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Nnamdi Kanu is in London- Kalu

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Nnamdi Kanu

Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state, says Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is not in military custody.

Kanu’s lawyer and his younger brother have been accusing the army of holding the Biafra agitator, an allegation which the military denied.

In an interview with PUNCH, Kalu said the IPOB leader fled to Malaysia from where he went to the UK.

Kanu was based in London before the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested and detained him in 2015.

He is a citizen of Nigeria and Britain.

“Kanu was not taken away by the military. Kanu went to Malaysia from where he travelled to the United Kingdom. Nnamdi Kanu is in London right now as we speak. He was not arrested by anybody,” Kalu said.

“He left the country on his own. One of his relations has spoken to me and explained everything because I wanted to see him and talk to him wherever he was and see how I could meet some federal government officials on his issue. I also wanted to see ways of talking to the president about him, and find common ground but his family told me that he has left the country, unless they are lying to me.

“I believe, whether he had left the country or not, he is not with the military because I asked the commander of the 14 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. A.K Ibrahim, who is a very fine and good soldier, well-educated and dedicated, and he told me that they don’t know his whereabouts and I am sure, the Department of State Services have the same information. I also visited the commissioner of police and he said he didn’t know his whereabouts and that they are also looking for him.”

But the former governor said he did not have any information on the whereabouts of Kanu’s parents.

Parents of the activists have not been seen in public since the military invaded their Afarakwu residence in Umuahia north local government area of Abia state.

The former governor also accused the parents of not doing enough to control their son.

“I don’t know,” he said in response to the whereabouts of Kanu’s parents.

“I visited them in December last year and I was not impressed with the discussion I had with the father and the mother because I expected them to have acted better. Since then, I have not visited them. I feel that they have not impressed me because they ignored my advice to them to talk to their son on the need to stay at home and avoid public outings.

“I said his people can continue to carry their flags around but that they should not disturb anybody again. They have a right to express themselves but that such rights should be within the limits of our constitution. They have the right to carry Biafran flags but they should do so within the limits of the constitution.

“Once your activities are within the limits of the law, you are in order. You cannot carry Biafra flags and be stopping vehicles and smashing their windscreens. You cannot carry Biafra (flags) and be raping young girls, you also cannot carry Biafra (flags) and be assembling young men every day. These are people who have no job and after doing that, they will go and engage in kidnapping or they will go and do armed robbery while some will go and do other things to make money. Hunger is a very terrible thing. The traders in the market have warned them to stop the nonsense they are doing. Why should you be extorting money from people in the name of Biafra agitation? They are extorting money from people in the market against their will. If the federal and state governments continue to watch and allow all these things to continue, there will be chaos in the state. If Kanu had not proved stubborn but listened to advice and kept to the rules of the court, we won’t be where we are now.”

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Fire guts documents, furniture, others at Nigerian National Assembly

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he management of the National Assembly has confirmed the fire outbreak at the new wing of the House of Representatives on Thursday evening.

The incident happened at a storeroom in the lower chamber’s section of the complex in Abuja.

Passers-by around 6pm who noticed smoke coming out from a store on the second floor of the New Building, House of Reps Wing of the Complex, raised the alarm.

The wing houses the offices of the lawmakers, committee rooms, banks and other private businesses.

The office of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and principal officers are on the fourth floor.

Firefighters from the Federal Fire Service within the premises and other first responders rushed to the scene.

The inferno was later put out by the firefighters and other responders.

Agada Rawlings, Director, National Assembly Information in his reaction to the Incident in a late-night statement, said that the situation was immediately brought under control.

He said the fire was suspected to have resulted from an electrical fault which was noticed by one of the staff members working with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

He said the employee quickly alerted the Federal Fire Service Unit in the complex.

Rawlings explained that the fire was put out with the assistance of staff members on duty who immediately broke into the affected office and used fire extinguishers before the arrival of the fire service officer.

He said; “There was a fire incident this evening (Thursday) in one of the Janitors, located on the 2nd floor, Room 227 in the new-wing, of the House of Representatives, suspected to have resulted from an electrical fault which was noticed by one of the Staff to the Clerk, House of Representatives, who promptly alerted the Federal Fire Service Unit stationed in the National Assembly Complex.

“Consequently, the combined prompt efforts curtained the fire to the affected office only and power supply to the wing put off to enable a full assessment and investigations into the incident.

“It is expected that after due assessment by the fire service and the Estate and works directorates, normalcy in the New Wings, housing all principal officers of the House of Representatives and Honourable members offices will be restored immediately.

