Advertisements

Nigerian inmates,makes millions and build houses in prison

Inside Nigerian prisons, some inmates are breaking new grounds and making millions of naira by venturing into productive ventures.

Nigerian inmates

The most outstanding are two inmates who took to agriculture and invested their earnings on education and transportation while still in the custodian centres set up by the authorities of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

The two inmates have also become their families’ bread winners with one of them maintaining two of his children up to the university level.
Although the NCoS did not disclose the record-breaking inmates’ identities, LEADERSHIP Friday learnt that one of them is at the Kaduna State Custodial Camp while the second, until recently, was kept at a similar facility in Enugu State.

It was gathered that the inmate in Kaduna made well over N2 million from the sale of vegetables from his garden in the NCoS’ camp while his colleague in Enugu owned houses and bought buses for commercial use from the proceeds of his farm produce.

The public relations officer of the Correctional Service and Controller of Corrections, Francis Osagiede Enobore, told newsmen at the end of the Comptroller-General (CG’s) 2019 media parley/facility tour of Dukpa Farm Centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja that the inmate who trains two of his children in the university is not alone in this stride.

He said that another inmate from the South East who left the facility recently was able to acquire houses, bought buses for transportation business as well as household properties through the sales of his farm produces.
NCoS spokesman disclosed that the Service has 17 reformation farm centres spread across the country with over 22 tractors where “we produce large quantity of palm oil, rice, maize and other forms of grains, to help minister moral gaps to convicts.”
Enobore, however, explained that awaiting trial inmates who are on the high side in the correctional facilities are not usually deployed to the farms and other empowerment centres as the NCoS’ mandate revolves only around ensuring behavioural reorientation and retooling of convicts.

He said: ”Custodial camps are borderless environments where inmates who committed crimes outside sexual offences are taken after they have served one quarter of their sentences in the various locations of their primary detention.

They are transferred to such locations based on the recommendation of officers in charge of their primary locations to be given monitored freedom. Monitored freedom in the sense that they are not entirely free but to a very large extent you don’t see them go about with wardens by their side.

They are given relative freedom to see how they can gradually transit to the society. Most of them have their families around, they rent houses for their wives, children and they pay their school fees and all that.” ( Kemi Filani)

Advertisements
Advertisements

Nigerian president Buhari to visit south Africa

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari. File photo: AP Photo/Ben Curtis.

JOHANNESBURG – Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari will this week travel to South Africa for a State visit, which will also mark the 20th anniversary of the Bi-National Commission (BNC).

Despite recent attacks on Foreign nationals in South Africa, both countries insist they share sound relations that were formally established in 1994.

The relations were established immediately after South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Last month hundreds of Nigerians were evacuated from South Africa as a result of the anti-foreigner violence that included the looting and burning of their shops.

Buhari has since met South Africa’s special envoy, Jeff Radebe, in Abuja. Radebe conveyed an apology on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Formal relations between Nigeria and South Africa have been conducted through a BNC, established in 1999 as a structured bilateral mechanism to provide for political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa will host Buhari on Thursday, 3 October 2019, said the Presidency in a statement on Tuesday.

Over the years the BNC recorded remarkable achievements, and provides a useful platform for enhancing bilateral relations, notably on the economic front.

There are more than 30 agreements which have been negotiated and signed since the establishment of the BNC, and which are at different stages of implementation.

These include the Bilateral Trade Agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic and Technical Cooperation and an Agreement on Cooperation in Defence.

There is a significant footprint of South African companies currently doing business in Nigeria in various sectors, mainly in telecommunications, banking, retail, hospitality, mining, tourism, agriculture and construction and tourism.

The total value of trade between South Africa and Nigeria amounted to R50.8 billion in 2018. The major South African products exported to Nigeria include machinery and mechanical appliances; mineral products, and chemical Products.

Major products imported from Nigeria include mineral products, products of the chemicals or allied industries, base metals & articles, plastics and articles (rubber), vegetable products, machinery & mechanical appliances, etc.

One of the main features of the visit will be a Joint Business Forum with a focus on trade and investment.

“The State Visit will not only provide an opportunity for the two Presidents to strengthen and deepen political, economic, social and cultural relations between the two countries, but will also create space for deliberations on issues of mutual interest and concern pertaining to the continent and global governance,” said the SA Presidency.

