Kaduna Judicial Panel Recommends Prosecution Of Soldiers, El-Zakzaky

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate the December 12-14, 2015 clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiite or Shia sect, has indicted the leader of the group, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, for alleged acts of lawlessness by his members.

The 13-member panel headed by Justice Mohammed Garba Lawal, in its reported submitted recently to Governor Nasir el-Rufai which was made public in Kaduna Sunday night, said El-Zakzaky and his members should be held responsible for the bloody clash with the Nigerian Army last December, which led to the deaths of 349 people, including one soldier.

The report also accused the Nigerian Army of “disproportionate use of force contrary to its rules of engagement”, declaring that soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army who were involved in the killing of 348 members of the Shiite sect should be prosecuted.

The panel’s findings contained in the report said 349 people – including one soldier – were killed. “Out of the said 349 dead persons, 347 (excluding the soldier) were buried in a mass grave,” said the report.

The commission said it had received 3,578 memoranda – 132 letters and 3,446 emails – along with 39 exhibits and 87 witnesses’ testimonies in the course of the inquiry and the writing of the 193-page report.

“Members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. He therefore bears responsibility for all acts of lawlessness committed by the organisation and should therefore be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted,” the panel said in its report.

Members of the sect and the army clashed in the Zaria when the latter blocked a major highway during one of its religious processions, in the process blocking access to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was attending the passing out parade of the army depot in the area on December 12, 2015.

The commission noted that “the number of casualities recorded during the incident was too high and cannot be justified”, stressing that “members of the Nigerian Army found to have been involved in the killings should be brought to trial before a court of competent jurisdiction”.

The panel also recommended that members of the IMN found to have been involved in the killing of one army corporal, Dan Kaduna Yakubu, during the incident should also be prosecuted.
It also advised the Nigerian Army to “intensify efforts in ensuring compliance with the rules of engagement and other legal standards” at all times during operations.

The panel in the report also challenged the government and law enforcement agencies to be alive to their responsibilities by investigating all persons allegedly breaking the law, even when such persons belong to powerful religious groups.

Credit: Punch

Immunity Can’t Stop Fayose’s Prosecution- Aisha Buhari

The wife of the president, Hajia Aisha Buhari, has said that Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State cannot hide under the cover of immunity to avoid prosecution from several alleged criminal offences.
Her position is contained in her statement of claims filed before an FCT High Court in the defamation suit challenging Governor Fayose’s allegation linking her with the Harliburton bribery scandal in the United States.

Fayose’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had in a reply to Mrs Buhari’s pre-action notice on July 8, stated that under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, no civil or criminal action may be brought against the governor while in office, advising her to wait till 2018.
But in the statement filed by her counsel, Ismaila Alasa and Mary Ekpere Eta, the president’s wife cited criminal charges on the murder of one Tunde Omojola, diversion of N1.2bn state funds in 2004 and the invasion of the Ekiti High Court with thugs who allegedly beat up a judge in 2014 as some of the governor’s ‘indiscretions’.
“The first defendant (Fayose) is a well-known coward who is scared of facing the consequences of his numerous indiscretions and sheer acts of criminality by timidly hiding under the cloak of immunity to want to evade prosecution,” she averred.
Meanwhile, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi has approved the service of the court papers to Fayose and his two aides- his chief press secretary, Idowu Adelusi and his special adviser on New Media, Lere Olayinka at the Government House, Ado Ekiti as the legal dispute proceeded in the week.
The judge directed service of the processes on the defendants by DHL courier service and publication in an online media platform.
Aisha Buhari, who has lined up 205 witnesses against Fayose, is seeking N5bn as damages over the statements.

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Body Of A-Gs Meets Today To Adopt National Policy On Prosecution Of Corrupt Public Officials

Body of Attorneys General from the 36 states of the federation will meet in Abuja today to consider and adopt a draft National Policy on Prosecution of corrupt public officials.

In a statement, yesterday, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the meeting would also afford the body the opportunity to deliberate on desirable Code of Conduct and guidelines for prosecutors in the country.

Besides, Malami, SAN, is also scheduled to meet with stakeholders on the implementation of the outcome of the recently concluded London Summit on Anti-Corruption and Open Government Partnership. He said the meetings were geared towards intensifying the current war against corruption in the country.

A statement signed by media aide to the AGF, Mr. Salihu Isah, said: “The policy documents have been considered and approved for submission to the Body of Attorneys General by the Solicitors General and Permanent Secretaries Forum at their meeting held on October 15, 2015.

