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Life in Boko Haram camps, by female ex-captives…..

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Many women and girls have been abducted by the Boko Haram sect in the past four years in Borno State, but this only attracted public attention after the abduction of more than 200 girls from the Government Secondary School Chibok on April 14.

Few victims of such abduction are willing to speak on their experiences after regaining freedom, findings show.
But us gathered that the captives have been used as sex slaves, cooks and nurses. They also do the laundry of the sect members.
There have been many cases of abduction in Maiduguri, Bama, Konduga, Damboa, Gwoza, Marte and Mallam Fatori, but most abductees who managed to escape are reluctant to tell their stories, neither are their families. Only a few or those close to them spoke on condition of anonymity, citing fear of stigmatisation as the major reason when our correspondents approached them.
Many women and men, especially from the wealthy class, that were abducted regained freedom after their families paid ransom. Such people also prefer to remain silent after release.
The wife of a prominent politician and a businessman from Damboa was abducted and released the next day. The father of a serving commissioner in Borno State was also abducted and released many days after. Many of such families insist that nothing was paid before those abducted regained freedom. Sources said such families are apparently complying with the warning from their abductors to keep quiet.
Checks in Abbaganaram, Budum, Kofa Biyu, Ruwan Zafi and Gwange in Maiduguri metropolis reveal that many women have been abducted in the past three years. It was gathered from relations and competent sources that some have returned home while many others have become ‘war brides’ in the hands of their abductors. A 44 year old divorcee who lives around Muna General Area in Maiduguri said she was held for 17 days and was subjected to untold experiences, including rape by young boys that are of the same age with her son.
“I was severally raped by boys that were not more than 18 years,” she said. She said prior to the rout of Boko Haram insurgents from Maiduguri in mid 2013, four gunmen in a Golf car entered her house, took away her jewelleries and whisked her away.
“They took me to an unknown destination which I later found out to be Bulabulin-Ngrannam. The most painful part of the abduction is that throughout my stay in captivity, I was raped by boys that are as young as my first son who was 18 years old then. They (Boko Haram) learnt that I trade in gold. As such, while in their enclave, the boys would come over every morning, look at me with disdain and said I accumulated a lot of money but was not willing to give sadaqa (alms). They would then forcefully have sex with me,” she said.
She said after 17 days she was released but did not explain how. “I left many women there and I don’t know if they have been released or not,” she said.
A relative of another girl who was kidnapped in Bama in January this year said she was later dumped by her captors when she took ill.
“When she got missing for over two months, she was one day found by the roadside along Bama-Damboa road and taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). She was diagnosed with spinal cord injury and we learnt that she was mercilessly raped and that caused the complications,” he said.
In May, 2013, shortly after the Boko Haram insurgents were driven from their camps in Marte LGA, some parents in Kanamma, the headquarters of the council, told our correspondent that their daughters were seized by the insurgents and many did not return.
A parent said, “The insurgents really had a field day here after chasing away security operatives for months. One of the insurgents approached me saying he wanted the hands of my daughter in marriage. A few days after, he returned with some of his friends and directed that the wedding Fatiha must be conducted that same day. He offered N2, 000 as dowry…that was all and they went away with my daughter”.
A parent in Gwange ward in Maiduguri whose daughter was taken and later released said he preferred not to talk. “I feel allowing her talk is like exposing her identity…what has happened has happened. Would you marry her if I allow you talk to her?” he asked.
Many parents in Maiduguri share the same view. To them, narrating their ordeals will only satisfy the curiosity of journalists and not heal the wounds of victims.

Daily Trust

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Paris-bound bizman arrested with 111 cocaine wraps

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a 48-year-old businessman, Emmanuel Orjinze, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine.

The suspect, who claimed to be a professional footballer in Europe, was arrested on May 21 during the outward clearance of an Air France flight to Paris, France.

This was made known in a statement signed by the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, and shared on the agency’s website on Sunday.

The statement read, “Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested a 48-year-old Paris, France-bound businessman, Emmanuel Okechuku Orjinze, for ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine, which he excreted after days of observation in the agency’s custody following his arrest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“Okechukwu, who also claims he is a professional footballer in Europe, was arrested on Tuesday, May 21, during the outward clearance of Air France flight AF 878 from Abuja to Paris, France.

“After a body scan confirmed he ingested illicit drugs, he was taken into custody where he excreted a total of 111 pellets of cocaine that weighed 1.603 kilograms over three days. The suspect claimed he did business in the maritime sector while still scouting for any European football club to engage him. ”

In the same vein, the NDLEA officers operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos hinted that they had dismantled another drug trafficking syndicate at the airport.

