The Nigerian Army officer who gave the order for the killing of three Police officers and a civilian who were transporting a kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala Wadume, have been arrested.
Vanguard reports that the officer, a captain, was arrested by the Army on Sunday, August 11, night after he was invited by the panel set up to investigate the incident for questioning.
A source within the Army said the kidnap suspect who was freed by some soldiers – along Ibi-Wukari road – who were allegedly compromised.
It was also gathered that the captain ordered the soldiers to shoot at the bus conveying Wadume with an instruction that no police officer in the vehicle escapes while the kidnap suspect is freed.
“Our colleagues (police operatives) also exchanged pleasantries with the army personnel at the checkpoint before they pursued them on the captain’s instruction and fired at them,” the source said.
According to the source, the road to Ibi village is a narrow and only road that leads to the area.
“That was why when the policemen encountered the soldiers at the three checkpoints, they introduced themselves and stated what they came for. They chatted, joked and exchanged pleasantries,” the source said.
The source added that the arrest of the suspect was made by the Police within 20 minutes and while they were returning soldiers at the first and second check points inquired from them if they were already through.
The source said the soldiers and operatives know each other, but the phone call from a top military personnel changed the whole scenario.
However, another military source said the team of the inspector general of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) were attacked at the second military checkpoint in the village causing the driver of the vehicle to lose control under the series of gun fire.
The source explained that some of the officers who managed to crawl out of the vehicle into the bush path were immediately shot dead by the soldiers at close range after they realised they were still alive.
It was gathered that residents who crowded scene of the incident went wild with jubilation, after been informed that the slain police officers were kidnappers.
However, the teeming crowd saved the lives of two other officers who survived the gunfire by the soldiers.
The source said, it was gathered that one of the soldiers reportedly told his colleagues that killing the surviving officers would be too risky as the villagers already captured them alive on their smartphones.
“When the operatives got to Ibi town, they booked their arrival at the police station and proceeded with assistance from a policeman attached to them in the state headquarters, Jalingo, to trace and arrest Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, who is wanted because he is linked to several kidnappings in Taraba state, including a recent kidnapping in which N100 million was collected as ransom,” the source noted.
It was gathered that information went out to the captain after the Police officers left Jalingo that his friend Wadume had been kidnapped.
“Without any verification or inquiries, the Army captain ordered his men along the highway to ambush the policemen. Thus, as the team was moving along Ibi-Jalingo road, they came under the hail of bullets from soldiers, which led to the vehicle conveying the policemen somersaulting.”
“Thereafter, two policemen and one civilian agent were shot dead by the soldiers at close range. The policemen were shot despite presenting their police identification cards, and also adorning police jackets,” the source said.
According to him, all the IRT Police team were alive when the vehicle somersaulted.
He said that two operatives, Inspector Mark Idiale and Inspector Abah Mathias, had serious bullet wounds and are currently receiving treatment at the General Hospital Wukari in Taraba state.
“It is believed that Wadume and other members of his gang escaped with him to a location outside Ibi Town.”
“One AK47 rifle and two pistols belonging to the late police officers were carted away by the gang members of Wadume who came to the scene with the soldiers, while two of the police AK47 rifles are with the soldiers as admitted by one of their personnel at the scene,’’ the source said.
Loan: Buhari, APC Owe Nigerians Apology — Atiku
Former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to apologise to Nigerians over what he described as reckless borrowing by the administration and how the terms of such loans could compromise the future of the country.
In a statement on Sunday, the former vice president said that some managers of the party and even the government had denied the allegations that he raised as well as the warning for caution.
But according to him, just last week, a cabinet minister confirmed the allegations.
“Now, we all are aware that Nigeria’s sovereignty may have been traded for foreign loans and God forbids our inability to service those loans, the lender country would take ownership of choice infrastructure on the Nigerian soil. No negotiation could be weaker than that!
“Nigeria had a total foreign debt stock of $7.02 billion on May 29, 2015. Today, our foreign debt is $23 billion and rapidly rising. Debt, by itself, is not a bad thing. But debt budgeted for such unproductive ventures, like the proposed $500 million upgrade of the Nigerian Television Authority and other sundry bogus contracts, is debt that leads to death. To trade Nigeria’s sovereignty for this type of profligacy is the height of irresponsibility!,” the statement read in part.
