Four more girls out of the over 200 girls kidnapped from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, have escaped from Boko Haram insurgents, the Chairman of Chibok Local Government Area, Mr. Bana Lawan, has said.
Lawan, at a one-day stakeholders meeting for validation of draft humanitarian response plan for the abducted girls in Abuja on Wednesday, said that with the four, the number of those that had regained their freedom had risen to 57.
He was represented by the Director for Personnel and Management, Mr. Musa Elijah, during the meeting organised by the National Emergency Management Agency.
The LGA chairman said, “The people of Chibok are anxiously waiting for the safe return of their children. Except for the unfortunate situation where two of the parents have passed on. The deceased were known to have high blood pressure.
“Latest report reaching us is that instead of 53, those that have escaped are now 57 and those remaining are 164 and not 168.
Our correspondent in Borno however gathered that the state Commissioner for Education, Inuwa Kubo, told the Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on the Chibok attack on Friday that 219 girls were still missing.
Lawan explained that it was not all those who registered for the Senior School Certificate Examination in the school that stayed back in the school on April 14 when the insurgents struck.
“Those that registered for the SSCE are not all that sat for the examination. Over 500 registered and those who had relatives around decided to move to various places like Kaduna and Maiduguri to take the exams. Those that were left with no relations decided to stay back and among them, 221 were abducted,” he claimed.
The chairman said the morale of girls in the North-East was low as most of them were now discouraged from going to school because of the abduction saga.
“The school in particular has been existing for long and the quality of education in it has been diminishing. So I want to appeal to the Federal Government, through NEMA and the presidential committee, to intervene in rebuilding the school,” he added.
Lawan commended Nigerians for showing support for Chibok people, saying their action had restored the hope and aspiration of the people for the return of peace to their community.
He also lauded the Federal Government’s prompt intervention through the provision of relief items for the people.
Lawan, who also decried the poor health facilities in the area, however appealed for the deployment of medical personnel and teachers in the area.
He said the deployment of National Youth Service Corps members would boost the educational and health needs of the people of Chibok.
Elijah later told journalists on the sidelines of the meeting that the insurgents might have noticed that the four girls had become a liability to them and therefore decided to ‘discard’ of them.
“You know we just generalise it as escape. But when they (Boko Haram) notice that you are sick or very weak or a liability to them, they will discard of you,” he said.
He also dismissed the claim that the Sambisa Forest where the girls are believed to be held is bigger than Lagos.
Elijah said, “The reserve (Sambisa Forest) is about 17 by 24 kilometres. As students of the University of Maiduguri, we used to go there. It is not as big as people are saying and when they (Boko Haram) discard of you, you can actually trek it. So the girls can actually trek from the forest to a nearby village where somebody could spot and assist them.”
But he said that security operatives might find it difficult to penetrate the forest because of the mines allegedly planted there by the sect.
Asked if the remaining girls were still being held in the forest, Elijah replied, “Of course, they are there. The first time when vigilante groups went there, they saw them. The girls even talked with them. But nobody can go there to rescue them. But I believe the girls will be reunited with their families.”
Elijah also refuted claims that the abduction saga was pre-arranged.
“You mean the whole villagers will gather themselves and connive and say let us lie. These people (sect) have over 40 Toyota Hilux vans and they can beat checkpoints because they have heavy weapons,’’ he said.
Earlier, NEMA Director-General, Alhaji Mohammad Sani-Sidi, had said the meeting was aimed at strengthening the coordination mechanism for humanitarian response in Chibok.
“While the Federal Government is working towards the safe release of the abducted girls, it is important that a sectoral response plan is prepared for their rehabilitation and reintegration back to normal life,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying.
“The objective of the meeting is to integrate all sectoral response plans into one holistic multi-sectoral response plan to avoid duplication of efforts,’’ he added.
Also, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr Dauda Toure, said the organisation had mapped out a $75m intervention plan for states affected by the state of emergency in the North-East.
According to him, the UN system in Nigeria has developed an integrated response package to address the humanitarian needs in Chibok.
It was gathered in Maiduguri on Wednesday that the state Commissioner for Education told the presidential fact-finding committee that government officials found out during the data capturing and visits to parents that the four more girls who escaped from the insurgents had reunited with their parents.
The commissioner was said to have been furious with the parents for keeping the government in dark.
Meanwhile, the President of the Civil Rghts Congress of Nigeria, Mallam Shehu Sani, has said that the meeting between ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and some family members of Boko Haram insurgents in Abeokuta, Ogun State was to open a new channel of dialogue for the release of the abducted schoolgirls.
Sani, in a statement on Wednesday, said that the meeting was also meant to fashion out a fresh understanding to resolve the insurgency in the North-East.
He said, “My statement is in response to the reports and the enquiries on the Abeokuta meeting with the former president and some family members of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“This is to confirm that the meeting actually took place and I was part of it. The meeting was solely aimed at exploring the possibility of opening a new channel for dialogue or negotiation with the sect members towards securing the release of the abducted Chibok girls held in captivity for over a month.”
