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CALSER Exonerates Army, Buratai, Says No Record Of Execution Of Six Igbo Soldiers

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The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) has rubbished reports of extra-judicial killing of six Igbo personnel in the Nigerian Army levelled against immediate past Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd). 

The centre said the allegations of ethnic cleansing in the Army was not only false but an agenda by the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition to cast aspersion on the personality of Buratai while sparking an ethnic and religious conflict in the country. 

CALSER made this revelation in a detailed investigative report signed by its President, Princess Ajibola and released on Friday. 

The centre noted that from its findings, there is no any record in the Nigerian Army that indicated such incident.

The report also established that the process of promotion and dismissal in the Army is not the prerogative of the Chief of Army Staff. 

CALSER, however, urged the Nigerian Army to begin the gathering process towards identifying individuals and groups that are out to undermine its integrity as an institution. 

It also recommended that the Army authorities seek legal redress against the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition to serve as a deterrent to other individuals and groups attempting such mission. 

Read the full statement below:

Introduction: 

The polity has been inundated with allegations of killings of Igbo personnel in the Nigerian Army in recent times. The news indeed was unpalatable. Consequently, the Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights commissioned an investigative report to ascertain the veracity of the claims that if not addressed is capable of sparking an ethnic and religious conflict in the country. 

The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights as a critical stakeholder in the entrenchment of the rule of law and respect for human rights and democratic governance indeed examined all the issues at stake, interacted with a cross-section of Nigerians in the know of the issues at hand to have an objective assessment that would aid the investigative report. 

It also relied on first-hand sources from competent and credible sources. After that, information gathered was subjected to scrutiny to present a report that is devoid of ethnic and religious sentiments, sympathy and mischief. 

The Issues: 

There were insinuations that the Nigerian Army was involved in the extra-judicial killing of six Nigerian Army soldiers based on their ethnicity and religion. It was also alleged that the Nigerian Army conducted a secret trial of the soldiers and hurriedly executed them and conducted secret burial for them in an undisclosed location in Abuja. 

The allegation was made by a group named Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition. It also stated that other senior serving military and police officers were privy to the atrocity, including Governors Willie Obiano and Okezie Ikpeazu of Anambra and Abia states respectively.

It alleged that the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai ordered for their execution a day before he retired from service. 

The Findings: 

The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights consequently launched an investigative report on the allegations which were indeed weighty and must not be wiped under the carpet as it borders on ethnic cleansing and religious discrimination. 

The investigative report involved in-depth scrutiny of the allegations made against the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai by examining the Nigerian Army as an institution regarding the laws guiding its operational conduct. 

Attention was also placed on the Nigerian Army structure to ascertain if there were any form of ethnic or religious discrimination in practice under the immediate past Chief of Army Staff. 

Our findings revealed that the allegations of killing six Igbo soldiers were grossly inaccurate as there was no record in the Nigerian Army that indicated such incident. It was also observed that the emphasis on ethnicity and religion from our findings was orchestrated to cause disquiet in the polity. 

It was also observed that Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition does not have any known address in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world. The group has not been involved in any activity that has come to the public regarding promoting human rights, whether on the Igbos of any other ethnicity in Nigeria. 

From scrutiny, the only activity ascribed to the group is a press statement that was issued and was not reported by credible news mediums in Nigeria for lacking evidence to substantiate the allegations. 

The Centre for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights was able to identify that the bulk of the news mediums that reported the press statement were blogs with no history of credibility and notorious for promoting unverified news items in the polity. 

It was also discovered that there is no such ethnic or religious cleansing in the Nigerian Army as all those interviewed faulted the allegation that under the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Igbo soldiers and officers were targeted for persecution. 

It was also established that the process of promotion and dismissal in the Nigerian Army is not the prerogative of the Chief of Army Staff, but rather that of the Nigerian Army Council consisting of the Minister of Defence as Chairman, the Chief of Defence Staff as Vice Chairman, the Chief of Army Staff and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence as Secretary. 

From information gathered from the Defence Headquarters and the Nigerian Army Headquarters, there is no evidence indicating that the Nigerian Army Council instructed for the execution of 6 Igbo soldiers. 

It was also discovered that promotion and dismissal issues in the Nigerian Army have been consistent with the provisions of the Armed Forces Act. There hasn’t been any recorded instance where the immediate past Chief of Army Staff arrogated the Nigerian Army Council’s powers to himself in the issues of promotion and dismissal. 

Conclusion: 

The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights as a result of the investigative report and the consequent information gathered and analyzed, we conclude that the allegations of ethnic cleansing in the Nigerian Army is false and a ploy by some groups and individuals to discredit the Nigerian Army as an institution, as well as cast aspersion on the personality of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff. 

There is no record anywhere of the summary execution of six Igbo soldiers on the immediate past Chief of Army Staff’s instruction. All the interested parties have dismissed this allegation within the Armed Forces and outside the Armed Forces.   

Recommendation: 

The Center for African Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights as a result of the above findings herby make the following recommendations: 

That the incident of fake news has reached an alarming stage due to the activities of non-state actors who have come under the scrutiny of the Nigerian Army in its various operations across the country and therefore the Nigerian Army must step up its information gathering process towards identifying individuals and groups that are out to undermine the integrity of the Nigerian Army as an institution. 

