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Army to Strengthen Military Justice System, ICC Operations



Nigeria Army

The Nigerian Army has taken steps to enhance the capacity of military legal officers to strengthen the military legal system and broaden their understanding of the operations of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, said this at the opening of the Specialised Training of Nigerian Army Personnel on the Operations of the ICC on Tuesday in Abuja.

The training was  organised by the Directorate of Legal Services (Army) in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies,

It has the theme, “Understanding the Rome Statute and Operation of the ICC in Order to Enhance the Efficiency of Security Operations”.

Lagbaja, represented by the Deputy Chief of Operations (Army), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Emeka, said the training was apt in an era where the Nigerian army was entrenched in military operations other than war.

He commended the Director Legal Services for initiating additional steps to meet contemporary expectations of the army and the larger Nigeria society.

According to him, the conduct of war and security operations is regulated by International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law.

“The Nigerian Army, as a responsible organisation, takes deliberate and systematic steps to ensure compliance with these rules, regulations, and laws in the conduct of its operations.

“Currently, the ombudsman for the enforcement of these rules is the ICC, which the Nigerian security forces have had and may still have occasions to interact with.

“It is thus of utmost necessity that Nigerian army personnel and personnel of sister services of the armed forces, as well as other relevant security agencies, ministries, and departments, acquire ample knowledge of the operations of the ICC to effectively guide our forces in the execution of their difficult duties,” he said.

The COAS commended the performance of all officers and soldiers on the recent successes in Nigerian military justice system as reflected in a recent General Court Martial sitting, which he added, had been applauded by many Nigerians.

He said the need to identify gaps in the nation’s force structure, training, and strategic approaches to military justice and operational readiness toward combating the challenges, was more imperative now than ever.

According to him, the diverse nature of the contemporary issues require unity of efforts and multi-agency involvement.

“We must, therefore, work towards cross-sectional synergy and the conceptualisation of ideas on the execution of our missions within a joint environment,” he added.

The Director, Legal Services, Maj.-Gen. Seidu Musa, said the workshop was aimed at having trained military personnel who are knowledgeable on the Rome Statute and the operation of the ICC.

Musa said the workshop was to enable knowledge based authoritative interface with the ICC in the course of performing their duties.

He said the ICC was established by the Rome Statute in 1998 and came into effect in 2002 while Nigerian became a party to the Rome Statute after ratification by the National Assembly.

He said the Office of the Prosecutor at ICC had in December 2020 announced the conclusion of its preliminary investigation of Nigerian situation.

According to him, the investigation concluded on the basis that there was sufficient reason to conclude that both Boko Haram and the Nigerian Security Forces (NSF) especially the Nigerian Army (NA) have committed war crimes.

“There is therefore the need for specialised training on its laws and procedures to make this knowledge preponderant.

“Such training will empower army officers and other trainees with the knowledge to interface authoritatively with the ICC and carry out other ancillary tasks from a position of enhance competence and skill based superior knowledge.

“Military Lawyers and Investigators from the army, navy, air force, other security agencies, relevant stakeholders from Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the academia are all present in this training,” he said.

Musa enjoined the participants to utilise the opportunity to enlarge their knowledge on the Rome Statute and the operation of the ICC.

In his remarks. The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Muhammad Ladan, said the institute believe strongly in national discourse on the question of whether ICC has any credible evidence against Nigeria or not.

Ladan said Nigeria should control the narrative on addressing security challenges, adding that the capacity building workshop was to enable them to see how they could control the narrative on the part of Nigerian military.

He said there has been interventions aimed at constantly reminding the military personnel that even in war situations there must be respect for the rule of law.

The rule of law, according to him, simply means to provide legal constraints and not impede you from carrying out your military operations.

“In the course of military operations there must be respect for rule of law because every war has its own objectives to be achieved.

“In the context of that, the legal constraints are provided such that we are required to simply comply with the minimum benchmark and still achieve our objective,” he said. (NAN)


NSA Receives 22 Rescued Zamfara Varsity Students, Staff




The National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday received 22 abducted students and staff of Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara,  who were rescued on Sunday.

The 22 people, comprising 15 students and seven workers of the university, were abducted from the university in September 2023.

According to the NSA, the rescue operation was coordinated by the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) on Sunday.

Ribadu who received the rescued victims on Monday in Abuja, urged them not to allow their experience to break them, but should rather make them stronger.

