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The United States Department of State has released what it termed evidence of impunity in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government.

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The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, in its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, said that Nigeria under Buhari, had made little progress in efforts to limit corruption in its public service.

The US makes it mandatory for the executive to produce a report on the state of human rights worldwide every year.

For Nigeria, the findings in the 2018 Human Rights Report, obtained by ThisDay, were largely similar to those of the previous year’s report.

The report added that “Although the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.

“Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security services. There were numerous reports of government corruption during the year.

“The EFCC writ extends only to financial and economic crimes. The ICPC secured 14 convictions during the year. In 2016 the EFCC had 66 corruption cases pending in court, had secured 13 convictions during the year, and had 598 open investigations.

“Although ICPC and EFCC anti-corruption efforts remained largely focused on low and mid-level government officials, following the 2015 , both organisations started investigations into and brought indictments against various active and former high-level government officials. Many of these cases were pending in court.

“According to both ICPC and EFCC, the delays were the result of a lack of judges and the widespread practice of filing for and granting multiple adjournments.

“EFCC arrests and indictments of politicians continued throughout the year, implicating a significant number of opposition political figures and leading to allegations of partisan motivations on the part of the EFCC.

“In October the EFCC arrested and indicted former governor of Ekiti State Ayo Fayose on 11 counts, including conspiracy and money laundering amounting to 2.2 billion naira ($6 million). After a Federal High Court ruling, Fayose was out on 50 million naira ($137,500) bail.”

On financial disclosure, the report stated the constitutional requirement under the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (CCBTA) for public officials, including the president, vice president, governors, deputy governors, cabinet ministers, and legislators (at both federal and state levels), to declare their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) before assuming and after leaving office. The constitution calls for the CCB to “make declarations available for inspection by any citizen of the country on such terms and conditions as the National Assembly may prescribe.

“The law does not address the publication of asset information. Violators risk prosecution, but cases rarely reached conclusion.

“There were several reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary and unlawful killings. The national police, army, and other security services used lethal and excessive force to disperse protesters and apprehend criminals and suspects and committed other extrajudicial killings.

“Authorities generally did not hold police, military, or other security force personnel accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody.

“State and federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths generally did not make their findings public.

“In August 2017 the acting president convened a civilian-led presidential investigative panel to review compliance of the armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement, and the panel submitted its findings in February. As of November, no portions of the report had been made public.

“As of September there were no reports of the federal government further investigating or holding individuals accountable for the 2015 killing and subsequent mass burial of members of the Shia group, Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), and other civilians by Nigerian Army (NA) forces in Zaria, Kaduna State. “

The report disclosed that the 2016 nonbinding report of the Kaduna State government’s judicial commission, which found that the Nigerian Army (NA) used “excessive and disproportionate” force during the 2015 altercations in which 348 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and one soldier died.

It said, “The commission recommended the federal government conduct an independent investigation and prosecute anyone found to have acted unlawfully. It also called for the proscription of the IMN and the monitoring of its members and their activities.

“In 2016 the government of Kaduna State published a white paper that included acceptance of the commission’s recommendation to investigate and prosecute allegations of excessive and disproportionate use of force by the NA.

“As of September, however, there was no indication that authorities had held any members of the NA accountable for the events in Zaria. It also accepted the recommendation to hold IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky responsible for all illegal acts committed by IMN members during the altercations and in the preceding 30 years. In 2016 a federal court declared the continued detention without charge of Zakzaky and his wife illegal and unconstitutional.

“The court ordered their release by January 2017. The federal government did not comply with this order, and Zakzaky, his spouse, and other IMN members remained in detention. In April the Kaduna State government charged Zakzaky in state court with multiple felonies stemming from the death of the soldier at Zaria.

“The charges include culpable homicide, which can carry the death penalty. As of December the case was pending. In July a Kaduna High Court dismissed charges of aiding and abetting culpable homicide against more than 80 IMN members. As of September the Kaduna State government had appealed the ruling. Approximately 100 additional IMN members remained in detention.

“In October security forces killed 45 IMN members that were participating in processions and protests, according to Amnesty International (AI).”

The report recalled the January 2017 bombing of an informal internally displaced persons (IDPs) settlement in Rann, Borno State, by the Nigerian Air Force, which resulted in the killing and injuring of more than 100 civilians and aid .

It said, “The government and military leaders publicly assumed responsibility for the strike and launched an investigation. The air force conducted its own internal investigation, but as of December the government had not made public its findings. No air force or army personnel were known to have been held accountable for their roles in the event. There were reports of arbitrary and unlawful killings related to internal conflicts in the North-east and other areas.”

The report also identified the following human rights issues in Nigeria: “unlawful and arbitrary killings by both government and non-state actors; forced disappearances by both government and non-state actors; torture by both government and non-state actors; and prolonged arbitrary detention in life-threatening conditions, particularly, in government detention facilities. Others are harsh and life threatening prison conditions, including civilian detentions in military facilities, often based on flimsy or no evidence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; criminal libel; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, in particular for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and refoulement of refugees.”