“The National Policy on Prosecution is intended for all officials and agencies involved in prosecution of crime management, evidence gathering and investigation.”

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Ejigbo Sodomy: Prosecution Closes Case June 16

An Ikeja High Court, on Tuesday, fixed June 16 for the prosecution to close its case in the ongoing trial of 10 people, who were charged with sodomy and assault.

They had allegedly committed the crimes against two women and a minor at Oba Morufu Market, Ejigbo.

The prosecution, led by Mrs Idowu Alakija, the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the court that the prosecution was closing its case with only one witness to give evidence.

“My lord, we are requesting a short date for adjournment in this matter, we have only one more witness, who is going to give a brief testimony,’’ she told the court.

Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, in a short ruling, granted the request of the prosecution and adjourned the case to June 16.

“This case is hereby adjourned to June 16 at noon for the prosecution’s final witness.”

Earlier, ASP Olabisi Adejumo, a policewoman attached to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in her testimony, narrated the role of the market leader, Isiaka Waidi in the incident.

“As a member of the investigating team, I acted as an interpreter while collecting the statement of the first defendant (Waidi).

“I visited his house with members of my team while executing the search warrant and also recorded his statement.

“The defendant claimed that he was only at the crime scene in the beginning of the assault on the victims and that he later left for a meeting at Alausa.

“Our investigations revealed that his claims were not true as he was also in custody for six months during the investigation.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the market leader, Isiaka Waidi, 61; Buhari Yusuf, 22; Abdullahi Haruna, 20 and Saheed Adisa, 29 are standing trial for the alleged torture and sodomy.

Others are Lateef Tijani, 37; Ahmed Adisa, 65; Azeez Akinosun, 36; Jimoh Busari, 50; Adekunle Adenuga, 38; and Oloruntoyin Dauda, 46, who is the woman leader of the market.

They are facing a-19-count charge bordering on conspiracy, attempted murder, sexual assault, maliciously administering poison, obtaining money by false pretence and deprivation of liberty.

The defendants were alleged by the prosecution to be members of the Odu’a Peoples Congress (OPC).

They allegedly tortured with pepper and sodomised Mrs Ajoke Agomo, her daughter, Nike Salami and her step daughter, Juliana Agomo for alleged pepper theft.



Reps Want Killers Of Nigerian Boy In South Africa Prosecuted

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, said it would do everything to ensure that the murderers of a Nigerian, Timothy Chinedu, in South Africa, faced the law.


Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (Abia-PDP), disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja, after a closed door meeting with members of Nigeria Union, South Africa, on Thursday.


The lawmaker said that due to the recent killings of Nigerians in that country, there was urgent need for Nigerian Parliament to meet with their South African counterpart on the issue.


“We spoke concerning the Nigerian boy who was killed and it is something the parliament will continue to put pressure until the killers are brought to book.

“In fact, we have had riots and a lot of extra-judicial killing of Nigerians, culminating in the very tragic murder of the Nigerian a month ago.

“We have seen that there is no institutionalised help coming from the government of South Africa in the same way that Nigeria offers institutional help.

“Aside from the violation of MTN, the Nigerian Government still overlooked some fines which the South African companies ought to have paid,” she said.

According to her, I think it is Nigeria’s commitment to building and growing Africa that informed the good will that Nigeria shows.

Elendu-Ukeje emphasised the fact that it was heart-breaking that Nigerians who live in South Africa constantly complain about institutional discrimination against them.

“We are very glad that the President of South Africa is going to visit Nigeria very soon. I think that underscores the closeness of both governments.

“Unfortunately, as our governments are getting closer, it will seem that the citizens are getting farther apart.
“I think this is the role the parliament can play, where our parliament engages the parliament of South Africa in a constructive way to show to them what Nigeria has done to promote brotherliness among African people.

“This is expected to be reciprocated,” she said.

The lawmaker also said that the Nigerian foreign policy was about taking care of the plight of Nigerians outside the country.

Also speaking to NAN, President of Nigeria Union, South Africa, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said that the meeting was a fruitful and that they hoped for more engagement with the committee.

“The President of South Africa is coming soon, which is one of the reasons why we are here so that the situation of affairs of our people will be presented through the platform.

“The Nigerians in South Africa are expecting a lot from us and from our government as they are going about their businesses peacefully, though everything is calm for now.

“I want the Nigerians in South Africa to continue to be law-abiding, to continue to be hard working as the challenges we are having would be sorted out soon, ” he said.