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Police Arrest 15 IPOB, MASSOB Members In Ebonyi

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IPOB - Biafra

The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Wednesday, confirmed the arrest of 15 suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign States of Biafra in the state.

They were arrested in a bush at Amasiri Community in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of the State, on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, by a combined team of the men of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies.

The suspects were allegedly planning how to hold their 2019 summit in the state.

The groups’ annual meeting, our correspondent gathered, was billed to take place between Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 14, 2019 in the state.

The Punch reports that the arrest of members of the separatists’ groups, came, 24 hours after the Ebonyi State Government, led by Governor David Umahi, maintained that the IPOB remained a proscribed organisation and warned members of the public against its activities in the state.

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In a statement signed by the Command’s spokesperson, Loveth Odah, “The Ebonyi State Police Command, in active collaboration with other security agencies in the state, while acting on credible intelligence report that IPOB/MASSOB members will have their 2019 convention in the state, on 13 and 14 August, 2019, embarked on massive “show of force” covering the entire length and breadth of the state with particular focus on identified flashpoints.

“The exercise dominated the entire state and frustrated the activities of IPOB/MASSOB members, thereby denying them the opportunity to hold their meeting in the prearranged venue.

“They were however traced to a hideout in the bush around Amasiri community, in Afikpo North LGA of the state where fifteen (15) members led by one Rev. Ogonna Nnachi ‘M’, about 70 years of age were arrested. Items recovered from them include Biafra Currency (2 pounds), branded Biafra T-Shirts, caps and bangles.

“Upon interrogation, their leader Rev. Ogbonna narrated that they were planning the burial of one of their members who died in Lagos, but was to be buried in Ohaozara LGA of the state and also planning the building of a monument in honour of late Odumegwu Ojukwu at Owerri Imo State. The arrested members were handed over to SCID for further interrogation and profiling.”

Odah added, “Ebonyi State Police Command will continue to explore all crime-fighting tactics by combing all hideouts of criminals/criminal-minded persons with the view to deny them the space to carry out their acts.

“The general public is as usual enjoined to assist the police and other security agencies by providing credible information on any suspicious activity and movements of persons or goods.”

Inside Nigeria

Nigerian Currency Set To Be Changed From Naira To Eco

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As part of the plan to improve corporation and promote trade among the countries that make up West Africa, leaders of the region have concluded plans for a single currency to be used by members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),

ECOWAS had at a conference in Abuja, announced that the currency of six members state, including Nigeria would be changed.

It therefore means that when the plan is implemented, the Nigerian Naira would be changed to the new ECOWAS currency to be called ECO. The plan is billed to commence by January 2020.

According to a report by CNN, ECOWAS will be working with West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), the West Africa Monetary institute (WAMI) and central banks of the concerned countries to speed up the implementation of a New Road map for the proposed single Trade currency.

The currency, ECO is expected to boost Economic Development in the West African Region and improve Cross border Trade.

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If implemented, countries across the West African Region will be able to move and spend money across different countries without worrying about exchange rate costs. It is also expected to help improve trade by allowing specific countries to specialise at what they are best at, according to Economic analysts, Tokunbo Afikuyomi.

He said that the ECO will also help to address the West African Region’s Monetary Problem like the difficulty in changing some of its currencies.

But Despite these possible advantages, economic analysts are worried about the lack of integration policies among member countries of the Regional body.

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CAN Calls For Removal Of Justice Muhammed Tanko As CJN

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Tanko Muhammad - Tanko Mohammed

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for the removal of Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as the Chief Justice of Nigeria over his comment on amending the Constitution to add more Sharia contents.

Justice Muhammed reportedly made the call while declaring open the 20th Annual Judges Conference at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Faculty of Law’s Moot Court.

CAN in a statement signed by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant Media and Communications to the CAN President, wondered why the CJN would make such comment in a secular country like Nigeria.

“Our attention has been drawn to the advocacy of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed for the amendment of the Constitution with a view to adding more Sharia contents.

“We have not seen the full text of the paper presented and we learnt the Chief Justice was represented at the event. So, it is difficult to know if the speech was that of the Chief Justice or his representative.

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“We don’t believe that such a reckless and provocative statement could be made by the Number one Judicial officer in the country”, the statement said.