He said at the meeting, there was an appraisal of the ‘back door’ deal that was later cancelled by the government.
Sani added, “I wish to also confirm that the report of the intervention of Mallam Ahmed Salkida in negotiating the release of the Chibok girls is credible.
“I personally introduced Salkida to the government and spoke about him in many of my previous interviews. He has tried his best in the past and of recent to help in resolving the insurgency through dialogue but was on all occasions frustrated by the government.
“Mallam Salkida should not be vilified but should be appreciated. Salkida’s attempt could have actually seen to the release of the abducted girls. The meeting in Abeokuta was aimed at repackaging and salvaging the dialogue option.”
He warned that the use of force would not bring back the schoolgirls, saying that it was agreed at the meeting that negotiation remained the best option in rescuing them.
Sani said, “The consequences of the use of force to rescue the girls are clear. The indecision whether to swap or to storm is also not helpful.
“Our children are our precious seeds for tomorrow’s harvest. We cannot celebrate Democracy Day with our children in chains.The ongoing insurgency is now part of our history and the challenge before us is not to allow it to be our fate.With national solidarity and resilient spirit we shall overcome.
“It was generally agreed that the initiative cannot take off without the consent of the Federal Government. It’s significant for Nigerians to note that negotiation is the only safer option to get the girls back home.”
Also on Wednesday, a British newspaper, Daily Mail, reported that the United Kingdom planned to send hundreds of soldiers to Nigeria to assist the military in rescuing the girls.
The newspaper, however, said that the UK ministers and military chiefs had yet to sanction the plan put forward by senior officers attached to the specialist UK team sent to Abuja following the kidnap of the girls.
It added that the troops would not be involved directly in the hunt for the girls or take an active role in any military action against the insurgents.
The newspaper said Downing Street was anxious to assist the Nigerian government in providing security against the terrorists without committing any UK troops to ‘high risk’ deployments.
It added that the role of the British force would be to help restore morale and train Nigerian soldiers on how to track and fight Boko Haram.
Britain, France and the United States already have Special Forces, anti-terror experts and specialists in hostage negotiation helping the Nigerian military to pinpoint where the girls are being held.
Britain, the US and France have been using aerial surveillance, satellite intercepts and evesdropping on telephone calls made between suspected representatives of the kidnappers and their supporters to track the movements of the Boko Haram gunmen.
Until recently Britain had a training facility in Ghana where its military instructors trained West African countries in readiness for their deployments with the African Union in a project called Exercise African Winds.
Ned Nwoko Becomes Patron of Association Of Ex-Local Government Chairmen Of Nigeria
Association of Ex-Local Government Chairmen Of Nigeria (ASELGON) is set to honour Nigerian popular politician, successful businessman and international lawyer, Hon. (Dr) Ned Nwoko as Patron of the body.
The investiture will be done at the billionaire politician’s palatial country home in Idumuje Ugboko, Delta State on Saturday, 23rd November 2019 and it would be graced by top politicians and eminent personalities from across the country.
ASELGON is the national body of elected former local government in Nigeria with membership across the 774 local governments in the country with the core goal of deepening and entrenching globally acceptable democratic ethos.
They body said in a statement signed by their National President, Albert Ashipa that it was an obvious fact that Nwoko had left indelible footprints in the sand of grassroots governance and development for his efforts to get Paris Club refund for the 774 local governments which they said till today many were unaware of his singular role.
The president of the association further revealed in the statement that,”In view of this, the members of our association have unanimously, with excitement decided to honour you for your past achievements.
“We are delighted to inform you that within the shortest time of our existence, the association has recorded modest achievements which include registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), inauguration of National Officers as well as establishment of strong footing nationwide with aggressive membership drive and existence of State Executives and provision of office accommodation.
“Therefore, we consider you as an important and strategic stakeholder in nation’s political renaissance, hence the decision to honour you as our PATRON,” the statement read.
Revealed: How Jailed Fraudster Masterminded $1 Million Internet Scam From Prison
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has revealed how a jailed fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke masterminded an internet scam worth $1 million from prison.
Aroke is a convicted internet scammer, who is currently serving 24 years jail term.
The Lagos Zonal office of the commission revealed recently that it discovered that Aroke, a convicted internet fraudster currently serving a 24 years jail term was still in active communication with other high valued targets.
The EFCC said in a statement that the high valued targets were currently being investigated by the Commission for various offences relating to computer fraud and money laundering.
“Investigation revealed that he masterminded the commission of internet scam worth over $1,000,000 (One million Dollars) whilst serving his jail term,” the EFCC said.
Aroke was alleged to have pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of them targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.
The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was reportedly blown following intelligence received by the EFCC.
What surprised the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of Internet fraud from prison.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.
It was more surprising that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment and from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.