The report also identified as human rights abuse corruption; progress to formally separate child soldiers previously associated with the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF); lack of accountability concerning violence against women, including female genital mutilation/cutting, in part due to government inaction/negligence; trafficking in persons, including sexual exploitation and abuse by security officials; crimes involving violence targeting LGBTI persons and the criminalisation of status and same-sex sexual conduct based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and forced and bonded labour.

The report, however, noted that “the government took steps to investigate alleged abuses but took fewer steps to prosecute officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government.

“Impunity remained widespread at all levels of government.

“The government did not adequately investigate or prosecute most of the major outstanding allegations of human rights violations by the security forces or the majority of cases of police or military extortion or other abuse of power,” the report added.

 

Source: Daily Post

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Majority of Nigerians are poor – Buhari tells new Ministers [Full text]

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Majority of Nigerians are poor – Buhari tells new Ministers [Full text] Buhari 1024x576 2

Muhammadu Buhari has told his Ministers designate that majority Nigerians are extremely poor.

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President Buhari said this on Tuesday at the end of a two-day Retreat for designate and senior Government officials.

Here is the full text of the President’s speech:

After two days, we have come to the end of a successful retreat. However, you will agree that our is just beginning.

These last two days have been very instructive for me personally, because I have had the opportunity to know many of you new Ministers-Designate better. I was also pleased to see that you have all equally enjoyed debating and deliberating on the various challenges before us over the next 4 years.

Ladies and Gentlemen, majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. A in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare.

Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people. As I mentioned yesterday, this Administration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few:

A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram

Decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated;

A rent seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports

Significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I can go on and on.

In our first term, we laid the foundation to rebuild our country. We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets.

Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this. We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialization.

Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.

Whilst we have obvious successes to celebrate, the challenges ahead are significant as you would have observed in detail over these two days. Nevertheless, from the quality of the deliberations, it is clear that solutions to our problems are well researched and have been well articulated.

We have discussed solutions relating to addressing Insecurity; Macroeconomic Stability; Agriculture and Food Security; Energy Security for Petroleum products and Electricity; Transportation and Critical Infrastructure; Industrialization and SME Development; Human Capital Development; Social Inclusion; Anti-Corruption; Housing Financing and Consumer Credit.

Public service is not easy work, and at times it can be thankless. I am therefore charging you all to see this opportunity to serve as an honour, to give your best to deliver on this mandate, for a more prosperous Nigeria, not for some, but for all Nigerians.

You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognizing that four years is not a very long time. For the new Ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older Ministers and former Governors in the cabinet.

In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

I would like to thank the of the SGF for coordinating this successful Presidential Retreat. I would also like to thank the National Assembly leadership, the Party Chairman, Chairman of the Governors Forum, and resource firms, for the active engagements and contributions.

Once again, the challenges that lie ahead of us as a country are significant. But I have no doubt in your individual capacities and our collective patriotic commitment to deliver a better Nigeria for us, our children and a brighter future for all.

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German Government deports Nigerians 48 hours after Ekweremadu attack

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German Government deports Nigerians 48 hours after Ekweremadu attack images 7

The German government has deported a new batch of Nigerian migrants less than 48 hours after the attack on former Deputy of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) NAN reports.

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Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was on Saturday disgraced by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nuremberg, Germany.

According to reports, the migrants have already left Frankfurt Airport at 8 a.m., and were expected to land in ’s Murtala Mohammed International Airport between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The number of migrants deported was not ascertained as at the time of this , it was however, gathered that they were picked randomly from different accommodation centres.

It would be recalled Last month two batches of Nigerians were sent back home from the European country.

“The flight will be from Frankfurt on Monday. For those who have been given the information, the plane will take off by 8 a.m. and arrive in Nigeria between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

“Those who will be deported will be picked randomly from their different accommodation centres from 3 a.m. till 5 a.m. in different regions and conveyed to a central place and finally to Frankfurt Airport,” the Co-ordination Activist for Network Refugees 4Refugees, a political platform for refugees and migrant self-organisation based in Stuttgart, Germany, Rex Osa, told The Nation.

Osa added, “When their asylum application is already expired, they are obligated to leave the country.

“For those who don’t leave voluntarily, they will be given a what is I can translate in English to mean toleration status. This status is not a resident title; it is to show that the person is still there because the deportation is hindered because of one reason or the other.

“These people are picked up early in the morning without expecting the police.

“Some would be picked up from also. When the police arrive in their rooms, they would be allowed to pack things not more than say 64 kilos. The police will be standing to make sure the person does not escape.”

The activist urged the federal government to come to the aid of the victims as many of them are coming with a myriad of challenges.

“Among these people are many sick people. Nigeria should be expecting a lot of people who have psychological problems, and people with spinal cord problems leading to paralysis.”

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