“How could the CJN say “We as Muslims have the numbers to amend the constitution…”? It is not possible”, CAN wondered.

“It is either he was misquoted outright or quoted out of context. Otherwise, what is the fate of Christians in his court if he could be so openly partisan and parochial? Do we take it that what he said is the official position of this regime on inter-faith relations? Why has no one in leadership, either, the Executive or Legislative arm of government taken him up on it?”, the Christian Apex body queried.

Furthermore, the statement said “Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is eagerly awaiting the rebuttal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the unfortunate and unguarded utterances that can provoke a religious crisis in the country.

“Be that as it may, asking for the constitutional amendment with a view to adding more to the Sharia contents is ill-timed, provocative and unacceptable.

“Was the Chief Justice of Nigeria put there deliberately for the promotion of Islamic matters or to be unbiased and fair judge for all irrespective of religion? It appears from this statement (if he made it) that he was put there for Islamization agenda”.

CAN recall “in our previous meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari, we have made it abundantly clear to him that the lopsided appointments of his government in favour of a religion and a section of the country is unacceptable.

“Although he promised to look into the observation with a view to addressing it but what we are seeing and hearing show that not much has been done to correct the imbalance. The above statement credited to the Chief Justice appears to confirm our fears that appointments are done towards a religious end of Islamization”.

“Those in government are warned not to use the cheap popularity or acceptance they seek to set two religious practitioners against each other.

“This type of statement, if true, is enough for the President of the country to initiate the removal of this Chief Justice from office. He is religiously biased and partisan. We have no more confidence in him. And we once again reiterate our advocacy for religious balanced in the appointments that are being made by the President.

“Lopsided appointments are direct contradictions to some portions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). These include but not limited to Sections 10, 13 (3-4), 15 (2) (d) and (4).

“It is widely believed that no country survives two civil wars. Our leaders should be mindful of the complexities of the people they are leading. There have been Presidents who are Christians, during their time, there was never a time they promoted their religion at the expense of others.

“Our leaders should stop paying lip service to the unity and peace of the country.

These are not the best of times for the country and the citizenry and both the government and the governed must rise up to the challenges.

“Like it was said during the unfortunate civil war, “To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.” This is why some are calling for a return to the old National Anthem. The CAN leadership at all levels are praying for the protection and healing of our country but let those in the position of leadership help our prayers to be answered by their actions and utterances”, the statement added.

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BREAKING: EFCC Seizes Orji Kalu’s Properties

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Orji Uzor Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday, December 14, 2019, moved to the next level in fulfilling the terms of court sentence passed on former Abia State governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

The anti-graft agency said it has begun marking properties belonging to him to seek reparation for the N7.65b stolen from the Abia state treasury..

The marking is to ensure that the properties are not dissipated, following the December 5, 2019 order of Justice Muhammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and all assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

Kalu, who is the Senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly, had been arraigned alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and Udeh Udeogu, his Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House, over an amended 39-count charge bordering on conspiring and diverting the sum of N7.65bn from the coffers of the state.

One of the properties of Orji Kalu marked Saturday by EFCC

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The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the EFCC, thereby leading to their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, called 19 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

The defendants, however, testified on behalf of themselves during the trial.

The parties, during the proceedings on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, adopted their final written addresses.

In his final submission, the prosecution counsel, Jacobs, urged the judge to jail the defendants, saying the prosecution had proved the allegations against them.

Jacobs also urged the court to wind up the company as provided by the Law and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

However, the defence counsel urged the court to “dismiss the charges, acquit and discharge” their clients.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Idris found the defendants guilty on all counts.

Justice Idris held that the prosecution had established its case against the defendants.

The Judge further held that “the case was conclusively investigated, as the prosecution conducted thorough investigations.”

Justice Idris, therefore, convicted and sentenced the first defendant,
Kalu to five years imprisonment on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11; three years on counts 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33; 12 years on counts 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 and five years on count 39.

The second defendant was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment on counts 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32 and 10 years on counts 34, 37, 38 and 39.

Justice Idris further held that “In respect of the third convict, Slok Nigeria Limited, an order is hereby made that the company shall hereupon and without further assurances, but for this order, be wound up and all its assets and properties forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

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