Atiku said he has long advocated for a more robust engagement of the private sector and promotion of foreign direct investment as sustainable alternatives through which government could fund infrastructure development.
But on the contrary, according to him, the Nigerian government under the banner of the All Progressives Congress threaded the direction of looking for cheap foreign loans in exchange for the sovereignty for Nigeria.
“Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration initiated a National Privatization Programme with the sole objective of ensuring that the private sector took some measure of influence in social investment portfolio and, in some instances, provided funding for infrastructure development.
“There was nothing in that plan that traded Nigeria’s sovereignty for some cheap loans which, in the light of unfolding revelations of sleaze in some departments of government, would have ended in private pockets,”.
He, therefore, stated that the government and the APC must apologize to Nigerians and make an admittance of guilt for taking the country through the throes of subjugation to another country.
Nigeria’s Debt To Rise Again As World Bank Set To Approve Fresh $1.5bn Loan
Nigeria’s debt profile is set to see an increase in August as the World Bank’s Executive Board may approve part of the country’s $3bn loan application on August 6.
Africa’s largest economy has been struggling to cover its fiscal deficits as the $1.5bn from World Bank has been designated for the country’s budget.
Nigeria’s Country Director, Shubham Chaundhuri, had said that due to the urgency of the fund, the board would decide the $1.5bn loan latest early August.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had in June said that negotiations were on course and the goverment is looking at World Bank going to the board on 6th of August for Nigeria’s approval.
She had said that the country had metall the conditions for the facility.
She had said, “The amount we are raising in the first instance is $1.5 billion for FG and around September October we are hoping to close out on the facility meant for states and the amount is meant to be $1-1.5bn.”
If the loan is approved on August 6, Nigeria’s external debt profile is expected to increase to $34.1bn from $27.67bn in March.
The amount includes recently approved loans from different multilateral lenders, including the international Monetary Fund, World Bank and the African Development Bank, which was not captured in Nigeria’s debt profile as of March this year.
Nigeria had in April received $3.4bn from the IMF to fund its fiscal deficit and current account unbalances.
The AfDB had on June 5, equally approved $288.5mn for it largest shareholder to combat the impact of Covid-19 on its economy.
The World Bank on 25 June approved the Power Sector Recovery Operation $750mn in International Development Association.
Also most recently is the $500m loan approved on July 29, for girls education targeted at Northern Nigeria and Ekiti in the Southwest.
The total is expected to raise the country’s debt by $6.43bn, representing 23.2 per cent rise.
Meanwhile, data from the debt Management Office puts Nigeria’s external debt as of March 2020 at $27.67bn (N9.98tn).
This is excluding the loans approved in the dates succeeding March 31, 2020 as analyzed by THE WHISTLER.
The debt office also placed Nigeria’s domestic debt at $51.63bn (N18.64tn) as of March 31, this year.
Total public debt stock however as of March 31, 2020 was $79.3bn (N28.62tn).
The total public debt when updated with the new loans preceding March 31, will increase by $6.44bn to $85.74bn (N30.95tn).
This is including the $1.5bn set to be approved by the World Bank on August 6, this year.
Mamman Daura Didn’t Speak Buhari’s Mind On Zoning — Presidency
The Presidency has reacted to President Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura’s comment on zoning which triggered a controversy last week.
Recall that in an interview with BBC Hausa, Mamman Daura had said it is better for competence to prevail over zoning in government positions.
However in a statement released by Buhari’s spokesperson Garba Shehu which served as a response to the interview, the presidency stated that the Daura did not speak the mind of the President.
The statement read;
“We have received numerous requests for comments on the interview granted by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew to the BBC Hausa Service.
“It is important that we state from the onset that as mentioned by the interviewee, the views expressed were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the President or his administration.
“At age 80, and having served as editor and managing director of one of this country’s most influential newspapers, the New Nigerian, certainly, Malam Mamman qualifies as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under our constitution and laws of the land. He does not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.
“In an attempt to circulate the content of the interview to a wider audience, the English translation clearly did no justice to the interview, which was granted in Hausa, and as a result, the context was mixed up and new meanings were introduced and/or not properly articulated.
“These issues remain at the heart of our evolving and young democracy, and as a veteran journalist, scholar and statesman, Malam Mamman has seen enough to add his voice to those of many other participants.”
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