to the IGP, AWA also, accused the state police command of allegedly taking sides in the said land dispute, pointing out that the activities of the command had increased threats to the peace, law and order in the area.

The petition was signed by Counsel to the community’s umbrella union of all the cultural associations, Emma Ifeadike. AWA noted that the Police Commissioner and his subordinates, especially the Area Commander (Awka) ACP Longe, and the Divisional Police Officers, DPOs, in charge of Dunukofia and Njikoka Local Government Areas, laid siege on the Abagana community as they had become pawns on the chessboard of a billionaire and business mogul native of Ukpo community (name withheld).

The community stressed that the land feud between the two communities was before the Court of Appeal in Enugu (in case numbers CA/E/86/2002 and motion CA/110M/2015), adding that despite the pendency of the case, hundreds of thugs were mobilized into the disputed land last June to bulldoze several properties, farmlands and economic trees belonging to members of Abagana community.

According to them, the Ukpo Community had since built a police post on the disputed land, “with illegal police protection…, apparently to frustrate the upcoming appeal court case.”

According to them, “Since August 20, 2016 when the youth of both communities engaged in renewed confrontation, scores of leaders of Abagana community have been arrested in midnight swoops by policemen, with most of them still languishing in detention.

“The mass arrest is believed to be targeted at people close to Chief Emmanuel Nwude, (Owelle Abagana) who is suspected to be financing the court case against Ukpo.

“Curiously, barely 24 after the arrest, Commissioner of Police, COMPOL Samuel Okaula addressed a world press conference where he paraded 10 workers of EM Guest Inn, Abagana, owned by High Chief Emma Nwude, and branded them as terrorists.”

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