Ramaphosa will be supported by several senior Cabinet ministers of departments that include International Relations and Cooperation; Defence and Military Veterans; Minerals and Energy; Trade and Industry; Police; State Security and Home Affa

Ezekwesili Tells Ramaphosa to sincerely apologize to Nigerians

Former minister and presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Oby Ezekwesili, has made it clear to President Ramaphosa of South Africa that only a public apology will be good enough at this point.

When a former presidential candidate in Nigeria’s 2019 elections, Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili and leaders of the Nigerian community in Cape Town met to proffer solutions to recurring xenophobic attacks in South Africa, they issued a statement afterwards to say only a public apology will be good enough from South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa of South Africa has come out to denounce the attacks on foreigners (AFP)

Anti-immigrant sentiments have consumed South Africa for decades, with mobs in the Gauteng province, Johannesburg and Pretoria, taking to the streets in recent weeks with cudgels and rocks, burning property belonging to immigrants and looting their shops for fun.

At the receiving end have been Nigerians, Somalians, Zambians, Madagascans and Zimbabweans.

Africans across the continent have responded by boycotting South Africa. Pop stars have canceled concerts. Madagascar and Zambia refused to send football teams for a game with South Africa. Nigeria has recalled its ambassador and pulled out of a major economic forum. And Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has made it clear he is ready to evacuate Nigerians in South Africa who are willing to return home.

“We have made arrangements for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians in South Africa who are willing to return home. The recurring issue of xenophobia could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries on the continent, if nothing is done to stop it”, Buhari said.

President Muhammadu Buhari and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa met in Japan before latest xenophobic attack [Twitter/@GovNigeria]

Nigerian community in South Africa makes contribution

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cape Town, South Africa, last week, Ezekwesili, alongside Nigerian entrepreneurs, professionals and the Nigerian community in South Africa led by Mr Cosmos Echie (who is the acting President of the Nigerian Community Western Cape) issued a communique in which they referred to latest events in South Africa as ‘Afrophobia’.

“It was unanimously agreed that the crisis is detrimental to the spirit of African renaissance, affirmation of black heritage, progress and development. Afrophobia compromises everything that the recently brokered intra-African trade – Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement — represents and aspires to deliver,” the communique reads.

The group also asked President Ramaphosa to apologise to Nigerians and other countries whose citizens have borne the brunt of xenophobic attacks for decades.

The South African government was also advised to trigger series of actions necessary to de-escalate the brewing conflict.

“Officials of the government of South Africa must immediately desist from making any further pejorative and incendiary comments targeting Nigerians and their country and instead publicly commit to taking preventive and surveillance measures that will foreclose a repeat of Afrophobic attacks of Nigerians and other African nationals. 

Oby Ezekwesili in a meeting with the Nigerian community in South Africa (Laniya Olaoluwa)

“The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, should rise to the demands of leadership and reach out to the President of Nigeria to trigger the series of dialogue and actions necessary for swift de-escalation of the brewing conflict between their two countries. 

“The President of South Africa should offer a sincere public apology to Nigeria, other countries affected by the attacks and the entire continent for the tragic hostility and harm perpetrated against their citizens. 

“The President of South Africa should send a sharp signal to South Africans and the continent by visiting the victims of the Afrophobia attacks to empathize with and reassure them of their safety in South Africa and the government should consider paying compensations for losses sustained in the attacks.

“South Africa and Nigeria should agree a mutual legal assistance cooperation scheme for tackling cases of crimes occurring among their citizens”, the communique stated further.

Oby Ezekwesili says South Africa has to do more to rein in attackers (Laniya Olaoluwa)

The group also asked “the Nigerian High Commission and Nigerians in South Africa to design a fact-based campaign to widely convey the accurate and positive narrative of the value they contribute to their host country.

“For example, South Africans must be made aware that more than 18 per cent of lecturers in their higher institutions are Nigerians. A significant percentage of the medical personnel in rural hospitals are Nigerians.

“Most Nigerians and Nigerian-owned businesses operate responsibly in legitimate and professional practices in South Africa compared to the less than one per cent of cases of shadowy activities. 

“The Nigerian government should make visible effort to guarantee the safety and security of South Africans and their businesses in Nigeria. 