This, they said in a statement, followed the arrest of four members of the network and the seizure of a total of 8kg of methamphetamine and 7.60kg of Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis imported from South Africa.

The statement added that a drug trafficking syndicate was busted at the airport when an official was caught with illicit substances in their backpack and bag.

On May 21, 2024, the NDLEA officers, supported by aviation security, intercepted the official at Terminal 1 and discovered the drugs during a search, blowing the lid off the syndicate.

“A swift follow-up operation at the Ajao Estate area of Lagos led to the arrest of two other members of the syndicate: Chris Nwadozie and Chinedu Nwaosu. Further investigation led to the arrest of another member of the cartel working within the airport system on Saturday, May 25,” the statement added.

In a related development, the agency also arrested a freight agent, Sonubi Abiodun, for attempting to export eight parcels of cocaine concealed in paint buckets to the United Kingdom.

Additionally, the NDLEA operatives arrested suspects producing and distributing skuchies, a mixture of black currant and illicit drugs, in Lagos, and recovered 2,480 litres of the psychoactive substance.

In Cross River State, a suspect, Ogar Emmanuel, was arrested with 2.5kg of cannabis, while 290kg of cannabis was recovered from the warehouse of Usani Ikpi, who is still at large. Additionally, three suspects – Sa’adu Sule, Mukhtar Nura, and Hamza Nura – were arrested in Katsina State with 70kg of cannabis, which originated from Ogun State.

The statement added, “No fewer than five suspects including Ezekiel Munda, 30; and Sule Mustapha, 21, were arrested by the NDLEA operatives on Thursday, May 23, during raids at the Karu Abattoir, Jikwoyi and Tora Bora hill area of the FCT, Abuja, where 95.01kg of cannabis and different quantities of opioids were recovered from them.

“In Edo State, operatives arrested a physically challenged notorious drug dealer, Zekere Sufianu, 45, at Auchi town on Wednesday, May 22. At the time of his arrest, he was found with 751 grams of Loud, 178 grams of tramadol, and pills of swinol,” the statement concluded.

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FG suit against 36 govs over LG funds begins

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The Federal Government has approached the Supreme Court with a suit seeking to compel governors of the 36 states of the federation to grant full autonomy to the local governments in their domains.

The suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), on behalf of the Federal Government.

The Federal Government is urging the apex court to issue “an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders for local governments.”

In the suit predicted on 27 grounds, the Federal Government accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power.

The FG, in the originating summons, prayed the Supreme Court to make an order expressly stating that funds standing to the credit of local governments from the Federation Account should be paid directly to the local governments rather than through the state governments.

The justice minister also prayed for “an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.”

The Federal Government further sought “an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the Constitutionally recognised and guaranteed democratically system.”

The originating summons was backed by a 13-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Kelechi Ohaeri of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Ohaeri, in the affidavit, averred that the AGF instituted the suit against the governors under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on behalf of the Federal Government.

He said,“The Constitution of Nigeria recognises federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and the three recognised tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the Federation Account created by the Constitution.

“By the provisions of the Constitution, there must be a democratically elected local government system and the Constitution has not made provisions for any other systems of governance at the local government level other than a democratically elected local government system.

“In the face of the clear provisions of the Constitution, the governors have failed and refused to put in place a democratically elected local government system even where no state of emergency has been declared to warrant the suspension of democratic institutions in the state.

“The failure of the governors to put democratically elected local government system in place is a deliberate subversion of the 1999 Constitution which they and the President have sworn to uphold.

“All efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system has not yielded any result and to continue to disburse funds from the Federation Account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local government is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 Constitution.

“In the face of the violations of the 1999 Constitution, the Federal Government is not obligated under Section 162 of the Constitution to pay any state, funds standing to the credit of local governments where no democratically elected local government is in place.”

The AGF, therefore, urged the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the Constitution to declare that the state governors and state Houses of Assembly are under obligation to ensure a democratic system at the third tier of government in Nigeria and to also invoke the same sections to hold that the governors cannot lawfully dissolve democratically elected local government councils.

Furthermore, he urged to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the Constitution to declare that “the dissolution of democratically elected local government councils by the governors or anyone using the state powers derivable from laws enacted by the state Houses of Assembly or any Executive Order is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.”

The apex court has fixed Thursday, May 30 for hearing.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees hailed the move by the Federal Government, saying it would join the lawsuit as a concerned party.

 

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JUST IN: Tribunal affirms Diri as Bayelsa governor

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The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the election that produced Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

A three-man panel led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Timipre Sylva, and the party for lacking in merit.

In a unanimous decision, the tribunal held that the petitioners failed to prove any credible evidence to back up any of the allegations they raised against the re-election victory of Diri.

Details shortly…

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