“Management wishes to commend the prompt response/actions by the first responders particularly, National Assembly staff and the Fire Service Unit in helping to curtain the fire outbreak.”

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El-Rufai writes Buhari, says terrorists creating ‘parallel’ govt in Kaduna

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Terrorists are consolidating their grip on communities in Kaduna with a parallel government and permanent operational base, according to Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari.

El-Rufai in the memo, warned the president of the terrorists’ consolidation in a late July memo, according to online platform, Premium Times.

The terrorists belonging to Ansaru for short, are believed to have moved to Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State in 2012 when they broke away from Boko Haram.

In the memo, the governor laid  bare how the terrorists have infiltrated and dominated communities and formed “a parallel governing authority,” exercising control over social and economic activities and dispensation of justice in the area.

He said the terrorists had advanced in their plans to make Kaduna forest areas their “permanent operational base” for the North-west region, citing a “series of intelligence reports.”

“Observed movement patterns and intercepted communications of migrating terrorists have shown a clear interest in setting up a base, with the stretches of forest area between Kaduna and Niger states strongly considered,” he wrote.

Law banning political activities

As the political activities towards the 2023 general elections pick up steam, the terrorists, El-Rufai told Buhari, have promulgated a law to ban residents from participating.

“The insurgents enacted a law in the District, banning all forms of political activity or campaign ahead of the 2023 elections, especially in Madobiya and Kazage villages,” the governor wrote.

The Ansaru terrorists are known to have an extremist ideological posture against democracy and secular authorities.

In 2021, the census enumeration exercise could only hold in two of the 11 wards that form Birnin Gwari due to the threat of armed banditry and terrorism, officials in both Kaduna State government and the population commission had said.

The ban on political activities, the governor said, followed a recent wedding ceremony involving the terrorists.

“According to actionable intelligence, members of the Jama’atu Ansarul Musulmina Fi’biladis Sudan (aka Ansaru) are hibernating in Kuyello district of Birnin Gwari LGA, which recently conducted a nuptial ceremony during which they married two yet-to-be-identified female residents of Kuyello village,” Mr El-Rufai wrote.

“The ceremony was attended by various Ansaru members and witnessed by residents of the area. After the marital rites, insurgents in attendance reportedly conveyed the brides to the dreaded Kuduru forest, in the same District.”

Extracting revenues

In the area of adjudicating disputes, Mr El-Rufai said the terrorists “fined one Mu’azu Ibrahim, a resident of Kuyello community, the sum of One Million Naira for selling plots of land without the consent of the owners.”

In addition, with the government becoming removed from rural communities, leaving them at the mercy of violent criminals, terrorists, Mr El-Rufai suggested, are manning the ungoverned space and extracting revenues from the people.

“Multiple reports also exist of bandits and terrorists exacting protection levies and similar taxes from farmers and communities, in return for permission to cultivate their fields,” the governor said.

Terrorism researchers say that revenues from taxes and levies forced on ungoverned spaces – created by the failure or limited capacity of the government – are a major source of financing and sustenance for terrorists.

Like the Kaduna situation described by El-Rufai, ISWAP terrorists based on the Lake Chad islands are also extracting huge revenues from the fishing activities and pastoralists operating in the area.

El-Rufai, when contacted, said he would not comment on this story because his correspondence was supposed to be confidential communication to the president.

In 2016, he wrote a similar confidential letter to the president, warning that the Buhari administration was losing momentum just about a year after coming to power

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Soludo suspends LG Chairman over alleged killing of wife

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Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has suspended the transition committee chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Hon Mbazulike Iloka.

Iloka, who is popularly known as Mba Mba, was suspended over the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death last Sunday morning.

Iloka’s wife, Chidiebere, was said to have slumped and died on Sunday morning, after serving her husband breakfast.

But those who know the coupe insisted that Iloka may have killed his wife, as he has a record of consistently battering her.

Signs of violence was also found on her body, while a huge wound on her head aroused suspicion, leading to public outcry over her death.

In a letter of suspension, which was signed by Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affair, Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, the chairman was asked to hand over to the head of Local Government administration, to avoid interfering in investigation.

The letter read: “Following the sad news of the death of your wife, late Mrs Chidiebere Iloka on 7th August 2022, there have been a massive outcry over the circumstances leading to her death, including alleged possible homicide.

“While you are presumed innocent until the completion of investigations, it has become imperative that you step aside to allow unfettered investigation and justice.

“Consequently, you are directed to step aside and to hand over the affairs of the local government to the head of local government administration, not later that 12th August 2022, until further notice.”

Iloka has only recently been appointed chairman of the local government. He has only been in office for about a week before his eventual removal.

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