“The umbrella organisation of South Africa- based Nigerians will be encouraged to launch a business platform to support the formalising processes for as many informal businesses of Nigerians as possible in order to better capture the value and impact being created and contributed to South Africa’s economic and social landscape.”

Ezekwesili also promised her expertise to the cause in the days ahead.

“The leaders of South Africa-based Nigerians will collaborate to promote a citizens diplomacy programme to foster stronger personal and business relationships between Nigerians and South Africans”, the former minister said.

Oby Ezekwesili meets with the Nigerian community in South Africa (Laniya Olaoluwa)

South Africa is home to many immigrants. However, the country’s poorest often struggle to find employment, with some South Africans blaming competition by foreigners for their plight.

Violent attacks on outsiders, particularly those from other African nations, have become a major and recurring problem in the former apartheid enclave. Some assaults have been deadly.

The attacks have stoked tensions and threatened to sour diplomatic relations between South Africa and Nigeria–two of Africa’s biggest economies.

A car dealership belonging to a South African was burnt down in latest xenophobic attacks (Reuters)

President Ramaphosa of South Africa has repeatedly condemned the riots, although he has refused to use the word ‘xenophobia’ in reference to the attacks.

The South African leader says the attacks are “a crime against our prosperity and stability as a nation. Those who want to upset our public order must expect to face the gravest impact of the law.”

Nigerians to protest against Buhari at UN general assembly

Demand releases of Chibok Girls, Leah Shaibu, Sowore, others

A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has revealed plans by prominent Nigerians to stage an apolitical massives protest against Muhammadu Buhari at the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly slated for 17th of September, 2019.

Frank, APC, Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari and Timi Frank

He said the protest is aimed to demand for the release of all political prisoners under the APC administration, free the remaining Chibok Girls, free Leah Shaibu, free , free Dasuki and free Ibrahim El-Zazaky.

Other demands include; a stop to Fulani herdsmen killings, respect the rule of law, stop insecurity, stop human rights abuse, stop interfering, harassing and intimidating the judiciary, stop nepotism and more importantly, urging the United State of American to including the Chief of Army Staff and other Service Chief in the Visa ban list for extra judicial killings in Nigeria.

A statement released to newsmen by Comrade Timi Frank, in Abuja on Wednesday, said the current administration does not practice democracy and as such does not allow protest in Nigeria.

“We urge all Nigerians in diaspora to come out and protest in New York and make him understand that Nigeria belongs to all of us. This apolitical protest is to save Nigeria from further destruction by Gen Buhari whose sole aim is to islamise Nigeria.

“A protest date will be communicated later, however Nigerians in diaspora should brace up for this mother of all protest as this is an opportunity to let the world know about the plight of Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Buhari will be attending the UN general assembly meeting; therefore Nigerians should come out en-masse to protest to save Nigeria from further destruction by the incompetent Buhari,” Frank said.

“All regional groups including IPOB in diaspora should take part in this apolitical protest to bring to the knowledge of the world, the sufferings, human right abuse and oppression being meted out to Nigerians by Buhari.”

The statement also called on the International Community to take note that Buhari has a pending case in the presidential election tribunal where the legitimacy of his presidency is being challenged and until the judgment is given by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the President should not be addressed as President but as former General.

“No world leader will accept or perpetrate the kind of killings, impunity and lawlessness being meted out to Nigerians in Nigeria by General Buhari’s government which does not allow freedom of expression which is one of the fundamental human rights of any citizen in a democracy.

“Finally, we appeal to Nigerians in diaspora, especially those in USA to come out en-mass and join this forth coming apolitical protest, let us show love to our brothers and sisters back home who have been caged and are not allowed to express their views freely.

“Henceforth, Nigerians in diaspora should come out en mass and protest against Gen Buhari and his lackey Yemi Osibanjo in any country they visit as there is no peace for the wicked.

“#FreeNigeriaprotest is the beginning of rescuing Nigeria from tyrants like Buhari,” the statement stated.

Hope for Nigeria-Nine states to acquire Drones to fight Terrorism and crime..

Lagos, Benue, Ebonyi, Five Others To Acquire Drones

There are strong indications that no fewer than nine states will soon acquire remotely piloted aircraft (drones) and other devices as part of measures to tackle kidnapping and killing in their states.