That the Nigerian Army authorities should begin the process of seeking legal redress against the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition to serve as a deterrent to other individuals and groups attempting to undermine the integrity of the Nigerian Army. 

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My Ex-Wife Lied Against Me, She Is An Adulterer —Fani-Kayode

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Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has said his ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu, lied against him, adding that he didn’t beat her at any point in time during their relationship.

Fani-Kayode also alleged that Chikwendu was an adulterer who tried to seduce his friends while he was in detention.

The former beauty pageant had accused her ex-husband of beating her up at several times including when she was pregnant.

The ex-wife further accused Fani-Kayode of confining her to a hospital when she attempted to escape.

Chikwendu subsequently demanded for full custody of their four sons.

The former beauty queen made the allegations in an affidavit she deposed to in support of an originating motion brought pursuant to Section 69 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003.

But in a statement by his Media Consultant, Oladimeji Olaiya, the ex-minister described all the allegations as “lies and falsehood”.

The statement was titled, ‘Press statement on the vile and baseless allegations of Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’.

It partly read, “The statement of claim and affidavit that was filed in court by one Precious Chikwendu against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is filled with lies and falsehood.

“Not one thing that she has alleged there is true. She is a pathological liar and a slanderer and we intend to prove this in court.

“We believe that the children’s lives would be in danger if they are with her and we shall prove this in court.

“Neither is it true that she was ever beaten by Chief Fani-Kayode or anyone else in his staff and security team, either when she was pregnant or not pregnant and it is not true that she was subjected to any form of physical or mental abuse from them.”

The statement also noted that Chikwendu walked out of the marriage despite pleas and entreaties.

“She walked out on her own saying she was hearing voices even when the entire household was begging her to stay and she abandoned her husband and four young children to meet other men outside.

“After she finished having her fun Chief Fani-Kayode refused to let her back into his and resolved to keep her out of his life. This is the best decision he has made in the last 7 years.”

Fani-Kayode also accused his ex-wife of adultery, saying, “Chikwendu’s only pastime was to post pictures and words on Instagram and sleep with men outside.

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“She also tried to seduce a number of Chief Fani-Kayode’s friends when he was in detention and extort money from them.”

Though Chikwendu demanded the full custody of her four sons, Fani-Kayode said the children’s lives would be endangered if left in her care.

“On one occasion she beat her first son so badly that his face swelled up like a football and he had to be rushed to the hospital where she admitted to her offence to the doctor. We have pictures of his damaged and badly swollen face.

“His crime was that he had called one of his 3 nannies “mummy” and this angered Chikwendu who then flew into an uncontrollable rage and punched him in the face in front of 7 nannies.

“On a separate occassion in front of three Pastors she also beat one of the triplets mercilessly simply because he had dared to cry during prayers. Again we have evidence of this and the Pastors and nannies will testify,” the statement added.

“We urge members of the public to wait until the truth is revealed about Chikwendu, her mental and physical abuse of her own children, her mental illness, her numerous attempts to murder Chief Fani-Kayode and his four children, her adulterous ways, her unfathomable cruelty, her gold-digging ways, her violence and so much more before they make up their minds,” it concluded.

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When Leaving Office, I Decided Not To ‘Remote-Control’ My Successor – Dickson

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The immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has explained why he distanced himself from the administration of Governor Douye Diri.

His explanation came amidst speculations that all was not well between him and Diri.

In a statement he personally signed on Thursday, Dickson, who represents Bayelsa West in the Senate, stated that it was his decision before exiting office to give whoever succeeded him the freedom to govern.

He said, “No one has a greater stake in the governor’s success than me. I am aware of the concerns raised about the distance I have kept since leaving office. This is deliberate and in consonance with my values and principles.

“While I was governor I took a conscious decision that whoever was going to succeed me was going to have the free hand to run his government with my full support. I am not one of those who believe that a governor should be remote-controlled.

“A governor should be free to take actions and decisions to pursue programmes, projects and policies he believes in. A governor must be in charge and I have always encouraged Governor Diri to take charge and to also take responsibility at all time.

“In the process, where he deems it, he can consult stakeholders for their inputs and advice and that the governor does with me and others.

This is why we did not enter into any agreement nor give the governor any condition for my and our full and total support other than to do his best for the state and the Ijaw nation and in doing so, he has our continuous support.”

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Akeredolu Orders Recitation Of Oodua Anthem In Schools

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The Ondo State Government has made it compulsory for all pupils and students in the state to recite the Oodua Anthem in their schools .

The order reportedly affects all the private and public institutions from primary to tertiary level in the state.

This was contained in a circular sent to all stakeholders from the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The circular was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Akin Asaniyan.

The circular, titled ‘Recitation of Oodua Anthem in all schools’, was made available to our correspondent on Thursday in Akure.

It read in part,“Please note that, at the just concluded inter-schools debate and award ceremony organised by Ondo State Ministry of Education Science and Technology, held on Thursday February 25, 2021, at the International Culture and Event Center (The Dome) , Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, announced that the state has adopted the Oodua Anthem and it is to be recited by the residents of the state.

“In the light of this development, Mr Governor has directed that the anthem is now compulsory in all public and private schools ( primary and secondary), as well as tertiary institutions in the state, to be recited by all students and teachers henceforth.”

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