The NSA also thanked the parents of the rescued victims for their patience and understanding during the period, and commended security agencies for their tireless work and sacrifices.

“On behalf of the President, I thank all those involved in the successful rescue of the victims without losing anyone of them or paying any ransom.

“This is yet again a success story in our efforts to free all those being  unlawfully held in captivity.

“We have so far released over a thousand of such victims without noise and in complete respect to their privacy and safety.

“This occasion marks a final juncture in a series of rescues we have undertaken in the last few months, to free victims of recent cases of mass abductions.

“Going forward, we are strengthening law enforcement and security measures to prevent these abductions, and strengthen physical security across vulnerable communities,” he said.

Earlier, the National Coordinator, NCTC, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, recalled that those rescued were abducted from the school on Sept. 22, 2023 at about 0230hrs.

Laka said bandits armed with various weapons attacked three off-campus students’ hostels at Sabon Gida in Gusau, and kidnapped a number of female students alongside some male artisans.

Others, he said, were a private security guard and a protocol officer of the university.

He added that the bandits ransacked the hostels, carted away foodstuffs, mobile phones, laptops, ATM cards, cash and other valuables.

According to him, the abductees were subsequently herded on motorcycles and foot to a location through a town in Tsafe local government area of Zamfara.

“Search and rescue was conducted by a combined team of law enforcement agencies and the abductees were subsequently released in three batches, after 207 days in captivity.

“The first batch was rescued on March 15 while the second batch was rescued on April 12 and the last batch rescued on April 14.

“All the abductees were profiled at NCTC while the ONSA Medical Team examined them and administered minor treatments on the bruises sustained by 3 of the abductees.

“Four of them were diagnosed of malaria and are being treated. None of the females was molested and all the females tested negative to pregnancy test,” he said.

One of the rescued victims, Hafsat Ibrahim, thanked God and the government for ensuring their safe return after 207 days in captivity.

Representative of Zamfara government, Mr Ibrahim Anka, commended the efforts of the NSA in coordinating the military and security operations that ensured the safe rescue of the victims.

Anka also commended the Federal Government for the efforts and recent positive improvement in security in the state. (NAN)

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Gov Sule Raises Concern over Increase Cases of Kidnapping




Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, has expressed concern over recent increase in cases of kidnapping in the state.

Sule stated this during an emergency security council meeting on Monday in Lafia.

The governor said that the emergency  meeting was to assess the security situation with the view to proffering solution to kidnapping and other emerging threats.

“The essence of the meeting is to look at the security situation that we have seen, especially during my absence to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.

“It’s indeed a point of worry that we continue to see an increase in the number of kidnapping especially in Keffi, Doma, Lafia, Awe, Obi, Keana, Karu and Nasarawa Local Government Areas of the state.

“We have also seen an increase in the activities of militia terrorising innocent people, especially in areas surrounding Shegye, Katakpa, and some other villages in Toto Local Government Area.

“We have also seen some increase in the dispute especially between communities similar to the one we have seen in Udege area where a person was killed as a result of misunderstanding within the same ethnic group,” he stated.

Sule pointed out that the state government would not tolerate any single ethic group vigilante in the state.

He appreciated his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, for effectively serving as acting governor while he was away to Saudi Arabia on Lesser Hajj,

Sule particularly thanked security agencies for working hard to mitigate security challenges that would have degenerated beyond the current situation. (NAN)

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Police Arraign Man, 21, over Alleged Burglary, Theft




The police, on Monday, arraigned a 21-year old man, Oluropo Mayowa, before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged burglary and stealing.

The defendant, of no fixed address, is standing trial on a two-count charge of burglary and stealing.

The Police Prosecutor, Insp Akinwale Oriyomi, told the court that Mayowa committed the offence at about 6:30a.

m  on April 4 in Emure-Ekiti.

He said that the defendant forcefully entered into the residence of the complainant, Owojoba Funke, a daily thrift collector and stole the sum of N1 million.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 322(1)C and 302 (1) a of the Criminal Laws of Ekiti State, 2021.

He urged the court to adjourn the case to enable him to study the file and assemble his witnesses.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.

Counsel to the defendant, Mr Taiwo Olatunji, urged the court to grant the defendant bail, and promised that he would not jump bail.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Olarewaju Owoleso, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

He adjourned the case untill May 17 for hearing.(NAN)

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