Investigations by The Hope for Nigeria Online on Saturday showed that the states included Ogun, Oyo, Ebonyi, Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Benue and Enugu.

Sunday PUNCH had, on July 28, reported that efforts of some state governments to obtain necessary safety and security clearances to acquire drones were failing due to the strict conditions stipulated by the Federal Government’s agencies responsible for granting the approval.

The report listed some of the states that had made moves to deploy drones in tackling bandits, kidnappers and killer herdsmen as Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Kaduna and Anambra.

At a meeting with the South-West traditional rulers at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari said he would direct relevant federal agencies to speedily approve applications by states for drones.

Ogun, Oyo initiating process of applications

In the light of the fresh President’s pledge, the Ogun State Government told The PUNCH that it had begun the process to apply for drones to fight herdsmen menace and other criminal activities in the state.

The PUNCH learnt that the decision of the state government was based on the relocation of killer herdsmen to areas of the state including the Lagos-Ibadan road and the Sagamu-Ore Expressway.

Two weeks ago, a son of the Chief Medical Director of the Lafia Hospital, Apata, Ibadan, and two workers of the hospital were kidnapped at Ajebo, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State, on their way to Lagos.

It was learnt that the victims, who were allegedly kidnapped by some Fulani bandits, secured their release a few days later after paying about N50m as ransom.

On Thursday night, five people, including a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, were kidnapped around the Area J3, Ogbere along the Benin-Ore-Sagamu Expressway. They have since regain their freedom.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State Governor, Kunle Somorin, told one of our correspondents that the state was ready to acquire drones to tackle the menace of the killer herdsmen.

Somorin said, “We have always stated that we will deploy technology in fighting crimes and insecurity. Drones are consistent with how we plan to track, pre-empt and prevent crimes and deviant social behaviours. The Federal Government’s position is in tandem with our vision for drones.”

When asked whether the state had sought the permission of the Federal Government, Somorin stated, “Whatever means that is legal will be taken to ensure the drones are acquired.”

On his part, the Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Media, Jide Ajani, said his principal had already said he would deploy technology in tackling insecurity. He added that drones were one of such technological devices to actualise the plan.

Ajani, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “The issue of drones is not new to us here. At one or two fora, our governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, had hinted about deploying technology to combat criminality in our state. Drones are included in the larger body of technology that can be deployed in combating criminality.

“But for the process and the complex nature of our country, where you have security on the exclusive list, our governor would have set the ball rolling. Most importantly, however, there is the urgent need for the realisation that these episodic approaches to fighting crime are not sustainable.

“What is sustainable is what we have been talking about and which is dear to Governor Makinde and that is the issue of true federalism. The issue of state police is very central.”

Ebonyi waiting for green light to apply for drones

Also, the Ebonyi State Government said it would apply for licence to import drones any time the Federal Government decided to issue such official permit.

Emma Uzor, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor David Umahi, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abakliki, the state capital.

He added that aside from the state government’s willingness to join others to acquire drones, it had commenced the installation of security cameras and closed-circuit televisions at strategic entry and exit points within the state to check the influx of foreigners, especially illegal herdsmen.

“We will import drones as soon as the Federal Government decides to issue the licence for them in the country. This will help in Abakaliki and curb insecurity in the state.

“Outside the planned importation of drones, the state government is mounting CCTVs in strategic entry and exit points within the state to check foreigners and herdsmen,” Uzor added.

Benue to apply for drone licence

Also, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, expressed the plan of the state to acquire drones anytime the Federal Government decided to give the go-ahead for the licence.

Ortom, who disclosed this through his Special Adviser, Col. Paul Hemba (retd.), described the decision of the Federal Government to allow the appropriate agencies to issue the drone licence as a welcome development.

“The state will surely apply for the drone licence anytime the Federal Government approves the issuance of the licence.

“Although I have not heard nor read the Federal Government’s decision to issue the drone licence, Benue will surely apply,” he added.

We’ll look at the possibility, says Ekiti

On the state’s plan for the proposed drone initiative, the Special Adviser on Security Matters to the Ekiti State Governor, Brig. Gen. Ebenezar Ogundana (retd.), said the state would look at such possibility after due consideration of the cost and the benefits.

Ogundana, who explained that although drones owned by the military were catering to the strategic needs of Ondo and Ekiti states, stated that the drone licence initiative was just emerging.

