Law News
Boko Haram Abducts 60 Women in Adamawa

Despite the ceasefire declaration and efforts by the federal government to negotiate the release of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram in April, about 60 women were reportedly kidnapped by the terror sect from Waga Mangoro and Garta villages in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State following renewed attacks unleashed by the insurgents.

However, as news broke about the most recent abductions in the North-east, the House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the $1 billion loan request made by President Goodluck Jonathan for the procurement of military hardware to end the insurgency.

Whilst 40 women were said to have been abducted from Waga Mangoro, 20 were forcibly uprooted from their homes in Garta.

Locals in the affected areas, who escaped during the attacks, confirmed the kidnapping to THISDAY on the phone, saying hundreds of insurgents overran the area on motorcycles and in vans during a rampage on Saturday.

They said in the course of the attacks, the insurgents burnt houses and abducted young women.
One of the locals in Garta, Tizhe Kwada, who escaped by a whisker, said the onslaught on his community was still ongoing yesterday, forcing many residents to flee the area which has been under Boko Haram siege for almost two months.

Kwada said the insurgents cordoned off houses in Garta in search of young women and took them in their vans to an unknown destination.

“The insurgents are still in the area. They slit the throats of three men in Garta and abducted many young women. We also heard from residents of Waga that they killed two men and took 40 women away,” he stated.

Similarly, a community leader from Michika, Emmanuel Kwache, confirmed the incident to journalists in Yola, saying he got the information from villagers in the area that the attack on Garta was still in progress.

When contacted, the Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area, James Watharda, said he had been in Yola since the insurgents took over his council and could not speak on the matter.

However, other sources revealed that the insurgents invaded the villages last Saturday and that several of the residents had fled to other communities including Yola, the state capital, which is about 88 kilometres  from Madagali.

Ahmadu, a resident in Waga Mangoro, also confirmed that the insurgents invaded his community, which borders Gwoza in Borno State. He said the insurgents used the abducted ladies as human shields during reprisals by Nigerian troops.

Ahmadu added that the attackers carted away food items, animals and household belongings of residents.

Two other residents, Titus and Ayuba, who managed to escape to Yola, said they travelled through bush paths to avoid the rampaging terrorists.

According to them, the insurgents stormed the town at the weekend through the road leading to Sambisa forest.

In another incident, suspected members of Boko Haram attacked another Borno town where they killed three persons and set ablaze houses including churches.

Sources revealed that scores of insurgents attacked Pelachiroma village in Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State on Monday.

“Three people have been killed by members of the Boko Haram sect who attacked Pelachiroma village of Hawul Local Government Area in Borno State on Monday,” the source revealed.

A resident of the area, Ignatius Musa, said the insurgents stormed the village around noon.
He disclosed that the insurgents went berserk and “churches were not spared”.
Pelachiroma is a few kilometres from Azur forest where eight people were killed on Friday by the insurgents.

The caretaker chairman of Hawul, Dr. Andrew Malgwi, who confirmed the attack yesterday, said the insurgents also destroyed many houses during the siege.

The terror sect also laid ambush on a Borno highway, killing a soldier of the Nigerian Army on Wednesday.

Though details of the ambush were sketchy at press time, a security sources said that the slain soldier was among the Nigerian troops who were travelling from Maiduguri to Damboa where 25 insurgents were killed on Sunday.

The source, who could not confirm if there were casualties on the part of the insurgents, said the troops were travelling along the dangerous Maiduguri-Biu highway before the ambush.

He said the insurgents may have laid in ambush for the troops in a reprisal after their members were killed on Sunday.

The source said the insurgents laid in ambush at a spot not far from Damboa and on sighting the troops opened fire on them.

Reports on the weekend kidnappings and attacks in Borno State came just as the House of Representatives approved the president’s request for a $1 billion loan to procure military hardware for the war against Boko Haram in the North-east.
The House, during yesterday’s plenary, towed the line of the Senate, which had approved the request more than three weeks ago.

All the four clauses contained in the report of the House Committees on Aids, Loans and Debt Management and Finance on external borrowing of not more than $1 billion “to tackle the national security challenges in the country” were considered and approved.

According to the approved report, the National Security Adviser (NSA) was asked to furnish the legislators with details of allocations that are supposed to accrue to the Nigerian Air Force, Navy, Army, Department of State Services (DSS), police and Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The legislators also wanted to know from the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the sources of funds, terms and conditions of the loan, as well as details of the tenure and interest repayment schedules.

Jonathan had on July 16 written the National Assembly seeking approval to borrow $1 billion (N168 billion) to fight Boko Haram.

In the letter, Jonathan spoke about the need for external borrowing to enable the upgrade of security equipment in order to fight the insurgency ravaging the country, particularly in the North-east.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied allegations that there are people using the bank to fund Boko Haram.

This was disclosed in a letter dated October 16, 2014 and addressed to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The letter, with reference no: LSD/ACL/GEN/SRP/02/090, was signed by O.A. Ogundana on behalf of the Director, Legal Services Department of the central bank.

CBN was reacting to the demand for information under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by SERAP and a lawsuit it instituted against the central bank, following recent allegations made by an Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis, that certain yet-to-be identified officials of the CBN had used it as a conduit to fund Boko Haram activities.

The letter by the CBN read in part: “We write to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 15th September 2014 on the subject captioned: request to provide information about alleged money laundering to Boko Haram through the Bank.

“In your letter, you had requested from the CBN information about persons or office involved in alleged money laundering activities of the Boko Haram through the CBN; and information on the exact nature and duration of any such transactions.

“We wish to inform you that after investigating the allegations across various Departments at the Bank that deal with payments, the Bank could not find any information pertaining to persons involved in money laundering through the CBN to fund the activities of Boko Haram.

“The CBN as Banker to the Federal Government only maintains accounts for and on behalf of the government, its ministries, departments and agencies; deposit money bank; and other financial institutions in Nigeria, and can only make payments on their behalf based on authorised

“Consequently, the CBN does not maintain or operate any accounts for individuals, officers or offices within the Bank. In conclusion, your organisation may wish to note that the Bank maintains a robust Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism framework to prevent the use of its platform for financial crimes. Please, accept the assurances of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria.”

Citing the FoI Act, SERAP had on October 14 sued the CBN at the Federal High Court in Lagos after it refused to respond to the questions SERAP had asked in respect of funding of Boko Haram by the bank.

The originating summons, with suit number FHC/L/CS/1547/2014, was filed on behalf of the organisation by Adetokunbo Mumuni.

Among others, SERAP is seeking the court to determine “whether by virtue of the provision of Section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the CBN is under obligation to provide the plaintiff with the information requested for”.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the application.

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