The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements, are already being investigated by the EFCC.
Investigations revealed that Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with First Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
He also reportedly bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22 million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.
The convict was also said to be in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.
Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate Lekki County Homes , Lekki for N48 million.
Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in the closing weeks of 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos following a tip-off.
The indigene of Okene, Kogi State had claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia. But the Commission’s investigation fingered him as the arrow head of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverse two continents.
When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.
He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretence, cheque cloning, wire transfer and forgery.
He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment on each of the two counts.
If You Divorce Your Wife, She Has Right To Take Over Your House, Oyo Court Tells Man
Once a woman has children for her husband and had married him before a house was built, she has the right to live in the house with her children even after divorce under the provisions of the Married Woman Property Act 1882, a court held recently in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The belief that women have no rights even under the law has been proved to be an erroneous one, and it was argued that this is being propounded by those ignorant of the rights provided under the law, the court said in a landmark judgement.
This provisions formed the basis of the pronouncement of the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, recently in a property suit between Toyin Arajulu, formerly known as Mrs Toyin James and her estranged husband, Mr James Monday.
The court held that “a husband who marries a wife and builds a house during the pendency of the marriage stands the risk of losing that house if he later divorces the woman who had children for him unless such woman, of her own volition, leaves the matrimonial home.”
While ruling on the matter, Justice Abimbola emphasised what is known in law as the “palm tree justice,” which indicated that it does not matter in whose name the property stands or who pays what (on the property) and in what proportion as determination of such matters transcends all rights, legal or even equitable, but simply what order is fair and just in the circumstances of the case, citing the case of Home Vs Home (1962) 1 WLR 1124 at 1128.S 17 Married Woman Property Act 1882, which is a statute of general application.
Toyin Arajulu had filed the suit against her ex-husband, Monday James, who she married under Native Law and Customs in 1997 and for whom she had four children.
She claimed that while she was married to him, they had put resources together and built two flats of three bedrooms at Ayedun in Akure, Ondo State and procured a plot of land at No 7, Fadana Biala Estate, Olodo, Ibadan, where they built a three-bedroom flat and a storey building which is still under construction before their divorce in July 2014.
She averred that before the divorce, her husband had moved out of their matrimonial home in Olodo, but only came constantly to try to forcibly eject her and the children, usually accompanied by thugs who attacked her and her children.
She added that on August 15, 2014, one of her children, Bidemi James, was wounded in one of the episodes of attempted violent eviction and the sum of N530,000 from her business taken by her ex-husband and his accomplices.
She claimed that he had concluded plans to sell off the joint property without her consent and had continued to victimise her and the children, asking the court for a declaration that the property is jointly owned by the two of them and an order that the landed property with the three-bedroom flat and uncompleted storey building be sold and proceeds divided equally between them and an order of perpetual injunction restraining James from harassing her and the children.
In his counter claim and defence, the ex-husband stated that when he bought and constructed the Akure property, his wife was a full housewife and had no contribution to the project, adding that the situation was the same for the Ibadan property as his wife only signed as a witness as she had no job and only depended on what he gave her to take care of the children when he travelled out of the country.
According to him, she was only trying to fraudulently take over his property, adding that her claims were vexatious, gold digging and an abuse of court process.
He also asked the court to declare that the receipts of purchase his ex-wife presented were forged and that she should vacate possession of the property which she had refused to give up despite service of statutory seven days owner’s intention to recover possession and perpetual injunction restraining her from occupying the building.
Justice Abimbola, while ruling on the case, held that the landed property at No 7, Fadana Biala Estate, Olodo, Ibadan, together with the three-bedroom flat and uncompleted storey building is jointly owned by the two.
On the second relief that both buildings be sold as requested by Toyin, Justice Abimbola held that, “I will not give such orders in respect of the two buildings. Particularly, Section 17 Married Women Law of Oyo state Cap 83, Laws of Oyo state 2000 gives a court the discretion as it thinks fit on the issues of title of possession to property.
“Section 18 also enjoins the court to treat such property as a joint property if the issue has to do with the maintenance of a matrimonial home. My order to this effect is that the completed three-bedroom flat on the land be retained as the matrimonial property and the four children are entitled as beneficial owners by way of a resulting trust created for them by their parents. The mother, as long as she remains unmarried, is directed to be in possession undisturbed in order to take care of her children.
“The uncompleted storey building is ordered to be sold by both parties and the proceeds divided in equal share. The half share shall go to the wife for the maintenance of the children. A divorced wife has no business being maintained,” Justice Abimbola held.
The court also restrained James from harassing Toyin any further or disturbing the quiet possession of the property by her and the children, holding that, “the rationale is that a husband who marries a wife and builds a house during the pendency of the marriage stands the risk of losing that house if he later divorces the woman who had children for him unless such woman, of her own volition, leaves the matrimonial home. Also, a divorced woman is not entitled to any maintenance allowance but maintenance of the children by way of settlement.”
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