He said, “We would sit down and actually analyse the situation, the cost implication, the advantages and disadvantages, we will now decide whether we are going to key into that arrangement.”

Enugu to deploy aerial surveillance

On his part, the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Suleiman Balarabe, said aerial surveillance would be used to monitor forests in the state.

The police commissioner said this on Friday after a security meeting following the killing of a Catholic priest in the state by suspected herdsmen.

The state police boss, who read the resolution of the meeting, said, “The state government also resolved to have aerial surveillance in all the forests that these dastardly incidents are taking place.”

When contacted on the matter, Kaduna State, one of the states which The PUNCH had reported had applied for licence for a drone, declined to comment.

The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, described the enquiry as a security matter.

“What you are asking is clearly undermining and compromising security of our citizens and we cannot compromise their security on the pages of newspapers. No comment,” Aruwan stated in his response.

Anambra discontinues use of drone

But the Anambra State Government said it had discontinued the use of drones for the surveillance of criminals. It explained that in place of drones, the state occasionally hired police helicopter for aerial battle against criminals.

Speaking with The PUNCH on the telephone on Friday, the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, explained why the state discontinued the idea of using drones for security.

“One is the lifespan of the battery and the image generated by the device,” he said.

The Ondo State Government, through the Commissioner for Information, Mr Donald Ojogo, said, “I’m not inclined to disclose whether or not the Ondo State Government has applied, or will apply for such (drones).

“Like the states of the South-West have always maintained, the menace of insecurity has assumed such a frightening dimension that requires a commensurate strategy to tackle.”

Banditry checked, no need for drones –Zamfara

Meanwhile, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, the Security Adviser to Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, said the state, which had witnessed some of the most deadly and persistent attacks in recent times, did not need drones.

“The state does not need any drone at the moment considering the fact that the activities of bandits are almost controlled as a result of the peace accord between the government and the bandits,” Dauran stated.

No security threat in A’Ibom, says commissioner

But the Akwa Ibom State Government said there were no security threats in the state. The state Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, said, “I don’t like commenting on issues of insecurity; there is no insecurity in Akwa Ibom. We are focused on development and how to ensure all communities in the state get the basic necessities of life; that is the plan of the government.”

The Permanent Secretary in charge of security in the Cross River State Governor’s Office, Sir Alfred Mboto, said, “Normally when you want to buy any security equipment, you have to apply through the National Intelligence Agency. I don’t know whether another agency will handle the application for drones. I will liaise with the Chief Security Officer on the issue.”

South-East forest guards won’t carry arms – Umahi

Meanwhile, the South-East Governors’ Forum said each state in the zone would form its forest guards to ensure that criminals, who infiltrated into the zone, were fished out.

The governors also disclosed that in the planned security measure for the zone, the guards would not carry arms but would work with security agencies to achieve the desired results for which they were being set up.

The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who is the chairman of the Forum, spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Uzor, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abakaliki.

The CPS said, “They are not going to bear arms. They are going to be pure civilians and they will be going into these forests with security agents such as policemen, men of the Nigerian Army, operatives of the Department of State Services and others who will provide security cover for them while in the bush.

“Every state will have its guards, but there is going to be a coordinating security committee to be headquartered in Enugu, the capital of the defunct Eastern Region.”

He noted that each state in the zone was expected to gather intelligence and forward same to the committee in Enugu, whose responsibility would be to process it and send to security agencies for necessary action.

He further revealed that the guards in collaboration with security agents would comb the forests in their different states twice or thrice daily.

He said each state in the South-East was at liberty to commence the exercise as soon as it could, adding that arrangements were already ongoing to start enlisting trusted Ebonyi youths into the planned programme.

According to him, states in the geopolitical zone are embracing what the Federal Government is doing by clearing 50 metres into bushes on major highways to ensure there is no hiding place for criminals.

“The essence is to checkmate the infiltration of foreigners who are not Nigerians that illegally come into the country as herdsmen and others.

“Their (forest guards) mode of operation involves traversing all the forests in each state within the zone, twice or thrice daily, to fish out criminals,” he added.

Tunji Bosun, Abiodun Nejo, Ademola Babalola, Ada Wodu, Patrick Odey, Tony Okafor, Edward Nnachi, John Charles, Raphael Ede and Godwin Isenyo

%d bloggers like this: